sending collectors after lunch money in the richest country on earth

deep breath…

Cranston Rhode Island has announced that they have hired a collection agency to go after families of students with unpaid lunches over 20$.  According to the Cranston School District page one week of lunches costs 16.25 for middle and high school and 12.50 for elementary school. So we aren’t even talking about two weeks worth of lunches.

Screen Shot 2018-12-07 at 9.50.33 AM
screenshot from the Cranston public school page…  one child at a time — as long as they’re not hungry?

from the article:

The current unpaid balance is $45,859.

Votto says the school district has tried to collect unpaid balances in the past without much success. He says the lunch program cannot continue to lose revenue.

Votto says the collection agency will send a letter to parents who owe $20 or more and who haven’t paid their balance within 60 days.

In this article from CBS Boston which reported on the hiring it is mentioned that: “Students who owe money will receive the same lunches paying students receive.”

but that doesn’t fit with the policy from the Cranston Public Schools unpaid lunch page:

4.     Once a student has charged five (5) meals (middle\high school $16.25 & elementary $12.50) and no payment has been received, that student will receive a lunch consisting of a sunny butter sandwich, fruit, and milk in place of a hot lunch. This meal maintains the USDA standards surrounding reimbursable meals and will be charged at full price to the student’s account.

am I reading this correctly where the kid who has the lunch debt gets the prison lunch which still costs the same as the regular lunch? because THAT IS BULLSHIT.

and speaking of prison lunches, those are free, paid for with your tax dollars, so if we can pay prison lunches (which we should, and the prison thing is a whole other conversation for another day) we should sure as hell be paying for our children to eat some damn lunch.

Transworld Systems is the company that has been hired to do the collecting.

I HATE the idea of a gofundme to get this paid off, I think crowdsourcing government services which should ALREADY BE FRICKING PAID FOR is crap. But I’m not sure what the alternative is.

I don’t have a solution or a plan, I just have this rant, and some time on my hands and smart friends, so… I like our chances.

 


 

also – I looked – there is already a gofundme set up with a goal of 10,000$.


 

xoxo

 

some favorites thursday – miscellany edition.

(I originally typed: misandry edition. because it is the end of a very long 2018 so why not.)

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 ?

countvoncount
ah – ah – ah

 

Imma stream of consciousness this post today.

 


 

this doesn’t count as a favorite…

since when is the green lifesaver watermelon? I bought my first roll of non butterscotch lifesavers in easily… I mean, when did they have the mini holes candies? because that long.

holes
1990. the last time I bought lifesavers was a hot minute ago.

 


 

 

but speaking of misandry (which is also not a favorite) – I had a whole ‘year of the woman writer’ in 2018. Not every voice was perfect but I’m OVER (over over over) boob-dimensional female characters written by men.

I got NO sleep last night because I couldn’t stop reading this book. It was ridiculous and as all over the place as this blog will be today. so it is fitting I include it.

Never AloneNever Alone by Elizabeth Haynes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(closer to 3-1/2 stars) I enjoyed this book, I stayed up until 2 this morning reading it, it was fast paced and interesting – but it was also incredibly frustrating. The men in Sarah’s life were atrocious, she makes terrible decisions, her dogs need leashes, her doors need locks. Beyond that though, solid storytelling with a likable, albeit infuriating, main character.

 



 

carmen

I look EVERYTHING up.

before the internet I was a big fan of the card catalogue, the encyclopedia, the reference book. I need to know things and with this glorious anxiety the more information I have the better – how often should I blog? how do I blog? how do I say no to someone who asks to be a houseguest? what is a triple net lease? how do I tell my coworkers I’m leaving my job? what is the difference between an LLC and a Sole Proprietorship? how do I start an art collection? what are the hipster neighborhoods in Orlando? where are the best brunch spots in Orlando? when will there be a Chuy’s in Massachusetts? what information should be on a business card? how do you name a company?

see what I did there? I still haven’t figured out how to tell all of my coworkers that I’m leaving my job at the end of the year.

I love this job, I love this company, I love my coworkers. But it is time for a change.

I’m starting my own company, staying in the industry I’ve been working in for the last 5 years. I’m taking January and February off, I’ve rented a place in Florida for 5 weeks, and I am going to bust out some strategy in the sunshine. (14 miles from the Magic Kingdom because who are we kidding?) I’m freaking the fork out. But I’m 42 and next year both of my kids will be in college, it is time to figure out what I’m going to do when I grow up.

at least until I become an archaeologist.

 




 

livingcoral
living coral. is it a color? a call to environmental action? the antithesis of the orange detritus inhabiting the white house? a reminder that the sun will come out tomorrow? am I reading too much into this?

everything is political. with the exception of, like, the president of the united states, he’s just a ruinous piece of garbage. Pantone’s color of the year was announced yesterday and even that announcement felt political.

From their announcement:

Introducing the Pantone Color of the Year 2019, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral – an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression. #COY2019

I want lighthearted activity. Remember lighthearted activity?

 

 

brb, gotta figure out how to tell my coworkers I’m leaving the company at the end of the year…

xoxo

three favorites thursday – ‘cyber week’ edition.

cyberweek
who has two thumbs and didn’t know ‘cyber week’ was a thing? this guy.

Cyber Week. evidently that’s a thing now.  Because the onslaught of one time only, limited availability, lowest discount of the season, get it now or you will ruin the holidays forever, isn’t enough on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s Cyber Thursday, do you know where your children are? (and THAT’S how old I am)

I haven’t really done any ‘cyber week’ shopping – I keep thinking I want to, filling up shopping carts, but then abandoning them. But I did find a few things that I think will make excellent presents.


 

uno

Lin Manuel Miranda. He’s a gift to all of us already, but now his inspirational Gmorning, Gnight messages are illustrated in their own fabulous little book. I have so far purchased three copies of it but reserve the right to give it to EVERYONE this Christmas.

gmorning

your children FOR SURE need this. their teachers might also. siblings. aunts and uncles. the postal worker who delivers all of your packages – you fiend. you need it, your spouse. the world. the world needs this book.

Get one.

LMM’s website (Tee Rico) also has Gnight PAJAMAS. because who doesn’t need a sleep shirt or cozy pants?

 

 



 

 

rosegold2

my very very favorite eyeshadow palette. I have LOTS of palettes, drawers full, it’s obscene. and usually I wear one color (that isn’t even in this palette) (Urban Decay Lounge)  But when I’m not being lazy I bust out the Tartlette In Bloom Palette.

inbloom
neutral but rosy but shimmery but sophisticated

Right now Macy’s has a 15% off code (FRIEND) which makes this just over 33$. BUT if you use Ebates (which you fricking should, and if you don’t please sign up with my link!) today everything at Macy’s will get you 10% cash back.

 

brush

My favorite eyeshadow brush. the only one I ever ever use and the only one you will ever ever need. (unless you’re wicked fancy in which case I can’t help you) is from Coastal Scents, it is the BR-C-N02 a Medium, Classic, Natural brush and it is a WORKHORSE. I have been using, washing, using, washing, the same brush for at least 5 years.

If you know and love and shop for makeup wearers this will be their favorite stocking stuffer. If you combine it with In Bloom you’ll win Christmas.

 

 




 

 

threethree

unrelated to Christmas shopping, other than that you need sustenance to keep you going, my other favorite thing this cyber week is Trader Joe’s Spanakopita Pie.  I’m on my second one for the week already and I have no regrets. TJ’s was sold out of tzatziki when I went so I had to go to my regular grocery store to get some, because it’s the other best part of this meal.

spanakopita
you’re going to want to get one of these today. maybe get 2.

it’s that perfect amount of salty and flaky and still feels like you’re eating healthy because the thing is full of spinach. Plus it’s pie. It’s the best of all possible worlds.

I am starving right now.


 

So that’s what I’ve got. Good Luck tomorrow on Cyber Friday and through what I assume will be the Cyber Weekend…?

 

xoxo

holidaying my feelings – why is there so much crap in my house? edition

treeatnight
we decorated EARLY this year and I’m not sorry.

It’s weird to get to a place where you don’t want anything. but I don’t. I don’t want a single thing. I have EVERYTHING I need. I have MORE THAN I NEED.  I am getting rid of things at a steady pace.

part of the particular nature/nurture strain of anxiety/depression that I inherited from my father leads to purging. I try to be very conscious of what I get rid of because I want to make sure I have art my kids made in kindergarten, or baby photos, or my husband’s letterman jacket. dad was a reckless purger so there are things from my childhood that I would have preferred to not end up in a dumpster while I was in college… like anything from my childhood. Ten points to the X-ers in charge of our entertainment, because I can at least have NEW things of whatever things I don’t have from my childhood. Jem? Good Luck Bear? A Vintage style My Little Pony? A fricking Zoom birthday record?! They exist again and I could have all of those things.

but I don’t want them.

hygge
tea, cake, making lists. some of my favorites.

so right, while the holidays approach, and Winter is Coming, and I really want to start getting my house renovated, and things are happening in my professional life that I can’t/haven’t told everyone about yet… I’m fucking stressed out. I’m also really fucking depressed. I said that out loud to myself in the car the other day. “I am really fucking depressed” and the moment of acknowledging my feelings for what they are… it helped. I mean, Wellbutrin helps more, but recognition is important.

and I need to get a dumpster which currently has me REALLY worried because I do want to get rid of every.fucking.thing. in my house.

