in search of a couch

My spouse and I are looking for a couch. We prefer a solid color, brushed/soft fabric, green or burgundy or purple/plum color. Must be comfortable--NO SAGGING. We can haul and are willing to spend up to $125. If anybody in Corvallis is looking to sell such a couch, please leave me a comment. Please help! We've been sitting on a worn out, ugly plaid couch with scratchy, torn up fabric for years and have finally saved up enough to get us something nice. It's been so uncomfortable, we've had to put plywood under the cushions. That helped for awhile but now the padding is worn out, so sitting on it is literally a pain in the ass. We've resorted to putting a comforter on it for some extra padding. Ugh. : )

you say you want a revolution........

i love the beatles. i love their music. and while i love love love their song "revolution", i've always had issue with the line "but if you wanna talk about destruction, don't you know that you can count me out." ok, maybe not always. in the past, back when my wages were decent and health care and housing affordability wasn't a really big issue, i loved the song in its entirety. i believed the problem was that i needed to free my mind instead. and i could resist the need to revolt in an aggressive way because, afterall, don'tcha know it's gonna be allright.

well "allright" has yet to happen and i have grown up and out of the new age/hippie la la land to know that freedom is not just a state of mind. and today i am tired of hearing rich types spew such mantras. being poor in america 30 plus years ago was a lot different than it is today. take my dad. he grew up in the 40's, poor as you can imagine. his mama worked part-time in a dry cleaning facility. papa was a jeweler, who oddly enough in his eccentric ways, refused money for his services but rather, suits. despite all of this, they owned a home. it wasn't glamourous by any means. in fact, it was old and run down. but they owned it and the land that it sat on. today if you are poor, you can barely afford to rent a home much less own it. bottom line, incomes have not kept up with the cost of, well, everything. back then you could be poor and yet still own a house and get by with just one person working.

today as i wrote out my bills, i longed to write "electricity monopoly" and "insurance monopoly" in the "pay to" section. and one look at my city of corvallis water bill brought forth a scream. $58 fucking dollars?! upon closer inspection i noticed, quite inconspicuously, a little note that said as of february 1st, water would be rising approximately 4.3% per month. nice of them to tell us this after the fact. 4.3%. hmmmm. my hourly rate did jump up last month. let me calculate how much................. .025%. water bill, up 4.3%. electricity up another 7% this past year (approximately 35% in the past 5 years). rent, 10%. my income, up .025%. spouses, up .050%. yep, seems fair to me!

i wonder if john lennon is paying attention. if so, i wonder what he would have to say today.......


a leak in the housing bubble here in benton county

a visit to foreclosures.com shows there may, at least, finally be a noticable leak in the housing bubble. housing in benton county, in particular corvallis, is so obscenely over-priced. i first visited the foreclosure website around 4 years ago. at that time, there was only a couple of foreclosures in corvallis and one in philomath. today? 14. 26 more are in preforeclosure status. one of the sufferers? kip schoning, local real estate mogul turned slumlord. ah, karma is a beautiful thing, ain't it? if you see a property with a red door and a for rent sign, run as fast as you can, far far away. my spouse and i have checked out several of these properties in the past when we have been in the market for a home to rent. we walked away from each property, laughing. NO THANK YOU in one of the homes, the floor actually slanted. i remember thinking how in the hell can this be legal to rent?

while a part of me doesn't wish to see people lose their homes, the part of me that longs to own a home of my own and is oh so tired of being pissed as hell that despite both my spouse and i working we are not able to afford one, well, i want to see something change. i want to see the bubble burst (or at least spring a leak) and home prices brought back down to where they should have remained--keeping up with inflation. i know that would mean a lot of financial suffering for many, but hell, that has been my life for long enough. if people have to deal with loss so that folks like myself and my spouse can finally get into a home of our own, then so be it. i've been screaming for years my ideas on sharing the wealth, my thoughts about balance and how economies collapse when they are out of balance for so long. who has listened? certainly no one of real importance (to the world that is).

one day, perhaps very soon, people will remember my words and they will say "maybe she had a point. maybe we should have listened to her."


