Ocdbloggergirl's Blog: OCD, Life, and Other Misunderstandings

More Mental Malaise, Less Donald Trump

Bed, Bug, and Beyond — February 21, 2016

Bed, Bug, and Beyond

Hauling cast-offs from your neighbors’ trash is kind of like autoerotic asphyxiation:  It’s all fun and games until you’re well hung.

Oh yes, I’ve hung myself  well. Cimex lectularius, aka the bed bug, has taken hold of my home and lecturously clung to me, tying my noose in a rust colored bow. A creature smaller than a pencil top has wrecked my life emotionally, socially, and reduced me to semi -penury.

800px-Bed_bug,_Cimex_lectularius
S’up?

 

There are two things to do when you find you have a bedbug problem. First, tell everybody! Brag to your 1.5 friends that your previous state of having no blood relatives has been remedied by playing host to a growing family of consanguinious creatures. Your 1.5 friends may become .05 friends that are willing to touch you with a 10 ft. pole, but now you will have many bedfellows who find your society delicious.

The second thing is watch how you become as popular as a prostitute with mouth herpes on a Tuesday night. Watch as your friends inspect their domiciles as you wait with bated breath for the horror that your new family might have jumped  ship for tastier fare. You will begin to see your bug relatives in every speck of dust, feel them, and itch from them when they aren’t there. You begin to wish for a bolt of lightening to strike your apartment and incenerate your tiny family. Your new relations are about as well esteemed to you as  your Appalachian cousins, but unlike your cousins, your bed bug family won’t abandon you. Lucky you.

 

I began suspecting when I killed a tiny blood red critter  walking its merry way across my pillow. It’s a baby bed bug, I inwardly squealed. No, came my angry reply to the voice within, it’s a spider mite tracked in by one of my cats. I told my psych nurse about the sighting and she agreed with my surmise.

A few nights later, I saw another insect, chubby and waddling. That’s an odd looking cucarocha.

And then December 26. D Day. I saw a bug close enough for me to grab  and I captured it alive in a pill bottle.  Oh dear God, that sure looks like an unfed bed bug. The poor little thing couldn’t keep itself right side up and flailed about so pitifully I had to stop looking at it.

I drew a bath and stripped off, afterward using jackets to keep me warm  on the couch and benzos to lull me to sleep. It’s going to be a great new year.

Much of the next day I stayed on the couch, deep in the depression only suspecting bed bugs can do to you. You know no one will want to be around you anymore, that your life is over until your home is napalmed. I looked online for stories of losing friends due to bed bugs. Of course there’s stories of lost friends and one Yahoo Answers contributor answered to the fearful friend of a bed bug sufferer, “just get new friends, eww.”

I took my prisoner, who had croaked on its own accord to a nearby exterminator. I caught one of the guys towards quitting time, and he turned up the bottle, made a face, and replied, “yeah” when I asked if it was a bed bug. I promptly went to McDonald’s and ate two Big Macs.

What is worse than a bed bug problem, you might ask. OCD, bed bugs, and mingling your worst fears into that mix. I feared telling my landlady for fear of being evicted, because around this  time last year I was threatened with eviction. I feared telling my social worker for fear of losing the assistance  I get on my rent.

Both scenarios led to the same conclusion in my mind,the trifecta of  my worst fears, a game show called Rest Home, Homeless, or Dead. Continue reading

Generally Hospitalled — June 13, 2015

Generally Hospitalled

The day was agonizingly beautiful. The sky was an endless robin’s egg and the bright sun bade me release t

Dumpster diving
Dumpster diving

he bonds of my apartment walls for the worthier pastures of mass transit and dumpster treasure. What is 87 F (31 C) for those of us seeking adventure, the Holy Grail, and something besides potato chips in our cupboards? Apparently, 87 F is a lot, as I felt all 220 pounds of my glorious body begin to broil medium well in the afternoon sun. Three huge bottles of dish washing liquid, Lisa Frank magnets, and a squished bottle of generic fruit punch and I began to feel the ill effects of heat exhaustion setting in .  Outrageous fortune beset me yet again when I realized the bus I boarded was air conditioning free.  Once I got home, the effects of my romp, plus the thoughts in my head erupted. And I vomited. In the trash can by my bed. In the commode. In a bucket of Pinesol by my commode. In the bathtub trying to calm down.
“Either I got heat exhaustion or that tooth that had that mild abcess is going septic,” I told my friend.

But back to vomiting.  In the yard waiting  for my friend to come get me. Desecrating a Walmat plastic bag in the car on the way to the hospital.  And once in a nifty vomit bag as the wheel chair I was in made too many jerking movements -but I apologized to the waiting room as any genteel southerner would.  I  vocalized that I wanted my mom, never mind that this section of the waiting room was where I finally was away enough from my mom to shed a tear at her impending demise back in 2011. Now, four years later,  Lisa the Stoic, is replaced by OCD Lisa chanting a mantra of “I’m so scared.”

Then the nurse, while taking my medical specifics gave me a pill, Zofran. Zofran, named for the ancient Greek god of Emesis and Refusing to Suffer in Silence. I was fine in 15 minutes.  Not sepsis. Not this time, Mom. I felt like an idiot as my panic subsided. I’ve vomited many times alone without alerting the media, but the heat exhaustion, sepsis in the tooth scenario weighed deeply in my mind along with other anxieties. I asked the triage nurse if it would be OK for me to go since I felt so much better. “Absolutely!” She said with a trifle more enthusiasm than necessary. But here I am a month later alive and  well, and I see they’ve moved the entrance to the emergency department, probably they’re hiding from me.

My Third Blogoversary! — March 25, 2013

My Third Blogoversary!

A wake of turkey vultures, roosting in a tree ...
A wake of majestic turkey vultures, roosting in a tree in Mountain View, California, waiting for new blog posts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Strangely enough,
March 25th will mark my third blogoversary. Time flies when you type five words a minute. Picture it, I a callow youth of  32, rose in my cheeks  and tortured genius illuminating my eyes, typing my first words! Oh how the muses danced, the angels wept, and the majestic turkey vultures soared! Three years, still here. In case you missed those 3 years, let me summarize:

Lisa, the OCDbloggergirl, lives with her mother and 3 cats. Lisa has OCD and is getting into fights with her mom, mainly because Lisa cannot be the perfect person Lisa wants to be and this pisses her off. Poor mom. The years are swallowed up with Lisa writing, Lisa getting published by online journals ( reprints of blog entries, mainly). Lisa’s writing improves. She thinks “Hey why don’t I get my own website, maybe I’ll get rich or at least be able to have a meowing cat widget!” Life is swell. Then Fate says, “Hey why don’t I let your mom die of complications from pneumonia, that would be a plot twist!” Life sucks. Some social worker says Lisa might have to go to a group home if she can’t find somewhere to go on her SSI check.  Lisa would rather die than be separated from her cats now that there’s no one else. Neighbors step in and she and the cats go live there. Life is very good again and Lisa finds her Soul Mate in her gay neighbor (Dumb, OCDbloggergirl. You get what ‘gay’ means, right?) But gay friend and jealous partner are kinda messed up themselves and who was wrong? Who was right? Who was fucked over? I think Lisa was, but maybe they were, but maybe she was, but then …All the lies and uncertainty make Lisa do something to herself, she ends up in the hospital. Then she ends up in hell…er a nursing home for two months, until her roommates cave and let her dumb ass back in for a nominal hike in rent (475.00 instead of 240.00). Life is teetering from good to bad back and forth. The man she loves, Gay Romeo, likes to lie, and has stopped taking his medicines. He forgets he cares about  Lisa altogether, but she is saved from hell by a program. Lisa now has her own apartment for the first time in her life, and they all lived happily ever after maybe. She hopes that now her blog will stop being a total buzz kill.

I guess you could say I am at a good place now. Well, almost. Oscar, my grey and black tabby is missing now for over a month. I remain hopeful he will return, just as my Phillipe did 9 years ago when my mother and I moved into our old apartment. Phillipe was cooped up 2 weeks before we opened the door and let him go outside. He didn’t come home for 2 and a half months. Came home though, and no worse for wear. I suspect someone took him in and he finally got away, which I suppose happened to Oscar too. I think a good post would be to tell the stories of my 3 cats one day. For those of you who pray, please pray Oscar comes home. Thanks.

But yeah. Good place. Now. I am happy for the most part. There is a strange sort of freedom to being alone in the world. I find my life worth living, even if only for my cats, and the occasional ‘rescue mission’ for Bestie, who is a bit of an anxious lass. I don’t have to be useful to anyone anymore, and that’s freedom in a way. When I was with the roommates, my use was measured in my finances I guess. When I was with my friend I  knew from way back, all he wanted was a batch o’ my snatch. When I went to that ‘home,’ almost everyone wanted me for one reason or another. Eh God, vultures. I am better off on my own having my own adventures and my own  life. Hanging out with Bestie, my friend of 20 years, basically  fulfills my social life, that and my online life. Soul brothers are merely mythological creatures, unicorns. I miss my unicorn though (we even watched My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic together, sigh).

And now, not to be all Jodi Arias stalky or anything, but I did have someone drive me by ye olde home place, just to see if the members of the She-Male Lisa Haters Club had indeed left town as they said they would in March. Part of me prayed that they were gone, that seeing an empty apartment would cure me of my feelings for The Unicorn nee Soul Bro. But neighhhhhhhh, the signs that they were still there abounded. First, the plants that I gave him from my mother were still there. The chair that once was mine was still there, as no doubt the rest of the lawn furniture that he felt was his due (I would have left that chair for him anyway, the way I had left half of my hard candy for him). There is a yellow truck out in front. I wonder if it’s his. He always wanted a yellow vehicle. If it is, the straits they said they were in due to me must have eased into gentler waters.

But the doubts are ever present in my mind. Is it because of  me that they aren’t gone to fulfill his dream in DC? Is he sick? Or, like so many other things, was living there just another of his stories? Once, The Partner told me that I was a boil on his butt that he just can’t lance. Well, I was lanced wasn’t I? Shouldn’t they be happily ever after now, and shouldn’t I, like a normal person, stop giving a fuck about The Unicorn? Somewhere over the rainbowwwwwwww….

I am happy now. I am almost at peace. I must put them out of my mind. I am eternally grateful that he was there when my mother died, but that chapter of my life must close. That way I can truly be happy, That and finding Oscar. Where the hell are you, Oscar?

PS, other fun incidentals. Remember for a time I foolishly flirted with having a self-hosted site? Well when I hung up the towel there at ocdbloggergirl dot com and let my domain expire, guess what happened? I thought maybe some other blogger might buy it, but I doubted it. Nope. Ocdbloggergirl dot com didn’t even become a Canadian pharmacy. Cough. It became…cough…a porn site. A porn site boasting Polish lesbians. I’m not joking,  And as Paul Harvey used to say…”now you know the rest of the story.”

Laying Bare My Sorrows — April 27, 2012

Laying Bare My Sorrows

I’m back home, but along with the clothes I quickly grabbed, I brought back more baggage than an airport in December.  It’s getting better than it was when I got here, and I’m starting to feel happy more and uneasy less. But the uneasiness isn’t gone, the feeling that I’m merely a transient or at least a guest doesn’t go away. The day my mother died was the day I became displaced in a world where I belong nowhere. Before my mother left, I knew my place. She needed me from the day she realized she was pregnant as I told you long ago. My mother’s great love broke up with her, her two best friends died, and when her 6 month married life ended there I was. Even a therapist I once had told my mom that he didn’t know what would have happened to her if she hadn’t  had me.

So where does that leave me today? Every person has a reason for being alive, but some of us find it harder than others to discover that reason. I suppose there’s a reason for me being here too. I’m not certain of much anymore. I don’t know who loves me or if I’m just one misstep away from finding myself alone in the world again. Yesterday, I went back to my therapist for the first time since I tried to play my swan song, and she was less than happy to see me. 

“If they threw you out, what are you doing back there?”

“Soul Bro was able to convince The Partner to let me back,” I replied. She listened to my fears, to everything I could cram into 50 minutes. There’s a lot I just can’t say for fear of losing my Soul Bro, and looking back at my reasoning for trying to kill myself, I don’t ever want to risk losing him. I love him that much and am that terrified of being alone (this blog has gotten 10 shades more creeeeepy with this last paragraph. My bad). I am  an orphan, a mental midgety one at that, and I don’t have relatives at all. Well, none that care whether I live or die, they made that more or less clear when I told them my mother was dead. Oh well, they were just cousins. Second cousins. I’ll get into that some other time.

I  shouldn’t be admitting this junk, but I told my therapist stuff I’d never venture to say aloud (please don’t hate me, Bro, should you read this).  I’m not saying he lies a bit, but he stretches the truth until that bitch screams, to make himself look better occasionally. I think. Maybe it’s me being paranoid. 

I think he got mad at me for begging to come home and not being “proactive” enough in trying to be independent, so he did the worst thing anyone could do to me. I think he decided he was done with me until I was back on my feet, so he put most of my stuff in my storage unit (including my mother’s ashes), and took two of my three cats to the pound. I was able to get them out because my home health nurse saved them and they’re living with her for now…Soul Bro says I can ask to bring them home in June if The Partner agrees. My nurse told me the story they told the pound that their owner died in September and they had lived in a barn in a rural county.

Soul Bro told me on the phone that my three cats had been picked up by the pound with some strays and that he had mistaken the feelings he had for my mom with the feelings he had for me.  Of course several days later he repented, because he is a good person. Perhaps it was a bipolar thing, but  it was obvious whoever that other guy had been was gone.

I never told this to anyone, but if I had the opportunity to do it, I’d have tried to kill myself again. When I first came to Window Licker Hall, Millie, a middle aged perpetual cutter/suicidal woman told me if I really wanted to leave the rest  home she had half a bottle of pain pills. I told her then, no thanks. Around the time my Soul Bro said he had cared for my mom, but me not so much, Millie came back from a few weeks vacation at a mental intstitution. I was frantic and asked her if she still had the pills. No, she didn’t. And so I was saved again. Now I know regardless what happens, no matter how low I get, I can’t kill myself. I promised my Soul Brother I wouldn’t ever again and I was never so serious in my life. He’s had enough shit to last ten lifetimes (and at least one day of Lifetime Television programming).

