What A Couple!

29 06 2008

 

 Today is Mr. and Mrs. Chili’s anniversary. Go on over and wish them a happy day!

 I know a ton of people who do not like their in-laws. I love my brother in-law. Simply stated, I couldn’t have picked a better husband for my sister or a better father for my nieces. 

 In addition to him being a great man, they are a great couple. I admire their relationship and I aspire to have one that is similar. 

 Happy Anniversary kids! I love you both!

 

Image credit





Please

27 06 2008

Please go here and read this. Please gather all the stuff you do not use and put it in a bag. Please buy what ever you can. Anything will help I think. If you live close to me, bring it to me or ask me to pick it up. I will ship it. I will pay for shipping. If you do not live close to me, please ship it. Thank you.





I Don’t Ask For Much

27 06 2008

 Dear Co-Worker(s)-

 I have a few things on my mind that I feel I need to express to you. First of all, when I came into work yesterday at 7 am, I observed my salad dressing sitting on the table in the staff lounge. It is important for you to understand that pulling the post-it note I taped to the bottle with my name on it off of aforementioned bottle does not make it yours! Have you noticed the sign on the refrigerator door? It clearly asks us to write our name on our belongings.

 The thing is, I don’t mind sharing. In fact, I rather enjoy it. Perhaps you ordered a salad and they sent you the wrong dressing or maybe they didn’t send you any dressing. Certainly you may use some of mine! Please don’t make it a habit though, I am not willing to buy it for you all the time. Since I am willing to share, there is no reason to remove my name from it.

 Also, for the love of all things good, please put it away when you are done! When I left the building at 8:35, the bottle was still on the table. I am guessing you probably ate it around 11 ish. I can only come to this conclusion because there was take out Chinese food on the table as well. That would mean that my dressing has been sitting out for 8 plus hours. That shit goes bad. So now, I have no dressing and I have to buy more. When I do, it will be easy to identify. 

 Do you notice how the post-it doesn’t stick well? That is why I taped it! On the top. And the bottom. Don’t even try to tell me the fargin post-it fell off and you didn’t know who it belonged to!

 As I already mentioned, you left your (and my) food on the table. I would like to take a moment to point out to you that the cleaning crew is not maid service. It is not their job to pick up after you. The mess you left was disgusting and it was totally ignorant of you to leave it for someone else to clean. I would hate to see what your house looks like. 

 To summarize, don’t take shit that doesn’t belong to you (or at the very least use a small amount and put it back where you found it) and pick up after yourself!

 Thank you,

Auntie

 





Just Another Day In Court

26 06 2008

 What a day I had yesterday! I spent most of it in court. I had four clients in there , one of them got held for second session. Blah! I didn’t get out of there until 3:30.

 This week, the judge was in a really good mood. A young man got called up and the conversation went something like this;

“Good morning Mr. Traitor (obviously not his real name). How are you doing?”

“Good morning your Honor. I’m doing good.”

“Mr. Traitor, your team isn’t doing so well this year.”

I figured the kid was on a softball team or something. I quickly figured out that he was just a dumb ass Yankees fan.

“It’s still early in the season your Honor.”

“You said that last year and look what happened! Are you aware Mr. Traitor, that your team has two pitchers who are over 40?”

“Yes your Honor, that’s OK. We’ll be fine.”

“And are you aware that your team is in third place?”

“It’s OK, we’ll be fine.”

” Very well then. Ms. PO, how is Mr. Traitor doing?”

“Your Honor, Mr. Traitor has all…”

“Are you aware that your team is behind Tampa Bay!” The judge blurted out.

“Yes your Honor.” He said while looking at the floor. It’s never good to be behind Tampa Bay.

“I apologize Ms. PO, please continue.”

 I was chuckling through the whole thing but when he went on about Tampa I busted out laughing so hard it made me cry!

 At recess I got yelled at by my clients lawyer. Don’t worry, it wasn’t anything I did. I quickly de-escalated him and gave him the facts he needed to properly defend my client. She got off, probably because the judge was in such a good mood. Both the lawyer and the PO were on the same page with what they wanted for her. Even so, the judge was this close to sending her back to jail. He was pissed at her and thought long and hard about what to do. 

