I'm trying to figure out how many terrorist attacks have taken place since the attack on Paris last November. I'm now counting back to the day before the Paris attack, when a Shia neighborhood was attacked in a Beirut suburb.
"Terrorist attack" here means attack by non-state or pseudo-state actor (not an organized internationally recognized government) on soft targets (civilians, esp. foreigners/tourists) with intention of inflicting mass casualties (not a targeted assassination), instilling fear in general population-- the "nowhere is safe, no one is safe" lesson. Arguments could be made for bombings by states to be considered terrorist attacks, but for simplicity's sake they are left off here, since they usually are not included in accountings of terrorist attacks.
ISIS is used here, but in source materials it is referred to as ISIL Islamic State, and by other names.
It looks like ISIS takes credit in incidents where the government suspects other actors, and in other incidents the government blames ISIS but ISIS doesn't take credit, so claiming and assigning responsibility is a complex thing.
Two incidents are being circulated in a list of terrorist attacks in a Facebook graphic that on closer examination were an assassination of military leaders (Yemen) and an attack on a police station (Libya). A lot of people died in those attacks, but the attacks were not on "soft targets" as I understand it. I deleted an incident I had in my first list because it was an attack on presidential guards (Tunisia).
===TERRORIST ATTACKS - NOVEMBER 2015 TO MARCH 2016 SO FAR
No. / City, Country - date, death toll / who was targeted, if known / who took credit or was blamed for the attack
19. Lahore, Pakistan - 27 March 2016,* min. 69 dead/ Members of the Christian community who were celebrating Easter/ Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaatul Ahrar (TTP-JA) took credit [*added 27 March]
18. Iskandariya, Iraq - 25 March 2016,* 30 dead/ crowd after local football game including town's mayor/ nobody took credit, ISIS suspected [*added 26 March]
17. Aden, Yemen - 25 March 2016
,* min. 26 dead/ security checkpoints/ ISIS took credit [*added 26 March]
16. Brussels, Belgium - 22 March, 2016
, min. 31 dead/ airport and metro stop in front of European Union institutions/ ISIS operative involved, but ISIS didn't take credit (no group has yet as of 23 Mar, '16)
15. Istanbul, Turkey - 19 March, 2016,
min. 4* dead/ busy time on central shopping street in front of the district governor's office/ bomber linked with ISIS, but ISIS didn't take credit [*tally of dead corrected from 5 to 4 on 26 March, death toll doesn't typically count the perpetrator, so I'll maintain that protocol]
16. Maiduguri, Nigeria - 16 March 2016
, 22 dead/ mosque at start of worship time/ attributed to ISIS-linked group Boko Haram, but no group took credit
15. Peshawar, Pakistan- 16 March 2016
,* 15 dead/ bus carrying government employees/Peshawar has been targeted by the Pakistani Taliban, but nobody took credit [*added 26 March]
14. Ankara, Turkey - 13 March, 2016,
min. 37 dead/ "heart of the fascist Turkish republic" (downtown)/ Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, or TAK
13. Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast - 13 March, 2016
, min. 18 dead/ Étoile du Sud Hotel and La Paillote Hotel, foreign expats in residence at the time/ Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Al-Mourabitoun took credit
12. Shabqadar, Pakistan - 8 March 2016
,* 17 dead/ rush hour at city court complex/ credit taken by Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a splinter group of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) [*added 26 March]
10. Aden, Yemen - 4 March, 2016,
16 dead/ retirement home run by Catholic nuns (from Missionaries of Charity)/ no group took credit, but ISIS has taken credit for other attacks in Aden, and is presumed to be behind this attack
9. Mogadishu, Somalia - 26 Feb., 2016
, 14 dead/ SYL (Somali Youth League) Hotel frequented by government officials and business executives, Peace Garden Park/ Al-Shabaab (linked to al-Qaida) took credit
8. Ankara, Turkey - 17 Feb., 2016
, 30 dead/ convoy of shuttles carrying both civilian and military personnel at rush hour/ Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) took credit
5. Istanbul, Turkey - 12 Jan., 2016
, 13 dead/ foreign tourists near Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia/ ISIS blamed, perpetrator linked to ISIS, but ISIS didn't take credit
4. San Bernardino, USA - 2 Dec., 2015
, 14 dead/ rented banquet room where a San Bernardino County Department of Public Health training event and holiday party were taking place/ ISIS praised the shooters but no group took credit
