Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Banquet at 5th and Towne

Okay, time to get back to work now. Sorry for the lapses in posting, but I was caught up with the pre-release promotional tour of "Inception," and haven't got off until now.
But more about that later.
Locally though, things have been fairly quiet here at the Las Americas. Saturday morning (when I wrote this) I strolled over the 6th Street bridge at daybreak to start things off on an even keel. Stood in line for about half an hour to get some donuts and Ramen soup (and I don't really know why I did this. I went and got donuts the day before, which I hadn't eaten, although I did partake of a nice buttermilk donut Friday morning at our monthly Resident Meeting, where the staff gets to do all of the talking. I guess I just wanted the soup). And already that morning I'd been in contact with my lovely friend, Shannon, in Alabama, and my un-lovely friend, John Clark, who currently resides in Costa Rica. Ah the marvels of the Internet, Facebook, and Email.
And as I sat and wrote this I also watched this lovely little movie, "Across the Universe," which was chalk filled with Beatles songs, which I listened to with a great sense of nostalgia. (and it was only 8:48 in the morning, so I looked forward with great excitement to what would happen during the rest of the day).
The Beatles songs prompted me to find a nice Paul McCartney tune to sing for my lovely case manager at her next birthday party. We've already sang her a John Lennon song (Hey, You've Got To Hide Your Love Away), and one from George Harrison ("Here Comes The Sun"), so it had been bothering me that I couldn't come up with a McCartney song from memory to choose, and there's so many! But I soon found one after looking at a list which I think will work just fine. I'm sorry dear readers, but you'll have to wait until next May to find out which one.
My gosh, I'm not looking forward to 2012 when it will be time to pick one from Ringo (how is case manager Paul going to manage "Octopus's Garden?")
Anyway, it was hot here in LA last week, hitting the low 90s (my poor sister is facing much dire temperatures in Bullhead City, which should reach a high of 113 today... but she has air conditioning). I complain about the heat during the summers here because I am not allowed air conditioning in my box, and temperatures in it typically reach approximately 20 degrees more than the ambient temperature outside due to the bricks holding this hotel together. Why am I not allowed air conditioning? Funny you should ask. Something to do with the electrical wiring I'm told. Electrical wiring that does not seem to affect the case manager's or property manager's office, for they do have air conditioning. What does this imply, dear readers? That the case managers and the property manager are better, and need to be more comfortable than the residents they are here to serve? It would seem so, or at least that would seem to be what the top SRHT management believes. Well FUCK YOU SRHT TOP MANGEMENT!
And I say that with total love and sympathy.
Here's an idea Mike Alvidrez and JoAnne Cohen, stop building new hotels with central air, and fix the wiring in this one so we can have air conditioning!
As it is I have three fans going non-stop (one just for my computer), and a swamp cooler. How do they figure they're saving on electrical draw with all of these fans running 24/7?
But me thinks I protest too much.
My friend Michelle believes I use this blog to bitch about petty things and people, and therefore I'm petty. Do you think so too, dear readers... do I, and am I?
Yes! And delightedly so. I not only bitch about petty things and people... I bitch about everything that I don't like.
But that's not what this post is about. No this post is about the banquet at 5th and Towne that was held last Friday afternoon, and presented by something called The Origins Project (http://originsproject.ning.com/), and the Fred Jordan Mission (http://www.fjm.org/).
I didn't know anything about until after the Movie Club. We had started the movie early, at eleven, so Paul and Erin could go to their SRHT staff picnic... HEY, Mike Alvidrez and JoAnne Cohen, stop building new hotels with central air, and fix the wiring in this one so we can have air conditioning! But I digress.
We watched George Roy Hill's 1972 adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse Five," one of my favorite movies based on one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors.
After assuring Erin that it was not a horror movie, and getting the okay from Paul to watch it, I think we all thoroughly enjoyed the film. I've been trying to get Paul to read "Slaughterhouse Five," for over a year now. A copy of the novel I lent to him rests on a shelf in his office at this very moment, just as a copy of James Clavell's masterpiece, "Shōgun," used to for Erin (I gave that copy to Erin for her birthday (see, "Erin's Birthday Party 2)). Now after seeing most of the movie (he needed to leave early) he is inclined to read the book. Very good.
Anyway, one of my neighbors, Yolanda, told me that they were having a banquet at the Fred Jordan Mission at 4:00. It was 3:30 when she told me that. I grabbed my sunglasses and backpack and we were on our way.
I figured since SRHT trust was having as picnic I might as well go to a freaking banquet.
And this will be the absolute last one this writer will be reporting on, at least from the Fred Jordan Mission.
Yolanda and I got there in time, and another neighbor, a skinny Hispanic gentleman nicknamed Taco, who was working security at the affair, let us in at the front of the line, something I usually have moral objections about, which I put aside for convenience sake that day.
5th street had been blocked off and tables set up, 8 chairs to a table. At 4:00 staff allowed us to take seats where we found nice diet Cherry Cokes waiting for us. There were about a hundred tables to fill, but after they were a line still stretched around the block toward 6th Street.
Not to worry, we were told from the makeshift stage sitting west of us on Crocker Street, everyone would be fed.
Well you might think we were there to get a nice free meal. I have no idea why they were giving this banquet at this particular time, and still don't, but I'll tell you, everyone one of us paid dearly for that chicken leg, rice, green beans, and piece of cake we eventually received. Very dearly.
For we all sat and sat and sat, while a band played music, then a Christian rapper did his thing, more music with an evangelical flair. then we were preached to for what seemed like hours. Hours and hours. We were seated at 4:00, at 5:00 we were told we would eat at 5:30, and we were still waiting at 6:00. The people just would not shut the hell up. Most of us in the audience were enduring this, elbows on table with hands on our foreheads. It was always "One more prayer," "One more prayer." I felt sorry for the people still in line waiting for them to feed those who were already seated.
Like I said, this will be the last one of these things I'll ever attend. If you're going to have a banquet then have a banquet. If you're going to have a church service, then advertise it as such and have a church service.
The food was nice. I like chicken. But it sure wasn't worth sitting around for two hours to get. I would have been better off having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at home.
But that's just me. I'm sure there were many there who thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the experience, or actually needed the food. I wasn't one of them.
Oh yes, everyone was told they'd receive a nice gift bag upon leaving. I got one. Apparently everyone did. I took it home without opening it. When I did open it I found a ten pound sack of potatoes in there, 5 onions, and a sack of dry beans. Just what your average street homeless person needs, some raw potatoes, onions, and beans.
I hear they give away the same things at the Academy Awards.
God what a pathetic, petty little bitch I am.
Yes! And delightedly so.
By the way... HEY, Mike Alvidrez and JoAnne Cohen, stop building new hotels with central air, and fix the wiring in this one so we can have air conditioning!
But I digress.

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