Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Dumpster Diving Freegan Soapbox

Posted By on Sun, Sep 30, 2007 at 5:11 PM

I opened a Newsweek magazine yesterday. Toward the end were two stories on Dumpster diving. I lived in Seattle for a while, where the art of Dumpster diving was perfected.  I knew folks who took to those Dumpsters for still-fresh breads and veggies. Most of them were young people from middle- and upper -lass homes just starting out: “Look, these idiots put this good food in the trash, and we get to benefit.”

From Newsweek, I learned Dumpster diving has now grown into a movement where the joke is on corporate America: screw consumerism, dive-in! I also learned that the movement, which includes bartering, now has a name: Freegans, Free + Vegan, with a huge membership in New York City (a population that evidently supports some delicious Dumpsters).

Back in Seattle, Dumpster diving made me cringe. Today, it still does. I was a volunteer for a homeless newspaper and volunteered with a group of writers who wrote with homeless youth and adults. Everyday in Seattle, I saw people Dumpster dive, but not the small group of youngsters who bragged about it. I saw guys pushing shopping carts full of their possessions, with a few sweaters on, in need of a shave, shower and a home.

None of the Dumpster diving kids I knew were homeless. I didn’t get it. I felt the same way about another movement that started in Seattle around the same time: voluntary simplicity. Yikes! Just writing the name freaks me out all over again. I encountered these folks at a bakery across from my apartment. They had their own coffee mugs behind the counter and got together to discuss how to make the world a better place by living more simply: the bus; less dishware; no cell phones, answering machines or computers; and more secondhand clothing.

As with Dumpster divers, I looked at these folks as self-righteous. Most of them were former Microsoft employees able to retire early from their stocks. I questioned if they even cared about other members of their community, or drove beyond their neighborhoods.

Yes, on a larger scale, I understood what they worked toward, just as I understand Freegans. It is good to fight consumerism, but call me an idealist: I just happen to think it’s still important to take to the streets or take over the civic meeting. I still think its best to fight for the poor. And somehow, Dumpster diving and voluntary simplicity seem like a form of mockery. Freegans have a choice, while others in our community fight to have a choice.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Your Photo Radar Update for Saturday, Sept. 29

Posted By on Fri, Sep 28, 2007 at 4:55 PM

The Tucson Police Department's photo-radar van will be in the following areas on Saturday, Sept. 29:

  • 2 to 4 p.m.: At Speedway Boulevard and Craycroft Road

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Your Photo Radar Update for Friday, Sept. 28

Posted By on Thu, Sep 27, 2007 at 3:23 PM

The Tucson Police Department's photo-radar van will be in the following areas on Friday, Sept. 28:

  • 7 to 9 a.m.: Near Nosotros Academy, 700 Block N. Grande Avenue
  • 9:30 to 1:30 p.m.: On Oracle Road near Grant Road
  • 2 to 4 p.m.: Roskruge Middle School, 500 Block E. Sixth Street
  • 4:30 to 8 p.m.: On Kino Parkway near 22nd Street

Savage Love Oct. 4 Sneak Preview

Posted By on Thu, Sep 27, 2007 at 2:42 PM

So I just went and downloaded next week's Savage Love column, and it came with this note:

Also, if anyone is wondering: "Pushing the antelope" is a joke, not a typo.

So ... now you have something to look forward to!

Coming Back From the Dead?

Posted By on Thu, Sep 27, 2007 at 9:24 AM

I've been back in Tucson as an official resident since July 1. I've learned being native doesn't mean desert heat and I are naturally simpatico. Before I turn this into a Fitzsimmons cartoon (not that there's anything wrong with that), I want you to know the exact moment I embraced the heat and came home. 

One night, 2 1/2 months after the move, I was at the Brandi Carlile show at the Rialto. Sure, the music helped, but what happened was close to religious -- it was a sweat lodge due to all of the people on the general admission floor. Perhaps it was the flashback to the last time I remember true bliss in Tucson -- standing in the middle of Club Congress at a Camper Van Beethoven show. It was a sweat lodge ... it was heaven. 

There are those at music venues, however, who disturb these experiences. When did it become en vogue for young ladies to bring large handbags to shows? I remember putting my ID and cash in my pocket. What else did I need? The large-purse users whacked me several times. Use Queen Elizabeth as your role model. Take a small bag, or use your pockets. It is not nice to hit fellow concert goers with your large squishy metallic designer bags, especially during a religious experience. 

On the flip side of religion and returning home, last weekend, my worlds collided. I accompanied my husband to Yom Kippur services Friday night. I left early to attend the funeral rosary of my mother's cousin at Carrillo's Mortuary. There, in the shadow of the cathedral, I was surrounded by family all holding rosaries. The only real comfort was sitting with my mom on one side and my first cousin on the other. I thought to myself, "What great company we are -- three people who've turned the moral compass of my family upside down: my mother who gave birth out of wedlock, my cousin who came out to me when she helped me move to Seattle, and me, the girl who gave up the rosary for Yom Kippur. 

It's good to be back Tucson. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

BOT Is Here!!!!!!!!!!

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2007 at 4:46 PM

Online and hitting the streets as we speak is the latest issue of the Weekly, all 184 pages of it! That's right: It's Best of Tucson™ time! And I am so damn excited, I can't stop using exclamation marks!

Feel free to comment here on this week's issue!!!

Your Photo Radar Update for Thursday, Sept. 27

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2007 at 2:38 PM

The Tucson Police Department's photo-radar van will be in the following areas on Thursday, Sept. 27:

  • 7 to 9 a.m.: Elementary crossing on Escalante Road near Prudence Road
  • 9:30 to 1:30 p.m.: On Valencia Road near Old Vail Road
  • 2 to 4 p.m.: Desert Sky Middle School, 9600 Block E. Rita Road
  • 4:30 to 8 p.m.: On South Camino Seco near Irvington Road

Got Nothing to Do on Friday?

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2007 at 9:18 AM

As Irene Messina would say, this came in too late for inclusion in the print issue (which is a mere 184 pages this week).

My name is Carsten Nielsen. I am the new owner of the former Best Western Executive Inn. We are now called the Executive Inn & Suites of Tucson. 

The reason for this e-mail is that we are having an event on Friday, Sept. 28, 2007. Local DJ Alan Michaels is going to be hosting a "Kick Back With Cool' happy hour featuring a lot of golden oldies. We are new to Tucson (bought the hotel in January). In our research we discovered that the Drachman, Oracle and Stone Area was a very hip and happening place back in the '50s, '60s and '70s.

The city is trying to revitalize the area with the "Rio Nuevo" project, and we are doing our part to get people into the area. We have done numerous renovations to the hotel, and believe we have a beautiful property.

So, there ya go. The Executive Inn and Suites is located at 333 W. Drachman St.

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