Entries from blogs tagged with “Citizen Journalism Academy”
'Tis the season for eating too much cookies, maxing out your credit cards and, wait a minute: groan inducing political ads?Now that the Iowa Caucuses have been moved up to January 3rd, campaigning has spilled onto the holiday and left us with these sometimes humorous, occasionally embarrassing media clips. And, yes, Virginia, there actually is one that touches on the true meaning of Christmas. It all started with a seemingly innocent bookcase. Mike Huckabee's ad caused quite a stir when a cross shaped bookcase was seen behind his head while he spoke about Christmas. People wondered whether this was an overt evangelical message or merely a coincidence. I think it's a bit of a stretch to call this Christian propaganda, but the filmmaker side of me does find it hard to believe that no one called this "coincidence" to the candidate's attention during the filming. With directors, production designers and cinematographers involved in even the most basic productions, there are usually a lot of eyes on the video tap to pick up on visual symbols, intentional or not. Moving on to the more innocuous, meet-the-family ads: Barack Obama and Ron Paul both had some serviceable spots with the obligatory cute family members getting in the holiday spirit. These festive ads are meant to show us that they are not just politicians but, in fact, "real guys." I think it would have been more real to see them loafing on the coach after turkey dinner or getting into arguments with family members, but that's just me.John Edwards took the gig more seriously and drove home the issue of those without homes. This somewhat dour message stood in contrast to his soft lighting and cheerful sweater. I think if you are going to take a gritty approach to the holiday you should get out of the studio and hit the streets. Use the visual medium of television to get your hands dirty. Unless you are afraid of messing up that $3,000 haircut. Moving on, the next two political ads are quite simply in bad taste. With a forced attempt at humor, Hillary Clinton finds a gift under her tree for universal pre-K. It just feels condescending. A gift from her? Aren't we the taxpayers? But even this wasn't as bad as Giuliani's Jerry Lewis impression as he tries to ham it up with Santa over fruit cakes. Come on guys, leave the acting to Fred Thompson.Last but not least is John McCain's Christmas ad. I was a little skeptical at the opening- a slow motion image of McCain's POW days. It set the stage for something a bit heavy handed. But then, he tells a heartfelt story about how his guard wrote a cross in the dirt on Christmas day. He touched on the universality of Christmas and left us with the feeling that he is just the guy to bridge cultural gaps. There was nothing subliminal, false or cornball here. I couldn't help but remember that episode of "30 Rock" where Tina Fey says there's an 80% chance she'll tell her friends she voted for Barack Obama when she actually voted for John McCain. So, take them or leave them, love them or hate them, it just goes to show you politics don't take a holiday. Personally, I was hoping that Mitt Romney would have had an ad where he said he "saw" his father ride with Santa Claus, but you can't get everything on your list.
http://worldonline.media.clients.elli... from factoryjoe at flickr.com I found my feminism in two difference places; in my family and in books. I am grateful to have been raised without gender-segregated treatment. If I wanted toy cars, fine. If I wanted an American Girl doll, fine. I got an Equal Rights Amendment bracelet for my 18th birthday from my mom, which was given to her on her 18th birthday by my grandmother.While I am infinitely thankful to have such a wonderful family, I would not be the feminist I am today without the summer of 2005. I had just moved out of the dorms at the University of Kansas and into my first real apartment. Faced with endless amounts of free time and no TV, I turned to the Lawrence Public Library for entertainment. But after I had watched all the James Bond and Alfred Hitchcock movies I could stand, I needed something else.Seeking an alternative, I decided to learn more about feminism. I had always known that I valued and respected women, but I did not know the theories, the movement, or the struggles behind that belief. It all started with bell hooks' Feminism is for Everybody and Madam President: Women Blazing the Leadership Trail by Eleanor Clift and Tom Brazaitis.I spent that whole summer working my way through all the feminist books I could find at the library. And from then on, I have been educating myself (formally and informally) about every form of feminism imaginable. The more I read, the more I felt like someone finally understood how the world really worked and could articulate that understanding. There is gender influence in every single action we take in every day. It is often small and hard to find, but it is there.How did you find your feminism?
