Friday, November 11, 2011

BIG, GIANT, IMPORTANT NEWS. . . (ok, maybe not so important)

Okay, this is going to be kind of short right now. I am no longer homeless, which is a true blessing. It does not feel right to me, to post under that guise, so, I will make some entries here about the lovely folks at Happy Acres. I've been scratching around for a new, offbeat, fresh, and kooky angle to bilk, er, entertain blog trollers. I have come up with what I think is a brilliant, and most likely, a not original concept: "niche" blogging. In the manner of "icanhascheezeburger," "Crap At My Parents' House," and "MOBA" I am creating "Shit I Found on the Sidewalk." This will provide many opportunities for mirth and happiness. If anyone out here in my vast readership finds and documents any sidewalk objects, please feel free to donate your item to the Collection. I will make sure you get full credit, or complete anonymity. Just email your donation to: or 

I know we can have lots of fun with this and I look forward to this new project. Y'all have a good weekend, and in honor of our fighting men and women on this Veteran's Day, I leave you with this:

Here's to the babies in a brand new world
Here's to the beauty of the stars
Here's to the travellers on the open road
Here's to the dreamers in the bars

Here's to the teachers in the crowded rooms
Here's to the workers in the fields
Here's to the preachers of the sacred words
Here's to the drivers at the wheel

Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin, let the day begin

Here's to the winners of the human race
Here's to the losers in the game
Here's to the soldiers of the bitter war
Here's to the wall that bears their names

Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Let the day begin, let the day begin, let the day start

Here's to the doctors and their healing work
Here's to the loved ones in their care
Here's to the strangers on the streets tonight
Here's to the lonely everywhere

Here's to the wisdom from the mouths of babes
Here's to the lions in the cage
Here's to the struggles of the silent war
Here's to the closing of the age.

Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Let the day begin

Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Let the day begin
Here's to you my little loves with blessings from above
Now let the day begin, let the day begin, let the day start!

courtesy of:

Hear it here at:

Friday, October 28, 2011


I don't really know if most of the inhabitants at Happy Acres and my part of Nebraska Avenue are afflicted with some kind of labeled "challenge." But if we are tagged, were we all defective from the womb, or have we worn out certain parts of ourselves with high living? I suspect a combination of both, with a sprinkling of just plain awfulness of personality thrown in. And, if we are so afflicted with shitty personalities, should we join AA? That's for Assholes Anonymous; "Hi I'm S and I'm an asshole. It's been 13 minutes since my last assholery...blah blah" Heh. I actually counted down from 10 to 0 in my very best Dahlek (Peter Cushing Dr. Who era) voice and proclaimed S had achieved "epic and complete and total assholishness,"  after he performed the egregious act of throwing away his dinner, because H "talked behind his back." I did not exterminate him; I should have. There are people here who have no food.

Anyway, The labeling thing is beyond absurd. I've heard "mentally challenged," (stupid as a hammer) "altitudinally challenged," (shorter than 5 feet) or "socially challenged," (for above mentioned assholes) "hearing challenged," (eh?) and "spatially challenged," for fat people. No shit. So I guess I am "bi-ocularly challenged." Does the use of the word "challenge" mean that we will all some day, rise up, grapple with and conquer our "challenge"? Or are we doomed to be Sisyphus and push our rocks of "challenge" up a chasm, for all eternity? This is political-correctness run amok. To me a challenge is cutting up some vegetables without slicing off my fingers. A challenge is getting on and off the bus without doing a face plant in the gutter. A challenge is getting in and out of the grocery store unscathed without being run over by the oblivious ass hats who shop there. I finally broke down and got one of those canes for the blind, with the intention of beating the shit out of the next person who runs into me. Heh.

I wonder if there is a "challenge challenged" type? You know, the type who wanders from room to room and forgets every single thing they set out to do in that moment? And then, when the chore is remembered, the "challenge challenged" challengee dithers for the next four hours over whether or not this chore is worth the effort.

I believe that in the effort to de-stigmatize certain conditions, races, genders, and all other "othernesses," our society has succeeded in completely homogenizing the population. George Carlin talked about this at length in some of his routines. You can no longer say "crippled," "lame," "halt," "retarded," or "deaf and dumb." Now these terms are pejorative. We have the "fill in the blank-challenged," or "fill in the blank-deficient." Bullshit. I associate "deficient" with lack of vitamins. And God forbid, we should use "feeble-minded." Just for the pure music of that term, I love "feeble-minded." But then, I've been called "feeble-minded" for years. Just kidding.

And please, oh God, spare me from "blankety-blank years young" and "handi-capable. I cringe.Enough of this diatribe; I risk becoming "windbag challenged.

We are settling into our new place and it's so nice to have our own space, privacy and belongings again. I hope this continues. I have seen some people who had moved out of Happy Acres move back, because of lost jobs, illness and the usual situations of substance abuse and bad judgment. I would like to feel more secure. Even though I am on permanent Disability and have no (more) vices, things could change in an instant. I have to go back to the doctor next week for more tests. I guess I'll just savor this and quit being a worry wart. Wait. Is it possible to be "peaceful deficient?"

I do know that some of us are "hearing challenged" here. The other night, we were getting ready for bed. O said, "okay, I'm gonna have a turkey and go to sleep now." I was all like, "what?" and had this vision of her tucking into Thanksgiving dinner before going to sleep. Turns out she was going to have a cookie. Once, I asked H who her favorite rock group is. She said, "the Harrassments." I'm like, "oh? And what did they perform?" She looked at me like the Mother ship had just made a stop and let me out. "Are you kidding? You've never heard of Aerosmith?" That's as bad as the time I asked who had written the song "The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald" and D told me it was Peter Cetera and it was "The Wreck of the Ella Fitzgerald." I must have missed that one. 

Mr. Pimp My Ride, aka Rehab Knife-fight minister got hauled off to the slammer for, you guessed it, brandishing his knife a few days ago. I knew this was coming. He was working up to actual people. He started out with abusing lawn chairs and worked his way up to stabbing the garbage cans.

Here's a picture of him "pimping" his "ride." That's actual tin foil in the spokes. I need to borrow some to cover the chicken I baked. Just awesome, man.

