Friday, April 30, 2004

Talking about wasps and this has nothing to do with World War Two.......

I have watched her build this nest for over two months. She started with the first warm days of spring. She works diligently and never tires. Soon she will have a brood to take care of.

I noticed today that the first cell was capped and had an egg within. Her first child is taking shape. A progeny is born.

She doesn’t bother me and I don’t bother her. I let her live her life and she let’s me live mine. I stand at the door all the time to smoke as I do not smoke inside and she has become accustomed to me. We tolerate each other.

I thought for awhile she wouldn’t make it. The nest was coming slowly and the cells were only half done. She has prevailed though and we will soon see her children coming and going. I hope they tolerate me and don’t sting. I will let them be as long as they do the same. When I smoke my pipe or cigarettes, my head is just a few inches from the nest.

This reminds me of how precarious life can be but when it prevails it is wonderful to watch. Wonderful indeed.

As James Brown says, “I Feel Good!!!!”……….

Lately, James Brown is even saying he smells good! James is an interesting fellow.

I have had a good day today. I feel calm and collected and full of thought.

You ever have one of those days were you think to yourself, “self, things are going too good and the shit is about to hit the fan. What lurks around the corner I wonder?”

I had that feeling today.

My hospital tour of duty sucked today but that was just a minor inconvenience. One tip, don’t go get an MRI scan done if you are claustrophobic. It would cause you great mental distress. It was also loud as hell and you know the worse part?...........On the headsets they gave to listen to and block the noise they were playing an album from one of those boy bands like “backstreet boys’ or one of those. I don’t know which one but it was a terrible disservice to my ears.

I tend to be talkative to strangers in the waiting rooms. I used to would have never done this. Maybe it’s just me or my medicine is helping me.

“What are you here for?”

“Are you feeling okay?”

“Oh wow, that has to suck. I wouldn’t want that to happen to me.”

I was just a regular little chatter box today and I have noticed in a stuffy waiting room this can put ill at ease people, at ease. You are all there for something not so fun and it helps to pass the time to talk about it.

Well, I will sign off for a bit. I need to go work on my article for Bits & Bytes and will do so now. Those blog used to be a chore but I find it a labor of love now and think all day of interesting articles to post. I enjoy exploring my knowledge of computers.

The appointment guy says good morning…….

The appointments never end but I guess that is what it takes for me to get better. I have an MRI on my left shoulder today. Physical therapy is just not progressing and my shoulder hurts all the time. Dr. Martin thinks I may have soft tissue damage and a torn rotator cuff. This does not bode well and surgery is most likely. I am scared of this as I have never had surgery before. I am afraid of the pain and the recovery but I have to do it in order to regain full use of my left arm.

I also have to have blood work done and Dr. Kamath wants this in order to determine certain things. He thinks I may need to go on glucophage to regulate my blood sugar. He thinks that my medicines for my schizophrenia might be causing this and my recent weight gain despite dieting so hard. I cannot eat until after the test and I am starving. I want a rock Hampton rib eye, potato, and a salad with lots of blue cheese dressing after the procedure. (Pipe dream, a turkey sandwich is a more likely meal, a steak would be the luxury of luxuries for me but I love them)

I am on lots of pain medications and they make me sick at my stomach. I believe it is called lortab and it makes me so nauseous and they also affect my mental illness. The first hour after taking a pill can cause me to see some “ghosting”. I have always had a bad reaction to pain killers and do not like to take them but the pain of my shoulder overrides this. If I ever have a funky post lately you can say to yourself, “yeap, good ole Jonathon has just taken his pain meds and is feeling good and bad at the same time.”

Well, I need to hit the shower and put on some clothes and get ready. I have a long, boring morning ahead of me and I do not envy myself of this. Good morning again and good bye.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Yawning as I write this……..

I am tired this morning but I am up with the crows. My friend, Alaine, stayed over till almost midnight and we talked and talked. It is so nice to have someone “real” to spend time with and to talk to.

I have to go to the bone specialist this morning at 10 AM. I have said it once and I will say it again. I am SOOOO TIRED OF APPOINTMENTS!!!! I guess instead of the grumpy “old” man you can now call me the “appointment guy”. I think I will change the name of my blog for a day just as a joke.

The appointment guy is signing off until later……..

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Linda’s Macaroni and Cheese…….

