Thursday, October 28, 2004

GOP=God.Oil.Police. (Not Necessarily in That Order)

More from Punk Planet ( Posted by Hello


A good question, brought to us by Punk Planet () Posted by Hello

Voting as Community-Building

So yesterday, I exercised my rights as a citizen of a (gasp!) barely-surviving democracy (can't you see my rights' bulging muscles??).

Here in Albuquerque, there are something like 10 early-voting locations around the city. I went to the one I thought would be the least-used. I was expecting to dash in to a hole-in-the-wall, strip-mall ex-store, cast my vote in relative isolation, and feel vaguely and smugly superior.

Instead, although the location itself conformed to my low expectations, I was met with the sight of a line of about 75 citizens, waiting patiently and downright cheerfully for their chance to vote. The line -- at least two people wide -- stretched past at least 6 storefronts. An hour after arriving, when I finally made it inside, the poll worker said they'd had at least 400 voters a day since the first day of early voting -- October 6 -- and each day the line got longer. The day before, they'd had 635 voters. I don't want to do the math, and without comparisons from years before, there's no real reason to. I bring it up mostly to share just how buoyed my spirits were to see all these people, who clearly care deeply about the fate of their country, believe enough in the system to participate and cast a vote.

The atmosphere was festive. People were careful to treat each other respectfully and a bit delicately, as you weren't sure if the person you were talking to was voting "your way" or not. Even so, people did not hesitate to share their positions on specific issues, when an opportunity came up. Mostly, people talked about the activity of voting -- the prohibition on partisan pins or campaign material, the presence of poll monitors, etc. At some point, sarcastically, I mentioned to a friend standing in line with me that all we need to do to solve America's problems is to militarize this country. The woman standing behind us didn't bat an eye before telling me, in no uncertain terms, "Ma'am, I was in the military for 30 years, and I can tell you the LAST thing we need to do is to militarize this country. We don't want to end up like Russia." We all had a good laugh once I explained that I was mocking the Bush mentality, not advocating for expanding the military-industrial complex.

But people smiled. People talked. People said excuse me and please and thank you. There was a palpable sense of shared stakes -- in democracy, if not in a particular outcome of this particular democracy. And I suddenly gained the perspective that even if the worst of the worst happens and Bush prevails, our democracy will not be lost. Bush may try, and empire may do its best to undermine the power of the people, but there is still a vocal populace who believe in their right to determine the best government.

Like Maggie, I am an eternal optimist, and I may look too hard for the scraps of sunshine that signal a change in the weather, but as long as the people believe in the PROCESS of democracy itself and are willing to fight for their rights, the days of leaders like Bush & Co. are numbered. I have to believe that.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


Today my heart is heavy. Technology can't solve what the human heart can't provide for itself. A sister can't e-mail if the feelings hurt too much for words.

I am humbled by my own limitations at building relationship within my own family. I am studying for a masters degree in Community Building, and I can't pick up the phone and call my own sister. I have to e-mail her an apology for a most-likely unforgivable hurt.

Today I am haunted by a phrase from a birthday card hint by my friend Maggie (see for her profile) referring to the amazing movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: "We learn from what we'd like to forget." How true is that?

So today I explore the infinite abyss, in silence and in prayer.

Monday, October 25, 2004


So note the time stamp. Here I sit, waiting for my PDF versions of Illustrator Board with AutoCAD & TIF files to plot.

Writing the latest Elliot Smith to CD while listening on I-tunes.

Does anyone notice how out-of-hand all of this is?

All this technology, and it still takes 15 minutes to print! A whole 15 minutes! Ridiculous.

This weekend, Jeff & I watched a whole lot of tennis. Keegan & Aaron were in a tournament along with their Jefferson Jets teammates. Quite the social event for pre-adolescents. I was impressed by the general sportmanlike conduct of little men & women alike. We overheard several supportive comments, even to opponents. Makes me feel better about the state of the world.

Doesn't hurt that the Sox won game 1 of the series, either. Watched the game at Maggie & Joe's with a bunch of friends of friends. The chile was excellent, and the comraderie was unmatched. It was effortless to be there as a couple with Jeff, even bringing the boys along. Poor Aaron was outnumbered as one of only two Cardinals supporters. He handled it with grace & humor, as only he can do.

So, except for plotting with a race against the impending dawn, life is good. Real, real good.

