Friday, April 21, 2006

Catching up, Plus my favorite things

I’ve had about enough of lectures and decided to skip out on the late afternoon one and find a coffee shop and catch up on mail and blogging. Sometimes my attempts at humor get me in trouble. A month or so ago, I noted I only do those “meme” things for Southern women (at the time I made an exception for one “south of New York.” Seeing this, Daydream, who is both from the American South and now lives about as far south as one can without being a penguin (she’s on the down side of Down Under), made note of this and has now asked for my list of “10 favorite things.” I sort of feel like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music… And since my daughter wants to grow up to be Julie Andrews, maybe one day she’ll put my “favorite things” to music. To those of you who are age-challenged, Julie Andrews sang about her favorite things in the movie.

But before I get to my ten things, I should note what my daughter said yesterday as I was dropping her off at school. I had NPR on the radio and they were discussing the Zacarias Moussaoui trial. When they mentioned execution, my daughter asked if that meant “off with his head,” obviously recalling the Red Queen in “Through the Looking Glass.” I explained that some countries do behead people, but that we’re more civilized and give them a drug to stop their heart. My daughter quickly shouted with all the indignation an eight-year-old can muster, which is quite a bit, “that’s just wrong.” I have never discussed with her my feelings on capital punishment (I’m against it), but I tried to play it straight. “He killed a lot of people,” I blurted out. But then found myself mumbling about how he himself didn’t really kill a lot of people, but how he could have saved a lot of people if he told what he knew. Of course, that’s assuming that whoever he told this told passed it on to another bureaucrat who passed it on to another bureaucrat until someone did something about it. “That’s just wrong,” she said. “If they’re that bad, they can just put them in jail for the rest of their life.” “I agree with you,” I said, as I helped her out of the truck and told her to run. I didn’t want her to be late for the second grade because she was discussing politics. As for Moussaoui, why do we want to make a martyr out of him, why don’t we just lock him up and throw away the key and forget about him?

In case my daughter forgoes a career as a human rights supporter or a lawyer for a singer, she can sing about these my favorite things…

1. Lazy afternoon naps in a hammock
2. The moon rising full over the sea, its rays glistering across the water
3. The crescent moon hanging low in the desert sky, just above the outline of distant mountains
4. The smell of sage in the desert after a surprise summer rain
5. The sharing of a meal with friends
6. The exhilaration of arriving at a summit
7. The savoring of a good book and good whiskey by a fireplace
8. The shears blowing in the wind announcing an approaching storm
9. Walking barefoot on the beach, hand in hand, at sunset
10. Big, Charlie Brown, snowflakes

One thing that didn’t make my list is a portrait of sage created by Murf. I think Murf enjoys mocking (originally I used "annoy') her “blog friends,” by creating a "South Park" picture of them. Sorry Murf, I don’t wear neckerchiefs, and although I know you think I’m good, I don’t have a halo or wings. Give them to Ed!

If I don't get around to reading and commenting today, I’ll try to get back to catch up on reading your all blogs on Sunday.


  1. Your South Park character is awesome (& hysterical)....I forgot what I was going to say about the list when I saw that :)
    Seriously, that's an awesome list-very thoughtful.
    Of course you know I disagree about the death penalty (particularly if you're discussing Moussaoui)....I don't know how thoroughly you've been keeping up with the trial but I've seen enough already (like him calling the victims' families *disgusting* or saying he wants to kill his Jewish lawyer). The man makes me want to vomit & I don't even think they should've had a trial.
    See, I'm really, really a nice person lol :)

  2. Thanks for sharing the conversation that you had with your daughter regarding Moussaoui and the death penalty. I bet she caught her belief about the death penalty through the way you live.

    And all the things on your top ten list sound wonderful. I think I could enjoy each one of them.

  3. Although you and I may have differing political views (well at least in regards to the death penalty we do) I admire the way you approached this conversation with your daughter. It's rare to see someone who gives a child the chance to think for themselves and form ideas, and yet it is so very important. You gave her the chance to form her own thoughts without influencing them. You supported her and then spoke honestly. Kudos to you. Something tells me this isn't out of character for you as a parent. Keep up the good work.

    Michele sent me over to wish you well.

