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Apr. 30th, 2013 @ 06:40 am Wow
Haven't been on this blog in 4ever! But it reminded me that Rosemarie's birthday is coming. She is a dear and one likes to keep in touch. But how do I navig8 this site after all this X?
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Oct. 13th, 2012 @ 06:00 am Election season
It's almost over. We're coming down the home stretch. Yesterday a (republican) friend said he thought the tone of the VP debate was borderline disrespectful on the part of the sitting (democratic) vice president. Since I hadn't seen it, I had to rely on my DH for the rundown. He said the discussion was animated. I observed that the role of the second banana is usually to go after the opposition with vigor while the President keeps his cool.
I'm most concerned about the GOP withdrawing funds from Public media. Hearing the reports on Marketplace, complete with sound bytes of some comments by Bull Dogs on the Right, I was appalled. They followed with an analysis of the debate by none other than a Rapper, whose main complaint was that the mix didn't even rhyme. However, his take-away word was 'malarkey.'
"I can work with that," he said. Word.
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Oct. 2nd, 2012 @ 07:13 am Ten-four at five-oh-five
Current Mood: reminiscent
When you popped out at precisely the time, the Stones song began resonating through my fevered brain, "Get me on Flight Number 505." And with no idea of my destination, I hauled you to the North Woods of Washington State away from the distant dad who continued to burrow into his loneliness and isolation, so much so that he gives the word 'hermit' new meaning.
What are the highlights of our journey? The time when I decided I had to get a handle on your willfulness, and in a session of holding, grappling, and patience, we came away with a new understanding. It was when we lived in the house with the steep drive, next to the landlord whose horse died one afternoon when I was DOMA*. Did it eat rhododendron like the goat we got and lost in the same day? That was at the commune in the woods, clothing optional until cars and gawkers crowded the road.
Before we left the house on Atlantic, you strayed onto the busy street one too many times. I was in a perpetual state of apoplexy, fearing you would be hit by a car. I either found you or someone brought you back. Three times. Heart in my throat.
There were the years with stepdad Mike, "Josie, get me a beer." And the time in the apartment until we moved in with Paul the Greek, where you couldn't touch anything, and the friend built the bunk bed too high; you fell out and broke your arm. Guy and his kids, then Jim and his quiet ways. Right after we married, you invited a ton of kids from school and most were drunk.
Happy 15th B-day (RALPH). By then you had started signing your art JoE and making your mark. BTW, I still have the ceiling tile from the art class. Shall we see if the teacher has retired yet?
You moved out at 18 and I grieved. Empty next syndrome let me know that two more would follow, and they did, sooner than I expected, but with less pain than I felt with your departure. You went backpacking with a BF and kept reminding me that you were alive after losing backpack, sleeping bag, and other replaceable things. When I got stuck last week in the Sierras, I was well watered, otherwise safe, and kept thinking of your ordeal in the Saline Valley. Hysteria ensued. Until just now, I didn't realize what had prompted my reaction. In my case, chinquapin bushes were growing rather densely as I tried to make a trail from a lovely campsite to the trail. There was an easy way, but I tried to blaze my own trail. Next time, I bring a machete.
Last year was your "Life, the Universe, and Everything" birthday, but you didn't have time to celebrate the enormity of the event, and someone else stole the theme for his party, BAH! Now, we have an absence at the table, your progeny, who is navigating the maze of adolescence and mental illness. Remember what June Seber said, "She's fine! You are the one who suffers through her changes." (I paraphrase).
*DOMA: drunk on my ass
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Apr. 28th, 2012 @ 06:21 am Moxie 4/27 performance
The play was weird! A man, his wife, and a hat. He puts on this hat, gets a goofy expression on his face, dances around. His wife doesn't have a hat, is jealous of it, takes it when she leaves him. The walls talk (and words project). Everyone has a Russian accent, even the wall of truth Greek chorus. In the beginning, a young woman sits at a table, apart. She becomes the main focus as you learn she is the daughter of this couple, who are Jewish, because there's a Golem (a creature that is kind of like the undead). The daughter gets ready to be married and trouble starts in a Freudian twist. She doesn't think she'll ever love anyone and that she's doing her fiance a disservice. Her father's best friend is a jolly guy, has lots of kids, tells the audience that if kids don't get love, they float away. Well, the man's wife leaves him in charge of her one day and he sets her down and darned if she doesn't float away. The funny bit was that when she starts feeling doubts about marrying, her fiance gets dizzy and has to keep his backpack on to stay grounded. Later scenes show him wearing an iron, weights, etc. to keep from floating away and his physical comedy was the best.
