Thursday, January 31, 2008

Good Reads

I'm hooked on Who'dve thunk it? A social networking site of sorts that I actually consult on a regular basis. Recommended by friend Nathan, I'm loving this online option of tracking what my friends are reading, letting them in on my favorite books, and reading and writing some reviews. The reviews are more than just recommendations, as they are also often the stimulus for a chat about the book. I can't seem to find time to join a local book club, yet this site offers the luxury of being in a virtual online bookclub with friends who don't live nearby. And it's always neat to get a new twist on a book you liked (or didn't) by reading what one of your friends thought about the same tome. It is also a great way to keep track of books you want to read sometime, but either can't afford or don't have the time at the moment. I can't recall how many books I've spotted in Borders that I "intended" to buy sometime, then forgot all about. This way I can track them, remember them, and maybe even see what friends thought of them, before I forget them! I'm adding the link to my blog - so check it out.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

And the Teacher Becomes the Student . . .

The Frau and I went to an organizational meeting of the Interfaith Hospitality Network at church earlier this week. We almost didn't go, but the Frau is on a related committee at church, and I went along to be supportive (and in hopes it might soften her up a bit in how she feels about the homeless.) As always seems to happen, when I most want someone else to "learn something" (I feel) they need to know, I come away with a few lessons learned myself.

This organization has existed since 1986, and is a simple, yet brilliant, approach to meeting the needs of the homeless - primarily families and children. We gained some definition over our own running conflict when we discuss the homeless. The Frau is usually visualizing the chronically homeless, as I play devil's advocate for those that I visualize - the ones helped by this network - loosely defined as people who have made bad decisions at the worst possible time. I couldn't stop thinking about the book, The Glass Castle (see my earlier blog on this great find), and the kids that get stuck in the middle of all this. The Interfaith Hospitality Network seems to address this very issue, and has been doing it successfully for over 20 years. A day facility is established, providing these people with an address and phone number while they look for more permanent housing and employment, counseling and social work help is available, assistance at saving their earnings (if they do have some kind of employement) toward a downpayment on a new apartment or house is provided, and churches in town provide one week of evening meals, lodging and breakfasts on a rotational schedule. It is volunteer intensive, but the costs are minimal. We were both sold on the program when we left, had signed up to be on the steering committee to begin the process of implementing the program in our city, and I suspect some hefty fodder for blogging to come up as the project (and our involvement) evolves.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Indulging the Inner Child

Well, the Frau and I bought those iPhones last week. My inner child has been alternately playing and jumping for joy. Thus, the lack of "bloggage." Now the external adult must get back to work . . . :-)