Protest sign reading WE WILL NOT BREAK.

Phones suck. Friends rock. And civic engagement is sustainable.

This started as a Facebook post and got to the point where I could no longer countenance posting it as a status, so hello WordPress my old friend!

So we got together with some friends last night to drink, celebrate each incoming update from the ACLU, and call our reps, and it was GREAT. (I’m starting to think I should put “helps organize community events basically as an excuse to drink with friends and make them listen to her opinions on stuff” on my business cards.) Here’s some things I learned:

1. The Washington legislature has a system in place that allows you to comment on EVERY SINGLE BILL and have your comments sent to your state senator and representatives. Here’s the how-to. H/T to Jeff Petersen for mentioning this one! So remember that anti-protesting bill I mentioned last week, SB 5009? Or that anti-trans bathroom bill, HB 1011? Here’s a way to register your disapproval of those without ever having to pick up a phone.

hb1000-comment-on-this-bill

Here’s another really good one to express your support for.

To the best I can tell, the Alaska state legislature (Alaska being my home state and the place many of my readers are coming from) does not have a similar system to allow comment. However! The AK legislature’s site does list what bills are currently before the Senate and House, and where they are in the legislative process — prefiled vs. in committee, etc — and appears to have tools that will let you track specific pieces of legislation. (Plus they’ve got subject tags so you can find other legislation related to issues that are important to you! Like Anchorage Democrat Rep. Claman’s pro-contraceptive coverage bill, or the House Joint Resolution to repeal Alaska’s same-sex marriage ban.)

Seriously, one of the conclusions I’m coming to is that at most levels of government, they desperately want you to be involved and informed. The systems aren’t necessarily intuitive, but the information is usually out there if you (or people you know — hello, I’m a dramaturg!) are willing to dig it up.

2. Writing scripts takes a lot of energy, but once you’ve got the basic format down it starts to get easier. I crib a lot from The 65 (previously the We’re His Problem Now spreadsheet), but I’m learning quickly that the more specificity you can get, especially as you get down to a more local level, the better. Also, this should not have come as a surprise, but if you are holding a script written for a Democratic representative and have to try and adapt it for a Republican representative while you’re on the phone, you’re gonna have a bad time. Or at least I am.

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Friday evening grab-bag

There was some seriously awesome graffiti along the Camino. Peregrinos making fun of themselves and bemoaning their sore feet often feature prominently.

There was some seriously awesome graffiti along the Camino. Peregrinos making fun of themselves and bemoaning their sore feet often feature prominently.

In ancient mythology, mass deaths are used to symbolize disasters. In other countries like Greece and Japan, myths were recounted through the generations, partly to answer unanswerable questions about death and violence. In America, we don’t have that legacy of ancient mythology.

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The Doctor lands in Alaska

The Doctor lands in Alaska

So I’m visiting my family in Alaska, right? And we go to Homer, which is a small tourist/fishing town, and after dinner we drive out to see if we can spot any moose on the outskirts of town.

Instead we found this.

It’s next to some industrial oil/gas building, tucked into a copse of trees and cow parsnips but still visible from the road. It had clearly been touched up recently, as there was blue paint on the plants next to it, and it showed no signs of having weathered an Alaska winter. Who the hell built it and maintains it? Why put it there? And is it really bigger on the inside? That I’ll never know; the doors wouldn’t open.

Shine on, Alaskan Whovian, shine on.

ETA: Two more pictures; all of these are courtesy my mother, who blogs over at roadtripteri.com.