The Darwin Exception

because it's not always survival of the fittest – sometimes the idiots get through

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Ruminations From a Tortured Mind

Posted by thedarwinexception on November 28, 2007

I’m so pissed about my computer – I was supposed to bring it to the computer guy Monday. I called him first to make sure he was going to be there, and I happened to ask him, since we are of the feeling now that it’s the video card (which I had told him before I brought it in the first time), “Hey – do you have a video card there?” No, no he didn’t, but he sure would order one now that I reminded him!

I asked him how long that should take – to get one in the shop – and he said “Oh, no more than a week!” Which means that if I did bring the computer to him on Monday, that it would be until next Monday before he even had a video card there, and then at least another week to put it in the computer because, you know, that’s how long most shit takes.

So I told him to call me when the video card came in, and I would bring the computer to him then. In the meantime, I can use it sporadically. I run it until it stops, then switch to the laptop, then wait an hour or so and switch back to the main computer, until it goes down, lather, rinse, repeat.

But it’s beginning to piss me off. It’s easier to compose posts for the blog on the main computer – where I have my pictures, Live Writer, Front Page, and all the snippets of posts I have archived. But I’ll be in the middle of writing and Crash! the computer goes down – taking all my work with it. Fucking thing.

The only good thing about it is that I’ve spent less time on the computer – it’s too aggravating to deal with sometimes – and more time sewing and entertaining.

Yes, I had the zombie lady over yesterday.

The old lady across the street instigated it. Her Home Health Aide came by and when she got out of her car she noticed an odd gas smell and asked the old lady across the street if there was a gas leak in the neighborhood. Since the old lady across the street hadn’t seen zombie lady for a while, she called me and told me the gas smell was quite powerful and asked if I had seen zombie lady. I told her I hadn’t since Thanksgiving, but that I would go over and check on her.

So I did. I went and knocked on her door, after navigating through the porch that is also the “treasure room”. Zombie lady has an enclosed porch – the walls are some kind of fiberboard or plywood – and she has hung all sorts of things that she finds wonderful on the walls – things like 64 count boxes of crayons, knit gardening gloves, pencils with pinwheels on the top, an Oscar the Grouch furry fun purse, and books – lots of books.

There was no answer when I knocked on the door, and I got up on my tiptoes to look through the three staggered little windows that line the top of the door. Usually I can peek in here and see if she is in the kitchen or somewhere in sight, but this time I couldn’t because the three windows were frosted over with ice on the inside.

But she never did answer. I had no idea where she was, or what she was doing, and I didn’t know if she was in there fucking dead somewhere. I just decided to come back later or the next day and if I still couldn’t raise her, I would (again) call the police to do a safety check.

So I went back over the next day and knocked, and this time she answered the door. She said she was “cleaning up” so that she could take a couple of days and go to the “city” to get her mail, talk to someone at her bank about some issues she was having there and go shopping.

And cleaning was a challenge – the entire living room is covered knee deep in garbage. Remember, she has lived there over a year and never has had a garbage pickup or even put anything into garbage bags. The floor is covered in newspapers, boxes, empty cartons, papers, receipts, cans, bottles, and every other kind of trash you can think of. I glanced around at some of the stuff she was putting into piles and noticed that most of the newspapers had comments and notes and other writing in the margins. I said “Oh, yeah, the newspapers have notes on them – you don’t want to throw those away.” And she responded with “Yes, these people, they are spies, no? They make comments to me so that I will come forward, but this I will not do. I answer them and then they see this.”

Oh, well, that explains that, loony fucking toon.

I told her that if she had a minute and wanted a hot cup of coffee, that she could take a break and come over and I would be happy to make coffee for her. She very eagerly accepted, and I told her “well, good, grab some books or something to do and you can read and watch a little TV, too, while you have some coffee, and I will just putter around and do some sewing and some knitting. So she grabbed a few books and followed me home.

As she drank the coffee I made and ate the egg salad sandwich I gave her, she dropped a few little pearls of wisdom and some observations of her own that I thought I would share with you. So, straight from the zombie lady herself, here are “Ruminations from a Tortured Mind”

