Friday, February 23, 2007

What War Has Wrought

It doesn't really matter whether or not you supported the war when it was proposed. It doesn't really matter if you realized it was a poor choice when we learned the truth about the wmd. It doesn't really matter if you can come up with a million reasons to justify unprovoked aggression you call pre-emptive strikes or war in general.

There isn't any way that war cannot adversely affect you.

If killing were a natural state of affairs, we would still be living as animals.

Beings who think and feel will necessarily be changed by killing, provoked, unprovoked, justified or not.

How many more lives will have to be ruined before we stop our involvement in this war?
It's too late to stop the war. The civil war we caused will wage on perhaps for many, many years. We, however, do not need to continue to expose our children, our future, to this reckless disregard for human life.

Where are the pro-lifers now? When will their righteous indignation join in the demand for the return of our troops so that we may begin to heal their tortured souls?

I suggest this book for those who disbelieve: Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko. This look at the emotional ravages of war is perhaps so compelling because it is not about a "contested" war.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tea Bag Wisdom

My ideal job would be picking the quotes to put on the tea bag tabs. If little tabs are not available, I could choose the quotes for the wrapper or the box, though that would be limiting as it would n0t be cost effective to choose different quotes for the same box.

As I wander through this process called job hunting, I keep returning to one of my childhood dreams, to be a stuffed animal namer. I wanted to name each one individually before it was sent out into the world... way before beaning babies cashed in on my idea and added birthdays, brilliant idea, really!

I am not sure if the desire to name is telling in any way of what path I should follow now, but it does keep coming up in different ways.

Friday, February 16, 2007

back posting

I have ideas for blog posts every day but I don't always have time...

just saying

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Just Right

I am catching up on my DailyOM. I am not always in the perfect frame of mind to receive these little gems when they arrive, so I save them for when I have unhurried moments to savor. This usually works out best as some are more shiny than others, and this way, I can keep reading til I hit just the right one.

It turns out, for my birthday, they posted just what I needed:

February 2, 2007

Like No One Is Watching
Shake Your Tail Feathers

Most of us express our distinctiveness in many ways throughout our lives. Although, as we proudly share our offbeat traits and preferences with the world, we take great pains to downplay those eccentricities we ourselves deem odd. Instead of living lives colored by these quirky impulses, we seek out socially acceptable outlets for our peculiarities. We may not realize that we are editing ourselves in this way because our individual societal awareness is unintentionally attuned to the attitudes of the people we encounter each day. Over time, we have learned to suppress some of the most fun aspects of individuality. To rediscover and embrace these buried traits, we need only ask ourselves what we would do if we knew for certain that no one would judge our choices.

Visualizing this day without judgment can help you better understand the idiosyncrasies that are an important part of who you are but seldom manifest themselves in your existence. Perhaps you secretly dream of replacing grown-up, conservative clothing in favor of a changing array of costumes. You may envision yourself painting your car electric-green, hugging the trees in a crowded local park, singing joyous songs as you skip through your community, or taking up an exciting hobby like fire spinning. Try not to be surprised, however, if your imagination takes you in unexpectedly simple directions. In your musings, you may see yourself doing things such as breaking out in dance or dying your hair a fun color. Regardless of the nature of your suppressed peculiarities, ask yourself what is really stopping you from making them a part of your life, and then resolve to incorporate at least one into your everyday existence.

Life as we know it is so short. Making the most of years we are granted is a matter of being ourselves even though we know that we will inevitably encounter people who disapprove of our choices. When you shake your tail feathers like no one is watching, you will discover that there are many others who appreciate you because you are willing to let go of any inhibition. By doing this you help others know it is okay. No one else in the world is precisely like you and, each time you revel in this simple fact, you rededicate yourself to the celebration of individuality.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Lest you think that my hardened heart only believes in un-love, rest assured that I am more than moved by expression of enduring love.

The story of Jo Ann and Bob Chew is just one of what I am convinced are many relationships built on the kind of love that lives in our imaginations as TRUE love.

Listen to it with a hankee handy.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Un-love stories

Valentine's Day brings out the best and the worst in people when it comes to love, or un-love, as the case may be.

Watching the tragedy of the astronaut and the "tawdry love triangle" (yet to be proved) unfold in front of the world reminds me of one too many missteps in the name of love, but thankful that my pseudo-stalking has never landed me in jail.

heart-with-dagger-big[Check out the meaning of this tattoo.]

It's a long and tangled story and not worth re-telling, but it's my blog and you don't have to read it if it bothers you.


