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THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING HUMAN

I couldn't sleep last night.  Not an unusual thing these days.  There's a lot on my mind.  But last night I was thinking about social media and how it has changed our world. How it changed my world.

About 25 years ago, I was working on my thesis in grad school.  We had a Mac in our home which was not uncommon, but certainly not as common as it is today.  I was introduced to the academic world via Bulletin Boards, User Groups, and the ever popular ListServ.  For those of you too young to know, these were email lists you subscribed to and every day you would get individual emails from people on the list discussing whatever it was you wanted to discuss.  There were listservs for science and research, literature, children, whatever you loved so much you wanted to talk about it with complete strangers.  My choice was movies.

I love movies.  I've loved them my whole life.  I would sneak out of my bed and watch the late show on weekends.  I went to the matinee every Saturday.  I …
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TOUCH

I spend a fair amount of time, 2-3 hours, every day walking and sitting alongside total strangers.  One of thousands of us - working people who commute from the outlying areas of Boston into it through various means.  Trains, buses, cabs, carpools.  And we all bring our stuff with us.  Backpacks filled with laptops, books, notepads, shoes, lunches, whatever we feel we need to have with us to get us through the next 8 to 10 hours. 
I've been noticing because I have to buy a new purse.  This is something that fills me with fear. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but women judge other women they see (not necessarily women they know) by two visible accessories, shoes and purses.  They can tell you so much about a woman Is she practical or exotic? Is she struggling to pay her bills or one of the lucky ones who doesn't even look at a price tag? Does she walk a long way or just strolling from her car to her office? Is she fashion conscious or does she wear what she likes w…

Birthday Bliss?

Today is my birthday.  Today, I am 54  years old.  I didn't expect to see this day.  I didn't expect to live this long.  You see, 10 years ago, on my 44th birthday, I was going to end my life.

I was lost. Lost to myself.  Lost to my sense of purpose.  Lost to joy and love and all the things that make a life worthwhile. Lost.  But something else happened.  Something amazing.  Call it an angel. Call it grace. Call is spirit, coincidence, synchronicity.  Call it bullshit.

The universe wasn't through with me and so I didn't die.

The past 10 years have not been easy.  It has not been all roses and sunshine and waking up every day  ready to seize life and live it to the fullest.  Many days were dark and lonely and locked me in some super ninja nasty hold that slapped me around and knocked me on my ass. But I learned from those days.  I am a better me because of them.  And I have more good days than bad days now.

The past 10 years have had loss - death - mourning; of dreams,…

A Good Man

Roger M Watt - April 8, 1914 - March 27, 1981

My father was a good man.  He was born in Oklahoma 98 years ago today.  He grew up during the First World War and the economic boom of the 20s.  When the bust happened, he moved to Los Angeles with his family.  In 1934, he met my mother at a Halloween Party.  He was 20, she was 15, and he was in love for life.  The raven haired, dark eyed beauty won his heart and his devotion. When my mother became bedridden with tuberculosis, he visited her every day, bringing her books from the library and news of the world.  They married on Father's Day in 1939. 
During the final years of the Second World War, my father was drafted into military service and left my mother with her parents - pregnant with their third child and my brother Jim and sister Judie.  He contracted malaria in the Philippines and spent most of his service in a hospital in Hawaii. 
On March 27, 1946 my parents and their three children moved to Grants Pass, Oregon.  This is w…

There Be Dragons

So we're one month in to 2012 and it's been kind of rough.  The election mudslinging has started early.  Long term relationships between non-profit organizations are threatened by political machinations.  Major companies pretend to support one lifestyle, cave when threatened by a PAC, then switch again when public opinion cows them.  It's going to be a long year.  I can see lots of unpopular ideas being promulgated and lots of "facts" being tossed around to prove one side or the other as right/wrong - good/bad.  And so I thought I'd make my position known and just refer anyone who wants to drag me into their battle to this post for the next several months.
Like Martin Luther King Jr., "I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered…

Movie Madness - MELANCHOLIA

From the opening moments of Lars VonTrier's latest film MELANCHOLIA (2011), I was hooked.  The exquisite extreme slow motion movement is beautifully orchestrated by Wagner's Prelude to Tristan and Isolde.  We see a bride moving as roots tear at her feet, a mother clutching a child, a horse laying down all as two planets come hurtling toward one another to the inevitable end - the consumption of one planet by another.  It's only later that we learn the larger planet is Melancholia and it is headed toward Earth; because after this beautiful prologue we are thrust into the marriage of Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgard)*.  Justine and Michael are late for the very elaborate reception being hosted by Justine's sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her husband John (Kiefer Sutherland).  As the evening rolls on, it's clear that Claire is hanging on by the thinnest of threads and Claire and John are frustrated by her reluctance to put on a good sh…

I may have to move to Massachusetts

Elizabeth Warren

So remember how I was ranting about how everyone needs to do their part or this country isn't going to be better.  Elizabeth Warren, who was bashed in her Senate hearings and is now running to oust Scott Brown from his seat in Massachusetts, summed it up beautifully for me. 

My favorite part is "But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."  That's what I think this country has lost sight of.  It's a social contract that we agree to in how things will be done here.  The past few decades have been full of finger pointing and blame and not a lot of agreement.

I just don't think that things will get better until we all agree to - well - as I like to say...put on the big girl pants and get to work.  I may not like EVERY decision, but if I can see that your position is for the greater good of the country, I can agree to work for it.  The ME generation has to grow up now and…