Coffee heat rising

Tiny House Dreamin’…or Nightmaring?

So here we are killing time by cruising the Internet till it gets warm enough to walk the convalescent dog, and what do we come across but this intriguing article reflecting on the joys and drawbacks of life in the faddishly current “tiny house.”

Tiny houses, as you’ve no doubt noticed, are (heh) Big these days: touted as small of footprint, gentle on the environment, and mighty cheap. And for sure: if you enjoy RVing or camping for lengthy periods in a tent, you could find one of these minuscule dwellings to be just the ticket. I can imagine that if you were single, or a young couple still madly in love and very close, a tiny house could be a solution to the housing problem.

As a vacation home? Reminds me a lot of a hunting cabin. Not something I can contemplate living in for any length of time, but maybe it would do for a weekend; at most for a month, assuming you were close enough to a town with a grocery store so you could reprovision occasionally. But I think you’d have to be pretty desperate to choose one of these things as a place to live long-term.

It might work if you lived in or close enough to a town were you could rent space to hang off-season clothing and store goods that are needed only occasionally. And if you ate out a lot. But if you were given to cooking every day, it’s hard to see how you could store even a week’s worth of food and cooking supplies in such a place.

To my mind, even a single-wide mobile home — what we old bats call, politically incorrectly, a “trailer” — would work better. And a double-wide? Far superior.  Although to my mind the costs, elbow-to-elbow closeness, and restrictions of a mobile-home park are prohibitive, there’s not a thing to stop you from parking your trailer in the middle of a piece of property where zoning permits. And that would include any number of idyllic rustic locales like the one pictured for the article in question. You really don’t have to keep it in a trailer park. Buy a piece of rural property, install a septic tank, and run lines from the local utilities, and you’ve got your own very fine trailer park. For one.

For that matter, there are trailer parks and there are trailer parks. Some are highly desirable: close to scenic venues, quiet towns, outdoor activities. La Maya and Bethulia bought a nice mobile home, spectacularly renovated, in a beautiful trailer park near the ocean in the Bay Area, for example. It’s not only in a very pretty spot, it’s close to a college town with every amenity you could possibly crave and then some, and it’s not so far from San Francisco.

When we were looking for a place to move SDXB’s mom — this was at the time the Bush Recession trashed the sweet WW II-vintage garden apartment complex where she’d been living — we realized that for what she could collect from the depreciated value of her garden apartment, about the best she could afford would be a mobile home. Some of the places we saw during this search were amazing. Not all that cheap, it must be said — but certainly not the cost of a stick-built house.

At one point, we found a mobile home that was nicer than my house — and my house was on the high side of middle-class. It was larger than my house. It was newer than my house. It had a better kitchen. And, perched on a hillside north of town, it had a view to die for. Plenty of room between the neighbors — the lots were at least a third of an acre apiece, some significantly larger. It was close to where SDXB and I were living, not far from a first-rate hospital, and within reasonable driving or taxi distance of grocery shopping.

Really: if that place had been in Yarnell, I’d have bought it for myself! 😀

Alas, though, the “had been in” part was the kicker.

We saw it on a weekend. I went back out there along about the middle of the following week, to explore the tract and to take another look, by way of confirming that what we thought we were admiring wasn’t just wishful thinking.

Yea verily, the handsome little hillside home was still there, still beckoning.

But that’s not all that was there. Just to the west of the subdivided residential land was…ohhh wait for it… A huge sand and gravel operation! Vast monsters of equipment were fully engaged in tearing down the side of a hill that, when things were quiet, appeared to be part of the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. But which clearly was not. The air was thick with dust and the noise was crazy-making.

That was too bad. Because without that little…uhm…drawback, it would have been a lovely place to live.

Nevertheless, it did demonstrate that by including mobile homes in your search, you could find a double-wide that is larger than my four-bedroom house (square footage-wise), just as pleasantly appointed. and a whole lot cheaper than the $430,000 my house is supposedly worth now.

