Thursday, January 31, 2008

Anti-Terror Campaign: Terrorism Has No Religion

Guess its a multiple utube post today. Go here (http://muslimahmediawatch.blogspot.com/2008/01/theyre-right-terrorism-really-does-not.html) and read some interesteding commentary about new commericals being aired on Egyptian TV for a campaign called "Terrorism Has No Religion".

I'm not sure how I feel about all this. I can't help but think this is a magicians slide of hand...look over here at my left hand while I steal from you with my right. Of course, I still feel like America, my own country, is the biggest terrorist in the game.

Whatever, what do I know. I'm not faced with explosions and death in my daily life.

M. Cho on the morning after

Here come's Hurricace Pootang.

Saw this at feministing.com and wanted to share.

Gave me a good laugh.
~gg

24/365 Fer

Instead of Jen, she wanted to be called Fer. Bassoonist extraordinaire. I got to be purple in her color guard at the wedding to Nemi. She’s La Fer Nakita to me.

I am a participant of x365.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Report from the Midwest Tundra

The wind howled all night long. First it rained. Rained like a spring rain, washing out all the grit and salt frozen to the ground. Rained like Noah’s flood was a coming, piercing the ears with staccato tapping on all the windows. Then a high gust pushed out the rains and the winds began to blow all night long. The wailing winds seem to wrap the entire house, shaking the windows as the air pressed against the panes. I had myself tightly wrapped up in bed. Layered in blankets and warmth. Still my dreams were all about being lost at sea, walls of waves pushing down on me and my little boat. The sound of the wind became the water rising and falling around me. When I could sleep that is, waking every hour to the baying getting louder and louder, I fluxed between my dreamscape boat and winter outside. The winds blew until they became hoarse and by morning they were left to a scratchy congested cough.

I’ve lived in this Midwest tundra all my life. The wind means spring is beginning her work. Well, really it means winter has gotten cocky, she brews her cold winds deep in her belly now, inhaling wide or as my Pilates instructor would say “laterally from the chore,” and then she exhales her bitter breath over this town like she is finally the ultimate ruler of this peninsula. This is her territory. Except she always exhausts herself. She always huff and puffs right before she’s done. If you pay attention and try to notice, you hear the shifting of the winds and know the weathervane moves toward spring.

Spring. I believe we are misguided to think she is solely the token of youth. Though when we think of her we know her to be beautiful, her fragrances linger in the noise; she holds the patent for those sweet smells on the nape of our necks. Except Old Spice. I don’t think spring would even claim that one. Spring is more than our token youthful beauty. Lovers and desire pay homage to her grace – she is romance’s conception. Yet she is more. See, spring, she’s on the scene now, but no one notices. We never know her until she has femme’d up for us. She’s here though, without her make-up and perfume, working the fields just like the other seasons.

We claim her when flowers crack the ground, even then underestimating the power she yields. You can see her power from the intensity of her colors so early in the season. She is capable of turning the white tundra into an explosion of color with her extensive palette of hews. Yet even now, before she’s even put on her lipstick, spring is working hard to crack the frozen ground. Spring as we see her, rises from the girth of hard work.

It is patient work. Spring takes hold slowly pacing her work with the sun’s lengthening dance across the sky. She begins her work with the rains and in the subtle introduction of a warmer breath between winter’s bitter roar. She caressing winter’s solid hand while simultaneously nudging her seeds to begin to awaken.
It is ugly work. She is the rains that first come in dingy spurts. The sewer scent of the muddy world unthawing is a reflection of her scouring the dirty salts and exhaust of our modern existence layered in everything cold. We blame winter’s course temperament for these days when it is sunny or raining and then blowing snow storms our way. It is not winter’s labile nature, but spring here now, without her dress, getting ready for her party to come. She is working now. Working hard before she even gets dressed.

23/365 JoAnne (Grandma Mom’s Side)

Primped and curled, hair perfect, a sun goddess. Single Mother in the 1950s, you never let that affect your appearance. At 75, you still take an over two hours to dress.

I have to add – I love you, grandma.

I am a participant of x365.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

When a Government Offical has common sense



Sometimes, its important to acknowledge when our government officials exhibit common sense. Go Janet Napolitano!


