Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself,

As you know from my TL name, I'm Jeffinalabama. I'm a baby boomer, and like many boomers, been married and divorced, with a child. I decided to re-introduce myself in this, my inaugural diary here at TalkLeft.

First and foremost, let me state again much gratitude to Jeralyn for letting me become a diarist here. I will do my best to not let the history or principals of this site down.

Secondly, you get to read all about me, me, me, in the full text.

I do live in Alabama. Born here, raised here. I have a southern accent, especially after consuming fermented beverages. I've lived in all sections of the state except the Gulf Coast counties, so my interests often represent this state. and how law, policy, and attitudes affect Alabama, and even Georgia and Mississippi.

Medgar Evers, the assasinated Mississippi civil rights worker, is one of my role models. Evers once said, "If we don't like what the Republicans do, we need to get in there and change it." Same holds true for the Democrats.

Evers also said, "I don't know if I'm going to Heaven or if I'm going to Hell. I DO know that I'll be going FROM Mississippi."  Good Lord willing and the creeks don't rise, I feel the same way about my state.

A second role model is a fellow from around Troy, Alabama, John Lewis, who, while with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), led the Bloody Sunday march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. The event and subsequent coverage and marches changed my life. Lewis, or Congressman Lewis, now represents the 5th District in Georgia. If you ever have the chance to hear him speak on the floor on C-Span, take a listen.

In my pantheon also are Morris Dees and Bill Baxly, both attorneys here in Alabama. Dees started the Southern Poverty Law Center, and financially broke the Klan, among other wonderful accomplishments.

Baxley was the Alabama attorney General who was made an "honorary n*gger" by the KKK for re-opening the 16th Street Baptist Chuch bombing that occurred in Birmingham in 1963.

Baxley's reply, on official state letterhead: "My response to your letter of February 19, 1976, is--kiss my ass."

Disclaimer: I worked for his gubernatorial campaign, and proudly have on my wall an honorary Colonelship from his time as Lt. Governor.

But don't let that fool you or impress you. I'm lucky to have gotten to where I am, higher education in the liberal arts, Sociology to be specific.

Sociology's a great background from which to discuss issues here. Geez, this is a law site, so it's chock full o'lawyers, government folks, people in the know in DC, and of course Armando and Jeralyn.

I live in the margins. Seriously, I think I'm on the outside looking in... Rural Alabama, LA as some folks call it, Lower Alabama, 30 miles from southwestern Georgia, and about 120 miles from from southeastern Mississippi.

Let's see, I like beutiful sunsets, long walks on the beach, world peace, and people just being excellent to one another-- oh, that's my match dot com description, sorry (blushing furiously).

I come from poor folks. My parents, no, they were middle class, and made it there based on such programs as the GI Bill. But THEIR parents were poor. My parents grew up during the First Great Depression, malnourished, often sent to live with relatives or family friends who could afford to feed them, with no real medical or dental care. If it was bad enough, my mother's family would call a faith healer, because he'd work for a meal of chicken and dumplings, or even free, since it was his calling. Me, I grew up with a lot of middle to upper middle class life chances.

Thus, life chances, poverty, hunger, the effects of the 21st Century on small-town folks and life, racism, classism, I'd say these, with the addition of health issues, these provide the background and perspective I come from.

I'll have to add the US Army to that, also. Issues of the military, Defense, soldiers and sailors and airmen especially-- enlisted folks-- I advocate for them, since they don't have much of a voice. And I fear and loathe the Military-Industrial Complex and its power, while not blaming at all the regular working folks within it.

As of today, this writing, I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, with biosies to come in a couple of weeks. Prostate cancer is bad enough, but I was RIFed in May-- Reduction in Force, from the community college that used to employ me. So  my insurance runs out Aug 30, and I don't even know what the COBRA rates will be.

I'll be discussing cancer treatment, dealing with the government on health care, food stamps, unemployment eligibility and lapses there, possible bankruptcy, fear, anxiety, insecurity, and other issues from the personal as well as structural level.

I'll try to do my homework on these issues. Since I used to teach, and may one day find a university again, I want my facts straight, my assumptions known, and my argument and conclusions concise.

I don't insult quite as well as Armando used to, but if he'll be my mentor, I'll gladly be his protoge there, even if he does support the Florida Gators.

