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A Summer at Club Ghetto/Trailer Park: Big Pimpin’ Edition — May 19, 2011

A Summer at Club Ghetto/Trailer Park: Big Pimpin’ Edition

Cover scan of volume 1 of Cardcaptor Sakura (?...

Yesterday was an action packed adventure, so much of a one I’m inclined to share it all.

First thing’s first. I checked the internet for a symptom I’m having to see whether it’s a sign of cancer. Research inconclusive.

I tried to list some things on eBay for that much needed extra penny  towards the end of the month, but my penchant for being easily distracted and my cats getting in the way on my desk and lap, as well as the slowness of my desktop computer made productivity minimal.

Later I walked by Club Ghetto/Trailer Park’s pool, and lo, 73 degrees and a family, including a couple beating me in the pleasantly plump category, were in the water. That’s wanting to swim. Perhaps they were afraid that they wouldn’t have time between now and The Rapture to get in a good splash? I decided to take my chances and wait until it’s supposed to get into 80 and up in a few days. A woman and her small daughter walked by me on the sidewalk and I let out a slight “hello” for fear of being rude. No answer. I began wondering why she didn’t reply. My hair probably went in several directions. I didn’t look her in the eye, so perhaps she thought I was crazy or “challenged,” or, eh what the heck, both. The possibilities are endless!

Much later, after washing my ‘fro and doing violence upon it with my comb, also conceding defeat to my cats lounging on the desk and chair of my computer, I decided to go to Club Ghetto/Trailer Park Pool to catch up on my reading. This would be my first time on the deck of our hallowed pool since last year, a rite of passage from spring to summer.

Hey!” cried a voice, that distinct accent of southern gay man. I knew who he was before he introduced himself, the gentleman who helped my mother with the groceries the other day. I was inside putting frozen and refrigerated stuff away, so I had not made his acquaintance, but had heard his praises. He asked me if he knew who he was.

Yes, my mom told me how nice you were helping her the other day,” I replied. She also had said he greatly admired me for always having a book with me. Well, that’s nice, though the day of the grocery incident, I was into the adventures of Cardcaptor Sakura (I’ve discovered the joys of Japanese shoujo (for girls) manga about 18 years late). I was pleased anyway since “admired” in reference to me is a rare bird indeed.

sakura_and_tomoyo-12848

Cardcaptor Sakura

So here he was, The Gentleman, the same fellow who had the delicacy to leave the groceries by our door lest my mother confuse him for a rapist. A large man, rather stout, perhaps around 40, three necklaces including a large cross against his sunburned flesh, blondish ponytail, this was The Gentleman who had given me praise. Here he was again, waxing upon my literary prowess, quizzing me on this awful book I’m reading about Obama, one of those “Hey, it was free for a review” wonders, but far less interesting than the Girl Finds Jesus Under a Train book.

What chapter are you on?” he asked as he looked at the table of contents.

Two or three.” The book is kind of interesting, but like I said it also has the distinction of being “awful.”

Hey wait a moment, I want to talk to you about the book,” he said in a kinda gay, kinda kind sort of voice, as though he recognized me as just shy, not a retard. “What do you think so far?”

Not used to on the spot quizzes, I could only garble out about how I thought the author disliked Obama for being black, his funny Muslim name, and that he blamed Obama for everything.

Yes, you see it was a very unique time, Never before has there been an African-American president, even though his mother was white, so many people aren’t going to like him.”

Yes, true,” I replied.

At another point in the conversation, he said, “I love to read too! What kind of books do you read mostly?”

A bit of everything.” It was though I had become the most interesting person around, just a regular intellectual in her Paris salon. The alcohol on his breath, not quite tempered by his cigar, no doubt helped add to my allure.

salonShootin’ the Bull on Books Old World Style

Another man was with him who said nary a word, the opposite of Mr. Sunshine. Thin, dark, and older, with a full head of gray hair that would make Donald Trump jealous, this fellow was just there. Since he didn’t speak to me, I didn’t cast my  next “hello” before another unresponsive swine. I should have, mind, since when he’s drunk he gives stuff away, and one day I had a lovely piece of Ruby Red Glass from 1905 on our terrace from it, but I am horribly shy. One spurt of being uber friendly a day is all I’m worth. I wonder if he’s “The Cousin.”

Yes, The Cousin. As in my cousin, probably 20 times removed if at all. My father’s surname is rather uncommon, at least in these parts, so it makes me wonder. Though he grew up in a different part of Appalachia than my dearly departed papa, maybe there is a smidge of consanguinity. He certainly fits the bill of a relation on my father’s side, i.e., drunk. To be a male on that side of a family is to have alcohol running through the veins I understand –which would be great if they got a cut, but not so great for breeding.

I want you to discuss this book with me when you’re done,” said The Gentleman.

I’ll let you have it once I’m done with it,” I replied.

Oh great, I’ll even pay you for it.”

Oh no, that’s not necessary. I got it for free myself for a review.” (Note I said nothing about my blog, but if he ever does find this, perhaps it’s forgivable).

Finally, I went to a lounge to sit and read. “Oh! Don’t you want a chair?” my new friend exclaimed.

No, I prefer this kind of seat actually, thanks.”

Why don’t you sit in the sun?” I moved in deference, though the late afternoon light tried to get into my eyes. I began reading the book I brought with the “awful” Obama book –a fascinating graphic novel about none other than Ronald Reagan. Well researched, it’s a fascinating read. You begin it thinking it will be an ass-kissing homage to the former president, but then it goes into the douchey things ol’ Dutch did, including the part about how Reagan made sure the Iranian hostages weren’t released until he was elected.

Suddenly I heard, “Adios!” I figured it was someone saying bye to the people in the pool then, but no, it was The Gentleman, carrying a sort of Moses-style cane for fashion’s sake. And the winner of the Best Gay Pimp Award goes to…

As the sun went further down, I began to feel chilled. It was barely 70 with no sun shining on the pool and yet a family continued swimming as I was WTF-ing. I’d have thought they were Canadian ex-pats had they not been both dark-skinned and speaking fluent Spanish to each other. Far braver souls than I.

As I wobbled home, I spotted The Gentleman far off. Feeling shy with anyone I haven’t known some 15 years or so, I walked on until he began waving. “Hi, Lisaaaaa! I live here!”

And so the first day at Club Ghetto/Trailer Park ended and I already made a friend. It’s true I’ve been very lonely, wishing I had my blog friends here, someone who “got me.” Maybe this is in part what I wished for (though the Nervous Nelly in me says, “Personal space, too, please”).

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A Summer at Club Ghetto/Trailer Park: Big Pimpin’ Edition —

A Summer at Club Ghetto/Trailer Park: Big Pimpin’ Edition

Cover scan of volume 1 of Cardcaptor Sakura (カ...

Yesterday was an action packed adventure, so much of a one I’m inclined to share it all.

First thing’s first. I checked the internet for a symptom I’m having to see whether it’s a sign of cancer. Research inconclusive.

I tried to list some things on eBay for that much needed extra penny  towards the end of the month, but my penchant for being easily distracted and my cats getting in the way on my desk and lap, as well as the slowness of my desktop computer made productivity minimal.

Later I walked by Club Ghetto/Trailer Park’s pool, and lo, 73 degrees and a family, including a couple beating me in the pleasantly plump category, were in the water. That’s wanting to swim. Perhaps they were afraid that they wouldn’t have time between now and The Rapture to get in a good splash? I decided to take my chances and wait until it’s supposed to get into 80 and up in a few days. A woman and her small daughter walked by me on the sidewalk and I let out a slight “hello” for fear of being rude. No answer. I began wondering why she didn’t reply. My hair probably went in several directions. I didn’t look her in the eye, so perhaps she thought I was crazy or “challenged,” or, eh what the heck, both. The possibilities are endless!

Much later, after washing my ‘fro and doing violence upon it with my comb, also conceding defeat to my cats lounging on the desk and chair of my computer, I decided to go to Club Ghetto/Trailer Park Pool to catch up on my reading. This would be my first time on the deck of our hallowed pool since last year, a rite of passage from spring to summer.

Hey!” cried a voice, that distinct accent of southern gay man. I knew who he was before he introduced himself, the gentleman who helped my mother with the groceries the other day. I was inside putting frozen and refrigerated stuff away, so I had not made his acquaintance, but had heard his praises. He asked me if he knew who he was.

Yes, my mom told me how nice you were helping her the other day,” I replied. She also had said he greatly admired me for always having a book with me. Well, that’s nice, though the day of the grocery incident, I was into the adventures of Cardcaptor Sakura (I’ve discovered the joys of Japanese shoujo (for girls) manga about 18 years late). I was pleased anyway since “admired” in reference to me is a rare bird indeed.

sakura_and_tomoyo-12848

Cardcaptor Sakura

So here he was, The Gentleman, the same fellow who had the delicacy to leave the groceries by our door lest my mother confuse him for a rapist. A large man, rather stout, perhaps around 40, three necklaces including a large cross against his sunburned flesh, blondish ponytail, this was The Gentleman who had given me praise. Here he was again, waxing upon my literary prowess, quizzing me on this awful book I’m reading about Obama, one of those “Hey, it was free for a review” wonders, but far less interesting than the Girl Finds Jesus Under a Train book.