PMR's bro communicates in a way that swamis and linguists would find hard to decipher. B talks like this: "mumble, murmur, Pat... Phone, beedy beedy beedy. My shoes, burble burble." I have never caught more than a word or two that was intelligible. It's as if a broadcast from some far away galaxy was being received and fading in and out. There are several people at HA who ramble on and on and not one word is understandable. Or, if the words are understandable, one has no frigging clue what is being said. "Oh yea, I told her it was all through my symptom and she said she was sending me to a duodenist for a relining." Uh, okay. Good luck with that. Hope they don't have to do too much fragmenting on the ol' bean-pate.

Then, we have the ones that insist you do something that you have never done in your life, but they swear they have seen you do it a thousand times. H has never smoked; she doesn't smoke now. D badgered her for a solid week, trying to borrow a cigaret. H told him she didn't smoke and never had. D called her a liar and said he'd seen her smoke "millions of times." This is the same cat who took a whole carton of Crystal Light and dumped 12 servings into one 20-ounce bottle of water and then bitched that he was out of "pop," after he drank the swill. Yup. So, you see he was a firm grasp of what's real. He finally stopped bugging H, so the following week, she tried to bum a cigaret from him. That really confused him. "But, I NEVER seen you smoke!" There's a neighborhood woman who roams around here bumming cigarets from EVERYONE. ALL of us, smokers or not. We've all quit smoking, we tell her. "Yup, kicked the habit, Barbie. This is my second week of not smoking," I said. Total bullshit. But if I tell her I don't smoke and haven't in quite a while, she'll hound me for a butt. However, if I've just quit, she'll leave me alone. I don't understand this logic. Maybe because it's not logic. Not even close. It's not anywhere near the realm of possibles. There's another lady who will give you some of her food stamps if you'll buy her scratch off tickets. I just quit gambling, so I don't know how that's working out for her.

Anyway, the reason I haven't posted in a while is because I just spent a few frustrating weeks fighting with the OpenCloud Security virus. I absolutely refuse to reload my O/S and all the other applications. We never did it at IBM or Verizon and I'll be damned if I'll do it now. After several frustrating days of poking around in Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, Blue Screens of Death, and yadda yadda, I got rid of the bastard. The supposed "tool" that is free at various download sites doesn't work and is not free, so in the best IBM Break-Fix tradition, I killed it and preserved all my data. But what a pain in the ass. I first dealt with viruses at IBM when idiots would write "prank macros" for MS Word. Hated them then, hate them now.

So, I'm back and I have some more Sidewalk Shit to post! Yippee! Call the neighbors! Here goes:

Kilroy was here? Only very tangentially, if you squint.

 Tiny gew-gaw to who-knows what.

Reflections of the Past. I'm opening a Participatory Art Show soon. It will be held in the front yard at Happy Acres. Sterno and dried onion soup mix with fried lettuce to be served.

Don't know how, or why, but it was found like this.

Teeny, weeny screw driverOne-third of a wee set of juggling clubs?

Itsy-bitsy Belt Buckle

Miniscule dumbbell weight

 Miniature horse shoe
Tiny Town must be close by...

 Are these still manufactured? This looks like it was made in 1952.

Anyway, this is post was delayed longer than I thought. I have some new medical stuff going on and new doctors to annoy. I leave you with some thrilling pics J2 took at Tampa Flugtag a few weeks ago. Now that I have an el-cheapo (10 bucks) digital camera, I can send out my correspondents to various events. I need to branch this blog out a bit.

I feel as if I'm right there. Don't you? Peace, love and smoochies!

Post Script to Labeling: I have to have a biopsy on my right breast. I had to call the "Breast Health Patient Navigator" to set this up. Why not call it "Boob Pilot?" It's so much more memorable and pretty catchy too!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I've noticed a peculiar tendency here at Happy Acres, one that the inhabitants (inmates?) seem to cultivate over time. I do not remember doing this in the "outside" world, or observing others doing this, with the exception of my mother, who always thought a trip to the dump was a fun time.

I'm not sure why we do this here. It may be an urge to fight boredom, an itch to create something pretty in a not so pretty environment (bug-infested shithole?) or an attempt to acquire things, after losing all. Or, it could be a much more mundane reason; wonder and guessing about how the object ended up where it was found, and/or just, plain fun.

Without any further ado, or pontificating, here we go.

Some pirate lost his eye patch?  And a Klingon earring?

I Bring Peace Unto the Sidewalk

"Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez"

Yeah, it's always rollin' here on Nebraska Avenue

 Oh, is that what they're doing out here?

These were ugly when they were new and un-beat up

The Key to My Heart? Or Key Times Heart ? Or Key, Hideous Object with Sinister Runic stuff, and Tacky Heart Earring?

Off the reservation? Or where's the rest of the vehicle?

The 400 Hail Marys and 953 Our Fathers were too much? Or the Pope Mobile came through here?

Looks to me like He's living on the Sidewalk. . .

Tiny Bicycle Seat? Or a slug?

Oh, a scrunched nickel... How in the hell did this happen?

A Happy Acres philosophy? A True Optimist? Or a rare view of an empty shot glass on Nebraska Avenue?

Whatever the philosophy, the mindless cheerfulness of this amuses me. This will be a continuing feature, as we collect more shit and document it. We may collect so much that we can house it and offer tours. No, the bedbugs would cut into the house gate.

Speaking of which, I heard a delightful fact about bedbugs the other day. It seems that there's a new breed, or model, or whatever that can shrink down and become so minute, that they can just walk right into your body through your pores. No shit. The housie who told me this must have just received her Entomology degree and wanted to share. Can't wait for members of the Wasp family to develop this trait. 

Maybe someone at Happy Acres could distill the bedbug juice and develop a super power. Bedbug Man to the rescue! Then, he could join the League of Superheroes with all the other super hero rejects. The authors of these two websites are much more imaginative than I; check them out and tell me if I should develop a new serial for Bedbug Man: and Bus Man might be a possible, but I can't imagine what kind of super power he'd have. The ability to keep his or her sanity?

Going back and reading over my posts, I realized that I did not really finish this one. I, in my artless, hurry-it-up fashion just sort posted in mid-post. So, let me add this: 
I'm not afraid of the dark, I'm afraid of what's in it. Peace, love and all good things to you all.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Pre-buy, or pre-think, or pre-reserve or pre-preserve your copy now! Will go like hot cakes. Get 2, get a 3rd one free! Get 8 and get another 16 free! Oh wait! It's already free! Yay us! Happy Saturday! My keyboard just ran out of "!"



When I first started this, I wasn’t sure I would post it, it seemed too personal and maybe banal, but this post is heartfelt and events of this scope can make us remember again why we cherish our lives, and our loves, even after ten years. Also, this post has nothing to do with homelessness. Well, maybe in a pretty figurative way, but even I have trouble connecting A to Z.  After reading again, I have decided to post this, because this is how I saw and felt it that day. I avoided the papers and the media before and after the 10th anniversary of the WTC bombings. I had my experience of the attacks and the aftermath.

It’s not often I can’t come up with a title for a blog entry right off the bat. Today is one of those rare exceptions. I can’t quite focus or really clear my mind and come up with a knee-slapper. Maybe it being September 12th 2011 (when originally created) has something to do with my worse than normal fogginess. On Tuesday, September 11, 2001 I was working at Verizon, in the Southeast Region Tech Center, up around North Tampa. I worked in the complex that houses the CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) for the entire southeast region. I was also just home from a quick junket to teach a software application class developed in-house by Verizon and our fabulous in-house Software Development department, or whatever we called ourselves back in the day.

By 2001, I had worn many hats at Verizon; platform support/network support specialist (fancy babble for “reset idiots’ Unix, IBM 5250 and Win passwords,”) Lotus Notes support (which should have been run on an OS/2 platform, hence the constant garble of WinNotes Email, and effed up Data Bases) and managed to supervise 95 floor technicians, who on any given day, were “hosting” giant “parties” of “Doom” and hoping I wouldn’t hear/see their multi-player raids. I caught them occasionally, but far be it from me to bitch and report. They got a lash with a wet noodle, unless I was in-game on my work computer, then they got ignored. Just kidding, but I am a Clan Elder in Runescape. . . never mind.

I had kicked around in PC Support and Mainframe Support at Verizon and IBM and was driving around the Southeast, playing gigs and fixing customer’s computer bullshit from my hotel rooms at night. No wonder my marriage collapsed. I had gotten bored and stale with Tech Support and was offered a position in Development/Implementation. Much more fun was to be had installing and teaching classes in our software at various Verizon-type places for about a year before the Trade Center attack.

On the Wednesday before the planes hit the World Trade Center, I had flown over them at sunset, courtesy of Delta Airlines and Verizon. I had just finished a 3 day teaching gig at the old Bell Labs up above Boston, Massachusetts. I remember them, clear, detailed and vivid still. The Towers were molten gold and bronze. Coppers and greens glinted off the glass surfaces. The argent light made them appear almost live and to move as we flew over them.  They looked to be so permanent and so monumental. I thought they would be there always. I was given a gift from God that day. Beautiful and breathtaking they were and of course later, heart-breaking.

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was on my way to Verizon to teach a teleconference via Communications Bridge. You know, the “conference” call where twenty-five people all get on a line for four hour stints at once to “learn” the newest, hottest app of bug patches from Development. Some are playing rap in the background, some are eating their lunches. Most are anywhere on their PCs but where I have asked them to be, so they can “follow along” with the gibberish I’m trying to impart.

Once, about 3 hours into one such “class” I had gotten as far as teaching report-writing, with customizations of all the fields, to note one’s “metrics” (translation, are we squeezing every spare dime out of this poor schlub and can we hold him accountable when it all goes to hell?) Everything was “quantified, categorized and stuffed neatly into a pigeon-hole:” call length, call type, first-touch resolution, did the guy have a booger in his left nostril or his right? Does the guy’s “issue” have cooties? Are his pants on fire, or is his hair on fire? Did you follow the Sacred Flow Chart to fix the guy’s computer boo-boo? Did the fix involve the Magic 8-Ball tool, or the newer ESP app? Did the solution involve a Break-Fix and was it documented precisely, so we can reproduce the problem and the fix, or has it been lost in cyberspace?

And my personal favorite: customer happiness. I think “customer satisfaction” sucks as a term. Did Mick Jagger have a hand in helping Development write this bullshit app? Or did someone actually give a shit about whether the customer is happy or not? Most of my “customers” or “clients” were pretty pissed off with having to wait in the 2-hour queue to get to a sentient being. It was like talking to badgers. They didn’t give a shit about “satisfaction” and would have told me to sit on it, if I even asked that dumbass question, “Is your level of customer satisfaction satisfied or superior? Is it extraordinary? Are you satisfied with the level of service you’re received today? Are you satisfied with your level of satisfaction” What the hell is that? Okay, you bean-counting goons, I just tacked on another two minutes to a minute-and-a-half phone call because you all care? All I want to do is get the hell off the phone with Customer Service, after my shit is fixed. We’re not having a date here. You just blew my call times right out of the water.

Anyway, out of the chaos of all these people who have never heard of a mute button, comes this teeny, pathetic voice. “So, how do I get into the Start Menu here?” OMFG!!! What have we been doing the last three and a half hours? This was the same “class” where one of the “attendees” asked which of his “colleagues” was shoveling coal and eating peanuts at the same time. I actually got paid to do this.

As usual, I digress. I not only digressed, but I took the Local to Venus. Egad and zounds.

I left my house in Central Tampa at about 20 minutes to 9 that morning. It’s about 20 to 25 minutes from the Verizon Tech Center. As I was motoring up Nebraska Avenue, I turned on 970 WFLA. I tended to listen to talk radio when I drove, because I play so much music. The morning show is good; local personalities. I avoid Rush, Glenn (shame on Tampa for giving him a boost) but I love the morning folks.

I tuned in on the middle of an interview with some guy who was living less than six blocks from the WTC. I just caught the end about the plane hitting one tower. I thought, “Geeze, those poor towers. Flown into again? Bad luck, yadda-yadda.” In truth, I can’t remember specifics, but that was my general feeling. Then I heard this huge roar and people screaming. The radio interviewer lost his composure and the guy being interviewed was completely hysterical. I knew we were under attack.

I went from about 30 to 90 in less than two minutes. I ran red lights. I heard sirens, but never saw police, never saw fire trucks. I dodged other motorists, missing them I’m sure, by inches. I had to get to Verizon and in my Center before they shut it down. I parked in Visitor Parking and grabbed Wolf out of my back seat. It had taken me about seven minutes from the time I heard the second tower impact while on Nebraska Avenue to get to work in North Tampa. Wolf, or rather his case, weighs a ton. I schlepped viola and self up the drive and got to the walkway. The damn doors were closing. I took off my heels and sprinted. Squeaked just into the main area and ran up to the third floor, my lair. My cubby hole sat above all the Mainframes and Communications hardware for the Southeast, that were housed on the first and second floors. Wondered if we were a target.

