Category Archives: Stuff I want

I’m pumped up

(Note: this isn’t a topic I typically write about here. But at the moment I can’t keep my mouth shut.)

I spent a couple hours this morning in a big room with hundreds of other Episcopalians singing our lungs out and yelling back the responses to the Communion service, and listening to forty-five minutes or so of Bishop Councell telling us that it’s our job to be on fire for Jesus. (This is how Diocesan conventions start out.) And that was great.

Then, after the Eucharist was over, there were tables and tables of exhibitors to check out, and a number of them were pushing programs to reach out and serve our neighbors. There’s the organization working to eradicate malaria in Africa. There’s the group that focuses on providing services to merchant sailors (who these days, between technology and politics, can find themselves trapped on their ships even when they’re briefly in port). There are the people going after the root causes of poverty while looking for ways to help people who are poor now. And plenty of others.

In a couple of weeks, my church will be holding a committee meeting – well, I’m sure there are various committee meetings coming up; we have lots and lots of committees – but anyway, the one I’m concerned with will be meeting to decide what we can do to reach out to “the least of these our brethren.” I can’t wait to make sales pitches for these projects. I hope we can tackle all of them.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge, take 2

You know, I would feel very indulged if I could spend time every day looking at sights like this…or this…or this.

Maybe, come spring, I should spend some time (well. A lot of time.) tweaking my little corner of the planet so that anyone who wanders past can feel similarly refreshed.

(Oh, yes, I am definitely going to the Philadelphia Flower Show – just the other side of the Delaware River – week after next…)

Stone 15, twenty-fourth day

Restless

I want to run. I want to run so long
and hard and fast it feels as if
my footsteps pushing backward make the world
keep spinning, run until I’m just
a pair of running legs with torso neck
and head all balanced up on top
as if my legs were jugglers showing off
how well their spinning plates can balance on
a stick. I want to run away.

It’s COLD.

Well, no, not that cold. That was two years ago.

Not that cold either. That was last year.

And so was that.

Oh, all right. We’ve been spoiled so far this winter. The grass is bare, the streets are dry, the temperature is above zero (Fahrenheit).

Yes, but it’s definitely below zero Celsius. It’s turned from sweatshirt or jacket weather to hat-gloves-heavy-coat-and-shiver-anyway. Enough of this nonsense. This is what I want to see. Tomorrow.

Better schools?

Oh dear. So, I got my first Officially Suggested Topic for PostADay, and it’s not clear I have anything to contribute. “If you could change how schools work, what would you change?” Heck, I haven’t had any school-age children for years. All I know about today’s public schools is what I hear from friends who are teachers, or friends who have kids still in school.

So, given that I have nothing to say, let’s see what I can come up with. There’s the obvious: Some school districts don’t have enough money to offer anybody a good education. (I live next door to Camden, NJ, famous for being the Poorest City in the US. I don’t care how dedicated they are, the Camden schools just can’t afford to provide a great result.) Some parents don’t care enough, or aren’t well enough educated themselves, or don’t have enough time and energy, to make sure their children benefit from what resources are available. But everybody knows these things.

Really, if I could change one thing about education in the United States, I would wave my wand and snap my fingers and transform this into a country that admires learning, a country where everybody knows that it’s fun to be curious about everything. Until we all realize that people who love mastering new information are sexy and that the mind is the best toy we all have, no amount of money or effort will turn this country into a place where education works.

What I want more than a Tardis

Time.

Sure, a Tardis gives you all the space you could ever need, and more. But here we all are, still stuck with the usual twenty-four hours a day, one hundred and sixty-eight hours a week, eight thousand seven hundred and thiry-six hours a year if it isn’t leap year. And, for almost all of us, not even a hundred years in which to find time to get everything done.

I can’t say that I’m wasting my time, exactly. It’s more a problem of wanting to chase so many butterflies…and some of the butterflies are so lovely that I want them really, really bad, and some – watch out, metaphor at breaking point – some have bombs strapped to their little thoraxes that need to be defused before they go off.

Whew.

Anyhow, here I am trying to: Finish a fantasy about political goings on in ancient Sumeria. (Not that you can really talk about modern Sumeria, unless it might be Kuwait.) Finish a science fiction story, or maybe a graphic novel, about what to do when your faster than light transport stalls. Finish another science fiction story about a cop who’s an intelligent octopus who needs to solve a murder on an interstellar hotel and transit hub. Finish a Roman-period mystery about who really killed the lion trainer, if it wasn’t his pet lion. Get moving on a series of mysteries in an alternative 1930’s.

And also: Help get a new financial system working at church before the Windows 98 computer that’s running the current DOS-based financials dies. Revamp our church web site – and maybe enlist an interested teenager to participate. Try to talk other people into projects I think would be a good idea, like a monthly come-as-you-are, give-what-you-can, everybody-welcome dinner.

And: Get to the dojo for at least one aikido class a week. Keep in touch with Bob and Tom, and Eileen and Arlene and maybe Irene, and Donna and Heidi and Sue and Sue and Sue, and Mom (my mother) and Dad (my father in law), and Brenda and the boys, and Toni and Bill, and Ann and Joe.

Not forgetting: Get rid of at least a third of the accumulated stuff in this house. Develop a recipe database so I can locate various ways to use, let’s say, cilantro. (Which is one of the five most addictive flavors on the planet.) Knit a lot of stuff – it’s likely to get cold again in five or six months. Exercise for an hour a day. Read through Morning Prayer daily. Draw, and draw, and draw.

Oh, and take care of some tomato plants.

Something’s got to give. It’s not going to be me.

Never mind inventing FTL

What I want is a Tardis.

Whaddaya mean, you never heard of a Tardis? Go watch some Doctor Who, okay? Oh, it’s not shown in your area? All right, quick explanation. Doctor Who is an insanely long-lived British television series focusing on the adventures of the Doctor, an impressively humanoid alien being – he looks just like a British actor! – who travels through time and space in an old-fashioned British police box called the Tardis. (When the series started, these police boxes were an ordinary part of London scenery, I’m told.)

Now, I don’t insist on a fancy working model of a Tardis. I’ll accept a second hand, slightly defective model that doesn’t travel anywhere. Because the Tardis has a special feature that makes it the finest spaceship design ever, even when out of warranty and nonmobile.

It’s bigger inside than outside.

You want one too now, don’t you? Just imagine having all the storage space you could ever want, and then taking a second look inside the coat closet and realizing that there’s a seventy-three bedroom mansion inside. And inside that, Yellowstone Park. And inside that, the Great Wall of China and all the pyramids of Egypt. And inside that…..

Oh, I want one. I’ll even let you use part of it – you can have the linen closet. And all the infinite space it contains. Okay?

BTW – If you read this far with no idea of what FTL means –

  1. Congratulations, you are admirably persistent!

  2. FTL is an abbreviation for “faster than light”, as in the ability of spaceships in science fiction stories – think Star Trek or Star Wars – to travel from one star to another in a matter of a few days or weeks instead of a few years or centuries.

    Unfortunately, physicists agree that we can’t do that. 186,000 miles a second; it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.

Come to think of it – if you can have infinite space parked next to your house, what do you need FTL for?

Oh yeah. Traveling faster than anything really can might come in handy when you’re trying to get out of the Tardis again, right?