Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chiditarod 2009-- a repost!!

It's a canned food drive disguised as a pub crawl/shopping cart race.

Love this crew...wanted to go but life was in the way...maybe next year we host a Detitarod... that just sounds odd!

read more about it here!!

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Images from fund raising

This first image is from the COTS fund raiser on Martin Luther King Day. (COTS = Coalition On Temporary Shelter)

this other image is me from the Dirty Show with the skirt i wear while i am painting. for LOVE A CUNT; Titties and Clitties .it is a piece of work itself!! i ended up wiping me hands on me arse once and figured why stop! it looks awesome!
(for more on those shows- and )

this link is to galleries by Michael Spleet on all four nights of the Dirty Show! Michael is a great running into to him at all the events around town!

I have more images from the Dirty Show will post them soon dont have the CF card on me...grrr

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Home 4 Less Community Art Project

This post is from the Detroit Permaculture page on facebook hosted by tuka; the page is called "Perma Detroit's "

This idea was conceived to work with artists who are homeless and or living in a treatment or youth facility. I was recruiting at the soup kitchen then saturday classes started for me and I have not been able to work on it like I would have liked. Then Project Sunflower popped into my life and further distracted me. It's an important project so that's okay, but that leaves me with few artists for this project. If you know an artist living on the edge or are an artist living on the edge please share this info or send artists my way. Non-profits were suppose to help me get art supplies but I have not seen any show up yet so we will be using a lot of recycled stuff.

Home 4 Less
Community Art Project
For Artists Living on the Edge

A series of workshops to produce an installation exploring the themes of Shelter, Home, Community Space, Green Economy, and Self to be shown at Wayne State University. Artists will also produce art to be sold on the internet and community events.

Workshops held Wednesdays 12noon to 6pm for six weeks @
Spirit of Hope Church
1519 Martin Luther King Blvd.
@ Trumbull Ave.
Detroit, Mi, 48208

March 11th, 2009 week 1 Shelter
March 18th, 2009 week 2 Home
March 25th, 2009 week 3 Community Space
April 1st, 2009 week 4 Green Economy
April 8th, 2009 week 5 Self
April 15th, 2009 week 6 Finish all art projects
April 16, 2009 install installation @ WSU
April 17th, 2009 Art Opening, show and sell

Workshop Weds. Artists will be provided one hot meal, art supplies, access to community clothes closet, along with whatever swag comes our way from supporting non-profits and individuals.

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Must be Waterproofed

March 9th, 2009

I am out in the burbs...finally went back to the gym..i have to get in better shape if i am to keep this up long term like i plan too!! well on the way home on McNicoles at 75 there is a man on the middle median like there often is and i swing over like 3 lanes to pull up next to him. I roll the window down and ask him if he is hungry. I hop out pop the trunk on the rental which btw holds only like 1/8 of the stuff the jeep does and really sucks for this gig!! It is filled to top with stuff that i can hardly find anything.

I say "Hello!! your name is Johnny right?" He tells me yes and that he is surprised i remember his name. I told him we met before and as I am about to tell him where he tells me he remembers me. I tell him my name again! We met on New Years day i tell him and he tells me 'yes you were with your daughter' i smile to myself as i realize yes i am biologically old enough to have an adult child. wow..reality when you least expect it! I tell him her name is 19! He told me he lost the gray hat we gave him it dropped when he was biking and didnt not notice it. He has his bike with him, its leaning on the pole behind him! I really like the idea of getting bikes to homeless guys who can ride them. He is proof that it makes sense! i give him the blanket and sweater i had for Albert and some cans of food and water. i have no bag to give him but my gym bag. i tell him i am sorry. He thanks me and i get in the car to go ..when i remember i stashed plastic bags in the trunk..i jump out and tell him to wait... we pack his stuff in the bag, he tells me again about being disappointed about the hat, I notice gloves in his pocket and comment i am happy that he has those. He is too! We say our goodbyes! ..i still need to get back to Albert!

.and i make mental note that the Back Packs have to be waterproof cuz it had rained that day and even in the winter once things get wet they are useless to guys on the street..cuz who has a place to thaw the stuff out most the time!? Ponchos too ....must get rain ponchos!!!

