June 20th, 2007


Homeless Day 10, Part 1: bright and early

Miracle of miracles, I am caught up. I woke at about five this morning with a headache. I knew I shouldn't have had so much wine, but it tasted so good and added to the meal. I liked the paella and so did Mary but Joey did not. I am not sure what he objected to. It's quite mild and innocent, that dish. Nothing foreign or scary in it. Mary said he just doesn't like that kind of dish, whatever that is. No matter. He's been quite a champ generally when it comes to food, lately. His pickiness may actually be on the wane.

Whenever I stay at Mary's I find little computer fixes to do. I have so far not done much about her power-starved laptop, but I managed to clean up the desktop computer and get the printer working. And download music to her Shuffle. This morning I scanned some pictures she wants to put into a four-pic frame, so they are ready to order from a local drugstore.  In this way, and in cooking meals sometimes, I feel I earn my keep, so to speak.

Yesterday afternoon Joey brought two friends home. One is in his class and was one of the two girls I worked with Monday, together, at his school. The other was her sister. Alexis and Desire (that's how they spelled the names). They first wanted to go to the girls' house, so I got the phone number and an explanation of where they live, and they took off. They returned about an hour later and played here until past seven. I added to the activity by creating a few balloon animals. They were all over the house: on the computer, in the living room playing board games, in the backyard playing with the hose, and more. I find this sort of thing exhausting, honestly, and wonder why it is that other parents are always sending their children to Joey's house and not having the guts to have them in their homes.

When Mary got home she eventually offered to take the girls home because they had no set time to be there. I thought it was a stroke of genius to offer like that, given that they would have stayed the night otherwise. She made an attempt to meet the mom but the mom wouldn't come out of the house. Mary is doing the right thing, in any case, trying to get to know the families.

Mary is off at the gym this morning, doing a "core" class. I am about to limp up the stairs to see if I can roust a little boy.

Homeless Day 10, Part 2: burglary

Last night my car was broken into. It was one of at least three cars in this neighborhood, on this street, that were burglarized, probably at about four in the morning (someone heard dogs start to bark then). This is a gated community, meaning you need a code to enter, but everyone knows that's no protection.

As I stood outside waiting for the police a number of neighbors came out of their houses, each with a tale to tell. The policewoman, when she arrived, recommended that everyone get together and call on the association to do more to protect the property. The association dues are fairly high already, and I suspect a security guard, even just at night, would not add much to the cost. Probably shouldn't add anything, considering.

My car window was broken:

My satellite radio was ripped out, my glovebox opened and everything emptied, my map compartment also, and the little change I had for parking meters was of course stolen.

Worse, they got in the trunk and took two camera lenses, a good tripod, a camera bag, other camera equipment (but fortunately not the cameras themselves; they were inside), plus two boxes of emergency equipment: tools, cleaners, stuff like that, and my auto first aid kit. They probably needed the first aid kit because someone got cut while breaking into these cars. There was blood on a rock as well as on my door handle.

I am telling myself that it's only money. Money will fix this, will replace what I value, over time. Yet I still feel weepy, ready to burst into tears at any second.

The police did arrive, which at least is one good thing. Elaine tells me they wouldn't even show up for her car burglaries a couple of years ago - three of them. Perhaps it was the blood. Or the fact that at least three of us were burglarized. I have the police report number, a form to fill out with details of what was stolen. I called my insurance company and learned that they wouldn't cover anything that was stolen (I don't have a homeowners' policy - we may recall I don't have a home, for that matter, yet) and I have a $500 deductible. My insurance rate won't go up if I file a claim but it may not be worth the trouble.

I'm taking a few breaths now before I decide on my next move.

Homeless Day 10 Part 3: Step by step

I brought the car to a repair shop that Mary has used. They can get it all done - replacing the window, cleaning up the glass, repairing the console - for a little over $400. I figured if it were under $500 no sense dealing with insurance. Mary met me there just as I finished up with making the arrangements. We zipped over the Zapa's for burritos and I drove to her work and dropped her off. I will pick her up later, with Joey.

I am still feeling a bit fragile, although I have thought through the steps and am taking them one at a time. Next step is to deal with the satellite radio. Replace it, see if I can just plug it into the cords already in place. It looks possible. I will then look at replacing camera lenses and compact flash cards. One thing at a time.

Right now I just want to take a nap, though. So that's what I'm going to do.

Homeless Day 10, Part 4? Window repair

I got a call at about four today. My car was already repaired! The guy said everything just fell into place and it was done in record time. They cleaned up all the glass, fixed the console, replaced the window and made sure it works.

I called Mary's friend Jim and asked for a ride to the car. Jim, who is ever generous, said of course. He picked up me with Joey and we went to the repair shop. The people there were so nice. Doing business with them is a pleasure. For the record: Atlas Body Shop on Tropicana in Las Vegas. When he dropped us off, Jim gave me two gift cards to Borders Books, totalling $50, and said maybe Joey and I would like to go get some books. Nice surprise!

Which we did! We went to the Borders on Stephanie and ran through the entire amount plus a few bucks. I got three books, Joey got a drawing kit plus a CD. I love having all these books ahead of me!! It does take the edge off the burglary, especially now that I have driven my repaired car and it's okay, it's okay. I still mourn the photographic equipment but I'll get through it.