Today I’m going to be totally wrapped up in Hild. So the floor is yours. I’ll be reading on and off but not participating until evening. Talk about anything: life, chocolate, politics; gardens, turtles, cirrus clouds; your blog, your art, your pecadilloes; life, death, the changing of seasons. Have fun. Play nicely.
the floor is yours
Posted on by Nicola Griffith in Uncategorized
10 thoughts on “the floor is yours”
I have to go to school soon, so I won’t be available all day either but if may I would like to start a discussion. I thought I would go for something upbeat to counteract the craziness we live in. So here is my question. What is the kindest gesture another person has bestowed upon you? It can be a lover, friend, sibling, stranger, whomever.>>My story involves a co-worker. Many years ago, right out of college, I lived and worked in Boston. I had four roommates in a walk up apartment. One weekend, I went away and when I came back the apartment had been destroyed in a fire. Thankfully no one was hurt.>>I went in to work and resigned, I was going to go back to NY, I had nothing left, all my clothes and furniture were in the apartment. This lovely woman who worked in my department, heard what happened and came over and stuck $20 dollars in my pocket. Mary was in her sixties at the time and making a very meager salary as a clerk. God knows how many children and grandchildren she was supporting.>>I kept trying to give the money back but she insisted that I keep it, she said it was a little something to get me started. I was so touched by her generosity. I never saw her again and I have never forgotten her.
In the past couple of years I’ve had a few writers (and one in particular) really take me under their wings. They introduce me to important people, get me into the good parties at conferences, and provide general atta-girls when I need them. >>Every time I meet a brand new writer I try really hard to live up to their standards of encouragement and help.
On the subject of turtles, my wife is still buried under a mountain of guilt because she once stepped on one.>>I had to make up a happy turtle story about a small, thoughtful turtle with a limp who saved all the other turtles and became the turtle president, so that she’d know her turtle had not suffered from having a minor injury to one leg.>>The incident took place during a turtle drive, if you’re interested, and she has nightmares about it. Which is one reason I love her so much.
One of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me was at the first school in which I taught. Before my health insurance kicked in (I had to have worked x number of days for it to go into effect), I injured my back and was put on bed rest for a month. I was on unpaid leave that entire time. When I got back, my colleagues had pitched in to help me with the losses I’d had that month. >>I’m not a believer in any kind of sentient god, but I believe that we have the power to bring about good in our own and others’ lives. The more I maintain that life is good and things will be well, the more goodness seems to come into my life. No joke.>>But for a good joke, go < HREF="http://www.cafepress.com/dpc513.315256160#" REL="nofollow">here <> to see a great T-shirt response to the last debate.
Ok, here goes. When I was in first grade I wet my “pants”. (Hard to do back then since we girls could not wear pants to school!) The nicest thing anyone ever did for me was my teacher’s response: “You don’t ever have to ask permission to go to the bathroom.” Over the years I took that to mean that when you know what you need you simply go for it. >>These 40+ years later I can still vividly see her face and hear the sound of her voice. It took many, many years for me to have a teacher that had such an impact on me. She wasn’t in school the next year and when I asked my mother why I was told “she died”. The shock of it almost killed me too. She was probably my first true love.
Has anyone heard of this? – Sarah>>>ELECTION ALERT: Straight Party Voting Trap. You may have read about this; Here are the details and what to do about it: >>THE PROBLEM: “Straight party voting” on voting machines is revealing a bad pattern of miscounting and omitting your vote, especially if you are a Democrat. Most recently (Oct. 2008), a firm called Automated Election Services was found to have mis-coded the system in heavily Democratic Santa Fe County, New Mexico such that straight party voters would not have the presidential vote counted. >>STRAIGHT PARTY VOTING is allowed in 15 states. Basically, it means that you can take a shortcut to actually looking at who you are voting for and instead just select a party preference. Then the voting machine makes your candidate choices, supposedly for the party you requested. >>Additional details follow, but first: PROTECT THE COUNT:>>Short video launches Black Box Voting “Protect the Count” project – more to come: >Form a Poll Tape Posse – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3_xFb1sWKU >>HOW TO PROTECT THE COUNT against Straight Party Trap:>>1) NEVER CHOOSE THE STRAIGHT PARTY VOTE OPTION, because it alerts the computer as to your party preference and allows software code to trigger whatever function the programmer has designed. >2) SEND THIS INFORMATION OUT TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN, blog it, root n' toot it out there to get the word out. >3) ESPECIALLY GET THE WORD OUT TO PEOPLE IN THE FOLLOWING STATES, which have straight party voting options: >Alabama, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin >4) DEMAND COMPLETE AND CAREFUL TESTING OF THE STRAIGHT PARTY OPTION IN LOGIC & ACCURACY TESTS. >5) LOOK FOR UNDERVOTES (high profile races with lower-than-average number of votes cast) and flag them, post them, bring them to the attention of others for additional scrutiny. >>Details, links to documents, news stories, more specifics here: >http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/1954/78367.html>>Voting machine miscounts of straight party votes were proven by California researcher Judy Alter in the 2004 New Mexico presidential election; in Alabama Democrat straight party votes were caught going to a Republican, and Wisconsin a whole slew of straight party votes disappeared altogether. Both DRE and optical scan machines are vulnerable. Private contractors are involved; private firms like LHS Associates, Automated Election Services, Harp Enterprises, Casto & Harris and others will program almost all systems in the USA this November. ES&S scanners were involved in examples cited, but Diebold has also issued a cryptic Product Advisory Notice in 2006 about unexpected results from certain Straight Party option programming practices. (More: http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/1954/78367.html )>>PERSPECTIVE>>The big “Oops” needs a new frame of reference. For example: You are counting the cash for a fund raiser. Somehow, it's discovered that $500 didn't make it into the count and someone put it in their pocket. They say “Oops” and tell you it was a mistake. Really? Will you let them count the cash again? Probably not. Consequences! Where are they for Automated Election Services, ES&S, or Diebold? >>A LEHTOISM – From voting rights attorney Paul Lehto: “Being at the mercy of whoever's in power is not a definition of freedom, if I may seize on the power of understatement.” >>* * * * * >>BLACK BOX VOTING DOES NOT ACCEPT SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY. Only grass roots money. Now is a good time to consider keeping us in business: We need your donations. Travel, communications, records…these are expensive, unfortunately.