September 9, 2005

As a news junkie, I continue to be fascinated with the unfolding tragedy that follows in Katrina's wake. At the local level, we have our own little taste of FEMA's ineptness, as Oregon is readying for 1,000 of the displaced. Or maybe not. Or maybe 500 will be here tomorrow. Or maybe no one's coming at all. While I understand the rationale for those who are being moved (or not), in that this is a long way from home in space and in culture, you'd think the organization could figure it out a little better.

For the scope of the disaster in New Orleans, this site was cool. It takes the area (square mileage) covered by flooding and transposes it over various cities so that we can visualize it. Here's Portland's.

In a bizarre juxtaposition of circumstances, I've been reading "The Heart of Christianity." The Vic loaned it to me quite a while ago, and I got as far as the first chapter and then got distracted; I'm trying to finish so I can give it back. Also, I haven't been to the library in a while and I needed something fresh ("Feed me, Seymour!"). Anyway, I like it; the author contrasts what we now think of as "traditional" Christianity with an "emerging paradigm" that better fits modern needs, and also looks for bridges between the two. Throughout, he is thoughtful and respectful, even as he's pointing out internal contradictions in one or the other way of thinking. I just finished the chapter on Jesus, in which the author basically points out that Jesus was a freaking radical socialist who encouraged breaking down the traditional religious power structure of his time. He also is quoted as saying things like, "Consider the lilies" and "Blessed are the poor" and "That which you do to the least of these, you do to me". Those who know me may wonder what makes me a churchgoer; I don't even strike me as very church-y. But we found a church that reminds us of these things as good examples to follow. Anyway, it all strikes me as particularly relevant now, when there are so many who are poor who need help, and will continue to need help...and there are the many who aren't anywhere near the Gulf Coast, but who are definitely the "least" to be thought of.

On a completely unrelated subject, I've managed to do yoga (though very little else!) three days in a row now. Laura likes watching the "Daddy" on the BEETCH! Today, I was feeling energetic (or masochistic) and did part of the post-natal yoga vid I have. The instructor is a turban-wearing Los Angelan who somehow channels all of the negative stereotypes of that locale into one person, complete with a nasal voice that sounds like she's just finished smoking some (organically grown) primo doobage. She is, however, a closet sadist, as one can discover when doing her exercises. Most involve using your local homegrown baby as resistance, ballast, what have you--I've always said you HAD to do those exercises once you get started on one, because the only alternative is dropping the baby. In additional to a little sore, I do feel virtuous for having done it. And Laura enjoyed looking at the babies used as examples. (Oh, and she has started doing some of the moves with me. It's nice to have company, and she's *awfully* cute as she tries to figure stuff out. For aficianados, the kid does a mean Cobra.)

No comments: