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Shangri La

This is my way to communicate with family and friends on what's going on day to day or lately, week to week. I'm just gonna give it a go and see what happens.

Updated: 2015-09-16T14:22:39.107-07:00


Getting Educated on Public Education


Lately, I've been trying to navigate the public school system. Trying to get a clear idea of how funding works at the state level, the local district level and ultimately at the school level. I'm on a committee (of course I am) to look into this in order to recommend how our school can best partner with the district on who works in our school, how our fundraising dollars can get spent, and how to make sure we stay out of hot water.

Not so easy. First of all, trying to find a clear answer online is near impossible. Everything is slanted politically or is in legalise. I think I'm sort of smart but its over my head. At meetings I've gone to, there seems to be an us vs. them mentality. Who deserves funding more? My kids or yours? Why do we have to choose?

We are not alone, there are other parents in other local schools, other districts across the state, and across the country who are facing the same issues. Here are a few resources I have found so far for California. I'm getting excited about the possibilities:

Starting here, just to understand the current CA Educational funding plan and Jerry Brown's proposal.

 This is a great interview with Educate Our State.

In the same clip, there is also an interview with Michelle Rhee of the controversial StudentsFirst.....and of course, there are many other clips to watch.

I'll admit, I am getting pulled into the weeds on this but I really want to fully understand the education funding issues in Oakland and California. It matters to my kids, as well as everyone else's.

Music Night


Thursday night, I had a ticket to go see Senator Barbara Boxer speak. She was being presented with Emerge CA's 2013 Woman of The Year award. I paid $100 for the ticket.

Instead I went to music night at Thornhill Elementary School to see my second-grader perform with his class. I sat in a packed room with no air flow with lots of other parents, all there to watch their K-2 student sing a song or make music in some way. I was lucky and got a seat, it was 900 degrees in the multipurpose room and what seemed like hours, apparently was only 45 minutes. Even being stuck having to listen to all the kindergarteners, then the 1st graders and finally the second was worth it. Really. Yes, at one point I went into a bit of giggly hysteria brought on by overheating, but overall, I was well behaved and enjoyed watching the little tykes waving to their parents from the big stage.


I could have been rubbing elbows with the who's who of Bay Area politics, I could have made a few contacts to get things done here in Oakland. I may have even gotten my picture taken with Senator Boxer herself. That would have been really cool. Instead, I chose to stay in the heat of Oakland, and be with my kids.

Speaking of music, check out this amazing This American Life episode: Music Lessons

Eve of Christmas Eve


I was supposed to run this morning so I got all dressed in my wet weather running gear. And then looked out the window and decided I'd be more comfortable not running.(image)

So I sit at my computer instead. It seems Facebook has gotten in the way of my blogging. In fact, replaced it. Which is disappointing given that Facebook is so in the moment vs. the blog which is slightly more reflective.

A few things I don't post about on Facebook...

1. A friend is ill, it scares the shit out of me. Life is so fragile. I have little control.

2. I lost my job but was excited about it. Perhaps that's stupid but I saw it as a way out, a test of sorts, a chance to prove myself that I really could re-invent myself.

3. Got re-hired but for a brand-new  position--jury is out on this except it makes me a bit sad, if not relieved. So much for re-invention. For now.

4. Wondering about my place on this planet, in my relationship, with my family. What does fulfilling look like? Really, that is the question. I am so unclear on what it is I am looking for, striving for and wishing for.

5. Fear of aging. Yes I run, I've got "energy" and all that...but I see the signs of age on my face and body. I notice fears that I didn't have before, I now hate night driving and my eyesight is going. Did I mention that my memory is kind of crap? I can joke about it but I also fear it...and hate it. Must come to terms with my age before 50 so I am not pathetic and start wearing lots of spandex.

6. I really miss my parents. Really. None of us are getting any younger and given my own fear of aging, I fear their aging as well. Its all part of the "cycle of life" but as I mentioned before, I still resist accepting it. I hate how busy they are and how busy I am...a terrible excuse to not see each other.

7. Saving the world...needs some focus. Where are my passions and skills (and time) best spent? I can't quite figure out how to connect my volunteer work with my income...maybe I don't?

New Year's Resolution(s)....find peace. (image) Stay healthy. Be in the moment (this is not the easiest for me). Spend more time with my family. Make time for connection. Take a Facebook break at least once a week (is it possible?).  Re-kindle my outside voice. 



Well its been almost a year since my last post and I really don't want to wait until September 12th to make it official. We just returned from a 2 week vacation in France and it really gives me a bit of perspective. I learned that I really love lounging in a pool each day. I also learned that I love to wander around small medieval villages. My kids love weapons and love to play fight...and oddly, watching it doesn't get old. Didn't think I'd feel that way but I much prefer watching Max practice with his mini-cross bow than sit in front of his damned computer playing whatever the latest online game is.Some days we discovered castles, other days we made jam with Mirabelle plums. And of course, many days were filled with sitting in cafes and eating yummy food....   Now that we're home, and we catch up with our friends, we are dunked immediately back into the chaos, sadness, joy and uncontrollable nature of our day to day world.  Looking forward, post vacation....I need to remember to slow down, keep some of that restful feel before leaping into the next thing, before making the next decision. I need to eat yummier food, I need to run outside more often, I need to connect with my family on a more regular basis. I don't know if I necessarily need to "set goals," but, I do think it would be a good idea to think about how I want to live, and to revisit what is most important. Vive La France![...]



Its Monday, September 12, 2011 and I'm flying to Detroit. I still feel depressed post 9/11 anniversary.

I'm not sure why it hit me so hard this year. Perhaps it's all the mean spirited politics we are experiencing, maybe it's the memories of that actual time ten years ago...

In late August, 2001, BZ and I got engaged in front of a large platter of paella. It was our last night in Barcelona, we were on our way home from one of the most romantic and happy trips I'd ever had.

After September 11th, I had such mixed emotions as we planned our wedding for the following spring. The world was in mourning, I was part of that mourning but I was also wanting to celebrate the fact that I found someone to spend my life with...finally.

We visited Ground Zero in the late fall of 2002. I was pregnant with Max, this was BZ's first trip to NY. It was bitterly cold. When we arrived on the platform and looked down at the pit of devastation, I completely fell apart. There were still the notes from families, handkerchiefs, flags, all sorts of mementos left. Lists of the missing...I felt such grief for my former hometown, for all that was lost. It was cold so we left pretty quickly and made our way to Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty in the distance. Too cold for the ferry, so we opted for a cafe instead.

Last night I lit four small candles for each of the planes that went down. I told the kids that I wished for peace and love instead of all this fighting. Aiden said, "Love is bigger than anything." He also said "Chicken!" but then, that's Aiden. And I am grateful.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Where did the summer go?


Wow. End of the summer. The beginning of school. Its been over a month since my last entry. Here's a quick recap: 1. Berkeley Playhouse, Seussical camp. Max's group rehearsed for 3 weeks and performed on the final day. Max had a fantastic time, loves musicals, is still singing the songs.Aiden's group rehearsed for 2 weeks, and then put on a sort. Very entertaining. Unbelievably cute. Aiden decided that he's not so into the theater. Can you tell? 2. Camping.We camped near Calistoga with a bunch of families we met at the preschool over 4 years ago. Luckily, they REALLY knew how to camp and served cocktails each night. So fun.3. Great America with more friends. Such a great time. We went on a Monday and avoided most lines. We got to go on rides over and over and over. I love a good theme park. 4. The Giant Race 1/2 Marathon. Ran it yesterday. Feel great. Made a PR at 2:13:50. For me, that's fast. And I know that I can get faster. Met Kim afterwards. We got some prime seats for watching the Under 6's run around the field. Very cute indeed. Nice recovery time and great catching up... Those are just the highlights. But tomorrow is a school day and I have to get my rest. Gotta pack the lunches and do the morning routine once again. Sad to see summer go but excited about the beginning of Fall. [...]



