Going Home Part II

In just under four months, I am excited to say that I will be briefly returning to Chicago again, this time to watch the first session of the Laver Cup and to see the White Sox play the Cubs on the Southside.  What a surprise it was when Brother invited me to join him and his best buddy for some tennis and some baseball! 

The trip I took in March brought out a lot of feelings. I had, honestly, avoided going back to Chicago because of the conflicted relationship my parents have and because out of sight, out of mind is much easier than to admit to feelings. I admit, I was pleasantly surprised to have any stretch of time during which my parents got along in my presence; sadly it was short-lived. Though most of the news focuses on the bad things about Chicago and I myself spent a good amount of time voicing my displeasure with the politics and policies of the city and Illinois, It was tough to see all of the places I missed. Watching around downtown Chicago is awesome, with many great places to eat, things to do, and just seeing the buildings. I am truly grateful for the time I had to enjoy the city and to see my parents acting like people, instead of people that hate each other. It was also great to see a dear friend with whom I used to work and to chat with her for a few hours on my last day in Chicago.

I living in Central Texas for many reasons, but the food is not one of them. Many people think that food in the greater Austin area is great, and I beg to differ. To each his own. Also, there are some cool places and attractions in the greater Austin area, but Austin’s downtown is not on par with any of the major cities. You have to go to specific areas if you want shopping, movies, and other activities, and this is not just because it is still a growing city, but rather the way it has evolved. It is my personal belief as well that too many people in the  greater Austin area have a slacker mentality, lacking integrity and much urgency about anything. Obviously we have found enough to like about living in Central Texas that we have stayed for almost five years and bought a house, but one of the best trade-offs is the weather and not having to shovel snow as we did in Chicago.  We both prefer the sun and heat over snow and cold. 

Anyhow, I looking forward to not only seeing parents (we are all going to see tennis together), but my brother and his friend, and that we will get to enjoy our hometown together for the first time in five years.  It’ll be good!

 

 

 

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Creating more gun free zones is not the answer…

I write this as I am listening to part of the listening session with President Trump and the students from Florida who survived the school shooting. I feel for the families. I feel for the parents. I feel for the teachers and other staff  who lived through that school shooting.  I cannot imagine their pain and sadness.

I am not a parent, but I am a Case Manager in Austin, TX who visits schools in Austin regularly. The security at these schools varies and is even inconsistent from visit to visit. Some schools buzz you in after asking the reason for your visit via intercom, others leave the main door open and you sign in at a desk if someone if sitting at the desk.  In the past two years, I have visited 15 different schools, Middle Schools and High Schools, in the greater Austin area and none of them have metal detectors. Some of the schools  have school district police officers on campus full-time,  but  the campuses are large and have several buildings, which might be hard for one or two officers to monitor or intervene in a crisis.

I am fully aware of the number of school shootings that have happened in the U.S. in the past 20 years. The best assessment of what would begin to fix the problems of youth, school violence, and society at large was written by a teacher. If you have not seen this posting, I would encourage you to read it. I would 100% agree with this teacher. Many active shooter situations happen in gun-free zones, obviously restricting guns doesn’t help or keep people safe. Look at the restrictive gun laws that Chicago has had for years, and continues to have, even after the city and the state of Illinois’ restrictive hand gun/concealed carry laws were deemed unconstitutional and were forcibly updated. BAD PEOPLE WILL DO BAD THINGS!!!

If we look at the violent means by which people are murdered throughout the world and in the U.S., should we ban box trucks? Because terrorists killed people with box trucks.  Should we ban knives? Because knives are used to massacre people in places where guns are banned. Should we ban cars because people kill other people by driving recklessly or while intoxicated? YOU CAN”T BAN EVIL. I understand that we all get desperate when something awful beyond all comprehension happens, but somethings are beyond our control. They are beyond law enforcement’s control. They are beyond politicians control.

I pray for the healing of those families in Florida, and I pray that rash decisions are not made by politicians or by President Trump to further restrict the rights and freedoms of good, decent, law abiding people because of sick and evil people who will do harm by any means they can find.

Image courtesy of pexels.com / gratisography

Everyday Inspiration… Song list from today’s commute

In response to Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration, Day Two:

I typically have a 50 minute to an hour and 10 minute morning commute from my apartment to my job in Austin. The commute can be frustrating at times, but I try to distract myself with music or a podcast to make it go by in a pleasant manner.

Today I opted to listen to a station on my Pandora account, which plays a mix of Indie hip-hop and  alternative music.  **** Parental Advisory****

This is a list of some of the  the songs I heard on my ride to work:

1.) Until the End by Breaking Benjamin

2.) Two Pieces of Drama by Everlast

3.) Second Chance by Shinedown

4.) Dirty Girl by Felt (rap)

5.) Rise by Flobots

6.) The Best Day by Atmosphere

7.) Walking Away by Brother Ali

8.) Kryptonite by Three Doors Down

9.) Lonely Road by Everlast

10.) Paralyzer by Finger Eleven

11.) Put Your Lights on by Santana featuring Everlast

12.) Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers

Before I knew, I was at work. Hope you enjoy this mix of music, courtesy of YouTube.