Saturday, January 24, 2015

Random Thoughts

This is a picture of a nudibranch I took at Cabrillo Aquarium about 7 years ago.  I'm leading with this because the image I'm going to discuss next disgusts me, and I really don't want it as the image that's tacked on any feed of this post.  So before we start, take a deep breath and enjoy this nudibranch.

So today I'm doing some random thoughts about what's going on in my life and in the world at large.  There are times I wish I could bury my head in the sand and just deal with (or have thoughts for) what's going on in my own four walls, but ignorance of what's going on in the world leads to worse stuff going on in the world... there has to be a point where people in generally need to be educated enough to take a stand either on the streets or in the voting booths against the kinds of legislation that oppresses others, takes money from the poor to put in the vaults of the rich, and deprives the people of basic needs, including education.  So while ignorance is bliss, I find myself watching the news in the morning with a cup of hot tea and an Excedrin.

  • So this is the image that has me annoyed beyond measure today:

  • Basically the idea here is that it's WRONG of people to call for the punishment of the New England Patriots for cheating (again) because there are so many WORST things that have gone on in the NFL. To me that's the same as saying it's OK to kill someone because, "hey, Charles Manson."

    Here's the deal: EVERYONE in the central part of this image, those who killed, raped, and used illegal drugs should be in JAIL, not out on the field, and the Patriots? They should have the game forfeit and be under sanction for the next season. The fact that the NFL constantly ignores crime and drug use and in-game cheating goes to show that this isn't about the game. It isn't about the fans, and it's not about skill, talent or excellence. It's about PROFIT. It's about big money and laws and morality and fairness have nothing to do with the players whom our children look up to as heroes.

  • I'm really disappointed in how some of the Left Wing Media... like Alternet and The Greenville Gazazette... have distorted their reporting.  It has some of the most horrendous headlines that really don't have anything at all to do with the article, or is such a stretch that it's silly.  Of course, so many people on FB look at the headline and share without reading or watching the attached videos, and so think that's what's said.  Look: What goes on at Fox News is awful. It's distorted, it's lies, and sometimes it's just plain evil.  But when the Left Wing Media starts distorting or cherry picking Fox quotes they are only sinking to their level.  

  • So above is an example of the FB feed. The video actually discusses the pulling of an article about frat house parties that discuss how women guests "put the houses in danger" by arriving drunk. There is the (unspoken) implication that women cry rape after these parties. The only thing said outright is that the women may get drunk and "wander into a guy's room". Of course the whole double standard between women and men when it comes to alcohol is just plain wrong, but the video in NO WAY STATES that "Rape is ALWAYS the woman's fault".

    I won't dignify either Fox or Greenville Gazette with links. You can Google it.

  • Aside of getting worked up about Facebook this morning, I've been doing my budget.  The problem is aside of my regular bills, I have no clear idea of exactly what my school supply needs will be this month.  I can probably put off my clay supplies until next month, since that class doesn't start until March 24th, but I'd hoped to get a head start on some of the work.  Unfortunately, that's a significant chunk of change.
  • Won a game at game night last night. That means I came home with about 50¢ more than I went with. WHOO HOO!
  • May be going to see Into the Woods today with my daughters and one of their friends.  Since they're coordinating times with the friend, I'm not sure when/ if it's really going to happen.  I have a free pass (although Disney doesn't accept the passes, the theater lets me use it with a $1.50 fee to get in... considerably cheaper than the ticket price) so I don't have to pony up for the ticket price.  
  • Tomorrow I'll be back with my daughters doing repairs in their apartment.  They live in the most hideous slum at this point, and the landlords aren't doing the work they need to.  Of course the fact that the whole apartment is kept up like teenager's rooms doesn't help much.  At least I've got their toilet working again, and I'm going to go over with some electrical tape and mark off the failed outlets so they don't use them and burn the place down.  Have I mentioned WORST LANDLORDS EVER overt here?  Oh, and YES, we've looked into legal options, which take a long long long time.  Basically, they want to bill the girls for all the repairs, even though they are repairs I'd complained about (and were done shoddily) back when I lived there. 
So that's about it, except I really feel dirty after writing about the news and the NFL and the kids' apartment, so I think it's time for some fun video. Unfortunately I googled "invertebrate dance" and got a video titled "ulgy invertebrate slut "dancing" around like an uncoordinated jellyfish" which was actually a cute video of a girl in a classroom just cutting loose and having a really good time. Of course, it was posted as a hate video.  So even more than ever, I needed to see this video:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Kickin' the Can Down The Road

So, apparently there is a little wiggle room in the Social Security Disability budget which will allow the cuts to happen in 2017 instead of 2016.  In other words, after the next presidential election.   Of course all that means is that we really don't know WHEN it's going to happen, whether we have one year or two to prepare as best as we can.

This may give us a little more time to prepare, although with my daughter at something like number 345 on the Section 8 waiting list and having to reapply for public housing (which she allowed to expire because she didn't want to be placed somewhere she couldn't get to stores, schools and her doctors) we're still up in the air over whether or not "affordable" housing will be in place for the girls before the cuts come.

Right at the moment we're considering what we have, what we can get or do for free, and what we can downsize.  Tay has decided to sell her twin bed and start sleeping on the sofa bed a neighbor threw out.  Yes, I know that sounds kinda funky, but it's actually in really good shape, and while I suggested she work things the other way around, we also discussed that if she ended up in a studio somewhere she'd have the multi-use piece rather than a twin bed.   Cay is going through her clothing and (I hope) shoes, and in a couple months they'll bring their stuff here to the community garage sale.

As for what we can do for free:  we actually have stuff to look forward to.  The three of us will be going to the Oscar party at The Screen again.  I also have a free ticket to a movie (I plan on seeing Into the Woods when they start accepting passes for it) and last year I'd won two Art Feast admissions (which is a program on Canyon Road that involves amazing food and gallery tours) which I was saddened to hear was moved from February to June (but the weather will be nicer).  Of course next month is also the start of training on The Ranch, and the volunteer appreciation dinner.

What we have right now is roofs over all our heads, our electric bills paid, and the girls will have a phone sometime in the next week when Cay's financial aide from school comes through.  I have a couple tight months ahead paying for supplies for school, but I hope to recoup that in sales next winter... and then some.

One of the things about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and knowing it's an oncoming train is that you have this time between seeing that light and the actual impact.  So we're looking at alternatives, an escape route, but that doesn't... can't... encompass our whole lives.  I've cut back on classes, am dealing with health issues, working more toward production of marketable art/ craft items, and trying to be as ready as possible when the time comes.

Heck, I'm even putting in daily entries for the HGTV Dream Home.

But even as that light gets closer, life goes on, and I know that the important thing is to soften (and survive) the blow, but also to live a life where surviving is something worth doing.

so YES, I'm still planning on volunteering at the ranch.  and YES I'm still taking classes at the college, albeit at a slower pace, and working towards (a) income and (b) saving money on further education by taking a variety of prerequisites in community college.  and YES, I'm going to go to parties, see a movie, go to art fest, and hit the local museums on the resident free days.

I can't change what's coming.  There's only so much I can do to prepare.  And there's a whole lot of live between then and now. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Myths and Facts: Disability Benefits

As you can imagine, this is a topic that is of VITAL importance to me right now, both as a person with chronic illness collecting disability benefits, and as the mother of an adult child with autism who collects SSI.

This article is especially good because it has numerous citations to supported studies, is detailed, and directly addresses the issues which have been used as excuses to cut Social Security... or to eventually eliminate it.