A few years ago, I took my husband to the Tate Art Gallery in St. Ives, Cornwall. The building is pretty impressive. It overlooks the sea, and catches the light of the sun as it travels around the Bay.We arrived early and found various piles of dust and dirt as we moved up the stairs."Wouldn't you think they would have cleared that up before the place opened," I remarked.We arrived on the first floor and along the side of the wall in one of the galleries was another enormous pile of dust and dirt."What's all that dirt doing lying around here?" I asked the attendant."That's not dirt," she said with a sniff. "That's part of the exhibition."She directed me to the details of the artist near the pile of .... art.It didn't quite end there. In another room our eyes were assaulted by piles of rotten carrots placed strategically on the black tiles of what looked like a large checkers' board; the white tiles were untarnished by the putrid vegetables. The "work" was titled something like "Desperation."I haven't quite looked at carrots in the same way again.The "mother" Gallery, the Tate (Modern) in London, has now found a creative way to get rid of the dirt piles and carrots. A large crack, with a title, has appeared in one of the gallery floors. You would be forgiven for thinking it might be called "Cracked," or "Art is not all it's cracked up to be," but it isn't. It's titled "Shibboleth," and it's supposed to symbolize racial and class divisions. Apparently it's getting great reviews. I know I'm probably missing the point somewhere along the line, so maybe I need to be enligtened. When do cracks and piles of dirt turn into pieces of art? I've noticed several cracks in my garage floor today as well as piles of dirty salty grime (leftovers from last week's ice,) and I'm now looking for a suitable title for a possible masterpiece. I know I might have to do some rearranging to get the full artistic effect but I'll give it a try. How will I know if it's art? I wonder if I need to get a licence from the City in order to charge a fee? Any ideas about what I should call it, and what it might represent?
Here are the answers, based upon what I know and what was said in the comments, please let me know of any errors. 1. Where and what was Griff's? A burger place on 23rd, located approximately across from where Mongolian BBQ is now, It was in an unusual A-frame building 2. What major retail chain had a store where the Antique Mall is now located. (Hint, it has moved again since then). For extra credit, where did it move to before moving to its present location? J.C. Penney's, It moved to occupy the Montgomery Ward's location near 23rd and Iowa before moving to its present location. 3. Name a store that is now located where Woolworth's used to be located. Kinko's, Saffee's, Chipotle 4. Bucky's originally had another name, what was it? Sandy's. An article this week reported Bucky's closing. 5. Where did George's Hobby Shop used to be located? The Malls, 23rd and Iowa. It moved to Paper Warehouse, before moving to a building behind. Someone also reported it being at 19th and Mass, if so, that was before my time. 6. What was the name of the drive-in theater that was located on 6th Street near where Sonic is now located? Sunset Drive-in 7. There was yet another drive-in theater in town, where was it? For extra credit what was its name. Please tell me, I don't know. This was before my time, I'm told it was the Chateau on 23rd street, near where Laird Noller is now. Or was it the Lawrence Drive-in? 8. Where was the Vista drive-in located? On 6th street. The "Olympic" pool was down the streeon on the other side. 9. What is the name of the restaurant that occupied the building where Bambino's is now? Cornucopia, the only place I've ever eaten quiche. 10. Where was the "Campus Hideaway" located? Just north of South Park.There were a number of us who remember going to the Sunset, climbing on the train, and seeing Leo Beuerman. Other recollections (a partial list)The church at the corner of 6th and Maine, followed by Alfie's?, now Taco John'sQuantrill's Flea Market.
Lion/ Red Lion (are these the same?)
Bob's Big Boy
Sub & Stuff (I remember the Spicy Italian)
Shakey's Pizza (later Valentino's)
Putt-Putt at 31st and Iowa
Don's Steakhouse south of town on Iowa, before my time.
Liberty Hall and its long history.
