Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Mizna Release Party

Mizna's next issue is coming out in July and The University of Minnesota bookstore kindly requested we give a reading. Here's the flier I put together for the event:

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I don't usually do fliers for the Anti-war Committee, since they have some great artists making their fliers, banners and posters. But they would tied up with plans for the Gay Pride Parade, so I put this flier together for them.

I've never tried to Salsa, but I'll try anything once. Hope it doesn't go as badly as that belly dancing class. Heh.

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Talk about Iran

A local professor will be giving a talk in July about the current tension between the U.S. and Iran. This is a flier I put together for the event.

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Busy Weekend

Saturday I did my shift at the store. In the evening, Steve Masek (see flyer below) came in to talk about his book. I can't write how ridiculously happy I am that a bookstore volunteers has gotten a book published. He even thanked the store in his acknowledgements. On top of that, he was ridiculously happy when he realized I had actually read his book and could comment on what he had to say. Fancy that!

On a side note, when I got the book I made note of the man who made the cover design. He is a local artist. I e-mailed him to tell him how much I liked the design and to invite him to the bookstore event. He wrote back saying he had not even gotten his sample yet so he didn't know the book had been published. In addition, he never hears from book writers about whether they like his designs or not. Well Steve absolutely loved the design and has agreed to e-mail the designer as soon as I pass on the e-mail. How simple is that, yet apparently not done in the world of publishing. Weird.

Today I headed downtown to march in the Gay Pride Parade. It was a lovely day, warm and sunny and breezy. I marched with the Anti-War Committee. They always have the best antiwar chants:

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell! Take your war and go to hell!"

"Racist, sexist, anti-gay'; Bush and Cheney go away!"

"Take it in the front, take it in the back, whatever you do, get out of Iraq!":

The crowd, as always, loved our message and our irreverent attitude.

After that I headed back to work to do two new leaflets. I got home for a half and hour and then headed off to a board meeting for yet another nonprofit organization.

Life is good.

Monday, June 19, 2006

About 100 people showed up on Friday to protest the war

Pictures available at Circlevision: here

Also pictures at Indymedia from kayakbiker: here.

No pretty new pictures because I didn't have time to get the signs made. Next time!

Friday, June 16, 2006

2,500 in the official U.S. death toll

A sign to mark this passing. Feel free to use this and pass it on!

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Pretty Hawks

In the past week, when I've gotten off the bus and walked the half block to my house, I've been seeing hawks flying over my house. One young Red Tail hawk seems especially fond of practicing her soaring technique directly above my house. The crows who are nesting nearby are not particularly pleased about this development. The other day I saw one of the crows repeatedly flying into the wings of the hawk. The hawk acted as if she wasn't disturbed in the least -- just flicked a feather or two. But the crow was persistent and after several minutes, the hawk altered her path just slightly to move away from the block. She was an awesome site. Here's some pics randomly chosen off the web to give you an idea of what I was seeing.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

New book coming up by ex-Twin Citian Steve Macek

Another flyer for Mayday Books. This looks like a great book!

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Friday, June 09, 2006


Fabulosa Mujer (Fabulous Woman for those not conversant in Spanish) has posted the Fifth Radical Women of Color Carnival with the theme of activism.

Read the posts. They are fascinating in the ways they expand the term "activism" to cover diverse revolutionary actions. It reminds me that I need to expand upon my own activism on this blog at some point.

But that won't be anytime real soon, so do yourself a favor and read the fabulous women who have posted at the Carnival.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Vacating, Reading and Cleaning

I've had the last few days off from work and I've spent it reading, cleaning and relaxing. This is good.

Recent reading:

The Red Tent by Anita Diamond. Had this for several years but just couldn't get into it. This time I plowed my way through it. Ho hum. This would probably be a lot more interesting to me if I had been steeped in the stories of Jacob and Joseph and needed a feminist antidote to all the testosterone. But since I haven't suffered the disease, the cure is pretty much useless. I had the same response to Ursula LeGuind's "The Mists of Avalon" -- a feminist retelling of the Authorian Tales. Since I hadn't been enthralled by King Arthur, I had no need of the feminist response. Bah!

The Day Philosophy Dies" by Casey Maddox. This is a distopian tale about a superstar who is kidnapped to help bring down the world's "addiction to Western Civilization". It is a good suspence novel, leaving us wondering what the fuck is going on half the time but wanting to read more and learn more. The climax, a sort of deep ecology distopia akin to the goals of Edward Abbey's The Monkeywrench Gang is basically kind of ... dull. Oh, well.

The Known World by Edward P. Jones is a marvelous book about freed blacks who owned slaves in the years leading up to the Civil War. All about class analysis, class collaboration and the generally fucked up world that comes from separating people into classes. The author has several ownderful techniques that imply much research and follows several plot threads through history to the present day. All of which are totally fictional. What a wonderful way to "authenticate" a story that is so very true, despite being entirely made up by the writer. Read this book.

In the Bleak Midwinter by Julia Spencer-Fleming won all kinds of awards as a first mystery novel. The main character is an episcoplian priest -- a nice switch from the norm. She is also a former Army helicopter pilot. And so very unexpectedin a lot of ways. She becomes close friends with the Chief of Police in the small town in upstate New York where she is assigned to a church. This book gives a wonderful description of male-female friendship and I love the way the two main characters communicate past their various roles in society. Gonna have to read more of these.

Yesterday I wandered through some of my favorite indepedent bookstores and I must say the Twin Cities have an abundance of good people doing good things for the world of books. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Meanwhile I am working on parts of this crazy house I call a home. Today I managed to clean up our bedroom and dig through piles of clothes I had buried over the weeks and months. Did some laundry. Did some more cleaning. Read some more.

Life is good.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rereading Beloved

Recently, The New York Times named Toni Morrison's Beloved the best book published in the past 25 years. I took that opportunity to read the book another time.

Awesome. Just awesome.

Read the book if you haven't.

Because slavery can be a concept to you that you might choose to discuss rationally. This book tells you that taking a human being as a slave is beyond barbarism. It cannot be dismissed. It ought not be discussed without an open heart and a willingness to understand pain and love.

I am so lucky to be able to read this book. Morrison shows us that choosing to see each other and treat each other as less than human has consequences that should sicken us all. It's not about blame or guilt. It's about logical consequences.

If you haven't read it, read it now. Read it often. Then read it again.