Tuesday, June 30, 2009



I placed my order for a landline 21 days ago. I sent the money order, the utility bill and the application form 12 days ago. I pick up my phone daily to see if there is a dialtone yet. I call ATT every few days to see what's the latest.

Let me tell you about how I'm surviving with no phone. I made a few extra bucks in June which allowed me to put some time on my trac phone. I spent about 120 dollars on my trac, and I've spent about 15 dollars at pay phones. You ask: "Elana, I didn't know there were anymore working pay phones in the U.S.!"

Well, let me tell you I've got the real scoop on pay phones. My eye is now trained, every where I go to ask for and look for pay phones. The on in front of the Wal-Mart has a dialtone and costs .50 for 15 minutes then it hangs up one you. That's just for local calls. The pay phone in the back of the Wal Mart (indoors!) has a bench next to it. That's a victory. Or so I thought. I picked up the handpiece and there was no dial tone. I went to the outside phone in front of the Wal Mart to call the 1800 # to order repair on the indoor phone. After 3 tries, I finally reached an operator who said "Oh, hasn't that phone been pulled out yet? They were supposed to have pulled that out! I'll get on that!"

The receptionist for a chiropractor said that the closest pay phone is probably at the gas station. I would discover a week later that there is a pay phone right out in front of the chiro office that she didn't know existed. It's green with decay, and the bees burrowed holes in the plastic part that says "phone" It's filthy dirty gross. I also check to see if it has a incoming # written on it, so that maybe in theory I can call my friend long distance, pull up my lawn chair and have him call me back. So complicated. The incoming # is written in invisible ink just like at the outdoor walmart phone. I try to read it anyway. Thus far I haven't actually used that phone.

I can't stand for real long periods so yesterday I drove the 13 miles to my bank, so I can use their free sit down phone. But I"m paranoid, I fear someone will come over and ask me to leave. The jcc has a free phone on park heights ave but even though no body else uses it, 3 people gave me dirty looks for using it and one came over and asked me to wrap it up.

My neighbor claims I can use his phone, but I think he might be jealous that I call my male friend, so now he acts punitive about it "I better make it fast" so I don't use his phone anymore.


I called them yesterday and 2 days before that. Yesterday I spent about 45 min. on the phone and it was a complete waste. Both Amanda and Annie said it would be at least another 3 week wait. I asked for their supervisors and they went away, put me on hold and didn't come back forever. The one who did finally come back said she can't find a supervisor. I said, well I'll need the email address for the manager and the president. I don't have that she says. I tell her: YOur company has a service called lifeline whereyou pretend to care about people who live alone or are sick, and you're making me wait 6 weeks or more?

"So, sorry maam, I know exactly how you feel" (they're trained to say this) but they don't do shit.

I hung up on her, and I am currently exactly nowhere.

I could complain to the better business bureau?
call legal aide?
go with another company?


Saturday, June 27, 2009

"A Name for my new home"

You recall that my last apt. complex I referred to as "La Pew" Well, I've been "busting butt!" to try to come up with a catchy name for my current complex. It sits on 5 wooded acres, with 7 bldgs. There are many beautiful pine trees.

I thought about the neighbor who stole my rx. and my other 80 year old male neighbor whose twisted idea of fun is that

"Mildred wears a colostomy bag" and Zelda wears skirts with no slips.

Keeping this in mind, I'd like to announce the name of my new apts. complex......................


"What I'm Reading"

Remember "A Child Called It?" by David Pelzer? I was afraid to read it when it came out, and still haven't but did check it out of the library today. Yesterday, in less than 24 hours I read Dave's brother Richard's memoir entitled: "A BROTHER'S JOURNEY"

Even though my adoptive parents did not deprive me of food, clothing, baths, and did not give me severe beatings, I felt a strong kinship with Richard. Richard's mother's mental illness and general style of parenting was extremely similar to my own mother. For example Mrs. Pelzer would give Richard a difficult chore to do without clear instructions. After he completed the chore with perfection she might say "You stupid bastard you did it all wrong, go do it again" R. described his mother as using Nazi like techniques so similar to Helen's technique. I remember being a few minutes late coming home from a friend's house as a 9 year old and my mother walking down the street to come and get me......................


Richard wondered whether his brother david (who lived next to the washing machine in the basement) had any positive memories of his parents at all. I have zero positive memories of Helen. Like Mrs. Pelzer, Helen played Mrs. Cleaver while out in public, but in the house the general attitude was: "Leave me the hell alone, can't you see I'm watching t.v.?!"