Tin Pan Alley
Mr. Steak (free birthday dinners)
Drag Strip Road
...Didn't see Jenning's Daylight Donuts mentioned. Did anyone ever go to the the Aqua Forum to get tropical fish? I remember it on the east edge of town on 23rd Street before it moved to the Mall, behind where Wendy's is now... until is closed There was also Jayhawk Tropical Fish.Thank you, everyone, for a nice (I might even say wonderful) trip down memory lane.
Cue cheesy music and twinkly lights. Audience applauds as polyester-suit-clad Bob Talksalot prances onto the stage.BOB: Hello Ladies and Gents, welcome to "How do you Deal," the game show where parent contestants get to try out responses to the news that their child has just read the results of the school play auditions and found that their name was not included on the cast list. I am your host, Bob Talksalot. Let's play!Cue music and applause.BOB: Contestant Number One Little Jaynie has just come home in tears because she didn't make the play:What do you do?DAD ONE: Well, I'd call that director right away and tell him that he's obviously blind if he can't see how much talent my Jaynie has. Why everyone else has always said that she has got dramatic talent, the way she can cry on cue and all. I would demand an immediate explanation, and I would tell that director to look for another job if he can't cast the really talented kids. And I'd make sure the other parents know how unfair that director is.BOB: Thank you, contestant Number One. Contestant Number Two, same question.MOM TWO: I would keep her away from those drama types, and never let her audition again. She's too good for them anyway. And then I would write an anonymous letter to the director, and send a copy to the principal of the school, letting them know how displeased all we parents are that only 30 kids seem to get all the good roles. And who cares about things like occupancy limits, and fire codes, and personal safety, and budget limits and presenting a quality performance surely supervising 70 teenagers in the dark can't be THAT difficult for two adults.BOB: Thank you! Now on to Contestant Number Three. What do you do in this situation?DAD THREE: First, I'd ask Jaynie if she had filled out all her audition forms completely. Then I'd ask if she showed up on time for her audition and was courteous, polite, and confident. Then I'd ask her to tell me about her audition what she thought she did well, what she thought she could improve on for next time. I'd ask her if anyone else she auditioned with got cast, and what strong qualities she saw in them that she could model next time. I'd let her cry, we'd talk about disappointments and how they present some great learning opportunities in life this won't be the last disappointment she knows. And a few days later, I'd encourage her to ask the director when she could find some time to talk about what skills she could improve for her next audition, and to inquire how to be a member of the technical crew.BOB: Judges?Cue sound of dinger and wild applause from the crowd.BOB: Congratulations, Contestant Number Three! You know How to Deal, and so will your daughter! In fact, she's more likely to see her name on the cast list at the next audition, AND she'll get to participate in this current production by being on the crew. After all, I wouldn't look or sound this good without all the technical assistants! (laughs) Thanks for playing. See you all next time on "How do you Deal."Cue cheesy theme music, and fade out.
It's 7:45 in the evening, and I sit in the dark rocking and nursing my one-year-old to sleep. When I can stop my mind from racing about the events of today and tomorrow, I turn my full attention to the warm, vulnerable little boy in my arms. I'm moved to say a prayer, though I don't really know where I stand with God. I say a heartfelt prayer of thanksgiving for Max and an equally heartfelt prayer that God will help us keep him healthy and safe. I'm still overcome by love and awe for Max, and my prayer becomes "Let us be worthy." Right away, I realize my husband and I can never be worthy. How can anyone be worthy of the extraordinary privilege and oh-so-difficult job of raising a child? So I whisper, "Let us be enough."