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March 7 and 8, 2009

March 7th, i was not able to stop by to see Albert as my day got out of control in a good way and i didnt get home from Ann Arbor til after 2am. But i did get like 4 bas of food from my friend Andreas who is graduating from UM very soon and gave me stuff he knows he will not use. Bottles of water, bags of nuts, a bag-o-wine, cans of chicken, vegetables in a can and more!! i am very happy and thankful! as i have little food left at the time and a Car full and a hallway full of clothes from ...who else the amazing Josh Bacon!!!

the next day, March 8, i made sure i had a blanket, a sweater and food for Albert and i went though when it was pouring down rain. And as i pulled in i saw a pair of boots and a figure laying down. i got out to see if it was Albert but it wasn't. i could not tell if it was Nate or who it was. i did not bother to wake him. Nor did i leave food which i regret now but i was on my way to dinner with friends and the back end of the car was in the pouring rain with no way for me to pull it out of it...and i was being lazy and greedy with my time. ... i suck!

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Russell Street Deli and amazing sight!

March 6, 2009

I meet Athena at Russell Street Deli for lunch.. i get there early, given a seat by the door i take the view looking outside. She arrives we chat...dear god soooo much to catch up...never enough time! ...well she is talking to me about something really important yet i am not able to pay attention. My attention is in fact over her right shoulder looking the front window onto the side walk to that man standing out there...she of course notices that my attention which she has had 110% of is now down to to like 2.5%. she sways into my view and i lean around her trying not to lose my target. she finally looks around to see what has so intently caught my eye. She sees the man i am looking at. She asks me if I know him. I do i tell her...that is Albert! I have not seen Albert since the story on Johnnie Redding broke and the guys i normally went to visit we no longer in the heated safe place i was content in knowing they had. I have been worried about Albert for weeks now. I think i was smiling. She asked if i wanted to go talk to him, i asked her if she minded. Of course she did not and i am thankful!

I go outside and i just stand there staring at him waiting for him to focus on me cuz i bet he is not used to people just blatantly staring at him but used to them to just drifting by pretending he does not exist. He registers someone is looking at him...and he smiles! He tells me he has wondered i how i have been! I tell him i have wondered the same! I smile back at him and then i grab him and hug him! i was sooo fucking happy to see that man!! He told me he went 'home' that means to his daughters place when the weather got so cold. I asked him what happened to the space and why did he have to leave. He told me they turned the heat off!

AHHHHhh i think to myself...what is the best way to get a bunch of men to move on if you dont want anyone knowing they are there when you could potentially draw some bad press if the 'news' found out esp after the story of how poorly the Redding body was handled by the city. Of course this could just be me making stuff up but it sure would be a coincidence like none other. Would the heat be shut off on the coldest week of the winter if there was not concern about a certain department in the city helping out homeless if the city was not getting bad press that same week. we may never know!!

and what is more important is that Albert is back and he is ok!! and he will back in the area that night! i ask if he needs anything. he tells me everything as it was all tossed out when they were forced out. i tell him i would be by the next day with food and blankets!! i tell him i am really happy to see him!! He tells me he is too!

I go back in and tell Athena about him, I am in tears i am so happy...and giddy and realize a weight had been lifted off of my that i did not even know i had the burden of carrying...i was so thankful he was ok!

he came in after that and came to our table. i wondered for a second if the establishment would ask him to leave, in my head i sort of dared them! But he told me he was doing what he does...' you know hustle' i told him i got it, he needed to ....well he told me he was down there working for a guy in the Market and waiting on his lunch and he was getting paid by him today. He told me he was doing ok, and i believed him! He told me good bye when he left and asked me to stop by again if i missed him..i told him i would for sure!!

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Anatomy of a story

I had this emailed me to on March 3, 2009

Anatomy of a story By Curt Guyette

The news about Detroit's frozen man went around the world, but some pertinent details may never catch up.

its about the back story to the story Charlie LeDuff told about Johnnie Redding. interesting read... as are the comments... which take longer to read than the piece..

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Enter March 2009

March 2nd i decide to take my Martin Luther King floating holiday! For lunch DT and i went to the new French Crepe place in town called Le Petit Zinc, nice place..and so a Corktown mingling place! Love it. Meet some new peeps and some peeps who knew and read my work Green Blog! i was tickled!
The crepes were fab..i had the mushroom..oh my! Charles was our server..could have listened to him for hours...he has a wonderful accent despite having lived here for ten years! i would go back to just to hear him speak!

After went to the Ren Center for the free tour they give...totally worth it. great history of the building and good tidbits on the city.. have pix will post soon! The view from the 73rd floor was stellar! it is the 2nd highest restuarant in the round in the usa, the first being the John Hancock which i had brunch at with Blove in November, it is on the 95th floor. Both very cool...but the Ren Cen gives a view of My city!!! and it was great!