I just returned from vacation with BZ's family. Aside from the waterlogged iPhone debacle on the final day, I had a great time. The kids got to play with their cousins, we all got to hike and swim. And although sometimes the in-law thing can be difficult, this trip really was relaxed (other than the one stressful game night that led to three bawling kids).

Breckenridge, CO is 10,000 feet above sea level, it makes me struggle for air just thinking about it. On my third day of vacation, I signed up for a 4K trail run with North Face and the local Rec Center.

(image) It was difficult to breathe and REALLY muddy but unbelievably beautiful. I kept hearing about Oxygen Bars but never found them.

Getting away, escaping work and the everyday tasks and chores of life is necessary. Getting back in the swing of things this Monday has been really hard. Probably the reason I returned to my blog.:-)

Looking forward to the next escape at the end of August....

Politics vs ?


What I should be blogging about is Netroots Nation and The American Dream Movement. What I want to write about is my inability to focus.

I struggle with accepting the awkward nature of having a full life and not exactly having enough time to write about it all. Hard to choose what the focus of my blogging should be, or if I need a focus at all...Kim writes of travel, food, brief experiences, Laura and Gretchen write about their running...I love their blogs...

What is Margaret writing about?!!!

After returning from Netroots Nation all pumped up with ideas on how to get re-activated politically, I am also returning to my family responsibilities--my children, my husband, my job, my friends, my running...

So, to my tiny group of readers (are there any left?) I say....I will still toggle between all of my interests and passions...and if I get the urge to stay on one track, I may start up a parallel blog for that one area of focus.

In the meantime,
1. I went to Netroots Nation last week and was recharged
2. I started an Intermediate Running Class to learn how to run faster and efficiently...pulled something in my...glute (butt).
3. The kids have started camps and its really pretty cute.(image)
4. I just got a cold and want to put my head under a pillow.

Birthday Weekend


Boy, am I tired. What a weekend.It all started on Friday evening with a birthday party up in El Cerrito. The best part of the evening was watching 10 or 11 little boys giggling hysterically to Buster Keaton in The General.Saturday. I hosted a school event, The Amazing Race Party/Dinner. As one of three planners...I was given the task of baking a Tres Leche Cake. I have never made such a thing and it scared me. First of all, the idea of "tres leche" as a lactose-intolerant person...not so good. Second of all, it needs 8 hours of soaking time before serving, so there was a time element as well. It ended up being one of the most delicious cakes I have ever tasted.The event itself involved 5 couples racing across the city to get photos, clues and various objects in a two hour period. It was really fun. Here's a shot of Amy in cuffs for extra credit...When the teams returned, we projected the photos on our TV, swapped stories, drank mojitos and ate. And ate. And ate some more.Sunday. My birthday! I went for a 10 mile run with my running buddy, Erin in Alameda. When we returned to Oakland, Erin showed off the rose garden right across the street from her house, Morcom Rose Garden, so lovely.By the time I got home, the day had become even more beautiful, so we went on a hike at Sibley Volcanic Reserve off of Skyline, just a few miles from our house.When we finally returned home, I could hardly move. So we watched The Gold Rush with Charlie Chapin, then went for yes, I am tired but what a great weekend.[...]



On Sunday, I got to spend the morning in San Francisco with Kim, who I haven't gotten to spend much time with in years (its felt like years). I easily lose track of what and who matters in the craziness of my over-scheduled life.

Running with Kim along the Embarcadero was beautiful. Perfect weather, loads of time to share and catch up on things, big and little things...Kim is really like family and its great to be reminded of that.

Monday, I flew to Chicago for work. I made plans to meet up with my mom's cousin, Peg. We got to walk along the lake and catch up...
I also got to meet her husband, and her two kids Louisa and Luke, and Luke's wife and baby. We got to talk about family history, we each have different stories and history...some of it overlaps but not much. It was wonderful to find out that there are more activists in the family. Great to know that civil rights and activism are in the genes.

I knew that my grandfather fought for civil rights, went to jail for not naming names...but I didn't know that my Great Uncle marched on Washington in the early 70's and was a lifelong progressive. Peg went on marches and rallies with her that.

