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ANGEL'S PLACE

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And Now For... A Story, by Angel!
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SAMMY'S WORLD!
ANGEL'S TOP ELEVEN WAYS TO SAVE THE CHILDREN!
Angel's Favorite Stuff!
Angel's Treehouse
Angel's Child Abuse Memorial
ANGEL'S STORES
History of Angel's Place

Did You Miss Last Month's Big News? Keep Up With It Here!

 
 
 

 

Q. Angel! We haven't heard from you in months!

A. I know, I know. I've been in sort of a bad space.

Q. What's been going on?

A. Well, in August I moved down to Carbondale as planned... and stayed for three days. I got horribly, horribly homesick, to the point of depression and anziety attacks. I had to come home.

Q. So you're back with your p's again?

A. Yes. ::sigh::

Q. Oh, Angel, I'm sorry to hear that. I know you were very excited about Southern Illinois!

A. Yeah, it's a letdown. But... I'm trying to look on the bright side. I'm going to have to find a full-time job just for this semester... and next semester, I'll probably be going to school full time as planned, only somewhere much closer to home.

Q. Will you keep on staying with your family?

A. No, I want to get my own apartment still... just not 6 hours away! I'm hoping to get a place close to whatever school I end up going to.

Q. It still sounds like it's been very stressful for you.

A. Yeah... It's sucked.

Q. But remember, "I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never gonna keep me down!"

A. Right, right.

Q. You seem a little withdrawn today, Angel. Should we just wait and talk to you next month?

A. Yeah, just give me a month to recooperate.

Q. Alright. Take it easy.

A. Thanks, man!

 

June 6, 2006

Q. Oh, so it's you again, huh?

A. In the flesh!

Q. So are you finished with school?

A. Yes. That was my final semester at the community college. I got a "B" in Fitness, and an "A" in Creative Writing!

Q. That's excellent!

A. Thanks!

Q. So what are your plans for the summer?

A. As far as work goes, I'm going to take it a day at a time. I am signed up to sub in the same special ed school district that I've been subbing in during the school year, and I'm also signed up to sub for a special recreation program. Hopefully I'll be able to work a lot of days, but also whenever I want a day off or a week off I can have it!

Q. That sounds nice! So you're just going to take it easy for the summer?

A. Yeah. I've got eight weeks left here so I'm also trying to slowly get my room in packable condition, and everything else.

Q. Are you going on any vacations?

A. I wish! If I go anywhere at all, it will be with my parents, but although my mom has been dangling Disney Land or a visit to my little brother in California tantalizingly above my nose, I doubt it will happen. ::bawling::

Q. Oh, don't cry! There's always next summer!

A. You said that last summer! Wah!

Q. Hmm, yes. Well. Moving on... Any new obsessions?

A. Well, GameCube! I have myself on this point system where I can earn rewars for myself by doing all the little things I'm supposed to do, like going to school and work and stuff. So I earned a GameCube, and I've bought several games for it! So far I have Animal Crossing, Crazy Taxi, Sonic Collection, and Super Monkey Ball. Plus another game is supposed to be in the mail to me, where you can design an amusement park.

Q. Sounds fun! What is your favorite game so far?

A. Animal Crossing. Actually, I've only played Animal Crossing and Crazy Taxi so far. I was going to save the whole GameCube and open it up once I moved to Carbondale, but on my birthday I was all alone and I needed something to occupy my time so I opened it up. Then I was just going to play the one game. And then I played two. But Animal Crossing is my favorite.

Q. Animal Crossing, huh? What does that involve?

A. It's like a role-playing game. You're a little person and you're in this animal village. You get a little house and you have to do jobs around the town in order to pay your mortgage, and then you can keep adding onto your house. (I already have it as big as it can get though) You can talk to all the other animals in the town too and... well, there's loads of stuff you can do. It keeps me busy for hours!

