Category: Food!


014d29a004034bde74e617965c17c489997ad062d0

I’ve decided I’m going to attempt to write a poem a day in October. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to accomplish it, and I’m double not sure if I’ll want to share what I’ve written…but I am committing myself to trying, and as inspiration I’m going to read poetry every day, so at the very least I will link to a poem I have read. And I know it’s not October yet, but…

The Poetic Process

Drove home stoned on Cohen

and Waits had to write

a poem like a full bladder, brainsharp

pencil, ran

Into the house with a

simultaneous empty that felt like

Hunger, got distracted

by all of the Chores

that never get done

Poured

some water in a pot to boil

Divorced

myself from the conversation

To my room, tried to turn on

Music, music

won’t turn on, got

Distracted by Facebook

as I scrambled for

my journal, which

I found in a crevice

between my bed &

the wall, too small

to fit my hand in to

Got a stiff

bookmark, managed

to knock it over,

then flat

on the floor

once again beyond grasp

As I dropped my favorite

pen in trying

to retrieve it

Rolled far

Underbed, the metal pieces of which

Came apart, thankfully temporarily, as I

wrenched it

away from wall enough

for my fingers to grasp

Several other

Lost Items

Unknowingly Sacrificed

to bed monster

Until finally,

gingerly,

with very fingertips pinching

journal cover

Extracted from

hungry maw

but not before

accidentally pushing it

further underbed, causing

me to burst out

in glee of the fact that

At least now

I had something

completely absurd to

birth upon it’s recovered

pages

And that’s

when the water boiled

over.

Lainie

9/13/2013

Mommy-Son time with The Tao of Bird today. We went out to breakfast at his FAVORITE RESTAURANT ON EARTH, Donut Taco Palace.

We ate donuts AND tacos, and enjoyed some tasty beverages.

Juice…or no juice?

I kept trying to get a picture of Bird, but he kept, as he called it, “Sean Penning” me.

I have embarrassingly few photos of my children. Both of them started to hate having their photo taken at a young age, and I gradually just trained myself to take pictures of food and trees and birds and stuff. I can’t say I blame them…I’m not terribly fond of being in photos, either. But I need good material to embarrass them in front of their dates wi…er, I mean, to send to relatives who have no clue what my children look like.

After breakfast, Bird and I went to the library to check out some books. Bird is really enjoying Lord of the Flies. He is just certain that’s the way it would really be if children were stranded on an island. I told him he needs to watch Lost…or Gilligan’s island…for slightly different points of view. He says he likes books that are grim and depressing and unsentimental. I tried to get him to read Native Son by Richard Wright, but he chose some sort of weird space cowboy mystery, instead. I think this is going to be an interesting reading year for him. He’s exploring new things. I chose some awesome books that I won’t be able to finish by the time they are due, and will probably end up buying, after paying my overdue fine at the library. Because that’s how I roll.

In the car on the way home, we listened to this episode of Radiolab.  What’s funny, is I remember listening to that episode of radiolab on a walk by myself one night. I was going to pick up Bird at a neighbor’s house while I was listening to it. I have no idea why I remember that, as the day was completely insignificant, unless you consider that radio show to be significant, which I suppose you can. It’s a pretty good episode.

Back home, I watched Heathers while Buddha the Grouch scoffed. As a 16-year old (actually, pretty much since he turned 5) he seems morally obligated to scoff at anything I like. In fact, he has actually told me that he’s not allowed to like anything I recommend to him. I keep telling him that’s going to bite him in the ass, especially when all of his friends start talking about how awesome, say, Raising Arizona is…and he’s either going to have to admit that it’s a great movie, or he’s going to forever be a closeted Coen Bros. fan. But I wonder if Heathers is really only funny in the context of all of the ’80s John Hughes-formula teen angst movies. I guess I’ll have to ask someone else’s kid. I hadn’t watched the movie since my 20’s, and I laughed out loud at some parts, but OH, THOSE SHOULDERPADS. hahaha. Of all of the eras of fashion, you have to admit…the 80’s were pretty fucking ridiculous.

The rest of the day was spent grocery shopping, driving to the other side of town and back, and avoiding being sucked into an endless “How It’s Made” marathon, because apparently that’s on Netflix now. I’m so toast if they ever start streaming House Hunters. As it is, Buddha the Grouch keeps trying to get me to watch “just this little bit” of How It’s Made, and I keep objecting vociferously.

So, you know, typical weekend of late. I’m glad I’ve taken the time to spend extra time with (or at least being available to) the kiddos lately. I’ve missed out on some important activities that I’d really like to be involved in, but I just don’t feel right not being here right now. Especially with the coming weeks and the work-hour craziness they will be bringing. Insane amounts of overtime – here I come! I’m telling people I’ll probably see them in October. Hopefully, I’ll still have time to write.

The Tao of C & mama

Over the weekend, I hosted another fine installment in a neverending series of teenage slumber parties.

Can you see the tiniest evidence of the scrap of influence I attempt to exert over these situations?

