Archives for category: NaBloPoMo

I just spent one hour trying to get a Wordle on to my blog, my next adventure.
AM GOING WORD FISHING THROUGH DECEMBER 12, and have to wean myself off Facebook, my Blog, others blogs. I’m teaching 4 classes at moment; subject to change. I started a novel during Nano Wrimo month, and an opportunity to work on it further calls me. I’ll miss everyone, but it has to be done.

<Wordfishing at the Casbar, Old Town words, rainer maria rilke, pug dogs, Boston, whitey bulgher, lost loves, cubicle despair, the many lives of Baby Cakes Nelson, life reviews, Ross Dress For Less, destiny smeshtiny, let go, unemployed, Bubba, Bumpa, pug dogs, forces of light and darkness, 4 pound baby, oneness, being a Virgo, twin, pain, health, relationships, aaargh relationships, hot tears, successful candidates, prey, cabby hats, FISHINGFORWORDS

gotta get to this
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Wow, what a weekend. Saturday went to a Cluster Reflection Meeting in Altadena, held in the loveliest of homes; very user friendly to large crowds. Great people, great conversation, basically we Baha’is encourage each other to contribute to humanity’s well being; and that plays out into children’s classes, devotionals, etc. We don’t do this to “make Baha’is,” but just to contribute to the ongoing advancement of the society and the individual, which includes us totally.

Devotionals are usually with lots of writings from other Faith Traditions, music, and then conversation about concepts. we had so many diverse points of view last night at a friends and the food then was luscious. different people who didn’t know each other found they had a lot in common. It was sort of a 6 degrees of separation type of thing.

Today we heard Judge Dorothy Nelson come and give a report; she was our delegate to the Baha’i National Convention. again, such an atmosphere of love and knowledge in the room. Wonderful. Also had great book club meeting; we discussed The Man From Saigon and I can’t remember author’s name. The writing was superb! We all brought something to eat, had brunch, tremendous conversation and divergent views about the book. Everyone liked it; but our points of view naturally differ because of our different lifestyles.

I don’t have a lot to say, but think despite all the heaviness in the world, and the utter crippling acts of some, there are many hearts and souls who work for the well-being of humanity, from all ranks, religions, traditions, and this weekend, there was evidence of this. We truly are one! Have a good week everyone!

My friend Pili Pili Saka who is on my blog roll is prolific. There’s a sort of cool breeze to his thoughts, his prose, and I find myself admiring his mind a great deal. He wrote about Salvation, and I had been at a discussion regarding that same term last night; not the literal, cause hackles on the neck arise, type of discussion, and then he discussed north and south, and in this case Africa, calling to my mind the different young authors of incredible talent I have written, one of whom wrote about Biafra – north and south, and then finally the tennis balls Pili Pili speaks of call to mind a piece I wrote after my twin’s passing. So I offer it here:

Lobbing
wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents
i sorrow for a twinging tooth
wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents
a back tooth like an old couch waiting for Goodwill

sorrow was two weeks ago standing in front of
my twin’s coffin, she in her blue bridal dress of old
me, alive, sorrowing for the little girl on a tricycle
sorrowing for her life of dripping Rorschach ink

wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents
sorrow has gone up like a balloon on a helium sortie
wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents
thwatting away epic events tumbling through and around
the people on the earth’s stage

order, thwats, pops, bops, all metronome-like
in their reassurance, the steadied beat of routine
comfort, sorrow, joy, laughter, anger, all runs together
wimbledon plays, bop, pop, british accents

 

The sky I was born under indicated the Angels were planning a Rumble.  This is, of course, if you were to ask our housekeeper Rita, who when we had thunderstorms, told us “The angels are moving furniture.”

My twin and I were born August 28, 1938, and she was robust and I was more squirrel like.  But, I’ve nattered on about that before.  What threatened in the future for my father and mother and the neighborhood of West Roxbury’s small houses where Protestants and Catholics shared the streets of Oriole, Wren, and gossiped about Tarzan the man who swung naked through the trees at the very top of Wren Street, near the water tower.

We were born, entered a family already a bit intense, my brother, then my sister within the next year, and then the next year, Liz and I.  I think I fattened up, a phrase one would only welcome in our narcissistic world when one is a baby and four pounds at that.  After 7, years and pounds, consciousness enters slowly.

I probably got home, and cuddled up to my chubby twin, and the Great Hurricane of 1938 struck and smashed and just in general had the biggest weather hissy this generation of neighborhood dwellers had experienced.  Electricity was out.  People washed clothes with washers and wringers, and hung diapers out on a clothesline.  Making formula was highly more complicated and I think they went thru at lest 180 diapers a week.  Gives “doing a load of washing, “new heroic tones.

Well, in the meantime, my father who graduated from Harvard in economics was out of work, and within six months after the 1938 War of the Winds and Howling Furniture, shadows of illness struck us, the twins, the babies, and we came down with whooping cough, a serious disease in babies.  Children’s Hospital would foot the bill and get us better, and my father was always eternally grateful.

A year later, well a month and a year later, World War II started by Nazi invasions and this would lead to a seriousness of tone, a heaviness, and eventually to our peeing in the dark because of blackout curtains, our jumping on cans to flatten them, my mom smoking my father’s pipe after closing the drapes so the neighbors couldn’t see, and then Pearl Harbor Day where my mom thought my Uncle Tom had died.  He had been transferred from one sub to another, and since he was in charge, he scooted his sub out to the middle of the ocean and stayed out, thus my mother’s grief was short.  It was a complicated time, a time of innocence, slogans, and unawareness, particularly regarding race and religion.

I would grow up to the sounds of clashing pan tops when Roosevelt died; what can I say — we were the only insensitive Republicans in the neighborhood. 

I remember no sounds when Miss Flaherty swept between the school desks in third grade and shook me and shook me because I didn’t know 8 x 7 – which now gentle reader, I will tell you is 56.  I remember the sound of Liz crying in 4th grade; okay, okay, we were late bloomers, when the principal came into the classroom and said, “How many people still believe in Santa Clause? And Liz and I were the 2 who raised their hands, and he stilettoed that belief to pieces on a schoolroom floor.

I remember the sounds of my mother’s feet lurching down the stairs announcing, “They’ve electrocuted the Rosenberg’s,” and she was crying, and then the sounds of Chopin, her favorite composer, and his compositions and her hitting the piano keys with an alcoholic force in the middle of the night.

These are some images that shaped our lives.  When we lived in Dnepropetrovsk in 1990, I felt as if we had traveled back in time, to the 40s and some of the sounds and sights seemed familiar.  To Bill it was the bluing of laundry and stiff sheets starched and ironed, the beating of rugs flung over clotheslines and being whopped every Saturday.

I like sounds and memories.

Readers check this out. I am outstanding and joyous at the fertility and unexpected

twists and turns of the artistic mind!

http://myloveforyou.typepad.com/my_love_for_you/

Listen up cuz this isn’t about numbers, unless you’re counting meat patties, which are build your own, fresh 100% natural Angus beef, and hormone and antibiotic free if you want to know.  Am I for real, you betchum.  Laura, Nick and be still my heart, Jessica came up, and celebrated early Mother’s Day for this old Sorry Gnat for if you really want to know isn’t sorry at all. 

we went to the counter and it’s in Pasadena next to the Green Street Restaurant, and when my build your own burger came, which to be exact was a Veggie Burger, and lots of buildings on it like grilled onions, red, thin, round onions with tart taste, crisp cool green cucumber slices, slathers of tomato slices, laying on top like a comforter and then the piece de resistance (can’t find my French accents on this pewter), I felt as if I were having a religious experience, and you know what; that veggie burger was light, refreshing, and solidly nutritious, and this wasn’t even a Pepsi moment.

Feeling light and fit and filled with good food, company, and I met the owner, and liked him so much, shook hands.  Well, he had laughed when I said, this is a religious experience, but I wish him well.

So It’s 140 Shoppers Lane in Pasadena, California 91101 and the website is thecounterburger.com

Nice to go to a place where things are so incredibly edible, pretty and no chemicals. My body is in shock and joy.  Shock and Awe that’s it all because of the Counter Custom Built Burgers.  Go there if you haven’t heard of it.

Then I was further spoiled by Jessica who got me a candle with 3 wicks and the most delicious smelling vanilla something or other and Laura and Nick gave me a bracelet which was so totally me. i’d scan it to show you, but not sure; at any rate, it’s like diagonal ivory keys, black and white, angled, and then bracelet is angled too; so me, and then a necklace which is to die for, which I can’t describe now, because i gotta go, and these gifts came from Ten Thousand Villages, a great fair trade outfit on Lake near California, practically next to Starbucks and a must to shop particularly nice for gifts for friends.

We are going to be in the desert on Mother’s Day; same thing happened last year or year before, but Nikki and her husband Shawn will be there, and then Nikki is off to Adelaide, Australia to live, and we will miss her, but her sister Celeste will be happy and her mom and Michael will visit; so all is good on the planet, for this spoiled mom.

Morning reading, Jalal 14 (Glory-14th day of April – Second day of Ridvan

“Meditate on what the poet hath written: ‘Wonder not, if my Best-Beloved be closer to me than mine own self; wonder at this, that I, despite such nearness, should still be so far from Him.’  ”

                                                          Baha’u’llah (Gleanings, p. 184)

Yooo Hoooo Monday, where are you?  Drat, ack, eek.  I lost you.  “I forgot” can be applied to homework, like because my dog ate my homework, I can’t turn it in, or I just discovered I can’t speak Esperanto easily, or I’m not Celtic, Mayan, Troll-like, I can’t turn it in.  Doing this blog is not like homework.  I respond to Pili Pili Saka, the moment his blog comes up.  I’m like an orangy labrador, and I get a whiff of something coming to my territory.  My head lifts from the floor, my cold nose moves up and down microscopically, and then, there it is, Pili Pili Saka. 