Q. Sounds like fun. So, why were you trying to save the GameCube for Carbondale?

A. Well, although I've lived on my own lots of times before, I've never actually had my own place by myself. This will be my first. So I figured, especially the first few nights I am there, I will be terribly lonely and homesick. And I have awful insomnia and nightmares sometimes. So I thought the GameCube would give me something new and exciting to focus on when I was lonely. It still will... I'll have a bunch of new games to try out, by then.

Q. Oh, that's so sad. I hope you won't be too lonely!

A. I hope not, too! I'm going to try to get involved and stay busy, but the first few nights are going to be rough, I'm already counting on that.

Q. You can always give me a call.

A. But you're really just a figment of my imagination.

Q. True. But I'm sure you will be fine!

A. Yeah...

Q. Any other new obsessions and perseverations?

A. Blogging... I started a new blog called University Angel. You can actually make money off this blog service. Every time someone looks at your blog, you make about $.002... I've made eleven cents so far, yay!

Q. So what is this new blog about?

A. It's about being an adult student. It will get more exciting when I actually get to Carbondale. Right now it just tells about my life and how I came to be starting college at the age of 27, and it tells the little everyday things I'm doing to get ready.

Q. Where can we check it out?

A. I'm going to add it to this website today, but you can go to http://www.blogcharm.com/univangel to see it. If you visit, be sure to leave me a comment!

Q. You're always keeping busy, aren't you, Angel?

A. Yep!

Q. Alright, well I'll let you go now. Have a fun month of June!

A. Thanks, you too!

 

 

May 7, 2006
 
Q. So, we meet again.
 
A. Yep.
 
Q. Anything new?
 
A. Not really. I'm EXHAUSTED! I just spent the day at Special Olympics.
 
Q. Really? Did you do that for one of your jobs?
 
A. No, oddly enough, my mom's office has "adopted" Special Olympics as their charity for the year, and every year when they adopt a charity they participate in a hands-on event. So everyone in her office was going to be working at Special Olympics, and I decided to go with.
 
Q. How was it? Did you chaperone one of the athletes?
 
A. Actually no. I was supposed to, but the team that everyone in my mom's office was going to work with, half of the athletes didn't show up. So all these people were walking around with nobody to chaperone. My mom and I ended up being the gate keepers for the track events. We had to guard the gate and not let anyone in for any reason. We had to tell them to walk around, to another gate.
 
Q. Why?
 
A. Beats me!
 
Q. Did you keep everyone out?
 
A. Actually no. One little boy wanted to get in, and although he was about 10 years old he was a big, sturdy guy, and he started getting really upset that he couldn't go through the gate. His chaperone was about 15 years old and kind of overwhelmed. So we let them go through.
 
Q. Sounds like a fun job!
 
A. Sure! I got sunburned though.
 
Q. Didn't you wear sunscreen?
 
A. No, I hate sunscreen. It smells and feels like Desitin to me. Grosses me out. Actually, when I started getting burned, I went and put on some sunscreen from the first aid tent. But it was too late!
 
Q. You're gonna be hurting tomorrow!
 
A. Yes, I am!
 
Q. How is school?
A. Good, I'm almost finished with community college. Actually I should be working on my final projects, right now, as we speak. But I needed a break!
 
Q. Naughty naughty...
 
A. I always get everything worked out, in the end!
 
Q. I hear this month is your birthday!
 
A. Yeah, May 15!
 
Q. How old will you be?
 
A. ::gulp:: Twenty-seven years of age! ::turns green::
 
Q. It's not that old!
 
A. Yeah, but I'm sort of in a midlife crisis. I feel like, I'm 27, I should be doing way more than I'm doing more! I have an 18 year old cousin who is going off to college the same semester that I am going off to college! I have friends the same age as me who have careers, have houses, have children.. and I have... a cat. Who I can't even bring with me.
 
Q. Oh, cheer up! Think of all the things you've done snd lived through that most people haven't! You've lived quite a life! Besides, you're only 27... if this is your midlife crisis, that means you;re going to die when you're 54.
 
