Jordan Essentials: Bath, Body and Spa Rep #10522 http://jordanrep.com/10522
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Homeless and Hungry
I've been reading new (to me) blogs this past hour, and found an interesting post by WordsRock about people asking for money on the street. I ended up writing a long comment, so I've decided to post my comment in full here as my own post.
"the only daughter said... Some people are dangerous, being cautious is prudent. Some people are hurting, being compassionate is human. Some people are homeless,being as as generous as you can afford to be is right. Some people are scamming...How do you know? How do you choose?"
I live on a street in a fairly poor neighborhood with people walking through all the time. I don't know if these people are homeless or without non-ped transportation. I imagine they have a place to live, because they usually carry grocery bags with them from the nearby market.
But, I have 'my own' homeless person. He's an aquaintance now with a familiarity that is surprising for someone I don't actually know.
He approached me the 1st time at my post office and asked for money for food. He scared me, because he came right up to the car door, and he looked a little wild with a bushy beard and hair. I bought him food instead at the dollar store next to the P.O..
The second time we met, he was drinking water at a restaurant where I was having lunch with a friend. I bought him a sandwich that day. We met two more times in that restaurant, but I didn't buy him anything, b/c I knew they were taking care of him.
About that time, we introduced ourselves. He told me his nickname and said it's the same as his grandfather's nickname.
He cut his hair and trimmed his beard. He said he was looking for work, but he needed $16 to get a new government issued ID. He asked if he could work for me for the money. I teased him about always trying to get money from me.
I told him there's a guy who hangs around on my street who's always asking if he can weedeat or mow my yard for cigarette and beer money. I mostly just didn't want to take him to my house, so I told him no. And, I did not give him any money.
At the restaurant, we talked about his living and working situation. I still don't understand. He appears to be able-bodied. He told me he used to earn a good wage as a painter. I never got the connection to why he's in his current situation.
This past Sunday, I took some blankets to a nearby laundrymat. He saw me and approached me with a big smile. His hair and beard still looked okay, but his clothes were dirty and he looked like he'd been out all day.
I called him by name. He now seems like a friend who's always trying to borrow money that you know will never be repaid.
He tried to sell me things he'd dug out of a dumpster. I told him I didn't need any belts or hair products. He begged me to buy something. "Please!" he said. I said I only brought enough money for the washer and dryer. He begged, "I'm hungry!"
I said, "Don't you have a house you live in?" Because he told me once that he had a place he stays, people he stays with. He said, "I live under a bridge."
I went home and brought back two bottles of water, three cans of soup with pop-top lids, a metal fork and spoon, a couple of cans of vegetables (without pop-top lids, I now realize) and some heavy duty paper towels.
I looked around for him, but he was gone from the place he'd been standing with the box of dumpster items. Then, I saw him running towards me. I guess he's not used to people doing what they say ("I'll bring you some food.").
He looked so happy when he saw the food and the water. I thought about what a brief time that amount of food will last. I still don't understand why he doesn't work. There is no obvious reason I can detect (by looking at him or talking with him). But, I do believe him when he tells me he's hungry.
"Where's your bridge?" I asked as he was leaving with the food. He told me the cross streets. He lives a mile from my house under the bridge next to the ice cream store.deb
Music or photos, which will it be? I love photography, so I guess this result is okay. But, it's not quite accurate. I love photos, but I love words, too. I'll just have to be mp3 on one side of the brain and jpg on the other! ;) Which File Extension are You?
Stunned - It was all just right - Singing at the Saffron
I sang tonight at the Saffron - 12th/Harvard, Tulsa, OK. I did three sets. The first two were 40 minutes each. I think the last one was an hour. I sang two songs twice by request (Hazmat Couple, Lean In For A Kiss).
In the weeks preceding the show, I gave out about 150 menus with a little paper attached advertising that I'd be there tonight. Almost every person seemed interested, and several said they'd definitely be there.
As it turned out, two people who had the menu and ad came. One drove 40 miles one way. One brought a group of friends (about 5 or 6 were in that group). A school friend and her partner were there (after a phone message the other day). And, the two people who inspired the Hazmat Couple song were there (b/c, our mutual connection person invited them for me).
