Good Links (Burning Down the House Edition)

Last night my friend Joel and I played Scrabble together. This was the opening word. Morose? Amber has been on a writing retreat for almost a week now, and the boys and I have managed not to burn the house down or otherwise flood it. This might not sound like a big deal, but yesterday I came home to discover that I had turned off neither the oven, nor the fire-breathing wall heater (from 1968), and the boys had left the bathwater running in the tub, said bathwater being near the rim and almost overflowing.

Women, leaving five boys alone in your home is a perilous idea--just saying.

Last night we went for pizza, and Titus was so tired from all the fun that he fell asleep at the table after eating. The other boys, on the other hand, claimed boundless energy. On the way home, they asked if they could pull an all-nighter and skip school, and as good of an idea as that seemed to a worn out daddy, I had to ask myself WWAD, or what would Amber do. I told them no, regrettably, and as a consolation gave them sugar drinks and sent them to bed. It seemed like a good idea in the moment.

Again, I reiterate--perilous.

Alas, all good things come to an end, and the bachelor pad week is drawing to a close. We have had the best time, but we miss our mama. (Come on home, lady!)

And speaking of things coming to an end, and misssing, and such, here are some links to round out the week. You won't want to miss them.

BOOKS

This week I finished reading Tim Kreider and Shawn Smucker's book, Refuse to Drown. The book chronicles one father's tough decision--would he turn in his child for a brutal triple murder that occurred in Manheim Township, Pennsylvania? As the father of three boys, this piece of straightforward story-telling was gripping, and made me wonder the lengths I'd go to protect my children. I'm not going to lie, more than once I misted up and felt a lump in the old throat. You can pick up a copy at Amazon, but be warned--this is heavy stuff.

LINKS

1.  "The last time I thought about taking heroin was yesterday." This is the opening salvo of Russell Brand's amazing piece for the Guardian. If there's a must read piece for the week, this is it.

I leave him on the corner, a couple of rocks, a couple of $20 bags pressed into my sweaty palm. I get home, I pull out the foil, neatly torn. I break the bottom off a Martell miniature. I have cigarettes, using makes me need fags. I make a pipe for the rocks with the bottle. I lay a strip of foil on the counter to chase the brown. I pause to reflect and regret that I don't know how to fix, only smoke, feeling inferior even in the manner of my using. I see the foil scorch. I hear the crackle from which crack gets it's name. I feel the plastic fog hit the back of my yawning throat. Eyes up. Back relaxing, the bottle drops and the greedy bliss eats my pain. There is no girl, there is no tomorrow, there is nothing but the bilious kiss of the greedy bliss.

Even as I spin this beautifully dreaded web, I am reaching for my phone. I call someone: not a doctor or a sage, not a mystic or a physician, just a bloke like me, another alcoholic, who I know knows how I feel. The phone rings and I half hope he'll just let it ring out. It's 4am in London. He's asleep, he can't hear the phone, he won't pick up. I indicate left, heading to Santa Monica. The ringing stops, then the dry mouthed nocturnal mumble: "Hello. You all right mate?"

He picks up.

And for another day, thank God, I don't have to.

Make sure to check out the entire article at the Guardian.

2.  Preston Yancey wrote about a long exorcism, and it shook me up in the best way. Preston is a heck of a writer, and sometimes a story pulls you and and messes with you a bit. This is that kind of story.

What are we to do with the centuries of Christian tradition in which saints appear and Mary walks through chapels and consecrated Eucharistic Hosts bleed and limbs regrow and tongues are spoken?

3.  I stumbled across this video by my friend and fellow orphan-care advocate Kelley Nikondeha. Take a listen to her words. She has a something to say, and such a way of saying it.

And as good as this video is, this post at her place is almost better. You can tell when two people really love each other, can't you?

4. John Blase is at it again. He writes,

...In his awful incongruity
he was love perishing, pure gentleness in memory
and melody, Christmas in the wilderness.

What an amazing piece of poetry this week at his place. Check it out.

MUSIC VIDEOS (Because who doesn't miss the real MTV?)

Some of you know that I've been talking about addiction this week. I'm not going to retread it all here, but I can't seem to shake this song this week.

This one either.

Thanks for spending time at my place this week. Have a great weekend!