Yes, my therapist ain’t happy, but I am. My Soul Bro is the joy and light of my life. To me he is a gay god, almost perfect. He keeps me laughing, except when I worry I’ll mess up. I imagine him thinking awful things about me.  If anything goes missing I imagine him thinking I stole whatever it is. I fear he’ll think I’m on drugs, and I worry that I will never be what everyone expects of me.  If I mess up in the slightess way the lack of perfection drives me crazy. One day I messed up and used the bathroom and bathed with his cell phone there. He accused me of taking it and even said that a lot of stuff went missing while I lived there before. I had to swear on my mom’s ashes that I hadn’t touched it. I forgive, but I don’t forget. I could say my theory on who stole stuff, but I will refrain from naming anyone. Soul Bro realized he was wrong and wrote out a note saying I couldn’t  be thrown out for any reason, but I think some of the power belongs with The Partner, so who knows? All i can say is I ain’t a thief.

One last confession paragraph before I stop, I now pay about twice what I paid in rent the last time, but I’d pay more to be with my Soul Bro. My therapist thinks I’m being hosed and I don’t care! I think it was The Partner who came up with the sum. The only thing really marring my happiness is not having my cats, which makes me not want  to face the plastic box holding my mother. I don’t think I can remove her from the storage unit until I get them back. 

If my nurse hadn’t rescued Dondee, the pound would have killed my Mom’s

                                         best little buddy.




Scent of a Woman — January 9, 2012

Scent of a Woman

It’s not been a good 24 hours. I’m anxious and feel as though my life is over, which is stupid …I hope. All I can think of is “What if he doesn’t forgive me?”

My Soul Brother has two Chinese pugs. One is an ‘unaltered’ black male pug. He likes me A LOT. I’ll call him Stan to protect his dog anonymity. My first encounter with Stan after my mother’s death resulted in him trying to make love to me via my arm. His good lady wife, I’ll call her Maude, was in heat and it gave Stan an affection for her and every living thing around her. It was actually a good bit of comic relief from my terror and grief (it was a week after my mom went to the Great Beyond). Thankfully, once Maude ‘cooled’ he stopped. But he always wanted to be with me. At the time I thought it was my award-winning personality.

Later, when I moved in, I was sure I was going to be put back out when Soul Bro told me I shouldn’t be letting his dog sleep with me in case he started marking. But I wasn’t put out.

The other day, Soul Bro approached me again and told me to push Stan away for a couple of weeks and finally admitted why the dog liked me so much.

“It’s your feminine odor, but it’s the same with any female.”

Ugh. Great. So I resolved to rebuff Stan getting near me for exactly two weeks. But that didn’t last too long, because later that day I got upset by something The Partner did. The Partner is Soul Bro’s partner, a man who dislikes me, but the feeling is mutual. Soul Bro, being the dear soul he is, relaxed the rules so I could cry on Stan’s wrinkled shoulder so to speak.

The next day I asked if I should start pushing Stan away. “Nah, he’s OK. He’s a smart dog.”

But Stan’s behavior continued. and the night before last, Stan started to whimper when I wouldn’t  pay him mind. I should have known pushing Stan away was back when Soul Bro took him back to his bedroom and shut himself up with the dog. I should have known, but I’m so ignorant.

So yesterday, sigh, Stan was beside me again and Soul Bro called him to go lay down with him (Soul Bro wasn’t feeling well). I quickly pushed  the dog down when Stan refused to go with his master. Right back up there, Stan jumped, so I pushed him right back down. But it was too late. Soul Bro was angry at me. “See? This was what I was trying to tell you if you EVER let him sit beside you!”  And he slammed his bedroom door.

I was afraid. Soul Bro has told me before that short of me killing him, there was nothing I could do to make him not want to be my friend. But I’m so scared. He’s my only family now and if he stays mad, what will I do? I love him so much, so I always try to please him, but I honestly didn’t mean to do anything.  I hate myself. I even hate my vagina. This has made me Chaz Bono!

So like I used to, I went to  bed and slept to get away from my problems. I dreamed about my mom giving me a beautiful Christmas Barbie doll. Then my mom died, I went to the Appalachians and was rejected by relatives. But then I look for dolls in a flea market, find out that Dolly Parton is my real mom, and she has the same Barbie that my mom gave me except in a different colored dress. Then I dream I’m peeing blood. The end.

At one point, I heard Soul Bro and The Partner up at midnight. I went and got a hello from both when I spoke, but as soon as the show was over, Soul Bro left without a word. I’m terrified he’s still mad and will want me to move when the lease is up.  I don’t want to even imagine life without my Soul Brother.

New Post at New Blog and Incidentals in Mon Vie — July 30, 2011

New Post at New Blog and Incidentals in Mon Vie

Hi again, loyal minions! I have a new post up at the new blog. This one is an interview with Jaco, my beloved friend from over at  http:// justwriteofleft.com. I injected my semi-comedic stylings throughout the interview to garnish it and give it   the “me marinade.”http://ocdbloggergirl.com/?p=1414  . Let me know what you think!

Now for incidentals. Ah, I see where it says equine encephalitis found in mosquitoes around here. Not good, but mainly stays with horses unless it feels like infecting humans.  Have you ever found a mosquito biting  you. and since it’s already biting you, you decide to observe it’s phlebotomy skills. The little belly fills up, you can see the blood inside, and then she flies away.  Me neither!

  

Anywho, yesterday, I decided to finally go out to the pool for the day, something   I haven’t  done all season because of Trevor the Terror, the scourge of swimmers. In fact, since one particularly annoying encounter    at the pool  I haven’t been as passionate a swimmer as i have in past years. I do have a post I’m writing about that,  and hopefully I’ll have it done in a year or two, the way that I write.  I swam 12 laps, on my 4th lap some youngins showed up and then the pool monitor’s kids, but wasn’t a big deal.  The father relieved me by saying hello to me first. It’s like I’m paralyzed in my voice box until someone speaks to me and even then I’m anxious. I like people a lot, but it’s like I need permission to just be…and it’s getting harder. The day before yesterday, I had a fit and went to bed and stayed there, just because I couldn’t get things just right. I start something and have to stop, but anyway back at the pool. I read a bit of the world’s worst detective novel, played my original green screen Gameboy, read a little on my WordPress book. Jumped back into the pool and did 12 more laps in that just below the surface frog-way. It takes 30 seconds to get from one end of the pool to the other without surfacing and I’m proud that  I at least have that achievement. I want it as my headstone one day: “She didn’t do much of anything, but she could swim.” By the time I was done with that other set of laps and marveling how during my fourth lap again children showed up, my eyes were hurting since I couldn’t find my goggles that day.  I stayed out of the water and ritualized my out of water activities until I began feeling sickly in the 99 degrees and hauled ass home because my eyes could not endure another round of laps. I can get by with 12 without pain in my eyes, but more than that and I am bound to suffer. And the award for best mom at the pool 2011 ” I’ll dunk you over if you don’t stop crying,” said to a child of 2 or so, then splash splash in the face of him. Yep, that should stop him from crying for sure.

 

We went to McDonald’s for supper and I scored the first 3 Smurf happy meal toys. I think I was too enthusiastic as I looked at the toy display. “Mom! Just look! How cute! I gotta have them all!” People looked at me, but I guess they can go smurf themselves. Today I went and saw the movie in 3D. The first movie I ever saw as a child was a movie about The Smurfs, and what do you know, the first movie I ever saw in 3D was The Smurfs. Very cool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



PS, sorry to everyone about being slow to respond. My mind is going so many directions. 

