Dream On

Sep. 13th, 2017 08:29 am
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Three people showed up for my Intermediate English class last night.

One of them was the belligerent Jordanian whom I do not like.

Another was a young woman who’s a full-time student at Dutchess Community College and has two kids under the age of three.

The third was Tony whom I adore.

Down four people in two weeks.

Down from an all-time high of 14.

I attribute this most recent attrition to the DACA rescind. I’d heard way back in November that the Trump administration planned to use the Dreamer data to go after the Dreamer parents. Most of the students in my class were undocumented refugees, economic and political, from Mezo-America. Understandably, they’d like to keep a low profile. In fact, they’d like to be invisible.

Lois Lane – to her credit – refuses to collect any kind of personal info at all on people who use the Literacy Center’s services. So far, New York State has tolerated this. Cuomo and Schneiderman are actually bringing a suit on behalf of the Dreamers.

(And I will say here that while I have mixed feelings about Cuomo personally, he has proven to be a very able administrator as Governor of New York State. I am thinking he’d be a strong Democratic POTUS candidate in 2020.)

Sooner or later, one imagines, some bureaucrat is gonna crack down, though. That personal info is a requirement under the various types of state grants through which the Literacy Center supports itself.

“It’s not worth my time to continue doing this,” I told Lois Lane after the class was over.

“I know,” she sighed.

“Adelina doesn’t really need this. She can do ESL through Dutchess. I’ve talked to Tony. He wants to be an electrician. He could do that through Dutchess. But he needs to improve his reading and writing skills to take classes there. I want to do one-on-one tutoring with Tony and stop teaching this class.”

“Sounds like a good plan to me,” said Lois Lane. She looked sad, though. “But what about Bilal?”

“What about Bilal?” I said.

And we both laughed.


In other news – This is actually funny in one of those It-should-have-happened-to-someone-else kinds of ways…

The problem with the car was a very easy fix.

But my check engine light was on.

My check engine light goes on and off a lot. I always figure it’s something having to do with my gas tank cap.

This time, though, the check engine light had been on for two weeks. I’m very paranoid about this car because many, many cars have crashed and burned on me before because I have a tendency to neglect maintenance.

Maintenance and upkeep are not among my strong points.

So I told the guy at Makem Begfer Mercy Auto to run a diagnostic on the check engine light.

And when he called back, his voice was grave and concerned. “It’s a vapor leak,” he announced. “But we won’t know where the vapor leak is until we run a smoke test.”

“A smoke test?” I screeched feebly.

“It’s the only way,” he said.

All righty, then! Smoke test it is!

A hundred dollars later, he called me back again. “The smoke test allowed us to diagnose your problem!”

“Which is… ?”

“Your gas cap was loose.”

You greedy fuckers, I wanted to scream. You couldn’t have tried tightening the gas cap first?

It’s kind of embarrassing to live in a world where $100 is a significant sum of money.

But, you know. My life is what my life is.

A few short years ago, $100 would have been a make-or-break sum of money. At least it isn’t that anymore.

Really. All you can do is laugh.


And as if to reaffirm my ascent into a Real Human Girl-hood again, yesterday’s mail brought me three new credit card offers!


I went for another long hike. This time on the grounds of the old James Roosevelt holdings that were not sold to developers of mobile home parks:

This part of the Hudson Valley was once famous for its apple orchards.

You still find a few ancient apple trees around here and there.

Flying the flag come harvest time.
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Eight straight day of rain here in the quaint and scenic Hudson Valley.

I feel like a character in a bad Scandinavian crime novel.

A bad Scandinavian crime novel involving incest, cannibalism, and expensive brake jobs because it turns out the little rubber hoods on the beautiful heroine’s calipers had melted.

But, hey, it’s done! And the beautiful heroine has a working vehicle again.

There’s some more expensive automotive repair work in the beautiful heroine’s future involving the ignition system, which she’s scheduled for mid-June.

But after that, the car should be good to go for five years with only routine maintenance.

Saturns were really build to last forever.

Figure you own a car, you’re gonna end up spending $2K a year on it one way or another.

And there’s no point in complaining about that.


“You should have called me,” B told me on our That Was the Week That Was catchup call. “I would have come down and fixed it for you, and you’d only be out the cost of the parts.”

B’s actually a pretty good auto mechanic.

But, you know, warranties.

Plus the inadvisability of relying upon one’s X for important maintenance and upkeep types of shit.


My plan now after activities attendant upon the upcoming RTT college graduation and exciting roadtrip with BB and Carol is to focus on financial health. Get the secured credit card. After one year of responsible use, they will upgrade me to a normal credit card and then! I’ll apply for a car loan! And buy a little Subaru Forrester! And give the Saturn either to RTT or to B.

I’d offered to pay for driving lessons for RTT when it finally occurred to me that maybe the reason he’d never taken me up on my offer to teach him to drive was his horror over the prospect of sitting in an enclosed space with me while I ordered him around.

But he never followed through on that either.

I think he has to learn to drive. Unless he moves to New York City. Which is the only city in the United States with an adequate public transportation system.

Not knowing how to drive has actually impacted his ability to snag meaningful employment post college graduation.

So I think he's actually motivated now. And that's gonna be my graduation present to him. Driving lessons.


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