Friday, September 30, 2005

I'd really prefer not to pay Taxes



Dear American Government:

I'm writing this letter in response the the incredibly large sum you felt the need to extract from my measily pay check. After recovering from the shock of what deductions truely meant, having worked as a freelancer for most of my adult life, I decided there was realy only one proper response.

I'd like to inform you, that I no longer wish to pay taxes.

I understand that taxes do serve a purpose, that they are extracted to pay for items such as governemnt programs, and road building, yadadadda. But there is one, large, very expensive government program that I no longer wish my tax payer dollars to pay for:

War.

Its come to my understanding that we are spending millions to "bring Democracy" to a region of the world via guns and bombs, which realy seems to be a strange method of "speading freedom" unless its to liberate the earth from human beings, which the American Govermenment seems to be very good at. It is also my understanding that these tax dollars you have robbed me of aren't even paying for th armor that keeps our soldiers alive: aparently parents are paying $100s of dollars to keep thier kids safe, leaving me to wonder what happens to the poor soldiers who can't afoard body armor. This is a form of hypocracy I no longer wish to support.

I'd like my $300.00 back.

Unless you were planning to use that money to help rebuild New Orleans and provide aid to the people of the Gulf States. But considering FEMA is drowning in its own Red Tape, the Red Cross has become a money hole, and small, non-profit grassroots organizations are the ones providing aid; I doubt that's were my money is going. I just had some friends return from Baton Rouge, assuring me that help was needed and the Red Cross was indeed turning away the help offered.

So were is my $300 going?

Is going to the thousands of people without health insurance, including myself? What about the health clinics that are underfunded and understaffed? What about the nonexistant public housing that is being torn down to make way for high priced condos in New York? Please help me out here....I'm just a little curious as to what you're doing with my money. $300 may not seem like a lot to you, US Government, but to the homeless man sleeping outside my building and the family digging for cans in my trash, I'm sure it would mean a lot.

If you are going to insist on taking this money, I'd at least like a say in were it goes, Personally. On a one on one basis. In fact, when you get a chance, call me and we can discuss this matter. And While you have the phone, Call Cindy as well. I hear she wants to talk to the big guy in charge over there.

If you are unable to locate me, its because I've moved to a hippy commun out in the woods, were we grow our own food, weave our own clothes and live in Peace.

That's all anyone wants. Peace.
And a refund.

Sincerly,

Free-Bird Windsong.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Yeah. Sure. I had. A ________Time.



I feel as though it must be wicked sense of self punishment that keeps me going on these semi-blind internet dates. Its the need to be PROACTIVE (said with fist in the air) and proclaim my independence as a WOMYN (said with fist quivering uncertainly in the air). I don't need to dress up in hochie clothes and show up at a bar to get a date. (Or a bad evening ending in a one night stand.) I am going to select my date from a list of somewhat boring and unattractive pictures. Many of which are airbrushed headshots, assuring that an evening with "Chad_Im_me_at_Chadisrad" would probably be an enriching evening of hearing all about Chad's self discoveries during his character work in "class."

I'm looking about as forward to my upcoming date with Mr. Witty as a trip to a Bronx Emergancy room with a 3 year old that can't stop puking. That's rather discriptive isn't it? I'm sure Mr. Witty will smell much better than the 3 year old.

Perhaps its my past track record with these "sites" that have caused me to become so cycnical. There was Mr. Heavy Metal, who couldn't discuss his ex girlfriend without cussing...which he did....often. Mr. Clean, who, well, looked like Mr. Clean, only not as attractive. Quiet Asian guy, who spoke volumes in e-mail, but not a single word in person. I had high hopes for the Yogi, who seemed to be very together and down to earth....so much so that I took an unexpected trip to Jersery, then never heard from him again. I suppose he's "oming" on a mountain somewere. The Beer Promter actually lasted a good month before I realized he was a pudgy, rude, over grown frat boy and my self-esteem was actually plumeting with every date. Opps. I actually took some advice from "THAT BOOK" "Your self-esteem may be harder to find than a new boyfriend, so plan accordingly." Thanks BOOK.

**Please not that "THAT BOOK" is "He's Just Not That Into You." which I am in no way recomending, nor discouraging the reading of. It will be refered to from this point forward as THAT BOOK

When marching with my fellow sisters in pink, I feel....empowered. Put Womyn in charge, and we will nurture the world. Anger pushes my voice, keeps my feet moving. Anger at another "dumb bosses war." At a government full of old, white men deciding our fate. Anger at the attorneys who pat me on the head at work and hand me thier coats. My anger is an explosion of pink that will tint the world.

