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Last Sunday, the day before the fourth anniversary of our first date, I asked Regular Joe to marry me.  He said yes!  In fact, he was planning to ask me, but hadn't worked out all the details yet.

Last night, he asked my parents for their blessing, which they gave without hesitation.  I didn't get the opportunity to ask his folks because of logistics, but they are very happy.

So, it's official.  I'm marrying Regular Joe, probably in May, 2010, in a small personalized ceremony.

I am, of course, very happy.

I believe marriage is between one man and one woman.  I believe marriage is between two women.  I believe marriage is between two men.  I believe marriage is between two women and two men.  Read more...Collapse )

What about Sarah the Plumber?

October 19, 2008                   
“Joe the Plumber” got to ask his question, now it’s Sarah the Plumber and other tradeswomen’s turn. Sarah is a real licensed plumber, member of the UA Local 130 here in Chicago, and the Chairperson of Chicago Women in Trades Board of Directors. Beth Barton, who is the chair of Missouri Women in Trades (MOWIT) has some questions also.
Beth Barton, a 29 yr. old Journeylevel Carpenter, is from the rural town of Luebbering, Missouri. She commutes 50 miles each way to work in St. Louis, Missouri.  After working as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant, for just a little bit above minimum wage, Beth put aside her healthcare (low-wage) career when she became pregnant and found herself raising her first child alone.  Beth, who grew up on a farm, realized she could do heavy lifting for higher pay by becoming a carpenter. Rejections from dozens of contractors didn’t deter her quest and she finally found one willing to hire a woman and  she was able to enter the Carpenter’s Union Training Program as an apprentice and join the union. She is a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 1596.
Five years later, Beth is now completed her apprenticeship and is married to a union carpenter and raising five children. Her favorite job was making someone else’s dreams come true, by building a house for charity.  She is her family’s primary breadwinner for now, since her husband, like many construction workers in this failing economy, is unemployed. Beth wonders what the new administration will do to create job security for women like her working in the construction industry.
Sarah the Plumber, Yvette the Electrician, Pam the Painter, and other tradeswomen like them have yet to hear much about the issues that matter most to them.  Times are tough for all construction workers, but these tradeswomen want to know what will it take to crack through the concrete floor to gain and maintain secure high-wage, high skill jobs. Here’s their top sixteen list of questions for the candidates:
  1. How can women who left TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families- also known as welfare) to take personal responsibility for themselves and their families, (and found themselves in jobs that paid minimum wage with no benefits), gain access to training and job opportunities that provide them with the wages and security to achieve the American dream?  
  2. What will be done about providing working mothers (and fathers) with affordable, quality, accessible childcare during our nontraditional work hours?
  3. What are your plans for ensuring that working women (or any person) who has/adopts or cares for children, the sick and the elderly can get paid family and medical leave like almost all of the other major industrial nations?
  4. When will women not have to work four extra months to have an annual salary equal to men’s wages?
  5. If we get into the “old boys network” will there be a safety net to ensure national health care? Can this cover our spouses/domestic partners and children as well?
  6. When exactly does the statute of limitations run out on pay equity? Is pay equity a trial lawyer’s dream, or a simple woman’s hope for (spare) change to pay the babysitter? 
  7. How much energy do women have to expend before we get (financial) independence (or at least a 23% discount on our bills to reflect the wage disparity)? 
  8. Do we have to kill a moose to demonstrate we can handle tools or provide leadership on the job?
  9. How many bridges (or highways and high-rises) do tradeswomen have to build to stop being seen as ‘just’ homemakers and breakground into male-dominated jobs?
  10. When can we anticipate that the free market and voluntary corporate efforts will level the playing field for women and people of color? When can we expect reparations for the disparity created by race and gender discrimination? Is this covered in the bailout bill (TARP) under executive compensation? 
  11. Can we expect the government to actually enforce safety regulations on the jobsite and ensure that personal protective equipment like hardhats, safety belts, gloves actually fit a woman’s physique? 
  12. Is the bailout (rescue-recovery plan?) a bridge to economic equity for working women, (and people of color and men), and exactly where does it go?
  13. Is a pink hardhat safer than a bonnet to protect us from the falling dollar and crashing stock markets?
  14. How much straight talk will it take before gays and lesbians can move from being just “tolerated” to full equality in our work, civic, military, family, and love lives?
  15. If we change “business as usual in the beltway”, how many documents will a worker need to be treated fairly and equally for day’s labor and to share the wealth they help to create?
  16. How many “hands across the aisle” will it take to create a bi-partisan bill to rescue women from second-class citizenship, low wages, and discrimination on the job? Can poor women be appointed to fill all the positions on the oversight board to assure compliance? Can full childcare be provided at all meetings?
We are all wondering why so much time and money are being spent in this campaign on lipstick, acorns, derivatives, and banking bubbles while working people are barely staying afloat, and some of us have already fallen victim to floods, foreclosures, predatory financial institutions and illegitimate wars.  We never bet the bank on our futures, it wasn’t an option. We just work hard for them. Can’t our elected officials do the same? Can’t the media be more than weapons of mass distraction.  Will someone listen to our ideas about what a real bailout/rescue/recovery plan that is a bridge to economic equity for working women, and men of all colors can and should look like. We actually have the tools, unions and know how to use them to produce real family values and products worth investing in.
Lauren Sugerman
Executive Director
Chicago Women in Trades
o/312-942-1444 ext. 214 c/773-704-3627
Contact Beth at: jbbarton@peoplepc.com 
Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT) is a nonprofit organization committed to improving women’s economic equity by increasing the number of women working in well-paid, skilled trade jobs traditionally held by men. For more information, visit www.chicagowomenintrades.org. or call us at 312-942-1444.
In the interests of full disclosure, CWIT is a community organization that formerly received funding from the Woods Charitable Fund and has associated with ACORN in the past and supports their campaigns for living wages and poverty reduction. All the women named above are pseudonyms to protect the identities and jobs of real tradeswomen who go to work everyday and come to CWIT with the above concerns.


