Tuesday, December 27, 2005

calendars now

that's the cover image.

here's how to order: send $12 a piece plus $2 for mailing costs to
coleen murphy
PO box 741655
new orleans, LA
or via paypal to coleen at bust dot com

here's when to order: now. the calendars will hit the postal system on thursday, december 29.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


we went to "the holiday sale for the rest of us" over a week ago. this is roughly what our experience there looked like.

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Sunday, December 18, 2005

sunday morning blues

you know, it heals a little and then it gets ripped open and is raw and it hurts and I get angry at everyone, I want everyone to drop whatever they had planned and change their lives because that's what we've had to do. and when I say I want that I'm talking about an emotional response, I'm just emoting all over the place.

nash has this sore throat, his voice is gone right now, but no fever. 40% chance of strep the clinic doctor said. and to me, the herbalist wanted to know, do you have a tendency to swallow a lot of your feelings? and I feel like saying, ask someone else. I don't seem to know myself in that regard. I think I'm putting it all out there, all the time, but then folks often end up mystified.

I just ate some udon noodles in peanut sauce made from the grit recipe except for the ingredients I was missing (sesame oil, green onions) and with the addition of broccoli and I really like it. the kids hate it. this evening I'm going to try to make african peanut stew a la rowe camp. and cookies, loads of cookies. it's time.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

words aren't working for me

my weekend in pictures, thursday morning to sunday night.

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evil now, scary now

the only bad thing about being deluged with packages from all of y'all well wishers while we were waiting things out in Natchitoches is that the volume of stuff was so huge that I wasn't able to keep track of who sent what. I think it was either cheryl or ivy who sent a copy of jonathon richman's action packed cd, and today I got to listen to it all the way through for the very first time. dude, I hadn't heard little vampire girl in YEARS. a thousand times thank you.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

to see what is beautiful

or, a mold-free photo post.

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okay, this includes the very sad destruction of my neighbor's house, but it is also beautiful. my Liam, our backyard, that mighty tree that lost a large part of itself and took a fine house (and my back fence) down in the process.

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we now take Brenna out for a walk on the levee every morning. and it's beautiful, every time.

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Nash, even huddled up and feverish, is so damned beautiful.

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what, you find no beauty in the dirty dishes? well, I do. see how they shine.
maybe you'd like to see some mold

step into my office...Image hosted by Photobucket.com

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behold my former desk.
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and my shelves full o' moldy books.
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and etc.
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this was the nursery. one of the things on the floor is the wooden dollhouse that I put together when Nash was 2.
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and then there are the classrooms, full of things that several years worth of children made and used.
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so, yeah. that's what I did saturday, for as much as I could stand anyway, taking out two shelves of books and some story baskets that had escaped unscathed, a few odds and ends of art supplies, but not much. it's hard to be there, and I don't plan to go back anytime soon. it's hard to see. and to smell. touching is out of the question.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

normal times

Liam says, holding the puppy we adopted nine days ago, "I'm glad we got the puppy. it's like normal times now that we got the puppy. well, it's not really normal times for real but I love the puppy and she loves me, I know it."

I don't make these things up. how could I? hearing that this morning I felt, more than anything, flooded with relief that I had at last made a good decision in all of this and then felt that awareness again of how I keep blaming myself, like I made this disaster my ownself. and I'm not alone in that, I keep hearing others doing it, sitting in a meeting last week, this brilliant woman across the table from me saying, "I just feel like I keep making bad decisions" and it's so, wow, how hard it is for us to get that there are things beyond our control, that we're doing the best we can in an insane situation.

this morning on npr (how I wish I could sleep past 7), the CDC says that half of us living in new orleans right now are in need of counseling. what, only half? I don't know. sometimes it feels like the best thing I can do for myself is to listen to Liam.

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the original caretaker named the puppy Brenna, and we've decided to stick with it.
last week

so I was walking across the mississippi river when an overly-coiffed white lady leaned out of her SUV to yell at me(us), "Go home!"
I was like, dude. I am home.
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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

call for submissions - the mama calendar

submissions now sought for the 2006 edition of the mama calendar!
straight outta new orleans,
against all odds, and by the seat of my pants,
the 2006 calendar will hit the presses mid-december.

the mama calendar is a community building-consciousness raising
resource by, of, about and for progressive, feminist, activist mamas
and their families, friends & allies everywhere. it is a celebration
and a call to action, a thing of beauty to last the year.