We had huge plasma monitors covering two walls in a room that houses about 150 people. This place was never quiet. I could always hear the phones, people talking on Bridge calls, technicians asking questions, laughing and brainstorming. The hardware guys would be lugging stuff around, installing and un-installing stuff and adding to the din. This center is a hub for all sorts of telecommunications support, not just in the Continental U.S., but in Europe, Central America and parts of the Pacific.

It was always a noisy mess, but I loved the noisy mess part of it, as much as anything else in the job. The Center was funereal on that day. No phones ringing, no conversations, no hardware being shunted around. There were probably 80 or 90 people just standing, watching the monitors. The Towers were still standing. No one spoke. No one moved. I stood beside my boss, Kat Torres. An aside; Kat was the first person I met at IBM. I went to Verizon about two years after she left IBM for Verizon to work. Kat is my dear, dear friend. I am god-mother to her daughter. She and I stood there silent, crying. I have no idea how many hours we stood side by side. We left only to try and contact our loved ones.

The class was never officially canceled. I rescheduled a new time for the following Tuesday, but it would be almost a month before I gathered my people for another one. There were seven people from Verizon on the roof or roofs that day. I do not know the specifics, but I do know that some of the lines and routers continued to emit “handshakes” for a long time after that day. We could trace their IP signatures via the mainframes. I am not a hardware person. My expertise lies in software and networking, so I am unfamiliar with why this would be so. I used to monitor the transmittals regularly until they ceased. Why, I don’t know, but I felt compelled to see them, to make sure they were there. Maybe I hoped that against all reason, the people were still there. Most certainly I was mourning; for all of us and dreading what I knew we were going to become.

But, I did receive a gift from God that day, and have received another as well. My gift from God is my life, and all of yours. I will love and appreciate them fully. I love you all and I have you with me, always.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Ya know, sometimes it just doesn't pay to get up out of bed. I'm here at ye Olde Library because I can't get online at "home." Apparently, stealing the internet is no longer paying off. You get what you pay for. On top of that, this isn't the blog entry I had planned on. I had just finished writing an entry that was probably the finest work of prose ever crafted by a human being and the damn computer froze. I had saved my work exactly zero times. Way to go, Miss "OS/2 Engineer, I Can Fix Anything and Save Your Work, Moron of 1997." Shoot me now.

Jesus; I think I'll go play the Walton Viola Concerto and relax. The babbling winos will certainly enjoy the performance. So, with that stellar re-beginning, we're off to the Asylum. Lemme get the health crap out of the way; no more eye surgery, the damage is too severe to fix. Heart palpitations for three weeks. Maybe I'm in love. My cardiologist says not, but I think he's been sniffing too much happy gas, or is full of shit. Enough of this boredom.

Now, on to the real stuff. We have acquired 2 or 3 more cats. I've lost track because every damn one of 'em look alike, they're just in different sizes. Someone stole Dale Earnhart, and L and D, our cat-whisperers were sad. I think one of the housies stole these new, random cats to cheer them up. Now, everyone is cheered up; you can't get in the house without falling over a cat or two. I can't see anyway, so this is always an adventure. There are cat toys strewn all over the porch and everyone who has even a little bit of money is spending it on treats, Happy Cat meals, cat nip, rye grass, wet and dry food. The cats will probably die of obesity before they ever approach their dotage. And they're a bunch of spoiled, rotten asses. Heh. I love it.

Mr. Pimp My Ride got drunk the other night. Hell, he gets drunk every night. He had been picking on O, but W threatened to kick his ass, so Mr. Pimp beat up and stabbed one of the garbage trucks. I don't know if he is one of our Rehab Ministers, but somehow I doubt it. He does this about oh, 6 or 7 times a week. Personally, I prefer A who gets drunk and goes out and serenades the passing cars on Nebraska Avenue. If we're lucky, A gets an extra special kick from his Blitz beer or Sterno or whatever he's drinking and dances for the cars as well. I never miss one of his performances. A in reality, is a true gentleman.

Godzilla moved in. I'm kind of glad. After Sasquatch left it got boring. Sasquatch, or Squatch as she (he? it?) is affectionately known, wears the same snot-green, puke-yellow, geometric tent for weeks at a time. This tent has no sleeves so we are treated to wads of cottage-cheese like flab billowing around in the breeze. Oh, and to top off this vision, she rats around in a pair of velour slacks that appear to have spent the last 47 years stuffed under a matress. To make an unappetizing story short, Squatch was stealing everything in sight, and she got the boot.

Now Godzilla is here and she is a piece of work. Picture a kid's top, the kind that's rotund in the center and has a point. Stuff it into a pair of stretch denims that are about three sizes too small. Make sure you put one of those crinkly, stretchy type chartreuse tops that pinch the hell out of your boobs and push them up under one's chin. I guess that's better than the two-aspirins-on-an-ironing-board look. Put on some green day-glo crocs and top it off with about four pounds of hot-buttered yak wool dyed yellow ("blonde"?") Now, imagine this visage at about 5'10" and 350 pounds and you got ya a Godzilla.

No wonder I'm legally blind. The guys(?) here outdo the gals(?) on occasion. There's one nitwit here who has a to-die-for ensemble of baggy bermuda shorts that are falling off, with bright canary yellow boxers and day-glo yellow crocs. Oh, and no shirt.

I gotta make this short, one question and I hope someone can anwer this. What is this deal with guys running around with one hand holding up their pants, while in the back their pants are hanging down around their asses. Is this supposed to be cool? I fail to see how walking or running hunched over like Igor is where it's at. It never seems to occur to these igmos that if they ever did have to run from the Police, it's gonna be a short chase. This is the stupidest thing I've ever seen, and this is coming from someone who shared a stage with "Garfield, the Musical." That damned cat scared me so badly, I almost dropped my viola. Jesus.

Anyway, I have to run. My love and I are moving crap from one shed to the back yard. Love to you all; I'll be back soon. I plan on actually paying for some Internet soon. Remind me to tell you about the demise of "Shit Found on the Sidewalk." It's a temporary demise, I'm collecting more for pictures. Peace and Love.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Oh Hi. I know it's been a while since I posted. I've had some issues with my health. Details are forthcoming, and I'll bore you all to death with my organ recital later in a week or so. I just wanted to let my many readers (all several of you) that I'm kicking and having a great time. Keep the peace and I'll leave you with this gem:

"Puccini is hard. Wagner is easy. It's 1-2-3-4, no rubato..." Conductor Anton Coppola, Opera Tampa during "Turandot" rehearsals.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Although it may seem a hackneyed device from an old fifties movie ("Guys and Dolls," anyone?) but religion and attempts to save the unrighteous from the Godless streets of the ghettos, 'hoods, heights, boroughs and projects are multitudinous. We see it all here, and experience it as well. At least, I think we are experiencing it. It may be that I have not experienced it enough yet. I'm sure I'm slated to see the light now, any day.

All kidding aside. There are factions and people here who are extremely devoted and Christ-like in their ministrations to the poor and homeless. Then there are the other kind. Church pimps, savior hustlers, and the usual shell-game, fire-insurance barkers. Being Catholic by religious upbringing, I tend to be a bit on the reserved side when it comes to outbursts of the Spirit. I'm not sure what this would be like, but I think that after nearly six months spent learning to walk again, I don't need to be rolling around in the back yard, shouting hosannas. Besides, the bedbugs have a newly installed annex there, and I don't care to visit... yet.

Anyway, I find it interesting and fun too, to watch the different flavors of religiosity at work. This is akin to having the ol’ Trinity debate, which I used to liken to 3-in-1 oil. One day, I got busted in Catechism with a cootie-catcher by Father Jeff and I came up with the starting answer of “Green Stamps” when asked what the concept “Redemption” meant. Father Jeff went into a medium-deep despair over me, I think. At least he didn’t have to listen to my definition of the Episcopalians (Catholic Lite: All the ritual, only half the guilt.) My mom nearly had a bird when I offered that outlook to a visiting Anglican priest at some kind of Ecumenical shindig.

But, I digress. What I have seen is that the experience of a religious conversion here is a bit more raw and earthier than a conversion among the Frozen People of the First Presbyterian Church of Grosse Pointe Michigan, perhaps. I know I've mentioned the two houses side by side here. The north house (the "ladies") and the southern house. This is a half-way house for the men. Some are on parole, some are dealing with health and mental problems. It is certainly lively over there. Our house shares the house phone with that house, so occasionally, one might find oneself over there to make a call. I haven't had to in months, and I am not sure my life is richer for that lack. Maybe a bit safer, but certainly more blah.

One evening, I was on a long-distance call to my friend from high school, P E. The usual carrying on in the background was going on, and she could hear:

"...and Randy Smith takes one to the ol' brisket! Down he goes!"

"Fuck you, you fucking fuck! I tol' you he was going to get knocked out!"

"Oh yeah! Well, fuck you and your dog!"

"Up yours! You suck your dog's balls!"

"Yo momma!"

"Jesus Christ on a cracker; don't you be bringin' my momma into this!" 

Blah-blah. Repeat one hundred and forty-three times.

Back in late November 2010, I had only recently arrived at Happy Acres and was making my first call to P from this environment. I explained that this was the combo Bachelor-Pad, 24-Hour Frat Party with the "guys." She said, "Gee... I thought they were all studying to be ministers." Oh, mirth and merriment ensued; it's still one of my all-time favorite moments. Of course, I had to share this with all my housie friends here and they think it's hilarious. Recently, P called me and several of us were outside during this call. There’s nothing like a group-participation phone call and we all “participate” in one another’s phone conversations. One of my dear, dear friends J said, "Be sure and tell P the Rehab Ministers had a knife fight on Sunday." Hoo-hah! More laffs! And so it goes. 

In reality, there is a tremendous amount of support here from various religious organizations. Food programs and regular "feeds" abound here. Metropolitan Ministries, Deeper Life, Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army organizations are all within walking distance. If one is hungry and desperate, there is at least one good, hot meal per day to be had. There are shelters for people and families to sleep in, vocational rehab programs for retraining and newer job skills are here, too, along with classes on Parenting, Money Management, Life Management. People who are serious about going back to work and regaining or in some cases, gaining for the first time, some normalcy in their lives do have to commit to the programs, and invest their time and demonstrate their commitment, but these things are here for all. They also all have waiting lists for occupancy. The system is just plain overloaded with people who have lost so much. In that regard, I am one of the lucky ones. I do not have children to worry about. I also have no siblings and my parents are deceased, so it's just my plain, old self I have to worry about. I am lucky that way. I have a very, very dear friend, who has a nine year old daughter (my goddaughter) and her elderly husband. He is in the early stages of Alzheimer's and is in Assisted Living Facility. Every day, Kat visits her husband, takes her daughter to school and helps her elderly mother. She is inundated. She is also one of the most boundlessly optimistic, spiritual and joyful people I know. I look to her as an example when I start the pity-party. It helps after the regulation self-flagellation period ends. Just kidding.

Well, this entry didn't quite go where I thought it would when it started, but that's okay. It's kinda like life. Heh. Anyhoo, the good guys are here, the black hats are here and the wait-and-see people are well represented too. The Soul Winners are the ones who bring us all the Willie Wonka Chocolate candy stuff and Juice Packs. That's how I can tell them from the rest of the pack. I'm still waiting for my official Confessional Absolution Kewpie Doll. That's all I'm saying.

We had to take the number 32 Bus that runs East-West on Martin Luther King (aka "The Happiest Place on Earth" and, silly you thought it was Disney World.)
The 32 Bus boasts some of the unhappiest, crabbiest drivers in the entire history of Rapid Transit. This is the bottom of the line. Route 32 is where you go after you've alienated every other passenger on every other Bus line in Hillsborough County. After sending them hate mail, kidnapping their dogs, infecting their PCs with computer viruses, you go to line 32 as a sort of Bus Gulag cum-Purgatory way-station. Route 32 is situated along "Psychiatric Row." Every crazy, bat-shit, cat-collecting, bag-toting, babbling, one of us has a psych Doctor on MLK Boulevard. If you are one of the drivers on this route, you have committed some horrific crime indeed. The next stop is the 9th, or maybe the 14th Circle of Hell, if such a thing exists. And of course, the typical Bus antics from the HARTline clientele reflect this. In between “customers” using the bus straps to swing down the aisle a la Tarzan, game boy blips and bleeps and bloops, kids crying like banshees, drunken adults babbling about lunch with Jimmy Hoffa and Judge Crater and miraculous healings of the various Mystics who ply this route, we have as counter-point, the mutterings of the disaffected bus drivers. There are only two guys driving this line, I think. The westbound driver looks like the offspring of a disaffected Truman Capote, and that kid from “Deliverance.” I can hear dueling banjos in the background every time I get on the bus. If you dare to ask him a question, he launches into a diatribe about how he just drives the bus and doesn't get into destinations. Asshat. I've retaliated by letting everyone know every time I ride this bus that he hates everybody. 

