Wednesday, February 24, 2010

It's in the stars

And I quote, "Last night I had a dream in which I was addressing a crowd of thousands of Cancerians in a large stadium. I was referring to them as dolphins rather than as crabs. "I saw unto you my fellow dolphins," I proclaimed (I myself was born on June 23), "that you have been given a sacred assignment by the greats gods of time themselves. And that assignment is to master the art of Timeology." When I awoke from the dream, I was awash with feelings of deep relaxation and ease, although I wasn't sure why. I had never heard before the word "timeology," so I googled it. Here's how the Urban Dictionary defined it: "spending time doing what you want to do, not accomplishing anything major but not also wasting time." It so happens that this prescription is well-suited to our current astrological omens. I suggest that you and I be as playful as dolphins."

I like that. I think I can do that. Not that I ever really follow or believe in horoscopes. It's still fun to read. And the City Pages have the best ones.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Oh great, another one for the books

So I have a new neighbor in my building. A fat guy with a mohawk who stands outside on the front step, smoking, drinking, talking LOUDLY on his phone. And coughing. Incessantly coughing. Great.

This gomer is out there right now and I can see and hear him. I don't think he's washed his hands in days. And yes, I can see how filthy they are from my second story window. He just re-lit his stubbed out ciggarette, gross. His t-shirt has paint splatters on it that reside right on his big belly (or perhaps it's dried mayo. OK, that was a bit mean. Sorry.) But what makes this t-shirt so special is it's one of those home-made tank tops, with the sleeves cut off and really really big arm holes. So when he stretches you get all the pasty glory of his under-arm skin. Aannnddd ICK.

He's always got a beer. He's always smoking. Hey, Dude! Perhaps if you stopped drinking beer your belly would shrink and perhaps if you stopped smoking you would stop coughing. Oh and I see you shivering because you're in your fancy self made tank, but it is still winter out. Perhaps a coat? Just a few ideas for you.

And just so you know, people in this building talk (and blog) so maybe you should have your phone conversation inside in your apartment so that everyone who lives on the courtyard side of the building won't know all your dirty gossip.

*AUTHOR'S DISCLAIMER: Yes I do sit on the stoop and talk. And yes I drink beer. And yes I dress in my grubbies from time to time. But I also don't do it on a daily basis, in the middle of winter, by myself. And loudly. And yes I do realize that when I piss and moan and bitch about my neighbors, half of it is about how loud they are. Me. Complaining about someone being loud. HELLO?! I'm loud. So this has to tell you how loud my neighbors are. I need to move.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I believe Hilary Clinton said "It takes a village to raise a child." Along those same lines, wasn't Joe Cocker right when he sang "I get by with a little help from my friends"? Yet what do you do when the world we are living in has become so cynical and skeptical that finding the little things to do to help gets lost in the shuffle?

For the past week or so there has been a new girl hanging on the block that my store is on, with a sign, begging for money. Her sign says something like "Homeless, 4 kids, please help." I haven't given her any money, but I have noticed her getting more and more ragged as the days ware on. She looks far too young to have 4 kids, has long red hair and just looks extremely sad.

She came into my work today and bought a small coffee. I noticed that her fingers were filthy but upon a longer glance I saw that they weren't just dirty, but they were covered in Cheeto dust. You know, when you eat Cheetos and your fingers get that nasty orange dust all over them and it takes a good lick and then a good wash to get them clean? I happened to look into her bag and she had two large bags of Cheetos with her. I think that may be all she has eaten in several days.

I gave her the coffee and watched her walk over to the cream and sugar. She was literally falling asleep standing up. Her knees would buckle, her head would bob, her hands would droop from the sugar. It took her a good 5 minutes to get her coffee sweetened and out the door. She came back near close and I was able to call our off-duty officer down to talk to this girl. She just looks like she needs a good sleep, a real meal and perhaps a hug.

The officer told me afterward that the girl said she was on Methadone (a drug used to take people off heroine and cocaine), her kids are in foster care, shes staying at a shelter but can't get in there until 8pm. She's fine, I kept hearing her say. The officer told her that if she needs anything, people are around to help. She offered to buy the girl some decent food, and perhaps take her to a shelter. "No no. I'm fine." was her response. She may be a whore as well, she had money falling on the floor, underwear and lube and condoms in her bag. And sadly, we've all heard that it's an easy way to make a buck

It breaks my heart. I don't think anyone wants to wind up in a situation like that. I think people want to be happy and healthy and successful in their own way. But bad people happen (from bad parents, I believe), drugs and alcohol can quickly take over a life, mistakes can snowball into something you never saw coming. But what I get so focused on is the fact that once you are in that deep dark hole, there really seems no way out.

