Monday, July 28, 2008

So This Is Pretty Cool

I have learned over time that one of my favorite things to do is find people I have been out of touch with for many years. The neat thing is that I have discovered that I am quite good at it. Sometimes we exchange an email or two to catch up and sometimes we renew a long lost friendship. I've never been good at keeping in touch and through the years, I have made very dear friendships and I haven't been the best at nurturing them. So it's almost always my neglect that has caused a friendship to wane so most of my old friends probably wouldn't want to find me because they most likely figure I wouldn't care to talk to them again. My aunt told me a while back that as she's gotten older friends she hasn't even thought about for decades have come out of the woodwork wanting to reconnect. She thought it was cool, but odd, however, since I'm often a friend coming out of the woodwork, I appreciated hearing what it was like from her point of view.

A couple of years ago I found my bff from junior high whom I had not spoken to in about 30 years. She had been married twice and moved to a different state and doesn't even use the internet. It was very hard to find her. I had been looking for at least 20 years. My son, Michael was born on her 18 birthday, and by that time I had already lost touch with her. I am so glad I found her though, because we were really able to pick up where we left things. It has been clear to both of us that the connection that led us to become friends was still there.

When my cousin Amy was a baby she was adopted by my aunt and uncle who both recently died. Her real dad was also my uncle but Amy didn't know about that until she was nearly grown. Her adopted mom never let her have any communication with her biological parents. Recently both her adoptive parents died and although she's 31 years old she felt orphaned. Her biological dad died years ago and I've been looking for her mom for a few years. I guess the timing was right because we her mom for her this weekend. This one was very easy though because Amy had her last name and the names of her brothers and her brother was on myspace. The poor kid is only 15 years old and Amy and I sent him messages about her trying to find her family and he didn't know what to think about all that! In our defense his profile did say he was 18 so we weren't deliberately overwhelming a kid with tmi!! So Amy got to talk to her mom for the first time in her adult life. She talked to her a couple of times after she learned she was adopted, but when her adoptive mom found out she put a stop to it. For Amy something really was missing all of her life. Her biological mom loved her dearly and never wanted to give her up permanently. But while she was getting her life together Amy and her adoptive parents were bonding and becoming a family. So she completely unselfishly allowed her daughter to stay with the family she knew even though I know it ripped her heart out.

But the timing is so perfect for Amy to reconnect with her mom, three brothers and step dad. They are all the greatest people and Amy will have years to share with her family. She was raised as an only child and now she has three brothers and a niece!

I'm just so happy I was happy to share a part in this reunion. Finding people is fun, but this has to be the most rewarding, so far. I'll edit and add pics when I get some. I just thought this was a happy story and would be a good blog. I hope you enjoyed it!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Couchsurfing











So I was gonna blog about my brushes with greatness and tell you all about the famous people I had met in my life. Richard and Stephanie both blogged about the famous people they met, but when I was comprising my list, it came up short. So instead I'm blogging about my latest interest which is couchsurfing.






CouchSurfing has been on the news a little bit lately and I discovered it somehow while surfing the internet. When I was in the hospital in NYC I didn't get a chance to be a tourist except for my one hour double decker ride just before I left for LGA. But the coolest thing about being in Beth Israel to me was all the people I got to meet. I was there for ten days, so I had several roommates and lots of nurses and doctors. I really dug that they were locals and they thought it was cool that an Okie was in their world for a little while. I got to experience through them what it was actually like to live there, while if I had gone there on a vacation I never would have had that type of unique experience. In fact, the only time that folks totally ignored me was while I was on the tour bus. Not one person spoke a single word to me or even looked in my direction.



I've often thought about all the people who live in NYC and how it would be so cool to get to stay in someones home rather than a hotel, so I could actually experience life as a real New Yorker.






Then in June, I learned about couchsurfing. It's a very secure social networking site where people all over the world open up their homes to fellow couchsurfers for free. Before you can even add a friend to your profile you are required to have met them in person first. You are highly encouraged to verify your identity by confirming that you received a postcard at your home address. In order to do that you must make a donation to the project with a credit card that must be in your name. The more you surf the more references you get as people share their experiences about you and you share theirs about them on each others profiles. Above that there is a vouching system that is even harder to get because you can only be vouched for by someone who has been vouched for three times. It's not at all a dating site, so you don't have to worry about creepy internet pervs hitting on you either. Once you choose a couch to surf you send a request and the person can decide whether or not to accept you. Most hosts prefer that you have thoroughly read their profile and know something about them and why you want to surf with them. They don't want an ungrateful traveler who is just looking for a free place to stay. It is free, but it's not about that, but about the experience. Also you can choose not to host if you prefer. I can only offer coffee or a drink which means I am available to visit with fellow CS'ers but have no couch available.






I actually got my first chance to host this past Friday. I had spoken with Tara on CS a few times and she gave me a lot of information about the CS project. Then she asked me if I would be available to host her for a day of sightseeing in the Wichita Mountains. I agreed, but I was very nervous. I knew Tara was fine, but I had never hosted before and I wanted to get a positive reference. She really made it easy for me, though. We spent the day visiting local tourist attractions and she bought me lunch at Meers which is a very popular spot for tourists. She said I was great (whew) and gave me a great reference and recommended me to others who visit the area.






It's very very hard to get a couch in NYC, though. Those folks are always getting requests and if they said yes to everyone they would never have any privacy. But when I do finally go if I don't find a couch right in NYC which would be my dream couch (lol), I can find a couch close enough to commute which would also be awesome.






