Monthly Archives: October 2012

Here kitty kitty kitty!

I’m a property manager for low-income properties.  The organization I work for prides itself on being eco-friendly whenever possible.  One of the properties I manage has had a rampant mouse infestation for several years which we have not been able to control using conventional eco-friendly methods such as bait traps, sonic shields, etc.  Several months ago I was chatting with a friend of mine about this problem and she suggested that we get a couple of mouser cats for the property.  It sounded like a feasible idea – if I could get permission from the powers that be.  My friend did some research and gave me the name of an organization who she thought could assist.

I contacted The Alley Cat Project and spoke with Deborah.  She was kind and helpful in her information.  She came out to the property to see what type of set up we could arrange and we formulated a plan.  Now I just needed to get my bosses on board.  When working with non-profit organizations one needs to realize that everything moves at a snail’s pace.  There is a lot of red tape and regulations to consider.  Last week I finally got the approval I need to bring a cat onto the property.

Last night I went and bought cat litter and food.  The Alley Cat Project is providing me with a cage, litter box and feeding towers.  I’m meeting our new community kitty today.  Deborah has told me that he’s a big Tomcat who was neutered recently.  He had been living in a colony of cats that they rescued and has been living with a foster family.  This cat recently fathered a litter of kittens and once they are weaned we are going to be bringing mamma kitty to the property as well so that mamma and papa can be friends and keep each other company.  We should be getting her in a couple of weeks.  I’ve already talked with several of my tenants about helping to make the cats feel welcome and they are all on board.  I’m absolutely thrilled about this project and I believe that having a cat on premises will be the most natural way to resolve our mouse problem.

I would like to give a special thanks to my friend who suggested this (you know who you are) and to The Alley Cat Project for all the great work they do in my community!

Did I forget to mention….

I have a bit of a naughty side!  And now you get to share that with me! 🙂

Last week I was staying at a hotel for a conference.  My boyfriend decided to come stay with me one of the nights that I was there.  We’re leaving the hotel to go get dinner.  Flirting and teasing with each other the whole time.  When we get in the elevator he unzips his pants and pulls his cock out.  I grin mischeviously – always up for the challenge.  I drop to my knees and put my mouth on him.  The elevator is glass, but it’s dark out and so we are relatively certain no one saw us.  As the elevator reaches the l0bby I stand up and he zips up – and we are on our way to dinner.

After dinner we get back to the hotel and in the elevator.  I look up and realize there are surveilance cameras in the elevator!  I point it out to him and we both start laughing hysterically.  He teases me about this being my big screen debut!  Back in the hotel room we take a shower together and he bends me over the handrails and has his way with me.  As you can see, my boyfriend and I have a really great sex life.

The other morning I’m laying in bed half awake when he gets home from work.  He climbs into bed next to me and snuggles close.  After a few mintues I think he’s sleeping and I close my eyes and start to drift off.  The next thing I know his fingers are inside me, stroking me – and I gush – soaking the sheets underneath me.  He chuckles, rolls over and goes to sleep.  Later that night we are making dinner and cleaning house.  I’m in a playful mood because of the tease that morning, so I drop my pants and bend over the couch with my ass in the air – his back is to me so he doesn’t see what I’m doing.  I close my eyes and wait….seconds pass and I feel his hands on my hips guiding me onto him – and I smile.  It’s so easy, he’s so ready for me whenever I want it (which happens to be a lot).

An active and healthy sex life is vital to my mental and physical health.  I know that when I’m enjoying myself and getting release I’m a much happier Erika.  I think everyone should have as great of a sex life as I do! 🙂 Thanks for letting me share!

My weird week

I am against pedophiles or rapists of any type.  Most people are.  Up until recently there was a pedophile living in one of the buildings I manage.  At the time that he committed his crime he was significantly overweight and unhealthy.  Because of this the corrections facilities did not want to take on the expense of his care, so he was allowed to serve out his sentence at his home.

Because he was disabled (due to his weight)  he was allowed to collect social security (in spite of his criminal history) plus he had social security from his dad which he wasn’t even required to report.  So picture this.  An enormously large pedophile gets off scott free and then is allowed to sit in his bed for the next 10 years paying less than $30 a month for rent, getting food stamps and getting dual social security income.  Needless to say I have little empathy for this person.

