- The NSA: I don’t understand why more people aren’t talking about this. Most people seem to think it’s not a big deal that our government has decided it can spy on its citizens without any probable cause, without any repercussions, totally outside of our public legal system and the Supreme Court. That’s right, there is an entirely separate court to deal with FISA and PRISM and the other NSA programs…made of of judges appointed by the current Supreme Court Justice. The FISA court does not make its proceedings public and it only hears one side of any given case – the government’s. It’s a program that tramples our civil rights and exists entirely outside of Constitutional law, and if that doesn’t scare the crap out of you, you have obviously never read 1984. This is the number one issue that people should be concerned about. Every other issue pales in comparison. Because without this freedom, without the full protection of the 4th amendment, our freedom of speech and freedom to protest goes down the tubes, negating every other issue that might be important to you personally. Every single American, regardless of their other differences, should be united in objecting to this so that we can freely argue with each other about other issues in the future.
- Baby Development Milestones: M. is almost nine months old and she doesn’t crawl. I’m not worried about it – and this week she has started pushing up with her arms much more strongly and even seesawing back and forth between being on her arms and on her knees – but it’s definitely something I’ve been thinking about. I have a sneaking suspicion that she really just wants to walk… 🙂 And on the other hand, she has two teeth and eats/naps on a regular schedule and has been sleeping through the night for months and babbles constantly, clucks her tongue, laughs, claps her hands…so she’s doing really well in other areas.
- Racism: Obviously. Isn’t just about everyone thinking about this right now? I wasn’t there when George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, and I wasn’t in the courtroom to hear the arguments of the prosecution and the defense, but like everyone, I definitely have my opinion on the issue. I don’t understand why so many people are posting stuff like, “This white kid was killed last year and that didn’t make the mainstream media! See!” Um…what do you mean, “See!”? The media can’t cover every single murder that happens, and also that doesn’t make Trayvon’s murder NOT instigated by ingrained racism. And finally, I bet the guy who killed that kid (whichever one of the 5 I’ve seen posted) was actually convicted. Anyway. I’m particularly thinking about how racism is perpetuated by our systems and infrastructure. Did you know 13% of the US population is black but 37% of the US prison population is black? (Figures are from the US census and the Department of Justice websites.) The color of someone’s skin doesn’t make them inherently more likely to be criminal, I promise. This is a systemic issue, and our current ways to address it are not working.
- Ice Cream: It’s summer. I’m pretty much always thinking about ice cream, but I’m especially thinking about it now because it’s July. We have an awesome fairly local dairy, Homestead Creamery, who makes amazetastic ice cream, and our online grocery, Relay Foods, carries it, so I’m pretty much completely obsessed with trying every flavor they have. The double dark chocolate is my favorite, but I’m working my way through other flavors. We just ordered cherry vanilla today. We also haven’t made any ice cream for a while; we may have to break out our Jeni’s Ice Creams recipe book soon…
- Littlest Monkey: So Miss Delia, our younger dog, somehow got herself injured at the groomer last week. Our groomer is awesome and so worried about her, but the wound has unfortunately not healed. We’ve cleaned it with peroxide and put antibiotic cream on it, but it’s still open and red. I have to take our other dog, McNulty, to the vet today anyway because the vet used a new lab for his Lyme disease test the other week and the lab screwed it up so they need another blood sample…so I’m taking Delia too in the hopes that they will have time to look at her. I’ll leave her there if I need to so they can look at her in between other appointments. I was so hoping to avoid a vet visit, but the groomer has offered to pay for it and it’s just not looking any better a week later, so I think we have to just do it.
- The Virginia Gubernatorial Race: One the one hand, we’ve got anti-gay, anti-women’s health, tainted by the current Governor’s scandal for not disclosing monetary gifts received from corporations KEN CUCCINELLI! On the other hand, we’ve got totally vanilla, corporate crony, cyber-security friendly TERRY MCAULIFFE! And in the back corner, totally ignored by the media and both other candidates, we’ve got the snarky Libertarian who doesn’t actually seem to have a better plan of his own for anything ROBERT SARVIS! Oy. I’m depressed about these choices.
- Cupcakes: Specifically these cookie dough cupcakes from SweetHaus, because we had them a couple of weeks ago and I seriously cannot stop thinking about them. I have had exactly half of one ever and I am craving them like mad.
- Getting Things Done: Turned onto this productivity philosophy by the girls of the Bookrageous podcast, I have become completely fascinated with David Allen’s Getting Things Done system, or GTD. I have begun to implement it in my own life just based on the snippets I’ve heard about, things I’ve read on David Allen’s website, his podcasts, etc. I’ve even convinced my boss to send me to a day-long seminar he’s presenting in Richmond on August 8 and I’m so very excited about going! I hope I can bring back ideas and information to help my co-workers enough to justify the cost.
- Big Girl Visits: My niece, V., is coming to stay with us for 4 days next week, the first time she’s come for a visit by herself. She’s 9, and she’s very excited to hang out with us and get some quality time with M. I’ve promised her a pool day – which will be the first time M. has been in a pool, so we’ll see how that goes – and cupcake taste-testing (there are 3-4 bakeries we’ll visit for that). I don’t know what else we’ll do, but I have a feeling we’re going to have fun!
- House Stuff: We’ve got a lot of things to do to the new house. We need to clean out the gutters (but don’t have a tall enough ladder to do it), have the driveway repaired and sealed, decide which plants to keep and which to remove and generally tidy up the landscaping, save up to replace the roof (not an immediate need, but no more than 5 years away in all likelihood), have some plumbing and electrical repairs made that were found during our home inspection, and then all of the cosmetic changes we’d like to make in the house… And then there’s also my grandparents’ house in my hometown, which we are finally going to let go of and sell. We’re going to subdivide the property and give my parents a large portion of the land, which adjoins their property, in thanks for all of the years they have cared for the house and paid for repairs to it and maintenance on it. The house and the surround 2 acres or so will be sold, as much as it kills me. There’s just nothing else to be done with it – my sister has decided, once and for all, that she won’t be buying it, and there’s no one else. So we’re trying to coordinate all of that from 2 hours away, while we’re also raising an infant and two dogs and settling into a 21-year-old (but new to us) house. Whew!
So that’s a sampling of what’s on my brain these days. What have you been thinking about?