  • According to the zombie lady, I have a “sexy voice”. She asked me to read some passages from the books she had brought with her. Well, not really passages, but old clichés. Why? Because “when you read, you hear the voice in your head in your own voice. The words have much more meaning and impact when you hear someone else ready them.” So I read a few of the passages that she pointed out – one was something like “Failure is not an option in America – but it is the only place where you can fail and then ultimately succeed.” Yeah, what the fuck ever.
  • Lifetime Channel would more accurately be called “Rape Channel”
  • UFO’s and Aliens are totally the brainchild of the American Government and is so much propaganda to fool the American people. In the 1950’s, when the government wanted to beat the Russians into space, they did not have a lot of support from the American people. So, the government made up these lies of UFO’s and Aliens and “little green men” so that the American public would believe that space was worth exploring. They also promoted the idea that aliens and “little green men” were hostile, this way space exploration could be justified as “going to war”. There is nothing that American people like more than a good war, so it was easier to convince the American public that space exploration was necessary. Now, whenever the government needs to justify an increase in NASA funding, they promote and back a blockbuster movie about aliens, preferably hostile aliens, and this is to subliminally convince the American people that space programs are necessary. And it works.
  • Eddie Rickenbacker is the greatest American hero ever. He was one of the first innovators of commercial airlines, he designed cars that have influenced auto design for generations, and he predicted that women would one day buy their fashions on a monitor.
  • Tattoos are BAD. When you get a tattoo, there is the possibility that the person drawing the tattoo will use the “special ink” that can be tracked. Many inks are tracked and when you go through scanners or security devices, the ink in the tattoo can be identified and your privacy can be compromised.

When she *does* go to “the city” to get her mail and stuff, I am going to go over to her house and take pictures of the “treasure porch” and post them for you to see. Only because it has to be seen to be appreciated.


16 Responses to “Ruminations From a Tortured Mind”

  1. Caroline said

    HAHAHA, this stuff is priceless! I have to say that I agree with her on the Lifetime channel, more like “women in peril” network.

    You are really turning into a good samaritan, and if she turns out to be wealthy wack job, ala a “female Howard Hughes”, you could be her sole heir. All just for treating her like a fellow human being, and doing so with a little kindness! Kudos to you Kim!

  2. luvgabe said

    Wow, now Zombie Lady is a hoarder, in addition to being a certifiable paranoic. This woman is serious mentally ill. Bless you for your kind heart, Kim!

  3. Holy Toledo said

    Damn, you’re turning into a f—king saint. St. Kimberly of Malone of the Precious Yarn. Yeah, that sounds pretty good. SKMPY

    Couple of questions. Did you ever post anything about her son? Did she ever tell you her last name? I’d love to see if I could track down anything on her like her husband’s death notice, etc.

    Geez, this computer problem is getting out of hand. Aren’t you about to go nuts yourself? Looking forward to seeing pics of the porch. It’s so damn sad I just can’t bring myself to say much.


  4. Kim (Canaada) said

    I’m thinking I want a neighbour like yours….

    Not sure about your voice, but your writing is a turn on –

    Cable TV doesn’t exist in my world (No time for it)so I don’t know much about the Lifetime channel….It’s not sounding like I’m missing much there by the sound of things –

    I gotta tell ya though, I’m liking her take on the “UFO” and “Alien” explanation –

    I played a Rickenbacker bass guitar at one point in my life…Wish I still had that thing –

    As far as tatoos – Well, let’s just say, I hope they used un-traceable “special ink” in mine –

    Definately looking forward to seeing the “treasure porch” pics…


  5. NJGill said

    so, when the fire does start, her house in knee deep in stuff that will spread it quicker? maybe while she’s gone, you should get in there and try to find out how to contact her son. doesn’t Malone have any ordinances against public nuisances and or health hazards?

  6. Susan said

    So sorry about your computer troubles. Life’s a bitch when techno goes Oh No.

    You’re being one hell of a good care giver to ZL but she needs a STAT social worker visit. However, in the real world, this is NOT going to happen until and/or when she becomes physically ill or blows up the neighborhood with the gas! We’re a nation that claims to care, but nothing much can done until there is an intervening “occurrence”. She needed a STAT psych consult a year ago but again that’s not going to happen until her life is threatened or the lives of the neighbors, which in my professional opinion is a current and ongoing situation.

    You’re doing an excellent job by inviting her into your home as this addresses some of her basic needs as well great documentation in terms of protecting yourself and your home.

    In fact, the more time you spend with ZL, the more likely it is that her paranoia and hoarding activities will diminish. However, she remains a danger to herself and others. This is one of those cases where calling the authorities every day,(cops and fire dept)and being a Huge Bitch will pay off. Think of it as therapy. In the meantime, you’re a saint and I wish more of my patients had as stable and as wonderful support as you and your hubby offer.

    I can give you my email address and contact Social Services in Malone for you. Just leave me a comment to that end, and I’ll do whatever I can.

    Thanks for putting the Dreidel back in Hanukkah!!!

  7. Holy Toledo said

    Hey, wait a minute. ZL thinks you have a sexy voice. First Rocky and now ZL….

