February, 2006 Archives


February 21st, 2006

Sometimes I catch the last 20 minutes of Oprah when I get home from work. I did today, and a little bit of me selfishly wishes I hadn’t. They were in Mississippi looking at the hurricane damage and talking to the survivors, and it was absolutely pathetic. People living in tent cities. Two guys having to find their mother’s dead body by themselves because no one else would. Children using porta-potties accompanied by parents because it was unsafe to go alone. Piles of homes, hopes, dreams. And huge lots of new trailer homes paid for with taxes and donations, sitting empty, unable to go to the people who need them, because in America, bureaucracy reigns.

What’s the deal? Why are there special committees formed left and right for the sole purpose of pointing blame at anyone and everyone else, while people have nowhere to go and no means to get there? It’s been 5 months and they still don’t know what’s going to happen to them next. It’s not like we live in a third world county; isn’t this America? The wealthiest and most powerful country in the entire world?

We hear it all the time: America is a great country. America is the best country in the world. I’m proud to be an American. We’re a blessed nation. God bless America. As Americans, we have freedoms no one else has the privilege of having.

But somewhere beneath the surface, I hear things that sound more like this: If you’re poor in America, it’s your own fault. If you’re blessed with wealth and prosperity because you earned it, it should be yours to spend on things you don’t need. If those people were dumb enough to stay when they knew a hurricane was coming, it’s their own fault they lost 18 family members.

Maybe it’s time to wake up and realize that maybe, just maybe, America isn’t so great. At least, not for everybody that lives here. You can argue that it’s the best country because other places are a lot worse, but what kind of argument is that? Sure, in lots of ways other people in other countries have things a lot worse. But is that a reason to turn our backs on the truth? The truth of other people, the truth of people who don’t have everyhing or even anything, the truth of thousands and thousands of Americans. The truth of all the people that have been forgotten, and not just the ones affected by the hurricanes.

Lots of people use the rhetoric of spreading America’s greatness and freedoms and democracy to countries that lack these things, and that’s all well and good, but what about realizing that not everyone here has those things? We hear that other countries are evil and filled with terrible problems. What was it Jesus said? Something about taking the plank out of your own eye before you point out the splinter in someone else’s? Maybe it’s time to focus just a little bit more on what is wrong with us, with America, with this country we love, instead of ignoring those problems and those people who want so much just to have what we have: places to live and a sense of security that they won’t be gone in the blink of an eye or the rush or a flood.

I don’t know what the answers to these problems are, but maybe, just maybe, the first step is to open our eyes, stop ignoring what we’d rather not deal with, and admit that some things just need to be changed. And maybe we should have something to do with those changes. Somehow.

big day

February 10th, 2006

Today is a big day for me. Today my student loans fell below $20,000. I’ve been counting down the months. Yesterday I owed more than $20,000. Today I owe less. I’m on the path to freedom from student loan debt.

I don’t have anything deep or meaningful to add; I just wanted to share my good news. I’m very excited.

Happy Friday 🙂


February 5th, 2006

Today I took pictures of doors. This is one of them.

number 5 is alive

February 2nd, 2006

I’m running out of things to take pictures of around my house. The neighbors must think I’m crazy. Maybe I should start going places.

dia cuatro

February 1st, 2006


I just think they’re neat.