Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Denouement 2006

Yesterday was the first day of a new job in South L.A. I can't tell you how it's going yet because I am a bit of a baby when it comes to change and it takes me some time to adjust to a different situation and new people.

What I kept noticing through the day is how much the employees genuinely like APCH. When people here say "Welcome" they mean "Congratulations."

The children are treated like family by everyone who is employed here, and the children like to walk around and visit. Two young girls walked into the bungalow where I work to visit staff members and do their homework. They make up songs to help themselves memorize things. I will be hearing this a lot.

* * *

NPR presented an investigative story yesterday about how the brass at Fort Carson in Colorado are failing to help combat veterans exhibiting PTSD and other emotional problems; in fact, they are punishing G.I.'s who seek psychological care. The story is here and it is very upsetting.

* * *

Right now, it is of little importance whether scholars at this or that university call George W. Bush "The Worst President Ever." What I would wish him to be called is "The Third U.S. President To Be Impeached." Or, perhaps, "The Second President To Resign Rather Than Face Impeachment."

We still have 776 days to accomplish one of these.

* * *

Jennifer was preparing to entertain guests, and when I dropped by the kitchen was an explosion of ingredients and implements. "I don't know what I'm doing," Jennifer reported. Then the request: "Please cook something, if you like."

Are you kidding? I love that. I gathered things and chopped and each time I was asked what I was making I told the truth: "Don't know." Call it Black Beans Mexiprov: onions and garlic, black beans, bell pepper, minced jalapeno, and chopped tomato. Squeezed half a lime into it, doused it with some very spicy cayenne, dribbled a little beer into it, added some cooked rice: voila. To my surprise, it was yummy.

* * *

It has been chilly in the mornings and Christmas decorations are up everywhere. At the end of a workday, it's dark outside. All of the seasonal reminders to shop, shop, shop are in place and flashing like harsh neon.

Bill O'Reilly is screaming and making stuff up about the "war on Christmas" again, in what feels already like a kooky American tradition. We all go shopping, and Bill O'Reilly accuses the retailers of demeaning the holiday and taking out its spiritual meaning! It's pure gold.
There is a ficus tree standing in front of me dressed in colorful lights and looking most festive; the windows are trimmed with blinking lights and the wall is crowned with a wintery wreath.
Today, there will be much to do at APCH and from time to time I will check the news to see what new damage the idiots are doing.

776 days.


Ji Hyang said...

Good job all around. At Enlightenment Day, Tam and I told stories about someone we used to know, called Algernon. Meaning, stay in touch.

Kristen said...

After your period of acclimation, might I offer my congratulations on securing new employ?

I find it a nifty change and wish I could bring myself to take the leap to do something that matters. Though, I used to mentor juvenile defenders with a high risk of recidivism to reacclimate them to society in hopes that they become productive members of society. I failed miserably with my most promising youth; however, I had to have some impact because he still calls and checks in with my mom.