Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Good Day--redefined

A good day used to be one in which I successfully taught an Honors English 10 class, beginning journalism and advanced journalism, graded a few papers and returned parent phone calls unscathed.

Now it's one where I woke up feeling like depression might be around the corner (I'm tired, sluggish, feeling-fat, unexercised, bored and frustrated with my job) and fought it by contacting a friend who is hosting a party tonight, deciding to go to the commissary and shop for Thanksgiving and then baking for tonight's party.

I could feel bad about having such... different standards of living, but perhaps these standards of living are better.

The first option was stress-laden and career-oriented.

The current option is luxurious and housewife-oriented.

Which is fine.

The other perspective I have to rethink is the way I have been feeling about my job as a waitress. I hate cleaning up after people and being treated badly or tipped poorly by strangers. But, if I think about each customer as an opportunity to make someone happy--something I live for--then I can't possibly be so miserable.

So, today I had a good day.

Redefined.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Limits

I am not sure there is a limit to the number of times I will watch Barack Obama's acceptance speech from Tuesday night:



I am so excited about this chance for change that I cannot figure out what to do to be a part of the change.

For now, I think a new haircut will be my starting point. Or maybe a manicure. I got suckered into buying one of those packages from a place that was advertising--for $58 I got a manicure, pedicure, haircut, gym membership and some hair color treatments. I don't know what I was thinking--I don't ever plan on getting my hair colored.

Meanwhile, my restlessness is not allayed.

I really want to do something. When I was on my anxiety medication I was so tired it seemed perfectly necessary to sleep for much of the day. Now, however, I do not want to sleep but I cannot find anything else to do. I suppose there is always the house to clean, but I need fulfillment. I do not feel gung-ho about anything. I wish there were more obvious answers. Wishing does not make it so--I need a mandate. Obama has a mandate; I wonder how he knows where to start working.

I could participate in the No on 8 rallies, but I am not sure that I believe in their power. I realize the bizarre sound of that--I am all about the freedom of speech. But I want to participate in producing change. Will disrupting traffic and rightfully accusing the fundamentalist church of stealing their rights give gays the right to marry? It's a question. I am not sure. On the other hand, I am not sure that people thought the civil rights marches of the 1960s would be effective. Perhaps I should simply give civil disobedience the benefit of the doubt.

Meanwhile, what shall I do with these days that stretch before me?

Boredom is not my strong suit. Perhaps I should try to get work through a temp agency. Until then, I need to hold onto the idea of experimenting my way through life--that each day is an experiment and that I should just try out doing a little of this or that and not expect so much of myself.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Jesus is Pacing

I am so frustrated with people who are using the Bible for divisiveness and cruelty that I can hardly sit calmly enough to type. I want to bash things around and yell at the top of my lungs and take the Book and show people, "Look! See! LOVE ONE ANOTHER!!!"

But I can't.

Instead, I watched images flicker by on the TV while I served drinks and listened to people cheer. People protesting Proposition 8 were being beaten by the police. I don't know why, I don't know who started it, I do not know if there was fault. But violence. Violence.

I need a break to be able to speak with my emotions tempered. I am Christian. I do not believe that being gay is a sin. Don't anyone dare tell me that "when I become Christian" I will think differently. I am Christian. So are some of my gay friends. All are welcome at the table of the Lord.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

facebooking Love to trump hate

From my facebook page:

Olaina Anderson is tumultuous: Yay Change with Obama! But chickens can spread their wings and gays can't marry? Come on, CA. Jesus said, "Love One Another." No exceptions.
3 hours ago
- 4 Comments

Dan at 1:03pm November 5
Amen

Danielle at 2:14pm November 5
Yes, we should "love our neighbor as yourself", which is the the second greatest commandment, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." is the greatest (Matt. 22:37-39, Deut. 6:5, Deut. 11:1). Galatians 6:1 says, "...if someone who is caught in a sin...you who are spiritual should restore him ... Read Moregently." Galatians 5:19 says, "the acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality..." (also Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1). Matt. 7:1 and James 4:11 say we are not to judge. Not to judge, but yes to love! How could we be loving them if we open the door saying it's okay to sin?

Kerri at 3:02pm November 5
AMEN SISTER!

Olaina Anderson at 3:45pm November 5
Galatians does not say that homosexuality is a sin. Leviticus is from the Old Testament, which comes before the grace-full freely given love of Christ and the Christian New Testament, and also lays out many other "sins" regarding the place of women in society that we do not uphold today. Homosexuality is not a sin. It is not a choice. People do not... Read More choose to be gay--no one chooses to be persecuted. Man is created in God's image. Jesus said, "Love One Another."

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From The Center in San Diego

Change Comes So Slowly

After months of unbelievable hard work, determination, courage and generosity, we have crossed the finish line of one hard-fought 2008 election.

Tonight, we are a country changed with the election our nation's first African-American president, President-elect Barack Obama.

But today we are trailing in the California fight against discrimination.

The current vote count has us behind with an incredibly steep hill to climb. But there are somewhere between 2.5 - 4 million votes that have not yet been counted (provisional ballots and absentees) and the information about where they are from is not yet available. The No on Prop 8 campaign has indicated that, given the incredible gravity of the situation, they will not issue the ultimate call on this election until they have that information (24-48 hours).

