Thursday, October 24, 2013


I went to West Brook earlier this week to pick up David because he felt bad.  I felt bad, too, so I was in a lousy mood after texting with a teenager who was supposed to be in class but was instead giving me a hard time.  By the time I got to the school I was just unhappy.  I had to call my mom because I didn't have a way to get there so that was even more frustrating.  But then I went in the office.

When you enter schools in BISD with the intention of walking through the campus to get to, say, the attendance office to check out your child you are asked for your license so they can scan it with the RAPTOR to make you a visitor badge.  After scanning, they hand you your license back.  This system does a quick background check as well.  I have used it and I agree with the system.  I don't have a problem with letting you scan my license so I can go through the school.  Not one problem.

What I do have a problem with is West Brook and their arbitrary policies that no other school in the district follows.  West Brook asks for your license every time you enter the campus; other campuses scan the license and keep it in the system so they can look you up when you come in and print you a visitor sticker.  The system is set up to do this and it works.  I know.  I have used it.  I'm not just throwing this shit out there.  I have sat at the reception desk at several schools and have used the system.  And this isn't all.  They have gotten even more arbitrary.

This week when I went in the school I handed the receptionist my license as usual...only this time she didn't hand it back.  I was told they needed to keep it now.  But that's MY LICENSE.  It is my identification and it is identification that if used improperly can cause me harm.  I don't like that they kept my license.  When I walked out of the office, in my lousy mood, I told them they were fucking crazy.  Yeah, I know.  Too far.  But so what.

I sent the principal an email when I got home.  It read:

Mr. Maxwell,
Although I know that Ms. Broughton would not use my driver's license in a way that is illegal, I feel that keeping it while I went to the attendance office is out of line.  No one has the right to hold my driver's license unless they are a member of the law enforcement community.  This practice is ridiculous and just falls in line with all of the other stupid things that happen at West Brook.  I mean, you have an entire driveway no one can use.....why?  How stupid is that?
I will not surrender my driver's license to anyone at West Brook in the future, so you have a choice to make.  Allow people from the office to go get my child when I want him...because he is my child no matter how many hours he is at West Brook and if I want him, I will get him....or allow me and all other parents to proceed to the attendance office to check them out without surrendering our identification.  You have it on file, you do not physically need it.
His reply:

Based on the training that we have been given, it is proven that when you have an active shooter in your building the police force will need to know immediately who is in you building.  Secondly it is a way to monitor how long a visitor has been in your building.  Returning to get your license is a way for us to know the amount of time you have been in the building.  Safety is a must when we have the possibility of school shootings.  I respectfully hope you reconsider

I told him I would not reconsider.  The basis of my thought process after his is proven that when you have an active shooter in your building the police force will need to know immediately who is in you building...this sentence.  The office having my license prevents me from being identified in case there's a shooter in the building and I get shot.  A shooter isn't going to give the office his license.  A shooter is going to walk in the office, shoot everyone in there, and then proceed to the rest of the building.  How is taking my license helping that situation?  See.  Arbitrary.

I was then told that I would not be allowed to go past the office and that it would take longer to get my child.  It better not take too long and you better go get him when I want him because he is mine, I gave birth to him and your keeping him from me is paramount to kidnapping.  Period.  Call your BISD whomever you think you need to.  I will call the media.  I will be at administration with a camera crew faster than you can say boo.  

West Brook and their arbitrary rules are really pissing me off. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


"Give yourself permission to follow the path that makes you happy."

I was talking to someone today...someone who is very special to me.  He has affected such a change in my life and I know my life would never be the same if he were no longer in it.

A lot of things are happening in his life that he sometimes feels like he has no control over...things I will not go into.  He and I have a relationship that is, for me, so unique and so wonderful that I tend to forget that he has all of this crap happening to him.  Sometimes when we talk we get into things that we normally don' was one of those days.

