I voted!

Nov. 4th, 2008 07:55 am
Just got back from the polls. Obama on the Working Families line, yeah! Am glad I researched judges last night, though. Based on my dad's experience running for State Superior Court in PA in 1998 (he received the highest rating from the bar association of all of the candidates...but came in either last or second to last in the election itself), few people know anything about the race, plus have the time it's just retention and they're unopposed anyway. oh well.

Anyway, so I entered the line at 6:24AM. At that point the line stretched most of a long city block. When I had finished casting my vote, it was 7:45AM, and the line stretched around the corner and halfway down the next block. I'm glad I got up early and have two hours off from work in which to vote anyway, so I didn't have to worry about the line. The turnout is awesome and impressive, but I do worry about folks who don't have time to wait that long and so will turn away. Especially in states where it matters more.

I could go work out now, but I'm going back to bed instead. It'll be a long night.


Oct. 29th, 2008 09:56 pm
too tired to lift the computer off my lap and go make some dinner. or even decide what to defrost and microwave. so tired.

however, i did donate a whole bunch of money to fight prop 8 in california. like, more than i've spent on the lsat, lsat prep, and law school applications combined. more than i've ever donated to a single cause before. that's how important this is to me, even though yeah, i understand, marriage is just one issues that affects LGBT folks, not *the* issue. yeah, marriage is based on property, and has patriarchal roots, and wouldn't it be great if we could separate benefits from monogamy and religion and all of that? yes. but this is the world in which we live, and i don't want mormons making my best friends' marriage illegal. for rickie and sarah and all of the other people who have gotten married in california, and so that the Right doesn't think it can win this whole fight by lying and spending tons of money, and so that someday i do have the option of getting married if i want to...i donated. please seriously consider doing the same. it's a very tight election, and prop 8 can use our money a lot more than obama right now. you can go here to read one of my favorite blogs, and one that's been posting a lot about prop 8. Or you can just donate here.

I also think I won a homecare fair hearing today (won't know until the decision comes out, but the judge was very complementary of my argument and said I clearly understood the issues). I didn't get much else done at work, b/c I was too jittery before and too tired afterward, but I can home and forced myself to go to running class in the cold. I ran somewhere between 4.1-4.3 miles in 43 minutes. Not bad!

I submitted two more law school apps yesterday, but they are definitely shoddier than my initial round. I even noticed a typo on one today (i forgot to fix the year that my dad graduated from harvard in my essay. I wrote '68 instead of '67. oops). i've decided not to care. either two or three more applications to go (waiting on cuny to see where else i get in), then financial aid apps. got to spend (or donate) all my money so the law schools see i have none left to give!

i am really hungry. but the thing is, even if i were to order food, which i won't be doing, i'd still have to leave my warm bed to get it. and the rest of the apartment is very cold.
zstrass: (tent)
I get so angry when I miss something I wanted to do because I had made a commitment to something, and then other people back out from that shared something at the last minute b/c they're too busy.
zstrass: (eyes)
It doesn't count when I take half a cup of coffee at a meeting and then pour half a cup of soymilk into it.
But this counted! It was an honest to goodness 99 cent latte from Dunkin' Donuts (special deal on weekdays between 2-5pm until November 11th), bought with several of my coworkers who were equally tired.
Of course, the good price is not so good when one compares it to the fact that otherwise I would be spending no money in the middle of the afternoon. Despite this, it was an interesting experience, and largely positive. Could have been hotter, and I think I'd prefer decaf. I now have a caffeine headache. But at least I'm awake.
back to work.
zstrass: (eyes)
Yesterday was Nat'l Coming Out Day. Last year I posted some pretty pictures. This year, some thoughts on genderqueer, thanks to my friend Gina for making me think about one of my least favorite topics...

I think identifying publicly as genderqueer is really challenging (for me) in how I do fit some of the stereotypes of the Trucker Cap Boi Brigade ( gina's amazing term) but not many others of them, in the way that I am white and was raised upper class and that my masculinity is way fey. But I'm not a hipster and masculinity isn't a way for me to claim power. My girlfriend earlier today described my gender presentation as masculine and my gender role as femme. a) I think she's right, and b) so what the heck does that mean my gender is?! c) for the most part i'm happy with that and don't care about not liking/fitting labels, but with this law school stuff it's hard.

