26 June 2008

Thanks for visiting the elderly, *ssface

I have a dozen blog posts I need to write but tonight I just can't because I am so furious.

My parents, as you know if you read this blog, are elderly. They don't get out much anymore, so they love to have visitors. Even the lawn guy has gotten used to getting coffee and cookies and having a nice long chat on the days he mows.

About a week ago, one of the "kids" from the old neighborhood called. He is about 55 now, LOL. He, David, was the second son of my parents' good friends Don and Blanche. He said he wanted to come visit on Wednesday.

They waited and worried all day yesterday, leaving him several phone messages (YOU know how old people are about schedules, right?). At about 6 pm, David called and said he had gotten a later start than he planned, yadayada, and would arrive between 10 and 11 today.

He came over. Mom talked his ear off for about 45 minutes. When there was a break in the conversation, the first thing he did was to ask to borrow money.

How much money? $6500.

I wasn't there but Mom said he had some story about how he has a work of art that needs to be photographed and reproduced so he can make money and the artwork is huge and out of state and he can't afford to travel because he is totally destitute, and oh by the way, his friend is waiting over in the Burger King parking lot and they have no gas and they are 100 miles from home and they have no food and they are starving.

Mom said David admitted to screwing up his life terribly and that he was very apologetic and said he had hurt a lot of people. She didn't give me the details but she said he told her.

She and dad gave him some money - not $6500 but I bet it had at least a few zeroes - and said they don't expect to ever be repaid. She also packed some sandwiches for him.

"We couldn't let him leave hungry," she said, with a pleading look in her eyes.

It just kills me that this scam artist waltzes in, after having burned all his bridges, knowing that there were at least two good, kind people he could use. I don't know what his deal is, but I have been around long enough to know how parasites suck off the elderly and the gentle.

It's not the money. It's the chutzpah. It's the idea that this jerk can pretend like he really wants to see my parents and then use them and their big hearts.

I have no idea if he is destitute or if there is an artwork or what the real story is. All I know what if David sees me coming, he had better run.

24 June 2008

Don't call me...

Otto West: Don't call me stupid.
Wanda: Oh, right! To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people! I've known sheep that could outwit you. I've worn dresses with higher IQs.

Like Kevin Klein's character in "A Fish Called Wanda," I hate to be called stupid.

You can call me ugly. You can say I dress funny. You can say I am mean, that I stink, that I am terrible with directions. All fine, and all somewhat true at times.

But do not make the mistake of saying, implying, or assuming that I am dumb.

I was in a meeting the other day when the presenter couldn't answer my questions. It was apparent that she did not know.

Instead, she turned it around and said in a condescending tone, "Well, let me see if I can try to explain it to you."

As she bumbled around, spinning circles with her words, I had to hold myself down to my chair. I was so close to standing up and yelling at her.

She got done with her explanation, which did not make a lick of sense. Everyone just sat there silent, amazed at her incompetence.

I finally said calmly but very clipped, "I'll talk to S. It seems like she might be able to clarify, based on what she said earlier."

But I was maaaad. I don't know why the implication that I am stupid galls me so deeply. It sends me into The Bad Place, the mental space you don't want to go - and if I go there, you certainly should not follow.

What that people assume about you sends YOU off the deep end?

22 June 2008


United Methodist Church Ventura

I pretty much spent the entire weekend researching labyrinths for one of Alicia's crazy projects. We drove all over the county when it was hot as hell, looking for labyrinths and taking photos - and we had a lot of fun.

The trip involved about 18 stops for iced coffee (my fault) and/or bathroom use (me, again) and 56 last-minute turns into church parking lots, frightening other drivers.

A labyrinth, BTW, is (at least in its modern form) a meditation device. You walk along the meandering path toward the center.

It is interesting, because the way the patterns are laid out, you lose track of where you are going and can't predict where the next turn will take you, so your mind does kind of disconnect.

Alicia wants to get her work (a gov't agency where tensions are often very high) to construct one at her workplace, out in the miles of green lawn that surrounds her building.

She admitted that she is lucky to have friends like me and Ish, who went along with her and hauled out the Very Dangerous Broken Ladder over and over to get good photos of the 8 various labyrinths we found.

At first I thought "If you have seen one labyrinth, haven't you seen them all?" Nope. Each labyrinth has its own unique personality. So going to see all 8 was an odd, different kind of cultural experience, one I am glad to have had.

St. Francis Episcopal, Simi Valley

I am beat. Check the photos out here.

In addition to the labyrinths, we also found a gorgeous sculpture, which I loved despite its overtly Christian theme. Give me something blue and glowy and I am so good.
Water in the Wilderness sculpture
Back to top