Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cross-dressing state lawmaker blackmailed following late night tryst

Headlines just don't get much better than that one. One more hypocritical "family values" Republican - vote against anything pro-homo - and buying rent boys while out of town - ah, I love the stench of hypocrisy this early in the morning:

SPOKANE -- State Representative Richard Curtis says he's not gay, but police reports and court records indicate the Republican lawmaker from southwestern Washington dressed up in women's lingerie and met a Medical Lake man in a local erotic video store which led to consensual sex at a downtown hotel and a threat to expose Curtis' activities publicly.

A search warrant unsealed Tuesday morning disclosed that State Representative Richard Curtis (R - La Center) had sex in his room at the Davenport Tower with a man identified as Cody Castagna, 26, of Medical Lake, who he met at the Hollywood Erotic Boutique on October

Curtis, according to a search warrant unsealed Tuesday, went to the Hollywood Erotic Boutique on East Sprague on October 26th at approximately 12:45 a.m. The store clerk, who had talked with Curtis, referred to him as "The Cross-Dresser" and said that during their conversations he confirmed he was gay and was married with children at home.

During his visit to the video store Curtis was observed wearing women's lingerie while receiving oral sex from an unidentified man in one of the movie viewing booths inside the store.


The two met at the Davenport Tower around 3:34 a.m. and police reports confirm Curtis and Castagna had anal intercourse after which Curtis fell asleep. Castagna, according to court records, then allegedly took Curtis' wallet out of his jacket pocket and left the room.

Around 7 a.m. he called Curtis and told him he knew he was a member of the Washington State House of Representatives and was married, that he had taken pictures of Curtis with a camera on his cellphone and he offered to return the wallet in exchange for $1,000. In police reports it is claimed that Curtis offered Castagna that sum of money in exchange for having unprotected anal intercourse.

Curtis, during an interview with a Spokane detective, claimed that he gave Castagna $100 for "gas money" and insisted that the money was not payment for sex. During that phone conversation he claimed he only had $200 and left the money in an envelope at the front
desk at the Davenport Tower for Castagna in exchange for the return of his wallet.

more details at the link

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Here's one for the Beatles fans

Looks like it will be an awesome movie, especially if you grew up loving their music

:: :: Reviews :: Across the Universe (xhtml)
Here is a bold, beautiful, visually enchanting musical where we walk into the theater humming the songs. Julie Taymor's "Across the Universe" is an audacious marriage of cutting-edge visual techniques, heart-warming performances, 1960s history and the Beatles songbook. Sounds like a concept that might be behind its time, but I believe in yesterday.

This isn't one of those druggy 1960s movies, although it has what the MPAA shyly calls "some" drug content. It's not grungy, although it has Joe Cocker in it. It's not political, which means it's political to its core. Most miraculous of all, it's not dated; the stories could be happening now, and in fact, they are.

For a film that is almost wall to wall with music, it has a full-bodied plot. The characters, mostly named after Beatles songs, include Lucy (the angelic Evan Rachel Wood), who moves from middle America to New York; Jude (Jim Sturgess), a Liverpool ship welder who works his way to New York on a ship, and Lucy's brother, Max (Joe Anderson), a college student who has dropped out (I guess). They now all share a pad in Greenwich Village with their musician friends, the Hendrixian Jo-Jo (Martin Luther McCoy), the Joplinesque Sadie (Dana Fuchs) and the lovelorn Prudence (T.V. Carpio), who loves women but doesn’t feel free to express her true feelings.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Talk about Freeway blogging!

My hat is off to these guys. Hung a banner from a crane in downtown Charlotte, and two of them repelled off it to steady the sign. Just wow. Closed down traffic in a major intersection for a long time tis morning. They were with Rain forest Action Network.

article here:

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Us as screens and the stars projectors?

Just got in from watching the meteor shower. I tend to forget or take for granted what a great area I live in. I'd originally thought we'd go up on the parkway for the best view, but Chris made it quite clear he'd rather have sleep and I decided I'd go up in the development area behind the house to watch instead. It turns out that I didn't need to go up higher at all - we're ringed in here with enough peaks that it blocks the light from both Boone and Blowing Rock, and while not true dark skies, it's dark enough and there isn't any traffic coming by at that point to mess up your night vision either.

Sitting there with the dog (who is very patiently waiting for me to get up and continue walking even while she's giving me those "I left a nice warm bed in front of the fire for this?" looks) I was reflecting on how I was doing something mankind has done since he first walked this planet. Looking out there into the vast unknown and thinking about life - everyone's and my own as well. Both how did it all begin and how did I get to this point at the same time.