Over the past two months his health has declined rapidly, with a month-long stay in the hospital then being sent home on hospice care.  Myself and all my coworkers knew he would die soon, but we didn’t know when.  On Saturday afternoon I was enjoying a funny conversation with my son when my work phone rang.  I ignored it at first seeing that it was a tenant, but when another tenant called I felt I needed to find out what was going on.  I asked my son to hold on for a second while I answered my work phone.  My tenant informed me that the pedophile had died late Friday night.  I was shocked, thanked the tenant for the call then got back on the phone with my son.

He asked me what that was about and I think to myself “How do I explain my mixed feelings about this situation to a 10-year-old?”  I simply told him that a tenant had died.  When my son said that was sad, I told him I wasn’t really sad about the man dying because he had done a lot of bad things in his life.  I tried to remain cheery and happy while chatting with my son but my mind was wandering. 

Later after I’d finished talking to my son I contacted my co-workers who would need to be informed of the death and then went on with my day, trying to not think about it.  The problem is, my mind never stops thinking.  And if I’m honest with myself I’m so glad that this tenant died.  He was a waste of human life, and resources, he committed a heinous crime and then lived off my (and YOUR) tax dollars until the day he died.  When I sit and look at my own financial situation – at the fact that I’m not able to get any assistance even though I’m a good person and work hard I get even more angry at the deceased and at the way our government is run.

So now it’s my great pleasure (can you hear the sarcasm?) to speak kindly to the deceased’s mother, to coordinate all the medical equipment being picked up by the hospitals, to offer condolences to tenants who were close to the deceased, and to coordinate a “celebration of life” for the tenants and friends to attend – all for someone whom I have nothing but loathing for.

This is a grand exercise in patience and people skills…and now I feel the need to turn to my serenity prayer:

God – grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (I can’t change how the government is run and the fact that a pedophile lived off my earnings).

The courage to change the things I can (I can certainly hold my head high in the knowledge that I do everything in my power to be a good person – and I CAN continue to work my ass off so that I can improve my social/financial standing)

And the wisdom to know the difference (oh hai!!! I already have that!  See above!)

Be well my friends.

Music saves my soul

This morning I was extremely upset and stressed out.  On my way into work I was – as usual – listening to my music.  For some reason the lyrics and melody of Jason Mraz always seem to soothe my soul, put things into perspective and cheer me up.  Today the song “The Remedy” was my saving grace.  Following are the lyrics with my thoughts interjected at the end:

Well I saw fireworks from the freeway
And behind closed eyes I cannot make them go away
’cause you were born on the 4th of July (freedom ring)
Well something on the surface it stings
I said something on the surface
Well it kinda makes me nervous
To say that you deserve this
And what kind of God would serve this
We would cure this dirty old disease
Well, if you gots the poison
I gots the remedy

[Chorus]
The remedy is the experience
This is the dangerous liaison (I says)
The comedy is that it’s serious
This is a strange enough new play on words
I say the tragedy is how you’re gonna spend
The rest of your nights with the light on
So shine the light on all of your friends
Well it all amounts to nothing in the end

[Bridge]
And I won’t worry my life away
Hey hey hey, oh oh
I won’t worry my life away
Hey hey hey, oh oh

Well I heard 2 men talking on the radio
In a cross-fire kind of new reality show
Uncovering the ways to plan the next big attack
Well they were counting down the ways to stab a brother in the Be right back after this
The unavoidable kiss
With the minty fresh death breath is sure to outlast this catastrophe
Dance with me
Well if you gots the poison, I gots the remedy

[Chorus]

[Bridge]

When I fall in love, I take my time
There’s no need to hurry when I’m making up my mind
You can turn off the sun, but I’m still gonna shine
And I’ll tell you why
Because

“something on the surface stinks” yea…that would be the government.

Ah!  “The remedy is the experience”…Think about this.  If I just go through life enjoying each experience as it comes along, not worrying about what will be the outcome of the experience – but just enjoying it for what it is, or knowing that it will end soon (if unenjoyable) I will have much less stress in my life.

“The tragedy is how your gona spend the rest of your nights with the light on…”  When one worries they tend to not sleep as well – hence the light on all night, every night.  And the next line “so shine the light on all of your friends”.  Well that certainly makes sense.  If you are going to be awake and not sleeping you might as well enjoy the company of those you love right?  “when it all amounts to nothing in the end”.  Therein lies the solution my friends – the remedy so to speak.  If you are enjoying each experience as it comes, making the best of it and sharing your light and love with your friends, guess what – it DOESN’T amount to NOTHING!  That double negative equals IT MEANS SOMETHING!  When you are enjoying your experiences and sharing your life and your light with your friends you’ve altered your and their lives…you’ve made a positive impact on someone – that’s what it’s all about in the end.

