Friday, December 25, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
I live less than a mile from my first apartment on my own. In my life, I’ve lived in Europe, Cleveland, New York City, Dallas Austin and Houston Texas, and still today I'm only a few blocks from my first apartment after leaving home, which was in 1967 near Sunset Boulevard at Echo Park. Then still magnetized to this street through L.A., in the 1980s, I went through this period of doing this being beautiful thing, age mid-thirties, with careful control, anorexia builimia, and exercise obsession.
If I gained three pounds I'd stay home and torture myself with starvation and exercising until the weight came off.
Those years I’d go to these temp agencies that only fill jobs in show business. I didn't realize then that the reason I was getting great jobs through them was that I looked sexy, I really thought they were sending me all over the industry because of my incredible typing skills, plus those years at NASA on my resume always incited conversation.
One job I got through the Friedman Agency in the 1980s, whose offices were in the brand new highrise office building at 9000 Sunset Boulevard, was in the executive offices at Paramount Studios. There I sat from 8AM to 6PM doing NOTHING, I mean literally, reading magazines, books, taking “breaks” to walk around on the lot and then come back.
Then around six PM the executives would all show up, running hyperactively into the offices, and they'd always ask if I minded staying overtime, and I’d get paid overtime for the next two or three hours for getting them coffee and placing phone calls for them, then come back the next morning and snooze through another day.
Okay fast forward to 2005, Lizzie and I have moved into a homeless shelter, the Lighthouse in an old bar and grill building at 5600 Sunset Boulevard. We'd been living in our car for six months, and even though as soon as I have a home I can set up my equipment and return to work, I have to go along with the homeless shelter rules, and go out and apply for jobs.
Digging through the clothing donations, I find a business suit where the jacket almost buttons across my stomach, so it looks okay as long as I wear it open, right?
Wearing my too tight suit and ill fitting panty hose, walking in heeled shoes with feet that haven’t worn anything but sneakers for at least a decade, there I am in the 9000 Sunset Boulevard offices of the Friedman Agency again, just like the 1980s, only now it's an office building with huge "FOR LEASE" signs and empty floors of unleased space.
It’s the strangest thing. I sit in the lobby of the Friedman Agency for a good hour, hour and a half. They never call me in. I’ve taken their tests showing that I know almost nothing about word software. But I got a hundred percent on the Spelling Test.
I'm still the same woman who they used to send to Paramount to work in the executive offices.
They left me in the lobby. Other applicants arrived, took tests, went in to be interviewed, left with a packet of time cards, and I still sat waiting.
I’d ridden the Sunset bus all the way up Sunset from the homeless shelter to the 9000 Sunset Boulevard Building, same building.
It was maybe even more than an hour and a half they left me waiting.
Finally, when they realized I was not going to get the message and leave, the owner of the business called me in to his office. I recognized him, but he looked at me like I was a stranger. See he hadn't aged. Men and women west of La Cienega Boulevard in Los Angeles don't age. They Botox. Their skin is creamy and smooth, even glowing, their bodies toned, as they go through their forties, fifties, even sixties.
So Mr. Friedman looked the same as he did when I was one of his favorite employees in the 1980s. Now I said to him, don't you remember me? You used to send me to Paramount, lots of production companies…
He interrupted me. “How many years ago was that?”
Hmm, Lizzie was born in 1988 and I wasn’t even pregnant yet when I was working for them. I chimed in with a grin, “Oh fifteen, sixteen years ago.”
He stared into my eyes and said with barely hidden meaning: “Sixteen years ago. It was sixteen years ago.”
When I left I insisted they give me one of those packets of time cards I saw other people getting, and he threw one across the desk at me, and turned his back.
They never called me
Wearing that same ill-fitting suit, I answered yet another employment ad, riding the bus from the homeless shelter at Sunset Boulevard and Normandie, all the way to Santa Monica, off Wilshire. There a woman spoke to me at a desk, while looking at a computer monitor. In the middle of my answering a question, she interrupted and said, that's okay- you can leave, or something to that effect.
There had been a hidden camera, and the guy who I would have been working for was watching me on a monitor in another room. He rejected me on sight, so the interview ended.
Show biz, Hollywood, it's a tough town.
I always say, that God saw me getting sexualized by a priest when I was five years old, and He knew I was going to have trouble as a result. I've had these angels with me since that time. It's how I lived through all the chaos, several attempted murders on Me, I lived through. Pretended to be dead when the nine Indians raped me up in Mount Shasta until they left.
Lived through it all...
The reason I had so much trouble in Oregon last summer is the train went right through Mount Shasta. There in my face in all the train car cinemascope windows was a memory I had so stuffed, so prevented myself from confronting, that I didn't even prepare myself before we went through Mt. Shasta.
Then there it was in my face and I relived it all.
Sunset Boulevard is nowhere near Mt. Shasta. The rape by nine Indians who left me for dead is from a 1969 attempt to run away from L.A. to Northern California. I moved myself onto an Indian Reservation. Without any qualms, I'd get up from my bedroom in the morning and bathe naked in the river, I think I knew the guys were watching the little hippie girl. Then one night they got me...
I lived through it.
To be continued...
Sunday, December 20, 2009
People ask me how I ended up with my weird job, transcribing videotapes for reality TV shows. It’s not a job you get by answering an ad in the paper. There are websites where you used to find my job, but even that has stopped.
I started doing this kind of work in the mid-1980s. At 8555 Sunset Boulevard, which is right at the height of West Hollywood, just past La Cienega towards Beverly Hills, still at the top of the hill. A panoply of people ended up in that location, where we had from 5 to 10 Selectric typewriters
Remember the book and movie Wired! about John Belushi, his last days at Chateau Marmont. He and Robin Williams called in typists from Barbara's Place to sit there with them and transcribe down everything they said. Well, Studio Typing used to compete with Barbara's Place, only we had a storefront on Sunset Boulevard.
Writers would come in with manuscripts, typed pages with handwritten notes all over them, arrows and copy and pasted paragraphs, the real copy and paste, using paste, or well, it was the 1980s, using transparent tape.
One writer lived in a house in the hills right above us, and would saunter in wearing her bathrobe, bringing us new pages, replacement pages. Regina, who owned the store, waited on the celebrity customers. She greeted the screenwriter saying, “You didn't have to dress up.”
I lived straight down the hill, on Holloway. In fact, you could hike up an empty lot, there was a path with trash and condoms all over it, trash in the weeds, one of the few places you’d see trash in L.A. back then… anyway, I’d literally climb the hill on the path through the vacant lot, from where I lived on Holloway to Sunset, and 8555 Sunset Boulevard was right across the street at that particular spot. Today it is a strip mall with-
Hmm, I could ride up there later and take a picture of what it is today.
Funny, because when I was running the little script typing and resume business for Regina, as we’d be there late into the night, me and the sprinkling of typists that were there working that week, we’d talk about what a great story you could write about Studio Typing Service, or maybe a TV sitcom. Most of the people who worked for us were the Hollywood 20-something’s you still find in this town today. Moved here from somewhere else, breaking into the business. We had writers actors musicians, they’d come in and type for us, on call, or we’d send scripts home to them where they had Selectric typewriters in their apartments. In fact that's how I started at Studio Typing. I was trying to get jobs as a freelance publicist, needed cash, so I’d type for Studio Typing, first from my studio apartment on Holloway.
Then I worked in the 8555 Sunset Boulevard storefront one day, and when I saw the array of individuals that came into that place, I begged to let me work “in house” and before long, Regina said, Why don't you just run the business for me for a while.
She went off to join a fundamentalist Christian group run by a Japanese lady and this man that Regina was dating. Their church was run out of the Japanese lady’s living room.
Regina got born again by sitting with these two people in the lady’s living room watching a Television evangelist. Regina told me later, she ended up on the floor shaking and twitching and speaking in tongues. Now she just wanted to work for the Lord, so she let me manage Studio Typing. This was 1986 or 1987.
