Saturday, August 1, 2015

Not Privileged

One box mid-nineties
phone from 1974
To tell the truth, Long Live the Box!  Last Saturday at the church estate/garage sale I sold a box, but two remain.  I bought three alike because I liked them so much and could give them a home as storage/seating in the apartment in 1990. The apartment had a hallway between the room and the galley kitchen, a box fit beside the bathroom door (where I did some upper body weight exercises), and I needed other seating.    Now I am in a  small space.  Last Saturday I worked in the Book Department.

Quickly designed poster
On Facebook today a test about privilege indicates that at 27 out of 100, I am not privileged – however  67 (or so) out of a hundred, I still have individual examples of the box. 
One of the questions on the test was about was about:  I have worried about whether I could pay the rent.  The test results show, I am not privileged.  A question on the test was about public transit.  Today, we got out of the library basement tour at least forty minutes behind schedule.  In addition, the Number 13 bus from Downtown detoured to avoid the canopies over all the Art Festival at 26th and Proctor. After a walk I bought onions and cucumbers at the Proctor Market and was given a small container with a peach slice in it near the Supermarkets… 
Laura Jensen at library

One box July 2015 at sale

So…”You’re not privileged at all. You grew up with an intersectional, complicated identity, and life never let you forget it. You’ve had your fair share of struggles, and you’ve worked hard to overcome them. We do not live in an ideal world and you had to learn that the hard way. It is not your responsibility to educate those with more advantages than you, but if you decide you want to, go ahead and send them this quiz. Hopefully it will help.”Today After the meeting of the Friends of Tacoma Public Library Initiative group, the Library Manager brought a small tour group around, through spaces on the Third Floor and to the Pacific Northwest Room and to the Basement.  The basement has been a legendary place for me, this was the first time I was there.  Twenty-five Years ago after some weeks with a bicycle, I still was riding around.   Fifty years ago, after starting work at the McCormick Branch Library in July, I was still working there.  (I worked there two years, until I graduated from high school.)

Friday, July 24, 2015

At The Garage Sale A Newspaper From Today

My mother told a story about
her first job here when she was a girl
Another researchable past moment happens as I find the history of the tavern on I Street near Wright’s Park, called the Parkway, has other dates than what I would have supposed.  When I was a child and my mother drove past she told the story of how the grocery business in the building when she was just thirteen was where she had her first job.  There were candy boxes with hidden colors inside some of the chocolates; if your box turned out to have a hidden color you got another one free.
But she was only thirteen in 1924.  Anyway, researching the reference in Tacoma Times April 13, 1935, affords at least a great cartoon of Why Mother’s Get Gray.
Why Mothers Get Gray   -   Two kids wrestle on a stair landing, each grasps on to the same item.
Girl:  The light bulb in his room wouldn’t light so he sneaked into my room and traded with me, and I caught him in the act.
Boy: Tell her it all – before that, yours wouldn’t light, so you sneaked in an’ traded with me, is why mine wouldn’t light.
Mother:  Well, do you expect that one to light when you get through there?
It works as an example of “framing” – the girl reports about the brother’s behavior, but he reports that she has left out part of the important story.
At the First Lutheran Church estate/garage sale a copy of today's News Tribune featured the Parkway Tavern and it's 80th Anniversary.  It was a grocery before it was a taern.  What was the grocery business at the address in the 1920s?  The library closes in only a while.  Tomorrow, back to the garage sale.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

First Lutheran Features Estate/Garage Sale

HomeStart, managed by members at First Lutheran Church, has offered practical furnishings for low-income people for years.  HomeStart has entered into a new vision and new organization.  Now members at First Lutheran have a group of furnishings partially from an estate (until recently stored), partially from recent donations to HomeStart, so July 25th and July 26th at First Lutheran Church a sizeable Estate/Garage Sale will be at First Lutheran Church, and all proceeds will be donated to HomeStart.   
Vintage 1950s
Rhodes Department Store

No wardrobe items. There are lots of things. Included in these mostly Vintage items are a few luggage-type items, the items range from Home Office to Rockers to much more, and there will be a small book section.  The indoor sale will not interfere with the Saturday July 26th Ethnic Fest parking.  First Lutheran will not be serving refreshments. No restrooms will be available. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Blog Event Yesterday at the Main Library