Holla out to Arizona! Go here and read why.
P.S. I made it to work on time today. Yep, I'm feeling special. That's 1.

22/365 Danny

We had fun when you lived in the neighborhood. Played in junkyards and “the hills”. Even got a chance to play in a stripped down military tank. We had fun, thanks.

I am a participant of x365

Monday, January 28, 2008

One Day = $720 Million

The Iraq War is costing U.S. citizens $720 million a day. A Day! Stand up, speak out, protest! Fight to end this war because if we don't the consequences will be more then the money we ARE spending!

~GoGo

14/365 - 21/365: Got behind

14/365 J.K.
Peace movements and radical thought your specialty; we went to dinner to discuss the proliferation of the working class into the military. You impress me – letting your passion take the helm.

15/365 Dana
Alter ego, a self-professed bitch, irreverence for status quo anything. You hark at anything that smells of bull shit and spend your nights sleeping with the interesting. Your motto: Just be.

16/365 Gabbe
We spent time making rum cake (your family recipe) and talking about your days traveling with the carnival and being a Blue Star. I drove through Corona to see your home.

17/365 Donald
IAH was the class you taught. We’d smoke Marlboros at break together, disseminating quips about the class. You were the last guy I pretended to like. You never questioned my motivations.

18/365 Spinner
Eyes flash fear, I remember you pee’d yourself while holding the gun to his head. I couldn’t understand why you were scared – the man with the gun. I get it now.

19/365 Matt
My Fairy GodQueen! It was a good time, though I did hide from the world in our relationship. I felt invincible with you and yet constantly judged. Thanks for the friendship.

20/365 Lady on the bench
I suspect Schizophrenia, you spent your days by the river on the bench, preaching life lessons your voices gave you. Serendipity, perhaps? Always right, I questioned possible divinity in your insanity.

21/365 T under the willow tree
Ah, lady. Our story wasn’t as simple as I thought. Self-disclosing I lost you because I believed you couldn’t love me as is. I’m so sorry. This is my biggest regret.

I am a participant of x365

Friday, January 25, 2008

You've Been Googled

I had to add this conversation I just had to a post. I appreciate that in our society - um, U.S. - we feel no qualms about mutilating the english language. Why not? How do you think "they" came up with latin? I mean, some pre-historic humans actually had to create language all together. So, I think this is just another extension in a long line of creating language.

Its also reflective of the pressence of Google in our lives.

Coworker: "What 'cha doing?"

GoGo: "I'm googling [some groups] in London, but not much is coming up."

Coworker: "Oh, are you using Google or Yahoo to google them?"

GoGo: I actually went to ask.com to see if something would come up, but apparently 'they' don't want to be googled.

Coworker: "You know if I can't find something with Google, I don't even bother."

Feist - i feel it all

Found this song while reading one of my daily blogs: http://dorothysurrenders.blogspot.com/.

It does give me joy!

Feist also sings the song "1234" which others may have heard of.

Happy Friday! ~GoGo

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Counting My Blessings


Okay, I am going to admit something. As a social worker, you know what I play on the weekends, I hear some horrible stories. Abuse, physical assault, mental abuse. I see poverty and disparities in health, race, gender, culture, and education. I see folks, who ask me, “How do you know my life will get better, if I use your fookin coping skills?” I have chicken & the egg type conversations with coworkers as we try to decide is X’s drug addiction due to his mental health diagnosis or has the drugs caused the diagnosis (aka comorbidity). I see people who are trying to pick themselves up with their fucking bootstraps, except the pair they got didn’t come with no straps, so they tug at their own heals with very little results for all their hard work.

Why do I do it? Because I am lucky. Because I have this innate ability to sit and listen to some pretty shitty stories and NOT take them on. Because I do believe its up to us as a species to keep this planet moving towards better for all, not just that 1% who really don’t understand that money doesn’t buy happiness but it does purchase necessities that we all don’t have fair access to. Because I don’t believe because I was born into a system with problems that they are a given or unfixable or the natural reality of things.

I hear the bootstrap mentality all the time at my job. I am so torn by it because I get that it really is up to us as individuals to make a better life for ourselves. I mean if I saw the world as bad and ugly and out to get me, chances are this is directing my path. I am a believer that my perceptions dictate direction and yeah, even if so-n-so told me once I was an “ugly fat fucktard who no one will love” its still on me to learn how to not take it on. In fact, it is up to me to say “Fuck no, buddy, you don’t get to tell me my path.” With that said, we all don’t have the same boots, people! Some of us have to accept a limited life with the boots we got or we have to try and find a new fucking pair just so we can walk. The lack of education and basic health care effects people! The lack of community support effects people! So does racism, poverty, family abuse, mental health stereotypes, homelessness, gentrification and the list goes on.

So, I am this social worker on the weekends and I listen to people. I find resources for them and talk about coping with their current ticket of living. I listen and offer insights. I listen and get insights. I listen to their horrible stories because I can and then I talk about how we might find them a new pair of boots. And I feel blessed that this is one of the things I get to do in my lifetime. Trust me, there is a burnout rate of 10 years for social workers and I see why, but until then I am blessed to take this on.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

poodle skirt to wall street work

I’ve been trying to write some articles for submission – one on pro-choice issues and another on universal health care for this State. I’m having a hard time focusing. Mostly I feel out of my league and I do not trust my perspectives. Also, I keep getting distracted. For example, I just spent an hour searching for this old poster I remember from High School. I had this preppy teacher my junior and senior year who wore tweed jackets with the patches on the elbow and jeans was a self-professed male feminist. He had this poster of the evolution of women on his wall. At the beginning is a woman in a 1950s poodle skirt vacuuming and at the end of the evolutionary model was a woman in a business suit. It was reflective of the evolutionary chart of humans, except it was all about women’s liberation. I never liked the poster. For some reason it summed up the two dimensional image of being a woman. I am supposed to be about taking care of you OR I’m a working woman. I remember looking at that poster in high school and thinking, I’m a little more complicated than that.

Anyway, I couldn’t remember if the woman in the poster had heels on at the end of her evolution into a working woman. For some reason, I have this need to know was she still in a skirt and how tall was her heels. So I googled images. I have yet to find the poster, but I did come across some interesting ones…see the posters in this post.

I don’t know why I am now obsessed with finding a poster I saw once in high school. Perhaps because it’s easier to be distracted by memories then focus on writing today. Really it’s because as a need-it-now consumer American, I need my curiosity quenched. Was she wearing heels or no? I need to know!

morning reading: broaden the mind and the world follows

I spend my mornings reading the newspaper and some favorite blog sites. Here are a few articles/post of interest from this mornings read:

Antifeminist Comment for the Day: Women Shouldn't be "Pressured" to Go to College

Other Things Martin Lurther King Jr. Said

A Reality Yet to be Achieved

A Trans Student Denied at NECC

Sunday, January 20, 2008

12/365 & 13/365 Heritage

12/365 Uncle Johnny
Great uncle and my favorite. You were a simple man, self reported. You spent your time keeping busy and loving you wife “right”, as you put it. You read romance westerns.

13/365 Buster
A sad story, you rotted from your liver to your brain. Bruised and beaten by the alcohol, wrapped in worthlessness. Your grandchildren’s heritage was the gun you put to your head.

I am a participant of x365

Friday, January 18, 2008

Don't Squeeze it!

Thursday night is my Pilates night. I get out of work, eat a light quick meal and then go to this class where they make me do things called “One-hundreds” that kick my arse weekly. The teacher tells us to get into the uncomfortable positions that stress almost every muscle and then says something like, "Loosen those glutes, ladies." What? Its like playing twister, freezing the body into form and then someone turns to you and says, don't squeeze your a$$ so tight. My a$$ is holding me up here!

But I digress. A friend of mine attends with me and afterwards we spend an additional 45 minutes doing aerobic exercise. It’s not a bad way to spend a night. My body usual hurts afterwards, but apparently that is a good thing as I have found myself rubbing soar areas on my body and finding a new muscle there.

Last night the women’s university swim team decided to attend the class. Apparently this was their collective stress release for midterms of something. So, 8 members of taught, physically defined women joined the community lot of us and worked out. I was absolutely pleased when they kept dropping their work out balls or couldn’t quite get a move down. Not that I’m jealous, envious, or even bitter that I don’t have their bodies…not at all…but it was nice to know they drop their balls too.

