January 31st, 2009

hipster me

[Friday]

I took the T to Micah House tonight after work.  86 bus to Cleveland Circle, C line to St. Mary's, walk to Micah House (I'd printed out a GoogleMap).  Well, I'd never taken the C Line to the end, so I didn't know that it actually drops you off at Reservoir and you have to walk to the C Line stop.  (When we ended at Reservoir, I asked the driver where I would go to pick up the C Line, and I found the conglomeration of trolleys but wasn't sure where to actually board, so I asked another transit worker.)

Really I should have taken the 66 to Coolidge Corner, where I could have picked up the C Line much closer to St. Mary's (and also maybe not spent like 25 minutes on the bus -- though I forget how long it takes from HBS to Coolidge Corner), or I could have picked up the B Line off the 66 and walked from BU Central.

I had a GoogleMap printout for getting there from St. Mary's, and went too far on one side street and then turned in the wrong direction off another, but still made it there around 6:20.

I walked in and was like, "Hey, Jeff, Ice of Death."  I didn't say, "A whole bunch of you interns live in this house -- were none of you home today to shovel the ice when it melted?"  Apparently they have people who come and plow the snow, so they just assumed they would come and take care of the ice -- yeah, not so much.  One woman actually fell and dislocated her knee (apparently this happens to her a lot, so she was actually trying to pop it back in herself).

We had homemade mac&cheese -- which was still being made at 6:45 (start time was 6:30) -- and there wasn't any salad or veggies.  Sigh.

I had thought discussion would be better tonight than last week because there was more substance to discuss, but arguably the discussion was more scattered this week (or perhaps more accurately, more "superficial" as Laurel put it -- reminding me of our early conversations about RED class "hydroplaning") -- though Jeff was better than he was last week about not being like, "So now let's talk about thus-and-such" [this is like his favorite book, so of course there are particular things he wants to talk about].  And definitely lots of people raised really interesting points.

We wrapped up around 9:30, and Laurel and I opted to head home (there was a dance party starting around 10, but Laurel wasn't entirely dressed appropriately -- we hadn't known there was gonna be one -- and she was really tired, so she felt like if she stayed and waited she would fall asleep) and we ended up having a good conversation about poly while in her car; she had been really tired, so it was nice/comforting to see her more energized and just sort of normal.

***

Email tonight included one from Thi (whose financial position at CWM I'm taking over), which opened, "Here's the spreadsheet, I was telling you about.  We probably won't be at church on Sunday since Jen is currently in labor so I hope you have some experience with Excel."

0.0

***

My phone was down to one bar and I plugged in to charge after I got home and I was still on the computer when it finished recharging.  This is bad.  But lots of good emailing.

***

"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-mylittleredgirl [more info]


Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine
     -"You Are Mine" (David Haas)


Five good things about today:
1. My walk to Davis was 90% ice-free!  (And took me 25 minutes instead of yesterday's 35.)
2. I'm less sore today than I was yesterday.
3. Jeff was appreciative of the approach I bring to the book group (very grounded, pull-no-punches, straightforward "thus-and-such didn't work for me" or whatever; also: pedantic, and time-conscious).
4. I got to have some really nice interaction with Laurel.
5. [redacted, v. 2(.5) ]

Three things I did well today:
1. Well, I went to the Collapse )
2. I'm a good friend.
3. I asked directions (twice) for where to pick up the C Line at Cleveland Circle.

Two things I am looking forward to (doing [better]) tomorrow:
["anything that you're looking forward to, that means you're facing tomorrow with joy, not trepidation," as Ari says]
1. sleeping in
2. seeing a friend
hermione by oatmilk

Inauguration '09 (links etc. edition)

After the Inauguration, I started poking at blogs, but I was busy that week, so I only read a smattering, and then I never really got back to it, so I'm dumping it for my own reference.

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reiteration of link list:
* Rick Warren's invocation: transcript + video (boston.com)
* Elizabeth Alexander's inaugural poem (NYT)
* Obama's Inaugural Address (AP)
* Rev. Joseph E. Lowery's invocation (blog.suntimes.com).

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"Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen."

Amen.
every week is ibarw

[IBARW 2008] catch-up: part 1

The below was mostly finished August/September of last year, but I had wanted to do a bit more and then I kept not getting to it, and here we are months later and I'm just gonna post it.

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Part of what I did with my extra day in the States before leaving for Europe was catch up on the ibarw del.icio.us -- at least in terms of compiling links to read when I got back.  ~60 posts got added to while I was away, hence the "part 1" in the title.

***

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Subject: From The Fortune Cookie Chronicles

Our benchmark for Americanness is apple pie. But ask yourself: How often do you eat apple pie? How often do you eat Chinese food?

Jennifer 8 Lee

Link thanks to Marginal Revolution.
I think this is my favorite of all the IBARW stuff I've read so far.

[Edit: oyceter reviewed the book.]

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sparkymonster made a couple fashion posts:
* [IBARW] Alek Wek: The First Model I cared about
* [IBARW] The All Black Issue of Vogue

***

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qiu xiaolong, 'death of a red heroine;' and on chinese family names (stephiepenguin) made me think of Ro Laren (ST:TNG).


From the altfriday5:
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This week's questions were written by Guest Questioner sparkymonster in honour of International Blog Against Racism Week. She provides this link to helpful reading: http://seamonkey.ed.asu.edu/~mcisaac/emc598ge/Unpacking.html

1. List 5 things which are basic common knowledge in your culture, which people outside are unfamiliar with. This is not about obscurity, but something everyday to you, that others go "bzuh?" at.

2. What was the last book you read that was written by a person who is a different race than you? Do you seek out books written by people of other races? Why? Why not?