because she says so

my sister, in her journal, said that I needed a "kick in the pants" since I haven't made an entry here in weeks.  she's actually lucky that I noticed she said that, since I haven't been reading much more than i've been writing.

my job responsibilities have multiplied over the last couple of months, and i'm wearing a bunch of different hats now.  i am the Project Engineer on one large and one small project.  i am the Shop QC Representative (and the understudy for the QA Manager, who is having surgery and will be out for a couple of weeks). and, I am still a Project Estimator.  so i don't usually have much time at work to goof off. 

outside of work, i am the Secretary of the Board of Directors for CWIT, a co-facillitator of Women in the Pipe Trades, dating Regular Joe regularly, still trying to find the best relief for the fibro, and the only errand-runner and laundry-doer in my home.

so, i apologize for being out of touch, both here and by other means.  your best chance of communicating with me is by phone, with email being the runner up.  be persistent.  i'm sure there will be another lull sometime!

predictable, but i'm touched nonetheless

thanks to verin_the_brown

Your results:
You are Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
River (Stowaway)
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Inara Serra (Companion)
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
A Reaver (Cannibal)
You are good at fixing things.
You are usually cheerful.
You appreciate being treated
with delicacy and specialness.

Click here to take the Serenity Firefly Personality Test



My computer took a crap this weekend.  It won't recognize the hard drive.  It won't recognize the recovery discs because it won't recognize the hard drive.

This means I need, at the very least, a new hard drive, right?  This is a decent hand-me-down pc.  But, being inculcated by the disposable culture in which we live, I'm strongly contemplating just replacing the whole thing.  So help me out.

+ I like the portability of laptops
+ I hate the keyboard/screen relationship of laptops
+ I'm not made of money, but I do all right.  I figure a buget about $500, but less is better.
+ All I really do is internet, word processing, and download photos from my camera
+ I'm no technophile--simple is best

So here's a little poll to help you help me.  PLEASE write additional recommendations in the comments.  Thanks in advance for your help!!

