blue rachel

The back. Ongoing. Overindulgent Rambling.

Today is not the worst day of my life - not by any stretch of the imagination. Worst day is the 24 hour period in which your dad has a heart attack and your step-mom discovers she has incurable cancer. Worst day is the love of your life walking out on you, and the future you thought was coming when you have to move in one month and have no job and no apartment and your heart breaks into a million pieces in a way you didn't even know was possible and from which you may never recover. Worst day is realizing that for your own mental health you may never be able to spend time with or even speak to your biological mother who raised you because she's too crazy, and it's contributed to the horrible crazy that you have.

But today just sucks. I love Jeremy and Amy and I was looking forward to watching them celebrate their love for each other. I had my Fluevog boots all picked out and a cute dress that matched my date's outfit. I was so excited to see Amy, especially in her dress that Windy made. I heard it looked amazing.

I was so ready for the sexy party. The sexy party that I had been excited about since Lauri and Seth chose the date for sure in the parking lot of the convergence volunteer party. I have a fucking AWESOME idea and an amazing costume that Cali sewed for me, and I was going to look both sexy and totally F-ing ridiculous. My boyfriend was going to discover furry tendencies he never knew he had...I was so excited to see everyone's sexy ideas. I had a great plan for my boyfriend, who was surprisingly excited about the party too.

My back spasmed this morning while I was carrying my boots over to where I was trying on dresses for the wedding. It's been feeling so much better the last few days; so much better I was hoping to go back to circus, not tumbling but at least the aerial part. I have been getting up every single day before work and doing my stretching and some basic strengthening exercises. Yesterday I sat at work all day and it didn't hurt.

The first time that my back did this whole thing, it was one of the worst things ever, somewhat on par with the above-mentioned worst days. The complete lack of control, or understanding. Falling over and just being, I admit it, too stubborn to call someone to come help me. The pure ridiculousness, of having Cali drag me down the hall to the bathroom and help me pee. The fact that by the time we got to the doctor riding in a wheel chair was so painful that I was crying and I couldn't move my left leg at all. BUT - I thought the doctor could help me. She gave me steroids and pain killers and a physical therapist. And the drugs were lovely and the physicial therapist was like a miracle worker. And things slowly got better.

I've had a couple episodes since then. They were easily fixed with physical therapy, except this last one. I saw my doctor again. I have an MRI scheduled. I know the treatment options for the issues that are probably causing this are not great or many. But it didn't feel hopeless.

Today, it just felt hopeless. To go from feeling so mobile and controlled to being completely immobilized. To having to have my boyfriend carry me to the bathroom. To crying because everyone I know is doing the things I want to be doing. To think that I might never be able to be active in the way that I've been loving again. To feel ashamed that I won't be able to do the things in my artist cooperative that I would like to do, like hang a lyra in the lobby during open loft times and have a performance or to maybe hold a circus of the unusual at the nearby park. Just the loss of the simple trust in my body that it will support me when I need it. To not have the amazing high that I get after circus from the combination of intense exercise and mastering something totally awesome that two years ago I could not have done.

And in the end, today, just such a let-down that it had to happen on a day that I really wanted to spend doing multiple wonderful things. Everytime my percocet wears off I start crying, and then I feel even lamer!

I know that this is not crippling, and that many many people have much worse things they deal with everyday. I have a job that allows me to work from home and gives me sick time and help. I have amazing friends, who even today are making sure that I am not left out and alone and are even feeding me! I have a boyfriend that ran all over town to make sure I had the books I wanted and the supplies I needed to costume up if I did decide to take a ton of percocet and just go to the parties anyway. I am so grateful to everyone in my life.

But I find that while I handled each of the other episodes with my back with at least a modicum of aplomb, today I am just depressed.
Upside Down

Con Needs

Hello LJ,

It's time to check in your closet and under your bed to see if you have some supplies to donate to Space Lounge!!

First, we are looking for one or more large chalk boards or white boards to use for the weekend. These will be returned to you!

In addtion, we are requesting spray bottles that are in this shape:

Generally, windex or other cleaning bottles have that shape. These bottles will be used for craft projects and will be emptied of any remaining cleaning supplies, partially destroyed, and NOT returned to you! The sooner we can get some of these the bettttter!

Thank you LJ and any persons to whom this requst is forwarded on to...

Writer's Block: Down on Memory Lane

What is your earliest childhood memory?

My first childhood memories are both from being 2 years old. The first is of my second birthday party, I remember other kids being over and jumping on the bed with a giant (to a 2 year old) pink snake. Now that I think about it, a giant pink snake is pretty rad.

The second is of riding a horse behind my aunt. I fell off, but only into my mom and another person's arms. I wrote about this memory in one of my classes when I was in elementary school. My teacher said people can't remember being two, and people don't put two year-olds on horses. So then I asked my mom, and she said it was when I was two. So there!
Upside Down

Our People would like this art...

The Anodyne has a pretty cool art display right now. It would not be out of place at Con, but is a little better in most ways (I think). Two guys did a challenge together to make one drawing a day, for 30 days, each based on a fairy tale or folk tale. They have a mix of sci-fi and fantasy feelings, and while a lot of them feel like most sci-fi fantasy type stuff some of them are really neat. There are a couple of water colors that I am particularly drawn to.
blue rachel

Action Alert

I usually don't post these things here because I think this kind of action isn't really the sort of thing my friends list is really into, and if they are I hope they check and then I am not bothering the less action-inclined people on my list. (the database email feature of rallyready is not currently in existence so unfortunately I am not able to email alerts at this time).

