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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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storm things
version one, frog love
Sudden storm last night knocked out the electricity, which led to the most boring night of my life, and I'm including that night I went out with one of my cousins and discussed, I kid you not, livestock shows with a group of guys who were *way* too enthused about the subject. We (read, *I*) obsessively called the electric company update line, and well, suffice to say, it didn't come on until thsi morning, and we discovered the air conditioner somehow blew out. *Again*.

Right now, it's in its component pieces in our living room while both my parents, armed with a phone and absolutely no natural talent with engineering and mechanics, try to fix it.

I'm just saying, if you hear about a bizarre accident in the Texas hill country involving air conditioners, yeah, that'll probably be us.

This means, it's going to reach somewhere in the *hundreds* and we are going to die. Probably by murdering each other in heat-related insanity, and wow, this could go bad places fast. Acutally, right now, it's not too bad, but knowing it *will* get bad is all we really need for the insanity to start.

The storm was kind of cool, though. It lasted about forty-five minutes, and me and Niece watched in interest as tile, wood, bits of roof from the neighbors, and our trampoline tried to take serious flight. Let me say this again. *The trampoline* left the ground, then shuddered back down and moved about twenty feet, stopping right before the fence line. I can't even explain my glee watching. Cause wow. Horizontal rain, rumors of hail, and it hit so *fast* we actually didn't see it coming at all, and people, this is *rural* country, you can see *everything* coming, but not this one. Fantastically interseting. Also, downed power lines and a fire somewhere in the not good category, but so far, no reports of serious injuries. Part of the convenience store up the road got ripped up pretty bad. People keep making tornado-sounds, but honestly, I watched, and unless it's the smallest tornado ever, it was just really, really, really strong winds. Really, really, really strong winds. But more news later. Later adventures included Grandmotehr panicking, going through her medication with a flashlight to find her anti-anxiety meds before she hyperventilated, sending her to my aunt's when *her* power came back on around eleven, and actually having a decent sleep, since it was chill most of hte night and my window is strategically located between two windows, so cool air flow was fabulous. Called in sick to work to help clean up the damage--we actually expected it to take longer to fix, but the AC is kind of an emergency thing. When I say we can fry eggs on the sidewalk, seriously, I'm going to one day take a camera to work, take some eggs, and fry them on the concrete back porch to *show* the mind-boggling fact it takes only a few minutes.

Other News

They sent out the final notice that the RIF (Reduction in Force) starts in January, so I have six months. I did my panic yesterday, then got over it. Cause wow, if I do it now, I won't have any fun around Christmas predicting the end of my life and all. Also, we're moving this month, so--yeah. A house was found, and so, moving. Also, trying to fix my financial aid and figure out how I'm going to negotiate school. Apparently, come January, I may just do a full load and be done with it. I need my degree already. Plus--and this is just so sad--I'm so bored. It came to me that while I don't particularly enjoy classroom, I don't really enjoy doing something while I'm not learning something from it, and sadly, I've hit the wall on what new things I can learn from my current job.

RIF people are first in line for the new jobs at Family and Protective Services (Aka child and adult abuse), and there was this scarily long presentation on the rewards of working there. None of the jobs offered are at my current salary, which makes me itchy, and also, I don't have the qualifications for a caseworker. What makes me more itchy is I have an eight year old son and three year old niece. I'm non-confrontational, kind of passive-aggressive, and pretty much the easy-going. I'm not sure any of those things will survive the things a worker has to see every day.

How do people do this every day? In my job, I see a lot of misery, but it's, for the most part, really superficial, and the sheer variety eventually dulls down the edges of it. And I'm already proactively bitter against, well, men for not paying child support, and filled with this frustration that the social services aren't just not adequate, they're--amazingly ridiculously *bad*. I ended up the other night picking a roaring fight with my best friend's brother, who I dearly love, and considering this is *him*, the epitome of cool reason--yeah. So, don't want to go to an agency that will only make it worse. This has already changed me, and I'm not sure it's for the best. Being socially aware is a good thing, but--I want my hope back, and this isn't the place I'm going to find it again. On the other hand--if I can do it, and I am relatively good at it, I *should* do it. I'm not even close to burnout, so copping out at this point would be selfish. I just--sometimes, I think I'm becoming one of those people who never sees anything good in the world anymore, everything's edged with the certainty of failure and misery and no way to *fix* anything. I want to work somewhere I never see people, never worry about how other people survive, and never have to *think* again. I kind of want to become an air conditioning repair person right now. This could be because I'm proactively sweating in reaction to it being nine-thirty and coming on The Really Hot Part of the Day.

