What have I learned in 2016?

The cost/benefit analysis of singing in the choir mitigates in its favor

Melanie, who got married recently – congratulations, you’ve made an honest man out of your honey! – asks:

What was the most important thing you learned this past year?

That I REALLY have to be more selfish. I find this, at some level, to be an anathema to me. There’s all this service that needs to be done, people to be helped, tasks to be fulfilled.

And I get this message not from my church, though it emphasizes it, but from deep within me. It was modeled by my father and I understand its import.

But Continue reading “What have I learned in 2016?”

10 books that affected me

It’d be pretty easy to come up with ten more books…

ispyLike the other lists, these do not necessarily represent my FAVORITE books, which might be reference books such as Top Pop Singles or The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, or the World Almanac. Pretty much off the top of my head:

The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales. They weren’t called the brothers grim for nothing.

Growing Up by Russell Baker (1982). I used to love to read Baker’s columns in the New York Times, and this book, which I have signed by the author, captures this wonderfully. Funny, though, I don’t remember WHERE I was when I got it signed.
Continue reading “10 books that affected me”

The Lydster, Part 125: The homework tradeoff

The assignment is actually a good exercise for the future llearning, but it was introduced, essentially, as a punishment for cheating

LydiaGREENThis is what I think about The Daughter’s homework:
1) It’s often too much, in terms of time
2) It’s too often taught to these bizarre Common Core standards so that she might know the answers to the questions, but doesn’t know how to show it the way THEY want her to

Yet:
3) I found it odd that she could earn a homework pass, for one subject, if she brought it ten returnable bottles and/or cans.

Generally speaking, she has three areas of homework Continue reading “The Lydster, Part 125: The homework tradeoff”

July Rambling: Weird Al, and the moon walk

I REALLY want to see the movie Life Itself, about Roger Ebert.

clock.numbers
Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. – George Orwell. To that end, Bible Stories for Newly Formed and Young Corporations and Congratulations: It’s a corporation.

An answer to the child immigrant problem at the US-Mexican border? I note that the Biblical Jesus was a refugee, his parents fleeing Herod’s wrath. Yet so many people who profess to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ “are so uncaring and hateful about hungry children trying to get to a better, safer place to live.”

In the non-surprise category: Stand Your Ground Laws Lead To More Homicides, Don’t Deter Crime.

Misleading on Marriage: how gay marriage opponents twist history to suit their agenda.

Yiddish Professor Miriam Isaacs has dug in a previously unknown treasure of over a thousand unknowns Yiddish songs recorded of Holocaust survivors; text is in Swedish, but can be translated. Miriam was my old racquetball buddy decades ago.

The Creation Myth of 20th Century Fundamentalism by Jeff Sharlet, who I also knew long ago.

Australian swimming great Ian Thorpe came out as gay. Arthur explains why it STILL matters. Also: I Can Be Christian, and Gay, and Live in Alabama.

Portraits of people in 7 days’ worth of their own garbage.
Continue reading “July Rambling: Weird Al, and the moon walk”

The Lydster, Part 123: Reading is Fundamental

Her favorite book is Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.

One evening when she had no homework, the Daughter complained, “I understand why you’re limiting me watching television. That’s all right! But reading?”

I was so pleased. I was only “limiting” her reading because she had to go to bed, and get up in the morning. In fact, because of my lax parenting, I had to wake her, as she had fallen asleep, reading some Roald Dahl tome.

Often, her bedroom door is closed in the morning Continue reading “The Lydster, Part 123: Reading is Fundamental”