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Friday, September 26th, 2008
8:36 am
anyone else think it's kind of unreal that we're watching major recession happen right in front of our eyes? i'm just thankful that congress has stopped doing whatever georgie w. says, and is actually (sort of) thinking about the american people.

unrelatedly, i've decided what i'm going to do for graduate school. i recently came across a dual degree program in which i would get a masters in theology and a masters in social work in three years. i've been drawn to theology for a long time, and feel strongly that spirituality is an important part of individual narratives. i went to an orientation last week, and i'm sold on the program. hopefully i'll get to start next fall.

what's going on in ya'll's lives?

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Wednesday, August 27th, 2008
7:56 am - poverty increases only in Michigan

of course, this is with the ridiculously low poverty threshold. really, what kind of family of four can live on $20,000 dollars a year?

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Thursday, June 26th, 2008
9:25 am
my surgery went well, though the pain i am in is unbelievable. thanks for all the good, healing thoughts being sent my way.

current mood: exhausted

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Tuesday, June 24th, 2008
11:37 pm - wilderness misadventures
i am typing this with one hand...

i went to the north shore (of lake superior) last weekend for a much needed vacation. the weather was perfect, the company wonderful, and the cabin was nestled in the woods with tons of room for my puppy to run free - though she did get poison ivy. the cabin had lake views, was perfectly located between lutsen and grand marais, and had a deck and fully equipped kitchen with everything we needed - and for so cheap!

on saturday we decided to go for a little mountain hike in cascade river state park, where the waterfalls were out-of-control beautiful due to all the rain we've had. with my knee reconstruction being less than four months ago, we picked a short (3 mile round trip), moderately challenging hike to lookout mountain. it ended up being a bit steeper than we thought, but my knee didn't bother me much and we made it all the to the top. the views were amazing - i will post pictures as soon as i can find the camera cord...

anyway, this is where the story starts getting good. i was being extra careful coming down the mountain because the soil was a bit loose from the rain and it is tougher on my knee to go down slope. we weren't far from the top when we came to a pretty steep section, and all of a sudden my feet went out from under me and i landed with all of my body weight on my left palm, sending a shock through my left arm. i heard something snap, and when i looked down, my forearm was bent in a way it should never have bent. i knew immediately knew that i broke my arm and my first instinct was to try to reset it, which i then tried to do, though unsuccessfully. i panicked because we were so far up the mountain, hadn't seen a soul on the way up, didn't have cell phone reception, and was of course in extreme pain.

luckily, some other hikers came by within a minute or so and were able to call 911, who referred us to search and rescue. by some miracle, i had my perscription pain killers from my knee surgery in the bag we took hiking, so i immediately took two percoset and two muscle relaxers, and angela made me a sling out of her sweatshirt. because we were so far up the mountain, it took search and rescue about 50 minutes to find us, though during that time two sets of hikers stopped and stayed with us to talk and support, i moved into a shadier spot, and the meds kicked in so the pain had decreased somewhat.

when search and rescue arrived they made me a kick ass backwoods splint out of four sticks and some medical tape. the were able to help me walk to a clearing where an ems truck picked me up to take me to the waiting ambulance and then to the hospital. at the hospital, the doctors were impressed at everything we had done and said that the meds i had taken probably saved me from going into shock and could have even saved my life.

they did some xrays and we found out that i had broken both bones in my forearm - my ulna snapped in half and dislocated from itself, resulting in the unnatural bend and much of the intense pain. my radius is broken into about four or five sections. they heavily sedated me and set the bones then set me back to the cabin with strict instructions to see an orthopaedic surgeon asap.

so tomorrow i go into surgery where they will put permanent plates and screws into my arm to repair the breaks. i have some pretty awesome pictures of my crazy stick splint that i will post soon, along with pictures from the trip, which was actually not dampened much by all this craziness.

otherwise, i haven't talked to many of you for some time because of moving and other craziness, but things are settling down and i will be calling soon!

current mood: loved

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Friday, January 18th, 2008
8:06 am - yikes.