3. Bamako, Mali - 20 Nov., 2015
, 20 dead/ Radisson Blu Hotel (Western tourists)/ Al-Mourabitoun and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb took joint credit
1. Beirut, Lebanon - 12 Nov. 2015
, 43 dead/ Shia neighborhood, tried to target hospital but couldn't get in, so went for crowded area/ ISIS took credit
===JANUARY - OCTOBER 2015Airspace over Egypt - 31 Oct., 2015
, 224 dead/ tourists on Russian Metrojet plane/ ISIS took credit ( Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL]'s Sinai Branch)
Jalalabad, Afghanistan - 18 April 2015
, 33 dead/ a bank where government workers collect salaries/ ISIS took credit, but some questions about validity: "Local media said a former spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban had claimed responsibility on behalf of the Islamic State in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. The spokesman could not be reached and his connection to the group could not be verified by Reuters." - would have been first ISIS attack in Afghanistan
A much more thorough list of all terrorist incidents January 2016 to presentList of terrorist incidents July - December 2015List of terrorist incidents January - June 2015
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I am trying to cull papers in my apartment in preparation for my 42nd birthday party and I have been predictably sidetracked by a bag of ephemera from 1997.
A clipping from the SF Bay Guardian, dated April 2, 1997, lists the hottest venues for "underground" performance art in SF at the time.
I couldn't resist. All cleaning stopped while I hit the Googly machine-- who is still kicking? Turns out, 42% of the list is still showcasing public art.
MANY OF THESE PLACES are still around. GO SEE THINGS IN THESE PLACES!
By the way, I don't think an arts space existing is - in and of itself - a reason it should always exist. Places like the Grasshopper Palace were never intended to be permanent institutions. I won't weep for small arts projects that come and go just because they didn't become some giant legacy non-profit. The old gives way to the new.
But I can only trust and hope that there is new.
THAT is something I don't have time for-- to assess what has come to replace the 58% that is gone -- and also to assess just how OFTEN performances go up in the 42% of venues that are still technically operational.
BUT ANYWAY - here is the list and my findings and a few random reminiscences - and please, remember, it's not fair to get furious about performance art venues dying in SF if you can't get yourself together to go patronize the ones that are still open:
April 2, 1997, SF Bay Guardian: "Where to Go"
from "A Special Guide - Performance Underground - Nina Siegal uncovers San Francisco's subterranean stage scene"
Number of theaters listed: 52
Number definitely still kicking (still an arts venue of some kind): 22
Percentage of retention: 42%
450 Geary Studio Theatre - presumed gone
Actors Theatre of San Francisco - closed
Bannam Place Theater - closed
Brady Street Dance Centre - closed in 1999 after 20 years because of rent increase
Build - tiny wonderful illegal-rental-unit-funded full of lint exhaust from nextdoor laundromat closed in first tech boom (c. 2000), saw so much art there, breathed in so much lint
CELL (collectively explorative learning labs) Space - it held on so long, so recently closed, still sad
Center for African and African American Art and Culture - became The African American Art & Culture Complex (http://www.aaacc.org/
CoCo Club - oh, closed so long ago in first tech boom, still sad, nothing can replace it
Collision Gallery - 417 14th St. - I presume closed, don't remember seeing anything there
Dancers' Group Studio Theater -- here's an interesting moment-- evicted in the first tech boom, they reinvented, now has about 975 members:
"Dancers’ Group was evicted from its home at 3221 22nd Street in the Mission at the height of the space-crisis that erupted from the dot-com boom in 1999. The loss of our physical space allowed Dancers’ Group to investigate its mission and services to the dance field. Since that time, Dancers’ Group has developed new services, re-granting programs and presenting opportunities for dance artists and audiences." (http://dancersgroup.org/
Diesel Cathedral - live-work art collective "warehome" space - closed, not sure when, but I found it on this map of SF extinct art spaces:
Edinburgh Castle - still kicking, not what I'd call a struggling performance art venue, but arts events do happen there, or did (http://www.thecastlesf.com/
Grasshopper Palace - wow, Hank Hyena's little space, how long was that open exactly? A year or two? Where is Hank these days? OMG he has a Wikipedia page
. I just friended him on FB.
