Punky Mama


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Arrive Home and Get It Done

I arrived home less than twenty four hours ago.  I had a great tour.  Ryan went to bed in tears wishing real life was like being on tour.  I told him that grand adventures can only be part of life.  Even still he slept till after noon and has been moping. It was good to see Aaron and spend time with him today. As Ryan slept I took Aaron to the library, to ship something we sold on Ebay, and to register him in public school.  Yes I dealt with school before getting food in the house for the first time in two weeks.

Insert the needle scratching across the record sound.  WHAT!!

Aaron can go to public school.  He is very sad that Ed Plus, the school he left in June are no longer going to be the way it was but public school was not that horrible for him.  The teachers loved him, he got straight A’s, and he is well behaved.  He likes school and I know homeschooling for Aaron is never his first choice. When I walked into the school the people in the office were so kind.  I told them what happened and we signed Aaron up.  When I asked who the fourth grade teachers were they told me and I perked up.  One of the fourth grade teachers was the only teacher who honored Ryan’s IEP and who was kind to him. She is a stellar teacher.  The secretary who always liked me made sure he was put in her class.  I walk out of the school knowing Aaron will be ok next year.  I am saying what I never thought I would but I need to get Aaron PSSA scores so I can apply him to the magnet schools around town.  He will be happy this year and I know he can thrive.  The school is close so Aaron can walk himself which has his very excited.

Today I contacted an education lawyer about Ryan.  The school failed him so miserably and his last public school teacher was abusive. I have a ton of proof that they did not honor his IEP and he was treated so badly. I am going to sue for alternative placement in a private school that can help him learn the way he learns. He has been scared he too will have to go back to public school but I am not going to make my kid with PTSD go back to where he was abused.  Period.  If Ed Plus cannot have Ryan in a classroom we will have to do cyber school this year. I will fight for what they did to my kid.  I didn’t want to fight in the past because I know how hard the Philly schools struggle.  I wanted the money of having to pay lawyers and private school to go to the kids who need it. If the government is going to take the one school model that worked for my kid away from him, I will have to fight because this kid will not be treated badly ever again.


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Because When It Works, We Will Close It

As you all know I have fought and my family has suffered through school issues, from budget cuts, to teachers not honoring IEP’s and so much more but we had found a safe haven in Education Plus Cyber Charter.  My kids FLOURISHED at Ed Plus.  They loved school and we were gearing up for a great year.

Then the hammer dropped and the school received a cease and desist letter from the state. Click to read.

All this started going down as we headed to Vancouver for the last show of the tour.  I am lost.  The changes the school has to make will kill the heart and soul of the place. Aaron will not be able to attend more than 2 hours a day.  Aaron can go back to public school for a year and I can find him placement at a magnet or other charter school.  I am not worried that kid is resilient and capable.  He will be fine.  Ryan cannot go back to public school.  I won’t do it.

I am livid at the state to pull this two weeks before school started.  This blended model of school really was showing results for kids like Ryan who learn differently. I can share with you story after story of kids who we failed by the public school system.  I am horrified at the loss of our endeared teachers, lead teacher, and staff at the school. The school was full of happy kids learning. There was no one screaming at the kids, they were respected, loved, and taught.  It was a great place.

The loss to my family will be profound.


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Midway Missing

Today marks the midway mark of the tour. It’s going well.  We have met some new friends, some old friends, and have played at some great clubs. The response makes me want to live out west except, well I am an east coast kind of girl who could never afford the big cities in California.

Today it really hit.  Aaron really misses us. He is struggling with my sister a little.  He is mumbling instead of talking to her and doing some attention seeking behavior. Of course I am in Ashland, OR and unable to help.  My heart hurt when I read her texts but I came up with some ideas on making it better. I told her to get a calendar and to cross off how many days we have been gone by already and how many to go.  He does well with reminders and lists. Also since we are holed up in a hotel I am going to spend some time on Skype with him playing MindCraft Build Battle this afternoon.  Of course my first response internally was to tell her to put him on a plane but as we all know that is impossible.  I can’t imagine trying to do this with both kids bouncing off each other.

