As an anarchist my enthusiasm around voting is very low.

However, my partner and the father of the baby I am about to have is a felon, and the ways that our shitty society treats felons really piss me off. He has been out for 5 years, off probation/parole, works so hard to take care of me and our animals, fought an uphill battle for custody rights to his first child, pays child support and old residual court fines on time, and is doing everything he can to make positive progress. So for me, this issue is personal. I am insulted on behalf of my partner every time felons are treated poorly.

Every job application that refuses felons enrages me. I saw one for Agriberry recently, that stated they would not hire felons to pick berries. What negative impact a felony conviction would have on one’s ability to pick strawberries is I really couldn’t say. Read the rest of this entry »

Budget Bozos

City of Richmond’s budget is an ongoing soap opera of whodunits and epic missteps. It would be hilarious if it was just a TV show with some crack pot protagonists. Unfortunately, the crack pots are the politicians and the results of budget failures are very real. It ends up being less than funny for frustrated tax payers.

The latest boondoggle for Richmond is the proposed Maggie Walker statue and plaza. Originally intended to be funded with private money, now the Planning Commission has overlooked that 2010 resolution and are estimating a combined cost of $900,000 for the statue and plaza. Some, including members of the Public Arts Commission ( http://rvamag.com/articles/full/26318/public-arts-commission-members-protest-approval-of-maggie-walker-statue )    see this as a last gasp from Mayor Jones to resurrect his reputation. Others just see this as a continuation of luxury spending while basic services try to go down the drain, but can’t because the sewer gutters are blocked and flooding the streets. Read the rest of this entry »

Check out the new article I just got published thanks to the fine folks at RVA Mag! Mayor Jones’ Meals Tax Proposal Leads to Tummy Aches

The massacre at a gay club in Orlando has created a groundswell of unfortunate responses by both the political right and left on the issues of immigration, guns, and policing. These poor responses include erasure of a queer identity and (un?)intentional racially/immigration status oppressive politics.

I have been trying to hold back my initial reactions to the Orlando shooting. Some of that has been a deliberate with holding of opinion, and some has been due to how numbing these sorts of events can be. Processing the news, the grief, the fear, and then the responses on all sides is a major intellectual and emotional undertaking. A lot of my friends in LGBTQ communities around the world have been struggling with the fear, sorrow, anger, etc. that the massacre created.

What I have noticed is similar to the observations of others – mainstream reaction to the Orlando shooting involves a lot of jumping to conclusions and ignoring the victims and survivors. What this does is add insult to injury for lgbtq and poc communities, and ultimately I say leave the door open for more future oppression and violence against those communities.

The reality that the shooting at Pulse happened on Latinx night and involved many people of color and immigrants seems to have been overshadowed by outside agendas to promote an anti-immigrant response. Even though the shooter was a man of color and american citizen born and raised. Outside forces are twisting this tragedy to fit the narratives they have already written. The anti immigrant crap is largely coming from the political right. Were this a white shooter, it would be a lot easier to suggest it was a racially motivated attack. The shooter being of color himself, and a first generation American makes it not so cut and dry. However, the issue of the identity of the victims must not be ignored in analysis. Many of the victims were immigrants, the children of immigrants, from the colonized territory of Puerto Rico and some undocumented folks as well. Responding to this shooting with anti immigrant legislation, and legislation which will ultimately result in more racial profiling is NOT honoring the victims and survivors. It is basically spitting on their graves.

The political left has their own contradictory bill of malarky to sell the public in response to this incident. The anti gun whiplash response is in full effect, largely ignoring the facts about existing gun laws, guns, and the not great political implications of their suggested gun laws.

Read the rest of this entry »

End of year Haiku

I have secrets I
want to spill about next year
herbal apprentice!!!!!

I am an actor
without motivation
in this land of adults

waiting on hold for
twenty minutes is meant to
be normal to us?

no i will not hold
your entire system is
crap we deserve more

eating for two is
how i normally eat so
its going to get weird

i spend my christmas
money on chinese food and
tofu sammies yay!

warmest december
cheapest vacation thanks for
the heat climate change

Flashy scandals frequently rock the City of Richmond’s government sector. From bad investments, to bad investments, to a lack of financial accounting or accountability, the administration routinely fails to make good choices about how the money it collects from all of us is spent.

And there is a percentage of citizens who routinely spend their time, energy, and money pushing back against the choices being jammed down the throats of us ordinary folks. Locals seem to lose out when local government decides how to spend money. This seems to be a consistent theme.