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Monday, December 10th, 2007
8:55 am
i'm going to be an uncle!

current mood: excited

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Friday, November 30th, 2007
10:14 am - lots of stuff
1. i am not unemployed; the bridge was able to find a way to keep me on, although at the time i have no official job description. i'm still poor as dirt, but at least i'm not totally broke.

2. starting january first, i'll have a new job title and description. i will be the homeless youth case manager, and i'll basically be working with homeless youth who are on the waiting list (which is often months long) for our transitional living program, where i cam currently spending my time. that's just the basics of the job, and i get to be really influential in what the official job description actually looks like.

3. sometime near the end of december/beginning of january, our transitional living program is moving from a shitty old house that houses 8 youth to a brand new, state of the art building across the street. within a year, this building will house 18 youth. everything is absolutely gorgeous, and the space will allow us to do some really cutting edge programming that no transitional living program in the country is able to do.

4. in this new building, i get my own office. it is an absolutely huge space, built to house the offices of two staff - but it's all mine. i've been able to pick out comfortable furniture and other things i want so that i can use the extra space for a small, few-hours-a-week, drop-in center for homeless youth and the youth on my case load. i'm already decorating it in my head.

5. last night i rented 28 weeks later for the kids at work and watched it with them. now, i'm a big fan of 28 days later, and the sequel was very well put together. however, it was absolutely ten times more gruesome and scary than the first one, and there were points where all six of us watching hand our hands over our faces. i had nightmares about it last night.

6. woke up at 3:30 am the other night with a bat flying around my bedroom. scared the b'jesus out of me.

7. the snow is coming!

current mood: awake

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Wednesday, November 21st, 2007
9:00 am
this morning i went to work by accident. this involved getting up at 6:45 am, eating organic honey bunches of oats, doing my hair, and arriving at work to find someone already there to cover my usual wednesday morning shift. i had taken the day off long ago when i anticipated leaving town for thanksgiving earlier than now planned (this evening). i now have the whole day to do some thanksgiving-related shopping that was going to have to wait until after 4 pm, go to the gym, and take a nap, since i got up at 6:45 for no reason.

also, please stand by for a cryptic message:
through a forever undisclosed but extensive grapevine, i now know things that have made it so i don't have to feel bad about anything anymore. well, not anything. but everything related to this one thing.

good news! i get to keep my job at the bridge, but my job description is changing, and i get to be a part of creating my new job, which officially starts jan. 1st. until then, i'm just covering the house and helping other staff get through this crazy transition we're going through with our transitional living program. i am still poor. as. dirt. but i'm feeling less anxious about stuff.

hope everyone has a great holiday!

current mood: sleepy

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Friday, November 2nd, 2007
11:28 pm
i just came home from a party/gathering where i hung out with people at least ten years older than me (but probably older), and ate free pizza and drank free homemade beer. free! homemade beer! it was awesome!

i had so many different kinds of beer, including a scotish beer that is best drank with single malt scotch. so i drank single malt scotch for the first time in my life, and it was awesome.

i was also totally schooled in the art of homemade beer making.

i love my life.

current mood: drunk

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Thursday, November 1st, 2007
7:53 am
well, i got news about three weeks ago that the federal DHHS funding that pays my salary was cut by our favorite person: good ole' georgie bush. i was told then that they (my supervisors, the executive director of the bridge, etc.) were working to find more funding to keep us (myself and the other outreach worker), and i was able to see evidence that they were doing so to an almost extreme degree. however, i've been working in non-profits for a long time and i'm not stupid, so i know that you can't just apply for tens of thousands of dollars worth of funding and get it a couple weeks later. i was told that i was guaranteed pay until 10/31, and that i would receive final word then.

i was expecting the worst, and yesterday i found out that i'm being laid off in two weeks. i wasn't all that suprised, and i'm not freaking out or anything, but i'm still really sad. i love working at the bridge immensely, and it's really where i've figured out what kind of youth worker i am and want to be. i'll probably still do on-call work there for awhile until i find another job, which shouldn't be difficult. i have a couple of easy interviews lined up for next week, and people in the youth work community know me well, so i'm just not going to waste time and energy being worried.

