Smokin’ Lamp Be Lit

March 30, 2014

newz039-bunch-of-weed-hoardersIn the pre-dawn hours this last Sunday in March, and the quiet north coast of California is under-overcast skies with more rain forecast for maybe tonight or early tomorrow.

Up earlier than usual for a weekend — couldn’t get back to sleep after a nocturnal awakening — and since no amount of thrashing about in blankets facilitated torpid inactivity (great mental activity, the culprit), I finally got the shit up and made coffee.
Now I’ve already consumed the cup of joe, halfway through a bottle of Guayaki Yerba mate, and already done a morning burn.

(Illustration found here).

In last nearly-seven years, I’ve developed a growing online-life, and almost by habit now, the first thing I do when getting up in the morning (or from an afternoon nap) is power-up the laptop — even before the coffee-making process. And being a natural loner, the situation ain’t half bad.
My children are all grown and cavorting about elsewhere, and I endure way-enough direct, face-to-face public input at the liquor store I manage — these early, quiet hours are wonderful. And as a former newspaper reporter with a serious news addiction, I have a fairly-long Bookmark list of my own, then there’s The Journalist’s Toolbox, a kind of junkie’s go-to place.
After surfing through the Bookmarks, a few select news sites at the Toolbox — same shit: Mudslide in Washington state, missing airliner, the Ukraine bullshit, Chris Christie still an even-bigger asshole, aftershocks of the LA earthquake, so-forth and so on — so I started news-nitpicking, going to less immediate subjects and longer reads.

Along the way, I caught up with Charles P. Pierce’s stuff at Esquire missed last week. Pierce is one of the best at cutting to the meat of political shit — a Matt Taibbi type — and I fluttered through his last few posts, then spied this headline at the bottom of the page for another feature at the magazine, “How to Smoke Weed,” which pricked my eyes.
A click, and the full title was “A Beginners Guide to Weed,” by author/journalist Mike Sager from last July. And the piece is pretty funny, but has to be one of those tongue-in-cheek things where readers are either complete-idiots or in on the joke.
Rare it would be for someone to actually need the information, although it’s knowingly presented.
Sager cites five categories to newbies on the pot smoking, with an opening:

Meanwhile, glassy eyes around the nation are turned toward Colorado’s legalization experiment.
Given the choice between a drunk (and impaired) asshole and a pleasant stoner… Well, put it this way: If my college-bound kid was to ask my advice on the subject, I’d tell him I prefer he smoked weed in lieu of drinking.
Watch one episode of Real World.
That’s what our kids are emulating, people.
(Of course I’d also tell him to watch his butt — people still get busted for simple marijuana possession every day in America.)
There’s not a lot to know to get you started, and I am not here advocating the use of illegal substances.
But if you happen to be interested…

And this I agree: Alcohol, way-way-worse.
The first point — Weed types:

Learn the difference.
Indica makes you sleepy; it’s more of a body high, good for pain, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping — you’ll likely nod out a couple hours after smoking.
Sativa is a more upbeat, artistic, and cerebral high.
It sparks the imagination and energizes you directly after smoking and will keep you awake if you smoke too close to bedtime.

Second — The current popularity with “Blunts” and cigarettes:

The hip-hop generation has popularized the use of tobacco leaf rolling papers or hollowed-out/re-rolled Swisher Sweets as the delivery device of choice for weed.
Not only can this lead to an addiction to nicotine (every heroin user I’ve ever known agrees that nicotine is the hardest drug to kick).
It also kills the taste of the myriad delicious strains now on the market. Nobody would ever mix a shot of red wine in a glass with ice and Coke, would they?

We sale a lot of those “Blunts” at the store, but it’s nasty. Pipe or Zig Zag, dude.
Third — ‘Equipment,’ as in pipes, paper, etc:

While a bong can be unruly and downright disgusting, a small water pipe can fulfill the same purpose, filtering the more noxious elements of combustion.
For cleaning, isopropyl alcohol cuts resin nicely.
Remember the container full of combs soaking in blue liquid on the barber’s counter?
I do the same with my glass pipes.

Disagree there — never use glass, wood only!
Fourth — Handling the giggles/munchies:

The first time you smoke, feel free to giggle your ass off, munch down on Double Stuf Oreos and barbecue potato chips, and marvel at the new found intensity of movies, music, sex, et al.
The primary effect of weed is to enhance the sensory enjoyment of everything around you.
But please, if you continue to smoke, learn some dignity.
Conquer the munchies and the giggles.
Concentrate instead on these newly opened doors of perception.

A trait obtained, I think, over time. Just try and not do anything stupid.
And the fifth — ‘Expectations‘ and reality:

If pot makes you feel paranoid, it’s because it affords the user a slightly different view of him or herself.
When you’re high, your words echo discreetly in your own coconut, your point of view is slightly off center from normal, affording you a kind of fleeting glimpse of yourself and your actions that you might not ordinarily have.
Weed invites self-observation, which is not for everyone.
Even though it should be.

Right-on.
In a few weeks will mark my 40th anniversary of pot smoking (May 1974). In my final quarter at the University of Florida, I was an ancient guy for the situation —  25-years-old — as way-most people it seems start smoking pot way-younger.
And in those early smoking days, my companions were a lot of the time other workers on the Sears-Roebuck loading dock — I worked part-time at Sears my last two years of college — and they seemed to love watching me get high. Odd kind of guy anyway, pot just made it easier to spot.
One episode during this period way-illustrates — I had an early-evening poetry class on the fifth floor of the library, and after a few bong hits at a co-worker’s apartment, a horrible fright on the stairs, which were crowded: Suddenly, and without any warning at all, I really, really didn’t know if I had on my pants.
I can still remember, kind of vividly, a quick-stabbing fright. And apparently of such an intense terror, only a super-fast-glance downward assured my Fruit-of-the-Looms were indeed hidden by my pants. There was even some perspiration felt on my forehead.
But after a few seconds, I started laughing, and at that I can’t remember why, though, I did laugh all the way to class, where it had seemed everybody there, usually including the professor (an old guy with long hair), were always giggling, or laughing about something all the time. Not at me and my foolishness, but hopefully-seemingly at their own crazy shit.

A big, huge discovery after I started smoking was the incredible fact of just how many freakin’ people smoked pot — as a ‘straight,’ you’d never, ever really know or understand.

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