Well, the play resolves itself when the man's wife comes back, he makes her a hat (did I tell you he's a hat maker?) and she hears the music and does the dance he does when he's wearing his hat. The Golem takes her away and she is dead, but at least she finally got to hear the music. I feel like she did, not every having her name spoken (he forgets it, and has put it in a jar, which he later opens and there is her name. Very sweet). Made me cry. One woman was seeing the play for the third time.
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Feb. 28th, 2012 @ 06:44 am Rain means weeds
Whenever it's going to fall, I have the option of emptying buckets that catch rain from the roof. It's a chore. Five gallons is a lot for someone my age. So I dump a gallon out and schlepp a little less to the pond, mostly, but also to trees awaiting renewal. We have gophers, which I'm told provide deep aeration of the soil horizon, and that's a good thing. AS LONG AS THEY DON'T KILL THE PLANTS. I dug up a rose that was all but dead. One poor excuse for a branch declared its life was not over. The same with a lantana, that had two leaflets. They are now in pots. During winter, I don't water, expecting the cool weather and normal rainfall to make up for my interference. But this winter has been drier than last, and I expect the California fuschia succumbed while nearby weeds flourished. One edible that doesn't mind dry conditions is arugula. It used to erupt in forests in the fenced garden, but now it adorns pathways. The nice thing about that is the reward of weeding. If by chance I pluck one of these darlings, it is my treat to eat this pungent relative of the radish. I am rewarded too with white flowers on a stalk when they bolt, also welcome in a world of nettle, grass, and mallow, which I'm told is also good for what ails you.
Once when walking in a neighborhood of San Diego, a stout woman who could barely speak English, transplanted from a European country, was enraptured to encounter this plant had taken root in marginal soil. She made motions that this plant was good for the stomach, and I surmised, digestion.
Much of the opportunistic growth on our hills is from somewhere in Europe anyway, and South American Pampas grass clumps on roadsides. I have the same antipathy to that last plant as people do to two-legged immigrants. Pulling weeds, I wonder if I should just get a goat. If I did, the roses would be first to go.
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Dec. 29th, 2011 @ 05:43 pm My sick friend
I don't know how much of a friend I am being, kvetching about this so-called friend. Maybe she's more of a project. She has deep depression, went to the doctor after four (4) days without certain essential meds, and was suicidal. They hospitalized her, the nurse called, I came, brought her car to the emergency room, then found out that they were going to admit her. This means she was transported to a hospital miles away. This shouldn't mean that I take it on myself to go get her car from the first. But none of us is completely well, so I took her a change of clothes (luckily, we're both the same size), got her key, drove to a trolley station about a mile from the Emergency, walked through a scary part of town at 9:30 at night, and then drove her car home. I roused my Dear Him, who took. AGES. To get ready to come with me to the trolley station. Why didn't I go straight there? Because I was on auto pilot and the car drove itself home.
The next trolley along was going the wrong direction, but since it's the one I would board (and it was COLD), I did, and that took another half hour out of my evening. To top it all, I forgot to bring the book I've been devouring, a real page-turner. All told, it took me to 11p.m. to get home. Friend had given me $20. To cover my gas? NOOOO. To fill her tank. Bless her heart.
I waited to hear from her all day yesterday, not venturing far from the phone. My one trip was to the gas station and bank. Today, I put my cell phone in my pocket, knowing she would call for a ride. The did call, three times on the land line. I just happened to be inside. I planned to drive to the trolley, walk back, and then drive to pick her up. But that wouldn't do. She said I should come right away and she would make sure I got home. Against my better judgment, I did as she asked. It was ten a.m.
Once there, I had to wait for her. She needed to have her prescriptions filled at a pharmacy past her home, and I passed the time waiting by talking to other people who were in pharmacy purgatory. When she got to the head of the line to get her meds, there were two people waiting. By the time she finished, there were a dozen. Was it a surge, or did she take an lot of time?
