Oh S#^$

Some of you may have noticed that I haven’t been writing as frequently.  Well, right now, we are in the stage of Get On The Bus that I like to call the “Oh S*&^” Stage.  Let me give you a little history about the “Oh S%&@” stage before I go on…

The Birth- Last year during the height of a Swine Flu epidemic, the California state prisons shut down visiting on the week of our Get On The Bus event.  We got word of this the Monday before the event, which was set for that upcoming Friday.   My response “Oh S@#$”.  Not only did this mean that I had to cancel the event for all the children the week of the event, but I had to pick a reschedule date in the future that may or may not have happened depending on whether or not the visiting rooms opened. Then I had to undo all the work I did for the upcoming event (cancelling busses, food, etc.)  Then I had to redo all the work that I had done for the new reschedule date.  If that was not a good time to say, “Oh S#$^” I don’t know when would be?
The Evolution-  Every year right around this time, no matter how well the stars seem to align, something comes up that completely turns everything upside down.  This year is no exception.  In the past two weeks, we got notice from the state that we did not win the Chowchilla Mother’s Day contract, a contract that we had for the last 2.5 years so I have been scrambling around working with the new contracted company and to top it off, we also found out that we are over capacity at CIW, CMC and now today, CTF, which makes for further rearranging.  Again, another great reason to want to say “Oh S$%&” and furthermore, why if this is God’s work, is it so G*& D@$^%$ hard?
Through all of this, I have wanted to pull out my hair and/or jump off a bridge at times, but last night seemed to draw me back…  Yesterday, in addition to being my 3 year wedding anniversary, it was a very special night for my boss Sr. Suzanne Jabro and our agency.  Sr. Suzanne was honored for her steadfast work in the field of justice and reform at the Death Penalty Focus dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.  When I received the invitation in the mail and saw that her cohonoree was Alec Baldwin and the supporters were all high profile celebrities, I knew that this was no fly-by-night event.  It then became the perfect excuse to get all dressed up, get my hair done and buy some new Rihanna shoes.
I don’t know what it is, but being around 200 plus people who have dedicated their lives to making a difference for others is incredibly powerful.  I looked around the room and saw all the people who I have “grown up” with in this industry.  I saw people who have become the voices of the voiceless, the friends to friendless and the people who care when others could careless.  I was so moved that I actually smudged my make up and the event hadn’t even started.  Yet another reason to belt out “Oh S#^@”. ;p
When the first speaker came to the podium, he said something that completely centered me.  He said, “In life it is not the image we put out to the world, but what bleeds through that makes us who we are.”  “Oh S#$%” this guy has nailed it on the head and that’s why it is all worth it.
I would like to say congratulations to my dear friend Marylou for completing the MS Walk last weekend.  I would also like to wish my ‘NYC hubby’ lots of luck this weekend in your first half marathon.  I am rooting for you!!


  1. princesa_kimberly

    NYC hubby is feeling the love!!! I will bring my shirt along for good luck. When it gets tough I will think of your perseverence and it will keep me going strong. I will also think of all your crazy antics when I need a laugh 🙂

    Thank you for inspiring me to run!!

    <3 you Maria!!

  2. RD

    Keep on keeping on, Maria! You are amazing and God knows exactly what He (she?) is doing… lotsa love- it will all work out (it always does, doesn't it?) 🙂 I'm so grateful for all you given to this good work over the last couple of years… good woman!

  3. Maria Costanzo Palmer

    Thanks everyone for your support and comments. Funny how when you say the "S" word people start to comment ;p.


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