Sometimes I think I am the only person who judges my body to other women's bodies, but after the class my friend reminded me its a silent but universal act. She leans into me as we are walking upstairs to ride bikes and says, "Did you notice the swim gyrls totally couldn't handle the ball?"

Totally.

11/365 Mrs. Wickey

Kindergarten Teacher. Taught me to use scrap paper to scribble – my first environmentalist. You chronically put me in the corner ‘cause I kept asking, “who decided a B sounds like ‘bah’?”

I am a participant of X365

Thursday, January 17, 2008

check

The day passes and I roll out of bed into a new one. Yeah, late again. This time I woke with a lighter sense of self. There you are I think to the mirror as I wash my face. I love a warm cloth to skin first thing in the morning. Such a pamper. I get dressed, pet the cat and feed her. I’m down to one kitten and the world feels like it should. My routine is the same. I drive to work and grab my first cup of Joe before I head up to the office. I am 5’11” today and my stomach light.

When I open my email I am greeted by two acceptance letters for submission. What? 17 days into 2008 and I’ve already met my goal. That’s weird. I prepared myself for the rejection letters, not acceptance. I try and not let it go to my head as I take out my measuring stick and set a higher mark for myself. Yeah, I’m feeling pretty good today.

10/365 Amy Tookey

“Amy Tookey had a cookie” was sung in our 1st grade class so we could remember your name, until it stuck and became your song. Then you moved. I remember still.

I am a participant of x365

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Why doesn't everyone want to see muscians play daily?

Go here and watch Melissa Ferrick with Erin McKeown.

Allison Miller is on drums. Julie Wolf is playing piano and yes, that's Gail Ann Dorsey singing backup!

9/365 Kristen N.

Ringlets of russet hair crowned your head, shaping grace around your smile. I will always remember sneaking into the baseball park, climbing the top of the nets and holding each other.

I am a participant of x365

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

8/365 Tonya


My babysitter! You promoted us eating Spaghetti O’s yelling, “eat your guts” while watching “Jaws”. You let us ride bikes up that steep gargantuan hill only to ride down handless, screaming.

I am a participant of X365

Family Values

I was talking to a friend this weekend about family values and how we carry them. Sounds like a crazy thesis paper, doesn’t it? It wasn’t. We were just struck by how no matter how hard we try to be our own selves, there is a part of our selves that has been inherited and formed from that lineage we call family. I personally get a tickle from my family heritage. While talking to my friend, I realized there are 3 defining qualities that each member is measured against.

First, work ethic. I come from hard working folk who believe that as long as you work tirelessly, you can die with a broken body and be proud. Stories roam the family legends of Uncle So&So who worked every day of his life until he was asked to retire. Poor bastard died 3 days into retirement because he had nothing better to do.

Yep. I can honestly say I picked up the work ethic. Couldn’t help it. If I count the number of jobs I have right now the answer would be 3…maybe 4. There is the st@te job working 40 hours, there is the mental health job were I work 21 hours a week, plus sometimes I pick up hours working for a farmer that I know. Yeah, I can check farm hand off my list of jobs I always wanted to try. Oh, job 4 is the music company I used to work for traveling out of state to sell music at shows. They keep asking me to travel and sometimes I do. Of course, I’m not working hard for the sh!tz and giggles in it all. There is a point. I want to move out of this town. I want to move to London. I want money to blow on road trips and beer.

Second, burial funds. Yeah, really. Apparently everyone in my family has burial insurance – even me. It’s just bad manners to die and have no money to pay for your own burial. My Pop told me once that he made sure each of us kids had burial money within the year that we were born. He may not have had the money to send us to college or pay the dentist for that matter, but he was certain we’d die respectable. Hell yeah, Dad.

Personally, I’m not sure what to do with the burial thing. It’s not like I can use it on a date or anything. When I die, you can burry me outright. No passing around the jar to pay for the embalming. No dipping into the Wake Beer Fund for this GoGo. I own my death outright. Holla. I think my Dad would be pissed if he knew I was callous about this concept. I do admit I kind of feel proud that there will be no potter’s field in my future, but still it’s not a selling point for qualities.

