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The meme in which I stroke your ego.

 Because we all need it sometimes. ;) 

Post a comment, and I will reply with a reason why I think you're great. In return, you might like to post this same meme on your blog and comment for other people.

echoes

 most days now i entirely forget about you. you are irrelevant  to my plans, my loves, my hopes and wishes and you don't haunt my dreams.  not anymore.

but every once in awhile i'll see something really beautiful and my heart stops just for a moment, and i'll still wish you'd seen it too. shared, speechless, just holding my hand a little tighter, our own little language of connection i doubt i'll ever find again. 

 

Dear Governor Walker,

 Like many other state employees, I have spent significant time this morning reading and reviewing your email and related news items, and pondering its meaning for me and my coworkers. I realize that our state is having financial trouble, like every other government entity, many businesses, and many individual citizens during this difficult economic time, and that we all must make concessions and find ways to cope with the shortfalls.  This is especially difficult when you are looking at such a large workforce with such complex budgetary issues.

 However, I urge you to make sure that the policies outlined in your Budget Repair Bill are more nuanced than how they are outlined in this email.  I fear that these policies would create undue financial hardship for many state employees, myself included, and may cause a rather large turnover rate or a significant decrease in morale and productivity in our workforce.

 As an example, I will offer you my situation. 

 I currently work as an office operations associate. This classification offers me a base salary of $13.968 per hour or $29,053.44 per year as a base salary.  I am also a single parent; this salary supports a household of two people.  Currently, my salary and benefits package, even with furloughs that reduce my base salary to $28,255.49 ($29,053.44, minus $893.95 in furloughs plus $528 in unemployment compensation), is sufficient compensation to keep our household functioning independently of any aid or financial assistance, albeit in a rather frugal fashion.  While I appreciate our excellent benefits and having enough sick time to be able to take off both when my son is sick and when I am sick, I would not call myself a “have.”

 Your outlined proposal below would indicate that, in the future, I would be contributing a further $1,627 per year to my pension plan and approximately an additional $80 per month to my healthcare.  While this is not a reduction in my base salary, it would involve a reduction of my take-home pay, currently at  $1,838.33, by approximately $200 per month.   I don’t know if you’ve ever had to feed, house, clothe, and educate two people on $1,600 per month, but it is extremely difficult and every penny matters to us.

 More important to you, perhaps, than my individual situation is the fact that these cuts would not, I believe, actually be of any benefit financially to the state. 

 Firstly, I am 100% federally funded.  The money for my salary and benefits comes from  the federal Title I grant, and it is grant money that cannot be reappropriated to the state’s general fund.  I know it’s a difficult situation when making policy to differentiate between state employees by funding source, but in this instance it would make some employees’ home lives excessively dire for no benefit to the state. I also see that this type of differentiation is something you are willing to undertake, as certain types of unions have been exempted from this bill, so I urge you to also look to where these changes will be appropriate and where they will create no benefit.

 Secondly, the 9% drop in my overall compensation resulting in a significant reduction in my take-home pay would cause me to seek out assistance.  My income currently falls below the threshold level for a family of two in the state FoodShare benefit program. While I have not used it thus far as I currently do not require it, $200 a month is about three-quarters of our monthly food budget, and the hardship that the loss of this sum would cause would necessitate help for my family.  The state would end up picking up that tab – in addition to the money that is lost to the state in unemployment compensation on the days when I am furloughed (which, as stated above, my furlough days do not save the state general fund any money.)

 Thirdly, money funneled to my pension and health insurance is not taxable income.  This reduction in pay would put me, and many other state employees, in a lower tax bracket and will result in a loss of income for the state.  Less disposable income for tens of thousands of citizens at once may also have a profound effect on local economies, the success of businesses, and revenues from sales taxes, which impact both the state government budget and the health of the state’s economy at large.

