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December 25, 2006

a very Merry Christmas!

our%20tree.jpeg

T.T. took this photo of our tree through one of the glass doors on the bookcase. i think it's pretty festive.

happy Christmas, everyone...may your holidays be peaceful, and may you be peace at the holidays.

Posted by hadashi at 10:18 AM | Comments (0)

December 22, 2006

five gleefully random tidbits, or, i have been forced into posting.

first Lauren tagged me, then Ms. Jen. durn you both (but thanks for keeping me honest). so what exactly is "blogging enough" anyway? i mean, of course i would like to post more (an ongoing lament)...but sometimes once a week IS enough for someone who doesn't love sitting at her computer.
hey! that's number one of "five things you might not know about me unless i blogged it"!
1. i do not love sitting at computers. not my computer, not T.T,'s computer, not public internet cafe computers. i love the technology and the worlds computers offer me. however, it is not something that stimulates huge bursts of creativity in me. sad, but true.
2. i also do not love hot cereals. cream of wheat is especially noxious to me. in fact, because i had to eat it so much as a kid growing up in a land of no cool American boxed cereals, i told my mother that when i was old enough to move out and choose my breakfasts i would never eat hot cereals of my own volition. she probably laughed at me and told me to finish my oatmeal. mom, i am still NOT eating hot cereals, by the way. and yes, i am relieved to just say no to porridge.
3. both my grandmothers are still alive. and they kick some serious grandma boo-tay. white grandma is in the high eighties (age) and lives in a retirement community in Ohio. she runs movie nights, a bridge club, her own life, and that of her cat named Super. she is hilarious, fierce, and when she says she loves me, it makes me feel ultra-special. chinese grandma is in the high nineties and lives in a retirement community in Maryland. she naps a lot, but eats things like nuts and cookies and other crunchy things with her own teeth, and thinks T.T.'s hair is very glamorous. she once told me that "after ninety, it's all downhill." she is hilarious, fierce, and when she says she loves me in her unique English, it makes me feel ultra-special. you ROCK, oh grandmothers of mine.
4. during my youthful drama career (oh, you didn't know?) i was in such random productions as A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Music Machine, and Driving Miss Daisy. i think the last time i did something thespian was when i was volunteered into playing a follower of Charles Manson in a student film. i kid you not.
5. five? am i already to five? do i have to do ten because i was double-tagged? no, i'll spare you, dear readers, and myself. hmmm...okay, i'll make this one a guilty confession. you know the unbelievably tasty dark-chocolate-covered cranberries that we got this summer in Nantucket? the ones you thought were all eaten or given away? well, they weren't actually gone... i squirreled them away in my desk drawer and ate them slowly, one at a time, savouring each one. they helped me forget that i do not love sitting at the computer.

i don't think i've repeated anything i listed already in the ever-growing "who is HadashiWorld?" section...
and kids, the meme stops here. i can't bring myself to tag anyone...besides, you all already have plenty to post about, don't you?

Posted by hadashi at 10:10 PM | Comments (1)

December 11, 2006

advent: the activism ("get-off-your-butt-and-care") edition

i realise i'm a little late on this, but punctuality was never my strong suit. no, not even on a blog.

last week was the beginning of the advent season. i love advent. it makes time seem less ordinary, and more laced with the deliciousness of possibility. the Christmas tree goes up, every track from disc one of Handel's Messiah quickly moves into the "Top 25 Most Played" list on my iPod, and i begin to panic about how many cards and e-mails need to go out to greet people for the holidays.

last week was also World AIDS Day, a day to call people to unite globally to stop the spread of AIDS, and to be active against the pandemic that is devastating sub-Saharan Africa. i was able to attend a conference on AIDS and the Christian church, thanks to an invitation from my friend Marti. sure, the big draw was hearing speakers like Sen. Barack Obama, or Archbishop of Rwanda Emmanuel Kolini, but the true value to me was seeing this huge group of Christians dialogue openly and realistically about what is too often treated as a dirty subject by the church. while the face of AIDS has changed dramatically in the recent past, with many women and children getting the disease by no choice of their own, it still seems to be a subject that engenders a tremendous amount of either judgemental moralising, or denial that the issue is at all personally relevant.
there's a lot we can all do about AIDS, and two things seem to stand out to me. one is easy: go get HIV-tested. i did. i had no reason to think that i might be positive, but i wanted to have the experience, especially so i could more strongly encourage people i know with high risk factors to do it. even if you think there's no way you could be HIV-positive, go do it. it's absolutely painless (either a cheek swab or a pinprick on the finger), and takes all of twenty minutes. you can quickly find a clinic or medical center that offers free -- and even anonymous -- tests here by simply entering your zip code. the more people who know their status, the less power HIV has to spread.
the other, much harder thing you can do is to shift your attitude towards the HIV/AIDS crisis. if you're confused or clueless, get educated. if you're indifferent, try to care by seeing the human face of the illness: you may not be sick, but you are certainly affected by it. if you're apathetic, get active -- either politically or financially. and if you're judgemental, remember that Jesus never asked people how or why they got sick, he just asked them how He could help them. then He would heal them, body and spirit. only then would He mention their personal choices at all. perhaps we -- perhaps i -- would do well to have the same swiftness of compassion.

and then yesterday was International Human Rights Day. it's basically the anniversary of the United Nations' adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which contains thirty articles describing the rights and privileges that every person should have. some are obvious, like the right to "life and liberty" or the right to have an education. others are less so, such as "the right to participate fully in cultural life." this year's theme was "Fighting Poverty: A Matter Of Obligation, Not Charity." if eradicating extreme poverty is treated as a non-negotiable obligation to fellow humans, than it can become an acheivable goal instead of hopeful thinking. you can get involved right now by checking out the massive grassroots ONE Campaign.

advent is indeed a time of reflection and hope; it is the looking for the coming of the Light that shines in the darkness. the world is dark indeed -- just a few pages of any news magazine or a few minutes of a news program will confirm this. even still, there is light, and lots of it...but it's up to each person how brightly they will choose to shine.
this advent, there will be lots of parties and holiday programs and decorating and of course, surviving the last-minute gift-buying frenzy. yes, it is important to find the pauses in each day that allow reflection. but it's also important to make choices that give hope, both to others and to oneself.


Posted by hadashi at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)