And whats worse is that there are so many people out there who say "Their problems aren't my problems. I don't care." People who are better of tend to question the story, not give change because we don't know what it will go to, walk by without a second glance. I do it. I question the sign and whether they really are homeless or just lazy. But what if this girl's story is true? What if this girl really has kids in foster care, is really trying to get off drugs, is trying to better herself in the only way she knows how? And has no one to lean on. That is what makes me so sad. She could be all alone, in a harsh world, with no guidance to get out of the dark life she is in.

She looked exhausted. I was tired for her. I wonder where she came from. Did her mother love her unconditionally like mine did? How did she have 4 kids so young? Did she go to school? These are all questions I wonder about the people that wander the streets of downtown. They all have a past, had to have come from somewhere. What happened that had them wind up with a sign begging for money, a sorrowful look in their eyes, and very little motivation to take control of their life?

I wish I knew the answers. I wish there was a better program than 24 hours in detox and then back out on the street. I wish we put more money into programs to better the community rather than a new sports stadium. If it really does take a village, I wish we had a tighter community to help raise each other to be good human beings. I wish...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Resolutions gone nowhere

It's half way through February and I haven't done squat in accomplishing my resolutions. Nada. Zilch. Zip. I was house-sitting for the past 2 weeks, but that house had a fully equipped kitchen. I could have started cooking there. Nope. Instead I snacked my way through the evenings I spent there (meaning if I wasn't out to dinner or at someones house). And the house had cable television. I am useless in every aspect of the word when there is cable in my place of residence. Which is why I opt to not have it at my own apartment. I get so much more done by not having TV. Or at least I read and write more. So no cooking while house-sitting. And haven't cooked much before I went to said house and have made A (that is a long A because it sounds funny when spoken out-loud) dinner since I got back this past Sunday.

I haven't made the doctor's appointment to get the info on my vaccinations for volunteering at the hospital. Just haven't done it. I'd fill out the ap and then make the appointments but the ap specifically says aps turned in without that info will not be considered. And I could volunteer at another hospital that doesn't require all that. But I really want to volunteer at Children's. Plus it's good to be fully vaccinated or at least have that info for myself.

So I'm lame. And I have no one to blame but myself. It's hard to change your daily routine. I have never been a big cooker. I eat breakfast, lunch, and then if I'm hungry I'll find something. I do have some signature dishes but they mostly involve pasta which is like the wussy chefs meal. It's the fall back plan. Anyone can boil noodles. I need to plan my meals. Tonight I'll have this, go buy it, make it, eat it and be happy.

And the volunteering just takes a phone call to get the ball rolling. Good thing I chose to wait until Friday night to get my ass in gear for this. No doctor's office is open until Monday. I remember things better if I write them down. To Do On Monday - Call Dr's Office!

Good thing I didn't vow to loose weight or some such nonsense. Lord knows that would have failed before it even started. But I want to do these things. I just need to stop talking and start doing. Someone hold me accountable to these. Someone like me.

Oh hey, perhaps I should hold me accountable. What a concept!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Something to tell my kids

A few weeks ago I went to Twins Fest for work. We were selling a book called Twins At The Met, a very cool book about the Twins at the old Metropolitan stadium. A bunch of the current players walked right by me. Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Joe Mauer, Joe Nathan strolled right by me, and they are all so much taller and so much cuter in person. Wooo-weeee! Tall, talented, rich, gorgeous, a girl's (be it a bit of a shallow girl's) dream come true.

But in the midst of work and dreaming of a date with a baseball player I had a great experience that lead to a great story. And telling stories is what I do.

Our table for work was right next to a table that had the Fergie Jenkins Foundation sitting at it. A bunch of former players (not all Twins) were there signing autographs for $20 a pop. And all the money was going to Haiti. I was working there for 2 of the 3 days and the former baseball players and I became pals.

Signing was Fergie Jenkins, Rollie Fingers, George Foster, Vida Blue, and Mudcat Grant. They were all nice, polite, patient, humble and easy to talk to. All but one. Mr. Vida Blue was quite the character. On the second day he wasted no time hitting on me.

Yep, hitting on me. But in a very 12-year old form. He threw 2 baseballs at me like he was in junior high. Not hard but enough that it did hurt a bit. And after the 2nd ball was tossed I said "OK, seriously? I'm keeping these and you are all signing them for free at the end of the day." Vida and George would occasionally holler my name for no reason. Just to hear me go "What?" see me turn and smile.

And nearing the end of the day, I am asked this question from Mr. Blue, "So Sarah, can I have your number?" Ummmmm what? I was stunned, a bit embarrassed (he's old enough to be my father), and I didn't really know how to say to no. So my "No" sort of fell out of my mouth like a pebble.

