Archive for September, 2004

burbs

Tuesday, September 28th, 2004

I must confess that driving around sometimes I look at the neat suburbs of Minneapolis and feel a little envious of the people who live there with their extensive lawns, quiet streets and manicured houses. Not that we live in some kind of urban nightmare – we’re really lucky to be in a quietish neighborhood very close to downtown Minneapolis and we love our house, but we don’t have much in the way of a yard – for Toby to get a good run around we go to the park a couple of blocks down the road which has loads of swings and climbing frames, and lots of space and other kids to meet. However reading this report from the Guardian I’m glad that we do live centrally and make the effort to walk to shops, restaurants, work etc. Not only do we save a lot of money on a second car, but we feel much more connected to our community and neighborhood, and apparently it’s good for us too.

le weekend

Tuesday, September 7th, 2004

We had a pretty decent holiday weekend, lots of nice hanging out together and just being our wee family. It seems that Nessie and Scout are good friends now, they’re playing a lot and both seem to be happy, so it’s great that Nessie settled in so fast. It was a lot of fun to have so much time with Toby – he’s such a happy little guy, and at an awesome age. He’s so into learning things and picking up words, and I think he’s still too young to be devious so we don’t seem to have any discipline issues with him yet.

Had a fantastic barbecue on Saturday night – Emma made a delicious salad with boiled new potatoes, arugula leaves (rocket if you’re British) and chopped olives, and I grilled peppers and zucchini (courgette if you’re British) which had been marinated in chili and garlic olive oil, and a couple of lamb steaks, the fat of which went all crispy while the meat was tender and completely delicious. Toby said yummy about twenty times.

Sunday was really humid, the worst humidity in ages, so in the afternoon we decided to go for a drive and then do a little shopping to get free air conditioning. Fortunately the weather broke later in the day and after lots of rain it got more comfortable. It was frustrating though – we’re trying to redecorate a room on the third floor and it was too humid to paint so we had to put that all on hold for a day. I did a little bit of weeding in the garden but it was so nasty out I didn’t do much.

Beautiful weather on Monday and we went for a good walk along the midtown Greenway, over to the lakes. We backpacked Toby down to the walkway and then let him do his own thing, and he walked over half a mile on his own which was good going. Then he suddenly got a bit cranky, so back in the carrier he went, and he fell asleep within 10 minutes. I guess it was a long way for his little legs. Back home we caught up on printing out photos to send to families and to put in Toby’s album, and in the evening I barbecued again – this time it was sardines which cook really fast, so it seems a lot of work to get the grill going for just three minutes of cooking, but they’re so delicious it’s worth it.

damned liars

Thursday, September 2nd, 2004

Fred Kaplan is forced to write a clarification between what has been said at the Republican Convention and what is actually true in the real world. It’s worth reading, but of course now that these lines have been said loudly and repeated often, the truth is unlikely to matter to many listeners.

UPDATE: You don’t have to go far to uncover more lies.

UPDATE 2: And yet more. Wow, this is easy! In fact, it would be the best drinking game ever!

from the same book

Thursday, September 2nd, 2004

It’s good to read that finally the politically and socially progressive religioius groups are getting mainstream press coverage, even if it is a web-only article. The Rev. James A. Forbes Jr. is working to have Christian ideals of social and moral justice (meaning non-exclusion of the voiceless and those with a non-mainstream lifestyle, nationality or class) and is taking a stance on the national stage to try to influence both major parties as we come up to the election.

It’s interesting though, and something I’ve been battling with for some time – how is it that so many different religious groups can believe such wildly divergent things? I was speaking with Emma about it, and of course there’s the interpretation of the Bible/other holy text take, for example the “love thy neighbor” idea which is in most major religions. It can be interpreted so many ways – is your neighbor only the person who believes the same thing as you, or looks like you or speaks like you? And by “loving” this person, does that mean giving them food when they are homeless, or trying to build a country where they have opportunity, or trying to convert them, or persuading them not to be gay?

But then there’s a further point which Em and I didn’t discuss at the time, which is more perplexing to me. If indeed the Bible is the word of God, or even the word inspired by God, how come it is so open to different interpretations and misinterpretations? How could God allow that? And how come so many people so fervently believe that the same God is supportive of their particular view?