I also found out I have several more relatives that live in Berkeley, barely 15 minutes away. My family just grew larger. In a good way.

Here we go again


So, I didn't make Round Two of the Netroots Nation Scholarship competition. They have added 8 more spots and have cleared all of the remaining competitor points. Which means, I start from scratch. Do I have it in me to bug people to vote again? It seems so obnoxious...

This past week, BZ and I went to go see President Obama speak in San Francisco. It was pretty exciting to see him in person. I will admit, he was quite the hotty, or as Jessie says, he's definitely a PILF.(image) He addressed our liberal frustrations and acknowledged the slow pace of change and the disappointment of compromise. But I was also reminded of how many things have gotten done over the last 2 years. And, what would have been without him. As overwhelming as it seems, I know that I will be back on the volunteer bandwagon, fully supporting him for his second term.

So do I go for the final scholarship round? Probably. I just need to get my head back in the game, and keep asking the way politicians naturally (or un-naturally) do...over and over again.


So when's the next run?


I must continue running. Apparently I am still running for the Netroots Nation Scholarship, round 2 of the competition ends April 17th. You can read all about it HERE.

And I am busily looking for other 1/2 marathons to register for. Its like an addiction. So, here are a few I am considering:

5/1 Big Sur Marathon Relay-registered
6/5 See Jane Run in Alameda-registered
8/27 The Giants Race, SF
10/2 Rock & Roll San Jose
11/20 Big Sur 1/2

I'm just thinking about these...I will probably sleep it off in a few days....

13.1 miles!


I ran. I ran 13.1 miles and was still smiling at the end.Really smiling...and crying. It was an amazing moment(s)...running down that last stretch, all those people cheering us on, and to the left, finally seeing my cousin Pat with Max and Aiden, seeing their faces light up, hearing them yell out and wave...nothing better. Those final moments were so moving and I made it across the finish line with a ridiculous grin on my face or maybe it was crazed laughter.Who would have believed that I, Margaret Schultz, would have EVER run a 1/2 marathon? Seriously. Ask anyone who has known me longer than just a few years...Its true that back in 1998 or 1999 I rode in the AIDS Ride from San Francisco to LA on my big heavy bike. Its also true that those seven days of riding led to knee surgery. but I would not have traded that experience back then for anything at all. The training, the friendships, and the accomplishment were life changing. As I rode my bike down that final stretch, I think it was Avenue of the Stars (no kidding), I was crying and laughing and beyond joyous. And not just because I could finally sleep in a real bed and take a real shower after 7 days. I proved to myself that I could do anything, even it hurt, even if it was hard.So this half marathon deal? It feels great too. It feels a bit less extreme, a bit more doable on a regular basis. I can't wait for the next one.Here are my long run training run buddies, Sheila and Dana.And of course, Coach Erin, my early morning run buddy.So a big thanks to my friends for keeping me going even when I didn't want to. Can't wait for our next run.[...]

16 More days



16 more days before the voting cuts off. I have to keep the momentum going and continue to find more online votes if I want to remain one of the top three vote getters for the NetRoots Nation scholarship. Eesh. 16 more days to gather votes...

Below is a description of the competition:

What is the DFA Netroots Nation Scholarship Competition?

Every year, the Netroots Nation Convention has provided progressive activists and candidates for office a forum to strengthen the online community and grow the progressive movement while inspiring action and growing new ideas to affect change.

Democracy for America members have helped to make the convention a success every year by attending, contributing funds and participating in discussions. Since 2008, DFA members have helped grow Netroots Nation by finding and supporting activists who couldn't afford to attend the convention on their own.

Thanks to the tremendous support of thousands of DFA members across the country, last year DFA sent a fantastic group of progressive activists to Netroots Nation in Las Vegas, NV. This year, we're working to do it again at Netroots Nation 2011 (in Minneapolis from June 16th-19th). You can join the competition or contribute online to help send an activist to the convention.

How does the Competition work?

