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Last Visit 2016-04-04 09:29:22 |Start Date 2007-08-13 08:30:04 |Comments 728 |Entries 207 |Images 109 |Videos 2 |

09/17/07 01:48 - 64ºF - ID#41154


I went home for my 10 year highschool reunion feeling fairly smug with myself. I, afterall, escaped the clutches of Bloomington-Normal, IL and have had some fairly interesting life experiences. I lived in Philadelphia and I had adventures in Vietnam. Turns out that most of my classmates have had interesting lives so far, even the ones living in Bloomington Normal. So, I learned two things....

1. Humility

2. You can make the most of life and have great experiences in life, regardless of where you live....even in Bloomington-Normal.

When I wasn't at reunion events with my former classmates, I was at home working with my family to act out a false reality of sameness. We did our best to make everything look the same as always despite the fact that in reality my parents are divorcing. It was an odd and stressful situation and by the time we got home on Sunday night I collapsed into bed to sleep it off.
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Permalink: Homecomings.html
Words: 159
Location: Buffalo , NY

Category: life

09/03/07 11:18 - 74ºF - ID#40906

Labor Day Ponderings

Some thoughts as we celebrate Labor Day with barbecues and low, low prices at the stores!

  • US companies like Google and Wal-Mart are actively fighting current attempts by Chinese labor activists to reform Chinese labor laws that would afford Chinese laborers labor rights similar to those rights in the United States.

  • Los Angeles is close to replacing New York City as the sweatshop capital of the world.

  • Made in America labels are meaningless. One case in point below:

  • The US territory of the Commonwealth of North Mariana Islands is exempt from the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards act and is partially exempt from the Immigration and Naturalization Act and gets to put Made In America Labels on the clothes produced in the territory.

  • Social workers, English professors, clerical staff/secretaries are just a few of several professions that had relatively higher pay in the days when those fields were dominated by men.

Alright, (e:peeps)! You can catch Drew and I at the Amvets on Elmwood Ave today trying to fight the man by buying thrift store clothing! That's our Labor Day celebration, lol!
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Permalink: Labor_Day_Ponderings.html
Words: 187
Location: Buffalo , NY

Category: work

08/31/07 03:29 - 75ºF - ID#40862

Not Abuse?! WTF?! Long Rant...

I've spent a joyful week in orientation for work.
Not particularly informative or interesting to someone who has already worked in this field a bit and could probably teach the orientation class. But my ears perked when I heard the following during my incident reporting training...

The state office of mental retardation and developmental disabilities (OMR/DD) does not require social services agencies to report client on client abuse unless it is of a sexual nature.

Let me give you some background. Most states require mental retardation (MR) social service agencies to report a number of different situations to the state to ensure that social services agencies aren't allowing for/causing the abuse/mistreatment of individuals. These situations include: injuries, hospitalizations, abuse and neglect allegations, criminal victimization. Anything bad.

These regulations are a reaction to the big state hospitals of the past that were a world unto themselves with very little accountability where very horrible, awful things happened to the mentally retarded people who lived in them.

One of the awful things that happened in the institutions is clients would hurt one another. Some clients had severe behaviors and hurt people because they didn't know any other way to express themselves. Some clients were predators and bullies. Some clients severely injured and even killed other clients. Staff to client ratios were sometimes 1 staff to 30 clients so staff had little ability to provide the necessary oversight.