I was so lost. In 1983 I had flown home from Houston, home, ended up in West Hollywood, as the hills and valleys of L.A. are about all the home I really have. I was so lost in those years, having gone from being a PAO in the NASA Newsroom, writing press releases, training to do mission commentary during Spacelab One.
Come 1985 I'm typing from my studio apartment in West Hollywood barely paying rent, still in this sort of state of shock, like what happened at NASA, what did I do? I still, in the 1980s, as I grew into my middle thirties, did not make the connection between the out of control sexuality and losing jobs. I just knew I kept losing jobs, and was trying to find the problem with my work that was causing it. And of course I could never find it, because back then, no one came right out and said, you can’t have sex with everybody in the place and expect to still get any respect, no matter how brainy you are. No one tried to stop me. I just kept making the same mistake over and over again.
So now I was living in West Hollywood, the only city where a person can be as over-sexed as I was, well besides San Francisco and maybe New York City- I was in West Hollywood before it became a city, so there was even more of an anything goes attitude. It wasn’t even incorporated, it was just county land, with million dollar high rises on it.
That's one of the reasons gays and prostitutes and other freaks could just be themselves in that part of L.A., because the strip along LaCienega to Doheny wasn't incorporated. I'm a libertarian and really believe that's the best way to be, in spite of how bad it can get…
Studio Typing. I rediscovered myself as someone who can look good, as I started to run the front counter, there at 8555 Sunset Boulevard, at the beginning of what was once called Sunset Strip. I bought nice clothes, made a good living, felt almost professional again, even if it was a typing service. I don't think I ever even thought about the difference between that job and being a PAO at NASA, at that time I so lived immersed in the PTSD, my form of PTSD, where I went so fast forward, I never stopped to see what a mess I was making, never stopped to look closely. Because I knew if I stopped too long, I wouldn't be able to stand to look at it.
Maybe that's why I was such a fast typist and one of the few persons capable of making a living as a script typist in Hollywood in the 1980s. It was fun. Everyone was creative in Studio Typing on Sunset Boulevard, and towards the end of a long night, we'd hit the Thai-food liquor store in the same lot, joke and type, laugh over the scripts we were typing.
Writers would bring in rewrites and we had our tequniques for retyping and still keeping things in screenplay format, not losing or adding too many pages. We did it with typewriters. Nowadays you pay five hundred dollars for software and it formats your scripts.
In the 1990s when Lizzie and I tumbled back into L.A. like it or not, I found Regina. Oh. I forgot to say. Her business folded because that fundamentalist Christian group was really a con artist and cohorts. They took her for all her money, including the property she had in the business, the Kodak copier that collated and stapled, it was so state of the art.
Studio Typing Service on Sunset Boulevard fell prey to fundamentalist Christian con artists and I got pregnant and moved to Humboldt County to hide from … something, I didn't know why, I just knew I needed to take the baby and hide.
Anyway, we came back in 1998 and I found Regina's colleagues and the same work was still going on, only now it was transcribing raw video that came in for documentary movies and news programs. So I went back to working from home, in the one city in the world where that kind of work can actually be interesting.
I liked the job because I could continue to hide, just in my apartment, now, not in the Redwood forest.
I was able to be a Stepford Single Mom because of this job, and pulled it off for the next few years.
Around 1999, a new kind of job came in, a pilot for a TV show called Survivor, then another job like it came in, this one from a show calling itself The Amazing Race.
We were flabbergasted, as why would they want us to write down everything these people were saying, but that's what they wanted. These new “reality TV shows” wanted us to transcribe everything that was said on this raw video and insert time codes every 30 seconds.
So that's how I segued from a NASA Public Affairs Officer to a script typist to a reality TV show video transcriber.
I’d collate those screenplays or make copies of actors’ resumes using our super duper machine to staple their headshots on the back.
Never stopping long enough to figure out what happened to me until that baby turned five years old, 1993…
Today most transcription for reality shows is done by college students, working as interns for no pay. But I still get plenty of jobs, from the shows that need higher quality, faster, more accurate intelligent transcribing. They pay for me, so I end up now doing-
The documentaries and news shows ...
So with Meals on Wheels as well, I never have to leave my house.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
It’s not as easy as it sounds, making yourself stop thinking about pedophile priests for one month. I still, as a journalist, have to at least go to Abuse Tracker a couple times a day to keep up. I’ve got a file of notes for stories when CofA starts back up in January, and it's already ten pages long.
It’s not just the subject matter, priests raping children, it’s the residual effects.
Without meaning to, without even realizing it happened, I turned into this non stop angry person. No matter what the topic, bring it up with me, I’ll start hollering at you about it. And since it’s 2009 in East Hollywood, it’s not hard to find a topic to holler about anyway.
But I bet even if I was on a terrace overlooking some island paradise, I’d still be irritated. I’ve read in a couple of the lawsuit documents, one of the damages so many pedophile priest victims experience is: “Inability to enjoy life,” or “Inability to feel pleasure.” I guess I'm not the only one with this problem. Wish I’d noticed it sooner, or all those people who have stopped calling me would still be calling me, well maybe not. I don't know if you can easily get rid of a character trait like that, when it seems to be so ingrained.
Why shouldn't I be happy in our crappy little home? It’s like that birds in the trees Scripture: They have all the peckings they need. I think it's in the New Testament.
Why do you worry about things, don't you see the birds have all the seeds they need, the plants the water to grow.
Hmm, that doesn't fly in L.A. You can’t even say that God provides water for all the plants anymore. You should see the thirsty dying palm trees that were planted decades back along Sunset Boulevard.
Religion would probably be a good business to get into right now, since people get religious when they run out of money. At age 61, I’ve watched it happen now for a few economic cycles, and I know it's true. People find God when they don't have anything else to fall back on. And He does get them through it.
Okay there’s this buzz in the “survivor community” to stop giving money to the Church. I assume this means you will still go to the Church every Sunday and stay for their after service Donuts and Coffee. You will be putting your body heat in their air conditioned building, drinking their wine, eating their Eucharist wafers.
It’s dishonest to go to a Church and not give it money. It’s like … how do I explain this.
My Catholic friends tell me that withholding donations is the best activism about pedophile priests you will get from Catholics, they'll never leave their churches. Some call it brainwashing, I don't think that's the right word for it.
A few years back I was on this anti-depressant medicine, and since I used to be an Advanced Hatha Yoga teacher back in the 1970s, I have this sensitivity, I can feel things going on in my body… it’s hard to explain and I’m getting off topic.
After being on this psychotropic, provided by L.A. County public health, I remember the feeling, and it did indeed control my mood. It was like a steel grip, a vice, was at the top of my brain and then steel-like tentacles reached out from the vice and just held
Parts of my brain were held in place, with a steel-fisted grip.
I got on the pills because Lizzie and I were living at Hope Again’s shelter for homeless women at the time. Nowadays, if you are in a shelter like that, they insist you go get on medication, I mean, I didn't need medication. I was depressed because we’d been living in our car for six months, and well, my dad was murdered in 1997 and the woman also embezzled his money, so I lost my inheritance to a murderer and was living on the street 8 years later. Yeah I was a little depressed.
I bring all this up now because as I observe people stuck-
-in that religion so bad that they don't want to give it another dime, but they'll still file in and go into a mesmerized state of prayer there at least once a week, I see that and I think of that vice like grip the Imipramine (don't think that was the drug but it came to mind) had on me.
A Steel Vice-Like Grip
It looks a lot like a zip file, when you download several documents at once into your Word folders, then go to open them, the icon will look like this vice like grip, with steel-looking tentacles wrapped around and protecting the openings to what's inside the documents.
The steel grip of Catholicism is like a zip file in their brains. Turn the icon in your computer sideways, put it on top of your head, that's what it feels like to be on anti-deperessants when you really don't need them, and it’s much the same as the grip the Church has on people who think the best way to protest against child sex abuse in the church is to stop donating to the church.