From there, we drove to her house, at her request. She said she needed me to organize her meds, then changed her mind. They were sitting down to lunch, but I was not invited.
Now, here is where she failed me as a friend: She pawned me off on a house member. Not only was she not taking me home, she was foisting me onto a guy who was taking me to the nearest trolley station (62nd would have been closest, but we turned right on Imperial, and drove hellangone to Massachusetts. The machine wouldn't take a $20, so I had to walk across the street to a liquor store. I bought something to eat and drink, as I had not had lunch. She had offered to buy my lunch, but we didn't pass any restaurants. Just then, the trolley arrived. They come every 15 minutes, but it was another nail in my day's coffin.
I called Him and he came to pick me up. I was almost halfway home. It was 2p.m. But we were together, and hey, why not go on a hot date? That is, Costco. They have samples. Even though we didn't buy a lot, it took us longer than expected. From there, I should have returned Him and the groceries home, but I had empty water bottles in the car and we were on the handy side of town. That put me late for cleaning crew, which gathers at 2:30. Apologies to all.
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Dec. 26th, 2011 @ 06:13 am In-law dinner
My SIL invited us to have Christmas dinner at their house last minute. Frankly, I would have gone to the barrio for their feast, and took them the dal dish afterward because vegetarians have it hard at the holidays. Everything is meat-based. Nevertheless, the fam filled two tables. Him yielded to pressure to sit at the head table while I sat at the kid's tall square table in the breakfast nook. The BIL's ex wife and her husband, her sister and husband, and of course, one of our hosts (who always observe proper etiquette) filled out the table. Conversation centered largely around medical issues and treatment, as Liz was in a very bad auto accident and her knees need further work. She said the doctor called it detritus, which must mean fragments of bone.
All in all, it wasn't as awful as I imagined. Since I had recent experiences to share (a backpack, ushering, church), I tried to touch on the highlights to steer the conversation toward matters of interest. The Colombian sisters spoke of their deceased sib, who developed bone cancer while she was living and caring for FIL. Alba(d) stayed with Liz, who is able to select better memories now.
Selective memory is a wonderful gift. You don't have to don rose-colored glasses, but can cherish the best of the many impulses that bombard you in a given moment.
For instance, earlier in the day, without calling first, I delivered small gifts to Nephew and his family, knowing my sis was there. The kids are at the age where they come up share their toys. There are limits, of course. In her favorite toy, I had to put the chocolate cookie in the monster's mouth before the chocolate CHIP cookies, or there would be consequences. In his bug track, the vibrating 'critters' bounced and collided in what can only be described as toys imitating nightmares. Sis stayed in the nook reading and waiting for her turn to interact with the grandkids while I was there, rather than involving herself in the fray. Will I remember her standing and reading the article instead of telling me her latest paranoid fantasy? I hope so.
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Dec. 24th, 2011 @ 09:10 am More on volunteering
I think dealing with food is a sacred trust, but the people in charge are so fixated on what the public sees. They talk a good game, people need to have dignity, but act very differently. Petitioners aren't helpless and hopeless. Sure, anyone feels degraded to ask for food, but a lot of people who get stuff turn around and give back things they can't use. And they give when they can, so it's a revolving door. At Western Service Workers, people watch each other, but everyone gets fed. It's more about fairness, so some fat cat doesn't take all the best stuff and leave garbage for the rest. Sometimes when I work in the office and a box comes back, they offer it to me, even though I wasn't at the weekly distribution. Most of the time, I see exemplary patience, cooperation, and good humor. That's why I prefer to work at Golden Share of Western Service Workers. The Food Bank never had a positive atmosphere, no matter how much I tried. Some folks have the right attitude: keep the jokes coming and aim them at yourself. Unfortunately, for a woman to do that hangs a target on her back. Men just think you're saying 'kick me' or use me as a doormat.
Of course, I don't help my cause by calling myself a slut (not a whore). I do this for free. So I'm a fabric, food, and volunteer slut. If they called me, I'd say, sure I'll come back, but you have to pay me.
