Monday, November 30, 2009

Who turned out the lights?

Did it suddenly turn dark in Bridgewater? It's like we've turned the globe upside down and suddenly it's a dark Alaskan afternoon, gloomy and sad.

But that is not how I feel. Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat. I'm knitting and reading, spending time with my family and my Dad and in relatively good spirits.

Maybe my feelings are due to the fact that I haven't been paying attention to the issues of the day. I haven't been to a board of ed meeting in a month, I haven't even looked at the New York Times that was delivered yesterday and I haven't been checking out the Courier News either. Yes, the economy is still collapsing, there are wars in far away places with lots of death and destruction. And there is a huge pile of laundry needing to be washed... but I'm not stressing about it.

Is this how the happy people normally live?  Blissfully ignorant?

Like any November day in Alaska, there is a storm brewing. It's only a matter of time until my apathy dissolves and I am back in the thick of it again. Frustrated, angry, involved. Until then I'm going to relax and enjoy and knit.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sick leave

I'm on hiatus. Am in bed with a bug... a flu? a bronchitis? Who knows?! Doctor didn't want to see me - just called in Tamiflu.

Will blog when I'm feeling less sorry for myself.

Misery loves company? N is home today with a fever too. He is downstairs playing video games with his dad right now. Better than medicine!

Except looking at the screen gives me a headache so I'm not up to playing too. I'll stop here. No edits. Just posting a quick update.

Cough, sneeze, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Testing my beliefs

I am 100% against the death penalty. Should someone kill my kids, in theory I would want to believe in forgiveness, but in practice I know that I would probably change my tune. Every time there is a violent murder in the news, I remember my friend, Yngve who was murdered on MIT campus in 1992. This video, by the way, is a one-sided profile of the perpetrators was and by no means is my endorsement for his early release. I think all three of the boys who did this should still be behind bars. But death row? I don't think so.

Tonight someone is being put to death in VA for a string of sniper homicides as well as leading a youth into the plan with him. You can read the NY Times Article here and more information is available on The Washington Post, including a map, click here.

I remember this killing rampage. I remember visiting my family in New York State, hundreds of miles away from the DC area where they took place, waking up from a bad dream believing foolishly that they could get me!

Maybe I had these dreams because several of the shootings were within 10 minutes drive (one within 10 minutes walk!) of where we had lived. When C was born we lived off of Connecticut Avenue in Kensington, MD. That was about 4 years before this shooting spree. So when the maps were shown on CNN I was horrified. "WE BOUGHT GAS THERE! AT THAT STATION!" I screamed to my husband.

I remember the fear I felt. I remember the relief when the perpetrators were caught. I'm grateful they didn't continue on the rampage.

But I still want to believe in forgiveness. Even if only because I want to be a better person. I want to explain the craziness away. I still don't believe in the death penalty as a deterrent. I don't believe that we can decide justly what is something that justifies the death penalty and what doesn't. To me it seems arbitrary when states themselves can decide what justifies it. Statistically it is often racist too.

But remembering how I laid in my childhood bed feeling the same fears I felt as a child after waking from nightmares, I can certainly empathize with both the families of the direct victims and the rest of us living in a society where fear of being shot while filling gas isn't just an irrational thought but a concern based on historical fact.

I remember the Rautein's pain and Mrs. Raustein's tears. I remember her bond with my mother, two women who had never before met, but both had lost their first-born sons. I applaud the victim's family for being able to show mercy by signing the petition in the above-mentioned video. I just don't have any plans to sign it myself. I guess I still have work to do on forgiveness....

Thursday, November 5, 2009

the vortex

You know how you feel like staying home for a week with sick kids is like falling into a vortex?? C has been sick all week, so even though I have had ample time to blog, I've felt I had little in terms of material.

Or have I? You decide:
  • We had an election, as you know, and Christie won and Governor Corzine had to bite the dust. Lots of Dems didn't vote for him, so it will be interesting to see if any change is good for New Jersey.
  • I'm taking part in a month long writing campaign called The National Novel Writing Month So far I've written about 7,000 words. As the website says something like, "you know you are writing crap, but the point is to write SOMETHING".
  • We've been back and forth with the school about N's lack of concentration. They want me to seek medical help, I want them to "deal with it". After watching "The Medicated Child" (click on the link to watch the entire episode!) on Frontline last night there is NO WAY I will medicate N. We can change all his routines first, long before I consent to meds. We haven't been to see a doctor yet, but if the MD suggests meds, I know my answer.
  • We got a truancy notice for C this week. On Monday I went 5 rounds with whether or not C was healthy enough to return to school. The nurse absolutely insisted that I keep her home on Tuesday. (If 99F isn't enough to send her home from school, why is it enough to keep her home an extra day???) So I did and it was a good thing, because she was a bit worse on Tuesday. Assuming that the nurse and all her teachers knew she was home sick, I didn't call the school absence line. Honeywell works! 3 Phone calls (2 to me, 1 to my husband), an e-mail and a text message... I got the message: call the school! The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing.
  • I'm already bracing the lecture about our Christmas plans. I just booked the flights to T's specifications which will not please anyone else. I can hear his grandmother's guilt trip now, "Oh, it's such a short visit. And it may be the last time you see me..."  
 It's a beautiful day. I better get outside and enjoy it for a little while. It will help my cabin fever!