We are taking the warning

Not to make light of people in NoCal who have to evacuate. (http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/12/31/western.storms.ap/index.html)

We are evacuating. :-)

Just in case our place floods.

To owe and own

I’ve been struggling with something for a few weeks now, okay - maybe not weeeeeeeeeeks. The whole thing circles around Green Party stuff, what seems like personal needs, and a desire to do good, not just right. I guess it’s just better to put it out on the table of blog...

Way back in 2000 I worked on the Medea for Senate campaign. It was one of the most enjoyable political experiences of my life. I worked for a candidate who was speaking into the microphone about the >very< things I was faced with every day. My political party was supporting a candidate who got a lot of people energized not to be active through November 2000 - but for much longer after that. And, people can think back to this campaign and get some of that energy and momentum back.

2002, Peter came on the scene with his run for Governor. Starting with not as much political resources, the campaign moved forward, but I just couldn’t get into it. I tried, I hosted fundraisers, purchased Los Angeles County’s only lawn signs for the campaign, and I talked up the campaign as much as I could.

The recall came, and again - just couldn’t get into it. But, towards the end of the season there was a tremendous amount of energy and momentum many of us knew the party didn’t have the resources to maintain.

Then, the presidential election season.

Yes, I was on the Accreditation Committee - in fact I co-chaired it.

I was leading the effort, within the committee, to get our 2004 nomination procedures into a proposal and in front of the National Committee for their approval. In terms of processes, it was best to update the process we used in 2000 and send it to the NC for approval. This is what we did: we changed the references of ASGP to GPUS and 2000 to 2004. That was it.

And, the proposal passed, with a few changes. In terms of GP activities it was a painless process.

Then before the Winter 03 plenary, Peter announced (after the
deadline) he was running as a “Favorite Son”. I admit, I fell for it. I thought it was a good idea, under the premise that competition will make for a deeper more thoughtful campaign.

The GPUS convention took place, David Cobb and Pat LaMarche won the nomination.

The day marks the birth of the new Peter Camejo campaigns - one of finger pointing, stomping of feet, and out of control list nannies.

The Cobb/LaMarche campaign of 2004 was a Green Party campaign. It was a campaign of our issues, our awareness, and a celebration of our platform. David and Pat woke up that day in November not as the new owners of the Green Party, without feelings of being owed something - but as continued members of the Green Party. And, I feel the same way.

I am a member of the Green Party. I have never been a part of another political party - through thick and thin, press or no press, good days, bad days - I am here.

So, while Peter strolls into another campaign for Governor, I hope that people keep this in mind. Peter is not owed anything, he doesn’t own the party. Peter is a member of the party, and Greens shouldn’t feel bullied, marginalized, demeaned, or otherwise down about how they feel about other candidates. Even if they want to support other candidates.

This is what I’ve been having an internal showdown about - I want to run for Governor. I want to run a campaign that someone out there would get excited about. I want people to celebrate our platform, our values. We don’t need to run a campaign that says “we are a third party trying to break the duopoly”. We need a campaign that reaffirms our independence as a political party, we need a campaign that will help the initiatives that we support, succeed. Our party needs a campaign that can take ownership of what is owed to our party
- not just individuals.

While I >want< to run to secure the party’s nomination, that doesn’t necessarily say that I should run, or can run. I have a job, which I throughly enjoy. I have student loans. My partner Alex, has much more pull than most in terms of making the final decision. It takes money, it takes support, time and energy. Maybe a weekend in Vegas can help to reconcile the internal conflicts.

Who should I send the thank you card to?

Is the house bugged?

Last night I was saying to Alex that the intersection of 6th and Los Angeles is absolute mayhem - all day, traffic control should take control of the intersection rather than the lights.

I swear to God - THE traffic control folks are out there handling the intersection.


Two more days until Christmas shopping starts...

