Two Sizes too LARGE

Either that, or emotionally overdeveloped heart. (Oh yeah, I am not referring directly to the size of this blog entry. For those with limited time, I have short titles in BOLD PRINT)

I . HELLO. WORK.
Alas. Hello fair friends far and near.
Let me tell ya, I miss the blog outlet. When my girls are misbehavin at the Orange Security Threat Level…the office computer is off limits. The cold, dark hallway wings of the cottage are not conducive to ANYTHING but staring into the abyss and trying not to fall asleep while doing so. We DO have two lamps in each hallway, however the *criminally spirited youth* (see description below offered up by Larz Lehnen PHatD.) enjoy stealing the lightbulbs…Yes. Lightbulbs. For their own purposes? Who knows, a broken bulb is a weapon for self-harm or harm to others…perhaps they just want to burn the midnight oil and read? Or perhaps they do it out of spite because they KNOW I sit down there and read…whatever. I’m one up on THIS GAME. I now BYOlB. Bring Your Own Lightbulb…to work. And dutifully take the lightbulb out of the lamp and put it into my locker every morning before I leave…pathetic, but necessary. TODAY (tonight) I’m able to blog for a while only because in an haphazard attempt to disable the door alarms in the hallways, little did they realize the doors are now locked…ha ha ha. All they have to do now is pull the fire alarm to open the doors which would mean evacuation…oh wait, they did that on the SUNDAY overnight. As annoyed and frustrated as I’m to hear of such nonsensical behavioral reports over the weekend, I’m secretly relieved that the joyful characters did not attempt this game on MY shift, very refreshing to hear they are Equal Opportunity Harrassers because I DO take it personally-they absolutely hate me. HATE me. Hating a staff member equates into a staff member who does their job. Henceforth- hatred. BUT THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANTED TO WASTE MY TIME ON.

II. A MUST READ FOR SOCIAL WORKERS PSYCHOLOGY FRIENDS OR ANYONE ELSE WORKING WITH YOUTH.

Oh…and here is the definition according to the DSM-XXVII proposed by Dr. Larz himself…(reprinted and blogged without permission of course, so sue me. or lets settle over lunch.)

345.12 Criminally Spirited Youth. Axis II of course.

Criteria: Must exhibit five of the following seven criterion over a course of no less than six months or twice in eighteen months. Criminal spirit can not exist comorbid with other axis II disorders or schizophrenia. Criminal spirit can not take place entirely within a manic phase of bipolar I or II.

a- frequently assumes witness position during acts of hostility. Does not respond to efforts toward peaceful redirection.

b- prone to conspiracy (esp. to harm).

c- external locus of control, inability to form cohesive sense of responsibility and/or lacks sense of purposeful remorse. Superficial response to punishment, guilt, or blame. [reminder: can not exist
comorbidly with antisocial PD]

d- inability to control impulsively. May be expressed as pseudo-impulsively. MHP must recognize inherent plotting mechanism of which this pseudo-impulsively is part

e- lacks effective(internal)system of order. Dwells in setting that surrounds individual with poor examples of positive behavior (external). No realistic supports OR no realistic ability to utilize supports [reminder: can not exist comorbidly with Borderline PD]

f- no fear of god. Atheistic behavior. Wears dark, colorless clothing frequently.

g- engages in age-inappropriate behavior across two or more of the following dimensions:
i – sexual
ii – interpersonal (plots and contrives)
iii – problem solving
iv – health / nutrition

Treatment options include: sterilization and jailing. Often used simultaneously in ancient times. Isolation in conjunction with effective unyielding-rule based-isolation reinforcing- counseling has also proven effective in significant (p=>.05)studies (see lehrer and vaches 1998)

I would like to personally add to Criterion F
-Hoodies (must be at least 2XL in order to qualify)
-And Kobe Bryant Jerseys.

On to the real blogging blurb of the day.

III. SONG DIVERSION

Aside: Let me be Grinchy for a moment since this song is currently playing…I HATE HATE HATE the following Holiday Tune.

VANESSA CARLETON- Greensleeves.
AAAAAAAAAAAACK. As if I need another reason to dislike her-
Reason #1 whoring around on stage with Johnny Goo at 2002 Summer concert singing “American Girl” Reason #2-sleeping with hot 3EB frontman Steven Jenkins (how?) Reason #3 GREENSLEEVES? AKA. What Child Is This? But not…sung with completely different words and quite whiny, a complete way to ruin one of my most favourite Christmas Hymns of all time.

Now back to my intentional blog.

IV. BUFFALO NEWS HEARTTUGGING STORIES
I was in the wing reading the Buffalo News, the Monday edition. (I actually SLEPT for a good portion of the day yesterday like a good girl…it has been a LONG time since getting in 8 hours in a row before work. I put in close to 12 hours at work yesterday and about 10 of sleep! Woo hoo!) In the paper I found myself teary eyed over too many stories. Why? Tis NOT that time of the month…oh yeah. I am Jen. Queen of the Teary Eyed, *Proud MOM Smile* Alas, I am doomed to have children make fun of me for talking to the nice people in the grocery line, getting teared up over a story about a nursing home patient who never has a visitor or over the exuberant reaction of the Iraqi Journalists on Sunday after hearing that their modern-day Satan had been captured. Alas. It is GOOD to be me. It is GOOD to have my heart two sizes too big, someone has to make up for the lack of sensitivity in this world.

So here are the stories.
1. Donn Esmonde’s Column “From Rat Race…to Buffalo and Loving It.
(anyone else hearing that awful McD Justin T jingle right now?)

Good timing for this story since this past Sunday, in the midst of an amazingly beautiful fluffy marshmallow wintry Buffalo day. I was not feeling it. I love my Buffalo. I love WNY. And yet, so many times in the past few months I have been questioning the love Buffalo has given to ME. Or perhaps the reason why I have not wholly embraced all that Buffalo could give to me. Anyhow, *it* just has not happened for me here…yet? (It? It? What is *it*? Another perpetual ponderment) I have spent my time well, I have played hard, cried hard, worked hard and fell in love with all things Buffalo and successfully shared this mission with others I love…5 years. But I find myself not entirely happy, not complete. Why? So what does that mean? Am I being unfair to Buffalo? Is it all within me? Am I turning 30 in 13 days and in search of tangible lifegoals for once in my life? All of the above? I’m looking for answers from the City of Good Neighbors or friends with suggestions. Or an acceptance letter from Cornell Law for my someone who is tugging at my heartstrings…oh wait, he needs to apply! Perhaps this little story below, with the two examples of Washington D.C. (W & M, UVA) and California (UC-B) is a well-needed sign for the day. Ann Arbor anyone?

Snipits…below.

“For those reading this in other cities, the people quoted herein were not coerced or compromised. There was no cash payment.

Rick Paris, 52, and Laurel Di Brog, 43, are vice presidents at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Paris moved to East Aurora last year from Washington, D.C., with his wife and teenage son. Di Brog came to Amherst six years ago from Los Angeles, with her husband and daughter, now 9.

Paris: “My life (in D.C.) was fighting the Beltway to get to work – I was spending three hours a day in my car – getting to work with my nerves shot, rarely getting home before 8:30, dinner from 9:30 to 11, to bed at 11, wake up at 6 a.m. and do it all over again. . . . My wife and kids had been telling me for years, “We don’t know who you are. We never see you. On weekends all you want to do is sleep.’ ”

Di Brog: “I was exhausted (in L.A.), just with the competition on the job, taking two to three hours every day navigating the Freeway and always being on edge. . . . There was no time at the end of the day to pursue anything else.”

Di Brog: “When we moved here it was October. I remember driving by stores that had pumpkins out on the side of road. They didn’t get stolen or smashed. My husband said, “My God, they leave the pumpkins out!’ We were stunned that people still live like this, that you didn’t have to chain everything down. . . . It was like going back to the ’50s, the way the neighborhoods are here. We wanted that for (our daughter).”

Paris lived 11 years in a Washington, D.C., suburb without meeting his next-door neighbor.

Paris: “Here, the day we showed up with the moving van, six people on the street stopped by, to say hello or give us baked goods. The friendliness is unreal, and it’s genuine. . . . I go to the airport, and the (security) screener says, “Hey, Mr. Paris, how are you?’ ”

Quality of life. We’ve got it.

Paris: “We have a house we could never dream of owning in the D.C. area – a lot of land, a hot tub. Friends come up from Washington, they can’t believe it. I have one friend, in international trade development, he’s begging me to find him a job in Buffalo.”

Di Brog: “When I get those headhunter calls (about jobs in other cities), nothing wows me because I’m really happy here. There’s something about this community that’s hard to leave.”

