Thursday, September 30, 2004

Masooda Jalal's Campaign for President of Afghanistan

Jalal is Afghanistan's female warlord of sorts, though her weapons are not the traditional kind. She is armed primarily with a strength of spirit that has helped sustain her through jail time and direct threats. The 41-year-old mother of three is one of eighteen candidates running for the top office in Afghanistan's first-ever Western-style elections, scheduled for Oct. 9.

Jalal has little money and no publicity machine, and women, her natural constituency, have been slow to register to vote. Nevertheless, she is making history in this conservative Islamic country where the vast majority of women still wear the burqua -- some stores even sell burquas for dolls -- and the legal system views women as the property of their men.

Read the rest, by my friend Masha Hamilton, here:Masooda Jalal's Campaign for President of Afghanistan

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

At home, politics is child's play |

A great commentary by Mothershock's Andi Buchanan: At home, politics is child's play |

The Common Review: Why We Look So Bad

The Common Review: Why We Look So Bad: "It is a truth universally acknowledged that an academic, even one given a clothing allowance, will dress like a schlemiel. Historically, academics have been the subject of both high and low humor. From the sixth century onward, how we look has prompted nearly automatic laughter from onlookers, even if the onlookers were dressed in twigs and had painted their faces blue. Why are we, as a group, so sartorially impoverished that we make other professionals, even those in the actuarial or previously owned vehicle sales forces, look good? (Just to make sure we're all clear about this one point: I include myself in this group. And I am including you, dear reader. Trust me on this one–the following observations are not about other people.)"

another paragraph, then you need to go read it yourself:

"In fact, students don't actually notice how we look. If we showed up in a hairnet and goggles, the undergraduates would still sit there and take notes without flinching. Or reacting. They have no other reference point; they pay attention to us because we are at the front of the room, not because we have made a snazzy impression. They look at us because they have to. Mostly they see taupe or gray or purple shapes gesturing in order to emphasize the occasional point. The only gender distinction is this: male professors can wear the same sports jacket or sweater every Tuesday for thirteen weeks and it will pass without comment, whereas if a female professor wears the same suit two times in a row, she will be considered slatternly."

Alas, too true! / News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Op-ed / Is the right outbreeding the left? / News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Op-ed / Is the right outbreeding the left?: " 'When secular-minded Americans decide to have few, if any, children, they unwittingly give a strong evolutionary advantage to the other side of the culture divide.' Imagine giving an evolutionary advantage to folks who don't believe in evolution."

Friday, September 17, 2004

midlife mama, interrupted

OK, obviously I'm on a once-a-week update schedule here. I wish I were writing more, but I'm not. I'm hoping I will start writing more again, maybe when my class takes off and manages itself, maybe when I figure out a way to put more hours in the day (and I mean useful hours, hours when I could, yes, write). Maybe when I learn to make use of the hours I have, like the hour after Mariah leaves before Nick wakes up. Lately I use that hour to, oh, I don't know, shower and dress and maybe eat breakfast. If I'm really living large I check e-mail. Doing all this before Nick wakes up allows me to pay more attention to him in the morning than I was...I used to try to do all that stuff while also feeding and dressing him (or overseeing same) and getting his lunch ready. And getting it ready again when he objected to what was in it. (I know, I'm putting a lock on the lunchbox or something...)

So anyway. I don't write much because I'm lazy and inefficient. But here I am typing in the dark, trying not to bother Mark who is sleeping and Nick who is not. Oh, and Mariah has been on the phone for over an hour. Did I mention that she's a teenager?

Friday, September 10, 2004

Fresh Air: Friday - September 10, 2004

Fresh Air: Friday - September 10, 2004
: "Father Gregory Boyle, a Jesuit priest, has worked to find jobs for former gang members in Los Angeles for nearly 20 years. A book about Boyle's work, G-Dog and the Homeboys, is just out in paperback."

This was such an inspiring interview. Boyle doesn't really preach Christianity, he just does it.

surviving the first week

I just wrote this whole blog entry about Mariah's first week of school--and then deleted it. After all, it was HER first week. For me the issue is: I have a daughter in HIGH SCHOOL!

I'm not quite ready for that. But it's here anyway.

So far things seem to be going all right. She leaves the house at 6:45 am and gets home around 5, so it's a long day--but a part of that is the bus ride (school is 30 miles away). And because of my class schedule this semester I don't take her to the bus (which is fine with me) or pick her up. I'll probably do some of the pickups eventually--we've got a carpool with three other families for the end of the day. I'm feeling a little disconnected from the whole thing, though.

I've got a couple of essay ideas running through my head--one an assignment I've just accepted, another an idea for a column--and I'm finding I just don't have much to say. So this is a boring entry. Sorry. At least this will move the wonderful color of paleturquoise down the page.

Friday, September 03, 2004 Color Quiz: the wonderful color of paleturquoise

I wouldn't have chosen this color, and I'm not sure the blurb here is all that flattering, but it seems reasonably accurate. So go ahead, take the quiz yourself. Color Quiz: the wonderful color of paleturquoise: "
you are paleturquoise

Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.

Your saturation level is low - You stay out of stressful situations and advise others to do the same. You may not be the go-to person when something really needs done, but you know never to blow things out of proportion.

Your outlook on life is bright. You see good things in situations where others may not be able to, and it frustrates you to see them get down on everything.
the html color quiz