 

Playing 20 Questions with Jaco, Author of Just Write of Left — July 28, 2011

Playing 20 Questions with Jaco, Author of Just Write of Left

  Ni-hao everyone! I am delighted that my dear friend, Joe Romano, AKA Jaco, agreed to let me  interview him. I want to showcase his blog, Just Write of Left to my thousands of readers.  As you might  have guessed, I am his number 1 fan. 

 

 Kathy Bates Misery

                      “I love Just Write of Left.  A lot. I think you should too.”              
 
 
  Jaco’s writing launches his readers into a beautiful, lyrical, and exotic world of romance. The story he  wrote installments of this month, All Memories are Traces of Tears, is a tale  of a an American in China wounded by his past and the chance encounter that sparks a new love. While the story is fictitious, the scenes are drawn so that you know the author has an intimate knowledge of the China in which he writes. Jaco’s writing gets better with each post, as evidenced in his latest post, drawing the sadness of parting in a poetic vein. Jaco took a month-long, 30 words a day flash fiction challenge from Blogdramedy’s blog and expanded into an engaging, unusual tale. I’m honored to actually have Jaco here on my blog  answering my questions as I try to get an in-depth picture of this man as an author and a person.   I’ve decided to conduct this interview in a 20 questions format to give it that down home Spanish Inquisition feel. Jaco need only use this abbreviation to decline answering one of my painstakingly thought out queries: STFU, which for those of you not versed in internet etiquette, means “Stop! Thanks for understanding.” Without further ado , here’s Jacoooooooooo!
 
 
  1.) Do you swear or affirm to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?       
 
  The truth? Of course.   
 
 
 2.) Perhaps my 10k eager blog readers would like to know why you are called “Jaco. Just Jaco.” To me it’s far more catchy than “Bond. James Bond” and gives you that aura of mystery a blogger worth his salt craves.  
 
Let me begin by saying it’s pronounced Ja koh. Not Jaco as in wacko. Well, I earned the name Jaco later in my musical career. I was a big fan of Jaco Pastoriusthe greatest bass who ever lived. He performed with Weather Report, and later with his Word of Mouth Orchestra. Jaco was to the bass what Hendrix was to the guitar. His technical prowess was unsurpassed. He was better than Charles Mingus in that his compositional skills approached that of Mingus, and his technique took the bass to another level unheard of in the 80?s. I started playing bass late in my career. Toward the end I was playing bass exclusively, and emulated his playing style. My friends started calling me Jaco and it stuck. So I chose that as a pen name. Jaco. Just Jaco. Jaco and nothing more.  
 
 
 3.) Your blog is called Just Write of Left. How did you come up with that name? Me, I just listened to my inner child skipping through my inner field of transcendental daisies, but I understand if you were inspired by more conventional means.  
 
 I was searching for a new name for a blog. I brain stormed a bit and came up with Just Write of Left. Probably not the best name for SEO purposes. But I  liked the play on words, and decided to go with it. I shut down Blogging Perspectives Daily, and moved to this new domain. While I was participating in the BlogShorts Challenge I decided I wanted to write short fiction. I thought the name reflected what I was doing.
 
 
 4.) Please describe for those of my 10k readers who haven’t discovered you yet, what Just Write of Left is about.     
 
 Just Write of Left is a place for me to paint pictures with words. I like to create images with writing. That’s the goal. My blog is my personal art gallery in a sense.
 
 
  5.) What inspired you to start this blog?
 
  I don’t know. I just felt it would be a creative outlet, and I felt it was therapeutic. I needed that. I was recovering from a mean cocaine addiction, and at some point I felt like I wanted to create again. I felt I was well enough to get back to work. 
 
 
 
  6.) Could you tell us a bit more about your genre and niche?  
 
I wanted to try flash fiction, and write noir. After I complete my ongoing All Memories are Traces of Tears series which was born out of the BlogShorts I contributed, I want to write cyberpunk. I’m a big William Gibson fan.
 
 
 7.) What inspired the major themes and storylines in your blog?
 
I’m inspired by the films of  Wong Kar Wai. He is a brilliant film maker from Hong Kong. His films are poetry.  I love the imagery in his films and wanted to create that kind of imagery in my writing. The story lines are based on my experiences of living in mainland China. Mainly fiction revolving around three central characters. All Memories are Traces of Tears is about promise, yearning, the past, and in some ways about impossible love. Some loves are impossible, but they’re loves just the same. Of course the settings for my stories are mainland China, Kowloon, and Hong Kong.            
 
 
 8.) Do you find inspiration in your day-to-day life?
 
In my day-to-day life? In a sense I guess you could say that. Depends on where I’m spending those days. I find inspiration in human tragedy, the pain of the human condition. I’m inspired by things that really affect me in one way or the other.
 
 
  9.) Do you wear your heart on your post when you write?  
 
Of course. Every post is very  personal. I’ve always been one who not only wears their heart on their sleeve, but wears it like a red jacket.
 
  
10.) The Joe in your stories is gentle and benevolent. Is real life Joe like fictionalized Joe? Are there any ways real Joe is different from fictitious Joe?    
 
 
Not really different. The real life Joe is gentle and caring, but no one is perfect. I have my moments.
 
 
  11.) Where do you see your blog going in the future? Will there be new stories culled from your fascinating life? Personally, I expect a book deal for myself, get on the New York Times Bestseller list, win a Pulitzer, and sell the movie rights to Lifetime Television for Women. “She Wrote Yes: The OCDbloggergirl Story” starring Meredeth Baxter.  
 
 I’m not sure where my blog is heading. I just want to keep writing. There will be new stories. I have some ideas for future stories in mind.  
 
 
 12.) Growing up, did you want to be a writer? Did you fall in love with the written word?  
 
Well, growing up as an only child I had quite an imagination. I was writing song lyrics and poetry from an early age. I just felt writing was an extension of my musical studies. I’ve always been a ferocious reader so the written word was sustenance.    

 
13.) What made you want to start blogging in the first place? I’m blogging for World Peace.
 
As I said earlier it was a creative outlet. It got me involved, kept my mind occupied. It has helped with my recovery. I haven’t really written about my cocaine addiction, but I think it will surface in my writing at some point.
 
 
    14.) Who influenced your writing the most and why? For example,  I read a lot of cereal boxes during my formative years and it definitely shaped who I am as a writer. Tony the Tiger n’ Tolstoy, know what I mean?  
 
I mentioned Wong Kar Wai. I’ve also been influenced by the short fiction of Liu Yichang. The great German poet Rainer Maria Rilke is another influence, and the work of Charles Bukowski. There are so many. As for the why? It’s because of the images they were able to create.
 
 
15.) What are your main influences  in life? The people, the events, your spirituality, just anything that you feel comfortable sharing.
 
Influences in my life? My parents of course. My girlfriend Xiao Hui. My son Zaid. Music and art have always been a major part of my life. Spirituality? The Qur’an and Islam.  
 
 
16.) What are your other interests besides blogging? Do these interests come into your writing?
 
Astronomy and Cosmology. I’m quite the amateur astronomer. Other interests? Chinese culture. Languages. I studied Arabic for a couple of years. I learned some Mandarin Chinese, and continue to learn Mandarin as I will be returning to China in the very near future. No, I haven't used my other interests, but at some point I'll write them in.  

 
17.) What do you do with blogging ‘trolls’ and their ilk?
 
