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Random

February 1st, 2011 (06:20 pm)

1. Today I can't seem to stop watching what's going on in Cairo and Alexandria via Al Jazeera. Apparently, this revolution will be televised. I can't say I have any great understanding of the political situation in Egypt; here are the things that have interested me.

  • The Internet can be shut down, but with a press still able to give us reports through journalists in the field and broadcasters, the world gets news. And even without access to the Internet, Egyptians still manage to assemble to protest. They're driving between towns and using their phones to organize, and even when there are no clear leaders, they aren't turning into mobs.
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  • The cooperation between the military and the protesters has shifted the atmosphere from violence to orderly protest. I hope that continues.  Meanwhile, average citizens have stepped in where the police have failed to try to return normalcy and security to neighborhoods (there is looting of and damage to businesses).
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  • Regular citizens are linking arms to repel intruders who would loot and destroy cultural treasures inside museums. It's moving to see their determination to honor and protect their country's heritage.

2. It's 34 degrees here and I still won't get any sympathy because it's so much colder/icier/snowier everywhere else.

3. Does anyone else think Lauren Conrad and Kate Middleton look like each other?


Lauren Conrad, Reality Princess Past - Kate Middleton, Real Princess Future

4. The Google Art Project is great! Today I've taken virtual tours of the Tate and National Gallery in London.

Random

January 20th, 2011 (02:05 pm)

My love/hate relationship with Facebook continues.

It got really dark earlier--SUPER dark--and I thought a big storm was rolling in. We got drizzle. That's a lot of drama for not much payoff. Sort of like Facebook.

If I venture out to take care of some errands, the bad weather payoff may come. I will then bitch about that, too.

I've been on the phone almost since I woke up trying to take care of scheduling things and returning calls, and each of these calls has been an exercise in frustration. (In fact, I'm on hold right now.) If businesses want to deal with me on the phone, then why is the person I need to talk to always unavailable or "the system is down" or the person I get on the phone has no idea what I'm talking about? Trust me, none of these contacts is with some call center in India. People just don't have their shit together. Wait--is tonight the full moon? Or was it last night? Maybe I'm dealing with werewolves.

I swear a rat just fell past my window. Maybe it's like those birds in Arkansas. Rats falling from the sky, John McCain saying nice things about Barack Obama, and me getting nine uninterrupted hours of sleep last night. What is up with the universe?

A Compound bouquet for you, photographed on sunnier days:





Button Sunday

October 31st, 2010 (01:45 am)

Yay for a sense of humor

October 30th, 2010 (03:25 pm)

Jon Stewart, how I must love you. In spite of this headache and its gift of aura (a word that sounds better than the reality: flashing lights that impair vision and leave a person nauseated and disoriented), and even though my limited Internet time over the past few days has been devoted to watching The Office (and season five just ended on a high note, making me long to start season six!), I watched your "Rally to Restore Sanity" on a live feed.

Plenty of high points: witty/funny homemade signs and T-shirts in the crowd, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar--who, by the way, is also a chronic migraine sufferer--dwarfing everyone else on stage (literally a high point!), a guest appearance by R2-D2, good music, sartorial satirist Stephen Colbert, and the sane keynote address from Jon himself. Probably the sound bite most people will hear from his speech: When we amplify everything, we hear nothing.

Indeed.

Sort of related: To show that I also have a sense of humor about myself, and maybe to give Marika a chance to show that WE CAN ALL BE CIVIL NO MATTER WHAT*, I decided to post this autographed photo I stumbled across last night when I was looking for something else.


Signed by Rod Morgenstein, Reb Beach, and Kip Winger when I met them in 1993.


I wonder why Jon Stewart didn't get Winger to perform at "The Rally to Restore Sanity?"



*Nephews: This also applies to you if you see this on Facebook.

Button Sunday

October 24th, 2010 (02:17 am)



Today is United Nations Day. The UN focuses its global commitments on:
  • Achieving universal primary education.
  • Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.
  • Improving maternal health.
  • Ensuring environmental sustainability.
  • Promoting gender equality and empowering women.
  • Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases.
  • Reducing child mortality.
  • Creating development partnerships.

Still no title

September 24th, 2010 (03:11 pm)

It's a little sad when not being able to come up with a subject/title keeps me from posting, but indeed, I have been staring at my monitor for about five minutes with a vacant expression. Much the same way a lot of people watch television.

It's weird seeing people talk about Survivor online when I'm not watching it for the first time in six years. (I was late to the show. Got hooked during the first All Stars, saw available past seasons on DVD, and have watched it since.) Although I'm sure Mark Burnett doesn't miss me, Lynne's dogs might, as we're no longer having Survivor nights. Sorry, Dogs of Green Acres. I miss you, too.

While sewing or cooking or preparing dog veggie cubes or other domestic-type things, I've been checking out The Compound DVDs, watching movies I haven't seen in a while--or ever. Since I can't seem to figure out how to work our remotes to the TV/DVR/DVD player, the ease of watching on my computer is a real treat. I also re-watched all six seasons of Sex and the City. Because I only saw it once before, it was most enjoyable.


