timepiece: Page of Pentacles from Tarot of the Cat Poeple Deck (Default)
Looks like Mark Morford is actually a silver lining kind of guy (who knew?):
To be honest, there really are some genuine upsides of a recession. We use less. We become more aware. We drive less, walk more, produce less crap we don't actually need, churn out fewer pollutants, become highly attuned to waste and excess, dial into opportunity, travel locally, skip vacuous trends, become less fickle, appreciate bargain wines, breathe cleaner air, save, appreciate, savor.

It actually is a good way of looking at things. A little more reassuring than total panic, a little more calming than "everything is going down the tubes!" No, we're just learning to be frugal (which does not mean cheap; it simply means avoiding waste - using the whole cow and so forth), to be efficient, to appreciate alternatives. And that's actually a good thing for society as a whole. Like the new appreciation for alternative energy sources, for better gas mileage, for staying home instead of traveling, etc. I guess we have to have a cycle like this at least once a lifetime, so the lessons don't get completely forgotten.
timepiece: Page of Pentacles from Tarot of the Cat Poeple Deck (Default)
I was reading a blog post about marking age/reading levels on books, and found this wonderful philosophy regarding allowing your kids to read:
[My father] once told a friend who was astounded by something I was reading: “If she’s too young to understand something either it won’t hurt her, or she’ll ask us and we’ll explain it to her. If she’s old enough to understand it, then it won’t hurt her.”

Yes. I was allowed to read pretty much anything, and I think it contributed a lot to my education. Historical fiction is the only reason I know anything about certain historical periods, since I found history class to be unbelievably boring and always tuned out. And I would ask my mother, "Why would this character have done this? Wouldn't it have been a good thing?" and she would explain how the time/culture was so different from what I knew.

I plan to tell my kids they can read anything in the house. I may hide away half-a-dozen or so very explicit books, but that's it. Anything else is fair game.
timepiece: Page of Pentacles from Tarot of the Cat Poeple Deck (Default)
I just wanted to share a passage from one of my favorite books that seems so appropriate for today. It's not pagan - it's from a religion in a fantasy novel - but certainly its roots are:
In darkness, in cold, in the midst of winter
where nothing walks the world but death and fear
let the brave rejoice: I call the light.

Out of darkness, light.
Out of silence, song.
Out of the sun's death, the birth of each year.

Out of cold, fire.
Out of death, life.
Out of fear, courage to see the day.

In darker night, brighter stars.
In greater fear, greater courage.
In the midst of winter, the world's birth.

In the book, the final line was "Praise to the High Lord," but I feel that I can substitute whatever feels appropriate. I don't know why many of my personal rituals come from books; I guess I just feel a real connection to the language, and it feels more powerful that anything I could write myself.

If this really appeals to anyone, it's from Elizabeth Moon's Deed of Paksenarrion trilogy - I think it's from the middle book.
timepiece: Page of Pentacles from Tarot of the Cat Poeple Deck (Default)
Ah, more justification:

Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things
Robert A. Heinlein

I always say that laziness=efficiency. Or, at least, lazy people want to find the most efficient way of doing things so as to do the least amount of work. It's actually a virtue! Well, sometimes.
timepiece: (Madame X)
You know, Joss Whedon is awesome not just for his creativity, but also for his worldview and the way he expresses it:

What is wrong with women?

I mean wrong. Physically. Spiritually. Something unnatural, something destructive, something that needs to be corrected.

How did more than half the people in the world come out incorrectly? I have spent a good part of my life trying to do that math, and I’m no closer to a viable equation. And I have yet to find a culture that doesn’t buy into it. Women’s inferiority -– in fact, their malevolence -- is as ingrained in American popular culture as it is anywhere they’re sporting burkhas. I find it in movies, I hear it in the jokes of colleagues, I see it plastered on billboards, and not just the ones for horror movies. Women are weak. Women are manipulative. Women are somehow morally unfinished. (Objectification: another tangential rant avoided.) And the logical extension of this line of thinking is that women are, at the very least, expendable.