Forgot, day swept by with fantastic emails about my book, my participation in a Wilmette Study Course, and an email from dear friend who wrote blurb on back of You Carry the Heavy Stuff.  Mikey likes it; even pili pili compared my writing to a French writer.  Reader, i slid under my desk, yes, by the dust, and the brick, red if you want to know, placed carefully over my email connection link, so as not to disturb and keep me connected.  Such is the old wiring in this incredible little pool house.  Be still my heart.

Yesterday, they filmed Mad Men down the street; I swear I posted that; have to check it out.  At any rate, Bill went to neuro guy who was incredibly thorough and wonderful – it seems severe allergy attack, plus benign positional veritgo, plus anxiety about being so dizzy sick, caused his adrenal responses to shoot up and thus the shakes.  Wow, and now we will go towards solutions!  We are relieved.

Okay I finished a book, The Man From Saigon, a novel, Marti Leimbach, a gripper, writing incredible.  It turns out this writer went to MFA program in Irvine, and that’s where when I began writing, I took classes from Oakley Hall and the other guy, Donald, can’t remember his name, and Roberta….. and it tricked into my curly brain and heart, and i began writing.  Showing, telling, using strong verbs, always 3 at the time.  I never do things lightly.  I’ve pulled back to 1 verb usage, find myself more moderate these days

I am going to reserve Dying Young and Daniel Isn’t Talking by the same author, although part of me shudders to think of adding more books to my list.  While you’re at it, throw in Jesse Ventura’s new book; forget title, yes Jesse Ventura.  He was a Navy Seal and he taught at Harvard, and he has stuff to say.  Who knows, but check it out. 

Okay so to add a more shallow cap to my day, while I finished Man from Saigon, sitting next to Bill on the couch, having done my daily huff puff walk for an hour, we watched TV.  Every now and then at 8 I’d click in Dancing with the Stars to see Kate clump across the floor, and the part of me that used to be a single mother thought, “Good, she’s earning money for the kids.”

You catch my drift reader; blessings and a glorious day and best wishes from Monday who regretfully is speaking Tuesday.

Next post may be about Baha’i Holy Days and stuff like that; hope you stay tuned!

Led wonderful workshop yesterday; went to great devotional  – Baha’i and writings from world’s scriptures read; great music, lovely home, wonderful people, conversation with laughter, spirituality, and great food.

Exhausted today; off I went to Monterey Park for fantastic Chinese Massage – $20, $5 of which is the tip.

Came out semi alive and looser, and crashed, and now on pewter updating life.

Small post-huge day, with bill, quiet; tomorrow neurology appointment for him.

Themes, Ideas, Prompts, Triggers, Time Lines, Past Moments, My Mother Told Me, I remember

 So we are in our journal, and we write and we write and we write.  We write about vegetables growing, hangnails removed, the war in Baghdad, a sore throat, a secret wishThe important thing is to write.  This is not being literary, but getting the stuff out on the page, a sort of verbal or vocal flow.

 How on earth do we get in touch with our thoughts and feelings?  We are not concerned with punctuating, crossing our t’s; barely do that anyway.  This is not a confessional way, but just a way of writing.  Writing like you talk is simple and natural.  No literary sentences. Boy this is hard for the writer, believe you me, I wanted to show what a hot dog of a writer I was, all the while, waves of insecurity competed.

 One way to locate your most urgent subjects is to ask yourself: Where is my heart breaking? Or what breaks my heart?

 Make a list of the fears and concerns that keep you awake and night and interfere with your days.  Think of your list as a prayer bead; finger one at a time; rather than including large sweeping topics like world hunger, abortion, nuclear disarmament, the disintegration of the family), name specific people, problems, fears, and issues.  “I’m afraid my mother will die in a nursing home.”  What if the biopsy is positive?

 Time Lines, –

Where were you on 9/11

When Obama was elected?

 If I could write about only one subject (or person, place event, or obsession) what could it be?

 Ask yourself what noun would you want spoken on your skin your whole life through? Marc Doty-My Tattoo

 Write down all the identities that describe you; cat lover, cook, hiker, military brat; keep going; include past identities; student,

 Would you have been different with a different name; whom might you have married if you hadn’t driven to California!

 I wish I could stop thinking about

 In the dream last night, I

Nobody wants to hear about

I can’t possibly tell anyone that…

Write until the truth emerges;

 What weather dominates your feelings; is it raining inside your mind; is it dry and hot; muggy and close; is there a storm cloud on the horizon; a tornado swirling toward you, an earthquake splitting the ground

 If you were to paint your feelings, what colors would you use; what shapes; would you use; watercolors or oils; a small canvas or a large one; would you use a delicate brush, a palette knife or your own bare hands.

 What music plays inside you; and are you what key; in what time signature; what instruments do you heart; maybe you’re the instrument playing the music.

What does your body want to do; does it want to crawl into a hole; pound its fist through a wall; float on a raft in the middle of the ocean, scream until its throat is raw, pack a suitcase, kiss a neighbor’s husband, drive as fast as it can.

Make a list of people Who have been important to you:

Alive or dead; young or old

Their impact on you; either good or bad

The age you were at…..

 What about significant events;

A day I’ll never forget…

An experience that made a great impact on me…

My pulse quickened when …

 Times when

La Pintoresca Library, April 17, 2010

Esther Bradley-DeTally –

(“Everyone has talent.  What is rare is the courage to follow that talent to the dark place where it leads.”  Erica Jong

Finding your voice isn’t looking at the dust balls under the bed to see if you coughed up anything in the dark.  Finding your voice is suiting up and showing up to write about the here and now and to meet other people who have written, not written, or may write.  You will increase your breadth and depth of what you know about yourself, i.e., give written form to the line drawings of life.  Do we know the maps of our hearts?  The Courage to Write offers a way to strip the layers of social niceties, to dig deeply and find the authentic within.

There is no “constructive criticism” within the class, but rather a listening and honoring of each person’s contribution.  For the beginning, we will write in first person, the “I” and it’s a write like you talk.  Are you doomed to write that way the rest of your life?  No.  But this is home base or home on the computer for the writ.  Journaling in the here and now brings forth new vistas!  I will refer to books about writing and teachers of writing whenever possible.  I won’t hesitate to recommend people and books.

WHADDA WE GOING TO DO:  We are going to go through a process, which will take you through various modes of writing.  When I took Teach Writing the Natural Way at Irvine, we learned to mix details, descriptions, dialogue, and academic writing.  Writing is very much like mixing a soup.

People, places I highly admire who have taught me are: Jack Grapes:  the Pied Piper of bringing out the voice, whose workshops are in Los Angeles.  Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones, the writing process book you need for the desert island experience; UCLA Writing Extension Courses; Deena Metzger, Writing for Your Life, and a gazillion more.  Any writing teacher’s task (and joy) is to take the writer as far as he/she can go. “This is supposed to be fun,” my UCLA writing instructor, who looked like a maple syrup ad, told a group of us clenched-teeth, stomach-burning students one night.  And you know, it is; so relax and let’s enjoy.

Dynamite.  You all were dynamite.  Website for CHPercolator for writers is:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CHPercolator/

I’ll put books about writing list up later….

am crashing; you guys are terrific.

Time is going by on roller skates.  I just clicked on central library, my account, and gasped when it said 7 books await-as I have still 5 unread, 3 to go back, some Baha’i books of great interest I’m studying and am off at 11.30 to meeting with friend.  Time is liked butter sizzling on a slick hot skillet; there you see the cube, there you don’t; but the color yellow is a lovely color albeit in solid form or bubbles.

CHPerc is in one of its modes, crazy, laughter, witty, witty repartee, just a gang of sillies that causes each one of us, whether in England, Pakistan, Wyoming where there’s still snow, or Pasadena and Temple City and Reno, to just (oh don’t forget New Jersey) yuk at the bon mots tossed around in humor amongst us.  Makes life worth living,

Tomorrow give free writing workshop at La Pintoresca library, that wonderful little white building that sits kitty corner on Raymond and Washington, and cries out, “Hi I’m a library, but more that than, c’mon in and skate through the corners of your mind, cuz this is a happening place.”

And so it goes, horror, like black paint spilled on the world’s canvass, still exists; dust of volcanic ash dots our hearts and minds and airplanes, and clogs further the arteries of greed in meanspirited leaders, but still, laughter, like a tiny Jack Russell Terrier, still jumps to the sky and we find meaning, I find meaning, in the small things: like vivid colors of red, and gold, and the glossy black fur and intent brown eyes of a black pug sitting in the sun, half dozing, but intently keeping his eyes open (food) and glad i can see the beauty and joy in it all.  You catch my drift?

WWW.bigsunday.org

Volunteer opportunities in Pasadena

#38 – *Rebuild with Rebuilding Together

Rebuilding Together is a wonderful organization that helps low-income elderly and disabled people restore their homes in wonderful and amazing ways. They have branches all over the country. We’ve been working with them in Pasadena for many years. This is a great opportunity to work hard (check out the hours) repairing, painting, and cleaning. Try and sign up early for this one: the more people we have, the more ambitious we can be!

Sign Up Now!

Email this project to a friend

* Date: 05/01/2010
* Start Time: 08:00 AM
* Age Group: 18+ * End Time: 03:00 PM
* Volunteers Still Needed: 8 * Location: Pasadena/Altadena
Address
Captain will provide address

#148 – *Help Food Forward Pick Fruits & Vegetables for Food Pantries (Pasadena, Saturday)

Food Forward helps to feed thousands of hungry people each year by gleaning peoples’ excess fruit and vegetables and donating the harvest to Los Angeles area food pantries. Volunteers will pick fruits and vegetables from three different locations around L.A County (your project captain will let you know the exact address). Don’t forget to wear sturdy shoes and sun block, and bring gardening gloves and pruning shears if you have them. (If you’d rather pick on Sunday, check out project #s 346, 347 & 348.)

Sign Up Now!