For the record, I will mention a few of these recent follies – the Redskins Training Camp, the Shockoe Baseball proposal,  the Stone Brewery deal, and the UCI Bike Races. All four of these involved large amounts of money, big financial promises, flashy promotion, and stepping all over the wants and the needs of local citizens, their businesses, and their projects and passions.

This is all frustrating, complicated, disheartening, at times even maddening. But what is missed, too much, is that this is quite frankly leading us to an incredibly scary situation. A situation where kids are getting shot on  a semi-regular basis and there is no reason to think things will get better.

Mayor Jones will have you believe that these long term investments of his will pay off and help the City. I want you to understand that we do not have time to wait for these schemes to possibly pay off. As of the 2010 census, 40% of the youth in Richmond lived in poverty. This is a scary high number. Combined with our failing, falling apart, and floundering public school systems we are setting ourselves up for a generation with too few skills, too little education, and not nearly enough hope.

Read the rest of this entry »

Usually I am pretty decent at both writing and giving presents. This year, not so much with either. I’ve been too busy doing and adjusting to the actions to really express those feelings. I’ve moved to my grandparent’s land in Beaverdam, VA. I’ve really increased my efforts towards running my historic window renovation business, Karnage Creations LLC. I’ve started renting my house in Richmond to another collective, Quercus. I’ve stood by my partner during a nasty, expensive, and stressful custody battle. I’ve taken the time to go to the dentist which I hadn’t done in almost 10 years. I had tubal reversal surgery and couldn’t lift more than 5 pounds for a month during which I moved from my old big house to a new tiny house.  There is way more than that, and I still don’t feel like getting into it all! A lot of good changes, updates, self care, etc. have happened. It has been busy and involved a lot of hard work. But they have been stressful and expensive even when positive. So this year I do not have the money, and haven’t even had the time, to do anything in the way of presents. Instead I have an announcement and these words to share.

For years and years I have watched other people’s children. From younger cousins, to clients, neighbors, and friends who had me watch their kids fulltime, nights, weekends, whenever. I have seen yall raising your children. And I have become jealous of your pregnancy announcements, adorable pictures, and snuggly little people.

I had my tubes tied a long time ago, hoping to adopt and not wanting hormonal birth control or other options. But as hormones got a hold of me, and the realities around unmarried broke people adopting became clear, I decided I wanted to have kids of my own.

Honestly, I think the main thing that made me want to get my tubes untied was watching so many amazing parents I am lucky to know. From the badass single mothers to the couples figuring it out, I am lucky to have been close enough to watch yall have and raise your children. You inspire me, all of you, and have made me want to have a kid or six of my own. I really can not stress enough how much I love an admire the mothers I know. I would seriously list yall, except for fear of leaving one out. Feminists, punks, artists, musicians, dancers, anarchists, travellers, teachers, bakers, herbalists, writers; you have all shown me amazing ways to parent, and how awesome non mainstream kids can be. If I had known all of you in my early 20’s I would not have gotten my tubes tied. Or I still woulda cause I’m a stubborn jerk. But you impress and inspire and encourage me to know  I can do this too.

Of course, for 1,000 different reasons having a baby is a scary thing. One of the major things I worry about is what kind of world my kid will grow up in. Whether it be climate issues, endless war, fascism, racism, sexism, icky capitalism, cell phone zombies etc., I am very much certain that the world is a bit of a shithole.

I’ve done for years and will continue to do ‘activism’. I think a major reason to work on these changes is for our children. I probably won’t reap the benefits of my actions, but I hope the next generation will. It is why I think being nice, helping strangers, having dialogue with those with whom we disagree, not littering, not wasting resources, buying used, showing animals kindness, etc. are vital things we have to incorporate into our daily habits. Beyond that we can organize movements, protests, write and deliver speeches, make art, or however we express a more explicit activism.
I know there are plenty in the punk and activist scenes who think having kids is for sellouts. Cultures need to work harder on making parents welcome, providing childcare and more. Having a kid knowing how shitty this world can be is brave as hell, and I think, is an expression of hope. We need more hope.

2 of my friends recently gave birth. One for her first time, and one for her second. I am super inspired by their bravery, toughness, and how dang cute lil Mira and Silas are!!! I appreciate so much the women who have talked to me about the pregnancies and children.

I reckon I better announce it, for the record. I am pregnant, and expecting some kind of lil squish on or around August 23, 2016.
Read the rest of this entry »

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