I wanted to like Hillary, really I did. I was rooting for her in much the same way as I root for womenfilmmakers. I go out of my way to see even the most mediocre sounding premises and manage to overlook theoccasional bad dialogue and unimaginative camera workin the interest of women directorship. But unless I am in a really "you go-girl" kindof mood, even I must admit it is just not justifiableto like most of these movies. Or, in this case, this candidate.Hillary is in a difficult position, I'll give herthat. A woman president would be hard to take for somepeople. Heck, my old school cinematography professordidn't know what to think of me as a female Directorof Photography. But a chick Commander in Chief? I canonly imagine the fun he'd have with that one.So, understandably, Clinton is trying very hard not toappear soft or give any indication that her womanhoodwould affect her leadership. But as a result ofdistancing herself from her estrogen, Hilary ismissing one of the things that our sex is know for passion! And this is one thing Senator Barack Obama has goingfor him. I was cruising around in a rental car that had XMradio during the time of the Jefferson Jackson dinnersand got to hear all the candidates back to back. (Sidenote- XM station POTUS 08 is one of the coolestthings ever- I lived in LA for eight years and alwayshated the traffic, but that week with POTUS, I didn'tmind it a bit.) I was still in that "maybe Hillary"mode when Obama put in his two cents and that's when I wouldn't be voting for a woman this time. I was actually moved by a political speech and I didn't see it on the History Channel.I know that voting decisions are supposed to be blindto issues like gender and color, but the idea of ayoung girl seeing a female president get inauguratedprobably biased my first look at these democraticcandidates.But in the end, you have to go with your heart. And ifObama is elected, he will also be an inspiration to manychildren for years to come. There's a handful of promising women directorsemerging lately (like Kimberly Pierce and PattiJenkins, to name a few), so it's only a matter of timebefore we get our first female president. Hopefully,she's one worth caring about.
It should appear as a fast moving bright star rising in the NW. It should climb to as high as 45 degrees above the horizon before setting in the east.There should be another opportunity just before 6PM on Saturday evening.Here is a NASA site where you can look to see when the Station will be passing overhead at a time when it is visible (dawn or dusk). Click the "Input" tab and enter your zip code, then click "Next Sighting". This applet requires Java be installed, so if you see nothing, that is probably why.It is easy to see. With binoculars, you might be able to see it as more than a bright white dot.
Next: So Much to See #2
I propose that if we took the time to look more closely at all the things around us each day, we would be the richer for it. So here is what I propose to do:I cropped a picture I took to show a small and hopefully not easily recognizable portion.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out what or where it is. At regular intervals, probably once a day, I'll expand what the image shows or provide a hint, until someone correctly identifies it. If it is a foolish idea, I'll be flamed in comments--if indeed there are any at all. It is just a silly little idea, anyway. I hope you'll spend a little more time each day paying attention to the many interesting things around you.
If you spend much time driving (or taking the T) around Lawrence you will surely be able to see this. Here is the next image:
One more, if you still aren't sure:
Not much of a surprise, but here is the complete image:
And here is a short history of the Castle Tea Room.
If you're a long time Lawrence resident, here's a little quiz to see what you remember about Lawrence the way it was...
- Where and what was Griff's?
- What major retail chain had a store where the Antique Mall is now located. (Hint, it has moved again since then). For extra credit, where did it move to before moving to its present location?
- Name a store that is now located where Woolworth's used to be located.
- Bucky's originally had another name, what was it?
- Where did George's Hobby Shop used to be located?
- What was the name of the drive-in theater that was located on 6th Street near where Sonic is now located?
- There was yet another drive-in theater in town, where was it? For extra credit what was its name. Please tell me, I don't know.
- Where was the Vista drive-in located?
- What is the name of the restaurant that occupied the building where Bambino's is now?
- Where was the "Campus Hideaway" located?
Extra credit if you: 1. Went to a movie at either of the drive-in theaters mentioned above. 2. Actually climbed on the train in the "Train Park" (Buford M. Watson, Jr. Park) before the fence was placed around it. 3. Ever saw Leo Beuerman in his little cart downtown. Triple extra credit if you ever bought a pencil from him.
http://worldonline.media.clients.elli... photo from CarbonNYC on flickr.comA title says a lot. I chose "Feminist Findings in Lawrence" because the goal of the blog is to discuss the activities, opinions, challenges and experiences of women in the area. There are a million different feminisms. I love exploring all the definitions. My definition of feminism is basic: feminists value women. I look forward to delving into all the important gender issues in our community with you.
