All posts by mikaylaloomer

For the Love of Food

               Who doesn’t love to chow down on some good grub? I want to tell ya’ll about the connections I have to food and how I learned to appreciate food even more. I have found many great food combinations, recipes, and restaurants over the years in various cities and from various people.  My coworkers have shown we the way, to phenomenal food and I wanted to share how these two vastly different food cultures are related.

               Today I wanted to throw things back when I was living down south in Texas. When I lived in Texas, I immersed myself in authentic Hispanic cuisine and fell in love. My all-time favorite restaurant is called Taquitos El Jaliscience they hand make their own carne asada tacos with cilantro and lime, because I am extra, I ask them to add some cheese on top. One day I was at work when a coworker of mine looked to be sprinkling Cheyenne pepper on a cup of fruit. My initial thought was that does not sound appealing. Instead I asked her what she was putting on it and she offered me a piece of fruit. It was a flavor explosion the fruit was sweet, salty, and spicy. If you have not had fruit and Tajin specifically watermelon, I want to change that by the end of this blog post. This is amazing, for those who don’t know Tajin it is this delicious chili lime seasoning with various levels of heat/spice. It can be put on anything, but I recommend that you try it on watermelon it will change your life. Another food that I would consider life altering is Pizza.

               Let me tell you three words that will give you the key to my heart; either I ordered pizza or pizza is life. This is the start of fruitful day. However, fruit as in pineapple does not belong on pizza in my opinion. I have tried many types of pizza and have reduced it to a science.  What, why, and exactly how much of different toppings belong on a pizza pie.  A coworker of mine recently introduced me to a pizza place called Fresh Picked Pizza off Lexington and 96 in Shoreview, MN. The food is great, you can get the pizza premade to be baked at home, take out, or dine in. I have indulged in lunch at this establishment a few times and was able to get me a personal pizza for $5 and some change. Grab yourself a pizza in the near future, and give me a call if you need a partner to share it with.

The Gay Library!

            I wanted to let my LGBTQ family, friends, and allies to know about the Quatrefoil Library located in South Minneapolis off of 12th and Lake. As an acting member of the QLibrary board I take pride in being apart of unique resource that is completely independent of city and state government funding. We are 100% volunteer and donation-based library. I have been working with the library since Fall of 2018. Since joining the board I have had the pleasure participating in various pride events. I am currently working on an initiative to bring free little libraries to local schools to reach those in the community whom may not have the heard of or have access to the physical library space.

Why it’s Important

The Library was once known as a social hub for many communities. The Quatrefoil library is a great place for people to come and learn more, get involved, interact with materials, and meet new people. The mission statement of the library is “At Quatrefoil Library our mission is to collect, maintain, document and circulate gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer materials and information in a safe and accessible space.” This is an important resource because at one point in time this information was actively destroyed and often very difficult to come across. The founders of the library seen a need to create this space for the community and has continued to florish since it opened in 1986. 

What is a Quatrefoil?

            When I first became involved witht he Quatrefoil library I wondered from where the librays name originated. When a fellow board member explained the Quatrefoil Library was named after the book, “QUATREFOIL” by James Barr written in 1950 which David, one of founders believed was one of the first books to portray homosexuals in a positive way.

And More….

            The library is always looking for volunteers, donations, and more members. We have various groups and book clubs that meet monthly to help people get to know other LGBTQ people. The library itself has 30,000+ pieces in the building from videos, periodicals, journals, poetry, pulp fiction, videos, and more. Not only are the authors LGBTQ but the content is as well. Whether or not you identify with or relate to the community the Quatrefoil Library is a great space to learn more.

Well Earned Criticism

Since its pride month, I knew I could find something to criticize regarding anti-gay remarks being posted to various social platforms. In lieu of me being a Proud Bisexual woman I figured this would be an interesting topic for me partake in. Just this last Saturday June 8th Franklin Graham showed his gratitude for our highly regarded “culturally competent” President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompe for deciding against flying the gay flag over the embassies during June gay pride month.

I wanted to call out the fallacies Franklin’s bias approach to the subject at hand. “The gay flag is offensive to Christians.” As a person who was brought up in and around the Christian faith; and on the same token someone who has drifted from the faith due to statements and judgmental remarks like these. I want to know what makes this so offensive. I am offended as a member of the LGBTQ community for a comment like this to be made and to have earned such a great deal of publicity.  As well as a decision for the government to not support the flying of the gay flag, shows to me that the government is not in support of the LGBTQ community. We the people had enacted the law that allowed same sex marriage in all 50 states June 26th, 2015. Our decision to love whom we love and to live life authentically somehow offends others.

I wanted to end things on a more positive note, my brother and I attended the Golden Valley Pride this last weekend and Volunteered for the Quatrefoil Library.

Eulogy

It all started February 12th, 2019. I lost the most influential man in my life. My paternal Grandfather Earl passed away and it’s been a rough 4months. I honestly never imaged how hard losing him would ever be. Grandpa Earl was a genuine kindhearted man, who taught me what a man should be. The week of his funeral I spent much of that time with my cousins. We were on the way to the funeral in the Subaru when the song Eulogy by Prof came on. In that moment I started bawling it was all to real.

I posted to Facebook several weeks later that the song became my anthem I would play the song on repeat to and from work. My cousin Devven commented on the status I had made saying Prof would be at SoundSet and we had to go to the concert, my cousin and I booked our tickets the next week. We made it to the music festival Sunday May 26th around noon. Prof was scheduled on the mainstage for a short 230pm-3pm slot. The sun was out not a cloud in the sky, show time was coming near and my cousin and I got as close to the stage as we could.

After hyping the crowd up with the first two songs he then said he was going to slow thing down and play something from his newest album Pookie Baby. That is when the I could hear the instrumental beginning to my song Eulogy. I sang my heart out, by the end I had few tears in my eye. I looked over at my cousin he knew and we hugged it out. He continued and the whole set was amazing. After it was all said and done I just wanted to say Grandpa “Having the time, having the time, time of my life I promise you, I promise you, everything is right”

A Motion to All Motorists

As I sit at my dining room table, I can hear my brother letting out exhausted howls in his bedroom down the hall. Let me tell you why he is in an extreme amount of pain. Thursday night during our last class session my brother Grant was involved in a motorcycle accident that resulted in him having to spend the night at the hospital. He has road rash covering much of his back, left arm, shoulders, palms, and knees. Luckily no broken bones and he was wearing a helmet.

 I wanted to share his story as his sister; he was driving down 35E by Little Canada when a vehicle cut him off going 70mph he had to abruptly brake which cause him to lose control of the bike sending him and the bike more than 150 feet down the asphalt. The driver did not stop, a witness stopped to check on him as he stubbled to his feet realizing his cloths were torn and he was bleeding profusely asking him if he was okay and to sit down the police were on the way. He was transported from one hospital to another and ended up staying overnight for observation and pain management, or as he would say a lack there of. He is now out of work for a couple of weeks while his body heals, as well as will have a hefty hospital bill arriving in the mail shortly.

We are all thankful that the accident was nonfatal as “In 2017, 5,172 motorcycle riders and passengers died in crashes”.  I wanted to note that before my brother started riding, I was not as conscious of motorcyclist on the road and to reference the MN.gov site Most car drivers aren’t familiar with motorcycles and don’t look for them in traffic. I want a people reading this to take action, start looking for motorcycles please check out the below sites for more information on motorcycle safety:

https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/motorcycle-safety

https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/mmsc/educational-materials/Pages/motorist-awareness.aspx

Volunteering & Giving Back

I’ve always had a desire to help others and give back to those in need. I feel like there are many of us out there that want to help but often don’t know where to start. Today through this blog post I intend to enlighten you through my experiences.

One of the first major volunteer projects I was involved with is Dress for Success. This was initially a project through a class turned into a passion. It was/is a great organization whose primary focus is to help women build the skills, and attire to compete in the work force. I found great pleasure in outfitting women for job interviews, the office is in St. Paul. I remember a letter the office received from a woman I had helped get a whole week’s wardrobe talk about how great the experience was and how I had given her confidence and made her feel beautiful.

My current volunteer endeavor was an effort that sparked from an Employee Resource Group at my current employer. We’ve built groups to build relationships, appreciation, knowledge, influencing change, and helping the community in outreach efforts. I am apart of our PRIDE committee and through this group I was able to connected to the Quatrefoil Library. I am an acting board member for the library we recently launched a Scholarship that many of the people reading this blog could be eligible for, and if not at least spread the word to others. We are currently trying to build the Young Adult Collection as well as appeal to a younger audience. The Library is warm place for LGBTQ community members and allies to foster knowledge through the various forms of media available in the space located in Minneapolis.

In relation to linking these two organizations together; they both also aim to help the community they service. I was unaware of both initiatives before I was introduced to them through either my work or school. I learned that many companies offer employees Volunteer Time Off (VTO) to go out in the community during a normal work shift and give back. You are still paid to go volunteer your time; it gives you a feel-good moment as well as looks good for the company. This time is often wasted, which is unfortunate because it could be taken advantage of and can contribute to making many changes in people’s lives. I would like to encourage readers to check out the VTO policies available to you, if that’s not the case even looking into one time a year or month events could influence and enhance the good Samaritan in ourselves.