not the only one…


livin the dream

why not? It occurred to me today that I and friends of mine often say we are “livin the dream.” Its said in casual conversation as the reply to the common question, “how are you?” It seems like a quick, fun, way to answer a worn out, yet sincere question, but I started thinking yesterday… could it really be true? I used to always laugh when others said it. And then I started saying it because, honestly, i love to make people laugh. I love to entertain. But while I said it the other day to the grocery store clerk, and he and the pretty old woman in line behind me laughed with big, broad smiles, it made me genuinely happy. It was like I had “made my own day!” And it hit me, what if I really was “living the dream?” And living my OWN dreams? How amazing would that be? How wonderful would I feel each and every day?

So, why haven’t I been living my dreams? I’m not sure, and its probably not very important or interesting. Probably some lame reason like fear or insecurity or self-doubt. BOOO! HISS! I’ve had enough of fear and self-doubt. I’m breaking free. I’m going to start living my dreams.

I want to write and learn and study social change. I want to make the world a better place. I want to make people feel good, I want people to be happy and to love themselves for who they are. I want everyone to be present and focus on today. I’ll plan for the future, but I dont want the present to pass me by.

I want to write a book by the time i’m 40. I want to get my phd. I’m going to do it and I’m going to succeed. It is decidedly so. I need to dream, need to envision my dreams and then take action to achieve my dreams.

I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

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Partisan? Nah, its all about the benjamins

I can be partisan sometimes. Not ashamed. But maybe it would be good for me to be less so?  I do have complaints about both Democrats and Republicans but I just can’t shy away from the fact I have many more complaints about the Rs. I’m so liberal. so progressive. And I like being liberal and progressive. I almost always vote democrat but I would love to vote for an independent (socialist) like Senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont) if I lived in his district. Now, I’m my congressional representative is Rep. Jim McDermott from Washington’s 7th cong. district and I’ll vote for him this November since redistricting just happened but he is in one of the safest districts in the country. I used to be in WA 1st district, which was also a safe district for Dems, but I’m afraid the 7th is even more so.

I wish Congressmember McDermott would take more risks and be more liberal. He always wins by a landslide and there are many political donors in Seattle. I would like to see him fundraise more in his district to support Democratic candidates running in close races in other part of Washington, or the US. I think Senator Bernie Sanders could fundraise more too to help other progressive candidates elected.

Sanders wants campaign finance reform and so do I.  I think its the only way we will ever get close to a socially just society, and that wont happen until a majority of Americans vote and get active in our government and political process. Whether our votes really do count or not, what might be more important right now is that too many people believe in the idea that their vote doesn’t really count. But in 2008 when President Obama was elected, over 60% of eligible voters participated. That’s not a bad number, actually, and I was a bit surprised turnout was that high. But we need to restore confidence to the American people so they will stand up for what they believe and educate themselves so they will speak out for justice, equality and democracy.

Jonathan Soros, son of George Soros, recently started a super pac to promote campaign finance reform. The super pac, called Friends of Democracy, aims to launch negative attack ads at candidates who oppose campaign finance reform, also sometimes known as publicly financed campaigns. (I gotta admit, I like their up front attitude of taking candidates out.) The city of New York recently began implementing a publicly financed campaign system and they are working to expand this system to the great state of New York. I look forward to watching and learning how the system works and if it stands to improve the quality of candidates elected to public office, and if it improves or alters the types of legislation introduced by state legislators, and if it alters the votes of elected officials that have been elected with a publicly financed campaign. The goal is to help remove money, corporate interests and all the lobbyists working to keep corporations and rich people rich.

I think campaign finance reform will be central to the achievement of economic justice in America. Much more will need to be done to provide equal opportunity to all Americans, but this would be a good step — as would tax reform! I look forward to how this new pac Friends of Democracy plays out… I might like to be involved or work for them at some point. I often want a job doing something much bigger than myself and taking money out of politics is a passion of mine currently.

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Thank you. And let’s leave money out of this.

the Natalie Merchant song “Thank you” has been circling in my mind like an old record for the past two days… its been great. Its a great song and I have been filled with gratitude at my wonderful life. I love my family. I love my friends. I love my wonderful, amazing, inspiring partner Justin more than I ever knew I could love someone. I adore him. I am so thankful for him and our relationship and the love we share together every day. We are both growing and learning more about the world, ourselves and how we hope to find our place in this strange world we live in. America is one of the best countries on this planet, but there are still many troubles and struggles affecting the american people, as well as the people who come here as immigrants looking for work. millions of people come to america to escape troublesome lives far worse than most americans have. we have clean water, I have a safe and sturdy apartment to shelter me from the weather, I have a good job with which I have good healthcare coverage and the resources to by food, clothing and entertainment. I am so thankful for the good life Justin and I have, and the good life my family and friends have.

I want all people to have fresh food, clean clothing and safe shelter, as well as access to good education and access to jobs that pay living wages. I believe all people are deserving of education and healthcare, and food, clothing and shelter are the three staples that everyone should have at a minimum. America is the richest country on earth. We should not have a hunger problem. We should not have a homelessness problem. We should not have a literacy problem. We should not have people dying because they cannot access good, affordable healthcare. America has all of these problems and more. According to the 2010 US census, 49% of all single women with children under the age of five are living in poverty. Half of all American single moms with children under five years old live in poverty. This is awful.

America needs to invest in education instead of war. Our military budget keeps going up and up when this money could be better spent on healthcare for all and and especially mental and physical healthcare and well as employment placement for our veterans. America needs to stop locking people up for drug crimes and instead put money into our school system. If the prison system was not mostly privatized and large companies were not profiting off the large number of people locked away, we might be able to stop the cycle of poverty and miseducation that prisons create. American republicans need to stop torturing women by trying to limit access to birth control and abortion with dozens of anti-abortion bills and laws in congress and in more than half of the united states just in the past year.

I could go on and on but need to get back to work right now. My work at a non profit advocating to end homelessness and provide more safe and healthy housing options that low-income families and individuals can afford. But I will say one more thing, we need to remove money from our political election process. Elected officials are truly bought by their largest donors/funders and are not held accountable to the people they represent because they are too concerned with funding their next campaign. Campaigns continue to get more and more expensive and the voices of every day Americans are less and less heard, and less and less heeded.