1. Meg Cabot on 9/11
I know of Meg Cabot, but I haven't read any of her books. I came to this post by way of The New York Times Motherlode blog. I read it today at lunch and cried.
I have wanted and not wanted to write about September 11, what it was like to go back to the apartment in Brooklyn past the silent Newark airport and talking to my brother, so far away in France, alone in my parents' kitchen trying to piece together what happened, and waiting for someone, anyone to find me. I tried to write an essay for one of my classes about a year or so ago (I was pregnant with Z), and the teacher and classmates said that it sounded hollow, that it didn't sound like me. Sounding "like me" seems to be synonymous with being snarky or trivial, and how do you do that with 9/11? They asked me why I even wanted to write the story, and I explained that I was inspired by an argument I got in at work with some helicopter mom with a thing for matching shoes and bags who had gasped in horror when I said I took my stepdaughter on the T, frequently. She would never do such a thing..."because of 9/11." Much eye rolling and tongue biting on my part, and loads and loads of venom. My teacher told me that that sounded more like me. Maybe someday I'll write about it.
2. The Shed Project: An Eight-Week Adventure in Letting Go
So, yes, this used to be the kind of thing that made me barf. It's like Simple Abundance, but with Buddha! And then I get my daily serving of humble pie.
"What’s weighing you down?
The stuff we accumulate in an attempt to feel safe, secure, happy, successful, and generally OK.
The stuff we use to fill every bit of space in our lives, so we don’t have to think or feel too much.
The stuff we consume to feed the vague yearning for more, so we can feel a little less empty for a while.
How’s that working for you?
Stuff is a tricky beast. You get more of it and then you need more space to store it, and then you need more money to maintain it. It’s an endless cycle that rarely satisfies your underlying need for love, safety and fulfillment.
Is the stuff helping you feel better, or you still feeling hungry, fearful and empty?"
I love the idea of simplifying and paring down. Moving here a few years ago necessitated that, but since I've been here, the STUFF has been creeping back in. I'm not sure if I could commit to such a huge lifestyle change, but I will reading along with interest.
3. Thomas Friedman: We're No. 1(1)!
"...it is a microcosm of a larger problem we have not faced honestly as we have dug out of this recession: We had a values breakdown — a national epidemic of get-rich-quickism and something-for-nothingism. Wall Street may have been dealing the dope, but our lawmakers encouraged it. And far too many of us were happy to buy the dot-com and subprime crack for quick prosperity highs.
Ask yourself: What made our Greatest Generation great? First, the problems they faced were huge, merciless and inescapable: the Depression, Nazism and Soviet Communism. Second, the Greatest Generation’s leaders were never afraid to ask Americans to sacrifice. Third, that generation was ready to sacrifice, and pull together, for the good of the country. And fourth, because they were ready to do hard things, they earned global leadership the only way you can, by saying: “Follow me.”
Contrast that with the Baby Boomer Generation. Our big problems are unfolding incrementally — the decline in U.S. education, competitiveness and infrastructure, as well as oil addiction and climate change. Our generation’s leaders never dare utter the word “sacrifice.” All solutions must be painless. Which drug would you like? A stimulus from Democrats or a tax cut from Republicans? A national energy policy? Too hard. For a decade we sent our best minds not to make computer chips in Silicon Valley but to make poker chips on Wall Street, while telling ourselves we could have the American dream — a home — without saving and investing, for nothing down and nothing to pay for two years. Our leadership message to the world (except for our brave soldiers): “After you.”"
What he said.
4: Fatshionista: Thoughts on Appearance-Based Privilege
This one really made me think, and I encourage you to go check it out.
5. I think it's time for a Syracuse visit.
Watching this made me very nostalgic for a time when BB and I could drink a box of wine and snarf down a 'family size' Ortega taco kit. And go to shows at Chucks and hang out on porches all night. My birthday made me think of my 21st birthday and how awesome it was, and also, how lucky my friends are that I don't have a scanner.