Watching Friends Move

A buddy of mine is moving from Out East to Chicago. He’s younger than me, but entering a similar field to mine, so I have decided to take him under my wing. I have all the faith in the world that he could cope with both, but why try and tackle that completely alone?

As I’m coming up with a list of things that he should bring (and leave behind) I keep thinking about my move to Beloit and my move to Chicago. I had a blast–and learned a lot–and i keep thinking that the one person that kept me afloat during the rough patches was my brother. Tony was my first and best roommate, but even before that, he would occasionally visit me at Beloit (or pick me up when I needed to go home). My list for this guy will not include Tony, but, a brother like mine would sure as hell make his trip easier.

I’m still thinking–what are the things that you (dear reader) needed to bring with you when you made your big, life changing moves?

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Trust Your Government

From: Why We Do What We Do: Additional Screening for People with Hip Replacements

The TSA has a blog. Kudos to them for putting one out there. So far, I’ve enjoyed reading it and learning the hows and whys of their job. However, I would suggest staying away from the “Trust us, we’re the government” stance:

This is a true story: a passenger told a security officer that he knew he was going to set the metal detector off because he had a pin in his hip. He hoped the officer would give him a pass on additional screening. Instead, the security officer followed TSA guidelines patted down the passenger. Guess what? He found a gun strapped to the passenger’s leg. So, if the security officer had just taken his word for it, a gun would have gotten on the plane—and maybe even been in the seat next to you. Things like this happen all the time, more than you would think.

Bloggers want facts, not statements that suggest we should trust a government agency. Do not assume you have any credibility. Your big boss has no credibility and he keeps telling the nation to trust him.

Earn our trust. Be more specific.

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Resignations and Resolutions

I have resigned myself to the idea that I will be hit by a taxi before I turn 35. Dear reader, you may wonder why I am being morbid, but I believe it is a simple fact of city living: Taxi Cab Drivers, in a rush to make money, drive like assholes.

I know it is a blanket statement, and there probably are a few drivers who are always safe drivers, but let’s take today as a prime example of what I deal with. After I dropped Shannon off, I went west down Adams to Ogden. A cabbie driving a blue and white taxi decided he just needed to into my lane. Without checking his blind spots, he came into my lane. My horn stopped him from coming in all the way. He swerved out, then back IN the lane, forcing me to come to a quick stop. If I wasn’t paying attention, I’d be writing this post from the body shop.

This year I resolve to pay more attention when I drive, so assholes don’t kill me.

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Switching Gears

First, let me summarize the break out sessions today:

Session One: Two new treatment methodologies for working with JSOs. Both look fantastic. It’s a pity they were only an hour an a half long–and its a pity I can’t go learn how to do it all just yet.

Session Two: How to motivate kids. What did I learn? I have more experience in my pinky that a lot of people in the audience (and one of the presenters). I didn’t learn one new thing. Not one. We spent one hour, fifteen minutes on the basics of group motivation then twenty minutes on asinine ways of getting laughed at by your clients. Everyone knows that kids from the inner city of chicago LOVE to draw trees and discus the roots of their problems through art. Thankfully, I have a relationship with my clients that i could get them to do something like that–but I couldn’t keep a straight face if I asked them to do it.

I think people who present should discuss the demographics of their clients–cause if I get one more presentation that focus on white kids in residential placement, I’m going to have to scream.

The awesomeness of the first session makes up for the lameness of the second for that very reason. The treatment was designed with kids in the inner city in mind. Final-fucking-ly. Oh, the presenter’s occasional F-Bomb also brightened my mood.

Oddly, both sessions made me realize i need to get my ass in gear and go back to school. If only someone else was working on a huge document, say a business plan, then maybe I could stay motivated.

Part 2

I could be out drinking in San Diego, but I am forcing myself to do work and study for next week’s test. Anything more I say about this will sound like whining, not venting. I think I will spare the internets my pathetic strife and return to studying.

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Careful what you wish for

I am reminded of this proverb while I am in beautiful (and no longer burning) San Diego. I think it’s beautiful, as everyone and their grandmother had told me how wonderful it is here. I can’t tell because its dark, a little bit smokey and the people outside my hotel room are loud and obnoxious.

Truth be told, I’m jealous. I would SO prefer the drunk and obnoxious halloween gathering to being in a part of the country I never wanted to see.

When I was younger, and jealous that I wouldn’t get to travel for work, I wanted to go everywhere–except Southern California. This probably has to do with making friends with people from Central and Northern California, but I truly do not care where it comes from. I never wanted to be here, that’s my bloody point.

Now that I get to “travel” for work, I realize that I get all of the shitty parts of the deal with none of the perks. As I understand it, the perks are:

1) The Company Dime. Look, Cook County’s credit rating is so bad that I have to pay for my travel, lodging and registration fees. The County is so delinquent in its bills, nobody is letting us do vouchers anymore; furthermore, I do not have a “Company expense account.” I have a back up credit card that I never use–except for emergencies–that the county will reimburse me in 4-6 weeks time if I file the appropriate paperwork. I’m not sure how many business travelers have to do that, but this system sucks.

2) As I was typing out a list of other perks: Nice Hotels, Business Class Flights, Catered Dinners/Lunches and I realized that those perks are for people who have more degrees, experience or pull than me. Some of it also has to do with the organizer of the conference…so as much as I would love to blame the County, I can’t.

I know why I’m so bleh about this conference: Back home, I have so much going that leaving for a few days feels like cheating. I’ve got Evals, Supervisor exams, case logs, treatment logs and short films to work on. Yes, even the short film is work related–but it has nothing to do with my typical clients or the other serious projects I work on. Work wise, i am swamped.

Socially speaking*, I have time for only a few things every week. I do what I can do to blend activities, but it is taking a lot more energy than I realized.

Also, my book skips 60 pages right in the beginning. I do have a back up book, in addition to a fuck-ton of memo’s I’m supposed to read, but that’s a real downer.

I was telling my brother that I have so much on my plate–good and bad–that it is making my head swim and my tongue thick. Since I can’t really think or speak, I resort to whining over a blog. How very post-modern (and pathetic) of me. Because I am away from my office, I can get some perspective on a lot of work issues, but that’s not helping with the other bajillion things I got going on–

like my fucking plumbing. Fuck.

All in all, this isn’t a vacation. I get to work and study on two topics: Sexually aggressive children AND Probation Poilicy. I get to do this away from my friends and family, which means I can concentrate, but I lack their support too. While I can work at my own pace, to a degree, I am going to have to work my ass off. Given that this is all under my own dime (until I get reimbursed) I am none too thrilled with this prospect.

Nor am I thrilled with the people screaming in the hall way. Christ. I can hear them over Ted Leo. Where’s my cranky neighbor when I need her?!

*She’s only getting a partial mention here, as I’m trying to be witty about my feelings.

Quick After Wedding Post

Jesse and Juliana’s wedding was quick and beautiful. My goddaughter is so cute and clever. I am old and tired.

There is a lot more, of course, but right now Mark and Jess are trying to put Sydney to bed so I am taking a brief moment (and a free hot spot) to blog.

More updates later, now I get beer.