Intervention’s Candy Finnigan - the last drink’s on her

November 30, 2009

After a lifetime of being casual about her appearance, Candy Finnigan - one of three Interventionists on the hit Reality show “Intervention” - has learned that fame can make you change your perspective.

“The other day, a friend showed me that someone took a picture of me at the airport and put it on their Facebook page,” said Candy Finnigan. “I guess no more running to Ralphs in my pajamas for me.”

Things weren’t supposed to turn out this way for Candy Finnigan. Coming from a well-to-do family in Vermont, Finnigan went to school at the University of Kansas, where she met, fell in love with, and eventually married Mike Finnigan, a 6-foot-5 basketball star, and as Candy said “The big man on campus. I always liked the jocks, and he was cute, too. He still is.”

The opening years of the Finnigan’s marriage kept Candy’s roll going. Mike quickly went on to become an in-demand and well-respected musician, playing with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Etta James.

With two children and a husband who had become a successful musician, all seemed right for Candy Finnigan. But still, her drinking continued to accelerate. The Finnigans were a couple that liked to drinks, even as they studiously avoided the temptations that come with the musical industry. But as their marriage had advanced, so had their drinking and, both Finnigans had began to drink more and more. The word “divorce” came to mind for the first time for Candy.

While interventions were still a concept undergoing birth pangs, Candy got a one-person intervention that got her straight - from her Mother-in-law Evelyn Finnigan, who let Candy know she wouldn’t allow her two grandchildren to grow up in an alcoholic househould.

“His mother spotted me first, and gave me a 60-day limit to get sober. Evelyn was adamant about the damage it would do to the kids.” said Candy Finnigan, admitting she didn’t get sober until day 56 of the time limit. “I am sober, thanks to God to Evelyn Finnigan. She stayed with me, when he first came home. Because it’s really difficult to stay sober when one partner is still drinking.”

While neither were ever sucked into the “music scene” Candy still found a way to drink at home while raising two kids, while Mike’s drinking began to become part of his persona, “he was a great drunk,” said Candy.

But nearly 13 weeks later, Mike joined his wife on the road to sobriety. “I was just terrified of living without drinking,” said Mike Finnigan - also known in the political blogosphere as the man behind “Mike’s Blog Round Up” at Crooks & Liars. But the two have been successful, with more than 22 years of sobriety each.

It was when the Finnigans’ two children began getting older and more independent that Candy Finnigan started looking for a new challenge. Attending a class at UCLA with a friend was the key for Candy, and her experiences at UCLA ended with her receiving a certification in chemical dependency from UCLA. She then went on and completed her internship at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, where she worked in addiction services.

Of course, the journey to becoming a full-time Interventionist was a difficult one, as well. Told by her professor and mentor, Dr. Van Johnson that Interventions were no place for a woman, she just worked harder to gain his respect.

“I am so grateful he’s the one who got to me first, because he really taught me it was God’s work,” said Candy Finnigan. “He would never let me do an Intervention because he didn’t think it was the work of a woman, so I got my certification and went to work.”

“She had a hard time because it was such a male-dominated area,” said Mike Finnigan. “She had a tough time the first 7-8 years. But she’s really good at what she does. Mainly it’s just a tribute to her hard work and to her compassion. She was just one of a handful of women involved. But she never gave up.”

Dr. Johnson - an Episcopalian priest who was doing ground-breaking work in regard to Interventions - warmed to Candy Finnigan and helped her solidify her beliefs in the Intervention process. When Finnigan received her doctorate and joked that people would have to call her a doctor, Dr. Johnson approached and her and said “not to us, you’re not,” with a wry smile.

Finnigan said her work with Intervention - while occasionally drawing embarrassing attention - has been a life-changing experience. And while after years of experience she has learned to always stay professional, she admits it’s never easy.

“I cry every time,” said Finnigan. “The most recent one I did was with someone who was a championship boxer and now lived on the street in a box. I sobbed during that.”