Email this project to a friend

* Date: 05/01/2010
* Age Group: 12+ * Start Time: 09:00 AM
* Location: Pasadena * End Time: 12:00 PM
* Volunteers Still Needed: 17

Nothing like a slouch on the couch with a longest time friend; the one who held your baby; or better yet, listened to you as you were 8 mos pregnant and hysterical because your mother-in-law, a Wilshire Methodist, was spending a month or so with you. we have had chicken soup, canned, light, 70 calories, 1 point, and then i had margerine and akmak crackers, and we talked about greed in California, and abuse of power, and then cavorted over to WWII and leaders and the dance of intrigue people did, the leaders, and now Janet my friend is reading the essay about Khatyn in my first book Without A Net, A Sojourn in russia, and i was talking about the oddness of having this place come into prominence on the news because of the death of the Polish President and many other dignitaries.Connection is wonderful; she’s leaving so i’ll end; otherwise i won’t get a post in; gratitude for friendships

The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something
of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.

-Pearl S. Buck, novelist, Nobel laureate (1892-1973)

No One Would Listen, a True Financial thriller by Harry Markopolos is a gripper. Forget that I, a daughter of a municipal bond person, can’t read the stock page, and this book is filled with discussions of derivatives, Ponzi Scheme (think Madoff), Harry Markopolos grips the reader to his account of discovering Bernie Madoff and his scheme which was ignored by the SEC and eventually grew to the size of $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

Markopolos is a wonderful writer, chatty, very intelligent, a math geek, quant, who sees relationships among number as a writer would letters to a page and a composer stairways to the sky in a jazz rift. He struggled for 8 years trying to warn investors, the SEC of Madoff’s schemes, only to meet disinterest and disfunction.

Totally huge event. Had agencies listed to Markopolis. Had the SEC listened to Markopolos in the year 2000, the money saved would have been forty-three billion dollars.

Amazing story; brave man, and it was dangerous for himself, his family and his team. a must read.

http://pilipilisakasakadiaries.wordpress.com

read this dear ones and weep – but with stomping feet and yahoos to the sky. this is a fabulous blog. pilipilisakas’s writng is like butter on a hot black skillet. mmmmm hmmmmmm!

okay back to me. I’ts only almost noon and i’m still at the Pewter replying to blogs, email, facebook.

Today, this morning, old shirt, blinking eyes, fingers that run across the keyboard like the sound of French poodles in a hurry clicking their toes towards food bowls, these are my electric hours. Life is electric and i’ll list a few things at the end so you catch my drift. Drift dear reader; drift is important.

Today is exhaustion day big time. Was surprised. Went to cardio guy yesterday; and he’s now Bill’s Cardio guy too; very funny, dry wit, sardonic. While Bill was getting his blood pressure taken (read abnormally high) (read, situational) I was standing in the hallway, and I felt as if I were going to pass out. I never feel that way there. we were more nervous of Bill’s test results than we realized.

He’s got a hardening aortic valve, but doesn’t have to have surgery, like I did and he won’t. I lived and that’s good depending on who is saying it. smile.
They’ll watch him, and give him ultrasound in 6 months.
A friend writes, “Can they soften the valve”?

We both felt as if a steamroller decided not to bury us in mud! Wow.
Big, I guess one could say.

So day in honor of big,I’ll laundry list the “bigs” in my life.

Bill’s heart not too bad or heart valve
Reading pilisaka’s blog
Watching on You Tube _Devotional – Baha’i
Finding out the red light, third one in on the blinking model if you really want to know, is the result of perhaps a patchy connection to be replaced easily by trip to Best or Radio Shack.
Fireside (Baha’i chats) at Nelson’s last night. Steve and Juliana Licata and their two heavenly sons; music, entertainment; incredible talk
Meeting a new person; a muscian who heard of Baha’is on the net and from his spiritual leader who said, “Go.”
My walking an hour a day – El Moleno, a nice hill if you like puffing, but the way back a treat.
Friends, Mizz V helping me become lickietier and splickietier on the net.
Friends, Son, Daughter in Laws, Grandkids
The Women’s Room in Pasadena where homeless women have respite and the writing class I lead on Tuesday afternoons where the moments expand to tears and riotous laughter.
good writing.
Enemies of the People, Kati Marton, a great read (for Pasadena book club)
Waiting to read a wonderful book published in early 1900s on Muhammad, clear, insightful.
Gleanings. Baha’u’llah’s writings at the top. Always.
10 books waiting, some study, some fun, all fascinating.
Physical exhaustion, but a day of forced rest.

all of these are big in my young life, and now if I run into a pug today, walking his or her snorty self, i’ll know it’s a wondrous life.

