Monday, March 31, 2008

The True Story of My Life #18 (Religion)

I didn't have a television, by choice, until Sept. 11, 2001. I got rid of it in probably 1996. I decided I was going to go without T.V. and focus on my community instead of everything else. I still watched movies, but only PG and rarely, PG-13. After September 11, 2001, I was too afraid not to be informed. My roommate had called me up at 5 a.m. or so and told me planes were crashing into towers in NYC and it was a terrorist attack. She was watching it unfold at work, and I got in my car and drove to the nearest place that had T.V.'s, a thrift store. I was standing at the thrift store, in front of used 1950s-80s T.V.s, watching this unfold. I bought a small used television.

During this time I also decided not to go shopping at malls anymore. I loved fashion, but my goal was to abstain from material things, and focus on internal change and direction. I quit reading fashion magazines, didn't go to the mall, and didn't have a T.V. After a few years of this, I sort of forgot what was in style. I shopped only at thrift stores. Which leads to a funny story, which I'll write about at the end of this post.

I spent a lot of time in church, socializing, doing community service and playing with kids, and I also spent quite a bit of time praying on my own. I prayed maybe an hour a day, but didn't set times for myself, just as long as I needed to pray for all the things and people that came to mind. I practiced fasting occasionally. The most I did was a 3-day fast on only water. I did that ONCE!

I read the Bible on my own, and started going to public libraries for books on understanding the Bible in depth. I was interested, because I'd worked for some Jews and a Rabbi, in Judaism at the time of Christ and read books about the temple structure and traditions. I bought a Jewish calendar with their time table, and I later sought out an orthodox synogogue, because I thought the traditions might be more close there to what I was reading about from biblical times. I went to my church on Sunday, synogogue on Saturday, and always went to the library to read or check out books to read.

I was still at my house in St. John's when I decided, on my own, that I didn't believe in using birth control. I read children were a blessing from the Lord, and blessed is the man with his quiver full, and felt it came down to faith. Why would I want to refuse a "blessing from the Lord"? So I went to Powell's, and asked a book guy there for books on not using birth control. I was embarressed. I knew it was more of a Catholic idea, and didn't know many Protestants who thought this, so I wanted to find arguments for it. He was going to direct me to Catholic literature and asked me if I was Catholic. "No," I said, "But I just believe maybe in not using any birth control." He looked at me as if he wondered what planet I was on, but also seemed to have respect for me, even as he checked me out ;). There was one book, which I bought. So then I had a dilemna. I didn't believe in birth control. Great. "I'm NEVER getting married now!" I thought. It was hard enough for me to find a connection with a guy, and stay interested, and on top of it, I had (most likely) unreasonable standards about how he needed to be more religious than ME, so I was "equally yoked" (what a great term for marriage--yoked), and NOW I was adding "no birth control" to my list? I was only 23 or so and knew unless I married late in life, that could be a LOT of babies. I thought, "Hmmm. Maybe I'll just get married old, so I can't HAVE that many kids!" I shared my idea with my future roommate Halea and she agreed with me and embraced the idea and has practiced it in her marriage.

Okay, on top of this, I never drank (ever), smoked, or partied, and wasn't around anyone who did. I'd never been asked about drugs in my life. I had a half of a wine cooler for my 21st birthday, and that was it!

My goals were to improve myself and be a better person. I disciplined myself not to lie, to be a better listener, and a few other things.

My role model, since high school, had been Mother Theresa. She was my idol. I was working at CTR when I heard she had died. I still remember the day, because I was shocked by all the talk and publicity over Princess Diana, but not over Mother Theresa. I didn't know much about Diana, but I figured Mother Theresa trumped Diana in importance and felt sad she barely got notice. I figured part of it was that Theresa was old and it was her time to go, and Diana was young and this was a tragic accident. I never had any interest in Princess Diana, until monks started attacking me as being mentally unbalanced to cover themselves, and brought up "borderline" once. I then looked into Diana, who'd been called this too. Only in the last couple of years have I been interested in Diana, and now it is because I can sort of understand her. She and I both had Mother Theresa as a role model and someone we looked up and admired. I did volunteer and community work, like Diana, but in my own low-level way. I had worked with children for a long time, as had Diana. And, at that time in my life, I was coming up in Myers-Briggs, as an INFP, which is what Diana was. I always felt sad about my "type" because it was so rare and seemed like one of the more lonely types. I think then that I was repressing my true nature, which, as a girl, was more extroverted and more of a thinker. In trying to be "a good christian" I had sublimated my own personality to fit what I thought Jesus approved of, which was to be more "feeling" even if I was always more of a thinker (with a soft heart), and more of an Introvert in my attempts to keep quiet as a domestic employee, please everyone (even if I didn't please myself because I couldn't BE myself), and pray. I really began to feel a little unhappy because I had denied myself a part of me. I did it for people, and I did it primarily for what I believed my religion required or held in high esteem.

Here is the funny story...I was so out of touch with fashion that I once went to the thrift store to look for a new dress. It was still the 90s and I lived in Oregon, and there were these Eddie Bauer dresses which were in fashion (enough) at that time. I found one (I thought) in the dress section at the store. It was plaid, it had a collar and sleeves, and buttons down the front, and pockets on the skirt. I wore it to church.
"Cameo!" said my friends Lesley and Kathy, "Are you wearing a NIGHTGOWN?!" I was stunned and indignant. "What? No!" I thought it was ridiculous. I was wearing the dress with hiking boots. It was like, an Eddie Bauer outdoorsey dress, I thought. When I got home, I checked the label. "Sleepytime Dream" it said, or something to that effect. It didn't LOOK like a regular flannel nightgown, because I had those too! This dress was thick and had pockets on the outside, and a normal shirt collar...I remember I froze, sucked in my breath, and was mortified. I was so out of touch with fashion I had worn a FLANNEL NIGHTGOWN to church!!! No wonder all the guys were paying so much attention to me that night! I felt hot and my face was hot. Then I began to laugh, and just laughed and laughed, and couldn't stop. I had worn a nightgown to church! That's what I got for trying not to be vain--a serious dose of humility.

After that I decided to get some fashion magazines and go back to the mall. So by the time I sold my house, I used some of that $40,000 not just on others, but I did spend just a little bit on myself, buying some new things at Nordstrom.

During this whole period, I never swore, of course, and didn't have any enemies, that I knew of. There were a few people I look back on and wonder about, and I'll probably mention those names, but when I first found out about the monastery, this is where I was at, and what my life was about. There were no issues with law enforcement, or lawyers, or monks. I was just me. I went to the Abbey, innocent, having been directed by a pastor at my next church which was close to Lake Oswego.

I didn't know very much about sex. I had been excused from sex ed. in high school and never had sex ed. in junior high. I had only kissed one person in my life until I was 24 years old, and that was my high school boyfriend, Robin Bechtold. I met the monks when I was 25, almost 26 years old. I was a naive and trusting 26 year old with very little real world experience. I had also been through one other trauma which I'll write about next. I was raped, as a virgin, in the summer of 1998. How I dealt with that was not to run to a monastery, wearing provocative clothing, to seduce a monk. I was intellectually religious and studying the Bible, and my studies in Judaism led me next to self-motivated studies in Early Church history, which led me to listen to Catholic radio in Oregon, and go to a Catholic conference, and led me to consider becoming Catholic. I even thought about being a nun. I wanted to be where I could pray for others all the time, and to love Christ with my whole heart.

Love the Lord thy God with all thy Strength. The next commandment was to love "thy neighbor as thyself". I had read the Bible so many times, and didn't know many people, even in my churches, who had as much knowledge and memory of scripture as I did. When I was on the East Coast with the Jewish family as a nanny, they said I should be a pastor. I told they I couldn't be, because I was a woman.

I was thinking, instead, of becoming a nun. What happened was that my entire good character and reputation were trashed to ruins by monks, lawyers, and police who were friends with them, in order to cover up what really happened, when I finally tried to speak up and broke out of being submissive to "authority" at personal cost.

Everything the Willamette Week wrote, practically, was a lie, and they AND the monks and their lawyers, knew this. Those monks knew me for over a year. They knew everything about me and my history, and they trashed me anyway, to cover themselves, and did it publicly as well. Which has affected every part of my life, and affected the way even doctors treated me when I tried to leave and moved to Wenatchee, Washington. It also affected me in Canada, where the immigration lawyer had been directed, by WAshington state "authorities" to read the article by The WW online about me, as a kind of "proof" that I was mentally unbalanced and even criminal and dangerous. They know what they've done, and I am just about to get into the real story. However, without knowing my background first, it doesn't make sense.

I had a good family, lots of friends, and I was a good person, or tried to be. I wasn't mentally unbalanced in the slightest and no employer or friend would say so. I was highly involved with my community and social life.

They tried to break all of this apart, and they even persisted over time, hoping to bury me well enough that if the truth ever surfaced, I would be, by then "diagnosed mentally ill" or a bona fide criminal, or something. They have won every battle, and now my son is taken from me.

We have yet to see whether they will win the war, and whether anyone in the justice system of America will ever stand up for me and hold the people accountable who were used for their positions in law enforcement, to ruin and traumatize me, for their church's civil gain.

I have insights about the Portland Archdiocese case, my own case and what has happened up there, and even some things I discovered about their dogmas, which I found in the library on a quest for the truth. I have insights into who in the FBI is connected to whom within the catholic church, and which members of this church eagerly joined in to harass me. I believe and hope that some or a few went along, without knowing me, but believing what they were told. I pray some of them really DID think I was so terrible, because I know most of those who have hurt me and done illegal things, knew what they were doing.

John Kaempf and Dick Whittemore should lose their right to practice law. FBI employees Raul Bujanda and Armando Garza should be fired. Detective Rich Austria has no place in law enforcement. There are others, including some who knew the Abbey lawyers who assaulted me, and some women who went after me with their nails out, under the pretense of being my friend, but only taking documents out of my house and gaining information about my life, what I knew, and what I planned to do about it.

The True Story of My Life #17 (Lewis's)

Laura Rose-Lewis was one daughter of Lorraine and Rabbi Rose. Laura was married to a Lewis, which is somehow directly related to the Schnitzers. The Schnitzers were a predominant or influential family in Portland, Oregon. I don't believe I ever met them.

Laura and ___(I'm forgetting her husband's name right now...Scott?) Lewis had a house near a park with a great running trail. What I found interesting about the Lewis's was that they did seem concerned about ecology and equality. They both went to University of Oregon and Laura worked as the manager of a Victoria's Secret for awhile and then she was married. I don't know what he did. I know he was an outdoorsman.

They're house was decorating in earth tones and they had a good selection of music. I listened to a lot of Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and ________ while I was there. I didn't have to clean for her, I just did babysitting, but if I had free time, I organized her closet and cupboards.

I remember trying a very good English strawberry tea that was to die for, and richer and better tasting than most teas I've tried. They also had tons of veggie-meat and practiced vegetarianism. I thought it was sweet to find "green eggs and ham" out for the kids once, where Laura had colored their meals. Laura tried very hard to be a good mom, and in my opinion, she was.

After the boys were asleep, I watched a black and white french film with subtitles that I really liked, but wish I knew the name. It had some of the best dialogue I've ever heard, even though it went from screen to screen focused on two people (boyfriend and girlfriend) with nothing more really going on, than talk of philosophy, with wit.

On Scott's bedside table there was a stack of books on Buddism and other intellectual fare. Laura's side was lighter but not dummy material. I think, novels and things about parenting. Laura had some of the best essential oils I've ever tried. Lots of Aveda stuff too, which I loved.

The best part about babysitting or housesitting for them was their bathroom. They had a large jacuzzi tub and a shower I still covet. It had a bench and ceramic tiles which stayed cool even when the shower was hot, and then there was a steam-sauna feature which filled the enclosed shower with steam. It was almost better than most sauna's I've left with more energy, not less. I personally like sauna much more than hot tubs. I like bathtubs, but not the chlorine in hot tubs.

It was at the Lewis's that I got Lorraine's note, letting me go. I had been having trouble with keeping my free time free. I'd had an offer to work in another house of her neighbors, a gay couple of lawyers with one who had AIDS (and a tremendous rug depicting Samson & Delilah that I loved), and I wanted to take the position, but Lorraine refused to allow it. I was slightly nervous about the AIDS factor, but felt it shouldn't be a problem and I wanted to do it. I couldn't. Then when I went back to college, Lorraine had a problem with my college schedule.

So I was at the Lewis's and saw what Lorraine had left--she left a note on the back of a used-up checkbook which said, "Most disappointed with times. Lorraine." That was it! She left extra money or the Lewis's did, but I wouldn't take it. I didn't need a "we're letting you go tip". All I ever asked for was honesty and fairness, nothing more, nothing less.

So it was no big deal, but I still have that checkbook note. I showed it to Halea and told her and later when the Lewis's asked her what my reaction had been, asking if I'd been pretty upset, Halea was truthful and said, "No, not at all. She just said she was surprised Lorraine let her go the way she did, instead of telling her to her face, but she wasn't upset at all." Which was true. I wasn't mad. What had made me mad was finding out about the self-employment tax thing and I can't remember if that was before or after I was let go--I'd have to look it up. I know I worked for Lorraine/Roses for one year or more because it was from one Passover to the other.

I'm going to find out exactly when I found out about the tax thing and reported them, and dates. Right about this time I met the monks of Mt. Angel Abbey too, so I want to look back on my calendar and find out when it was, and when it was that I went back to college.

Jesus & Me: On Swearing

My current position on swearing:

Sometimes, there is no better exclamation point, or punctuation than a curse word.

The first time I ever said the "F-word" was when I was in first grade. When I found out it was a bad word, after repeating at home (heard it on the playground), I burst into tears. I still remember crying over it. I never said a "bad word" again until I was actually 25 or 26 years old. It was after what the monks of Mt. Angel Abbey did to me. It was the first time I ever had a need for another word beyond my vocabularly. The word was "Assholes".

Then, later in life, I approached the "F-word" once again. I probably didn't use it much until more recently. In the last year I think, and especially in the last couple of months.

I remember thinking the word "bitch" in my head when I was out of high school, and feeling really guilty about it.

Bad words included: bitch, ass, asshole, fuck, shit, and any word using "God" or "Jesus".

Then, when I got older, I suddenly realized that "not taking the Lord's name in vain" wasn't about not saying "God Damn" or "Jesus Christ!"

Taking the Lord's Name In Vain is when people use the name of God to further their own personal or political agendas, or cause. It is taking the Lord's name and combining it with one's (or mankind's) own vanity. It's when a leader says "God wills this!" or tells people God spoke to him and told him to kill a bunch of people. It's when a televangelist promises healing and financial blessings in return for money and tithe, and invoke the name of God to "bless these people" for their donations. It's when a church allows its leaders to sexually assault and abuse women and children and then attempts to silence the victims by telling them it will shame the reputation of Christ, and the priest, who is mouthpiece for Christ. It's when modern-day crusaders do things in the name of their church or "god" (God) against others, believing that they are expunging and purifying the world of sin or evil.

"In the name of the father, son, and the holy ghost"--it's a sprinkling of "holy water", or objects of the mass, to cover and cleanse others from sins committed against innocents, with assurance that God forgives what they've done even if they don't apologize to the victim or attempt to remedy the damage done.

Swearing, simple words...

Three years ago I heard a state employee cursing with every other word. There was hardly a word aside from a swear word out of his mouth. He wasn't even angry. That was simply his language. I objected, because I felt it was unprofessional and didn't want to listen to it.

Am I a hypocrite then, to later use swear words occasionally myself? I don't think so. I feel quite justified in my usage. Others are free to disagree. I believe actions speak louder than words. I know what has been done to me, and done to my son. I know what certain people have done to other women, and to children. If I fucking want to swear because it angers me, I will. It would be easier for Mr. Caballero to dismiss if this was coming from a man, wouldn't it? Would he have asked a man to refrain from using a swear word now and then? Perhaps he would, if he felt that man was beneath him, but were the man a judge or politician he supported, he would laugh and kiss that man's ass. Pardon my french.

(I haven't been to France yet. I'm sort of thinking my language is a little rough around the edges and that I could use some tips on ennunciation.)

So, swearing. I've come a long way baby. My once spotless mouth, has become a dirty mouth, on account of some monks, police, and lawyers. I used to say "I got street smart dealing with the monks". This is also when I learned what true hypocrisy was.

I picked up a few dirty words and yet my soul was cleaner and more honest than any of these catholic cats, who, by their constant harassment of me, led me to my current prejudice and wariness against them in general.

I used to believe "prejudice" was from ignorance. That's not true. Sometimes prejudice develops because of experiences. Those experiences may enable or disable someone from pre-judging what a type of person is like. After having so much damage done, and being in danger so long, from predominantly the same religious group and those who went along with it, my reaction is to be on-guard.

In my swearing, I imagine Jesus would stand up for me.

When Jesus stands in the middle of the courtyard, and I am on one side, and am bullied on the other side by a very large group which has thrown rocks at me for no other reason than to shut me up when I have something important to say, I don't think Jesus' attention is on me, standing my ground and yelling "Fuck You", after first crawling and crying and begging the group to stop.

Personally, I think my Jesus, having no tables to turn over at hand, would be in a major fist fight. I imagine the disciples would go in with Jesus, in my defense, and beat the living shit out of those they know have hurt me and my son, and known everything from beginning to end.

My Jesus would wear a T-shirt that said "Fuck You" and walk into the chapel of Mt. Angel Abbey, and the church that John Kaempf and Dick Whittemore go to, and face off.

After my Jesus told everyone what they had done to me, using the public mic, he would then tell my accusers and those who have persecuted me, that he forgave them, and offer them the Bread of Life... In a T-shirt that said "Fuck You", or "Fuck You Asshole".

Pro Se With Tourette's?

My email regarding self representation, sent to AG at approximately 6:05 p.m.:

As a pro se litigant, who is supposedly required to meet all procedural and substantive standards, this would also imply that in exchange I receive every and any benefit of a lawyer, to free and full access to the law and considerations. Which would include allowing me time to prepare for preliminary fact finding before going forward, as I have spent my time looking for representation and not brushing up on the facts of this case, nor have I received complete and full discovery for this case, as regards my son's medical records and other things. Therefore, I have the right to continuance, as I know Paul Cassell, PD, would argue he needs, or any private practice attorney would request. If you require me to meet all the "standards" and yet deny me the same benefits, you prejudice and discriminate against me, preventing me from fair and full hearing and adequate time for preparation of my own defense. I want to remind you of this, and I would remind a judge of this fact as well. If you will not allow leniency in my pleadings, you cannot also allow leniency in your treatment of me, and I will hold you to all ethical, procedural, and substantive standards. I know Mr. Beaty was going to ask the court to put off fact finding for at months, in order to prepare and have testing done. I will ask for the same, representing myself. I'm not asking for time for a crash course in dependency law, I'm asking for the same reasonable length of time any lawyer would request to prepare their case. If I asked a PD to represent me last minute, he would ask the court to put off preliminary fact finding for himself, and I will do the same and will demand every advantage given to a regular attorney. You can and will need to think of me as an attorney, and not your mentally ill subject. You will also be required to treat me with respect, instead of the way you and CPS have treated me so far. I need to know what witnesses you plan to call to the NEXT hearing. By the way, FUCK YOU, since it's probably the last time I'll be able to tell you to fuck off and get away with it. From the time I tell the judge I represent myself, you can find out for yourself whether or not I have Tourette's. Fucker. Thanks. Cameo

Email Correspondence with Caballero

Correspondence with AG Tomas Caballero, best read from bottom to top, in order of chronology. I may sound harsh, but they have been jerking me around and treating me and my son like shit. Suddenly, he puts on the "Mr. Professional" front. I would like to find someone supporting me for a private attorney, because I do not believe a court appointed lawyer will be more effective than I would be. Neither option is good. I need a private practice attorney to skewer these assholes. Emails below:

By the way darling, How do you suppose the court will feel about my representing myself, in lieu of the fact I am allegedly mentally ill which is the sole basis of your removal of my son? Hmm. Quite the connundrum I think. Allow me to go pro se because there is zero proof I'm incompetent, but keep my son from me because of...what? suspicion? Which, of course may all be overturned later on appeal if it is later decided I was mentally ill to begin with, at the start and therefore unable to effect my own counsel. You picked the wrong chick. If I were you, I'd go ahead and fire up your cigar. Hell, why not fire up 2 and smoke them out of both sides of your lying mouth? Your loafers are right by the front door where you left them, aren't they? If I were you, I'd go back, put them on, and take a walk in the park for the last time in a very long time. You're mine. Cameo

At which point I would ask the court to remind you what your ethics obligations are, especially as a supposed lawyer serving the "public interest." Regardless of what happens to me, you're fried Caballero. You won't be the first and will probably not be the last. I am writing down my story, and people are ready to know what has happened and been happening, and when I'm finished, they will be looking at you to find out what your role in this has been. Call in your back-up. Oh, you have already, haven't you? ----------------------------------------> Subject: Pro se litigation.> Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2008 08:35:48 -0700> From: TomasC@ATG.WA.GOV> To:> > Ms. Garrett, here are some citations that stand for the proposition that> a pro se litigant is held to the same standard as an attorney:> > "A litigant appearing pro se is bound by the same rules of procedure and> substantive law as his or her attorney would have been had the litigant> chosen to be represented by counsel." Patterson v. Superintendent of> Public Instruction,76 Wash.App. 666, 887 P.2d 411 (1994) (citing In re> Marriage of Olson, 69 Wash.App. 621, 626, 850 P.2d 527 (1993)).> > Pro se litigants are held to the same standards as those of an attorney.> Batten v. Abrams, 28 Wash.App. 737, 739 n. 1, 626 P.2d 984, review> denied , 95 Wn.2d 1033 (1981).> > Ms. Garrett, you have an absolute right to represent yourself in these> proceedings or to obtain counsel of your choosing. However, if you are> unable to retain counsel and you decide to proceed on your own, I will> request the court advise you of what "pro se" representation entails> including that you will be held to the same standard as an attorney. > > Regards, Tomas Caballero, Assistant> > TOMAS CABALLERO> Assistant Attorney General> Regional services division> Wenatchee> 509-664-6385 / fax 509-664-6391> E-mail:> > > > > -----Original Message-----> From: cam huegenot [] > Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2008 7:22 AM> To: Caballero, Tomas (ATG)> Subject: RE: Photos For My Son> > > When I'm in town next, I'll get a book out of storage, called something> like, "The Pro Se Litigant" or whatever. It's a Bar Association> publication which guides judges on how to treat pro se people, with case> citations. > > I am happy to receive your citations. I would like to look them up.> > You cannot force me to take counsel Mr. Caballero. Maybe if you had a> formal document from a licensed psychiatrist, which said they had> already diagnosed me as incompetent. You have nothing.> > You removed my son with lack of grounds and my son and I have been> damaged as a result. You know it, and you even had CPS call me and ask> me about dismissing this case. Why the change of heart in dismissing> your own case? Suddenly I'm a big threat again? or you got the "judge"> you want? You were thinking of dismissing it with Judge Hotchkiss but> not Wise. And Wise went along with you in court, and probably doesn't> want to upset people in Wenatchee after she and her husband had> difficulties in Chelan and Manson. Her husband's father is a strong> supporter of Children's Home Society which is heavily connected to CPS.> She has several medical practicioners in her own family, which could> make her sympathetic to doctors in town. She's a woman and women are> harder on other women--they butt heads, especially strong willed women> which I'm guessing, she and I both are. She and her husband have made> donations to medical organizations in town. > > Want to hear about your family too?> > By the time you're "done" with me, you and the state are going to have> at least 10 other cases you'll have to relitigate and reopen, because> I'm talking to other people, and they're coming forward with their own> crappy CPS cases, where they got railroaded WITH public defense.> > You voluntarily dismiss this, with certain agreements in place, you will> have my ear. At the least, this should be removed from Wenatchee. I> would hate to drag skeletons out of their closets in that town; they're> a little dusty aren't they? Must be from the great weather--harder to> clean things up when it never rains.> > > > > > ________________________________> > Subject: Re: Photos For My Son> > Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2008 18:30:54 -0700> > From: TomasC@ATG.WA.GOV> > To:;> > > > > > Ms. Garrett, they are and that is why you need to retain a lawyer> immediately or the court should appoint you a lawyer. I can send you> citations to cases that stand for this proposition. Once again if you> are dissatisfied with discovery you need to either file discovery or> move to compel discovery. As I understand it Ms. Scanlon has provided> discovery and will continue to update discovery as the case goes on.> Regards. Tomas Caballero AAG> > > > ----- Original Message -----> > From: cam huegenot > > To: Caballero, Tomas (ATG)> > Sent: Fri Mar 28 17:15:14 2008> > Subject: RE: Photos For My Son> > > > > > Mr. Caballero,> > > > Pro se litigants are NOT held to the same standards; in fact, they are> to be regarded with leniency in their pleadings and requests, and even> "motions" may be written as letters. Historically, letters by pro se> persons, making observable requests (motions) for things, are taken as> formal motions and pleadings. To ignore this standard sets the> framework for appeal.> > > > You have been aware of what my past discovery requests were, and you> responded. Sometimes, you ignored my requests, and put me off, but you> acknowledged they were discovery requests. If you now choose to ignore> my discovery requests and deny me this information, it will be further> proof of bad faith.> > > > You know I had the right to be notified and consulted as to> appointments for my son and you ignored this. You and CPS have multiple> conflicts of interest. Your office was obtaining information from me> months prior to involving CPS, and even told me, after speaking to me> for hours, it was a conflict of interest for them to talk to me. I have> also found out CASA is headed up by wives of medical professionals in> town, all of which have covered up for the damages done to both me and> my son. Your "speech therapists" didn't even contact me to obtain a> history of my son's development, which, I'm being told, is> unprofessional. I have talked to many people, including people with> early intervention and PAVE and ADA, and your handling of this case and> CPS's handling of this case, amounts to bad faith, discrimination, and> an attempt to do what is in the best interest of DSHS, not my son.> > > > Please let me know about discovery.> > > > I have cc'd you in my emails just as Marie has cc'd you and YOU have> also cc'd Marie AND CASA. I am unable to afford postage for U.S. mail> and email is the only way I am able to make my requests in writing. It> would be discriminatory for you to refuse my communications on the basis> of poverty. I have the right to be pro se, and there is no law> preventing me from advocating for myself and my son, without court> appointed "assistance".> > > > Should you choose to ignore my attempts to confer and gain discovery,> this will be used in a court of appeals. I remind you, you cannot force> me to take representation. The only way I will take representation, is> if it is out of the area, with this case being removed to Whatcom or> King county.> > > > Thanks> > > > Cameo> > > > > > > > ----------------------------------------> >> Subject: RE: Photos For My Son> >> Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 10:06:08 -0700> >> From: TomasC@ATG.WA.GOV> >> To:;> >>> >> Ms. Garrett, I would appreciate if from now on you would not cc me in> >> your emails. If you want to communicate with me about your case, you> >> can do so via U.S. Mail. I will respond to this last email. If you> are> >> dissatisfied with Marie's handling of discovery in this case, please> >> formulate appropriate discovery pleadings and send to my office. I> will> >> review them with Marie and answer them pursuant to the court rules.> You> >> can propound interrogatories, requests for admissions, and request> for> >> productions. The court rules provide for specific timelines to> respond> >> to discovery requests. An attorney can certainly assist you in> pursuing> >> your discovery requests. In the meantime, Ms. Scanlon will continue> to> >> provide you with discovery pursuant to her office's policies and> >> procedures. As you may know, even though you are proceeding "pro se"> at> >> this time, you are held to the same standards as an attorney.> >>> >> Regards, Tomas Caballero> >>> >>> >> "Print Only If Necessary"> >>> >> TOMAS CABALLERO> >> Assistant Attorney General> >> Regional Services Division> >> Wenatchee> >> 509-664-6385 / fax 509-664-6391> >> E-mail:

Kelly's Message

From my INFJ friend I've known since I was 16, Kelly! I asked her if I could include her email here, because it's such a well-written message of hope. Especially with my knowing where she's come from.

Sun 3/30/08 1:59 PM
To: (me!) omitted addresses...everything that says (OMITTED) was done by me, with agreement with kelly.

Hey Cameo,

How is your head? I have not been able to log on to your blog for awhile as work has been so busy. My director who is unfortunately also my brother in law (OMITTED's husband) just got fired and we have been having to catch up under stressful conditions. It has been a little weird around here both with my co-workers and with (OMITTED). He is such a sweet little french man, and I could not have asked for a better person for (OMITTED) and her son but he was also a bit lazy at work, hence getting the ax.

(OMITTED) is living down here in Eugene now, since they got married in September. She is so happy and... pregnant. They actually got pregnant a few weeks before the wedding and found out on their honeymoon. He's is as quirky as she is, a perfect match. I would have never had guessed. He will only live till he's 50 though as he eats nothing but butter, mayonnaise, and other fatty foods. He does not "believe" in healthy eating. Poor (OMITTED). It's nice to have family in town but sometimes it's also a burdened with responsibility. I have become quite used to my own space.


I am doing well. I love (OMITTED) and I'm very happy to have met my match in many ways. He has taste, charm, ambition, wit, vast intelligence, and above all he is super creative. My only complaint (because there should always be a complaint) is that he does not enjoy the outdoors as I do, he drinks like all good Irish Catholics should drink, and he does not know how to read me when I need my space. He is getting better about giving me my space when I demand it outright, appreciates the beauty of the outdoors, and has restricted his drinking to a level that I am ok (not completely satisfied) with. I look at him at times and wonder WTF he is doing with me. He is so talented and wonderful. His lectures are articulate and soul satisfying. I'm sure half his female students are in love with him. He teaches a very large Architecture class in the fall that I sit in on at times and he also teaches the ARCH studios for the later and graduate students. On top of that he designs the most beautiful homes you have ever seen. I have never been so moved in a new home as I have been in his. You know I have always loved the old classic houses. His homes are built like these.

We live in a very small house in town. We are turning it into a chapel of beauty. I miss living out in the country as I did before I moved in with him. He said that when we win the lottery though, he'll build us a house out of town. : ) I have two horses that I keep out at a winery that he designed. I get time out there every day even if it's only for a few minutes to feed them. Their names are Pearl and Brie. Pearl is a Palamino mare about 18 years old. She is a kindred spirit. Brie is a goofy young boy that I got at the auction for 100 dollars. No one wanted him because he was skinny and dirty. He is now 3 yrs old. He is all white with blue eyes and very handsome. I have already had 2 offers on him but I will never sell either of them. They are mine until death us do part.

I am very happy Cameo. I have gone through a lot of shit and have carried a lot of guilt, pain and the likes from the loss of my marriage. I had a really wonderful therapist help me through all of this. He saved my relationship with (OMITTED) as I almost left him 2 times due to my own stupidity. Louis (my therapist) and his wife have taught me to forgive myself and others of our own humanity. It has made a huge difference in my life as far as how I relate to myself and others.

Another thing that I mentioned in the past is Tango. Dancing Tango has been one of the most therapuetic things for me. I finally felt and really knew of my entire beauty when I learned tango. I carry myself differently, think of my body differently, and think of my talents differently. I now am one of the main DJ's in Eugene for Tango music and also have a small local radio spot each week, bringing the tango music (traditional and alternative) to the masses.

I feel as though I'm finally the Kelly that God meant for me to be. I still have many daily hiccups of issues that might never leave me, but I am now equipped with strength to know what and who I really am and to know that I should embrace my life and be at peace with it.

I hope all of this for you too Cameo. I know that you know yourself but I don't see the peace there yet. That is what I pray for you daily. Peace with life, with yourself, and with others.

Keep me posted about everything that is going on up there. Or, I will just simply log onto your blog and keep myself posted. : )

I'm so glad we are in touch again.

I have a flickr site up that would show you all my life, including my horses and my (OMITTED).

http://www (OMITTED)

My friend (OMITTED) is a photographer (was) so used me a lot, hence the narcissistic photos...

Love ya!


Sister Cameo

I got this email from someone who has probably been the best guy friend I've ever had, who's known me since I was 15 years old. I'm including what he wrote (he won't mind) below:

"My family started watching The Sound of Music last night. Sister Maria totally reminds me of you. A person that everyone loves. A beautiful voice. Sometimes hard to “figure out”. Honest. Good with people. A little devious."

Hahaa! The song "How Do We Solve A Problem Like Maria" came to my mind, and then I saw a choir behind me, made up of the nasty Abbey attorneys, the monks of Mt. Angel Abbey, their friends in the FBI and law enforcement and the media, and doctors who injured me and my son and slandered me to CPS, with CPS on the side. The difference is that some of them have Uzzies, others are analysts, others have tape recorders on them and then there are a few vans used for surveillance parked nearby, with computer techs piling out after the first verse, to join in for the chorus.

I, in the meantime, am flitting about like Snow White in the dark forest, singing to the birds, unaware there is more than one hunter at my back. Instead of backing up in fright, I pull out a protest sign, a telephone, a computer, and several law books.

My good friend is wrong in one thing--thinking everybody "loves" me. I also don't know how to make clothing out of curtains. Lemonade with a bunch of lemmings is even more difficult. Oops, I meant "lemons". The Nazi scene is pretty right-on. Problem was, Canada is no Switzerland, found out.

Lyrics to "Maria" are below:
(imagine the music video of me, pursued by the people in the above-mentioned choir, harassing me, vandalizing my cars, planning assaults, waving around a copy of the Willamette Week article, filing false claims against me, making threats, and then using actual torture to try to silence me, with this lilting and carefree song in the background). I want Quentin Tarantino to direct.

She climbs a tree and scrapes her knee
Her dress has got a tear
She waltzes on her way to Mass
And whistles on the stair
And underneath her wimple
She has curlers in her hair
I even heard her singing in the abbey

She's always late for chapel
But her penitence is real
She's always late for everything
Except for every meal
I hate to have to say it
But I very firmly feel
Maria's not an asset to the abbey

I'd like to say a word in her behalf
Maria makes me laugh

How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand
But how do you make her stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

When I'm with her I'm confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
She's as flighty as a feather
She's a darling! She's a demon! She's a lamb!

She'd outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
She is gentle! She is wild!
She's a riddle! She's a child!
She's a headache! She's an angel!
She's a girl!

How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find a word that means Maria?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!

Many a thing you know you'd like to tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand
But how do you make her stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Horomones, Marijuana, & Migraines

Migraine info update. I had someone recently suggest I take birth control for my migraines. It was a good idea, because I read marijuana may help with the menstrual migraine by imitating a kind of estrogen. I told him I'd already tried it though, it was one of the many preventative treatments I've tried.

Several years ago, a doctor put me on continual birth control for 3 months, without taking a break, to see if it would level out horomones and prevent the migraines. But it didn't change anything at all so we stopped. This guy I talked to recently said I should try Yasmin because it's lower estrogen. I think I DID try that one though, because it was a low-dose one that was newer.

I don't know. I may give it another shot but aside from this 3-month continual trial, I've never taken any birth control pills at all, because I don't like putting chemicals into my body.

I personally think there is a link between long-term use of birth control pills and breast cancer in women, and infertility. I can't tell you how many women I've talked to and read about, who used birth control for a long time and later had problems getting pregnant.

I'm not planning on having more kids, but I want to keep my options open.

I found a doctor/research scientist who said he couldn't help me with the medical permit for marijuana and then later contacted me and said he would try to help me find a doctor, though it would be difficult, he said.

I'm not smoking anything at all right now. I'm just waiting for the next migraine and then I'll have to use the Migranol. I would be willing to try the birth control thing again, but I'm a little doubtful because I've tried it once before. I'd have to check my records and see which one I tried.

So far, marijuana is literally the only thing that has worked, in preventing and reducing the severity of my migraines.

But this is really sad too, if the federal government won't acknowledge this. Even if I don't have a shot at working in intelligence, or whatever, for the federal government, maybe there are other people who would like to apply for work in some kind of government position and suddenly they are automatically excluded because they used marijuana FOR A MEDICAL PURPOSE?! That's just crazy.

Who in the heck is in charge of this whole Schedule thing anyway, and in charge of the federal research policies?

I hope this gets fixed soon. It would benefit a lot of people AND the economy!!!

Update: I just checked on the Yasmin. I was pretty sure that's the one I tried, but I wanted to see what date it was available to see if it matched up to my recollection. It does. It first came out in 2001 which is when I tried it. It didn't work for me--at ALL. So I guess that leaves marijuana. There must be something unique about marijuana that affects migraine. I know with my migraine, I have a lot of pressure and stabbing pain under my left eye. Marijuana helps people with glaucoma by relieving pressure. I think we need to get the marijuana out and with all the money that's been spent trying to figure out what causes migraine, start looking at why marijuana works, and what it's targeting. By allowing research and treatment of migraine by marijuana, it also opens the door for understanding migraines in general. If marijuana works, what, exactly, is it working ON? What part of the brain? what horomones? what nerves or responses? How does it bind? what is it binding to? what are the functions of endocannabinoids in the brain (endogenous sources of cannabinoid). Since it also works for men with migraines, there must be something that is helpful in relieving the pain and also preventative, but since it's especially effective for menstrual migraine, WHY?

Saturday, March 29, 2008


As much as possible, I'll be writing up a storm, to finish what I can of my "true story". So bear with me if the writing is crappy, because it will be. I don't have time. This is not a manic phase, this is pure determination.

Annie by Erykah Badu

Is that a song for Britney or what?

As for the lyrics, love the holy ghost, hot sauce, soda drink images.

Battered Woman Signs Away Rights To Parent

Going to write more about this later.

