Jim Varagona

Category: sadietheboxer

>My Dogter, The Victim

>After an easy day at work last week, the wife and I decided to take our dogter for a walk and pick up dinner while we were out. Gray skies loomed overhead though in a physical and metaphorical sense.

We arrived at our local St. Louis Bread Co. (Panera Bread to non-St. Louisans–yes, it is ours) with a light drizzle falling. My wife went inside to order the eats. I took Sadie, our boxer, over to some sidewalk seating to wait. A rough looking homeless man was at the table adjacent to ours.

“That’s a boxer, right?”

“Yep.”

At that point, I was actually quite impressed that he recognized her breed, considering most people think she is a pit bull for some reason. He asked me to bring her over, to which I did. He pet her and seemed so pleased. I was happy to make an unfortunate person’s day for a minute even. He explained how he had a full bred boxer as a child. Her name was Sadie too. He kept saying how good looking my Sadie was.

My wife came out while waiting for her pager to go off signalling the food was ready. The man told us we should breed Sadie, but we said she was fixed. He kept saying he didn’t understand no matter how many times and different ways we tried to explain it. She needed a companion, he kept saying. She needs a man.

She was perfect though. The right color and everything.

The rain started to come down. We moved under the little bit of shelter available outside the front entrance. My wife went inside to check on the grub.

The man followed Sadie and I and pet her as we stood in the rain, which was quickly appearing to be a monsoon. She sit and let him do so. It felt good to put a smile on his face. He did ask for money, but I explained we didn’t carry cash on our walks, which was true. He seemed to take it okay and said he knew we were good folks and would give to him if we could.

My wife started coming outside with dinner, but the rain was starting to come down sideways, so we moved into the lobby area of the establishment. Yes, we had our dog, but these were special circumstances. Once again, the homeless man followed. He had a seat towards the rear of the area while we stood closer to the door.

We watched the winds collapse umbrellas on three different people. It didn’t look like we’d be moving anytime soon. We thought about calling my mother-in-law who lives closeby, but that was nixed because we didn’t have pocket space to bring a phone.

He called Sadie to him to pet her and I smiled at him. His voice was rough. It had a Black Jesus quality to it.

She stuck her butt right out at him, waiting for him to pet it. The homeless man obliged and rubbed her beautiful coat. So perfect. He took one look at her positioning and told us, “She’s horny, see.”

“No, she just is friendly and wants attention,” I replied.

A woman walked through the lobby. She glanced down at Sadie and the man and made a gruesome face. Confused, I smiled back. She ran into the rain, turning back at us and screaming something unintelligible. I looked down at the two new friends and the man was rubbbing my dogter’s genitals. There was full motion that made it easily identifiable, yet unbelievable. I was in shock. He had reached third base with her, with us present.

If someone were to present the situation as a hypothetical, I’d say I’d stomp on his crotch, kick him in the face, and tell him off. The shock of the situation overcame us though. I yanked Sadie away and stared into the storm. Never would my wife run out into something like that, but she agreed and we did.

We screamed as we ran through the rains across the busy street. We had to run what had just happened by eachother to confirm it. I felt horrible and disgusted. I felt guilt for not annihilating the animal that I thought I was just being friendly to by letting him pet my dog.

It all made sense. He kept saying she was perfect and needed a companion. I think he already had an agenda. Having no home and not being able to afford a prostitute, what’s a guy like that to do? I would never come to the conclusion of getting his jollies from a dog in front of its owners, but now I can.

We raced home throught the storm, which was still close to full force. We felt disgusting and wondered what Sadie was thinking. Once we arrived home we put our wet dinner to the side and gave Sadie a hot bath to rid her of any of that man’s germs. I thought about what exactly he was doing back there. Did he stick to one entry point? How long was he doing that before we caught on? Does this make me a horrible father?

It’s been a while since this happened, but it still affects me when I look at my dog or go near that part of the neighborhood where this occured. My wife doesn’t want to discuss it and is considering leaving the neighborhood, which we couldn’t imagine ourselves leaving until this incident. So when walking you best friend, be weary of where folks are petting, and stay away from those that may be needing some sexual healing.



My dogter, the victim

>Dirty Work

>On a recent walk in the park with my wife and dogter, Sadie, something interesting occurred that I must share.

Just as with any other walk, Sadie had to make her BM. We waited by patiently as she made her waste and I proceeded to pick it up, like a good citizen. Sadie began walking strangely, like a dog does when it has some poo that wouldn’t come off. Sometimes this is followed by the dog doing a fun trick in which it sits and uses its front paws to drag its butt across the most handy surface, which sometimes is the carpet.

Sadie doesn’t really do that though. She just walk funny with her back legs squatting like she’s being held down by a substantial weight in the rear.

I must note that more often than not with our dogter, it isn’t poo on her butt, but my wife’s long blonde hair that are hanging halfway out of Sadie’s rear. And yes, sometimes I put a plastic bag over my hand to pull them out.

This time though, the wife noticed that something was hanging. I did my fatherly duty and used my protected hand to pull at what most likely was hair. The problem is that it kept flowing out. When I had removed the entire item, we realized just what it was. It was a giant spaghetti noodle coated in poo particles. And to Sadie’s relief, I had removed it from her butt hole.

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>Lynch the Landlord

>I stole that title from the Dead Kennedys song of the same name. The lyrics speak volumes that we can identify with from our experiences in the past year.

I tell them ‘turn on the water’
I tell ’em ‘turn on the heat’
Tells me ‘All you ever do is complain’
Then they search the place when I’m not here

But we can, you know we can
Let’s lynch the landlord
Let’s lynch the landlord
Let’s lynch the landlord man

There’s rats chewin’ up the kitchen
Roaches up to my knees
Turn the oven on, it smells like Dachau, yeah
Til the rain pours thru the ceiling

But we can, you know we can
Let’s lynch the landlord man

And now it comes to the time that after a year of battling the Land People, we must go. We are moving close by, but hopefully miles from the headaches. I have a feeling that renting is a pain in the ass for the most part anyway. We must tough it out for one more year till the wife can get stable employment after graduation.

I must say however, that I still cannot comprehend why the Land People chose to endure our nagging and bitching along with my refusal to pick up my dog’s poo (because of their lack of cleanliness on a job site in the back yard involving shattered glass strewn throughout). I guess some folks really need the dough. And I’m sure as I’ve stated before that they will milk our deposit for whatever they can get. Hopefully my photos can fight that a bit. I think my argument is strong that if they were to complain about us in any way, we could prove blatant disregard for our health, safety, and quality of living.

New landlady take note.

I had planned on outing my crappy Land People at this point, but considering what I’ve learned from watching court programming, it’d be best to let it be. That’s sad, because I wish I could warn any future tenants, even though I have a suspicion they’ll be shacking up in our living quarters once we split.

I think our current lady needed new friends. She asked us quite a bit when we moved in to hang out with her and have bon fires, but we didn’t have the time nor the interest. We thought landlords were for lording over the land, not being a pal. Since then, she has stomped around when here like a little child that happens to be in her fourth decade with an advanced degree, which makes even less sense. The other day, in fact, she did so for about 3 hours upstairs with the tenant she befriends up there. I battled the noise by blaring Johnny Cash and Cab Calloway. Sure, it was stooping to her level, but she has twenty years on me, so I think I can pull it off with more ease. And to boot, she has a maddening cackle that I insist on drowning out.

She told us she bent over backward for us. That’s why I had to fight to get a new oven after she said the gas odor was because it was old. Well sure, but it also had 4 faulty valves according to the gas man. She laid a guilt trip about having to spend $800 on a new one, but we got the most basic model from Sears. I guess she was also bending over backwards when the bathtub faucet blew off and hit me in the foot, and she showed up drunk to fix it. And when the mice came in packs, and she said it was because I was dirty, she was just giving kind advice.

Watch out for these bastards. I’m sure these good for nothings are everywhere. This whole situation has driven us to be psychotic about living situations. If only we could have bought a house. Until then, we shall have further adventures.

Beware…take care.

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>Driving with My Brake Lights On

>You may think from the title that this will be about some cautious time in my life and I am metaphorically “driving with my brake lights on”.

Just take it literally.

For the past 5 days, my brake lights have been on while driving. Since I noticed and my neighbor also pointed it out to me, I have been disconnecting my battery at every destination or leaving my vehicle running. I’m sure it looks interesting to people when before entering my car, I go under the hood for a second and then jump in and start it. I did notice a funny look on the face of an elderly woman pumping gas next to me at a gas station. Then again, that was also after I told the pump, “No I will not go see the fucking attendant” when it told me to do just that. I prepaid $15 and it stopped at 4 cents past that. I’m assuming they were going to make me pay for that, but it was their pump that stopped 4 cents too late, and I wasn’t told to stop it on my own.

Yeah, yeah, I’ve been a bit testy lately, but I’ll get to that later.

I’m hesitant to fix my own car or even investigate the many issues that the DiabetoMobile has. My 1990 Honda Accord has 215,000 miles on it. I have had quite a few mini-problems along the way, but the engine hasn’t failed yet and that is what matters.

The mini-problems like this one become a little more scary when I have a job that requires me to drive so much. Imagine driving over a hundred miles every day with your brake lights on the whole time. It presents an odd situation. Either folks are so discombobulated by you riding the brakes, even while accelerating, that they simply go around you, or you get the hard-asses that ride your bumper and honk like that will magically fix everything. The funniest was a guy driving a DirectTV truck. Why would you make yourself look like such an idiot if you are representing a company, and if I really wanted to, I could easily identify you and your vehicle and make a complaint?

After a bit of online research, I figured out that it had to do with my brake switch. Most likely, it was defective. I contacted Babyface Pinoy from the now defunct Filipino Mafia, because he helps me maintain my foreign vehicle, which isn’t to say that only foreigners can do that, but he is good at that, and he isn’t a foreigner, but an American because he was born in this fine country run by messed up people. That was a run on sentence. Anyway, he couldn’t help because he’s a busy family man I’m sure, so I was left to fend for myself.

Since I am poor, my mother came over to assist me with a flashlight and cash. That could be taken the wrong way, so please don’t take it that way. First she brought over a brand new shiny brake switch. After I actually stuck my face into the mess under my steering column, I realized the problem was much simpler and cheaper. A small piece that engages the brake switch, which disengages the lights, was crumbled and in effect, not doing its job. I think I saw it the other day, and for some reason thought it was a piece of a crayon that made its way into my car, so I tossed it. The fellow at AutoZone told me it was a dealer part. I asked if I should just rig it up, which he grinned at and confirmed that I had the right idea.

I tried a few bolts when I got home to my vehicle, but they were too small, but it can be rigged, oh yes, it can be rigged. It can wait till manana though, and then I can keep my battery hooked up.

###
And now to what makes me testy. When I was downsized, I addressed my landlady in a blog, stating that I wouldn’t pick up my dog/daughter’s poop anymore until the lawn was mowed. Shortly after, it was mowed, although I am sure the two were not connected. That was after about a month of it not being done though.
Once again, it has been over a month without it being touched, but this time the 4 foot high weeds were at least pulled earlier this week. I left a message on her voicemail and her man showed up instead. He told me that the lawn looked fine, yet it grows over my feet. He told me they didn’t have to notify us that workers were coming in our yard everyday to work on a mother-in-law house behind our home. We asked why so much work on that and none on our unit. He replied that they are moving into the 3rd unit very soon. When we said that we never agreed to this nonsense, he scoffed at us and said, “If you want to spend money on a lawyer, go right ahead.”

I later received a call from him saying that someone would be by to mow the lawn the next day. Strange how one says there’s no problem, but does something to rectify that non-problem. He also adds that I need to pick up my dog’s mess everyday, which his lady friend told us every week or two would be sufficient. If they really kept up with our joint, I’d consider it, but we are from from that point.
So I picked up all the poo, and lo and behold, it is 5 days later and the lawn still hasn’t been mowed. The new poop shall stay and torment the workers in our yard. They leave trash back there anyway, so it’s how we fight back.
Renting is no good. As much as I have read that tenants have rights, they really don’t. A tenant can’t end a lease if the landlord goes against it, but in the reverse case, it is a no brainer, you’re out to the curb.
Twice our gal came in without notification, which is illegal. We confronted her on it, which she neither confirmed or denied. She did however complain that supplies she left behind on those occasions were tampered with by myself. Oh well. Maybe if I didn’t have to have a bathtub faucet head fly at my foot the first time I attempted to shower, things would be different. Or maybe if after we asked for little things like a light in the rear and a working lock on our back door, we didn’t get an eye roll and no response, things would be different. It is amazing what a call to the city and 13 code violations can do to get things done. Unfortunately, there are no more definite code violations, just annoyances, so they know that is their loophole.
A couple of months ago, I accidentally busted the water line to the ice maker as I moved the fridge to clean up mouse crap. They fixed it, but later sent us an invoice for $65. We asked nicely to take it out of our deposit, to which we were told they’d talk it over. No response was given until 2 months later when we get a new bill stating if it isn’t paid in 15 days, a 24.99% APR will be applied. First, I never signed anything stating an interest could incur and I never signed an invoice giving a price at all. She has to take it from the deposit, but figures we were stoopid in the first place, so hey, why not try to push this one over.
I know when it comes time to recover the deposit, the courts will be the only way. Wouldn’t it just be easier to treat people how you would like to be treated instead of like pond scum? I could say more, but I will save it for later.