I could go on and on about feelings I had as a child that were similar to Richard. In R's book he does something that I've done thruout my journals for 20 years. He says stuff like:

And when I got "home"

Mother's idea of "family" is:

I usually put home and family in quotes in my journals. I can't wait to read "A Child Called It"

Although "A Brother's Journey" was a great read, there was one huge dissapointment at the end of the book. He doesn't tell you what happened in his life after the age of 15, and whether he ever got to see his 2 brothers again, nor does he mention the outcome of his relationship with his mother...................................................

"I Miss My Music C.D.'s"

A few months after moving into La Pew, in '05/'06 I had to put all of my c.d.'s in storage. That was the saddest thing for me to part with. But I knew it was too risky keeping "valuables" like that in the apt. Most of my c.d's are unsigned artists who at some point I got to meet face to face.

Yesterday, for the first time in my whole life, I checked c.d's out of the library. I haven't had an opportunity to listen to all of them yet, but out of the ones I've gotten as taste of, I'll tell you here what I thought about them.

"The Wiz" (I've never actually seen this musical and was only familiar with a couple of tunes like "ease on down the road"

I didn't listen to the entire 2 c.d. package but out of the ones I heard there were a few I just loved and some that I wasn't so excited about. I just loved "lubricate me!" by the tin man!

"Rush" in Rio (I haven't listened to it yet, but they are one of my favorite groups out of the few hundred favorite groups that I have)

"Carly Simon" "Moonlight Serenade" (Haven't heard it yet, but carly's always been one of my faves)

"Steve Miller Band" "Young Hearts" (haven't heard it yet, but Miller band is one of my faves)

"India Arie" "Testimony Volume 1-Life and Relationship" Listened to the entire album. I had her a few of India's tunes on the radio and just fell in love with her. I feel she's a wonderful, wonderful role model especially for African American women. The sultry voice and the spiritual lyrics are filled with wisdom that is far beyond India's years. I don't know her actual age, but one of the songs she wrote at 29, she spoke of everything she's learned. Some of the ideas I recall from her songs were:

"I've learned to love myself and not wait for external validation"
"It don't cost nothing to smile, you don't have to pay to laugh"

She spoke of a blind man she met in Brazil who could see the light brighter than anyone she had ever met. He felt joy and peace with his life and was happiest when making music.

"ALABAMA" "16 bIGGEST HITS" This c.d. is remarkable. I'm very moved by ALABAMA'S music and always have been. I'd give this c.d. a 10 on a scale from 1-5, 5 being the highest!


wow! Heaps of my faves from childhood.....................I also give this c.d. the thumbs up!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"Sing Along With Sam!"

What shall Elana do for her birthday?! Why, sing along with sam, of course. The advertisement here at the library stated that one needs to be AT LEAST 3 YEARS OLD! to attend! I think I'll pass for at least 3. Turns out that many newborns snuck in!

Sing along with Sam is a brief live music interactive show for kids. About 100 people showed up! That's one of the biggest turn outs I've ever seen for a library event anywhere.

"Good morning boys and girls." "I love to sing (he plays guitar too) but singing alone makes me feel lonely. I'd like to know if you'd help me out?!"

YEAH! the kids shouted.

"I didn't hear you! Can you say that louder?!"


"I'm going to draw a picture, and I'd like you to tell me what it is!" He draws what looks like eyes, or maybe even women's breasts! I think it's best not to yell "WOMEN'S BREASTS!" A child yells EYES!

Sam keeps drawing. It's beginning to come together for us. I realize it's a bus. Oh, I think: the first song we're going to sing is "The wheels on the bus!"

IT'S A BUS!" a kid yells.

All together now!

the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round the wheels on the bus go round and round all thru the town!

what else does a bus have? sam asks.

WIPERS! i shout.














WITH A MOO MOO HERE AND A ................................................



I said

I quickly realize that i don't know what sound a platypus makes, so that idea quickly gets filed away

well you get the idea

we also sang


the eensy weensy spider

head shoulders knees and toes

if you're happy and you know it


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"On Meeting Sharon"

Last Monday, I met a 64 year old woman named "Sharon" in a cafe that I thought might make a great friend. When she told me she was 64, I responded:

"I'm the inverse of 64, I'm, 46!

" She liked that. When I bumped into her the other day as well, she said, I was telling my friend that you are the inverse of my age, and I thought that was neat"

I replied: "Yup, and I'll be 46 on weds. june 24th!




"Michael Moore and I"

I often think about all the different modicums I could use to record my story. If I had the means I'd buy a computer and a video recorder and I'd make a video diary. I'd also buy one of those tiny little recording devices so I can talk into it through out the day, this having another option besides writing in my journal. I've often dreamt about just going thru each days with a video camera (like michael moore did, i think it was in "bowling for columbine") to document all the crazy unbelievable stuff I face each day. I remember how badly I wanted to take a video camera onto those baltimore buses, so you guys can see what it's like. But I knew that might get me shot, so i decided against it even if i did have the means.

Remember, when Moore was trying to track down some big wig, (perhaps I'm getting his different documentaries mixed up) and he video taped all this ridiculous stuff he had to go thru before he found the person. Remember he finally shows up at that star's door, some movie actor, and questions the man in his own home about his position on gun control. This is the only time I can recall seeing a documentary that so closely resembles my own day to day life. Battle after battle after battle. Gross incompetence on every level.

Tomorrow, or the next day, I'll give you the update on my stolen rx. and what I had to go thru to get it replaced!

'Still waiting on that landline"

In a sense I've been without a phone for about 5.5 weeks. Because Jack didn't have a landline, (the elderly man in Mt. Washington) so the only way I could make calls was to go back to La Pew.

Well, here's the latest. I got that money order, then read the application that att sent. Nearly incoherent. I read it over and over and it didn't make sense to me. You know how a form asks you to check a,b, or c? And the only applicable answer is D! So you end up writing in an extra option on the form for yourself. So, I filled it out but I really didn't know if I did it right or not. On this form which was a few pages long, I glanced at the part that said they needed copies of my i.d. O.K. so now I guess I have to drive the 3 miles to the library for 2 copies because the management office is closed.

Go the the library, glance one more time to see which 2 forms of i.d. att wants me to photocopy. HOLY SHIT I say to myself, they want a photocopy of my lease! I can't do that until the manager comes back into work. So, the next day I have her photocopy my lease. O.K. let's do one last check here before I seal the envelope. Do I have everything?

I read the form again. "ATT needs a NOTARIZED copy of your lease!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OH #$%*! i THINK!


How can I give them a utility bill for an apt. I just moved into? Frickin' morons. The form goes on to say:

WRITE YOUR PHONE # IN THIS SPACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The form goes on to say, or you can send us your bank statement with your current address on it. I walk to my mailbox to see if my bank statement has arrived yet. It has not, but there is a new utility bill in my mailbox.

The form stresses that I am not to send an original form. But, if I don't then I have to waste yet another day finding a photocopier to photocopy the utility bill!

I put the utility bill the application form, the money order in the envelope and seal it. Hmm. I think. Today is Friday, it will go out with sat. morning's mail and they'll get the money order by monday the 22nd, or tues, the 23rd, and I'll have my phone!

I go to wal mart on Tuesday the 23rd to use the only pay phone in town that doesn't have 25 years worth of dirt, rust, and dead bugs on it. I call the 1-800# for a.t.t.










No, I'm calling to check on an existing order.


12345 i SAY


no, i said 12345.

rick -I'm sorry, you're cutting out a bit.

Well, of course I am you doofus (i think it i don't say it) because you haven't given me a phone!

Rick-what's your first name?

elana, i respond

Rick_ Is that spelled alaina

no, it's spelled elana


e-snyder, i say.



I'm showing here ms. snyder that we have not received your money order. It's going to take 7 to 10 business days to get you a phone?





ELANA-THAT'S RIGHT, TOMORROW..................................................................

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Now THAT'S Hard to Believe!"

Last night around 11 p.m. I discovered one of my medicine bottles was missing! I spent about 2 hours looking for it, which is a bit much given that I only have 2 rooms and a kitchen. I was up all night worrying about this and creating theories on who it is, how they got in etcetera. The only people who come and go from the complex that don't live here are the kids of the old folks. There's one suspected drug dealer, but I have no reason to believe he broke in.

There's even a chance that one of my neighbors might have taken it when he was in my place for 10 minutes, but with me present.

Today I noticed that my doorknob is somewhat crushed, damaged. Yet, the deadbolt shows no signs of having been tampered with. I've been hiding one of my meds all along but not this particular one because I don't know that it has any street value. So, I'm probably still heaps safer than I was at La Pew; but this does change things. I guess I'll have to make a police report tonight.

In the meantime I can't get a refill because the thief stole the last 7 days worth, therefore I'm not due to get a refill for another week..................................................

I will also report the burglary to management. I haven't noticed anything else missing, and I just hope that I don't have to totally stop acquiring things like I did at La Pew. I'd really like to get a computer for example and maybe a t.v. at some point!

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Yes, that's right folks. My ex brother in law made front page news again! As far as I'm concerned, that's a sign that I'm supposed to share excerpts of the article with you here on my blog. I was common law married, but he's my ex brother in law none the less. Common laws vary from state to state and country to country but the general idea is that the state recognizes a couple as married if they have lived together for x number of years.

Here's the article

News Writers in the News

Columnist, filmmaker, and college professor j.s. won an Emmy for his half hour documentar, "Eatin' Crabs: Chesapeake Style" which premiered on Maryland Public Telelvision in 4,08. S. wrote, produced and edited the high energy travelogue, which visits a number of the region's best known crab houses and seafood restaurants. Fellow producer & director J.K. of D.C. also took home a statue for the show.

J.S. received his award at the 51st National Capital Emmy ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in D.C. in front of a black tie audience of more than 300 industry-insiders, nominees, and their guests. This was j.s.'s 5h Emmy for his work in documentary and children's programming.

In May, j.s. was also invited to moderate a panel discussion of internation filmmakers at the MD Film Festival called "Making a Film on a Shoestring Budget. At the coolege where j.s. is the coordinator of the school's film and video minor, he was recently granted tenure by the Board of Trustees and promoted to Associate Professor of Communication.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I called my Baltimore phone service provider about 2 weeks ago to let them know that I'm moving to Carroll county. "We don't serve Carroll County" they told me. So, I disconnected my phone 10 days ago.

I did an internet search to try to figure out who does offer landlines. But of course I don't have a phone in which to make these calls. One of my neighbors let me use his phone 9 days ago to make inquiries. ATT serves my area, but they need a security deposit since my credit score is low. "I'll just pay you with credit card over the phone"

ATT-"We don't accept credit cards" "We'll mail you an application and you can send the money order with the application"

Will I pass the application I wonder?

"You don't take checks?"

ATT-"No, we don't"

In the meantime the trac phones costs .33 a minute. ATT sent the application but the manager of my bldg. doesn't have a working mailbox key for me. She said that I should make a trip to the post office and ask them to come out and change the lock and give me a key. I did that last Weds. The clerk said "We'll send someone on 6/16 which is a Tuesday" So, I've been in my new place for 10 days and I can't even check my mail. Today, 6/17 I drive to the post office and ask again when they can come to change the lock.

Agnes (the clerk) "I don't know because the postmaster was off yesterday and is off today and I don't know what time the mail carrier will come to your apt. complex."

E-"I'd like to speak to a manager"

Agnes: "The manager is off today would you like me to get Sam to help you?"


About 7 minutes later a supe. emerges. I tell him my problem. He offers to come today. He says he'll HANG THE NEW KEY ON THE OUTSIDE OF MY DOORKNOB IF THAT'S O.K.?!

(I think it's kind of cool that crime is so low that they wouldn't even think twice about hanging my key in a public place like that!) Instead, I said "I'll make sure to be there"

So, he comes out, I get the application. I begin my god awful search for a money order. I don't carry cash since Baltimore is so dangerous and I'm not accustomed to carrying cash. So, I go to the liquor store.

E-"Do you sell money orders?"

No we don't the liquorman said.

You can go to (oh i like this italic thing) the grocery store though.

I go to the grocery store for my money order. I pay for it with my credit/debit card.

clerk-"Oh no, we don't accept debit credit cards for money orders, cash only"

So, I need a 50 dollar money order and I'm sure that won't be free. My change is in the car I have none in my pocket.

Where is there an atm I ask?

"Over there" the clerk says.

I go to the atm and the machine says that it "can't find the routing # for my bank"

There is a bank in the grocery store, I tell them I need 55 dollars. They can't do it since they aren't my bank. They suggest I make a purchase and get the cash that way. But can one get more than 50 in cash back? I'd need 50.69.

I go thru the line I buy water and candy. I tell the girl I need 55. "We can only do 50 at a time"

E-"What do you recommend I do then?"

"Buy the candy and the water get 50 back, then buy gum and get 10 back.

Well, the cash back thing doesn't take and it says it's going to give me 500 instead of 50! Of course I hit cancel. She said "too late, i can't help you now, because I can't reverse the transaction"

Well, I'm not leaving the store without my money order I declared. "You can go over to customer service maybe they can help you"

E-"Why don't you send customer service here?"

He comes over and says he can't help me either and i tell him I'm not taking no for an answer. This whole thing must have taken 40 minutes. He finally sells me the money order and I ask him where my signaturee goes. He says that you don't sign it at all. I tell him "that can't be right" He goes and asks 2 others employees and they don't know where I'm supposed to put my signature.

