Easter Female-Fertility Festivities

20 Apr

mallards in CO

I like Easter.  I think I say this about every holiday when that holiday is near, but it’s one of my vag quiltfavorites.  It’s an important religious event, but I also like the Pagan meanings of the day–fertility.  It’s a day of spring, and new life, baby animals, egg hunts–just joy.  So I feel I can embrace both the Christian and the Feminist and the Pagan and Native American aspects of the day all at once.  I don’t have to chose or limit myself, and I like that.  So you know the typical traditional events of Easter, but here are some suggestions to appreciate nature and fertility:

-Go out for a walk and look for signs of spring: robins, nests being built, flowers buds, bulbs shoots, plants starting to green
-Buy a new broom for magical or mundane cleaning
-Do meditations focused on new beginnings or growth
-Make paper flowers and use them to decorate your home
-Have an egg hunt
-Learn about the migration of butterflies or the plight of the honey bee. Vow to take steps to help them on their way
-Have a seed blessing ritual
-Start seeds indoors or out
-Eat eggs for breakfast on Ostara morning and bury the rinsed shells in your garden to promote prosperity and abundance of your crops
-Try to incorporate at least one traditional correspondence into you daily life through the spring season: cook with seasonal foods, use traditionally colored cloth napkins, display a vase of wildflowers on your table, burn traditionally scented incense, etc.

bud (3)

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pet-peeve college loan advice

19 Apr

is ALWAYS geared to. . . Parents. It highly annoys me.  Who are these kids with rich Mommies and Daddies paying their Tiger Walkwhole tuition bills (and whatever else)?  That’s not MY life.  And I don’t have the rich husband paying my way either.  Address tuition information/tips to students.  I think it’s ridiculous to assume students aren’t paying their own educational expenses. Maybe that’s why it’s so much more expensive then I can afford?

I’m thinking about this because April is supposed to be money-blog-month.  But also because I had to jump through a moneybunch of hoops to complete my FAFSA supplemental paperwork.  Which is admittedly better since I turned 25 and don’t have to hassle my parents for their (*required*) personal financial info that only ends up hurting my chances for the loans.  Which isn’t fair or right at all since they don’t pay my tuition/rent/car/bills, so I shouldn’t have to use their tax info.  But it’s still a pain, and I think they purposely hire the most inept people possible to work college financial aid.  I had to re-submit 2 packets of paperwork because they obviously didn’t OPEN it, to see the necessary documents were all there.

And I was also thinking about college tuition because another one of my undergrad loans is coming off of forbearance–which super-sucks.  And I’ve been procrastinating BIG-time about calling and seeing if there’s some option.  ANY option black_dragonfishto put it back on forbearance or reduce payments at the very least.  I’m putting it off for many reasons:  I hate the phone.  Really.  I hardly use mine at all, and literally only use it for emergencies, and when I have to make these types of outgoing calls.  I’m also putting off the call because of long holds, having to repeat info over and over, the horrible tone of the operators (they act annoyed you’re bothering them and treat you like a loser), and the thought that nothing can be done anyway.  I’ll make the call, but maybe Tuesday. . .

Here’s an interesting article about college costs, which is bleak, but I think true to life:

This is interesting. A credit hour in 1979 at MSU was 24.50, adjusted for inflation that is 79.23 in today dollars. One credit hour today costs 428.75.

found that the average student in 1979 could work 182 hours (a part-time summer job) to pay for a year’s tuition. In 2013, it took 991 hours (a full-time job for half the year) to accomplish the same.

Is it any surprise that so many students today are suckered into taking out non-dischargeable loans, in growing chunks, to pay for their bachelor’s degrees? More than two-thirds of recent graduates are carrying debt—and some of them will be paying it off for decades to come. Studying computer science at Harvey Mudd may be worth it; majoring in art at Murray State probably isn’t.

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/04/the-myth-of-working-your-way-through-college/359735/

Speaking of pet-peeves, WordPress changed the settings so when you publish something that had been in your drafts–it is put on the date that you FIRST made it a draft, not the day you actually hit “publish.”  It’s no good, because that effectively buries new posts, put it on an old calender month instead of showing a current post, and seems sneaky.  So now I have to cut & paste all my draft posts into a new folder in order for it to go on the top of my list for the current day?!

