homeaboutarchivescontacteverythingham sandwichprivacy

My great escape

I've signed a contract and moved into my new place. The cat is cowering in the closet, terrified, and there's no internet access yet, so I'm still posting from the library, but we're headed toward a new improved normal. Still gotta find an income somehow, but soon I'm hoping to bring back daily entries on this page.

♦ ♦ ♦

#129

Thursday,
April 14, 2022


Slumber parties, unwanted by me but beloved by Mom, continued at my sister's house every night until I said adios. The routine, most nights, was that Sis would turn in first, leaving me and Mom in the living room, and then Mom would simply never go to bed. 

"I'm going to sleep now," I'd say, and she'd say good night, but keep sitting there. I couldn't sleep much when she was beside me in the living room, because she was reading the newspaper (crinkle crinkle) or reading the Bible (because she talks to God, out loud) or watching TV even with the sound off and subtitles on (because she laughs and talks back to the screen), Mom continued being beside me, waking me up, into the evening hours every evening.

Nightly, I explained to her that she was keeping me awake, but she simply didn't care. Her response always boiled down to either, "I'm just so happy to have you here, I can't go to bed and leave you alone in the living room," or, "This is my living room, and I'm not going anywhere." We argued about it, of course, but she's right, it's her living room, so I didn't argue much. I simply spent about half of every night in my car — until midnight, at which time I could come back inside and she'd probably have gone to bed.

When I told my mom and sister that I'd found a room and I'd be leaving the next day, Mom 'misunderstood' several times, telling (not asking) me I'd be staying with them until the first of the month. No, mom, I'm not waiting until the first of the month. She began grasping the concept after my fifth or sixth explanation.

"I'll miss you so much," she said.

"Well, I'll still come 'round to gather my mail," I said, having forwarded everything from my old Wisconsin address.

After I said that, though, Mom told me several times that she was glad I'd be coming to get my mail every day. Where she got "every day" is a mystery, but I expect to drop by and gather my mail perhaps twice monthly. Perhaps only once monthly.

When she again expressed relief that I'd be staying until the first of the month (no no no), and I again explained that this was my last night in her living room, she said, "Well, when are you leaving?"

"Tomorrow morning," I said. "Soon as I wake up, I'll gather my possessions and be gone."

"What time will that be?"

"I dunno," I said. "I'm usually awake by six or so."

And how is it, after all these years, that I don't see these things coming?

So she stayed in the living room, and I slept in my car until midnight, before coming back inside.

When I woke up at 5:30 or so, showered, dressed, and started gathering my belongings, my mother's alarm clock sounded off in her bedroom at 5:55 AM. Mom never gets up that early — she was waking up to see me off, which could potentially eat the entire morning.

Instead I doubled my pace, rushing my blankets, dirty clothes, cat food, Doug food, magazines, and everything else into my car, warming the engine, then darting back into the living room to get my computer and the book I'm reading. Over the sound of Mom's approaching footsteps, I scurried out of the house with my second and final armload, jogged across the front porch, got into the car, and spun just a bit of gravel as I'm certain Mom was stepping onto the front porch to chase me down. It was my Steve McQueen moment from The Great Escape.

Love ya, Mom, but for almost two weeks you've intentionally kept me from getting a good night's sleep. I am not giving you any of me this morning.

♦ ♦ ♦

My new house is a mess of slightly crooked and creaking floors, rickety stairs, smelly and stained carpet, and electric outlets that don't work, so my room is 50% powered by an extension cord from the kitchen.

The flatmates, though, seem like decent people. There are eight of us, but I'll only be interacting with the three on my floor, and two of them are older than me.

The location sucks. It's in a southside Seattle neighborhood, where I've never lived, but my lifelong impression is that it's boring. It seems to be a town-sized collection of strip malls and rickety houses, built from the 1940s to the 2020s and more are under construction. There's nothing but houses nearby — no diners, no shops, no library branch — but the bus service is good, and can quickly take me to a subway station, a big transfer center, or directly downtown, so I won't be quite as isolated as the neighborhood looks.