So What Happened with Ruby the Corgi?

Canine Parvovirus

Well: for starters, she does not have parvo.

As for today’s veterinary adventure: the folks at East Maryland Animal Hospital are awe$ome!

Learned about this group from La Maya, who used to take her pipsqueak dogs there. I’ve felt that like all vets, they push their services a little too goddam hard. BUT: I used to take Anna the Gershep there, and they were good with her. Radically expensive, but in those days it didn’t matter because I had…you remember…a JOB.

I stopped using them because they really are too expensive for a retiree’s pocketbook. Yesterday’s adventure, which resulted in several tests and a bottle of antibiotics, set me back $400.

Feeling desperate for a someplace anyplace to take my poor miserable little corgi, yesterday morning I called this outfit. To my amazement, they arranged for me to bring her in THAT AFTERNOON and, not only that, they let me go in, too!!! No eight-hour waits in the parking lot — can you believe?

The vet, one Dr. Marten, was SO nice!! She said she doubted the dog had parvo, but if I wanted they could run a test that only takes a few minutes. Given the presence of Rattie here at the domain — and given the proclivity of Rattie’s kin for carrying all sorts of diseases among which is numbered parvovirus — I said that would be good.

They ran a couple of other tests more specific to varieties of canine enteritis, including the alarming HGE. All of them came back negative. They trimmed the long hair-fringe around Ruby’s acid-singed butthole and applied some soothing salve. Injected some fluids to fight dehydration. Prescribed a medication that the vet thought would beat back the gastric infection that most likely is making the little dog so sick. And gave me a bagful of Hill’s fancy belly-soothing canned dog food.

Little dog is crapped out on the bed just now. What exactly started this episode escapes me, since she was never fed anything out of the ordinary. Hope she’ll be OK.

Comfort Food(oid) for Times of Stress

When you’ve had it — had it had it HAD IT — what, really do you want?

Money?

Love?

Peace and  quiet?

God’s hand reaching down out of the clouds and lifting you Heavenward?

Any and all of those would be good. Very good. But really, when you come right down to it, nothing helps like…yes...JUNK FOOD.

Yes. Yes, you’re right. It’s extremely bad for you. But the heck with that noise. Bad as it may be for you, it does make you feel a great deal less crabby.

And here we have one of the finest, most effective, and most delicious comfort food(oid)s ever invented by the human mind: Coconut paletas.

These are treats that faintly resemble a Klondike Bar, only far more delicious and lacking the chocolate. And you can easily make them at home, because, though they look like they’re made of ice cream they’re not. They’re easy and cheap to whip up, and nothing could be more bad for you. Which is to say, nothing could be better for your mood.

A paleta is very much like a popsicle. Some of them are indeed popsicle-like: the strawberry varieties, for example. Some of them are a little more exotic. Among these is the coconut paleta, a treat made of sugar plus coconut stuff plus (sometimes) nuts plus…oh what the heck! Throw in some more sugar, because you deserve it!

Here’s what you need to make them:

Coconut Paletas

Popsicle molds, with a stand for them
1 can of coconut milk
1 can of coconut cream
1 pint heavy cream
a handful of nuts (optional)
about 1/3 cup white sugar

Typically, the nuts are almonds, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve been using a fistful of mixed nuts. Pecans would be great. Walnuts would, too. Or pistachios. Whatever.

You’ll need something to mix this stuff up with: a wire whip works well. Or a fork. Or a spoon. Maybe an electric mixer, if you want to go to that much trouble. If you’re adding nuts, a small blender to chop them up is highly desirable.

So, in a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the coconut products, the cream, and the sugar. Finely chop the nuts and toss them in, too. Mix well, so the batter is nice and smooth and non-lumpy.

Fill your popsicle molds with this batter, insert the sticks or holders, secure them upright in their stand, and place them in the freezer. Go away for awhile.

That’s it. In a few hours, you’ll have a bunch of icy sweet treats that are guaranteed to cool your temper enough to stop the steam from shooting out your ears.

