My 50th Birthday…Stream of Thoughts

My 50th birthday will be here in less than six months and that’s cool, because 50 is one of those milestone numbers. I was thinking that maybe I should have a big bash. Then I remembered that parties are overwhelming for this introvert. Additionally, if all the people I know and would like to invite actually showed up, it would be extra stressful because some folks I haven’t seen in more than five, ten, years. That’s a lot of catching up try to do.

I had this idea that in the run up to my fiftieth I would try to schedule a coffee date every week with a person I hadn’t seen in years to try to catch up, so when I invite them to the big bash, it wouldn’t be so weird and stressful. Then I got a job and got too busy with that and planning trips. Plus I remembered that several of my efforts to reach out to people I miss fell flat and they never reached back.

I know so many people from so many different communities, and part of me wonders how that would work in a party format? Probably pretty nutty, like the time I invited both Sunni and Shi’a Muslimahs to a party and when the former wanted to put on music and dance, the latter all picked up and left. How would my alcohol-avoiding friends deal with a party where some people are heavily into drinking, for example?

Then I found out my birthday is happening during this year’s Critical NW camping trip. My first reaction to that was to see if maybe I could make up an excuse to not go and attend a Buddhist retreat instead. I think I have talked myself out of that plan. But I’m not sure how I feel about celebrating my birthday with only one my communities. In the end I will probably use my birthday as an excuse to show up late to Critical, after I get that 1/2 price spa entry fee from Olympus Spa. ūüėČ Then maybe there will be a surprise party waiting for me, because I hate surprises, but if I drop a hint about it online six months before, maybe I can have a non-surprise Surprise Party.

My new favorite emoji

 

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What’s Up

I managed to write one poem a day for the first three weeks of NaPoWriMo but I think I’m done. Yesterday I had no time to write as I was at the Puyallup Fair for nine hours in the cold and rain. I logged 17,000 steps which I think is a record for me.

I was at the Fair to support my daughter’s step team, Northside, which took 1st¬†place in the Step Show competition this year.

Now this week, I’m going to be busy helping out at Sakya Monastery for Tibetan Buddhism, as there is a week long event for the anniversary of H.H. Jigdal Dagchen Dorje Chang’s parinirvana.

Busy times!

Twisting the Facts

A lot has been written about Fake News, but¬†honestly, what I mostly see is Twisted News. It’s not that the facts are wrong, just distorted. Here’s a real life example that just came in to my Inbox (click on it to make it bigger):

Here we have¬†news alert emails, one from “People’s Action” (ourfuture.org) and the other from Seattle Times. Seattle Times says, “Fourteen million Americans would lose coverage next year under House Republican legislation remaking the nation‚Äôs health care system, and that figure would grow to 24 million by 2026, Congress‚Äô nonpartisan budget analysts projected Monday.”

So even though they contradict each other, neither email subject is actually outright lying, but these two different sources have chosen to put the spotlight on a different number. These sorts of differences say a lot about the outlook of the news source, and who they are trying to reach and influence.

What do you think?

Funding Education in WA state

Even if you don’t have kids in public schools, you probably know that the¬†future is in the hands of young people, and want those young people to be prepared by having a good education. Here’s a couple of concrete things you can do to help.

Action Item #1:
Governor Jay Inslee has released his 2017-19 budget and it aims to fully fund our schools, which should be of special interest to WA state parents, who have perhaps, like me, grown tired of having to vote for tax levies and chip in to PTA fundraisers so that our school kids have what they need.
 
His plan actually manages to reduce property taxes in 119 districts, because we’d no longer have to keep voting to use property taxes to fund schools. According to Seattle Times: “In the Seattle School District the local property-tax bill would drop an average of $262 per taxpayer in the 2018-19 school year, while taxes in the Bellevue School District would drop an average of $297, according to the governor‚Äôs office.” ¬†
 
The new taxes he invokes are things like a carbon tax and capital gains tax, which we should have in place any way, in my opinion.
 
Please write to your legislators¬†and ask them to support Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget, which will fully fund basic education in WA state.¬†
 
 
 

Action Item #2:
Additionally, we need to ask legislators to vote to extend the levy cliff as soon as they get in session, because if education isn’t fully funded in our state by April 15, 2017, schools across the state face a¬†major shortfall.
 
I was at a Budget meeting Tuesday night and they are already preparing for the worst. Cuts will be felt across all districts and all areas. Its especially important to ask your GOP legislators (if you have any) to extend the levy cliff, because from what Senator Reuven Carlyle said last night, the GOP controlled state Senate last year refused to do this, because they wanted to force the issue by having the school system break down completely. The stakes are higher this year, as a $74 million shortfall is projected when a balloon payment on taxes is due April 15, 2017.

You can write your legislators and ask them to extend the levy cliff, or print postcards from a link at the bottom of this page.

Things and stuff and stuff and things

It’s the last day of summer before the kid starts middle school, and I haven’t had much time to post. Here’s a brief rundown of the latest life news.

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Greenwood Gas Explosion, Aftermath Pics

In the wee hours of March 9, my husband and I woke to a loud noise and shaking.

“Earthquake?” he mumbled sleepily.

“Too short,” I replied.

I looked out the window to see if someone had broken out our car windows or something. Everything looked fine, but then I heard the sirens. If it had been later in the morning I probably would have stayed up, but instead I fell asleep, then woke to the news on Phinneywood.com that three of our local businesses were obliterated in a gas explosion and dozens of businesses’ windows were blown out.

Today I walked around and took some photos.

 

Buildings obliterated: Quik Stop, Mr Gyros and Neptune Coffee

Buildings obliterated: Quik Stop, Mr Gyros and Neptune Coffee

 

Directly across the street from the blast, Seattle ReCreative was hit hard

Directly across the street from the blast, Seattle ReCreative was hit hard

 

Even a block away there was some serious glass damage

Even a block away there was some serious glass damage

 

Looking up Greenwood just north of the 85th St intersection there is damage all the way to Green Bean.

Looking up Greenwood just north of the 85th St intersection there is damage all the way to Green Bean (which was unscathed, fortunately, considering that place already had to rebuild after the arson some years ago took four other Greenwood businesses).

 

Other side of the street, a block away from the blast.

Other side of the street, a block away from the blast.

 

Around the corner, an old building begins to crumble.

Around the corner, an old building begins to crumble.

 

At the carpet store a block away and around the corner.

At the carpet store a block away and around the corner.

 

Gordito's

Gordito’s

 

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Glass and rubble

Glass and rubble

 

Around the corner and down the road

Around the corner and down the road. By the way that Xhale Tobacco place will change your watch battery or your car key remote.

 

Couth Buzzard ... open! Along with boarded up Chaco Canyon and Coyle's Bakeshop

Couth Buzzard … open! Along with boarded up Chaco Canyon and Coyle’s Bakeshop

 

Razzi's

Razzi’s, home of the best gluten-free pizza crust

 

Post Office

Post Office

 

Flag at Half-mast

Flag at Half-mast