Thursday, May 17, 2012


I had to pay more attention to politics this week than I wanted to because Obama was in my work neighborhood to deliver the commencement address at Barnard College.  According to the article I read on the topic, the president's office called Barnard about the time Rush Limbaugh was calling Sanda Fluke a slut.  Coming so rapidly on the heels of his statements about Marriage Equality, I was struck by the way Obama threw gasoline on the flames of the culture wars so that people who believe what they hear and see in the Mainstream Media will once again overlook the fact that Obama holds his peace prize in one hand and a drone trigger in the other.

I don't blame Obama, necessarily.  Politicians have always pulled that kind of bullshit.  In some ways, I'm more stunned by the way Romney stands before us all like the Proud Asshole he is.  Nevertheless, I continue to hope that a combination of all the candidates from alternative parties - like Stewart Alexander, Buddy Roemer,  Rocky Anderson and my personal favorite, Rosanne Barr - are able to get over 12% of the total votes in the presidential elections.  That way, we will have a tiny illustration that a third party could actually exist in this country.

When I hear people saying that a third party is totally impossible, it reminds me of those parties in high school where there's a keg of beer and tasty snacks inside a house with no guests while everyone is driving around the block refusing to park the car and go to the party until there are lots of cars outside the house.  So at 8:00 there are five really happy people at a great party inside a house while 200 people circle the block, wasting time and gas, wishing they were at the party.  Little by little, people get tired of going around the block and go inside, so that by midnight, there are 400 people rocking the house.

If alternative candidates could just get enough of a statistical vote to rock the boat, maybe in 100 years, we'll finally have a great country.  It will still be a polluted wasteland because of Fracking and other stupid shit we're allowing at the moment, but at least we could see an evolution of thought and values instead of a vast sea of Idiocracy.

Meanwhile, I've been swimming in papers getting the board package together so that I may finally have a home again.  The coop board requires more financial information than the banks.  I'm not sure exactly what that says about the lending practices of the banks, but I can understand why the coop board would want to make sure a person meets certain financial requirements so that the whole building isn't pulled down by one person's financial crisis.  I was prepared to provide this information on myself, but I was surprised to find that I needed to provide all Velvet's financial information as well.  It makes sense, though, because HDFC coops are income restricted, and it would be pretty easy for somebody like me - who makes very little money per year - to be living with a person who has a shit ton of money.  We had to prove that Velvet is not a secret millionaire because that would be unfair to everyone.  Although the whole thing made perfect sense, getting the packet together was still stressful.  I even had to write a short essay as if we were applying to an exclusive private school - and in point of fact, the process is similar.  I even get to fret for a undetermined time, waiting to hear if we've been accepted.

It would be nice if the housing issues were settled before the moving van comes on May 30 to put all our things in storage.  I'm grateful that Gigi's apartment is available to me for as long as I need it since she's in love and essentially living with a man who is apparently going to be the father of her children.  Living there will be a big lifestyle change for me, though, and not only because I'm going to have to get on the subway to go to work for the first time in over twenty years.  It's the first time in over twenty years that I won't have a space in my home for Velvet.

Actually, it will be the first time in forever that I don't have a home.  Even though this rental has felt kind of like a long-term residence hotel, Velvet and I have settled in and been comfortable here.  Velvet will be living with Buzz Kill until he goes up to work at the Hippy Dippy Quaker Camp in early June.  It will do both of them good to live together for a couple of weeks.  That's all it will take to convince them both that the living arrangements are best for everyone when Velvet's home is with me.