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Fast Food: Detained, Strip Searched, Sodomized

16 Apr

EnronAll from phone instructions of a person claiming to be a police officer or upper management. Enron 2 It sounds crazy, but I remember taking Social Psychology for extra credits in the summer and people will do strange things.  For instance, whe group mentality drives people to shout “jump” to a suicidal person on a ledge.  Or how the ethos at Enron let them perpetrate such obvious crimes.  Humans are wired in certain ways, and it can have very scary consequences.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strip_search_phone_call_scam

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

 

Here’s what happened from http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20051009/NEWS01/510090392/A-hoax-most-cruel-Caller-coaxed-McDonald-s-managers-into-strip-searching-worker:

She was a high school senior who had just turned 18 — a churchgoing former Girl Scout who hadn’t received a single admonition in her four months working at the McDonald’s in Mount Washington.  But when a man who called himself “Officer Scott” called the store on April 9, 2004, and said an employee had been accused of stealing a purse, Louise Ogborn became the suspect.  Summers said “Officer Scott” in Mount Washington knew the color of Ogborn’s hair, as well as her height and weight — about 90 pounds. He even described the tie she was wearing.  Summers, 51, conceded later that she had never known Ogborn to do a thing dishonest. But she nonetheless led Ogborn to the restaurant’s small office, locked the door, and — following the caller’s instructions — ordered her to remove one item of clothing at a time, until she was naked.

By the time the caller telephoned the company-owned McDonald’s in Mount Washington in April 2004, supervisors had been duped in at least 68 stores in 32 states, including Kentucky and Indiana. The targets included a dozen different restaurant chains.  Managers of at least 17 McDonald’s stores around the nation had been conned by that time, and the company already was defending itself in at least four lawsuits stemming from such hoaxes.  Some of the strip-searches weren’t even reported to police, because embarrassed restaurant officials were reluctant to publicize them, said Jablonski, the ex-FBI agent. The fiercely competitive chains also initially were reluctant to talk to each other. “For a variety of reasons, they were slow on the draw,” he said.

By now, Ogborn had been detained for an hour. Her car keys had been taken away, and she was naked, except for the apron. She would later testify that she thought she couldn’t leave.  “I was scared because they were a higher authority to me,” she said. “I was scared for my own safety because I thought I was in trouble with the law.”

He pulled the apron away from Ogborn, leaving her nude again, and described her to the caller. He ordered her to dance with her arms above her head, to see, the caller said, if anything “would shake out.” He made her do jumping jacks, deep knee bends, stand on a swivel chair, then a desk.  He made her sit on his lap and kiss him; the caller said that would allow Nix to smell anything that might be on her breath.  When Ogborn refused to obey the caller’s instructions, Nix slapped her on the buttocks, until they were red — just as the caller told him to do, Ogborn testified later.  Louise Ogborn had been in the back office for nearly 2½ hours when the caller said she should kneel on the brick floor in front of Nix and unbuckle his pants.Ogborn cried and begged Nix to stop, she recounted in her deposition. “I said, `No! I didn’t do anything wrong. This is ridiculous.”  But she said Nix told her he would hit her if she didn’t sodomize him, so she did.

Like the rest of her ordeal, it was captured on a surveillance camera, recorded on to a DVD. And it continued until Summers returned to the office to get some gift certificates, and Nix had Ogborn cover herself again.

And finally, she realized the same. She called her manager — Lisa Siddons — whom the caller had said was on the other line. Summers discovered Siddons had been home, sleeping.  “I knew then I had been had,” Summers said. “I lost it.  “I begged Louise for forgiveness. I was almost hysterical.”  Summers watched the store video later the same night, saw what Nix had done, and called off their engagement. She hasn’t spoken with him since, according to her attorney.  She initially was suspended, then later fired, for violating a McDonald’s rule barring nonemployees from entering the office. A couple of weeks later, she was indicted on a charge of unlawful imprisonment, a misdemeanor. Nix was indicted on charges of sodomy and assault.

Many police departments filed their case away under “miscellaneous” because they couldn’t figure out how to pursue the caller, Prewitt said, or had trouble figuring out what crime, if any, he had committed.  Several departments were able to trace the calls to phone booths in Panama City, Fla. But that was as far as any had gotten until the Mount Washington hoax.  He eventually learned the call had originated in Panama City, and that the largest seller of phone cards there was Wal-Mart. But that didn’t help much — the largest seller of everything is Wal-Mart, and it has three stores in Panama City alone.

The camera at that store was trained on the registers, and it showed the purchaser was a white man, about 35 to 40, with slicked-back black hair and glasses. The same man could be seen on Flaherty’s video entering the other Wal-Mart, where he was wearing a black jacket with small white lettering.  Flaherty and a colleague flew to Panama City on June 28, 2004, and local officers immediately identified the jacket as the uniform worn by officers of Corrections Corp.of America, a private prison company.  When they showed it to the warden at the company’s Bay Correctional Facility, he identified the man as David R. Stewart, 38, a guard on the swing shift.  Stewart denied making the calls, but when confronted, he started to “sweat profusely and shake uncontrollably,” Flaherty wrote in a report. Stewart also asked, “Was anybody hurt?” and said, “Amen, it’s over,” according to the report.

Stewart eventually was brought to Bullitt Circuit Court, where he pleaded not guilty to solicitation to commit sodomy and impersonating a police officer, both felonies, as well as soliciting sex abuse and unlawful imprisonment, both misdemeanors. He was released on $100,000 bond pending his trial Dec. 13. His bond was posted by his brother, C.W. Stewart — a retired police officer from Cheektowaga, N.Y.  Detectives in other jurisdictions say they didn’t press charges because the caller’s crime would be a misdemeanor for which he could not be extradited.

Across the United States, at least 13 people who executed strip-searches ordered by the caller were charged with crimes, and seven were convicted.  But most of the duped managers were treated as victims — just like the people they searched and humiliated.  Many of the supervisors were fired and some divorced by their spouses, Annunziata said. Others required counseling.  But the duped managers have been condemned by others.

McDonald’s blamed what happened on Stewart and Nix, over whom it says it had no control. The company has sued both of them.  In court papers, McDonald’s also has blamed Ogborn for what happened to her — saying that her injuries, “if any,” were caused by her failure to realize the caller wasn’t a real police officer.  Questioning Ogborn during a deposition, Patterson suggested that although she had no clothes, she could have walked out of the office, but stayed voluntarily to clear her name.  “Did it ever occur to you to scream?” he asked.  Her therapist said she followed orders because her experience with adults “has been to do what she is told, because good girls do what they are told.”

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Teasing Isn’t the Worst Thing

12 Apr

Let me distinguish teasing from bullying. Bullying is never OK, and it needs to stop. I would categorize it as persistent to relentless, threatening words or behavior +/- physical attacks.

We watched a video about children with hearing loss in class. I thought the movie really bent over backwards to ensure that none of the profiled were teased about their hearing aids. And I felt all of the parents were very preoccupied at the prospect of their child being teased. And I felt like that shouldn’t matter as much as they were saying it should.

CI flower

It is human nature to categorize and notice difference. There is RESEARCH that shows people rated most attractive are the most healthy. Humans learn to classify and notice differences in order to ensure genetic survival. Also, in order to readily see cultural boundaries or find “friendly” tribes. You can’t just un-do millenia of evolution.  You should watch this, because it is awesome and it is interesting–also it goes into the evolutionary categorization I’m talking about:

http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/other-shows/videos/other-shows-science-of-sex-appeal-videos.htm

Also, let me just say that I don’t think getting rid of teasing all-together isn’t practical and it may even be detrimental.

Every kid is “other” somehow: Glasses, gay, height, weight, athletic ability, pointy nose, etc, etc. . . Teasing isn’t limited to just one difference or one child. And I think it’s a good teaching point. When a child is teased you can remind them it’s their differences that make the unique and special person they are. You can also teach them that their self-esteem shouldn’t be tied to what others think [IMPERATIVE POINT].  Kids need to learn not to care about what others think. Also, even if adults are able to shield kids from all teasing (impossible) they are going to hear it at some point. They ought to be given the tools to cope with the situation, otherwise they will crumble at an older age when they don’t have an advocate.

Ways to Feel Rich Without Spending Money

9 Apr

Appreciate:bikes at Steamboat Springs

-nature

-love

-time

-intangible things

-each time I feel WANT/worry/hopeless, instead focus on everything I do have/can accomplish

Use Things I already Own:

favorite things-read books I own, but haven’t delved into yet

-read magazines I already have but haven’t had time to look at

-go to the library to read books (and rent music/movies) for free

-frisbee or soccer in the park

-participate in one of school’s learning/entertainment opportunities

-play some games we haven’t used in awhile

-look up new card games

-do a new exercise combo

-do a craft w/things I already have or stuff from around the house or stuff from nature

-Watch DVDs I already own and haven’t seen in awhile

-do a themed marathon

-take advantage of internet shows (Hulu, Networks, YouTube, search new ones)

-clean a closet/drawer–you always find old treasures

-cook something originalSummer Begins 2013 055

-use some of my cool kitchen accessories

Wear something different:

-wear different clothes every, single day–really dig into the back of the closet and the bottom of the drawers.

-try a new clothes/shoes combo

-Rit-Dye something/transform something old into something new

-wear different makeup each day

-use old stuff around here to make a craft

-go through all the jewelry and accessories (barrettes, belts, etc) and try new (old) ones all the time.

-wear a different perfume each day

-use crafty things we already have

-wear hats frequently

-rearrange the furniture

-fix my hair differently

Change the scenery:

Kidron's Camera 001-study in the bathtub, at school near a novel window, in a park

-take a drive to see someplace new

-go to a river/lake

-talk a walk somewhere new

-car camping

-get active–try a new game/sport/activity/treadmill routine

Be productive:

-study, work ahead on the syllabi, read/outline the textbook, organize my study materials, clean, work on my AuD application, cook, etc. ..

-clean closets, drawers, walls, floors, windows

-plan the Colorado moveSpokane Apt 028

-organize DVDs

-hand wash laundry

-stretch, exercise

Make money:

-write an ad to sell something on Craigslist

money-sell clothes on PoshMark

-answer a work ad on Craigslist

-apply for scholarships/grants

-pawn things

-gather cans and turn them into recycle

-make & sell crafts

-plan a yard sale

-donate blood for $$$

-tutor

Give to Others:

-make a hand-made gift

-write a love notesquaw horses

-brush the kitties

-send someone a snail-mail letter

-say hey to people on Facebook

-make a homemade cat tree &/or toy

-volunteer to use time productively, and see people worse off

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Annoying Tax-Loop

6 Apr

I’m considering April a month of financial blog posts.  Because money is a goal of mine in 2014, and because of tax day and all.  I will post about my efforts toward my money goals, how to UN-focus on money, and I guess any random currency-issue I come up with between now and May.  Here’s an annoying story about internet tax-return services:

I complete my tax return during winter break.  I like to get it done before school becomes a factor (ain’t nobody got time for that!) and because I generally get refunds at my income level.  So it’s not a gloom and doom time for me–it’s a bonus.  This year, was no different, as soon as I received my W2 from work, I got on it.  Which, in hindsight wasn’t my greatest plan, because I ALSO am supposed to receive statements from my school, my current loans, my undergrad loans, China, my Uncle’s cousin, the neighbor’s dog and whoever else wants to take their sweet time to casually tell me how much money I am forced to spend all the time.  But I couldn’t wait, so I used last year’s stuff, and I’ll probably get audited one day when I DO have some money.  But I’m not worried about that for now, because I worry about enough things. . .

money

I try to bookmark whatever internet site I used the previous year so I don’t have to re-type EVERYthing.  And also because I don’t want to have to come up with new passwords, pins, whatever else hoops they make you jump through.  And I think I used H&R Block last year.

So I go to my bookmark.  It’s a bad link a year later, so I just type the name in Chrome, no big deal.  I’m at a page where it’s–put in your username and password or new user?  register here.  You know the type of thing.  So I try out my usual info as a current user.  Nope, wrong.  I type in another option.  Nope.  Maybe you have to enter a full e-mail address?  Try again.  No.  Hmmm, well, e-mail me my old password then.  This action takes me to a blank page.  OK, my computer must have glitched out.  Back, back back.  Ugh–refresh.  Remind me my password.  Blank page.

–>This morning when I’ve been trying to log in to finish my taxes, the website won’t let me log in.  The password I am entering in is correct (I even reset my password and try entering the new one), but the screen goes blank as if it were signing in, then appears with the exact same screen asking me to sign in once again.  Can anybody from the H&R Block website help me out?

–>I also started my taxes last night and am now unable to sign back into my account. I’ve changed my password three times, and every time it redirects me back to the login page! I hope they fix this glitch soon!