Easy enough to see how religions got started - the various diverse (but similar on so many levels) ways that people looked at the universe around them and wondered how they fit into something so big. I was sitting there thinking wouldn't it be interesting if we were each one of those stars and that the lives we were living here on Earth were actually projections from up there. How many other world's could we simultaneously inhabit? What would those lives be like? Or maybe the same world but with the ability to see the outcome of each of the choices we have made along the way - show me what would have happened if I had said no that one time that I said yes or took the left turn instead of the right. Sitting there wondering why no one had written a book or movie with that theme until I realized that it would never have an ending - you could "what if" forever. But we aren't given that much time, so we have to make it all count as much as we can now.

What is it about strolling alone at 2 am that clears my head - sure, tons of thoughts going on and processing, but not in the normal frantic tangle that it usually is. Lack of distraction? No phone or anyone to talk to? What I'd originally hoped to be a shared snuggling event turned out to be an equally satisfying solitary one instead.

Sleep well Orion, sweet dreams hot stuff. Thanks for a great night out underneath the stars.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Living Possom Style

Just read an interesting book - POSSUM LIVING HOW TO LIVE WELL WITHOUT A JOB AND WITH (almost) NO MONEY by Dolly Freed. Written by a 19 year old girl living with her father just outside of Philly, it was published in 1978 and contains alot of practical advice on how you can live off the land, even in the less rural parts of the world. While she advances some ideas I have no intention of following through on, the text will certainly make you think about how we all live today, what it costs us and ways that we can do more with less.

Do you remember the story of Diogenes, the ancient Athenian crackpot? He was the one who gave away all his possessions because "People don't own possessions, their possessions own them." He had a drinking cup, but when he saw a child scoop up water by hand, he threw the cup away. To beat the housing crunch he set up an abandoned wine barrel in a public park and lived in that.

The central theme of Diogenes' philosophy was that "The gods gave man an easy life, but man has complicated it by itching for luxuries."

Apparently he lived up to his principles. But despite that handicap he seems to have had the most interesting social life imaginable. He not only lived in the center of the "Big Apple" of his day (5th century B.C. Athens), he also had the esteem and company of many of the most respected, rich and influential citizens, including that of the most expensive prostitute in town.

When Alexander of Macedon, the future conqueror of the known world, was traveling through Greece, he honored Diogenes with a visit. Alexander admired Diogenes' ideas to the point of offering him any gift within his means. Diogenes, who was working on his tan at the time, asked as his gift that Alexander move aside a bit so as to stop shading him from the sun. This to the richest and most powerful man in the Western world.

Parting, Alexander remarked, "If I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes." Diogenes went back to nodding in the sunshine.


Autumn is busy, but pleasantly so. I guess we average about five hours each of work per day, but living possum-style there is often no clearcut differentiation between one's work, leisure, and recreation. When you're out on a beautiful day gathering nuts for food and bird watching for recreation at the same time, for instance, how much of the time spent is work? It's as anthropologists say about hunting tribes--hunters don't need hobbies, their work is their hobby.

Not having to go to school, I had time to actually learn something interesting and useful such as how to make moonshine, how to buy a house at a sheriff sale, how to make money in business, how to repair a house, and even how to read and write--these last two being more than you can say for 14.29% of the 1976 high school seniors of the Philadelphia, public school system. What would I have learned if I had stayed in school? Exactly what the slowest member of the class would have learned, because that's how they teach. And the subjects! Social studies, forsooth! And new math, where you learn all about "sets" and graduate not knowing how to balance a checkbook. And home economics, where they teach you to be as uneconomical as possible--Betty Crocker propaganda. We take a do-it-yourself approach to education same as any other subject. If we want to learn something, we go to the library, get a book on the subject, and study it. Or we ask questions of someone who really knows the subject, which leaves out most professional teachers.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn't Want You to Know - Esquire

A must read article.