  4. I love how you're deftly introducing your daughter to the cold, sometimes illogical realities of the world. You do it so well.

  5. One thing about being a kid is that things do seem black and white. It *is* wrong to kill - even state sponsored killing. Kids understand this.

    I can't say that Moussaoui could have even saved lives. At this point, we don't know what is true about him. He's all over the board. I think he's trying to make himself a martyr - but is looking rather insane at doing it.

    But then, like your daughter, I think it's "just wrong" to put someone to death (and I don't think that shooting someone up with drugs is any more civilized than chopping off their heads).

    But then, I know I'm not in the majority. ;-)

  6. *standing to applaude* your daughter, and you as well. It IS wrong.

  7. I was going to make some clever comment about The Sound of Music, but your daughter stopped me in my tracks.

    I don't believe in the death penalty for many reasons, and I also believe that sentencing a person to life in jail, no chance of parole, without priveleges is in many ways a far harsher sentence, and one somebody like he is deserving of.

  8. I wasn't trying to 'annoy' anyone. I thought you had a sense of humor but obviously I was mistaken. Next time, if you have a problem with something that I did which you think I did mean-spiritedly, be adult enough to mention it to me directly and not via this route.

  9. By the way, thanks for enjoying the rather lifelike yet tongue in cheek portrait of Sage, Daydreamer of Oz. If possible, share some of that sense of humor with the stick in the mud.

  10. love your list and good points too...although I do support the death penalty in some instances. However, I guess if I look at those instances close enough I would say the death penalty was too good for them. Perceptive of your daughter though. It really is amazing how mature children can be sometimes.

  11. I knew from past post that the death penalty is a dividing topic, but thanks for all who saw the wisdom in my daughter's observations about it.

    Murf, I was joking. If I was as "upset" as you seem to think I was with the photo, I surely wouldn't have posted it here.

  12. Seems I've missed the comment party. Anyway, great post as always Sage man. I just wanted to drop a link to Slate's Dahlia Lithwick who wrote a great piece on the Moussaoui trial. The piece itself hyperlinks to her past columns on the trial as well as other related links. For anyone that is interested ... it's a great read.

    Lithwick piece in Slate

  13. Hello, here from Michele's tonight. I am trying to think back abot how much I could have known in the 2nd grade to have converstion about death penalty with my dad. I am drawing a blank...probably what my mind was like back then too.
    Great 10 things whiskers on kittens or cream colored ponies :)

  14. Hey Sage,
    Clearly I'm in the minority here & I just wanted to reiterate that I deeply respect you despite the topics we disagree on. Shortly after finding your blog you changed my view on prostitution so I see it as enriching (rather than antagonizing) to discuss & disagree at times.
    Can I have one? :)
    P.S. I don't wear neckerchiefs either roflmao

  15. Kontan, Would you support death in Moussaoui's case? He seems to want to be a martyr--if he was locked up for life, he'd be soon forgotten. If he's executed, he'll become a rallying cry for Islamic radicals. Btw, I need to update your link as you've moved!

    V (formerly tg8, another link I need to update), the Slate article was very good! Thanks for the recommendation.

    Begered, no ponies (you have to feed 'em, even the cream colored ones). Thanks for stopping by with your two spaniels (is that what they are?)

    Daydreamer, I hope Murf does a "photo" for you. I'm afraid she might turn my neckerchief into a noose. And I should have said (I was very tired last night), that I appreaciate all who value my daughter's opinion, whether or not you agree with it. I was floored when she made the comments.

  16. Here from Michele.
    Love those Charlie Brown snowflakes although here at the beach this year they were essentially figments of the imagination. Your list is soothing on a cloudy wet morning.

  17. Well "friend", thanks for informing everyone that I am an annoyance.

  18. I'm sorry Murf. I meant my comments as a joke and didn't intent for them to be offensive.

  19. wow, I had a hard time just getting past #1 since it sounded so great!! Most of those would be on my list, too. (except I'm too whimpy for whiskey, so I might have to change that to a girlie drink.. haha) Michele sent me

  20. I think I avoided rush hour on your blog with my late comment. We share the same view on the death penalty issue. There is so much opportunity in chain gangs and such it seems a shame to take the easy way out and give them an injection. Plus there has been too many people cleared from death row by DNA for my comfort.