I Think We’re Done. There’s No More Lube.

May 30, 2008 at 3:41 pm | Posted in The Bucket, Weirdness, Working | Leave a comment

My workplace has turned into a veritable condom fest for a few weeks now.  The kids who have court-ordered community service have been putting together condom/lube packets to be given out as part of AIDS Care Ocean State’s street outreach. 

Some condom-related fun we’ve had:

  • I opened a tricolored one and found out that it looked like the Mexican flag!
  • One girl shoved a chocolate one under my nose and asked me to smell it.
  • My coworker and I opened a Cola flavored one to see what it smelled and tasted like (not good).
  • One of my clients (no community service required) cut school to come here with his suspended friend (who has several required hours to do) and make condom packets.  I got on his case for cutting class again and he responded (while sticking lube into a little baggie) “At least I’m not out smoking weed!”
  • An innocent, sweet 16 year old (with lots of community service hours) asked what the lube was for.
  • The word is out in the neighborhood that we are a condom distribution site (we don’t give them out, we just pass the finished packets on to AIDS Care).
  • Several people have announced “I need like a hundred.  That should last me the weekend.  Maybe.”  (This joke is getting old)

The fun has effectively been suspended until we get more flavored condoms (mint, banana, chocolate, cherry, cola, vanilla, and strawberry).  And more lube.  We just ran out.

My Conversational Obsession

May 30, 2008 at 12:09 pm | Posted in Life in the US, Weirdness | 6 Comments

All I’ve wanted to do lately is talk about mullets and I get very excited when someone else is engaged in this topic.  After several mullet-related convos yesterday, I attempted to continue this conversational thread with Homeboy.  He was so not having it, and it made me sad.

Three mullet themes and questions that I could go on about forever are:

  • sharing stories of exceptional mullets (Gheri-curled, long and glossy, feathered, etc) that people have seen.
  • wondering what the thought process is for someone to arrive at the decision to rock a mullet.
  • wondering what it’s like to live life wearing the “business in the front, party in the back.”

The only reason I wish I had a camera phone is to capture examples of extraordinary mulletry that I see out and about. 

Telepathic Client

May 16, 2008 at 3:51 pm | Posted in The Bucket | 2 Comments

As you may remember from previous blog posts, my dearest Your Highness has been experiencing difficulties because of the murder of his brother.

He’s not been stopping by the center since all the shit hit the fan, and I’d only seen him once in a couple of weeks.

After a long convo with someone who works with him through another agency, I gave him a call.  Left a message.  Five minutes later, guess who saunters in! 

This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to get in touch with him and then he’s called or stopped by within like ten minutes, having no idea that I’d called his house.  He said he didn’t want me to know that he was actually telepathic, but now his secret is out.

Pobrecito….

Tips and Tricks for Repurposing Household Items

May 16, 2008 at 12:03 pm | Posted in Quirks, Self | 3 Comments

I don’t actually have any tips or tricks for repurposing household items.  I just absolutely hate the phrase “tips and tricks” and the word “repurpose.”  They seriously grate on my nerves. 

The word repurpose must have appeared 17 times in the last issue of Real Simple.  This magazine is ostensibly geared towards simplifying one’s life.  But the actual target demographic is women who have so much crap that they need more crap to help them streamline the crap they already have.

Example: one of their super duper tips concerned how to keep extension cords organized and untangled.  They suggested placing the coiled cords in plastic buckets.

There are a few assumptions made here:

a) that I have extra buckets that aren’t already in use or used for specific purposes like washing the floor.

b) that I have extension cords that aren’t already plugged into the wall.

c) that I have a place to store my buckets which hold all my extra extension cords.

None of these assumptions is correct.  I do believe that I am not their target demographic.  But the pictures in the magazine sure are pretty.  Perhaps I should repurpose the magazines and start a decoupage project.

Don’t Show Butts, Boobs, or Bellies

May 14, 2008 at 6:34 pm | Posted in The Bucket, Weirdness, Working | 3 Comments

I was expecting 25 to 25 kids aged 14 and 15 today for a job readiness training.  I was also expecting the instructor.  Alas, she calls me two hours beforehand to tell me that she has a dental emergency and can’t give the workshop.  Awesome.  That’s exactly what I wanted to do today is teach a group of kids how to act at their summer jobs.

I haven’t dealt with this age group in a classroom setting for about four years, and only taught adolescents under extreme duress.  Basically, the school I worked for in Cancun said that if I wasn’t willing to teach them, I wouldn’t have a job.  I dreaded those two hours every day.  But the thing was, I was actually really good at it.  Had I been bad at it, it would have been reflected in my class evaluations, and eventually they would have stopped giving me those groups. 

Luckily today I had help in pulling this together since we just hired on someone to assist with youth programming.  And we ran the class together, which was a nice break from being the only one up there.  It was kind of like riding a bike…I remembered how to act, how to joke around with them.  So it was kind of fun.  Not that I want to repeat it.

And the title of this post comes from our Dos and Don’t at an interview list.  The woman who facilitated with me had come up with that for her own job readiness workshops.  So just say no to the three B’s when you’re looking for work!

Another Long Week Over

May 4, 2008 at 2:04 pm | Posted in Self, The Bucket, Working | 4 Comments

Pretty much every Friday night I feel like someone has beaten the crap after me, all week long.  Normally, I just snuggle up on the couch and turn in early.  But this Friday, I decided to tie one on.  I mean, really tie one on.  If I hadn’t been so hung over on Saturday, I would have been able to make my apology phone calls a little more convincing.  But as it was, I spent much of the day lying on the couch whimpering.  I know that I sent a few texts that I shouldn’t have and perhaps even dialed a few numbers.  First thing I did when I was fairly lucid the next morning was delete the evidence so I wouldn’t know who I harassed.  I’m sure they’ll be more than pleased to remind me of it when they see me next,

This past week was fairly miserable, what with the passing of Your Highness’s brother and the aftermath.  The area around my work was like occupied terrtitory, and at one point, I saw no fewer than seven marked and unmarked police cars circling the block.  The park is absolutely empty, and many of my clients have stopped coming to see me.  Everyone and their mother is wearing “Hell Boi, Rest in Peace” T-shirts and there are mini altars everywhere.  Rumors are flying around crazily, but the only thing everyone is sure of is that a)the shooting seal has been broken and the youth of the Bucket and Central Falls are officially engaged in turf wars and b) it’s going to be a very long summer.

Alas, I believe a drinking binge in which I acted entirely inappropriately was totaly in order.

I do know that I need a little light in my life, and not the pinpricks of joy and silliness that are borne from the sadness and anger I see everyday.  But I need a riot of color and crazy waves of positivity without the backdrop of struggle.  Not sure if I can ever entirely get away from the “dark side” though, which makes me nervous.

Part of me thinks I should get out of this line of work, and become a travel agent or a paralegal.  But just the thought of doing something so unfulfilling makes me want to cry.  I know that we’re supposed to work to live, not live to work, but what about when that work you do truly means something?  My heart is so crowded with the people I’m surrounded by (from others who work in the Bucket to the kids) that I can’t imagine doing a job in which I’m not motivated by love. 

I mean, just when I’m about to run off to join the gypsies when the stress gets to be too much, in saunters the CV Prince who subjects me to a medley of Ace of Base songs.  Where the hell else could I find a twenty two year old macho, arrogant kid who thinks that Ace of Base has “some tight shit?”  Or two fourteen year old kids who will sit in my office silently as we try to remove the wrappers from Starburst using only our mouths?

Little things like these make ambivalence the usual state of affairs for me.

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