Author Archives: Jani

About Jani

Jani grew up a gypsy anachronism, spending her early life taming her wanderlust. She clawed her way into the real world eventually obtaining two highly unpractical degrees, two children, six figure student loans and a sarcastic wit that is matched by few. She now lives in the Walterverse where she recently finished her Masters of Social Work at a ridiculously expensive University. Her future plans are to pay for the useless extra letters after her name as a super heroine. In the event that plan doesn't "work" out, she plans to return to her roots as vagabond gypsy busking in one way or another, after her children move out. HuZzah.

For the love of Moses must it be so damn hard?

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For the love of Moses must it be so damn hard?

Just a brief observation:

I have employer provided insurance and my kids have insurance provided by their step-mom….however, both do not cover everything so we have “Medicaid” aka “Washington Apple” as our secondary. I just received our renewal packet and a lengthy application, in English. The instructions say to do it online because it’s faster and easier. Mind you, it says this in English.

So I go online because I have that privilege and there is an option for Spanish.

Cool thus far, everyone knows that people in Washington ONLY speak English or Spanish. Duh.

I go through the damn lengthy process where I have to answer some tax questions that confuse even me, because of the verbiage. Now, I consider myself to be a pretty savvy person, masters degree and all….but please don’t ask me about my filing status as it relates to the amount of student loan debt or other deductions I might itemize….direct all such questions to Turbo Tax, thanks and goodbye…

I digress.

I finally get to the end and they can’t process it because of an “error code 3079.”

I call the fancy number and sit on hold forever because (lucky me) I have the privilege of unlimited minutes. I finally get a person, a nice well spoken person named Tracy who figures out the problem (I put “$0″ as my personal insurance cost through my employer, which is the truth; but the website requires me to lie and say it costs me a $1, then electronically sign something that says I swear under threat of perjury that everything I put is truthful, you know whatever…ANOMIE) and BAM everything is better and my decision is immediate. Yay! We have health care totally covered in case I need to get me some birth control and abortions! (cause what else could a 34 year old divorced woman need it for?)

Now what if I can’t read?
What if I can’t speak English or Spanish?
What if I don’t have an address to send the packet to?
What if I can read, but for fun let’s say I read at a say 6th grade reading level, but do not understand the tax language?
What if I do not have a computer?
Can’t get to a library?
Can’t use a computer?
Have no interwebs?
Etc.
Etc.
Etc.

Oh sure, I know some of you are going to say, well there are people to help! Options! Go to the social services office! Some, like my pal Daniel, will probably go on some rant and tirade that makes me question why we are friends about poverty and education and “woe is the poor white male American,” but seriously.

Do there have to be so many barriers to getting health care that is MEANT for people in poverty?

With barriers already?

For real?

What happened to this magical Obamacare y’all were so scared of making it so easy for those lazy immigrants to come steal your insurance and jobs?

For fraks sakes.

(*&*&%&%$%$#@&)((*()_

For fucks sake.

Fire walk with me…

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Fire walk with me…

I haven’t blogged in a while. It’s been a combination of not having time and not having really anything nice or uplifting to say about anything. Yesterday was probably the lowest day energy and attitude-wise I have had in a couple years. I don’t think that it was necessarily anything in particular, just a lame culmination of the last few months and the proverbial straw on the camel’s back. So as things just seemed to domino in my world, professionally and of course personally because I am not one of those cool people that can leave my job at the office…. I just kind of gave up yesterday.

 

But as I always do, I woke up this morning and decided to try again cause really that’s all you can do.

I went to work, decided no matter what I was going to have a good GD day.

And I did.

I helped a family get housed that has been in shelter since January and it was a win. I really left work yesterday sure that it would not happen for them and rehearsing that conversation of sadness.

When I went to the shelter today to meet them and have them sign some final paperwork, I was showered in the grace of the experience. Everyone there is like a family. The family I work with has been there longer than anyone else in the shelter and literally had a couple days left on their 3rd extension. Everyone was happy and congratulating them, high fives, hugs, tears, etc. Their kids? One of them was so happy he was about to burst. He couldn’t even imagine having a room of his own again. The mom who has not let herself have any hope the last few months was over the moon. I honestly had never seen her smile a real smile. She had not even allowed herself the anticipation of this house.

It was the best experience I can remember having in a long time.

And it reminded me of this song:

So I ask you….

What is YOUR fire?

Is it waiting for fuel?

Are you the fuel for someone else’s?

Whatever lights that passion in you, however briefly….

FIND IT.

FEED IT.

The fuel is out there.

Let the spin stop.

Ignore the distractions and feel the burn.

 

Lens Filter

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Lens Filter

 

 

 

 

By an odd coincidence, this week your tattoo is getting covered up;

Under the ocean it will be.

Reflectively, my time with you was the happiest

I’d been until now, a true peace I have found, it

Eluded you I guess.

Dreamed you hadn’t died, that you were in a caved in hole but watched you climb out on the news…

That reverie, I like to think it was you coming out of your darkest place, crawling toward the light.

Honestly, I learned so much from you, practical and emotional you taught me many things.

Echoes of his six word story come to me late at night

“Bullies are just very sad people…”

Understanding of you came later,

Life and love are funny that way.

Looking back, my own ignorance was bliss…

Even the most negative memories somehow benefit from it;

The lens filter of time.

 

*I doubt they will play this for you, but I know you always wanted it at your service so I will post it for you here.

Love and Light.