i'm going to be fine for awhile, though. two more weeks of work, plus two weeks severance, plus my vacation pay-out will take me a couple weeks into december. if i have to be unemployed for a little while i'm planning on spending lots of time at the gym and working on learning spanish, both of which i am greatly looking forward to.

by the way, on a more general note, recent federal human services funding cuts have been kept very quiet, but they have been severe. welfare, WIC, and many other services have been dropped to an alarming level (not that they weren't already horribly lacking), so we're looking at a likely rise in homelessness in the next couple of years. however, one week's worth of war money would fund all these programs and more. and that, ladies and gents, is just f-ing peachy.

current mood: cold

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Monday, October 22nd, 2007
9:33 am - i (almost) achieved the dream
on saturday a few people i know graduated from their masters program, and they threw a party for family and friends at this really great little bar in uptown. the party started at 4pm, but happy hour started at 3pm, so a few of us went early to get started on two-for-one mixed drinks. in all, i had two long islands, a lemon drop, three rum and cokes, and a beer, plus lots of good food. the people were great, the service amazing, and my girl's dad bought everything, including my drinks. we played pool and darts and just hung out, and most of us were home and in bed by midnight.

highlights of the night included:
- being drunk by 5pm
- not getting sick
- being nuzzled by a very tall and attractive gay man
- going to rudolphs and being the only guy at a table with four really good looking women, and other guys staring as they walked by
- and this:

Read more...Collapse )

everything else has been good, though insanely busy. i just need a day where i can relax, but that's not going to happen until next week.

current mood: cheerful

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Wednesday, August 8th, 2007
12:39 pm - this is ridiculous

this woman died in the recent minneapolis bridge collapse.

current mood: disappointed

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Tuesday, August 7th, 2007
5:43 pm - books
temple israel next to my work has a huge, annual garage sale, so i went today. i don't really need anything and just about everything was outdated, but the book section was huge and a goldmine. for five dollars, this is what i got:

leaves of grass - walt whitman
brown bear honey madnesses: alaskan cruising poems - ricardo sanchez
existentialism and human emotions - sartre
the origins of intelligence in children - jean piaget
buffalo - sydney blair
roots - alex haley
luther - john osborne
don't erase me - carolyn ferrell
train - pete dexter
bee season - myla goldberg
cry, the beloved country - alan paton
living by the word - alice walker
her blue body everything we know - alice walker
fugitive pieces - anne michaels
the secular city - harvey cox
cultural etiquette - amoja three rivers
the devil's share - denis de rougemont
the feminine in fairytales - m.l. von franz
no more masks! - florence howe
and the band played on - randy shilts
sex in history - reay tannahill
the sea around us - rachel carson
understanding judaism - eugene b borowitz
the bushwhacked piano - thomas mcguane
why lenin? why stalin? - theodore h. von laue

and my favorite:
the earth speaks - steve van matre and bill weiler, which is beautifully illustrated by gwen frostic.

f-ing gold mine, i'm telling you.

current mood: excited

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Thursday, June 14th, 2007
12:24 am - bragging
i got offered the bridge street outreach job without a cover letter, resume, or formal interview. i was offered the job entirely on the recommendations and requests of the youth i work with and some other bridge staff. if i take it, my hours will be tons more flexible and i'll make 2000 dollars more each year.

but it's still a big 'if' in my mind. i'm nervous - though i do intensive crisis work now, i have a feeling this job will be quite a bit more difficult. it will require that i not be such a fucking hermit/introvert, as i would be pounding the pavement and assessing the needs of the community 30 hours a week. i want to take it because i believe it will challenge me and help me grow as an individual and as a youth worker, but i know i will miss my team and the community that develops so easily in my current program. since i'm moving within the agency, though, i will be able to visit my shelter people basically whenever i want.

i'm just blown away that this is happening to me. i applied for another bridge position just a few weeks ago and didn't get it (one of my best friends got it, so i was thrilled), so i had settled quite comfortably and happily into my current position until november, when i expected to move to the homeless youth program, doing more long-term work. i found out i was being talked about for the outreach position on monday, then was offered the position today (wednesday).

i just don't know. i'll desperately miss the shelter kids, but i feel like it would be stupid to not give this a try. and i have all these ideas to better blend street outreach with shelter work, which i've been told i can execute, so i wouldn't be totally removed from the shelter.

someone just tell me what the answer is!