So I continue listening to this and other songs and my spirits lift.  I look out the window of the bus and I see the beautiful blue sky, I see birds flying across the clouds, I see the leaves changing colors – and I smile. 

I tell you what.  I won’t worry MY life away.  I’ll continue to be the loving, kind, hard-working woman I am – enjoying each experience as it comes and sharing my light with everyone I encounter.

Be well my friends and I hope each of you has an amazing weekend!

My Soapbox

Ahem.  May I get your attention for a moment please while I get up on my soapbox and complain?  You may not want to hear it, but I need to say it, so thanks for your listening ear (or seeing eyes in this case I suppose).

For ten years I was a single mother.  I take full responsibility for that due to the bad choices I’ve made in my life. For the entire time that I was a single mom I struggled to make ends meet without the help of my children’s father’s.  Occasionally I would receive assistance from the state in the form of food stamps or medical coverage, but usually I was in this dead-zone on my income level where I made too much to qualify for assistance, but not enough to adequately provide for my family.  Every once in a while one of my kid’s dad’s would get a job and I would receive child support, but said dad would usually quit his job as soon as his wages started getting garnished.  As of today I am still owed in excess of $30,000 in arrears.

Six years ago I sent my children to live with my sister and her husband.  I felt like with their dual income and stability they could provide a better life for my children than I was able to.  For the first year everything was great.  My kids were thriving under my sister’s tutelage, my sister and her husband bought a home and I was working on getting my life together.  Around this time my sister found out that she could qualify to get the kids medical coverage through the state which would save her a significant amount of money by not covering them on her private insurance.  It was at this time that the state of Utah began garnishing my wages in order to reimburse themselves for the medical coverage they were providing for my children. 

Initially the garnishment wasn’t so bad – only about $200 a month.  I can live with that and do so happily in the knowledge that my children are provided for and have excellent medical coverage.  Over the past six years the garnishment has increased slightly based on cost of living and wage increases.  Last year I received notice that the garnishment was going to increase from about $365 a month to around $1200 a month.  I almost died when I received this notice.  The state of Utah had decided that they would take the maximum amount allowed under law – 50% of my wages.  I immediately appealed based on the financial hardship this would cause and successfully got the amount lowered to $850 a month.  This was still a huge financial hardship for me, but better than the $1200 a month they had wanted. 

I buckled down and worked my ass off – in the end bringing home less than minimum wage.  Everyone suggested I apply for low-income housing, food stamps medical.  So I did.  The result of that is this:  Government agencies who provide help to low income persons base their assistance on the GROSS income of said applicant.  Based on my gross income – I make decent money, too much to qualify for assistance.  They (the government agencies) never take into consideration that I don’t see half of that gross amount! 

I was able to find an apartment that was about $30 less than what I had been paying so I moved as soon as I was able to.  I didn’t realize that the electric bill (which I hadn’t paid at my previous residence) was going to be over a hundred dollars a month, so I actually ended up being worse off than before.  Add to this the fact that 2 months ago my rent was increased by $150 a month with only 1 months notice. 

So here I sit.  It’s payday.  My paycheck was $540.  My rent is $650.  Because of my financial situation I’ve paid my rent in two payments each month part with the first paycheck, the rest with the second.  I’ve been informed that I can no longer do this.  I need to pay my rent in full at the first of the month.  I understand the rules behind this, but – you do the math.  “Ah!  But what about your second check?” you might say.  “Why don’t you just pay ahead a little with your second check?”  Lets think about this.  If I’m $110 short of paying my rent that means I’m going to have to borrow that money from someone and will have to pay that money back.  I also have my cell phone and I pay for cell phone service for 2 of my 3 children.  Keep in mind I still have electric to pay for as well as I need food.  By the time I get my second check it’s already spent. 

I live in a technology free home.  I have the cheapest cell phone possible.  I don’t have Internet or TV (local or cable).  I go to food banks and lie about my circumstance so that I can have food in my house.  I’ve lost 10 pounds because I haven’t been able to afford groceries in about 3 months.  And yet – I make too much to qualify for assistance. 

