photo: Madawaska, Maine
About: I'm Jen. I live a few miles outside of Boston. I do web work for a non-profit during the day.
This web page has been in all sorts of forms since 1994 when I first wrote HTML in emacs on a Unix terminal at BU. Now I prefer BBEdit on my Mac. I'm never quite sure why I'm doing this
Movable Type 4.0
July 29, 2004
Engage, Mobilize, Empower, Elect
I attended the Revolutionary Women 2004 Boston event on Tuesday at the new convention center. Between that and watching the DNC every night, I'm feeling pretty inspired. I have lots to write, but can't seem to get my head together. Here are some photos from the event. Closer (and clearer) ones can be seen at the Globe.
I attended the Youth in Action: How Young People Can Get Involved in Politics workshop with Maria Padilla from the Hyde Square Task Force in JP, Jehmu Greene the president of Rock the Vote, and Malia Lazu the field director for The Young Voter Alliance and founder of BostonVote.
Howard Dean welcomed us all and introduced the featured speakers, an amazingly powerful and smart group of women.
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives was excellent. She is the first woman in American history to lead a major party in the U.S. Congress. She raised 5 children and then decided to run for Congress. Imagine.
Madeleine Albright also spoke. She was the first woman Secretary of State and is the highest ranking woman in the history of the US government. She started off with "Revolutionary Women Rock!" which was very sweet.
Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun the first female senator from Illinois, first female African-American senator and first African-American Democratic senator gave a great speech. She told us that the US ranks 58th in the world in gender parity in its national congress. At the rate we're going, it will take 350 years until we reach the level of Sweden with 49% female participation in congress. Pretty depressing.
I was glad a local woman spoke: Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral the first African-American female sheriff in Massachusetts history!
And the person who really got the crowd screaming, Hilary Clinton spoke.
After all of the excellent speeches, the curtains opened up and Liz Phair was standing there with her guitar. I'd say 80% of the place cleared out as she started to play, but the folks who were interested clammered toward the front of the stage, so hopefully Liz Phair didn't feel too bad. I heard a few songs and then took off myself.
I haven't listened to Liz Phair in ages, but her newish song Rock Me made me laugh, about being with a younger guy, "Your record collection don't exist / You don't even know who Liz Phair is."
When my thoughts are collected I'm sure I'll write more about how exciting this whole DNC business has been for me. Oh and I can't forget, if it weren't for Barbara Lee the Revolutionary Women event never would have taken place.
Posted by Jen on July 29, 2004
July 22, 2004
Design and Vespas
The other night I went to Design Within Reach for an evening celebrating the design of the Vespa. I rode my scooter there and waited for the Boston Stranglers and others to show up on their scoots. I wanted to see them ride up en masse. When they finally did, blue smoke trailing behind, I smiled and took some photos.
Jason from Boston Scoot spoke a bit, as did Sid from the Stranglers. The 1957 documentary, “Across the Sahara and Down the Niger by Vespa" played against the back wall while the audience ate gellato and italian ice.
It was nice to walk around Design Within Reach even though I can't afford a single thing there. Such excellent stuff. It was nice riding my scooter home in the cool summer air, I had forgotten how the speedometer glows nicely in the dark.
Posted by Jen on July 22, 2004
July 16, 2004
MacworldAIGA which got me thinking about MassArt's Graphic Design Certificate Program. I've been contemplating it for many years and think perhaps it's time to take at least one class to begin with.
Posted by Jen on July 16, 2004
July 14, 2004
I attended a John Kerry rally on Monday night in Boston. You can see above (click image for a larger view) that Teresa Heinz-Kerry was on stage with him. She talked about growing up in Mozambique, a colonial dictatorship, and seeing her father vote for the first time at age 71. She talked about marching against apatheid in the 1950s in South Africa. She's pretty incredible.
I really want to believe what John Kerry says about health care. He says he'll give every American access to the healthcare plan that Congress and the President already have. If he's elected, I truly hope he can make that happen.
One thing I like very much about John Kerry is his stand on Armenian issues. He has fought for U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Unfortunately George W. Bush has fought against passage of the Genocide Resolution in both the Senate and House. That's depressing.
Posted by Jen on July 14, 2004
July 7, 2004
I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 last week. Others have more interesting things to say, so I'm not saying too much. I found the film powerful, but moreso when Michael Moore wasn't narrating. I think it's wise to get both sides on all issues and not believe everything anyone tells you. It irks me when people, who haven't seen the film, complain about it... because they heard on Fox News that it's all lies.
Anyway, it was interesting, but I didn't take it as absolute truth. I kept my mind open. I do like that it's gotten us all discussing the issues it brings up.
I also saw Supersize Me. I thought this was a pretty powerful film, as well. I was surprised at how it made me feel. I mean, I know fast food and processed food is bad for you, but putting it all together was alarming. From seeing the trash kids eat in school (reminding me through junior high I had french fries and "grape drink" every day for lunch) to what happened to Spurlock's body was eye opening. I didn't take this as a McDonald's-bashing film--more bashing the fast food culture of America. It reminded me of Fast Food Nation.
Again, it's funny to hear critics of this film who haven't seen it. Yes Spurlock did an extreme thing, yes not many people eat at McDonald's 3x a day and all of that, but he was proving a point. America is the fattest nation in the world with 100 million overweight people, 60% of whom get no exercise. Why is it a bad thing that he's drawn attention to that? If the film weren't extreme and controversial, yet still drew our attention to these facts, it would just be a film strip from Health class that no one wants to see.
After such heavy stuff, I think I should see Napoleon Dynamite next.
Posted by Jen on July 7, 2004