About Me

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Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Friday, May 16, 2008

This past week and the Denver political scene

I’ve had an exciting week enjoying the gifts of the local Denver political scene.

On Saturday night I volunteered to represent INCITE! at the Chinooks Fund’s grantee awards and anniversary shindig. No one from INCITE Denver could make it, so I came and kidnapped Kristin. We parked at the Alliance Building (former CWA headquarters where we officially never had our own parking spots) and walked down 15th to the new Museum of Modern Art, made our way up to the rooftop into the empty windowed room to see Mayor Hickenlooper there. The free bar was outside, so Kris and I put our coats back on and headed out there and started our first round. The Mayor to our surprise joined us and we three enjoyed the solitude and the view. He and Kristin started w/ Fat Tires and me with a German Riesling. We made small talk. I was a little shocked that Hickenlooper seemed to want to hang w/us. He was very down to earth, talking to us like we had hung out a million times before. The mayor had a way of talking, not like a lisp, but a something, which made him seem even more personable. He is much shorter than I thought. (Not like pharonic Webb whom Kris and I once met in his circular, dark office. We talked about meeting Webb later that night driving around for parking. How huge he was, like Goliath, very kingly, I faintly remember incense burning in the background, us groveling on our knees, everyone hushed in awe, being transported back to the days of pharaoh).

He made a comment about all the development (cranes everywhere the eye turned); pointing to one new building coming up and saying he had no idea about that one. I sarcastically replied, “You think you would know about that, being the mayor”. He laughed. He made a reference to “if you build it they will come” w/o mentioning Field of Dreams or baseball, but I piped up about the Democratic National Convention and he yelped, “Are you trying to raise my blood pressure!” Kris brought up the current play at Curious Theater, his endorsement of it, we talked a little about it, he was actually on his way there after chatting w/us and then he was off to a friend’s wedding. After the mayor left it was glasses of champagne for Kris and I. We unapologetically got sloshed on bubbly, which made having to stand and speak in front of a room of people a lot easier. It also made us literally the last people to leave, standing next to the dessert bar w/ a fresh glass of bubbly, catching up since last we hanged. We did manage to see one room of the main photography exhibit, before driving around for 30 minutes looking for a parking spot to dance off our buzz before driving home. Needless to say, I never made the drive home, having had 2 rums and cokes. We never did find the right club, well we did, w/ a world class DJ in town, but we didn’t want to spend the 20$ door charge. Anyway it was a memorable night.

I’ve got to hand it to Sherelle (Chinook’s young ED), she put on a good show. Chinook had some kind of beatnik thing going, interactive, improve drama with the audience and former EDs. It was very cool, very emotional. Sherelle is multi-talented. They opened with a pair of Aztec drummers/pipers, very emotive. I had a good time. It made going to the Frat like club afterwards a bit of a downer compared to the culture and brains that was bursting at the seams at the Museum.

A few days later I went to my friend AJ Clemmons’ fundraising event at someone’s lovely house. She is running for CU Regent and her district is the size of Connecticut (or Rhode Island, something small and Eastern) compromising Douglas Co, Jeff co, some of Arapahoe, and a few more counties. Anyway, she needs to raise like $100,000 and has only 11,000, but she is hopeful. More than hopeful she felt called by God to run (chew on that Christian Right!). She is black, liberal, Christian, did I mention liberal? And she has a mission to reform higher education like other developed countries, where they actually invest in human capitol (think France and free university). Anyway, the other 2 Democratic Regents spoke and I was flabbergasted at the necessity of AJ’s victory. The Democrats control the House, the state Senate, we now have a Democrat Governor again, but the only Republican majority is the Regents—and they are not about to give that up. Decisions are being made behind closed doors about the direction of funding for higher education and thus who has access to it. It was fun to catch up with the rest of the CWA Board, meet some new people and stuff myself on Turkish appetizers and political intrigues (AJ’s boxing and alligator wrestling stories).

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