My family, musings and life in the turtle pond

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Whoohoo! I found a broom closet! (origionally March 9th,2011)

Whoohoo! I just found a broom closet! Yay! I wasn’t actually looking for  a broom closet. I was on my way back from the bathroom and couldn’t find my room.Can I admit that I can get lost in the hallway a lot? I do. last week I found the shower the same way I found the broom closet.i got lost in space and took a wrong turn. Some day, I may figure out how to navigate, but I doubt it. We’ve been here three months and I get lost every time I go out the front door.

I really do get lost in space.Everything blurs together and tilts up. I may wander around outside my own front door for hours if Ry or one of the kids doesn’t catch me. To be fair, our room, 403B, is labeled as the kitchen and the shower is labeled “Don’t eat the paste.” So you you can’t blame me for getting confuzzalated.

And yes, Ry teased me about “coming out of the closet. “

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I don’t fit in pretty boxes!

I hate paperwork. And yes, I do mean hate, even though that’s a very strong word. I don’t like it because of the boxes that I have to fit into. I never know which ones to fill in in most cases. Sometimes I have to pick the closest answer. Why do we have to categorize ourselves into boxes for other people? Do others really need to know every detail of what they think we are?

For a start, race/ethnic background. Race in and of itself is a made up term, since we are all human. Then there is the ethnic background. I come from one that doesn’t exist. After all, there is no group of Native Americans. There are 450+ different nations who co-exist within the United States.

So now we move on to sex/gender. there are always two choices, Male and Female. But that doesn’t cover a fairly large number of people who are genetically both. Nor does it take into consideration people who “gender flip” depending on the situation. And of course, this leads to “married, single, divorced” . Sometimes none of the above apply. And other options don’t always fit in either.

From there we move to Housing. Rent or own?  Or the other options, like Living in nursing home,halfway house or community center, or homeless, living in a hotel,car, shelter or friend’s couches.

And the lists go on and on! And the boxes get more and more ambiguous. trying harder and harder to pinpoint exactly what the person answering is.

That is the true problem. Most people aren’t just one thing. They don’t fit neatly into little boxes. More and more of us have problems with identifying all the mixes we have. Mixed-race really doesn’t cover it. And they NEVER provide all the possible combinations of mix we are. Bi-racial doesn’t work for people with three or more “races”. Sometimes it’s just easier to pick the race you look the most like and claim that. Other times there are a few groups that come close.

This is why I develop a sense of humor about it. If its a fill in the blank option I will sometimes develop a sarcasting sense of humor and actually put human on the form. Or I’ll put the term I think apply to me most. Border lander.   A border lander is a person on the outskirts. They are part of more than one group,standing on the border,where they have a foot on either side, so to speak. Border landers don’t fit in any group really. None of their sides may truly accept them. And they need to survive caught between catagories, and literally outside the boxes.

Menu discussion at the cafe

The other day I was eating lunch at a cafe I go to a lot. There were two people at the table next to me discussing the menu. But they weren’t talking about the food. The guy was saying “why do they have to put it in your faces.” The Lady responded  with, “It’s not appropriate to shove you’re lifestyle at people.”n

Right away, my ears perked up. I hear comments like this  more times than I’d ever care to. So I did what I usually do. Asked them exactly what they meant, but having a rebuttal to whatever Anti-LGBT comment I expected. Except that’s not what I got.

“The menu. Look at it.It’s disgusting.”

So I looked. Now I’ve been to this cafe many times,but never really paid attention to it. It has a shirtless man with pants that are cut way to low and showing way too much standing next to a rainbow flag. And His pants line and belly button were eye level with either toddlers or kids in strollers.

She was right. It wasn’t appropriate. At least I don’t think it was. while adults wait for their coffee or stand in line, the kids can stare at this picture. I’m not sure that I would want to explain it to my three year old, and we live in an LGBTQ family.I can only imagine what its like for parents that aren’t.

So the three of us started talking. we decided that it really isn’t appropriate to have any guy on a menu posted that low, in bright colors where kids see it all the time. We also got into a discussion about how the LGBTQ community seems to be at odds with itself. On one hand, the ones of us who are trying to raise families and have the same rights as others are trying to prove we’re just like everyone else. Then there are the guys that seem to go out of their way to prove the stereotypes.

In the end, we decided that it was good that we had a dialogue instead of a shouting match, the way it so easily could have turned out. We all talked to the manager about it too. I told him that I had no problem with Pride, I just didn’t want to be represented by an R rated menu. He listened. Last week, there was a new menu with just the flag. and that menu had been moved to a place over the deli, where Its not in children’s faces. I also have some new people I talk to at the coffee shop.=)

So here’s the dialogue questions: Was the menu appropriate? Would you have said anything? would you have even talked to other people in the shop, who were complaining about the menu?did the manager do the right thing?

Please tell me today is over!!!!!