 I urge you to consider, at the very least, a graded plan by base pay rate.  5.8% of your salary will not likely prevent you from eating, but for our family, it will.  I would like to see the percentage of the contribution to pension, and perhaps to healthcare, be linked to the base pay rate, or at the absolute minimum, for people under a certain pay rate threshold to have the ability to opt out of the increased pension contribution and simply accept a smaller pension fund rather than a serious reduction in our disposable income.  While I indeed took a state position partly because I knew that I would be saving appropriately for retirement, investments in my long-term future are not more important than my ability to feed and shelter my family in the immediate term.  I am also facing being stripped of my ability to collectively bargain to make sure that I do not have to make the choice between securing my future, obtaining healthcare, and taking care of my family in the present.

 I am certain it is not your intent to inflict such hardship on your employees, and it is hard to know the individual situations of the tens of thousands of people who will be affected.  I thought it may help to inform your decisions if you knew at least one, and help you to make changes and additions to your policy that will help the state act frugally without imposing undue hardship onto those who keep it running each day.

 Thank you for your time.

 

Mackenzie Dunn
Office Operations Associate, Title I and School Support Team
WI Department of Public Instruction



The text of the email sent to all state employees today: 

The email from Scott Walker regarding the Budget Repair BillCollapse )



And finally, the text of the email sent by the State Superintendent (which is an elected and not a position appointed by the governor) to our Department.  It really highlights the kind of every day culture here that is a huge part of why I love my job, and want to avoid leaving if I can.

Email from Tony Evers, State SuperintendentCollapse )

 

I've done a version of this meme for several years... since I haven't posted a lot in the last months, I guess it's good to sum up?

 QUESTIONS FOR 2010
01. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
Swung on trapezes and aerial silks.

Read more...Collapse )
Don't make them. 

03. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My seeeeeester!  Kelley!  Lots of other acquaintances as well, I'm at a good baby-making age so they're all over.

04. Did anyone close to you die?
No, thankfully. 

05. What countries did you visit?
Oh none.  I didn't even go out of state much. 

06. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
Romance.  How very cliche.

07. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I can't say that any part of 2010 was really all that memorable. 

08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Hmm.  I had a fairly good year but I wouldn't say I achieved anything in particular. I guess I did pay off all my credit cards AND I relearned to ride a bike and started commuting with it. 

09. What was your biggest challenge?
Hmm.  This year hasn't been too challenging, either. 

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I tore a tricep in my second trapeze class. It healed speedily and without incident.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My new-to-me car.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Hmm. This year was quiet, I didn't celebrate much of anything, either.  I enjoyed my friends as usual. 

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Marc and Andrew's. You'd think I'd learn. Oh wait, I finally did. 

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, bills, food, bills, movies, yarn, classes.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Trapeze!!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
This year was so blah it didn't even rate a song I associate with it. Wow.

17. Compared to this time last year, you are:
hotter of colder? Same
fatter or thinner? Heavier but more muscled
more active or lazier? Way more active.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Getting outside.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Getting rejected.

20. How will you be spending/did you spend Christmas?
At my sister's watching movies and doing puzzles.

21. Did you have kinky sex in 2010?
No.

22. Did you fall in love in 2010?
No.

23. How many one-night stands?
None. 

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Lol. Hoarders. Helps me keep my house neat.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Actually, yes.  That's rather unusual for me.

26. What was the best book you read?
I finally actually read the book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.  Tawandaaaaa!

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Hmm. Didn't make any of those, either.

28. What did you want and get?
..... most of what I got was more of what I already had.

29. What did you want and not get?
Everything else?

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
Black Swan, though I liked it a lot less when I saw it again. It's sort of a one-time-good movie.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Hung out with adam and michael. It wasn't very thrilling, and I was 34.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Love.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
I wouldn't.

