Tuesday, October 30, 2012

And it went like this

As I may have mentioned before my complex is a congregating ground for homeless people. Apparently there is a VACANCY sign posted in the local homeless chapter break room with the little pieces of paper hanging from the bottom of the posting with the address for the carports along my complex drive. And the other day I was able to have a brief conversation with a once homeless man who had incidentally found a place to live and was coming back to claim his belongings.

Let me set the scene for you. I was walking out of my house to my carport with the intention of driving out to LA to hang with a friend for the weekend. As I walk to the end of our little grassy knoll I see that there is a little white car blocking the exit of my carport and this is where the story begins:

“Hey do you think you could move your car a bit so I can get my car out of the carport?” The lady driving the vehicle just stares at me slightly slack jaw as if I just asked her if she was wearing underwear.

Enter the short man in the black t-shirt, “Oh, hey. Well see I have my stuff stored here and I live in Lancaster now and I came back to get my stuff and see I had all my things here in your cupboards but now they’re all spread out”

“Yep…….well……….there is a lot of people that are going through these cupboards so they probably took some stuff and moved it.”

“Yeah, see I had it all in one spot. I had all my baby pictures and stuff and I found some of my things in this cupboard and the one next to it and the one at the end. I had this duffle bag full of clothes that still had the tags on them and everything.”

Now let’s pause one second here. When I hear this man’s plight of strewn out belongings I think to myself (so you’re telling me you had brand new clothes but you didn’t have a place to live? Hmmm, interesting. I guess new cargo shorts are more important than a bed to sleep in.) Let’s continue.

“Yeah, I’m not really sure what to tell you. I see people walking around these carports all the time so they probably took your stuff.”

“Well you know, I tried to put it all in one spot and I even put screws on the doors to keep them closed but you know someone opened them I guess.”

“Yeah………….so is there something you need? Do you need help with something?”

“Oh no I just need to get into your cupboard and get the rest of my stuff……you know.”

“Ok……..well if you move your car I can get out of your way because I’m leaving anyway.”

“Oh, ok. Well thanks for letting me use your space.”

“You’re fine man, I don’t use it anyway”

Now I was on the phone with my friend for the very beginning of this conversation and out of courtesy I told her I would call her back because I had a feeling it was going to be longer than a 30sec interlude. When I called her back she tells me, “That sounded like the beginning of an SNL skit.” And now that I think about it………..I’m pretty sure a series of skits could be made from the homeless scenarios that have played out in my complex. I could possibly even write a book with short memoirs called “Happenings of the Homeless: Real life carport living” I’d sell a million copies, do signings in bookstores and then have copyrights to the SNL skits that would follow. Not sure if a movie could be made from the book ………………..maybe one for TV. I could even put “Based on Real Life Events” to make it more legit. Maybe in my hours of spare time I’ll start the scripts for the skits.

But in other news mark this on our calendars: Belly Laugh Day Jan 24th, careful not to pee while laughing.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Campaign Against Skinny Jeans

I am impatiently awaiting for the fashion of skinny jeans to be over. Last night I was at a concert at the Greek Theatre which I realize is the ant hill of hipsters and so shouldn’t be surprised when I see a grown man in an oversized cream sweater with red skinny jeans rolled up to look like capris but I am still confused by the appeal. I just have a couple questions: (1) Why do you want to dress in such a way I have to look at your face to see if you are really a man because the rest of your outfit screams feminine. (2) Why do you want to advertise that you are skinny? Since when was looking like a scarecrow become an attractive male form? I get that tight pants are not a new concept in our culture I mean most athletes where tight fitting clothing but I believe this is so their clothing doesn’t impair their movement or get caught in a bike spoke and let’s be honest they have some nice items to show off, mainly muscles that are big in all the right places. I mean….. is the reason I go to the ballet because I really love the dancing, Yes, but do I also enjoy the fact that the men are in tights and they’re firm butts are so nicely packaged I feel like I’m looking at a sweet piece of candy ready to have a bite taken out of? And football………do I really care which team wins, maybe if I have a bet on the line, but when they do close up shots of the field and the fabric is stretched over their cut quads I can’t help but cheer for better camera angles and I don’t remember which team decided they should put a line of accent color down the back of their pants but the contours of their legs suddenly become a landscape I would like to see out my window every morning. But somehow this just doesn’t translate into skin hugging jeans. When bigger men wear skinny jeans it just looks silly. Like they’re trying to fit into their sisters borrowed wardrobe because they incidentally lost every article of clothing in a fire and ran out of clothes options. And when the skinny boy wears them all I think is, “Does he know we have protein to eat?” But a friend of mine made an inquisitive point, “Doesn’t it hurt the man parts?” One would think if there was something in the way, these constrictive linens would be all the more bothersome. I had a friend from high school state once, “You know why cowboys don’t have kids? Cause their jeans keep the juice from flowing.” Perhaps there is some truth to this statement. And this has given me a valid purpose for those skinny jeans. Ladies, if a guy is able to wear this 2nd layer of skin fabrics then perhaps the goods he has aren’t quite the grade A quality we are looking for? I can now see this as a prescreening process and a quicker process of elimination. I now thank you men in skinny jeans; it has given me a quick way to weed through the “haves” and “have nots”. So carry on men, wear your hip hugging pants and thank you for making the social dating pool easier to select from.