a modicum of hope for the MSM

ok, so it's a local news station. hope is hope i figure. i have no link for this given i just witnessed it on tv less than 15 minutes ago. eugene's KMTR news station aired a report on this evening's 5pm broadcast about the x-ray scanning machine at the arizona airport--the one that gives screeners an intimate view of what's underneath our clothing. renee mccullough, one of the news anchors, was covering the piece and added that two other airports were considering adding this technology sometime in the upcoming year. i don't recall what the other two airports are as i wasn't paying close attention. however, what she added at the end prompted me into alert mode. she said, "well, that is three places i won't be traveling to this year." wow. a sign of defiance. it's about time. "rock on sister!" i said to the tv screen, raising a saluted fist into the air as a sign of solidarity.

the look on her face was a combination of "woops" and "darn right". her co-anchor smiled as well in a way that said "yep, she said it allright" and "ok what do we do next".

if we all say "no" to traveling to airports that use this invasive means of looking for box cutters, etc., they will have no choice but to listen to us. start a new trend. "if you wish to view my private cohorts, i won't be passing through your airports."


little bit o' this, little bit o' that........as heard on talk radio

i haven't listened to talk radio in years. i used to listen to it at a former place of employment to pass the time. lately, given the tedious and boring nature of my current job, i realized i needed some outside distraction to make the time pass quicker. thus i began listening to talk radio again. i was hoping for more progressive or at least more balanced talk. i searched and searched. not even npr could enlighten or soothe me........ if it's possible, these freaks have become even more ridiculous in their babbling barrage of bullshit.

1) john edwards came out today and announced israel is the greatest threat to world peace. according to michael savage, anyone who supports that position is an anti-semite. did you know that? i'm jewish (by blood only) and while i can't quite say if they are THE greatest threat, they certainly don't score any bonus points for peace with me. (i'm not a fan of john edwards but i am silently cheering him for having the balls to bring the other side of middle east politics to light.)

2) rush limbaugh has been nominated for a nobel peace prize. i know, i know. are you peeing your pants yet from hysterical bursts of laughter? i haven't heard yet for what and that continues to be my question. i'm thinking it's a public relations ploy. if anything, it gives me a good case of the giggles whenever i hear him plug the news. the day rush is a nobel peace prize winner is the day i convert to his brilliant political philosophy.

3) our own albany/corvallis company morse bros. is changing its name to "knife river". (check on the spelling if you wish. i'm too lazy.) knife river is a mega corporation based out of north dakota. they currently "own" (a polite term for "sleazy takeover") 60 other companies. they have owned morse. bros. for the past 9 years, but for some reason, are only now deciding to change the name. why? well according to morse bros. it is to "better serve our customers". ok and how many people are going to buy that with a smile and a nod? watch out all vendors and customers of morse. bros. things are about ready to go even more corporate on your watch and dollar.

4) our brilliant oregon legislatures have decided not to pass legislation making it a traffic offense to talk on the cell phone whilst driving. instead, they decided on a bill that said police may ticket a driver if they are noticeably distracted as a result of talking on their cell phone. now see, the thing is, police can already ticket a motorist for showing signs of being distracted whilst driving, irregardless of what the driver's chosen "distracting" activity is. no way will this change the behavior of stupid ass motorists who "think" they can drive and talk at the same time. while i dislike government intrusion, after having experienced numerous near-miss collisions myself and having witnessed numerous near-miss collisions not to mention the numerous times i have seen people run red lights and stop signs, all resulting from people driving and talking, i was in strong support of ticketing these morons.

5) and once again, the people in the state of oregon are crying how we need more money, more taxes raised, for our children, our schools. give me a break. tax the corporations at the level they deserve to be and you'll have your funding. until then, quit expecting your neighbors to cough it up. start running the schools like any other business and STOP running it like a beaucratic governmental nightmare that it is. lookit the truth, people. and speak up about it. this ongoing whine of "we need more money" has yet to fix the fiasco of public education. i had the privilege to speak with and interview the former assistant superintendent of corvallis public schools a few years ago when i was a freelance writer for a local publication. also sitting in on the meeting was someone from accounting. i was shown a chart. 85 cents for every dollar given to education goes to teacher's salaries and benefits. that's right. EIGHTY-FIVE CENTS. that means a whopping 15 cents goes to our kids. a large part of the problem was, if you haven't already guessed, the huge increase in health insurance coverage.

