Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Californians Arrive

My family and Jon's come for Thanksgiving starting late tonight and bleeding into tomorrow. The house has had a thorough Flylady once over and is sparkling. We painted both the family room and my bedroom and dejunked literally every room in the house. This is no easy task as my daughters' room hadn't seen the floor in so long we forgot the color of the carpet.

When it was all finished, my 11 year old son said, "I think a clean house is really nice."

Made me laugh.

My other kids chimed in that though it looks nice clean, it doesn't feel as homey.

Anyway, I will be scarce over the next several days of celebrating.

In addition to meals and desserts, I need to study. I have a paper due that compares the role of women in Hinduism and Islam. So far, Hinduism wins the prize for most abusive religion to women in history. Makes you want to tie men up in brightly colored saris and hurl them onto funeral pyres!

A steady gaze at women in history is enough to make any woman turn lesbian, I tell you. I am grateful to be born this side of suffrage and the third wave of feminsim.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Left, Right and Center

I've been scarce here lately. Just too much going on in my life. We're cleaning carpets, painting walls, dusting the "tall people places" (the tops of things I never see from down here), stocking good chocolate and buying coordinated "things" from Target (like tablecloths and other needless, first world, energy consuming decor) for our big Thanksgiving get-together which happens next week.

My mother, her husband, my brother, Jon's sister and my mom's husband's brother and sister-in-law (yes, we are an American family) are all coming to our house for the big Turkey meal. Jon will cook the bird in his Weber cooker while it snows, I imagine. :)

Grad school continues to mess with my mind...

The right wing radio types have been warning me about higher education for fifteen years. They warned that Marx was a hero and that the left would emerge as elitist, against business and out to control the lives of ordinary well-meaning SUV drivers.

They were completely right, btw.

In fact, my professors proudly identify with labels like "liberal" and "progressive" (what's up with that?) and wince when anyone mentions Rush Limbaugh or the so-called "war on terror." I think they experience physical pain.

But if you soak long enough in a perspective and give it time, it's amazing how undermining that long look can be to what you thought you knew.

Did you know, for instance, that if every Chinese drank just one more beer next year, all of Scandanavia's grain production would have to go to supplying that demand?

Okay, so what? We live in America. The Scandanvians can slave for the Chinese.

Here's another one...

Did you know that per capita, Americans consume 180 eggs per year? Did you know that each Chinese consumes ten? (10!?) The goal of their government is that each Chinese would consume 100 eggs per year. Yet if they were to consume only 50 per year, there wouldn't be enough hens in the world to lay eggs 24/7 year round to supply that need. We would literally be unable to produce enough eggs.

What the cluck?

They finally got through to me last night (in a way that the limits to growth folks never have succeeded before)—making tangible what the problems are in concrete, visual terms.

China and India want to consume energy at the rate that we do. Period.

The way we've set up the game, at this point, is that we want to consume at the rate we currently do without having to give any of it up and we believe we can continue to do so while other countries come up to our level without hitting shortages.

I am now considering the possibility that we are wrong. (So what else is new under the sun in my life?)

Actually, I think I'll skip eggs this morning. Might just drink some tea.

Look at me! "She's all grown up and savin' China." (Quick, trivia question: What Disney movie is that from?)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Springsteen on Fresh Air

If you get Fresh Air in your market, today's interview with the Boss is wonderful. The audio will be posted on the website after 3 p.m. eastern.

Check it out.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Perks of Being a Graduate Student

After years of being a stay-at-home mom

  • New books, new clothes, and the necessary application of make-up on class night.

  • A sexy vocabulary - "post-foundationalist deconstruction" and "ideological hegemonic criteria" Hot, hot, hot! When those professors start going on like that, I swear it's all I can do to sit there and take notes... Makes me hurry home to my husband's big vocab, if you know what I mean. ;-)

  • More writing opportunities than you can shake a stick at... or at which one may shake one's stick.

  • A library with really old books in German by Goethe. It doesn't matter that I will never read them. It matters that they transfer immortality to me each time I stroke the spines.

  • Adults who dare to question everything they know, leave the ministry and wind up in food service (Dominoes pizza and Starbucks come to mind). Who says an MA in theology doesn't prepare one for the workforce?

  • Subversive ancient texts. Word up! There's a conspiracy out there to disarm these texts. We theology students know better and are sneaking into your water cooler conversations and online bulletin board chats. Postmodern malatov cocktail anyone?

  • Standing in front of school buildings and forgetting my age for just a minute.

  • Feeling smart.

  • Having new thoughts about old topics.

  • Reading.

  • Getting sane without spending a penny on therapy.

So what are you waiting for?

Oh and I have no idea what in the world I'll do with a theology degree... except try to finagle a way to keep taking classes.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Hubby leaves town and car goes on the blink

I got a new van a few weeks ago. It's a new "used" van but the newest vehicle we've ever bought. It has only 60,000 miles on it! And I bought it like the grown-up I am - with my own hard earned money. First time ever.

I love it.

And now I hate it.

Why did it have to give up while Jon is in Seattle?

Praying to the mechanical gods: Please would you heal my vehicle, ASAP-hicle.


(We all believe in God when our cars break down...)