Ahh, a fresh new day, a fresh new post. My Weird Neighbor Award today goes to (drumroll please) the guy who got arrested last week. Although I have no idea who he is or what he was arrested for, he did provide others with a good show last week. So thank you to whoever he is. The four cop cars (2 in front and 2 in back) certainly provided the light show with which to see the arrestee better. Unfortunately, there was no shouting besides the cops yelling to open up or any running (which would have been WAY cooler to watch), but I guess that’s a good thing for his kids (if they’re his).

That’s the sad part of the projects. Not that everyone who lives there is bad, mind you. I, for one, have never been arrested or detained in any way. My worst offense is a speeding ticket. Anyway, the sad part is that the kids who live in the projects are getting a raw deal when they have parents like the Butt-Can Raider or The Guy Who Got Arrested. They have to watch their parents be like that. I can only hope that having them see these kinds of things makes them want to be better than their parents.

I live in the projects. Not “real” ones like in New York or California, with gangs and everything, but small-town just-above-trailer-park-trash projects. I thought a good subject to reflect upon today is weird neighbors. I will not be putting out names or addresses (I have to live there), but I will assign aliases to people in order to avoid confusion. So, let’s get started.

The award of Weird Neighbor #1 goes to “The Butt-Can Raider”. This woman comes in the middle of the night (I assume, because I don’t see her) and steals cigarrette butts out of the can on my porch. Now maybe this is weird to you, but this is a typical behavior in the projects. I guess. I can afford my own cigarrettes, that’s why there are some in the can.

Recently, she has been caught several times on the porches of other smokers in the neighborhood and has taken to actually asking for my butts. Again, I guess this is typical behavior. She has also gone so far as to ask if she can buy a pack of smokes from me for five dollars. If you have five dollars in the first place, why don’t you go to the store and buy your own?

When they screen people at the Housing Authority to live in these wonderful projects, I think there should be a section in the interview titled, “What to do when…” and it should give a bunch of common sense scenarios in which the interviewee has to get right in order to live there.

However, until I am Queen of the World (or at least the projects), there will not be a test for common sense.

1. The sentence, “The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog” uses every letter in the aplphabet. Go ahead and check. I know you’re going to.

2. More monopoly money is printed in a year than the real stuff. No wonder we are in a recession.

3. A person uses approximately 57 sheets of toilet paper per day. So that’s where all mine goes.

4. Ernest Vincent Wright wrote a 50,000 word novel called Gadsby in which none of the words contain the letter ‘e’.

5. The most used letter in the alphabet is ‘e’ (except for in Mr. Wright’s book) and the least used is ‘q’.

With my daughter’s sixth birthday fast approaching, I have been thinking a lot about her birth and the first time I saw her. I thought that I would share with everyone the story of her birth. I know women across the world are always sharing their birthing stories. You start one, and twelve more follow. So here goes one; I hope more decide to share.

I went into labor around 3 AM on December 3, 2004. I sat around at home until I couldn’t take it any longer, finally going to the hospital around 6 or 7 AM. They examined me, determined I was a keeper, and put me in the delivery room where everything promptly stopped. I was dilated to a six, and my contractions had actually slowed down. It was like going backwards. The doctor decided to give me Pitocin in order to speed things up again, and he broke my water. After they gave me the drug, it was determined that they had given me too much, as I wasn’t getting a break in between contractions. To reverse this, they gave me a muscle relaxer which put me to sleep. To be honest, after that I only remember bits and pieces of things. I remember Anthony fanning me with that dilation diagram thing that they have in the delivery rooms that shows what each centimeter of dilation looks like and I remember my sister recording me and someone was taking pictures. Several hours later, I abruptly sat up, turned to my friend Melissa and said “It burns.” Having had epidurals with her kids, she had no idea what I was talking about and ran for the nurse. I was then dilated to ten and ready to go.I do remember when I started pushing that I told the nurse that I wanted drugs. I also remember her telling me the epidural wouldn’t take effect until after the baby was out anyway. At this point, I told her that I changed my mind, I wasn’t having a baby today, anyway, and when can I go home? I pushed and pushed for what seemed like forever. It was actually 41 minutes, I was told later. 41 whole minutes with a baby’s 13 cm head stuck in my crotch. Having had no drugs besides the stupid muscle relaxer, I felt everything. They don’t call it the “ring of fire” for nothing. But then, at 1:41 PM, I laid eyes on my beautiful daughter. The doctor put her on me as soon as she came out. Even covered in slime this kid was a heart breaker. I was in love.

I couldn’t believe it. I had waited nine long months for this baby, and here she finally was. So that, dear readers, is Rae’s story. Of course, she looks a little different now.

But the feelings are there, just the same.

*Roger also has a birth story (and a birthday) coming up! Stay tuned!*

…to take the job that was offered to me. I cannot in good faith turn down benefits that will help me and my kids. Also, my mom said she would be mad if I turned down the job.

I am excited to “get started” on this job (I have already been working for 3 weeks) but I am extremely nervous to go upstairs today at 2 and give my 2 weeks notice. I know that they will just have to understand where I am coming from. I have to do what is best for my kids, and taking this job is it.

Yikes, though. I am truly nervous. I have this problem where I 1. hate confrontation and 2. hate telling people I can’t do something. I just kind of feel like a horrible person because it’s only been like 3 weeks and I’m already wanting to quit and do something else. It isn’t a bad job, either. I really like giving out the pretests and all the rest that I do. I guess I just want something more. I like the other job because I get to move more. I walk around campus alot. I’m not just stuck in the office there. Plus there’s more people to see and talk to.

In the long run, this is only going to help me. I have to just grow some balls and go up there and tell them.

I have been filling in for a few weeks at my old job as an office assistant here at the college while doing my new job as program specialist for the GED/ABE program. Yesterday, my boss for the Foundation (the place that gives scholarships) came to me and asked if I would be interested in a permanent position as the program assistant for him and the athletic department. I have wanted this job for awhile now. I just didn’t think that they wanted me to do it. The job would be six hours a day, five days a week and have full benefits. Right now I am working four hours with no bennies in the GED/ABE department. I know it sounds crazy to even ask, but what do I do? I have only been in this position for three weeks. Not even a whole month and I already want to bail? As soon as the boss in the Foundation lets me know if we are a go, I will just have to talk to my bosses here and hope like hell they understand that I am a single mom of two kids and I need medical for myself and them that will be accepted anywhere. We have state health insurance now, which is nice because it pays for everything without a copay, but I can’t even go to the dentist! It pays for only certain things for adults. No preventitive medicine. So I guess if we get sick they will pay out the ass instead of preventing us being sick in the first place. I’m not sure what the reasoning is on that one, but since it’s the government, I’m sure it’s logical. Anyway, I am pretty sure I know what I am going to do, I just needed to see it written out and explained. There’s just no way I can pass up more hours at possibly higher pay (even if it stays the same it’s fine) and benefits. I have to think of the kids first and this is the only job that is going to let me support them in the long run.