Monday, September 29, 2008

She's Safe

If you're reading this blog, you likely know some of my history. I was severely abused as a child from the age of 4-10. I endured beatings and sexual assault and starvation and any number of things I wouldn't do to someone I hated, let alone a child I was required to love and raise.

The person who did the abuse never had to face justice for what he did to me, my sister, my step-sister, my mother and various other people. He never had to sit in jail, or face us, his victims, and let us have our say.

Because of my history I am emphatically against child abuse. I have spoken out when the occasion warranted it. I have educated other people on the warning signs of abuse. I have wrestled with my fear of repeating the cycle with my own daughter on countless sleepless nights. I had nights when she was a baby that I handed her to my mom, or my sister and walked away because she wouldn't stop crying and I was afraid of what I was capable of given what I knew about the cycle of violence.

I have erred always on the side of leniency. I do not hit my daughter. I do not use food for punishments. I walk away for ten minutes when she does things that anger me so that I know I am parenting out of responsibility and not out of anger.

I, of all people, know the scars that are left behind when parents discipline through fear and shame. I know that shame never goes away and that fear is immobilizing. I have gone to therapy, I have read books. I have turned to people I love, trust, and admire for advice.

I can not say that I've never made mistakes. I cannot say that I'm a perfect parent and that I've never yelled, that I've never said things I wish I could take back. I cannot say that in 20 years she won't be sitting on some therapists couch talking about how my being gay and being sick ruined her life. But I can say with one hundred percent honesty that I have never, would never, could never abuse or neglect my child. She is so precious and wonderful and the single most important thing in my life.

So to be accused of endangering have to explain to a social worker that she is know that she was pulled out of class to speak to a social worker without the benefit of knowing that everything was going to be have to defend my home which is a loving and safe environment, not one she regularly leaves in tears or begs to be taken away have to feel the absolute terror that for some reason some county worker could take this precious person away from her home with her two moms who love her and place her with strangers who could do god only knows what...I have never been so angry, so sickened, so horrified.

And for the person who made these false allegations...I feel nothing but disgust and contempt. How dare anyone use a dangerously overloaded system to wage their contemptible war on my innocent family? How could anyone take valuable resources away from some child who is actually being abused? How can you face your reflection in the mirror when your filthy lies could have ruined my child's life? This is not a game. You didn't win anything by making your false allegations. All you did was reinforce my low opinion of you and prove me right, yet again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why you should be jealous of my life.

I just pulled something sticky and crumbly out of my daugher's hair and I don't know what it is and my dog wouldn't eat Eh? The stuff dreams are made of...


Have you ever been sucker punched, by someone who had sucker punched you 84,000 times before, and yet been surprised that they sucker punched you? Yeah. It's just like that.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Well...I guess he's good for something...

This one here is about and for the one person who inspires my poetry the way that no one else ever could. You know who you are. I guess as long as you're around I might as well get something out of the biggest fucking mistake I ever made.


Just when I thought I was free
and I'd given up on everything
you were supposed to be
I find myself waiting for the sun to rise
on this sleepless night that isn't mine

After I thought you had done your worst
and I'd gotten through somehow
I'm wide awake and wishing
it was me you were hurting now

That sweet girl whose heart you're breaking
deserves so much better
than to follow in my footsteps waiting
for you to be the man you should be
deserves more from you than this latest cruelty

Each day it becomes more clear that
I should have let you walk away
because my biggest regret in this life
is that I actually convinced you to stay

Monday, August 18, 2008

The New Annoyance

My newest annoyance, okay not really a new one, but one that's being really worked the last couple of days is this need to label everyone as the new...whatever. It's annoying enough when people talk about some irritating new fashion trend (boys...I'm begging you...enough with skin tigh stretchy pants and studded belts) is the new pink. It's far more annoying when we say someone is the new someone else. It trivializes whatever it is you're trying to complement them on by saying their acheivment is fleeting and nothing special.

It's also an insult to the person who was the "old pink." There isn't now, nor will there ever be a new Madonna, or a new U2. And the Miley Cyrus, bless her little over exposed soul, is not the new Britney Spears. Often the person we're trying to compare them to is perhaps an inspiration, or blazed some new trail that others will follow.