I was out of town for a couple of days this week - missing my morning train-blogging time. I was in Phoenix for work.
In any case, I bought my first Christmas present yesterday. I started shopping 5 days earlier than ever before. And, the present I bought, I could have totally bought it on the 24th and not yesterday.
I like to buy my gifts later in the sales cycle. My reasons why:
1) The crappy gifts have already sold out. There will always be Chia Pets (which is the ultimate fallback), however the ugly sweaters, useless gifts have already been picked up by extended relatives. Leaving you to sort out what’s left.
2) No secret here - I can’t keep my mouth shut when I do buy a gift. I get so excited about the gifts that I have for others, the moment I see them I want to tell them what I got them.
3) I’m lazy. Yes, I admit - I’m the procrastinator. I am okay waiting until the last moment for these gifts. I want to wait until there’s a little bit of pressure to buy the right gift.
I consider the 25th the early renewal date for gifts. If it gets to the right person before the 25th, then Yeah for me. As long as the gift gets to the person by New Year’s - I’m feeling pretty good.
On another note, at work, we are entering into our last couple of days at Arroyo and Colorado. We are moving east, going from three little suites to one whole floor. I’m not excited or anxious right now, because I still have work to do where I work...now. However, in January, I’m looking forward to the bigger space, a little more quiet, and a chance to focus on work.
The move has encouraged me to consider going to places in Old Town that I haven’t yet ventured into. However, Hooters is still NOT on my places to go list. I may go back to Sushi-Afloat, but Hooters - definitely a not.

Non Anon

I got this thing a few weeks ago that shows me who's been visiting the website.

http://arboraccess.com - you visit all the time! What do you do?

If you gotta pee...where DO you DO?

I haven’t bought a gift yet for Christmas. The tree’s up, but no ornaments. But, I did have time to go to the Neighborhood Council’s transportation committee meeting last night. Found out the contra-flow lane on Spring won’t be moving until late Spring. That’s a bummer, I was looking forward to running out the front door of the building to catch the train to work.
Also found out who was holding up the placement of the automatic public toilets - she’s not in office anymore. The council should be approving new language that would make it easier for the placement of new bus shelters, newspaper stands, information kiosks and ATPs. Automatic Public Toilets - something Los Angeles needs every day.
On my block and a half walk to the bus stop every morning, I have developed a method to the inhaling and exhaling. There are certain spots along my route that breathing in is just too much to handle. Cement half-walls along 6th street provide for a perfect “grunting” corner (I don’t know how else to describe this without saying that people are going number 2 even as I walk by). It’s gross, but it’s human so I can’t just say “Hey, can you not do that RIGHT there?”
When you have to go, you gotta go. There are no public restrooms downtown - except for one that has been adopted by the residents of the San Julian sidewalk. For one, it’s out of my way. That ATP is not between where I shop, live, or work.
Starbucks used to have an available bathroom on the corner of Santee and 8th (I think I’m wrong on the exact street location, but who cares). The sign now reads “Employees Only”. There’s a restroom at 7th and Los Angeles in the Rite Aid. Who knows how long that will last. There’s a bathroom in the basement of the Central Market - bring a dime, or quarter, or some change. Don’t plan on sitting on the toilet seat, and plan on a little kid taking a quick peek under your stall door, just so that the little boy can say Hi.
Peeing in downtown is far worse than trying to pee in the woods. At least in the woods you can see the stinging nettle or poison oak, and you’ve got fresh air to take in.
All I know is this: I never enjoyed watching my pets doing number 2. I don’t enjoy walking to the bus, and having to pass a grunting man taking a squat in the parking lot. And, I don’t enjoy walking by grown-ups taking a potty break in the many dark corners of 6th street.
Ahhh...inhale quick before three steps from now.

Like you need another reason to be nice to people on the street...

Tuesday, December 6, 2005 - 12:00 AM

Permission to reprint or copy this article or photo, other than personal use, must be obtained from The Seattle Times. Call 206-464-3113 or e-mail resale@seattletimes.com with your request.

State trooper or panhandler? Drivers fooled

By Jennifer Sullivan
Seattle Times staff reporter

In the three years since state lawmakers gave cops the go-ahead to pull over people for not wearing seat belts, the State Patrol has become creative about spotting scofflaws.

But one new approach has raised a few eyebrows — while providing results troopers call impressive.

On Saturday, a trooper stood on a street corner in Spanaway, Pierce County, and helped bust 30 people for not wearing their seat belts. The trooper, wearing plain clothes and a cardboard sign around his neck that read "Happy Holidays Buckle Up," was able to keep a close eye on passing traffic from the southeast corner of Highway 7 and 112th Street East. When he spotted someone who wasn't wearing a seat belt, the trooper radioed fellow troopers parked nearby who pulled over the offender.

In four hours, 41 cars were stopped and 30 seat-belt tickets, costing violators $101 per infraction, were handed out, Trooper J.J. Gundermann said. Troopers also made one drug arrest and six outstanding-warrant arrests.

