Friday, July 29, 2011



Here in Florida, one is supposed to have a valid ID at all times. For those of us who fled the ol' homestead in a hurry, with nothing but the clothes on our backs (which TGH promptly lost; another story, later) we can get a "referral" from Homeless Recovery of Hillsborough County to "The Shop," also known as "MHC," or Mental Health Clinic. With a referral and your smiling face, you too, can receive a god-awful picture ID that bears no resemblance to anyone, or anything living, on this planet, or maybe even in this Solar System. We have to carry these IDs with us at all times, in the event that the Tampa Police Department decides to do a bit of sprucing up on Nebraska Avenue and starts hauling in folks for not having any type of ID. I am a proud owner of one of these things. We occasionally. . . okay, we frequently, find ourselves with little or nothing to do, no appointments to keep and no passers-by to pester, so we have to entertain ourselves. 

One of the more amusing ways to pass the time is to show each other our Unity (MHC) IDs. This works best when a new batch of homeless folk have moved in and we can unveil these nightmares to our new "housies." The people who take these pictures must have to go to a special school to learn photography to create these monstrosities. Some of these people end up working for the HART bus line, (BUS WORLD!) and the truly gifted go work at the DMV, churning out little 3" X 5" inches of Lovecraftian horror for the State of Florida. O! Sweet Moses on a buttered cracker, these things bear visages from some kind of 4th or 8th dimension, a la "Colour Out of Space." We glimpse things not meant to be seen by man. It helps to have little or no vision. I can just gasp "Gaaahhh!" and pass on the offending document to the next victim without scorching my retinas. Enough. What follows are actual pictures. Please be warned; you do not want to view these at work; you will get fired. Do not let the kids or pets see these pictures; the pictures may emit lethal fumes. Do not view around houseplants; the plants may combust spontaneously.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


I believe I've mentioned that I spend an inordinate amount of time at Bus World traveling to various Doctors for various medical tests. This becomes rather time-consuming and boring. I find it helps to relieve the anxiety and boredom if I invent new games. The doctors and other "Health Professionals" (bleah, that sounds so antiseptic) don't even need to be willing participants. Sometimes, it's more fun if they aren't willing, or even aware they're playing my game. 

I had EMGs on both legs and my left arm a few weeks ago. This is one of the most singularly weird and ultimately painful tests I've ever endured. It consists of technicians wielding measuring tapes and drawing purple dots on my skin, from point to point. Then, they used some battery jumper cables on these various purple blobs and shot about 140,000 volts through the cables to see my muscles twitch, or something. I am not a frog and now, I am heartily sorry for torturing all those frogs in junior high Science, even if they were dead. So, to relieve the stress and yes, pain, of this test, I shouted out "It's Alive!" after one particularly nasty jolt. Three technicians and a neurologist looked at me like I had two heads. I swear, some people have no sense of humor. That was a tough room to work. Even puns failed me.

Yeah, you gotta take your fun where you find it around here. I'm legally blind now, I think there was some hope for about five minutes that I might actually get to see coherently again, but alas, this has not occurred. I developed cataracts suddenly in both eyes in mid-2004. I was able to have surgery on the right eye, but not being on Medicare, my insurance only paid for twelve hundred of the seven thousand dollar surgery. About a week after the cataract surgery, I was admitted with severe Congestive Heart Failure and spent two weeks in Brandon Regional Med Center. This was about the time hubby number three figured I was a worn out old hag and got him a girlfriend. Mr. Ethics now works at Hillsborough Kids, Inc. Glad to see the hiring standards for an agency that administers to Florida Department of Children and Families extends to philanderers and manipulators. My! Did that feel good!

