I am getting better at sending fund-raising e-mails and Facebook direct messages. I have to admit, I was super-resistant to doing it, and mostly put it off until this week, but have been heartened by the positive responses. So many old friends have chipped in a bit (or more than a bit). Not everyone decides to give, which is totally fine, of course, but just getting the little messages cheering me on is also so great. 🙂

Rick Perry and his Eggheads

Spent 99 cents to read this excerpt — interesting set-up for what actually works in campaigning. Live visits from the candidate are king. Phone calls are useless (which I’m glad to know as I didn’t want to do them and don’t like getting them). Direct mail is only marginally effective. Yard signs ditto.

He actually paid volunteers $20 each to get a dozen of their friends to vote for him, which seems ethically shady to me — are they still ‘volunteers’ at that point? I admit, it’s a fine line between funding a meet-and-greet and directly paying the volunteer who organized it, but fine lines are important to maintain. In the end, it’s all fine lines…


Slate One-Sheet

Have finalized a slate one-sheet that isn’t as pretty as what a graphic designer would do but gets the information across. Lots of information. Even brief bios for four candidates take up a lot of space. Hm. Ah well — it’ll do for tonight — heading out to the school board candidate forum hosted by League of Women Voters; figure there may be a place to leave some info, or hand out to folks, even though this forum isn’t for the library board.


Not My President’s Day

Kids’ school closed for President’s Day, so they came in with us — they’re old enough now that they can just hang out and watch tv on my office computer while I teach a class (and then I gave them lunch and passed them off to Kevin). That last photo kills me — if you look closely, you can see two little figures disappearing into the crowd of college students. Eep. Only eight more years for Kavya. I’m not ready.


Found a caterer for the anniversary party, whee! We’re going with Jewell catering. Favorites: crab cakes, Thai beef skewers, tuna tartare cones, veggie samosas, panko-crusted chicken with capers, red-skinned mashed potatoes, lemon chiffon thingies. They had a fancier name than thingies, but you get the idea. We’ll be tweaking the rest of the menu some, but those are definitely staying in — delish. Thanks to Mary Robinette for coming along to taste with me. Much fun.  

Yard signs

I am having a weird moment about candidate yard signs. I’m about to print mine, which is great, and I hope some people will be willing to put them in their yards (and if you are, and could let me know, that would be super-helpful in my figuring out how many to print)…but I find myself oddly reluctant to put one in my own yard, or one for any other candidate, and it is purely an aesthetic issue — the snowdrops are blooming, all my favorite little spring ephemerals are about to come up, it’s shortly going to be the prettiest time in my garden, and I don’t really want to clutter it up with a bunch of candidate yard signs.
I feel like there’s some sort of metaphor lurking there about the necessity for politics and getting your hands dirty, maybe with a bit about all those people who insist on keeping their Facebook wall only for pictures of flowers and puppies, as if they didn’t look at the ugly stuff that would make it not exist…
…fine, fine, I’ll put up the candidate yard signs.

At least the election is April 4, so they’ll only be there for a month. There are limits to how much a gardener’s soul can take!

LGBT Fundraiser

I know I will forget people when I try to thank them, so apologies in advance — I am going off the list of people who originally signed up! But the event wouldn’t have been possible without so many people chipping in — the clothing racks, for example, were essential in making it possible to even try to look at the vast amount of clothing that was donated.
I was trying to figure out how much we donated — I did a rough calculation that if there were 40 bags, each with 10 items of clothing (many had more, I think), that’s at lest 400 items, and then if they sell then for an average of $10 each (which I think is about right for pricing at Brown Elephant), then even if you cut out half of that for their overhead, I think we donated probably $2000 in clothes, in addition to the $300 cash. Well done, everyone!!
11 – 1: (set-up: sorting clothes, putting them out, snacks and drinks) (Rebecca Mortenson Ho, Melissa Diglio Healy, Jenna Leving Jacobson)
1 – 3 (first shift): Stephanie Bailey, Susan Penrod Osterkil
12 – 2: Aisha Pickett Ellis (door)
3 – 5 (second shift): Rachel Benoit, Peggy Lynch
5 – 6: 2-3 people to help with clean-up and/or driving extra clothes over to Brown Elephant for donation (Marianne Merola, Nicole Sumida)

Other volunteers:
Emma Draves: rainbow veggie tray and rainbow cake
Jenna Leving Jacobson: bringing rainbow balloons and rainbow snack
Pem Hessing: donate Pellegrino, cups, napkins, pens
Jalissa Bauman Horne: rainbow fruit skewers, dress-up clothes for kids
Dawn Xiana Moon: Raks Geek can donate a pair of tickets to our March 24 show at Uptown Underground. (some more theatre tickets would be great to add to the raffle, if anyone wants to solicit those for us)
Kelly Sorprych: donate a pair of tickets to Other Theatre
Marianne Merola: bringing some ideas from Equality Illinois’ website. A few days ago they released a press release about a House Bill they want support for. So perhaps something like that can be the focus of our postcard writing.
Rebecca Mortenson Ho: bringing a clothes rack.
Aisha Pickett Ellis: bringing a clothes rack and accessory grid, also a snack (and her friend Laura Elk-Weist will also bring a snack)
Kat Tanaka Okopnik: bringing a clothes rack
Dima Ali: photographer


The unseasonably warm weather meant that we broke out the grill. I’m a good cook with curries and such, but I need more practice with grilling. I think bigger shrimp would’ve worked a bit better — these got slightly dried out (but fine in sauce, and will be fine mixed in a caesar salad with dressing). Everything got tossed in olive oil, salt, and a generous amount of white pepper.

I put all the veggies in a grill pan, which was okay, but they didn’t char that much in there — I think next time, I’ll keep the eggplant slices, red onion, and bell pepper pieces big, so they can just sit on the grill directly. But the grill pan was good for the asparagus, carrot pieces, and mushrooms.

I’m mostly just being finicky. Overall, it was delicious and very more-ish. I had planned to toss the veggies in balsamic vinegar, but we were out! But it wasn’t too hard to make a quick lemon-mustard sauce, delicious with a glass of prosecco.


“Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend today’s class because there was a bomb threat to my local mosque. We are relocating all our neighbors and families to a different mosque and also having a huge prayer so I will not be able to come in. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you for understanding.”

– from one of my UIC students today (2/17/17), reposted with permission