Oh, if I could just become forgetful
When night seems endless
Elvis Costello, This House is Empty Now
For some reason I haven’t been sleeping well, either having difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep. When sleeplessness possesses me I am stuck with The Life Review: thoughts of things I’ve done poorly, or stupidly, or selfishly, or meanfully, or spitefully begin their patrol – which, as anyone knows who suffers from similar memories, doesn’t help the sleep process.
This year spring vacation just happens to coincide with Santa Semana (Holy Week), so the schoolyard has been quiet, making the courtship of the woodpeckers all the more prominent as they hopped from tree to tree (jacaranda to mandarin), loudly proclaiming their love for one another as jacaranda blossoms fell about them. Or were they debating where they would set up camp this year? They’ve returned each spring that I’ve lived here. They were just two of the many birds returning to the trees in the school yard as well as the jacaranda and palm as Canadians and Americans head north.
One highlight of the week was playing Trivial Pursuit with some friends over a potluck lunch. Another was knowing two of the possible meanings of “Good Friday”: some friends were perplexed as to why the day that Christ was crucified should be known as “Good”; only English refers to the day as “Good.” In German the day is known as Sorrowful or Suffering Friday. The Romance languages generally call it Holy Friday. In French it is Vendredi saint, in Spanish Viernes Santo, in Italian Venerdi santo, in Portugues Sexta-feira Santa, and in Romanian Vinerea Mare. The closest any language comes to the English is Dutch with Goede Vrijdag. There is no certainty to the assignation of the English term to the day, but a common exchange in English over time was “good” for “God”. The other reason often given is that Christ’s death offered humans the possibility of new life to believers. After blabbing all this I came home and verified my statements on catholicism.about.com (which based its finding on the Baltimore Catechism).
Last week I happened to see an episode of the TV show Glee … During its six seasons I’ve only seen parts of perhaps three or four episodes. I wasn’t aware that it could be found on any of the television channels here and I understand its run ended a few weeks ago. Yet, somehow, there it was: the episode where Brittany and Santana confront Santana’s abuela [grandmother] about their relationship and the show featured all Bacharach-David songs, so I was hooked, whether I wanted to be or not.
Late last week Indiana passed a bill that enables businesses, people and organizations to deny service to customers based on the religious beliefs of the business owners, organizational philosophy, or individual beliefs. I don’t know the details of the bill, so I wonder whether an ill white male Caucasian can be denied treatment by a female Muslim M.D.?
By the end of the this week Indiana had revised the law so that a business could not deny service to someone on the basis of categories such as sexual orientation or gender identity.
It just seemed natural to choose today’s music from that Glee show as so many of Hal David’s lyrics described the way we treat or mistreat one another. A second video comes from the “Wedding” episode in which four of the show’s characters are married in the Indiana barn where one of the characters had been born … an ironic twist of story-telling given the current political situation. Also, the couples are married in Indiana because the minister has been granted authority to do so by the State of Indiana and the internet. The four moms singing the Pointer Sisters’ classic are portrayed by Gloria Estefan, Gina Gershon, Jennifer Coolidge (who plays the character Sophie Kachinsky on 2 Broke Girls), and Romy Rosemount. The third Glee video is another Bacharach-David song.
Accipitridae you say?
The meanness of politicians towards school children knows no bounds as the New Hampshire House of Representatives proved recently. Their behavior was so shameful that the governor of the state, Maggie Hassan, visited the fourth graders’ in their classroom and issued an apology on behalf of the state.
What are Accipitridae? They are one family of birds of prey: included in the family are hawks and eagles, including the Bald Eagle (America’s national bird). Birds of prey share tendencies that House member Warren Groen deplored so much that he thought they better suited Planned Parenthood.