Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The last

This blog has come to an end. There is nothing else to write (for now), so I wish you happy holidays and happy lifetimes. Thanks for reading. It has meant a lot.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Musical weaponry

They used it to force Manuel Noreiga out of exile in an embassy in Panama, and now the United States is using it too. I'm not talking about the 24 hour Christmas radio stations here, but torture. I caught this article the other day in one of our local papers. It was on the back page. Read the article.

I suppose that copyright and human rights have no place in government detention centers. Blaring music as benign as the Sesame Street theme, to as raucous as NIN, over and over make people break down. I know how I feel when I hear too much Nickleback. The military uses it "to create fear, disorient ... and prolong capture shock."

I like Tom Morello's take on it:
Morello, of Rage Against the Machine, has been especially forceful in denouncing the practice. During a recent concert in San Francisco, he proposed taking revenge on President George W. Bush. "I suggest that they level Guantanamo Bay, but they keep one small cell and they put Bush in there ... and they blast some Rage Against the Machine," he said to whoops and cheers.

What music would drive you insane?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Child rearing its ugly head

This is me being honest. This is me being not nice. This is me judging.

Please forgive me.

Yesterday we had 2 families visit the library that make me aware of my blood pressure rising up a notch every time they step across the threshold. Both families have at 5least 5 children between the ages of 1 and 9 (and counting since one of the moms is pregnant again), and each brood is being home schooled by their grouchy, negligent, inept mothers. The children are a little scattered. I (mainly) forgive them, because I don't think that there is much structure in their lives, and after all they are kids. I imagine the future of one set of kids, and there is plenty of sexism, booze and infidelity in this vision. The other set of children seem more grounded, despite their mother preaching to them that they "must obey her." I could scoop several of these children up and take them home, since I see a new generation of co-dependence and low self esteem unfolding. I know I don't have a lot of experience with parenting, or have a degree in child psychology, but I think having children means enjoying them, even when they challenge your patience. When both the families left, and no one else was around, I whispered to one of my staff. I said, "I have 2 words for you: birth control." I should have added "public school," "know your limitations," and "WTF!"

Seriously, I know that being a parent is tough. I try to remember 2 of the 7 principles of Unitarian Universalism during these frayed visits. One is recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and the other is justice, equity and compassion in human relations. I try, I really do, but I still question why it is that some have so much, and others do not, and why I seem destined to be childless.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Burn baby burn

Today I received a real gift. My municipality's wellness committee provided chair massages today. I signed up for it a few weeks ago but I didn't imagine how relaxing and wonderful I would feel afterwards. I recommend it. This week I am doing the work of 4 different people, and I am feeling like I am burning out a bit. My director is gone for a week so I am standing in for her, and I continue to fill in for our librarian who will be starting in January, I am doing the work of our admin, who is out for the unforeseeable future, and I am trying to do my own work too. It's all too much. But, even though I had 4 small pieces of chocolate today I did work out for a half hour and felt...good afterwards. Good start.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Advent, or the first of many days

I received a wonderful package last week. I have been getting a lot of packages from publishing houses because I am on an award committee for the state for children's lit, but this came in a colorful package that held inside an advent calendar! I have lots of good memories of Christmas anticipation because of the advent calendars my mom had for us. This one came from my aunt and it features a beautiful scene created by the talented Maine artist Kim Jacobs. Thanks Aunt Sue!

Since I am trying to make some positive changes in my life, I thought I would share something every day with you, rather than consuming it myself. So when you visit the blog this month, picture yourself opening the little window on the advent calendar and seeing what could be hiding behind it. Today, I present you with the easiest recipe on earth:
Easy Beer Bread

3 cups of self-rising flour
½ cup sugar
1-12 ounce can of beer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix 3 ingredients and spoon into bread pan.
Bake for 50 minutes. If desired, take out after 50 minutes and brush butter on top. Bake for another 5 minutes.

You may use whatever beer you like, but darker beers, or even flavored beer gives the bread an interesting taste. Enjoy!