Third, military service and/or children. Yeah, I’m a part of the Americana fabric where community service included an obligation to die for our country. You’re respectable if you served, even if you come back mentally mangled and with a tendency to drink to keep the memories from swallowing you. As a woman, apparently I have an opt out option as long as I then proceed to produce a child enlue of shooting someone. And if I have mentally mangled dude’s baby even better!

This is a sad one. I totally get the idea of honor and community service. Honor and courage are the selling points for the military. No questions asked, a soldier goes into a war zone and defends the USA, ze’s a respectable person. Except, I fell off the military bandwagon a long time ago when I made the mistake of asking the question, is there ever a good war? I don’t want to kill my neighbor. I’m not producing children to skip out of military service either. Just not happening. I get a kick out of my family though because they can register I am gay, but not that I would never go into the military. My Aunt once said to me it was sad that I was sooo obviously gay because I couldn’t even go into service with the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. She never asked me if I would join the service and I didn’t tell her I wouldn’t.

Monday, January 14, 2008

7/365 Roselyn

I babysat you for your Mammas until you were 1 year. I needed something in my life to hold and that was you. You were exactly what I needed. Thank you.

I am a participant of x365

Bloody Motherfucking Asshole (Meredith)

Discovered Martha Wainwright this weekend and love this song. I couldn't find a really nice live version, so for the Grey's Anatomy fans...here's a bonus.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

5/365 & 6/365 Bookends from my life

5/365 Louie
That voice with the carcinogenic rasp caught in your laugh like joy with a darker side. You were the first gay person I knew, my bff’s uncle. You saved my life.

6/365 Paul
The first therapist I worked for. Christian therapist, nice, and yet I knew if you knew I was a lesbian, you wouldn’t have hired me. I needed the job. Post Secret?

I am a participant of x365

Friday, January 11, 2008

4/365 The Chief

A tickled laugh, conversations always fun, she’s one of the people on my dream team. It’s always a good time when she’s on the scene, even when cranky. Happy Birthday, Chief.

I'm a participant of x365

Thursday, January 10, 2008

3/365 Linda

You were my second mother. Your tumor rotated around your life like a moon pulling the gravity of everything you did, eventually killing you. You could’ve had it removed – you didn’t.

I am a participant of x365

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

2/365 Sarah Catherine (Grandmother)

She was the matriarch, holding the family together, marking each season with family celebrations. She carried herself with spitfire conviction. She will always be like the deepest blue sky to me.

I am a participant of x365

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Playing in the GoGo Cafe'

Playing Now:
Melissa Ferrick
The Waifs

nervous but excited
Skim

On the Walls:
Daily Dose of Imagery
Helen Marshall


Our Specials:
Triple shot Americano with caramel and almond flavor.

