Friday, March 29, 2013

3 of 5

I finally got the committee together for a meeting.

I won't even detail the action at the meeting because I am trying to stay positive.

The result is 3 of 5 boxes checked off for ABD status.

Don't get excited, it just means I am getting closer to the second half of my graduate school career.

coursework - done
language requirement - passed
technical skill (don't ask) - done

Two pieces left - neither of which is easy pickings.

qualifying exams -- we call them specials, one might argue because we are special.
[a word on specials: 10 days, 3 questions, 15-20 pages each]
dissertation proposal defense -- we are no longer pretending it is just a presentation
[15 pages, all pertinent information included, short 15-20 minutes presentation, full faculty votes]

For now ... I am scheduled to sit for my qualifying exams in June and present my dissertation proposal in September.

It sounds so simple, right? I have a list of 60+ items each for three topics -- I don't have all of those things read -- yet.  I have a draft... it's still a draft.

But I am going to keep moving forward -- keep reading... and continue to work on the draft which I intend to turn into a kickass proposal by May 1st when I turn it in for funding.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Quote Thursday, perspective

Do remember to be really gentle
with yourself and to go only
as fast as the slowest part
of you feels safe to go.

R. Posin

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

180 days...

For the past two evenings, I have steeled myself and watched this documentary, tissues at hand.

Silly, ridiculous fool that I am, I cried and cried as I watched the families and the school prepare for the prom.  As I mentioned in the news round up, I didn't enjoy the prom ... almost didn't go. However, I recognize the importance of the ritual for parents and for the students.  It was heartbreaking [and heart warming] to watch the entire school staff from principal to the janitor create a prom for the students because there was no budget for it.  Those folks worked an 18 hour day in order to

I know this is a cryptic post ... it is just real, raw, the way it is.

Anyone who thinks that teachers and principals don't care about their students need to watch this documentary.  You think you know what it looks like in public schools because you watch the news or the superhero and/or anti-superhero documentaries.  You think you have seen it all, heard it all and don't want to hear it again?  Well, you still need to watch it...

You will see 180 days of principals and teachers and parents and college counselors and truant officers and janitors giving all they got to give.  And students, being teenagers, facing some of the harshest conditions, doing their best with the emotional, physical and academic resources they have.

As the principal said, "we are a walking testament to what happens when you underserve a population..." In the face of the craziest circumstances, as an alternative high school, with the students that many other schools had turned out, given up on, these folks were sending students to college.  They were offering students a college prep curriculum despite the fact that many of the students could not read or multiply.  Rather than give up or turn them out, the staff worked with students on all fronts to get them to the finish line.

You can't get blood from a stone.  And you certainly can't get it in 180 days.  One ought to appreciate the hard work these folks put out ... not cut their budget, downsize their teaching staff, and fire their principal.

Monday, March 25, 2013

NRU -- race edition

It seems like race has exploded in the news as a theme of late ... at least on one day in particular (March 17th -- go figure) there were an enormous amount of stories ... and then some others here and there ... what do you think?

I am ambivalent at best about this story ... the race card project -- awkward not very descriptive name ... what is it supposed to illuminate?

What does it mean when the students vote out the racist mascot and the tribe volunteers to underwrite the cost of changing the mascot?

Ok... March 17th ... let's start here where the question is about the status of Latinos.  Is it a race? An ethnicity?  I am interested in the historical reason the AP gives for why Latinos were not considered a race ...and I have also heard from some other sociologists (closer to home) that believe that changing Latino to race would be a bad idea... of course, from her perspective, as a Black Latina, she doesn't have to choose to identify with "white," as I might if I gave in to the notion that my race is defined by a census taker.

This is all background, of course, for the next story in the lineup:  the brown scare.  Sorry, I mean the story about the growing population of Latinos.  Though they find a way to tie in the scary part, in this case, they use the words "blur the racial line." For those old enough to remember, miscegenation laws were all about keeping racial lines clear.

The next piece I read seemed to be in only fuzzy communication with the first two because it once again brings race to the line between Black and white, as if in Brazil, of all places, there were only these two groups to consider.  Apparently those indigenous folks will have to leave, die out or choose a color.

Finally, I read the piece that starts: In colorblind France... yeah, just because a country refuses to count people by color doesn't mean that they aren't treating people by color ... or that they haven't been doing so for thousands of years.

