January 21st, 2008

Venus

Updates of no real consequence. ;)

Saw 27 dresses on Saturday, which was cute and better (for its genre) than the 2 stars it got locally. Katharine Heigl was just wonderful in it, so much feeling from that character. Though at the end, there was a 'climactic' scene where someone just blew off the writing, almost like they thought, "Yeah, hand-wave, move to big kiss." Gah.

Watched most of The Namesake last night, which has been good though different than I expected. But my daughter had a 'sleepover,' and when I went up to tell the girls to be quiet for the 3rd time, my husband channel-surfed his way over to Masterpiece Theatre: Northanger Abbey, which is where the rest of the evening went. Saw about the last half of it (the main actress looked very much like a less-pretty version of Tom Welling, oddly enough). Then I flashed back on seeing The Jane Austen Book Club months ago, which we enjoyed (except for the Maria Bello dog lady kind of driving me nuts). When it was over, my husband said, "It was good, but it was too much of a chick flick." So last night's thought was, "What's that sound? Oh, yes! It's the sound of hyberbole being punctured by reality!" Because it's my husband who's the huge Austen fan at our house (personally love the movies, but have yet to read the books). Dei had better not be defriending me right now. *is worried*

Cycling: Chose my time carefully on Friday to avoid the school dismissal time, and school was let out an hour early anyway! Gah! I pass by a minimum of 4 schools on my from-work route (with potentially 2-4 more, depending), and 3 of the 4 were rife with parents parked in the bike lane (under the "No Stopping At Any Time" sign), people drifting in and out of parking lot entrances without looking carefully, and teenage drivers at the high school. It's nervewracking, to be honest. The nice surprises on the ride? Ducks in a 'temporary pond' (caused by last week's rain), and one spot I hadn't ridden past since mid-December, which was "Ooh! Christmas tree smell!" The city apparently grinds up and mulches the trees, and deposits the mulch in that area. Second year running!

"Fact-free discussions": Christopher loves this phrase I used to describe parts of the wonderful Toys Go Out book I mentioned last week. However, the irony of how it applies to his life entirely escapes him. Just last week, he and his sister were arguing over whether the whale-cat is heavier than a bowling ball. The fact that they didn't know how heavy a bowling IS (or that they come in many weights) was no impediment to the argument!

Prison Break Fic Exchange: Round 6 fic deadline is next week, so I'm working on finishing mine. Already paid a few visits to Wikipedia for research. One of the weirdest pieces of research was for the last Supernatural Gen story I wrote, where I was looking up the various flammability levels of certain fluids (and waiting for the Homeland Security people to flag my IP address). Ah, fanfic— you never know where it'll take you!


Venus

Until justice rolls down like water...

I didn't want to let this day pass without noting its important in the U.S., which is in celebration of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Those places we turn to for casual entertainment can also provide things of real importance. I offer you this historic recording today:

Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have A Dream" speech

I listened to this with the children, and it never fails to bring tears to my eyes. How hard it is to tell them, now that they are old enough to hear it, that this battle for equality is not yet over. Things are better-- miraculously better than they once were. But it is not over.

An organization that came to my attention years ago is one I'll mention now, for those who are interested. Its name does not begin to describe the power of the things this group has done for civil rights in recent years:

The Southern Poverty Law Center

This group has pursued justice in civil courts for victims of the Klan. They monitor hate groups throughout the country, and they sponsor a program called "Teaching Tolerance" with the goal of reaching children early with the message of equality.

And their website also contains a link to their Civil Rights Memorial, an incredible place I hope to someday visit. It was designed by Maya Lin (the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial architect) as an experience of honoring, understanding, and mourning those lives lost in the struggle for civil rights.