Thursday, December 30, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
When people die, when a brother dies, we are inclined to tell the good stories that we remember. But my brother's life was complicated and troubled and that can't be denied. We had been estranged for a decade until the year before his death. My sister's wedding was the occasion that brought us together again and was actually the event that reunited him with his children as well as he had not been a part of their lives while they were growing up. Being with him and his kids and Renee, his ex-wife, that night was weird and magical and healing. Afterwards, while we were still wary, we began the process of building a new relationship and though its hard to find anything positive about the timing of his death, I am so glad that we had that opportunity to reconnect and make amends.
This is a difficult blog to post. How much should I reveal? But this blog has always been intended to let family and friends know what is occurring in my family's life so I will share pain as well as joy with all of you. I loved my brother and I will miss him. May he rest in peace.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The city of Olympia, and indeed the entire nation, has been watching the compelling video coming from the live web feed of the BP Oil Spill. Earlier this morning, we saw the damaged riser spewing oil from the sea floor. Then we saw a picture of a device that looked like an intake manifold on a car that is being used to pump mud into lines on the blowout preventer, the safety device at the wellhead that failed when the original blast at the BP Oil Rig occurred. We are all hoping that this "top kill" will finally plug this horrible leak but we won't know for sure for a couple more days.
Meanwhile the blame game is in high gear with Republicans and liberals alike blaming the Obama administration for not doing enough and BP, Transocean, and Haliburton officials appearing at congressional hearings to take the verbal tongue lashing that the public seems to be clamoring for. Gene and I had an animated discussion at dinner tonight and Gene pointed out that the citizens of this country are the ones to blame for this mess. We’re not willing to modify our behavior and our excessive lifestyles and we lack the political will to demand that legislators and policy makers provide incentives for sustainable energy alternatives and disincentives by way of taxes, for gasoline consumption. It’s an obvious argument but I haven’t heard it being discussed by the media or by politicians as much as I would like and I believe that’s because we are still looking for easy answers. Pointing the finger at BP and the rest might be satisfying but it’s not likely to change anything.
Saturday, May 08, 2010
Monday, May 03, 2010
Saturday, April 03, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
There is a large contingency of people from the Netherlands here to root for their formidable team of speed skaters. (It will take years to recover from the disqualification of Sven Kremer from the 10,000 meters.) They stay in hotels close to the Richmond Oval where the long track skating races are held because I don’t think they are very interested in any of the other events taking place. They turn out in all kinds of wonderful orange costumes and love to sing along with the Dutch ommpa band that plays during intermissions. I’m so glad they’re here, it’s such fun to attend the skating events with them.
The Russians have the best jackets around and seem so stern and exotic. They were very disappointed in the results of the ice dancing competition that Gene and I attended, I sensed that they felt their athletes were judged unfairly after hearing the reactions to the scores for the Russian teams.
But without a doubt, the most compelling story in Vancouver during these Olympic Games has been Team Canada and the hockey tournament. The Russians played Canada yesterday and it was all anyone talked about all day. There is a rivalry between the two teams because Russia beat Canada in the quarter- finals in the 2006 Olympics and then went on to win two World Championships. Gene and I were at a short track skating event and the hockey game was on the big screen between races so that the fans could keep track of the score. Now it’s on to the quarter-finals on Friday, the USA plays Finland and the Canadians play Slovakia.
Friday, February 19, 2010
What do you call someone who comes from the United States? Do you call them an American? When we visited Costa Rica people there called themselves American, they said we were North Americans. Now we are in Vancouver and North American seems to include Canadians. Belgians come from Belgium, the Dutch are from the Netherlands, and Argentineans are from Argentina. So what do you call people from the U.S.?
We’ve been in Vancouver for the Winter Olympics for a few days now and it is obvious to all that the Canadians are crazy about their Olympic athletes. They are wearing all kinds of Canadian branded sports gear; sweatshirts, hockey jerseys, gloves, hats, scarves, anything with the word “Canada” on it. We’ve been watching Team Canada play hockey in sports bars and the atmosphere is almost as electric as Super Bowl Sunday. Anytime the sports announcers mention a Canadian athlete winning a medal the crowds go wild. Even the foreign tourists are sporting the Canadian gear, shoot; I would wear one of those fabulous red Maple Leaf hats if I could find one.
We finally went to our first live event, curling, tonight and it was a blast. The evening began with a group of bagpipers leading the competing athletes into the arena. I thought we were going to have to stand for “O Canada” but I was wrong, the athletes went to their places and began their games without any further ado. Even though the Canadians are fanatically patriotic, that doesn’t seem to translate to the jingoism evident in U.S. sporting events. To me, it felt refreshing and civilized.