A Modern Woman on the Move

in hot pursuit of the great green light…

Posts Tagged ‘vegan

Turning 30, Living My Dreams!

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For a couple years, I have been planning and brainstorming as to how I can support queer students in the after school program that I work for, waiting until I felt more secure of my position and my relationship with the director, before I straight up asked to facilitate a queer support group. I was thinking of facilitating something like a Gay Straight Alliance, but more spectrum inclusive, but then I learned the after school program had lost their Black Student Union teacher and therefore BSU, leaving a greater need within the after school program for support of marginalized students facing various kinds of discrimination and challenges. The idea I’ve come up with is a club called Youth Empowerment and Solidarity, or YES!

My plan for YES! is to do activities centered on strengthening student bonds and relationships,  talk about constructive communication (especially non violent communication), talk about conflict resolution with peers and authority figures,  discuss key vocabulary that will turn students on to verbalizing their struggles (ageism, homophobia, empowerment, solidarity, autonomy, consent, oppression, marginalization, racism, sexism, etc.), talk about media messages and the importance of dismantling them, talk about the importance of caring for yourself (physical and emotional) and how to care about others, have guests whose experiences will add to the conversations we’ll be having in class (different community leaders and activists), talk to the students about local youth resources (Multnomah County Youth Commission, SMYRC, Portland Youth Summit, Youth Empowered Action, Rock ‘N’ Roll Camp for Girls, etc.), read/discuss parts of Stay Solid!, and address/talk about whatever else the students want or need to talk about. This is the poster I made for YES! to promote it within the school…

yesposter

Since I was a preteen/teen living in poverty with an abusive and neglectful parent, struggling to get out of that environment and better my life, it’s been a dream of mine to become a teacher and to have a positive impact on youth, but also to advocate for youth rights. I vowed I would grow up to be an adult that made a difference in the lives of young people. Back then, I thought I would become a biology teacher and just be present for my students. Over the years, I have switched gears a bit. I began to loath the structure of the public education system (as I watched it fail many of my peers and realized its oppressive and inherent flaws) and I fell away from wanting to study biology to become an educator, deciding to pursue my own creativity through comics and zines and wanting to teach kids those skills and more around independent publishing, seeking involvement and belonging in those communities… Which was a struggle, especially coming into the comics “community” in Portland in my early twenties, as the community was riddled with oppressive, power-hungry dudes that were incredibly misogynist (that special brand of nerdy misogyny with a lot of gate-keeping). But, I started doing indie comics workshops for kids and broadened to teaching general zine workshops for kids. As I had quickly become disillusioned by the comics community, I turned more towards zines, becoming a PZS organizer because that community felt safer, being facilitated by more women and having a Safer Spaces Policy (safer, but certainly not without it’s own problems and crappy people, as I also learned over the years). Along the way, I made a lot of friends, zines, anthologies, and memories. Becoming well known as a zinester by volunteering in that community on so many levels and working with youth int hose communties lead me to be invited into schools to teach.  Working with kids to make zines felt so right. Zines encourage literacy in a very engaging way and making their own media is very empowering to young folks. It also opens a dialog with youth as to how mainstream media fails them. Now, my path as a zine educator has helped me fulfill my goal of working with and empowering youth not only with teaching zines, but with other interests, like debate, games class, and social justice activism (my new group, YES!). After I do a couple terms of YES! where I currently teach, I’m hoping to bring it into other schools.

In case you don’t know, I am about to turn 30 this month, so I have been doing a lot of reflecting as to where I am at and feeling really happy with my life and excited for everything in front of me (hence this post). I find myself accomplishing quite a few of some of my oldest goals and feeling like my heart and mind are going to explode.