Met a woman who had her kids taken by CPS when she was being abused by her boyfriend and father of her children. Her older child was affected and she agrees she didn't know how to get out of the situation. She wasn't on drugs before, but AFTER CPS took her children, which were keeping her partially sane, she says she THEN used drugs and CPS used it against her. They then pressured her to sign her rights away, telling her she had no chance of getting them back anyway, and so she did. She was a battered woman with police reports and proof of the battering. Like many abused and battered women, she didn't know how to escape the cycle. It took time. Now she's clean and has been away from the guy for years. But she doesn't have her kids. She also says the PD person she had quit on her mid-case for maternity leave and she got someone brand new to dependency. I told her maybe she has a chance to appeal, given her condition and the pressure and possibly, ineffective counsel.

I'm going to check it out for her.

I think abused and battered woman's syndrome should be a mental diagnosis. Too many women are affected and then victimized twice. She was a victim, and then punished for being a victim, by the state. She should have had more time to heal and not been pressured to sign away her rights.

Free Speech, Prejudice, and Political Contributions

One thing I heard Obama say that bothered me was how he supported the Jewish and cut off any financial support from other people who opposed them, basically telling them they were out of his life or something. Clinton said she'd done something similiar. Yet John McCain has been mature enough about free speech to acknowledge we don't have to agree with everything someone believes, to not cut them out of a democratic process. You can't say you support free speech and then treat ANY group as if they're part of a Cold War group, which is, these days, anything not PC. I'm not saying you exchange favors, or support other groups, but you can take a form of support from someone, and use it for good, without embracing the same ideology. To claim taking support would also mean you support a group's beliefs or agenda almost suggests a belief that there IS an "exchange" of sorts, which gets iffy. People have prejudice from ignorance, and sometimes, because of experience, and personal experiences. That doesn't condone it, but you can't throw the baby out with the bathwater and I think both Obama and Clinton show signs of going along with lobbyists if they claim to distance themselves and absolutely cut out those they don't agree with. On the other hand, I'm not saying McCain isn't using lobbyists.

I'm just saying, you don't have to condone beliefs or support them, but to cut people off is sort of like saying "I hate people who say they hate this kind of people."

We need people who are open-minded enough to understand prejudices to begin with, who can draw the line, but still mediate and listen, and I think this is a problem still with not understanding even our worst adversaries.

And, in a way, Obama was faced with this issue when his pastor made inflammatory and racial comments. Obama, just weeks before, was saying how he wouldn't tolerate prejudice against certain groups, and how he cut them off and sent them a letter saying he didn't want their support, and yet he still goes to his church.

The thing is, I DO believe he can go to his church and not agree with everything his pastor says. But Obama should extend this opinion to groups which may be outside of his personal experience. Again, not to support or condone, but to draw people together by their commonalities and understand where prejudice is coming from to begin with.

I'm just making a point. I'm not condemning, just trying to be constructive in my criticism.


Personally, I think Hillary should drop out. She recently looked very good in her orange suit with the amber necklace; she has good ideas, and she has better "experience". Yet her experience is tainted and I'm not comfortable putting her and her husband in a position of power again.

I don't like what they did to Monica Lewinsky. For me, that said a lot. They dragged her through the mud, and had media tarnish her name, rather than own up to the fact that Bill Clinton was Monica's boss, and she was an intern, and what he did crossed the line. If it wasn't sexual harassment, it was exploitation. He also gave favors to Lewinsky after they were intimate. Not only did he do this with Lewinsky, he lied to the feds, to the public, and did the exact same thing to Paula Jones. Paula Jones was also dragged through the mud, called white trash, and a liar, and then it turns out the President of the United States is the liar. He disparaged the reputations of two women, and who knows who else, maybe Kathleen Wiley too, and who knows who else hasn't come forward.

Hillary stood by him, and worked to disparage these women. She wasn't a victim, she was a co-conspirator and I don't consider any woman, no matter how bright, strong, and full of potential, to be a "feminist" when they have taken other women by the hair and dragged them through town to put them in the stockholds, on behalf of their husband and own political career.

No thanks Tammy Wynette.

Obama has one thing people are picking up on, and so far, it appears to be a conscience and possibly an ability to be incorruptible. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and I hope Obama can be strong, but I think his character so far speaks volumes. It does bother me a little that he wasn't at his mother's bedside when she was dying, but that's a personal regret of his. In general, I think Obama is more of a feminist than Hillary.

As for Monica, this woman was 21 years old at the time. I know she's had a difficult time leading a normal life ever since the defamation and exposure. The media should be working to undo the damages that were done, and she should be given a chance at public success with a good employer instead of remaining on the blacklist forever. Monica lives in hiding, and can't do what she wants to do, yet Bill Clinton parades around with Hillary, and Hillary parades around publicly. Lewinsky doesn't even ask to be viewed as an employee who was exploited or part of sexual harassment, as I believe she was.

She simply asks for honesty and still has not received it, or an apology and righting of the wrongs done to her name. From wiki on Lewinsky, a quote from Monica:

"After Clinton's autobiography My Life appeared in 2004, Lewinsky said in an interview with the British tabloid Daily Mail:

He could have made it right with the book, but he hasn't. He is a revisionist of history. He has lied. (...) I really didn't expect him to go into detail about our relationship (...) But if he had and he'd done it honestly, I wouldn't have minded.... I did, though, at least expect him to correct the false statements he made when he was trying to protect the Presidency. Instead, he talked about it as though I had laid it all out there for the taking. I was the buffet and he just couldn't resist the dessert. (...) This was a mutual relationship, mutual on all levels, right from the way it started and all the way through. ... I don't accept that he had to completely desecrate my character.[10]"

Exactly. She was defamed and until her name is cleared or there is a public apology, there is no remorse in my opinion or acknowledged wrongdoing. Even Hillary could help herself by admitting this to the public. But she didn't and hasn't, and no way in hell am I voting for someone like that. A revisionist of history.

What else have the Clinton's done? I do not believe the American public should trust them and believe Hillary, at this point, should be spending her efforts working with Obama, not against him.

Update: Hmm. I was thinking about it. I was a little harsh in calling her a "co-conspirator", which is about as bad as her claim there was a vast right-wing conspiracy. What could she have done? And what would I expect her to do now? Ms. wow. I wrote Ms. instead of Mrs., without thinking. I think what would help me is knowing her husband is apologetic for what happened and realizes how it was not just private, he perjured himself in a court of law and slandered other women. I don't fault Mrs. Clinton for staying with him, as THAT part is none of my business and is her personal choice. However, when her husband has done such a thing to other women, and then is running for presidency, she should be able to distance herself from his actions. Not the person, the actions. For me, it would help if she directly addressed this topic, and affirmed something positive for women. Obama had to separate himself from his pastor. Clinton criticizes this, saying SHE could not, in good conscience, stay at such a church. And yet she stayed with such a MAN. She too is guilty of the same thing. I still think Spitzer's case is different. He did something technically illegal because of location, but he didn't do it in the White House or use an intern or even use his position. His situation was far more "private nature" than Clinton's.

If Hillary could somehow separate herself from the situation or from the appearance of condoning this or giving Bill a pass, that would help me to reconsider her.

The sniper thing is a dramatization. I don't think it was that big of deal as there was sniper firing somewhere in the location. It's not a statement that may be a little off in recollection that bothers me, it's the silence about this other matter, and it is important now and people have questions.

Update II:
I feel strongly about what the Clinton's did to Lewinsky, in part, because of my own personal experiences. So my eyes are opened on one hand, and on the other hand, if I were a judge,I would have to recuse myself, possibly, from a case involving similiar situations because while I think I could be fair in hearing both sides, when it came to sentencing, if I believed the party that had been victimized, there would be NO mercy. Still, because I think the dishonesty and lack of apology or attempt to correct the record on behalf of women, and how Mrs. Clinton had something to do with persuasion of her husband in how to best handle the matter, if it came down to Clinton or McCain, I would probably go with McCain. No, I don't want the freakin' war to continue, and yes, we need Democrats in the house at this point and no more favors for the richest of the rich through Republican policies, but I really, really, cannot stand the lack of accountability re. the Clinton-lewinsky-jones-sexual harassment and exploitation and trashing of women affair.

A positive note for Clinton, she's looking better. The necklaces are a good touch. Definitely keep the necklaces because it's feminine and pretty (softer) but still professional. She was looking really tired a week ago, after the sniper swipes.

I said Hillary should drop out because I don't care for her and she's a distraction. However, technically, she should stay in as long as she wants because that's more democratic. She's close enough in counts to stay in anyway. I personally think she should drop out and help Obama firm up his ground. Obama DOES need to be strong enough to stand on his own--can he take a crash course and retain the information and win? He needs this, and he needs to be able to stand up to pressure. I've read other criticisms about this so I guess I'm not alone in what I see at cursory glance. I heard someone say recently: "Why do we have to have ONE president? I think we should take all three and make them work together."

Heard her daughter speaking and I don't think her daughter does much for her, personally. Chelsea's comments about ending the 7 year reign of Gen. Powell or whatever were very sarcastic. Some women might like it, or serious Bush haters. Chelsea comes across as well adjusted and I would be proud of her, but then again she's sort of a dark cloud. She mumbles a little (I thought she got the braces off!?!)and kind of drags her feet and gets this snotty and sarcastic tone. Sort of a "I'm too cool for you but laid back enough to know it." I don't know. I think she's more like her Dad, but without the charisma or something. At least she's out there, that's good.

The True Story of My Life #16 (Lorraine Rose, Rabbi's Wife)

I'm not sure Lorraine would appreciate being referred to as "The Rabbi's Wife". If anything, Emmanuel (her husband) should probably be referred to as "Lorraine's Husband".

Although the Roses, I found later, were not exactly honest with me and may have even wanted to get back or get even, I had some of the most fun working for their personalities.

Other people would come in (maintenance men, caterers) to work for Lorraine and ask me how in the world I put up with her, calling me a saint. I never said anything bad about her and simply said I liked her. I really did.

