Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Views of the day:
Saturday, September 27, 2008
This past week, just in time for the equinox, it suddenly became the epitome of this new season. The sun is lower in the southern sky, filtered, different. The leaves along 23rd Avenue are turning gold and orange and scarlet. The morning silvery light stays throughout the day, and the clouds take longer to burn off. That sunset look - palest blue sky above, almost white along the horizon, yellow light to the west - starts earlier and doesn't heat the west side of the house anymore. I actually cleaned out the furnace filters and have turned the heat on for the mornings when the car windows are fogged over.
I'm sure it's just nostalgia, but I remember fall when I was younger and in the Midwest as beautiful, crisp, clear, scented, smoky, lighter, longer. The rains didn't start as early until I was older, until after my Mom passed away one November, right after the last Peace Rose - her favorite flower - had bloomed unexpectedly for the last time.
Fall was the season of my birthday, of one of my brother's birthdays, of my Dad's birthday. It was the season of Homecoming parades, of going back to school, of a new start. It's now the season of both of my parents' deaths, of rain, of the end of something, of the end of everything. I try desperately to bring life to this season, to re-plant the containers on the front porch, to bring chrysanthemums and late-blooming dahlias and sunflowers inside, to keep candles lit and good food on the table and to forget what this season became - of death, of loss, of leaving, of losing.
I miss my Mom, and my Dad. My Aunt Edith and Uncle Eddie and Grandma Jennie, who were fixtures at our Thanksgiving table for so many years. I miss ... something else. I'll try to find it this fall.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Another hat tip, this time to Mikey:
This is Your Nation on White Privilege
By Tim Wise
For those who still can't grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.
White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because "every family has challenges," even as black and Latino families with similar "challenges" are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.
White privilege is when you can call yourself a "fuckin' redneck," like Bristol Palin's boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll "kick their fuckin' ass," and talk about how you like to "shoot shit" for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.
White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.
White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don't all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you're "untested."
White privilege is being able to say that you support the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance because "if it was good enough for the founding fathers, it's good enough for me," and not be immediately disqualified from holding office--since, after all, the pledge was written in the late 1800s and the "under God" part wasn't added until the 1950s--while believing that reading accused criminals and terrorists their rights (because, ya know, the Constitution, which you used to teach at a prestigious law school requires it), is a dangerous and silly idea only supported by mushy liberals.
White privilege is being able to be a gun enthusiast and not make people immediately scared of you.
White privilege is being able to have a husband who was a member of an extremist political party that wants your state to secede from the Union, and whose motto was "Alaska first," and no one questions your patriotism or that of your family, while if you're black and your spouse merely fails to come to a 9/11 memorial so she can be home with her kids on the first day of school, people immediately think she's being disrespectful.
White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you're being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you're somehow being mean, or even sexist.
White privilege is being able to convince white women who don't even agree with you on any substantive issue to vote for you and your running mate anyway, because all of a sudden your presence on the ticket has inspired confidence in these same white women, and made them give your party a "second look."
White privilege is being able to fire people who didn't support your political campaigns and not be accused of abusing your power or being a typical politician who engages in favoritism, while being black and merely knowing some folks from the old-line political machines in Chicago means you must be corrupt.
White privilege is being able to attend churches over the years whose pastors say that people who voted for John Kerry or merely criticize George W. Bush are going to hell, and that the U.S. is an explicitly Christian nation and the job of Christians is to bring Christian theological principles into government, and who bring in speakers who say the conflict in the Middle East is God's punishment on Jews for rejecting Jesus, and everyone can still think you're just a good church-going Christian, but if you're black and friends with a black pastor who has noted (as have Colin Powell and the U.S. Department of Defense) that terrorist attacks are often the result of U.S. foreign policy and who talks about the history of racism and its effect on black people, you're an extremist who probably hates America.
White privilege is not knowing what the Bush Doctrine is when asked by a reporter, and then people get angry at the reporter for asking you such a "trick question," while being black and merely refusing to give one-word answers to the queries of Bill O'Reilly means you're dodging the question, or trying to seem overly intellectual and nuanced.
White privilege is being able to claim your experience as a POW has anything at all to do with your fitness for president, while being black and experiencing racism is, as Sarah Palin has referred to it a "light" burden.
And finally, white privilege is the only thing that could possibly allow someone to become president when he has voted with George W. Bush 90 percent of the time, even as unemployment is skyrocketing, people are losing their homes, inflation is rising, and the U.S. is increasingly isolated from world opinion, just because white voters aren't sure about that whole "change" thing. Ya know, it's just too vague and ill-defined, unlike, say, four more years of the same, which is very concrete and certain…
White privilege is, in short, the problem.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
These pictures were all taken on Friday, September 12, 2008 in Seattle, Washington.
7:36 a.m. Heading out the door to work:
1:49 p.m. Finally out to get some lunch. Every day is like this lately. Lots o' construction in this neighborhood.
Look - it's my wonder car, Joe Jetta!
4:49 p.m. Just left work. A building nearby that we designed:
Look - more construction cranes:
5:03 p.m. Almost home. Ummm ... why are the trees changing color already???
And more leaves changing. Hmmm. Too early.
5:18 p.m. Why yes, I WOULD like a screwdriver ...
5:20 p.m. Have I mentioned that I'm taking B12 supplements?
5:21 p.m. Scott loves him some Halloween. He's already started buying some new decorations. He thought he'd scare me by putting one of his new friends in the refrigerator. I decided to make it more friendly with a sign:
He also bought Skelly. Apparently he was a bad boy:
9:40 p.m. Nothing much happened tonight. Scott's working late. Here I'm trying to choose and edit my 12 of 12 pictures from my boring set:
Happy 12 of 12!!!!!!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Getting up the stairs was the hardest part. She seemed frustrated and embarrassed that she needed help. Scott crawled up the stairs next to her so she wouldn't feel bad:
We're happy to say that she seems to have pretty fully recovered and is spending her days in the backyard with the other dogs again. So today Scott and I went on the road looking for adventure. We found it in Puyallup.
The Puyallup Fair is an annual event - and a pretty big one, too.
A prizewinning vegetable display:
A 1,034 pound pumpkin:
Lots of military down presence here:
A man carving giant pumpkins. They were really very cool. The one he's working on is all cats:
There was a booth for a place named "BJ's" that sold hair extensions. They also sold this t-shirt:
Fair fashion #2. At least the bad shoes matched the bad leggings under the bad dress:
We walked past this ride where people paid to be brought up about a hundred feet in the air, then dropped part way, brought up a little again dropped again ... it's called "The Tower of Stupidity" or something like that:
What's a fair without a trip to the Livestock Barns?
There were lots of these around:
Cow taking a shower:
I guessed a song correctly and won a prize - purple Mardi Gras beads and a pen:
What's a fair - especially in the Pacific Northwest - without a Native American band?
Rides and things:
Time to eat ... mmmm, barbecue ...
Scooter wants ribs:
After eating pork ribs and BBQ pork sandwich, we saw these seven-day-old piglets:
Then the drive home, with this view of Mount Rainier behind us:
Now we're home - exhausted and a little sunburned. I think a hot shower and fresh sheets on the bed sound good. I hope everything had a good weekend!