Working - Yes, I still have a job, and yes sometimes it gets ridiculously busy, and yes I love and hate it, much like anyone feels about any job. I’m luckier than most, in that I enjoy what I do, my bosses seem to love me, or at least appreciate the hell out of me, and I work in a very lovely office. Trust me, setting can do a lot for one’s state of mind.
School - I took this past semester off, which after last year, has definitely helped with my return to sanity. I am looking at picking up a couple classes next semester and am VERY MUCH looking forward to getting back to the learning gig. Unfortunately, having even a part-time job is a blessing and a curse in that area, as I will be less “qualified” for financial aide. Hurrah, attempting to be a productive member of society!
SCA - Still playing, still around, still running the House of the Slippery Slope, contrary to apparent assumptions. The end of this year has gotten rather busy in real life, and I’ve opted to put things like seeing my baby sis rock her first 1/2 marathon higher on the priority list that a day tournament.
NaNoWriMo - Yep. I start tonight at midnight. If you get ANY of my time this month, consider yourself lucky and well loved. That being said, if I fail at being social with you, it’s not because I DON’T love you, I’m just ridiculously busy. On the flip side of that coin, if I AM being social with you, it’s not out of some sense of obligation, it’s because I genuinely WANT to. It’s a fine line I walk between insanity and productivity every November, and some of you guys are new to the whole “Selana’s Writing A Novel In A Month” thing. On a related note, if you would like to give it a go, sign up and friend me! If you are simply interested in reading my progress, send me a message. I may not be cool with sharing, but I might. I will not, however, be posting it anywhere publicly, so you won’t be able to lurk and read, as you have in the past. (You know who you are)
Looking Ahead - 2011 seems to have involved a lot of cleaning house. I foresee a bit more before the year is out. It’s necessary, after the godawful year that 2010 was. Shedding habits, philosophies, and people that no longer serve to enrich my time here on this planet. It’s just not worth it. Need to take my own advice sometimes… it was, after all, good enough to get tattoo’d on myself.
I bought a new pair of shoes a couple weeks ago. They’ve been a tremendous help to my sanity. They’re just a pair of plain Converse sneakers to most people, but to me and a few of you, there is a special significance to this brand of shoes. Because Converse sneakers, like a bow tie, or even a fez, are cool. I’m referring of course to Doctor Who. It is one of the few television shows to which I’ll admit I’m a fan. Because, like a few great works of drama, it is entertaining (funny at times, scary at others, and often simultaneously) and is a constant reminder of what is important. The most important things, I’ve often said, are also the things we tend to forget the most easily.
So for my friends in the U.K. and Canada where the show is easily available, here are ten reminders of important life lessons from Doctor Who:
1. Curiosity counts. I was recently asked what is the most important quality in life and, to my surprise, the word that came out of my mouth was “curiosity.” Helen Keller once said “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” If this is true – and I suspect it is – fostering a deep commitment towards curiosity is the distinction between these choices. I don’t think you could survive a lifespan over 900 years without it. Even while being faced with genuine danger, The Doctor is always the embodiment of curiosity. More often than not, it is his curiosity that helps him solve the mystery behind the danger.
“There’s something out of place – let’s go and poke it with a stick.” – The Doctor (Amy’s Choice episode)
I saw the news at 6:01AM when Oakland PD raided the camp and tore it down with no regard for anything. Firing tear gas and rubber bullets at the campers. I stood outside smoking my cigarette while my water boiled for coffee watching the four choppers overhead shaking my head. I was enraged by what I saw on the news. I couldn’t just watch that newscast and do nothing about it. I needed to show my support - as I did in SF / OpBART and everything else I’ve been to recently.
I got home, while reading tweets. I get off at 19th Street and Broadway, so I could see a rawkus brewing. Ran home, ate real fast and ran up to the folks down by Bank of America near me. I met up with random folks, people like me, old folks, young folks, folks from East and West Oakland that were just as fed up as the rest of us. They were all there chanting as the choppers stalked us from above. It felt great. The power and energy behind a TRUE grass roots movement is intoxicating. We marched… up 20th back to Broadway, took a left and went down to 14th and Broadway where we saw what appeared to be Storm Troopers.
