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life in como

Hi faithful readers. Sorry i have not posted anything personal and substantive and i’m sorry for again opening with an apology. I’ve added a link to my friend Lisa’s blog, travels with trevor, which is allegedly about their exploits in zambia as peace corps volunteers. Apparently it is hard to get internet access in zambia and their blog is looking worse than mine. Nonetheless i wish them well and hope to visit them this winter or next. Tarot has me locked down in my job indefinitely so it will be a while before i can get away to go adventuring. It has long been a dream of mine to spend the winter in the southern hemisphere, spring-summer-fall-summer-spring-summer-fall-summer it has such a magic ring to it. if not this year then next for sure. the good part, or one of the good parts, about tarot making me a responsible person is the bank account is climbing nicely and when i do go i’ll have the money to travel abroad, something i’ve never been able to do in the past. Work goes well but is becoming increasingly demanding. i have had back to back appointments all day every day for 4 weeks in a row, which is bad enough before you consider paperwork, 10-40 phone calls a day, plus incidentals. its dragging me down. We have hired 2 new members for the team and my supervisory role is finally here. Of course it takes more time to teach someone to do something than to do it yourself but i can see the payoff. I like my new co-workers very much, one is very young and very smart and she is already taking some of the organizational responsibilities off of my weary shoulders. The other is very earthy and real ablbeit a bit funky, but who isn’t. i think she is going to be fine and she knows her way around como better than anyone. We are moving our daily meeting to first thing in the morning and I hope to make case assignments then and get out of the running around doing errands and focus more on the counseling type things, the difficult cases (i get all the potentially dangerous psychopaths), and administrative crap. My boss and i have been having a mutual admiration party, we both revealed we each were the only reason we stayed at this fucked up agency (its getting better, really). On a personal front Dave Smith blew through town. I had promised him that if he ever wanted to get into recovery i would get him into a program. He called me after getting out of Flower Hosp. psych unit and getting refused acceptance at the Cherry Street Mission recovery was looking kind of good. I told him it was hard and he would really have to change and that i wasn’t taking him in if he washed out and he decided to come. I got him an assessment, he called me from the treatment center and i saw him there a couple of times where he struggled with the rules and playing nice with the other kids. After 2 weeks he called me from Mid-Mo (our local paragon of inpatient psychiatric care-this is sarcasm if it didn’t translate). They cut his meds (you know your on a lot of meds when a psych unit takes them away). He was pissed, they cut his stimulant in half, took away his ambien, and wouldn’t give him Xanax for the transition. Apparently, Mid-Mo thought some greyhound therapy would be best (God bless Midmo) and they shipped him off for Reno NV. Dave picked there because he heard it was a good place to be homeless. All in all i feel like i got off lightly. A lot of calls and whiny requests for assistance, most of which i refused. At first i was disapointed with my company. We are a substance abuse agency allegedly trying to provide integrated substance abuse-mental health counseling or be co-occurring competent, and i thought Dave was a fair test of seeing where we were at and i thought we had failed, because Dave did try, bless his heart. But when i saw my substance abuse agency did quite a bit better than the psychiatric unit i had to admit we are doing OK on this front. The sad part is my program probably could have helped him and i wouldn’t let dave in because we were friends and i didn’t want to work with him. What is it about me that i spend my life helping strangers in a way that i won’t help someone close to me (alright he is incredibly annoying so i’m not beating myself up, i still talk to him which is better than most of the people who know him will do). I thought about ethical considerations of posting here but then i thought i only know dave through personal contacts and i only revealed stuff he told me personally and not anything i learned as a worker so i’m probably safe here. The final straw to publish this was when he tried to hit me up for my Dad’s phone #. My dad is struggling enough without having Dave trying to manipulate him into assisting him. i told him my dad lived in an undisclosed location and i couldn’t give him the #. I did give him $6.00 to start his new life. Dave’s a survivor, so i suspect he will be OK, but the world is getting to be a harder place. On other fronts, I spoke at a Sociology and Gender class on domestic violence. I’ll try to post the notes next week. It was fun and went well. Next week i speak to a social work class on batterer intervention. I also continue to be a former smoker, 18 days and counting.

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