Monthly Archives: November 2012

New York Times annual list of 100 notable books

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The New York Times came out with their annual list of the100 most notable books of the year.

What do you think? Have you read any of these books? What did you think of it? Do you refer to this list when looking for a good book? What makes a book notable to you?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

17 Comments

Filed under Art, Books, Culture, Poetry

Tunes Tuesday: Indigo Girls

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Copyright JC Politi Photography

For this week’s Tunes Tuesday, I have chosen the Indigo Girls’ Galileo. I have always loved these lyrics, and they are even more thought-provoking when you think about the meaning behind the song. I would love to hear what this song brings up for you.

Galileo
Indigo Girls

Galileo’s head was on the block
The crime was looking up for truth
And as the bombshells of my daily fears explode
I try to trace them to my youth

And then you had to bring up reincarnation
Over a couple of beers the other night
And now I’m serving time for mistakes
Made by another in another lifetime

How long till my soul gets it right?
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light?
I call on the resting soul of Galileo
King of night vision, King of insight

And then I think about my fear of motion
Which I never could explain
Some other fool across the ocean years ago
Must have crashed his little airplane

How long till my soul gets it right?
Can any human being ever reach that kind of light?
I call on the resting soul of Galileo
King of night vision, King of insight

I’m not making a joke, you know me
I take everything so seriously
If we wait for the time till all souls get it right
Then at least, I know there’ll be no nuclear annihilation
In my lifetime, I’m still not right

I offer thanks to those before me
That’s all I’ve got to say
‘Cause maybe you squandered big bucks in your lifetime
Now I have to pay

But then again it feels like some sort of inspiration
To let the next life off the hook
But she’ll say, “Look what I had to overcome from my last life
I think, I’ll write a book

How long till my soul gets it right?
Can any human being ever reach the highest light?
Except for Galileo, God rest his soul
King of night vision, King of insight

What do you think? What do you think about reincarnation? And why do you think that some of the most innovative and brilliant thinkers have been demonized and ostracized in their lifetimes?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

18 Comments

Filed under Culture, End of Life, Music

Giving Thanks

 

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday. What is better than a holiday with no presents, but with lots of food, family and friends?

My favorite part of Thanksgiving – aside from the mashed potatoes, which we have discussed here at length – is setting aside a day to think about all the things I am thankful for.

It is so easy to get caught up in daily life and to forget what I have and how fortunate I am.

This year, I am thankful for so many things, among them:

All of you – I had no idea when I started blogging that I would find such a supportive, funny and inspiring community. Thank you for all the comments, kudos and encouragement.

My family – it is hard to be away from Baltimore at this time of year, but I am fortunate that my mom comes out to visit and my husband cooks a fantastic dinner – how can I not be thankful about that?

The birthday boy
Copyright JC Politi Photography

My two year old pup, who actually turns two years old on Thursday and thinks everyone celebrates his birthday with a big feast! I have been looking forward to the maturity of two and we are finally here. Now, I will look forward to the further sophistication of three.

My friends, who know how to make me laugh until I cry. I exhale completely when I am with my closest friends.

My colleagues, who have dedicated their lives to helping low income families and vulnerable children and who inspire me on a daily basis with their passion, their dedication and their vision.

Simply to have a warm house to live in, food to eat and people to love.

Sometimes it is good to take a moment and just reflect on all the things that are good in life.

What do you think? What are you most grateful for this year? What are your Thanksgiving traditions?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading.

Have a happy and safe holiday. And for a little Turkey-based levity:

34 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Colorado, Culture, Food, Home, Love

Tunes Tuesday: Dixie Chicks

Copyright JC Politi Photography

This song spoke to me from the first time I heard it. Maybe because I had recently moved to Austin, Texas and was seeking out some wide open spaces of my own. The line “Dad yells ‘check the oil'” just really hit home for me.

This song tells a common story with wonderful imagery and emotion.

This week, for Tunes Tuesday, I bring you Wide Open Spaces by the Dixie Chicks.

Wide Open Spaces
Dixie Chicks

Who doesn’t know what I’m talking about
Who’s never left home, who’s never struck out
To find a dream and a life of their own
A place in the clouds, a foundation of stone

Many precede and many will follow
A young girl’s dream no longer hollow
It takes the shape of a place out west
But what it holds for her, she hasn’t yet guessed

[Chorus:]
She needs wide open spaces
Room to make her big mistakes
She needs new faces
She knows the high stakes

She traveled this road as a child
Wide eyed and grinning, she never tired
But now she won’t be coming back with the rest
If these are life’s lessons, she’ll take this test

[Repeat Chorus]
She knows the high stakes

As her folks drive away, her dad yells, “Check the oil!”
Mom stares out the window and says, “I’m leaving my girl”
She said, “It didn’t seem like that long ago”
When she stood there and let her own folks know

[Repeat Chorus]
She knows the highest stakes
She knows the highest stakes
She knows the highest stakes
She knows the highest stakes

What do you think? What is a song that tells of a common human experience for you? Or a song that got you through a certain phase in your life?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

28 Comments

Filed under Culture, Love, Music, Parenting, travel

Homemade Twinkies? Is someone really going to make those?