Linda gave me her secret recipe and I wanted to share it. Her macaroni and cheese is delicious but, oh, so, fattening.

She cooked the noodles and then drained them. She put them in a casserole dish and covered them with one can of Campbell’s cheddar cheese soup. She added one cup of sweet milk and then mixed in a bag of Kraft sharp shredded cheddar cheese. She then cooked it until it became think and bubbly and the sauce had reduced. She turned on the broiler for a few seconds to give the top a slightly browned look.

This is a super easy recipe and soooo delicious. Take it from a food obsessed guy that this tastes great and is so easy to fix. I just wanted to share this. I just shouldn’t be eating it.

The Hospital Blues…….

I spent most of the day at the hospital today. I sat in the hospital room with my grandmother and then she had to go get a cauterization done on her heart. I waited until the results came back with my mother, father, Brenda (the lady who stays with her during the day and cooks and cleans), and my aunt. We waited for hours.

Her heart muscle is fine. She has some blockage in a few minor blood vessels around the heart that is causing her discomfort. They are going to do a procedure Monday where they put in some splints and open those collapsed blood vessels. This will ease her discomfort and what she thinks are heart attacks.

Modern medicine is amazing though. I was fascinated when the doctor came and got us and brought us into the room were the procedure had taken place. He had a video of my grandmother’s heart beating and you could see the barium solution fill her heart and then spread out to illuminate her veins around it. I was spellbound as I watched the video. We are truly blessed in modern nations to have these kinds of technologies.

I had plenty of time to think as I waited and I thought long and hard about some things. I thought about me and what lead up to my homelessness. It is so easy to blame it on other things such as my schizophrenia or social phobias but in the end it was my fault. I was at blame. I didn’t make the right decisions and choices and it hit me hard affront in the face.

I was a selfish and self-centered person. I would not do the hard things or make the sacrifices to be there for my family when they needed me. I would not take the responsibility. I was too interested in getting to the bottom of a twelve pack of beer to care. This slowly eroded my families trust and the relationship I had with them. They thought I didn’t care or didn’t have the capacity to do so.

It is so easy to blame my problems on my illnesses but in the end it was just me. I have to do the hard things that most of us do to help out. I have to be there when a family member is in need. I have to make the effort to email and call and just listen. I have to show my family that I do care about them and love them and I will do what it takes to get better and be responsible. If I would have done all these things before hand then I would have never been homeless. My family would have not allowed it as they will not now.

Hindsight is always 20/20 but the lessons you learn can be of such benefit. I vow to continue to improve my life and help others in need. I will never again let my loved ones down because I am too selfish to see the forest for the trees. I do have a mental illness but that is no excuse to not help my folks and be apart of their lives. I can take my medicine and be able to see about them or I could not take it, drink excessively, and live in the woods. The decision is simple

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Cooking with Linda……..

I spent much of the morning at the hospital. After physical therapy, I went up to see my Mom’s mother who was in the same hospital. She thought she was having a heart attack early this morning but it turned out to either her being scared or just heartburn. I love her but we have never really had a close relationship. She was always stern and critical to me as a child and I would avoid going to see her. She always scolded me about my weight as a child and I resented it for years. Now that I am an adult I try to overlook those past memories and do my best to help her.

As I was sitting in the hospital room, I realized how frail she has become. She is well up into her eighties. Despite her condition, she still took the effort to correct my English especially when I used contractions. This amused me and I thought to myself that some things never change.

One thing though, in all my 32 years on this earth I have never seen her cry or show great emotion. She cried today on the hospital bed in that she felt helpless and the tests they were giving her caused her pain. My heart melted and I realized I do love her but she could be such a shit to us all as I was growing up. I hated to see her cry and I knew then she was in bad shape. I held her hand and told her I loved her. I didn’t know what else to do. I just sat there and listened.

Being part of a family is so much responsibility and I can see why some homeless people who can’t handle this pain and discomfort cut themselves off from it. They leave and travel to an unknown place and restart their lives. They are missing much though. They are missing those times when that relative you almost hate opens up and you feel love for them. We are all human and have faults. Life is so complicated especially when it comes to family situations. It is some times easier to avoid them but you also miss some wonderful, beautiful moments as well. I love my Me maw despite some of the things she has done to me over the years. I do not want her to hurt or suffer. I want her to be okay.

