This page is simply my on-line journal, and may have little interest for those who don’t know me. (Actually, it may be of little interest even to those that do know me…. ) but like so much “it’s the process not the product” that’s important for this page…. I write to work the kinks out.
2 March 2008
I’ve been a little pathetic with the blogging these days. Not much activity goin’ on ’til today. It’s not that I have nothing to say. Those who know me know I almost always have something to say. It’s just that I can’t seem to focus. Nothing seems organized enough, coherent enough to merit a “real post.” Perhaps recent events in my life have shaken my confidence and my spider sense more than I want to admit. Or perhaps that is just an excuse and i’m just in an unfocused mood. Two days of pampering and spoiling by my friends in Seattle helped. But the mind still seems to wander off track so easily…
Whatever… it is what it is.
Jen (ya know, the most creative person I know, who goosed me into this whole blogging thing to start with.) suggested a journal page on the site. Her site, It’s A Wovensunshine Kinda Place, has one called Ebb and Flow that I love to read to just keep up w/ her world. So sure, let’s try. A page where I’m writting just for the sake of workin’ the kinks out. Spelling and grammer don’t matter. Rambling or incoherent… it’s all okay.
Ah… but what to call the page. Why do titles even matter? Of course not – yet I found myself stuck there for some incomprehensible reason. Jen suggested “ebb and flow” the same title as her journal page. I laughed….while she may “ebb and flow” my tidal rhythms tend toward the more extreame. High tide may bring a gentle rising, but it’s just as likely to be a tidal wave.
She reminded me of the Marley song “High Tide or Low Tide” and the name Tides just kinda stuck.
Ahh… the coffee cup is empty. Time for a refill… and probably a sign it’s time to get back to work.
5 March 2008
Ug! I am having such a bad day. Okay.. that is not even true. The day itself wasn’t bad.
Then, while babysitting I took the kids to see a movie (celebrate the snow day). We went in to the theater at 4:00— came out at 6:17 and NO CAR! I knew right away. Someone had dropped candy on the ground near where I parked and it looked suspiciously like vomit. The girls I take care of were all “ehh and don’t step in it.” So when we came out and there was the vomitting like substance and no car I knew.
I am not sure what I am more freaked out by the loss of the car (for a wanna be environmentalist I have a very unhealthy love of my car…) or all the stuff I always have in it that is now gone.
I am also so stunned… it was the middle of the day in a very public parking lot. Now it’s true I didn’t lock it – but I never do. And my car is very noticeable. She’s nothing fancy. (Rosie.. that’s the car’s name) is just a red, 4 door Honda Civic. ’95, well over 100,000 miles. It’s a good solid car – but also kind of a piece of junk…. several dents, lots of miles… and it has tons of bumper stickers on it. Not just on the bumpers but all over the front, back, doors…. so much so that when I described it to the cop taking my statement he said “yeah, I know that car. I’ve seen you driving around in it.”
UG! AGG! SHIT!
The girls I take care of were really sweet about it all – M. helped make calls to her mom and Marty (to meet us and take us home) while I talked to the police, and E. said to me “Sheri… you are great. You are not freaking out. You never freak out.” — Okay, she was a bit wrong. I was freaking out on the inside. And I sometimes do on the outide too! But, it was crazy how this 7 year olds comments totally grounded me!
O, well… I am gonna go take a hot bath. (I’m a firm believer that a hot bath can cure most things… or at least help make it better.
6 March 2008
The police called – they found my car last night!
It was left on campus in one of the family housing parking lots. They said they found it because of all the stickers. Someone from family housing called in that their car was stolen. It turns out it was, but I guess the cops often get calls from students saying their cars are stolen, but really they are just misplaced. So they were driving around campus looking for that car and recalled that there was a report out on a car w/ lots of bumper stickers. They think the stickers were also the reason whoever took it dumped it as fast as they did … very noticeable.
So yeah for all my bumper stickers!
It’s not drivable – but it’s not as bad as I anticipated. I had them tow it to a mechanic so we shall see if there is any hope of revival and how many banks I’ll need to rob to get it back.
But the other really good thing is 99% of my stuff is still there! It’s hard to tell ‘cuz it’s kind of thrown all over, but it looks like it is all at least somewhere in the car.
The cops will let me know if they ever catch the people who took it – I told them it was doubtful I would press charges if it put someone into the criminal injustice system but that I would love to sit down and talk w/ them. (Victim- offender reconciliation program type thing) It’s doubtful that they will ever find out who did it.
Okay, so several of my friends have made fun of me for that statement. “Don’t buy the lottery ticket yet” Or “luck would have been if the car had not gotten stolen in the first place.” —
But really, my stuff is there! Coat, boots, files, all my MPT training stuff, suitcase. And I don’t know… maybe the car will be too expensive to repair. Maybe I will have to say good-bye to it (the “too expensive to fix” bar is set pretty low!), but at least it doesn’t have every bit of everything stripped… there’s hope! Thanks for all your good thoughts!
11 March 2008
My car is back! Got it back from the mechanic yesterday.I drove it today. It is drivable… and while it has some new “issues” all in all it worked out!
