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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Hair Near Disaster πŸ‘©πŸΌ‍🦰

 I went home to Houston for a bit. I had many things to take care of. I replaced all four tires, because they were clearly unbalanced and skinny. I bought them at discount tires, because if you are loyal to them, they’ll do a lot of maintenance for free. All four tires plus warranty cost a total of $435. I also had to pay some court fees for an old ticket and get on a defensive driving class. I bathed the cats and gave them their flea prevention so that mom doesn’t have to do it when I leave town again. I vacuumed the hell out of the house, got an oil change, and some other stuff. 

My mother said she was going to buy some hair color so she could dye her grays. I told her she didn’t have to, because there is a box under the bathroom sink. I got it a while back on clearance for only $3.50. She went under the sink and picked out another box that I had forgotten about-  bleach that we had meant to use on Evita when she wanted a funky color like blue or green. We just never got around to it. 

I caught it just in time. I told her that wasn’t the one, and found the brown dye that I got on clearance. It’s a good thing I was around, or she would have ended up ready for Halloween with orange hair. 

Monday, October 19, 2020

Two more Covid deaths

 My best friend from 6th and 7th grade lost her father to Covid on October 8th. He was only 66 years old. 

They were a very sweet family. He and his wife had 7 children, the oldest of whom was my best friend. When we were in middle school, the youngest two hadn’t been born yet, and there was only five kids.

I slept over a lot there. They were so hospitable. When my mom came to pick me up in the mornings after sleeping over, she would sit in their living room and converse with the mom. My friend said that he was also a wonderful grandfather. 


A classmate from the same circle of friends also died from Covid on the 10th of October. David was one of four sons of his mom and dad. His mom was our lunch lady two days a week in third grade. She was also a Girl Scout troop leader, but I was never in scouts. She died of cancer when we were in third grade. Everyone knew her and took it horribly. I remember when our third grade teacher announced her death- we all literally sat at our desks sobbing. Imagine a classroom of 20+ 8 and 9 year olds all crying loudly. It was horrible. Dave’s dad later got remarried and had two more sons. When one of his brothers announced his death on Facebook, he made it known that with Dave’s passing, he was now the *last* surviving member of his family. His dad and stepmom have both passed, and all five of his brothers have passed away. I should clarify- they all didn’t die from Covid. They died from different causes over the years. 

My friend Dave “Kind of” liked to dress in women’s clothing since he was very little. Eventually he stopped, but still preferred to hang out with the girls and play jump rope or dolls. I often wondered if he would grow up to be transgender, but it didn’t appear that he did. When we were in 6th grade, the band Nee Kids in the Block was super popular. All the girls loved them, and all the boys hated them. Dave was the one boy that was a new kids fan. He always wore the same black brimmed hat that they wore in some of their music videos. 

RIP

Friday, October 16, 2020

Shower 🚿 🧼




 So I just took a shower at Love’s truck stop. I called before I went and found out about it. It’s $12. So I have a little gym size duffel bag that’s just big enough for soap, shampoo, and wash rags- even though they provide that stuff. The shower cost $12. I was expecting like a high school locker room and was kind of scared, but the shower was super nice, super secure and just really clean. I went to the counter and asked for a shower, and she asked if I had a love’s shower card. I said no I don’t. A trucker walking by overheard and butted in and let the cashier scan his card, because he had “so many free showers on it”.

Now I just feel awesome after my shower. I have prell  shampoo which really helps itchy scalp and rose scented body wash. Aaahhhhh. I’m so glad to know this is there for future reference. 


You get a ticket with a PIN number and they page you when the shower is ready. They tell you what number shower stall to go to. You enter the PIN number on your receipt to unlock the door. It’s not like high school with just a curtain and you’re worried about creeps.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Therapy Sucks

 Evita and I had family therapy this morning. As much as I fought for the right to be able to take her, I really don’t like this therapist. She’s very uppity. Our sessions are also boring, because we really don’t talk about problems. We talk about all the fun things we do together. I am telling her that things are really going well for the first time in six years, because it’s the truth. When I had an individual appointment with her, I told her some of the things my own parents put me through and how I’d probably go to jail if I did half of them to my own child. She actually responded that it’s different,  *because my parents stayed married*. Yuck, imagine thinking that it’s ok to treat a kid like shit because you got your spouse to stay with you. I came home and eyeballed my mom and thought- my dad really did her a damn favor, staying for over 50 years. She will never acknowledge her privilege- not the privilege she gets from having stayed married to my dad, and not the privilege she gets from being a boomer. I despise when she talks about how she bought their first house for $20K. That’s not the down payment, either. That was total. I graduated college, because she wanted me to, owing $28K in 2013. She will never know how lucky she is. 