Jewelry Store - I don't remember this place, the address isn't included in the listing, presumably gone
Josie's Cabaret and Juice Joint - closed end of 1999
Kimo's Lounge - closed, I think recently
Luna Sea Women's Performance Project - closed - original directors left in 1998 (?) and was rekindled by new people, closed finally in 2005 - I still think about all the healing art done there, how many lives it changed
Mad Magda's Russian Team Room - closed, not sure when
Marilyn Monroe Memorial Theater - closed 2000
Multi-Ethnic Theatre - Potrero neighborhood company - closed
New Langton Arts - closed, became part of Brainwash Cafe
Red Dora's Bearded Lady - oh so sad, gone gone not forgotten (when exactly did it close? 2002? 2003?), wish they would have unplugged the fridge during performances though, it was that small
Red Rocket Theater - presumed gone
Star Cleaners - like Build, an illegal space full of lint from an old laundromat, I saw much inappropriate art and breathed in lots of smoke and lint there-- I think closed around 2001
The Stud - still kicking (http://www.studsf.com/
) - not really a performance art venue anymore since Trannyshack ended in 2008, but technically performancey things could still happen there
Teatro de la Esperanza - presumed closed
-- "The former owner of Leticia's in the Castro as well as the former Line Up in SoMa (a leather bar that opened in 1979 at 7th and Harrison) is planning to turn the space into a one-stop destination for dinner and live salsa music."
A Traveling Jewish Theatre - closed in 2012 after 35 years
Venue 9 - closed (2004?) -- when Footloose (http://www.ftloose.org/
) moved to Shotwell Studios, which closed in 2013, then moved to The Garage, which just closed, just produced a show at a new venue "Piano Fight"
Wise Fool Pupper Intervention - closed (2000?), one of the organizers moved, started Wise Fool New Mexico
, still kicking, another started the Puppet LOVE! Festival in SF (haven't seen anything about that in a while)
Z Space Studio - moved, bigger and better than ever, took over the Theatre Artaud stage (http://zspace.org
And I would have included (from that time):
Brainwash Cafe - still kicking, holding everloving open mics, probably the longest-running open mic venue in the city (http://www.brainwash.com/
Climate Theater - closed in 2010
The Jon Sims Center for the Performing Arts - lasted through the first tech boom, closed in 2007
I think some of these places died because of endemic structural problems (no air circulation, environmental hazards, no elevator), financial mismanagement, personality conflicts, creative stagnation. The rental price pressure was one of the deciding factors, but many of these venues did survive Tech Boom I. I hope the 42% left survives Tech Boom II. Survives and thrives through the next bust.
Again, if you like live performance art, wherever it is happening, GO SEE IT. If you can't afford tickets, these places almost invariably want volunteer ushers. If you don't have money and can't usher, STILL ask if you can get comped in, because every small performance venue is run by human beings with SOME compassion who want people to see their art.
Before I go back to my bag of 1997 ephemera-- a moment of sadness for the many loved and lost venues. People worked so hard to keep many of you going through long hard times. People who did not make money making art.
Much respect to the fallen.
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As I did last year, here's the guide to running into me -- or avoiding me -- for the rest of this Pride season:
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9 June - 9 PM - NQAF - Brouhaha, trans women of color stand-up comedy, at a new to me downtown Oakland venue - OACC
11 June - 8 PM - my friend Sonja Franeta is reading from her new book about traveling amongst queer communities in Russia -- My Pink Road to Russia at Uncommon Cafe in Berkeley
13 June - 3 PM - NQAF - Ya'll Come Back - southern queer migrant stories - at the Center
14 June - NQAF - possibly maybe the 6 PM screening of the QWOCMAP festival at Brava
15 June - 7: 30 PM - NQAF - Michelle Tea's kick-off evening of Queerfail - "Intro to Failure" at the Luggage Store
16 June - 7: 30 PM - NQAF - Gina de Vries' show "Body of Work" at the Center
17 June - A's LGBT Pride night! Including a tribute to Glenn Burke! That's the inventor of the high-five and major league baseball's first openly gay player, a Dodger ('76-'78) then an A ('78-'79).
18 June - NQAF - Fresh Meat
19 June - Frameline - 11 AM showing of Royal Road
20 June - working as a volunteer captain at the Roxie all morning and afternoon, hope to make it to Dyke Central at the Vic at 4 PM
Then - Marga Gomez - her new show Pound at the CSC, the 8 PM show
21 June - If I have steam, I want to see Do I Sound Gay? at the Castro, after which I'm back to the grindstone at the Roxie until 11 PM
22 June - Frameline again, Frameline all the time this week - Transtastic and Sworn Virgin at the Roxie
23 June - Working as a vol captain at the Roxie all evening
24 June - Out to Win at the Castro
25 June - Eistenstein in Guanajuato and Love Island at the Castro
26 June - Fresno at the Castro
27 June - working at the Vic 2:30 - 6:10 -- weird hours -- I might grit my teeth and walk in the Dyke March (the consistent and pervasive mixing of men, straight and queer, in the march sets my teeth on edge-- didna usedta bee thisway!!)
OK people, if you are looking to run into me or to avoid running into me, here is my plan for Pride 2014:
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Thurs. June 19:
8 PM Fresh Meat cabaret's 13th! year
10 PM the Frameline opening night party - if I have steam
Fri. June 20
9:30 PM Dvojina ("Dual") @Roxie - BTW there's something lost in translation here-- the title refers not to the English adjective meaning having two aspects, but the dual case, something found in some Slavic languages-- my Slovene grammar book says of the dual case "The dual denotes two persons or objects and may be expressed by the dual form of the noun used on its own or by the dual form used with the numeral 'two.'" It would be used in a phrase like "my legs hurt." (All bilaterally symmetrical body parts use the dual.)
Sat. June 21
10 AM Femme Brunch @Lake Merritt
4:15 PM Der Kreis ("The Circle") @Castro
8:00 PM My friend SAM's show Topsy Turvy @Brava - Getcher dose of hella tight queer circus cabaret right here.
Sun. June 22
1:15 PM Campaign of Hate/panel with Masha Gessen @Victoria
2:30 PM - 6:00 PM Working as volunteer captain @Vic (one showing: QWOCMAP shorts- glad I'll be able to see this since I couldn't get myself together this weekend to attend the QWOCMAP [queer women of color media arts project] festival)
After that-- running over the St. Gregory's to work the merch table for Kitka's 7 PM performance of the "Russian Sappho" Sofia Parnok's poetry set to music - "I Will Remember Everything"
Mon. June 23
5:30 PM - 11:10 PM Working as volunteer captain @Vic (two showings: Transtastic shorts and Зимний Путь ["Winter Journey"])
Tues. June 24
6:30 PM To Be Takei @Castro
9:30 PM Around the Block @Castro (with Christina Ricci)
Wed. June 25
7 PM Broken Gardenias @Elmwood
Thus. June 26
...The kittens' surgery day. I'm hoping to make it out in the evening if all goes well.
9:30 PM Out in the Night @Elmwood
Fri. June 27
5:30 - 11:35 PM Working as volunteer captain @Vic (two showings: Out in the Line-up- the gay surfer movie- and the queer horror shorts program)
Sat. June 28
11 AM Pussy v. Putin @Roxie
2:15 - 6:10 PM Working as volunteer captain @Roxie (one showing: Boy Meets Girl)
Sun. June 29
11 AM Fun in Girls Shorts @Castro
10 PM I can't imagine I'll last that long, but I might try to go to the Frameline closing night party
Sun. July 6
7:30 PM Queer Rebels of the Harlem Renaissance @AAACC (should we be pronouncing that? The Bill the Cat venue...) -- in the last few years I've volunteered at this show, probably will again. I'm aiming for the Sunday show. It's not perfectly even -- a real old-time queer cabaret show like we had in the 90's-- there's always at least one performance that is jaw-droppingly good, and most are thought-provoking and well-prepared. There's the occasional diva who decided not to rehearse or even write a piece, but even that can be interesting. I like it mainly because it's the only majority-POC queer cabaret I've ever encountered and the curators are a rare combination of talented and friendly.
A couple of feral kittens were born in my commuity garden-- the Funktown Farm Community Garden (219 15th St., Oakland)-- on February 28, 2014, with congenital eye defects (eyelid agenesis).
I'm spearheading the effort to raise money for them to get the corrective surgery they need to save their sight.
Please take a look at the Funktown kittens' IndieGoGo page and give if you can, and pass it on to your friends! Any amount helps.
All donations are tax-deductible via Island Cat Resources & Adoption.
The kittens, Alyssa and Cress, at age 5 weeks:
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Just got back from my first time hearing Judith Butler speak. It was at Counterpulse in the context of their "Dance Discourse Project." There was a Counterpulse staff member asking questions of JB, then a performance by Xandra Ibarra and Hentyle Yapp! (she's a burlesque performer, he's a contemporary dancer, both people of color, doing a dance commenting on white womanhood), then a performance by DavEnd (singing w/accordion and then a short film depicting her mastery of costume with various performers), then more questions by the staff member with the three performers and JB, then WAY TOO MANY questions from the audience. The whole thing went 2 1/2 hours with no intermission.
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Does the body have agency - central question
We are born entangled in norms
but we have agency within the tangle
we don't have agency over unintended impressions on others
we are racialized/ regarded as trans, non-gender-conforming/ regarded as disabled/ etc.
but the person perceiving has their categories messed up sometimes
the point is to fail at meeting the norms
On the q. about whether JB considers herself to be queer:
"something is very definitely queer about me" but she wouldn't say she is queer
She made reference four times that I counted to "gay lesbian trans intersex" or "gay lesbian trans queer" or "gay lesbian and trans" --
either these or "gay and lesbian." She never once said the word "bisexual." One of the friends I was sitting with thought she might be eschewing it because she's in the camp that holds that "bisexual" reinforces the gender binary. I think she was just doing what a lot of people do and disappearingbisexuals and bisexuality because it's not salient to their particular experience.
The labor of the norm- gender, whiteness
it's exhausting, it wears you down
One of the dancers, who was running around in a jock strap and sparkly pasties during his performance, but was looking/talking like a grad student in the discussion after, was embarrassed by JB mentioning that she was feeling the loss in that transformation, and he covered his face in shyness. One of the friends sitting with me: "Exposing your ass is one thing, listening to Judith Butler talk about your ass is another."
-- What is required of us
-- What it does to us
People kept asking really f'n overcomplicated questions. JB responded to one by first saying:
"It's hard performing Judith Butler, I want you to know."
Someone asked about truly innovative art. JB talked about and praised/problemitized Slutwalk and Femen and Pussy Riot. News to me: Femen is apparently Islamophobic!?
Regarding the burlesque-y performance by Xandra-- how she danced on stage in platforms-- on platforms on a platform-- JB said admiringly:
"It's very far from my lived experience."
Someone asked DavEnd a question that I didn't follow that included - I think - asking for advice about how to dress up as Doctor Who. Something about exploring one's "alien" side while inviting people into your performative space. She replied:
"Bludgeoning the old options with enthusiasm and panache is a way to create new options for later on."
There were two very clueless moments on the part of white women academic-types in the audience. The moderator/discussant was clearly trying to impress JB and was kind of pissing me off with her smugness, and JB was very delicately challenging her in ways I appreciated. At one point she asked JB:
"Does being queer make you less white?"
To which the audience erupted in derisive laughter. As though she must have been joking.
JB: (Among other things she said in response) "Queerness doesn't absolve you of racism."