A. Thanks for the pep talk!
 
Q. Any time! So, how's the writing coming? Have you found an agent for SKYE BLUE yet?
 
A. Actually no... But I do have a prospective publisher for DANNY DANNY SUPERSTAR. I have to call that person on Tuesday. If all goes well, I will put SKYE BLUE on hold until DANNY is published, and then I will have a publishing credit to help get people interested in SKYE BLUE.
 
Q. Always using your noggin!
 
A. Oh yeah.

Q. Well, good luck with that! How's your cat?
 
A. Sammy-Joe? He's good. He's a monster. He got into the ceiling again a few minutes ago, the ceiling in the basement, which has a lot of tiles missing.

Q. What did you do?
 
A. My mom was the one who saw him do it, and she told me to go get some catnip or treats to lure him down. But I just looked up at the hole, and said, "Samuel!" I saw his little gray head peek out. I said, "Get down here!" and he jumped down!
 
Q. So weird.
 
A. I know he must be up there every day when I'm at work. He's probably got a little fort built up there or something!
 
Q. And how about your dog, Chopper?
 
A. She's doing good also! I've been taking her for a walk every day, since the weather's been nice.
 
Q. Is she as weird as Sammy-Joe?
 
A. In some ways, For one thing, she is usually a snuggler, she wants to be by me at all times. But whenever I sneeze, she gets a horrified look on her face, gets up, and quickly and quietly files out of the room!
 
Q. Your house is a barrel of monkeys, isn't it?
 
A. Yeah... Well, I better get working on my homework now.
 
Q. Yeah, you better. Thanks for talking to me!
 
A. No problem! Catch ya later!
 
Q. Later.

 

April 6, 2006

Q. So Angel, how's it going?

A. Great, but please hurry, because I'm on my break between school and work.

Q. Oh, sorry, I'll get on with it! So, last time we spoke, you still had a busy schedule with work and school.

A. Yes, I go to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, sub in special education schools on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and do respite care on Thursday afternoons and some weekends.

Q. Sounds exhausting. Anything else new?

A. Not really. Well, I'm going to start swimming lessons at the YMCA at the end of this month.

Q. You don't know how to swim?

A. Not particularly well. I want to learn more and I've also heard that swimming is great exercise!

Q. It is. Good luck with that! How is the working out coming?

A. I haven't had a lot of time to work out lately, but now that I don't do respite care every single evening, I'm going to try to work out every day after work.

Q. You don't have much willpower, do you?

A. Nope.

Q. Done anything exciting lately?

A. Well, last weekend my two best friends and I took my friend's children, plus two little girls who are close friends of our family, to a hotel for the weekend. We got to swim a lot and everything. The kids loved it.

Q. Oh, how nice. How is your writing coming?

A. Slowly but surely. I haven't got any agents or publishers interested in SKYE BLUE. But I do have a prospective publisher I need to call about DANNY, DANNY SUPERSTAR, which is the children's story I wrote about a little boy with autism. You can read the next two chapters, by the way, on the site this month!

Q. Wow, how exciting! I hope it goes well for you!

A. Me too!

Q. How about any new obsessions and perseverations?

A. My best friend Diana loaned me a book called CURLY GIRL, which is about the care and mainetance of curly hair. I have curly hair that is impossible, so I've been sort of perseverating on this book! Apparently, people with curly hair should not use shampoo!

Q. Ew, gross!

A. No, it's not gross, really. You just use a lot of conditioner. Actually my hair has never felt cleaner!

Q. Interesting!

A. Yeah!

Q. So how is it going with your transfer down to Southern Illinois?

A. So far so good! I got approved for financial aid, and last month I went down to look at apartments. Unfortunately it looks like I'm not going to be bringing Sammy-Joe with me!

