Category Archives: reading & media

Sometimes I forget I’m American. But not during the olympics.

Sometimes I forget I’m American.

I’ve lived here for twelve years now and so–with a few exceptions–it’s all fairly “normal” to me. I’m always caught off guard when checkout chicks ask me how my holidays are going.

Huh?

And then I remember that I have an accent.

Oh yeah, I’m a foreigner.

There are, however, a few times that I’m keenly aware of being American.

One is during voting season. I can’t not be interested in American politics. Sometimes I wish I didn’t care… but that’s never really going to happen so I just try and keep up from a distance the best I can.

The other time is during the Olympics.

I’m not a very athletic person. I’m not super patriotic either.

But I do find it easy to get swept up in the romance and excitement and competition and pageantry of it all.

Living in Australia, of course they are televising all of the events that include Australians. This means we’ve seen a lot of rowing and swimming and dressage. (yawn)

Side note: How is a horsie dog show even in the Olympics anyway? Isn’t the Olympics for human competitions? *sigh* Crazy. 

Anyway, I’ve gotten really frustrated with the lack of coverage for Olympic events that I want to see. You know, the ones with Americans in them. (Hello women’s gymnastics with the US taking out the gold. Totally missed that. Arg!)

But there is one that I’ve gotten to see over and over – Michael Phelps. What a freak that guy is. Love or hate America, how can you not love a superhuman guy like that?

When you see an athlete perform like he does, it’s hard not to be amazed. Nationality goes out the door and it becomes about appreciation for what they guy can do. (Well, unless you’re Australian and insanely jealous – heh heh! or American and insanely proud – ha!)

Mr. Bolt, Mr. Jordan, Mr. Woods, Mr. Ruth, Mr, Federer, Ms. Komenechi (who the heck knows how to spell Nadia’s name, anyway?). These are a few athletes that belong in a league of their own.

Team USA or not, I applaud Phelps for retiring on top of the world.

Awesome.

(And don’t tell the Aussies, but shhhhhhhh, yup, I’m kinda glad he’s American.)

STOP.

Q for you: Do you get into the Olympics much? 

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited.

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Along party lines. Again.

It’s hard for me to be in America and not think about politics.

I love watching the news and hearing from the analysts.

This last week has been interesting – watching my facebook feed with Americans weighing in on the health care reforms that have just passed.

I’m certainly no expert, but I have read up a little. And although finding a perfect health care plan is impossible, my belief is that the reforms coming through “Obamacare” are moving us in the right direction.

As a Christian my primary concern is that we’re looking after those who are marginalized – those who have disease and disability, children, the elderly, the poor.

This imperfect plan (even by Obama’s admission) addresses all those those and more.

It’s a huge step in the right direction, starting from where we are right now.

Sincerely I try, but I just can’t understand the Republican/Democratic divide on this one. I really can’t.

I’m no Republican-hater, but my goodness, what’s the deal here folks? Are we disagreeing just because we’re “supposed” to be opposing? (Sometimes that’s what the debate feels like.)

From what I can tell the only ones who will really “suffer” from the impending changes are the insurance companies and pharmaceuticals. (But I make it no secret that I’m in favor of a more socialized health care system.)

And doesn’t the concept of helping “the least of these” seem like it will help build a better future for all of us?

And doesn’t it just seem like the right thing to do?

Just sayin.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Obamacare – what do you think? Do you get as annoyed that issues are always split down party lines as I do?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited

 


Save the whales and what if’s

I just watched The Big Miracle – a nice, family-friendly movie about three whales trapped in the ice in northern Alaska.

It was based on a true story that took place in the late 80’s.

I don’t remember it on the news (I must have been about 11 years old when it broke), but if the movie was an accurate depiction then it looks like people all across America (and the world) were watching.

Ultimately a massive Russian ship broke through the ice barrier to help free them, combined with a huge local effort of concerned people working hard to see the mother, father, and baby whale brought to safety.

Of the three, only the mother and father survived. But a happy ending it was.

Now, I am all about stewarding creation and all that God’s given us.

There’s no question that animal cruelty is wrong.

