Mr. Chiotos' Record

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Leaving Home

Lookin to get breakfast with Mom and John & Tominda, it'll be a pretty damn fine omelette meal. Getting a moving truck after that and hitting the road. It'll be a long trip and long packing and long next coupla days here, hot damn.

I'll probably hit this thing up Wednesday or Thursday as my first opportunity. I've got my worries about this move, but I've got my optimism too.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Americorps Training here...damn

Yep, here I am at Americorps training in Atlanta. I've been relatively honest about expressing myself and what I think of how anti-poverty work should be done. Only relatively, though. Solidarity seems like a foreign word and people here are focused solely on postive work rather that working under the leadership of a community group that's trying to address toxins in their water and whatnot. It's not too radical and very much...positive focused. Which is nice, ya know, just a lot more is missing. It's not addressing the root problem of poverty, such as outside & elite control of resources by combating it. It's good work, I mean, it's just got a lot of moderate rather than radical analysis to it & I am finding myself more and more a radical. I don't feel like Coal River Mountain Watch or OVEC could get a VISTA worker...but groups feeding people could. I mean, ya know, it's Americorps, it isn't SEAC.

I just got back from a Braves game. Damn that was racist...the tomahawk & coca-cola & a lot of things, mocking the people who were here before Europeans. It was fun, baseball games are a good quality time, just racist.

I'm meeting and networking with West Virginia VISTAs which is pretty cool. Met a coupla people from Lincoln County's Big Ugly Community Center who are pretty cool and a person from up in Marlinton workin at an Opera House up there. It'll be good to keep in contact. I've definitely been vocal about my outlook on the historical internal imperialism of the coal industry & trying to be as flat out as possible. So, Americorps knows I'm pretty radical at this point, and it'll be allright I feel.

Moving down to Monroe this coming Sunday and Monday to start the job on Tuesday or Wednesday. It'll be pretty badass, i'll have to find out what internet capabilities are around Greenville and post picture here.

I'll keep posting to this though. For now, i'm about to get out to sleep and wake up at 7 am again. Cool people, cool people.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Busy Busy Busy

Craziness, absolute craziness. Family and friends for the past coupla days here at Mom's place. It's been damn sweet, and i'm grateful for the weather and the people and the surroundings. I'm fried, though and ready for bed.

Tomorrow i'll write something out to SEAC and focus in on the workshops i'll be facilitating...craziness, absolute craziness...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Breakfast + Work + Party

Just had a bit of break fast and woke up maybe a half hour ago. Feels damn good to get up relatively early at 9 or 930 rather than noon...ya know? Better not to watch tv until like 3 then sleep til 11, that's just wasteful. I've been waking up earlier with Tominda around. Living with her has gone damn well...she has influenced my cleaning habits a bit.

I'll be going to my last day of Riverbend later today...weird...i'll miss the hell outta that place and Cheryl...started working there in June of 2003 and i'll stop working there in July of 2006...three damn years. Best place i'll ever work, I swear.

The party at Mom's house is coming up this Saturday, and it should be a damn fine time. I'm really friggin hoping the weather holds out and it's nice. There'll be a family get together during the day with something like 30 or 40 people here, then my buddies'll be coming out at around 7 or 8 to camp out down by the river. We'll hit the river the following day and swim and tube and whatnot, it looks like. Man, I'm looking forward to that.

I've picked up some useful stuff before I've left and I'll have to go around and pick it all up this coming Monday....a couch, a futon, a bed w/box springs, a cool ass office chair, and a cabinet that can turn into a computer desk. Hell yeah, maybe i'll even have an office down in Greenville.

So, it looks like most all my activism will be fused over the next year as SEAC will be working on energy justice issues, namely coal issues. I'm focusing a lot of effort on that, nowadays, as all the scattered effort of yesteryear can now be focused.

It'll be weird going from a SEAC ATC to an Americorps training....from a long and slow process of addressing root causes of oppression to a short and sweet (but vastly incomplete) process of providing process to be there for people hit by oppression. I prefer SEAC's approach, but can see value in Americorps.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

SEAC & Packing

On a short break from packin and SEAC work....