There it is. Post it, mark it, print it, save it.

Most of all, send it to anyone who doubts what we’ve got here. To anyone who thinks that image defines a place. To anyone who believes that reputation is reality. “

2. Tail Sale is Change of Heart for SPCA

Ok, stray dog with Santa hat? Wah. I want to adopt 1000 animals now. I have been considering another kitty-cat but not now. And if I see another story like this in the paper in the next few days, I might go against my better judgment. {oor babies. A 25% “Used Discount” on Adult Cats and Dogs. C’mon. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE go get a kitty. A kitty makes a great present for another kitty. Two are better than one. Three? Are too many for a small Allentown apartment and a mom who finds herself with a calender of trips to Arlington.

3. County Home Residents Need Visitors.
One moment please while I cry out of sadness for these poor people.

“Many Erie County Home residents will be alone on Christmas, and the facility will have annual visitation program from 1-4pm December 25th.

Volunteers at the main entrance will have the names of residents who will be alone, along with information about them that would be helpful to a visitor. ”

Seriously, I can not even start to think about this. I am crying while typing. My G-D bombed bleeding heart. As most of you know, the nursing home is absolutely positively my least favorite place on earth followed by the cemetery and Brooks Memorial Hospital. My Grandpa is in the nursing home. I hate it. I HATE thinking about him alone in the nursing home. When he was first admitted, I made sure to visit him all the time. I could not stand the thought of him not being at home. But now, I try to send cards as frequently as possible, and I need to be with others when I visit…it is too disheartening for me. I’m too weak, I hate it there. I wish I could get past this, but I just can’t.

Curse the fucking, yes FUCKING system that does not allow for affordable in home health-care for people who lived long, hard lives and provided for their family the best they could…a veteran no less. Double Curse to the people who put their loved ones in a nursing home and forget about them or the poor people who are left alone with no family and friends to visit. I walk into the home, a nice building in general, the upgrade is quite nice and I see all sorts of people CRAVING attention, a smile, a touch. Then I walk past the rooms, and see the TV’s left on for days and people sleeping to pass the time. Some waiting for attention from the attendants, the sparse, overworked, underpaid and sometimes hardened-heart attendants who do not get to all the people waiting for bedpans, still on the bedpan, or lying in their own mess because no one could get to them on time. (And only hopefully, the situation is COULD NOT GET TO THEM ON TIME and not did not…I know all too well. And it disgusts me.)

This coming from a former Student Assistant at Legal Services for the Elderly. A position that pays, no joke $25,000 for a FT attorney. (I made $8/hr. through work study.) The woman who accepted the position while I was there, had been a volunteer for some time, and was lucky enough to have a husband with a very nice income, enabling her to take the position. There is just NO feasible way that a recent law graduate with a student loan bill ranging between $60,000 for a Public University and up to $120,000 for anything else…could take this job. No possible way.

YIKES! I had to go back and change this blog…because I found out that NEW YORK is starting a LRAP (Loan Repayment Assistant Program) in 2004! I was ready to yelp about the fact that only NY State Public Law School, committed to serve the public interest…does not have a LRAP. And neither does the state, I had only heard of maybe 3 states who did! (North Carolina being one of them…) MERRY CHRISTMAS to me and the me’s of the world in New York! Anyone care…check out the program description from the NYS Bar Association)

So many injustices and so very little time. A 1000 stories of mistreatment to share, and soooo very very very many more out there which are never told. And the thing that kills me to think about is, there are not many people in the world with the kind of compassion that is needed to fill these positions. And only a handful of lawyers who can afford to do so! I know that when I am visiting my Grandfather, I have to escape and hide in the bathroom at least twice a visit to cry. Cry because of seeing my strong, grandpa in such a weakened, spiritless state…and cry because of all the people around him without family visiting. YET, YET. I can put on a smile, I can cheer the others. I COULD WORK WITH THIS POPULATION. I did at LSED for over a year. I loved the work, but I, I…well. I don’t know. The paradox that is me. I also feel the same way about the population of children I work with. Not many can do it. I can, but sometimes much too much to my own detriment. However, it is a calling I can not ignore. Love me for who I am, and comfort me when I get assaulted, or threatened and need to bitch for a while…knowing there is the rare occasional glimmer of hope that what I do, REALLY MIGHT MAKE A DIFFERENCE, is all I need to go on.


Whatcha talkin' bout Willis?