My room is compact, maybe the smallest space I've ever lived in, even smaller than rooms in a rez hotel. I've ordered a new recliner (arrival: Sunday) and table (arrival: Friday) and lamp (arrival: tomorrow), and everything else, to replace all the minimal possessions I left behind in Wisconsin.

It's a corner room, windows on two walls, and the house is atop a small hill, so there's a nice view of the houses below (as if I'll be looking out the window or something). The hilltop setting, with my room higher than the neighbors' houses, means I can walk around naked or masturbate without worrying about being seen. 

Give me a few weeks and maybe I'll hate it, but today I'm a happy old dude. This is the only part of moving that I like — taking an empty space and making it mine, or trying to. I'm puttering all over town buying the little things I need, like curtain rods and a bar of soap and a padlock because my bedroom door doesn't quite latch...

♦ ♦ ♦ 

And now, my internet history from yesterday, with no porn because there's not much privacy at the library…  

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Art is where you find it 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Disney vs. DeSantis:
How the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ war is threatening the House of Mouse’s empire in Florida
 

♦ ♦ ♦  

David Mamet continues to be an unwiped asshole 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Starbucks barista challenges CEO Howard Schultz at airport meeting 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Situations like this have become all-too-common amid the podcast boom 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Stripping journalism for parts 

♦ ♦ ♦   

Murder charges to be dropped for Texas woman arrested over abortion 

"In reviewing applicable Texas law, it is clear that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her," District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez wrote.

♦ ♦ ♦  

Why do cats' eyes glow in the dark? 

♦ ♦ ♦   

Oakland's old Stork Club (had a beer there, twice!) is coming back 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...
climateclimate
cops • copscopscops
RepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicansRepublicans
Trump

♦ ♦ ♦

 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


    
         

♦ ♦ ♦ 
 
The End
Gilbert Gottfried
 
4/14/2022 
 
Cranky Old Man is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
 
Tip 'o the hat to All Hat No Cattle, Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
 
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S., and always Stephanie...

28 comments:

  1. So, as a guy who takes Lasix and is always aware of the closest bathroom, how many bathrooms are the 4 of you sharing, and what's the gender distribution among the 4? Like other people with cardio issues, I piss a lot, but I don't spend a lot of aggregate time in the bathroom. Seems like women spend a little more.

    I'm just checking up on your quality of life. And you are now just about 20 miles north of where I'm typing this.

    I'm sure your readers will get to know the roommates. Should be fun.

    best as always,

    jtb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No luck changing your avatar? If you need more guidance, let me know.

      Delete
    2. Captain, I wish it were a matter of luck, but it would be more honest to chalk it up to gross incompetence. I'm going to take one more run at it, then I'll cry out to you like a ten year old with a broken tricycle.

      I had a job in the Great North Woods working as an IT manager for a spell, but my guys wouldn't grant me access to servers so one day my ass just fell.

      Actually, my "guys" (I hired two of the first women engineers in the area) liked me fine, but there was a mutual understanding that my days in the operating systems of mainframes and mini computers had ill-prepared me for flipping bits in a PC-based networking environment with hundreds of servers and TCP/IP around the world. So I managed and they worked. I haven't been hands-on since 1981.

      Sure it's a boring story, but if I'd discovered electricity or Finland I'd probably lead with that.

      John

      Delete
    3. Four flatmates, but one of them has a toilet of his own, so three of us share the pooper and shower. I've already used my lugable loo.

      Delete
  2. I'm literally laughing out loud, picturing your old ass peeling out from your mom, cat in tow.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I'm not great with estimating area, but I remember your room at The Crown. I remember either of our rooms in 'Sconsin. How does your new room comapre to, say, my room when I stayed there? Shared bathroom, I assume. If I had full kitchen access, I could absolutely live my life in the size room I had at your old place. I kinda like that it's not all "kids" you're sharing space with.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    From the Mamet article:

    "Mamet is best known for writing the play, American Buffalo"

    REALLY? I can think of some more prominent stuff, but maybe I'm wrong, and / or being pedantic.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    My Reddit suspension is over! I am just gonna reiterate here, what I said there to cause the suspension - Alex Jones should be executed. For the misery and actual suicides HE CAUSED in the wake of Sandy Hook.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, Mamet won a Pulitzer for Glengarry Glen Ross. They don't hand them medals out like flapjacks.

      jtb

      Delete
    2. I also happen to be a fan of State and Main, which Mamet wrote. I know many critics don't agree with me, and I don't care. It's a free country for the next several months.

      By the way, Rebecca Pidgeon was a real dollface in those days. Mamet grabbed her and didn't let go.

      I think the naysayers were pissed because Mamet wrote a movie about making a movie as a play shown as a movie. I'm not saying they weren't confused for good reason.

      johnthebasket

      Delete
    3. >Rebecca Pidgeon was a real dollface in those days

      I was a pretty big Mamet fan back in the 90s. I probably saw The Spanish Prisoner five times. She was such an... interesting, beautiful character.

      Delete
    4. Also, The Spanish Prisoner was probably where I first encountered Ricky Jay, who is a fascinating person. There's a really good doc on him that you might be able to see free on YouTube. Just google Ricky Jay Documentary.

      Delete
    5. I've followed Penn & Teller for decades, particularly Penn, who used Internet technology before the WWW came along. Penn frequently mentioned Ricky Jay as a master. I think they were friends, or at least frenemies. Penn endures.

      jtb

      Delete
    6. The room is definitely smaller than the rooms in my Madison apartment. When the previous tenant showed it to me, it had his king-sized bed in it, and we had to turn sideways to squeeze between the bed and any of the walls.

      I'm against execution, but Alex Jones should be mocked, and not a millionaire. Fuck him.

      Delete
    7. I could Google it, which is true of almost any question, but I prefer old-fashioned conversation, so...

      How did Penn use Internet technology before the WWW came along?

      Delete
    8. Sorry, I wasn't trying to be obscure. Penn and a million other people used Bulletin Board systems, Usenet, forums, and other PC-based shared posting systems. Basically, you either dialed up a server and posted and read, then somebody else dialed up the same server, or you used ARPANET or the Internet to access these BBS and other sharing systems.

      Penn wrote a monthly column in PC/Computing Magazine from 1990 to 1994 (about the year of the WWW), encouraging people to share information on shared systems, whether dial-up or online.

      John

      Delete
    9. Penn & Teller are excellent humans, to the best of my knowledge. Been a fan since well before Penn & Teller Get Killed. Didn't know Penn penned a monthly column for a computer mag though. Faskinating.

      Delete
    10. I'm routinely obscure, even opaque, without even trying...

      Delete
  3. . . . and here's a Basket Song of the Week, I think one of the man's best, but there are other voices. Let them speak. . .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voH11xV4AKI

    And for gog's sakes, don't play a harmonica over a violin unless you're the king.

    jtb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still no music for me, sorry. I'll have a lot of listening to do when I finally get internet at home.

      Delete
  4. In baseball news, Sandy Koufax is still alive, and by all accounts, reasonably well at 86. I'm not religious in any way and never have been, but I've always respected Koufax's decision not to pitch the first game of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur. Sandy was, at most, a secular Jew, but he respected the heritage and decried discrimination against Jewish people.

    Some people stand up and some stand down, but Koufax is a tough kid from Brooklyn -- a nice man who takes shit from nobody. I forget who won the '65 World Series, but I remember Sandy saying, "I'll pitch tomorrow."

    jtb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that was the year of Frank Robinson and the Orioles won it

      Delete
    2. Meh. He put his (silly, IMO) religious beliefs ahead of his job, his team, his teammates, and ahead of winning. I repsect the CONSISTENCY I guess but it's almost as dumb as refusing a vaccine isn';t it?

      Delete
    3. I write most of my comments from memory, but I should probably do a little factchecking along the way. Mr Koufax sat out game 1 of the 1965 World Series, NOT 1968. The Dodgers beat the Minnesota Twins in seven games.

