Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Rain and More Rain

It continues to pour down rain here. It has rained continuously since Saturday. Wave after wave of rain is coming out of the Gulf of Mexico. I am pretty much stuck in the house. If you were homeless then this weather would be absolutely miserable. I would be stuck in my tent for days on end with nothing to do but to read or listen to the radio. Just the simple task of relieving yourself would prove to be an interesting and wet experience. At least the sound of the rain falling is comforting and soothing.

I found a website where people with mental illnesses can meet up and become pen pals. It is a free service and has over 3000 people signed up so far. I am talking to five people and it is becoming a chore keeping up with their emails and responding back. It is turning out to be hard work. They write A LOT and I feel like I have to respond in kind. Most of these people are either homebound and/or unemployed so they have a lot of time to write.

One fellow I am speaking with has schizophrenia as well. He believed his family were werewolves and that his mission was to kill them. Scary eh? They got him on some medicine and his delusions went away. It shows you how dangerous this disease can be. Luckily, I never had violent tendencies just extreme paranoia as if I was being watched or followed. That and I thought God was communicating with me through the television and the internet.

One lady I am corresponding with writes very well and it is a pleasure to read her emails. We have become fast friends and talk everyday. She lives a few hours away from me in Mississippi. She has schizoaffective disorder. She is 27 and still lives at home with her parents. It is nice to be able to talk to other people who understand what those of us with mental illnesses go through.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Rainy Day Blues

I find myself very depressed today and extremely lonely. It is the weather I believe. It is dank, chilly, and overcast. My hopes for interesting weather were dashed by this unwelcome turn of events. No thunder. No lightning. Just drizzle and chilly air.

I camped out in the yard last night. The sound of the patter of rain on my tent fabric was comforting. I laid there for the longest time listening to my radio. It was a cool night and I slept well in my sleeping bag. I awoke this morning to a drizzle and got dressed. I came inside and fixed a pot of coffee and some toast.

I have nothing to do today and feel out of sorts. Computer games do not interest me. I am in a rut as far as finding anything interesting to read on the internet. I haven’t even turned on my television in over four weeks. I have read every book in the house. What to do? I don’t know. I have a full tank of gas and may take a long drive out into the country. A few long, winding dirt roads may do some good to lift my spirits.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Money in My Gas Tank

Well, I had my first call for work yesterday evening. An elderly man called and wanted me to start cutting his grass every week and trimming up. I was there at 7:30 this morning. I did him a very good job and he paid me $25 dollars. I used the money to fill up my car and buy some more gas for my mower and weed eater. It felt so good, I tell ya! I am good at yard work and very thorough. I aim to please.

Dweeb, thanks for the ideas. I printed out some flyers and put one in the window and on the counter at my father’s pharmacy.

I was very disappointed at the cloud cover this morning. We need the heat of the sun to produce popup thunderstorms. I am hoping these clouds will burn off later in the day and it will warm up. I had my hopes up for some interesting weather. So far, it is just cool and overcast. Good weather to work in but not good for the amateur meteorologist in me.

Now, I need to walk over and feed my parent’s cats. I know they are hungry and will be glad to see me. My mother’s cat is named Muffin and is very shy. I call her “Possum Cat” as she looks like a ring tailed possum with huge nocturnal looking eyes. Luckily, she trusts me and will let me pet her and hold her. I am only one of few she will let do this.

Sorry for such a boring entry. I will try to think up something more fun to read later today.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Mundane Afternoon Update

I am obsessed with the weather lately. I found a website from the National Weather Service where you can read as the state meteorologists discuss the weather. I find myself checking this link multiple times a day to read the weather updates.

Today was a gorgeous day in the upper eighties (31 degrees Celsius) with not a cloud in the sky. Tomorrow we get back into the more normal weather pattern in the south of routine afternoon popup thunderstorms. I am excited to see what tomorrow’s weather brings. I love the excitement of watching the storms bubble up in the heat of the afternoon. The only ingredient we need tomorrow is for the dew points to rise and for the humidity to increase.

This weekend Charlie’s family and my family are driving to Louisville, Kentucky for a wedding. My job is to feed Charlie’s dog and my father’s cats. They will be away until next Tuesday.

I found online that I had an expired check due to me from 2001 on the Alabama state dept. of treasury’s website. I had to jump through umpteen hundred hoops to get the required documentation to get the money owed to me. I got the documentation notarized today and it only cost me $2 dollars. By that small amount, I was surprised and relieved.

Luckily, a law passed in 1997 that made it possible for me to still get the expired check. I am assuming that it is a past income tax check that came to my ex-wife and she threw it away. All they would tell me that the amount is greater than $25 dollars. I am very excited that this may be around $100 dollars or maybe even more; only time will tell and I will find out next week. Possible purchases? First thing I am going to do is fill up my car completely and then buy a shitload of groceries to put me ahead of the game on the rest of the month’s budget. Knowing my luck, it will be a check for $25 bucks exactly. lol

The Death of a Blog

(So Many blogs I read are either dead or idle now.)

When I took down my last blog, I had over 200 visitors a day reading. It almost seemed like a terrible burden but it did motivate you to write. The hard thing about blogging is that if you garner a decent sized readership then you MUST update frequently to keep it. Now, I have maybe a handful of readers and you know what? It is quite nice and I am free now to write about what I want. I can curse and talk about issues with abandon. This leads me to talk about another blogger who recently gave up the ghost and quit.

There is a blog I read mainly out of nostalgia. Not because of the written material. He was a homeless blogger who wrote about politics. Politics bores the shit out of me but I read because I felt a connection with this guy. He stopped writing on May 11 and just disappeared. His name is Michael and he was the original “The Homeless Guy”. He started in 2001 and at the beginning it was just a daily journal of his life. He called it “The Last Day of my Life”.

The most refreshing thing about Michael’s blog was that he didn’t sugar coat being homeless like Kevin Barbieux did. You got to find out exactly what life on the streets in Tampa, Florida was like. It was full of boosting (stealing), drugs, alcohol, and poverty. It was a gritty view of life that brought you back for more as Michael could write about it in an amusing or humorous way. He often wrote that Kevin was full of shit and just an online panhandler. Kevin’s idea for people to make little goody bags for homeless people to help them brought a big laugh from him. He thought the average homeless person would see these good Samaritans as easy marks to be taken advantage of.

Well, today I decided to stop by his blog and to my surprise and sadness he had updated. He has decided that he no longer wants to write a blog and is burned out. I think he hoped he would maybe get a job in a journalistic endeavor but amateur bloggers getting paying gigs is almost unheard of.

The homeless blogging community has lost a great writer and someone I enjoyed reading very much in his pre-politics days. I understand his feelings though and wish him the best. Here’s to the original homeless blogger and the one who wrote honestly about life on the streets. I wish you the best Michael and maybe someday you will rise up out of your homelessness and get that job as a journalist that you’ve always wanted.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Skeletons In My Closet

I originally wanted to title this post “Reflections”. I am reflecting on times past tonight. My mother saw my ex-wife at a local Mexican restaurant tonight. Of course, my mother had to call me and tell me about it in her usual gossipy way. She said Rachel was very cordial and genteel. She also gossiped to me that she had gained significant weight. I can’t imagine Rachel being any more overweight than she was when we were married. She was so short in stature.

After I hung up the phone, I felt as if a dagger were thrust into my heart. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I felt as if I had seen the specter of a long lost loved one. We have been apart for so long but the very mention of contact with her still brings an overwhelming emotional response from me. When will I ever shake loose from the impact this woman had/has upon me?

May the Force Be With You

I just returned from an afternoon matinee showing of Star Wars Episode III. It was a pleasant experience with almost no one in the theater this afternoon. No love struck teenagers or ringing cell phones marred the experience. I snuck in my own refreshments in my backpack. I had some snicker bars and some cokes.

I had downloaded it the night it premiered and watched it on my computer but I wanted the full screen experience. It was well worth the drive down for the Dolby digital surround in the theater. The soundtrack was the most striking aspect of the film for me.

I guess you could say I was “fulfilling my destiny” as they often told Anakin and Luke in the Star Wars universe. I saw the original Star Wars in a now extinct drive in theater in 1977. It was a pleasant summer like evening. My uncle, who was then a teenager in high school, took me and my little brother. It left an indelible impression on my then young mind.

For years afterwards, I wanted to be a noble and just Jedi knight of the republic. I went on to help build George Lucas’ fortune by purchasing almost anything star wars related. My only lasting memorabilia from that time is a T-shirt from my childhood with a speeder trooper on a speeder bike traveling through the woods of Endor emblazed upon it. It still hangs from a clothes hanger in my closet. I kept it mainly because my grandmother bought it for me at a local K-Mart and for nostalgia reasons.

Well, it is time to go find my old VHS copy of the original Star Wars and to spend a pleasant evening reliving those wonderful memories of my youth. I wonder how the old films that I haven’t seen in decades will stand up to the newer ones. Let’s go find out, shall we? Now, I hope that VCR that I haven’t used in years still works……

A Weird Quirk of Mine

This time of year, the common paper wasp queens are busily tending their nests. I have one very prosperous nest over my back door stoop. The first young of a queen’s brood will not hatch until June so she is the soul car giver of a future empire.

Inevitably, a few wasps make their way inside my apartment as I keep my windows open all day and do not have window screens. It is quite comical to watch me trying to free these seemingly confused and suicidal royal ladies. (They have a nasty sting.) I know that they alone are the sole proprietors of a growing family. The death of one wasp this time of year means the death of possibly ten offspring as the Queen feeds them chewed up insects until they go through metamorphosis and emerge as female workers and are self supporting.

