Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Wahhh, so you know when I was being all productive and I dropped off my sewing machine for a tune-up? I finally got the word earlier this week that my machine cannot be fixed, for it is so old that the parts can't be ordered. This is like when my beloved old Saturn wagon got crunched and the rear windshield had to be special ordered from, like, a dump in Fargo.

Anyway, now I'm in a quandary because one of the parts I need (the bobbin winder) is available on ebay, but the thread tensioner is nowhere to be found. I don't suppose you have an Elna Club Computer sitting in your basement that you'd like to disassemble for me, do you? And I could buy a new machine, but wasn't planning to spend several hondo on a sewing machine, particularly not when bike weather is more or less here and I still don't have a new bike.

I have several things that need to be sewn.

I did get the new rear windshield for my Saturn, PS, but then the transmission perished shortly thereafter. So I guess that's my worry: it's an old-ish machine, and what if everything goes kaput right after I search all creation for a thread tension assembly? How much money do I put into the machine before I decide that money would be put to better use on a new (probably used) machine? Seriously, I'm asking.

Meanwhile, the Elna Club gathers dust at the repair shop.

On another topic, tonight is the Pro-Choice Resources Bowl-a-Thon!! Many of you have donated to help ensure that comprehensive sexuality information gets to people who need it and that women and girls trying to access legal reproductive health care are able to do so. Thank you! Your donations make a real impact, and I'm not just saying that. You might not feel like you were able to give much, but maybe your donation bought a hundred condoms for at-risk youth, or helped to fund teacher training for sexuality educators, or helped a homeless woman afford her abortion.

As in past years, I ended up increasing my fundraising goal a few times because everyone is so generous. My team is totally kicking ass--we're in first place with $4324 raised--and I'm just $150 shy of my goal of $1500. I would luuuuvvvvv to make my goal before I bowl tonight at 7:30, so if there's anyone out there in readerland who is as disgusted as I am by the right wing assault on women and has $5 or $10 to kick in to an organization that is making a difference, please go to my fundraising page and donate.

Tonight: we bowl. I'm pro-choice, and that's how I roll.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Thoughts while cleaning and shuffling iTunes.

1. Allow me to get crazy upon you.
2. Sometimes the Flaming Lips are exactly what you want to listen to, and sometimes you're not on mushrooms.
3. Adorable cloth drawstring liner for the guest room trash can gets filed under "shit I seriously do not have time to make, esp with sewing machine in the shop."

Also, did you know that Wendy and Lisa write tv and movie music now? They totally wrote the theme song to Nurse Jackie, which I was just watching the other day. Also also, they were briefly known as Girl Bros., a pretty rad band name if you ask me.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I hate the physical act of getting up early, but once I've cleared that hurdle I love being up. I had to be downtown at clinic escort training at 7:30 (which, for the record, is earlier than I have to be anywhere ever), so I was up in the dark and out in the fog. Actual fog, not mental. The training was good. It was interesting. And I think this will be a good introduction to volunteering for reproductive justice in a more hands-on way, since being a clinic escort directly benefits women and girls who are accessing legal health care and who have a right to do so without harassment. Also, evidently this particular clinic is pretty low-key in terms of the anti-choice protesters it attracts. It's not a freestanding building, so it can't be surrounded. There were only two protesters there today, and they're regulars.

We were done training by 9:30 and then I headed to the co-op to recycle about 6 months' worth of plastics and buy some green vegetables. It was all very virtuous. By 10:15 I was eating falafel in my car. Then I had an ill-fated trip to a sewing machine repair shop that has closed down, a stop at Goodwill, a stop at another sewing machine repair shop where I successfully dropped off my machine for a tune-up, and a stop at a new Everyday People location where I heard the following obnoxious exchange in the dressing rooms:

Annoying woman 1 (in response to the music changing to God Only Knows by the Beach Boys): Oh, they must have heard us complaining about the [awesome Brigitte Bardot in French] music, hahaha.

Annoying woman 2: Yeah, this is America, play the Beatles, hahaha.

Me (muttering): oh my god you are the WORST.

Then I bought a weird-ass skirt/dress that I'm sure both annoying women would have hated. Suck it!

Now I'm home and it's only 2:00! I'm going to take a nap under some cats, and then I'll see about some of the other stuff on my to-do list. There's so much day left!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Easily pleased.

We have a so-called "floating holiday" today and it's been the main thing getting me through this week, on the real. It's not even that work is so terribly stressful, but we're having some (more) staff turnover and trying to hire someone and you know what, I'm not going to talk about work. I have today off, to which we must all say AMEN, and the Brit is at SXSW, so I shall be knocking around the house alone (with cats) in a serious spring cleaning mood, doing things like mopping the floor whilst bumping the tunes. Maybe that doesn't sound like fun to you, but I am thrilled. Especially now that the snow is melting away in earnest and you can tell that it WANTS to be warm outside, even though it is not quite warm yet.