Linda is an older black lady who cooks and cleans for my parents several times a week. I like Linda and enjoy our conversations. She is very matter of fact and forward and will not hesitate to ask me questions. I admire that in someone sometimes and like it when someone will not tip toe around you and be forward.

After getting back from the hospital, I was sitting in the kitchen of my parent’s house while Linda was making some supper. She was frying cubed steak, boiling a pot of butter beans, and making a casserole dish of macaroni and cheese. She also had a pan of cornbread ready to hit the oven.

She had also made some tuna fish salad and we sat in the kitchen after she had got the meal going well. We sat there together at the kitchen table and ate a sandwich and had a glass of sweet tea and just talked and laughed. She was trying to get information out of me about my ex-wife and my new friend. I told her what I could and she offered advice and I appreciated it. She is a wonderful cook and a good listener as well. I did tell her that tuna fish sandwich was one of the best ones I have ever eaten and she really perked up and enjoyed the comment. It was, in fact, the best tuna sandwich I have ever consumed.

Well, I will close for the night. Nova on PBS is coming on soon and it is one of the few programs that I will make the effort to watch. Good night and I hope this has found you all in good spirits and that your day went well.

Monday, April 26, 2004

That darn coelacanth…….

I am having a good night tonight. We had a good rain today that we needed badly and that always puts me in good spirits. I have all the windows open and a breeze is blowing through with the smell of rain in the air.

I am bored though and have spent hours reading various websites and blogs tonight. I just didn’t feel like gaming tonight and I have nothing else to do. I turned on the television for a second and as always there was only garbage to watch and turned it off.

I fixed a pot of hot tea and I am sipping on it as I write. I also got off my diet and am eating a mayonnaise sandwich. Yes, just two slices of bread with lots of mayonnaise. I know most people would find that gross but I love them. I had the munchies.

My father called me a few hours ago and the conversation went as follows…..

“Hey, what is a coelacanth?” he asked.

“Coelacanth?” I replied.

‘Yeah, coelacanth, do you know what it is?” he asked.

“Sure, it is a primitive fish that was presumed extinct and then found off the coast of Madagascar, ironically, in a market for fish to sell for consumption. It has been found in the fossil record for millions of years.” I replied.

He laughed with glee and went on about how much a bunch of nerds we all are. He had called my brother and asked the same question and he knew what it was as well. He had watched a show on television about it and was interested in it. He loved that me and my brother both knew what it was and laughed heartily and carried on much about it.

“How did you know that?” he asked.

“I think I read it in National Geographic some time ago and have read a lot about it since then.” I responded.

Only my father, the nerd, would take great pleasure out of such a conversation. I felt proud though that I knew what it was and could join in on the discussion.

Well, it is well past my bedtime and I guess I need to amble towards that way. I am just not sleepy and all the tea I have drank tonight does not help. I think I will find something interesting on the radio and just lay in the bed for awhile listening to sounds of things that go bump in the night. Namely, horny crickets! *laughs* Good night!

Going to the dentist is like falling into the fiery pits of hell……

I had a dentist’s appointment today. It lasted from 8 AM this morning to after 12 o’clock. I dread the dentist more than anything in the world. I would rather be on the front lines of combat in a war than go to the dentist. It is just a phobia I have. I have a resistance to the numbing agents they use and despite all the shots and the nitrous oxide I still feel sensitivity and pain. My family dentist is a great guy though and helps put me at ease. If I have to go, I go to Dr. Jason Etherton. He knows all about my condition and is genuinely concerned and sympathetic and tries his best to put me at ease and make me comfortable.

I have had bad teeth for awhile now. In my times of great illness, I would not take care of my physical needs and now that I am trying to put back together the broken pieces of my former life, this is one of my goals. Just like I have to face my social phobias to get better, this is another phobia I have to tackle head on as well.

I got all the molars on my bottom left side fixed and filled today. It was painful but I made it through. Next week, I will get a fragmented tooth pulled and a bridge put in and will have a beautiful smile again. It makes me proud and will help me in social situations. I will be able to smile instead of grin in photos again for the first time in a long time.

It is expensive though. I have a deal with my father that he will front me the money which will be almost $2000 dollars in all before it is said and done. I will pay him back out of the large back payment check I am due from social security. I know I have talked badly of him in the past but he has done so much to help me lately and I love him for it.

