Monday, March 02, 2009

Harmattan Winds

This post brought to you by Soccer Mom in Denial - posting every Monday on a different musical memory.


I woke up yesterday morning in Abuja and looked out my window to see...nothing. Well, more like a fog. or was it smog? A haze.

I went outside and rather than the usual toxic pain that smog causes I felt nothing. Still able to breathe, albeit a little more difficult.

The Harmattan winds come off the Sahara and blanket West Africa (and parts as far away as North America) with a sandy haze. This haze is so thin you almost don't realize what's happening until you notice that your white car is rust-colored, your books all have a gritty texture, and your computer is suddenly clogged.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Wire

This post brought to you by Soccer Mom in Denial - posting every Monday on a different musical memory.


I love this show - before you say anything I haven't seen Seasons 4 & 5 yet. So far 1-3 have been amazing.

Aside from the characters and story lines, I particularly like the theme song. There are the rare occasions when you like the TV theme song - or it triggers such an instant connection to the show that you can hardly distinguish whether you like the show or the song more. And sometimes, there are no words just a catchy tune.

Each season has the same song but sung differently by different artists - and all amazing artists. From Wikipedia:
The opening theme is "Way Down in the Hole", a gospel- and blues-inspired song originally written by Tom Waits for his 1987 album Franks Wild Years. Each season uses a different recording of it against a different opening sequence, with the theme being performed, in order, by The Blind Boys of Alabama, Waits himself, The Neville Brothers, "DoMaJe" and Steve Earle. Season four's version of "Way Down in the Hole" was arranged and recorded specifically for the show, and is performed by five Baltimore teenagers: Ivan Ashford, Markel Steele, Cameron Brown, Tariq Al-Sabir, and Avery Bargasse. Earle, who performed the fifth season's version, is also a member of the cast, playing the recovering drug addict Walon.

How cool is that?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's an honor just to have been nominated...

I found out today that I got nominated for an award at work.

It's for mentoring -

This award is intended to inspire a spirit of mentorship in the Bureau for XXXXX XXXXX, and to encourage XXXX staff to prioritize mentorship in their everyday work environment. Instituted in 2005, the award recognizes one seasoned professional who provides guidance, advice, and the voice of experience to a protégé(s), by sharing his/her experience of working effectively at XXXXX or in his/her technical field.

I'm one of 6 nominees among a lot of eligible people - maybe 200? And the collection of fellow nominees is really quite a lovely group. I was so excited. Award ceremony is next week - alas, I'll be in Ghana.

Now if they only had awards for shoes...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Don't Divorce Us

This post brought to you by Soccer Mom in Denial - posting every Monday on a different musical memory.


Lately I seem to be finding lots of great songs and videos put together to support great causes - reproductive rights, gay rights. I know the 60's were really the peak period for this sort of thing - Buffalo Springfield, Bob Dylan, et al - but things aren't all too bad in 2009.

Hours of music that don't necessarily rile you up and get you angry (ready to depose The Man) but also music that is somehow soothing and reflective. All good stuff.

The latest in my collection: okay, so I stole it from someone else's Facebook posting. Doesn't mean the song isn't lovely and worth listening to.

Amazing how much wonderful cause-related music there is out there!

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Monday, January 26, 2009

We Are Friends

This post brought to you by Soccer Mom in Denial - posting every Monday on a different musical memory.


It's a New Day! And how do I know?

Because on January 23rd President Obama (still get giddy when I say that) lifted the Global Gag Rule, aka the Mexico City Policy.

What is the Global Gag Rule? Here's the Wikipedia version.

Bottom line - with the swipe of a pen, the United States now supports a woman's right to choose, no matter where she lives on the planet. (for the most part, still have to work on the Hyde Amendment and individual US state issues...but still!).

Groups that perform abortions - NOT with taxpayer dollars - and that advocate for abortion rights - again, NOT with taxpayer dollars - were prohibited from receiving ANY funding from the US government.

While in the wilderness for 8 years, 2 American women formed an organization to replace the $34 million that the US government withheld from UNFPA - based on incorrect information that even the Secretary of State, Colin Powell, said was incorrect.

Oh, to see the light of day again...