Friday, February 21, 2014

The Friday Four, Part 54


The other day Gene came upstairs to find me giggling and speaking inarticulately in an annoyingly high-pitched voice, ooooh-ing and aaaah-ing at the computer screen.  I had discovered the Animal Planet show Too Cute! 

Gene's exact words were, "Who are you?!"

I believe that I've mentioned my aversion to sentimentality and cutesy-ness before, but my cold heart was no match for those adorable little baby kittens.  The scene that finally did me in involved some 10-week-old Persians getting a bath. I was staying strong until little Gizmo got sopping wet and looked at me with those big reproachful eyes as she shivered on the towel...

Whoa, sorry.  Didn't see that coming.  I'm fine now. *Ahem.*

But really, who wouldn't melt over this:

Photo courtesy Ctwirler12 via flickr
Or this:

Photo courtesy Helena Jacoba via flickr
And their cute little tiny "mew"s are just too irresistible and the way they play and pounce and stumble around trying to learn how to walk...

*Ahem* It's all right.  I'm back now.  Let's move along.


This is a delightful little hide-away for your kids, especially if you've read the Narnia books with them. Kudos to the creative parents for putting this together!


Back in 2005, David Foster Wallace gave a commencement speech at Kenyon College called "This Is Water."  A friend posted this 9-minute video excerpt on facebook a little while ago and it really hit home for me.  The full 22-minute speech is on youtube, if you're interested.
Most days, if you're aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line. Maybe she's not usually like this. Maybe she's been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the motor vehicle department, who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a horrific, infuriating, red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but it's also not impossible. It just depends what you what to consider. 
If you're automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won't consider possibilities that aren't annoying and miserable. But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.
Not that that mystical stuff is necessarily true. The only thing that's capital-T True is that you get to decide how you're gonna try to see it.

I'm sure most of you have already seen this, but I had to link to Ellen Page's brave, beautiful, and heartfelt speech at the Human Rights Campaign's Time to Thrive Conference.  It's well worth eight minutes of your time.

One brief excerpt:
This world would be a whole lot better if we just made an effort to be less horrible to one another. If we took just five minutes to recognize each other’s beauty, instead of attacking each other for our differences. That’s not hard. It’s really an easier and better way to live. And ultimately, it saves lives. 
 Yep, yep, yep.

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