Friday, September 30, 2005

Texans Scare Me

Drunks with guns: U loot we shoot.
A pack of drunk white guys with guns. And a golf cart.

You go, Texas.

Props to Ja'AmLo of Gay Hill Texas for sending that fine fine photo.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Voting with my dollars

After last year’s election and seeing the two campaigns that I felt passionately about both lose, Measure 36 and John Kerry, I came away saddened, disheartened, beaten, battered, let down, shocked and disgruntled. I let myself feel that for about a day. And then I got mad.

Measure 36 was really personal. The presidential campaign was just shocking. My partner and I got together with some friends and talked about what we could do (after commiserating on our defeats first, of course). We talked about what the other side does as standard practice. And what we saw on the other side was the good ol’ boys and their network.

The good ol’ boys buy each others services, make sure they help their friends in the “magic circle”, and give business to each other to ensure their mutual success. Before the election I had somewhat followed the concept of voting with my dollar. But after the election, I held onto it as a course of action and empowerment for something I could do to ensure my voice was heard and to keep fighting the good fight.

And I love that phrase. Voting with your dollar. My vote didn’t count for jack shit on those two campaigns I mentioned above. (If I was a more positive person I could argue that of course it did). But one of the most powerful statements you can make is where and how you spend your money. Since last November we’ve really thought twice about where and how we spend our money. We needed a new porch railing: I went to the Portland Gay Yellow pages to find a fellow queer or queer supporting business. Same thing with landscaping help. We buy with confidence at Costco, knowing they’re one of the largest “Buy Blue” supporters. We support local businesses that give back to the community.

Do I research every single purchase I make? No. Do I refuse to buy from a business that doesn’t make any statement whatsoever? Of course not. But why should I give my money to a business that will use a portion of my money to fight causes that I give money to support? And after having my personal relationships out there on the line for people to squabble over and seeing the environmental protection laws going to hell in a handbasket, among other things including going to war, I want to say I have hope and faith in our government and our governmental system, but I don’t.

But I do have a job, and I do spend money. And I hold the power for where I spend it. I have options and I utilize them. If you’re a business that supports causes that I believe in, I want to know about it. Because I’ll support you. But if you use your dollars to support discrimination or fight environmental regulations or to make money from poor people like gambling, I hope my money never gets you one cent.

I talked this over with a friend at lunch today. He’d much rather buy things from people he knows. Being a foodie, he frequents restaurants where he knows and likes the owners. He knows where they buy their produce from. He likes the knowing. And I think that’s a lot of what this is all about: being aware of what you’re supporting when you buy a product or service. And feeling okay with it. Certainly the voting with your dollar may not be the right thing for everyone to do, particularly when it comes to accessibility, budget, quality etc. But being aware that every time you spend your money you hold the power to make a statement of what you believe in, that’s pretty cool. The difference between the new “vote with your dollar” mentality eschewed by the left is no different than the long held beliefs in the good ol’ boy network on the right. We’re just being upfront and vocal about it.

So what if you want to vote with your dollar?
-Look at groups or memberships of the company you’re purchasing from;
-Check out on-line resources like Buy Blueto check political donations of companies you’re supporting;
-Pay attention to in-store signage, newsletters and affiliate programs of the stores or organizations you support;
-If you patronize a business that you see is participating in sponsorship of a program or project that you disagree with, let the business know your position and ask them to stop. Let them know why and tell them you’re a customer.
-Websites such as and allow you to see what individuals or businesses support what campaigns.
-Talk with friends and family about your choice to vote with your dollar and why. Share with them information that you find along the way: for many people it can be shocking to discover your favorite clothing store, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologe, for example, is owned by a huge right wing supporter. Or that your health club, Curves, is owned by a born-again Christian and supporter of anti-abortion initiatives . Often just sharing the facts is enlightening enough.
-Clarify what you will and won’t support. Often the chain of support can be complicated. Don’t feel it’s all or nothing: if it means starting with a simple weekly decision, start there.
-Up the ante and revise your Vote With Your Dollar manifesto yearly. For example, we’re now looking beyond services and local goods: what’s the political stance and record of our mortgage company? And what’s our option in this regard? If I can get comparative rates and quality of service from a company that provides the same thing yet supports my political beliefs and the community organizations I support, I’d much rather see my dollars go there. And the big ticket items are key: mortgage, autos, insurance, appliances etc.

