2020 was one of the most difficult and challenging years in my life as well as the country’s, though we couldn’t have known how difficult or challenging when we rang the year in at midnight on Jan. 1.
2020 began with a toast to the professor as members of the NYC Friends of JRR Tolkien & Fantasy gathered together at the Rail Line Diner in Manhattan to toast the author of “The Lord of the Rings” at precisely 9 p.m.
We had two new members join us for the first time.
Afterwards, I had a nice chat with Charlene, Wendy and Carole.
Kate Frey interviewed me for two hours via Skype.
I went to Reichenbach Hall in Manhattan for the first Language Exchange meet-up of the new year; I spent over an hour at the German table with Peter from Munich & others and then half an hour at the French table.
Afterwards, I passed by Grand Central and the Chrysler Building — two of my favorite landmarks in Manhattan — as well as passing by Bryant Park and catching a glimpse of the Empire State Building rising above Midtown.
I attended the “Adoption in the Wake of War” forum hosted by the NYU Asian/Pacific/American Institute at the King Juan Carlos Center on Washington Park South.
Meejin introduced me to Ben and Taemin and we had interesting chats about everything from adoption to traditional Asian medicine to Twitter.
I went for oral surgery on the first Monday in March.
A week after my implant, I went back to the oral surgeon for a check-up.
March 9 was the warmest day of the year up to that point, reaching 73F in the city, and I took the opportunity to get a long walk in, walking 3.3 miles in Kew Gardens and Jackson Heights. I even sat for half an hour in Travers Park, a little parklet in the neighborhood, where I sat reading poems by Heinrich Heine for German class.
I went out for the first time in a week; I walked to Travers Park in Jackson Heights and sat for half an hour in the sunshine, working on a vocabulary list for a Grimmsmärchen. I’d brought the music for a Schubert song with me and an old man noticed it; I mentioned that it was a Schubert song and he began to wax poetic about Schubert, Schumann and the Romantics. I could tell from his accent that he was an immigrant and I wondered if he had emigrated from Germany; when I asked him if he spoke German, though, he said he’d long since forgotten it; it was a short conversation but the first in-person conversation I’d had with anyone for a week, so it was really rather nice. He went onto walk around the park several times while the woman he came with (whom I assumed was his wife) sat in a wheelchair not far from me; when I got up to leave, she waved goodbye to me and smiled.
Then I walked to the Downtown Market, the local health food store; unlike the previous week, when it was crowded, the store enforced a degree of ‘social distancing’ by only allowing a certain number of people in at a time; I only had to wait about five minutes before entering. I somewhat nervously grabbed what I needed and left as expeditiously as I could. On the way home, I noticed that the Foodtown (where I do most of my grocery shopping) across 37th Ave. from Queens Pride House was also controlling the flow of customers into the store, with a line outside the supermarket. According to my iPhone, I walked 1.8 miles on Tuesday.
The last class of the term was also held via Zoom. I gave a very short presentation on Rainer Maria Rilke‘s first Duino Elegy, my favorite poem of my favorite 20th century German poet; three other classmates talked about their favorite Rilke poems.
Our teacher was actually in Vermont and we were all a bit sad to see the class come to an end; Maike talked about how we’d thought about going out to dinner at a restaurant for the last class or perhaps gather around a piano to play and sing; we all expressed regret that our last two classes had to be held remotely but also appreciation that we were able to use Zoom to do so. I spent the remainder of the evening in a frenzy of cleaning and reorganization, reorganizing my books, which turned out to be a huge task; I had scads of books sitting on a table near the entrance to the apartment; but they were just sitting in piles and were not easily visible; I decided to completely (re)organize them and ended up getting into ‘the zone,’ sorting and rearranging books until midnight. I went to bed exhausted but felt some degree of accomplishment.
On Thursday afternoon, I participated via Zoom in a meeting of the scientific advisory board for the TURNNT project being coordinated by researchers at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health; the research staff updated us on the progress of the project, which has ground to a halt because of the Corona virus pandemic; recruiting for the project has been cancelled for the time being. After the call, I continued my book rearranging. In the evening, we had the first ‘virtual’ meeting of the Queens Pride House transgender support group, necessitated by the closing of Queens Pride House for the duration of the crisis; eight people participated and all expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to reconnect, especially given the isolation everyone is now feeling because of the Corona virus pandemic. After the call, I continued my book rearranging and this time, I reorganized several shelves; by the end of the afternoon, I had my history books on the table in front of my foreign language bookshelf, my LGBT books on their own bookshelf, my literature and fiction books sorted and the shelf next to my bee holding the books that are of most immediate interest to me right now.
