Food Workers of the World, Unite and Take Over!!

4 04 2013

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This:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/04/fast-food-strikes-new-york-city_n_3009780.html makes me so happy to see happening. When I worked in fast food, I talked often about how much of a catalyst for change it would be for fast food workers to strike. There are a great deal of misperceptions about the world of a fast food worker, and until you’ve experienced it- you just may never fully comprehend. Fast food workers are treated like disposable slaves. The job is very high stress, you have expectations as an individual by most corporations that are unobtainable without robots, and there is little to no strong work ethic in lower or upper management, which bleeds into the staff. The next time you see a disgruntled fast food worker, before you judge them or get angry, think about this: Most “full time” fast food workers have a hard time getting scheduled for more than 25 hours, there is a timer above the door of every drive thru window, it goes red after 90 seconds. The timer starts counting down as soon as you drive up to the order window. Once that timer is flashing red (after 90 seconds) there are points deducted on reports that go to the corporate office. 90 seconds from driving up to the window to driving off with your food is consistently nearly impossible to deliver, especially when you consider that most of the time your cashier is only putting your order into the computer and taking your money, the people on the food line most often have anywhere from 8 to 20 orders to complete within these 90 second guide lines. There’s an angry manager when this happens, typically yelling and projecting to everyone, often a member of upper management supervising who is also scrutinizing and occasionally an angry customer who is already stressed out from the traffic they just sat in. I’ve had some really rude customers before when the whole assembly line of product is slower than the 90 second time limit, people lose sight of the fact that you are in fact, a genuine human being struggling to make a living on slave labor. Also, with no health benefits provided- most food industry employees cannot afford (on their minimum wage) to visit a doctor when ill, and it’s not easy for non pregnant adults to get on government insurance. Being around both food and lots of people for several hours a day exposes you to potential pathogens, and it is actually very common for fast food workers to get viruses. However, it is nearly impossible to call in sick, as a fast food worker, without the fear (and potential reality) of losing your job. Which leaves many sick workers working, preparing your food, and handling your money. If there was a greater respect for food workers in this country and their jobs were protected, perhaps we would see a tremendous change in many social arenas?

side note:

just read the CNN money article http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/04/news/companies/fast-food-new-york-strike/ and had to leave the page, there was so much negativity in the comments. It amazes me the way people talk about food industry workers, nearly everyone I have ever met in food service is working towards something more sustainable for themselves, are very intelligent as well as very aware of the state of things socially, economically as well as politically. I made my mark in the comments section, but I am not finished with this. I’m as passionate about this as I am many other things, and I want to do something. I need to do something.

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spontaneous, premature solar revolution ritual

30 03 2013

Today, while randomly scrolling through my facebook I noticed that the local tattoo parlor was having a $30 2″ x 2″ black and gray custom tattoo special. I decided this was a good idea, and just as I walked out the door to take the kids to the playground, I called back to Todd that I was thinking of doing this. I thought about it more and more while the kids played. I knew instantly what I was going to choose- the bunny as a bird from the Runaway Bunny, who is resting on a branch from the tree the mother turns into. The mother who will “be a tree that you fly home to”

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I have been pondering this tattoo idea since long before Madelyn, Perry or Alden were born. From the moment I opened that page while reading it to baby Sylvia 10 years ago, I knew it was going to be my tattoo one day. I walked back with the kids to have lunch and get settled, and decided that this was a perfectly rational thing for me to do today, so I told Todd I was going to do it, made sure he was cool with me running out, and headed over. The tattoo shop was interesting, and like most tattoo shops, there were a bunch of guys hanging out watching a movie, watching youtube, listening to music, ordering food and having a smoke break. There were pictures of people making faces while getting tattooed on the walls, which was a minor amusement as I waited for the artist to be ready. This is my sixth tattoo, but my first work in three years (my last was my steampunk menagerie moth for my twenty ninth birthday). As he began the outline I started reading the portion of my anthropology text “Rituals and Beliefs” compiled by David Hicks about the need for ritual. The article in particular that I was reading was debating whether Durkheim was being too narrow in his concept about the construction of ritual, and proposes that rite precedes belief. I closed the book and enjoyed the tattooing, and reflected on how important, as a rite, and how very sacred each one of my tattoo experiences have been. Before I left the house, I was trying to explain the concept of getting tattooed, why it is important to me on a personal and spiritual level, and I decided that I would blog about it. In fact, I think I will continue this, as I could write a great volume about this concept and tonight is the night I have an ice cream and West Side Story date with Sylvia. For tonight, I will conclude with this- there is truly no experience like getting a tattoo. It is a beautiful, pleasurable and yet painful sensation that takes your mind out of your body and transforms your body into something new, it is the alchemy of the flesh- it is the art and magick of creation, concept made into material through ritual, through impermanent cellular sacrifice. More later, here’s the final work (pictures from cell phone, apologies for substandard quality) from my twitter:

and

More, tomorrow…





the bored haiku

26 03 2013

rain like the ocean

yet the window remains dry

just static T.V?

 

staticage





coffee blues and supermarket voyeurism

25 03 2013

I hate Mondays. I mean, I know we’re programmed to hate Mondays, but when I am doing a coffee cleanse, I really despise the beginning of the work/school week. I have been imagining a fresh, hot cup of freshly ground french press dark roast (with agave nectar and goat milk) all day long. As most of the world, I equate my energy level to the amount of caffeine surging through my veins, and without it I feel exhausted. I’m trying to push through it, make myself drink some water… I look to my juicer for inspiration, only to run in horror at the thought of having to clean it afterwards. Mondays are the days I NEED my coffee. This particular Monday involved a dentist appointment for Madelyn, followed by standing for an hour straight outside the tax booth at the local supermarket waiting for a turn. It was a rather interesting experience, as standing against walls at supermarkets tend to be. I stood in front of an elderly cashier who had to be 90 years old, at the very least. I watched as she carefully scanned all the groceries, and made small talk with the customers. What amazed me the most about this was that she did not stop smiling, not even once! Considering what a fast paced society we’ve come to live in, I expected to see a disgruntled customer come into her line at some point. However, during the hour of this exchange every single person left with a smile as well! It was a wonderful experience, watching this little microcosm happening right before me. I spotted a cashier with a genuine beehive hair style (complete with a silk flower tucked in the back) and made eye contact as well as smiled at nearly every passing person. It was finally time for me to sit with the tax lady, and as I sat another lady who had not been waiting came to the seat. Before I had a chance to say anything, she offered her seat to me, and I sat to be greeted with a cheerful presence by the lady who was working by herself and had just finished up with an hour long tax preparation. I was relieved to be met with grace in a situation that on any other Monday would have been really challenging my zen. I glanced over on the wall to find the quote of the day, from Nietzsche:

“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

It’s rather remarkable how many little things await our discovery in this universe. So often we overlook the signs, only to get lost in the general collective mass projected emoticons. So grumpy without coffee or not, we have to breathe, and open our eyes.

Blessing of Monday to all!

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(that’s Mississippi John Hurt, by the way. Coffee Blues. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL7jowIpykQ )





this must be the place: a midnight ode to Sebring

25 03 2013

I love the way Florida sounds at night… there’s always some strange unidentifiable alien-like sounds coming from the lake that makes me feel like I’m in the jungles of Haiti. I can’t decipher if it’s cranes, frogs, insects, the highway or an audio-casserole of everything ricocheted off the water. This place has really grown on me, and I am happy to finally have that elusive feeling of having a place to call “home”. It has been quite a journey to get to this point, however. We moved to Sebring after a year long conversation about moving somewhere outside of Georgia. There were a few places we tossed around the idea of, and some of them were in Florida as well, but there was always something very romantic in the description and research about Sebring, and Todd had grown up here, so it became more and more on our radar. We stayed for a weekend in April last year; camped out at Highlands Hammock and stayed in a room at the Kenilworth Lodge (art noveau/ Spanish revival lakeside resort built in the early 20s). I was smitten the moment we got here. I couldn’t really put my finger on it, but there was something really special about this place. We moved from Atlanta in mid May, after selling most of our possessions and packing the van up with kids, dog and whatever else could fit. The first few months were the typical new place honeymoon phase, exploring, visiting the beaches (about a 2 hour trek to either coast) and getting acclimated. Then it hit me. Like a freighter. I was homesick like I had never been homesick. I felt like my 21 year old self- crying in the kitchen of the Navy housing, barefoot and pregnant and alone. I missed my friends, I missed my family… I mourned, and dreaded and regretted, and blamed and turned into a real stink of hormones, emotions and ridiculousness. But I didn’t run from it, which is something I tended to do in the past, run to another country, city, whatever to avoid what is in my face. I went in the trenches with myself and I looked in the lens of the microscope. Slowly the community began to grow around me- there was the churches, the theater, the thrift stores… I walk nearly every where and live right in the heart of the town; which brings me to great interactions with amazing people. There is such a rich culture of people who live in this tiny little retirement community. Most people who grew up here or who have only passed through would probably never recognize this. But after living in many different cities, I think Sebring has become my favorite. There is some sort of social gathering, that is most often free or cheap happening nearly every weekend, and there is a great deal of honor and respect paid to eras gone and to the older generation here. There are a great number of artists and performers, and an appreciation as well as thirst for the arts. I can have a beautiful, deeply spiritual conversation that is void of dogma with a stranger in the produce aisle of publix, and I am almost guaranteed to run into at least one person I know daily. Sometimes, I think I made this place up, when I was a little girl. It is so reminiscent of the make-believe life I concocted when I was making my pretend movies in my grandparent’s basement. But above all else, to me, Sebring represents my undying faith in myself, and the strength of my will to not give up. I am growing, like a thistle in the summer sun. This must be the place.