Late entries:
It was only a matter of time until someone figured out that there might be some questions to ask about the "Latino" pope.  Here the AP takes a stab at popular definition mixed with some pseudo-historical references.  Bottom line, there were several unasked questions wrapped up in the humble, Latino pope story that no one got around to -- namely, is this guy was the runner up in the pope pageant last time, doesn't that make him a whole lot like Bennie?  And, should the follow up question to Francis' statement about ends of the earth -- to find a European hiding out in Latin America?  I am not trying to jump to conclusions about this poor man, I wouldn't want his job.  But, I am just saying that amid the confetti throwing there wasn't a lot of clear headed questioning, rather there was a lot of fawning in the guise of faux questioning.

This story is not really about race -- at least it is not the intention of the journalist.  However, it is... race, class, education, and money ... it's all here.  This school (or complex of schools) was supposed to be a charter school in an urban setting for Native American students ... the acronym for the name, AIM, belies the political nature of the original gesture, however much it *stands* for something other than the American Indian Movement.  As a site of foment during the movement, the Bay Area has inextricable links to the original AIM.  That this complex of schools spoke to Asian immigrant parents who are *stuck* in a district struggling in every way is just another wrinkle on the struggle for equity.  I will continue to follow what happens to this movement.

Friday, March 22, 2013

my love language

Here is my love language ... I forgot to write down the numbers.  Since they asked me for my email address, I thought it would come in an email. Alas... it did not.

The only one I remember for sure was the last.  I think the first was in the late teens, and the next one was 8 or 6 and then, who knows?

1. Quality time
2. Physical touch
3. Words of affirmation
4. Acts of service
5. Receiving gifts (1)

While we are on the subject of other people's (or test's) assessments of my personality, here is my Freewill Astrological Projection for the week (starting yesterday):
Aquarius (January 20-February 19)
In the 17th century, polite people referred to mountains as "warts" and "boils on the earth's complexion." So says Robert Macfarlane in his book Mountains of the Mind. Annie Dillard describes the peculiar behavior of educated European tourists in the 18th century. When they visited the Alps, she writes in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, "they deliberately blindfolded their eyes to shield themselves from the evidence of the earth’s horrid irregularity." Don't be anything like those dumb sophisticates, Aquarius. When you spy irregularities in the coming weeks, consider the possibility that they are natural and healthy. This will allow you to perceive their useful beauty.

All of creation loves you very much. Even now, people you know and people you don't know are collaborating to make sure you have all you need to make your next smart move. But are you willing to start loving life back with an equal intensity? The adoration it offers you has not exactly been unrequited, but there is room for you to be more demonstrative.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Poetry Thursday, Rumi returns...

And you?
When will you begin
that long journey
into yourself?

Like me, this busy bee is WORKING!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

NRU...mish mash with some silver linings

This is probably the most eclectic collection of news I have ever posted... but there are some true gems here, I hope you enjoy them.

I am trying to decide whether or not to pay $5 for the matinee or wait til redbox when it comes to the new OZ movie.  I enjoyed this piece, however, on the various theatrical versions of Baum's work.  When my first niece was a little, tiny one, we watched Biz of Boz (what she called it) incessantly.  Eventually she broke the tape and my brother came to the rescue with a fix of the video tape...

Google is clearly not for the people ... retiring the Reader because it isn't monetizing ... or better yet because they haven't figure out how to monetize it?  That's the world we live in ...

I have been meaning to try out this young man's restaurant ... just haven't made it over there, but I was happy to hear this conversation between his dad and him.

When you go mining for stories on NPR, sometimes you come up with gold ... and this is one.  It is so so many ways.  And a lovely remembrance of a neighbor.

Gloria Malone telling NY what they can do with their "educational" promotion about teen pregnancy.
I have been struggling with the LA Times lately ... as you might have noticed ... but then I got this gift, it reminds me why I love it and keep coming back ...the real stories of people in Los Angeles, I place I love as though it were my own.

It feels a little like we are tilting towards the resilience of people in this NRU, it is hard not to be moved by this story.  I hope and pray this man can hold on to the silver linings.

I read this piece with tears in my eyes... not only because this man is facing the last and most challenging battle, but because I wish I had had just one day with my brother to say goodbye.  Even just a moment...I was heartened to see the way in which he and his wife are finding ways to cherish this life and to say goodbye.  I wish him ease in these months of challenge and look forward to reading his book someday.