Some motorists, seeing a man on the roadside wearing a sign, offered him money, apparently figuring he was a panhandler, the State Patrol said. The trooper refused the money.

State troopers dressed in plain clothes looking for people who weren't wearing seat belts:

Went too far - 31%

Displayed initiative - 55%

Shouldn't enforce this law - 14%

Total votes: 1,624

While the tactic proved successful, some are questioning whether it was proper.

John Strait, a law professor at Seattle University, said the operation "sounds tacky" but isn't illegal.

"I'm not sure it's great public policy," Strait said. "I don't think there's a legal privacy issue."

University of Washington criminal-law professor John Junker said police have a right to work in an undercover capacity. They also have a right to penalize people for what can be seen in plain view — such as not wearing a seat belt.

Troopers in King County say they are considering using the same tactic.

The seat-belt operation was first used last month in Vancouver, Wash. Dressed in a windbreaker, jeans and a baseball cap, Sgt. Jason Linn smiled as he held up a cardboard sign wishing motorists a happy holiday season and urging them to buckle up. Again, some motorists thought he was panhandling and offered him money.

Nineteen people were stopped in a 2 ½-hour span and ticketed for not wearing seat belts.

"What we're doing is we're trying to promote the use of seat belts," Vancouver-based Trooper Mike Kesler said. "If they [motorists] took the time to read the sign, it basically told them why we were there."

State Patrol Capt. Steve Burns, who oversees operations in King County, said he's watching how the tactic plays out in other parts of the state before phasing it in locally. Kesler said troopers in Clark County plan to do it again before the end of the year.

In 2002 the Legislature made it legal for authorities to stop motorists and passengers for not wearing seat belts. This updated a 1986 law that allowed for a seat-belt ticket only if authorities stopped a car for a different offense.

Kesler said Linn came up with the strategy because of the high number of panhandlers in the Vancouver area. It was easy for Linn to "blend in," he said.

One passenger rolled down his window, hollered obscenities at Linn and hurled a half-full can of soda before he realized Linn was a trooper. The man was given a $1,050 littering ticket. A 15-year-old who was driving the car was cited for not having a valid license and for allegedly stealing his father's rental car, Kesler said.

Several of the people caught in the Vancouver bust were agitated by the operation, and one person called it "slick," Kesler said. But Gundermann, the Pierce County trooper, said people stopped in Spanaway were supportive.

"We got real positive feedback," Gundermann said. "One of the gals we stopped thought it was a great idea."

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or jensullivan@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

Spitters - Blech

The end of the year...again
I didn’t get a post up yesterday, mostly because I was tired, a lot happened at work, and I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to talk about. But, now I have three things:
1) sidewalks
2) The Bus
3) Out of Date Blogs
Sidewalks in Los Angeles are a scary place. Not because of the unknown strangers, but because of the spitters. Maybe I walk too quietly, maybe people of deaf, but I’ve had too many near misses from people spitting. I used to tell my brother that when he prepared to spit, he sounded like a cow attempting to push food from stomach two to stomach three. It’s the same sound.
Why must people spit on the sidewalk. Can’t they spit into a napkin or handkerchief, or something - why the sidewalk. (The gagging Ginny says) You know it’s not just saliva - the spit is slippery. Oh, I have to talk about something else!
The other thing about the sidewalk - There’s a guy who lives on our sidewalk, he sleeps between two trees, and is usually sleeping on my way home from work, but just getting up when I leave for work. I’ve been trying to get into the habit of saying good morning and hello. It started because I had a near miss from his spitting.
At first his response was all grunts. So, it would go like this:
“Good Morning! Have a nice day,” dumb girl says.
“Hrumph,” says neighbor.
It went like this for a couple of days.
This morning, he was up and moving around, so...
“Good Morning! Have a nice day,” dumb girl says.
“Good Morning to you too,” says neighbor.
“Thank You,” - I was shocked that he said something back.
“Hey where are you going?”, he says.
“I am going to work - Have a nice day,” and that was that.
That’s it. There’s nothing more to the story. I’m sure that if or when Alex reads this he will shake his head. It’s a habit, I will talk to most anyone - especially if they seem like they need to talk.
I tell this story a million times, but it’s a good story...
One day at Mud Bay Coffee, I was behind the counter making, um, coffee. It was raining outside, it was Christmas time. The majority of our customers were women, who worked, who had kids, had big houses, and big expectations. They also had weird drink. A customer, known to me as Pineapple-Latte-Lady, had twin boys, and she had come in for her afternoon tall Pineapple latte.
[in the background as I write this, one of the train doors has stopped working, and I’ve spent the last couple of minutes at the South Pasadena station]
Anyways...A Pineapple latte is difficult to make. If the milk isn’t just the right temperature the syrup will crystalize, and the milk looks like it’s curdling. Yuck. So - you’ve got to pay attention when you are steaming the milk. Because if you get it too hot, you have to start all over again.
Anyways, PLL sat down and began to enjoy her drink. I sat behind the counter proud that I had yet again conquered syrup! She asked me how school was going.