Sunday, October 11, 2020

Upcycled Jewelry Makers







Evita and I used to love to make jewelry before I developed panic disorder. Recently, she told me that she wanted to start again. I used to go to this one thrift store and buy these vases full of broken jewelry for cheap. We would take them apart and design new pieces with the parts we could salvage. We used to also have an Etsy shop, but it’s been dead now for about four years. The thrift store was damaged in hurricane Harvey and never reopened. 

Recently, I was at two separate garage sales where I lowballed people and bought all of the costume jewelry they had. I paid one lady $5 for all of it and another lady only $1 for all of it- some of hers was tangled into a huge ball, but we were going to cut it all apart anyway. 

After sorting the beads into trays and ziplocks, Evita made herself a choker. It was all in all a fun weekend. 


Thursday, October 8, 2020

Staying Stealthy 🐍 πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡»

 I did beverage audits at small stores all over inner city Houston today. All of the locations I did were inside the loop. Every time I’m in those areas, I start singing this song To myself in my head. 

I only canceled two of the ten I reserved. At those two, I just didn’t trust the store employees to not notice me and say something. 

At one of them, it was an elderly woman working at the register. She was sitting down when not helping a customer, and she was pretty well hidden behind the lotto machine, so I did all coolers when she was back there. 

At one point, when I was almost done, she kept asking if I needed help. I was nervy because I was almost done and didn’t want to get noticed when I only had a few pics left to take. Finally she said, “I don’t mean to rush you, but I really have to go to the bathroom and I’m not allowed to do it when someone is in the store. 

Oh snap! I know what that’s like πŸ’―. I said it was ok, that I was still deciding and that I needed to go pump gas anyway and I’d be back. 

So I came back in, finished the audit discreetly, and bought a snack and a bottled water. 

The next place in my list was an El Salvadoran grocery store. I’ve literally never been to a place that was exclusively El Salvadoran. They only had four coolers in an inconspicuous back corner and a handful of drinks on shelves, so it was easy to stay stealthy. I took advantage of the time there to study the products. I ended up buying some unique Salvadoran candy and plantain chips. 

I did six other stores where I didn’t buy anything. The candy is awesome! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Excelling at Life


This photo has nothing to do with this post ^.  I just thought it was hilarious. 

My boyfriend is pretty bummed out about the death of VanHalen. We had a conversation basically predicting the deaths of all the music legends from our generation in the next few years. Big stars tend to die young, and we’re middle aged (or close). VanHalen was a good 23 year older than us, but we just got a feeling that all the artists we used to jam to as kids and teens will start dropping like flies now. 

I spent yesterday doing beverage audits. I am normally scared to be noticed doing them, since having to open cooler doors is conspicuous. But the pay went drastically up, and hundreds of more locations were added to the map. It seems like they don’t have the data they need. 

I feel like I have mastered being stealthy at beverage audits. In little convenient stores, I usually look on google maps to see if anyone has posted pics from inside the store. Most of the time, they have. So I can see where the beverage coolers are in relation to where the clerk is. I have learned to act like an intent shopper. I keep a side eye on the clerk or clerks, and if they’re busy with customers or something else, or if the coolers that I have to get are hidden from where registers are, that’s when I do coolers. All non-cooler beverages, I can do while looking like I’m shopping. I made $196 yesterday. Probably could have done more of I was faster, but faking being a customer takes time. It’s worth it to not get approached. 



 

Monday, October 5, 2020

Beautiful Cover 🎢 🎼 🎡

 Once again, a modern musician has taken a classic from my childhood and made it 10 times better. I loved Chris Isaac singing Wicked Game when I was a kid. More recently, an artist named Ursine Vulpine made a cover of the same song. At first, I wondered if it was even the same song as the 80’s version- I only recognized the chorus, but not the verses. That’s how much Ursine Vulpine improves the song. It’s so beautiful to listen to. I love the androgynous singing voice. Bravo. 

