Reading Between the Lines

OK, so now that THAT is out there, maybe I can figure otu a

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Stolen Suitcases

Ever had your backpack or suitcase snatched? Your car broken into and bags stolen? Ever wonder what happens to your stuff? Some of it winds up here: Where Stolen Stuff Goes.

And some of it is at my house.

Let me back up. I’ve been the victim of a smash ‘n grab several times. Every time I assumed what was stolen was dropped on the ground a few blocks away when the thieves discovered it contained completely useless (as in little to no street value) items. Preemie clothes? Really? I can’t imagine those being sold on the street (or being of any value to your run of the mill smash n grabber). Swim trunks and a (very likely moldy) towel? Puh-lease. No one wants that crap.

Guess what? Someone does.

And if you’ve had your suitcase stolen in San Francisco your clothing may very well be in a garbage bag in my mother-in-law’s basement headed for the dump right now. I’m not sure what would have happened to it if we weren’t cleaning out the house though. [And why she’s choosing the dump over Goodwill I couldn’t say either.]

I don’t honestly think that my mentally ill (possibly on drugs that require needles) brother-in-law was (is?) an active participant in the swiping of suitcases. I suspect he is more like the guy who ends up with the loot after all the good stuff has been taken out by the original thieves. Not that I think he’s above swiping your suitcase should you leave it on a corner unattended. I just don’t think he has the mental capability to participate in any meaningful way in what the police describe as a “ring” of car thieves. But I could be wrong. Regardless, while he was living here the suitcases came in droves. Some of them are really NICE suitcases. Like, I almost kind of want to keep a few of them.

So what happened to all the stuff that was in them?

The clothes he washed. The washing machine was constantly running. He offered us items he thought we might like. I’m not sure what his ultimate plan for all those clothes was. Or if he even had one. Most of them were women’s clothes (and inevitably got mixed up with my own laundry). He even occasionally brought home baby items found on the street. [He was always bringing home random junk items found on the street in addition to the suitcases. This annoyed MIL more than you can imagine. And is also why we can’t be sure the needles we found are even his versus something he collected perhaps with the thought of resale.]   But it was the suitcases he wanted. He needed them for work.

‘Work.’

His ‘job’, in his mind, was recycling. That’s how he made money – by collecting (or stealing) recycling and taking it to the recycling center. In CA glass bottles still get you $0.05 a piece. I think they buy plastic bottles and tin cans as well. And in San Francisco it is ILLEGAL to take other people’s recycling out of their bins even though they don’t want it. That was a new one to me. I looked it up because I thought he was right that it’s legal. He wasn’t. It’s not.

Anyway, bus drivers will not let you on the bus with bags full of recyclables. According to BIL, anyway – and I believe him on that one. You see where this is going now?

Your suitcase was stolen so my BIL could pack it with recyclables, jump on the bus and make $12. Because in his brain, that’s his job. It’s how he makes money.

 

vintagesuitcase

Once Upon A Time

once upon a time
there was a little girl
who couldn’t wait
to see the world

and so she came early
born much too soon
and had to go stay
in a hospital room

and there she grew
big and strong
because she slept
all night long

her parents loved her so
but felt unprepared
and so they chose us
because they knew we cared

with heavy hearts
they wished her the best
and found her new parents
to provide a better nest

and now you are here
and you know the rest!
20160418_185125

A Radical Notion?

There’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’ve barely voiced it to anyone because I fear people think I have lost my damn mind and gone completely off the political rails. But hear me out, please.

I am tired of the concept of states as they exist in the USA.

First, we are clearly not United. Second, we are a far more mobile society than we used to be.

Perhaps I am alone in this opinion, but I’ve moved around a lot. And the only thing that stays the same is my passport. I’m not opposed to having local representation in federal government. Nor am I advocating for federal control over municipalities. But the world has shrunk and many of us move around a lot which essentially prohibits us from meaningfully participating in local government. My current living arrangement was meant to last for 2-3 months but instead has stretched out to 5 months with no permanent home on the horizon. I’ve gone to great pains to maintain my legal address in my former location for many reasons: to vote in this election, for tax purposes, for work purposes, credit purposes… but the longer I’m here, the more difficult it is. I do not want to change all my information to reflect a temporary living arrangement just so I can change it all over again in the next location. It’s a hassle, it’s expensive and it wrecks your credit.

Everything is entirely too dependent on what state you live in. I almost couldn’t buy a car in one state because my legal residence was in another. That’s stupid. When I say, “Please take my money!” your response shouldn’t be, “Only if you live here.” Thank Zeus for smart phones. I was able to change my address on an account through my phone and then show proof that I had an account with my temporary address on it. And in doing so, screwed up my plan to not become a resident here. I’m walking a fine line. I just want to make it to January for tax purposes.

I’m having the same issue trying to become involved in any sort of group that advocates for things I believe in. You have to be a member of a local chapter. If BLM can grow through Twitter, surely other groups can allow for involvement on a national, not local level. After all, I’m an introvert and prefer to do things online anyway. I don’t need to be in any one location.

So yeah, I’m kind of over States Rights at this point. And I doubt very much that that’s a popular opinion.

I’m Where I Need To Be

I’ve said it many times: I don’t believe in fate. I don’t believe anything is preordained or destined. If X hadn’t happened that led to Y, Y may or may not have happened. It just wouldn’t have happened exactly how or when it did because of X. And while I appreciated the sentiments while I was waiting to adopt a child, I still don’t believe this child was meant for me in a way that some other child wouldn’t have been. Is this child and adoption situation a good match for us? Yes. Would all other children not have been? No.

That said, I’ve found the good in living with my in-laws at the moment. My preemie kid is not in day care. My MIL and BIL are both getting support they wouldn’t have otherwise had available. And now my uncle is very ill – perhaps gravely – and I live closer to him than I ever have before. And that’s good for both him and me.

So, yeah. This weird move has lasted much longer than I anticipated and my nerves are growing thin. But I’m where I need to be right now.

Lists

A realization came to me last night and another this morning.

1. I’m not reading enough AND
2. I need to make some lists

First off, since moving my life has been so uncertain I’ve somehow stopped reading books. I tend to favor watching TV shows now. I suppose its understandable. Both are escapes but one is more mindless than the other.

But with the outcome of the election I am feeling a very real need to take back control. To pull my head out of the sand do something about the things I CAN control. There’s so much uncertainty in my life right now I’ve just been ignoring pretty much everything. But there are some things I CAN control. And I need to start doing them.

First step is LISTS. I love lists. Just making a list calms me. So I’m gonna first make a list of all the lists I need to make. And then I’m gonna take back what control I have.

Now soliciting items to put on my list. Ideas welcome.