I saw photos of Lorraine when she was young. She was one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. She also lost her mother (and?), I believe, during the Holocaust and was sent with her sister to a protective camp in England. She was smart and ended up marrying a man who was a prominent Rabbi in Portland, Oregon, who also gave comments to national reporters. Some of her absent-minded sketches, of models, were quite good. She doodled on magazines ("W") while answering real estate calls. She was impatient and ended her phone calls without saying goodbye--she did this with almost everyone, which I, personally, loved (why waste time with "goodbye" and dawdling closures?). I loved the shock factor of Lorraine.

She was also slightly (?!) narcissistic. Most of the photos in the house were of her, or included her. She also made it somewhat known which of her children were in her good graces. She was especially close to Laura, and her son. My favorite photo, which cracked me up everytime I looked at it, was one of Lorraine in a dance leotard, next to her daughter in a similiar dance leotard, and Lorraine looked BETTER! It was sort of a lousy photo of Laura, but did Lorraine ever look HOTttt!

Then there was this photo of her son, Josh, where he's exposing his chest hair and sort-of netherhair, and I was always embarressed to see it, like, "TMI." This is a TMI photo. It greeted me everytime I came to work, in the side entry.

Rabbi Rose came into the house at a slower pace than Lorraine, who refused to give up high heels no matter what. He would come in, check the mail, grab a cookie, watch the news, and go downstairs to smoke and do whatever it was he did.

When I first met Lorraine, she looked at the names of people I'd worked for on a piece of paper, and said to Emmanuel, "Look at her nice handwriting" and pointed out a name from the list: "Kargman". She wasn't showing Emmanuel what nice handwriting I had, she wanted him to notice the Jewish name.

I sort of feel sorry for the Rose's, because I don't think they knew what they were getting into when they hired me. I noticed everything.

Lorraine said to me on the first day, "We are in the public eye," and she told me they needed someone to be discreet and basically, not to talk to people about them. She made a pretty big deal about this, going on about their prominence and I remember thinking, "Whatever. I've worked in Bedminster and this is supposed to be over my head?" I just nodded and smiled sweetly.

Not to say I wasn't sweet and who I was. At that time, I had a sincere interest in being a servant "for Jesus". I wanted to be willing to do whatever hideous thing I was asked to do, without complaint, and I did, (except for fishing out a jar of duck sauce marmalade from the bottom of a dumpster).

In a lot of ways, I felt Lorraine and I were kindred spirits. She was a strong woman and she didn't know it, but I was as well. I supported her, and enjoyed her quirks and demanding nature, even as I saw some of her kids roll their eyes and throw up their hands.

Lorraine was go-go-go, and then her sister came to visit from England. This was when I noticed a shift. Lorraine went from being the boss, to calming down and just relaxing. I figured it had something to do with her childhood bond with her sister. Her sister's presence had an effect on her that no one else did, a calming effect. Or maybe it was just that Lorraine was comfortable playing second fiddle to her sister, when she refused to do so with anyone else.

Lorraine showed me how to polish silver and do a bunch of other menial task for setting up large dinner parties and then told me one day I would be doing the same thing and someone would work for me. It was a nice thought, or gesture. Later, she asked me, "Why are you not married?!!!" and tried to introduce me to her son, Josh, who was on break up and spring break from Harvard. This was also a non-elitist gesture. Imagine the possibilities which were lost! Haha. At any rate, Josh wasn't interested after he couldn't get me to say anything intelligible. He was attracted to me, I noticed, but when he tried to talk to me, I asked him how he wanted his clothes dried and if he wanted them ironed or not. His interest in me lasted about 10 minutes.

Still, nice gesture and compliment from Lorraine. I really did stand up for her, to other "laborers" and even a few snoopy friends who wanted information which I wouldn't give. And I talked a lot about her to my friend, Halea, and laughed over her antics. Despite her faults, she was herself. I once, while helping with passover meal prep, felt compelled to give her a spontaneous kiss on the cheek. She had a surprised pleased look on her face. She was sort of a rascal, mother, secret kindred spirit, and exacting and manipulative employer, rolled into one for me.

I cleaned her house, organized her lipsticks and clothing, and did other general chores while listening to music. I didn't snoop through their things, although I once went through Josh's room, pulling out drawers for a look, and he also went through my bag at a later date. We were even.

I could say a lot about Lorraine, but I'll save it for the book, and write about the Rabbi and kids next.

One thing they didn't know was maybe how naive and innocent I was. I worked for them during the "Monica Lewinsky" scandal and they'd come in and watch clips of news and I didn't want to hear about it. I was a virgin and didn't even watch rated "R" movies and was bothered hearing about all the details. Lorraine snapped, "We're all adults here!" I thought, "Yeah, and you know a lot more about penises than I do!" I hadn't even seen one before and hearing about all this stuff was weird for me.

I remember, after refusing to watch movies, even PG-13 movies for awhile, I saw "Chocolate" and even felt uncomfortable with THAT! I had thought the scene with the woman washing her floor and then her husband getting turned on, was crass and explicit. This was because I didn't even own a TV during this time, and chose not to have one around, for many years. I wasn't used to seeing sensual images on television.

Another thing I noticed was that I had a sense of humor similiar to the Roses. We were watching extensive CNN coverage of these boxes in a van, the boxes contained the "Starr Report". CNN cameras were zooming in and out, focusing on the boxes in the van, for hours, and Rabbi Rose broke into spontaneous laughter at the same time I was thinking how ridiculous and funny this was. The DRAMA.

I heard more about their kids than I knew firsthand. I met all of them, and each was unique. Tonya was the lawyer and the most respectful of not taking advantage of me but also watched me like a hawk. Josh was the baby and only son, and got a free pass for a lot of things. If Lorraine didn't approve of his girlfriend, there was no way there would be a marriage. Melanie was the "black sheep" and yet possibly the most intellectual, in her own way. I heard a lot about Melanie from random people in town, and even in my neighborhood. I met one of her former roommates who said she'd told him she was hoping to get into the porn industry in CA and could she strip for him for practice? He said yes and I guess she got some practice, though I don't know she's been in films. When I showed up at the Rose's, there were wedding things all over the house, from a wedding Melanie cancelled last minute, to a cowboy of sorts. I still remember the Roses, towards the end, after a party, gathered in the study, this dark red room, talking like buddies and Melanie shouting, "STELL-AAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!" Streetcart of Desire. Lorraine used to get upset that "Melanie ate all the cookies again."

They let me take flowers home and watched me. Towards the end, I think they were suspicious. I enrolled in college so maybe they were afraid I might have a brain. And then I found out they asked my roommate if "Cameo is really as sweet as she seems?" My roommate Halea said, "Of course not! I wouldn't be friends with her if she was!" I went through all of Josh's drawers. I read some notes and other things, during my breaks. His room had all kinds of cowboy memborabilia which I found interesting, so I was curious. When he was back from college once, my bag was in the bathroom downstairs and Josh had been downstairs, no one else. When I went to my bag, I saw that the contents had been rearranged. He was every bit as snoopy as me.

I prayed everyday before I went to work for them. I also prayed for myself, to do a good job and to be humble and a servant. I cleaned their toilets and did some discusting and humiliating chores, but tried to do it cheerfully.

At their parties, a couple of men paid quite a lot of attention to me but I found a way to displace their attentions. There was one in particular that seemed interested and it would have been very bad to send any message of encouragement whatever. I talked with him, but brushed it off too.

At that time, I was extremely modest. I wouldn't wear anything with a lower neckline, and usually wore pants. I had a good figure and was running then. I remember I ran out of white shirts and just had this shirt from high school with a slight V-neck dip in the center and had to wear it. It wasn't revealing in the least, but I felt uncomfortable.

I did some work for Laura and her family and reorganized her bathroom and closets. I mainly babysat for her. Her kids were some of the brightest I've ever babysat. I loved Zachary but I could tell Eliot was a major thinker. He was a deep thinker when he was 2! I found out when I tried talking to him like he was a little kid and he got upset. When I spoke to him with respect for his mind, as if he were an adult, and without condescending, he responded and brightened up. When Lorraine asked if I knew someone from my church who could work as a nanny for Laura, I thought of Halea. It was a good match and worked out for years.

Both Halea and I worked hard, felt underappreciated sometimes, but really cared for the families too.

I only got mad when I found out I was never "self-employed" and didn't fit any description for self employed, and yet I was being asked to pay my own taxes when I wasn't even allowed to set my own hours, take a second job ("I need you to be available to me" said Lorraine), and they did provided all the training and supplies. They should have been paying my taxes and I felt taken advantage of. After working in the mire as a servant, I was upset to find out. Especially to hear Lorraine tell her friends over the phone what a good bargain I was. I first called tax people to see if I could file just my share or do something without reporting, but they said no, and said I could pay it all myself. I know Penny would confirm what kind of arrangement the Roses had for their employees, and that she had recruited me and trained me to fit Lorraine's schedule.

Cheating on personal taxes is one thing, but this kind of cheating denied me the benefits of being self-employed, while taking more money out of my pocket for taxes. I felt it was like stealing because they were asking me to pay for SS that I shouldn't have to pay, and it would come out of my pocket, when they had refused to allow me to act as self-employed, even telling me I couldn't take other jobs if I wanted to, and that they didn't like my going to college because I wasn't as available for on-call things.

I found out later I'd talked to Jewish tax guys who probably knew the Roses. I also probably talked to the wrong people at the IRS. Finally, sick of always being a doormat and being submissive and never reporting things, I reported them. I don't think anything happened except that I made some enemies. After I was defamed by The Willamette Week, a newspaper in Oregon, I tried calling Rabbi Rose and he refused to return my calls, so he knew. I also wondered who actually owned the Willamette Week as there was a name "Rose" something or other, and the chief editor, I believe, was Jewish. It's a small town, that Portland.

