Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Pink Flamingo and a Double-Wide

So, when you sit with yourself, staring out through "make-shift double panes," which you cannot list as an 'amenity' if you chose to sell because they aren't actually real, you get a sense that you may or may not be right where you should be. And that is exactly where I am tonight, my friends. Right here with you, accompanied by a striped-blue glass that jingles with the sound of a couple ice cubes when you shake it, the 83rd Academy Awards Ceremony, and an illustrious feeling of dichotomy: Yes, I love the simple trailer life! and No, I fucking hate this life: Darling, give me Park Avenue!
Thanks for joining me tonight. The positive of it all is the Netflix envelope came in the mail this afternoon and if my favorite picture ("The King's Speech") doesn't win in the Best Picture category, I will certainly put in the DVD and turn to Bill and Barb and the wonderful world of polygamy, the compound, and my own adoration of everyone in Utah's seemingly remarkable ability to multi-task.
So, it's been one of those weeks where you wonder how your 130 lb. body can really hold all of your fucking emotions because there have been gallons and gallons of them and they just keep on coming...
You know what I'm talking about and really none of the emotions have anything to do with "the park" but oh yes...the park! Yep, it is alive and well, and well...
I must admit I don't spend a great deal of time on this thought, but when I do give it a split second, I am amazed at how much I really despise Erika at space 30.
I used to like her; well, not exactly like her but at least wear the facade mask that said, "You are sweet and yes I am the Manager, but we can still smile and wave and make like we both watch Oprah and act as if we are friends even if we are pretending." This has been going on for over 5 years now...
So honestly, unit 30 is a bitch. Pure and simple. She has 2.5 children who are perfect. (We just bought 5 boxes of Girl Scout cookies from her daughter because she can't help who her mom is.) Their dog barks continually every evening from 7:15-8:15 p.m. at which time she then opens the slider and lets him in...why she waits an hour I have no idea, but she does, so I ask the Goddess to give me the lesson of acceptance, but (truthfully) I'm sick and tired, at least tonight, of this pink flamingo and double-wide kind of life that seems to be fate or madness; nothing more and certainly nothing less.
I recall that it was about a year ago... I had figured out that she (unit 30) didn't have a Pet Agreement on file for her "barker mutt" and newly snuck-in kitten so I did my job and placed a Pet Agreement in her and her husband's box and much to my surprise, I received a type-written note in reply:
Dear Manger,
We wanted to say that we would never intentionally not fill out paper work. We honestly did not and do not understand this notice...yadhah...yadhah...yadhah...blah...blah...
We also weren't sure if we need to put our dog and cats on this form? It is very unclear what is needed?
(Standard form. Very clear. Just fill-in the blanks, Erika.) We have Daisy's license number on file, but we do not want to give it to you. If there is ever an instance when we feel you need it, please let us know. We feel like Daisy's license number is like her "social security number" and prefer not to give it out unless it is absolutely needed, as it should be confidential. We hope you understand.

And I do, Erika, I really do.

And if I may steal Colin Firth's line...
Please excuse me, if you will, as I have some impulses I need to attend to backstage.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blessed Be!

So, I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy from a women’s retreat I attended in the redwoods of West Sonoma County. It’s that same feeling like indulging in warm milk and a blankie after you’ve torn your cuticle and it’s been throbbing for over an hour: Pure bliss, people!

Okay let’s play a guessing game…What’s the worst thing that could happen at the park while one is off frolicking with beautiful women in the redwoods?
Take your time...No, guess again…Nope… You give up?...K. I’ll tell you…


