Monday, August 15, 2011

31 by 32: End of Summer Edition

My monthly 31 by 32 progress report is back, after a little break there in July. The minutia of my life is somewhat recorded at Brew to Bay, although not as frequent as in the past. 

Here's my seven months into 31 status report (up to August '11)


COMPLETE! See six different local bands live.  
I know there's more, but as of last writing I'd had four down. I now have seen AT least three – Wallpaper. at Great American Music Hall (likely my concert of the year), Kelley Stoltz open for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and the incredible The Stone Foxes at Outside Lands.

Read and review one non-fiction and one fiction book a month. 
Reviews STILL missing, but still regularly reading thanks SF Public Library. Fiction - in the past two months I read the excellent Object of Beauty and deliciously trashy and nostalgic Sweet Vally Confidential. Unfortunately haven't completed two non-fictions, but I am almost done with the awesome Fortune Cookie Chronicles. Bonus! I did read a short story collection – Portraits of a Few People I've Made Cry.

See and review at least one film per month.
Yeah, so much for reviews. Except for Bridesmaids, you got that one. I also caught one more film at the Red Vic before it closed (SO SAD)...Circo, about Mexican circus workers. I also saw a couple social justice documentary screenings – God Grew Tired of Us (with John Dau present) through Groundwork Opportunities and Grow! (about young farmers in Georgia) through 18 Reasons.

Try one new recipe a month. 
Still experimenting with various things from the farmers market. I have two near me now Upper Haight and Divisadero. I'm also doing my veg challenge (see below).

Try a new [to me] locally-owned restaurant each month. 
Again, this is my life here. Winners for the past couple of months include Millennium, Little Chihuahua, The Pork Store Cafe, Mission Chinese, and Radius Cafe.

Leave the county I live in at least once per month.
I actually left the STATE by popping up to Portland for the 4th (and flying out of Oakland, I may add). Then later in July I ran the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon, popped back up to Sonoma County again for canoeing on the Russian River, and then stepped foot in Marin biking across the GGB with Monica & Bart when they visited. In August, I helped out my friend Sarah with the Jewish Film Festival in Berkeley and checked out Oakland Art Murmur.

Write one album and one concert review a month.
Reviews continue to lag (taking this part out next year), but albums keep flowing into my ears. Especially now that I have Spotify! Been rocking Tune-Yards, YACHT, Wallpaper and Vetiver most of the summer. I mentioned the local bands I've seen, but also just wrapped up Outside Lands – three days of rock and roll. This past week was Clap Your Hands Say Yeah with Kelley Stoltz at The Independent and I caught Cults at Bottom of the Hill in July. In the June/July timeframe I saw the always incredible Ms. Sharon Jones at the gorgeous Stern Grove Music Festival.

Spend one-on-one time with a friend at least once a week. 
Definitely doing a good job of this. Having two roommates increases the odds as well that somebody will be around during the week. Additionally, I had a TON of visitors in June/July so lots of one-on-one tour guiding.

Contact an elected official, at some level, once a month about an issue that is important to me
This a petition-crazy town. I've signed stuff. I need to actually take more effort though. 

Go to an art show or gallery once a month. 
In early July I sort of went to BAN 6 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts...the Opening Party at least. I had better luck this month hitting up the Oakland Art Murmur, Lower Haight Art Walk, and Divisadero Art Walk. The latter was my fave (and also closest to my house!).

Applaud bipartisan efforts in my social media forums at least four times. I'm moving this up to 2/4. I had a healthy discussion with some Mormon Republicans supporting them in backing Ron Paul. Mostly cuz Michelle Bachmann scares the bejesus out of me.

Visit one or more family members apart from Christmas. My brother and I had lots of sibling bonding when I was home over the 4th. Yeah!

Attend games of at least four different sports. (2/4)  I've been rocking AT&T Park lately – Brewers game, Phillies & Pirates. And at all of them, the team I rooted for won (Brewers, Giants, Giants). I am hoping for a Brewers/Giants playoff series!

Go to at least four theatre performances. COMPLETE! This is at 4.5 actually. Caught The Edenites with Mary Ann and Kirstin back in June, but unfortunately got a sad news phone call during intermission of Tales of The City and didn't see the second act.

Go vegetarian for 31 days. (IN PROGRESS). I hate it. Am fantasizing about burgers. And now my most carnivorous friend is visiting on the 28th. Boo!

Go for 31 days without consuming any soda. (IN PROGRESS). Figured I may as well do a twofer with the whole no meat thing.

Dedicate one blog post a month to promoting a local business. Not dedicated, but been better at mentioning.
Dedicate one blog post a month to promoting a local non-profit. Same deal of half-mentioning. 


Visit one of my five remaining states - Alaska, Arkansas, Mississipi, North Dakota, or Oklahoma.
Get something published.
Do 31 non-girl pushups in a row. (Although I think with some more yoga I may be up to this)
Work my way through the entire "Take Off In Italian" CD set I bought in 2003.
Attempt another recipe out of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking"
Go for one full week without consuming any processed foods.
Have one week where I only consume foods made with locally-sourced ingredients.

1) Make at least one MAJOR change in my life.
5) Change someone's life for the better (other than my own).
7) Digitize my CD collection.
9) Take advantage of a crazy spontaneous opportunity
27) Bike to / from work every single day for 31 days.
28) Go for one full week without consuming any alcohol.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Funky Cold Mobdina: Segregation vs. Integration

Cross-posted from Brew to Bay:

Warning: I realize this blog is going to piss some people off. Please know I can write volumes about how awesome Milwaukee is. But if you don't address problems they'll never go away.

This morning I was greatly saddened to see this article posted on Facebook describing an alleged mob scene at the Wisconsin State Fair last night.

More upsetting to me than the news of alleged violence (which I do not condone), is the unbelievably racist tone of the article. Compare it to the one in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (oddly enough owned by the same media company) and the difference is stark.
Let's compare the ledes:
"Witnesses tell Newsradio 620 WTMJ and TODAY'S TMJ4 of a mob of young people attacking innocent fair-goers at the end of the opening night of State Fair, with some callers claiming a racially-charged scene."
"Police from three jurisdictions - West Allis, Milwaukee and Wisconsin State Fair police - spent Friday morning piecing together a series of incidents late Thursday night at the Wisconsin State Fair in which large groups of youths rampaged through the Midway and outside the grounds after closing."
It doesn't take a journalism degree to label one as sensational and the other as a bit more balanced. However, both use the articles succeed in one thing — underscoring Milwaukee's issues being, what a friend on Twitter referred to as, "trapped in a 1960s timewarp, but not in a good way."

Yes, the fighting kids were absolutely in the wrong. But it doesn't help the situation at all to add fuel to the fire and make it sound like all black people are out to get all white people. That guy named "Norb" — I'm about as scared as him as he is of an MC Hammer and Tone Loc concert.

I refuse to look at the comments on either article, as I'm sure they'll cause my heart to break into a thousand pieces.

Of course the entire time I lived in Wisconsin I heard and read report after report of the segregation problems. I don't have a solution. I will tell you though, I didn't realize how bad they were until I moved back to somewhere integrated. I can also tell you that efforts are needed by both whites and people of color. But Jesus, white people, you really need to make an effort.

I used to work at 17th and Fond du Lac and white people would freak out that I'd walk a quarter mile to 21st and North to catch the bus. Guess what? I never got shot, mugged, harassed more than I would downtown, anything. The most I ever got was people looking at me like "What the hell is this white girl doing here?" I'd be confused too if a white person never came into my neighborhood except when there was traffic on the freeway. I also feel like many people don't realize there are middle class areas tucked in the "ghetto" in Wisconsin. All they see are black vs. white. There are amazing things in a lot of Milwaukee's vast land area. Go discover them.

I can tell you some of the stark differences I see in San Francisco:
  • Here, skin color does not equal socioeconomic status.
  • Here, chatting someone up at a bar/dating does not revolve around skin color. 
  • Here, there don't appear to be a bunch of "diversity" efforts. Diversity just is.
  • If there's a mob beating or other act of violence, it's not a problem for "that neighborhood." It's everybody's problem. EVERYBODY wants to find a solution.
Yes, there are "bad neighborhoods." Yes, there is Oakland. But the dark cloud of racism isn't constantly hanging above our heads.

Before I sign off, I'll end with the best quote I saw from @svdodge this morning:

Lets also realize that the "dozens or hundreds" of "black youths" were outnumbered by "non-acting spectator citizens." Deep societal problem.

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