I feel especially odd about this because I am not sure that I will be able to make these events, due to the horrible state of my bar-knowledge. Which seems like a terrible cop-out, but I swear to god I would STRONGLY prefer to be at these events. Nonetheless, I feel like they are important enough that I am posting them here, and hope that you will forward the information to any friends that might be interested. Also, if rallies aren't really your thing contemplate making a call, or writing an email or letter to express the problems with these issues. I'll post more info if I get more.


9 A.M.



The Minneapolis City Council recently passed a resolution that strips away our protections from police abuse and brutality when we're exercising our rights to free speech and public assembly. Did you know their resolution allows the police to:

* Use rubber bullets when they feel it's necessary

* Confiscate or destroy cameras if they can be used for evidence

* Conceal their identities

* Infiltrate activist groups and target activists

* Withhold medical assistance after they attack people


If you say, "No!," then join us! They passed this resolution without giving us a public hearing, but we're having one anyway!

Rally at the City Hall and tell the City Council they can't take away our rights without a fight!

Special Copwatch Action

Friday, July 25

7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Corner of 1st Avenue and 10th Street, Minneapolis

For the past several months, CUAPB has been documenting the use of low level offense ordinances such as lurking, loitering, trespass and public urination ordinances against homeless people near shelters. Darryl Robinson, vice president of CUAPB, heads up the project and has spent many hours outside of Harbor Lights, Mary Jo's Place and other areas capturing bad acts by the MPD on film. In the course of his work, he has been harassed repeatedly by police and recently received a trespassing citation himself.

About 10:45 p.m. last night, Minneapolis police attacked Darryl, beating and arresting him for "obstructing the sidewalk." During the attack, they slammed him in the head and face and repeatedly choked him to the point of unconsciousness. While handcuffed, he was thrown face first into the paddy wagon and taken to the Hennepin County jail. Luckily, another copwatcher was out with Darryl and was able to get word to us quickly. A large contingent from CUAPB converged on the jail. Before we arrived, one of the guards attempted to mess with Darryl at the jail but jail staff soon backed off and he was processed out quickly and released to us. Darryl's injuries were documented and he was taken straight to the hospital. He sustained head, neck and jaw trauma along with other injuries. Hospital staff initially planned to admit him due to the extent of his injuries but he was eventually allowed to go home from the emergency room early this morning.

Now that the city council has given the MPD a blank check, police think they can get rid of their problems by just intimidating, harassing and even beating and falsely charging activists who dare question them. THIS CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO STAND! We need to be right back out at that same corner where police tried to silence the community.

Join us on Friday night for a shelter-based Copwatch. Bring a camera or a pad of paper and pen to take notes. Let it be known that the community WILL go wherever we need to in order to hold Minneapolis police accountable for their activities. While you are out with us on Friday, you can learn about other opportunities to help us with the important work of documenting police action against homeless people.

Plan also to be in court with Darryl on August 4, 2008 at 8:30 a.m. at the Hennepin County Government Center when he contests the false charges placed on him for daring to document police misconduct.

Instate Run-Off Voting


Immediately: Call or e-mail YOUR City Councilmember
July 2nd: Plan to Attend the Saint Paul City Council Meeting


We need to send a strong message to our City Council that Saint Paul constituents overwhelmingly want IRV on November's ballot --right now!

It is easy as 1-2-3:

1. Find your Councilmember

Melvin Carter, Ward 1: 266-8610
Dave Thune, Ward 2: 266-8620
Pat Harris, Ward 3: 266-8630
Russ Stark, Ward 4: 266-8640
Lee Helgen, Ward 5: 266-8650
Dan Bostrom, Ward 6: 266-8660
Kathy Lantry, Ward 7: 266-8670

2. Call your Councilmember

When you call, a secretary or machine will answer your call. Ask to leave a message with your Council member about Instant Runoff Voting. After the beep, start with your name and address.

OR e-mail your Councilmember

Click on their name above to send an e-mail, or click HERE to e-mail them using a template on our site. Then add a few words of your own.

3. Tell your Councilmember

YOU are one of the more than 7,000 petition signers who insist the council put IRV on the ballot as required by state law.

You've heard the City Attorney "thinks" IRV "might be" unconstitutional according to what he said in the Minneapolis Tribune and Pioneer Press, but you don't want to lose IRV because of a "guess."

Since IRV has been upheld in several courts, it is "clearly" NOT unconstitutional in other states or under the federal constitution. The city attorney opinion doesn't make the case that it is in Minnesota and, therefore, there is no legal reason to keep it off the ballot.

The petition process is the way citizens can put a question on the ballot when the Council won't. It would be a breach of faith and law if the Council overruled thousands of St. Paul citizens by improperly refusing to allow IRV on the ballot due to a defective opinion of the city attorney.

Don't waste taxpayer money fighting a lawsuit to keep IRV on the ballot.

The voters of Saint Paul put IRV on the ballot, now let the people vote on IRV in November.

Please take a moment to do this right away. And thank you for making your voice heard, so we can make our votes count!



What: the Saint Paul City Council plans to vote on whether or not they will block citizens from voting on IRV this November. Saint Paul Better Ballot Campaign endorsers John Hottinger and Jay Benanav, among others may testify. Lets fill the seats with IRV support!

Where: 15 Kellogg Blvd., Council Chambers, Third Floor City Hall

When: Wednesday, July 2. The meeting will start at 3:30PM. We will know what time IRV will be addressed by Friday June 27, when the agenda is finalized.

Please hold this date on your agenda, or REPLY to this message if you already know you can attend. Additional details as they come will be available here.