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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Campaigner Charlie Dewar said: 'U2's multi million-euro tax dodge is depriving the Irish people at a time when they desperately need income to offset the Irish government's savage austerity programme.
'Tax nestling in the band's bank account should be helping to keep open the hospitals, schools and libraries that are closing all over Ireland.
'Bono is well-known for his anti-poverty campaigning but Art Uncut is accusing him of hypocrisy.'

I've always loved the way Bono created this halo around him, preaching us about what we need to do, but....wait!  he's not paying his taxes!  I am so fed up with rock stars with the God complex, I'd count Bob Geldof among them.  And so fed up with people who appropriate others' half-chewed ideas, and tell you that you should not be shopping in Walmart, while wearing a Ralph Lauren Polo shirt made by a 5 year old Cambodian girl who works 12 hours a day.  The worrying part is that they lack that side of brain that perceives the essence of contradiction and dissonance, so they go through life feeling rather good about themselves and preaching to the rest of us. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Reading with a pencil in hand

"There are two kinds of reader: those who read with a pencil in their hand, and those who don't. (For "pencil", you may read, if you like, "pencil or pen", though inking marginalia strikes me as decadent and hubristic.) For me, a pencil is a reading tool, and since bookish types are no less prone than anyone else to commodity fetishism, I have developed a profound interest in my favoured kind of implement, surely among the greatest inventions of mankind: the mechanical pencil."

I am one of those people.  Except that my writing tool requirements are incredibly complex, depending on the topic, the type of paper, the amount of comments I am likely to make, whether it's sunny today, whether I am reading fiction or non-fiction.  This choice of writing tool has the same importance to me as deciding what to wear in the morning, what to eat for dinner or where to go on holiday.  This is big stuff.  I write on my hands, on additional pieces of paper, on kitchen towels, calendars, diaries, and...uhm...sometimes on my own body too.  There is always something that needs to be written down, like a word I hear, the lines of a song I'm listening to, fragments of phone conversations with significant others.  Sometimes drawing my thoughts feels good.  This usually translates into drawings of complex-patterned mazes to which only I have the key.  I could never understand people that read without taking notes.  In a way I'm jealous.  I need the writing to feel the connection to both the text and the context.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Aung San Suu Kyi tells of Burma's struggle for freedom and its cost

"What is this passion? What is the cause to which we are so passionately dedicated as to forgo the comforts of a conventional existence?" she asks. "Going back to [former Czech dissident leader] Václav Havel's definition of the basic job of dissidents, we are dedicated to the defence of the right of individuals to free and truthful life. In other words, our passion is liberty."

From The Guardian

Saturday, June 18, 2011


One of the most beautiful of all words, translatable or not, this word “refers to the feeling of longing for something or someone that you love, and which is lost.” Fado music, a type of mournful singing, relates to saudade.

Goodbye, Yvonne.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

wish you were here....

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have you found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm an introvert, please have mercy....


Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.
(yeah, sometimes I don't like to talk.  Mainly because I have nothing consequential to say, or I may be thinking.  Yes, sometimes I do that.  And I can't do that while talking.  Extraverts, you should try that too sometime!)

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
(believe me, this is nothing to do with being shy.)

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.
(oh, that I can be.  Just try to engage me in small talk or, worse still, be really, really, really nicey nice to me.)

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.
(I love you all!  I just need a break....please, I'm begging more invitations, social events, chats, drinks, gatherings, picnics, concerts in the park....please....have mercy!)

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.
(this is totally mean!  But I also can't understand why I need spend hours in a particular place of no interest to me.  That's when I end up drinking more than my usual 2 glasses of wine.  Out of sheer boredom and impatience.)

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.
(c'mon, you don't really think that, do you???!!! )

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.
(nerds are sexy :-P )

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.
(sure, in the same way you "cure" gay people to become straight.  Why don't you send us all to an Extravert Camp and brainwash us with your useless drivel.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I love the way they managed to keep the dry British humour in an American context, and I'm still amazed by the popularity of this series on American TV.  The Brits so obviously hate Hugh Laurie for "selling out" to the Yanks/Sherman Tanks.  But he is great (of course!) and Massive Attack sound track is awesome too!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

Some people read my blog.....

ummmk.... follow me! :-)

I'm in Madison to serve on the Governor's Council on Domestic Abuse, specifically on "Anti-Oppression Committee", and "Violence Prevention Committee".  And before you ask: no, I don't get to see him, his staff or the Capitol for that matter.  

The Anti-Oppression Committee is working on writing a manual that is going to be distributed to all domestic abuse and sexual violence programs in the state.  I hope we get to talk about two things that concern me at the moment: one is help abused women receive (gender-specificity used here due to statistical relevance) when they don't embody the typical "battered woman" characteristics as described by Leonore Walker and instead fight back.  The second is talking about my research proposal on subtle biases in the case of shelter workers, rather than looking at the service recipients.

The "Violence Prevention Committee" looks at primary prevention of domestic violence and tools, initiatives we might use within the state, what results we expect from these and how we're going to measure them.  Of course...the crux of the matter is measuring!  Almost forgot about the measuring part....NOT!  :-)

*So, this is a test post to see how audiences react to something that is not tagged "britney spears", "music", "blah blahs of the heart", "misconceived misappropriation of topics" etc.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Josephine Hart

died in London yesterday.

I remember reading "Damage" quite some years ago: "Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive."  I loved her concise and precise and dramaturgical prose with an impeccable sense of timing that you only associate with great comedy or great tragedy.  My favourite is still "Sin".