You may say I'm a dreamer|
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|Monday, August 11th, 2014|
It's just sad that someone who brought so much laughter to so many battled with depression to the point of committing suicide. I remember watching the zany, crazy early episodes of Mork & Mindy
starting in 1978 - there was simply nothing funnier on TV at the time (well, maybe it was tied with Seasons 3 & 4 of Saturday Night Live). I will miss Robin Williams' voice but am grateful for his enduring comic and dramatic contributions to us all.
|Wednesday, July 30th, 2014|
|Tuesday, June 24th, 2014|
Lately I've been even more quiet than usual here in LJ-Land but am still reading you. I really love all of you who share my little corner here.
Tomorrow Rob & I head south to Isla Vista/Goleta/Santa Barbara to pick up The College Student and bring her with us to our annual family reunion, usually held here in northern California (well, San Francisco Bay Area) but in its 2nd year in southern California. The College Student will stay just a couple days, returning to school via train. When we're gone a friend stays here at the Triple R Ranch with Fred (also spelled fRed), the resident spoiled cat.
Today is The College Student's 2nd day of Summer Session. Yesterday she had to miss her first class to attend a Jury Duty orientation - how dumb is that. She was able to delay serving until December, but decided to change that to August. She wouldn't have to serve at all if she hadn't been a good citizen by registering to vote where she'd be living for four years. Had she just kept her registration here as an absentee voter, she wouldn't have been called to jury duty.
We expect - and hope! - that her life will settle down a bit now. Her freshman year was unduly stressful, from start to finish. In addition to her own personal illnesses, injuries, etc. (she was treated at ER twice), the university itself endured serious stresses - including four cases of meningitis (one resulting in a freshman student lacrosse player - living in the other tower of her dorm - getting his feet amputated), the riot at their annual party called Dystopia (she had left early), and the recent shootings resulting in deaths and injuries (she was 1/2 block from one killing, heard shots and saw a man in a bloody t-shirt walking down the street). As if the usual stresses of freshman year aren't enough...
And now I have the usual stresses of preparing for a trip, with much that couldn't get done until today and tonight. So I'm off on errands for a few hours, followed by a single hour of work, and the rest of the prep. zoom zoom bye
|Saturday, June 7th, 2014|
|brother's 6th grade class pic...
(brother is back row, 6th from left, no glasses)
(brother-in-law to be is 1st row, 4th kid - not counting teacher - from left, no tie)
(i recognize about four other people, sure i know more)
|Fonzy with a "y"...
...as opposed to Fonzie with an "ie" (aka The Fonz), is a new variety of Canary melon which Rob serendipitously (the best way!) found at Whole Foods today and adventurously added to a fruit salad. Fonzy melon tastes like... canteloupe? ripe honeydew? pear? Yeah, a combination of those three. All 6 of us who tried it really liked it!
|Thursday, June 5th, 2014|
|For what it's worth
While I believe the horrific violence in Isla Vista was more about mental illness, mental health care, and insurance than it was about misogyny or gun control, obviously once again gun ownership resulted in terror, injuries, and deaths. There is no justification for any individual to own so many guns, let alone massive quantities of ammunition.
I stand with the Santa Barbara community in shouting NOT.ONE.MORE.
Here is just one way to participate
In the ongoing struggle against gun violence in the U.S. I think it's the least
I can do to sign a petition, and will continue to work toward changing gun ownership laws in my city, county, state, and country.
|Wednesday, May 28th, 2014|
|The best I can do is make a dent here and there
So here's my long overdue dent in posting some semblance of substance in my LJ. I chose this particular userpic to represent strength, resilience, and beauty, and because I just love bamboo.
For several years I've been fascinated by the idea of resilience, and how some people (1) manage to survive horrible circumstances and (2) sometimes build positive new lives. Years ago I read several books by or about Holocaust survivors, plus we all know (or are, ourselves) people who have managed to break long-term family chains of poverty and/or abuse (drug, alcohol, sexual, physical, emotional, etc.). Recently I started an intiriguing book: Surviving Survival: The Art & Science of Resilience
by Laurence Gonazales. Last night I read the chapter surviving the death of one's child, and surviving that survival - the same painful subject that has overtaken my head and heart in the 5 days since the horrific killings in Isla Vista.
My daughter was on a balcony less than a block from one of the killings and could easily have been walking or biking within the route of the gunman at the time. In fact, two of those killed were students from high schools in cities that border mine. I currently feel very much a part of both my own physical community and the Santa Barbara community. I ache and ache, and am committed to being part of making something good rise from this tragedy.