But let’s discuss Olympic Swimwear, I feel this is a topic we can ALL enjoy

Monday, August 13, 2012

And then there was none

The homeless man in my cupboard has vanished. All that is left is the top to a cooler. I wonder if the morning I saw him he was so startled he decided it was best he should make residence elsewhere. I believe I know who this homeless man is. One night I came home late and there was a man sitting on the bottom step of my stairs. I smiled at him as I went up to my apartment but he didn’t say a word. I was busy loading my laundry in my car and the last time I came down the stairs he was gone. Then again last week I saw the same man. He was standing at the edge of a carport and as I passed him in my car we had a brief exchange of eye contact. Me wondering if he was the homeless man in the cupboard and he wondering if I knew he was the homeless man in the cupboard. And today when I was driving to work I saw the cupboard doors open in the carport next to mine and there shoved up on the shelf was a whicker love seat and piles of clothes. I wonder if the homeless man found the previous stash from the homeless women that used to live in that carport. Well I hope he finds another place to sleep as I was about to leave him a note asking that he stop peeing in my carport because I don’t enjoy the smell of urine in the morning.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bum in the cupboard

Do you guys remember reading that classic children's book 'Indian in the cupboard'? The one about the boy that meets a little Indian in the cupboard and they become BFF's and have great adventures together? ..........................What?!? You mean you never read that book? Well don't worry because i didn't either in fact all i really remember is the cover of the book where there is this little Indian peaking out of a cupboard and looking at the young boy. I'm not really sure why the Indian was in the cupboard, i would think if you were an Indian you'd be in a tree or in the grass or even under the bed. That seems a more likely spot for an Indian. Well if you don't like to read  you are in luck cause they made a movie out of it and I'm going to guess it probably has a 3 tomato rating.
But my story is not about an Indian or Native American if we are to be a little more PC about this classification. My story is about the bum in my cupboard. Yes folks, I indeed have my very own bum in my cupboard to take on my many adventures as long as he doesn't smell too bad. This morning as i was getting ready to leave for work i thought to myself, "Self, you should take that wood out of the back of your car." Yes, i frequently carry large logs in my trunk just in case i need to build a fire to stay warm, or furnish a canoe to paddle out to see or across a big lake but mostly i have wood in my car because i held a bonfire Saturday night and had left over pieces. But rest assured if i had to fashion a canoe i could do it, it's in my Indian blood. Or perhaps some little canoe shoes as these logs weren't big enough to make a full size canoe. So, i decided the best place to put these canoe shoe logs is in my cupboard in my carport, after all i don't really need wood in my house because i have no fireplace and i don't have a need for a stool because i don't live in the forest, i own chairs and a couch.
i open my cupboard and i see that there is a radio looking device, like an old CD player or something and i think, "well that's weird, this cupboard is supposed to be empty" then i look a little to my left and notice a twin mattress set, box spring and all and then i notice the movement of a foot. "HOLY CRAP THERE IS A BUM SLEEPING IN MY CUPBOARD" i quickly shut the door and wonder what i should do. Should i call the police? Should i call the HOA? Should i call the owner of my condo? Should i run upstairs and get the locks in my house and lock the guy in there as a mean but hilarious prank? i decide to do none of these and just stack the wood in the corner of my carport.
Now you might be saying to yourself "Are you freaking nuts Kaliska? There is a man literally living in your carport. He is trespassing on property. You should really call someone and report him." And yes this thought has also crossed my mind but this is what I'm thinking. "Dude, this man is so hard up he is literally living in a carport cupboard because he apparently has nowhere else to go." I have no idea how long he has been living there, for all i know it could be months and if i were to guess i think he might be the guy that was living in our laundry room for a time.
Times are tough and a man needs his domain, even if it is shelved up in a strange carport that belongs to someone else. So far i don't think he's caused any harm. i haven't noticed an increase in theft or drug trafficking, as far as i can tell the guy is pretty harmless, kind of like the lady that was living in the carport 2 down from mine.
My friend told me i could adopt him as my pet. take him for walks, leave him some food and water, make him do tricks for a snack. but if i have to bathe or groom him i don't think i can handle that kind of responsibility, that's too much. he might have fleas or worms and i just don't have that kind of time to dedicate to a needy pet.
Anyway, i might perhaps maybe call the HOA and say, "hey there's a dude living in my cupboard. do you think you can check his expiration date? i don't know the shelf life of a human but i don't really want him to start smelling up the neighborhood." But in other good news the squatter that was sneaking into the condo below me through the unsecured window is now gone. the new owners of the condo started doing demo work and i talked to the guy and said, "He FYI there was a homeless dude living in here." "Oh, i threw his stuff out yesterday. i think he got the message" and now that i think about it, maybe HE'S the one in my cupboard. Resourceful fellow.
I guess we'll see how this plays out, maybe he heard me this morning and has decided to move to a different carport or find a different abandoned condo to go live in but i wish him no harm. if i were homeless i might just sleep in a carport cupboard, in fact that is a pretty ingenious spot, I'll have to keep that in mind if i perchance end up without a couch to sleep on and all my friends and family magically disappear when the mother ship comes down to collect us and i happen to be in the bathroom because i drank too much "Kick-a-Poo" soda and in fear of peeing my pants just had to find a near by toilet to relieve myself. I mean this is just worse case scenario here, but i need to definitely have a back up plan.