Blogging trolls. That can be a serious problem. There are more than 70 million blogs in existence. So these people with serious pathological problems just get out there and do what they do. Fortunately. I haven’t had a problem with trolls, not lately anyway. I just try to ignore them.
 
 
 18.When, where, and how do you write the best?
 
I’m always writing. 24 hours a day. But for the sake of actually putting it into a word-processor, early in the morning. I’m usually up at 5 am. I need that quiet time before the distractions of the day just become overbearing. I sit at this huge dining room table in front of my MacBook Pro with a cup of coffee, and a cigarette. I have an idea and I start to formulate it, explore it. With All Memories are Traces of Tears I’m always exploring the characters, developing them. Other times I don’t have a direction  until I start writing. It changes. I just keep writing  until it feels right.
 
 
 19.) What is the meaning of life?
 
 I’m still trying to figure it out, but I can tell you what gives meaning to my life. And that is helping people. Giving something back. That’s what I learned. You have to always give back. So if I can help someone in whatever capacity then I feel like I’m doing something that matters.
 
 
  20.) Do you like Girl Scout cookies? I favor mint chocolate.
 
  Well, it’s funny you asked. Yes, I do. However, I was dismayed to learn they’re not actually made out of Girl Scouts.  
 
 
There you have it, dear readers. Jaco. Just Jaco has just shown us his art and gave us answers to life’s great quandaries. I had always wondered why girl scout cookies were bereft of girl scouts too, but I never knew how to voice my concerns. Be sure to check out Jaco’s excellent fiction blog http://justwriteofleft.com, and if you’re on Twitter I’m sure he’d love to have you on his ship: @jaco223  

The A to Z Blogging Challenge Condensed to the A to B Blogging Challenge — May 8, 2011

The A to Z Blogging Challenge Condensed to the A to B Blogging Challenge

Cover of "The Diary of Anne Frank"
Not exactly a diarist of this caliber.Cover of The Diary of Anne Frank

 

I only got so far as B, so it’s going to be the A to B Blogging Challenge. For added grins I write it in “Melodramatic Victorian:”

My dear readers,

Given the task of writing a ‘B’ article for the A to Z Blogging Challenge, my mind turns to the idle days of youth. Those days, dear readers! Oh, those days! My pen quivers at the memory of budding life ‘ere the blossom bloomed and  old age withered the emerged flower! Do you remember, my most constant  friends, those days when our cheeks were cherry red with acne and life? I recall it as though it were yesterday…

It was the fall of my thirteenth year, and I had yet again given into the flights of fancy peculiar to me, the furies of fear, which set me apart from my schoolmates. The other children at the schoolhouse could not leave such a curiosity as me be. The privy, the dining area, out on the grounds, few places were safe from the little villains. I was afraid and yet part of me felt that negative attention was  better than no attention. Better not forgotten, but awful being remembered, I found that I despised educational pursuits altogether, so when I was installed in a safer place I still wanted to be done with the lot of it. In a way indeed I was.

This school, instead of being awash in Godless heathen, was awash and a dried   with God-fearing souls of a fundamentalist sect. I had been there, done that, and bought the appropriate apparel in the earliest of my formative years, and did not wish to do so again. Though the overwhelming majority were of the nicest sort of people, having been away from such beliefs for so long gave me a distaste for such ideas. I recall walking past a bulletin board against the candidate for the US senate who I supported because of abortion. Tsk, tsk. I also recall the campaign against Halloween, that evil Pagan holiday, where someone might sacrifice you to the devil if you were a virgin (a peril I’d still have to worry about today, sigh, as an aging spinster). I called “BS” on such fancies, having not recalled in all my 13 years hearing anyone in our town being sacrificed, but as you no doubt know, there’s a first for everything.

I wanted out of there, a place one could say was a liberal’s hell, and I feigned being ill so often they dismissed me from among them. I wish I could go back, give the proverbial rat’s derriere about learning, and propel myself through the middle grades. But I didn’t. I stayed home being homeschooled and developing agoraphobia, you know, the typical plights of adolescence.

I retired to home, schooled myself for two years in what I felt like learning and naught else, kept a diary, and remained agoraphobic except when with my mother.  The villains from the school before last and a crazy man who jumped out at me one night sealed my fearful state so much that only other fears brought me back into society two years later.

After my years à la Diary of Anne Frank, I resumed my education, my epistles in my diary became sporadic at best. Life lived outside the tiny expanse between my ears gave me other concerns than giving blow by blow dissertations on why my family ‘sucked,’ to use the vernacular common today, or what transpired on the television. Looking back on the juvenilia,  I am tempted to chuck those little books for the poor quality of the writing, but old sentimentality bade me stop.

We leave adolescence behind now and look beyond to the institution of higher learning ,The Community College, where one is given two year’s (or, in my case, five year’s ) instruction to go to higher-higher learning or to take up a trade. I was a wretched student for the most part, my inability to make deadlines one and for two there were diversions aplenty downtown. Secondary school had been easy for the most part. College was a whole other kettle of fish. I wonder at times, dear reader, if my days trudging the hallowed halls were worth it, that all my learning went for naught since I am pensioned by the government’s good will towards the mentally afflicted. Yet, one may postulate that knowledge, from the tiniest kernel of truth onward, is never a waste of time for anyone should it enhance the life of the pursuer –Eve excepted of course. The canvas of my mind was painted the hues of a liberal education, subtly infused with yellow flowers of reading and writing and a happy sun  of Windows 98. Oh, wonderous beauty, oh marvelous keyboard of life  (never mind I failed the word processing class. Moveable type wasn’t perfected in a day and the metaphor is effective just the same).

It was Creative Writing I that first propelled me forth in my illustrious pursuit of the written word, along with Creative Writing II, which had a few lesbians trying to find their Sapphic  muse as I tried to find my voice too. In class the first I learned and  listened in between the peculiar fits of panic I was dealt at that time of my life. From hearing my teacher lecture others and myself I learned:

  • Do not besmirch your paper with a preponderance of adjectives and adverbs  -a little goes a long way.
  • If you see something wrong with someone’s writing, tell him , that he might improve instead of gushing how wonderful his writing is (ah, but should I be bade  to tell someone EXACTLY what I saw wrong with something, I could pick out a few things. While my own writing  considerably lacked and I wasn’t able to discern just how bad it lacked, I could  see a  lot with the rather unexceptional lad with whom I was paired).
  • You need to work on the punctuation and spacing in your poems.
  • When writing a poem about your mother, don’t make it sound like a Hallmark moment (though said mother preferred the generic version as opposed to emo blood n’ guts version, thanks).
  • While you got a knack for pacing, this is the sort of story that’s been told 1000s of times, and your characters are archetypal (Lisa, cut out the gothic dramas, and what the hell is archetypal?.
  • If you’re writing a vintage style detective story, Oldest Guy in Class, don’t let the narrator call one of the characters “an old Jew.”
  • Young Guy, don’t use “ye olde English,” there’s enough of that from classic poets. To thyne own self be true… but only to  a point.

During Creative Writing the First, we were all expected to keep an “observation journal,” which was not to be a “How my boyfriend and I argue all the time journal” (not a problem for me, believe me). I was in the “wish I could disappear phase of my college education, so my journal became the friend I didn’t have. Rather, my teacher by proxy became my friend since she read the journal and left comments in the margins if I were lucky> I wrote about my observations and thoughts on things in what I flatter myself to be a humorous way. When class ended it was as though I lost a very dear friend. But this was another pre-cursor to my life as a blogger and horrid comment whore.