What chapter are you on?” he asked as he looked at the table of contents.

Two or three.” The book is kind of interesting, but like I said it also has the distinction of being “awful.”

Hey wait a moment, I want to talk to you about the book,” he said in a kinda gay, kinda kind sort of voice, as though he recognized me as just shy, not a retard. “What do you think so far?”

Not used to on the spot quizzes, I could only garble out about how I thought the author disliked Obama for being black, his funny Muslim name, and that he blamed Obama for everything.

Yes, you see it was a very unique time, Never before has there been an African-American president, even though his mother was white, so many people aren’t going to like him.”

Yes, true,” I replied.

At another point in the conversation, he said, “I love to read too! What kind of books do you read mostly?”

A bit of everything.” It was though I had become the most interesting person around, just a regular intellectual in her Paris salon. The alcohol on his breath, not quite tempered by his cigar, no doubt helped add to my allure.

salonShootin’ the Bull on Books Old World Style

Another man was with him who said nary a word, the opposite of Mr. Sunshine. Thin, dark, and older, with a full head of gray hair that would make Donald Trump jealous, this fellow was just there. Since he didn’t speak to me, I didn’t cast my  next “hello” before another unresponsive swine. I should have, mind, since when he’s drunk he gives stuff away, and one day I had a lovely piece of Ruby Red Glass from 1905 on our terrace from it, but I am horribly shy. One spurt of being uber friendly a day is all I’m worth. I wonder if he’s “The Cousin.”

Yes, The Cousin. As in my cousin, probably 20 times removed if at all. My father’s surname is rather uncommon, at least in these parts, so it makes me wonder. Though he grew up in a different part of Appalachia than my dearly departed papa, maybe there is a smidge of consanguinity. He certainly fits the bill of a relation on my father’s side, i.e., drunk. To be a male on that side of a family is to have alcohol running through the veins I understand –which would be great if they got a cut, but not so great for breeding.

I want you to discuss this book with me when you’re done,” said The Gentleman.

I’ll let you have it once I’m done with it,” I replied.

Oh great, I’ll even pay you for it.”

Oh no, that’s not necessary. I got it for free myself for a review.” (Note I said nothing about my blog, but if he ever does find this, perhaps it’s forgivable).

Finally, I went to a lounge to sit and read. “Oh! Don’t you want a chair?” my new friend exclaimed.

No, I prefer this kind of seat actually, thanks.”

Why don’t you sit in the sun?” I moved in deference, though the late afternoon light tried to get into my eyes. I began reading the book I brought with the “awful” Obama book –a fascinating graphic novel about none other than Ronald Reagan. Well researched, it’s a fascinating read. You begin it thinking it will be an ass-kissing homage to the former president, but then it goes into the douchey things ol’ Dutch did, including the part about how Reagan made sure the Iranian hostages weren’t released until he was elected.

Suddenly I heard, “Adios!” I figured it was someone saying bye to the people in the pool then, but no, it was The Gentleman, carrying a sort of Moses-style cane for fashion’s sake. And the winner of the Best Gay Pimp Award goes to…

As the sun went further down, I began to feel chilled. It was barely 70 with no sun shining on the pool and yet a family continued swimming as I was WTF-ing. I’d have thought they were Canadian ex-pats had they not been both dark-skinned and speaking fluent Spanish to each other. Far braver souls than I.

As I wobbled home, I spotted The Gentleman far off. Feeling shy with anyone I haven’t known some 15 years or so, I walked on until he began waving. “Hi, Lisaaaaa! I live here!”

And so the first day at Club Ghetto/Trailer Park ended and I already made a friend. It’s true I’ve been very lonely, wishing I had my blog friends here, someone who “got me.” Maybe this is in part what I wished for (though the Nervous Nelly in me says, “Personal space, too, please”).

The Various Trials of Nervous Nelly, from a Visit with her Therapist to Nearly Being Locked in a Cemetary Overnight — April 27, 2010

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

(This post was started April 16 and only finished today, the 27th. Segments, Lisa. You must learn to write in small segments. )

Dear most appreciated blog reader,

Regarding my “Can’t Say No” post, I have yet to be hauled away for the crimes of Little Hippie /Fundamentalist  Woman, so perhaps she wasn’t a criminal after all and just  a gal who really needed to write an email or two. I have a vivid, abominable  imagination.  So for now we must file this worry away and send our neurotic heroine Nelly on to other fabulous adventures, like chasing windmills and shit.

It’s Wednesday and I’m late as always to my therapist. I can’t for the life of me be on time for anything. One day I will be late to my own funeral, you just wait and see.  Assuming I don’t die penniless and bereft of friends and family, I will be cleaned and dressed sans my rituals and won’t try to do 3 or 4 things at the same time. Then, since you can’t take it with you when you go, I won’t be searching frantically for whatever the ‘it’ is of the day that I wanted to take. So who knows? I might make it on time for my funeral sometime in the  future (hopefully the distant future), but as it stands I won’t to the therapist. And the ‘it’ that I need to take with me is my fucking purse, which I forget at home, and helpfully  remember 15 minutes down the road. We debate on returning for the purse. I didn’t pay my Medicaid co-pay the last time because it was the end of the month and money was mega tight in March, but to  let the payment go twice in a row is positively horrifying to me, especially since now I can pay for it just fine.

Nervous Nelly here is a dependent personality if ever there was one. I can’t bear the thought of telling the sweet, non-threatening receptionist to ‘put it on my tab.’  I can say hi warmly, flash something akin to  a smile, politely answer questions, set up an appointment, pay, and wish her a good day each time I see her, all the while  avoiding eye contact as much as I can. But the words, “I’m really sorry, but I forgot my purse at home. Could I please pay you next time?” like someone climbing Mt. Everest to me. Not impossible, but who wants to be so high up in the atmosphere you can barely breathe?  Not I. Hellll no.

“If I have to not pay my $3.00 twice in a row, will you please tell her,” I beg my mother.

Ok, seeing this in print is really showing how stupid this is. Oh, man. There is inside this woman, me, a little girl who never grew up and she wants her mommy.  She fights with adult me, who is a bit of an old lady.  So this perhaps is why I don’t ever quite fit in, can’t be 32…I can have the emotional maturity of a 6 year-old and sometimes  I’m 62 (I am so screwed).

What clenches the purse-fetching debate is the gas tank is almost on empty and we will need to get gas pretty soon. I feel my frustration scale about to go through the roof. I hate messing up, hate it. I regard forgetting  my purse as some terrible flaw in my character, a sign that I’m a total fool. How disgusting. How ridiculous. How abnormal. How imperfect! The little things in life get me, as I’ve told you before,  and this little thing has sent me into a rage at myself. I covertly pinch my arm hard trying to get a grip. I tell myself under my breath what exactly I am. “Stupid, worthless piece of shit.”

Ok, let me step back a sec. That’s embarrassing to relate, dear reader. I wouldn’t say that to anyone else or pinch anyone but myself.  I am my own worst enemy.  In situations like these I don’t just dislike myself, I loathe myself. I don’t hate other people and seldom get really mad at others. Guess I save it all for myself. I hope you don’t think I’m crazy. I don’t hear voices, see things, or think I’m Joan of Arc. I know it’s  totally irrational and yet I can’t seem to stop.

Ok, intermission over. Back to the story.

Back at the apartment, I grab my purse, all the time berating myself.  I pop an ativan (those are only for emergencies and I deem this fit an emergency) and back out I go.  At the therapist’s, I go in with extra apprehension for being almost 15 minutes late.  I am supposed to meet the eyes of my therapist, but I’m ashamed for being late, and ever since my antidepressants  seemed to start failing me ( a couple of months now), I can’t make the effort for her or anyone. I’m ashamed and afraid for being.

I have an implicit trust in my therapist and can tell her anything. I knew her when I was 15 and in a group for teens with various problems. I saw another therapist one on one in those days, but my current therapist was one of the leaders of the group, and to be honest, I liked her much more than him.  My male therapist, besides the fact he was a man  and I distrust men, I felt was too critical of me. He wanted to change my personality and I felt he secretly didn’t like me much. But I can thank him for many things, one is I knew where to go when I needed help again, my current therapist. Another, is I met my best friend of 17 years there and half the time she’s more neurotic than I am, though hers is more from her life experiences and not an anxiety disorder. Yet another is that I learned that no matter how bad things are, there’s someone who is in a far worse situation than I am. You never know what someone is going through or what made someone become who she/he is , and it is vital to realize and be compassionate. I wonder what happened to those kids. Did that girl who kept a knife under her bed for when she decided to make another suicide attempt live to adulthood? I hope she is alive and well, the poor thing was only 14, and no child deserves such unhappiness. My best friend and I were the poster girls for good mental health compared to the overwhelming majority of those kids.  So awful.

But anyway….

My therapist says I must stop beating myself up for simple mistakes. NO ONE IS PERFECT. FORGETTING STUFF IS NORMAL. It’s hard for me to not try to do things just right, though, because I’ve done this in one form or another since about the age of 6.  She tells me to continue going for walks everyday. Besides being good excercise, she thinks if I’m out among people I will become less nervous around others. I’m just so afraid of making an ass out of myself , of committing the great social blunder of 2010, and I feel they’re thinking about how I look.

Lastly, my therapist tells me to remember to do more stuff that will make me more independent. I am peaceful as I hand my money over to the receptionist. She tries to schedule my next appointment still in April, but I say best make it May since it’s getting toward the end of the month and money is tight. To which the receptionist answered, “If you ever need to see her, it’s ok to wait until later to pay.”

Note to self: Lisa Ann B., you’re an idiot.


It is Thursday, a beautiful spring day in the southeastern coastal town where I live. The flowers have burst forth. Spring’s trademark is stamped everywhere. Dogwoods, other flowering trees, and  azaleas are exploding with color. There is no more beautiful time of the year as when the azaleas pop out, but don’t blink too much because within two weeks they will have wilted away until the next year. All this renewal of life freed from the clutches of  winter by Mother Nature makes me want to…..makes me want to plant a garden? No! ……Makes me want to go to the cemetary!

Well, this is not just any cemetary. This one goes back to antebellum days. I don’t actually like to think about those times (except for the beautiful Scarlet O’Hara dresses)  because I hate to think of the atrocities done to slaves . But I mega dig Victoriana. And anyway it’s  not so much the graves that  attract one to the cemetary, it’s the azaleas. The azaleas are everywhere  in the background of the monument-like graves of  the élite families of our town.

In fact, this cemetary, and the two others next to it, give a glimpse of society from around the Civil War to the present. The azalea-ridden cemetary with its monumental graves is a  memorial to what wealth will buy. It’s rich, white, and prestigious. Filled with people with interesting lives and even more interesting deaths.  Just a few:

The Sea Captain’s daughter who gave up the ghost while far away from home, so they nailed a chair down inside a barrel.  Then they tied her mortal remains to the chair and filled the barrel with liquor. When back home, they buried her still in the barrel. If that keg is made of wood, I bet she is no longer pickled. If it is metal, maybe she’s down there still sitting in her chair if it hasn’t rusted away (which somehow is even more creepy to me than her just being bones).  And to add to the sorrowful tale is that 4 months after his daughter died, the sea captain’s  son washed overboard and drowned. Now talk about your bad luck!

The Confederate spy who  put her bag of  gold  coins (royalties from her memoir) around her neck so she wouldn’t lose them when the boat she was on capsized. Unfortunately she didn’t lose her gold when her lifeboat flipped and she was weighed down and finis.

The volunteer fireman who was buried with his dog. The man and dog died together when he was pinned down in a fire and rather than leaving his master, the dog remained with him  and perished too while trying to drag his master to safety.


Next to Rich White Cemetery is the  African-American Cemetery, historical in its own merit because people were buried there since the days of slavery too. In the Black Cemetery, the socio-economic barriers that permeate the Rich White Cemetery do not seem to exist much. The poor people are differentiated by the quality, flourish, and size of stone on their graves. The Black Cemetery is kept up in a minimal way, the grass cut almost everywhere, the dirt path bumpy and hard to pass through but passable.  The edges of the cemetery are what screams lack of care. These parts of the cemetery have grown up with grass and brambles, with stones just peaking out showing someone is buried there. These are the people gone and long since forgotten. Shame on our city, when this graveyard is a part of our history as vital as Rich White Cemetery! I consider our coastal southern town fairly progressive, but some things are hidden just underneath the surface in our turbulent past. The city that I live in had a violent race riot in the  1970s and even a coup d’état in 1890s by overthrowing the majority black government in our city.

The third cemetery,  separated by the African-American Cemetery from its richer peer, is Poor to Middle Class White Cemetery. Well kept, small but dignified, it’s better cared for than her black neighbor, but not nearly as interesting.

Now, after that impromptu treatise on race relations, back to the story!

So we’re looking at the flowers and eerie beauty of Rich White Cemetery and getting a tad lost, because this cemetery has planted folks here for around 160 years and some of them have huge monuments, mausoleums,  and whatever it took to be funereal chic  in the Victorian era. 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.

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