Never before in California's history has a group who currently enjoys a basic right, been singled out, and then had those rights ripped from them by a vote of their fellow citizens. This decision is so radical and so egregious, that every voice must first be heard, no matter how unlikely a changed outcome might be.

We are all diminished whenever discrimination is sanctioned and fundamental rights are stripped away from any of our citizens. We are all diminished when some families in California are denied access to the security and protections they deserve.

In this fight for fairness and justice, tens of thousands of Californians built a campaign that far surpassed any previous civil rights effort on any ballot measure, not only in California, but anywhere in our entire country. They poured their talents, their time, their resources and their hearts into this struggle for freedom and this fight to have their relationships treated equally. Thank you for each and every sacrifice.

In 2000 2.9 million Californians voted with us against discrimination; today, at least 5 million Californians voted with us to reject discrimination and we thank them for their support for equality.

Together, we put together the largest volunteer and grassroots network of any campaign other than a presidential campaign. Together, we spoke to our families, our friends, our neighbors and co-workers. Together, we reached outside of our community to build coalitions that will strengthen us all. Together, we raised more money for this fight, in a shorter time, than anyone believed possible.

And the struggle for equality is not over.

Activist and writer Anne Lamott writes, "Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up"”

Because of the struggle fought here in California and fought so incredibly well by the people in this state that love freedom and justice -- our fight for full civil rights will continue.

As we have stood side-by-side and worked together over these past several months, we must take a moment to come together again now. Please join The Center Advocacy Project, EQCA and HRC on Wed., Nov. 5 at 6:30 pm at The Center, 3909 Centre St., to be in the company of friends and all of those who love justice. For more information about our community gathering, please contact Jeff Wergeles at jwergeles@thecentersd.org.

Each of you has my very deepest gratitude and my immeasurable respect.

And while we cannot say victory is ours this day, we know that, because of the work done here, freedom, fairness and equality will be ours... our dawn will come.

Together with you always in this struggle,

Dr. Delores A. Jacobs
The San Diego LGBT Community Center
http://www.thecentersd.org
3909 Centre Street
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 692-2077

Tumult within Hope

There is so much in my heart that it is bursting.

The crowd started chanting, "Yes we can!" even before they knew it was an integral part of his acceptance speech.

When Obama gave his speech last night Justin lifted his foot--half foot--in salute when the President-elect acknowledged the disabled of America.

Michele Obama is the next First Lady of the United States of America. A black woman. Black children will live in the White House (with a new puppy!). This world has changed changed changed. Praise Jesus.

I love the story that Obama told of the 106-year-old woman who voted yesterday in a world so different than the one she was born into--"a generation past slavery". She lives now in a world in which women can vote, blacks can vote; she touched a screen to vote.

Yes we can!

I am grateful to my parents for moving to this country, for their decision to let us come to our own decisions to become citizens here, for our opportunity to vote in these elections.

Yes we can!

But then I remember Proposition 8, and the theft of the right to marry that California inflicted on gay men and women who love each other. I do not understand how a proposition to amend the state constitution to "eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry" can pass in a world that can also feel so progressive. It is a tragic humbling outcome.

Now that in my small way with words and a little money and a little time I have contributed to the election of Hope, I wonder what next steps I can take to help make this world a better place. How can I help Barack Obama get his good work done? How can I help gays be treated as equal human beings? How can I contribute to the change we elected to have the chance to enact?

I consider my still looming student loan debt and my current work as a waitress and an art model and I wonder how I can better use my education (What's an English major to do?) to serve this country. I consider my recently-well-managed mood disorder and I wonder what I can manage to do and still be healthy. I consider my free time and pray for healthy outcomes and blessings on my work, whatever that work may be.

Barack Obama is the next President of the United States, and for the first time in years I harbor h a feeling of hope for the world, hope that is not against all odds, hope that is real and strong and steeped in the courage of so many people who believe that this world really can be a better place.

If yesterday I felt like it was audition day and I was waiting to hear whether I got a part, today I feel like the part turned out to be for a Broadway show instead of a school play. I might have a bit part, but I do not know when the show will close and I know the lead needs us all to do our best to support his role.

Yes. We can.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

We Did It!

Barack Hussein Obama was just elected the next President of the United States of America.

Yes we can!

*breathe*

I spent the day pacing, voting, pacing, turning on the TV, turning off the TV, pacing...

I can hardly breathe.

Yes we can!

Monday, November 03, 2008

I could not resist

I tried, but I could not resist posting Sarah Silverman's The Great Schlep... I know it's a little late, but if you can even call your grandparents, and maybe even drive them to the polls, it would be a great and worthwhile schlep...

If I had grandparents, I would do it.


The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

One More Day

I am so nervous for the election that my heart is racing.



It's like Christmas, or the day before an audition--I don't know if I'll even be able to sleep tonight, for being excited to vote tomorrow. I have to work at 6 p.m. tomorrow and I know there won't be results by then. God knows if I'll have any tables at all. Hopefully I'll get off early so I can sit at home and watch TV all night long.

My God, tomorrow the world can change.

Please.