Especially my heart. This year, for my annual Friendsgiving, I was hosting in my shared home with two amazing life partners. I have been living with my partners Matt and Marco since May and it’s been a very transformative experience. There have been bumps (mainly Marco and myself have wrestled with some baggage from past bad relationships and our childhoods clashing a little bit), as with any relationship transition into deeper intimacy (the deeper intimacy brings out deeper demons), but I have honestly been amazed with Matt, Marco, and myself. We garden together, we’re building a couch together,  we laugh together, we cry together, we’re planning comics together, we celebrate together, we chill out together. We also have separate spaces and times, we schedule date nights and alone nights, balancing our desires to be together with time for ourselves. They each have there own rooms that they share with me, but I’m also working on having  my own (I’m lagging because I also have the smallest room and I just need to get rid of a lot of stuff before it’s a functional space). When I kicked an abusive partner out of my house a few years ago, I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t live with anyone again unless it was multiple partners, thinking that, if more than one partner wanted to cohabitate with me, we’d probably all be having pretty awesome relationships and they would probably be awesome people whose goals in life were compatible with mine. Both Matt and Marco are incredibly sweet, supportive, accountable, and motivated people. I find myself continually inspired by them both and feeling thankful for them both.

I have wanted to have deeper loves in my life for a long time, trying to have healthy relationships and practicing non monogamy (bent more towards polyamory) over the years with a lot of trial and error, but I finally feel I am sharing my life in meaningful way with not just one amazing partner, but two. We have shared space, shared goals, shared projects. It all has me feeling incredibly fulfilled and happy, my home is feeling like one of the safest and most wonderful places… It really feels like a home and Matt and Marco are my family. All with room for more.

So, with all this, I am going into my thirties. Considering where I’ve been and where I’m at, I think this may be the most amazing decade of my life. It took a lot of work to get here, but it’s all been incredibly worthwhile.

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Written by lovemotionstory

December 12, 2013 at 11:49 am

The new, bigger IPRC…

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I volunteer to be on staff every Monday at the Independent Publishing Resource Center. If you ever have stopped by on a Monday anytime the last little while, I have probably given you a tour, tried to explain something about InDesign to you, helped you figure out why the copy machine wasn’t printing your zine as you imagine, or whatever. The IPRC has been looking for a bigger location for quite awhile, but a much bigger and interesting place was finally found last year and we spent most March and the beginning of April begging the big move across the river.

That’s me, volunteering real hard, followed by Michael, of Perfect Day Publishing, who also volunteers real hard on Mondays.

I came in last week to help try to unpack, build shelves, clean, setup supplies, shelve zines, etc. The IPRC had a soft opening last week, and things are looking good over here. For so long, we’ve had so many more zines for the zine library than we had shelves. In the new space, we have new new shelves up that are empty! With room in the library to expand, to add even more shelf space! I am excited to watch our backlog of donated zines slowly fill up the library… Our gigantic library (which anyone can borrow from for free, by the way), is fully searchable! Check out the online catalog of all the IPRC’s zines here.

We also have more room in the letterpress area (which allows us to carry new typefaces that were donated to our collection!), we’re are adding a screenprinting studio to our repertoire of available DIY experiences, we have more room for workshops and the certificates programs, and A LOT more…

Today marks my first regular Monday volunteering in our brand new space and, after feeling so inspired helping out last week, I came in early to snap some photos to help give you an idea of how wonderful the new space is and how much the IPRC is really being able to add and incorporate…

Definitely check this machine out which, has been just sitting in Justin’s garage for almost five years, just waiting for us to have more space and to be turned into a Zine Machine!

I am going to be helping IPRC solicit submissions for mini zines to into this wonderful thing and curating it’s selection, but more on that later…

Also, the cheery on the top of the new IPRC’s location, the rooftop! Check out my new favorite place to get elevated.

So, yeah, that’s just a quick update sharing the new IPRC! In case you were too lazy to click the links to the IPRC’s website, the new location is at 1001 SE Division St. #2… Which is kind of rad for a vegan lady like me, because Los Gorditos and Portobello are not even two blocks away!

And, speaking of cool non profits, ADX is also in the neighborhood. Is close-in, SE Portland the new DIY district? Could be…

Short Run Recap, a Seattle vegan dinner, Memory zine

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I tabled at the first-ever Short Run Small Press Fest in Seattle this past weekend for Stumptown Underground! The Short Run Small Press Fest reminded us a lot of the Portland Zine Symposium in feel, ethics and organization.