The contest is broken into two rounds. The first round begins on March 4th and runs through March 28th. During that time applicants should encourage their friends, family and networks to vote for them. At midnight on March 28th the top three vote getters will automatically be selected for a scholarship. The remaining winners for Round 1 will be chosen at the discretion of the selection committee based on the criteria below. The Second Round kicks off on March 29th. All votes from Round 1 will roll over. The contest will conclude on April 17th. The top 3 vote getters as of Midnight on April 17th will automatically be selected for a scholarship and the remainder of the scholars will be chosen by the selection committee.

What does the scholarship provide?

The DFA Netroots Nation Scholarship covers the cost of one all-access pass to Netroots Nation 2011 and hotel accommodations for one from June 15th - June 19th 2011, as well as a few select meals and outside events sponsored by Democracy for America. Scholarship winners will be responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from the convention and all remaining meals.

So you can see, I can really use this scholarship. Have you voted yet?

I need 100 more votes!




“Netroots Nation is a gathering of our nation's most important truth-tellers -- courageous visionaries who birthed the blogosphere. In a wilderness of untrustworthy news outlets and corrupt politics, they build a yearly campfire around which the hope-roots can gather and speak the truth. It is always an honor and a privilege to be a part of this event.”
—Van Jones

For the past 6 years Netroots Nation has put on national conventions focused on supporting and training online and offline activists. I am applying for the DFA (Democracy For America) scholarship program that provides 40 folks with assistance to attend the conference.

The winners will have the opportunity to gather with progressive bloggers, community organizers, online strategists, union members -- even a handful of candidates and electeds -- for four days of smart panel discussions, hands-on training sessions and networking events. By joining and participating in this conference they’ll be helping to build a more cohesive, more powerful and more inclusive progressive movement.

To win a spot, I will probably need at least 150 more votes. Here's the link:

DFA Scholarship for NetRoots Nation Convention, June 16-19, 2011.

I'd love your support. Spread the word. I will do you proud.

And running some more


Last week was a busy one. We went on a family trip to Monterey. It was a quick and fun getaway.

When we returned, a few days later BZ and I went to see Prince.

A few days after that, we went to see Bernie Sanders.

Over the weekend, I ran 11 miles. Not sure what happened to the sunglasses...a lot can happen in 11 miles...
I think its time for a nap.

Still running


On January 8th, 2011, California's 16th Assembly District held elections for the CA Democratic Party delegates. In 2008, they set the record for voter turnout for the state with over 350 showing up. This year, they ran out of their 500 ballots and had to race out to print more. There were over 621 voters, another CA delegate election record for sure.

Although I did not win, I am still running. My 1/2 marathon training is in full gear and I will say that it is much easier to run long distances when running shorter distances throughout the week.

This past Saturday, I ran 7 miles. This is a big deal for me, the woman with bad knees, ridiculous feet and more excuses to not run than anyone I know. I did it AND was not crazy sore the next day. I am inspired once again and am running more regularly through the week, usually REALLY early in the morning with a small posse of other women.

The other "new" thing is that I am running without headphones and music. It seems more restful for me, less frantic. And, I can carry on a conversation with my running mates....once I catch my breathe. Oh, and the thing is that I am trying out one of those fancy Garmin watches. (image) So I like it but....I am still trying to figure out what all the buttons do and I am a bit envious of those with the sleek and fashionable Nike Sportsband (whatever you do, don't call it a watch).(image) Oh! I almost forgot to mention, that after running the 7 miles, I entered a raffle at the local running store, Transports, and won a brand new pair of New Balance shoes. Sadly, the shoes are not working out for me but it was very exciting all the same.

Running and Running


So within one week, I signed up to run as delegate to the Democratic Party in the CA State Assembly for AD16 (which is most of Oakland, Piedmont and Alameda) and...for my first 1/2 Marathon in March, 2011.

I am very excited about both. They both seemed impossible before jumping on board and now they both seem possible. I will start with the running. (image) I have bad knees, I am not the athletic one in my family, I am too busy, I hate getting up so early, its uncomfortable. And yet...when I run, it feels good during the second 1/2 of the run and afterward I feel even better and proud of myself. And now I have cute running outfits as well (By cute I don't mean cheesy fluffy girly-not exactly) that glow in the dark, keep me warm and don't look so frumpy. Just because you feel like crap doesn't mean you have to look that way.

