My 16 year old daughter was diagnosed as Attention Deficit Disorder and then, at the age of 57, so was I. A lifetime of struggle was placed into a context that made sense of a lot of failure and frustration. This blog documents and celebrates what has happened to me since.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

a pile of bricks...

The "special" school levy to upgrade the construction of Grant High School--and other schools here in Portland--failed.  The "conservative" (Burke rolls over in his grave every time the grifters and reactionaries are called conservative) types are rejoicing.

Mostly I don't  care about the leaking roofs and the electrical wiring that won't support the needs of the last half of the twentieth century, let alone this one.

What I care about is the fact that the building is one big pile of bricks--and it's among the many such buildings here in Portland that, come the "big one," is going to come down several tons  of bricks.

The "big one," by the way, an earthquake that will rival if not surpass the one that hit Japan this year, is inevitable and it's overdue.  Google it.  We know it's coming.

I also know that every school day my beautiful and talented 17 year old daughter, who is blessed with a  singing voice that turns heads and a mind that wraps itself around calculus and physics, the one who was a starter on the varsity volley ball team her sophomore year, walks into that pile of bricks as though the plates off the coast of Oregon were not grinding their way toward the subduction catastrophe that is sure to happen.

I don't have any illusions.  If that building comes down when she's there I'm going to be standing outside hopeful/less for a long time before people who know how to do search and rescue will get to Grant.  There are a lot of buildings that are coming down--especially on all that fill along the Willamette River.  And who knows what the transportation infrastructure is going to look like that day?  There I'll be along with a lot of other parents--some of whom may not even connect the "no" vote they cast on this levy with the agony they are part of.

Yeah, the economy is bad--but Oregonians are not so poor as they claim.  Oregonians--including the the human beings driving BMW's and owning two or three homes--have benefitted from massive tax breaks these last twenty years or so.  Many of them are also benefitting from the Bush Tax Cuts.  Of course, Oregon tax payers who are not human beings have benefitted more from the tax cutting mania than those of us who breathe.  So many of the people who claim they can't tighten their belt any further are the ones who loosened them quite a bit to accommodate the financial fat they put on with the defunding of public infrastructure these last few years--including that building that's going to come down a ton of bricks, several of them, likely on the heads of kids like mine.

If that terrible earthquake hits during non-school hours we can all rejoice in the miracle.  If it hits during school hours after mine has graduated and gone I'll agonize and mourn for those who had the bad luck to be born later than she was.

How am I going to feel--whether my own Honey Bear wins, loses or draws in this waiting game--about those in my "community" who had the ability to help avert disaster but decided they couldn't "afford it."

I guess that's the point of the de-funders, the Libertarians and the Tea Party types--pull us all apart and pit us against one another.  Make us all so afraid for our own that we just shrug when the inevitable outcomes of the  selfishness and greed strikes someone else's children.  The idea is to make us all believe we cannot rely on one another, that it's all of us agains the rest of us. There is no such thing as "society" or "community" according to them.  There's just individuals and families.

one victim lives the tragedy
another stops to stare
still another walks on by
pretending not to see
they're all out there in No Man's Land
the safest place to be...

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Al From Dadeville

So he's an Alabama football fan who has poisoned a grove of trees on the campus of ultra-rival Auburn University.  These trees are more than 100 years old and they are an important venue for the cult worship of the Orange and Blue version of SEC football.  It was a pre-meditated crime carried out by stealth, one for which he would not have been abducted except that he called a sports radio show and bragged about it.

He could get ten years (I imagine it's what they would call a felony criminal mischief in my part of the country) in prison.   On a sports podcast I favor, The Solid Verbal, there was talk about, instead of him going to prison, having him clean up what is a small super fund site (the soil is contaminated and apparently has to be hauled away and replaced), replant the trees and then nurture them--all under the watchful eyes of the Auburn students.

One of hosts of this podcast said that would amount to justice, more than locking up a 62 year old man for a decade, but doubted that Al would do it.  He'd rather go to jail.

So, I wonder about that.  I do think ten years in prison is fine for killing trees--but, hey, I'm from Oregon.  We love trees up here and cut them into cookies with chainsaws to celebrate futbol goals.  ("We're the Timbers Army, Who are you?)

I like the idea Al from Dadeville (a former Texas Ranger--what position do you suppose he played?) spending the rest of his days cultivating a new copse of trees on the Auburn campus although I think wearing an orange jumpsuit would be the best attire--it's a double entendre for a convicted felon paying dues under the watchful eye of the War Eagle.  (The War Eagle?  What do you suppose porn looks like, down there?)

Maybe he would refuse.  

Well, OK.  Suppose he did.

Here's the deal, Al.  Do the trees or go to an Alabama prison (do you know how many of them there are?  Google it) and in that Alabama prison your cellee will be the biggest baddest Auburn fan in the joint.  I am sure that it would be easy to find an appropriate candidate in any of the many of those fine institutions. In fact, I wouldn't doubt it if I were told that the Auburn football fans in prisons have a rooting clubs they call the "Double Oranges." (Orange prison jumpsuits, Orange Auburn colors)

Perhaps, Al, your cellees could be rotated in weekly.  I am sure the "DO's" would compete for a week long slumber party with you.  (Jeez, maybe someday it would be some guy close to your own age named Newton.) 

I guess, Al, we could actually put you up in that same kind of system in that women's prison near Montgomery.  A new female cellee every week--each of them an Auburn fan, each of them a convicted felon.  There's a lot of beautiful women in the state of Alabam' (been there and know it to be true) but I'm betting there are women in prison there who could kick Nick Fairly's ass and call it breakfast. Just for you, Al. 

Somehow I'm thinking that to Al from Dadeville a little OJT forestry degree would look like the better alternative.  But, hey, that's just me.  I didn't name my kids "Bear" and "Crimson," like he did.  Either choice he made seems like justice, to me.

About Me

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I am a convinced Beanite Friend, a member of Bridge City Friends Meeting, Willamette Quarterly Meeting and North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Notwithstanding the doubts of some who claim the name, I am a Christian who does a Buddhist practice and believes that God talks to everyone, all the time. I have worked in the judicial branch of government, as well as being a trial lawyer, a public school teacher (counselor and coach), a kite merchant, and a Marine Corp Sergeant. I am currently working as a consultant to public and private agencies on issues of child welfare, juvenile justice, and substance abuse treatment courts.