Friday, June 15, 2007


Friday frustrations & fiascos

Friday and laundry day—which is after shopping day and eating day and so on and so forth. The trouble with washing clothes is it just encourages them to get dirty all over again. Like voting, uh-huh.

I finally worked out a scripted automatic backup for everything on my computer. It took an external hard drive and a program called SuperDuper!. It actually went into action rather easily. That’s typical of so much of life: much more time wasted worrying about the actual doing than the doing itself. I figured out how to copy CDs, a couple of weeks ago, after years of thinking about how cool it would be to do it. My downward path to wisdom...well, not wisdom: technical abilities. I still ain’t got down the wisdom part.

I’ve been thinking about how I let myself get used. Not necessarily for money, say, but favors, errands, relaying stuff. We have a friend over in the City Across the Mountains who is having a hard time. I’ve mentioned her, I think—hepatitis C, diabetes, obesity, heart problems, COPD, and no money. Zilch. She applied, a year ago, for SSI, and like almost everyone who applies, she got turned down. That’s hell for the people themselves, but it sure makes good business for lawyers and para-legals who specialize in appealing those decisions.

In the meantime, it’s strictly charity for meds, because there really isn’t any way for her to buy them. She gets food stamps and friends help her make the rounds of various food banks. The apartment she lives in is HUD subsidized and she doesn’t need to pay rent. One non-profit agency helps her with her electric bill. No phone, of course. There’s a computer in the basement of the apartment house so she can receive and send email. Apparently there’s nobody in her building who’ll let her use a phone, so she has the agencies, etc., call me here, and then I email her the messages... It’s bizarre, yeah. The arrangement for her insulin is through a program at an area hospital; apparently it’s pretty flaky, because a couple of times she’s called to borrow money to pay for the insulin. A couple of weeks ago she went to the hospital because they told her they’d messed up on the application so she went to the ER, figuring they were not going to send her away to go into insulin shock. She called us collect from the ER and we called her right back. Fucking ten dollars for the collect call. Jesus Christ! is right. I got a message for her early this week, so I sent the info on. Didn’t hear from her for two days, then emailed and said, well, did you get the message? She wrote back and said the last two numbers I’d sent didn’t come through—there were two sets of numbers, the doctor’s phone number and a reference number to use. That’s all she said: the last two numbers didn’t come through. I wrote back and asked which two, the phone or the reference number, and, well, being vague is fine, but, it really helps to be prompt and communicative. That was Wednesday and I haven’t heard anything back. The vibe I got was, she couldn’t do anything because the “last two numbers didn’t come through,” and there was some fault in the transmission of them from this end. It’s happened before. When stuff doesn’t happen it isn’t her responsibility—kind of like “the dog ate my homework.”

I think I’m being used around the message center stuff.

Now, what do I plan on doing about it? No, I haven’t the foggiest idea. Just putting it out here is a step in some direction or other.

In the meanwhile, my birthday is Sunday and it's fodders day. I don't feel very celebratory, as I've mentioned before. So B. and I are going to drive over to the MacKenzie River, visit some hot springs, and spend the night. That'll be good, yes.

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