Recap of Green New Deal town hall

Last night the Boulder/Denver hub of the Sunrise Movement held a town hall meeting on the Green New Deal. It was organized by the two young leaders who worked their tails off to put it together. I’m the group’s token Baby Boomer (my words, not theirs) and was proud to assist Michele Weindling and Nick Tuta as I could. We had over 100 people show up on Memorial Day, many of them young people who care so deeply about the climate crisis they dedicated their last evening of the long weekend to activism. Impressive and humbling.

As I listened to the speeches from young activists and watched the Green New Deal presentation that included the many, many challenges facing young people today (decision to not have children due to climate crisis, crushing student debt, stagnant wages and tight job field, etc.) I teared up. And when those same speakers declared their resolve and refusal to back down from their demands for real action on the climate crisis and environmental equality/justice, I wept some more.

These young people aren’t going to take No for an answer and politicians best wise up. They either need to Step Up or Step Aside. We need a Green New Deal.

Forgot my camera so have just this one blurry shot of me in my Green New Deal bandana. We had a table for people to make one for themselves, their kids, or dogs.

Please support the young people in their efforts for a sustainable future and contact your representatives to demand they co-sponsor this aspirational resolution. Thank you in advance!

Sunday Confessional: selfies aren’t my forte

And yet, when I came across this forgotten selfie on my phone I immediately fell in love with it. Because the photo took me back to where it was taken: on our Rustler’s Gulch hike in Crested Butte last July. Zippy and I’d climbed the trail at the end of the valley to sit on a huge outcropping to eat our lunch. Everywhere we looked was absolutely glorious. Up, down, side to side. Blue sky, fluffy clouds, wildflowers, stream, trees, mountains. Nature at her very best.

But this selfie isn’t just a reminder of the natural splendor we witnessed on that hike. Our expressions are also documentation of how very happy Zippy and I were that day. The poorly framed image and those nostrils only add to the good memories.

Sunshine + exercise + a good doggo = win

December is a tough month for me because of the short days and colder temperatures. I try hard to get outside every day, but when it’s below freezing I stay inside. Today was sunny and warmer than the rest of this week so I took Emma for a run. We were both exceedingly happy to be outside and moving.  The shady parts of the streets were a bit chilly, but whenever the sun hit me it felt warm and wonderful. I’m definitely more upbeat as a result of our outing.

Post-run selfie as the sun slips behind the hill.

Unfortunately, the sun’s already setting behind the foothills and we’ll soon be in shadows. But my dose of sunshine, exercise, and Emma’s happy face will get me through another short December day.

Visiting Denver Botanic Gardens

Today I met a friend at the Denver Botanic Gardens. She has a membership and treated me (for the umpteenth time) to a guest pass. Here’s one of the dazzling flower and plant displays at the entrance:

There were many plants I recognized and many more I did not. For instance, what is this?

In my photo file I labeled it “Poky Plant,” but I’m nearly 100% sure that’s not the right name.

Then there’s the Dragon Arum otherwise known as Dracunculus vulgaris. When I showed this photo to Zebu he said the exact same thing my friend had remarked: “Dracunculus vulgaris is a Harry Potter spell.”

It was a lovely couple hours at the gardens and now I’m back home in front of my computer, getting psyched up to tackle my revisions. 

May my thoughts stay still longer than the water spiders in that last photo.

A Pastafarian walks into the DMV…

I have a birthday coming up which means my driver’s license is about to expire. I tried to renew it online this morning, but was told I didn’t qualify. This means two things:
(1) I have to go wait in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles and (2) I have to get a new photo taken.

I’m not a photogenic person, however, my current driver’s license photo is pretty good. By that, I mean I don’t wince every time I take it out of my wallet. From my perspective, that’s the definition of “keeper.” That past success should make me optimistic of getting another non-wince-inducing photo, right? Wrong.

  • Colorado no longer issues colored driver’s licenses; they are now grayscale.
  • Colorado no longer allows people who wear glasses every single moment of their waking lives to wear those glasses in their photos.
  • Colorado no longer allows people to smile in their photos.

No color. No glasses. No smiles.

Gee, I can’t wait to see what my new driver’s license photo looks like. Except, I already know what it’ll look like: as drab and unlike the real me as my passport photo which is also No Color, No Glasses, No Smile.

I am so angry right now. Not because I’m vain (I am), but because we’ve become a fear-based society that’s given up our civil liberties in the name of increased security. I don’t know about you, but facial recognition software doesn’t make me feel any more secure. The surveillance state doesn’t make me feel more secure.

I’m debating whether to show up at the DMV wearing my colander:

                                   Tracy in March 2012                                  All hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

Other Pastafarians have taken a stand with their driver’s license photos, and maybe I should do the same. The shiny metal would certainly brighten up what will otherwise be a dreary photo.

To smile, or to stab — that is the question

Today is the day, I thought. Today, the photo of me with the Stabby bus will make its blog debut. (The image was captured our first day in Uppsala. Zebu spotted the bus coming up the street, and I quickly handed off my phone and posed next to it when it stopped. Those who know me well know that I quite frequently “feel stabby,” which is why I was thrilled when Zebu captured the original Stabby bus image for me.)

Today is one of those “I’m feeling stabby” days. So I went back and found the photo.

Huh? That woman does NOT look as if she’s feeling stabby. She’s smiling, happy, and, aside from the claw-like curve to her right hand**, looks pretty damned relaxed. Not at all stabby.

I almost gave up on today’s stabby theme. And then it hit me: this photo is perfect for today’s post. Why? Because the reason for my stabby feelings is that I’m struggling with two characters’ friendship in the opening pages of my new project. I’m struggling to smooth out their interactions so as to establish their relationship and character arcs, and suddenly, it feels as if the first 60 pages are a steaming pile of mixed messages.

So what better photographic representation of mixed messaging than this photo of the smiling me next to the Stabby bus?

HA! I’m suddenly feeling slightly less stabby.

** me simulating holding a pointy object in preparation of stabby motions.

Free to be me

I dislike having my picture taken.
I dislike seeing photographs of myself.

I would much rather I didn’t care one way or the other.

I just used my old phone to take a few pics of myself
and I’m posting them here.

Call it photographic immersion therapy.

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A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he is being photographed, and what he does with this knowledge is as much a part of the photograph as what he’s wearing or how he looks.
~  Richard Avedon

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No Longer

As I perused my photos, hoping to pluck an image or two from the obscurity of my hard drive, I came across a couple unsettling pics.

Years after this ash tree was photographed, it was attacked by an unidentified blight and is no longer in our garden.
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(Just realized that the neighbor’s crab apple tree in the background was also cut down. Not to mention that the snow is also long-gone. HAHAHA!   Ahem.) Then there’s this selfie for a passport photo from a “few” years back:

tracy self-portrait passport photos 015Those glasses, the dangling jewelry, the barely-gray hair . . . no longer. The only constant is my deer-in-the-headlights expression whenever a camera’s aimed at me.