(edited to add a quote)
timepiece: Page of Pentacles from Tarot of the Cat Poeple Deck (Default)
Wow. two posts in one day!

Anyway, just saw this column by Mark Morford about modern parenting and how different it is and complex and OMG the internet and cell phones and pedophiles and isn't everyone in our parents generation glad they don't have to deal with this with their kids?

But, he concluded:

At the root of it, are new parents and their kids not faced with the exact same set of problems they've always faced? That is: hormones, learning, identity, love, balance, where they fit into this mad fireball of a world?

A lovely summary. I wanted to remember it, thus, the post.
timepiece: Page of Pentacles from Tarot of the Cat Poeple Deck (Default)
"Ugly Betty" star America Ferrera on what passes for curves in Hollywood: "I think it's hilarious when magazines call Jessica Alba or Eva Longoria curvy. Come on. They're not curvy, they're small -- I'm curvy!" (from Perez Hilton, via Salon).

That's right - you can't be skinny and curvy - leave one good adjective for us!


Oct. 13th, 2006 03:36 pm
timepiece: Page of Pentacles from Tarot of the Cat Poeple Deck (Default)
I'm in a sharing mood lately.

I heard a song this morning on my mp3 player that always touches me, and since it's by a guy almost no one has heard of, I thought I'd share. The song is called "Arnie", by Robbie Schaeffer, and the chorus goes:

I've got a roof above my head,
and I've got food to eat.
The children are kept safe at night
when they lay to sleep.
And I'll never be famous,
but my best friend is my wife.
And boy, that's the way to live your life.

It's a very slow, introspective song, almost no accompaniment, and it just gets me every time.
timepiece: (nebula)
I may not have mentioned that I bought a tablet computer - mostly because it had major problems. Finally sent it to tech support (again) this week after thoroughly discussing problem over phone. The message on my answering machine today indicates they agree with my assessment:

I received your tablet and checked it out and the problem is ... bizarre.

OK, then, I see it's doing the same thing for them that it was for me. Good. But I'm still amused that the official diagnosis was "bizarre."
timepiece: Page of Pentacles from Tarot of the Cat Poeple Deck (Default)
My favorite response to the Times article about the anti-contraception movement:
For all the talk about the "culture of life" and poetic pontifications on matrimonial sex, this looks like thinly veiled misogyny to me. Now, if the same parties who put forth such a strong rationale for limiting (women's) access to contraceptives started to clamor for legislative protection for pharmacists who refused to fill Viagra prescriptions for male clients who will not certify that they will use the drug only in the context of connubial, procreative sex, one might begin to take their philosophical/moral/ethical concerns seriously.

Kyle Brown, M.D.
Iowa City

What a brilliant idea. All the sane pharmacists who work with the ones who refuse to dispense contraception should try it.
timepiece: (hourglass)
time magazine -- my problem with christianism:
...So let me suggest that we take back the word Christian while giving the religious right a new adjective: Christianist. Christianity, in this view, is simply a faith. Christianism is an ideology, politics, an ism. The distinction between Christian and Christianist echoes the distinction we make between Muslim and Islamist. Muslims are those who follow Islam. Islamists are those who want to wield Islam as a political force and conflate state and mosque....

Sometimes, it's easy to forget that the "Christians" who are so vocal in the media do not necessarily reflect the views of most (or even many) Christians.

See also: Contra-Contraception
timepiece: Page of Pentacles from Tarot of the Cat Poeple Deck (Default)
Outing your real feelings in a nutshell: "If anyone believes that gay men can actually become ex-gay men, I have just one question for you: Would you want your daughter to marry one? (NY Times Op-Ed piece)
timepiece: Page of Pentacles from Tarot of the Cat Poeple Deck (Default)
I am going to indoctrinate my kids with this statement early (taken from a concert review, of all things):

silliness trumps cool when it comes to having fun
timepiece: Page of Pentacles from Tarot of the Cat Poeple Deck (Default)
From "Tell Me About It" by Carolyn Hax, today:

Contentment isn't a diploma, you don't achieve it once and for all. It's something you maintain, through small actions, through big choices, through shops you can't afford, and sometimes through sheer force of will.

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