Spring Contemplations

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Spring Contemplations

I haven’t really had the chance to do much as far as blogging lately, I have lots of excuses; the job, the partner, the kids, the promotion ;), the gym, the tv, the birthday, whatever; I could go on and on…But I shall not digress.

I got news recently someone that I loved had passed away. It is oddly still affecting me but I am not sure of the effect yet. I am still processing. Mostly it is feeling like a morbid curiosity that I can’t resolve because I don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle. I am not sure how I should feel which further confuses the fact that I am not aware of what I am feeling other than the physical effects. I have been hyper-focused on the unknown details which truly are irrelevant. But the relevant details of my own life feel almost peripheral. Mostly it is physiological. I locked my keys in my car yesterday, I asked my boss a question and immediately forgot his answer resulting in me having to ask again (a midst his laughter of my spaciness.)

It took me a couple days to realize what was going on with me.

It’s strange to grieve something, someone whom you don’t feel like you should grieve about.

It’s odd how one’s mind processes things.

But it is Spring now, Ostara. Ēostre. So I am going to take this time to bury any negativity that might be residual, as they are buried. It is time for new starts and the closing of a chapter to make way for a new one. Like picking up a book you stopped reading and coming back to finish it, so you can fully commit to starting a new one.

Blessed be.

When I am wrong, I admit it.

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When I am wrong, I admit it.

Sometime last year my friend Daniel posted a video of a girl sitting in a car with a crazy system. She appeared to be, well, really enjoying it. I called bullshit. Maybe if it was a Harley I said, but not “just” bass.

Well, this previous summer I had to buy a hamster car…totally stock 2013 Kia Soul, but it has a freaking badass stock system. This song came on my Pandora station and suffice it to say, I was driving down I-84 and had to pull off for a second or 4 minutes.

Straight up.

No joke.

I doubt most computers can pick up the low frequencies in this song, but if you have a way to find it and play it through a good system, it’s pretty effing sweet.

Ladies, you are all welcome.

Men, you should buy this album for me. er, your lady, if you like ladies.

Kiss with a fist

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Kiss with a fist

Oh, Valentine’s. What a strange holiday. I decided to send one of my loves a video on the Facebook “kiss with a fist” because of the potential interpretations and started pondering potential interpretations…Is that song promoting domestic violence? Is it a secret lady love song? Hmmm. I digress.

My original purpose for finally posting after a being a fairly negligent blogger was to share some insight for my impending doom er, birthday. I am officially going to be in my mid-thirties rather than my early thirties….I am not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, I am more comfortable with myself than I have ever been; the realization of that has been enormous. No longer do I truly wish to be the size 4 of my youth, I am ok with what I look like and the size I am…Not to say I do not wish to be more svelte and healthy but I do not feel unlovable because I do not have a BMI of 20. I am more able to acknowledge my strengths and weaknesses without feeling too terribly defensive of either; unconditional love of self is amazing. Having someone do that for you to mirror is a gift.

I am growing more comfortable with the place that I live. Although I still have the inherent panic of “in case of zombie apocalypse where the f**k will I go and what if they blow the bridges and what if the Cascadia Fault goes, etc. etc etc.” HOWEVER, it is much more manageable.  I worry less and drink more. It’s a thing and I am OK with it.

I could go on and on about what I have learned just in the last year, but I will leave you with a mere ten vague thoughts, as is customary for me. Cheers.

  1. Do something different and uncomfortable and scary. It could turn out to be the best choice you ever make. Or it could be the worst…Either way, it’s an adventure.
  2. Never stop trying.
  3. Always apologize and sincerely, screw pride. No one is right, perspectives are just different.
  4. Glasses are great and all, but sometimes we all look a little better in soft focus.
  5. Drink more water.
  6. Drink more wine.
  7. Eat more chocolate.
  8. Have more sex.
  9. Always say goodnight.
  10. Just because A, B, C, D, and E did _________, does not mean F will.

That is all my loves. Off to get some birthday ink set up.

XOXO

Jani

Grace….

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Grace….

I caught myself this morning, whistling an ace if base song in it’s entirety….dancing in the kitchen, making a lunch, putting away dishes, etc… And then it hit me: I was completely present and happy. There have been three moments in my life I remember experiencing this sort of grace. It has been a very, very long time since I had one.

Today I am thankful for it.

Xoxo,
Jani

Poverty. Totally a choice.

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Poverty. Totally a choice.

Bootstraps. Pull yourself up by them!

Unless you are barefoot and pregnant….and that was YOUR decision. Fu*king breeders!

Just kidding. I get tired of feeling like I have to explain my clients or enlighten people on oppression and poverty and every other ism that exists in my world (your world too, just FYI). I digress.

When I started out down the social work path, I was very vigilant and ready to educate the masses; I was excited to understand the criminal justice population I had previously been working with in another light. I wanted to fix the world, change society.

Now I just want to help individuals. I am sure that is why nothing changes and if it does it is a very slow painful process….because all our passion gets sucked out and replaced by not apathy but sheer exhaustion. Or we feel liuke we did something by liking something on Facebook or blogging about it or signing a dumb ass petition on change dot org….

You can’t fix ______________ so you just try to negate the damage.

It’s sad, but it is what it is.

I read this today and thought it was a nice look into the lives of the people some of you are blaming and bitching about.

http://killermartinis.kinja.com/why-i-make-terrible-decisions-or-poverty-thoughts-1450123558

And just for fun, here is my favorite explanation of white privilege for you white boys who don’t believe in it.

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

I hope Daniel reads this.