And the following was our conversation after my sloppy rejection was spoken.
Vida: "No? Why not?"
And being the me that I am I wasted no time, "See when you won the CY Young Award" (behind him was a banner with the date of all the players awards and such.) "I was born 8 years later."
Much laughter ensued.
Vida: "Oh so it's an age thing?!" he seemed a little offended. But c'mon!
Me: "Well yeah. What are we going to do?"
I think Vida said something, but it must not have been anything worth while, or I would have remembered it.
But I responded with "OK, I'll tell you what. Had you not thrown 2 baseballs at me like a junior higher, I might have said yes. But you're behaving like you're 12, and I don't date 12 year olds."

This caused the rest of the guys to burst into laughter, Vida to blush, and me to feel a little bit bad for the guy. But seriously, this was a strong lesson in men. When they like you, they still behave like a child.

I went back to selling books, Vida went back to signing autographs, with an occasional look and shake of the head in my direction. He did jokingly yell "I'm hurt." And I responded with "Ain't nothing hurt but your pride." Which was true. And then Fergie looked at me and quietly said "He's not a humble man."

We all ended the night with some hugs, laughter, pictures, signatures. I was flattered by Vida's attempt at taking me out. But it felt weird on my end, I mean really? What would we do? I did try to get them all to take me to Manny's for a steak dinner afterward but that plan didn't even get off the ground.

Vida did call my work the next week, twice, looking for me. He got ahold of me on his second try. Just wanted to thank me for being such a good sport, it was nice to meet me, and hopes to see me next year at Twins Fest.

I guess my charms work on some men. Just retired baseball players who are old enough to be my father and live in California. Damnit, why couldn't it have been Joe Mauer?!

Me and Vida Blue.

My foot on home plate. A small dream come true. Now if I can just catch a foul ball.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Heart Day

As a single woman I hate Valentines Day. I think it's a Hallmark holiday that was invented to pull money out of pockets and into stores. And I think it's ridiculous to designate a day to tell someone you love them. That should be done on a daily basis.

And being single makes it that much worse. I don't think I need to babble in this post about how much being single sucks during today. We've all been there. It's nothing new.

But I will also say that I haven't wallowed in today either. It was just another day for me. I came home from a 2 week stint in house-sitting, both my cat and myself are extremely happy to be back in my one-room palace. I went grocery shopping, and saved $15 with the coupons I brought with. (I need to start using coupons more often, that was awesome to watch the total drop with each barcode scan. And now I'm cleaning, midst pausing to do things like this post and check facebook. And my cat, my pal hops up on my lap every time I sit down at my desk.

So in honor of today, the designated day of love, hearts, pink, romance, here is my top 10 list of things I love, right here, right now. In no particular order...
1. My mom. She just simply rocks. ROCKS.
2. New friends. I've recently made a new friend and I have found myself genuinely enjoying our time together. Any new friend who makes you laugh like we do when we're together is worth keeping.
3. Diet coke. I don't drink soda nearly as much as I used to, but when I do that stuff is beyond delicious.
4. My cat. As I type this, he is on my lap, head resting on my forearm. And the fact that his head jiggles as I type doesn't bother his slumber.
5. My place. Yes, it's one room. Yes, my neighbors could not exist and I'd be OK. But it is mine. And after being gone for 2 weeks, right now it's wonderful.
6. Music. Prince just came on the radio "Lets go crazy. Lets get nuts. Are we going to let the elevator bring us down? Oh no, lets go!" I love that song. And I love music. Nothing completes a raw emotion better than the perfect song.
7. The snow. I know people complain about it, but that does no good. I think it's lovely. It's cold, white, and wraps the world in silence. Plus not driving in snow makes it that much easier to like it.
8. Coffee. With my 2 splendas and some half and half. Mmmmm yum.
9. Reading. I really really love reading.
10. The fact that I have the ability to love and see the good in this world. That is amazing.

Happy Heart Day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Last assignment completed

It's done. Finally. Over 2 weeks late, I've finally finished my last writing assignment. It's packaged with extra stamps and ready to be dropped in the mail box. Thank goodness.

I think my muse has been on vacation since the snow fell. She was all "It's cold, then sun isn't out and I'm outta here!" I think she's somewhere in the tropics, getting tan and drinking margaritas. Bitch. So I had to tackle this last one without her. And that I did.

I'm not done with the class, I still need to get my instructors feedback and my certificate. (That's right. I get a certificate saying I completed this course.) But I've done all the assignments, and done them well I think. And now I need to figure out where to go from here. The publication world is HUGE! And I need to somehow narrow my scope and just pick a few to send my pieces to. And I need to rework some pieces and surly start new ones.

I gotta say, I'm quite proud of myself. This writing class was the first thing in my life I did completely on my own. No outside influences, not because I had to, not because someone told me so. It was all me. And I think I did a fine job. I've grown in my writing, my vocabulary, expressing myself, my ability to tell stories. Now I just need to practice, I don't want to loose all that I've learned.

And in the spirit of Dory from Finding Nemo, "Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing."