Funny the World...


April 7, 2000

Well, my hissy fit yesterday must have made an impression. I was trying to decide whether or not to go to the Shelter today and finally decided I had made a commitment and I needed to follow through with it. The staff could not have been nicer. It was a calm day. I got all my work done. Things were organized. The computer worked. Gee. I should get mad more often!

Some upsetting things happened today, though. First there was the guy who showed up very, very drunk. Technically speaking, he’s not allowed to be at the Shelter in that condition, but we shut down at noon and it was already 10:30, so they let him stay, got some coffee in him, and tried to make arrangements for him for the time he will be out on his own, since he will be too drunk to be admitted to the Shelter to sleep tonight. It was almost touching watching how the other guys who were hanging around the resource center, looked after him and tried to help sober him up.

We also had some folks come out to do AIDS testing. This upset me very much--not that they were doing AIDS testing (heaven forbid!), but there was one guy who, when presented with the opportunity to have AIDS testing was very offended because he said, "I don’t need it. I’m not ‘that way.’" He said several times that he wasn’t "that way," and it was obvious that he felt that only gay men get AIDS and since he wasn’t gay, he was in no danger. Another guy stated flatly that he "doesn’t believe in AIDS" and doubts that it really exists. And even if it does exist, he said, he didn’t want to know whether he had it or not. He just turned his health over to the Lord, he said. (He didn’t seem to think that it would affect any sexual partners he might have.) This is one little teeny homeless shelter and the ignorance and denial is so blatant. Multiply that by the millions of homeless and uneducated people across the country and see just one part of the problem with curbing this disease. And that 19 year old kid arguing with Steve said that "education won’t help." Bullpucky!

granny1.jpg (30166 bytes)But the morning was a very positive one so I’m feeling renewed. After the Shelter closed down for the day, I went to lunch with Ruth, the volunteer coordinator. Ruth is a unique human being and I love her. In her other life she is Granny Muffin and has a 15 minute TV show on local cable twice a week. She produces the show herself and is her own cameraman. She’s also taking a class in stand-up comedy and hopes to start working up an act to take to some of the local clubs. Granny drives an old car decorated with astroturf and all sorts of toys, on the roof and on the dashboard, and she wanders around in overalls with her bright red hair, sometimes poking out from underneath a hat of some sorts. She was telling me that she and her dog are doing a 5K bike race here in town in a couple of weeks and are going to go dressed as pirates (the dog will ride in the bike basket, decorated with a parrot). Ruth is a year older than I am, which shows that you don’t have to be young to be unique. Her love of people and her dedication to causes are absolutely inspiring.

After lunch, I drove home listening to the new Gold CD of Judy Garland’s Carnegie Hall concert in 1960. What a glorious CD! I was ready to take a long drive just so I could listen to the whole thing in the car, where it was like having surround sound, the next best thing to being there.

I transcribed a rush psychological report this afternoon and then remembered that I couldn’t make copies of it because the FAX machine (which I use for my copier) needed a new cartridge, so off I went to Office Max, but they were out of the kind I needed. That meant driving to Staples, 10 miles away (more chance to listen to the Garland CD!). They had the cartridge and I also asked about a replacement cord for the PCMCIA modem for my laptop. The little plastic piece that connects to the phone line has broken off and I’m having a devil of a time finding a replacement. Not only that, but there is no brand name on the PCMCIA card itself, so I don’t even know who to call. Fry’s was very helpful--they can’t get me a cord, but they can sell me a $70 modem to replace what I have. Right. Sure. Why put on a bandaid when you can put me in a full body cast?? I finally asked if I couldn’t just go to a phone store and have them replace the piece that is missing and it was as if a lightbulb clicked over his head. Sure! Of course! Why didn’t he think of that. So now I just have to find a store that sells and services telephones...and hope that they can help me. And I thought this was going to be so easy!!

(BTW, try saying "PCMCIA" fast. I keep getting tongue tied trying to ask people about it.)

I should mention why (if anybody has even noticed) the dates on these entries may seem to be off. I post the entires around midnight so at the very start of April 7 I will be posting this entry, which is about the events of April 6, but it’s dated April 7. Is that completely confusing??

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created 4/7/00 by Bev Sykes