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Cat Update

chanceis

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I just got a notice on facebook telling me that it’s been donkey’s years since my peeps have heard from us, so I’ll pop in for a quick hello and an update from the boys.

Jango and I just celebrated 12 years together so that was very cool. There was tuna. He’s such a good boy and happy and loving, I’m very pleased he is on this adventure in life with me.

Chance is the same old chance-taking loving cat. He is so in love with us. This past week he has been sleeping right beside my head. Do your cats do that? He doesn’t always, he goes through cycles, but the other morning I woke up with his foot and poo-hole in my face.

I don’t mind.

He cries when I leave and I can hear him from the street. I tease him mercilessly when I get back; “Chancie…

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Comma, Bitch.

As all my money has dwindled away, I have been looking for work online. Living where I do, with regular power outages, it’s difficult to commit to anything where I need to be online for certain scheduled times every day. The best solution is writing.

I have been to college a few times, so I understand writing essays, reports, detailed assignments and whatever else that entails. I’ve also taken several writing courses, mostly ‘creative writing’, all of which I enjoyed and a few I actually found helpful.

Writing for sites online is a different thing all together. When I first started I had no idea what I was doing but after a few tried, managed to get the hang of it. I had merely did an online for ‘working online’ and found a few sites that we free to join. These sites are set up for all interested parties to bid on projects and then you just wait and hope for the best.

I made a few mistakes along the way, the biggest was allowing the person wanting to hire me to contact me outside the site. The sites I was using – one I still am using- have their own pay system. This is because they take a percentage for the usage of the site.  I didn’t  understand that this wasn’t allowed, and the first few times I did it, it worked out fine. I got the money in my PayPal account

There was one person who hired me and wanted to contact through Skype. I did, and the first article I wrote, I sent through the freelance site. He actually ‘yelled’ at me, by yelled I mean he was furious that I was late and that ‘he didn’t work this way …’. I explained I sent the article, did he not check the messages?

I should have just cut my losses and went back to the site, but I didn’t know. Plus, they were offering a far higher wage than most, so I didn’t want to just throw it away. We carried on for a solid week, then I started to ask about money. He said he would pay the middle and end of the month.

I said that was fine, but as I had already done quite a bit of work, would he consider just paying for what he had received. He wouldn’t. He also kept sending me work. I said I would do it once I was paid.

Another aspect I found fishy was there was always someone there online on the Skype. Always. Sometimes the messages were very clear, sometimes they were clearly from someone who was not native English. I didn’t get paid and ended up having a big falling out with the freelance company. They also bawled me out and said I still owned them their take. What?

Last week I was accepted on a job from a woman who paid well and seemed to even have a sense of humour. I was wrong. I did an example writing, which she paid me for and then she critiqued it to the bone. She had a real thing about commas. She sent me a message back that frankly was all commas. It made me itch just reading it. She was really upset about double spaces between sentences and a long list of other things.

When she sent me the next assignment I told her to poke it up her ass, which she promptly did. The contract was ended and the payment made and then she had the gall to demand a review.  I gave her a review.

 

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

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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.