Friday was my third day of book rearranging
Easter Sunday was always such a joyous occasion in my childhood and youth, but the Corona virus pandemic turned Easter Sunday 2020 into the saddest and strangest Easter ever; but I had to count myself fortunate to have avoided the virus, especially when several friends had suffered its effects…
I woke up from a dream in which I spoke in German (at least two sentences), French and Norwegian. Ican’t remember what I said in French (I think I said, “J’aime le français aussi”), but I remember saying in German, “Die deutsche Sprache ist die Sprache von Musik. Die deutsche Sprache ist die Sprache von Bach und Händel, Schubert, Schumann, Mahler und Strauß.” I quoted two lines from the Norwegian/Swedish song, “Hvem kan seile foruten vind, hvem kan ro uten årer” (Norwegian); the (orignal) Swedish version (pronounced not too differently) is “Vem kan segla förutan vind? Vem kan ro uten årer.” And if I said one word in Italian (‘nonostante’ means ‘nevertheless’), that would make it a quadrilingual dream~!
I sautéed organic tempeh in Korean gochujang sauce for dinner tonight with organic garlic, broccoli, kale, wild rice & Chinese black rice 고추장
I woke up from a dream in which I sang two words from Schubert’s song “Der Leiermann” (“Wunderlicher Alter” = ‘curious old man’), which I’m currently working on.
I spent Earth Day 2020 at home, posting about it on Facebook and Twitter while sheltering at home like most New Yorkers.
I just woke up from a dream in which I said “Min farfar var norsk och min farmor ochså; han komerste fra Haugesund” in Norwegian & “Schwarze Münster” in German. I said the two words in German in a part of the dream where I was part of some sort of chorus or choir. After we sang, I was chatting with a librarian in a library-like section of the building in which there was a whole series of books in Norwegian; that’s when I started to speak with her in Norwegian; that sentence was one I used quite often in Norway and more often than any other.
On Sunday afternoon, I watched Phelim McDermott’s brilliant production of “Così Fan Tutte” (first created for the English National Opera at the London Coliseum) broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera on PBS for the third time; it reminded me (once again) why “Così” is one of my favorite operas of all time.
In the evening, I watched “Sommarnattens Leende” for the third time on CUNY-TV; “Smiles of a Summer’s Night” is so different from Ingmar Bergman’s other films, especially “De Sjunde Inseglet” (The Seventh Seal); but it is just as compelling in its own way.
I walked all the way to Junction Boulevard yesterday & then to 110th St. in Corona, farther than I’ve ever walked in my 23 years living in Jackson Heights.
I’d passed through Junction Boulevard many times on the #7 train, but had never walked around the area; that part of Corona is poor and Latino (mostly Mexican, I believe) and quite different from western Jackson heights, except perhaps the strip of Roosevelt Ave. between 69th St. and 82nd St.
When I got home, I checked my iPhone and saw that I had walked 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers), a longer distance than I had walked since canvassing for Bernie Sanders in Iowa in January and February.
I pulled out a book of Volkslieder that I bought a few years ago sightread through the entire book of German folksongs for the second time, discovering a few real gems that I missed the first time around, including “Ein Männlein steht im Walde,” one of the best and most charming of them all; it sounded familiar when I sang it and I only realized when I searched for it on YouTube that it sounded familiar because I had heard it in Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera, “Hänsel und Gretel.”
In truth, even the second time around, I only found four or five songs that seemed worth investing the time in memorizing, but even finding one really wonderful Volkslied made the hours I spent sightreading my way through the entire book worthwhile.
I went out on Saturday, May 2, taking the subway for the first time in nearly two months; fortunately, the train car on the #7 train I took was almost empty, with just three other people in it and those three far away from me; when I posted the photo on Facebook, it attracted comment.
I also took the bus that Saturday for the first time for nearly two months, riding west on Northern Boulevard for several blocks and posted this photo on Facebook, which also attracted comment.
