October 24, 2001
9:00pm

Good News!

Eric found out today that he starts a new job on November 5th, less than two weeks from now, working at his old rate of pay and doing something that he thinks he's going to love.  He'll be driving from site to site, setting up cell phone relay sites and such like.  He'll even be teamed with Jeff, his partner from before.  He's extremely happy and I am so happy for him.  Just last night, we were making some wishes for what we would want his job to be and this hits on almost every one.  It's with NorTel, which is a really good company and while it's contract hire, it has possibilities to lead to better things!  This is a really, really good thing

 

October 20, 2001
9:00am

An Astrological Redirect

For those who are A) Astrologically curious and/or B) Those who have had an unusual run of really crappy luck for the past 3 weeks or so, I present these facts and opinions for you to chew on:

I'm not going to bore you guys with a lengthy astrology lesson, but I want to give you a layman's course on a significant event that might be affecting you.  Since we are here on Earth, observing the heavenly bodies and their movement through the skies from our limited vantage point and since we are moving at one rate of speed and each of them (sun, moon, all the planets) is moving at it's own rate of speed, there are times when the movements do not jive and it appears as though the other planets are going backwards through the signs of the zodiac that define the astrological field.  When that happens, the heavenly body is said to be in retrograde and it alters the influence it has in the universe, based largely on the normal influence and energy of the planet.  Most times, the energy change is pretty subtle, but there are three (usually) times a year when Mercury goes retrograde for about three and a half weeks.  Mercury is the planet that rules communication, connections and basically, things fitting together cohesively.  When it goes retrograde, all of that goes out the window.  Suddenly, appointments are missed, computers go stupid, mail doesn't arrive, people can't speak or communicate effectively, items are lost or misplaced, anticipated phone calls do not arrive, paperwork is misdirected...anyway, you get the idea.  I also know that it's not just power of suggestion, because I was in the work force long enough to watch all of this go on and people go nuts over it who didn't know it was happening.  During this time, Virgo's and Gemini's (who are ruled by Mercury) are particularly screwed.

So having told you that, I'll also tell you that it's also of interest to note which astrological sign that Mercury goes backward into because the archetypical characteristics of that sign will influence how everything goes bonkers.  

Mercury went retrograde on October 1, 2001.  It went retrograde into Libra out of Scorpio.  Now here's what that means. Scorpio is a sign of some intensity, as you can imagine, being represented by a scorpion.  It's a water sign, so very emotionally driven and intuitive.  It's also very vindictive, stubborn and determined.  So here is Mercury, trailing along on a trajectory of determination, moving through an emotional current just fine and suddenly, it's backing up...backward emotion, nostalgia, regret, renewing old pains and heartache and if that's not enough BAM!  It hits Libra.  Libra is the only sign of the zodiac represented by a machine (scales/balance) and symbolizes the eternal search for balance between sanity and madness.  Most Libras (no offense intended here, I just calls'em as I sees'em) are walking a fence between being (or at least appearing) normal and being crazier than a bedbug, forever threatening to fall into that chasm that spectrums near-sanity to madness, usually clinging to functioning in the real world only by their teeth and toenails nipping and clawing frantically at the fabric of what can pass for rational behavior.  There are probably a few well-aspected Libras out there who never hit that crazy point, but I haven't met one yet.  If they exist, I think they still walk the fence, their posts are just set a little deeper in the cement, so the fence is a lot more stable. 

Now, consider the circumstances.  Mercury is awash in all these old pains and heartaches and longing for the past and pissed about the past and vindictive about the past, plus he can't find his car keys and his mail isn't arriving and (as we said before) BAM!  Here comes crazy-assed Libra, and he's going backward into madness and can't stop it...trying to stay sane, trying to just get on with normal life and not have people think he's gone around the bend.  

Not a fun way to spend the month.

The good news is that Mercury goes direct on Tuesday, October 23rd, and will be back to where it's supposed to be on November 7th, so you're going to start to feel normal around Tuesday and life will be straightened out for the most part by the 7th.  Ahhhh.  Now don't you feel better knowing that you really weren't losing your mind (unless you're a Libra, then I can't really help you) and that there is a fairly simple explanation for why October may have been your crappiest month in a long while?  Don't you feel even better knowing that it's going to be getting much better really, really soon?

Then my work here is done.  Later, star gazers!

 

October 13, 2001
8:00am

WHEN IíM WRONG, IíM WRONG! 

It wasnít dried fly poop on that fridge in the monster house!!  I knew fly poop didnít clump like that.  It was dried maggots.  Silly me.  I should have investigated more closely.  It took three hours to clean the fridge alone, but itís finally usable, although I still wouldnít tell the new tenants about what I cleaned off of there if I were the Property Managers.  I can tell you that the little buggers (not the Property Managers or the tenants) favor the built in egg cups, of which there were 18 and the crevices where the drawers and shelves run.  Granted, there was not  a place where you could put your finger inside or out that wasnít encrusted, but those were the major meeting places.  Still no hot water in the place, but lots and lots of 409, Lysol disinfectant, a scrubber sponge and a single edge razor blade did the trick.  There were all kinds of grass and leaves in the coils on the back (and it was plugged in!!) to be cleaned out, but itís very usable now.  The stove was also a nightmare.  It appeared that not only were the previous tenants (or last 10 yearsí worth of tenants) big fans of Ramen noodles and rice, but also that they were totally unaware that you could lift up a stove top and clean under the burner area.  Theyíd probably also be blown away to know that after you spray and oven with over cleaner, you have to wipe it down within a few weeks or it crusts back up again even harder.  Again, the old single edged razor blade wins out.  Had to scrape the inside and the outside of the stove to get the caked on grease off.  That one took two hours.  All in all, after five hours spent in the monster house, itís clean enough for living in, although that weird smell on entry defied cleaning.  No idea what that was.  Eric had suggested that since the PM had told me that the hot water heater was lit, if there was no water pressure in the house (there wasnít) I should go to the tap on the heater and drain off hot water there.  What a splendid idea!  Turns out, the hot water heater (I learned from a note to the Gas company on the door) is in the BASEMENT (the what??), which has an outside entrance.  I went outside and found the door, managed to undo the sophisticated locking device (a bungee cord) and opened the door.  It had a handful of steep steps that turned into a dark, gaping, maw of an entry.  There was NO light switch in sight, so I imagine it was around the corner of the dark, gaping maw and I *KNOW* you donít think I know that for fact because I went down there, do you?  Oh, HELL no!  After a couple of steps down to ascertain that there was indeed no light activation anywhere in sight, I scurried back up those stairs before the monsters could slam the door closed and bungee me in to live with the other bodies no doubt piled down there!  Do I LOOK crazy?  Besides, as I sought the logic, I didnít want to lug pails of hot water up those rickety steps anyway.  I do think I know why there was no hot water in the house and I imagine it had to do with a PG&E hot water heater lighter saying, ďScrew this!Ē  He knew about the monsters too. 

Except for the basement, it wasnít as bad this time.  I lit a white candle without problems as soon as I got there, did a house blessing and got busy while listening to Ashcroft talk about Anthrax.  No bad images this time.  No people hanging around the house or the car (I was there much earlier in the day this time and I think all of the evil doers were still crashed out from a hard night of evil doing).  A nice couple showed up for me to show them the house.  I guess the PM had told them that if I was there cleaning, Iíd be happy to show them around.  

After I finished with that house (no key issues), I went to the opposite end of the spectrum to clean an apartment that rents for $1200.  Of course, there was no water at ALL there except for the toilet water.  I called the PMís who told me how to turn on the water and although I turned in 45 degree increments for beyond 360 degrees, it never came on, so there must be another main that is shut off.  Did the whole house with 409 and Windex and left two hours later, just in time to hit the 5pm traffic jams.  It was good to be home. 

Poor Eric is working all day today and is disgruntled.  He hates his job as much as if not more than I hate mine.  Been trying to keep his spirits up and not grumble about cleaning the houses because I know he doesnít need to deal with my crap and his own as well.  Being male, me bitching about something twists around in the air between him and me and gets into his head as, ďFix it!Ē and he feels bad when he canít.  He mostly sat out front, drank a little while and smoked his pipe last night, evaluating his lot in life and looking at the car he has to send back in a couple of weeks.  

Itís good to be home with the kids today.  I missed them a lot while I was working.  Iím going to take them to the thrift shop today to get their costumes and get out our Halloween decorations.  As you might guess, this is my very favorite time of year; this and Spring when everything starts growing.  Iím not much for extreme weather, so Winter and Summer fall from grace for the most part.  No jack-o-lanterns until the week of Halloween because rotty punkins are stinky.  

Hope all of you have a great weekend.  You know Iíll be around, so come back and see me soon! 

Love,
 

 

October 11, 2001
9:30am

Harvesting and Heartache, Lessons and Libations

Time to write while Norton Utilities is downloading its free trial version onto my computer.  Iím seriously hoping that it fixes the problems on this little gem because if I have to crash my computer and reinstall Windows, I am going to lose a huge amount of material that will be very difficult, if not impossible to replace.  I started trying to back things up by zipping them and putting them onto floppies yesterday and after two folders, Iíd done about 20 disks.  That doesnít even count the gig of music that I canít replace if I lose it and that took months and months to find.  Iím hopeful that this can take care of the bugs and if itís a good product, Iíll invest the $50 into buying it somewhere down the road.  

Speaking of roads, Iím actually a little miffed with myself about a situation where I feel I took the highroad, yet still got dragged through the mud on a low road someone else took.  I donít know if you remember or not, but I temporarily (I thought Ė now appears to be permanently) broke ties with a friend (a real life friend of about 10 years) about a month ago.  She used me in her personal journal as an illustration of something that she basically hates, even though the comment she based her tirade on was said in jest during a jestful interchange between us.  She did not use my name, but it was obvious that it was me that she was denouncing.  I was extremely hurt by it and told her so and told her that as a result, I didnít feel that I could, in all good consciousness, be her friend with this between us.  I didnít feel safe to be myself and trust that she would not (again) take something I said totally out of context and lambaste me on her journal.   I needed time to work on it.  She wrote back a fairly understanding reply, interlaced with her own subtle passive-aggressive digs (her style).  This brought in a conversation of issues that I felt furthered complicated our relationship and I honestly answered a question she had asked a few days prior, ďDo you think that Iím an intolerant person?Ē  This just goes to show that a lot of people ask questions (I know this is not a big news flash to you all.  The people who read my NonSoapy, I have found, are intelligent people who have probably already figured this one out) with no interest in the truth, only in having their own opinion validated.  I cited three very specific instances in which I felt she had shown some incredible intolerance and tried to talk to her, since she had asked, about how they came across.  Of course, that opened up a whole can of worms (I have given myself the ďkneeling on pencils 100 timesĒ penance for thinking she might be able to see past her defenses and hear an honest answer to the question she posed).  She told me if I thought that she was intolerant given those situations, I had never really known her (I thought the situations were pretty cut and dried in so much as I was there, I witnessed them happen and there wasnít much room for interpretation.  I mean, it happened as it happened, period).  We agreed that considering the problems and discomfort that we were currently feeling with one another, we would give our relationship a break for a while and hope that the Universe brought our paths together at a later time in our lives when perhaps we were in different places and could view one another from a new perspective.  I was under the impression that we parted in love, telling one another how valuable a person that they are and being very mature about the fact that our worlds were not meshing at that time and that we needed some space. 

Boy was I stupid. 

That being my last contact with her other than a wonderful few bags of groceries she left on my steps during the hard times (I know it was her because no other human who knows me buys hamburger in bulk, fries it and freezes it Ė sent her a thank you and she replied with a very loving denial, but I still know it was her), I havenít heard from her, which I thought was the idea, so it was OK.  I was thinking of her yesterday and felt pull to see how she was doing because I got the Witchy-psychic heads up that she was having some sad times.  I went to her on-line journal, which I had not done since the separation.  Since we had agreed to make contact when we felt the other one was vibing, I wanted to see if I was on target and drop a line of encouragement and love to her.  Sure enough, sheíd had a big fight with her husband and I know how much that can take out of a person AND his family had lost a loved one, which is also quite hard.  I was paging back to see how her brother-in-law had died and found an extremely long entry where she had bashed me to shreds, going on and on seemingly endlessly about this friend who had dumped her rather than having the balls to stay and work out the problems and how she was consumed by rage at me for not recognizing my own bullshit, even saying that she had to buy a PUNCHING BAG to take out her rage for me.  I was beyond stunned.  I just absolutely did not know what to think or feel or how to react.  I just stared and read more and more of this person eviscerating me in a public forum (which, ironically, was what sparked the problem in the first place Ė guess some things never change).  

Iíve been working on this ever since, fighting down a number of gut reactions that would not make the situation any better, but still wanting to be true to myself.  I wish her the best, as I always have done.  Iím grateful that for all the things she has done to me over the last decade that I have overlooked and for this as well, I do not feel the rage that she describes or need to have that kind of drama and energy around me to process information.  Yes, itís true that she is a very angry, volatile, intolerant person, but sheís also, convexly, one of the most generous, funny, passionate and loving hearts on the face of the planet.  All of that duality lives in one person and Iíll never know how.  Whatís really ironic is that she, in the last year, dumped a LONG term friend of hers after sharing years and years in a sister-type relationship.  The friend did her best to understand and was extremely gracious about it, but was also very hurt, nonetheless.  My friend explained to me at length how this was necessary for her growth to continue and that the relationship was damaging to her evolution as a person.  I agreed with her that the dynamics (I know them both well) that they had set up were really unhealthy for both of them and supported her decision, even though I knew it hurt the other person.  I did not equate the two relationships until the time came for she and I to part ways and I was pleased that we could do so in an adult and loving manner rather than going through all the months of anguish that she and her other friend had experienced.  Then I came across this journal entry and saw that what she had represented to me in her letters as we parted was either no longer valid or had never been in the first place, yet I had to find out that was a case after it had already been broadcast to the world.  

This made me think about the situation with bin Laden and the Taliban, strangely enough, because she is a very loud and adamant proponent of the nonwar, loving solution to the current crisis, feeling that we should not retaliate in any way and should, instead, look for ways to solve the issue that are based from love and not war.  I found it ironic that she would be so insistent about that approach, but could not extend it to our own relationship.  She chooses a love approach in regard to terrorists who kill thousands but an approach of rage to someone who was her friend for a decade and needed space.  The love I gave to her on our parting was returned falsely and then she chose to rake me out in a public forum, trash the friendship weíd had and convince herself that Iíd never really been a friend if I could not continue our relationship at this time.  I wonder if that means she was never really a friend to the person that she had to release from her life?  I doubt that she can turn the situation around and see it that way, considering that sheís consumed by rage and all, but I hope that she can eventually see reality and know that the words of love and blessings that I gave to her when we parted ways were real on my part (and still are) even if they were not real on hers and that I continue to wish her those things.  Her raging over what happened between us and just reinforces to me that this is something that I donít need in my life or around my kids especially.  I donít want them to have the impression that this is how conflict is handled or adults who supposedly care about one another behave.  Just because where she is right now does not fit in with where I am or what I need or want in my life, doesnít mean that I donít see her value or love her as a person.  I do and I am so grateful for the time I had with her, all the laughs we shared and all of the commiseration we provided one another.  Cheers to my friend, and I lift my glass in her honor (then chug back the 4 oz  of Bacardi neat that lived in there Ė Happy Thursday morning!  Time for a new tenant to move into this glass!) 

I do know what this is about and how it ties into the other lessons that have been around me.  I was given a fantastic insight yesterday that ties so many things together for me and this was just one more little piece. 

So with that latest installment under my belt, I moved on to the conversation I had with my Property Manager woman, Kay.  I spoke with her a few hours after my last journal entry (OK, what can I say?  I like to have things resolved) and they arenít as pissed with me as they could have been or as Eric thought they were.  They combed the house and the area and STILL found no trace of a key (toldíem Ė the freakin spookinannies took it!). What is ironic is that THEY lost THEIR key to the place the next day!  Ha!  Anyway, they had a new key made and now would like for me to go finish the job, meaning clean the FlyShit fridge and rake out the oven and try and bleach the tub some more.  I learned that I make $15 an hour (I gruffly told them that the fridge should include hazardous duty pay) and they do not pay for supplies, so the $23 I spent (our last at the time) on cleaning materials is in the wind.  That means I worked the first hour and a half for free.  It also means a return to Hell House and a lesson in how we never should ever say never.  Never ever, ďNever.Ē  Very clever, Trevor.  Whatever.  

So I will haul myself down to the Amityville Slums again and clean the appliances and make the place look as good as a former meth lab can look.  I did an hour of vacuuming at one of their places with new carpet (and new carpet fuzz) installed.  Money is money and I need to get this done to bring in what we need right now.  No problem. 

We went over the budget again and found that not only are we going to let the new car go, but we are also not going to get another used one.  We are going to instead fix Joeís (my son who lives in Canada) 79 Maverick, which is many dollars from passing smog and needs all the dash stuff hooked up again (read:  heater).  We will invest about the same as a used car down payment, but without the used car further payments, plus Joe will have his car restored.  Iíll drive the Maverick and Eric will drive the 69 VW camper bus (required for all hippie Pagans of my kind) or his motorcycle, which he has finally gotten to not only start, but to even consider running after a year of paperweight-status.  We are working hard to live within our means and not shoot ourselves in the foot with Christmas coming and such.  Eric is working as many hours as he can, doing a job he hates for half the money he was making before.  I really feel for the guy.  He comes home, eats, tries to read the Self-Realization Fellowship materials he ordered, then falls into bed exhausted to do it again the next day.  Iím a single parent through the week and sometimes on the weekend. 

Josh (my 19-year-old) came to us around 10pm Sunday night upset because his girlfriend and fiancťe, Katrina (I know) is on the verge of being kicked out of her grandfatherís house and has no food there.  I took over a grocery supply a couple of weeks ago and itís getting low.  Those of you who have followed the NonSoapy for a while know that Trina lived with us for 7 months last year and it did not go particularly well (major understatement).  He said she had nowhere to go and he was in tears with worry about her.  The next morning, I called her aunt, to whom she is close, and learned that she has a few options, just none that she particularly likes.  She can go to her auntís or her grandmotherís, but she will have to work and she will not have her own room.  I had a mega-conference with Trina an Josh yesterday and told them that she could move back in here BUT they BOTH had to have jobs before even one item was moved in.  Furthermore, they could not do it on a promise of a job, but must have jobs with a start date firmly in place.  They have to pay us $200 each to live here and have to live in this house as adults, not petulant kids who sulk over their lot in life and watch TV and fight all day.  We get to see their paychecks and a percentage of what they make after rent goes into savings for a car and for them to get the hell out of my house.  When I am cleaning someone elseís scummy toilet, heroin stained tub and flyshit fridge to feed my kids and make ends meet, any adult in my damned house is going to be working.  I told Josh he had a week to find a job.  Yesterday, they were gone for 5 hours walking and picking up applications.  Today, he is dropping them off.  Eric called and gave Joshís recruiter a kick in the ass for dragging him out for so long and it looks like that might be moving along again.  I hate for him to go into the Army at this time, but I know that there are a lot of benefits he would not be able to get elsewhere.  Eric is working all of his waking hours, so I had to handle the Josh and Trina thing on my own.  I was surprised at how matter-of-fact and assertive I could be.  They were surprisingly receptive and it was actually a pretty decent exchange.  I am actually hoping it works out because the rent they would pay is the equal of a part time job!  They donít cost much to have here, really, so it will be a good thing for a while. 

Things with my in-laws are shifting a little.  His mother called and made nice with him, but I am still a bad guy.  Weíre both pretty uncomfortable with that, but not much else can be said.  

So I was thinking about all of this as a composite and looking for a common thread and what I thought of tied in with the season.  At Halloween, in the old days, the fields were burned away and made sterile by fire for next yearís planting.  I remember growing up in Kentucky, seeing fires dotted across the countryside of plant beds and fields burning.  In the ancient agricultural cycles, anything taken from the fields after October 31st was considered to be poisonous.  It lived in the lands of the dead and was not to be consumed by the living.  This was also a message to the internal self and mental fields to not hold on to the things of the past and to burn away the things that no longer serve you and are poisonous to your new growth.  Spirituality and Agriculture were intricately intertwined in the old days and one was a direct reflection of the other.  Mother Earth grew and nurtured the food while Father Sky warmed it from above and sent the rains to quench its thirst.  Mundane and spiritual lives were almost indistinguishable from one another.  Internal work was patterned with external work and the cycles were complementary to one another.  From Halloween until Spring, when it was time to plant again, people spent time in the ďdark of the year,Ē telling stories, tilling the inner fields of the mind and staying close to hearth and home.  Once in a while, the hunters would gather and go into the forests to bring back meat to supplement the harvest. They would ritualize their hunt before going and ask for the animals to be called and their hunt to be successful.  They used all that they took and they gave honor to the animal who sacrificed that they might live.  

The harvesting that took place from August 1st Ė Halloween was back breaking labor, but labor with immediate results, unlike the tending of the fields from Spring until August, which was almost exclusively faith based and energy invested into a future yield.  They felt that the work they did during the harvest made them strong for the coming winter, when one would have to be strong to survive.  

The old adage, ĎThat which does not kill me will only make me strongerí is not just a string of pretty words.  I can see it at work in my life as I consider the lessons that have come to me in the past few months and the strength that I have developed as a result.  I wrote a lot about sitting in the mud puddle and crying a few months ago and it always seems that when we assert a premise into the world, it will be instantly and vigorously tested.  The series of events that ensued after that definitely planted my fat ass in a sizeable mud puddle and dared me to want to get out.  I sat there and bitched and cried and splashed around for a while and now Iím ready to get out.  I can feel the strength that I have gained during the harvest.  As my friend, Georgia, observed about her own harvest, ďI planted corn and got f*cking lima beans, but at least I wonít be hungry!Ē  I did not directly harvest what I planted in the Spring (our spiritual path still follows, metaphorically speaking, the ancient agricultural cycles in bringing about positive change in our lives, which is why the concept is so dear to me.  If you are interested, you can read about us at CUSP), which was Joy, but I know that I could not have Joy without the lessons I have learned this year, so I canít really fuss much. 

What I take from the most recent events is a saying that I came across during another really hard time.  ďYou never know how deep you are until you hit the bottom and start back up.Ē  That is very true.  How can you possibly know what and how much you have to offer the Universe until you have explored all the parts of yourself and know your full strengths?  I have learned that I can do things I never thought possible.   I can exist for 6 weeks with pretty much no income.  I can find the richness in my family and the nonfinancial aspects of life and do not have to be defined or validated by a financial statement.  I learned a lot about that in the things that happened not only during the crisis locally, but in our dealings with my in-laws.  I learned that my perceptions of our relationship (my personal one with them) were greatly askew from the things they really felt and feel about me.  I can accept that and understand that they do not have to approve of me as a wife for Eric or mother for their grandchildren. They do not have to like me. They do not have to endorse our decision for our children to be supervised by their family rather than placed in professional care to allow me to work full time.  It would be lovely if they did, but itís not crucial for my happiness or my success.  I have learned the extent of their resentment of me and their derision for our life choices.  I am glad to at least know the truth. 

I was able to be firm and loving at the same time with Josh and Trina and offer a solution to help us both.  I can move on past the pain my friend has caused and understand that her rage is born of her internal issues and that sheís just not ready to deal positively with the issues our parting brought up and can only act out in rage.  All of these things, the weakness of being in the mud puddle, the need for parental approval, the doormat attitude I have taken with my older three sons since the divorces to try and atone for the pain it caused them and my own actions resulting from my pain in the aftermath and the surrounding of myself with people who are frequently consumed by rage and intolerance, were weaknesses that have been identified through these difficult circumstances.  Itís about moving on, letting of what no longer serves optimum growth and burning off the fields for a healthy planting in the year to come.  Itís about releasing the deadwood, both in relationships and in mental concepts and streamlining my life.  I can clean a toilet, scrape flyshit off a fridge and spend hours scraping out someone elseís oven mess.  I can take hits from my ex friend and from my in-laws and emerge stronger and bless them where they are in their lives without needing them directly in my life. 

During the harvest time, where we are right now, the scythe is wielded and the extraneous is hacked away.  Time to burn off the fields and be grateful for the harvest.  I am on both accounts.

 

October 8, 2001
8:00am

My Season in Hell, Or at Least My Day In Hell
(With apologies to Rimbaud)

For those of a more juvenile literary stance:
Katrina's Terrrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
 

So let me tell this story in reverse, so that you, my buds, do not worry about me.  I had a WONDERFUL weekend.  The weather was perfect, the kids were good, Eric and I were cuddly and it was just an all around nice time.  Life is not horrible, things are working out and I am not suicidal or anything.  Absolutely the worst thing that has happened to me since Friday is that I have a slight cold and whenever I start to go to sleep, I know that my traitorous lips are going to part and Iím going to emit snores that will wrack the house from itís foundation and cause me to have a sore throat when I wake up.  Not bad odds for a weekend. 

Friday will forever live in my mind in infamy.  I have buried a parent.  I have gone through two divorces, neither of which was with my consent.  Friday had to be the worst day of my life. 

First, read the entry below, if you have not already done so, for a little history.  Iíll wait.  OK, youíre back (or still here).  I got a job cleaning houses for the Property Managers who handle our house.  Kay and Ken are not just the best Property Managers ever, but are some of the nicest people I have ever metÖI mean just genuinely *nice*.  They are shrewd business people, donít get me wrong.  But they are also very caring, in this world, hands on, nice people.  I had no qualms working for them.  I got a little nervous when they did not want to discuss pay.  I knew I would BE paid because Kay had offered me the job knowing about Ericís work situation and suggesting that this would help buy the groceries.  She also mentioned a janitorial company that she felt was ripping her off by charging $165 to clean a house before tenants moved in.  I have paid $150-200 many times to have my house cleaned when moving, but that was for military housing which is a white glove inspection of every nook and granny, plus outside work.  She said she had never paid more than $75 for a house cleaning.  Hmmm.  OK.  She said we would talk about the pay later.  Since I trust these folks totally, I did it on faith and figured whatever I got was more than I had.  Plus, I had done my money wishes and knew that this was part of the impossible task of bringing in $1500 or more by close of business that very day.  I found it ironic that my job would be housecleaning, but it was more of a wry smirking way than an ďIím too good for thisĒ way.  On Friday morning, having commissioned Josh to watch the kids for the day, I set out around 9am.   

First stop was to go to Target to pick up cleaning supplies, of which I had none.  My mop handle had broken months before, but since the majority of our house is (unfortunately) carpeting, I just did the hands and knees scrubbing thing when needed.  I spent $23 on cleaners and a mop, then headed on my way.  The first house was about 25 minutes away and I had my handy, dandy Yahoo maps driving directions to guide me.  I found it with little trouble and Ken was actually there waiting for a prospective tenant to show up to see the house.  We chatted for about 10 minutes, then I got busy on the stove.  Kay had told me the stove was in good shape, but that I should check it to be sure, so I hadnít brought oven cleaner, just a single edge razor blade scraper.  What I really wanted was dry wall screening (available in the home improvement section of every department store EXCEPT Target), which will clean a stove in nothing flat.  Instead, razor blade.  The stove needed big help.  I used Windex and worked on it for almost 3 hours.  They have the equal to a new stove now.  Absolutely gorgeous.  I scrubbed counters, cleaned kitchen drawers, swept, mopped, scrubbed out the bathrooms (In the main bathroom, the water was draining slowly in the tub and I tugged on a hairball in the drain and it just kept coming until there was a GIANT gob of hair like I have never seen.  It would not have surprised me in the least to have found an actual human head attached to the other end.  It was easily the size of a baseball once I got it all out.  Eww.), cleaned the inevitably mirrored closet doors, washed all of the walls and vents and vacuumed with carpet fresh.  I even brought my smudge stick of sage and lavender to burn and bless the house and cleanse it of bad nasties.  It was a nice house (except for the wig in the tub drain Ė whoever the person was who lost all of that long black hair could have gotten a mighty find watch bob for it in an O Henry story), three bedroom, two baths, cleaned but not good enough for tenant move in.  I envied the back yard.  *sniff*  Easily three times the size of mine and very, very quiet.  Speaking of the back yard, there was an impressive wood pile with various sized pieces of dried tree and since there was no fireplace, Ken said I could take all I wanted.  Whooo hooo!  Firepit!!  I stuffed the trunk and back seat totally full.  I finished there after 5.5 hours and left out.  I had planned to call the kids and Eric, but there were no phones to be found anywhere in this part of suburbia, so I figured that when I got to the second house, which was downtown, I would find a phone and call in.   

Imagine me driving from a world where sunshine, flowers, blue skies, white fluffy clouds, birdies and green grass reigned supreme into the deepest, darkest, rankest, most cloying, stanky parts of real estate hell.  I never knew there was a South Sac, beyond there being a southern part of Sacramento.  Where these people sent me, the sun never shines.  There is just a nasty, yellow light that emits from the air and *goes away* later in the day.  The property value of this area tripled because I pulled my 2001 Intrepid onto Marshall street and parked it there.  I passed the house twice thinking, that CANĒT be it.  At least the Addams family house was interesting.  This was justÖew.  I hauled all of my cleaning junk up onto the porch and grievously lamented that I could not lock my car because the stupid driver side window had come off track and has to go to the dealer ($100 deductible) to be reset and will only close half way.  I scurried into the house and instantly developed a raging meth habit just from breathing the air.  The smell.  Oh my God.  The smell was acrid and stale and death.  The house was a total hell hole.  It had four rooms and a bath, not four BEDrooms, four ROOMS.  When I saw where the house was, what it was like and how small it was, I figured Iíd get it done, THEN call Eric and the kids.  Just.  Get.  Out.  Fast.  I locked the door behind me and went to work.  The living room and dining room had been hardwood floors in one incarnation or another.  I managed to get them clean enough and scrapped of goo so that you could see the wood again.  The window sills and walls were remarkably clean, so that was a bonus.  The only carpet was in the one bedroom and the floor was littered with nails (??).  Got them picked up and did a decent vacuum job.  The kitchen and bathroom I dreaded most and they did not disappoint.  The oven was a totally disaster (no oven cleaner, remember).  I scraped and scraped and Windexed and Windexed and the best I could do still wasnít acceptable, but I had to leave it anyway.  The fridge was amazing.  It was one of those old 1970ís jobs that was a burnt brown color and it had evidently been outside for the tenantís duration.  It was running and cold inside and was covered inside and out with CLUMPS of fly guano.  I never knew fly poop could clump, but trust me, it can.  You could not put your finger on any place on this fridge that was not encrusted.  As I looked at it, a remarkable fact about myself dawned clear and rose like the bright sun that one might see at the OTHER house.  There are just some things I will NOT do for money.  Closed the fridge door.  I might have tackled it except for the fact that there was no water in the house except for the toilet.  The faucets in the kitchen sink, tub and bathroom sink would emit a stream, smaller than a pencil that ran rust for the first 15 minutes, then to clear.  No hot water at all.  The stream was useless, so I had to use the toilet (which ironically, flushed like a champ) water to mop the floor and rinse the tub and sink.  I immediately thought, ďAERATORS!!Ē and went to clean them, only to find that there were none, only holes in the metal faucets.  Crap.  I used a gallon of bleach on the sink and tub in the bathroom alone and it never did get any cleaner, even after soaking for almost an hour.  I used a toothbrush on the light switches and soap dish and there was almost no change.  There was an old cut up banana in the kitchen sink and spilled pasta and cayenne powder, among other things, in the kitchen drawers.  Note:  Cayenne does not feel chummy with hands that have been scrubbing in straight bleach.  Yes, I used gloves, but my fingers were still chemical burned for some reason.  Cleaned, cleaned, cleaned and looked at my watch when I truly felt I had done all I could do for the place and (!adoing!) it had only been an hour and a half!!  It felt like six.   

NOW to add to the mystique of this place, there were no blinds or curtains and people kept coming up and pressing their faces and cupped hands against the glass in the living room to look in at me working.  I convinced myself that they were taking notes on what ďcleaningĒ was like, mayhaps to later apply to their own little nast-hole houses (she sniffed arrogantly).  Itís not like there was a ďfor rentĒ sign up that would bring out looky-loos.  A team of about 4-5 people kept coming back to pace around my car every 15 minutes or so.  Great.   

So that is the logical, tangible, physical side of my experience.  I now submit to you the psychic, unseen, nonphysical side of my time in the hell barn.  The second I walked into the house, I was enveloped with a feeling of pure evil.  I tried to light my paltry little sage and lavender stick and the lighter that was working fine at the last house refused to light.  Even a spark.  The little wheel just turned without making contact and when I tried to encourage it to do so, the lighter broke apart into more pieces than I ever knew a lighter could have.  Shit.  (Thatís my one for today.  Believe me, I broke the bank on swear words on Friday)  The stove!  Would not light.  No way was I going to take the time to rub two sticks together, so I gave up on trying to clear out the area with anything but good, white light.  I kept seeing images out of the corner of my eye and horrible psychic impressions continuously flew into my head.  It was like an attack.  I summoned up the Hindu Goddess, Kali Ma, protector of women, and asked her to handle the nonphysical while I got the house as clean as I could.  I felt much better then.  When I looked at the house and saw that it was 5:00 already, I also saw that the yellow light outside was fading and I was more than ready to get out of this part of town, find a phone in the other part of town and get home, lickety split.  I hauled all of my crap out to the car, stuffed it in the front seat and put the mop and broom in back with the wood.  I went back inside, grabbed the trash bags (a couple) and tossed them into the dumpster for the house.  Ahh.  Finished before dark.  My real goal.  Went back inside, thanked Kali Ma, grabbed my purse and went to the counter to grab the key where Iíd laid it next to the eviction notice for the previous tenant. 

There 

Was 

No 

Key 

The key was kept in a combination lock box on the doorknob.  WHY did I not return it to the box after opening the door??  I put it in a remote part of the counter, was careful when I cleaned around it, there was nowhere it could have fallen.  My car keys had been right beside it and I had them in my hand.  Surely, I had not picked up the house key with my car keys?  No way!  There had been on opposite sides of the eviction notice!  I stood and stared for a second, convinced I had lost my mind or at least would soon.  I combed the house.  I went out and took the trash bags apart, piece by piece.  I looked through the dumpster (empty, thankfully, but for a few scraps and my bag).  No key.  I looked in the front seat where I had put the cleaning supplies.  No key.  I went through my purse.  No key.  Went over the path between the steps and the car and even forked through the gutter by the car.  No key.  No grating for it to fall in.  Nowhere it could have gone.  I looked at the mop and broom, on top of the wood.  >:<  Took out the wood, piece by fricking piece.  No key.  Put the wood back, piece by fricking piece.  No Key; No Peace.  Know Key, Know Peace.  Crap.  As I was going back into the house to look yet again, this crack whore came up to me and said, ďAre you Katrina?Ē  ďUm, yes?Ē I said carefully.  ďYer husband wants you tícall him.Ē  Then she walked away.  She had a cell phone, so I figure a call was involved, or else, she just got a psychic flare up.  Went back inside to look some more.  Nothing.  As I was going back outside, two city cops, man and a woman, came up.  ďAre you Katrina Rasbold?Ē  I told them I was, thinking something had happened to one of the kids, since I knew Eric had recently been in touch telephonically or telepathically with the crack whore, so HE was OK.  They told me Eric had called the police because he hadnít heard from me.  I had left the house a wretched 8.5 hours earlier by this time.  When I looked at my watch, I couldnít believe Iíd only been looking for the key for a half hour.  It seemed like years.  I think that stupid house is in come weird hole that defies the space-time continuum.  I thanked them and they said they would tell him I was on the way home.  The woman smiled and said, ďYou must not get out much.  He seemed pretty worried.Ē  I smiled wanly. 

THATíS IT!!  NO MORE!!!  I pulled the door closed on the hell house, hearing it laughing at me as I left.  I drove away, totally lost in the town because I needed to go in the opposite direction of the way Yahoo maps told me to go so that I could find a phone.  I drove through more slums than I ever knew existed.  I finally found a phone at a place I could recognize:  A Shell station.  I went through the car and my purse and could only find enough change for one phone call.  As I was looking for the change, a woman screamed, very loudly, a few buildings down.  I looked faster.  One call.  Should I call Eric and put his mind at ease or call Kay and Ken, the slumlords, and tell them that their hellhouse is vulnerable to the human element because the freaking key disappeared into this air??  Loyalties go with the Cuddle Bear, so I called him and he was very grateful to hear from me.  I told him to call Kay and Ken and tell them the house was unlocked and the key was missing.  I started to cry (I hate being such a baby) and just wanted to come home.  No way was I going back to that house, with dark falling, to wait for them.  I hung up and continued driving, forever it seemed, until I saw a street a recognized.  Broadway.  I took it out to my beloved Highway 80 and straight home.   

When I got home, Eric told me that Ken and Kay were really unhappy with me and that Kay had asked if I looked in the lockbox for the key (of COURSE I did, three times in case it had decided to *come back*).  I went inside and collapsed.  My arms were aching from carrying the wood and my fingers were numb and bleeding, not just from the bleach, but from the scritch, scritch, scritch motion of scraping the first stove.  My back, which hasnít been right since I was pregnant with Nathan, was on fire.  My face was warm and raw from being over the bleach for so long.  I was exhausted on all levels.   

After I got into the house, the phone rang (I figured it was Kay and Ken, calling to vent their rage).  It was Ericís mother.  He had called her earlier in the day to see if we could still borrow money if I was working.  Before, they had said (these people are fabulously wealthy) that they would loan us the money we needed but they had to see copies of our budget and a copy of my first paycheck.  They are vehemently opposed to me staying home with the kids and feel that I am taking advantage of Eric to just ďnot work.Ē  They chewed on him for about an hour and told him how much better our lives would have been now if we hadnít insisted on this foolhardy idea of me staying home and how I was just going to have to accept that when you are an adult, you work.  Period.  He handled himself well and basically sold his soul for the money.  They would electronically transfer $1850 first thing Tuesday IF we sent details of what we have coming in and going out each month (so that they can make suggestions of what we should do with our money) and send them reports every two weeks of how we actually spent our money (see previous parenthesis).  I could not believe I was going to have to do this at 40 years of age, but Eric agreed to it AND stepdad-in-law insisted that the input/output be sent to him that very night.  I do the budget and Eric doesnít have a clue what we owe, when we owe it or to whom we owe it.  I told him that Iíd had the day from hell and I absolutely, positively, would not do it that night.  He insisted.  ďWe all have to give a little in this.Ē  I did it, bawling my eyes out at the unfairness of it all and feeling dead, inside and out.  I could not sink any lower.

I sent the listing out to stepdad-in-law and I awoke the next morning to a very rude and nasty note from him saying that we OBVIOUSLY didnít ďget itĒ and that this was a LIST, not a BUDGET and if we didnít know what a BUDGET was, we would NEVER get our finances right.  *sigh*  I still havenít sent him anything new, but need to get on it.  He didnít ask for a budget.  He asked what our input/output estimates were for the month.  I really, really hate control freaks (so said the Virgo).   

So the long and the short of it is that at least I made my goal of acquiring the $1500 plus by the end of Friday, even if I donít get it until Tuesday and even if one manís soul costs $1840 and one womanís soul costs whatever, if anything, Kay and Ken decide to pay me.  I still havenít heard from them and figure I should call them and apologize for ďlosingĒ the key.  Eric dropped off a check for rent, the key to the good house and a listing of my hours and a receipt for the cleaning supplies.  Screw it.  Iíll wait to hear from them.  If I havenít by tomorrow night, Iíll call on Wednesday. 

As if that was not enough, when I finished doing the unacceptable list of income/output, I went out the store to buy some Dr Pepper and while I was gone, there was a horrible wreck right by our house, maybe 200 feet away.  Three people were killed, two were medivacíd and two walked away.  Eric and Josh were on the porch and heard NOTHING when it happened.  If Iím inside, I can hear my neighborís sprinklers come on.  Donít know what THAT was about, but not a happy ending to a really, really bad day. 

Thank God it was a good weekend.  I just hope the week is gentle. 

So thatís what I did on Friday. 

Love,

 

 

October 5, 2001

Well, Iím off to work today!  Itís under really strange circumstances, but off I go, nonetheless. 

What I find funny is that the job came directly to me, for starters.  I called my Property Managers to tell them about the layoff and Ericís new job and that our rent would, unfortunately, be quite late.  In the process, she mentioned that I could do some work for them, cleaning houses that were getting ready for occupancy.  They handle over 80 rental houses, which is quite a job in and of itself, but what is even more interesting is that they are both doing this as senior citizens.  They are the nicest possible people I could ever hope to have as property managers, I do have to say.  Both are very genial, understanding and seem to have a pretty good grip on reality.  So she offered me the job of cleaning this one house and later called to say that she has another one.  Iím going to try to get both done today.  I have to buy a ton of cleaning supplies because Iím out of everything.  I donít even have a mop any more.  I guess Iíll include the receipt for that with the key return and hope they are generous enough to reimburse me for the supplies. 

What I find funny about this is that she said I could take the kids with me (definitely counter-productive to getting anything done) and what crossed my mind is that of all the jobs that could just fly up to my door and ring the bell, it had to be watching kids and cleaning house, the tasks at which I spend my every breathing moment.  From what I hear, variety is the spice of life, but GOD KNOWS *I* WOULD NOT KNOW THAT!!  So Josh is going to watch the kids while I go clean away.  Of course, Iíll be taking my little TV because no way could I make it through this without my soaps!  

Eric really hates his new job.  Heís making half the pay he was before and is running tests on fiber optic cable.  Itís basically testing the tiny fiber optic lines, thousands and thousands at a time:  test, check, test, check, test, chest.  Heís losing his mind on this assembly line environment.  I am really praying for a break for him soon, both for our finances (did a budget last night, OW!) and for his sanity.  He works about 11-12 hours a day, comes home, eats, chills out for about an hour, then goes to sleep.  Heíll be working weekends as well, it appears.  

Iíve spent the last week trying to think of something to write.  I promised I wouldnít be whiney and considering how whiney I feel, getting me on the business end of a keyboard is dangerous.  Iíve been able to get the site pretty well up to par, for which I am very grateful.  It had languished the whole time he was off work and it feels good to be back up to par again.  I havenít felt productive in so long and that, coupled with my house being clean gives me at least a bit of self-esteem. 

I was talking with my real life friend, Georgia, about my writers block and she said, ďJust go into Katrinaland, that place inside your head.Ē  I told her that right now Katrinaland feels like Wallyworld in the first Vacation movie.  Itís closed, the parking lot is empty and someoneís going to have to take the moose hostage for me to think of anything.  I donít even know if I remember the way to Katrinaland any more.  Normally, at any given time, Iíve got 4-5 potential columns darting around in my head, picking up words and phrases here and there like a pair of pants walking through a cocklebur patch.  Lately, thereís been nothing but eerie silence in there.  When I listen for the still, small voice, I donít even hear the crickets chirping.  Itís just a wall of silence.  

What Iím going to do is just start writing, free association, about things and see what comes out.  Most of it will be mind-numbingly boring. 

Josh told me last week that he and Trina are getting married on the 25th.  I have long since fully resolved my negativity about the two of them being together, having been visited by the ghosts of Mothers-In-Law past, present and future a few weeks back when Eric was laid to waste by his mother and stepfather for marrying me, for me not ďbeing willing to workĒ (even though we chose together for me to stay home) and such things.  I was able to really see myself in her condemnations of me and managed (I think) to set things right with Josh and Trina.  Iím really grateful for that lesson.  They were first going to get married on Halloween, (ďYikes!  NO!!!,Ē the Witch in me screamed!  Thatís a time of endings and death and NOT a time of new beginnings yet!) but now they are getting married almost a week ahead on the 25th (Much better!  During the time of the second harvest is great for bounty, thanksgiving, celebrationÖcool!).  They are doing a Justice of the Peace deal and, get this, Iím not invited.  *sniff*  They are having a party at a hotel room afterwards for their friends, but no family.  OH well.  Tra la.  They have their rings and bought new clothes to wear.  After the honeymoon/party, they will again go live in separate houses.  Her family canít afford to have him there and if she comes here, sheíd have to bring her ark of two dogs, a cat, a bird, three rats and god knows what all else and that will not work.  He supposedly (this has been going on since January) leaves for Army boot camp the first week of November.  DONíT get me started on the wisdom of going into the military at this point in timeÖno good can come of the rant such prodding would produce.  Iím not judging anything they are doing and trust it will all work out fine.  By them getting married before he leaves, he will be able to more easily bring her to his first duty station.  I wish them well. 

Speaking of marriage and in-laws and such, today is my sweet Sandraís birthday.  She is my oldest sonís wife and Iím so happy to have her in our family.  I always hoped that my Joe (he and I are buds) would find someone to love him for himself and believe in him 100%.  Joe is an Aquarius and those guys just march to not just a different drummer, but a whole different band, so they really need to be with someone who ďgets it.Ē  Sandra has been so supportive and encouraging of him and his talent (heís a phenomenal writer and artist Ė another Aquarian thing) and I canít thank her enough for that and for the enormous love that she gives to him.  Iím really lucky.  Happy Birthday, Sweetpea. 

