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bohemian · squalor


tramps o poverty

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We clean up one room and destroy the whole house in the process.
There's dust, that's to be expected.
It's the laundry baskets full to the brim with afghans and S&M-flavored bumper stickers and old greeting cards and billy clubs and walking sticks and baskets full of pens and chalk and broken crayolas and vacation detrius (Alamo post cards and Civil War bullets) and video tapes of TV shows and past issues of Vanity Fair and Vogue. It is THAT stuff that gets to me. All that stuff that I should get rid of. All that stuff that I should have already gotten rid of. The flat screen scanner that the ex-husband bought in 2002 and never used, not even once. It's trash. Why is it still here? The big scarry battery that electrifies the fence to keep bulls at bay....the house hound couldn't be bothered to go into the neighbor's yard. Even if they were bating him with a ham.

I have this need to keep stuff that works against my need for clean spaces. All this clutter is making me crazy. And poor. The condition of my office and my purse is clearly an indicator of my mental state.

Maybe all we really did was sift through it all which made the crapola float to the top.
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xposted to my journal

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Madam and the Phone Bill
~Langston Hughes~



You say I O.K.ed

LONG DISTANCE?

O.K.ed it when?

My goodness, Central

That was then!



I'm mad and disgusted

With that Negro now.

I don't pay no REVERSED

CHARGES nohow.



You say, I will pay it--

Else you'll take out my phone?

You better let

My phone alone.



I didn't ask him

To telephone me.

Roscoe knows darn well

LONG DISTANCE

Ain't free.



If I ever catch him,

Lawd, have pity!

Calling me up

From Kansas City.



Just to say he loves me!

I knowed that was so.

Why didn't he tell me some'n

I don't know?



For instance, what can

Them other girls do

That Alberta K. Johnson

Can't do--and more, too?



What's that, Central?

You say you don't care

Nothing about my

Private affair?



Well, even less about your

PHONE BILL, does I care!



Un-humm-m! . . . Yes!

You say I gave my O.K.?

Well, that O.K. you may keep--



But I sure ain't gonna pay!
* * *
To tell you.
So little time.

Time is worth more than oil, gold and steel at this point.

miss you
lam

* * *
We really should invite some peeps to c'mona our house. Step Inside This House.
Pass around to hipdomestics and all or our own ljs...or by invitation only?

We need to think up a title page...some sort of disclaimer that if you're a girl seeking a house with Paladian windows and all your silverwear matches, this is not the place for you. If you are, on the otherhand, using your grandmamas silver for
everyday, because you're too poor to buy decent flatware?

C'mon over and play.

And then we can take this pic behind a cut so it won't jack with everyone's friends page formatting!

Current Mood:
sleepy sleepy
Current Music:
The Eels, Can't Help Falling in Love With You
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Well, I figure we have another month of middle class income.
I gave notice. Two weeks of labor and two weeks of paid vacation, so that's going to get us to mid May.
Then I go on wages that I earned in college while I'm looking at the short side of 40.
Amazing how the Earth spins and puts you right back where you started, huh?

I'm looking forward to interviewing chefs. Cristof and Ertgutn and Wolfgang and Tomas. I'm looking for an Austrian that is like four goose steps to the left of a complete nazi war dog. Ok, without the racist scary stuff. But a hard-ass with good posture and a uniform fetish who can bring some discipline to that kitchen. This whole thing of flip flops and tank tops in the kitchen is SO freaking me out. And finger licking. God DAMN, people! Why don't you just rub that piece of bread on the floor under Jorge's feet on the line?

The culture of what I'm walking into is so dysfunctional that every single aspect of it will have to be rethought and redone and implemented with reason and measure and care. The loyal employees of the former regime have been told no so many times that they stopped asking for anything. They stopped thinking for themselves. I've got to empower them to think for themselves with confidence because they KNOW what is expected and have the tools to make it happen. They will all need a fair and unbiased review within the first week to establish a baseline.

The whole kitchen just rambles along, everybody doing what they think needs doing. There are no divisions. If they run out of salads at lunch in the store front, the kitchen may or may not supply more.  Every catering job I've seen go out of there has missed something. Something vital, extra wine glasses, crackers, a wine key, "where's the food for the museum? these people eat at 7:30." uhhh, it's 6:40, and there's not a van here to bring it. I needed 15 box lunches and you only sent 13; where are the brownies? is there punch for this punch bowl?  Shit like that. Which is where Chef Nazi comes in.

Why would I give up corporate bonuses, filing hundred thousand dollar invoices and irate oil company men for this?

Because I've got a recipe for strawberry rhubarb pie that will make you want to smack your mama and I want to wear Crocs  to work everyday instead of stockings and pumps.

*Sharp as a knife* But not a knife from that existing collection.
Current Music:
Talking Heads-Remain in Light
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So we had stuffed Dover sole. Lovely stuff. Firm, mild fish, wonderful seafood-infused dressing studded with crisp pieces of celery. Yum.