When I was a child, older people complained when songs from their youth were remade. I usually like the new versions better than the old. Either musicians have just gotten better at covers, or my generation is more flexible. 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Educational Job

 One of the beverage audits on the map was an Indian grocery store on Houston’s southwest side called Patel Brothers. I wanted to go and specifically do that one, just to see if I might want to try some Indian products (like I did at the last one I went to). 

Surprisingly, this store had absolutely no beverages except for two coolers in the corner. So I took these pictures under coolers aisles and then my perimeter pics to prove I didn’t miss anything. 

I stayed pretty stealthy. Two employees asked if I needed help, probably because they saw me taking a picture or maybe because I was not a regular nor of Indian descent. 

They had very cool incense, but I still have a lot of incense from when I bought some a year ago. They had prepackaged Tikka Massala, like a hamburger helper style box, which I thought was cool, but not enough to buy and try it. 

They had beautiful clothing on the rack. I was tempted. In the end, I got a “rose yogurt” drink that was in one of the two coolers. It was $1.61, and it was awesome!  My payout for that job is $22.20. 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Old Memory ☎️ πŸ“ž 🏨

 I had this memory of a story my dad told me once. He was working for this phone company in the mid 90’s. Bill Clinton was president, and he came to town. He was staying at a hotel, and required his own phone line to be wired into the hotel (before smart phones obviously). So my dad went to help this guy who worked there too, and this guy was from Russia. He said the desk girl looked freaked out when he said in his heavy Russian accent, “We are here to install personal line for Bill Clinton.”  Later on, my dad told him, “Next time, let me do the talking.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Little Mexico πŸ‡²πŸ‡½ 🌡 πŸš—


 Today I’m down in “The Valley”, which is the part of Texas that dips south and is very close to the border. In Corpus Christi and McAllen, there is a ton of money to be made. 

I checked into a motel last night instead of sleeping in the car. This is because my mother and my boyfriend are afraid of me being “kidnapped by cartels”. πŸ˜‚ 

Kidnappings can happen anywhere. In fact, something is probably more likely to happen in one of these rural towns with Trump 2020 signs everywhere. But, it’s ok because I was in the mood for a nice hot bubble bath. I also slept for about 16 hours. 

Today there’s still enough well paying jobs down here that don’t even look like I made a dent in the map. 

Here’s to prosperity 🍻 


Saturday, September 26, 2020

Lovely Videos on YouTube

 I’ve recently come across a handful of YouTube videos that I absolutely love and are so inspiring to me. 

First is this lovely Charismatic Jewish orchestra and choir. They’re so entertaining!  I love the woman who starts singing/chanting at about 3:45. She has the voice of an angel. 

Next is The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic with the pope in the audience, even though the people singing are Eastern Orthodox. My mom says a lot of people are trying to learn Aramaic now. I wasn’t even aware that it hadn’t died too much to have modern people learn it. I thought it was obsolete. 


Bring Daughter to Work Day

 It isn’t the official take your daughter to work day, but it was for us. I was scheduled to pick Evita up at 10:00 this morning, because she spent the night with a friend. Before I picked her up, I did beverage shifts in two convenient stores by the friend’s house. It was nerve wracking, because those shop clerks can get suspicious. 

In the first one, a man was behind the counter. He seemed to be playing a game on his phone and didn’t notice anything I was doing. 

In the second one, it was two ladies working there. I browsed like a customer and did the audit. Towards the end when I was almost done, one of the women asked, “Can I help you with something?”  I said, “No thank you! Just looking!” 

I ended up walking out of there buying a snack and a bottled water so they wouldn’t think I was stealing. 

Then I picked up Evita, and we did errands. We went to the veterinarian to get Chu and Alex their flea prevention. Then we came home to put it on them. I always need Evita’s help when doing this, because the cats fight me. We went to also get my prescriptions. 

I then took her with me to do a frozen meat audit at Kroger. In the forums for this job, people say that for jobs that require a lot of cooler door opening, their kids sometimes come and do the door opening. So we tried it. No one said nothing.