SF Bernal Heights

Image via Wikipedia

Today is not my day. not even  close. So I am going to give up and go to bed. It has been nothing but disaster after disaster and its gotten to the point that I am starting to have seizures and vertigo.

It started when I was supposed to go on a field trip. Well, here’s the thing. I am not supposed to go on field trips where I am not with an instructor. The instructor, however doesn’t seem to be aware of this. Its a hazard with my disability to be out without a staff member from my building. I am considered a fall risk.There is a reason that I live in special disabled housing!

so anyway, they didn’t want me going out, because I wasn’t going to school. And they delayed me until I was going to be late. A few minutes only though, so I wasn’t really stressing .I showed them the assignment on line and they gave me the community cell phone. (I’ll get back to the cell phone issue later)

But then I had a seizure on the bus. And after that, I got lost. I did eventually find the library, 10 minutes after everyone left!!! Not that I can blame them. It was great that they waited an hour. (An hour where I was wandering around 3 blocks away. ) Also, If I had ever heard the phone ringing I would have known my group was also trying to find me. Another problem with that…The person who left the message didn’t leave a call back number, so I had to call back all 28 numbers on the missed call list to find her. And of course after waiting for an hour they were fed up with me. I told them I’d make it up and explain to the instructor.

I’m just so frustrated!!!!!!! I try not to complain most of the time. and I try not to question “why me?” because all that ever does is take a lot of energy that I can’t afford to waste anymore. But I sometimes wonder about the assumtions people make and if not being able to meet with my group will hurt me. First is the assumption that all students can go on field trips. And the assumption that we all have cell phones. Or that we all have computer access when they make classes Tech enhanced. I mean, there were no accomodations made  for this trip. No one checked that I was allowed to go, arranged transportation, got me a helper to come with me,made sure I had a phone and the numbers of my group.So will they hold it against me that I was physically unable to do what they asked? Oh well. Now I know how to find Bernal Heights.

I am upset because I missed out on a fun project because my stupid health is failing, and I can’t do the things I want. I am worried that my grade will be affected by something I had no control over. Sometimes I just want my terminal illness to go away!! I just want to do the same things that everyone I know are able to do. I want to be a real city college student, not a make-a -wish. I want to live in real housing and be a good mom to my kids. I wish they were in a real building, not a community living center thats a step above a shelter, barely.

And because of the seizures I am getting a horrible headache. Actually, I had to stop this entry and start again after a break.I was actually crying, that’s how frustrated I got. I rarely get that upset. And it is already taking a physical toll on me. I have a few minutes to get myself together enough so that my kids don’t see me hurting again. They’ve seen enough trauma.

Fun with Aphasia

Because of my head injury I sometimes have an awful time with words. Sometimes I am reading English, but it might as well be classical Greek. Sometimes its the wrong word or a word that isn’t even close. My poor kids have learned that when I ask for something, for example a spoon, it is usually a good idea to grab several other things as well, in case I was using the wrong word and it wasn’t really a spoon that I wanted. Sometimes, I can’t even find any word, and come to a dead stop mid sentence. other times I will stutter, stumble, do a Porky Pig impersonation or start a sentence right in the middle, because that is the part I remember. I have written some really interesting “free Election” reflection papers, and once wrote an Aardvark plan instead of an action plan. It changed my Curriculum assingment to something so strange that I can’t even remember what it was. I only remember that my instructor pointed out that computers have spell checks. Actually, that doesn’t always help. If  I spell the wrong word correctly, it won’t help me.

Here are some of my stranger Aphasic moments.

“That’s a cute Zebra, Davi.” “Mama, it a tiger. and I’m Isaac.”

Discussing our families on the first day of class at city college. (I think I really confuzzled that particular  teacher for the entire semester.) “I have 6 spoons” I meant kids.    Teacher, “huh” Me, “ummm you know, the like,the,uh things people have in their families.” Teacher “You mean children? ” Me: “Yeah”

On a call to my partner. “All 6 cars slept with me because of the storms.”  Ry. “wasn’t it crowded, with 6 cars? where did the kids sleep?” =P

For some reason I seem to like the words spoon and Aardvark, but have a dreadful time with children, child, or kids. Interesting, since I work in with infants and toddlers!

Typical “discussion” at the Turtle Pond

Usually all at once and talking across each other.

“Mama, He’s  throwing beans. Make him quit throwing beans!”  Yahira

“What did everyone do at school today?”

“Nuttin.Nuttin” Whatev, stuff, recess!!”  (Yahira,Isaac, Iseah,Nadav, Yoav) (personally, I love recess too!=) )

“Blah, blah Gyack, Blep”  Spikey (she’s only 18 months old)

“Mama, you see Herman enwhere?” Herman is the pet frog. Shoulda been named Houdini.

*spitting coffee at loss of Herman. his last known whereabouts was the cabinet*

 

 

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