You can make these things in just about any flavor you like. You can make them as frozen coffee. You can make them into boozicles. Whatever. You can add stuff to them other than nuts: strawberries, cherries, little angels kissin’ spring.

It’s all, every variety of it, so much better than a sick dog; locked-down veterinarians; a busted car; idiots blasting fireworks until three in the morning, starting in the first week of December; stoners drag racing up and down Conduit of Blight Blvd. and across Gangbanger’s Way through the wee hours; a raging plague; a cop helicopter rattling your windowpanes for half an hour; computer do-dads that you do not know how to use and do not want to know how to use; frost on the palm tree; constant discomfort from some chronic ailment you never heard of before; busted plumbing; busted-out drywall; parades of (presumably contagious) workmen traipsing through the house; a glitch in your email system that takes an Apple service manager to figure out and fix (and that, only by guess and b’gawd); a pool dude who feeds your sick dog Milk Bones….

Oh WTF… She’s refused to eat anything else for the better part of a week. Maybe Milk Bones have enough calories to keep her alive for another few hours.

Day from Hell to Wrap Up the Year from Hell

Come Saturday: something is wrong with Ruby the Corgi. She’s emitting ruby-colored liquid poop. Literally: cranberry-colored collywobbles. And barfing blood, too, so it appeared last night.

This, of course, starts after dark.

My son’s emergency vet said they were closing. I found another emergency vet halfway across the city. My son came with me. When we got there, we were informed we would have a two- to three-hour wait, and we had to stay in the car.

Not so much, said I.

We drove to Alta Vista, a venerable old veterinary where I used to take my dogs and cats, which now operates at night as an emergency veterinary. There, we found a SIX- TO EIGHT-HOUR WAIT!

Finally I just said no, we are not waiting eight hours with a sick dog in the car. If she’s going to die, she’ll be better off dying at home.

Sooo… That was just gawdawful.

Come Sunday morning, Dog still has red diarrhea. Apparently this is not as bizarre a manifestation as it sounds, and in fact may not be life-threatening. It looks like if I can just get her into a vet, there’s a med that can treat it. She seems not to be as sick as she was Saturday night, so I have some hope that she may throw this off. A similar rumination appeared at another website.

She survives Sunday night, anyhow. Come Monday, the instant 9 a.m. rolls around I’m on the phone listening to the honored Dr. Bracken’s INTERMINABLE advertising blurbs on the hold button. This guy is the best vet in the city, and has been for decades.

Finally, finally, finally I get an appointment at 2:30 in the afternoon. Meanwhile, wouldn’t you know, I’ve got a dermatologist’s appt at 11 a.m. Or something: can’t read my handwriting. Call and cancel that, since it’s an hour’s drive in each direction, which I would like not to add to the 30-minute trudge (one-way) to Bracken’s office.

This, I figure, will mean another quarrel over the food I give her, which is the same as commercial dog food only without the artificial fillers and crap. AND it’s not made in China. She’s thriving, just like three other dogs thrived into old age on the stuff, and I do not appreciate the high-pressure pitch to buy the canned goop & kibble the vets sell in their lobbies. I guess I could just go yessir yessir, buy a can of the stuff, and donate it to the Humane Society. That would be easier than trying to defend myself, I guess.

Like everything to do with pets in America, veterinary practice has become a vast, predatory business. Individual practices are being gobbled up by huge, national conglomerates that do, really, predate on customers. They try to high-pressure you into all sorts of unnecessary products and treatments, to the point where, if you’re paying attention, you sense that about nine times out of ten you can’t trust what they’re telling you. Bracken so far is still an ethical, independent practitioner, though I know he’s reaching retirement age and I do think he may already have sold his practice to one of those operators. The give-away is that godDAMNED series of blatting sales pitches and scare stories on the hold button: those are characteristic of the conglomerates. An independent vet doesn’t subject his customers to that. Nor, I suspect, can he afford that kind of answering system.