 Oh, and this young woman who was being brought in from jail tried to escape. She managed to slip out of her cuff (she was handcuffed to another woman) and bolt for the door. She still had her shackles on though. All of a sudden an overweight court officer is hauling ass out of the court room. The woman who was seated next to me got up to see what happened and returned and shared the news. Obviously they caught her. My guess is it’s pretty hard to run when you have a 6 inch chain attached to both feet. Anyway, after she told the story, the young woman in front of me said;

“If you’re cuffed and shackled, it’s probably a good idea to call it a day.”

  You would think that, wouldn’t you? Not so much. This guy got away with it.

 

Image credit

 





Maybe This Will Help

25 06 2008

On Sunday my friend Lime Green came by for a visit. It was awesome to see her, it had been way too long since we got together.

Me, her, and the Room-Mate were sitting around chatting and we started talking about Feng Shui. She is in my room explaining what areas represent the different aspects of Feng Shui when she says;

“This corner represents your love life.” While motioning towards my bookshelf. “Oh! Auntie, you might want to move these books!”

Eureka! That explains my girl woes, specifically the weirdos that seem to be attracted to me!

Sitting on the shelf are my DSM (lists all mental health disorders) and Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons With Co-Occurring Disorders.

I could not move those books fast enough! I’m not usually willing to put a lot of stock into things like that but I figured it couldn’t hurt. Interestingly, they were in the same corner of my old apartment too. I’ll keep you posted.





Ten Things Tuesday

24 06 2008

 I almost forgot about TTT. This is all you’re getting!

 Ten badly manicured toes. No, my feet are not dirty. That’s a tan line from my sandals. 

 Happy Tuesday night!





A Miracle. Part Two.

23 06 2008

 Every time Boss would call me and tell me she had something important to say, I would ask her if she was pregnant. She would always say no. One afternoon in late March her answer was yes. I remember it very vividly. I was in a coffee shop when she called. I got up, went outside and answered the phone. We were just shooting the shit and  I was kicking the snowbank. After a quick update of what she had been doing, she told me. I was in shock for maybe two seconds, then I was giddy with excitement. We talked for a bit, made a plan to see each other, then hung up. I went back in the coffee shop and broke the news to my friend. Then it hit me. I am her best girlfriend. It was going to be my job to plan a shower. Ugh!

 So time goes on and things are looking good. I had asked people to help me with the shower, including her mom, because, you know, I don’t really do things like that. She was feeling good and doing all the things pregnant women are supposed to do. Her 14 year old wasn’t exactly thrilled about the idea of having a baby sibling but I figured in time, it would grow on her.

 On June 23rd of last year, me and the peeps decided to drive north to go to tea dance. We were in two cars for what ever reason and were on the road for about 15 minuets when my phone rang.

“What’s up Boss!”

“Hey Auntie. What are you doing?” She said in her “something is not right with me” voice.

“We’re heading to tea. What’s the matter?”

“Oh. I’m OK.”

“Boss, what’s up?”

“I had my baby.”

“WHAT?!” I said as I placed my hand on my friends shoulder. 

“I had my baby. We’re at Dartmouth. I wasn’t feeling good for a few days. I thought I had a cold. My doctor told me to go to Exeter. I started having contractions and they took me to Dartmouth in an ambulance.”

“Do you want me to come up?” I was in a daze.

“You don’t have to.” Translation; “Yes please.” If Boss doesn’t want you to do something, she says so. I could hear the emotion in her voice. Obviously, considering she delivered her child 15 weeks early. As I mentioned before she is independent and strong, even in the toughest of times.  The fear and uncertainty in her voice would have brought me to my knees had I been standing. I still had my hand on my friend. Looking back I think I was trying to draw strength from her so not to turn into mush.

“I’m on my way! Turn the car around!” My poor friend had no idea what was going on and looked at me blankly. “TURN THE CAR AROUND!” I said again. ” Boss, do you need me to do anything before I come up? Where is kid #1? Where are the dogs?” When there is a crisis, I need to do something. It makes me feel better.

 “Kid #1 is up here with my parents, the dogs are all set.”

“OK. I’m on my way!”

 I called my other friends in the car behind us to let them know what was going on. They asked me a ton of questions that I had no answers for. All I knew was that the baby was a girl and that she came way to soon. 

 The hour and a half ride up seemed to take forever. I was driving very fast and had to remind myself to slow down several times. There was a million questions running through my head and I had no idea what I would see. I had never seen a premie baby before. I tried to keep myself grounded by reminding myself that Auntie Teacher was also born almost 3 months early and she turned out just fine. And that was back in 1969. That eased my fears a bit, but not much.

 When I got there, Boss was sleeping. I put my hand on her leg and gently rubbed to see if she would easily wake up. If not, I was going to let her sleep. She did wake up right away and began to tell me what happened. 

 On Tuesday night she felt like she had a bad cold and left work early. Wednesday and Thursday she didn’t feel any better and felt like she was having contractions. At that she called her doctor who told her that if she was woken up by the contractions during the night, to call back and she could come in. When she woke up on Friday she still felt like crap so she called. The doctor told her to come in. While she was in the shower she got some pretty major contractions. She goes to the doctor who sends her to the hospital. The hospital figures that she has an infection. They are afraid to stop the labor because they didn’t know exactly what kind of infection it is so they decide to send her to Dartmouth. On the ride over she was getting antibiotics as well as steroids just in case the baby came. 

 Once at Dartmouth they tried to stop the labor. They figured if they stopped it for even 1 week, they would be in a better shape. By 7 am her water broke. Because she had been given so many meds to stop the labor, she was holding steady at 5cm. They then decided to give her meds to put her back into labor. Around ten minuets till two, the baby was in position and the doctor told her to push. After two pushes, out came Little Boss, kicking her tiny legs. She weighed a whopping 1 lb, 13 oz and was 12 inches tall.

 After Boss gave me the rundown, she flung her legs off the bed, sprang up, and started briskly walking to the door.

 “Let’s go see her!”

 That’s Boss. Nothing keeps her down. Not a raging infection. Not delivering a baby 4 hours earlier. Granted it was a tiny baby but still.

 I think I was still in shock that she actually had the baby so actually seeing this teeny, tiny human being didn’t really hit me until the next day.

 After we saw her, we talked about all the things that could go wrong. The list was very long. Her little organs were not even fully developed yet. Boss was obviously very worried about her daughters future. If she even lived, there was a good chance she would have a birth defect. I remember saying something like this;

“Boss, this is YOUR kid. If she is anything like you, she will be a fighter. In fact, she already is. All that medicine couldn’t keep her in. She knew it was safer for her to be out rather than in with that infection. If any kid has got a chance, it’s this one.” I believed every word I said. 

 After some ups and downs and more scares than any child should put their parents through, Little Boss turned one today! All things considered, she has done really well. There was the one incident where she kinda stopped breathing and had to get the shit knocked out of her by her grandmother to start again, but other than that, since she left the hospital she has been kicking some serious developmental ass. 

 Here are some pictures posted with Bosses permission;

 In this one she is about 8 hours old. That is Bosses hand to show her size.

 After only 5 days, Boss got to hold her for the first time. Notice that Bosses thumb is as big as the little ones lower leg.

 So small.

 The first time she smelled like a baby. This is my favorite of the two of them so far.

 In August she was ready to move to a hospital that was closer to home. She didn’t really like it at first but..

.. she eventually settled in.

 By the end of September she got to go home!

 And this is where I skip several months and fast forward to today. I tried to write while I was over there today but little miss yelling to hear her own voice, banging on stuff, and looking so damn cute I had to pick her up had other plans for me.  There is a lot more to the story too but it’s past my bed time. Here are todays pictures, complete with cake! Oh, and she has to wear a helmet because her head has a funny shape. When people ask me about it I like to say it’s because her mom drops her a lot! She is just about done with it, she is way ahead of schedule. She is such an over achiever!

See how big! Yup, that’s moms hand!

 It looks like she ate a lot but she really didn’t.