      Mr Koufax attended services in Minneapolis the day of Game 1, while his teammate Don Drysdale took the mound. Drysdale proceeded to give up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings. When Walter Alston came to the mound to yank him, Drysdale famously said, "I bet right now you wish that I was Jewish too."

      I have no idea whether Mr Koufax's religious beliefs were silly. As I said, he was essentially a secular Jew who pitched on the Sabbath all season long. It had been only 20 years since the death camps were liberated and only 17 years since the formation of the State of Israel. It was two years after Groucho Marx, who was excluded from joining most Southern California golf and country clubs said, "Can my daughter join and go in the pool up to her waist? She's only half Jewish."

      So, the Dodgers lost the first game. Koufax pitched games 2, 5, and 7, pitching shutouts in the last two. and pitching game 7 on two days' rest.

      As an old man looking back at my life, I put my job ahead of the teammates of my family WAY too often. I was salaried the whole time, and regularly worked 60 hour weeks. My managers all seemed to like that just fine, but none of my wives was that impressed.

      I think religion has done a lot of damage in the world and created hatred when we needed acceptance and love. I'm a freethinker/agnostic/atheist depending on the day. I'm glad I got a religious education when I was a kid and glad I had parents who let me "opt out" at the age of puberty.

      Sandy's act seems different than refusing vaccine. Baseball is a big business which many people, including me, follow with interest. I stopped being a Dodger fan in 1958 because there were no more trollies to dodge, and I got my own team in 1977. My team has never been to a World Series in 46 years, but I still cheer them on, keeping in mind that they are a group of overpaid adults playing a kids' game. I cheer nonetheless. I continue to cheer for Sandy as well. He made a choice and stuck to it. Not an easy thing to do when it pisses off that many people.

      John

      Delete
    4. I grew up a Dodgers fan. I got better, and am a Giants fan. But I also was (and am) a fan of Koufax. I find it hilarious that Larry king claimed some sort of imaginary friendship with him until the day he died.

      Delete
    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    6. Pro football, pro baseball and college football have squeezed out mindshare from baseball. In the 60s and 70s, 3/4 of post-pubescent males "had a team" in baseball, much as, in Britain, most men and many women "have teams". In England, you still inherit a team from your father.

      Baseball is a subtle game, and these aren't subtle times. In the 1960s, over half the major league players had off-season jobs, (many at Sears, which was still a strong business, and hired all the major leaguers they could). Now, not so much.

      A major league autograph, which was once an attainable freebee is now a purchase, and it's pretty clear that major league baseball players stopped having fun some time ago.

      jtb

      Delete
    7. They don't even hand out flapjacks like Pulitzers. You gotta *pay* for flapjacks.

      Delete
    8. I'll just briefly weigh in on Koufax and religion, to say religion is horsepoop, but if you're going to be religious, be religious, don't be a frickin' hypocrite about it. The religion I know best is the one I grew up in, Christianity, and I have nothing but respect for Christians who act like Christ. Both of them.

      Delete
  5. Mamets I've seen and liked:
    * Glengarry Glen Ross
    * The Verdict
    * About Last Night...
    * The Untouchables
    * Wag the Dog
    * The Spanish Prisoner
    * The Winslow Boy
    * State and Main

    Mamets I've seen and hated:
    * Ronin
    * Edmond

    The Mamet I hate most, though, is David Mamet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fuckin' site just ate my comment. I hate it when that happens, and yeah, it happens to me, too.

      This time I'll retype it in the word processor, and paste it in.

      So anyway, as I was saying before the software cut me off, if my post and comments yesterday seemed brief and shallow it's cuz I was feeling like crap. Unfocused in the head and slightly feverish. COVID, a cold, or maybe too-late-to-be early onset Alzheimer's disease, I dunno, but I came home (is my crappy room 'home' now?) and slept twelve straight hours, waking only twice to pee. Feeling a little foggy still, but better today.

      Delete

🚨🚨 WARNING 🚨🚨
The site's software sometimes swallows comments. For less frustration, use the comment form in the sidebar, or simply send an email. 🚨🚨