Oh, yes my lovers of all things precious like Wheel Of Fortune, ‘Buy One Get One Free’ coupons, and ‘free piles’ of junk left on sidewalk curbs… while I was basking in the inward/outward truths of my soul, my Wonder Woman in Adidas sweats was out in our Zen garden with the Roto-Rooter guy, let’s call him Dave, moving pagodas and Buddha head statues and making small make-shift barriers to keep the gurgling muck from licking the feet of my Quan Yin. Timing is everything and I had paid and reserved my spot at the retreat months in advance. Besides, when you immerse yourself in one of these ‘love-ins,” guilt just doesn’t have a seat in the circle.
So my fearless partner took it on and, well, the truth is pals…shit happens.
These are the little day-to-day precious moments that make the $400.00 bi-weekly stipend worth living. But in all seriousness, I ponder these things like timing and luck. I mean in almost 6 fun-filled years at “the park,” our own septic has never spewed like Mt. Saint Helen and when it finally does, I am on a yoga mat, inhaling patchouli, loving my belly and the sound of ‘Om.’ And in total honesty, thank you Jesus! Because it’s one thing to put on the latex, grab the bleach and a shovel and wipe it up on someone else’s fake grass, but it’s something completely to wipe it up on your own.
What are ya going to do? I mean it is what it is. And speaking to the “luck” part of it all… I have this tune buoyant and hovering around between my brows right now…
Shine on me sunshine, walk with me world it’s a zippity-do-dah day…I’m the happiest girl in the whole USA…
Yet, as life has it, I returned to a sick little trailer park pooch. She had abdominal pains that caused much howling for hours upon hours until I thought I was going to scream and take the Coors flip top to my wrist. It began around 8:00 a.m. yesterday morning, continued all day and throughout the night into the early morning of today and at some point, between my consumption of gin and ibroprofin, I took action. I wrapped her in her crimson fleece, laid her in the back of the car, popped in a Wrigley's Double Mint, and headed down the 101 at 4:00 a.m. The crying and panting finally ceased around Chular and it was like a colic baby finding her pacifier. By 4:40 I was in Gilroy and I thought, “What’s one more town?” and hit Morgan Hill by 5. She’s going to be okay but you know, situations like these take you right to the moment and the moment for me is JOY. No, it truly is. Whoops of delight and jubilation.
Blessed Be…and I mean it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

V-Day 2011

So it’s Valentine’s Day and according to NPR it’s not pretty. In fact, the origin is down right dark and gruesome to say the least.

According to Arnie Seipel of NPR, the origin of this day dates back to those crazy Romans who, from February 13-15 (You still have one more day gentlemen) celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. These dudes sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of these animals they had just slain. “The ‘Roman Romantics’ were both drunk and naked," says Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Young women would actually line up for the men to hit them, Lenski says. They believed this would make them fertile.
Whoa now!
And if that isn’t enough amorous frolic for the boys, the fete included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be “coupled” up for the duration of the festival – or longer, if the match was “right.” Wink. Wink.
Whoa again!
Then thanks to Shakespeare and Chaucer, the day of remembrance grew sweeter with romantic prose of love and sonnets of matrimony and paper cards were created and exchanged.
OK, so I left out the entire Catholic part, which is just as grim and dark as the Romans’ part, except there was less whipping of women. Perhaps there was whipping of young … oh, never mind.
Anyways, then in 1913 a little company called Hallmark got wise and started mass-producing cards. Today’s sales for Hallmark are expected to be more than 18 billion bucks. That’s billions folks.
Of course, prior to reading the NPR article by Seipel, I head to our “thank God we have one” Safeway tonight to see if they have daffodils in February cuz my Valentine loves daffodils, not long stem crimson roses, and of course, I want to be part of Hallmark’s financial success… I arrive to a jam-packed floral area and it is men and me for aisles and aisles. In fact, the guys and I are shoulder to shoulder and our mass fills the floral department and extends into produce. I am extremely aware that I’m the only woman in this romantic mob and all of a sudden I see unit 28 to my right eyeing the roses that have a box of Whitman chocolates attached to the glass vase. Across the card and Mylar balloon kiosk, I see Senor Mendoza from 32 holding a white teddy bear with a red bow made in China and across the orchid platform I see this biker dude, I'm going to call him "Jesse Ventura with a bandana on his forehead" that doesn’t live in “the park” but is a frequent fixture at one of the two Valero’s in town. He’s obviously disgruntled by the prices, even though he can use your Safeway Club Card, and is scratching his head as to what he can afford for his lady.
Then there’s me. I scan the $19.99 roses that look like they’ve seen better days, and the heart-shaped boxes of stale but within expiration date chocolates, whose ingredient list has so many fucking “ingredient words” that I haven’t a clue what they mean but I damn well know they’re artificial, and I look at the glass swans filled with red jelly beans and I think to myself, “I can’t breathe right now” and I head for the baking aisle.
I make a conscious choice, and I am well aware that it’s not a Weight Watcher’s choice, but my Valentine absolutely loves lemon bars and we haven’t had them in the house since 2005, when we declared carbs sinful. I purchase all the stuff and head home to preheat the oven. Life is good. Especially when you keep it simple baby.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Directionless in Prunetucky

Christina Aguilera started out all right, but she had a problem with the ramparts -- specifically, the "O'er the ramparts we watched" line, which she left out altogether. What the hell are “ramparts’ anyways? According to Urban Dictionary:
A defensive fortification made of an earthen embankment, often topped by a low protective wall.
Then of course there’s
Ass Rampart
A barrier for your ass or underwear.

