I have nothing new to say about the deaths of Michael Brown or Eric Garner that hasn’t already cycled through your newsfeed a dozen times. But I’ve seen a lot of push-back about “race-bating” and “playing the race card”. Some people want to know why these two cases have garnered such a firestorm of media attention and popular protest when there are plenty of cases of unarmed white people being killed by police and of white people being killed by black people, and I think that deserves a response. Read More →
If a tree falls in a forest
And no one hears it
Does it make a sound?
If a tree succumbs
To six sharp swings
From the lumberjack’s axe,
If it crashes to the ground
With such great force
That it shakes a whole nation,
If the earth beneath the tree
From the impact of its fall,
If it groans and screams
Like broken branches
And torn limbs,
If the sound it makes
Like the songs of slaves,
Does it make a sound?
Take out your goddamn earplugs.
A few months ago Yohannes and I went to the Bahamas for a work conference. I was especially excited, because the last time he went, the conference was on a Caribbean cruise and I didn’t get to go.
It was a four day trip and we left the kids with my parents [insert lots of anxiety here]. The longest I’d ever been away from them was overnight, so this was huge. Aside from the almost $200 we accidentally spent on international phone calls (read ALL the instructions on the phone card!), and a whole lot of mom-guilt, it went very well.
On the first day of the conference, I went back to our room shortly before the keynote speaker began his address. Yohannes stayed. I heard later that the speaker was quite good, but I think I’m generally too cynical to appreciate a good motivational speech, and I didn’t want my uncontrollable tendency to whisper snarky comments to diminish anyone else’s enjoyment. (“Achieve World Peace In 10 Easy Steps.” How conveniently simple.) Read More →
8:00 a.m. Saturday, October 10, 2009 – The nagging abdominal pressure is back for the fifth or sixth time in half an hour, so it’s probably time to get up. I assess the aches and pains in my back and hands before scooting myself to the edge of the bed and trying to get enough leverage to roll into a sitting position. Yohannes is still fast asleep, so I hobble to the bathroom to take a bath which is becoming part of my daily routine (sometimes twice daily). Getting in the bath feels like trying to get a turkey into a two-quart saucepan, but the hot water feels great, and I can hardly bring myself to get out again. I’m 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant, and the timing is perfect. My sisters are visiting for the weekend, and all I have to do is get through a wedding and a birthday party and then I’ll be ready. And if the contractions feel like this the whole time, this whole “having-a-baby” thing might not be nearly as bad as people make it out to be. The pressure turns to a dull pain, and continues to ebb and flow every 7 minutes or so, but it’s mild, and hardly worth mentioning to Yohannes, who will no doubt take it as a sign of the impending Armageddon. I decide to wait until we’re walking into the wedding before mentioning it. Read More →
Liberia was the second country to confirm cases of Ebola when the outbreak was announced in March of this year. In a few short weeks, the number of cases and fatalities sky-rocketed form single to triple digits. To date, Liberia has been hit the hardest of any of the affected countries, with over 1000 suspected cases, and over 600 fatalities, consistent with the nearly 60% mortality rate of this particular strain of ebolavirus.
Tensions mounted in the last few months, as a number of cases were discovered in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital. A treatment facility for suspected Ebola cases was set up in West Point, a township of Monrovia, however, locals were angered that infected patients were being brought into their community from other parts of the city. On August 16, armed men attacked the clinic and looted infected medical equipment and bed linens, causing patients to flee. While some of the patients were later found and brought to a hospital in Monrovia, other remained missing. Read More →
An inquisitive child can generate more questions than a room full of reporters at a press release about a celebrity sex scandal. Here are my feeble attempts to answer a few of the whoppers that were thrown at me this week.
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Dear Corporate Sock-Making Entities,
I’d like to start by introducing myself. I’m one of the thirteen kazillion moms who spent a solid thirty minutes sorting through unmatched socks yesterday, and I’d just like to say: I’m on to you.
Several months ago, as I browsed through the isles of the clothing department, and later through endless pages of children’s socks on Amazon, I thought to myself, How unfortunate that I can’t find a pack of solid white socks that are all the same. You see, this is all we lowly consumer are really asking of you: to be able to buy sets of socks for our children that are all the same. Read More →
When I was twelve years old, my mom found a mouse nest in some old mosquito nets she’d pulled out of a shed. She called me over to see the three, teeny-tiny baby mice, eyes still closed, that were crawling around the ground, aimless and confused without their mother. They were unbelievably adorable, and after a great deal of pleading on my part, my mom allowed me to keep them, provided they stayed outside. I fed them milk out of a bottle I had made from a plastic pen, and built them a cage out of some sticks and a bit of wire I’d scavenged from one of my dad’s projects. Sadly, my cage was no match for our cat, and when I went to check on the mice in the morning, they were no more. Read More →