So... here I am. First person descriptions seem so egocentric. all that "I" and "Me" stuff. let's use this diary as a chance to introduce ourselves with as much information as we want to give. Lurkers, I know you're there! Come on out of the background for a moment! you can always go back.

TalkLeft is a community. Community members know each other. Jeralyn and BTD don't have time to do something like this. I don't want to call it a roll call, because it isn't. Some folks won't post anything because of personal, job, or legal reasons.

Let's see if Jeralyn's trust in me was misplaced!


< Keep On Rockin' In The Free World: Give Obama and the Dems Some Credit For A Change | Dealing with cancer in a bad economy. >
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    Great job for a first diary! (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:18:51 PM EST
    Can't wait to read some more.

    My thoughts are with you as you face these issues.  You can do it, though.  Even across the blogosphere, you seem like you're made of steel.

    Keep the faith.

    jb, (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:26:17 PM EST
    I didn't tell anyone, but the first poster in my new diary career wins a bottle of Cutty Sark.

    Congratulations! Do you want me to drink it for you, or mail it to you? ;-)

    I think (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:27:48 PM EST
    You should drink it and savor it.  :)

    I will raise a glass of brewed iced tea to you in response!


    Good job Jeffrey... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:36:13 AM EST
    look forward to your dropped science in many a diary!

    And if you all don't know me by now...34 years on the orb, Queens NY born and raised.  One of four kids, dear old dad was a machinist, an ex-con who learned his trade in the joint.  An alcoholic who was on the wagon for over ten years till my siblings and I reached adulthood.  A tough s.o.b., rough around the edges, but a true heart of gold.  My hero from whom I inherited my politics and worldviews, though they are contstantly evolving and forever questioned.  The more I learn the less I understand, and the more confused I get:) Moms did all kinds of sh*tty jobs, and fulltime homemaker, a true saint who held the fam together through thick and thin and still does. Hoping we can make her retirement happen soon.

    College dropout...didn't see the point of wasting money finishing, no profession interested me besides maybe beach bum, and I learned more from the library and life than university.  Great keggers though:)  Bummed around Fla for a few years before settling in the ghetto 'burbs of Long Island.  Occupation = Cube Jockey...no passion for it, but it funds my passions, namely the sex drugs rock-n-roll trinity, and all round enjoying life or dying trying.

    Renaissance man, many passions, master of none. Like to think I bring a street perspective to the debate, leavin' the fancy book learnin' to y'all.  Generally disgusted with the state of the union, specifically issues of crime and punishment and our embarrassing addiction to caging human beings.  Mad love for humanity, no love for the inhumane systems we've created to enslave us.  The pathetic war on drugs got me into politics...an independent who would never identify with either of the crooked parties.

    Talkleft addict since 2003 or so, never really bothered with any other blogs. Learned so much and made so many cyber-friends here, eternally grateful to Jeralyn for letting me haunt her fine blog all these years.

    Gosh, I guess (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Ga6thDem on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 06:44:41 PM EST
    I should jump in here. Everybody knows the general area of where I live due to my blogging name. My real name is kind of unusual and people who hear my name first are generally shocked when they meet me because they first of all think I'm Hispanic and then if not Hispanic African American. Kind of weird growing up in the south with a name that isn't Susan, Becky, Debra or Cathy for those us born in the same year that John F. Kennedy won the White House.

    I have a four year degree from a liberal arts college. I've been in retail, credit but mostly in insurance for the last 20 years and believe me I am their worst nightmare when they get me on the phone and start spewing their BS because I know for sure it's BS.

    I've been married to the same guy, a former conservative, for 25 years and he is even further left of me right now! He watches Lawrence O'Donnell every night but I just can't take ole Larry much these days.

    I have had numerous experiences with family members who have cancer mostly on my husband's side (his family has been eaten up with cancer as we say down here in the south) but most recently my father who died almost exactly three years ago. His was pancreatic and that is some nasty stuff and it takes you down quick. Fortunately, the type of cancer you have has a better cure rate than what he had.

    You're going to laugh at this but I was blogging on Kos back in 2002 when he just had a little blog. Mydd was bigger than Kos back then and my youngest son who is now 10 was just a baby. Blogging has been a wonderful way to "vent" my frustrations and Talk Left has a smaller community which i like because you really get to "know" people.

    Anyway, enough about me and I hope your test results come back with some good or hopeful news.

