Looner Study: What I learned from liking balloons

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I did an interview with Practitioner’s TV about balloons. This YouTube channel is out of Philadelphia and came to visit me to learn about what looners are and balloon & latex fetishism, based on a paper I wrote while in York College of PA in May of 2012. I agreed to the interview because I was promised the show was to promote acceptance rather then ostracize those who love balloons. The interview will be release this Thursday, June 22, 2017.

I have never shared the results of my questionnaires with anyone other than my professor and people who submitted responses and wanted to see the final thesis paper. I decided to share the paper now that the episode was coming out so people could see the full study along with the interview and the awesome song written by Dave DeHart of They & Them. Here is the link to the song he wrote based on the interview.

<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2qNkOfwVLU&t=179s <—–Looner theme song written by Dave about my love for balloons.

Below are the links to my thesis paper for my professional writing class. I received a perfect score though she teased me I did miss some commas. 🙂

Complete Looner study   <—–PDF version

Complete Looner study <—–Word Doc version

Here is the link to my YouTube channel where I enjoy making videos for other people. They’re just me being silly, and blowing up balloons, and popping them. Either you’re into watching (or hearing) them or you’re not. It’s all good. I rarely make a video anymore, but I still think balloons are awesome.

https://www.youtube.com/user/girlboxer1970

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Thanks for stopping by! If you like what you read and want others to read it too, show you care and share this post. 🙂 🙂

Please write me a note in the comments about your thoughts on the results of my paper.

Here’s the episode!!

~P.

There may be other links through the balloon tags on my blog site that don’t work. I had to delete tons of photos of balloons I had because I didn’t have space. 😦

Upcoming Custody Hearing & Stuff

Well, I’m back to taking medication for stomach irritation. I started again after another worthless doctor’s appointment. I’m tired of wasting my leave time at work to just be shifted back and forth to the same few doctors. What really makes me mad is after seeing Dr. Po and learning he didn’t feel I needed surgery and the vomiting and nausea we’re not coming from his specially area, the rear, he says he didn’t have anymore tests and told me to see the gastrologist again, it had to be my stomach. Keep in mind I had just seen Dr. Po (his name and the humor of it is not lost on me) and the receptionist or whoever she is, insisted I come in and refused to send a note back asking him if I need the test he mentioned. I was furious that this appointment was a waste of time, but Po got paid. No wonder insurance is costly. So, we’ll see how this goes again after almost two years of regularly feeling nauseated and vomiting in the mornings. I’ve also been working at the assistance office for 2 years now come next month. It’s been interesting to say the least. There is never a day at work where I not surprised a bit, sad a bit, and angered.

Hitting home, after years of fighting with my ex-husband over custody of our daughter, I’m now involved again in a custody battle, this time as a stepmom. The custody trial is coming up 2 days after we get back from a week’s camping vacation. Currently my stepson, Matt, visits us every other weekend. His mother lives in Erie so on our Friday, he doesn’t actually get back to our house until 11 at night. On Sundays, we meet her halfway later in afternoon for the exchange. Erie is about 6 hours away from where we live. Basically, Matt gets 2 days a month to do something with us because the other days are spent driving. We are trying to get custody because Matthew has been diagnosed with ADHD since he was young, and more recently ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder. His behavior is far, I repeat far, from acceptable. Had I behaved this way I would have just gotten my ass beaten, but these days there’s medication to help stop this bad behavior as well as the hyperactivity. Matt’s mom won’t allow him to take medication and won’t voluntarily give Brian custody, so he’s suing her in court. I truly believe it would be best for Matt to live with us, though it might push me over the edge. Haha
I’ll let you know how things go.

~P.

Stop TWEETING Already!

 

What is going on with our government? Why can’t Trump stop tweeting?

I’m so sick of hearing about stupid stuff the President is doing. Act presidential for crying out loud.

So much time is being wasted on his tweets, especially the wire-tapping tweet.

Then, there’s the travel ban, the Russian brolove, the border wall, healthcare, and all the fighting back with every single person or entire groups, like the media, who disagrees, dislikes or questions anything he says. I can’t stand it.

