Holidays

I remember getting ready for the holidays when I was working in law firms.  It was always a hoot…. presents that I could not possibly afford (lead crystal, etc) and food and fun.  Subbing is like that without all the bs.  For me, I think I enjoy it a great deal.

Soon, I will blog more, but for now….

To all those I love, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Joyous Kwanzaa, Blessed Hanukkah and a sweet season to all…. You are not forgotten.  You are loved, wanted and accepted.

To the world I wish and pray for peace, tolerance, and appreciation of the beautiful gift of life.

Parenting, Age, Divorce, and Grandchildren

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When a person or couple have a child, it is the never ending connection effect.  It affects their entire lives… particularly in the case of divorce and grandchildren.  A lot of people I know chose not to have children because of the issues that are involved in raising children in a disposable family world.  That world where you can’t be part of someone’s life unless you kiss their ass.

For most people, when the first marry and decide to have children, it is about love and the physical proof of that love.  Not all, mind you.  Some get pregnant, then married… some get pregnant and don’t marry.  There are many variations on the theme.  But in the end, if they have children and don’t stay married, there are ramifications for the parents of the couple/person/people…. the grandparents.

The usual breakup or divorce with children is a nightmare for everyone, even the people breaking up.  They are angry, hurt and, in most cases, vengeful for a very long time.  The custodial parent has to cope with the questions that their children ask, particularly if there is no visitation, etc.  They also have to deal with the grandparents… their parents and the parents of their ex-significant other.  These people have a stake in the pool of life.

The ex-couple, if it is really an ugly divorce, often fail to realize that their own parents are stuck, dead center, and have absolutely no way out.  They are not allowed to see the grandkids if the custodial parent is pissed at the non-custodial parent or vise versa – depending on whose parents they are.  So, if mom gets custody, dad’s parents are likely to have no contact or very limited contact.  If dad get’s custody, it works the other way.

The only out is to play nice to all sides and try to stay out of the firing line.  That only works if everyone acts like an adult.  Most of the time that is not a happening thing.  It is more likely that the parents of the non-custodial parent will be shut out of their grandchildren’s lives unless they kiss the right ass… and then end up shut out of their own adult child’s life for kissing the right ass.

How is that right or fair?  We did not marry or divorce them?  We did not choose to be angry or not act like adults?

It sucks shite out of the hind teat…..

I am not anyone, but me

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Don’t come to me with your bloody nose, if all you want to do is bleed,

Don’t cry on my shoulder, if all you want to do is hate,

Don’t lie to me and pretend you are true, when all you want is to punish,

I am not the horse you whip, the dog you kick or the one to hate,

I am me, worthy, worthwhile and full of life.

Don’t spread your hate upon my head,

Don’t treat yourself to anger pills,

Don’t pretend that life did all this to you, you made choices that made you untrue.

I am not the one that hit, bit, kicked or hurt you.

I am me, loving, kind and free.

Don’t blame the world for lack of funds,

Don’t take advantage when you know it will get you shunned,

Don’t forget that all you do, will, as they say, become Karma to you.

I am not a blank piece of paper, with no history, no real heart.

I am me, just me…

I am not rich, I am not beautiful, I am not greedy, I am not mean, I am not anyone…. but me.

(c) Lori Trevino 11/28/2014

Black Friday, Holiday Insanity…. For What?

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The stores opened at ridiculous hours, not on the usual “Black Friday” but on Thanksgiving day. The supposed sales were riot with insane people who hit, punch and assault each other…. for toys.  The “super” mom and dad are out there beating each other up for a supposed discount of ridiculous proportions, but only on a certain number of a certain item and only for a particular time period.  At what point does this sound intelligent?  Even those that give the gifts made with love are struggling with the prices that are supposed to be lower… but have you priced yarn or wood or anything recently?

I watched the news and the idiots that park themselves in the front of stores in tents and sleeping bags in an effort to get the “perfect” gift for their cherished loved ones.  They will cook their turkey over a sterno can and eat crap in an effort to save a single dollar.  It amazes me and horrifies me.  How ignorant is the public?

First, basic economics folks… from the first day of June until just prior to Black Friday, prices slowly and steadily rise – approximately 120% to 150%.  Black Friday, or rather all holiday sales prices are supposedly 70% off (approximately).  At what point is this a savings?  SERIOUSLY???? Very few items are truly discounted.  Most are price jacked for months to make sure that the manufacturers and stores get their needed price.  So you are not getting a discount.

The time of year that is truly lower prices is right after the holidays.  Stores that could not sell all of their products, that are now facing high returns, suddenly find that the price of that $300 item is less than $59.  It is a fact that you have to watch out for defects, etc., but guess what, those returns are usually the items that are just not the right color, style, maker, etc.  It is truly shopping at it’s lowest prices.

