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**Share the joy of WYFP; please recommend!

If you're like me and often don't actually read diaries but roughly skim or skip right by to read the comments, please do mosey on down and tell us what's weighing on you this week. WYFP is about the comments, not the diary text. :-)

I was reading a Buddhist mag called Shambhala Sun at the bookstore this afternoon, and this passage got me thinking:

I was living in New York City at the time, and walking down the street one day, I heard a woman's voice saying, "I was very sick all winter." Naturally intrigued, I turned around and saw a woman handing a street person some money. She went on talking to him: "I had pneumonia, and every time I started to get better I'd have a relapse. Now I am finally really getting better, and I just wanted to share the joy."

I was taken aback. Realizing that I had walked right by that man without a thought of sharing the joy of my own renewed health, I wondered whether I should I go up to him, hand him more money, and say, "You won't believe this, but I was really sick all winter too, and I'd like to share some joy as well."

I ended up not doing that, but I felt I'd learned something from that woman. The decision whether or not to give a street person money is complex, and there is no single answer to suit every situation. What made this such a forceful lesson for me was that I had walked right by that man without any thought that his life had something to do with mine. Without that view, there was no impetus to relate to him in any way--through noticing his sorrow, or thinking of sharing my own joy.


(The full article is online here)

There are a lot of schools of thought on giving money to homeless people or panhandlers, and none of them are the point of this story. This is a story about giving as an expression of gratitude, about keeping love flowing in the world. I'm interested that the author didn't do likewise, which makes some sense since when you see someone doing something good it could be egotistical to jump up and say, "me too, I'm just as virtuous!" Maybe the point was that she had been humbled by the realization that she was not.

When I was a college freshman in San Antonio, TX I met a homeless lady who needed just a little cash for the bus, and then she proceeded to talk my ear off, and although I had no special care for homeless people I couldn't help liking this woman. She was cheery and so grateful that I would listen to her. She was even sincerely grateful when I assured her that I didn't believe she was an alien, which apparently was what she tended to tell people when she was having a schizophrenic episode. She told me freely how much she feared those times, and that just a couple weeks ago she'd been taken away by ambulance from the grocery store across the street, given a shot to calm her, and committed to a psychiatric hospital for a few days. This happened at intervals and it was a horrible experience every time; she just wanted to live a normal life.

She was on her way to Goodwill to get mittens. It was winter and she'd been sleeping outdoors. Her hands were swollen, red, and peeling from frostbite--very painful to look at. She didn't have any lotion or anything for them. I didn't have a lot of money myself and had to be careful, but I had a $5 bill and I thought what if I took her in the grocery store and bought her some cream for her poor hands, and something to eat. But I didn't. She didn't have money for mittens either, and I didn't give her any for that either because all I had was my $5 bill which my mom had given me. I hoped that at Goodwill they would see her hands and give her mittens.

The bus came and we got on. There were two homeless guys, friends of the schizophrenic lady, sitting in front of me dreaming happily about what they'd do if somebody gave them a hundred dollar bill. An anonymous freelance philanthropist had been making local news recently for giving $100 bills to homeless people. It was not a lot of money really, not enough to get out of homelessness, but in another sense it certainly was a lot of money. One of them planned how he would make the money last, the other dreamed how he'd buy new sneakers and treat all his friends to hamburgers. He'd be a rich man for a day.

This was a span of about 20 minutes 10 years ago, and I doubt I will ever forget not having gotten the extremely nice lady some lotion for her hands. She was the one who gave me the gift of sharing her story and her world with me, and being so grateful just that I was interested and telling me so sincerely what a nice lady I was. I swear, she said that (she was crazy after all). And yet, like the schizophrenic people I've known since, clearly not crazy at all. But I so wish she'd actually asked me for lotion. All I gave her was 80 cents to take the bus tho Goodwill and back.

It can be very hard to give, but also very hard to beg. I'm facing some issues that require me to do that right now. It's humbling.

Okay, so what's on your mind?

**Please hit recommend so others will have a chance to participate!

Originally posted to Elizabeth D on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:12 PM PDT.

Poll

Are you or have you ever been poor?

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| 750 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't mean to be depressing (4.00)
    if you have a happy story, you could post that too.  :-)
  •  Been student and working poor (4.00)
    Living on $30,000 with crushing loans was hard to get used to, but as soon as I did, I got a higher paying job, and then another.

    Check out my diary:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/10/22/194150/60

    Yes, I am a whore.

    To find his equal, and Irishman is forced to talk to God.

    by Delaware Dem on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:13:55 PM PDT

    •  student loans SUCK (4.00)
      I have about $100,000 in loans to pay back.

      Luckily, I got an ok job, and estimate 2 years or so to wipe out the debt, but still.  Just the idea of so much hanging over your head.

      /sigh

      •  Two years? (4.00)
        I should've gone to law school.

        I took out half that and it'll take another 10 to get rid of it.

        •  eh. it's not the law school (4.00)
          most of my classmates are still looking for jobs, and don't expect to make more than $40-$60,000 when they graduate.

          I already have my post-graduation job, and it's ok, but that's only because I worked my ass off.  I figured it was worth sacrificing my life first and second year if it resulted in a job that I could live with for the rest of my life.

          And when I say sacrifice--I mean it.  I read 12 hours a day, basically lived and breathed school (except when I was writing that Ohio thing).  It was hell, but looking back, I'd do it in an instant again, only because I'm so lucky not to be looking for a job.

          So, long and short, law school doesn't necessarily mean you get a good job.  It just teaches you how to research for one ;)

      •  2 yrs to wipe out 100k is impressive. (4.00)
        Im 31 and have about a year left. Only a couple thousand from a 25k total. I can hardly believe that soon I will be looking at a bank statement with no mention of a Sallie Mae auto-withdrawal. Ten long years...

        Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

        by ablington on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:22:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i'll be there (4.00)
          I estimate, once I go back to school, it'll take me 10 years to make school pay off.
          •  I have always wanted to go back (4.00)
            to a proper art school.  I have a very good education under my belt and it is paid for - I am 40, but art school is completely out of reach because it costs as much as biz school or law school, but as we all know doesn't pay off.  

            My attendence is not an impreative, but I am sad that art school is no longer something someone from most economic backgrounds could risk given the costs and risks.  The tuition is one thing and then there are the supplies. A box of charcoal is not dirt cheap the way it used to be.

        •  Ten long years (4.00)
          Unless something really incredible happens it will take PD and I as many as 30 years (25 to go...) to pay off all the school loans.

          I kid you not, our student loan payments are actually more than our mortgage each month.  And we have a pretty decent house, too.

          "It's not like I never want to bite people...I just know it's wrong." Satchel Pooch

          by Mrs Pastor on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:25:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  i will have that much (4.00)
        just you wait.  I'm not in school yet.  I could go here in state for $20,000 total.  Why oh why do I have no interest in their program??

        By the way - Georgia, you don't happen to live in Georgia do you?

    •  $30 k sounds good to me right now (4.00)
      I'm making my way through with about a third of that for now. No regrets or anything, but forget about saving any money.
  •  My household income SHOULD make me (4.00)
    not even close to poor...but MFP is that even though I make twice what my parents did, I have half the assets they had at my age ans I frequently FEEL poor. Theres no way in hell I could afford to buy a home AND have a kid at the same time in this damn coastal bubble town (Boston). I have only just begun to be able to save in earnest after paying off credit cards and student loans, and once the baby is born in December my insurance premium will go up about 300 bucks and my income could be significantly reduced... (daddy's gonna stay home for awhile and we will live on a shoestring budget).

    Cars, health insurance, mortgages, gasoline, retirement...how do people do it?

    MFP is also that I cant turn the channel when Suze Ormon is on. Its as if I need to see people who are in worse financial shape to make myself feel better.  Sad...however, my FICO score is very admirable. I will save that for a Got a Happy Story thread.

    Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

    by ablington on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:17:51 PM PDT

    •  school (4.00)
      Wait till the kid goes to school.I wor k my ass off to send my kids to private school so they can have a choice and do what they want.Today I had to pretend I was sick so I could catch just one of their soccer games this year.Taran scored her first ever goal!!So back to feeling like I work just for the kids and hope they appreciate it but some days feel like they don't.Three kids now and some days I am just so tired,but gotta enjoy the simple things more!

      Bush=determined to vacation through the apocalypse

      by kerry on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:38:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it may take a long time (4.00)
        but eventually, they will appreciate it once they realize how much they owe you for their success.

        "Decisions that send men and women to die should not be made in a secret way." Lawrence Wilkerson

        by missreporter on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:03:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Twice as much now... (4.00)
      Is NOT twice as much.

      My parents bought their first home in Lompoc (CA, nearish to Santa Barbara...) for about $15,000.  My father tells me that they went out, had a drink... and talked seriously before committing themselves to  30 years of indebtitude and a crushing mortgage.  Today, $15k wouldn't even be a 5% down payment on that house.

      Inflation is a bitch for many reasons.  But one of them is that comparisons with the past become unreliable and deceptive.  A $20k a year salary was once a damned good job.  Now... well, it's not far above poverty level for a family of four, officially... and realistically?  It's not even up to poverty level in most of the country.

      "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

      by ogre on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 09:33:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, do I hear that (none)
      I freak at the thought of adding a household member to our income - and we are hardly working poor.

      I know my parents did so much more on so much less when we were growing up.  I blame the student loans and the cost of health care - I know my parents didn't have either of these worries.

      "It's not like I never want to bite people...I just know it's wrong." Satchel Pooch

      by Mrs Pastor on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:27:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  $9k a year (4.00)
    My mom raised me on around $9,000 a year in the seventies. Thank God and the Dems for HUD housing, the school lunch plan, pell grants and the student loan program. Oh, and the GI Bill! All of those allowed my hard work to get me much further than my hard work alone would have.
  •  MFP??? (4.00)
    Grading! <gentle sniffling>

    70 --- count 'em --- 70 short essays to grade. <wailing begins to break out>

    On the positive side, however, earlier this week, it suddenly struck me exactly what's meant by the many manifestations of Buddha or many headed and armed Buddha beings, etc.

    Really, oddly enough, I'm quie certain I understand what that's all about. Danged if i can put it in words, though!

    <banging head on desk, sobbing hysterically, begging for mercy from student writers and their comma splices and lack of subject verb agreement, not to mention ... PADDING THEIR PAPERS WITH FRIVOLOUS FLUFF which makes no sense at all and which drives me bonkers>

    •  not sure I could do that (4.00)
      70 essays, that could drive a person crazy. That's interesting what you're saying about many headed/armed Buddhas, I think I sorta-kinda see what you might be saying... but not really. :-)

      I have a book of Tibetan Buddhist folktales that is full of stories about people becoming enlightened in really unlikely ways.

    •  Cant you just give everyone a B- (4.00)
      and call it a night? I bet you wouldnt be the first teacher to do that!

      Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

      by ablington on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:44:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's tough living on a teacher's salary in NYC (4.00)
      especially after taking 5 years to get a master's (56 credit program) at an excellent but expensive school. And having one hell of a loan to pay back.

      Loans looming - big increases in salary are not.

      Still, when new parents tells me that their children now eagerly wake up to go to school every morning and get on the bus happy and comes off the bus, happy - after years of crying/ whining and "feeling sick today so can I stay home?", well, it makes ME  feel happy and think, I can keep going.

      "Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." (T. Paine)

      by dmmteacher on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:52:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh man (4.00)
        Tell me about it!!

        5 years to finish a Masters here, as well, just because I was a political football in the program I was in.

        Getting paid nothing here, as well! And loans out the wazoo!

        But i have a similar problem, except with freshmen-sophmores. They really do love me --- and I'm so hard on them!

        But it does make it worth it, even if the pay is completely laughable.

        •  Ouch (4.00)
          I had to have two people on my dissertation committee who wouldn't acknowledge each others' existence unless absolutely necessary. I was terrified that one would like my diss too much, forcing the other to think it was a piece of shit. I got around this by writing something so boring that anyone actually reading more than 10 pages of it risked immediate brain death.

          ...and shit yeah it's cool And shouldn't it be - or something like that. - Robert Pollard

          by gp39m on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:10:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Wow (4.00)
            Nicely done!!!

            Among other problems for me (and there were bazillions), one member of my committee was a poorly managed manic-depressive.

            So I'd reached the end of several years of writing and nail-biting and paralysis and pleas to JUST LET ME OUT OF HERE PLEASE!!!  and I was almost finished ... AND HE THREW THE WHOLE THING OUT.

            I came so close to walking out on the entire process. SOOO CLOSE. I still don't talk to one person on my committee.

            I am so thankful it's all over.

      •  Thanks for teaching in NYC (4.00)
        It's an uphill battle here for anyone, but NYC teachers have cliffs to scale. Thanks for taking it on.
    •  I hear you (4.00)
      I'm on an overload this semester, so it's closer to 100, and I will admit to more-than-occasional violent thoughts when I read phrases like "In today's society" and "Since the beginning of time." And I'm sure my neighbors are sick of hearing me scream "For the love of God, is there a thesis in here anywhere?

      Good thing I love my job...

      •  As A Current... (4.00)
        Master's degree student, posts like these make me giggle.  I think it is mainly because I never really realize how much 'crap' profs./teachers have to read each semester.  
      •  Tell me about it (4.00)
        There've been essays so bad, I've broken out crying in pain.

        In actual physical pain.

        Other times, I want to start a bonfire, toss them in and roast marshmallows.

        Last spring's essays that didn't get picked up, I used as mulch in my strawberry bed. :=D

        •  The pain, the pain (4.00)
          I don't have essays to read, but I do review Treatment Plans written by staff.  Last week, I was helping in another office and man, they were so bad, it really did hurt to read them.  I couldn't believe how much longer it took to read bad writing.  It was truly astonishing.

          "It's not like I never want to bite people...I just know it's wrong." Satchel Pooch

          by Mrs Pastor on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:32:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm teaching a web design class this semester (4.00)
        and I've gotten so I just give them a decent grade if they get something done and uploaded on time.

        If I graded them on actual design, they'd all flunk. ;-)

        This is a good and a bad thing. Good for me, because they sure won't be any competition for a long time. Bad, because they also won't be any HELP.

        I do like it when they get it though. Seeing the light come on is just magic.

    •  Can't You Throw Them Down The Stairs? (4.00)
      When I was an adjunct professor, I occasionally thought of throwing the papers down the stairs to grade them.  I hated grading papers; the only thing worse than grading papers was the post-grading negotiations with students who felt their papers were graded unfairly.  But, the absolute worst were the excuses for why the papers could not be turned in on time when the due dates were included in the first reading schedule.  Everything else about teaching was great.  If I could have graded just on classroom participation, I would have done so, but the law school insisted on papers (some of which were excellent).
    •  As a student, I hear you. (4.00)
      She planned badly and had 60 essays to grade at once, left everything in the comments, and kids just looked at the grade and pushed away the paper. She was telling us in class and almost cried. I go to a private school with many people who can't accept an A-, (you can imagine what ahppens if they get a B), and the super pressured academic climate just got to her.

      When your dad dies, and hands you a country/ my dad dies and I'll get the Chevy- MK Ultra

      by Diego on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:15:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  poor (4.00)
    I was at one time homeless, and unemployed with 2 small children and a dog.

    It can all eventually work out, but at the time my choices were a husband shooting at us or sleeping on the floors of various relatives houses.

    Don't believe everything people tell you about how kids will be ruined by hardship. My kids barely remember the food closets or the sleeping bags but they clearly remember crawling on the floor with their dad shooting a gun though the window.

    Homeless and poor is sometimes not the end of the world but the beginning of better things.

    •  yes poor , (4.00)
      homeless and unemployed, evading a crazed husband. I know it well.  My kids and I slept on a floor for nearly a year.  They don't remember much about that time except that they felt life was one big adventure.  It was, as you say, not the end of the world.  It really was the beginning of peace and self-respect.

      ...despite those nets of tuna fleets...we thought that most of your were pretty sweet...

      by moira977 on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:09:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jrae and Moira - if your kids don't remember (4.00)
        the hardships, then they must have really placed their trust in you to see them through those situations. It speaks to your skills as parents.
  •  I qualified (4.00)
    for the first 5 out of seven positions on the survey. Right now I'm in the college student poor category.

    quando os assholes governam dirĂ£o aos pobres que a merda tem o valor
    Revised Portuguese folk wisdom

    by mm201 on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:43:17 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for this thread (4.00)
    Lately, I need a reminder that what you give comes back to you when you need it most.
  •  Lived from '91-'95 in Ohio (3.90)
    on 12k/yr.  wasn't too bad because my rent was only $385/mo.  That left 515 before taxes of course for gas, food and clothes.  No health insurance of course.  luckily i didn't get sick.
    •  your story is mine (4.00)
      except my years were 97-99 and I was in Virginia.  Getting sick was something other people did.  Of course, I was younger then.

      I find that when I have health insurance, I keep in close contact with doctors, and when I don't, I don't.

      •  yeah (4.00)
        it somehow seems like a good idea not to go to the doctor at all when there is no health insurance.

        Strange how we choose to live within our means in such decisive ways.

      •  I'm one of (4.00)
        those people who rarely needs to see a doctor.  I did about a week ago, though when what I thought was just a cold turned into two ear infections.  Then, turns out I'm allergic to the medicine they gave me for the ear infections and had to see a specialist this morning when a rash developed all over my entire body.  (incidentally, no one at work yesterday bothered to tell me that my face was red & blotchy - what's up with that?)  Now, I'm on a whole new regimine of medicines.  Luckily I have health insurance and a doctor at work (who diagnosed the original ear infections).  I have NO idea what the multiple prescriptions and doctor visits would have cost me without the insurance.  As it, it's only been about $55.
        •  I can tell you how much the prescriptions would (4.00)
          have been. Probably about $200. Last time my husband had an ear infection, that's what the antibiotics were.

          I have a medical flex plan at work, so I put some pre-tax money away to cover things like that. He's retired military, and COULD have gotten the prescriptions filled at the base (if they had it) but knowing my husband, he wouldn't bother getting it filled because it would be too much trouble. I had the money put away, I can't use it for anything else, and if I don't use it I lose it -- so I just went to the drug store and got it filled.

          $200. For about 20 pills.

          This year we did eye exams. Luckily I didn't need new glasses, but he did -- 2 eye exams, one pair of bifocals, $500. If I'd needed glasses, it would have been $800.

          If he hadn't been military, I don't know what we would have done for medical when the kids were little.

  •  This week's FP the eternal FP. (4.00)
    Not enough dissertation writing happening.  Some.  Just not enough.
    •  well do it :-) (4.00)
      then one Friday you'll be able to go to Carnacki's Got a Happy Story? and tell the happy story of having finished your dissertation.
      •  Defended my diss (4.00)
        On my mom's birthday - April 16, 1987. When it was all done, I called her up from a pay phone and said "Happy Birthday Mom - 23 years and I'm finally out of school!"

        ...and shit yeah it's cool And shouldn't it be - or something like that. - Robert Pollard

        by gp39m on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:09:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Dissertations ... (4.00)
      ... get written like mountains get climbed - one page at a time.

      Well, actually mountains don't get climbed that way precisely, not with pages as such. Rather, it's more like one step at a time. But you shouldn't take one step at a time with a dissertation. Instead, you should actually be sitting down most of the time, and not stepping out.

      So really, it's quite unlike climbing a mountain, which is what I really meant.

      Which should be reassuring, because it's really fucking difficult to climb a mountain.

      Happy?

      •  Heh. (4.00)
        Here's how it works for me: I go through phases of not being able to write at all, then usually kind of leap into action, like during the down time I've actually been processing thoughts and then they all come out pretty quickly.  Although the last week or two it's been kind of 3 pages a day 2 days in a row, then 2 days of nothing, then another page or two...

        In the mean time, I need to sit down and try and work at least some each day, but I'd also do as well to go to the movies, hang out with friends, because there's only so much fruitless staring at a computer screen you can do.

        But in keeping with the theme of this diary, I haven't been poor.  I'd be very student poor right now, but I have generous parents.  But I have insecurity in the sense of inadequate health insurance.

        •  Dissertations (4.00)
          My problem with my dissertation - or one of them - is that I would work until I needed to sleep, then I would dream about the damn thing, and in my dream the arguments would twist and turn and become organic and malleable, pipes or roads or trees or flowers or colours or walls, so in the morning when I awoke, I would feel insane, or at least on the other side of the looking-glass. It would take hours before I realised exactly what was reality-based and what was not anymore.

          So read something completely different for at least 30 minutes before you sleep.  Shut your mind down before you go to sleep.

          Also, when in doubt, take notes; when at a loose end, take notes; when on the bus, take notes, when you feel that you are not writing quickly, take notes of all the relevant literature. I took about two years getting the first two chapters done, then hit major problems with the third of five about three months before my defence. I stopped trying to write it, took a week to get proper notes of all the literature I was using, then finished the next three chapters in two months, 297 pages later.

          •  Falling asleep (4.00)
            has been a lifelong problem for me.  From the time they brought me home from the hospital, I never fell straight to sleep.  I've gotten better as I've gotten older, but I'm still vulnerable to lying there awake for hours at a time.  

            So yes, I definitely read something else for a while before trying to fall asleep.  But I can't (literally can't) quit reading something in the middle the first two times I read it, so I re-read at bedtime.  Romance novels are a favorite.  I read the New Yorker because the articles are about the right length.  I do crosswords - probably actually the best thing for getting me in the right frame of mind to fall asleep.

            Self-presentation tends to be my biggest problem.  Precisely because I'm so aware that I work better when I'm relaxed and happy, and because I know that for me, putting in ten hours a day to write something crappy is not as good an option as going to a movie and writing something better the next day, sometimes I look like I don't work hard.  Which I do, just on my own schedule.

            •  What's the topic, btw? (4.00)
              Mine was political philosophy.
              •  oy. (4.00)
                I'm in sociology, and it's on Sacred Harp singing, which is a form of participatory a cappella harmony singing that's been a living tradition in the southern US for over 150 years and has undergone a folk revival through much of the rest of the country over the past 20-30 years.  It brings two very different groups of people - rural, working class, conservative, Christian southerners and urban/college town, highly educated, liberal, religiously diverse northerners (both groups are predominantly white) - into sustained interaction around an activity both love deeply.  So that's me, putting the "participant" in "participant observation."  I'm looking at processes of community formation and maintenance despite ideological diversity.
                •  OK (4.00)
                  Well, good luck. I wonder if you bring in any of the "Bowling Alone" sort of stuff?
                •  Hey! (4.00)
                  I was briefly introduced to Sacred Harp singing (what was that movie?) and loved it.  I have been in choruses before and find them quite healing.  It crossed my mind to find a Sacred Harp group to sing with although it looks like it might be a little complicated to learn with those circular notes.

                  Have you come across any groups in Southern California?  Maybe the whole point of your current period of percolation is to make singing group referrals to dKos members? :-)

                  P.S.  I procrastinated terribly on my dissertation and it was really bad for my mental health.  It sounds like you are in great shape... congratulations!

        •  What my director told me (4.00)
          Write a page a day for a year. 2/3 of these pages are bullshit; 1/3 are worth keeping. At the end of the year - voila! - a very serviceable 121 page dissertation.

          He also added that if I didn't finish the diss in one year, he would kill me. We were never close before my dissertation year and never that close afterward, but I will be eternally grateful to him for keeping me moving.

          ...and shit yeah it's cool And shouldn't it be - or something like that. - Robert Pollard

          by gp39m on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:12:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  okay now (4.00)
      i'm not one of those people who is unsympathetic to phd candidates just because i finished.  i will never forget that pain.  what i can tell you is that this is the mother of all hoops.  whatever shame or angst they make you feel, they mean to make you feel it {pause while I adjust my tinfoil hat}.  your happiness, however fleeting, pisses them off.  it's not worth it if you don't suffer.  

      i was an outcast, so i won't presume you are in the same crappy shape that i was, but if us lowlifes can get thru it, so can you.  

      no more laying awake at night with yer mind racing!  get your committee to reckon with what they will decree as a passing dissertation and do it.  be a pest.  go go go!

      •  Wow. (4.00)
        Not like that for me.  Great committee - supportive when I need them, willing to stand back when I want to work on my own.  I'm really the only one putting pressure on me, and frankly I'm not putting that much on.  All I need is to finish by the end of the year, and I don't anticipate much problem with that.  It's just frustrating on a day-to-day basis.

        The job market sucks, though.  Talk about tension!

  •  Cocaine is a Hell of a Drug (4.00)
    I've been that virtual kind of homeless poor when there's nothing left in your half million dollar loft to sell, and you just have the Brooks Brothers on your back, the Kenneth Cole on your feet, a wallet full of credit cards and the greed of strangers to rely upon until you get evicted.

    Hey bartender, I'll give you a $1,000 tip on my AMEX if you'll split it with me.

    But all good things must come to an end.

    So no, I don't know what you're talking about.

    "Pro and con are opposites, that fact is clearly seen. If progress means to move forward, then what does congress mean?" ~Nipsey Russell

    by RANT on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:48:08 PM PDT

    •  The only two things (4.00)
      keeping me from doing coke every day is that 1) I like it too much (which was scary) and 2) it is too damn expensive.

      So I understand what you are talking about.

      To find his equal, and Irishman is forced to talk to God.

      by Delaware Dem on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:11:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  as someone said years ago... (4.00)
        Cocaine is God's way of telling you you have too much money.

        "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonest war." - Mark Twain

        by skwimmer on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:38:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yup (4.00)
        The coke thing is just the expressway to self destruction. Heroin is the scenic route.

        But I was really intending to comment more on the vast differences in how people beg or panhandle given the topic.

        There are very "poor" people from all walks of life posing all around us. And stable people posing as poor as well.

        I don't know though, the grift is going to get you eventually when you fall far enough. You turn con. Fast. And while it's very difficult to either ask for a handout or give one, there's no limit of people out there lining up to make a buck off your misery. And their greed is your friend.

        It was just always amazing to me that people who would never stoop to give an honest poor person a quarter would hand a guy in a suit $100 for their "story du jour" and a business card with a promise to send $200, or $500 or something equally unreasonable.

        Angry white cabbies listening to Rush Limbaugh are always the easiest marks. Frank Luntz knows exactly what he's doing.

        "Pro and con are opposites, that fact is clearly seen. If progress means to move forward, then what does congress mean?" ~Nipsey Russell

        by RANT on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:57:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  then there's donald trump (4.00)
          possibly the poorest man on earth, considering that he's perpetually a couple hundred million in the hole.  and yet people are eager to give him more of everything:  real estate, clothes, hot chicks, TV shows...

          we'd better decide now if we are going to be fearless men or scared boys.
          — e.d. nixon, montgomery improvement association

          by zeke L on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 09:02:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  where is that quote from? (4.00)
      cocaine is a hell of a drug

      where did i hear that!?

  •  2 FP (4.00)
    First, my head is killing me again.  It was either 1 or 2 WYFP saturday diaries ago where we discussed chronic headaches and migraines.  I had planned to go door-to-door canvassing for the upcoming election - one really important ballot initiative here in Colorado.  The pain wasn't so bad, but I knew if I went outside it would just get worse.  Well now it's worse.  Maybe I should have gone anyway.  I'm taking some "medicine" now.

    Second, I want to kill my neighbor.  The fence we share is sagging in one spot because the posts broke.  I was going to wait until it got real bad or finally fell over.  Well, he decided to fix it.  One evening I come home from work to find that section of fence all taken apart.  He'd left no voice message or note on the door.  After I calmed down I went over there and asked them what's up.  They acted as if I was strange of me to inquire.  I didn't have in it me to ask them:
    Why didn't you come to me about this first?
    Why didn't you confer with me on the selection of who's going to do the work?
    Why didn't you ask permission to come on my property?

    The next day I find a note asking me to pay half for the repairs!  Yeah right.  Go Fuck Yourself!

    •  Do you mind if I ask (4.00)
      what "medicine" you are indulging in?  Still in migraine/cluster cycle, but today hasn't been too bad...ofcourse, I've hardly been up or moving, so why should it be?  Its that little stuff like breathing that sets it off...or, then again, nothing at all.

      In case you're wondering, I've found that a couple of Excedrin chased by a screwdriver seems to allow me to sleep without waking up feeling as if someone is beating my head with a baseball bat....not good, I know as I have major blood pressure and heart rate and rhythm problems, but, as the diary sort of says...WTF??

      •  Well, (4.00)
        I have chronic tension headaches - completely related the muscle tension in my neck and back.  At their worst it's a midlevel pain but it's all day from when I wake up to when I finally fall asleep.  There are no  non-addictive prescription drugs that help me.  On ocassion a few ibuprofin do the trick but I can't take those every day.  
        Different relaxation techniques usually help, but sadly alcohol usually makes it worse for me.
        My "medicine" is usually smoked at 4:20.  This usually works because it helps me relax.

        Sorry to hear about your problems.  I don't know what's worse, an 11 (1-10 scale) headache for a short pediod of time or a 5 that lasts 24/7.

        •  Oh, I'm aware of mine most of the day... (4.00)
          at best, its right there on the edge....typical of clusters, there's a few peak times of the day that it really goes to town...

          Running out of medical options, too...because of other health problems, I'm limited.  Haven't smoked anything that would help in more than 20 years...not sure the rest of me would tolerate it now.  Getting ready to do things I didn't want to think about before such as keeping oxygen around to inhale or investigating the possibility of a pacemaker to keep my heart rate from dropping and making the whole damn thing worse.  Not ready quite yet, though...so, I guess I'll just be complaining more for a bit.

          Hope your evening improves...too bad that you can't have a drink, too...might not always do away with pain, but it sure helps one not mind it as much.

        •  I am sooooo there! (4.00)
          I've been living with the 6/10, 24/7 headache for... well, the last pain-free day I had was in Sept '03. Before then I don't know how long it had been. I'm staggering from day to day with a combo of ibuprofen and large amounts of Robaxin. Nothing else comes close to helping, and the narcotics do nothing but make me sick. I can't smoke weed because it would react badly with my other meds.

          It sucks as a lifestyle, but I don't know any other way of living.

          "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." -Karl Marx

          by Lainie on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 09:30:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do you know that for sure? (4.00)
            If your's are caused by muscle tension, look into biofeedback.  It's really helped me out.  Supposedly even works for regular migraine suffers.  Anyway, I think there's a strong possibility marijuana would help you as well.
        •  headache... (4.00)
          ...due to muscle tension in your neck and back...

          have you tried yoga?
          After one year of investigating an changing my own posture  my back and neck/shoulder issues have gotten soooo much better. No pain right now (big smile). I've never had the headaches though.

          It could help.

          Natasha

      •  Headache cycle (4.00)
        Try getting off the excedrin. it works but causes a headache the next day. vicious cycle. it's the caffeine. getting off all caffeine works the best of all to stop headaches.
        •  Yes... (4.00)
          Ive been in cycles of rebound before.  But, when its two in the morning and you feel like your brains have been half shot out, the worry over the possibility seems pretty obscure.  

          Caffeine generally doesn't give me trouble, in fact, I'm one of the few people who actually benefit from it.  My circulatory function is so poor that the little help with vasoconstriction keeps me at least alert enough to remain conscious.  

          •  Are you insured? (4.00)
            Have you had a sleep study?
            •  I am insured.... (4.00)
              and I know that I probably have some degree of apnea as I have autonomic failure.  I tend to collect fluid on lungs at night so I take a large dose of diuretic before I go to bed...my blood pressure will either spike or drop to nothing while I sleep.  Happens during the day, too....although why I go through cycles where it sets off the headpain is a mystery to me.  Hence, the diagnosis of "cluster headache"...for anyone's lack of anything better to suggest.

              IF they don't let up in a couple more weeks, I guess I'm going to have to try something more....whats kept me from it is my lack of totally following up on all the last round of testing a couple of months ago.  Very tired of doctors right now....

              •  If you don't mind me asking (4.00)
                Do you have Shy-Drager?
                •  no...no reason to believe it is shy drager (4.00)
                  as I have had some symptoms all my life and have other relatives who do.  Right now, its just labeled  autonomic failure...something gave me massive autonomic neuropathy over the years and the ways that my body has tried to compensate has caused almost as much trouble as the actual damage itself.  
                  •  ever tried C-pap? (4.00)
                    Might help with the headaches. Best of luck to you. I would imagine multiple specialists are involved in your care; I hope they are treating you respectfully and communicating to your PCP.
                    •  I've been very lucky (none)
                      with doctors, well, considering, I suppose.  Lucky to have a specialist who actually specializes in people like me...has an international reputation.  Primary care is all right...although frankly, I have to do most of the recommending.  That's ok, though..at least he co-operates and is the first to admit when he's out of his league.  
    •  good fences make good neighbors (4.00)
      sometimes people don't help the way you wanted to be helped, or actually help themselves more than they help you, and then bill you. but they often mean well.  :-)

      Very sorry about the headaches.

      •  Actually (4.00)
        We started off pretty well when I first moved in.  I think it started going south after my Kerry signs went up before the last election.  I see in public voter registration info that he's registered 'R'.  Maybe he doesn't like living next to a commie-pinko-liberal activist.
    •  Headaches (4.00)
      I don't remember a day without a headache.  It was a long time before I realized everyone didn't have a headache all the time!  I don't often have what I call "a banger", but when I do, I can't even think straight.

      Just some thoughts and observations:

      1. Dad had "migraines" they said stemmed from cerebral atrophy caused by breathing carbon monoxide fumes while working for railroad.  They were so bad that he could be walking and then hit the ground passed out from the pain.  When he was about to have open heart surgery, the doctor said, "Don't be surprised if this helps his headache problem."  After the surgery, Dad NEVER had those headaches again.  It was a circulatory problem.
      2.  His grandmother used to wear a "rag filled with camphor" bound around her forehead.  Hmmmm .. helped circulation.
      3.  I thought I had migraines, until one doctor diagnosed cluster headaches along with the tension headaches, sinus headaches.  So many kinds of headaches makes for not knowing what to take!
      4.  Alcohol is a definite no-no.  Love the stuff and love to get drunk (other reasons) but hard on the head.
      5.  Water .... I've realized that sometimes I'm just plain dehydrated ... may be associated with the circulation problem.
      6.  Have that hands problem (Raynauds), where my hands swell up like paws, turn red.  I can hold a hand up, like I'm in class, and when I put it beside the other hand, one hand is white (the one held up) and other RED.  Circulation .....
      7.  I've had 2 brain scans and one MRI, no "goobers", evidence of a small CVI which I personally think comes from being knocked down and hitting the concrete floor - lots of blood, small concussion, and some memory loss.
      8.  Eyesight issues don't help either but the glasses hurt my nose and I can't stand contacts, so I've just learned to NOT SEE and NOT to squint.
      9.  Chiropractors are wonderful people!  The only problem is getting up and going home.  Hmmmmm ... just straight chiro now!

      Just some thoughts .... maybe something will click and be of some help.  I've been told many many times by many different guys that sexual intercourse cures headaches ..... however, they were not physicians.
  •  MFP is... (4.00)
    ...a machine we need to get to operate properly and all these bills laying on my desk staring up at me waiting to be paid. However, I'm almost out of debt. starting over and over and over again is getting tiring though.
  •  Hell (4.00)
    When I was an undergraduate student, I was so poor, the only things I could afford to buy were cigarettes, beer, and the occasional loaf of bread.
    •  And the bread was optional (4.00)
      Beer is the perfect food after all

      When I must guard my thoughts, feelings and words, lest I be unpatriotic...then my country is lost

      by crimsonscare on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:53:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  'liquid bread' we called it ;) (4.00)

        ...with night falling, and down to his last flair, can Armando keep the coyotes at bay?...

        by PhillyGal on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:55:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Right ... (4.00)
        ... but nothing beats the appetite suppression of 30 filter cigarettes a day.  Those were the days ...
        •  Hhrrraaack! (4.00)
          That's how I got through grad school: a cup of coffee for breakfast, two packs of smokes per day, and maybe a burger or two here or there. I suppose you could have called me college poor at the time, but once I quit drinking alcohol I actually had enough money to have what I thought of then as an okay existence.

          ...and shit yeah it's cool And shouldn't it be - or something like that. - Robert Pollard

          by gp39m on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:12:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Right ... (4.00)
            it's kind of strange to have money when you no longer drink or smoke.
            •  Also (4.00)
              It was pretty weird to have money when I got out of grad school in 1987 and got a job professing. I bought a brand new Ford Escort with a stickshift and no A/C, and refused to replace my 9" B&W television with a color one.

              ...and shit yeah it's cool And shouldn't it be - or something like that. - Robert Pollard

              by gp39m on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:44:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I bought (4.00)
                a two-year old stickshift Mazda and no tv. Funny thing is though, now I am earning two or three times as much as I did as a grad student, more or less, I somehow have less money to spend on buying books and CDs.
                •  Mheh (4.00)
                  I save money for buying books by not buying CDs: one of the joys of impending old fartitude is that 90% of the music coming out today is stuff I wouldn't even listen to, much less buy. I had a much tougher time back in the day coming out of BJ Records in Iowa City with my food money intact. These days I either already own the music can download the music off of Usenet, or can hornswoggle my students into burning CDs for me.

                  ...and shit yeah it's cool And shouldn't it be - or something like that. - Robert Pollard

                  by gp39m on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:16:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I've only owned three cars (none)
                1969 Ford Falcon -- got totaled when a mail truck rear-ended it.  1981 through 1990.

                1979 Ford Fairmont -- got rid of it when it started burning a quart of oil every two hundred miles.  1990 through 2000.

                No car from 2000 to 2003.

                1966 Volkswagen Squareback.  It was my Dad's and I decided to keep it after he died, mainly because it is really cool, and very similar to my boyfriend's old VW.  It's been a great car -- my dogs love it.  And if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me.

                Technically I still own my father's 1972 Toyota Carina, aka The Yellowjacket -- (he had a thing for oddball imports).  It hasn't run since 1996 or so.  I'd like to try to get it running, but first I'd have to get it down here to B'more from Delaware, then find a place to work on it.  It probably just needs some minor engine work to get it running, but it needs a fender and both taillights to be driven on the street -- stuff like that is nearly impossible to find for old Japanese cars.

                I've never had any desire to have much money tied up in a car.  For one thing, cars are a terrible investment -- the depreciation kills ya -- , and secondly, my mountain bike gets better gas mileage and keeps my 41-year-old body from getting the middle-age sag.

                "Anyone could tell you were my instrument. He said, 'I understand you. You want to play me.'" --E. C. Phair

                by asskicking annie on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:00:00 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  ice cream and beer (4.00)
      when i was poor, i spent a month living on ice cream and beer.  it was miserable and i got fat.
      •  back in '84-87 (4.00)
        my husband and I lived on $27/week grocery budget that included $3 each week to pay for birth control as we had no insurance and couldn't afford to have a baby.  Our combined income while both in school, jusst over $7k .... boy were those the days ... couldn't afford produce as it went back to quickly as we were either studying or working and forgot to eat.  $1.47 for 6 breakfast porkchops and 5 boxes of generic mac & cheese for a buck .... where we went to school, couldn't buy cold beer, only warm so we'd wait to the weekends for his parents to visit for games (baseball, basketball or football) so we'd keep the leftovers
      •  I remember sitting in the commune basement (none)
        in Boston filling up capsules of "Cosmic Dust" circa 1972. $25 for a 1000 capsules. Speed was useful in those situations.
  •  My f'in list! (4.00)
    Let's see...

    Self doubt:  Big surprise to anyone who's read Pastordan's "Brothers and Sisters".  Tonight it's especially accentuated by some ethical concerns over a diary I'd like to post in answer to...

    Sanctimonious Jerks:  Me and some other users have been dealing with a particularly annoying freeper in kossack clothing.  Said humorless FiKCer has been downrating comments on people who post content that offends him and getting...

    Other gullible jerks:  To uprate his comments that have been troll-rated for his abuse by several "established" TU's by claiming he is being victimized by PINO thugs.

    </rant>

    When I must guard my thoughts, feelings and words, lest I be unpatriotic...then my country is lost

    by crimsonscare on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:51:19 PM PDT

    •  Which diary(ies)? n/t (4.00)
      •  It started in the comments (4.00)
        in the Delay booking photo thread.  Then in a (kind of weak) satire on Delay.  I recently noticed this same user demonstrating his "more progressive than thou" attitude in a diary on a Hate crime

        I was planning a satirical diary in response (there I went and blew the surprise, bloody 'ell)

        I'm working on engaging him now.  I really think it might be better to vent and ignore, but I have a stubborn streak that matches my (usually sharper) snark.

        When I must guard my thoughts, feelings and words, lest I be unpatriotic...then my country is lost

        by crimsonscare on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:23:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, (4.00)
      this may not be the place to get into it, but having located some of the exchanges in question, I agree with him that prison rape jokes ought to be avoided and that they ought to be frowned on around here.  That said, I don't think his strategy for changing the site culture is real smart.  He shouldn't be down-rating and he is kind of irritating.  But his idea, as opposed to his strategy, is right in my view.
      •  Actually very apropo (4.00)
        I brought it up, I take the lumps.

        Actually if you've read my "BTW" comment, you'll notice that I am in agreement with your sentiments.  It is a contextual thing to me.  I really do not think that real prison rape, or any rape, is funny.

        What I read into the various examples that I defended was a sense of irony, that somebody who has so smugly held himself as above the law might be subjected to its worst depredations.

        Thanks for the critique, more are welcome.

        When I must guard my thoughts, feelings and words, lest I be unpatriotic...then my country is lost

        by crimsonscare on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:45:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Totally reasonable. (4.00)
          I do think the involvement of DeLay in this set of comments complicates the issue, as you argue, and that the guy in question is being a touch sanctimonious and making questionable use of ratings.  

          But, as I say, I would like to see the broader change around here where prison rape jokes became less common and accepted.  It's just unfortunate that the people we agree with aren't always the people we most want to agree with personally...

          •  Broader change is the goal. (4.00)
            I feel the goal is better served by prodding social change rather than shooting the "messengers".

            I find that the tactics that have been employed are not too dissimilar to those that we criticize form the Bush administration dealings with the press:

            It is the fault of those reporting our abuses in the Middle East, not those reponsible for their commission.

            Maybe someday our prisons will become true reformatories instead of incarceration warehouses.  And then the response to the concept of prison rape will be, "huh, what was that?"

            When I must guard my thoughts, feelings and words, lest I be unpatriotic...then my country is lost

            by crimsonscare on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:05:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  What you said. (4.00)
        The problem with said Kossack is that he is so g.d. sanctimonious, and declaring himself "holier than thou," and came around not only down-rating people, but accusing us of using derogatory words only he himself used.

        And then goes around claiming to be the victim after he down-rates and baits people when called names and getting down-ratings in return.

        I agree, the view isn't the problem. MFP is the strategy. MFP is the sanctimony. And when crimsonscare, myself and other people "say" something, we also get told STFU.

        CS, I read your draft. Let me know what your other critics/reviewers say.

        I'll watch the tasteless jokes in the future, no problem there. However, self-declared, self-centered, sanctimonious blog-police, well, I don't suffer those people gladly.

        Ari Mistral

        "The GOP has become the party of treason." - Jon Aravosis

        by Ari Mistral on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:42:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, Ari! (4.00)
          I was getting worried.

          I haven't emailed the others yet, I was waiting for the first reviewer :).  (And you still haven't said whether you think it was good or bad)

          I've refused to take my own medicine in regard to TP.  I am such a hypocrite.

          I don't know if you saw his most recent response to my actual comment on his sanctimonious attitude.  He seems to wish to engage in a "My progressivism is bigger than yours" playground fight.  I was just about to engage him, hard, when the browser window glitched and I lost the post.  I'll take it as a Karmic warning to stop feeding his victim pathology.

          Oh, did you get to play with dolphins today?

          When I must guard my thoughts, feelings and words, lest I be unpatriotic...then my country is lost

          by crimsonscare on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:21:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Karma's a harsh mistress. (4.00)
            Or something like that.

            I read it. I'll withold comment, but you'd probably guess what I would post.

            Anyway, it's probably good that things crashed how they did.

            Actually, we didn't play with dolphins. We just cruised around Galveston Bay to watch them. We found a big pod of them not too far from the inlet. Wow. I really did want to jump in and play with them, though. I forgot how much sea breezes take away stress. :)

            Thanks for asking.

            Ari Mistral

            "The GOP has become the party of treason." - Jon Aravosis

            by Ari Mistral on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:52:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Just for that (4.00)
              I'm posting it anyway, maybe I'll get lucky enough with the nightowls to keep the fun alive.  Should be up at about 9:20 PDT.

              And I think I know what you'd post, and Armando would be proud.  Though how you were going to fit that ream of paper I don't know....

              later, need to edit

              When I must guard my thoughts, feelings and words, lest I be unpatriotic...then my country is lost

              by crimsonscare on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 09:11:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Zing. :) (4.00)
                AM or PM? It may be too late...horrors! You're going offend the Perpetually Offended at that late hour? :o

                I'm going to go find it. TTFN.

                :)

                Ari Mistral

                "The GOP has become the party of treason." - Jon Aravosis

                by Ari Mistral on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 06:43:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  My problem is called College Algebra (4.00)
    been studying my tail off and still don't understand  it.

    If I fail the next exam, I'll probably have to drop the course.

    Math is not my friend.

    •  no no (4.00)
      Don't try to understand it now.

      Memorize the rules to work the problems, look for understanding later.

      That is the one very good thing about math, if you follow the rules you can pass the course even if you don't have a clue what you are really doing.

      •  Not true (4.00)
        if I'm teaching the course!  Don't troll-rate me ...

        Seriously, knowledge of mathematics that is based on rules alone is way too brittle to be of any use.  It is true that you can gain a certain amount of procedural knowledge based on imitating examples that may let you squeak through, but if that measure of success takes you into another course, it will unquestionaby catch up with you.  Why not really learn it now?

        •  rules (none)
          Working from a rules base only will not carry you all the way though anything. But it will help keep you from failing grades while you look for a tutor.

          Alot of majors don't require an indepth knowledge of math. But of course if you are an engineer major/computer major/ science major and can't get past algebra 1 you might want to look around and see about taking something else.

    •  I feel your pain, only my FP was calculus. (4.00)
      To this day, the word "derivative" sends chills down my spine.

      Working for the Federal Reserve Board in DC during the mid-70s on, the only way up the ladder was micro-econ, and thus the dreaded calc.

      I'd go to evening grad classes, come home, make a bowl of oatmeal or other slop, and stare hopelessly at the textbook problems in a veil of tears. As hard as I tried, my brain was not calc wired.

      So I ditched econ and went straight for debits and credits, er accounting. Simple math and joy for awhile.

      Until I discovered writing. True joy.

      •  Currently in derivative hell myself (4.00)
        (mentioned down thread)

        I'm also with you on the salvation of writing...WHY OH WHY must an English Major take Calculus?!? (Answer: Grad School....damn it)

      •  To be honest (4.00)
        I think a lot of mathematics needs a make-over in terms of how it communicates its concepts. Currently the language of maths is geared towards making it more convenient to use for those who already understand it and not towards making it easier to grasp for those coming in from the outside. It's the whole framing thing.

        A good start would be to take a lesson from computer programmers and learn that variables really do need more descriptive or meaningful names than x, y and z.

        •  going back to roots of algebra (4.00)
          That's an interesting and true comment about algebra.  Historically, the quantities now signified as x, y, and z etc. were referred to by more descriptive names.  The problem is that to become adept at manipulating expressions involving quantities,  you need a more compact notation.  Otherwise, it is difficult to keep the quantities in mind long enough to carry out the calculations.  Developing the general rules and compact notation was a significant advance in the development of algebra, though it no doubt causes difficulties for novices.  
  •  Never Been Poor (4.00)
    When I was 4, my parents moved to the country in Louisiana and the house had no indoor plumbing and you could see through the walls!  Holes in the floor and there are snakes aplenty in Louisiana.  My dad got very sick, prior to holding down 2 jobs, and had to quit work and Mom went to work making diddley.  We had land so we raised a lot of our food and we raised some calves to butcher.  There were lots of times we had nothing, one particular Christmas and there was no money.

    But we were never poor ... I don't know how but Mama and Daddy never let on to us kids that we were in dire straights.  Now, times were different.  They didn't carry insurance at all and we didn't go to the doctor unless we absolutely had to, stitches and such.  Dentist? not unless you were in absolute agony.  

    There were times we did pretty good and times we had nothing, but still we were never poor.  Mama never made much more than minimum wage.  In my first job at the Fed Gov't, I made more money than Mom and she had been working for more than 20 years and was head accountant, er assistant to the male head accountant, at a very nice retail store.

    I see homeless and see people without and think how blessed I have been.  Homeless is a thought that is paralyzing.  I've given to street people but was taught to take them to a restaurant for a meal because if I gave money, they might buy liquor and could kill them.  