But, I can’t stop reading.

On a local level, I’m not pleased with Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf. Right before Christmas he laid-off Unemployment Compensation employees. It was sudden and not well-thought out as there were not enough employees left to handle all the calls for claims from unemployed Unemployment Comp workers.

Now, out-of-the blue, my office gets notice of lay-offs and furloughs. People are going to be urged to retire with a special package or find new jobs in other state agencies. Those who don’t may be transferred to the nearest call center that is taking transplants to continue our position.  The nearest is 1.5 hours away, so I will not be going that route. Those who don’t transfer will be let go. They can start calling Unemployment immediately as its dicey if you’ll get through.

I’m pissed about this whole possible loss-of-my-job issue. I like working in York. I can get there in 20 minutes or so. In the summer I can have lunch with my husband, which I greatly enjoy. If I take a new position, I’d have to drive to Harrisburg again and no more summer lunches on Cherry Lane taking in the free entertainment.

I read Trump is decreasing funding for welfare. Maybe the time IS right to get out of the assistance programs. There are days where I can barely stand the lies I get fed every day, but then, there are days where I really feel I helped someone, or a family, out during tough times. Sadly, most days seem to involve hearing lies.

I haven’t written in so long. I feel rusty. I need to stop slacking.

~P.

Hey GEICO-I’m done

I was looking forward to this past Monday. I had plans with my BFF since middle school for dinner with our husbands at a place called The Cove, one of my favorites. Best fish tacos not made in Mexico.

Had just left work, headed home. Sitting at a traffic light on George St in York. I was checking out the vintage Jeep dealership looking for “Jeeps: Wanted Dead or Alive” when a gray blur sideswiped my Buick. It braked and then jammed the gas scooting onto Woodland Ave, a little side street.

I was like WTH? I looked in my mirror and traffic was still stopped, so I jumped lanes and chased the car. It was a Honda Accord. I dialed 911 as the Accord ran the stop sign. I stopped, let a car from each direction pass, and continued pursing. When the car got to Susquehanna Trail it couldn’t keep racing. Traffic was at a stand still. This is the first time in York I was happy to see traffic backed up.

I laid on the horn like I was kneading bread. Screaming to pull over and jabbing my finger towards the side of the road. I was already talking to 911, so somewhere there is a recording of Pattie on a Mission for Justice. Finally, a hand was raised in surrender and once traffic moved, the car turned into Rutter’s Farm Store.

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The car parked and I pulled in beside. I now saw it was a him. A young, black him I later learned was named Mark. I opened my car door and the bottom panels of the front and back doors fell off. Something in my already pumped up brain exploded. I started screaming at him asking why he ran after hitting me. He said he didn’t hit me. I said “Are you serious? Look at your car!!!” He looked at his car and said, “I mean I didn’t know I hit you.” I responded, “Bull crap (yes, I said crap, even irate, I managed not to swear at this guy) you had to have felt that and then you ran!”

“I didn’t run!” he didn’t bother to yell, just kind of stating what no one, especially me, believed, with not quite even a full voice. At this point, people were now watching/listening to me verbally bombard this guy. His car was still running and he walked into Rutter’s. I remembered I’m on the phone with 911 and told the operator what’s going on. She had me give her his license plate number in case he decided to try and run out and take off again. We hung up and a few minutes later my phone rang again. Apparently he hit another car also. Eventually we had 3 police cars and the 3 cars involved in the accident all in the Rutter’s lot. I’m sure they were thrilled.

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Mark didn’t have insurance cards. Mark did have a driver’s license, but it was suspended. Mark was on drugs and didn’t pass the sobriety test. Mark was on his way to pick up a child at daycare when he hit two cars and decided to make a run for it. Maybe Mark really was that drugged up he didn’t know he hit two cars, either way, Mark is in a lot of trouble because he’s already on probation. Mark gets to live at the gray bar hotel for a minimum of two years according to Mark’s pregnant girlfriend, Erica.

