merielle: purple passiflora on a barbed wire fence (Default)
- Finally getting the Austin chapter of NOW re-started. As of this weekend, with the help of my sweet fella, Austin NOW has a website, an account with Constant Contact so we can do professional looking emails, and a Facebook page. This morning I sent out an email asking people to let us know what meeting times work for them (Doodle is so useful for this), what they'd like the chapter to do, and what feedback they have on the new website. I've already gotten four responses! \o/

- There is an organic pizza joint, Promise Pizza, in Austin! We got dinner from there a few nights ago, and it was really good! It kind of sucks that we're juuuuust outside the delivery area of both locations, but hey, if we support them enough, maybe they'll expand. :)

- I'm slooooowly getting through my laundry backlog. It feels really good.

- We finally got the replacement part we needed to assemble our home exercise thingy, which is a combo recumbent bike and rowing machine, and today we put it together. So now we can exercise while also goofing off and watching movies - without having to go outside in the ridiculous heat! WIN.

- Yesterday I went to volunteer orientation for English at Work. It's such a smart model - they get businesses (usually hospitals, hotels, retail, and food service) to pay a relative pittance for the course, and employees get to come to the class at their workplace, with content customized for that workplace. This means the employees don't have to worry about transportation or childcare any more than usual, they lose less time to transportation because the class is someplace they already know how to find, and they learn how to say what they need to say to their co-workers, which has immediate positive impact on their careers and earning power. Employers benefit because increased English comprehension has been shown to decrease turnover, workplace accidents, and workplace tension. Smart!

Sneakily, it also engages businesses with their employees and makes them more attuned to their needs, which, E@W is finding, changes business culture so that immigrants are treated better. RAD. I'm going to train to be a classroom student support assistant, helping out with one-on-one conversation and small group work. I'm super excited about helping these folks make better lives for themselves!

- Today, as is my custom, I read Langston Hughes' "Let America Be America Again" to remind me how much I love the dream, the idea of my country, and how far we have to go to make it real.

Because of the drought here, the worst in over 100 years, there are no fireworks in Austin. So we're at home, watching the Boston Pops. I think it's kind of amazing that several hundred thousand people just saw Martina McBride sing "Independence Day", which is a pretty hardcore domestic violence story. It's an amazing song, but I dunno, to me, it's like those people who have the DJ play, "I Will Always Love You," at their wedding. THAT SONG IS NOT TALKING ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK IT'S TALKING ABOUT.

My life is really good today. I hope y'all's are, too.


merielle: purple passiflora on a barbed wire fence (Default)

February 2016

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