Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sunday Salon ~ rape prevention and a book

The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help ~ by Jackson Katz, 2006
This is the first book ever to comprehensively and convincingly make the case that violence against women is a men’s issue.  Katz, one of the nation’s foremost authorities on this subject, takes the reader deep inside male culture to examine why so many men physically and sexually abuse women and children, including those closest to them.  One prominent study found that at least 20% of adolescent girls have been physically or sexually abused by a date or a boyfriend.  The book makes a powerful case to men that the only way to end the abuse and mistreatment of women is for many more self-identified “good guys” to make these issues their own.  Katz is an influential figure in a growing movement of men who are taking the work of gender violence prevention into male culture, in the effort to engage many more men as allies in this critical work.
I hope to get this book in my library delivery on Thursday.  I just put it on reserve a few minutes ago, after I posted this revealing illustration on Facebook today:

Click on this list to enlarge it.
Men ask why women are so angry.  Jackson Katz illustrates why.  He's done it with hundreds of audiences:
I draw a line down the middle of a chalkboard, sketching a male symbol on one side and a female symbol on the other.  Then I ask just the men:  "What steps do you guys take, on a daily basis, to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted?"  At first there is a kind of awkward silence as the men try to figure out if they've been asked a trick question.  The silence gives way to a smattering of nervous laughter.  Occasionally, a young guy will raise his hand and say, "I stay out of prison."  This is typically followed by another moment of laughter, before someone finally raises his hand and soberly states, "Nothing. I don't think about it."

Then I ask the women the same question.  What steps do you take on a daily basis to prevent yourselves from being sexually assaulted?  Women throughout the audience immediately start raising their hands.  As the men sit in stunned silence, the women recount safety precautions they take as part of their daily routine.

Hold my keys as a potential weapon.  Look in the back seat of the car before getting in.  Carry a cell phone.  Don't go jogging at night.  Lock all the windows when I sleep, even on hot summer nights.  Be careful not to drink too much.  Don't put my drink down and come back to it; make sure I see it being poured.  Own a big dog.  Carry Mace or pepper spray.  Have an unlisted phone number.  Have a man's voice on my answering machine.  Park in well-lit areas.  Don't use parking garages.  Don't get on elevators with only one man, or with a group of men.  Vary my route home from work.  Watch what I wear.  Don't use highway rest areas.  Use a home alarm system.  Don't wear headphones when jogging.  Avoid forests or wooded areas, even in the daytime.  Don't take a first-floor apartment.  Go out in groups.  Own a firearm.  Meet men on first dates in public places.  Make sure to have a car or cab fare.  Don't make eye contact with men on the street.  Make assertive eye contact with men on the street.”
Jackson Katz was the first man to minor in women's studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, holds a master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. in cultural studies and education from UCLA.

More Sunday Salon posts are on Facebook.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Beginning ~ on a Sunday morning

"As a minister I rarely found the entirety of a Sunday service depressing.  But some mornings disease and despair seemed to permeate the congregation like floodwaters in sandbags, and the only people who stood during the moment when we shared our joys and concerns were those souls who were intimately acquainted with nursing homes, ICUs, and the nearby hospice."
Secrets of Eden ~ by Chris Bohjalian, 2010, fiction (Vermont)
"There," says Alice Hayward to Reverend Stephen Drew, just after her baptism, and just before going home to the husband who will kill her that evening and then shoot himself.  Drew, tortured by the cryptic finality of that short utterance, feels his faith in God slipping away and is saved from despair only by a meeting with Heather Laurent, the author of wildly successful, inspirational books about ― angels.  Heather survived a childhood that culminated in her own parents' murder-suicide, so she identifies deeply with Alice’s daughter, Katie, offering herself as a mentor to the girl and a shoulder for Stephen ― who flees the pulpit to be with Heather and see if there is anything to be salvaged from the spiritual wreckage around him.  But then the State's Attorney begins to suspect that Alice's husband may not have killed himself ― and finds out that Alice had secrets only her minister knew.
I've already read more than half of this book ― 200 pages of the 378, which include the Reading Group Guide.  I've read enough to discover the book is divided into four parts, following the story from the viewpoints of four different people:  the minister, the deputy state's attorney (according to page 7), the author of those books about angels, and the daughter.  I'm only into part two, the attorney's viewpoint, but the book is pulling me along as I see things from different perspectives.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. Click here for today's Linky.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Banned Books Week ~ Sept. 23-29, 2018

