Sunday, October 13, 2013

#ROW 80 4TH QUARTER 2013 SUNDAY CHECK IN – BACK IN THE DAY & DELIBERATE GOALS


JC, Alex and I were eating Taco Salad this afternoon and watching football; a pleasant enough occupation, when JC got a brainstorm. These are always terrific fun; today it was “honey, let's check into one of those Swifter-Bristle Steamboat things.” One of the reasons I really love him, is he is one the best word and name-manglers I know. It only makes the confusion richer in my life. James Thurber (in a short New Yorker article, published under the name “What Do You Mean it Was Brillig?”) once had a maid who was like that, and he used to regularly joust with her, along with his dictionary.


courtesy: www.donmarquis.org                       


Today, this would pass for random; back then, it was called "whimsy." Whatever it is, I still cackle like a hyena every time I read any of James Thurber's writings or see his cartoons.

While the three of us are not nearly so entertaining as James and Della in the story, we did manage to work up a good laugh about shared and non-shared things and went right off the tracks, tangential-wise. A phrase my father and Edwin Newman would cringe over; but the fact remains the Swifter-Bristle thingy is just another white elephant that will sit around here and collect dust and we already have plenty of that. I guess that's what the Swifter-Bristle takes care of, but cri-ma-nently! JC had purchased and was going to work on: 4 bicycles, 4 or 5 separate bicycle tires, several tubes that “fixed” themselves (then why did he need to fix them?) and, a bunch of rusty tools JC bought for a buck or 2, here and there, from “Angel,” one of the neighborhood “entrepreneurs,” who kind of spoke English, but apparently had the super power of magnetic fingers. He's disappeared and is either been deported or is in the Orient Road Jail; it depends on which branch of the Nebraska Avenue Grape Vine you want to believe.

So, as we ate and jabbered away (with moi doing most of the talking and the guys eating,) I started in on, why we needed this Swifter-Bristle thing and reminded JC of the bike pump. Not to mention the 3, not 1, but 3 bug sprayers with pumps that lay unused while the roaches have parties and conga lines in the kitchen after-hours. Plus, I just found another mini-pump under the kitchen sink. This I can understand; apparently, we're still not over the trauma of “Bedbug Apocalypse.”

After the bicycles sat in the back of the apartment, taking up very valuable real estate, he finally conceded, that no, he was not the next Orville, nor Wilbur Wright and sold the whole kit-and-kaboodle for I-can't-even-remember-how much money. He may have paid someone to get them gone. Hell, I may have paid someone to get them gone. It was clutter at it's finest and it was threatening to overtake the house, much like kudzu vine does, in the deep south, in the hot muggy summers of the United States. If you stand still long enough; it will overtake you and you're history. Your corpse will only appear as so much dry deadness in the shape of a screaming person, in mid-screech, the following winter. But I digress.



This isn't the worst I've ever seen, but it grows at some phenomenal rate, like 60 feet per season, or in 3 months. Kudzu vine is EVERYWHERE in Florida and is a non-native species. It has also been found in Canada, eh?

After we got through laughing about the bicycle pump, because it survived the Great Bicycle Pogrom of 2012, we started laughing about leaving things around and getting them stolen, because that happens around here, a lot. It's not just Nebraska Avenue, it's the fact that this is a poor area and lots of people are inherently dishonest. But, for every dishonest person, there are just as many giving and caring people.

I truly believe that; last week as I was sitting in the Bus Transfer Station waiting to go to my Neurologist appointment, a young man, almost a kid, who had just been released from prison, or jail was sitting on a bench, holding his belongings. He didn't have much and looked miserable and lost; he had just a bag with a few items and I knew he'd been incarcerated because he had on the shoes all prisoners in Florida wear upon release; blue canvas, with white rubber rims. An older homeless man, a type of “Veteran” who knows the ropes and there are lots of them in Tampa and I'm sure every where, walked up to the kid. The older man was holding a big, fluffy blanket. He held it out to the kid and said something. I couldn't hear, but it was probably something like, “Here, kid, you look like you could use this blanket.” The kid's eyes lit up. The two spoke for a few minutes and the older man got on my bus and off we went. I guess there are angels every where. That guy is one of Tampa's. There are a few of them here.