Oh, slumber parties. I don’t think TTOC slept at all, but his friend admitted he fell asleep at some point during the night. But they had fun, and they’re such good boys.

And tonight, Buddha the Grouch made a really tasty dinner that seemed to have been cursed for at least the last week. First, the rice he had been carefully saving for stir fry – allowing it to become the perfect texture – got eaten. Then he got sick. Then today, when he finally got down to cooking this epic meal, he opened the tofu to discover it smelled like, as he described it, cat butt. And it really did. I’m not sure how that happened with unopened tofu that was not yet past its expiration date, but man…that was the stankiest tofu I ever smelled. Tofu emergency!

We all survived, though I was worried when Monk told me he actually tasted the cat-butt tofu. He had cooked it first, so…I’m still hoping he doesn’t get sick. Yuck. I’ve never smelled tofu like that. So. Gross.

So, the way my work week works, I have two more days of work, then a day off, then one day of work, then two days off. It’s not bad. Not bad at all. Although my next day off is going to be spent running weird errands. I’m still trying to find a good rhythm. This week isn’t a good example because I’m a little rundown & feeling like taking it easy. I have things in the works for the next couple of weeks, though.Exciting times.

By the way…wtf, USA? What. The. Fickety. Fuck?

 

I’ve been sneezing all day & now in the dwindling hours I’m left feeling groggy and uninspired. So, I’m just going to post some links and be done with it…

 

Andalusia’s history is peppered with occupations of latifundias – huge agricultural estates dating back to Roman times – by landless workers. Mr Sánchez Gordillo claims these estates make up about 50 per cent of the region’s land, but are owned by just 2 per cent of Andalusia’s population. He says Andalusia is also covered, now, with dozens of empty industrial estates that are mute testimony to the unemployment that blights the region – one sits just 12 miles away from Marinaleda, where the only visible “green shoots” belonged to weeds flourishing amid the patchwork of rusting streetlights, crumbling service roads and pedestrian crossings leading nowhere.“It is true we form part of a tradition, but we’re doing something new here too: we’re insisting that natural resources should be at the service of people, that they have a natural right to the land, and that land is not something to be marketed,” says Mr Sánchez  Gordillo. “Food should not be speculated with either. It is a basic human right. We also believe in the [common] sovereignty of [food] as a way of profoundly changing agriculture in the world, not just one particular place.”http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/27-of-spaniards-are-out-of-work-yet-in-one-town-everyone-has-a-job-8612920.html

 

Art for Advocacy – 13 posters for sustainable social change: http://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/culture/graphic-advocacy-posters-digital-age/?utm_source=feedly

 

“The New York Times said: The U.S. Department of Justice secretly seized two months of phone records for reporters and editors of The Associated Press in what the news organization said Monday was a “serious interference with A.P.’s constitutional rights to gather and report the news.”” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/14/us/phone-records-of-journalists-of-the-associated-press-seized-by-us.html?pagewanted=all

 

Monsanto’s practices both in the courtroom and on the farm have made the company increasingly the target of criticism in recent months, and a series of affairs in Washington has done little to weaken the opposition. Campaigns against the company have been renewed as of late following the passing of a congressional agriculture spending bill that included a provision — dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act” by its critics — that provides legal immunity to biotech entities that experiment with genetically modified and genetically engineer foods. Additionally, the relationship between Monsanto and the country’s high court has been called into question since one of the justices, Clarence Thomas, formerly served as a lawyer for the St. Louis-based company.

On May 25, an international series of rallies to protest Monsanto is scheduled to occur with demonstrations planned on six continents. http://rt.com/usa/patented-monsanto-court-patent-210/

Speaking of which:

253203_4566817900761_434950789_n

“For many, many generations, women and children were told: don’t let yourself get raped, and if you do, for god’s sake don’t whinge about it. Don’t act like a slut. Don’t let your guard down. Don’t ever assume for a second that you have the same right as a man to exist in public or private space without fear of assault and humiliation. That message is slowly, finally, starting to change, so that instead, we’re telling men and boys: do not rape. Do not grope, assault, bully or hurt women, children or anyone over whom you have temporary power. Doing so will no longer increase your social status. If you do it anyway, you will find yourself publicly shamed and possibly up on criminal charges. This is the age of the internet, and nobody forgets.

Confronting structural violence is intensely painful. It’s like squeezing out an enormous splinter you hadn’t realised was there. The pain comes, in large part, from the understanding that you yourself might be implicated by virtue of easy ignorance; that you yourself might have stood by while evil went on; that people you know and trust and respect might very well have done terrible things simply because they thought they were allowed to. Questioning the morality of slave-owning was, until comparatively recently in human history, a minority position. It would be crass and simplistic to equate rape culture with slavery even if there weren’t complex historical links between the two. There is one important similarity, however, and that’s in the reaction when dominant, oppressive cultures finally wake up to the idea that evil on an immense scale has been taking place right in front of them.”

http://www.newstatesman.com/broadcast/2013/05/not-persecution-old-men-prosecution-rapists-and-we-should-applaud-it

 

Asparagus Pesto: http://www.yumsugar.com/Asparagus-Pesto-Recipe-30388639?utm_source=feedly

