I Saw You

Week of June 9


TATTOOED MARY: I gathered the courage to compliment your cool tattoos at the Village last week. You showed me one was a work in progress and recommended a local artist or two. Words were a little lost on me, however — driven to distraction by the beautiful canvas alone. And that is the truth.


HEALTH & HOUSING: Health and health care; homelessness and mental health; medically necessary and covered service; categorically needy and allotted units of care. These are all words and phrases you will see in Washington's Health Care Authority policy for Apple Health, which serves 2.4 million Washington residents. What you won't see is an increase in allowed types of services (beyond addiction treatment). In fact, the amount of occupational therapy units for the handicapped is limited to six hours of therapy per year. How will only six hours of therapy improve anyone's occupational outlook? Everyone talks about how to improve our health care system, but you have to actually know how the current system works in order to improve it. The problem is how we define health. I think we can all agree that health includes the physical state or condition of a human being's body. A body that is continuously exposed to the weather (cold, hot, wet, dry, wind, sun, no-sun) without reprieve will deteriorate at at much faster rate than one that is not continuously exposed. The body needs nourishment (food and water), the more balanced the diet the better, right? Don't forget how important it is to wash your hands after using the bathroom! As simple as cooking and washing up is to you, it is the hardest thing for those who don't have a home to do it in. And those are the same people whose health deteriorates the fastest. Keeping fed and clean are a major component of staying (or becoming) healthy, yet this is ignored by policymakers. Housing is an integral part of human health outcomes. So why isn't it included in any service plan, why hasn't a doctor ever prescribed "shelter — with running water and electricity" as a medically necessary prescription to an unhealthy condition?

UPS PASSER-BY: As I was leaving UPS on Grand June 3rd, I held the door for a woman with her hands full. I asked if you were going in as well. I should have followed up and asked if you wanted company while you waited outside, and/or your number. Maybe I'm crazy, or maybe I felt a vibe. I'll be there again Monday at the same time, don't forget to wear the same hat :)


LEVELING THE 'PLAYING FIELD': To follow up on Samantha Wohlfiel's well-written "Bans Off Our Bodies" — here's a plan if the Supremes rescind Roe. Let's require that every male in America submit to a DNA test for a national database for the purpose of identifying fatherhood of every child that the law says must be taken to term. Said fathers of babies born out of wedlock would be held responsible and required to support their offspring and their mothers until babies are legal adults. Either that or submit to vasectomies. This was submitted for Cheers because a lot of women are going to be cheering at this idea. Sorry if you don't have a sense of humor.

RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS: Brews Bros., West 734 Sprague, Memorial Day, barista Andrew told me the man before me paid for the next customer's drink. Thank you, sir and thank you Andrew. I will pay it forward as well.

CHEERS TO TERESA LUKENS: What an Inland Northwest treasure we are losing in Teresa Lukens, one of KXLY's 920 News Now radio show's hosts. Not only did she put nervous interviewees at ease, Ms. Lukens' interviewer skills were superb. Her questions were always the questions the listener would ask, but she also asked questions in such a polite way as to help interviewees who had lost their train of thought find the tracks again. We are going to miss sharing our morning commute with you!


RE: HANDICAPPED FRAUDS: Not to say I don't get where you are coming from; it is frustrating to not have a space that should be reserved. However, please keep in mind that not all disabilities are visible.

ACTUAL DAMAGES: It is finally time to show everyone what this weapon of war actually does to a human being. We already consume a steady diet of "action" movies and vicious video games with fake violence and phony blood-drenched bodies — maybe if we saw the real thing we would demand an end to the sale of these evil weapons. I am reminded of how Emmett Till's mother demanded that her son's mutilated, burned body be on full display at his funeral to show what a "lynching" actually looks like. Uvalde parents had to give DNA samples so their dead children could be identified.

STOP THE BLAME GAME: The shooting in Texas was more than a tragedy; it's an atrocity, committed against innocents by a depraved, profoundly evil individual. Moral outrage at this heinous crime is understandable, alongside heart-rending grief and sorrow for those who died. But for all the raw emotion it evokes, the most useless response of all is to vilify and blame people or organizations not responsible for this crime. What will that accomplish? Demonizing "Republicans" in general or the NRA — millions of your fellow citizens who own and use firearms lawfully — only divides us further. Sadly, this incident further showed that when a lunatic's warning signs are missed or ignored, law enforcement cannot or will not protect you all the time. The calls to "do something!" are understandable, but not at the cost of constitutional rights. Once lost, you'll never get them back. If you must "do something!" make it useful and give blood, right now, today. You can literally save another's life!

DOES ANYTHING EVER CHANGE AT THE AIRPORT? Once again, I have the misfortune of flying out of GEG (is there really an option?). Getting through was security was OK (I couldn't imagine not having precheck). Just to get through the checkpoint and to find half the concessions are closed. I have a young child (6 years old) and had no opportunity to get anything for her before our flight given the long lines.

3 AM TRAIN: Being sexually free doesn't make you a bad person; however, your apparent attempts to share your pleasure with those trying to sleep at 3 am might. The sounds of your frolic echoing through the apartment complex were enough to rouse the dead. The resulting cocktail of positive and negative reactions insured that closing windows and donning earplugs was an exercise in futility. Nonconsentual sleep deprivation occurred. There are countless options available (some may even be exciting) that don't involve being inconsiderate to your neighbors. Go inside or close the windows? Go to a place where people aren't trying to sleep by the hundreds? Invest in a muzzle? Switch to daytime hours? Use your imagination, kid. Have fun but be considerate.

DATERS... ...and relaters. Jeers to me. This isn't an apology or confession, but ya might take note. I was a dirty dealin' dog most of my 30s and 40s. Tips to you who are trying to "date". Free Advice. Hanging out isn't dating. It's just a way to waste your time, and I don't hafta put effort or cash into valuing your time in getting to know you. Respect yourself and time more than that. If you think they are cheating on you, it's highly likely. If they have, and you are second-chancing them, bad idea. If they scream at you, even once....harm you, even once....LEAVE. Then. Don't look back. At all. There are billions of people on the planet; find one who treats you well. Treat yourself well. If you think they are gaslighting you, you are correct. If there are addictions. Any kind. Go. Do they avoid meeting your friends?...Going to certain places?...Having you meet their friends and family? Red. Flags. If they're into porn and you discover it...they deny it...YIKES. It's an addiction. Pernicious. Don't put up with bad behavior; we're not just edgy, we're using you. Manipulating you. Treat yourself well. We've earned our horrible reputations. We hope for redemption. It is hard won. Stay safe. Be well. ♦

Awakenings: Traditional Canoes and Calling the Salmon Home @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Aug. 21
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