Already it's good that there's a renewed outcry for background checks in gun purchases and against anyone in a densely populated place needing THREE GUNS and a huge amount of ammunition. Already it's good that there's renewed outrage expressed against misogyny and violence against women. However, neither access to guns nor misogyny is the real issue here. The gunman also used knives and his car to injure and kill, and would have done the same had he not been able to purchase guns. There may have been fewer
victims, not no
victims. As for misogyny, yes, the gunman hated women but he also hated men who were able to have relationships with women, and he hated heterosexual couples - and none of this hatred was based on cultural norms. Rather, it was based on his own descent into mental illness.
What we truly need are renewed efforts in improved mental health care AND insurance for that care. I read that he was recently denied insurance for mental health care! (Can't take the time to track down a source for this now.) He did get some help from counselors, but, according to his Manifesto, his psychiatrists did little but prescribe medication - which he didn't take. Many more factors enter into this, such as police officers getting better training in a wide variety of mental health issues. My point is that, much as I do support gun control efforts and women's rights, the real good that needs to come from this horror is in better provision and insurance of high quality mental health care.
"Our country needs us all right now to stand up and be counted. We need to try to be great citizens. We are necessary in this country, and we need to give something -- that is to say, go to a local hospital, go to the children's ward and offer to the nurse in charge an hour twice a month that you can give them reading children's stories or poetry....You'll be surprised at how much better you will feel," she said. "And good done anywhere is good done everywhere."
~Maya Angelou (1928-2014), CNN interview, 2009
"I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver....The giver is as enriched as is the recipient, and more important, that intangible but very real psychic force of good in the world is increased....
Each of us has a few minutes a day or a few hours a week which we could donate to an old folks’ home or a children’s hospital ward. The elderly whose pillows we plump or whose water pitchers we refill may or may not thank us for our gift, but the gift is upholding the foundation of the universe. The children to whom we read simple stories may or may not show gratitude, but each boon we give strengthens the pillars of the world."
~Maya Angelou, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now, Part 3, "The Sweetness of Charity"
|Tuesday, May 27th, 2014|
|Friday, May 16th, 2014|
Oops, so sorry, low_delta
! I blame the newfangled LJ, yeah that's it.
Hope your birthday celebration was happy and continues through the weekend and beyond!
|Sunday, May 11th, 2014|
|a little pic...
...that my brother sent with the caption "Two mothers":
That's my mom (who at the time had 3 kids, ages 8, 10, and 13) with our
cat (a few years after her many kittens were given away, many becoming
|Monday, May 5th, 2014|
|Sunday, April 20th, 2014|
You Are Broccoli
You are down to earth and practical. You go for whatever is tried and true.
You tend to be a bit cautious, but you're not as boring as people think. There's a little room for spice in your life.
You are very healthy, and you take good care of yourself. You do your best to make good choices.
You are reliable and stable. You may not be the hottest thing, but people come back to you over and over again.
|Wednesday, April 16th, 2014|
|Monday, April 14th, 2014|
|Monday, April 7th, 2014|
|Monday, March 31st, 2014|
|Most sobering and definitive IPCC report just released
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just met. "The 10th Session of Working Group II (WGII-10) was held from 25 to 29 March 2014 in Yokohama, Japan. At the Session, the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) of the Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (WGII AR5) was approved and the underlying scientific and technical assessment accepted." You can read the summary and more here
According to this article
in The Guardian, "Monday's report was the most sobering so far from the UN climate panel and, scientists said, the most definitive. The report – a three year joint effort by more than 300 scientists – grew to 2,600 pages and 32 volumes."
The article goes on to state that "The warning signs about climate change and extreme weather events have been accumulating over time. But this report struck out on relatively new ground by drawing a clear line connecting climate change to food scarcity, and conflict."
An 8-week Coursera course started today: Global Warming: The Science of Climate Change
(University of Chicago). I might peek in on it. I might also re-take - and highly recommend - the excellent 10-week Climate Change in 4 Dimensions
(UC-San Diego), which starts up again April 8. Plus I've heard very positive reviews of the 9-week Climate Change
(University of Melbourne), to resume on August 9. I urge everyone to look into one of these courses - they're free, you can participate as much or as little as you choose, and you can drop out at any time. (I also recommend other courses covering a wide array of subjects but to me this topic is definitely the most urgent and compelling.)
|Sunday, March 30th, 2014|
|a few pics
Here are 2 pics from the 60's that I got at my parent's house last week, and one from '69 or '70 that I've been meaning to post:
Circa 1966: Me in chair and sister at piano 1968: Mom, Dad, Aunt N. and me
Brother at Northwestern University Library
|Saturday, March 22nd, 2014|