inside the mind

Journal 365:
Describe the last time you were embarrassed.
When my beloved 18 month old granddaughter wandered outside wearing only a diaper and three pairs of her mother's underwear.

Makes me happy:
I don't watch The Simpsons that much anymore, but this couch gag charmed me.

In my life:
It's been unseasonably warm the last couple of days, and now the rain has come. It's been raining schizophrenically all day.
Mommy is leaving for DC tonight, and the grandmonsters will be staying with me and Papi and Bear for the weekend.
Kind of sleepy after staying up late, gaming on the internet with my friend the Birthday Girl.
Finished reading The Plague Tales by Anne Benson. It's a pretty good set of intertwining stories, told across time between the Middle Ages and present-day or near-future England. The pace and descriptions were good, until we got to the end, where everything seemed to speed up to the point where there was no time for detail, as if the author was rushing to make a deadline. Characters in this story make stupid, selfish decisions that potentially impact the whole world, usually in the name of self-preservation. It made me think about what I might do in their place, and I liked that about it.

Something beautiful:
I really like this pin:

In the news:
Ebola! The second patient in the U.S. to contract Ebola in the country (as opposed to contracting it in another country), a nurse who had treated the initial Ebola patient, had taken a flight from Dallas to Cleveland, possibly exposing an additional 132 people to the disease. CDC will lower the fever standard for airline passengers from 101.5 deg. to 99.4. This is the difference between book learning and application, apparently.
The new iPads will be released today.

Ebola! President Obama was due to speak at Rhode Island College (not far from where we live) this afternoon, but canceled his visit to deal with the Ebola issue. Meanwhile, local hospitals are updating their staff protocols for infectious disease. Must remember to ask my friend, a healthcare worker in the Chicago area, what's going on where she is.
Local indie newspaper The Providence Phoenix published its last issue. They've been around for 15 years, so it's the end of an era.

The theme for Blog Action Day 2014 is Inequality.
There's all kinds of inequality in the world, but the one that impacts the most people and has the greatest social and economic impact is, in my opinion, gender inequality.

The inability of women to receive the same education and equal pay as men, and the lack of regard for women as adults with the same rights and expectations as men, leads to lower incomes for single-parent families, who are overwhelmingly female-run. It creates a society who expects and accepts domestic violence as part of the natural order. It takes the voice from (often more than) 50% of the human population. It creates a cycle of poverty that becomes hard to break. And worse, it creates a mindset in men and women that this is how things should be, and to expect equality is unnatural and/or unreasonable. It burdens both genders by eliminating the partnership that should be between men and women.

Emma Watson explains the reasons she's a feminist in her invitation to the HeForShe campaign.

Journal 365:
What time did you wake up this morning?

Something I saw today:
Glen Campbell's last song. A heartbreaking goodbye to his family and fans, in light of his Alzheimer's diagnosis.

In the news:
A second person has been diagnosed with Ebola in the Dallas hospital where the first Ebola patient in the US was treated.
A 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy will be tried as an adult for the murder of a 90-year-old woman. He allegedly strangled her with her own cane.

A woman entered the Federal Courthouse in Providence, spoke to a security guard and sprinkled a white substance around, prompting the evacuation of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which includes the 7th and 8th floor of the Courthouse.
Providence's Biship Tobin has suggested writing in "Mother Teresa" on the ballot in next month's election, to indicate the lack of a pro-life candidate.

Today is my 50th birthday. Yesterday, to the consternation of my children, I decreed that I must have 50 surprises on my birthday. They asked what I wanted...

After some failed attempts (Wren crying when I went to give her a kiss and Mommy saying ironically 'surprise?'), I set forth some parameters. I will never have this level of arbitrary authority again, so I went for broke.
a. the surprise must be for or about me
b. the surprise must be pleasant
c. the surprise must be unexpected

1. waking up to kitty kisses
2. having Peeper jump out from behind the door and yell "surprise!" (each kid gets one of these)
3. having Pappo run at me, yelling "surprise!" (that's his)
4. having Peeper give me a card that she made herself, along with various paper creations
5. having Peeper sing me a song that she made up herself
6. having a happy Peppy who woke up happy and didn't fuss all morning
7. my missing keys turned up in C's shoes in her hotel room (?!)
8.  a Klondike bar for breakfast
9. a Dunkin' Donuts cheddar twist bagel
10. a prime parking space on Thayer St.
11. my son buying me lunch
12. a homemade birthday cake decorated by my grandmonsters
13-50+. A pile of 50 small boxes, containing candy, dollar bills folded into hearts, and my favorite candies

I have raised them well.

Since I won't have time to blog (or probably even finish this post) until after they all head home, I'll pile on the daily journal 365 prompts:

10. What was the last gift you gave?
I bought my Dad a bottle of locally made whiskey that started out as an IPA.

11. What is your mission?
This answer will change almost daily. Mostly it's to live a good life.

12. If others described how you acted today in one word, it would be ____.

13. What is your current bank balance?
The same as it will always be: none of your damn business.

14. Describe the last piece of furniture you purchased.
A light wood kitchen island cart with a shelf and cabinet underneath, on wheels. I got it for $20 at a yard sale.

 Next on the 5 year journal:
What was the mistake?
This is a pretty vague question, but I'll have to say that the mistake of my life was the Grievous Ex.