Writing essays about how I am diverse and how my diversity will contributes to my potential law school's diversity is tough. I usually avoid talking about this crud, and hope that by avoiding talking about how I use men's bathrooms at work and my coworkers use "he" but I play on a woman's softball team and use "she" there and the people in my tumbling/gymnastics class have no clue what to use for me and keep switching...where is that masculine privilege and where is that performing genderqueer? and how am I supposed to talk about it in ways that someone like my dad (65, straight, limited experience and high discomfort w/ queer stuff) would understand and appreciate?
zstrass: (eyes)
so, uh, my bank failed. yeah, yeah, fdic (thank goodness). my money is safe. but damn. my bank failed.

why exactly did these banks think it was smart to bet on subprime mortgages? seriously folks, the economist has been saying subprime mortgages would cause problems for at least five or six years now.

i wonder what the deal will be with freddie mac/fannie mae for taking out student loans next year.

i'm really glad my job is unionized, but nyc is going to be facing some serious cuts, and legal services will surely be among them. there's no civil right to counsel, and we were already facing huge cuts from just the last city budget in june or whenever it was. with a good portion of our donations coming directly from wall st, and an even greater portion coming form the corporate firms that got rich off of wall street, we'll be facing cutbacks there too.

at least nari and i finally got our hole puncher before they cut our office supply availability more (someone took the hole puncher from our office. it sucked. i didn't want to spend my own money to bu ya new one, but for whatever reason, getting a new one from the office manager took weeks and our old one had just walked off).

i did get a haircut, but the way. it looks kind of like the profile picture above. I went to V2 Salon in Chinatown. Nice head massage, not too expensive. Nice thinning out of my insanely thick hair.

and then i got some cash from the atm just in case i can't access my money for a little while. just..wow.
zstrass: (rugby)
I've been meaning to cut my hair for months. Really, months. at some point in late july kate trimmed the back and sides for me. I thought about a fauxhawk when I was at camp, but decided my hair was a little long and curly for that, and I don't much like product anyway. since then, it's just grown. it looks a little like this ancient profile photo but poofier and longer. I can see my hair when i look up over the top of my glasses even without pulling out the curls! it's bad news, folks.

So I got this recommendation of a cool japanese place, not too expensive, where one of my lawyer friends gets her hair cut. i call, and they can't fit me in for two weeks unless i skip work and come in the middle of the day. no!! i am in a hair crisis. i need a haircut TODAY.

please help. where can I get a decent haircut, ~$30 or less, in NYC, tonight? needs to be somewhere that will cut my hair dry because it curls so much as it dries. ideally, an interesting cut, not my boring standard trims, but mostly i just want to stop being frustrated with it. also, i'm anti-product. did i say that already? please help!!
hey y'all,
I'm organizing this event with a few other fine folk (aka the Avodah/AJWS New York City Team), and I'd really like you to come.
Remember all those kinda dorky activities in various groups when you actually ended up learning a lot about yourself and other people? When you had those awesome conversations that reminded you why you'd wanted to do dorky things in the first place? Yeah, that's this. Like a mini-retreat, but free and without having to travel further than 14th street.
PLEASE rsvp (to newyorkcityteam@gmail.com) because if we don't get enough rsvps, we'll cancel it. seriously. tell your friends.

Jew Roots!

The High Holidays are often a time when we connect to Judaism and reflect on our personal Jewish experiences and identities. Join us on September 23rd to explore the ways you do (or sometimes don't) "feel Jewish."

DIG into your opinions on dating people of other faiths, fasting on Yom Kippur, whether to send your (current or imaginary) kids to Jewish day schools... and more;

DELVE into the self-reflection space created by the High Holidays and what this particular set of Jewish rituals means to you;

DISCUSS the relationship between Judaism and social justice, and how it may be at the root of our Jewish identities; and

DEVOUR snacks (including apples and honey)!

Date: Tuesday, September 23rd

Time: 6:30pm

Place: 14th Street Y

Cost: Free! Bring your beshert, your co-workers, and your friends!

RSVP by emailing newyorkcityteam@gmail.com

please spread the word widely. people of all faiths are welcome to attend, though as you may be able to tell, it will be heavy on the jewish cultural content. it's going to be super-fun for everybody, though. especially the "Dig" piece. I'm running that one. so come! yeah!


Sep. 11th, 2008 12:16 am
it's easy to get out of the posting habit. However, I want to get your opinion on some things, dear readers.

1. Who sent me a book in the mail? Title: The Feminist Classroom. I bought the book several years ago, but just received another copy in the mail, sent by some used-book seller. I've moved at least four times since last buying that book--how odd! It's a good book, though, if anyone wants to borrow it.

2. Should I do Team in Training? That's training for a marathon and raising money for leukemia and other blood cancers. I've always wanted to run a marathon, and I'm in decent-enough starting shape, but you have to raise a LOT of money--$3,900 to be exact. Should I do it? Would you all sponsor me? If you don't raise the money, you have to contribute it yourself (after a drop-out point in a month or so by which you're supposed to have raised 25% and if you haven't you can drop out without owing thousands of bucks). I know that it makes more sense to fundraise and/or donate my money to something about which I'm more passionate and just train to run a marathon on my own, but i know i won't do it. I really like being a part of a team, and know that I work harder as part of one. But my mom thinks it's too much money to raise and my dad thinks I'm underestimating how hard the running will be. what do you all think, readers? can i do it? will you help?


Aug. 25th, 2008 01:05 pm
maybe obvious, but i haven't had internet access for three weeks. i have no idea what is going on in any of your lives. i will probably at some point go back and read my lj friends' page, but slowly.
if anything is huge, let me know by replying to this post. also, i do not have a working cell phone right now.
zstrass: (tent)
back from camp with either one or two broken toes. lots of hardness, including a tornado on the day the kids arrived. I love spending time with kids, and some of the staff were great, but it was so HARD. i can talk about more offline. Suffice to say that my job at camp is to be the counselor who deals with kids with behavioral issues, and we had lots of those. Jane (Martha Jane) from Wesleyan was there too,m which was lots of fun. I don't know if I'll go back next year. Ask me again in a few months. http://www.mountainmeadow.org for the camp website. It's for kids of lgbt families. Most but not all of the kids ID as straight; we had more transkids and trans staff than ever before this year. Really interesting. The kids do normal camp activities with what one kid called "gay sprinkles on top." They choose from activities each week that include your standard arts and crafts and canoeing and swimming lessons, but also, depending upon which counselor is leading programming, include Spa, Yearbook, Arts of the Americas, Cooking Creations, Color Guard, Zine-making, Book Club, and more. GLAAD (Sarah Kennedy) visits to do a media training for the kids, the teens go off-site to do leadership training and high and low ropes courses, Zoo on Wheels visited for the little kids. Every day the kids have a discussion about a different issue, with activities calibrated to the age group. Bullying, Classism, Trans issues, the teens' sex talk, being open about their families, etc. Most kids choose to come to camp but not all. One kid whose mom made him come said in his application that he felt he was the only one with a mom like this and he didn't want to go to gay camp because he wasn't gay. He ended up having a great time and wandering around camp in a tiara and ballgown from the dress-up bin.
In a few months I'll have rose colored glasses, Right now I'm tired and frustrated and oh so glad to be home.
zstrass: (eyes)
Don't y'all wanna come? Free food! Elected officials/other bigwigs speaking (rosie mendez from city council, alan van capelle from the empire state pride agenda)! Legal Aid people speaking, including --the rumors are true--me!

Event is from 5-7:30 pm. Buffet dinner included, open to the public. This is the Legal Aid Society's Pride Month celebration, by the way, and I am speaking representing the paralegal and support staff union.

come show up. i promise i'll have written the speech by then.

EDIT: the gay center is at West 13th St. in Manhattan. Go here for directions: http://gaycenter.org/
There are things in my life other than moving, but it's easier to post on a theme. Also, besides moving, my life is relatively sedate. I have a girlfriend named Kate. She's fantastic and I'm really happy. She painted my new apartment Tuesday!!
Moving is stressful. Yesterday I tried to take a load over on my bike (bulky stuff, cleaning supplies, and stuff to transfer from my freezer to the next) only to get there and I couldn't get in. Eventually my friend Sarah who used to live in this apt came over and told me she had given me 4 keys and i was standing there crying, freezer stuff all melted, trying to get in with only three keys. Yeah. i gave up and went home and packed some more boxes.
on a brighter note, I am a lot of the way packed, though i'm sure what's left will take longer and more boxes than I think. I sold my sister's chair on craigslist, finally. I hired movers for Saturday from the website Mich recommended, moving-help.com. I hired them for two hours of loading/unloading help, and then I rented a truck separately. So I'll see what's left to carry after two hours and if I want to hire them for any longer or if I can finish it up myself. One thing about which I am concerned, and maybe one of y'all can help--what about preventing theft while moving? I figure somebody will need to be out with the truck at all times. Also to drive the truck around the block in case the fire department needs that space while I'm loading/unloading. Anyone want to volunteer Saturday 10:30AM? No carrying required! just sit in or by the truck for 2 hours and look menacing, and be able to drive around the block if neccessary!
I am beyond sleepy, but I had a wonderful Passover Seder with lots of dear friends (including my sister and her gf!) last night. I've never hosted a Seder before, and this was also my first Seder with Kate (who should get a nickname. RugbyButchGeekGirlfriend? RBGeekG? Suggestions welcome).
Now I am supervising an intern (it's her first day. she is kind of adorable, enthusiastic and righteously outraged at the hardships our clients face) and writing the training I will give tomorrow. Of course, before giving a training I need to learn the material myself. A year ago, I would never have thought that I would be so blase about giving trainings on topics about which I know so little. In this case, it's "Case Review," in which the staff members bring their tough case questions and I try to answer them off the top of my head. Also COBRA, ADAP, and AHIP. I like feeling confident enough in my work that I can say, oh yes, I'll train you on this next week, write the training the day before, and then go do it. I've taught this group before, a basic intro to health law, and it was fun. I like teaching.

