Lighten Up Francis

bill_murray-stripes1981-1390There are many great scenes in Bill Murray’s STRIPES, but The Great Reynaldo and I agree that one the best is the group scene that has several key pericopes including the “Lee Harvey!! YOU are a MADMAN!… Whe you and your friend tried to make it with that cow…” and then later the infamous scene with “Francis.”

“Any of you homos touch my stuff? I kill ya. Any of you call me Francis? I kill ya…”

Finally Sergeant Hulka, played superbly by Warren Oates in his last role before he died says “Lighten up Francis.”

It gets wound up like that around here all the time.

I was waiting for my mail today and the guy in front of m just went off about Dominican Hospital – just OFF.

And it can be anything. It can be the size of the piece of cake you got compared to what they got. It is like suddenly waking up in the 6thgrade only in your adult body. It is unreal.

Me? I just laugh or walk away. But then I have the advantage of being a mutant. No one really want to mess with me, and they really don’t wanna mess with my hombre who has my back like a hawk.


I saw my doctor today. I cannot see her up at the clinic until October but I got to see her in one day here. Go figure.

I have lost 40 pounds since last September. I used to be about 335 and I weighed in at 295 today, the first time under 300 in at least six or seven years – and I am still dropping.

Normally it is very difficult because one of my meds packs on extra weight. But as I already live an austere life it was not difficult at all to give up sugar, bread and dairy. I would not have thought the last one possible given my love for cheese, but I just did it. I eat fruit and nuts instead. I drink a lot of water flavored with sugar-free flavoring and B-vitamins. I eat oatmeal in the mornings and at night for a snack with dried cranberries and stevia. i walk a lot even though it hurts on the foot. The foot is not getting worse so it is okay.

And I figure by Xmas I will have “lightened up” to maybe 260, and I am pretty happy about that.


The young bucks around here dig me. Two of them just came over and wanted me to go and smoke some really good “purple” with them. I like them a lot but I don’t alter consciousness so I just told them that I am already happy and feel great just like i am. I smiled and the one dude laughed and said “That’s a great answer…that’s cool.” and they left to go and lighten up.

That’s the predominant drug here – just weed. People are bored – it’s cheap (cheaper than cigarettes) and it helps with anxiety.

I don’t have any anxiety and if I did I could take a half an Ativan (I have enough to use if I have a panic attack, but not enough to get hooked on – and it does not alter consciousness). I’m in no danger until the end of the month when I may have to leave and fend for myself in the cold of October without a bed. But for now? No worries – just concentrate on work – which looks very hopeful on this first day of looking.


382618_10151431635249080_988218692_nI really have all I need right now. The rest of the clothes came today, my new Indy hat (I have had one since I was 19, (long before the movie…this is my fourth), Japanese ink for Kanji, sunglass overlays for regular glasses; I had already pulled my futon to put on my small bed to add padding, so I sleep well., my food stamp card renews tomorrow (which was a long process), I applied for two jobs, I actually got into the shower without a line, I did a major chore, a counseled a guy…it has been a good day.


I was talking with Scott, my best friend of 40 years yesterday and remarking on my first night back in Santa Cruz when I camped out up in Harvey West Park. He said “The Son of Man has no where to rest His head” came to his mind.

“Yeah, well that is where the comparison with me and Jesus stops,” I said.

“But I have to tell you, there was this dude who told me about the lay of the land up there in the first place and I saw him up there before I set up at nightfall in a grove of massive pine trees.”

“The next day,” I continued, “He said ‘Man these racoons attacked me in the middle of the night man!!’.”

“I didn’t have any problem, why do you suppose they did that?” I asked.

“Well I took these two loaves of bread and used them as pillows behind my head and…”

Never a dull moment around here…never.



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