Itty Bitty Kitties 100 Percent
Yesterday evening I was an audience member at the Main Library for a program that featured five bloggers from the area.  The Library had hyped, “…it's sharing expertise about wine like “The Wine Economist; sharing the experience of fostering kittens on The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee; sharing DIY projects on Delightfully Tacky, parenting stories on Discovery Street; or looking at all things Tacoma at Post Defiance. Blogs are a modern platform for writing, photography, and above all else, personal expression.”
All the panel members and the one and one-half to two rows of interested audience members, many with comments, did agree that everyone was trumped by the Itty Bitty Kitties.  Comments about how to make money blogging came up, and the idea did arise, should this be Blogging 101, as mentioned in the library advertising, with more programs about blogs?  This blog entry is a thank-you to the library for hosting the blogging event, on the periphery I noticed a proponent of the Friends of the Tacoma Public Library Initiative, and perhaps I might hope to thank them too. 
My blog, Spice Drawer Mouse, has mattered to me since 2007. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Change in Flag Etiquette

Disappointed that "removal of" the confederate flag looks like a solution to a National Problem, I can think the change in flag etiquette takes bureaucratic actions in a lot of small, narrow venues, and I think that is not a solution, but a lot of busy work.  I think it creates more negative attention. I think more attention to the Twentieth Century matters, for example, the quota system for European non-Anglo immigration, the impact it had on the communities of immigrants in the United States in the 1920s.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How I Spent the July 4th Holiday

During the July 4th Holiday on Thursday I saw Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.  And on Sunday I saw The Beach Boys - Love and Mercy.  July 4th often great for great movies, one year I went to see Ghandi. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Reading in Belfast Diary, by John Conroy, and Apartments and Dormitories

My internet is at the public library.  The library will be closed tomorrow for July 4th.  I am reading Belfast Diary, by John Conroy, and want to comment now, with the closed library tomorrow...

The New Yorker featured a grim story about a Northern Ireland Troubles tragedy, a mystery that had been solved, with a  photograph labeled Divis Flats.  The architecture was like a building in an architecture book, Apartments and Dormitories: collected Architectural Digest Articles from Dodge Press, 1958, a sketch and three levels of floor plans, at about page 91. I tried to find the book, the Architecture book was no longer in the library collection. 

The Plan of the floor
below the gallery
I have looked at the Inter-library loan book again, and I am reading Belfast Diary: War As A Way of Life, by John Conroy, in which Divis Flats is on the map on the end pages, inside the front and back covers. In reference to the tragic story in the New Yorker and the trailers on the internet for the movie called '71 -  the page in the book about architecture offers a view that is not expressed, partly expressed where British soldiers patrol on the apartment building corridor in the internet videos, where close together on the corridors are three doors. 
The plan of the floor
on the gallery level

In the article, "Skip-Floor Access Saves Cubage", a description of Borgia Butler Houses, Bronx, New York, three doors open - one on the corridor level, but two into individual stairwells that carry the resident up to the floor above, or down to the floor below.  In this way,one corridor serves three floors. 

I have found this difficult to visualize and am curious about whether the resident had a chair or rainwear on the landing.  And I find no picture of such a stairwell on the internet.  I am including a tiny extract from the book to illustrate the stairwells.

In Belfast Diary, by John Conroy:  The fine details of the military's role in urban planning were exposed in late 1981 by David Beresford, Belfast correspondent for the Guardian (formerly known as the Manchester Guardian).  Beresford revealed that in one Catholic housing project, the footpaths had been laid not merely for pedestrians, but with the foundations and width necessary to support the army;s fourteen-ton personnel carriers. 

The story of council housing is of an idealistic dream of a better life that followed World War Two; but, perhaps the skip-floor housing that limited access to individual doorways also was used to control Belfast residents.  About Divis Flats, in Belfast Diary: ...blocks of flats, five stories high, and one twenty-story tower - was only twelve years old in 1980, but it was already a notorious slum.  Rats ran on the balconies late at night... The internet explains that the poor building materials deteriorated rapidly.  (These Flats were torn down, only the tower remains.)