Thursday, September 29, 2016

Poetry Thursday, Rumi ... again

The garden 
of love 
is green 
limit and 
other than sorrow 

Love is 
beyond either condition: 
it is always 
 ~ Rumi

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Poetry Thursday, holding grief

Feeling pretty overwhelmed with grief right about now, so trying to motivate ...these shots from the plane mirror my feeling of the enormity ... and my desire to gain some perspective.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

NRU Education Ed

It's been a while... I have been reading articles, but not as assiduously.

I looked up the other day and noted that there were no less than ten education articles open in my browser.  Only one was already read, and several did not make the cut.

Here are the ones I decided to share for no particular reason other than I didn't HATE these articles.

I guess I am still not ready to write editorially about the articles.

Do you have any comments on any of these?

New all girl schools in LA (middle schools)

UC touting its diversity starting the school year (meh)

Black-focused housing on Cal State campuses... this particular article touted by other readers to be most balanced, not even sure what that means, just passing it along.

**my favorite: a teacher getting help for her students on dealing with trauma...

The Feds on bilingual ed [or ELLs need more help]... something on closing the achievement gap?

From the Op-Ed section:
NYTimes asks "Is School Reform Hopeless?" [it is a whole set of articles, so get your coffee ready]
LA Times gives someone the chance to say why teachers are not the problem (Vergara redux)

Monday, September 19, 2016

four years, rambling

When my brother died, a hole opened in the world that I could not fill.  I thought, this is hell.

Boy was I wrong.

I clawed my way to the top of that grief only to be plunged deeper still.

When my sister died, I started to understand just how much more hell there was left to be experienced.

I wish I could say there is something wonderful that has come of so much loss -- anything really.

I have worked as hard as I can to help everyone else through the grief and its aftermath.

But, nothing really works.

I have a few "accomplishments" that I can claim... but none of them actually make it feel better ... or less like hell.

I feel like I am always just treading water, waiting for the next crisis or test.

Someone said to me, it's PTSD, textbook.

I knew that already, of course.

But, when I say it, or even think of it, I am too ashamed to believe it.

Hadn't I always been able to handle loss, disappointment, life? How did I lose my ability to cope?

Oh, yeah, I am coping ... getting out of bed every day, breathing in and out, handling every bit of crisis...

Why does it still feel like hell?  Why does being the one who is still alive feel like hell?

I am not desperately sad anymore, usually.  I mean, I still have bad days. No denying that.

Mostly it is the waiting for the next shoe to drop.  Drop they will ... my days of loss are not going away.  Horrible things keep happening, not just to me, but to everyone.

I am struggling, still.  I want the bad days to be less bad.  I want the good days to be better, less far and few between.

Worst of all, I feel like there should be something that I can do to make it better.

I am sure there is something...

Or that whatever I am doing is just wrong...

Tomorrow is another day.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Last travel day (MARATHON)

It started out peaceful and easy -- sleep in, go to breakfast and take a little walk near the site of the World's Fair and the lake:

The flight was a little bumpy, and the two teenagers next to me (siblings) frequently bashed into me as they play fought with each other.
 I wish I knew what this was...

apparently pretty clouds make for a bumpy ride sometimes...

 See that landscape? Getting closer...
 Oops... I forgot on the way to the airport, we waved to Barry's house's security detail.  Behind those bushes is the President's house before he moved to DC.
 Welcome to LA ... this was when I realized I wasn't going to make that 5pm train back to Oxnard...
 That's ok ... I had a lovely dinner and drink at Traxx (BAR) in the train station and went out to wait for the train.

And we weren't on the train for ten minutes before the conductor let us know that it was going to be a while before we got to our final destination.

 Apparently there was an "incident" on the tracks a few stations in ... read: someone jumped in front of that train I missed at 5pm...

 I thought I was straight because I had bought myself a little present at the airport.
 But the bus that was supposed to be coming to get us from the train did not take one hour, it took two hours... and then that bus driver got lost trying to go from one train station to the next...
 Many, many hours later, this little face was waiting for me ... pissed that she had to wait up. 
But I got home safely ... all told, left the house at 9a (Central) and arrived home at 11:30p (Pacific). I will leave you to do the math, but it was definitely a marathon travel day.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Poetry Thursday ... what the world needs now...

