Sunday, October 24, 2010

Things I've Been Up To

As usual, life has been busy since my last post. Big events and everyday life eat up my time as we pass through the moments we all live in.

"Jesus Was a Street Server"
from our LACW website:
On September 30th we joined the Los Angeles Community Action Network and other groups dedicated to serving the poor of Skid Row, in a protest/street meal calling for an end to police harassment of street servers. Delicious food was served and a good time was had by all! Check out our photos.
 Reverend Billy and the "Stop Shopping Gospel Choir" at RedCat theater

I finally got the chance to see this theatrical, anti-capitalist genius in action. Eric and I went to see Rev. Billy and his choir on their "Earth-a-lluia" tour stop in Los Angeles Thursday night. The odd thing is that we paid $12 for tickets... but the Rev embraced the irony with humor instead of shying away from it. From his website,  before the show:
The Choir and Rev kick off our tour in the Disney Hall. This church was founded on the discovery that MICKEY MOUSE IS THE ANTI-CHRIST so please come help us embrace our contradictions. (
Eric and I fully enjoyed the hilarious and inspiring show, which focused more on environmental issues than on those of consumerism.

And here's an interesting article about him (including a little background on who and what he is), that I read in the LA Times that day:

Monday, October 11, 2010

CicLAvia!!! (Being Car[e]free)

Yesterday, 10/10/10, was Los Angeles' first Ciclovia event. The website/blog for the LA version is here. It now includes pictures from yesterday's opening of the streets. I took a large group of friends on bicycle to enjoy the 7 miles of car-free streets, from 10 AM to 3PM. A lovely coincidence was that one end of the route was at a park less than half a mile from the LACW house where I live.

CicLAvia 2010 - downtown L.A. - photo by Yasuko Fujisawa

My friends and I had a great time riding and enjoying the car(e)free atmosphere. There was live music in several spots, with musicians including my friend (Eric's roommate), sitar player Paul Livingstone. This event brought out a great sense of community. For example, we rode down the route. looking for a place to set up the sound equipment. Paul saw a lawn he liked in front of a house. He asked the resident if he could play there, and she gave permission. I thought that was pretty cool! People passing by stopped to listen to Paul's wonderful music. It was the most relaxing part of the whole day.

<---this guy is relaxing

People rollerbladed, skateboarded, walked, ran, rode bikes on the streets all morning. For me, I saw a future in this. When cars are obsolete and asphalt has outlived our machines, we will still have our bodies. May alternative transportation grow and live on!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

CW Reflection

Thankfully, I did get some rest this weekend. Ah, I enjoyed sleeping in until almost noon (though I didn't get to sleep until 2am anyhow) on Monday. The weather also decided to cooperate with my intentions to rest that day. I took it easy the whole day, including a lovely walk in the light rain. This mildly stormy weather is a welcome break from the record breaking 110+ degree weather we had last week (so says the Oregonian typing this blog). Unfortunately, our homeless friends may not enjoy either option...

I wanted to share something I read today. This comes from the quarterly newsletter of the St Francis Catholic Worker House in Chicago, but it accurately describes the LACW House (at which I live and work), too.
St Francis House is a house of hospitality in the tradition of the Catholic Worker Movement. The movement was begun in 1933 by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin. It is based on communal living with people struggling with poverty and homelessness, and nonviolent resistance to war, injustice and materialism. There are 150-200 Catholic Worker Houses in the US and other countries, but there are no organizational ties to the Roman Catholic hierarchy and Catholic Worker houses are not dependent on it for support. Each CW house is run solely by the people who work there, most of whom live in community at the house itself. In most cases community members need not be Catholic.
St Francis house practices the work of hospitality by taking in single adults who need a place to stay. Decisions are made by a group of people called workers who share the responsibilities of managing the house and are committed to the CW movement's ideals. They have no titles, they need not have professional credentials and they are NOT paid. St Francis house is supported entirely by personal donations and earnings; it receives no government, Church or corporate funding. We are not recognized by the government as a non-profit organization, thus donations to the house are not tax-deductible. We reject the government control that comes with the non-profit status and we feel that federal taxes are best not paid at all because of the violent use to which much tax money is put. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A Little Burnt Out

I've still been rescuing food almost every night, serving on Skid Row nearly every day, living communally (that means having lots of meetings) and keeping a busy social schedule. When the weekend came, my body told me it had had enough of the late nights and early mornings. We all need balance, even the most energetic and idealistic of us. I tried to sleep in this morning... of course I only made it to 9:30 (after a bedtime some time after 1 AM). Let's try this tomorrow...

Make no mistake; I am not complaining. I choose this life and I love every minute of it. But sometimes we're just tired...