As we looked out of one of the windows Kim the tour guide gave a talk on development that Dave Bing is doing with lofts and other lofts that are going in the old Freighter steam engine building...and that is when i noticed it.... i could see Manuals home from there....amidst all the potential growth and lofts and building. i could see earth movers and equipment was sad... even if its reality that he will soon be pushed out of his home, which he says he has lived at for 8 years. Mind you the economy is bad so that may slow growth in the area and Bing is up for mayoral election and that could distract him and his coffers... but it is bound to happen....oh... i dread the day.

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D is thankful for guardrails.

February 21,

..i was on my way to another Fundraiser..this one in Three Oaks hosted by Shirley called "The Other Side Show" it was held for Burners without Borders.

my post on face book.

Danielle is thankful for guardrails..they saved my life today on i-94!

hey everyone....i am ok...little sore, tad frayed and regretting very much that my trip was cut short. I am very thankful that my passengers are ok (ro has a goose egg on her knew Clark saw it coming and Relaxes !!) , that i was able to manuever the jeep (from now on she has earned her name as the Beast!)in order that it impact was on my side.

short story shorter...

driving West on 94 roads blew..whole state blews..on way to fundraiser for Burners without borders. Trying to get to Marshal to meet Dixon.

White S10 in front 10 car lengths start to swerve i start to hit brakes as i determine where to go ...where all of this is happened there is already a car in the left ditch, an ambulance IN the fast lane Stopped lights on ( i saw lights Ro said it was stopped ..dumb ass pull the fuck over..) guessing the Ambulance paniked everyone as car in from of truck slammed brakes sending truck into the spinning ballet in front of me. another SUV was to my immediate and front right...

no car were behind me... i told Ro and Clark we were going to have impact and i headed for the guardrail on the right of the road..trying to ease a fear i have had since i was a child of guardrails when i learned Craig Castle went over one and passed away. I could see over the went over Race was a long way down and i was kinda wishing i had gone to the left and taken my chances with the other car.

i held tight to the wheel and keep spinning it so as to not hit it head one...the jeep side impacted it facing the wrong way in traffic so that my side was hit then bounced off and spun around again to face the correct way in the slow lane. i asked Ro and Clarke if they were ok...reality starts to set in.
i drove the jeep to the side of the road then decided to get in front of hte ambulance on the other side of the road as i saw her watching it all. I did that and got out with my camera that was sitting next to me.

she told me to stay in my car and asked if we were ok. or needed any thing they said yes. i went to talk to the white truck who had pulled in front of me and he was rattled as was i..(oh did i neglect to mention i had eatten a cacao bean like 5 minutes before shock from accident and PURE cacao. im a tad jacked)

we look at him damage i ask if i hit him when i spun he thinks not...he thinks he hit rail too no green on his truck. i give him my number as he is not staying he has to get back to school. (yes i neglected to get him info) but the back of his truck was filled with bags of rock salt. he told me the cars in front of him paniked when the ambulance pulled over...starting this lovely chain reaction.

i turn around to talk to ambulance driver and they are gone. yup! did they even talk to this kid? not sure..mind you said he was ok..
i was not about to talk to the car wayyy in the ditch and the jeep still drove so i decided to see how far.

Hence the name of the Beast as she is still driving. well not even 10 miles away theres a stat copper directing everyone off the Eway into Jackson..NOT a good sign. Clark saw cars being pulled by tow trucks toward a pile of other cars..eee
I called Dixon gave him 411. he was in Marshall I was still over 30 miles way. i told him i would call right back as i could see roads signs to 94W as cars were following a semi. . Shock was setting in. i asked Ro & Clark for executive decisions the were ok either way..apologized for being indecisive but said we were closer to home then destination.

i called dixon back and told him we were heading home. he understood and we wished each other well. It took us another 3 hours to get back to there place and it had taken us 1.5 to get that far. The ditches were littered with cars, we saw some go in and actually saw one drive out yelling encouragment to him the whole time!!

go bucky..he looked like a determined country boy and his Nascar dreams may have just paid off! Pain was starting to set in, Ros knee was hurting. i called Shirley to give her the bad news. She reminded me of arnica i made Clark get it out of my back and give it to Ro along with Tea Tree for her knee.
I got them home about 4pm.

my drive home was well over an hour, i was happy to get there and happy i had stopped at a grocer early in the day. i ate and laid on the couch and that was about all she wrote after i cried for a bit from the reality of it and the disappointment of it even though i was grateful how it turned out. Ro sent me this link....which makes me think my "Guardian" Angel was fast at work..Rosey has sent you a link: "COMMUTER ALERT: 50 Car Pile-Up Closes I-94 In Jackson

part of me may always regret having not gone esp since Dixon said the roads cleared by Battlecreek but we would have never known that

even though it was only like 20 miles away from Marshall. and that is something i have to deal with right now as i try to find peace with my choice while in shock. I know deep down i made the right choice esp as i had passengers. getting them home safe was necessary.

