Detroit – Tourist pics

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Here’s all my sightseeing pics from Detroit. I walked all over the downtown area from Greektown, to the Ren Center, along the Riverwalk and to the Cobo Center. It was a very walkable area even late at night. The People Mover (there are some pics of the track in the group) gets you all around anywhere you might want to go including the places I mentioned and the Tigers Comerica park baseball stadium.

Of course, the people mover also decided NOT to move on the ONE DAY I really needed it! Sunday after the final brunch over in the Ren Center area I needed to get back to my hotel pretty much on the other side of everything – which should still take only 5 minutes on the mover – and it stops. Dead. I bailed and RAN with my carry on backpack (fully packed for travel) in order to catch the shuttle bus to the airport. That was quite a feat! I was so glad that I actually AM a runner because I also had to talk on the phone while running in order to make sure the shuttle didn’t leave without me (it was prepaid). But just as it had been my WHOLE time there – the people are SO DAMN NICE! That shuttle driver came BACK to pick me up when dispatch told him about the stopped People Mover. I swear the folks in Detroit were the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever met top to bottom. Whether they were in customer service or just someone I passed on the street. So welcoming.

I know I saw the best of the city of course. It’s in dire straights in many, many places. But for where I was and the time I was there, it was a great experience and I will gladly go back to explore more of the city. I’m bummed I didn’t get there early enough to join my friends at the art and motown museums and I’m also bummed I missed out on Sunday Brunch in a mansion with another group of friends!

Next time :)

Lots of focus on the cool buildings of course. I love being in older cities and seeing the great architecture.

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Netroots Nation 14 – My First Protest!

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Christina Nowacki:

My first protest! And, it made a real difference!

Originally posted on Pragmatic Progressive:

On Friday the 18th in Detroit, the Netroots Nation attendees added their voices to a planned protest against the water shut offs in Detroit. I joined in to what was my first ever march or protest. I didn’t carry a sign because I wanted to take pictures, but I did chant “Fight! Fight! Fight! Water is a Human Right!” Here’s some of my pictures:

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This was also the first protest march for my buddy Bill – he was INTO it!

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Hey, when The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) tells you to march, you MARCH! Also, yes, I was that close and yes, he was looking right at me (swoon!) :)

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The atmosphere was really fun.

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We wound up at the base of this obelisk in Hart Plaza – there was supposed to be a stage but the police took it away – so the organizers improvised.

20140727-192730-70050584.jpg Some of my NN family –…

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Where you can find me

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After a lot of years juggling many different things that I both wanted, and needed to do in addition to my day job, now that the high school years are over, I am taking a break.

While a few other opportunities to fill the time that was released when my volunteering & sport shuttling/school nagging ended, I am letting them pass.

It’s time for me to give myself permission to simply be. No guilt. No pressure. I cleaned up my patio & bought some chairs and a small table and I intend to sit out here doing whatever I want. Listen to podcasts, read books, read twitter, facebook, write, bird watch, nap – whatever!

Graduation Day

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He was up until 1:30am working on a final English assignment to turn in on the last possible day to submit work for grading (of course), but…..he did actually graduate high school. On a Friday the 13th (of course, again).

Love the decorated caps.

Love the decorated caps.

Eve & Renee out supporting The Kid.

Eve & Renee out supporting The Kid.

With Grandparents

With Grandparents

With big brother

With big brother

With the whole family.

With the whole family.

With mom & dad

With mom & dad

Not sure which of us is happier!

Not sure which of us is happier!

Tassles are a pain...

Tassles are a pain…

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Look guys! They screwed up and gave me one of these things!

Look guys! They screwed up and gave me one of these things!

The Remains of the Day

The Remains of the Day

More Indiana Pics

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Forgot these two pics from Elkhart since they were on another mom’s phone until she sent them to me. Top one from just before we all went out to dinner one night so it was a rare chance for us to have a picture taken together. As you can see from both photos, he smiles when someone else is taking the picture! (If you can’t tell, he’s in the red hoodie in the 2nd shot – oh, and it was COLD!)

Colorful Marriage Equality Map

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(Oh look, my post ideas for May list suggests I comment on an article in the news – I can do that!)

From Wikipedia:

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Of course, it is my humble opinion that this map will look it’s finest when it is entirely navy blue, but until then…this has been a pretty good week!

19 states with full recognition. 9 more with current stays delaying judicial rulings that have stricken down existing bans.

By the end of 2014, it is entirely possible to have more than half the states in the navy column.

That’s pretty flipping amazing when you consider where we were in 2008, when I thought I would lose one of my best friends because he was SO MAD at California and the Prop 8 results. I couldn’t blame him – that was such a disheartening time. But, I said then, and it has proven to be true, that every defeat is actually a small step forward because it generates more activism in response. Now, looks at us. Sure, it’s the usual pattern of the “liberal elite coastlines” that have filled in first. But hey – it started in Iowa! And there’s New Mexico sticking out over there in the mountain west area. Yes, I am happy my son will be going to college in a navy blue state.

You know what really makes me happy though? Knowing that he will largely live in times when this is no longer an issue. Looking back from the edge of 50 to when I was 18, I can tell you he will nearly completely forget what a struggle this has been. It’s happened while he was an unaware child (though he did know about what happened in ’08 and couldn’t fathom why folks were voting on the right of people to marry), and most likely by the time he really starts paying attention to social issues such as these, it will be done.

He will look back from age 50 and say “Wow, this was up for debate?!”

Where do you take your cell phone?

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Cell phone in bathroom

During my often adventurous travels around Indiana last week, the mom I was riding with and I stopped at a Panera for lunch. As I got up to go to the bathroom, I left my purse with my cell phone in it, at the table with my companion. The lady who charged in front of me to get into the bathroom didn’t. In fact, she was in mid conversation with the phone up to her ear as she walked, never looking up once to see that she’d cut me off as we entered the narrow hallway. With her free hand she shoved the door open with a force that would have knocked over any poor soul attempting to exit at that moment. There was someone in there at the sink washing their hands, but it was a tiny bathroom with on two stalls. Both were empty and she went into the first one.

Talking. The entire time!

Tiny bathroom. Me in the stall right next to her, hearing everything yet doing my best to tune it out. I was more appalled/self conscious about the fact the whoever she was talking to could probably hear ALL the background noise (if you know what I mean!)

She never stopped once, & never apologized for talking while in the bathroom even though it had to be obvious.

At least she did wash her hands – propping the phone on her shoulder and talking away as she did.

As someone who is irritated when co-workers bring cell phones in to meetings and continue texting conversations while there and even answer calls (stepping out as they do, but still clearly interrupting the meeting!), you can imagine the amount of raised eyebrows and side eye I was giving to this rude woman. At least the lady I was traveling with was equally appalled.

Be honest though – have you become so attached to your phone that you would continue a conversation in a public restroom? Have talked while on the toilet at home? Would you take your phone into a workplace meeting and keep responding to text messages and calls?

Where do you draw the line? Or, do you at all?