edited by coleen murphy, the calendar features a blend of
photos of mamas, babies, children, dads, and friends, as well
as a guide to mama-made zines, alternative parenting
resources, recipes, recipes for revolution, great dates in radical mama
herstory, and the work of numerous artist/activist/mamas.
recent editions have featured ayun halliday, victoria law, laurel
dykstra, sonja smith, trula breckenridge and heather cushman-dowdee, among others.

to join the ranks, send your photographs, poems, rants,
reviews, recipes, remarks, scrawls, comics, hopes, dreams and etc.
by November 21 to

coleen murphy
PO box 741655
new orleans, LA
or via email to coleen at bust.com

prints of images are preferred; digital photos must be black
& white and high resolution.

how else can you support the project? beat the mad
holiday rush and ensure the future of the mama calendar
by ordering yours today!
calendars are $12 a piece plus $2 for mailing costs
via the above mailing address or via paypal to coleen at bust.com

the 2006 calendars will be mailed out around december 15;
in the event that insufficient orders come in, all payments
will be refunded at that time.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Monday, October 10, 2005

the new orleans bookfair is ON

The New Orleans Bookfair will go on as scheduled on October 29, 2005
at Barrister's Gallery 1724 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. From 10am to
6pm. Participating publishers include Fiction Collective II, Verso,
Pelican Publishing, Last Gasp, Soft Skull, AK Press, Left Turn,
Garrett County Press, Get Lost and many more. Free. Open to the
check it out

the "many more" includes me, with copies of my zine & calendar as well as the new mamaphiles, aka the mother of all zines... be there!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

what it's like to be home

ah the weird world of wireless. just add it to the list of weird, weird things. and every day I think about how they're becoming normal to those of us who are here. like the helicopters and the red cross food truck, that chugs along with its monotone announcement, like a depressed ice cream truck.

this coffeehouse is the only game in the neighborhood - tout de suite, on alix & verret, come on by.

you know, the thing while living in exile was the endless wall of NOTHING to do; now it is an endless list of chores, I mean really, syssiphian or however it's spelled.

my friend milarsky helped me via cell phone to figure out how to get my wi-fi hookup going and he just called me to see if it was working, saying, isn't wi-fi incredible? well, yeah. and just the fact that I have a laptop is incredible, I mean, I never thought I would, not based on any objections, just, you know, money. money and everything. the generosity of my friends is incredible. and the whole concept of money gets more surreal every day now, kind of like the concept of time, heh.

this morning liam said, it's really not fair for new orleans, right? and even though we're the luckiest people in new orleans it's not even fair for us, right?

his perception is too much for me.

the kids - my kids and my neighbor's kids - the four of them altogether - are so happy to have each other, they'r getting along way better than they ever did before. the other day I had all four for ten hours at my house and it was really fine.

I wake up way too early, though, and can't get back to sleep. anxiety. unfamiliar noises and unfamiliar quiet. my neighbors at the navy base don't play reveille anymore, isn't that weird? more military than ever but they quit with reveille. now it's just helicopters and trucks, all the time. garbage trucks and moving trucks, the moving trucks make me feel so sad.

oh, mail. the mail is so weird. they started delivering mail last thursday but it's old mail, five week old mail, so far just bills. I need to write up a form letter for my creditors. I'm not kidding.

so I am lonely for mail but there's really no solution to that in sight.

you know that whole 12 step "one day at a time" thing. I'm not very 12 step savvy and I have no belief in a higher power but one day at a time is all we can handle down here.
there's no stopping the dyke march

I'm joyously passing this on!

the dyke march is on!!
re-posted, from the dykemarchnola listserv...
hope to see some of you there on saturday.. and if you want to be part of the ongoing discussion about logistics thereof, please join the dykemarchnola yahoo group by sending a blank email to: dykemarchnola-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

and stay tuned to the website, http://www.dykemarchnola.com for updates.

DM will go forward in improvised fashion!!

A bunch of us will be in New Orleans on October 8, 2005 and we'll gather at Jackson Square at 7:00 with signs, march around the quarter a bit, then spend some time together somewhere in the quarter (possibly even One Eyed Jacks--Mags says it's open). Jamie will be there with 2005 t-shirts to sell to mark our presence and sheer determination this year.

Although technically there is a 6:00 curfew, it isn't being enforced in the quarter (bars and restaurants are open), so we should be ok. In the true Dyke March tradition, we won't have a permit this year!

Please join us if you're around and bring your own signs or whatever else you'd like to bring to make a showing.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Friday, September 23, 2005

on living to tell the tale

this project is interesting: the new orleans disaster oral history & memory project

and this one has been going on for a while, but now more than ever: the neighborhood story project

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Sunday, September 18, 2005

these are some links I've found helpful & informative.

Unitarian Universalist links

http://www.swuuc.org/ the southwest district of the Unitarian Universalist Association, with links to their relief resources & efforts.

http://www.uua.org/msd/katrina.htm the midsouth district of the UUA, which includes affected areas of mississippi and alabama

http://www.uua.org/clf/ the church of the larger fellowship,
which is offering membership to all UUs from the new orleans area congregations.

links to grassroots efforts & connections in & around new orleans

http://www.foodnotbombs.net/katrina.html food not bombs is in new orleans & feeding people!

http://www.neworleansnetwork.org/ keeping in touch as activists

http://neworleans.indymedia.org/ staying informed

http://www.commongroundrelief.org/ common ground has a clinic and more set up in algiers

http://www.vfproadtrips.org/ veterans for peace have a camp in covington and are getting
food & supplies to people all over the area

http://michaelmoore.com/mustread/covington.php michael moore is working with the
vfp & has lots of good info, pictures, links...

http://ccfm.standardemail.com/phpBB2/ check in with the crescent city farmers market community
happy birthday

to me... I'm 37 today. I was just looking at the new orleans indy media site and checking out these images of my neighborhood, and feeling really hopeful. I learned yesterday that my house is intact, and the power is on, but it means more to me to see that things, positive things, are happening nearby, and that there is work for me to do there, work that is within my capabilities.

yesterday afternoon when I heard jill, who runs the coffeehouse at alix & verret, on npr, talking about how she feels and what she's doing (cleaning up, sharing coffee), that also gave me a surge of hope but more than that it was just great to hear her voice.

it's not like I'm not still grieving, and it's not like I'm not worried about the way the after-aftermath might go, in terms of those of us with little to no financial resources getting nosed right outta town... but for right now it feels really possible to go home soon and do what I can.

not tommorrow! probably not next week at all. I'm cautious about the water and air situation for my children and myself. but soon. october feels very possible.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

language that we use

so it's weird - but nice! - to see my email to ariel posted on her journal.
I see that I used the word "refugee" which just last night on the news I learned is offending some people, the connotations. I was taking a literal approach and not considering cultural context much. It sounds like it's a huge issue for some people and I'm not going to use it in print anymore for the time being.
love from the library, coleen
home is where the library is

the kids got library cards here this morning. as usual, liam is our ambassador, being the one of us with the elevated social skills. he is capable of calmly and somewhat cheerfully stating, "we live in new orleans - and you know what happened there, right? so we need new library cards."

we are struggling, emotionally, you know, but we are okay. I want to emphasize that we really are okay, and our needs are being met. also, the rest of my family are okay, and my parents are working on their damaged home in mississippi. they have lost a lot of stuff, but they are okay.

also, I want to share this:

Notes From Inside New Orleans

by Jordan Flaherty

Friday, September 2, 2005

I just left New Orleans a couple hours ago. I traveled from the apartment I was staying in by boat to a helicopter to a refugee camp. If anyone wants to examine the attitude of federal and state officials towards the victims of hurricane Katrina, I advise you to visit one of the refugee camps.

In the refugee camp I just left, on the I-10 freeway near Causeway, thousands of people (at least 90% black and poor) stood and squatted in mud and trash behind metal barricades, under an unforgiving sun, with heavily armed soldiers standing guard over them. When a bus would come through, it would stop at a random spot, state police would open a gap in one of the barricades, and people would rush for the bus, with no information given about where the bus was going. Once inside (we were told) evacuees would be told where the bus was taking them - Baton Rouge, Houston, Arkansas, Dallas, or other locations. I was told that if you boarded a bus bound for Arkansas (for example), even people with family and a place to stay in Baton Rouge would not be allowed to get out of the bus as it passed through Baton Rouge. You had no choice but to go to the shelter in Arkansas. If you had people willing to come to New Orleans to pick you up, they could not come within 17 miles of the camp.

I traveled throughout the camp and spoke to Red Cross workers, Salvation Army workers, National Guard, and state police, and although they were friendly, no one could give me any details on when buses would arrive, how many, where they would go to, or any other information. I spoke to the several teams of journalists nearby, and asked if any of them had been able to get any information from any federal or state officials on any of these questions, and all of them, from Australian tv to local Fox affiliates complained of an unorganized, non-communicative, mess. One cameraman told me “as someone who’s been here in this camp for two days, the only information I can give you is this: get out by nightfall. You don’t want to be here at night.”

There was also no visible attempt by any of those running the camp to set up any sort of transparent and consistent system, for instance a line to get on buses, a way to register contact information or find family members, special needs services for children and infirm, phone services, treatment for possible disease exposure, nor even a single trash can.

