The Week in My World 4-5-11

A week of frustration, at the government, the news, a famous local “comedian” emailing me “don’t give me shit asshole” after asking a question about a sketch I found disturbing. Sometimes I think I don’t live, I fester. I keep my head down and squirm in my own slipstream.

There’s no work here on the border in AZ. I ran a housecleaning ad in the paper for a week ($55!) and on Craigslist  (spam!) but nobody’s calling. Spent the week begging for bottom-of-the-barrel low paying shit jobs, and glad to get them.

A couple days ago I walked off a jobsite of a horrible old hoarder couple who hate each other. The husband didn’t want me there, the wife followed me around in her wheelchair telling me not to touch stuff. Every surface in the house was piled with debris. The wife was bitter, the husband wouldn’t speak to me. Every question was met with sarcasm and bile. The toilet had so much shit in, on, and around it I almost puked. I packed up my stuff and walked out with no pay. I bugged everyone I know and harvested some other work, draining and scrubbing a huge dirty Jacuzzi, raking a pricker-laden yard while unprepared for sunburn, slithering through crawlspaces.

The search terms on my stats page about the boobs post continue to roll in. This week’s pervs found my blog by searching for “Pakistini girls breasts show in running positon,” and “big booobs fucking .com in age 14and 16” (inserted as is, copied and pasted from stats). You sick bastards.

But, as I was frantically scavenging for scraps, a dictionary freelance job arrived. It’s actually thesaurus work, my task is to fit, where applicable, 1500 new words as synonyms into existing data. It’s heaven. If only I could do this all day, every day, I would be such a good girl.

My friend Janice, who rescues mostly pitbulls, is trying to find a home for her latest rescue, Bonnie, also known as Bon Bon.

Bonnie is beautiful, loving, and smart. She's had a tough life. She'd make a wonderful companion to someone who doesn't have any other dogs.

Bonnie just wants someone to love.

She's full of kisses and snuggles.

A glorious bright oriole came to our feeder, but didn't stick around.

This old mesquite has a heavy infestation of the parasitic mistletoe plant. The mistletoe berries are dropped by birds into the mesquite, where they become embedded and take water and nutrients from the host tree. Eventually they cause the decline of the tree.

Mistletoe takes root inside the branches of the mesquite and actually grow from it. Mistletoe is a Christmas tradition, and is supposedly romantic and lovely, but we think it's a nuisance. They never look pretty, they just look like parasites.

Part of a decaying prickly pear killed by the February freeze. It's beautiful, death's artwork.

Closeup of decayed prickly pear, victim of February freeze

35 responses to “The Week in My World 4-5-11

  1. Sounds like that couple wanted someone to bitch at rather that keep the house clean. Sad. wonder why their children (assuming they have them) don’t steer them to assisted living?

    • The wife hates her husband because he won’t lift a finger to help clean up the house, and she can’t do it. It was she who called me. It’s one of the few times I’ve accepted a job without visiting first, I didn’t want to spend the gas money to drive to Sierra Vista so I just said yes. Mistake. Ended up wasting a day and the gas money.

      She did mention something about a son, and said he was a slob too.

  2. CAN you do this all day, every day, or at least more than occasionally? I know what it’s like to scrounge, did it most of my life. It would indeed be wonderful if you could get a lot more of this kinda work. GOOD that you got outta Dodge from that horrid old couple. I LUVV people who are credits to my generation (author stops to choke). Hang in, gal, you’re in my thoughts.

    • You mean the dictionary work? I did it for years, it was the best job I ever had, until 9/11 when it ended. Now they rarely hire people, they use freelancers, like me.

      I thought of you as I wrote the word “old”…I’m sorry! But these people were, and as we’ve said before, it’s the attitude not the age. They were deathlike.

  3. Sometimes the world seems to open its arms, take us in, and nourish us with everything we need and desire. Other times, it seems to turn its back on us, with the cruelty that only proves that we are but passersby in this infinite span of time and space, squatters in some foreign, unforgiving landscape that we can not even manage, let alone control. Sounds to me, however, that amid all the truly dreadful moments for you lately, you have some respite, some joy in the mundane. I feel like if we hold on to those moments, we experience what it is to be . . . an optimist:) Or maybe just ignorant. Happiness is for morons, as my great-grandfather used to say, but I also say, take it when you can. You never know how fleeting or how long the down times will be. Keep writing and breathing.

    • It would be lovely to believe we had control over our lives, but shit happens all the time despite our clever plans. I do sometimes wish I was a happy idiot, but they probably have their complaints too, ya know, warm beer or stale chips or asshole drivers who are personally out to annoy them.