Velvet will surely spend more time at Buzz Kill's this fall - and that's all good.  For the first time since the divorce six years ago, Buzz Kill will have a real space for Velvet since, as it happens, May 30 is also the day the movers are coming to install Vagina Dentata into The Home.  Vagina Dentata has been in that Central Park West apartment since the mid-1960's, so she's bound to be traumatized by the move.  Buzz Kill is doing a Happy Dance.  He's been dreaming of the day Vagina Dentata moves into The Home for nearly twenty years.  As a result, Velvet will probably be going back and forth between his divorced parents like other kids typically do right after their parents divorce.  Velvet never really did that because there was no space at Vagina Dentata's dedicated to Velvet.  She had turned the small bedroom by the kitchen - the Maids Room - into a giant closet for herself.  She still thinks some of those raggedy old outfits should go to The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but then, she's a delusional alcoholic.  Charming in her way, but fully delusional.  All these years, when Velvet slept over there, he was like Harry Potter sleeping in a closet under the stairs unless Buzz Kill spent the night at his girl friend's place and Velvet slept in Buzz Kill's room.

It's great that Velvet will finally have a real space of his own at Buzz Kill's place, but it's not so great that I'll be sleeping on a fold out sofa and living out of a suitcase indefinitely.  Velvet reports for duty in Vermont around June 7th, so he'd be gone for the summer no matter where I lived - but if we had a real home his stuff would be collecting dust just down the hall.   Velvet's been away lots of times, and frankly, I rarely miss him for the first several weeks.  Even still, I rely on the concrete connection that his stuff provides.  

As I get teary thinking about this prospect, I am compelled to remember that there are homeless and displaced people all over this country.  Their circumstances aren't going to change as soon as they are blessed by a coop board, either.  Plenty of kids are over in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uganda, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia and other places where the US has boots on the ground.  Wikipedia says we have troops deployed in about 150 countries - and that's the ones we know about.

When I was younger and lamented my personal circumstances, my mother never failed to say, "Well, it's not like you're in BOSNIA, Patricia," which is true.  My life is a cakewalk - with or without racial overtones, depending on your point of view.

Soon, Velvet and I will be standing on the space that wins the cake, and we'll have a home again. A cute little one with lots of frosting, I hope, and fruit filling in the center.


Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

Good luck Trish. Lots of stress. I'm going through the same thing with short selling my home and looking for a job and no clear answer to either. But that's what martinis are for.:)

May 17, 2012 at 4:17 PM  
Blogger Mona Sabalones Gonzalez said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you in the hope that you find, finally, your own home for yourself and those you love.

You know, you write so well. I hope you continue to write through good times and bad. You can inspire, interest, inform in such a captivating way.


May 18, 2012 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Cali said...

Wow, I had no idea that co-op boards hold so much power! But then, condos are something totally foreign to me. Most people live in single family homes here, even duplexes are rare. College kids and young people, usually without kids, tend to live in apartments, except for senior apartments. I'm generalizing here, of course.

When you finally do win your "cake" I hope it is as good as the one I usually get for my birthday. The bakery calls it a Grand Marinier cake, and it's an apt name. It's yellow sponge cake with a Grand Marinier syrup, apricot filling and tons of Grand Marinier French butter cream. It's absolutely fantastic!

You wanna know a secret? I always make sure to order at least four more servings than there are cake-eating celebrants. I cut the appropriate number of slices of the cake and do the birthday thing giving everyone in attendance a piece. Then I freeze the leftovers, slice it and pack the slices between layers of waxed paper in zipper plastic bags and store it in the freezer. I just pop the slices out of the freezer as I want them. Honestly, I like the cake better frozen!

There is something just heavenly about the way frozen French butter cream melts on the tongue. It may be virtually the same ingredients as ice cream (cream, sugar, eggs, flavoring) just switch in butter for cream, obviously. But, really, what is butter except cream with the whey removed? Seriously, frozen butter cream is way better than ice cream. But then, as I'm sure my doctor would tell you, my blood is about 10% butterfat. Thank you, Lipitor, for keeping the red sludge moving! Better living through chemistry!

May 19, 2012 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Cali - you've got me thinking about finding a paint color similar to buttercream frosting

Monisima - thanks for the encouraging words. And I absolutely think you're right about that little boy selling flowers in your neighborhood! Nice blog.

Mr. C - vodka or gin?
Let's hope this "ring of fire" eclipse adds something unexpected and fortuitous to the process.

May 20, 2012 at 2:11 PM  

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