 She ended up blurping up part of her dinner. Off to the tub, returned to mom all clean!

 Happy birthday Little Boss!

 

 





A Miracle. Part One.

22 06 2008

 

 I met Boss when I applied for a job at the residential program for teenaged girls. At the time she was the assistant director of the program.  She asked most of the questions even though the director was in the room too. I noticed right away that she was tall, loud, and in charge.

 The only experience I had actually working with kids was coaching middle school field hockey and volunteering at the local Outright chapter. She asked me a ton of questions, I asked her a ton of questions. I needed to make sure I agreed with the philosophy of the program before I took the job. At times I felt like she was trying to intimidate me during the interview. I gave her the shit right back. I guess she liked that. What I immediately liked about her was that she was testing me. It became clear to me that if I got this job I would learn a lot from her and she would push me to do things I normally wouldn’t do. 

 It also became clear to me that she was awesome at her job and her number one goal was doing right by the kids in her care. When she talked about the kids and their treatment, her eyes lit up. She had passion. I like passion.

 I remember at the end of the interview we were sitting on the couch in the living room. She said she had something she wanted to ask me but she wasn’t quiet sure how to say it.

“Listen, you just met me so you don’t know how I operate. Just ask me. I don’t play games and I don’t care much for beating around the bush. If you’ve got something to say, say it.”

 All she wanted to know was how I would feel about having a supervisor who was much younger than me. I told her I really didn’t care and at that I knew I had the job.

 I was right, I learned a ton from her. We haven’t worked with each other in a couple of years but I still call her when I have a tough case. I also have not met anyone else so passionate about working with troubled kids as this woman. Boss can take the worst of the worst kids and turn them into the finest citizens you could ever meet. In short, I am not sure there is anyone better than her in the field.

 What I really didn’t expect when I took the job was the friendship we would grow into. We are pretty different on a lot of levels. I’m queer, she is not. She is tall and loud, I am short and quiet. She is (or was) more into drinking and whooping it up than I am. I am much more conservative than she is.

 As it turned out, we also have a lot in common. We are both stubborn. We are both opinionated. We both will do whatever it takes to get the job done.

 As I got to know Boss, I learned she had a pretty tough life. She had gone through some shit. The more I learned about her the more I respected her and admired her. She was constantly pushing forward despite the odds. The fact that she was raising her now 15 year old daughter on her own was astounding to me. Single parents in general astound me. I just don’t know how they do it. I asked her about it one time.

 “Auntie (she actually calls me by my last name which I think is cool) you just figure it out.”

 That’s what she has done. She has been figuring it out. 

 Boss is extremely independent. She almost never asks for help. Remember that, it’s important to the story. She is however always the first person to lend a hand. I can call her and ask for something and she will agree to help before she even knows what I need.

 Boss continues to do a lot for me. One of the things I value the most about our friendship is that she still pushes me to grow and she calls me on my shit. It’s easy to hear someone call you on your shit when they are able to call themselves out on their own shit. She is able to do that.  When I am about to do something dumb (or continue to do something dumb) she calls me on it.  No matter what though, she always makes it very clear to me that she is going to respect my choices and support me. She let’s me fall flat on my face, helps me get back up, dusts me off, and then gives me a gentle (or sometimes not so gentle. It depends on the situation) nudge in the right direction.

 Over the years she has always defended my honor both professionally and personally. I think it was very difficult for her to watch me go through the shit I went through with my friends. I would talk to her about things they would say about me and she would (sometimes rather angrily) say “That’s not who you are! They have no idea who you are!” I worked so hard over the years to get those people to accept me for who I am. It took that experience for me to realize that Boss, from day one, accepted me for me. Needless to say I have a much greater appreciation for that now.

 Boss is one of my very best friends. She is always there for me no matter what. For both of us, what we mean to each other often goes unsaid. Boss is less comfortable using the language of the heart than I am. I respect that in her and truth be told, I don’t need to hear the words from her to know that I am loved and respected by her. She is also not always comfortable hearing the words back. I have not told her (a least in one sitting) how much she means to me or how much I admire her. I have not told her that her love and support has gotten me through some pretty tough times and for that I am so, so grateful. I have not told her that if I have half of the strength and courage as she does, I know I will be OK. I have not told her how good it feels to just know that she has got my back. Always. And even though I know I don’t need to say it, I’m going to. Boss, I will always have your back too. I love you.





