Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Million Picnics

Well yes, it's been almost a year since I posted and what is up with that, you ask? I guess I ran out of things to talk about. I so admire those bloggers who just chat about their day and have thousands of loyal readers and even the most mundane thing seems effused with godly humours. I don't know.

Well for one thing I got into facebook and it was such a quick way to showcase photos and give updates. But then that begins to get old because I am far, FAR wordier than they allow me to be over there. And also my anonymity is kind of blown so I couldn't talk about work or family anymore without either hurting someones feelings or getting FIRED!

But now I have a NEW plan. I'm going to talk about this place I live because it's full of nutcases and derelicts and what could be more fun than that?

It had better be good and fun because I no longer have a high speed connection and am using the chipmunk based dial-up connection provided by the complex. So it's slow. And that means that simple text is about all it can handle. It took 5 minutes to upload that one picture for this post! So I must make up in wit what I lack in high visuals.

So to update you all. I turned 55 in October at the same time my landlord raised my rent yet another 50 bucks a month. I was already paying top dollar for a very run down midtown apartment and was finally priced out of my own home. So I had to scramble and look for alternatives, and finally ended up here at Gulag Acres.

Gulag Acres is low income housing for seniors. Now, it's not government low income, meaning that it's not Section 8 housing. This is more like they give discounts to people who earn below poverty level wages. And its just a teensy discount. I still pay more for my apartment than most people pay for a penthouse loft high rise in the sky in the mid country. But its affordable for now so here I am.

When I first moved in I was amazed by all the amenities: a pool, a work out room, a giant big screen tv and free wi-fi for residents in the common room. Then I discovered the weight room equipment was broken, the big screen tv is horded and hogged by some big fat dude who will only watch horror movies or the religious channel, and the wi-fi...well, it is wireless. It's just that it's a slow modem and about 129 residents are tapped into it, so it's basically a wash. If I connect at 3 in the morning I've got a shot at getting online.

It ain't no picnic. Many of the residents are psychotic. Formerly homeless now old enough to be eligible for social security or disability. Socially challenged to say the least and hygiene? Too big of a word. Those accustomed to going without a bath for 6 months at a time are not likely to start bathing daily just because they own a shower now and hot water. No, no, don't spoil the fine patina of grease and grunge. At this point being clean might actually feel painful. Like a tooth that loses it's enamel and is all exposed and sensitive to hot and cold and the rush of air.

Same goes for the Russians who make up 3/4 of the population here. Bathing is not their forte. But its not just the lack of hot water scrubbing that is weird or annoying. It's the habits.

Seriously, today as I was walking along the 3rd floor perimeter, I looked down and saw a man in a zippered cardi grab the front of his sweater and BLOW HIS NOSE INTO IT. He then just let the sweater drop and went right on wearing it and walking along.

Oh please oh please I know I have memory issues but do not let me forget the cardigan man and wind up giving him a hug at the next resident potluck.

Today I went and got my permanent tooth installed. I broke it a month ago and had to mortgage my last eggs in order to pay for a crown. The dentist I chose is resistant to pain management. He told me that it's a 30 minute procedure and not really worth numbing someone up for 3 hours when the pain is fleeting and soon gone. REALLY? I'd like to be the judge of that thank you very much. You just exposed my entire raw tooth and are poking prodding and yanking that crown in and out of there for fitting and I'm in agony! THEN you tell me that the glue cement IS a little painful as it etches its way into my bone marrow for a perfect bond, but the pain only lasts a minute or so and then fades away.

So I'm a little crabby right now along with having the entire side of my face throbbing with phantom pain. Even the AIR in my mouth can feel the pain.

I know they say life ain't no picnic. And most of the time it's not. But I have PROOF, living proof that life is a million picnics because me and my family went on them all. Every opportunity to eat on the side of the road, in a field, on a rock we just climbed, was grabbed with enthusiasm by us. I've been looking through ancient slides from the olden days and dozens of them contain picnic pictures.

And as an adult I prefer to eat outdoors and often have picnics by myself. My car, in fact, is permanently loaded with picnic equipment: a thick quilt for the ground, pillows for reading, and supplies like napkins and utensils for impromptu picnicking.

I plan on publishing more picnic pics from the past, and I plan on going on enough picnics this spring and summer to make me feel like I'm alive again. I don't plan on living in poverty housing forever and while I'm here I plan on making the best of it. And that means blogging about it.

So stay tuned!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So nice to have you back, Miss Pink. Can't make lemonade when life hands one lemons...unless one has some sugar. Your attitude is sweet indeed! :-)

Queen Q