I go over to the grocery store bank and I ask 3 tellers. They don't know either. I said "You're a teller, and you don't know how a money order works?" they take it over to their supervisor and she agrees with me, I'm definitely supposed to sign it...........................................

So, this is pretty much how every day goes. I spend entire days fighting these kinds of battles, yet, I'd still have to say that quality of life is reams higher here than in bodymore, murderland.

(I didn't make that saying up but I like it!)

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Don't think about pink elephants"


You know how it is when you are trying not to think about a particular topic. In my case, I now live near a sign that declares "Manchester" This makes me think about my ex husband because that's where he grew up. And I really regret that the break up happened. But how am I supposed to not think about him when I see that sign every day!

Now here's a real twist for you. I've picked up the Carroll County Times twice since I've lived here. Now whose featured in the paper today but my ex's brother, Mark. Apparently Mark has won 5 emmys for his award winning film making skills!

Don't think about



How should a country girl spend her first full sunday in carroll county?! Why at the fiddler's convention of course! I'm roaming around this amazing property "the carroll county farm museum" I've been coming here since roughly '81.

Today there is a bluegrass contest. Of course , since I'm not competitive, I'm here for the music and I don't really care who wins.

There is a 9 year old girl who is part of a clogging team. She looks identical to what I looked like at 9, except that her hair isn't curly and her eyes are hazel. Clogging brings her great joy and even though there are about 20 other cloggers she might as well be the only one, as I couldn't take my eyes off of her. I told her afterwards how much fun it was to watch her and I noticed that she was wearing a necklace that is identical to earrings I used to own.

So, I'm wandering around, attending some formal performances but I "reckon" my favorite part of the day was just sitting in with the informal jams and joining in with harmonies when I felt welcome too. Some groups didn't even notice I was there, and some did.

One group of 3 male fiddlers are doing a song called : "I'll fly away" I remember this song from when I was a christian. I find a nice harmony with Andy. Initially I didn't realize that he was talking to me when he said TAKE IT AWAY! I also sang with them on (I think it's a Johnny Cash song) "Ring of Fire" I turned on my best country twang, and apparently andy loved it. I thanked them and then walked away and did other stuff. We ran into each other later and he asked: "You must be a teacher. Piano background, right?!"

"Wow" I thought. I was impressed that he could tell that. "I said, well how did you know I was trained as a teacher?"

"Because your diction is perfect!" "Gimme a call, and I'll drive to carroll county and we'll jam together!"

I never envisioned myself in a bluegrass or old timey band, but I reckon any kind of singing would be a positive thing!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

"I'd say the glass is half full"

Well, I have no landline, my cell costs .33 a minute, I have no safe car to drive til Tuesday, I have no t.v. My toilet overflowed last night and flooded my bathroom part of my hallway and a little bit of my bedroom. The noise from the road makes to tough to sleep..............................

But the glass is 1/2 full because I just love C.County. I'm comfortable in public places I'm comfortable going shopping, etc. To say that Baltimore is the wrong fit for my personality is the understatement of the year.

The reason I don't have a landline yet is because since my credit score is low ATT wants a security deposit. I offered to pay it by debit/credit card over the phone but they don't take credit cards. Only money orders. And you can't just send the money. I have to wait for them to mail me an application form. I have to fill it out, then mail them a money order for 50 dollars. But I can't get my mail because the manager doesn't have a key that will work on my mailbox. She says I have to go to the post office and have them come out and change the lock. They can't do that until at least next Tuesday. So, It will be at least tues or weds before I can check my mail. Once I check my mail I can send the 50. But only if I haven't used up the 50 on my .33 a minute trac phone.

There's only enough hot water to fill about 1/4 of a bathtub. It's this whole "living green" thing. Energy saving appliances and such. But I discovered today that you have to wait 10 or 15 min. then more hot water comes and you can fill the tub 1/2 way.

None of my 4 windows in my apt. will open. I hear that none of the women can get there windows open. A fire trap and a violation of housing code which is not acceptable to me. I will get that resolved soon.

last night my toilet overflowed. I had to knock on my next door neighbor's door and ask to use her phone. I sensed that she doesn't like me because of the trash that the couple from my church left at my apt. (the futon and the bed that were filthy and that i had to put on my porch so the husband can come and tow it away as promised but didn't do) So, I knock on the neighbor's door and she's angry that I'm asking to use her phone. She's rolling her eyes and sighing as I'm in this endless conversation with the emergency personnel for my flood. The clerk wants to keep me on the phone and ask me 100 questions I told her I had to go and take care of the flood, so just hurry up and send someone. She can't she says, she has more questions. So I said "well I'm calling 9-1-1 then"

I called the fire dept. and they came out after about 1/2 hour. They turned off the water and said that I have a busted valve. Emergency staff from my apt. complex never showed. I saw a neighbor sitting on his porch whom I've never met, who is in his 70's. He lent me a mop, that really didn't work at all to soak up the water, a bucket and a plunger. I decided not to plunge right away.

