nice echo

Every morning I go to headquarters to check the equipment for the uppitymucks. I have a well-tread path, and part of it takes me through the stairwell. Since I am there so early, I feel pretty confident that I am all alone. So I sing in the stairwell.

Right now Christmas Carols work. Other times I’ll sing Sinatra songs (the influence of my husband) or Danny Boy or some other such. The echo is really lovely. I wouldn’t really mind other people hearing me sing, but perhaps not everyone who is trudging to their cube wants to hear about how Danny Boy is being called by the pipes.

Now that the internet has moved away from me, this blog reminds me of that stairwell. It’s pretty unlikely that anyone hears what I am saying. In a way, it’s a nice thing. I can say whatever I want.

domestic imperialism

Jedidiah Purdy came to my attention because he wrote some amazing book or other and he was homeschooled.

I googled him further and discovered this article

In nearly impenetrable language, he discusses the ideals behind imperialism. To be reductive, he says that imperialist action is based on the idea that one party knows better than another. He divides imperialism into two camps, weak and strong.  Strong imperialism says “We know better than you and are going to place ourselves in a position to make decisions for you.”  Weak imperialism is a sort of emancipatory imperialism, saying, “You, the people, are under the power of other people who are not allowing you to make your own decisions. We will overpower those who have overpowered you to restore your self-determination.”

Weak imperialism contains a contradiction, because an outside party is deciding what the so-called oppressed people need. However, it is arguably a necessary thing to help the helpless on occasion.

Why do I bring up imperialism right now? Because the democrats in the united states congress have taken it upon themselves to decide for its citizenry what we need. There is not popular support for this Health Care bill, but they have come to the conclusion that they know better than their constituents.

That is just the current manifestation. What will this very deeply private health care bill further decide for Americans?

hard life lessons


It’s a hard lesson. Just because you love someone, it doesn’t mean they feel the same way about you.

You have to read their body language, and not just what you want to see.


computers will often behave in ways you don’t want them to. But you keep coming back.

..even when you thought you were done…

concrete tall and wide

Once, when visiting Manhattan, I stood on the roof of the Empire State building. It was dusk, and I could see in all directions. Wherever there wasn’t water, there were buildings. Incredible! With the tiny little fully encased exception of Central Park, everything was paved and built-over as far as the eye could see. And the eye could see for miles. I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it myself.

Driving from Pasadena to Irvine (Orange County) yesterday, I had to drive slowly. It was raining,  so the traffic was backed up and I had to drive very very slow. I passed through neighborhood after neighborhood after commercial strip mall. Overpasses and exits and miles and miles of freeway. It occurred to me that the Los Angeles area is very populated and built up. It made me think of the view from the Empire State building. I wondered if L.A. had a tall building that could give a similar view. I thought of the Library tower, famous for being the first to get blown up by the Aliens in Independence Day.

Then I realized that the view of the L.A. basin is best seen from the mountains. I’d taken the Angeles Crest highway. and seen the whole thing.

But seeing the man made from a tall mountain is a totally different experience. The Empire State building is a man-made structure. Seeing all the man-made things from a man-made things takes your breath away. You realize how very much man can subdue nature.

But seeing man-made things from a mountain makes man-made things look small. The mountain will outlast us. Nature has patience with us, because we are not so very important in the big scheme of things.

rearranging priorities

Back–oh lord, more than 10 years ago–I noticed myself writing very very long emails to particular friends. I could get going on a topic and just not stop.

Eventually, I realized that this was not the right way to capture and convey this information. I started a blog. THIS was the right way to say something I needed to say. The internet, which gave me email, found a better way.

Now there is twitter and facebook. I’ve connected these social chatty machines, but now my blog is suffering. The internet got *in* the way.

Then again, what is this path I want to be on anyway? What am I trying to accomplish? It could be that facebook and twitter had arrived at the same time that I ran out of things to say. After all, my daughter uses up a lot of mental energy and that may mean my well of things to say ran dry.

Then again, maybe because I cannot complete a full thought easily in my regular life I really need this blog to help me get my thoughts straight.

Since I no longer have a huge reservoir of resources to drink from, I think I need to prioritize what I write. Facebook isn’t the place to have huge thoughts. It’s more or less a fancy chatroom or bulletin board. I don’t want to waste my energy on what amounts to SNACKING, little bites of not quite satisfying self-expression.

Not sure what this will end up as, but it’s time to take stock.