Dixon made Three Oaks time we had wanted to. Other friends got lost and had to deal with bad weather too coming from Chicago and were late to the party..i was probably asleep before they did.

I sincerely hope the event went well despite the weather and that everyone had a great time.

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Old mother hubbard.... aint got no cupboard.

February 19,

The jeep is Empty....first time in bone dry empty, nary a scrap of fabric or miss matched glove. I feel like Mother Hubbard with nothing in her cupboard.
I got to Avalon before work as i sometimes do cuz i never make time grocery shop and if i don't have left overs i have to eat or i will pass the fuck out at my desk at work and i have done that like 3 times toooo many this year already! As i get out of the jeep a man actually comes up to me to see if i have anything...ahhhhh! I feel like shit. He actually asks if i have anything and i can not help him out, i felt so bad. Thank god it I knew it would not be too long before Amber or Josh had more goods for me even if i felt bad for not having anything this day. ...and which might have actually been a pleasing of sorts as i was getting sicker by the day and really needed to take the rest of the month off from hitting the streets...and i actually did! which actually worked! I swear next year i am getting a really good pair of boots and stellar gloves (that i swear i will try really hard not to give away!!)

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February 17, 2009

on the 17th. i took Ambers keys from her and went to her car in the parking lot at work to unload the stuff she has been carrying around for weeks. Holy Moly..a total score!!! The hatch is full, as is the back seat and there are bags of food on the front seat!! Bonus!!!

That night i picked up Dan as i had a ton of stuff and he went with me to NSO. It was insane!! We had so many people at jeep it was like we were drowning. He had the back open with clothes and i had the side open with food. I was handing out stuff left and right, tossing cans over heads to people eyes i could catch knowing they would never get to me before i ran out. This experience was a tad bit overwhelming for a i was completely surrounded by people like 4 deep cascading around the door and there was this woman yelling that she wanted this and that and this.. and i told her flat out she had to wait her turn. That the man in front of me was before her, she had snuck in from around the side and she told me " he is big enough he don't need to eat" and he stepped right down..and i politely told that 'mam due to his sheer volume he needs to eat more than most of us" and i gave him a bag of food. He thanked me.

I heard my name called at one time and looked up and it was Link and then i saw Joyce too ..i hurled her some canned goods and she caught them!! I meet David, who i had a conversation with about the scar on his neck. He was surprised by my presence and wondered who i was working with ..i told him no one..he asked if i was a blonde angel i told him i didn't think so. He then went on to tell me about a woman who stopped to help him after he got stabbing the throat and was bleeding on the street. she helped him into her new jag and took him to Receiving Hospital. She was an angel for sure i told him, he agreed.

Not long after i ran out of food and all the candy i had...thank you josh everyone loves candy!! Before we left i wanted to see if i could find Link or Joyce as i had saved some food for them but i could not find them. we drove to see if Manual was home. and there was a filming crew by his place... like a semi with a satelite dish and a dood in a jag and two other filming, one with a camera...and they looked at me like 'what the fuck you doing here' and to be honest gave them the same look. At anyone other place on the planet i would have talked to them but i admit i was suspicious of what they were doing there. i pulled my jeep like i always do and got to see Manual, he was home!! and how and about. he told us he was getting ready to do foundation work, i told him i look forward to seeing it.

then on my way home i thought i saw Bonnie at Mack and 75 but it was a new person. His name was Sheldon and i gave him some food too! Then by the incinerator i saw a man with cart and i asked him if was hungry he came over to my jeep and i gave him what i had left which was not much by that time. i told him my name and he said his but i could not understand him...something like Ramber, wrangler... and i didn't want to insult him by asking him to repeat himself. Bryan was not at Grand Blvd and the service drive when i went by as it was much to late for him, the commuters were gone by this time. ...

i was tuckered after this days adventure! thank you Amber and all the people who get stuff to her and who leave stuff on her stoop!!