 

“Take a step back for a moment. Letting children have their own way? Doing just what they like? Wouldn’t that be a total disaster? Yes, if parents perform only the first half of the trick. In the cultural lexicon of modernity, self-will is often banally understood as brattish, selfish behaviour. Will does not mean selfishness, however, and autonomy over oneself is not a synonym for nastiness towards others – quite the reverse. Ngarinyin children in Australia traditionally grew up uncommanded and uncoerced, but from a young age they learned socialisation. That is the second half of the trick. Children are socialised into awareness and respect for the will and autonomy of others, so that, when necessary as they grow, they will learn to hold their own will in check in order to maintain good relations. For a community to function well, an individual may on occasion need to rein in his or her own will but, crucially, not be compelled to do so by someone else.

Among Inuit and Sami people, there is an explicit need for children to learn self-regulation. Adults keep a reticent and tactful distance. A child “is learning on his own” is a common Sami expression. Sami children are trained to control anger, sensitivity, aggression and shame. Inuit people stress that children must learn self-control – with careful emphasis. The child should not be controlled by another, with their will overruled, but needs to learn to steer herself or himself.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/may/04/leave-them-kids-alone-griffiths

 

Had a difficult time picking just one quote for this one, guys. This distresses me immensely. It’s like this: if we don’t start fighting back against these corporations in earnest, they will continue to treat us all as though we owe our souls to their company store:

“Exxon says it lets evacuated homeowners briefly visit their homes whenever they want. Thursday they decided that wouldn’t be the case.Shortly after stepping onto Senia’s property, we were both told to leave immediately by an unidentified Exxon official who said it was blocked off because of construction.”What I don’t understand is that we’re told that we have the right to be here as property owners,” said Senia. “We’re not in the way, we’re not bothering other people and sometimes they just kick us out.”Meanwhile, countless people from Exxon and other agencies go in and out of his home.”It’s very distressing,” said Senia. “Sometimes it feels like there’s an invading army just in your house.””http://www.katv.com/story/22212987/mayflower-homeowner-kicked-off-of-property-by-exxon

 

Artichoke Asiago Cheese Bread: http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2013/04/artichoke-asiago-cheese-bread.html?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AVeggieVenture+(A+Veggie+Venture)

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, it’s to the point where I can’t help but count down until employment begins. One week. One short week. One week made shorter by all of the things I want to get done to prepare for no more long and languid days filled with whatever I want to fill them with.

I am preparing by celebrating as well as working. Beginning last weekend. Actually, beginning during the entirety of my little break from employment. Hopefully continuing beyond employment. Hopefully I have trained myself well enough to cultivate languidness in my day-to-day life, job or no job.

I’ve met some pretty nice people during my little vacation. A is one of them. Always game for a new adventure, A enthusiastically endorsed my idea of spending an entire day in bars, drinking.

Getting my drank on!

Getting my drank on!

I’m not much of a drinker normally, but it seemed like a fun, unemploymenty kind of thing to do. Though I invited other friends to join me along the way, I was glad to have a constant companion along for the ride. It was EXACTLY the kind of “wacky sidekick” adventure I’ve always enjoyed.

So, after a light breakfast (of orange juice, coffee…

Vitamin C

Vitamin C

and Wendell Berry)

“a kind of idiocy”

We started out at the Poodle Dog Lounge, which is a dive bar about a 10 minute walk from my house. I got there first, and sat at the bar with a few characters who seemed like regulars. A arrived about 15 minutes after me. One beer down. We played some pool, fed the overpriced jukebox some dollar bills – I played Def Leppard, Gnarls Barkley…and my theme song:

Pretty much got my ass kicked at pool, just like I figured I would.

The Wisdom of Bathroom Graffiti

The Wisdom of Bathroom Graffiti

But we had fun, A bought me several beers, and we were pleasantly buzzed when we headed north to The Pour House, where I enjoyed some pear cider (it was freaking delicious!)

Pear Cider

Pear Cider

and a veggie burger and tots.

Veggie Burger and Tots

Veggie Burger and Tots

A taught me how to play cornhole, and P & S showed up to play with us for a bit before they headed out to psych fest, leaving me to once again lose to A at more bar games before we traipsed off to our next stop.

Lala’s is a neighborhood bar that I rarely go to.

Lights at Lala's

Lights at Lala’s

Mostly because, as mentioned above, I don’t drink all that much. However, the daytime crowd at Lala’s might make more of a drinker of me. It was a really nice mix of ages and everyone was really pleasant. I fed the jukebox $5 and that bought me about an hour of music (so much better than the jukebox at Poodle Dog) and I promptly loaded the mix with some R&B and jazz, at the request of my companion (and inspiring the friendly fellow bargoers to compliment my skillz, to which I responded “I always wanted to be a dj!”) The mix included this little ditty, which reminds me of karaoke with George.

At lala’s we moved to scotch & soda. I nursed mine VERRRRRRRY slowly, which is probably why I was able to kick A’s ass at foosball, in spite of the fact that I was laughing uncontrollably through much of the game, and mostly just doing the foosball equivalent of button-mashing (namely, spinning the spinners randomly hoping to score.)