No doubt the interest in the photo focused on the way in which the front of the bus was chained off from passengers in order to protect the bus driver from contact with passengers who might have the Corona virus and the fact that that made payment impossible and therefore made the ride free.
I got off near a White Castle on Northern Boulevard and while I rarely eat factory farmed beef or chicken, I was tempted by a three sliders for $3 deal; in the end, those sliders were a perfect snack when I got home.
But before going home, I walked through the historic district and to Travers Park and sat for half an hour on a park bench studying one of the Grimmsmärchen.
The walk I took on Saturday ended up being the longest walk I’d taken since canvassing for Bernie Sanders in Iowa; I came home exhausted but feeling good about having walked 3.8 miles and having taken 9,666 steps, according to the app on my iPhone.
I awoke from a dream this morning in which I was singing, “Holde Träume, kehret wieder,” the closing line from “Nacht und Träume,” my favorite song of Franz Schubert; that was followed by Jerry Seinfeld (of all people) singing “Des muntern Fischleins Bade im klaren Bächlein zu” from “Die Forelle,” one of Schubert’s most popular songs and one whose melody he used as the theme for his ‘Trout Quintet.’ I may have been dreaming of singing “Nacht und Träume” because I didn’t get the chance to sing it yesterday, as I spent the afternoon walking 3.8 miles around the borough; and I channel-flipped through just a few seconds of “Seinfeld” on TV last night before going to bed. There is of course some irony in singing “Holde Träume, kehret wieder” in a dream~!
I got shocking news about the death of my former lover and old friend David in an e-mail message from a mutual friend; his death was not directly related to the Corona virus pandemic, but it did further isolate him and make his sedentary lifestyle even more dangerous for his health.
I had a long conversation about the death of my friend David with a mutual friend, which was simultaneously dispiriting and enlightening.
I woke up from a dream on Tuesday morning in which I was “au Lycée Louis le Grand” in Paris & said so (in French); it was just one more in a long series of dreams in foreign languages that I’d been having for at least a few years…
My friend Charlie continued an ongoing argument with me over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s responsibility for the spread of the Corona virus pandemic in New York, which Charles Duhigg has amply documented (“Seattle’s Leaders Let Scientists Take the Lead. New York’s Did Not,” Charles Duhigg, the New Yorker, 26 April 2020); it seemed absolutely clear from Duhigg’s account and others that Cuomo’s indifference and inaction made him responsible for the deaths of many more than 20,000 New Yorkers across the state.
I woke up from a dream this morning in which I said, “‘gallina’ means ‘hen’ in Italian…”
I got my stimulus check in the mail and deposited it in the bank; the check had Donald Trump’s name on it, but if he thought that would make me feel more favorably of him he was sorely mistaken and if he thought it would make me inclined to vote for him in November, he’s delusional…
I took the #7 train to Flushing Meadows/Corona Park on Thursday; it’s the largest park in Queens and I hadn’t been there in ages, so I thought I’d take advantage of the glorious sunny weather and walk around the park.
I took the #7 train back to Jackson Heights from the 111th St. station and bought food at the Downtown Market health food store on 37th Ave.; I only had to wait a few minutes to get in and the Latino bulk guy there was as delighted to see me as I was to see him.
When I got home, I saw that I had walked 4.8 miles, more than on any day since January and February, when I was canvassing for Bernie Sanders in Iowa.
I made wheat-free, gluten-free spaghetti made from quinoa & rice for dinner tonight along with organic broccoli, organic spinach, organic mushrooms & organic 버섯
I’d never seen “The Cider House Blues” so I was curious when I saw it come on WLNY in the early afternoon. I was surprised at how substantive and genuinely moving the movie was and I can see why Michael Caine won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death
For the third day in a row, I burnt the midnight oil and beyond
I woke up from a dream in which someone said, “Sprach schnell,” though it’s puzzling because the imperative form of the German verb would be ‘sprich’; however, ‘sprach schnell’ would be correct if preceded by a subject (ich, er, sie, es).
I found the film really charming, visually striking and ultimately moving; it’s based loosely on the tradition of “El Día de los Muertos” and the most visually striking image was of the city of the dead, a kind of animated Tenochtitlán; I thought it was wonderful & I’m not surprised the film got a 97% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes & a 94% audience score; the visuals are striking & even occasionally breathtaking & the theme song is beautiful just as the ending is moving; while it does raise legitimate questions of the commodification of foreign cultures & traditions for profit by a gigantic multi-national corporation like Disney, the actors voicing the characters are all LatinX & the movie really delivers…
In the evening, I watched “Auntie Mame” (1958) on the Movies! channel — Rosalind Russell’s greatest role and the most wonderful film she ever made; Mame is far more attractive a character than the harridan of a stage mother Rose Hovick in “Gypsy” (1962).
Stephanie and Charlotte had joined my hwangap birthday party via Zoom, but this was really my first time meeting Charlotte in person. We had our own little plastic tent in the shape of a bubble to ourselves and had a great conversation over brunch; towards the end, I read a few of my poems in German to Stephanie and Charlotte and they loved the poems.
Afterwards, we drove to Socrates Sculpture Park on Vernon Boulevard; Charlotte and Stephanie noticed that my cell phone looked bent and Charlotte diagnosed it as swollen because of a battery gone bad. Since it was a Sunday, it was difficult to find a place that was open to look at it, so I just had them drop me off at the Queens Center mall in Elmhurst, though the Verizon Wireless store was closed when I arrived.
I ended up taking the subway back to Jackson Heights and shopping at the local health food store where I had a nice chat with the Latino bulk guy who hadn’t been there when I went in on Thursday.
I took the subway in Astoria and brought my iPhone into the Verizon Wireless store on Steinway Street; the staff diagnosed the problem as my having used a cheap recharger that overcharged the iPhone, which caused the swelling.
On my way home, I stopped at the Foodtown supermarket and stocked up on toilet paper.
I watched “The Gay Divorcee” on the Movies channel and then “The Incredible Mr. Limpet,” which was less than incredible but not nearly as bad as some of the reviews suggested.
I awoke from a dream in which I’d been recruited to play the violin in an orchestra that was to play the incidental music Edvard Grieg wrote for Henrik Ibsen’s play, “Peer Gynt.”
Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” suite is his most popular music, though he came to regret the popularity of “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” his best known piece by far.
I re-tweeted a tweet from NYCLASS about the cruelty of the horse carriage industry and was immediately attacked by one of the industry’s stooges; I’m not inclined to get into fights on Twitter, but having been relentlessly attacked by Zionists for supporting human rights, I’m also not afraid of standing my ground.
I woke up from a dream in which I said ‘pièce théâtrale’ in French.
I celebrated Paul Klee’s birthday by posting images of his art on Facebook and Twitter, including “Heroische Rosen” (Heroic Roses) (1938).
I watched “Top Hat” on TV; I’d seen the movie several times before but it really holds up; on the whole, I think it’s the greatest of the films with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers; the “Cheek to Cheek” dance sequence to the music of Irving Berlin is the most spectacularly beautiful thing they ever did.
Edward Everett Horton, Erik Rhodes, Helen Broderick and Eric Blore are hilarious as the comic sidekicks. I also watched “Flying Down to Rio,” which was the first film pairing Astaire and Rogers; unfortunately, it’s anything but a classic; there are a few nice dance sequences and the famous scene in which dancing girls dance on planes above Rio, but it’s a rather silly movie without any of the divine elegance of “Top Hat” and seems to have been made as a vehicle for Dolores del Rio.
I watched Trevor Nunn’s 1986 film adaptation of “Twelfth Night” on 13; it was in some ways a rather odd adaptation of the Shakespeare play and still odder in that the film was directed by a noted theater director who as far as I know had no previous experience in film direction; and there were a few odd moments along the way, but the ending was moving and delightful…
I watched “The Sound of Music” on ABC, which reminded me of so many holiday seasons when I’d watch it at Aunt Millie’s in Milwaukee with the rest of the aunts and cousins on my mother’s side.
Despite some moments of mawkish sentimentality, the musical holds up and is arguably Rodgers and Hammerstein’s greatest as well as their last. Obviously, Julie Andrews is the musical star power that powers the movie, though I have to admit that I found the dashingly handsome young Christopher Plummer irresistible the very first time I saw the film. Of course, the history that the movie tells is at best incomplete, as it ignores the fact that Adolf Hitler was Austrian himself and that many Austrians welcomed him with open arms and supported the Anschluß.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical and the 1965 film directed by Robert Wise became so popular that a lot of Americans think “Edelweiss” is the national anthem of Austria; in fact, it’s the ‘Bundeshymne der Republik Österreich’ (Federal Hymn of the Republic of Austria).
I woke up from a dream in which I said 한국말 공부해요 (I’m studying Korean); I also said ‘Fischerweise’ (fisherman’s way), referring to the Schubert Lied; it was my first dream that included words in both Korean and German together…
I watched “Guru Nanak: The Founder of Sikhism” on PBS; I’d never heard of him and I learned a huge amount about him and the Sikh religion through this documentary about his life and work.
I also watched
I also watched an amusing episode of “Green Acres” with Patrick Horgan as a guest star. “Jealousy, English Style originally aired 53 years ago (11.22.67), when the debonair Englishman (born 5.26.29) would have been 38; it’s odd to think that he’s now 91 if he’s still alive…
oral surgery consultation
I also watched “Hänsel und Gretel” on YouTube to celebrate the anniversary of Engelbert Humperdinck’s opera on 23 December 1893.
The 1981 film directed by August Everding stars Brigitte Fassbaender and Edita Gruberova in the title roles, with George Solti conducting the Wiener Philharmoniker; ironically enough, Dec. 23 is also Gruberova’s birthday.
Before I went to bed, I watched “The Changing of the Guard,” an episode of “The Twilight Zone” (6.1.62) in which an old teacher considers suicide after he’s forced into retirement.
I hadn’t watched “The Twilight Zone” for years, but I was intrigued by the premiss of this episode when I read about it on-line; the plot of “The Changing of the Guard” is like a cross between that of “It’s a Wonderful Life” & that of “A Christmas Carol” as the ghosts of old Prof. Fowler’s dead students come to him on Christmas Eve to tell him how he changed their lives; it does in less than 25 minutes what the popular movie does in 131 & it’s quite moving…
I sautéed Indonesian tempeh for dinner; I’d actually made it for dinner for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for Winston and Greg in years past.
But this Christmas Eve was the least Christmas-y ever, with the Corona virus pandemic separating me from friends and family of choice.
I watched “Auntie Mame” on cable in the afternoon.
I’ve seen this movie several times now but I never tire of it; I love the scene where Patrick and Nor first arrive at Mame’s apartment and the penultimate scene when she gives the bigoted Upsons their comeuppance.
I curried organic French lentils for dinner with organic garlic & steamed organic broccoli, spinach & brown rice — an un-Christmas-y dinner for the least Christmas-y Christmas of my life in the midst of the Corona virus pandemic.
I also watched the 1935 “Scrooge” film with Seymour Hicks and the 1970 “Scrooge” movie musical with Albert Finney.
While the older film has creakily primitive technology, it manages to capture the spirit of “A Christmas Carol,” unlike the dreadful musical version; what’s the point of turning a play into a movie musical if it doesn’t have any decent music in it…?
I listened to
Nathan Gunn sang Papageno in this performance (12.21.10), which reminded me of my brief encounter with the ‘bari-hunk’ when we were both students at UIUC; I sang in a min-chorus of sex in a production of Arthur Sullivan’s one-act operetta “Cox & Box” and we all shared one large dressing room with Nathan (this was many years before my transition); he was as nice as he was hunky~!
Little did we know at that point that he’d have the most successful operatic career of any of the voice students who studied at UIUC in the late 1980s & early 1990s…
I watched “Marshall” on Bounce.
The 2017 film directed by Reginald Hudlin is an utterly conventional courtroom drama but thoroughly engrossing and impressive mainly because of Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall.
Sterling K. Brown is very good as the African American accused of raping a white woman and Josh Gad is also very good as the Jewish lawyer, Sam Friedman; and it was a nice little surprise to se Dan Stevens from “Downton Abbey” as the bigoted and unethical prosecutor. But this is Chadwick Boseman’s film and the sadness is the realization that “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” will be his last film and that he’ll never make another one again…
I posted on Facebook about the extraordinary experience I had, writing, “I was walking up the stairs in the Rockefeller Center subway station this afternoon when a young woman walking down the stairs toward me tripped & fell; I rushed forward & was able to catch her head in my left hand & keep it from slamming into the staircase & use my right hand to break her fall; who knows if she would have been seriously injured if I hadn’t been able to step forward? Impossible to say, but given the trajectory of her fall, I’m guessing she would have either slammed her head on the hard concrete step and/or continued rolling down the stairs; in any case, I was able to arrest her downward trajectory & the young man with her (I don’t know whether he was a relative or a friend or a boyfriend) & a stranger then grabbed her & got her on her feet; she seemed alright & was able to walk down the stairs to the platform, so I just waved to her & went up the stairs as she waved back to me; I didn’t have it in mind to do a good deed today, but I guess I did without having planned to…”
My post got 86 ‘reactions’ and 19 comments, including one from Alexandra De Ruiz, who wrote, “You might have saved her life!! Good catch!!” Liz Abzug ( who rarely posts comments or ‘reactions’ to my posts) wrote, “You sure did save her from a probably bad injury; very good that you did that for her!!” And Ryn Hodez wrote, “In situations like that, I always have the feeling that that person and I have crossed paths for many lifetimes.” Kristen Kelly commented, “Made me think of “It’s a Wonderful Life” the little things we do can change other peoples lives without us even knowing.” Margaret Kaczorowski wrote, “That is awesome. As someone who recently slipped on the stairs in in my own home and slammed my neck on the floor, trust me when I say it hurts like heck. I am sure she really is thankful you were there in that moment.”
86Charlene Barker, Rose M Kim and 84 others19 CommentsLikeCommentShare
I posted about the jazz musician Billy Tipton on Facebook (he was born on this day in 1914) and a Facebook friend (Abby Eau) commented, “What a fantastic life! I learn so much from your FB and twitter that I would never otherwise know.”
I woke up from a long dream at the end of which someone said to someone else, “Du beginnst auf Deutsch, weißt du? und dann auf Englisch, oder…?” I was in the audience in a hall as someone was giving a talk without realizing that she was speaking in her native German to a mixed English- & German-speaking audience until someone said that. There was a lot more but that’s all I could remember…
I watched a segment of “Arabia with Levinson Wood” in which he visited Jordan and the West Bank.
In the segment, Wood bends over backwards to be ‘balanced’ and he’s ‘balanced’ to a fault, but he does show some of the reality of #ApartheidIsrael‘s occupation; his assessment that it’s ultimately about ‘tribalism’ is too easy; but at least he doesn’t completely whitewash the brutality of the occupation…
Frohes neues Jahr, Godt nytt år, Gott nytt år, Gleðilegt nýtt ár, Bonne année, Felice anno nuovo, Feliz ano novo, An nou fericit, 새해 복 많이 받으세요 & #HappyNewYear to all~!
Moumita Ahmed at Espresso 77
Deutsch: the first class
QPH TG group
Friday, Jan. 24 was the beginning of my Bernie Journey. In a happy coincidence, I ran into Natalie James on the bus to La Guardia for my flight to O’Hare. Fortunately, my flight from O’Hare arrived a bit early in Des Moines, so I was able to take up the suggestion Natalie had made to me on the bus to try to find a flight to Des Moines earlier than scheduled and I rushed from one terminal to another once at O’Hare, just making it to the earlier flight in time to catch it, which enabled me to arrive more than two hours earlier than expected; in fact, I arrived before Natalie and so we were able to drive in the rental car she rented into Des Moines; on the way to dinner, we stopped at a Walgreen’s to pick up some much needed toiletries; Natalie had identified the India Star as a promising sounding restaurant, so after I checked in at the Holiday Inn Express, Natalie and I went off to the India Star for a wonderful dinner; the restaurant appeared to be owned and operated by an Indian immigrant family.
On Saturday, Jan. 25, the work began in earnest. Natalie came to pick me up at the hotel, bringing with her Devin Maxime from Astoria, so there were now two Bernie supporters Queens in our ‘cell.’ The breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express was nothing fancy but was adequate, and we drove first to Sanders campaign headquarters in Des Moines; there, we met two campaign staffers and picked up campaign literature and lawn signs for our ‘canvassing.’ We then drove to a union hall, where we introduced ourselves to the two dozen or so staff and volunteers there in a round robin of introductions; we then broke up into groups, with Natalie and Devin joining the LatinX team, while I joined the (smaller) Asian/Pacific Islander (API) team.