Putting My Values to the Test – Union New Year’s Celebration!

Champagne_PoppedLet’s face it. 2010 was a pretty tough year for most of us. Between the economy and everyone in the United States beyond the borders of California embracing the Tea Party’s mantra of blaming the unions for all their ills … it was a rough year and one that I’m glad to see go.

Still, if you’re always looking backwards you’re bound to run into a brick wall eventually, so as hope springs eternal I set off to celebrate a better 2011 as much wish 2010 a fond farewell. (It was nice knowing you! Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out!)

A part of me wants to pretend that I am still young and hip and outraged enough to have spent New Year’s Eve celebrating “Union Night” at some cool Hollywood night club or better yet storming the headquarters of Wal-Mart and dousing their offices with union-made champagne… but who am I kidding? I’m a married mother with two daughters, one of whom is already old enough to legally drink on her own.

So I played it safe and went to a party of my peers at a friend’s house to yak with some of my union and non-union buddies, drink perhaps a bit too much of bubbly (union-made of course!), and watch the ball drop Ravers_Uniteon television. It was a very lovely evening. Meanwhile, my daughter spent New Year’s dancing to techno at a mega-rave with 50,000 of her peers at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. I had to settle for vicariously re-experiencing my youth through her stories the next morning as we watched the Rose Bowl parade on TV together.

Dick_Clark_New_YearsSometimes, I realize, my daughter and I seem to live in different worlds, but it’s really more a separation of generations than anything else. In the end, our New Years eves were similar: We spent the evening celebrating with friends and loosening up with union-made alcohol. Me — drinking America’s favorite and oh-so-affordable UFCW-made Andre Brut champagne watching Dick Clark slur the countdown to a New Year (disturbing… really disturbing.) Her — drinking UAW-made Miller Light from a plastic cup while wearing a bizarre costume and bouncing to music louder than a jet engine composed by beings from outer space.

Snooki_Ball_DropAh… my daughter! We’re not so different you and I. {Sigh}

Anyhow, I had a good time and so did she. I guess that’s all that matters. It was a nice way to start out the New Year and I’m hoping 2011 is the year the economy turns around and the Democrats get back on track. I’ve got my fingers crossed!

Happy New Years, everyone!

Putting My Values to the Test - 99 Cent Store

imagesI decided to do an experiment. Since this Buy Union! challenge has started, it hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve been finding ways to save money. A lot of it has been buying what union-products I can find on sale and by using coupons. In fact, I got so excited during my research about finding so many coupons for union-made goods and being able to save all that money, I decided it would be a good idea to make it a regular feature on our www.LALabor411.org web site.

Putting My Values to the Test – GO Clippers?!?!?


Okay. I’ll admit it. My husband and I like the Clippers. You could almost call us fan. We buy tickets to at least one game every year.

I’m not a contrarian. I don’t root for the Clippers just because the Lakers are so dominant. I like the Lakers. I just can’t afford to go to their games.

Putting My Values to the Test – Teenage Communication Gap

Angry_MotherSo, after our day at Disneyland we all piled back into my union-made Ford Escape for the long drive home. Everyone had a great time, but it was late and we had all experienced a lot of walking, gawking, eating and rides so we were worn out. As we pulled out of the parking lot I baited the group, “Another successful Buy Union! Challenge day! WOOHOOO!!!”

Putting My Values to the Test-Shopping at Costco

CostcoAs you may have read from one of my recent blogs, I kind of slipped off the wagon a bit with my misadventure at Macy’s. But after all, it’s the holiday season and I’ve got to buy presents.

I’ll come clean here.

Some of the more challenging aspects of this Buy Union experiment hasn’t really been the changing of habits (that was what I thought would be most difficult), it’s been having less options and paying more. Luckily, I’m not totally addicted to material things, but I like being frugal when I can.

Putting My Values to the Test – Union Headache

I love what I do because I believe in it and I believe in the movement, but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t wear me out sometimes.

Yesterday was one of those days. After a late night, I had to be up at 5:30 am to get ready to brave traffic for an early meeting in downtown L.A. Then it was back to the office in Canoga Park (again through traffic, I love L.A!) where I was barraged by more meetings, phone calls, press releases, deadlines for newspapers, enewsletters and L.A. Labor 411’s ever-approaching publication date.

Putting My Values to the Test – Here Come the In-Laws!

Sportsmens_Lodge_StreetSo, my in-laws are coming into town for Thanksgiving and between two dogs, two cats, two kids, a husband, and my big personality, it can get a little busy at my home when family comes to stay. Truth is that I get a bit stressed by the holidays. I love them, don’t get me wrong, but with everything else going on sometimes the tryptophan in the turkey is not enough to completely mellow me out. So, I thought we’d make things a bit less complicated this year and put my in-laws (as wonderful as they are!) up in a hotel for their stay.

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