To understand the dimensions of this tragedy, its important to look at New Orleans itself.

For those who have not lived in New Orleans, you have missed a incredible, glorious, vital, city. A place with a culture and energy unlike anywhere else in the world. A 70% African-American city where resistance to white supremacy has supported a generous, subversive and unique culture of vivid beauty. From jazz, blues and hiphop, to secondlines, Mardi Gras Indians, Parades, Beads, Jazz Funerals, and red beans and rice on Monday nights, New Orleans is a place of art and music and dance and sexuality and liberation unlike anywhere else in the world.

It is a city of kindness and hospitality, where walking down the block can take two hours because you stop and talk to someone on every porch, and where a community pulls together when someone is in need. It is a city of extended families and social networks filling the gaps left by city, state and federal governments that have abdicated their responsibility for the public welfare. It is a city where someone you walk past on the street not only asks how you are, they wait for an answer.

It is also a city of exploitation and segregation and fear. The city of New Orleans has a population of just over 500,000 and was expecting 300 murders this year, most of them centered on just a few, overwhelmingly black, neighborhoods. Police have been quoted as saying that they don’t need to search out the perpetrators, because usually a few days after a shooting, the attacker is shot in revenge.

There is an atmosphere of intense hostility and distrust between much of Black New Orleans and the N.O. Police Department. In recent months, officers have been accused of everything from drug running to corruption to theft. In separate incidents, two New Orleans police officers were recently charged with rape (while in uniform), and there have been several high profile police killings of unarmed youth, including the murder of Jenard Thomas, which has inspired ongoing weekly protests for several months.

The city has a 40% illiteracy rate, and over 50% of black ninth graders will not graduate in four years. Louisiana spends on average $4,724 per child’s education and ranks 48th in the country for lowest teacher salaries. The equivalent of more than two classrooms of young people drop out of Louisiana schools every day and about 50,000 students are absent from school on any given day. Far too many young black men from New Orleans end up enslaved in Angola Prison, a former slave plantation where inmates still do manual farm labor, and over 90% of inmates eventually die in the prison. It is a city where industry has left, and most remaining jobs are are low-paying, transient, insecure jobs in the service economy.

Race has always been the undercurrent of Louisiana politics. This disaster is one that was constructed out of racism, neglect and incompetence. Hurricane Katrina was the inevitable spark igniting the gasoline of cruelty and corruption. From the neighborhoods left most at risk, to the treatment of the refugees to the the media portrayal of the victims, this disaster is shaped by race.

Louisiana politics is famously corrupt, but with the tragedies of this week our political leaders have defined a new level of incompetence. As hurricane Katrina approached, our Governor urged us to “Pray the hurricane down” to a level two. Trapped in a building two days after the hurricane, we tuned our battery-operated radio into local radio and tv stations, hoping for vital news, and were told that our governor had called for a day of prayer. As rumors and panic began to rule, they was no source of solid dependable information. Tuesday night, politicians and reporters said the water level would rise another 12 feet - instead it stabilized. Rumors spread like wildfire, and the politicians and media only made it worse.

While the rich escaped New Orleans, those with nowhere to go and no way to get there were left behind. Adding salt to the wound, the local and national media have spent the last week demonizing those left behind. As someone that loves New Orleans and the people in it, this is the part of this tragedy that hurts me the most, and it hurts me deeply.

No sane person should classify someone who takes food from indefinitely closed stores in a desperate, starving city as a “looter,” but that's just what the media did over and over again. Sheriffs and politicians talked of having troops protect stores instead of perform rescue operations.

Images of New Orleans’ hurricane-ravaged population were transformed into black, out-of-control, criminals. As if taking a stereo from a store that will clearly be insured against loss is a greater crime than the governmental neglect and incompetence that did billions of dollars of damage and destroyed a city. This media focus is a tactic, just as the eighties focus on “welfare queens” and “super-predators” obscured the simultaneous and much larger crimes of the Savings and Loan scams and mass layoffs, the hyper-exploited people of New Orleans are being used as a scapegoat to cover up much larger crimes.

City, state and national politicians are the real criminals here. Since at least the mid-1800s, its been widely known the danger faced by flooding to New Orleans. The flood of 1927, which, like this week’s events, was more about politics and racism than any kind of natural disaster, illustrated exactly the danger faced. Yet government officials have consistently refused to spend the money to protect this poor, overwhelmingly black, city. While FEMA and others warned of the urgent impending danger to New Orleans and put forward proposals for funding to reinforce and protect the city, the Bush administration, in every year since 2001, has cut or refused to fund New Orleans flood control, and ignored scientists warnings of increased hurricanes as a result of global warming. And, as the dangers rose with the floodlines, the lack of coordinated response dramatized vividly the callous disregard of our elected leaders.

