Monday, February 28, 2005

Illustration Friday: Jazz

My first Illustration Friday picture! Click on the pic to see it in it's original size.

[Update: Check out my Jazz at night girl, too. Same basic picture, with some playing around.]

Sunday, February 27, 2005

UU and atheism

We had a guest minister whose sermon annoyed me so much that I walked out. He said that we need to have a common theological basis for our opinions! It was interesting to talk about it with other people. One person said that we can have a language of spirituality in our church. But allowing a language of spirituality is very different than prescribing what people can base their ideas on.

I found the sermon frightening in it's uninclusiveness. Luckily our usual minister, who is a theist of some kind or another, includes the atheists and agnostics. In that same conversation my friend, who I love anyway, said that she wishes that people would walk far enough along a spiritual path so they would not have a knee jerk reaction to hearing the word "God." I think she was implying that I was having a knee jerk reaction to God and thus am not as spiritually mature as she is. But, I wasn't talking about my own spirituality when I spoke about not liking the sermon. I was talking about not liking the sermon because it was narrowly prescribing what UUs can think. I would not have liked it any better if he had described my exact beliefs, and sources for those beliefs, as uniqely legitimate.

I like the variety and inclusiveness of the UU community. It is radical to have a strong community and allow freedom of thought and belief and expression in it. It's actually quite amazing and rare. It would be a shame for our UU community to throw that out for any set theology or creed no matter how perfect or wonderful it might be.

Friday, February 25, 2005

WARNING! Watch out for the warning ahead.

You know those warning emails that you get from well meaning friends and family? I just got one today that was cut off. The first lesson was that to protect yourself from rape you shouldn't wear a ponytail. Grrr.... Here was my reply:
Hi ____,

I couldn’t read this whole thing and please don’t forward the rest of it to me. Just like any other form of terrorism, the result of rape is that people in the group who are terrorized start to restrict their movements and their lifestyles. Don’t give in to the terrorists by bending to their will and making your world smaller and smaller. The truth is that rape is a men’s issue. No matter what lengths women go to, rape will only stop when men stop raping. Let go of fear and live your life and wear your ponytail. Damn the torpedoes. Paradoxically, when you live with confidence, you are safer.

Here was the senders reply, (ok, it was my mom.")
Hi [Braidwood],

Thank you for your perspective! - Often unique. Maybe I should send your note back to where I got it from? Love you, _______

Blog Cuts, a new feature

Now introducing... BLOG CUTS! Blog Cuts will feature old web log entries I typed but never posted, or cuts from other entries. In other words, stuff that, the first time around, I decided not to post.
The fervor I feel for blogging this week is only exceeded by the excitement about the election I am experiencing! So, I was excited to find another Kerry for president link. This one is: People related to Bush who are voting for Kerry. Go Kerry!!

I like Kerry! And he is going to win! I know it. [italics, bold, and coloring added by Now-Me.] If they announce that George Bush won I will riot (peacefully;) in the street. Most people who voted for Gore in the last election aren’t going to switch their vote

Rolling Stone interview with Kerry
Librarians against Bush

Wow... well you know what they say about a prophet in her own land.... she's just totally off.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

My Dream

This one's for you, Red

The Tyranny of email
First, never, ever, criticize someone in email. For reasons that I have never fully grasped, any negative emotion is always amplified by communication through email. Sometimes you intend to be critical — someone has done something dumb, or said something silly, or emailed something ridiculous. Resist the urge to reply. Sometimes you don't mean to be critical, you're just making an observation, or engaging in technical debate, or adding facts to a discussion. But as soon as you sense that the recipient has taken your email as criticism, you must immediately switch media. A face-to-face meeting is best, but a phone call is also okay.

Second, don't get into prolonged technical debates in email. I've seen threads lasting weeks with a whole series of kibitzers, with everyone restating their points of view and nothing getting settled. Often email has the effect of polarizing the debate, and the combatants end up further apart in their views than when the debate began. As soon as you sense this happening, you must immediately switch media. A meeting with the core people involved is best, but a conference call is also okay.
You can download the whole manifesto in PDF form and other manifestos at Change This.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Old Shtuff

I have all these old links I'm cleaning up. Some of them are things I thought it would be cool for ya'll to see, but was too busy to post last semester. Here is a moving clip of a man who was free to vote for the first time last November, after being freed from an unjust prison sentence. I know, I know, it's a voting story- old news. But it's heart-warming and movign. Check it ya'll.


Do it now dot com

WOW. Steve Pavlina graduated from college in three semesters. Talk about time management. This guy is intense. We are probably almost polar opposites. I consciously took three years to get through two years of school so I could have plenty of extra time. Check out Steve Pavlina's tips in this strong, energizing article. What do you think? I don’t like the part about cramming my time full, but there are some useful ideas in there:
When you work for yourself, it's easy to spend a whole day at your desk and accomplish nothing of value. This almost always happens when you aren't really clear about what it is you're trying to do. In the moments when you regain your awareness, ask yourself, "What exactly is it that I'm trying to accomplish here?" You must know your destination with as much clarity as possible. This is one reason that all your goals must be specific, and they must be in writing. Your goals must be so clear that it would be possible for a stranger to look at your situation objectively and give you an absolute "yes" or "no" response as to whether you've accomplished each goal or not. If you cannot define your destination precisely, how will you know when you've arrived?

Unless you are a naturally hyper person, your enthusiasm is going to need daily reinforcement. I recommend either listening to motivational tapes or reading inspiring books or articles for at least fifteen minutes every day. Whenever I've stopped doing this, I've found that self-doubt always returns, and my productivity drops off. It's truly amazing how constantly feeding your mind with positive material can maintain your enthusiasm indefinitely. And if you multitask, you can get this benefit without investing any extra time into it.

Monday, February 21, 2005


My aunt is so funny. Like some other interesting, funny people in my life, I want her to get a blog. I promise her fame and fortune, and masses of readers that will lead to a book deal or at least some profit making google ads. All this even though, as far as I know, I still have around 9 readers a day. (My web counter is out.)

So, since she doesn’t have a blog, and I don’t feel like typing out her entire funny story, I will just end with this hilarious quote, “I don’t mind a cowboy, but if he has a confederate flag, he’s out.” :D :D :D My aunt’s so funny!

By the way, she thought the craigslist ad below was hilarious.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

What I don't want

I read this ad on craigslist today. (I know, I told myself I wouldn't read those ads anymore! It's pre-exercise procrastination!) This woman's ad is deliciously acerbic. (Yes, I read the women's ads too!)
Reply to: anonymous
Date: 2005-02-17, 7:40AM PST

I have written an ad on Craigslist before. I realize now I was not specific enough about what I DON’T so here it is. (Please don’t get your feelings hurt if you don’t fit the criteria—there’s someone for everyone!)

What I don’t want.

If you are over 35, this is not the personal ad for you. . Even if you “look young for your age.” Or people “mistake you for younger.” Also if you are under 24 I am not looking for a younger man , even if you “act mature beyond your years.” No thanks.

If you still live at home, are just down on your luck, are waiting for such and such break, ---maybe Godot, or even if your new band is really going to take off soon,---I don’t want to hear it. I can’t date who you plan to be. I stopped banking on someone’s potential a long time ago.

Judgmental? Lazy? Jealous? If you are not nice I am not interested. I want someone who is a good person, even when no one is looking.

If you are ugly I probably won’t be attracted to you. I am good looking, and ugly doesn’t really go with goodlooking;) Or really short, I am not short, so it just wouldn’t work out if I wore high heels. . I like guys who are good looking and tall---if you are questioning whether you are good looking or tall —you probably aren’t.. If people look away when you smile that is not a good sign either.

If the last time you were at the gym was sometime in the Clinton Admin we will not mesh. If your idea of working out is switching the channel a couple of times on a Sunday, every Sunday I won’t waste my time with you. I am looking for someone who can keep up with me in outdoor.... and INDOOR sports.

If you are in recovery I can’t deal with it. Attending weekly meetings for your addiction? If after your name you say I am a oholic anything move on… I applaud your effort for getting your life together ----but I am not looking to date you.

Dependency is so unappealing. Take anything to make you happy daily? Is your mood enhanced by one of the many doctor prescribed meds? You are not for me. I am a firm believer that life is full of ups and downs—you take both---and when you are down, do something you love, get out and move. Dependency is so unappealing.

If you have no friends or hobbies. Passionless people bore me, what will we talk about if you have nothing going on???

So that is what I want. Let's meet for a drink and see if I am what you want.
Pic for Pic.
I look forward to reading the three emails I will receive.
Ahhh... that feels good.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Funny line

Funniest line I've read on a profile so far:
I just finished a book that was 475 pages long. That may not seem like a big accomplishment but that's alot of coloring!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy V-Day!

I've been waiting and waiting to write this post! Happy Valentine's Day!! I woke up happy this morning, it must be all the love in the air.

I went to the Vagina Monologues for the first time on Wednesday. It was so good I wanted to go back again on Friday! My best friend where I live is a boy, so I was surprised and reminded of girl energy at the show. In college I often had one main male in my life and was surrounded, inbounded with lots of women. I loved all that female energy. I helped to start a feminist group at my small town college, where it was a pretty radical group to be in.

The show was just a montage of women's real life interviews about their Vaginas! Pretty simple format and unusual topic. When I told my guy friend about it, he assumed it was about sex. No, it was about vaginas, front and center, with all vagina activities and interests, including sex, on the periphery. The thing I realized after the show is that there is a lot of talk about penises. There are many shared cultural images and there is shared knowledge. Just think of all the urinal scenes in movies, all the ball bashing scenes that inspire a collective ”ooohh!” Some men think of their penis as their other head, some name their penis. We know a lot of about the life and times of the penis. The vagina? Not so much.

That is what made the show so interesting. Because there isn’t a lot of shared cultural metaphors about vaginas, all the women’s vagina metaphors and images were soooo unique. How they thought about their vaginas was unique and surprising, but their experiences elicited understanding nods, laughs and groans from the audience. It was a great, interesting, entertaining show. But the most amazing part is how I felt when I left. It brings tears to my eyes just typing it. And again I’m surprised and bemused by my strong reaction. I felt so good, and happy and proud. And yes, I did have to have my own mirror episode a few days later when I got home. Yep, just like I remembered it! :)

I had a confusing and often painful childhood. And yet, somehow I came into adulthood with healthy and wholesome attitudes about my body, vagina included. My mom, along with all her bad mothering, did do some positive things. I’ve been remembering with gratitude that my mother taught me how to clean myself, and answered my questions honestly and always seemed to revel in her own body. As if it was good to be a woman!

Wow, this a pretty darn honest post. I hope you find healing from other people’s stories, like I do. If so, check out the Vagina Monologues which is really a fund raiser to promote kindness (stop violence) towards women. Start with yourself. A related site is Men against Rape, which again I’d like to rename in the positive, Men promoting REAL masculinity and respect towards women.

Happy V-Day all ya’ll!

Holy cuteness, Batman!

This has got to be one of the cutest ways to say Happy Valentine's Day EVER. That French Toast Girl is so creative.

Sunday, February 13, 2005


No blogger registration needed to comment non-anonymously anymore! I know that is what has been stopping my masses of readers from commenting as frequently as they would like. So, faithful (and non-faithfu) blog visitors, start your comments!! Free at last, free at last, thank blogger for doing it rightly, we are free at last! (Hey, it's Sunday. I can't help it.) So, what are you still reading this for? Get typing!

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Tortoise and the Hippo

"Mom, I want to be just like you."

Owen, the baby hippo was lost and probably orphaned during the Tsunami. He met Mzee, a 100 yr old Tortoise, at a wildlife sanctuary and now he follows it around like it is his mom. Ahhh... It’s all over the internet and according to Snopes, it’s true.
Bereaved by the forces of nature and discovered by wildlife rangers near certain death in the Indian Ocean off Malindi, the one-year-old male hippo calf dubbed Owen was on 27 December 2004 placed in Haller Park, a wildlife sanctuary in the coastal city of Mombassa, Kenya.

As soon as he was placed in his enclosure, the orphaned youngster immediately ran to the tortoise also housed in that space. The 100 year-old tortoise named Mzee (Swahili for "old man") was not immediately taken with the brash newcomer — he turned and hissed, forcing the hippo to back away. Yet within days, the pair had forged a friendship, and now eat and sleep together. Owen has even been seen to lick the tortoise, whom he regards as his new mother.

Mom, wait up!

Paula Kahumbu, an ecologist, is quoted in a widely circulated article about the pair:
It is incredible. A-less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to be very happy with being a 'mother.' The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it follows its mother. If somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother.

The hippo is a young baby, he was left at a very tender age and by nature, hippos are social animals that like to stay with their mothers for four years.


Sunday, February 06, 2005

Movies, mortality

I don't know why I am so interested in seeing good movies right now. Here is the intro to Ebert's year of movies. He talks about the solace of watching movies during a time of illness. I have felt my mortality for awhile and am feeling it more keenly all the time. I seem very aware that I'm on limited time. Are you?

Million Dollar Baby (spoiler within)

WARNING- do not read any further if you haven't seen the movie! This will totally spoil it for you!

Here is Ebert’s review. On the side there are other interesting articles listed.

Lot’s of people disagree with what Clint’s character did, but I don’t. If I am ever paralyzed and so desperate to die that I bite through my tongue twice, I hope someone will have mercy on me and let me go. Most people would be at least that compassionate to an old dog who can’t even say if it wants to die or not. I can’t imagine the horror of wanting to die and being trapped against your will because you can’t physically move. On the other hand, I don’t know if I could kill someone, even if the person was someone who I loved very much and desperately needed my help to die. When my great-grandma was alive, mentally sharp, but longing to go, I wondered what I would do if she asked me to help her die. I would shrink from the physical act of taking life from someone and the prospect of future, sickening inner turmoil. I don’t think I could do that, and I consider that a weakness. I think Maggie's trainer showed a courageous, self-sacrificing love.

This post refers to those annoying emails...

that you get from people to whom you have actually given your email address. You know the ones: cute pet pictures, "funny" jokes, warnings about perfume salesmen (I made that one up.) I wouldn't, couldn't forward those to my email list, my friends would never forgive me. But I got two really good ones today, (that's what everyone thinks about the ones they forward on,) so I'm posting them here! (Please forgive me.)
First: From an email from my mom, that master passer: (I love you, M!)

"Put your birth date in the pop up window after you click here. ** What happens is pretty interesting. It's also amazing how quickly it computes!! Very cool. Send it on to all you think might like a bit of trivia!!"

Well, who doesn't like a bit of trivia?!

Second: From a link found on French Toast Girl's blog, here is ze Fank's Communication Lesson.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

My Acceptance Speach

I’ve wanted to go to the Sundance film festival for years. When I was 16 my aunt had a movie in the festival and I was finally going to go. Sadly, my Grandma died on the opening day and we flew away for the funeral. I was just reading Ebert’s latest article about the festival (yes, reading Ebert has become my online time waster lately) and I thought, "Maybe I should make it a goal to go next year." Then I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if I made it a goal to go and then I went because I made a movie?!" Making a whole movie seems over-ambitious for my skills right now, so I've settled for being an actress- naturally I win the award for best actress. Here is my acceptance speech: (I composed it in the bathroom.)

“I’ve never thought of myself as an actress. I can dance and I can sing… but I still don’t know that I can act. What I did discover is how much a director and fellow cast members have to do with an actors performance. So I would like to thank_, _, _, _, _, _, _ and _ for letting me be a part of this and making it seem so effortless. As happy as I am to win this award, and this will be the bragging point of this endeavor, what I am most grateful for is how much fun we had making this movie. It’s very rare that adults get to have that kind of raucous, let loose, imaginative play and that is what I thank you for most of all. So thank you _, _, _, _ and _ for letting me play with you.” Then I blow a kiss, with both hands, to my fellow cast members and crew.