Friday, April 28, 2006

Political Compass

I've seen this one around before, but it's come to my attention again today. And seeing as it's the end of the week, and I have a lot of work to do but I just don't feel like doing it for long without taking a break, I decided to take the test.
The test aims to find your political compass, and show in which quadrant of the economic and social scale you are situated.
So what were my results? Not surprisingly, I'm not in any quadrant. I'm smack in the middle of the economic left-right line, and leaning toward the libertarian on the social scale.
I had always considered myself left-leaning when it comes to social matters. In the last few years my political views have seen me drift from left to centre-right without actually changing much themselves.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Positive thinking follow up

This article on the growing prevalence among psychologists to focus more on happiness and wellbeing reminded me of my own efforts to change my attitude to a more positive one.
I just wanted to let you know that yes, I'm still listing 3 good things that I did during the day, every night before I go to sleep.
It is indeed addictive. It totally changes my thoughts and my mindset as I get ready to sleep, and it forces me to think about all the good things that happen to me and that I do. I'm often surprised at how much good there is, although I usually have to think a bit to remember what happened even on the same day.
It's so easy to overlook the good and focus on the stressful and bad. I'm not ignoring the stressful, just balancing it out a bit.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Weird beard

The big story in Israel now is what to do with 3 MKs who met with leaders of Hamas.
Interesting enough, but all I can think about is, dude - WTF is up with that beard??

I mean, is it natural? Or do you colour it? Is it some new fashion among metrosexual Palestinians or something?

Friday, April 14, 2006

OK, so I was being a lemon

...but I got over it.
Passover was briefly cancelled due to extreme stress and hurt feelings. But luckily things did not escalate into anything too nasty.
We ended up having a lovely Sedder with friends, at our place, with lots of food (all vegetarian! except for the gefilte fish) and even a Ma Nishtana sung by the kids.
I love Pessach, and I'm so happy I didn't end up missing out this year.
Chag Sameach.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Wombat's Rule of Working Mothers

There are three things in life: career, home/family, and sanity.
Choose two.

Actually, it's not quite like that. You can have varying degrees of each.
For instance, in my case, my current status-quo in life has the following:

Work: 75%.
Why? Because by the time I drop off Junior at day care, and hubby at work, and find a parking space, and get to my office, I have about 6 hours left to work before I have to leave to pick up Junior. (This includes lunch.) So, if I work 6 hours out of the 8 I'm supposed to, that comes out to 75%. At most.

Home/family: 60%
Why? Well, Junior is at day care five days a week, 9-5. I pay a lot of money for cleaners to clean my home. I hardly do any yard work so it looks like a jungle. I do grocery shopping, and basic cooking and cleaning, and lots of laundry. So let's call it 60%.

This leaves me with:
Sanity: 65%
(200 - (75+60))
which is about right, and a level I'm willing to cope with.

This Passover I offered to host the Sedder, and the balance was tipped quite heavily towards the home/family side of the triangle, which would have caused a small dent in my work, and a huge dent in my sanity.
So I decided, bugger it all, I want my sanity, and so declared, one day in advance, that Passover has officially been canceled this year.

I'd write more but I have to go pick up Junior.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Gold fisks Fisk

Here's an interesting review of two recently published books: The Great Ear for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East by none other than Robert Fisk, and The Long War For Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East by Barry Rubin.
The reviewer, Alan Gold, proceeds to fisk Fisk:
...he cannot see beyond his prejudices. To compound matters, his book contains serious errors of fact. To describe King Faisal of Syria (later he was made king of Iraq) and his brother King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan as members of a Gulf tribe denies them their birth as Hashemites in the Kingdom of the Hejaz, which is the other side of the peninsula; the Iraqi monarchy wasn't ousted in 1962 but four years earlier; and the UN Security Council passed Resolution 242 in 1967, just after the Six-Day War, not in 1968 ... and so on.

Minor points, perhaps, but it shows that Fisk's ungovernable rage gets in the way of his need to check facts.


...instead of looking ahead, Fisk dwells alongside his Arab victims on the past.


Rubin, on the other hand, believes that every Arab country as well as Iran has been led by dictators who have failed to deliver any promise or substantive benefit to their people. They have succeeded by repression, corruption, the use of anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric and playing ethnic politics.

Radical Islamists who share this world view are today challenging these dictators and want to substitute Islamism for Arab nationalism. But, according to Rubin, a small band of liberals in these despotic societies has begun to emerge as a weak yet important alternative.


Rubin believes these liberal voices, rather than an imposed democracy of the West with its sometimes anti-democratic outcomes, will provide a long-term solution to the dangers of Islamism. He is confident Arabia will be democratic within the next 50 years, but not within the next 10.


Wow, it's been a while since I had time to write. I've been quite busy.
Last week was the official graduation ceremony where I got my PhD diploma. It was nice, the ceremony was not too long, and it was nice to see everyone celebrating with excited friends and proud parents. I was one of only four PhD graduates, and got to wear the funny hat and everything.
I've been busy at work too, but in a good way: the kind of busy that makes you look at your watch for the first time and gasp because it's already past 16:00 and you have to leave but have so much more to do.
This weekend I was wondering, as always, what to do in those precious 2 hours when junior has his nap. Should I cook? Clean? Paint? (I recently took a short course in abstract painting.) Yesterday I took the easy way out and took a nap myself. Today I decided to use the time to make some jewelry (I also just finished another course at the evening college: beading and silver wire work), and I even have some time to blog!