Kiss5Tigers

The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.


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Paying For What You Already Own

For the last, oh, 4 days, I have been texting my daughter with no response.

A day or two with no answer, well that could be bad timing. It happens. It’s unusual because you can text back at any time, but whatever.

This was 4 days, and I could see she’d been on Facebook, so I decided to call.

I’m glad I did.

A man answered the phone. We had a hard time connecting, it was as if he couldn’t hear me at first. I thought it was one of my daughter’s friends being funny, so I said, “This is Elcie’s mom. Is she with you?”

“I found this phone in Deep Ellum,” the man said. “I’ve had it for a couple days. This is the first time anybody called.”

That’s probably true. Most people text these days and my daughter lives with her friends so she they don’t need to call.

We made arrangements to meet at the 7-11 to do the phone swap. I figured I’d buy him some cigarettes or a 6-pack as a thank you.

I got to the 7-11 and there was no place to park. In fact, the store was closed down completely for remodeling. Good thing I had a little cash to give the guy.

I thanked the man for being honest. He said his mother raised him that way. I told him his mother did a good job, and he blushed. I think the compliment meant more to him than the money, though no doubt the money was welcome.

In the meantime, Elcie and her friend C also called the phone and got the guy. He said he was on his way to meet someone, and they assumed it was another friend. After I got the phone and left, they met him but of course I already had the phone.

As I was waiting outside her apartment, the phone rang. It was a Houston number but I answered anyway. Turned out to be C. They headed over to the apartment.

The price of getting the phone was only $35. I just resent paying for something we already own. I don’t begrudge the man his reward though. I guess that makes me ambivalent.

For my daughter, the price of the phone was spending an afternoon with mom. She made out pretty good though. We went to Aldi‘s and ordered curry from Thai Thai. We also watched a so-bad-it’s-funny movie called Kung Fu Hustle on Netflix.

So it cost me a few dollars, but I got to spend some time with my daughter. And that’s always good. I wish it was under better circumstances. I think I’m gonna Gorilla Glue that phone to her body.

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Some Days Are Not as Good as Others

I’m having kind of a crappy day.

I’ve been having kind of a crappy few days.

First of all, I went shopping. Shopping is bad. I spent $70 that I shouldn’t have spent on art supplies. They are still in my car in case I decide to return them, but I probably won’t.

Then this cough. I am still coughing. The doctor says allergy. Well, that’s fine, I’m not contagious. But it annoys the people around me. I can’t have a conversation. People back away. This is a nasty cough.

And the whole bed bug debacle. It’s not my fault this time, but I am still being blamed.

I was minding my own business, sitting on the sofa, when my roommate L comes up to me. “Did you poop when you went to the bathroom?” Well, no, I hadn’t, but I instantly felt accused of something. Turns out there was some kind of poo streak in the toilet and it mattered whether it was my fault.

Then L spent the day out of the house visiting family. When she came home, I was in the laundry room. I heard the dogs bark and came out. I had automatically locked the front door when I came through it, and I hadn’t turned on the outside light, so she was struggling to get into the house. I opened the door and got an earful. “I think of you at night and leave the light on and unlock the door,” she reminded me. I was more worried about exterminating bed bugs and my other roommate being sick. I didn’t think of the sun going down. And I certainly couldn’t have predicted that she’d come home when I was in the back of the house.

Today I came home and was met at the sofa by L. She was looking at me expectantly. I had no idea what the thing was. She pulled out a sheet that she uses for sitting on the sofa. “Is this your blood?” she demanded. I don’t know but I’m having my period so maybe. “I need you to check yourself,” she said, “this is just gross.” Well it wasn’t something I did on purpose, and it was so faint I didn’t even notice it until she pointed it out. I offered to wash the sheet, but she put it in her hamper.

F is on me about money. I know I owe the phone bill. Sometimes it takes me a couple of days to get to the bank. I don’t appreciate being told to go to the bank. And I don’t appreciate being asked what I”m doing today with an agenda. He is counting nickels and dimes lately. I am not the bank. I thought we were friends but lately I feel like I am just a source of funds.

