Archive for September, 2014

NFL vs the Roman Pope vs kids/women

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NFLSven Andreas WallinYeah for the NFL. They are doing something about their domestic abuse cases.

I have an opinion about it (no surprise). One good thing this whole mess is that it reminds players that domestic violence is a major no-no. Seriously. Players now have precedence. They see there’s no carrot and only a big stick in hitting people off the field. Breaking this behavior standard gets a player more than just a yardage penalty.

One thing the NFL has done wrong is allowing this to go on far too long. There should have been education and counseling before things got out of hand.



I am a member of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests). Way back when Mass was in Latin, I was abused by priests. Three of them. I have never asked for compensation, but I made sure those predators were kept away from kids.

pope logoSNAP is marking its 25th anniversary. Goody for them.

The Council of Trent (1500s) could have threatened hellfire to its initiates and employees over pedophilia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia. There were damning words for gays, but Rome was silent about abuse.

I think it’s awesome that SNAP has worked hard for 25 years. They are an outside group, put together by victims because Rome dug trenches and played games with the lives of their young adherents.

It’s shameful that the Vatican has had an awful record of controlling the predators on their payroll. Rome needs to say some Hail Marys for waiting until victims started screaming.

Ditto for American football. Kudos for telling their employees to stop beating up spouses, mates, and kiddies. I wish they’d done this the instant they detected a problem (and I don’t believe for one second that the current cases are the league’s first).

Rebooting the Whole Name Thingy

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Sven Andréas Wallin in 2014

Sven Andréas Wallin

I want to say that my name change is done. That’d be rosier than the rose tint of my migraine glasses.

I get everything done. No, for real this time. And yet Mother Earth can swing around, giving a robust brownish fart-cloud of challenges. Here comes a bushel of companies and government agencies who don’t know about the ‘new” me.

“Done” is a relative term.

If I ever suggest another name change, just shoot me.

For anybody who cares, here’s what happened— I was born into The System, where they put abandoned and orphaned toddlers. When I was still a youngster, I was adopted.

My real birth name (foster care name) was Sven. Somebody was making a funny because Sven means “little kid.”

It’s been over a decade since my adopted parents moved on to another plane. It was just me and the froth of hatred and abuse they sent my way. Seriously. The creepy cousins don’t matter to me today. I won’t allow more physical or sexual abuse.

Sven was my original given name. Fun fact: If you look for “Saint Sven,” you won’t find it in any major religion. Svens are scalawags. The country of Estonia too pity on all the Svens up there. Estonia has a yearly festival called Svens’ Day. If it weren’t for them, I/we would never have a day of my/our own. I wasn’t aware of this defect in so many of our religions when I started the name change process. “We have the answer,” they say. They don’t say what the question is. If it has anything to do with Saint Sven, they are annoyingly silent.
Andréas was the name of a Coptic (Egyptian) priest. If I want to cause trouble, it is also the name of a gigantic earthquake fault in California.
My husband picked Wallin. The word somehow means “meadow.” The UrbanDictionary has another take: “Used to describe a person/s who are acting crazy, reckless, ridiculous, etc” That site says it is also the name of a Swedish rapper. (oy)


The scary changes turned out to be simple. I feared Social Security, but I was in and out in ten minutes. Really. The deed for my house was so ridiculously simple that I wonder why stealing land hasn’t been more common.

The companies that I thought would be a snap became little green nightmares, rolling around my feet. American Express was horrendous.

apple-logoAPPLE was the weirdest experience ever. I was told that one’s AppleID is permanent and indelible. “Yeah, we’ll see about that,” I thought. “No way to bend, fold, staple, or mutilatemutilate
➤ (v) destroy or injure severely
➤ (v) alter so as to make unrecognizable
➤ (v) destroy or injure severely
my AppleID. Most of those IDs are easy to change. Mine is one of the first IDs issued. It was in their convolutedconvoluted
➤ (s) rolled longitudinally upon itself
➤ (s) highly complex or intricate and occasionally devious
ID period. My AppleID is stored in dozens of databases, and none of the databases works or plays well with each other. Engineers in Cupertino rightly made the rule: none of those old IDs can be changed. I was able to create a shiny new AppleID, but I would lose all the apps and music that I’ve bought over the years.