    If Jesus were to come to earth today, like he did back when, he would be ministering to the homeless people and those people that don't smell so good.  All the Jerry Falwells and Jerry Dobsons would NEVER hear of him in their fancy smancy churches.  And frankly, I don't know if I would either.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not wealthy now.  But in comparison to the rest of the world, we live like kings.  My husband and I look around at what we have and think how blessed we are .... I see others look at the same amount and feel poor.

    Just talking ....

  •  MFP (4.00)
    My fucking problem is that I just signed up to work on my birthday.  Which is a Saturday.  I'm flying to Georgia the day before and working there for 4 days, including the whole weekend.  Why did I agree to that??

    Anyone know some fun things to do in Atlanta?  I'm working from 2pm-11pm every day so I've got my mornings and nights to myself.

  •  I"ve been homeless on Martha's Vineyard (4.00)
    Not only that, I was a father with three children at the time, and I dragged them and my wife into homelessness with me.

    Well, it's an painful, embarassing story but it's true, and it's been up on my website for about 4 years now so I don't suppose there's much point in getting all modest about it now. Check it out if you like, but I gotta warn you, it may make your skin crawl.

    As to what's yer freakin' problem, which is what I thought we were going to talk about before we got all touchy-feely here, my freakin problem is that not enough of you people have read my damn novel(s), which are available for free download from my website which you can get to by clicking the link in my sig. One of them is a technoparanoid Gulf War thriller, the perfect kind of mind-rot for this audience, and the other is metafictional cleverness of a truly Grad Student in Modern Lanquages calliber, and if you don't believe me, ask Amazon or  google "Sundman apostles" or "Sundman Cheap Complex Devices."

    Of course it's better if you buy my books than if you download them for free, but what the fuck.  

    And if you disapprove of this spammoid comment, even after I have debased myself with my tale of homelessness, then I gotta insist that that's your own FP for tonight.

    Wetmachine for your daily dose of technoparanoia.

    by j sundman on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 05:56:27 PM PDT

  •  I am in a good place now. (4.00)
    My ebb was in college. My union-member father was out of work for several years. Mother was a teacher with a salary of about 19-20,000 at the time, but great benefits. Older sister and I were both in college at the same time. She did typing for people. I cleaned toilets, painted, hemmed pants and made costumes for a dance company, did inventories at department stores, ran an upholstery department of a fabric store, was a subject in psych experiments, sold ad books, and took rooms in peoples' homes rather than paying room and board. I discovered which bars along El Camino offered the heartiest happy hour food and ate that for dinner. Occasionally went out with guys I wasn't serious about in order to get a good meal. Sometimes felt bitter that I could not afford to take a nonpaying internship like many of my wealthier classmates did. Sometimes felt bitter that I could not even think about going someplace tropical for spring break.

    And I still could not understand why so many of my classmates predicated their choice of major and career based upon maximizing their income potential.

    Undergrad loans paid off years ago. Just a little bit to go on the grad loans.
     

    •  happy hour snacks (4.00)
      I used to do that with a girlfriend. We found when each bar in town served its snacks - usually about 5:00 to 6:30 or so - then sat at different tables until the snacks came, scoffed them down, then went to the next place for another drink.

      Best part was she was a vegetarian, so I got all the sausage rolls etc.

      •  I have happy memories, mostly, of (4.00)
        that period of my life. Especially of the margaritas, chips, salsa and assorted food accessories at one bar I hit regularly my entire senior year. Wrote some inspired papers. Years later I dragged my husband back to said bar to experience the bliss together. HAH!! Really shitty margaritas and crappy chips and salsa. The brain and taste buds have remarkable adaptive skills!
    •  I feel ya' (4.00)
      Your story is very much like mine. I spent my late teens and almost all of my 20's dirt poor. I sucked. Now I've worked my way up to middle class and have a little nest egg. But there is still a tiny amount of bitterness that I spent all those years barely scraping out a living while others, who didn't appreciate it, lived large.

      "The sun is not yellow, it's chicken." -Dylan

      by gjohnsit on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:47:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Never been poor.... (4.00)
    but, by God, we've worked to just remain middle class....and it feels far from secure.  My husband has been the type of guy that is supposed to be the ideal for the new age...trained in two different careers...willing to do free lance work on the side in order to keep our income in a range that allows for a couple extras like Christmas and vacation...we have a partial state retirement coming if we live to be ancient and a few bucks in 401Ks...if we're lucky, and our parents hang on to their assets and leave us a little more, my husband might actually be able to retire before he's 70...and, if  I actually make it that long, we do have a lot of kids so maybe we won't actually starve.
  •  mfp (4.00)
    my passions are asleep right now.  all things that typically interest me sound inane and i'm not sure what to do to change that.  
    playing music doesn't move me like it ought to.
    playing games (video games and chess) is redundant
    watching good films...(most of them are too depressing and i already feel sad about the world, i don't want to feel sad when i'm trying to relax too)
    etc.

    it's a phase my husband and i go through every now and again and we know it will pass...but it's upon us now and that's mfp.  

    mfp #2 - mfp #1 is inane and boring (do you ever hate to hear yourself talk or listen to yourself think?)

    hmph  :)

    •  Does it usually happen in the fall? (4.00)
      Just asking, because it sounds a lot like seasonal affective disorder.

      Robyn (not a psychologist, nor do I play one on TV)

      •  periodically throughout the year unfortunately (4.00)
        perhaps we (my hubby and i) overanalyze things...
        after a while, it all seems like the same thing over and over...
        our lives become rather...rinse.....repeat

        i've seen every movie...someone either dies or gets laughed at
        i've heard every piece of music since i heard john cage's 4'33''
        i've played every game (drop puzzle blocks here, explore a semi-interactive pacific northwest looking environment, shoot opposing team members to retrieve their flag, etc)
        i've read every book that has something new to offer (same kind of thing as with the john cage piece but with italo calvino's 'If on a Winter's Night a Traveler'

        these days, i occupy my time lurking on Dkos, DU, and checking the web for updates that the current administration and their corporate buddies haven't blown up a significant portion of the earth. i keep hoping that someone will hold them accountable for everything.  

        sometimes i consider going back to school to major in peace studies, international relations, or politics (and foreign languages) to see if i can make a dent in things, but the idea of going back to school is overwhelming considering our current financial situation (which isn't likely to change anytime soon).  not to mention how overwhelming it is to think about making a dent in a caste system that's been in place for centuries if not longer.  

        sorry to blather on...but it's a wyfp thread afterall, right?

        :)

        •  I'm a teacher... (4.00)
          ...so I'd certainly be in favor of the education option, even if it isn't formal.  

          Robyn

          •  as am i (4.00)
            my husband and i are both private music instructors and i value education very much.
            that's why i spend so much of my free time reading the web (it's not just lurking on Dkos and DU, i enjoy wikipedia and lonely planet, some msm sites and others)

            thanks for the encouragement though :)

        •  Hmmm. Are you sure you (4.00)
          can't get any kind of fellowship or assistantship for going back to school?

          I say go back to school.

          I did it (after many years as a professional musician), and I'm glad I did.

          I got "lucky" with fellowships and assistantships, and it actually turned out to be a financial boon to be in school; it's paid off "after the fact" as well.

          Shit, I hardly remember the "starving artist" days! (Now I volunteer my services as an artist, teaching inner city kids).

          •  not a bad idea (4.00)
            i didn't think too much about fellowships and assistantships because i thought those types of things were for people who were continuing their education in their original field, got great grades in undergrad, etc.  i'll have to look into how to obtain those.  
            i appreciate the advice

            :)

        •  Peace Studies (none)
          damn, go for it.

          but you can study for free without going back to school

          I do think it's very possible to have impact with just the intention to have impact

          not necessarily any kinda degree or certification needed--in fact it can be said that sometimes these can get inna way--(University For Peace International, Costa Rica is a potential place to look into)...but why do I bring this up after saying certification not needed?

          And Jonathan Schell's book The Unconquerable World--did ja see it??!!!!!!

          as for music, here's what i recommend

          netflix has a deep dvd library of performances. find a genre that you don't understand, like rap or jazz. Start with anything...

          years ago I went louis armstrong to thelonious monk to keith jarrett to ella fitz on and on and the thread is still going.

          As my friend snappa so elloquently stated: "it's also connected."

          real leadership is more than costume changes. --M.Dowd

          by ksingh on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 04:46:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Car accident... (3.78)
    not serious...pulling out of a parking lot and an old lady drove into me.  I should've paid more attention, she should've paid more attention...neither of us can decide who was at fault.  I do know that her car was hardly hurt, while my 1997 Saab 900S got its right fender banged up and the right headlight is gone.  Luckily, no one was hurt.  Unluckily, I will not have a car for my school's Homecoming Dance next week, and I'll have to ask my date to drive me.  Rather embarassing for a guy, especially since I was hoping to make a good impression on her, and am now reduced to such a pathetic position.  Oh well, that's what happens.  Oh, and while the damage is (relatively) light, it will still be 500-1000 dollars, which my parents will not cover and take out of my college savings to teach me a lesson.  Damn.  I've been kicking myself about it all day.  
  •  Plastic bag and ribbon poor. (4.00)
    We grew up poor.  My parents would put plastic bags over our shoes so that we could walk in the snow. They couldn't afford water proof shoes.  New school clothes didn't happen for us.  I remember having one pair of pants that I wore for about 4 years...from late elementary school into middle school.  I would save babysitting money and sew layer upon layer of ribbon onto the bottoms to make them longer for my growing legs.  

    I look back on these memories fondly.  Growing up poor made me a better person. It helped frame my social views and, to a certain extent, my political outlook.

    Not the church. Not the state. Women will decide their fate.

    by JaciCee on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:06:52 PM PDT

  •  Hurricane Wilma (4.00)
    is my FP right now. We are half-way done boarding up everything ( live on a rural property in Naples, FL with a house, an office and a barn).  We have a 20% deductible homeowners policy, no medical insurance and I just found out  someone replaced the vodka in my only bottle of hard liquor in the house with 1/2 water (my teenager??).

    Plus I have a ten-page paper due for my graduate class on Friday and a consulting project due Wednesday. Oh, and I started smoking again after quitting cold turkey 2 years ago. Just a little stress...

    •  trust in the force, luke (none)
      but 1/2 water?

      can you make it to the liquor store before the storm surge impacts? I know I'd have to try..

      hi my name is ksingh and I'm very strung out on anything addictive, including blogging, but more including tequila and guinness...

      ~:)

      real leadership is more than costume changes. --M.Dowd

      by ksingh on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 04:59:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My FP (4.00)
    I was raised by a tyrant and was abused, molested, got raped when I moved away from home, got knocked up and was forced to have an abortion, never trusted any man again in my whole life.  I married in my 20s to a man who said ahead of time that he didn't love me and we've been married 30 years.  He didn't want any more children, so the one child I could have had, I was forced to give up.

    My FP is that I'm stupid.  I accepted my step-kids as my kids and one had a child, the joy of my life.  We had great, wonderful times together.  His mother had all kinds of problems, and because I've had all kinds of problems myself, I tried to be there for her, no matter what time of day, no matter the amount of money.

    Her son from a previous marriage got married and I contributed to their new home, etc., but didn't want to get all involved in the new couple's problems.  Daughter in law got all pissed cause I wasn't "supportive" and now .... she has said ugly things about me to my grandchild.  She's made derrogatory remarks about her grandfather ... and the kid just stays away from us now.  When they do come around, you can tell she's sitting on pins and needles.  

    Now mind you, we've spent untold hours with the little angel and I have never, not once, ever said one single derrogatory word about her mother; wouldn't because I know how important parents are.

    I am so hurt and so angry, after what I've been through, it's all I can do to just smile and be nice to her, to keep from hurting my son's marriage and my grandchild's home life.  If I had my druthers, I probably let her have it and with my words, rip her guts out.  That child was and is so precious to me and she actually said, "Well pardon me if I'm wrong, but I just don't feel comfortable letting my child be around someone who is mad at me."  Mind you, the only "mad" behavior was a distancing myself from her tyrannical actions ... something I know plenty about.  My response was:  "So I can never be angry at you or you'll keep the girl away from me."  Left unsaid:  then go fuck yourself bitch!

    One of these days, she will divorce my son.  He's the only one left in the family that she hasn't turned on and when she does, I feel like I will say to her, "Well pardon me if I'm wrong, but I just don't feel comfortable seeing my child around someone who is mad at me."

    Other than that, life is pretty good, relatively speaking.

    •  <hug> (4.00)
      Man that is painful, SM... everybody needs people to love and to love them. Fury is not going to fix this though...
      •  Thanks ED and as for Fury ... (4.00)
        I'm getting older and after about 7 years in psychotherapy and thousands of dollars, I've come to the conclusion that some things will never be "fixed".  I finally told one shrink that I would never tell another therapist that I was sexually abused and he asked why.  "Because when I do, it's like they take a great big 10 penny nail and nail it to the wall and whatever problem or issue I have is hung on that nail."  In other words, no one else ever has the problem.  It's always me.  He thought I was wrong but then again, turned out he was a straight asshole, probably was a Republican!  He pissed me off taking up for my husband and always blaming me for everything, I finally asked if he wasn't homosexual and had a thing for my hubby.  I remember carefully explaining that statistically it just was very unlikely that I was the reason for every difficulty in life.  He became infuriated and I very calmly told him, not using too many curse words, and not raising my voice, that he didn't know his ass from a hole in the ground!  I later took my dog by his business on a Saturday afternoon and let him piss on his shrubs and take a dump on his lawn ... felt much better after that session!

        Back to fixing a problem .... with my grandchild, it is really very similar to sexual abuse in one sense.  It can't be UNDONE.  Every day that I miss the "pleasure of her company" is gone ... can't be replaced.  Forgiveness is something that I chose to apply ... after I get through the anger, realizing that holding a grudge is hurting me more than the other person!  She, like my Dad, will never understand the level of pain she inflicted.  I really don't think anyone ever understands what someone else FEELS.  Anyway, she doesn't even feel guilty.  At least Dad had some guilt!  She's really to be pitied .... but she took away the one thing that I finally "had" that made me feel life was worth living.  (I fight suicide thoughts every single day ... obviously successfully!)  I do have the consolation that she can't take away all the times we DID have and I know that she can't take away all those great feelings that the little person felt as well.  We were big time buds!  Maybe one day we can be that again, but I will have lost everything in between.  I will be happy with that though ....

        As for her ... hell hath no fury like a grandmother robbed of her grandchild.  A woman scorned doesn't even come close .... But if is like my Dad, she will never even know.  I helped take care of my Dad in the year prior to his death and was his side at his death.  He never knew the hurt, the pain, the rage ...

        •  so fix it. (4.00)
          I know what you mean about some things will never be fixed... I'm a believer in always believing things can get much better, but entirely fixed I doubt. My childhood was very emotionally abusive and some of the scars go very deep. But I've been a lot happier person since I forgave my mom and dad, forgave the kids who bullied me in school, forgave people who should have helped but instead hurt me worse. Now some of them I couldn't and had no need to track down and forgive directly. But I told my mom and dad, and I also told them I was sorry for hurtful things I'd said and done. Now this is difficult to do and be sincere about, but it is really the only way to healing. I still get mad, I still feel bitter sometimes, but it's so much better, and my relationship with my parents is better though very far from perfect. I'm not telling you something moralistic, I'm telling you something effective. Holding some deep grudge for all the days you haven't gotten to spend with your granddaughter strikes me as very tragic and very useless because all it does is cause pain, mostly to you. Fuck hell, hell is emotional masochists twisting knives in their own wounds; I've spent enough of my life on that, I'm trying to move on. Fuck therapy if therapy does you no good, it never has done me any. Fuck imagining you're too old to be happy, I don't believe you at all.

          I hope for real healing for your family, for love. You're not too broken to start fixing it till you're dead. I hope you can be less attached to your suffering, because I fucking hate suffering. Don't you? You know what, I don't cuss a lot but this is one of those times. You can only help this situation if you begin to forgive, which is a part of loving more freely. And yeah, it's entirely possible to love people who've wronged you.

          <hug> again... the anger in your comments really hits me and I hope for better for you, for the love of your family and your freedom to love them better.

          •  I'm not there and I've had plenty experience (4.00)
            I have a sister who was as abused as me and she is still wanting to get things "fixed" ... by fixed, I mean make everything OK again.  And she's constantly angry .....