    I think I didn't discover Kos until the (none / 0) (#40)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 02:32:40 PM EST
    04 elections... I think I was just in time for the pie fight, or it was one weekend or so before I got there.

    Good job on converting hubby!

    I love your thoughts on insurance. Just your suggestion that they send an itemized bill... priceless!


    Great diary, thanks! (none / 0) (#3)
    by observed on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:26:35 PM EST
    Will you make the Wreck List? Oops, wrong "liberal" site.

    I'm 49, soon to be 50, so I'm also part of "Generation BB".
    My mother grew up in the Depression, in Gary West Virginia, a coal mining town.
    What boggles my mind is how people can't imagine how bad life can get, in a short time, and from seemingly small changes.
    I myself have been more of a grasshopper than an ant, but at least I  think I get the idea of hard times!

    On a related note, the way some people argue about finances as if there were only political gain or loss at stake really disgusts me.
    Take away people's support and some WILL die.

    What kind of topics are you planning to discuss?

    Military, (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:39:21 PM EST
    economic hardship, health, but not necessarily in that order. I'm also open to suggestion. If it's a topic I can't handle, I'll gladly say so. For instance, reproductive rights in Kansas? out of my league.

    Reminds me, my grandparents never threw away anything, it seems. Jar of baby food? great for preserves, for example. Drying out coffee grounds to split with fresh ones... bitter, but still caffienated. A family with 7 children and 2 adults, one piece of chicken per person, and the mom always said, "I'll take the neck. I like neckbones."


    I'd be interested to know the latest (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by observed on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:47:33 PM EST
    on the effects of DU.
    I seem to recall reading that Fallujah is heavily poisoned with it.

    Not a great (5.00 / 0) (#15)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:51:19 PM EST
    area for me, but
    I'll find out.

    When I say not a great area, (none / 0) (#31)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 02:49:00 PM EST
    let me be a little more specific-- I haven't heard much at all about the environmental impact yet in Iraq, I don't know if any studies/examinations have taken place yet. I ought to be able to find out if any are in progress or planned, but maybe not enough specifics.

    However, rattling cages never hurts.


    Did your mom recycle all the wrapping (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:52:18 PM EST
    paper and ribbon?  How about watering down the milk from dairy delivery and adding powdered milk?  

    How did you know? (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 02:42:55 PM EST
    Always wondered why milk tasted good for a couple of days, and then all watery...

    Tried that with my son and ex... it did NOT go over well, so I began using that for baking.


    Since observed made a couple (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 09:50:47 AM EST
    of statements that so clearly reflect my viewpoint on some elements of the current debate. I guess I'll jump in here with my comment.

    Although I missed the official BB era by 1 1/2 to 2 years, I probably am more a product of that demographic than of the earlier Greatest Generation. Or maybe I'm a hybrid of both.

    My mom was one of ten children and due to the death of her mother and her father's ill health was raised in a Catholic orphanage. Her formal education ended after grade school. My father, a very smart man, never went beyond the 4th. grade.

    My father went through some horrible experiences in WWII which caused him major problems throughout his life and as a result I was raised mainly by my mother.

    My mother probably never weighed more than 110 pounds soaking wet and did hard physical labor all of her life and received low wages for her efforts through most of my early childhood. More than a few time she struggled to find the means to put food on the table. We weren't as poor as some of the people Jeff has reference but times were not easy. She managed to get a union factory job about the time I started high school doing piece work. The work was still extremely hard physical labor but she did received a living wage.

    I guess this is where I am going to borrow some of what observed wrote so well.

    What boggles my mind is how people can't imagine how bad life can get, in a short time, and from seemingly small changes.
    On a related note, the way some people argue about finances as if there were only political gain or loss at stake really disgusts me.
    Take away people's support and some WILL die.

    There is no way on this god's earth that my mom could have worked until she was 69 or 70. She barely made it through to early retirement at 62 and she paid a real price for even working that long. Had she not been able to retire at 62 she would have not made it even to her 70s. "Take away people's support and some WILL die."

    So when people with no skin in the game callously ignore the real world effects that the proposed cuts to domestic and safety net programs will have on people - down play them as not so draconian or something we all must accept so that Obama can win - stating my real reaction would severely violate TL's rules.

    This is turning into a book (much too long) and not a comment so maybe more later.        


