Tuesday, June 1, 2004

Don't sh*t where you live.

I really do feel for the homeless in this country, mainly because so many of them are mentally ill and this country's total lack of mental health care is appalling. But I digress.

Working in a southern California library, the construction of this building is rather different. We have walled in (brick) patios. Unfortunately, the homeless have taken the habit of jumping the walls and camping out here during non-business hours.

Since they are always gone by the time we open, I really shouldn't care. The problem is they leave evidence behind that has to be cleaned up. Oh, like the patio that serves as their urinal for instance. So the city put up a high fence around that patio last week.

This morning I returned from the holiday weekend to discover that there was a shopping cart left inside the patio that now had the new, higher fence. So I had to call public works - again. On the agenda - hose down the patio, put padlocks on the new gates, and remove the shopping cart.

I hope everyone had a Happy Memorial Day (a special thanks to my veteran father!). I spent the whole day being lazy. I finished reading the Bad Boys Next Exit anthology and plowed through a western, Heart of Texas by Constance O'Banyon.

I didn't read any historicals the entire month of May, so I was starting to exhibit withdrawal symptoms. Heart Of Texas was a good read, in an old fashioned sort of way. While there wasn't a whole lot of bodice-ripping, this story could have easily been published 20 years ago.

The heroine is on her way to Texas with her family when her father dies on the trail. A deceased uncle bequeathed his ranch to her family, and with no place else to go, she soldiers on. Unfortunately trouble awaits in the form of her closest neighbor - a man who will stop at nothing to claim the land for himself. Then our hero conveniently shows up to help our damsel in distress, naturally hiding a Big Secret of his own.

This would have been a strongly recommended read, despite it's cliched plot and characters, if only the heroine hadn't turned stupid. She starts out the story strong and resilient, but at the halfway mark she morphs into a ninny. A shame really, since the first-half heroine was a character I had come to admire.

I hate that when that happens.....

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