We had a lively dinner, the children talked so much I could hardly keep up. We talked of "Super Size Me" and "Fast Food Nation" and so much I had to stop listening to them at points and take it up again when it was more linear. I slept poorly last night, am consumed with how to give up a job I hate that pays so well. A full day at the office under the microscope finished up with two grueling hours at the kitchen watching the last days of chaos consume the lives of the people affected. Knowing that I am leaving the calm security of the corporate world to tame the chaos of the small business world, and tame it I will. I am compelled to. Order comes naturally to me.

Except with my children, one of whom is evidently smarter than I am. He's old. You can tell if you are sensitive. He's ancient. He's Yoda. His twin brother and sister are wonderful children too, but this one is different. He's wiley, he's so clever he sometimes zones out, he's carefree, he's fearless, not in an annoying daredevil way, but in a way that tells the attentive that he's aware of what's really scary and what is only amusingly culturally forbidden. He calls me "nigah" when I act put upon by housework and winks one big round blue eye at me. He will act like he's going to kiss me and then pull away and say, "psyche!" then smother me with kisses and whispers and tell me how much he missed me all day. He plays the ukulele with a passion matched only by his hero, George Harrison.  He's pretty open about his embarrassment regarding his "first" girlfriend, Crystal. He currently sees a future rose queen. They take communion together and talk on the phone at 3 am.

*****

Tonight I fussed at Oxo for buying a loaf of white bread, something rude and accusatory, who is that nasty to the man who makes her a stuffed Dover sole? "It was FREE." he protested.
"Free?" Who gives away free white bread?" I'm such a bitch.
"Free with peanut butter and jelly." he gestures toward new jars of Peter Pan and Welch's grape jelly.
"I see. Look here. I don't want you to buy that peanut butter anymore."
"Ok, why?" bewildered look. The children are gathered closely now, listening to their mother, the hormone hostage. An idiot full or rage and fury toward ground nuts and sneaky scientists.
"It's full of hydrogenated fat, sugar and genetically  modified peanuts."
Oxo glances at Son Yoda.
"Yea, Oxo, it's full of peanuts grown without beaks."

What else is there to top that? Suddenly I'm as impotent as a mother as George Bush is a president.  I stand there watching Yoda wonder off giggling to himself as he picks up his ukulele. "See, Mommie? I was paying attention!" His snickers of self-amusement are food to my starved soul.
* * *
So the Texas big grand lotto is like 267 million bux.
What do the groupies at work do?
We open a pool, asking every person at the plant if they want to buy a $5 share. Twenty some-odd peeps pony up with their five spot and at lunch today the buxom office wenches teeter off to the "Truck Stop" to purchase said tix.
We ended up with 165 chances to share in what we idiotically calculated would work out to about 4.7 mil apiece after taxes and gratuities. I doubt this was even remotely an intended purpose of buying each of us the "delux adding machine" for our new desks at the new plant. Sales tax, payroll, yes, back child support payments and pie in the sky lotto winnings? no.

Even the bossman bought a share.

I know we won't win. I know it in my darkly pessimistic Virgo soul. But it's been nice to wallow in the fantasy that it affords. Trips we'd take and the new place we'd move. And how the twins wouldn't have to go to the public school of violence in September if we moved or had a big bucket of new money.

Any time I even hear of the lotto, I think of the slogan of the New York State lotto, from the era that I lived upstate: "HEY! Ya never know!" And the investment banker firm who took that and turned it into a locally popular and amusing ad campaign, "Start saving for retirement, because, HEY! Ya never win!"
Current Music:
San Francisco's burning anniversary
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I have to figure out a way to break up with the bossman.
I don't want to hurt him, but I can't do it anymore.
I need some space.
I think we should see other companies.
I need more creativity in my work, less coporate-ness.
This working...it's not working for me anymore.
I've never been good at breaking up. Ask the ones I've broken.
Two weeks seems like such an agonizing long time to pick at the festering scab of a bad work relationship.
No insurance?
Pay cut?
Sign me up!
Current Music:
David Byrne and Brian Eno
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I can think up fancy schmancy restaurant food all day long. I can feed dignataries and luminaries and people too impressed with their own image food that will dazzle thair eyes and tongues. I can be very French and play with the food until it stands up and does tricks.

But what I really want to feed people is soul food. Stuff your Big Mama would have put down on the table on Sunday mornings. If'n you had a Big Mama. Big fat golden biscuits with peppery gravy and migas with homemade salsa (if your Big Mama was an Abuelita). Or those eggy crepe-y pancakes with apple butter spiked with cloves and earthy smoked sausages if your Big Mama was an Oma.

OR-a Bloody Mary or mimosa if your favorite old lady was Auntie Pat who lived in Houston and hated kids(except me)and went around with "oil executives" who looked amazingly like gangsters from 30's black and white movies. I'm pretty sure all Auntie Pat new of childhood was being poor and hungry and wearing rags and wondering how the HELL she was going to get out of the backside of town (Lafayette, Louisiana).

I'm hope my children will always think of their childhoods with the clove and biscuit part and not the backside of town part.

Love and chocolate eggs~lee
Current Location:
Easter Sunday morning. Coming down.
Current Mood:
hopeful hopeful
Current Music:
Big 80's, volume III
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