34. What kept you sane?
Ha.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Brian Cox.

35. What was your favorite video game of the year?
Don't play them

36. Who has made the most cameos in your dreams this year?
Strangers

37. Who did you miss?
Melissa, still. 

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Maggie, kelley, all the new stitch n bitchers. 

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
People rarely change in any profound, fundamental way.

40. Health:
Better than ever, minus my various weirdnesses.

41. Best trip/vacation taken this year?
Camping with Kurt and Kasey at Esofea.

42. Anything new with your hair?
Bangs!

43. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
Learn to pretend there more than love that matters.

Day Ten

 Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn-offs.
Day Eight: Three turn-ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.

This is hard, as I tend to be rather candid most of the time with most things, and the things I would have to "confess" are things I keep so secret I pretty much never tell them to anyone ever, and certainly can't imagine I'd divulge just because an lj meme asked me to.  So.. what's something most people don't know yet is not so private that I can tell it?

Perhaps my confession just that.  My truly true secrets are things I never tell, not anyone, not even the people who are the closest to me. There are so many things that no one will ever know about me. 

Day Nine

 catch-up yet again, again, again. margaret again, again, again.

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn-offs.
Day Eight: Three turn-ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.





The first for the solitude I've been seeking, to introspect and meditate and try to find my connections to the natural world, to myself, to peace.  Also for the amount of yoga I've been doing.

The second is purely for my new passion for aerial arts... I just finished my introductory silks course and I find them as wonderful and a bit more natural for me than trapeze.  And yes, I can definitely do the move that is pictured. 

Day Eight

catch-up yet again, again.  that whole holiday business you know.

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn-offs.
Day Eight: Three turn-ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.

1. Confidence and the resultant charm
2. Being smarter than me or notably better than me at something that I value
3. Knowing how to use sexual tension, how to explore a body for the *real* erogenous zones, and how to say erotic things beautifully.... velvet and silk and waterfalls.  

Day Seven


catch-up yet again. reagan said it was a vegetable, you know.

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn-offs.
Day Eight: Three turn-ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.

1. Spit or slobber or tongues touching me, if I'm not yet comfortable enough with that person to be ok with their saliva or anyone if they get you all gross n wet. Ew.
2. Stupidity
3. Lack of sensual awareness or ability, pronounced physical awkwardness
4. Unkindness, condescension or smugness.

Day Six

Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn-offs.
Day Eight: Three turn-ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.

1. Matthew
2. MichaelnClarissa
3. KurtnKasey
4. GregnKatie
5. AnnieBeth
 


Day Five

 Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day Five: Six things you wish you’d never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever)
Day Seven: Four turn-offs.
Day Eight: Three turn-ons.
Day Nine: Two images that describe your life right now, and why.
Day Ten: One confession.

1. Although I can't imagine my life without Matthew, I wish I'd never dated his dad - or at least dumped him/not taken him back the myriad times I had a chance to over the years we dated. 

2. January 18, 2006.  

3. I wish I hadn't quit my job and moved to California to marry Pete. If I'd let the long distance thing go on longer I might have figured out we wouldn't be very good together, not to mention the poverty I could have avoided. 

4. I wish I hadn't made up with Alicia Trimble my senior year of high school, so I wouldn't wake up to her fucking my boyfriend in my bed.

5. I wish I'd told Andrew no, so many times I can't even recall them all. 

6. I wish I hadn't walked to E Wash to catch the next 6 bus after I missed the 4 by mere seconds on January 10 (i think?) of 2007, but instead walked back to the house to get my phone charger, charge my dead battery, and call work that I'd missed the bus and would catch the next one, because I was  fired that morning, ostensibly  for being 6 minutes late - though they just said "termination at will" (which is basically "no particular reason") in official documents, because I didn't have a history of tardiness.  I'm sure they would have found a reason because they were so cash-strapped, but I hate that I handed them one. 

7. I wish I hadn't left Macalester when I ran into money trouble and had just gotten a part-time job to pay the $1,000 I owed and stuck out college the first damn time.