Nice Dog

I see my future shuffling

A shaky step at a time

I got no choice but careful

Thank God I’ve done my crime

The tools I see on TV

Can’t stand it when they fade

A prick’s a prick at any age

Why give one a break?

I wanna live a little bit longer

I wanna live a little bit longer now

I wanna live a little bit longer

I wanna live live live live live

The soul is in the eyeball

For anyone to see

I’m better than a Pepsi

I’m cooler than MTV

I’m hotter than California

I’m cheaper than a gram

I’m deeper than the shit I’m in

And I don’t really give a damn

I wanna live a little bit longer

I wanna live a little bit longer now

I wanna live a little bit longer

I wanna live live live live live

Iggy Pop, “I Wanna Live,” Naughty Little Doggie

To Grandma Margaret

Margaret Baker, 1918-2001

A word from my cousin Roxana about our grandmother, who died eight years ago today:

I have spent many years in a volunteer capacity working against domestic violence, so I was shocked when my grandmother was shot and killed June 11 in the White Salmon area. My grandmother was bedridden, blind, and has suffered many strokes over the years. I did not expect her to die in this manner.

She died because her caregiver, Toni Stencil, was the target of an angry man.

There is not room to write all the details Toni has given me, and Toni has her own story to tell. I am not a legal expert, or an expert in domestic violence. I am simply a granddaughter asking questions and looking for answers on why my grandmother had to die so violently.

Through my questions, I have found out that the state of Washington has a Mandatory Arrest Law, as does Wisconsin, where I now live. This law does vary from state to state, and I’m not clear on the stipulations in your law. What I have been told by Toni is that she called 9-1-1 on the Thursday evening prior to the (Monday) shooting because this man had bound her and held her against her will for over three hours. She talked her way out of this dangerous situation and did call 9-1-1.

I wonder why he was not arrested on that evening. Certainly this will be determined, and police in White Salmon have declined to answer my questions concerning this issue at present.

Why should you care about this law? Remember that my grandmother was an innocent victim of a dispute between two people that she had absolutely nothing to do with. This was a dangerous man. Are the laws you have in place working for you? If not, why?

These are the questions running through my head that keep me up at night. There is another state law that interests me as well that I’m checking into concerning self-help information that is to be given to victims of domestic 9-1-1 calls. Three days passed between Toni’s initial call for help and the shooting; she needed professional help. I have found out that you have the Programs For Peaceful Living. This program could have offered Toni some very needed support in a number of ways.

I pose these questions and tell this story because it is my way of helping and healing. On my own, I cannot look into your laws and check into the rapport between your police force and your programs in place to help people. You need to be concerned because you care about the health of your community. I believe domestic violence issues are so important, because the health of a whole community starts in the home.

Please support your local law enforcement and program such as Programs For Peaceful Living in working together against domestic violence.


After the storm

We’ll all need to dry out

And the forecast will be

Sunny and fair

After the storm

We’ll have a big parade

And the smell of victory will be in the air

We’ll march in the sun

And listen to speeches

Life will be a bowl of cream and peaches

After the storm

We’ll be sucking on Swallows

And driving our trucks in the sand

We’ll redraw the maps

Wear snappy new caps

A gentle breeze will blow o’er the land

We’ll pack up our things

Maybe get married

Throw off that weak, wussy

Feeling we carried

Bring it all home

In a bag to be buried

After the storm

After the storm

The flowers will grow

And pastures of plenty we’ll see

We’ll dig a few holes

Heat up a few coals

And have a big barbecue feed

We’ll shine up our cars

Drive in the sun

Pitch a tent in the woods

And make a beer run

If somebody wants something

We might just give ’em some

After the storm

We’ll march in the sun

And listen to speeches

And life will be a bowl of cream and peaches

Stan Ridgway, “After the Storm,” Holiday In Dirt

The Norm Coleman Decade

In the NPR news broadcast that aired on KOPB at 8am, there was a story about the court contest between former Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota and the guy who beat him in November (by about 300 votes), comedian Al Franken. The first time she read his name, she got it right, but in the story summary (at about 3:15 here) she calls him “Franklin.” The announcer’s name? Korva Coleman (no relation).

Double Banks Shot

I’ve admired actor Jonathan Banks ever since I first saw him playing the controller of a team of organized crime investigators in Wiseguy back in the late 1980s. Don’t see much of him these days. Then tonight I got him in double doses: first on Breaking Bad as the right-hand man of a sleazy attorney, then in a brief scene as a much younger man in a brief party scene in Coming Home. Still unmistakable with thirty years separating the two appearances.