Saturday, March 1, 2008

HC: Much Ablog About Nothing

I haven't written a blog in some time. Life has been very busy lately. I have, however, read every blog posted.

So, what's new with me? MY SISTER IS IN AFRICA!!! This is such a turnaround for us. I was the happy traveler and she was the stay-at-home. I had to half drag her to Paris and London years ago. She doesn't like packing, she doesn't like flying, she's a die-hard New Yorker, etc...and yet now she's in Africa! I'm so impressed with her I can't even begin to tell you.

Wendy and I have been sisters a long time now...since I was born! My father loved to take slides when we were younger, and one of my favorite pictures of me and Wendy was when I went with my parents to pick her up from a weekend (or week?) away at Girl Scout camp. In the picture, Wendy is holding me (she's 7 years older), and I am hanging onto her in a way that would make even the most devout Christian admit that we are descended from primates.

When Wendy lived in San Diego for 13 years it was pretty horrible. We visited, we wrote, and we called, etc, but it was horrible being that far away from each other. Now, she's back where she belongs, in Manhattan. Of course right now SHE'S IN AFRICA!

Other big news for me: my first born child will turn 16 on Monday. I've been his mother a long time...since he was born! My son is about 6 feet 1 and a half inches, and very handsome inside and out. The funny thing about him is, he is exactly the same now as when he was 3 or 6 or 10. Same face, just more manly. Same way about him. Same personality. If I've done nothing else in my life, I've done okay giving birth to this wonderful human being. The world is in good hands if Charles is in it.

Charles is in dress rehearsals for his high school's production of The Phantom of the Opera, as Andre the opera house manager. The other day I sat in the darkened auditorium and watched a rehearsal. What a magical feeling you get inside a theater. I loved everything about it, especially watching the kids patiently waiting on stage for the director to direct or the stage manager to manage. It was 7pm and the kids had been at school since 7:15am. Where they get the energy I'll never know. So much JUST standing around. I saw a cheesy, phony, cheap looking piece of scenery in the school hall that, on stage, suddenly looked like a richly elegant stone partition. To me, that's amazingly cool.

Here are two documentaries that I recommend, both available through Netflix:

PBS's John and Abigail Adams: American Experience
No End in Sight

The 2-hour Adams show was very nicely produced, combining historian talking heads with portrayals of John and Abigail by Simon Russell Beale and Linda Emond, and the usual panning, tilting zooming camera shots of paintings and documents. These two people knew they were going to be a big part of history and discussed it in their letters. John encouraged Abigail to copy (by hand, of course!) her letters to him and file them away. She was an amazing woman, bringing up four children and running a farm, watching soldiers pass her door, hearing cannon fire from Lexington and Concord, all while John was in Pennsylvania trying to enact a separation from England. He was away so frequently, Abigail figured at one point that in their (then) 14 years of marriage they had spent 7 years together. For me, the most fascinating tidbit of the documentary was being reminded that both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4th of the same year. They died while fireworks were exploding in the sky for the holiday. As one of the historians said, if it happened in a movie you'd think it was ridiculous, but it was true.

No End in Sight is...fascinating, horrifying, infuriating, deeply sad. In short? George W. Bush and friends killed a country. If even half of the documentary is accurate, and I believe most of it is accurate, Bush should've been impeached years ago. When I was a kid, I was proud to be an American. Now? I feel like I should go around apologizing. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." Will Iraq ever recover? I just don't see how. Do they all hate Americans? I don't see how they can't.

Watching these documentaries, both of which dealt with war and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, made me very sad. Will things ever change? On 1010Wins this morning, there was a report about a ship built of some of the remains of the World Trade Towers. The ship cost $1,000,000,000. Imagine if that money was used to feed some needy families, or help some families not lose their homes in the foreclosure mess? There was another radio report about Turkey and fighting and hatred. Will there just always be a war going on somewhere? Hasn't history shown us that any "War to end all wars" doesn't? Doesn't there have to be a better way?

I wish I had answers. I have nothing but questions.

But things do change. Heck, my sister is in Africa!

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