Anyway, the problem with my eyes was always thought to be only cataracts, so in May of 2011, Hillsborough County paid for my left eye surgery. After seven years of blindness in that eye, there was some expectation that my eyes would not be in "sync" or track together or what have you. Surprise! They don't. They don't even attempt to play along nicely. I can make them "sync up" for a very short period of time, and then, we're back to what looks like a really shitty kaleidoscope of only two prisms. And when I can focus, my brain perceives two of everything. It really sucks. I also fall down a lot, because, surprise! I have no depth perception. I do however, have 80 billion copies of "How to Avoid Falls" given to me by various helpful "health professionals." These help cushion my falls. Just kidding.

Well. The Brothers X. Both ophthalmologists, but one is a surgeon and the other isn't. I like the other, but the surgeon is a complete asshat. Let's call surgeon Asshat A, and brother doctor, B. B ordered an MRI done about three weeks after my surgery because of the double-vision problem. So, B says come back in one month. I come back in one month and get stuck talking to A. Now, my surgery was done at TGH's While-U-Wait center, and I waited a bunch more than I was supposed to. Of course, Anesthesiologist had given me laughing gas or chloroform or whatever they use these days, three and a half hours earlier. I was awake through surgery, which was a bit disconcerting. A is hollering "you're killing me here!" because I kept moving my head, because THE STUPID CHLOROFORM WAS MOSTLY WORN OFF!!! Geeze... I'm thinking, "hey Doc, get your ass down on this table and let me poke you in the eye.

Anyhoo, I had to see this Brainiac on my second post-op visit. All he did was crow about how I now had 20/20 vision in my left eye and what a good job he did. I kept telling him that I had double vision and a squiggle and fuzz in the center of my left eye. He kept saying "I can fix that." For a minute, I thought I had making a guest appearance in the movie Star Trek 2009, and Dr. McCoy was going to treat me for hotdog finger, leaking and sightings of the dead. Sheesh. Typical arrogant surgeon. Just kidding? I did have the MRI. B is going to tell me what's up. So stay tuned for more riveting drivel.

Mr. C and I had a run-in this past week. He was frying toads with a side order of vermin. He took his plate of food and was going upstairs to his room to eat it. He was behind me and seeing as I don't have eyes in the back of my head, as well as being legally blind, I didn't see him. I guess he stood there for about five minutes, expecting me to detect his presence via my ESP. He finally said, "Excuse me," delivered in an inaudible mumble. So, I moved... about three inches. I didn't know what in the hell he wanted me to do. So then he hollers "MOVE!!!! SOME PEOPLE!!!! SHIT!" and just commenced to rant and rave ad infinitum, ad nauseum. I hollered back "FUCK YOU, SHUT THE HELL UP! OR BETTER YET, DO YOU WANT ME TO CALL THE POLICE ON MYSELF? IT'LL SAVE SOME TIME!" see here for explanation Everyone in the hall started to laugh. Mr. C scuttled off. Mr. C needs to go back to Cameroon, or Venus, or wherever the hell he's from.

In other Happy Acre news, we have acquired some animals. The four-footed kind, not the two-legged ones. We have enough of those. Some cats showed up and they seem to have taken up residence. One is a female, and she brought her babies. One kitten died, one just disappeared and the other is hanging around, but is very feral. However, one of my housies found another kitten and brought him here. K, who supposedly doesn't like cats, named him "Dale Earnhart." He looks like a Bengal or a Savannah kitten, but his name really fits him. This kitten tears around like a bat out of hell. In and out of the house, up on the tables, up and down the driveway, back yard, all over. He has quite the personality and everyone is feeding and catering to this little monster. This cat does not want for anything, lol. It's a good feeling; we don't always have such good feelings here. 

So these are my musings on a Saturday. More later, as now, I can fire up the old system and type drivel and ramblings to my heart's content. I always wanted to be a raconteur. Ironically, my aunt Mary and I used to make up stories about being bag ladies in Detroit.Talk about prophetic.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Whilst rehashing the recipes from my previous post, I picked up a new recipe, or rather a time-saver for those busy, homeless folks who are on the go. Between washing clothes with my posse yesterday, (yes, we really do call ourselves the "posse") and reminiscing about our favorite cartoons from our misbegotten childhoods, came this gem:

     1 Package Ramen noodles, any flavor
     Open package, remove noodles
     Pass briskly under hot water approximately 3 to 4 times
     Open little package of chicken- or pork- or beef- or shrimp-flavored sodium
     Sprinkle on damp, sticky, hot noodles
     Eat like a cracker

Yum! Now you're ready to take on Bus World.

