Archive for October, 2006

Culture Clash Again

But in a good way.

Today was Halloween.

In Dubuque, they Trick or Treat. And the times set aside for it, which bristled me at first (how dare they tell me when I can and cannot trick or treat or give out candy) was BRILLIANT.

At 5:30 I took my place outside with candy and decorations, and sent my two eldest out.  By six my first five bags of candy were GONE.  By then my kids were back so I could run out and get some. New Yorkers to the core, they only went to a handful of homes if they KNEW the person.

It was so FESTIVE! Cold, yes, but festive. A steady stream of families until 7:30, and then time to go in and have some candy and some much needed hot chocolate. Good time to bond with neighbors, too!

This was great, last time Halloween was this much fun was when I was a kid.

And to me especially important that the kids had a good time because two years ago was their worst Halloween ever…it was very healing, I think, that they enjoyed it so much.

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Culture Clash

Living in the midwest is hard.

Seeing people use retard and fag as an insult ALL the time drives me nuts. And when my daughter spoke against it, saying her brother is disabled, the kids really found it hysterical.

Things like this get her spit on, and assaulted. The schools answer? Insinuate she’s a tramp (because she dresses modestly and you can see tank tops under shirts she considers too revealing–her principal) and make her sit in the front of the bus. As my husband said, after Rosa Parks, he thought people could sit where they wanted!

Did you know my daughter is a liar because she said we don’t have a car? She was threatened with detention because her homework wasn’t completed, and she was not aware she was supposed to go to the front of the room and tell the teacher. So she is a liar for not understanding the rules in a new community, and a liar for saying detention would be a hardship because we don’t have a car. Silly girl, everyone has a car.

Did you know we live in a ghetto? Well, we do. You see BLACK PEOPLE live near us, and everyone knows that makes our area a ghetto. Or so her tormenters say.

Did you know they have drug dogs in the school here? And for what? To intimidate the kids? There was an article with one of the school board members GLEEFUL that he could intimidate innocent children.  I was horrified at how HAPPY he was at the thought of the kids cowering.

You cannot color your hair, have even fake tatoos, or have rips in your jeans, or ‘shreds’.  You must wear a skirt or dress pants to a dance, boys need buttons on their shirts. Why? Are they intent on matching people up? No wonder there are so many teen pregnancies here, the teachers care more about making everyone look ‘cute’ for dances instead of letting them be themselves.  Their priorities are all wrong.

But then last year I had a principal sweetly say to me "did you leave your husband in NYC because it was a bad situation?" just about accusing him of something like BEATING me. Jerk. And another teacher who swears my high IQ kid has Aspergers because smart kids who prefer reading to TV must be autistic. And the other teacher who kept saying nasty things about NYC and keeping kids apart who bonded. Imagine threatening detention if two kids hung out too much! Oh yeah, they were both from somewhere else.

My boys are getting a great education, and I am almost loathe to leave Dubuque because of this but DAMN the cultural ignorance here just makes me physically ill.

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Link: CBGB’s, epicenter of live punk, closing its doors.

And to think, Bad Brains is playing, AND I’m not even there to go, just for the end of it all. (As if I could even get tickets.)

Even CBGB’s is gone from my hometown. What’s left?

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It is October 12. Just a few weeks into fall.


What kind of insane place did I move to?

P.S. Apparently the post office DOES have a Christmas stamp, why it isn’t on the website and why people who work at the post office would say otherwise, I do not know.

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Explain to me

Why in Dubuque, I am required to liscence my cat, but not required to put helmets on my children when they ride bikes, skate, use a scooter, and so on.

Very odd. I guess the cats make the city money, and the helmets don’t. Although I think you are supposed to liscence bicycles, too, if I remember correctly.

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It was pointed out to me today that you can get winter themed stamps at the Post Office, but not Christmas ones.  Snowflake ones.

Which would be fine with me except you can get ones for Chanukah, for Kwanzaa, and for Eid.

The post office told a friend of mine that the last Christmas ones were in 2004. Unsure if she was given the right information, I went to the website. Sure enough, they had exactly what was mentioned, and a search for Christmas gives NO results.

Either you put ALL holidays, or none. You can’t just exclude one in the name of political correctness.  I wonder how many people even knew, or how many people just took the snowflakes and didn’t question it.

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I hung my clothes in starlight, to dry in the midnight breezes.

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Explain this to me

So far I have checked into two places for respite care for my son. (Specialized care for disabled children, people with extra certifications and a willingness to watch disabled kids.)

Both of them will NOT let me pay for it out of pocket.

I am on something called a waiver waiting list, and eventually money will come to pay for respite care. But why can’t I just pay someone for a couple of hours of care? They said they do it, that I can get as little as one hour’s care, so why can’t I pay for it?

What if it turns out my income is too high for waivers? 

Is it so wrong to want to try to pay for something yourself, and is it fair to make me wait for respite care because I am on a waiting list for a grant of some sort?

All I want is someone who can watch my son so I can go to a parent teacher conference or take my other children to the doctor or something like that.  Why must these respite care providers make it so difficult?

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