6) lots of backlash aimed at and against illegal immigrants that is, in my opinion, misguided. lets throw it where it belongs... on the employers who hire these folks... on government officials, who now brilliantly are discussing whether to give these folks social security and workers comp. benefits. but of course what the people don't want to see, or won't see, or can't see because they're too glued to the babble that comes out of the mouths of the MSM and talk radio garbage, is that our government obviously wants these people infiltrating into our country. there's money to be made from hiring an illegal. big biz and uncle sam know that and thus, will allow it to continue. just follow the money and you'll find the answers. and given the upcoming North American Union, a beautiful marriage of america, canada and mexico, we will only see more of the same.

6) did you know that america is going to hell quickly, in large part, because gays and lesbians are allowed to continue living together and are allowed to adopt? i did not know that. dang. and here i foolishly thought it was due to government corruption and big business greed. whew. at least now i know who to blame. ranting about uncle sam and his mistress big "bosom" biz was getting very tiring!


workin' for a living......

i'm ready for a revolution. let's do it. i'm sick of slaving away for a pitiful wage. i'm especially sick of working for a wealthy university who will not pay me a living wage. i have realized a growing apathy with the work i perform. even though my work benefits and helps the disabled student, i'm tired of working the hours i do only to see the reality of my meager paycheck.

this all hit me like a brick wall recently as i added up my hours. my job has finally, after sticking it out for over a year, turned into the kind of job i was told it would in terms of hours. as i excitedly added up my hours i multiplied them by my hourly rate. my excitement was quickly deflated as i saw the amount. i worked this fucking hard for this many hours and this is all i am going to have to show for it? what's frustrating is that if i were doing this same kind of work for say the forestry or engineering departments, my pay would be double what it is. it's all on what we value and that is money and what stands a better chance of bringing in money to the glorified university: science and technology departments or disability services.

i worked under the table yesterday for someone i know who owns a flower shop. i delivered a lot of beautiful flower arrangements in some big ass (and heavy!) vases yesterday. and again, considering the hours i worked and the type of work i was doing (you try loading and unloading a massive arrangement of exotic flowers out of a small sedan), when i added up the amount i would be receiving, i felt deflated. apathetic. the amount of money people in this town spent alone on flowers was in a way, a bit sickening. i felt like a hypocrite passing the old man on the street, hauling his collection of aluminum cans as i delivered my arrangement of flowers to the next unsuspecting customer. that $50 could have provided that man with 2 weeks worth of food.

that's the kinds of things i think about. and it is that kind of thinking that has prompted my spouse and i to stop honoring the retail frenzy holidays. yesterday was the first valentines day that we didn't spend a dime on each other (not that we have a dime to spend on one another this year). in a way it felt strange, but it also felt empowering. it's just one more moment in our awakening, where we realize living life on autopilot and following the crowd isn't what it's cracked up to be. we are more the types to think "ok so that is how things are. it sucks. how can things be better?"

working for a living is certainly at the top of our agenda. how can we create an income that provides us what we need and desire plus doesn't hurt our bodies in the process. (my spouses position requires a lot of lifting, bending, stooping and standing on hard surfaces. my position requires a lot of repetitive movement with a mouse. both of us deal with physical problems as a result.) i certainly don't buy into the 40 hour work week. i never have. it's a ridiculous amount of time to put into something that most of us don't particularly enjoy, taking us away from the very people we have chosen to be with, the very people with whome we would much prefer to be spending the bulk of our time. give me 20 hours a week doing something i love that pays me what i desire and determine i am worthy of. people have a problem with that concept though. i cannot tell you how many times i have been told i am lazy or demanding and my very favorite, "but nina, that isn't how things are." as though the "how things are" is some rule forever cast in stone, never to be touched. please. it's all simply what people have created it to be. and as i always say (to the annoyance of some), "we can create something new together if we really want."

