My Angel of Mercy Provides Legit Dope

Monday.

A nasty cold which I was unable to shake had me keeping a low profile over the weekend. It’s in the fairly full-blown stage today. Around three in the afternoon I decided I had to get out of the house. I drove to C4 Workplace. One of the reasons was I’d realized I was late in paying my monthly desk-space rental at C4. Once there, I used the microwave to heat up a can of soup. I answered some email. Did a bit of electronic outreach for the up-coming Josiah Youth Media Festival. And I finally wrote out a check for my car insurance.

Because I was out of stamps, I drove to the post office over on S. Alamo and I-35. They still haven’t put in any stamp vending machines. But, luckily, there was no line. As I walked up to the clerk, I heard myself say: “I just need a one class stamp.” He knew exactly what I meant. It wasn’t until I was walking to my truck that I realized what I’d said. I had thought I might be able to go out to the bike trail for a short ride, but I was feeling a bit shaky, and clearly my brain was misfiring. This last item was hammered home when, at the intersection of S. Flores and S. Alamo, I found myself looking at the little lap dog instead of the cute girl holding the pooch’s leash as they crossed in front of me. Clearly, I wasn’t safe on the road.

Back on Saturday Deborah stopped by. I explained that I was feeling fairly seedy. She returned soon with a care package. So, thanks Deborah, for dropping off some cold medicine, limes, honey, orange juice, soup, and assorted comfort food. It’s nice when I’m reminded that, yes, I do in fact have friends. I’ve mentioned this before, but the questions always comes up with folk like myself, who are single and live alone, and are self-employed. When we slip in the shower, how far into decomposition will we have drifted before someone finally gets around to checking on us? The more people who care about you and who know where you live, the less will the crew from the funeral home retch.

It’s weird having someone else shop for you. Things you’d never think to buy are suddenly in your home. And now let me praise a great beverage I created from the goods delivered. I can’t imagine it NOT having medicinal properties, but, damn was it tasty.

Steep a bag of peppermint tea for at least five minutes in an extra-large mug. Squeeze in the juice of one whole lime (the bigger the better). And finally, add more honey than you think you should.

Damn fine.

I also found in my care package some cold medicines. I’d told Deborah that I was particularly fond of NyQuil. And knowing that it’s fairly pricey, I said I’d be happy with some off brand. They usually have the same ingredients. Now what I was thinking about were the small bottles of liquid which come with little plastic jiggers to measure out a shot or two. But I forget that many people use NyQuil pills. What I got was an HEB generic version of NyQuil gel caps. The great thing about the stuff that comes in the bottle is that it hits me after about twenty minutes. I’m out until sunup. But these gel caps are slow and timid when taking affect. I watched a video on my computer for an hour after I downed the pills. Finally I decided to got to sleep. However, when I was out, I was out. It seems that these guys are slower to take action, and they last much longer. I work up on Sunday morning around 8:30. I read some in bed. And then I drifted back off to sleep (I never do this once I wake up), and managed to sleep an additional two and a half hours). This stuff’s not only potent, it lingers. And this no doubt explains why a cute dog is just as interesting (if not more so) than a cute girl.

Beware. HEB brand “Night Time Liquid Caps Cold/Flu Relief” could well destroy American civilization. Treat with great caution!

To pad this entry out, let me toss in a couple of images.

Here’s a photo of my driveway. One of my neighbors has not taken down her Christmas lights. And I hope she never does.

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And here’s an interesting snap I took of my truck’s odometer, which, for reasons I can’t describe, I find somewhat disturbing.

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Tuesday.

I had planned on getting out of the house today, but really didn’t. However, I did manage to recalled that my neighbor Phil had asked me to walk his dog Tuesday and Wednesday. But because he had called me to request this back on Sunday when I was enjoying Easter dinner with Pete, Lisa, and Cooper, he (and the dog) is damn lucky I was able to peer back in my memory, back through the haze of Shiner Bocks and some heavy duty cold medicine, and discover that faint memory.

So, a mid-day dog walk was one of my more ambitious endeavors today. That, and trying to reconstruct my finances from last year–as my mother prodded me over the phone. She’s spent a large portion of her life working various bookkeeping gigs. She’s currently on payroll with H&R Block (and, if you don’t know, they pay shockingly little).

Tax time is fairly stressful. Like my birthday, or New Years. It’s a time for me to realize how horribly I’m squandering my life. When the dust settles I suspect I’ll find I pulled an income of about $21,000 for 2009. Sure, this is far above the poverty rate for a single person living alone. And the fact is, I have oodles of free time. But, as I live hand-to-mouth, I find myself in heavy panic mode as mid April approaches. I’m self-employed, and never bother to place any money aside for employment tax (there is no employer managing the with-holding for me), so I screw myself every year.

Add to this, my last big gig ended mid January–that money is almost tapped out–and there is no clear indication that another serious gig will materialize. I’m currently involved in a temporary part-time situation which, thankfully, pays $500 a month. But, really, this is no way to live.

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Back in 2008 I was accepted into the Creative Capital Professional Development Retreat. The San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs helped to bring in this New York-based arts funding organization to help San Antonio artists better learn how to run their artistic concerns in a more business-like manner. 2008 was the second year Creative Capital visited San Antonio. As a bottom-feeder in the local art scene, I was surprised and quite honored to be selected. There were, I believe, just 22 of us, from various disciplines. At that time I knew maybe ten of the artists. Soon I got to know them all. So many amazing people!

Maybe a month and a half ago I learned that one of my favorite people from that retreat had passed away. And it was way back on September 6th, of 2009. I barely knew Rhonda Kuhlman outside of that intense weekend retreat. She was funny, fearless, irreverent, and full of life. Her art dealt with ecological issues by building lovely and quirky work out of trash. I was quite taken by her playful spirit. And when I learned she’d passed away (at the unthinkable age of 42) I only wish I had gone to more of her shows and events at her South Side studio.

I found myself thinking about Rhonda today while going through some of my old photos. Here she is at her show at Three Walls Gallery during First Friday, June, 2008.

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I hate when this sort of tragedy happens. Not only was a wonderful woman pulled away too soon from what was already quite an extraordinary life, but from my own selfish point of view, I see a another sad loss of a wonderful person who I was too awkward and introverted to befriend. People, they are so transitory. We forget that. Things can move fast, and change our lives totally.

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