A Lesson From Auntie

19 06 2008

 Beanie’s talent show was today and she was awesome! Hopefully Chili will have the video up on her blog soon. Check over there for updates.

 I picked Punkin up at school today. She was happy that she got to get out for a couple of hours to see her sister. She said, and I quote; ” You know Auntie, I have heard this poem 200 times already. This should be more fun though.”

 So we go and we watch and Punkin gets a bit antsy so I let her play Tetris on my phone. Beaner gets her turn, we watch and listen, and back to Punkins to school we went.

 Walking back to my car she tells me she is hungry. I tell her all I’ve got is sunflower seeds. She gets in the car and I hand her the bag. She grabs a handful and starts eating them.

 ” What do I do with the shell?” She asks.

“Spit!” I say as I put her window down.

“Really?”

“Really!”

“What if I spit on the car?”

“Punkin, if you look at the door when you get out you will see dried out shells stuck on it! Look on the floor! Sometime they blow back in.” (It’s gross, I know..)

“Well, how do you keep them from coming back in?”

“You really can’t help it sometimes. It really depends on your speed and wind direction. Just try to swallow your spit before you spit the shell out.”

 “Ptooie! Hehehe!” Is the delightful sound coming from my back seat. She does it over and over again and is loving every minuet of it. I was too! It is so much fun to teach you nieces fun things to do! After a bit of spitting I decide she might be thirsty after all that salt so I pass her my medium iced mocha latte to wash them down. 

 When we go to her school she asked if she have some seeds to go.

“Of course you can! Only eat them when you are allowed to! If you get busted for eating them in class it’s on you!!” 

 So her little hand reaches in the bag and she stuffs them in her front pocket.

“You want more than that? That’s not really enough, take more!”

“OK.” And in her hand goes again. She gets maybe 5.

“No Punkin, like this!” 

 I grab a giant handful and stuff them in her pockets. Front, back and chest.

“Um, Auntie? I think that’s enough!” She says while giggling. “I’m going to be sitting on them!”

“At least they will already be cracked open!”

 So we walk in to school, say our goodbyes and to work I go. I grab my latte and before I take a sip it occurs to me that I didn’t drink very much on the way in because I didn’t want to have to get up and use the restroom during the talent show. The phone call to Chili went something like this;

“Hello?”

“Um, hi. Um, Punkin may not have a very good day at school today and you may be hearing from her teachers.”

“Why?” She says with the voice they give you when you become a mommy.

“Well, we were eating seeds and I thought she might be thirsty so I gave her my latte to have a sip. I just realized that she chugged about half of it.” (That’s my girl!)

“So she’s going to have a caffeine buzz today? OK, no big deal.”

Whew! I thought I was going to be in trouble for that one. Usually when I share my coffee with her it is decaf. Oops!

 In other news, I called the PO to find out what happened with my guys in custody. Mr. Already Back In Jail got released. My response was;

“Wow! I am assuming he has just used his 9th life?”

“Yup! The judge told him this was his absolute last chance. I told him he needed to call you this week. As far as Intake Boy goes, he got released too. The judge said ‘ You need to have an appointment secured with Ms. Auntie for next week.’ He said ‘ What if she is busy?’ to which the judge replied ‘I suggest you beg her for an appointment!’ Hopefully he will be calling you.”

“OK! I will be waiting for his call!” I said while laughing hysterically. 

 Intake Boy called me shortly after. He apologized several times for missing his appointment with me and promised not to miss the next one!





DO NOT Miss An Appointment With Me!