I have saved Bus World for now. I know you're all probably thinking, "Golly gee, she's really getting to the best stuff!" No, I'm not. I have held off on Bus World, because frankly, words fail me. I have no idea how to even begin to describe the rich and varied experiences of Bus World. I've mentioned that Nebraska Avenue from Downtown Tampa north to about Bearss Avenue is notorious. It is a truly dangerous place to be or to live. Shootings are common, drug deals, home invasions, police chases and fires are also common. There are about seventy-five residents in both the Happy Acres houses. The Tampa Police and Fire departments are here at least four times a week and this is no exaggeration. 

The Bus is... highly entertaining. At least I think so. But then I am easily amused. We all ride the Bus up and down Nebraska Avenue, off to our various Doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, drug dealing and other assorted mayhem. Of course, this is typified by the passengers, who defy description. Last week, J and I were just about to board the Bus to return home from our latest visit to Dr. (fill in the blank) for my latest medical test (choose one of the following: EMG, MRI, Doppler, Nuclear Stress Test, eye exam, blah-blah.) Feeling a little out of it, and unable to see regardless, I hear "hey, there's people getting off the bus!" uttered by this... being. Before I could debate his interpretation of the word "people" he barged his way past us. This is what I "observed" but maybe it was just my meds kicking in: a real-life Peter Griffin, only with a hot-buttered raccoon pelt on his head. He is face was a  bulldog countenance with scrunched up eyes, as if he had just let a huge fart. It must have smelled as if he had a heaping helping of dead mice for lunch. He(?) wore tight, tight red shorty-short pants, and a black wife-beater, with cheap-ass (are there any other kind?) day-glo pink crocs. J must have had a horrified look on his face. I was busy trying to remember if I had taken my Ativan that morning, or if my visual disturbances were really that bad. J looked at the Bus driver and she said "don't you do that to me, sir!" Mirth and merriment ensued. I took a second look at Mr. Red Shorty-shorts, the person who had and was treated to his back side, which consisted of two red, red boxing mitts minus the thumbs. The mitts were struggling against one another; kind of a hug-fest, like the worst boxing match ever. Legs and arms like pipe-stems, giant barrel-like middle and pinhead to boot. Truly awe-inspiring. Ten minutes later, the Bus driver was still laughing.

Anyway, I heard a joke, or at least I think it was a joke. What is the trifecta of Homelessness? Give up? These three establishments on the same block. Amscot, American Pawn and Family Dollar. Extra points for a Bail Bondsman. Sharpie's Bond, While U Wait. Oh, also any Rent To Own Car lot. Nebraska Avenue sports all this and more. If you think I'm making this shit up, go google "God Center, Dancers Wanted" and get back to me with the address. Heh.

A little aside; I am on full Disability as of tomorrow. If I said this somewhere else in this blog, I apologize. I have no short-term memory. Apparently, the Federal Government thinks I'm sicker than I really thought I was. Heh? So, I'll be operating from my fabulous room at the Happy Acres resort come this weekend. Pictures will be posted soon, along with other extra goodies. I'll also be able to post more. I hate having to save up all my muses for the library computers.

Another personal aside. For those of you who knew I got pissed off and cut off my hair (a long, boring story) and cut it really, really short, I have passed the burn victim, Dorothy Hamel and Annie Lennox stage and am now in the Justin Bieber stage. Thank god it grows quick.

NEXT POST: MEDICAL FUN AND MORE BUS WORLD. Anyway, peace to all of you. Love and joy to you all and your families.