Delena has two weeks off for something called ďFall Break.Ē  (??!)  What the complete hell is ďFall Break?Ē  Obviously, the antithesis of Spring Break (do they stay home and study mutual fund trends instead of going to Florida and getting drunk?), but I have never heard of this before now.  When I was in school, we had a Fall Festival, with Cake Walks and Pony Pulls and poster contests and costume contests and apple bobbing and things like that, but never a whole two weeks off to revel in Fall!  Man, *I* want a Fall Break to do nothing and experience my favorite season and sleep in and read and such.  Two weeks off would be such bliss like none has ever known before me or since.  I would melt away.  Every vacation we take always turns out to be more work than staying home would have been in the first place.  I know that is because every vacation Iíve ever take has involved taking kids, but thereís no hope of that changing for another 15 years or so.  Maybe not even then!  My friend came her to visit me for a long weekend a while back, returned a day early and found her 17-year-old daughter in her living room, enveloped in a cloud of pot smoke, entwined with a 25-year-old bus driver.  (!adoing!)  The daughter laced into her with a tirade MOST foul, using the ďfĒ word a lot and calling my friend names that started with ďwĒ and ďs.Ē  She then announced that she was pregnant by the bus driver, despite being engaged to a nice boy who had moved back East with his family.  My friend was, well, stunned to say the least.  The bus driver got majorly belligerent with my friend to the point that police had to be called due to threats made and now heís really, really pissed that he has to appear in court on charges of having sex with a minor (presumably on her motherís couchÖor worse).  Now the daughter is laying down the law about how itís going to be.  He is going to accompany her to her prenatal appointments.  My friend has been ordered to get to know him and accept him into the family because thatís how itís going to be. 

I remember a time when you went to your mom, crying, saying, ďOh God, mom, I donít know what to do!  Iím pregnant and Iím so afraid!  I donít know what to do.Ē  After the two of you cried together for about an hour, Mom would then you a cold cloth to wipe off your face and promise that youíd get through this togetherÖall you had to do was wait for her to find a way to tell Dad and then everything would work out.  A wedding was arranged (or a funeral, such as would be appropriate in my friendís case) or youíd go see Aunt Jane for a few months.  It was all very civilized and discreetly handled.  Now, that has apparently evolved (devolved?) into ranting, screaming, name calling and throwing demands all over the place, loudly proclaiming how it will and wonít be and expecting to be fully financed.  They expect my friend to just pay for all of her daughterís expenses and keep out of their business.  Iím not even sure I want to live in this world any more.  I told my friend that since, in the weeks since all this happened, the daughter has blatantly defied every rule she has established, Iíd have the bus driver over for a nice dinner, then announce to them that Iíve had a change of heart and present my daughter and her oven bun to him, saying, ďOK, Sparky, you wanted it, youíve got it.  You now have full responsibility for this situation.Ē  Iíd tell them that since they insisted on not only creating this situation, but ignoring my input and totally disrespecting me, that Iíve washed my hands of the issue and returned it all right to their doorstep.  Since the bus driver lives with his father, Iím sure that would not go over well.  As soon as jaws dropped and they began to explain how they couldnít do that, Iíd have to demonstrate how the ball is now totally in my court.  Actually, Iíd probably just find a relative to ship her off to and have that be that.  Perhaps my ideas are more cruel than kind, but I figure the daughter bought that with her profane rant and her continued defiance.  My feeling is that if you are old enough to lay down, you are old enough to stand up again on your own feet.  Babies are a frequent side effect of sex and it really pisses me off that people take sex so lightly and then are shocked that there are consequences to their actions.  As Dr Phil says, ďYou chose the behavior, you choose the consequences.Ē  I sure didnít like being married with a family at 16, but I damned well took care of myself and didnít demand that my mother and father support me. On a side note, upon rereading my rant here, I'm reminded of a wonderful scene in the forgettable movie, "Broadcast News" where Holly Hunter is talking to her network boss, telling him what they MUST do.  He narrows his eyes and says, sarcastically, something like, "It must really be nice, always knowing what everyone has to do."  Holly tears up perfectly and says, most sincerely, "No sir, it's awful."  Boy, can I related.

During the Gulf War, I worked at an OB/GYN Clinic at George AFB.  I was amazed at how many of these wives, whose husbands were away guarding the big sand box, were sleeping with anything that moved.  DAILY, we had women coming in for pregnancy test results, then nearly passing out at the results.  ďI CANíT be pregnant!  You donít understandÖI CANíT be pregnant!Ē  The first time it happened to me, the woman was hysterical, ranting, crying, screaming and I didnít know what to do.  I asked my supervisor what I should do and she calming and most impassively said, ďGive her a tissue.Ē  That was a wonderful lesson to me, actually, and Iíve used it many times in many situations.  My supervisor was Lai (pronounced ďLayĒ) and she was just a riot and had no mercy.  ďI canít be pregnantĒ would often be met with, ďDid you have sex?Ē from Lai?  Then, ďHow did you think babies happen, girl?Ē  Eventually, the person would sniffle and shuffle her way out the door, usually without setting up future prenatal care.  Itís a tough world and taking responsibility for your actions is even tougher. 

I know.  I have a few babies that came from times when ďI canít be pregnant!!Ē  The pregnancy at 15 was one of them.  Looking for love in all the wrong places way before I should have needed to look for any love other than my mommy and daddyís.  But hey, it happens.  Fourteen years later, staring down the barrel of a totally unexpected divorce, I had wicked revenge sex with a tall, handsome Renn Faire bunny using a condom and a sponge (Remember them?  Today sponges?) on the last day of my period.  Kabam, the baby fairy was summoned at the worst possible time.  That ill-fated relationship was already over when I found out.  Man, I hate it when people presume that because you got pregnant, you were obviously not having safe sex!  Iím more fertile than the Tennessee Valley and Iím totally thrilled with the decision to have my tubes tied.  On the other hand, I definitely know what itís like to be looking drop jawed at a stick with a line on it.  But hey, you do what you have to do and take it like a woman (meaning you cry your eyes out, eat everything in sight and sleep a lot).  If you took it like a man, youíd remember you had a cake in the oven and move to another state. 

Delena will be nine in November and Iím thinking of locking her in a closet somewhere until sheís twenty-five.  Iíd love to put her in one of those Superman star spaceships and have her bombarded with the Wymyn Mysteries of the Ages for a year or two.  Do we all have to have at least one really stupid, mistake of a relationship that make us hide our heads under an apple basket for the next twenty years in shame?  Seems to be a rite of passage and Iíd give anything to protect her from it. 

On that happy note, Iím going to post this abysmal patchwork column and *gulp* get ready for work.  I hope you all have a happy weekend and that the Muses come back to live at my house again soon. 

Take care,
 

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