While Finnigan has made her mark as a chemical dependency expert and Interventionist, she has always remembered the one important fact that got her to this position - she is an alcoholic.

“I have to be honest with you and tell you, I had a pretty good battle with my husband that over Thanksgiving that over my dead body would I serve wine with dinner for my daughter and her friend,” relayed Candy Finnigan. “If they want to go out and drink, fine. But I get really uptight about it, and it’s dumb. I just don’t want the bottle sitting in the ice box tempting me, even after 23 years. Not that it as tempting as I make it, but just the principle.”

Aware that not everyone can afford a professional Intervention on a family member or loved one, Candy Finnigan has a book out to make it easier. Titled “When Enough is Enough,” the book gives readers a frank and honest look at how to tackle the needs of an intervention including personal, medical, psychiatric, financial, and legal issues involved.

” ‘When Enough is Enough,’ is a very easy read. It can really help you if you know of someone who needs an intervention, but you just cant’ afford what you see us do on the show.”

And in case you get the wrong opinion of Candy Finnigan - that she’s a tough-as-nails taskmaster - just know this - if you agree to go to rehab, the last drink’s on her.

“After I do an intervention on somebody, I always buy them their last drink,” said Finnigan. “It’s like they say, ‘who goes to rehab sober?’”

Intervention Facts

  • More than 150,000 families of loved ones have applied to be on Intervention, but less than 150 have been featured.
  • Of the 138 people that have had an Intervention on the show, 117 have remained sober - a staggering statistic when compared to national rates.
  • There are 27 people that work on a show. Of those 27, only two are non-drinkers. While first admitting to be slightly offended by this, Candy Finnigan came around to see the sense it made. “If it was all recoverers doing it, nothing would ever get done.”
  • It takes nearly five months from the time an applicant is accepted until the moment the intervention actually takes place.
  • The Rehab centers seen on Intervention are the show’s biggest sponsors, offering their services for free. The person undergoing the Intervention process is not charged for any of the treatment.
  • This season, the seventh for Intervention, former lightwight boxing champion Rocky Lockeridge will be among those receiving help.
  • This season will also see Intervention hand out it first five-year chip to someone that received an intervention on the show.
  • Additional Reading

    Candy Finnigan’s Home Page

    A&E’s Intervention Page

    Mike Finnigan: Rocking out with the coolest man in Leftblogistan


    Tiger Woods crashes White House Party as Sarah Palin & Levi fight - All your time-wasting stories mashed into one

    November 29, 2009

    AMERICA - Golfer Tiger Woods crashed his Escalade into a White House Party yesterday, stopping long enough to get his picture taken with President Barack Obama before getting cracked in the mouth with a three-wood by his wife Elin.

    Later in the evening, violence again broke out as Sarah Palin and Levi Johnston had a fistfight over who was dreamier in “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” - Taylor Lautner or Robert Pattinson. Following the fight, Oprah Winfrey quit her show and several others escaped in a poorly-made weather balloon.

    Next Week: Health Care, Afghanistan and other issues will be covered, unless Madonna, Tiger Woods or Britney Spears do or say something stupid.


    Using Beckian Logic to learn about Tiger Woods’ car crash

    November 27, 2009

    When I first saw that Tiger Woods had been in a car accident, I thought, how great, he’s just an idiot like one of us. After all, he was just fine, his ego likely hurt more than his body.

    But then I thought to myself - have I learned nothing from Glenn Beck? Sure, it would be easy enough to understand how a busy globe-trotter who lives primarily on Gatorade and has a body-fat percentage of .0006% could pass out. But what’s the use of that?

    No, now is the time to speculate. Because if we don’t, who will? And wild speculation is what makes America great; So using Beckian Logic, let me ask:

    • Police say alcohol was not a factor. Are they lying?

    • Is Tiger Woods on Drugs?

    • Is Tiger Woods cheating with actress Rachel Uchitle?

    • Does Tiger Woods hate white people?

