Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
It's Christmas Eve 2010. Earlier this week longtime Northwest radio personality "Sugar" Bruce Cannon passed away. Word of his death quickly circulated among Facebook friends, fans, and family.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
So this grey Saturday afternoon I went back to the library to sit and think and just be. Silly, huh! Well, it's the best I could do... the library is one of those special places... I see many people, old, young, every race... working at the computers, getting books or cds or dvds...reading newspapers and magazines.
For four years I have been coming to the library...borrowing Walter Mosley and Robert Parker thrillers... checking out Nikki Giovanni and Langston Hughes poetry, delighting in Denzel Washington and Sidney Poitier films...feeling alive and proud and moved to put my best foot forward.So very proud to join others at this wonderful, warm place named after Dr. King.
I hear the closure is done... still I wonder what would happen if a whole lot of folks like me just took time to let folks know... our children, senior citizens, and people of all races love and need this library. I have learned a little bit more because of the librarians and the resources at the library how to be a proud, loving man. I really want this library to stay open and continue challenging us to become thoughtful and compassionate citizens.If we do not know where we have come from, we shall not be able to discover where we need to go from here!
If you would like to let your interest known, contact: Media Relations: David Domkoski, 253 591-5688, ddomkosk@tacomapubliclibrary, org, and/or Suden Odencrantz, Library Director, 253-591-5606, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last night I enjoyed being with parents and other teachers at the Bellarmine's women's high school basketball team fought its way to a very tough victory... lots of defense, Bellarmne High and Olympia High folks going head to head in a game where the score doesn't reflect the tremendous defense, the passing and running and cool headed free throwing of both teams.
Thoughtful, fast moving, and sweet shooting game. I loved it...
Friday, December 17, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Sarah Paretsky, the author of the V.I. Warshasky Mysteries is teaching me a lot:
interracial relationships, effects of physical and sexual abuse on family members, the defensive ways abusers deny their activities and blame other people.
V.I. gets shot at, injured, and ends up spending time in hospitals... feeling the effects of her injuries later. And giving her male opponents a whole lot of bodily harm too.
I am enjoying having a heroine who gives sleuthing her best shot and endures the loss of credibility and friendships that happen when a woman decides to act in straight talking, assertive ways.
Her novel, Tunnel Vision, will keep you from getting those eight hours you deserve for a few days. I love you, Sarah Paretsky!
Here's a brief take on what she is choosing to do in her writing.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Dear Fir Terrace,
Friday, December 10, 2010
Readers and South Sounders: Tacoma School of the Arts Humanities students are participating in writing "love letters" to their hometowns. The writing exercise combines creativity, editing, and getting the letters published. Join me in celebrating these students and their wonderful letters in the upcoming letter series featured on the In Your Neighborhood blog. Read on and enjoy!
Dear 110th street,
Dear Lexington Street,
You are the street I've seen from my earliest memory. My first knee scraping, my first burn when baking cookies with Grandma Dolly only to have the scar covered by an ironic smiley bandage. My mornings and evenings. My sun, my moon. Traveling to you seeing all the happy neighbors, chasing leaves on a rainy day down the street leading to the drain only to watch it disappear in my failed attempt to grab a hold of it. I've always been with you whether I lived with you or not. Now as I grow older I still see that curb I tripped over, that closet I slept in, the smell of fresh baked cookies and ocean breeze. An oddly wonderful mixture. I still hear the monkeys howling and seagulls flying. You have always been my home, even if it was just a visit to Grandma's house, I grew up here, the definition of home.
You are like a brother, who one looks up to in the time of inspiration, who one gets frustrated with in a time of sorrow and helplessness. The vastness of your landscape is unfamiliar to someone like me, even though I have lived here for so long. When I am gone I miss the sacred and private places that even though public belong to and only me it seems. That’s what Tacoma is, it’s personal. It is your city and my city at the same time, Pleasing and disgusting people for years and years. It is an acquired taste admired by the lovers and avoided by the simple. Although those of us who know the wonder like those who love the taste keep on saying more for us, more for us. More Tacoma for us!!!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Dear Weathervane Drive Street,
You’re not a city. You’re not a town. You’re my quiet street. You wake me up each morning with plans for the day when there’s no school. You fill my days of being on the computer and spending time with my best friend Charles, and I do all that at my new house I moved in a few years ago. You provide me friendly neighbors to say hello to and a great house to live in. You inspire me to learn, to create, to walk, and to play. And you put me to bed each evening with nice video thoughts and a nice smile on your face.
But you don’t just make me feel like I’m in a new street. You constantly make me think like I’m in my old street again. You remind me of my old friends and their families in my old street in Puyallup. You don’t even care when I go trick-or-treating on Halloween, even though there are very much less kids around, but there are some very nice people to give out the candy to me and my brothers. You remind me of the absolute joy of being myself in my old/new home.
You remind me how much I’m going to do in this place. You teach me how old this neighborhood is. You remove the screaming children and replace them with fewer cars and people walking about.
Carly Petersohn, student
Tacoma School of the Arts
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
You are not where I was born and you are not where I will die.
Though I am with you for now, I don't know how long it will last.
One day, if I am gone and you wonder where I went,
just remember all of our memories and the time we have spent together.
You hosted all my childhood adventures and supplied plenty of rain.
Although most find you gloomy, and your bipolar weather drives them
insane, I thank you for reminding me of home. You stink far less than
your neighbor Tacoma! So thank you for understanding why I can't
keep living in your streets which lose all pleasantries at night.
You fueled my imagination and I imagine you will know,
when I miss my true home too much and finally decide to go.
You are my hometown. You are my base, my concrete base that allows me to build the house that is my life. Even though I sometimes need a break from your indecisive weather and gray bleak skies, I know that you have helped me to figure out who I am and where I want to go. You are home to everything that is familiar and comfortable to me. I'm excited to wander the world and explore, but I'm glad I'll always have you to return to.
Stacy Millsap, student
Tacoma School of the Arts
You are not my hometown! You are not even my home. I didn't even like you at first--but at present, it is you who is impacting my life most. So far, our time together has been short, but in this short time you have helped me to grow in a way I never thought I could. You have taught me things that I wouldn't have learned anywhere else, and introduced me to experiences that are irreplaceable.
You have invited me to open myself up to the wonder of discovery--not only here, but in my own home and everywhere I go. You have given me more opportunities to learn and grow than I ever expected of you. The beauty of your buildings, the complexity of people, the puget sound, the joy of every experience--you have opened my heart to it all, and I thank you for it.
In fact, when contemplating departure, and even after deciding to leave you behind, I found myself unable to. I came running back, wide open. The reason is simple: you make me feel alive. Now that we have connected, I feel certain that the impact you have left will remain with me forever.
Rosie Koppelman, student
Tacoma School of the Arts
Friday, December 3, 2010
It's just silly. And if you are child of the 70's and 80's, you'll especially want to read on.
I had a good laugh and a walk down memory lane this morning on Facebook, so I turned into an all video post on Gritty City Woman. If you recognize the picture below, then this is the post for you. Click HERE to see more.
Happy Friday, Tacoma!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Picture Number 1:
Picture Number 2:
Picture Number 3
Picture Number 4:
Have fun with this! You can also play along at grittycitywoman.com, too!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
This picture came from the University Place Patch. This morning our roads were terrible. I suspect that will be the case again tonight. Sigh....
After all,every now and then I can admit to myself that I am a wonderful human being and I do make mistakes. And those mistakes can either lead me to freeze up, not try again, just plain give up. Or I can decide to take responsibility for my mistake, reflect on what I did, and learn what I shall try the next time. In other words,
life can either look beautiful or ugly, depending on how I choose to look at it.
For example the thought that the Dr. Martin Luther King Library might close just breaks my heart. So many wonderful people go there. The staff is so kind to me. I have found so many precious books, compact discs, and dvds there... Just sitting there and people watching gives me a deep sense of being really close to folks.
So... I am going to let my desire to keep MLK known to every human being I can and encourage folks to write the librarian director and let her know MLK needs to stay open. Here are the names of the board memebers and the phone number for the administrative offices:
I walk down the stairs at Orton Hall this cold grey Monday morning and look, beautiful pieces of work created by Bellarmine High School students. Wonderful!
For every challenging experience, there is the hard, cold side, and the exciting, warm side.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
The dead leaves on the sidewalk skitter in circles as the cold wind rips through the streets and alley ways. Few people are out and about and those that are, have their coats zipped up and their shoulders hunched up trying to stay warm.
Across the Foss, the Tide Flats are hard at work despite the windy cold.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Much older and wiser now... I see that the lyrics of this song catch a lot of my present dreams:
"So when ya see me walkin', won't you notice that proud look in my eyes
My feet are on the ground and my soul is searchin' for the sky
'Cause I want to be happy and free
Livin' and lovin' for me
Just like a natural man
A natural man
Just like a natural man
My feet are on the ground
My soul is searchin' for the sky
Like a natural man
No more 'Yes, sir'
No more 'Yes, mam'
Huh, 'cause I'm a natural man
I'm a natural man"
In those few sweet, soulful moments Lou Rawls summed up the desires that African American people have had for five hundred years..."
As I listened to Lou Rawls singing via my Itouch during my moaning and groaning and sweating at the Family Y in Tacoma Thursday, November 18th, I felt affirmed and challenged... affirmed because more and more I am respectfully taking responsibility for my choices... because I choose to rather than because I am commanded to and challenged because I want to help every person I meet to confidently do the same when working with me or working with/for any other human being.
Smiling as I worked out at the Family Y, I played Natural Man again and again.
Good or bad, what's your South Sound snow coping strategies?
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The staff never gave up on me. I have used a lot of excuses during that time for not following through: too cold to go... too wet, too dark...
Somewhere deep inside the Truth kept a knocking... "Choose to live now!"
So, after a good workout Monday afternoon, I took another step... joined a support group which, for the next eight weeks, will be focused on taking practical steps to living healthy and happy lives now...