18 06 2008

I had another busy day today. I was in the office by 7 to do paper work. That didn’t work out because I got stopped in the hall a couple of times. One person was looking for my boss. I told her he was probably sleeping. We chatted for a few and off I went to see if my client was up and getting ready to leave by 8. On the way there I got stopped again. This time it was the methadone clinician reminding me that today was cookie day. My work started baking cookies on Wednesdays for us. This lady always walks around with a tray full of hot cookies and hands them out. I now call her the cookie lady. Anyway, she will not let you pass with out taking a cookie. It’s like a rule or something which is fine by me because I love cookies. So I tell her that I think it sucks that cookie day is always on Wednesdays because I am usually in court on Wednesdays and miss out on my weekly cookie. This also means that I miss the monthly professional development trainings we have which bums me out also..

Finally I get to my client’s room and ask her if she will be ready at 8 to leave because I have a 9:00 intake. She says yes, I head back to my office and check my mail and take two phone calls. By now it’s 8 so I go tell my client I am pulling the car around and to meet me out front. I pull my car around, she meets me with two bags but has to run upstairs to get the last two. While I am waiting the freaking parking police guy asks me how long I will be. I tell him she is coming right back and we will be on our way. He goes on to tell me that there is a lot of traffic and I shouldn’t park there. I look at him, then at the agency van parked right in front of me, then at him, then at the badge attached to my belt, then at him again. I said OK but with a look and with a tone that said “Dude. I work here. Back off.”

For any of you who have never been to a methadone clinic, I will tell you that it’s a zoo in the morning. So much so that they decided to hire this guy to make sure people are doing what they need to do out there. I would like to take a moment to add that we have two huge parking lots and a circle in the middle. What this means is I was not in the way at all. Whatever.

So, I bring the client to her new program and head over to the other office to meet the intake kid. By 9:15 he hasn’t showed so I called him. No answer. I sit around and chat with my co-workers for the next hour because I only planned on doing the intake so I didn’t bring any work with me. At 10:15 I leave to get the first client to bring her to court. The same court the intake kid goes to. Remember that. It’s important to the story. As I leave (oh, also remember that the other office is in the scary city that will soon be home to my new office) I hit a detour. A detour caused by this man;

He is filming a movie in town and totally fucking up traffic. What you need to understand is that if you end up on the wrong side of town you will end up looking like he does in this picture. In fact, last weekend 2 people got shot and 3 or so got stabbed in the span of 5 or so hours. Nice. Needless to say I am having a wee bit of anxiety. Thankfully, I found my way around and picked up my client without incident. Off to court we go!

We get in there and her PO comes to say hello and asks me about Intake Boy. I tell her he was a no show. She says OK and in the court room we go. The judge comes in and court is in session. Intake Boy’s name gets called, he comes forward, and the judge asks the PO how he has been doing.

“Mr. Intake Boy missed an appointment this morning with Ms. Auntie. I am asking that he be held.”

“Very well then. Bailiff, take Intake Boy into custody.”

Holy shit! That has never happened before! I have never met Intake Boy, we only spoke on the phone. I know that he has been struggling lately and that the PO was hoping I could whip his ass in to shape. She obviously was not playing around with him anymore. Sit down, Son!

I lean over to my client and tell her that if I were her, I wouldn’t miss an appointment with me.

“No shit! I wouldn’t anyway. I like talking with you.”

After a bit she gets called then there is a short recess. I tell her I have to wait to find out what happens with Intake Boy and also Mr. Already Back In Jail and Mr. Still In Jail.

Whew, this is turning into a long story!

We wait and wait but I can’t wait anymore so we go. I head back to my office because I have another intake to do there. As I am rushing up the stairs I hear my name being yelled out by the cookie lady. I lean over and look at her with a puzzled look because none of my clients are on methadone so I am not sure why she wants to talk to me. As she approaches me I observe that she has her hands behind her back.

“I saved this for you.” She says as she hands me a cookie wrapped in a napkin. ” Don’t tell your co-worker, I didn’t save him one.”

Is that not the sweetest thing ever! I thanked her for thinking of me and told her she is VERY kind. Then I raided the kitchen for some milk!

I won’t bore you with the rest of my day but I will tell you that there is another movie being filmed in the area. This man stars in it;

I will watch both of these movies because they are filmed locally and I dig that.

Photo credit; Bruce, handcuffs, Leo