    *You got some ‘splainin to do, young lady*


  8. Sandy said

    Your heart goes far deeper than you admit. Being kind to ZL goes far beyond what your neighbors, and those that should, even consider. I think we have all read stories of people who live like her and have serious psychological problems. She does not see any of this and it will take a legal order to resolve. On the other hand, she is probably happier in the scheme of things than most of us. Regardless of the crazy level we are so curious about. And, sadly, taking away her created environment would most likely put her over the edge.

    I too have wondered about her son and if ZL mental condition/environment is why he is not around.

    Didn’t you say there was another computer guy around? Or a BL who once helped? Putting in a video card is a 5 min. caper. Can you check the bulletin board at the local community college or even the grocery store for another possible repair guy. I’d be as out of it as ZL if my computer was wash and dry as yours.

    Oh, I took the liberty to visit Malone’s home page. The Office Supply store will repair your typewriter.

    Have to comment on Lifetime. Yup, I watch the “Chick Flicks”. With selective levels, they are a reality diversion. Was listening to a discussion about repackaging TV programs, mainly directed to MTV going to mud. But they also mentioned Lifetime as the Women Falling Down Stairs channel. My selective levels apparently aren’t as keen as thought. This is exactly how all of the movies seem to end. If not the stairs then over a balcony.

    Sandy in Colorado Springs

  9. skweekie said

    The city can get involved if it wishes. As you know, it will take a court order, but it can be done. It happened just a block away from me a few months ago. The hoarding was so bad that the stuff in the house was literally pushing out the doors and windows. They found over 3,000 books in the attic, the weight of which was collapsing the ceiling of the room below it.

  10. Did you ever post anything about her son? Did she ever tell you her last name? I’d love to see if I could track down anything on her like her husband’s death notice, etc.

    OK – what I know about her son.

    His name is David and (here’s some irony for ya) – he’s some high muckity muck at the SOCIAL SERVICES office in NYC. She says that HE called Social Services in Malone on her last year, using the excuse that she had no electricity. Only she DID have electricity when he called. So, this year, even though she DOESN’T have electricity, he doesn’t know that, and he called using the excuse “she has no food”.

    She thinks that HE is the one who has called on her repeatedly, not knowing that I called, too. But i don’t know if he really DID call, and that’s when APS came out – but APS DID tell me that she had been called on last year, and I knew I hadn’t called last year. BUt zombie lady said he has called on her “four times”.

    Zombie Lady and her son have a strained relationship, at best. She lived with him up until the time she bought this house. Things got really uncomfortable when he married a woman she didn’t like. This woman lives down South in Mississippi or something, and she and David have a long distance relationship. This woman is also a high muckity muck in the Social Services program in Mississippi.

    David also blamed his mother’s presence on why the woman wouldn’t come and live in NYC, but zombie lady quite astutely pointed out that she’s been gone a year and the woman still hasn’t moved to NYC, so it must not have been her.

    Zombie lady owns the apartment her son lives in. It’s in Brooklyn. I don’t know his last name – I did *see* her last name one time – on the shut off notice from National Grid, but I couldn’t remember it if I tried – it’s long, Russian, and has lots of “z’s” and “ys” in unusual places.

    But you think like I do – I very much wanted to know all about him and try to find him, too. I’d love to talk to him and let him know what’s going on – but it seems like he knows *some* of it. And zombie lady is convinced that he keeps calling SS on her because he wants her to go back to NYC, and that his wife wants him to call because she is very anxious to get guardianship of zombie lady so that she can have zombie lady’s money – which seems like it might be a reasonable theory. SOme of the things she told me about the wife and why she doesn’t like her make me think that that the woman probably DOES just want zombie lady’s money.

    So that’s the only thing keeping me from calling the son. Well, that and I don’t know who the fuck he is.


  11. doesn’t Malone have any ordinances against public nuisances and or health hazards?

    You know, apparantly not. Which is what aggravates me the most. I find it really, really frustrating that we had to get a permit and have inspections on our woodstove for “public safety and health reasons”, but this bitch can have a fucking GAS GRILL in her house and flammable knee deep shit not 2 feet away from it, and that’s just okey dokey as far as the town is concerned.

    I don’t understand it at all. I really don’t.

    I really want to go to some public meeting or something and ask what the fuck the theory is and what the law says about shit like this. And why it is that APS will come, sure, but they won’t actually like fucking DO ANYTHING if the person says “I’m fine – move along…” I mean, sometimes there are cases where people need saving from their own crazy ass selves. And this is one of those cases. You can’t tell me that it’s just OK for someone to think there is a vast conspiracy out to get them and that’s why they shouldn’t pay their bills and should instead live with no heat and no water and no food. I understand that it’s not illegal to be crazy, and that it’s not illegal to live without electricity, but you would think that our community wouldn’t WANT our residents to live that way – especially if it’s not a financial issue but a mental health issue. At least, I want to be PART of a community that thinks that way – not one that allows it to continue.