Looking forward to the Activist Training Camp next week in Syracuse, it'll be pretty damn cool. Brent and Abe should be coming up from Mingo and putting on a workshop on organizing in Appalachia. There'll be workshops on everything from the Bhopal disaster to anti-oppression training. If there was something about SEAC that I'd pinpoint the network on it'd be anti-oppression work...environmental degradation is oppression. Looks like there'll be people from NY, WV, IN, OH, DC, MA there and I really hope that we can bring people into sustained activism through our network.

It'll be pretty damn crammed as I get ready for the start of my Americorps position on August 1st...packing til Friday..Party Saturday & Sunday...Move Monday & Tuesday...Drive to Syracuse on Wendesday...ATC Thursday through Sunday...Drive back to Shepherdstown on Sunday...Catch a flight on Sunday evening or Monday...Americorps training on Tuesday the 24th through Saturday the 29th...settling into Greenville the 30th & 31st...then starting the radio position August 1st

I'm excited and terrified at the same time about this Americorps position...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Update + I need Breakfast

Allright, so here's the update...

Successfully got moved out of the apartment. It's always weird to see a space you've lived in get so damn barren and impersonal...clean though, a hell of a lot cleaner than when I lived there...but that's part of the impersonality.

Matt came up the night before Apex did their little walk through and helped out with cleaning his room and the carpet and whatnot. They did a quick-assed walk through and the rest'll be up to Matt towards what fits his standards of clean and he'll go through the place with a check-list. So, they'll determine the amount of moo-lah I and Matt get back based off that check-list...looks like we'll be getting a good amount back, hopefully. If I don't get a check by Mid-August, I should be calling them and asking about it.

Financially, things are looking pretty good. I've been working a bunch at Grapes & Grains and have my last day coming up this week. I've had to dip into my graduation funds a little bit, which I will be paying back once I get reimbursed for the trips down to Monroe and over to Morgantown. If I can walk into my new set-up in Monroe with that $800 in the bank, that'd be pretty damned sweet.

I do want to get a rather large 4 wheel drive pickup or SUV for hauling shit from place to place in Monroe & getting around in the winter time. It doesn't look like I have the money yet, but I think I'll be able to put up to a grand towards that goal come August or September. Don't need a pretty one and don't need one that'll last forever, just need one that'll get me around when it's treacherous out there on the mountain roads and'll haul a chair or whatever from place to place.

I do want a pool table and to be saving up for solar panels as well. The pool table will come first and the solar panels are more of an..eventual goal. Damn state doens't have shit for financial incentives, so hopefully that'll change in the future to make them more affordable.

It'll be weird to leave Grapes and Grains...Cheryl has been damn good to me over the past four years and three of them working for her. Don't think I'll ever have that sweet of a job again...working for a cool ass, responsible, respectful boss in a locally owned beer & wine store. I don't know why I'm leaving that...

Check this, so many connections in this one. Tominda's dad works in mountaintop removal. I ask him whether he knows of a town named Nellis, that's where John's parents are from. He tells me they're about to rip the top of the mountain off of a mountain near there. I tell John, he tells his parents. His parents go down to Nellis for an annual reunion and see a pending permit in the local newspaper down there. They comes back up here for a Maxey family get together and we talk about it at great lengths. We are now trying to stop the project that Tominda's dad is working on. Plus John's parents know the friend of mine who is working on Mountain Justice Summer stuff in the Coal River Valley, who I point them towards. There is a town there, Nellis, which is on the National Historic Register. There is an Indian Burial Mound that may be impacted by the project as well. That Indian Burial Mound should be well protected by federal law, which trumps state law (go federalism!) and there may be a way to protect that and stop this project.

Crazy shit.

SEAC's Activist Training Camp is coming up and there is a lot to be done on their Energy Action Coalition funding. Much to do, much to do.

Gotta go to Frederick today to try some beer that we may have at my birthday party. Gotta stain the deck and chop down some underbrush to clear the way for people's camping, gotta continue to pack up my shit more efficiently than I did when I left the apartment.

There is much to do, and I haven't even had breakfast yet.