You're still walking in the church doors, you're still giving them power in numbers by your presence, you're still listening to their mind altering even hypnotizing, often untrue, sermons they preach, and then there’s that mesmerizing group prayer they do, everyone repeating the same words in a droning monotone.
Yeah, maybe Ray and Jim and Bill and Dave are all correct.
It is brainwashing, only it's a year 1300 state of the art form of brainwashing.
IT'S Dishonest to Go to a Church and then not put money in its baskets.
You're eating their Eucharist, breathing their air conditioned air
Asking the bishops to resign, or asking the pope to fire the bishops, doesn't really accomplish much either.
Those out of work bishops will not stand in any welfare office lines, they will still never drive east of La Cienega or the equivalent in whatever city they're in. Worse yet, some Catholic person with a lot of money who doesn't like the poor will instead provide the out of work bishop with a home, a stipend, a couple of servants, a car. On a beach probably in some perfect climate.
The bishops belong in prison.
The church needs to feel the full brunt of people not coming in its doors anymore. It’s an organization so full of dishonesty and filth going back probably more than a thousand years, if that's where you think you're going to find God, my hat is off to you, my friend. Good luck.
Love is the answer.
I realized it this morning, when I found yet another pile of dishes that I didn't have anything to do with, but yet, I get to wash them, the joys of living with a post adolescent with arrested development.
See what I mean. Bitch bitch bitch.
I have to work on that.
The love has to come from inside of you. Truth is, I get a certain pleasure out of washing dishes.
It’s almost a meditation.
The act of soaking a dish, carefully removing each dried on piece, rubbing the surface, feeling the surface, in every place to see that it’s totally clean, rinsing it, careful not to waste water as it’s L.A. The whole act, everything you do, is a meditation, can be done in a state of perfection.
So don’t yell about the dirty dishes, embrace them.
On that note, I'm off to work on Scream Queens season 2 all weekend this weekend. We will be swamped with work, two shows are dumping all their tapes on us on December 23rd and want them transcribed by the following Monday morning. I will be working 12-hour shifts every day, will maybe spend 2 hours doing Christmas, when Lizzie and I go to I-Hop for dinner.
The one on Sunset Boulevard, where all the musicians used to go, it will be fun.
Point is, we don't really do Christmas. We have a winter tree in the house that we've decorated. Lizzie, being in the low-price retail world, is so busy she has no time to even realize we're supposed to be depressed because we're all alone every Christmas. It’s all she’s ever experienced. She’s never had the joy of a holiday with the family, where the vodka breaks open at 9 AM and everyone is yelling at each other by noon.
When she was a kid, I did Santa as best I could, finally got tired of it and on one Christmas morning as she was going on and on about how much she loved Santa because he did all this for her, I shouted, it was me, dammit there is no Santa. I did it. I bought all these toys. Stop thanking this imaginary person and thank me, I'm the one who earned the money and then spent it on you.
She was stunned, shattered, still berates me about it to this day.
Hey, even a Stepford Single Mom can make mistakes.
She still stayed with me, even age 15 when we lived in our car on the streets of Hollywood for six months, and we never parked more than a few blocks from Sunset Boulevard the whole time. Hmm.
But imagine that, I lived in a car with a 15 year old daughter and we both lived through it. We didn't claw each other to death. Plus neitherh of us dropped into the prostitution life, which is so easily encountered all around us, she stayed with me.
We stayed together through all that.
So we can make it through another holiday season.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
You wouldn't believe the temptation to make this story about sex. Boy, could I exploit the hell out of my life by just getting explicit with the sex scenes. But that's never been what it's been about. I mean, even in the middle of all the promiscuity, I never sold it once, it was never about "tricks" in fact- because the person putting the compulsion in me at age five was a priest, I always thought there was something spiritual about it. Like, we are orgasming our way to God... No. But- damn, so many pedophiles use that word "special" you're "special" when they are preparing their targets... When a priest says it to you...
Anyway, I thought having sex with me was some kind of gateway for a man, and it was my job to get to men in important places, and have sex with them, so they would go through this gateway and continue their important work from this new plateau.
Honest, little pudgy often STD ridden me thought I had that kind of power...
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Totally off topic, but cool...
Looking beyond our solar system, astronomers are gearing up to reveal the initial findings from NASA's Kepler mission next month. Kepler is aimed at determining how many stars in a patch of sky have planets circling around them. Within three years, scientists hope to be able to detect Earth-size planets in the "habitable zones" around alien stars
This job where I am showered with work, literally showered, I download it off production company websites, they shower work into my computer.
Then I'm strapped electronically at home here, seventh day in a row today with 10-12 hours of work. This is because come Christmas everything will shut down and I will have no work at all. So it's not like I can plan a vacation with the extra money, I will just be here those two weeks, in Hollywood off Sunset Boulevard, trying not to spend a dime.
That's my holiday...
Okay, I have been this wretch now for way too long.
There has to be something celebratory about this. Yes, for about a week and a half the streets around here are eerily empty during holidays. So many people in L.A. are from somewhere else, the city slows down to a stop over Christmas, it's walk down the middle of the street on Sunset Boulevard on a Thursday afternoon during rush hour, in the middle of the street, there will be NO CARS.
Okay, that's something to be grateful for.
And when so many people in America are unemployed, I'm swamped with jobs.
Reality TV, a thriving industry right now...
Expect to see Omarosa seduced by seven hot black men as she selects her soul mate for The Ultimate Merger. That's the kind of stuff I have to keep my head in ten to twelve hours a day right now.
I'd rather be writing about pedophile priests...
I'm so lucky I can cram three weeks work into one so the network executives can take a trip over Christmas. Today it's a Discovery Health Channel show called Accidental Fortunes that I'm working on, a new show about what happens to people when they get sudden wealth, like finding a treasure in their backyard, or buying a painting for fifty cents at a flea market that turns out to be worth six hundred thousand dollars.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I’m working so hard. No one is forcing me. I wasn’t hired to do City of Angels. It’s a kind of penance. Penal correction of myself, karma. I haven't been a Catholic since I was thirteen and I still feel a need to punish myself.
Because over the years, I really did a lot of bad stuff, a lot, I was a sexual predator. No one thought of me as a rapist, because I was a female and kept myself looking hot so I could do the rapes in the first place, but when you look back at it, I forced guys to have sex with me. In today's world it might be called rape.
Sure, the sexual compulsion can mostly be explained by a priest diddling me when I was five and leaving me there horny to go into the world, which is basically what happened. I went into the world seeking more and more, starting with first grade.
It's my Karma.
The ten or so extra hours a day I work on City of Angels, it’s karma. Because even though there were innate compulsions that drove me to climb into men's cars, I must have known inside what I was doing was wrong. There was like a switch that would get turned on and I’d start going so fast, I didn't have time to see the damage I was doing, the wrong I was doing.
But I was doing a lot of wrong.
And the person I hurt most was myself, and my daughter, because she's having to grow up in the residue.
I think the work I do at City of Angels proves what I could have been professionally. If I hadn't been fucking everyone on staff every job I got, I’d probably be Editor in Chief of something like the New York Times, or at least the Podunk Town Gazette.
Well at least I have a legacy, of sorts, I have City of Angels, stored for eternity, electronically at Blogspot. I think it will last forever there. I probably should have printed it out a few times, especially the graphics.
Hope the Moslems or aliens from space don't attack with an electromagnetic beam and wipe out everything on the internet.
Maybe I better print out a copy of City of Angels…
In my life, I did some really bad stuff, even while in the middle of being a flower child and spreading peace and love. I guess “shocking” is a better word for it, and those incidents are always going to be in my head. And really when you get down to it, they're all sexual.
So I have this karma.
I can’t see what I see and not write it down to tell people. It would be internal negligence.