No butts

No butts

And A and I had a great conversation about life and friendship and parenting. I couldn’t tell if I was being deep, or if I was being “drunk deep.” But either way, it was nice. It’s been nice getting to know new people. I’m really glad I have made an effort to reach out while I’ve had this extra time on my hands.

Electric Banana

Electric Banana

A seems to have an appreciation for my cheerful nature. He feels he is often negative…that he often finds things that are wrong with any given situation and feels the need to express dissatisfaction. I don’t really see him that way…he’s never seemed like much of a complainer to me, but I have had people tell me I seem “bubbly” “happy” “cheerful” and “optimistic” before. In some people, it’s even aroused suspicion. Good things seem to happen for me. This whole bout with unemployment, in fact, seems to have been one zany adventure. A coup, I like to call it. Even the weather has been more agreeable than usual while I’ve been out of work. But is it that good things happen to me, or is it that I steadfastly refuse to look at any given situation as the end of the road? It’s possibly a bit of both. I am inordinately lucky, and extraordinarily privileged in comparison to many people.

However, it’s not like bad shit never happens to me. It’s not even that I don’t ever get sad. I’ve been pretty sad about at least one major disappointment in my life the entire time I’ve been unemployed. I’ve probably even dwelt on it. But I’ve learned to disallow sadness and disappointment from clouding all of the wonderful things that are available to me if I just look beyond. It hasn’t been an easy lesson to learn, and sometimes I forget…but I find it easier and easier the more I practice. And anyway, there’s always someone who has much more difficulty in their life than I do, and I feel selfish if I complain too much about my petty difficulties.

At any rate, A finished his last scotch and soda, and we headed to Sarah’s house for cheap margaritas. Nolan told me I wasn’t allowed to watch them make the drinks, because there were “controversial ingredients.” I watched anyway. The first step: frozen lime juice concentrate. I gasped! And Nolan said “That’s not even the controversial part!” (The controversial ingredient was…BEER! Cheap beer!)

“That’s not even the controversial part.”

At Sarah’s, we drank aforementioned margaritas, ate chips and guac. Sarah regaled us with her tales of superherodom. She’s so frikking amazing. I just love all her and all of the ADAPT activists. I always learn tons from conversations with Sarah.

“Free Our People”

Then Susan and Brian joined us, and we got to talk about teaching and the boys and all manner of things.

After a bit we all got a little tired, so A and I parted ways with Sarah, Nolan, Susan & Brian & headed back to Lala’s for our last drink of the night. Well, my last drink.

Last Drinks at Lala's

Last Drinks at Lala’s

A treated me to Funyuns, which seemed an appropriate snack after a day of drinking.

Funyuns (Pork skins and beef jerky for A)

Funyuns (Pork skins and beef jerky for A)

And a beer. And we sat at the bar and talked about what a different crowd it was at that hour than it had been in the afternoon. I left A there around midnight, feeling pleasantly full of good cheer and a well-wasted day as I walked the couple blocks home.

Cool car we admired before I left.

Cool car we admired before I left.

It really was a perfect day…and (another coup!) I didn’t even have a hangover the next morning. I woke up early and played with my chalk pastels,

Angry Crow

Angry Crow

botched pomegranate

botched pomegranate

while listening to Velvet Underground.

A note to you: You are you. You are not the situation you are temporarily occupying. I love you for you. Not for what I can, nor in spite of what I cannot, “get” from you. ❤ Me

Fresh Bread.

Fresh Bread.

Nothing much happened today, really.

There was breakfast and reading.

Oatmeal and Wendell Berry

Oatmeal and Wendell Berry

And a long walk through the neighborhood, complete with horses at the school.

Horses in the schoolyard, part 1

Horses in the schoolyard, part 1

Horses in the schoolyard, part 2

Horses in the schoolyard, part 2

Vultures in the road

Vultures in the road

Vultures in the road

Interesting shadows.

Interesting Shadows

Interesting Shadows

And, of course, pomegranates.

Pomegranates

Pomegranates

I visited with a Score mentor about Education Never Ends. Business plan is the next step.

Met up with some superheroes at City Hall who were fighting to keep our elected representatives from transferring power over our publicly-owned utility to an unelected independent board…and also feeding people.

Fight the power, after eating a well-balanced and nutritious meal!

Fight the power, after eating a well-balanced and nutritious meal!

And came home to my messy house. I’m thinking I might at least try to clean the kitchen tomorrow. I’m also thinking my room needs some work – particularly if I’m going to be working from it. No reason why I can’t rearrange things so I have a window next to my desk. And a freaking treadmill.

I have a lot on my mind – most of which I probably won’t be able to talk about for a long time. It’s still sorting itself all out up there.

***

Some links for you:

“Exxon is and will always be a bully,” said David Turnbull, Campaigns Director of Oil Change International. “Instead of engaging their critics appropriately, Exxon uses its billions to hire high-priced lawyers to make scary-sounding but unsupported legal claims to suppress criticism. It’s a window into how they have preserved billions in taxpayer handouts for their industry for so many years.”