    • Two words: Roid rage?

    • Is he now, or was he ever a member of Barack Obama’s e-mail list?

    Now, let me tell you, it’s hard asking those questions of such a great champion at such a difficult time in his life? But if we won’t, well, then someone else will beat us to it. So rampant, unsubstantiated speculation is our best bet here. And that is Beckian logic at its best. Because the only stupid question is the ones he constantly thinks he should be “asking.”

    Still, we’re glad to hear Tiger’s doing fine.


    Crossposted at

    Report: Everyone to be Tasered by Year 2015

    November 26, 2009


    PORTLAND, Maine - A new report from the Wolfrum Alpha Resource Center states that every man, woman and child will be tasered at least once by the year 2015. Most of the taserings will be quite comical.

    “Soon, we’ll reach a point where everyone will have their own taser gun,” said Portland Sheriff Calvin Jarmen. “Then, just sit back and laugh.”

    While many have debated the humanity of using tasers to subdue everyone from young girls that won’t do their homework to old ladies that are grumpy, others complain about the sheer comic value of tasers.

    “In American comedy, the tasering is a vital plot point,” said film expert Diane Tucker. “You see that and think to yourself, ‘Wow, they went to all the trouble to make it appear they were shooting electricity into Seth Rogan’s skull. This must be funny.’”

    Another reason for your eventual tasering is that - as opposed to a gun - taserers have the freedom to be 90-ish percent sure that the tasering won’t kill the taseree.

    “And plus, come on, it’s funny,” said comedian Rob Schneider, the current record holder for most On-Screen Taserings with 38. “It’s really a weapon you can build a career on.”


    Pardon these turkeys

    November 25, 2009

    Pardon me

    … Barack Obama to refuse Pardoning Thanksgiving Turkey, will instead send it to NYC for trial.


    … Barack Obama to wait to pardon Thanksgiving turkey until it reveals its real birth certificate.


    … Barack Obama to pardon Thanksgiving Turkey, but only after mandating it to buy insurance from CIGNA first.


    … Barack Obama’s attempts to pardon Thanksgiving turkey thwarted by Joe Lieberman-led filibuster.


    … On his latest show, Glenn Beck discovered that the Thanksgiving Turkey said it had more wisdom than some white-meat turkey. White House unsure if it will get pardon


    … Barack Obama to Pardon Thanksgiving Turkey. In other news, Rod Blagojevich changes name to “Thanksgiving Turkey.”


    … GOP complains Barack Obama spending too much time dithering over decision to kill turkey.


    Multiple Senators hospitalized after obstructing bathroom visits

    November 24, 2009

    WASHINGTON - Nearly 50 Senators suffered embarrassing internal injuries this afternoon, after Republican Senators - joined by moderate Democratic Senators - obstructed the Senate’s new bathroom rules.

    As the Senators prepared for recess, a simple vote was put to the Senators that would allow multiple restroom breaks depending on need. Quickly, Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman announced a filibuster and demanded that the “Restroom Break” bill be fully funded before being voted on.

    While no one was quite sure what Lieberman meant, all 38 Republicans in the Senate quickly joined the filibuster, and were followed by conservative Democratic Senators like Ben Nelson. The filibuster continued for 27 consecutive hours, up until Sen. John McCain’s left kidney exploded and the filibustering Senators began dropping one-by-one in pools of their own urine.

    Non-filibustering Democrats had left the Senate Building some 26 hours previously. Despite the foul smell wafting from the Senate floor, Sen. Mitch McConnell called it a clear victory against the Obama agenda.

    “We will do anything to stop him on anything he does for any reason,” said McConnell. “We had hoped this would take the piss out of him, but, well, you know.”


    Report: Americans tired of ‘Change We Can Believe In,’ demand new catch phrase

    November 24, 2009

    KANSAS - A stunning new poll from the Taibbi Research Center shows that the vast majority of Americans are now tired of President Barack Obama’s mottos of “Change We Can Believe In,” and other Change-based catch phrases. Nearly 80 percent of those surveyed said that the “Change” motto had grown tired and they needed something new.

