Saturday, November 13, 2004

Junk in my trunk? You bet! Posted by Hello

That's right folks, a neeeeeeeeew caaaar! (Can't you just hear Rod Roddy saying that?) Posted by Hello

Thursday, November 11, 2004

I have had the best day. It started this morning with breakfast. I met with my mentor and friend, now 64 years old, who just started a website with his poems, essays, columns, and a link to his wife's artwork.

I got to work and plugged into the blogosphere, where my friends were waiting to share new insights and express more outrage.

I found a link to last week's Universalist Unitarian sermon entitled "Anyway" about what to do with the results of the election as a progressive person of faith. The message: acknowledge the basic goodness of every human being and work toward justice anyway.

I had a hilarious pun e-mail exchange with my friend Chester about the latest Kerry joke -- "Hey John, why the long face?"

This afternoon brought a new link to a site called "" -- where people have taken pictures of themselves with a message to the rest of the world apologizing for the outcome of the latest American election charade. And they're funny and beautiful and haunting and so utterly human and connected that, really, how can you not be cheered?

It works. This whole community-building thing is a good idea. Thank god. I was starting to wonder.

Dear America, please get well soon. Love, Canada P.S. If you're feeling sad, come visit. (Posted on Posted by Hello

2 Nations Under Bush's God. Sorry Everyone! -- New England (Posted on Posted by Hello

"I would apologize, but I live in Nebraska so my vote against Bush was defeated before I cast it. I did, however, almost get fired for arguing about the election at work, so there is that. Sorry!" -- Posted by Hello

Posted on Posted by Hello

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

How many books does it take to cover sociology, community building, and place?


Ummm ... all of them?

I am disturbed. I just received a simple e-mail requesting a good book to recommend to a friend about community building and sociology, two subjects I've spent a considerable amount of time studying. A simple request, right? Yet I find myself utterly stumped! I open it up to the floor.

My response to the request:
Shit, man. Talk about braindead! I'm like a deer in the headlights. The pressure, the pressure!!!

I need more to go on. What's he interested in?

Sounds like he's reading for fun. I'm trying to think of fun reads. I'm thinking William H. Whyte and/or Jane Jacobs.

My personal favorite is an essay written in 1908 or something by Georg Simmel. I think I may have an electronic version. This essay has been credited as the start of urban sociology. I'm amazed at how relevant it still is.

Umm... I just got a book from Amazon called Shaping the City. It's a neat look at global cities with a crosscut of disciplines and topics.

The Great Good Place? I just got that one, but after the Introduction, the rest of the book is a let-down so far. I hope I'm wrong. I still have a ways to go.

I mean, if he really wants to dig in and read the classics, have him go for Henri Lefebvre's Production of Space or Michel de Certeau's Practice of Everyday Life.

Umm, more topical things? Mike Davis: City of Quartz (re: the fear that shapes modern-day Los Angeles). Arnold Hirsch: Making of the Second Ghetto (re: racism in Chicago as determinant of growth and city form)

Again, I'd have to know where he's coming from to get him where he wants to go. (Once a planner, always a planner!!!)

The more I think about this, the more I want to know what the one book answer is. We need to write one. How about it? It's the community building part that I'm struggling with, here. There are books about community building and books about sociology and books about places, but there really aren't too many that are about all three at once, which leaves me dissatisfied with any one in particular.


Monday, November 08, 2004

A More Optimistic Thought for the Morning

Martin Luther King, Jr. made the following quote from a fellow Reverend popular. Even if it is not literally true, I choose to believe it and to work to make it reality:

"The arc of history is long, and it bends toward justice."

Shantih Shantih Shantih.
(I pray for the peace that passeth understanding)

(What is good in me greets the good in you.)

Poem for the End

Czeslaw Milosz:

On the day the world ends
A bee circles a clover,
A Fisherman mends a glimmering net.
Happy porpoises jump in the sea,
By the rainspout young sparrows are playing
And the snake is gold-skinned as it always should be.

On the day the world ends
Women walk through fields under their umbrellas
A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn,
Vegetable peddlars shout in the street
And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island,
The voice of a violin lasts in the air
And leads into a starry night.

And those who expected lightning and thunder
Are disappointed.
And those who expected signs and archangels' trumps
Do not believe it is happening now.
As long as the sun and moon are above,
As long as the bumblebee visits a rose,
As long as rosy infants are born
No one believes it is happening now.

Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet,
Yet is not a prophet, for he's much too busy,
Repeats while he binds his tomatoes:
There will be no other end of the world,
There will be no other end of the world.

Sunday, November 07, 2004


It is amazing how glacial shifts happen in a matter of days if you're brave enough to be open and honest and vulnerable.

I invited my entire family over for breakfast, knowing there were icy undercurrents of feelings and misunderstandings and on and on. After a yelling match and hasty exits and awkward re-entrances, we all emerged on the other side knowing a lot more about where we're all coming from, and I, for one, have much more sympathy and space in myself for the hard places in which my siblings find themselves.

And all it takes is drama, bravery, and openness to catharsis. No problem, right?

What with the recent election, family events, and major friend-related controversies, it feels everything is up for grabs. A scary moment, to be sure, but one filled with more potential for movement and change than I've felt in a long, long time.

I was reading an old journal this weekend and found a line that I don't remember writing but rather enjoy:

I go forward asking nothing more than everything I ever wanted, instead of the nothing I've settle for so far.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Sister Sadness

I gave her my heart and she gave me a pen.

Actually, less than a pen. She gave me an explanation for why I'm not invited to her step-daughter's birthday party.

She did NOT give me an explanation for why she won't acknowledge that she's hurting me by ignoring my feelings.

Sigh. I guess tomorrow's another day.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Helpful Religious Tip for Bush Supporters

I think I may get arrested for wearing this tee, but it's worth it. I didn't do a bumper sticker because I don't want my car to get messed with.

Thanks to Maggie for the info about Cafe Press, where you can create your own merchandise!

Check out my new store: