Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Saint Patrick's Day

I've been told that I am of Irish descent. One hundred percent.
My parents told me this because they were told I was of Irish descent by the adoption agency where they procured me. My sister and I were both adopted, me when I was three days old, my sister was a bit older when we picked her up. I am three years older than she, and I still remember the day we went to get Cheryl. I don't believe I was very happy about it at the time.
But I got used to her.
Saint Patrick's Day, or "Lá ’le Pádraig ," of course, is an annual feast day which celebrates the life of Saint Patrick, Ireland's best known patron saint. He was of Welsh birth and in the year 406 A.D. was captured by raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave for the next six years. He was just 16 years old. He escaped, returned home, and entered the church.
Then he came back to Ireland and chased away all of the snakes.
I made my way downtown rather early to see the Saint Patrick's Day Parade, which began at Main and Arcadia, and would end at Pershing Square, a city block large type of park, located smack in the middle of downtown Los Angeles. LA's version of Cental Park. Mark Twain once spoke there I'm told.
Anybody wearing green clothing was welcome to join the parade, and there were a lot of them (I was wearing green underware. They were white once). Fathers and mothers, all wearing green, brought their children, who were also wearing green, all joined in and had a merry time. All the local bars and restaurants were having Saint Patrick's Day celebrations and specials. My only complaint when these type of events take place downtown (which happens more that you would think, because when a particular group wants to protest something, they come downtown to do it), is that the regular MTA bus routes get all screwed up, more than they are usually.
I had an appointment at one o'clock, so I could not stay to see Fernando Lamas sing the National Anthem at the parade's end (I guess they couldn't find anybody who was Irish), or the Young Dubliners perform at Pershing Square.
Today was yoga day.
Or rather my case managers, the lovely Erin, and the lanky Paul, had arranged for a yoga instructor to come and teach those who wished to participate, some nice yoga. This was the second week of the class, and I wanted to make sure I was there, as at the first class, just me and my neighbor, Hardy, showed up, and I didn't want to have Beth, our beautiful teacher, come down from where ever it is she lives, and find nobody at her class. That would be a waste of time for Beth, and an embarrassment for Erin and Paul.
I do everything I can to support my case managers in their attempts to support me. They are both wonderful people, and I believe, totally without guile. And they really like interacting with their clients, and do so on a daily basis, as I will see them at the Garden Club on Mondays, Yoga on Tuesdays, Support Group is being moved to Wednesdays, Cooking Club on Thursdays, and Friday is Movie Day, where they both watch a movie with us at noon. I give them the weekend off.
So I see them almost everyday. Christ, its like being married.
But I enjoy interacting with them as well, because they are truly nice kids, who I have more in common with than I do anybody else who lives near Skid Row, including my good friend Ron. Erin, right now for instance, is reading, "East of Eden," written by my favorite author, John Steinbeck. I have yet to see any of my neighbors read a book, let alone quality fiction. I'm sure some do, but I never see them.
Erin is 24 years old, hails from New Jersey, has studied psychology, and may want to become a working actress. And her sister just turned 14.
Paul is of similar age, is an English major, comes from Detroit, lives in some kind of twisted "Three's Company," type arrangement, and I don't know how old his sister is, if he has one.
I'll find out though.
My worries about no one showing up were for naught. When the class began four people were there, along with Erin and Paul, so attendance had increased by a staggering 100%. After we began, two others came and joined us. Phenomenal! Then Geena came, sat on one of the mats, then took off. She does that a lot.
Yoga was grueling. I really broke out into a sweat during some of the exercises. Beth is a hard task master, telling us to bend our spines all of the time.
An hour after yoga we had our last Tuesday Support Group, in which Paul produced a kind of test, wherein the participants answered a whole bunch of very personal questions on a piece of paper, then we cut the answers out with scissors, compared them, which allowed us to discover our individual "Core Trait." I discovered mine was empathy/creativity.
Erin cheated by editing her answers in the final stages of the process. When I pointed this out to her she rationalized a pitiful excuse and punched me in the arm. Blatant client abuse.
My evening was busy as well. On Tuesdays I attend the local meeting of S.O.S. (Save Our Selves), a secular kind of twelve-step group. But more about that later.

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