Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Meeting Patricia 1

Pika bringing Erin's mom flowers
Today I got to meet my lovely case manager's mom, Patricia. She was flying in today from New Jersey, and I was to come down to Erin's office at noon to met her.
I got there five minutes early and knocked on her door.
"Come in," Erin called.
I came in. But no mom was there.
"Where's mom?" I asked my case manager.
She smiled and said, "You're early."
"Five minutes."
"She's on her way. Her plane already arrived, but she just texted me... she's the last drop on the... on the, I can't think of the word. The shuttle. She's the last drop on the shuttle."
"The airport shuttle is dropping her off here?"
"Yeap, so she's on her way."
"From LAX?"
"Yeah. So I don't know exactly when she'll get here..."
"But she's on her way... to here?"
"Yes. Here. And when I came in today there was this guy just outside peeing on the sidewalk."
"Really? How glorious."
"Yeah. A white kid on a skateboard. He wasn't shy about it at all, and took his time."
I had to giggle. It's a very colorful neighborhood I live in.
"It's a very interesting place, here downtown," I told Erin. "I once saw a guy, downtown, right near Pershing Square, who was leaning up on one of the newspaper dispensers with his pants down around his ankles and his ass waving in the breeze..."
"Really," Erin exclaimed.
"Yes. Black guy. His big butt pointed right out in the street. For about twenty minutes! People were coming out of their businesses to have a look. Cars driving by. He didn't stop until a motorcycle cop happened to drive by and the people on the street directed his attention to the guy. He didn't even get arrested."
"Let's go see our pumpkins," Erin suggested.
Robert was lurking outside her door.
"I need you to help me with this," he told Erin.
"With what?" she asked.
"With this probation payment."
"Oh Robert. You don't need my help. You always wind up just filling it out yourself on my desk."
"No, no, I need you to help me."
"Well we're going out to the garden now, Robert."
Robert was shocked that Erin wouldn't drop everything she was doing to help him address an envelope. But he wound you following us out back.
There were a bizillion and three leaves that had fallen all over our garden, about a week and a half's worth, as we hadn't worked on the garden this week due to Labor Day.
"Oh my," Erin said, "we're going to have to rake up all these leaves before my mom gets here."
"I told Paul we should have worked on this yesterday, but..."
"Your mom's coming here, Erin?" Robert asked.
"Yes she is."
"Yes, Robert. Here and today."
"She's on her way now."
"Oh wow. I should change my clothes."
"Yes you should," I agreed. He was wearing a black T-shirt, brown shorts, and nothing else. He had forgotten to put on his shoes.
We made a cursory inspection of the garden, then she and Robert returned to her office, and I went to my box to get coffee, then returned to Erin's office. Robert was draped over her desk filling out a money order, asking Erin questions throughout the process, while Erin typed case notes onto her computer.
"Should I put their address here," Robert asked her.
"I think they want your address, Robert," I told him. "They already know where they are."
"Oh, yeah sure."
"Erin, I sent your name to Mars yesterday," I told her.
"You did?"
This was true, I did send her name to Mars yesterday. Or rather paved the way for her name to be sent there, along with my own and my lovely sister's. As I was researching yesterday's post I stumbled upon a NASA site that allowed you to enter your name to be placed on a micro dot which will be attached to the Mars Science Laboratory rover to be launched in 2011.
"Will they be calling me," Erin asked.
"No, I don't think so Erin. But you have a nice certificate of participation."
After about 20 minutes Robert had his envelope all ready, and lumbered out of there. Paul arrived, and Jose came in to talk with him. Erin boringly continued to type case notes while pretending to be half in, and half out at any attempts I made at conversation. Finally I got her to stop for a moment and directed her to the NASA site so she could enter her name again and print her certificate. She printed one for me as well.
"Wow, I'm part of history!" Erin exclaimed. It says that right on the certificate. "You are part of history!" You can get your own certificate and be part of history too, dear readers, at the address below:
"I'm going to put this on my wall," Erin said.
"Put what?" Paul asked.
I showed him my new certificate.
"How cool," he said.
"Do you want one?" Erin asked him.
"You don't?"
"Naw. One planet at a time for me. I don't want the Martians knowing my name."
"How about you Jose?"
"Your name is going to Mars? Really?"
"Yes, do you want one?"
"You don't! Why not Jose?" Erin asked.
"I don't know."
"You don't want the Martians to find you too?" I asked.
"Freak'en Martians," Paul muttered.
"Freak'en Martians," Jose repeated. Not really, but it looks good on paper.
Erin went back to her case notes. Paul, Jose, and I discussed the Mars rovers.
"So they're on Mars now?" Paul asked, "Do they have cameras?"
"Yes, they do. Of course."
"And they've sent back pictures? From Mars?"
"Yeah, you can see one on my blog right now," I told him, and which we looked up. The three of us admired the view at the rim of Erebus Crater. Erin ignored us. Then we scrolled down to the picture of her campaigning.
"Is that Erin?" Paul asked.
"What are you guys looking at?" That got her attention.
"That's my Facebook picture!" she said.
"Where did you get these glasses, Erin?" We were now looking at the picture of Inspector Erin.
"Rick!" Erin exclaimed. "You're not allowed to use my Facebook pictures for evil."
"I would never use your pictures for evil, Erin. Frankly I'm shocked that you would suggest it. Shocked, I tell you. I only use them for good."
I ran out of coffee, and returned upstairs for a refill. When I returned Erin had left. Paul was now talking to Candice, so I left them alone, and waited outside the front door. Jose was out there waiting for a bus. As chance would have it one came, just as Erin turned the nearby corner with Patricia, her lovely mother. Fortunately, no one was currently taking a leak anywhere nearby.
To be continued.

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