We were talking about how someone in his life said he needs to let go sometimes...and for a second I agreed with that assertion.  But then I had to retract that because that's not what I feel he really needs to do.  Circumstances in his life have him where he isn't happy and I hurt for him for that.  My advice to him today was to give himself permission to do what he needs to do to solve these things in his life in a way that will make him happy...even if it means that the people around him are unhappy about his decision.  He said no one ever said it to him that way.  He had never realized that he hasn't given himself permission to be happy.

I have perspective that I thought would help him since I feel like that's what my ex-husband did when he asked me for a divorce.  He decided he wasn't happy and gave himself permission to do what would make him happy.  Did I like it?  No.  Did his family like it?  Not really.  Did the kids understand and agree with him?  Not. At. All.  But he did it because he felt it would make him happy.  He gave himself permission to be happy.  Is he?  I don't know and really don't care.  But I know that I want this man in my life to be as happy as he can possibly I need him to give himself permission to be happy.

Is there something in your life that you need to give yourself permission to do?  Do it.  There's no way in this world to ever keep everyone around you happy so why do you need to stay miserable?  Give yourself permission to be happy.

"There will always be a reason why you meet people; either you need them to change your life or you're the one who will change theirs."

Monday, October 14, 2013

An Adventure in Healthcare: All In All It's Just Another Brick In the Wall

For the last two weeks, I have been patiently trying to enroll in the Healthcare Marketplace with some success.  I made a conscious decision not to try to hard the first days the Marketplace was open to enrollment.  I knew that things would not run smoothly and I was right.  So how has my adventure been since then?

Lots of work to do; that is an understatement!

I tried each day to begin the sign up process.  I got the same image on my screen as so many other people.  What I eventually realized is that if I left the window opened, it would refresh itself until I got the to the next step.  But this was what I will call a brick in the wall that I could not knock down.  It took until the beginning of last week before I got to the screen where I was able to begin the enrollment process. So where am I now in this new adventure?

Getting started makes you hopeful that this will finally work!
 When I saw the "Let's Get Started" screen I had a sense of accomplishment...I finally got somewhere and I could see that it was definitely better than it was day one.  Once I got here things seemed to work pretty well.  I entered my personal, address, phone number, email address....and all was going pretty well.  One brick taken out of the wall on my way to a clear path. Until.....

Security questions...what security questions?
Well, the security questions were not populated....that means they just weren't there to answer.  The drop down menus clearly have a problem that needed to be fixed...and they were.  Within a day or two I went back and the questions were there to choose from.  Another hurdle.  Another brick that was taken down.  This allowed me to finish adding the information needed to family information, who I needed to get insurance for, who lives in my home, who I will claim on my know, the information the government will be collecting in order to fulfill the mandate.  (Yes, I know that's what they are doing and I fully agree forcing people is not the best way to do this...but this is what the law says right now so I will abide by the law.)  And now?

The log-in screen!
I can now log in and get to the next screen, which for me is a verification screen.  My identity needs to be verified, which I tried to do but failed.  Not sure why it failed as I entered the requested information exactly like it asked and I answered the security questions with the correct answers.  I was asked to send by email a scan of one form of identification, so I scanned my driver's license and sent it along post haste.  That was yesterday.  I have not gotten an email saying that I am verified so I cannot go any further until I get that email.  One more brick in the wall that is being stubborn and refusing to move.  So now what?
Again I will be patient and wait until I can remove this brick.  I know that some people out there may not understand how I can be so willing to wait or how I could possibly think this will ever work or even be reasonable health care if it does work.  People are so willing to castigate the system without even allowing it to work.  I am just not ready to say it is a failure.  I will keep trying and will see what this system has to offer me.  Hopefully it will be something I can afford, or maybe for the moment I will be subsidized since I am currently not employed.  Hopefully there won't be very large deductibles like the stories have been saying.  I don't know what I am going to run into...I just know I am going to keep trying and keep an open mind.  That's all I can do. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Apathy (n): lack of feeling or emotion; lack of interest or concern

I live in a neighborhood that by all accounts is a wonderful place to live. We have this awesome pool and the playground you can see in the background.  We have a covered basketball court and two tennis courts.  We decorate for Christmas and we have bi-annual garage sales that draw people from everywhere.  Sunday afternoon volleyball is a pass-time that can't be rivaled.  