      I love that old saying about an optimist being a person who doesn’t have all the facts.

      We must cling to our small joys in the mundane—the dogs, the birds, the trees, a good book or movie, and of course your savory sweet and sour brown rice.

      You keep writing and breathing too.

  4. How fleeting the good times are, I should have said . . . ah, if only we could be perfect.

  5. Gosh, Debra, that’s just terrible, your week. Makes my scare with rabies look like a walk in the park. Glad a good job did arrive.

  6. Hang in there, Debra! Things aren’t much better whether you are on the border or not, unfortunately. Hopefully your thesaurus job is just the start of harvesting some built-up good kharma!

    • Thanks Harry. I hope you’re right! I do get dictionary work periodically, but naturally it’s not enough to survive on, so I do whatever I can. Steady dictionary work and a few nice housecleaning customers would be a good balance. But I’d be happy to do dictionary work full-time, oh the joy!

  7. Hang in there! It’s shocking to see how some people live (filthy toilet). It’s a wonder we’ve progressed as a species as long as we have. Be glad they had no animals! That’s me being optimistic. 🙂

    I live in a bigger city with a decent job market, but I’ve always dreamed of living somewhere remote – only me and nature. To do that, I’d give up my financial security. Is it worth it? Maybe on some days…

    • Those people were disgusting in their attitude and their lifestyle.

      I worked 80 hours a week in CT to survive there and still couldn’t make it, living expenses were so high. After 9/11 (lost my dictionary job), and my partner got sick, things went downhill fast. So we moved here. But it’s a catch-22 no matter where you live.

      Maybe someday you can retire to someplace remote!

  8. I think a comment I left earlier got lost. That’s just as good because I had some afterthoughts. Wise, kindly, resourceful Aunt Ann wants to help fix this for you. Have you considered internet graphics or web design? Artist and techie, I think it would work for you. Anyway I’m glad you fled the horror house, those two seem made for each other. I always LOVE when people do credit to my generation lol, heh heh.

  9. Wow, I repeated you, Harry, without even trying. Great minds think alike.

  10. Sorry to hear about your tough week. Scrounging sucks. I always find my self-esteem takes a blow when I’m out of work for a while. Makes me feel even more fortunate now for having a job – and one that I enjoy at that. Hopefully your fortunes are on the rise.
    The couple sound really horrible, but the way you wrote about them was rather evocative and inviting to a great story. Perhaps?

  11. Yes it leads to sloppiness, not caring about how you look, procrastination. I saw a site where unemployed people commiserate, and they all say the same thing, stuff doesn’t get done, you stop caring about things that were once important, like getting dressed.

    Leave it to the Scribbla to suggest a story, didn’t even think of that. I’m afraid it would be another depressing one though…

    • What you mention about not caring about how one looks and procrastination ring very true. My own personal experiences are still close enough to the surface to terrify me each day. Sanity is mostly just a bullshit story to stop us from contemplating the truth. Or so it feels a lot of the time. Nonetheless, it is equally surprising how quickly fortunes can change for the better again too. And so I hope it is for you.

  12. See … All we need to do is write the story and change the ending! You know … like Castle! hahaha A story does sound good though, and maybe with your clever turn of phrase, they could find salvation, or … be engulfed by a mistletoe! 😀 OK, I realize I’m getting a bit carried away. We hardly know each other!

    Keep moving … that’s the key!

    • Barb, OK what’s Castle? I just looked it up, it’s a TV show? I’ve never heard of it, do you recommend it?

      Ha ha that damn mistletoe could finally be put to good use in a story! You’re giving me ideas, thank you! Feel free to get carried away here—I sure do on your blog!

  13. Here’s a song to make you feel better:

    Ooo, ooo, OOO! Can I use “death’s artwork” as an InMon prompt?

  14. Aw what a cute video and song, thanks for passing along. It’s weird, I almost used “This Too Shall Pass” as the title of this post, but didn’t want to get all upbeat or anything! I’m sulking, damnit!

    Are you serious about that prompt? YES, how cool!

  15. Gee Debra things are not good but at least you’re doing good in a hard world. Me, I deliver meals to old folks twice a week but that’s about all I do for others. I hope things pick up. As for your writing, the first paragraph hooked me; your blogs are often more lively reading than articles found in magazines. I loved your caption for the prickly pear killed by frost: ‘death’s artwork’; I wrote a poem once called ‘Nestling Fallen on Hard Times’: similar in the way the ants and other bugs stripped away the flesh and feathers to reveal the elegant skeletal work beneath.

    • Thanks J Leo. Amazing what lies beneath when the flesh is stripped away. I have a bit of a fascination for skeletons too. Used to draw human ones. Would you share your Nestling Fallen on Hard Times poem?