It's been ten years since I wrote (on my blog) about my granddaughter reading And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell (2005).  Night before last, I mentioned that book to my newest book discussion group, and then Helen wrote about it on her blog.  Wow!  What a coincidence!  It must be time for me to re-read this book.  I highly recommend that you read it for yourself.

It's Banned Books Week, so read a banned book.  If you need suggestions for something to read, check out this Newsweek article about most frequently banned books.  The list of ten most banned at the end of the article includes And Tango Makes Three.  And do, please, watch the short video at the top of the article.  It's only 1:50 minutes long (under two minutes!), and I want you to notice WHY the last-mentioned book was banned.  It has "unwholesome values" because of its "independent female protagonist."  Okay, I'm sure you know how I feel about that!

Here's page for you to color from the American Library Association.  (Click to enlarge it.)  WORDS HAVE POWER, it says.  Yes!  Words are so powerful that they scare some people.  After all, would we want independent females?  Obviously, some people would NOT.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Cosmos and cosmic

Cosmos (noun) ― the universe seen as a well-ordered whole.
Cosmic (adjective) ― relating to the universe or cosmos, especially as distinct from the earth.
I ran into Shirvan in the lobby Monday evening, and he asked about the word "cosmos."  Is it the same as "universe"?  I had to think about it, but as best I could sort through what I knew of the word, they were pretty much the same.

I remember Cosmos, the best-selling science book by Carl Sagan from 1980, as being about the universe.  But do we have two words that mean exactly the same thing?
"The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be," says Carl Sagan at the beginning of the (four-minute) introduction to his 13-part television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.
I got the definitions above from Google.  Here's what Merriam-Webster adds:
"Cosmos often simply means universe, but the word is generally used to suggest an orderly or harmonious universe, as it was originally used by Pythagoras in the 6th century B.C."
I've read the book Cosmic Consciousness by Richard Maurice Bucke (1900) at least two or three times, as I posted in August.  The book's sub-title is A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind.  Now I'll have to think about how that kind of consciousness relates to the universe as distinct from the earth.  This use of the word "cosmic" is actually more metaphysical than scientific, according to Merriam-Webster, but this has been an interesting reflection on the cosmos and however it may ― or may not ― relate to cosmic consciousness.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Women judges on the Supreme Court

Elena Kagan, Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor are the Supreme Court's only women judges, ever.
  1. Sandra Day O'Connor (1981-2006)
  2. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1993-present)
  3. Sonia Maria Sotomayor (2009-present)
  4. Elena Kagan (2010-present)

Monday, September 24, 2018

Road crossing a forest

Today I will ponder "a road crossing a forest" viewpoint, as opposed to our human assumption that the deer is crossing one of OUR roads.  From the deer's point of view, that road came through the forest, making a mess of things, causing problems, making life difficult and extremely dangerous.  Oh, to see the world ― and life ― as others see it.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sunday Salon ~ new books and activities

Sister of Mine ~ by Sabra Waldfogel, 2016, fiction (Georgia)
When two Union soldiers stumble onto a plantation in northern Georgia on a warm May day in 1864, the last thing they expect is to see the Union flag flying high — or to be greeted by a group of freed slaves and their Jewish mistress.  Little do they know that this place has an unusual history.  Twelve years prior, Adelaide Mannheim — daughter of Mordecai, the only Jewish planter in the county — was given her own maid, a young slave named Rachel.  The two became friends, and soon they discovered a secret:  Mordecai was Rachel’s father, too.  As the country moved toward war, Adelaide and Rachel struggled to navigate their newfound sisterhood — from love and resentment to betrayal and, ultimately, forgiveness.  Now, facing these Union soldiers as General Sherman advances nearer, their bond is put to the ultimate test.  Will the plantation be spared?  Or will everything they’ve lived for be lost?
I bought this for my Kindle yesterday, after reading the opening pages and noticing that Sherman's men had just come from fighting the Battle of Chickamauga.  That's just south of Chattanooga, my hometown, so I can visualize the area, having been there many times.  I grew up so close to Georgia that I could ride my bicycle there ... and did, once.  This is a revised edition, having been previously published as Slave and Sister.  I'm looking forward to this one, and here's another one I added to my Kindle a few days ago.

Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero ~ by Michael Hingson, with Susy Flory, 2011, memoir
Every moment in Michael Hingson’s and Roselle’s lives seemed to lead up to this day.  When one of four hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center’s north tower on September 11, 2001, Michael Hingson, a district sales manager for a data protection and network security systems company, was sitting down for a meeting.  His guide dog, Roselle, was at his feet.  Paired for twenty-one months, man and dog spent that time forging a bond of trust, much like police partners who trust their lives to each other.  Michael couldn’t see a thing, but he could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding around him and Roselle.  However, Roselle sat calmly beside him.  In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle’s judgment and not to panic.  They were a team.
Most of us remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when the airplanes hit the Twin Towers on 9-11.  Seventeen years later, I can still feel the anxiety of that day.  Yes, this should be a good story.


Tricia Falmer, Sandy Moreno's daughter, showed us how to make alcohol ink designs on ceramic tiles on August 29th in the Crown Center art room.  We began with a gentle mist of alcohol, and added 2-3 drops of paint.  It was odd to blow through a stir stick to get a feathery look.  We had brushes to make smooth strokes, stir sticks to drag through the paint drops, and a can of air to push the paint around.  What you see here is what I produced.

The Crown Center bus took a group of us to visit the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis a couple of days earlier.  Click the link for brighter and more colorful photos and for more information about the Basilica.

More Sunday Salon posts are on Facebook.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Ailurophile ~ a cat lover

I posted this cat tee-shirt on Facebook in November 2017, saying:
Is this your cat?  Can you imagine it happening?  What is it about cats, anyway?  It seems perfectly possible to me.
My friend Hamilton commented today (45 weeks later):
I am an "ailurophile," no an ailurophile.
Ailurophile combines the Greek word ailouros, which means "cat," and the suffix -phile, meaning "lover."  So an ailurophile is a cat lover.  That's a new word for me.  If you click on the link, you can also hear it spoken.

Hamilton used the same word twice, so she may have meant "ailurophobe" for one or the other.  (No, I didn't know this word, either, until Merriam-Webster informed me.)  This one means "fearing or averse to" cats.  I'm waiting to see how Hamilton responds on Facebook, but she rarely goes there and may never see my response.  Maybe I'll have to call her.

Four hours later, I called Hamilton.  I was right.  She's an ailurophobe.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Four defining moments

1967 ~ "Willa Drake and Sonya Bailey were selling candy bars door-to-door.  This was for the Herbert Malone Elementary School Orchestra" (p. 5).
1977 ~ "Willa's college had a jitney that made several runs to the airport before any major holiday" (p. 41).
1997 ~ "Willa and Derek were out on the freeway, driving to a swim party in Coronado" (p. 77).
2017 ~ "The phone call came on a Tuesday afternoon in mid-July" (p. 107).