After the fire dept. left I went and sat on Christopher's porch with him for about an hour. He brought me iced tea and told great stories. This is what I love about caroll county. This open ness and willingness to make new friends. People have time to just shoot the breeze.

I don't even take porch sitting for granted...........................................I take nothing for granted.

Friday, June 12, 2009

"I just love this little town!"

I love it much more than I expected. Despite my bad personal circumstances I feel this little town could be a very healing place for me. Like I said, I hate the weather/climate but I no longer dread driving or going out to public places. I haven't had any problems with road rage, nobody walks into me in the grocery store like I'm invisible, I have random pleasant conversations in all of the shops, everybody is so warm and open.

Shocking stuff happens all the time here. For example, yesterday, in the cafe 2 out of control little kids thought it would be funny if they block the door and don't let one of the customers out. The customer treated it like it was a game and engaged the children in positive play and dialogue, for example she asked them what is the secret passcode so she can get out?! It was about 4 minutes before they let her out, she laughed and seemed to be in NO HURRY!

I don't recall ever living anywhere where there is such a high level of humanity, consideration and kindness.


I don't know how to put together the hand pump for the air mattress so I'm still sleeping on the floor. My trac phone costs 33 cents a minute and att can't get me a landline for at least a week. So, I'm pretty cut off. My car needs another 440 worth of work, and is only safe to drive short distances. The same person who helped me with the prior repair will be helping me with this one. I'm getting by by the skin of my teeth. Since I have no t.v. or phone I usually try to go to sleep at sundown, and I leave the house no later than 10 a.m. in the morning.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

"A Girl Named Rebecca"

Last week I was hanging out at a new coffee shop called "The French Press" A girl biked by and I thought she looked like someone I knew. I wondred if it was. Anyhow she came into the shop and I was struck and how much she looked like me. She's 19 and could pass as my daughter with the thick curly dirty blonde long hair and blue eyes. She sat her backpack down and I saw an engraving "Becky!"

I told her that's my name too. (My middle name) She's a voice and piano major and dances in a swing club. She came into the cafe in part to practice on their piano. She let me join in and we did some wonderful harmonizing. There was only one piece of sheet music that i didn't know well, all the rest of her music i knew and just loved. So we sang:

"One of US"
"Country Road" (James Taylor)

I can't recall who does what but we did McLaughlin and Jewel, 2 of my fave artists..........................

(Did you know that my parents forced me to study piano for 5 years?)

Many years later I took it up of my on "a chord!" at Catonsville Community College and studied it as an elective but never got very good at it......................................

"Some of my greatest fears"

My greatest fears about living in the country were that I'd have no phone or no car. That is almost exactly what has happened. The mechanic fixed my car last Thursday with the 800 donation from the philanthropist. Monday the "low coolant" sign came on and I drove with baited breath from cockeysville to carroll county with no real serious problems.

My neighbor who says he knows a bit about coolant stuff eyeballed the car and thought something was wrong with the water pump. He told me to take it to "Mike's auto" I did that and Mike said that he can't tell by eyeballing it and that I'll have to take it back to the city where it's under warranty.

This morning when I headed for the city I sensed their was something very wrong and the overflow bottle won't hold much coolant at all. I drive the 40 miles to the mechanic and he says that the car is dangerous to drive, the engine could blow up, and that the problem he sees has nothing with the work he did, but that now I need a new radiator. I said, oh boy, i don't have any more money. Could you please give me an estimate I asked? He said, what's the point if you don't have any money? Could you give me an estimate anyway? Yes, 439.00. So, with much hesitation I called the same person who helped last time and it looks like she will probably help again.