Second, at what point is punching out the little old lady for a pair of socks that your sister will hate something that you want on the news?  The truth is, if you have truly tried to make a holiday nice, you have been working on it for the entire year.  You have shopped for and found things that are beautiful, appropriate and, most important of all, NOT likely to be returned.  And guess what, it is usually at a price that is affordable and realistic.  The little old lady can keep the socks and you have purchased or made something beautiful for your loved ones without having to prove you are still an animal.

Finally, and most important, remember all those expensive toys and games and clothes you bought for your children?  How long do they actually use them?  Seriously, most kids don’t bother with these things within a few hours to a few weeks of having them.  The things they bother with – the new bike, skates, or skateboards, the clothes for school and a couple of actually favored toys.  Of course the cell phones, etc., but that is not an every day purchase.  So you have done ignorant things for things that are going to end up on the floor of the closet, rotting in the neglect of disuse.

For me, I make my gifts.  I hope that those that I create them for appreciate them, and I go on.  It is not my desire to add to the “buy everything” mentality of the world or share that with children that I come into contact with.  After all…. something I spend time on means so much more, to me if not to them, than that game that breaks or loses pieces within a few hours or days.

No shopping for this very sane person on Black Friday…. EVER.

Arizona’s Schools – Administrative Nepotism and the Will of the People

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Teachers make approximately 1/3 to 1/2 what almost every other professional with the same education makes.  They are the most overworked and underpaid professionals in the world.  Their jobs have become more and more difficult and involved, and the pay is not commiserate with those extra and even more complex duties that are decided by the Administration and non-educators.  So, how can that be good for our children?  For your children?

First, in the education field, unlike any other field of work, if you know someone or are related to someone in the field, you are more likely to get a job than if you are coming in cold.  Thus, the teacher down the hall may be related to someone in the office or another teacher.  As teachers, since you can’t work unless you are actually qualified, this is not really an issue.  However, within administration this nepotism is almost a disease.

The school administrator is on a short contract, so, if they are attempting to get cousin Billy a position that already has a person in place they get very creative.  Often there will be a creation of a “fictitious” position that either the sitting administrator will be pushed into or cousin Billy will take.  This position will pay the same as the sitting administrators position and, when the current administrator is no longer employed, will vanish and cousin Billy will have the position that they desired.  Thus, the people pay twice for the job that was already filled.

So, the newly certified administrator with no experience is now hired.  They make TWICE what a teacher makes in salary.  Which means instead of being able to give raises to teachers during the time that there was this “fictitious” position in administration, the district (MEANING THE PUBLIC) was paying dead weight to administration.  So, the approximately $60,000 per annum for the extra position could not be applied to the teachers that make approximately $30,000 per annum.  A waste of two new teachers salaries.

Teachers, at least in Arizona, were supposed to received funding under 301 from 2004.  This funding was an attempt by the people to bring teachers into a more realistic pay scale… or at minimum supplement their pay to make the teaching profession more attractive to those teacher that they want to retain and new teachers incoming.  This did not happen.  Instead of closing the gap on educators salaries, administration, while still receiving TWICE the annual income of educators, instead chose to increase the requirements for teaching in the schools.  Not in ways that assist the children, but in the creation of more and more paperwork and the near mindless use of time that could be better spent allowing teachers to actually teach.  Evaluations that take almost as much time as teaching a semester have become the norm rather than the exception.

So, we, as parents, adults in society need to think …. what are we doing?  What do we want our children to have?  Well paid, conscientious teachers?  Or overworked, exhausted teachers?  Do we really want to pay for the extra  administrators?  Or do we want administrators that are advocating for their teachers and their students?

 

Politics, The Media and OOG Are You Kidding Me!

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The U.S. is engaged in its favorite occupation… attempting to convince the average person how intelligent those in power are by lying, manipulating and using the magical voting power booth.  It is, in essence, an election year.  Thank goodness it is over tonight.

For the next year it will be relatively quiet, as far as the media and pushing for this agenda, that agenda and the favorite BS Agenda.  It will focus on letting all the average people know how stupid they were for voting for this or that…. and then it will begin again. This insane cycle is one of the facts of life in a “democratic society”.

So, as the media mellows out, you look back at the insane shit that was said, not said, publicized, basically tossed out there for the average human to try to sort the truth out of and your jaw drops.  The lies get bigger with each passing month of the election year.  The truth gets more and more obscured by the minuscule garbage that seems to pass for truth or necessary information.  And finally, towards the last month it is simply nonsense that does nothing more than irritate.

Political groups drown the email inbox with garbage about “last chances” and “pulling together” and it is like watching a train wreck in slow motion.  They don’t seem to realize that if you are committed to their cause, you already know the information or that it would be better to have a centralized web page that links to the appropriate topics.  Then, for those of us still on the fence, it would be more likely to pull us over to their way of thinking.  Otherwise, you get the “OOG, Are you kidding me!” effect…. the one that pushes us out of the voting booths and into the wish that anarchy wasn’t such a bad idea.

RIPPLES! PEOPLE! RIPPLES!

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For those that don’t get it… WAKE THE F UP!  Everything you do causes ripples in the lives of those around you and in the world in general.  Intended – gee, I saved a kid by adopting/fostering/removing from abusive home….. WTF EVER.  Unintended – gee, why is that kid/adult such a weirdo, they were given everything when they were born/adopted/fostered/removed from an abusive home……. gee, why is that lady so sad?  She didn’t have to raise/adopt/remove the child?

What is wrong with a world that fails to see the RIPPLES?  We are not on little islands in space where we don’t harm anything but ourselves by our actions.  Do you live in a world where you NEVER interact with other beings?

Sigh….. RIPPLES!

Can’t you even try to make those ripples healthy?  Your need to have instant gratification, to complete your own happiness above the happiness of the world; your greed and selfish need for things, even when those things are not for sale; WTF is wrong with you?

Insanity

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The swirling, black morass, sucking at her feet, threatening to drown her, beating down the raging, red waves, darkened into sickly green and yellow troughs of hatred, anger and fear.

The pristine hand reaches out, calm, loving, the morass receding, drawing away from the pair, each light clearing to white, blue, gentle thought.

She sighs, releasing her friend.  The door slams shut, screaming, insults, darkness, the pristine hand begins to waiver.

You are Your OWN PERSON!

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Ladies, particularly those of you that are young and/or older and re-entering the single world, this one is for you:

1.  No man truly respects a woman that does not have her own mind, interests and life.

2.  No man wants a woman to be up his behind whenever he is doing anything.

3.  Every man that complains about his wife/girlfriend’s friends is really saying:  She is mine and I know that she is able to live without me, so she must WANT me there, not NEED me there.

4.  Any man that doesn’t allow you to have your own mind, friends, likes and dislikes, doesn’t really want you but a servant and bed companion.

A woman that can’t understand that has issues understanding this simple idea – you need to be able to take care of yourself, live a life that you can share with him without being so far into him that you are never without him outside of work, and have friends that are not necessarily going to like him.  If you can’t do that, then you have a problem.

So, Ladies, remember this:

1.  If you want to go out with the girls for drinks, be respectful – 1 a.m. is not the appropriate time to come home, he will worry.

2.  If you don’t like his politics, don’t talk about them with him.  He will get over it.

3.  If you don’t like his friends, remember that he probably doesn’t really like yours – respect that.

4.  You don’t need his opinion to buy a dress…. go with your girlfriends.

5.  You don’t need him to go have coffee with your mom, friend or just by yourself – stop waiting for him to like what you like.

6.  You do need your own income.  Don’t ever let go of your ability to earn.  He won’t respect it and you won’t respect yourself.

7.  Relationships are work…. for both of you.  If only one person is working, the relationship is not working.

8.  You aren’t going to lose him if he hangs with the boys a couple of times a week and you don’t have to like what he likes to talk to him.

9.  You are not a servant, he has a responsibility to be a man and be part of the household care team – kids or no kids.

10.  Most of all, remember that you are not part of his body – you don’t have to be so close you can’t breath with out using his lungs.

True love is mutual  – mutual respect, understanding, sharing and caring and the ability to love and enjoy each other without devouring each other.

Supporting the Arts

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This is for Bill W.:

Artists come in all sizes, colors, backgrounds, nationalities, and just about any flavor of human being that you can imagine.  Being an “artist” does not make you a painter or sculptor only, but a human being that brings beauty and thought into life.

Actors are artists.  They often bring to life the dreams of writers and the feelings of themselves and others on screen, on stage and in life.

Chefs/Cooks are artists.  They share their love of flavor, texture and visual aesthetics in a way that can be held only for a moment and then evolved into something else.

The crocheters, knitters and sewers are artists.  They take their ability to blend texture, color and pattern into beautiful objects that can be used, shared and loved.

Even the graffiti makers whom leave such amazing statements on society and life in the most impossible places are artists.  Their expression of the world around them is full of color and impossible shapes and ideas that touch the mind.

The mathematician is an artist.  They take simple basic plans and make them into unbelievable, impossible and often absolutely unproveable shapes  and pockets in the universe.

The Human Mind is capable of immense beauty.  The human that chooses to share that beauty in their own way is an artist.  To fail to support that choice and assist the artist in growing, sharing and becoming is to fail to support life.

Bill, I will always support your “crazy obsessions” because you have more to give than most people are willing to see.  Never stop being you and remember to support those other artists out there in all their forms…. for they can make your art even more and you can the same for theirs!

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