At any rate…

Monday passes, and, amazingly, Ruby gets better. Never do make it to the vet. I withhold food but put down plenty of water. She guzzles water and then guzzles some more. And by noon she has completely stopped barfing AND firehosing out the rear end. The day proceeds, and she remains stable.

I give her a few bites of boiled chicken mixed in with some cooked rice. Nothing happens.

It looks like she had some kind of enteritis and was able to throw it off. What would cause that, I do not know, though I suspect a bird (or a human) could have dropped something mildly toxic into the yard. Thank god it wasn’t rat poison.

We have this baleful admonition from one of the first and biggest chain veterinaries going on about how urgent it is to get the dog treated. “These diseases can range from mild and self-correcting to severe and rapidly fatal.“  Looks like we’ve got “self-correcting” here. “Mild” is not a term I’d use, though. Banfield, I don’t trust, speaking of corporate massively profit-making veterinary boondoggles. Of course it’s in their interest to scare the ess-aitch-ai out of you.

Hmmm… In the “larn somethin’ every day” department, now I come across this: hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. HGE, for short. Interesting…something I hadn’t heard of. Didn’t know there WAS anything left in that category! 😀 Merck Manual seems to indicate that blood tests are needed to diagnose this alarming and mysterious ailment, because a bunch of other ailments produce similar symptoms. Evidently the main treatment is “prompt” administration of IV fluids.

Right. After a six- to eight-hour wait in your car…

Parenteral antibiotics effective against Clostridium spp (eg, ampicillin 22 mg/kg, IV, three times daily, or metronidazole 7.5 mg/kg, IV, twice daily) may be considered, but it is uncertain if this is needed in all cases.

In a prospective study of dogs with AHDS and no clinical indices of sepsis, treatment with amoxicillin-clavulanic acid did not affect mortality rate, duration of hospitalization, or severity of clinical signs. This might suggest not all cases of AHDS are due to primary bacterial infection or that the bacteria involved may not be susceptible to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid.

Hmmm…she drank lakes of water Sunday night and Monday morning — meaning that yes, she probably was dehydrated.

As of Tuesday morning, no sign yet that she’s about to croak over, though. The diarrhea has stopped. She trotted outside as usual to pee, then trotted back in the house begging to be rewarded with a treat for accomplishing this human-bedazzling treat. I gave her a tiny piece of the boiled chicken. Now she’s back on the bed and snoozing again, waiting for the human to quit poking at the glowing box it likes to balance on its lap.

If this is what she had (has??), then it’s spectacularly lucky she threw it off…if she did. We’ll see…apparently this thing can come back on them some 10% to 15% of the time. And evidently it can carry them off, pretty damn fast.

Meanwhile, sez the same source, the signs of this ailment are so similar to parvo that it takes a blood test to differentiate them.

Parvo???!?

But she has had the parvo vaccine…hmmm… We’re told dogs of any age can get it and the vaccine doesn’t necessarily work 100%. It sez here…

According to Los Angeles veterinarian Wendy C. Brooks, DVM, “Every day that goes by allows the [infected] dog to produce more antibodies, which bind with and inactivate the virus. Survival becomes a race between the damaged immune system, which is trying to recover and respond, and potentially fatal fluid loss and bacterial invasion.”

This, from Whole Dog Journal. Though that august publication is given to holistic approaches — and of course, it’s journalism, not the higher reaches of science — it is a useful and apparently fact-checked rag. Over some years of sporadic reading, I have yet to find anything truly wrong in it. Quoting Dr. Jean Dodds, DVM, an expert in veterinary hematology and immunology:

…sometimes, the parvovirus vaccine fails to work as intended.

First, she made clear, no vaccine produces 100 percent protection 100 percent of the time. “Vaccination is not a sure thing,” she explained. “It certainly improves the odds that an animal will be protected from disease, but it does not guarantee this. There is no way, even with the best vaccines, to be sure that any given individual’s immune system will respond in the desired way to protect that animal.”

