Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

happy heart, tired feet

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What a fabulous day! I froze my nips off, going with Porkchop for eggs. Got six.

Came home, made a duck egg, goat cheese and green chili omlette, with a tomato and three tortillas.

Wore my black, denim skirt. It's got beads sewn on one side, near the hem, in the shape of a flower. I just finished adding elastic to the sprung waist band. Wore my black petticoat under it. Wore my red, flannel shirt with little mallards printed on it. Wore a brocade vest. Quite dapper, if not trendy...cuz of the petticoat. But I LOVE petticoats! Screw style! LOL

Went back to the radio station early, so I could get me a breakfast pastry.

Worked the phones for three hours.

Then I started editing my commentary, "give as good as you get," posted below.

Recorded the sound file, edited it. Leslie was impressed that I already know how to edit.

Waited around to hear the evening news broadcast and to get some dinner. Tonight, they had spicy chicken, corn mush, mixed vegetables and giant strawberries.

When I walked up, I pointed to the mush and said, "what's this? Mush?"
Someone said, "it's polenta.

I said, "that's what I said: mush. 'Polenta' is just what Italian hillbillies call it."

I've asked that the leftovers be refrigerated tonight, so I can take them home tomorrow.

We had a Pasta Salad Trajedy today: the leftovers from LAST night got left out all night, and were thrown away before I could rescue them!

I had 3 slices of health food pizza, salad, candy, salsa and chips for lunch! And I put away 3 more of those health food colas.

I'm eatin'! LOL

Somenone at the station is asking about me. This is a person who may be able to authorize $ to employ me as an editorial assistant in News. I probably shouldn't even be writing this yet. Who knows if there's money in the budget, if it's bureaucratically possible, if other people want me under foot everyday...etc.

But the fact that people are asking about me as a potential employee is VERY gratifying! It means the world to me that I'm even under consideration.

As I walked the halls after the news broadcast, people in the halls complimented me on my commentary. Native American women called it "beautiful." White dudes called it "right on."

But the best was Renee, the news director. She's fussy. She's blunt. She scares the hell out of me. And she's been so sick, I don't think that helps her temperment.

She said it was fine writing, really good. She said it several times.


So, I don't know whether to laugh, cry or drop dead of exhaustion.

I owe my blogs lots of work, but I'm sooo tired, I don't know if I'll get it done.

I'm in so much pain. My eyes don't focus well.

But my dog wiggled his butt off when I got in the house. The cats are hovering near by, glad I'm home.

A friend's going to loan me a chain saw, so I can cut down that @#$%^!!! salt cedar in the empty lot. I'm planning to plant my garden next week.

I went to a nice concert with them last night, at Keller Hall, at UNM. A friend of his was having his composition performed there. It was a symposium...what ever that means...of New Mexico composers.

There were some pieces that just didn't work for me, but all of them were interesting. Some made me stifle giggles. Especially one that was short piano pieces. They didn't seem to have a beginning or an end. It was like turning on a radio for a few minutes and turning it back off in the middle of a piece. I later said I thought that's what it would sound like if ee cummings wrote music for Warner Brothers cartoons! Stu's friend's piece was really interesting and quite beautiful.

I play complained all night. I was dressed nicely, but wearing my heavy-foam-soled bedroom slippers, cuz my feet hurt so bad from standing on the scooter so much.

I am such a savage about public spaces anymore. Stinky buildings, distracting noises (like a cell phone and a breathing machine) drove me crazy.

One woman was dressed in a raggedy, fur jacket. At first, I said it was squirrels. She was wearin a weird, flannel skull cap. She was very skinny. Her whole outfit was very wacky. She reminded me of something...finally, I got it! She looked like the Ice Man, that mummified, bronze age body they found way up on the Alps.

Every time I looked at her, I cracked up.

I noticed everything. It was fun.

I apologized to Stu and Joey for complaining so much, and being grouchy, to which Stu said, "that was grouchy?"

THAT was a relief! I was afraid they thought I didn't appreciate the invitation and the experience.

But they got it.

At some point, during an intermission, as I was whining about something and making jokes about it, I asked Joey, "ain't I a fun date?" and we both cracked up.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Give as good as you get

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I lived, for a year, in the town of New Pekin, Indiana. It's about forty miles north of Louisville, Kentucky. The population was about 11,334: 9,000 coon dogs and 1,334 people.

We had no access to the Washington County Public Library, because our alderman wouldn't pay the fee for our district. The cable tv company didn't reach New Pekin.

The Louisville Courier Journal wasn't delivered that far. There was only a small, eight-page, local paper: more classified ads and high school sports scores, than anything else.

These were small minded, gossip-riddled people. They were dangerous; Pekin (unknown to me when I move there) is an historically Ku Klux Klan town.

I would have lost my mind without the faded signal of the local NPR and PBS affiliates, wafting over farms and fields, from Louisville.

Yet I stood in my garden, planting corn, and heard Nelson Mandela take the podium in South Africa to become its President. Just as the ceremony finished, a solar eclipse rolled over my head and pinhole dots in leaf shadows betrayed a crescent bite the moon took out of the sun.

Voices in exquisite harmony sang the previously-outlawed African National Congress song, "Nkosi sikelel' iAfrika!," now blended with the old, into the new National Anthem of South Africa.

I leaned on my hoe, sweat and dirt on my brow, corn seeds bulging my pockets, and wept openly.

A man who spent twenty seven years on Robbin Island, just for wanting the opportunity for his people to participate fully in their nation, was now their President. South African Air Force jets, the commentator described, flew overhead, spreading plumes of smoke in colors of yellow, green, black and red: the new national colors.

It was a miracle from Africa, wafting through the muggy air of a miserable town, into my ears and straight through my heart.

That's public broadcasting.

We are living in the most dangerous times I can remember. This is more insideous than Viet Nam, Nixon, El Salvador, Reagan.

And it's not foreign terrorism that threatens us nearly as much as the reactionary forces which seem hell-bent to play right into the terrorists' hands, using exactly their same tactics, but on a scale of which they'd never dreamed.

Our schools, media, churches, military services and even -- thanks to pharmeceutical companies -- our minds are being McDonaldized at an alarming rate.

I don't want to live in Pekin, Indiana anymore! I don't want to be surrounded by people whose only conversations include what's on sale at wal*mart, who's getting arrested, who's having sex with whom!

I passed a blossoming apple tree the other day. It was half dead, so I dismissed it.

I thought about that, later. I went back to that tree recently and apologized for not seeing it, not acknowledging its beauty and the urgent life flushing forth in its blossoms.

It's not half dead; it's half alive! And it's gorgeous!

These dangerous times are scaring me. I feel desperate, overwhelmed, insignificant. I'm seeing what's dead, and not acknowledging what's alive.

I struggle not to feel bitter and defeated. I work to convert my anger into action.

But I started thinking about what has improved, beyond my best fantasies, during my lifetime.

On my tv recently, I saw Gays and Lesbians get real marraige licenses.

I'm old enough to remember when so-called "laws" against biracial marriages were revoked!

I remember when single women couldn't get credit.

I was part of an Underground Railroad, taking desperate, pregnant women to illegal -- but safe -- abortions, before Roe vs. Wade. And that was in Los Angeles, California, not Pekin, Indiana!

I remember when people who recycled were considered kooks! Curbside recycling? Solar and wind power? Humane animal shelters? Those were pie-in-the-sky fantasies when I was a young woman!

Bilingual classes didn't exist. And Latino kids were tracked into vocational training, if they weren't out-right labeled "mentally retarded," for speaking Spanish.

American History classes only taught about the wealthy white male property owners. Teachers would laugh in my face, when I'd ask if they taught Black, Chicano, Gay, Native American or women's studies at their schools.

Disabled people were literally shut in. There were no ramps or curb cuts. Motorized wheel chairs and other prosthetics that facilitate independence were novelties. It was assumed the disabled wouldn't work, couldn't go to school, weren't able to participate fully in life!

Yes, we're living in frightening times.

But many things have changed for the better.

And they changed because people communicated. Systems like Community Radio, Public Television, Cable Community Access, the Internet -- even pirate radio -- brought good ideas from diverse communities into the homes, cars, schools and, in my case, gardens, of ordinary people.

They don't just broadcast complaints, either. They broadcast proposals for practicle and pragmatic solutions.

I am not powerless. I am not helpless. I am not ignorant. I can change the world.

By supporting KUNM, I'm resisting this phenomenon of McDonaldization, just as every non-genetically-modified-organism seed I plant in my garden is a revolutionary act.

I don't have to kill anybody. I don't have to terrorize. I don't have to destroy or steal property. Nobody gets deprived so others can prosper.

Supporting KUNM is a life affirming act.

That bedraggled apple tree, with its withered limbs and peeling bark, threw out hundreds of blossoms this year on its living side. And I saw a butterfly nourishing from it.

Do we want Pekin, Indiana? Or do we want Life, an opportunity to participate fully in our nation?

We are so priviledged in this country: we can still vote, we can still speak; we can still read; we can still educate ourselves; we can still eat; we can still have faith.

Please, support what supports you. Be part of the solution. Bloom.

Thank you for supporting KUNM.

This is Rogi Riverstone


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I ate: sweet roll, 3 slices of pizza, spinich salad, salsa and chips, four soda pops and a cuppa coffee. burp.

I shoulda signed up for SUPPER duty! They get food from a rotisserie grill! sounds like bbq chicken, to me! I'm volunteering tomorrow over in news, so I should b there in time for supper! LOL.

Worked with Enid and Caroline, both older women, very smart and frisky.

It was too SLOOOOOW! Yall need to PLEDG TO YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY RADIO STATIONS!!!!! You want ALL your info from Clear Channel, Fox and Disney????!!!!!

Mr. Dawson's on. He has the sexiest bedroom voice. And I told him so at the station today. He blushed like a white girl! LOL. He's like hot cocoa, on a bitter cold night. He's warm and smooth and loving and comforting and soothing and just slightly decadent.

I'm very tired. 2 trips to the U today and all that cooking and cleaning yesterday. I do believe I've earned a nap, even if I miss Mr. Dawson's show.

It's an achingly beautiful afternoon. Butterflies, tulips, apple blossoms, wisteria, baby green grass, nests....it's just fabulous.

I wish I had more energy; I'd be out there, in it. But I neeeeeeed to SLEEEEEP!

Don't steal the silverware while I'm out, ok?

eggs, eggs, eggs!

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Found 10 more fresh eggs. That means I have a total of 22, for the past 3 days. I'll eat some, feed some to the animals and I'm saving up some for Food Not Bombs next week; I want to make French toast, cuz they get a LOT of bread and seem to score plenty of soy milk. I'll make a fruit compote to go with it and there's powedered sugar, too. They have a real grill at Project share, so I'll cook the toast on that.

BUT! I also found a NEST! I'm not going to tell you where it is, cuz local people read this blog, too, and I don't want them pilfering my egg stash.

But I found a hen, setting 15 eggs. It's in a place I walk past, every day, while I'm egg hunting. But she had it so well hidden, you really couldn't see it. Porkchop found her, setting. I felt guilty about it, but I robbed the nest. If I can find it, someone else could, too. These are chicks now; disturbing the eggs would be killing.

So, I dragged their stinky butts home and put them in my incubator with my others. I'm now incubating about 25 babies. good lord....

I'll try to sell some chicks, when they hatch. They'll be imprinted on me, so they'll make good pets.

It's seven thirty now. I'm frozen solid. Porky's back in bed with his nose under the covers.

I'm gonna make me some egg tacos for breakfast, after I take my shower. I'm going to fry an apple with cinnamon, honey and butter, too. I'm only using one egg; there's free food at the radio station! LOL

I talked with a maintainance guy today. He gets free burritos from a shop on campus. He will meet me at the duck pond around nine and give me some. Soon as he found out how much I work for food, he volunteered them.

So, I'm feeling a lot more secure about food.

Between the eggs, Food Not Bombs, and leftover burritos, I could save up my food stamps for cost-prohibitive stuff. It would be nice to be able to afford soy flour, whole grains, fresh produce, more condiments, etc.

Plus, I'm getting ready to garden.

Winter is always hard: there just isn't much food. Especially after xmas; people stop donating to food pantries.

Well, time to shower, breakfast and head to the station. I'll c u L8terz


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It really has been a long time since I drank coffee! I had a cup of espresso this morning and ...buzzzzzzzzzzzz.

It's not a very comfortable feeling. It didn't help me wake up as much as it made my muscles jumpy.

It's official; I'm an old lady: both weed and coffee are too strong for me anymore.

If people actually drink more than one espresso in a day, it's no wonder everybody's so aggressive and grumpy!

I'm getting ready to throw on some clothes and go to the duck pond for eggs. It's almost 6am. I need to get there before 7, when the maintainance crews get there.

But I'd rather lay here in this bed with my pile of cats and my stinky farting dog.

He'll like going, though. And I'm not going to take him with me when I work the phone rooms at KUNM later.

So, I'll get my sorry butt out of this bed in a couple of minutes and go.

It's cold out there, for one thing. But it'll be toasty once the sun comes up.

I need to shower today, but that'll wait until we get back.

I had my plum and pear with some goat cheese last night. What a treat: 2 servings of fruit at one sitting! I could get used to that!

Ah! I heard the word, "fundraiser," for the first time on the radio this morning. KUNM is out of t-shirts and coffee mugs. I guess, as a premium for pledging, we could promise not to drive by their houses and throw rocks at their windows?


Sunday, March 28, 2004

don't get no better'n dis

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Listening to "Singing Wire," Native music, on KUNM. Every Sunday, noon to 4, Mountain Time. It's just about over now, tho.

Had me TWO double espressos, made with that pinon coffee (ground, whole beans), organic molasses sugar and REAL foamed cream (bought some pints on sale and froze em).

It's been four hours since I ate my bowl of soup and my pudding, and I still ain't hungry!

I can eat as much as I want, all week long! I don't have to scrimp and ration!

PLUS, since I'm volunteering, answering phones for KUNM's pledge drive 5 days this week...DURING lunch hour, thank you, I'll eat lunch for free all week!

I have PLENTY of healthy, wholesome food, especially fresh produce, which is the most SCARCE food for me!!!!

I can actually eat the recommended number of servings of everything, per day!

I already feel stronger and happier, just from the 3 egg pancake and my lunch.

I can really feel the difference, when I've had enough to eat. Otherwise, I'm really tired, I get muscle cramps, and the pain in my joints is even worse than normal.

It's such a BURDEN off of me, just knowing I'll have enough to EAT!!

And it's even the end of the month!! No food stamps again for about two weeks!

AND I DIDN'T have to go to some ugly, mean bible thumping food pantry where they play Lady Bountiful and try to make you feel guilty and inferior for getting food from them.

I'm going to eat a pear and a plum in a bit.

And I can make my pancakes, etc with soy milk from now on, so I'm getting the omega 3 and the estrogen.

My house smells toasty from espresso.

It was so gratifying, hangin with those kids and the homeless ppl. Nobody thinks I'm crazy or weird. They all understood me and respected me. ONe of the ladies in line said, "aren't you the lady who drives that bright scooter?" I don't know WHERE she knew me from! Apparantly, I gave her a cigarette once...

I haven't had coffee in about a month. So four shots of espresso has me bushy tailed. Which is good, since I was awful tuckered from three hours of cooking. I've been up since four thirty. By now, I should be konked out, napping.

But I'm listening to "This American Life," which is a GREAT program. I'm in my old lady caftain: kinda African wood block batiked, with an embroidered yoke. I wear it as a house dress; I've got 3 of em.

I never wear them out on the streets. Used to, but I stopped.

However, I've got some ideas about restoring my wardrobe back to my previous style. I used to wear lots of bangles, day glow and tropical colors, embroidery, etc. I have some Mexican skirts I wanna fix up. I have a tulle petticoat I wanna make a waist band for. I think it'd b kewl, puttin' around on my scooter, wearing '50s Mexican, '60s African, etc....

I miss being who I am. I didn't DARE dress my style in the War Zone.

I can't stand plain clothes! Just cuz I'm old and fat don't mean I can't enjoy my clothes!


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Food Not Bombs was a GREAT idea! Thank intelligence I got that dang scooter!

I made Beggars' Stew: basically, everything I could throw in a pot.

I call it Jesus Soup, cuz it's so thick, you can walk on it!

Soy milk, several cans of cream of mushroom and vegetable soups, chicken broth, lentils, brown rice, LEEKS!!!, squash, portabella mushrooms, several kinds of pasta.

I made over five gallons.

I made dumplings for it from some baking mix and soy milk, with chicken seasoning, parsley, black pepper and basil. I had enough left over I made a pan biscuit and cut it into two dozen pieces.

Then, I made peach flan. Health food pudding mix, soy milk and a can of pureed sweet potatoes. Put 3 cans of peaches and apricots in it. Reduced the canning juices to syrup with some mollasses sugar for caramel sauce. Sprinkled with waffle icecream cone crumbs and powdered sugar!

Everything I made was full of protein and vitamins, without meat...except for the chicken broth.

Others made: salad, guacamole, fresh baked tortilla chips, millet, stir fried vegies and rice, corn bread and apple cherry compote.

I brought home half a gallon of soup, a small package of pinon coffee, the rest of the sugar, fruit and vegetables, two cartons of soy milk, a bottle of teriaki marinade, a couple dozen corn tortillas, and two leeks.

I FORGOT to bring home four loaves of bread, instant chai tea, more fruits and vegies. Dang!

I had a BALL! We got there at 9, cooked, and arrived at Civic Plaza before noon. We served about two dozen homeless people, who really loved everything...we're all good cooks! Talked, laughed, told jokes, and generally goofed around.

Then, we packed the dirty dishes, went back to Project Share and cleaned up.

It's all a fabulous bunch of young people. I don't think anybody there was thirty. I was the old fart.

They're hard working, committed kids who believe so much in social justice, they actually DO something about it! Every week, rain, snow or shine, they haul enough food to Civic Plaza to feed the homeless on SUndays. They scavange dumpsters, accept donations from stores. They're good souls.

I gave my little neighbor girl, who lives in front of the empty lot, a batch of the soup. She said it actually sounds really good. She's sick, so this'll help. Home cookin', wholesome grub, easy to throw in the microwave.

So, that was my day.

You bet your butt I'll be back next week!

I had a fabulous time!


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I forgot to tell a story about what happened to me last night.

I went to my Volunteer training class at KUNM. It starts at 5 and ends at 7.

By then, of course, it's dark. It's Saturday night, which is always scary, cuz the drunks are out. And, for the most part, the campus is deserted. I go through student housing and, except for a few people who've stayed home to drink and have sex, it' completely empty.

And I know there are homeless alcoholics who hang out on campus.

Plus, I'm scared of drunk, college boys. They can be vicious.

So, I always try to get through campus as quickly as possible. As scary as it is, it's still better than surface streets and drunk drivers.

So, I put Porkchop in the trailer and drove as fast as I could. I don't have very good night vision, so I can't go full throttle, because I wouldn't see debris or potholes quickly enough to avoid them.

Here we go, putting across campus, through student housing, past the duck pond, toward the Yale Street exit.

As I'm approaching the exit, a group of people is walking in the mall. I don't know why: class? meeting? party? whatever.

At first, they didn't hear me approach from behind them; they were all talking. Usually, my little motor makes enough racket, people turn to look at what's coming.

I got right abreast of them before they saw me. They started laughing, of course, because I'm probably the most startling thing they've seen in at least a week.

Then one guy sees Porkchop in the trailer. He shouts to the others, "LOOK! She's pulling a PIG in that basket!"

I laughed the whole way home. I'm still laughing.

This morning, Porky and I went to the pond REALLY early, just after 7am. I wanted duck eggs, before someone else got them.

We were completely alone. I let go of Porky's leash and let him wander. He didn't dash away, like he would have in the old days. He circled the pond, pranced on the grassy berms, sniffed duck nests, drank and waded in the shallow end, and generally behaved like a sane and healthy dog.

I'd found a dog toy in the street on the way: 2 tennis balls, attached to a handle. It's called a ball bone.

I threw it for him several times. He ripped and ran in circles, charging at me, holding it in his mouth. He'd lay in the grass and gnaw on it. He'd growl at me, if I tried to swipe it from him, but it was a happy growl.

We've only had the scooter running again for about 2 weeks. Porky's been trotting at my side almost daily, about three miles.

Already, his gut is tighter and today I actually saw a rib for the first time since I rescued him!

He's bright eyed, bushy tailed and happy as hell to be well exercised and stimulated by the outside world.

In about ten minutes, I'm driving solo down to Food Not Bombs. I'm going to help cook today's meal for the homeless people at Civic Plaza, in exchange for some food for myself.

I'm not taking Pork; it's a long trip and it'll be hot out when I'm done. It's about 10 miles, round trip.

But I'll come home with free food.

Got 11 eggs at the pond today. Actually had to move some brooding hens to gather the eggs in their nests.

Came home and made me a great "pancake." 3 duck eggs, about 1/4 c flour, vanilla and milk, in a cast iron skillet, covered. I warmed butter, a little pancake syrup and pineapple juice, with a slice of pineapple, in the microwave. I put the pancake on top of the syrup, then flipped it, so both sides got some.

Osa, my carbohydrate cat, drove me nuts, until I gave her crusts of pancake to eat.

It was a cross between a sweet omlette and a German pancake, but cooked on the stove, instead of in the oven.

I wanted a full belly before I go to Food Not Bombs.

Saturday, March 27, 2004


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Much madness is divinest sense
To the discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
'Tis the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane,
Demur, - you're straightaway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.

Emily Dickenson

I am no longer a human being

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I am a suspect. I am merely a cluster of symptoms. Every word, every gesture, every aspect of my appearance is construed as evidence that I'm a problem.

I must be processed, like an old growth redwood, milled into a manageable toothpick.

She asked me what I wanted Voc Rehab to help me with. It's all written in my application: tuition, books, parts for my scooter, medical, a computer...some other stuff, too. I figured, if they were going to ask me what I needed, I might as well tell them, and maybe I'd get a little of it.

I blinked, as she had my application in her lap and was flipping pages.

I said, "what can you do?"

"Well, I see you want a computer. What for?"

Editing sound, wordprocessing, webstering, etc.

"Well, we don't provide computers."
Then, why had she asked me why I needed one, I thought, but didn't say.

"Once I'm trained and employed, I can buy my own computer." That shut her up.

"Do you want us to help you seek employment?"

"I don't know if you CAN. But, if you can't, I can seek employement, myself, using the connections I'll be making at KUNM, UNM, the vocational school and its radio station, and elsewhere."

"Well, if you don't want us to help you find employment, maybe you should seek assistance elsewhere. Voc Rehab helps clients seek employment."

"Look, the job I want to train for is unusual; I want to be a sound editor, technician or engineer. I doubt Voc Rehab has many, if any, clients who are persuing careers in sound. So, I don't know if Voc Rehab has access to information in the field. But I'd be willing to work WITH Rehab, to develop resources in the fields of media--"

"You're getting angry. I can't talk to you."

"Don't tell me how I feel." I wasn't angry; I was terrified. This may be my last chance, and she was looking for reasons to disqualify me! And I'd only been in her office for five minutes!

"Well, you're very aggressive."

"I'm not being aggressive; I'm being assertive! I'm telling you what I need, how I hope to get there. Voc Rehab has a lot more clients who are training to be nurses' aids, dog groomers, childcare workers and file clerks than they have clients who are persuing media tech. jobs. I just don't KNOW if Voc Rehab has the resources to help me with job placement. I don't know how this place runs!"

I had never raised my voice. I had never gestured. I had merely spoken, in a normal conversational tone. But I had stated, clearly, what I needed and how I thought I might get there.

So, I must be angry and aggressive!

She asked me about my history.

I told her I was becoming so disabled in Calif that I took my mother up on her offer to move to Kentucky, where, she said, "your family can take care of you."

I explained that, within six weeks, I was in a homeless shelter on skid row, in a strange city, almost three thousand miles from everyone and everything I'd ever known, surrounded by addicts and fundamentalist bible thumpers, alone.

I explained that, no matter what I did, I could not get any medical people to test me and find out why I was in so much pain.

I explained that, at one point, while homeless, I'd practiced killing myself with a friend's gun.

I voluntarily checked myself into a mental hospital the next day.

SHe wrote something on a pad.

I said, "That's all you're going to write? About the hospitalization? Nothing about the circumstances which lead to the suicide attempt? Nothing about the physical pain?"

She coldly told me the physical aspects do not affect my relationship with Voc Rehab, since I was in the office which handles psychiatric disablilities.

All she cared about was how I fit into diagnoses in the DMS4, the manual of pinning people with diagnoses of mental illnesses.


She suggested a "case manager." These are people who inspect your home, manage your finances and medications, tell you where to go and what to do. They ONLY provide services -- such as transportation to medical/dental visits, shopping, etc. or information about how to hook up with such resources as low income housing, etc. -- if the client is totally compliant.

I saw a "client," Paul, in the War Zone catch hell from his worker for...are you ready for this?....raising a tomato plant in a coffee can on his porch! She said it was dirty and attracted roaches.

Do you think I want someone like THAT in my HOME???

AND, I'd be FORCED to take mind-altering chemincals. If I did NOT comply with their meds., I'd be disqualified as uncooperative.

I explained this to her, but she wouldn't hear me.

Now, I've waited TWO MONTHS for this appointment. A relevent class begins at TVI, down the street from me, in April.

But I have to wait until after May 10th for a four hour "psychological examination." This isn't a conversation with a therapist. This is a prefabricated series of hoop jumpings which they actually believe will give them the info they need to "help" me.

It won't work, of course. They'll come up with some diagnosis that satisfies them and pidgeonholes me for their convenience. Any person, off the street, could be diagnosed with any number of syndromes, disorders, neuroses, pathologies if they underwent the test. That's what the test does: it defines you as a symptom. Period. It doesn't offer constructive criticism, options or help. It merely processes the individual into a Problem To Solve.

There's a poster on the wall at Voc Rehab. It shows Van Gogh and three other, intelligent, famous people. Underneath, it reads, "be an original." I wondered about that poster, when I'd first walked in. I doubted they meant it. I expected it was mere lip service.

It was.

As I started to leave, I noticed my bus transfer was up. I asked for a bus token. State agencies are supposed to provide them to all clients. They were out, but had some on order.

I said, "it's a five mile walk to my house."

Nobody cared, and resumed their conversations, done with me.

Fortunately, the bus drive accepted my useless transfer, and I came home.

I don't know if I can do this.

Friday, March 26, 2004

it's a class thang

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Before I begin, I need to clarify a vocabulary issue. "Hispanics," to me, are middle class and above yuppies. They like to wave their Spanish lineage as some sort of banner of honor. Given the history of the Spanish in New Mexico, I find this disturbing.

"Chicanos" are Latino natives, who've always lived here. They're racially probably more Indian than Spanish. They're working class, mostly. They're relaxed and comfortable with themselves and not easily threatened.

Hispanics are nervous nellies, with chips on their shoulders and something to "prove."

These are MY definitions, for purposes of MY writing. I do NOT presume to define people for themselves. I'm merely making this distinction to make it easier to understand ME.

I distrust Hispanics. My experiences with them have ALL been negative, oppressive and often terrifying.

I LOVE Chicanos, Latinos, Cholos, Mexicans (and other Latin immigrants). I've learned a lot from them and consider quite a few of them trusted friends. I respect their resourcefulness and creativity immensely. In the War Zone, they're basically brown skinned hillbillies. I understand them, enjoy their company and share their values.

Now for my story.

Since I put all the glittery stuff on my scooter, I've felt nervous around the university area. I hear too many stupid and abusive remarks, relative to the number of compliments and positive comments.

Today, I blew the rest of my money on a carton of cigarettes at the Pueblo Cultural Center.

It's a long trip: three hours by bus or two by scooter.

I got really brave and took the scooter. I left Porkchop at home. I didn't want to risk having to haul him in the trailer for long distances. And I knew I'd be so worried about breakdowns, I'd be impatient with him.