So. I want distraction. I kind of want to write, but nothing's clicking. Anyone have any story of mine they want a DVD commentary on? I kind of feel like immersing myself for a while in something shiny.

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Speaking as someone outside looking in: I think if someone is working in social services, the very nature of the job means they need to really *want* to be in social services. I suspect going into it with little more than a sense of obligation will sustain a social worker for perhaps a year or so, then burnout. But good luck, this sounds like it might be quite a turning point for you.

Jesus, I know what you mean about the airconditioning repair thing! I honestly sometimes wish I'd become a printer-and-photocopier repair person... they pull in huge bucks and genetically speaking, I'd probably be really good at it (my dad was a mechanic for garage doors, the huge 40 foot ones you find in warehouses with the engines that open & close them, and was considered a genius in his field who could fix any garage door, any where, any time.) As it is, people all over the building come to me when the printers or copiers aren't working, and half the time I make them go again just by messing with them a little.

If I were a guy, I'd have totally been urged to work with my hands as a means of making a living and I'd probably own a house by now. With a pool in the back yard. And a jacuzzi in the finished basement. *sigh*

Storms are cool, unless they're sucking up your house and your loved ones. Glad yours are okay, even if the air conditioner ends up being toast.

I would be happy to read DVD commentary on ANY of your stories, anytime.

I don't think it's a good idea to take a job in child protective services because you think you should. You may be not even close to burnout, but it's obvious that you're deeply affected by the unhappiness you see in your work, and your powerlessness to effect change for your clients. You're going to see a lot more unhappiness in child protective services, and you're only going to get angrier.

That said, you would probably be a huge asset to child protective services, because you genuinely do care about people, and will, I think, go the extra mile to find solutions for people.

I work in the end of child protective services that comes in after a child has been injured or has died, to review what happened and find ways to prevent it happening again. Often, sadly, there's nothing that could have been done, but I sometimes wonder if a child had had the benefit of just one person who was willing to step outside the box, to see the child as a precious human being instead of another file folder in the caseload -- and to make the child see himself that way -- if things could have been different. You could be the hero of a hundred needy families. Unfortunately, heroes' own lives are often not easy.

And I totally understand about your leaning toward a career in air conditioner repair. I, myself, often dream of being a hairdresser.

Often, sadly, there's nothing that could have been done, but I sometimes wonder if a child had had the benefit of just one person who was willing to step outside the box, to see the child as a precious human being instead of another file folder in the caseload -- and to make the child see himself that way -- if things could have been different.

I have a sneaking suspicion that a foster parent is able to do a lot more than a case worker can, albeit only for a handful of children, precisely because they can devote their attention (and their love) to just a few individuals to get them just what they need.

(Deleted comment)
Sorry abaout the delay in answering. I am getting *really* bad about that.

I have DVD commentary on Sleep somewhere in my LJ. 3IT is stuck a little--I keep trying to remember what I was thinking and just gah.

http://www.livejournal.com/users/seperis/124508.html Part I

http://www.livejournal.com/users/seperis/124858.html Part II

Hope you enjoy it!

About the livestock --

A guy I dated once took me to meet his parents. We met at Luby's, and they spent the entire meal discussing bull castration techniques. I learned it was the family business, though the bf was a med student.

It was supposed to be that magic intro to my new family. Instead it was our last date. I couldn't cope with the thought of a whole lifetime of that conversation repeated at every holiday.

Now that all my holidays revolve around my in-laws singing the praises of W and his mob, I think I might have made a mistake.

Anyone have any story of mine they want a DVD commentary on? I kind of feel like immersing myself for a while in something shiny.

You aren't happy unless you're driving yourself nuts, right? Oh the stories we could pick... I vote "Common Spaces"

Hmmm. Air conditioning repair person? I bet it pays well, and think of the improvement you'd be bringing to people's lives!

"Sleep While I Drive" Please, please -- this was the story that launched a thousand...what the hell ever -- basically I'm up to Two Jenn Zines -- boy do the Kinko's guys look at *me* funny now, and this is still my favorite story. I want a sequel: what happened when they got back???

I lived in San Antonio for a while and feel your pain about the air conditioner. Mine went out one brilliant summer day -- about 10 years ago, now I guess.

Now I'm up in Minneapolis where it was hotter today than it has been all year! Hang in there!


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