Who I am…
I am a lawyer, former mother of teenagers, and a quixotic seeker after and champion of factual truth.
I make the best damn brownies you have ever had that are not regulated by the federal government.
I love movies, Broadway, and intelligent conversation.
I think in song lyrics and movie and television quotes.
I believe in the use of proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar even in text messages. I am willing to debate the use of the Oxford comma, if you know what the Oxford comma is. It also makes me very happy if people use the subjunctive mood when appropriate.
I have been told I intimidate people. I am really just a fluffy-centered teddy bear. Really.
- It's all my fault. No, really. The views expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone and in no way whatsoever represent the views of anyone else, including any past, present, or future employer.
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Words to live by ….
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8.
“Pray for the dead, fight like hell for the living.” Mary Harris (“Mother Jones”).
“Don’t boo. Vote.” Barack Obama.
“Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.” Reinhold Niebuhr.
“No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do the bad things.” Sir Terry Pratchett.
“Damning facts are still facts.” Steven C. Holtzman.
“If you don’t stick to your values when they’re tested, they’re not values — they’re hobbies.” Jon Stewart.
“Darkness never sustains, even though it sometimes seems it will.” Doctor Who.
“Writing is a form of mischief.” Stephen Sondheim.
“An idea is not responsible for the people who believe it.” Don Marquis.
“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” Joseph Campbell.
“Truth is our strongest ally, our biggest weapon, and our best defense.” Me.
“Reality has a well-known liberal bias.” Stephen Colbert.
“The opposite of war isn’t peace, it’s creation.” Jonathan Larson.
“We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger.
We rise and fall, and light from dying embers
Remembrances that hope and love last longer.
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love;
Cannot be killed or swept aside.”
“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” Emma Goldman.
“No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Samuel Beckett.
“I believe that the God who made (among other things) light, and space, and number, and time, and the spiral curve of Fibonacci numbers, must be acknowledged to understand more than I do about why there’s pain in the world.” Teresa Neilsen Hayden.
“No, it’s not fair. You’re in the wrong universe for fair.” John Scalzi.
“Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, ‘Liberal,’ as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won’t work, because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor.” Lawrence O’Donnell
“So keep fightin’ for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t you forget to have fun doin’ it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin’ ass and celebratin’ the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.” Molly Ivins.
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I often use Facebook to find things to write about. It has been an active week for my friends, and I have twenty-two open tabs with articles from everywhere – Cracked.com to the New York Times. I also have a post to write on Yoda, and a post to finish on gratitude (a list of fifty things minus the big fifteen I listed in my Meta-Gratitude post). I also want to write on a new thriller I am reading.
All of that has to wait.
Maurice Sendak has died.
I knew he was old. I knew he was in ill health. His frailty was obvious in the interview he did with Stephen Colbert earlier this year.
His brilliant wit was also well in evidence. I am so glad that Colbert gave us a chance to see the tamer of the Wild Things, the architect of the Night Kitchen.
I once gave a therapist who was leaving to go on maternity leave a copy of Where the Wild Things Are. I told her that every shrink’s kid needed a copy of this book. I was speaking tongue-in-cheek, of course. I didn’t really mean it.
I really think that everybody’s child needs a copy of it. No matter what their age.
Sendak was somewhat scornful of the devotion that Where the Wild Things Are has elicited. I tend to think that that was because he was never a parent.
WTWTA was my favorite children’s book. It still is. Partly it is what it seems to say: it conveys the “there are people who love you, there is a home for you” message in a way that is not cloying or seriously creepy. (As much as I adore Shel Silverstein’s poetry and songs, The Giving Tree is not a healthy book. Even more disturbing is The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, who also wrote Goodnight Moon.) More than that, the cadence of his prose was both simple and lyrical. It was elegantly straightforward.
In a world where your child may get hooked on a book and not want you to read anything else, reading Sendak’s beautiful prose and showing off his pictures that managed to be whimsical without being cutesy is a blessing. This is not true if you are stuck reading Are You My Mother? Even Fox in Sox and Horton Hears a Who pale after a while.
So here’s to you, Maurice. At the risk of echoing a sentimentality which you would no doubt scorn, I hope that wherever your spirit is, a wild rumpus is going on.
You deserve no less.