If this money were going directly to my children and my sister I would have an easier time swallowing my circumstances, but it doesn’t.  It goes instead to the bloated government that runs our country.  They are the Sheriff of Nottingham, robbing from the poor to give to the wealthy – and it disgusts me. As I sit here in tears wondering if I will be evicted this month I envision the fat cats who run the government sleeping in their cozy beds with full bellies and money to waste and I want to throw my hands up in the air and say “I GIVE UP!” but I can’t. 

So I hustle.  I have a houseboy who is helping me with rent in exchange for a place to sleep.  I do massage when I can to earn extra money, I borrow from Bob to pay Joe.  And I continue working my ass off, doing the best I know how in this job that I love so that eventually I can get a promotion and a raise and maybe pop my head above the water for a brief moment so that I can breathe. 

-Steps off her soap box and continues her day.

P.S.  I categorized this under “Global Change” because I think there is something seriously wrong with a government which opperates this way and would like to see changes in policy with regards to the maximum amount they are allowed to withold from someone’s wages, as well as a change in policy which would allow government agencies to provide assistance based on one’s NET income as opposed to their GROSS income.

P.P.S.  It occured to me that taxes are based on Gross income also – So I’m taxed for my gross, then the garnishment is witheld and I’m left with the pittance which remains.  Ok…I’m really done now.

David’s Dread of Dreary Deadlines

As the alarm clock sounds David opens his eyes, and groans at the thought of the day ahead of him.  David works at a dead-end job for a small telecom company, which is on any given day, a microcosm of Hell.  But this particular day is All Hallows Eve, the last day of the month and therefore the busiest.  With trepidation David steps gingerly on to the wood floor of his man cave.  He hurriedly showers and dresses – the loathing in his gut growing stronger with each passing moment.  As he steps out into the street David is drenched in a frozen blast of rain.  The dark months have begun in this sleepy Northwestern town.  David knows that he will see no sunshine for endless months and shakes his head in sorrow. Trudging through the rain and the wind, he makes his way to work, his feet growing heavier with each step.

When David nears the office he can hear that the Banshee is in rare form this morning.  Her screeches echo down the dark street.  Chills course through his body and the loathing in his gut turns to bile in his throat.  He knows what he is walking into – the Banshee screaming from her den – then smiling in your face trying to beguile you into her jaws.  Closer now, David can see that the Ice King and his wife are in the office, a rare workday in their life of leisure.  David’s loathing turns into pure hatred.  He realizes he will spend the day frozen solid while the Ice King enjoys the cold dark air.

He slips quietly into the office and heads straight to the kitchen.  At least he will have as much hot coffee as he wants today.  The Ice King likes to ensure that his employees are working at their maximum speed and so provides unlimited beverages.  As usual no one else has bothered to make coffee this morning.  David doesn’t mind – the task keeps him from his desk a little longer. As he’s putting the finishing touches on his drink, Tigger bounces into the kitchen.  With his caffeine induced façade of perpetual excitement Tigger asks how David’s morning is going.  Always the diplomat David responds appropriately and hurries to his desk.

The Banshee is still screeching from behind the door of her den.  David’s desk is right outside the banshee’s door so he has the pleasure of hearing everything she is saying.  He knows to keep his head down and his mouth shut in order to avoid her wrath.  He quietly sits down and begins his day.  Eventually the Banshee stops screeching and opens her door.  Dressed in black and gold, she is a sight to behold.  David has never seen her so adorned and wonders what the special occasion is.

The Banshee turns her gaze on David and lilts, “Oh David, can you come see The Ice King, Tigger and I in the conference room?  We have something we would like to discuss with you.”  The sensation of a million baby spiders crawls from his scalp to his toes and he shudders in fear and anticipation.  Has it finally come?  Are they really going to release him from his servitude?  David gathers his pen and notepad and hurries into the conference room.  

When he enters the room it’s as though he’s stepped into a glacial cave.  Darkness shrouds his vision.  Moisture condenses on his eyelashes and the chill cuts through to his bones.  As his eyes adjust to the dim candlelight, he sees The Ice King and his bride at the head of the room.  Black robes waft around them in the breeze.  To the right is Tigger, on one knee bowing his head, to the left the Banshee in the same position.  There are sconces with candles lining the walls and some type of altar in front of the Ice King.  There is a red velvet cloth covering the altar and a skull shaped bowl with something steaming inside it.  Next to the skull is a golden goblet.

