Vampire Slayer?

On Saturday, I went to the Seattle Humane Society.  I know that I can't afford a dog just this second but I wanted to know what the process was (and get some snuggle time in).  I have been cruising the local animal shelter websites to see what's available.  Some time last week, this scruffy blonde pup appeared on this website.  I was pretty much set on getting a chihuahua because they are one of the most commonly surrendered breeds.  They aren't bad dogs but people seem to forget that they are dogs, not fashion accessories so once that playful nip turns into an all out snarl, the uninitiated dog owner has nowhere to turn.

Well, I saw Buffy on the website and read her description.  She just wants a warm lap to sit on and she will be happy.  I thought, I could use a dog like that.  I want to take her to work with me so super high energy dog is out.  As is a yippy dog because I don't want to get complaints from my neighbors.  This little girl is shy (and a bit older) so she doesn't have much kennel appeal.  She was asleep when I went to visit her kennel.  I filled out the paperwork and met with an adoption adviser so I could finally get some one on one time with this darling dust mop.  Like I said, she was sleeping... HARD!  You'd have to be to fall asleep in a noisy kennel full of irritated strays.  When the volunteer got the lead around her neck, she looked very confused.  She was kind of staggering around, trying to get her bearings and sneezing any time she gave a good sniff.  Once we got to the "getting to know you" area, she looked around and then went up to my leg and sniffed (and sneezed).  I sat down and she immediately put her paws on my thigh, asking for permission to come up.  I didn't have any food or toy.  All she wanted was some cuddles.  She was temporarily distracted when the volunteer brought by some treats but looked up at me before going after them in a combination of "I'll be right back. Just have to get some noms." and "Is it alright if I go?"  This was after about 2 minutes of contact.

Every time the volunteer came back to check on us, Buffy would just kind of look up and get back to snuggling and the volunteer would make girly "aww" sounds because the scene was so darling.  I even did the diaper grip and Buffy knew what was going on.  She buried her little nose into the crook of my elbow.  I wanted to take her home so badly.  When it was time to part company, she was already attached to me (not like it was that hard to do) and was trying to follow me instead of the volunteer back into the kennel.  She has these sad, brown eyes that want so much to have a forever home.  I selfishly hope that no one else wants to meet her between now and the end of the month so I can be that home.


The World Stood Still

Ten years ago today, I was sitting in Mr. Herbert's social studies class when another teacher wheeled in a TV to show us the breaking news.  I remember for the first few hours not thinking it was that big of a deal.  The day continued somewhat regularly and I had no idea how the world would change.  I didn't know that the towers had collapsed until after I got home from school.  My mom was sitting in front of the TV.  Somehow it got real when it was on the big screen and Mom looked worried.

The next day was when the impact of this tragedy started to sink in.  I remember my optimistic nature was already showing because for a long time I argued in class for it being a mistake.  I thought no one would ever do that on purpose.  The planes just had a navigational error or something so it was a big mistake.  I think September 11th made me want to go into International Relations.  If people could talk and have their communication be effective, then we would never have to resort to violence.  We didn't have class for a week. We just had discussion.  A lot of people were scared.  Many cried.  No one knew the long impact that this would have.

Ten years later, I have a much deeper concept of the world.  I am an independent adult but my life and my generation will always be defined by that haunting image of the second plane careening into the tower with a plume of black smoke coming from the first.  So many people in their 20's and 30's already had the chance to become a fully formed adult when the attacks happened.  Others were too young to really know what was going on.  People my age were old enough to understand what was going on and young enough to have those event tattooed on them forever.  I am a child of 9/11.


One Year Later

As much as I believe that Facebook is taking over the world (myself included), it has provided me with a wonderful gift lately.  There have been "On This Day in 2010" runners.  September 8, 2010 found me excited to practice Chinese with native speakers so often.  I can't believe that it was one year ago that I was getting my SeaLegs and starting my AmeriCorps term.  I was planning on applying for the Peace Corps after my term was over.  I didn't know if would be able to attend Louise and Chris's wedding because I didn't know where I would be during October 2011.

In a single year, I have gone from a scared college grad who had no clue what to do with her future, let alone how to achieve those aims, to a full-time case manager working on a team and doing a job that makes each day a fabulous challenge.  I have health insurance, a solid living situation and complete financial independence.  What a difference a year can make!


Good Idea, Bad Idea.

Good idea: Getting two placements in one week.
Bad idea: Not having the paperwork on either of those clients to even begin job search, let alone get a job.

Good idea: Setting up a time for both of these people, who will be starting at restaurants, to get the food handler permits that are required by Washington state law.
Bad idea: Having one of those clients not show up, not call, and resent the implication that she was some how expected to follow through on these responsibilities for the job that she has been looking to get for the past year.

Good idea:  An Americorps volunteer that is intelligent, hard-working and just as weird as the rest of the team.
Bad idea:  Said volunteer having some problems prioritizing so she is doing lesson plan for some time far in the future while stubborn client is randomly clicking buttons rather than actually learning and retaining any of the information about food handling because she does not understand English.

Good idea: Meeting with father of a severely autistic client to pass on paperwork so that he can enroll in Medicare.
Bad idea: Having that meeting precisely align with the time that other placement is having her first day of work on the other side of the city.

Good idea: Being dedicated to client outcomes and general success of their recoveries.
Bad idea: Staying at work until 6:30 on the Friday before a holiday weekend to try to ensure that only to have the client fail the test anyway.