You want action? I got action.

 

Resources Specific to Muslim Ban:

List of Senator positions on the ban, so you can spread the word to people in states where Senators are in favor or have been silent

List of local chapters for CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) – let them know you support them!

List of organizations that are actively fighting against ban through a variety of means

Basic Resources:

Find your Rep here!!! 

And here!

Daily Actions:

5 Calls – 5 calls a day to make a difference

What do I do about Trump? – Compiles calls to action from multiple sites

Flippable – E-mails that notify you of elections in states that can ‘flip’ a district from red to blue

Swing Left – Support your closest swing district

Tiny Letter – Daily calls to action by e-mail

Rogan’s List – Daily to-do action list

Wall of Us – Four concrete acts of resistance e-mailed each week

Every Day Action – 45 acts of resistance for our 45th (ugh) President

Podcasts:

The Four Fifty One – A podcast for the resistance (and where I got a lot of these resources. My only beef with this that none of the hosts are POC’s)

On the Media – Especially important as Mango Mussolini wages war on the press

NPR One – An app that curates all your favorite NPR programs

Slate’s Trumpcast – Was originally supposed to end after the election…but Trump keeps giving them ample material to continue

Books (really just a starter):

The New Jim Crow – Breaks down racism and the prison industrial complex

Dark Money – Enough said. Betsy DeVos’s family makes an appearance (smh)

Hope in the Dark – Makes you feel like it all matters

Upcoming Los Angeles Marches/Protests:

Immigrants Make America Great March – February 18, DTLA

Not My President’s Day Rally – February 20, DTLA

Tax Day March – April 15, DTLA

March for Science – April 22, DTLA

May Day March – May 1, DTLA

Image result for resist poster

Lil’ Tester

This weekend was supposed to be a ‘quiet trip,’ where I spent my days sequestered in a little cabin by the sea, the smell of horse filling my nostrils and a plate of hardboiled eggs and hot tea at my side. I would write. Read. Watercolor (badly). Well, those things may well come to pass, but in true form I have stacked the trip with much adventuring, so the journey will be peppered with chowder, wine, beer, a hippie hot spring and some sweet seaside hikes and bikes. All in balance.

I took today off to prepare, and instead found myself doing the very things I had planned to do in a more placid setting. This piece isn’t finished, but it’s coming along well. Perhaps I’ll finish it up in a chicken coop.

The Boy

Kerry’s thighs were stuck to the bottom of the plastic-wrapped kitchen chair. Sweat rolled down the backs of her knees and pooled in the divots of her ankles. She sat across the table from Michael and watched him with the attention of pupil to master, staring, hands cradling her face, cigarette ash dropping onto the foldout table and leaving brown scars ringed in yellow.

He’d been at it since 7a.m. He’d poured his own cereal and gotten to work before she could finish pouring water into the coffee machine. The pits of his grey t-shirt were soaked though, and his long curls were stuck to his ears, chin, and lips. Scarlet streaked his chubby Irish cheeks, and she had to remind him every few minutes to put his face in front of the steel fan. He smelled like what she’d made him for dinner the night before – a slapdash of spaghetti, garlic, parmesan, herbs and vegetable oil that they dubbed “Pasta a la Mom.”

There was a rhythm to his work. Circle the table. Sway, snip, look closely, survey from a distance. She’d never seen a plant sit still, like it was having its portrait painted. Rigid, stout, and small…tiny! It sat in a glazed ceramic pot, its soil hidden by pond rocks that she had seen in the aquarium section of pet stores. She had learned a lesson early on regarding proper nomenclature when referencing her son’s greatest treasure.

“It’s not a plant, mom. It’s a tree. The method is called ‘bonsai.’”

It was indeed a tree. One trunk with four branches that broke into dozens of thorny green poufs. Immaculate and timeless, thanks to his incessant pruning and observation.

The plant had come into their lives on an April afternoon in Chinatown. Michael had been 1/16th of an undulating red dragon in his elementary school’s Chinese New year celebration, and they had been walking post-parade through trinket shops while he gathered clumps of trampled confetti from the sidewalk. She thought she’d take him to a place that had samurai swords and ninja gear, while echoes of her father told her it would ‘toughen him up.” Instead he had spotted a shelf near the shop window lined with miniature trickling fountains, zen sand gardens, and three bonsai. Later, as he scoured websites about the proper care of his new purchase, she watched The Karate Kid.