Not all dogs have perfectly functioning immune responses, and, similarly, not all vaccines function perfectly, either. “There will always be an occasional case of a ‘vaccine break,’ which is what we call it when a vaccine fails to protect an individual against an infectious disease challenge,” said Dodds. “However, when a break occurs, if the animal has been appropriately vaccinated, it will usually experience only a mild form of the disease.” Dr. Dodds speculated that this is the most probable explanation for what happened with the infected puppy mentioned above.

“While there are some rare exceptions, where an appropriately vaccinated animal nonetheless experiences a lethal form of the disease, it is far more typical that such an animal will experience only a mild form of the disease and will recover quickly,” she said.

Holy shit!

Not seeing any reports of a parvo contagion in the county this fall. However, in October an outbreak occurred in Washington State…and of course, this being Christmastime, half the ‘Hood has relatives down here visiting in their RVs. It’s been quite a while since Ruby had that shot.

I’ll call Dr. Bracken’s office again this morning and see what they say about it. I have a feeling that discretion may be the better part of valor, though: the less disturbance the better at this point.

This morning she hasn’t had a BM — which means she’s not showing any diarrhea…yet. She hasn’t barfed since Sunday: this is Tuesday. Just now she demanded to be fed…but then, she’s a corgi. Corgis can eat under the direst circumstances: they do not lose their appetite. Ever. Just gave her a tiny serving of boiled chicken and rice. We shall see if it stays down.

Godlmighty. Do you suppose this Spate from Hell is ever going to come to an end???

 

Merry Weird Christmas!

It’s been awhile since I’ve added a post here…under the weather in an alarming way. The new ailment causes typing to make my hands hurt!

LOL! Poetic injustice, isn’t it?

So…this is about the weirdest Christmas I can remember. No, not “about”: THE weirdest. The church — and especially choir — has been closed down for months. Turns out that during an epidemic singing is about the most dangerous thing you can do.

So: Nix on the midnight mass. Nix on the singing. Nix on the Christmas Eve potluck. Nix on Life, the Universe, and All That!

In more pedestrian fields: My hair is halfway to my butt, because I’m afraid to go to the stylist to get it trimmed. Literally, my hair has never been this long, ever. Don’t have much fear of the stylist himself, since he’s a guy with pretty sterling common sense. But you could not pay me to stick my head in a public sink to get my hair washed, with someone lurking over me breathing into my face. I haven’t asked…but if they’d let me show up with wet hair and skip the in-salon hair laundry, I’d probably do it.

Truth is, though, I don’t even know if the beloved Shane is still there or if the salon is still in business. For years, he’s talked about retiring and moving to Prescott, where his family lives. He and his sister bought a house up there to use as a vacation home…he may simply have tossed in the hair-stylist’s towel and left town. Bizarrely, I had an appointment on the first of April, which was right when the whole covid-19 horror descended. My son called and asked me not to leave the house, even to go to grocery stores (or maybe especially not to go to grocery stores. His step-brother and his best friend are both medical doctors, and coincidentally they both phoned him on the same day in a great sweat and told him to keep the old people indoors — that if DXH, New Wife, or I catch this thing, we will be DEAD.

Accordingly, I canceled that appointment, and I imagine a whole bunch of the salon’s other clients did, too.

If you believe their website, they still seem to be operating…but no clue whether the redoubtable Shane still lurks there.

But…now that I have a death-dealing “pre-existing condition” on top of what is regarded as senescence, I guess I’d really rather have eccentric flowing tresses with split ends than risk catching a potentially fatal disease.

Locking oneself up in solitary confinement does, it must be said (à propos of flowing tresses), lead you to diddle away your time on some surprisingly bizarre endeavors.

This morning, as I contemplated the tangle of split ends finishing off the eccentric flowing tresses, I recalled that back in the Dark Ages when I was but a young pup, my mother used to treat my hair and hers with a thick, rich conditioner called “Kolesteral.” It had the consistency of library paste. You massaged it in to your abused tresses, left it to soak for half an hour or 45 minutes, then washed it out. Et voilà! Your hair would be magically transformed!

