Bird Flew

Some cat stuff.

chanceis

A few weeks ago, I woke up with both my cats on top of me, Chance was walking, running across my chest and Jango was right beside me, climbing up on my shoulder. I didn’t know what was going on and as both cats made a dive for the window above my head, I swear I heard bird wings fluttering.

Then the other morning I woke up, yet again, everything dark to a strange noise. It was growling. Loud growling. This scared the crap out of me, I’m not going to lie. I got my eyes opened and saw Chance on the mat beside my bed with something rather large in his mouth. I guess he came to show me and growling was the only way to let me know he was there. He is actually very vocal, but apparently clever enough to know he couldn’t shout at me and…

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Our Dance With Irma

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Luckily it was closer to a waltz than the Cha Cha.

Hurricane Irma skirted past the Dominican Republic on Thursday, but left again soon after with minimal damage. Thankfully.

Thursday morning I went out for a brief walk, just to suss the sitch, you know. Check it all out. I knew the stores were closed but I walked that way anyhow, I didn’t need anything, just being a nosy cow.

It was eerily quiet, no cars, no noise, no people walking about. Except the birds. All the stores closed, mind a few of the corner stores or colmados. The delivery guys there with their motorbikes ready to deliver stuff for those who didn’t prepare.

Some of the stores went a step further and taped or covered windows, but not too much of it. Many of them had security out front to deter looting, but honestly, if shit did get real and you really wanted to loot the gas station, good luck getting past that surly teenager staring at his phone while perched on an upside-down plastic bucket.

The other bit that was eerie was the extreme noise coming from the birds and the scurrying about of rats. Rats are a common sight here, but not dashing about in front of me, some with expensive luggage.

The circling vultures were just a bonus.

My cats seems a little restless but not enough to keep Jango from sleeping on the balcony even after the rain started.

We lost power a few times, but that’s a regular occurrence here anyhow. I think when the rain and wind really got serious it was likely just cut.

To be honest, I wasn’t terribly concerned. My biggest fear was the wind, the wind hurling things at my building and windows. I’m very close to the water, the Caribbean ocean is about a block that way, so the wind gets pretty strong on a slow day.

I love it, my apartment is on the top, forth floor but there isn’t much blocking me around, so I can see a long way and get the best, fresher breezes coming through here. My cats love to find the optimal spot for the cross breeze. This time of year is ridiculously hot, as well.

The rain managed to make everything horrendously humid. I woke at around 4 am today and the humidity was 78% making it feel like about 36 Celsius. Yikes.

Hurricanes are a bitch, and Irma is living up to that. We were very lucky here, Irma asked us to dance, we danced but she left with the guy who brought her.

Later next week, we will see if Jose is as well-mannered.

 

Blind Date

friends

 

Okay, not so much blind as stage four glaucoma.

I belong to a page on Facebook for expats in Santo Domingo. People looking for advice, selling stuff, you get it. A few months back I saw a post from someone who was going to be moving here and she was asking if anyone wanted to meet up. I have managed to go months without talking to anyone, thank you very mucho, wasn’t in any hurry to change that, so I didn’t pay that much attention to it.

But later I decided to bite, why not, right? She mentioned she was moving here in July so I said, well, give me a poke when you’re settled, we can go for a coffee or something. She replied right away, she said she was here now and did I want to meet. Like, now.

No.

We did exchange our digits (I know) and I semi-committed to meeting. I’m not very social and find these kinds of situations far easier to just say no to than actually commit to. After a lot of pushing on her part and a lot of balking on my end, we finally set ‘the date’. I did bail on the first one.

She came to pick me up in her rental car and as I had checked out her Facebook profile, I had a good idea which one she would be. Likely the white woman picking me up.

I got in her car and she immediately launched into a diatribe I honestly felt like I was joining already in progress. Something about her car, her luggage, her hotel or BnB or what actual I have no idea. It was confusing and all consuming. I remember her saying hello and before we actually pulled away from the front of my apartment building, she just started yakking.

“So, I booked my flight…”  Dear gawd, save me. I wanted to leap from the car and get back upstairs to my boxer shorts and my cats and whatever I was binging online.

I had to interrupt her about five times just to give her directions to a restaurant two blocks away. We managed to get parked and sat down in the restaurant without her having to stop her narrative for more than about seven seconds at a time. I wasn’t even certain how she was managing to do it.

At some point I heard something I could relate to, I tried to jump in and play along but she shot that down in a hurry.