The aftermath from the 1927 flood helped shape the elections of both a US President and a Governor, and ushered in the southern populist politics of Huey Long.

In the coming months, billions of dollars will likely flood into New Orleans. This money can either be spent to usher in a “New Deal” for the city, with public investment, creation of stable union jobs, new schools, cultural programs and housing restoration, or the city can be “rebuilt and revitalized” to a shell of its former self, with newer hotels, more casinos, and with chain stores and theme parks replacing the former neighborhoods, cultural centers and corner jazz clubs.

Long before Katrina, New Orleans was hit by a hurricane of poverty, racism, disinvestment, deindustrialization and corruption. Simply the damage from this pre-Katrina hurricane will take billions to repair.

Now that the money is flowing in, and the world’s eyes are focused on Katrina, its vital that progressive-minded people take this opportunity to fight for a rebuilding with justice. New Orleans is a special place, and we need to fight for its rebirth.

Jordan Flaherty is a union organizer and an editor of Left Turn Magazine (www.leftturn.org). He is not planning on moving out of New Orleans.


Below are some small, grassroots and New Orleans-based resources, organizations and institutions that will need your support in the coming months.

Social Justice:

Cultural Resources:

Current Info and Resources:

Friday, September 02, 2005


I want to say, to people sending letters, packages, positive thoughts:

it all really helps and I deeply thank you.

we are very fortunate and well situated in that we have a house in which we can stay indefinitely, we have electricity, we have clothes to wear, we have toiletries, we have food, we have drinking water.

we are, like most (all?) evacuees, without income, but we are applying for aid from the state and we are for the moment not in need, you know? I won't be afraid to say so if our situation changes, I promise.

but letters and packages are wonderful, they really brighten up the day for me, and especially for my kids. we are all feeling intense emotional strain and hearing from friends helps us with that.

so again, thank you. and if you have a pile of money, please give some to the red cross.

I can't even begin to express my feelings of disbelief, horror, rage and grief at what is still happening in new orleans and nearby. it is overwhelming.

friends, you can email me for my mailing address at coleen at bust dot com.

finally, if you are a fellow hurricane evacuee in the Natchitoches, LA area, or know someone who is, please email me.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I'm okay

greetings from the natchitoches (it's pronounced NACK-idesh) parish library, where I'm using a stand up computer station because all the ones with chairs are taken. I'm lucky to have access to a computer at all, just like I'm lucky to be staying in my uncle's house in natchitoches instead of at a shelter, just like I'm lucky to have made it out of new orleans on sunday.

it's kind of amazing how hard it is for me to relax and write while standing up. I am overwhelmed by all of this, all of this, you know, the unanswered and unanswerable questions like, when can I go home and do I have a home, are all of my loved ones safe, I don't know, I just don't know, and, it's a lot like my feelings of september 2001, I have worries about my friends and family members and concerns for my own safety and uncertain future and then I am caught up in a massive guilt attack because I am so lucky, I am alive and housed, clothed and fed, I am here, I am somewhere.

this is all like nothing else I've known, it's all incredible.

it was 12 hours to drive the 280 miles from my door to the front door of the house we're in, it's right on the cane river, beautiful and weird.

Friday, July 15, 2005


so, on a weekend when I have no childcare and only money enough for bus fare around town, the kids and I will be harry pottering it up, first at octavia books for tonight's party, and then tomorrow, after spending the night with a friend uptown, we'll hit the festivities at my favorite store in new orleans, maple street books.

I don't have any cash to drop on the latest book, or anything else, but hey. nash and liam are hyped up to put on their wizarding robes and see some friends, I am hyped up to get out of the house.

when we get home, we'll listen to the annual joke show of prairie home companion! come on, what a weekend!

Thursday, July 14, 2005


the coroner's report is finally in; ariel gore shares the news and her thoughts.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

ants and others

while nick was here he got some kind of bite on his ankle, he kept mentioning it, I guess it was freaking him out, and it happened, he said, the moment that he stepped out of the van, so it began his less than ideal new orleans experience, and then we had the termites swarming and the bees buzzing and all of that. he kept calling it a spider bite, but when he showed it to me just before he left it looked like an ant bite to me. he said, do they always puff up into zitty things like that and I said, well, yeah. can it be that they don't have fire ants in massachusetts? I don't know, but I, who have had a lifetime of ant bites, am now sporting over fifty (count'em) painfully puffed up zitty things on my right leg, and a few scattered elsewhere, as a result of an anthill mishap at the fireworks last night. yeah it really hurts and it's hideous, too.
hope you're feeling better, nick...

today is a kid-free day and I am going to watch panic room, gods & monsters, and il postino. last night I couldn't stay awake during the second half of talk to her, maybe it was the benadryl, which I'd never taken before, or just leftover exhaustion, but I was unmotivated to watch the rest of it over again this morning because, honestly, I found it unenjoyably disturbing and if anyone would like to explain to me what happened in the end please do.

and we have a tropical storm, which, now that the larder is stocked, thrills me. come on, show me what you've got.
You are John Ashbery
You are John Ashbery. People love your work but
have no idea why, really. You are respected by
all kinds of scholars and poets. Even artists
like you.

Which Famous Modern American Poet Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, July 01, 2005

can't be unthunk

I spent ten days in fort worth, texas. there were good times and bad. liam got sick from the gnarly fort worth air and is still recovering, double ear infection & eye infection. nash had a blast at the kid's camp. I stayed busy through good and bad times at the uu general assembly and cursed the lack of rainclouds. and through it all, alli was on my mind, a little each day. now that I'm home and it's quiet and rainy and the termites are still very much in charge of this house, alli is front and center in my thoughts again. it's not something I can run away from.

I was touched by ariel gore's account of her experience of attending alli's funeral. also, I appreciate this obit from austin:

From the Austin Chronicle:
by Abe Louise Young
It is with great sadness that we recognize the passing of Allison Noelle Crews, born Aug. 26, 1982. Hip mama extraordinaire, lesbian, writer, and activist, Allison was the longtime editor and producer of www.girlmom.com. Raised in an evangelical Christian home, Allison grew up in a family active in Operation Rescue. She birthed her son Cade at age 15, refused continual pressure to give him up for adoption, and became a powerful activist. Her story 'When I Was Garbage' describes her experiences as a pregnant teen. Allison was named one of Top 30 Under 30 Activists for Choice by Choice USA in 2003. Crews wrote, 'To radically accept and defend a woman's right to choose, we must acknowledge the multiple ways that women come to make reproductive choices. By marginalizing teenage mothers, even within the feminist community, we are failing to recognize the realities of countless women and their children.' In addition to her work as an activist, Alli had essays in the anthology Breeder: Real Life Stories From the New Generation of Mothers edited by Ariel Gore, worked at BookWoman, and attended Austin Community College. She was a heroine who found her voice within struggle, and inspired countless young women across the nation. Allison died in her home in Austin on Saturday, June 11, 2005. We grieve the loss of a young, fiery mama whose pain persisted though she worked to heal others. We honor her dedicated spirit and wish her the deepest peace. Donations to support her son can be sent by Paypal to girlmom@gmail.com. The Chronicle offers its deepest condolences to Crews' friends and family, who will honor her memory in services at the Presbyterian Church of Fallbrook, Calif., on Saturday, June 18, 1pm

Friday, June 17, 2005


I just pulled my contributor's copy of Mamaphiles #2: Cutting the Cord out of its envelope. and it's awesome! it's beautiful. I'm sorry that I didn't have the foresight to arrange for bringing a whole stack of them to the southern girls convention with me. but whatever, whatever, whatever.
I have to finish packing, dye my hair, go to the library, bank, post office, etc...
I'm off.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

allison crews

I got a call sunday night, a local friend wanted me to hear it from a real human voice that alli had died over the weekend. I'm sick and sad and angry and thinking of everyone out there who loved alli, of all of her friends and family, and most of all her partner, stepson and son, cade.

here is a post from ariel gore:

The community is heartbroken with the news that Allison Crews, fierce
maternal activist and longtime editor of girlmom.com, has passed away.
She was 22 years old.

Her mom, Kim, asks you to light a candle for Alli.

And to do something in her name. A few suggestions from Girlmom are: Go
back to school, leave a shitty relationship, fall in love, start a
movement, be a kickass mom, get to know the young mama down the block .
. .

For the next issue of Hip Mama, if you have notes, tributes, pictures
or stories about Alli--whether you knew her personally or simply
through her work--please send them my way (even if you've already
posted them online). You can email them to me or snail-mail to Hip
Mama, P.O. Box 12525, Portland, OR 97212. Unless you need them back,
I'll send the originals to Alli's mom for Cade.

A funeral and several memorials and benefits are being planned around
the country. If you'd like information on those, please let me know and
I will make sure you are in the loop as I get details.

