Ginny and Alex Riding in the Mini

this is an audio post - click to play

Pictures Yet?

I've been trying to figure out for MONTHS how to post my pictures in my blog. It's not that I'm dumb - I just haven't had the time to figure it out. So, while Alex is napping - I decided to spend some time figuring it out.

Compass - Finding Who's Way

In 25 minutes I was able to accomplish what usually takes me 3 days - pumping out articles for the monthly newsletter.

When I first was hired, one of my responsibility was to develop the format for our monthly newsletter. I was to come up with the concept, design, and article ideas. I titled it “The Compass” - providing direction for our clients. I honestly didn’t know where it would end up, if it was going to be a flop - who was going to be writing the articles. I soon found (figured) out that I would be the energy behind this.

I haven’t had a month where this newsletter has been a drag to put out. Whether the editing process, coming up with article ideas, or coming up with new ways to attract attention to the document - there’s always new energy. Clients that I talk to on a daily basis are my muses. In talking with them about the challenges they face, their success, and what goes on after 5 p.m. - they always have something interesting to talk about.

Last week’s key challenge was to find a grant program to fund a housing outreach program for recent immigrants. The client pointed out that many of the housing programs are developed for the landlord as the key beneficiary, and the client’s office needs to develop a program that has the immigrant-renter as the key beneficiary. After emails and phone calls, I sat in front of my computer completely frustrated because I understand the project, I see the benefits, I see the need....yet search results aren’t generating the same kind of enthusiasm.

My Friday night train ride usually allows me the opportunity to clear my mind of the phone calls - but I was (and obviously am continuing to) obsess over this call. Over and over in my mind - why aren’t there programs for renters to have the same kind of representation when forced into substandard housing? Ahhh! It’s Sunday and I’m still obsessing!

A couple of weeks ago I couldn’t stop my search efforts to cover the cost of the backbone of an interoperable communications system for a series of islands. Why there’s not funding to connect fire/life/safety from a multiple of nearby jurisdictions blows my mind. There’s plenty of money out there for walkie-talkies, but money’s missing for wires, dishes, computer systems, and training on how to layout the whole damn thing.

There’s not enough money for jurisdictions to share criminal records. There’s not enough money to train officers on how to deal with offenders with mental illnesses. There’s not enough money for school districts to work with children who’s parents are MIA because of drug addiction.

This is what I hear every day when I’m on the phone with clients. I’m not a senator, congresswoman, or their staff. I don’t get to impact the budget, grant programs, or decide where the money goes. I can only play cheerleader, hoping and praying on Sunday (downtown or Santa Monica) that people will read our summaries and consider applying for these programs. I hope they contact their governmental affairs staff, their congressperson and senator to bring more money to their jurisdictions.

I don’t know if clients know how they impact us. The same - I don’t know if I impact them either. I can only hope.

I started this blog entry as a puff piece to talk about the newsletter. But - obviously it turned out to be something else. I’m going to head back to the loft now to clean the bed area, sweep and most likely mop the floor.

Yes - Today I wrote this from 9th and Santee @ Starbucks.

It could have been done

To Los Angeles Delegates to the GPCA Plenary:

From the floor of the plenary I watch the wheels starting to spin faster. These wheels are picking up at an amazing rate. I will say 4 years of questioning, innuendoes, proposals, lawyer requests, $10,000 checks, unknown dollars of campaign contributions - could have ended today. But, by the show of your green cards during multiple straw votes, you made a conscious decision to keep up the battle.

Your straw votes to remove proposals from the Finance and Bylaws Standing Committees plainly was a decision to deny ending what has been a painful time for GPLAC and GPCA. Your straw votes prevented presentations, proposals, and the consensus-decision making process from taking place.

If you, as delegates, had spoken to delegates from other counties, you would have heard that the other counties are “tired”, “confused”, or “not interested in getting involved in another county’s internal politics”. Most likely, you would have also heard about the financial “ghosts in the closet” of other counties. Such as:
  • During the Nader 2000 a number of the county Green Parties in this state failed to track income from their tabling, income from Green Party events that brought in thousands of dollars at a time.
  • A Green who was using the locals credit card machine (which was used to collect contributions to the Green Local), as his own personal ATM machine.
  • Counties who raised thousands of dollars who didn’t start submitting their FPPC forms until they heard about Los Angeles County’s financial woes.
The plenary floor would have answered all of the questions the GPLAC Council battles every month. And, it would have been done. If the vote was up or down - at least the GA would have come to some kind of decision or consensus - taking the responsibility away from GPLAC.

