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March 12th, 2009

This morning's buscapade actually took place while waiting for the bus. A young lady walking her large dog on the other side of the street stopped suddenly to accommodate the dog's decision to do his morning duty. As he started squatting his hind legs, these thoughts ran through my mind:

  1. Look away. Give the dog its privacy.

  2. She has a scoop bag in her hand. Would she be embarrassed if I watched her pick up the poop. Why would I?
She crossed the street and was now walking toward me, and I wondered if either of these two comments would be appropriate. Well I knew the second one wouldn't be:

  1. Thank you for picking up after your dog.

  2. Looking at the steaming bag in her hand, "Nice poop."
In the end, I opted for, "Good morning."



I think I might have mentioned a week or so ago that Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore are on Twitter. Yesterday, or maybe the day before, someone tweeted something like "You're gay" or "That's so gay" in it, and Ashton tweeted this back:



And shortly after that, someone tweeted to Ashton:

@aplusk Add "retard" to your list of derogatory terms that people shouldn't use unless wanting to look like idiots.

I've really become especially sensitive to the "retard" comment lately, since my friend has a sister with Down's Syndrome, and it really upsets him when he hears people say, "What a retard," "That's retarded," or "I'm so retarded." I shared that with the person who had tweeted that comment to Ashton and he replied to me saying, "Yeah, if you have a family member with MRDD it makes you want to smack down someone every time you hear it."  



A couple of things I've been meaning to capture:

  1. At lunch at Gopacs Bazaar yesterday, in the Independent, I read a review of a new book called, Jesus Swept, which sounds very interesting to me:

    JESUS SWEPT satisfies on many levels. If you’re looking for a laugh, for a new look at old questions, and for an engrossing story, read this book. The cast of characters includes people we often ignore: indigents Mark, Luke, and Gary/aka Jesus, who buy their daily bread with the proceeds earned sweeping store fronts.

    Doped-up beach bums like angel-tattooed Hook, her angry brother Sinker, and her stalker boyfriend Eddie Junior. These human oddments cross unlikely paths with Liz–Assistant Director of Development at Duke University–and her husband Frank, a misunderstood hypochondriac with a charming devotion to Liz.

    Early in the novel, I found myself invested in this motley crew, wanting to know how their lives played out. Protzman makes hamburger out of sacred cows, and confronts beliefs about religion and spirituality in a world where we too often judge others by where and how they worship. The story evoked my indignation–I wanted to slap the Marine bully who torments Mark, Luke, and Gary; was intrigued by the ancient bracelet Liz finds in the surf, and empathetic with Frank, almost hoping he would indeed have an illness so that he’d be taken seriously.

    Dénouement is a challenge for such an intricate novel, but Protzman pulls all the threads together with an ending that left me sad, hopeful, wanting more of his unique point of view, and–most of all–eager to spread the message: “Do good. Be nice. Have fun.”

  2. I've listened to a couple of Selected Short Stories, a podcast series produced by Symphony Space and distributed by PRI.

    Listen Up: The characters in the three stories on this program have strong needs and agendas.

    In Brock Clarke's, "The Apology," two displaced Americans want an apology from the Catholic Church for abuse they suffered as children. The reader is stage and screen star Stephen Lang.

    On a lighter note, Joshua Ferris's story "The Chairs" chronicles the obsessive search for status in an office environment. The reader is cabaret star Ivy Austin.

    George Garrett's "Feeling Good, Feeling Fine," moves between past and present as a single baseball game leads to the unraveling of a whole lifetime. The reader is Tony Award-winner B.D. Lang.
    Family Matters: On this hour of "Selected Shorts: Four stories about families and children by classic and contemporary writers.

    "Charles" is a surprisingly light-hearted tale by Shirley Jackson read by Lois Smith.

    Next, Israeli writer Etgar Keret's "Pride and Joy," in which a childhood prodigy takes a toll on his parents. The reader is Tony Award- winner Robert Sean Leonard.

    In Jeanne Dixon's "Blue Waltz with Coyotes," a brother and sister have an adventure in the wild—and get to know each other. The reader is Mia Dillon.

    Finally, Rick Moody's poignant story, "Boys," poetically chronicles the life of two brothers from birth to adulthood. The reader is Broadway and television star B.D. Wong.

    In Listen Up, I loved The Apology, didn't at all care for The Chairs, and thought Feeling Good, Feeling Fine was just a little better than okay.

    In Family Matters, I loved Charles and Pride and Joy, didn't particularly care for Blue Waltz with Coyotes, and really liked Boys. Caveat: The introduction to Blue Waltz said it was a "Virginia Woolf-like dreamy" story, which may have biased me against it from the get-go after recently seeing Woolf's "The Waves."



I had a good work day today, and we had a fun "working" department meeting.

I had every intention of going to the gym tonight, but it didn't happen.

I started reading The World is Flat.

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