I think this may be the stuff…

But I thought it was spelled “Kolestral” (or something like that), it was made by Wella, and it definitely came in a tube. But then…so did everything: except for Pond’s cold cream nothing came in a tub. In fact, I don’t think they even made cosmetic jars in plastic like they do today…and a big glass jar like this would have jacked up the price of the product more than any marketer of a low- to mid-priced hair nostrum would have liked.

Not being sure that this really was the original magical mystery hair goop, I set sail for a short cruise across the Internet, in search of laydeez recommending their favorite split-end fixes. And lo! What should I come across but this charming woman!

COCONUT OIL??!!???  Well hot dayum! I’ve got a whole jar of that stuff, sitting on the nightstand! By golly: don’t even have to order some expensive gunk from Amazon!

So as we scribble, I’m sitting here with the oiled tresses wrapped up in a plastic bag, sealed in under a bath-towel turban. We shall see, in an hour or so, how well (or if) this scheme works.

Mwa ha ha! We already know the stuff works superbly as a furniture polish. Why not hair polish, too?

LOL! When I was a little kid, I would have killed to have hair halfway down to my tailbone. But my mother…well…she just WOULD not allow it. No matter how much I begged her to let my hair grow, every two or three months she’d plop me on the kitchen stool and do a hack job on the hair, chopping it off at about ear level. Since the other little girls had their hair done by the lady in camp (we lived in an oil camp in Saudi Arabia) who had worked in a hair salon in her US incarnation and got fancy haircuts in Beirut or Paris when their parents went on leave, this made me look even weirder than I already looked — which as a little girl who wished she was a boy and who was dressed in ugly clothes ordered from the Sears catalog , was pretty damn weird. (Yes: the other little girls got clothes from Paris or, when their parents went to New York on long leave, from Bergdorf’s. Not that I cared: I wanted to be a boy; specifically, I wished to be a space cadet. Or an astrophysicist. Or both.

I do not know what birthed her dread of long, flowing locks on her little girl. It may have been the nuisance factor: she probably didn’t want to listen to me squalling as she yanked out the tangles. Or it may have been a dread of letting me look sexy: sexiness was something to be avoided in her strait-laced world.

Probably, though, she was inspired by abhorrence of our even more strait-laced neighbors, a couple who declared themselves to be extreme Southern Baptists. In their belief system, girls did not cut their hair. They had three daughters, for each of whom they became slightly more liberal as the children grew. The eldest, Ann, was NEVER allowed to cut her hair, ever. By the time she finished the eighth grade (at which point the Aramco school quit and kids had to be shipped either to the American school in Beirut, to a boarding school in Switzerland, or back home to the US for high school), that poor child’s hair hung all the way down to her feet.

The second girl, Mildred, presumably was so inelegantly named that there was little risk of hair sexiness, and so she was allowed to wear her tresses dowdily at about shoulder length. And the third child, a little girl named Helen, was allowed to live and look pretty much like a normal American kid. I believe the pressure on the parents from the other Americans’ disapproval of this silly practice is what led them to allow Helen and Mildred to wear normal hair styles. As for Ann? The instant her feet hit the tarmac in New York when they shipped her home for high school, she was off to a hair salon, where she had the ridiculous mane hacked off.

LOL! Just imagine what those folks would have thought of some woman vlogging from the shower! 😀 About oiling her sexy hair!! 😀 😀

My mother would have fainted dead away. But Mildred’s mother surely would have had a heart attack at first glance.

In another three hours, it’s off to my son’s house, where he proposes to fancify a beef roast. That will be nice. I hope he likes his Christmas present… He asked for a salt cellar. But it had to be a certain size, because he wanted it to perch on the window ledge next to the stove, which is less than one Mexican tile wide.

(Yes. Men do ask for weird gifts.)