One of my favorite characters on SATC is Harry Goldenblatt, played by Evan Handler. He's probably the only character other than Steve who I never wanted to shake at some point. Wait--there's also Smith. But I digress.

I didn't realize that in addition to being an actor, Handler is a writer, a journalist, and a cancer survivor. And today he wrote an article that I really enjoyed on the Huffington Post site about how we need to grow up politically.

Now I like Harry and the person who played him.

In other entertainment news, RIP to Eddie Fisher. I think the Debbie Reynolds/Eddie Fisher/Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton drama might have been the beginning of the public's obsession and construction of celebrity culture as we know it today.

Bonus Button Sunday

August 8th, 2010 (11:18 am)

In honor of this date's historical significance, I found a batch of buttons online. It was August 8, 1974, when Nixon told the country he was resigning the office of the presidency. He left the White House the following day and Gerald Ford was sworn in as the thirty-eighth president of the United States.

30 Days of Creativity: Day 26

June 26th, 2010 (09:40 pm)
optimistic

current mood: optimistic

Happy Pride from Houston! Unfortunately, because I'm sick, I'm unable to walk to Westheimer tonight and watch the parade in the sweltering heat. Rumor has it that this year's parade will draw one of the largest crowds ever, and people were already settling along the parade route before noon today (the parade wasn't scheduled to start until after 8 PM).

We opted to order pizza, bake cookies, and host a second craft night at The Compound. In honor of Pride 2010, I made this bracelet:



and gave it to Kathy S:



Happy Pride to all my GLBT friends from one of your most committed allies and advocates. Thank you for being who you are, and may Pride festivities one day include celebrating your full equal rights and treatment under the law.

For 30 Days of Creativity.

On birthdays and other things

May 4th, 2010 (09:31 pm)
contemplative

current mood: contemplative


I always make Rhonda feel REALLY great when I tell her that her birthday--May 4--is the day Jeff died in 1995. Because that's the kind of friend I am! In actuality, though that time was a dark one, only two years afterward, I met Rhonda online, and here we are thirteen years later, "in real life" friends, as they say, and part of a group of people who enjoy and cherish one another, most of whom I didn't know existed in 1995. Celebrating Rhonda's birthday while remembering Jeff reminds me what brilliant experiences and people may await me after bad times. No matter what happens, there's always hope that eventually, someone could make a Pixie Bear on craft night.





I'm assuming--and I hope I'm right, because I have no cake baked!--that Rhonda will be blowing out candles at The Compound while the Canadians are here. And that's SO SOON. I hope the jasmine is still blooming for y'all, because I was outside earlier inhaling the aroma. Awesome.


To show that hope really does spring eternal, I also planted some seeds in little pots and in one of the flower beds this morning. If something I planted from a seed actually grows, it'll be a miracle. Tim has much better luck at that than I ever have--his morning glories I thought were gone forever because of our freezes have come back to stick out their purple tongues at me.

One of the daisies Tim got for The Compound looked especially lovely today. I'm presenting it here as a gift to 'Nathan, because it's orange and for another reason I think he'll understand.



Today is also Star Wars day, which I only discovered last year, I think: May the fourth be with you. Once again, in regard to balance, this reminds me to laugh in spite of the other event that this date signifies: the Kent State shootings in 1970. In February of this year, the site where four students died and nine were wounded was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Usually this doesn't happen for more than fifty years after an event, but the application offered a compelling case for registering the site. One of the applicants, Kent State Professor Emeritus Jerry Lewis, was acting as a faculty marshall on that spring day in 1970. Today, Amanda provided a link to a radio interview with Dr. Lewis that was really good. Thank you for that, Amanda.

Among the things Dr. Lewis shared was an excerpt from an article written this year by Elaine Holstein. You probably don't recognize her name, but if you've ever read an article about Kent State, you've seen her son Jeff Miller in the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo taken of him that day; at age twenty, he lay dead on the ground with an anguished fourteen-year-old girl kneeling next to him, her arms outstretched.

I'd like to repeat the quote from Mrs. Holstein that Dr. Lewis shared:

...once in a while, I wonder about my son Jeff's future that had so needlessly been cut short.

What would he have been like now, at age 60? What sort of career would he have had? Would he have married? And what about those other grandchildren that my husband and I might have enjoyed?

Now, as I watch the news on TV each night, I deplore the increasing ugliness of politics, and I'm afraid. I know too well what can happen when hatred takes over.

Please, let us lower the volume and be civil toward one another.

For Jeff's sake. And for all of ours.


Every life has its celebrations and losses, its joys and heartbreaks. I believe each time we're willing to see that truth in the lives of others, even those from whom we feel different, we make civility more possible--and we nourish our own souls.

Rhonda, your date is a profound one--and this crazy world is better because you're in it. Happy birthday.

Day of Silence

April 16th, 2010 (02:02 am)
Tags:




Since LJ, FB, and Twitter are significant means by which I communicate with friends, family, and readers, I'm letting you know that there'll be nothing from me online for the rest of April 16 in recognition of Day of Silence and support of NOH8.

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