anyway, I'll get back to work, after that aside, but I thought I'd let y'all know that I'm tired but happy.
zstrass: (eyes)
I don't even know how to describe how intense work has been this week. boom boom boom boom. Sometimes I'll feel slackerish for 15 minutes or so, and then I'll power into action and do 10 things at once and so much will go on and just wow. i'm exhausted. i'm going to the gym and then home to start cooking/cleaning for passover. I have to call a client's employer about an affadavit I need from her tomorrow, though, and i might have to come into the office to do that. boo. I may end up needing a translator, don't know (it's spanish, which should be fine, but the problem is complicated). It would be rotten to be at home and then realize i need a translator and my cell doesn't have 3-way calling so I can't call in the language line. yeah.
i'm on such an intense adrelaline surge from this job sometimes. i just get exhausted, too. yay weekend. yay passover seder!

p.s. i keep being about to leave and then going aahhhh! i forgot _______! and then i notice that it's not even 6pm! but today was CRAZY. i thought it was at least 7. you can't reach anybody except upset clients after 3:30 on a friday, so I guess that's kind of like 7 on a regular night. anyway, melissa and I are going nuts in our office here. roigjdfkjasdlfj!! i think i'm not leaving the computer because then i have to decide between the gym and a run and cleaning and cooking and um, i'm kind of hyper right now.

p.p.s. but i am not talking about my work in a "stress competition" sort of way. msnbc says that's bad. i'm just doing it in a hahahaai'mnuts sort of way. but maybe that's competitive? after all, why would this be a public post, otherwise? oh well. i usually work 8 good hours and then leave, unlike so many people at other, non-union jobs. i like my job.
One, a really interesting blog: http://economicalacademic.blogspot.com/
I'm not a grad student, and I make a decent (union) wage, but it's still very good. I thought others might appreciate it as well.

Two, I was procrastinating and took this online accent quiz. I thought the answers were very obvious, and clearly i would end up with the generic "American-not specified" accent because everyone talks like I do. Oops.
What American accent do you have?
Your Result: North Central

"North Central" is what professional linguists call the Minnesota accent. If you saw "Fargo" you probably didn't think the characters sounded very out of the ordinary. Outsiders probably mistake you for a Canadian a lot.

The West
The Midland
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz
zstrass: (farmwindow)
but i can do it, and so can you! (as can [livejournal.com profile] cattack, [livejournal.com profile] eliaswake, and more).
Interjection: So, as a response to a comment I got already, and also because I think it's important, let me say that I don't know that this strike will do anything. I joined lj in 2001, I think, maybe 2002. I could check. It's been a great service, and I've never paid for it. Have I contributed to, brought friends to it, and enabled livejournal to grow desptie never paying them? Yes. I don't know that they'll care about this strike, but it's worth a try. (also, if it makes me more productive at work, that might be good, too).

The one-day content strike is on for this Friday, March 21, from midnight GMT to midnight GMT. Here that translates to Thursday, March 20, 5:00 PM for those in Pacific time.

For 24 hours, we will not post or comment to LJ. Not in our own journals, not in communities. Not publicly, privately, or under friends-lock.

Why? Because the new owners of LJ said they were going to listen to a user driven advisory board before making any changes, and didn't. They instead tried to take away all GLBT related interest groups, and were about to take away all free, ad free accounts as well and make LJ paid. Basic/free users help drive this site! And paid or not, our interests should not be dictated to us.

This is a protest that will have long-lasting effects, showing up forever in the daily posting statistics.

This is a protest that will not harm LJ in the long run, as leaving LJ might do.

This is a protest that will demonstrate the power of community, as all users unite to support Basic users and the concept of ad-free space.

This is a protest that will educate the new owners that LJ is driven by user-created content.

Content Strike Friday March 21, from midnight to midnight GMT

* We are holding the Content Strike because we want to demonstrate that LiveJournal is content-driven. * We are holding the Content Strike because we want the new owners of LiveJournal to better understand the power and resolve of the LJ Community of Users. * We are holding the Content Strike because all of us, Paid, Permanent and Plus users as well as Basic, want to demonstrate our solidarity as a Community of Users. We do not consider Basic users to be freeloaders, we consider them to be valuable content-providers and Friends. * We are holding the Content Strike because we ache to do something to show our displeasure, and commenting on the news post -- even with cat macros -- just isn't powerful enough!


The strike has three terms:

1. Restore basic accounts for new account creation. 2. Inform users before any change to the site that affects how we use the site or demands on our resources. 3. Run change proposals by the Advisory Board and take their advice into account before implementation of any change.

*** more info, like that the strike actually starts at 8pm TONIGHT east coast time )
Ya got any? (other than why I'm posting this while I'm supposed to be working?)
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