Monday, May 14, 2012

'You Poor Take Courage/You Rich Take Care/This Earth Was Made a Common Treasury for Everyone to Share"

              -from, 'World Turned Upside Down', Billy Bragg

As always, I am never a regular enough writer to merit a blog, but it's my internet, damnit, and I'll do what I like. YOU GUYS SO MUCH IS HAPPENING. To the right is both a wretched photo of myself (fuck you! I don't have to look pretty to change the world!) on May Day this year in Seattle *and* one of the main sentiments I hope to convey to anyone who has ever had the misfortune of talking to me while I was riled up. I mean, I get so riled up I'm still promising myself I'm going to go preach in the park this summer, but it's a scary undertaking, you never know who you might set off, and I don't want to get in to any fights! 

Speaking of fights, me and the rest of the world need to have a little sit down chat about anarchy, the difference between property damage and violence, and the importance of cooperative skill and resource sharing. I'll be paying attention to black bloc and other actions and defenses (a particular favorite is CIRCA, a clowning group here in Cascadia) in Chicago and hope to report more on my personal interactions and impressions. But more on that later!

I'm sitting here in the comfort of my lovely home, with my kitty, typing away on my laptop. In a few days I'm going to meet thousands upon thousands of my brothers and sisters in the streets of Chicago, a city strange and looming to me. I will eat deep dish pizza, see a game at Wrigley, and protest NATO and the military-industrial complex that so utterly fucks over the world. What could be more American than that?

In love and Solidarity,


Sunday, March 25, 2012

What if we all woke up and imagined peace?

Communique #2

Grow. Grow. Grow.

Grow herbs, grow gardens, grow yourselves, grow your community. Do you know how much safer we would all be if we knew our neighbors? Really truly knew them? I'm reading more and more about intentional communities, and would like to try it myself sometime soon.

 I'm a really private person, actually, and cherish my home space quite a bit...but I can't deny that the idea of sharing communal space (through co-housing or some similar organized living scheme, with chickens!) is fast becoming life plan number one right now. I like living in the city, but that's no reason I can't do urban farming, too. And pool resources with close and like-minded friends? Shared food systems, shared social groups, support as a family would give, and one day, maybe childcare.

 It's a lovely dream, and can you imagine how much less stressed out we'd be? You just have to be honest, and have healthy boundaries. It is possible, I truly believe it. I just turned 28, and I have an amazing and loving support group thanks to my time at my local pub. There are people who, just because of who we mutually know, would always have my back at Dunnes. Just love the place.

 I encourage you to assess your close ties, both friends and family, and make plans for co-housing, car-sharing, childcare, tools, food, etc...Who says we can't? Wouldn't it be so much easier than sucking at the teat of mega-corporations and big Agra? We can provide for ourselves? We have makers, we have clothiers, we have electricians, we have gardeners, we have artists, we have enough to make it. And make it kind, and make it beautiful. Don't you yearn for that? I do. And that's why I want to grow.

Just grow.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Communique #1

Liz Rapuzzi, intrepid girl reporter here, reporting on what the fuck is going on with the world. HEY, YOU GUYS! LISTEN! Shit *is* fucked up and bullshit, as the protester's sign said. You must see it. Young black men are either locked up or gunned down like fucking animals in parts of the country, don't give me any 'Oh, Seattle's so much more liberal than that' bullshit. Women are still treated as nothing more than breeders or whores by people in power! Money equals speech in modern day America- no money? Well fuck you too! We feed our children disgusting corn syrup and pink  slime in 'lean beef'. GOOGLE PINK SLIME IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY. We are sending our children to war for NOTHING! They are coming back beaten and broken and we turn our backs on them after all they've done for us! We've got Monsanto and fucking Big-Agra fucking up our goddamn food systems, we've got environmental decimation and The Proposed Coal Terminal in Bellingham! These examples are maybe %1 of all the shit that's fucked up. You know it's true! I mean, fuck this noise, guys! This is OUR country, and no one can take that away from us. This is our WORLD, and our brothers and sisters overseas want to make peace and revolution the inevitability with our help! You've got money? You think you're better than me? Fuck off. We gotta be kind, real fucking kind to each other. We're in this together.

