Sex & Violence

This is born of discussions here & here about sex in “His Dark Materials” and violence in Harry Potter. The gist is this: books for children or young teens often skimp on sexuality, whereas they are free to be graphically violent. I’d like to explore this from two directions: first with regard to the unacceptability of sexuality and second with regard to sexuality as violent in itself.

on Daylight Savings Time

I’ve heard arguments for and against DST and the reasons generally center around “we’re used to it” or “we’re not farmers”. Recently I heard that the Candy Lobby (there’s a lobby for everything, it seems, and all of them have more votes than me) wants DST to occur before Hallowe’en so that kids can go eat candy while it’s still light out. Which defeats the purpose of going out, in my mind (part of the fun of Hallowe’en is that it’s dark out—it’s scary, it’s not something you’re normally allowed to do, &c.), but ignores a major point: standardization isn’t.

Weekly Challenge: Sing!

I had occasion, a long time ago, to drive to Santa Barbara with a friend. We had our iPods (of course!) and traded off driving and DJing. And we both sang along with the music. Halfway there, I realized that my husband rarely sings along. This struck me, because, I am self conscious about singing along to music in the car, but only when there are other (strange) people around. By myself or with my husband: not so much. After I mentioned this to him, he started tentatively singing along with songs he knows.

His Dark Materials

While visiting my in-laws most recently, my step-mother-in-law had occasion to be horrified that I’d not read the “His Dark Materials” series by Philip Pullman. “Could I borrow your copies?” I asked. She became, if possible, even more horrified. “No,” she replied, “I read them too often.” Later that day, I had a set of my own.

Friday Afternoon Tea: EG

One of the teas to which I always return (though other tastes and fads may come and go), is Earl Grey, with whom I am so familiar that I often refer to him as “EG”. Legend has it that one of the Earls Grey, while stationed near a tea-growing-&-drinking area, saved someone’s life & was rewarded with the recipe which is: a blend of harsh black tea (like an Assam) with milder black tea (e.g. a Ceylon…couldn’t resist) and a hint of bergamot (berg-a-moe) essence.

Friday Afternoon Tea: Chai

As the weather turns colder (yes, even here in LA), I’d like to share one of my favorite kinds of tea: chai. Chai comes from many Indian dialects (according to my dictionary, which I checked before just saying “Hindi”) and simply means “tea”. But in English, it describes the way that tea is traditionally enjoyed in India: mixed with spices and milk.

Duality: Chaos & Order

When I was in high school, if I wanted to do anything on a Sunday (missing church), I’d have to go to Saturday evening mass. Since the English Community only had one service a week, and since it was 50k away, I’d walk down to the local Catholic Church and sit in the way back (eventually it did occur to me that I didn’t have to go there, just be gone for the right general amount of time, but I still usually hung out around there). I found it much easier to tune out mass in German, so I often spent the hour or so thinking Deep Thoughts. One of the major Deep Thoughts was of chaos & order.

Friday Afternoon Tea: Caffeine

Caffeine is a naturally-occurring chemical that plants use as both an herb- and a pesticide. Caffeine in the soil around a tea plant (from leaf-litter) will inhibit the growth of other plants that may compete for resources. Additionally, some non-beneficial insects are affected by the caffeine in such a way as to keep them from nibbling in the future. In humans, caffeine is a mood-elevator and a stimulant (both mentally and metabolically). Caffeine’s effectiveness is increased by steeping its naturally-occurring element (leaf, bean) in water.

If Mothers Ruled the World, There Would Be No Goddam War!

For those who have not seen this, Sally Fields won an Emmy & took the time to acknowledge “the mothers who stand with an open heart & wait. Wait for their children to come home from danger, from harm’s way, and from war.” She continued, and Fox didn’t like what she had to say, injecting a giant disco ball and cutting the sound:

Lady Murasaki

As previously discussed (although I can’t find it or I’d link to it, or just simply comment in it), I’m in mid-switch to Ubuntu Linux. Lady Murasaki is up and running. I decided it was an appropriate name given what (little) I know about her & since it means purple. Lady Murasaki is small & dainty…and purple. So thank you for the suggestions.