She knew every rule  of bonsai care.

Untitled

Stardust or the Northern Lights

Matter across the night

Chromatography

Stretched like taffy

Elements spread butter-thin

We walked one evening

Juniper burned and we were blue under street lamps

We leapt over branches and sandbags

Volleyed down jagged slate

Our ears  burned

I spit in the dirt and licked sour lips

The sky

Clean, curious

Lifting us up.

Mother’s Day

It’s a morning you would have loved

Clouds don’t care

Sun won’t burn

A breeze

 

Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” plays

Repeats as I wake

The record crackles and pops

You would have liked it

 

It’s Mother’s Day

Alone and floating

Having lost its companion

I’ll stroke her arm

Hold her soft hands

 

It will be special

Lovely

Resolute

We must make it so

Cheese Piece

When I’m alone at home,

while the wind is up and the cat suns his belly,

I indulge in a plate of cheese and crackers

Preferably poppyseed or sesame

Ideally sharp cheddar or Parmesan

I take small bites, chew slowly,

and read a book

This is something my mother would do

When the sun was hot and the house was cold

When she was alone

We’d come home from school,

and beg for cheese and crackers

Any kind would do

Like a snarling mutt

or a junkie working on a fix

She’d tell us it was her treat,

to leave her alone

Let her be

Clumsy Poem

Our world gets smaller when you sleep

I’ve been floating across our floor

Sweeping it with my dress

Waiting for you to open your eyes

 

You do not leave when you’re angry

You do not cry when you’re sad

You sleep, and sleep does some work on you

I have always fought sleep and distrusted it

You come to it like Mama

You offer yourself to it

 

I’m still here

Sitting and reading and writing

Fighting sleep

Wondering if my body will unknot itself

Long enough to touch you

Wondering why I see lightning

Why you see a warm breast

 

Sleep solves nothing

Stops time

Buys time

Makes it easy

Makes it that much harder

For the sake of momentum

Still moving it along steady-like…

Rachel leaned against the bar and raised a glass of champagne to her eyes, observing the crowd through the hay-colored lens. Her control top tights had ridden up and devoured her underwear, and her belly fat spilled over the top edge, making her abdomen ripple like a funhouse mirror reflection. She was wearing “the dress,” a skin-tight piece she had purchased for her first big premiere and hadn’t bothered to replace with anything else. That day she had puzzled over ways to make it fresh, and had settled on an enamel pin in the shape of a stargazer lily that was heavy and limp on her left shoulder. It wouldn’t matter anyway –  publicists barely looked up from their checklists when she walked the step-and-repeat. One thing that  had changed was her shoe preference, as she’d long ago given up the heel in favor of wool-lined leather flats that were alternately a daring fashion choice or a pair of slippers she’d bought at Goodwill.  

She knew the cheese cubes on a first and last name basis – Mr. Dill Havarti, Miss Baby Swiss, and, if the marketing team was feeling generous, Monsieur Blue Stilton. When asked why she RSVP’d to even the smallest premieres, she only half-jokingly said “it’s for the cheese.” There were slim times when it was the only thing she ate all day, and would get soused on cheap white wine before the appetizer trays could reach her.

There had been other premieres where the events of the evening had been eclipsed by her fantasies of reward. That after the endless smiles and hugs and introductions there was powdered sugar sand, big sunglasses, floppy hat, cold drink. An impromptu interview on the beach – “Oh, I absolutely have the time. What would you like to ask?” It was one audition away, one gig in the wings.

Tonight, she was a tree sloth named Edie.

Someone early in her career had warned her to “never do soap operas or voice work, unless you want to be there forever.” It had happened to her beautiful male friends, who were practiced in stern looks into their lover’s eyes paired with a soft squeeze on the shoulders that defined the daytime leading role. They would tell her it was because their rent was two months late or that a repo man was ready to tow or carry, but she knew that if they were really hungry for it then they could find a way. That she’d gracefully backslid into voice work was fitting for someone who spent so many years deriding what she considered “low art.”

Money was money. That and she had gained a reputation in the industry for being a hard worker and a team player. It didn’t hurt that she also had a gymnastic vocal range that could mimic any accent or animal call that was required.
She saw her friend Mark dodge the check-in table and slide past life-size cardboard cutouts of the animated movie cast. Mark was Peter Pan, and did seem to be following his shadow. Walking a few paces ahead of him was a man in a black suit and white shirt, a film negative for Mark’s audacious white linen suit and navy scoop neck.