So back to present day. An MR agency does not have to report if one of their clients physically beats the shit out of another client whether because of a behavior or because the client is a mean nasty person who likes to hit people (the resulting injury if severe enough might be reported, but not the abuse). The optimistic part of me wants to believe that an agency with integrity will take steps to reduce and prevent these incidents. But the cynical part of me knows that social service agencies have thin financial margins (I have a whole other rant about how the non-profit social services sector should move into the for-profit sector, but that's for another day) that sometimes influence their thinking, so it bothers me that there is no state oversight in this area. I don't care if it's a slight shove or slap or a beating, an individual has the right to live free from such harm and the state should make sure of it.
Ok, rant finished.
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Permalink: Not_Abuse_WTF_Long_Rant_.html
Words: 407
Location: Buffalo , NY

Category: house

08/28/07 09:55 - 74ºF - ID#40793

The sounds of Tuesday night

It makes me smile that one of the evening noises I now associate with living on Lexington is the sound of the grocery store carts being pushed up and down the street by individuals sorting through people's recycling bin. Blends right in with the crickets.

I make my angry face, however, at the college students who stayed up until 4am last night drinking and talking loud on their front porch waking me up several times through out the night. I guess I'm becoming one of those old cranks who likes to be well rested before work.
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Permalink: The_sounds_of_Tuesday_night.html
Words: 96
Location: Buffalo , NY

Category: pets

08/27/07 07:35 - 80ºF - ID#40763

As promised......

Bad Cat, Fat Cat and Devious Dog.
Also known as Tatanka, Nealie and Buckley.


Anyone want the bad cat? No really, bad cat is just a nick name, she doesn't really terrorize the house....<shifty eyes>
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Permalink: As_promised_.html
Words: 40
Location: Buffalo , NY

Category: life

08/27/07 07:32 - 80ºF - ID#40762

My friends from Pittsburgh

The weekend before last I took my Pittsburgh MR/DD friends and their staff into our home and out and about for the weekend.
We went to The Anchor Bar which they loved, because, well, they love eating, and they really love eating fried things.

The next day we took them to the zoo. I hate to poo on my new city, but the Buffalo Zoo...really not so fabulous. But I understand that they have big plans for the future so I'm looking forward to that.

Jim, Marianne, Patty, Nelson, Patrick and Dennis in the Elephant House:

Marianne was the bravest of all and fed a cracker to the Giraffes. By the way, it costs a fricking dollar to feed a cracker to a giraffe, but you gotta charge that when you're building a new elephant house, I suppose.

Nelson, myself and Dennis on the carousel. Nelson's my buddy and wanted to share a horse with me, but I told him that Drew would be jealous so he would need to ride his own horse.

I also took them to the American side of the falls. I thought the American side was really nice, but people are always doggin' it!
I really love this view:

The whole crew at the falls:

Everyone picked out cheapy souveneirs and the ladies got hats that said "Cutie" and "Foxie"!

Patrick loved our dog, but Nelson would screach, "Son of a Bitch" if our dog even looked at him sideways!

All in all good time. Next year, I want everyone to get passports and secure permissions from guardians and then I'll take the whole crew to the Big City in Toronto!
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Permalink: My_friends_from_Pittsburgh.html
Words: 289
Location: Buffalo , NY

Category: life

08/26/07 06:27 - 75ºF - ID#40739

Weekend Musings

Really nice weekend. Totally enjoyed meeting several fellow (e:peeps) at the bars on Friday night. People were a little bit different than I imagined, which made for fun to compare the online persona to the real thing in my head throughout the night.

Saturday me and some menly men helped two people move out of their third floor apartments into a third floor apartment together. It needs a little work, but seeing as she makes a living doing set/props design, I'm pretty sure that her place will be fabulous by the time she's done.

In the afternoon, I went down to the church to assist with the handing out of free lemonade. It was amazing how snotty some people were about saying no to free lemonade. A simple no thanks should suffice, yes? But a highlight was meeting (e:leetee) !

Sunday morning I woke up to the aching of my muscles screaming at me for all the third floor moving on Saturday. I willed myself out of bed and off to church where I played a piece on clarinet for the worship service. It was well received so I had a pleasant stroking of the ego today! The afternoon involved some good loving followed by Gilmore Girls on the couch. Now I gotta go because my husband just brought me a plate of pierogies with peas swimming in a white cheesy sauce.

