Trailer Park Nirvana image created by Stefany Kleeschulte.

Monday, January 23, 2012

How to Ruin My Day

Gabrielle Giffords. photo from
Is this typical (see below) of the emails conservative haters send each other?

I work extremely hard at staying out of political discussions with people I won't agree with. So I was truly depressed - and then enraged - to receive this forwarded email from an acquaintance. Did she seriously think I would agree with the sentiments and pass it on? Surely she knows me better than that. The vitriol and plain old inhumane consideration for fellow human beings expressed by this writer depresses the shit out of me.

The simplicity and narrow-mindedness of this person's comments lead me to believe that it was, indeed, written by a 21-year-old. Someone who can't (or won't) delve a little deeper into issues and who hasn't had enough life experience to give her a clearer outlook. I wish she would talk to people who recognize that the poor in the U.S. are not the problem. Does she not know anything about PACs and the 1% and hypocrites who claim to demand a certain set of social mores from others but they have no such standards for their own behaviors?

To the person who wrote this: I hope nothing bad ever befalls you. I hope you don't lose your home, your job, or your legs in an automobile accident. May you never need a helping hand be it from a church, family member or government social service agency. May you never get old and have to rely on social security benefits because all your life's savings went up in flames due to crooked investment brokers. May you marry the perfect man who never cheats on you or dumps you for a younger woman while you struggle to care for small children. May your life be peachy keen and perfect. May you never make a mistake. May you never be forced to think for yourself or look for true meaning beyond soundbites. May you die a horrible death you selfish bigot. (oops. I told you this email made me cranky.)

This was written by a 21 yr old female who gets it.  It's her future 
she's worried about and this is how she feels about the social welfare big
government state that she's being forced to live in!  These solutions are
just common sense in her opinion.

This was in the Waco Tribune Herald, Waco, TX, Nov 18, 2011


Put me in charge of food stamps. I'd get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash
for Ding Dongs or Ho Ho's, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans,
blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want
steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.

Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I'd do is to get women
Norplant birth control implants or tubal legations. Then, we'll test
recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. If you want to reproduce or use
drugs, alcohol, or smoke, then get a job.

Put me in charge of government housing.  Ever live in a military barracks?
You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair. 
Your "home" will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be
inventoried.  If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your
own place.

In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week 
or you will report to a "government" job.  It may be cleaning the roadways
of trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you.  We
will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo
and speakers and put that money toward the "common good.."

Before you write that I've violated someone's rights, realize that all  of
the above is voluntary.  If you want our money, accept our rules.  Before you
say that this would be "demeaning" and ruin their "self esteem," consider
that it wasn't that long ago that taking someone else's money for doing
absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.

If we are expected to pay for other people's mistakes we should at 
least attempt to make them learn from their bad choices.  The current system
rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.

AND While you are on Gov't subsistence, you no longer can VOTE!  Yes, 
that is correct.  For you to vote would be a conflict of interest.  You will
voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a Gov't
welfare check.  If you want to vote, then get a job.

Now, if you have the guts - PASS IT ON...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Raining Cats and Dogs

This guy is huge. Notice how he takes up the whole seat in the chair. He's pretty, too, in spite of the scarred nose and missing ear pieces.

He showed up a couple months ago, at night. I thought he was an apparition because one minute he was there, the next gone. Gone for a week before I saw him again.

Well-fed, friendly, this is no feral cat. But where does he live? Is he Mexicano or Americano? I've tried speaking to him in Spanish and in English. He responds to both - he answers, talks constantly.

I don't mind feeding him, having him around, but I'd heard him fighting with Blue, the park cat who's been abandoned by - hm, let's see, how many people? Three. So by default, she's mine. And she's huge too. This is the only photo I've been able to snap of her, under my trailer step, although she's not shy; I'm just too slow with the camera.

But somewhere along the line Blue and the Big Cat worked things out. I was on the porch with Blue when BC came meowing around the trailer. Blue walked up to him and kissed him! The next time they saw each other, she did it again.

Big Cat isn't as nicely groomed as he was when he first showed up. His fur is a little more matted and I can feel bites or fleas or ticks or something along his back. I wonder if he's been recently abandoned. Maybe he and Blue bonded over their shared experience.

