Friday Five

1. Were you raised in a particular religious faith?

No. We were what I now call “culturally Christian” much like people on the East Coast who are cultural, but not religious, Jews.

2. Do you still practice that faith? Why or why not?

No. After I came out, and as I’ve reflected on my own spirituality, I’ve tried not to continue habits or practices based on religious beliefs I don’t share. I’ve also become a very active member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), so I’m actively practicing a faith now.

3. What do you think happens after death?

I don’t know. Does it matter?

4. What is your favorite religious ritual (participating in or just observing)?

I like silent grace before meals (holding hands quietly and reflecting on where my food comes from, being thankful for the food, the company, and for life in general).

5. Do you believe people are basically good?

I believe all people have a spark of goodness within them, which they can turn to and follow. I do not believe everyone is inclined to do this.

Folk Vests

Folk Vests: 25 Knitting Patterns and Tales from Around the World by Cheryl Oberle is a nicely done book with lots of ideas. Much like Oberle’s Knitted Shawls, most of the patterns aren’t actually patterns for Japanese or African, etc. knitted vests but are rather patterns for knitted vests inspired by international textiles.

Home to Harmony

By Philip Gulley. Sentimental and moralistic, but all the same warm, loving, and generous. Phil’s Christianity isn’t willing to leave anyone behind. Harmony is a well-drawn portrait of small-town life with affectionate pokes at most everyone.

Botany of Desire–finished!

The chapter on apples confirmed my impulses to buy locally-grown, heirloom varieties (of anything, not just apples). The second chapter was really more about people than tulips, and made me hope never to get caught up in financial speculation. The pot chapter made me want to fly off to Amsterdam. . . . The final chapter, on potatoes, made a trip to McDonald’s sound scary. Makes me want to buy only organic produce.

Friday Five

1. What is your favorite scary movie?

I’m not much for scary movies, so I don’t have one.

2. What is your favorite Halloween treat?

Candy corn.

3. Do you dress up for Halloween? If so, describe your best Halloween costume.

Sometimes. Probably the best costume I’ve ever done was when I dressed as a Trill civilian. I just wore plain black, and gave myself spots, and there I was, plain to see for anyone who knew.

4. Do you enjoy going to haunted houses or other spooky events?

No.

5. Will you dress up for Halloween this year?

I don’t think so.

Tuesday Too #34

1.) What would you like the world to spend research money on (inner space, outer space, stem cell, you name it research), and why do you give it top priority?

Conflict resolution research. AIDS would be better addressed in Africa if there were better methods of conflict resolution. U.S. dependence on oil for energy would lead to fewer wars if there were a better and wider understanding of how to resolve conflicts. U.S. inner cities would be safer places if conflict resolution were a serious field that was widely taught.

2.) Where’s the beef, Carmine Miranda, or what’s bugging you lately?

George W. Bush is leading the foolish sheep of the U.S. public down the primrose path to the slaughterhouse. (How’s that for a bunch of mixed metaphors?)

3.) Elliott would like to know, do you type without looking at the keyboard; in other words, are you a hunt and peek (in his case that would be hunt and claw), or a “true typist?”

I am a touch typist (or “true typist” as Elliott puts it). I learned in a summer-school class between junior high and high school.