And just a fun fact: Here is where marshmallows are made.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Superman works at the Laundromat

Well ladies and gentlemen Superman has officially retired to be an employee at the Coin Laundry in Pomona, CA. How do I know this? Well because that’s where I wash my underwear and I talked to the man himself. See as it so happens I pretty much have to do a load of laundry at least once a week (can’t be wearing crusty chonies) and I was down at my standard laundry place and the attendant looking after the place was this middle aged Caucasian man with dark hair starting to gray at the temples just above the ears. He was wearing a pretty non-descript wardrobe; white t-shirt, faded jeans, and tennis shoes. I was standing at the washing machine reading my study material for work and he comes up and starts chatting, asking if I wanted the channel on the TV changed, I told him it was fine because I wasn’t watching it anyway and he says, “Well I’m going to turn it to Biggest Loser when it comes on, I like that show.” He then went about his business of emptying the coin catchers, sweeping the floor and wiping down the machines. He walked by a couple of times and once asking if I was cold cause I was in shorts and it was cold outside and that he was cold cause he was just in a t-shirt and that he forgot to bring his jacket. I think he was excited that someone else in the Laundromat spoke English. But I didn’t think Superman ever needed a jacket; couldn’t he just warm his skin whenever he wanted? Or perhaps that was part of his cover; he wanted to appear like everyone else.
When it came time to dry my clothes I walked over to the dryers and was trying to figure out if perhaps one dried better than another and if it was the one that was less used. And once again Superman came to my rescue, “Do you know how to use these machines? They’re they good ones to use cause they have more air circulation. See you just have to make sure you clean out the lint trap.” And so he bends over to clean out the trap on the bottom dryer and there it is, his secret identity revealed. There on the blue band of his underwear were the words “MAN OF STEEL” HA!! I caught him, here he thought he could live out his days of retirement in secrecy and peace but I know better. Now I know if I need a tank or bus moved I just have to head down the street and call on Superman the mild mannered laundry attendant. But what would have been even more helpful is if he told me that on one wall the dryers ran for 9min but on the other wall they ran for 10min which means I would have gotten and extra minute of drying for my quarter spent on heated air. Next time I just might ask him to blow on my panties and have them dried in an instant and save that 25 cents to buy an awesome piece of gold jewelry in the little red vending machines, like a pinky ring that makes me look “pimp tight”.