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bito On April - 1 - 2010

During the day, do you read a story and you feel it is worth sharing?  Where to place it? I don’t like to disrupt someone’s thread or thoughtful post and it is not worthy of posting a lengthy article, do you?  Let’s try to leave this up in speakers corner and we can share some news!

From the Afghan  Women’s Writing Project

Colorful Days after Black Nights”

I remember the Taliban were searching houses ten times a day with different groups to find a book, cassette, picture, TV, or video game. If they found any of these, they shot the whole family. After we returned home, my mom burned books that my older sister and brother had collected over many years. She burned most of the books in our mud-brick oven, then threw the rest away in sacks very far from the house so the Taliban would not know they were ours. My heart was broken and I was at a loss……

I wove carpets for four years and forgot everything about studying or getting an education. We were stuck at home, and never allowed to go outside. When the Taliban were removed from power in Afghanistan after almost five years, most of the schools eventually reopened. My siblings returned to school, but I did not, because I was so afraid of everyone, still thinking that Taliban were close.


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Categories: Time Out for OT

Written by bito

Was once a handsome frog until kissed by an ugly corporate princess.----- Like a well honed knife, the internet can be a wonderful and useful tool. It can be used to prepare and serve a delicious meal or it can be used to cause harm. peace

831 Responses so far.

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  1. PatsyT says:

    The Crash the Tea Party Movement has had a crash
    I checked their page a few days ago and it was filled with porn and garbage.
    The trolls were very busy!
    Now this teacher has been put on leave and received death threats
    What ever happened to free speech?

    • KQ says:

      Cheers you see these articles all too often. The WashPo story I posted actually mentions that the president informed Ms. Langbehn about the policy change. I think the main problems occur in emergency situations which are obviously the most important times to be with your loved one.

      What Ms. Langbehn said almost chocked me up.

      “I kept saying it’s not a gay right to hold someone’s hand when they die, its a human right,” she said, noting that she and Pond had been partners for almost 18 years. “Now to have the president call up and say he agrees with me, it’s pretty amazing, and very humbling.”

  2. KQ says:

    I just saw Buzz Aldrin being interviewed by O’Donnell on KO. It’s great to see a childhood hero being so progressive at his age. He discussed how the previous Bush project to the moon was a waste of time because they tried to reinvent the rocket in this case instead of using shuttle booster technology which cost billions in overruns. He said we would actually get us to deep space later than President Obama’s plan. He was pretty feisty about taking on the president’s critics as just protecting the status quo to promote a failed project and protect their interests.

  3. KQ says:

    It’s incredible that President Obama had to write such an order but I’m sure it’s a relief to many.

    Obama extends hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners of gays

  4. Khirad says:

    Today, didn’t do the things I said I would. I’ll do what I didn’t get to coming back later before leaving for home.

    Today went to Georgetown and walked around. Canal is totally dried up like an Arizonan river. Got a chuckle out of it. The harbor and Teddy Roosevelt Island was pretty, and walked up and down the main streets. Ate at Five Guys, to have an Obama experience — ugh, I don’t do fast food like ever, and so I feel woozier than most might for an hour or two. Not the food to get stuff done on. But, I did it. It’s not the location, but, I had to get a taste of a local institution (seems like the Eastern In-n-Out to me).

    I did duck into a rare books store. Saw one of the most beautiful books of my life -- a beautifully bound collection of Yeats, but I’m not here to buy books. On the way out though, on sale in the street I spotted a Mircea Eliade and then a book on Zoroastrianism for a combined $5. Deal!

    Then saw the outside of the Watergate and did the Kennedy Center tour. Oh my goodness. Beyond gorgeous.

    Embassies spotted today: Spain, Mongolia, Ukraine, Thailand, and Egypt. Embassies I have as one of my quirky must dos.

    Tomorrow, Baltimore.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Hey Khirad, I think it’s pretty good that you went off your schedule-- I sensed fatigue even in your writing today!

      About Eliade-- I have many of his works so you can imagine how upset I was to learn about him. (Naturally, being the bitch I am, if you haven’t heard, I am about to upset you too!)

      “Several times during the late 1930s, Eliade publicly expressed his support for the Iron Guard, a fascist and antisemitic political organization. His political involvement at the time, as well as his other far right connections, were the frequent topic of criticism after World War II.”

      That was from wiki, but I read about it a few years ago elsewhere.

      • Khirad says:

        No, Cher, I knew that, and it’s like a Jung deal with me. It’s sorta hard not to read him in the field as a giant, even with his past. I’ve heard several rationalizations, and he was no Evola, but yeah, it was a tough break when I found that out as well.

        It upset me too. It ranks up there with finding out later about one of my favorite writers for years on Iranian religion being active in the ’53 Coup.

        Forgot to mention I also had a Yeungling at Martins, where JFK proposed to Jackie and where Clinton spent a lot of time.

        And yes, you sensed fatigue right. 😉

        • Chernynkaya says:

          Funny, the Jung thing I knew before studying, so for some reason I was more immune to disappointment. But with Eliade, he was so seminal, and, let’s face it--it is religion! (Yeah, I know--think RR.)

          On the other hand, I once had a discussion in a seminar (not religion) and the instructor asked, “Well, would you rather have a nice guy writing mediocre music, or would you rather have Wagner?”

          • Khirad says:

            Thanks for that Cher, it is a conundrum. And you put it well with that Wagner quip (Nietzsche wrote one of the most scathing critiques in The Case of Wagner). Although, my favorite is,

            “Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.”

            Edgar Wilson Nye, quoted by Twain.

            It’s a philosophical question, how we can respect a work and loath associations; or a Lit question, of how much of their personal views made it into their scholarship. In any case, I do take it with a grain of salt. It’s always there in the back of your mind, and what’s most perniciously pervasive is me questioning their motives, when there may actually be nothing nefarious to that particular passage that raised an eyebrow.

  5. kesmarn says:

    Dear Friends,

    It’s hardly possible to be more O/T than this. And — disclaimer — this is personal, only remotely political. So, please forgive me. But, here goes…

    You might remember that my 24 year old son was invited to a grad school recruitment weekend at a prestigious university about three weeks ago. He had a great time there. All indications were that admission to the PhD program was a “gimme.”

    Until today.

    He was not one of the Chosen. He had applied to very few places. This one was his last/best hope. Now grad school is apparently not in his future for Fall 2010.

    He’s beyond bummed. He’s heartsick.

    Here was a kid with straight A’s in his undergrad years — not just in math but in Japanese and English Lit as well. He had good recommendations, good GREs, and a track record of a year and a half of success in teaching. What more could he have done?

    I guess I’m just wondering if anyone has any advice. Any thoughts. How do you console a heartbroken young man? Where does he go from here?

    I realize things could be worse. He’s not defusing IEDs in Afghanistan. He hasn’t just received a horrible diagnosis. He’s not a meth addict. But he’s definitely hurting.

    Any and all words of wisdom would be appreciated.

    • PatsyT says:

      Oh and the cool thing about grad school is you can take a few years off
      before you go
      or at least that is what I have been told.
      Sometimes things happen for a reason.
      I have heard of some kids that are stellar not getting into anywhere!
      We have been hearing some real shocker stories.
      It’s so hard on the kids
      This year is a very very tough year!

    • PatsyT says:

      You and your son are not alone.
      I totally feel your pain.
      My daughter is going thru the applying for the first time!
      Ohhh the drama!
      I think I am going to use your logic here
      about not defusing IED’s or being a meth addict!
      I will be using that!
      We have three schools in play, one for sure
      and trying to see if we can get that school to put up more $$$
      It’s a fantastic school but the cost !!
      I hope we can get some good news soon
      We are even thinking
      Gap Year
      I wish I had a magic wand for both of our kids.

    • KQ says:

      Kes I hate to hear this but he’s obviously a very intelligent young man with a great future ahead. I had to work before I went to grad school and I’m not necessarily advocating he do the same thing but he may want to seek to matriculate at another school or even just take grad classes for now. I didn’t start matriculating until I went to a second grad school after taking about a years worth of Chem classes. It does help your case entering the grad school you want with more post grad credits and good grades on your CV. I probably would not have gotten in the grad school I chose if I did not prove myself first.

      • SueInCa says:

        That is very good advice. I never went to grad school but I would think taking extra classes, just as excelling in undergrad work would be a big help. Sometimes, too, it is based on legacy and if slots run out, no amount of prep will get you in but your advice is very good.

        I know how you and he are feeling right now. My daughter had a similar problem but she went back to teaching for another year and the next application she was accepted. It delayed her one year but she says she had a chance to grow a bit more as well.