There's so much more to come, and I'll be reporting what I can for friends, family, and the greater community. Playing music of the revolution on my uke and posting videos. Any requests? Shoot me a message. Taking pictures of my time in Chicago for the NATO protests, and of what I see around town through Occupy and the class struggle in general.

Join me. Stand up. Tell your friends! May 1st, General Strike.  Hella Hella Occupy! Dance in the streets and retake your power! PEACE OUT

Friday, October 7, 2011

A plea to the public, too

Hey guys,

It's your friend, Liz Rapuzzi. You may know me from such fun times as the University Montana, the Shoreline public school system, Evergreen or simply through mutual friends. I'm writing to ask a really big favor from you all. I don't think I've ever asked a favor from you, if I have my apologies and you can ignore this. But I'm writing to call in a big favor on the strength of my friendship with you. I wouldn't be asking you this favor if it weren't so gosh-darned important to me. So bear with me. Please.

If you've seen my facebook feed in the last week, you probably already know that I have been energized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, and more specifically am involved in Occupy Seattle, currently located at Westlake Park downtown. I am not a conflict-driven person, usually. I very much ride the fence between reform and revolution because I like to think of myself as a pragmatist.

As a Greener I have seen my fair share of protests and usually feel the same way most folks do about them- it's the anarchist black-bloc element screaming 'Fuck the Pigs' rhetoric that has me running far far away even if I agree with some of what they say. When I first heard about Occupy Wall Street, I was intrigued, but assumed it would much the same...radical folks already involved in activism who are more about egos than effecting real change. I'm writing today because I want to let you know that I've been down there at Westlake and I've met people, and this is different. It really is.

Don't think of Occupy Wall Street as a protest, think of it as a conversation. I am genuinely worried about the state of our country and want to have conversations with my community about how they're feeling. We are a beautifully diverse country and far too often we self-segregate based on notions of commonality that separate us from our brothers and sisters in humanity. Now is a time when we can say that we have more in common than ever before if only we recognize it- we are all struggling to avoid debt, to make a decent living, to have health insurance and to live that American dream. Age nor race nor gender nor religion nor politics can take away the fact that the people of this country are struggling. Even if you and I are doing okay, we know people who aren't. And it isn't that some people deserve more than others, it's that the financial system and its inextricable influence on politics has become corrupt.

Even if you do not believe this, even if you are unsure, I am asking a favor. Tomorrow at Westlake Center there will be a rally and march for the Occupy Seattle group. I want you there. You will lose nothing by coming down and meeting people. I hope, in fact, that you will gain something-a sense of community and a sense of relief. It's nice to know that you're not alone in this world. And you're not.

There is no committment necessary- if you come down and leave feelingthe same about it as when you started, that's fine. This is an exercise in patriotism- I love my country and want to connect with everyone in it. Please join me tomorrow at Westlake Park and give me five minutes of your time. It is with sincerity and conviction that I make this plea and I hope it does not fall on deaf ears.

In love and solidarity,

Liz Rapuzzi

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pollyanna McCriesAlot

On facebook earlier I said I would be blogging tonight. I finally got around to it. And I feel that because I teased with certain topics, I'm bound to talk about them.


I'm just going to blather, which I can do with remarkable ease, as previous posts on this blog would suggest. You get what you get. And if you do it, you'll just do it. Or something like that.

