One Sustainbility to Live and Quasi-Illegal Parking…

Well, friends, here is a post which is long overdue.

my org / non-profit / awesome community catalyst  shall henceforth be known as "One Sustainability to Live," (OSL) aptly named by .

after MUCH finagling* and tomfoolery, much hand-wringing and drama-queen banishing, I arrived at my new place of employment through Americorps!VISTA, OSL. 

OSL is a non-profit org here in spokane, founded in 1994 and it has many Initiatives, which have Projects, which provide direct service to the community and/or referrals to direct service providers.  It is an awesome place to work.  I was really excited about it because it is a well known NPO, having been around Spokane for several years, does good work, etc etc.

The Exec-Dir, who is a very tall man with intense blue eyes and grey hair reminds me of the boss who fired me at hospice.  just for those physical reasons:  the likeness ends there.  the former boss who fired me was gay, angry, ambitious, and had a really deep voice.  My current exec-dir has a theater background, likes to be interrupted (which trips me the fuck out, trufax), chided me for not speaking up in an Energy Team meeting (I literally had no clue what we were talking about, so I kinda kept my mouth shut and took really good notes).  RLY?  you want ME to speak up at meetings?  have you met me?!!!  Apparently he’s a "concept guy," which more or less means, ummm…  he has great ideas and doesn’t really get mired in the details of how they are executed?  oh god:  the devil is in the details.  remind me to tell you about "the two windmill guys/research that" job assignment I got from said exec-dir.  eh?  mer?  gah?

OSL is housed in the Saranac Building, which, as you Spokanites might know, used to be a brothel, run by Madame Isabella.  It saddens me that Madame Isabella is blamed for all manner of disruptions of office life:  misplacing documents, office supplies, reports, and the like.  Really, people:  what does a dead Madame need with your damn paper clips!!!  Honestly.  A mister Jim Sheehan got an unexpected windfall, and he put his money where his mouth had been, and renovated the Saranac Building, (which I can only assume had fallen into disrepair), into a LEEDS certified green building. 

These two disparate facts affect me in the following ways: 

  • I try to take the stairs. 
  • The colors on the walls kind of are a dun-brownish-yellow, which makes me think of the color of the items in the diapers I changed when I worked in a nursery.  It’s kind of a "little kid bowel movement" kind of color.  For those of you who have never changed a diaper… ummm… I salute you!
  • The lighting schemes are such that offices with doors have dimmers, nooks without them have no dimmers.  I have a nook, a cubby, with no door. 
  • I get a headache pretty regularly from the WOW!  LIGHT!  and I wear a baseball cap in the office when I sit at my desk for any length of time.  It feels disrespectful, but I have talked with some folk about the light situation and they’re going to try to change the ummm…  fancy bulbs that cause less energy usage kind of bulbs…  into a bulb with less light.  so I don’t get a headache every day from coming to the office.
  • Apparently rumors start VERY EASILY and I have been bitten in the ass by this one already (cause of the no-door situtation), when the CFO next door to me over heard me saying something that she thought "would be a good example of how rumors are started," and then she sent an email to the Operations Team, with my name, the person I was talking to, and what I said…  So, in effect, SHE started the rumor, and GAH!!!!!!!  The exec-dir swings by an hour later, storming, and says, "You know you’re not taking M’s job, right?"  YES.  I did know that…  that was never in question. 
  • The building is downtown, and because it’s Spokane, there is little paid parking that I could reasonably afford.  Parking in downtown in any city is catch-as-catch-can, I know.  But Spokane?  Parking is feh!  There are some 3-hour spots with signs that say "3 Hour parking only," but they don’t have meters…  so that’s where I park.  I am reluctant to admit this to the universe because what if I’m stealing, and the universe doesn’t like that sort of thing and what if I get a ticket?  I wanna keep it a secret, but it’s such a bafflement to me:  can parking in downtown Spokane really be that easy?  I need to ask others:  what are your parking experiences, like, downtown workers???
  • Oh.  and one last thing about the Hotel Saranac:  I was talking with the other day, and I expressed some kind of sentiment such as:  "if the place where I work used to be a brothel, what are the odds of my office space being someplace/some square footage where people have fucked?"  She replied, "well, if you live in a town that’s old enough it’s likely that anywhere you work or play is a likely spot for where someone was fucking!"  She is awesome.  We also got steaks and played pool at the Viking the other day.  Oh Sketchy Bars, how you appeal to me!

In other news, I got a flu shot Thursday and I felt a little symptomatic on Friday, so I went home from work early.  I went to an awesome event about sustainable farming and food practices last night.  It was a fundraiser with wine tasting, and it was awesome.  I think I shared a bit too much with a co-worker, and I apologized – she said there was no reason to, but I felt so awkward about it I would up leaving.  I was going to leave any way, but I didn’t want to leave feeling vulnerable and exposed.  In other words, I felt I shared too much, and I wasn’t sure if the person I was sharing it was a safe person to share it with…  Because she’s kind of disgruntled at the exec-dir, and gave me some skinny on some of the other employees…  so if she gossips about them, she would totally gossip about me.  There’s a disconnect there – the way she talks about the HR lady next door to my cubby – and the way she talks to the HR lady…  you know what I mean??? 

Americorps!VISTA totally needs to get their collective act together.  because I got paid and haven’t turned in a timesheet.  And/or I’ve got paid and haven’t turned in a report as to what I’m getting paid for.  Is this why people love government jobs????  (while simultaneously hating the government?!)

I finished reading White Like Me by Tim Wise and I’ve started Why Americans Hate Welfare by Marten Gillens.  both are interesting books.  there was some curious overlap between Tim Wise’s story and my own.  Some uncomfortable, some not.  I think there’s considerable work to be done about consciously being an ally.  Maybe I need to do it.  It almost seems that "being an ally who is trying as hard as they can be not to be a racist, whilst educating others about the same" is a lifetime of work.  A lifetime filled with mis-steps, public mistakes, a very steep learning curve, and a whole host of observers who either want what you claim to want, or viciously oppose it.  A lifetime of attitude adjustment.  A lifetime of banging your head against a wall which may or may not soften, while encouraging others like you to do the same (while others not like you observe, critique, rage, and/or are confused by what you are doing).

To be sure, there is joy in the struggle.  Also, to be sure, frustration, anxiety, fear, alienation, and depression. 


Main Entry: fi·na·gle
Pronunciation: fə-ˈnā-gəl
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): fi·na·gled; fi·na·gling-g(ə-)liŋ
Etymology: perhaps alteration of fainaigue to renege
Date: circa 1924

transitive verb 1 : to obtain by indirect or involved means <finagle a ride home>
2 : to obtain by trickery <finagled his way into the concert>
intransitive verb
: to use devious or dishonest methods to achieve one’s ends

4 thoughts on “One Sustainbility to Live and Quasi-Illegal Parking…”

  1. A few things…

    1. “what does a dead Madame need with your damn paper clips!!!”
    – everything.
    2. “LEEDS certified green building” – LEED Platinum certified building (first one on this side of the state, maybe only)
    3. “what are your parking experiences, like, downtown workers???” – while working in downtown Spokane, i lived in downtown Spokane, and kept my car out back and paid the mo… Diamond for the privilege. If/when i come back this summer and work (go economy!) at my old firm, i’ll have to re-evaluate that, and probably take the bus.

    Which is what i do now, unless i can hop the L, because i live in Chicago. You should know all about parking having lived in Manhattan, but, damn. Parking in Chicago. Seriously. Even in Hyde Park where streets are mostly free you have street cleanings to move for, everyone parks within about 6″ to 12″ of everyone else (which i why there is a 3 bump rule here), and parking anywhere near downtown starts at about $8 for 30 mins.

    i’m glad i don’t have a car right now.


    1. Re: A few things…

      everything indeed.

      yeah. the saranac used to be “the greenest building in the state,” but some damn building in seattle took that honor….

      it’s kinda trippy, parking downtown. trippy.

      and yes. parking in nyc or chicago is nothing compared to parking in spokaville. but damn. it’s like god is looking out for me or something. trippy.


  2. 1. OSL is already my FAV soap!

    2. Shady people (like your gossip) are NEVER fun, but Shady Ladies (like MIGO [Ms. Isabella, ghost of]) are AWESOME FUN!

    3. I recently found out LEED cert is a bunch of bullshit and I’m totally depressed. It’s based on calculations made before a single brick is laid and is NEVER monitored in actuality.

    4. I recently found out life is a bunch of bullshit and I’m totally depressed. Well, not really. But kinda. I’m not getting enough sleep/me time OR money, which is CRAP cuz I am a real efficient model of girl. meh.

    5. I’ll get over it. Maybe one more of those purple drinks… ;D


    1. MIGO for the WIN!

      it’s unbelievable how awesome you are….

      I’m sorry you’re depressed – hang in there. you’ve made some good commitments and it’s kind of hard.

      can you lock yourself in your house, turn off your phone, and not talk to anyone? that kinda works for me. I let myself out for smoke and novel breaks.

      take good care of you bebes. you’re the only you we’ve got!


Comments are closed.