Now I know this will pass. I will get over my period and be less sensitive. Things will go back to normal. Money will work out.

My general horror about having a body won’t go away, I’m afraid, but I’m used to that. I won’t enumerate the grossnesses at this time. I’ll just try to convince myself it’s worth it to be able to pet the cat.

And tomorrow will be a different day.


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The Bed Bug Saga

About 2 years ago, a friend and I took a road trip. A couple of months later, we both ended up with bedbugs. We assume we both picked them up at a hotel while we were on the road.

My friend noticed the bugs right away and took steps and hasn’t had a problem since. Good for her!

Me, now, the bugs don’t bite me, or I don’t welt up when they do, so it took me a lot longer to notice there was a problem. (Mosquitoes don’t bite me either, I assume it’s blood type or psych meds or something I eat that renders me unappealing.)

Plus when I first noticed them, they were under the cats. I thought they were some kind of flea. I kept treating the cats to no avail.

Soon enough the bugs migrated throughout the house and became a problem for my roommates. We spent a long time working on getting it under control. I bought a LOT of bug death, since it was my fault that they got into the house.

For many months we have been bug free. But they are back.

Both of my roommates have complained of being bitten. I have no welts and haven’t felt itchy. However, the roommates’ response to this is, I must clean my room.

Because I am now the epicenter of bugs.

Today I spent several hours working on my room. I took the bed apart and sprayed (no bugs in the mattress corners, which my roommates were convinced I had). All the bedding is in the wash.

Spray the hallway, says my roommate, because they migrate.

You know what else they do? Lay eggs in the beds and soft furnishings of the house. Eggs that hatch in that location. Bugs that think of the sofa as home, not migrants from my room.

Oh, but they could be hiding between the dresser and the wall, say the roommates. Spray your whole room. Maybe you should spray up near where the walls and the ceiling meet.

So I have done these things. I figure, there are 2 possibilities: Either there are no bedbugs in which case I’ve done no harm. Or there are bugs I’m not seeing, in which case I’ve addressed the issue. And in either case, the roommates feel heard.

When they go out of town in a couple weeks, and I can sleep on the sofa, I will bug bomb the room. Which I do quarterly anyway. Just because.

So this is a cautionary tale of sorts. Don’t get bedbugs. They are nearly impossible to get rid of, and the reputation is even harder to shed.


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Zines!

*Cough cough hack hack* That’s sound effects. I have developed a cough that I just cannot tolerate any longer. I have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow.

In order to help me feel better, I ordered some zines. Some from Broken Pencil, which I’m so glad to see is still in print! I miss Factsheet5, which used to be for sale as a business. Only I didn’t have $10,000 to give them to own the name. I don’t imagine it’s still available.

I am taking a course from Leonie Dawson about making e-courses. The thing is, I need to pick a topic I know something about. I don’t have to know everything about the topic, but I can’t know nothing. I don’t feel like I know much about anything! And yet I must know things about things, I mean, I’ve lived this long and been pretty successful at it. Not amazingly successful, but I’ve made it this far, and I can keep going.

I am thinking about dinner. I don’t know what I want. Probably chicken and pasta, since I know we have that. Though I could go with a salad from Subway. But that would involve going out and spending money, and I just spent $70 on zines and books. I spend too much on printed material and I have no place to store it.

Speaking of my bedroom, I need to tear it apart one of these days. F and L will be out of the house for a long while on Friday so I am going to see how much I can get done with them gone. I need to move stuff out of the bedroom and re-pack it, but I don’t have anywhere to put stuff except the living room and that’s hard to do while people are using it.

F is having issues with bed bugs in his recliner, and he assumes they are migrating from my room. Now I will own it: I brought the little buggers home from a trip with a friend. She also got an infestation so I believe we picked them up at a hotel. So originally, they DID migrate out of my bedroom to the rest of the house. However. They have already colonized his recliner. I am not having issues in my room so I don’t believe they are migrating, I believe they have been reborn in situ.