Having just passed the ten years since we invaded Iraq (unwarranted and after many millions protested around the world so that we would not), many reporters have been reviewing the war from many angles.  I hope that you have the time and the inclination to read about this man, Captain Pete Linnerooth.  I wish I could have spent some time with this man.  I would have loved to thank him for his service, including what he did after the war.  I would have also offered to hear and hold some of his grief and frustration.  I know it's a long story, but it is important not to look away however hard it is.  These soldiers have done all of this in our names whether we supported the war or not.

This is a lovely story about toll booth workers on the Golden Gate Bridge ... working their last hours and days before being replaced by machines.  I can only imagine all the things they've heard and seen throughout the years.  

Let me just say that if this is what young people think *dating* should be -- posing for pictures that will be posted for an anonymous critical horde -- then I am glad to be old.  I was already over internet dating, this one just pushed me further over the edge.

Finally, another look, from a different vantage point, on the issue of guns and the destruction they cause.  We cannot only care about cute blond six year olds that get mowed down with guns that should be in war theaters.  We have to care about all people whose lives are marred, taken and destroyed by gun violence.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

time... love ... language

Today, I ran around playing catch up and hand holding because of other people's poor planning.

My first thought was that I needed to figure out how to build some boundaries around my time.  Before the walls crashed in, I wrote a long, long to do list, attached times to when I would accomplish said tasks and hoped the motivation would hold. 

Needless to say, the barriers didn't go up quickly enough before the next time drain appeared.

I was thinking about how very annoying this was ... when I remembered that amid the super unhelpful people, there were two very helpful women who dropped everything to help me.  Perhaps it was the desperation in my voice; or, maybe, they always like to help.

I decided to be grateful for those ladies... to celebrate what went right instead of what went wrong.

And then I made myself some butternut squash cake!  It's super yummy. I found the recipe here and I only doctored it a little bit.  I only had one stick of butter left, so I used a super ripe banana for half of the fat in the batter.  It came out great.

I only wish I had some pecans because that would have made it even more delicious.

I am going to leave you with this little test -- your job, should you take it, is to answer the questions as quickly as you can, without thinking.  It will tell you what your love language is...

I will post my results another day so as not to cloud your minds, then you can compare.

Remember to give generously of yourself even when you need to build some boundaries; be grateful for the great things and try to forget the not so great.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Cave of One's Own...part 2

aka Blue Shirt Nightmare

[before I left for Chicago, I posted part 1]

So, I seethed for a week ... or two. I composed long, involved letters to the people at the library [in my head, not on paper], and in general ranted about the injustice.

It really did set me back in terms of preparing for my exams.

Then, again, so did not having my lists finalized.  And not being able to set a date with my committee for a meeting meant that I had no date set for my exam anyway. 

But, not having my books, not having a list of what was reshelved, and not having a place to put them should I have time to go get them all off the shelf again, did also set me back.

Yes, you read that right... not only did she reshelve my books, she also said I needed to "reapply" for the carrel.  I had already dutifully filled out the form and turned it in the same night of our "altercation." 

That might have been a mistake.

A full two weeks later, I still had not heard from them on my *new* carrel.  So, I went back in ... again I had to talk to blue shirt.  No, she wasn't still wearing it, but I am not going to learn her name - just like she isn't going to send me an email when she has an issue.

She said she hadn't gotten to the open carrel requests yet ... and that as I had just turned it in, she had put it at the end of the pile. I asked her if she had reassigned my carrel to someone else ... no, she answered... obviously not understanding that if she hadn't reassigned it, then she really didn't need to do more than just give me the carrel back.

But, no... she *might* get to it next week ... first she had to go through all the closed carrel applications.

I held my tongue and my fists.  After all, there was clearly nothing to be done.

As I entered the fifth week of the semester with no carrel in sight, no committee meeting in sight and no test date in sight ... I just tried yoga breathing.

I should have taken up kick boxing right about then ... at least I could have channeled the anger into something productive.

I remembered that someone had told me there were study carrels in the business school's library.  I decided to go in there and see what they might say.

I asked the young man at the counter.  They had study rooms, but not ones that you could use long term.

Let me ask the librarian he said, helpfully -- clearly he had missed the training session where library techs were taught to feel all powerful and corrupted by that power. 

I started to tell my story to the librarian, and as I got to the part about the worker reshelving my books, I could see the librarian's body contract in sympathetic pain.  It was like a dagger to her heart.

She told me that the woman who handles the study rooms would not be in until Sunday (this was Friday), but that I should send an email and talk to her.  I think we can do something for you, this lovely librarian said to me, hopefully.

I took the other librarian's card with me, and I intended to send her an email so she would have time to digest the problem before I arrived on Sunday.  But, then life intervened, and it was Sunday and I just decided to wing it.

Before she could get across the room from her desk, she said, I heard about the problem ... I think we can help you.  She hadn't had time to decide which room to give me. 

I told her I would come back on Monday... and when I did, she had a room, and a key and a form she had whipped up as if they had always given out a select number of study rooms.

I don't know if it is a good thing that I never got around to writing the horrible letter to the library or not. I still think that they need to seriously work on the training of the employees ... but I am heartily grateful for the lovely librarians in the other library.  It isn't open very late and not on Saturdays, but it will give me the space to read between classes and commitments that I need.

Would you believe that blue shirt finally got around to giving me back the same damn open carrel the following week? 

When I went back in to pick up the information, she made me wait just to tell me that it was the same damn carrel.  There was an unmistakable smirk on her face... I just shook my head. 

Enjoy the power, little lady.

I just hope that she never takes a class with me ... it will be hard to be open minded and sympathetic to her inevitable requests.

Karma ... it can be your friend, or not.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Quoting WW... who knew?

I am larger and better than I thought,
I did not think I held so much goodness.
-Walt Whitman 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

NRU ... education edition...


I can't help it ... when I read these articles, I feel they need commentary.

Who knew there were enough religion courses in public school to warrant not one but reports?! Not I, and somehow this is acceptable in TX but Chicano studies in AZ is not... hmmm... demonstrating once again the importance of school board elections?

I have said many times I love the LA Times.  I really do...except for their reporting on education. I wonder if other out there, in other industries, have my love/hate relationship with the reporting over there.  In any case, here is a piece on the school board election.  The interesting part is that here they are nominally following the money (as I admonished via email another *reporter* to do on a different story), yet they still fail to make some pretty basic connections between who is paying and what they are buying.  There should be 1 million + 22 comments on this article.

Oh... this unsigned editorial may explain why the *reporters* only chase education stories so far down the road.  There is so much problematic in this editorial, I hardly know where to start.  Let me just say this, if you are the LA Times and you published the "expose" on teacher effectiveness (with a flawed metric) because you believe there are *good* teachers and data will show it -- and then you say, and here is this thing we think they are doing it for the wrong reasons, but we can't prove it but we have this data that doesn't tell us anything, really, but we'll pretend it does... ugh.

Because we need some daylight amongst the dark clouds, here is a lovely StoryCorps piece ... for all those folks who continue to argue that Latino parents don't care about education, I'd like you to meet Linda Hernandez -- listen to her story.

My complaint about this story is that it reads like a (fundraising) commercial for the school ... and I mean that it gives a lot of laudatory information and plays up how hard it is to get into this school, but it never gives any real details.  What makes this school high performing beyond the few sentences citing an achievement index that wasn't even used to comply with NCLB?  What exactly does an 800 on API mean?  If you can't answer that question, you are not alone ... you just know that it is above the target.  One couldn't even know how far above the target or below the possible points available from the "facts" in this story.  So, just what is being reported here??  I am not saying that I am not happy that these students and their families feel like they are getting a deal, but I don't know what I was supposed to take away... do you?

I have held off from writing about this young man because I just don't know where to start with him... I hope that he is very successful in life, but I wish he would find another entreprenurial adventure.  When I heard him speaking in this interview, I just knew that I had to post it.  This child could use a little schooling -- something, anything that can get him to build a more cogent argument for his view.  I think a little structure and interaction with others in an academic setting might do wonders for his analytic skills.  There is a need for education ... not just because I am a teacher and (hopefully) soon to be university professor...

And almost on cue, I received a link to this piece in my email inbox.  Yes, I have been waiting for someone to figure out how to represent the fallacy of the student debt argument.  It is an easy to read, easy to understand, mostly visual piece ... print it out and/or send it to all the parents you know who are considering counseling their children to "hack their education" like the young man above.  If I had a million dollars to start a project, it would not be one in which I tried to get a bunch of teenagers to quit school. Just sayin'

If I had time ...

... this is what I would be blogging about

"I'm a full plater with books just like food..."

"99 bottles of beer on the wall ... book edition"


"Why is it that mini-vans' accelerators don't work until at least a mile after the light turns green?"

full speed and nap time ... two sides of the coin for me.

related: I need four more hours in the day ... just four, for sleeping. Oh, and for the little guy to stop reminding me that I need to be doing something, going somewhere, or that I am already late... little white rabbit got nothing on me.

