Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy San Jose and Other Acts of Activism

There's been a flurry of activity in my life this last week.  I've had appointments, impromptu acts of activism and altruism, and I've had a bunch of caffeinated beverages.  And a few beers.  But what else is new.

I went downtown to San Jose where the Occupy protest was being staged last Friday.  I helped out, met some folks, bought a few supplies, and talked at length with one of the participants.  He was very interesting.  Probably in his sixties, he's a wanderer of sorts, networking for people and getting things done.  He said that he was fired from his job just the other day, and that he'd been spending too much time down at the occupation.  He asked me what my story was.  I told him that I'm unemployed, that I quit my job to deal with my life as a citizen diagnosed with a mental illness.  He asked if he could pray for me, so I said sure.  We bonded and shook hands.  He seemed to be a genuine and nurturing individual.  He told me he might have some leads on a job for me.  So I'll keep him in mind.

We went back on Saturday and dropped off some water that we had left over from Suzy's high school reunion.  They were appreciative, even though I gave it to them in a red fabric Wells Fargo bag.  Suzy pointed this out to me as not the best move.  Still makes me giggle a bit.

I also attended, sort of, a conference via webcast over last weekend.  It was the Bioneers conference that I had hoped to attend, but it was just too expensive.  So I watched it online for free!  Do check out the video presentations at the Bioneers site, while they have them up for free (Go to and click on the video archives to get a list of the presentations).  Lots of amazing work being done out there in the world, and these are some of the purveyors of activism and ingenuity.  I highly recommend Paul Stamets, Gloria Steinem, and many others.  It's a mind expanding experience.

Also, I went with my buddy Mary to Berkeley to visit a couple salvage companies.  The first was Urban Ore, a huge warehouse filled with recycled parts and parcel for redoing your home kitchen, bathroom, or back yard.  It was really overwhelming.  There were so many parts and pieces, it was kind of like a thrift store crossed with a junkyard.  They had record albums and books, doorknobs and cabinet pulls, lampshades and electrical boxes, doors and windows and toilets and sinks.  The second place we went to was  Ohmega Salvage.  It was a bit more organized, a lot smaller scale, and a lot more expensive.  One of the most interesting things that they had was a stack of chunks of what appeared to be a gymnasium floor.  You could get 17 square feet of floor, finished on the top with the clear, shiny polymer, for about $320.00.

What you would do with that, I don't know.  Maybe a nice coffee table?

This weekend takes us to Relay Committee Academy in Gilroy.  In fact, I need to be up in about six hours to get going to that.  So I shan't be long here.  But it should prove to be fun.  We'll be honing our skills in fundraising, motivating, and just plain having fun.  And there will be bagels, I'm told.  I foresee no downside.

We'll be in touch, blog friends.  Onward to the euphoria of life!  Bring forth the learning and the change that you wish to have in this life.  You must be the change.  Bring it.

Best of luck to y'all.  Mighty changes.

1 comment:

(t)om said...

Oh, I miss Urban Ore. Always an adventure.