The Jerk. No relation to the film.

As if moving’s not stressful enough.

In the Top 5 List of Life’s Stressors, they say.

Not so much for this Moving Queen, she says poised for the next move in two days. Move #56? Dunno, lost count. But if practice makes perfect, then the perfect mover am I! Got it down to a science and an art.

 

Even so, moving’s still a major stressor.

Made all the more so by people. Certain individuals.

Meet Jodi.

Some months back she posted a craigslist ad seeking a roommate. Unbeknownst to me, it’s present-time Jodi.

I replied, emphasizing that I’m a neat freak as the ad highlighted it as a desired trait.

No response.

I emailed again. Nothing. Again. Zero.

Persistence paying off? Not so much.

Then interest in the room morphed into annoyance at the lack of response, the lack of courtesy and manner.

Call me old-fashioned but I believe that every respondent to any ad deserves an acknowledgement as a courtesy. Even dreadful auto-replies are better than stone-cold silence.

I communicated this distress. Never heard back. Of course not. Only choice was to let go and move on — and find another place to live.

Fast-forward 3 months.

Same ad appears. Coincidentally, at a time when I’m ah-gain looking to move. I live in a perpetual state of looking to move but that’s another issue.

I respond again – again featuring my neat-freak qualities (and other things) since in this Round Two that’s again a stated preference in the ad.

Lo and behold, I hear back!

I pick my jaw up from the floor and go meet her. Jodi.

We hit it off more or less. I mean, how well can you know someone in an hour’s chat?

A green light to proceed far as I’m concerned. Jodi too.

Only one thing left to do: Meet the other roommate. A dude from India. No problem-o. So it seems.

Then a text from Jodi.

“I changed my mind. The roommate asked that since he is Indian and his family visits {ed. note: briefly like once a year}  that the new roommate be male to reduce cultural conflict.”

Wow! That’s a new one to this seasoned mover / roommate!

“I am sorry I got your hopes up.”

Jodi and I text fond farewells and I keep looking for new digs. Two months looking, one week before I’m to be out, Jodi drops the ball and I’m empty-handed trying not to freak out!

No other choice but to keep looking.

A new possibility emerges in the 11th hour. I pursue.

Then I hear from Jodi.

“I changed my mind. Can you come over to meet the Indian roommate?”

“Sure. When?”

“5 or 6 after work.”

“Can’t. I work evenings. How about I go meet him at his job like during a break?”

“You can’t. Have to meet him here at the house.”

“OK. How about Friday (yesterday). I have that day off.”

“I’ll ask him and get back to you.”

“OK.”

I wait. Wait. Wait. While the Moving Clock ticks ticks ticks.

Never hear back.

I text. “What’s the skinny on meeting the Indian roommate tonight?”

“Sorry. He’s already gone to Phoenix for the weekend. Maybe next week.”

No More Maybes.

“I wouldn’t count on this,” Jodi adds.

You don’t say!

Both rounds Jodi’s dropped the ball: (1) first time when she never responded to my shows of interest in the room then (2) when we met and talked — rather, she yammered, I listened — and advanced toward Go only to have her throw the curveball of cultural distress. Then rescind it.

When she texted: “I wouldn’t count on this,” I could only say:

“I’m out”

“OK. Good luck” she says.

“Goodbye” is all I could say — and needed to say.

Here’s a woman who not once but twice ignored me, jerked me around by offering her home, then taking it away, then essentially offering it again after meeting the roommate.

Every step of the way I accommodated Jodi.

At every turn she dropped the ball.

Either she didn’t respond … or did respond but sporadically and unreliably … or did respond all-in.

Like the three faces of Eve. Which Jodi would appear this day?

Her actions / inactions would’ve left me homeless had another door not opened at the very last minute. Whew!

In the end, I dodged a bullet.

Hence I write:

As if moving’s not stressful enough … it’s people, certain individuals, who make it 1,000 times more stressful.

People like Jodi. Who jerked me ’round not once but twice and for the last time. Jodi the Jerker. Jodi the Jerk.

Heave-ho to old habits! Hello Rooster!

I’ve developed a habit.

A bad habit.

A habit of not writing stories in a colorful and never-a-dull-moment life.

I know the roots of why, mostly.

As unhealthy / painful / traumatic as the whys are, still I continue.

Takes 40 days of a different / better behavior to loosen the grip of a habit, they say.

Could be. I rarely give myself time to find out. Another bad habit developed over time: giving up too easily. Throwing in the towel — with expletives along the lines of “fuck it, doesn’t matter, the world’s shitty, I’m worthless, just ask my mother.”

A tired old refrain that regardless I continue to chant.

Ugh. Why? Habit. Bad habit.

