Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The snarky yet honest email I sent to Representative Bachmann

To Representative Bachmann, 

I sincerely hope you will be donating any pay you receive while the government is shut down to the needy families in your district who will be impacted by the shutdown. It is your job and that of your colleagues to settle a budget, and you have not done your duty. While I may disagree with your goal of defunding the Affordable Care Act, I hope you come to see that the way the GOP and Tea Party have chosen to fight this battle does nothing but punish your constituents. If you must repeal it, repeal it through honorable means, not blackmail. 

Thanks for nothing, Catey Jordan

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Clinging to Summer

It may be the end of September, but that doesn't mean summer's over!

We have been having beautiful weather this week, so being that today is my day off, I spent a lot of time outdoors.

First, I rode my bike to the library and back.

Then, I rode my bike to the grocery store and back (it's only like a mile away, but I'm always impressed when I can bring my whole purchase back on my bike, including a bag of apples and a gallon of milk, or a 24 pack of toilet paper).

Then, I decided to go all out and ride my bike to Lake Calhoun, rented a kayak for a couple hours, and explored the Chain of Lakes from boat.

I had a great time! I saw geese, ducks, seagulls, a weasel, a couple of hawks, fishes, and a young woman paddleboarding in wedges fall off her board. Oh, wildlife! (Why would you wear wedges paddleboarding?)

I also ate an apple (one of the things about fall that I love!) in a low-waste way. Instead of eating around the core, just eat the apple from the bottom, and there is no core! You have only the stem and the seeds left over (I ate the seeds, too! Hope I don't get an apple tree growing in me!). Much less of a hassle than holding on to the gross, brown, sticky core until you can find a garbage can.

Anyway, after my kayak trip, I decided to take the long way home, and biked south around Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, and east along Minnehaha creek, past Lake Nokomis to the Mississippi, and I followed the Mississippi back north until I got back to the greenway and Hiawatha bike trails. It was a nice 15 mile trip, and my phone tells me I averaged 12.1 miles per hour, but that also includes red lights and a couple water breaks and a stop to turn my lights on, so I think I am faster than 12 mph.

All in all, I got a lot of exercise today. The downside is that I only did a couple minor chores today. At least I am being healthy in my procrastinating from cleaning my house, right?

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The power of sleep

I am a night owl. I usually can't fall asleep before 12 most nights. And I like to get up early, just so I can take a nap later. But I don't always get a chance to nap. Ergo, I am often very tired.

Lately, though, the stomach department has been not performing up to standards, and I've been feeling more tired than usual, so I've been getting adequate sleep (not more sleep. Just the minimum).

Here's the fun part: I have been getting so much done!

Normally on any given Sunday, I go grocery shopping, and go to the library. I will probably cook, and may or may not do the dishes.

Today, I rolled out of bed at 7am, got dressed, and biked to the farmers market, then to the grocery store and then home. I ate breakfast and read the paper after I showered. I installed the air conditioning unit in my window. I started a batch of cold press coffee. I brushed the cat. I took a short nap.

Then I ate lunch! Normally, I nap til 11 before I even leave the house. I read a book for a couple hours, then headed to the library. I watched a movie, and ripped the CDs from the library onto my computer. It was too hot to cook, so I ordered Indian takeout using a groupon for a restaurant near my house. I wrote a note for my state senator. I made a fresh batch of soymilk.

I didn't need to do any dishes because I did them last night before I went to bed!

What is wrong with me? Maybe I should go to bed at 10 every night? I'll see if I can keep it up.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I can legally drive now!

I passed my driver's test! Yay! I carried that permit with me for nine years, and haven't driven in 7 until a week and a half ago.

Since last Sunday, I've driven 9, maybe 10 hours. And I passed "with flying colors!" said my examiner. "You passed 100%!" said my driving teacher. He used to be an examiner at that location.

Yay! So I bought myself a falafel sandwich from the cafe next door to celebrate.

I still probably won't get a car, but it's nice to know I could have one if I needed.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Vacations and Staycations

I just returned from a 3 day trip to Newport, Rhode Island with my mom and sort of my Dad. We went there to see my older brother graduate from the Navy Officer Supply School. It's his second time graduating from Newport, the first time was about 4 years ago when he graduated from Officer Candidate School.

Newport is always nice because my Aunty lives out there, who I rarely see because she lives in Rhode Island, which is pretty far from Minnesota. Plus Newport is very different from Minnesota. It's very East Coast.