Just let me finish, she said, with a slight hint of pity, and once I’m finished you can talk allllll about you. (I added the extra L’s there because that’s how she said it.) (P.S. She never finished)

We somehow managed to order, even with her banging her jaw like a war drum. She stopped long enough to point to the menu for the benefit of our waitress. Our waitress was confused and started talking in Spanish. I asked The Gabber if she spoke Spanish and she said, ‘pequeno’. Annoys me no end. Knowing the Spanish word for ‘little’ doesn’t mean you speak Spanish. Just say ‘No’.

I said to the waitress, who looked as if she were ready to bolt – wait for me!- que? She looked relieved and started off on the item’s biography while Yapps-A-Lot said ‘si’ a lot and nodded her head knowingly.

She didn’t know.

I won’t keep you. I’ll summarize here with a simple list of my pet peeves she managed to step on.

Never shuts her gob. Never.

Hyphenated Name. Please.

Posted a picture of her feet on the beach. Beach, please.

She’s from Texas. Ego much?

She likes the Orange Psycho Monster who shall not be named. Strumpet The Trumpet.

She had a couple of small tattoos and even though I have several, she had to talk about hers. She had two names written on the inside of each wrist. Her kids, it turns out. When I asked about them she put her hand over one of them, like it was a delicate orchid or something and then did this bit where she bites her lower lip, like it was so precious and sacred, as if covering it would stop me from stealing it or it being lost. Idiot.

It was when she pulled out the vape equipment was when I lost it. I wanted to slap this thing right off her stupid Texan face.

We finally got the bill which she took complete control over and just took the money I offered and slipped it in her wallet. It cost me $15 for a soda water and a dish of fries.

I offered to walk home as it was just around the corner but she said she needed to find a grocery store and needed help. I couldn’t say no, could I? Even though I was close to tears at this point.

We got to the store, her still chewing my ear. During the evening she told me about four times she was “So independent” It felt more like a mantra rather than anything she believed. I didn’t believe it.

When we finally pulled up outside my building, I was so happy to have this nightmare over with. My head was spinning from her nonstop blathering about herself and how wonderful she was.

I’d lost track about half an hour in to our ‘date’. It was clear to me that regardless of the situation, she would be the only interesting person in the conversation, I didn’t even try. At one point I did managed to slide in that I had been a stand up comic and she immediately wanted to hear a joke, but she wanted a street joke, not a bit I had written.  I tried to explain it didn’t work that way and she just stared at me until I told her one. She didn’t laugh.

As I was getting out of the car she she asked me my name.

I told her, she repeated it back tome.

Wrong.

Twice.

There was no second date.

 

Renewal

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These little sprigs of greenery all propped up and protected show up all over the place. I love them. Not the greenery so much as the loving and thorough effort. In the area I first lived when I moved here, there was a little triangle of grass, not really a park or parkette, but just a grassy bit that separates the streets.  I would often see these kind of beginnings and then they might be gone.

Sometime I go past one that has been knocked over or removed. Not sure if its wanton destruction or it just wasn’t making it. I just find them to be achingly beautiful in their simplicity. The effort, the sticks and rocks. Renewal.

I’ve been feeling the need for renewal lately. It started several months ago, back with the move. I think it’s important to keep moving ahead, keep peeling off layers. Several months ago I was chatting online with my friend. he was housebound and we had been chatting a fair amount, but when he talked, I listened. When it was my turn to talk, I could see two things: Him drift off to another computer screen and me disappear.

I wasn’t really upset with him, just the act. The truth is, no one is talking to me because they don’t want to ‘hear it’. I wrote the same thing some time ago, about how my friends were avoiding talking to me because they compare their lives to mine. That’s a mistake.

I posted some pictures of a walk I took the there day through a glorious park not far from me. It’s one of those forest escapes in the city that are so soul-saving. I did a ‘selfie’ and posted it and one of my friends said she envied me. I thought that was nice, because I see her posts and think the same. But we shouldn’t wish our lives away.

 

But here’s something we should do.

 

Renewal.

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Big Worries In Little Town

We all worry and stress over things in our lives that, quite frankly, mostly turn out fine and then are soon forgotten.

Mine have been financial of late, as are many people’s. Most people, whether they have money or not, worry about it. Even when I had it I worried about it, so I guess it’s just something I do.

In fact I was stressing so hard about all this crap I made myself sick. So sick I just had to come out the other side of it all. The problem hasn’t gone away, but I refuse to let it consume me any longer.  I’ve reached out, and some are reaching back.

Some have offered advice, which just kills me. How arrogant that they know my situation better than I. I know they mean well, but come on!