So here’s what I’m thinkin’ today.

Tomorrow’s a new moon.

Moreover, it’s the Chinese New Year. The Year of the Rooster. The Fire Rooster.

I’m a Rooster. Even better, a Fire Rooster!

If ever there was a year for me to Let The Past Go and Begin Anew, Initiate, Get Back on the Horse and Gallop Onward, 2017 is it!

Recognize the old habits when they pop up. And pop up they do and shall — persistently, repetitively. Like a broken record that just won’t give up.

Recognize that it is an old habit bellowing that same ol’ song.

Lift the needle off the vinyl — I’m a vinyl fan from way back, long before CDs existed — and flip the record.

What’s on the B side? Dunno. Whatever, it’s time to find out. To kick these lingering old bad habits to the curb.

Sorry, guys, you’ve had your 15 minutes — and then some! Time to love you, forgive you and let you go.

The Fire Rooster’s crowing in my ear. However unmelodic, out of tune or dissonant its song may be, it’s gotta be better than the broken record of same ol’ same ol’.

So sing Fire Rooster! Sing loudly! Sing freely!

I welcome your proud bold Spirit back into my life!

Fire Rooster Symbol of 2017 New Year

Fire Rooster 2017 Chinese New Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Indian bedspread. Cheaper than drywall.

Well, that’s a hoot ‘n’ a holler!

Two months ago, when I started searching for new digs, I responded to a guy’s craigslist ad seeking a roommate. Despite repeated tries, never heard back so moved on.

Never heard back ’til yesterday. An outta-the-blue email. “You ever find a room?”

Uhhhh, actually, yes. We’re to formalize the deal tomorrow.

Still enough time to back out if a better deal appears but we gotta move quickly. Like meet today.

Then he tells me about the sitch.

A 2-bedroom apartment. His roommate’s a gal from his ad back in November.

This dude’s a hackysacker, artist and traveler. He’s gone a lot. Apparently he and the roommate are feeling the burden of splitting the rent.

Hence the appeal of a third roommate.

In a 2-bedroom apartment?

Hackysacker Dude’s got a fix.

“My roommate keeps her room. You’d take my room since I travel a lot.”

And Hacksacker’s bedroom when he’s back?

Bemused by his creative cleverness, he chuckles: “An Indian spread hung from the ceiling in the living room.”

{flashback to my Berkeley college days}

I laugh. A creative solution, I give ‘I’m that.

“Sounds crazy, huh. You probably wouldn’t be interested. Sounds crazy to me too, I’m 42.”

“Nah, not crazy. Hey, I’ve got a hippie past. Been there did that in my 20s. I’m not there anymore.”

I didn’t tell him I turn 60 in two months.

A friendly engaging chat … but a third sometimes-roommate making his bedroom of the living room courtesy of an India bedspread … not my bag at this age … though, as I tell him, I’d consider it if I were desperate. And I’m not.

Our chat ‘n’ his sitch got me thinking.

Like Hackysacker Dude perhaps, I’m a traveler. Not financially independent. What would I do in his situation? How would I maintain a rented space to return to while also easing the burden of rent on myself and roommate(s) when away?

The Indian bedspread – 1,001 uses. Who here hasn’t used one or seen it used once in your lifetime? “It can do everything but fix your car.” Okay, exaggeration. Still. Why, just to scratch the surface, a spread:

  • covers up damaged or ugly walls
  • protects couches ‘n’ furniture from pet hair
  • stands in as a ground spread at picnics and beaches
  • helps tote objects
  • drapes over more windows than we can count
  • ditto tables and bicycles, motorcycles and things stored in an attic
  • and, naturally, divides more rooms than we’ll ever know

I feel for Hackysacker Dude’s pickle.

And though at 59 I’m not interested in revisiting my Berkeley-university era, my inner hippie is still alive and appreciates Hackysacker’s efforts. In fact, in his sandals, I might well be hitting Cost Plus for a giant fabric print.

Had I gotten his address — to a place I’ll never live — why, I’d even gift Hackysacker Dude a ‘spread for happy living, happier trails, happiest hackysacking. Perhaps this one, elephants symbolizing good luck ‘n’ prosperity in India …

elephantspread

The mighty elephant, kin of the beloved Ganesha

Thrills in a trio

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Relief!

Whooooaaa!

Thrills in a trio.

One at a time …

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

… is to angelic beings, divine guides, protectors and helpers for bringing me a new place to live.

The deal’s not yet signed; the landlord, however, is holding it for me until we take care of business, make it official in a coupla days.

It’s a tiny studio. Tiiiny. Like 215 sq. feet tiny. But it would be my space. No roommates (but a neighbor above). There’s more to the story — and space; save for another time.