The Center is in the North Valley, which used to be a series of small, Latino villages and farms. It's all incorporated into Albuquerque, and vast tracts of former desert land has been developed into working class housing.

EVERYWHERE I stopped, people came up to the scooter and asked questions. NOBODY thought I was weird or crazy. They ALL thought the scooter was a brilliant idea, funny as hell, and imaginative.

They all know about Mexican vehicles, decorated to the gills with all manner of stuff.

Without exception, every Native and Latino person who spoke to me today was encouraging, supportive and impressed by my scooter and trailer contraption! And they loved hearing my stories about it: from how I pull Porky in the back when he gets tired of trotting beside it to my adventures with flat tires and carbeurator adjustments.

And they completely got why it's so gawdy and covered with stuff I've found in the trash.

I had MORE FUN talking with total strangers today than I've had in a LONG time!

That's it; just wanted to record that and thank the working people of color in the North Valley of Albuquerque for giving me such a wonderful and healing day.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

how can u help when u don't see me?

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I was absolutely right about Voc. Rehab.

It was a nightmare. I nearly paniced.

I can't write about it now, but I will later.

She scared me so badly, it ain't funny.

Leslie, at KUNM, is helping me find out about the NM Film Board...or whatever it's called...which wants to train ppl. for the film industry. Gov. Richardson thinks Hollywood will come here. THey're gonna need trained crews for movies, tee vee, etc. If I do sound, I can do anything, even (especially!) radio.

I have a lot of paperwork and hoops to jump. I'm a bug under a magnifying glass. And, so far, all observers are hyper critical and looking for excuses to pull the plug on me.

WHat a cruel system: We'll help your unemployed, worthless, gimp ass, unless you're too unemployed, worthless, and gimpy.

And THEY define EVERYTHING! No dialogue; take it or leave it. Sink or swim. Cold blooded bureaucrats, leaching off the vulnerable. They don't give a rat's ass whether I starve, as long as I match their statistics.

I'm sooooooooooooooooooooooo sad!

I'm up

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Barely. I'm creaky this morning and my poor ol' body just wants to cuddle with a pile of cat meat and sleep.

But I have my appointment with Vocational Rehabilitation at 9, and don't want to miss it.

I'm taking the bus, just to make sure. If I miss the appointment, my name goes back to the bottom of the waiting list for intake, and I'll have to wait two more months or more.

I have all my paperwork ready: application, documentation, etc.

I'm dreading this. I expect to be treated in a condescending manner. I expect not to be believed. I expect to have my accomplishments and talents viewed as "delusions of grandeur." I expect to have to resist their attempts to channel me into manual labor. I expect hair splitting.

I'm even afraid of possible home visits. They've asked for directions to my home. I expect that, if someone comes here, I'll get flack for my art and gardening supplies and tools, my cats, etc.

In other words, I expect to be examined by a critical eye, obsessed with minutae, just waiting for an opportunity to drop me through the cracks and leave me hanging.

This isn't paranoia; I've dealt with Voc. Rehab. before.

Still, if I CAN jump through all the hoops and avoid all the obstacles, I may get some real job training, medical, transportation, etc.


It's time for me to shower; my hair needs to be dry before I get on the bus.

I've turned the eggs, made a new pot of tea and done some other piddly chores already. After my shower, I'll breakfast, while my hair dries.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

duck eggs

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I have a nice, little clutch of duck eggs, incubating. I lined an old Easter basket with a plastic bag, under which I placed a warming stone (used in terraria, for reptiles). On top, I put a damp towel and positioned the eggs all around the edge of the basket. I covered them with a dry towel.

They're good and warm. I think I have close to a dozen.

Now, every time I go to the duck pond, I'm looking for eggs to EAT, not hatch! Only found one today, darn it.

It's fun, hunting eggs. The dog thinks it's boring, but whatever.

I take egg cartons with me, to protect them 'til I get them home.

Had a duck egg for breakfast; one of the ones I collected yesterday cracked.

Popped another inner tube today. It has a flaw in it, so I'll write the guy and see if he'll replace it for me. So, Porky and I were out late, while I replaced the tube.

I saw the saddest thing on BBC News tonight: a 14 year old Palestinian kid, with explosives strapped to his body.

He was slack jawed and looked like he wasn't quite all there. They're saying his family says he's developmentally disabled.

I couldn't tell if it was fear, adolescent stupidity, exhaustion, shock, disability or what, but he definately wasn't all there. Poor bastard.

There's another possibility: he looked drugged, possibly.

Y'know what I wish? I wish the Israelis would put him in a treatment facility, with counselling, and love him back to health.

But given the STUPID assassination of that disabled Imam, I don't think the Sharon regime can see past their own penises.

That kid is toast.

It's such a waste.

Been crying, off and on, since I saw that report.

I may have it rough, but at least I don't live in Israel...or Iraq or Afghanistan or Haiti or.....

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


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I left the station early today. Renee's back to work, and she knew I plan to come in tues, thurs around 1pm, but she wasn't there and nobody had any work for me. So I left.

As I was leaving, I saw rain in the sky to the West; didn't appear to be hitting the ground, though.

Got in, got my clothes off and food put away, covered the scooter, picked up dog poo and whomp! it started raining.

Fat plops, so it might not last too long. Fresh breeze, distant thunder, pissed-off cats, cuz they can't play out doors in the warm sun.

If it rains a lot, I'll garden this weekend in the rain softened soil. I hate wasting water, just to cultivate!

I slowly rode my scooter to 7/11 this morning, to air up the tires. Pushed against the valve stem of the new back tire and the damn thing went up inside the wheel! Couldn't pull it back out.

So, I sat on a coca cola crate and took off the brake, gears, back wheel. Took the wheel apart, fished out the damn valve stem, put everything back together. Took a long time.

Went to Smith's, who had marked down bagels and marked down chicken parts; bought some. Treated myself to 2 cans of sardines in hot sauce and a bag of pork rinds at the Dollar Store.

Drove to university.

BILLIONS of people walking around! Drove right through them, with my Tijauana Taxi contraption.

Found five duck eggs at the pond and pushed Porkchop in. He doesn't swim, voluntarily. But he's learning the pond is a great way to cool down, so he didn't mind. On the way back, he waded in up to his chest, all on his own.

He was tired! I tried to drive slow, but I just can't drive as slow as I walk. So, I put him in the cart about 3 times during the day and drove him.

Young men especially think that's funny as hell: big ass pit bull, inside a glittery cart, getting pulled around like I'm a ricshaw driver!

When I let him off his leash at the back gate, he came right in here and died on the bed. Hasn't moved since.

Cats are glad to see me. They got some pork rinds, too.

It's real rain; it's now a steady rain. And the sky's completely grey now. Looks like it could rain for awhile.

We sure need it. They're saying we're still having drought this year again; maybe one of the worst in a long time.

I'm really worried about the water situation here. I expected it to be hot and dry, but this is bad. Big ol' trees that can survive on no extra watering are dying all over town.

Bark beetles are eating the pinon pines, which are catching fire. The trees are sickly from the drought; that's why the beetles get em. It's a beetle plague out there.

I hope the weather service is wrong. I hope we get lots of rain and everything heals.

The daffodils, crocus, hyacinth and tree blossoms are fantastic. The witch's broom is blooming, too.

Nice to see people walking about in shorts and such.

Winter is hard here; spring is healing. Summer's hard, too. But, just when you think you can't stand anymore, along come the summer monsoons in late July and August.

Last year, we hardly had any monsoons, at all. There was no relief from the dry and the heat. I bet the murder rate went up. It was so miserable.

Scooter's running fine, but I need to tighten the throttle cable; it's loose.

ps: I think I'll make me some chicken fingers later, and eat em with honey mustard!

Monday, March 22, 2004


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Oh, I wish you could see my fish "pond!"

Half a whiskey barrel, with a plastic tub inside. Swamp cooler pump with 3 tubes. One goes up the base of a ceramic lamp; into an inverted lamp shade; inside a broken, red, glass, mirrored ball; into a large sea shell.

The lampshade is metal. It has 4 holes around it, through which the water falls.

Inside the lampshade, I put marbles, tiny plastic toys, polished stones and three plastic frogs, of various colors.

Another hose goes into a table top fountain in which I put small pebbles and clamb shells.

The third goes inside a plastic bottle, whose base I broke out, shaped like a dolphin. On top of the dolphin, I placed a tiny, glazed flower pot, with an abalone shell on top. The shell has polished stones inside.

Ther's also a brass bowl of polished stones and fishing bobbers that the dolphin partly pours into.

I have plastic fish from a "go fish" game. They each have a dab of styrofoam in their mouthes, so they won't sink. Each is attached to a lead sinker and a plastic "worm" lure, so they'll submerge slightly.

Around the edge of the whiskey barrel, I placed a garland of silk ivy and small river stones.


The fish are VERY happy to be in a larger container.

All my fountains are resting on a concrete block in the tub, so they can swim inside the holes.

I have floating toys Judith gave me for my birthday: a crab, some "rubber" duckies, etc.

Basically, almost the entire surface of the "pond" has something either resting or floating on it, to keep the algae down with the shade. But you can still see down into the water, where another brass bowl of pebbles and two large conch shells rest on the block.

I hung silver, glass xmas balls around the rim of the lampshade.

It's very colorful and playful, cheerful and interesting. THe more you look, the more you'll see.

It's right outside my front door, so I can hear the water from the living room. I have a plastic table and chair out there, under my shade tarp and lawn umbrella, so I can sit out there and watch.