February is a magical time in the long story of our un-love. My birthday, his birthday and Valentine's Day are, of course, all in the first fourteen days of February. Many of the past fifteen years, we have a long history, I have spent the last fourteen (or fifteen) days recovering from the first two weeks.


From the beginning there were always more than two in our relationship, sometimes it got as high as four or five, he was a busy guy. In the early years, I managed to be away for my own birthday, so there was no pressure for him to celebrate it. He was always curiously away for his birthday and Valentine's Day. Somewhere I have the first Valentine's and birthday cards he gave me, they were hand made. Sweet? I would love to say that it was sweet ingenuity that led him to make the cards, but probably it was just that he was broke. Starving college students and all that. Though, now, I do wonder if the others got Hallmark while I got handmade, and if it matters at all.


When we took up again, a full ten or eleven years later, the cards were no longer hand made but carefully un-romantic. We might be spending time together and, later, even sleeping together, but I wasn't to get the wrong idea. He cared for me, but love, like being in love, was reserved for his wife, or the other other-woman. I can't tell for sure how many of us there were at that time; I will probably never know. I can only say for sure that I knew my place: at the back of the line.


Every year, February would burst on the scene with a flurry of calls and meetings except for on my birthday. By the time Valentine's Day rolled around, well, I might have seen him for his birthday, and he might have wished me a belated birthday, but it was clear that there were no obligations.


Monday, February 12, 2007


I prefer the blog as it is fairly unobtrusive.

You can read it or not read it at your whim.

This guy's approach is far more in your face and less apologetic.

But to each his own, no?

Thursday, February 08, 2007


A friend of mine says malenting whenever she means lamenting.

She had probably said it a dozen times and I hadn't noticed until one day she mentioned it.

I can't imagine thinking anything of it if I had heard it because in my crazy mind words, numbers, entire thoughts get jumbled, particularly at the end of a long or emotionally taxing day.

In fact, I am known to get whole parts of sentences reversed.

Ever since she told me, though, I think my ear has been pricked to try to catch it live.

The other night we went to the movies and had to wait in line to enter the theater.

There were several patrons for whom the concept of waiting was an unexpected and not happy surprise.

One woman paced in front trying to coax her mate into not joining in the line. She seemed to think they could charge the box office and the ticket taker would realize his folly and invite them in.

After quizzing those of us actually standing in line obediently and then forcing her mate ot ask someone who really mattered, like the ticket taker or the ticket seller, she came back to the line not really resigned to actually having to join in at the end.

My friend looked at me and she said about the woman: "She's malenting having to stand in line."


I played the sentence in my mind over a few times. There was something so perfect about that statement.

Several days later, I find myself noticing the people malenting.

It's not that my friend meant anything other than lamenting -- except in this case it did have a sarcastic overtone.

In my mind, though, malenting has taken on a shade of meaning: it is reserved for those lamenting something that requires no such dramatic emotion.

You know like someone malenting not having won three million dollars instead of two million dollars.

Or someone malenting having burned his finger after sticking it into fire.

I like words and I know they are supposed to have fixed, precise meanings, but I often see them in grayscale.

Malenting comes across to me as a kin to malevolent or malingering while retaining much of its original meaning.

Perhaps that's why I love BALDERDASH and why I can't focus real words on BOGGLE!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I want this job

and a gym membership.

I haven't heard of most of these chocolates...but I would gladly try them; if they were free, you wouldn't even have to pay me.

But, I am serious about the gym membership.

Here is the chocolate that most intrigued me:

For Heating Up the Love Life: Milk chocolate is mellow. Dark chocolate is bitter. And dark chocolate with bits of chili and cherries is bitter still — but with a zesty kick. (And a love poem on the wrapper.) If your love likes things hot and spicy, try Chocolove's Chili's and Cherries in Dark Chocolate bar, which one taster describes as "the perfect chocolate, until the burning sensation hit the back of my throat." Another called the sensation "like an illicit kiss." The bars are hot, but perfect, we discovered, when broken up and sprinkled in cups of hot chocolate — adding even more heat to a decidedly delicious treat. (bar, $2.95, Chocolove)

I have to admit that I am a sucker for secret notes. I tried a no flour chocolate cake that had some kind of chile in it, and it was awesome. So, I am sold on the idea of spice. Even if it didn't spice up my love life, I would be thrilled with the taste. Not that I would seriously turn down any of these chocolates.

What's yours??


I have been hording drafts.

It was not intentional, this time.

I just haven't had time to get a full night's sleep let alone finish a thought for the blog.

Not sure if there are any loyal readers left, but, you have been duly warned to dig for buried treasure, today and in the coming days.

Most of the back-logged posts will be for January and February (yikes, it's only the 6th and there are already drafts languishing in the depths).

Read, comment, enjoy, or take a nap.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mutual Self Interest

Read this article. Long, but well worth the read.

I am not saying it will change your life, but it might inform it; just a little bit.
Here's something to convince you:
Back then, his goal was not to be a high-minded social entrepreneur or even an old-fashioned do-gooder. He just wanted to reduce employee turnover — the rates could hit 300 percent a year — by easing some of the problems that led so many of his workers to miss shifts or to quit.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Harnessing Grief


[The air moves swiftly through and then out of my puckered lips.]

Sometimes the thoughts cascading through my head are so overwhelming I need to let off steam, so I blow.

This is how I felt as I reached the end of this article.

Mr. Williams captures the intensity of the grief and compassion of these women so clearly.
"Their group, formed in 2005, is ... working to eliminate the source of their sadness, starting with getting illegal guns off Harlem streets. ... The mothers are also trying to organize a series of forums at schools and community centers to try to convince children that shooting someone does not make a boy a man."
He doesn't hold back any of the emotions, but he doesn't prey on their vulnerability in a voyeuristic way. This is how it is and this is what it feels like.
"What the mothers tend to have in come are afflictions that include episodes of anxiety so intense that their bodies stiffen as tight as a shell, while inside, their hearts pound so fast they fear they are having a heart attack; anger so raw that they conjure up detailed revenge fantasies in which they, or intermediaries, kill those who took their children away; and sadness so complete they isolate themselves and are unable to smile for months at a time."
It's powerful enough.
"After her son's death, Ms. Royster-Hills said, people unfairly questioned the way she had raised him. Tears covered her face; she paused as she was handed a tissue. 'The worst mother in the world should not have to go to the morgue and identify her child with a bullet in his head,' she said softly."
It doesn't need any sugar coating to make it more palatable.
"Either I was going to hate teenagers, or I was going to do something," she said.

Read the article. It will be time well spent.

Addendum: SF Gate is chronicling the loss of life in Oakland. It is a much less satisfying way to honor the lives and hope lost with those lives, but it's something, I guess.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Is this really the way to get more cops on the streets?

I was drawn to this article because I had an intense conversation about how to improve the quality of life in Oakland with a couple of friends for whom I have the utmost respect.

I understand, to a point, the desire to have more cops on the street. Especially if there is a special program designed to get more beat cops in the neighborhood. But the sad fact is that when most police departments ask for more dollars for cops, it rarely gets spent on getting police officers on the street with the common folk.

Imagine my dismay at reading that just finding qualified police is difficult, not even factoring into it QUALITY police officers. In Oakland, it's important to put it all in perspective, afterall two or is it three trials later, we still haven't sorted out the fiasco of the rough riders. In cities where crime is either more visible or just more prominently displayed, in truly urban settings, you know the kind, where white folks have moved away yet are still holding positions of power, like police and fire chief. Quantity and quality sometimes get confused.

I wonder if the police chief who hired this loser would have hired him to patrol the his own city.

SF Gate is chronicling the loss of life in Oakland.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Bush Country?

Who would have thought that the first state to require the hpv vaccination in girls ages 11 and 12 would be Texas?

I certainly would not!

I don't really care if Governor Perry is helping out a friend from Merck or if he thinks he will save $$ not treating cervical
cancer. Insurance companies should cover the cost for most girls and the state of TX and the federal government will cover the cost for uninsured girls. If Governor Perry has to justify saving the lives and/or reproductive lives of women in his state by touting
"the potential to significantly reduce cases of cervical cancer and mitigate future medical costs" in order to make the order more palatable, that's just fine with me.

I am not worried that Republicans were able to save face because the executive order meant no one had to vote against a bill that was, in fact, in the best interest of the children.

And for all those parents who are afraid that getting a vaccine will make their daughters promiscuous, well, you can rest assured because you have the opt out clause. When your daughters get cervical cancer or genital warts, you can explain to them your holier than thou beliefs, but at least the rest of the girls will be safe.

Even the NY Times editorial board congratulates Texas on taking this necessary step forward in the name of health in the face of the moral majority.

I never thought I would say it, but I wish we had a Republican governor like that in California.