We're meeting to share our hopes, ups and downs, our actions, feelings, and thinking. Scott Reall's book, Journey to Freedom, offers wonderful matter for day to day reading and reflection, and we shall discuss six chapters of the book at each session.
I have just finished the first chapter... this book is a keeper... the program at the Morgan Family Y--- the Reall Deal...
Enjoy the five minute clip inspired by Scott Reall's wonderful book.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Annual ART AT WORK Month Provides South Sound Citizenry Inexpensive Fill-Ups At Fuel Station Of Innovative Thinking And Creativity
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
I kept hoping that someone would stop the villain. But on the villain went, outthinking and overcoming each one of my heroes and heroines.
This book is not one to read with children. It sizzles.
The woman at the center of the story is beautiful; the man...too stubborn. (I leave the rest of this to you to deal with.
Three lessons I got from the story: 1. don't work out one's concerns in the presence of children; 2. don't judge other; 3. forgive those who have hurt you.
And a final lesson: Check out Beverley Barton; I ebooked her from the Tacoma Public Library website.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
The sky lightens to a silvery-grey over the spikes of evergreens across Joe's Bay. The recent storms have blown a lot of leaves off the saplings before they had chance to turn and more of the bay becomes visible from our Aerie. In the orchard, the leaves on the apple, cherries and pear tree stay green and attached. The maple that is usually on fire by this time has only a few deep red leaves, but the giant maples have dropped so many of theirs to be embedded in the road, thinning with the rain, while the roadsides are red with shedding cedars, firs and pines.
It's the time of year for cleaning-up in the garden, preparing for what some are saying will be the worst winter in sixty years. There's leaves to rake and wood to be split and piled for the stove, anticipating power losses. The recent accident of a logging truck hitting a transmission station on Rte. 101 brought home the need to restock all emergency items for the household and have them handy.
Ah yes it's a busy time alright, every season needing preparation and clean-up. I just want to remind all my cherished neighbours that tick protection is a part of every season too. In our Pacific-Northwest climate, ticks are active all year round, and looking for hosts. Even in the mid-west, snowy winters, ticks are found on dogs, horses, deer and birds, where once it was believed that 28 degrees took care of the problem. Now is as important as the spring, to check yourself and each other after working in the garden.
What kid isn't drawn to leaf piles? Please check them at bath-time and teach them to tuck their socks inside pants before going out to play. Show them what a tick looks like and tell your kids to come to you if they have one attached. Learn how to properly remove a tick...do NOT squeeze or try to burn it! Google tick tools and make sure your First Aid Kit has one. I keep one on my key chain, a very simple and effective tool to use. If you are bitten, be proactive with your doctor and ask them to read-up on the latest information, rather than sit back to wait and see...the deadliest of approaches.
I was just able to attend, via webcasts, a conference on Lyme disease at the Institute Of Medicine in Washington DC, where the rise in cases of Lyme, Babesia, and Bartonella nationally, was talked about with great concern by the participants...well all except for Dr. Gary Wormser, head of the IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America) panel that infamously made the allegedly criminal Lyme Guidelines. To have the doctor who is in charge of caring for the Lyme community call chronic patients "Lymenuts" is a bigoted disgrace. A disgrace is what Dr. Bergdorfer, who first discovered the Lyme spirochete bearing his name (Borrelia-Bergdefori) called the political situation. I watched and listened as scientist after scientist called for more research, talked of the chronic forms (which Wormser denies exists) of tick-borne infections, and called for more gathering of national surveys and statistics...more information. Dr. Wormser smugly said they had all the information...he "just didn't bring it that day...chuckle."
In the same week I watched the first day of the ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) conference and was given great hope as I listened to new research and heard hope for my daughter and the thousands upon thousands of chronically-ill patients, dealing with tick-borne infections. If you are interested in reading some exciting news for our family, check out this link below.
This has been a rough year for my daughter...making twelve rough years now. She was bitten just before she turned 18 and is turning 30 this December. Due to the doctors in Washington being woefully uneducated in tick-borne diseases, it took eight years to get her on proper treatment. Now she is in the fifteen percentile of chronic patients. Today, despite how she feels, we will sit and talk to some nursing students about Anna's case so they can learn. Still I try to work for simply getting a proclamation making May officially Lyme-Awareness Month in Washington, as it is in so many other states. I have worked on it for almost a year now, with no reply from the department that deals with proclamations in the Governor's Office. We have talked to so many politicians, Derek Kilmer being a staunch advocate and ally, and yet move forward so slowly in educating Washingtonians. Funnily enough, one certainly remembered my number when a family member was bitten.
Yes we've returned to the wet and cool, rainy season down here in Joe's Bay, the snowy season up in those beautiful mountains. I'm just going to keep reminding you to be prepared in every way, in every season, and urge you to ask questions. We're right here as advocates. Living with the wildness, as we are so gifted, I believe my neighbours want to be educated. I want to keep you and your family safe, giving thanks, in our season of Thanksgiving, for this opportunity.