I asked the mechanic if I should have someone follow me back to carroll county? He said "that's up to you" "you got it here without anyone following you
just pull over and wait if the engine overheats"

So, here i am in pikeville, i'll wait 90 minutes and then I'll head north. The mechanic gave me a gallon of water to keep pouring in there on the way back to carroll county. The other reason I had to drive to balto. is because i asked everyone in town yesterday "where are the pay phones?" "there aren't any that I know of" people replied. "Wal Mart?" maybe w.m. has a phone. "Where is the closest bank (my bank branch has free phones) "9 miles away, the librarian said"

My cell phone has 14 minutes left and it costs 33 cents a minute. So, it's cheaper for me to drive to baltimore than to keep filling my cell with minutes. Supposedly att will give me a landline sometimes next week but only after i pay the security deposit by money order. They don't take checks...............................................

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Welcome to the neighborhood!"

You know I love synchronicity and have an awful lot of it in my life. Just now, I was sitting near the children's computers here at the library, and I heard a voice coming from the computer that sounded like Barney the purple dinosaur!

He said: "Welcome to the neighborhood. It's fun to explore a new neighborhood especially with friends like you. Here's the map, where would you like to go first?"

at this point the little girl clicked her mouse on bakery

We're at the bakery! This is chef ridenour and he makes a fabulous chocolate croissant! Click on the toaster and you can help me put the toast on the plates!


Ok back to my life folks. The man who agreed to provide his truck to me for 100 dollars was a no show. So, me and 3 other women had to do all the lifting of the bedroom dresser set and dining room set ourselves. We took everything apart, one of my la pew neighbors put in in D's SUV so snugly that when we got to the new address we couldn't get it out right away! That was physically very hard and hilarious at the same time. We looked like the 4 stooges trying to get this furniture out of the suv and onto a dolly.

"O.K. everybody, calling the person who has the least amount of injuries to help here!"

Anyhow, that parts done.

Monday I'm returning from Baltimore and my worse fear happens. The car is "breaking down" again. The check coolant light comes on. I check it and despite the fact that Sarah just spent 800 on my car getting that problem fixed it is still not fixed. I most certainly don't have any repair money left. Even though the car repairs are under warranty, the mechanic will never agree to pay for the towing, I just know that. What should I do? I call progressive at a pay phone, cuz i have no minutes on my cell, and order tow service coverage. It will be 24 hours before it kicks in. Will the car make it back to carroll county? I don't have time to stop by radio shack to buy minutes for the cell phone because that will mean I'll have to drive to c.c. in the dark on rural roads with a car that is breaking down. So, my only choice is, to head home on rural road with no cell phone with my hazard lights on and pray the car doesn't totally break down.

It's 8:30 at night and I'm lost. I try to flag a driver down to get directions but they drive so fast and won't stop to help me. Thank goodness I eventually find a man in a front yard who tells me where my home is!

I get home in the knick of time. 9 p.m. just at dark. Next morning I walk over to the manager's office to make some critical phone calls. She's not there. Come back at 10:30 a.m. office is closed. So , I know no one, have no phone service, no working car and no food and don't know anybody.

A man from "my village" Brian, 61, is walking over to the laundry room. I introduce myself to him and explain my plight. I've found the right person! He lends me his cell, WALKS BACK TO HIS APT, LEAVING ME ALONE WITH HIS CELL AND HIS CLOTHES IN THE DRYERS! (wOW, NOBODY IN BALTIMORE TRUSTS STRANGERS LIKE THAT) and he says just make as many calls as you want. I finish with my calls, he looks at my car, drives me all over town to show me around takes me to wal mart, takes me to the grocery store, offers to follow me all the back to my city mechanic and wait for me, which we decide not to do that day. I tell him I'll give him the gas money to make the trip to the city and he refuses!

He says he is the "resident driver" driving all of the little old ladies around whose vision is not good enough to drive. He used to work as a stage hand for major motion pictures all over the East Coast but got injured in 97.

I told him I can't remember anyone in my life ever taking me to a grocery store, or helping out in a neighborly way like he is.

Right now I'm at the library and I feel so relaxed around the residents here. I feel safe, and already 2 women patrons have spoken with me as opposed to Baltimore where if anyone looks at you it's because they are suspicious of you or don't like what you are wearing..............................

I hate the MD climate, but for today, life does feel more normal, and it's wonderful to feel safe.

Brian said no one in my complex locks their apt. or their car doors!..............................

I'm not so trusting to keep my apt. door unlocked but just the fact that people feel safe must be so refreshing.

The 4 "new friends" who I've met this far are originally from

Rodgers Forge
Owings Mills
Balto. city/balto county line!

