Category Archives: Portland

two weeks eh? Dang.

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two weeks eh? Dang.

So maybe I have been slightly distracted by life and slowly becoming more distracted…

I hadn’t realized it had been two freaking weeks since I blogged. EEEEP….

But the return is worth it…for example:

I smile for no reason and when no one is there to observe it;

I’m busy as hell between FT work, kids, new friends, old friends, my lovely new boyfriend, etc;

I am running in the run for your lives event tomorrow (my second year!);

I’m also trying to figure out how to cut costs and make extra money….. if you have legal ideas, hit me up cause at this point I am thinking commune….;

My fantasy football draft is tonight *fingers crossed*;

My kids are amazing and responsible and I can do things without a babysitter and they don’t throw rocking parties (YESSSSSSSS)…;

My student loans are arranged to start next week and be $39.45 a month for the next 108 years;

I haven’t killed all of my plants;

I have been writing again, a lot… I have no idea where I find the time….

Andddddd I got to see the Silent Comedy do Fleetwood Mac and dance with said boyfriend.

What else could a woman want?

xoxo

Jani

 

 

 

Poverty, Homelessness and privilege:

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Poverty, Homelessness and privilege:

Have been the topics du jour in my classes this week. My poverty class is putting together a small Peoples Movement Assembly on poverty next month at Portland State, so I have been thinking a lot about poverty.

Homelessness is one of the many frustrating facets of it which are immediately apparent, particularly for me here in Portland. They make fun of the “gutterpunks” and the  panhandlers on “Portlandia,” but rarely do you see the REAL inequities and injustices without being here. I watch people a lot on the trains and at the stops and just downtown in general; most people avert their eyes as if not looking at the homeless will make them go away. Shameful.

I read a pretty resonant blog today that I would like to share with you:

http://adventuresofcassandra.tumblr.com/post/21338683124/homeless-happy

I encourage you all to remember that poverty is a human issue, not a poor issue. It is systemic. It is RAMPANT in the United States, despite what we may want the world to believe.

Don’t turn away. If you have nothing to give, you are dead. Sometimes just a smile can change someone’s world. Energy is cyclic.

Thanks, Cassie.

xoxo

Jani

For the love of sweet ancient baby alien space monkey Jebus, this will teach me to stick my nose in other people’s business

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For the love of sweet ancient baby alien space monkey Jebus, this will teach me to stick my nose in other people’s business

Back in December, during my sworn off from Facebook month and a half of grieving,  I came home to find my neighbor who I am to this day convinced was a meth head engaged in battery against someone who did not live with her but I had seen there. I don’t remember all the details really, but doing my mandatory reporting and sick of their BS duty, I called it in. Today, I get a bloody subpoena in the mail to testify against who I am only aware of being a victim.

Are you freaking kidding me?

Now I have to go to court at 8 am on MY day off.

Now I have to testify in court.

Now I have to try to remember details.

Now I have to go to the police department and ask for my report so I can remember wtf happened. I don’t know. I don’t remember. I didn’t realize doing the right thing as a neighbor required me to know what happened indeterminately. Damnit.

Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to interfere.

But I am going to be a social worker. Am I required to save the world and report everything? Yes. I have to try. With great power comes great responsibility. And I suppose that means being subpoenaed. Damnit.

I hope he plea bargains. Or they realize that I have nothing to add to their case against HIM. I only saw HER hit him. Why am I being called as a witness against HIM? Oy.

Top Five Reasons my husband loves me (based upon yesterday only)

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Top Five Reasons my husband loves me (based upon yesterday only)

I am going to brag about myself for a minute. Bare with me. I need it.

  1. I took control of the entire planning of yesterday’s festivities and paid.
  2. I took him to eat here: Blitz Pearl
  3. Then we went and wandered here: Powell’s
  4. Then we went drinking and playing here (Utopia of PINBALL): Ground Kontrol
  5. Then I kicked his ASS at shuffleboard here: Dublin Down

That is all. Be jealous geeks.

