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24 April 2005

My Name is Rachel Corrie

Speaking of the deaths of activists, which I was doing just recently, there is now a play about the life and death of Rachel Corrie. It's playing at the Royal Court theatre, and the script is based on Corrie's own letters and e-mails.

Atlanta pictures on Flickr

I decided to use Flickr as my photoblog site and here is the album of Atlanta pictures I have created there.

Deconstructing Hitchens

Here is a wonderfully meaty article about the astonishing and disappointing change of heart of former leftist pundit Christopher Hitchens. I got this link from Ethereal Girl, who in turn got it from Altercation.

23 April 2005

Pictures from Atlanta

I have put the pictures on my website, but they are, like before, not especially user friendly. This link will get you the index, and clicking on the individual names will display the pictures in full size, one at a time. I am going to also put them on a photoblog in a bit; Carey is using a thing called TextAmerica (this is his blog and this is Alix's) so, although I don't like the chauvinistic name, if it proves easy to use I will set it up there. More on that later. I am off to an event of some kind in Cropston with my yoga teacher. I don't know what to expect, so more on that later, too.

21 April 2005

The truth behind the picture that shocked the world

This story is from last Sunday's Observer. It tells the story of the woman whose body was found hanging from a tree near Srebrenica, and of the fate of her husband, which led her to this grim suicide. It also tells the story of her two children, who did not know where she had gone when she disappeared from the refugee camp and then, traumatically, recognised her from the picture when a journalist showed it to them six months after it was published.

Death of an activist

Christopher of Back to Iraq 3.0 has a touching tribute to his friend Marla Ruzicka, an activist in Iraq who was killed Saturday by a suicide bomber. He says of her "She was so many things to so many people, but for the journalists who knew and loved her she was, ultimately, our heart and our conscience." Her organisation, CIVIC (Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict) can accept donations in her name at this website.

Riverbend on the weird unreality of the American media

I missed this post on Baghdad Burning almost three weeks ago; it was when I was having a combination of stressed out overwork and a dodgy computer problem, so my blog reading was severely curtailed. But it's worth referring back to. I was in America myself last week, and even being in Britain for years and being used to British newscasts (which Riverbend would probably also find to be quite sanitised) has caused me to look askance at the American news that I used to assume was normal. It's not normal, though, it's annoying, puerile and mostly pointless. I can only imagine what it's like to people in a place like Iraq. Yet another abysmal failure at winning hearts and minds, I'm afraid.

Blogkeeping

I have been intensely busy since returning from Atlanta, and with little time to catch up on sleep. I am not totally unpacked, but that's because the airline (Delta, yucky food too) lost one of my bags and I didn't get it until Tuesday. And I haven't had a chance to post, mainly because my computer at home was acting squirrely, but DH fixed it last night. I have got my Atlanta pics uploaded to my computer, but not to my website yet; I hope to have that done this weekend. On Deborama's Personal Page, you will see a new quiz result - what personality disorder are you? I may be a little histrionic, it says. Well, duh. Anyone could have told you that.

15 April 2005

Blogging from Atlanta - Part III

This will probably be my last blog post from Atlanta, as I am flying home tomorrow. Wednesday evening I went to a concert with Carey and Alix - Iron and Wine at the Variety Playhouse in L5P. I got to try a martini at the Sweet Lime restaurant (see previous Atlanta post) and I opted for the Thai Tea Martini which was quite nice. I had more crab, more tofu-corn-cakes and then just some edamame, which I shared with Alix, who was also having shushi. This was before the show. Afterwards we went to the Euclid Avenue Yacht Club (note: there are no yachts and indeed no navigable waters within many miles of Atlanta) because it was about the only thing open. I had two vodka-limes. I was hung over the next day. Which was yesterday, a busy and exhausting day. It started with brunch with my very old friend Charles, proprietor of the Atlanta Book Exchange. (He's probably not net-savvy enough to appreciate that I just gave him a link. He says the inventory is online but I couldn't find it; I'll post it later if I can get it from him.) Then we went by the bookstore to chat with employee Jim, an almost-as-old friend and there we bought a few books. Then we went around photographing places we used to live. Then Carey dropped me at a Marta station and I went downtown and visited GSU, my alma mater, and Underground Atlanta (I say don't bother) and then, fool that I am, I walked all the way to Peachtree Center in my new achey-painy but rather sexy sandals. Ow, my feet, my back! I Marta'd back to Inman Park, where Carey picked me up and then we went on a marathon grocery shopping. Then we went to Carey's place, which he rents from and where he lives with Stephen, my godson and his sort-of step-brother. Also living there is John, Carey's uncle. Stephen was out but had promised to come by to see me, and he did, but only for about 15 minutes. When I finally got back to my motel at about 10:30 pm I was beat. Tonight I am making dinner for Carey and Alix in the motel suite kitchenette. Tomorrow is the last day and I don't have much planned, just packing, checking out, hanging out with Carey and starting the long flight home.