Q. Seriously? Why not?

A. Because I looked at apartments that I could afford and that would take cats, and they were in really scary places. There were stories of the building getting set on fire, break ins, people getting jumped... I just felt like I would be scared to go to school every day and leave Sammy-Joe home alone. I know he's "Just" a cat, but I think it's really important to keep animals safe. And the thing is, there are a lot of crazy people down there. A bunch of eighteen and nineteen year olds that think that, since they're away from their mommies and daddies, it's "anything goes". Kids who might even hurt a cat on purpose. I dunno, I guess there'd be people like that anywhere, but let's just say I felt really weird about most of the apartment complexes I visited.

Q. Well, jeez, are you sure you'll be safe down there, then?

A. Yeah, I'll be fine. I've lived in worse places before. Besides, if I don't bring Sammy-Joe with me, then I qualify to live in university owned apartments. I'm most likely going to live in over-21 apartments and it's a really nice place, in a wooded area. It reminds me of a resort or something!

Q. Sounds really nice, but it's a bummer that you can't bring your kitty.

A. Yeah it totally breaks my heart. Every time I think about it, my heart just sinks. But after a year, I may figure out a way to bring him with me. Or else, definitely, when I finish college, I'll find a place where we can be together. A nice place.

Q. It's going to be hard for you to live with no animals, isn't it.

A. Yeah. I'm thinking I might get a fish, or a turtle. Maybe,

Q. Cool! And how about your dog?

A. Chopper? She's great. She's so cute. She's getting old though. She's about twelve. I gotta start taking her for more walks.

Q. Well maybe when the weather gets nicer.

A. Yeah, definitely.

Q. Anything else new?

A. Not really. Same ol', same ol'. Maybe next month I'll have some more exciting things to talk about!

Q. Maybe! See you next month, then!

A. See ya!

 

 
March 1, 2006
 
Q. So, Angel. Last time we spoke, you were very busy taking college classes two days a week, subbing as an aide in a school two days a week, and providing respite care several days a week. Are you still running yourself ragged?
 
A. Actually, I've changed my schedule around a little. Since the subbing thing was working out so well, I am going to start doing that three days a week. I am quitting one of my respite jobs. I will still provide "mentoring" once a week for a child through one agency, and do occasional respite on weekends through another agency, but I will no longer be doing weekly respite for my usual agency.
 
Q. Wow, that's confusing.
 
A. Yeah, tell me about it!
 
Q. Have you written anything new lately?
 
A. Besides the poems I've been cranking out for Creative Writing, I'm working on a short novel for children. It is called Danny, Danny, Superstar, and it is from the point of view of an 8-year-old boy with autism. I'd noticed that while there were many books about kids with special needs that are aimed at typically developing children, there aren't many for the children with special needs themselves. I wanted to create a story with a main character who was an autistic child. The child in the story, Danny, is high functioning and can talk, although he prefers to type out his thoughts. But some of his classmates are nonverbal. The story can be read to or by children with special needs as well as by typically developing children.
 
Q. Sounds like quite a project!
 
A. I'm going to post the first chapter or so in the short story section on this website, so you can see for yourself how it's going!
 
Q. Thanks! Can't wait to read it! How are the submissions for Skye Blue going?
 
A. I've gotten thirty rejection letters so far.
 
Q. Ouch!
 
A. Right? I'm saving them all, though. I have a file full of them. Some day when Skye Blue gets published, I will turn all those rejection letters into... I dunno... ticker tape or something.
 
 
Q. What's up with your cat, Sammy-Joe?
 
A. I just caught him trying to climb into the ceiling again, about five minutes ago. I hollered at him, and he sat up there with a smug look on his face. I had to bribe him to come down, with cat food.
 
Q. He's definitely an odd one. Other than his ceiling crawling, how is he?
 
A. Great! His other newest thing is, I put all these stuffed animals in his bed upstairs. And for months he didn't even look at them, except to push them out of the way to make more room for himself. But lately he's been carrying them around in his mouth. Every time I see him, he's walking around with a little stuffed animal in his mouth!
 
Q. Aw, cute!
 
A. Yeah it is! One of the stuffed animals is actually a dog toy. It's a big stuffed squeaky mouse with a long tail. That's the funniest thing to see him carry, because it's bigger than his head!
 
Q. Wish I could see it! Take some pictures, will ya?
 
A. I'll try.
 
Q. Last time we spoke, your current perseverations were your I-Pod, and Podcasts, and ADHD. Anything new these days?
 
A. Yes, the Site Fights. I'm in a website contest. People have to vote for my site, and if I have the most votes, I get to move up to the next level. So vote for me! There's a link where you can vote for me, at my Site Fights Spirit Page. Just click on the flashing "vote for me" sign! You have to vote every single day. Except weekends, I guess.
 
Q. Will do. What do you get if you win?
 
A. I dunno. A virtual trophy? It's just for fun!
 
Q. Got it. So. lost any weight yet?
 
A. Not really. But I have been working out several times a week.
 
Q. How's the yoga going?
 
A. Not bad. Although I learned last week, yoga doesn't go well when you're tired. Usually after my yoga class I feel refreshed and happy. But last week I worked late on Friday night, and then I tried to get up and go to yoga. Well, half way through the class, I felt like I was dying! I felt so drained for the rest of the day.
 
Q. But you're still sticking with it. That's impressive!
 
A. Thanks. I plan to stick with it as long as possible.  
 
Q. How's it going with your quest to leave for college next fall?
 
A. It's going great! Things are really falling together! I got accepted into the Teacher Education Program, which is an entirely separate process from getting accepted into the university itself. In a few weeks I am going down there for an Open House, and to look for apartments. I will take a lot of pictures, and post them in my Photo Album in April! Then in May I have an orientation thing, which, oddly enough, is in Downer's Grove.
 
Q. That's really exciting! Are you getting excited?
 
A. Yeah, and nervous. This is the time in my life when things will start to disintegrate. You know that "too good to be true" feeling?
 
Q. No, everything will turn out great. Five months from now, it will all be reality.
 
A. I hope so!
 
Q. I heard you've been knitting!
 
A. Yeah, I knitted a scarf, which is really pretty. Although it has some holes. So my mom and I went to Michael's and bought all these different roles of novelty yarn. Now I am in the process of knitting a really light scarf, out of this yarn that looks like a nylon shoelace. Except yesterday I made a mistake and got frustrated and ripped the whole thing apart. And I had to start over. But I'm getting better!
 
Q. Awesome! Any other fascinating news?
 
A. Yeah, I have a new baby cousin who was born last week! His name is Nicholas Andrew! I haven't seen him yet, but I think I am going to see him today.
 
Q> Wow, awesome! Well, that's about all the questions I have for today.
 
A. Alright then. See you next month!
 
Q> You know you will!
 
FEBRUARY 2, 2006
 
Q. How are you keeping yourself busy these days, Angel?
 
A. I am in my final semester at the community college in my town, Harper College. Since I only had to take two classes this semester, I decided to use the time to work some extra hours! So I signed up to be a substitute teacher's aide at the special education co-op where I used to work before I went back to school full-time. So on Tuesdays and Thursdays I'm at school, and on Mondays and Wednesdays I'm subbing. Plus I do respite care in the evenings and on some weekends.
 
Q. What is respite care, Angel?
 
A. It's a little like babysitting, but more involved. It's for kids with various special needs. I take them out and do activities with them, or I stay at their house with them and look after them. Depending on who they are and what their circumstances are.
 
Q. Is that fun?
 
A. Usually. Like any other job, it can be a pain.
 
Q. Have you written anything lately?
 
A. Yes, I just finished my novel, Skye Blue, and I have been spending tons of time sending out queries to publishers and agents. So far, though, I've gotten nothing but rejections. Oh yeah, and one of the classes I'm taking this semester is Creative Writing, so I should be plowing out some more material soon!
 