The second "running..." is for CA State delegate for the Democratic Party. (image) Apparently the 16th AD is the most active of all 80 districts in the state, so competition is a bit high. I am excited to report that I got chosen to be on the Progressive Slate so we can run as a team supporting each other. The elections are January 8th and there is little time to get people to show up to vote. There are a few hurdles to overcome. Still pretty exciting....



It all worked out. We worried, but in the end, we went to Disneyland, had a great time and avoided any further health hazards. No computer. No Ipad. An Iphone that had a fleeting battery life. Nice. We had two days straight of silly and tiring good fun. We arrived at the park at 8am and lasted well into the evening. The weather wasn't great but we bundled up in warm rain gear and went for it.We ran into a bunch of school mates of both kids...two families that we knew would be there and two families we ran into just by chance. Crazy. I even ran into a guy I just had a meeting with on the previous Saturday. Do you know how many people there are at Disneyland and California Adventure? Yes, tens of thousands daily.A really fun family trip. So even though we met up with a few people we knew, we peeled off within the first few hours and continued our theme park experience on our own.Disneyland was crowded. Even the rain didn't scare enough people off. Still worth it to see Small World, and some of the other classic rides. California Adventure was REALLY fun on the second day. I think there were less people overall, more space, and better food choices. We found an awesome ride with only a 5 minute wait so we did it twice. It was a water ride so we got pretty wet BUT it was fantastic-the kids got really giggly, we all got giggly and energized. Of course I ended up with motion sickness, but that's par for the course.Although we didn't get to do all the cool big kid rides, we had a really nice time just following where the kids wanted to go. Aiden got to interact with a talking trash can, and Max and I got to see fireworks and Fantasmic WAY after his bedtime. A special treat for sure.[...]

The Happiest Place On Earth!


The last time our family had the stomach flu was 4 yrs ago, on our trip to Disney World. I was on a work trip in Orlando with Aiden and BZ's Mom (who was taking care of Aiden during the day). Aiden was in a sling, not quite 1 years old, Max and BZ joined us after a stop in Texas, where they caught a terrible flu virus. Not the best way to experience Disney.

Two days ago, the flu came back. It was sudden. Aiden and Max were playing a little rough, Max's head smashed Aiden's....I heard screams-bloody nose. No big deal until three hours later when Aiden started throwing up, repeatedly. I thought it could be a concussion. At 11pm when he kept getting sick, I drove him to the ER. Apparently, his knock in the head was just coincidentally lined up with the stomach flu.
By 2am the doctor stopped the vomiting with a Chemotherapy drug (great). Of course he couldn't stop the OTHER stomach flu symptoms which has lead to about 300 loads of laundry. Aiden slept all last night until 2pm today. I think he's on the mend...

So here's the thing. We leave for their first visit to Disneyland Sunday morning. I am a bit concerned that one of the rest of us might come down with similar symptoms. This would be bad. It's bad enough that it will be raining during their first visit to Disneyland but hurling would make it impossible. Why the Disney-vomit connection?
(image) The best laid plans...

Catch up


OK. So that last post was probably weird since I haven't posted anything for a while. Getting to see my holiday card in advance when you may not even be getting one (I have been known to not get them in the mail at all) might be obnoxious.So I thought I'd follow up briefly with a catch up post.Halloween was fun. Max made the cutest little Harry Potter, he'd been planning all year. His friend Izzy was so excited to have her hair died red to become Ginny Weasley (Harry's friend's sister).Aiden turned 5 yrs old. So now he's no longer the 4 yr old in Kindergarten. He loves it most of the time except in the morning when he's got to go to school. We had a crazy exhausting party with too many 5 yr olds and just enough balloons to get in trouble. Everyone got a Captain Underpants book at the end to ensure potty humor in all of their homes as well as ours.I've been running more regularly and have decided to run a 1/2 Marathon at the end of March. I know....probably not the best idea for my knees but I sure like a huge goal.So there you go. Oh and maybe next post I can rant about our new TV. Its really big and it gives me motion sickness. No kidding. Apparently, we now only need one remote for everything. Weird. I never knew how to use all the other remotes anyway. Did I mention I barely watch TV more than once a week? I'll have to have the kids show me how it works...after I take Dramamine.[...]