Dear friends,
The Internet has made amazing things possible, like freeing the Jena 6 and electing President Obama. None of it could have happened without an “open” Internet: one where Internet service providers are not allowed to interfere with what is seen and by whom.
Now, Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon — the most powerful broadband providers — are trying to fundamentally change the way the Internet works. They’re seeking to make even bigger profits by acting as gatekeepers over what we see and do online. If they succeed, the Internet would be more like radio and television: a few major corporations would control which voices are heard most easily, and it would be much harder for grassroots groups, individuals, and small businesses to compete with large corporations and well-funded special interests.
The FCC wants to do the right thing and keep the Internet open, but the big providers have been attacking their efforts, with help from Black leaders who have financial ties to the industry. And a recent court ruling just made the FCC’s job even tougher.[1] If the FCC is to preserve an open Internet, they will have to boldly assert their authority and press even harder. It’s why they need to hear directly from everyday people about the importance of an open Internet, now.
Will you join me in sending a message to the Federal Communications Commission supporting their effort to preserve an open Internet? It takes only a moment:
http://colorofchange.org/opennet/?id=2153-222969
The FCC is working to create rules that would protect “net neutrality,” the principle that protects an open and free Internet and which has guided the Internet’s operation since it began. It guarantees that information you put online is treated the same as anyone else’s information in terms of its basic ability to travel across the Internet. Your own personal website or blog can compete on equal footing with the biggest companies. It’s the reason the Internet is so diverse — and so powerful. Anyone with a good idea can find their audience online, whether or not there’s money to promote the idea or money to be made from it.
AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon are spending millions of dollars lobbying to create a new system where they can charge large fees to speed up some data while leaving those who can’t afford to pay in the slow lane.[2] Such a system could end the Internet as we know it — giving wealthier voices on the Internet a much bigger megaphone than poorer voices, and stunting the Internet’s amazing equalizing potential.
Buying the support of Black organizations?
President Obama strongly supports net neutrality, and so do most members of the FCC. With so much at stake for Black communities, you would expect Black leaders and civic organizations to line up in support of an open Internet.
But instead, a group of Black civic organizations is challenging the adoption of net neutrality rules. Some of the groups are nothing more than front groups for the phone and cable companies. Others, however, are major civil rights groups — and all of them have significant financial ties to the nation’s biggest Internet service providers. For example, AT&T donated half a million dollars last year to the NAACP, and led a drive to raise $5 million more[3], and boasts of donating nearly $3 million over the last ten years to a number of Black-led organizations.[4] Verizon, meanwhile, recently gave The National Urban League and the National Council of La Raza a $2.2 million grant.[5] Comcast is one of the National Urban League’s “national partners” (Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen now sits on the NUL’s Board of Trustees)[6], and the NUL’s 2008 annual report notes that Comcast donated over $1 million that year.[7] Many of these groups have now filed letters with the FCC opposing or cautioning against net neutrality,[8,9,10,11] and the Internet service providers are using the groups’ support to promote their agenda in Washington.[12,13]
The main argument put forth by these groups is that net neutrality rules would widen the digital divide. They say that unless we allow Internet service providers to make bigger profits by acting as gatekeepers online, they won’t expand Internet access in under-served communities. It’s a bogus, trickle-down argument that has been thoroughly debunked.[14, 15] Expanding access to high speed Internet is an extremely important goal. But Internet service providers are already making huge profits,[16, 17] and if they believed that investing in low-income communities made good business sense, they would already be doing it. Allowing them to make more money by acting as toll-takers on the Internet won’t change that. When these civil rights groups have been asked to back up their arguments, none have been able to do so without appealing to discredited, industry-funded studies.[18] Nevertheless, the FCC has taken notice of what these civil rights gro ups are saying about net neutrality, and is wary of going against them for fear of being perceived as insensitive to minority concerns.[19]
Now it’s up to you
The FCC wants to do the right thing and implement net neutrality rules. FCC commissioners know, as we do, that the anti-net neutrality arguments coming from civil rights groups are bogus. But they don’t want to appear to be on the wrong side of Black interests.[20]
We need to demonstrate that there’s support among Black folks and everyone else for protecting an open Internet. Please join me in telling the FCC that we support net neutrality.
You can add your voice here:
http://colorofchange.org/opennet/?id=2153-222969
Thanks.
References:
1. http://bit.ly/drWbQ3
2. http://www.savetheinternet.com/threats-open-internet
3. http://bit.ly/akyXZS
4. http://bit.ly/aGOz89
5. http://www.nclr.org/content/news/detail/54262/
6. http://bit.ly/93zDr6
7. http://bit.ly/dnqyq4
8. http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7020141807
9. http://mmtconline.org/lp-pdf/NatlOrgs%20NN%20Comments%20011410.pdf
10. http://colorofchange.org/opennet/jan-letter.pdf
11. http://colorofchange.org/opennet/naacp-letters.pdf
12. http://colorofchange.org/opennet/usindustry-letter.pdf
13. http://bit.ly/d8GdOu
14. http://www.freepress.net/files/nn_fact_v_fiction_final.pdf
15. http://bit.ly/ay0dx7
16. http://bit.ly/9JQSDk
17. http://nyti.ms/cZaGq8
18. http://bit.ly/cpPA51
19. http://huff.to/awKtvk
20. http://huff.to/awKtvk

Kamal Zein lives in the Congo. He’s visiting Mizz V, his fab daughter, and we had coffee at Peets today as Kamal filled us in, up and sideways with his wonderful view of life. Check out his blog. I think we readers are going to be very interested and lucky. No the usual point of view. Incredible man, incredible wife, incredible kids.

