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27th October 2012
Holy campaign life, Batman!
So on Thursday afternoon (48 hours ago), the Faith Team found out that we would not be working GOTV together and would, in fact, be farmed out to the different campuses most in need of leadership on the ground. Thursday night at about 11pm (+/- 40 hours ago), I found out that I would be going to Bemidji State University - the next day (yesterday). Yesterday afternoon (26 hours ago), I found out that the organizer who has been responsible for the turf that includes Bemidji quit. Yesterday evening, my coworker Nimco and I left the Cities at 7pm and rolled into Bemidji at 11:30. And here I am, live, and work for the next ten days. :
I spent 8am-4:30pm today in meetings, trainings, and more meetings, getting my feet on the ground, meeting my team of (very green!) organizers, all of whom are putting their grades and graduations on the line to do the work it will take to defeat this thing. I am amazed and honored to be here with them. Bemidji most certainly isn't the back woods, but it isn't the Cities, either - I've seen more vote yes signs in the last hour than in the last four months prior. And yet these organizers and out and proud (as queer or allies) and throwing every bit of themselves into this so that young kids around the state and country can see that we finally, finally
step up and say that no, in Minnesota, queer people - queer parents in particular - are not longer a political punching bag that can be used when you don't know how else to turn out the conservative vote.
Let me start by saying that if any of you feel compelled to take any part of the next 10 days off and join us up here in (BEAUTIFUL!) Bemidji, you would be warmly welcome. :) That not being realistic (unless it is!), please, please go here if you are anywhere in Minnesota: tinyurl.com/gotvmn. Take a couple shifts. We are so close to being able to kick the ass of this hurtful amendment. If it feels overwhelming to think of making time to take a day or a few shifts, I want to ask you to imagine how awesome it will feel when we wake up on the 7th having won. And then I want you to think about what it will feel like if we wake up to a new (or maybe two) constitutional amendment in Minnesota that says that some love is less worthy of the same breadth of options than others. I hope finding a block of time to get out the vote is less overwhelming in this context.
Polls close in 242 hours. Spend a few of them with us, making history: tinyurl.com/gotvmn. I love you guys. And I really fucking want to win - for all of us.
19th October 2012
Seventeen days - get out the vote!
Hey friends! The general radio silence is 100% campaign related. The job is amazing - I work with phenomenally good people all of whom, queer and not, have come together to stand up for the Minnesota we want to live in. There are some HARD moments sometimes, like yesterday when my coworker Jen told us that her 7-year-old asked, "mom, if the amendment passes, do you and mama have to get divorced? can we still be a family?" Ugh. :
But there are also these great moments when the hope of defeating the amendment glimmers through all the shit. We <i>know</i> what we're doing is working - it's just a matter of having enough time and capacity to have enough conversations in the next seventeen days. We know that there are about a quarter million (yep) people in Minnesota who are 100% with us, but probably won't vote unless we get them to the polls. Our margin of victory (or defeat) is going to be a small fraction of that - maybe 1% of the electorate? Maybe 2%?
So what does it take to get an extra 1% of Minnesotans to vote? 14,691 shifts
is what. That's how many volunteer shifts we need to fill, all over the state, over the last 8 days of the campaign. I know livejournal is a bit impersonal, but it's also where you guys are. My South High people. You are among the first community of people in which I was out. You helped me come out and realize that I can dream about my future, even if I don't know where along the line my future partner's gender will fall. So I need your help.
We are so close in the polls that defeating this thing is almost withing reach - but right now, we're behind. If the election were held tomorrow, we would likely lose. But we are moving in the right direction. Whether we win or lose, at this point, has less to do with what M4M does and everything to do with what we do or don't do. Everyone in the campaign is reaching out to our personal communities and networks and asking everyone to come on board in the final push to get out the vote. And then we're asking them (y'all!) to reach out to your own friends and families - that's how we're going to pull this off. Plus, GOTV is a hell of a lot of fun! We're targeting our supporters and simply making sure that they have a plan to vote. (That's the cool thing - if people make a verbal plan with you, they're MUCH more likely to carry it out!)
I made a google form to send out to my people: handy google form
. It's where you can sign up for whatever shifts you can take to be a part of this amazing thing we're doing in Minnesota this year. No other state has defeated one of these before - 30 times this has been on the ballot and 30 times it has passed. But history can't make itself, we have to do the leg work. We have to make
This victory will be so sweet. Please be a part of making it happen. I love Minnesota a whole damn lot and think that, ultimately, we deserve to be the first.
20th August 2012
Man, Mondays kind of blow. :
But friends! I have found the perfect combination for a good day in spite of the "Mon-" prefix: 1) bike to and from work (even if there is a scary hill between home and office - and a 9am, 80-person staff meeting on the other side); 2) upon return home, drink ginger tea + cranberry juice + gin; 3) receive call from Kira Pontiff; schedule happy hour hang-out time.
Oh! Also, 4) receive postcard from lovely former housemate.
14th October 2011
Having scorched one Diva Cup to death (while still in El Salvador), I now set my phone alarm to go off about 17 minutes into the 20-minute boil time. Then I go and stand by the stove and wait for it to be done, so that it doesn't suddenly start boiling off all the water and scorch another one despite my best efforts. This means that those last three minutes are, in fact, the longest three minutes of the entire month.
Thoughts, rain, words
A few minutes ago, I decided, "Ok, I will finish entering these six surveys, then I'm going outside to run." And it is not an exaggeration to say that at that very moment it began to rain. :( :
Also, from the big-girl blog: http://korlainca.blogspot.com/2011/10/words.html
(Seriously guys, occupy everywhere, together, because it is time for this shit to end.)
2nd October 2011
Prohibition and politics
Watching the Prohibition doc on PBS. From a longer quote from a British captain about Americans, "...in elections, when they win, they drink; when they don't, they drink and swear."
10th September 2011
I was just trying to follow a link to the fall color prediction on the MN DNR website and apparently the link was bad. But their 404 page was worth not seeing what I was looking for! www.dnr.state.mn.us/fall-colors/index.ht :
16th June 2011
Mining in El Salvador
So, yes, I'm back, but no, news from El Salvador hasn't stopped. In fact it's been bubbling. There's a lot that's going on right now related to gas prices (ie, gas for cooking), a decree that may or may not subvert the constitution and the powers of the judiciary, and a proposal to draft 5000 at-risk youth into military service in order to keep them out of gangs. Puchica. :
But the thing that has my attention in this moment is this: http://www.cispes.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=844&Itemid=1&lang=es
Here's an English post on the same situation: http://voiceselsalvador.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/anti-mining-activist-juan-francisco-duran-found-dead-in-san-salvador/
You should be able to put up flyers without ending up dead, tossed into a communal grave pit miles from your home. You just should. I wish I wasn't afraid every day - not paralyzingly so, but there's a constant base line of worry - that one of my kids is going to get killed or wrapped irrevocably in a gang. It's hard enough when they leave for the US.
So thoughts and prayers for Juan Francisco's family and community tonight and for those who keep up the work even though they know they're being observed. If I had one ounce of the courage they have...
27th May 2011
Damn stupid bigass box
My everything hurts after carrying that big box to the post office yesterday. Seriously, my head, back, arms, knees (stupid cobblestones). Puchica. I have no idea how Salvadoran women carry tables on their heads. And huge guacals filled ways past the 55 pounds that my box weighs. :
And now I have to carry it back home, since I'm not going to send it via post. But Ariel's going to help a sister out. Thank heaven.
I have four more nights here. Tonight in El Barío, tomorrow in the pueblo, Sunday in El Barío, Monday in the pueblo. Tuesday in Minneapolis.
2nd January 2011
Also, 2010 in meme form
: ( Porque, ¿por qué no?Collapse )
Ok, I got a bit carried away it would seem. But like I said, it's my lj. And like Evie said, suck it up.
Convo between my cousin and her daughter...
...who is about 4 years old: :
Evie:"Mom, can I wear my tinkerbell dress or wedding dress to church."
Shari:"No, when you get home."
Evie: "Suck it up, I am wearing my tinkerbell or wedding dress."
Other than checking facebook (which is where I found this), I've basically spent today watching Glee with my mom, in celebration of her birthday. Life is good down in the south land. Feliz año nuevo. (Which is, contrary to popular/facebook belief, different than wishing a "feliz ano nuevo," though the second is equally kind and arguably much more loving in situations in which such a wish is truly warranted.)
18th December 2010
DADT and DREAM
So, I can't help but interpret the Senate's actions today as a solid endorsement of the philosophy that armed and trained queers are less scary than colored children who want to go to school. Is there some other way of reading this that I'm not aware of?
29th November 2010
Who's a 12-year-old boy? I am.
So I was sending my dad a recipe for cranberry nut loaf bread just now, except that I typo-ed and wrote in the subject line "cranberry nutload". It caught me completely out of left field and I had to leave the office I was laughing so hard. This is one that I would not be able to explain in Spanish. Holy Lord. I promise I really am a grown up.
26th September 2010
Thanks to Hurricane Matthew, I may well never have dry clothes again. :
We opened the community museum this morning. It was amazing. Check out the photos on the Centro Arte para la Paz page on facebook. It has been such an honor to watch this thing unfold. Agh - we're all pretty high on the bong-o-life right this moment. A life full of community, historic memory, music, play, and Glee.
25th August 2010
Scorpions in the potty
One of my first days here, Peggy and I were talking about scorpions and other wildlife that is different here than in MN. She said that the only real problem she'd ever had with scorpions - and the only circumstance under which she'd ever been stung - is that they link to hide out in the toilet paper rolls, so when you stick your hand in to pick it up, BAM. (Not that you typically die with the little ones here, but it is still something I'd prefer to avoid.) :
So I've taken to shaking the rolls before I put my fingers into center. But I'm pretty sure that, should a scorpion ever actually fall out of the roll, it will be a very good thing that I am 1) already sitting, and 2) perched over a toilet. Because, even if I've just finished, I WILL pee myself.
