And all the planets aligned for fun

I fear the collapse is coming.  My primary solace comes in knowing that I have a strong community,  a family that I can rely on and I hope can rely on me.  This community, mi familia, that I love so much gathered last night to celebrate a birthday, fall equinox, harvest moon, and Jupiter getting super close to earth and appearing below the moon. 

We gathered at our friends’ farm.  My mother and aunt lead us in making an absurd amount of tamales. Together between everyone we made falafel with fresh ground acorn flour and veggies harvested from the garden, wine, bread, a tres leches cake,  and squash stuffed with quinoa. Everything made from scratch, and everything made with love.  We sat in a circle and chewed corn and spat it out into a deep pan, the plan being to make chicha–I’m looking forward to see how it turns out.

The tamales turned out better than I had expected despite all the white people who kept trying to uncover the pot to look in.  This reminded me of one of my favorite blog posts, Tamale Day BITCHES!.  I should’ve learned from their mistakes and guidance.

Tamale day is a strong believer in segregation and prejudice.  But rather than using this as hate, we use them as tools. You see white people have fucked up tamale day more than enough times. As a result we’ve had to enact some rules….

The number one crime whites have committed at Tamale Day was touching the fucking steamer. One year a bunch of my hungry friends kept on checking the steamer. The problem with this is that the steam then escapes and condensates on the lid. The water drips on the tamales below which have dropped in temperature so that it takes longer to cook soggy tamales. After that year the coalition of the brown enacted a no white people allowed to touch the steamer initiative.

I think if my mother, aunt and I hadn’t taken turns yelling at the white people to back away from the tamales, ours too would’ve been soggy.   Luckily for my friends I am a loud bossy bitch when it comes to my food.  I had challenged SergDun and GroceryEats to a tamale/brew challenge.  They said yes, but then never stepped up the plate.  I think they were scared of the fact that we could make vegan tamales better than them—which by the way we did with a nice vegan consume (vegan chicken broth) and some TVP in the core of the tamale.  We also made organic free range chicken Tamales with the best red sauce ever — just ask Michelle who would’ve eaten all of it had it not spilled.

The homemade wine was intense.  Some bottles tasted of vinegar, others were tasty but WAY more potent than I had expected.  I ended up having to ask my mother to drive me home after realizing that one glass was going to be too much for me to handle.  Someone described one of the homemade bottles of wine (a pear one I believe) as being so strong that it would eat away at all your stomach acids—that said it was super tasty.  As for the Chicha, I am not sure we chewed/spat enough corn to make a good brew, but I’ll find out later and let you all know.

I love the bond that is shared when making food together.  That bond might be even more awesome than the food itself.  We also played music, talked, hugged, danced, and stared at the planets and stars.   The star musical instrument of the night was Ben’s homemade banjo made with, I believe, lamb skin, and a gourd from their garden, as well as one banjo string!

My only regret is that I didn’t take a camera. I’m still not sure how my favorite punk rock photo-journalist and awesome friend although present didn’t bring his camerato the party. What kind of photo journalist forgets his camera?  I’ll post some pictures later that another friend took or if anyone sends me some they took with their camara phone.

Salsa Dancing in Columbus

I was out last night enjoying Columbus’ local music scene where I got to see The Receiver at Ravari Room, when I got a phone call from my mother.  My mother, my aunt and a friend, wanted to go Salsa dancing and thought I would know where they should go.  I had no idea.  The only place that came to mind was a meat market at a club downtown…you know the kind of place where scum bags think that your bearing a vagina means that they can grab you whenever they please.

My mother calls me back a few minutes later and tells me she has heard of a Salsa place called “Hot Peppers” could I look up their location on the internet for her?  Again, mind you, I am at a show, where it is loud, dark and my battery phone is chugging along on its last bar.  I look it up and find “Hot Peppers” address and text it to my mother’s friend (my mom can’t text message).  After sending the address I clicked on “Hot Peppers” website…evidently it is not a salsa club but a strip club.  I sent my mother to a strip club last night.  And someone recommended a strip club to my mother.  I am curious to speak to her later and hear how it went.


Not sure if you are registered to vote in Franklin County or where to vote? Click on “Find your voting location” to find out.

Want to know what the ballot will look like in Franklin County or what is on it? Click on “Sample Ballot

Not sure what counts as Valid Identification to vote in Ohio on November 4th? Click here and scroll down to see what you need to bring.

Not sure how to vote? Here is my Voting Guide for those living in my congressional district.

Blog Action Day

Yesterday, was Blog Action Day. Each year bloggers are given a theme and encouraged to blog about it. Last year the theme was the Environment. This year the theme was Poverty. Last year I participated, this year I had intended to participate and did not.

Which is not to say I haven’t been thinking about poverty. I have been, just everything I have thought about writing has seemed so out of touch.

I work at the welfare office every Friday. A friend of mine whom I work with at the welfare office, who likes to think of himself as a rough and hard man had tried to find an elderly woman a homeless shelter for the night and every agency he called was filled to capacity. He told the eighty-two year old women that he couldn’t help her and then he left the front desk so that no one would see him cry. I lost it too. He was my support system, the one that helped me be strong when stories were too emotional. He no longer works at the front desk.

I don’t feel comfortable blogging about poverty. Even that sentence irks me “blogging about poverty”. What do I know about poverty? I don’t even recognize my own privilege in this country.