I speak only for myself and my own experiences with depression but if I had to make a list of things I “want” or “need” for Christmas right now they would include: socks, a throw blanket or four, a magically clean kitchen and front hallway unaccompanied by the sounds of angry cleaning, new toss pillows for the couch, cake, dark curtains in my bedroom for naps, naps, for my house to smell like a Christmas tree, candles in every room, having the dining room table completely clear… chocolate. See’s or Phillip’s Candy House especially. The soft ones with fruity creme centers. Or a trip to Disney. But mostly I need Hygge.

Hygge-2

I want Hygge for Christmas.

xoxo

 

I only really like my cervix if I don’t have to think about it.

obgyn

Due to an atrocious OBGYN several years ago who equated every single problem I had with my weight I had a Soviet Era copper IUD that was old enough to vote. It wasn’t really Soviet Era, it WAS pre-9/11, and to be fair it voted Democrat but it still had to go.

The removal process 9 days ago was hellish. Hellish. I yelled at one point, out loud, and then started crying. I mean… she stuck a needle in my cervix. Without any warning. I don’t recommend it. It made half my face go numb and my nose bleed. That’s some fucked up reverse acupuncture FOR SURE. Leading up to this she had given me a prescription for something that was supposed to soften my cervix to make the thing easier, and in my defense the pharmacist didn’t mention that it was supposed to be inserted – the instructions were “take one tablet night before procedure”. Also it said “take with food”. These made me think that I should eat something and then swallow the pill. I was wrong.

I have a very high tolerance for pain. Like really very high. 36 hours of back labor followed by delivery without any drugs. Kidney stones without any drugs. An injection in the cervix without any drugs. rooting around in my uterus looking for a little piece of copper without any drugs.

The insertion process wasn’t much better, because evidently there are corners and switchbacks involved because it turns out that my uterus is literally upside-down and backwards and on its side, and in an entirely different building, the pathway looks like Lombard St, which isn’t something that anyone felt the need to tell me, the owner of the uterus. I said: “oh, so is that why I only had back labor?” and she said “yes, I can’t believe no one warned you”. My youngest is 18 so it’s been too long to be feeling THIS DAMN SALTY, but no, no one told me. Why would anyone tell the terrified 23 year old what is causing her pain?

Where am I going with this? I don’t remember. But today I’ve got a shiny new IUD, loaded with hormones that might even help with my The Shining Elevator style periods I’ve been having for the last 15 years. Which, coincidently had NOTHING to do with my fucking weight.

disneyholiday

and in case you’re wondering – once I get home and put on the most comfortable damn joggers in the WORLD (which yeah, I do think are worth the stupid high price tag.) I’m going to shop alllllll these feelings away in the form of Disney Holiday Decorations. (and vanilla milkshakes with butterscotch schnapps. #butterscotchberns )

 

three favorites thursday – phoning it in on friday edition

I just signed in to write this post and it offered me the option to post on any of my 3 blogs that I have through wordpress. I didn’t remember that I had 3. one of them is called ‘365 days to disney’ which is adorable. and also- how did I not keep up with a full on disneycentric blog?! I’ve got problems.

for anyone keeping track at home we got home from Disney on Monday and my next trip is in… 49 days. So maybe I should change the name of that blog to ‘spoiledass disney princess goes to disney too much’ – though I could change the name of THIS blog to that as well.

bless me father for I have sinned, it has been 15 days since my last blog post, and these are my badly thought out favorites.

 

 

numberone

Recreational marijuana is about to be legal in Massachusetts. But that’s not my favorite part. THIS article from the Boston Globe  is my favorite part.

Screen Shot 2018-11-15 at 9.05.34 AMonly in Massachusetts do we need a newspaper article to help us get over our puritan anxiety about not looking like a moron when we go to buy legal weed for the first time. And I for one say – thank you Boston Globe! because it just means that I’m not the only person who wouldn’t try it because I don’t know what the heck I’m doing.

also covered in that piece : what it will cost, how to order, how to pay, where to store it, what to do if you have a bad high. not mentioned: hot chocolate or something sweet.