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>Diabeto the Hermit

>I’ve been laying low as of late. After the power came back on, the DSL at our flat was turned off because we’re too poor. We are now attempting to reconnect through Earthlink and leave AT&T hanging. In the meantime, I am mooching off my parents’ connection.

I have been working for the past few weeks for one of those publications that helps you sell your vehicles. My job is as a “field photographer”, which means I drive around and take pictures of cars. Why this job still exists in the age of the internet and digital cameras, I have no idea, but it pays for now. And I told this to a customer not long ago, that he could simply take the photo on the digital camera he told me he had and upload it to internet that he also confirmed he had, to which he responded, “But this is so damned convenient!”

I called a customer in a location 35 miles from me, most likely the land of the Lord, to confirm his address, which wasn’t showing up on MapQuest (a godsend for this job). To clarify, I was already in his vicinity and calling, figuring that the street name would bring me close enough. The address listed was 1939, but on this particular street the addresses only went up to 959. Trust me I drove around to check. So I call this guy and say I am by 959 so-and-so street and ask where his location is. He tells me again “It’s 1939. Wait I’ll go outside to check again for ya. (PAUSE) Yep it’s real big out here under the sign with the name of the place, the phone number, and the address…1939. You can’t miss it.”

I ask for landmarks because this just didn’t make any sense. He tells me to go back to the main road in town and find a BP and an auto repair joint. I should turn in between the two and it’s a block away past some railroad tracks.

I follow his directions. Sure enough there was a BP and an auto repair shop at the beginning of the street I was on, but quite a few blocks back. I drove past the tracks and see the truck I was to shoot. This was the first building on this street with an address of 100. Right away I see his mistake. There was a big sign with the name of the place and its address, and underneath it was written “Since 1939”.

I deal with the public for the entertainment value.

—======—-
My daughter, Sadie, was really sick about a week ago. Whenever she moved, she would yelp. It was sad to watch. She was moping around. Days went by before she ate or drank on her own will. I resorted to giving her water through a syringe…a needleless one. We spent two separate nights at the animal hospital with the vets troubleshooting her. Guesswork costs a lot, especially for us po’ folks. She has been on two separate drugs and had x-rays done that showed nothing.

We are pretty sure she has
Aseptic (Sterile) Meningitis, which two of her brothers also have been diagnosed with. Apparently it will flare up from time to time, but can be kept under control with Prednisone. She takes after me with all the diseases and medication.
—======—-
In February, I blogged about mice in our flat. We caught 9 in a 2 day span, to which our landlady told me that “the key to urban living is to keep a clean place”. I bagged 4 of the nine and labeled them for her at the time. She kept them in our basement by her work bench. I decided to lay them to rest today in a dumpster, since they have molded over a few times within their Zip-Loc bags, and she wasn’t too concerned about moving them. I took some video which I hope to post soon, when our internet situation improves. In the meantime, check out this other cool mice video.

UPDATE (11/1/06): The disposal of the moldy mice…

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>Ridin’ the Storm Out

>These are strange times in St. Louis.

On Wednesday, I had finished a 200+ mile route for my new job right before the storm hit. I really just noticed the sky of black moving my way overhead when I made it to the office in West St. Louis County. I still had to finish some paperwork and make copies before I could leave. The only person left in the office was my supervisor, who was staying to collect my work. The strong winds came in pretty fast, but I still thought we had time to get out of there. Not even ten minutes after I arrived, the power shut down. I laughed and paced, because that’s how I cope. We waited for the elecricity to return, so we could finish the work. It did, but just enough to tease us. I kept looking outside at the business park I was in. Parts of trees and random trash were flying by. It was very amusing.