F doesn’t agree. I don’t know if he thinks I’m lying or so oblivious that I wouldn’t notice bug bites or what. So I will tear the room apart and spray everything. It’s a pain in the ass but what else can I do? Either I have bed bugs that I’m not aware of, in which case I need to spray. Or I don’t have bed bugs but F doesn’t believe me, in which case I need to spray. To appease him. *shrug*

So Friday, while everyone is out of the house, I will remove some of the big pieces out of my room and spray. Then later while they are gone for a few days, I will bug bomb the room. I can sleep on the sofa while they’re gone overnight and give the poison time to work. It will actually be good to clean my room, I just hate doing it.

Actually, I hate cleaning when I feel like I’m being observed. That’s why I don’t vacuum with people in the house (well, besides the fact that I don’t vacuum, but I’ve already told you about that). I don’t enjoy cleaning to start with and I don’t like feeling watched. Watching me do something that I resent doing makes me very unhappy.

Well, time to find food. My tummy is telling me it’s empty so I’m off to raid the fridge.


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Quiet House

The house is quiet. One roommate is asleep already. The other has gone to her room to wait for a phone call. I have laundry in the washer, I wonder if I should move it to the dryer. The noise would break the quiet of the house.

It’s not unusual for a house to be quiet at half past midnight, but it’s unusual for this house.

F is disabled and doesn’t work, he doesn’t have to get up in the morning. L is retired and doesn’t work, she doesn’t have to get up in the morning. I am demobilized at the moment, I don’t have work tomorrow. I don’t need to get up in the morning. So usually we are up until all hours. No fixed schedule.

I often go to bed about now. I like waking up in the morning before everyone else and getting a calm start to the day. Now that’s still 9 am, not like I’m an early bird of any kind!

There’s something about being awake when everyone else is asleep. It’s peaceful. I feel like I’m watching over them, keeping night guard.

Most of the laundry in this load was hang-dry, so no dryer tonight. The few items that weren’t can wait for the morning.

My mind is clear to think about things with no distractions, but what I think about is, I like my wardrobe for the most part. It isn’t extensive but it reflects me.

What a shallow thing to think about! I could be planning to save the world or learning something, watching a TED talk. Instead I am doing laundry and being pleased with the contents of my closet.

So bizarre.

So small.

And yet the world and daily life are made up of small things. Making meals, petting the cat, writing this blog. None of it earth-shattering and all of it part of a life.

The way we spend out minutes is the way we spend our lives. I feel like I “should” be doing more, bigger, important stuff.

But what I do is facilitate groups. Love people who need to be loved. Hold space for those who simply need to be heard. Try to make the world a little better than when I got here, in some small way.

Beauty is small sometimes. Maybe I can add beauty in some way.

The trains go by outside like thunder in the silence. The cat snores delicately. The keyboard clicks. I will sleep soon. I listen to the rhythmic breathing of my roommates in their respective beds. My bed calls me.

So much to do in this peace. One more glass of water. One more chapter to read, One more tour of the house being sure everything is shut up for the night.

Then the house will settle into full silence, all of us asleep in the quiet and dark of sacred night.


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My Cat Is a Jerk But She Loves Me

I got very sick yesterday evening. Ended up in hospital, where they decided it was either food poisoning or a virus so they sent me home.

I had been visiting my friend Kelli, so I said my goodbyes and went to QT for some apple juice and Gatorade. I drank the apple juice and took a nap in the parking lot. I was just worn out from being sick.

I fell asleep about midnight and woke up about 3 am. I’m surprised nobody bothered me, like the police. But okay, nap was good. I got home about 45 minutes later.

Of course by then I needed to throw up the apple juice, so I projectile vomited all over the living room. I didn’t even remember until my roommate asked me about the stain on the carpet. How embarrassing. I mean, I just left a huge mess and climbed onto the sofa to pass out. I feel like I ruined the living room.

But she was nice about it. I think she wanted to be mad, but I am a little puny still, so she just got out the disinfectant. I didn’t even think of it having a viral load. I feel like crap about it. Or I would, if I was feeling better.

