Just looking through photos to send with a very belated holiday letter. I really didn't think about doing this but now think I must. I came across a photo from last year's Nation Cruise that I thought I'd share, since it isn't too bad. By simply abandoning all other projects and concentrating on all this computer stuff, I have actually made some strides. Here is a photoshopped pic from last year's Nation Cruise. How many of these people do you know?
I've been grumbling so much about this computer and the Photoshop that promise to do everything but are so hard to use, that even Terry is complaining that he is tired of hearing me bitch about them.
Funny, I never complain about the Kindle 3 or Kindle Fire, which I can figure out on my own. Perhaps it would be better to find a simpler setup than this overpowered stuff which provides all those options but is very very hard to use.
I've been looking around at vid clips of people who were on The Nation cruise. Here is one from Feb. '11 of Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the peace group, Code Pink, just after she went to Egypt to see the Revolution. She was the Nation guest at our table. Lucky us. She is an unusual combination of traits: ebullient but serious at the same time. She said in one of the seminars that after 9:11 the peace movement fell apart, and that is true. What can restore it? She is also the one who suggested to me the idea of citizen journalists, people who simply decide to report on what is happening around them. New media make this easier to do, although as I think about this, I can see that doing a good job of reporting and commentary from a progressive perspective is no walk in the park.Look at those role models to live up to! It's hubris on my part, but oh well. I still have to do it. I will need help. And I will start out slow. Here is Code Pink's web site.
We the sheeple: For the third time, Terry and I got pat-downs going through security at Sea-Tac rather than allow ourselves to be X-rayed in the blue boxes. As usual, we were the only people in sight who chose to opt out. I call that cowardice on the part of my fellow citizens. I can only conclude that Americans no longer believe they have civil rights. They can spend their money,if they have it, enjoy their work and their lives to the extent that they can, and for the rest of it obey,
I'm getting Terry's huge, fancy HP desktop to use. It's scorching fast and has Photoshop installed. I'm thinking about how to cover local news from a liberal perspective, with research, interviews, etc. on my new blog, which will go up sometime after Jan. 1.
The fan's busted on my computer, so I'm getting this done as fast as possible in the a.m. while it's still cool. We need to shop and pick up the cat from the kennel. And then to process all the experiences we had on this trip. At about 2:00 a.m. I couldn't sleep due to jet lag and read several of the great articles in the new Nation. More to say on that later. Our country has become completely weird. The only strategy I can think of is to forgive everybody and try to fix things. Above all, work like hell to keep the meanies from taking over.
And just for fun: shots from the Islands we flew over on our way home. I'm pleased to have these, even with my little old Nikon out an airplane window. Honolulu, a sizable city improbably situated on an island in the middle of the Pacific, far away from any continent. Home to large military presence and tourism as mainstays of the economy. A very nice place to live due to the aloha of its residents and the wonderful climate, but crowded and expensive. Obama is vacationing there now. The other day he worked out for an hour, took a long hike, and then golfed for 5 1/2 hours. So get off your duffs, couch potatoes!
Diamond Head and Punchbowl with military cemetery
Maui Haleakala Crater.
Little old Hilo in the rain, with a cruise ship in the harbor.
When that soft, clean damp Hilo air hit my lungs, I went aaaaaah! And in our absence, our friend not only did all the mowing, front and back, but he weed whacked too! I really have to show off those Christmas cookies I baked. They were delicious. They did not last long.
We're headed home tomorrow after a wonderful holiday. Yesterday we had Christmas dinner with my daughter's friends, parents, and kids. They are very special people, many of them writers, artists, musicians and one doctor (!)
They remind me in a general way of my circle of friends in Hilo, who are very active in the arts and in community affairs. Of course my daughter and her contemporaries are too busy with work and kids, but they seem to do a great job of keeping their respective corners of the universe up and running while maintaining their participation in the many other activities that enrich their lives.
We will be returning tomorrow to Hilo and the endless saga of home maintenance in the tropics. We must paint the interior, since that has not been done, except for the kitchen, since we moved in. And the kitchen cabinets need touching up, too. Terry's cousin tells us that it has rained incessantly since we left. I'm hoping our friend who does occasional yard work for us has mowed the lawn and done some weeding. We're expecting three sets of house guests in the next two months. Oh, and we're coming back to the Bay Area and Seattle at the end of January, too.
One thing I have taken away from the experiences of the last weeks is that the older I get the more external matters concern me. This, I suspect, is exactly the opposite of what happens to most people as they age. I was very introspective as a young person and not especially ambitious, but now I just want to get out and do things. Time is of the essence!
One Big Yodel's Chantal posted a list of reads for the holiday, Five great books about life abroad, and I just finished one of them, Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman. I laughed, I cried. Highly recommended. I'm now getting into Moonlight in Odessa by Janet Skeslien Charles. These are the stories of women who face up to unbelievably tough circumstances in the most resourceful ways and never, ever, lose their sense of humor. I feel, reading these books, that there is much common ground for us women here. I am tired of the dreary approach to womanhood that seems to have taken hold: that we are all a bunch of victims who can only hope for God's mercy. If that were so, the human race would never have survived!
It will take a couple of weeks for me to launch the new blog. I'm organizing it in my mind. Issues. Personalities. Interviews. Commentaries. Links. Nothing off the top of my head; perhaps one posting a week.