Go fucking figure.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Jeff & Mikaela in Gila

Jeff & Mikaela on Their First Vacation to the Gila Wilderness with Marjorie and Justin, Summer 2004 Posted by Hello

My Boys & Brenna & Tipper Posted by Hello

Babysitting Brenna Posted by Hello

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

My shutterbug roomate provided this last view of the girl and her dog, reading together on Forrester Street. Thanks, Marjorie! Posted by Hello

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Would anyone out there buy a shirt like this? I'm taking orders. If there's a big demand, I'll get my friend, Matthew Wellington Giles, to print them up and sell them off his hip new site (which you should check out): Posted by Hello

Poem for the Day

Here's a poem that I've come to hold as a personal explanation of the quest for self-actualization (okay, actually it's really about making us perfectionists embrace our imperfections as actually shaping who we are instead of holding us back from being who we think we should be):

Pear Like a Potato
By John Updike

Was it worms, having once bitten
and then wilted away, or some canker
known only to nurserymen? Whatever the reason, the pear
fresh-plucked from the tree where it leans and struggles
in the garden’s dappled corner, is
a heavy dwarf-head whose faceless face
puckers and frowns around a multitude of old problems, its
furrowed brow and evil squint and pursy mouth
and pinched-in reptilian ear rescrambling,
feature for feature, as I rotate
this weight in my hand, this
friendly knot of fruitflesh, this
pear like a potato.

It wanted to grow, and it did. It
had a shape in mind, and if that shape in transit
was waylaid by scars, by cells
too mean to join in, leaving dents between bulges
like quilt-buttons, well, it kept on going
anyway. Our brains
are like this, no doubt, having swelled
in spite of traumas, of languages
we never learned, of grudges never set aside but grown around,
like parasites that died but forever snapped
the rhythm whereby cell links up to cell.
Plato’s was a manner of speaking;
perfection’s an idea that body and soul
make a run at. Falling short, they fill this world instead
with the lopsided jumble that is: the congregation
of the failed yet not uncheerful,
like this poor pear.

Water Water Everywhere

Having jumped headfirst into this technological revolution on the net (blogging, Hello Picture Sharing, On-line Forum Pages, etc.), I realize I am both in over my head and head-over-heels in love with the state of choice-overload of internet communication.

Today, IM-ing with a friend from Seattle, she shared the link to her wedding picture website (, and I shared my blogpage. I offered wedding congratulations; she offered her condolences on my recent dog-loss. And I felt ... comforted and updated, much as I imagine letter-writers and receivers used to feel in the early 20th century.

But easier! It's all so easy! And now whose fault is it that I don't keep in touch with friends? Not to mention family.

My sister just sent an e-mail to all the sisters and my mother about hosting a "welcome to the family" event for the new men in our lives (Heidi's fiance Eric and my Jeff). We're e-mailing requests for family interaction!!! How weird is that?

And only to find out: It's not weird at all. It works. It works well. I replied to my sisters and my mother and expressed feelings that I haven't been able to share with them in months -- okay, okay -- EVER!

So fuck it. I'm embracing technology and my family all at once.

Friday, October 15, 2004



End of a New Day

It's the dawn of a new era for me. I thought learning Photoshop was a big deal, but it turns out, blogging is the thing to do.

And I wonder if I'm "misunderestimating" the danger of world-publishing, even if it is a stupid web log.

I mean, really. It's one thing to give access to personal thoughts and photos to the crowd of technocrats out there that surf the cyberweb (mixed metaphor, anyone?), but it's quite another thing to invite closer inspection from our Big Brother. Do you think they hire government bureaucrats to do nothing all day but read people's blogs and do searches for *wmd* and *bomb* and *protest* -- or god forbid -- *civil rights?

It's all a bit much to think about, so for the moment, I'll just ask whoever's out there to report my peaceful intentions and to ask those of you with expertise, how do you go about adding music links to specific songs?

Get short, smarty. I'm outty.

I am a blogging maniac.

Okay, this is going to get addictive REALLY FAST.

Thanks for the memories

Thanks to everyone who came to Izzi's memorial last Saturday.

Izzi went to sleep on Wednesday, October 6, 2004.

She will be missed.

Izzi's Favorite Place Posted by Hello

Shadow Dog, Seattle, 2002 Posted by Hello

Mikki & Izzi Become a Family, Spring 1996 Posted by Hello

Fashion Shot Posted by Hello

Izzi-girl Posted by Hello

Mikaela Facilitates a Community Visioning for 4th Street and Montano Area Residents, Summer 2004 Posted by Hello

Technophobe to Technopolist

In just one morning!

What on earth did my friends get me into?

In the back of my mind, I'm thinking about one blog discovered while working in Seattle. This guy started keeping a blog about himself and his new love. I got hooked, and for hours every day, I read entry after entry, learning more and more about his life and his thinking. Then suddenly, it ended. Turns out the whole thing was an academic assignment, and his class ended!

I felt completely abandoned and in the dark, and I still sometimes wonder how things are going for him.

So, cool. I want to do that to someone, too!

Get smart, shorty.