Saturday, December 25, 2010

Word for 2011

I'm concerned about my word for 2011, because I am not noticing any themes or repeated thoughts about what would be a good focus for next year. There are still a few days left of the year, or perhaps I won't identify my word until after the new year starts.

If you have a suggestion for a word for me, please leave it in the comments or email me. Maybe you've noticed something I've missed, or have an insight to share.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Judging people on public assistance.

It's wrong.

When you see someone at the grocery store wearing a nice coat and owning a cell phone, but using public assistance to buy food, don't judge them for making bad choices. Maybe they used to have money and a job, and have held onto the luxury durable goods of their previous lifestyle while being unable to maintain that life on their new, lower income.

ernnunos writes:
Many people will be poorer, but will cling to the few trappings of wealth they accumulated in better times. And I won't hold that against them. That is one of the benefits of durable goods, after all. Once you have them, you can enjoy them for a long time, regardless of changing circumstances. You may not be able to afford heating oil thanks to inflation, but the flat screen TV you bought years ago still works. Selling it wouldn't get you enough to heat for more than a few weeks, and then you'd be cold and have no TV. You may be unemployed now, but the Le Creuset cookery you bought when you had a good job still works, and still makes eating inexpensively at home a joy. Which is good, since you probably aren't eating out much anymore.

So be kind when you see these sorts of incongruities. In fact, you might want to think about acquiring a few durable luxuries yourself. The lifestyle of a shabby aristocrat still beats the lifestyle of a straight pauper who never had luxuries to enjoy in the first place.

I've been that person in the very nice clothes, using foodstamps to buy beans and rice and maybe a steak once a month (well, okay, I was a child but I was there in the grocery store when it happened). And there were days we didn't eat, or had as our only meal the free lunch at school, even though I had nice clothes and manners (all from my Nana). But having a few nice things made it possible to hope for and work toward having a better life; without that hope, I couldn't have made it out.

I like these.

20x200, affordable art prints starting at $20. I found some I really liked, ranging from primitive impressionist portraiture to graphic modern art.

Make your own mustachioed Christmas balls. To hang on the tree. Er...

I love going fast (in a car or plane) so I'd like to visit the racecar-themed amusement park in Abu Dhabi that GirlHacker posted.

Apron Revolution suggests returning to the 1950s for gift wrapping ideas. Nice tickles to the creativity in the reproductions of magazine pages, including a penguin-shaped bottle cover (for wine or olive oil or homemade liqueurs).

Gothic Charm School provides a recipe for and photos of gingerbread bats.