"The good, the bad, and the ugly"

Well folks, here I am in Carroll County. I've always found the natural beauty of Carroll County to be stunning. C.C. has taught me a surprising lesson. Not all humans are completely selfish, ugly, bastards that can't be trusted! In fact, every store I've been in, the clerks and the customers smile, ask me if i need help, and sometimes even stop to talk. Today when I was in Dunkin Donuts a customer smiled and said "good morning how are you"

"terrific! wanna know why i'm terrific? because today is my second day in c.c. and the people here are wonderful. and you just smiled and greeted me, and that would never happen where i just moved from!"

Now, when I arrived on Sunday I found a pretty ugly surprise waiting for me. A couple from my church wanted to donate a futon and bed to me. I told them that I'd take it only if they are very clean. The husband brought a filthy dirty futon covered with cat fur, and a stained mattress which i suspect is infected with bed bugs into my apt. They damaged my new carpeting and even brought fleas into my apt. So, I'm less than pleased, in fact I'm pretty angry about that. HOw do you donate dirty shit to people? That's senseless!

So, I've slept on the floor the last 3 nights which is particularly painful when you already have fibromyalgia. But the property is stunning. I have no one above me or below me. I have a little front yard where I'm allowed to have a garden, hang and plant and even a flag. My minutes are about ready to run out, but I'll go sign up for another 60 minutes so I can give you all the dirt on the last 48 hours or so................................................

Monday, June 8, 2009

"The good news and the bad news"

Well I'm out of La pew hell. they want to take me to court for breaking the lease. So I sent the president of the company a letter and c.c.e'd it to the

district manager
vice president

asking if they would want their wife, sister, or mother to give 30 days notice if their life was in danger?

anyhow, the land is beautiful where I live now. Looking across the street I see a skate park, a silo, a barn and rolling hills. the bad news is that the noise level is unbelieveably high. Since I'm virtuallly on a highway, i hear motorcyles, souped up cars, tow trucks, bb guns and trains, so I can't sleep at night and don't expect that I'll be able to. I haven't found a landline provider yet for my area, and don't have a bed yet. But I'm hoping that these things I will be able to resolve soon................................

It feels like a huge accomplishment to be out of La Pew. I left about 100 dollars worth of stuff behind but it's all replaceable.

Right now I'm in baltimore and all of my coolant has run out of my car despite the fact that I just spent hundreds of dollars to the mechanic to repair it. Although it's under warranty, I don't think the mechanic will be willing to pay for the towing. If I break down near home the tow will be hundreds of dollars. So, when I leave the library I'll try putting water in the radiator but if it doesn't hold I'm not sure how I'll get home tonight. In general I'm afraid to drive rural roads after dark so I'll always be home by dark! Fun, huh?

Friday, June 5, 2009

"Out of La Pew by Sunday"

Shwew! I've spent the last 22 nights in Mt. Washington. I handed my published urbanite article to this "elderly man" Jack (he told me he'd kill me if I called him elderly on my blog!) who I met at the JCC computer room. He asked me if life is still like that for me. I said, similar but not identical. That's when he offered me to crash on his sofa. Ironically after he took me in I ended up having to do the very things I talked about in the Urbanite article. Hitchike, use the free phone at whole foods, use the free phone @ Wachovia and basically live between 2 places where there is no public transit connecting the 2 addresses.

I'm really going out with a bang at La Pew. I was without my car for 12 days. After I got it back yesterday someone tried to tear my front license plate off my car. Someone broke into my apt. and stole my cd/tape player, and lined up 2 pills on my bedroom floor, perfectly evenly. The pills were half blue/half green.

I'm at the point where I'm terrified to be at La Pew even during daylight hours, especially alone. So I'll probably leave stuff behind just to get out of there.

I'll have no landline at my new place, at least not immediately. That will make me crazy. Having some very frightening contraindications from one of my meds. I've had it before too. Last year I had 2 weeks straight of tardive dyskinesia. That is where you have uncontrolled movements of your mouth and tongue. Very scary. I don't know which med is causing it.

My new place is on a busy noisy road, but I might be able to transfer at some point to another part of the complex that doesn't face the main road.........................................I'm beginning to feel a little bit more restored with the fact that I haven't had to sleep at La Pew in 3 weeks.

Jack and I don't have real compatible personalities but he has really been very nurturing given that I am a stranger. He even asks me each night if I've eaten (I always say yes) with the idea that if I haven't hell go get me something from a restaurant.

He'll doubly kill me for this but you guys know I have a wicked sense of humor............................. Does that make him a


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

La pew staff are angry at me

For not giving 30 days notice. They have reprimanded me in writing within 2 minutes of my email notification. But when I needed a heater/air conditioner they never got back to me at all. No concern at all that my life is in danger there. Fuck them. I'm in my last days at La pew.