Day 241: In Which I Admit More Than a Passing Resemblance To Chicken Little

Chicken Little (2005 film)

Chicken Little (2005 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I’ve been in Ohio a little over a month and as I expected there is a lot that is different now that I live in another state. For instance we currently live in an apartment complex where over half of the residents are 55 and older, that has definitely taken some getting used to. There are several people who are afraid of my Golden retriever, not because he is threatened anybody, he hasn’t, they are afraid of him simply because he is a big dog. I remind myself whenever that happens not to take it personally. There are sidewalks here and a much better bus system then Tennessee.

One of the things I’m still struggling with though is crossing streets. While still in college I was hit by a car while crossing the street while I had the right-of-way. And on that the fact that my debt perception has never been very good and therefore I don’t trust myself to accurately gauge in traffic and the fact that I no longer assume that I’m safe just because I should have the right-of-way in a crosswalk and it is more than a little scary. Even though the mall is right next door (you can see JCPenney from our living room window) I’m still not brave enough to make a trip without my boyfriend because there was a moderately busy street in between our apartment and the mall and I am afraid that I will misjudge traffic and get hurt again. Sundays I think I’m not much braver than Chicken Little, it’s a work in progress I suppose. I miss everybody in Tennessee (well almost everybody) but I think I miss mom the most. Even when I was in college I wasn’t so far away that driving out to see me was a big production and or possible inconvenience, now it is definitely one and more than likely the second I am not sorry I left but I am sorry for the distance and inconvenience it has put between us.

Day 233: It Takes a Village To Raise a Child Or Why Sex Education Needs to Be In School

18th-century-anti-sex-education

18th-century-anti-sex-education (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

*Disclaimer*The following is only my opinion on an issue that many people have opinions about. I am in no way attempting to change or belittle the opinions of others. As always comments are welcome regardless of whether you agree with me or not.

 

In light of a recent bill that representatives Stacy Campfield is trying to have made into Tennessee law which would prohibit teachers in public schools from mentioning homosexuality in any context to students from kindergarten through eighth grade I would like to put in my two cents. First of all, I think it is silly to try to pretend that homosexuality does not exist. Secondly, especially in middle school grades which is where health classes are often taught it may be downright detrimental. If you can’t referred to homosexuality at all then it becomes difficult to explain even a brief history of the AIDS virus. Many people, representative Campfield included, believe that sex education has no place in public school. In a perfect world children and teenagers would be able to comfortably talk to their parents about almost anything, unfortunately not all of us have a relationship with our parents that makes such forthrightness possible or even safe , I count my sister and I were among the fortunate ones,. San has never been a taboo topic in our house. I cannot remember “talk” because voice more of an ongoing conversation throughout our lives. My parents always made sure the answers were age-appropriate but sex was never treated as something wrong, dirty, or abnormal

in our house and we had questions as teenagers they explained as needed. (They never actually drew us a diagram of anything but then again we never asked for one either.)

 

Many teens don’t have that kind of relationship with their parents and therefore the gap needs to be filled in some way. I for one would rather teenagers have access to the facts about sex and STDs as well as some means by which to protect themselves. In this modern day and age the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” seems to be all but forgotten at rimes and I personally find that very sad.

Day 137 :side effects of 12 hour shifts…even when YOU aren’t working them

Wolf Moon on cold winter night

Wolf Moon on cold winter night (Photo credit: Andreas Kusumahadi)

People who know me from Tennessee would probably agree that I had the makings of a night owl to start with. Living with a boyfriend who works 7 to 7 has made it official I think.  The dog is fine…. housemates take him out as needed though as soon as I can get my power chair here I  will.  On the days the boyfriend works I’m up at 5 and don’t really sleep until he comes home the next morning. On his off days I keep more or less “normal” hours. I’m pretty sure Gideon is still assured I am still human

Day 136 :Explanations and the story of a unicorn

The Unicorn Is Penned, Unicorn Tapestries, c. ...

Image via Wikipedia

I think this whole trip/relocation is the scariest thing I’ve ever done with my life to date.It’s also the single best thing I ever done I know it probably sounds cliche as heck but I finally feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be in my life. It’s not your average life….four adults a cat dog and a bird and all the stuff involved with one of us being disabled. I’m starting to learn bus schedules….something I’ve never really done because of the hit or miss nature of Tennessee public transit. I love the fact that there are sidewalks here…..they aren’t everywhere  this  is true but they’ve got  Tennessee beat without trying very hard at all.

The thing I love most  though is kisses when I wake  up and before  he leaves for work and when he comes home. Those and  all of the small things in between are the things that make me smile every day.  The unicorn I wear originally belonged to John’s mom which is what still has me stunned…..that is one thing that isn’t given lightly  and the fact that I’m somehow that special is absolutely amazing to me.

Day 134: Guess What?

canada geese

canada geese (Photo credit: JustABoy)

I am in Ohio. I am in the same freaking zip code as my boyfriend….. in the same house even. All I  have to say is thank God(dess) it took bloody long enough! I haven’t stopped smiling yet. For anybody who also reads Gideon’s blog he’s with me and has been really good in the face of everything new. Our backyard is a lake…seriously and it’s absolutely beautiful. There are Canada geese there right now. One of the things I love the most is the bus system….much larger than in Tennessee. As far as John himself….words fail…  it is not exactly easy to be in a relationship with me because of my disability and there is definitely a learning curve     involved and  he hasn’t flinched. Rachel is a happy girl.

day 52: This is just sad….

Six color rainbow gay pride flag flying above ...

Image via Wikipedia

Disclaimer: The following post reflects my views on a certain political and social issue. I understand that not everyone will agree with me. Feel free to comment but know that excessively nasty comments will be deleted. 

This makes me so sad. I have said many times that I would rather live anywhere but Tennessee but that article truly makes me ashamed to live here.  The fact that the staff at the theme park actually asked a a patron to turn their shirt inside out because the theme park is “family oriented,” makes me angry on so many different levels.  First of all, it is a slap in the face to the First Amendment right of free speech.  The shirt did not proclaim anything obscene or explicitly vulgar, the shirt only read, “marriage is so gay.”  The First Amendment allows for all kinds of people to voice their political opinions, T-shirt slogans are no exception.  The other bone of contention I have is that Dollywood seems to think that their park administration is at liberty to define the word family.  The park employee who informed the ladies of the dress code within the park seemed to imply that because they were gay that somehow left them out of the definition of family, so to be completely fair I will mention that the women in question were not asked to leave.  Personally though I am reminded of the Jim Crow laws, or if you want to go even further back in history the laws which forbade the peasantry to wear clothing dyed a certain shade for no other reason than the nobility decided that they should not be allowed to.It is ironic and perhaps timely that so soon after New York legalized gay marriage I’m reminded just how far Tennessee still has to go.

all men are created equal, even those you don’t agree with  or approval of personally.

Day 51 : Dave Matthews Band and me, an excerpt from the soundtrack of my life

A close up of (from foreground to background) ...

Image via Wikipedia

I was introduced to the Dave Matthews Band when I was in high school.  Since that introduction I have continued to listen to the artist’s music even though I admittedly can’t tell you which song comes from which album.  As sometimes happens, I was originally introduced to the music through a friend of mine who I swear carried a guitar with him pretty much all the time.  The song I remember the best was “Crash Into Me,” the lyrics of which I will refrain from posting just in case someone reading this finds them just a little bit beyond risqué.I remember listening to it on the radio and like most people I got some of the words wrong, so because I knew Chad knew the song well enough to get the lyrics right I asked him to play it for me.  Suffice it to say that I very quickly recognized where my mistakes had been and was quite red in the face as a result.  After graduation we all scattered, and promises that were meant to be kept were forgotten on all sides.  In spite of all this every time I hear that song I think of Chad and the teasing I got for blushing at the lyrics.  He is all the way in California now on I’m still in Tennessee but I have found that in spite of the distance he is a better friend to me than many we know who still live here. For better or worse we are not the people we were in high school but because of that song I’m a better person than I would have been.

day twenty eight: when depression induced sleep and winter weather threaten to overwhelm, or teaching ballet

Lipizzaner Stallions 4

Image by mariusza via Flickr

I realize that winter in Tennessee is nowhere near as bad as it can be up north, but it is bad enough for me some days.  I like snow but the cold temperatures required to sustain it don’t always like me very much, especially now that I have bionic implants.  If the last sentence confused you feel free to read “the aftermath of rough play” that should explain things. I am also on antidepressant medicine which I’m currently out of, that in conjunction with the more often than not dreary conditions of the weather makes for difficult days.  Instead of crying profusely or yelling I usually sleep but just like everything else too much sleep is not really good for you so what to do instead?  Well until my cart  is repaired I’m teaching Little Man tricks using the clicker training method and lots of baby carrots.  So far he does nothing spectacular but now if you ask him to “touch” he will stretch his neck to touch your hand with his nose. Most clicker training books suggest that when starting to teach in animal using this method “touch” is probably a good first thing to show them because it’s simple, gets them to focus their attention solidly on you  and is the basic steppingstone to many more complicated behaviors.  Eventually I would like to teach him to bow and kneel on command, and maybe if I get to feeling real ambitions and everything else goes well to rear on command and hold it.  If that goes okay I might get a video of  the Lipizzaner stallions and teach him some of their fancy footwork. We are nowhere near this good yet but we will be one day, and though we may not ever be as famous as this pair I have no doubt that we will be as skilled.