    “What was most interesting is how very few of those surveyed really had an problem with Obama, or politics in general,” said Lead Researcher and professional juggler Chris Taibbi. “It’s like when ‘Can’t Touch This’ was released and played over and over again until everyone, everywhere hated it. They just need something fresh.”

    One young person of voting age said he didn’t much care about health care reform or other hot-button issues, but that he “wasn’t feeling” the “Change vibe” any longer.

    “No, Sir, not feeling it,” said Timmy Johnson of Tupelo, Miss. “Plus, what rhymes with ‘Change?’ ‘Mange?’ Yep, not feeling it.”

    The Obama Administration has reportedly had meetings at the Executive level, discussing this problem. In a “run it up the flagpole,” maneuver, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel released a couple new ideas for slogans, which included:

  • “Get a brain! Morans”
  • “You Know that I’ll be Your Papa, Paparazzi”
  • “Stay the Course”
  • “Workers of the world, unite!”
  • While it remains to be seen if any of the above will be the new slogans will make the grade. But it is certain that some change will be made to “Change.”

    “The problem with ‘Change’ is that it’s run its course,” said Professional Philosopher Doug McBride. “I kinda like the Marx one, actually. It’s catchy and ironic.”


    CharlesKrauthammerBeingCondescendingTowardMeaphobia claims another victim

    November 24, 2009

    Rumors have been circulating that “Meet the Press” host David Gregory suffers from the rare and stupid condition: CharlesKrauthammerBeingCondescendingTowardMeaphobia.

    Apparently, Gregory is among a small handful of humans that feel the need for pundit Charles Krauthammer’s approval, even though Krauthammer has been consistently wrong on everything all the time, always. Symptoms include overall sadness of being. There’s no known cure for this fear, as if you are stupid enough to get it, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to navigate yourself out.


    Blogger Exclaims “Sarah Palin jokes will always be funny. Always!”

    November 23, 2009

    INTERNET - In a rare follow-up to himself in one of his own blog posts, noted Blogger William K. Wolfrum attacked those that have criticized him for leaning too heavily on Sarah Palin for humor.

    “I am shocked and offended that there are those out there that will say they are ‘sick of Sarah Palin jokes,’ ” said Wolfrum, as he helped nurse a baby polar bear back to health. “Didn’t we learn anything from Bush? Oh, we played it off, but losing Bush was horrible.”

    Wolfrum - who lived in Alaska for several years and mentions it almost constantly - said that Palin jokes will never go out of style.

    “I’m going to ride the Palin Horse for as long as I can,” said Wolfrum - who notably offered to be the “stunt wang” for Levi Johnston’s Playgirl shoot. “For God’s sake, people, she named one of her children ‘Track.’

    “Seriously, Palin is a non-stop roller coaster through funny town,” added Wolfrum, a one-time Webelo, “and I’m never getting off.”


    Water found on Moon: Sarah Palin claims expertise ‘I can see Moon from my house’

    November 23, 2009

    When NASA recently send a missile into the Moon’s soil, the event was mostly used for an endless stream of jokes and “Mr. Show” references. Something big came of it, however. They found water. But no one seemed to care.

    “[W]e’ve been to the moon already, and it’s just not that interesting,” wrote noted philosopher Genghis.

    Despite the seeming total lack of interest in the find, Alaska Ex-Governor Sarah Palin came out and claimed special expertise on the Moon.

    “Here in Alaska, I can see the Moon from my house,” said Palin, choking the life out of a wolf cub with one hand while she spoke. “So I know quite a bit about it. Except for the dark side. But you knew that. WINK!

    Palin then used the rest of her interview as a chance to list her enemies, taking bites out of every hand that’s ever fed her.

