Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Little bits of happy

I am so, so ridiculously behind on posting and I have so many things to say, but in the meantime, here is a smattering of things that are just making me happy right now
A new Christmas suit to replace the old Christmas suit my giant teenager outgrew. He enthusiastically purchased this and even picked a new colorway

A mantle full of Santa pictures. I think if I play my cards right I can transition right from kids to grandkids and my goal is to eventually have 50 years of pictures. I'm at 16 so far and they bring me so much ridiculous joy

Sydney's face when Eli stole a roll from her on Thanksgiving

And the fact that she just randomly wears tiaras sometimes

This is how C does his homework every weekend

This outfit. My pants are tighter than is optimal but it's SUCH a cute outfit. 

Not pictured but I want to remember it: Averson has started occasionally tucking me in instead of the other way around and it's the sweetest thing ever. Big kids are the best. She kisses my forehead and everything. 


Friday, November 4, 2022

Square peg in a square hole

Guys? I love my new job. Like, I love it an awful, awful lot. I keep waiting to have a day where I feel like maybe I made a mistake, or maybe I didn't think it through all the way. But I'm a month in and I've had some very long days, and I am still giddy every night when I get home. We made some sacrifices to make this change and it's a HUGE change from what I'm used to. But OMG. It's so great. 

I love my office! 

 I even love this cozy little curb that I sat on to take a fairly boring HR course

During one of my fourteen interviews, I asked what they would put on their Mary Poppins list for someone for this position. I wanted to get a feel for their goals for the person taking over, and also for how they thought about building a team. It didn't do anything to help my Pollyanna with a sailor's mouth brand, but I do think it's a good question. 

I don't think I realized how unexpectedly wonderful it would feel to find a job that was offered to me for precisely the qualities that made me a little bit odd at other jobs. In the prison, my "aggressive optimism" and tendency to look for the best in people was often perceived as na├»ve, even a decade in. During my first week my new boss told me it was the primary reason they wanted me to join the team. I love to supervise and problem solve, and being creative makes those things fun. Now that I'm working in a private, for profit company, I can be as creative and innovative as I want. It's a good thing! 

And the clients. It's all the things I love. They're spicy teenagers and young adults. The clinical pictures are fascinating and they've got these great, spicy personalities. And it's EXPECTED that I will adore them for all of that. Last week we had a new kid admit who tried to run (really walk quickly) away. I walked with her, and then sat on the side of the road while she cried. Then we hiked back. That's my job. I get to love and care about my staff and these kids and their families. That's my JOB! I get paid for it! 

The other thing that I was missing was variety. If I had to keep sitting in my chair for eight hours, I was going to do something terrible. This job is perfectly chaotic, just like prison, but without riots. We've had trapped wildlife, runaways, power outages, fights, lockdowns because strangers showed up unannounced. I've always said that I loved a job where you leave saying "What the fuck happened today?" and this is that and so much more. 

AND, to top it all off. I get lunch every day. And the fridge is stocked with snacks and sparkling waters and even a little secret stash of diet soda. It's magical and I'm so, so happy. I'm sure that at some point I'll get annoyed or disillusioned or tired, but I don't want to forget how awesome this first month felt. 


Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Halloween 2022

We had the best Halloween! I was sort of underwhelmed with the holiday and have avoided a lot of the regular festivities but when it came down to it, we had an amazing weekend. 

C asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday and while I usually don't do much, this year I wanted to do the Halloween tour at Alcatraz. I've never been and it seemed like a fun thing to do with almost people-sized kids. C bought the tickets forever ago, but then a couple weeks before Halloween the parks department cancelled the special Halloween tours. They offered us an evening tour instead, which kind of worked out perfect. We left in the afternoon and then coming back we got to see the sunset over the bridge and Alcatraz lit up at night. And then Pier 39 at night. Where you can pay a drug dealer a stupid amount of money to put a temporary tattoo on your looks-older-than-12-year-old daughter. 

And then we had an awesome Halloween! With kids who apparently are still not too old. And a teenager who asked me to craft his costume! I learned gauze papermache and who MF Doom is. And how to fix a mask I spent a week on at 6:00 am on Halloween because the dumbass hellbeast grabbed it and ripped it into three pieces. (It was almost her last act on Earth). 

MF Doom, Hades, and Harley Quinn

Birthday Donuts!

Back to Alcatraz

I busted out the jumpsuit and bought myself my very first pair of Docs, and had the most perfect Rosie costume ever. Which I got to wear to work because I work in a wonderland. And I posed next to my mom's old radio because off course I did. The only thing I wish I'd done different was my hair but after 45 minutes of trying to make pin curls I gave up. 

Back to San Francisco and the worlds best clam chowder in a bread bowl at Boudin. 

May or may not have crossed a "Do Not Cross" sign...

I wish I could have spent more time learning about the occupation of Alcatraz or the 19 Hopi men who were originally incarcerated there protesting the Indian Boarding Schools. I've spent a lot of time since reading up on the occupation and it's fascinating!

So pretty and so spooky!

MF Doom. Happy Teenager.

Who is also not great at following rules or posted warnings but is quite good at pull-ups

We're on a boat!

Dork. He did such a great job of marking my birthday though. And I didn't get a picture but he even got me an ice cream cake!