“COME FORWARD” The icy blast from the mouth of the King nearly knocks him over and he stumbles as he moves to the front of the room.  The Banshee and Tigger turn their gaze to him and in unison pronounce “He is ready my king”.  The horrified David barely notices them speak too enthralled by the items on the altar. He can now see that there is a heart pulsating inside the skull, and the goblet is filled with some dark liquid next to it.  The stench of blood and death creeps up his nostrils like tendrils on a vine.  His legs have turned to jello and he struggles to stay upright.

“David Langston Willingham, we have learned of the Twin you hide within you.  It was for the Twin that we brought you into our fold.  It is for the Twin that we have fed and nurtured the darkness within you.  It is for the Twin that we now initiate you as a full citizen of our kingdom.” David’s eyes remain plastered to the pulsating heart, his mind racing – “HOW?”

The Ice King continues, “David Langston Willingham, take this chalice and drink.  With this blood the Twin within you will finally awaken.”  David can see that he has no escape from this warren of demons and so drinks from the cup.  The pungent taste of iron fills his mouth and throat, the warmth causing him to gag.  He finishes the cup and puts it back on the altar.  He knows what will be next and that there will be no stopping his twin if the demons succeed.

“David Langston Willingham, take this heart and consume it.  With this heart the Twin will have life of his own, the freedom to move about and do my bidding.”  The small orb of white within David’s soul chuckles at this.  Finally he has found his advantage – the Ice King underestimates the power of the Twin.  He grabs the heart and forces the entire thing into his mouth, chewing furiously, but not allowing anything to seep down his throat.  When he’s finished there is nothing but a bloody mush filling every crevice of his mouth.  He simulates a swallow and drops to his knees.  He knows he must time this just perfectly in order to escape intact.

He starts shaking and the Ice King grins down at him, the blackness of his soul streaming out through his teeth as he laughs.  “At last!  The Twin will be mine to control!”  At that instant David looks directly into the Ice Kings eyes and hurls the bloody mush out of his mouth and into the Ice Kings.  The Ice King chokes and gags on the pulp of the heart as the mush slides down his throat.  David jumps to his feet and grabs the Ice King’s jaw forcing it closed so the king has no choice but to swallow the heart.  

The Banshee, Tigger and the Queen are as statues, unable to move from the shock of David’s actions.  The Ice King begins to shake as the heart begins to flow through his body.  One by one the pores on the king’s body burst into light until he is consumed.  His head falls back and his eyes roll inside their sockets.  The light is so bright that it fills the room, blinding all but David.  He’s been through this before – this isn’t the first time someone has tried to steal his Twin.  

The light emanating from the Ice King is hot, warming David through and through.  As he watches the Ice King begins melting like a snowman on a warm day.  The other three demons are cowering on the ground hiding their eyes from the light, trying to get away from the heat.  David laughs.  He knows it will be over for them soon as well.  When there’s nothing left of the Ice King but a puddle the light finally fades and dies.  David blinks to adjust his eyes to the darkness again.

The Queen is the first to stir.  She lifts her head and gazes at David.  All the darkness has gone from her soul and the beautiful maid is left wondering where she is and what has happened.  David grasps her arm and guides her to the kitchen where he gives her a warm cup of coffee.  He hurries back to the conference room and does the same for the now docile Banshee.  Tigger is the last to arise.  No longer bouncy and full of energy he walks somberly out of the conference room.  No coffee for Tigger.  He never wants to see another cup again.

The three former demons gather their wits and head to their homes.  They have all been enslaved by the Ice King for years and are anxious to regain their lost lives.  After everyone has left David puts out the candles and turns off all of the equipment.  As he shuts the door to the office one last time, he’s grateful that his servitude has come to an end.  While making the long journey home David contemplates what he will do now for work.  Likely another hell hole like the one he just left.  Such is life.

Falling in Love With You

I can feel the pain seeping into my soul.
The thought of losing you overwhelms me.
That once sturdy head I used to have, it disappears now.

I’m immobile, paralyzed, frozen in place.
Memories that aren’t made yet flood into my mind.
A haze covers my eyes like walking in the dark.

I guess this is what truly falling in love feels like.
It’s funny; I always thought it’d be perfect.
But imperfection is what I love most about us.

I can never be freed from my chains.
You can never heal my awful scars.
All we can do is try and live the way we were meant to.

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