3 min read

Review of Claudia's Week - October's in full force! (2013)

October 7 - October 13, 2013

Everyone I know seems upset about the government shut down. As the days drag into weeks, we learn that the entire thing was orchestrated by the Koch Brothers. Here's the five creepiest things about that. Frankly, it's just time to get the money out of Washington. Period. Rootstrikers is the best collection of thoughts about this situation. I personally support the United:Republic initiative as a cosponsor, but honestly, they're all fabulous.

I started taking French classes this week at the Alliance Francaise. I took French in Junior High and High School. Overall, my French is okay. When I'm in France or around French speaking people, I do pretty well - not great, but pretty well. This class is designed to remind you of your French. It's 6 hours a week split into two nights. My teacher is really great. The nicest thing is that he's practical and wants to teach us how to engage and speak. So far it's been really great. While I can continue in this class until the end of the year, I will most likely stop at the end of this month. Next month is high-Alex the Fey months! No time for anything else!

Here's the highlights of this last week:

Worth watching:

I liked this video. Here a biological mother meets the child she put up for adoption when she was 18 via Facebook. In a time when our government can't resolve things, it's heartening to me to see real people resolve really, really hard things.

In this video, we see the struggle our veterans have to get the help they need. The New York Times does a great job with these videos. You get a chance to see the whole of the problem - both from the soldiers perspective and a bit from the administration. Good people want to help - and the veterans need help. Somewhere, things go astray.

Worth listening to:

I had never heard of the Avett brothers before NPR's first listen highlighted their album, Magpie and the Dandelion. I liked the clean sound to the music - no music boxes, no vocal assistances, just music. Take a listen and let me know what you think.   http://www.npr.org/2013/10/03/228941827/first-listen-the-avett-brothers-magpie-and-the-dandelion

Seth Godin posted his list of suggested audio books this week. Many of them are out of print or can only be found via used bookstores. I found a few of them at the Denver Public Library. I'm currently enjoying Linchpin, which I think is an invaluable resource for explaining what the heck is going on in the workplace right now.

What I'm reading:

The Oxford Book of Spy Stories:

"Amongst the older professions, spying cannot be younger than prostitution, and when Moses--clearly no fool in these matters--sent men into the land of Canaan "to spy on the land" he was only doing what prudent military commanders and political leaders have done throughout history."

I like this book. The fabulous Introduction discusses the history of spycraft, including the rise of Spy Fiction. Since the Alex the Fey thrillers are about spycraft, it's a fabulous read for me.

Life's Operating Manual:

This book revolves around the premise "What's wrong with the world today?" and "What can we do about it?"

While I read the entire book, I don't agree with the premise. I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with the world, and I'm not sure there's anything we can do.

In fact, I believe things are so much better than they've ever been. Yes, there are problems, but for the first time in the history of the world we know about things when they happen. (For example, would we have know the details of the raid on Bin Laden's compound if a plunky Pakistani Tweeter hadn't tweeted the entire thing while it was happening?) There's also all kinds of human justice going on that was unheard of even just twenty years ago. Amazing.

In the end, I found the book to skim the surface of issues while hyper-inflating the importance of this time and this place. I think we can make change, but I don't think the world is broken. We're growing. It's not pretty, but what growth is?

Worth eating:

These peach pancakes are amazing. If you haven't seen ThugKitchen.com, check it out.