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What’s the opposite of a gun: April 20, 2018 #NationalStudentWalkOut

April 20, 2018

What’s the opposite of a gun?

On Friday April 20, students across the United States will answer that question with a resounding answer:

a walkout.

Because today is the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting that shocked the nation.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to shock us into wresting control of guns from the hands of the NRA and taking actions that would prevent gun violence at schools from happening again — and again — and again.

It seems that it may require teenagers taking to the street to demand change — and by voting change it– to make a change happen.



March For Our Lives has calculated the price of each student in states across the country, based on the millions of dollars politicians have accepted from the NRA, and created price tags for students to wear.  If a state doesn’t have a price tag, that means that your politicians aren’t taking large sums of NRA money. There’s also a national average price tag (pictured above) to show support for reforming our gun laws.

Today is the third walkout in as many months.






















The college where I teach doesn’t have classes on Friday or else I would participate there. I did attend the walkout in Marh 14, and as a family we participated in our local march on March 24.

While I am worried for his safety because I am concerned that a gun enthusiast might take this opportunity to open fire, I am proud that my son plans to walkout today and I will be joining the Ventura area students  at City Hall at noon.

Organizers point out that “Students have strong freedom of speech rights, but school administrators may be concerned about disruption to learning time and could pursue disciplinary action. Depending on your personal judgement and your school norms, you may wish to reach out to teachers or administrators for support. You can also ask a parent or guardian to call the school and advocate on your behalf if your school administration needs more support to work with you. If you aren’t able to walk out, you can still be creative. Show solidarity for the walkout by wearing orange and create posters to show your support. #ENOUGH.”

ENOUGH graphic by Ventura artist MB Hanrahan


Earth Month, Earth Week, Earth Day 2018 and VOTE!

April 18, 2018


How has your Earth Month been so far?

While the Earth is celebrated all April and while #EarthDayIsEveryDay, this week is considered Earth Week and Sunday April 22 is the official “Earth Day.”


Many communities are holding their events this Saturday April 21, 2018. Ventura’s is in downtown’s Plaza Park.

The best event I know of this Earth Month is happening in San Francisco at Ocean Beach where Brad Newsham is organizing other of his Human Banners; the last one, which spelled RESIST! had over 5,000 participants. This one will spell VOTE! and he’s encouraging everyone to wear blue.  I want to do one in Ventura but I was just too busy with last week’s Diversity in Culture Festival at Ventura College to organize it for this weekend. Maybe next weekend? Who’s in?



You can also join the Sierra Club who invites you to go for a walk in your neighborhood. In an email, the Sierra Club says, “Celebrate our second annual nationwide Earth Day hike THIS Sunday. Over 5,000 people across the nation have committed to raising funds to protect our planet! Join now. Earth Day is the largest environmental movement in the world.

Here’s how you can join Team Sierra:

  1. Create an Earth Day fundraising page.
  2. Ask your family, friends, and co-workers to make a donation.
  3. Hike in your corner on April 22 and help represent #EveryCorner.

Plus, when you raise at least $30, you’ll get our exclusive 2018 Earth Day T-shirt!”

This year many communities are joining together to call attention to PLASTIC POLLUTION.

How will you celebrate Earth Day? What actions are you taking to protect our Earth?




When are TAXES due in 2018?

April 17, 2018

Usually it’s pretty easy for you and for Hagar to figure out when taxes are due.

But this year it’s quite complicated!


And wait there’s more! Because of computer problems due to some hardware issues in aging equipment that needs replacing at the IRS due to budget cuts, SO MANY people couldn’t get there taxes filed online last night on the deadline



Read why this is the perfect wine for those of who impacted by the Thomas Fire while preparing taxes -not due until April 30…

Read more about this on Wine Predator as well as some great wines from California, Italy, and Alsace that will help you get through tax season!


Get yr grammar on: World Semicolon Day

April 16, 2018


Word Crimes: We all commit them. Srsly, theyre part of the rising process, write?!

When we are rushing to get the words out, to go with the flow, to stay with our wild minds, to get our down draft down, we need to follow the rules of writing practice as set out by Natalie Goldberg and not worry about spelling, punctuation, or grammar. But then there comes the time to revise those down drafts, and to fix them up, as Anne Lamott describes in her chapter on “Shitty First Drafts” in Bird By Bird.

So to help you get your grammar on, I have two videos, and a very important public service announcement.

Read more…

Burning Man at VC’s Diversity in Culture

April 11, 2018

As I scanned my mental files for folks who would add something amazing to Ventura College’s Diversity in Culture Festival April 11 and 12, in addition to Alice Bag, it should be no surprise that I’d think of women who go to Burning Man like:

  • Rasika Mathur, actor
  • Deniz Nicole, artist
  • Lynne Okun, artist

I know how attending Burning  Man affected me as an artist and writer and so I asked them via email a series of questions about how attending Burning Man influenced them as artists. Here are their answers. Read more…

How To Be A Shining Example: Empathy. Education. Empowerment.

April 9, 2018


“You don’t have to be anything,” reminds Tsoknyi Rinpoche. “You don’t have to teach anything. You just have to be who you are: a bright flame shining in the darkness of despair, a shining example of a person able to cross bridges by opening your heart and soul.”

How can we do this? How can we be who we are, a shining example? And can that bring more social and environmental justice to the world?

To increase justice in the world, Judy Lee Dunn suggests we practice the “3Es”: Empathy, Education, Empowerment:

Empathy is the ability to walk in the shoes of another: without empathy, we don’t know what injustice feels like and we don’t care about the injustice in the world.

Once we care, we want to learn more through Education about injustice so we understand it — the causes, the solutions and the actions people take.

Education leads to Empowerment — taking action.  If we only learn about problems, and don’t see how we can be part of the solution, we feel helpless. Taking action leads to a sense of empowerment.

Empathy. Education. Empowerment. I wrote about this a few years ago but it bears repeating.

One way to to become empathetic and to educate yourself and empower yourself is by attending events like Ventura College’s Diversity in Culture Festival and Earth Day events going on all over the world this month.

Read more…

Burning Man Shelter: Watch a 2017 Dust Storm Obscure BRC’s 88NV

March 29, 2018



So yesterday some of you got lucky and got tickets to Burning Man before they sold out almost immediately and you’re excitedly making plans to head out to the Black Rock Desert, Nevada over Labor Day weekend Read more…

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