 

Oh, the places you will go!~Dr. Seuss

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Oh, the places you will go!~Dr. Seuss

So I went to the placement fair to try and figure out some of the potential places for my clinical practicum…I narrowed it down to 6 places and they all make my heart glow:

Check them out:

Mission: To prevent HIV infections, support and empower people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, and eliminate HIV/AIDS-related stigma.

http://cascadeaids.org/

Mission:

Our mission is to help homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self-sufficiency. We are…

  • Service providers and advocates.
  • Experts in understanding adolescents.
  • A Federally Qualified Health Center.
  • A licensed Mental Health Agency.
  • Leaders in serving GLBTQ youth.

We believe…

  • In dignity, hope, and resiliency.
  • In innovation.
  • Our clients can get through current challenges.
  • Young people need trusting adults to thrive.
  • In meeting people where they are.
  • In a strengths-based approach.

http://www.outsidein.org/

Mission: The Bradley Angle mission is to offer survivors of domestic and sexual violence options for safety, empowerment, healing and hope, while collaborating with our communities to create social change.

As we work to bring an end to domestic violence, Bradley Angle embraces the following values:

  • We empower individuals and communities to take action and eliminate domestic violence from their lives.
  • We are committed to demystifying domestic violence and to giving voice to those touched by it.
  • We offer a safe, non-judgmental and welcoming environment for all domestic violence survivors, offering individualized services that meet a wide range of cultural and personal needs.
  • We believe all people, regardless of race, age, gender identity, background, sexual orientation or religion, deserve to live in a world where physical, emotional, and sexual abuse are not tolerated.

http://bradleyangle.org/

Mission: The mission of NARA, NW is to provide education, physical and mental health services and substance abuse treatment that is culturally appropriate to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other vulnerable populations.

http://www.naranorthwest.org/

Mission: In partnership with the communities we serve, the Health Department assures, promotes and protects the health of the people of Multnomah County.

  • We believe that health is a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” (World Health Organization, 1978)
  • We honor the diversity of the individuals and communities we serve and value their differing approaches to health and well-being.
  • We believe in partnerships to improve the health of our communities.
  • We believe the department’s actions should assist our communities in addressing underlying factors that affect good health.
  • We value effective leadership as a fundamental tool to improve the health of our communities.
  • We believe in being responsible stewards of the public trust and resources.
  • We value a diverse staff and believe our staff should be selected with care, treated with respect, held accountable for their performance and encouraged in their personal growth.
  • We believe in continuously improving the quality of our work.
  • We believe in balancing scientific knowledge and practical experience with the wisdom and beliefs of those we serve to improve the health of our communities.
  • We emphasize prevention, health promotion and early intervention.

http://web.multco.us/health

Mission: Honor America’s veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.

http://www.portland.va.gov/vancouver.asp

I love that some places are beginning to transition and recognize different populations than they have traditionally, i.e. domestic violence shelters are beginning to recognize, anticipate and serve men and LGBTQ2S populations.

I am so excited to be able to do this part of my education out of Idaho.

No news yet on whether the VA will have any LGBTQ2S services but eventually they have to. I hope 🙂

Spring cleaning? Yes, please. Punxsutawney Phil is not a reliable weatherperson…if one exists….

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Spring cleaning? Yes, please. Punxsutawney Phil is not a reliable weatherperson…if one exists….

It had to happen. I finally get a day off from everything and lo and behold the sun was shining and the air was warm. I think somewhere an angel got their wings or some shi*. It was so beautiful that I was compelled to spend my day off cleaning.

Now mind you, half of it was inspired by the fact that my daughter found a couple of fleas on the dog and I freaked out. I do that. Jani doesn’t do fleas, lice, ticks, bedbugs or anything like that. Sweet ancient baby alien space monkey Jebus forbid one of my own kids ever comes home with lice, they may get farmed out. Quarantined. Disowned. Severe? Maybe. There has only been one person I have deloused in my life and she is my other half. In the big picture, creepy crawlies flip me out. Give me something big like a spider. Give me something I can see. That is ok.