I’m in disbelief. Disbelief that in this extremely tight and competitive housing market that (a) a studio even became available and (b) that it’s mine soon as I sign on the dotted line! Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

Yep, I’m in disbelief. And …

Relief!

I cannot tell you how arduous this search has been! Nearly two months looking. A d-e-a-d dead rental market in December. I fluctuated wildly between panic, resourcefulness, terror of becoming homeless again (a very real possibility in this town of housing crisis/shortage). Struggled to remain optimistic and ward off pessimism and despair.

That I’m assured a place to go before Jan. 31 is a  RELIEF of gigantic proportion! Again, homelessness was biting at me there on the butt. Not a lifestyle I wish to repeat. Not a lifestyle I CAN repeat with two jobs (and one crazy schedule).

A tiiiiny space of my own. Wow! And …

Whoa!

For just yesterday I viewed the tiny studio … and today moved a step toward  confirming.

Then just today two emails arrived.

One from a lady looking for a roommate in a spacious and apparently beautiful home.

And one from a dude who was seeking a roommate two months ago! I’d responded to his ad “way back then” and never heard back. ‘Til today. Guess he’s resumed his search or the roomie he did get is departed.

Short of it is: Either or both of these sudden room-share openings are arrived on one day — unbelievable in this housing market! — and on the very day that the tiny studio becomes mine, unofficially.

Whoa!

Relief!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Circling to the beginning.

How it’ll all ultimately shake down remains to be seen. And see we shall soon enough — with departure from Lord George’s home imminent.

Yes, 2017’s gonna be an amazing year! Amazing for me. For America. Trump’s inauguration is Friday and boy am I celebrating! The country’s mood has shifted dramatically with his win.  That too, another post.

For now, I look assured new digs … {and simultaneously a pullback from the precipice of homelessness}

To the forces above, I can’t say it enough:

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

 

The slave peeks through a crack in the door

I have work issues. Slavery issues. Slave-labor issues. Deep-rooted stuff.

Which makes this tidbit … this factoid … all the more compelling.

I requested to be moved off Friday evenings at one of my jobs for one purpose:

so that I can have one night of fun, of pleasure, above all else music a week.

GASP!!!!!!!!

{faint onto floor}

(swish smelling salts under fainter’s nose}

For the record: I did not bail on that job! — though lord knows I want off so bad.

And I did not leave my boss high ‘n’ dry.

It’s a stupid job. That’s what I call it. “My stupid job.” I don’t tell people what it is. It’s so off path off purpose and far beneath who I am, my calling, etc. etc. etc. and etc.

Just let the record show:

I did not request less work.

I merely requested to be moved off Friday evening shifts and ONTO another evening of her need.

Unbeknownst to her, I did this so I can have one evening a week that’s enriching.

{shoot me now for just saying that!} {see, right there’s an example of that deep-rooted work-slavery complex}

See, here’s the thing {whispering so the brutal slavery gods don’t hear}

There’s this guy in town. A musician. And his team. This guy — and his musician team — is phenomenal. I mean truly talented. Gifted. Beyond the pale. Born to play music. It’s his life, his passion, his purpose, his path.

You go into the brewery with troubles, watch him play and all those cares n’s troubles just slip away. They evaporate. {poof} He’s just that good. That born to play. You can’t help but feel good. His joy’s infectious.

He plays at the brewery every Friday night.

And because I work at a job {“my stupid job”that I’d dump in a heartbeat if I could}, I don’t get to hear him/their music.

I miss it. I crave it. I love music and I love his/their music.

I know I shouldn’t.

I know I shouldn’t love anything. Shouldn’t seek pleasures. Shouldn’t feel anything but the pride of enduring shitty/slavish jobs.

Shouldn’t feel anything but the pride of Enduring whatever brutalities and cruelties are tossed upon me through life.

I know this.

I know that by even by wanting more than enslaved drudgery — never mind seeking relief from it for one evening! — I’m betraying … well, fuck it, too complex to explain.

Just sayin’. Pleasure is not an option.

An evening of music: not an option.

Except I made it so.

The gumption it took, the balls, the cajones, the defiance of that deep slave labor-work complex to request a slight alteration in work schedule … this is remarkable! To be celebrated!

And my boss, btw, whom I like, btw: totally agreeable. She didn’t scowl, refuse, argue, deny, write me up or punish me directly or subversively.

And believe you me, authorities have been doing that all my life when I seek a sliver of freedom or pleasure!!

She accommodated.

“Which nights do you need help?” I asked.

“Tuesday or Thursday,” she said.

“Let’s do Tuesdays.”

It was that simple. I like my boss. She’s a refreshing change from cruel dictators.

