I sit here in this corporate institution, surrounded by glass and brick. I can hear him but I can't see him. My homeless friend is yelling again. Incoherent rantings of his private rage. He stays out of site, hidden in the breezeway, standing behind the concrete and brick pillar but still he yells.

Suddenly he comes into view, wearing a different jacket this time. Navy blue with white piping and a large white Nike swoosh on the back. I wonder where he got the jacket. Did someone throw it away? Did one of his fellow homeless give it to him? Or was it merely hidden under his army jacket from a few weeks ago?

He wanders down the street, peering into each garbage can he passes, searching for some hidden treasure. A bounty of a half-full coffee cup or partially eaten piece of food.

I wonder if I went and set a couple of my pop tarts on the edge of the trash can right outside my office if he'd eat them. They're the good kind, chocolate fudge. If I still smoked, I'd leave some cigarettes out there for him. He seems to cherish cigarettes most of all.

He's sitting across the street now, his back against the pharmacy wall. Joggers run by without so much as a glance, ignoring the proof that there is another level of humanity outside their own.
Ralph Ellison had it right. Invisible men do exist.
Until just before I turned 24, I spent a great deal of time in a nursing home. As a child, I was there with my mother either at my choice or because she had no one else to watch me during the weekends and school-less summer days. My mother was an Activity Director at the nursing home where my aunt was the Administrator and part owner. It was more or less a family business.

I remember early mornings driving from El Segundo to the Mar Vista section of Los Angeles, the sun usually only having been up for a short while. Stopping by Jack in the Box for breakfast, if I was lucky, before going to my second home. For that's what it was for me, a second home. I would roam up and down the hallways, visiting with the patients, sneaking rides in empty wheelchairs, or talking the ears off any nurses who would listen to me.

Most of the time, I would help my mom with her activities. In the morning we'd do armchair aerobics. Mom and I would sit in chairs facing the patients and they'd do the best they could to stretch their arms over their heads or lift their legs as the voice on the cassette tape instructed. If I close my eyes and it's quiet, I can still hear the lady's voice from the tape and the cheesy background music.

The afternoons would bring either Bingo or music from some volunteer group or if it was a special day, a birthday party. If the patients had been able to, though, they'd have played Bingo every day of the week. Mom was always stuck between a rock and a hard place with this as she was required by law to have variety in her activities. Whenever the health inspectors would visit, they would review her calendar of events to ensure there were different kinds of activities scheduled. Those poor patients, wanting all Bingo all the time and the mean old health department not caring one bit. My mom would have mercy on them though and substitute Bingo every once in a while for whatever the scheduled activity was.

At 5 or 6 or 7 p.m., we'd head home. The time we left would depend on if enough nurse's aides had shown up for the 3-11 p.m. shift and if help was needed serving the dinner trays. Since mom and I were family, we'd get tapped to help out. I remember one time we were at home on a weekend and my aunt Florence called saying she needed us to come in to help serve the dinner trays. I was so angry. I was a teenager by that time. It was her presumptuousness that drove me nuts. But we'd go in and help, as always. The patients came first with Florence, no matter what. For that reason, that nursing home was consistently one of the best in California.

I had an entirely different blog thought out for today until I started going through my SIR list. TooOldForThis' entry for today got me thinking about my nursing home roots. I only hope she can forgive me for sticking my nose where it didn't belong and giving her a presumptuous suggestion. It was born out of my past experiences and out of concern for a grandmother I've never met. I hope she understands that.
What is it about computer technicians that makes them so hot? I was at the office of our computer guys today having them look at a computer. I was already down that way to have a chest x-ray as part of my physical from a couple weeks ago (yes, it took me that long to go into the lab-place) so I figured I'd save us the travel charge and cart the CPU down there. Besides, they're way funny and 2 out of 3 of them are cute so why not? (Note on the 3rd guy: While I don't consider him hot, he's still very cute in a younger brother kind of way and he's extremely sweet.)

Anyhow, it got me to wondering about these computer guys. Are they like UPS deliverymen or firemen and they're required to be massively hot in order to get their jobs? Is this phenomena only happening in my world or do you party people find that your computer techie guys/UPS deliverymen/firemen are way hot too?

Maybe I could get a grant to research this....
Growing up I didn't have a proper door on my bedroom. Over the years, I had a pink, clear, and lavender beaded curtain type thing, a cheap wood-grain vinyl folding door thing, or nothing at all. Why my mother didn't just go buy a door and put it on there is beyond my comprehension and/or recollection. Why I didn't just go buy a door and put it on there once I started working and earning my own money is also something that makes me go "what the...?!". Anywho, when I finally moved into my own place, the first thing I did was go into my bedroom and shut. My. DOOR. I was stoked that I had a door on my bedroom. I'd stand in my bedroom doorway and open & shut my door over and over again. Shannon (who of course was my roommate) would just stand there and laugh at me. She understood why I was thrilled to have a door but she still laughed at me.

My first two cars were a 1974 Volvo which I had for around 2 years and then a 1988 Toyota pick-up truck. Neither car had cupholders nor did they have intermittent windshield wipers. I had my truck for 12 years, drove to Seattle and back during the month of January one year - in the rain and snow - without intermmittent wipers. When I bought the car I currently have in 2000, I was delighted to find it had both cupholders and intermittent wipers. I glory when I have to drive in the rain because I can recklessly switch between all kinds of different wiper speeds. I love going through the drive-thru and buying a drink because I have a cupholder in which to put it.

Silly little things but appreciated beyond belief by yours truly because of their absence in my life before they came along. It's the not having of things, feelings, relationships that makes them all the more appreciated and loved when I finally do have them.

Kinda like this internet message board/Xanga blog thing. I lived just fine without them before they came along. But in November of 2002, I stumbled across the Vartypants' Vigilantes' Love Lounge. I was an Alias/Michael Vartan fan at the time. I began posting messages on that message board because the people there were incredibly funny. I now have some really good friends because of that. Through my adopted little sister, Liz, I found Xanga when I decided to try out this blog doo-hickey. In the past 5 months, I've been interacting with some more incredible people and gotten to know my Vigilante friends even better than I did before. For me, the internet is a way to meet new friends and socialize. I'm not a barfly, even though I did my bar hanging out time when I was younger. I don't like going to clubs. But here, I meet people, get to know people, who have the same interests I do, who express themselves much in the same way I do. It's invaluable to me.

Thank you to all of you for being my friends. I appreciate you more than I could ever adequately express.
Whenever I hear moi, I instantly think of Miss Piggy. Maybe that tells you what you really need to know about what I'm like. My name is Lillian but I also go by Lil. I'm a 39 year old woman living in Southern California in what I refer to as The Commune. I live in a house with my best friend since high school, her husband who I've also known since high school, their daughter (The Niece) and her son (The Nephew) by her first husband. It's unorthodox but it works, kind of like me.

I'm coming up blank with what to write so this is going to sound like a really bad personal ad. I don't like pina coladas but I love getting caught in the rain, singing badly, using writing as catharsis, reading, hoarding office supplies and drinking too much Diet Coke, among other things. Words I'd use to describe me are kind, weird, loud, loyal, caring, occasionally idiotic and generally fiscally irresponsible but trying to do better.

Yeah, so that's me in a nutshell - and it's a damn big nutshell too. Like nuclear big.
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