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2003-12-03 @ 3:08 p.m.
the origami snow shovel

I paid my rent today. My landlord lives 15 feet away, so its pretty easy. The car was gone so I just stuck the check in her side door and suddenly Mrs. Soprano appeared with her cordless phone and ciggie hanging out of her mouth. No words...just that little grabby hand making away with $500 of the $731 I live on. Easy come easy go. Did I freakin' mention how cheap these people are?

Ok, I do like my little house. It was infested with fleas when I moved in, but I have dealt with my expense. The living room carpet looks like something you'd see at the testing rooms at the Department of Motor Vehicles. The cheapest grade possible and its filthy. The bedroom does have better carpeting, but the last tenant had put it in at his own expense. He told me, there had been orange and red shag carpeting when he moved in.

He had also put a large metal shed in the backyard because there is only one small closet in the entire house. This house is seriously lacking in storage space.

So I saw the shed when I looked at the place and just assumed it would be mine when the guy moved. Ya now, the shed THE PREVIOUS TENANT in no expense to the landlord whatsoever. landlord wanted to hike up my rent $15 for the use of the 10X10' shed. After breathing fire through my ears and nose for several hours, I finally graciously said no to Mrs. Soprano.

I live in a heavy snow area. We get as much as 200" a year. I don't have a snow shovel because I had previously lived at apartment complexes that did that stuff for you. First snow I just swept the sidewalks with a broom.

The second snow, I noticed that the Sopranos had left this old, decrepit snow shovel by my garbage can. The handle was fine, but the part you pick the snow up with, you know THE IMPORTANT PART, was completely cracked and broken. I think its safe to say, if you pick up anything heavier than say, an ice cube, the damn thing will probably snap in half and hit me in the head. Wow, thanks for the shovel.

They also entrapped my car under a pile of snow when they had the driveway plowed last week. They moved their car...but they didn't think to call me to move my car. Oh bother, she pays us $500, but she doesn't need to know about this little plowing thing. She's young, she can burrow her way into her vehicle.

And you wonder why I think Italians are cheap.

So I brought a bag of fat clothes to the Goodwill today. And they actually lived up to their name. The guy taking the bag, a large African American gentleman, said "God be with you and don't slip on the ice." I thought that was cool, rather than just "grabbing" the stuff, and high tailing it back into the warmth of the Goodwill parking lot trailer.

I was then on the hunt for some art supplies. I am almost out of paper and tonight is my figure drawing class. I had tried a few dollar stores, and then I had to go the next step up, the Dollar Stores that sells stuff for slightly more than a Dollar. You know, like $6 for a toilet seat with butterflies.

Art supply departments in stores like this are generally pretty small. Maybe a few pads of paper, some glue sticks and some pens. This one place I went to had a clearance on scented sparkle pens. Ever hear of these? Neither has anyone else. These are pens that write in sparkly ink and then smell like strawberries. I'm not sure why a kid would want to draw pictures and then ask their mothers to smell them.

I did go to this one dollar store today though, that was kind of unique. It was situated underneath a bowling alley. So you're walking up and down the aisles, looking at all this cheap dollar store crap, and you can hear Homer Simpson throwing spares and strike overhead. Whee!

Kinda made me proud to be an American for some reason. Bowling and Dollar Store shopping all in one location.

I finally ended up at the one big art supply store in town. Damn. Its like a kid going into FAO Schwartz toy store in New York City. So many artist little money. I did snap up a nice charcoal pencil that you peel rather than sharpen. And then I had to stand and gaze for about 25 minutes at 300 different pads of paper.

Yeah, an artist's wet dream for sure.

Did I want the 150 page sketch pad with 50 lb. paper for $6.97 or the 75 page sketch pad with the perforated edges with 70 lb. paper for $8.94. I was trying to think of I want more pages or thicker, better quality paper?

I chose quality of course, with the thicker paper. So the pad may not last as long, but I can run my finger along the thicker more luxurious 70 lb. weight paper and get all lusty.

And maybe with my new heavy weight paper, I can even make an origami snow shovel, and tell the Soprano's to take their shovel and...

well, you get the idea...

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