Category Archives: Modern life-as-we-know-it

After a baby’s birth, mothers still tend to carry the (housework) weight

imagesA new Ohio State University study says that after a baby comes home, both parents know their workload is increased, but the father’s workload increased by just 40 minutes a day, while the mother’s workload increased by an average of two hours.

You can read more here, on CT Health Investigative Team.

Judge not, that ye be not judge

1That’s Matthew 7:1, King James Version, and I’ve often wondered how Christians square that with doing their civic duty like serving on a jury.

(I’ve never been asked– not once — so I’ve only had to wonder about that, not actually come to a conclusion.)

But this guy actually made the argument in Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, also known as the Old Bailey (pictured). He said he couldn’t serve on a jury because, as a Muslim, he, too, is prohibited from judging others.

The judge disagreed and refused to allow the man an exemption.

This is too beautiful not to share

Karim Wasfi, who conducts the Iraqi National Symphony, sat down amid the rubble after a car bomb to play an impromptu concert. About his timing and location, Wasfi said this:

“It’s about reaching out to people exactly where someone had experienced something so grotesque and ugly earlier,” Wasfi said in an interview. “The spot where people lost their lives, the spot where people were still trying to stay alive, trying to function.”

I’m fine, thanks

IMG_5504A few years before she died, my grandmother started giving me stuff at every visit. It wasn’t fancy stuff. My grandmother wasn’t fancy. It was more like dish towels and the occasional knick-knack. I tried to talk her out of it. It felt ghoulish, like she was preparing to die and didn’t want all this stuff surrounding her when she went.

I find myself in a similar predicament, though I believe my health is fine. We are moving. The last time I moved, I went from a house that was three times the size of the one we’re selling now. I was careful about giving or throwing much of my stuff away.

This time, I’m being brutal. My father left me a set of first-edition leather-bound books that are going to my son, along with the huge bookshelves I bought for them. I made the decision to pass these along far later than I should have. I’ve also made a sign that says “Free to Good Home” for the light pole out front, and that’s where I leave griddles, bundt pans and other things I’ll never use. So far, everything has been picked clean, and I’m glad. My husband insists he’s throwing out anything that wouldn’t fit into his Mach 1 Mustang — a car he owned back in the glory days, the ’70s. To one-up him, I’ve told him I will winnow and shift to fit everything into a backpack (which I did once, back when I moved off to Maryland to go to college). (OK, I shipped six large boxes of stuff that followed me a few weeks later, but for a while? I was awesome in my own head.)

The funny thing about stuff is that it takes on this incredible weight. I won’t get my stuff down to a backpack. I have probably 50 boxes of books I’m not giving away. I’ve still got photo albums, the occasional winter coat, a pair of cowgirl boots that follow me everywhere.

But what if you had to pick through your stuff and fit everything into a backpack? Or a Mach 1? What would you take? What would you leave?

Sea Tea Improv is nearing its fundraising goal

cropped-SeaTeaCompanyPhotoG3Sea Tea Improv, the improvisational troupe based in Hartford (I’ve seen them, they’re good) has a Kickstarter campaign, with a goal of raising $35,000. They are thisclose (like how I did that?) to meeting that goal. If they’re successful, this means a comedy theater in downtown Hartford.

We could use a comedy theater. You can donate here.

Shared this on Facebook. Sharing it here.

lucas1When George Lucas couldn’t get approval to build a  studio in Marin County, he opted to build affordable housing on the site, instead. With his own money.

Of course, the link above says Lucas “trolled” his rich neighbors by putting them in close proximity to “poor people.” Uh…to steal a quote, I do not think “affordable housing” means what the writer thinks it means.

Gwyneth Paltrow took the SNAP Challenge

indexAnd got her head handed to her.

You know the challenge, and maybe you’ve taken it yourself: Pledge to live on the same amount of food provided to someone on food stamps (now called SNAP). The amount varies from state to state, but it’s hard and it’s challenging and why do you think people were so hateful that Paltrow, who seems to be a target for all kinds of angst, did this? (Time magazine called her participation “poverty tourism.”)

But at least Slate told everyone to cool their jets.

And thanks, Kimberley, for the link.