Monday, December 12, 2005


I'm officially tired of all the commercialized so-called Christmas stuff (and, to be honest, I have been for a couple weeks now). My tolerance has never been high for it (Mum and I called it the 'CrackerBarrelization' of the holiday -- selling stuff to create the illusion community and/or nostalgia) but this year seems particularly bad. Then again, I think I say that every year........

Of course, the fact that the first anniversary of Mum's death was Friday may have something to do with my overall attitude towards the holidays this year. Dad claims that dying during the holiday season was the only thoughtless thing she ever did toward him. I'm a good enough daughter that I didn't remind him that, for me, she died on the third day of Chanukah. (Plus, I get two [!] anniversaries of her death every year, one each by the English/secular and Hebrew/Jewish calendars.......)

Some interesting news stories I've run across:
Drinking tea didn't help Mum, as she was a dedicated tea drinker (of the 3+ cups a day sort) and ovarian cancer was what killed her.

New Orleans is having problems figuring out why some people died.

One of my favorite books as a child was this one, about a Japanese-Canadian child in a WWII internment camp, which I bought at a bookstore in Toronto when I was 7 (with money I had earned myself helping an elderly neighbor; it was the first book i bought with earned money, rather than gifts). I've heard less about the Aleutian camps. [Yes, even as a child I had non-mainstream taste in books. But this book had a big influence on my mental paradigm of how the world works.]

Over the weekend, I saw two movies. Went to Narnia with Seth and a friend; it was quite well done. I was able to deal with it as a fantasy story, and ignore the underlying Christian allegory. All three of us, schooled in a Quaker/Christian outlook, expressed some discomfort at the Jesus character being a lion, as the Friends tradition is heavy on Jesus=lamb symbolism. For example, early Friends often spoke of participating in the Lamb's war. (There is some similar imagery in the Anabaptist tradition, but the circles I traveled in during my Anabaptist sojourn used the blood/sacrifice analogy much more.)

Also saw Syriana. Excellent movie, well worth seeing. I mostly agree with the premise that the US has made some bad decisions about which people to choose as friends in the Middle East in order to secure oil supplies. I had expected to have trouble following it, based on what the reviews had said, but I didn't find it that complicated. Don't know whether it is because I know a bit of background on the area, or if I read books with much more complicated plots, or if it is just that so many movies these days are sooooo dumbed down that even critics aren't used to anything more than one simple story line per movie.

I also catalogued many more books (but there are still lots more to go; have barely touched the Quaker and lingistics sections of the collection). If you haven't checked out, it it really fun (and at least slightly addictive.......)

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