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Permalink: Weekend_Musings.html
Words: 234
Location: Buffalo , NY

Category: church

08/24/07 08:20 - 84ºF - ID#40716

The minister's wife....

is busting out her stuff at church on sunday. Come see me play clarinet at church service this Sunday!
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Permalink: The_minister_s_wife_.html
Words: 19
Location: Buffalo , NY

Category: home

08/24/07 09:04 - 72ºF - ID#40704

Inferiority Complex

We left the suburbs of Pittsburgh to leave a culture and lifestyle behind that we disliked and to which we refused to expose any forthcoming children in our lives. The irony is that this suburb has one of the top ranked public school districts in the state and in the country. Maybe sometime (e:Drew) will even expound on his thoughts on why it's difficult to live out a christian mission in a rich suburb, but I digress...

We fulfilled a long time desire of wanting to live in an urban community (although I have to admit that my ultimate dream is to live in a particular urban community in Philly). So here we are and we love it for a number of reasons. I, for one, love how the old houses are built so that the porches are close to the sidewalk so that one can sit on their porch and comfortably greet their neighbors and passerbyers. Again, I digress....

Here, finally, comes the point. In this Pittsburgh suburb, folks were very wealthy and lived a very wealthy life style. The youth group kids at our church felt free to make fun of our beat up Geo Metro followed by our 10 year old beat up Acura Integra. A committee at church even removed some patio furniture off the front porch of our manse because it was unattractive. Yet, I NEVER felt an inkling of pressure to try to keep up with the the saying goes. In part, because it was absolutely a financial impossibility. I mean, we could have bought a few things of the life style, but barely.

I actually feel more community pressure and more angst from that pressure here in Buffalo. A common conversational topic around the neighborhood is house repair/renovation. And we have had and will continue to have some major repairs/renovations. We discussed house painting with a Buffalo friend who stated that if he had a house like ours he would paint it himself, absolutely. Oh, yes, it's that easy. Nights after work, weekend by weekend, bit by bit, you can paint your own house standing on scaffolding three stories high to reach up to the attic. Yeah, no thanks, we hired painters. We discussed our roof repairs with neighbors who said so matter of factly oh it's nothing to put a new roof on. They replaced their roof over the course of five years, section by section! Kewl, but I think I'll just save the money and have contractors do the work. (e:Drew) and I even joke about the potential shunning we might receive if people knew that the porch ceiling was repaired with vinyl instead of replacing the damaged wood <gasp>.

Don't get me wrong. I did a lot of minor repairs when we moved in. Sticky doors now close. I installed cabinet hardware so cabinets close. Tarnished copper door knobs are now a shiny rose color. I patched walls and did touch up painting all over the house. Interior painting is on the to do list down the road. But am I not worthy unless I sacrifice every weekend and summer evening to the idol that is my house?!
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Permalink: Inferiority_Complex.html
Words: 535
Location: Buffalo , NY

Category: pets

08/23/07 08:39 - 71ºF - ID#40691

My cats opthamologist looks like a star!

I like the opthamologist whom my fat cat visits.
I don't like the fact that my fat cat requires opthamological treatment for a condition (e:Drew) refers to as "MUCKY EYE".
But I do like the opthamologist.
She looks just like Kirsten Dunst when she was in Spider Man.
She even talks like Kirsten Dunst.
I think Kirsten Dunst is really cute; so I therefore find my cat's opthamologist to be really cute.

The fat cat likes the opthamologist because she provides a never ending pile of treats for the fat cat and then giggles at the greediness of the fat cat as she snoops around the office for more treats.

The treats sure enough aren't helping the fat cat's fat issue though.
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Permalink: My_cats_opthamologist_looks_like_a_star_.html
Words: 123
Location: Buffalo , NY



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Happy Birthday! I had my 30th with two of those peeps as well :) Remember the failed (but awesome)...

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Happy Birthday! I had my 30th with two of those peeps as well :) Remember the failed (but awesome)...