The last question of the night came from a woman in the front row who wanted - it turned out after JB made her clarify her question - advice about talking about gender performativity with women in Morocco, framing it -- "how can we talk about these things with Muslim women who wear the veil?" (She asked nearly literally that question, maybe literally that question.)
JB was VERY careful to look at her hard and ask her to think about the "we." She said that just by saying "we" she should "start stuttering." She invited the woman to look into the field of Muslim feminism and all the interesting discussion going on there with regard to the use of the veil.
Other than the off-putting moderator person, and JB's WEIRD inability to talk about bisexuals or bisexuality, I found her radicalism and careful, clear way of characterizing things very satisfying. I'm glad I went.
Well, my Sonoma State University job is set to end in a month, at which point I'm planning on going back on unemployment. There's been all kinds of activity outside my awareness toward soliciting more funds to continue the project. Today I was in a two-hour meeting with some of the funder-advisors (they are advising the main funder), and the long and the short of it is it looks like a pretty sure thing that there will be more funding, but it's unclear exactly when or how much. I don't know on what terms I'd be hired. Probably not full time, I'd guess.
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Meanwhile, I applied for a full time job at a think tank in Palo Alto, the Institute for the Future, and I just got asked to do a phone screening. The person who asked me to do the screening also asked me "for the screening call, please choose one signal to share with [my screener]." I went to the page linked to the word "signal,"</span> and have no idea what I'm supposed to do, so just I wrote back and asked for clarification.
I applied because I know someone who works there and she loves her job. But-- "signal"? With no explanation or context? Seriously, you can't just make up words and expect me to know what you mean. Talk about off-putting.
I really don't want to work somewhere where the work is all abstraction and image. Here is the list of their clients. I need work, but, I have a sinking feeling about that place. The staff is pretty much all white people. Whose future are they planning? So, this screening call is going to be a two-way screening.
Augh. Well, worst case scenario they offer me a job and I don't accept their offer.
Meanwhile, back on unemployment in a month.
Also, last week I started an online Intro to the Marine Environment online class at Laney, and I'm enjoying it a lot. Enough that I wonder about going back to school again.
Lake Merritt Pagans is a new group for Pagans of all stripes who live near Lake Merritt to socialize and touch base about life on the lake in all its aspects, practical and spiritual.
Come to our first meeting: Sun. July 29, 2012, 7:00 PM, The Sacred Well, 536 Grand Ave., Oakland.
Possible LaMP activities: full moon lake walks, altar building, volunteering at the city's regular lake clean-ups, and whatever good ideas you bring!
This group evolved out of a conversation between me and another Pagan living on Lake Merritt after a presentation/ discussion at Pantheacon where the presenter was entertaining the idea that Saraswati and Brigid are connected. The post-presentation discussion led to a question of whether there is something inherently different about the quality of a deity tied to a well versus a giant river. The question came up about whether Lake Merritt would have a completely different deity because of being a man-made lake that functions as an estuary. So this other person (who I don't name because I don't know if she still wants to be involved) and I had a great conversation about this Lake Merritt deity, if we could come up with a vision of it and build an altar to it... This all evolved into the idea of bringing together Lake Merritt Pagans. Rabbit at the Sacred Well got into the idea, offered us her store as a meeting place, and voila, our first meeting is finally afoot.
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How do you pronounce the word Muir?
I avoid saying it because it never sounds right. I "go to the redwoods," not "Muir Woods."
Muir is a word? In what language?
The East Bay Regional Park District board decided to change the ordinance on the trail where I had my riding accident as a result of off-leash/ out of control dogs, making that trail and another that together form the main access route for two horse barns to Redwood Regional Park into on-leash trails.
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Dog walkers will have easy access to an off-leash meadow and other trails immediately adjacent to the north of the Trudeau Center staging area while horses will be more protected from dog attacks on the most horse-accessible/popular trail loop adjacent the barns. One board member made it clear they were making this change because: "we can't ignore Sara Moore's broken back."
