Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cincinnati Needs the Anna Louise Inn to Stay Exactly Where It Is

I don't know why I thought the fight was over. I thought the issue had been resolved and that the Anna Louise Inn had already won the right to stay. That a judge had stopped Western Southern Life from taking them over and tearing them down.

But of course I was wrong. When rich people or powerful corporations want what they want, they never ask for anything they don't have the power to take.

Western Southern Life simply decided that the Anna Louise Inn "is not in the best interest of the city." I just don't understand why a lawsuit like this has merit. Why is that rich, white conservatives always get to decide what's "best" for everyone else? It's the most maddening, angering, completely pisses me off phenomena I've never come to understand in all my years of living. Can Western Southern Life really explain why the Anna Louise is less necessary than the Taft Museum or Residence Inn or their garish spinning sign that I have never liked. Why can't we get rid of that nuisance?

When I was 20, I lived at the Anna Louise Inn. I worked as a bread girl at the revolving restaurant across the bridge in Covington. My job was to warm bread, put it in a basket and take it from table to table, offering bread and butter to the people who dined there.

A bread girl doesn't make much. Even with my dad paying half my rent, it was the only place I could afford to live. and so I lived at the Anna Louise Inn.

At this point in my life, I was a college drop out. None of the young men I had dated up to that point were anywhere near husband material and even if they were, I didn't want to get married. I had no purpose, no direction and, to what must have been my parent's great frustration, no plan for what I was going to do with my life.

For lack of anything else better to do, I decided to go into the Army. Until my leave date, I worked as a bread girl and lived at the Anna Louise Inn.

It was exactly where I needed to be. I had my own room, I made a few friends, I was able to eat and live. My parents knew where I was and were grateful that I was doing something constructive, even if it was nowhere near what they had planned for me. But they had no idea what to do with me and this was safe and affordable.

Until I lived at the Anna Louise, I'd never been to Sawyer Point, Serpentine Wall or Lytle Park before. On sunny weekends and my days off, I explored and walked them often. At first I ventured out tentatively, feeling my way, enjoying the feeling of "getting lost" and finding my way back, even though Anna Louise was never completely out of view from those vantage points, that old fashioned roof was a distincive beacon back.

But it was a new thing for me to just walk and be alone. No parents, no boyfriend, no college roommates. Just me.

Walking, thinking, growing.

I'd pass the statue of Abraham Lincoln, always a welcome site after a night of being on my feet, and a long walk back across the bridge and across Downtown up Fourth Street, when I couldn't get a ride and the buses had long stopped running.

Still, even in the chill fall days, the late night walk was not unpleasant. Mr. Lincoln would offer a silent and solemn welcome home. And I'd wonder if someone like me was who he thought of when he signed that piece of paper. If he'd known that I'd have the freedom to just be. Whatever I'd become. I wondered if he'd even cared. He looked tired. Like his feet hurt sometimes. Just like me. Maybe he'd have signed anything just to end the damned war. I would have.

I'd never thought about such things before.

I'd walk the steps of Serpentine Wall. Watch the barges on the River. Just walk. And then have a place to return to at a time when I was too old and too rebellious to live at home. The Anna Louise Inn gave me a home and kept from being a homeless runaway. With the help of my parents, I was able to be a working citizen.

But these things are not in the best interest of the city. Frightened, cofused, naive or simply young and poor women deserve whatever they get in this large world. Western Southern Life - ironic that they have the word "Life" in their name when what they really deal in is death, which really explains a lot - has no notion of what the Anna Louse Inn means to those who need it.

People like me.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Overflow Thoughts

Republicans and Birth Control
Here are the questions we need to ask all of the current Republican candidates who are running for the office of President:

Did you have sex before you were married?
If not, did you marry the first, and we presume only, woman you've ever had sex with?

If the answer to either one of these questions is no (yeah, right, Newt) then the debate over birth control and abortion is over and they all need to stfu and move on to something else.

All the Other Kids
Rush Limbaugh calls a woman, Sandra Fluke (rhymes with Look) a "slut" and a "prostitute" for daring to voice her opinions on birth control. This is only the latest in a long career of vile slander spouted by Limbaugh, including racist comments directed at the President.

Do we really have the right to protest in this country? Encampent after encampment of "Occupy Wall Street" protestors were simply bulldozed off the map. While the President praised the protestors in public, he quietly gave his sanction to the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate breaking up the protests between local mayors and law enforcement.

Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck label Dr. George Tiller, "Tiller Tiller Baby Killer" for providing late-term abortions. Despite the fact that he provided late term abortions to women carrying fetus with birth defects so severe that they would not be viable outside the womb, they claim he provides abortions "even up to the day before birth for any reason." They disclose where Dr. Tiller worked an lived on television. They later place the blame on a pro-choice Democrat, Kathleen Seibelus when Dr. Tiller, while serving as an usher at his church, is shot and killed

Fox News calls some kids "little bastards" for daring to speak out about bullying.

Two people have committed suicide
after being on the show "Hell's Kitchen," but the show continues with steady viewership and Gordon Ramsey continues his tirades week after week.

My home state of Ohio is host to the latest school shooting that leaves three kids dead, one kid paralyzed and another with permanent injuries. The only question anyone seemed to wants to ask was, "Will the shooter be tried as an adult?"

The culture of bullying is in full effect and we only have to look to our media to see how and why.

It's no wonder then that one of the most popular songs of the day is a chipper sounding tune that tells a scary story called Pumped up Kicks by a group called "Foster the People".

All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You better run, better run, outrun my gun
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet

My Life and the Economy
After 3 years of hellish job related problems, some of which have been documented on this blog, Ye Old Matey and I both have decent jobs again. By decent I mean steady income, health benefits, paid vacation time and a job that seems as permanent as a job can be in this day and age.

President Obama seems to have the right idea - people can't protest (or have much to protest about) if they have to go to work every day. I finished my journey to my Associates Degree this past November, graduating from Cincinnati State. That same month I completed my year-long internship and after a few months of part-time work, I was recently hired at a full-time job with a printing company.

Unfortunately for us, the economy, among other things, has taken it's toll on our relationship and Ye Olde Matey and I are building our own boats and headed for separate ports. We both have new jobs that have allowed us to pay off our shared debt and support ourselves in our individual lives as we go our separate ways. It's a fairly amiable and weird end to 15 years of sailing together. I guess from now own he'll be referred to here as Ye Ex-Matey. I wish him smooth sailing.