07 February, 2009


Walking home from school last night I passed a small homeless man with a squat face dragging his belongings heaped in a shopping cart. It was a bit windy and I wasn't prepared. I guess I looked chilled because he waved as he approached and I took out my ear buds.
"I just left a scarf on a pole down the street there and you go on and take it and wrap yourself up," he said with a toothless smile.
I thanked him profusely and told him that since I was only about a block from home I'd leave it for someone who needed it more.
We wished each other goodnight and carried on in our own ways.


St. Jerome Ventures From Cave

Lest you think I am all work and no play... I went downtown with friends to enjoy an all-you-can-eat sugared cereal fueled cartoon fest this morning at our local indie cinema. I pretty much ate my own body weight in Froot Loops, Honeycombs, Lucky Charms and the like, though I did eat a bowl of Alphabits for the educational value. Most of the cartoons were from the later years of my childhood, so I hope in the future they'll plumb the depths of television history. I was denied a chance to see Thundar the Barbarian and that show's apocalyptic opening sequence that I loved freaking out to every week as a kid (the moon cracks in HALF people!). And, who knew how much sexual subtext is in those shows, or at least how much could be pulled out by a theater full of sugar-addled adults.

Best of all, they let you carry off the leftover boxes, so our house is now three boxes richer. And mine came with a toy! A little regression can be a good thing. Now if I could just find some protein to counteract the eventual blood sugar crash....


04 February, 2009


For anyone naive enough to believe Pres. Obama has magically destroyed racism in this country and that we can all sit around the fire together now, roast marshmallows and sing "Kumbayah", I offer these comments heard by relative in a recent adult Sunday School class:

"Looks like I'll have to take my gun up to Washington because there's a coon in the White House."
(sick excuse for a joke met with much laughter)

(in response to believing an older male student believed Mrs. Obama to be "attractive", when in fact he was talking about the late Mrs. Kennedy)
"Oh, I thought you were talking about that thing living there now!"
(again, met with laughter)

My relative may have been disgusted by what she heard, but she also remained silent, not that speaking out against those around you is easy. Keep that in mind next time someone tells you how nice it is that we've "gotten over" race in this country or, I suspect, anywhere else.


01 February, 2009

St. Jerome Has Nothing on Me

Listening to: Sufi songs and zikr from Kurdistan and Jonatha Brooke, The Works

I've always loved representations of St. Jerome in art. There he is in all his withered glory, far from the distractions of society, living in a cave or spartan cell.

That's sort of me these days. I am either on campus or working in my cell - er - room. I am subsisting primarily on harira, which I cook up weekly in large batches, am fueled by copious amounts of tea and Turkish coffee. I have been known to forget to eat, but so far, I am more focused than I've ever been. I just don't really go out and do anything other than school work.

And the thing is, I am fine with it. I may be a nerdy hermit, but I like it. Tonight, I am pulling sources for a literature review on Islam and Social Work. I still have readings on human development theories and the juvenile justice system. And then there's the research on the MENA region for a project in my International Social Work course, my one elective this semester.

Our theory course is giving me fits, mostly because the sheer amount of information and the fact that I am having trouble processing it all because I have yet to grasp how it will fit into my future work. It's a course that leans more towards clinical practitioners, not macro focused folks like me. The other two - Social Policy and International Social Work - are more my thing, but we all have to have these foundational courses, so there's no sense complaining. Meanwhile, I am meeting with folks in the Middle East Studies department, trying to craft one or two independent studies to fit into my program on Islam and social development and trying to figure out how to squeeze Arabic courses into my life. I aspire to someday, someday, swim laps again.

So, if my posts are few and far between, that's why. But, I am happy.