Poor Christina. She belted our National hymn with more mega-phone power than Patti Labelle, yet she forgot the words.
On a cheerier note, I was surfing various categories on Craigslist today and came across this ad under real estate for sale by owner. (No, it’s not my ad.)

$18,430 / 2br - REDUCED! Double Wine Mobile Home in Senior Park
Ok so I’m thinking, a lucky senior not only gets a reduction in price for
this piece of crap, but also gets a double dose of their favorite vino!
I called. We had a cordial conversation until the seller realized I had absolutely no interest in purchasing his unit, but was simply trying to politely state the typo in his ad. I hate when people can turn on a dime, but I guess my humor is a bit cracked today due to a pulled hamstring that hurts like a “mutha” so I continued to place my order for Cupcake Merlot or J Lohr Chardonnay…
Yes… the hamstring. I have embellished the whole ordeal with a handful of strangers by saying I was playing point guard on a city league team when I went up for a nasty, but clearly not impossible lay-up, rather than make a pass I couldn’t connect, and came down hard under the hoop. Of course, because of my intense dedication and love for the game, I continued playing and pushed through the pain, agony and burning sensations that were shooting up my ass. (Too bad I wasn’t wearing my “ass rampart.”)
Truth is hard and cold like an ice cube and to tell someone that I was simply carrying a jug of water and attempted to step over a 2.5-3 foot piece of plywood, missed and landed wrong simply is absurd…but more absurd than that? Try this:

British Town To Heat Pool With Crematorium
A British town council says it has approved plans to use the heat from a crematorium to warm up the swimming pool next door.
The local authority in Redditch, a town outside Birmingham in central England, says the move will cut energy waste. Work on a link between the town's crematorium and its new leisure centre will begin later this year following the council decision. A senior official from Unison, Britain's second biggest trade union, has called the plan "sick, insulting and insensitive". However, Redditch Borough Council leader Carole Gandy says correspondence showed that up to nine in 10 locals were in favor of the idea. "Many respondents have in fact praised the council for being so innovative and for being willing to discuss the idea openly," she said. "We have been careful to explain how the technology would work, that it is tried and trusted, and that the practice is quite common in parts of Europe and especially in Sweden. "The heating scheme will be the first of its kind in Britain. The council says the plan will save more than $22,500 a year.
That’s all folks! I had no map tonight!
As if the obvious needs stating.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

A Veer Left

So I find it quite entertaining that there’s always zero comments left at my blog site when I veer left and write a half-ass political blog. Cairo IS an important event, my playfellows, and these events will ultimately be historically documented one day and probably mentioned when biographers write our President’s memoirs… and yet writing from a loud-mouthed, opinionated platform that is deeply rooted in the philosophies of Jon Stewart, versus writing from one’s first-hand, day-to-day accounts equates the likes of dogmatic vomit versus eye-witness chronicles. Well, you’re right. I know very little about national or international politics; only that I despise Republicans with the same distain as I abhor cow liver. And as Natalie Goldberg states over and over again, “Writers must write about what they know and only what they know.” So I’m savvy. I’m clued in to what you people want. You hunger for the down and dirty, the nitty gritty, the unscrupulous little secrets of trailer park living in a small, redneck whistle-stop. And that’s what I know. So I figure… Give ‘em what they want. All you salivating followers who secretly have wet dreams of living the high life like me but unfortunately have succumb to society’s peer pressure are here begging. You’ve bought into the pre-conceived ideas this nation has painted of “us folk.” Therefore, you walk around the planet with your noses scraping clouds’ edges and you play the part well. You say things like, “I live in a cottage in Carmel.” or “My condo in Monterey has maintained its value even in these economic times.” or even, “I have cousin who owns a magnificent home with two guest houses on 17 Mile Drive In Pebble.” Yet, deep down inside, in that intimate and private vessel where your truth resides, you are dying to break the chains that bind you and buy a ‘doublewide’ with a rust-free metal carport, upgraded awning and laminate throughout.
Well friends, it doesn’t get any better than that.
So based on your needs, I humbly oblige. I will attempt to quench your thirst…which by the way Space 10 did on his own Friday night with no help from me.
The phone rang at 10:45 P.M. and I know I speak for all trailer trash managers when I say, this is fucking late even on a Friday night. Mr. Alejo was ‘three sheets to the wind’ and the slurring was so plentiful, I could have paved an entire frontage road. My patience lasted about as long as a five-minute frolic, because have you ever tried to squeeze a word in with a chemically inconvenienced, part-time security guard who wears his uniform even when he’s “off duty?”
It’s not easy, believe you me. Finally I shut the man up by telling him, “Go right ahead and phone my supervisor, Ralph! Actually call right now! I’m sure he’ll be pleased to know, at 11:00 P.M. on a Friday night that your gas meter was possibly read wrong two weeks ago.”
Well… the beat goes on allies; never a dull moment here. So go ahead and have your houses in Carmel and your weekly jaunts to Whole Foods. I’m totally satisfied to live out my days in my prefab on the hill, eating mac-n-cheese and weenies from my Corelle cereal bowl.
Cheers mates!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Good Day Cairo!