I and my ex-wife both called the past few days and they say the check is at the payment center still. I told her it had been since last September of 2003 and she laughed and said it takes a long time. This is frustrating. My father says he and I are going to hire a lawyer soon and get things on the ball. If I owed the government taxes then they would expect it within days. This is the way the boat floats when it comes to dealing with social security though and I have come to expect it.

I have started to look for another job now. I feel well enough were I think I can go back to work on the ticket to work program that social security has. My father tried to talk me out of it today when I was at his drug store. He and my mother both worry they will use it as an excuse to take away my benefits. I want to work though. I want to save that extra money for future bills. None of that money will be spent. I will never be homeless again and will always plan ahead in cause I get ill again. I get tired of sitting here at the house with little structure in my life and working helps my self esteem and helps give me a “purpose”.

I think I will apply at the local grocery store down the street and see if they need a stock person or grocery bagger. I think I can handle that without making my arm too sore. I know I will not be able to push those many hundred pound groups of shopping carts at Wal-Mart like I did before though. I would be afraid to break my fracture again.

My ex-wife’s presentation of her thesis is this afternoon at 4 PM and I wish her the best. I have a vested interest in that I put a lot of hard work in it as well. I want her out of college and working full time so that she will be financially independent. I know I talk badly of her as well but I still do love her. I guess I am like that wife who will not let go of her abusive husband. Love can be so grand and so hard at the same time.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Caught in a check out line…….

I walked down to the Piggly Wiggly this afternoon to buy some eggs and buttermilk. I also wanted some lemon juice to make some lemonade. As I was standing in the check out line, just about to fork over my money, the cash register froze up. The girl looked at me as though she didn’t know what to do. The drawer was open but the screen had gone blank. She couldn’t figure out how much change to give me. I said, “53 cents, please” And she didn’t trust me to be exact. I told her the total and she agreed. I told her I had given her a 5 and 1 dollar bill. So that made 53 cents in change back. I knew then that this would get complicated and the line grew behind me. The longer the line, the more flustered the girl got. At first I was aggravated then that feeling turned to just feeling sorry for her.

The manager came over and they had a conference in front of me. He stared passively at the screen looking perplexed. “How about reboot it?” I asked. He then turned in off and then back on and it started up normally and at the screen it was on when it locked up. Bill Gates strikes again. I am sure it was running some rendition of WindowsNT or 2000.

If we didn’t have electricity tomorrow, I am sad to say the world would be crippled. The store clerks cannot make change in their heads. The gas pumps would not run. The masses would scream in horror as they could not catch the latest episode of survivor. I would be at a loss without me computer as well. Electricity goes on in the background often not noticed. Today, made me realize how much I and the world are dependent upon it. It made me feel kind of scared too. We are all one blackout away to having to drastically change out lives.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

A place to rest my head........

Well, it is set up and ready to go. I am going to wile away the afternoon and be lazy and nonproductive. I am going to lay there and listen to my radio and get comfortably numb. If you ever wondered what my home looked like when I was homeless then here it is. I spent many a night in this tent through mild weather and some of the harshest weather imaginable. It is like an old friend who took care of me in a time of need. I am going now to lay down with a good graphic novel, my pipe, my radio, and my flask of sweet and harsh southern comfort. Good bye harsh world, at least for this afternoon.

Well, I’ll be a son of a bitch!!!!!!

My little trip is off. I do not have a ride. My ex-wife, who was to be my courier called and said she has to work today. They had someone call in. I told her it was on the way but she said she couldn’t afford to take the extra 20 minutes to drop me off in bum fuck Egypt. She had to get in right away as there was no one working in the children’s library and she had to man the desk.

I thought to myself that I worked for three fucking hours last night to help her with her presentation Monday of her thesis and you can’t take twenty minutes to drop me off just a few miles from the direction you will be going? I understand thought and the more hours she gets the less likely she will come to me to help with bills. It is just frustrating.

I did have a light bulb go off. I walked over to my parent’s house and let myself in. I walked to my mom’s bedroom (she sleeps 24/7 when she doesn’t have an appointment for her or me). The conversation went as follows……..

“Hey mom, can you give me a ride?” I asked.

“mmmgffpphghfff” she replied.

“Mom? You with us?” I asked again.