We passed by them, chanting. There was another group blocking a secondary entrance to the Plaza filled with SFPD, Alameda County Sherrifs and other LEO’s. One of the cops was beating his batton in his hand SMILING with the sickest smirk on his face. I asked him from behind my bandanna “Why is this funny to you? Beating the shit out of civilians that are out here protesting for YOU is funny? Son, how much did you lose in your pension?” And he rolled his eyes as if he were trying to say “Not much.” Ok. For those that don’t know Oakland PD’s Chief quit recently due to not getting along with the Mayor. Oakland PD also is strapped for cash and has laid off a good deal of it’s workforce. Hmmm…. why are you strapped for cash Oakland PD? The state is broke. The City is broke. Coddling Wall Street Investment banks has brought it to this. We have Movie Stars and shit living out here in California - and yet we’re broke.
The cops looked scared. Some looked like they wanted to be out there with us, and some looked like they wanted to break my face. I don’t blame them. I’m so pretty, I’d probably want to hurt me too. We kept marching - they won’t scare us, they can’t kill us all! We kept going. Fuck em.
I met a lot of cool folks along the way. An older man asking me where Webster was. He came out to protest. He said he watched the news at 6AM and was sick to his stomach watching it. I asked him Are we all Hippies and young white kids? He looked at me and laughed. He said I’m born and raised in San Francisco and always maintained a shaved head. I was never a hippy, and never will be. He went on to tell me that these protests have the same feeling as the Vietnam protests of his day. Spoke with a 17 year old that was out there to protest. He was still in High School, and he was asking “Where’s my bailout!?” I was impressed as to how much he knew about everything. Made me smile actually.
We got to the gates of the Plaza and the police gave the “Violation of Penal Code 409” order to us. 10-15m later I’m looking around, probably posting on G+, and hear BOOM loud as SHIT. Sounded like the time I got hit by a firework in Cleveland. I thought it’d be just one. Nope, Chuck Testa out here. I heard a good 7-8 firing then I saw the gas. Ohhhh the Tear Gas everywhere. I ran, I’m sorry. I wasn’t sticking around to get shot in the face by these angry cops. I saw a canister explode on someone… I think it was the video where they are dragging the woman away and BOOM right in her shit. I think that’s what I saw live and in person, but it could have been someone else. I tell you what though, I’m coming back with a vest and gasmask. So we ran, and regrouped down the street.
We marched some more down residential streets. We were chanting OUT OF YOUR HOUSE, AND INTO THE STREETS. The crowd erupted in cheers as people were coming outside to join us. The movement was alive. It was a living breathing organism on a mission. On a mission to show the WORLD and Oakland PD our power and strength in numbers. We are truly Legion out there. We marched right back up to the enemy asking for it again. This time they took a good hour to fire on us. This second march back up is where I saw the kid get shot by rubber bullets. From my distance (and I have 20/10 vision) I saw the cop - far right when facing the barricades cock and load his shotgun. He then fired and yelled GET BACK! and cocked it again. I saw a kid hit the ground. He may have done it out of fright and it could have been a warning shot.
This is about the time I meandered over to the other police line and stared at them while I smoked my square. The green jump suit Sheriffs eventually left. I saw them rustling about in there, looked uncomfortable staring at me. I spoke to a lot of passerby’s about the whole deal, the protest, the police, tear gas etc. As I talked about Oakland PD not having money and laying off workers… some of the cops focused on me. I was fair. I didn’t yell “FUCK THE POLICE” at them. I said they had to right to be afraid of more people than their forces, that’s fine. I have no issue with that I told them. But I told them that we are out there for them. We’re giving them OT right now, and they shouldn’t be beating us up for lining their fucking pockets. But what really got me was the two Ethiopians talking to each other. Just amazed at the police presence out here. From my other post: They said “What is this? We are shocked. This is normal in our country, not here.” Speaking to each other. I asked them to elaborate and asked if they ever thought of the United States of America being like this they shook their heads and one spoke “I feel like we are the Rebels back home.”
I did see some sketchy shit like a trashcan on fire, some kid messing with the iron grates that surround the trees and a fire beneath a van. The van fire was interesting because the protesters and a news guy put the fire out. I was happy about that.
My summary on all of this? I think this is going to escalate. With OPD acting like this, ATL arrests, Stabbings in New Mexico and the overall dickheadedness of NYPD in NY… they keep getting more and more violent while we remain peaceful. One of these young rookie cops is going to fuck up and fire a live round into someone. I don’t want it to happen, but I feel it coming. When that time comes… there will be a struggle in the streets. This isn’t a left vs right thing, a hood vs suburban thing. This is a moral injustice movement.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Friends in the PNW: who’s hooking up w/ me at @GeekGirlCon? Not often I make it up there yo. I fly up Thurs, no concrete plans Fri, going to soccer game Sat night, dinner w/ sis Sun night, flying home Mon. DM me for my # if needed.