i ask myself "why did i come here? what is my purpose?" quite often these days. while i am not a religious person, i do believe we go on to a different level of existance. i believe in freedom of choice in this "afterworld" and i believe i made the choice to come here as i did (although i have come to believe i am always in a state of "evolvement" and as such was under some real illusions as to my full potential even in this afterworld including the concepts of reincarnation and karma). now the questions have become "WHY?" and "what am i here to do?" i don't know yet but i hope to know soon because i simply am not enjoying my life the way i know i could. and while i have some modicum of hope that there will be changes in the system (i.e.--wealth will be returned to the citizens who need it most, housing and health care will be brought back into a balance so all can afford, employment will be abundant and will provide living wage for all and if this isn't the case, there will be income assistance programs, etc. etc. etc), i am fairly certain this won't be happening in my lifetime. even the most "progressive" of folks still cling to the notions of rugged individualism and capitalism. but i know that no civilization lasts forever. no system, especially a system that creates so much unbalance, will last long without collapsing. my concern, fear actually, is that if this does happen in my lifetime, another system equally as unfair and lacking in values such as respect and sharing will be created.

but that doesn't have to be the case so long as people open their minds to the knowings and desires of the heart and soul. that takes time, something that is indeed lacking in today's modern way of living. our elected officials have failed to address this. the church has failed to address this. business has failed to address this as has the media. our time is focused on things that keep us away from these knowings and desires. but they're still there. and it is my wish for humanity to open up to them and claim them and unite together in a strong spirit of love for change. i'm oh so very ready and oh so very willing. are you?


summing up global warming......

........as heard last night on coast to coast radio. cannot recall the name of the guest--i tuned in late and only listened for about 15 minutes. the discussion at the moment was global warming, the on-going debates people and the science community engage in--is it a natural cycle or is it human caused. as this guest said, it doesn't matter at this point. he nailed it when he said "the air is a mess. we need to clean it up."


Just An Example of What Greed Has Done To Our Beautiful Planet

in our species non-stop quest for wealth, we once again see how the need for greed can cause us to do terribly abusive things to the world around us. in this case, people are cutting down trees, destroying what once was a pristine rain forest, in order to claim a few nuggets of gold. it appears as though most of these folks are poor to begin with so their plight, i can honestly and heartfully understand. i know from experience the desperation one feels when living in poverty. i know the stress and the fatigue that goes hand-in-hand with living in poverty. i know the frustration and the anger one feels when watching others bank accounts go through the roof while you work every bit as hard just to make enough to pay the rent and utilities. deep inside you know "this isn't right." and most importantly, "things don't have to be this way."

i want to believe that if i were faced with an opportunity like this, i wouldn't throw my respect for this planet out the window, the way so many of the already wealthy/elite have done. what happens when this forest has been forever destroyed? has our search for riches rendered us blind and worse, utterly uncaring as to the long term consequences? what good is all that wealth when our planet is no longer able to sustain our lifestyles and begins bumping us off (as she is already showing signs of doing)?

i swear to the cosmos we are desperately in need of a new way of living, a new way of being. but first comes first. we need a new way of THINKING.

it's easy to say we need to take away the wealth from the elitists and redistribute it. it's easy to think changing political figures will equally solve the problem. but change has to come from awakening to something new and different, to knowing things can be different. something that doesn't come from inside a book or church. something that comes from within. i'm not a religious person for sure, but when i think about this, that is how i define "god". that part of us that has always been there. that part of us that isn't influenced by the rules of our families, our communities, our society. it's something that cannot be defined. but when you are in tune with it, you know it ain't going anywhere. it's solid. and it always has concern for the well being of everyone and everything. always.

we've lost that. we've lost it in our quest for more. we've lost it in our desire to please those who tell us they are in charge. we've lost it from being told who are are and who we aren't. we've lost it in our anger and in our rage. we've lost it in our apathy and sense of powerlessness, instead thinking of "that's the way things are" as something that is permanent.

i love the song "amazing grace". while i can do without the phrase "that saved a wretch like me", there is an energy that song talks about--that sense of grace. that sense of remembering who you are. it is going to take us remembering that if we are ever to actually see the kind of world we all like to talk about: a world of peace for all life forms.


Are You A Disgruntled Worker?

if so, i have just the website for you. come on all you oregonians. come one come all, all of you willamette valley workers. visit and vent, all you under-paid workers of corvallis, albany, portland, salem, eugene. let the world know how truly disgruntled you are. release some pressure without doing something that will land you in jail. stick it to the "man" who sticks it to you everyday.

ok, i've run out of cliches. go have some fun!