9.21.2006

father greg boyle

For anyone who lives in Los Angeles I'd be stunned if you haven't heard of Father Greg Boyle and the work that he's done over the last 20 years helping to get predominately East L.A. Latino/a's out of gangs. He's a pretty amazing guy. I heard this story on an NPR podcast the other day and rediscovered him. There are several things that tugged at my heartstrings. First of all, this guy is making a difference. He's focused his life's work on helping gang members go legit. Giving them choices, options, job-training -- stuff that makes a difference. What he's done with Homeboy Industries is terrific. It's a start. It's a model that should be replicated - not just for former gang members but for anyone looking for another option, an opportunity. I suggest you check out their website because there are many ways - as a consumer - that you can support Homeboy Industries. Anything from buying a t-shirt to hiring them to cater an event.

Another thing that struck me is how old school Boyle is in his approach to being a Priest. I think the whole notion of being a Christian has been tarnished by the Evangelical / Fundamentalist movement & MonkeyBoy. The whole of American Christianity has been polluted by greedy blowhards and idiots who use positions of authority to spew hatred, cast judgements & paint very small views of the world. It's sad to me that Christianity has become so politicized and tarnished and the very old school approach to what it means to be a community leader like a priest, a minister, or a pastor seems to have gotten lost.

I was moved by Boyle's old school, community-based approach to his parishoners. As he says, he tells parables. What I loved about them was that they're not heavy-handed hell & damnation fear-based parables. They are positive, relevant stories about ethics, morals, choices, dilemmas that are rooted in Biblical tales but are based in present day and often about specific situations. He's not preaching to his people about idealized or generic issues - he's talking about real choices, real situations, everyday dilemmas. This guy knows his audience and he's making a difference.

If you have a chance, listen to the NPR podcast. There are so many moving moments in the piece but it's also incredibly inspirational. Over the course of 20 years Boyle has helped thousands of people change their lives. I guess why this story stands out to me is that in the maelstrom of negative, awful, horrible stories that flood the news channels here's one that made me feel great. For that reason, you should listen to it. And who knows, it might also inspire you to do something - anything - to make a difference in the world.

9.18.2006

blog-tagged

Alright! A game of "blog tag". Wooo hoooo! I'm all for expanding the topics (or is it subjects...or objects?) of this game. I'm going to have to put on my thinking cap in order to find people to pass the torch to...blogging hasn't entirely caught on amongst my peers.

There are two reasons why I am playing this game: 1) I recently switched bags & so I've cleaned out my purse which makes it less likely that I'll be thoroughly humiliated. And 2) I love Ally Sheedy. You reference to her & Breakfast Club...I'm in (go to Karen's blog to figure what I'm talking about.)

My "purse" -- I don't have the ability to photograph it at the moment so I will have to describe -- is actually a huge, GAP, messenger bag. Thick, smokey gray, nylon. Very durable. Super lesbian. And it can carry LOTS of stuff. Fortunately, for all of you, I haven't been using it long enough to fill it up with meaningless trash.

Let's start with the big outside pocket on the back of the bag (sealed with velcro at the top):
  • One girly leopard print neckscarf (b/c you never know when you have to glam something up)
  • Applegate Consulting Group pitch for managing a merger.
  • Receipt for Twin Dragon (yummy, cheap Chinese food near my house)
  • Receipt for a hotel in NYC with the email address and phone number of someone named "bob" whom I can't remember...Who the hell is BOB?
  • Gas Company Bill (which I should probably pay...)
  • Zoe & Ella's lip gloss

Well, that was surprising.

Next, the zippered pocket on the front flap of the bag. Ohhh...this sucker has gotten heavy already so God only knows what's in here...

  • Green leather business card holder filled with a bunch of random business cards & receipts (note to self: clean out front pocket).
  • A whole bunch of photos to send to my friend Julie Goldstein.
  • Rapid check-out receipt for a hotel in Pennsylvania.
  • Airline ticket detritus from a trip to Austin, TX.
  • Dog Magnet from Zoe & Ella's toy.
  • My reading glasses.
  • One pen.

The little pockets on the inside:

  • One of them is dedicated to my ipod.
  • The other contains: a gaggle of tampons, two lipsticks, and some tinted chapstick (which I just applied...yum...minty).

We're almost done...now for the mammoth INSIDE POCKET!

  • My make-up bag
  • Two scripts (that I didn't read this weekend)
  • Insurance policy estimates
  • My wallet
  • Print out of my calendar
  • A memo for a meeting I had last week

OK, not to embarassing. Hmmm...who should I tag...well, I tag my friend Erin (because maybe it will get her to post!), Darrien, and then someone who isn't my friend but whom I am merely a sick, stupid fan of - DOOCE.COM. And, lastly, so that no one can ever claim I am sexist, I tag my friend Randy (http://www.myspace.com/espaciodestreeck).