Wednesday, March 31, 2004

tiny update maybe a little bragging...

I checked my grades online yesterday and took a look at my unofficial transcript. I earned a 4.0 out of a total possible 4.0 for the last quarter (that makes several perfect quarters and semesters). :-)

But they have now updated my overall GPA to include the courses from Indiana University in 1970 - when I dropped out too late to actually withdraw or was too lazy to finish all the paperwork, I honestly don't remember. I think I attended only one class on a regular basis. So those two incompletes and the two F's are reflected in the overall GPA.. .. which is now a 3.59. That's what I get for being honest with a question on my University application. That isn't as good as the 3.7 or whatever it was before, but it isn't too bad either. I think the 3.79 or whatever it was (of course I didn't copy that when it was still listed !!) was my work in this current time period although there were two classes that were from 1979. All in all pretty good for someone who forgets what day it is, and what I went into a room for, sometimes.

Increased fees have gone into effect, many classes have been cancelled and future ones are in jeopardy. I was told that a quarter of all full time professors at my campus have not been replaced and there are almost no part timers left either. And that is expected to also increase, meaning fewer classes. My advisor said that they are scrambling to revise the program to include the psych equivalents of counseling classes.

This impacts my first degree completion and it impacts the space available and classes for the MFT program in the fall. I apparently have already been locked out of that. I can apply for the MS in Rehab counseling, which I will consider maybe see if a dual specialization is possible. That deadline has been extended to April 15 and since I am in the undergrad program they know me and I could get special consideration. But those classes are also being impacted. The future of all State University programs are in serious trouble.

If as citizens we don't support higher education for all- as California's master plan for higher education called for, we are limiting our potential draw for future employers in the state and will further depress our tax base. It is something to think about when everyone is competing for budget dollars. Of course there is some mismanagement of University funds that ought to be looked into too- someone besides students or non involved taxpayers should have to pay for that. (Yes, I know it almost never works that way! That doesn't mean I can't make my voice heard here and elsewhere about it!! Accepting the status quo when it is unfair and ought to be changed, just isn't in my nature.)

edited 4/02/04 to add links to CA master plan for higher education and also this one with details about then and now

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Seven words

Just seven fully meant and understood words signifying reciprocity, and synergistically expanding, have amazing power.

Monday, March 29, 2004


Good food for thought at whiskey river as per always. A snippet: "The bottom-line question: Do we pursue what we want, or do we do what's comfortable?"

Monday Question

# 9. Did you offer encouragement to someone today or let them know how much their everyday efforts were appreciated? Were you also that kind to yourself?

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings

Week 60
I say ... and you think ...

  1. Pitbull:: agressive and ruthless people; various designated terrier breeds who can be very loyal.
  2. TD:: touchdown- 6 points; for the QB's mom was a minimum must know; rhymes with CD, reminding me of a gift that touched my soul, leaping walls, opening secret doors..
  3. Carter:: President; admirable post prez life- walks the walk.
  4. Japan:: Islands; home office of the makers of my car
  5. 50:: crossed that line
  6. Streak:: lucky; comet, shooting star, falling star, wish on one..
  7. Rifle:: hunting; not.
  8. Trap:: no way out
  9. Easter:: religious holiday; spring..
  10. Mitt:: catcher's

Want to play? Word list at Unconscious Mutterings

Friday, March 26, 2004

A Friday 5 worth checking out.

Oh, wow.
I recently moved my Bloglines blogroll link to into my frequent read list at blogrolling, wandered over there tonight and found this: The Other Friday 5 Part 3 : The Bottle Strikes Back. One of the five is familiar to me and already in one of my bloglines lists, and the others were definitely also worth the time. Go check out all of them.

Whole, complete....

Whole, complete....
I knew but didn't, that I wasn't. I am, but there are places in my soul that need a particular sort of connection; a connection to call home, a place that is not a place of having, but of being and sharing in fullness and without that, wholeness, completeness could be an almost, but not ever a total.

I have been busy creating a new life to connect the places that need to feel purpose and be well used- that needed to use talents and abilities that are central to who I am or at least who I know self to be this moment in time- to those things that could complete those connections. And all the while, I knew that so many places of me would still not be complete, could not be, in this particular environment. But most days I thought I could live with that if the other places connected- until synchronicity intervened, until synergism became a word I could feel in my sleep.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Two favorite words

No, this is not that post

These are two of my favorite words, though there is a running list in my head of others, with more being added all the time. That might make a Monday question- sort of an unconscious mutterings, but backwards.