Q. What's up with your cat, Sammy-Joe?
 
A. He's doing good. He fell out of the ceiling the other day though.
 
Q> Fell out of the ceiling?
 
A. Yep. There is a hole in the basement ceiling, and he climbed in and started crawling around up there. Then a tile broke, and he fell out! He just looked around like, "Wasn't me!" and walked away.
 
Q. Your cat is weird.
 
A. That's not a question!
 
Q. Is your cat weird?
 
A. Yes.
 
Q. What is your current perseveration?
 
A. My I-pod, which I got for Christmas! I also used my Christmas money to get an FM transmitter, so I can listen to the I-pod in the car and on my radio speakers at home. I love listening to music, and since there's 100 slots for songs, I can download anything I want, even if I just heard the song for the first time! I got some odd ones on there. Plus, you can download podcasts, which are like people making their own little radio shows. I've linked some of my favorite podcasts to the bottom of this page for your convenience.
 
Q. Oh, thanks. Any other perseverations these days?
 
A. Well, ADHD, sort of. I always thought I had Asperger's Syndrome but I was recently diagnosed with ADHD. The two are very similar in many ways. It's not that I really need to know what I "have." I mean it would have been nice when I was a kid and had all these problems... it would have been nice to know what was wrong with me. To know that I wasn't just a horribly annoying kid who didn't finish school work, had a messy desk and messy room, was a social weirdo, etc, etc, etc. To know I wasn't just failing life. But I basically found my own solutions to many of the things that plagued me. I couldn't learn to drive when I was 16, but I learned when I was 21 and it turned out fine. I couldn't have a job when I was 16, but I found something I was good at, and now I have a job. I couldn't swing going to college when I was 18, but I found my own way there eventually, didn't I? I've had to work triple-hard to do stuff, and sometimes I still have to cover up for my shortcomings, like the fact that I can't understand city driving and the fact that I have no idea what to do in social gatherings. But I've figured out a lot of tricks on my own. So it's sort of "after-the-fact" to find out, at age 26, that I have ADHD. But it's still interesting to read about. And I'll take all the life management tips and support I can get!
 
Q. Uhh that was sort of a long answer.
 
A. Sorry!
 
Q. Anything else new?
 
A. My dad has been collecting telephones. We have a candlestick phone. I like to call my mom at work on it. I am thinking of going into the weird phone collecting business. Or maybe weird clocks. But the thing is, my dad says when you collect things you have to sell some in order to get more. And I get so attached to my stuff, I could never sell it!
 
Q. What the... You're such a weirdo.
 
A. Again, not a question!
 
Q. Here's a question. Have you been gaining weight?
 
A. Oh that's nice. Didn't anyone ever teach you any manners?
 
Q. I'll ask the questions around here, thank you.
 
A. ::sigh:: Well, you know, when I couldn't drive and I had to ride my bike everywhere, I was a scrawny little runt. But now that I have a car, I don't get the constant exercise. I have been working out at the YMCA though. For other reasons, not just to lose weight. It just makes me feel better when I work out. Less jittery. Plus I've been doing yoga on Saturdays.
 
Q. How is that going>
 
A. Uhh, I'm about as flexible as a steel pole.
 
Q. Well, that's great! Sorry, I've got no more questions for you today!
 
A. Bummer.
 

 
I talked about podcasts in my interview today, so it's only fair that I post links to a few of my favorites. If you click on the "Allcritters" picture, you can actually listen to a promo from Allcritters! That's my favorite podcast. I wrote to them once asking advice about Sammy-Joe, and they answered my letter on the air! Sammy-Joe might also be featured as a "breed of the week", so make SURE if you listen to any podcasts, this is the one you start with! Edit Text

Here is another one of my favorite podcasts, The 662o West Kidcast! It is put out by a family with four very cute and funny kids. It's interesting to listen to even if you're an adult, but completely clean and family-oriented so you can put it on your speakers and listen to it with your kids if you want to. Check it out!
 
Subscribe with iTunes Edit Text

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