    Maybe I should skip judge and just run for mayor. I’d change so much shit around here your head would fucking spin – out with the redneck games and in with addressing the communnity’s health needs.


  12. I can give you my email address and contact Social Services in Malone for you. Just leave me a comment to that end, and I’ll do whatever I can.

    Sure – call them. Apparantly everyone else is calling. Not that it does any good at all – they come, she shows them the cans of food she bought at the dollar store and keeps for just such occasions as visits from the government, she tells them she doesn’t need to know what days of the week or month it is, and she tells them she is not cold, and they leave. Unless she specifically tells them “I need help – I am mentally unstable” there is nothing else they will do. And how likely is it that she is going to become that self aware?

    But, call the Malone Social Services department, tell them you are calling about Natasha, the crazy Russian with no electricity – they’ll know who you are talking about. I seriously doubt there’s more than one here.


  13. I took the liberty to visit Malone’s home page. The Office Supply store will repair your typewriter.

    Well, there you go. Everyone write that down. Good to know.

    And I have heard that there’s another guy who repairs computers here in town – but that he’s not very good at it. And I know I could probably put the video card in myself – in fact, I’m quite sure I could. Maybe I should just do that – get one off eBay and then install it. But I just hate doing anything with the computer anymore. I’d just rather someone else mess with all that crap.

    I did have my friend’s husband install my last DVD player – but that was because they were here on vacation (and I put him to work – HA). They come once a year, but I can’t wait until next summer when they are here again. I’ve told her to PLEASE switch husbands with me for a couple fo weeks – her hubby could get a bunch of technical shit done around here for me and Paul could -wellll…..Paul could play with her kid and watch a bunch of TV for her, and maybe clean out her cupbards of all that stored food she has. Fair trade.

    But they also mentioned Lifetime as the Women Falling Down Stairs channel. My selective levels apparently aren’t as keen as thought. This is exactly how all of the movies seem to end. If not the stairs then over a balcony.

    Well, that’s pretty funny. I don’t watch a lot of “Lifetime”. My sister does – only because she’s hooked on “Golden Girls” for some reason.


  14. They found over 3,000 books in the attic,

    Well fuck – I have wayyyyy more than 3000 books in my attic. And if you tell Paul about the “caving in the ceiling” thing, I’ll kill you. This is the guy that wouldn’t let me have a bookshelf in the computer room because they were “inside walls” and the weight would collapse the floor. We argued about that FOR-EVER. He was convinced if I had 100 books on a bookshelf on an inside wall that the whole house would collapse in on itself.

    I, of course, answered this by telling him we better put the fucking refrigerator outside because it was STANDING ON THE FLOOR ON AN INSIDE WALL. He said that was OK – because it was downstairs.

    I then told him that the bed was on an inside wall – and it weighed more than the bookshelf. He said it didn’t. I said it did when his fat ass was in it. He pointed out that many of those 100 books were Stephen King novels – and each King novel should really count as 5 normal novels. So it’s like I had 500 books on the bookshelf.

    We finally compromised by moving the bookshelf downstairs, where for some reason I am allowed to have as many books on it as will fit. Which is actually better than the “one row of books on each shelf – with a shelf of only paperbacks and no Stephen King novels EVER” Paul had restricted me to if it were upstairs.

    But there are TONS of boxes of books in the attic – if Paul thought about that he’d fucking flip out.


  15. Holy Toledo said

    I’ve thought about this book argument. I had a friend that told me *never marry an attorney because you’ll never win an argument*. Paul does not stand one f****ing chance. You’ve never admitted it but you ARE an attorney. I’ll say this. You have the best sense of humor of any legal eagle I’ve ever known. By the way, did I ever tell you I wrote Leslie Abramson a letter and asked her to sign her book for a friend of mine that was very enamored with her and she not only did so but wrote a very lengthy personalized note to her (I had supplied some background information). It was one of the neatest gifts I ever pulled off. And one more thing….I’m a bookaholic too. Do you think there should be a support group like AA only BA? Nah, I don’t want to recover.


  16. Holy Toledo said

    That was very interesting information about David xxxyyyzzz. Whatever his last name is. It never fails. He works in Social Services. Reminds me of the addage *the cobbler’s children have no shoes* or something like that. And I’m not being critical. It’s just ironic. Geez, ZL got persecuted by the Ruskies and now her flesh and blood might be out to get her….well, just her money, perhaps. Her situation is pitiful but I feel worse for you having to live next door to a dump site. I suggested this before. Write letters to every elected official you can think of, city, county, state and federal. Once something is in writing, it carries a heavier burden than phone calls. This has disaster written all over it.


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