Blood! Blood! Blood Is Good!

The other week, it was that time again – time to head down to the Rhode Island Blood Center and donate. Moonie couldn’t wait!

He’s always quick to donate his little thimble of rainbow-colored troll blood, and then he’s usually nice enough to come cheer me on, because he knows I’m not crazy about needles.

He got so excited when the nice Rhode Island Blood Center ladies gave him his very own RIBC sticker, he climbed right up onto my freshly-donated blood and sang (to the tune of the Village People’s “YMCA”), “It’s fun to come to the R – I – B – C!” We had to ask him nicely not to tap dance on the blood, though.

Boy, does he love his little sticker!

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Women’s March

Last Saturday I woke to find Moonie all ready for the women’s march here in Providence.

He’d been up all night making his sign.

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The march through the streets of Providence was too scary for me to snap any pics. It’s awfully easy to lose an excitable little troll pal in a big crowd, so despite all the energy and camaraderie I was fixated on keeping an eye on his pink spiky head (which people kept complimenting, thinking he was wearing the world’s tiniest “pussy hat”). Read More

Red Bandana Award

Each year, in honor of the late but great Richard Walton (a very nice man and humanitarian whom I fondly remember introducing all Stone Soup music acts while clad in his overalls, red bandana, and Santa beard), who held an annual community party featuring music and fun and food, people who improve the human condition are recognized in an award ceremony at Nick-a-Nee’s featuring – of course – music and fun and food. Today is the fourth annual Red Bandana Awards ceremony, which will recognize Sarath Suong of the Providence Student Union Movement and Artemis Moonhawk of the Mama Dreads Mission of Love. Congratulations to both winners!

Moonie and I have a conflict, but he did pull out some photographs of last year’s Red Bandana Fund awards, which he had enjoyed intently. Here he is checking out the stock of red bandanas for sale at the event.

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PCL Rally

The Providence Community Library serves nine different neighborhoods across Providence. It formed in 2009 when the Providence Public Library lacked the resources to keep all of its facilities in operation; a dedicated group of people worked hard to seek support to keep these branches open under a different name and leadership, and it paid off. Nearly seven years later, the nine branches of the PCL serve hundreds of thousands of people, making a difference every day. But they are facing a $100,000 shortfall in the next three months and are seeking $250,000 from the City of Providence to operate.

Here’s where Moonie comes in.

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Moonie, you see, is a big fan of libraries. He loves all those rows of books and magazines and DVDs and computers, and he loves even more how kids and adults of all ages can access those resources to learn and laugh and grow. So Moonie led the way today where he planned on being front and center at PCL’s rally at City Hall to ask Mayor Elorza for funding for our important libraries.

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Masquerade Ball

Although New Year’s Eve is a terrific occasion for masquerade balls, Moonie was ahead of the curve; he and I attended one last month for Sojourner House, a wonderful organization that provides all kinds of support service to victims of domestic assault and their families. Moonie couldn’t wait to get us tickets knowing they’d go toward such a good cause! He also stayed in his little Moonie workshop all day to make us matching masquerade ball masks.

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In no time, my tiny handsome date and I were ready to rock!

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As soon as we walked into the ball, Moonie was photobombing the decked-out guests, loving the wonderful atmosphere.

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Domestic Violence Awareness Clothesline Project

As focused as Moonie is on finding all the joy and color and music and sweetness and shine our world has to offer, even my nude little dude is aware that bad things happen and people feel pain.

Today was one of those days. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and a local gender equity group brought the Domestic Violence Clothesline Project to the college campus Moonie and I work at in order to raise awareness. Each piece of clothing represents one of the 32 Rhode Islanders who died as a result of domestic violence between 2003 and 2012. The clothesline project is a visual display to bear witness to each of these acts as well as to countless others that don’t result in death, or aren’t reported, but that damage lives nonetheless.

In September 1995, the AIDS Quilt traveled to the campus of the college I was attending in Vermont at the time, and I remember awe falling over me like a wool blanket as I encountered each square decorated in honor of someone who’d lost the battle to that terrible disease. I felt like I knew them all personally by the time I reached the last piece of quilt. Visual displays have a powerful impact, and the Clothesline Project had one on Moonie today. It was the quietest I’ve seen him in months.

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Moonie’s Mail: Emergency Kit

Boy oh boy, did Moonie have a wonderful surprise the other evening!

We came home to find that his talented artist friend William Schaff had delivered a whole box of goodies!

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We had contributed to Mr. Schaff’s “Hold down the Fort” campaign, which would keep the house of out of which he works and others live out of foreclosure. Even artists with amazing skill and drive like Mr. Schaff have to hold off the mortgage collectors and keep on the utilities from time to time. In exchange for nearly 900 people gathering together to help the fort, Mr. Schaff has been busying himself in dizzying ways to pay everyone back with special treats.

Moonie loved his “emergency kit,” which had a special CD from some of his favorite artists like Allysen Callery and Haunt the House and What Cheer? Brigade and Alec Redfearn, and a special deck of playing cards – each one with a unique illustration – designed by Mr. Schaff, and hand-drawn booklets and cards.

But Moonie’s absolute favorite kit enclosures were the three little “Curse of the Pandrew” books, an Edward Gorey-like collection detailing horrific fates befalling each member of What Cheer? Brigade. He immediately devoured the books, hooting away at the dark humor.

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Moonie’s laughing now, but I know when we’re at Pronk! on Monday and he’s watching What Cheer? Brigade close out the festival with that night’s final show, teeny beads of sweat will run down his little face if a band member climbs onto shoulders or crowd members’ hands, and he’ll be whispering, “Careful….Careful…”

Blood Donation Part Deux

Moonie and I have had three whole months to regenerate our blood, so when a blood drive came to our work last week, we signed right up. He was so happy to be able to help out again! He gallantly let me go first (mostly so he could play with the blood pressure cuff).

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Then he cheered me on while he got ready to donate himself. I got curious and asked what his blood type was.

“Orange zebra seven,” he responded.
“Not purple cow six?” I teased.
“That’s not a real blood type,” he sighed, rolling his eyes.
Well, excuse me.

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