Monday, July 30, 2007

summer of love

me 1967

free stamp

This was the most interesting thing I saw in Cleveland when we were there visiting Aunt Sarah and Uncle John.

Well, that and the WWII submarine in which I almost puked just from imagining the stench of 50 men enclosed in tons of steel and which made me angry once again about the money and resources we squander on war. All this while my boys were having the time of their lives lining up the guns and peering through the periscope....

The free stamp just reminded me of something I wrote when I first started this blog in january....

Friday, July 27, 2007


Ok, so mom was already on never know what a search will turn up.

Here she is in a news conference in Washington, D.C., speaking in defense of Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, which legalized physician-assisted suicide. This law, passed not once but twice by the Oregon people, was being challenged in the US Supreme Court at the time by then Attorney General, John Ashcroft. It later became known as "Gonzales vs. Oregon".

Compassion and Choices used every tool at their disposal to assist in the fight. My mother became one of those tools: a patient-plaintiff in the case, a simple woman who spoke simple truths about her own experience.

But it's not a simple issue, death. Like birth, it has swirling about it so many of our fears of the unknown, not to mention the irrational beliefs of so many in power. What is best for an individual human being so often gets lost in rhetoric and religion. In the end, however, my mom, Oregon, and all of us who value the freedom to make our own choices, won. It its summary, the Supreme Court majority did not mince words:
'The Attorney General's unilateral attempt to regulate general medical practices historically entrusted to state lawmakers interferes with the democratic debate about physician assisted suicide and far exceeds the scope of his authority under federal law.'"

She never did use Oregon's law, but I witnessed first hand how its existence helped her - not to die, but rather to live.

Monday, July 23, 2007

my mom's on youtube!

One year ago today, my brother and I went out to Oregon to tie up loose ends with our terminally ill mother. She had been given a two month diagnosis a few weeks before, but seeing as she had outlived the odds already by surviving more than five years with stage IV breast cancer, we figured she had at least six more months left in her. After I filmed and watched this, however, I knew the end was near. Not all of us are privileged enough to see the other side before we cross over, but I'm convinced she did. She left us 10 days after this video, on August 2nd, 2006.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

promise me

promise me
this day
you will remember

on the bike path
our evening shadows a mystery
look up!
not the sun nor the moon but suburban
with lit faces
made wicked by your
or friendly
two wheels and a heart
beating faster
than your pedals
screaming with

the fair was fun
last words on your lips
before succumbing to sleep
only to dream of ferris wheels
and girls in pigtails holding tight to their
prize chickens

promise me
this day
you will remember

Friday, July 20, 2007

my antonia

"...sunflower-bordered roads always seem to me the roads to freedom."
-Willa Cather

Thursday, July 19, 2007

draft college republicans

Untitled from huffpost and Vimeo.

Max Blumenthal:
On July 13, 2007, I visited Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, where the bodies of American soldiers killed in Iraq were freshly interred. Afterwards, I headed across the street to the Sheraton National Hotel, owned by right-wing Korean cult leader Sun Myung-Moon, to meet some of the war's most fervent supporters at the College Republican National Convention.

In conversations with at least twenty College Republicans about the war in Iraq, I listened as they lip-synched discredited cant about "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here." Many of the young GOP cadres I met described the so-called "war on terror" as nothing less than the cause of their time.

Yet when I asked these College Repulicans why they were not participating in this historical cause, they immediately went into contortions. Asthma. Bad knees from playing catcher in high school. "Medical reasons." "It's not for me." These were some of the excuses College Republicans offered for why they could not fight them "over there." Like the current Republican leaders who skipped out on Vietnam, the GOP's next generation would rather cheerlead from the sidelines for the war in Iraq while other, less privileged young men and women fight and die.

Along with videographer Thomas Shomaker, I captured a vivid portrait of the hypocritical mentality of the next generation of Republican leaders. See for yourself.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


mean new secrets are posted. I look forward to this every week like some people look forward to a preacher's sermon or the release of a new Harry Potter; something that makes you feel connected to the rest of humanity. You can find them all at the PostSecret website.
Thanks, Marina.

god of war, god of peace

This radio programme was produced for the BBC by my friend Kirsten Dwight. In it, John McCarthy reports from Israel, "where religion is at the heart of the conflict and is seen, rightly or wrongly, as crucial to the search for peace." Just when you thought there was nothing new to hear or read or watch or learn....
Look on the side bar under "Listen Again" for "God of War, God of Peace". It will only be available until Wednesday. Kudos to Kirs!

Friday, July 13, 2007

fear of phobias

There are so many things to be afraid of!

It's a good thing I don't suffer from triskaidekaphobia or else today, Friday the 13th, would have been a really, really, really bad day....
a. I flew on a plane from Cleveland (cool city, by the way) to Denver.
b. The hostess seated us at this table for lunch

c. Guess what number was blinking red on our answering machine when we got home?
d. It's my mother-in-law's 81st birthday.

And then I got to wondering if there was a fear of phobias (which there is-phobophobia, not to be confused with hobophobia, which is, of course, a fear of hobos!), and that led me to THIS!!

I think I may have truly suffered from scelerophobia as a young girl....

Thursday, July 12, 2007

old friend with old glory

In Ashland, Oregon, they print photos like this in the newspaper... Here's to you, Moses Shane! Love ya!

In Wheat Ridge, Colorado, they do this:
from the USA Today I picked up from a random airport seat:
"An American flag waving upside down outside a home to protest the Iraq war has touched off a flap with a homeowners' association in this Denver suburb. Retired banker Beth Hammer ran up the flag that way March 19, the fourth anniversary of the Iraq invasion. Association board members are considering whether to fine her $500 a day for violating a 'patriotic and political expression policy'." A DAY!!!

Friday, July 6, 2007

rock star

In the sense that I live on a rock but came from the stars.

"We have begun to contemplate our origins: we are star-stuff pondering the stars!" -Carl Sagan, Ithaca, NY

Those are the words at the base of this Sun statue, the beginning point of a monument to Carl Sagan that starts on the Commons and ends a few miles away with Pluto at the Science Center, a fully representational/proportional model of the solar system.

technology in new york

above: My brother's partner Gwen works at a microfluidics lab in Ithaca, where they make these little chips and circuits that can adapt themselves to all sorts of lab tests, including HIV testing. The explanation of how this high-tech gizmo works went fairly over my head, but I liked the little gurgling sounds it made, and the fact that it all fit into a neat little compact suitcase.

below: My brother works at a food lab in Ithaca, where they make Splenda and other secret foods. It was like being in Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, without the Oompa-Loompas. This is a not-so-high-tech piece of equipment that my brother used to invent a candy straw for Frito-Lay (coming soon!)