      And, if BeKindRewrite uses death’s artwork as a prompt, would you be willing to write a piece of flash fiction? Would love to see what you come up with!

  16. Sounds like you could have a promising career catching freaks on the internet for law enforcement officials.

  17. Hi Debra. Yes I will. I’ll chase it up tonight and post it as a blog sometime after that. And yes I’ll join in with a piece of flash fiction. Would love the challenge.

  18. Yeah it’s hard out there. And don’t think I don’t know cause I’m 17, I’ve seen it first hand. I cant get a job and some times I’m forced to skip a meal or two cause money’s tight. I’m just saying that there are times when things seem to be bad, REALLY bad. And it’s always gonna get worse before it gets any better. But you gotta hang in there, and keep believing in yourself, because it WILL get better! And when the rain stops and the clouds clear, you’ll feel the sun beaming on your face, and you’ll appreciate it all the more. Cause when you’ve hit rock bottom, the only place left to go is up! I can’t believe I’m posting this on the internet but I feel compelled to tell you. When I was stabbed by my brother, the thought that I was going to die was a thought that I could not stop, it was like some unnatural force that came over me, but you know what? I wasn’t scared. I think about it now and, yeah, dying seems terrifying! But when my brother tried to kill me, and death seemed to be an inevitable reality, I wasn’t scared. I felt…I don’t know how to describe it. When I woke up in the hospital from a four day coma, I was fighting the doctor cause I thought I was still in the McDonalds parking lot fighting for my life. And yet, as I said, dying wasn’t all too scary. I accepted it. And now that I’m here, writing this reply, I just want to say; life is worth it! All the hardships we face, the friends we lose, the days gone by, it’s all worth it just to hang in there a little longer. Because we only get one chance. Just one, and we best make it all we can. So I hope things pick up, I hope you find work.

  19. Hi Jeremy. You have already packed a couple of lifetimes into 17 years and you’re as tough as they come. You’re doing the best you can, and so am I, because anything less is a crime. We’ve got responsibilities that must be faced every day. I am needed, and even if I think sometimes that it isn’t worth it, I have to believe it is. We might be fractured, but there’s always duct tape and Superglue.

    I hope you find work too. Lack of work is the source of so much frustration. Thanks for writing.

  20. A powerful narrative. Reading about how different people struggle these days gets me to really thinking. I doubt in the future people will refer to these times as the good old days! I was glad to hear that you found some freelance dictionary work. Maybe there will be more in the coming days, weeks, years!

    I wondered if you intentionally connected your narrative with the photos. Bonnie the dog has a lot of “Character” in her face that tells much about her past. The parasitic mistletoe on the mesquite photographs were beautiful but could have been a parallel to human live, and finally the skeleton of the prickly pear cactus, so intricate and telling, but haunting at the same time.

    • I think our government is totally disconnected to what’s happening out here. Every billion dollars they pump into an oil war is programs cut and Americans going down deeper into a hole.

      Ha, you caught me on the pics!

  21. Glad to hear about the dictionary job. Hope little Miss Bonnie finds a home- she’s a cutie. Pitties can be some of the sweetest dogs, but they’re usually not good with other dogs unless they are socialized very early on. She looks like she would be a lovely companion for someone who lives alone and she can be the Only Dog.
    I may be waxing a bit theological but I heard it said that a person is immortal while God has work for him/her to do on this earth. When I get in those funks- when times are hard, and I have a hard time seeing whether or not I have any use to anyone, that reminds me that God has His reasons for letting me continue to suck up valuable oxygen. God has a purpose for our lives whether we see it or not. Keep on trying- seek, knock and ask- and Godspeed on procuring gainful employment.

  22. Pitbulls are extremely loving dogs and very smart, but very hard to adopt. Bonnie gets along with other dogs up to a point, but her nature has been bred into her. But she’s like a big baby with humans, totally nonaggressive, wants nothing more than to hang out with her family.

    Thanks for writing.

  23. Lives with Dogs

    My God! That was so powerful! Putting Bonnie in with your narrative, made me cry!!

    Looks like animal lovers abound on your blog! Yeah!!!

    Love and thanks,

  24. Hi Debra,
    You are definitely getting around. Job wise. Same here. Keep looking for jobs and regardless of what people say, a younger person will get hired before me. I never had this happen before. Just have to find that right one. I am hopeful. I hear people speak of looking for jobs so they can go on vacation or buy a new car, etc. Nothing wrong with that, I am trying to survive. Homeless would not good.
    We should all put the word out….Will the good guys please step forward!
    Kind wishes go your way, may the job be long lasting.

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