Anyway, when we lived at FSJ, you had to put your name on EVERYTHING edible that went into the fridge, even in your room. People didn't just put their names on stuff, they put warnings on their items. “THIS IS BUBBA'S DO NOT EAT! ILL KILL YOO!!!! Or, "This is Shanequa's YoGurt + Will Poisen U B 4 U finish!!!!" Of course, the challenge being too great, the whatever it was disappeared and was consumed. 

I had all my “fun” food stolen. Stuff like Hot Pockets, and Geno's Pizza Rolls. I bought healthy stuff for salads; that went bye-bye. Names and warnings meant nothing. We had one girl who stuffed everybody's stuff in her back back and would eat it frozen in her room. Just crazy. One guy purchased two beautiful NY strips with his food stamps and just stuck them in the fridge in the “men's” house. He came back later to find Crazy George, pan-frying one of them and eating the other one raw. A huge brawl broke out in this tiny kitchen with iron skillets and fists flying and people hammering on one another with meat tenderizers! Ooh! It was glorious. 

Then, the TPD came and the music stopped. Well, someone was always getting into trouble there. Anyway, once I bought some American Cheese Slices for the rock-bottom price of .69 cents a pack. They were a color and texture not found on this planet; like some kind of hybrid orange-red-chartreuse-dayglo-yellow and they hurt my eyes to look at them. So, I put just the teeny, tiny, tip of my tongue to one of the slices. It still hasn't grown back yet. Just kidding. 



I think we're no more than a few degrees from Radioactive with this cheese. Actually, the cheese I put in the fridge provided it's own light.

Looking at that color told me that they probably weren't fit for human consumption, so I put them in the house fridge with a sign that said “FREE!!!” That was in December of 2010, when I first got my Food Stamps. When JC and I left FSJ, after I was awarded my SSDI in March of 2011, I believe those same “cheese slices” were still lurking around. They may still be over there across the street, because no one ever cleaned out the fridge. I shudder to think what that's like now; more than likely, the Haz-Mat people have hauled the whole mess off. There were several things not of this earth that appeared in that kitchen with “FREE!!” attached to them. Some of the inhabitants were not from this planet, either, including myself. Good times! Good times! But, I have wandered, once again, tangential-wise.

D'you remember the bicycle pump? We immediately started to scheme about how to put this to work. We'd already had our fun with why hadn't JC sold it. He says he's been trying. I give him the ol' fish eye and he says “That's because it has something to do with the fact that you haven't put it on eBay,” which this is the first time I'm learning about eBaying his white elephant, but JC says that's because “I sleep all the time.” As if, ha! So, I didn't ask if he tried to make an appointment with my secretary, because I already told him I fired her last week, because she screwed up all of his doctor's appointments. Ain't retirement a gas?



This is the latch-key car wash across Nebraska Ave., 33602 from where I live. Tis a real dive and all sorts of nefarious goings-on, do indeed, go on. But they charge .25 cents for air!

So, I come up with the bright idea of returning to the old days, when competing gas stations would have GAS WARS. Seeing as how the government is shut down, or posturing or huffing and puffing, we, as Senior Citizens (Creeping Jeebus, that is so NOT right to say, let alone write) must take a stand. I have decided that until the time comes that I can either, a) con someone into printing some of my ravings and paying actual money for them, or b) find someone who is willing to accept the incredibly high costs of personal injury insurance just to have me on a stage to play my viola, due to blindness (I am so pulling this out of my ass) that c) I am Challenging the Car Wash to an AIR WAR




That's right, folks! Just turn the corner and I'll fill up your tires. You can't see the meter, but this is a professional-type air pump. You can tell by my awesome advertising that I am a pro! 

            So bitches, it's on!



Deliberate Goals: This has been a week of playing catch up, I fear. As much as I want to get to my Deliberate Goals, I have been dealing with a few other problems. I did have a GREAT visit with my neurologist, Dr. Burke. She is very happy with my progress. But, as the week wore on, I realized that I am having a lot of pain in my right eye. Tomorrow morning, first thing, I am off to the ER, as my old eye doctors don't take supplemental insurance. The last time I waited, I went completely blind. Part of the reason last time, I can blame on my selfish and totally self-absorbed ex-husband, Bill Nunnally of Valrico, FL, but I will not wait, and JC will not let me wait. That's another great thing about him. He loves me. Unconditionally.
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