Tag Archive: texas

Go Slow


Took a sick day today, as I spent most of the work day yesterday feeling poorly & wanted to give myself time to recover. Feeling better, but still tired – in that in between sick and well in which I feel guilty for not being at work but also feeling thankful that I have sick time that allows me to recover fully before returning, as so many don’t.

So I got some rest. Planted violets and jasmine in already-upturned dirt. Tended to the plants and the chickens and the cats and the dog. Sat still. Felt the air without needing to shroud myself in blankets to stave off the chills.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that I’m working on a small renovation plan for my house. I have lots of feelings about this, and transience, and I might have already expressed these thoughts, but my memory is poor and anyway I’m still processing, so I might repeat myself.

I have a lot of feelings about “settling” in Texas. I feel that the reason I ended up and ultimately stayed here was due more to a number of bad decisions. Therefore, I have always resisted calling myself a Texan. If people ask me where I’m from, I still say Chicago – even though I’ve lived in Texas more than half my life.

And this house – the setting of so many truly heartbreaking moments, and at the same time a symbol of my own determination to provide stability for my children when everything else in my life was falling apart. And I have had to fight for this house at times. Our struggles have been fewer than many, but greater than some. And it seems, for now at least, I’ve “won.” And I’m getting to reward myself by lining my next with little feathers to ensure I stay warm through the winter and cool through the summer.

I recently had a conversation with a friend in which I was expressing concern about my ability to do a good job with some of the DIY projects I have planned, like tiling my floor. I was thinking about hiring someone to do the work for me – and I still might. I’m still deciding. My friend responded “Anyone can do good work on anything if they just go slow.”

So…what am I rushing for? Shouldn’t I let the joy of learning something new and doing a good job be one of the benefits of this project?

I mean, for crying out loud, I kept one entire whole human being alive into adulthood so far. It took 18 years to do that, but I think I can probably apply the patience and skill it took to do that to a perfectly acceptable tile job. One slab at a time.

**I just realized I’m totally guilty of the dreaded VERTICAL VIDEO SYNDROME.

I want to dance…I want to write…I need to dance…I need to write. I know! I’ll do the dance/write/dance ritual. Perhaps that will bring forth the words I’ve been meaning to write.


I can’t think of a non-cliche way to start a blog post about road trips. Do I talk about how my family used to drive around in our big blue van, and I fell in love with the rubber-to-the-road endless airplane runway sound, and the dreamy haze of entire towns whisking by windows on either side? Do I mention the long-distance trips to visit friends across the country…road trips within road trips…about taking my young children on the road across country and seeing them begin to understand the vastness of the country, much less the world in which they live…the feelings of invincibility after my newly-single self traveled across the entire west/northwest/southwest in a gigantic loop that began in Texas, peaked in Portland, swooped through Los Angeles, and drifted through sleepy southwestern deserts with two young children in tow…over lonely railroad crossings blinking mutely in the middle of the night as I pass through yet another 1 stoplight city in the middle of a vast nameless field on either side of some forgotten highway?


This particular journey began with this Radiolab broadcast – most notably, “Goo and  You.” Most MOST notably, this closing quote:

“It’s not just what of me carries forward into the future, it’s like – what of my future self is in me right now.”

Give yourself 14 straight hours of travel time, with no one else in the car or, really, on the highway, but you, to ponder that. As you drive through parched Texas/Eastern New Mexico flatland by day, and only approach the mountains as invisible barriers to your destination at night…then wake up to find yourself surrounded by them and the thin, nipping air that accompanies them. It was one hell of a way to kick off a road trip. Perfectly timed, and not timed at all.

Like conversations about giving too much and not giving at all, and about art and the art of paying attention. In my silences, I replayed these thoughts in this context. I have observed that all things transpire in context with the things that transpire adjacent, with a little help from throwback memories. I am interested in how things interplay to form a new thing out of the combined things and a dash of timing. Like two books you read at the same time that have nothing to do with each other, but somehow end up syncing up. Like seeing the same car at multiple gas stations along the journey, and never interacting. The lives of the people in both cars intersect at that moment, then continue on in meaningful meaninglessness. Unintentional intention.


