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May 18th, 2004

pals by search engine

Today I found the website for petfinder.com, which contains numerous listings of shelter and rescue pals for whom adoptive homes are sought. I like the little biographies of the pets, and the way one can find a particular species or breed with the search engine. Next time we get a pet, we'll get a shelter pal. I hope that that's a long way off into the future, though. Our two dogs are 13 and 9, but it's hard to imagine that they're both aging. The 13 year old, Scout,
shows her age, being a bit arthritic. But she still enjoys her life very much.

Some weeks ago I ran across a site for non-infant kids in need of adoptive homes. Despite the prior paragraph, I'll resist the obvious, "see how socially insightful and cutting I can be" comparison. It's a bit heartbreaking, really, entries like "Jason tries hard at school, but he faces special challenges".

Sometimes I want to adopt simply everyone, or do some other broad-minded and truly helpful thing. But I don't. It's not important to have the flights of fancy and to wish the "wish I could". It's only important what I do. I think of the problems that consume me, day to day, and then I think of the challenges kids and animals face, and I feel darned ungrateful and self-absorbed.

whistle while you work

The cold has nearly passed. I found myself whistling in the shower the other day, for want of the ability to sing. I do not whistle that well, but I was pleased to hear that I do not whistle that badly. I imagine lately singing mariachi in English. I imagine recording songs on my eight dollar cassette player from Big Lots. I would not record myself whistling, but I do whistle a mean "Free Bird". I can also do a quite creditable whistled "School's Out", but "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" quite eludes me as a whistler.

I remember when I used to think that "Whistler's Mother" was the parent of a man who whistled. I like the old Broadway song about whistling a happy tune, and "when I fool, the people I fear, I fool myself as well".

I'm a bit intrigued tonight by press reports being quoted on LJ that the Texas comptroller has denied Unitarian Universalists and Ethical Culture folks the status of a "religion". This may inspire me to letter writing, and, indeed, to actual consternation. The theory is that creedless faiths must not be faiths at all. How faithless politicians can be!

Maybe I'll whistle "This Land is Your Land". I do get bored of religious intolerance, as well as intolerance by religionists. For that matter, I get bored by anti-religious intolerance as well. I am intolerant of all that intolerance, as the cliche goes. Already, the Methodists to whom I've returned have dismayed me by appeasing their right wing by moving a step backward on the tolerance of sexual orientation issues. Now, the local state government wants to apply content tests to religious beliefs. It's enough to make me want to be a bit more activist than I am. But first I must seek out the first hand facts. That's a chore for the weekend, perhaps. I'll whistle while I work out the answers.

Quick edit: It turns out that the Comptroller has already lost the battle as to Ethical Culture. Carole Keeton Strayhorn, in her Official Capacity as Comptroller of Public Accounts v. Ethical Society of Austin, f/k/a Ethical Culture Fellowship of Austin, 110 S.W.3d 458 (Tex. App. Austin 2003, petition den.). I cannot believe that she fought this issue, but I am not surprised at all that she lost.

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