Monday, February 23, 2009

the last step

The Baileys are my across the street neighbors that I rarely have contact with, thus their first ever mention here in these reports. Mary Bailey is in her 70's I'm guessing. Her son Ted is probably 45 or 50.

Ted ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer. And that's not me being a jackass. There's really something up with him. He's not mentally handicapped, but he's dang close. When I first moved here six years ago Ted was just released from prison and under house arrest. Word on the street is that he wasn't some violent criminal or such. He got wrapped up with the wrong people and rumors say he may have helped in some burglaries etc. I've met him a few times. And the first thing he always says when he's meeting you is, "I got in some big trouble a while back". He's humble. I admire that.

Ted doesn't drive. His mother does. So she's basically his transportation.

Ted doesn't work (that I know of). He rarely leaves the house. So I'm guessing his mother is basically his livlihood and lifeline.

Over the last few nights Ted and the Mackey's from across the street asked for my assistance in helping Mary off the floor as she's fallen or needs help off the toilet. She's fallen like six or seven times in the last week. Amazingly, she's not injured other than a minor bruise or two.

Faye Mackey offered to contact Adult Protective Services as she has a friend who works there. The Bailey's seemed responsive to that idea which shocked me since I'm use to Obi-Wan who has used every last ounce of strength fighting for his independence. APS is usually the last step before an elderly person without responsible children ends up in a care home.

If that happens I wonder what will become of Ted.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

pruning boy: deja vu

In a bizarre mix of my current work life and my former work life, the jedi master along with Chuckie and myself are doing some work for my old boss at Son & Dad Tree Service, Inc. I of course helped land the job, so it wasn't like he randomly picked us out of the phone book or something.

But it's really weird going back to the north side dynasty and doing some piddly-ass repetitive job (like scraping the exterior of a house for paint prep) on one of The Son's five properties.

Something about this mixture of mundane labor and being at The Son's north side dynasty put's me both in The Zen AND makes me realize how bad I want an assignment transfer from headquarters.

The transfer will come in due time I'm sure. I just never thought I'd be back at The Son's doing some goof job. So it goes.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

return of the king

As the days, months, and years pass I am amazed at how many people I forgot from the old izzy group ministry days. Tons of people passed through our food pantry doors.

I was visiting Obi-Wan at the hospital last month when a hospital nurse came in to check his blood sugar. She knew me. I had no idea who she was. But she said she and her kids use to come to izzy and get groceries several years ago when she was a hurting single mom. Now she’s got her nursing degree and works at the hospital and thanks the CEO that all is well.

I am thankful that the CEO of the universe occasionally lets me see “the rest of the story” from those days. Even if I don’t remember certain people.

But there is one person from those days I will never forget. We shared too many memories together.

Momo, the king of the streets in the fair mother city, was sleeping on one of the cushy chairs in a Starbucks this weekend when I ran into him.

Agent Offspring #2 and I were getting groceries at HEB and decided to get a treat at the nearby coffee joint since my mailman mother gave us something like $105 in starbucks gift cards from her customers. She doesn’t like going there. I don’t mind it. Especially if it’s free.

This was kind of a weird place to run into Momo, since this area of town is way off the beaten path for our homeless friends. But Momo always gets around. I saw him camped out at the mall parking lot once. And that’s WAY off the beaten path.

We chatted for a good while. Actually, Momo rambled on and on with a bunch of homeless mental ramblings and so forth. But I didn’t mind. We all need to be heard and he doesn’t get much of a chance to talk to people. He’s so damn scary looking.

Nothing significant was said or exchanged. But I always forget how much I miss him. Even if he did use to piss me off.

One of my favorite Momo memories was once I ran into him downtown panhandling by the post office. His panhandling approach is terrible. Most homeless guys play the role of the lovable fuzzy tramp looking for something to eat and “god blessin ya” every second. Momo’s approach is to scare the hell out of you.

He’s short, fat, dark, wears the same clothes with stains for weeks until they fall off, and has that psycho pissed-off look in his eye. With his butt crack and gut hanging out he sleeps on a sidewalk like a beached whale. Then when some sucker walks by, he gets up and corners them and gives a direct demand for a buck. It’s such a crock schtick. I’m laughing.

So anyway, I see him do this one day as I’m going to the PO and I yell, “Hey Momo!” like I’m his best friend. Because we are friends. And I give him a hug like I always do.

He just froze with a smirk on his face that said “you’re giving away my schtick. Don’t let on that I’m really a cream puff”.

Thank you CEO for my run in with an old friend.

Long live the king.

Monday, February 02, 2009

dichotomy: two local tragedies

#1 - A family lost everything, including their mother here. One of the seven-year old twin boys isn't expected to make it either.

This family lives right across the street from my old boss with Son and Dad Tree Service, Inc. Every morning I would see this family when I arrived to work. They had all the mannerisms and trademarks of the poverty culture, including hanging outside in the front yard at all times of the day and enjoying life. The dad was a truck driver, I think. I waved to them and talked briefly once or twice. My heart breaks.

#2 - One of the old money social clubs in town is about to spend one million dollars on high definition broadcasting equipment. Which is even more pathetic since none of the local stations has complete HD technology yet to broadcast their church service to the capacity of the church's soon-to-be new equipment. Sheesh.

A poor family lost everything including their wife and mother.

And a mere 14 blocks away god's people toss big bucks at the trivial.

Forgive us all lord.

*photo credit by Ronald W. Erdrich.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


It’s been a few years or so since I’ve reported on my absence from the sunday morning social club. I believe that my avoidance of this topic proves my confidence in my calling outside of that scene. Thus I don’t feel a need to prove something to others thus proving something to myself.

Despite popular belief, I, agent b, am not opposed to other’s membership of these clubs. Nor am I opposed to the possibility of being part of one myself again someday.

What I am opposed to is attendance. Or better yet – I am opposed to attendance becoming the calling as opposed to living the calling.

Or something like that.

So Agent Wife and I have children. Three, as of almost three weeks ago. And yes, we incorporate our agent calling “outside church walls” into our children’s life. Since our marriage ten years ago (pre-kid days) we discussed how to raise our kids to know the CEO and not just drag them to some sunday morning deal. We wanted to live the experience of this kingdom of god, not just talk about it and naval gaze while someone else taught our kids about god.

So anyway, last weekend both grandmothers were here: my mom and Agent Wife’s mom. Sunday morning they were getting ready to “go to church” together while I was going to visit Obi-Wan and Agent Wife was tending to our newborn.

So then, my oldest mentioned that he wanted to go with his grandmothers. So I suggest to the grandmothers that if they want to take them, I’ll get the older kids dressed and ready to go. They were downright giddy about this, as can be expected by grandmothers.

So later on that day one of the grandmothers mentions to us that if we wanted, we could send our kids to church via our neighbors The Mackeys (who go to the church they visited).

How are we supposed to take that? Are we some sort of deadbeat parental sloths by not taking our kids to church?

No one noticed that our kids knew the songs they sang at church...because Agent Wife taught these songs to them at home!

OK. Sorry. I’m getting a little defensive. Such is being an agent and dealing with family.

But my question: what is better – teaching your children about attendance? Or trying to live the faith?

Or something like that.