Friday, February 24, 2012

Because the year has now officially started...

Carnaval is's us, trying unsuccessfully to use the timer on our camera and using terrible positioning under the lights. We have a hard time remembering to take photographs--anyone else in this same boat? I need suggestions on how to amp up our photographic proof of a life together! I'm wearing my birthday shirt here (thanks, Nan!) which I bought over the sales at the beginning of the month and intended on saving until the big day...but it was too Carnavalesque. I couldn't resist! And now that Carnaval is over, the year begins. Hello, 2012. I am ready for you.

And now, a little link love for my readers, from things that I encountered over our little staycation:

Sex in the News:
The Opinionator at the NYTimes on the election that is all about sex. Some really provocative comments here, lotsa stupid, but some gems worth looking into. Notably for me, these quotes:

1) "When Rick Santorum talks about this stuff in the way he does, it’s theology, not sociology. And believe me, there are very few Americans who are strongly theological, even the ones who attend services every week." Dear God, I hope that's not true. But if it even appears to be true, it says volumes about the state of actual faith praxis in the United States. Which is scary in its own way.

2) The backwardness of the sexual debates. As Gail points out, the anti-abortion camp was making headway. Changing the topic in the public arena to whether female birth control should even be LEGAL (not to mention the insurance lockout for female contraception options), while blithely ignoring the fact that non-essential sexual health options for men are routinely covered by insurance and no one bats an's not just archaic. It's absurd. It's also an old, OLD topic. See here and here for stuff ranging back a decade.

3) "The rise of unwed mothers" sounds like a 1950's pulp horror title. Besides coming to some weird, biased conclusions that show the authors' social and class preconceptions, the talking heads here don't even mention what is probably a MAIN cause, the dearth of marriageable men, until the last couple of paragraphs: "what do we do to make it so that more men are worth marrying?" Can we really DO anything about the fact that prolonged adolescence has become a national/international pastime? I know a few "unwed mothers" and contemplated adoption when I was still single...being a mother but not married isn't synonymous with poverty, poor child raising, promiscuity and being a "drain on society." "Unwed mother" is a title I think we need to scratch from our vocabulary, as it's a horribly stigmatized phrase...and really, when have you ever heard the term "unwed father?"

On a Lenten note:
here's a great reflection on the differences between the Catholic and Orthodox positions on Mary. It seems I turn the corner and everywhere I'm encountering Orthodox thought and resonates within me and I move closer and closer to that side of the faith spectrum...

On Ash Wednesday, I made myself a set of prayer beads, following no particular tradition, but just as a way to not fall asleep when I go to pray. Closing my eyes takes me straight to the land of Nod, so...I use this to stay focused. It's made to represent a wide spectrum of people and places and times in my life as it includes tiger-eyes from blogger and real-life-friend Ali, the San Damiano cross I was given when I started missionary work with WMF, and even some beads I inherited from my great-grandmother. It's just long enough to hold in my hand, and with 25 beads, satisfies my inner OCD need for things to be in manageable numerical clumps. Usually, I do threes, but five is a nice odd number any case, I think I'll be using these for both planned and impromptu prayers. My favorite memorized prayers by far are from the Orthodox tradition, the Trisagion prayers. A more complete prayer book can be found online here.

They're resting on discarded practice dovetails that hubby is doing. I don't know what, exactly, I'm getting for my birthday, but I do think it involves these time-intensive, precise little critters. Whatever it is, it's going to be gorgeous. My husband is SO MUCH MORE attentive to detail than I am, which is a good quality when making things by hand. See this?

That's the changing tray for our future kiddo...he made entirely with hand tools. Planed, sanded, even did the router work with chisels! Amazing, right?

And last, but not least,
has been added to Al Jazeera English as one of my places to go for international news coverage that's being ignored, glossed over or spun in only one direction from the US media. Also, what's NOT to love about their tag line? "Question More." Amen!

1 comment:

anne said...

the beads are quite lovely. Many traditions and peoples have prayer beads. I used to have some really lovely ones from the Baha'i tradition -- probably still have them, somewhere. They were olive wood.
the Orthodox folk have some rather cool takes on stuff (how's that for a really spiritual sentence on a not so casual topic?)

the photo thing is terribly hard. My man doesn't "like" being photo'd, has apparently no concern about there not being photos of "us". But my sister and her man have endless photos of themselves, taken by themselves, or by grabbing a passerby. They hit vacations, anniversary times, bdays, etc, as well as just "times". Is cool.