Clock Dance ~ by Anne Tyler, 2018, fiction
Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life.  In 1967, she is a schoolgirl coping with her mother's sudden disappearance.   In 1977, she is a college coed considering a marriage proposal.  In 1997, she is a young widow trying to piece her life back together.  And in 2017, she yearns to be a grandmother, but isn't sure she ever will be.   Then, one day, Willa receives a startling phone call from a stranger.  Without fully understanding why, she flies across the country to Baltimore to look after a young woman she's never met, her nine-year-old daughter, and their dog, Airplane.  This impulsive decision will lead Willa into uncharted territory ― surrounded by eccentric neighbors who treat each other like family, she finds solace and fulfillment in unexpected places.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. Click here for today's Linky.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Smugshrug ~ or shruggie

Have you ever seen (or used) this cute little emoji?  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It's called a "smugshrug" or a "shruggie."  Learn more about it in this extremely short 2014 article, which says:
"The emoji, of sorts, can mean anything from IDGAF to IDK or even a simple whatever."
Even the first time I saw it, I could tell it combined a shrug and a crooked smile.  It seemed like a no-brainer to me, something requiring little or no thought.  I learned it in context, the way we learn most words.  I like it.  What do you think?

By the way, you can't type it with just any ole computer.  It can be complicated, and there are articles telling you how to make it.  I simply copied-and-pasted it here:

This photo of the emoji spelled out with French fries at Denny's is from the same little article.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Sunday Salon ~ books, labyrinths, family, purricane

Two weeks ago, Jürgen Moltmann wrote these words for a book about his theology by Stephen D. Morrison:
I have endeavored to follow up scholarly theological books with shorter, generally accessible works.  I have kept myself accountable to the injunction:  “That which cannot be said simply is perhaps not worth saying at all.”  As such, I followed up Theology of Hope (1967) with the popular-level work, In the End — The Beginning (2004); my Christology, The Way of Jesus Christ (1990), with Jesus Christ for Today’s World (1994); and The Spirit of Life (1992) with The Source of Life (1997).
I have five of these six books, but somehow I missed In the End — The Beginning.  I'll have to remedy that oversight!  I hadn't realized these (smaller) books were more accessible versions of his theological tomes, but the "easier" ones are definitely shorter:
(342 pages) Theology of Hope
In the End — The Beginning (192 pages)
(388 pages) The Way of Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ for Today’s World (152 pages)
(358 pages) The Spirit of Life
The Source of Life (148 pages)
Now I guess I'd better read (or re-read) all six books as I compare their contents.  I've had these since the 1990s, except Theology of Hope, which I bought in 1987.  That one is so old, the pages are falling out, so I got a later edition in 2012.  I can't throw away the old one yet, though, because of all my marginalia and underlining in it.

Donna and I walked the labyrinth at the Mercy Center with Kevin on Thursday.  Click to enlarge the photo to see both of them meditating near the tree in the center.

Wanting to share labyrinth photos with a couple of friends, I went looking through my blog posts ... and couldn't find what I wanted.  Ha!  It's because I posted it on another of my blogs:  Book Buddies.  Here's the photo I was thinking about, one of Mary and Donna in the center of a smaller labyrinth at a church in Ooltewah.

Here's a labyrinth that Donna and I walked in Hixson, six years ago, when she took this photo of me.  There's a similarity among these outdoor labyrinths, but they are also different:  one is outlined with stones, one with bricks, and one with grass between wood-chip paths.

My youngest granddaughter has been pictured with her best friends in CityScope Magazine after their graduation from high school.  She is now a college freshman.

Let's end with a gentle "cat-egory 3 purricane," hoping to bring a smile in a week of devastating weather in our world.

More Sunday Salon posts are on Facebook.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Yes, there's a cat in this story ... somewhere

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Beginning ~ in her office

Tory loved the way the slanting October sun filled her office.  The woods around her house were mostly eastern cedars and sugar maples, but one venerable oak tree spread its branches just outside her sliding glass door, and the sun reflecting from its red and yellow leaves splashed gold-tinged light across her desk.  It shone on Jack's high school portrait in its braided leather frame, and made the faint gold butterfly gleam from the green depths of the Murano glass paperweight.

The Glass Butterfly ~ by Louise Marley, 2012, fiction (Italy and Oregon)
A new life.  A new name.  A complete break with the past.  It's the only way therapist Victoria Lake can think to protect her son — and herself — from a case turned deadly.  She and Jack have barely spoken since he's gone to college.  As painful as it is, it's better that he think she's dead than let her enemies suspect that she's not.  Jack could never stand his mother's insistence that sometimes intuition told her things facts couldn't.  But he has a strange feeling that she's alive, despite the meticulous police investigation and the somber funeral.  Of course, Jack is reconsidering several things his mother said, now that she's gone.  To survive, Victoria knows she has to reinvent herself completely.  She can't even listen to her beloved Puccini.  But without the music in her ears, eerie dreams invade her sleep.  Lush with the sounds and sights of 19th-century Tuscany, her dreams are also loaded with a very real warning she can't afford to ignore.
Last week, I noticed that I had recently bought TWO "butterfly" books for my Kindle, when I posted about the other one:  The Memory of Butterflies by Grace Greene (2017).  I've read about a fourth of this second "butterfly" novel so far.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays. Click here for today's Linky.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Library Loot

The University City Library delivers books to readers at the Crown Center every three weeks, and today was the day.  We take our bag of books to the office on Wednesday to be picked up by the delivery person, who leaves new books.  It's all coordinated by Dave, who calls on Wednesday if he hasn't heard from us.  Here are the three newest ones for me (plus two children's books that were in my friend Donna's bag, which I've already read before taking them to her apartment tomorrow).  This first novel is brand new, having been acquired by the library in July.  I need to read it quickly so others on the waiting list can read it, too.

Clock Dance ~ by Anne Tyler, 2018, fiction
Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life.  In 1967, she is a schoolgirl coping with her mother's sudden disappearance.  In 1977, she is a college coed considering a marriage proposal.  In 1997, she is a young widow trying to piece her life back together.  And in 2017, she yearns to be a grandmother, but isn't sure she ever will be.  Then, one day, Willa receives a startling phone call from a stranger.  Without fully understanding why, she flies across the country to Baltimore to look after a young woman she's never met, her nine-year-old daughter, and their dog, Airplane.  This impulsive decision will lead Willa into uncharted territory ― surrounded by eccentric neighbors who treat each other like family, she finds solace and fulfillment in unexpected places.
The Mapmaker's Daughter: ~ by Catherine Nouri Hughes, 2017, fiction
This historical novel is set in the 16th century and is the confession of Nurbanu, born Cecilia Baffo Veniero ― the mesmerizing, illegitimate Venetian who became the most powerful woman in the Ottoman Empire at the height of its power under Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.  Queen Mother Nurbanu, on her sickbed, is determined to understand how her bond with the greatest of all Ottoman sultans, Suleiman the Magnificent, shaped her destiny ― not only as the wife of his successor but as the appointed enforcer of one of the Empire’s most crucial and shocking laws.  Nurbanu spares nothing as she dissects the desires and motives that have propelled and harmed her; as she considers her role as devoted and manipulative mother; as she reckons her relations with the women of the Harem; and as she details the fate of the most sophisticated observatory in the world.  Nurbanu sets out to “see” the causes and effects of her loves and choices, and she succeeds by means of unflinching candor ― right up to the last shattering revelation.
Days of Awe: Stories for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur ~ by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Erika Weihs, 1991, children's
Three traditional stories deal with the power of charity, a shepherd's prayers, and a beggar's forgiveness.
Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness ~ by Anastasia Higginbotham, 2018, children's, 8/10
This is a picture book that invites white children and parents to become curious about racism, accept that it's real, and cultivate justice.
The People Shall Continue (40th anniversary special edition) ~ by Simon J. Ortiz, illustrated by Sharol Gravees, 1977 and 2017, children's, 9/10
This telling of the history of the Native/Indigenous peoples of North America recounts their story from Creation to the invasion and usurpation of Native lands.  As more and more people arrived, The People saw that the new men did not respect the land.  The People witnessed the destruction of their Nations and the enslavement of their people.  The People fought hard, but they eventually agreed to stop fighting and signed treaties.  Many things changed and became more difficult, but The People continued to farm and create crafts.  They remembered and told their children, "You are Shawnee. You are Lakota. You are Pima. You Acoma. . . . You are all these Nations of the People."  The People held onto their beliefs and customs and found solidarity with other oppressed people.  And despite struggles against greed, destruction of their lands, and oppression, The People persisted.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Wednesday Word ~ what ... What?