This is the second time Exxon has bullied this advertisement off the air. In February, Exxon sent a cease-and-desist letter to Comcast only hours before scheduled airings during State of the Union news coverage.

The move by Exxon marks the latest in a series of reported strong-arm tactics undertaken by Exxon to censor reporting in the days following the Mayflower tar sands oil spill.http://priceofoil.org/2013/04/11/exxon-pressures-arkansas-tv-stations-to-ban-critical-ad-following-mayflower-tar-sands-spill/

Why Idle No More is so important:

The resolution by the Oglala Sioux Tribe, which is a 1934 Indian Reorganization Act government, explicitly supports the traditional Black Hills Sioux Nation Treaty Council’s resolution approved unanimously on Feb. 18, 2012. The earlier resolution states: “The Great Sioux Nation hereby directs President Barack Obama and the United States Congress to honor the promises of the United States made through the 1851 and 1868 Fort Laramie treaties by prohibiting the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline and any future projects from entering and destroying our land without our consent.”

The traditional leaders’ resolution, argues against the dilbit pipeline on the grounds of international law, citing the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. http://www.indianz.com/News/2013/009206.asp

Meanwhile, the entire community of Mayflower, AR has been radicalized:

At this early stage of the game, real answers to what’s going on in Mayflower would be hard to come by, even if a mega-corporation wasn’t on the ground in full damage control mode, and local and county officials hadn’t largely ceded jurisdiction to them, with workers and Faulkner County deputies barring the public and media from the scene. The emerging picture, though — a picture that includes wildlife coated in oil, devastated ecosystems in ExxonMobil’s “restricted areas,” residents who say they are sick, and the still-ticking time bomb on the shores of Central Arkansas’s primary water source, Lake Maumelle, where the Pegasus Pipeline comes within 600 feet of the shoreline — might be even uglier than a neighborhood coated in crude. http://www.arktimes.com/arkansas/will-mayflower-ever-be-the-same-after-the-exxon-spill/Content?oid=2797633&showFullText=true

Hung

So, today I hung a jury.

Well, first I had breakfast.

Breakfast of Jurors

Breakfast of Jurors

Then I put on lipstick

Lipstick

Lipstick

THEN I hung a jury

Hahaha. I don’t really want to recap the story, but I found it amusing that it was so easy for me to stand my ground while at least a couple of the dudes in the room clearly felt I was a total idiot…if not downright unamerican. “I’m sorry.” I said. “I missed lunch, too.” I said. “Yes, I’m pretty clear on the One-Witness Rule, thanks. We don’t have to have the judge come in here and explain it to me again.” But, you know…I handled it. I stood my ground. And even though the defendant seemed like a TOTAL asshole, I just didn’t think there was any proof that he was guilty. Sorry, guys!

So, that happened. That was interesting. It points me in the direction of some (if I can get all new agey for a second) inner work I need to do around what I will accept versus what I accept of others. Maybe if I figure it out, I’ll write about it here.

Anyway, after that – hair dying happened.

Bleached

Bleached

 

Dyed (wet)

Dyed (wet)

 

Dyed (Dry)

Dyed (Dry)

 

What's red and purple and nerd all over?

What’s red and purple and nerd all over?

And celebratory “Mom got the job” dinner with the boys.

And – YAY – Footie pajama dance party! Maybe even two more nights this week, too!

***

I’m not sure why, but this Lawrence Lessig video that has been making the rounds depresses me. It was definitely brave for him to stand in front of a crowd of people, many of whom were most likely among the culprits identified in the talk…and identify them as culpable, in fact, pointedly so. However, the argument relied too much, in my mind, on this notion that the structure of power occurs by happy accident rather than by deviant design…

http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html

…Or maybe Lessig is just way ahead of me, and he’s trying to foment the class war of the 1% Chrystia Freeland talks about in Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone else:

In a democratic age, the super-elite can survive if every millionaire is convinced he has a billionaire’s baton in his knapsack. If that conviction breaks down, the battle of the millionaires versus the billionaires could move from Cairo and Kiev to London and New York.

…or perhaps we just disagree. Which can happen between reasonable people.

So, then there are the Tax Evaders. Now you can punch them! http://taxevaders.net/

In fact, some people are playing “Tax Evader” on the sides of buildings owned by actual tax evaders!

Activists from Luminous Intervention play Tax Evaders video game with a Kinects on a Bank of America building in downtown Baltimore Wednesday night.  http://luminousintervention.org/ Photo: Casey Mckeel

Activists from Luminous Intervention play Tax Evaders video game with a Kinects on a Bank of America building in downtown Baltimore Wednesday night.
http://luminousintervention.org/
Photo: Casey Mckeel

What are you doing to make things better?

Flapping Your Broken Wings

Here’s the lesson I keep relearning: We don’t control what other people think of us. Even if they are really, really wrong. Even if what they think of us is hurtful to them. Even if I fully accept another person’s shortcomings and difficulties – that’s no guarantee they will accept mine.