The New York Time published an article Sunday, December 16, by Phyllis Korkki entitled Still Choosing the Mailbox Over the In-Box.In the article Ms Korkki noted that today 275 million first-class cards and letters are expected to be mailed. From Thanksgiving to Christmas the USPS estimates 20 billion cards, letters, packages and other pieces of mail will be handled.Korkki goes on to say many thought the Internet would be the beginning of the end of the USPS. Instead, the Internet, especially the online shopping aspect, has created the need for hard copy as well as a service to ship the packages. Consequently, since 2001, the first class volume of mail has remained fairly steady.Finally, Korkki says,"...although email is now a permanent part of the communication landscape, the old-fashioned letter is far from dead...."I agree. It is a great feeling to open my mailbox and find a letter from family or friends. I can reread it as often as I like and save it for reference later when I return the favor. And, sometimes the short three sentence notes are meaningful. My grand kids love to receive a note about something significant in their lives.What do you think. Do you still choose the mailbox over the in-box?
It is Monday evening and a major ice storm forecast looms. My backup front wheel drive 1987 model car is ready for my ninety mile route. With studded snow tires in front, it is better than four-wheel drive on ice.Tuesday morning it is raining steadily. The temperature lingers at freezing. I am not sure I have seen an ice storm begin with so much water run off. By noon it is running over the low water bridge on Deer Creek. Slowly the temperature drops and ice begins to accumulate on trees, fences and electrical wires. Trees bend more and more under the weight. Lines must be going down as the radio reports lost electricity.Low night temperatures and a thick coating of ice give way Wednesday morning to limbs, mainly Elm, lying under trees. Several times I hear a sharp crack and see a limb go down. Hardy cedar tree limbs simply bend to make a tent of ice forming a house underneath for rabbits and quail. Pines bend but hold. Oaks with leaves still attached have an extra burden. I saw one large branch loose the battle. With pastures frozen over, cattle stand at gates waiting for a bale of last summer's hay. Geese honk as they follow the Wakarusa Valley. Are they thinking of turning south? I would not blame them.I had company on the roads. Douglas County, Clinton and Kanwaka townships are busy blading and throwing sand. I wonder if they have been out all night as many roads and all bridges and steep hills are treated. A rancher with a big bale heads for the pasture. Along with me, brown, yellow and white delivery trucks bring holiday orders. It seems everyone else smartly stays home.Thursday dawns beautiful. There is no other word to describe the ice covered world under a clear sky and sunshine. Branches encased in ice radiated like stars or prism-like spectrum of colors. Ice on metal mailboxes melts from the inside out. A drive under a tree results in a barrage of ice falling like rain. Squirrels and turkeys, run about excited to feel the warmth on their backs. As the sun warms, steam rises. Birds, especially finches and sparrows fluttered in cedar branches. Hawks use warm updrafts from the melted fields to soar low looking for prey. Cattle spread out over the same fields grazing contently.Three days, the ice storm is history. In our area, most have electricity. Trees survive although some still bend as ice clings on northern exposures.What's next? Snow.