I mean, it's really nice!

Contain Yourself!

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Nick Mamatas, Village Voice
When it comes to housing, can thinking outside the box mean
living inside a box? �Well now you can: globalization has
littered the world with 40-foot-long shipping containers.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Fractals? Fractures?

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Long day today. Gardened all morning then walked to KUNM for volunteer class.

I'm too tired to write much, but wanted you to know I got your email and to thank you.

I AM going to write a script about it: the torture experiences and wat it does to my mind when I'm alone, thinking.

I think it'll all be in my voice, multitrack recorded (so I can interrupt myself, chant in the background, etc.).

The working title is either "Fractals" or "Shattered." It'll be about my internal dialogue and all the messages I tell myself. It'll be about disassociation, etc.

At first, it'll sound confusing to the listeners; it won't seem to make any sense. But, as they go through the hour, they'll: learn how to hear the inside of my mind and they'll go through a dramatic process, to a conclusion.

I plan to do all the voices myself. I'll mix it with sound effects, too.

It'll all take place in an hour, real time.

With modern audio equipment, I can distort, speed and slow my voice 'til it sounds juvenile, masculine, etc., so it can have the different aspects of personality fractures.

I'm favoring "Fractals." Each part is a complete representative of the whole. And the whole is an enlarged version of each part.

I want the monologue/dialogue to unfurl, spiral out, like fractals do.

guess I wrote more than I intended, huh?

thx. for your support.

I need to rest.

paul said yes

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ok, I'll drop u a line when I have a finished draft. just borrowed a script from Rachel so I can learn the format pages, etc...

We're apparantly not producing any new radio theatre until after SUmmer, anyway, so there's time.

FOund me SIX duck eggs @ the pond today! got them marked w/today's date on one side, sitting in a basket, elevated over the stove pilot lite. tomorrow, I'll build an incubator out of a styrofoam cooler.

BABY DUCKS! whoo hoo!

thanks 4 yer help, buddy.



Paul Ingels

You are reading http://livinginthehood.blogspot.comI had an epiphany today, while listening to a torture survivor, interviewed on Women's Focus.

I am a torture survivor. True, it's not "political," in a conventional sense. But it was torture, anyway.

So, I'm going to ask Rachel about writing a script for Radio Theatre about it. I don't know; maybe they only take humor. Hope not.

I trust you.

Once I get a rough draft, would u mind editing it for me?

I'm also wondering if you'd be willing to consider my experience for an episode of Peace Talks. Not right now; it's too raw, and I need to process my experience in this new context.

But I THINK my experience as a scavanger and a survivor has a lot to say about peace. I think....

Again, it's too soon for me to say that.

Anyway, again, thank you SO MUCH for your kind and generous support with my button pushing.

Best wishes,


ps: I'm gonna rummage around your domain for awhile....looks like fun! The Isotopes??? LOL...boys will be boys...rr


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That was no nap; that was comatose. This is starting to worry me. It doesn't happen often . . . maybe once a week or so. But when I need to sleep, I NEED to sleep!

It's brought on by physical exhaustion. But it's not normal sleep or napping.

I tried several times to wake up, but I couldn't get up. It's really like being drugged: like when I woke on the operating table, but was paralysed and couldn't speak.

And it's more disorienting than normal sleep. I wake not remembering where I am or what I was doing before I slept.

Normal naps aren't like that.

I slept over six hours today.

It's almost 1am, and I'm ready to sleep again.

I got my last half turkey cooked today. It's still a long time before food stamps.

It's a good thing about the pledge drive food, or I won't make it.

Friday, March 19, 2004

I need a nap!

You are reading http://livinginthehood.blogspot.comEmptied out the greenhouse. All the buckets, pots, etc are in the empty lot garden, well decorated so they don't look ugly, and arranged prettily.

I've got plenty of places to plant tomatoes. I have 2 half grown cabbages! LOL

The only things left in the greenhouse are unplanted tubs that are full of water and too hard to lift and 2 pots of catnip, which I'm guarding with my LIFE! Everytime I open the greenhouse windows, I have to shoo cats.

Pulled a mess of weeds. Straightened my little, fenced yard.

Shoveled dirt into a really big pot; thinking of getting some sort of tree. Found the pot in the trash. It's heavy plastic...about 15 gallons; heavy as HELL, even with dry dirt! Lugged it from in front of my apt., where the dirt was, to allll the way into the back lot. Thank gawd for the dolly!

Washed three blankets and two loads of clothes.

Washed a Dish Sculpture.

Had a bowl of spaghetti, cheese and sardines for lunch. I know, it sounds disgusting, but it was wonderful.

Was done and in bed by noon.

I can barely move.

I'm just going to lie here the rest of the day and throb.

I got my half turkey out of the fridge to thaw. I'll cook it tonight.

I've GOT to clean out my refrigerator, but it'll wait. If I do anything else today, I'll splinter.

McDonalds tests automation to replace minimum wage workers

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The largest, most obvious lie in this article is where a McDonald's vice president says staffing won't be reduced as McDonald's adds automated order-taking machines, robotic french-fry cookers, and "vertical grill" conveyer belts.

Has the article's author never been behind the counter at a McDonald's, or never known anyone who's ever worked there? Or is he simply writing PR?

Companies like McDonald's are always, ALWAYS looking to reduce labor costs. This is not "advanced" economics, it's basic.

Anyone who imagines that McDonald's executives conceived and developed these devices primarily to improve customer service or to improve kitchen safety has no business writing about business in a major metropolitan newspaper.

When the media simply quotes a bald-faced lie without challenging it, the media is in on the lie.

Whether it's war or McDonald's, it's shoddy journalism: no different than quoting Bush and Cheney day after day, month after month claiming that the occupation of Iraq is a keystone in America's war on terrorism, or that Saddam Hussein had something to do with Sept. 11.

When obvious bull[] is quoted, unchallenged, as if it's true, this is simply laying on another layer of bull[].

In printing this article under its original headline ("Kiosks make fast food faster") and reporting corporate executives' positions without questioning such utter bull, the Chicago Tribune is flat-out lying to its readers.

� =Helen & Harry Highwater=


Thursday, March 18, 2004

looooooooooooooong day

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I left here early. Must've been just after 9am. Porky and I walked to the bank, deposited the check, headed for the radio station.

Started chopping up my commentary. After two hours of cutting and rewriting, I gave up. It was still nearly five pages, and I couldn't see what to do.

I almost packed up my stuff and left. I was an emotional case, anyway. Maybe I'm too crazy and damaged for this, I thought.

Then, Paul showed up. I thought, "this is a sweet, sincere, committed, intelligent man. Wonder if he can help?"

Paul Ingels, is his name. He pinch hit in the news dept. for awhile, because Renee's been sooo sick.

Well, he took the hard copy and agreed I should go downstairs for a cigarette, rather than driving him crazy, hovering.

When I got back, he'd fixed it.

I knew my focus was on the ambulance, because that's my point of contact with Martha Stewart.

He took out all the other tangential stories, except the xmas story.

I reworked it, reminding myself this isn't the ONLY commentary I'll get to write that references my experiences in the War Zone.

I recorded it. It was STILL over five minutes LONG! I read slowly, since I can't see too well. Besides, rushing copy reading just causes the listener to glaze over.

Renee asked to look at it. And, yes, the xmas story went. But, as she handed it back to me, she said, "shame; that's good writing." WOW! From the News Director!?! I damn near fainted!

Renee was back for the first time today. Whatever happened to her really wiped her OUT! SHe looked so different, I didn't recognize her at first. SHe was in the hospital for weeks! And home for weeks!

By now, it was ten minutes 'til air time for the evening news, and everybody was humming like hornets. And they needed the recording both for the broadcast.

So, I unpacked some of the food I'd brought, nibbled and listened to the broadcast. And I fought off tears. I've never worked SO LONG on a four minute news story before in my damn LIFE! 'course, it's not news; it's commentary. And, to make it WORSE, it's personal. And, to make THAT worse, it's the most intimate and traumatic chapeter in my life.

At 5:30, I went back to work. And there was Paul, stretched out on the sofa outside the newsroom, waiting for me to finish editing so he could show me how to put the story to "bed!"

What a sweet guy!

Marcos and Rachel both ended up emailing me. It's the sitting around, waiting, that kills me. I get anxious, especially about something this risky. I want to know it's ok or it sucks, right away. The anticipation is torture.

I thought the original was much too long, but wasn't sure. If I print it out here, at home, it'll be a really large font size, and won't give me an accurate page count. It was SIX PAGES!! LOL I can only read about three or less in three minutes!

The original, unedited, is still at the viridiana blog.

The sound file's saved in newsroom audio; the hard copy's on Renee's desk, with lead in and wrap up: the copy the newsreader says, to intro and outro the file. I'll send the copy by email to the webmaster, so he can post it on the KUNM website, or tell him where to find it on the Volunteer Room computer.

I didn't leave the station until WELL after six! I was finally home and in bed at seven thirty.

I'm too tired to eat. I didn't even finish unpacking my cart tonight!

When I got back, I found that Bob, the homeless guy, had left some fish hanging from a bag on my back gate. I'd told him I need to eat more fish. But who knows how long that had been hanging there in the spring sun?

I think it must have been frozen when he brought it, because some was still cold. It was filets, seafood cocktail, a hunk of chicken thigh (I think), and some Chinese dumplings.

I smelled it all and it was still fresh, so the cats and dog had a party tonight.

Porky didn't care. He was so tired, he walked right past the food dish and plopped in this here bed. He's got his jaw on my knee and is snoring his head off.