Short Run was held at The Vera Project, an all ages, non profit, music and art venue in Seattle Center. We want to give a big thank you to all the organizers who worked hard to keep tabling costs low and admission to the event free, key ingredients to any independently minded festival (as a PZS organizer, I can attest to this)!

I  rode up to Seattle with Emily and Virginia Paine of Sparkplug and tabled for Stumptown Underground, sharing a table with Alex Wrekk.

I met so many people, got a lot of Stumptown Underground zines and information passed out, and had a lot of fun. There were many people checking out Short Run that hadn’t even heard of zines, so it was great to be reaching out to so many new people about independent media. When I talked to organizer Kelly Froh at the end of the day, she said that their count for attendance was 820!

Thank you so much, Short Run! We will want to go again next year, so keep up the good work.

After Short Run, quite a few people hit up Georgetown Liquor Company for food before the after party at Fantagraphics. And, holy moly, did they have some amazing vegan food there! Emily, Virgnia and I shared the arugula artichoke dip, which was blended artichoke hearts and arugula (and, I swear, at least one jalapeno, there was a hint of spiciness) with Daiya mozzarella on top. I had the split pea soup and the Picard, which was made with apple-sage Field Roast, roasted red onions, Daiya mozzarella, Tofutti cream cheese and roasted garlic spread, toasted on ciabatta and served with vegan au jus dipping sauce.  It was all amazing!

I also got a couple records at Georgetown Records, the record store that’s nestled with the Fantagraphics store, and made

Just as a reminder, the next deadline for Stumptown Underground is coming up, for submissions to our memory-themed, 21st issue. Read the open submissions call here: http://www.stumptownunderground.com/2011/10/issue-21-memory/

What I am making time for…

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We only have the time we’re willing to make.

I haven’t been to Jazzkat’s Coffee Bar in ages, because I don’t live or work near there. So, I made sure make the time to go there today and it’s still as awesome as ever. I love you Whitney Baskins! Plus, do all my vegan friends know that a new vegan tattoo joint has opened up around the corner? When I got to Jazzkat’s today, Whitney walked me around the corner to introduce me to the new vegan tattoo shop owners of Ritual Art Tattoo and Body Piecing, which happens to be a queer-owned vegan tattoo place, no less. There is another empty space next to Whitney’s for rent, so I was joking to her that we needed to get another vegan shop there to create a second vegan mini-mall. Maybe FoodFight needs a second location? There are already a couple grocery stores in the neighborhood though. Since Whitney’s place has coffee and sandwiches, I wouldn’t want to see something that competed with her.Maybe another Herbivore? Hm..

Anyways, I have been working harder to re-socialize myself, making time and spending time with friends I have neglected the last year and half. I had coffee with Noah last week and it was the first time I had seen him in forever. It felt so good to sit and talk, it also seemed that we had some mirroring experiences since the last time we’d really hung hung out. I also had an affirming get together with a guy I dated off and on for a year before the big-bad-ex, in which he apologized for not being a better friend while he had starting dating someone else. I had gone into meeting him expecting to still be mad but hoping to make amends, so I was pleasantly surprised when we talked and I felt he was sincerely reaching out to me. I tried explained to him that I could understand where he was coming from because I had neglected a lot of my friends while I was doing a big, unhealthy thing for over a year, so it would be pretty hypocritical not to try to offer a bit of forgiveness and understanding for his attempt at reconnection… But I would also like to be friends with him anyways, which is why it hurt to feel like it didn’t matter to him before. So, yeah, all kinds of resolutions happening, all kinds of reconnecting, all kinds of new connections.