            I guess you didn't read my reply or didn't believe me.  I have forgiven.  I've "been there" for my parents and still am for my mother; father's deceased.  I don't expect anything "in payment" to make me feel any better.  Bottom line, I was abused and I've NEVER had a sexual life as a result.  And I've been to all the therapists and it can't be done.  Maybe if I had married someone else, but I didn't and I chose to stay in the marriage.

            As for my grandchild, it's not a grudge for all the days I don't get with her.  It's a fact jack.  In some things you don't "get overs", you can't go back and "fix it."

            I will never be close to my daughter-in-law again because I choose NOT to.  My husband told me LONG ago that she was a vicious person.  I gave her every benefit of the doubt.  She's done the same thing to her own parents, her husband's mother, her ex-husbands' parents.  I'm just the latest.  I bear no responsibility whatsoever for her behavior.

            I now choose to keep my emotional distance.  And in my opinion, she is holding my grandchild "hostage" or as payment.  I have no respect for this behavior.   I'm cordial to her ... I don't want any more.  Actually, there is nothing else.  A relationship is a two-way street.  She chose her path and it didn't include having a relationship with me.  

            If you are saying that I am masochistic, that I'm hurting myself, that's your opinion.  I don't think so ... The pain of the loss of the relationship with my grandchild is real and I won't deny it.  I'm not being masochistic, just realistic.

            As I reread your post to make sure I've addressed your points to consider, " You're not too broken to start fixing it till you're dead. I hope you can be less attached to your suffering ..." I know exactly where you're coming from.   Thank you and have a nice day.

            •  Be well SM (none)
              No you can't change anything you have no intention at all to change. Of course that is hurting you, and I see you nursing and justifying your anger, which is the meaning of twisting the knife in one's own wounds. You're crying out in pain and gushing blood right in front of me, and it is very painful just to look at, but you have these dogmas in your thinking preventing you from stopping the bleeding. I promise I can't help you and neither can a therapist. You can help yourself. Here are some bandages and some ointment. Find a cool and quiet place to rest up and be still. Get well soon. And I'm sorry if you're offended. I wish your granddaughter well too, I hope she turns out so much better than her mom. I hope you and she have the relationship you hope for some day in the future if not now.
              •  Dear Elizabeth D (4.00)
                I "THOUGHT" the name of this post was "What's Your Fucking Problem".  I've never played "this game" before, won't again.

                Unless I misunderstood, I thought this was an opportunity to write My FP.  Any time a person, this person, begins to discuss a painful issue, emotions will get charged higher.

                Even if you are a licensed therapist, you could not diagnose me online, as you have done.

                I've spent YEARS in therapy trying NOT to do just what you saying to do .... "nursing and justifying your anger" and "you have these dogmas in your thinking preventing you from stopping the bleeding. I promise I can't help you and neither can a therapist. You can help yourself."

                I was coached in blaming myself for my pain .... when I was sexually abused, I was told "You're just not a warm person."  "I'm only doing this to help you."  "You just don't have any love."  I was told that I was "the bad seed", needed to be "saved by Jesus", led in the "sinner's prayer" and then told "get up you're not saved."  It took me many years away from my Dad to realize "there's nothing at the core of my being WRONG with me."

                I've responded to a painful situation, very painful, in a non-attack mode.  I'm not trying to change her. I "nurtured" her brokenness for 10 years!  She has a problem and my grandchild unfortunately got caught in this ... very much like her older two children have been hurt ... taken away from their dad, abused by a step-father, and one is schizophrenic.  To try to have a relationship with this woman after she has declared that she is keeping my grandchild away from me, on purpose, would be masochistic ...  I lived within blocks and I get to see my grandchild.  We still get to have snippets of a relationship.  She is very guarded around her mother ... she is only protecting herself.  I'm not going to do anything that makes it any harder on her.  Like I said, I'm cordial.  The woman AND YOU can blame me, but I am not unhealthy enough to play this game with the mother.

                I'm very sorry I participated in this post; I won't again I can assure you.  "Write your FP."  "Tell me your problem. AHA, YOU have this problem!"  "It's very painful to look at."  There were alot of painful posts, more painful than mine!  People in need, people with loved ones in need!  Financial and physical NEED.  I wish that I hadn't "unburdened" myself here .... As my original post said, My FP is that I'm stupid!  And here's the perfect example.

                Be well Elizabeth D .... you remind me of my older sister.  I wish only good things for you.

                •  okay (none)
                  get well. I hope for that. And much love to you :-)

                  My FP is I can't lie; I see what I was telling you very clearly. Your post hurt me more than any other on this thread; you write about it with a lot of immediacy. Yours may not be the worst problem, but it did strike me as one of the bloodiest. If you want somebody just to acknowledge how bad it is, I'll tell you that--I can see how terrible it is that your granddaughter is withheld from you and how deeply it hurts. It sounds like your whole life has been damn painful. I see that. I'm actually not blaming you for that at all, any more than I blame myself for how unendurably painful my own life was for many years. Just sayin I hope for it to be better.

                  •  The same for you Elizabeth D (4.00)
                    I'm sorry that my pain hurt YOU.  That was not my intention ... and yet, I felt that kind of pain when I read others posts.  So much pain in the world .... I'm always quoting Rodney King, "Why can't we all just get along."  My husband was in the hospital recently and I visited with and saw so many people in grief ...

                    Right now, I'm sick at heart over the earthquake victims in Pakistan and Kashmire and India.  I don't even hear their plight mentioned on the MSM and it's going to get horrible .... winter is upon them and they have no shelter and will be freezing to death by the thousands.  I've written to people in "high places" .... somebody with some "name power" is going to have to get this situation help and soon.

                    Anyway ... take care ... I'm okay.  I try to be cordial to her as I don't want to make any trouble for my son or my grandchild.  

                    My happiness is outdoors and my horses and dogs and cats and chickens and doves and the trees and grass ... and my husband and my family (that's long distance now).  All in all, I have it pretty darn good in comparison to some!

                    Take care Elizabeth D ..... and have a blessed day.

                    •  like I said, (none)
                      I fucking hate suffering, and there's so damned much of it.

                      It's really okay SM, sometimes it is good to be grabbed by someone else's problem, not only do I feel closer to you and like I understand someone else just a little bit better, it puts some of my own problems in perspective. WYFP is about all of that as well as having people listen to one's own problems.

                      I agree, the situation in Pakistan is heartrending and overwhelming. I can't believe sometimes the things that have happened this year, I think like everybody I was terribly shocked by the New Orleans disaster and it woke me up a bit.

                      What kind of horses do you have/what kind of riding do you do? I miss being around horses extremely, they have always been a very valuable part of my life my horse Darty broke his leg several years ago and I had to put him down. I'm too poor at this point to ride. But I do sculpt horses some, though I've been unmotivated lately. Here is a painted copy (not painted by me) of a sculpture of mine that won an award earlier this year.

                      Many blessings to you too SM.

                      •  On horses (none)
                        I breed and race TB racehorses.  I don't have a large operation, in fact right now I'm down to 6 horses total, with 1 on the track.  Last year I sold 3 and gave 2 away and didn't have a foal this year.  So, I'm down to a manageable "herd" for my age.  

                        I just looked at your website for a sec ... very nice work.  I'm jealous! and hope to sculpt some day when I'm not as busy.  Maybe after we get a Democrat back in the WH!

                        My husband is 9 years older than I and we had our first problem foaling last year.  The foal had one foreleg turned back and it was a 2 hour ordeal before I could get the vet here.  He gave her a trank, zonked both her and the foal and he was able to push the foal back enough to pull his leg forward.  This was my oldest mare, my darling love, and I decided to not breed her again.  The other mare just doesn't want to carry a baby I guess.  She raced for us and won $161k and a few stakes races.  That's when I decided it was much more fun to win!  At any rate, I've decided that if I have any more foals, I'm going to let a farm foal them out.  Husband just had bypass surgery so we're scaling back on stuff.

                        Your Darty looked gorgeous; I love the blood bays!  I'm so sorry for your loss ... I've lost a few, very hard, since they are all my babies!

                        Better get to work cleaning up my messes ... have a good day .... waiting for "Fitzmas" and am getting tuned up to sing!!!

                        •  horses (none)
                          > hope to sculpt some day when I'm not as busy.  

                          It can be rewarding! If you get serious about trying it, this is a good group to join: http://www.ress.org

                          > She raced for us and won $161k and a few stakes races.  That's when I decided it was much more fun to win!  

                          Wow, yeah I guess so. :-) Darty was started by some race people who somehow messed him up pretty bad and I suspect that's why they got rid of him, he had some significant emotional issues by the time I got him as an almost 3yo. He was incredibly fast if he ran away with me, but not necessarily when I wanted him to be fast. ;-) Thanks, he was a beautiful little horse, though not as red as he looks in that picture, more of a classic bay.

                          > I've decided that if I have any more foals, I'm going to let a farm foal them out.  Husband just had bypass surgery so we're scaling back on stuff.

                          It is a lot of work and worry. My boyfriend has a coworker who breeds quarter horse show hunters on a small scale (she's also an artist).

          •  hugely deserving of 4's (none)
            many of 'em

            and let's all of us swear a pact to
            experience the best, most high love we ever can access as humans.

            It takes no one else's participation
            we can just feel it and lo and behold we broadcast it far and wide, as did ED just above

            beautifully said!

            big up the human heart!!!

            real leadership is more than costume changes. --M.Dowd

            by ksingh on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 05:11:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  MFP ... (3.93)
    ... is that I have
    papers to grade,
    papers to write,
    lectures to prepare,
    dishes to wash,
    people to email,
    people to phone,
    people to be kind to,
    people to meet,
    laundry to do,
    flowers to water,
    floors to vacuum,
    debts to repay,
    socks to reunite,
    boxes to unpack,
    finances to organise,
    tools to return,
    teaching schedules to draft,
    immigration hassles to overcome,
    arguments to analyse,
    literature to categorise,
    ideas to clarify,
    objections to anticipate,
    cupboards to pack,
    blinds to clean,
    soup to make,
    books to sort,
    joules to burn,

    and all,
    all I can think of

    is the colour of my wife's lips
    and the four weeks between us.

  •  Been close, and may yet end up there. (4.00)
    Eliazbeth D, maybe you could add "There but the grace of God, go I".
  •  I really don't have any fucking problems, (4.00)
    not really.

    Considering where I come from (I grew up on welfare, went through 22 foster homes and the state dept of corrections by the time I was 16; product of marital rape;  5th in a succession of 7 "illegitimate" children of my Native American mother with her 8th grade education who worked 3rd shift at the foundry in the days when she had a good job)....

    These days, with PhD in hand, substantial free-lance income, teaching at the U, etc. , etc.....Don't have health insurance, and am pretty fucking pissed/depressed/devastated about politics (anxiously anticipating a Fitzmas boost in that regard)....Naw I don't have any problems, not really.

    But, I really liked this line:

    "giving as an expression of gratitude" from the diary. I really liked it. A lot.

    Being a "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" (when there weren't any "bootstraps" to begin with) story, I've always, always, always, tended to give generously to the homeless and others less fortunate (these days, I volunteer a lot of my time to kids projects in my innercity Chicago neighborhood; also hand out lots of 5s, 10s and 20s to anonymous strangers).

    Always have (ever since I "arrived," that is). Always will. No. Matter. What.

    But it's so often mis-read, this "do-gooder" streak in me. You hit the nail on the head with this, because, for me, it has also always been .. "giving as an expression of gratitude". Nothing more, nothing less.

    That said. ....

    I do have a very good friend who is in extremely dire straights right now. I am worried about her survival: financial and psychological. I have sent funds, but she's not in my city...and I'm not in any position to make little more than a "pick me up" dent in the situation.

    I'm won't go into further details here, but I will  ask fellow Kossacks to do ME a favor.... (and I do NOT ask often, I really don't).....

    pls. if there is anyway you can, visit this website, and if you can at all afford  it (whether you need the products or not), would you please, please ORDER a download.

    Better yet....this woman may not be the greatest artist in the world (tho I do enjoy much of her stuff and it's definitely worth a listen), but she is a great human being and I am afraid she is about to "go under"....she's put her last hope in the notion of self-marketing her work, but it's all pretty much "do-it-yourself"--and I know that is NOT going to cut the mustard in the "wild wild world of the Internets"--so if there's anyone out there who might be willing to give her some pro bono assistance in the marketing and internet "packaging"/ webdesign dept....pls. drop me a line (I might be able to offer free academic EDITING in exchange, which is one of the things I do professionally)

    ...(as you can see, it's barely even clear that she's selling something here...and I am more or less "net illiterate" otherwise I'd do more to help)...even a spike in hits to the site would help, but if you could spare a few bucks for a download....I would very much appreciate it.

    Pls help if you can.

    •  Hi, Stark! (4.00)
      I ordered one of her stories.  You're right, her website needs some HELP.

      Hey, don't forget the downside to Fitzmas, girl.  You gonna have to eat one ugly hat, my dear cousin.

       

      "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonest war." - Mark Twain

      by skwimmer on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:11:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Done (4.00)
      I wish her luck... but that site needs help.  Having to hunt to find where to pay for something is a serious blunder.

      She's busking.  Which is fine, and is an honorable practice.

      But you gotta put out your hat.  Or open the guitar case.  Make it obvious to people...

      Otherwise, they may just think you're performing for the sheer pleasure and as a gift to the world.

      "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

      by ogre on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:36:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Giving to homeless people (4.00)
    I moved to New York City when I was fresh out of college and was immediately struck by the overwhelming number of homeless people. They were everywhere: on the subway, in the stations, on the streetcorners, in the parks. I was making $15,000 a year and literally counting my pennies to make it to the end of each month. I also became exhausted by facing the moral question 100 times a day of whether to give to this homeless person or that, since I obviously couldn't give to all of them.

    I felt really uncomfortable in that role. I felt I was judging beggars based on their pitch. Did this one seem legitimate? Was that one addled by drugs? How pathetic did someone have to be for me to give to them? I felt like I was playing God. So, I reached the difficult decision to not give money to street people, ever. I'd give in other ways, but I no longer wanted to be in the position of judging whether one person seemed more deserving than another.  

    So then a couple of years later I'm living in Washington D.C., working as a reporter, of all things, and I realized one afternoon that I didn't have enough money to take the metro back to the newsroom in time to file my story. I think I was short only a quarter or so. But I also didn't have an ATM card on me, so I was truly stuck. I pondered asking a stranger for some money, but realized I couldn't in good conscience do that since I had made the blanket refusal to give to street people a few years earlier. Why should I expect others to give to me if I couldn't give to them?

    I walked back to the newsroom and missed my deadline. I took my knocks, but I felt that if I couldn't give to homeless people, I didn't have the right to expect anyone to give to me, either.

    It didn't occur to me that others might be kinder toward me than I had been to others or to myself. I was very young then, and I know more about human nature now. I don't see as many street people now as I did then, but when I do it's much easier to give them a smile and a kind word -- and if I happen to have it, my spare change.

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mohandas Gandhi

    by trueblue illinois on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:22:31 PM PDT

  •  Fitzoween (4.00)
    MFPs?
    • Waiting for Fitzoween. Fitzmas? Get real, it's Fitzoween — this site is ORANGE. Trick or treat? Nobody, but nobody, @#$%in' knows. And I'm wasting soo much time and energy uselessly. Make me stop!
    • That wet blanket John Dean. Who died and made him an expert anyway? He was what when? Oh. You think that matters now? I hope it doesn't.
    • Mother and boyfriend have self-elected to visit NYC for a week, and massive cleanup of hovel is now necessary. Lucky for them love is involved.
    • Gritting teeth (Fitzoween again) while waiting for dental work.
    • Have to dance if many indictments come down, and I don't know how. (Not a real fucking problem, will just yell instead.)

    Meta FPs:

    • Reading your story reminded me of a couple of times in my life when all I was doing was dishwashing and scraping rent together, working at restaurants w/middle-aged people with abuse and drug problems. Knowing I could get out of that eventually when some of the people around me certainly never would. Thinking about the things I could have done for people and didn't, and the precious little I did when it really counted. As you state it, as expression of gratitude.
    • Ignoring the people who work the subway cars during commute times — I've become hard-core the last few years but still have guilt twinges, even though I personally believe the majority are regular scammers of one kind or another.
    • It's very difficult to beg. Have done it several times (not street) with some hard consequences. The memory burns in and lasts a very long time, which I guess is good or bad depending on one's perspective.
  •  My FP? (4.00)
    1185 fucking days.

    That's my fucking problem.

