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Day of Atonement

Yom Kippur starts tonight & runs through tomorrow evening, 25 hours of contemplating what we could have done better in the past year. It's been such a fraught stretch that it is hard to take a whole day off to think about other things than the political situation & natural disasters.

But I will, & hope to come out of it refreshed.

A year ago we were just about to elect a woman president, or so I believed. And now, it's a "disaster day to day," as my old high-school & lifetime friend Becky says. "How can people still be in denial?"

It feels selfish & counterproductive to take so much time off to pray but if it renews my commitment to tikkun olam (repairing the world), it'll be worth it.  Read More 
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Feeling overwhelmed by the news today, which means it is time to plunge into activism!
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Buster lets it all hang out.
My wifi continues to be unreliable so it's really hard to sit down & do things like write this, knowing if the internet cuts out I'll lose it.

I'll write fast & save often.

I love the Ludlow 99¢ store. Today I bought toilet paper, kleenex, hair ties, epsom salts, shampoo, washcloths, mouthwash (to soak my mouthguard) & what else? All for $28. Along the way got to hang with Jasmine at the hotel ("Hi, Varda's sister!") & the 99¢ lady.

Some work, a day off from karate, babysitting later. It's a wonderful life.  Read More 
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A Problem of Dramaturgy

The cops
are supposed to pretend
they are listening

and only then ignore
you and write
their stupid summons
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"Are ya braggin' or complainin'?"

I love fight-spawned bruises! I loved the fighting the other night, the last evening of testing in our karate promotion. It was all seniors who are good fighters, so I didn't have to be careful of anyone's frailty. I don't bruise easily so I'm rather proud of this one. The correct answer (to a question my husband asks when someone is being disingenuous): bragging! I am exhilarated that I could hold my own with some excellent fighters.

I'm not really a good fighter. My only strength is that I'm not afraid to get hit or to fight anybody at all. I don't know why but I always believe (all evidence to the contrary) that I belong in there. Not even believe—I think it's more that I don't think about it. They're there, I'm there, let's go!  Read More 
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Days off

Took a few days off for Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish new year. Hoping that 5778 will be sweeter, healthier, more peaceful, & art-filled for one & all.

Also finished the last evening of testing for my third-degree black belt in karate, which I will receive a week from today. Grateful to be part of the process with many friends & supporters, & glad it's over & I can rest up + get back to my usual routine.

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Modern slavery

Even though every country outlaws slavery (Mauritania was the last to abolish it, in 1981), at least 40 million people around the world are slaves today, and there are some 152 million child workers, according to The Economist, by way of the UN's International Labor Organization and the Walk Free Foundation. Women and girls are disproportionately affected, making up nearly three-quarters of this number. Slavery takes place everywhere, although disproportionately in Asia and Africa.  Read More 
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Detox time

Since I'm sickly anyway, I figure I may as well do my pre–Yom Kippur coffee detox at the same time.

Usually I sub in decaf & it's gradual but I didn't get to Porto Rico yet & now YK is less than 2 weeks away.

I may start retoxing early this year.
Like, this morning.
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Parade's End

I read a passing reference to "The Last Post" & immediately picked up my favorite and much-read book, Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End.

"Mrs. Satterthwaite interested herself — it was the only interest she had — in handsome, thin, and horribly disreputable young men."

"[Sylvia's] very oval, regular face had an expression of virginal lack of interest such as used to be worn by fashionable Paris courtesans a decade before that time."

Either you like sentences like these & want more (800 pages more, in fact) or you don't & you close Parade's End after the first 2 pages.  Read More 
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Poor pitiful me

Tonight is the part of testing for my black belt promotion (to 3rd degree) that I worry most about: weapons. I still fear a big stick coming at me & tend to cringe rather than react. Even worse, I have a small but exhausting cold. Which I think will keep me from fretting—the silver lining.
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