–>Welcome to the Community. We’re not experiencing any system wide issues. I would recommend calling our client support team for assistance. They can be reached at 1-800-HRBLOCK (1-800-472-5625).

Oh HELL no–I am in no way going to make a phone call about it.  Forget you H&R Block–I’d say even 1 page full of people commenting about the SAME issue is, indeed a system-wide problem.  OK, fine, I’m not going to waste a bunch of time fighting with the site.  I’ll register under a different name as a new user.  Can’t–there is already a user with that e-mail address.  No password I type is the right one.  It glitches out when I attempt to get a reminder.

–>I can’t log into my account at all. I’ve chsnged my oassword a feeee times and that hasn’t helped. I got an email stating my federal was accepted and wanted to efile my state return and I can’t even access it!!! I have been on hold with the support numer for over an hour!!! Someone help!!

Now I want to kill.  I’ve been on H&R Block’s page just trying to get IN for like 50 min now.  I type in a general search engine “signing in to H&R Block.”  Seems like a billion people have also had this issue.  LAST year they let you click the Facebook icon to sign up with the site.  This year–it’s not an option.  Probably because Facebook is sketchy as hell and sells and spreads your info around.  But because it used Facebook, there IS no username or password.  But because I used the site last year–my social security number has tied me to their system and I can’t register as a new user.

So I said screw you H&R Block and went to Tax Act or some competitor–because honestly, I don’t care.  My taxes are so simple any site could handle them.  But I think the snafu ended up saving me a worse headache because of the student refund debacle.

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/blog/2013/03/hr-block-error-delays-600000-refunds.html?page=all

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Objectives-Writing Mad-Libs

5 Apr

I have my 2nd “quiz” Monday.  And I’m pretty worried, because I feel very under-prepared for the thing.  We only get 2 tests in the class, so these are pretty much our entire grade.  And last week, I had to keep dressing professionally and showing up to observe my required clinical sessions–only to have people cancel.  So instead of only having to go twice.  I went three times, and all three didn’t go-through.  So I finally went to the 4th AND actually saw it.  But that wasted SO much time–which I hate.  And I couldn’t even do other studying, because you aren’t allowed to bring anything into the clinic observation rooms and you’re in your pocket-less dressy clothes.  So I couldn’t even study flashcards while I went on 4 round trips, and sat for 3 hours just waiting.  Then, the rest of the week was wasted because back in January, I had signed up to conduct hearing screenings in the community as learning/volunteer.  So that took up 7.5 more hours during the week.

And I’m just waiting for Cat’s Meow to complain that I haven’t cleaned since Wednesday morning.  I only agreed to keep cleaning if it was 3 days a week AND I got to decide the days so I had flexibility.  But I’m sure they will complain, which is going to make me INSANE.  And they just better not, because I’ll go in after I finish doing the hearing screenings this afternoon.  But I’m just waiting for that ugliness.

The point is, I’m trying to study for this thing.  Sometimes studying for exams gets (more) boring.  There’s only so many flashcards and examples you can look at before your mind rebels.  Objectives are the foundation of a session.  They are the vehicles of your main goals, their clarity dictates behavior management, organization, and skill-progression.  The performance, or target behavior is the most important part of the objective.  Because it has to be a countable action.  In order to take data.  Which let’s you write the SOAP, and also shows the treatment is evidence based practice for billing/laws/parent-justification.  To practice, I was writing objectives in pieces (performance/condition/criterion), then in an effort to get Cool to quiz me I tried to make them more interesting.  I wrote them about our little family.  Then had her pick numbers to put the pieces together and make funny final objectives toward our goals.

Example:

The characters:

1.  Choco-Luv (our little kitty)

2.  Goose (the big boy)

3.  Cool

4.  LL

Performance-measurable behaviors:

-1.  will produce

-2.  will clean

-3.  will match

-4.  will take

Condition-context in which behavior will be performed:

1.  with one reminder

2.  in the kitchen

3.  in front of others

Criterion-accuracy level of behavior:

1.  in 7 out of 8 opportunities

2.  for 90% accuracy

3.  10 times in a row

4.  on 6 out of 7 consecutive days

 

So if Cool picks, 2-2-3-4 the resulting objective is:

-Goose will clean, in front of others, on 6 out of 7 consecutive days.

 

You can make the parts as funny as you want!  Maybe I should market this as a study-tool!

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