    “Katie Couric, of course. Linda Blair - she knows why. Steve Schmidt. John McCain. Megan McCain. Levi Johnston. Barack Obama, you betcha, look out, I’m ‘Going Rogue’.” said Palin, who finally trailed off to gibberish. “Salmon. Let me tell ya. Salmon. Moose Indian. Energy Independence.”

    Billy Kristol, son of Irving Kristol, said it once again showed Palin’s ability to lead the country. “She is just so freakin’ hawt,” texted Kristol. A snap poll showed a slight raise in popularity for Palin.

    “I mean, she is in Alaska,” said Timothy Johnson, an unemployed welder from Tupelo, Miss. “So she knows the moon. She’s got my vote and the love of the Baby Jesus.”


    Health care reform passes big hurdle - Zombies take to the streets

    November 22, 2009

    WASHINGTON - By the skin of their teeth, Senate Democrats voted to begin formal debate on the Health Care Reform bill that would guarantee medical coverage for nearly all Americans. All Senate Republicans voted to shelve the bill.

    Seconds after the vote, the dead began rising from their graves and started walking amongst the living, meeting at Capitol Hill for an impromptu protest. When interviewed, leading Zombies said they believed health care reform would lead to a New World Order, create “Death Panels,” and force both men and women to have abortions.

    “Braaaiiinnnsss,” said one Zombie.

    “We know that Americans oppose this bill,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, referring to a Washington Post-Los Angeles Times poll which found Americans split on the bill, and a CBS News Poll that found that Americans overwhelmingly support a health care reform bill with a public option. “We think the Zombies prove it.”

    Despite their grandiose reputation as unstoppable brain-eaters, however, the Zombies seemed confused, stalking in circles and fighting amongst each other. Many of the Zombies held signs demanding that President Barack Obama release his real birth certificate, while others seemed more interested in a first-strike nuclear assault on Iran. The vast majority of the Zombies apparently showed up for the reported Free Brain Buffet and round-trip transportation, and seemed to have no non-brain opinions.

    Lobbyist Dick Armey, whose non-profit FreedomWorks organization sponsored the Zombie rally, said that it was yet more proof that Americans - both dead and alive - want less government control in their lives and don’t want to pay any taxes whatsoever for any reason outside of war.

    “Braaaiiinnss,” said Armey.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that - while the Zombies were clearly an annoyance - he didn’t anticipate that they would be able to stop the push for health care reform.

    “We’ve been dealing with zombies for a while, we’re sort of immune to them by now,” said Reid. “Ironically, the vast majority of these Zombies would benefit from true health care reform.”


    This one time, on a cruise ship …

    November 20, 2009

    [Author’s Note: This was originally posted on this site on Jan. 8, 2008. But with my wife, Emilia, out of town and me deep in the throes of missing her (Don’t let her know that, tho) I thought it would be a good time for a re-post]

    I try not to mention my wife, Emilia, in my work because, well, I don’t know why. She sure as hell talks about me at her work. She has several bits down pat about the adventures of the silly American in a strange land.

    Generally, however, I keep Emilia in the background. But I had mentioned a story in a blog post about her innocently (I’ll testify to that in court) about something we did on a cruise ship. I feel like this might be embarrassing for her, but I thought, “hey, If I just write a really sweet post about her first, I’d probably be ok on this one.” If there’s one thing they don’t teach you about marriage, it’s this - variables. Get to know them, and play them.

    So anyway, this one time, on a cruise ship …

    [Read more]

    Pelé’s eternal beauty

    November 20, 2009


    Forever the most famous person to come from Brazil, the great Pelé was beauty defined on the soccer pitch. At Life Magazine, they’ve unearthed some unseen photos of the greatest soccer player ever, in honor of the 40th anniversary of his 1,000th goal. Take a look here.


    Will Lou Dobbs run for political office and fulfill dreams of “Journotainers” everywhere?

    November 19, 2009

    When CNN forked over whatever amount they had to in order to get Lou Dobbs off the air, one could imagine that Dobbs was sufficiently chastened for his Birther/Mexican-hate ideologies. That would be far from the truth, however, as Dobbs is already making it clear that he should be the one making policy, not discussing it.