The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn't Want You to Know - Esquire
The Secret History of the Impending War with Iran That the White House Doesn't Want You to Know Two former high-ranking policy experts from the Bush Administration say the U.S. has been gearing up for a war with Iran for years, despite claiming otherwise. It'll be Iraq all over again.
In the years after 9/11, Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann worked at the highest levels of the Bush administration as Middle East policy experts for the National Security Council. Mann conducted secret negotiations with Iran. Leverett traveled with Colin Powell and advised Condoleezza Rice. They each played crucial roles in formulating policy for the region leading up to the war in Iraq. But when they left the White House, they left with a growing sense of alarm -- not only was the Bush administration headed straight for war with Iran, it had been set on this course for years. That was what people didn't realize. It was just like Iraq, when the White House was so eager for war it couldn't wait for the UN inspectors to leave. The steps have been many and steady and all in the same direction. And now things are getting much worse. We are getting closer and closer to the tripline, they say.

"The hard-liners are upping the pressure on the State Department," says Leverett. "They're basically saying, 'You've been trying to engage Iran for more than a year now and what do you have to show for it? They keep building more centrifuges, they're sending this IED stuff over into Iraq that's killing American soldiers, the human-rights internal political situation has gotten more repressive -- what the hell do you have to show for this engagement strategy?' "

But the engagement strategy was never serious and was designed to fail, they say. Over the last year, Rice has begun saying she would talk to "anybody, anywhere, anytime," but not to the Iranians unless they stopped enriching uranium first. That's not a serious approach to diplomacy, Mann says. Diplomacy is about talking to your enemies. That's how wars are averted. You work up to the big things. And when U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker had his much-publicized meeting with his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad this spring, he didn't even have permission from the White House to schedule a second meeting.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Right or Left Brained?,21598,22492511-5005375,00.html?from=mostpop

uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies


uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Pumpkin Carving with the Crew

Yesterday afternoon we had a pumpkin carving party with the kids so we could decorate the Chalets and Inn. I had no clue when I jokingly suggested it how excited they would get by that idea, so off to the store we go for pumpkins and supplies (there isn't a pumpkin patch around where you can go pick your own)

Gathering in our normal place - we head out on the back deck with new Dremel tools, knives and plenty of wine. The joking started right away, the laughter a perfect music to the atmosphere with Chris in the kitchen doing what he does so well and everyone else wearing these very intense looks of concentration as they planned and carved and sculpted. I'd offered a gift certificate prize to the bookstore or Intimate Apparel shop that just opened - you can imagine what this crew unanimously decided. I just sat and watched, thoroughly enjoying everyone enjoying themselves and each other.

When we got mostly finished carving, Chris has dinner ready - a pumpkin and duck stew that he's got in baby pumpkin bowls along with a chocolate/pumpkin/pomegranate dessert that was out of this world. I was completely blown away, not so much by his cooking skills, but that he could do something some terrific out of an ingredient he doesn't like. If we could pair him up with the right crew, Iron Chef would be getting an audition video.

Chris picked the cannibal that Kelly did as the winner.

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Campfires, smoked oysters and good friends

Throw in a bottle of good wine, a very clear sky and lots of good food and conversation and you have all the makings for a fantastic night.

Will, Evan and I went camping over Fall Break on some land that Will is taking photos for to produce the sales literature for the development. We went up yesterday afternoon and got some shots of close up things they may be able to use in some ways, but overall there wasn't much to be seen that showed off the land. The streams were dried up with the drought, kudzu is still overgrowing much and the leaves haven't changed colors. The email instructions from the marketing company referenced a few shots they wanted, specifically a sunrise over Mount Pilot. Well, we rode around looking for that particular view and never could find it, so finally took a break to make camp and gather firewood around 8. Which meant it was about 10 when we finally ate, but it was worth the wait. While it would have been fun if the whole crew had gone, the three of us talked on the smaller level that wouldn't have been possible with a big crowd.

Will crashed first saying we were getting up at 4:30 to get the sunrise pictures, Evan and I tossed more wood on the fire since the temps had dropped into the mid 30's and the wind picked up - never once questioning why we were going to be waking 2 1/2 hours before sunrise. That part never dawned on either of us until Will had already gotten me up and Evan asked from the burrows of his sleeping bag just what time the sun was coming up as we were waking him. Fortunately Bella had decided that sleeping on the head of my sleeping bag was as close as she was going to be able to snuggle and I slept nice and warm.

Not to be detered, we went along as Will went scouting for the perfect shots and watched as he did some neat lighting effects with the taillights against the tall grasses. Evan and I took turns (from the warmth of the Honda) pushing brakes or flickering headlights and dozing while Will worked. On returning to camp, we fixed breakfast and I got to experience eating oatmeal with chopsticks - a highly entertaining way to have a morning meal.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I'm such a first class asshole

Angry because of the way something was handled (actually not handled) and wanting to be by myself and crank up music - so I'm being rude to someone else who's here to work and had nothing to do with it.

Ten minutes later she has something really wrong as opposed to my petty little selfish bullshit. What a reminder that my life is pretty damn charmed compared to pretty much everyone else's and here I am getting drug down on the stupid shit. Off to apologize in person...

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The illusion of democracy

“It is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts... For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it.”
-- Patrick Henry

The illusion of freedom in America will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre.
-- Frank Zappa, 1977

Free speech zones, a Federal government telling states that they can't legalize certain drugs for medicinal reasons, or even feeding the homeless is against a law now? And people are still stupid enough to claim that we live in a Christian Nation?
Man's Trial Over Feeding Homeless Begins
City Says Charity Can't Serve More Than 25 People At One Time

Fla. -- A jury was seated and opening statements were set to begin on
Monday in the trial of a man who was arrested for feeding homeless
people in Orlando.

Eric Montanez was arrested several months ago
on suspicion of serving more than 25 homeless people, which Orlando
police said violates a city ordinance forbidding large group feedings.

The ordinance states that a charity can feed up to 25 people at a time.

Montanez, the first person to be arrested under the ordinance, said he doesn't regret it."This is not about me. This is not about an iconic figure. This is about
hunger and the homeless," Montanez said. "The people are hungry. That's
the honest-to-God truth."

Where are we? How did we get here? The richest country on Earth, leader of the Free World, Greatest Nation ever..... allowed to sell it's soul for a bigger SUV and cheaper prices at WalMart

Any common sense would change that headline to Man's Trial Over; Feeding Homeless Begins

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Walking in the wee hours

I need to find an insomniac friend. Another 2 am wake up, in spite of pushing myself to stay awake later last night. Bored with reading or being online, what else is there to do? I'm sure as hell not going to turn on the TV and watch infomercials.

Go for a walk. It's late/early, it's dark. It's not going to disturb anyone. It's beautiful out there, once your eyes adjust. It's quiet and the stars are out.

Me alone with my thoughts, the ones that seem so strange sometimes until I
remember that plenty of people have different ways of looking at the
world - thankfully.

I find myself amazed again that I am comfortable alone. I can remember points in my life when I was surrounded by people, but terribly lonely.

Thinking about people, those I know and even those I don't

The little I did start to read this morning left me with the depressing thought of how many people in this world still hate one another. Mostly because they don't know each other and they've been taught or manipulated into thinking that way. Wouldn't it be great if everyone could meet each other, even if it was just once? If everyone got to sit down in some "time out" zone where they had a few minutes to confess to everyone else, with brutal honesty, the things that they kept hidden about themselves. More than focusing on our differences, most would be able to focus on our similarities. How could we judge others if we'd just told all of our own interests, no matter how taboo?

I should be tiling, there's so many projects to finish. I just don't enjoy doing that by myself. It's boring to have no one to talk to while doing something that isn't challenging enough in it's own right to keep my mind occupied. And it's not like I have ever needed much reason to procrastinate - I make it a point to tell everyone what a slacker I really am, they just don't believe me because all this stuff gets done.

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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Cemetaries and Cubicles

It was a "field trip" day - the plumbers didn't show up again and Evan & Kelly were here to work - and everything we could have done would have problems if we started before the plumbers got done. Add the much needed rain which eliminated outdoor work and we almost had a dilemma.

Coffee chat turned up that we still needed to pick out the fabric for curtains and accessories for the furniture that also remained to be selected and bought back. 15 minutes later and we're on the road to Hickory for a scavenger hunt.

The ride down the mountain discussing a book Evan's gotten at the library called Hide. Somewhere along the way, I drew the comparison between cubicle dwellers (breathing) versus the cemetery (same neat little rows, same quiet atmosphere and not much difference in attitude or productivity.

A comparison between current working conditions and pure Marxism. Which leads to more discussion about how to intentionally create that same family business atmosphere in Portland.

We hit the furniture Mart for a quick run through the Mitchell Gold outlet, several possibilities if the sizes will fit. Off to the Chinese buffet for lunch, which surprised both of them given my fondness for buffets - until I explained that Chris had taken me there before, which is the ultimate endorsement. Little piggies with chopsticks.

Off to the fabric store with Kelly firmly in the lead but her still telling Evan he had to pick out x, y and z for his chalet. Me again standing by in awe of how someone else's brains work. To see what isn't there yet, to put together colors when half of the finished product only exists in their minds.

