Monday, June 26, 2006

i must be a ghost... 

Apparently I was poisoned five years ago:
Carol Elaine: At age 35, you will drown in a wading pool under mysterious circumstances. The only clue will be a small blue pacifier found around your neck.

G-d, I hate when that happens...

(From fredlet)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

networking wthout trying... 

When I initially launched into political activism a little over 18 months ago, I envisioned nothing more than being a volunteer in some office stuffing and licking envelopes, with maybe a few protest rallies and marches thrown in for good measure. And I have done that. But I certainly didn't envision turning into a chair of a tech committee for a PAC, or being a secretary for two other committees, or being a voting member on the PACs Coordinating Committee, or gaining a roommate, or lobbying representatives, or testifying at a state hearing, or running for Democratic delegate, or being a proxy delegate at the California Democratic Convention in Sacramento (man, that was one very intense weekend - and it was all work-related!) or, well, anything that's happened in the last year and a half.

Nor did I envision what an amazing job networking opportunity it would turn out to be.

Of course there was the whole web maintanence job I did for CongressionalCandidate, which was pretty damned cool. Well, it turns out she wants to turn the site into an exploratory site, to keep the heat on Jane Harman and so that everything's in place should she decide to run again in 2008 (which seems pretty likely). And she wants to keep me onboard to keep it going and attach a blog to it, which I will be running, but I may not be posting to very much. Because, though we first talked about it late Friday night, I already have people lined up who want to contribute. Amazing! I mentioned it to a couple of people and they leapt at the chance. And I have no doubt we can get more folks to join up. I also have another person who wants to help with the technical parts of the site and blog, a man who was our volunteer IT guy for the campaign and did a terrific job.

Yeah, I'm going to be managing a web team. How bloody freaky is that? I don't think I'll be working quite enough hours to support myself, because this is all coming from CongressionalCandidate's pockets and she's not independently wealthy, though she has agreed to up my rate from $15/hour to $20/hour. So I think it'll be a nice supplemental income.

But that's okay, because it looks like I'll get enough work elsewhere to pay the bills, as a woman I know through SoCal Grassroots - she used to be the chair of the Communications Committee - has projects she wants me to help out with and she has a business partner who it looking for people to do web maintenance on several large websites and who seems pretty eager to meet with me when he's in town in a couple of weeks. I have a pretty good feeling about this. And I can work from home - whee!!

And here I was worried I'd have to go back to a 9-5 office job as an assistant.

Thank you, Politics!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

can't cast a stone... 

...without hitting a church.

My new neighborhood must be chock-filled with sinners. How else to explain the veritable plethora of churches on its streets?

My street is rather short and the two streets that bookend it lead out to a very busy street. On the corners of those two streets are two churches. Walk less than a quarter of a mile east on this busy street and there lies another church. On yet another nearby street (as in a five minute walk from my place) stands a fourth church. And on a recent stroll within a mile radius of my new home? Two more churches. At least, only two that I saw. I didn't explore all of the side streets.

Either I've landed in the midst of serious G-d-fearin' folks or Jesus really fears for the souls of the residents of Burbank.

Either way, I'm glad that my roomie is as blasphemous as I am. Thank heaven for small miracles.

Friday, June 16, 2006

is it wrong? 

As I try to wrestle sense out of this damned resume, I've got Young Sherlock Holmes playing on TV.

As I glance occasionally at the screen, I'm reminded again at how cute I thought 18 year old Nicholas Rowe was back when the movie first came out in 1985. Back when I saw it two and a half times in the theater and I bought the soundtrack, souvenir program and countless teen magazines featuring the young actors.

Twenty-one years later I look again at Nicholas Rowe's youthful visage and I still think he was quite the cutie.

Is that so wrong?

(PS - I've seen Nicholas in more recent films - I still think he's rather attractive (Angelfire won't let me link to individual images), all tall and long and lean, with that thick, curly hair. And he rocks the period costumes pretty darned nicely. Since he's only a few months younger than me, maybe it's not so wrong after all...)

Fine, fine, back to the words I go.