    The above comments are... well, it should be snarkishly obvious.

    by WYFP on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:41:03 PM PDT

  •  It depends. (4.00)
    I guess I'm different.  I'd have wanted to smack that lady talking about 'sharing the joy'.  What a bitch (pardon my french), if she initiated that conversation and the person she was giving to did not.  The homeless person did not ask, in that case, and the lady was too selfish to realize just how selfish her talking about HERSELF was to someone in a substantially worse situation than herself.  If she really wanted to 'share some joy', she should have just smiled at the person and wished them good luck.  Or said something to the effect that things were getting brighter for her, and she had a feeling they would get brighter for the person she was handing money to, too.  Something, anything, to connect her 'joy' with that person's present situation.

    Instead, she treated that person as an emotional prostitute, with herself as the john:  she needed to get her 'aren't I high and mighty' rocks off, and here's someone she can pay to do it.  How one-sided.  

    That's the real problem with panhandling, the one-sidedness, for both parties.  Me, I don't pretend to anything other than 'giving some extra money because I can afford to' when giving to a panhandler, if I give to a panhandler.  No need for false empathy, or attempts to the justify the act with extended inane small talk (which is what is described above).

    •  you're wrong (4.00)
      She said "SHARING the joy".  By its very definition, sharing isn't selfish.

      By your argument, we should denounce rich people who want to give their wealth to the poor.

      If the homeless person didn't need or want the money, he could have said "no thank you" and handed it right back.

      New Orleans will never die

      by hrh on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:18:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  then apparently, she's not sharing (none)
        because she is being selfish.

        or maybe i have problems with limousine liberalism that you don't share. that's cool. i don't buy what that lady did above as a great thing, however.  if you had ever lived life at or below the poverty line, you wouldn't either.

        •  I have (none)
          Many times during my childhood, my family didn't know where our next meal was coming from.  Many times we had the power turned off because we couldn't pay the electric bill, and we lived by candlelight.  Fortunately we had a gas stove and they couldn't turn off the gas unless we let them into the apartment.  We never did.  We pretended we weren't home.  In those days, we would have been fucking ECSTATIC if someone on the street had handed us some money, saying "I'm sharing the joy."  Now what were you saying?

          New Orleans will never die

          by hrh on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 04:18:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You're a very negative person (4.00)
      It's your right, but not everyone is like you.
         That's not me saying that I'm not a negative person to. I just acknowledge that there are some caring, giving, happy people out there, and I wish I was like them.

      "The sun is not yellow, it's chicken." -Dylan

      by gjohnsit on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:36:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  MFP? (4.00)
    I gave my credit card to my girlfriend to pick some things up for the baby's room. Not sure how much credit I got left! ;p

    MFP? Inspired by a news report, and a diary here, exploting your children's naivety to instill morals of hate and racism.

    MFP? I'm not a trusted user after a brou-ha-ha last week in a diary. I can't go back to see who rated me how, or any subsequent comments, as everything got collapsed when I was pounced.

    MFP? Got a kid on the way, my hours were cut, and the position I'm hoping to get in IT might not happen due to the head honcho of my work griping about low sales and high cost and the possible need to cut hiring for now.

    MFP? I'm at work and don't want to be.

    MFP? Uhm....that's all I got for now. Have a cartoon...

    Phillybits - A Showcase Of Political News And Thought

    by Stand Strong on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:43:25 PM PDT

    •  TU status will recover. (4.00)
      I went and looked... you got thumped, I think, for how you expressed your point, rather than what you were saying.  

      I think.

      But rather than outing who gave zeros... which might only pour gas onto a rating pissing match...

      I'll give yo a four here and a reminder that advice goes down far, far better with honey than with vinegar.  Once you've screwed up the presentation of advice... man, it's hard to get a reasonable hearing.

      "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

      by ogre on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:46:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe this will help (none)
      4

      real leadership is more than costume changes. --M.Dowd

      by ksingh on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 05:52:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  MFPs: (4.00)
    Calculus. I hate calculus. I hate anyone who helped develop calculus.  I hate anyone who understands calculus. I hate derivitives, I hate limit laws, and I hate whatever is in the next 34 pages that I have to understand by Monday.

    Introduction to Christian Theology. At this point, not only do I hate Daniel Migliore, Rahner, Tillich, Barth, Augustine, Kerkegaard, The Nicene Creed and The Apostles' Creed...but frankly God and Christ (both of whom* I have a takehome test on) aren't too high on my list either.

    MFP is that I managed to have a cold and the flu simultaneously and now I'm absolutely drowning in makeup work (and I'm so overwhelmed that at the moment I'm taking a much too long break here.

    *important theological question: Must I capitalize the pronoun "whom" when it refers to God but also Christ...and as Migliore would ask, how does the faith and practice of that answer affirm my faith in a triune God?
    (I think my head just exploded)

    •  I hate calculus? (4.00)
      Well, I don't really.   But look at this: Ihatecalculus.com

      Maybe it will help.
    •  Having taught calculus for more years... (4.00)
      ...than I care to admit, I just have to ask:  Is it the really the calculus that you dislike or is it actually the fact that you have to be an expert in just about every bit of algebra and trigonometry that anyone ever attempted to teach you?

      Just askin'

      Robyn

      •  Truthfully, (4.00)
        what I hate is that, having taken a couple years off between hoghschool and college, and postponed the inevitable pain of taking Calculus until the last possible semester, it has now been six years since I've taken a math of any kind.  

        How lovely that my inner procrastinator and my inner masochist could co-conspire in such a way!

        So, having to remember all that algebra I learned in 10th grade...well it's been a struggle.  

        So yeah, it could be that, or it could be that Calculus is clearly the tool of a pernicious diety who enjoys human suffering (look, I managed to combine my 2 FPs).  It's a toss up.

  •  Elizabeth, (4.00)
    your diary made me cry. thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

    by Dunbar on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:46:03 PM PDT

  •  I should probably post this up above... (4.00)
    ...with the comments by teacher's, but I'm hoping they will scroll down this far.

    MFP is that I want to start a regular weekly diary, not unlike this one and Carnacki's, but with a teaching/education theme.  I'm hoping it would not just be a place for teachers to grouse about students, but rather a place to discuss teaching/learning related topics (i.e. I would hope the emphasis would be on constructive discussion rather than negativity).  As I envision it, I'd post it on Sundays, relatively early in the morning (Eastern).

    Of course, that's not the FP part.  The FP part is that it is altogether too likely that the diary would scroll off the recent diaries list too fast to attract much notice, which would mean getting it started is going to be a bitch.  I'm hoping some of you who are teachers or know teachers can help spread the word that it will exist and will be findable at this address.  

    Of course, it's always possible that I could end up there all alone, but we'll see.

    Robyn

    •  Well, (4.00)
      I would be very interested if you were to post such diaries...I'm not a teacher, but put in considerable time being involved with education issues.  Also a parent...which gives one a whole other perspective.

      You might be surprised how many people would be interested...maybe it has to do with the time you would post it?

    •  sounds like a cool idea to me (4.00)
      anybody else have any wisdom on when the good times are to get diaries recommended?
      •  One of the reasons I picked Sunday... (4.00)
        ...mornings at least to start with is that the recent diaries list seems to move a bit slower.

        On the down side, I'm not really a morning person.

        Robyn

        •  Pull up yer socks (none)
          and just do it.

          and don't let one fast disappearing diary squelch your enthusiasm.

          if it works for us, we'll quickly support (recommend)

          real leadership is more than costume changes. --M.Dowd

          by ksingh on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 06:07:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  MFP (4.00)
    Well, once again, I don't really have a personal FP tonight other than the fact that my boss is having a frickin' nervous breakdown and has been absent from the office for two weeks.  Clients are calling,  demanding answers, and I am at the end of my rope in trying to respond to them.  

    We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. ~Edward R. Murrow

    by elveta on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 06:58:04 PM PDT

    •  Jeeeez, that bites. (4.00)
      Nothing worse than being pummeled about things you have no control over.

      Sounds like you need one big "whatayagonnado"

      ....or a new boss.

      new job?

      If Jesus Christ came back today and saw what was being done in his name, he'd never stop throwing up... - Hannah and Her Sisters

      by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:21:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An FP (4.00)

    I TA for a math class where they are covering difficult material.  Part of my job is grading, and I have yet to finish 20-25 papers in less that two hours.  That's not the problem.  (The B- option is not available to me, as will be explained in the next paragraph).  

    My FP is that there are students in that class hand in papers that indicate that they are in deep trouble, and who have not yet asked for help, nor have they shown up at either of the weekly tutoring sessions I give.  Don't they see what they're doing to themselves?!  Is it better to drop in for ten minutes or engage in a futile hours-long battle with the material?  

    •  do they even know they are in trouble? (4.00)
      Has anyone talked to them about it?

      If it would truly be futile to battle with the material for hours, then they shouldn't be in the class at all.

      New Orleans will never die

      by hrh on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:09:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One thing you will ... (4.00)
      ... eventually learn (if you stay at it long enough):

      Some of those students don't care.

      A few, yes, definitely a few of them do care and probably know how much trouble they're in --- but pride or frustration or whatever keeps them from asking for help.

      You leave a door open for them --- but you can't force them to walk through it.

      The others, though, the ones who don't care? Not a thing you can do.

    •  Been there- (4.00)
      When I was in my senior year I picked up a few extra credits doing tutoring for a Humanities 101 class that my advisor was teaching. It was an interesting experience. I had several foreign students (3 Chinese and 1 Portugeuse) who came in regularly for help on their response papers. They were cool- mostly a matter of helping with their grammar and basic editing of their work. That part I enjoyed. But then... around the time that the mid-term papers came back, I had a spate of students coming in waving the C-grade papers, frothing at the mouth and wanting me to argue with the hapless GTA who'd graded their papers. And talk about a sense of entitlement! One girl ranted on about how she'd carried a 4.0 in high school and how dare they give her this grade! Well, to begin with, you didn't follow the directions for the assignment, your paper rambles, there's no cohesive argument, and the grammar, syntax, and spelling is so bad that your high school English teacher should have their credentials revoked for giving you a pass. None of them were willing to honestly sit down and address the shortcomings of their work. They just wanted me to tell off the GTA. I talked to my advisor about it, and her answer was a wry smile and "Welcome to academia."

      One of the things I do not miss from my days at the university. And don't get me started on the essays I saw when I was teaching freshman comp. I still have nightmares...

      "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." -Karl Marx

      by Lainie on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:14:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My fucking problem... (4.00)
    is watching a great nation being taken down and buried in debt by a cabal of traitorous thieves and that too many people don't see them for what they are.
    •  Our problem (none)
      as you so nailingitly state

      is that we never learned what democracy requires of us
      we didn't learn it in school

      how the fuck come?

      even if we want to look back, the place to look is ahead.

      democracy requires certain skills of its citizenry.

      it ain't rocket science, but it is this:

      listening ability.

      access to and ability to digest information

      feel compelled (and empowered) to participate.

      the damn participation is made so much easier by this technology. We have a model here, folks.

      We are doing democracy here. It feels good to me.

      real leadership is more than costume changes. --M.Dowd

      by ksingh on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 06:18:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  funny you should bring that up (4.00)
    because this morning, my "lesson for the day", from Eileen Caddy's book Opening Doors Within (I pick a page from the book at random each day), was as follows:

    As you learn to give, so will you receive.  Open your heart and give all you can of the gifts which have been given you.  Give of your love, your wisdom, your understanding.  Give of the intangible as well as the tangible.  In fact, give and give and go on giving without any thought of the self, without any thought of the cost or of what you will get out of it.  Your giving must be wholehearted and joyous; then you will find the very act of giving will bring with it joy and happiness untold.  Every soul has something to give, so find out what you have to give and then give it.  Never forget that there are many levels on which you can give.  Do not just give what is easy to give, but give where it hurts, and grow and expand as you do so, for only the very best can come out of your giving.

    As far as my FP is concerned: last night I lost a lot of sleep because my five-year-old son was REJECTED for a "play date".  We moved to this town in the summer and have been working at setting up social situations so he can make new friends.  The kid I had invited had come to his birthday party a few weeks ago and had a great time.  He's older, a six-year-old, and a macho type who tends to run the games on the playground.  I suspected he was a bit of a bully, so I was surprised that he came to the party, and that he enjoyed playing with my son, who is a quiet artistic type (as my husband was once called, a "sensitive blooming plant"!).  When I asked the kid if he would like to come and play with my son sometime, he said yes.  In the past few weeks I left a couple of messages on his parents' answering machine.  On Friday I got a call from his mother saying that her son didn't WANT to play with my son because at some point at the beginning of school, my son had shoved him!  She then went on to talk about how "popular" her son is, and how because of that she encouraged him to play with my son (who I guess by this she's saying that he's "unpopular", although he's always been well-liked, particularly by the girls).  I was left stunned.  Facts of the case aside, I'm thrown off balance by anyone who talks about "popularity" in the context of kindergarten.  I still haven't come to terms with it.  So that's my Fucking Problem.

    I assume since the lesson of the day was about "giving", that I should find some way to give of myself to the snobbish bitch with the bullying son.  Any suggestions?

    New Orleans will never die

    by hrh on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:03:06 PM PDT

    •  well, huh (4.00)
      I don't think you're going to change her necessarily and who knows why her son doesn't want to play, so maybe forgive and forget, but you have plenty to give to your son, maybe in quality time with him rather than scheduling play dates?
      •  hopefully that doesn't sound like (3.66)
        I'm saying you don't already spend time with him or that the play dates are meant as a replacement for that! just that if anyone obviously needs your giving, it's probably your son.
        •  yes, we parents can always give more (4.00)
          but the time spent with other kids is very important in its own way.

          New Orleans will never die

          by hrh on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:13:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That was a good catch (none)
          and a nice recovery.

          I follow you, and I follow your concern for sounding critical, or being heard in that context.

          we always hope criticism can be heard in the same way we would hear it ourselves. a little hard, but it's for the best a lot of the time...
          not always

          as we would hear it ourselves
          we have learned to benefit from this perspective

          real leadership is more than costume changes. --M.Dowd

          by ksingh on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 06:32:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Wow (4.00)
      With a mother like that I'm sure her son will grow up to be a fine upstanding young man.  
    •  I have been amazed (4.00)
      at the people I've found sitting in my living room because I have a child, and the kids he plays with have parents.

      My son's best friend since preschool has super-jerky parents, and the boy himself has turned into a jerk in the past year (he's 12).  I wish I could have saved my son the heartache of being treated badly by him, but it was not to be.

      I have found there are some parents you can talk to about social stuff, and there are some parents that will never get what you're talking about.  People who talk about their kindergartner's being popular might be in the second category.

      I would say you don't have to be generous to the snob, necessarily, but be generous in your faith in your son.  He'll figure it out.

      •  thank you (4.00)
        for your wise comments.

        Since this is your specialty and you mentioned the "mean mom" story, how about the "mean teacher"?  This is another thing that has been rankling me for the past several weeks.  

        My son moved from a large Montessori school, a fun place where he was doing very well, to a small place run by one woman who claims it's a Montessori school.  She has some of the trappings of a Montessori school (the Pink Tower etc. and of course the ritual framed photo of Maria Montessori prominently displayed) but she does a lot of really odd things, like asking the kindergartners to do homework daily.  And if kids want to use the electric organ (as my son does, because he's very musical) or use the computer, they have to complete certain tasks.  Hmm, that doesn't seem like Montessori to me.

        Then came the shock: in our first parents' conference, she broke it to us that she thought he had a learning disability and "emotional development issues" that we should have professionally evaluated by the state school board screening program.  

        We had never had any idea that this could be a problem.  But maybe it was just us, maybe we were in denial.  So we went to the screening program.  He scored at the top, or near to the top, in all categories and was first-grade level in a couple.  I spoke at length to the local psychologist who was the honcho of the program and she was effusive in her enthusiasm about him.  

        So I'm wondering - what do we do about the "mean teacher"?  I've had a few in my life and I don't want my kid to suffer through that, if I can help it.

        New Orleans will never die

        by hrh on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 09:26:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Find another teacher. (4.00)
          I know of no other way.

          Perhaps on the way out... letting her know what the evaluation showed -- which was that she wasn't fit to teach.

          "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

          by ogre on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:54:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with ogre (4.00)
          It sounds like your child is flourishing, and it sounds like his new teacher is pretty limited.  There are many, many "Montessori" programs that are just regular classrooms with some of the Montessori materials, and poorly trained teachers to boot. (My son's school uses lots of Montessori stuff but doesn't advertise the fact, since the teachers aren't Montessori-trained and besides they use lots of other methodologies.)  In some states, private school teachers do not need to be credentialed in anything education-related.