Hit a thrift store and Hickory's ReStore to see what might be available for both the chalets and what they'll need for their Halloween costumes. Peter Pan and a court jester. So fitting on so many levels!

Then off to the wine shop since I felt like I always get to do all the fun stuff while Chris is stuck in a job he hates. Of course the suggestion is to get him a nice Oregon wine. While talking to the lady behind the counter, we decide our own private tasting is in order - so we each order a glass (based on the type wine, the grape or even the design of the label) and head outside to sit in the sunshine and taste each of them in turn. All were good, some would pair better with various meals and I need to ask Chris how to bring out the licorice that we could all find in the one.

Back on the road, we hit 3 more thrift shops before heading back up the mountain. The highlight was Kelly wrapping a chain belt around my neck and holding it like a leash. (I know at least 2 of the straight boys reading that are having some major fantasy envy over that one!) Even more embarrassing was the comment about it being long enough to loop over my (non existent) PA. Crimson would have been so low on the color palette of my face...

The night wrapped up with picking up Larry and heading over to ArtWalk where we all ran into Nick & Zack, Billy and Cassie. Just as funny was the look on Nick's face when he saw that I was wearing the chain as a necktie. Not a late night, but a very nice wrap up to a terrific day.

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The culmination of the Selfish Class

Mark Crispin Miller, the author of “The Bush Dyslexicon,” once made a striking observation: all of the famous Bush malapropisms — “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family,” and so on — have involved occasions when Mr. Bush was trying to sound caring and compassionate.

By contrast, Mr. Bush is articulate and even grammatical when he talks about punishing people; that’s when he’s speaking from the heart. The only animation Mr. Bush showed during the flooding of New Orleans was when he declared “zero tolerance of people breaking the law,” even those breaking into abandoned stores in search of the food and water they weren’t getting from his administration.

more here

After years of wondering if these people could really be that blind to the mis-fortunes of others, I guess I no longer need to speculate. Their philosophy "I got mine, fuck you" is really the only thing that fits into their mindset.

Can you imagine any of them born into a middle class family in St Louis, San Antonio or Des Moines? I'm not even suggesting the heart wrenchingly poor - simply the everyday 2.4 children having, Chevy driving, apple pie eating, baseball watching American that our marketers so love. Seriously, can you even fathom George the Dunce actually going out and doing something as routine as filling out a job application? Or trying to "put food on his family" by toiling away for others?

They really have no clue what it is like for others, no idea that such exists even in their midst. Or, in many cases, that their government and business philosophies have been a significant factor in where those people are today. Who would have ever thought that I'd be sitting here missing the Goldwater Republicans - didn't have to always agree, but never had to question their basic humanity either.

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

So the trip is a go

Airlines booked - leaving town the 5th to stay over in Charlotte and get 6something am flight to Pittsburgh, staying/speaking at The Priory , dinner with friends Tuesday night at either Eleven or Soba

Catch a 6 pm flight to Portland on Wed night, getting in around 10:30 their time. Staying a few places, but the bulk of the nights at the 4 Points on the Waterfront - Next to the MAX station, blocks away from the NorthWest Food & Wine Festival(which we had no idea was going on when we set our dates) and I have no clue where to eat - the choices are phenomenal- I'm going to really be fat by the time we get home. Chris usually does a better job picking out the food and drink, I just kick back and enjoy it.

Our last night there isn't booked yet. Part of me is leaning towards staying on a yacht on the Columbia river with a dinner cruise, another option is a revamped hotel from the 20's called Ace or maybe Northrup Station The biggest hold up right now is trying to figure how far from the airport some of those would be for an early Monday morning flight and if they hotels have any of the rooms with private bathrooms available, sharing a bathroom with anyone besides Chris just isn't in my game plan and I @#$#$3 hate hotels that don't allow online booking, c'mon people, it's 2007 for crying out loud. Most places I can do a search, book my rooms and get GPS mapping to it all within 5 minutes on my cell phone! I know, I know - it's that whole delayed gratification thing again, but the only place that ever works out good for me is orgasms.

So everything is booked and paid for, now we get to simply go and relax and explore.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Hippies 'R Us ?

Spent an hour or so on the phone with another Innkeeper last night organizing my speaking trip to PA in November. She'd heard all about the "kids" from Ashley and wanted to know more. I wound up sending her pictures and talking about how great it is to have them around, the energy levels and dedication to what they are doing and now she wants to hire a few of them to work on various projects.

