Monday, April 18, 2016


Continuing with my "what should I write about", here is the volunteer work I've been doing since November:

I am a liner (phone volunteer) for the National Runaway Safeline, a national agency to assist youth in crisis. The training was long and exhaustive, the longest training of any agency like this I was told: forty classroom hours plus three listen-ins plus two supervision. Finally in November of last year I started working. And I loved it. And still do.

We answer phones and also do live-chats, emails and forums. For the first time I realized how many young people are going through crises: running away from unsafe environments, being thrown out of their homes, being abused, needing comfort and support. I have learned so much and not only about others, but about myself. Helping others is so rewarding. And eye-opening.

I recommend that everyone volunteer somewhere, somehow. There is nothing like it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Continuing with my "what should I write about" series, movies I've seen recently:

1. Trumbo - I liked it. I don't think it got enough play and I don't remember anything in the Oscars. I love all that has to do with that period of U.S. history. Such a shameful time! And yet, so exciting. Cranston was good as Trumbo and Helen Mirren - evil. But good.

2. Eye in the Sky - another movie with Helen Mirren. She must be really busy these days. I didn't want to go see it but David talked me into it. It was better than I expected but also kind of a shameful situation. I loathe those drones and the innocent people they kill. How can anyone approve of such acts? Completely evil. If you want to confront your enemy, do it in person. Don't send a little robot to kill them anonymously.

3. Mad Dogs - not a movie but a series on Amazon. Weird. Brutal. Just strange but addictive. Good actors. Has anyone else watched it?

More later...

Monday, April 11, 2016

So, what do I want to write about? the books I'm reading? the movies I saw recently? the work I've been doing with youth in crisis? the class I'm teaching at The Newberry Library? the trip I'll be taking next month? all of the above? none of the above?

Since I can't hear anybody's choice, I'll start with the first option and continue.

Books I'm reading (I always read more than one book at a time - I don't exactly know why but I suspect it's because I like too many things at the same AND I get bored easily) :

1. The Travelers by Chris Pavone - I read his previous novel, The Expats - and liked it a lot. I just started this one but it promises to be thrilling and entertaining. 

2. A the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and others by Sarah Bakewell - since my father told me about the existentialists and their philosophy and their life when I was a young girl I've been enamored of the ideas. I've just started this one too. I think it will be educational and I hope I don't get tired of it. But then - existentialists believe in choice. I have the choice of not reading if I don't want to.

3. Lucia Perillo's poetry - her writing is smooth, sensual, entertaining, sometimes funny, down-to-earth, powerful. I'm thinking of returning to writing poetry, so - I thought this would be a good way to come back to the fold.

Is that enough?