        • kesmarn says:

          Sue, thanks for sharing your daughter’s experience. Every example of someone who persisted and won in the end is all to the good.

          I agree, too, that sometimes the failure to get in is related to factors beyond the student’s control. It may not be fair, but then so much of life is not.

      • kesmarn says:

        KQ, I must say this is encouraging. Just on pure instinct, I suggested that he do the same thing. (He had said to me: “If I do another round of applications, what am I going to do while I’m waiting?”) I mentioned that he might take a couple grad level classes (which he did do as an undergrad, too). Can’t hurt…might help those GREs to go even higher. (Easy for me to say.)

        Do you mind if I ask how old you were when you started grad school?

    • Khirad says:

      For a kid this gifted and with so much accomplishments, I’m sure it’s not the end of the world. There will be other opportunities.

      He’ll come around. That’s pat and it doesn’t help now, -- I know this is the crash and comedown of so much work and promises/signals broken.

      Give it time. If it spirals and triggers something deeper, then I’d worry. If he has guy friends, after some grieving time have them try to snap him out of it. Guys are good at that. Not particularly sensitive about feelings, but great at giving you a kick in your ass.

      • kesmarn says:

        Khirad, it’s good to get the younger and “guy” perspective.

        Ironically, he’s going to be in his buddy’s wedding in June. The down side is, this guy who’s getting married just got admission with a full tuition waiver and $24,000 stipend for a PhD program in Econ/Stats at Ohio State University. It’s tough, I’m sure, not to be massively envious!

        But the trip to Columbus and the wedding will be a distraction. I’m hoping they pair him up with a massively gorgeous — and friendly — bridesmaid and he has the weekend of his dreams! He needs something good to happen. Soon!

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Dear Kes, there is rarely anything more painful to a parent than when our kid is brokenhearted. We wish we could take on their pain ourselves to spare them and feel helpless, as I see you are now.

      I wish I had an answer. I wish I had an “in’ with an admissions department. There is probably nothing that you can say to console him, except to let him know you are there for him.

      Can’t he re-apply next year? Or doesn’t it work like that for PhD programs? In any case, he will still feel disconsolate about this year.

      I am so sorry, Kes!

      • kesmarn says:

        Cher, thanks for your kind empathy. It’s true. It would be so much easier to be going through a rough time myself than to be witnessing him going through it. (Have been through similar episodes with my daughter and we have both come out the other side of them, and I have to keep reminding myself of that.)

        Initially his reaction was that he just couldn’t bring himself to go through the whole GRE Exam/Admissions process/Letters of Recommendation ordeal again. It seemed just too energy-draining. I didn’t say anything in the way of objection to that because, who am I to decide how much energy he has and how deeply he wants this? But as the evening has worn on, he’s starting to re-consider. Even emailed one of his profs for advice.

        I know it’s not my place to decide his career for him. But one thing I do know: he’s capable of grad level work. I’ve had friends who’ve graduated from Ivy League schools — one from Yale, and one from Columbia. They have the same feeling. So I have to admit, the thought of a fine mind going to waste is disheartening to me.

        I sense that this is partly related to the current economy. Only 20% of recent college grads have found employment. Naturally a fair percentage of the rest are going to apply to grad school. And almost every state university is severely shorter on money this year than ever before in recent memory. So they don’t have the funding for graduate studies, which almost always require tuition assistance for the student. Since he’s (obviously) not a woman or a minority, his odds are even longer. Sigh.

        Thanks so much for letting me vent. And for your wise words.

    • escribacat says:

      Hey Kes, What a bummer! My nephew got jerked around by a university too (he took a semester off and ended up there anyway). One thing I’ve learned being a victim advocate is to just let the grieving grieve, let the crying cry, let the heartsick be heartsick. You can’t fix it so don’t try. (Easier said than done, I know). Just let him know you love him, you’re there if he needs your help and you’ll support whatever move he decides to make next (which he will when he’s ready).

      • kesmarn says:

        Thanks, e’cat. It’s hard to get out of “Mom Mode.” But you’re right. There are some things (many things as they move into adulthood) that we just can’t fix, no matter how much we’d like to.

        I just know that — even though he’s been very effective teaching high school math (one of his kids got a perfect 800 on the math SATs) — quite candidly, he hates it. The kids are just not motivated the way college students are, and there are so many disciplinary problems. I think the thought of doing this indefinitely is enough to make him frantic. He’s too young to be doing a math version of Mr. Holland’s Opus, if you know what I mean.