Something cool I saw today

In my life
Tonight the boys come in from Wisconsin and New York. At last, the circle will be complete.

Work was crazy-busy today. Really no time to write anything else.

Lots going on, but what started me typing today was finding the 5-year-journal challenge (by Tami Taylor) on Pinterest. The idea is that there are 365 questions, you answer one each day, and start over again each year, so you're answering the same questions on the same day each year.

Here are the prompts for October.

What’s the next book you are going to read? 
I'm currently reading Tales of the Plague by Ann Benson. When that's over, I'll probably read something spooky, like Haunted Rhode Island.

Something cool I learned today:
I'm actually part of Generation Jones, the cohort of people born between 1954 and 1966. I was born in the year that, by many definitions, the Baby Boom ended and Generation X started.

In my life:
The weather started out warm and rainy, but it's cleared up beautifully. If we had a car, I'd want to go on a foliage drive.

Watching the season premiere of Supernatural. But only because Misha Collins is adorable.

The Japanese student has come and gone. She was very sweet, and a little shy. We took her to the farmer's market, then shopping, then to the RISD museum. The last hurrah was a bowling party with all the kids from Japan and their American hosts. It went pretty well.

Went to NY to visit the parents last weekend. We had a combined birthday party for me, Dad, my older son and my oldest nephew. A nice time was had by all.

Son in law has changed jobs to something less strenuous on his back and knees. He is clearly in much less pain, and liking his job much better.

Bear is leaving her current retail job for one at a Japanese restaurant across town. She's very enthusiastic about it.

C arrived this morning from San Francisco. She'll be staying until Sunday as part of the convergence of all of my children to celebrate my 50th birthday on Friday.

In the news: 

The Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL continues its march across the middle east. They're expected to take the Syrian city of Kobani soon.
The Ebola patient who had been isolated in a Texas hospital has died. Rhode Islanders are watching intently the condition of a Providence photographer who contracted Ebola overseas and is being treated in Nebraska.
Lately the news has been questioning the health of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. When he was last seen about a month ago, he had gained a lot of weight and developed a limp.


Police in Cranston, Johnston and Warwick received an anonymous threat against their elementary schools that mentioned 'beheadings" that would happen either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Attendance in Cranston is down 32% today.

Holy monsters, have I really written nothing in a month?! Fie and shame on me.

My daughter's family is still with me as the search for a home drags on into its 3rd month. We're all starting to feel the pressure, but the alternative (them living on the streets) isn't acceptable. This is a temporary problem, and we all have to keep reminding ourselves of that.

In the meantime, the kids (including Bear) have started school. They seem to enjoy it and are doing well. The son in law is still working at the same place. We're looking forward to welcoming a visiting Japanese student, though we can't serve as a host family this year (just no room!).

There's a plan to go to the Ren Faire this weekend. We scored free tickets, but even so, it's going to be an expensive undertaking. And I seriously can't afford to underwrite this.

Found out that Baba had a stent inserted for a blocked artery. He came through well, went home the next day (yesterday). Bear and I will go and see him on Sunday.

This weekend I missed a good one from my MetMuseum calendar:

"The Lake of Zug" by Joseph Mallord William Turner, painted in London in 1843. I love the intensity of color. It almost distracts from the activity around the edge of the lake in the foreground.

Saturday was busy. The whole crew trooped out to look at an apartment that Mamita was hoping to get. I admit, it was completely beautiful. Cream walls, arched doorways and lots of original maple paneling and cabinetry from the 1920s. I wanted it for myself, though it was far too large for little me, and I do love my tiny "cottage."

From there we rushed to get Papi to work before meeting up with a walking tour in East Greenwich. This is another thing it turns out that you don't want to do with under-twos in tow. We made it to about six houses and gave up. Wren just wanted to run around everywhere, and Peppy kept wanting to snack. So we headed for home, and stopped on the way for an excellent brunch. That was much more up everyone's alley.

Sunday was rainy and dreary, so we just stayed home.  Tonight I hope to start organizing our activites that we've done so far, so we can start writing about them.

Today in my art calendar, a 15th century silver and gilt medallion from Italy.

Nice, huh?

So on my way in to work this morning, "All Summer Long" by Kid Rock was on the radio. One of the key lyrics in the chorus is "Singing Sweet Home Alabama all summer long."

Which of course made me think of Sweet Home Alabama, by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

and its key lyric "I hope Neil Young will remember, a southern man don't need him around anyhow." Which is a reference to Young's song "Southern Man."

Which is a song taking the South to task for its racism and slavery.

Now, I don't like Neil Young's voice, so I've never listened to the song all the way through, or even read the lyrics. I do like the message of the song, although as Van Zandt of Skynyrd said at the time, it does paint southerners with a broad brush. My "something new" of the day.

Kind of a stream-of-consciousness thing.

Tonight I'm going to a discussion meetup about supersitions and old wives tales. Promises to be interesting.

Mamita is registering the kids for school. It's been arduous, and she's not enjoying the process at all.

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Savor the MomentHow to Be President: What to Do and Where to Go Once You're in OfficeBeyond the Miracle Worker: The Remarkable Life of Anne Sullivan Macy and Her ExtraordinaryFriendship with Helen KellerBlack HillsThe quahog stops hereFounding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation

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