I don't know why he's so tired; he just lay on his blankie in the shadey grass, in front of the station all day.

It's a long walk.

I've already signed up to answer phones for the KUNM pledge drive in 2 weeks. FREE FOOD! I mean, GOURMET stuff! The underwriters of programs basically cater the fund drive, so it'll be good eats! Rachel already warned me: it'll mostly be carbs, like bagels and cakes and crap. But WHO CARES?????????????? FROO FROO FOOD!!! FREE!!!

I'm signed up to answer phones for 3 days, but I may do more, if the inner tube/tire get here soon enough, which they SHOULD! LOL.

I can't afford to subscribe. The LEAST I can do, for ten years of information, entertainment, intellectual challenge, healing, news and just plain silliness on my radio as I live my life. I never have listened to any station besides KUNM, the whole time I've lived here.

There IS no jazz here; just elevator music pop jazz crap. ONly on KUNM. There's one classical station; the signal fades badly and the COMMERCIALS are SO annoying! After a deeply moving piece, who wants to hear cowboys, screaming over country music, to sell trucks?

So, it's KUNM or it's silence. Period!

I didn't listen to my head phones as I walked through campus tonight; I didn't want to hear All Things Considered; I wanted to hear the mating birds, calling to each other in the twilight, as the spring bulbs glowed in the last ruby light of sunset.

OK, that's my day. And this post must be nearly as long as the Martha thing, by now.

I'm goig to have some Sewage of Imperialism, aka Pepsi, and a cigarette and go to friggin SLEEP!

I have CHORES this weekend, and I need to go to volunteer class this weekend!


Wednesday, March 17, 2004

how to get published?

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ugh. I wrote my commentary. You can read it at Viri Diana.

I posted it in some news groups and forums. I emailed it to the UU women's mailing list...and was UNSUBSCRIBED!! jesus.

I sent copies to Marcos and Rachel at the station, but got no reply.

So, basically, I went through all that and got no feed back.

Alone again, as usual.

But I know damn well I need to write this story of mine as a book. I have no idea how to get it published.

It was a gorgeous day. I stayed home. I cleaned up my little yard some. Mostly, I rested, because I have to walk to the bank to deposit the tire check and to the radio station to record my commentary.

Writing it took a lot out of me. I'm feeling very retraumatized. I go outside to escape being in here, but it's not safe out there. I don't want human contact when I'm in this condition. Not with strangers, anyway. And there are no friends.

I walked to the 7/11 and bought myself a damn 2 liter bottle of soda pop. Got home without any major harrassment. But just the stress of being on guard for potential hostilities from strangers is stressful enough.

I'm feeling quite stunned.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004


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Ah, home with my feet up.

I'm working on a very difficult commentary. It's a letter to Martha Stewart. But it's a letter about what happened to me, too.

When I heard Martha was convicted of lying to a federal investigator, without mirandization, without the right to having legal counsel present, etc, and obscure law, used to trip up political dissidents, terrorists, communists and the like, I blew my stack!

It's EXACTLY what happened to me, ten years ago.

So, I went to the station early, hid in the volunteer room and went to war with the computer. I brought Porky, dressed in his bikini and fairy wings, for comfort and cheer.

I did some internet research on the case.

I was there from before 11 am until after 4 pm and only managed to write a page and a half. My limit's just over three.

I think it's got to be a two part commentary. but I'm not sure. I have a lot of ground to cover, and not much time left or space.

It's exhausting, trying to find ways to tell my story without losing my mind or sounding like a raving maniac.

I emailed it to myself. I'll try to work on it tomorrow from here.

Monday, March 15, 2004

death threat

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Porky and I walked down the allies today. I had to deposit some money in my bank, s I could order a tire and tube for the scooter from paypal.

We were 2 blocks from home, an affluent area. 3 young men were in the alley, apparantly working on a car.

As we approached, their dog, unleashed, challenged Porkchop. I yelled, "NO! Go AWAY!" as loud as I could. Someone called the dog back.

We continued. Here came the dog. I took my umbrella out of my cart, in case I needed it to seperate a dog fight. I repeated, "NO! Go AWAY!" as loud as I could.

One of the men approached me, screaming obscenities, raising his fists and said he was going to kill me and ordered me to get the f---- out of there.

I proceeded down the alley, putting my body between Pork and the other dog, and continued to yell, "NO! Go AWAY!" I never turned my back to the guy.

I started screaming, "HELP! HELP!" over and over, at the top of my lungs, and the guy backed off, scared.

It took me a full five minutes to proceed 30 feet, with the guy charging at me and retreating when I screamed for help, and the dog charging at Porkchop.

When I passed, I said, "takes a real man to threaten to kill a disabled woman! You white trash! You're too irresponsible to control your own dog, you've got NOTHING to say about ME!"

I wouldn't let him say a damn thing! I just kept repeating it, over and over.

The tire and tube are ordered. I'm pooped from a long walk...about 4 miles, round trip.

Just ate spaghetti, sauce, tofu, turkey, goat & parmesan cheese.

I want my damned SCOOTER! It'll be at least another week. Tire and tube cost $32.

Someone emailed and said they're sending me $30. I'll use that for phone bill and cat and dog food.

I'm starting to think just about everybody in this town is either crazy, addicted or terminally STUPID!

Thank GAWD for that RADIO station!

Bush administration hired fake reporters to "report" on Medicare bill

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by Robert Pear, The New York Times
March 14, 2004

WASHINGTON, March 14 -- Federal investigators are scrutinizing television segments in which the Bush administration paid people to pose as journalists praising the benefits of the new Medicare law, which would be offered to help elderly Americans with the costs of their prescription medicines.

The videos are intended for use in local television news programs.

Several include pictures of President Bush receiving a standing ovation from a crowd cheering as he signed the Medicare law on Dec. 8.

The materials were produced by the Department of Health and Human Services, which called them video news releases, but the source is not identified. Two videos end with the voice of a woman who says, "In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting."

But the production company, Home Front Communications, said it had hired her to read a script prepared by the government.

Another video, intended for Hispanic audiences, shows a Bush administration official being interviewed in Spanish by a man who identifies himself as a reporter named Alberto Garcia.

Another segment shows a pharmacist talking to an elderly customer. The pharmacist says the new law "helps you better afford your medications," and the customer says, "It sounds like a good idea."
"Indeed," the pharmacist says, "A very good idea."

The government also prepared scripts that can be used by news anchors introducing what the administration describes as a made-for-television "story package."

In one script, the administration suggests that anchors use this language: "In December, President Bush signed into law the first-ever prescription drug benefit for people with Medicare. Since then, there have been a lot of questions about how the law will help older Americans and people with disabilities. Reporter Karen Ryan helps sort through the details."

The "reporter" then explains the benefits of the new law.

Lawyers from the General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress, discovered the materials last month when they were looking into the use of federal money to pay for certain fliers and advertisements that publicize the Medicare law.

In a report to Congress last week, the lawyers said those fliers and advertisements were legal, despite "notable omissions and other weaknesses." Administration officials said the television news segments were also a legal, effective way to educate beneficiaries.

Gary L. Kepplinger, deputy general counsel of the accounting office, said, "We are actively considering some follow-up work related to the materials we received from the Department of Health and Human Services."

One question is whether the government might mislead viewers by concealing the source of the Medicare videos, which have been broadcast by stations in Oklahoma, Louisiana and other states.
Federal law prohibits the use of federal money for "publicity or propaganda purposes" not authorized by Congress. In the past, the General Accounting Office has found that federal agencies violated this restriction when they disseminated editorials and newspaper articles written by the government or its contractors without identifying the source.

Kevin W. Keane, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, said there was nothing nefarious about the television materials, which he said had been distributed to stations nationwide. Under federal law, he said, the government is required to inform beneficiaries about changes in Medicare.

"The use of video news releases is a common, routine practice in government and the private sector," Mr. Keane said. "Anyone who has questions about this practice needs to do some research on modern public information tools."

Article continues here:


Sunday, March 14, 2004

long day

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Jee, it was pretty out there today!

Porky and I left around 10am and slooowly drove to Smith's for groceries. I got several dented cans of tomatoes, day-old whole wheat sandwich rolls, marked-down spaghetti, another marked-down half turkey. You're not going to believe this: over in their health food section, they had sacks of soy flour, thirty cents cheaper than I can get it online and a whole DOLLAR cheaper than the co-op! On sale, so I bought 2 sacks.

I headed for the radio station. JUST as I was ready to cross Central Ave. to the university, the tire popped. I was walking it. It wasn't my weight; it was just the bad tire.

I kept the engine on and let the scooter move the groceries, even on the flat. Hyacinths, daffodils, crocus sprinkled all across campus. Saw a blossoming tree. I think it was apple, maybe cherry.

Something's going on at the radio station. I think I'm being groomed, but I'm not sure that's true, and I'm not sure for what. Nothing's actually being said, but I get the impression that, if I prove myself trustworthy and reliable, they've got ideas for me.

It's a smart crew, the people in the volunteer orientation. There are several writers. One guy has theater experience in Vienna. Several actors. Almost everybody writes. It's pretty exciting.

Seems KUNM wants to make a local radio theatre with original scripts. It would be fifty two productions a year, an hour per week.

Sounds like we'll share productions with other stations around the country.

There's another thing: People who propose and produce original programming can receive honoraria! That is to say: money! I mean, it's not much, considering producers need to pay talent who help with productions, but heck!