This morning I read an article on Alter Net about FAST a technology they're developing to sense when people are agitated and nervous at airports, kind of a pre-crime stopping technology that America is developing thanks to the Homeland Security Act.
Philip K Dick could see the future. How did he know in the 1950s that Minority Report and his other stories were going to come true. He must have had a brain where you see things and you have to write it down.
Having a brain like that makes you into a kind of mad person. I’ve heard Philip K Dick was almost impossible to be around, people could not stand to be in the same room with him, he was so -- BIG. And agitated and- I know that feeling.
When you see things other people can’t see, it makes it impossible to hold a civil conversation. I'm a lot like Philip K Dick, people can’t stand to be around me either. I'm just too angry, too much going on, it fills the room and people nearby back away.
The more time I spend in this room by myself writing, the more that force field around me grows. Also the more time I spend in this room by myself writing, the more I see.
So it’s a tradeoff.
People have never been nice to me anyway, I've always force fielded people away, so why let it bother me. This other thing that is growing, as I just accept and be, is more valuable than any friendship or romance I’ve ever experienced, because well I’ve never experienced those things, but if I had, it would never be as forceful and dominating as this force field.
I keep having this feeling that I'll be back with my friends after I'm dead, like they were never here on Earth to begin with...
Too much Philip K Dick
For now I know it’s a kind of acceptance that makes this continue to go forward.
As I pour my coffee at 3 AM when the timer is set for four, and then the words print out from my brain through my fingers onto the monitor, and I haven’t even myself yet seen what the words are saying, I have to marvel, it’s all a mystery.
In my dourest moods I cry out, “I need a vacation, why am I working these long hours, where is the recreation in all this, when does it stop?!!?” Then before I know what I'm doing, I'm at the laptop going after another lead, my hands so tired after 12 hours I can barely keep them afloat over the computer keys, but I have to copy and paste one more item, combine it with this thing I copy and pasted two months ago -
And YES. A new story.
This is my vacation, this is my recreation, this is what I’d be doing, even if I was on some Fiji type island sitting in a pool of clear water surrounded by colorful fish and men hired to … amuse me, I’d have a laptop nearby and be following up, tracking down phone numbers, finding addresses, writing emails, looking for new leads.
It’s an engine that's running inside me. Only way I could ignore it would be to drink alcohol to oblivion or fill up on narcotics. Even then, I’d still be trying to keep up with the engine, I'd just be wobbling a lot more than I am now.
So, sleep is something I did a few years ago and I’ll do it again sometime in the future. Recreation? Hey, the 1970s were one long party that for me overflowed all the way to the nineties.
Heck, I still have a party going on in my head, look at my Favorites on YouTube.
Marvin Gaye, Grace Jones.
So as I continue this 20 hour a day work that is necessary in order for this whole thing to continue, I will for fun keep the party in my head, and occasionally stop to give the human body I'm in for now while I'm on Earth some exercise. Take more walks. They may be covered with grime, but we do have sidewalks on Sunset Boulevard.
A couple times in the last year I’ve thought, why are you doing City of Angels, no one is paying you except an occasional PayPal high five, no one hired you, mainstream media does not give you any credibility, because you don't represent anybody, you're just this person who sees stuff and has to write it down and tell the world. You could be a con artist, a church infiltrator (hah), or a madwoman who just has a persuasive way with words.
There’s no guarantee a media producer is ever going to find City of Angels 3 to 5 (so far) and agree with me that this blog (not here at 2, this is something else) would easily segue into a video production once a week, posted here, produced videos of the stories at City of Angels 5. With advertising we could make a fortune, or at least break even.
I have no idea what the outcome of all this will be.
I just know that in 2006 I knew maybe three people. In 2009 I have less than three people in my face-to-face life. Really there’s only my daughter now. In this entire city, no in the entire region of Southern California, the only person I talk to is my daughter.
But I do have people I talk to on the phone around the country, a couple overseas. It’s frustrating, because I SO NEED a hug, and my daughter is the ice princess.
But phone conversations are better than what I had in 2005, which was nobody at all.
This happened to me once before. I was so extremely isolated when Lizzie was first born, in a state of postpartum psychosis, I picked us up and moved us from Hollywood to the northern tip of the state, a town called Arcata. I got a job on the local paper writing a column for Los Angeles Expatriates in Arcata, and within weeks I was getting all this hate mail, because local people in Arcata hate the people moving there from L.A.
So there I was with my picture in the weekly paper over my opinion column, communicating with hundreds of people in the community, and I did not know a soul, and no one knew who I was.
I was communicating with masses without having anyone in my personal life.
I didn't like the experience.
Now it’s happening to me again. I'm communicating with masses while the only conversation I have in person is, “When are you going to do the laundry.”
Lizzie is, as she grows up, beginning to realize I'm a person, not her own personal burden, but a human with a life outside her confines. I do have that one person in my life, my daughter, even though she’s not into hugs. Well, when you get down to it, I don't like hugs either.
Not from strangers.
Gotta get to work.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
It's what you get in L.A. when it finally cools down. The light dances on the leaves after it rains here, just like Dashiell Hammett described it.
I'm on deadline at work I should be painstaking and yet all of a sudden I find myself outside staring at the sky. Listening to a bird sing. We do have still have birds singing in the trees. Even in inner city L.A. where I live, if you turn down a side street, you could be in small town U.S.A.
Just for a blink.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Somebody help me get me outta here
"Can I help you?"
"Yes I’d like a pizza delivered?"
The voice on the phone is Middle Eastern, “Is that to 15555 N. Dancer Lane?"
How did he know that? "Um, let me call you back"
Dial again. This time the voice is Mexican “Domingo’s Pizza”
"I’d like a pizza delivered?"
"Okay what's your name?"
"Uh, Kay… K-A-Y."
(breathy voice:) "Hmm, It says here your name is Kathryn."
(HANG UP FAST!)
Yikes, I'm pounding around shaking the ceiling downstairs. “I want 'em to bring me a pizza, and what, they see my financial history on a computer when I call? My social security number, criminal record? I just want a pizza!"
Pacing, I need food, sustenance, I can’t survive in here on nothing but Meals on Wheels Monday through Friday. I have to go into the neighborhood to find food. An Armenian pizza maybe or even a Thai hot dog. Logic and Experience are talking to me saying, No, don’t do it. You know what always happens when you venture outside.
I shouldn't have, but I did try to go out on foot in my neighborhood again yesterday evening, and again returned shaking crying - cringing.
Everything- the shop entries, sidewalks, fences, signs, boarded up places - everything is covered with a layer of grime. No one has cleaned off anything in years around here, and then on top of it, across this endless terrain of grime and dust blows all the trash.
So as I walk along Sunset Boulevard, before long I am walking inside this what must look like a huge black tumbleweed from space, the ever blowing swirl of dirt and trash that lines Sunset Boulevard, soon you are covered in it. You look up and see there are other humans in here with you, living in this pile of trash, now eerily intimate with you as you are there with them. They're after years of homelessness so grayish black in hue themselves, you almost don't see them at first in the twilight.
I'm sure people driving by don't see them at all.
A whole population of people live on the sidewalks and in alleys inside this pile of dirt that is Los Angeles. The guy I encountered yesterday had a string of grocery carts, a structure made of old clothes tied together attached the string of carts to each other, and the stuff was piled was so high you could call it a two-story string of grocery carts.
Three times as I walked on Sunset Boulevard yesterday evening I turned around and started to go in a different direction. Whatever destination I thought of, as I approached it, I realized, I don't want to go in there. Either the places were too dirty, or last time I was there I saw a dripping condom in a corner, or - just - vibes.
It’s not just the end to end grime globules in the sidewalks that make it dark. Something about Sunset Boulevard is so dark-
There’s a vegetarian Indian restaurant in the middle of all this, in a little house, a shack almost, with the door right on the sidewalk that is so totally surrounded by steel security fence and padlocked doors, it looks closed. Can’t go there I want MEAT. Shaky’s Pizza Parlor parking lot is always so full of nice clean RV's, inside it’s wall to wall kids playing the games, families drinking pitchers of beer, too upbeat for me, I’d be out of place in there, other people's kids make me uncomfortable, I feel like I'm covered with detritus from writing about pedophile priests, plus, I walked to this place, most these families drive to Shaky's.
I'm covered with Sunset Boulevard grime.
I end up at the Chinese place but the dish I want is cooking, I’ll have to wait. Sure, I’ll wait. I look down at the remains of other dishes sitting in their buffet bins, little colorful pools of Exxon product oozing around in the sauce.
I exit and right outside the door, the guy with the two-story grocery cart is on top of me saying, “Hey, give me some change.”
I’ll wait over here, I think, no I can’t, I'll wait over there, no I can’t. I can’t touch anything, I can’t look at anybody.
I don't even want my feet to touch the ground, and they almost don't, I'm back home so fast. Right away I'm in the shower scrubbing and scrubbing, and can’t seem to get the layer of grime off of me. There’s some particle stuff that keeps coagulating and forming more film into a kind of string, so I'm scrubbing and scrubbing.
It's a lot like a scene in a crime story: rape victim afterwards in the shower, can’t get the dirt off, can’t get the dirt off.
Someone get me outta here.
Single little old lady, quiet, writer, sober except for medical marijuana which you won’t notice as I never exhale- Seeks shared shelter. Mother in law unit behind old house would be great. I pay rent on time always, am compulsively clean but a little messy. Seek place to live where I can take a walk outside without having to sanitize afterwards. Seek fun loving individuals to share rent, who will also occasionally join me in stimulating conversation in the kitchen.
Someone help me get me outta here.
I want cold weather, I want neighbors who speak English, I want clean sidewalks.
But for now it’s back to space ship Kay. Now and then while I'm on this planet, I forget and go outside, and end up having to make an emergency return to vehicls, causing distress. The way to survive on this planet is to enter a kind of controlled hallucination. In this case, it’s Spaceship Kay.
Just don't leave the cabin, I'll stay safe as long as you stay inside the cabin, don't venture out while I'm on this hostile planet except when absolutely necessary, like to pick up medicine.
For now, It's perfectly alright to not want to go outside in this part of town. It's not augoraphobia, it's an instinct to survive. So call out for a pizza.
But use your daughter’s cell phone.
Friday, December 4, 2009
And I don't care who reads this, I am not angry anymore that SNAP last month held a press conference based on a story that I BROKE in the news, about Gus Krumm and SNAP did not even link people to my story, which was three posts of information about Krumm. Instead in their press release that goes to god knows how many people, SNAP linked to Gustavo Arrellano's column about Krumm, which was maybe two paragraphs of information.
(All posts here at City of Angels 2 are in editing phase, not yet final.)
It proves what I've had a horrible inclination to think now for a long time, that SNAP is the opposite of a network, they put themselve out in public as a voice for survivors, when really from the very beginning in the 1980s SNAP's role has been to keep the survivors herded and under control, and to keep a lid on the story of pedophile priests as it broke across the country.
SNAP told me, when it was so hostile to me in late 2006, to start something on my own, and I did. And they don't even take the small networking step of linking the City of Angels stories on their web site, then hold an entire press event based on a story that broke in City of Angels and not mention City of Angels?
This is a pattern. They step into the middle of whatever a survivor starts on their own, claim control of it, then do nothing with it. That's what happened to A Matter of Truth in Boston, everything anyone tried to organize on the SNAP message board before it got destroyed, and now they're doing it to City of Angels. It's the opposite of networking, opposite of support, it puts SNAP out looking good to the public, when the survivors get pushed down into the back made to keep quiet.
SNAP's treatment of survivors who do things on their own outside SNAP is strange and inexplainable, unless you just accept it that SNAP is not a network and they do not want to empower or give voice to victims, but really are carrying out more of the Church's work.
They are not what they say they are.
I've reached out an arm of communication over and over to SNAP only to get snarled at and slapped back over and over. But it's always been hard to identify, hard to explain to another person.
Now, here is proof in living electronic media with date and time stamps, anyone can see it as it happened. SNAP did Not link to City of Angels, instead took a dribble of the information released by City of Angels, held their own media event, and did not mention City of Angels as the place where the story broke.
To me it's PROOF of what I've suspected for so long, that SNAP is not what they say they are. It just makes me cringe to think what they really might be.
For the last year I've covered local SNAP events, plastered their pictures all over my blog, spread their message. Then they come to the L.A. area for a press event based on information released at City of Angels, and act as if City of Angels Blog is not even here.
If SNAP was a genuine organization that cared about the victims, City of Angels would be thriving right now, not ignored. We should all be working together, and we would be if we had a genuine common goal. But SNAP always keeps itself separate, operating in its own place, with no input from the ground up.
The few individuals who have started blogs on their own around the country have no central network, no access to the support that is in place, when there should be a network of all the Blogs in place. SNAP just keeps leafleting.
If we genuinely connect up at a national level, how will the Church be able to control the message?
Something is very wrong at the root of this organization that actually slaps down survivors, in a backdoor manner, where other people don't see it, but enough people have shared similar experiences with me for me to know it hasn't just happened to me, and now here they've done it where anyone can see it.
Only action SNAP endorses is within their own template: Hold a press event, read a statement, leaflet, leave town. And the leafleting is always done across from a church property where the bishops can watch everything that's said and done.
I think SNAP is the real reason the story about an epidemic of pedophiles in the church with thousands of victims has Fizzled across the country instead of broken in every news media outlet like bombshells.
Because they are not what they say they are.
They managed to keep a lid on the story by having us all stand behind them while they released a pre-written pre-approved message to the public. All of us were in too much shock to stop it while it was going on.
Who has really been writing the agenda?
Hopefully genuine grass roots activists can pick up the broken pieces and still get some real results, but as survivors, we are still out here all floundering around on our own, with no support and no network.
City of Angels is living proof.
SNAP is not a network and is not about empowering or giving voice to victims. Now the rest of us need to look and see what else SNAP is lying about.
HERE is what I originally wrote Nov. 16 about the experience in a fiction piece because what I think they really are is so bizarre I have to treat it like my imagination, what I wrote about "SNARL" when this happened:
Why did SNARL hold a press event and link to the OC Weekly for the story, when the story really broke, in depth, in a blog written by a Survivor, me. Here is the breaking story about Gus Krumm written by me yesterday, after breaking the story in an Extra the previous Thursday (But I was too busy on my other two jobs to be able to write the whole story).
And here is the announcement SNARL sent out the day after City of Angels put up the in depth story about Gus Krumm. SNARL instead links people to Gustavo at the OC Weekly, who wrote 3 paragraphs on the topic. SNAP never mentioned that a very vocal and articulate member of this crime victims "community" covered the story in depth, here is how to contact her. Here it is in their own words, the opposite of support or networking for victims:
Members of SNAP and supporters will be having a media event today. If you can make it, please email NAME & ADDRESS REDACTED hope to see you there in support of the victims of Fr. Gus Krumm.
Outside the Orange County Catholic Diocese Headquarters2811 East Villa Real Drive (at Nohl Ranch) in Orange
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 10 am
Gustavo Arrellano's Column (at OC Weekly)
The SNAP website says they "give voice to victims" yet in their release, they link to the OC Weekly instead of a story written by a victim. They don't acknowledge the days of work that went into doing that story, by me, a victim, about Gus Krumm.
Come to think of it, if SNAP was really a national support network, I'd be thriving right now, I shouldn't have to do two part time jobs to support City of Angels. There are things wrong here on so many levels in so many different ways...
I think this stopped being fiction a while back...
SNAP announced a press event using news released by an active hard working survivor, and did not even attribute or credit me, the hard working survivor, or every mention City of Angels anywhere.
It leaves a survivor on the ground, perplexed,
It makes you end up wondering...