But, I have stacks of books to read and documents to write and need sleep ... so, I will try to get to one *real* post this week ...

and you should check out this piece (which, yes, I found time to read)... I can process and read at the same time, but writing, processing and reading not really a possibility for me.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 11, 2013


Here are a few stories about trains ... one is about folks from my home county figuring out it is cheaper to take the train and more entertaining... and here is one about how to kill time on the nearly two day trip [it is a NYTimes mag story - so it's long!].  I love a train ride, but after my last overnight train, I am less keen on it without putting a lot more thought into the comfort quotient.  Not saying it won't happen again, just saying it might need a lot more preparation.

More commercial like "reporting" on a teen volunteer project ... but at least this is the kind of "story" that it suited to this kind of "reporting."  I mean, there isn't anything to uncover here other than to know that these students are doing the work ... I would have asked different questions of the teens and their supporters, but I am not a journalist.  I hope those jeans do help the homeless people...not sure we found out how that would work in this story...but I am for teens thinking through *leadership* and *service* and getting patted on their backs for seeing the needs of those other than themselves. Those are all good things, but what is happening with those jeans?!

Lovely story about a young man in Kenya who figured out how to keep the lions away from his cows using recycled parts and a solar panel... ingenuity times 1000.

Nice story about someone who loves the news and still delivers it at 93!

Move over Golden Gate, the Bay Bridge would like some attention. [It's a video] Here's a text piece - it has a video, too, if you are into that kind of thing.  I don't usually spend time on the videos, but this story makes good use of it.

Back at the beginning of February in a NRU, I tried to capture all of the gun death stories I found over a two or three day period ... there were plenty. It turns out I wasn't the only one who thought there might be some reason to try to catch all of the deaths on one or two days to show the range of those whose lives are touched by gun violence.  The AP, with its many reporting resources, took it on, and this is the result.   Heartbreaking stuff, but what we need to make this issue real.  Write your congresspeople and senators -- they need to know we care and are watching. 

While in Chicago, I had the lovely surprise that a good friend from college just happened to also be participating at the writing seminar I was attending.  He was on the other side the help rather than receiving it.  He was busy with his group and I with mine, but on the last day, we selfishly sat at the table in the back of the room next to each other to finally catch up (it's been at least five years since we've seen each other).  My time in graduate school, as his time in academia, has been fraught with the microaggressions and blatant racism that our undergraduate years were, so in time, our talk turned to this as well.  Upon my return, I stumbled on this op-ed written by a "guest" columnist at the NY Times.  You see, this does belong here in the NRU!  I thought I would share it ... it echoes many parts of that convo Mo and I had on that last day in Chicago ... and some of the musing I have been doing about my time back in the ivory tower.

Not really news so much as information. I generally don't repost blogs, sometimes I do... but not usually if it is "newsy."  However, I trust Shreve to have done her homework and not misrepresent facts.  If you are wondering about grass-fed beef, this will interest you.  If you want more animals that gives their lives for our sustenance to be treated humanely, this will interest you.  Enjoy...

Friday, March 08, 2013


This is what freewill astrology's Brezsny thinks of my week, March 6-12:

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Former football quarterback Joe Ayoob holds the world's record for throwing a paper airplane the longest distance. After it left his hand, the delicate craft traveled over 226 feet. I propose we make Ayoob your patron saint and role model for the coming week. From what I can tell, you will have a similar challenge, at least metaphorically: blending power and strength with precision, finesse and control. It's time to move a fragile thing or process as far as possible.

I am hoping he is right ... I am chugging along on my proposal, draft three (actually probably closer to draft 23) needs to be complete today!  With any luck, this puppy will be barking on its own before I leave Chicago.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Golden Oldie, Poetry Thursday

I love this one ... I mean, love...  I hope you enjoy it.

What I am trying to say is hard
to tell and hard to understand...
Unless, unless... you have been
yourself at the edge of the
Deep canyon and have come back
unharmed.  Maybe it all depends
on something within yourself --
Whether you are tyring to see the
Watersnake or the Sacred Cornflower,
whether you go out to meet
death or to seek life.

-Elder of the San Juan Pueblo

Not San Juan Pueblo, but New Mexico...

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Not on Vacation, but...