So, it looks like this group is serious about forming a radio theatre group of all local talent, and I'm in on it.

Plus, I'm expected to do weekly commentaries, and to learn to edit my own stuff on the computer.

Anything I need to learn they'll teach me. Computers, sound equipment....

SO, between KUNM and voc. rehab., I really should be employable eventually. Could be even at the station! Wouldn't that be something?

I came home and made a killer turkey sammich: goat cheese, bokchoy, soy sauce, daikon radish...yum. And my green tea.

I was told, in clear language, not to get frustrated or impatient. I was told this will take time. I mean, I was called into someone's office privately for this conversation, before the orientation.

I am afraid to hope, y'know? I'm afraid to believe that maybe, somehow, somebody has actually seen and heard me and is providing some space and help.

But it smells like it.

SO, I'll just keep plugging along, limping my old butt over to the radio station.

And, in the back of my head, I hear the Roches singing, "all of you will buy a ticket, just to see my face again."

By the way, as people went around the room, introducing themselves, Rachel, Operations Mgr, introduced ME! She said I'm a writer, that I contribute commentaries to the 5 o'clock news....and she said I'm very funny. She said it with a note of being impressed. It was genuine.

To be funny at a station like KUNM, crap like fart jokes don't cut it. You've got to be bright, witty, sardonic and capable of original thinking.

So, to have someone like that call me "funny" is a big deal. It means I'm smart. It means I'm respected. It means I'm looking like one of them. It means they recognize me.

I'm hoping. That scares the hell out of me.

I hope I don't screw this up. This isn't a place like that clinic, where I could be arrested for simply lighting a match in the bathroom to remove putrid smells. These people aren't spiders, setting traps to prove you're a failure so they can pretend they're not.

And, believe it or not, they're not a bunch of snooty egomaniacs, either. They seem to sincerely want to provide educational, entertaining, thoughtful and professional radio. It's very encouraging.

So, now I need to dig up a new tire. People loved my art cart as I was out there today. Felt pretty good driving around in it. Looked like something from Killer Klowns From Outer Space.


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Well, happy SUnday! It's blindingly sunny outside, and Osa, my long haired black cat, is snoozing at my side on one of my pillows, in a puddle of sun. When I sit still...which ain't often..she velcros herself to my shoulder, elbow or arm for a cuddle nap. I am the source of all fried carbohydrates, and must be guarded.

The lumps have begun to subside. I suspect they were infections, brought on by the systemic infection caused by my bad teeth.

I've got a weird sore spot on the right side of my lower back. It doesn't feel like muscle strain. It hurts constantly, no matter my position. So, I'm protecting my back.

House is warming for a shower. I need to go to the radio station for general orientation today.

I treated myself to a HUGE sandwich last night: the last 1/3rd of that loaf of whole wheat French bread, speared with butter and cream cheese, with slices of tomato and leaves of BokChoy, sprinkled with soy sauce, and liberally sprinkled, think slices of turkey breast. This was served with thin slices of daikon radish and one of those spicy dill pickles. Took a whole hour to eat it.

So, this is the first morning in a long time I haven't woken desperately hungry.

I'll eat a simple omlette, orange and oatmeal. I'll pack a turkey burrito for lunch at the station.

Someone has offered to pay for a new tire for the scooter, so I have research to do, to buy one.

The changes in my diet ARE making me stronger and are helping with the pain and fatigue. Not a lot, yet, but I see the difference.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

scooter's scootin

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you ain't gonna believe this. The tube does fit, by the way.

But I got it all put back together and pumped it up. The dang TIRE has a soft spot in it! Guess it got rubbed on the ground or something when the tube popped? So, the inflated tube bulges the tire! DANG! That's ANOTHER twenty five bucks!

I'm still gonna try to run it to the radio station tomorrow. I'll just go reeeeeeal slow and careful. No more driving on the dirt alley, with all the rocks and such. I know which streets around here are the smoothest side streets: no traffic, pot holes, broken bottles, etc.

I put my wicker basket on the front. It's covered in silk flowers, beads, glow-in-the-dark skull rings and my Barney pinata.

I'll try to get Marcos at the station to take some pics.

Porky's having a fit, wanting to go somewhere. But I'm saving it for needed trips, for now. We can play once I have a good tire on it again.

I'm taking it easy today. Mary Oishi is doing a fabulous job on "Women's Focus" today on KUNM. Been laughin and cryin and singin like a crazy woman.

Right now, I'm listening to Fannie Lou Hamer, talking about a beating she got from white "cops" in Mississippi, for trying to help people vote.

If you don't vote this year, don't bother speaking to me. You got nothin to say I wanna hear!

'At $6 an hour, who needs a tax cut?'

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Paul Vitello: 'At $6 an hour, who needs a tax cut?'
Date: Saturday, March 13 @ 08:44:05 EST
Topic: Commander-In-Thief
By Paul Vitello, Newsday

It was upbeat, precise, as organized as a meeting of the board of directors, framed at beginning and end with rousing music -- a near-perfect campaign stop:

President George W. Bush arrived on schedule. He gave his speech. He moderated a panel of five people on a makeshift stage in front of a sign that said "Strengthening America's Economy." He wove their stories seamlessly into the fabric of his re-election campaign. He engaged in self-deprecating humor that even a detractor might find charming.

And then he left -- to a standing ovation -- shaking hands all the way to the exit door of U.S.A. Industries in Bay Shore, where his campaign made this first of three stops on Long Island yesterday.

Security people kept reporters from interviewing the workers at U.S.A. until the president was on the way to his next stop.

But when workers were finally interviewed -- these people who made up the bulk of the president's cheering audience in New York -- Bush's performance turned out to be, if anything, even more impressive.

"No speak English," said the first worker, smiling apologetically.

"No speak English," said the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth workers way-laid in the crowd.

But you think the tax cuts should be made permanent, as he says?

"Sorry, no English," said another.

It is possible that President Bush could have drawn a crowd of several hundred at lunchtime on the streets of Bay Shore to cheer his economic policies, which can be summed up in two words: tax cuts.

But if that crowd is ready-made -- the work force of a small auto parts factory whose owner has received tax breaks from the Republican-run state and town governments, and who employs large numbers of non-English speaking immigrants happy to work for $6 to $9 an hour with few benefits -- why bother?

"I understand him a little bit English," said Nubia Guzman, a packer who said she earns $7.50 an hour after four years on a job that Bush had described in his speech as evidence of the success of his tax cutting economic policies. She has no health coverage.

What did you like about him? she was asked.

"He nice," she said.

This may be all that matters in the long run. The candidate who wins is usually the one people like the look and sound of, not the one they have listened closely to. In this particular crowd, anyway, there were probably few voters. Of those who spoke English, few said they were registered.

It is the not-so-secret secret of every presidential campaign that most crowds at most campaign stops are so much stage prop. They are there to make a certain amount of noise, to look like a constituency the candidate hopes to win the votes of -- in the Bay Shore factory, Hispanic voters -- and to be as unsurprising and well-behaved as security arrangements can make them.

The campaigner is the only one with a speaking part in these entertainments. And in yesterday's performance, Bush was a star. It almost didn't matter that most of his audience didn't understand a word he said. He gave off an aura of optimism that was magnetic.

In fact, he used the word optimism at least eight times during his presentation. "I hope you get a feeling of the optimism ... " he said. "It's gotta make you optimistic ... " he said. "I am very optimistic about the future ... "

He was as upbeat as those people who do hour-long info-mercials.

Optimism poured out of him.

Optimism apparently will be one of the themes of his campaign. You don't have to like Bush to see the brilliance of it. It is apparently the counter-punch to the relentless attack of his presumed democratic opponent, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who criticizes Bush for what he terms Bush's many failures: failures of economic policy, of foreign policy, of environmental and domestic policies, of political vision.

Optimism is a deep vein in the psyche of all people, Americans especially; and if Bush succeeds at bottling it for his campaign, he will win.

What would you like to do with your life?, a shipping clerk at U.S.A. Industries named Wil Romero was asked. He is 26 years old. He thought for a moment.

"I would like to be an American citizen," he said.

Copyright 2004, Newsday, Inc.
Reprinted from Newsday:

This article comes from The Smirking Chimp

The URL for this story is:


up early

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Up at 5am. Tried to snooze, but I wanted to get up. I'm back to going to bed earlier, so I can have the morning light. I do this every year: get up late in winter and early in summer. But making the change in my sleeping pattern takes about a week or two.

It's chilly out; I have cats all over the bed: my fur thermometers.

Bob, the homeless guy, knocked on my bedroom window last night. I don't want him doing that; I need my privacy, without shrouding the sunlight. He wanted to pay me the two dollars I loaned him. I told him to keep it until I really needed it. I fed him a plate of macaroni n cheese and steamed cabbage with salt and pepper. Then I threw him out, cuz I needed to rest.

I was having trouble walking last night and my balance was off. I was just worn out.

I'm listening to Isabelle Allende on "New Dimensions" on KUNM right now. They wasted, in my opinion, too much of the interview on paranormal BS. Aggrevating. I really like her, though. I like her perspective. I've learned a lot about writing from interviews with her over the years.

I'm afraid, thanks to dyslexia and memory problems, I may have gotten the wrong size innertubes. They look too narrow, to me. Maybe I was supposed to get 8x2 1/2 rather than 8 1/2x 2? I'll check against tire size, later, and then figure out what to do. If I can't return them, I'll sell them on eBay. But it'll mean more time 'til I can drive my scooter. Damn. Too cold yet to go outside and check. But I'll bet I'm right. darn.