At least he didn't tell me that he couldn't be stopping to pick up people all the time. I actually had a bus driver tell me that when I got on the bus once. Oh really? So, what are you picking up Mr. Bus Driver? Androids? Cats?

The eastbound driver looks like Don Rickles, after chewing lemons. There isn't a flat plane on this guy's face. He's just one big pucker. I've also never heard him speak a word. Maybe English isn't his first language. 

We had a couple of birthdays celebrated here over the weekend. One of them, for B included a birthday cake made for her by one of the other housies, D. D's birthday was also on this day, and she was going to celebrate come Hell or high water. She wanted that pineapple upside-down cake. The cake itself was tastefully decorated with some random red gel crap left over from Christmas, and looked like a bad crime scene. Apparently, B decided that she wanted her cake all to herself. She lives in another house that is part of the Happy Acres Happy Family. This house is about a mile north of us, also on Nebraska Avenue. Well, B showed up on Friday night, just prior to when the cake was to be presented and enjoyed by all. B went into the kitchen and found the cake on top of one of the refrigerators and pulled it down. B then made off with said cake in the company of two friends. J was in the kitchen when this occurred and said the resident roaches had been having a ball on this cake. "That cake has been walked on, stomped on, chomped on, spit on, chewed on, shit on and screwed on. It's a happy humpin' day for them roaches!" He allowed as to how he was glad to have been spared the opportunity to share in the "enjoyment" of the cake. While I was rolling around on the porch laughing at what he had said, D showed up and wanted to know who stole the cake out of the kitchen. When J told her that B had come and taken the cake and caught the bus back to the other house, D just looked at him and said, "Thanks for knowing." I'm still pondering that one.

B brought the cake pan back today and told J to let D know that she had returned the pan. 

Pre-roach cake

Post-roach cake

For right now, that's all the hoo-hah from Happy Acres. One of these days, I'll get to "Shit I Found on the Sidewalk." Peace out and take care, y'all. 



Saturday, August 20, 2011

BEDBUG APOCALYPSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SHIT FOUND ON SIDEWALK POSTPONED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well... This could be a deep subject and I don't quite know how to start this. I have not posted in a while, since August 6th, I believe. After having gone through some near-death experiences in the last ten years and some very profound life-changing, and other hyphenated-type life-style stuff and seeing a very dim light at the end of this Stygian tunnel, we (read "I") have been thrown a truly horrific foe. A foe of unimaginable, diabolical, hideous existence and other descriptive type words. Just get yourself a batch of bad-sounding, momentous-like words and stuff and apply to this feared enemy. Are you all terrified, yet? 

Me neither. I am however, just sick and tired and kind of depressed. We have a HUGE bedbug infestation here at Happy Acres, in both houses. What a mess! We have toted our stuff out into the back yard, slept on the back porch, toted our stuff back into the houses. We have washed clothes, burnt mattresses, bombed rooms, gassed the furniture, microwaved the rugs, unwoven and re-woven the towels and shower curtains, done Santeria rituals, sacrificed small animals, and performed the Wave. All to no avail. These little bastards are still running around. They have opened up restaurants and are riding the Bus. They buy little bedbug Bus tickets and mock us. We see bedbugs in our dreams, our hair, in the streets, working in Super Markets. This is truly something. They laugh at our feeble attempts to gas them. I think the Ghost Buster Guys are slated to come in tomorrow and try to "exterminate" the little boogers. There are fewer of them. That's the only good thing I can say after several weeks of fighting this scourge. Unreal.

In other Happy Acres news, we have discovered that Alchemy is a Chinese Religion that was founded in the 10th Century. There are several founts of wisdom who are gracing us with their timeless knowledge, profound thoughts and vivacious presences. Other things we have "learned" recently include:

After downloading an Ethernet Card from the Internet, one can download dinner and save time. I understand that the ability to shove paper money directly into one's CD Rom drive will let one deposit money directly into one's bank account. This wonderful time-saver is just around the corner. I can't wait for that app.

God is scheduled to change the rainy times here from 5:00 pm to earlier in the day, so that the "Pimp My Ride Guy" can get home from work without getting wet. This should occur within the next week or so, according to him. Pretty soon, I understand God is going to bring everyone here at Happy Acres a house and a pony. 

I was going to have my eardrums removed so I didn't have to listen to the deranged and cretinous monologues of "Pimp My Ride Guy," but then I talked him into getting his rectum removed so I don't have to listen to his shit anymore. He thought this was a fine idea until I told him what a rectum is. He asked me if he would get to keep his balls. WTF? 

The Black Helicopters have been especially active and they're focusing on these houses. Several drone 'copters have also been sighted over Nebraska Avenue. You can tell them apart because the drones are red. 

Did you know that you can use one of those cheesy fiber optic lamps with the changing hues in Aroma Therapy to enhance the experience? Neither did I. Maybe Lava Lamps would be helpful during Rolfing sessions. 

I've mentioned that I do try to use humor, satire and a wry view point in my postings. Being homeless sucks. It really does. I am working my way back to independence, but will never be able to do the things I used to do and did well. At least, not full time.  There is a horrible stigma regarding being homeless and I am very aware of how "society" judges homeless people generally. We're already disenfranchised and marginalized. Having health problems is hard enough for most of us to accept. I have a hard time accepting the fact that I can't see, can't drive and have a ticking time bomb in my chest. I know I've lost much materially, but I am so, so grateful to be alive. I revel in every day now. I have lived over half my life (please God, I don't want to live to be 111) and I feel such a deep appreciation for this chance to live independently and happily. Life is very, very vivid and very, very precious. Hackneyed as this sounds, it is oh so true. I laugh harder, work harder, and cry harder. I am not one whit closer to understanding the "meaning of it all" and I don't really care. I do care about the things I can do and am determined to experience and do them with all the passion, excellence, energy and wisdom I can bring to bear. Soon, I will be able to start playing my viola again. I can't wait. It's going to suck and be slow going, for probably quite a while. That's okay. It's going to be great to play again, even if it's just for me now.