But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t accept other people…it just means everyone has their limits.

That’s not bad for just one week between Pekars!

American Splendor

American Splendor

Also…

Dear 42-year old me,

Thanks so much for writing this post for 14-year old me, so 43-year old me (that’s me!) could read it:

Love openly. Err on the side of kindness. It really fucking hurts to trust. I know. But trust anyway. Stay in touch with loved ones. Pay attention. STOP WORRYING. It really is true that within the margin of error and certain parameters, everything really does turn out ok. But don’t forget those who dwell outside of those parameters for whom things do not turn out ok. When taking risks, consider them, as well as yourself. Don’t confuse luck for skill. Don’t mistake circumstance for predestiny. Give more credit than you accept. Worry is negative goal setting. DON’T GET INVOLVED IN RELATIONSHIPS UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND FULLY WHAT YOU ARE GETTING YOURSELF INTO. It’s not selfish to conserve your own energy, provided you don’t make promises you can’t keep while preserving that energy. Be nice to your mama.

Dude. That’s good advice.

Good energy (ar ar. SO sorry about that! I didn’t even realize that was there until I proofread, and I just can’t bear to remove it.) (By the way, The Tao of C told a pun-joke today that went like: If you don’t pet this kitty, it will be a cat-astrophe! Like Apocalypse Meow!” hahaha!) in the room today as I stood with representatives from a broad coalition of environmental, economic, and social justice groups in objection to the changes the Austin City Council proposes to make to Austin Energy. Namely, putting control of our public utility, as well as its assets, in the hands of an unelected board. In other words, transferring the LITERAL power out of the hands of the people. I was honored to stand among such a dedicated and committed group of people. I think the next few months are going to be very interesting in my life. I have a lot to learn.

City Council meeting this Thursday should be interesting. It’s estimated that the issue will come before the council between 5 and 7 PM, but that time is not set in stone. Childcare and food will be provided, for those who wish to join us (I say us, but I might have to be late) in opposing this change vocally and in numbers.

Clean Energy For Austin

Clean Energy For Austin

On the way to that press conference, I ran into a client of the program I once ran. We stopped to smell flowers, and I convinced her to come to the press conference and hold a sign.

PJ Sniffing flowers.

PJ Sniffing flowers.

Got my new glasses.

Please ignore my messy hair!

Please ignore my messy hair!

Got some hair dye. Had a good dinner…

Peanut tofu over a bed of sauteed collard greens

Peanut tofu over a bed of sauteed collard greens

I’m writing perfect poetry
In my mind and disappears like smoke

and Tiny bursting dynamites of hope.

Tomorrow is jury duty and hair dying. ❤

***

I want you to think about this:

Vista Grande High School Principal Tim Hamilton ordered the school — with a student population of 1,776 — on “lock down,” kicking off the first “drug sweep” in the school’s four-year history. According to Hamilton, “lock down” is a state in which, “everybody is locked in the room they are in, and nobody leaves — nobody leaves the school, nobody comes into the school.”

“Everybody is locked in, and then they bring the dogs in, and they are teamed with an administrator and go in and out of classrooms. They go to a classroom and they have the kids come out and line up against a wall. The dog goes in and they close the door behind, and then the dog does its thing, and if it gets a hit, it sits on a bag and won’t move.”

While such “drug sweeps” have become a routine matter in many of the nation’s schools, along with the use of metal detectors and zero-tolerance policies, one feature of this raid was unusual. According to Casa Grande Police Department (CGPD) Public Information Officer Thomas Anderson, four “law enforcement agencies” took part in the operation: CGPD (which served as the lead agency and operation coordinator), the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Gila River Indian Community Police Department, and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).

It is the involvement of CCA — the nation’s largest private, for-profit prison corporation — that causes this high school “drug sweep” to stand out as unusual; CCA is not, despite CGPD’s evident opinion to the contrary, a law enforcement agency.

“To invite for-profit prison guards to conduct law enforcement actions in a high school is perhaps the most direct expression of the ‘schools-to-prison pipeline’ I’ve ever seen,” said Caroline Isaacs, program director of the Tucson office of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker social justice organization that advocates for criminal justice reform.

“All the research shows that CCA doesn’t properly train its staff to do the jobs they actually have. They most certainly do not have anywhere near the training and experience–to say nothing of the legal authority–to conduct a drug raid on a high school,” Isaacs added. “It is chilling to think that any school official would be willing to put vulnerable students at risk this way.” http://shutthechamber.org/news/prwatch-private-prison-company-affiliated-us-chamber-conducts-drug-raids-public-schools

And then thank the superheroes of TWAC:

This protest comes on the heels of TWAC, a weeklong gathering of almost 100 female and transgender activists to share skills and campaign information, and organize opposition to the prison-industrial complex. Prisons and immigrant detention centers, GEO’s primary investments, target poor people, people of color, and transgender individuals. As female and transgender organizers, we are more vulnerable to violence within these institutions. GEO has a clear record of human rights abuses within its facilities. https://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/twac-storms-prison-industry-giant-geo-group-hq-in-boca-raton/

This article is spot on, AND hilarious:

So. When “can” you compliment women!?