And finally, this whole post stemmed from a little scofflaw that broke out about where to eat for dinner over at Metroblogs and then continued into to its own post and topic (thanks Betsy for capturing that). When there are hundreds of options in this great foodie town, you can bet I won’t go to one that actually resides inside of a Shilo Inn. That’s akin to walking into the lion’s den. I can get the same, if not better quality food, in a kajillion other places and know that my $25 is not supporting political action that’s geared at discriminating against me. That, is a very easy decision.
About the owner of Shilo Inns…He has been a longtime funder and vocal supporter of conservative politics in Oregon. A 5-minute websearch also pulled…

- Most recently he was cited for poaching and illegal hunting activity

- He’s the second greatest beneficiary of state-sponsored video poker

- He’s supported the scandals of Bill Sizemore

- He supported the Bush campaign.
And in most circles, he’s referred to as “ultra-conservative.”

Monday, September 26, 2005

Strange collection of photos

1. Saw this pair set up on North Lombard yesterday. If you act fast you might still be able to get that lovely couch. ***shudder***

2. This is the woman who used to not want to have anything to do with the cats. Yeah. She's been "catted." No need to provide other possible names for that. Really. (this is while she's watching Little House on the Prairie. god I love this woman.)

3. MLK Blvd.

4. Scenes from a carwash.

5. I feel like someone's starin' at me. I don't know why...
staring at me

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Old people rock*

*Alternate title: when I grow up, I want to be just like him.
speed demon!



Friday, September 23, 2005

Goodbye Waddles, hello Hooters?!?!

Where have I been? NoPo is getting another titty bar—oh my god THAT is a surprise!—and I didn’t know about it? Evidently. People! I’m sorry I have failed to blog of this monumental nightmare. Okay okay, stop it now, you may say Hooters is not a titty bar, I’ll say it’s a mega-chain nightmare. Better? Good. And the creme de la crème? I just read via here that it’s going in one of my favorite historic buildings: Waddles.

Okay. There are two things here.
1. Waddles.
2. Hooters.

First, let’s talk Waddles…

The fantabulous architecture of Waddles and the infamous Eat Now sign along I-5 at Jantzen Beach have been an icon for those motoring along I-5 for years. Designed by architect Pietro Bellushi in 1945, it’s one of the very last things you see as you go over the bridge and into Washington state. Check out the beauty of the signage, the camp of the design, and the classic style here. Waddle’s closed a few years back, and was rumored to have been the location for a Krispy Kreme. No more.

Second, let’s talk Hooters…

I once heard an NPR story about Hooters, and the Hooters brand. The spokesman said their brand is “quality”. In fact, he said something along the lines that while the girls may first get ‘em in, it’s the quality of the food that brings ‘em back. He then proceeded to wax eloquently of the Hooters brand equating good, family values. It’s the kind of place you can bring your kids and have a good meal. Yes, he really said that.

All the while being served by women wearing nylons with shorts, white socks and tennis shoes. Notice I’m not saying anything about the tiny tops. Nope. It’s the fashion faux paux of frickin’ pantyhose. As they say in their handbook, “Pantyhose are a required part of the uniform and are to be worn any time the Hooters Girl uniform is worn.” They better be careful of phenomena like this (man’s static electricity causes fire)

I digress. Back to that Hooters brand. Good ol’ boy titty bar masquerading as family restaurant, will soon call a historic legend of North Portland home. Good bye Waddles, hello Hooters.

Me? I’d much rather go to the Dancin’ Bare . They have amateur night. And it’s just up the street. And they don’t try to masquerade as something they’re not.

P.S. Please don’t try to defend Hooters. Come on: employees have to sign the following statement:
"I hereby acknowledge...the work environment is one in which joking and innuendo based on female sex appeal is commonplace."

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Caption this photo

Oh holy crap. I love me some gossip over at Perez Hilton—Hollywood's most hated website! But this photo really scares me. So much in it, so much to see and take note of. But then any extended time looking at the photo scares me. Have I used the word scare enough?

Caption it peeps. Bring it on. Especially you, Superinky.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Two jews get on a plane...

I know it sounds like a bad joke. But this little story has been festering in my mind and I just have to share it…On my flight back from Boston, I connected via Newark, New Jersey. That’s a great airport to fly in and out of, by the way. Beautiful views of Manhattan, and even of the Statue of Liberty. I don’t get to New York very often, so to at least see it from that vantage point, makes me feel good.

But I digress…I had the a seat in the very last row of the plane. You know what that means. Directly across from the bathroom. Nice. The last people to board the plane were two men, apparently Orthodox Jews. Black suits with long coats, white shirts, long curls, you get the picture. I have to say, I don’t see them in Portland, so it was a little different. They were not seated together, and to the obvious dismay of one of them, he was seated in the middle seat in the row in front of me, flanked on either side by two women. About an hour into the flight, I noticed he wasn’t in his seat, and hadn’t been for quite a while. I looked back, and he was standing in the little galley area, across from the bathroom. He stood there for most of his flight, except when the seatbelt light came on and the attendant announced everyone had to take their seat. People were looking at him funny, some mumbling about him needing to sit down, etc. I thought he must be frightened to fly and maybe that was his coping mechanism.

About 4 hours into the flight, a woman in line for the bathroom spoke with him, and while I couldn’t hear everything, it did turn out she was offering to change seats with him. He went up front, and she sat down in his seat. He had been upset about his seat because he is not allowed to touch women in any way, even by sitting next to them in an airplane. She was Jewish and familiar with the customs and traditions. I thought it was kind of her to offer to switch with him.

When I got off the plane, I stopped at the counter and was rearranging my bags when the two gentlemen approached an attendant, asking where they should go to get their connecting flight. They were connecting to Moses Lake.

Moses Lake, Washington? Is Moses Lake an attraction to Orthodox Jews? I did some googling and couldn’t find much about Moses Lake, except that it was the site of a horrible student shooting in 1996, and this past weekend they had a festival going on featuring Styx and REO Speedwagon. I don’t think they were going to Moses Lake to get their Mister Roboto on. The name Moses is obviously an important one in religion, so it made me wonder if Moses Lake attracts Orthodox Jews? Or if it was just a very strange coincidence. What do you think?

Trip planning...cultural immersion in Mexico

We’re planning a trip to Guadalajara and Mexico City. Part familia, part cultural immersion. Impetus for the trip: Day of the Dead.

Day of the Dead is a unique combination of Catholic and indigenous Mexican religion… it’s really beautiful. Read more about it here.

Part of the trip will be to Guadalajara . Cultural mecca of Mexico, we’ve been before, and will probably do and see things we’ve seen, but it’s a beautiful city. For sure we’ll see Orozco's murals: Orozco was such a powerful artist. His work blows me away, with its huge size, and public access. I love its political messages, and that he was an artist of the people. Seeing his work in person is unlike any photos.

As for a sidetrip, there’s no way we can’t go to Tequila (uh, music warning for that gem of a link).

We’re also going to Mexico City (more on that part in a future post), but I for sure want to see Frida’s famous blue house.

Thank you frequent flyer mileage!

Friday, September 16, 2005

From Congressman Barney Frank’s lips today, heard live and in person…

“I wish the average citizen believed in the separation of church and state the same way he believes in the separation of sports and politics.”

Thanks Congressman Frank for bringin' it home: that quote is a keeper and I couldn’t agree more. And thanks for speaking at a graphic design conference: yes, government does have a place at the table in the design community, and vice versa.
My blog manifesto articulates that I don’t blog about my professional life. But I’m throwing that out the window right now. I’m at the AIGA Design Conference in Boston. Feeling inspired, stimulated, amused, and in awe. And, without naming names, a little underwhelmed, too. You name the design luminary, they’re here.
DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid spoke this morning: love him. If you don’t know his work (he’s also known as Paul D. Miller), check out that linky link with his name. He showed this amazing cool video. I love the convergence of music + poetry + video + art + hip hop + imagery + power + old school + new school way of design. I missed him this last week in Portland as part of the TBA Festival. He also threw out a new term I hadn’t heard before, as something he identifies as: gangsta nerd. That so kicks ass.

Here’s a picture of the stage set up: pretty cool multi-level thing with musicians and an artist above, performing during the keynotes….


Now that my luggage has arrived, 24 hours after I did, I’ll be able to do my hair, wear deoderant and clean clothes tomorrow: what a nice thing to look forward to!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Thanks, Starbucks

Thanks, Starbucks
Originally uploaded by Lelonopo.
The only paper coffee cup I'm actually leaving on my desk. Yes, got the gay cup at Starbucks. I didn't think I was that obvious. Kudos, Starbucks. You made my day.

The Way I See It #43
My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it for so long.
I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don't make that mistake yourself. Life's too damn short.
-Armistead Maupin, Author of the Tales of the City series and the novel The Night Listener.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

How poor is poor? Do we, on line, really know what that means?

Last night I came across a blog that continues to haunt me. Writing of “these people need to have some self dependence” and “they can’t rely on the government” to take care of them. I read response after response agreeing, and the reference of “we must teach a man to fish” regarding self-sufficiency. Of course this is about the thousands of Katrina victims herded into the convention center and Superdome in New Orleans.

This dialogue has stayed with me today. And I’m disgusted by it. Those that didn’t leave New Orleans were the poor, mainly black population, without the means of transportation. And THEIR GOVERNMENT told them to go to the Superdome, and they would be helped. They believed their government. If they had the means to leave, don’t you think they would have? Self-sufficiency? What do the majority of us on-line know about being poor? Really know about what it means to be poor?

I read this , and I cried.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People

I knew the t-shirt makers were fast, but dang, this is fast! You know I'm getting one.

Urban Portland Meet Rural Oregon

Originally uploaded by Lelonopo.
Only an urban Portlander would find this sign interesting, huh? Note to self: put gun away. Can't shoot here.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

"Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure, measure a year? "
The movie RENT hits theaters in November, and the trailer is available along with other cool stuff at the movie website.

I am SO not a musical hound. However, there are a few musicals that I adore, and RENT is one of them. The soundtrack has amazing power for giving me hope, aspiration, and awe. I don't know what it is. But I sing those songs with wild abandon. (And I don't have much of a singing voice.) Sounds like a lot of the original Broadway cast is in the movie, and no matter what, I'm going to see it in a theater with really good sound just so I can hear that music LOUD. Oh, I just know I'm going to cry like a baby during that one. It's good! Get yourself over to the movie website and hear some of the music for free...this is one of my favorites...
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure -- measure a year?

In daylights -- In sunsets
In midnights -- In cups of coffee
In inches -- In miles
In laughter -- In strife

In -- Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love

Seasons of love
Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Journeys to plan
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life
Of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died

It's time now - to sing out
Tho' the story never ends
Let's celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends

Remember the love
Remember the love
Remember the love
Measure in love

Measure, measure your life in love

Seasons of love ...
Seasons of love

Seasons of Love from RENT by Jonathan Larson

Thursday, September 01, 2005

What about the pets left behind in the wake of Katrina?

"Some people were forced to leave their pets behind. Others were never able to evacuate at all." What has happened and is happening in the south right now is a nightmare for humans and the environment. But then I think about all of the pets left behind, swept away, or hurt.......The stories aren't getting better, are they? The Humane Society is organized and is on the ground: I'm making a donation to support their work.

You can too: GO HERE.

I'm going to give Picasso and Frida some extra attention tonight, and be thankful we're all safe.