Anyway, where this whole screed is trying to go is this: I hate like hell when people start knocking the homeless as shiftless, addicted ne'er do wells, that are just sucking the tit of Public Assistance. Like anything, the truth is much more complicated. There are certainly many who do take advantage of the system. There is also tons of waste on the bureaucratic side. The whole thing is bloated and is prone to corruption. But there are many people like me pulling an oar in this boat. Unable to pay half a million dollars for hospitalization and rehabilitation, I was taken under the wing of Hillsborough County. All bills paid. I am one of many in this situation. After thirty-plus years of working hard, I have come to this. Self-esteem and any sense of security are pretty much tattered. 

To that end, I want to acknowledge Mr. Robert Lee Haycock and Ms. Lyn Griswold. Robert was my High School valedictorian and someone I have always had the utmost affection and respect for. After a particularly horrid day of dealing with the system and listening to narrow-minded, self-satisfied people advising,"retraining" (retrain my health?) I was feeling very low. Robert responded to a post I had made, and I can't find the damn quote now, but the fragment, ", and love some more" made in reference to that post was a boost. He's always been encouraging and kind. Robert, thank you and much love to you.

I worked with Lyn for three years in a home-based virtual call center, after I gave up my driving privileges. She has always been there for me and is very encouraging, kind and funny. She has also defended me and understands. Lyn, thank you and much love to you. 

I'll just leave you all with this:

No, wait. I meant this:

Intrepid occupant and very happy here at Happy Acres!

Peace and love, love, love to you all. I'm gonna go love some more. Can't promise "Shit I Found on the Sidewalk" next, but I'll try.
P. S. Check out Robert's blog at


Saturday, August 6, 2011


So much for starting "Shit I Found on the Sidewalk," today. One of the things I have tried to avoid is any type of social commentary regarding homelessness and the dis-advantaged. While I am not completely used to being homeless yet, I am no longer as terrified, humiliated, depressed and just plain sad over my circumstances. I am also afraid to leave here; I feel safe here. I have said little about how I ended up here at Happy Acres. My journey to this place includes timing, economics, bad choices and bad health. At one time, I had two very challenging careers concurrently. I worked for IBM and then Verizon as a support engineer, while free-lancing around the south-east as a violist/violinist, and I did this well for several years. I loved doing both things. 

Long story, short and succinct. After my mother died, my then-husband decided to return to school for his B.S. in Psychology. I was still traveling, playing and working at Verizon, feeling tired and depressed. Only child, no kids, no parents and an "I, I, Me, Me" husband. More weariness, depression, hubby gets a girlfriend while I am in the hospital for CHF and blood transfusions. I left him, divorced and was in the process of trying to buy a house in Tampa and working in Customer Support from home. By this time, I was effectively blind and could no longer drive. I still played in Opera Tampa and could teach from home. Upshot; I invested about 20k in this house on a lease-to-buy. The owners filed for Bankruptcy and I spent two years in court trying to assume ownership. The banks got the house; money trumps all else. Rented a little dive with cockroaches and was living with a "nice guy" who became abusive as finances tightened. Skip ahead eighteen months; in the hospital with severe malnutrition, blindness, cognitive disabilities. I had ulcer surgery in 1985 and have a malabsorption problem. It took several years to rear its ugly head. So, here I am, through my own stupid choices, but also from circumstances that were really beyond me. I have never NOT worked, until this past year, and it is, indeed, strange. 

I spent five weeks in Tampa General Hospital, and then, five weeks in Fletcher Physical Rehabilitation Center, learning to walk again. Then I was sent here to Happy Acres. Homeless Recovery of Hillsborough County paid my rent and my medical bills, which were and still are, astronomical. I have been going through intensive therapy for my right hand. Two knuckles were smashed when I fell just before I was taken by TPD to the Hospital. I hope to play my viola again; I think I will be able to do so; the thought of doing so makes me feel wonderful. I am not a drug addict, nor am I an alcoholic. I watched my father die of alcoholism and it is a terrible disease. One of our "housies" here, died less than two weeks ago of it. She was forty-eight and was nice to me. I will always have that haunting, niggling feeling that I should have stepped up and done or said something. But what?

Who would I have told? Her own mother couldn't make her stop, nor could her daughter. So, we all stood by and watched, knowing how it would end. To witness this is so diminishing; I feel and so do others here, that we are so helpless; we feel so much at the mercy of forces that we cannot see, and do not always understand. For some reason, the last stanza of Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" resonates, as does the following:

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing."
— Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)

Yes, there are people here who do nothing but sell and take pills, buy dope and drink, but about half of us here do not share those vices. We try to give our existences some meaning and structure. I have lots of plans; they're just more "non-scheduled" now. As J says, "This place will make you cuss, smoke or drink, if you didn't already." That's one of the reasons this blog is here in cyberspace.  Smoking and drinking are out; I already cuss, so I'm good to go.

Enough; I am so not interesting, as a sole topic of any type of writing. I do want to mention Lyn Griswold. She is responsible for me going down this path. I do use humor, sarcasm, irony and spite as tools to hide my fear and sadness. I will rarely admit to it, however. I wrote this in response to a comment Lyn made on FaceBook to another member, regarding homelessness. Lyn, thanks and I love you. I wish we still worked together.

Now, enough navel-gazing or introspection or mental masturbation or axe-grinding. Back to drivel.

Okay, I "saw" the eye doctor; I think I'm going to see if my Primary Care Physician will give me a referral to the witch doctor. That would be about as useful. I have not had a stroke; he told me my brain is "normal." (WTF??) I almost asked him when the Mother Ship was returning for him. I have housies who are on heavy, heavy meds, and they think I have something seriously wrong upstairs. I have "20/20 vision in each eye, but 20/40 collectively..." What? In all three of my eyes? Shouldn't that be 20/60? "Collectively?" Are you part of the Borg Collective? Are you sure you're looking at my charts and stuff?I STILL CAN'T WALK ACROSS THE FLOOR OR THE STREET WITHOUT FALLING DOWN! HOW IN THE HELL DO YOU PROPOSE TO FIX THIS?