“mmmmphhhhhpfffp” she mumbled again.

I don’t know what the hell she was saying but I knew then and there I didn’t want her to drive me to Cusseta. She must have got a little over indulgent with her zanax. She was down for the count and I was out of a ride. I will be so glad when I can drive again and I get my tracker fixed and running. I am going to drive from Alabama to California and back laughing maniacally at my new found freedom!

You know what I am going to do? I am going to pitch my tent in the back yard, roll out my sleeping bag, put on the radio and headset, and drink my pint of southern comfort. I am going to take a long nap in inebriated bliss. Touché!!! World!!!

Final preparations and light-weight vs. comfortable......

Well, I am sitting here all ready to go waiting on my ride. I have to get a ride to a location were the rail line crosscuts a country road. We are talking extremely rural here folks. I will be out in the middle of absolute nowhere for two days and two nights. I did get the chance to swing by Wally world last night and get a refill minutes card for my cell phone so will have that for an emergency. My father’s best friend will pick me up Monday afternoon as he comes right through the area after heading home from work in Dadeville Alabama.

The last weigh in of my pack is 53 pounds. This would make some long time hiking purists scream in horror at this weight. There is this huge shift to light weight hiking in the hiking world now days as technology has advanced. I just cannot afford a $200 titanium stove or an $80 set of titanium cooking gear and utensils. Nor can I afford that $400 dollar super light weight down sleeping bag that folds up to the size of your balled fist.

There is a direct trade off between going light weight and being comfortable unless you are ultra wealthy. I would rather work harder in the day and be more comfortable at night. Sure, I could sleep under an open tarp at night and save 10 pounds but I like my tent and the protection and comfort it provides. I don’t want to wake up to a nosey armadillo sniffing my face in the wee hours of the morning. That and I want a place to put all my gear in case we do get any rain even though it is not forecasted.

Just a few more minutes of waiting and off I go. I am almost giddy with excitement. May your entire trails end in adventure and good tales. I will keep a journal and then let you hear the details when I arrive home. Till then……..A bientôt mon ami

Friday, April 23, 2004

A pitiful consumer cries to be let out.......

I never spend any money anymore. The last thing I purchased in a store was the game Battlefield Vietnam and that has been over a month ago. I pay for the utilities here (which are darn expensive even though I never use them, I can't figure this out :-() and I buy groceries and pay for my medical bills. That's it.

I have a hankering for a certain weatherproof Sony radio from Wal-Mart and it is burning a hole in my wallet. It is only just a little over $20 dollars so it will not break the bank. Should I get it or should I save the money? I have a real conundrum this afternoon but I want it so badly. I am obsessing about it. The thought of tearing into that shiny new packet full of an electronic gadget brings the geek in me out. I love electronics.

My other radio is not weatherproof and I would like to have a weather proof radio for my trip this weekend. Yes, my big trip is finally here. I am hiking the 20 odd miles from Cusseta Alabama to Lafayette Alabama via an old abandoned railway line. I am very excited and have been packing and going through all the gear I want to take. When I last weighed my pack it was at 43 pounds. I have all my fishing gear packed in with my rod strapped to the side of the pack. I hope to hit a good creek along the way and see if I can catch some supper that day.

I also walked down to the liquor store and bought a little pint of southern comfort to fill my little aluminum flask. That will be a treat for me as I sit next to the fire, smoke my cigarettes and pipe, and listen to the radio. I can't wait to sit there surrounded by the aroma of a hardwood fire, inhaling the pungent smoke from my pipe and the feel of that bitingly warm liquid as it slides down my throat and warms me on a chilly evening. Don't worry; I am not hard liquor man and usually only beer is what gets me in trouble. Liquor is just an occasional treat and a pint will do no harm.

I have to help my darling ex-wife with her thesis tonight. We are almost done. I have to finish that fifteen minute power point presentation so I better get online and find what pictures of Carson McCullers that I can to give me some material to work with. Well, let me finish packing and get a CD burned of that material for transport this evening. Wish me luck and I will post again on Monday. Have a great weekend all.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Oh, such sweet cinnamon buns......

My friend I met online stopped by tonight after work. She brought a ziplock bag of homemade cinnamon buns she had made for me this morning. She is such a sweetheart and they are delicious. I am so tempted to eat them all and this threw my diet in arrears. I have just had a few so not too much damage was done. They call me though. "Come and eat us, we are for you!!!!! You cannot resist us!!!! Become one with the sugar and cinnamon!" LOL, that’s about how I feel about them. They are calling me but.....I.......must.......resist.........argggg!!!! Munch, munch! :^)

She stayed a long time and we talked about anything and everything. I cherish the contact we have. The feel of her soft hand in my hand is wonderful. The way her skin feels against mine. The warmth of her body and the smell of her perfume as we give a long hug makes my heart rate increase. I haven't felt this way in a long time. We both were lonely and reached out and found each other. I don't know if I am in love but I think of her longingly often during the day. I want her here all the time and to spend all day with me. I know I must go slowly and I have to watch my advances and take those baby steps. Why do relationships have to be so complicated? He he, they always are though and that is just life.

I called Godzilla and was nice but firm. As with all bullies, she backed down and apologized and even called my mother to apologize as well. I told her that if she wanted to be an asshole then I could easily one up her. I could get back all that money I have given her daughter by just a simple email or phone call. I will always see about Rachel in my own way but you don’t call my mom and make threats. I have nothing to lose and that can sometimes make me a dangerous man when you want to play ugly. She is a bully and all bullies back down when someone stands up to them. I learned this hard lesson from grade school and it has served me well.

I guess I cannot go without giving my menu for the night. I am lazy today and some homemade chili is cooking on the stove. I browned some ground chuck and added two cans of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and a packet of chili seasoning. The smell of it fills my apartment and I am ready to have a bowl with some saltine crackers. I have to get back on my diet and eat with health in mind. I have just been on a comfort food kick and maybe it is just a phase.

Well, I will sign off. Be well and if you are religious then God bless. Grumpy is signing off.

A cheater but doing well at it.......

I slept out in my tent in the back yard last night. Is that not sad? Am I that turned around that I have a perfectly good bed to sleep in but I insist on sleeping outside in a sleeping bag and tent?

I am cheating this morning. I came in around 6 AM and have turned the heat on. It is very chilly outside if you can call 60 degrees that. I am just spoiled. I feel like such a pussy.

Last winter I would get up when the temperature was 25 degrees and get a fire started. I had learned to sleep with my clothes on and my shoes and socks in the sleeping bag with me so they would be warm. Nothing sucked worse than putting on a cold pair of blue jeans or frozen tennis shoes on a very cold morning. I learned that lesson really quick.

I still have no email from Godzilla. My ex-wife has the password to her email account and I am sure she has gone and deleted it since I told her I sent it. I guess I will just have to call on the phone and air my grievances that way. I will not let this rest though. She is an evil, mean spirited person and those people always fold under the truth or when someone speaks up to them. She will hear my piece of mind and then she will scamper away and be quiet. I assure you she will not call my mother again over some petty bullshit and be mean.

I am so hungry this morning and I am going to get breakfast started. I am just going to be simple and fix some toast, bacon, and grits. I am going to splurge and put lots of butter in my grits and enjoy them. I am not in the mood to diet this morning. Well, off I go to get the breakfast started….

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Gauntlets and sword in hand…….

I am crying as I write this. I have had a tough day. My mother called my ex-wife to tell her I could no longer give her the money I give her every month. Little did she know that I quit doing that a month ago. She was just trying to see about me. She worries about my medical bills.

My ex-wife called her hellacious mother and bitched about it. Godzilla, in turn, called my mother and upset her badly last night. Talking a lot of shit and being really rude.

I was livid. I literally put on my gauntlets and have my sword in hand. I wrote a scathing email that would make Mother Teresa blush. I told her for the first time since me and my ex wife first got married what I thought about her and what really happened.

No one talks to my mother that way. I will forego any social anxiety and stick by her side. Rachel did something illegal and I told her mom I could have everything she took back by making a simple call or an email. I hate pious, pompous nitwits who think they know it all. That nitwit can kiss my ass and I will bend over for her to do it.

If she wants I fight then, “ON GUARD!!!” I have nothing to lose. They cannot sue me. What would they get? Does she want the clothes off my back? The one thing about being poor is that you have nothing for someone to take. She can have it all but I haven’t seen my mother cry since I was in high school and I will not stand by and take it now.

Walkin down that road to home......