:-( I am sad.

How many Greens does it take to pass an agenda?

I'm here at the state meeting. We started at 9:30 a.m. After the facilitation team was affirmed, the next item included in the agenda was to approve the plenary agenda. It is now 2:55 p.m. and the General assembly is still working on approving the agenda.

The party has some issues - obviously. I don't think we will get over it this weekend. But, we are really close to calling on the first aid station.

Bizarre News Man Dresses As A Turd In Sewage Protest

Bizarre News Man Dresses As A Turd In Sewage Protest

May 18, 2005, 11:02:17
Bizarre News

How bizarre: A Canadian man has dressed up as a giant poo - to protest against raw sewage being dumped in the ocean.

James Skwarok - also known as 'Mr Floatie' - wore the costume on Friday (06.05.05) to object to the 120 million litres of raw sewage dumped by the province of Victoria every day.

Skwarok - the founder of 'People Opposed to Outfall Pollution', aka POOP - said he resorted to the desperate measures after he was turned away at a local meeting.

According to Britain's Fortean Times, the environmentalist said he was "a little bummed out" to have been banned from attending.

Alex is busy counting votes

So, I'm looking at other blogs...

A New Blogger

Doesn't Think Anyone Reads It

A Blog on Search Engines

And, it's looking like Antonio is the new mayor! Yeah! This will be good for Los Angeles.

The Prop A campaign got really lucky. I voted no on this only because I was unsure what the defeat would mean.

One more regarding recall votes- looks like it's passing. Don't know what that's about either.

Oh Yeah! Rosendahl is winning! I hope that keeps.

Let's all hope that Alex finishes his work before 3 a.m.

Done Freaking out about gray hair

I found bar code art!

OMG A Gray Hair!

There's a single strand on the top of my head - at the part. It's like a zit on the tip of your nose - you can't miss it...and EVERYONE must see it. Oh, my, God! A gray hair. This can't be. This is the third one I've found! I found the first on Valentines day of 2004 (Right before we were heading out to a nice dinner), the second during Christmas dinner, and now...this!

I don't know if I should run downstairs to the Rite Aid and by hair dye, or curl up to the television and watch the Golden Girls.

I need a glass of wine.

Star Wars on NPR!

From: Derek Iversen
Date: May 17, 2005 1:00:16 AM PDT
Subject: Revenge of the Satire

Folks --

We have a very special broadcast for you. Ever wondered what NPR would sound like, if the Star Wars Galactic Empire were in charge? Wonder no more. Tune in Tuesday night, May 17, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm PST to hear Imperial State Radio, the public radio of the Empire, at You may decide it sounds a lot like our own Empire's public broadcasting. Coincidence? No.

Note for the Star Wars purists out there: we think you will find our numerous references "most impressive," but if we got any of them wrong, we are sure that you will let us know.

If you miss it, fret not. It will be up soon, along with a Great Many Things, at our delightful audio page:

You don't know the power of the Dark Side of public broadcasting. But you will ... you will.

-- The People Who Do That

You'd been caught in a pickle?

I've started multiple blog entries but I've failed to finish any of them. It's not that I'm lazy, or don't have anything to talk about - I've just been scatter brained. If I'm not @ work, I'm @ home, and if I'm at neither of those spots, I must be at the baseball game. The baseball game isn't a job, just the reality. It's very interesting to be able to go to so many baseball games - it's a true luxury. But, at the same time, it's a dream come true.

See, I love baseball. Not in the way a fan loves their team. I love the game. I could care less who's on the field - I want to see how the stances change with the change up. I don't care about the Golden Glove statistic, I want to see the pickle (or squeeze as some are calling it now). I want to see the coach come out to stand up for their players after a botched call. I want to see the 1st base coach congratulating a runner on the success of home plate.

I used to play. I played t-ball - which is a true sport. I have pictures of me in my black and white uniform. I remember playing second base...maybe because I couldn't throw the ball from the outfield. But, I loved the rush of hitting the ball and running like the wind. I played softball, but not very well. I was a better bench warmer than I was right fielder. I did become a very consistent hitter - at the bottom of the order. But, when you are the bottom of the order, not much is expected of you!

But, outside of playing the game, I remember tossing the ball with Tyler, Trudi, and against this piece of plywood I'd prop against a tree in the back yard. I remember being out there night after night, counting to 100, taking a 10-minute break, then starting again.

I don't think I ever disliked practice. I liked running the bases, sprinting around 1st, 2nd, 3rd, with the hope of being told "SLIDE!" then sliding into the base of the coach's choosing. Who can ever forget sliding practice!

Sliding practice took place whenever it would rain through practice. And, in Washington - it rained all the time! So, on occasion, rather than doing drills in the workout area, we'd find a flooded part of the ball field and practice the feet first slide, head first slide, and the hail-mary slide - also known as plopping. Is that how you spell it?

Anyway, we'd come from sliding practice not just drenched from the rain, but stained from mud. It was everywhere - in your hair, under your nails, up your nose, in your ears. Those were long showers of scrubbing, scrubbing and scrubbing. Thank God sunny days where we obtained sunburns were rarely followed by rainy-muddy days. Could you imagine having to scrub a sunburn? Yikes!

Back to reality - I don't get to play softball or baseball anymore. The closest I get to it is going to Dodger Stadium and watching Izzy, Choi, or Milt with their hits, slides and catches. I get to watch from the sidelines.

Tonight, the Dodgers play the Marlins. We get a t-shirt for showing up. Other than that, I'm only there for the game.

Big News From The Cell Phone

I can post from my phone now!

Last night Alex and I ventured down the Fig corridor for dinner. For some reason he was unable to visualize eating dinner while our neighbor Mark was hosting his get-together. In any case, we decided to eat at an Italian restaurant. Setting aside the mediocre caprese salad, losing Alex's order, and being surrounded by college students...I told Alex my faith in humanity had been restored.

Funny - it didn't take that much. Maybe I'm not as jaded as I thought?

In any case, as we were walking back to the car I noticed another car had parked fairly close to us, making it a little difficult to get in.
On top of that, there was a little girl who looked like she was planning an escape from her car to join her parents in the KFC. She opened her car door, and while I was planning for the THUNK, of her car door hitting the side of the Mini - the same mini that -->JUST<-- came back from getting a dent from the hood taken out, there was no thunking...just an "oh, cool."

Then, all of the sudden the words "Excuse me....Thank you" was heard.
I laughed and said - no problem, take your time.

I hadn't heard a little kid say "Excuse me" in forever. Whether the kid is waving his way around the line, like an ice skater doing figure 8s around imaginary cones, or the kid that coughed in Alex's face..the idea of getting some kind of acknowledgment of manners was something I just started to write off as an expense of a faster more impersonal world.

In any case, it really lifted my spirits.
The first email I ever sent was to my Grandpa Bob. I remember asking him for advice regarding my email address, and my first questions about the internet...regarding safety. He suggested an email address, and I traded emails with him via AOL that night.

I soon found out that my grandfather was way cooler than first thought. He was all over this internet thing - back in the mid-1990's. How many grandparents out there know how to IM, trade emails, and bring his story to the whole wide world....

My personal favorite page is on Joe Adams.
On my way into work this morning it dawned on me that I've engaged in an email dialogue that is worthless to me. If you are reading this blog you are either in the know about GPLAC or it means nothing to you.

Issues surrounding GPLAC have become so entangled, fact has been pitted against, or maybe more accurately - blended with the idea of "truth" and POV. All three sides have taken a fall for getting after the "truth", but at this point it more about how to move forward. GPLAC won't be able to move forward until everyone is willing to take an equal hit.

At the end of the day I've learned two things:

1) Money's green and regardless of your political affiliation.

2) CYA - because if your ass gets caught, no one in their right mind will be there to do post coverage.

I need to get ready to get off the train.

Yes, Roz...I'm riding the train to work. I re-worked the numbers, made some changes to my commute and I now save about $75 a month. Ca-Ching!