Tag Archives: Portland

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.

 

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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

 

 

 

Huh, well I’ll be damned.

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Huh, well I’ll be damned.

Most of my life, I have really enjoyed being around people that are very different from me; that being said, I also spent a lot of my life being incredibly irritated with people who disagreed with me and felt particularly defensive. I love being right. Don’t f*ck with me, I will Google that sh*t.

Recently however, I am noticing that I am less inclined to enjoy being around people who agree with me. Like-minded people are not necessarily people who agree with me. It’s been a real epiphany.

They don’t encourage my passionate debate. And that sucks, because it is one of my favorite things. It’s not that I like to argue…Really. I like to learn….Read on…

I’ve spent the last three years in graduate school: the first year was spent in a very small cohort in a very small town. It was nice, I really love some of the people there…others, meh. It wasn’t very diverse, that is for sure.

The second two years were spent in a much larger metropolitan area with people from all over the place. Very diverse. Sounds cool huh?

Not always. Now, mind you, I have met amazing people who I have no doubt that I will be involved with my entire life in that program. But there are others that were in the program that “agreed” with me, but they just made me feel really robotic about my thoughts. I have been trying to critically reflect on this and what I have recently decided is that my learning ends when I am around people who agree with me.

 

And it doesn’t matter what the topic is.

Politics, economics, race, religion, class warfare, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex, social work, or even something as benign as micro brews or freaking music. I find it much more conducive to the fine tuning of my own opinions, my own truth if you will, to have to understand someone else’s point of view and more thoroughly explain my positions without being defensive. It is a real skill. I like having practice in it and I cannot practice with people who are all “oh, yeah, I totally agree.” 

I’ve always told my kids that if they can’t explain something to me, they don’t understand it well enough…go back and study or try again…

And yet, I haven’t fully held myself to that.

It’s nice to be undefensive and feel validated in your opinions. 

But only for a minute. 

Until you look around and realize that you are either surrounded by “Yes, people” or people who you intimidate that aren’t going to question what you say. Talk about boring. *YAWN*

I am really enjoying learning from people who are different from me. I am really enjoying the fire in my gut that lights up when someone says something that gets my hackles up….but learning to control that fire long enough to come up with an awesome counter to continue the conversation? 

Oh yeah. That’s the good stuff. 

Bring it on.

 

Oh my poor vanilla car.

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Oh my poor vanilla car.

The first time someone told me I didn’t live in Portland and my bumper stickers were going to cost me jobs, I rolled my eyes and laughed.

regina

The second time someone pointed out people might be suspicious of me as a social worker because of my bumper stickers, I was like “oh well, people learn when they are uncomfortable.”

judy

The third time I was like:

“OK FINE SWEET JEBUS. No, I don’t want to alienate my damn clients.”

walter

grumble grumble grumble hiss

So I finally stripped my poor car today.

Luckily, I was married to a redneck who did auto body and paint once, soooo I knew how to do it with out scratching my car but gees…

My poor car is humiliated.

She is vanilla.

She is now an asexual gender neutral it.

It is now apolitical.

The only thing that could offend my client’s now for sure is the fact it’s not American made.

Oh! And that it’s white. Damn it!

I have to draw the line.

But I suppose this is what being a grown-up anti-oppressive practitioner is.

Boo.

DSABASMJ….

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DSABASMJ….

Dear sweet ancient baby alien space monkey, Jebus:

I am about to go to my interview for a job that could potentially lead me straight into a potential future I like, so I humbly ask:

  • Please don’t let me sound like an idiot or a fraud.
  • Please give me the magical Goddess inspired words to wow them.
  • Please let my interviewers be part of the 50% who sees yellow as cheerful, not the 50% who are made anxious by it.
  • Please let me get the right job if it is not this one, very quickly, in time to pay my stuff next month.

Humina-Humina, monkey dust, catholic mumbo jumbo, hoodoo voodoo, sacrificial animal of your choice, genuflection, crosses and rituals, dancing on one foot, spinning around, holding snakes, talking in tongues, holy water, smudge smoke, mecca lecca hi mecca hiney ho, and all that other sh*t.

Amen.

XOXO

Jani

resume schmesume

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resume schmesume

It’s that inevitable part of ending graduation….that time every one without a trust fund dreads……JOB SEARCH….

I have redone my resume 34,384,574,857,045 times with 2,384,973,048 different people telling me I need to redo it. But luckily, I have a pretty awesome BGBF who  loves me enough to have worked mine over like racehorse on his weekend and whipped it into sexy shape. All on one snazzy page. HUZZAH.

So today I filled out 15 applications, including cover letters and endless inane questions asking me to provide rationale, answers, education, and experience with the name of the organizations I worked at during those experiences to prove I know how to blow my nose and tie my shoes and encourage others to do the same, in an appropriate manner.

OY.

Holy Moly. I hope I get a job.

Don’t they understand I am an indentured servant? I have a house worth of loans! I am owned by the man!

I will work! I have to work! Let me work! PLEASE……

Not that I am desperate….yet…..

I was even asked in an application if I am an “expert in determining precipitating events.”

Um, no. Is that even an actual expertise? I know what one is but…..I’m not training to be on “Criminal Minds”….

I digress.

What did I get into!

Wish me luck lovers.

Mama needs to pay off these shoes….

Survey says…..

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Survey says…..

CERVEZAS!

Just kidding.

But after about a month of heartburn, ulcers, sleepless nights and related irritable attitude combined with relationship woes, professional misfortune, scholastic pressure and being a parent; I have decided where I will live (for sure) after graduation.