During Creative Writing the Second I began to realize my life was not meant to churn out fiction, rather my life was meant to chronicle my life, mundane as it was, and get a laugh or two. I remember I wrote a short story based on my life in high school and college and told of my one forray into the romantic world (humiliating myself for the grins of others, which pleased me. Better to laugh than cry…).  The teacher had us read excerpts from our writing at a bar that had a small stage, so perfect venue! I didn’t eat anything, lest I be sick, but I got up there, before the students and their friends, plus people who just came in to drink and didn’t care what else happened. I made a “Hi, mom” crack and began. I was a hit! It was one of the best moments of my obscure life.

I wish I could say after graduating, I became a celebrated writer or journalist or even went on to university, but it wasn’t to be. My anxiety, shyness, and inability to concentrate won in the end and I get paid by the government to exist and that’s my life.

But of course, my story doesn’t end there, my blogging story that is. Since graduating, my society with others, which was originally insignificant, almost went to nil. I have 3 friends I see regularly and other than that I keep to myself. Though I like people, I prefer it this way. In case you weren’t aware I’m terrified of rejection, plus I like being left to my own devices most of the time.

To supplement my lack of social life, I started conversing in a chat room for about 5 years or so. Now let me tell you something about chat rooms, lots of the brilliant conversationalists have problems bigger than yours, and no I wasn’t in a mental health room. It just seems like not many were “normal” insofar as my weak understanding of the word means and I don’t mean that as a slight. They say you don’t really know people online, but in 5 years, one does after a fashion, in a way some people  are more their true selves online than off I venture to say. Why I say this is you see how they deal with their fellows online and you know they are more flawed than you would see exhibited in polite society (not that I was a saint either to people who were rude to me).

In my chat room days I kept a couple of blogs. One I did a couple of posts and lost interest  in it, another I posted a few times until someone from the chat started pasting my musings into the chat to embarrass me.  Then I restarted blogging on that site, but my dearest mother sent me into fits of paranoia that the SOB gentleman down the way would find out I was writing about how he NEVER PAID ME BACK that $73.00  I loaned him to pay his light bill (what, me bitter? Not I, Christian charity, etc.). After a little while blogging almost privately I stopped writing there also.

Skipping on to the beginning of 2010, my best chat room friend and I had a falling out and suddenly I had nothing in my opinion. I stayed out of the chat room and the fellow who caused our quarrel began instant messaging me again. One day, as befitting his tastes and humor, he showed me a video of his favorite actress of the adult genre, Penny Flame. Who? What? Huh? “What makes her your favorite?” I asked, because watching said actress on said couch riding said man, she looked, well, like an actress of such moving pictures. A more everyday lass, less artificially rendered in make-up or enhancements of the bosom, but an actress none the less.

“She’s affectionate,” he said.

“Oh.”

Well, now, this wasn’t enough for me and my delicate sensibilities, so I researched her, and that brought up that infallible oracle  of truth, Wikipedia.

“Hey, did you know she retired, went on a Sex Rehab thing, and now keeps a blog as Jennie Ketcham?”

I became fascinated with not-Penny and was amazed by her goodness and how we seemed to have similar insecurities though she were endowed with more beauty and talents of letters than I ever should be gifted. I observed how her writing seemed to truly help people and a peculiar idea came to me, “Hey, maybe I could help folks while helping myself by writing too?” Misery loves company, right, I thought, and perhaps it would help other anxious people to know they aren’t alone or some such, etc. So I created this magnificent, magnanimous blog. Though I ramble something awful, can’t stay on topic to save my life, and worry all the time about losing my blogging friends, I must say this is my crowning achievement in life (I know, “winning” right?). I’ve met so many wonderful people through this blog and love you all. You give my life meaning and I hope to keep blogging as long as I live.

Adieu.

Winning! The Blogoversary Edition Vol. 1 (Excerpts from my first year) — March 28, 2011

Winning! The Blogoversary Edition Vol. 1 (Excerpts from my first year)

Happy Pictures, Images and Photos
Yay! My First Blogoversary! (March 25th, but who's counting?)

I was going to post this on March 25th to commemorate my first year of blogging, but my friend invited me over to hang out, so I guess I’ll do it today. I will list some links and excerpts from the past year that I favored. This is a chance to reminisce or to brush up on my ADHD-style masterpieces. Pay attention. There will be a test!

Here is an excerpt from my very first post, March 25,2010:

In Which Nervous Nelly Explains How OCD Thinking Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

I worry about murderers, carjackers, rapists, etc. causing harm to my mother and sometimes to myself, but mainly to my mother when we are apart. Look at the news, awful things happen ALL THE TIME. But when something awful could have actually happened I was calm and I handled it.

Ok, so 3 or 4 years ago we tried out a newly opened Chinese buffet. It was later in the afternoon,  just past lunchtime, so there was only a couple other patrons and they were in another section of the restaurant (this was before  the state made smokers into lepers and my mom could still smoke inside). We were eating, the food was good too, which makes this all the greater a tragedy .  Suddenly, one could hear yelling in the kitchen.  It kept up steady and seemed to stay in the kitchen, so I felt confident  in my safety at grabbing something else. Oh what to get, what to get. Soup? Or a couple of those slivers of cake?

Oh, the possibilities! Oh…….. oh …….oh shit!

The shit had now officially hit the fan.  The argument spilled out near where I happened was, no further than 12 feet. A man was  surrounded by 3 guys and 2 women, and boy,  was he ever pissed.  It was a good thing I don’t speak Chinese,  but some things are universal,  a psychotic rage is distinguishable from someone mildly miffed that he burned the General Tso’s chicken. Psycho Cook then took a soup bowl and smashed it on the floor, but this must have not been cathartic enough, for he soon lunged at another cook.  I remained unnoticed and began to deliberate what to do. I wasn’t panicked I remember, a little nervous and disconcerted, but panicking? No, not really. Would someone else have totally freaked out? I’m not sure . Perhaps they would have the common sense to be scared, not just a little frightened. So I weighed my options, a little list in my brain:

A:) Every woman for herself, haul ass out the door and hope your mother will follow.  But I would never leave my mother if  if any harm could come to her, so scratch that.

B:) Run past the offending party back to my mother. Run, fat girl, run!!! No, that didn’t seem sensible either. Let  the lunging crouching tiger become  aware of  Hidden Dragon here? Not a good idea in my estimation.

C.) Act normal (or fake it in my case since  I ain’t never been normal, just seen the brochure once or twice). Yes this is the best idea. If  I ignore whatever the screaming, striking  cook is doing and act like an unconcerned customer I might have more of  a chance at not attracting the ire of  this poor guy.  Time to not be too particular, so I grab a bit of orange and start back, walking as far away from Psycho Cook ‘n pals as I dared. One of the waitresses sat at the table with my mom kind of hiding out.  The waitress said to us, “I hate Chinese people. All they do is fight.” ( disclaimer: She was Chinese or Malaysian herself, so she could say that I guess). She proceeded to tell us the story of  the restaurant. Appears a few guys got the idea of opening a restaurant together. Too bad that among the angry lot,  one was totally insane and off his meds.  Happens in the best of restaurants.