The cause of Allison's death is not known right now.

This is from Kim Crews:

Alli's legacy is one hurt person mended at a time. A woman who says to
herself "Yes, I can." Because someone not only said she could, but
stood with her like Allison did. Injecting strength and hope and
bravery into the sad tired heart.

A beautiful mom holding a beautiful baby . . . . her chin up and the
sun shining on her face, smiling and happy. Because she knew she had
Alli on her side.

A legacy written on living hearts. That continues when love flows from
the mommies she loved to the babies and the babies grow strong. And
they love others.

She wanted to change the world.

Safety and enough for all and happiness.

She did her part well.

Please keep me and Cade and Glen and her sister in your best thoughts.
And pray.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

check in

it's been a wacky three weeks. feeling anxious, jumpy, afflicted, plagued, even.

I've been really affected by a shooting that happened in my neighborhood, that was kind of the beginning. everything else pales in comparison. termites swarming in my bedroom, repeatedly. a four day migraine. yellowjackets taking over my backyard. termites swarming in my front room. termites just completely taking over. having a hard time hanging on to my sanity, watching my friends struggle to do the same.

but right this very second, one of my all time favorite songs is playing in the next room: if you want it by badfinger. that might not even be the actual name of the song. you know what I mean. I love that song. that song is the best days of my childhood. yay.

summer is just around the corner and I can't wait to get out of town.
where the dykes are

I'm going to the queer film fest friday night, to see this program (description write-up by mags):

10pm: Where The Dykes Are - This is the buzz-worthy dyke program of the weekend, with "Michigan Fever" starting it off (about the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival - it still gives me goose bumps after repeated viewings), and "Where The Girls Are" (about the Dinah Shore lesbian extravaganza weekend) sandwiched in the middle. Both are great little short documentaries that are well done and engaging tributes to these humongous lesbian events. And then one of our programming coups of the weekend, "The D Word," a Dyke TV-originated spoof of The L Word set in Brooklyn, featuring more dykes who look like real dykes and an actual butch! Yay! Stars comedians Marga Gomez and Julie Goldman, who should be familiar to most.


I don't think I'll get home from work in time to go to the reception beforehand, or be in any way connected enough to get invited to an after-party, but input on what I should wear is always appreciated regardless...

Monday, May 30, 2005

rainy days and mondays

rainy days don't always get me down, actually. my only trouble with rainy days is how cranky they make everyone else. anyway. today is hard. here is a quiz.

Friday, May 20, 2005

bookish people's meme

from just about everyone, but especially kateadelle)

1. Total Number of Books in My House:
OK. approximately 700 plus 190 kid's books. I counted all of the kid's books and one section of my own, and then multiplied it by ten (as the total of equitable stacks or shelves is 10...).

2. Last Book Bought: I very rarely buy books. think, think, think. oh! when I was in brooklyn in january I bought The Lovely Bones for $3 because I needed train reading.

3. Last Book Read: I just finished uh... Termination Dust by Sue Henry. it's an alaskan mystery, the one with the trooper who is in love with the sled dog racer. or musher. whatever. I'm in the middle of What You Owe Me and also another alsaka mystery by John Straley, who writes the ones with the troubled, alcoholic private eye living in Sitka. I've always been romantically attached to Sitka.

4. Five or Six books I've Read That Mean a Lot to Me:
Crime & Punishment
Rubyfruit Jungle
Cat's Eye
Franny & Zooey
Harriet the Spy
okay, okay, I'll stop...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

shrunken road trip

I thought I might go to atlanta today. I'm not. I'm going to mississippi and then coming home. okay.

It 's comforting to say that 'practice makes perfect'....
You are 'Gregg shorthand'. Originally designed to
enable people to write faster, it is also very
useful for writing things which one does not
want other people to read, inasmuch as almost
no one knows shorthand any more.

You know how important it is to do things
efficiently and on time. You also value your
privacy, and (unlike some people) you do not
pretend to be friends with just everyone; that
would be ridiculous. When you do make friends,
you take them seriously, and faithfully keep
what they confide in you to yourself.
Unfortunately, the work which you do (which is
very important, of course) sometimes keeps you
away from social activities, and you are often
lonely. Your problem is that Gregg shorthand
has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Saturday, April 23, 2005


is being damn near intolerable this evening, but this morning he totally made my day by marching around the house saying:

I'm the president of the united states, everyone listen to me! I'm president of the united states, everyone listen to me! actually, my mother is the president of the united states, but she lets me assist her sometimes, so everyone listen to me!

