Illustration Friday: Jazz

February 28, 2005

My first Illustration Friday picture! Click on the pic to see it in it’s original size.

[Update: Check out my Jazz at night girl, too. Same basic picture, with some playing around.]


UU and atheism

February 27, 2005

We had a guest minister whose sermon annoyed me so much that I walked out. He said that we need to have a common theological basis for our opinions! It was interesting to talk about it with other people. One person said that we can have a language of spirituality in our church. But allowing a language of spirituality is very different than prescribing what people can base their ideas on.

I found the sermon frightening in it’s uninclusiveness. Luckily our usual minister, who is a theist of some kind or another, includes the atheists and agnostics. In that same conversation my friend, who I love anyway, said that she wishes that people would walk far enough along a spiritual path so they would not have a knee jerk reaction to hearing the word “God.” I think she was implying that I was having a knee jerk reaction to God and thus am not as spiritually mature as she is. But, I wasn’t talking about my own spirituality when I spoke about not liking the sermon. I was talking about not liking the sermon because it was narrowly prescribing what UUs can think. I would not have liked it any better if he had described my exact beliefs, and sources for those beliefs, as uniqely legitimate.

I like the variety and inclusiveness of the UU community. It is radical to have a strong community and allow freedom of thought and belief and expression in it. It’s actually quite amazing and rare. It would be a shame for our UU community to throw that out for any set theology or creed no matter how perfect or wonderful it might be.

You know those warning emails that you get from well meaning friends and family? I just got one today that was cut off. The first lesson was that to protect yourself from rape you shouldn’t wear a ponytail. Grrr…. Here was my reply:

Hi ____,

I couldn’t read this whole thing and please don’t forward the rest of it to me. Just like any other form of terrorism, the result of rape is that people in the group who are terrorized start to restrict their movements and their lifestyles. Don’t give in to the terrorists by bending to their will and making your world smaller and smaller. The truth is that rape is a men’s issue. No matter what lengths women go to, rape will only stop when men stop raping. Let go of fear and live your life and wear your ponytail. Damn the torpedoes. Paradoxically, when you live with confidence, you are safer.

Here was the senders reply, (ok, it was my mom.”)

Hi [Braidwood],

Thank you for your perspective! – Often unique. Maybe I should send your note back to where I got it from? Love you, _______

Blog Cuts, a new feature

February 25, 2005

Now introducing… BLOG CUTS! Blog Cuts will feature old web log entries I typed but never posted, or cuts from other entries. In other words, stuff that, the first time around, I decided not to post.

The fervor I feel for blogging this week is only exceeded by the excitement about the election I am experiencing! So, I was excited to find another Kerry for president link. This one is: People related to Bush who are voting for Kerry. Go Kerry!!

I like Kerry! And he is going to win! I know it. [italics, bold, and coloring added by Now-Me.] If they announce that George Bush won I will riot (peacefully;) in the street. Most people who voted for Gore in the last election aren’t going to switch their vote

Rolling Stone interview with Kerry
Librarians against Bush

Wow… well you know what they say about a prophet in her own land…. she’s just totally off.


February 23, 2005

My Dream

This one’s for you, Red

February 23, 2005

The Tyranny of email

First, never, ever, criticize someone in email. For reasons that I have never fully grasped, any negative emotion is always amplified by communication through email. Sometimes you intend to be critical — someone has done something dumb, or said something silly, or emailed something ridiculous. Resist the urge to reply. Sometimes you don’t mean to be critical, you’re just making an observation, or engaging in technical debate, or adding facts to a discussion. But as soon as you sense that the recipient has taken your email as criticism, you must immediately switch media. A face-to-face meeting is best, but a phone call is also okay.

Second, don’t get into prolonged technical debates in email. I’ve seen threads lasting weeks with a whole series of kibitzers, with everyone restating their points of view and nothing getting settled. Often email has the effect of polarizing the debate, and the combatants end up further apart in their views than when the debate began. As soon as you sense this happening, you must immediately switch media. A meeting with the core people involved is best, but a conference call is also okay.

You can download the whole manifesto in PDF form and other manifestos at Change This.

Old Shtuff

February 22, 2005

I have all these old links I’m cleaning up. Some of them are things I thought it would be cool for ya’ll to see, but was too busy to post last semester. Here is a moving clip of a man who was free to vote for the first time last November, after being freed from an unjust prison sentence. I know, I know, it’s a voting story- old news. But it’s heart-warming and movign. Check it ya’ll.


February 22, 2005

Do it now dot com

February 22, 2005

WOW. Steve Pavlina graduated from college in three semesters. Talk about time management. This guy is intense. We are probably almost polar opposites. I consciously took three years to get through two years of school so I could have plenty of extra time. Check out Steve Pavlina’s tips in this strong, energizing article. What do you think? I don’t like the part about cramming my time full, but there are some useful ideas in there:

When you work for yourself, it’s easy to spend a whole day at your desk and accomplish nothing of value. This almost always happens when you aren’t really clear about what it is you’re trying to do. In the moments when you regain your awareness, ask yourself, “What exactly is it that I’m trying to accomplish here?” You must know your destination with as much clarity as possible. This is one reason that all your goals must be specific, and they must be in writing. Your goals must be so clear that it would be possible for a stranger to look at your situation objectively and give you an absolute “yes” or “no” response as to whether you’ve accomplished each goal or not. If you cannot define your destination precisely, how will you know when you’ve arrived?

Unless you are a naturally hyper person, your enthusiasm is going to need daily reinforcement. I recommend either listening to motivational tapes or reading inspiring books or articles for at least fifteen minutes every day. Whenever I’ve stopped doing this, I’ve found that self-doubt always returns, and my productivity drops off. It’s truly amazing how constantly feeding your mind with positive material can maintain your enthusiasm indefinitely. And if you multitask, you can get this benefit without investing any extra time into it.


February 21, 2005

My aunt is so funny. Like some other interesting, funny people in my life, I want her to get a blog. I promise her fame and fortune, and masses of readers that will lead to a book deal or at least some profit making google ads. All this even though, as far as I know, I still have around 9 readers a day. (My web counter is out.)

So, since she doesn’t have a blog, and I don’t feel like typing out her entire funny story, I will just end with this hilarious quote, “I don’t mind a cowboy, but if he has a confederate flag, he’s out.” 😀 😀 😀 My aunt’s so funny!

By the way, she thought the craigslist ad below was hilarious.