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February 16, 2009

I had a huge load of stuff again from Josh Bacon so i headed to NSO ...this is btw the best place to go when i am not feeling well enough to hit the streets but have a bunch of stuff i know will be taken. I got there about 5pm and the Salvation Army Truck was there at that time giving out warm drinks.. which was perfect timing as it was cold!! so people were lined up at the jeep and the Sal Val truck across the street. I was running stuff to the people in line like hats and gloves. and giving out clothes to people who needed them as well. Dan was manning the jeep mostly while i ran around to people who either didnt have coats or hats on and asking them if they needed stuff.

Some time while i was running a guy came up to me to ask if i could give him a ride to the northwest side. i told him he would have to ask dan as he was with me and i would not want to bother him if he has plans. The gentleman told me it was dan who told him i was the one to ask! i told him to get in the jeep and wait. He actually helped dan sort gloves while i continued to run around like a maniac.

soon after though we ran out again! i love when that happens and i hate it too as i feel really bad telling people i have nothing to give them. We loaded up in the Jeep and took this man, whose name is Eddie, up Grand River to his place on Hubbel. He was really nice, not homeless but down on his luck and using the services at NSO to help him gain training and hopefully a job!!! He was all about what we were doing and told me he would love to help. He told me about a place called Acres of Hope..which i need to look up and gave he gave me his number so i could call him to help in the future...and i will! Hopefully he wont be surprised if i do!

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Final night for Love a Cunt at the Dirty Show

February 14th

Final night for Love a Cunt at the Dirty Show

The whole experience was amazing (even if i was sick for like 3 weeks afterwards). i met so many great people and had a great time chatting and experiencing the excitement of everyone i painted!

I met two Detroit police officers and had a great chat with one of them. i told her all about my homeless project and asked her if cops are cool with people helping out the homeless...and i told her about getting pulled over by a cop and then ignored by him while he hustled the homeless guy i was talking to, and i told her i have had plenty of cops pull up behind, do what seems like run my plates then drive away. She told me cops are totally ok with what i do!!!!!! YEA!!!!!!!!!!!! i about screamed i was so happy to hear that.. she said it helps the system in a way and is not looked down on at all!! OMG!! that made the whole event worth while right there to find that out..i had had my suspicions but to have it confirmed was great!

then i asked her about where my homeless guys sleep in the heated area and that after the Johnnie Redding story was broke they were gone and if she had any idea as to why. She did not. I told her it was really troubling and had me really worried. She thanked me for what i was doing, i thanked her back.

I also met an really cool couple from Ohio. They were amazing..she was a nurse and he was Information Officer ( i want that title!) for a county down there and he was on the board for designing some big sports stadium...and they were incorporating the homeless into the design...creating space for people to inhabit and i am not joking. i will try to get information on this...How amazing is that!! We talked about design ideas and i gave him some tips i had learned on what was needed! it was amazing!!

NONE of this could have been done without help from my amazing friends!!! i am so grateful and in debt to them for offering up there time and effort to help this event be so successful!! Rosey, Clark, Racheal, Faith, Brick, Athnea, Bacon, Felicia, Dan, Shelley..if i forgot anyone i am so sorry!! Please know that without each and everyone of you i would have been a mind fuck wreck!!! Thank you!!! xoxoxox

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Love a Cunt back at the Dirty Show

February 13th

I could not believe how the week before kicked my was such a success.. i painted more boobies in those two nights than i did the whole year before!
It was a marathon boob weekend i tell ya!

and over the course of both weekends it was so awesome to see so many women either confident in their bodies and more than willing to strip for me or and this camp was way better for me to be a part of...women who were not very comfortable in their vessels willing to work on that fear or discomfort and willing to do so with me..a complete stranger. i had women tell me they were doing it for their boyfriends, for their girlfriends, for their bedrooms (that is where mine hangs), doing to honor a post baby body, or because they were pregnant (she was 4 months!!) I had women tell me they were doing it to acknowledge and accept their bodies the way they were!!! I had some were nervous and a few who were 10 times more so. I had women make excuses for their bodies and women boldly show them off! To me every one of them was amazing and beautiful and i thanked them for having the confidence to do this!! I had more than one woman tell me that i helped them to be comfortable to strip and do this...and they thanked me for that... and i thanked them right back and told each of them i was honored that they felt safe with me. As this is root reason why i do this project!! I cant tell you how happy those moments were!!!