Well, I just saved another would be victim and got a nasty sting on my hand to prove it. Man, it smarts and the old home remedy of rubbing butter on the bite has not helped. Ah, what us good Samaritans go through in our noble causes.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Miscellaneous Observations

As I sat on my front porch this afternoon, I heard the familiar screech of a raptor. I looked up hoping to see a bald eagle but it was some kind of eagle that was brown. He or she was being dogged by a trio of black crows. They pecked and pestered this grand specimen until he or she had flown out of sight. I wonder what the drama was about. Did the eagle threaten the crow’s nest site or do crows compete with eagles for prey? I do know that crows are predatory and omnivorous. I once saw a crow take a starling or cowbird mid-flight from a tree limb and peck it to death upon the ground. Soon other crows joined in on this travesty.
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A stray cat whom I call “Mr. Big Balls” ambled through the back yard today. I call him “Mr. Big Balls” as he is the most well endowed feline I have ever encountered. He ambles along with a sway due to his prominence in that area.

He was busily marking his territory by “spraying” different vegetation. He looked markedly more gaunt and emaciated today. He lay up under my car to take a nap and to escape the afternoon heat. I opened a can of tuna and took it to him. He hungrily lapped up the juices and ate the tuna. He purred loudly as I petted him and rubbed his back. I could feel his ribs and bones by my hand as I rubbed him. Just another sex starved homeless traveler! lol

Making Changes

Much has been going on lately. I have decided to exhaust every avenue available to me for help. I am tired of living on such a meager income. (I am allowed to earn up to $200 dollars extra a month at the present.) Today, I put an ad in the paper for doing yard work of any kind. It cost me $35 dollars to run for 5 days. My first ad will appear in tomorrow’s edition. I wonder if the phone will actually ring. I have my doubts but will be ready to go in the morning if it does. I have a mower, weed eater, and leaf blower. I also bought some hand shears, clippers, and a pair of leather yard gloves.

Another aspect that I started to tackle today is the costs of my medications. My shot costs $280 every two weeks. Recently, I was enrolled into Medicaid and they didn’t cover my medications. I had to drop my private insurance that did cover it. I found on the pharmaceutical company’s website a patient assistance program where they provide my medications at greatly reduced cost or for free according to my income. I printed out all the paperwork and proceeded to start the process. I also have to get my psychiatrist to fill out a form verifying that my insurance doesn’t cover my bi-weekly injection. That will be a daunting task for me to get all the way down to Auburn and persuade her to take the time to fill out the paperwork. (That and to try and keep her from charging me a fortune to do it.)

My car living experiment went very well. It was much easier for me to live on my income without the added expenses of housing, utilities, etc. I had a freedom I haven’t experienced in years from that little venture. It is very doable in the spring and summer time but would be harsh in the winter. I would have to migrate south towards Miami to subvert the cold. The logistics of doing this would prove hard as in getting my SSDI check diverted to another location and such. Also, my much regimented medication schedule would prove troublesome. How would I arrange to keep my injections and/or see the doctor?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Thunder Rattles My Soul

It is rainy and overcast. Lightning and thunder flash and rumble outside my open windows. This is comforting to me; the kind of weather that I like the most. If only I were in the safe confines of tent out in the woods somewhere. Then the experience would be complete.

I am not doing much; just sitting here drinking a beer and smoking my pipe. The nicotine and alcohol courses through my veins and tantalizes my mind. The sight and sound show outside my window stimulates my senses. Ah, what a wonderful day to be alive.

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Trying to fix things…..

I am having a good day. I fixed my ex-wife’s laptop that I loaned her. You could no longer dial in to her internet account. I worked for hours and finally got it to dial in. I had to reinstall WindowsXP professional and upgrade all her drivers. I also took the hours to download any updates to windows and install them. She is ready to go and fit for the internet. I feel accomplished in getting this done and getting her back online. It took forever though. I still don’t know what the hell she did to keep her from dialing in but I fixed it.

I am feeling better after my shot and feel much calmer. I want to escape though and the feeling is overwhelming. I want to get back to the woods and live there for awhile. I want to live without to realize how much I have. I want to cook on a fire and sleep in my sleeping bag. I struggle with this. I feel I do not fit in society and that I must escape. I want to run off and live a solitary existence.

I am going to head out to my campground tonight and just take it easy. My next appointment is not until 2:30 PM tomorrow so I have plenty of time to get back. I am going to just rest, listen to my radio, build a big fire and watch its glow from the perimeter. I want to just sit there and listen to the crackle of the fire and the warmth on my face. I want to smell the smoke from the fire and hear the moans and barks from the tree frogs, leopard frogs, and bull frogs. I want to hear that far off whip-O-will and that Owl. I want to feel one with nature.

Well, I must go; I have much to do and many miles to hike before it gets dark. I just need to get away for a bit and take it easy.