So somebody missed me (hi, Protege!). If it weren't for Wordless Wednesdays, they wouldn't know I was still alive. Well, I am, and here's a run-down of what's been grabbing my attention this month:
Autumn got busy, as it usually does. I've been trying to focus on my astrology in order to forecast the weather and am rather behind on that. But maybe I'll catch up today because I'm home from work. Which brings me to the other distraction of the month:
I bought a book about adult children of abusive parents, trying to sort some things out from childhood because my shoulder problem (it is doing better, thanks) is related to my stomach problems (I've had IBS since I was a kid), and stomach problems have their root in emotional upsets.
Whenever I do a number on my stomach, it usually takes a week for it right itself again. After a party last Friday, I've been queasy ever since Saturday (which I spent throwing up - not good), and finally gave up and stayed home from work yesterday and today, nursing myself mainly with liquids, like a big pot of peppermint tea or ginger and lemon tea. Delicious!
I feel well enough to sit at the computer, and also to roast and soak some barley. I'll be eating that along with the rice this weekend, to give my stomach enough of a break. The really dumb thing about all this is that after a 5-month renovation, our employee cafeteria is now a restaurant with some of the best food ever! But it isn't necessarily IBS friendly - not all of it. I hope they still have bread and jam. Haven't checked since I was busy diving into exotic salads, rillettes of cod, and what have you.
Nobel Not-Dubya Prize
In other news this month, Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Since the Nobel Peace Prize committee sits in Oslo and is made up of five Norwegians, our newspapers have had some stories about this award. For the first time in history, committee members have gone to the media and discussed how the nomination took place. Only 2 of the 5 wanted Obama, but the other three have later admitted to letting themselves be persuaded. Of the 2 who wanted him, one is a former prime minister, known for his verbal gaffs, and now the source of the new verb "thorbjorning".
I still deeply disagree with awarding Obama with the peace prize at this time. Nothing I have read as arguments for his selection have made me change my mind. It is too soon. I'm also a bit angry with the committee. Are they not aware of the challenges Obama faces at home? Do they not know that the US is dealing with increasing unemployment, that although Norway managed to ride the wave of financial crisis without falling off, the US hasn't? The committee has been amazingly inconsiderate and short-sighted, in my opinion: If Obama doesn't fix the problems at home, it won't matter what he does abroad because he'll be another Jimmy Carter: A president only the foreigners liked. And Carter didn't get reelected.
There is one nice thing about the Nobel Peace Prize: It made me aware of some other fascinating candidates, like Greg Mortenson and his efforts to build schools for girls in Afghanistan. Studies show that countries where one ensures that women and girls get an education and are allowed to work outside the home, both peace and prosperity come to the country. And the birthrate goes down.
Speaking of Republicans, I'm enjoying "Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor". I got the audiobook version and at first was sorry I didn't get the abridged version. But now that I'm into the part about speechwriter Matt Latimer's White House years, a question I have had for years has finally been answered:
I have always been baffled at how George W. Bush could stay in office and not get any of the crap he and his mates were responsible for attached to him. (Talk about being a teflon president!) But as Latimer describes Bush's mood swings, Karl Rove's mania, and the way the White House speech writers organize (and I use that term very loosely) their work, I see why there were such conflicting pictures of Bush. To put it simply: He gave lousy speeches because that's what people around him wanted him to do. I have no idea if Bush was frustrated with that, but his speech writers certainly were. At any rate, it is clear to me now that what the man said didn't reflect the man. I still have several chapters to go, so maybe I'll learn more secrets.
Onwards to swine flu - H1N1: Norway is struggling to get enough people vaccinated in order to protect the population at large. If enough people are immune, the flu won't spread. After thinking about it, and hearing that some healthy people are now getting seriously ill from this flu strain, I have decided to get vaccinated. Just waiting for the city to tell me when. I already know where; I can walk to it: It's the abandoned nursing home my grandma stayed in.
A Norwegian Facebook group has been started for people who don't want the vaccine because it is just Big Pharma trying to sell us crap. My aforementioned grandma survived the swine flu outbreak in 1918. She, her sister and her father were all out sick for two weeks, while my great-grandmother stayed well through the whole epidemic. Grandma told me about all the empty seats in the classroom when she returned to school.
There were two outbreaks in 1918 and the second one, which started in August, was the deadliest because the virus had mutated. That, coupled with people's behavior because there was a world war going on, spread the deadly strain far faster than it would have gone in peace time. And now that reports are coming in here in Norway about people not of the usual risk group getting seriously ill and we're having instances now where the flu in a human can infect pigs, I've decided I'm not waiting for any mutation. I want to help stop this now.
Your moment of zen
OK, I stole that title is from Jon Stewart's daily show. :-) But via another source of some of my news from America, comes this wonderful gem from the Muppet Show. Choose High Quality for good listening Enjoy!