So I'm like, really concerned about:
1. the planet
2. human society as we know it
3. the economy, I guess?
4. serious stuff that is serious
5. the fact that having made this list, I won't coherently address any of the above at all

Here's the thing- I think most people who know me, even on an acquaintance level, would answer 'extremely optimistic' if given a survey on my general outlook on life. I really like to think that this is true. It is certainly the story I sing to the outside world. I also make my living (and do a damn good job, just so you know) trying to keep upbeat and positive for folks who don't have much of anything to be optimistic about. It is exhausting. I'm not complaining, I'm so happy I tripped and fell into an internship five years ago that would help define who I am and what I do. I can make a decent living meeting insanely interesting people and my life is great in perspective. But it's still fucking exhausting. And so, you know what, internet? I can get downright grim. Not depressed, not pessimistic, just...grim.

I don't cry nearly as much as I used to. Five years ago when I started at Bread and Roses in Olympia, I had nightmares for weeks. The third day in, a young family with two kids in strollers and a babe in arms showed up on our front porch and they had no where to go. No. Where. To. Go. Luckily some other co-workers took the lead with them as I rushed downstairs to just sob. And wail. And I called my mom later that night. And cried some more.

I hope I can make it clear that while this is a story about me, and my reaction to things, I get that it *isn't* about me. I have my health, my sanity, the love of friends and family, and a heck of a lot more options than that family had five years ago. But coming from that background, I was sheltered. Heck, I never even broke a bone (knock on wood). I didn't drink until I was 19. My parents are still together. It wasn't a perfect upbringing (whose the fuck is?) but I guess I'm trying to convey that now, having been exposed to a lot more, I realize all of the protection I've had from the world. The world can be a scary, cruel place, and lonely, too. I didn't know that.

And so yes, I have days where I just feel like I can't hear another story of how the world has failed someone. How we have failed someone. The elderly women who've either outlived their families or have shitty kids and are trying to survive on $800 a month for rent, medical bills, and retaining some dignity. The kids just aged out of foster care, who haven't known a loving home, have learning disabilities and not one iota of hope for themselves. The young mothers who deal with abuse and judgement from a society who won't educate them on sex but refuse to provide condoms in the schools. and then call them welfare queens for the crime of trying to get by. The outcasts, the mentally ill, the veterans of our insane lust for power and domination over the world. They call me sweetheart, angel, bitch and whore. I've been accused of racism, of not understanding their pain, of not caring at all. I'm a sister they loved, a mother they lost, an old girlfriend who got away. And so it goes, day in, day out.

So my optimism is my greatest bluff against a world I'm desperately struggling to understand. Sometimes I wonder if it'd be easier if I were religious. But it ain't happening. People are my religion. The thing that gets me up in the morning. And sometimes people make me cry.

"We must believe that it is the darkest before the dawn of a beautiful new world. We will see it when we believe it." Saul Alinsky

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Well, it's been a minute...

But I have actual internet (!!!) at my house, and I have lots to blab about. So I'm going for round two of the narcissism express. Also, practicing putting up photos.


The Subasaurus Rex died going Eastbound on the West Seattle Bridge yesterday. Unsure if she will ever drive again, I look forward to further bus adventures. Not so much the early morning (see previous blog re: early morning hate).

Layoffs are looming on the horizon at work. I can only hope that the end times correspond to that so I don't have to look for another job. Seriously.

It's Summer Time in Seattle. Adventure time!

Alright, back soon with better than this, I hope.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lucky For Life

The Lottery: not just a fucked up short story you're forced to read in school.

We were having a staff lunch out at some delicious Chinese restaurant ( I'm not sure, because I was waylaid in the parking lot by someone looking for services and missed the 'Eat Chinese for Lunch' boat) and had gone to the 7-11 across the street to get cash. In order to have appropriate change, I was buying a diet coke to break a $20. The guy in front of me purchased a scratch lotto ticket. I was seized by a desire to do the same. I thought it must be a special sign, because I hate anything that looks like gambling, for the most part.

I didn't always hate gambling. My dad taught me how to play blackjack with cheerios instead of money when I was little, and I'm pretty damn good (this is also the same man who, when asked for a school project what his advice was for his then 16 year old daughter could only reply 'Take the money and run'- thanks dad). And thanks to an ex-boyfriend of mine, I'm still tempted to ask people if they 'want to make it interesting' when playing pool at the pub. He used to tell people I was this amazing pool shark and talk up my skills (which are zero-to-none: I can do a jump shot if I'm the right amount of drunk and ballsy), then bet drinks on the result. The team we played against would be so focused on my playing and be psyched out wondering why I was sucking so much, they didn't notice him quietly running them under the table. It was good times, full of free shots of whiskey.

But yes, I hate gambling. A family member went into a casino-related debt spiral that ruined not only his finances, but his mental health and eventually changed his life in ways I can't even begin to get into here. I understand that gambling can be a disease to some and others can walk away from a night of wins or losses with no compulsion to play again. But the people playing into lottery winnings and casino profits aren't the folks who can walk away. It's the folks who play scratch cards and the lottery week after week, because surely a day will come when the gods of luck and chance and fortune smile upon them, showering them with rewards that will more than make up for years of disappointment. Gambling is an abuser who really loves you, baby, but why do you make it hurt you?

I was shaken deeply by the experience of my family member. I have vowed never again to enter a casino (having entered one once, this is not a mighty life change for me). I am humorless about it. I would be awful to take to Vegas (I don't care if I get to see Bette Midler play the ukulele!), and no, I won't get on up to Tulalip and spend my hours eating at a buffet, drinking, and laughing uproariously at every spin of the wheel (have you seen those commercials? Jesus!). But I do have my moments. Last summer at a bar attached a seedy motel, I found myself playing pull tabs. The pathetic simplicity of the game should be a tip off to its absolute worthlessness. I found myself thinking, 'Oh yeah, I picked a good basket. Oh this totally makes sense. I am definitely going to win $125 right here and right now!'. I won $2. I bought two more pulltabs. And lost.

And that's what gets me. The fact that, even though I've never picked numbers for a lotto, I still find myself imagining what I would do with lotto winnings. It's common- people usually have a prepared list of 'What they Would Do/Buy/Experience' on the strength of a winning ticket, ready to extol their virtues ('Well I have several charities in mind, and then of course I'd put some away for the college education/life-saving surgery of a family member(s), and maybe with what's left over I'd get a lamborghini') to others at a cocktail party. I don't even play and I have this list. Because who doesn't want a fuckton of money? His Holiness the Dalai Lama? Yeah, awesome, HHDL, be all special. We're not. We're the hoi polloi, desperate for a 'Get Out Of Mediocrity Free' card.

And there's a family myth that perpetuates the idea that the women on one side of the family are psychic, have pre-cognitive dreams, and are lucky in many things, including gambling. I have fallen prey to this narrative before, and I see it every time my mom wins a little something at the Casino. When you start thinking you're different from everyone, you definitely shouldn't gamble. Because it's a lie.

And so it was with surprise I found myself asking my regular cashier at the 7-11 (Darshawn- whatup Darshawn? You my boy!) if I could buy a $5 scratch card. The guy in front of me did, and I started feeling lucky. There were many to choose from, and so I asked Darshawn to point one out to me behind the glass. Darshawn and I have weekly interactions involving his very earnest religious beliefs involving Allah, which are awesome and very sweet. This special reltionship that I have made up in my head also made me think he would pick a lucky card for me. By magic. He picked 'Lucky for Life' which is a game that, if you win, pays you $1k a week for life. FOR LIFE. That shit is crazy. As I purchased the ticket and went on my way back to the office, I began imagining how many problems of mine would be solved should I win, which I would totally win, because I am special.

And then I scratched the damn card. I even used a penny from my purse, to make sure there was extra luckiness surrounding the momentous occasion when I won a bunch of money. That's how sold I was on this fantasy. Skritch, skritch, skritch went the penny. Down, down, down went my hopes. I won $5. Which I hope is the universe's way of telling me 'Don't be an idiot. You get this one free.'

And because of this, I was waylaid, and missed Chinese for Lunch.

And that's why momma don't gamble.