I also believe we should do all that we can to make sure we’re not ruining irreplaceable habitat.

But as I watched this (entertaining) movie I couldn’t help but think that it was a huge effort and a lot of resources spent on those whales.

What if we spent that same amount of money and resources to see a young woman receive the cancer treatment that might save her life? What if we poured our resources into seeing that the autistic child receives the therapy he needs? What if we went out of our way to make sure the homeless man had a warm place to stay? What if we moved heaven and earth to make sure every child had a chance to learn to read?

I’m not opposed to movements like Green Peace at all. In fact, I think there’s a valuable place for them and we need them (and other organizations) to help bring light to serious environmental issues. And this story was not “just” about three whales – it represented so much more politically and environmentally – at the time. (And it really is a beautiful story.)

But what if…? What if…?

What if we took that same passion and harnessed it elsewhere?

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you “save the whales?”

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


The loop (And staying in it)

My favorite newsy show moved from 7pm to 6pm and I haven’t seen it in weeks. Maybe months.

By the time we get the kids both into bed it’s 7:00 or 7:30pm and by the time I do my rounds picking up the house, changing over the laundry, or whatever else needs to be done, I’m often not sitting down until at least 8:00.

The last thing I want to do at 8:00 at night is to “read the paper” so to speak. I want to browse pinterest, check out facebook or instagram, and maybe watch some “compelling” television. (My favorite right now is the Voice – Australia’s edition just started.)

Sometimes I write at night, or edit photos.

And if I’m up for it, I might get some “work” done like answering emails or making lists for whatever it is I’m working on at the time.

But this “disappearing” program (and my lack of ambition to find my news online) means that I’m woefully behind on current events.

This is all very strange for me.

Normally I love keeping up-to-date. I love following the politics (hello, it’s an election year!!). I love being abreast of the latest breaking story.

But I don’t like to use my online time to read the news. I’d much prefer social networks or reading blogs or just researching stuff that I’m learning about. (Like googling “what to do with your lucky bamboo when it grows too tall”. True story. Mine’s grown way too tall and I have no idea what to do with it.)

So since I’m not reading much news online and I’m missing out on my favorite news show, I’m totally out of the loop.

And being out of hte loop makes me feel ignorant. And lazy.

I guess I’d better get in the loop again.

STOP.

 

Q for you: How do you stay current on world events? Is it important to you?

 

Love,
A

 

Click Clink Five | Five minutes a day, unedited


The juices are flowing

I’m a creative person. Always have been. And when my creative juices get flowing, I can’t sleep at night.

Literally.

I toss and turn and ideas swim in my head and it takes everything within me not to get out of bed and start activating them

RIGHT NOW.

I’ve never been one who’s good at being patient.

I’ve always been an activator, a do-er.

I don’t like pondering. I don’t really like considering. It geos against my grain to “weigh the options.”

As an adult I’ve had to learn how to do some of those things of course. (And I do, htough I still someitmes struggle.)

But the “make it happen now” part of me is just that – part of me.

As I’ve realized that it’s helped me to see my weakness, but also see the strength in it.

Some of the absolute best things in my life have been done on a whim.

But it’s more than a whim – it’s an instinct.

My blog (both my blogs ctually) were started that way – with about… oh, three minutes of deliberation before just DOING it.

One of the best years of my life (spent backpacking in Europe) was a string of spontaneity, one instinctual decision after another.

And even bigger, more significant things too – Judah was conceived like that. I won’t go into details, because that’s just too much information – ha! – but I will say it was a very specific divine moment of decision.

Then BOOM here he was (and I’ve never looked back, we’ve never looked back). One of the best decisions of my entire life.

Needless to say my creative juices are flowing lately. (Thank you blogging and thank you Pinterest.)

It’s making it very, very hard for me to keep to my goal of a 10:30pm bedtime. *sigh*

Why do I feel so much more creative after dark?

STOP. (Totally went over time on this post!! By almost a minute!! Bah!)

 

Q for you: When’s the last time you made a gut decision on a “whim” and it turned out beautifully?

Love,
A

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.