14th July 2010
¡OJO HOMBRES! (guatemaltecos o universitarios en Minnesota) :
Contrary to popular belief (as evidenced by popular practice), touching - nay, even holding the waist of - your bro on the moto-scooter will NOT make you gay. What's more, it will in fact make you look less stupid, perhaps even cooler, than you do while holding onto the bar behind you so as to avoid any sort of contact.
27th May 2010
Oh my heavens.
I think I need to start doing this every morning. (Chance, don't be alarmed. Oh...this might freak out the host family a bit. Shoot.)
11th May 2010
Icing on the cake: I passed the language proficiency exam. ("High pass" in the case of two of the four sections - including speaking, which was my biggest worry. :) :
(I'm sure I'll eventually have a gloomy, lj-worthy post up here soon. But for now, things seem to be falling into place nicely.)
10th May 2010
Basically, I'm done with school for the foreseeable future. The only thing I have left is to hand in my thesis tomorrow morning and I'm done. I'm not walking, so this is just sort of...it. And I really like it this way. Because the "next phase" is such a big deal, I'm glad that this part is more of a fade than a pomp-and-circumstance event. (Not that I want to knock graduation! It's just not where I'm at at this moment in time.) :
So tomorrow I will go to Heller Hall, turn in my thesis - "Proclaiming liberation, naming the terms: 'Peace' and 'violence' redefined by Latin American liberation theology" - and go have soup with the Lutherans. That'll be the biggest 'last' by far.
I will say, as many times as I thought about just quitting or taking off, I'm glad that I went through it. (Or at least, I am glad that I'm done. No one can take this away from me now, which is the thing that I treasure about education. It's mine, but giving it away/sharing it actually only gives me MORE. Fancy that.)
The thing I can't believe is that it's been four years since we left high school. And especially since I know most of you (lj friends, that is) from South or other high school shenanigans, it's all the weirder. Does it seem like it has been that long? I'm about to leave for a year - a pretty short time, really - and when I get back, my sister will be graduating! How is this possible? Ay.
Quarter-life crisis, here I come.
8th May 2010
Lord have mercy. My thesis is going to be about 35 pages by the time I'm done. (With the recommendation being 25 from my department and 20-ish from my advisor.) :
It is so bizarre that this is the one thing between me and being done with school. I've turned in my final for theories and methods, finished up at work, had the last of my actual classes. Now I just need to edit the last 15 pages (mostly for verb tense issues - fuck that goofiness) and do some of the last-minute polishing. (Oh, and write the conclusion, but that is always one of the very last steps for me.)
And my sister is at prom tonight, which officially makes me old. (So the prom dresses this year don't have enough fabric to constitute a bath towel, for the record. But my mom showed me a photo of Ella and Henry and they are adorable.)
22nd April 2010
A new year (ie, birthday) resolution of sorts: This year, I am going to love - truly love - my body. This is not something I have every been able to do before, but I've been trying really, really hard of late and making some good progress. And this includes eating well and running and biking and walking for transport as well as exercise. And of course this is easier in the summer and given that I'm heading into a good, solid 16 months of summer (with heading to El Salvador coming so soon). :
But I mean something more than loving my body when I'm losing weight. I mean loving it for the fact that I'm strong and physically able to do really powerful things as well as really gentle things, all at my own discretion. And I mean not just loving parts that I like, but loving the whole.
[And, dear God, this sounds like a horrible chain letter, but it is true.]
So that's where my body and I are at right now. Not detente, not acceptance - love.
21st April 2010
It's been an excellent start to year 23 (I'm 22, so it's year 23, right?). :
Breakfast in bed (or rather, on couch, since I stayed at my folks' house last night). It's our family tradition, going back to when my dad was a kid. Turns out the living room is a much saner place to do it than a bed (especially a twin bed), since there's more space and couches are meant to be sat up in much more than beds.
I'm not a person who likes the tradition of birthday present-giving. I'd much prefer to get something for/from someone when it is right, rather than stress about it around a celebratory day. My family is pretty good at respecting that - two gifts this year and they're both perfect: a gift card for Midwest Mountaineering, with which I can get a mosquito net and other accoutrements of travel, and Ella got me The Princess and the Frog. C: I'm definitely taking that with me.
The Riverview is showing FRESH tonight at 7pm (for $9). It's a bit like Food, Inc., but it focuses less on the big business side of the food system and more on the folks that are working outside of that system and/or trying to work within to change it. Incredible film; truly inspiring people. (Including Joel Salatin, who I want to be when I grow up - and who was in town this weekend, while I was up in farm country. Go figure. :)
4th April 2010
"He is risen!"
One thing that is on my mind lately - that I really hadn't thought about until recently - is this: How did the women pull themselves out of bed that morning to go to the tomb? They didn't go expecting what they found, they went looking to dress a body. And then someone told them not to look for the dead among those who live. :
But what about that morning, before they arrived.
2nd April 2010
What have the unions ever done for us?
This will make more sense if you've seen The Life of Brian. (But if not, I'll post the original video below.) :
What have the Romans ever done for us?
God bless these clever people. :) Happy Friday (Good though it may be).