Poll #1243998 The Answer to Piper's Computer Woes

I think Piper should...

just replace the hard drive. I recommend... (see comments)
replace the desk top with a desk top. I recommend... (see comments)
replace it with a new lap top. I recommend... (see comments)
replace it with a used lap top. I recommend... (see comments)
buy a used lap top and ask for a desk top for Christmas or something. I recommend this lap top: (see comments)
get a lap top with a remote keyboard/monitor/something that will give her more of a desk top set-up when at a desk. I recommend... (see comments)
give up. It's hopeless. Join the Amish.
let me click this clicky button!

I would like to contribute following to the Piper Joy Oh-so-sad Computer Replacement Fund:

My late-model desk top
My very good lap top
Yeah, right

a week in the life of...

ooh, the date is "August 13, 2008, 13:13"

in the last 7 days, I
- pulled off a successful workshop for prospective pipe fitters that had been rescheduled 3 times.
- repurposed 3 rooms in my house
- fell down the stairs and went to the ER
- ruined a moment with inept dirty-talk
- indulged in truly Bammtastic cookies and other sweets
- had a 3-hour conversation with my dad that included an interesting perspective on gays in the church and ended with his saying, "It's so nice to have a daughter I can talk to like this!" *
- watched enough L-word that i dug out the eyeliner and actually wore some out of the house
- rested and moped
- acted as critical and decisive executive committee member to promote the welfare of the organization
- found out that i'm someone's "platonic domestic partner"
- graciously accepted other people's willingness to help while i try to heal my ankle

so, yeah, I've been busy  *wink*

*i'll try to say more about this soon

free to a good (or even mediocre) home...

i have a couple of pieces of furniture that are just in my way.  if you can pick them/it up by Sunday night (and are the first to make arrangements to do so), they are/it is yours.  I have a small pick up truck that can be used to transport, but you'll have to supply the muscle.

1.  gently used birch writing desk.  about 10 years old. 30" H x 42" W x 20" D.

It has all three drawers--i just removed them to move the desk.

Check out the fake lining in the drawers.

2.  Ikea ROBIN wardrobe, blue, gently used, about 2 years old.  39.5" W x 65 H x 20" D

the one i'm offering is blue, like above.  the lower picture shows the inside well.  all shelves are adjustable.

but here's some proof that I was graduated on May 30th!

That's the Business Manager, me (duh!), the Assistant Apprenticeship Guy for the international union, and some guy who came from my local and went international but whose title I can't recall at all.

x-posted to tradeswomen


1/2 BK = PJ

I'm so freakin' proud of myself.  I waded through the mire yesterday and came out on top.  Of course, the people who respect me and want to keep me at My Company had already laid groundwork.  But I'm proud and touched that they cared enough to try to protect me in my absence.

The Bunny told EVP that it would be a big mistake to make me the new BK, that it would be a waste of my talents and greatly increase the risk that I'd jump ship too.

Leo told EVP that I was just the person for the job.  He told me that it's mostly what I have been doing, and certainly nothing beyond my capabilities.  And Leo will be there as a resource for me.

EVP told me that although this is not exactly what we'd talked about a month or two ago, it is temporary, and it is part-time.  He told me that wheels had been set in motion to get BK out from under Keebler's thumb.  He told me that he still intends to utilize my QA/QC training and experience, and that this BK project will just be filler until other work comes in.  He told me to visit the site, and to learn as much as I can from this opportunity.  I told him that I was reassured, and looking forward to the opportunity.  And I asked for a raise, which he seems reluctant to grant.  I just figured if I'm doing BK's work, I should get BK's compensation.  But I can live without it.  I'm proud of myself for asking. 

And this morning, when Keebler tried to foist his work on me, I handed it right back.  I was surprised at how smoothly that went.  And now he ought to know that he can't fuck with me.

So, yeah, good.  :)