SNAP to me is a sheer wall of support that is really a hologram that lets the victims fall through to the ground while appearing to outsiders to be a solid support. It's a lot like the holograms on V on ABC on Tuesday nights... a lot like that...
The end result is the network of support is not really there. Though everyone thinks they see it from the outside, in the middle of it, there really is no network, and no support.
Originally posted here:
Like all posts here at City of Angels 2, in editing stages... This post is fiction based on a hallucination that will not go away, and that as a result makes it impossible for me to function in the "pedophile priest crime victim-survivor community" ... (Note to editor: Needs to be more intriguing, and find a better funnier name than SNARL)... Continued:
Something is not right here.
That above post includes documents I have, just because I do City of Angels. One shows SNAP was originally incorporated under a Catholic organization in Chicago called Eighth Day Center for Justice, which may not really be that hot an upload. Still I posted it because I felt it should be posted. Also someone hand delivered me a stack of financial papers that I don't really understand, but I think they reveal something or he wouldn't have delivered them to me and begged me to post them. Those documents are also all posted at:
I don't know how this could be fiction, or my imagination, as far reaching and unbelievable as it may seem, from my perspective, SNAP being a counter intelligence effort from the start, in the Church's plans to handle the pedophile priest "problem" is all that makes any sense.
Sorry, folks, that's just what I see...
PS I did not send child porn to people on Facebook. Someone picked up my photo, opened an account using my photo, and sent child porn to people on Facebook making it look like I did it.
Facebook of course never even responded. I closed my Facebook account months ago. But anyone who can read what I write here and think I could send out child porn is not paying attention.
And if you think criticizing SNAP is bad for the "survivor community," look again. The "community" doesn't exist and the "movement" has not done that great. The public has NOT gotten this story.
I would love to hear from someone who could convince me this is totally wrong. Instead most people I'm hearing from as I pour this out are telling me, yeah, I've been thinking the same thing...
One of my Armenian neighbors showed up at my door yesterday, asking, “Is worker here? Work, You get work done?” Something like that. I try not to be irritated with my neighbors who have lived here since the 1980s and cannot even answer what time is it in English, they have learned maybe five words in all that time.
I tell him, yeah, go ahead talk to him.
Juan is in the bathroom with the door closed, he closes it as soon as he gets here to work, as he knows otherwise I will be standing there taking pictures, and the slumlord has given him instructions not to let me see the sewage that's accumulated under the bathroom floor. I don't care as long as it’s getting fixed, I'm okay.
Downstairs neighbor Armenian man stands at the bathroom door and says, “Open Door. Open Door.”
Juan says in his own broken English, “I’m busy, I’m putting in the floor,”
And Armenian man just keeps hollering, “Open door, open door.” Juan peeks out, I see he’s already put the new vinyl down so there’s nothing left for me to get a picture of but I'm not going to the housing authority anyway now, they finally put in the floor. Yesterday they left promising a new floor in the morning, this morning, at 11 I called and the woman in the office said, “I don't have any idea what you're talking about.”
Twilight Zone time again. This is what happens when you need maintenance from a slum lord. You HAVE to throw weight around, you have to holler and threaten.
"I will go to the L.A Housing Authority tomorrow," I said.
She quipped, "Go ahead and do whatever you want."
You have to throw the weight around.
"I will take pictures of that standing water that's been sitting at the bottom of the swimming pool for two years."
She gets snippy, "Go ahead and do whatever you want."
The Sea Witch roars:
“I don't want to have to take time off work to go down in person to the L.A. Housing Authority to get this problem solved, Erica. There is shit in my floor, I can’t even go barefoot in the bathroom.”
Juan showed up an hour or so later. But at first she wasn’t going to send him. . .
It took that much work to get sewage removed from my bathroom floor.
Now Juan tells the Armenian neighbor, “Call it in,” and slams the door on him. Everyone is rude everywhere these days, so I say to him, “Do you have Erica’s number?”
He hollers how he called her at six in the morning, and then it becomes to him my fault. He’s angry at me. I put my headphones on and go back to my job, Scream Queens Season 2, transcribing the banal utterings of these fems as they bop around in a Beverly Hills mansion in yet another reality TV show.
Okay fifteen minutes later Armenian neighbor downstairs is again in my door and I say, “Juan is still working and So am I, please just wait, he’ll come down and talk to you when he’s done.”
Instead Armenia decides to walk right in my house. I know he just doesn't understand English enough to know I'm saying, go away don’t bother me politely, so I say it louder, “No, leave, I'm working, don’t bother me.”
He stands in the doorway and says, “You see, I turn off Your Water. It will be bad for You!” And storms down the stairs to sit in his house which is what he does all day, it never dawns on these people to go out and volunteer or something because you’d learn something and maybe even end up learning the language and having a job in the end. They just sit there collecting Social Security. And I can’t get Social Security because they keep telling me I'm not sick, when most of the time I'm too crippled to even get down the stairs. I fester in anger up here about a thousand things every day and that's one of them that's been popping up now for years as I keep getting denied and denied and I have to buy stronger better headphones because my gossiping and complaining neighbors are in the courtyard hollering so loud most of the time I can’t even hear the utterings of the reality TV stars to transcribe them…
Anyway, this morning I get up at 4:30 even though the alarm is set for 5:00 because that's just the kind of person I am. I go in the bathroom, flush - yep no water. The bastard turned off my water last night, after ten when I did the dishes, late last night, My Armenian hostile hating Americans but living off of us for thirty years neighbor turned off my wtare. Now when I'm up at 4:30 to GO TO MY JOB THAT PAYS HIS FUCKING SOCIAL SECURITY I can’t even take a shower or brush my teeth.
So I have someone else to be mad at this morning besides the pope, everyone in the Vatican and my Beverly Hills slumlord.
Good, it’s after 6 AM, I can call the maintenance people and complain about this now.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
(Like all posts here at City of Angels 2, in editing phases)
These are words that show up in police reports about crimes, all over the country, words that never used to be used in the fifties and sixties, even seventies. Don't know when we sunk this low into the level of crimes taking place - Sandra Cantu, Shaniya Davis, Caylee Anthony-
In Tracy, California, the same town where Melissa Huckaby got a 9 year old girl to go into the church basement with her, where Huckaby performed some kind of sex act using a foreign object, apparently not expecting to damage the little girl so badly she died, there was also a teenage boy chained to a fireplace and tortured for more than a year, until he escaped and ran through a parking lot into a gym in boxer shorts with a chain still on his ankle crying, "Don't let them get me."
The torture case and Santra Cantu's murder are slowly working their way through San Joaquin County court, as the State of California forces them to keep laying off people who work in the courts. Tracy, California, that's in the desert part of a batch of small towns between San Francisco and the Sierra Mountains, one of many rural areas of California today where methamphetamine is about the only thriving industry, and sex offenders can live free of monitoring.
In that same town, Tracy, Sandra Cantu was subject to something horrible before she died, likely similar to what her murderer Melissa Huckaby experienced at the hands of her grandfather, a pastor in one of those fundamentalist Christian churches that thrive in education free rural California. The pastor grandfather apparently has had some strange stories in his background concerning sex molestation himself.
Melissa Huckaby murdered Sandra Cantu on March 27, 2009, just as closing arguments were taking place in the county seat courthouse. In Fresno Superior Court the previous month Cardinal Mahony and several bishops had gotten up and testified that they knew nothing about sexual predators in the Catholic Church, they knew nothing about Anthoney Herdegan who the Santillan brothers accused. Just as the closing arguments took place in that trial nearby, Melissa Huckaby went a little more nuts than usual and allegedly killed Sandra Cantu after accidentally sticking something up her too far.
The murder took place in the Church of Christ where her grandfather is the pastor.
In that same town last year, a young boy today known as Kyle R, stormed half naked, covered with bruises and running sores, a CHAIN AROUND HIS ANKLES- he rushed into a gym, hollering, “Don't let them get me, don't let them get me.” He had escaped, using a key his kidnappers dropped, he was able to get away apparently during an outing with the three people who lived in the house in Tracy. They had him chained to somehting in the car and he escaped-
The teenage boy had been held prisoner chained to the fireplace in a rental home in Tracy, California, for almost an entire year. In December 2008, the boy escaped and ran into the gym. Later reports said his ankle was permanently twisted from being chained up so long, during his captivity his captors would strangle him until he went unconscious. They fed him endless pills and liquor to keep him groggy.
There are very few reports about this horrible crime discovered in December 2008, but about two days after the boy escaped and they arrested the kidnappers, the police stopped speaking in public about it, the warrants got sealed.
November 9th this year they were supposed to have a pre-trial hearing for a trial that was set for February. Instead on November 9, they took the trial off the calendar, sealed everything, and there is almost nothing more about this case in the news anywhere.
This poor boy, talk about living with PTSD, what is he going to go through the rest of his life.
The kidnappers were able to get the boy in the first place because he had run away from a foster home and was on the streets. He was age 16 when he escaped, though they say he looks about 10 years old because of malnourishment the last year…
Tracy is just a short buzzard hop to Lake Tahoe, where the girl was held prisoner for 18 years even having two children by her imprisoner.
This is the state of the state of California.
Here in East Hollywood, as soon after the first of the month as possible, I have this errand I have to run, I go the the check cashing place at Hollywood and Normandie, cash my paycheck for such an enormous fee I refuse to even look at the receipts, then put the money orders in the stamped envelopes for all the bills and cross to the one mailbox that is left in our neighborhood, at Hollywood and Normandie.
See in this neighborhood, they think the identities have been stolen because of people diving into mailboxes in the middle of the night and grabbing bills and things out of the mailboxes.
No one would touch a mailbox up to a few years ago. It just was something you didn't do.
Some people say the mailboxes are gone because of post office budget cuts, they can't afford picking up so much mail. Whatever, there are plenty of mailboxes on the other side of Highland, but there are hardly any mailboxes in this neighborhood anymore. No more corner red-white-and-blue boxes, they just all got picked up and disappeared one day a few months ago.
So I can take care of everything at Hollywood and Normandie. Cash my check, buy my money orders, upload cash onto my prepaid card, and go to the mailbox, the only one left in this part of town is on that corner.
In the check cashing place yesterday, this grungy man, he’s behind me, and I finally get to the window of this combination check cashing, local grocery and liquor store at Hollywood and Normandie, I'm doing my transactions, signing checks, passing papers back and forth to the guy behind the bullet-proof glass and metal contained structure in the store.
And goofus behind me, this Russian or Armenian old man, one of those guys with dirt sunk into the cracks in their faces and fingers because bathing daily is not part of their custom. He pushes up right in my intimate space with the banker through the little hole and he starts shoving in with something he's got grasped in his fist. Please, he says, “All I need is one copy, thirty cents, please, I go now? ahead of you, please, I only have to make copy, please please.”
Well he was pushing aside the wrong person.
I had just come from a phone call with my landlord, trying to get them to clean the feces out that have leaked from the wrecked plumbing under the bathroom floor. I had just come from dealing with shit under my feet first thing when I get out of the bathtub.
Dark. Even on the brightest of L.A. sunshiny days the area around Hollywood and Normandie is dark, probably emanating from the sidewalks. In L.A. the only way sidewalks get clean is if the store alongside the sidewalk cleans it. Every individual store owner or renter has to find a way to steam clean his own little patch of sidewalk. As a result the sidewalks only get steam cleaned in neighborhoods with money. None of the store owners can afford to steam clean sidewalks in this part of town, they're already being drained dry by ever increasing rents in this free market third world exploit them ‘til they're depleted entity that is Los Angeles.
Okay, you have to live here to get this, I’ll try to describe it.
For years, the sidewalks have accumulated molecular globules of grime, dust, human detritus, and of course gas and oil fumes from all the cars. Because concrete is not a truly flat surface but instead has little crevices, and since the sidewalks all started out as nice white almost totally flat concrete, today years and years of accumulation of all those molecules and globules and various organic tissues falling off the humans and birds - all that chemical compound falls onto the sidewalks as molecules, then slowly over the years seeps down in the uneven concrete to the lower crevices.
So the sidewalks in East Hollywood are not white, but rather polka dotted with these uneven round black-ish splats, molecules of chemical leftovers from trash and a thousand sneezes, all in little globules that look like uneven oddly off kilter blackish polka dots that line the sidewalks from one block to the next. Except in places such as in front of the check-cashing dust covered corner grocery where I have to stand at least once a month. There the globules have all combined and the sidewalks are one black giant globule of grime.
And there's no place else to walk.
I am a regular at the check cashing place and the checks from the agency in Burbank where I work are always good, so they love me, they make a good fifty dollars off me by the time I walk out the door, because I use almost all their services, although I'm not sending money to Mexico. I may move to Mexico though someday for their government funded medical programs …
Okay I'm already fuming as I stand in the check cashing line, trying not to think about why I can't get a checking account right now, knowing this month's check cashing is going to cost more than usual because the check is bigger than usual. To counter my mood, I use anger management, and I'm almost singing and dancing as I get to the bullet proof glass behind which the “banker” sits in his little room cluttered with extra cartons of cigarettes and other overflow inventory from the grocery.
I talk into the tiny window, “I'm bringing you a lot of business today, neighbor. I need to cash these two checks, buy these money orders, and upload this much onto my Western Union card."
He takes my items, there is a caffeinated back and forth as he throws my checks back at me to be endorsed, I put my left front finger on the little device that reads my fingerprints until it beeps, my identity is unquestioned.
Okay. I'm watching banker do his business, all of a sudden right on my back, hovering over my left shoulder, this big man with grizzle on his face that just blends in with his cheeks and the winkles, his skin dark but not quite black, he’s pushing right past me, saying in either an Armenian or Russian accent, “Please I just need one copy, thirty cents, please, just one copy.”
In his fist, which he's thrust on top of my pile of papers in the little wondow, he has his social security card and a picture ID, and he’s almost on top of me, hovering, implying I should step aside. “Please, he says, I only need one copy, can I please,” and he starts to just step in in front of me, as if it’s understood I'm going to be a polite little old white lady and let the poor old Armenian bust in.
Well he didn't know he was interrupting probably one of the angriest little old ladies from here to Pasadena.
I swung around, the motion forcing the old guy back a step and I said, “Hell no, wait in line until I'm done just like everybody else. I'm doing my business here, don't break in on my business." I'm back at the window, the banker-grocer whispers thank you, but I'm not done. Back to the grimy man I yell, "It's not like you have to get back to work or anything."
He stood behind me and I wasn't done. “In fact you're standing too close to me, get back, get back,” I made him move back a good three feet farther away from me than he was already standing, whimpering.
Hmm. It was funnier yesterday when I planned to write it....
My neighborhood is a cultural intestine digesting the fruits all America’s wars since the 1950s. The Koreans to the south, they're thriving, they never even tried to assimilate, just created Koreatown on Wilshire Boulevard and kept on living their lives. Their banks aren't closing.
But the war refugees that filled these buildings in East Hollywood in the '70s and '80s are Southeast Asian and Central European.
They were just airlifted in here, dropped and forgotten, left to fend for themselves with subsidized rent and a monthly social security check, plus all medical care. Most of them have been sitting here in that same situation ever since.
You can’t blame them, I don't even know if the Amenians or Thais wanted to come to the USA in the first place.
One Armenian lady at a dry cleaner’s did open up and talk to me, she’s about my age but young enough to have learned at least some English since she got here. At the cash register, she by rote said to me, “How are you today,” and I said, “Sleepy.”
She said, "Is there anything else you need," and I said, "yeah a good night’s sleep."
She laughed, and nodded saying, "I'm in this store here every day, every day." Then she leaned back and her face became serene and dreamy.
“In my country, we would take one whole month vacation each year. That was with paid vacation. And never this working 12, 14 hours a day.” Then she got businesslike again, took my money, made my change.
So here I am in this neighborhood living among the refugees of America’s decades of mistakes, which I guess includes the decades America allowed the Catholic Church to turn pedophiles loose on their parish populations.
I guess my daughter and I do belong here after all, among the population of refugees that got dropped off and forgotten.
Back at my house I had to holler at the landlord, argue. He was just going to change a part of the toilet and leave the stained flooring behind. I had to stand there like a lumpen rock and be emphatic: "I will be in the L.A. Housing Authority Office first thing in the morning, first thing in the morning, if you don't pick up that bathroom floor and clean everything up underneath it and replace it."
The guy was starting to shake. He got on his cell phone.
I continued to Holler "The L.A. Housing Authority. I will go there."
Into his cellphone the guy was talking to Jose and I'm running around 'til I find the Spanish English dictionary, trying to look up this word he's saying, sounds like "oleo," it's Oler, as in "to smell."
I repeat, "The L.A. Housing authority first thing in the morning."
In his cell phone he's whimpreing, "No deja me, no deja me." Don't leave me here with this hollering woman.
End result: I'm supposed to get a new bathroom floor this morning.
"And you're going to clean up all the feces from under it."
He left with his sackful of whatever he had cleaned out from under the toilet.
And then I shook for the next hour or so. Maybe I'm still shaking. At some point it feels better to just be mad.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I'm sitting here waiting now two days for the landlord to make critical repairs in this slum where I live. Feces are coming up through the floor in the bathroom, the same problem they came out here a few months ago and instead of fixing, just cleaned up the shit, carried out plastic bags of it, and then put the same stained floor back down.
That's life in the slums.
I should not be living like this. I don't know how to express this without sounding selfish and money-grubbing, but it has been damn hard to watch people across the country get settlements and as a result get their lives changed, and I'm still sitting here in the slums.
Because Illinois law is so unfair, I'm left behind.
I get emails now and then from L.A. settlement people. I wish they would realize, I do not want to hear about how serene you are now, and that all I need to do is change my attitude. I'd be a lot more serene and have a lot better attitude if I had six figures in the bank too.
How soon they forget.
I just don't understand why way back in the beginning, in the 1990s, when people started getting uneven settlements because of these crimes, some people getting multi-million dollar settlements when others in different states under similar circumstances, had to settle for five-figure settlements. Many, Like me, will never see any help from the Church at all.
Why didn't someone at the beginning set up some kind of trust, to be made up of portions of individual settlements, to provide grant money or even loans, to the rest of the crime victims who aren't able to get financial settlements from the church?
Why didn't anyone invest in City of Angels, or back it?
This is one of the reasons I can't think of SNAP as anything but SNARL these days, as when you bring up a topic like financial help for victims with our "leaders" of SNARL they always say, "We don't do that."
Well who the hell is "we"?
And why not?
Instead one guy in Santa Barbara tries on his own to start one small trust fund for therapy for non-settled survivors, and that's great, but why is he having to do it alone?
Where is the network?
Why am I doing City of Angels all by myself funding it with two other part time jobs?
Where is the network?
I watch the SNARL guys jet from town to town, stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, and then appear in the news, in city after city.
I just wonder how many other of the victims are left with shit coming up through their floors, while SNARL leaders get awards for the great jobs they've done.
Something is just not right.
Now I gotta go out and buy incense, as landlords who live in Beverly Hills and own apartment buildings in East Hollywood do not respond to maintenance requests, often for months.
This is the condition I'm living in,
The conditions I've been left it.
While I watched all those people around me become millionaires and then just leave.
Leave me and my daughter behind in the shit.
You're damn right I'm mad.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
There is likely no villain more sinister than the moustachio’d Darrel Clockwork, the counter intellingence specialist put in place by the bishops to run a survivors “network” of pedohile priest rape victims that really keeps victims apart. Darrel Clockwork appears to be an advocate, when in truth SNARL is an arm of the Catholic Church formed to keep the crime victims deluded.
It is Darrel’s job to put out press statements that look like SNARL is advocating for survivors, when the press releases are carefully wordedto actually protect the Church while sounding like they're helping the victims. It’s a counter-counter espionage plot that was hatched in the early 1980s by the Catholic bishops to keep pedophile priest rape victims from finding each other, as the truth about sex crimes of Catholic pedophile priests started to ooze out in archdioceses like New Orleans and around Santa Barbara.
Pulling off this clandestine operation for the Catholic Church took skills in message control only a trained former undercover agent for an international spy agency that cannot even be named, such as the guy from St. Louis, Darrel Clockwork, could carry out.
For example, Clockwork has to practice a finesse, a skill at saying something in the press that really means something else, and on top of that really is meant to look like yet another something else. For example, take this quote in a Connecticut newspaper about the release of New Haven documents this week December 1, 2009.
Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Reverends and Laymen said that thousands of pages of documents released Tuesday uncover a culture of secrecy, cover-up and denial. They said that church leaders protected priests at the expense of abused children, many of whom remain angry decades after they were sexually abused.
Now, the church should publicly admit its troubled past, make a public apology and promise to protect parishioners from sexual predators who were routinely shuttled from one church to another, they said. Darrel Clockwork of St. Louis, national director of SNARL, said the documents show "partial truth about devastating cover-ups" and are a step toward healing those still trying to recover from the horror of sex crimes suffered in their youth by trusted, respected, but abusive priests.
Okay, see what Clockwork is really doing there is telling us the Church is going to continue its practice of secrecy and denial and only release "partial truths." Clockwork is letting people know the Church's cynical position in dealing with its victims, standing right in front of the victims, in the position of an advocate, when he's really there to deliver a message through the back door so to speak. Right there, staring straight at us, staring into the camera, appearing to talk for one group, he's really appearing for another.
Clockwork is good at this. No one else sees this subterfuge but me, and I'm hallucinating.
Sneering through his moustache, Clockwork tells us above that SNARL wants the Church to make a public apology, and, I mean, what does a public apology accomplish really, in the long term? It’s PR.
These bishops need to be prosecuted.
But a public apology is all the Church is willing to do, so when the bishop finally gets up and apologizes on a microphone in a press event, this statement by Clockwork will make it appear that the Church is doing this apology to give the crime victims something they want, that an apology is what the victims want.
When it’s not.
We want justice.
But a public apology is all the that Church is willing to do and ever going to do. Clockwork, pretending to speak for victims, tells us what the Church is going to do. The Church's message is always the underlying message when Clockwork speaks.
He thinks a moment, aligns in his head who he's talking to and who he's really representing, then sort of snarls, and makes it look like he's expressing what the survivors want the Church to do, when he's really telling us what the Church is going to do.
Do you see the connivance?
Well, maybe it takes someone as deeply entrenched in the dirty tricks and surreptitious activities of the Catholic Church as I have been the past three years to see it, with them parked outside my house and tapping my phones. In order to be able to see these counter espionage PR techniques, carried out by SNARL though Darrel Clockwork and Blanche _____, (who uses techniques just like the V's on the new ABC TV series). They're helping the Church while making it look like they're speaking out for the Church’s crime victims. You have to spend a few years in the middle of the Church's PR mechanisms to see this plot and experience it.
SNARL says they're doing one thing, saying that they're doing it while they're saying it, but they're saying it really only to make it look like they're doing and saying it, when they're really saying something else, and at the same time telling us about that something else while saying something else- in between the lines, at at the same time- saying they're not saying what they're really saying...
Wait. I think I hear someone at my door. Crouch down, peer out, it's okay, it's just one of my Armenian neighbors. Not the one who is spying on me, the other one who just stares at me. Best to stay quiet, don't even hit the computer keyboard keys for a few minutes, they might hear that I'm in here. I'm safe here inside with my electronic connections ...