Friday, December 31, 2004

Picking - Up or The Work of Life

Mom always says that the work of life can largely be boiled down to moving objects from one place to another, often destined to repeat the process is the reverse order again, and then again, and again.

D is picking-up right now. The process of picking-up in our house has recently transformed from simply re-placing objects to doing puzzles, re-assembling this and that and, well, just looking…looking for places for those reassembled these and thats. Constant strategizing and negotiation of all that we have. It’s amusing to watch a quickly aging man (a-hem) sit down to an ABC puzzle. Size 12 shoes tucked underneath crossed-legs, bottom on the living room floor, head scratching “H follows G…, Where the hell is the K? and why is it always the damned K that is missing??”

Always pondering the big questions, we are.

As an aside, there's a woman that stops by our house every now and again asking if we'd like the sidewalk in front of our house swept (which it ALWAYS needs). We are, therefore, thankful to see her and she seems pleased with our compensation. Anyway, long story short, she dropped by last night at 10:30, said she needed to buy baby formula and could we give her some money to that end and she'd return tomorrow to do the sweeping. I'm wondering if she really needed to buy formula or whether she needed drugs and does that difference really matter all that much anyway. I guess that's an entirely different discussion. Anyway, I've been wondering what constitutes poverty in the minds of bureaucracies because that definition is the one that would dis/allow financial help for this woman (if she wanted it which is, again, another subject all together)...

So, here you go:

Global Poverty

And in the US

Happy New Year all.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

2005 Nippin' on the Heels of 2004. Ouch!

The end of the year is upon us, with the new year nipping at its heels. A quick and, hopefully, relatively painless look back on the year seems fitting—followed by my most favorite of activities, compiling my readings for the year to come.

2004 brought…

…a delightful little person with a kind soul and a persistent streak that inspires me.
…a stronger, better and all around more fun relationship with my father.
…the best cake I’ve ever eaten (thanks to Kelli).
…the best vacation that I’ve ever had (thanks to mom, J, M, S, E, D and A)
…an exciting national election campaign.
…Barack Obama.
…a brutally painful election result that I continue to work through in my head, over and over and over again.
…the realization that fear motivates, differences are divisive if played right (duh!), and that while having something isn’t always enough for some—having it while others don’t seems to do the trick.

The 2005 reading list:

The aforementioned Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger (okay so I started reading it early, couldn’t help it)
The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Don’t Know Much about History, by Kenneth C. Davis
The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
Dreams from My Father, by Barack Obama
Crescent, by Diane Abu-Jaber
Snow, by Orhan Pamuk
Runaway: Stories, by Alice Munro

Recommended readings from last year’s list:

The Pleasure of my Company, by Steve Martin
The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory
Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich et al.
My Life, by Bill Clinton CD ONLY! Way too long to read and not worth the work, but a fine listen.
Lies and the Lying…, by Al Franken, CD format. It’s more fun to hear him read it.

And, finally, I loved this article for some reason. I think it has something to do with identity, who we are in time—a time without a name. I dunno. It’s still cookin’.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The Impetus

I didn’t so much know that I needed a blog until I started reading Vis Major’s and Fëanor/Poppy’s …then I realized that I really liked keeping up with them by checking out what they were thinking—kind of like peeking into their minds. Fun stuff. Then I saw the news today –mostly about the Southern Asian tsunamis but also the release of the names of over 200 soldiers that have died in Iraq and I thought that maybe I need to speak out, talk, write, do something other than plead for money from everyone I know, all of the time, for charity.

Since I mentioned it, you can donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund here. If you’re not a fan of the Red Cross, you can go the Unicef route instead.

So here I will write. Not always about disasters and politics. Sometimes I will write about Gouda or other family members. Maybe a bit about what I’ve been reading… The Time Traveler’s Wife is a fine read, as was Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper (thanks mom). And sometimes I will banter about television (I can’t help but love The Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives)…and then, yes, then, sometimes I will rant, but I’ll try to keep that to a minimum because in the long run, at the end of the day, I believe I live in a fine country, filled with good people in a world evolving morally, learning each day how to be better, learn more and grow proud of our shared humanity.