I want women, of all shapes and sizes, big boobs, little boobs, real boobs, fake boobs, firm boobs, free wheeling boobs to be confident and proud of their bodies. I know i have had some major issues with body complex growing up...all the women in my family are very i had issues as i was shaped like a12 year old boy til i was like 19 or maybe 29 not sure!..and it took me a very long time to gain confidence in how my body..with all its flaws, shape, scars, cellulite and size 7 to 10 loveliness!! and even recently i have had issues...they dont just go away and never come back i found and i have had to work really hard this time to gain confidence back and that is why this year at the Dirty Show it was that much more important for me to make it a positive experience for women.

oh and on the subject of cloths sizes...guys are so lucky...if women's clothes had a fucking standard for sizing i could tell you what i am but they don't so i cant....gee do you think that alone does not fuck with women's heads...or having to deal with the lovely trick of designers dropping the size of clothes but upping the prices cuz they KNOW women will pay more money for clothes if the number on the size tag is smaller!! Size extortion! Fucking ass holes!
and women fall for it and buy into cuz it makes them feel better... i sure as hell hope that men have dick size i really don't i just hate that women have so many issues that are socially created for the most part! grrrr ... and i get viper pissed about this!! and i know i am a lucky one..i for years wore guys clothes and now i just don't care but i hate that women do...and so many of them!!

so back to the project...its because of all of that and like a hundred other red hot issues that i do this project !! I LOVE IT when women are sooo happy with their print and are excited to be standing nekked in front of me all painted up and then add they are doing it for charity and they are about as geeked as i am.....then i clean them up and send them on there way!! its great i love it!! My job sucks!

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

TrueNorth - Inspiration Cafe

OMG Detroit needs this!!!! .... and yes i am allowed to dream this big!!

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Commentary: Hope prevails, despite dark economic times

February 9, 2009

Amber Arellano/ The Detroit News
Commentary: Hope prevails, despite dark economic times

In just two years, Beverly Rose has lost more than many Americans do in a lifetime.

Like so many Metro Detroiters, her losses began with the auto industry's collapse. She lost one job at an auto supplier just weeks before Christmas. Her next firm went bankrupt within months of her arrival.

When her savings ran out, she lost her Troy home. Then she lost her marriage.

Yet, when I call my dear friend Bev on any given morning, she answers with a strong, cheerful voice, "Good morning!"

"How are you doing on this beautiful day?" she announces as if she is the leader of a high school band who is marching courageously into an unknown future.

Bev gives me hope every time I talk with her. Perhaps you, like me, have needed infusions of hope lately.

We're hardly alone.

Reader's Digest and Guideposts magazines announced recently they will increase their positive stories during this gloomy economic era.
Inspiration for today

The magazines' announcements made me come full circle to a column I did recently about a slogan for Michigan. People are yearning for hope as we work through our painful economic transition, I said, inviting people to send in their suggestions for slogans and inspirations.

The most common response: our new President Barack Obama.

"Obama!" wrote reader Ed. "That's a no-brainer."

Cynthee wrote: "Michigan: change now!"

Other readers said they liked the story but they were stumped for ideas. One office of several women said they would brainstorm ideas -- but never got back to me.

They're busy, I'm sure, as we all are today. So let me offer up some of my own.

My friend Bev is just one of them. When I asked her how she remains upbeat as she searches for a job and develops a new life, she replied: "By the grace of God."

Another inspiration for me: metro Detroiters.

We are giving more even as our families' needs grow. We are donating record amounts of money to local shelters and food banks. Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan, for example, recently has witnessed an unprecedented level of donations.

Gleaners came into my life in December. I was feeling down. Congress was beating up on the Detroit Three automakers and their workers, including my own hard-working relatives. The country seemed impervious to our region's pain.

As I drove home from work along I-94 that dark night, a slogan began forming in my head: "Action is the antidote to despair." (If I read this somewhere years ago and forgot who wrote it, please remind me.)

That night, my husband and I planned a spontaneous fundraiser to benefit Gleaner's. We held it in December. Friends and friends of friends came. We drank martinis and chatted and raised more than $2,500. It taught us the power of our own social networks, our own ability to change things and serve others regardless of our political leaders or Wall Street.

That evening continues to produce unexpected blossoms.
Practicing hope

One woman I met at the benefit decided she would collect warm hats and gloves for the newly homeless. She's just one person who continues to drop off food and clothing donations to our house.