So Erica co-signed for Mark’s car. The insurance policy was hers that lapsed according to GEICO. She says they cancelled it because they found out he was driving. I guess why it was cancelled doesn’t matter because GEICO says sorry, can’t cover this accident. I said what about the uninsured driver insurance I pay for every month? That’s just if I get seriously injured, it would cover my medical bills. So had my arm been hanging out the window and Mark chopped it right off, they’d pay for those bills. But not door panels and a mirror. So GEICO, thanks for never explaining that.

Hello State Farm,

I will now give you my money and hope I never need your services.

Thank you,

Pattie

PS: Erica stated in a text she would try to work something out. I am keeping that text in hopes she sticks to her word.

PSS: And if she doesn’t, oh well. No use crying over old cars. No one was hurt.

I’m a case worker. Someone save me.

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Today, those of us in training learned our assigned units. I was assigned to the GEMS unit. GEMS doesn’t stand for anything. They just wanted a name that was appropriate for the value of the workers who manage the ongoing cases once the Intake unit determines someone is eligible. GEMS is better than Ongoing Cases unit. That’s so dismal sounding.

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It’s pretty much sink or swim at this case worker job. The turn-over is unbelievable. I have a friend from high school, JoAnn, who worked at the York office for 25 years. That is amazing. I was told most people do five years or much less. She left while I was in Harrisburg for training. There were people in our training class who left during or shortly after the training in Harrisburg. In fact, Harrisburg has a 100% turn-over rate. No one ever wants to remain a case worker in Harrisburg. There are so many opportunities for positions that pay more and are less stressful.

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I’d never go back to Harrisburg. Not with my husband working at the York City Schools. I like that we’re in the same city and hope to eventually have similar enough schedules that we can ride together. So I’m excited to have a job that is challenging to the point no one wants it. Seems like job security to me. I’ve been handling cases for about two or three weeks. My supervisor said I’m doing well. I follow the golden rule: don’t let work carry over to home. Once I walk out that door at work, I don’t think about it again until I walk back in.

That keeps me sane.

Hope everyone is doing well!

~P.

The Call You Don’t Want

Today I was told something that no one ever wants to hear, something that I’ve dreaded hearing for years now. My mom went back in the hospital yesterday, after being out for a few days, after being in for 19 days, because they removed her permanent port (direct IV line) for the last time. She has had 5 ports now and each lead to her getting blood infections.


Today, on my way home from work, she told me the doctors said there’s nothing else they can do. Her organs are slowly shutting down and they said it could go as quickly as a month or as long as a year. My mom is going to die way too young.
My mom and I are really close and I can’t wrap my head around her not being a phone call away. I see my friends share posts about missing their mom after they pass and I’m always thankful I still have my mom. My dad is calling Pittsburgh, another hospital she frequents, and see if they will admit her for a third opinion. I know she’s been sick for a long time, but 65 is too young to die. It’s just not right. My mom is awesome and never did anything to anyone. I pray for her all the time.
Would you pray for her also? Her name is Lorrie and she’s a wonderful mom. Pray there is a doctor that can stop her organs from shutting down.

Thank you,

~P.

A Day of Awesomeness

Today was just awesome. My husband was baptized AND my daughter Tesla. That’s right, a twofer today, in Heaven. You know there’s a celebration going on as two more believers shared their stories of accepting Jesus as their personal savior. This year our church has had 109 come forward to be baptized. That is God working there.

The day wasn’t without drama. Tesla mentioned to her father the night before that she was getting baptized today. So this morning John called and asked Tesla if she wanted him to come along. She said yes. I know this isn’t very Christian of me, but I didn’t want to have to deal with him. Hey, I’m still working on controlling my anger towards her father. Especially now that he’s divorcing yet again and already has made a dating ad online.

His soon-to-be ex talks to me. He knows it. What’s he going to say? We can’t talk? I guess I’m her listening ear through the process. I get that.

The situation just has me sick. I tell her she will get through it and come out for the better. If I can survive and have to continue to interact with him because of Tesla, she can get through it. She has her grandson and a good job and car that she can afford. I didn’t have any of that and I came through. God, family and friends and readers who read my story, followed my life through the tough times and now the good.