"Oh, we'll take some measurements and RELEASE THE LEFT MUSCLES OF YOUR LEFT EYE!" (emphasis, mine) This is said with the insouciant emphasis of "let's just change your left sock." Lovely. So, he sticks some prisms over my eyes, mutters a few incantations and tells me to come back in a week. I think he wrote down his findings, but I couldn't swear to it. I was too busy contemplating the "fix":

I have told both Drs. Grimm that my BRAIN perceives two of everything, and has since 2003. Even though I show no evidence of stroke, I still have cognitive problems. Aphasia and short-term memory loss being the two other most noticeable changes, along with perceiving two of everything. It's like a carnival funhouse run on a shoestring.

Jesus. And no, Doctor Jekyll, I do NOT want to see my brain pictures. I don't want to look at my heart pictures Doctor Hippy, or my upper right gizzard pictures, Doctor Gassy. I don't want to see my veins or corollaries, or whatevers in my legs, Doctor Frankenstein. I know what all that goo looks like; I don't want to admire my own innards. Years ago, I had a doctor show me my brand-new patched up stomach pictures x-ray thingies, complete with staples!?!? I almost passed out. I'm not squeamish; I worked at the U of M hospital in Ann Arbor for five years, next to the ER Head Trauma unit and I saw gruesomeness up close. I just don't want to see my own gruesome. Call me a coward.

So, that's my muse for Saturday. People ask me all the time (okay, they never ask me) where I get my inspirations. I'm tempted to tell them I buy them at the Family Dollar store, but I mostly think up this shit in the shower. Next entry I promise, real pictures and Shit I Found on the Sidewalk. I know you can't wait. Peace.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Okay. This is kind of a quick post, but I swear to God I couldn't conjure up this shit. Actual conversation:

E: "Ah, M, I see you're still looking like a million bucks; I always loved blonds."

M: ....? 

H: "Hey, dumbass, she's a redhead."

E: "Well, I was looking at her with my bad eye. She looks blond." (Proceeds to move eye patch from left eye to right eye.)

E: "Oh, I see; yeah, she's a redhead."

M: "What was that eye surgery for again?"

E:  "Cataracts, but it got botched up..."

Me: (Thinking "Wow, are they installing new color wheels in eyes now?") Me saying aloud, "Wow, are they installing new color wheels in eyes now?"

Sarcasm is completely lost on E. 

E: "Yeah, it takes four to six months to get it right." 

Maybe he had it done at Home Depot. Who knows?

He just needs a parrot and a peg leg. He's apparently got the rum part down pat. No more commentary needed.

In other swell and eye-related news, I received a call from the Brothers Grimm this morning, aka the Brother Eye Doctors. I have an appointment tomorrow. At 10:15 AM. At their Clinic. Last time this happened, I had to go screaming off to Tampa General Hospital for a surgery I knew nothing about.
Apparently, they think I have some sort of cosmic ESP and have no time or the ability to make my own appointment. Or maybe that short-term memory thingie is getting worse and I forgot. Or maybe I did call, but then canceled. And then called and rescheduled and forgot the whole thing. Maybe I should just start calling once a week to keep track of them. 

We have a new "housie" here at Happy Acres. I have never, ever in my whole life met anyone so dyspeptic, unpleasant and vituperative... ever. In my whole life. He is the wart on the  hog. He has systematically managed to piss off everyone in this place, which actually is not that hard to do. There are lots of folks here who are unbalanced mentally, usually for very significant reasons. When Mean Mr. first moved here, he came out on the porch without his shirt. There is a house rule regarding proper dress; shirt on at all times when outside. H tried to tell him nicely that he needed to go inside and put on a shirt. Mean Mr. acted like H had just called him a bad name and was going to soap his windows or something. Jerk.

My turn in the barrel came last week. There is a porch on the back of the house which the owners added. My room abuts this porch at the back. Every jack-leg, douchebag, blow hard, and/or babbling wino sits right on the other side of my bedroom, right where the head of my bed is situated. Last week, Mean Mr. etc, was on the porch, bellowing on his cell phone at about 6:30 am. Woken from a fairly sound sleep, I cranked my window open, and asked him to please be quiet, not once, but three times. I got very cranky at the old crank.
Mean Mr. completely ignored me and kept bellowing away. I had to get one of the "enforcers" to tell him to get the hell off the porch. Mean Mr. blah didn't take too kindly to that, but he left and went off somewhere else, to plague someone else's existence. 

I found out later he has Parkinson's Disease. Now, I feel for anyone who has any type of physical affliction, but this does not give the sufferer a license to be an asshole.  I asked him the other day if he contracted asshole-osis at the same time he developed Parkinson's.  I have been singing "Mean Mr. Mustard Man" at the tops of my lungs every time he is within my vicinity. Heh. I'm pretty sure he hates me, but he already hates everyone else, too. I'm so going to Hell.


Anyway, you all have a good week and take care. Coming up next entry is, "Shit I found on the sidewalk."

Peace to you, and love.

Friday, July 29, 2011



Here in Florida, one is supposed to have a valid ID at all times. For those of us who fled the ol' homestead in a hurry, with nothing but the clothes on our backs (which TGH promptly lost; another story, later) we can get a "referral" from Homeless Recovery of Hillsborough County to "The Shop," also known as "MHC," or Mental Health Clinic. With a referral and your smiling face, you too, can receive a god-awful picture ID that bears no resemblance to anyone, or anything living, on this planet, or maybe even in this Solar System. We have to carry these IDs with us at all times, in the event that the Tampa Police Department decides to do a bit of sprucing up on Nebraska Avenue and starts hauling in folks for not having any type of ID. I am a proud owner of one of these things. We occasionally. . . okay, we frequently, find ourselves with little or nothing to do, no appointments to keep and no passers-by to pester, so we have to entertain ourselves. 

One of the more amusing ways to pass the time is to show each other our Unity (MHC) IDs. This works best when a new batch of homeless folk have moved in and we can unveil these nightmares to our new "housies." The people who take these pictures must have to go to a special school to learn photography to create these monstrosities. Some of these people end up working for the HART bus line, (BUS WORLD!) and the truly gifted go work at the DMV, churning out little 3" X 5" inches of Lovecraftian horror for the State of Florida. O! Sweet Moses on a buttered cracker, these things bear visages from some kind of 4th or 8th dimension, a la "Colour Out of Space." We glimpse things not meant to be seen by man. It helps to have little or no vision. I can just gasp "Gaaahhh!" and pass on the offending document to the next victim without scorching my retinas. Enough. What follows are actual pictures. Please be warned; you do not want to view these at work; you will get fired. Do not let the kids or pets see these pictures; the pictures may emit lethal fumes. Do not view around houseplants; the plants may combust spontaneously.