I still don't have my tax return from that time. I worked for the Roses from _______ to ________ (will fill in later).

I don't like what the Roses did, but I have no personal hard feelings towards them. I am not trying to humiliate them, I'm just writing a truthful account of my life and this is a part of my background. Everything we go through makes us who we are today. I wish the Roses well, and I was very concerned to hear about Lorraine a few years back, and am glad she is okay. Not going to write about it here on this blog.

The True Story of My Life #15 (Asst. To The Rabbi's Wife)

In addition to volunteer work, I initially worked for in a Jewish household, for the Rabbi Rose's wife, Lorraine Rose.

After I quit my job at CTR I accepted a position as a personal assistant and housekeeper. It was offered to me through a woman I knew from New Song church, Penny. She told me she'd "had enough!" of working for the Rose's and needed to get back to her own life. She asked if I would pick up the slack and work in her place, telling me she mainly saw the job as an opportunity to be a servant for Christ. It wasn't the greatest job, but she prayed for them, and worked hard to be an example of a good christian.

I thought it was exactly what I was looking for. I was doing a lot of volunteer work anyway, and I prayed all the time for people, sometimes for hours at a time. I told my family, "Well, I can't say I'm exactly climbing the ladder; I'm going from nanny work to housekeeping...I think that might be a step down!" I joked on was going the opposite direction, but felt my service taught me patience and was of great worth in the eyes of God. It taught me lessons in humility. I also felt my job was to be submissive to others. In trying to be a better christian, I also allowed myself to become a doormat, but I thought it was okay (all for Jesus!) and that it helped me to understand not only what Jesus went through, but other underappreciated people in America, and the world, as well.

Penny told me the job paid $13/hr. working a regular shift (daily housekeeping) and then other help on-call, such as helping out at parties hosted by the Rose's, and running errands (drycleaning, shopping, organizing things). Penny said the Rose's expected her to do her own taxes as self-employed.

She warned me about Lorraine. She absolutely adored the family, but told me Lorraine was very demanding at times, and she just had to play along. She told me one needed to establish boundaries with Lorraine, however, because otherwise Lorraine would see how far she could go. Penny said Lorraine was quite the character. I couldn't wait!

I met Lorraine at her house.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The True Story of My Life #14 (Volunteer Work)

I got to know my new neighbors. Right across the street were 2 single guys who had bought new houses. One was a sales executive and the other was a former physician on disability from cluster headaches. They were a little like the Odd Couple, but both were tidy and neat. The sales guy asked me to move in with him, even when we weren't dating. I told him, "I don't think my Dad would like that." He said who cares, just move in with me, and said I could take care of the house while he was away on business. It was a great house and he was great too! but I wasn't going that direction. He was about 45 or so and I was 23. He paid attention to me after I cut my hair into a chin-length bob. He said, "Now you look like someone I could take to an office party!" I tried to set him up with my roommate who was closer to his age and they hit it off for awhile until she got ticked off. It was probably the ex girlfriend who drove over and stayed the night at his place on the weekends, in full view of our livingroom window, that did it.

He was a crack-up and I invited him to my birthday party down the road and he showed up with his new pick, who ended up becoming his wife. Her nails were manicured and she had a business haircut and seemed like fun.

The other guy was like Woody Allen. He was always getting mad about some small thing or philosophizing about chores, and then he and his neighbor (sales guy) would get into it over property lines. He was Jewish and had Einstein photos in his house and was musical; he also had a lot of computer and a home movie theater with rows of seats. He had oxygen tanks for his clusters and a whole bunch of medication--he got clusters several times a week and we talked shop about headaches.

I introduced myself and invited them over to our house for dinner. It was great! We had a lot of fun, the 6 of us (4 women, 2 men). We were good neighbors after that and had several get togethers and dinners.

I've always known my neighbors and been on good terms, but it was harder to meet more than these guys where I was living. Partly, it was because I was busy with other things. I still commuted to my church in NE Portland for awhile, and visited people over there, and then I was looking for a church near L.O. too. I didn't have a good plan for volunteer work. I think now, I should have kept better records of what I did and where, because I didn't sign up with any organization. I simply started spending money on other people, and doing odd jobs to help people out in the area, for free. Sometimes it was just taking people out for a good dinner, when they couldn't afford to go out. Other times, it was an expensive wedding gift when they were poor. In other cases, I spent a lot of money on the kids, for things for them, and gas expenses. I also did volunteer work that took up my time and labor, such as cleaning and running errands for an elderly couple I found living by themselves in an old farmhouse off of the freeway. I got other people to go along with me and visit them too. I was given a huge paper sack full of rhubarb from their garden in return. I remember walking along the freeway, several miles, holding a big bag of rhubarb and wondering what to do with it. I had said, "Oh yes! I LOVE rhubarb!" and did I ever get rhubarb. I did a lot of things, and gave things away too, like my good tent, and sleeping mummy bag to homeless people, and other stuff. I just went on a volunteer spending spree, for about 2 years.

I figured, I could do volunteer work here and didn't need money, and then it would come back to me and I'd maybe then go overseas. I was doing a few other things in the meantime, which I'll write about in my next post. I'll add some dates to this stuff too.

The True Story of My Life #13 (Closure)

About the time I decided to sell my house, I realized it was not my time to go overseas. I figured first I needed to help out my own community, right where I was at. So I decided to take the $40,000 I made off of my house investment (after the sale) and use it to pay for my independent volunteer work. Once my house sold, I needed a place to live so I moved in with Halea Myers and 2 other roommates, in Lake Oswego.

I don't know that it was the best move. I should have stayed in the St. John's area, to do such work, because this is where the kids were, who came to me, and it was an area of need. Lake Oswego wasn't exactly an area of need. I found it strange to go to the mall and suddenly notice this sea of white faces. I was used to a diverse racial mix. Just moving 30 minutes away had changed things. I missed my black gospel choir. I missed Eric Knox, my supervisor in charge of the Jr. High and high school group. I missed the man I never got to know well enough, because he was getting married.

When we were back in Oregon, after the DR trip, I still saw him at church and other events. One night, I called him. I still remember where I was, because I was in the tub. It really was not a sexy thing. I talked to even my good girlfriends while I was in the tub. I read books in the tub too, filling with more hot water when it got cold. I had drinks and snacks in the tub...okay, well you get the idea. So it wasn't a sexy thing and he simply came to mind and I called him up. I didn't know what to say and made something up. Some excuse for calling. I was going to end it, but he lingered. Neither one of us said anything very important. I think I shared a little about disappointments with God, but was vague. He listened. I really cannot put into words the significance of the conversation, because it was fraught with the same tensions from DR, and yet I said nothing about my feelings, and while he may have hinted at some things, I was too anxious to go that direction. I wanted him to make up his own mind, but I cared about him too. In a way, I was saying goodbye. I wanted one chance to speak with him, about nothing at all, before he was married. I said nothing provocative, and hinted at nothing. I'm sure he didn't know I was in the tub because I was very still and focused on words. I certaintly didn't want him to hear the water splashing around and wonder what the heck was going on (?!). I remember hoping there wasn't a "shower stall" echo. His voice was calm and reassuring. I was still in my house, this was before I sold it.

I went to his wedding. It was beautiful. She was beautiful and he looked very handsome. They had a video or whatever on the large screen, of their lives separate and then together. First, her life as an individual. Then it showed his life. The video was flashing through his friends, and family, and then there was a photo of me. It took my breath away. It was a headshot of me, looking at him with one eyebrow raised, and I think I was smiling. I was wearing that tortoise-shell headband and a green shirt. It was just me, and it was me for a long time. It lasted longer than most the other photos of others (or I thought it did). He was still standing up front, and instead of looking at the screen, he was looking at me as well. Other people in the church turned and looked at me. It wasn't like I had been his best friend. It was unusual. And it struck me at my heart. I didn't react. I looked ahead at the screen and avoided his eyes. At the reception, he looked over at me a few times but they were busy too. I sat down next to a woman I didn't know. She and I began to talk, about life and we some things in common. I was wearing a leopard print sheath dress and black heels. Everyone else was standing, milling around, and there was a semi circle of chairs which were empty and she and I sat next to eachother and just talked. I noticed his brother look over at me a few times. I later found out, it was their mother. She was smart and well educated.

Something hurt after that day, but I didn't know what it was. All I knew, was that I had done the right thing, and he had done the right thing. They were a better pair, and had we even tried anything, it could have destroyed something good that had already been established. It was risky, and I wasn't going to hint that I would have him, unless he had already made up his mind about the direction of his life. But I thought about our conversation--the only one we ever had alone, and I thought about the photo of me at his wedding and how he looked at me.

And I moved forward, and they had a child within a year. I saw her once, with her best friend, and both were pushing strollers in their early 20s. I thought, "I'm glad that's not me!" I didn't want to be a young mother. I also thought about how some had told me he was emotional sometimes--would cry over things most men didn't cry over, and I don't know what I would think of that. It was for the best. I still remember that night in DR, and everything else though.

I soon sold my house, moved to Lake Oswego (as our black youth pastor called it: "Lake No-negro", and tried to figure out how to spend my money and what sort of volunteer ventures to pursue. My house sale closed and a very small part of my heart closed at the same time.

