7 Quick Takes: Charlottesville Edition

7 Quick Takes

Unless you live under a rock or have been on silent retreat for several weeks, you probably saw something about the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville this past weekend that left one woman dead (a first person account is here), two police officers dead from a helicopter crash, and many injuries including a man who was almost beat to death with a metal poles by neo-Nazis.

I’m sure most of you who know me well would argue that I “got political” and that none of what I’m about to say or show you is surprising, but I would appreciate you hearing me out anyway.

— 1 —

How a *REAL* president tweets. This tweet by former President Obama is the most liked tweet in history. 45 should take notes. As I know some of you cannot go to the former president’s Twitter page in good conscience, I’ve taken the liberty of screen-capping it for you.

How a *REAL* president tweets.

— 2 —

White privilege. My friend Sarah wrote this and it is excellent. These were my thoughts on Sunday in response to my priest’s sermon.

For those who want to be white allies or who have friends who are people of color, read this and this. There is also the amazing example of Darryl Davis.

Also, please don’t claim that you’re not racist/homophobic because your BFF/friends/loved one is a person of color or is Jewish or is GLBTQ. All three communities want you to cut that crap out because you’re offering them up as a sacrifice to assuage your guilt.

— 3 —

Issues of Southern heritage. I’ve seen people posting quotes from Robert E. Lee all week and talk about how this is destroying Southern heritage. I invite you to read these words from Robert E. Lee and a reflection from Jon’s intership supervisor. Robert E. Lee’s descendants have even spoken out against the statue of him staying up.

My friend Eileen shared this with me from the Southern Poverty Law Center which discusses the timing of the monument erection. Hint: it was 1910-1930 during the rise of the KKK and of anti-Semitism.

This is an interesting reflection on the Confederate flag. Here’s a piece on mothballing Confederate monuments.

— 4 —

Identifying the neo-Nazi marchers. There have been marchers who have been doxxed. One such story is here. A thoughtful discussion on whether it should happen is here.

There was also one protestor who decided to strip down when the going got tough. Too bad a documentary film crew caught it!

— 5 —

For those who want to read… My dear friend Kate went to the library this week and got quite a few books with main characters who were people of color so she read them to her kids. She also shared this link that she found for books about social justice issues.

One thing for which I am thankful is that they were changing around the reading lists when I was a junior and senior in high school to give us a greater breadth of American writers who were not white. We read Amy Tan, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, and they were adding a book by Sandra Cisneros to the sophomore reading list. I was also fortunate to read some pieces by Gary Soto and some young adult literature about concentration camps in middle school. College brought me Drink Cultura by José Antonio Burciaga and A Different Mirror by Ronald Takaki.

— 6 —

Response of faith communities. This picture of clergy from different religious backgrounds standing tall in the face of men with automatic weapons is striking. It’s a pity there was a lack of Catholic clergy.

Brian McLaren also shares what he saw.

From St. Justin Martyr

— 7 —

Political ramifications of all of this. I’m incredibly disappointed with 45 over his statements and refusal to condemn the neo-Nazi marchers outright. His daughter is an Orthodox Jew and they were calling for people like her, her husband, and her kids to die in ovens like in Nazi Germany.

From Dr. Suess

House caucus groups are calling for the firing of Bannon, Miller, and Gorka. There is also speculation that this was practice for a militia attack.

There is also the consideration of what this looks like from Berlin…

— Bonus —

So please, I beg you, speak out and speak up.

Your Nazi-Fighting Name

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: August 13, 2017

For Today… August 13, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny. We finally (!!!) got rain last night and it was sprinkling this morning. Despite there being two of my migraine triggers present, I wish it had kept raining.

I am thinking… about Charlottesville, my own privilege, and the need to speak out and say, as a white woman, that the neo-Nazi crap going on there is abhorrent.