I got through those toughest times by leaning on God. I prayed SO much. Sometimes I wondered if I was just wasting sleeping time. The struggle was REAL. Realizing my bad choices, my lack of ability to stand up for myself, giving into demands I shouldn’t have. It’s easy to get down on yourself. Beat yourself up over the past. Don’t fall for that. Focus on the now.

Being an example to Tesla is important to me. I try so hard to not let the issues I have become Tesla’s. She looks up to me. She knows God, Jesus and church are important to me and so, they are important to her.

I am so thankful Tesla has realized her faith so young and proud of her to come forward and tell everyone. And, I’m so thankful for my wonderful husband sharing his story. This has been a fantastic day in the name of God. We had a little celebration at home after the baptism with our family and friends and our neighbors came over and shared lunch with us. We told them about the baptism and it was awesome. Invited them to church in the future…see how that works…

Now my thoughts are focused on decorating for Christmas. I can only tackle one event/holiday at a time.

Tesla was happy her dad came to see her get baptized. I was happy there was no drama.

God is Always Good,

~P.

7 Month Sentence

Life is just crazy. The things that happen, sometimes we see coming, other times we’re blindsided. That’s how it is for everyone.

I don’t write as much as I used to, but I’ve really been thinking about writing my book. I’m just not sure how to go about it. Really, with how life is going, I am still tied to my ex-husband. Tied through the mortgage for the house and, of course, having a child together. I have so many notes, calendars, scraps of paper, etc. to use for the book it’s nearly overwhelming.

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He and his wife are over after 7 months. You know who I feel bad for, Tesla. She’s the one who has to endure their fighting, her father calling the police to document an argument in which he started. Like the police are there to take his argument calls. Seriously. And Tesla get dragged into it because he’s claiming Gina, his wife, soon to be Ex-Wifey #3, was harassing Tesla.  His lies, his name calling, his bragging, his carefree fake bs that only he can pull off as a wounded man of an endless string of women who weren’t good enough.

Wow, does this bring back memories or what? I had to deal with his drama every single freaking day. Throw in the secretary La, and occasionally John’s one brother, and it was off the hook insanity. I couldn’t trust ANYONE.

And when I did, they stabbed me in my back. It was vicious.

So John’s down yet another wife.

He has a pre-nup that covers him for the house. I’m sure the speed dating will resume.

Poor Tesla.

~P.

Working with Those in Poverty

I had my first day of training in Harrisburg for my new position as an Income Maintenance Case Manager. I had my doubts about the first day because the speaker was going to talk to us about poverty. I wasn’t sure what exactly she was going to say. I’ve seen poverty in India and know that poverty there is much different than poverty in America, but just the same, it is poverty.

From Being Poor by John Scalzi

Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs.

Being poor is getting angry at your kids for asking for all the crap they see on TV.

Being poor is hoping that toothache goes away.

Being poor is off-brand toys.

Being poor is needing that 35 cents raise.

Being poor is knowing you’re being judged.

Being poor is a lumpy bed.

Being poor is knowing how hard it is to stop being poor.

Being poor is running in place.

Being poor is people wondering why you didn’t leave.

I can’t help but once again compare America to India. What I saw in India were people who were poor, but found a way to survive. (And if they didn’t, they died and were burned by the Ganges River.) While they were helped from within their village, they didn’t expect help from anyone, certainly not their government. Even getting help in the government hospital is beyond sketchy. (Check out my blog post with hospital photos http://wp.me/p1j2Ur-2Nk)

So getting assistance in Pennsylvania really isn’t that difficult. Come in, show you are in need, and, in as soon as 5 days, food stamps can be available. Did you know ALL the guidelines for receiving assistance is online for anyone to read and perhaps fact check things like:

  1. The state gives illegal aliens benefits. (False)
  2. Illegal alien’s children can get benefits. (True)
  3. It doesn’t matter what car a recipient drives as long as they have insurance/registration. (True)
  4. Legal aliens can move here and sign up immediately for benefits. (False-must live in US 5 years legally first)
  5. The state pays people to go to school. (Somewhat true)
  6. Recipients can have a boat load of money and still get benefits. (True)

There are two types of poverty that cause a person to apply for assistance: Situational and Generational

Situational is caused by a specific event and is shorter in time. I personally am relatively fresh out of situational poverty. My journey into poverty wasn’t really unique; poverty due to divorce is one of three big reasons that poverty happens. The other two are death and illness.