I know about as much about Egypt and their President as I know about eating steak tar tare and the thought of both makes the hair on my arms crawl.
A brief read tells me that Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak was a military man starting at a very young age and ended up a commander in Egypt’s Air Force for many years prior to entering politics. Mubarak assumed the office of President in 1981. Of course he’s been there ever since! THIRTY YEARS in power! Well, you don’t need a ‘girl with a dream who ended up in a trailer park’ to explain the “X’s and O’s” as to what that can do to a man and to a nation. So anyway, the dude is in power for 3 decades and surprise, surprise Egypt’s economy “stabilized”; the Egyptian stock market came in first place out of all emerging markets in terms of percentage increase for the fiscal year 2004/2005 and certain companies began to flourish after years of stagnation. But guess what friends, and it’s the “same old, same old,” unemployment still persisted and rose especially amongst the lower-class and Mubarak came under criticism for favoring BIG business and privatization as opposed to workers' rights. (Hmm...Been there. Done that.) Now it makes total sense why Bush was such a chum with Mubarak, most likely, golf buddies.
While in office, political corruption in the Mubarak administration's Ministry of Interior has risen dramatically due to the increased power over the institutional system that is necessary to secure the prolonged presidency. Such corruption has led to the imprisonment of political figures and young activists without trials, illegal undocumented hidden detention facilities, and rejecting universities, mosques, newspapers staff members based on political inclination. On a personnel level, an individual officer can and will violate citizens' privacy in his area using unconditioned arrests due to emergency law.
Right now the man has stripped his people of phone service, the Internet and according to some Twitter tweets @ #Egypt, "...He’s opened the doors at high security prisons" and those 'special folks' are the ones who are doing most of the looting and burning. Also on Twitter..."It's a horrific scene in Egypt but there is also amazing solidarity being displayed: Egyptian Christians said they will guard the Muslims from the police while they on Friday Pray." Of course these are quotes not corroborated.
It also makes sense why President “Yes We Can” Obama is walking an extremely narrow tightrope. It’s a damn good thing he’s a brilliant speaker because how can he show support for the 1/4 MILLION protesters who are unrelentingly in the streets and, for the most part, marching peacefully demanding justice, civil liberties, their voices be heard, AND yet (He) also keep that damn Suez Canal in the breast pocket of his suit? You see, more than 35,000 ships crossed the Suez in 2009, about 10 percent of them oil tankers.
And then there’s you and me; those of us who feel the pangs of sympathy, empathy and occasionally send a “shout-out” to the Egyptian people: “Fight on! We stand behind you! Democracy rocks!” But we haven't taken to our own streets in multitudes really since 1963 in Selma when 250,000 people participated in the largest demonstration in our history, demanding justice, civil rights, freedom and accountability from our government.
And I'm asking why? Why didn't we take to the streets under the 8 year rule of King George W? Maybe we would have, God I hope so, if his reign had been 30 years like Mubarak. Why aren't a million marching against The Afghanistan war? Why aren't twice as many marching to eradicate poverty or demand affordable health care? Or 1/2 a million marching for gay rights or even advocating rights of trailer park ...oh, forget that!
But seriously, if you have any answers as to what it will take, please do share.

Good Day Cairo!