After they took the vote I started sobbing in relief. There were so many more off-leash dog advocates than riders speaking at the hearing, and they felt "education" would take care of the problem. Sure, 9 of 10 might be educable, but the dog owner whose negligence provoked my accident said I should be "ashamed" of myself for asking her to control her dogs and didn't stick around to help after I was bucked off-- not exactly someone likely to show up for trail safety education classes.
Yesterday I went with one of my poetry friends up to Spirit Rock (for the first time) to hear the famous Buddhist priest Jack Kornfield give a talk (also for the first time).
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I'm not sure if I'm spelling it right, but he told the story of Nachitaka, a young man who questioned his father's love for him (I'm skipping that slightly complicated part of the story), and in reply his father said "I give you to death!" (a colloquial curse). So Nachitaka said "I accept." (Jack Kornfield's aside-- any of you know any young men? They like to ask "is there anything dangerous for me to do around here?") And he went to sit under a tree for three days. During that time he journeyed to the underworld. He asked to see Death. Death was out collecting taxes. So he waited. When Death returned he apologized for being a bad host and in apology offered Nachitaka three wishes.
Nachitaka first wished for forgiveness from his father.
Jack talked about how we give ourselves freedom by asking for forgiveness.
Nachitaka then asked to be as awake as possible in this life.
Jack talked about how living a life without heart is not much of a life at all. Even when things are bad, you need to stay awake and let yourself be vulnerable. He quoted Rilke "Ultimately it is on our vulnerability that we depend." If we are invulnerable we cannot grow.
Fear is the membrane between us and growth.
Nachitaka, for his last wish, asked to know what is eternal.
Death reminded him that this was his last wish, and showed him visions of the palaces and political power he could have, the large family, generations of grandchildren. Nachitaka asked-- is it not true that all of this will eventually return to you?
Death said that it was true.
So Nachitaka restated his request to know what is eternal.
Death gave him a beautifully etched mirror. He said that he couldn't answer him directly, but he said that if he looked in the mirror long enough, he would get his answer.
Then Jack talked about what Nachitaka would see in that mirror. Not his body. Not his thoughts. Not his feelings. Not his story. These are not *you.* What he would see is that which doesn't depend on those things. That which witnesses those things but is not contained by them.
He quoted or paraphrased Mary Oliver: "I didn't ask for understanding; I asked for wonder."
What is eternal is the mystery, the curiosity, the ability to wonder.
...I'd write more, but my notes were jotted on my knitting pattern (I was knitting throughout the talk) and the cat has decided that it is an Important Piece of Paper which means she is in a deep and blissful sleep on it (all Important Pieces of Paper need snuggling). I'll just let the above stand as a reminder of that helpful talk.
May my curiosity always be stronger than my need for certainty.
This Sunday at 4 PM at the Lake Merritt Methodist Church is my next orchestra concert-- Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert-- all hard-core classical all the time. Free! Get there early to get seats or e-mail/text me before 2 PM to confirm you want me to save you a seat.
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Alameda County has a low-income healthcare program called HealthCAP that is relatively new and hard to find info about.
Here's what I could find on first stab, for those of you who are uninsured or underinsured (I gather you can enroll at the hospital if your health coverage does not cover the service you need when you are brought into the hospital in an ambulance):
-- This is a memo to health care providers, I think, saying who is eligible for HealthPAC. Of course, it's kind of in code, but it gives you the basic idea:
-- The HealthPAC web page on the Alameda County health information site (http://achealthcare.org/), describing how to enroll:
-- The HealthPAC handbook for people who are enrolled:
Basically, it's a program for people who need but can't afford health care and don't qualify for help from other programs (like Medi-Cal or Medicare). It may involve a co-pay for services, so it isn't 100% free, but I gather it's cheap or free.
They say in that handbook not to drop insurance if you have it, that insurance is better than HealthPAC, but I'm having trouble believing it.
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My girlcat Dasha, the delight of my heart for ten years, died at the age of 11 today. She died in my arms, dying of natural causes from a sudden onset aggressive brain inflammation of unknown cause. All diagnostic and treatment attempts failed. I don't have any regrets about my choices, which is a blessing. However, those diagnostic and treatment attempts also wiped out my savings (over $4000 spent in three days). I'm much more in shock about the loss of my little girl, but being rendered suddenly penniless is adding to the shock. Please send me strength.
