Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Poem of the day/weekend

Had the rare good fortune to hear a reading by Mary Oliver, whose work is a delight of observation and reflection -- I recognize a haiku sensibility, as well as whiffs of Whitman in her writing. She was also quite an amusing character, peppering her presentation with short self-deprecating anecdotes and asides, and mixing more thoughtful works with some sillier ones about her dog. Good stuff. This one particularly resonated with me.


Every day
I see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean's shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

- Mary Oliver

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quote of the day

pebble with shadowThe self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.
— John Dewey
(via The Coffee Sutras)

Be careful what you wish for

Not everybody is so desperate to live in interesting times as all this financial collapse is enabling. I just hope that the historicity of the Obama campaign will make it seem like this was a moment worth being around for.

Monday, November 24, 2008

One step forward, two steps back

Via Follow Me Here, the odd perspective that with Obama's resignation from the Senate, we can look forward to a government headed by a black President, but with not a single black Senator. That's pretty striking, and reminds us that there's still some distance to go on the racial equality frontier...

Civics test

It was easy to be snide about the low score that federal elected officials got on this civics test until I took the test myself. It was pretty hard and wide-ranging on government structure, function, and history. Didn't expect to do as well as I did (pat pat). Interesting!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The pressure of collective hope

Obama O moonIt's just amazing to me that, some 6 weeks before he's even taken office, Obama is being morphed into Lincoln (both directly and indirectly) and Franklin Roosevelt (this becomes this), among other presumptions. I think this is the release of pent-up hope, relief, natural parallels and historical reverberations, but it's also sort of mind-blowing. I guess we're lucky that Obama is a pretty cool head or he might find that such analogies (and hints of deification) put him off his game...

(all via Bag News Notes)

Good news, bad news

This seems like good news for the government, for the country... yay!

In contrast, this makes me want to bang my head against my desk. Hello? functional legislature needed here...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More signs that a new day is coming

Obama rolls out a weekly YouTube address to the nation. Very intriguing! He's certainly wasting no time getting his Presidential business underway . . .

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The definition of "risible"

blank stareOne really hardly knows how to respond to this. Indeed, the craziness of the wignuts defies satire.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Am totally tired of Joe Lieberman. Of his being on the wrong side of the war, yes, but also blocking progress in many other areas, rejecting the will of his party when he lost their nomination, and spitting in the face of the Democrats in the recent Presidential race (and yet McCain took Palin to the prom, sniff). He's lucky that Reid is allowing him the option of staying in the caucus, now that he's not the vote that gives them the majority, and there are reasons to wonder why he's holding so hard to his current chairmanship rather than taking his lumps for all the backstabbing...

Edit: here's a whole compendium of Joe-wrongness. It's not just the war. Let's keep up with the "time for a change" mantra and make sure this guy isn't in charge of anything important.
(via Political Animal)

When do we get to kick some asses?

I'm sorry, but when the Fed is paying trillions into private hands as a dole for mismanaged funds, the taxpayers have a right to know where it's going.
The Federal Reserve is refusing to identify the recipients of almost $2 trillion of emergency loans from American taxpayers or the troubled assets the central bank is accepting as collateral
Is there nobody sane at any point in the pay-out chain? I.e., doesn't somebody have to sign and send the checks, and couldn't Congress (or me! let me go kick some butts!) just cut them off until they play by the rules? What kind of crazy banana republic do we live in these days?!?

Good on Bloomberg for filing a Sunshine lawsuit, but by the time that works its way through the courts, the money will be long gone (and probably the lame-duck crooks too)... grrrr.

(via Talking Points Memo)

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Obama team already planning to undo some of the most egregious Bush policies and executive orders immediately after inauguration -- one imagines that some sanity could be restored to environmental regulations, for example -- and will keep a list of anything the Bushies try to force through in the next couple of months. whooooooot!

Edit: I also like the news that Obama campaign offices are donating their supplies to the school systems in each region where they operated...

Saturday baby blogging

Speck is spending the weekend (and part of next week) getting reacquainted with her out-of-town grandparents, which appears to be fun for all concerned. Meantime, she and her parents continue to be this excited about recent election results...

mom and baby via Photobooth

Friday, November 07, 2008

Quote for the week

Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no result, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul.
- Simone Weil
(via whiskey river)

Run for the hills

Radical organization chart for the Obama presidency. heh.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Out of the spotlight

This is the best Obama picture ever. tee hee!

(via mimi smartypants)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

More, please

I find I have a near limitless appetite for images of victory and stories of celebration. I wish I'd run out into the streets, but instead we just cried in our livingroom.

O Baby!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A new day coming

Personally, I'm celebrating this with this (although we paid a whole lot less for it 4 years ago in France). Toast in your own style. The improbable has happened.

Warm thoughts about voting

Just taking a short break from working my local polling place (baby nap time!) and caught the following that gave me a warm and/or teary feeling:I hope all my readers have already voted, but if not, don't forget! Mid-day is often the quietest time, if you have that option...


Saturday, November 01, 2008

New source of alarming cuteness

A blog called ZooBorns presents baby animals from zoos and aquariums all around the world, in picture and video form. That's some serious collective cuteness!

(via GirlHacker)