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Dec. 23rd, 2011 @ 08:20 pm Mean people suck
I have been helping twice a week at the Food Bank. Maybe that is overkill, but it seemed like they need someone who can keep a consistent semblance of order in the back room. One guy is steady, but a lot of people say he's angry and reactive. Funny, but I like the guy. He comes in, does his job, and doesn't raise sand. Today the Ice Queen asked whether I had been called to come in. I said no. She said it's not fair to some of the other volunteers. Since when? A lot of times, people sign up, then don't show up. And the work Steady and I do is not covered by the average volunteer. Steady wasn't there last time, so maybe he told them "It's her or me." If that is the case, I yield.
Here is what I think is going on: There are bad apples who spoil the whole barrel. Take Bully Boy. He says, "She took stuff," even as he is pilfering things for himself. Just for drill, I pulled a donated bag of brown sugar. He took it and put it in his backpack, slick as you please. I didn't say a word. And yet when I take things OUT OF THE TRASH, he screams bloody murder. The other person against me is a young Latina who gave me a catechism me when I helped a couple years ago. It was so intrusive, I didn't go back. I wouldn't dream of questioning someone like she did me. The next time I saw her I said, "You're the reason I left the last time, because you interrogated me." She said, "I didn't do that. I was just being social." Well, it was a lot like one dog sniffing the other's ass. She was there last time, getting ready to mop and Smother Woman insisted that I leave before the Nun started. What does she think I'm going to do, bite her?
I think they decided I wasn't loyal enough because Smother Woman asked me several times to show up for commodities day, which happens on a Tuesday. Well, I have a prior commitment, so the weather being fair, I went to The Garden.
I called the coordinator to tell her I wouldn't help where I wasn't welcome. Then I called Western Service Workers and told them I'd quit. They said, "That will give you more time to help us!" Exactly. There was so much low play, even though there are folks who are good steady helpers. One is always cracking wise. A few from my church are regulars, one of whom was named Citizen of the Year by the City Council. She is battling cancer. Since she had to take a break, I stepped up. Well, today I stepped down, out, and let them know they won't have me to kick around any more. Well poisoners.
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Dec. 5th, 2011 @ 05:41 pm Holpen
It's an old term, holpen. It comes from a Christmas Carol, "Noel," that has a lotta runs in it and we used to try to sing it for the Pageant at Grossmont High School. The lyrics go, "Sing we clear, holpen are all folk on earth, born is God's son so dear," followed by all the Noels. Well, today, I was at loose ends because we had two big events that kept me from sleeping due to anxiety. I just got through them on my reserve motor and then the Day After Blues (DAB) set in. I couldn't find stuff. Lost my shirt, so to speak.
It was the one my friend Carol gave me with Tigger on front and the inscription "Wild Friend." I was working in the yard seeing to the struggling winter garden. We've had low temperatures and expect the same tonight, so frost is on the vine. One tomato just started to yield, so I constructed an elaborate tent of old closet doors that peels back during the day. It succeeded marginally.
The family has been struggling to make ends meet and one came untied. For two weeks, a trash bin goes out, but comes back in full. So the old crazy woman hauled the gray bin over and filled it. That way, they'll have some wiggle room. I don't know if the trash company makes you pay back payments if you let your bill get in arrears. I know the water and electric company keep a tight leash on their product. But if they stop picking up, can you slide and pay when you can afford it? Not my business. I just help where I can, and now they're holpen.
I went to a hymn sing last night at the Catholic church. Other congregations trotted out their groups and a good time was had by all, even if the chairs were torture. Arriving too late to practice, I just melted into the crowd and listened. My friend Sara had canned goods for the food bank, and I thought maybe I could take some to WSWA too. Of course, she said.
The phone rang as yours truly was moping about. It was Carol, trying to get something started. We agreed to go to the movies tomorrow. The next call was from Dan, in pain, thinking he needed to go to hospital, but he found some pain meds that will get him through the night. Then Jane, bored out of her noggin, asked if I can come over. Once there, I asked if she would like to deliver the food for WSWA. At first, no, because of her brain, but then she warmed to the idea. She has lapses, but makes more sense than some people who are not impaired. So by helping her, I was holpen.
I heard on the radio that the rescue mission needs blankets. All kinds. They're at 16th and Newton, south of Market, I guess. There's a few in the bin. At the very least, I can wash up some rugs and take them down. Holpen homeless. Happy holidays.
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