I made my ice tea with some green tea yesterday; I use 10 bags of cheapo tea, usually. This time, I substituted two cheapos for 2 greens. It's a lighter tea, less harsh. Still drinking coffee for breakfast, until I use it all up. Soon, I'll be on green tea brew, only, hot and cold.

I bought some dried anchovies at the Asian market the other day. I ground some up with crackers to top my mac n cheese. The cats love them; they're great cat treats!

My philosophy now is: cram as much healthy stuff in with the crap fodder I'm forced to buy cuz it's cheap. I can't stop eating cheap foods, but I don't have to be completely victimized by them, either.

BTW: you really can't taste the anchovies on the mac n cheese; they're just about like the cracker crumbs. But they're also omega 3 fatty acids, oil-based vitamins, extra protein, and a better source of salt!

I haven't had a soda pop in about five days. Don't really miss them.

I THINK I'm still losing weight, 'tho I can't tell. There seems to be loose skin on my belly and my gut's not as bloated.

I'm a little stronger, too. I really noticed this when I got angry and left the food boutique aka co-op. I went up an entire flight of stairs quite quickly, with not extra pain, and wasn't fatigued when I got to the top. That hasn't happened in a while!

Coulda been the adrenaline, from being angry and hurt that I couldn't afford the food. But that wouldn't have lasted long, and I would have felt after affects from the exertion. Nope, I'm getting stronger.

It's easy to eat a little fish, a little oatmeal and an orange every day. Balancing everything else is a pain though.

I'm still not eating enough servings of fruit/vegetables yet. It's a real challenge to find any cheap enough. Cabbage is cheap now, because St. Patty's day is coming up. So, I'll be eating cabbage 'til I want to die.

I'm lurking at the dumpster behind the produce market these days, but haven't found anything yet.

I'm also trying to convert to whole grains, rather than conventional snacks...not that I eat many snacks, anyway. But a steaming bown of multigrains, with a splash of soy sauce, sounds smart. And it tastes nice.

Well, I need to make some breakfast, so I can go out there and wrestle my scooter.

Friday, March 12, 2004


You are reading http://livinginthehood.blogspot.comWell, I called at 10:30, as instructed; he knew nothing and asked me to call back at 1pm. I called at 1pm and was told he'd call me at 2pm. I waited 'til 2:15 and called the office.

He'd left and was on his way here; he'd said he wasn't coming here today.

Went out front and stood in rain, waiting. He showed up, and KEPT me waiting in the rain, while he completed a cell phone call from the comfort of his car.

He walked up the steps, right past me, to change locks on a vacant apartment.

I explained I couldn't climb the steps without a bannister.

He said he'd talk to me on Monday!

I said I'm not spending the weekend, worrying whether or not I'm going to be evicted.

So I CRAWLED up the steps to talk to him.

I explained I have a piece of paper that says they're filing court papers if this isn't resolved by 10am Tuesday.

He said they wouldn't, and that he'd remove TWO of the late charges. He asked when he'd ever promised me anything he hadn't done


I said, what about the bannister I've been asking for since I moved in?

You built a gate in the back.

Yes, because I'm that scared of other tenants in the bldg. BUt, when it's snowing or muddy out, it would be nice to go get my mail from the flat sidewalk, rather than the muddy, rocky alley!

I had collected my mail before he'd arrived. I showed him the box with my new scooter tubes..yes, they came today. I said I've been volunteering at the college radio station, walking three miles round trip each day. Now, I can ride my scooter. I showed him the application forms from Vocational Rehabilitation. I said, now, I can go back to school. I lifted my top lip so he could see my blackened and missing teeth. I said, now I can get dental care. I explained I'm malnourished on my $2/day food stamps.

I said, just when it looks like I can dig myself out of this hole of discarded syringes, screaming drunks, filth and poverty, here comes a threat of homelessness, and I freaked out. And justifiably so!

He HELPED me down the stairs.

He SAYS he'll have the book keeper go over everything with him and get back to me. He's also giving me my air conditioner, early in the season, to help spread out the costs of repairs and replacements of ac units.

It's raining out and I'm exhausted.

I'll put the tubes on the bike tomorrow.

That means, I can go to volunteer orientation at the radio station on my SCOOTER on Sunday, and don't have to walk! And I can go back to the station on Tues, cuz I don't have to wait for the tubes! AND I can take the scooter to Voc. Rehab. appointment, the next week.

I may even be able to participate in SOCIAL activities now!

The house is spotless. THere's a log burning in the fire place. I have a cup of hot cocoa/coffee. There's a cat sleeping on my knee. My laundry's all done and put away. There's plenty of food.

I can start gardening now, and I won't be so worn out, now that I have my scooter tubes!

I don't know whether to cry, scream or laugh.

I still don't know

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Called the land lord. He doesn't remember a damn thing about what I'm talking about, 'tho they OUGHT to have the letters I sent in my file!

He proposed I pay $40: what he called one of three late fees! There AREN'T three late fees!

Anyway, he's going to talk to the book keeper. He might get back to me around 1pm.

The house is clean inside. I still have work to do out in the yard.

I'd found some cleaning supplies in the trash, so I had degreaser for my kitchen, which doesn't have an exhaust fan for the oven, which I cleaned.

I got the neighbor girl's vacuum running quite well. Wore it out, though. I haven't had a belt for my vacuum since befor xmas, and the floors were filthy.

It's cold and cloudy; looks like it could rain or snow. So, I'm staying inside.

I worked on the house about eight hours, maybe ten, since last night. So, I'm pretty tired.

Guess I'll rest today, if I can.

Good thing I had the housework, or I'd have stayed awake all night, worrying about becoming homeless again. As it was, I exhausted myself last night.

I worked this morning on raw adrenaline and fear.

I'm still shaking and my heart's still pounding, altho I finished about an hour ago.

What a damn nightmare!

Tim says as long as I mail my check by the 3rd, I'm ok. Earlier, he'd said by the 5th.

This slum is run by chimps on crack.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

letter to landlord

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Date: Sat, Jul 19, 2003, 12:01am (MST+1)
Subject: "non payment" notice

Found tonight --a Friday night (can't do business, contact manager until Monday) at 11 pm, a 3 day notice of non payment of rent. It was taped, on my front gate, not sealed in an envelope, signed by manager and the property owner. It was not dated.

I seldom use my front gate, as I've explained to mgmt. co., both by telephone and in previous postal correspondence. I try to avoid problematic tenants in this building.

I have no idea when this notice was put there for anybody to read or remove.

Manager has my telephone number, and could have made an appointment to deliver the notice. It could have been mailed, as well.

Parenthetically, there is a bell attached to my gate. I do not reply to knocking, as most knocking sounds (often immediately followed by screaming, but not always) are for Raoul Nieto in Apt. G, next door. People who wish to speak with me can ring the bell.

The following is cut and pasted directly from my online bank history:

Account History Detail
Account History -
07/11/03 CHECK # 2025 $425.00

I spoke by telephone with a customer service rep. tonight. He tells me the check was deposited to some other account, though he doesn't know to whose.

He is emailing me a copy of the transaction. He is also sending a copy by U.S. Postal service.

He doesn't expect either to arrive here by Monday.

I have my check book, with the NCR copy of the check I wrote.

I can print out my account history, which proves I haven't written any other checks for $425.oo in July. (I'm assuming this notice is in regards to the July rent, although, as it isn't dated, I don't know).

IF this check was NOT deposited to the bank account used for this purpose by manager, but was stolen and deposited elsewhere, I can report it to bank.

They will reimburse my account and investigate the thief.

Reimbursement will require approximately 3 business days from the time of my report.

The owner has signed this three day notice of non payment. I am concerned that my reputation as a responsible tenant is now compromised by this. I request that the owner be informed that this was not my mistake. I request a copy of correspondence sent to the owner regarding this matter, so that I may prove I have been a responsible tenant.

Please check your records to verify that my rent check was deposited to the appropriate account.

Contact me when you have information for me, so that I may either take appropriate action with my bank, or receive an apology in writing.

If this notice is in regards to a "late" check, I must remind you that my Social Security Disability Check does not arrive until the 3rd of each month. I cannot access the funds until the 4th of each month.

July 4th fell on a Friday this month. There was no mail delivery on Friday. I placed my rent in the mailbox on Saturday of this month, July 5th. The soonest it would have been received would have been Monday, July 7, 2003.

I explained to manager about this situation when I signed the lease. His only suggestion was that I mail a check, even though I would have insufficient funds to cover it, by the 5th of each month.

I won't do that; I live on a very limited income and can't afford insufficient funds charges to my account.

If my rent was "late" this month, it is only because there were not sufficient business days between the 3rd of July and the time it took for my check to arrive by U.S. Postal service.

I sent the money within a reasonable time, and as quickly as I could. The management office wasn't open on Friday, July 4th, 2003, so there was no way I could have delivered it in person, either.

I think, due to the holiday falling on a Friday, it is reasonable for me to expect that my rent should have been received without penalty.
Manager knew it was a three day weekend.

Of course, I don't know WHY I've received a 3 day notice of nonpayment of rent, especially at such a late date (almost two weeks have passed). The notice is unclear and not dated.

I'm home almost all day, every day. Manager has my phone number. I don't know why I haven't been contacted about this matter sooner. In fact, I spoke by telephone this month with Mary Ann at management co. re: electrical problems. She never mentioned anything about this issue.

I don't have $40.oo for a "late fee," if that is what is being demanded.

Thank you for your time,