I made a pros and cons list for Idaho and for Washington.

I meditated.

I surveyed Facebook friends and frenemies.

I did tarot cards.

I talked to classmates.

I talked to professionals.

I did guided meditations.

I talked to my counselor.

I talked to my mentor.

I talked to my soul mates.

I did about 34,834,530 different things as instructed by various decision making models and blogs.

I flipped coins. Over and over.

This morning I woke up and just knew:

I have to stay in Vancouver.

My heart said so. I can go where ever I want in 5 years. But for now, in fact for once in my life, I am thinking of my kids and my kids only. I am not rationalizing my needs or wants. I am not running home because I have a broken heart. I am planting roots.

Kudos to me.

And….here….we….go!

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And….here….we….go!

I had my first supervision with my new supervisor today and I would just like to say upfront that I am pretty effing stoked about this new placement. Not only do I get to do community based social work that is essentially training me for my dream job, but I also get to do a lot of clinical work that I was afraid I would not be able to do because of the stupid track system at my grad school. We have to pick direct service, administrative or community based as our focus final year; I chose community based because of the future jobs that I want and my lack of professional experience in that venue. I had been pretty disappointed in that choice for the first few months of this year but now that I have this magical hybrid placement; I am pretty stoked. I feel good about my job prospects. I may not even have to move.

Moving is something that I feel like I should do, it’s my natural tendency to retreat back to my homey home when I am hurting and needing to regroup. However, that pattern never seems to work for me. I am not sure yet. The networking and opportunities here may outweigh the perceived benefits of running away home, Jack.

I digressed. Oh well.

I shall continue to digress in saying the following: the next few months are going to be different for me emotionally, financially, etc. My relationship is in transition (to what I am not sure), my sex life will be in remission, my formal education is ending, my $2,837,402,384,702,384,720,384 in student loans will be coming out of deferment,  my 2nd professional life will be beginning, and both of my kids will officially be teenagers in 3 months.

So you may read some vague posts here and there.

You may read some cryptic, sad, manic, or even downright dirty poetry.

You may feel that I am yelling at YOU specifically; but I won’t be.

I am just going to therapize myself through this blog and lucky you! You get to come for the ride.

You may want to take some Dramamine.

No really. I mean that.

XOXO

Warning! Solicitation for a good cause forthcoming:

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Warning! Solicitation for a good cause forthcoming:

I am participating again in the Cascade AIDS Project: AIDS Walk Portland on September 23, 2012. This year I am organizing my school’s team of walkers, something I am very proud to be able to do!

Personally, I walk because it gives me a chance to feel as though I am actually making a difference, even if it is only in one life, in one day. I personally love being able to fill the gaps in knowledge for teens and adults for that matter, in what HIV/AIDS is, how it is and IS NOT transmitted, that anyone can be affected and how it’s no longer a death sentence. Sharing that knowledge with people has given me more intrinsic rewards than anything I have ever done in my career.

I walk for my children. Working with HIV/AIDS populations have provided me an opportunity to model respect and the power of being informed to my children while also providing them the opportunity to be exposed to such a diverse group of individuals. My children have been set on a path of health and personal responsibility and that is something I can never replace.

I walk for my best friend, my friends and others like them living with HIV or AIDS. I can’t walk in their shoes, but I can damn sure walk for them.

Today, you can sponsor me here: http://www.aidswalkportland.org/cap/participantpage.asp?uid=7311&fundid=3069

If all of my followers donated just one dollar to sponsor me, I would meet my goal. If you donate more than a dollar, you are a rock star. Anything helps! The Cascade AIDS Project does amazing things.

And for this one dollar, I didn’t show you any starving children or mistreated animals. That is worth a dollar isn’t it?

Don’t make me break out the Sarah McLachlan….I’ll do it.

Roger Waters: The Wall……YOU MUST GO

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Roger Waters: The Wall……YOU MUST GO

Yesterday was just an ordinary day of trying to get my car to pass emissions. You know just spending money on BS. Then someone texted me and offered me a FREE ticket to Roger Waters last night. Of course, I went. It was a once in a life time opportunity.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, the wall is one of my most nostalgic albums. The movie, was once my absolute favorite movie…I was sure the secret to life was held in it somehow….I watched it once as an adult and didn’t quite get it. But last night the small pieces that were intertwined in it made me want to see it again.

I’m not going to be able to encapsulate all that it was, but I will mention some highlights and share some pictures.

The way that Roger Waters juxtaposed and paralleled 1984esque Big Brother mentality, our current government/police state, the ongoing war on “terrorism,” drugs, capitalism, WWII, Iraq, Afghanistan, the London bombings, genocide, shell, BP, Apple, Iphone, Ieverything, Mercedes Benz, banks, bailouts, &(^(@#^$)^_*^&@#$(^#%)( was freaking BRILLIANT.

The light show/projectors, smoke and mirrors, planes, puppets, flying pigs, graffiti and the ACTUAL WALL was amazing.

There is one section of my pics wherein my camera wasnt fast enough. It is a set of pictures that reveal a quote:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

There was some beautiful breasts in there too 😉

The individual bricks were amazing.

Roger himself looks like Richard Gere these days. And he sounds the same today as he did 30 years ago. It’s just mind-blowing.

It was a cerebral, audio, visual energy pill for my soul.

If you have a chance to go, you would be a fool to pass it up. I am so thankful I didn’t.

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