I told no one about any part of my feelings for him, not even close friends. I kept it to myself for over 7 or more years and I've no regrets. When I did share it with a good friend from church I'd known for over 10 years, she was upset, and suddenly wanted to guard her husband from me. I guess she wondered what else I didn't talk about. She said, "And you told me you always thought of my husband as a brother, and then yesterday you said you thought he was attractive!" I guess she didn't believe I could think he was okay looking and still only think of him as my brother. It didn't matter that nothing happened with this other man who was engaged, or that I concealed my feelings and often moved out of the way of his questions and attention. It was threatening enough, and this was part of the reason I didn't tell anyone for so many years. I was also protecting him because I understood him in this situation and knew others wouldn't understand what the connection was.

I had a photo of him, surrounded by the guys, in a pyramid. I took it with a 35 mm in black and white. He is looking directly into the camera, and has a big grin on his face. One of his less serious looks. I never heard someone so quiet talk so much with his eyes.

The True Story of My Life #12 (Bathtub After Dominican Republic)

I came back to the United States with guilt and shock. I felt guilty for having so much, knowing how so many people had so little. I took a bath in my own bathtub, which is one of my favorite ways to relax, and thought about how most of them didn't even have tubs or running water.

I felt guilty. I wondered if this meant I should give everything away, or have a business and send money...I didn't know. But I wasn't comfortable. My eyes had been opened and I couldn't forget both the beauty I had seen, and the poverty.

The bathtub became a reminder, for me, of what they didn't have. I realized I was, or would be considered by them, to be "rich". I owned my own house and I was 22 years old.

On the other end of things, I was starved for intellectual stimulation. I wanted to go to college but couldn't afford it. During this period, I helped out even more at my church. I worked as a camp counselor and on the Jr. High staff. I really liked Jr. High kids. I looked very young for my age, and my physique was lean. At one of the camps, where an adult over 18 years had to be on a jetski with the youth, the jetski owners told me to get off of the jetski, arguing with me that I wasn't over 18. Or maybe it was 16? Our leader had to inform him I was much older than I appeared to be.

This reflects how I've felt inside, for a long time. Older than I appear to be, at first glance. I thought a lot. Questioned a lot. My best friend told me one of my gifts was persuasion, and that the other one was also my fault, that I thought "too much" and analyzed everything. I knew I was different but didn't know why.

I also remember some of the elitism and prejudice then. If someone asked me if I was in college, or which University I was going to, once I told them I wasn't in college, many of the older and more educated adults would quit talking to me. They assumed if I wasn't in college, I wasn't very bright, and unworthy of their time and conversation. I realized one of the biggest class dividers was education and opportunity to be educated. I also noticed a college education and degree didn't mean very much, in reality. In theory, it opened doors. In reality, I knew a lot of people with degrees who couldn't write to save their souls, and wondered how in the world they had made it through even private schools with such deficiencies.

Sometimes, even in college, conformity means success. Challenging some professors and asking questions, or coming up with a new idea, can be threatening to some; some know this ahead of time and learn how to manipulate the feelings of their professors and feed their egos. Flattery goes a long way, as does acting. Many professors cannot think independently, especially lower level professors. If one is able to present oneself as a straight-A student, not by the quality of work, but by hinting nothing less has been received, a teacher is more likely to give the grade they believe has been given to the student in the past.

I hated community college (except for tutoring international students, but I'm getting ahead of myself). The further I went along in my studies though, the more I found professors who were competent and who stirred my curiosity. They were more secure with their own acheivements and loved what they did.

After the Dominican Republic, I continued to work at the computer company but was thinking about becoming a missionary or going to college. If I didn't go to the Dominican Republic and serve, I was going to serve, FT, in my own community.

After working at CTR for a year as front desk receptionist and sales assistant, I was offered a salaried position, with full benefits, training, and commission. It was an Account Executive position. I decided to turn it down.

At that time too, I was doing a lot of religious research. I wondered why churches were not always open, for people to just drop in, pray, or whatever. I thought if I were Catholic, I'd be looking into being a nun. I knew I had a strong sex drive and desire to be married, but I never met anyone special and the odds seemed unlikely. My mother said, "Why do you have to have someone who is 'intellectual'? I never thought about whether someone was smarter than me or as smart when I was younger." I went out with lawyers, doctors, businessmen, CEOs, customer service reps, park people, police, teachers...I had dated so much, but perhaps I was in the wrong place at the wrong time--working as a domestic employee in other people's houses doesn't exactly put one in a position to meet new people. I was also looking for someone who was very religious at the time and if he wasn't, I crossed him off my list. I was angry with God for feeling like I was in my prime and having no way to share that with someone, and my values prevented me from dating in that way. I didn't party, drink, smoke, and I quit dating because I was not meeting men I had any interest in. I spent a lot of time praying and I practiced fasting at that time in my life. But I was increasingly unhappy and dissatisfied.

The True Story of My Life #11 (Dominican Republic & Haiti)

I showed up at the airport with a flat 12"x12" suitcase. It was blue with hippie daisies on it, an authentic remnant from the 60s or 70s. Everyone else, men included, had huge suitcases on wheels with them. I had pared things down to 1 sundress, a pair of shorts and a shirt, swimsuit, and undergarments. I just alternated what I wore. I took 2 pairs of shoes--flip flops and tennis shoes. I had my first passport. Several people told me I looked like a "Russian spy", or "a spy" in my passport photo. I don't know why they thought this and what they thought a spy should look like. for the photo I had lined my eyes in black and wore an almost flourescent red turtleneck.

When I was that age, I reminded some people of Oksana Baiul, including a 3 year old I was a nanny for who shouted my name out loud excitedly when she saw Oksana at the Icescapades in Oregon.

The DR was an incredible place. We all got very sick, even having had a whole panel of vaccinations. We lived in a poor bario and worked there, and also took breaks to climb the Jarabacoa mountains and visit the beaches. My favorite beach, I can't recall the name, was a small and remote cove with cliffs behind us and a shelf of sand. Absolutely beautiful. One of the more dramatic things I remember about the Jarabacoa mountains was the enormous flying bugs and dragonflies which could get caught in your hair. They were as large as my hand. On the mountain trail to the top of the mountain, I got out in front of the group. I didn't like walking at a slower pace. I wanted to get to the top and THEN look around.

At the top was a small village of people. I remember someone asking me if I thought I could be a missionary up there. "All by myself?" I wondered. I felt drawn to doing it, and contemplated the idea. I thought, "Maybe if I have a computer..."

During this trip the man I was interested in, who was by then engaged, was often looking my way. I felt the chemistry but said nothing. One evening, I walked down an isolated trail, in the dark, to get away. He was coming down from the opposite direction. We stopped and the tension was almost as thick as the air. For a moment, we simply stopped and looked at eachother. I was on the side of the narrow path and he stood in the middle, not moving out of the way. I then broke the mood, saying something funny and slight, asking where the path went, indicating I wanted to get by, and he answered and we passed eachother. I found out later, as he said publicly, in a group, he hadn't been able to sleep at all, and he looked directly at me when he said this and wouldn't look away. I looked away. I said, "Oh! I've been sleeping like a rock! As soon as I'm in bed, I'm out!" He searched my face and then said, "Really..." and I think that answered his questions. In this environment, if you become engaged, this is serious and one doesn't simply "date". If one dated, it was with the intention of finding that person to be a potential partner. He was already engaged, and I wasn't going to let on that I cared for him at all, unless he had figured out, on his own, that something wasn't right with his engagement. I always believed a man should know what he wants before coming to me, to see whether I would "fit the bill"--it was too close to rebounding. I was attracted to him, and wanted to get to know him more, but I wouldn't give any sign as to my feelings, and I believe I was convincing that I didn't care at all. We later had a sort of closure before he was married, which I'll write about soon.

At the Dominican Republic we built houses and worked on getting electricity in their bario. I remember touring the village town and seeing a man hunched over a metal scrap, melting something over an open fire. It was blazing hot, so hot we Americans had to sleep through the afternoon, lying as still as possible, and looking high and low for the coolest spot. We didn't have air conditioning, and we washed our clothing out by hand. Some of the women took pride in getting their clothes especially white. I thought it was the worst chore of my life and as long as my clothes didn't stink, that was good enough. My knuckles hurt from trying to scrub clothers over a grate. I thanked God for washing machines. When I got home, I felt rich, having a bathtub.

The houses in the barrio were planks and flattened coffee cans. The poorest barrio sat alongside huge stucco mansions and estates. The contrast of rich and poor was distinct--there was no "middle class" aside from the tourists.

We performed our skits and people became christians, responding by wanting to accept Jesus and christianity. I enjoyed working on my Spanish there, but after awhile, hearing this fast hispanic music that seemed to be played everywhere, at all hours, and with the same tempo, got on my nerves. I realized how immigrants felt, in their need to speak their own language. It is mentally exhausting to try to communicate 24 hours in another language, in a foreign environment.

The men there were not my type, but the women were stunning. Half of them were model-beautiful. The guys in our group, and I think probably any tourist, noticed.

One of my favorite things about DR was the mangos that were all over the ground. I picked up mangos and ate them fresh all the time.

At the market, I purchased a tortoise shell headband which was very thick. I didn't know the tortoise was an endangered species and wore that headband on the plane home.

At one point, we tried to cross over from DR to Haiti. I really wanted to see Haiti. Groups from our church had been there before, but everything depended on the guards and their mood. Sometimes they let you pass and other times, no. They wouldn't let us pass. We hung out while they decided, for hours. There was a large sugarcane field separating the countries. On one side, you could look back and see lush green trees. Looking forward, to Haiti, it was dirt and barren landscape. Even the people were different. In DR people were poor, but they were social and seemed to be happy, at least outwardly. The people in Haiti did not have this carefree appearance. The women were carrying large and heavy pots on their heads and looked at us with vacant and sometimes hardened eyes. No one was smiling.