All I’ve done today is sleep. I’d swear I was on the Disney channel, I’ve seen movies like Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Beauty and the Beast. Well I haven’t really seen them, I’ve slept through them.

So this is me whining. I want a little more sympathy for being sick than I’ve gotten, but there it is.

Now my cat, Charli, hasn’t left me alone since I came home. She doesn’t sleep with me, but she sat on the arm of the sofa and guarded me. She also knocked everything but the computer off the table, and I think the only reason she left she computer alone is she likes to lay on it. It must be warm. I’m just glad I had the lid on the Gatorade.

You know you need Gatorade when it tastes like water. Usually it tastes like sweat.

Charli has patted me on the face and asked for attention this afternoon. She seemed really concerned about me, as much as a cat can seem concerned about anything. Momo kitty has just appeared and it laying on the table now.

Reminder, this is a folding tray table that I set up to use my computer. The cats like to lay on it; I don’t know why. So they push everything off. I had thought it was an accident. You know, they lay down and spread out and happen to push things off.

But no.

Today I saw Charli target certain items, like the mouse, and just push them over the edge. This is the most cat-like thing I’ve ever seen her do. So I am annoyed yet charmed, the usual opinion of cat lovers, I’m sure.

So pet love trumps bending over to pick things up. I’m thinking of another nap and Momo wants attention. I hope to feel better in a couple of hours.


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Down to the Wire

I went to the passport office today. It was a bit difficult. At least they have planned for walk-ins.

The website said, parking would cost about $6. Not so. Parking was $10 for the first hour up to $22 for the day. I didn’t know how long it would take, and I didn’t have $22 if I needed it. I ended up parking for free at Mockingbird DART station and paying $6 to take the train. I guess I got my steps in but frankly it was deucedly hot for walking 4 blocks.

It’s a federal building so you get scanned going in. At least I didn’t have to take my shoes off. And there was a water fountain, a bubbluh as we say in Yankeeland, which I was so happy to see.

After I got into the passport office itself, I had to sit in a special section of chairs and get instructions. Turns out they want to documents stacked in a certain order. Then I had to fill out the application form again. Already I was glad I brought my birth certificate since I had been told, “All you have to do is bring the passport card.” Then you attach proof of travel itinerary, passport photos, and drivers license.

There were 2 lines, one for appointments and one for walk-ins. Of course appointments get preference, but that’s reasonable. When I got through the line, the lady told me I had filled out the wrong paperwork so I had to do that and go to the end of the line again.

I was number 141. When I sat down, they were on number 118. It ended up being a 3 hour wait. I dozed off several times since I was on short sleep. But I didn’t miss being called, and it went pretty fast. I was surprised at how speedy it was, until the lady told me I would have to come back on Wednesday to pick up the passport.

I have to come back between 1:30 and 3:00 to pick up my passport, and I am leaving on Thursday. Talk about cutting it close!

Done with the passport office, I went to support group then helped my daughter move. Then I came home to vacuum, take out trash, eat dinner and clean up. I wasn’t on my own time schedule for any of that. I wanted to vacuum while my one roommate was out of the house.

“Are you watching this on TV?” I asked the other roommate, “so I can vacuum.”

“It’s just TV,” he said, “We can pause a show if you need to vacuum.”

I didn’t say anything but I thought, “Oh you’re so cute, need to vacuum. There is no known universe where I have a driving need to vacuum. I do it because you ask me to.” And honestly I have never looked at the living room and thought it needed vacuumed. Not that I’m the best judge, but still.

I dumped out the bagless vacuum into the living room trash and it was full and the lint was fluffy so I closed the bag. I was going to wait a few minutes for my back to stop aching but the one roommate brought me the bathroom trash and the cat waste. Clearly I wasn’t going to sit down, I was going to take out the trash.

I did sit down to eat, but afterwards I had to wash my breakfast dishes as well as my dinner dishes. Finally I sat down and I had to call my travelling companion. I am just now settling in for the night. I’ve been on the go for 16 hours. Longer if you consider that I didn’t sleep last night.

Tonight I should sleep well indeed.