Thursday, November 29, 2012


Since I ended my last post tripping down memory lane with the fantastic rendering of “Sleigh Ride” as interpreted for-fucking-ever by Thelonius Monk, I thought you all might enjoy some of the reminiscences of a few of the pageants I’ve played in over the years. Being a working musician during Christmas brings it’s own challenges. Not the least of which is stamina. Much like the Easter, er, I mean EnergeezerBunny (per YumaBev) you better have your track shoes and be prepared for the long haul.

Courtesy of

Yes, those are violists. What a shock. I tried this a time or two in the San Jose Youth Symphony, Maestro Stoia was not amused. Ever.

I had this one stand partner, who no shit, did have Parkinson’s Disease. He was spot on with everything, was eleventy-billion years old; you just couldn’t hear him play. His sound went to the edge of his viola and stopped. I had to tune his viola for him. Tony Shapiro was his name and he loved to turn the pages. As long as I didn’t mind missing half of the next page, it was okay, Tony would catch up. It would take him half of the following page to “straighten said turned page, pick up his viola and make sure the hair on his bow hadn’t magically loosened.” He’d join in somewhere around the bottom of the page of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony of “Ode to Joy.” I’m rockin’ it and Tony is playing air viola. God bless him. When he retired, we gave him a spray-painted gold brick. He loved it; no harm done.

I had another stand partner who had narcolepsy. One morning, the bus captain was looking for him so we could leave for the next crappy one-horse town to play what I am sure was just a boffo show. The bus captain said, “Where’s Scott?” One of my dearest friends, who was just a fucking riot and so quick, said, “Somnambula’s probably hanging by his feet in a closet sleeping.” The name stuck after the hilarity subsided. Scott would sit down to play and nod off during a waltz and damn, if he wouldn’t wake up 7 measures later and come in right where he was supposed to. I inherited him because I was the only one with the stones to not freak out.

I became principal viola when it was discovered that none of the other psychos and schizos they sat beside me would cause me to lose my one remaining marble. Seriously, I had one partner, who would try and sit in my lap and talked about his “voices.” Nor would stage-related calamities unnerve me. So principal was good for me. I love audiences. I love playing by myself; the louder, the better. What can I say? I’m a ham.

When I first started playing for this church, my friend who had originally hired me, a 1st violinist with the Florida orchestra, asked if I would mind hiring the viola section. I did not and did so for several seasons. If Somnambula and others couldn’t play, due to scheduling conflicts, I’d call around. Well, the players were great, but the people? Yeah.

One year, Somnambula, who lives in New Orleans and plays in their symphony was busy, so I called a local, who had been recommended to me by the viola mafia. This guy is still around, so to protect the innocent, let’s just say his name is “Ferdinand Magellan.” He does bear the name of an explorer of the same era.

Well, “Ferdinand” is an awesome player, so I offered him 1st chair. First night, he says, “oh, I can’t! I just took a Sinutab, I’m nervous.” Mind you, I’ve already heard through the viola grapevine all of this. There are 6 violas. I really don’t care who sits where. Sit in the parking lot. Next night, he says, “Oh, I drove my car. I’m too keyed-up.” And so it goes. He sits with me. He just tears it up. Awesome. But the poor man has performer’s anxiety. Some people take Inderol. With me? It’s auditions. I cannot audition to save my life, but if I sub, or sneak in a back door? I’m there for life.

Anyway, Somnambula and I played in a lot of shitty pageants. One of these hired just the most kick-ass of orchestras, but had the worst conductor ever. Bar none.
This one church had some serious money for its “music worship” program. What it didn’t have was one ounce of artistic esthetics going on. We played this gig for years and it never changed or got better.

This Pageant ran for 4 nights and seemed to have been cobbled together by elves on hallucinogenics who had stopped to visit the folks at National Lampoon. There was a little Jesus in a Manger Catholic stuff thrown in that was delivered by some chanteuse in a silver-lamé cat-suit who would croon her way with a rather throaty delivery through “Ave Maria.” She was supposed to be well-known some-where, but I could never remember where that was. Her delivery didn’t really give me pause to reflect on the Baby Jesus and the Manger, either. Oh well, to each his own.

The Internationally Famous Conductor, What’s-His-Name, whose ineptitude is now known on 2 continents, in that he has managed to bring 2 fine orchestras crashing to their knees in cacophonious splendor, had to have another conductor behind him to do so. I have managed to stay in the saddle as long as I have, by not looking up. My bad. I looked up once and saw this forest of arms waving around. Somewhere around 3 and ¾ beats I fell, along with the rest of the string section. Damn. Anyway, Internal International Fame was granted by a Pope gig in Rome. I’m so sorry I missed that. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


I keep getting calls from this number because I have outstanding medical bills from when I was being stupid and irresponsible. I am now on full Disability and have a good life. I am unable to pay medical bills incurred from the time I received my SSDI and the time the State of Florida deems I am eligible for Medicare, which is a 2-year wait period. Lemme cut to the chase; I receive as many as 8 to 10 of these "dunning" calls per day. I have tried to request that these people, immediately "cease-and-desist" from hounding me on the phone. That's a "magic" FBCA (Fair Banking Credit Act) phrase.

This type of call violates FCC laws and is beyond any normal consideration that would be deemed either professional or proper, not to mention civil. Furthermore, I am going from here to the FTC and the SEC and FBI and lodging complaints. I would suggest that anyone reading this post do likewise. These people have no intention of doing anything except extorting money from frightened, sick people via credit card and they do it by purchasing lists from Hospitals' delinquent accounts' databases. Said hospitals have already written off the debt, and these strong-arm companies are raking in the dough, from sick, terrified people, who cough up a credit card number at the drop of a hat. These strong arm companies rely on numbers, using speed-dial and persistence.

This has to STOP. If every time a consumer gets one of these calls, you cut-and-paste something like this and get a case number, go to complaints through this website, I guarantee this will shut the bastards down, or at least ruin their day a little. 