    Pre BB here. Parents, from S. IL, were (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:35:21 PM EST
    most definitely children of the Depression and never forgot it.  Amazingly, both completed college degrees.  

    This diary may change the prevailing culture at TL.  Perhaps we too will read more than the front page!

    Where in So IL? I've lived in (none / 0) (#6)
    by observed on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:38:17 PM EST

    Litchfield and Metropolis--can't (none / 0) (#8)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:39:28 PM EST
    be any further south in IL than that.  Two of my siblings went to SIU.  

    Lol, go Superman! (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by observed on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:42:15 PM EST
    I have a friend who has done ER shifts in Metropolis (and may still be doing so).
    Several years ago, he saved the life of then Governor Fletcher of KY.  
    He had the most outrageous stories about stupid people and how they landed in the ER.
    For example, a 19 year old kid wanted to whiten his teeth, so he put chlorine bleach one them.
    Problem solved---no more teeth!!

    Geez. What are they teaching (none / 0) (#10)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:45:36 PM EST
    in Chemistry classes nowadays? Anybody should know hydrochloric acid works better than bchlorine bleach.

    snark warning... don't even THINK about drinking hydrochloric acid, even by mistake!


    My mother told a story which always stuck (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:45:40 PM EST
    w/me.  Her father, who didn't work-alcoholic--didn't want her to go to college.  Her mother--who worked hard--gave her $150 as she waited for the bus to go to college on scholarship.  That was it as far as parental financial support.  

    This reminds me of something (none / 0) (#14)
    by observed on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:51:12 PM EST
    related to Obama's cheery remarks about the Civil War and compromise.
    While I lived there, I thought I learned that slavery existed in Southern Il and Southern IN AFTER the Civil War, for a few years.
    Is this what Obama was talking about?

    When I spoke to my mother by phone (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:54:41 PM EST
    just after MLK murder and mentioned a march in which my neighbor was participating, my mother sd., why should I march, I didn't kill him.  Surprised me a great deal as she never uttered racist thoughts or discriminated against people.  Not that she had much opportunity in our decidely non-diverse SE Iowa hometown.  

    My mother had a very racist (none / 0) (#20)
    by observed on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 04:02:31 PM EST
    upbringing, but overcame that to a great degree. It is mostly in evidence in very odd things she will say about races: for example, she once said (uttering this as if it were a universally known truism) that Chinese people usually look older than their age compared to white people.
    Silent head scratching is best at these moments.

    I forgot my info (none / 0) (#13)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:50:27 PM EST
    I can say I was born when LBJ was president, although it was for only a few more days (January '69). That makes me a Gen X'er.

    Grew up in metro Detroit with 3 sisters. One has an Associate's degree and a Bachelor's degree, one has a BA and Master's degree, one is finishing her Master's in December, and I have a BS, MBA, and JD.

    Dad - 2 years college, but never finished. He was an accountant / Assistant Controller for a small industrial company, then retired and started a van shuttle service to the airport - did that for 10 years or so.

    Mom - bachelor's and graduate degrees in Education (she was an elementary school teacher, and spent the last 40 years of her career in kindergarten).

    Most in the family are politically left - granfathers were both coal miners (one left to move to Detroit and worked as an autoworker). Mom, and several aunts and uncles were teachers, dad once helped organize a strike at his place of employment in the 70s!

    I'm allergic to animals, my favorite color is green, I've had a new boyfriend for about 4 months, I once rode a camel (in Arizona, of all places), my favorite food is chocolate (and steak - but not together), and I was once an extra in a country music video.

    When my youngest sibling started 1st (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:56:58 PM EST
    grade, my mother started teaching again.  First assignment:  6th grade.  But from then on:  kindergarten in an economically depressed neighborhood.  She thrived.  

    I don't know how mom did it (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by jbindc on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 04:20:39 PM EST
    I was in her classroom once and she slipped out to use the bathroom (can't just go when you want in that kind of job).  The door hadn't clicked closed when I kinda lost control of the class.  At first, I had 25 pair of eyes peeking above the desk where I was sitting, then a brave soul came up to show me her tooth was loose.  After that, since my attention was diverted, kids started going everywhere - to the bathroom, to the different play areas.  And of course, as always, there were also "the informers" to loudly tell me that Joey was playing with the trucks when he was supposed to be sitting, or Susie was getting a drink of water when she was supposed to be sitting.