I’m beginning to ramble. It’s a hazard when trying to write about a very deep subject yet not write about it.

Come Friday nights, I may or may not beat myself for the pleasure of fantastic live music. I hope I don’t but that slave-labor-master complex is embedded.

Or:

I may realize: “Hey, I just loosened the link of my shackle!”

“Maybe there’s something good to be experienced outside of the slave camp.”

“Maybe life wants us to be bigger than what we were given as children and/or by karma.”

“Maybe music truly does heal the soul, even one as battered and beaten and wrecked as mine.”

“Maybe my dad {whom I love to death} is on the other side having to work on these very issues that he imposed upon me, upon others. Maybe his karma’s getting worked on over there as mine is here.”

Dunno.  It’s complicated. It’s a fucking mess.

I just know that a teensy part of me pushed through the wall of drudgery and slavery through the power of music.

My love of music.

This particular musician’s music.

Is that so wrong? Does reaching toward life deserve the firing squad?

Or is it possible that this whole Slave Labor – Work Complex is an illusion … a deep-seated construct designed to oppress and suppress and imprison and control others for ego gratification?

Dunno.

God bless Parker and his boys for their incredible music!

I can’t help thinking that music was gifted to mankind to raise us from our own self-created prisons and darknesses, to uplift and heal.

 

 

The Lord is away … but I doth not play.

I’m free! I’m free! I’m free! I’m free!

Not really. Hardly. Hardly at all.

I’m free — for the moment  — of my roommate. He’s off on an overseas trip for nearly 3 weeks.

Three weeks!! A glorious 20 days or so free of his lordship. He who lords over me in the home.  Lord George.

His absence brings more than R-E-L-I-E-F.

More than breathing space — and, honestly, it gets no more basic than breath, n’est pas?

His absence marks the imminent end of my tenancy (a rented room in his house) by Jan. 31.

I’m still looking for new digs. Still searching for a rental room. Hardly my first choice. Finances dictate. My town’s skyrocketing rental rates dictate.

Can’t but wonder whether my town’ll dictate my departure altogether! Time’ll tell soon.

Living with George has been no walk on the beach. Or in the park. In the trees or along the boardwalk. Pick your pleasure.

Living with him reminds, however, that my highest strength is also my curse: Endurance.

I endure because it is Survival. It’s about survival. It’s always been about survival for reasons deeply rooted in earliest life experiences.

Hence my tendency is to stay in stinky situations too long.

One of the life’s hardest lessons for me has been: Staying too long in a situation — enduring it — does not improve the situation.

I’ve learned through brutal experience that there IS such a thing as beating a dead horse.

I’ve learned that the only person being harmed when giving your own life to revive the horse harms no one but me.

I continue, through hard, sometimes brutal experiences still, this Law of Life:

When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. Overstaying a situation does NOT improve it. It only gets worse.

This, my readers, has been and continues to be one of my hardest lessons this lifetime.

Because ultimately I’m all about Survival.

I hunker down when it’d be better to let go.

I shut down to cope with whatever shit’s being thrown my way.

I internalize. I seethe. I get depressed, suicidal.

My health goes south. Sometimes so dramatically that health issues become more pressing than the very situation that’s causing them!

By Jan. 31 — my exit date from this — it’ll be 5 months living here with George. About 3 months too long.

Overstaying a situation does not improve it! A situation that needs to end is not like wine! It does NOT improve with age!

That’s all I gotta say.

Well, that and YEY! YEY! YEY!!!

He’s away. But this mouse doth not play.

I’m still under enormous stress and pressure to find new digs. Meanwhile, with Lord George away, I can at least breathe.

What a gift. Breath.

Where art thou, safety?

Now this … this is living.

The comforts of home. The basics of home. These things elude me. Always have. Hope they don’t always.

I blog from a couch in another’s home — precisely an airbnb.

My first stay in one. It’s a mere 5 miles from where I reside.

The purpose of last night’s overnighter was to suss out this airbnb as a possible extended short-term stay should I not secure new digs by month’s end, when I exit my current living situation — thank god!!

But, as with all things home- and travel-related, one night at this airbnb (the cheapest of the scant choices in my town, incidentally) reminds me of what’s absent in the home arena: safety.

And that is all I care to say on that.

And so as I relax on this cushy couch in this airbnb, lingering but briefly before heading to work (:-( ), I think: “When was the last time I sat on a couch in another’s home and felt relaxed?”

Not even where I currently live, renting a room in “Jerry’s” home, do I do that.

Not only where I currently live can I do that.

It is time to go.

To work.

Time to go.

Out of “Jerry’s” house and life.

God speed to me — and safety be unto me.