In the car, I play road games with the navigation system. First, I use both Google Maps on my phone, and the navigation system in the car. I sync them up as much as I can, and make decisions as I go. It keeps me awake, and leaves me open to adventure, or curtailment thereof…depending on my mood and/or level of energy. As I travel, I focus only on the next leg of the journey – only recalculating the total time of the journey and ETA when I embark on a new leg.

This keeps me alert.

Also, math.

(Not meth, you weirdo. Math.)


Some road notes:

this charming man

tears of a clown
baby it’s you by the Beatles
Shanghai shuffle by fletcher Anderson
give it to you by Blackalicious

I believe in me by trenchmouth

radian by air

boil by the handsome family oil by the handsome familyI’ll buy the family

wagon wheel restaurant Red Bud inn and everything’s fucked by dirty 3

Christianity is not a religion it’s a relationship with God


153 to 7o there’s like a 20 square-mile wind farm. I don’t even know how fucking huge is is, but it’s beautiful.

so beautiful

it’s so beautiful I burst into tears and had to pull over.

(…to be continued…)

Good afternoon. My name is Lainie Duro, I am a single mother of two boys and an unruly activist for choice. I am against this bill.

I wanted to take some time today to represent a group of people who I haven’t seen represented in these hearings in numbers proportionate to how this bill will affect them. Over 60% of abortions are performed on women who already have children. Many of them, no doubt, are single parents like me. Some may be women in abusive relationships who do not wish to further complicate the lives they are already responsible for.

I am here to stand for these women because I am fortunate. My children are older, I’m able to take time off from work to be here, I have the financial means to stay here all day to ensure my voice is heard…and I don’t THINK I currently have to fear for my or my children’s safety if my ex-spouse finds out I am here.

The same things that cause people to be excluded from the legislative process also cause them to be inordinately burdened by a pregnancy, as well as by rules that limit access to abortion clinics. As it is, 85% of Texas women live in a county that doesn’t have an abortion clinic. Being a mom makes it extremely difficult to travel long distances or schedule several appointments in order to act on a difficult decision. Voting for this bill puts these women at greater risk of either choosing an unsafe abortion or being forced to delay an abortion. Which, by the way, WE ALL KNOW is not preferred.

Rather than spending a couple million dollars attempting to further limit a woman’s right to choose, why not SUPPORT the 70% or so of women who say they chose abortion for financial reasons? I am FOR legislation that ensures NO woman has to feel compelled to terminate a pregnancy based on strictly economic reasons. Legislation such as equal pay for equal work, so women-led families don’t have to be the poorest families in our state. Medicaid expansion – so our working poor families don’t have to worry about going bankrupt when a child they already have gets sick. Family-friendly work policies that allow for parents who have kids to stay home if they are sick – or if they need to kick the asses of their elected officials. Don’t tell me you stand for women until you are doing everything you can to ensure women and their families have ENOUGH resources to live healthy, dignified lives. Until we win THAT fight, we at least need to ensure that ALL women have the right to make the choices necessary to ensure the happiest, healthiest, most dignified lives possible for themselves and the children they already have. To me THAT is the definition of Pro-Life. I am very definitely Pro-Life.

I’m also an optimist. I know we’ve already won, and I think you know it too. We won when the whole world watched you change the timestamp on a vote. We won when the whole world witnessed you silence a female senator several times before finally committing that fraud. We won, because women of Texas and across this country are rising up to take back their power. We are mighty. We do not forgive, and we do not forget.

So what you might have missed today was that Rick Perry reserved all of the rooms in the Capitol extension, so we were unable to have food delivered to us, and we couldn’t view the streams like we were able to do previously. Police were staged in the auditorium. This reservation extends, conveniently enough, for the next 30 days.

They brought mounted police in all the way from Houston to give more of an appearance that the peaceful protesters were an Unruly Mob of Rioters.