    My mom came back a couple of minutes later and they all froze.  All she had to do was give them a look (one I had seen and been scared of many times in my life!) They knew they were busted.

    That's when I decided I made the right decision of not being a teacher - work was way too hard and you have to put up with those people (i.e. kids).


    Agree Infinitely easier being a lawyer (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 04:37:15 PM EST
    than school teacher.  Which I avoided like the plague.  

    I was conceived while Ike was Prez, (none / 0) (#19)
    by observed on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 03:59:57 PM EST
    and born in Seattle's Doc Maynard Hospital when JFK was Prez. My father worked for Boeing in the 50's, then started his own company in 1960. This was a fateful decision, as his business and negotiating skills were not at all on par with his scientific brilliance. Nevertheless, this path of his led to enriching experiences for me. He sold his equipment to airlines around the world, and we had frequent visitors from all over.
    In fact, we hosted a Soviet scientist in 1975. He reciprocated with an invitation to my parents to visit the USSR in 1976 as a guest of the Soviet Academy of Sciences.
    They visited Leningrad and Moscow.

    Unfortunately, all the walking gave him an open sore on his foot (he had diabetic neuropathy), which led to his first amputation and precipitated a sharp decline in his health.

    I can't fail to mention that my father, despite being an educated man of science, was somewhat of a holy roller. He attended a charismatic Episcopalian church in the 50's and 60's (the combination sounds odd, I know),
    and believed in speaking in tongues, demonic possession and other assorted oddities.
    He had an X-files like interest in UFO's as well.


    hmm, I didn't say (none / 0) (#27)
    by observed on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 11:43:55 PM EST
    Much about me, I realized. PhD in pure math, classical musician (piano and voice), chess and go player. I have been an avid science fiction reader in the past (Lem is my favorite), but am less enthused now. In life and science fiction, I am underwhelmed by the ascendance of computers.

    Jeff, I know not whereof I speak, but have (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 04:09:25 PM EST
    read recent articles re prostate cancer suggesting no surgery is about as effective as surgery if the diagnosis is early.  Have you read this stuff?  Cannot even imagine being faced with making choices.  As always, good thoughts coming your way.  

    I've heard this, and that's (none / 0) (#24)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 08:05:24 PM EST
    where the biopsy comes in... but the doctor advised already from the digital examination and some other issues that I'm a high candidate for surgery.

    The key comes with the biopsies in August, though...


    another Boomer checking in (none / 0) (#25)
    by The Addams Family on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 10:11:05 PM EST
    born on the day of Harry S Truman's 2nd inauguration (1st was kind of an emergency)

    bred Great Lakes area, West Coaster since young adulthood, currently in Oakland, CA, with previous lives in San Francisco, Berkeley, Seattle, Chicago & Lima, Peru

    BA, MA, PhD/ABD Romance languages & literatures

    published poet, fiction writer & translator, incredibly famous

    getting through 2nd Great Depression & disemployment (h/t lambert) by going through seed corn, god help me

    Why were you living in Peru? (none / 0) (#26)
    by oculus on Fri Jul 22, 2011 at 11:10:33 PM EST
    Wright-Plaisance Fellowship (none / 0) (#28)
    by The Addams Family on Sat Jul 23, 2011 at 01:19:42 AM EST
    in those days, for travel or study in Europe or Latin America - i mostly traveled but also spent a term in Paris at the Sorbonne

    Hi Jeff! and company! (none / 0) (#33)
    by CST on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 04:10:45 PM EST
    Nice to "meet" you, and others here.

    I'm a 20 something, employed northeasterner, and life is... good today.

    My parents are - I guess you could call them upper middle class, except they never quite acted like it.  I grew up in Boston.  When my parents got married they were a cab driver and a waitress respectively.  Harvard educated cab driver and waitress, who were nevertheless broke and moved to one of the roughest neighborhoods in the city.  Eventually my mom started working in public health, and she rode that train pretty far.  My dad has been everything from donut manufacturer to computer guy, but he's been unemployed the last few years, and is now in Zambia doing data mining as part of going back to gradschool.  In the words of my sister "mom kept getting promoted, and dad kept getting fired".  But I love them both to pieces, and I really hope they weather this storm - together.