Yet, in spite of the good news I am tired. Crawl in bed and sleep for a month tired. I don’t know maybe it is just that I’ve been running on caffine and adrenaline for long enough that the crash has come. Whatever it is, I am not sure I can do more than give in and get some sleep. G’night.
20 March 2008
Mother earth is taking seriously this first day of spring here in MI! And while they are calling for falling temps and (gulp!) snow this weekend;today is beautiful and sunny — bright bright blue skies w/ puffy cotton ball/marshmallow clouds. Warm enough for a long sleeve T-shirt in the sun but when the cool (yet, not too cold) wind blows you pull on a sweater.
Thanks Mama! I sooo needed this today!
“Muddy muddy March” is defiantly here and the dogs are soooo excited with all the smells the thawing ground lets through. After our walk they were coated in mud from running through puddles and muck – and I didn’t look much better. It was great
8 April 2008
Last weekend I was walking over to my favorite coffee shop to do some work. It was such a beautiful day – one of those early spring days when all is right in the world if only because you are seeing sunshine again, and little green things that promise real live plants with real live flowers soon. I so did not want to go inside. I so did not want to work.
As I walked near by a scaffold with a group of men working above me I noticed one was hammering on what sounded like metal with what sounded like a rubber mallet. He had a nice rhythm goin’ – “bum…, ba…bum, bum, ba…bum…” and I found myself walkin’ with the rhythm. Pretty soon another hammer joined in – complementing the rhythm with his own -on the wood nearby. (At least it sounded like a hammer on wood – they were above my head.) Within a few minutes we had ourselves a full drum circle – a hammer circle? Anyhow… all 4 guys working seemed to join in, with their own beats. Such fun. I danced a bit underneath the scaffolding while they provided music from above.
Made for a great a day! Even if I did have to go in and work.
1 May 2008
i just had to share this crazy story with ya’ll…about how I am such an idiot… but clearly the goddesses, gods and the universe in general look out for us fools…
I am racing around like a lunatic and left my house in a hurry after walking the dogs… I realized I forgot my wallet in my scramble to grab lap top, phone(s) and Tums like substance for the stressed out stomach- so instead of turning all the way around and driving back, i pulled in to the apartments more or less across the street and just ran home to get it.
I locked the car – but in my rush didn’t realize the back windows were down. I come back after grabbing my wallet and some guy is taking my lap top out of the back seat of my car!
So, as I walk near-by I hear myself say “excuse me sir… do you have the time” Close to 3:00 he replies. “shit – i’m late” I say, as he goes back to my lap top – “sir, can I ask you one other favor?” I ask. He looks up… ” Please don’t steal my lap top and if you must can you give me a minute first to save things to a flash drive … too much of my life is wrapped up in that little machine just now.”
He told me he wasn’t taking it – just covering it w/ a towel. But somehow I just don’t think that was it. Still – he set it back down and shut my car door…. So he left and we went on our merry way… me breathing big sigh of relief.
Moral of the story — no more whining about being stressed… i am crazy lucky!
18 May 2008
Yes, it’s been some time since I posted. And for all you who have emailed to ask…yes, all is well. I was just super busy.
Now i am super tired.
Having worked to write a curriculum/manual for training domestic peace teams, we then put on a 6 day training of trainers with that curriculum. It was fun! I learned a lot!The people who came were amazing! And between writting the manual, organizing the training, hosting the training, and training the training I am flattened. Not that I did any of those things alone! Of course, the people who stepped up and jumped in to help, to co-facilitate, to cook and clean and edit and and and……. what a blessing.
Now – it is back to reality and I will post more soon.
20 June 2008
A friend noted I hadn’t posted in my journal in a bit. It’s true. I think when I’m writting posts at least semi-regularly I tend to forget about this page. Which is funny since I’ve been doin’ a great deal of thinking about a number of random things recently. And writting helps me think sometimes.
Right now I am at a cafe drinking obsene amounts of coffee and procrastinating. There is much to do at home, and a seemingly endless list of things I told folks at MPT I’d do. Really, I want to go home and take a nap. Not sure how in the world I can be tired. I slept about 8 hours last night – well beyond my usual. But, I am.
M. leaves next week for the rainbow gathering. I can’t wait. I love him, I like him, and I need some space. I spend a lot of time “away” — weekend trainings, trips here and there for NP or MPT or some cause or another. He is great and supportive. He doesn’t travel much but does go to the gathering every year and I realize how i realish some time alone in my home. Maybe have some folks in for a visit.
Ah well, phone is mooing and reminding me it’s time to focus.
ACK. M is now saying he is not going to the gathering. I’m going to scream. I love him, I even like him… I so need some time away from him. Or more to the point I need some time with him away from the house. I travel a decent amount, but it is rare that I get the house to myself. I look forward to his going to the gathering and getting that time. UG! ACK! And there is really no nice way to say “get out”
1 July 2008
He is gone. Yeah. Ended up going after all, just for 1 week instead of 2. And now… oh goddess what have I gotten myself into? Every year when M. went away I would use the time to clean and sort and purge. See M. is a saver. Everything might be useful at some time. I used to be a saver. Til we moved in together – then it became clear if we were both savers we’d be path people in no time. So now I’m a thrower… reduce, take to reuse center, thrift store, recycle — whatever. Get it out. So Every year I do this. Then 2 years ago when M was gone I took it a step further and painted the bedroom Deep blue. Beautiful and relaxing. He hates it – but acknowledges it is still way better than what was there. And so, a trend was started. Last year it was the kitchen.
This year I decieded to tear up the carpet in the living room. Scarey, gross, pee filled, mold spotted capet. That was easy. Gross, but easy. But under it was tile. Broken and unlevel and the only way to put something else down was to pull it up. No problem. Till I started. Big problem. It is put down with what appears to be roofing tar. I could not have imagined anything so hard to remove. It is not a project you can abandon in the middle – but I am tempted. I glued my hand to the floor — all I did was lean on it. My skin stayed on the floor much the way super gluing your fingers together hurts when you force them apart. Ouch. Fuck. What did I get myself into?
3 July 2008
The floor is up! Yeah! I did it!! I feel like I can do anything! And cuts, bangs, bruises aside it feels great! In a round about way I have the guy at Home Depot to thank for it. (The guy at Home Deport and about 5 bottles of citri-solve, goddess I love that stuff!)
Now – I rarely go in to places like Home Depot, preferring local businesses whenever possible. But I had a gift card so I bought the sticky tiles there and paint was on sale (a brand I really like). So, I went in.
Let me back up….I had been asking everyone I know about the floor – everyone would essentially say “wow – it sounds like roofing tar,but no one would be stupid enough to use that.” Then they would go on to say they had no clue how to get it up. After 2 + days of scraping up the old tile I had 3/4 of the room done. But I was tired so I called it an early night and went up to watch a DVD and call it a night. “I’ll be fresh in the AM” I thought. HA!
The AM came around and I found myself sitting on my bottom step sobbing “I can not do this. I am over half done, but I will just have to quit. Marty is gonna freak. It looks like hell. There is tar everywhere. And I just can’t.” At this point the knuckles on my hands looked like I had taken a cheese grater to them, My palm that I had stuck to the floor was still all red and sore and missing a layer of skin. I had welts and cuts all over my legs and to a lesser extent my arms. AGGG — sob, sob can’t.
So, since I had to go pick up an extra box of tile, I took a piece of the scrapped up tile in with me to show someone at Home Depot. He looked at it. “yep, looks like roofing tar” he says. He tells me it might be, or it might be some adhesive crap they used way back when to put tile down. Some adhesive crap that is actually a lot like roofing tar. “Whatever’, I say – “how do I get it up.” He looks at me, looks me up and down and says “you can’t.” Now the thing is, he didn’t say “it can’t be done” he said “YOU can’t. ” as in… if you were some manly man I could give you some tips, but a little hippie chic like you can’t do it.”
buttons are now pushed. “don’t tell me I can’t. I have 3/4 of the floor done. So clearly I CAN.” I went home and finished the last 1/4 in record time.
A freind laughed and pointed out that he is not at all surprised that the way to get me to do something is to tell me I can’t.
It’s done. I am on such a high. I took a photo – i’m gonna take it to show the Home Depot dude.
4 July 2008
I have come down a bit from my high after getting the floor up. While I did get the new floor mostly laid I am realizing how incredibly much more work I still have to do. And I hurt. My knees and shins are bruised and scraped, my knuckles look like I rubbed them with a cheese gratter and I am just sore. I still have to prime the walls and paint — I decieded to do just the 2 and not the panaling – for now. Plus the rest of the house is just a mess. Laundry, dishes etc etc and all the general cleaning and sorting. Okay, so I’m whiney and pouty today. Not sure what is up, it can’t be all about the house. Ah well, Bombaills is open. Caffine is making its way into the blood stream. That will help.
10 July 2008
Goddess… what is my deal. I’ve been cynical and cranky and generally burned out. I took a week off work and I thought that would help. It didn’t. I’m still finding I don’t want to be there. It seems to be so “in the way” of what I really want to be doing. And if part time work for the most understanding and flexible people on the planet is getting “in the way” of justice work then what won’t? I don’t know. Maybe it’s time to move on. I adore the people I work with and it’s a great job so what is my problem? Is it a matter of “always leave the party while you are still having a good time?” And if I do leave the party how do I pay the bills?
In other news, Marty came home this afternoon. He likes the floor. Or he is smart and kind enough to like about it… whichever, I’m glad. He says he is not sure how he feels about the green. Fuck it. I like it. I really do. It looks much brighter. Walls are so much nicer when they are not white.
July 11, 2008
I got up early this AM (now mind you I am always up by 5:30/6:00 so think about what early means) and promptly stepped in a pile of vomit… what the heck did the dog eat?
I remembered there are waffles at work and no syrup. We have like 3 half used bottles at home – compliments of friends who moved -so I decide to take one. I prob. won’t eat the waffles, but it will make someone happy. (Do you see where this is heading.)
Went over to let my friend’s dogs out since she got stuck in Amsterdam for a day and night (as she said, her nightmare, my dream.) Her dog had pooped all over. Clean that up and get in the car.
Notice the syrup has tipped over and spilled all over my purse, the car seat, some tapes… try to clean it up. just make it it “smearyer” and somehow get it all over my arms, my T-shirt, and inexplicably – my ass.
Stop to get a coffee. I deserve a treat – it’s been a morning. So I get a Mocha – half the chocolate, 2 extra shots of espresso. I feel a little guilty that I don’t have my travel mug and I am getting a paper cup. But, I need coffee. Yum.
I’m walking into the office and bend down to pick up the newspaper for the office across the hall. By now I’m running a little late, and apparently I’m a little stressed from my morning. I accidentally squeeze my coffee cup popping off the lid and the (I am not exaggerating) ENTIRE cup of coffee pours all over me. It’s hot. Really hot.
Hot wet fabric sticking on my skin. So to prevent a burn I pull off my T-shirt. It is only 7 AM – nothing opens in the building ’til 8:00 – no one is around. But, of course, just as I pull of my Tshirt the person who works across the hall pulls up.
So, now it is not even 7:30 and I have had a day full of shit and puke and flashed the neighboring office. Plus I’m at work sitting in a T-shirt soaked and covered in chocolate and coffee stains and my syrupy ass is sticking to the chair.
And – worse part -I didn’t get to drink my coffee!
Can I have a “do over day”?
13 July 2008
It’s gonna be a good day. Amazing how something so simpe can make it so. I went to the cafe this AM. A woman in line in front of me turned, seemingly at random, and asked what I was drinking – then bought my coffee. Very kind thing to do.
2? July 2008
Why is it so expensive to fly from Detroit to Minn? They are both Northworst hubs for crying out loud. I’m heading there to do some nonviolence training. I think it’s gonna be fun. Then I hope to go back for the RNC. I’ll be doing peace team stuff mostly – but I hope to at least get a little time to join the protest, cause some rukkus. it’s been a rough couple of weeks. Things w/ M. have been tense, the $ sitch is horrible, and I am 100% burned out on my job. I’m feeling old and cynical and 30 different kinds of crappy — just what you want in a nonviolence trainer ehh? I better snap out of this.
3 August 2008 — WTF
I plan to go to MN this weekend. I’ll be doing nonviolence training in prep for the RNC. It’s gonna be fun. And I get to see some friends! That’s the plan. You can plan plans, but not results. So yesterday I get an email confirming my flight from Newark to Vancouver. WTF. Okay.. I would love to go to Vancouver. I can not afford it. I am expected in MN. The RNC is not happening n Vancouver. And this is to say nothing of the fact that I am not in Newark and have NO plan to be there. AG! So I spent much time on the phone and email talking to anyone and everyone… here is what I was told. Apparently I cancelled my flight to MN and booked this new flight from Neward to Vancouver. Only I didnt’! I mean really… I might screw up a date or a time or not give myself enough time to make a connection… I might end up spending mroe then I meant to – but I would not mess it up this badly. I say again, WTF.
After much sweet talking, begging, threatening, pleading, and negotiating I am not being charged for my canceled flight to MN or my now cancelled (although to my knowledged never booked) flight to Vancouver. Which is good. But I now have no ticket to MN. — which is bad.
AGGGG! So… not sure what to do from here. So odd. So frusterating.
5 September 2008
I’ve been wanting to write about the RNC and all the fucked up police state shit that went w/ it. But, I havne’t been able to. Not sure why. Not sure what all to say. As most of you know the MnPT formed, in part, as a result of the training we did in Grosse Ile last May. A few of those attending went back home and started to organize. MPT acted in the role of consultant and Peter, Amy and I all took turns going to the Twin Cities to help w/ strategizing and training. It was fun and I was so impressed by K. and her organizing ability. I was looking forward to going back to be on a peace team at the RNC – then life interviened and it didnt’ happen. So I spent the span of the RNC obsessively checking Indy meda and other sites and dealing w/ my trainer quilt. Sort of like survivor guilt, “I should be there getting tear gased too” coupled with the “oh, shit did I tell them about….” “I should have done more w/ trauama debrieifing…” and on and on…
Repression and police violence at the RNC were bad. Really bad. Still, in my more cynical moments that was exactly what I was suspecting. Still, when even Fox News says “It feels like a police state” you know it’s bad.
12 September 2008
AGGGG – total frustration. Rant ahead:
I am in Gaylord. MPT is doing a nonviolence training for the next MPT team heading to Palestine and Israel.
It is an amazing team! I won’t say more here. I don’t want to jeprodize anyone’s getting in. But they are great.
The place where we are doing are training is a beautiful home – it is far “cushier” than most of the places we’ve done training. I feel spoiled. But it is a hike. I didn’t take into account what that meant. We have no “guest speakers” the 4 hour or so drive just made it prohibative. Peter and I are the trainers. I confess neither of us were as prepared as we should have been. But, it’s okay. It is what it is and we adapt.
There is no internet at our training site (which is typical) so we are taking a “field trip” into town to a coffee shop. Here we can use internet and N. can do a report/blog training. Here is where my frustration lies. I am not sure this is the best use of training time. The blog training itslef I am okay with. I mean — if we are under time constraints I would say it is the thing that can get left out since one or two team members can learn and teach the others etc. It can be done outside of the training workshop in a way that role plays can not. But, okay… it is worth some time. We have a good chunk of training time and this fits. But, somehow when we talked about the “field trip to town” it didn’t click in my head how much time it would take. 1/2 hour time to get here from our training home, 1/2 hour back. And we’ve been here well over an hour. UGGG AGG…. feels like such a poor poor use of our time together! Okay… I am breathing. I am grounding and centering. I do not need to be in control of it all. Someone is finding this valuable and useful…. my head will not explode.