3. What did you eat at dinner last night? Would you call it ethnic food? Why?

4. Has your gender presentation changed over the last 5 years? Has this change/lack of change been a deliberate choice on your part?

5. Do you discuss race and racism in your livejournal/blog or in person? Why have you made that choice?

6. Bonus question. Were you aware of International Blog Against Racism Week? Did you choose to participate in it? Why or why not?

----
Follow up in your LJ, or this one, and post links to discussions here.
Edit: Per Lorraine's request, I answered these in comments.
taken out of context

RaceFail2009 (January edition) some highlights from what I've read thus far

It's easy to sketch an arc of causality from the Joseph story through to the revelation of the Torah at Sinai: Joseph had to be imprisoned so that he might rise up, he had to rise up so that the Israelites might come to Egypt, the Israelites had to come to Egypt in order to be enslaved -- in order to be freed by God's mighty hand and outstretched arm -- in order to wander in the desert -- in order to become ready for revelation. The story balances, each ill matched by a greater good, but if we stop and focus on any one piece the larger narrative recedes and the details can be overwhelming. Imagine the makat b'chorot pandemic, the screams and the wailing, the agonized fear. Did witnessing that suffering, even from behind our own closed (and bloodied) doors, harden our hearts in some indefinable way? Could that be part of why we had to wander forty years before we were ready to become new?

The custom of spilling drops of wine from our glasses as we describe these plagues during seder reminds us that when others suffer, our cup of joy can never be full.

-Velveteen Rabbi: Seeking compassion (Radical Torah repost)
***

via coffeeandink, I read nextian's post "whose stories are they?", which talks about Jewish holy texts and Christian approaches thereto, which was a really powerful read for me a text-oriented practicing Christian.  Collapse )

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From a comment thread on Jan. 26:
     buddleia: Wow, it looks like we saw completely different debates.
     annafdd: Apart from the irony, you know, this thing is spread so much around that it could well be.

The first posts everyone was reading were:
* Avalon's Willow: "Open Letter: To Elizabeth Bear"
* Elizabeth Bear: "Real magic can never be made by offering up someone else's liver."
* Deepa D.: "I Didn't Dream of Dragons" [dreamwidth mirror]

Ambling Along the Aqueduct and rydra_wong are good sources of link lists.

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There was a post that mentioned how "colorblindness" (or something) is "unilateral" -- how it functions to make everyone like the (white) speaker.  I haven't been able to find it since.  Anyone know what I'm talking about and have a link?

***

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Here's what I've been doing in the latest race imbroglio: shutting the hell up, reading, and trying to learn.

Here's why: the initial discussion immediately triggered my "BUT BUT BUT" response, which is usually a sign that I need to shut the hell up and try to learn, instead of flapping my yap.

Here's my question: when is that the right thing? When does it cross into reading as silence = assent? Because I'm sure it does, at some point. At what point does "I need to shut up and learn" turn into "...and I successfully avoided having to comment on the whole mess and possibly be embarrassed!"

-jacquez ("This is a tangent. And also, what I've learned so far.")
Also, Kita's "Commentary on commentary"

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My ears perked up when I heard the woman say, "What about kids with pimples?  They get picked on, too:"  I'm always interested to hear people's arguments against gay, lesbian, and bisexual students' rights, particularly ones that have "Gay kids aren't the only ones that have it rough" at their core.  Because we've all been fed this message that we shouldn't be crybabies and should just "suck, it up," we often aren't aware of how this translates into being shut off from the ability to feel pain in ourselves and in others---basically a lack of empathy.

-Jeff Perrotti in When the Drama Club is Not Enough: Lessons from the Safe Schools Program for Gay and Lesbian Students (p. 181)
***

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More readings:

Bernice Johnson Reagon's essay "Coalition Politics: Turning the Century"

From "Check my what?" On privilege and what we can do about it - by Andrea Rubenstein [tekanji]:
You Can Only Sympathize, Not Empathize

This is probably the hardest one for me, personally, to wrap my mind around because I'm all about drawing links between oppressions. But, no matter how strong the link is, the facts remain that no two oppressions are the same. And it's you, as the privileged party, who needs to be extra careful about when and how you draw links. While the intent may be to show solidarity, the result is all too often that you come off as defensive, trying to one-up the non-privileged groups and appropriate their oppression. This doesn't mean you shouldn't ever try to make connections, but rather that you should think about how the connections you're drawing will come off to others.
violin

"Children, wake up / Hold your mistake up / Before they turn the summer into dust"

"Joy Sadhana is a daily practice in the observation of joy."
-mylittleredgirl [more info]


Do not be afraid, I am with you
I have called you each by name
Come and follow Me
I will bring you home
I love you and you are mine
     -"You Are Mine" (David Haas)


Five good things about today:
1. Sleep!  I went to bed at like 2:30am and I woke up and it was light out and I felt fairly awake, but it was like seven-thirty.  I knew if I got up I would crash in a few hours, so I went back to sleep, repeated this some more, and finally got up around quarter past eleven.
2. I'm less sore today than I was yesterday.
3. [redacted, v. 2(.5)]
4. There are some great bits in Good Will Hunting.
5. David Bowie & The Arcade Fire - "Wake Up" (though it keeps skipping -- which is probably my computer being cranky)

Three things I did well today:
1. I'm a good friend.
2. I withdrew money and picked up some groceries and washed dishes.
3. LJ postdumpage

Two things I am looking forward to (doing [better]) tomorrow:
["anything that you're looking forward to, that means you're facing tomorrow with joy, not trepidation," as Ari says]
1. being even less sore
2. and also more well-rested