Get off Your Butt and Go!

I had a “deep cleaning” today of my teeth. The numbing stuff is starting to wear off, and Alex will be glad that moving my mouth is quiet painful, so I won’t be doing a lot of talking.

So, I hate the dentist. I hate the drill, I hate the self-conscious feeling about how ugly my coffee stained teeth are, or that I had stinky cheese for lunch and I didn’t have a chance to get home to brush.

But, I have a good dentist, with a good assistant, and a nice receptionist. The office is in the neighborhood, so I can leave from work at 10 to 2, catch the Gold Line, transfer to the D DASH line, and get off right in front of the building. I don’t have to pay for parking!

The office is in the CalMart Fashion building. So, I get a chance to walk buy (sic) pretty purses and showy dresses. It’s hard not to stop before I get to the dentists office.

Back to the deep cleaning. I was nervous, and even with the television, massaging chair, still tense. So, I Got The Gas! It sets in pretty quick and wears off pretty quick. It made all the pricking, clawing, poking and sawing all the stuff out of my mouth quite amusing.

The numbing stuff wore off pretty quickly too. Not a moment too soon. I’m tired of drooling on myself.
You should go to my dentist. They validate parking. (If you forget your cash for parking - because you have to prepay - just give the parking attendant your keys in exchange for the card) The waiting room is relaxing, with little water fountains and orchids. The restrooms are right down the hall (because if you come to early, you hear the water fountains just enough so that you “have to go”. The massaging chair, television, and abundance of the gas - it’s enough for me to keep going.

The dentist:

www.zendental.com

Anniversary Dates

Important Dates to Remember:

7/28/76

12/28/01

12/02/04

If you know what the three dates are, please reply.

If you just view and don't reply, well...then aren't you silly.

Come on, play along!

I'll tell you on 12/2 what the answers are.

Defending the Weak

The coolest thing happened today - my youngest brother declared that his fantasy game name meant that he was the defender for the week. How cool is that?

My little brother is in high school. Super smart and likes those role-playing card games. I remember that I didn’t make fun of those kinds of kids in school - mostly because of my love affair with EIRs. Who was I to judge?

But, now...did you see the article in the LA Times, or some big newspaper about the fact that “geeks” ruling the world. It’s like a sitcom come true - the kid spent their day in the computer or science lab, dreaming up the next big thing - also happens to be the adult who now runs million dollar firms.

And, bullies end up in middle management. LOL!

Anyways, back to my little brother. I do my best to talk to him at least once a week. We trade occasional emails, but good conversation takes place over the phone. Dad is in his mid-fifties, and his mom is forever 27. Now that I’m 29, that makes explaining the age difference sometimes awkward. But, I figure she’s earned her forever 27, so she can keep it. But, because my dad is older, I feel a tiny bit responsible for keeping an ear available for him.

He visited over a year ago. It was nice to have him down, and I’d like him to visit again. It’s cheaper for me to fly him down than to fly up. Also, It’s easier to take him out for dinner, than to rent a car and drive around all over the place. He’s very easy to entertain, especially since when he did visit - it was all new to him.

The last time he visited we went out for dinner, a movie, Olvera street, and we bought counterfeit Magic cards. And, we visited USC. I didn’t go there, but when I heard the figures - the more often teens visit college campuses, the more likely they are to attend college - generally. Oh, and he bought an American Apparel shirt. It was hard to see him off...

I remember when Liz took me on a side trip to her college - UPS, University of Puget Sound. Their logo included the color green, and at the time, I wanted everything Green. We bought stickers, and I started thinking to myself that I would one day attend college. I had never even given it a thought before that day. Then, I found Evergreen. Way more >>Green<< than UPS - as it included the word “green”...

Why on earth do I do the things I do - even that’s a mystery to me. It seems too simple.

I went to Evergreen State College, because I liked the mascot. A geoduck... And, I like mollusks.

I went to Pepperdine University, because I liked the weather. All the pictures show sunny weather, and I like sunny weather.

I made coffee for years, because I like double-tall, Almond Mochas, light on the chocolate.

I guess I might be a complex girl who likes simple things.

Windburned for the EAA

My hands are windburn from yesterday. Alex and I paced and stood outside at LAX with his union (EAA) calling attention to the 14 month delay in getting an agreement completed with the City of Los Angeles. Usually our protesting includes much younger folks, drums, anti-war music. Yesterday, we were all human noises.

I noticed two things - almost everyone, from bus drivers, limo drivers, and cars - they were all on their cell phone. No wonder traffic sucks so badly, no one can concentrate on the road because they are using some high tech game of Marco/Polo to find their recently arrived loved one.

#2 - The cabs honked. Some cars honked. But there was no honking from the private drivers. In fact, one of the private drivers grabbed something out of his mouth and threw it towards were Alex and a group of folks were standing.

The event was successful. But, only this group could have pulled this off.

The Anti-War movement is not disciplined enough to execute something link this.

It’s sad, but true.

Attempt #1

Can i post from the phone?

Drawbacks to SITC

I’ve been watching the DVD series of Sex In The City. I watched a couple of episodes when they were actually on television, but I didn’t really get a chance to get into it. I finished the first season two weeks ago, and I just finished the 2 season, disc 1 the other day.

So, I find myself doing this inner-narration. Carrie made it okay to do.

Maybe it will improve my blogging.

Make Cookies


I made cookies tonight using my new cookie press. They didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, but it is the first attempt at pressed cookies in over ten years. Ten Years...

What a phrase. It takes a while to be able to say "I haven't done that in decades" One decade ago I was enjoying (?) my first year of college, first year away from home-home, and spending my time between bagging groceries and mountain tops.

Even a decade ago I wasn't making pressed cookies. It would have to be 15 years ago...THAT was the last time I made pressed cookies. My goodness...it's been awhile since I made pressed cookies. No wonder they didn't turn out that great.

Another reason why they didn't turn out very well was because I was 1/4 cup shy of the full required amount of sugar. Also, I didn't use regular white sugar, I used sugar in the raw. And, I didn't have the patience to find the 1/2 teaspoon-spoon, so I just guessed using a table spoon.

>Shrugging Shoulders<

Well, I guess I won't take the first batch to work. I know that Alex will eat them.

As long as he doesn't find out about the lack of sugar.

I'd Buy

From this week's Downtown News

Trader Joe's in the Market?

A daylong event aimed at spurring investment in Downtown brought out nearly 100 venture capitalists, bankers, mortgage brokers and financiers to tour the area's new developments. One attendee in particular, however, had tongues wagging - a representative from Trader Joe's market. Carol Schatz, president and chief executive of the Downtown Center Business Improvement District and Central City Association, which organized the third annual event, said although the grocer made no commitments, its presence was nonetheless a victory. "They are checking us out and that's just fine." For years, Downtown leaders have lobbied the popular chain to open a location in the Central City to cater to the growing residential populace. The rule of thumb for grocery stores to open a new location tends to be the presence of at least 15,000 residential customers. While Downtown has nearly twice that, enough to support two stores, Trader Joe's has refused to consider the notion. Until now. "They were pretty impressed with what they saw," said Schatz.

Give Thanks for what you have

HARDSHIP INDICATORS POINT TO A DIFFICULT HOLIDAY SEASON
National Policy Response is Off Kilter

by Arloc Sherman and Isaac Shapiro

This analysis features a variety of measures which suggest that tens of millions of American families will confront significant hardships this holiday season, with many unable to meet their basic food, health, and shelter needs. Government data show that:
• Poverty has now risen for four straight years; 37 million people were poor in 2004.
• More than one in six households with children experienced hunger or risk of hunger in 2004.
• The number of people lacking health insurance reached an all-time recorded high in 2004.

http://www.cbpp.org/11-21-05pov.htm

If there's only one thing you do today...

Who is Stan Tookie Williams? http://www.savetookie.org/

Stan was the co-founder in 1971 of the Los Angeles Crips gang. In 1981 he was convicted of murdering four people during two robberies and sentenced to death row at San Quentin State Prison. Stan deeply regrets his gang involvement but has always maintained his innocence of these crimes.

His trial was based on circumstantial evidence and the testimony of several witnesses, all of whom were facing a range of felony charges, including fraud, rape, murder and mutilation. Even the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stated in a September 10, 2002, ruling that the witnesses in Stan’s case had “less-than-clean backgrounds and incentives to lie in order to obtain leniency from the state in either charging or sentencing.”

There was physical evidence, but none of it pointed to Stan.
• Fingerprints were found at both crime scenes, but they were not Stan’s. These fingerprints have never been identified.
• A bloody boot print left near the victim at one of the crime scenes was not Stan’s. This boot print has never been identified.
• A shotgun shell found at that crime scene was said to be from a gun purchased by Stan five years earlier. But the gun was, in fact, found under the bed of two people – a husband and wife facing felony insurance fraud charges and who were also under investigation for murdering their own crime partner. This husband-and-wife crime team did not serve any prison time and their murder investigation was dropped after they testified that Stan “volunteered” a confession to them.