But, while imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, it's neither new or groundbreaking. And that's what make the greats great.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Some Things

Some things must go unsaid
Unrequited love and unforgotten grief
Some things must be unremembered
Aching emptiness and numbing loss
And everyday it gets harder
To forget what once was all that mattered
Time has done nothing to dull this pain
It has healed nothing
I am still broken without you
Every day another reminder of words I never said
Of a girl I’d give anything to know again
What I see now is only half the story
Only half the person I was meant to be
You are still the focus
The center around which I have built the facade
Grief is my most relentless and constant companion
Thwarted by nothing
It gnaws away on the substance of who I was
Leaving only the rawness of exposed nerves
Each yearning towards the yesterday
I can't recapture
And the memories I can't surrender
Some things though left unsaid
Have the power to mold me
Into a shadow of my potential
And I'm still searching for the path
To relieve this relentless ache
Some things are everything

-Laura McConnell 08/09/08

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Don't Let Just Anyone Knock You Up

In the newest chapter of the book I'm going to write about being smart about who you let knock you up, the midget's biological father has now made our financial situation even crappier. See, for the last three years the midget has had health insurance through her step-mother because her father is required to provide health care if it's available through his work. At the time, it was available through his employer, but it was cheaper for them to go through his wife's employer.

Fast forward three years and he's quit his reliable, good paying job with benefits to go work for minimum wage and no benefits, and due to the state's financial woes his wife has also lost her job. Normally I wouldn't care, and might even feel some petty, malicious glee, but this means my little drama queen loses her health insurance.

Now, because I'm sick and can't work, I do get Medicaid through the state, and so does she, so it's not like we'd have to wrap her in bubble wrap to keep her from breaking an arm or something. She still gets to go to the doctor and the dentist and would have access to emergency care and all of that. It wouldn't be the best care, but she'd have something.

So, where's the problem? Well...the midget, brilliant, beautiful, funny girl that she is also deals with ADHD. Not like the kind of kids whose parents just don't want to parent them, but the kind of kid that is really, really smart but she can't just can't sit still or stop talking or actually focus for more than a few minutes. We had a really hard time with the idea of putting her on medication. It was the last thing I wanted to do, especially before the pediatrician talked us through it and I did the research.

Now, everyone's heard of Ritalin and lots of people have heard about Adderall. They're first generation drugs and have tons of icky side effects, not the least of which is heart disease. So, her doctor recommended Concerta, which is the same class of drug as Ritalin, but more refined with more even results. It's also extended release which means its effects last for the whole day, while Ritalin requires two to three doses during the day.

So, Cass has been on this medication for over two years and is doing really well with it. She hasn't had any bad side effects, and it's worked wonders for her in school.

Well, this being a great drug, it's fairly new and of course there is no generic and therefore it's not covered by Medicaid. Which means either we pay the $147 for a one month prescription, or we start going through the medications that Medicaid does cover, all of which have the same side effects. And all of which are as likely to work as not. And school starts in three weeks, so we'd have to start the school year with her trying new medications to see what works. Not fun.

Now, getting back to where it's the sperm donor's fault we're facing this issue. He told me two weeks ago that her coverage ended on the first of August, but that we were going to work on something to get her covered. So, a week and a half went by with me saying, "What's the story on her insurance, what are we going to do?" And he kept saying, "We'll get her covered through a private plan. I'll look into it." Then on Sunday, he tells me that he can't find coverage because of her pre-existing condition, ADHD.

Except that the insurance company's website (her current insurance) makes it clear that so long as the "pre-existing condition" has been covered by a credible insurer. So, since I wanted to go through that carrier, anyway, I pointed this out. And of course at that point he decides to finally tell the truth, which is that he never meant to insure her at all, that we could put her on Ritalin or whatever works and that it's not his problem or responsibility.

So, I talked to the insurance company about the situation to find out what our options were in terms of continuing her coverage and of course I find out that if her insurance lapses for even a few days she will become uninsurable because of her pre-existing condition. So, we really can't have her go without insurance, because what happens when I get better and go back to work and have to get her insurance, but I can't because of this pre-existing condition. She's only eight, we're talking years where she can't get sick or injured, she can't have her medications, (because she also needs prescription allergy meds).

I explained all of this to her father, and he just doesn't care. It's not his problem. I finally lost my temper and told him that Jamie and I would take care of it just like we do everything else in her life, and that he could go on playing at being a part time weekend father and stopped talking to him about it.

We went ahead and filed the paperwork and applied for insurance coverage for her. It's going to end up costing us more than we can really afford to spend, but I just can't see not having her medication, or face a future where she may be not covered by any kind of health care. In all likelihood we'll have to stretch our dollars farther than is possible. Jamie is talking about selling her drums to finance the first six months of her insurance.

This idiot we call her father would rather keep his drums, guitars, guns and play time and money rather than care for his daughter. I could happily say "Screw You" and we want nothing to do with you, but that would be highly unfair to her because seh loves her dad.

So, we suck it up, buy her insurance and just make the best of it. I hope her father come sot her senses, but I'm not holding my breath.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Great Books?

Lifted this off of my dear friend The Archaeogoddess' blog. She's read a few more of them than I have, and I have to say the list is oddly lacking in several great books and there are a few I question being given the title of great books.

