about
Alisa. 37. New Hampshire. Married for almost three years to this wonderful, funny, smart guy. Previously married. Went through in-vitro fertilization to have my five year old magical son Keegan. Stepmother to the charming Isabelle (6). Gushingly in love with our baby boy Harper(1). Policy Wonk and dreaded bureaucrat. Lover of fine cuisine, honeybees, truly romantic moments and the underdog.
cooking
Curried Beef Short Ribs

Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.

Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds ...continue reading

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This Is It

So a funny thing happened to me on my way through life. Well, not funny actually. Tuesday I had to look into my Executive Director's eyes as he told me that there is no money to fund my position. That basically I would be leaving the job I love and the place I love. I had become the latest victim of the federal and state budget cuts. A state of shock propelled me through the rest of the day. I started crying as soon as I got in the car to go home. That is how I spent the evening and most of my night. Except right before going to sleep when I put a bag of frozen green beans on my eyes to prevent them from getting puffy.
So we have enough money to pay me for two full time weeks or four part-time ones. I will be staying for the four weeks. Frankly I don't know what else to do. I never looked at options because I didn't want to. People keep telling me that it will work out for the best. I want to believe them but I can't really see that just yet. I can't even be that angry about it any more. How do you blame a whole society that doesn't understand the value of our work and therefore is unwilling to invest in it? Who exactly do I call and yell at?
So in the past few days I have been thinking about how it feels to leave and what it has meant to work there. I ended up with a list of what I love about it. Here it is in no particular order, except the first one.

1. Erika
2. Dirk
3. Gregg
4. Juan Carlos
5. Taz
6. Song
7. Sovanna
8. The way the people listed above feel like family.
9. Watching a new organization grow.
10. Being able to shape its growth, as it shapes mine.
11. Mentoring my co-workers.
12. Reminding myself that I have much to learn.
13. A majority of the time I look forward to going to work.
14. Making silly faces during staff meeting.
15. The way all the staff tend to doodle on their notebooks.
16. Walking everywhere I need to go.
17. Going out to lunch.
18. Stealing food off each other’s plates without getting stabbed by a fork.
19. Sharing an office with 3 other staff and all of the video equipment.
20. The way all the staff get along.
21. Helping my staff grow and gain skills.
22. Bringing my co-workers treats to show them how much I care about them.
23. Celebrating staff birthdays.
24. Supporting each other through difficult times.
25. Staff retreats.
26. Teambuilding activities and fun stuff like games, snow tubing and midnight sledding.
27. How talented my co-workers are: dancers, artists, poets.
28. Feeling that my presence is important and meaningful.
29. Doing food delivery to the homebound.
30. Getting that parking spot right up front.
31. Being the first ever Program Director.
32. Getting to tell people in interviews why it’s such a wonderful place to work.
33. Supervising interns.
34. Inventing fake holidays just to have fun.
35. Planning events.
36. Creating new programs.
37. The fact that everything there was painted by teens.
38. Every teen that has ever walked through our doors.
39. Greeting them at the front and asking about their day.
40. Having them be excited, and not embarrassed, to see me in public.
41. Missing them when we are closed.
42. Explaining the concept of personal space.
43. When parents come by and give positive feedback.
44. Supervising the teen dances.
45. Dressing up for Halloween and having the kids really love that.
46. Helping them fill out job applications.
47. Their faces when they tell you they got the job.
48. They give me fashion tips.
49. Hearing the excitement of their first love.
50. Being one of the first people they “come out” to.
51. Talking with the parents to see how I can help out.
52. Getting feedback from outside people about how wonderful the center is.
53. Hearing we got a grant.
54. Facilitating discussions about topics they have never considered.
55. When they help cleanup.
56. When they say they don’t care but you know they really do.
57. They try to teach me to dance.
58. Mediating arguments.
59. Giving them silly stickers.
60. Getting a suicidal kid help.
61. Placing a homeless kid somewhere safe.
62. Helping an abused kid into a foster home.
63. Making them smile through tears.
64. Hearing them read poetry, sing or rap.
65. Seeing them dance, draw, paint, step, jump or make a jump shot.
66. Helping them find their own voice.
67. Walking right up to teens I don’t know and starting a conversation.
68. Helping with homework.
69. When they take responsibility because it is their center.
70. Placing them in a job.
71. When they say “thank you.”
72. Teaching them how to be responsible.
73. Teaching them to question their beliefs.
74. Watching them figure out what they want to do with their lives.
75. Helping them get into college.
76. Making them believe they can go to college.
77. When they come back and visit and tell you how happy they are.
78. Hiring them to work at the center.
79. When they write you poems.
80. Seeing how impressed community members are by the teens and their talents.
81. Having a teen tell you they stopped doing drugs.
82. When they want you to meet their family.
83. Showing them the joy of community service.
84. Teaching them social organizing and social justice.
85. Helping dispel all the stereotypes.
86. Celebrating their diversity and cultural heritage.
87. When they go back to school or get their GED.
88. They just want to hang out in our office.
89. When they laugh at your Prom pictures.
90. When they give you theirs.
91. When they tell people I am their sister.
92. Giving them relationship advice.
93. Pushing them to see their parents’ perspective.
94. Providing a safe space.
95. Meeting new teens every day.
96. Taking them on field trips.
97. Finding time to talk when I give them a ride home.
98. When they do things out of respect for the staff.
99. When they leave you speechless.
100. The immeasurable honor and privilege of being allowed into their lives.

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Excerpt: I didn't want to post about it until she did, but now I can publicly say: this fucking sucks. Thank
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Tracked: February 8, 2003 10:39 AM
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Excerpt: I didn't want to post about it until she did, but now I can publicly say: this fucking sucks. Thank
Weblog: snazzykat
Tracked: February 8, 2003 10:39 AM
Mad, Sad, Angry -- you name it.
Excerpt: Alisa is one of the most amazing women I've ever met. She found out she lost her job this week.
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Tracked: February 8, 2003 12:01 PM
Tighten those belts... they still have the holes from last time
Excerpt: I don't envy the governor... I don't much like him, but I sure don't envy him. Massachusetts is a mess:
Weblog: OnePotMeal
Tracked: February 10, 2003 12:36 PM
Tighten those belts... they still have the holes from last time
Excerpt: I don't envy the governor... I don't much like him, but I sure don't envy him. Massachusetts is a mess:
Weblog: OnePotMeal
Tracked: February 10, 2003 12:38 PM
Tighten those belts... they still have the holes from last time
Excerpt: I don't envy the governor... I don't much like him, but I sure don't envy him. Massachusetts is a mess:
Weblog: OnePotMeal
Tracked: February 10, 2003 5:18 PM
more doodles
Excerpt: This morning I decided to do a little exploring: office doodles -- "a place for oodles of doodles" meeting notes...
Weblog: khakipants
Tracked: March 13, 2003 10:50 AM