Steroids, human growth hormones, cheating. Confirming what many suspected or already knew, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Mitchell explained yesterday that performance-enhancing substances are a significant problem in Major League Baseball.The most important thing to emerge is, as Senator Mitchell noted, how does baseball look to the future? Senator Mitchell made recommendations to the league and the players union as to how they may be better able to reduce or eliminate banned substances from the game. But the investigation missed an opportunity to make real change.Establishing a department of investigations, cooperating with law enforcement, turning over testing to an independent agency with real authority, better publicity of the rules, logging packages and better education and awareness are the core of the panel's suggestion of how to reduce the use of performance enhancing substances.Give me a break.Are there any players who don't know the rules? Are there players who won't have steroids shipped to their homes now instead of the stadium? Was the league obstructing investigations by law enforcement officials (pretty sure that is a crime in itself)? The recommendations are more likely to produce the reaction "wow, I can't believe these policies weren't already in place, are the surprised everyone was breaking the rules?" than produce any meaningful change in the game.Problems with steroids happened with the full knowledge and tolerance of all parties. The players were writing checks for crying out loud. The only way any sane person would write a check for something genuinely against the rules or illegal is if they fear no retribution.Some say the league permitted this to happen because baseball needed help to recover from the strike in 1994. Home runs are exciting and put fans in the seats. Others say it emerged as the superstars neared the end of their careers and needed an extra boost to break records or reach milestones. Regardless, the game has been severely damaged and requires dramatic measures to clean up its act.Rather than slap everyone on the wrist and implement policies that should have been in place years ago because they are the bare minimum of what should be in place, the following measures should also be enacted:1. Bud Selig should be required to resign. He was in charge, he either let this happen or he didn't have the ability to detect the problem. Neither possibility is a good one for the commissioner. He's out.2. Any players caught using performance enhancing substances (including those named in the report) shall be banned from membership in the Hall of Fame. Sorry guys, if you are not good enough for the Hall without steroids, you're not good enough for the Hall with them. More specifically, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens should be made to be definitive examples and warnings to all future players. Both were clearly qualified for the Hall of Fame without these substances. Both could be argued as two of the best of all time. Clemens may even be the best pitcher ever to play the game. Not any more. It is painful to realize and accept that neither should be considered for Cooperstown, but it will do wonders in cleaning up the game.3. Any records established by players associated with performance enhancing substances will be disqualified. Cheaters do not and cannot win (also true for Mr. Bonds who still lacks a World Series ring). Make notations next to the empty spots for any records explaining that the player who won the award or set the record was caught cheating and the award was rescinded/record reversed to the previous holder.4. First time offenses will be punishable by a two year suspension.Baseball is the national pastime. Steroids diminish the quality and integrity of the game, they should have no place in the game. Let's not make it more difficult to use performance enhancing substances, let's make it impossible to find a rationale to use them. These four additions should make a world of difference in cleaning up the game, much more than the "I can't believe these policies weren't already in place" recommendations by the panel.
There is a movement underway to goad the presidential candidates into a debate on science policy. Given that so many of our issues today involve science, it is only fair that the voters get to hear candidate's views on science and science priorities. Visit the Science debate 2008 web site for more information and about how you can get involved.www.sciencedebate2008.com
This summer there was a notice in the LJWorld online that a memorial service would be planned for Byron Moats and his wife, Nancy. Mr. Moats and his wife were killed in a car accident. Mr. Moats had only recently retired from a long and successful teaching career. When I heard the news of their deaths, I thought that the name Byron Moats sounded familiar. When I read that he had recently retired from Oak Park High School everything fell into place. Oak Park High School is in Kansas City, Mo., near Gladstone.I graduated from Oak Park High School in 1978. My K-12 school experience was rather chaotic and dysfunctional. I went to seven schools in two states. When it was time to graduate, I was short by either a quarter or half a credit. School officials let me go through the graduation ceremony with the rest of my class, but I had to take a class that summer to make up that credit shortfall. That's when I met Mr. Moats.As might be expected, I was not terribly happy to be stuck in a summer class when I was supposed to be done with school altogether. I thought it was a "pud" class with ridiculously easy work. But Mr. Moats made that class fun. I think he realized how awkward it might be for me to be there and he seemed to go out of his way to make me feel comfortable. At some point, he and I discussed the end of the class. I told him that I was sure that on the last day of class I would be presented with my high school diploma amid much fanfare. Mr. Moats told me that actually my diploma would be mailed to me. I was horribly disappointed and it showed. Mr. Moats took action.Unbeknownst to me, but known to all of my classmates, Mr. Moats arranged for me to receive my diploma on the last day of class. On the final day of class he asked me to go to the office with him. He didn't tell me why. I thought there was probably some paperwork that needed to be done. But instead, Mr. Moats had arranged for the school principal, assistant principal and a few other school officials to present my diploma to me with much pomp and circumstance. They presented the diploma to me, shook my hand and then clapped for me as if I had just won the Nobel Prize. I was thrilled and thanked Mr. Moats for making that happen. I couldn't believe he had gone to so much trouble for me. But that's the kind of person that he was. I don't know if Mr. Moats would have remembered me. But even though it has been nearly 30 years since I graduated from high school, I remember him and am deeply saddened that he is gone from this world. I wish that I could have told him that even with my inauspicious K-12 career, I managed to go to college eventually and currently hold a Master's degree in Higher Education Administration. I would have been proud for him to know that. Mine is just one story. I imagine there are many others from people who were touched by his kindness. The world is a lesser place without you, Mr. Moats, but many of us are much better people because you touched our lives. No doubt, heaven has a special place for you. Rest in Peace.
When I was younger I dreamed of snow days. Random days in the middle of a busy school week where I could sleep in, drink hot chocolate and see all the wonderful television I missed each day when I ventured off to school. I remember dancing at the site of the first snowflake and watching the evening news praying that our superintendent would be nice enough to give us the day off. What I didn't know was that along with thousands of school children, teachers were also eagerly watching the news and waiting. In my mind teachers loved school so much that they hated weekends and breaks. They sat at home depressed that there were no students to take tests or copy words onto a sheet of paper. They were lost without students who they forced to read a book they didn't want to and they missed being unable reprimand anyone for talking when they weren't supposed to. Boy, was I wrong. Now that I work at a school where I force students to read books and tell them to be quiet when they walk in the halls, I know that teachers look forward to the weekends more than anyone and that they started praying for snow days in mid-September. Because there I was Sunday night smiling at the weather forcast for freezing rain on Monday night. And there I was waiting for Lawrence Public Schools to appear under the closings on the evening news. When they did finally call off school I did a little dance and turned off my alarm. It's not that my job is terrible and unrewarding and I believe that most teachers love their students and only want what's best for them. But every once in awhile it's nice to have a day off where you can sleep in, watch bad TV and pretend you are a kid again.
It's a beautiful, fragile world out there this morning. I nearly fell flat on my back as I stepped out in the dark to fetch the paper. It lay about halfway down the incline of our driveway, so, not wanting to break any vital bones with half my family out of town this week, I practically crawled the rest of the way on all fours while the rain pelted me.Even so, I couldn't help admiring the way all the trees down the block look like they're outlined in crystal. It seems somehow appropraite this time of year.Yesterday evening, my sister-in-law called to say my nephew's Christmas program had been postponed again because of the icy weather. I was afraid he'd be terribly disappointed after he's so looked forward to it. It's so hard to wait when you're six years old! But no, she said. He's okay as long as they do eventually have it.And so we're all safe inside . Yesterday, I addressed envelopes until my hand ached, and today I'll probably do thirty more...A Christmas CardTossed into the postman's sack Along with catalogues and bills,He'll carry me from block to blockOr wind along the country hills.Across two thousand miles, I'll come,To where the winter's warm and dry,Or maybe simply down the street, Delivered while the snowflakes fly.A piece of light from every star Is carried to you here in me,A very simple gift that can'tBe wrapped beneath your Christmas tree.A note of joy from every songThat I've heard sung this time of year,The smell of cinnamon and cloves, I have it all gathered up hereInto just another Christmas card To wish a Merry Christmas where you are.
If you are a Boston single, as of today you have a new option to find a mate. A company called scientificmatch.com has a new wrinkle in the match making game-matchmaking based on DNA analysis. The idea is to find a mate based on the compatibility of the genes related to characteristics of the immune system. The company's website claims:
"When you share chemistry with someone:
- 1. You love their natural body odor. They smell "sexier" than other people.
- 2. You have a more satisfying sex life.
- 3. If you're a woman, you have more orgasms.
- 4. There's significantly less cheating in your relationships than if your DNA isn't matched properly.
- 5. As a couple, you're more fertile.
- 6. Your children have a better chance of being healthy."