What this company is doing is illegal, immoral and wrong. There is no arguing and no reasoning with them. They hire offshore robots and you can't tell them you want them to cease-and-desist. They will insist you give them a credit card number. That's it. By law, they are supposed to record ALL calls. All LEGITIMATE companies are supposed to do so, whether they’re 3rd party billers or not. If they are calling to collect debt, they MUST stop when you say the magic words “CEASE-AND-DESIST.” Per the FCBA (Fair Billing and Credit Act,) The MINUTE you say CEASE AND DESIST, calls MUST STOP, if it's a legitimate collection agency. This one is NOT. Let's spread the word and put these assholes out to pasture. Better yet, I'd love to put these fuckers behind bars. This is illegal. 321 250-7016; your days are numbered; whoever the hell you are.

Meh… Not a big enough pain in the ass. This shit has been going on since I was hospitalized, yet again, back in March. BFD. I reported to the above, because I got sick and tired of hollering in Klingonese at the drone on the phone, but really because they are unethical and need to be behind bars. But they’re not my problem. This is.

By all that is holy, I cannot believe this horror. I went back to my supermarket today. The poor, pink pumpkins must have been spirited away by the Mother Pumpkin, or mayhap I just zoomed right by them. There was new 50/50 mix on the shelf and that shit is like crack for me. It’s some kind of greenery like spinach and has spinach-like properties, but it’s scrubby and has purple scrubby things in it and is succulent and I love it!

I went to the market today to pick up some of JC’s meds and take back some croutons that I had tried out. I usually get Caesar croutons of the house brand and they rock, but they were out last week, so I got a fancy kind that were a bit more and they tasted like metal! They also had some of the texture of metal, too. Maybe these got mixed up on the truck and were supposed to go to Pluto or wherever, but Hell on a bicycle! It said “all natural ingredients” on the outside. I didn’t realize they meant they had to go mining to produce these. I hope those others weren’t radioactive or something. Gah!

So, I returned the substitute croutons and found they had gotten new ones. The kind I love. So, I moseyed on over to annoy the folks in the Deli, and as I’m moseying, I dimly realize I’m hearing the music. Now, the music on the squawk box is pretty bitchin’ if I do say so myself. Earlier, I had been enjoying Carly Simon singing “You’reSo Vain,” (it isn’t Mick Jagger) and singing along. I, at least can sing in tune. I cannot vouch for the quality of my voice; it’s safe to say no one ever turned to stone or died from it.

Anyway, I started hearing a familiar tune. It sounded an awful lot like Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” on alto Saxophone. This goes on for awhile and is sort of entertaining, but then again, sort of not. “Sleigh Ride” ceased to be entertaining for me the very first time I played the fucker, because, it’s, well, it’s Leroy Anderson and his stuff sucks. It sucks hard. Any jack-leg who writes for typewriter and Symphony Orchestra should just be instantly killed, along with his family and his neighbors, and their neighbors. Nuke the whole freaking neighborhood. What the fuck? Typewriter? Why not vacuum cleaner? How'z about a sump pump? What a fucking douchestick! And it sucks hardest when you play the viola part. It’s boring beyond tedium. See my opinions on Mozart for my outlook on playing boring music.

It turns out this was “Sleigh Ride” via Thelonius Monk and it sucked harder than anything Wolfgang or Leroy ever could come up with. It wandered and roamed and if there was a theme it never found a home and it was so fucking bad, it was truly stupendously breathtakingly hideously awful. I found the manager and told him he needed to contact Corporate immediately and get their money back. That monstrosity of a recording needs to be erased, burned, have acid poured on it, somebody needs to shit on it and bury it. It needs to go into Mr. Peabody’s Way-Back Machine and be sent back to the Stone Age. The “musician” who played it? God help that poor fucker. I hope he made all of that up, because if he had to memorize that? He’s in some ward somewhere going, “bee dee bee dee dooo bee doo beeee dee.” “Yes, Virginia, that was some bad shit, goin’ down.” Just thinking about it makes me batshit.

ViolaFury never, ever wants to hear “Sleigh Ride,” via Thelonius Monk again. Or slaying will occur. THAT is my nemesis! Happy Christmas!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Why O Why would anyone eat this?

That people right there is a reason to give thanks. I’ve been stalking this here mutant pumpkin since I discovered it before Halloween. And, yup, that bastard is pink. The Wizards of Marketing at my grocery store decided that with October being Breast CancerAwareness month and all, that nothing said “Save the Hooters!” quite like Pink Pumpkins. These suckers originally were going for 6.99 per. They then proceeded to sit there like so many white elephants and provided me with one more obstacle to try and avoid in what is an already perilous journey, what with kids running amok, truant teens drag-racing in the handicapped carts and your run-of-the-mill don’t-give-a-shit assholes.

However, I noticed as time went by, that although the pumpkins did not melt, nor seem to rot and their numbers were not diminishing, the price was. Three weeks ago, they were down to 3.49. Still, they sat. When first introduced at a whopping 6.99, they were displayed front and center in the vegetable section; they were the first thing you saw upon entering. Well, actually, they screamed at you; they were pretty fucking hard to miss. I wasn’t sure if I was in the grocery store or if I had wandered into some House of Horrors by accident. I do tend to wool-gather, when I shouldn’t.

Their demotion moved them farther back by the potatoes, where they lurked in shame for a while. The signage was rather curt. Pink Pumpkins. Breast Awareness. 3.49. Great for pies. Nothing else. The damned things are lumpy looking and warped. Some hybrid from hell; not sure I would eat a pie from that mingling. I mentioned it to one of the produce guys, and he said, “I hear ya, I won’t even it those little “personalized” watermelons.” Yikes. 

According to the inside skinny via the produce guy, they just showed up like so many bad nightmares, unasked for in one of the shipments and it was left to the stores to figure out how to push them on the public, after the "Breast Cancer" tie-in flopped. Methinks the man in the gray flannel polo shirt who thought up this doozy is now working at Sav-A-Lot, selling cheap shit made in China. I would have just adverted them as MUTANT DOOR STOPS FOR ZOMBIE HOUSES AS SEEN IN BETTER GUNS & GARDENS and I bet they would have gone like hot cakes. 

Yesterday, the death knell: the pink pumpkins have been moved and demoted once again. JC and I swapped phones. We did so, so I could get a picture of these prodigies for the blog. Those monsters were no longer at their accustomed site with the potatoes. I saw my friend Casey, who works in the veggie section and does stand-up on the side and asked where they were. We’d already had our fun with these things. Casey said, “They’re back by the salad stuff, ‘cause when you think salad, you automatically think pink pumpkins, too.” Couldn’t have said it any better myself.

1 whole dollar, from 6.99. This is what's left. Poor things; I almost adopted one, but it would probably have killed us in our sleep. I love how one is cut open over there and is wrapped in plastic. A sticker reads, "for display only." No, I want to eat the bastard here; it looks so yummy delish, especially the gray parts. I love my grocery store.

An added bonus: The signage reads: "Pink on the outside. Orange on the inside." Damn tremors.

So, the turkey-lurkey shopping took me every bit of 4 hours. I have to be really careful and go slow. Everyone was great, except for the one bitch who saw me, with whackamole and ran right over the top of me, nearly knocking me into the boxed potatoes. I never saw her coming and my greatest fear is falling; I lost a friend this summer when he fell. Without hesitation, I turned and said, “Hey bitch, I have this cane so I can beat the shit out of people like you.” She saw the blood in my eye and fled.

At one point, I was standing in the spice aisle, looking for salt. So were about 10 other people. It’s like “Night of the Living Dead.” We’re all just standing there. I found the salt; it’s in my cart, but I’m also thinking, “Is there something else I should put on my chickens?” Allspice? Poultry Seasoning? Lowry? Burnt Cork? Floor Sweepings? Everybody’s like statues, staring. Just looking; looking. 2 people down, this woman picks up her phone and dials a number. I hear, “mumble, mumble… cloves” and she hangs up. Is there some spice cabal or conspiracy I’m not privy to? There are 3 guys who simultaneously pick up… something and leave and… They’re not together! More standing goes on. Nothing is said; just more looking, no talking. A new man comes and stands and stares at the spices. That’s it! I got my salt! I might be implicated, so I take off.

Cat food! That’s it! So off I go. This is ridiculous. She will only eat Friskies Shreds, unless it’s JC’s chicken, or milk, or my cottage cheese, or not, or cat treats. So I load up. Cat treats, cat toys, Happy Christmas Cat. Oh wait, that’s next month. Oh well.

That’s pretty much how it went; it was a good today, and I am thankful. I’m so thankful for everything that has brought me here. I’m thankful for all of the richness and wonder and bright things that have come my way. Every day is a blessing in some way, even if it seems bad or wrong in some way, there is always a different way to look at it. I realized something yesterday; these realizations and these wonderful things weren’t given to me to understand and experience until I became honest with myself and others.

It’s not always easy to do, and I’ve caught myself trying to cut corners; shame on me. But I believe as long as I do that, the gifts I’ve received are mine to keep and share with everyone I can. If I sound cryptic, oh well. It is what it is. Well, off to see what other mayhem I can stir up. By the way, this is the store that brought us, "chicken paws." I almost had a stroke in the store when I saw this:

On a serious and very important note, a very huge thanks to the folks at for having me as a guest blogger today. I claim them as my very own personal "Parkie-Pedia" for all things Parkinson's Disease related, although I have not yet and my never receive that formal diagnosis, they have helped me tremendously. They have also done me a tremendous honor by asking me to blog a guest post for today. Please visit them. This is so very worthwhile and there are so many people who need help. Thank you again, guys! My love to you all and Happy Turkey-Lurkey!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I didn’t really get up with the idea of doing this post on how I react to foreign substances, such as oh, “food” and “water,” but late last night, one of my blogging acquaintances; I can’t really call him a pal, we don’t hang out or anything. He’s in Chicago, and has a real job and all, but he writes extremely well and is funny. He puts up with, or ignores, my ravings in his comments. He has a Facebook page now, too. I occasionally bother him over there. Go bother him and "like" his page.

I've never been to France. It has French people in it, although the ones here seem nice. 

Anyway, Delfin Joaquin Paris III is running a contest on his blog, ThoughtsFromParis. A giveaway for something called a “E-Cigarette” from the kind folks at Vapor4Life. I moused over that bitch for about 4 seconds before I realized that if I took one hit off of that monstrosity, this whole end of Tampa would disintegrate in ashes, regret, fire and screams. I will not be entering his contest this go-round. If you are not sensitive to outside chemicals, feel free to go write about the stupidest thing you ever did and got busted for here (link) Be sure and mention I sent you; DJ will be underwhelmed, and probably won’t even get to whelmed. But he’s as funny as I am batshit.

It's no secret that I drank and smoked my way to success as a homeless, near-death individual and frankly, I am a better person for it. If I have to put up with some batshit bullshit and a bit of neurological inconvenience for my misbehavior, but got honest and shed some bad habits, I'd say I did okay for myself.

I wouldn’t have to enter DJ’s contest anyway, because I’ve pretty much busted my own self with all the stupidities I’ve ever committed. What I wanted to talk about is why is it, after all of this, for the last 9 or 10 months, or longer, everything that never used to have such weird and huge effects on me does now. I had the flu about 6 weeks ago, and after I took the antibiotics and got over the infection part of it, I still had this nagging cough. Of course, the answer from the doctor is “take Robitussin DM.”

It’s been years since I took that shit and I don’t remember it having quite the effect it had this time. Instead of drinking, like half the bottle for that zoomy feeling, I took the recommended dose, which was a new thing right there. I was already feeling odd from the flu. It didn’t feel like the “normal” flu. It felt kinda like flu, but more like flu-lite. I started out with a horrid sore throat, and that quickly subsided. My ears however, ITCHED ITCHED ITCHED from the back of my tongue to the middle of Tampa Bay. DAMN! That went on for a solid week. Nothing ever really ached, like “normal” flu. This was the oddest thing for me. Normally, when I have the flu, I don’t sleep for about 4 days. I can not sleep. At. All. Not this time. I slept for a week straight. I didn’t get pneumonia, but I got that damned convulsive cough.

So, the flu thing was “off,” along with all the other sensations. I took some of that DM and felt… nothing. But, I stopped that convulsive coughing, thank God. I was wearing myself out with this non-productive, constant cough. That quieted down. About 2 hours later, my sugar went from 195 to 71 in ½ hour. I feel like I'm being launched into outer space, from the center of the sun! Jesus, I hate that feeling, almost as much as when my sugar goes up to 269 and sits there. My eyes get blurred, but who am I kidding? I already can't see. Now, I can't see 2 of whatever I couldn't see before... just blurred. What the hell is that? So, medicine of any kind sets THAT off. Swell.

Stress of any kind causes crushing chest pain, but ONLY if I’m trying to eat and talk and ONLY if I’ve been experiencing that weird chest/neck/shoulder pain that Parkies get 4 or 5 days prior. During that time, I can’t swallow very well and I find that I am also more likely to have problems with my balance. There’s a word for it, “anile.” It comes from the Latin; adjective meaning feeble old woman, which I sure as hell ain’t.

What I’m doing now is pacing myself until March 1, 2013 and sleeping, goofing off and doing some writing. I’ve been spending more time out and about which is good anyway. I figure this is just another part of the whole “PD or non-PD” process. One thing I would like. I don’t necessarily care if I get better, but I sure would love to be a part of a study where some doctor who appreciates a good patient-historian (of whom there are many I know) would document all of this. Hmm?

Monday, November 19, 2012


This is a repost from October 28, 2011. 

I don't really know if most of the inhabitants at Happy Acres FSJ 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. He thinks this will compete with the heavy 20k Chargers, stacked on Neb Ave. Just awesome, man.  

For some stupid reason, I always hum "Baby, You Can Drive My Car," when I see this pic.

Pimp My Ride's blood 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.

November 19, 2012

End of a post that was about labeling and is going to be part of my little self-published book; I'm trying to pull together. Right now, I'm in the last stages of a marathon and I'm at the "pacing myself" stage. I slept until nearly 2 pm today. I've been feeling pretty good, but have the usual symptoms, only worse, sundowning like crazy and pain, pain, pain. EMS was here to take my vitals after a very bad chest pain with crushing feeling, during a tense phone conversation with a violinist friend about another friend, but all was well. The subject and issue at question reads this blog and I am fully aware of that. One of THOSE things. So, hanging on until March, 2013 and the "miracle" diagnosis and sinarest or requip or magic beans or juju.

But that is not what I want to confess. This is what I want to confess: during my diggings, I ran across this. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Forgive me Father, for I have sinned:

This was part of that post, but I had written it over the summer of 2011, not yet knowing what was to come;

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. (note: he was also 64 and was soon asked to leave Happy Acres, for "not playing well with others," or some shit, ed.) 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. 

I believe that we are not given more that we can handle, but I do certain believe that after all I had been through, I really had no right or reason to pass judgment or be so cruel to this man. Or maybe I did. Let’s call this one a draw. He was at FSJ because he was on parole. A parolee with a disease. A homeless person with a disease. Not unique and still hard to live with. This is where compassion gets tricky and I’m still in a quandary over it, a Quandarious, you might say. Or, irony much?

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I’m pretty much grateful all the time. I don’t make a big deal out of it because I have a shit-ton of stuff to be grateful for. The fact that I’m not lying in a pauper’s grave some where is a big reason for gratitude right there. I know that in this world and this time there are so many damaged souls that there are cries of gratitude going out and up to Who So Ever is running this here place, that my little bleats of thanks will go unheard.

Let the douchealites give thanks for the many contributions made to Without Walls for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Season. Let Trinity put up their Satellite café that is less than 2 miles from the first one and totally unnecessary. Give thanks for that. I ain’t giving thanks at all for the supreme waste of money and look-at-me-ism that seems to be part and parcel of so many of these projects. I do give thanks that Metropolitan Ministries has continued to feed and assist so many homeless families and people who do need help.

I’m happy about the fact that we get to feed a few of the guys from the ALF who have helped JC over this past year with small chores; it was his idea. Nothing big, just a thank you. There are lots of little things we’re grateful for and we’re grateful every day. When just about everything you’ve had has been stripped from you, either by circumstance, or by the system and you start over at age 55 or 65 and it’s a monumental struggle, complete with setbacks? Every minor victory is momentous and you savor it.

We taste every day like a fine wine and we enjoy every moment of it. We’ve made mistakes, in our new life; we got a bit too generous and had to back up on that. Not every one looks at life the way we do, and guess what? We do live in the ‘hood! For all of my bad-assed-ness, and it is real, I can’t do shit about dishonesty, until after the fact. We are still not geniuses. I know! Right? But we’re careful on our fixed incomes and we enjoy what we have and we share what we can. We love and honor one another and we’re kind to those who deserve it. If you don’t deserve it, stay out of my way. As I told the drunk, who kept asking me for money, at the grocery store as I moved away; “I’m not afraid of you, I’m afraid FOR you.”

But, no has one died… yet. Moving on, we have a kitty. She is the sweetest little thing and just perfect. JC has never had a cat before. Only dogs, so he was a bit mystified by her behavior for a while. I, having been around cats my entire life, became “All Things Catsidered,” or “Cat-Sittered,” if one is feeling pun-nish, which I generally avoid; it being too easy and dumb-ish.

So, he asks lots of questions about cats in general. But, he’s really in tune with her and of course, she’s got him trained. She would prefer that he go outside while she eats and after 50 times of here running back and forth from the kitchen to the front porch, they agree on wherever she decides. Today, she ate in the living room.

This is the Jackson, Michigan State Correctional Facility. Until recently, the largest walled prison in the world. The road running from bottom center to mid-left hand side is I-94. When I had to drive past that in the 70s and 80s to places like Kalamazoo, or Chicago. I drove at 100 mph past that bastard. It seems to go on for about a million miles.

Anyway, last night, the Queen of Sheba ate in the kitchen while I cooked and then again in the bedroom, while we ate, watching “Prison Break,” a highly entertaining show that brings back all your favorite well-written con stereotypes, via authors Tennessee Williams and Stephen King (interestingly, a huge fan of "Prison Break"), of felons as southern-psychopaths, super-smart-caring cons, mobbed-up con-who’s-in-a-jam, and my favorite, via author Richard Price, the confused-white-rapper who’s a whip-smart thief. It’s entertaining. I just don’t know how true to life it is. I have yet to see these mokes break out a game of 10,000 or pinochle and all the ex-cons I knew in the homeless shelter played those games. Fought over them, too.

Courtesy of PicMonkey which allowed me to make this somewhat viewable. I take hideous pictures. Tremors and no perspective eyesight make for some really interesting photos. That and the fact that there's no overhead light made this a real adventure.

Anyway, Mama decided after supper or dinner, or elevensies or twelvesies that it was time for sleepsies, so sleep she did, for about 4 hours on the bed. She is becoming more relaxed and calm. We’re happy; she’s happy. It’s something to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Governor Sparkle, aka Scott - I would hire whoever Photo Shopped this, 'cause he looks like an actual       bi-ped here. Just sayin'. 

Well, after the events, alleged felonies, misdemeanors and crimes around here, and let’s face it, the rest of the world, I thought it might be time for a bit of reflection about What It All Means. Balls. It means what it always means. We can put as much meaning or as little import into the Signs and Wonders of the world as our current states of hearts and minds allow.

When someone starts waxing about the divine or Man’s Original Sin or as I saw last night, although in jest, how the “Mayan Calendar called it, because Twinks are Toast,” or something of the sort, I smell the same end-of-the-world bullshit that has been floating around since the world began. I believe the Mayans don’t actually come out and say we’ll all become a floating cinder, they have some other lingo. Until I see some actual terminology like, “melting earth,” or “3rd planet from the sun is incinerated, on December 21, 2012 at 10:12 A.D.” I’m going to continue on in my own little orbit of whatever this is.

“This” can be whatever I want it to be. I designate it so. If that sounds batshit, so be it. It’ my “this.” You can go get your own “this,” whatever your “this” is. Eventually, if I keep this up, which is different than “this,” I am going to become well nigh unreadable, and I will lose my record high 15 followers. I hope not. I plan to start re-posting from my truly “Homeless” days, and expand on that craziness. Now that we have celebrity bank robbers, in our midst and who knows what else; but I digress.

This post is truly going nowhere. I was starting out with some observations, and this is an example of that. Firstly, my writing prowess exceeds my material at present; rather like Richard Strauss’ “Simfonia Domestica,” which, I mentioned to our conductor Kenneth Jean in Detroit, at the time; I compared Strauss’ tone poem to “taking your cat shit to the dump in your Rolls Royce.” Ken thought that a fine metaphor. “Simfonia Domestica” is a shitty programmatic piece of music, but beautifully written. I’m full of puffery like that. Observation one and one-and-a-half.

Observation two. How is it that as we tear along into the 21st century that it seems all really is not fine and dandy? Or not getting finer and dandier? I make a shit-ton of jokes about how it’s déjà-vu all over again and I rather wondered for a while, where the rage of the 60s went. However, I think it is still there and I believe that its vectors have just changed. Rather than surging through the streets and closing universities and bombing federal buildings, the rage is being felt and expressed through the internet. 

I realize  that this is not a spectacularly original thought. However, with the immediacy of the internet and without having to deal with the logistics of moving people, materiél and supplies, cyber-rallies, cyber-demonstrations, cyber-vandalism and cyber-attacks can be planned and executed very quickly. It will also be easier and quicker to find allies, cutouts, back doors and sabotage big systems. Yipes. I just scared myself.

However, none of this will make a bit of difference if I can’t figure out how in the HELL I am supposed to open ANYTHING. This is where I channel YumaBev and all the rest of the Parkies I haunt. A plus, I do have my very own Parkie-Pedia! Check out I swore to God I wasn’t gonna even mention them today; honest Injun. I sound like I’m stalking the Parkinson’s Disease people. Jim and his darling wife, Penny Adams. Maybe I need an intervention. Swell. Come and intervene. Please. Be my guest. I want to invite them all to my next grocery shopping trip. Everyone's invited!

This is the most hysterical thing since, I don’t know what. The 1 Stooge. I almost took out the wine aisle with my cart the other day. I jigged and the cart jagged. There was a couple sitting at the place where you take your high blood pressure. He was taking his. I bet it was eleventy billion over seven jillion, when I got through with them. They saw me bearing down on them with a cart full of shit.

I had about 3 X more shit, plus cat food, and no Rolls Royce!

I had to have had 300 pounds of groceries in that sucker. I’d been to the Dollar Store and had canned goods and a garbage can along with all my groceries. I weigh about 100 pounds, but I’m strong. I try to move fast in between the shake, rattle, and roll. So, here comes the Death Locomotive and it’s Blind, dead at them. I kissed that wine aisle, missed them and at the last minute, I executed a 90 ° left turn, and hollered out, “This is why Mary don’t drive!” And went clattering off to the Pharmacy, dragging Whackamole in my wake. They’re probably still praying.

Friday, November 16, 2012


BOLO - Not This Guy

I’m pretty sure this is NOT the future my mother envisioned for me, when I was 15. I think she wanted me to marry some rich doctor or lawyer. At one point she wanted me to be an anchor woman?! Or a model, or other idiotic things. Always things I thought were boring or stupid, or damn nigh impossible. Nothing I would have enjoyed, certainly. My dad was pretty laid back about what I wanted to do; he knew me and knew I wasn’t going for all that folderol.

I started thinking about that last night, when I heard about Ray. I heard about Ray when I called Alex (my hardware counterpart in the ‘hood) to see if he was coming over for Thanksgiving, but Alex is going to Ocala and giving us his turkey. We’re cooking chicken and a ham for the ALF (Assisted Living Facility) people because they don’t seem to get fed very well and that’s what JC wants, so we’re by God doing it. I’m happy about it, too.

Well, during the course of that conversation, Alex mentioned that “Ray-Ray” as he’s called, is the psychopath, who stole the neon Buccaneers’ helmet sign from his neighbor that was caught on video one night. The warrant had actually been expunged from the Hillsborough Country Sheriff’s website, because, according to the Nebraska grapevine, Ray was some kind of low-level informant for the FBI, which pissed me off all to hell.

He’d already skipped on the Wade thing, true or not, gotten away with the domestic violence charge, pleaded down to Misdemeanor 1, but the Grand Theft Charge of more than 300.00, and less than 5k had gone *poof* and nothing. What had been an open warrant for his arrest was no longer even posted on the HCS website after the Feds came looking for him around Neb Ave. What the hell?

Yesterday, I don’t know what shit he pulled and damned if I didn’t regret having moved off Nebraska for say, oh, all of 5 seconds, since I no longer live directly on said avenue. I heard a sharp WHOOP! And then the usual bunch of Nebraska mayhem. This must have been early afternoon, since I typically sleep until noon-ish.

So, Alex tells me with great glee about Ray and to check it out. Anybody who’s honest has been plagued by Ray and his bullshit lies and stunts. Sure enough, it’s all there on the HCS webby-web. I’m not sure what he did that the Feds felt they had to rescind whatever little penny-ante protection they had given him, but all bets are off. Or maybe he just pushed it one too many times with the TPD. He really is an arrogant asshole with no brain cells to back it up.

The funniest thing in all of this? I called his ex-girlfriend, a very good friend of mine who’s possibly one of the funniest people on the face of the earth. Let’s call her H. H has had the second of her exes, living on her couch for a couple of weeks. When it rains, it pours. I had to tell H that we were having Thanksgiving at our place, blah, blah, blah, and couldn't come to hers, so I had a good reason to call, or let's just put lipstick on this bulldog, snoop.

I proceed to tell her about her first ex, Ray. She then proceeds to tell me about Tommy, the 2nd ex, sort of, the other weasel who lived with us all at FSJ, who used to piss me off and then run off. He had a laugh like the old “Penguin” character on the original “Batman” series. He was this little ferret of a man. 

H thought he was pretty okay, but he lied like a cheap Persian rug and nothing that came out of his mouth was the truth. JC was onto him immediately, and pretty much ran interference for me. Anyway, I didn’t think much about him, until H brought up the fact that he had called her a few weeks ago and was staying with her. I was alarmed right away. H had a hard time with Ray and didn’t need another user in her life. She spent quite a while getting back on her feet after her divorce. I needn’t have worried.

On November 8, 2012, H sent Tommy away and told him her apartment complex had a 2-week stay clause and he would have to go. Smart woman. She and I laughed about this. On November 9, 2012, Tommy allegedly tried to rob a bank, with a gun. You can read about it here. I told her all we had to do was get a couple of my exes locked up. Some of them have been in the Orient Road Jail, I know. Today, Alex came by and told JC and I that Bill somebody on our block got arrested for God-knows-what. “It does happen in threes, right?” Alex asked?

So, no one can say that I haven't had an interesting time. Bank robbers, psychopaths, dopers in the 'hood and all. I have enough material here for about 50 books. When I was talking to H last night, JC just shook his head. We'd look at each other and just bust out laughing. Sometimes, that's all you can do. Quandarious, indeed. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I had to try and think of several catchy titles for this post. Titles are very important and I stress over the creation of them, much as I stress over every other goddamned piece of minutiae in my life. This is why I have a head full of bats, moth balls and cinders.

Anyway, JC was telling one of his epic stories yesterday. When JC tells a story, it is awesome. Truly; it’s like listening to God. He can make you cry, but more often he makes me laugh and he really had me howling yesterday about one of his wives who got all puffed up at him during a tent revival. He was on the other side of the tent. She thought JC “was a-lookin’ at the choirmistress,” which would have been a neat trick, since the choirmistress was not in his line of sight. He saw his wife “swell up, like a puffer toad, and start cussin’,” although he couldn’t hear her. Ten years with the woman and he knew what was fixin’ to happen. In his words, “I grahbbed mah Bahble, went straht out the back o’ that tent, got in mah truck, and drove 165 miles without stoppin’.”

YEEHAAA!  Ah'm outta heah!

His accent is pure west Texas and pretty, but his expressions are all pure JC. When we lived over at Happy Acres, he asked the particularly asinine Mr. Pimp My Ride, who festooned his bicycle with tin foil, thinking it put him in competition with the true bad asses who drove the hopped up Camaros and Chargers, before the FBI got them, with custom paint jobs, rims and 20k sound systems, if he was an Astronaut. “What yo mean, Cracker?” JC and I were standing in the House's hall, when this took place. When Mr. PMR said that, I looked at my feet. JC just said, “Cause a' ahll that spay-ace bah-tween your eyes.” He really emphasizes the drawl, when he's being particularly snarky. Now, I'm looking at the ceiling.

I hustled the two of us on out of there before Mr. PMR realized he’d been made fun of, but that was the thing. He was easy meat. He never got it. There were about 4 or 5 of us who got away with all kinds of shit like that. But that’s not what this is all about and I’ve really digressed. While JC was telling the hilarious story of his late wife who pulled the puffed up toad act at church, my mind hit on and then filed away for today’s #Row80 the topic of ta-da “The Evolution Of The Carriage Return.”

I’m sure there’s been tons of horribly boring, or not so boring articles written on this fascinating evolution. Back in the day, when we all learned to type, I learned to type in some old sourpuss’s class in my sophomore year in high school. I sat next to Steve Tersigni and Kevin Phillips, who always somehow managed to be in my classes and make them fun. Our teacher made us type to horrible songs like “Turkey in the Straw” and that’s all I remember. Except the god-awful racket of all of the keys hitting the carriages and the sound of all of us hitting the carriage returns. It sounded like siege engines at war.

I typed 35 words a minute from the age of 15 and never went near another typewriter if I could help it. The only other thing that sounded remotely that horrible was the sound in my 1st year Music Theory Class at SJSU with Dr. Brent Heisinger, where we all had “ear training,” or some shit. There were 25 music majors, non-piano majors, in a room full of out-of-tune pianos and we were supposed to play “chords.” What we played was a bunch of noise. Dr. Heisinger, being the wonderful, hip, cheerful guy, would holler, “almost! Once again!”

Once again, what?! It sucked. Even if we all played the same thing it sucked. The pianos hadn’t been tuned since the Punic Wars. Well, my ear got trained, or maybe it already was. I digress. So, after wandering around in the music biz and then marrying the chucklehead who believed the piccolo fairy was going to come and turn me into piccoloist and that didn’t happen, it was back to school and computer science for moi.

An amaze-balls thing happened in the 20 years since I’d been around a typewriter. Number one, there weren’t any. Number two, there were these cool things called keyboards now and they didn’t clack as much and you could work up a pretty good head of steam on them. My typing speed improved. I was still a bit confused by some of the names on the keys, but that stuff sorts itself out.

Off I went to work at IBM, and further sortage occurred. IBM IT Support in 1995 was a warehouse of the weird, old, halt and lame. We had some older systems, that hadn’t worked out, and lots of applications that only few clients used, as well as all of the big, mainstream stuff. If the client wanted to pay for it, we would supported it. Some of us became eclectic masters of the bizarre, others stayed with the mainstream. And until the telephony system was put in place, you never knew what you were going to get on the other end of the phone when it rang.

These are actual calls, not verbatim, but real nonetheless. 

"Hey! My fat ass-wife sat on my printer and mashed a bunch of buttons; now it won't work." After a few hours noodling with this and brainstorming with other engineers, solution? Mash a bunch of buttons. This was back in the day of Printer Hell, when no one had any printer that resembled any other printer.

“Hello? My screen wants me to press the ‘ANY’ key. I don’t have one of those.” Simple enough. “Press your space bar, the letter “A” It doesn’t matter.”

“Hi! This here XYWrite is telling me to press the NEXT button. I ain’t seeing that.”
Again, analogous to, “Enter,” and simple to fix.

But along with the weird WORD 6.0 for MAC O/S (which no longer exists) which was probably the worst program ever, the AmiPro, Word Pro, Lotus 123, Word Perfect, (now owned by Corel) there was one product that we. Never. Figured. Out. If we ever did, and were able to execute the damned thing, it probably would have blown up the entire Universe. We spent months on it. Not a bunch of engineers all out. It was this one call, one guy. I didn’t even get the call.

But we spent weeks trying to get an answer for this guy. He was trying to install something. Some kind of Word processing program. It was probably so old it was used back in the days when you had to turn on the computer and install the brain before you could use it. That was some rockin’ shit back then. 1984, I remember kind of seeing those at the University of Michigan along with the Halloween screens. High tech, cutting edge.

This poor schlemiel is stumped because he can’t find the “Go” key. Sounds kind of like “Enter,” only “Enter” isn’t working. We actually had the manual for that software package. It, by God said to press the “Go” key, only there’s no fucking GO key. We start calling other offices, we’re trying to get a hold of the manufacturer, which is no longer in business; they’ve been eaten up by MicroShit. We. Never. Solved. It. So, I put that one in the Unsolved case.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Last night after JC and I had gotten through flinging furniture around our tiny living room and bedroom; well, okay, we didn’t really “fling;” more like heaved and tugged and pulled muscles we forgot existed, we were sitting on “our” patch of the front porch. The neighbors do tend to be a bit on the excitable side. It may have something to do with having to live next to us, specifically me.

I tend to strew excitement and confusion wherever I go. I try to cool it on the discord, although I can sow some of that should the occasion warrant it.  For instance, last spring, our Neighboress blabbed in Espańol or Rumanian or Martian, to our landlord that we had a cat and that her fleas had gotten into her house, which was a patent lie. So, our landlord came over and asked, very politely, that we not feed strays in his broken English/Espańol/Hebrew/Neptunian on the porch, because said fleas were getting in Neighboress’ house.

I started crying, and went inside to sulk. JC, ever the peace keeper agreed and that was that. For a week or so, we fed Mama out in the back yard, where now EVERYONE could see her. A while later, I caught neighboress by herself and feeling pretty low-impulse-y and feral I hissed at her and put “The Curse of Chupacabra” on her; an ancient curse full of yowl and Klingon-like guttural language which I had just made up right then, complete with hand gestures.

I Curse You... With My Friendship

We’ve had no more problems about the cat since. Oh, the occasional misunderstandings of the sort where Mr. Neighboress revs his engine for an hour and burns the already burnt rings. Poor thing is not a mechanic. He does lots of work for the landlord, and I suspect it is because he is patching together a living to keep a roof over their heads. They’ve lived next door for 12 years. Now they’re living next to us. Ay-yi-yi.