Yesterday, I was at a donut shop in a low-income neighborhood trying to get some studying in before I was to go work for a social service agency next door. An elderly couple, he 64, she 65 (they told me) asked me what I was studying. When I told them Chemistry they asked me if I wanted to be a pharmacist. They were very nice people, and impressed that I was going to college. I didn’t feel comfortable telling them my true aspirations because I felt it would be arrogant and so I said “Yes, it would be very nice to be a pharmacist”. Then they asked me, and why they asked me I don’t know, what my chemistry instructor’s name was. I answered “Dr. Smith”. The women responded “You have a doctor as a teacher? That is really great! Doctors know more than teachers.” The couple then began to discuss between themselves how much more doctors know than professors.

We hold medical doctors in too high regard in this country. We hold what they do as much more sophisticated than it really is.
It is not black magic…okay maybe anesthesia is black magic but the rest isn’t. Who was I to discuss this with them? I am the elitist, with my education who knows the difference between a PhD and an MD. Who am I to blog about poverty, on my laptop with my wireless connection?

Voting Guide 2008

It may seem unAmerikan but I like doing research on the candidates and issues before I vote.  I usually google all candidates, issues, and read the arguments of both sides, and review newspaper editorials.  Two of my big resources have have also been The League of Pissed off Voters and Progress Ohio.

After I do my research, I write up my how to vote list and then email it to my  friends and family.  I like to think I get more than one vote because I have both people I persuade and people who blindly follow me.

If you would like to look at sample ballots in Franklin county you can do so here and in the left column selecting sample ballot.

Here is how I am encouraging people registered in my state and district to vote this year:

President & Vice President  (Federal)
Barack Obama  President
Joe Biden  Vice President

For Attorney General (State of Ohio)
Richard Cordray

I am a big fan of Richard Cordray.  I have seen him work hard as current Ohio  State Treasurer.  I’ve seen him reach out to Latinos and to volunteer and be a  liaison with Latino leaders.  What few times I’ve spoken to him, I’ve found him  to be genuinely interested in leaving this world better than he found it.

For Representative to Congress (15th District)
Mary Jo Kilroy

I first meet Mary Jo Kilroy in 1997 when she hosted organizational meetings for the Farm Labor Organizing Committee.  She has for decades been a big supporter of labor rights.  She has fought in the trenches and is one of the strongest people I’ve meet in my life.  She has dedicated her life to representing the disenfranchised.

For State Senator (16th District)
Danielle R. Blue

Sadly with both candidates running for State Senator, I seem to be unable to find any substance in terms of where they stand on issues.  However, in terms of endorsements by candidates I am much more likely to vote for Danielle R. Blue the Democratic candidate.

For State Representative (24th District)
Ted Celeste

For County Commissioner (there are two seats in the running)

Paula Brooks
John O’Grady

For Clerk of Court of Common Pleas
Maryellen O’Shaughnessy

For Franklin County Treasurer
Edward Leonard

For Franklin County Coroner
Jan M. Gorniak (check out the link as it compares both candidates, then you’ll really want Dr. Gorniak to be the coroner).

For Member of the State Board of Education (6th District)
Kristen McKinley

Justice of the Supreme Court
Joseph Russo (His site always freezes up my computer which is why I am not providing the link)

Justice of the Supreme Court
Peter Sikora

Judge of the Court of Appeals 10th District
John A Connor

Judge of the Court of Appeals 10th District
Richard D. Brown

Judge of the Court of Common Pleas
Shawn Dingus

Judge of the Court of Common Pleas Probate Division
Eric Brown

State Issue 1

Proposed Constitutional Amendment To Provide for Earlier Filing Deadlines for Statewide Ballot Issues
(Issue 1 at the League of Women Voters)
I am reluctantly voting YES on issue 1.  Neither side has done any work on persuading voters one way or another.  In the end I based my decision on two things; first it is being brought forth by Dan Stewart.  Secondly I discussed it with one of my favorite lawyers, defenders of the constitution and the masses, El Pocho Abogado, upon looking over the amendment, he didn’t “see anything wrong with it”.  As such I am hesitantly voting YES on issue 1.

State Issue 2

Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Authorize the State to Issue Bonds to Continue The Clean Ohio Program for Environmental Conservation and Revitalization
YES Clean Ohio in support of issue 2

State Issue 3

Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Authorize the State to Issue Bonds to protect private property rights in ground water, lakes, and other watercourses.
(although I can’t find any information for or against this issue…geez people).

State Issue 5

Referendum on legislation making changes to check cashing lending, sometimes known as “Payday Lending,”fees, interest rates and practices.

I am more firm in my yes on this issue then my stance on all the other issues combined.  Payday lending is predatory and needs to be regulated.

State Issue 6

Proposed Constitutional Amendment to amend the constitution by initiative petion for a casino near Wilmington in southwest Ohio and distribute to all Ohio Counties a Tax on the Casino.

This is an issue where you feel like no matter how you vote the bad guys are going to win.
I am encouraging  a NO vote on issue 6 …based a huge deal on the arguements listed here

Issue #14-19

Are Proposed Bond Issues for the City of Columbus
YES on Bond Issues 14-19 I actually agree with the Columbus Dispatch on this one (shocking I know) and they do a good job of summing up why we should vote YES.

Issue #75

Proposed Bond Issue and Tax Levy Columbus City School District.
YES…I always encourage YES when it comes to more money for our city schools.  My only problem with this, is that I think how we fund schools in this state is unjust.  Children in Upper Arlington public Schools do not receive the same education as children in Columbus Public Schools, and this has more to do with how we fund education in our state and our country.