I’m back after Bill driving me to the Women’s Room because he wanted to use the car. Sooo, he picked up my library books (5) I think, and I have 5 at home, the pressure mounts. I read “I’m _____; I’m 10 and I’m divorced. Can’t remember her name; brave soul fighting for her rights in Yemen; she did it.

Also read Gone to the Crazies, by Allison Weaver. Had ordered it eons ago, and never came, so I was cruising in the memoir section in the basement of Central and lo and behold, and also read Andre Agassi’s book; which i liked a lot. Found it honest and a good read.

I’m always tired Tuesday afternoons, and I have for force myself to walk the hour. I walk the neighborhood which is gorgeous, and basically first half hour is gradual uphill climb, and i use my inhaler. Second half hour, the reward, downhill, past barking dogs in lovely houses, squirrels who have found Nirvana in Pasadena, and gorgeous trees canopying the street of El Molina, my favorite. Then I’ll crash.

Tomorrow is the big day. Bill sees the cardiologist; we’ve made this trip before, except it’s always been for me. This is a switch. We are nervous but anxious to hear what he can do. Friday is another big day with a neurologist.

Miss V told me that when i get on chat and get right off of it, it’s rude in computer etiquette. Well, I’ll be a yellow bellied chuck wagon, get out, no! but yes, the divine Miss V tells me, and i know this to be true, so besides teaching me not to be a blog slog, sloth, dodo, i’ll learn the niceties of twitting in and out of my blog and staying on it. I always left a chat box quickly, thinking I was imposing. It all depends on your point of view. Catch my drift?

Okay, Easter or any major holiday our wonderful landlady has all kids, and grandchildren and friends over; we’re always invited, but i feel vulnerable on those holidays; reminded we have no permanent place. But every other day, not a holiday, am grateful we have a roof over our heads, a comfortable bed, and we live in a nice pool house; small but we do it well.

still i get a hollow toothed feeling in my gut, exacerbated by Bill’s two upcoming appointment with Cardio Guy; and Neurologist. The adventures of being 75 and over. He’s still my pal, my buddy, my love, and vulnerability showed up big today in my scatteredness, trying to get every moment in life in today.

Computer network down today; came on at 5.30; friend asked why the switch to this blog. Because this blog has more life, vitality and a wider array of designs within which to blog.

We saw Crazy Heart for 2 bucks at the Academy; the theatre was crowded. Ran into Rose from my writing group, and her family, boyfriend, beautiful pregnant daughter and two dynamite grandchildren-girls who read and were friendly, and i was happy.

big is still not knowing in a Braille like fashion where the post sign is on this and then how to get it on nablopomo, without looking at my instructions and for missing dookhickies to click. Mizz V put some more on; i should be getting better.

I ran into the door, charging out of her today; big bruise on hand, head okay, so and we are having coffee with our young friends Neda and Johnnie; and that will be a time when safe is a feeling i’ll have stretched out up to the sky and all, and we’ll laugh and scratch, and i’ll come home and do stuff. They are picking bill and myself up.

So big was living without communing with my 400 or so intimate gang of friends, and getting back on just nas i was about to call and get hooked up to india to find out whats happening.

Will write more about Arts Rising but have to go now.

The air is cool, birdies tweet and the red light on my computer connector has blinked all morning. No connection. No wordpress blog, no nablopomo until now, 12.30. I sit down and think what to write, and as i do so, bill reads out loud to me oblivious i’m trying to garner thought no. 1 from the top of my brain; thought no. 2 from the bottom, and something in-between which resembles opaque whiteness, a thought forming, all in all, my images or forming thoughts are like an oreo cookie, stuck together, firm, and not opening up.

Last night on Tavis, two people, two incredible people were on talking about a woman’s book on the new Jim Crow, which premise is basically Jim Crow is alive and strong, and is palpable in the enormous incarceration of blacks in our prisons. I had the book; had to return it to Central, but plan on checking it out again.

I wanted to slit my throat. It’s big, it’s enormous, and it’s rotten underneath. I awakened with a sadness generated from thinking about Jim Crow message last night. Today, while the red light when off, Bill reads out loud a passage from Post Black, How a new generation is redefining African American identity, Ytasha L. Womack, and it’s an entirely new pint of view.

I’m not going to quote it, but recommend both books, titles for which you can scramble on your own. It’s big, it’s thorny, it’s complicated, and I wish we lived 1,000 years in the future where some of these issues had been conquered. Acording to my understanding this will happen.

But I’m not here to tell you what to believe, what promises to wiggle around in your heart. I’m here to talk about really taking a day and just going with it. It’s strange living in this new age where institutions and societies are broken, but I bet if they journaled in Attila the Hun’s age, the same thoughts might have been voiced.

The solution is to be present, to stand up for principles, and with me it’s Baha’u’llah’s teachings on justice.
Every epoch has had its theme. We have gone from family, to tribe, to city-state, to nation, and now boys and girls we are global. I think i can say that’s large, gargantuan, and yet we compress because we link, we click, we nablopomo, twit, google, run, stamp, fold, mutilate, expand.