  6. Kalima says:

    Breaking news.

    “President Obama tells agency to establish rule barring hospitals from denying visitation to gay, lesbian partners.”


  7. LiseLives says:

    A quick Good Morning (still AM here) to this great Planet !
    Hope to see you guys over the weekend --

  8. AlphaBitch says:

    Even if I’ve been only a lurker, not a poster, of late (due only to time constraints) -- I’m THRILLED to hear from you Bito! I keep you in my thoughts and prayers and heart ALL the time, and I wish you a good recovery! Don’t worry about the hair. We’d all love to see you, no matter the coiffure! And trust me, mine isn’t all that grand….

  9. bitohistory says:

    An early message from UMC this morning letting everyone know that the day is beginning well and I wish all a good day.I need to find some one volunteer to cut my hair off to today( the chemo has caught up with it, and it just is coming out in clumps. I want to Thank every one your for their kind thoughts the last few days and i will try to attempt to keep many of my thought and progress, if any .I have a difficult writing much down in to a coherent sentence. Bear with me, please, But I should be a little each day. Again thanks to everyone for your kinndneess.
    peace to each day

    • PatsyT says:

      Hugs and Kisses to …
      Bito your job is to rest and get well.
      Now get back to work.

    • SueInCa says:

      Bito, so good to hear from you. No need to say much, a pop in to say just Hi is good enough. Keeping you in my thoughts.

    • boomer1949 says:

      Dear Bito,

      So good to hear from you! But as AdLib said, please don’t feel any of us is pressuring you to post anything right now. Everyone was concerned is all. Thank you for checking in; we’re glad you did! By the way, haven’t you heard bald is sexy? 😉 😉

      A bito classical just for you…

    • AdLib says:

      So good to hear from you, Bito! Please don’t feel obligated to expend your valuable energy posting anything right now. We’re here, glad to know you’re on the mend and looking forward to your posting again when you’re stronger.

      Rest and rejuvenate, my friend.

    • PepeLepew says:

      Oh, Bito, take care!

    • escribacat says:

      Bito!!! It’s great to hear from you. We’re all thinking of you.

    • nottoolate says:

      Bito, here’s Tibetan Lama Tendar chanting for whales. I love the happiness in it. Hope it makes you smile.

    • kesmarn says:

      b’ito! So good to hear from you! Believe it or not, you’re closer to getting well today than you were a week ago. Hang in there, my Pal!

    • Kalima says:

      Bito, it is such a relief to hear from you. Hoping that you will get stronger with each day. Sending you good thoughts and prayers. Get better soon and take care.

      I stole this like a hawk from a site I visited during your absence, forgive me.

      Magic Wand
      I wish I had a magic wand
      To make it go away;
      I’d wave my scepter over you
      Until you were okay.
      I’d think good thoughts; I’d send you love;
      I’d transmit healing vibes;
      My wand and I would surely beat
      Whatever the doc prescribes.
      But there is no magic scepter, so
      I cannot cast a spell;
      Just know you’re often in my thoughts,
      And I hope you’ll soon be well!
      By Joanna Fuchs


      • LiseLives says:

        That’s beautiful, Kalima -- I completely believe in the power of collective healing vibes -- I join you all in that, for Bit’o --

  10. Khirad says:

    Today, started out visiting my congresswoman’s office to pick up tickets to the Capitol. It was funny. Walked in the door, and who did I see? My precinct captain from the ’08 election I volunteered at as a regular. She gave me a once over, and then her eyes lit up blurted out my name and gave me a hug. It was a good sorta weird and the last thing I expected. Last I saw her she had a bottle of Jack on election night and was a bit drunk (not like I didn’t take my fill of wine in the Dem hotel room HQ, but I don’t get grumpy). Anyhoo, it was neat to see her again.

    The experience of the tour is a bit of a blur, and our tour guide, God love him, was underwhelming. He was young, and taking place of another congressional aide who had never done it -- and I couldn’t hear a word he said, until he did the whispering spot in Statuary Hall (by the way, I loved Mississippi’s :roll: ). I’m sorta not liking the tours, as I want time to loiter about and not be whisked from one place to the next, but I also get to see things others don’t.

    Walked past Cantor’s offices to the House gallery (and spied some young Republican aides flirting -- ewww). The actual gallery experience (after -- literally -- the third layer of security), I got to see Elijah Cummings and David Wu (who represents part of Portland and the northwestern part of Oregon) who were sponsoring some resolution to honor Coast Guardsmen in Astoria and the greatness of the Columbia River. Being originally from around the area, I really lucked out knowing what he was talking about, and who he was. Otherwise, it was all that dry stuff for C-Span 4.

    When we went back to the office to pick up our things, it was busier, and after clicking a quick picture of her office door and name, walked down the hall passing three young ladies. Then I did a double take and looked back and realized one of them was my congresswoman entering her office! It’s weird how they don’t stick out like you think they would.

    Then, Botanical Gardens, where I was amazed by the size of the barrel cactus and prickly pear (Arizonans will know what I mean). Otherwise it was like being back home for the minute or two I was walking through the section. Really, though, it is very beautiful.

    After that, National Galley of art. Lord. Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso, Lautrec, Van Gogh, and so much more -- but crap, after doing a good chunk, was tired, and moved on. Now I just realized I missed the Da Vinci -- and the things I missed to make up are stacking up. *banging head against wall*

    Then Smithsonian Natural History where I saw the Hope Diamond and stuff. But, even better, Indus Civilization artifacts I knew from history books, plus an Elamite cuneiform piece, that had me giddy.

    Ended the day with a mint julep at the Willard. I do hope I’m trimming up a little (if you saw me this might make you furious), I had been out of my years long walking habit for months before. And now my muscles feel like I’ve been jogging the next morning.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Oh, God, the National Gallery! Isn’t it just amazing? Last time I was in DC I went there three times, and still missed stuff, even though it’s not that big. But big enough to wear me out.

      And I spent one full day at the Smithsonian, but --ashamed if this is girly--didn’t enjoy the Air and Space, so pretty much went in and out and back to Asian art.

      Khirad, are you going to the new-ish National Museum of the American Indian? I wonder what that’s like, and I heard the building itself is worth seeing.

      Also, are you on a tour for the whole trip, or do you just sign up for tours at certain places?

      I remember my first trip to DC and my actual relief that it was so beautiful and special. I was afraid it would be like any other city, but it’s not.

      • Khirad says:

        I know Cher, the National Art Gallery really isn’t that massive (well, what’s on display, that is), but I was all arted out after doing a good portion. I ducked in and out of a few and moved on due to time.

        Spent more time at the Air and Space than I thought I would. Wasn’t my fave, but I’m glad I did it. It’s clearly more popular, and as I mentioned before, the Freer is still my favorite (and very quiet, sans school groups -- very interesting Chinese section, though it wasn’t until the Indian part that I realized the quality of stuff it had, being more familiar with the latter’s history and art).

        It was more obligatory to do the Air and Space, to see the Wright Bros and Earhart planes. As to WWII planes and onward; and ICBMs, the Tucson area has equal museums. I still love the air service uniforms from different countries in a WWII section. A French family was there, and this little boy about 5-6 stood before the Luftwaffe uniform and said “gar

        • nottoolate says:

          Khirad, I lived in DC, Maryland and Virginia for over 40 years. Your posts are bringing back all sorts of memories. You seem to have the high points covered, but if you need any shopping advice, I’m your woman!

        • escribacat says:

          Another interesting update. So are you going to the White House? Do you mean that unless you arrange with your congressperson you can’t get on these tours? I don’t get it. (I’ve never been to DC).

          • Khirad says:

            Going through your congressperson beforehand cuts down on lines and it’s a way of scheduling ahead. Plus, I got to go through the underground tunnel from the the Longworth to the Capitol.

            Otherwise, I suppose you can do other arrangements, but if you want to try to get in the White House, might as well schedule these things as well.

            You need to go through one of your reprasentatives’ offices to get to the White House, and, good luck on the Pentagon alone or not in a larger group.

      • kesmarn says:

        Cher — talk about girly — when I was there I got stuck on an exhibit of all the first ladies’ gowns. And then there was the Hope diamond…

        Wow, that was a long time ago. Time to go back.

  11. javaz says:

    A message from b’ito --

    I have been having a couple of pretty bad days an I neglected to write you. While I am down to just one tube,a feeding tube,and I can eat light liquids, I fell pretty shitty and spaced out.. Please spread the word at the Planet for me.

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