• The “star” witness at Stan’s trial – a white man and longtime felon who was placed in a nearby cell while Stan awaited trial and was years later discovered to have been a paid police informant – also testified that Stan “volunteered” a confession to him. But nearly 20 years after Stan’s trial it was discovered that a Los Angeles police officer had left a copy of the police murder file involving Stan’s case in this informant’s cell for overnight study. The next day the murder file was picked up by that same officer, and the informant informed the police that Stan had volunteered a confession to him. In return for this testimony, the informant – who himself was facing the death penalty for rape, murder and mutilation – was given a lesser sentence that allowed him the possibility of parole and freedom.

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
While on death row, Stan has written 9 highly-acclaimed children’s books that educate young people to avoid gangs, crime and incarceration. He has also worked to end gang violence through his peace protocol and Internet Project for Street Peace, an international peer mentoring program. Stan has saved the lives of over 150,000 youth, as reported by them, their parents, teachers and law enforcement officials in their emails to Stan (tookie@tookie.com). He has recently published his memoir, Blue Rage, Black Redemption, which has been nominated for a James Madison Book Award. His work has resulted in multiple nominations for the Nobel Peace and Literature prizes. This summer Stan’s work was even recognized by the President of the United States when he received a presidential award for his volunteer work to help youth. Stan’s story was also recently made into a television movie, “Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story,” starring Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx. The movie was honored by the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals, and was nominated for a Golden Globe and other prestigious awards.

Saving Stan, Saving Our Civil Rights

Stan, like many prisoners, experienced racism in the criminal justice system. His prosecutor kicked off three African-Americans from serving as jurors in Stan’s trial, resulting in Stan being convicted by a virtually all-white jury (no African- Americans; one Latino; one Filipino; ten Caucasians). This prosecutor made numerous racist remarks during the trial, comparing Stan to a “Bengal Tiger” in the San Diego Zoo whose natural jungle “habitat” was the equivalent of South Central Los Angeles.

The California State Supreme Court had twice censured this same prosecutor for equally discriminatory behavior. Indeed, a member of the California Supreme Court at that time made the following statement about that prosecutor: ...I believe that we must place the ultimate blame on its real source – the prosecutor. It was he who unconstitutionally struck Black prospective jurors. The record compels this conclusion and permits none other... This prosecutor knew that such conduct was altogether improper. The trial court told him as much. And so did we... This court attempted to teach this same prosecutor that invidious discrimination was unacceptable when we reversed a judgment of death because of similar improper conduct on his part. He failed - or refused - to learn his lesson. The result is another reversal - and another costly burden on the administration of justice.

On October 11, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Stan’s appeal to investigate the racism and discrimination at the heart of his case, as well as Stan’s innocence issues. This denial established as “case law” for the entire nation the right of prosecutors to exclude jurors on the basis of race and to denigrate minority defendants in front of white juries. The ruling is a frontal attack on the civil rights of all Americans.

Will the State Execute a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee?

An execution date has been set for Stan Tookie Williams: December 13, 2005. In November 2005 his attorneys plan to file another Federal Habeas Petition that presents new evidence of innocence. At the same time a clemency team of lawyers (composed of lawyers from two prestigious international law firms: New York City’s Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, founded in 1830, and the 500-attorney firm of Howrey Simon Arnold & White LLP headquartered in Los Angeles), has been formed to prepare a clemency petition for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s
consideration. That clemency petition will be submitted to the Governor of California by the beginning of December 2005.

Why Stanley Tookie Williams Should Receive Clemency
Clemency is a request for mercy. In the United States it is a request for a Governor (only a Governor can grant
clemency) to not impose the death penalty, but instead to impose an alternative sentence: Life without the possibility of
parole. So clemency does not mean freedom for the prisoner. It means that the person will spend the rest of his life in
prison unless he can later prove innocence through further appeals.

Stanley Tookie Williams deserves clemency. From a 9-by-4 foot cell he has undertaken extraordinary work to serve humanity in his effort to reverse the destructive legacy of the Crips youth gang. If Governor Schwarzenegger grants clemency to Stanley Tookie Williams he will have made an historic move to diminish youth violence in this country and abroad because of the powerful work that Stan would be able to continue to do, using his credible voice to reduce the presence of street gangs throughout this nation and around the world. Even the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote an unprecedented conclusion to its September 10, 2002, ruling about Stan. The Court concluded that Stan was doing “laudable” work that made him “worthy” of consideration for clemency. To that end, Stan has:

• Saved the lives of over 150,000 youth who were either preparing to join a gang or got out of a gang, based on the testimonies of tens of thousands of emails received by Stan at tookie@tookie.com from kids, parents, teachers, librarians and even law enforcement officials

• Written nine highly acclaimed anti-violence, anti-gang and anti-drug books for elementary school students (Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence, a series of eight books) and middle school children (Life in Prison, a book that deromanticizes incarceration) that are in schools, libraries and juvenile correctional facilities throughout the nation and around the world. Life in Prison was honored by the American Library Association.

• Written his autobiography, Blue Rage, Black Redemption, for high school students and imprisoned adults to inspire them and to demonstrate to them how they can rehabilitate themselves no matter the difficulty surrounding their life circumstance. Blue Rage, Black Redemption was recently nominated by Frederick Douglass IV for a James Madison Book Award.

• Written the “Tookie Protocol for Peace: A Local Street Peace Initiative,” which provides step-by-step instructions for how a community can create peace – block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city. Nearly 200 Crips and Bloods in Newark, New Jersey, for example, signed a truce document based on Stan’s peace protocol one month after downloading that sample peace treaty from his website (www.tookie.com). Until then, those Crips and Bloods had been responsible for 32 gang-related deaths during the first four months of 2004. By May 2004, after signing the truce document, the murder rate in Newark, New Jersey, dropped significantly. The Deputy Mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka, credits Stan’s work as playing a significant role in the lessening of violence in his city. Reformed gang members in other states, such as Indiana, have also reported their successful use of Stan’s peace protocol to secure treaties that stopped gang violence in their communities.

• Written letters to incarcerated youth that have been used as counseling and learning tools by juvenile correctional officers. The letters are available for free on his website

• Provided live mentoring via telephone to the principals of the 23 most at-risk elementary schools in the Chicago Public Schools during an in-service training session about Stan’s work. The session was so successful that the Chicago Public Schools decided to create a curriculum around Stan’s Blue Rage, Black Redemption book and his other work. That curriculum was launched in September 2005 within those 23 schools. It is proving to be so successful with students that there is a waiting list to become a participant.

• Provided live mentoring to at-risk youth via the telephone by calling schools, a Bay Area juvenile correctional facility and community- based after-school programs serving troubled youth

• Provided live mentoring to very high-risk youth who visit him at San Quentin State Prison

• Recorded anti-gang Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that have been played on radio stations throughout the United States and Canada. A British station is preparing to air his PSAs

• Assisted in the creation of an award-winning movie made about his life, “Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story,” starring Jamie Foxx. The movie is being sold in DVD format globally – in, for example, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Iraq to U.S. soldiers fighting there. The movie of Stan’s life is proving to be so inspirational that it, too, is saving lives. (See emails at www.tookie.com.)

• Been nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize – once by a member of the Swiss Parliament and four times by a growing list of eminent professors from the United States and Europe. He has also been nominated four times for the Nobel Prize for Literature by William Keach, Professor of English Literature from Brown University.

• Received from President George W. Bush a 2005 Presidential Call to Service Award for his volunteer efforts to help youth If you want more information, have ideas about how you can help, or want to ask a question, contact Barbara Becnel or Kathleen Sullivan at Tookie@Tookie.com or at 510-235-9780, or contact Crystal Bybee at Crystal@nodeathpenalty.org or at 510-333-7966.

Monday Sucks

I had a scheduled call with a client.

I called the client at the scheduled time.

She wasn't there.

The person who picked up the phone had me on speakerphone.

"You work for who?" he says

"You do what?" he says

click.

I mean, CLICK

He hung up on me!

ME

I don't hang up on people, well...I have hung up on people, but I've warned them. I don't hang up on people without letting them know that I'm hanging up on them.

AHHHHH! I hate getting hung up on!

I'd rather read that you deleted my email without reading it than, getting hung up on!

Today sucks. I'm ready to take all my toys and go home.

Drawback to iPods

When I would drive home from work I would have 15 - 20 minutes to sing to myself. I am not a very good singer, and half the time I don't get the words right. I dont know why I sing in the car.

I do know why I don't sing on the train, on the bus, or walking in between. Because I am not a very good singer, and half the time I don't get the words right. :-)

I have to make a conscious effort not to sing. It doesn't matter if I have the ipod... I know the words to more than half of the Ani DiFranco album collection. I hear a phrase, or I'm reminded of a time I was listening to a song.

I might start humming the words and then as soon as you know it I am singing "perpetrating counter culture, she was walking through the park."

If I catch it, I'm okay. This happens most days. I catch myself 3-4 phrases in.

However my fear is about the day I will walk through Union Station, singing and twirling to "Out Of Range".

Oh well. Worse things can happen...like no one paying attention.

Alarming...no. Annoying...yes.

Something is becoming more common...car alarms. When I hear a car alarm, I don't look out the window until the car alarm has been going for more than 5 minutes.

When I hear a car alarm, I don't think to myself..."Hey...I think someone's car is getting stolen." I think to myself "My God! How annoying!"

I don't like car alarms. If you are going to spend the money on a car alarm, get a freaking low-jack.