There were some other people there as a group, and there were a few other tables of customers now and then. And, the people I know from the restaurant were there - owner, staff, and the very nice guy (musician/singer who sings during lunches at the Saffron) who allowed me to use his sound equipment and set it up for me and did the sound checks.
This is all to say that my fantasy of packing the place did not come true. But, I left there feeling stunned. Those who came because I was singing stayed for 2 - 3 hours. And, as the evening went on, things became more interactive. "What do you want next, a bluegrass song or a fairy tale?" Or, which title do you want, "I Smile Again So You Won't See Me Cry" or "Hell of My Own Choosing"? I enjoy it more when those who are listening are able to participate in some way. I also really enjoyed seeing smiles and hearing laughter during the funny songs.
I almost forgot to check the tip jar. I didn't expect tips, or if any, not more than a couple of dollars. I was floored. There was some generosity happening last night. (If you were those persons, and you're reading this, THANK YOU!) And, I sold a songbook and cd, too. The money surprise underscored how good the evening felt. It was icing on the cake. The cake was having people who wanted to be there come and stay for a long time and enjoy what I did. It was cool.
This probably sounds like I've never performed before. That's not the case at all. It's just that I've not performed, doing my own show, for several years. And, it feels so much more right to me now than it ever has in the past. It really feels like now is the time to perform as often as possible and get the word out about where people can find my songs.
Very soon, eFolkMusic (http://efolkmusic.org/) will have digital albums available for purchase and download. As soon as that is an option, I will upload my three existing cds (the ones I recorded in January 2003, "Weird Duck", "Hungry When I Wake", "Lean In For A Kiss"). Then, they'll be available for purchase from efm as digital albums. The songs will also be available as individual mp3s.
If you join eFolkMusic ($30/year), you can download about a thousand 'member' mp3s (free to members), plus you get a 10 per cent discount on merchandise purchases. EFolkMusic is totally cool. Even if you don't join efm, you can browse through the site and listen to lots and lots of music (just click preview to hear songs for free).
Anyway, this is all to say that the crowded restaurant I imagined was not what happened. But, what did happen was so great. It was just right that there were a few friends and a few new people. It was just right that we had the opportunity visit during my breaks and interact while I sang.
It was all just right. And, I will sing again at the Saffron just as soon as I am able. I love the Saffron. If you live in or around Tulsa, I hope you'll check it out. It's at 12th and Harvard (near the University of Tulsa). The Saffron is a cool place. I hope you'll stop by soon!
On a bunny note, my friend Beth told me the Grapefruit and Lime lotion bar kept bugs away from her. I think she told me this last summer, and I never tried it. And, I've been eaten up by mosquitos this season.
Cool Story About A Cat - Orange Tabby Chased A Bear Up A Tree
WEST MILFORD, N.J. (June 10) -
A black bear picked the wrong yard for a jaunt, running into a territorial tabby who ran the furry beast up a tree - twice.
Jack, a 15-pound orange and white cat, keeps a close vigil on his property, often chasing small animals, but his owners and neighbors say his latest escapade was surprising.
"We used to joke, 'Jack's on duty,' never knowing he'd go after a bear," owner Donna Dickey told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Friday's editions.
Neighbor Suzanne Giovanetti first spotted Jack's accomplishment after her husband saw a bear climb a tree on the edge of their northern New Jersey property on Sunday. Giovanetti thought Jack was simply looking up at the bear, but soon realized the much larger animal was afraid of the hissing cat.
After about 15 minutes, the bear descended and tried to run away, but Jack chased it up another tree.
Dickey, who feared for her cat, then called Jack home and the bear scurried back to the woods.
"He doesn't want anybody in his yard," Dickey said.
Bear sightings are not unusual in West Milford, which experts consider one of the state's most bear-populated areas.
06/10/06 02:23 EDT Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.
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Another of my interests discussed in this blog is the human body in health, injury and disease.
Over the past few years I have taken science, CNA, EMT and nursing classes.
I have had positive experiences with kind and professional health care workers.
I have also experienced the pain of dealing with 'professionals' who behave unprofessionally.
My goal in interactions with patients and their families is to act with integrity and professionalism,
and to treat each person with the dignity and respect we all deserve.
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"Never mind the turtle. Don't you think you're sure to win?"