Meanwhile, one of my colleagues, Danielle Kaltz, has been helping me unload and hand out garbage bags of donations. She piles the cans of ravioli and down blankets into her jeep and ventures into downtown Detroit's crannies -- sewers, underpasses, man-made caves -- to directly deliver food to men who often have given up on society -- and vice versa.

She reminds me of a modern day Jane Adams, the turn-of-the-century social worker who braved Chicago's tenements to serve the most vulnerable.

She has new stories of "the guys," as she calls them, everyday. Her stories are a constant stream of hope flowing in my office, like sunlight streaming in.

I've been finding hope online, too. Spirituality & Practice (check it out at: ) has wonderful suggestions for movies, books, daily practices.

Each night, I meditate on a passage about hope. And as Spirituality & Practice promised, the practice helps. I feel incredibly, surprisingly, hopeful.

"Hope can be learned with practice," Spirituality and Practice's authors write. "Certain attitudes support it. One is patience, an ability to tolerate delays, a willingness to let events unfold in their own time.

"The other is courage, an attitude of confidence even when facing the unknown.

"A third is persistence, the determination to keep going no matter what happens.

"We have hope when we can say, all will be well, and we mean it."

Amber Arellano, an editorial writer for The Detroit News, writes a weekly online column. Email her

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February 6 and 7, 2009

February 6 and 7, 2009
Did fund raising at the Dirty Show. Got help the first night from Rosey the Garage Sale Diva, and her faithful side kick Rachel..Shelly and Athena and Felicia for a small while. These lovely ladies helped manned the outside of the both after we got the crowd interesting in what we were doing..and how did we do that??

Well there was a small stage outside my booth that i asked Shelly to get onto and strip...that was such a difficult task for her i can tell you..then i proceeded to demonstrate what "Love a Cunt" does by painting Shelly and then printing her onto a 16x20 canvas to create a unique print of her. Mind you this was not very easy as she would not stop wiggling!! But it turned out fine and not very long after that i was busy and lined up with customers all night long!!!!

Saturday night was much the same ...i was busy that night from the moment the Champagne room opened until the event closed at 2am. That night I had Faith and Bacon and Rob and Beth. And again i am thankful to them as well for helping to strum up awesome business!! But the end of that night i was exhausted but happy the event was going so well as i figured with the economy being so tough that the project may not have done well considering. Thankfully i was wrong...of course all the sexy help I had could be the reason!!

Besides a laminated flyer explaining Burner Back Packs to people to so they understood that the money being raised was going toward this homeless project I also had a flyer out for people to better understand what went on behind the closed door! this is what it said;


"Titties and Clitties" offer you the experience of being the subject of a an intimate performance piece where you are the canvas, the medium and the art!

Every woman is a unique and lovely creature just as every breast and cunt is unique and incredible, therefore each print made from your body will be a one of a kind impression of the foundation of your femininity.

Some of us produce very abstract results while others are very anatomical but all of them are beautiful!

Come and create a distinct and extraordinary piece of art that speaks of you from the most erotic places on your body. !!!

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February 2, 2009

February 2, 2009

Imet Jackie on Mack at I-75, i must have been on my way to see Gregg and Angela as that is my usual route to go to see them. she was very nice. i gave her some food.

that same night we had a BBT meeting at Hastings Street and Cooky gave
me a bunch of easy open single serving snack food!! Stuff like Jif
Peanut butter, crackers, nutri-grain bars and a tuna fish snack meals
as well as forks with napkins!!
Awesome!!!! total score!

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February 1, 2009

February 1, 2009

Went again to well #10... no one. This time i pulled around the front of the building and went inside looking for answers. Inside the Hall of Justice i asked a pudgy female rent-a-cop if she knew anything, she had not seen anyone back there during her shift and had not in days. I thanked her and wondered how on earth she would be able to catch and apprehend me if i were to do something illegal in building. i guess i am always surprised to see anyone overweight in a security or police uniform. i guess she would not have to do anything... but a cop would...and dont they have to pass fitness tests and train? maybe i am naive!

later that day i got a call from Anita LaPage the nice lady i met from Ann Arbor during the Gleaners event Amber and i put on. She just called to see how i was and to tell me she was worried about me. I thanked her and told her i was well. we talked about a ton of stuff including the fact she has a bunch of gloves for me to get from Amber!!!! We spoke about the poem "For whom the Bell Tolls" by John Donne and how it fits into the lives of people who do service to others...and all of us are ultimately one;

...No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee...