Apparently The Big Read thinks that the average adult has only read six of the top 100 books on their list.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen Loved the book, loved the play!
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling Last I checked, this was seven books, not one.
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible Been meaning to get to this for a long while, but haven't yet determined which version I want to read, I know I don't want to read the King James version, but that rules out only one version of many.
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens Must say I second the Archaogooddess in my hatred of all things dickensian
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare I've read Hamlet, Macbeth, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, The Taming of the Shrew and many of the I'm not there yet, but I will be.
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy I have tried and tried to read this and just can't do it.
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma-Jane Austen Here the Archaeogoddess and I differ greatly. I love Jane Austen while she...erm...doesn't.
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis This not being included with the Narnia series perplexed me as well as the Archaeogoddess
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell I have no idea how I missed this book. Seems like everyone I know (Archaeogoddess aside) read this book, how she and I missed it is beyond me
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown I read it, but I'm not clear on why this is considered a great book.
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding Loved, loved, loved this book.
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy I was ready to slit my wrists to get out of finishing this book. I hated this book with a vengeance but was forced to read it by the most frightening sophomore English teacher ever. There was no getting around her assignment of books for book reports.
68 Bridget Jones' Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker I'm not sure why this ia a great book, why everyone loves it so much. It was boring, verbose and pompous.
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett I have no idea how I missed this book
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens The only Dickens novel that didn't make my brains leak out of my ears.
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker The Color Purple is a good book, but if you're only going to read one Alice Walker book then I recommend Posessing the Secret of is indescribable.
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad Way better than Apocalypse Now
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute Should have read this, but chose not to, as did another of member of the same class who then originated the term freak shampooing accident
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare Wouldn't this be part of the complete works?
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo 38, which is two more than I told the Archaeogoddess, of course counting has never been my strong suit.

Still, I object to some of these books and question the lack of others. For instance, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, or Wizard of Oz, Role of Thunder Hear My Cry

I've spent my entire life with my nose stuck in a book, so it's hard to believe that I've only read about a third of these books.

I'm already trying to brainwash the midget into reading. She reads well, but doesn't have the passion for books that I have. A lot of that, I know, has to do with the quality of her childhood versus the quality of mine. I needed books to escape into, and she doesn't.

So...if you've only read six of these books like the "average" adult, then get out there and start reading. Because while this is not the list of books I find essential, it's a good start.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Change of Tune

I have always lived too much in my own head. My mom is fond of saying that I overthink things to death. Nobody faint, now...but I'm going to agree with her (actually both of them as both of my moms have made that observation more times than I care to count).

Never before have I had so little to distract myself from picking myself to bits. The last six months have been more of the same as the last few years, but amplified. I am more alone, more often than ever before in my life. A lot of that has to do with my illness, and a lot of that has to do with the midget getting to a point in her life where not only is my entire attention to her not only not entirely necessary, it's also entirely unwanted by her. I swear, the child can sigh and roll her eyes in a way that irritates me more quickly than overt action or speech by anyone else on the planet. (And here I pause and offer an apology to both of my moms because I know damm well from whom she gets her brand of hardheaded sarcasm.)

So, I have this here inactive blog and many empty hours on my hands. It stands to reason that assembling these thoughts in some sort of order would give me something to do, if nothing else. Besides, it might keep me from strangling this child who becomes more like me with every day that passes.

In fact, this is really all that separates our personalities. Even at her age I was given to an overabundance of introspection. Which clashes oddly with that need I have to throw myself under the bus wheels without thinking things out. I tend to overthink everything but that which is in my own best interest. It's a personality trait that makes me difficult in my own charming manner.

So, my goal for myself is to write daily about whatever it is that I'm mulling over that day, whether it's stuff in my own head or stuff about the outside world. I can't say that it will make for the most interesting or comfortable read, so I'm not sure that I'm going to invite tons of people to come read what I've written. So, if you're here reading this it's likely because what I wrote in this blog prior to now was mildly entertaining, or because you know me well enough to know that I'm given to fits of action in amidst all my inaction. Either way, you are certainly welcome to read and comment or not as you see fit. It's not like I've got all that many secrets. Most of what I'm ashamed of has had witnesses aplenty, so hiding now serves me no purpose.

Which brings me to my favorite quote..."If you can't be a good example, you'll just have to be a horrible warning."

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Juno: My New Favorite Movie and CD

Okay...saw this last night, yeah I know it's been out for awhile. Jamie and I actually saw a movie in the theater without a child in attendance. Loved, loved, loved it. She (Juno) reminded me of a more sarcastic version of the youngest Callison-Burch and the boyfriend reminded me of Ryan Quinn, it was kind of odd.

But, seriously, if you haven't seen this one, go now I say. It's fantastic, and the soundtrack is awesome. It had me and Jamie making a late night trip to Folsom to hit Borders, because, of course, Wal-Mart the only place to buy music around here didn't have it. And do you know what's right next Borders? Petsmart. And do you know what they carry at Petsmart? Yup...rats.

So, we go into Petsmart five minutes before they closed to "look" at the ratties. And they had the cutest dumbos...We might have been able to resist them, but then the Petsmart girl shows us this little dumbo guy no one wanted because he had pink eyes. Which is kind of strange because lots of rats have pink eyes and I never really thought bout it. They only time it creeps me out is when they're hairless and have pink eyes, and even those guys are kind of cute.

So, two came home with us and became Badger and Bleaker respectively. They are set up in the spare cage...partly due to lack of room in the boys cage, but mostly because Popkin, our agouti rex(think big sewer rat with a perm), is a complete punkass and tried to kill poor little Bleaker on sight.

But I digress. I was talking about Juno. The soundtrack is just as fantastic as the movie. Very fun and folky-guitary. My new favorite song is Tire Swing by Kimya Dawson.

Oh and I voted today, and Jamie and I cleaned out the laundry room which was a chore and half. I'm feeling fairly good, obviously, which is a nice change.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Only Me

In the latest chapter of the only Laura saga, I had a tick bite on Friday (gosh, I just love living in the woods) which by Saturday had turned into a raging infection in my leg. That, combined with the fear of Lyme disease prompted a late night emergency room trip as soon as Jamie got home from work.

Luckily, the ER was not too busy and the oncall doctor was one of my favorites. He gave me a shot of penicillin and a prescription for zithromax, plus pain pills. Today, which was supposed to be spent cleaning cages and doing laundry was spent in bed and on the couch due to the extreme pain that any infection causes me. Fun, fun, fun.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Technical Difficulties

Well, the new year has been full of technical difficulties...actually the difficulties began before the new year, but let's not get nit picky. See, the day before New Year's Eve, I spilled milk from my cereal onto the as yet not fully paid for laptop. And much to my horror, lost the ability to boot up the four month old computer. So, I get on my desk top to discover that I should have immediately turned off and taken the battery out of my laptop to prevent frying the motherboard, and that the inability of said laptop to boot has probably been caused by my dumb mistake. Shit...okay, don't freak out, I tell myself, and myself does not listen of course.

I called around to find out if anyone was open, and of course they weren't it being a Sunday and they weren't going to be open the Monday and Tuesday due to the holiday. And as I've gotten totally spoiled by not having to sit at the desktop to be on the computer, this completely bummed me out, not to mention the fact that it was likely that I was going to have to replace the as yet not fully paid for laptop, which is financially not an option at the moment.

So, eventually, on Wednesday I get the damn thing in to the repair place, and they call me on Thursday to tell me that when they went to start it up to figure out what was wrong it was miraculously cured. Apparently it just needed to dry out, thankfully, because if I had completely fried it, I'd still be crying and Jamie might still be kicking my ass for being so careless.

So, I had the laptop back and all was good until the power went out Friday, so of course that means no internet at all. Also, because I live in the boonies and we have a well with an electric pump, no running water. For twenty-four whole hours, actually it was more like thirty-two hours, but who's counting? In the midst of this, Jamie and I were moving the desktop into our bedroom so that we could move the rattie boys cage away from the fireplace because of the need to stop using the heater due to the five hundred dollar gas bill. Also, the heater doesn't work without electricity and it was getting damn cold in the house, much to the dismay of the snake who spent much of Friday in my and Jamie's shirt. And guess what I learned about dsl? Apparently you can't just plug it into any old jack in the house, so I have to come out and have Volcano Telephone (who I pay a small fortune to for completely crappy dsl service) do their magic to the tune of 60 dollars an hour. So, I'm writing this on my laptop which I can't move from the front corner of my living room because that's the only place I can get reception from my mom's wireless.

And then there was the spree of vacuum deaths. My little dog, Charlie likes to chew things up. We've lost a PS2 controller, a couple pairs of shoes, many, many shoe laces and underwear and even a few pajama bottoms. But then he escalated to killing appliances. He chewed the plug off of my vacuum, and then threw up on our bedroom floor which is when I discovered that he also chewed the plug off of the spot cleaner I had stored under my bed. However, the lovely chew toys he got for Christmas are in pristine condition. He's becoming quite the expensive little dog, between the groomer and the chewing up of items that don't belong to him.

On a side note, I discovered that the chinchilla I've been trying to talk Jamie into for awhile is simply not an option as I'm painfully allergic to the volcanic dust that they must bathe in regularly. I held one at Petco, where we went to stock up on water bottles because the foster girls (who have finally found a new home) decided to chew through three of them. My intention was to show Jamie how awesome they were, and from that five minute contact, I spent the entire ride home with my eyes swelling and leaking. I had never experienced anything quite that uncomfortable in my entire life. So the chinchilla's out, but that just means I'm going to have push that much harder for the tarantula I've been wanting...