1. Literally any time!

Yay! I bet this is easier than you thought! Here’s the thing. Do you have a reason to compliment the woman in question? Wait. Let me rephrase that. Do you have a reason to compliment her that doesn’t have anything to do with your penishttp://jezebel.com/you-cant-tell-the-attorney-general-she-has-an-epic-but-471311007

This is some brave ass shit here:

A Tar Sands Blockader disrupted the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio this afternoon during the PGA golf tournament. Douglas Fahlbusch was a standard bearer for the event and used the opportunity to bring attention toManchester, a low income, predominately Latin@ community in Houston’s toxic East End where Valero operates a refinery that consistently violates EPA and TCEQ (Texas Commission for Environmental Quality) laws and regulations.

Once the tournament reached the 18th hole, Doug changed the sign, ordinarily used to display the players’ names and scores, to read “TAR SANDS SPILL. VALERO KILLS. ANSWER MANCHESTER.” He refused to leave the green and was dragged the entire way off the premises by police.

“Business as usual is over, between the BP spill, the current Arkansas spill, and daily life in Manchester,” Fahlbusch said. “Why won’t Valero tell the Manchester people what it is they are breathing every day?” http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/20th-action/

As is this:

ALLEN, OK – Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 9:00 AM – Oklahoma grandmother Nancy Zorn, 79, from Warr Acres, has locked herself to a piece of heavy machinery effectively halting construction on TransCanada’s Keystone XL toxic tar sands pipeline. This action comes in the wake of the disastrous tar sands pipeline spill in Mayflower Arkansas, where an estimated 80,000 gallons of tar sands spilled into a residential neighborhood and local waterways.

Using a bike-lock Zorn has attached her neck directly to a massive earth-mover, known as an excavator, which has brought construction of Keystone XL to a stop.  Zorn is the second Oklahoma grandmother this year risking arrest to stop construction of the pipeline, and her protest is the third in a series of ongoing civil disobedience actions led by the Oklahoma-based coalition of organizations, Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance. http://gptarsandsresistance.org/2013/04/09/3rd-action/

Which explains the praise for the pipeline organizers in this article (complete with throwdown in comments):

The movement to stop the Keystone XL pipeline has gone far beyond what anybody at TransCanada ever could have envisioned when it was first proposed. At Platts’ The Barrel talk at the recent AFPM meeting in San Antonio, a panel of experts all had different views on whether the line would be approved or rejected in the coming months. Ask 10 people in the oil business and you’ll get 10 opinions. (Given the recent ExxonMobil spill in Arkansas, those 10 opinions today might be different than they would have been a week ago.)

But if the protesters lose, and Keystone XL gets an Obama administration OK, it certainly isn’t for lack of trying or organization. They’re highly organized, and they know exactly what they’re doing. http://blogs.platts.com/2013/04/07/golf-protest/

It’s not spring until I listen to Key Lime Pie by Camper Van Beethoven. I was holding out in hopes of…but, no. It’s time for spring to begin.

Camper Van Beethoven - June

…and I wrote you this letter…

Weekends are sort of redundant when one is unemployed. Regardless, I had a relaxing one.

Saturday began with Bitch Magazine, coffee, and raisin bran…

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast of Champions

A trip to Vegfest, to help serve food for Unity Vegan Kitchen.

Unity Vegan Kitchen at Vegfest 2013

Unity Vegan Kitchen at Vegfest 2013

Though they didn’t need help, I was thankful for the excuse to make it out to the festival, and enjoyed some yummy food.

Chole Samosa

Chole Samosa

Accompanied a friend to The Great Outdoors, where we gawked at greenhouse flowers before he bought bags of soil for his garden.

Pitcher Plant

Pitcher Plant

Pitcher Plant 2

Pitcher Plant 2

Bougainvillea galore!

Bougainvillea galore!

Nerded out at the opening of the Hats off to Dr. Seuss exhibition with one of my very favorite superheroes…followed by dinner and giggles at surreal-0-vision.

I think this one was called

I think this one was called “Ejecting a Surly Cat.”

Sunday was about much needed solitude.

Abundance

Abundance

Manifesting the inspiration from the preceding day into art.

Yertle the Tortuga, Pt. 1

Yertle the Tortuga, Pt. 1

They Obeyed

They Obeyed

Contemplating…

Journaling…

Maintaining…

When I was working, this time of night on a Sunday was a time of mourning for the lost weekend hours. Now, I celebrate the time spent in pursuit of more esoteric goals. I am memorizing the contours of a simpler life-measuring the hours of the days and comparing them to the important things that need to fit within them. I am taking time to listen to birdsong and track the daily growth of the leaves on trees. I am paying close attention to my kinder instincts and (internally, silently) admonishing those who would wish me to be more cruel because that is what they would do. I am appreciating the fact that my child quotes Neitzsche when confronted with my angst (specifically, though paraphrased: “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”)

I am listening to Camper Van Beethoven, and welcoming spring.