Damn dogs got skunked again. Both of them. They stink. My house stinks. I stink. Grrr.
Has it really been a month since I wrote that last “entry”. Wow… and Bella still stinks a bit. It has been a busy month. Lots of weekends away from home for training, meetings etc. Good busy. Still, it was nice to sleep in my own bed this weekend. And sleep I did. 9 hours last night. 9! And I could have slept more. In fact, I might even break down and take a nap. What’s up with that? I usually average about 6 hours. I AM NOT GETTING SICK! I should do laundry today. I do not want to. Why did I wait ’til Sunday when the laundromat is so crowded? But mostly things are good. NP got a grant so I will get to do some work – and even get paid for it. And, I’ll get to work with Amy – always fun. Work at the docs is going mostly better. Now – I just have to get the mess at home under control. Sigh….
I am again stunned at how much time has gone by since I last wrote here. Time is moving quickly. Good. Quite frankly, I’m looking forward to 2008 being over! All told it has not been a good year for me. I know it’s all just symblolism and such – karma doesn’t just change w/ a flip of the calendar page. But hey – bring on the symbolism! I am sitting here at Bombadils (my favorite coffee shop.) all snuggled in on the couch. It’s snowing! It looks beautiful and makes me wrap my hands around my coffee cup and hunker in. I keep telling myself that I am NOT getting sick – but I confess I may be deluding myself. My head is an ocean of snot and I wouldn’t be surprised to see my lung come flyin’ out w/ one of my coughing jags.
Last weekend was Marty’s b-day. His family and I had a surprise party for him. It was a lot of fun. After we left we headed up to a friends cottage on the lake. Abby watched the dogs so we could just hang out and be responsible for nothing. Reading, snuggling, walking, sleeping in. It was so nice. The kids I take care of (it is their family’s house we were at) decorated it all w/ streamers and posters for M. – too cute.
This weekend was the MPT core meeting. It was a great meeting. Lots of work. We passed the budget for 2009. Line by line to balance it. Never fun. There is simply no way to cut any more expenses. We are very frugal. So, we need to bring in more money. That is always a bit scary. But all in all a challenge I want to take on. I believe in our work and want to support it. Want to invite otheres in to do the same. I have said it before and I still maintain that Michigan Peace Team and Nonviolent Peaceforce give me hope for the future. And it is always good to be with the people on the core – they truely are family and we have grown close.
The best part of the meeting came mid-way through the budget discussion. I was facilitating and finding it a challenging job (herding cats and all that….) when suddenly Mary and Nicky left the room. They come back w/ a great big cake – complete with a “happy birthday” decoration and candles. Everyone starts singing “happy b-day”. Shit, it must be Joni’s b-day i think (she it the newest member of the core, this being her first meeting and all) and somehow I didn’t get the message. So, I sing too! Imagine my surprise when they set the cake down in front of me!
“Oh come on”, says Mary, “did you really think we wouldn’t honor you?” I am stunned. I don’t know what to say. “Uh, ya’ll know it’s not my B-day right?” I manage to spit out. “Ya’ll know my b-day is in April.” Now it is their turn to look stunned! And we all eat cake and laugh.
Apparently when I was talking to Mary i said something about not being able to do something since it was “Marty’s birthday” (or maybe M’s birthday, or Laurel, or dad or Ev… there are so many scrorpios in my life.) and heard “I am celebrating MY birthday” – so she ran w/ that.
For the rest of the meeting (and the ride home) all someone had to do was say B-day or cake to bring on yet another fit of laughter from all.
Not a bad mistake all in all… w/ the credit/debit card stolen and all that it was a timely hug!
Wow. Tomorrow is December. December. I have been writing, posting, thinking out loud and at times ranting or rambling here on this site for over a year.
I’m feeling this odd contradictory mixture of wistful and content tonight.
It is snowing… finally. It should have happened before now. (Insert rant here about global climate change, melting ice caps, drowning polar bears…) It looks beautiful. I played in the snow with the dogs. I’d throw snow at them, they’d chase it happily then chase each other – usually ending by jumping on me or with the “chow plow” (where they run by and just plow into me…sending me sprawling. Bella is part chow we think hence, “chow plow”.) Completely fun. Came in and warmed up w/ hot chocolate (made w/ soy milk and spiked w/ Frangelico….yum.)
I so wish I didn’t have to work tomorrow. I’m guessing it will be a bit nuts – Monday after a holiday weekend during “sick season” and new patient day. UG. But, in spite of my desire to extend the weekend I am lucky to have a job that most of the time I really like. And I love the people I work with and for. So, it feels a little self-indulgent to complain. Still I will from time to time, and I still would prefer a few more days of “weekend.”
I think in part because I know December is going to be crazy busy with most weekends filled with work (trainings, meetings etc.) or family stuff. Plus, I had misplaced my calendar for a bit and I know I forgot to transfer some things in when I got it back. So I have that “fuck, I know I am forgetting something” feeling. To quote Abby “sometimes I wonder if I shouldn’t write a book – the 7 habits of highly ineffective people.” There would be a whole chapter on misplacing important papers because of mess.
I did at least tackle some of the mess around here this weekend. Some deep cleaning that was needed after the sick dog craziness. That felt good… but oh goddess there is sooooo much more to do.
I picked up the MPT emergency phone this afternoon. Got to talk a bit w/ the team on their weekly call. It feels good to reconnect in that way. I have tried to step out of much of the Palestine team organizing (except for training) for a bit…. for lots of reasons that I won’t get into just now. It was the right call I think – but I am finding myself wondering if it is time to step back in.
Ah well, M. is wanting to use the lap top… I guess that is my cue. Sleep well friends.
9 December 2008
It’s cold. And wet. It feels like it is slush falling out of the sky. Tonight the temp. is s’posed to drop so I’m sure the world will be covered in ice by the AM. That should make for fun driving. UG. December is turning into such a busy month. Last weekend was the sacred song concert – which was great. It was also the alternative holiday fair. It was sad that is was so poorly attended. I think after doing it for 25 years we have all just gotten lazy “yeah, people will come ‘cuz they always do, we don’t have to advertise.” — but they didn’t. and we do. Still, it was good to see folks who did turn out. Tomorrow I am fasting in solidarity with the people in Gaza. It is so little but I feel compelled to do something. Next weekend is a nonviolence training for those fighting the ICE raids and the horrible way in which the immigrant community is treated and scapegoated. I’m looking forward to it. And after that is M’s family x-mas. I’m keeping busy. It is probably a good thing. It keeps me from freaking out. M lost his job. Friday was the last day. Fuck. This is not a good time to be looking for work. Especially in Michigan. Fuck. I am wicked stressed about it. I am also all distracted and A.D.D. girl… the weather, gaza, marty, money, work…
Ah well, it will all work out. It always does.
Yesterday was the first day of the fast in solidarity w/ those in Gaza. Just a one day fast. Next week I will do a 4 day fast. I drank a crazy lot of water. I mean really – a lot of water. Partly just ‘cuz it made me feel not hungry. Partly ‘cuz as long as I’m fasting anyway I might as well get some health benefits from it. Somewhere along the line I realized how much water I was drinking. And more to the point I realized that if I were actually in Gaza I couldn’t do that. Water supply is so limited. People don’t get enough to drink. There is no fuel for the pumps for the wells. When there is water it is often contaminated as the sewage and waste treatment centers have no fuel for their pumps, infrastructure has been damaged by Israeli attacks, and there is not water purification chemicals getting in past the blockade. Wow. How can people do this to each other? It makes my heart ache. Sounds so dramatic. But really it just does.
I find myself feeling a bit sentimental and nostalgic today. Perhaps it is “reconnecting” (at least in some minor way) with old friends on facebook, perhaps it was reading a friend’s blog post in honor of a mutual friend’s b-day. But I am. As was pointed out over @ Wildlands…(although perhaps more articulately…) it’s not about living in the past, or wanting to “go back” it’s about honoring my own personal story and knowing that I am who I am – in part because I was who I was and because of the stories that have interwoven with my own.
Maybe too it is easy for me to feel all sappy and nostalgic because I know that things “back then” (whenever the “back then” was that I call to mind) were not not all good. It was good, and bad, and up and down and things sucked and hurt and I was a fool, and a jerk, and made dumb decisions… and it was great and I made wise decisions and had had fun and and and…. Yet it is the good things mostly that I remember. So now when I’m feeling stressed and wonder where to go from here it’s good to realize that when I look back on this time all sappy and nostalgic I am likely to remember the good. Which means there is good.
I love M. – I really do. And let’s be clear. It’s me – not him. But I do have to say if the man does not get a job or some ongoing volunteer work soon one of us is gonna die. Probably him. I mean really, how many times can you rearrange the stuff in the kitchen cabinets and drawers? I’m not sure why this is so bothersome to me… really, is cleaning EVER a bad thing. But, there you are. I just want to scream… go away. Do something. Leave things alone. Maybe because it’s (as Abby says) it’s the whole rearranging the deck furniture on the titanic thing. The electricity is out is out in half the house. One bathroom is totally unusable the other has a leaking, dripping sink and a toilet that only flushes about ½ the time w/out a bucket of water. We have soooooo much stuff that we need to get rid of. There are walls knocked down that are not repaired, an upstairs rug that needs replace and boxes of M’s papers and stuff EVERYWHERE and he is rearranging pots and pans? I… I ….AGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Beyond that Gaza still weighs heavy on my heart and mind. But, I am starting to remember that rocking an moaning and obsessively checking facebook, blogs and email for news is not gonna do much but make me crazy and even less effective. So… onward and upward. March, lobby, cry, write, vigil, cry, fax, email, pray – and don’t give up hope. Keep on…
2009 is gonna be a better year for me than 2008! I have great friends, an amazing community and good work to keep me busy! And January is gonna be busy.
8 Febuary 2009
Things at MPT have been nuts. An emergency response team to Gaza has 2 office team members out for a month and unexpected surgery has a third office team member out for 3 weeks to one month. Can you say scramble?!
Another friend on the west coast is having some medical issues and needs some help. I hope to go spend some time with her and help. I am glad to go. I love her, want to help and it will be great to see her and her family. Their home is beautiful, the weather sure beats here just now, and I am sure we will have a nice visit and some fun. I just wish I could appearate/disappearate a la Harry Potter. Travel time sucks.