I digress.

Sunshine! Happiness! Smudging! Spiritual and physical housecleaning! It was a good time for it. I feel better having aired the house out.

You should too! Do it! Do it with good energy! Do it with intention! Or just put on your best Martha Stewart saccharine smile or your most kitschy apron and heels, boys, and get crackalackin. Especially if you are in the Pacific Northwest, we never know how long the sun will last…..

An open letter to the appearingly 45 year old man on the Max with his pants LITERALLY sagged to his knees:

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Dear Apparently 45ish year old Sagger on the Max:

I really wanted to ask you why you wear your pants this way. It seems to me that it would be very hard to walk that way. I watched you for about 20 minutes, pacing up and down the train and I have to say, you are doing it wrong. You didn’t even hitch as I believe is the custom while you walked. That takes pure talent. I can only assume you practice at home walking back and forth with a hula hoop spinning round your knees.

My husband told me that the fad of sagging began as a way to signal to others in prison that men were interested in engaging in homosexual sex. I had never heard this so I investigated it. It is indeed a rumor, probably started as a way hurt some population, be it “on the down low black males” or LGBTQ populations in general, but it’s not true. My point in bringing up this terrible lie is to tell you that it would appear this is an accepted fallacy in the US, did you know? Do you know that some people probably think this when they see you?

The fad itself did actually begin in prison it seems, because of the ill-fitting garments provided as clothing. So there is that I suppose. Perhaps you have been in prison?

Another common misconception is that it is not a fashion statement at all or even part of a culture, that it simply allows the wearer to conceal weapons. Now, I have no idea where you could possibly hide a weapon other than your sock, since I can see everything else but just FYI. This is what people may think. Is that your intention?

Or to make people scared?

To make people wonder about your sexual orientation?

To make people assume you have been in prison?

Is it simply the way you emulate your idols from the early days of hip hop?

I don’t know.

I don’t know how it could be seen as attractive, but we all are attracted to different things I suppose. I happen to think baggy pants look good on some men. But what you were wearing is not baggy. In fact, I believe your pants belonged on some much shorter person because they were barely gathered at the bottom. I doubt if you pulled them up to your waist they would have even fit your legs. They would have been high waters, as we hicks call them. Heh.

I also imagined that you have children. A whole bunch of little saggers. That made me chuckle out loud and you looked at me. That made me nervous.

I really don’t get it. Perhaps I am just really out of touch with fashion. I have been accused of worse.

Speaking of which, I should note for the record and to some of my readers who may assume that I am speaking about a black man; I am not. You my friend, appeared quite white. But that has no bearing on my questioning of your fashion choice. I just wonder about the reasons for the choice vs the practicality of the choice.

Have a nice day and please don’t trip. (I honestly had horrible and intruding worries for you after you got off the Max, that you would trip in front of the train.)

Curious in Vancouver,

Jani

All the SOPA in the world isn’t going to wash me clean.

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I understand what everyone is saying about it and how it’s intended to protect companies interests from piracy and blah blah….Even the President’s people say “While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet. (http://mashable.com/2012/01/16/white-house-sopa-petition/)

The conspiracy theorist in me says SOPA and it will pass to keep us from organizing a revolution. How many revolutions were recently organized via Twitter and similar sites. Just something else to undermine the Constitution. Add this onto the Patriot Act….Ol’Dubya loves it…Are these the countries we want to share company with: Turkmenistan, Vietnam, Tunisia, Syria, People’s Republic of China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Burma, and North Korea?  (http://listverse.com/2010/10/02/top-10-countries-that-censor-the-internet/)

I don’t know. I am becoming quite disenchanted with the entire governmental world. I don’t think it matters who we vote for or what we do, shit is going to happen however “THEY” want it to. Look at the Occupy Movement, look at the internet’s role in it and its progression. They don’t want that again. They saw the power of small groups and the expression of groupthink and they underestimated the power of small groups. We may be a generation of ADD and we may seem apathetic. Many may not know who Margaret Mead is, but  they are beginning to understand her words:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does”

Look out Big Brother. Just like the drinking gourd songs and all other movements with secret codes and Speakeasys we can do something even if you make it more difficult….

Ah crap! I digressed and made this totally different from what I intended…. Oh well, if you want to do something and feel like you didn’t sit here and watch your rights get chipped away, add your name to this:

https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/

It won’t put your name on a list it wasn’t already on 🙂

Snow Schmow, have you checked your muffler bearings this winter?

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I can not believe how people react here from the “threat” of snow. Seriously? You guys are closing 3/4 of the schools for a TRACE of snow? OMG

Dear sweet ancient baby alien space monkey Jebus. Save us from the Yuppies with Subarus.

Where I grew up, we drove through drifts that would touch the side mirrors to get to school.

In the school buses.

In our cars.

In our trucks.

We did brodies in the parking lots and learned to appreciate a good E-brake pull.

Girls drove trucks.

EVERYONE learned to drive stick.

And this isn’t one of those, “I walked to school uphill both ways, barefoot in the snow, 87 miles everyday” type of stories. I’m from McCall.  Google that shit. In all reality, I think we had a snow day 2x the whole time I went there and 1x when my kids went.

Snow day in PDX? Pssh, forget about it.

This is not snow.

This is slightly frozen rain.

You guys are weenies.

Commuters are even bigger weenies. A 1 hour commute becomes almost 3 hours because the road is wet.

Uh, this is the Pacific Northwest. Are you really scared of wet roads? Serious?

If I woke up tomorrow and there was 3 feet, ok then. Close the schools and I won’t go anywhere either because you Pacific NWers can’t drive for shit.

Four wheel drive does not mean four wheel stop.

Automatics are not better because they may be all wheel drive or even front wheel drive. A real snow driver wants a stick so if you do end up stuck, you can rock that bitch out of most anywhere.

I digress.

And for those of you stocking up at the store, making me stand in line 45 minutes for my damn creamer and whiskey, don’t forget to buy some tire chains. You will need them, there is a chance of 2 inches of snow. OH! And you might need to check your muffler bearings. And your blinker fluid. Goddess knows you don’t want to be stuck in a snow bank without blinker fluid, how will your GPS work!

*Eyeroll*

Call me when global warming starts.

Public Safety and the college life

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So the university that I go to has approximately 50 buildings including parking structures. I have received 3 emails from Campus safety in the last 3 weeks describing basic safety techniques and procedures because of the sexual assaults and other assaults they have had in 2 buildings. For example:

This email is to advise you that the *** Campus Public Safety Office is investigating an assault that occurred on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at approximately 8:30pm on the sidewalk near *******. The Campus Public Safety Office became aware of this report via an email that was received on Friday, Jan 13, 2012 at 10:00pm. The victim reported that she was grabbed by the arm and wrist and was able to break free after striking the suspect. During this brief encounter the victim was unable to provide a description of the suspect.
As a reminder, please be vigilant and aware of your surroundings on and off campus and call 911 or the Campus Public Safety Office at ******* if you observe suspicious behavior or if you have any concerns about your personal safety. Additional information and updates about this incident will be available on the *** Campus Public Safety website ***********.
Support services from the Women’s Resource Center and Student Health and Counseling Services are available for anyone impacted by violence. If you have any nonemergency 
concerns regarding safety issues at ******, please contact the Campus Public Safety Office at *********.

Which two buildings did these incidents happen in you say?

The two buildings I attend class in at night. Rock out with your c**k out.

YES!

I love school.

I love riding public transportation.

I am becoming less liberal everyday.

That is all.