Saturday, July 09, 2005

1960's Style

I have had my worse nightmare come true. 3 doors down from my house I have a new neighbor. He is a recently parolled Level 3 sexually violent offender. From his report, he raped 2 children, on more than one occasion, taking them by force. He did less than 2 years in prision and he's free. The apartment he lives in has children that live there.
From the moment I found out about him, I sprang into hippy mode. I wanted to protest, to hold signs, to enlist people to help, so I printed off his poster, duplicated it by the hundreds and went door to door in my neighborhood. I went up to every house in a 3 streete area to talk to people, hand out flyers, give an updated description of him, and to give out his landlords name and number so people could put some pressure on the people that brought this guy to my neighborhood. I ran out of flyers. I worked so hard, I had to come home to get water and rest. I hauled my 3rd trimester pregnant belly up countless steps. It felt so good to warn people. I felt that I had a duty to warn, and I am glad I did, people had no idea and there are quite a few kids on my block.
My friend Barb is a left over hippy, and I mean that in a good way. She is a little older and not afraid to demonstrate for things she believes in. Typically, she is passionate about making this a better city, saving cool old buildings ( like the birthplace of TV GE tore down. She tried so hard to save that beautiful historic building). She is often heading out with signs and her magaphone, and I really admire her. She goes to bat for what she believes in and has taught her daughter to do the same.
Miranda and Anna went with me on my one woman crusade to warn the neighbors. Miranda knew that this man hurt kids and that it was important we tell people. She was stuffing mailboxes ( illegal, I know), and showing people his photo just like I was. I wish more people did this, took care of eachother, bonded as neighbors, and banded together for common goals.
I am organizing a neighborhood meeting now, and the next step, since the landlords won't return our calls, is to head out to their house with some posters and embarass them in their fine little neighborhood. I just learned that if we stay peaceful, remain on the sidewalk, we can do this without getting arrested. Cool! More people should be left over hippys.

Peace out brother!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Storm Chasing and Mallo Cups

We had 3 pretty freak storms here last night, severe lightning and floods. The streets were all flooded, the thruway had to close the 2 local exits, 26, 27 due to the road being 4 feet under water and mud. I watched it all from my house, but wanted to explore more.
Brian came home from work at 7:30, so I jumped in my car and did what I haven't done since I lived in the country, I went to check out damage and look for the other storm rolling in. There were streets closed, city kids running in the rivers of water in the streets, and all was calm and peaceful. Except for DPW workers, there were not any cars on the road. I stopped at Stewarts for milk ( and the Mallo Cup called my name) and it was dead in there too. When I used to live on the farm, my dad would gather us up and we would go for rides looking at storm damage. I am not sure if that's messed up or not, but it was fun to get out after the storm and ride around in that old farm pick up ( the one without all the floor boards). I am not a person that goes to fires, to me, thats morbid, but I do like to see what mother nature has been up to.
FYI, if you do this, check to see how close the next round of storms is. As I was pulling up to my house, the sky opened up and poured. I had all I could do to run into my house. The pregnant version of a wet t-shirt contest isn't pretty, either.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Would you? Could you?

I have come to some decisions regarding where I shop. Being the wife of a retail manager for the past 11 years, I never thought I would say this, but I HATE big box stores. I hate what they do to their employees. Let's just say my current thought pattern is based on my husband's big box employer not recognizing that he has health complications and disregarding a doctors note he turned in. All the doctor wanted was for him to go down to 8 hour days for 6-8 weeks to see if his health improves ( Fibromyalgia). They ignored it and instead scheduled him for 9 days straight ( he's a manager, it's legal). He collapsed at work yesterday. Now he's getting a "we'll see what we can do" song and dance. He typically puts in close to 70 hours a week and busts his butt. He, in the course of his illness, has only called in sick 2 times in almost 4 years. Thats total days he's called in sick. 2 in 4 years.
So, in support of my husband ( and becuase I just read that John Walton, heir to Wal Mart, was worth 18 Billion dollars. Nobody needs 18 billion dollars), I have decided to support mom and pop shops. I am staying OUT of those big places even if it means I spend more. Luckily, the village I am moving to has this little shopping district a few miles away ( Barneveld) that has a little meat market, pet store, health food co-op, it even has a shoe store ( I just bought 2 all leather loafers there on extreme sale for 5.00/pair, and they are a good name brand and all leather. They will last a while). I haven't been to a big box store in 2 weeks now. It will be interesting to see if I can do it.

Unfortunately, I will need school clothes soon for Miranda. I am not sure what my approach to this will be? It may be mail order, from more upscale places, or outlet shopping ( I love outlets, they tend not to be big box stores). Either way, the buck stops here.