12 April 2005

Blogging from Atlanta - Part II

Yesterday, Carey and I went to Little Five Points (L5P), a neighbourhood with which we both have history, mostly Carey, from his days of living there, aged 10 to 13 or so, with his father, and his father's mistress, D, who is the adopted parent of his "brother" Stephen, my godson. Yes, it is all very incestuous, which is more or less why I left Atlanta in 1984 for the relative sanity of Minnesota. (Where I was lucky enough to have primary custody of Carey until 1989, when his father took primary custody by a prior arrangement.)
But to get back to L5P, as we walked through the area, Carey pointed out things - Junkman's Daughter has expanded and moved, and the location where it now is used to be a little ghetto supermarket, where Carey and Stephen walked to after school to buy 69-cent burritos and, no doubt, sugary treats. Sevananda, the venerable health-food co-op, has also moved, but it shrank. Ababdabba is still in the same place, and I bought some high-tech walking shoes there and changed out of my painful sandals. We went to a Japanese restaurant called Sweet Lime with dollar sushi, and I made a complete pig of myself eating the most fabulous dinner, to get fortified before the long dusty walk to the brand new Target store on Moreland Avenue. I had two sushis, smelt-roe and salmon, then tofu-corn cakes with chili sauce, then a soft-shelled crab, tempura-fried with a light soy-citrus dipping sauce, and then seared but otherwise mostly raw tuna with soba noodles and two-seaweed salad. Carey had the other of the two crabs and Hawaiian shrimp, which was tempura shrimp with a sweet sauce and veggies and jasmine rice. I had an iced tea and Carey had two Japanese beers, and he used the bottle to give me a quick lesson in Katakana. It was all fabulous, and we were too full to have the yummy-sounding ice cream. They also have martinis, which I would have tried but was too tired to risk drinking.
After becoming even more laden with purchases at Target, we took a taxi, first to drop Carey off at his house SE of Atlanta, then me to my motel here in Buckhead, about 10 miles in the opposite direction. The bill was $45! (Thank heaven for the weak dollar.)

Unitarian Jihad!

This is priceless. Here's a little snippet to whet your appetite:

We are Unitarian Jihad. We are everywhere. We have not been born again, nor have we sworn a blood oath. We do not think that God cares what we read, what we eat or whom we sleep with. Brother Neutron Bomb of Serenity notes for the record that he does not have a moral code but is nevertheless a good person, and Unexalted Leader Garrote of Forgiveness stipulates that Brother Neutron Bomb of Serenity is a good person, and this is to be reflected in the minutes.
Beware! Unless you people shut up and begin acting like grown-ups with brains enough to understand the difference between political belief and personal faith, the Unitarian Jihad will begin a series of terrorist-like actions. We will take over television studios, kidnap so-called commentators and broadcast calm, well-reasoned discussions of the issues of the day.
By Jon Carroll, from SFGate.com. I received this from a friend on a mailing list.

10 April 2005

Blogging from Atlanta - part I

It appears that my motel here has a "business centre" with a computer guests can use for free. There is only the one, and of course, this morning, some guy was totally monopolising it. But anyway, I can easily and freely blog from here. I got in yesterday about 3 pm (plus 5 hour time difference, after getting up at 4 am to be driven by long-suffering DH to Gatwick.) So by 10 pm when I finally tried to sleep I had been up 24 hours. I got to meet my son Carey's girlfriend Alix, who is of course very nice. We went out to dinner and I was craving veggies; Alix recommended a truly excellent restaurant (review to come later.) I went out this a.m. pretty early and after the motel "continental" breakfast, I walked to the Marta station, Marta'd to Midtown and then walked all over there. I have come up with this silly idea of photographing all the places I ever lived, even though a few aren't there anymore. I got 3 so far. Then I had lunch at Mary Mac's tea room, where I also bought DH a cookbook and a feedcap. Then my feet hurt too much to walk anymore so I got a taxi back here. Trivia for the day: The AJC (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) had an almost Brit-worthy headline for the royal nuptials - a Windsor knot.

06 April 2005

Going away again

Again (sounding like a broken record here (hey, is anyone who reads this old enough to actually remember what a broken record sounds like?)) I am sorry to neglect my few loyal hopeful readers. I just wanted to note that I will be out of town and not blogging for about a week starting this Saturday. I may find something to say between now and Saturday, but if I have things to say between the 9th and the 16th, it will have to wait. I shall be in Atlanta, visiting my son, my god-son and a very few old friends. (I have about 1% as many friends in Atlanta as I do in Minneapolis, but alas no family living in Minneapolis any more.) I hope to come back with gorgeous photos.

01 April 2005

The Doctor is not in

The BBC is furious at Christopher Eccleston. After making one series of the widely heralded return of Dr. Who, he has quit, for what appear to be, quite frankly, rather prima donna reasons. ("I don't want to be typecast," he whinged. Too late for that, I think.) Could it be that his co-star, Billie Piper, was said by at least one TV critic to have "acted the socks off" of the more credited Eccleston? Part of the BBC's issue with the premature departure has to do with money. The Beeb badly needs good "income streams" and they have already invested heavily in promotional gear with Eccleston's image. "What child is going is going to want to buy a Doctor Who action figure of an old Doctor when a new one is already on the television?" They have also had to re-shoot the final scenes of the show to pave the way for a new star to take his place, said The Daily Mirror. Writers were forced to hastily improvise a new cliffhanger, rumoured to show the doctor disappearing into the ether.

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