I am thankful… for last night. My youngest cousin called to let us know that she and her mom had just bought her wedding dress and she was coming up to show it to my grandmother. When we were taking the pictures with her and grandma (who was miraculously alert and smiling), we discovered that the portrait of my late grandfather in his Navy uniform was photobombing them. We had a good laugh and got teary because we miss him and photobombing them is totally something he would have enjoyed doing. (My cousin and I were beloved by him so she’s ecstatic that he was there in spirit last night.)

One of my favorite things… sleep. I’m not getting enough of it.

I am wearing… my blue-green fitted tee and jeans. Church clothes were the tee with black slacks, my black cardigan, and my black flats.

I am creating… my last two reports and journals for my Interpersonal Communications class.

I am reading listening to… the Andante movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in D Major Op. 28.

I am hoping… what I just ate and drank will get my blood sugar to where it needs to be and I won’t feel so hypoglycemic.

I am learning… the fingers that are least painful to prick with my glucometer. I am also trying to get a baseline for what “normal” should feel like.

In my kitchen… just noshed on some Chinese pork.

In the school room… class ends for me this week (4 chapters to outline for the quiz, 2 reports, and 2 journals due on Wednesday) and then I get to spend some time outlining the Business English textbook so I can test out of the class.

Post Script… my dear friend Priest’s Wife is blogging about fasting while on a ketogenic diet.

Shared Quote…

Something to think about.

A moment from my day… Our opening hymn.

Closing Notes: My priest made an interesting point this morning. She commented that it is an example of white privilege that she was able to step away from the Internet and all the coverage of Charlottesville to go help at a community event raising money for the local theater. For many people, the presence of the jerks in Charlottesville is not something that they can escape. I have friends whose relatives were in concentration camps, whose family members perished, and for whom the neo-Nazi presence was a reminder that there are people there who want to kill them and their children for being Jewish or of Jewish extraction.

For people of color, they are reminded every day of their lower status in America and quite a few people have commented that if the protesters with tiki torches had been African-American, the National Guard would have been called in to quell the protest. Others have offered equivocations that the Antifa and BLM are as bad as the neo-Nazis and that’s utter bullshit. First of all, most of the Antifa just want to go cause mayhem — seriously, even anarchists disavow association with them. Secondly, BLM is largely peaceful but white people are incredibly threatened by them marching that law enforcement tends to go overboard. The neo-Nazis in Charlottesville look like a bunch of frat boys in their khakis and polo shirts — they haven’t experienced a day of persecution in their lives!

White people need to speak up and condemn these acts. Yes, crap does happen where African-Americans yell epithets at white folks — I experienced it living in Columbus, Ohio. However, I didn’t take it as personally as I could have because I knew that there was a lot of hurt and anger behind it that spans generations and that they were dealing with things that I would never experience. I have never had a landlord refuse to rent to me because of the color of my skin, I never had to attend a school that was sub-par because of the neighborhood in which it was located, and while my dad’s family fled persecution in Ireland in the 19th century and weren’t allowed into the States (long story), my ancestors were never considered mere pieces of property.

White people enjoy a very privileged status in this country and we need to use that privilege to SPEAK UP when there is injustice being committed. If a friend lost a family member or had a tragedy happen, you would speak up. Guess what? There are a number of communities in this country whose lives and well-being are threatened by the men marching in Charlottesville and WE NEED TO SAY SOMETHING.

J.K. Rowling delivers as usual.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

I’ve “Gotten Political”

From Rachel Held Evans:

You don’t like that I’ve “gotten political,” huh?

If saying it’s wrong to mock people with disabilities makes me political, then so be it.

If rejecting the notion that demeaning, groping, insulting, and assaulting women is “just how men are” makes me political, then so be it.

If supporting a free press makes me political, then so be it.

If speaking out when religious and ethnic minorities are targeted with misinformation campaigns that have dramatically increased hate crimes against them makes me political, then so be it.

If believing the president of the United States is not above the rule of law, or the most basic ethical accountability, makes me political, then so be it.

If refusing to stand by as desperate refugee families, including many children, are turned away from safety based on misinformation and fear makes me political, then so be it.