I am heading to Chicago to work on my dissertation proposal at a "writing retreat."

What does that mean?

I am not sure what I will be doing besides writing, revising, getting feedback, writing, revising...

But, I will definitely not be posting here ... all of the writing will be going to the proposal.

There may be some post stories about being in the Windy City in still winter... who knows!

I have too much reading to do and no time, really, to post... so, there will be quotes and poems, but not much more.

See you soon ... and wish me luck.

Monday, March 04, 2013

A Cave of One's Own...part 1

aka The Carrel
aka backstory ... from a while ago

Once upon a time, there was a grad student who wanted a place to keep some books (like 50).  She didn't want to carry them all home since every surface at home was already covered in books ... and these were more like "reference" books than anything else.

She had a list of 180 items to read ... or more, 180 is the bottom number.

So, she loaded up a ton of books into her "open carrel" and took two weeks off to get ready for the start of the new semester.

When she returned to her little carrel, number 331 - like a cell number, there were no books there.  There was a little piece of paper taped to the carrel with a hand written note.

It said something like, I have your books... you need to renew your carrel or they will be reshelved.

To me, it read like a ransom note, but not the kind that asks for something that you could actually give -- it is asking for your first born son, but you are no longer in child bearing years -- so, yup, you guessed it, I was not getting my books back.

Anyone in their right mind would have sent me an email -- or even snail mail -- before the would spend the time checking those books back in. 

Let's see, for her, it was really no big deal -- she would send someone else to collect them, she would give them to someone else to check them in and several someone elses would have to reshelf said books.

However, I am quite sure that in the time it took her to do all of the ordering around she did, not to mention to hand write the threatening note -- she could have written me an email. 

Just sayin'.

Imagine the horror I experienced when I saw that note... hopefully, I bounded down the three flights to the desk where the notewriter was supposed to be.

She was not there, no one there could help ... no one there had any idea what I should do, just that the person I needed to talk to wouldn't be there until Tuesday (it was the weekend and a long weekend to boot ...)

I don't go to campus on Tuesdays, so when I went in on Wednesday, I hoped to resolve it.

Nope, said person again not there and everyone else, clueless... no suggestion that I leave a note that I try to get in touch with someone ... just come back.  This time, though, they gave me the card of a person ... not the hand written note person ... her boss.

The next day, when I go back, I am a known quantity, crazy grad student who wants her books ... we know that we've reshelved them, but we don't want to tell her ...

The person I was supposed to ask for turns out was not the person who had sealed my fate.  I don't know her name, on the fated day she was wearing a blue shirt, and now that is what I call her, blue shirt.

May blue shirt never be in a class that I ga/teach/get near to because I will not be able to find it in my power to be fair, impartial, professional ... I will be just like her:  a ruthless, ridiculous, reshelving rube... 

Apparently she has no idea what an open carrel might be used for by a graduate student ... ugh.

Friday, March 01, 2013

NRU for the week... this is it, enjoy!

There were some stories from NPR that I wanted to post .. .actually, I wanted to hear them, but it appears that the guy/gal who is supposed to post them up to the web had a few drinks at lunch and couldn't get them straight.

Here's one that squeaked into the lineup correctly.  It is about 'secret menus' - I thought to myself that this is more about being a regular than a publicity stunt, but who knows. I told the guys at sb the other day that I wanted something not too caffeinated for my evening study session, but that I find the chai latte to be a bit sweet.  In the past, they have recommended "personalizing" the latte with more water, less pumps, a shot of espresso.  All of these work ... so I was happy to try one or more of those changes to the regular recipe.  But, this time, B. offered me a different option ... something not on the menu at all -- was it a secret menu or just the guys getting creative in the not so busy hours?

This is a compelling and poignant piece on hunger in America -- sounds like a film worth looking for -- opens today.  Jon Stewart interviewed the film makers on 2.26.13 [Here's the extended interview].  Looks like they are doing an all out publicity push on this issue and film.  It is encouraging to see folks so concerned about an issue we could really solve if we had the resolve.  While I agree that if charity could do something about this, we'd have solved it, I also think it is important that we all contribute what we can.  Here's what I do ... join in if you can.

A lovely friend shared this with me... it made it just under the wire. How truly lovely ... this story is not too unlike my brother and sister-in-law's story with no please.  I guess, when it is your time to be a family, it's your time.  Blessed be!   Share some love with this beautiful story of found family.  Some day, I am going to write a book about found families ... you can quote me about that.