Thursday, April 19, 2007

Not a lot of people read the blog. Therefore there have been no trolls and I have had nothing to moderate.

However, I have permission be as ruthless as I need to be in the cause of blog civility here. I even have a certificate from Teresa Nielsen Hayden (the first name in blog moderation -- inventor of disemvowelling) granting me such. (Said certificate was fetchingly designed by Patrick Nielsen Hayden.) Not that, as Ms. Nielsen Hayden pointed out, any of this isn't anything other than common sense, or that any of us really need anybody to tell us that we can do exactly what the certificate suggests we do.

I could do a long post on this, but I mainly wanted to post the certificate. It's hysterical.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Birth Days.

I am 46 today.

I celebrated by meeting with the head of Career Services at Stanford Law School.

It had been a long, long time since I had been on the SLS campus. I have even avoided driving anywhere on the Stanford Campus other than the Medical Center. There is a great deal of “What if someone asks just what I’ve been doing the past fifteen years?” and “You mean you spent sixty thousand dollars, and took up valuable classroom space in a top five law school, to stay home and raise children?” that I worry about.

I have watched as classmates went on to do great things – running for mayor of San Francisco, becoming Executive Director of the ACLU. (And let me just say upfront that Matt and Tony are terrific people who deserve every bit of hard earned success they get.) Stanford alums tend to be high profile people.

So I put on business casual (I figured a suit would be too much) -- except for the pantyhose -- and my best no-nonsense-I'm-a-lawyer-don't-mess-with-me-demeanor (usually reserved for dealing with unpleasant airline gate agents) and sallied forth. After I got there I was much more relaxed -- I reminded myself that I had a right to be there, dammit, I have a piece of paper on my wall which proclaims that I went there and not only got a J.D. but graduated with distinction. Whatever I chose to do afterward, that was *not* chopped liver.

Susan Robinson, the Dean of Career Services, is a lovely woman, and she helped me identify a couple of areas of interest: namely, education disabilities (one of my sons is high-functioning autistic) and election and voter law (gee, I wonder why I might be interested in that?). She gave me information about how to indentify opportunities and look for volunteer opportunities in each field, so as to create networks (something I've never been very good at before, but I'm trying). She also talked with me a little bit about resume construction and gave me pointers about people working with homemakers returning to professional positions.

It feels like I am embarking on a large new adventure. I am by turns exhilarated and terrified. It definitely means stretching out of my comfort zone.

Really, a good way to spend a birthday, with a new undertaking.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech: such unspeakable tragedy. 33 dead, as of the time I read of it, and many more wounded. May the good Lord have mercy on us, and comfort the families of the poor students who died or were wounded, in body or mind. I can only imagine the damage done by seeing people you know blown away by a murderous nutcase with a handgun.

And what was the response of the White House to the shootings at Virginia Tech? According to a White House spokesman, the president offered his prayers to the victims and the people of Virginia. "The president believes that there is a right for people to bear arms, but that all laws must be followed," spokeswoman Dana Perino said.

Thirty three people lie dead. But somehow, the president thought it necessary to talk about the right to bear arms. As if any of the laws on the books would have made one damn but of difference to the shooter.

We don't know the specifics yet of how the gunmen got his weapons, or his ammunition. There will be time later for consideration of action to be taken. There will be time to talk of guns, and rights, and the intersection between the right to bear arms and reasonable regulation that can help all of us be safer.

Now is not that time. Now is the time to mourn, to weep.

It is not the time to play to your political base.... it is the time to remember the fallen.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

And so I'm back.

I gave up blogging for Lent. It was an interesting experience.

Originally, I was giving up the Interenet for Lent. That lasted, oh, forty-eight hours. I am a stay-at-home mother with significant health issues, and some days the only significant intellectual interaction I have with people over the age of sixteen is on peoples' blogs.

Instead, I simply didn't blog myself. I had gotten to a point of obsessiveness. I was thinking about blogging all the time, even though I was not writing all that much: everything become potential post fodder, considered and discarded according to its possible readability. I was checking my site-meter stats to see if anyone was reading me -- and who, and where from. I became, as my friend Jen put it, like those people who go through life looking through the lens of a camera, who can't simply look at things without needing to take pictures of them. I would joke that I needed one of these shirts.

So I took time off. I started experiencing things for themselves. Or not -- I found myself much less dialed into to current events, the scandal du jour of the Bush administration (both Walter Reed and the prosecutors scandal broke during Lent) and the turmoil in the Anglican Communion. I found myself struck by outrage-fatigue. I wasn't trying to communicate what was important to anyone, so I found myself saying "What does it all matter? Nobody's paying attention anyway." The act of writing about what is going on the world helps keep me engaged in the world.

I still have decisions to make about the direction I take this blog. In the past I have written both personal posts and political posts. I'm not sure if that dichotomy has served me well. I would like to actually attract a steady readership (which means, of course, I have to settle into a steady writing routine.)

I'm sure I'll still be feeling my way. But for now, at least, I'm back.

Monday, April 09, 2007