If calling my senators to oppose a healthcare bill that would likely increase the abortion rate and definitely leave my friends with special needs kids bankrupt and desperate makes me political, then so be it.

If expecting the president of the United States to behave with some semblance of decorum and decency, even on Twitter, makes me political, then so be it.

If getting angry when Christian leaders shrug off sexual assault, lying, racism, bullying, cruelty to the vulnerable, and unapologetic greed and self-aggrandizement because it gets them the judge they want or the power they crave makes me political, then so be it.

If turning over tables when Christians sing hymns in honor of this administration’s ethno-nationalist agenda makes me political, then so be it.

You don’t like that I’ve gotten political?

I don’t like that the future of the Republic and the integrity of the American Church has been so glibly handed over to a man who has no respect for either.

You’re damn right I’ve gotten political.

And even if you remain silent, you have too.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: August 1, 2017

For Today… August 1, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… dark. It’s supposed to start getting hotter until temps peak in the high 80’s/low 90’s on Wednesday or Thursday. Oh freaking joy…

I am thinking… about my Interpersonal Communications homework that is due on Wednesday night. I have the second of two chapters left to read and then the quiz, the reports, and journals to complete. If I can get the reading done tomorrow, I can take the quiz and try to get the rest of the writing done tomorrow night, leaving me 24 hours before the due date in case of emergencies.

I am thankful… for this piece by Simcha Fisher. Many people have no idea what true poverty looks like and they need to check their privilege. Then again, most people who get cranky about this piece don’t give a rat’s butt about the idea of privilege so I guess I’m just preaching to the choir?

One of my favorite things… chewing ice. It’s a bad habit but a comforting one, having been through two abdominal surgeries and having a GI tract that gets cranky.

I am wearing… jammies. My Online Debate Team shirt (so many people on the Internet are wrong-headed) and black sweats.

I am creating… this post and one for my 17th blogging anniversary which was July 17th.

I am listening to…delta waves music on YouTube to try to get to sleep.

I am hoping… General John Kelly can get the White House and Trump administration in general under control. It’s been daily scandals since January 20th and the voters who elected 45 in November should be ashamed of how they’ve effed up the country.

I am learning… about emotion and language in communication.

In my kitchen… Chinese food from Haggen.

In the school room… Daniel is off until September. I need to get some dry-erase markers so he can practice his penmanship.

Post Script… I had no idea this existed!

Shared Quote… “Prudence means practical common sense, taking the trouble to think out what you are doing and what is likely to come of it.” — C.S. Lewis

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Needeh Grey Kitteh Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Needeh kittehs. Homer is being excessively needy today, which is something considering how needy he is normally. He has been on my lap a few times today and is currently causing me to type this one-handed so I can pet him.

— 2 —

Helping house panthers. If you’re a lover of the black kittehs like I am, go here to look at cat pictures, help with psychological research, and help the black ones (who are the least likely to be adopted) find homes.

— 3 —

Penguins, man. I had to laugh when I got this Facebook message on my wall this week…

Penguins, man.

— 4 —

For all you poetry lovers out there… I tested this on a couple other Emily Dickinson poems just to be sure. 😀

Emily Dickinson to the tune of a well-known TV theme...

— 5 —

Prayer request. If y’all could pray for a special intention, I’d be seriously happy. Please and thank you!

— 6 —

Ouchie! I went to the beach on Monday in new water shoes that were not tight enough on my heels and between all the sand and water that got in there, I ended up with some pretty foul blisters. They’re bad enough that I’ll be in flip-flops for at least the next few weeks.

— 7 —

John McCain. Samantha Bee put it best when she said last year that an election is usually between two fundamentally decent people with a difference of opinion. (Obviously, 45 is an exception to this rule.) John McCain is a decent human being who has served his country both in the military and in Congress. My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time. (He is also one of only two Republicans for whom I have voted — I voted for him in the primary in California in 2000 to try and knock Bush Jr. out of the race.)