So it seems.

It is strange when writing two paragraphs is an accomplishment. That I could set aside my pain for a little while and focus on a trifle of a story. I miss my dad. I worry about my mom and brother and sister. I’ve developed an intimate relationship with money that I never thought I’d have. I learn about “monthly annuities,” and “probate,” and “survivor benefits.” And, for a little while, I write.

The Voice

Rachel raised the champagne flute to her eyes, observing the crowd through a hay-colored lens. She wasn’t feeling bubbly. Her girdle, which now went by a sassier brand name, had ridden up and devoured her underwear, making it impossible to sit without being violated by Spandex. She was wearing “the dress,” a skin-tight piece she had purchased for her first big premiere and hadn’t bothered to replace with anything else. That day she had puzzled over ways to make it fresh, and had settled on an enamel pin in the shape of a stargazer lily that was heavy and limp on her left shoulder. It wouldn’t matter anyway –  publicists barely looked up from their checklists when she walked the step-and-repeat.

There had been other premieres where the events of the evening had been eclipsed by her fantasies of reward. That after the endless smiles and hugs and introductions there was powdered sugar sand, big sunglasses, floppy hat, cold drink. An impromptu interview on the beach – “Oh, I absolutely have the time. What would you like to ask?” It was all one audition away, one big gig in the wings.

Tonight, she was a tree sloth named Edie.

The Great Fires

Love is apart from all things.
Desire and excitement are nothing beside it.
It is not the body that finds love.
What leads us there is the body.
What is not love provokes it.
What is not love quenches it.
Love lays hold of everything we know.
The passions which are called love
also change everything to a newness
at first. Passion is clearly the path
but does not bring us to love.
It opens the castle of our spirit
so that we might find the love which is
a mystery hidden there.
Love is one of many great fires.
Passion is a fire made of many woods,
each of which gives off its special odor
so we can know the many kinds
that are not love. Passion is the paper
and twigs that kindle the flames
but cannot sustain them. Desire perishes
because it tries to be love.
Love is eaten away by appetite.
Love does not last, but it is different
from the passions that do not last.
Love lasts by not lasting.
Isaiah said each man walks in his own fire
for his sins. Love allows us to walk
in the sweet music of our particular heart.

-Jack Gilbert

Oh look out, you rock n’ rollers…

So I’ve decided to get my Marketing certificate from UCLA Extension. I feel like I need it to advance my career, the topic has always interested me, and hell, my job pays for it. Now that the explanation is out of the way, a few other words:

When I was in college, I would eyeroll those older students. You know, the moms with grown-up kids who decided to get their own degree. The men who worked white collar gigs until they finally threw up their hands. Granny who liked to write stories. Those folk. I winced at their bright-eyed eagerness to answer questions in class and write lengthy responses in discussion boards. I cringed when they would use their personal career experience to make a point – “well at my job…” I was an asshole. What gall, to look down on those people who bravely went back to the classroom, probably on their own dime, when I was nothing but a smart-mouthed scholarship kid who thought the world owed her a favor because she read Catcher in the Rye a few times. I say this because I am now that returning adult student, who has life under her belt and a greater appreciation for learning. I don’t take a single textbook chapter for granted. Those little pissants can fuck off.

On the fiction front, my inspiration has been non-existent. I don’t let it get me down. I don’t throw myself on the bed and wail that “I’ll never write again.” Actually, I did do that a few nights ago, then realized how stupid I sounded. Of course inspiration will strike. But I’ve learned this about myself: I enjoy too much. I can’t pin a single hobby down like a butterfly under glass. I like to write, think deeply about marketing and PR, read (and read and read and read), make origami, color in elaborate adult coloring books, dance the night away, hike the day away, let the world slip by while in a dark movie theater. So many interests that I’ve stopped trying to balance them all. I just let some fall, and when I feel like picking them up again…I do. There’s so much freedom to this. A lack of worry. No anxiety. I am a vicious cycle, and I say vicious in the best possible sense of the word.

My next adventure is the Sundance Film Festival. Maybe freezing my ass off in 18 degree weather will yield an idea that warms me up. Maybe it’ll be a Hot Toddy that does that job. Regardless, while life is stressful and very, very busy at the moment, I am feeling more and more at ease. Hey, maybe those mediation sessions are paying off…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S227FFNwl8