There are some new connections happening too, which are interesting. I am dating a boy who actually is enthusiastically poly and already has a relationship going with another lady long before me, which is actually a new position for me. I am usually the lady that’s already with the guy, navigating the new ladies in the guy’s life. And often the guys haven’t been good at being honest and open with their other goings on and the ladies haven’t been very friendly to the relationship that already existed. So, in a weird way, I feel I am getting to be the kind of woman I would have liked to see in my life and I am really loving the opportunity. The other lady came to Trek in the Park with us, then her and I had coffee last week, then we all had coffee yesterday. There are some obstacles for us, mainly that she has a couple of guy friends in her life that I had bad interactions with a few years ago (I am not a fan of them and, as a result, they are not a fan of me) and that poly is still very new to her. If there has ever been one universal motivator for me, it’s been to succeed in spite of other people’s negativity or bad shit in the past. There is also the idea that polyamorous relationships are different for each set of people trying to have them, so even if the boy and his lady weren’t at all new to this, we’d still have a lot to navigate and sort out between us and I have been just blown away with the level of communication and open-heartedness from both of them.

In other news, the ocean-themed submissions deadline for Stumptown Underground is just around the corner (July 23rd) and I hope you all make time to submit to it. The submissions for the summer-themed issue were low enough and we’ve been so behind on things within SU, that is looks like we’re may combine the summer and ocean issues.

I completed the PZS 3rd Annual 24hr Zine Challenge this past weekend, but I kind of hate what I made. So, unless you sponsored me for the challenge, donating $10 or more to the Portland Zine Symposium, you probably won’t ever see this zine. I have more thoughts about the 24hr Zine Challenge for another post soo

Also, we’re doing the bike-in movie night again for PZS this year, this time with Whiffies new mobile, yellow beast. We had an open vote on the movie this year, which has finished and Triplets of Belleville was chosen! The bike-in movie night is happening on July 29th, you should all probably come.

In slighted related music listening linkage, here is a kind of dorky song I am have been liking…

GoDaddy’s CEO kills elephants for fun.. :[

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I found *another* reason to hate GoDaddy… http://www.video.me/ViewVideo.aspx?vid=380843
GoDaddy’s CEO shoots elephants in his spare time. He claims that he’s being kind because the elephants are destroying farms and need to be reduced in population… It only takes a few minutes, however, to discover that others in the area use simple and proven methods to keep the elephants out of their crops without hurting them.
As if GoDaddy’s horrible quality service and crappy products like “Website Tonight” weren’t enough reason to host elsewhere. If you have an account with them, switch it to something better quality, like Dreamhost (which is even local to Me). I love Dreamhost, I use it for all my web hosting.

I want to make it clear that I am not ever going to tell anyone that it’s wrong to eat animals, not eating them is My personal choice, but blatant disregard and respect for other living beings is something that definitely disgusts Me. I grew up hunting, farming and ranching. I know what it takes to take care of another living being and then to kill it. Glorifying violence to other animals is gross to Me. The industrialization of life is even worse (like factory slaughter houses). So many people don’t realize that pigs are measurably more intelligent than dogs, it’s just that eating dogs is taboo in our culture. Elephants? Fuck, elephants are so intelligent and so sweet, hunting them for sport is just ignorant and sad.
And, because I love references, here is some reading if you want to actually know what elephants are capable of:

http://news.discovery.com/animals/elephants-intelligence-test-110307.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/08/elephant-intelligence-study_n_832522.html http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201103/empathic-chickens-and-cooperative-elephants-emotional-intelligence-expan
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/02/0221_030221_elephantvocal1.html
http://www.natureinstitute.org/pub/ic/ic5/elephant.htm

Written by lovemotionstory

April 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm

“From the oyster to the eagle…”

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A question posed to me on formspring about oysters…

Animal rights activist Peter Singer made an exception for eating oysters. Oysters, he said, could be harvested in an environmentally sustainable way, and because of the lack of a central nervous system, were incapable of suffering. What do you think?

I think it’s fabulously interesting to mull over (that’s the inner biologist in me talking), but I think I will still abstain.

I actually love slate.com and originally read the findings you mention on oysters here: http://www.slate.com/id/2248998/

Peter Singer actually began to make an exception for oysters, but he then retracted it saying, “one cannot with any confidence say that these creatures do feel pain, so one can equally have little confidence in saying that they do not feel pain.”

While I wouldn’t judge a vegan who chose to eat local oysters and agree that it makes more ecological and environmental sense to eat oysters (well, for the record, I am also not in the habit of judging vegetarians or omnivores about their dietary habits either) as opposed to buying Field Roast from Seattle or maybe even Tofurky (more local to me, but still highly packaged), I am not interested in crossing that line. In that same vein, I try to limit my purchases of Field Roast, Tofurky, nonlocal tofu and even produce (I am growing quite a lot in my new and extensive garden). I love Dave’ Killer Bread not just because it’s yummy and healthy, but also because it’s made locally.

We humans are quite amazing animals and we constantly are discovering more and more ways we’re not much more sophisticated and/or intelligent than all other animals, as well as discovering how much more sophisticated and intelligent many animals are compared to what we thought… Because of this, it’s easier for me to just cut out animal products altogether so that I am not worried about the potential unknown, that I unknowingly caused harm to and/or inflicted suffering on another animal. I recently even gave up honey–yes, yes, the horror! I have been vegan for over 6 years and yet I didn’t feel inspired to give up honey until recently. But, there you go, that’s just it. Ideas change, motivations change, I am definitely open to changing my mind when presented with new evidence or other philosophies, which probably contributes to my lack of judging other peoples’ diets.

My personal motivations for being vegan involve minimizing unnecessary harm and suffering of my fellow animals, minimizing damage to the environment/ecosystems from which my food sources come, and minimizing my carbon footprint. So, I am still not interested in eating oysters because I wonder if we can be totally sure the oysters don’t mind. I just rather not run the risk that I have caused another animal harm without realizing it and I am doing quite alright without eating oysters.

Written by lovemotionstory

July 14, 2010 at 8:48 am

A Thanks to Community!

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As a nanny who spent over 3 years working in the Hollywood District (going to the Jazzkat’s Coffee Bar, Hollywood Library, etc. almost every weekday) and a vegan of 6 years (almost as long as I’ve lived in Portland), there are some communities I feel I need to say a big thanks to for their support over the last few weeks. I have been working on this post for 2 weeks, it’s hard to find the right words…

My first thank you goes to the community of the Hollywood District in general, for supporting Whitney Baskins, a barista-turned owner who took the coffee shop she worked for and managed to make it even better. The people of the Hollywood District, especially the librarians, have been so supportive and dedicated to her and it’s amazing to watch. Thank you for showing myself and Whitney something we already suspected: When a small business owner works in their shop, involves the neighborhood, and hosts events supportive of the local culture, the community will enthusiastically be there to support that owner and the business.

My second thank you goes specifically to the healthy eaters of the Hollywood District. Whitney worked hard with Heidi Lovig (who made all the spreads and vegan cheeses on the new menu) to make healthy food options available in Hollywood, and she has received a lot of thanks from the neighbors, residents or workers, for filling that missing option.

My last and biggest thank you goes to my fellow Portland vegan community! When Whitney first asked me for help launching her new menu at Jazzkat’s, I turned to Janessa and Webly for help making sure Heidi’s vegan cheese was up to snuff. They worked with me to plan a private tasting a couple weeks before the menu launching and they each gave honest feedback to Heidi about her vegan spreads and cheeses, as well as some no-nonsense advice on her soon-to-be-launching, vegan cheese company. I was so excited to help my friend Whitney get her new menu off the ground and even more excited to see a woman planning to start a locally made vegan cheese company, because I feel guilty every time I pick up FYH or Daiya, knowing how far it has to travel to hit my shopping basket. It was inspiring to know that Janessa and Webly were just as interested in offering their support. Janessa and Webly are such dedicated and helpful women who really back their ideas and values with their time and consideration. From there, countless Portland vegans have popped into Jazzkat’s to support the new menu that includes us in every way. In just the first week into promoting the new menu and one week before the menu’s actually launch, Whitney told me her sales were up 40%!!! That is amazing. Let no Portland business sell short the vegan demand in Portland.

Thank you, everyone, for supporting my friend and local businesses that invest in their communities. You are all amazing!