Somewhere somebody 
must have some sense. 
Men must see that 
force begets force, 
hate begets hate, 
toughness begets toughness. 
And it is all 
a descending spiral, 
ultimately ending 
in destruction 
for all and everybody. 
Somebody must have 
sense enough and 
morality enough 
to cut off 
the chain of hate and 
the chain of evil 
in the universe. 
And you do that by love.
 ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr 
– “Loving Your Enemies Speech”
 Nov. 7, 1957
[emphasis added]

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

movie reviews [dvr/streaming not in the theater]

I have been catching up on movies I had on the DVR...

These are my thoughts, briefly as I am supposed to be packing.

1) A Separation -- A-
Even though I had to read subtitles so couldn't multitask, this was a great movie. I see why it was an Oscar winner.  I wish I knew more about the class system in Iran because I think it would have been even more meaningful.  The acting was so natural, and the writing so complex that I felt more like a fly on the walls of these families rather than a movie watcher.  It gets a minus only because it is hard watching ... the layers of consequences and the family drama hit me hard.  So well done, though, that I made it through the hard parts without wanting to turn it off.

2) Wish I Was Here - A
I really loved this movie, I did not expect to at all.  The acting was awesome, especially from the children.  The story was not trite.  Rather the twists and turns were not predictable and frequently funny.

3) The Intern - C
Why? Just why? There was really nothing interesting about this movie.  It is not just that I don't care for the main actress.  The predictability was tedious. 

4) Brooklyn - C-
I cannot believe that this was such a popular movie or so well received by the Oscar people  Seriously, were they all high when they decided to nominate it?  Wow, you would think there weren't any other movies made this year.  Predictable doesn't even begin to cover what was wrong with this movie -- if it had not been hyped quite so much, perhaps I could forgive it for feeling like a made for TV mini series.  I hope the book was MUCH better to have attracted so much attention.  And the young actress in the lead is fine but no match for the likes of Brie Larson in Room ... come on.

5) The Danish Girl   - A
There wasn't anything not beautiful about this movie ... the sets, the acting, the story, the lack of predictability (yes, there is a theme going here).  Wonderful movie, everyone should see it.  Eddie Redmayne really can inhabit any character.  WOW.

6) Every Secret Thing - B+
I wasn't sure what to expect from this movie, so perhaps it wasn't as good as I thought -- but I enjoyed the mystery and the twists and turns.  The young actresses in the lead roles were super believable.  The film had the quality of a docudrama but not in a bad way.

7) Our Brand Is Crisis - B+
I love Sandra Bullock but hadn't even heard of this film.  It was an interesting and entertaining story with some twists that I hadn't expected.  Some of the character plot lines seemed thin or like they were just dropped. I wondered if there wasn't a book out there with more fleshed out storylines that filled in the blanks I noted here.  But the acting was great, and that made up for some of the other issues. [apparently based on a documentary of the same name]

Here are some of the movies I didn't get past 15 minutes:

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Chicago - arrival day

 First glimpses of Chicago from the train ...
 curious part, you go quite a ways into Chicago, and then you back into the station ...
 First thing I snapped a photo of at Union Station, Chicago:
 I found it to hard to resist.
 Not a lot of time to snap photos in the train station, but this is from the Grand Hall as I made my way to the street and my ride...
 I did only a tiny bit of sightseeing in downtown Chicago at the urging of my new friend.  I mostly spent time in the Art Institute's gift shop ... AMAZING things in there.

 I walked around Millennium Park and got some cool shots of the really odd structures and public art.

And of course, I had a ton of fun taking photos of the bean.  And I found out that its name is not The Bean but something about a cloud?

The park and the view from the park was pretty spectacular as well.

 I didn't want to intrude, so I waited til they finished but I enjoyed watching this woman pose for her husband in front of the fountain.

I am always so happy to see such a large space left "open" or relatively "open" for the use of the people. 
 I stood in this spot and watched a train go through and realized I should have taken a photo, so I waited for the next one to come through

 Finally, before I set off in search of a place to rest and COLOR, I took some pictures of the library, again right across from the park.  And some other really gorgeous buildings with beautiful texture and details: