Nudging the Boundaries


Fresno, California, US
April 11
Writer, Registered Addiction Specialist, civil rights/civil liberties activist


JANUARY 27, 2012 4:55PM

May it pass quickly

My spouse and I have lived on government support for these last three years. We both lost our jobs in 2009-2010, and we receive unemployment checks, food stamps, subsidized telephone service and gas/electricity, and even health care for a brief time.


You might have been led by various p… Read full post »

JANUARY 2, 2012 12:38PM

A long walk to a (hopefully) new job

I'm to find out in the next few days whether I'm employed again. After 2-1/2 years of living in the margins of existence, it's an exciting prospect.

The job is a simple retail cashiering position at a dollar store, but this is the closest I've come to real employment since my… Read full post »

DECEMBER 26, 2011 2:59PM

My hope for 2012: A job

My greatest hope for the new year is to land a job. I'll take any job that pays minimum wage or better, regardless of how many hours per week it entails. But here is a list of my preferences:


A full-time job that pays better than $10 per hour. I… Read full post »

DECEMBER 24, 2011 9:56PM

Meeting your eyes

eye contact 


I was the kind of person who trudged and looked at the ground when I walked around the neighborhood. I was self-conscious and felt disconnected from everyone except immediate family and a few friends. I wanted to be--and felt myself to be--invisible.

I read in my social psycholog… Read full post »

DECEMBER 24, 2011 10:32AM

Harry Potter and the bad teeth


Did you notice, when you watched the first Harry Potter movie, that all of the "evil" kids in the Slytherin house have particularly crooked teeth, while the "good" kids from Gryffindor all had bright white and perfectly aligned teeth? It's particularly apparent during the Quiddich match… Read full post »

DECEMBER 23, 2011 2:14PM

Why I chose a woman

born this way

I know it's not consistent with the zeitgeist to say one can choose one's sexual orientation. People with whom I associate, who fight with me for equal rights for LGBT Americans, often get ruffled when I say I don't believe we are all "born this way."

I tend to believe… Read full post »

1. Brussels sprouts

brussels sprouts 

I am a vegetable fanatic. I love broccoli and cabbage, kohlrabi and asparagus, cauliflower and beets. But I do not like Brussels sprouts. I suppose I ate them canned as a child and haven't yet recovered, but I ate zucchini canned with tomatoes and made the transition… Read full post »

 1. Fruit in savory dishes -

pineapple pizza

I always found that the very idea of fruit in savory dishes to be abhorrent. My spouse loves pizza with Canadian bacon and pineapple, but because of my preconceived notions about fruit, we often ordered pizzas with different toppings on each half so… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 20, 2011 1:25PM

Out of work and out of time

unemployment 1 

 I got a job interview yesterday and was offered a position. It’s the first interview I’ve had in about a year. I can blanket my field with resumes and not receive a single call. My job consists of counseling others to help them locate tools to remain sober outside of… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 16, 2011 5:35PM

Lies and omissions - Santa Claus Open Call



We lie about Santa Claus to our children. We have a secret system by which we refuse to tell kids that Mommy and Daddy's hard earned money actually pays for gifts. We make believe that there is some magical man who watches our kids all year to determine if… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 14, 2011 4:53PM

My bully's interview with me


A former bully reached out to me on Facebook, even going so far as to arrange a face-to-face meeting. She was one of several girls in elementary school who had harassed me about my weight, my sexuality, and my choice of friends. Jennifer was not the ringleader but simply one… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 12, 2011 6:47PM

The turkey line

turkey line

The turkey line stretched around the block. Men in workboots and straw hats. Women in mismatched clothing. Children playing with one another between families. Wheelchairs. Walkers. Hmong, Hispanic, African-American, white, all stood in line for hours today to pick up a free holiday turkey fro… Read full post »

1. Food stamps

I get an allotment of food stamp (SNAP) money credited to my EBT card on the fourth day of very month. If I didn't get it, I couldn't afford to eat. Of course, I'm a snooty impoverished person; I like to eat meat because it actually makes me… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 8, 2011 6:36AM

Monday Monday

No need to post

the URL or embed

a video, just reach 

through air, scented

with kimchee

here, and crepes with Marionberry jam

there, just thrust

your thought and only connect,

your projectile, formless

and blind through boundless

space and gently tap

on ipods, all loaded… Read full post »

Electronic cigarettes are far, far cheaper than analog cigarettes if you know enough about them. Run a search on your favorite search engine, and what you’ll find is a list of small businesses hawking their wares, and not much real information.

2  Xhaleo2 atomizer

In my first blog… Read full post »

Tom Cordle posted a wrenching piece about cigarette smoking and his wife’s newly discovered Stage III lung cancer this morning, and I feel compelled to write about an excellent smoking cessation method even for those who may not think they’re ready to stop smoking or have failed other met… Read full post »

AUGUST 12, 2010 2:59PM

Should I be uneasy?

I posted a piece of this in a comment on Becky Boop's outstanding article Let Them Eat Bitterness:

We are in the process of losing everything we have. I have no job, and my unemployment was ended at 52 weeks, which is all…

Read full post »

MAY 16, 2009 6:31PM

My Posts About AA

So earlier this week I posted a piece about "powerlessness" here at OS.  Powerlessness is an AA concept which I think is counterproductive.  I believe that people can learn to make wise choices, to acknowledge that their behaviors are volitional.  It seems to me that teaching people th… Read full post »