Don't get me wrong. Everyone is very nice (unless they're driving). Newport is definitely a small, touristy town with a lot of quaint charm and history oozing from every cobblestone. But people there don't wear jeans. I don't know why that bothers me so much. Maybe khaki shorts dry faster than denim while they're sailing.

I think it's just how obviously upper-crust the whole town is. There are some not as wealthy looking areas, but they're all in Middletown, not Newport. To me, it comes off as they're too well-off to wear jeans for every day use. I'm sure that's not the intention, of course, but that's how it rubs me. To me, jeans are getting dressed enough to be presentable in public. I would happily wear yoga pants or board shorts outside if I could get away with it. In Newport, I don't even feel like I could get away with jeans.

I had a great time, though. One exception: There was a terrible storm here in Minnesota while we were gone, and I missed it! Trees down, power out, flash flooding, the works! And I had 75 and sunny weather. How boring!

Now I start my 3 day staycation. I'm going to clean and relax and not go to work and I'm going to enjoy every minute!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Relearning how to drive

Last time I drove, I was 17 and it was 2006 and it was terrible and I never wanted to drive again!

But now I figure I should finally just suck it up and get my license. I'm 24, almost 25. I don't benefit from not having a license. I wouldn't have to drive just because I have my license, but I'd be able to if I needed to.

So, I signed up for driving school. It's a little expensive, but I'd rather be trained by someone who knows how to train me to pass the test, and who also has a brake on his side of the car.

It was my first lesson today.

My first teacher is Mohammed. I was definitely not ready to drive, but I did. He made me. And he made me go on the freeway. "Are you serious???" I said. "On the freeway?!"

"Yeah, of course," He said, like it was the simplest thing in the world. I did it. I was nervous as hell, but I surprised myself at how comfortable I was.

Last time I took Behind the Wheel, I could not make myself go faster than 45mph, even though it was extremely unsafe to go so slow. I felt much more comfortable this time, but that may be because I was in a small Kia sedan and not a giant Chevy SUV.

I felt more comfortable at everything. I was very surprised at myself. Mohammed only had to use his brake a couple times. I am still not very experienced in knowing how much to push down the brake and accelerator. I either push too hard or too soft. I'm sure that'll get easier with time.

I take my test in a week and a half! Crazy!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On Cloud Nine

It's still sinking in. From that rally in Iowa a few years ago when they won the freedom to marry to today, when it happened in my own home, I can't believe it's real.

I knew we could do it. I am still so surprised though.

Minnesota LGBTQ couples can get married to the person they love.

I am so fortunate to be Minnesotan. If I were in most other states, I could be evicted and fired because of who I am and it would be totally legal. Here, I have the right to work, and live, and love as I need to without fear of repercussion. My future is just as valid as any other person's future.

Before today, it wasn't, and I'm having trouble understanding the endless possibilities that just opened up. I won't have to adopt my own children. I won't have to get permission from my future spouses family to visit them in the hospital. This is almost unreal to me.

On the other hand, there is still a lot of work to do. Other states are terrible to their LGBTQ citizens. I will still have to be careful about who I am me around (some people wouldn't like it if I were myself around them). There is still an uphill battle for bisexual, transgender, queer, etc. people who may not want a traditional monogamous cisgender marriage, but who deserve to have a dignified and respected life based on who they are. Queers outside of the mainstream, like myself, are not who were represented in the campaign for same-sex marriage.

When telling my story to people, I usually kept it vague and used examples from my friends. Someone who is thinking of becoming a supporter wants to hear about Mitchell and Cameron from Modern Family instead of the bisexual genderqueer person who thinks marriage is a patriarchal institution that limits people into distinct gender roles unnecessarily. I definitely want a committed long term relationship, and I will probably get legally married, but I will never be a "wife" or "mother." I will be a partner and a parent.

Queer activism goes beyond having what the straight people have. It's about being accepted and affirmed as a queer person, and not someone who is "just like you, only gay." It's opening up a whole spectrum of identity and opportunity for everyone, including straight cisgender people. My success measure is having people understand what I mean when I say "My preferred pronouns are Ze and Hir," and not having people get angry with me for asking that they acknowledge that I am not a cisgender person.

Even though it is not by any means the end all of LGBTQ activism in Minnesota, this is a huge milestone, and I am really proud of my state. I have cried about 6 times in the past week just from pure excitement and happiness. This is real.