    “I have come to no conclusions and no decisions,” said Dobbs. “Do I seek to have some influence on public policy? Absolutely. Do I seek to represent and champion the middle class in this country and those who aspire to it? Absolutely. And I will.”

    It will be interesting to see if Dobbs does make a run. The American mainstream media has made an irretrievable turn over the past decade or two, as “Journalism” has been redefined. Today, the general public could name any number of “Journalist-Entertainers,” (or the catchier “Journotainers”) from Dobbs to Glenn Beck to Anderson Cooper to Rush Limbaugh and so on. But it’s highly unlikely that more than a minuscule percentage could name one actual reporter at the New York Times.

    With this shift, Journotainers have noticeably reached the point where they now believe that their often poorly thought-out commentary has political gravitas and historical importance. Dobbs could very likely be the first journotainer of this era to attempt to make the switch from preacher of ideology to political campaigner. He has the name, face value and hubris to believe he is up for any job, even the Presidency.

    Of course, he isn’t. The guy at the bar telling you that Obama’s a secret Muslim is just as qualified for higher office as Dobbs. Being near politicians does not make one a politician, and it’s difficult to envision Dobbs doing much more than making some noise before falling in a primary, or being a distant third as a third-party spoiler.

    But that shouldn’t stop Dobbs. Look for him to be a candidate for office in 2010 in New Jersey.

    “Right now I feel exhilaration at the wide range of choices before me as to what I do next,” Dobbs said.

    The pure narcissism that drives Journotainers means that it’s highly unlikely that Dobbs will be the only one to make the attempt. Journotainers from Jake Tapper on one end of the scale to Beck on the other and all in between will be emboldened by any success that Dobbs has, and see themselves as the better choice.

    Because that’s where American journalism is today. Reporting on stories or breaking them is considered below the celebrity journalists that rule the MSM landscape. Because for today’s journotainers, simply cozying up to and making concessions to power is very likely nowhere near good enough. After all, what’s the use of a pulpit if you don’t have power?


    Wolf Blitzer uses Twitter to explain why CNN is in last place

    November 19, 2009

    When a network goes from exceedingly popular to not very popular, generally there’s a reason. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer’s Twitter stream gives us those reasons. From Wolf:

    CNN Jessica Yellin did a very good report in SitRoom on Sarah Palin and her sexuality — the fact that she’s good looking. Did you see it?

    Why is the conservative base of the GOP apparently so much more energized right now than the liberal base of the Democratic Party?

    Just finished a photo shoot for “Every Day with Rachael Ray” for the Celeb Fridge Page. March issue.

    Major Hasan visited a strip club in Killeen even as he prayed five times a day. We’ll assess with a Muslim scholar today in SitRoom.

    Quite a debate between Jamie Rubin* and Ben Stein** on Larry King Live. At issue: trying terror suspects in NYC.

    Father David O’Connell, president of The Catholic University in DC, comes into The SitRoom today to discuss gay marriage and abortion.

    Former Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales comes into Sitroom today to react to AG Eric Holder’s decision to try 9/11 detainees in NYC.

    Biden is VP. The other Obama finalists were Evan Bayh and Tim Kaine. Hillary Clinton wasn’t in the final three. Was it the right call?

    Don’t believe Anderson. It smells terrific in the Situation Room. Play the #CNNChallenge today

    From the Clinton Playbook. President Obama’s job summit next month reminds me of all the summits Bill Clinton used to host as President.

    Exactly a year ago, I was thinking about what I would say on CNN when I reported Barack Obama had won the election. Time really zips by.

    Enjoy last place, Wolf. Make yourself comfortable, you’ll be there for a while.

    * AKA Mr. Christiane Amanpour.

    AKA The Creationist who has compared Obama to Hitler, advised investors to buy five minutes before entire financial world crumbled, etc., etc.

    HT Liss


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