Also, In part I blame my inefficiency in all things and my lack of posting on facebook…. procrastination tool extraordinaire. Still, it’s been great fun to connect w/ friends of old. I love that we’re talking about some sort of reunion. Somewhere on her blog Jen talks about Kent being “where she became,” like the velveteen rabbit that became real in the much loved children’s book. Probably true for me also. Perhaps that is why the need to reconnect as I again feels to be in some odd transition or becoming. Whatever the fuck that means.
I find facebook odd though – people “friend” me who I don’t’ know. I tend to ignore them. Is that rude? I want to reconnect w/ folks and maybe a little networking kind of thing – but really I feel no need to “collect friend” – to be friends w/ folks I don’t in some way know in the real world. I also occasionally get these ‘bouts of paranoia. Like facebook is some vast right wing conspiracy to keep us all at home in front of our computer communicating with some virtual community when we don’t know our neighbors and what we really should be doing is getting out in the streets.
And on that note… off to the streets (or at least a meeting w/ real people in real time and space to talk about such things.)
8 Feb. 2009
A freind who does not use facebook to waste her time was grinning at the “25 random things” that has been bouncing around. So, per her request I repost that here for no reason except that I am feeling unusually agreeble:
1. I am a coffee addict. Love the taste, need the caffeine, warm drink in cold hands, iced drink on hot day… ahhh…
2. I love animals and have a knack for finding strays. I have picked up and returned or found homes for stray dogs, cats, a goat, a donkey and a horse.
3. I love to travel and enjoy traveling alone as it pushes me to meet people, talk to locals and find unusual adventures
4. I have been a vegetarian since my first year in college – although I did eat lamb once in Palestine after years of not eating meat. It tasted great – but I was sooooo sick.
5. I firmly believe there are few problems in my life that cannot be solved by a hot bath with lavender oil.
6. I believe in ghosts.
7. I am very weird about smells. There are a few I love (real lavender oil, some sandalwood) but almost anything perfumey or chemically gives me an instant headache – even when no one else around can smell it
8. I occasional do “news fasts” refusing for 24-48 hours to listen to the news, read a paper or anything. I do this when I am in danger of being overwhelmed by the yuck and giving in to hopelessness.
9. When not fasting from it I am a news junky and get most of my news from Indy Media, or NPR in the car.
10. I love developing and facilitating nonviolence training and am constantly amazed that I get the opportunity to do this, that I get to travel to do this and every once in a while even get paid to do this.
11. I pick up hitchhikers and talk to strangers. Don’t bother telling me it’s a bad idea. I won’t listen.
12. I am constantly amazed at how lucky I am to have a job (clerk/receptionist at docs’ office) with awesome cool people who support me in doing my work (justice work, nonviolence training, and revolution) emotionally, spiritually and with flexibility in scheduling even though it is not officially part of my job.
13. I can fall asleep anywhere if I’m tired regardless of noise and light levels and in said state can sleep through anything.
14. I am an adrenaline junky.
15. When I was little among the countless other pets we had a pet raccoon. Rocky was the coolest pet.
16. I love to be up early.
17. I hate being late to things. Really – I’m almost obsessive about it. Which is a challenge since my natural instinct is to try to cram in doing one more thing before heading out the door – easily making me late. But it seems so disrespectful of other people’s time so I rarely am.
18. For a wanna- be environmentalist I have an unhealthy love of my car. It’s red. It’s covered in stickers (bumpers, doors, hood, trunk…) sharing my thoughts on everything and nothing. It holds all my nonviolence training materials so I can do a training anytime, anywhere, and usually a toothbrush and a change of underwear for that unexpected overnight…
19. I believe that if we want to have real justice and peace we need to build alternatives while we dismantle the systems and structures of violence and injustice. This is one of the reasons I give my time and energy to Nonviolent Peaceforce and Michigan Peace Team.
20. I am blessed to live some place I can get good, authentic Mexican, Middle Eastern, Indian or Thai food from locally owned restaurants when I want it – and when don’t I want it.
21. Dark chocolate. ‘nuff said.
22. like the stereotypical insane psychiatrist who went into psych ‘cuz he’s nuts I think I stated doing conflict intervention because I tend to be conflict avoidant. Yet now that I’ve been involved in training and organizing peace teams I find intervention opportunities galore.
23. I am afraid of heights. This is one of the reasons I went skydiving when I graduated from high school. I would go again in a heartbeat. It was great. I loved it. I am still afraid of heights.
24. I tend to process out loud. This can create a need for road signs when talking with me (“warning: abrupt turn ahead”)
25. Even though I was “tagged” about ½ dz.+ times to do this I had no desire. I didn’t want to. Wasn’t gonna. Didn’t want to bug friends. ( I beg forgivness from those tagged :-D) And totally resisted UNTIL l I had a deadline to do something else. Then suddenly it was all important
13 March 2009
I again find myself stunned that it has been so long since I’ve written. So much to catch up on. I’ve been away a lot. I went out to Seattle for about a week to help out a friend who was having some medical issues. Her daughter is adorable, and she and her husband both great people. I was glad to be able to help – and I think I may really have helped some.
The timing was challenging though. I had just taken several days off work to help out w/ MPT stuff and could ill afford another week away. I came home and it was just a few days later that I started house/pet sitting. So, while I was technically “home” or at least “in town” I was still away from my home and dogs more than not. Then I took off for another week to Ohio.
That was interesting. I went to be a part of the “stakeholders summit” for the National Peace Acadmey. It was mostly good. I could say a lot. I won’t just now. It involves thinking. But since the meeting was in Cleveland I decieded to use it as an excuse to visit some old stompin’ grounds, hang out with family, reconnect w/ friends. That was really really nice.
A bunch of folks I went to high school with met for drinks one night. We had a blast. How fun to reconnect after 20 years. And how crazy to realize it has been 20 years since I saw some of them – or at least somewhere around 15!
Also w/ some friends from college! So good to see them.
23 March 2009
I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. All “what have I accomplished w/ my life?” — I’m slowly snapping out of it. Spent the weekend training for MPT – next group to head off to Palestine. That helped reenergize me. So does the fact that it’s been sunny and nice out. M. still not working. I took some time off today since I’m working all day tomorrow…and I’m wondering why if it is so sunny I am in w/ a competer… bye………
10 April 2009
What a great week! My 40th bithday was Monday and the whole week I felt spoiled and loved!
Now usually I never even know how old I am. Really – the number just seems so irrelevent. Someone will ask and I’ll be all like “i was born in ’69 – you do the math”… but this year people kept telling me so I knew. And I felt so loved.
Among the highlights, my friend Sam sent me 40 birthday cards – including having each of her classes (she teaches 8th grade) sign one. My Dad remembered – he often doesn’t. Mom called and sent money – which I know is a stretch for her just now and arrived the same day I overdrew my bank account by a horrible and embarressingly large amount. Marty took me out to eat at one of my very favorite (and way out of our price range) resturants – The Blue Nile. Acutally, since The Blue Nile is closed on Mondays we started celebrating early and went Sunday night. Yum! The folks at work had lunch for me — yummy Thai food! And wrote the kindest things in a card! The girls I take care of came to visit me at work and brought me a gift…. a very cute and cool “mini lap top”! Wow! too generous! Plus dark chocolate! Since Marty and I went out to dinner Sunday night, Laurel took me out Monday night to my other favorite – La Fiesta Mexicana. Yum. Yum. Mexican Hot Chocolate! The woman who owns it surprised me by giving me a b-day gift! She saw we were celebrating and asked if it was someone’s b-day. Then she gave me a beautiful bag embroidered by a Mayan women’s group in her home town in Mexico. It was so kind, and spontanious and unexpected it almost made me cry. Does again as I type this. Came home from dinner to find Marty had brought me purple tulips. And Abby is organizing a fundraising party for MPT at Bombadills. Lots of calls, notes, cards, facebook messages…
I feel loved and spoiled and cared for. And as I write this I am at one of my favorite places (Bombadills) waiting for Laurel for coffee – a Friday AM ritual and something I look forward to all week!
It was a busy week too. I babysat extra days so most days were full and busy. Next week too is filled w/ working extra hours. Which is a bit of a bummer since I’m suddenly all in the mood to clean, organize , and purge the house of unwanted items. Ah,well – prob. good since chances are they are unwanted by me – but wanted by Marty.
Ah well, Laurel should be here soon and Jen just popped on-line to chat. Happy spring friends. The world feels like an amazing place just now… enjoy it!
3 May 2009
Friday I went w/ Laurel to a May day march and rally for immigration rights. It was great and spirited! Along the route there was a woman with a little girl, I assume her daughter — maybe 4 years old — with a big sign that said “I miss my daddy. Please let him come home” — it was heart breaking. Saturday night was a big fund raiser for MPT. Michael Moore spoke, and showed a “sneak preview” of the trailer for his new film. It looks great! He was great! And some decent money was raised for MPT!
Well, since I’m not in Kent it’s an early morning work tomorrow. I’m sure we’ll get 4000 calls about the swine flu. RELAX folks! Media hype and fear. Ah well….It’s moving on to late and bed calls. ( I hear Jen’s voice in my head “sleep well, dream better”)
10 May 2009
Meeting this weekend. Excited about the possibilities of MPT placing a team I Juarez. I need to learn Spanish. Not that I am going on the team. Just that it reminds me. I have wanted to learn Spanish for some time, also Arabic and Sign Language. Choosing one always felt like somehow giving up on the other 2. Which is not only insane, but if I had started any one of them when I fist started thinking about it I could have learned enough by now to start one of the others.
I need to start putting together a proposal for the exploratory team. I also said forever ago that I would write up something on our support for the BDS movement, and there is the whole hiring thing… plus this giant project Amy and I are working on….
Wish I wasn’t working this week.. Would love to just hang at Bombadills and crank some stuff out! So frustrating when ones job gets in the way of one’s work. Okay – I confess that is pretty pathetic given how few hours I work, how flexible they are and how much I love the folks I work with! Still…
Also need to do some serious laundry… not the silly little load I am doing now to have something to wear tomorrow, but a serious pack up the car, towels, linens, dog rags… orgy of laundry.
It’s gonna be a busy week.
1 sept. 2009