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: July 4, 2017

For Today… July 4, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny and in the mid to high 70’s here. It’s 10bdegrees warmer in San Jose and 20 degrees warmer in Claremont, making me thankful that I’m not in either place!

I am thinking… about my class that starts tomorrow. I just printed out my syllabus and the due dates page.

I am thankful… that my favorite farm shop had a couple apple pies for today and that the owner’s daughter set one aside for me. I normally hate pie but their pies are AMAZING.

One of my favorite things… A/C. It’s actually nice out but my room is on the second floor so I’d be pretty hot without it.

I am wearing… an Old Navy flag shirt and black capris from Kohl’s.

I am creating… this blog post. 🙂

I am listening to… classical music coming up from the family room downstairs.

I am hoping… I can get through outlining the Business English book this summer. I really want to challenge the class!

I am learning… about aspects of interpersonal communication.

In my kitchen… hot dogs and salad for dinner tonight with apple pie for dessert.

In the school room… Daniel has one more week until extended school year (ESY) starts.

Post Script… this is painful but worth reading.

Shared Quote… “You don’t always have a complete set of options.” I don’t remember why she said it or what the issue was but I’ve parroted these words from my wise friend Eileen a bunch of times.

A moment from my day… Many of my friends have shared this image on Facebook today…

Treason Day

Closing Notes: Here are the rules for displaying the flag today.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: State of the Jen Edition

7 Quick Takes

I’ve been wanting to do something a little different for a few weeks, especially as I am trying to get back into the habit of blogging again after giving it up for Lent. I probably would have blogged more upon my return but I had a crazy quarter — it’s amazing how having two classes “on the ground” (translation: in person instead of online) can kill one’s posting schedule!


— 1 —

I have a new ministry. My priest has asked me to help out the Spanish-speaking congregation that shares our building with some bookkeeping. It should be interesting givem that I don’t speak Spanish but accounting tends to be the same in every language — assets = liabilities + owner’s equity.

— 2 —

I start a new quarter next week. I’ll be officially taking Interpersonal Communication which is described thusly:

Uses theory and practice to develop self-awareness, confidence, and skill in communicating effectively, building healthy relationships with others, and managing conflict. Explores the impact of self-concept, perception, language, emotions, and nonverbal behavior on communication.

Additionally, I will be outlining the Business English book to prepare to challenge both quarters of it in the fall and winter. (I have to challenge it in a quarter in which it is offered.) It’s basic grammar so it shouldn’t be too difficult.

— 3 —

AMA. Given my newfound Reddit addiction, I’m up for doing an AMA (ask me anything) next week for my Quick Takes. Leave questions in the comments or email me or Facebook me.

— 4 —

The divorce. I’ve been asked by some long-time readers about where I am in the divorce. The answer: it is not final yet and that’s all I’m saying.

Next topic!

— 5 —

My dating life. I’ve been asked if I’m dating anyone. Hahahahahahahaha… people think I talk about my private life on here?!?!?

Next topic!

— 6 —

I’m apparently apolitical. I haven’t talked much about politics lately… mostly because I avoid consuming media that depresses me and everything involving 45 and his minions is extremely depressing. We actually *HAD* international goodwill under Obama and now the entire world is pointing at us and laughing because 45 throws tantrums over Twitter, shoves other world leaders out of the way so he’s at the front of the pack (this happened at the NATO meeting), is being sued by members of Congress for his fraudulent business dealings, and loses every court case with which he is involved.

Seriously, all my Republican friends are depressed as hell at what has become of their party, especially when Republican Congressional leaders are acting so incredibly unethically.

— 7 —

On my hook. Current crocheting projects include a pair of socks, a pussy hat (I’m apparently now the hatmaker for the Resistance!), a prayer shawl, a temperature afghan, and a baby blanket. I don’t have a lot of time to crochet these days so I’m aiming to finish the pussyhat and the baby blanket before the end of the year.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.