Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

January 31st, 2014 → 6:17 am

“All things are ready, if our minds be so.” – Henry V

The Wellness Program at my work offered a MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) class this semester, so I signed up.  We spent thirty minutes last night eating a raisin, and then an hour doing a body scan.  I had hoped this class would help me relax, but I just can’t seem to get into the minutae of it.  I suppose that means my mind is not ready.  Repeat after me:  Om mani padmi om, om mani padmi om, om mani padmi ommmm

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life


January 29th, 2014 → 7:44 am

“I say I am your mother,
And put you in the catalogue of those
That were enwombed mine.  ‘Tis often seen
Adoption strives with nature, and choice breeds
A native slip to us from foreign seeds.
You ne’er oppress’d me with a mother’s groan,
Yet I express to you a mother’s care.”  – All’s Well That Ends Well

I used to watch friends of mine, in unguarded moments, gaze at their children with a look of such love and awe that I always assumed they were thinking:  “Look at what I created.  Look at this amazing creation of mine.”  But now I look at my adopted son in exactly the same way, and of course I didn’t create him.  I realize now that it wasn’t an inward look I was witnessing, of what I created, it was an outward look, of amazement to realize that you can love another human being that much.  Some good friends of ours just signed on to adopt another child.  Their wait to connect with a birth mother now begins.  Good luck Heather and Marc (and big brother Desmond), and Yeah Adoption!!  Woop-woop!!

Filed under: Blog & Self/My Life

Francois Hollande

January 27th, 2014 → 6:07 am

“And then the lover,
Sighing like a furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow.”  – As You Like It

The French president is an idiot.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians & Stupid/Evil People

Marlise Munoz & Fetus

January 25th, 2014 → 6:38 am

“We are in God’s hand, brother, not in theirs.” – Henry V

I read that Marlise Munoz’s husband, Erick, broke down in tears when the judge announced his verdict yesterday.  He agreed with Marlise’s husband, her parents, and her own last wishes that she be taken off life support.  Thank God some mercy has finally been shown in this terribly, terribly tragic case.

Filed under: Blog & Other

Queen Elizabeth I

January 23rd, 2014 → 8:06 am

“The bird of wonder…the maiden phoenix.” – Henry VIII

The above is a quote Shakespeare actually made about Queen Elizabeth I (and not somebody else which I then appropriated for the sake of this blog).  I have always admired this single ruler of England for 45 years in the 16th century, but never more so than after reading about what she faced in the quasi-history book What If?  I mean, I always knew that she faced a tough struggle with Spain, over twenty assassination attempts, and tons of misogyny, but what I had failed to really appreciate was how trul alone she (and England) were at the time.  This was well before England was a great empire.  In 1588 when the Spanish Armada attacked, the entire world was against her.  There was, literally, only one country that stood with England:  the Dutch.  How she stayed firm to England’s independence, to her own determination not to marry, how she stayed alive at all (!) I really have a hard time fathoming.  Very impressive.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians

Guest Post – How Are You?

January 21st, 2014 → 5:27 am

Desdemona:  “How is’t with you, my lord?”

Othello:  “Well, my good lady.”  – Othello

An op-ed in The New York Times yesterday discussed the cultural significance of Americans’ common greeting, “How are you?” along with the usual lackadaisical response, “Fine.”  I found it hilarious.  The columnist, Alina Simone, notes how in Russia no one would ever say “fine,” they’d respond with a true litany of how miserable life is.  My own mother (also a non-native American, this time an immigrant from Turkey) similarly hated such irrelevant-seeming small-talk.  Once, when a woman in an elevator said to her, “Nice weather we’re having,” my mom replied with, “I find that insignificant.”  That interaction is now lore in my family.  Whether you find small talk interesting, or irrelevant, Simone notes that it’s been around since at least Shakespeare’s time, as noted in the above quote, said just five scenes before Othello murders Desdemona, making it abundantly clear that he is, in fact, not “well” or “fine” at all.

Filed under: Blog & Other

Back to School

January 19th, 2014 → 6:20 am

“Painfully to pore upon a book
To seek the light of truth.”  – Love’s Labor’s Lost

It’s back to school this week!  To all the students – and teachers – out there, have fun, study hard, ask lots of questions, and enjoy yourselves!

Filed under: Blog & Other

A Crazy Winter

January 16th, 2014 → 8:01 am

“Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand.” – Richard II

It has been a crazy winter this year, intense snow storms, a polar vortex, bone cold temperatures.  The harsh weather humbles me; it reminds me to salute the earth and everything about it that I still do not understand.

Filed under: Blog & Other

Dogs are People Too?

January 14th, 2014 → 7:56 am

“To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
That souls of animals infuse themselves
Into the trunks of men.”  – Merchant of Venice

A neuroeconomics professor has been conducting MRIs on dogs and discovering their feelings.  A new website details the love of all animals.  And an op-ed in the New York Times today is all about According Animals Dignity.  Pythagoras may just have been right.

Filed under: Blog & Other

Ariel Sharon’s Passing

January 12th, 2014 → 6:32 am

“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar.”  – Julius Caesar

He did good, he did bad.  Now, he is at rest.

Filed under: Blog & Politics/Politicians