Some other to-do items include taking my sewing machine in for a tune-up, weatherproofing all of my boots, and continuing to scan all of my old papers and programs and recycling the hard copies. I've been carrying around a lot of paper for a long time, and I finally grasped that I will not be getting an advanced degree in English any time soon, so it's time for the class notes from undergrad to go. Same for all of the recital/performance programs. I've been doing this in fits and starts for a few weeks and I'm being ruthless--though I have been engaging in a lot of nostalgic re-reading of my writing (and, um, old email correspondence that I printed out back when email and storage and archiving of same were all novelties. I have some hilarious email from the old days.) It seems appropriate that I've been listening to Kate Bush and k.d. lang and other stuff that was in heavy rotation in the early 90s while I do this purge.

And speaking of music, this week in a voice lesson I played "Dancing Queen" and also "Beat It" on the piano, not something I ever thought I would do for any reason but certainly not in a voice lesson. Whatever: my student is 11 so it's all about keeping singing fun, and she brought the books. It did make me think that I should buy some more pop sheet music. I have to confess that I have been reading a lot of chord charts on the innernet lately and playing along with Radiohead and Neko Case in the basement. It's a super-dorky thing to do but it's the only way I'm going to get better at winging it at the piano. I think I'm going to order a k.d. lang songbook, actually. I still totally love Ingenue--great songs, great singer, and I've just now flashed back to the fact that I owned a k.d. lang and the Reclines TAPE when I was like 14. How did that happen?

Sound quality is worse here (in some ways) but the performance is superior:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


1. Cleaning the kitchen is way more fun with a lot of loud Missy Elliot playing.
2. It is difficult to wash dishes and pop your booty at the same time, but not impossible.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

You're going to love my balls.

I've had a few posts kicking around in my head but just haven't had the gumption to write them. The one about "you're going to love my balls" is loosely about how I've been eating raw food balls for breakfast, but mostly it's an excuse to make jokes about balls. I get up in the morning and eat 3-4 balls! How many balls do you eat every morning? Balls balls balls deeeelicious balls.

And after all that you aren't even going to get a recipe. I basically just mush like a few tablespoons of coconut oil and some soaked dates and nut butter (haaaaaaa) and/or maybe a banana together in a bowl, then squish in 1.5-2 cups of oats that I've pulverized in a coffee grinder, along with some nuts (NUTS!) and dried cranberries and maybe flax meal. Then comes the very important ball formation process, and then I chill the balls in the fridge. Delicious and surprisingly filling, with the added bonus of being very easy to eat on the run.

I've been inventing stuff in the kitchen left and right. It's good creative work. The other day we had some curried rice fritters with all kinds of stealth ingredients--steamed cauliflower, pureed butternut squash, mashed tofu, chickpea flour--along with ginger, garlic, onion, and curry paste. The entire point of the exercise was to use up a packed takeout container of basmati rice from our favorite Indian restaurant, but I think I just found a new fried thing to love.

I've also been taking a vat of cut up fruit and veg to work every day, which has the dual function of keeping me occupied at my desk--I swear this office just makes me instantly want to nap and eat--and upping my raw food intake.

The other posts kicking around in my head are less uplifting. People who blog about reproductive justice full time have provided lots of resources and information about the right wing attacks on women--and make no mistake, they are attacks on women--at blogs like RH Reality Check, so it's not necessary for me to duplicate their work here. There are lots of links in my Reader feed over there on the right every day about this stuff because the anti-woman legislation being proposed (and passed!) on the national and state level is truly mind-boggling, sci-fi, dystopian horseshit. They're going after contraceptive access and health care access (apart from abortion, which they've always gone after). They're trying to criminalize miscarriage. They're saying that a fertilized egg has the same rights as a born human being and they're trying to write it into law. They're trying to force physicians who perform abortions to inform women that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer despite the fact that there are no scientific findings establishing a cause and effect relationship. My blood pressure is up just thinking about it.

The only good news is that it's Pro-Choice Resources Bowl-a-Thon time again, the one time of the year I send out email pitches to raise funds for a local organization that works to remove the barriers that prevent people from accessing reproductive health care and comprehensive sexuality information. They do extensive community outreach and education, they run a website for teens, they have a discussion/support group for women who have had an abortion, and they administer an abortion assistance fund that is their answer to the odious Hyde Amendment.

For every 8 women who apply for funds--grants for minors, no-interest loans for women over 18--PCR has to turn 7 away.

So I raise money for PCR. Then once I've raised all the money, I join my team, Spare Us From the MCCL (MN Citizens Concerned for Life), and I bowl badly, in celebration. Please consider sponsoring me if reproductive justice is a cause dear to your heart (and brain, and conscience).

See, the whole post sort of IS about balls. That's how I roll.