Absence makes the heart grow fonder…

I seriously doubt anyone will think that about my blog, but regardless I’m making an attempt to re-gain momentum and start writing again.  Ironically, I recently submitted a book review to a local paper and they denied my submission. Perhaps I’ve decided to come back to ‘My Pocket of Change’ so that I can be in control of my writing. That said, I’ve decided to post my book review.

Although I am a voracious reader, it is extremely rare for me to pick a book based on the title, however The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall struck a cord and I was captivated by the promise of a story rarely told.

I’m not entirely sure what my fascination is with polygamy, being a feminist and all, but I find it simultaneously intriguing and utterly revolting, and this story was something I couldn’t walk away from.

The story begins with our hero, Golden Richards, secretly building a whorehouse to make ends meet for his family. He has four wives and 28 children, 27 of which are living.  Golden’s tale takes us through his depressing childhood with a mother incapable of raising him due to her grief over the absence of her husband, a man known for unfulfilled promises.  We watch Golden grow and see his life as one shaped by choices made by those around him.

The Lonely Polygamist gives an intimate portrayal into the lives of each of Golden’s four wives.  The first wife tries desperately to hold onto some authority with her regimented and altogether controlling lifestyle. Naturally, the second wife is the opposite of the first, allowing her children to run rampant and the two constantly battle.  The third wife is next to negligible for most of the story, making the fourth wife a rare treat as we observe her gradually accept her new life and retire the expectation of finding solace from her past.

Udall takes us on a journey told through the perspective of our hero, his fourth wife and Rusty,  an incredibly lovable and altogether hilarious misfit son.  Rusty is the boy we can’t help but love with his wildly funny fantasies and wit.  We witness his metamorphosis from the family black sheep to the key that ultimately brings the family together.

Golden wrestles with what most people are too afraid to face; uncertainty, fear, pain and doubt.  His constant failure to live up to the expectations of his family and community while dealing with the loss of his beloved child strike a chord.  The three main characters follow parallel and infrequently intersecting paths as they deal with what life has provided them, both by choice and circumstance. Each perspective gives us a glimpse into loneliness and the power of love.

The story ultimately finds the family coming together like a natural phenomenon with each wife finding importance and establishing territory in their dwindling resources.  Through their tragic loss each wife naturally finds her role in bringing the back family together.  Udall successfully tells a story of a family that from the surface seems entirely foreign yet becomes relatable and loved through their struggles.

Egypt!

I have been following this like the rest of the world, and I am so happy!  I realize it doesn’t equate to a free Egypt but my generation needed to see this.  A peaceful revolution led by the people resulted in a corrupt government publicly  stepping down.  I need this.  I need to see that people CAN make a difference.  We have the power – we just need the courage to stand-up for our convictions.  We need to have convictions.

We had G.W. Bush for 8 years – 8 horrible years.  I know what it is like to hate my president and the leaders of my country.  I was not proud to be an American when they were in charge.  (Not that Obama is making leaps and bounds to make the changes he promised, but it’s better than before.) The Egyptians have been living under the rule of Mubarak for 30 years – 30 years! They are examples of how we can take democracy into our own hands and be the change.

Thank you for reminding my generation that we can be peaceful and change the world!

 

the vacation is over

I was in Thailand to take a break from my life here and found myself submerged in the same issues I face everyday.  I swam through plastic bags, walked between plastic containers on the beach and strolled above cigarette butts in town.  The planet is our home, our only home.  I cannot comprehend why people don’t think, don’t see and don’t care.

I wanted this blog to be a collection thoughts on environmental issues that could possibly lead to solutions – but I think the only thing I realized from my trip is that there isn’t A solution.  One person can’t make the difference, I can’t change the world.  HOWEVER – I think I can be part of the change.  I can help move toward positive solutions.

I promise not to neglect this blog again.  Si se puede, right?

Tell the FDA: Stop the mutant fish!

We have just a few days to keep the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) from approving engineered salmon as the first animal manufactured for human consumption.

Here’s where it gets really scary: the FDA doesn’t do its own testing of genetically engineered animals. It relies on information provided by the company that wants approval — just like they did in their oversight of the egg industry which produced the largest salmonella outbreak in U.S. history last month.

Use your voice!

Build the Mosque!

Just when I think the media cannot get more ignorant they pick-up the hot debate over a mosque near ground zero.  To be more correct I should call it by its true title – a peace center.  Building this peace center is a sign that we are moving forward, and all the hype around it is showing me that we haven’t gotten anywhere since 9/11.

I love America, I am a patriot.  And, as a patriot I am saying enough is enough.  We cannot be in an endless war.  We cannot breakdown foreign governments and put in ‘politicians’ that take money from us as a tradeoff for sending us their natural resources.  We cannot ignore that 9/11 was a horrible day, but it was ignited by something real.  Anger.

We are pissing the rest of the world off at such an alarming rate.  The U.S. government has dug itself a hole that I don’t see how we can get out.  I don’t want to raise my children in a country that is at war.

Our leaders need to lead us with foreign policy that won’t ignite another 9/11, and we need the mainstream media to talk about the real issues we are facing and drop the BS.

My voice may be small – but I have the right to have one, and that is why I love America and support the peace center.

It’s time for a change

After watching the movie ‘The Cove’ I was stunned, in tears and wanting to do something about it.  But, I didn’t do anything – I didn’t know what to do.  Now, I see that there are many other people out there that feel the same and are following through on action!  Animal Planet is showing a new three part series called ‘Blood Dolphins’ that focuses on the dolphin market and dolphin captivity.  I know that I am far left in my disgust on keeping animals in captivity, but I am not the only one.

To Marry? – Yes!

It boggles my mind that people feel the need to determine whether two people can marry.  Didn’t Jesus profess the importance of love?  I am quite positive that this message doesn’t just apply to straight people.  Why is it that people think they have the right to judge in the name of god?  I say, it isn’t so shut up and mind your own.

I think I am becoming an atheist.  The right-wing christian American agenda is hateful.   I was brought-up Catholic and attended Catholic school,  but I don’t think I buy into organized religion anymore.  It seems like religion is a really handy way to one-up the other person – ‘god told me I am right and you are wrong.’  The general message of love and peace are invisible and are becoming more so in the massive religious movement in America. Are we are moving backwards?  I say, Live and let live – and marry whom ever you damn well please!  

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