So I found a really handsome one that I think will fit there, at (where else) Amazon. Ordered that up…and to my amazement, they sent TWO! So now he’ll have a pair of them. Plus a gigantic plastic jar of Costco’s white salt, plus a gigantic jar of Costco’s cool, picturesque pink salt, which comes with a salt grinder on the side.

He’ll never run out of salt. That’s something. I guess…

 

Amazon and the Discriminating Porch Pirate

As you may have surmised in reading my all-too-frequent reports about the antics of the local bums, burglars, meth-heads, and thieves, the ‘Hood is pretty much over-run with porch pirates. This is why I had to spend some unholy amount of cash on a Fort Knox of a mailbox: so that I didn’t have to get all my mail delivered to a rental mailbox inside a locked building.

That notwithstanding, I do occasionally order things from Amazon, despite the risk of theft. The view of my front door is obscured by a courtyard wall, so if a package is delivered to the door, a passer-by eyeballing the house from the street is unlikely to see it.

Well, O.K., so there’s that.

Now, the other day I discovered that ground clove, when mixed in solution with water, eases the crazy-making sting-and-burn effect that my current ailment, peripheral neuropathy, inflicts on gums, tongue, and lips. Used as a mouthwash, it disappears the pain right now. Mixed with Vaseline and smeared on the lips, it also stops the maddening lip-tingle, again right now. But lo! Like nutmeg, clove is obscenely overpriced when marketed on grocery-store shelves…so I ordered a quarter pound of the stuff through Amazon, at a fraction of the local supermarket gouge.

So late yesterday evening I plop down before the computer to find a fresh new e-mail: your Amazon package has been delivered.  (And your driver was too harried or too lazy to bother to ring the doorbell.)

No, it’s not dropped by the front door. But I can see it’s out by the front gate — in the driveway.

Go out to retrieve it (surprised that it’s actually still there) and find that one of the locals has neatly sliced the long edge of the envelope off, dropped the slice inside, and replaced the package — unstolen — on the driveway pavement.

Hee heeeee! Just imagine the thought process!

Can’t give it to the girlfriend, whatever it is.

Can’t give it to the kids, whatEVER it is.

What IS it, anyway??? Funniest-looking coke I’ve ever seen. Don’t think it’s meth, either.

{sniff sniff} Nope, neither of those.

Can’t snort it. Can’t smoke it. Can’t give it away. DAY-um!  You keep it, ya weirdo!

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

So, feeling a little weary of having to emit elaborate instructions to Amazon delivery people — they can’t figure out that Erewhon Avenue is different from Erewhon Drive, and that these are two parallel streets with the same house numbers, and so they regularly deliver stuff to my neighbor one street to the north (I know: it is a difficult concept!). She declines to forward these or bring them over to my place (it must be all of 100 steps, and she walks by here every day or two with her dogs), so if a package goes to her place, it is effectively gone gone: permanently — I called Amazon’s customer service and asked if it was possible to install a permanent instruction to leave packages inside the gate, NOT out on the goddamn driveway.

Hilariously, I happened to get an Amazon CSR with a sense of humor. (How you could work for that place and retain a sense of humor escapes me: must be a seasonal hire!). So when I started to describe the Looney Tunes that is Life in the ‘Hood, she instantly spotted the ridiculousness of it all. By the time we got off the phone, we were both laughing so hard at the image of the porch pirate trying to figure out WHAT to make of a baggie full of dark red-brown dust that neither one of us could pull ourselves off the floor.

There is some sh!t I will not snort!

After the two of us managed to recover our respective breath and she flagged my account for the delivery drivers accordingly, she suggested that maybe I’d like to use one of those Amazon strong-boxes they’ve put up around the city, specifically for the purpose of thwarting porch pirates.

Well…uh… No. This is an idea whose value escapes me. If I have to get in my car to go get something, then obviously I’m going to shop local — which I would much prefer to do if it weren’t for the city’s homicidal traffic and my near-terminal case of laziness.