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Michelle Bernier for La Habra School District

 

14721452_1769914903270968_3631945887143844646_nMichelle Bernier for School Board

I haven’t written anything really political here I don’t think. I mean Throwing Chanclas is essentially about throwing a house shoe as a statement towards something that needs changing. It’s also about women taking charge of their everything: bodies , families, communities.

It is in this spirit that I tell you about my cousin Michelle Bernier who is running for school board in the North Orange County town of La Habra–I also ask anyone you know in the city of La Habra to vote for her.  She’s a woman unafraid of a challenge and a woman with a moral compass I’ve always admired.

Personally I love her Garcia streak—that DNA that isn’t afraid to call out elephants in rooms. She has an eye to fix things and to do what’s best.

Michelle  and her husband Jeff have two kids in La Habra school district and one graduate. She’s been an advocate for kids getting the services they need (IEPs) and she’s a major proponent of literacy (did you know that the former superintendent got RID OF ALL THE BOOKS IN THE LIBRARIES?! WTH?!). They are the very definition of involved parents. I love going to their house in La Habra and listening to what’s going on and what they wish could change for the better. Now Michelle has decided to take that challenge on.

Michelle is a busy no nonsense sort of woman. You know that old adage about if you want something done ask a busy person? She gets it done.

She also makes the most kick ass aprons around. I have a cool one being made as we speak! Michelle’s Aprons and Creations. I love my Frida one and now I’m getting a Popa and Itza one!

So forgive my campaigning. But North Orange County needs Michelle. If you know anyone who lives in La Habra–forward this.

Michelle Bernier for La Habra City School Board

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Just. One. Book. The Night Before a Train

I worked for 10 hours today in the library and I can no longer feel my legs.

It feels like it will be worth it.  Kids were coming in to get their schedules today at Indian Valley Academy. I’ve never seen so many heads pop into the library before. Come in! Come in! This is for you guys.

WHOA!  Even the faces of the haggard 4-H kids who just sold their livestock at auction after a 45 day fair week —kids who looked damn exhausted. As soon as I clean the pens, I swear I’m coming to help. And I don’t feel alone. I have you all and Indian Valley Academy who have been stellar through all of this.

My dealings with the Plumas Unified School District had me going southern Gothic. Let me explain. Some of my all time favorite writers are indeed the southerners. I gravitate toward them when I’m feeling isolated and feel guilty about expecting the worst in people (because thank’s a lot Flannery O’Connor). But in order to not be completely frustrated and pissed off at the gaul of the school district to somehow try and take both ownership and credit for the library I had to go to Carson McCullers and Tennessee Williams. Ever read Reflections in a Golden Eye? The Tennessee preface/introduction? He nails it. He tells us you know what? We artists? We people who feel things? We live on this one plane of existence.  And these officious drones who try and run our lives? They live on this other one.

They have no real jurisdiction over us. We don’t have to answer to them. The only thing I’ll never understand is why so many people who clearly hate children work in the field of education. I just don’t fundamentally get that.

You all sent books to the library project in care of me. And I aim to get books into the hands of children. Whatever that looks like.  Today I set aside 5 books –books that we had in duplicate to give to one particular girl who comes from a family of non-readers. She reads anything she can get her hands on. I gave her my own copy of Michelle Serros’ Chicana Falsa once. Because that girl so needed it.

So it wasn’t a bad day. Tomorrow my son and I take off for a week to see my grandmother and friends and family in Los Angeles via Amtrak. I’ll be interviewing a couple people for my book down there as well. And get this. My short story collection has found a home! Yay! It will be in print finally. So good things. ALL GOOD THINGS.

To the writers who have been sending your books. Thank you in particular for being gutsy and putting yourself and your work out there. It takes a certain tenacity that I greatly admire that I don’t always have. To the agents and the publishers sending books–thank you for the array of work that I wouldn’t have thought of but am glad is here. Great job!

We will make this happen. It may not be the complete original vision but it will be amazing. I’ve already had a glimpse. This is going to be one helluva literate town. THANK YOU.

And here. Enjoy some cookies. I made them tonight when I was supposed to be packing.IMG_8638