Monday, February 27, 2006

Im going to Disneyland.....

I will start off with an apology. I know I have been neglecting my “duties” as of late, posting, participating, and much more. I thought I would post/write this from my own mouth, rather than have you hear it passed on later. I recently was a resident of the Madison County Jail. My husband and I (we are still living in the same house) were called out onto the porch, told we had warrants out on each of us, and that we had better find someone to watch our children quickly. Confused, we inquired about the charges for the warrant. The charge on each of us is called “compulsory attendance”. In short, if your child or children, misses one too many days at school, warrants are issued, and you get arrested and get to be a guest of the county jail for a bit.

Now to be fair here, we had been warned previously about this issue. My son had missed 5 days of school and an officer came to the house to talk to us. He informed us that the problem wasn’t attendance, but the fact that we hadn’t called the school each time. After a nice talk with this officer both my husband and I agreed to call the school each time my son was going to be absent. He was happy with that and thanked us for being cooperative.

What the hell happened from there, I have no idea? I can tell you my son and everyone else in this house had a horrible flu virus and I believe he missed 6 school days due to that. I called on the first Monday he missed and told the school not to expect him there all week due to us all vomiting and high fevers. The person on the phone thanked me for calling and said she would make a note of it. I called the following Monday saying he was still not fully well, but I expected him to be back the next day. There didn’t seem to be any problem. Since that time, he missed one other day, due to him not sleeping at all because his 2 yr old brother was teething and screaming and keeping him up all night. Also, he was about 5 minutes tardy 2 times because my husband walked him to school on his week of vacation, and he is a heavy sleeper and missed alarm clocks going off.

YES, my son has missed more than 10 days of school. Why? 6 days was due to the flu, at least 2 were because of a lice outbreak (which by the way if you find any bugaboos in their hair, you’re not ALLOWED to send them to school), 1 was because he was afraid of a bully on the bus. I cannot tell you what the others were, I don’t remember. I do not remember my parents keeping a catalog of days I stayed home and thus never felt the need to do so either. As a matter of fact, I remember my parents keeping me home for a few NON sick reasons! Those are some of the best memories I have as a matter of fact. Sometimes it was after a big snow and they got together with their other friends to take us sledding, sometimes it was a family picnic or fishing. As far as I was and still AM concerned, those were all very good reasons for missing school.

Getting back to the point of the story here… My husband and I were given the option to call someone or put our children in custody of Child Protective Services. Being as most of our friends had moved away from this area, we only had one choice, our landlord. He is an amazingly compassionate person and agreed to watch our children immediately. The officers informed us that there would be a $300 bond on each of us, and if we brought it with us, we would be out in a couple of hours. So I grabbed the money for each of us.

So now lets get down to the nitty gritty. The officers said they had warrants but could not produce any. They said, “That’s not the way it’s done now, we don’t get copies.” They did however have a judge’s name and a cause number. My landlord, god love him, said he wanted to see the warrants themselves, but when the officers started getting agitated, I started pacing and worrying that he was making things worse. He took my cue and let the issue go. From there we were led to their SUV which was parked down the block. (I find this dumb just because we had 3 little kids in the house, did they think we were going to try to escape out a window with our kids in tow or something?) They then handcuffed us but read us NO Miranda rights. We were then taken to the county jail, processed, fingerprinted, mug shots, etcetera. I told the female officer processing me that I had brought the money for bond and she somewhat shrugged it off. We were then thrown into what are commonly known as “drunk tanks”. 6’ by 12’ cells with concrete floors, and a steel bench that’s not so much a bench but a lump of steel on the floor. I’m assuming they put them there so they cannot be sued by some drunk or high asshole that claims to be injured by falling off of it.

After a while in the tank, some officer came in to read the charges against me again, I’m not sure why, still no Miranda’s. He named my charge over again and then left. In the cell with me was a woman that looked to be about 7 months pregnant. She made a comment to me that they were sure making the rounds tonight. I just looked at her. She then told me that she was there for the same reason I was, only it was a completely different situation. She had a 13 year old son that fell in with the wrong crowd. He had been skipping school for some time. She had done everything she could with him, within the law. She of course couldn’t spank or beat his butt, because that’s against the law. She couldn’t kick him out, that’s against the law also. She did the best she could, taking him to the bus everyday and making damn sure his butt got on it. The problem was between the school bus and the school doors. He didn’t seem to make it in between the two. While his other classmates were walking into the school doors, he was walking back home. And STILL, this is all her fault, and she is responsible, and therefore arrested and facing time in jail. This blew my mind, how is it all on her and not partially the schools fault? Yet that same school called her in and had a warrant put out on her.

