Thursday, October 16, 2003

Yesterday was day of contrasts.

Realized on the drive to work that the Laotian Organizing Project office was most certainly closed and that leaving flowers would be a wasteful effort. Sure enough, it was. Chan worked there with her uncle part time while attending Middle College (a highschool program at the community college that had been designed for high-risk, high achieving youngsters). She was fifteen and surely one of these. Such a hope for her family and such a loss for her community of refugees from the horrors of the Southeast Asia wars.

When I reached my office, placed a call to Torm at his -- just to leave message of sympathy -- but there was no answer. When the voice mail came on, it was Chan's voice.

By sheer coincidence, Loni was scheduled to speak at Contra Costa Community College yesterday and arrived to find everyone in mourning. Grief counselors had been called in, and -- since this is a small program of a tiny experimental school within the college -- Chan was someone everyone knew, so the effects of her death are devastating.

Ended the day by driving in to Berkeley to the 1st Congregational Church to hear Molly Ivins (and isn't that an unlikely setup?) speak. She's on a book tour and a group of us were lucky enough to have gotten tickets to this sold out evening. I needed that.

On Ahnold: "...He looks like a giant condom stuffed with walnuts!"

On being asked if "Shrub" is really dumb or quite clever at acting so, she said. "There's a difference between being stupid and being ignorant. Dubya is not stupid. He is unknowing. As Jim Hightower said about his father, "He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple." "Dubya just plain doesn't know."

When asked if she didn't believe it was time for a Third Party as alternative her answer was, "I was one of those who voted for Ralph Nader last time around. We believed that there was little difference between Bush and Gore. We were wrong. This time we must vote for anybody who has the best chance of beating George Bush. Though my heart speaks otherwise, I'll have none of "Down the Drain With Dennis!"

It was a good way to end the day.

Today offers a trip to the Oakland Museum to tour the site they'd like to acquire for storage of their collections and that needs the resources of Prop. 40 Cultural and Historic Preservations funds in order to do so. It will be a distraction from the thoughts of being frustrated in my attempts to reach Torm and his family with flowers and Loni's note -- but I have some hours before that can be worked out, and will have surely found him before noon... .

Maybe I'll pick up Molly's new book today, and Michael Moore's as well. Need both for some balance to Fox News and CNN, though I only see them while flipping channels and never linger, unless I'm comparison shopping.