One day I went outside because I'd heard a kitten meowing. It was trapped on the roof of the bodega, looking down at me between the roof slats. Jesus, so now cats are falling from the sky? I got Manny to help get the kitten down. Like the Big Cat, the kitten was friendly and well cared for - clear eyes, pretty fur. But no way I could feed three cats so I did the worst thing I could've done: I gave him to a Mexican family. I knew their daughter would like the kitten but I knew, too, that they couldn't afford to feed a cat. They live in a house with no doors and with dirt floors. They wanted a mouser. I'm afraid they think the kitten can live on mice alone. The dilemma: do I give them a bag of food now and then? Or do I leave that kitten to his fate? At least they live way out on the edge of town where he won't be battling dogs and cars.

Recently two puppies were dropped over the trailer park wall. That happens a lot here. People know that Americanos are suckers for taking in strays. Sure enough, the people who found the puppy are keeping her, taking her to the U.S. when they go. She's one lucky dog.

The morning after my birthday I was driving home from Casa Blanca where I'd gone to breakfast with friends, hoping grease would be the cure for my hangover. A dog ran across the road. It looked very strange. What the hell....? Finally we could see that the poor thing had his head stuck inside a plastic bottle. Must've been licking out the remnants of whatever was in there. I didn't stop - the breakfast eggs, potatoes and bacon were rebelling against the previous night's tequila.

A dog's life in Mexico sucks. That's why so many expats start shelters or spay and neuter clinics - those procedures are outrageously expensive here, more than in the U.S. so it's no wonder people can't afford to get them done.

If Big Cat starts hanging out at my trailer on a regular basis, I may try to find a home for him only this time with a gringo, someone who lives in Kino or who will take him to a better life in El Norte. On the other hand, as long as he behaves himself, he can stay here. I think Blue likes having a friend.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Repeat Boost Repeat

Mmmmm. Picture this.

A warm January night. The water so calm and flat, the moon lays down a strip of white across the sea’s surface. Stars hang from palm trees like remnants of Christmas decorations.

A woman lies in bed between hotel-soft white linens, the bedroom window is open.

There is music so clear, so close it could be coming from her own room. Musica Romantica. Songs about longing, gifts, tears, hearts, doves and beauty.

Suddenly the cd skips and a car tears out from the road leading to the beach.

Ah, Mexico. You make me smile.

I’ve been sick since New Years Day – sore throat, congestion, cough, all the usual suspects. The worst part, however, has been trying to maneuver through the days while suffering a Benadryl hangover, a NyQuil zombie state.

While waiting to go out on New Year’s Eve I did a little channel surfing and one scene caused me to stop. A man and a boy stood staring at a deer. The boy and the deer looked deep into each other’s eyes. It was a lovely scene. Then a shot rang out and the deer was killed, the bullet going through her to the boy.

I clicked on the guide button to see what I was watching. “The Walking Dead” on AMC, a New Year’s Eve marathon. I was so caught up in the program I could’ve cancelled my night out and as soon as I got home, hours later, I switched on the t.v. and caught the last few minutes of the season finale which had to be some of the best television I’ve ever seen. It was so emotionally tense and sad and moving. Yes, all that in a series about zombies.

Because I live in Mexico I can’t go to AMC and catch up on the series. I can’t watch them on Hulu. I’ve tried all kinds of “hide your IP address” sites but none of them work. Finally I found a site where I can watch all the Walking Deads I want but the wifi signal has been so slow here, it’s downright painful, all that buffering.

Just yesterday a couple from Canada pulled in and they have a wifi booster/repeater. A full five bars, baby! So it looks like I can catch up on The Walking Dead.

During my own zombie days I missed the departure of the woman whose husband died. I would’ve liked to have said good-bye to her. She seemed so calm and stoic in the aftermath of her husband’s death. I was truly impressed. She’s hoping to continue coming back, either in a smaller rig, one she can drive, or with her kids, or just drive down and stay in one of the casitas.

They (park consensus) agreed it would be better for her to return to the States after the holidays to avoid a long wait at the border, which at this time of year could be 5 to 7 hours. So she stayed here throughout the holidays, away from family, which must’ve been one of the worst things she’s endured. But what do I know. Maybe she’s suffered something more horrible like the death of a child. Like I said, that woman was stoic, serene. If she cried – and I’m sure she did – she did it in the privacy of her own home.

This is how things work in a trailer park, in an expat community. She’s never driven that 40-foot rig so a man here offered to drive her up to Tucson. Turns out, another guy was going up to pick up his wife so they timed it so that the rig driver could return with the guy picking up his wife.

In a way, it’s as though people who have lived in Mexico for a while have learned to live like Mexicans. Everything comes together if you don’t force the issue. Events fall into place. Someone moves into the park with a wifi repeater for five days and for five days you can catch up on zombie shows.