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January 31, 2009

January 31, 2009

met Wilson in Greek Town gave him some food and he asked me about boots and jeans. AHH these are the two things i will have to stock up on over the summer for next winter for sure!! I also met Sonya Clayton on Monroe in Greek Town she had lost her friend and needed to get on a bus, i told her i had no money but we went through the back of the Jeep and we got her a pair of gloves and a scarf before she was on her way.

I went to Avalon after that and met Sydney but i had little food at this time which i gave him so i asked if he wanted a coffee. He asked if he could instead have a hot cocoa! of Course with whip cream too! And the reason i was there was to met with Tamara as she landed a job in Chicago and moving and had food and hand warmers for me to give out!! i got it from her after getting Sydney his hot cocoa, i looked for him after to give the warmers to but he was gone!

Went to well #10 again to see if Albert was there....again no one was...just small scarps of card board left discarded.

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January 29th 2009...

January 29th 2009...

still no Albert..or any of the guys at the heated location.....breaks my heart every time i go by. which i have started to do like every 2 or 3 days hoping to find them there. On this day i went to see Manual. He was not out and about but there was a fire in his hut, he has something like an old kerosene heater i can see from the outside that he burns wood in. I left him some food. I went to see if the tent was still up and it was and i was very nosey again and unzipped it to look inside..this time without as much fear. It had been cleaned up inside and had a bunch of new stuff!! new owners? not sure...dont care...just happy to see activity. I left some food.

Went to NSO after dark that night dan went with me and we met Shorty and Rodney...everyone calls him Link, like a bike chain he told me. He knows Jean from UPR, who on the streets doesn't i wonder? We met Joyce and lavern and about 5 others once the back of the Jeep was open and we were distributing what I had. And this was a good load..I got this Load from Josh and his co-workers at Holiday Market in Royal Oak. Mind you i still never time to sort what i get so its like xmas when the bags are opened...and boy was it this time! There were like 5 pairs of Levis blue jeans which are always a valued item!

I gave out a ton of candy from Josh too that was a treat to everyone!!! i was tossing full bags of Hersey kisses out to people and they were so happy! I met a Laverne who had grandbabies so i was able to give her a bunch of toys that a little girl gave to Josh for the homeless. She was so pleased to have stuff to take home! There were books, games and puzzles and clothes and a teddy bear. A gentlemen got some too as he had children at home as well!

Link and Shorty hung out and talked to us quite awhile as they had missed the deadline to get in the shelter. Shorty was so thankful for his new clothes and jacket that he actually got welled up and hugged dan with such gratitude. Talking to Link was a treat, he looked out for him and Joyce and it seemed for Shorty to a point as well. I asked where they were going to stay and if they needed a ride somewhere, he told me there was an abandoned house on Mack they would go to but he declined the ride.

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Catching up on old blogs- Jan 25th - 28th, 2009

Jan 25th - 28th, 2009

Didn't do too much roaming around this week..stuck to my normal paths. Ran into Kaseen a few times this week at the top of the Lodge exit on my way to work and ran into Bryan a few times on my way home on the Blvd over 75. Both very polite and thankful. I gave both of them huge sausage logs i got from Faith and Brick from their Hickory Farms gift pack!!! they gave me some non-fridge needing cheeses too!!! yea for re-gifting!! Both of those gentlemen were very thankful...and so was I! Thank you very much Faith and Brick. I got more socks from Bacon this week too!! He went to a resale shop and picked up a few packages of New socks for a great deal!!! yea!! thank you!!!

one of these days i was driving north on Cass when i saw a man i had thought about the week before. His name was David and i used to give him all the returnables from the art openings when i worked at the Wayne State University Art Galleries ( the Community Arts and the Elaine L. Jacob). He used to wander campus picking up bottles, great place to do it too! I even gave him a ride to the grocer once when i saw him with a huge bag, yes Sandra i used your car to do this..please don't kill me! So i had been wondering about him and then i saw him pushing a cart south Cass. I was tired and almost didn't swing around but i had too.. so i did. i pulled up in front of him and waited for him to come up beside me. It had been years since i had seen him, he had gained some weight and lost some life in eyes. i said "hello David" and told him my name and asked him if he was hungry. He was so i gave him a bag of full of food and he was on his way. I was happy i had seen as i had wondering but i was sad too. Not that i would ever know but life didn't look like it life had gotten any better for him..and that made me sad. I then wondered about the woman who used to roam around campus with for about a year...

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