The problem with my neighborhood is apathy.  We are a homeowners association that runs on dues.  Our dues are $240 a year.  Not a month...a year.  That money keeps the pool looking nice and the grass cut and the electricity on.  As homeowners, we are all keepers of the neighborhood.  We all have a stake in it's upkeep and it's total well-being.  So why the apathy?

Some say it is the attitude of those who work hard year end and year out to keep things running.  Reminding people (adults) to empty a trash can that is overflowing or reminding them not to leave trash laying around or to not bring glass inside the pool area is seen as "fussing" and is an excuse as to why people have decided not to help out.  That is a load of crap.  There's no apathy when the pool isn't open on time or, God forbid, the chemicals get out of whack and people want to complain.  They care then.  So why not care all the time?  You don't like me?  So what....I may not like you that much either...but I will be polite and thank you profusely for helping out.  I will smile at you and I will get along as long as it takes to do a job that benefits the neighborhood....because I care.  

If you don't care, just say so.  Don't blame your lack of concern on me.  Most people know one thing about me that is probably detrimental to me at times....I like to please people, sometimes a little too much.  I was so concerned about whether or not my ex-husband was going to be happy about how I did things that I lost my way and was very unhappy myself for a very long time.  Still to this day I worry about whether or not he's going to be okay with things I do and we have been divorced for three years.  It's an inherent flaw in my personality.  

Why can't people just get past their personal grievances and work together for the good of those around them?  It goes way past my neighborhood...just look here locally at the school board....and nationally, just look at the nonsense going on in Washington.  It's a shame that people can't come together when necessary and just get past it for an hour.  Once you get past that hour, then go on to the next.  It's pretty easy.  

It's also pretty cowardly to constantly shame people on social networks.  It blows my mind how one person can make a comment, but even a particular person agreeing with him gets them blasted.  Speak to me in person if you have a problem with me.  Otherwise, put away the apathy and find the sympathy.  Care.  Work together.  Do it despite your feelings.  Believe me, it will make you all he better for it.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blame...Place it Where it Belongs

Last night, the BISD stadium was the target of some foolish person who decided to drive on the grass by the parking lot and then somehow access the field and damage the turf.  That in itself is enough reason to be angry as my tax dollars paid for this stadium.  But what angers me more is the blatant disregard for the people who daily protect the students and buildings in BISD by placing the blame on them instead of where it should be placed - on the person who decided that this was something to do last night.

I know people are irritated with BISD...I am too.  The antics of the board members and some of the staff leave much to be desired when it comes to the school district.  But when something like this happens, stop and think before you make a fool of yourself by posting comments on facebook about things which you know nothing about.  I am here to tell you the facts, as I promised.  So here goes.

One brilliant person stated, "With all the money we spent on the building, you would think they put some security cameras in there." Well apparently she has never been to the stadium because if she had she would know that there are cameras everywhere.  She also stated, " Where were our police officers that patrol all night... every night?"  Well, the police officers make rounds...which means they drive AROUND the district throughout the night...which means that the police officers cannot be at the stadium all the time.  As a result, there is a PSO at the stadium each night who drives around the parking lot at intervals...and again...HE CANNOT BE ALL AROUND THE STADIUM ALL THE TIME.  He was there last night, but he couldn't see the license plate on the truck and he is not paid to give chase...but he did his job.  

Why am I so concerned about this?  Why talk about blame?  Just look at what is happening in Congress this week.  The Republicans are blaming the Democrats for this government shutdown when the Republicans are clearly the ones who caused this shutdown.  It is ironic that they waited until the day that the ACA went into effect to shut down the government, isn't it?  The Democrats are only abiding by the law that was put into place and affirmed by the SCOTUS last year...the Republicans are acting like babies throwing tantrums and they are letting a few dictate that that's the course of action to take.  

Blame the person responsible...don't blame the school district for the vandalism of an individual.  Blame the Republicans...don't blame the Democrats and the President.  And by all means...think before you make a stupid comment that will be read by many people.