Anyhow, yesterday as I was doing a lap through my Facebook feed, this popped up.

Sign

I can’t even tell you how much pleasure this gave me. A family member posted it, it’s a new three-way (make your own joke) sign in my home town. The population might be around 1000. Or 67, I don’t know. The picture caused quite the discussion, around 40 comments last time I checked.

Puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? As you see from the surrounding area it was likely put up just in time, all that traffic confusion and near mayhem.

I’m not being disparaging, if they think it’s important, it is. Just like my shit storm of the day. I have to say this cheered me greatly and it’s always nice to get a glimpse of home.

Happy Homecoming!

One Year of Love!

chanceis

Cute

Can it really be a year ago? Yes. A year ago today, my friend drove all the way across the island to deliver this sweet little tuxedo three-legged beauty. He still seems so new, although Jango has been with me almost 12 years and I still marvel that I get to have such an amazing furry friend.

Chance has come along way in the past year. I remember his first day here and he was up on my lap. I gave him a little scratch on the sweet spot at the base of his tail, the ‘tramp stamp’ stop and he completely freaked out! Now he lets me do it and loves it.

He tries to scratch himself with the missing leg, so when I notice him do it, I go give him the full, two-hander kitty scratching. He seems to come and do it in front of me now…

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Too Heavy

 

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I was walking home with groceries this morning, heavy ones and in my mind I said, ‘My life is too heavy’.  Then I tried really hard not to cry.

Truth is life has been very heavy lately. I’ll try not to make this all ‘sitting in the garden eating worms’ but sometimes a little self-mewling is in order. It’s financial, isn’t it. I’m out of money in a country I can’t legally work in and don’t speak the language and likely won’t learn much Spanish because statistically, being over forty greatly reduces that as a reality and as I’m over fifty I’d be happy to remember the grocery list I wrote ten minutes for I left for the store without it.

But it gets you down. Last month I had to borrow two hundred pesos from my only friend here, (Nobody likes me, everybody hates me… sing along if you know it) just to have water for the week. I actually went several weeks without cash, in the bank and on hand. I had spent the very last of it, the bits I’d been hoarding on cat food and litter. I also had to carry it home, which was brutal.

I’m looking online for work, really my only option, but it’s bits and pieces. I use several websites but recently had a falling out with one of them. I got offered a job, and the pay was good, very good, in fact. Not just for this website, but in general. The guy wanted to chat through Skype, but only instant messages, never laid eyes on him.

He came across as a bit of a prick but I persevered. I got the first assignment, finished and set it to him thought the website where he hired me. It was a job writing articles and for those of you who have done or are doing it now, it’s horrendous. Mostly, I want to punch my own spleen out. The job was up to five articles a day, finish it, do the next one.

I never heard from after  the first one and then the next day saw him on Skype and asked what was going on. He immediately started in on me about how I was way too late and he didn’t work like that and blah blah shut the fuck blah.

I pointed out I had sent the article within an hour of getting it the day before and if he would kindly stop swing his cock about and maybe put it back in his purse he would see said article in his account inbox.

He said we both had a bit of a misunderstanding (he) but we soldiered on. I did a few of more articles, some were fine, a few of them just a nightmare, but I got through them. I was sending them to him through Skype but also through his account on the actual site, and using their system of tracking my hours. The last one I sent wouldn’t go in to his account and when I checked it, it said it had been closed.

Super.

I contacted their ‘chat’ customer service do-ma-jiggy, to find out what’s going on. It’s at this point I’ll mention that;

a) I’ve had wretched service on this particular site before

b) I’m fucking mad

c) there is no alcohol in my house

I live in a third world, or developing country and customer service here is ghastly but still makes theirs seem like silver service.

This twat I’m talking to immediately started blaming me and telling me I was at fault and then things just got all white and hot and it spiraled in to several ‘fuck yous’ (mine) and then I got an OFFICIAL FIRST AND FINAL WARNING and I asked her to poke that up one of her smelly hairy holes as well and then they took the whole five dollars out of my account. I mean, really.

To top it off, because that’s not enough, they sent me an electronic invoice, just to show me the money I could presumably poke up one of my smelly holes.

I started to walk/run in the early mornings. I started a few months ago. It’s mostly really nice, somewhat quiet, not too much traffic, I see the ocean and other walkers/runners and beautiful scenery but also rats and dead animals and garbage and that is really hard to take.  Mostly the dead animals.

My body is getting lighter.  My life is getting heavier.