The State Preservation Board (which is essentially Perry and his cronies) made up rules about where we were able to stand and/or sit that DPS troopers attempted to enforce several times before they finally made us move. I don’t even think DPS could deal with the cognitive dissonance of telling someone they were safer sitting in the middle of a room than they were with their backs against the wall, so we did manage to stall them until they decided to call upon the power of “we have guns and handcuffs and we say so. So you must do so.”

A whole lot of women made a WHOLE LOT of noise. People who came to our assembly at 7 PM tonight told us they could hear us from outside, and those in the gallery could hear us from there. It was a beautiful, wonderful, glorious din.

I observed that pro-life people seem to be in a constant state of funeral dirge, and I wondered if their children (some of whom were praying on their knees on that hard marble floor, and I felt really bad for them) felt wistful about the celebratory atmosphere surrounding those of us who were singing and chanting and fighting for our rights

The people’s filibuster, which was an amazing idea, got drowned out by the energetic noise in the rotunda. Some amazing stories were shared by Quinn. Other stories were submitted by email and via livestream. I really would like to continue to do this action for the duration of the session, if we can get more women to tell their stories on camera. They inspired me.

I  got to hold an adorable baby.

We had an incredible march with over 1500 people.

The dems backstabbed the radicals and activists by continuing to make threats and attempting to block them from participating in the rallies outside.


I am one wore-out motherfucker. Tomorrow is a work day, but there is a hearing that starts at 3:30, and I’m probably going to head over after work.

I discovered I’m not a huge fan of livestreaming because I can’t keep up with twitter or facebook while livestreaming, and I prefer to just take pictures, but I have concerns that our main livestreamers are dudes…as is our main Twitterer. How can they step back if no one is stepping up? Still working through that one…

Regardless, There’s really nothing like being packed into a crowded room with a few hundred people you know and love dearly. There’s some amazing video on my ustream account: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/lainieduro

Mostly, it was a long, loud, beautiful, exhausting day. Tomorrow, it’s requested that people get to The Capitol early in the morning (7 AM if possible) so they can be ready to sign up to speak at the hearing. I hope a lot of people show up.


OH, and…the people united will never be defeated.

I took an allergy pill this morning, so I’m fading fast, but wanted to take the time to post these pics of Occupy Austin’s return to City Hall, which was converted to a show of solidarity for the Turkish resistance. Thanks so much to our local members of the Turkish community. My hope is that your friends and family are all safe, but still standing up for their freedom from tyranny and injustice. You are an inspiration.


❤ ❤ ❤

There are no words…

An apartment building after the West, Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion

An apartment building after the West, Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion

Trooper D.L. Wilson of the Texas Department of Public Safety estimates that as many as 75 homes were severely damaged and an apartment complex with 50 units was gutted by the blast.  He also says 133 patients from a nearby nursing home were evacuated.  He could not comment on the extent of any patient injuries, but says all patients have been evacuated from the building.  http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2013/04/17/fertilizer-plant-explosion-reported-north-of-waco/

Resources, news sources, etc (I will update this as I get more information):

Disaster Distress Helpline

If you are experiencing signs of distress as a result of a disaster, the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7, year-round crisis counseling and support. It’s Free. It’s Confidential.

Call 1-800-985-5990
TTY for deaf/hearing impaired: 1-800-846-8517
Text TalkWithUs to 66746


West, Texas Explosion Info Recovery Facebook Page


West, Texas Disaster Animal Housing Google Doc


Talking to Children about Disasters


The Blood Center of Central Texas Donation Information


Live Updates from RT


Live Updates from Mother Jones


Have loved ones in West? Here’s the hotline number to call for information: 254-202-1100

Here is a list of shelters open for victims of the #WestExplosion http://bit.ly/ZB4zgy 

UPDATE 4/18/13 9:36 am More Links:

How you can help West:


Another collection of ways you can help West:


A google doc of resources:


Anhydrous Ammonia Health Information:


Sleep tight. Hug your babies. Be thankful for what you’ve got. ❤