 

 

number2

reading.

I’ve written about specific books once or twice I think – currently I’m reading The Party by Lisa Hall – I go through phases, and right now I’m in a Domestic Noir phase-

Oprah’s book club put me off celebrity book clubs – but then Felicia Day’s Vaginal Fantasy book club happened and restored my faith in them. So when I saw that Reece Witherspoon’s book club had recommended a book that I LOVED (The Lying Game by Ruth Ware) I thought she might have some good stuff to suggest.

 

And she does! Thanks to her book club I just finished The Other Woman by Sandie Jones. It was ridiculous, a good, fast read. I have hated going to work this week because I JUST WANT TO BE HOME READING.  Maybe wearing a toasty pair of footie sweat-pants.

But not only has reading been my favorite but the recent freedom experienced by putting down a book that was DRAGGING MY ASS DOWN has been my favorite. I read an article in the Harvard Business Review about how to read more books – and one of the suggestions was to drop a book when it starts being a chore. Obviously that doesn’t apply if you’re reading for work, or school, but if you’re reading for fun? Put that bench down and find another!

are you on goodreads? I am. you should friend me so I can stalk your reading list. I’m always on the lookout for my next favorite book.

 

 

number3

I can’t think of anything to make #3. which is funny because like I said in my first ever post: everything is my favorite.

so while we’re talking about reading I’ll list a couple of my favorite mental health and feminist influencers.

Like Cranky Fat Feminist.

and Jes Baker (The Militant Baker.)

oooh or Virgie Tovar. Maybe especially Virgie Tovar. She’s incredible. and she’s everywhere, like contributing to Forbes, like a boss.

or The Bloggess.  especially especially her most recent blog post about Asha Dornfest’s blog post about dusting off our blogs and writing the things, uniting people over ideas and generally screaming together into the Aether while we save America and one another.  AND and and. the comments on the Bloggess’ post are LOADED with links to other blogs. so go read, and follow, and let’s save America by rebuilding communities of ideas.

 


so- that’s what I’ve got. I’m especially enjoying the very Friday nature of this three favorites for Thursday. have a great weekend. read all the things.

xoxo

bucket-list my feelings. archaeology edition.

y’all. all I ever ever wanted to be growing up was an archaeologist. or paleontologist. or anthropologist. or a combination of those three. I didn’t, because…  reasons… some having to do with a super conservative upbringing where women have a specific role and it doesn’t involve digging in the Valley of the Kings. and also an enormous lack of self confidence. and a general fear of getting the thing that I want. and my college counselor telling me she would’t write me a recommendation to the schools with the good archaeology departments.

“why would you want to do all of that work, when you’ll know all the answers when you get to heaven anyways?”  (not a quote from my guidance counselor, just a thing I was told growing up.) but what the actual fork?!

ancient-architecture-camel-931881
Photo by Simon Matzinger from Pexels

 

the point – I’ve stopped listening to MSNBC in the car, and while I miss Nicole Wallace and the righteous rage of Steve Schmidt I don’t miss the anxiety or Joe Scarborough’s pompous snark. So what have I been listening to instead? Glad you asked. I’ve been listening to National Geographic’s: The Great Courses.  Specifically Archaeology: An Introduction to the World’s Greatest Sites. Which, I did NOT pay 234.95 for, I used a single Audible credit. (14.95) And while I feel a little jealous when he is obviously showing images to the camera I also feel like I can put the $220.00 that I saved towards my Nile River Cruise in 2022.

it is a FANTASTIC listen, and one I highly recommend. Chapter 10 is “How do you excavate at a site?” and he goes into specific things like tools (Marshalltown Trowels, everyone should bring their own) to pick axes. (provided at the site).  at one point he says something about how his dig volunteers are mostly students but they’re not all students. sometimes they’re retired doctors or people who want to check ‘archaeological dig’ off of their bucket list. at which point, 5 minutes from the office, at 7:30 in the morning, I’m crying in my car.

I can do that! I’m 42 and the fact that I’m not an archaeologist is 100% on me now and next year we will have 2 kids in college so volunteering on a dig sounds about my speed.

You can come with me if you want.

ancient-archaeology-architecture-631339
Photo by Frans Van Heerden from Pexels

Happy Halloween! xoxo