Monday, May 27, 2013

Playing The Hand You're Dealt

Playing The Hand You're Dealt is the title of a novel by Trace Hickman. A wealthy couple volunteered at soup kitchens taking their son with them. They "wanted to teach (him) about life outside the walls of their luxury brownstone."

In a word, the hand life dealt me lately was: bed bugs.

Okay, that is two words, like my name, Mary Alice, meant as one. People have constantly tried to turn my name into, first name, Mary, middle name Alice. Even a Social Security worker who issued me a card saying I was Mary A. Russup. I have taken to writing it as MaryAlice in an effort to make it clearer than writing it in First Name space with dash in Middle Name space.

Anyway we can not say bed or bugs and know one means those nasty little critters that come a creeping while one is sleeping to suck one's blood. And when people ask me my name I usually say Mary, but still annoying when it is related to anything legal.

I have been dealing with this hand and the other one: trying to concentrate on what I am doing or falling to sleep listening to neighbor's loud TV and/or stereo (radio, who knows.) The third issue was less a hand life dealt me and more a result of my own life choices.

What hand has life dealt you? Did you accept it, deal with it or try to change it?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Book of Illusions

Did not finish the novel, The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster. I did not finish reading quite a few books I recently checked out of the library. Perhaps part of the reason is inability to concentrate. As it is this moment; neighbor turned on the whatever. Television I think. Did not anticipate hearing neighbor's noise through concrete block walls. I guess the floor and adjoining ceiling does not provide enough insulation to keep the sound from entering my apartment.

I think it was this novel where a character said there is a difference between a tramp, a hobo and homeless person.  My notes say:

~riding the rails as a Depression hobo.

~when a man has nothing to look forward to, he might as well be dead.

l'homme moyen sensuel

page 35 last dime to a beggar on the street.

Proudhon's dictum all property is theft.

Google Translation tells me the French words mean: the average sensual man.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Nice is a short novel about a nice girl named Grace penned by Jen Sacks. Grace does not like to hurt anyone's feelings and ends up killing a boyfriend rather than hurting him with rejection. She finds this was too easy and kills again. Sam is a professional killer who knows what Grace is doing. They fall into a relationship but can either ever trust the other with their lives?

Cute little story.

"He wasn't dirty enough to be homeless."

A man fell into a river and was "fished out by some homeless guys who were camped nearby. One stole his wallet while he lay unconcious but the others nursed him back to health. Later the man tells Grace he has a story to write about "these homeless people."

Monday, May 20, 2013

Death Vows

Death Vows is a Donald Strachey Mystery written by Richard Stevenson. An aging queer, Jim hires Donald to investigate Barry Fields who is about to marry Bill Moore. Jim claims he is concerned that his good friend Bill is making a big mistake. Soon Jim is murdered and Barry is arrested for the crime. Bill now hires Donald to clear Barry's name. Neither Barry nor Bill are forthcoming about their pasts, making this tale full of mysteries.

I might consider giving Strachey another chance. The characters in Death Vows did not come alive for me. It was a somewhat interesting read, but not the kind of mystery thriller page-turners I like to read; lots of contemporary references, including political stuff.

A character "was about to be left homeless" when his partner died, leaving his sister all his worldly possessions and she asked the man to vacate the home he shared with his dearly departed.

Sunday, March 31, 2013


Not sure who wrote "Attachments to persons or things cost us our liberty." Or words to that effect. I decided to keep this sweatshirt, because, well I am attached to it. The sleeves at armholes were ripped, so I sewed them a few weeks back. Not sure how I manage to get bleach on my clothes; guess I clean wearing the sweatshirt and other clothes.

The reason I am attached to it, well, one, it has a zipper,  a hood, roomy enough to layer clothes underneath it, is because the sleeve says: Analyze That. 

I liked the movie. Found the shirt by Shoreline Park. Nasty. Washed it restroom sink, I think, then let it air/sun dry, then washed at laundromat. Do not remember if that was in 2006 or when homeless in 2005, but think it was during my first go round on the streets.

Today I decided I have too much to carry to storage in the morning, so will ditch it and my favorite powder blue pullover sweater with a few holes in it. I routinely sleep in both of them. I considered ditching a light green woolly sweater, same style because it was too bulky, unlike the worn blue one. Or donate it to the Village clothing room.

Ha, ha, I should take a picture of my other pair of shoes that I am ditching in the AM. No wonder I have pain walking, when I looked at the soles of these sneakers. Not sure if you can tell how the heel wore unevenly. I did not think these sneaks were as old as my favorite slip on shoes; I believe I was supposed to have discarded the slip on shoes when I got these and a pair of clodhoppers.

The clodhoppers are too heavy but they are what I am wearing when I leave here tomorrow.

4 x 4 life

My life in a 4 x 4 storage locker. It is also 4' high. This stuff does not reach to top, maybe 1/2 way filled. It is a top locker; I guess meaning it is 4' off the floor, making it a little difficult for me to get stuff in there. I put stuff in bags which had to be done outside of locker. Then box and stuff slid to back.

The plastic bag in front should have room for blankets and laundry. I decided that I am ditching one of my blankets. It is nice and heavy and warm, but an odd size. I fold it in quarters, then it is not quite long enough to cover feet. Does not matter, I scrunch up in a near fetal position anyway.

I was so enthused thinking I was going to have an apartment early April, I was not thinking clearly. Like do I need this or that? Really need the stuff. I remember how everything seems to cost so much. Like brooms, so keeping them. The pot/pan set was cheap, and not very good, but better than replacing them when I do find a place to live.

Yet thinking when I get back from trip east to visit family, I might start ditching stuff. Then be homeless in Long Beach with a place to stow stuff, so I do not need to backpack it around with me all day. Shall see.

I considered getting an all day bus pass; take bus to store stuff, come back to get my back pack, then head downtown to beach until time to go to Greyhound station. The trip backpack is a bit too heavy. Thinking I need to wear the sweatpants I bought to replace well worn ones and store my good jeans in the locker.

Yet, since I did not do as I was going to ~ get another pair of sweats to travel with ~ very lightweight kind ~ I think I best wear the jeans. Do not know what else to leave behind to lighten up that backpack. Carrying my worn sweatshirt, holey sweater and big blanket, plus the Internet connection gear, laptop to storage while wearing the backpack seemed too much for me to be able to do.


Imagine, no possessions...

I told my daughter Dawn once, "I guess I sang that song one time too many." Yes, I get attached to things. Sometimes think about stuff I wish I still had. Like a long sweater jacket, I guess they are called; bought at one of those second hand or Goodwill type stores.

I decided not to keep the tray tables and lamp.

Also decided not to keep a piece of carpet. At first I was planning on keeping it, but I have the smaller ones and "rag" type throw rugs for new place. If I get a new place. My main reason for wanting to hold on to that carpet piece was to use to sleep on, put space between me and cold, cold sidewalks. If...

Son-in-law's cousin moved my sofa bed to alley. We joked about it being gone in short while ~ before manager calls city to have them remove it. Guess with Easter no one picked it up. Then when I came home from trip to storage place, took some more trash out, I saw the cushions gone. The cushions got put in dumpster. someone untied it, left string on ground, mattress 1/2 folded in and out of bed and the metal bed frame is gone.

Guess metal was more valuable to scavenger(s) then the sofa bed. Too bad Goodwill could not drive one block to have picked it up. Perhaps someone needy could have used it, if only Goodwill would price stuff cheaper. C'est la vie.