I don’t feel comfortable with severe weather in the county. For some reason, the city avoids serious damage and tornadic activity a lot more than the county around here. Anyway, the building I was in was talking. It was creaking and whistling to the point that I thought there was a good chance of my first tornado. My supervisor gave me a candle that smelled nice. I would have rather been at home though. My dog was there alone in a kennel awaiting my arrival. The supe had to make calls to find out procedure for what to do if the building were to blow away. We were told to go hang out in an office with windows. Seriously. Their reasoning was that the walls of that office were still made of cinder blocks unlike the rest of the building. I didn’t buy it, but I was simply going with the flow. It was only my fourth day on this job, so I wanted to make a good impression.

Then the rains finally came. I watched through the narrow windows at the cloud formations moving by fairly quickly and the sheets of precipitation dumping out. It was obvious the power wouldn’t come back anytime soon. The supe called the higher ups and communicated that we were going to run for it. It takes fine management skills to decide to leave once the rain hits. We did though. The walk to my car 30 feet from the door was enough to soak me.

The drive home was interesting. I had no idea what lay ahead or behind me. The rain in my path though, was enough to cut visibility down considerably. Half of the cars on the highway had their flashers on. Since I don’t trust my own driving, especially in weather such as that, I followed suit. Some of the vehicles swayed in the wind. I could feel the wind pushing my car, but it just added an element of fun to the drive. Most of the cars were keeping a safe speed and distance, so I didn’t have to worry. The shoulder did contain a few results of those that weren’t being so careful.

About halfway through my drive, the rain calmed down a tad. The sky turned a bright orange from the sun setting and the storm exiting. Fittingly, “Ridin’ the Storm Out” by REO Speedwagon came on the radio, so I cranked it up. I am always a fan of mood music, even though I hate REO.

When I got home, the blocks leading up to it were riddled with tree branches and sometimes entire trees. I noticed two streets blocked off entirely by single trees. Of course, considering my luck as of late, our power was out when I reached the homestead, and at this point two nights later, it still is out. Interestingly enough, people three doors down and on somehow have their power. Ameren, the utility company here, gave themselves a 3-5 day window to clean this mess up, but a storm earlier today just added more to their statistics. As I write this, 500,000 homes are without power in this area.

I took Sadie, my boxer, for a walk through the neighborhood since she had been cooped up in the kennel thoughout the madness. Trees blocked our path several times. At the corner of our block, a man’s shed had been torn to pieces and thrown all over the street. This was certainly the worst storm damage I have ever seen first hand. And it is easily the longest I have ever gone without electricity.

The first night, I tried toughing it out with the windows open to the breeze of the 90 degree night air. Sadie and I made it though the night while the wife worked the graveyard shift, but we smelled like blooming onions by daybreak and had a fine layer of greasy sweat on us. My wife made the decision for us to move in with my folks and that’s where I will rest my head again tonight. At least we aren’t camping out on our porch like some people.

Today when I tried venturing out for work, disabled traffic signals made for long waits at intersections. I drove past 4 gas stations before I could find one with power. This is insane. The storm today helped the heat wave dissipate for a bit while we wait on all of these shortages and outages.

The National Guard is in town now to knock on doors to check on folks and give out water and cookies. I guess that beats suicide bombers and living in the deserts of the Mid East. Witnessing giant camoflaged vehicles parading through the city was a strange sight for me. I saw two caravans as I drove around today. The boys were decked out in full uniform. That makes this official disaster control. It makes me feel special. I only wish we were staying in our darkened apartment so the Guard would offer us goodies and a chance to stay in an air conditioned building that they refer to as “cooling centers” in these parts.

So the question of choice in St. Louis has gone from “Where did you go to High School?” to “Do you have power?”

Strange times indeed.

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>Spending Time With My Daughter

>My daughter Sadie has really been getting on my case lately since I have been unemployed. She always wants to play ball or have me throw pieces of overcooked waffles at her face. The other day, she sat on me until we did something amazingly fun.


Considering how lazy I am, I taught her how to drive, so she could take me around town for job interviews, getting bon-bons at the grocery store, and filling up the tank. I still haven’t perfected having her pump gas though.

I hate that she insists on listening to Top 40 radio. I can only take so much of Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie”. Soon she will appreciate the likes of Johnny Cash. Mark my words.

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