On my way to visit a friend i was stopped at the light and noticed an empty potato chip bag suddenly lying next to the car in front of me, one lane over. I realized, ‘they just threw that chip bag into the street!’

For a split second my jaw dropped. (I don’t think I have actually witnessed anyone throwing garbage out of their car in years… in fact, i don’t remember the last time). After said split second, I laid on the horn — right as the light turned green. The kids (yes, they were stereotypical punk teenagers) turned to look at me and I snarled “don’t litter!” and then I added “pick up your trash!!” As we pulled forward to go our separate ways I heard one of them say “f*** you!” …and so I gave ’em the peace sign. (yeah, i really did…)

Instead of that exchange, however, I wish I would have just gotten out of my car, walked up to them and handed it back, or just picked it up myself and said, “hey, i got this one – you can get the next one” — or something wise and pacifist like that.

Didn’t happen though.

Littering pisses me off because it shows their lack of concern for themselves and others, which is, in some way, a product of the fact that we live in a ghetto, so I can’t really blame them. But I do. They are better than that and they oughta act like it. (I wish I would have told them that too.)

So I’m kinda disappointed in myself and sad about being so snarly.

But, I still hope the next time they want to throw something out their window they’ll at least check to make sure some crazy white lady isn’t going to holler at them about it… maybe they will. 🙂


thanks ccdsd & hhsa

June 26, 2009

just went out to dinner with an old co-worker, Amy. She is about 60 years old, a former nun and Catholic lesbian. She was always one of my favorite people at Catholic Charities. One thing I remembered about her as we looked over the menu at this great little hole-in-the-wall mexican restaurant is that she loooooves beef. 🙂

we had this great discussion about the paradox of life — her motto, she said, was something like, “everything changes, nothing lasts; and everything changes so things can last.”

we have both been going through similar transitions lately and it was awesome to share the perspective of sadness and mourning along with the hope and anticipation of what change can bring.

We talked about how we can have faith that even in those moments of hell, there can be a purpose — we just have to give it time, respect the process, and be open to what we can learn.

We laughed about how our re-connection occured over a work related matter — the County Food Stamp Office had erroneously denied one of her program participants Food Stamps, so she got in touch with me to help sort it out… so out of that frustration (although it is much more frustrating for the participant, I’m sure) we were able to connect have have such a great time together… And as nutty as Catholic Charities can be, I’m grateful for the amazing people i have the privilege to know who keep it going each day.

good times

June 24, 2009

Ever have one of those moments where you’re just ‘in it’ — like you’re in the vortex of all the good things life has to offer? The Indigo Girls have some lyrics in their song “all that we let in” — planets whirling, atoms splitting, and a sweater for your love you sit there knitting — i love that somehow the small act of knitting a sweater for someone is easily in league with the miracle of atomic process and the grandiousness of the universe.

Sunday nights i’ve been going to Tom & Larry’s for a potluck and planning the neighborhood float for the pride parade. We ate, had a short meeting, and got to work on our banners. I sat with my back to everyone, stitching up the edge of the banners on the sewing machine; most folks were behind me cutting out stencils, cracking jokes (lots of double entendre!); there was good music playing and i was singing along… I’m sure the glass or two of wine I’d had was a contributing factor as well, but I got this great sense of peace and happiness: I was with my cool new neighbors, we’d had good food (and people loved what I had brought), and we were working together on a project that I am really excited about and represents my values… it was so great… i just took it all in for a moment… imagined all those planets way up in the sky, and all the atoms doing their thing, right as we all sat on the back patio in the dwindling sunlight with our scissors and smiles…