It is getting close to be that time of year where I would sit at home on the couch for hours at a time ti reflect on how the past year went. I’d run through journals and reflect on missteps, ups, downs, sideways. I would do this for such a long time that eventually I would write myself - out. I wouldn’t have anything else to say. Then, I’d just sit on the couch and watch TV for the remainder of the day, and right before the sun went down - go for a run. Or, attempt to rollerblade on wet asphalt.

Now, I get to the end of the year and just try to get my Christmas shopping done before the morning of the 25th. My family can testify - I’m miserable at getting stuff done on time. Christmas gifts, destined for my dad, brother, and step-mother sat in my car for over two years. Which isn’t so bad...until...you consider I bought my dad chocolate covered cherries.
I’ll buy a fresh box for my dad, but this year, I intend on getting the gifts up to Washington.

I can’t remember what I did last year for Christmas. I think Alex mailed gifts up. I think I’m wrong about, so maybe I was supposed to mail the boxes up there. Maybe that’s what is sitting on the top of my closet. Hmmmm. Oops.
I’ve got myself wound up so tight, made myself so busy with busywork that I can’t seem to get it together enough to remember to send out the holiday cards. I forget to bring the camera when Alex and I go out to special things (like his reunion). I sit on gifts. I drag my feet on doctor appointments. I wait weeks before taking drycleaning, and take even longer to pick the drycleaning up.

I wait until I’m out out out of deodorant, until I get to the day I’ve scrapped my underarms on the bottom of the container. My hair detangler gets replaced when the hissing sound from the container produces no more liquid. I take items to the storage unit, only when Alex becomes so frustrated at me, he rubs his forehead so hard a notch appears.

Okay, maybe there’s not a notch, or dent on the side of his face. But, as previous roommates can attest - I can be a pain. Kilkea roommates excluded. Leslie knows what I’m talking about.

Oh - funny story time!

This one time, in grad school, I was scheduled to go to San Francisco the next day. The night before I was making rice-a-roni on the stove, when our neighbor Kip appeared on our patio. I was talking with Kip, and we determined it would be a good idea to run to the store and buy some beer for a Thursday night party. It would be a low key party. Stress the word low key. I don’t remember much, other than ordering pizza, turning off the stove, and waking up he next morning to go to a state party meeting.

I don’t remember cleaning up my mess. The mess - I mean a couple of pizza boxes, spilled beer on the floor (by the neighbor boys), and the kitchen was a cross between a biological landfill and a nuclear waste facility. Had this been a planned affair, with appropriate clean up the next morning, I don’t think we would have had a problem. But, my flight was at 6 something. And, when I went for the plan - I’m pretty sure my BAC was still pretty high. I was hungover for the entire day.

I didn’t remember to take my keys with me. When I got back home, I couldn’t get in. I was joking around at the door - pounding and yelling. And, I was met with Unhappy Leslie. Actually, she was Pissed Leslie. She was really mad. Really mad.

When I got home, I was appropriately met by my roommates who provided me with, um, constructive criticism. Actually - to be more accurate - it was an ultimatum. If I wanted to stay, I would need to give notice of folks coming over, and nothing left in the kitchen. At the time, it was a bit rough. I thought there was a bit of an overreaction. But, two weeks in, I totally understood I did probably the worst thing you could do as a roommate.

Time passed. I apologized, knowing what I had done. Knowing I could do nothing to fix what I had done, other than what they had asked me to do, and learn from the lesson. I learned that Neighbor Boys are bad. Neighborhood Boys without girlfriends are even worse, because they don’t have a girlfriend to answer to. Thus, drunken events that include dancing to the same song for 6 hours straight - aren’t stopped.

Makes for great stories though.

I'm Not Bitter

But, the LA Times did an article on Los Angeles area bloggers, and I didn't make the list.

Not bitter.