          Usually "mean teachers" lack training.  They're not sure what kids are all about, they're not sure of themselves, and they're petrified of things getting out of hand.  They have a great need for compliance/order.  Frequently they take normal child behavior (e.g., being fidgety, testing limits, perhaps being smarter than the teacher, etc.) personally, and this increases their need to Be the Boss.  Sometimes this takes the form of being very controlling, sometimes the child is unnecessarily targeted as Needing Special Help, sometimes they end up on stress leave!

          If you possibly can, find a school for your child that is filled with talented teachers.  We don't all have the means to do this, but children in good schools (which doesn't mean "rich") are happier and more confident.  Ask around, and see if you can find classrooms that are calm, productive, and cherish curiosity (even if a kid occasionally blurts out, because he's so excited!).  Stay away from the ones where the selling point is that the kids line up and walk quietly from place to place, and all know their places on the rug.  Schools should be designed for children, but they often end up serving the adults instead.

          I'm so glad your good feelings about your child were validated by The Experts.  And congratulations for following up on the teacher's startling suggestions.  You're right, we're all susceptible to denial, and it's really courageous of you to move through it.  There will be years in your child's school career when the teacher for whatever reason doesn't recognize all the good things about him, and that's a drag, but it's also a useful experience for the child.  However, if there's anything you can do to avoid or minimize those occasions, I'd say go for it.

          •  thanks again (none)
            You confirm my suspicions about the teacher, especially her being unsure of herself and taking any noncompliance, etc. personally.  She's a bigtime control-freak and micro-manager.  I volunteered to help with a crafts table at a school party at the start of the year and I saw how she deals with adults under her direction - that is, not well - so I had my doubts about how she could relate to and manage kids.

            We've transferred our son to a Waldorf school a few miles away.  He'll start there on Monday.  The atmosphere is SO much different from the other school!  The teachers are happy and smiling, the kids are happy and smiling, and the energy is very pleasant and upbeat, as opposed to the other school where everyone seemed to wear permanent frowns.  The atmosphere is much more like the Montessori we attended in Minnesota.

            When I was bringing my son to the Waldorf school to visit, I met the father of a little girl who attended the other school for a while at the beginning of the year.  We chatted for a bit and I told him we were transferring too.  He said, "I don't blame you!"  I asked him what his opinion was about the other school, and he said, "Bad vibe - emotional instability."  I was glad to hear my feeling confirmed.  

            One thing I've learned from this experience is to trust your gut.  And when you hear the alarm bells going off in your head, listen to them.  Even if an authority figure is telling you the opposite.

            Thanks again for your thoughts on the subject - your comments have helped me a great deal in coming to terms with this whole thing.

            New Orleans will never die

            by hrh on Tue Oct 25, 2005 at 09:01:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Tell that mother (4.00)
      she's a great big doody-head!
  •  This experience has stayed with me ............. (4.00)
    ................. and when I remember it, I clearly feel the emotions.  Many years ago I was working  as a nurse practitioner in the ER at Cook County hospital in Chicago....the ER was always busy and as an NP, I would examine and treat people as well.  A man came in, obviously ill, coughing, short of breath, tremulous, pale, carrying a paper bag with clothes in it.  He had waited hours to be seen and smiled as he sat to tell me his problems.  No work, no money, heat turned off, feeling like crap.  He was 50 something.  The workup revealed a large abd mass, anemia, fluid in the lungs.  I explained I needed to admit him for care.  He told me how first he had to return to the room he rented because he had to get his cats and bring them to the shelter and he had thought he was really ill but needed to check it out and was so concerned for his cats,  2 of them, he found them on the streets and they lived with him for years and he hoped the shelter would take them.  He was sorry to not  let me admit him but he had to go home.  They were all he really cared about.  It was late in the evening and what shelter would he bring them to and he said he would stay the night with his cats and bring them someplace in the morning.  I felt so sad I started to cry....this man, so sick, so destitute, so sweet in nature. I told him I would hold his bed and please to hurry back so we could treat him.   I gave him 10 dollars to take a cab home and back.   I regret I didn't offer to take his cats.  He never returned.
  •  I think, at one time or another, I have fit into.. (4.00)
    every single demographic except Wealthy or Very Wealthy.

    Unless you count my childhood in Europe, where my family's income was so high on the national BELL CURVE of some countries that we lived like the Very Wealthy.

    Grinding poverty... check.

    Homeless... check. My first 6 months of sobriety I was homeless. I slept on people's couches, in spare rooms... I did have a car, but never had to sleep in it. The kindness of strangers in AA is quite something to experience. People often voice their astonishment at the extent of my generosity, and I have to tell them, I learned it in AA. Sure, I had the spirit of generosity in me all along; but when you've been the recipient of it as I was, it changes you. You go out of your way to help people you might have ignored before, as you ducked surreptitiously behind a veil of denial or willful ignorance as to the true nature of their plight...

    BUt... where was I? OH. What's my fucking problem?

    THIS is my fucking problem.

    I. cannot. speak. about. this.

  •  MFP- Poison Ivy (4.00)
    I went 45 years without ever having it, so I should consider myself lucky.

    I've had it for 9 days now- first tried to treat it myself with Calamine, Benadryl and Hydrocortizone creams without much luck.  Finally went to the MD and got myself on Medrol dose pack....which seems to be working, slowly.

    It's all over my hands, arms, chin....and best of all, my cleavage.

    •  It can be worse. (4.00)
      Trust me.

      I know.

      And you don't want to... know.  

      Aveeno -- oatmeal baths -- help.

      It is, I believe, one form of life that should be exterminated.  Completely.

      "I desire what is good. Therefore, everyone who does not agree with me is a traitor." King George III

      by ogre on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 11:09:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have a "street person" story (4.00)
    I worked at a shelter/soup kitchen near downtown Cleveland a few years back.  I lived right there on the near-west side, about a block from work.

    Each day I would see some street people as I walked to work.  Sometimes I gave some money, and sometimes not (I left it up to my intuition to decide).

    Anyway, there was one guy named Charlie.  About 70 years old, 5 1/2 feet tall, and must have been 80 Lbs.  He had been through the "system" and had an apartment, but soon abandoned it for the strret.  He was ragged.  An alcoholic too.  For about a year I had been giving him money.  I did it mostly to make myself feel good (to tell the truth).

    Then one day, Charlie had parked his keester right outside my front door, across the street.  I had parked my car, and was going towards my house, when I saw that look in his eye.  He was going to ask me for money.

    For some reason, this time, I said no.  I said i felt kind of bad that our relationship revolved solely around me giving him money, and him buying booze, and that I didn't want to do it any more.  He nodded in agreement and smiled a big ole' grin.

    I sat next to him in the doorway to the building, and asked him if he needed food (the soup kitchens were closed for the day).  He said his stomach was acting up and that he couldn't keep anything down.  Then he said, "how about some milk?"

    I said, "okay" and went and bought him some milk at the convenience store across the street.  I sat with him while he drank it, and we didn't say anything much.  He then said, "sometimes the milk stops my stomach from hurting so much."  I smiled.

    I felt better.  He felt better.  It was.......nice.  Just two people hangin' out.

    After a few minutes I got up to go into my house, and he said, "wait, I want to give you something too."  He reached into his pocket and pulled out an old delapidated pocket-knife.  He said, "It's all I got."

    I took it and thanked him, and turned to walk away, and it felt like my whole body was smiling as I walked home.

    And I hadn't ever cried about that episode until just now.

    If Jesus Christ came back today and saw what was being done in his name, he'd never stop throwing up... - Hannah and Her Sisters

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:13:55 PM PDT

  •  autism and a mean mom (4.00)
    MFP is working with the mother of an adorable, slightly dim soon-to-be 3 year old boy whose mother is determined to label him as autistic.

    He's not.  He has a developmental speech delay, and because he's slightly dim (that's the technical term), he functions overall like a healthy 18 - 24 month old child.  Mom apparently doesn't have a soft spot for toddlers.  One of her pet peeves is that he uses a blankie when he gets stressed.  She's cutting it into smaller and smaller pieces, which naturally makes him need to use it more, and ... well, you get the picture.

    I am currently freaked out because mom is SO determined that this darling boy be declared autistic that she took him to a psychiatrist who up and diagnosed him, for no good reason since, as was pointed out above, he's not.

    A lot of MFPs have to do with being in a job in which I regularly break parents' hearts by telling them their child has a serious, limiting disability. I am with them when the grief hits, and sometimes it boomerangs onto me.  This situation is in a whole different league, though.  Instead of empathizing with this mom, I want to throttle her and kidnap her child.  If he lived with my family he would have all the blankies he wanted.  (And speech therapy.)

    •  P.S. (4.00)
      When I say he's not autistic, I should add he's been evaluated by a pediatric neurologist, a speech therapist, an occupational therapist, and a developmental psychologist.  You couldn't take my word for it, could ya?
    •  why is she CUTTING UP the blankie? (4.00)
      That's too weird. OMG, that poor child.

      New Orleans will never die

      by hrh on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:32:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  First, cause she's a mean mom (4.00)
        And second, because she is interpreting his need for a blankie as "autistic."  She told me I was going to have to make sure he stopped using it, and stopped sucking his thumb, too, because otherwise it would interfere with his right to a Free and Appropriate Education.  (I am hoping the fact that his thumb is attached will allow him to use it as long as he needs to.)  My interpretation of his Behavior of Concern is that we all need security and comfort, and if we live with moms who don't really like us we need it even more.  
        (Can you tell there's a lot of jargon in education?!)
        •  Sounds like a "Wire Monkey Mother" (4.00)
          As I read your posts, I got the picture of "Sybil's" mother .... when she said, "Got to do it!"

          "Mother" have Munchausen by Proxy?

          •  It's crossed my mind (4.00)
            The "autism" diagnosis is definitely filling some kind of psychological need for mom.  I'm leaning towards a different explanation, though.  Right now she has him in daycare 40+ hours a week (she only works 2 days).  I honestly don't think she likes him or knows how to be around him, which I'm thinking has got to be some kind of projection since he really is quite adorable and lovable.  I don't get the feeling she would get a charge from being the martyred mother of a sickly kid (Munch by Prox).  I think it has more to do with having lots of therapists in the picture to further dilute her need to relate to him.

            Poor guy, he's already so self-sufficient in the coping department that when he was with us for some testing and out of mom's view, he hit his hand with something and started crying, hard.  His mother didn't even turn around to see what happened.  And he didn't go to her.  He simply picked up his blankie, took a moment to suck his thumb, and then picked up where he left off.  That broke my heart.

            •  What I'm thinking (4.00)
              She's jealous of that blankie!  and thumb!

              Of course, I know diddly about this and am just guessing.

              She is not a very nurturing Mom to begin with - 40 hours in daycare, good grief.  He's a self-sufficient type of guy, or at the least smart enough to know NOT to go back to her when he needs some nurturning.  She feels rejected by him ....  because in essence that's true.  "Something must be wrong with him - he's not responsive."  He IS responsive; she just doesn't like the response she's getting.

              Sounds like she could do with some mother training!  Like it's HER job to give, not his!  Any social services in this department?

              •  What I'm trying to say is this .. (4.00)
                I just wonder if she's healthy enough to recognize there's a problem and this is her way of "crying out for help."  

                I mean there are THOSE mothers who don't love or have an ability to bond with or nurture (whatever it's called) their children ... and in their mind it's ALL the child's fault and they beat the crap out of them or punish them way out of proportion or worse ....

                And when I said 40 hours in daycare, good grief, I meant 40 hours in daycare when she only worked x days.  Obviously daycare is a good thing ....

                I just wonder if there's something on the inside that's telling her that it's in the child's best interest to NOT be around her.  He's irritating the living shit out of her. ..... Obviously, just guessing .... and just some thoughts.  

                Bless you for caring so much about the little ones!

                •  Thanks for your thoughtful comments (none)
                  Although I have demonized her as a "mean mom," it's clear that she is in some psychic pain of her own, somehow connected to her frantic perfectionism.  A psychiatrist recommended psychotherapy for her, and I would love to see her take up that offer.  However, part of me is afraid that the psychiatrist she got to dx her son as autistic may be her personal therapist, who has been hearing "her" side of the story for who knows how long.  The irony is that she seems to want the school district to pay for her psychotherapy, since the only reason she needs it is because she has such a difficult life, what with the autistic son and all.  Gag.

                  The child is quite responsive, and connects easily with nurturing adults.  He has learned that going to mom is not going to meet his needs so he's figured out how to do it himself, but he is also able to accept comfort from others.  (His smile and big blue eyes would melt you.)  He is far from a lost cause at this point.  (I have seen others his age who have been so damaged that I fear there is no turning back, but he is definitely not in that category.  He has a resilient core.)

    •  Good heavens (4.00)
      Please throttle that mother for me. She sounds beyound cruel and selfish. My six year old grand daughter, in first grade and doing really well in school, stills wants her "blankie" at times when she needs comforting.

      She is smart, outgoing and personable( a bit high strung) but needs that little crutch. I keep one of her extra blankies at my house when she comes by or I pick her up from school.

      I wonder what that mother's own crutch is.

      •  Thanks (4.00)
        I feel terrible about wanting to throttle her, since she's obviously got some problems of her own.  But I can't help siding with the nonverbal 2-year-old.  So thanks for validating my murderous impulses :-)

        Mom is a raging perfectionist with a lavish lifestyle and, not coincidentally, a 4-year-old daughter who's "practically perfect in every way," to quote Mary Poppins.  There's definitely some scapegoating going on with this little boy.

        Bless you for providing your granddaughter with her comfort of choice.  As you say, we all need and cherish our objects or substances.  I was sorely tempted to ask what mom uses (besides the antidepressants I already know about) to take the edge off when "the world is too much with her, late and soon" (bastardization of T.S. Eliot), but I was in polite company and afraid of what else I might say. She is one brittle woman, but there is not a hair out of place and her marriage diamond is big as all outdoors.

  •  My Big Fucking Problem (4.00)
    is I'm worried sick about my mother and sister. Both are disabled and are dependent on food stamps, my mother's social security check and what the rest of us can squeeze out of our own paycheck-to-paycheck existence. We're praying hard my sister get's her request for social security accepted on the second try.

    Right now I'm very concerned about the Repubs plans to cut out benefits for the poor to "help" the poor. That great Christian man George Bush thinks he's a frigging hero because he wants to rebuild the Gulf Coast. And how does the little man plan to pay for it? By cutting benefits to the economically disadvantaged while cutting taxes for the wealthy.

    I try not to despair but sometimes it's hard not to open the window and shout out "What the Fuck" when rightwing politicians keep talking about "family values" and yet do everything in their power to spit on the average American family.

  •  I would say I am working poor... (4.00)
    considering that I've been saving 20% of my salary since graduating college five years ago.  One thing that has brought me some joy is that my retirement saving accounts are doing very well  So if I manage to live through 35 years, I'll be a rich lady.  : ) On the other hand, I can't afford to buy a home right now if I wanted to and I barely have enough to pay my monthly bills. But, I will be a rich old lady one day. LOL.

    We are still masters of our fate. We are still captains of out souls. --Winston Churchill

    by Sunqueen212 on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:17:14 PM PDT

  •  Any problems I may have are too petty to mention (4.00)
    So I'll just say that for whatever cosmic reason, I have nothing to complain about tonight.
  •  Problem with your poll (4.00)
    There is no way to mark more than one of the choices, and I've been them.
        Through endless hard work I've managed to make it up to middle class. Some of my friends from those days probably never made it.

    "The sun is not yellow, it's chicken." -Dylan

    by gjohnsit on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:25:13 PM PDT

  •  elizabeth this is for you (4.00)
    Here's the happy comment for your post:

    I just got a check for $400 from my dental insurance!!!!!

  •  Wow (4.00)
    After reading everyone else's FP, I am in good shape.  So I used to be a lawyer.  So I embezzeled money from my trust account, got caught and lost my license to practice law, and went to State prison for 18 months.  (Judy Miller has nothing on me.)  I'm still in  better shape than many of the people who have posted here tonight.    You all actually make me feel lucky. I have a decent job.  I am counting my blessings.  

    We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. ~Edward R. Murrow

    by elveta on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 07:30:14 PM PDT

  •  WMFP? (4.00)
    I'm here at home in upstate New York instead of back home on the southside of Chicago.

    And speaking of working poor... I make a pretty penny but due to our discriminatory health insurance "system" in this country we are in danger of going under. Consequently I can't justify or rationalize going back home to see my White Sox play in the World Series for the first time in my life.

    Consequently a lot of other things too but since MFP right now is that I want to be sitting way out in left field (where I belong) that's what I'm going with for now.

  •  Two things I can add: (4.00)
    While walking through NYC, we passed a man that was panhandling. This man was HUGE, and would have been prefectly cast as a Cossack (a real one). One of our group said something like, "We're students, and don't have much money." To which our Cossack replied, with his hand extended, "Here! Have some of mine." I still think of this 20 years later.

    A couple of years later, I lived in San Francisco, and a collegue and I had lunch outdoors. He was from Germany, an interesting guy. A man approached us and asked for money. My colleague actually talked to him, like he was some kind of human being. Mind, San Francisco at that time had many homeless and and people down on their luck - maybe it still does. I had grown used to them. My colleague made me realize that no matter what their circumstance, these folks are people too. And that I am just misfortune away from being their myself.

  •  I'm too happy. (4.00)
    In the sphere of my personal life, that is. Which seems somehow separable (on a good day) from my political life which is more or less a gigantic rage.

    I am not supposed to be happy, and I don't know how to take it.

    •  got news for ya (4.00)
      You're supposed to be happy. But I don't think that's really news for you. :-) So, work on the way to feel peaceful about being happy...

      I know how you feel, I feel that way sometimes too, but really happiness can be put to so much good use that it is something one ought to embrace. I mean, the rage over things you can't control part is the real problem.

  •  "Homeless Bob" (4.00)
    Reading some of the "street person" stories, I thought I'd add my own.

    I used to assistent manage a watch store in Westlake Mall (downtown Seattle).  There were a few homeless people we'd see around the mall regularly (especially since the food court spilled out onto the plaza).  The man I'd see most often we called Jesus (long hair, beard, skinny--you get the idea).  He watched me eating one day.  I didn't have any money (eating at the food court is expensive) and I had to get back to my store, so I asked him if he'd like to finish my lunch--he was thrilled.  Apparently he told a friend about me, because the next day I met "Homeless Bob" (his chosen sobriquet).

    Bob loved gadgets.  He had apparently taken a liking to one of the watches we had in our window.  He came into the store and admired the watch.  Having a weakness for cute old men, I took the watch out so he could play with it.  Bob chatted with me for the next three hours, always melting away if a customer came in, then picking up right where he left off when they left.

    He had been a merchant marine, he'd worked in a fishery in Alaska, but his favorite subjects were cooking and New Orleans.  He pulled 3x5 cards out of his coat and wrote recipes for Shrimp E'touffe and Lobster Bisque and maps to where in the French Quarter I would find the best of these dishes (he'd been there 25 years before).  Then he left.

    Three weeks later, Homeless Bob returned.  He handed me a stack of 3x5 cards and told me he'd decided I was too smart not to be in college so he had gone to the Library to research scholarship opportunites for me! He smiled and left the store.  

    I never saw him again, but believe me I think of him often.  To this day, in the face of every person on the street who asks me money I see him.  What I have is theirs.  

    I can't help be reminded that the only reason I had this amazing experience is because I fed "Jesus."

  •  MYFPs (4.00)
    right now are all about death and illness in the last couple of weeks:

    Two colleagues, one a fine musician and the other an articulate, annoying and brilliant lawyer, dead within the last two weeks.  One close friend and one cousin with relapses of breast cancer; the first six years out and in the bone, the other a mere 11 months out and in the incision site.  

    And a situation I just heard about which upset me more than any of these--a colleague's baby sitter, whose son is facing end stage renal disease, but who has no health coverage and doesn't have the resources to seek out a specialist. I can't imagine walking in her shoes; but such is life and death in George Bush's America.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 08:37:04 PM PDT

  •  You know, when I see the homeless, I think (4.00)
    there, but for the grace of god, go I!
  •  No problems (4.00)
    just spent the night with one of my brothers who I have not seen in over four years. He's a gentle soul and funny as hell. I got to hang with his kids, eat really great food, drink some wine and laugh a lot.

    My favorite kind of evening.

    "If you're going through hell, keep going". -Winston Churchill

    by One bite at a time on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 09:10:46 PM PDT

  •  MFP (4.00)
    I've been through multiple time zones in the last three days and am completely jet lagged. I also only got about 8 hours of sleep in that same time period. The good news is that I ran down to 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue and performed some juju voodoo magic along with a bunch of anti war protestors facing the White House and was photographed by a large group of Japanese tourists who smiled most enthusiastically at us. There were CNN and other media folks in the area as well tearing down equipment from a recent news event. I also sent some juju voodoo their way too! I was so hoping so see Rove carted off to jail while I was there. That is my ultimate fucking problem. Fitzmas is still not here!!! And now, I really truly must go to sleep before I disconnect anymore synapses. I really did miss all you Kossacks, and it is nice to have access to your bright smiling faces once again. How's that for a sleep deprived stream of consciousness WYFP???

    : )

    Dubya, yer momma may think yer cute, but I sure don't - - Moondancer

    by cosmic debris on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 09:18:17 PM PDT

  •  MFP: Narcissism (4.00)
    OK, I did it.  

    For anyone who followed my earlier comments, I've posted the diary.

    It's my first, please be gentle abusive.

    </diary pimping>

    When I must guard my thoughts, feelings and words, lest I be unpatriotic...then my country is lost

    by crimsonscare on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 09:42:30 PM PDT

  •  Once was on-the-street poor, ended up happy (4.00)
    Once upon a time I was in the Tech industry and, as it does every ten years or so, it crashed.

    I was laid off. I couldn't find a job. I got a part-time thing, started looking in the Bay Area, but it sucked up there too...so I just kept thinking it's all gonna work out somehow. Anyway, the money ran out and while my wife was teaching a class or two, and I was working some kiss-ass little part-time job, we didn't have enough for rent, food, and the rest.

    Our good friends offered us their 'mouse house' in their back yard. We moved in. I mean it really was a mouse house, a one-car garage converted. Our family of three lived there for most of a year I think. We had meals sometimes with our friends, we shared their daily paper, we carpooled with their kids.

    We were sheltered, loved, and supported. We were stressed but they helped us feel we were still functioning in our society, still had our dignity.

    I got a job finally and we moved away. They helped us move. We later paid them rent for the time we lived there.

    I'll never forget their kindness, their love. We were essentially homeless and they took us in.

  •  It seems to me... (4.00)
    ...that WYFP is becoming DKos' heart/soul/conscience. The stories we read that we laugh about, cry about, get angry about, get very confused about...Every one of these comes from the writer's heart. We share things that, sometimes, even parents, twins or spouses never share, and to me, that's quite extraordinary. That somehow we trust each other with these confidences is a source of constant amazement to me. What a truly wondrous gift this exchange is -- and whether it's PastorDan or the equally-remarkable ElizabethD as the meta-moderator, I think we all feel a little better, that something's gone just a bit right for a change when we're "here". This -- WYFP -- is, IMO, the true heart of the DKos community and I feel quite fortunate to be a part of it. Even -- NAH: EXCEPT when the Diary Police do a U-ie on the virtual information highway and pull you over for dangling participles and illegal rhetorical paraphernalia.

    "When the winds of change blow hard enough, the most trivial of things can become deadly projectiles." -- despair.com

    by Newton Snookers on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:04:21 PM PDT

    •  I just post the dang thing (4.00)
      and tell everybody to be nice! And they do. And yes I think it is good for people.
      •  well... (4.00)
        ...maybe so,...but you and others DO a lot more  than telling folks to "make nice". What we all do here (at WYFP) is the BEST of what and who we are and how we're supposed to be. Although I have to say that if the Diary Police think they can pull me over AGAIN for not signaling while changing subjects, they are VERY wrong. YA HEAR ME, COPPERS?

        My. I DO feel better!

        "When the winds of change blow hard enough, the most trivial of things can become deadly projectiles." -- despair.com

        by Newton Snookers on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:36:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Newton (none)
          why don't you hang out with us over at Street Prophets? it's nice like this there all the time.
          •  I like... (4.00)
            ..."nice"; I really do. I just wish I was better at it. Right now, what with Fitzmas right around the corner, I hope, I can't seem to pull myself away from checking every 15 minutes to see if anything's changed, because, of course, I have Fitzgerald's website bookmarked already. Yes, I need a life, I need to step away from the keyboard--all things I've advised others to do. I give GREAT advice; I just never take my own. I feel a little like the quite driven and departed Apian when she was all over the Downing St. memos -- unable to think about anything else. I've even had DREAMS of indictments...
            Really, as soon as things die down a little, there's an indictment or two (or more???!!!???)and I drink a bottle of champagne I've saved for the occasion, crank The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again," The Romantics' "What I Like About You" (I LOVE those guitar chords), Green Day's "American Idiot," Springsteen's "Born in the USA" and Ray Charles' "America, the Beautiful" on my boombox to 11, pump the air with my fists for a half-hour like Billy Blanks and do a (WARNING: MENTAL BLEACHING MOMENT IMMEDIATELY AHEAD!!!) Cameron Diaz booty dance, I'll be right over to SP. Cuz by then, God knows I'll NEED to be there. Thanks, ED!

            "When the winds of change blow hard enough, the most trivial of things can become deadly projectiles." -- despair.com

            by Newton Snookers on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 11:34:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  hmm (none)
              I think I'm glad I've stayed out of that Fitzmas circus... I look forward to justice though for damn sure.
            •  Yeah, if something doesn't happen soon (4.00)
              I'm going to probably lose my job (mind?), then I'll have to apply for tax exempt status on the First church of Antisnarkology.

              I keep refreshing Daily Kos at my workstation during the week hoping for a Breaking:  Rove frogmarched

              Hmmm...I have a SP account, I guess I should do something with it.

              And I must be using generic mental bleach, my brain is still burning.

              When I must guard my thoughts, feelings and words, lest I be unpatriotic...then my country is lost

              by crimsonscare on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 12:26:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  This topic is harder for me to deal with (4.00)
    than the rape diaries. But I thank you for doing it and I will read all the comments when I have enough stamina.
  •  I'm only able to approach this diary (4.00)
    sideways before I skitter away. Just in bits and pieces. I guess it's
    therapy time
  •  Non-working poor? (4.00)
    I sort of fit most of your categories but need another slot too...

    I grew up desperately poor- Dad is an architect but thanks to his mental health issues we were always really broke. After I got married it was really no better. My ex is best described as 'feckless' and there were significant periods of time that I skipped meals to make sure that there was enough food for the kids. I finally left after 11 years, took the kids with me, and was a broke college student for several years. We were kinda poor but oddly we were in much better shape, got by, the kids flourished.

    Until my health broke down while I was in grad school. I bombed out, couldn't find a job, ended up sending two of my kids (this still breaks my heart) to live with their dad, and the oldest and I moved into the guest room at a friend's. I found a job about a year later, moved, and then lost is in a reorg. The further stress crashed my then-still-shaky health, and after many tries I'm finally on disability. I'm living with a girlfriend, mostly just being sick, but writing as much as I can (when I'm not on this @#$%^& site!). Older daughter is working herself through college and doing well. My son finished high school last year and is looking for work (in a college town this is not easy).

    The younger daughter is MFP. This is really hard for me. She's kind of drifted since she went to live with her good-for-nothing dad (mind you, I DO NOT diss him in front of the kids, but she's got eyes too). She left high school, went back to an alternative program, is now in her third program. She fell in with a really slimy crowd for awhile, was involved with a really creepy guy, left one of her alt programs after she broke up with him, because he and his friends were there and would not leave her alone. She's now dating a guy 8 years her senior.

    So the FP is this- she sort of 'vanished' about 3 weeks ago. I've been trying to call to chat with her- her 18th birthday is Wednesday, and I'd planned to take her out somewhere nice, and down to county elections to register to vote (family ritual). I finally got her dad on the phone this morning- he tells me that he hasn't seen her since the 1st (AND HE TELLS ME NOW???!!!!), assumes that she is staying at her boyfriend's, but no, he doesn't have a phone number, and no, he doesn't know where she's going to school these days. And no, he's done nothing to look for her. I AM BEYOND ANGRY. I want to know where she is, if she's ok- hell I want to know that she's alive! And what does that miserable-excuse -for-a-human-being do? He complains that she left her cat behind and that her room is a mess! He has completely given up on his daughter!

    So that's MFP. I need to got get some herb tea or something. Can't stop crying.

    "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." -Karl Marx

    by Lainie on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 10:52:09 PM PDT

    •  <hug>!!!!!!!!!!!! (4.00)
      I am SO sorry to hear about your daughter missing... can't you call the police?? I do not know anything about the legalities, but she is still a minor for a few days, and if her legal guardians don't know where she is, isn't she missing and don't the police have to investigate??!!!!

      Your living/financial situation sounds a lot like mine, except I don't have disability, I'm about to try reapplying for it after concluding the likelihood of being able to work is just too small. I'm living with my boyfriend, and the situation of supporting me is wearing on him but he has been very, very generous.

      I hope for the very best for you and for your kids! GOOD LUCK and prayers.

      •  The police say she's a runaway- (4.00)
        and they aren't interested, especially since she's 18 soon. I think I know where she's going to school though, and I'm planning to call them Monday, tell them to give her a message to CALL MOM, collect if need be. It's all I can think of at the moment.

        "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." -Karl Marx

        by Lainie on Sat Oct 22, 2005 at 11:23:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  oh my gosh (4.00)
      that is a FP!

      I wish there was something I could do.

  •  government cheese (4.00)
    My mom, god bless her, worked her ass off to keep the family going after my dad died. I'll never forget the day she came home with two BIG blocks of cheese packaged in plain cardboard boxes. I think that was the only govt. assistance she ever got. No stamps, no checks, just cheese. Now, whenever I see really funky, nasty looking cheese, I think of Reagan.
  •  MFP (4.00)
    Is that I turn 41 today.  How did that happen?
  •  41?! I'd kill to get 41 back.... (4.00)
    Seriously..... I would.  

    I've come to the conclusion that things do work out.... eventually.  I'm attributing it to doing what's right though it may be luck.

    DW and I started out pretty broke.  Paid for a mattress after paying off the recepion.  Open bar was a mistake, not worth the cost.  Got married in a blizzard, everyone looking out the windows kept seeing snow and more snow.  Nobody drank.

    At first we were broke enough to scrounge change to buy food before payday but now life's pretty good.  Only took until 45 or so and working our tails off.

  •  WMFP? (4.00)
    MFP is that for the first time this fall, I turn on my heat...and there's no fucking heat.  I'm pissed and all wrapped in long johns and sweats trying to keep the cold at bay.

    When I used to work near Columbus Circle in NYC, there was always an old lady I'd see one day a week.  She never panhandled but it was obvious she needed some help.  Eventually she started following me at lunch time and after a few weeks of that, she gathered up the courage to ask me to buy her lunch at BK.  Nothing much...she only wanted a kids meal.

    And that went on once a week. Eventually, we began to share lunch at BK once a week...both of us with our kids meals.  She wasn't homeless, but after Social Security and paying rent and a few meds, she had no more money to feed herself  She took great pains to take good care of herself as best she could and learned how to squeak by but sometimes she needed to ask for help.  

    She was unapologetically polite about turning down offers of more assitance...like me wanting to buy a shopping cart of frozen meals and her insisting she didn't want to take advantage of me because I seemed like such a kindred spirit to her.  She assured me that she made a habit of seeking out other kindreds who each helped her get by in some small way...whether it was lunch with me at BK on Thursdays or the women who would give her unused nail polish.

    I left that job after awhile and would go back looking for her when I was in the neighborhood but never found her again.

    And oh, I have some fucking happy news today that touched me.  I did a presentation about the intersex stuff I talk about at a law school and afterwards learned one of the people in the session decided to change her thesis to intersex issues after hearing about it.  Change will happen soon with efforts like that.

    Hopefully it won't be before I get the next installment of my intersex series posted. Last night didn't work out due to me knowing I wouldn't be able to participate today so maybe next weekend.

    Be careful pointing your finger in judgement of others because your other three will be pointing back at you.

    by tvb on Sun Oct 23, 2005 at 02:01:02 AM PDT

    •  that is great!! (4.00)
      about making a difference on intersex issues. My best friend is IS (XXY) and I think your series is great!!!!!!!!!! Especially since it is something most people know pretty much nothing about.

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