    I grew up on the right side of the tracks - literally - in the wrong neighborhood.  And my parents sent me to public school instead of catholic school.  Which means I got the cr@p kicked out of me on a fairly regular basis for being impossibly nerdy (and white).  Then I went on to an exam public high school and more or less found a nitsche, until I decided to ditch that for a year and go learn German.  I came back from that a little "different" too.  Eventually I took the firmly upper-middle route to private college, and found another nitsche with all the fish-out-of-water international kids.

    Now I'm back in my old neighborhood, just trying to pay my bills and work without losing myself in the process.  My passion is politics, but I'm an engineer because it's safe, and it's important enough that at least I can feel good about what I do at the end of the day.

    As for who I "am" - somewhere between nerdy/yuppie engineer with a cat, and hippie child who likes to dance down the street listening to Superstition with a flower in my impossibly frizzy hair.  Then again you can also find me driving a borrowed Prius through my 'hood blasting Jay-Z while flirting with the other locals.

    I think it's fascinating (none / 0) (#37)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 11:39:10 AM EST
    that your dad is data-mining in Zambia...

    CST, you have an interesting family and biography!

    I'm glad people are telling some about themselves here. It lends perspective to why we may have some of the ideas we do.

    Nice to meet you!


    I concur... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by kdog on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 11:44:06 AM EST
    great idea asking our friends to tell us more about themselves, we do run the gamut of walks of life...part of why Talkleft is so awesome.

    Hello (none / 0) (#34)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Jul 28, 2011 at 11:01:11 AM EST
    I'm Teresa....I lived my whole life in Washington State, first in Eastern then Western Washington.  

    I was a welfare brat.  My mother married a drunk, managed to have 3 kids before divorcing the drunk.  With no support net at all, she went on welfare. The life as a "cadillac driving welfare queen" was just so wonderful that she ended her life when I was 15.

    I lived in foster care for awhile, then finished high school while living by myself in an apartment.  I went to Washington State U, became the first of my extended family to graduate college, earning a Poly Sci degree (my BA in cynicism, I call it).  

    I then moved to Seattle, worked myself up in orgs to computer programmer. Ended up at "the evil empire" and burned out.  I went back to school and got a BS in Biology with the goal of getting a state natural resources job with normal low*er* stress hours, decent health insurance and a good retirement....then the economy really crashed and our state government is cutting jobs right and left.

    So now, I work with my husband, an energy conservation consultant while I look for other work.  And we both deal with the fun of the individual insurance market while it gets steadily worse as Obamacare is slowly being implemented.  Obamacare doesn't start in 2014, it's already started, and it is resulting in cuts for us, not extended benefits.

    So for fun?  If I weren't an agnostic, I'd say I live in God's country.  Beautiful cascade and Olympic Mountains (including Mt. Rainier, Mt. St Helens, Mt Baker, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood), amazing lakes, waterfalls and streams, the ocean, all at about 1-3 hours drive away.  I love camping, hiking, and just plain taking it all in.  My DH (who comes from middle class roots) is wonderful.  And I have two lovely yellow labrador retrievers (actually one is in doggie heaven but they don't stop being your kids when they're gone).  And I've gone thru ridiculous stints of several hobbies, quilting being the most ridiculous.  I literally have a room full of fabric!  But now I'm into Photography and Photoshop art.  Mostly I do macro photography, but I also like landscape photos.  As well, my little Darla dog is my doggie supermodel.  Photography takes me to a happy place like nothing else does.

    So that's me.


    Very nice to meet (none / 0) (#35)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 10:16:11 AM EST
    you. I think you have an amazing life story...I'm willing to bet you're one strong person!

    Thank you! (none / 0) (#36)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 10:27:38 AM EST
    I think I was a strong person, but as I get older not as much...don't know why ;-).  Maybe it's because times aren't hard.

    But my purpose in posting was very much about how when people talk about the amorphous concept of "the poor," for me they aren't talking about a concept!  Some of us actually lived it! ;-).

    You are a great guy.  I wish you the very best in your cancer fight....


    A Long Diary.. :) (none / 0) (#41)
    by adelinalee on Tue Apr 17, 2012 at 09:33:33 AM EST
    Hi jeffinalabama,

    You Have been intodution your self.. Thats like Book.. But sure.. I'm appresiative about you.. Go up Man... I hope you will beb better in the future

    Adelina Lee
    Mine:Strep Throat Sympotms