>>Donate – http://www.blackboxvoting.org/donate.html >Black Box Voting >330 SW 43rd St Suite K >PMB 547 >Renton WA 98058> >>This message was sent by: Black Box Voting, Inc., 330 SW 43rd St Suite K – PMB 547, Renton, WA 98057>>Powered by iContact: http://freetrial.icontact.com
In the spring of 1987 my “known world” was coming undone. My husband announced that he was selling our wonderful home that was behind in property taxes (lesson learned for me on being too comfortable with trusting the status quo of marriage roles). >>The home sold quickly and the closing fell in my final exam week of my junior year at KU. I was told to take the money,if any,from the sale, take the children, and “go home to Texas.” Problem was there was no place to “go home” to.>>I did take the money and rolled it over into a “it’ll do” house which, through the kindness the president of our small bank,was financed based upon his belief that I would finish school. (Find such a bank these days) >>Problem was that there WAS no more money for school let alone to float my family boat for long. I had to go to work and, with child support, I managed to barely pay the bills but kept my children in their schools and social network avoiding additional disruption to their lives.>>I told my school advisor of my situation and that I could not return for my senior year. I received a call a few days later telling me that someone who wished not to be known paid my entire tuiton for my senior year and guaranteed the cost of all my books!>>That act of kindness made a life altering change for me and my children. It meant the difference from always living on the fringe and having the professional positon, and security it brings, that I have today. It still was a challenge and I worked PT in a Sears warehouse. I slept little for one whole year but we survived and were the better for it.>>Add to that, the attorney representing me in my divorce waived her attorney fees as a graduation present.>>I sold the nearly paid off home nine years later, made a nice sum on it, and then I moved back to Texas (to be near my youngest daughterand my family),built a new home with the profits from the sale, and started life over with a redefined and fully acknowledged ME!>>I will never know who paid for my last year at KU but I will always,always, thank God for the blessing of that person’s kindness.
Wow. Everyone has such moving stories. It reminds me of the movie <>Love Actually<>. We tend to focus on the bad news, but if we think about the nice moments and people in our lives… there are so many. Love, actually, is all around. >>I wouldn’t trade the year I was homeless for anything. It taught me how to receive and not be such a proud and stuck-up person. It showed me strangers could be kind and friends could be generous. >>During that year, I was only earning enough money to either pay for tuition or rent a room. So I decided to go to school and learn photography, which was pretty expensive back then. I met a group of pretty boys who offered to pay for my film and paper and chemicals if I took photos of them. So I specialized in portraits. Then one of the teachers found out about my situation and shared her own developing chemicals with me and didn’t charge me anything to access the lab and dark room. >>At night, I’d crash someone’s couch or spare bed or sleeping bag. I never spent more than two nights in a row at any given place. We have a saying in Mexico: <>el muerto y el arrimado a los tres días apesta<>, “the dead and the freeloader stink after three days.” My strategy worked out well. People didn’t get sick of me that way. >>One of the guys that let me sleep at his place every couple of weeks was so poor his home had to be shared between three families. His “bedroom” was a shoe closet big enough to fit a sleeping bag. And he still made room for me. We never had sex, in case you’re wondering whether that was the reason for his kindness. >>There was the cab driver who noticed I walked around his station past midnight, trying to stay warm and not fall asleep when I hadn’t found a place to spend the night. He often drove people to and from a nearby town. It was a long drive, usually four hours there and four hours back. So he said I could crash his cab. I slept on the back-seat when there were no passengers, and napped on the front seat or in the trunk when we picked up passengers. >>There are just too many people, strangers and friends, who opened their homes to me during that year when I couldn’t get a decent income together. They let me shower and fed me breakfast, so I never looked dirty or malnourished. I never begged for change. I wasn’t forced to drop out of school. And I am not afraid to lose everything, because I know there will always be a place where I can spend a couple of nights. >>I understand Andrea Gibson when she says, “The hardest thing about having nothing is having nothing to give.” I like giving presents to people because I’ve received so many.
rory, thank you for kicking off a stream of testimonials to the goodness of individuals. So lovely to read after all the doom and gloom of the last couple of weeks.>>I’m touched that so many of you took the time to tell your stories. Thank you.>>I’m struck by the fact that so very many individuals (and some small groups) will do such very kind things for others. I wonder why large groups rarely place as nicely…>>I’ve been getting up to speed on a bewildering variety of research subjects for the next phase of Hild. I’ll post some audio tomorrow and hopefully by next week will be back to a regular schedule. Meanwhile, tonight I’ll raise a glass to you all.
These stories are beautiful. Thank you all for sharing them.
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