Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Early voting in a "swing" state

yesterday was the first day of early voting here in Colorado

we have been following the issues and the candidates, so we knew how we would vote, and we had been just waiting for our opportunity

so after breakfast we set off to the location we knew about to do early voting

once inside the building, we stood in line

and stood in line

and stood in line

when we got closer, we could peek inside the curtains


almost every voting booth was empty!

why was this taking so long?

did they have only one person checking ids?

when we got almost to the end of the line we discovered the issue -- there were a dozen stations where ids were checked

but instead of being able to just hand you a ballot, they were printing them out of this machine one by one!

this seems nuts to me --- I know that the folks that requested mail in ballots have already received them, so surely the ballots had already been printed for the election

couldn't they have just brought in boxes of the ballots for the different areas and just distributed the right ones to the individuals

for us this entire procedure took about an hour and 15 minutes -- there were people ahead of us in line that gave up because they had  to be somewhere and it had taken so long that they never made it through the line

this is unacceptable --- just one more attempt at voter suppression!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Taking stock

A couple of years ago I joined the Studio Art Quilt Associates.  I had reached the point that I felt the need to be part of an artist group that would help me grow as an artist.

At the time I joined, I was intrigued by a "perk" that was available to members.

Called the Visioning Project, it encouraged the participants to set a reasonable, attainable (within a year) goal and created a support group to help you get there.

So why hadn't I done this?

uh, because it was all done online through a WIKI on the website, and I could never figure out the WIKI sufficiently to feel I could completely participate

Recently, they have heard the cries of those of us who feel WIKI intimidated and the new home of the project is a private blog and a private yahoo mail group.

I took it as a sign

I signed up and I'm starting to work on new goals for my work

And I'm trying to figure out a way to raise the funds to go to the conference next spring --- it's not in Denver, where the one was last year that made it really easy to get to -- but it is in Santa Fe, and by the time it takes place, I should have received my first Social Security check and I'll be able to afford the travel -- but first I need to get registered while there are still slots available

hmm, it's a problem to work on

Sunday, April 15, 2012

wherein we talk about how cyber space is like junior high school

I've been thinking about a couple of things the past few weeks, and have finally decided that I have sufficiently analyzed some recent personal experiences to be able to write about them.

Part of this thought process began when our local newspapers began writing about the movie Bully.

I am concerned about this subject on several levels:
I am a grandmother that is aware that this is an issue that may impact my grandson
I am the mother of a beautiful woman that was bullied in junior high school and because she communicated well with me, I was able to help her fight back
and I was a victim of bullies as a child -- which I think made me more aware of the need to keep watch on what was happening to my daughter

But I can also say that the phenomenon does not disappear when we leave the school yard.

During the 30 plus years that I worked in corporate jobs I saw bosses practice bullying on employees. One man I worked for had a favorite sport of selecting someone at the staff meeting and grilling them about every minor error they had ever made. Witnessing that kind of public humiliation made me ever vigilant about documenting everything I was ever asked to do. It also made it difficult for me to ever trust that I was safe at work.

For the past 10 years I've had the pleasure of not answering to a corporate boss. As an artist I must be responsive to deadlines if I choose to enter a competition or an art show, but for the most part I work on what I want to work on, when I want to work on it.

A while back I started selling my pieces in an on line store, and joined some groups there. My motivation for this was to have a forum to discuss both the art form and to hopefully gain some insight into how to better sell my work.

And this is where I experienced the fact that regardless the age group involved, the Internet can feel very much like junior high school did.

In my junior high school there were what was called "slam books" -- little bundles of notebook paper that had a persons name written at the top of each page that were passed around so everyone could write what they thought of the person. This was a two edged sword -- you got cut when classmates wrote terrible things about you, and you got cut when you weren't included in the circuit of people passing them around.

I got a little taste of that feeling that humiliation again when I made a comment in the wrong forum and in the flack that followed I was told that I was behaving in a passive/aggressive manner and in general made to feel that the safest thing I could do was withdraw from any discussion.

In fact, I felt so attacked that I actually put my shops and my blog on vacation for a long weekend so I could allow the psychological gashes to scab over.

This week someone else has been the target of this. I have commented only a little because those gashes are just beginning to heal -- but I also feel like a bit of a coward -- should I be saying more?

I'll be thinking on this more I'm sure.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

wherein we wonder why people come to work sick (and other imponderables)

on Monday morning we headed off to our doctor's office so the DH could have some blood work done

we arrived about half an hour after the office opened and there was someone in getting blood work done, and another lady (elderly, on oxygen) waiting to have blood work

we waited

about 15 minutes later the DH was called in

I waited

and waited

finally he came out -- she had not been able to do the draw -- couldn't find a vein and wanted him to go to the Urgent Care to have the work done

except then his hand was a mess -- sore and bruised from the fishing around with a needle looking for a vein

and the person doing the blood drawing was clearly sick -- sounded terrible

so tell me, why would someone who is going to be where people with compromised immune systems are going to be come to work when they are sick

I was pretty annoyed about it at them time -- both because of the whole exposing people to your germs issue, but because she made a mess of the back of the DH's hand (and because we now have to figure out where he actually can have the blood draw done that the insurance company will pay for it)

and this morning even more annoyed because I feel like I'm coming down with a cold


Saturday, January 07, 2012

searching for this year's direction

today's ruminate is a Jacob Sheep -- an ancient (yeah, THAT Jacob, as in Biblical) breed that has two sets of amazing horns and a really great fleece that has several colors in it

he's been chosen for this year's series of "ruminations" just because I recently spent some time carding some of this fleece so I can do some spinning (to be followed with some knitting -- and felting)

but back to the point

on one of my email lists, there has been a great deal of discussion the past week on the choosing of a word for the year -- the point being to have a focus and direction for one's artistic pursuits for the year -- it's kind of like making New Year's resolutions

it has been interesting reading

and at this point, I have no idea what sort of word I would choose

I am thinking about direction, however

a year ago I was thinking about trying to find a way to have the opportunity to do a solo show of my work somewhere

little did I realize that a year later I would have had my work on display in two different branch libraries within less than a year of expressing that idea

which leaves me in the "searching for an achievable goal" mode right now

who knew what actually achieving your goal would set up

I need to think about this a while longer