I’m a ways away from the young, skinny, insecure girl of the past. Still i was on a path and that path saved me.
It’s about connecting. Yeah, you, me, and wanting the best for everyone. I’m going to end now. I’m sort of off in the wordsmith category or energy today, but am going to Trader Joe’s, the library and do a one hour hoof. Hoofing is something I’m getting back into thank goodness. Hard when you’re watching lungs and heart, but enduring when you want to live and contribute to the long run of it all. You catch my drift.

I signed up for NaBloPoMo and feel like a baby chick just wobbling away from my incubator. I did this all because of the fab Mizz V, and her incredible instructions and just her lightness of being flying around with intelligence and creativity. The theme for April is “big,” which is good, because it’s a monosyllabic word which I use for explanations of the sun, the moon, the stars, and for pleating the moon for friends, and thinking of prayers beyond syllables and sounds.

I think one could call that prayer. Speaking of Big, I still remember 9/11 and I felt as if afterwards, I felt as if we all were wrapped in cylindrical blue columns, translucent yet firm, and we, the world’s people, hanging out in the United States, were united, caring, feeling concern for another, and the word “stranger,” or “the other” disappeared from our lexicon, because we are really one. That happened until the boys, the crows, the gargoyles who cavort along the back halls of the power’s elite in government offices, and I might add, spout off as pundits punditing their particular brand of pudding, these boys, got together and division and chaos entered the realm, disunifying people.

I speak or write of this more in my new book You Carry the Heavy Stuffwhich says on the front page, “this is not a travelogue, trust me….” I talk a lot about gargoyles and greed and cavorting, maybe because a writing teacher named Oakley Hall said to us in 1983, “Use strong verbs,” and I thought this was a big idea and a great one.

For that year I packed my pieces with 3 verbs, always strong, busting out, saying, “Hi, I’m Esther and I’m a fledgling writer.” I wrote about bathrooms and first dances at dancing school with Harry Raymond. Harry Raymond looked like an opaque crow, and he carried a cane. We all sat around the room like troglodytes, and Liz, my twin, always kept her legs wide apart. Harry would slide, glide, stop and bang her ankles with is black shiny cane, and say “Girls, should sit with their legs closed,” and what did we know. We, Liz and I, looked like Prince Valiant, with identical handmade red dresses with glass buttons going down our flat chests, and wide waists and Peter Pan collars. The mysteries of womanhood didn’t affect Liz. She was interested in Bobby Benson and the BBAR B Ranch and climbing trees.

But now, in our world, which is tremendously big, I note, it’s a long time away from being twelve, a thickened twelve, looking sort of like President Obama’s dog Bo, and equally one dimensional. Big is a good word, has a solid thick feeling of a nail or wooden stake or branch nailed into the corner of an old Army tent, preparing a shelter for those who need shelter.

The tent has to be big, wide, and we got to get lots of them nailed down. The new housing maybe, because homeless isn’t an unknown word anymore. But I tell you I teach homeless women writing, and ribboned in their psyche’s is strength and story and courage. Oh so big. So that’s the fact for the day Jack. Just a typical Naneeneeenooo type of day on the blogging trail wishes wondrous miraculous things happen to everyone: jobs, good relationships; strong coffee and good friends; a touch on the cheek. You catch my drift.

Big is posting everyday on my new word blog home – i’m a word hog, wordsmith, word devotee, and big is sitting by the Divine Mizz V and having her teach an old gal, getting better, the ways and wherefores of blog posting. 

Big is reading the LA Times this a.m. and feeling my heart sink like an old elevator gone awry as the headlines tell of Immigrants with babies who have birth defects.

Big is knowing Mr. Bill, my velcro strip of a guy, my husband, and I have to go too his cardiologist and a neurologist too, for that matter, to see what’s happening to his innards and outwards cuz he’s getting older! 

Big is living in a time the Hopi’s call prophetic and tell us that anyone born in this age is brave, and now is the time for the ingathering of men.

Big is not eating chocolate and walking whether breathing is something that doesn’t whistle in and out of me, and big is showing up in my I believe in the Oneness of Mankind, and I want to give everyone a voice, so I’m giving another free writing workshop at La Pintoresca Library on April 17, and if you wanna know how to get there boys and girls, go look up La Pintoresca Library, Raymond and Washington, and see a squatty white building facing kitty corner to the world and that day April 17th, that squatty little building will say, “Come to me between 11 and 2:00, all you who want to write, must write, don’t have a clue about writing, and spend a few fantabulous hours, moments, in a word lab in your mind.”  You catch my drift.

Just got back from weekly writing workshop at the Women’s Room where I teach and laugh and yuk with dynamite women in transition, some homeless externally, and internally, and some helping as in volunteer, and all of us communing, as in women, and today rocked.  Che wrote about Peanut Butter Soup and her love of African food; love it.  I get very tired after though, and didn’t walk today.  Had fabulous instruction on blogs by the very wonderful Mizz V.