(interesting side note: Highlands County is part of the Lake Wales Ridge- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Wales_Ridge  which is the ancient island that Florida once was. So we are living in a pretty ancient, sacred area here. And I’m pretty convinced this is yet another vortex)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMawfL1lE4k





illuminate. rejuvenate.

23 03 2013

Spring forward.

Hello spring. I had forgotten it was time for your visit… Perhaps I was avoiding facing what I haven’t accomplished yet. I have my own quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) hours of mourning the creations I have not created just before the light changes and the air shifts to the undeniable arrival of the new season. This time, this equinox- I had to ask myself: Why do I always focus on what didn’t manifest, instead of acknowledging what did? I pick myself apart at old desires left unfulfilled. I have a long struggle with past yearnings that are based on rather outdated archetypes of self that no longer fit the big picture of my life. I realized it wasn’t necessarily an attachment to old versions of reality, rather a fear of what the new story would tell. In the grace of seeing the minor victories, I see the open doors that were once walls. I long to see the changes happen, but cringe at the process required to bring those changes. I must remind myself, once more- the process is more important than the end results. In the process lies all the experiences, all the songs, all the lovely moments. Once the shift into the new paradigm born from the change occurs, the process is over, and a new process begins. Life is climbing your own Everest, and finding yourself at the summit. So welcome, spring- dear old friend. I stand in the light of this new time, this new promise, this new process and I will not stand down. I will weather the calluses in my hands from jagged rocks, the exhaustion of moving forward and the fear of falling. I recognize that I am anchored, and that with each ascension welcomes me with a moment of tranquility and rest before another time of intensity. Welcome, Sun.

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“A. E. Waite suggested that this card is associated with attained knowledge. An infant rides a white horse under the anthropomorphized sun, with sunflowers in the background. The child of life holds a red flag, representing the blood of renewal while a smiling sun shines down on him, representing accomplishment. The conscious mind prevails over the fears and illusions of the unconsciousInnocence is renewed through discovery, bringing hope for the future.” 





Reconnecting

31 01 2013

Today, there I was, in my pajamas still, untouched sink of dishes, laundry not hung or folded, studio door unopened, on the bed at 10 am in my PJs while my youngest sat watching Dinosaur Train. I knew I only had a half hour to “get my work done” as I told him, but in reality- I only did a small portion of the research I was planning on doing (you see, I have a new project I’m in the planning stages of, and was shopping around for prices so I am prepared for the investment) but I spent five minutes of that time with comparative shopping or looking up ideas… instead I find myself on facebook. I read the homepage scrolling, I look at my page, I go back, I comment, I message, and wait. I wait to see if anything else is going to happen… my son soon has a full blown tantrum, because his show is over, he wants a snack, I’m in another room on the computer… and it hit me. I am not even sitting in the room with him, not even playing with him, or reading with him. I would have slapped myself if I witnessed this when Sylvia was a baby, when we didn’t have the internet and only 20% of the people I knew were online, when social networking was still a novel concept in it’s infancy. I spent 12 hours a day nearly straight- playing, reading, walking, on the playground, on the floor with her. She was my constant work, my great work, and the entirety of my universe. Well, and learning the ropes of balancing wife and mother. I came across two articles around the time I saw the grotesque state I was in: http://www.handsfreemama.com/2012/05/07/how-to-miss-a-childhood/ and http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/13/3231386/offline-hows-it-going-paul-miller

I am extremely inspired by both, especially the idea of going offline. My big dilemma is that although I may not be even close to a complete online business yet, I would like to be there soon. I have played around with the idea of going offline for business and focusing on the craft fairs, but I want people to be able to find me online. I’m coming to a point of resolution inspired by Katwise http://www.katwise.com/ who only posts rounds of her sweaters to sell once a month. One week a month could contribute greatly to my mental clarity, keeping my online time to a minimum for postings and transactions only, the remaining three weeks of the month be time for production and preparation, family time, me time, couple time, etc. This is all part of my ongoing struggle with sculpting the vision of myself series… this year I’m being realistic and releasing my need for immediacy, taking things slowly so they solidify. I have spent 3 weeks thus far on going meat free and am waiting until next week to go dairy free, I can wean my online problem slowly as well. I will start with weekends only, and take it slow. As I watch the toxins drift from my reality, I hope to find a more illuminated path towards the true will. It’s call is becoming much more audible these days. Image