Happy New Year!

First and foremost, I’d like to extend my well wishes to all the people heading out to BurningMan this year. I wish I could go, even though I’m rather skeptical about how much fun one can have in a now huge, manufactured community. When you pretty much HAVE to bring a wheeled device to get you around because it’s so big, it just starts to seem too much.

After a few BurningMan experiences, and living on a school schedule a majority of my life, it very much seems to be like approaching a New Year. I hope this year is a good one, filled with awesome specticals, joys and ecstatic moments. Be safe out there.

I will be spending this next week the same as I have the past year — admitting patient after patient (I’ve now admitted about 100 patients in 8 mo), getting to know them and hoping to help them move on with their criminal charges. Yay mental health!

I suppose it could be almost like BurningMan — crap food, drugs (medications), crazy people running around, making noise, saying weird shit and more than 2 people who would probably try to torch something if they only had incindiary devices. And then there’s the patients! (yuk yuk)

Have a good one, peoples. And light something on fire for me.

Requisite Update

Whoa… no January post.. so I never gave the post family/Disney redux!! Quickly put, myself, Jon and his family went to Walt Disney World for Xmas and New Years. It was a hypnotically good time filled with occasional amazing meals at night, long lines for everything, tacky, sparkly things I just had to have and a barrel of joy that just had to be the drugs in the water. I came away dazed and rather horrified at how much TinkerBell stuff I had purchased. It’s not something I’d really want to do again any time soon, but really… it’s not that different from Burning Man.

Moving on…

I’ve been really busy with my new job. It’s quite a trip, I must say. Inside where I work, it’s hard to tell just who the crazy person is sometimes… or even more fun, who’s the person who has pending charges of rape, murder, etc, and who has the charges for public urination, unlawful improsnment, assault. We have it all. Violent, unmanaged tempers and docile, polite individuals. And then there are the patients!! hahahaha. Seriously though, it really is that varied. On my caseload, I have intolerant and hostile people that will call me the worst things you’ve ever heard, and polite, thankful people that will tell me that I’m too nice. Meanwhile, among my own class at the hospital, the psychiatric social workers, we’re fighting for recognition as a professional class, and the pay to go with it.

Ah, the politics of a state institution!

In other news, I’m officially getting married April 8. I have 2 friends in Chicago working on important aspects of the wedding, including making the dress and arranging the ceremony. Tomorrow I’ll be talking w/ them about details. I’ve also been in correspondence with people at www.sumiche.com about getting custom, ecologically sensitive rings made for Jon and I. This is going to hopefully be a simple, memorable occasion. We’re thinking of going to Cupcake Royale for a cupcake tasting for the wedding cake-ish thing.

In additional news, I’ve been having fun amassing a new wardrobe thanks to my new job. And also, before I forget it, I officially quit my employment w/ Babeland, which is sad, but wasn’t managable w/ the new job and hellish commute. Let’s see, what else should I write here?

My friend Damien will be moving into my building from Chicago in just a month or so. It’s very exciting. Welcome to Seattle, Damien!

That’s all for now. Thanks for watching. Spring is coming soon!!

Identity Crisis

Today was my third day at my Brand New Job. At this job, I get to be in a high security area, which means badges, a whole mess of keys and restrictions on objects you can bring in/out. The job is filled with colorful characters, and I’m already developing a stash of stories to tell.

This is one of them.

Though this story doesn’t deal with the colorful individuals that are the consumers at this social service agency (ie. forensic ward at a hospital.) This story deals with the people in Human Resources that fail to understand what proof I need for being eligable for employment.

Let’s back up. As with most jobs at most places (and every job at every place I’ve worked) I was required to fill out a stack of papers for things such as my mandatory sign up for the Union (AFL-CIO), retirement benefits, confidentiality agreement, W-4 and the ubiquitous I-9. The I-9 is the form that proves your eligability to work in the U.S. and requires you to submit documents to prove this. Usually these documents are in the form of a lone U.S. passport (my document of choice) or two other documents combined, usually being the state ID or Driver’s License and a Social Security Card. I’ve gotten out of the habit of carrying my SS card with me on a regular basis, so given that one document, my Passport, should suffice, that is what I choose to bring.

My coworker warned me that it may not be enough. There is, however, no document in the packet that requires any documentation aside from the aforementioned. So, I told her, I should be fine.

Apparently the HR people don’t understand what the I-9 requires. The first woman I spoke to was determined that I should have my Social Security card included in the file, despite none of the information I was handed stating that to be the case. I told her that according the the form, my passport was all that was required. She didn’t take that as an answer and referrerd to her coworkers. Another woman came to me and read over the I-9, with me pointing out to her that my passport was sufficient. She looked over it in a very bureucratic, matter of fact way, reading the headers and eventually stating that (well, I can only interpret what she said for myself) I was correct. She then requested my Driver’s License. I asked her what form stated that she needed my Driver’s License. She looked at me and said she didn’t understand what I was talking about. I then said to her, “What form can you show me states the requirement that I give you my Driver’s License to photocopy?” She said she would have to look into it, and was getting this aire of “I’m so leaving this conversation now!” She then mumbled something about how they needed it in case they have to prove my residency, update where I live, because they get reports… blah blah blah.

Given the fact that I’m shitty at updating my own address for my Driver’s License, I don’t know how that would do them one bit of good.

Besides, they already have my SSN on numerous documents already. They could try to get my credit report if they *really wanted.* Also consider I already authorized a criminal background check in order to take the job.

They do NOT need any more forms of ID and they were unable to give me any information stating as to why they needed additional ID.

This all happened in front of my coworker, who is training me. I later explained to her, after I got the “Well, we’ll contact you if we need more information.” crap from the HR people, that in the end, this was a fight for civil liberties.

Maybe not really, but that’s what it felt like. I mean, there was no documentation there that they could give me that required any more information than they already had.

I believe it’s my right to withhold that information if i so choose.

As it is, they know a lot more about me than I likely do about myself.

I’m just waiting to see if I don’t get my paycheck on payday because of this. 🙂 This could get fun!

[comments turned off 08/05/09 due to spam]

The Life I Live

Much has happened since I last updated. I will attempt to summarize to the best of my ability.

Around mid-November I passively gave up on NaNoWriMo. Turns out that the process wasn’t all for naught, in that I spurred me to figure out what I really wanted to work on, which was art. Since then, I’ve been slowly getting things together to work on a project that is coming together at a snail’s pace. It’s a good project, though (entailing water based media and collage), and I intend to follow through, even if it takes awhile.

Meanwhile, I had a few other epiphanies thanks to listening to the Pema Chodron Getting Unstuck cds that a dear friend got for me a few months ago. I think that I really should invest a solid block of time for meditation daily. It’s on my to-do list.

If I had one, at least, it would be on it.

I turned 28 at the end of the month of November. It’s quite weird for me to not be all ecstatic about a birthday, but maybe this just means I’m getting older. That’s hopefully not a bad thing. I received a ton of gifts for the occasion, including a fabulous digital camera (that I’ve since used and posted photos to my flickr page.) I was able to splurge at my favorite cosmetic store, Sephora, thanks to a gift card. I swear, I’m not that girly, nor that stuck-up. I do love the shiney, though.

(and wrt cosmetics/skin-care, an update on my previous post re: skin care, I ended up going to Aveda and have been quite pleased with their skin care line.)

And then there’s the big news – I got a job. A real, live, social work job. It’s my first social work job out of grad school, and I’m terrified and excited at the same time. It’s a tough commute, promises to be a tough job (working with psychiatrically committed criminals), and will at least be rewarding in the fact that, should I survive, I should be able to start paying the federal government back for those oh-so-generous loans during my schooling.

It figures that by the time I actually figure what to do with my time away from work that I actually get a job.

I still intend to do volunteering w/ the LGBT Community Center here in Seattle, as well as fill-in shifts as a sex-education retailer.

That’s my life now. Within a few weeks, I will have worked 2 weeks at my new job *and* be on my way to sunny Florida for a family vacation to Disney World.

Ugh. This is a great public impression for the web. I’m a girl who a) loves make-up, shopping and shineys, b) goes to Disney World for vacation. Please don’t judge me!! 🙂

I’m a hard working, smart girl. I swear.

And that’s the story for now. Good afternoon!