2010 Schultz-Lewis holiday card


I ordered our holiday cards. This is the earliest ever for me. But there was this great "deal." I love to save money as I spend it. Ask BZ. So as I ordered the cards, I found three deals and for some crazy reason, they allowed me to take advantage of 20% off, $10 off and free shipping. Crazy. And, I love the card.

Joy Love Story Holiday
Shop hundreds of holiday photo cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.



(image) Done. I finished my CORE (Communities of Oakland Respond to Emergencies) training. Yesterday was the final hands-on training with the Firefighters at their Oakland Training Center. Amazing. We got to practice what we've been learning over the past month: disaster first aid, search and rescue, putting out fires, "cribbing," lifts...and then we got to go through a post-earthquake simulation exercise.
(image) There were about 8 volunteers playing victims of the disaster, made up in some pretty gross bloody-type makeup. I happened to get assigned to the First Aid tent and was to perform triage and first aid as best I could on those that got brought in. The guy pictured was all bandaged up rocking in a corner for most of the time.

Its hard to explain how cool it is to be training by the city to help in an emergency. These firefighters were amazing, fun, funny, super smart....and so generous with their time. (image)
(image) During the classroom training, there was a whole lot of information shared and most of it was stressful. Learning about how to take care of the most number of people rather than one individual. Leaving people for dead if they aren't breathing within a few tries. Learning that in a major earthquake, there will be dead people and that we will probably see them. Dealing with so much pain and destruction...but also, learning how to organize with neighbors in advance so that for most situations, you are pretty prepared.

The hands-on training felt pretty empowering. I was pretty good at putting out fires and search and rescue. Not sure how it would play out in real life though. I still have lots of reviewing to do. And although I don't have an extra minute, I find this all very energizing. I can't wait for graduation on November 17th. We each get a bright green CORE hardhat, vest and name tag to make it official. Yes, completely geeky, but I can't wait.

Several strong reasons to VOTE in November


I just returned from a Barbara Boxer Fundraising event. It inspired me. I got to hear from:Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York, awesome progressive, young and aggressive, is one of the key supporters of LBGT rights legislationSenator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, my new heroine-she's just a rock star-funny, a natural speaker, holds no punches, you may have heard her on the Rachel Maddow showSenator Maria Cantwell of Washington- I'm embarassed to say, I wasn't familiar with her but now I know to look out for her, I liked her a lot.Senator Mark Begich of Alaska (yes, he's a Democrat and fights for Global Warming legislation)Host and Senator Dianne Feinstein, California,got to meet her and although I've often shake my fist at her lack of progressive stances on issues, she has been a staunch supporter of a woman's right to choose, environmental protection legislation, corporate regulations and most of the areas that I support. It was an honor to meet her.Here is why I support Senator Barbara Boxer:Chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee- has fought on all fronts to end off shore drilling, continue to block drilling from the coast of CA, has passed legislation to increase Wilderness Areas....on and onStrongly supports the repeal of DADT Supports ending tax breaks for offshoring jobsSupported and helped pass the biggest middle class tax cuts bill in our country's historySupports the small business jobs bill, which is currently being blocked by RepublicansContinually supports a woman's right to controlling her own body and health care needs, in fact she said that she would fight for a woman's right to choose, "as long as there is a breathe in my body..."She recently helped pass a bill adding thousands of teachers back into the school systems, paid for by ending those tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseasI always vote, but now I am inspired to vote-will you vote? Will your family and friends vote? Its the most American thing we can do.[...]



When I go away on business, I enjoy alone time in my hotel room but I really love calling home and giggling over Skype with the boys. Sweet.