I come home alone to my cat, put down my pink hat.....and wonder what kind of life I am marching towards.

I am proactive in my activism.
I am proactive in my future as a graduate student.
I am proactive.... in my love life?

I am tired of being proactive because its not working, not in my personal life, which really, doesn't amount to much right now.

So yes, Mr. Witty. I will go out with you on Saturday night. Just don't expect a ticker tape parade in your honor.

I'm feeling a bit cycnical

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Angels in Pink



It was the kind of weekend that you try to memorize as you are walking through it.
The mental note that you are activly creating a moment in history that someday, you will tell your kids with pride. The day you marched with 300,000 people against the war, and the sense of hope that filled the air.

It was an extradinary weekend. My self and my activist buddy took a buss down to DC the night before, armed with food and phone numbers, we had a virtual activist kit going. You learn things after being arrested, such as writing every vital phone number on your legs with sharpies.

We marched with Code Pink, women for peace; our sisters in pink. I was proud to be apart of this dynamic group of women. I felt like we were a fource in pink, this contingent that screamed unity in our colors and voices.

Where were myself and my buddy? Were we.....in the back? Nope. Were we.....somewere in the middle of that pink contingent? Nope. How about holding the banner? Almost. We were up front. The very front, the head of the pink march if you will, doing what it is we always seem to do. Acting as chant cheerleads and directing the marchers around corners.

It felt good. No. It felt amazing.

There were these girls about our age with megaphones, starting chants. We jumped in as chant leaders, expanding every ounce of energy we had, screaming until our voices were gone and throats sore. We can't help it. We're just naturally loud. And....we looked like freaks, which is always good for being a photo opp, which we were. I lost count of how many times we posed for pictures. My comrad in pink pictured above in angel wings was a particulary good photo opp. We discovered that dressing like pink freaks automatically made us Cindy Sheehan's keepers. All day people asked us were she was, as though we were in charge of her agenda. We were also asked what time the march started, were certain contingents were in the march, and if we were selling Code Pink merchandise. They should have armed us with buttons and shirts; we would have made Code Pink a fortune.

I loved being a pink represenative. People spontanously hugged us and proclaimed thier love for Code Pink. One woman approached my friend in the angel wings, and asked were Cindy was. This woman held herself rigidly, as though she might burst into tears at the slightest drop of her shoulders. A sense of purpouse radiated out of her.

"My son came back, but he didn't" She said. "He's suffering from post tramatic stress disorder and has tried to kill himself 3 times." She wanted to thank Cindy, and let her know she was with her. We told this woman we were with her, that we were all with her and her son was in our thoughts. We gave her a pink arm band, a show of solidarity with the ladies in pink. I saw her marching with us, yelling out the chants, drawing from the wall of female energy that radiated from our section of the march. People clapped and screamed whenever we turned a corner, I'm told you could hear us coming.....you could feel us coming.....if you took an arial photo you could probably see us coming......the pink blob next to the White House. That was us.

Later that day we attended the concert, heard Sweet Honey and the Rock and other amazing bands. We danced, posed for pictures, danced, posed for pictures....you get the idea. We danced with a little girl with Downs Syndrome. She was in awe of my friend's angel wings. She was given a pink bow, something she was so proud of she had to show everyone around her. "all these people are going to stop the war" she whispered.

And I beleived her.

At that moment in time, in that march, with 300,000 of my fellow human beings, with 100s of my fellow women in pink, it really felt like we were going to stop the war with our voices and our energy. This wall of hope would wash over the White House and the lawn would turn pink.

Its a shame we never really made it into the press. Funny how the press covered the 300 pro-war protestors who claimed to be the majority, and not the 300,000 anti-war protestors who were the majority. Its those numbers alone that give me hope and will keep me in the streets.

I march because it gives me hope. Because it gives others hope. Because people I didn't know were hugging me and thanking me for being there.

I dress up like a pink freak, because it gives others hope and if wearing a pink boa and sparkly skirt is what it takes.....

Then you can call me the lady in pink.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Back off, I'm trying to sleep........



Why do you insist on harrasing me in this way? Can't you see that I am trying to sleep? I just finished arranging the avalanche of reports into a semi-compfortable pillow, do you know how long that took me? There's really no need for you to look at me like that. I have the phone on flash mode. Once I woke up, I would have seen that you had tried to call by the blinking light.

I got plenty of work done last night before I left the office. I really don't see were the notion that I am "slacking off" is coming from. I see it as a matter of time management. I think that I should be able to sleep during this time, and you don't. Obviously the mental and physical health of your employees is not a major concern for you. I wasn't able to obtain enough sleep last night because the prostitues outside my window were screaming at eachother about who had a right the work the block. I opened my window and told them to shut the fuck up, but my cries were not heeded. I almost managed a good solid 3 hours of sleep, when the frat boys behind me decided it was band practice time, the construction workds decided it was work time and gun shots were echoing up the street. If you paid me a decent living wage so I could afoard to not live kitty corner to the projects, I would not be trying to sleep right now. So if you will excuse me, I need to get a least a good hour and half in before I get ready to go to my second job.

Yeah that's what I thought. Do me a favor and dim the lights when you leave, its a bit bright in here, and see what you can do about that air conditioning; I'm freezing. Send me an e-mail about what ever it was you wanted tomorrow. I'll check it while I eat breakfast and read the morning paper.

Night..........

Monday, September 12, 2005

But its MY pink boa

"Hand over the boa mam. Just place it on the ground and step away."

"But officer, its just a -"

"I said hand over the pink boa mam! This is a violation for unauthorized display of color and pride."

"You can't be serious"

"And a direct violation for unauhtorized use of feathers. That color is drawing too much attention to your person. Hand over the boa and step back."

"No. Its my boa."

The other officers start to notice the disturbance. Like puppies sniffing a treat, they crowd around, hands on the plastic riot cuffs they have itching to use, after practicing on eachother for the past two days.

"Whats going on here?" Asks a big officer, the swagger and wide stance indicating he is in charge, or at least likes to feel that way.

"She's refusing to hand over the boa sir."

"Mam, you can make this easy on yourself. And just admitt that the boa is in violation."

"No. Its my pink boa."

The other cops have started to imitate the wide stance of thier leader, pushing thier legs out into a V, hands on thier plastic cuffs.

"We could tack on parading without a permit and civil disobeidance."

"For what?"

"It's procedure."

"Its PROCEDURE?"

"Just put the boa down and step away."

I hold the soft pink boa close to me and start to back up. The officers dance from foot to foot, unsure if the boa and I are going to try to make a run for it. We dance in this way for a moment. Before I can realize what is happening, a young and zippy officer grabs my boa and pulls it out of my hands. There is a flurry of feathers as the officers tackly my pink boa. The next thing I know.....its in those plastic handcuffs. It takes 3 officers to carry it to the paddy wagon and 4 to write me a violation ticket.

I'm sorry pink boa.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Drowning in the wave

I'm up to my eyeballs in Katrina Relief parites, fundraisers, drives, donations, news, articles, pictures, personal stories, marches, rally's and letters to congress.

This isn't a bad thing, but I'm starting to feel like I'm somehow over helping to the point of becoming a danger to myself and possibly others. I'm in the midst of working with a group of people in Brooklyn to start some kind of stableized Hurricane releif collation that would be continuous past one event. It would be on- going effort, exsisting beyond the sensationalized news stories and brash anger America feels. I hate say it, but people's anger only lasts so long. Stories only stay on the front page so long. The efforts will continue, but in a quieter way. There is a wave of help occuring, and this wave has knocked me off my feet.

I do everything to the extream. If I'm helping, I'm organizing. If I'm organizing, I'm starting a movement. If I'm starting a movement, I take it national.

Its this flutter in the heart, the "I have to be uber involved" feeling. Uber involved in Code Pink, in the Hurricane, in theatre, in writing. Its like trying to live 5 diffrent lives at the same time. I want to be the quiet writer that disapears into the woods to write my book, but instead I am super organizing girl, swimming in poltics.

A battle of the ego and the id.
The internal life Vs. external life.

The big question is, do I want to continue this kind of life?

I have the option of applying to grad school in California, a universe away from were I am. I would pack my things, my cat, and imerse myself in the world of writing and creating for three years. Live in a rural area, on campus and exsist as a college student. I'd also be leaving behind three years of work, and my entire life in New York. Friends, contacts, and a life style I am still in the midst of creating. I like my community, my friends, and feel like I am really starting to get involved in theatre, Brooklyn, and the poltical landscape.

Its a tough decision to make.

I can't ignore the inner cry for community. The gypsy life style is a shoe I've been trying to make fit, but in the end, it doesn't feel right. I've always wanted my own little tribe of people, to be mobil, but have a mobil partner or clan. But something deep inside is crying for peace, ocean, grass and quiet. I'm annoyed everyday on the subway, I feel closterphobic, I want space. California sounds good right now. A place were I can breath, and see what it is to live as an artist.

Besides, I never really got to go to college. Not in the sense that most people do. I spent four years learning to be a stage manager, and never really had the college experience. I'd like to see what's like to be a student, to have a backpack and ride my bike to class, to sit in a "quad" between classes and do homework at night.

It looks like I've written my own answer. Thanks Blog. I guess I'm applying to CalArts. It can't hurt.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Why Obsessivly listening to NPR can actually hurt you.

Its The Hurricane.

I've become obessed with it in an odd way.

The images populate my dreams, all those people screaming "We want help" at the Astrodome. Harry Conick JR. appearing to offer aid, when the National Guard wasn't even there yet. The BBC reporter crying on the air. The Mayor screaming and cussing over the radio. I feel like I am activly living through one of the most important events in US history. There will be a section in US history books devoted to the day New Orleans and most of the Gulf states sank, and no one was there to save them. Its an outside feeling, as though I'm observing and documenting at the same time. Activly awear of how important it is to preserve these images.

So we as a nation never forget. Its like ripping open the closet, and America's skelitons have come tumbling out. The poor. The overlooked. The city of poverty teeming on the edge of disaster that fell off the edge.

What happens when a state disapears?

I was talking to this woman at my yoga studio who is a professor at Tulane University. She's handling this in a humorous, laugh or I will start screaming kind of way. I told her how sorry I was. She said she was one of the lucky ones. She may be unemployed. No one can tell her. She may be on a long paid vaction. Its the little things no one can answer that make life hard. Where is her mail going? Who will deal with all the mail for those states? How does she access a bank who's only braches are underwater? You never realize how dependant you are on the governmnet, or the state untill you actually loose your state.

I think the word refugee is a bit strong. The political implications are wrong. She is currently without state. The stateless people. There's a term. Refegee implies that the governemnt somehow forced her out. Well...they sort of are forcing people out. Stateless. She's not without home or hope, just without her state.

We want to help, I want to help, the entire state of NY wants to help, how do we help? Isn't your first reaction to run down there, pitch in, hold babies, hand out food and cook meals? I can't do that, its just not possible for me to do that, so many are trying to do that. Instead I will hold a fundraiser, and possibly take in a displaced person.

But more on that later.......

I have to go listen to NPR some more

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Dress Codes, Casual Fridays, and Balancing in Heels

When I was 16, I decided not to wear shoes anymore.
The last burnt out hippy in my high school, I wore flowers in my hair, flowy skirts and flashed the peace sign a lot.

I was eventually convinced to wear birkenstocks.

Last year I had to retire those same brikenstocks after 9 years of service.

Not much has changed.

You can still find a lot of the same skirts in my closet, though I pair them with other things. I'm aware that the hippy look has come back in, but its a flag I've been carrying on my own for years. Just throw open my closet and take a step back to the 60s.

Since moving to NY the style has upgraded a bit. A touch of sophistication and I like to think, a little class.

But there is something I seem to be lacking. Something the latest office memo made clear I will need. I have to conform.

I have to wear office cloths.

Summer had provided me with a gentle initination. We were on a causal dress code. Causal for the office, that is. I still struggled to come up with the proper clothes and was feeling pretty good about it. I thought I was wearing office wear.

"Oh no, that's like causual office wear" A co-worker said. "They mean like, heels and jackets and you know, corporate."

Heels? Did they say heels? I wear sandles and boots, none of which have heels. I'm not even sure I can walk in heels anymore.

I'm still reeling from this memo, mentally going through my closet. Skirts and legwarmers. Leggings, knee boots paired with capri's. Sweaters without the necks. The layering look....nope. Not a blazor in site. Not a heel to be seen. Nice pants with the torn up sweater........

To the Salvation Army I go......

Man.....

So what's Causual Friday?