So dear readers, please take a look at my CS profile and if it is something that interests you (I know it's not for everyone), then please join. Stephanie, I have an idea this may not be your thing, but if it is, I think I could add you as a friend cause even though we have never met in person, I think I know you well enough to do that, but only if you feel that way too. If you don't I would certainly understand. So I'll give y'all the link to my CS profile so you can at least take a look. And I'll post some pics of my day with Tara. She is camera shy though and I don't think I got any pics of her, though. Let me know if you looked at my profile, okay.


The pics were all taken by Tara except the one of the buffalo. It was very close to the car and I took it from my window inside the car. How did I do, Richard? There's one of Meers, a couple in Medicine Park of the Bath Lake swimmin hole, one of Billy and me, and a view from Mount Scott.
I also included a T Mobile CouchSurfing commercial for you to watch!





Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Kids Lives








I think I have great kids, and they are certainly worth blogging about once in a while. And even though they sneaked off on an airplane to Tucson, on Justin's 18 birthday, not telling me they had no plans to return, they are doing very well for themselves and I'm proud of them.




Cherise is from Tucson and it's where her family lives. Well until recently, when her dad got an awesome job in Las Vegas. So now Justin and Cherise live with her only Tucson relative, her grandmother.




They call me several times a day which I think is cool. After my oldest son, Michael died, Justin knows I get very worried if I don't know where he is at all times. These are really great kids. They work hard and save their money, so they won't have problems with debt. They don't smoke cigarettes, although Justin is experimenting with that right now, and I hope he decides it's not worth it. Justin is a top commissioned salesman at Sears in Tucson and does very well. He's hoping it will lead to a promotion very soon. Cherise works at the Texas Road House because she likes to cook. But she is an artist and I don't think she's gonna be happy until she explores the amazing possibilites in that field. She was invited to be a teen corrospondent at the Tulsa World last year and turned it down.


My stepdaughter Celesta is full of life and energy and has literally hundreds of friends she actually knows personally. Everyone who knows her likes her. She is going to graduate from Central State University in Edmond OK soon with a degree in PR. She spends her summers taking classes, working full time and flying to California to visit her awesome boyfriend Matt. He's a law student specializing in entertainment law. So this summer he is interning at MTV and meeting lots and lots of celebs. His law school is in Miami. I hope Matt and Celesta get married and he becomes a rich Beverly Hills attorney cause I will sooo show up on their door step one day. Yeah, like that's all they need!!




I also have a darling six year old Grandson who's name is Elijah. I only saw him once which was at his daddy's funeral almost seven years ago. His dad was my son Michael and he was like Celesta in the sense that he had many many friends. I still have contact with them via his myspace tribute page. His funeral, like so many young people who die was standing room only. It was down in Sealy TX at his dad's church and I didn't know most of the people but they were so gracious to me. Michael should have been 27 this past July 4. It's always hard, but I choose to celebrate and enjoy that holiday because I don't want to waste it grieving all day long. Let me see if I can figure out how to get some pics of my kids on here. I'll try but who knows if it will work.


Okay, it worked, I suppose. The top two pics are Justin w his Cousin Billy and with his sister Megan. Then there's one w Justin and Cherise in Orlando. The next one is Celesta and her bf Matt. The tiny one is My son Michael. I guess that pic can't be any bigger. But I have very few pics of him as an adult. I love my kids and more importantly, I'm waiting for them all to make their fortunes so they can indulge me in an extravagant lifestyle as I grow older. I think that if Tila Tequila could achieve fame and fortune via Myspace, then I should be able to do the same. Besides, it's not that I can't sing. I'm just pitchy, that's all!! lol.


So, is anybody gonna read this blog?? lol. Take care and Good night everybody.


Love,

LeAnn
PS I recently got another picture of Michael and it's the first one at the top. I think it was taken in December 2001 which was about one month before he died.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Encouraged to Blog by a guy named Randy, I think

I have a little encouraging news regarding my case against AT&T. It turns out that at the time they fired me, I was eligible to continue on my disability because I was very sick with an undiagnosed bowel obstruction that became strangulated soon after I was fired and almost caused me to die. They actually fired me immediately upon my return from being on disabiity from this very same illness. I had no business attempting to return to work, but I thought I didn't have a choice. As soon as I learned I was eligible for disabilty due to relapse, I filed a claim (about a month ago), and they dated it back to May 1, 2007 which would have been my first day of absence. I returned to work on Friday April 27, 2007 and was off on the weekend. They suspended me pending termination on Monday April 30, 2007. AT&T denied my recent claim because it wasn't filed within 60 days of the first day of absence. That's because I didn't think I had any benefits because I was fired. So I actually found an attorney who is going to get my benefits for me. That means I don't have to worry about the cost of that expensive three week hospital stay last August. I'll get some money too, but I figure the lawyer will probably get most of that. But I'm thinkin that this will help strengthen my case with the EEOC against AT&T. That is a very hard case to win because the burden of proof is all on me. I have provided the case worker with every bit of evidence I can muster up and I think she believes me which is also helpful. I just really don't want AT&T to get away with this. I saw them do it to several people while I was working there, but most don't bother to do anything about it. But it just makes sense to me that proving I was very ill when I got fired should swing the odds in my favor. I sure hope so.

That's about it for now. When did I get to be sooo boring??? Keep reading. I hope I won't have more family drama to write about, but by golly, I'm gonna make this blog a must read one way or another!! So tell your friends!! Let everyone know this is the must read blog of the internet!! I'll see to it!! Take care.