"What rhymes with orange."
"No, it doesn't."

Problem?  Someone very literal noticed
the speaker forgot to add a question mark.
So what rhymes with orange?  Nothing.

Foaming hand soap

This is a little out of the norm for what I've put on this blog before, but I ran across an article on How to Make Foaming Hand Soap and want to save it.  While writing this, I found another recipe for DIY Foaming Hand Soap.  This one is a video and has more ingredients than the first recipe.

Maybe I'll even get around to trying these myself.  Once, just once, I bought foaming hand soap; I liked it.  But I don't have a problem with my other soap, whether in a dispenser or a bar.

I will note that I saved the foaming soap dispenser, having seen that I could get a better deal if I simply refilled it.  Maybe I'll refill it with homemade foaming hand soap.  We shall see.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

TWOsday ~ awesome music

Watch this 5-year-old on YouTube, if this video stops working.

Watch it on YouTube, if this video stops working.  Maybe this one is not what it seems, as some commenters have claimed, but it's fun to watch.

The music may be helpful, if today brings back haunting memories of trauma for you of that day in 2001 that changed our world forever.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Contemplation ~ twisted chimney

Who?  What?  When?  Where?  Why?
Best bricklayer ever?
Built using common core?
Nightmare for Santa?
To be or knot to be?

This unusual looking chimney, twisted into a knot, is actually an abstract sculpture called "Performance Piece" on the campus of Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas.  It's 24 feet high and made from "galvanized steel, epoxy, pigments, cement, bugles, fire brick, foam, and fiberglass" by the sculptor Dennis Oppenheim in the year 2000, according to this source.


Click to enlarge
the top photo to see
the bugles attached
to the base.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

DASH Diet books ~ and two study groups

Hey, there are DASH Diet forms available online for use with Marla Heller's books:
  • The DASH Diet Younger You (2014)
  • The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook (2013)
  • The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution (2012)
  • The DASH Diet Action Plan (2007)
The New DASH Diet support group on Facebook shared this information today.  Click the top link to find the forms or the link in this sentence, if you are interested in joining the support group, which uses the "gold book" shown here.

Two Books, Two Study Groups

A Gospel of Hope ~ by Walter Bruggemann, 2018.  This is the book we'll use in the Tuesday Evening Dialogue group, starting day after tomorrow.
Brueggemann offers penetrating insights on Scripture and prophetic diagnoses of our culture.  Instead of maintaining what is safe and routine, he encourages readers to embrace the audacity required to live out one's faith.  This volume gathers his wisdom on topics ranging from abundance and anxiety to partisanship and the role of faith in public life.
Days of Awe and Wonder: How to Be a Christian in the Twenty-first Century ~ by Marcus Borg, 2017.  The copies we ordered should arrive on Tuesday, which means we'll probably start our discussion next week.
Borg helped shape an enlightened view of Christianity with a new way of seeing and living an authentic life.  Two years after his death, we have an anthology of his explorations of the miraculous and wonderful, his understanding of conviction and fulfillment, and his contention that we must keep an open mind and question assumptions in all our religious journeys.
 L'Shanah Tovah!  Wishing all my Jewish friends a sweet new year, as 5779 begins on this Rosh Hashanah.

Bloggers gather in the Sunday Salon — at separate computers in different time zones — to talk about our lives and our reading.