1/365 the dude who opened the door

He came out the apartment complex door like a football player. Hair curly, the ringlets spry around his doom. Large steps, thrusting the door so wide it quaked at the hinges.

~~~~
I am participating in a project. Its simple. Write about one person a day who crosses my life. Since I am 31, I write 31 words each day about someone who has effected my life in some way for 365 days. Got it. Okay.


I am a participant of 365

Thursday, January 3, 2008

how to find acceptance from a cold

Day 3 of the year and the cold still brews a hearty cough in my chest. Hell Yeah. This cold is persistent and insistent in keeping me feeling like drudge. Colds suck, don’t they? It really takes time out of my day just so I can feel like crud. My own version of pampering lasted until this morning when I woke up. Suddenly, I didn’t want to be patient with being sick anymore. I also did not want to share another night on the couch with three cats, each shoved in one of my crevasses or another, conveniently comfortable. I find myself chatting at the cats about giving a sick person space sometimes like they even care and that’s when I realized I’m done feeling sick. Of course, that doesn’t stop the congestion or runny nose. And I think to myself, Damn, another thing I have no control over.

Its funny, how many things we don’t have control over. I’m beginning to get the distinct feeling that we in fact have no control over anything! Choices, sure. Most of those choices don’t really give the outcomes I want, which takes us back to having no control! Of course, as I write this I am realizing this part of my dialogue has little to do with control over a cold. But let’s use it as an example anyway.

So, here I have a cold. I didn’t do anything to get this cold, except maybe work harder than I should. I didn’t ask to get a cold and it’s rather inconvenient. In the end, I have a cold. No control. What I can do is take care of myself. I can choose to stop running around and be at home. I can prep a nice little sick bed for myself so I am not searching for tissues and throat lozenges in the middle of night. I can let myself feel crappy and cruddy and pretty much like sh!t…because that’s how the cold feels. I can also ignore it, suck up the crappy feelings layered in my body, and in the end I would probably be worse off. These are my choices. Take care and accept or not and suffer more consequences.

Replace cold with anything in life and its pretty much the same result. Take care and accept or not and suffer more consequences. Forget about trying to control the cold by telling it you don’t want it in your life. It’s there that nasty little cold ruminating in your body. I don’t like to accept things. If I don’t like something, I change it. If I want something more in life, I try to go after it and get it. But what do I do with this cold? I don’t want it, its still here. I’m trying to get better, but the cold isn’t leaving quick enough. See, no control.

My fuzzy little cold filled mind reminds me about all those self-help articles I’ve read in Oprah about letting go and I gather this is the part where that letting go thing comes into play? I’m not sure what that’s about. Let go? What the hell does that mean anyway? And can we really trust enlightenment from a magazine?

Let go and accept I have a cold, my internal zen master says as I pictured her saying on page 16 of Oprah.

Okay, did that. I still have a cold, my internal brat responds.

Then accept it, my internal z.m. stouts back.

Okay, I have a cold and I feel like crap. Now what? …….Oh.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I can't honestly recall the 1st time, Oprah, I've just always knew...

I have a cold, a bloody bastard of a cold that waited until I had two days off in a row before it did a kamikaze dive into my throat and lungs. I’m drinking cold teas and sucking on all natural throat lozenges. I’m blowing my nose and washing my hands.

It wasn’t bad on New Years Eve, I felt a tickle in my throat that only a cough could scratch, but other than that, I felt in good spirits. Went out that night and had a good time with friends. Walked home in a snow storm from the party autographing cars with silly things, so overall New Years Eve and those first few hours in were great!

The next morning, I woke feeling happy with the exception of my sinuses overloaded and leaking. Yuck. By 2pm I had to lie down for a nap, having left my house for an hour to pick up cookies from a friend. Now, these are special cookies. I look forward to them every year. These ARE the only cookies I eat during the holidays. My friend, the Chief, rocks! The sheer exhaustion from leaving and returning home for cookies let me know I was in trouble. I was sick. I napped for a few hours and then got up and triaged my needs.

I hate being sick in bed. I prefer to do it on the couch. I don’t know why. Perhaps because I get all bluesy if I am stuck in bed for too long or maybe I really enjoy the moment I can return to my clean bed once the cold is gone. I know it has something to do with my ability to breathe as I prop myself up in this ridiculous fashion when I sleep on the couch. Pillows galore, a nice smooshy* blanket, and tissues, water, throat lozenges, etc prepped around me for full access. I’m kind of my own Prima Donna when I get sick, but as long as I feel pampered by me, I’m doing okay.

After I prepped my area, I ate a light dinner then plopped down on the couch. I was 10 minutes into Judge Judy when I distinctly remember my fuzzy mind turned off.

It’s a new day now and I am still struggling with the cold. It’s kind of crappy to welcome the New Year in with a gratuitous amount of snot, but at least its coming out clear.

Oh, TMI?

I’m still pretty sure that this is going to be a good year for me. At least I hope so. I do have resolutions, but I resolved to do them well-before the change of the calendar year. I want to start submitting my writing and collecting rejection letters. I hope I’ll publish one or two too. I plan to run two 5ks this year and by next New Year I want to begin rock climbing…unless I get that job in London then the year is about moving. I hope this year is about moving. Well, it could also be about loving, making scores of money, and an interview with Oprah where she asks me when I first new I was gonna be somebody. Well at least I know the moving part is practical. :)

Ah well, this is my 2008 so far – a cold, some humor, and a fantasy about Oprah interviewing me.

*Apparently smooshy is not a word. I still feel like it is the best description of my blanket. So there dictionary, take that!