Meanwhile, the fray  moved more towards the kitchen and another waitress came over. “We got to go now! He threatening to kill people.”

Ever the scrupulous idiot that i am I tried to give them money fast, but they said not to worry about it. Fair enough, but I did manage to give the waitress 10 bucks at least and wouldn’t  take it  back.  This all happened really fast.  One or two of the men stayed with the wigged out chef and everyone else made for the door. When outside several people got into one car and left. The other patrons had already left before hell broke loose.

Safely away my mother and I were like “well…that was….different.”

Princess Rubenesque’s Adventures Downtown

April 30, 2010

The fireworks were beautiful and I think we had the best view we ever had, sitting in our fold-out chairs in clear view of where they were  shot off.  Then we went to the Chinese take-out for some soup. This joint gave birth to the term “seedy.” There’s always interesting people there. Someone opened the door to yell to a patron that their mutual pal is in jail, but she already knew and was cross but seemed to not view it as being as newsworthy as her friends did.

Soup is a rather ritual-oriented meal, especially the robust hot and sour they serve at Seedy China.  The soup is spicy hot and would not do for the average Anglo to gulp down, but it is the best I’ve ever tasted. In case you aren’t fortunate enough to know how to eat a pint of soup the proper way, allow me to school you on the perfect and essential way. You can thank me later for this vital skill.

Please recall, gentle reader, we did not grow up in a sty and must actaccordingly. Unfold your napkin and set it in your lap (if you are lucky like me your stomach is one  large flap and if utilized properly, can act as a ‘paperweight’ for the napkin in your lap).  Take your spoon and begin. Begin from the left and take  sips until you’ve taken a sip by dipping your spoon, working vertically until you’re at the right side of the bowl.  Then put a few of those crisp noodles, at least 3 of them since you really prefer things in 3′s.  Eat the noodles in your soup. Now repeat the entire ritual until you’re done, and if you’re good at it, people won’t even realize you have a ‘strategy’ for eating.

The Dying Swan; or, “That Ain’t Ebola is It?”

April 29, 2011

Once upon a time (like yesterday),  I took a look in the bathroom mirror and my eyes were red, particularly my right eye. Not like  bloodshot-been-opening-my-eyes-too-long-underwater-someone-been-on-a-drunk-red,  much weirder.  A horizontal line seemed to divide my eye in half in the middle,  reddish at the bottom half and normal white on top.

I looked into the eyes of death.

Or something…

My mind began to conjure up what symptom of my imminent death was this.

I had mostly given up my of several years’ obsession with the idea of contracting  AIDS by bizarre means not pertaining to intercourse or needles, so scratch that one for now.

Cancer?  Maybe that’s it, I thought. I always swam in outdoor pools without goggles  due to my high tolerance for chlorine, and I loved looking at the sun’s rays dancing on the pool’s bottom.

So I ask my mother, a retired nurse, what dread disease is this one?

What malady is about to dispatch me, to nail the lid of my coffin, strike me down in the prime of my life?

“Pollen,” said Mother.

The Various Trials of Nervous Nelly, from a Visit with her Therapist to Nearly Being Locked in a Cemetary Overnight

Apparently, the good people of Rich White Cemetery in their good sense, believe a decent cemetery should expel all living patrons by 5pm sharp regardless of time of year.  But the fun part is locking the gates without a glimpse for suckers who failed to read closing time upon entering. I wasn’t too concerned, though, since I  had my cell phone, not to say that would be too fun a call to make to the cops. I suggest we walk around, that surely somewhere remained unlocked, especially since I saw a not-so-paranormal-looking couple  just a few minutes ago walking.

Two gates locked, we’re padlocked in Perdition. We  keep walking until a third gate. This one looks a tad different and I walk up to it, a side entrance and the damn thing opens like the pearly gates to Glory.  Mama walks back to our ghetto fabulous classic 1994 Mazda MPV, me waiting so no one locks this gate on us.  I look at this gorgeous azalea I remember from last year, a dark red-purple flower about the size of a common magenta azalea but much darker, so awesome. I take a peep at the graves near the gate, all the while keeping my eye on said gate. No one, not St. Peter, not the devil, not a grounds keeper, is gonna lock that damn gate without me at least screaming loud enough to wake the dead.

Safely delivered from captivity, we go downtown to have a look at the teabagger rally, I mean the Tea Party,  that has gone on all day. We listen to Sean Hannity on the radio waxing rhapsodic about the noble Tea Party activists nationwide and Reagan this, Reagan that. Every time I listen to Hannity, I tend to think if he could dig up Reagan and marry him he would, anti-gay marriage or no.

So the noble tea folk are down at the federal courthouse at the river. Good for them, I suppose, since the joy of being American is the ability to protest for what you believe.  It’s WASP Party 2010 downtown and rather fun to look at as long as you recall everyone is entitled to believe as they like, that is until I see this one woman and I have my What the Flying Fuck?! moment of the day. She has this sign, “Obama, Go Back to Kenya. I Will Buy the Plane Ticket!”  Now, I could be wrong, but to me it sounds like some racist saying no more than “Go back to Africa.”  Sure, I get the whole Birther rumor popular among some people. But honestly? Honestly. Could Obama be from Kenya and a closet Muslim? Could I be an Ethiopian albino  and  a closet Hare Krishna? Anything is possible, but probable? Um no.  She has a right to her opinion and I have the right to think she’s plumb ignorant with a limited touch on reality.

Unfortunately, it seems I favor quite a few excerpts from my first 2 months. I know these aren’t literary masterpieces, but they were my first efforts. I think I got better at not rambling so much as I went on. I hope those of you who weren’t here from the first like this, and my first dear readers like “Lisa in Review.”

Do y’all like this and should I continue this base self-aggrandizement? Am I just being redundant?

Upcoming junk

  • I gotta do a book review on a book I got from bloggingforbooks.org. Hey, I was like, “Eh, what the hell? Free book! (I enjoyed it too, but don’t worry I’m not becoming a book blogger except every now and then).
  • Retrieve my stupid political post from Rejectionville and post it here. It’s a moot point now anyway, but whatever.
  • Finish my damn Christmas Post (once I get my netbook back from the pawn shop).
  • Do more OCD; less tangenty, boringy stuff.
  • Still want to write more of my memoirs, thrill a minute.
  • Answer my comments much faster.

I love you all and thank you for everything. Y’all don’t even know how much you mean to me and how you’ve helped me,

Lisa

PS, If anyone dislikes this color let me know or even the font.

Hoarders: Invasion of The Evil Cable Clowns Edition — February 25, 2011

Hoarders: Invasion of The Evil Cable Clowns Edition

An amateur clown
"We're here to help!" Image via Wikipedia

Strange few days indeed. With the usual thoughtfulness of the management of Shitzville Apartments, a photocopy of a note written in marker appeared on everyone’s doors saying that new cable lines would be installed starting that day. With no other explanation at hand, Mom called the manager. Yes. Starting that day. No, no free cable (fuck!), just re-wiring. No, won’t have to move anything (you’ve never been in our apartment have you?) Oh, you put in a work order a couple of weeks ago and maintenance never came? I’ll put another one in (gee, that’s big of you).

We learn from our friendly neighborhood informant that the cable company would have installed the lines, but the management wouldn’t let them. Instead they got Clowns-R-Us to install it cheaper.


Soon we also learn from one of the Clowns-R-Us men that yes, the next day, they will invade the living room and bedrooms of everyone. Said clown drilled a hole in our ceiling at the side nearest the door, and dangled three thick cable cords down into our apartment suitable for braiding. One might say, “Oh that’s going to be so tacky dangling those cords down by the ceiling,” but considering the area commonly used for putting one’s dining table instead has many overflowing boxes of junk about shoulder-high, I don’t think we have much of a foot to stand on with the Tacky Police.

Hoarder
Alternative interior design; or, how to remain single and singular


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My bedroom is chaos. My desktop computer is usable, my bed with the 1970s (vintage!) mattress is sleepable, the first couple of drawers on my chest are get-attable, but other than that: Screwed! My doll collection is on the walls and wherever else the packages have landed, boxes and boxes of books everywhere. This ain’t gonna cut it, so I know I must cut some of the books loose not vital to my own reading, collecting, or casual ebaying.

hoarding dolls
Corner of the author's bedroom.

collyer brothers
The coveted Collyer Brothers' Housekeeping Seal of Approval

 

This is probably what is going to stop me from becoming famous on reality TV. I sort of hoard, but I have yet to attain the Collyer Brothers’ Housekeeping Seal of Approval. I just don’t hoard anything weird (well, that’s subjective) or gross. I have no urge to keep milk cartons (though I believe I can see their logic in doing so -“Hey, I can use this plastic milk carton for Kool-Aid, and when I die, you can use it to keep my ashes in it instead of an urn!”). I sure as hell ain’t keeping milk past the expiration date. Though I’m fat as all get out, I’m a very picky eater. As for the nastiness factor, I can’t stand roaches and we seldom have them, but if I see one, it puts me off eating in the house the rest of the day. Fun fact though: I feel guilty if I kill one, though I’m perfectly OK with their murder by the exterminator or Mom. Our home is dusty, smokey, and now and then you get a scent of eau d’ chat because Oscar has “territory issues.” But, hey, the kitchen and bathroom are clean.

hoarders logo
Almost famous.

I’ve actually seen places that were the epitome nasty. Once I went in someone’s trailer and saw so many roaches, hundreds! Crawling everywhere, not scattering in a way that made me think they were aware of their victory over the pitiful souls living there. It was an obsessive-compulsive’s worst nightmare. Shit, it was anyone’s worst nightmare…anyone, that is, but the people who lived there.

At this very apartment complex I’ve seen a couple of apartments that had blackened counters and bathrooms once the people moved. Also, at our old house, the guy who bought it really doesn’t give a flip. Got an extra fridge? It’ll look great in your front yard among other debris and old cars is his motto. I’m sure our old neighbors hate us for letting Asshat buy our home for 20k paid in installments that often were late. What upsets me  is the plants he deliberately killed. Azaleas and hydrangeas deliberately cut down and killed -I know they didn’t feel it logically, but mentally it upsets me ( I’m not even much of a tree-hugger or a gardener). I hope my mom’s tiger lilies and daffodils still come up just to spite him. I’mthough sure he murdered my dead grandfather’s rose bush, though heaven knows what horror is in the backyard now since he made a makeshift a tarp and wooden board privacy fence over the wired fence as soon as he moved in. At least our Sanford and Son Syndrome was mainly inside. Tsk tsk!

Days go by. No Clowns-R-Us return to finish. If they don’t come back soon, I am going to braid that damn cable! Various panels are off the hall’s ceiling. One fascinates my mom and I in particular because it appears to go all the way through the floor to the second story hall. W.T.F? Neither did the clowns appear to approach their task too tenderly, for paint and wood chips had come off too.

There are two possible explanations for Clowns-R-Us’ disappearance. Someone else started playing “Send in the Clowns” somewhere.

Or…

Too many people started cursing out the clowns, and knowing some of the folks living here, probably threatening to rip off their slap happy noses. Not all of us are docile sheep like my mother and I, though I sometimes wonder if we acted more like we were raised in a barn, we would get on a bit better in life.

Seriously, who wants clowns drilling a hole big enough for 3 thick cords to drop down, with a little extra room too for something to crawl in. The intention, then is to run said thick cords under the carpet into the living room and bedrooms. It would be enough to throw Mother Teresa into a rage. Talk about taking one’s lumps in a literal sense!

But ah to getting rid of stuff! So many books I found that did not have my life blood within them! I wouldn’t have parted with them though if they went to the trash. I give away just fine…throw away, not so much. Some went to the laundry room on a table where people throw their freebies and Watchtowers. Others I put by the dumpster (not in, that’s vital). I also put a porcelain doll on top of one box of books and someone took the books, but threw the doll away. Someone would have wanted her. Affrontedand wished I’d kept her. She was down ar the very bottom of the dumpster, the yuckiest part. There, in dumpster diver hell, I would only fetch out a real baby, or something REALLY awesome.

Pre-Publishing Update:

They came! Around 8-ish in the morning…too bad for me I had gone to bed at 4am. Half-asleep, I stumbled to the door. “Is it too early?” asked the head maintenance man, who accompanied a clown.

Yeah, come back in 6 hours. “No, just let me warn my mother.” Mom was bathing. Luckily I was semi-presentable. My hair was aiming for the sky and I had to hide my nightguard in my pocket (I grind my teeth), but I was dressed!

It doesn’t even look as bad as our informant led us to believe. The day before the maintenance man came and I have new outlets because half of them had stopped working. We have a new garbage disposal and the leaky faucets leak a little bit less. Shitzville wasn’t built in a day. The man who did it is the only one of the three who really does much. As he worked, he got a call telling him to fix someone’s closet rack who had been waiting three weeks.

The maintenance man told us it would have cost 45k to knock out sheet rock and install the cable if the cable company had done it. I can understand why Slumlord Millionaire wouldn’t want to pay that high of a price and it would be tons more disruptive. It isn’t nearly as bad as our informant made us believe.

ghetto cord
Ghetto cable:s not so bad.

I think I almost have my Christmas post ready…just in time for the March rush, too.

All of this was supposed to be a short update and intro to this poem. The best layed plans…


Life of a Compulsive Collector

 

I

There is a picture of me,

not yet age three.

Basket over my head.

How cute!

Look closer.

Toys surround me.

A slight hint of chaos

in a picture’s confines.

 

II

I have always liked things.

Small girl at yard sales,

accompanying Mama to the flea.

Grab bags filled with trinkets,

grocery store vending machines.

Nothing that cost too much,

second-hand toys and plastic rings.

 

III

Granddad pushing me in a stroller.

We go to the schoolhouse when class is over.

The middle school kids are careless.

Pencils to find and seek,

an Easter egg hunt so to speak.

All passed our inspection –

From nubs up to their erasers,

to chew marked, or almost new.

Bathed in the bathroom sink,

sharpened by pocket knife too.

 

IV

I grow older.

Mom has a menagerie of plants,

six fish tanks,

and a better job.

Barbies, Lady Lovely Locks, and She-Ra

kept court with

Jem (the doll that looked more like a Him).

At around age ten,

I make a plan:

I’ll always love toys

no matter how old I am.

At 33 I’ve kept that promise,

unfortunately with an addendum or two.

Books ancient to relatively new,

Cassette tapes I bought in my teens.

Boxes of stuff to sell and keep.

33 years to fill a hole in me,

hard to put away or set free.




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