Sunday, December 16, 2007

Friends' Blogs Appreciation Day

Life's been more than a little squeezed lately and and it's been hard to keep up the daily posts, much less reading the blogs of friends. I feel like a bad letter writer. Writing about other blogs seems like a good way to atone on both counts.

I begin, of course, with Dr Wes Browning. His brilliant blog is the only one I've ever come close to reading regularly. Like me, he considers it an offense against the OCD gods to miss a day, and backposts to cover occasional lapses. He's working on a memoir of his hellish genius childhood, and these memories from second grade are touching, wonderful, and very Wes. Wes is also a YouTube connoisseur with far more time on his hands than I. For example, Fanny Brice in 1938, singing Quainty, Dainty Me. Favorite line: "My dancing, it is classical, not vulgar and jackassical."

My friend Mary hardly ever writes, but when she does it's always worth reading. Her recent account of being overwhelmed by feelings of love in an encounter with Tibetan high lama Dungse Rigdzin Dorje Rinpoche uncomfortably reminded me of the time I went to Burien for a hug from Amma. The only thing I felt was ridiculous, but at least I got an SPJ award for humor writing out of the deal.

Phil Dawdy, who stepped in as editor at Real Change last summer when our own Adam Hyla was all googley-eyed at home over his new baby, has a niche blog about mental illness and prescription drugs. He recently posted about the defacto status of homeless shelters as the antithesis of mental health treatment centers, and how the system is buckling under the strain.
For example, in Seattle we have a fairly decent network of homeless shelters. In recent weeks as the weather has turned colder, they've been turning away dozens of people each night. One shelter tells me that they've recently had families showing up looking for a place for the night (generally, families get absorbed by the system well before things reach the emergency shelter stage). It's pretty harsh out there. Two nights ago, a man in his 50s or 60s froze to death in a park a stone's throw from the Seattle Art Museum's schmancy sculpture garden and a block or so from the pricey condos of flashy Belltown.

S.P. Miskowski's Hick With A Master's Degree is my other spiritual home in the blogosphere. Narcissist that I am, I love her because she's like me, but with more education. She recently wrote a defense of hicks who blog that was quite nice, but her Whitey Christmas of last November was truly inspired.

Finally, Up Your Staircase is by another friend whose descent from the middle-class was hastened by having MS in a nation with a shit health care system that has no problem with the concept of disposable people. The thing about the work I do is that there are always plenty of people to love. Dozens of them. She calls her blog raw. I think it's brilliant.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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