Ryan is doing ok.  He has his moments that he struggles but he is for the most part thriving. I think it has been good for him to interact with Hoover and Dallas.  They have a way of making their time with him teachable moments.  Even if at times he seems as if he is not listening I know he is.  It’s good.  Their expectations are high and I think this trip is a great precursor to more independence of middle school. At times he grows tired, leads with his hands, or is hungry but the hard times are short lived. He is doing ok and we are enjoying him here.

Tonight we are in Ashland OR and tomorrow in Portland.  I can’t wait to play the shows and get home to my little one.


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Doing The Walk of Shame in a Pleather Dress.

Our show in Los Angeles was great. We got to see many old friends and make some new. My friend Simone brought Ryan to her house for a hang out with her daughter, which he really needed after so many days on the road. We needed a nap, which is exactly what we did. Dallas and Hoover arrived and we all chilled out before the show. We played with Symbol Six and a band called God Bless America. They had these wild get ups with American flags on them and the lead singer had a thigh high red white a blue high heel boots. They were visually stunning and they rocked. Symbol Six are an old school hardcore band who reformed and their new stuff is amazing. We had recently seen them in Philly and they brought it at both shows. It was fun to hang out with them in Philly and then again in Los Angeles, there is nothing like new band friends. The venue let Ryan into the club so he was able to see most of Symbol Six which he liked. After the show was over we were off to drive up to the Bay Area.  I am typically the night driver so I took the first shift.  When the sun came up Elliott took over but it was a long hard drive.  By the time we got to the hotel Hoover told me just go up to the room and I walked through the hotel.  I noticed every single person in the lobby checking out or eating the free breakfast was staring!! I guess they never saw a road weary woman in a pleather dress before with an eleven year old in tow. When Ryan got to the room I quickly sent him down to eat because that kid needs to eat 24/7 as he is growing. We got to the breakfast as it ended and I asked if I could still feed my son.  The woman looked scared and hustled away.  I got Ryan some food and Dal and Elliott arrived because BREAKFAST!!! Again all the nice well rested people just stared.  We have been laughing about it ever since.  Whenever I walk through the lobby dressed for a show it has become the walk of stares.  YO people band on tour nothing to see here!!

Oakland was just amazing. We got to see Maria who designed the girl with the gun logo and a old dear friend, Diane and Mark who are old time West Philly friends,  Michaelina from Squatweiler, Tom one of my punk rock mentors from high school and his lovely wife Karen, Lauren, Bill, and so many more.  We played with Control-R, Nomad, Pleasure Parade, and Minii and The Bear.  The Stork where we played have bands from 4pm till closing but it was great fun.  We played at the end of the day show.  It was GREAT.  One of those shows where the band and the crowd all were having a ton of fun.  Poor Ryan could not come into the club but he was a trooper.  Most of the show Dallas sat with him by the van.  I bought him food at one point but he was happy playing on his computer and hanging out with Dallas.  After the show we all walked to get some food with my old friend Tom and his lovely wife Karen.  We laughed late into the night at a diner, just like it should be. 

Today I am taking my very patient and road warrior kid to the hotel pool because well, I can.


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Finally Made It

We made it to Los Angles and will have half a day to just sit still.  It was a really long drive but it was a ton of fun.  I was surprised about how much time Ryan spent just looking out the window, asking questions, and being with us. It went better than I ever thought it would.  He kept saying, Mom with this driving thing you have to go with the flow.  Even still it was very long days.  We would get in the car at 8 or 9 am and drive till midnight or later all of us passing out as soon as our head hit the pillow.  Once Elliott fell asleep in his clothes. It was brutal at times and I am concerned starting the drive back in one week.

Now we await the arrival of Dallas and Hoover.  They fly in today from Philly and we are at a hotel near the airport.  Now we get this tour under way!!!  I am excited and nervous all at the same time.  It’s been a long time since we have toured.  Not sure what will happen but just doing it is the most important part.

As we always said back in the day, it’s always better to be the guppie in the ocean that is the world, than be the big fish is the small town of Philly……

Gulp……here we go again…..

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