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I'm not sure what people would consider spoilers, and this is really newly out, so I'm putting my quickie review behind the cut.
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( Haywire quickie review...Collapse )
On the advice of Lyonesse I joined the equestrian LJ a few months ago, and today's topic of discussion was amusing (to me)-- about the random things that make horses spook, or not, or not ever but then sometimes. Here are some highlights:
(The starter post:)
Question: how does your horse identify which strange dogs might be dangerous? Feronia's pretty good about dogs; when we are out on the trail she keeps an eye on them but rarely does anything. But yesterday she nearly melted down over going past what looked like an ordinary dog -- big, black and white, well-trained and well-restrained by its owner. She planted her feet and objected strenuously to getting anywhere near it. She's never done that before... and as I got her past (eventually), the owner told me that the dog was 1/4 wolf! Did Feronia know??? Do horses know???
(One of the response comments:)
My dog was confused by Yorkies...
(About Feronia again:)
the first time she saw Chihuahuas, she did not know WHAT to make of them! It didn't help that they were wearing colorful doggie sweaters.
(Another comment by the original poster about Feronia:)
And BTW? She HATES goats. Hates them.
(A response comment to this:)
Monday [...] is 20 years old and fearless. Dogs? No problem. Wolf dogs? BRING IT. Coyotes? She has no time for such petty nuisances.
But Monday is terrified....deeply terrified of two things:
I'm not sure why either. Is it because deer look like horses on acid? Is it because llamas look like Napoleon Dynamite? (The commenter helpfully provided photos of each, a llama and a headshot of Napoleon Dynamite, side-by-side so we could compare the two.)
(And, lastly, from another comment:)
...[O]ne summer a riding lawnmower (something ALL the horses had seen and experienced many, many times before) was parked maybe 50ft from the end of the outdoor arena, and every. single. horse would see it and flip the fuck out, even the steady old schooling horses who never reacted to anything.
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In my monthly poetry group we bring poems written by other people to share before workshopping our own pieces. Today we met and I read this poem by Ursula LeGuin from her book "Sixty Odd."
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We make too much history.
With or without us
there will be the silence
and the rocks and the far shining.
But what we need to be
is, oh, the small talk of swallows
in evening over
dull water under willows.
To be we need to know the river
holds the salmon and the ocean
holds the whales as lightly
as the body holds the soul
in the present tense, in the present tense.
I just met with my supervisor for my internship with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research and he terminated my unpaid internship because his boss decided all interns need to be full time in the Sacramento office. And I have no option for funding for my transportation, since I'm not interning through a school or other program, just on my own. I can't afford the travel for five trips to Sacto a week.
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Today I went for a ride.
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1. We did a short trail ride with Alex and her big beautiful Swedish Warmblood Flash, who is very pretty and red with a perfect white star on his forehead. Muffin was very cute, breaking into a little trot to keep up with his long lanky warmblood legs. I think she Likes him.
2. Then we did trot poles (4 poles). She cantered them and JUMPED them (like, all of them in a big bound), then partially trotted and partially cantered, then finally settled down to trotting them. She got nice and round over them, very collected and fancy. Good girl! We've done lines of trot poles before, but apparently not nearly enough.
3. Then I put up a tiny crossrail in the position of a fifth trot pole on one end of the line of four poles. Mostly she jumped it and cantered into the trot poles and trotted out of them (in one direction), or trotted into the trot poles and jumped the last trot pole together with the crossrail, a bit of a wide leap. But eventually I got a trot out of her over the whole set-up in both directions. But boy, she prefers jumping to picking up her feet one at a time.
Overall, the trot poles had a great effect if only to keep her mind on her feet without busting out with a lunging high-speed canter into or out of the crossrail. The whole time I felt like I had her attention and we were communicating before, during and after the jump.
I realized how much I anticipated with my seat and how much I needed to work to stay back and centered over the rails and the jump.
Thanks for your sharing your thoughts on this jump-rushing problem, Vicka and Jen!