Thursday, October 25, 2012

Paul Wellstone

It's been 10 years today since Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone, along with his wife Sheila, daughter Marcia, two staffers, his driver and a pilot were all killed in a small engine plane crash on their way to Eveleth.  

I was a freshman in college, I hadn't even been at Marquette for two months, and I remember turning on the TV when I got back to my dorm room from class and just sitting there in shock as the news came in. I cried, a lot. Wellstone was one of my heroes, he was a huge reason I had left for college already knowing that I wanted to major in political science and having him die so suddenly, just 11 days before his re-election, shook me to my core.

To me, Paul Wellstone was what a politician should be. Fiesty, big hearted, intelligent, dedicated and honest.  He was the only Senator up for re-election in 2000 that voted against the Iraq War and the only one to vote against new standarized testing requirements in school in 1999.  If that isn't courage, and standing up for what you think is right in the face of insurmountable odds, then I don't know what is.  He was for the working class, the little guy, the unions, the poor, the farmers and the immigrants.  He baulked at conventional big money, and even drafted the amendment to the McCain-Feingold law that limited special interest money in elections. An amendment that stood until Citizens United was decided by the Supreme Court in 2010. 

Paul was a liberal, when being a liberal wasn't cool.  I am a Wellstone Liberal, and I don't care if it goes out of style.

I won't go into the problems that arose from the investigation surrounding the crash.  How the FBI crew that left Minneapolis arrived at the crash site earlier than was humanly possible. The only way they could have gone that far in such a short time was if they left- headed towards the crash- before it had even happened.  I won't dwell on the negative. Mostly, because Paul wouldn't have.  Instead I'll leave you with some of his quotations that still move me a decade later.  The world may never know another Paul Wellstone, but if we do, I pray their time is not cut so painfully short, leaving so many of us to again wonder, what might have been.

If we don't fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don't really stand for them.

It is the belief that extremes and excesses of inequality must be reduced so that each person is free to fully develop his or her full potential. This is why we take precious time out of our lives and give it to politics.

Politics is about the improvement of people's lives. It's about advancing the cause of peace and justice in our country and the world. Politics is about doing well for the people.

And finally, my most favorite of all, "Never separate the life you live from the words you speak."


As the months remaining in 2012 quickly pass by, I feel myself becoming more excited for what 2013 holds.  I made many resolutions for 2012.  Some I kept, some I did not, but for the ones I did not come through on (damn you yoga!) I feel I’ve replaced them with greater accomplishments.  I am in the home stretch of building my photography portfolio and selecting a website design.  I hope to go-live with my big girl site by the end of this year and begin to branch out and reach new clients in the coming year.

I have set a goal for myself to book one photography session per week.  I have no idea if this is a lofty or wimpy goal, but it’s nice and even, so I’m going with it.  I know hope  some weeks I’ll have more than one and some weeks, if not months, I won’t have any, but I’m planning on them averaging out. By the end of 2013 my goal is to be well on my way to having a lively, enjoyable side gig that allows me to bring joy to the families I capture.

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” ~Marc Riboud   

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Corn Maze

The state's largest corn maze is just a few miles south of us so Eva and I checked it out this past weekend.  She had a ton of fun in the corn pit and she actually let me snap a few photos of her!   

Friday, October 12, 2012

Eva's Book Review- October

We're all about Halloween this month!  We have pumpkin patch and corn maze visits, Halloween parties at school, the gym and gymnastics plus trick-or-treating with Eva's bestie.  So, it only seemed logical to read Halloween books!

1. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
This book is adorable.  It actually never mentions the word "Halloween" in it, but it follows a little old lady who walks through the woods one autumn night and encounters many spooky things.  Through it all she is unafraid and in the end she finds a use for all of the items.  It has a fun rhythmic flow to it and, apparently, is so popular that I cannot renew it from the library because there is a waiting list for it.  We'll enjoy the CLOMP, CLOMP, SHAKE, SHAKE, CLAP, CLAP while we can!

2. Inside a House That is Haunted by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
I don't normally get Rebus books (where they insert little pictures instead of words to help kids learn to read) but this one was too cute to pass up and Eva actually ended up loving it, so I may have to get more in the future.  It builds on itself so the first page is "this is the hand, that knocked on the door" and then the next is "this is the hand that knocked on the door, that... xyz" and so on.  In the end, all of the monsters and mummies are scared of a little kid who is trick-or-treating- pretty cute.   

3. Vera's Halloween by Vera Rosenberry
I'm not sure if this is autobiographical, since the author's name is also Vera, but it very well could be.  It's the story of a little girl who goes out on Halloween with her father and two older sisters and gets separated from them in the chaos of trick-or-treating.  She wanders for blocks and blocks and then it starts to rain and finally to snow.  She eventually winds up at a classmates house and the parents call her dad.  Everything is fine in the end and she gets a lovely snow sled ride home, but I think it's a good warning for kids to stay close to their parents.  Or maybe, since you all know my stance on having a gaggle of kids, it's a warning for parents to steer clear of trick-or-treating with a 3:1 child to parent ratio ;) 

4. A Dark and Noisy Night by Lisa Thiesing
This book actually scares Eva.  As I read it to her in my lively, scary story book voice I could see her getting tense as each page went on.  So I cooled it on the intense reading and tried to switch to a lighter voice.  We were almost in the clear- and Peggy the Pig realizes that the scary noises she hears are not really scary at all- until the very last page when there is a real witch in the window!  And by real witch I mean all of the other scary noises have been explained away and the creaking on the window turns out to really be a witch.  No bueno for a 4 year old.  Eva asked about witches outside her window for days after this.  Read this one with your timid child if you dare!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Friday night was a girls night out for the record books.  It started out with happy hour with one of my oldest and best friends Jen, followed by a stand up comedy show at the State Theatre, followed by the Pourhouse with my girls from the restaurant and all topped off by too much dancing and too many drinks.  I was hurting the next day, but it was well worth it!

2 for 1 whiskey sweets to start the night? Don't mind if I do!

Ciroc Obama- love it!

love my Jen!

Two of my FAVS! and I actually ran into Jo Koy later at the Pourhouse- too awesome for words

Finishing off the night Gangnam style like the dancing pros we are :)

Monday, October 8, 2012