Thursday, April 14, 2005

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Sibling Main Gauche of Loving Kindness.

Get yours.

but let us not forget

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother/Sister Flaming Cricket Bat of Patient Non-Dualism. What's yours?

hafta share that yesterday morning nash and I were snuggling in bed and he told me his dream, which was that:
he was at my parents' house and someone knocked on the door and it was "the tall, skinny guy with the glasses from freaks and geeks" (bill!) and then when nash opened the door wide, he could see "all of the other characters" were standing on the porch, too.



my weekend in fort worth was an adventure in not being able to find a whole lot of food that I could eat. but otherwise, things were good.

I like the unitarian jihad thing. I had to let it sink in.

here is an american language meme. I mostly talk like a yankee. I already knew. they started influencing me a long, long time ago.

Your Linguistic Profile:

60% General American English

30% Yankee

10% Dixie

0% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

right now

Nash is reading The Phantom Tollbooth out loud to himself. Yesterday he read from 8 in the morning until just before midnight, only taking breaks to eat and use the bathroom, and finished volume I of The Secrets of Droon, one of the sevreal books he was given for his birthday.

Liam is hammering nails into a piece of wood, while singing this (very broadway show-ish) song of his own creation:

I am going to survive
I am going to survive
because I want to!
because I talk to!
I am going to survive
I am going to survive
they want to hurt me!
they want to curt me!
I am going to survive
I am going to survive

Monday, March 28, 2005

everybody knows

moving is hell. even nearly a month later. it still sucks.

but, read this:

Seventh Annual Southern Girls Convention
June 17-19, 2005
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The Southern Girls Convention is an annual grassroots meeting for
networking, organizing, educating, agitating, and activism, devoted to
empowering women and girls in the South and furthering the struggle
for social justice. Each year's convention is hosted by a different
Southern community and facilitated by local organizers. Past
conventions have brought together hundreds of folks in Memphis,
Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Auburn, Alabama; Athens, Georgia; and
Asheville, North Carolina.

This year's convention will be heading as deep South as you can get:
Southern Girls Convention invites activists from across the country to
meet in BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA on the weekend of June 17-19, 2005.
Hundreds of activists will meet for discussion, action, and
entertainment devoted to building pro-woman community in the South.

Southern Girls Convention is based around discussions, workshops, and
presentations which give participants the opportunity to share skills,
share ideas, discuss important issues, organize campaigns, and have
fun as a ommunity. All workshops are organized and facilitated *by the
participants themselves*--that means *you*!. Other events will include
a talk by Southern bi feminist musician MAGDALEN HSU-LI, an "un-shop"
swap meet, nightly music shows, and tables for participants and
organizations to display information, zines, art, and things they have

SGC also allows hundreds of activists from across the country to meet,
network, strategize, and organize in their efforts on behalf of social
justice. Feel free to bring video projects, zines, writing, and
anything you are interested in sharing to the convention.

Past workshops have included:

* Group discussions on fatphobia, abortion rights and access, radical
parenting, "100 Years of Revolutionary Wimmin," the criminalization of
women, "Queer and Trans Youth in the South," gender bias in schools,
sexism in the activist community, "Marginalization and Tokenization
within the Grrrl Movement," roles and strategies for boys in the
struggle against male supremacy, and "Radical, Southern, and All Fired
Up--Where Do We Go From Here?"

* Skill-sharing on radical cheerleading, community access television,
gun safety and self-defense, workplace union organizing, screen
printing, sexercises, Internet organizing, and how to start a
consciousness-raising group.

* Organizing meetings for campaigns from Amnesty International, the
Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and Planned Parenthood, and
state-by-state caucuses for people to meet fellow organizers in their
own area.

E-mail: SGC'05 Organizers: organizers@southerngirlsconvention.org

Thursday, March 10, 2005

sunday in new orleans

this is where I'll be if my kids are recovered from their horrible, pitiful, debilitating bronchitis by then:

Everyone is invited to the 2nd annual

International Women's Day Festival

om Sunday, March 13


at the Blue Nile on Frenchmen St.

The festival will feature music, dance, poetry, speeches, vendors,
resources, and local women's info.

See you there and please spread the word.

Organized by the New Orleans Women's Studies Consortium, a group of
local women's studies practitioners and local feminists who seek to
bring the work of women's studies and the message of feminism to the
New Orleans community.

Thursday, February 24, 2005


nash's first grocery list!


who can decifer it?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

the post-mardi gras sniffles

the cold that got so many people during carnival didn't hit me til the friday after. and it's still going strong. but, look. this was us last tuesday.