social commentary


I have a talent for social blunders — blurting out statements that I later realize would have benefited greatly from a little forethought and consideration.

Luckily, I have friends who know this about me and see through it. Hopefully, they realize that my intentions are not malicious and that most of the time I strive to act properly and compassionately, be loving and contribute to the world around me.

I’m also quite scatter brained. It would be easy to say it’s because I’m self-absorbed. Whether this is true is up to conjecture (and I do not deny the possibility).

But I think it may be more accurate to say that I am easily distracted and therefore often fail to observe social cues and other events. I’m convinced that my mirror of self-awareness is not always facing the right way.

For example, today I searched the work pantry in vain to find a spoon with which to eat my yogurt. I was in a rush to get to a meeting.

Sitting at the round table with a fork and yogurt in hand, I looked down and saw a spoon next to my notebook.

I thought to myself, “I don’t remember finding a spoon.”

I set down my fork, took up the spoon and started eating without putting any more thought to where it had come from.

It wasn’t until my co-worker later joked with me about not thanking him for finding me a spoon that I learned he had set it down on the table and I hadn’t even noticed.  *Blush*

Yet sometimes, I am capable of slowing down my brain to observe my surroundings and enjoy LIVING here and now. It’s not until afterward that I reflect and wonder how it came about and what a wonderful life it would be if I could to exist in that world all the time.

I’m generally not one to go and read books about the women’s liberation movements but Gail Collins’ “When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present” has become a book that I’ve reveled in reading.

good book to read

I have no trouble getting back into the book on my short metro rail commute to and from work each day because the book is broken into many short sections.

Also, the book is stuffed full of short anecdotes that help me understand what it felt like to be a woman in the 1960s (because I haven’t read past the 1960s part yet) must have felt. I had no idea how much society underestimated our abilities and did everything they could to squash any independent and intelligent thinking. note: I say this with no malice.

I am also thankful the book seems to take as much of an unbiased approach as possible. That’s because I’m usually immediately turned off by books and articles that become angry or make irrational claims.

Anyway, if you don’t know much about how things have changed in the last 40+ years for women, this is a great and easy book to start with.

BeadforLife, a non-profit organization that sells recycled paper beaded jewelry made by women in Uganda, was on PBS last night on “The NewsHour” with Jim Lehrer.  Check the segment  out online.

Note:  in addition to paying the women upfront for their jewelry, all donations and sales profits go into community development projects to give the women the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty.

I’m a community partner with BeadforLife, meaning I represent BeadforLife in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area. I’ve been with BeadforLife for four years as a volunteer. I get a special warm joy in my heart every time I have the opportunity to sell the jewelry and tell the stories of these incredible Ugandan women.

p.s. I’m always on the lookout for “affordable” local events where I can have a BeadforLife sales/info booth or where I can give a power point presentation about BeadforLife and what each of us can do to make a difference.

I’m also always on the look out for people who are willing to help me with the booth during events.

If you know of any local upcoming festivals, symposiums, conferences where I might be welcome, please send me a note.

Also, if you want to help me make a difference also send me a note and tell me you’d like to volunteer for a BeadforLife event.

And thanks for stopping by my blog.

Rain pelts its rage against the series of tall windows facing the street outside my office building from 10 stories up.  It looks like dusk outside in the noisy grey city, yet the clock disagrees.

I sit at my computer typing solidly away as coworkers comment on idiot Illinois politicians, inaugural balls they rejected invites to and whether it’s OK for a man to date someone much younger but not just as acceptable for a woman. I smile for I know what I would reply.

A sign of being busy. The stacks of papers, filings, binders and I’ll-get-to later documents on my desk have started to slide over and accross the short workspace dividers. I’m slowly invading the land of Joel and Bill.

Bill comments on it. I point out that the stack of newspapers on one end is not my mess. He concedes but I get the point. I need to clean this up come Monday.

Strewn on my desk are also empty thin cobalt blue glass water bottles (ooh pretty), a “green team” company thermos, my green coat neatly folded at one end rests atop unopened packs of instant “taste of Thai” noodles and somehow the mess has been spreading under the desk too. Eegads.

Signs of aging or loosing weight?  I look down. My hands are not as fat and smooth as they used to be.  Small wrinkles are starting to show along each pink finger and my hands have small red cuts here and there.  Signs of a struggle with one very stubborn Christmas tree. 

I’ve let my hair down from the tight bun it was twisted into as I ran for the bus this morning. All but the outside of the hair in the bun falls down damp, heavy and cold on my suit jacket. It reminds me for a moment how it feels to have wet hair caress my shoulders each morning. Sign of simple pleasures.

I hear metal filing cabinet of boss open and somehow I know it means he’s packing up to go home. Funny how we get to know the little signs of people we know.  Sign of the work day’s end.

Do you ever notice how ugly people look when they are mad?

Have you ever noticed how much it disfigures their appearance?

This morning I was walking to my bus stop to go to work in D.C. I noticed a woman walking up the hill in my direction. She had on a baseball cap, pants and a short sleeved shirt. As she drew nearer she tipped her chin down so that her gaze was on the concrete in front of her. She was avoiding looking at me. It was not until she was inches from me that I realized she was someone I knew, someone whom I’ve since parted ways with due to a misunderstanding.

Her lips were tight and slightly withdrawn into her mouth. She kept her eyes down as we passed.

I was surprised, not at her behavior, but that I didn’t recognize her until she was inches away from me.

The woman I remember as having a lovely face with high cheekbones and a full smile had been transformed. Her face, distorted with resentment and anger, had become almost unrecognizable.

Ok, I’ve waited a day to post this, hoping I’d have something clever to say. But I think I’m going to have to just come out with what I think about a bunch of images that were taken of Bush acting like an idiot, or what may be better characterized as a horny drunken frat boy, while hanging out at the Olympics.

While, I’m clearly not the one to break this story or even to compile all the media clips, as has been masterfully done by Wonkette, I just have to say I’m embarrassed. Truly red in the face embarrassed, particularly of the photo where he’s about to smack the volleyball player’s butt.

If he were doing that in our nation, that would be bad, but not as horrifying as acting that way in an international arena. Moreover, he was behaving that way while visiting a nation where “appearance” and not embarrassing someone is of high social importance, at least the way I understand it.

I think it’s pretty clear from the pictures that he was schnookered out of his gourd that day. At least Edwards had the decency to boink someone in private (not that I’m happy about his recent schenanigans either).

http://wonkette.com/401811/a-childrens-treasury-of-stupid-bush-in-china-pictures

http://wonkette.com/401833/was-bush-falling-down-drunk-at-olympics

What do you think?