It was incredibly strange to apply for food stamps and medical assistance for Tesla and me when I drove a Mercedes. Yeah, crazy huh? If it makes you feel any better about me getting assistance, eventually the Mercedes was repossessed. Then the state paid $750 for a car so I could drive to college on my state-funded scholarship. If it makes you feel any better, I still had to take out student loans to pay rent and utilities and anything else I needed to pay for (lawyer fees!!) to survive. I still drive that car everyday to my state job. 1992 Honda Accord…I will drive it until it doesn’t run.

The other poverty, generational, is much different. It is a cycle that seems impossible to break. The speaker today gave us a piece of advice and I am taking it to heart. She said that it’s none of our concern what recipients spend their money on, and we shouldn’t even concern ourselves with it, and in the long run it will save us tons of grief and an early burn out.

According to research, those in poverty live in the present and money is to be spent, and since they’re living in the now, they might as well get what makes them happy and helps them to feel their life is normal.  Something clicked in my head while we went through the research and I listened to the speaker. Those in poverty don’t want to be in poverty, but they can’t seem to escape it, so since they’re stuck, they might as well make the most of it while they can.

I want to love my job and do the best I can to serve the public. I’m not a social worker, I’m a case manager. Most people I’ll never even see or talk to. That’s just how it works. It’s all about managing the cases in quantity because, the programs we direct them too, and that’s who helps them handle their lives.

And that was just day one of training.

~P.

Comment your thoughts, ideas, opinions, what you had for lunch and your favorite color. 😉

Link to the cash assistance handbook.  Check out the policies if you’d like an easy way to fall asleep.

http://services.dpw.state.pa.us/oimpolicymanuals/cash/Cash_Assistance_Handbook.htm#Title_Page.htm

“I’m Ready to be Done”

Tesla and I met my nephew, Blaine, and my sister, Suz, and went to see our grandmother. She’s my dad’s mom and we’ve always called her Nanny. For the most part, everyone calls her Nanny.

Nanny isn’t doing so well. My aunt, Jane, texted me today while we were working that she was told Nanny only has a few more days. I’m surprised at how fast she suddenly took that turn. Two weekends ago when Tesla and I visited, Nanny was pushing herself around in the wheelchair and using the bathroom in the hallway.

Now, I don’t think she gets out of bed.

She said, “I hurt all over. I’m ready to be done.”

I understand. It’s nice that she is still able to communicate. My mom’s mom, who passed away just a few months ago, had no quality of life. She didn’t even know she was there. When I last saw her, which had been years, she was living in a nursing home in Philly, still sitting up and eating at a table. Her food was mush and she wasn’t eating it no matter how many times you tried.

Even then, Grammom didn’t know who I was. At the end, she didn’t know who anyone was, not even her daughters. God took her in her sleep, and I was happy for her.

Nanny’s been saying for years that she just wanted to die. It wasn’t until she moved to Normandie Ridge Hospice that a spark of life came back to her. She loved participating in all the activities, especially bingo. She liked getting her hair done weekly and eating at the snack bar, her favorite is the cheeseburger.

She couldn’t keep anything down and didn’t want to even try to drink. She had thrown up liquids right before we got there. Her legs are so thin. For years all she talked about was losing weight. Ironic huh?

Nanny had bladder cancer. It was removed and didn’t come back. We never talked about it. She didn’t have to do chemotherapy. That was a blessing.

She wants to be with my grandfather and my uncles, Bill and Wayne. Uncle Bill passed away when I was young, 12 years old, I think. He was 16, or almost 16. That tore Nanny up, my whole family was torn up. We all lived in the same lane and were super close. Bluebird Lane was all Criders.

I miss those days.

~P.

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