Here's the hodgepodge post I have:
Book club was held at our house on Friday night. We read this one:
It was a well written and well told story and we had a great discussion about it. The story tells about a Chinese-American boy who befriends a girl of Japanese ancestry. It details the events that unfold during World War II as his friend and her family experience the internment that many American citizens lived through as Japanese Americans were "relocated" in order to ensure national security. Their relationship and the course of their lives far past the war is of course the focus of the story, but you can't ignore the ordeal of the Japanese American families in the story. They lost their property, most of their possessions, their jobs, and their ways of life simply because of their ancestry. We discussed how things like these camps could come to pass in a country like ours and how it's easy to forget, when you look back on your history, the ways in which we impair the liberties of our own citizens for "the greater good." We discussed how the Patriot Act seems to fill this need for the 21st century. I know that hindsight is clearer than foresight, and in times of great danger sacrifices must be made, but how could we fight for liberties abroad when were denying them to our own people on our own soil? The book was good, you should read it.
Next month's book will be this one:
I think it promises for a good read and probably less social/political commentary from me.
On the note of further political commentary, my heart has been breaking this week to hear of the struggles coming out of Haiti following the devastating earthquake there. The stories of rescue, of loss, of children without parents and medical professionals ready to treat but no access to equipment with which to treat the badly injured make me feel so helpless. When I feel such empathy for people whom I do not know, have never met and have no direct impact on my own life, it reminds me that there is unity within the human spirit. We are all connected by our humanity. That being said, I'm really frustrated by "Christians" using ridiculous excuses for their own lack of generosity of spirit. God is within us all and the model we have before us is to be as generous with each other as God has been with us. Earthquakes happen because tectonic plates rub against each other, not because slave nations throw off the rule of European countries and for lack of better explanation said Europeans decide the only way they could have done so is to have made a deal with the devil. The people of Haiti deserve help now because they are people in desperate need, not because their souls need saving from the devil.
Onto a lighter topic, we made our January trip to the Shedd Aquarium today. Both children were well behaved and had a very good time. Swanny Jr. demonstrated use of several new words--shark, frog, and turtle were some of the ones we heard the most. When we arrived, Peanut made a bee-line for Nickel, the green sea turtle who is the main attraction of the Caribbean Reef and her all-time favorite animal at the aquarium. They both loved the sharks, the jellyfish, the frogs and the dolphin and Beluga whale show. Unfortunately, most of the pictures we snapped today are too blurry to really share. Here is the best shot we managed today of Peanut and Swanny Jr. with the Emperor Penguin statue.
Sadly, this is the last time anyone saw Peanut's Angelena Ballerina doll, which she insisted on taking with her today. We had it at the Penguins, but Peanut didn't have her when we left the Fantasea show at the Oceanarium. Hopefully, I'll get a call from the aquarium's lost and found where I left our name, address and phone number as well as a detailed description of Peanut's missing doll. At least it wasn't her Snoopy....
Thanks for indulging my hodgepodge and my ranting. I just haven't the patience for the nonsense right now. More light-hearted blogging to come this week!