Friday, February 23, 2007


I'm the webmaster for a small synagogue and today I was posting some Purim songs onto their site. One song in particular really bothered me. In it, the Jewish people are exulting over Haman's failure to annihilate them, but they're also exulting over Haman's hanging and taunting him on the scaffold. It has lines like "Get up in the tree" and "I hear you almost see your house from there." My first reaction was horror.

It's one thing to rejoice that you are saved, but another to rejoice over anyone's death, even your deadliest enemy's. Civilized people don't behave that way.

But then I thought about my reaction to the US soldiers who raped and murdered a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and murdered her whole family. Would I rejoice at seeing those men tortured for what they did to Abeer Qassim al-Janabi? Part of me, being brutally honest, says, "Yes. Yes, I would."

I feel sick when I think of what they did. And so angry. And ashamed that they are my countrymen and that they believed (at least at that time) that they were acting in my name and yours. I wish not mere death on them, but the level of pain and anguish that they inflicted.

And then another part of me reminds myself that any death, even of someone as vile as they, or as vile as the 9/11 hijackers for that matter, is still a cause for sorrow, not rejoicing. Reveling in someone's death is taking the first steps into the kind of thinking that creates monsters like them. At a bare minimum, one can be sorrowful that the evil person traveled the road they did, and wish that they'd led a better, more worthwhile life.

I don't know where that leaves me. Would I jeer at the impending deaths of former Pfc. Steven D. Green, former Sgt. Paul Cortez, Spc. James Barker, and Pfc. Jesse Spielman? I hope not. But I can see where it would be sorely tempting.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Sooooo tired

I'm so tired I forgot what I was going to blog about...

Might have been something about my friends E and M who just had a baby girl on Wednesday (well, E did...M's part was way earlier). Or maybe about that news article I read about three boys saved from an icy canal. Or it was something cute that the Bunster did. But I can't remember now.

I DO remember reading an e-mail about a woman who's giving up staying up late for Lent. Sounds like a great idea...not easy to do, but definitely good for you. And I'm sitting here at 11:38 pm saying "great plan, I should do that!" Like someone eating donuts in front of the TV and saying "yeah, I should get to the gym!"

It's so much easier to think about what you should be doing than to actually go and do it.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Completion, explosion, coughing, and vamping

Apparently, I don't post often enough. So, quick update time:

1. The kitchen is done, pretty much. We have one additional shelf to install inside a cabinet, but that's about a half-hour of work for J. next weekend. No big deal, he says. Here's how it looks now:
2. The brand new Blue Star stove exploded. During a dinner party, even. We're the most gracious hosts...we made the guests bring the main dish and then we blew it up.*

3. The Bunster has a slight cold. Enough to stay home from school yesterday and today, but just barely. So he's going stir-crazy in the house and we're both getting royally sick of playing Chutes-and-Ladders. It helps that he likes to play it backwards once someone wins (counting down from 100 to 1, so chutes are now good and ladders are bad news), but not by much. Does anyone make a strategy-based game for preschoolers? I'd pay good money for one. Probably willing to fork over way too much good money, if you catch me on a day like today.

4. I have no actual subject to blog about today, except maybe the kitchen. I'm just vamping desperately so I can post anyway. Can you tell?

5. Hey, here's a Meez!

* Okay, actually, only the grill exploded, the rest of the stove still works great. And it's under warranty, of course, since it was just installed in December. And we finished the meat under the broiler (appropriate, since it was London broil). But the story is better without those pesky details. Can't grill with it looking like this:

Nice hole in the gas line, hunh? At least no one was hurt.

We just got the replacement parts from Prizer-Painter (who make the Blue Star range) and are waiting for a repair to be scheduled. Since simply getting the parts into the mail took 'em three weeks, we're just hoping to be grilling again before the weather gets too warm to do it indoors.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

At least they didn't call it an iPod

We got a Macy's lingerie catalog the other day and I found this while flipping through it:

Because everything can be marketed better if you steal whatever's trendy and reapply it meaninglessly to your product...

What on earth is an iBra? I don't even want to hear about interactivity. J. wanted to know if it has a USB port or Bluetooth (ouch!). And, of course, I can't pass up wondering whether it becomes SCSI after too many washes.

p.s. no Meeze today, maybe soon, though.

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