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The second most read New York Times article right now (after a cool interactive tool that will help you plan your Thanksgiving meal) is a recipe for homemade Twinkies.

While I feel as sad about the news that Hostess is folding as anyone, I am intrigued that there has been such a national outcry about this. And I am more intrigued that anyone would want to make homemade Twinkies.

I find it very interesting how food is linked to our emotions in this country – perhaps in every country.

I have to admit – I believe I have shared this here before – when my sweet gentle giant of a pup passed away in 2010 while I was in Argentina, I had an undeniable craving to head straight to McDonalds and get some salty french fries. They tasted like home to me and I needed that.

I suppose that the multi-national corporations who tempt us with ever bigger portions and even more fat-laden options are well aware of this connection, and in fact work hard every day to make that type of link with their products. It is a powerful force.

But Twinkies? I have to admit to being a little pleased – I know this will be seen as blasphemy by many – that Hostess has struggled. I am not sure that there is a speck of nutritional value in a single one of their products. (Feel free to correct me if I am wrong – it has happened before and will likely happen again).

I am sorry about the lost jobs and I will miss having that guilty pleasure calling out to me from the convenience store when I am on a road trip. But maybe now that I won’t have that temptation, I will actually reach for a piece of fruit or a string cheese instead. Ya think?

What do you think? How do you feel about the liquidation of Hostess? What is your favorite Hostess product? Why do you think people are so distressed that Hostess is going out of business? And what impact do you think the amotional food connection has had on our waistlines and on our pocketbooks?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

56 Comments

Filed under Culture, Food, Health

Weekly Photo Challenge: Green

WordPress’ weekly photo challenge this week is “Green.” Green happens to be my favorite color – because I am Irish? Perhaps!

When I think of green, I think of rainforests, springtime, nature and Latin America. These are a few photos from ziplining through a rainforest in Nicaragua that I think really highlight the color green.

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Coffee beans
Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

We were told these little guys were pretty poisionous, but I couldn’t help snapping a shot.
Copyright JC Politi Photography

What do you think? What are some of your favorite green things?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

Other Interpretations of the Theme

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Environment, International, Photography, Photos, Weekly Photo Challenge

Tunes Tuesday: Janis Ian

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Students in a hallway in Nicaragua

Tunes Tuesday is a weekly series where I highlight songs that are poetic even without the music.

This song has stuck with me since I was…about seventeen. My dad listened to Janis Ian records when I was young and the words to this song are probably some of the first lyrics I ever really noticed. They are just so poignant and real.

For this Tunes Tuesday, I present At Seventeen by Janis Ian.

At Seventeen
Janis Ian

I leaned the truth at  seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
And high school  girls with clear-skinned smiles
Who married young and then retired

The valentines I never knew
The  Friday night charades of youth
Were  spent on one more beautiful
At  seventeen I learned the truth

And those of us with ravaged faces
Lacking in the social graces
Desperately  remained at homeInventing lovers  on the phone
Who called to say,  “Come dance with me”
And murmured  vague obscenities
It isn’t all it  seems at seventeen

A brown-eyed  girl in hand-me-downs
Whose name I  never could pronounce
Said, “Pity,  please, the ones who serve’
Cause  they only get what they deserve”

And  the rich relationed hometown queen
Marries into what she needs
With  a guarantee of company
And haven  for the elderly

So remember  those who win the game
Lose the  love they sought to gain
In  debentures of quality and dubious integrity
Their  small town eyes will gape at you
In  dull surprise when payment due
Exceeds accounts received at seventeen

To those of us who knew the pain
Of valentines that never came
And those whose names were never called
When choosing sides for basketball

It was long ago and far away
The  world was younger than today
When  dreams were all they gave for free
To ugly duckling girls like me

We all play the game and when we dare
To cheat ourselves at solitaire
Inventing lovers on the phone
Repenting other lives unknown
They call and say, “Come on, dance with me”
And murmur vague obscenities
At  ugly girls like me at seventeen

What do you think? What other songs expose raw emotion like this? Do you have a favorite song from your childhood that still touches your heart today? Why are the teenage years so hard for so many of us?

I would love to hear your thoughts! Thank you for reading.

35 Comments

Filed under Music, Women