succumbing to peer pressure

Friday, June 20, 2008

The End of an Era

I did not go to Bonnaroo this year. It was a tough call, one my friend and I left until the last minute. I'm sure it was awesome, and I would have loved to see Eddie Vedder. But a trip to Bonnaroo runs around $400-$500 (once you buy tickets, gas, food, camping supplies, etc.), and even with the crappy exchange rate, that still translates to at least a few pints (three weeks from today! eek!).

Once we made our finance-based decision, it turned out I had plenty of personal reasons why staying home last weekend was a good idea (recovering from moving the weekend before, attempting to catch up on sleep before waking up at dawn for gymnastics camp this week, etc.). And, it meant that I was around to go to my favorite bookstore and see this guy:

Which was pretty awesome. He's pretty much as he seems on tv - sweet and awkward and excited about food and cooking. Nothing particularly revelatory during the Q&A (other than an unofficial endorsement of a local eatery), but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless.


During today, our last day of gymnastics camp, one of my little girls (6 years old!) broke her arm! It wasn't particularly dramatic (thank goodness) and she and her mother handled it well, but still upsetting. Fortunately, the whole thing was handled way better than the last time one of my athletes got hurt. I also learned an important lesson - apparently (according to the non-medical professional who was helping me out today) children often pass typical triage tests - full range of motion, lack of bruising or swelling - and yet are still seriously injured. Anyone know if this is really true or just an anomaly with this kid? I know everyone is different (for example, I don't appear to run a fever, no matter how sick, because my baseline is a bit low), so maybe this kid just isn't a sweller. But if it's typical of younger athletes, and given that their own descriptions of injuries and pain are frequently unreliable, how do you treat them?


So thus endeth a very long week. I'm behind schedule on my course notes for the fall, but I'm past any ability to think clearly (and fortunately I'm a little overly ambitious with my To Do List, so typically if I fall a little short, I'm still actually right where I need to be). At the moment I think I could sleep for days. I'll settle for sleeping in tomorrow morning before catching Modest Mouse and REM (for free!) with Amnesty International.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Boring is good

Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." That's easy to forget on many days, especially in the world we've been living in for the past seven years. America is hardly a moral authority these days, endorsing torture extraordinary rendition harsh interrogation.

But when you compare the images from the High Museum's current exhibition "Road to Freedom" with the fact that the Democrats just chose their first black presidential nominee, and, as Ezra Klein says, "Not only might a black man be president, but at times, many forget to even be surprised by it," and I for one can't help but hope. To move from the horrors of gangs of white adolescents screaming at black adolescents, for daring to attend the same school, to the beautiful, happy, peaceful image of Obama in that previous link, in one generation. That's something. I'm not saying things are great now, or racism suddenly ceased to exist. I'm just saying that the arc of the moral universe does indeed bend toward justice. And it is so wonderful, and necessary, to be reminded of that. To be reminded that people may be imperfect, but they are also capable of change.

PK reminds me of that too, in his comment that the gay marriage pictured on his Mama's website might indeed have been a bit boring. To which she replies, "Someday hopefully it will be."

Progress is slow, agonizingly slow, and when you're in it, when you're pounding your head against that wall, it feels immovable. Thank goodness we occasionally get these beautiful reminders. Of course, we shouldn't rest. Because these reminders should not be so few and far between. I am far from suggesting that we should be over the moon simply because in 2008 we finally realized that a qualified black man was, first and foremost, a qualified person. And hopefully it won't take another 40 years to figure out that two men in love, or two women in love, are, first and foremost, two people in love. But I am saying that we should, from time to time, take a moment to appreciate just how far we've come. It makes the distance left to go seem that much more obtainable.