In the mean time, while all this is sinking in, I watch 3 hours pass by on the clock. I knock on the soundproof glass and ask how much longer I have got. An officer tells me about 5 to 10 minutes. An HOUR later, he lets me out and asks if I need to make a phone call. I say no, I want to go home, and that I bonded out hours ago. He asks the female that processed me if I bonded out, she says no, I haven’t contacted the judge. I was confused, noticeably. The officer then informed me that it didn’t matter if I had money or not, if they didn’t talk to the judge, I wasn’t going anywhere. Now my mind is reeling. I told my landlord he’d be stuck with my kids for a couple hours, and we’re already 4 hours into this. I try to explain my situation to the officers, but it doesn’t matter, I am standing in my socks on a concrete cell floor and just another piece of shit sub-human. Thankfully a nurse overheard my conversation and told me during my physical that if I had someone come in and sign for me, I would not have to wait as long. After another hour, I finally got to make a phone call. I called home and asked my landlord if he would come sign my bond. He said yes, he would sign for both of us. This may sound like nothing to you all, but I want to explain, by signing that piece of paper, if either my husband or I flee, he is responsible for our combined $6000 fine.

So…..hours and hours later we are still trying to figure out exactly what happened here. We did everything we were supposed to do and still got arrested. This isn’t the end either. If we lose in court were looking at $6000 fines plus court costs. AND a three year jail term, EACH! It wasn’t enough being thrown in a cell for hours and having to deal with someone who just got thrown in there for stabbing another woman in the eye. (A story for a different day) But now they are going to milk every penny out of us they can in every way they can. This may sound overly dramatic, but I have been to court here. The judges like to put 18 year old kids away for 1 year for having a joint in their car. They like to put people away for non payment of medical bills, I still don’t understand that one, and wouldn’t that be debtor’s prison?

The long and the short of it is, I may be going away for a while. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about any of this, except fight it tooth and nail. And then move on to fight the law itself.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Vectren Energy Delivery aka Modern Day Extortion

Got Natural Gas??? Anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows I stop posting now and then due to being bummed out over bills and things getting disconnected. Here is a perfect example of WHY. Natural gas sux, this is my latest bill!

Well damn, blogger resizing makes it hard to read.(You can click on it for a larger image) My last month's charges were $545.81, this month was a bargain at ONLY $479.23. Exactly how do they expect people to pay for this shit? I got lucky this time around, I just got my income tax return. Unfrotunately most of it is going to these assholes, yet its better than having no heat I guess. I think its important that I note Im not an old lady or heat freak and dont have my thermostat set at 80 or 90 degrees. It usually sits between 68 and 70. I think its a reasonable temp and dont see how someone can charge you that much to keep from freezing to death! Nevermind the fact that the gas itself is so expensive, I am also being charged $75 a month for DISTRIBUTION and SERVICE charges??? What the fuck is that? What service? The meter reader guy that comes out to the house? I wonder if HE knows he should be making $75 per meter read? These people are completely assinine. I suppose a lot of people are probably ranting about these bills. But I also live in a smaller and poor area. I remember last year when a whole family died in a fire because their gas had been shut off so they were reduced to using cheap space heaters. When the head of this company was interviewed, he stated that the family that had perished didn't qualify for assistance because they did not possess the proper paperwork when they applied. PAPERWORK.....

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Happy HNT!!!!

Wow, been a long time since I posted one of these, hehee. Damn webcam scanlines! =(

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Just a little note

I'm finding it increasingly hard to find the time to post again. Especially now that I have gotten back into UE. Im thinking of perhaps changing the format of this blog to be more of a photo blog, at least until I have time to write more again.
On that note, I got a few nice pictures on my last exploration. I'll be posting more once I find a better picture hosting site! These few are from an abandoned theater here in town...