This is the fifth post in two days, after not writing a word here since mid-March.

(Okay, that's not entirely true - I did start to write a post about how happy I was the Clippers had made the play-offs, but obviously that stayed in draft mode, so as far as y'all are concerned, it really had been nearly three months since my last bon mots. And they very nearly made it the Western Conference Finals! Guess who was a happy little Clipper fan for a little while? Anywho, I digress. As if that's any surprise..)

So, the fact that I'm writing here so much can only mean one thing: I'm procrastinating my little heart out.

I have to revamp my resume completely, as the short term assignments I've had recently really don't look good in the current chronological format.

I hate working on my resume. It sucks so many levels of pointy rocks that I dread it with every cell in my body. How the hell do I turn it into a functional style format that will make people who pay more than $15/hour want to hire me? I mean, could live on $15/hour, but just barely.

And tonight I'm going to a Capoeira class, which a couple of new friends (whom I met through the campaign) are totally into and which looks very interesting. They think I'll enjoy it and they're probably right.

So I gotta get ready for that soon.

Back to the word mines I go...

pamie's annual book drive - 2006 

I'm a week late (mainly because I haven't read any blogs/journals for over three months, so I'm only now catching up on stuff), but here's the link for the 2006 installment of Pamie's Annual Book Drive. This year books are going to the Harrison County Library system in Mississippi, which had several library collections completely wiped out by Hurricane Katrina.

Do your bit to help, if you can. It's an excellent cause, as it is every year.

feelings about moving... 

I kinda glossed over the whole moving thing yesterday, but I have to admit, it caused me a lot of angst. And not just because it turned into The Never-Ending Move, lasting a full four days beyond what it should have been, due to my own feet dragging, not to mention the campaign and throwing in a car accident in the mix (I'm fine, surprisingly - I'll tell the story later on, as it is quite the story).

I would type out the whole angsty story, but instead I'll just cut and paste an e-mail that I sent to a couple of close friends the morning of the furniture portion of the move (BTW, big thanks go out to BSHubby, SurferBoy [ModelGirl's hubby], Boychik, BabySis and IrishWriter for their help in the move, as well as Sarriah for taking a few things off my hands so I didn't have to put them in storage). I should have been packing instead of writing an e-mail, as MusicianMan sympathetically pointed out while we chatted on the phone as I stood in line at the UHaul place. But as I was just whipping myself into a frenzy while packing so that I had trouble concentrating, it was best to take a moment (or an hour) to let it all out into bits and send it across the wires in the very early morning hours.

Yep, another late night/early morning e-mail. This can't be full of happy happy joy joy stuff. Heaven knows it's ungodly long.

Ya ever commit to something that causes you to later question your sanity? As you might guess, that's what I'm going through right now. Besides the whole "too much stuff" issue that's smacking me in the face with my packing (and don't think that's not worthy of an entire lengthy e-mail unto itself), I'm experiencing a few panic attacks as I box up my books and music and videos, my tchotchkes and wall hangings and papers. I'm wondering what's going into the storage unit I committed to yesterday and what's going to end up in my bedroom closet.

And last, but certainly not least, I'm feeling as if I'm packing up the last ten or thirteen years of my life and I don't know when I'll see most of it again. As I've said, I know, deep, deep down, that this will be better for me ultimately. That I'll be able to shake the last clinging vestiges of a life that is no longer a good fit for the person I'm turning into, whoever that person may be. I've spent my entire 30s (and a portion of my 20s) in this neighborhood. Hell, I've spent my entire 30s in this apartment. I turned 30 the month after I moved in here with [Ex] and here it is, barely a month after my 40th birthday, and I'm moving on to the next phase of this strange adventure. There's a certain symmetry there that appeals to me. My 30s have been so full of wondrous and horrendous things that I've come out of it a totally different person than I entered it.

But...but...but...I've grown so comfortable here. When everything else around me was falling apart and disintegrating, this was the refuge I could come to at the end of the day. These cozy, quaint walls and my cats were my balm. It's hard to leave behind so much comfort. To think that, once I get everything moved out, that I'll never come back again is hard to take. It's the vice that clamps around my heart and my throat, cutting off my air. I'll still have my cats, I know that, but to go from an entire apartment to just a little bedroom to shut out the world when it gets to be too much - it's a difficult adjustment to make, to say the least.

I think I'd also secretly hoped that, when I moved out of here and into a place with another human being, I would be moving in with someone who I would be involved with romantically. Granted, I suspect that what's been holding me back all these years have been the ghosts of [Ex], ghosts of a man I no longer want but whose memory I'm constantly drawn to, even nine years later. Even though, looking back, there were certain qualities he lacked that I now realize I want in a man, he was perfect for me in that phase of my life - the happier, less complicated phase of my life - and it's hard to let that go.

And, of course, there's the whole issue of moving in with another human being. And not just any human being. [IrishWriter's] become a dear friend and I think it'll be good for both of us, in the long run, to become roomies. I think that it'll help both of us evolve - I'll remember what it's like to live with someone, how to make certain compromises, and he'll remember what it's like to live with someone who's a friend, not just a roomie in whom there's no emotional investment. As I told him today, I won't be in his face, but I'm not easily ignored. Not that he'll ignore me, but he's set in his ways and I'm set in mine and those ways are going to clash on occasion, so we'll learn to work around them.

It'll also be good for the cats, to have another human to stroke them and pay attention to them. I've always felt four cats were too much for one person and I know they'll be happier. Oh, they'll freak out at first, but they'll settle in after a while. Hopefully, they'll also get along better, once they're on turf that none can claim as theirs.

But...but...but...if it's so good, then why am I dragging my feet with packing? I've been busy, true. I've been lacking in boxes, also true. But there have been times over the last month I could have packed a few things and taken them over to [IrishWriter's], unpacked, then repacked those boxes and repeated the process. I could have easily had half my stuff packed and moved by now, but it's only been in the last week or two that I've started any packing. Even now I'm stalling, knowing I have to get back to it, but dreading it. You'd think that, with my wandering ways as a child, living in a different city or state every year, that my DNA would be firmly imprinted with the moving gene, so that it would kick in when faced with uprooting.

Uprooting. There it is. I'm uprooting. I've invested a lot of time and emotion, a tremendous amount of energy and even a little bit of money in this place and it's not easily left behind. I've never lived anywhere that I've invested so much of myself in, in so many ways, and I feel I'm leaving such a huge chunk of who I am behind. So much of who I was has fallen or been chipped away, without my permission, that to leave even more of myself behind without knowing who I'll become is a frightening process. There's so much uncertainty in the rest of 2006 as it is that I'm scared the uncertainty of my living situation will be too much to bear. Will [IrishWriter] and I be okay as roomies? Will we both be so hard-headed that it'll destroy our friendship? Will I even be there come the end of the year? If [CongressionalCandidate] wins the primary, she'll win the general and she may want familiar faces to go with her to DC. And if she decides that I might be an asset (which may or may not happen) and invites me along - well, I think I may very well take her up on that. I felt at home in DC when we were there in September - maybe it's time for me to go home again.

So, yeah, brain won't shut up, as usual, and I'm stalling even more and my friend [SurferBoy] will be here in a couple of hours to take me to the UHaul place, with my brother-in-law joining us a few hours later, so I'd better get back to it. My G-d, man, I have so much stuff it's not even funny. I really need to get this noggin o' mine examined again. I'm not so sure about my sanity at the moment.


Thank you again for being such a great friend and for bearing with crazy me and my Tolstoy-like e-mails. Apparently the only way I can resolve anything is by writing it out (and sometimes not even then). I wish I spoke as well as I wrote...

On Sunday, June 4, as IrishWriter drove me away from the old apartment fo the final time, I started to quietly cry as I watched the magnolia tree in the front yard disappear from sight. I couldn't even talk, I was so choked up over the move and everything else that had happened over the previous weeks - the Democratic Convention at the end of April, the temporary strain to a couple of friendships, the campaign, the car accident, and, of course, the move.

I've since come to terms with a lot of what I wrote, and I know the rest will fall into place. It's only been three weeks, and there have been adjustments, to be sure, but again I'm faced with how very good a move this has been for me.

An era has come to an end. And a new, bright - and outrageously uncertain - one is on my second floor apartment's doorstep.

Here's to my forties...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

believe it or not... 

...I'm still alive. Well, that's the word on the street.

I'm sure it won't come as any surprise when I say that things have been a little nutty over the last few months. The campaign took up a lot of time. So much so that I had to drop out of my classes and could no longer work for the Irish newspaper. There were other mitigating circumstances to both of the above, but the campaign was a big part of it.

Unfortunately, my candidate didn't win the primary on June 6th, but she garnered nearly 38% of the vote, which is nearly unheard of for a person who had never run for office before, let alone a federal office against an entrenched incumbent. Many of us - including myself - thought the percentages would be closer. Hell, many of us thought she had a real chance of winning last week. But it was still a incredible showing. Here's hoping that she runs again in 2008.

Of course, this means I'm looking for a job. Again. *sigh* Ya know, this whole job search thing is pretty damned old by now. But things have changed a bit, so I feel even more pressure to just get a job that pays the bills. Because, you see, I've moved. And I know have a roommate.

Yep, after living in the same neighborhood for nealy thirteen years - and the same apartment for over ten years - I have moved to the wilds of Burbank. Not far from where I lived before, but it almost feels like another world, since my old neighborhood is a bit funkier and more urban than the SuperSuburbia that is Burbank.

What prompted this sudden change in residence? My friend IrishWriter lost his roommate to another neighborhood and so needed another. I thought it was the perfect opportunity for a change of scene, which was desparately needed, especially since the move fulfilled several critical requirements for me to leave my old place and move into a roommate situation:

1) Said roommate had to love animals, but not already have any, since moving four cats into a new place would have been challenging enough without having other pets in the mix. IrishWriter loves animals and is especially fond of cats. He and Matisse have already bonded - Matisse has him wrapped around his tail.

2) No move-in costs aside from rent. Luckily I didn't have to worry about first and last months rent or a security deposit. Or a pet deposit, for that matter. Very important. Of course, the rent, when combined with the cost of a storage unit (I had an apartment and garage full of stuff - storage is needed for the time being, as IrishWriter also has an apartment full of stuff) and a U-Haul truck, wiped out that paycheck, but it's still cool.

3) I already know the roommate. IrishWriter and I have become good friends over the last year and I know he's a good person. He's very strong willed and set in his ways, but then again, so am I. I think this will be good for both of us, as his last roommate was just a roommate and not a friend, so he's going to have to get used to living with someone who is not easily ignored. And me? I have to get used to living with another human being again, after living alone for over nine years. I think it'll be good for me. It won't be easy, because I have a strong loner side to me, but I think it is for the best.

I turned 40 a month and a half ago - what's the best thing for a new life than a new residence? And it seems to be doing wonders for my dating life - already I've gone on two rather nice coffee dates this week and I met someone else at the Knitting Factory on Satuday. Plus I'm in talks with two other guys to set up coffee dates (thank you, MySpace and Craigslist!).

Ya know, I might even end up having sex this year...

ACTION ALERT: Net Neutrality in Danger - Contact Your Representative! 

Crossposted from SoCal Grassroots Blog

I know this is old news by now, but it's still all too important - we've got to keep Net Neutrality alive!

Telecommunications companies may already be blocking content when they so desire, according to SaveTheInternet.com:
There’s a pervasive myth that there has been no Internet content discrimination by the large phone and cable companies. “That is simply untrue,” writes Matt Stoller of BlogPAC.

Stoller points to Cox Cable, which for three months has blocked their customers from accessing the online classifieds super-site, Craigslist. (Disclosure: the company’s founder, Craig Newmark, is a charter member of this coalition).

Go to SaveTheInternet.com and sign the petition - send your representatives the message that you know the COPE Act is meaningless and offers no real protection for Net Neutrality.

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Carol/Female/36-40. Lives in United States/California/Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley, speaks English. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection.
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