Woke up this am and started trying to put together our Portland trip as a piggy back from Pittsburgh, skimming blog feeds while waiting on the various hotel and airline searches to complete including some reports about the West Coast Green conference. Which started me thinking again about what do I want to do in Portland? While I have no doubt in my ability to make a living, I have only some broad stroke ideas of what I'd like to do.

Something in sustainable development/living, something small biz scale with no more than 10 employees - I like the family business feel. Or more like employee-owners, give everyone a stake. Producing something from thrown away, or reusing something in a different manner. A blending of the practical "pays the bills" along with the creative "kindergarten fun". What if some did this full time while others worked part-time or took Sabbaticals to pursue other interests and travel?

I would imagine that sounds impossible to many reading this, but we've already created most of that here by accident, just imagine if we worked on doing it intentionally. Just last week Evan commented how it sort of took him by surprise to get a paycheck, that it doesn't normally feel like working.

After talking about making the glass for the outdoor lamps out of wine bottles last week, Ryan said to think of what else could be done with the kiln we're building. He was talking art, I instantly think business. The thought that has come to mind is hunting down the glass that is going into the recycling bins. Making tiles from it and selling them, along with using some to make mosaics, decorative borders on photo frames and mirrors, wind chimes and suncatchers. Crush some down and blend it with concrete to make countertops and sinks and tabletops. Maybe figure out a way to use all the scrap paper in the process.

Buy an old warehouse and convert it to retail/studio/living/loft/teaching space so we can 'recycle' a building. Take the building beyond green or Platinum into a "Living Building", that sustains itself. Solar & wind on the roof, net zero energy, along with a rooftop herb and vegetable garden, water catchment for irrigation, water gardens to filter the grey water, solar dehydrators to cook off the black. Materials from local sources or created on site from throw away materials. And do it at the same or lower cost than traditional building, what a model for people to see what's possible.

Billy suggested that I meet his instructor who is going to head the SD program - and also mentioned that they were developing classes in Sustainable Entrepreneurship. I think I just came up with a new business along with what courses I should be taking next semester.

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Monday, October 1, 2007

Teenage girl beaten, expelled and arrested...for dropping cake

via Feministing


This is going to ruin your day. A young woman of color in Los Angeles had her wrist broken by a school security officer after not cleaning up a piece of dropped birthday cake to his satisfaction. During the attack he said, "hold still nappy head."

The girl, 16 year-old Pleajhai Mervin, was subsequently expelled and
arrested for littering and battery. Because as you can clearly see from
the video still above, this teenage girl was battering the shit out a
full grown, beefy security guard. Uh huh.

But it gets worse. When the girl's mother went to the school to complain and rightfully demand that this guard be arrested--she was arrested and suspended from her job with the school district.

Students at the scene captured the assault on their cell phones; one such student was also beaten.

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Hiking to waterfalls

Sunday was going to be a beautiful day out and I told Chris I'd take the day off in spite of pending deadlines for way too many projects. Between Larry being gone for two weeks, parties, school, remodeling and the upcoming busy season - we were really, really overdue for some "us" time.

Decided to go down to the Wilson's Creek area in Pisgah National Forest, an area neither of us had been to yet. I'd found some info online with great comments, photos and directions call When we got there, we started down one trail and realized less than a 1/4 mile in that there was still significant damage from the fires earlier this summer, so we turned back and found another trail.

The one we wound up on was North Harper Creek #266 which was a beautiful mixture of everything - gentle hills, steep climbs, totally enclosed under the trees to sudden, surprising openings that only showed blue since there wasn't a cloud to be seen for miles. Small, quiet streams to loudly rushing water. A time to talk or not, to hold hands and enjoy one another.

Further down the trail, I hit a wet spot and do my own version of water-sliding, bruising more to my ego than my ass - but the jeans did mostly dry out in the hours we were out there.

Eventually we come to one of the slowly trickling falls that drops down into the most still, deep pool so clear you can see to the bottom. Not another soul around for who knows how many miles. One of those moments where the pressure to leave society and it's associated clothing pressures behind as you get back to nature becomes a call of nature, not to be ignored. And you reconnect in such strong form that you only realize how much you'd needed this trip afterwards. Chris was right though (big surprise there) the water really was way too cold for skinny-dipping.

Definitely an area to get some maps and take more time to explore. Both the nature of us and the nature around us. Anything that can inspire all of those emotions along with me quoting poetry is an activity we need to make more time for in our lives.

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary

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