And now…the news:

Troubling reports continue to come in from the Pegasus Tarsands Pipeline spill in Mayflower, Arkansas about the apparent control of the proverbial chicken coop by the foxes:

Now, Exxon is trying to limit access to the animals impacted by the tar sands crude. A wildlife management company hired by Exxon has taken over all oiled wild animal care. The company, called Wildlife Response Services, is now refusing to release pictures and documentation of the animals in their care, unless they are authorized by Exxon’s public relations department. http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2013/04/04/is-exxon-trying-to-hide-the-damage-from-their-tar-sands-pipeline-spill/

On Friday morning, Inside Climate Newsreported that an Exxon spokesperson told reporter Lisa Song that she could be “arrested for criminal trespass” when she went to the command center to try to find representatives from the EPA and the Department of Transportation. On Friday afternoon, I spoke to the news director from the local NPR affiliate who said he, too, had been threatened with arrest while trying to cover the spill. http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/04/reporters-say-exxon-impeding-spill-coverage-arkansas

Thankfully, the residents of Mayflower are fighting back:

On Friday, homeowners filed a civil lawsuit against Exxon in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Arkansas Western Division. In the class action suit, homeowners said the pipeline was unsafe and its rupture hurt property values. http://thecabin.net/latest-news/2013-04-06-1#.UWJPgpPvuSr

And there are superheroes on the ground, gathering information:

Elsewhere, “an activist indy news team” duo called JNL, has been using Ustream and Twitter to report from Mayflower and interview local residents. Yesterday, they were detained by police and forced to leave private property where they were reporting from, despite having permission to be there. http://www.treehugger.com/energy-disasters/mayflower-arkansas-lockdown-following-exxon-oil-spill.html

(sample of the coverage JNL is providing: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/30996411. You can find them here: https://twitter.com/jak_nlauren)

We have reports that because Exxon had already partially destroyed this wetland, they pumped diluted bitumen spilled in other areas here to get it all in one place and keep it out of sight of the media. We went in anyway.

This is how we comfort ourselves when we feel helpless:

An Exxon parody Twitter account is tweeting fake public relations updates about the oil company’s ruptured Pegasus pipeline, which spilled at least 84,000 gallons of heavy crude oil into residential streets in Mayflower, Ark., last week. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/05/exxon-fake-twitter-account_n_3024663.html

And I did a little studying up on the history of May Day, in preparation for the planning of picnic/potluckness:

Originally a pagan holiday, the roots of the modern May Day bank holiday are in the fight for the eight-hour working day in Chicago in 1886, and the subsequent execution of innocent anarchist workers.

In 1887, four Chicago anarchists were executed; a fifth cheated the hangman by killing himself in prison. Three more were to spend 6 years in prison until pardoned by Governor Altgeld who said the trial that convicted them was characterised by “hysteria, packed juries and a biased judge”. The state had, in the words of the prosecution put “Anarchy is on trial” and hoped their deaths would also be the death of the anarchist idea. http://libcom.org/history/1886-haymarket-martyrs-mayday

The farmers, workers, and child-bearers (laborers) of the Middle Ages had hundreds of holy days which preserved the May Green, despite the attack on peasants and witches. Despite the complexities, whether May Day was observed by sacred or profane ritual, by pagan or Christian, by magic or not, by straights or gays, by gentle or calloused hands, it was always a celebration of all that is free and life-giving in the world. That is the Green side of the story. Whatever else it was, it was not a time to work.

Therefore, it was attacked by the authorities. http://libcom.org/history/incomplete-true-authentic-wonderful-history-may-day-peter-linebaugh

And I’m still listening to Camper Van Beethoven’s Key Lime Pie. As per tradition. ❤

It’s really my favorite thing in the world. Tonight, I listened to punk rock & the rain & wrote in my journal. All in my freshly. made. bed.

I also had this conversation with Cole:

Me (taking a picture of my food): I’m blogging again, which means every moment of my life is way more interesting than it actually is.

Cole: yeah, that’s pretty much blogging on a nutshell.

Image

And read several items on the internet through the day:

Time Budgeting: https://medium.com/products-i-wish-existed/4f631ebb9b80 (I’ve written about this very topic here: http://choredork.blogspot.com/ and probably other places I cannot currently find. I’ll probably write more about it in the coming weeks, as I’m earnestly looking for someone(s) to help create the product that Ev is wishing existed.)

Watching Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon do Barry and Andy Gibb, and cracking the fuck up: http://youtu.be/E7c44rtpzPg

Dreaming about a positive outcome for this lawsuit against the EPA being brought by beekeepers, environmentalists, and consumer groups.

Looking at pictures of yesterday’s Tent City Action taken by John Jack Anderson of the Chronicle.

Finally putting some information up on the Education Never Ends Facebook page.

Reliving Nick Cave.

Reading this article comparing Online learning to University, which I will probably opine about later, when I’ve set up the Education Never Ends blog. (Also, really guys? MOOCS of Hazard?)

…and the day began with a confirmed appointment with a mentor at SCORE.

Which really just proves that the following also applies to jobs:

Image