We’d noticed, that recently, his driving had been getting more erratic and he wasn’t working as much. Because of the language barrier and because I know they’re trying to maintain some semblance of dignity (his brother shows off his cars, SUVs; one of those) although we notice, we pretend not to. Our Mama cat had fun tearing up their rug (!) and I decided it was high time the whole porch got a new look. It cost me all of 12 bucks and everyone got new rugs. Even the cat has a rug. Everyone's ready. 

That’s made it easier for Neighboress-Chupacabra to accept Mama who lounges around on the porch now, like she’s the Queen of Sheba. Anyway, I digress. So, Mr. Neighboress comes peeling into the driveway last night about 90 miles per, executing a 90° left turn and never slowing down, all the way to the back and screech! Stand on those non-existent brakes! He’s already taken out part of the gate, which he repaired for Mr. Landlord. He scraped one side of his ailing little car, which should just be given last rites already, it sounds that bad. They struggle, but they do not back up, or ask for handouts. These are proud people.

Slam! Slam, go the car doors! They both come tearing out of the car, and up on the porch, where we are relaxing and watching Mama sit on her ever-spreading ass. She is so sweet and calm since we had her spayed. She watches the neighbors. Odd; she doesn’t run off as she normally does when they drive into the yard.

Mrs. Neighboress makes motions to my eyes and her husband’s eyes. “¿Uno poquito Espanol, si?” “Da, ja, si” Shit. “¡Si, muy poquito!” She proceeds to tell me, as near as I can understand, that her husband who after his cameo appearance, darts in the house, has developed “cataractas,” like my eyes. She’s telling me something else that I’m not getting, as well, because apparently, he has to spend 5 days in the hospital and they will both be gone. 

But I cannot tell what the other condition is. She asks very politely, would we please watch the house. JC and I have discussed this before; of course we will, as we know they would for us. We exchange phone numbers. Later, JC explains to me that Mr. Neighboress made the ASL (American Sign Language) motion for "surgery," across his eyes. 

We both start laughing, uncontrollably. She’s shaking from fright; she cannot drive. Her husband insisted on driving home, after dark. I remember doing that just before I had my cataracts diagnosed. God looks after fools, for real. Then, she hands me the paper and pen and I’m trying to write down our phone number. It’s just as shaky. We just looked at each other and laughed. Mama was sitting between our feet looking up. Some curse, eh?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

ROW 80 POST 25 Sunday Check in - DA CAPO

“Da Capo,” is a musical term as I know it. From the Italian, “the head,” or “from the beginning.” In music, a da capo sign somewhere near the bottom of a piece of music, meant that we went allll the way to the top and started over. I was down with that. When we got to the “del segne al codas” and what nots, that was the sign for me to get lost. Lazy copywrites back in the day used these signs. Musicians stayed lost in the notes and pages which, in some cases, resembled the worst days of spaghetti programming ala COBOL. I digress.

That is not how I am using “da capo” here. I mentioned earlier in the wayback time, and boy, howdy, does it seem like the wayback time, that I would be re-posting from of my earlier pieces. “Fairyback,” from ABC’s “Once Upon A Time,” is the term used when they jump from now to the fairy tales, in days of yore.  There are “Lost” jumping back in time revelations; now, in season 4, they are moving ahead into the future. The structure is becoming complicated, but not so much that you can’t keep up. I digress and I fear sometimes that I cannot keep up with my own story.

Therefore, I must start at the beginning. This is one of the very earliest posts I made when I first created the “Homeless Chronicles in Tampa” Blog. We really did this. Everyone had some type of ID and they were all horrible. You could look be movie-star gorgeous and still end up a troll on these pictures. If you think about it, that takes a special kind of talent right there. But the dear people of (fill in the blank) State of Florida Agency, go one better. They not only have schools for said photographers, they now have cameras that make you look horrible!

Yes! You can have had a great night’s sleep, put on make up, combed your hair, look like a million bucks, tooled up to the DMV in your Mercedes wearing Gucci and these cameras will make you look fat, toothless, ratty, drunk and strung out on crack. Technology is a wonderful thing. Read on:

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 decide to do a bit of sprucing up on Nebraska Avenue and start 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 where the finished products are this horrid. 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 be legally blind; 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. Do not let the kids or pets see these pictures; they are lethal. Do not view around houseplants; they may catch fire. 


Why Violas Shouldn't Draw...

The IDs were truly awful, my drawing actually looks better than the ID did. The ID was then stolen by the crack ho my former roommate was allowing to come into our house. I, like an idiot trusted former roomie’s judgment. Well, I learned. I’m still pissed about that ID though. You had to see it to believe it. 
One of the things I’ve learned from my homeless and now I guess we could call it “marginal” existence: at any socio-economic strata you have people who abuse the system. I’m not talking about the poor, sad people with wet brains from a lifetime of alcohol abuse. I’m talking about the psychopaths and the sociopaths who deliberately game the system and people for their own pernicious egos and so they never have to lift a goddamned finger.

If I have to chase off one more grifter or stare down one more chucklehead that I’ve had to tell off 8 times already, I’m going to start spilling blood. These bastards just won’t get it. Notice I said “won’t,” not “don’t.” There are people out here who can’t get the help they need because these lazy, self-centered douchenuggets have never worked a day in their lives and refuse to get up and even try to look for a goddamned job.

It’s because of shiftless, idle fucked-up-ed assholery like this that we have shit like the Oligarchical pretensions of Romney, Bain Capital and the Republican Senators who decided to do everything they could to try and hinder an economic recovery in early 2009. So, we have assholes at both ends of the spectrum. It’s just raining assholes everywhere! Asshole alert! 60% chance of assholes! Well, from the head to assholes! Groovy. I think I just ranted my way through the alimentary canal.

Since we're on a roll... Cacocracy