Well, I made it back. I had to get up at the crack of dawn and get all my stuff packed back up for the hike home. It only takes about an hour to make it home from where I was. The tent was covered with dew this morning and that it was an unpleasant pain to take down, roll up, and put it in its carry bag. I got wet myself during the process. I will have to set it up this afternoon in the back yard and air it out so it will not mildew.

I also left my shoes and socks outside of the tent and they were damp and clammy to put on due to the dew and cool temps. It still got very chilly this morning despite a high of over eighty yesterday. My little clip on pack thermometer read 54 this morning at 6 AM.

My hobos were great. It took forever to get the carrots and potatoes done though. The ketchup and mustard melded together to make this wonderful tangy tomatoey sauce that is one of my favorite camp foods. The ground beef gets infused with this sauce and is a treat. This recipe is also easy to make in the oven as well. You just have to put the hobos on a pan in case the aluminum foils leaks. That’s why I use the heavy, heavy duty aluminum foil. The sauce is one of the best things about it and the steam cooks the vegetables much better.

After eating, I built back up the fire and sat on a log listening to my little radio and smoking my pipe. What a great moment and a moment I wish someone would share with me. I would love to find someone nearby who shares my passion for camping out and hiking. I am still not sure if my new found friend would join me. She is very girly and may not go for roughing it even though she loves to day hike with me.

I was near a pond and a small stream and the sound of tree frogs and bull frogs filled the air. I was far enough away that it was not deafening and I could go to sleep well. I did lay for a long time listening to the sounds of the woods and the animals that only come out at night. I could hear the hoot owl off in the distance and the sounds of crickets as they went about their nightly mating rituals.

I should have brought my digital camera and forgot it. I will do so in a few days and let you all see the pond and the creek surrounded by cat tails.

Well, I must get ready to go get my dreaded monster shot in the butt. I just hope I don’t have to wait all morning for something that takes exactly five minutes to administer. Take care and be well.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Andrew goes camping....

I have had enough. My desire to escape and live in the wild for awhile has overcome me. I have to be at Dr. Kammaths tomorrow at 9:45 AM so I will do my best to get back and get a shower to head to that appointment. I have to get my “horse” shot for my schizophrenia tomorrow morning. My bi-weekly bearing of my bum for prosperities sake will happen first thing in the morning.

I have all my stuff packed up in my kelty backpack. I also have the supplies to make some "hobos" tonight. Hobos are a ground beef patty covered with sliced onions, carrots, potatoes, and covered with ketchup and mustard. You place it all bundled in heavy duty aluminum. Wrap it up tight so the steam will stay in. It makes this wonderful oily, meaty sauce and the vegetables get soft and melt in your mouth. I look forward to supper. All those incredible tastes and smells mingling together with the essence of a hard wood fire are what I live for.

I am headed out spring road near a spring that feeds a pond and a creek. I want to go to sleep tonight to the sounds of whip-o-wills and the night time insects. I want to smell that night time forest air and those cold runs to use the bathroom only to return and wrap up in my warm sleeping bag.

Also, there is nothing like lighting up your pipe and smoking a bowl with the aroma of tobacco and a hard wood fire to fill your nostrils. I just want to melt away my worries and fears in the moment. I want to get back to that simple life I enjoy so much.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

My own little community……

"A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at"
- Ocsar Wilde

I had started a post a few weeks ago about this but lost my train of thought for some reason. I still think about it though. I wonder sometimes what if? What if I had the power and the position to start my own community and watch it grow into something for better or for worse? It’s just for fun and makes me think.

First things first, we would be self sustaining. We would not be dependent upon an outside source for our well being. Each person would have a role and a job that benefited the community as a whole and everyone gained from it. We would go back to an old school model and take away the corporate bloat. Each person would have a trade such as fish monger, butcher, shoe cobbler, hunter, farmer, etc.

There would be a renewed emphasis on the community. Porches would become common place again and people would congregate to sit and talk upon them. Neighbors would be friends and look out for the best interest of their communities and the person who lived in their back yard. They would play an important role in your life.

Money. Now this is a touchy subject for most but something that I have always had an ability to step back and look at objectively. I think that the way we are raised directly affects our views on this subject. Children would be raised to believe that money is just an end to a means and not the primary focus in their lives. Barter would become ever more present as one person’s productive labors are traded for someone else’s with a different set of needed skills.

There would be no corporations. Wealth would be distributed equally between all members and with great thought. Work would take less precedence over family time and the more important pursuits in life. Businesses would be altruistic and supporting of the community and would think constantly of providing a better working environment. Businesses would realize that the greater good of the institution is in the hands and through the productive labor of its employees.

Entertainment would be by the community, for the community. You would not find cookie cutter corporate entertainment stars. The community could not support such outrageous salaries as that whole media centric business model is based on numbers. 100,000 people cannot pay $8,000 to see a movie but 200 million could pay $8 bucks though. You can see how the numbers greatly affect this scenario.

Government would be greatly downsized. Average citizens would be urged to keep very keen and to have at least served in public office once or twice in their lifetimes. Legislative bodies would only meet if the need arose to pass new laws. A legislative body would not sit year around and just think up new laws due to inactivity or out of a feeling of duty. There would also be no income tax. A flat rate national sales tax that would be fair to all would be instituted.

Well I could go on all day on this subject and this line of thinking will mature as I learn more and gather more knowledge. If you would like to learn more on Utopias then check out the following link…..

American Communal Utopias and the Koreshan Unity: A Bibliography

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Never threaten to eat anyone or you will go hungry......

I try my best to stay away from Kevin Barbeiux's website. He just doesn't speak the truth. He tells a sugar coated version of being homeless that is not the truth at all. He wants readership and visitors and doesn't talk about the hard things that come with being homeless. The few things he does talk about are vague to say the least.

I want you all to know that by giving to him you keep him homeless. Yeap, hard to believe isn't it? But by giving you keep the man in his comfort. He can live outside the system and talk about it but that is not the case. He lives ON the system. I do believe that if you took away all his comforts then he would find a way to survive. He is too smart! Look at his writings. He knows what is going on and how to manipulate the system to his benefit.

He talks about not giving to panhandlers yet he does so in a round about way. He wants you to support him as the people of Nashville have done for years. Take that all away and guess what? The man would not starve. He would find a way to feed himself. It is all a con game and the press and many people have bought into it. They WANT to believe that a homeless guy has the answers. Does he have the answers? *cough* If he did then he would not be homeless.

He has everything he could want. A HOME(this includes bed and warm abode), 3 meals a day, internet access(how rich can you get?), and a book with his blog posts on the shelves.

I challenge him to come down and live like I did for a month. I want just one month, living by your wits. No comforts and I would even set aside this internet access for that time. He would not survive. He is dependent on the good will of others. I challenge you Kevin. If you want to find out what it is truly like being a HOMELESS guy then drop by. I will even pay for your bus fare. I will be there right beside you through it all and not have any creature comforts other than the camping gear I provide and you bring. I just get so tired of his bullshit.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Tent Bound Days

More Memoirs of my Homeless Days

It has rained all day today. The patter of a cold rain reverberates in my tent. On days like today, I am stuck inside my tent as my only mode of transportation is my motorcycle. Motorcycling in a cold rain on a winter’s day is a death wish and you are sure to get pneumonia. I should have planned more carefully and drove ahead and hid out in my dearly departed grandmother’s house. Then I could goof off on the internet all day. I am lamenting that fact now.

A good book or books are essential on days like today to pass the time. I wrap myself up in my sleeping bag and the pages are turned effortlessly as I get lost in another world. Today I am reading The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. It is a fitting book for my wooded and rural setting. It makes me yearn for a companion to share my experiences with. Maybe I need to get a good watch dog. I miss my old Boston terrier, Otis. He was a faithful and loyal companion. I wonder how a dog would handle homelessness. Probably with much more aplomb than me I suppose.


My stomach is growling and it is pouring rain. Everything is damp and chilly. I need to cook some supper but I cannot because of the rain. I fear that lighting my camp stove inside the tent will asphyxiate me. I do have some whole grain fruit bars in my backpack. I think I will go munch on a few. I wish I had a cold glass of milk to accompany them. That would be delicious. All I have is water that I transported from my grandmother’s house yesterday. I do have one can of coca-cola in my back pack that I am saving as a treat. Ah hell, let’s crack it open. After that, I am going to tear into a twelve pack of beer and drown my sorrows. Hopefully that will put me to sleep and I will awake to sunlight and clear skies in the morning. I need to ride back to town to update my blog and check my email tomorrow.