Wow… friggin’ wow. I had to get Apple CEO Tim Cook involved. He assigned an Apple executive to be my fearless champion. The exec had to trace the changes around different departments. Fun to watch, by the way.

Här är jag! Vem är du?

The couple that adopted me did their best. It was a rocky relationship: I came down with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma within a year of my adoption. I never heard if they kept the receipt or even if the adoption agency (Volunteers of America, now Lena Pope Home) would charge a restocking fee if they had to take me back. Maybe they had an extended warranty on me.

My adopted parental units didn’t pick their families.

Not a “real” relative, they chanted in four-part harmony. No queer could ever be part of “our” family. Mom seemed embarrassed about their antics. After she died, I learned that she threatened a few if they didn’t simmer down and behave.

Except for some sexual abuse, I never felt endangered. I thought they were being silly. “What are you, 12?” I asked one uncle.

Today I just want the entire group out of my life. Hence, the name change.

It’s all good today. A friend who also came up through the system says she knew I was a street kid. She say orphans have a mist of scrappiness that follows them around. She said she can really relax around other street kids because she knows we don’t break (not easily anyways). She calls it a willingness to face whatever life serves with a “Bring It!” attitude.

Janie Saved My Life

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Janie Marroquin

Rosita Maria Marroquin

I want to tell you about Janie Marroquin, the person who saved my life and kept me out of jail. She got in my face a few times, alleging that I shouldn’t go to my job absolutely plastered on heroin or wacked on psilocybin.

I was a newscaster. Janie thought the station would have some kind of minimum expectations on my ability not to slurslur
➤ (n) (music) a curved line spanning notes that are to be played legato
➤ (n) a disparaging remark
➤ (n) a blemish made by dirt
➤ (v) play smoothly or legato
➤ (v) speak disparagingly of; e.g., make a racial slur
➤ (v) utter indistinctly
➤ (v) become vague or indistinct
words. She insinuated that I couldn’t focus my attention on something as simple as a coffee mug, so I probably couldn’t parse and report on the Vietnam War. (This was in the early 1970s).

Today, I understand the idea. Being stoned on the radio never worked for me. Maybe I’m a wimp who couldn’t hold my pharmaceuticals. At the time, I decided Janie had become some kind of tool for radio/TV executives.

She’d diagnose my situation on Sunday, noting that I’d been wasted for the whole weekend… unconscious for lots of hours. Janie would ignore me when my language got testy… like me saying she was more like a drunk moth than a friend.

She called my boss a few times, telling him that I had laryngitis.

She was gentle but in my face. When she “threatened” me with consequences, Janie never backed down. It turns out that’s vital to working with addicts. You can’t “give in.” The addict will think the person is brutal or doesn’t understand.

She was brutal. 😉

“You are such a tool,” I once said.

“Io sé, güera,” she laughed.

Janie finally got through to me in 1980. That was the last time I put booze down my throat and junk under my skin. Not once since then.

Several years ago, I wrote a book about a newscaster trying to get sober. It’s fiction, of course.

The book is Commitment Issues It hasn’t been a huge seller, but I think it is one of my most important titles. Not the slickest. Not the funniest (but I wrote it, so there’s plenty of dark/edgy humor). It let me pass along some real happenings about gay people in AA, shortly after that group was founded. It lets readers know how completely supportive AA co-founder “Bill W” was. I include lots of my own experiences and hopes getting off chemicals. It’s a lot more autobiographical than the blurb says.

There’s a character named Janie Marroquin. Everyone in the book always used her full name. It was “Janie Marroquin” with no real explanation.

Now… I can give you an explanation: it was me saying Thank you, Janie.

The character isn’t the real life Janie. Seriously. I used her full name as a kind of shout-out. I put Janie’s full name into a book that will live in the protected archivesarchives
➤ (n) collection of records especially about an institution
of the Library of Congress.

Before the book came out, I told her about the character. As I recall, she basically said, “Ch**gou, puto.” she said through her laughter. Her tone was familiar: the sing-song stage-whisper she used when she wanted me to know she didn’t use such strong words. “Only you make me talk like that,” she once told me.

She said I was nuts, and the book didn’t stand a chance of staying in the Library of  Congress.

My friend Janie died a year ago. I was able to thank her for slapping me around all those years ago.

Today (like so many other days) I pray for her soul: Señor conceda su eterno descanso. Y brille sobre ella la luz eterna.