(i'm drunk).

brother ali is coming to the bridge tomorrow. !!!!!. i think i'm in love with this man. i had the kids listen to him today partially because he's coming tomorrow and he's good for our kids, but mostly because i just can't stop listening to him.

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Wednesday, June 13th, 2007
10:40 am
first of all, all of you should download brother ali's new album, the undisputed truth. it is the most f-ing amazing, empowering, brilliant hip-hop i've ever, ever heard. at not even 11 am, i'm going on my third listen to this album just this morning. he's from minneapolis, too. just listen to him. there's a few tracks you can hear on his myspace page:


in other news, there's this street outreach position that has been open at the bridge for some time, but i only really found out about it near the end of the hiring process, because it's through a different program than the one i currently work in. i expressed some interest in passing during a casual conversation with a friend who works in that other program, but they had already offered the job to someone else and i'm really happy where i'm at, so i didn't really think anything of it.

until two days ago, when the girl they were trying to hire quit calling them back. the supervisor of the outreach program approached me and said that he'd heard i was interested, and asked me to write him a cover letter and resume if i still was. so that's what i'm working on right now. i'm not 100% sure i want the job at this point, but i think that's just because it's all really sudden. this supervisor is really, really interested in me, and i have the backing of not only his entire program, but the kids i'd be working with as well. i'm probably having an informal interview today. i guess we'll just see.

listen to brother ali.

current mood: optimistic

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Sunday, June 3rd, 2007
11:03 am
i brought missoula home on thursday, and we've been having great fun since then. here are some (huge) pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Read more...Collapse )

current mood: happy

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Thursday, May 31st, 2007
8:51 am
i had to work a double yesterday/last night because i'm on call this week. so i worked an 8 hour shift then went straight into a 10 hour, overnight shift. awesome. i worked for going on 19 hours and have been awake now for nearly 25.

right now i feel pretty awake but also like i'm going to throw up. i think that's my signal to go to bed.

current mood: drained

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Sunday, May 27th, 2007
1:58 pm - puppy!
i adopted a dog today. i don't have her yet because i'm waiting to move in a couple of weeks, but i spent about an hour and a half with her today and i think i'm in love. she's my first dog ever.

her exact breed is unknown, but it's very likely she's part rat terrier (because of her markings) and park jack russell terrier. she's pretty small - 15 lbs - and has a fantastic personality. She's really chill and loves people. she's two years old and came from a high-kill shelter in kentucky.

the minnesota humane society people named her penny, but i'm calling her missoula.

here's a couple of pictures of her:

current mood: cheerful

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Friday, March 2nd, 2007
12:15 am
we're having a blizzard!

i can't really remember, but i feel convinced that this is the first, honest to goodness blizzard of my life. i'm sure that can't be true, but i did live in the south for my early childhood, and the last few winters in michigan were pretty lame. i guess i can't remember the rest of them in between.

anyway, i worked second shift tonight, which meant that i was walking out at about 11 pm. after spending literally 10 minutes cleaning about 8 inches off my car, i climbed in only to hear the radio tell me that visibility is so bad that mn-dot is pulling the plows and salt trucks off the roads. fabulous.

thankfully, i have four-wheel drive and functioning windshield wipers, so i made it home okay (obviously). however, the last 200 feet or so the visibility was so bad that i driving blind. when i pulled up to my house i had to get out of the car and walk a few steps to make sure it was actually my house, as i really didn't have any idea if i had even pulled down the right street.

super fun, though, and beautiful. the tree in my front yard is so heavy that the lowest branches are touching the ground. and we could get up to a foot more by morning. !.

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Wednesday, February 21st, 2007
10:55 am - anna nicole smith, brittney spears, and other really important news
here's an AlterNet/Rolling Stone article about some other really important things that have been going on in our country lately.


read it.

current mood: pissed off

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