The words I was thinking about?

: interaction of discrete agencies (as industrial firms), agents (as drugs), or conditions such that the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual effects

I know this effect and am learning more about it all the time!

And the second word:
1 : the quality or fact of being synchronous
2 : the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality -- used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung

Main Entry: syn•chro•nous
1 : happening, existing, or arising at precisely the same time

The number of seemingly unrelated events that had to occur to get here is enormous. If I were calculating the odds, my guess is the state lottery has better ones.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Saving my week.

This is one of those weeks where I let my desire to do something good and my enthusiasm for what I have been doing these past weeks, overwhelm the part that needs to be good to self. Those weeks are rare these days, in part because I long ago recognized many things about that aspect to self and because I know that giving almost all of my time and the majority of my focus elsewhere has negative consequences for me.

I find my harmony in having enough alone time and/or shared with someone special time, balanced (in my particular way) with time spent elsewhere and in active focus on others. So now I must work quickly to shed the restraints of the rest of the week, before classes start again. One week isn't enough time to do everything that I need to do just for me. But it is too important to ignore, so I must salvage those days left.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Words in my head but...

There are lots of words in my head about all sorts of things, but these are better words than any I might write at this moment: From Alan Watts via whiskey river

a snippet: "Big explanations have little explanations upon their backs to bite them, and little explanations have lesser explanations, and so on infinitum. In other words, you can never get there."

Monday, March 22, 2004

More on weblogs as...

In January I linked to a post I liked from about the classification of weblogs. This is not exactly a continuation of that, but I like the thoughts. This particular piece ends with: "I'll keep using Bloglines, because it's useful. But for me, this is a journey, and I'll probably continue to think of it like this : if we meet on the open sea, or in port, and you throw me a line, or I you, we can raft up, cook a meal, empty a bottle or two, spin a few yarns, and then sail off on our compassless ways again. Column inches? Each to their own, of course, but that just doesn't do it for me." From: Trunkless Legs of Stone

I like the ocean metaphor too.

Thought provoking words

The front page column of the day and the archives especially, are worth perusing:

The Daily Motivator

Monday Question # 8

#8. Did you allow any moments of today to touch your senses and fully register within- for the feel, colors and shapes, scents, tastes, sounds?

Did any of today's moments engage any or all of your senses with awareness?

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings

Week 59
I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Wife:: husband
  2. Criminal:: never f2f
  3. Campaign:: don't care any longer; already decided vote is 'not Bush'.
  4. Infection:: ill
  5. Portland:: Oregon.
  6. NASCAR:: was in week 56 list.
  7. NEW WORD eyes closed randomly chosen from dictionary (honest!):    Lap:: cuddling.
  8. IMAX:: theater
  9. Martian:: Michael Valentine Smith and a favorite word "grok".
  10. Nike:: shoes; winged goddess of victory.
  11. Trial:: by fire

Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

More bits by Fromm

"While having is based on some thing that is diminished by use, being grows by practice. (The "burning bush" that is not consumed is the biblical symbol for this paradox.) The powers of reason, of love, of artistic and intellectual creation, all essential powers grow through the process of being expressed. What is spent is not lost, but on the contrary, what is kept is lost. The only threat to my security in being lies in myself: in lack of faith in life and in my productive powers; in regressive tendencies; in inner laziness and in the willingness to have others take over my life. But these dangers are not inherent in being, as the danger of losing is inherent in having."
Erich Fromm. 1976. To Have or To Be. p.102. Harper & Row, NY

Bits from Fromm

"Not to move forward, to stay where we are, to regress, in other words to rely on what we have, is very tempting, for what we have, we know; we can hold onto it, feel secure in it. We fear, and consequently avoid, taking a step into the unknown, the uncertain; for, indeed, while the step may not appear risky to us after we have taken it, before we take that step the new aspects beyond it appear very risky, and hence frightening. Only the old, the tried, is safe; or so it seems. Every new step contains the danger of failure, and this is one of the reasons people are so afraid of freedom."

Erich Fromm. 1976. To Have or To Be. p.100. Harper & Row, NY.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Taking the Time

Taking the time to love
is what it's all about--
what makes the clocks turn
and the sunsets come
true and without

That doesn't mean
lying close
        in shut-up rooms
or staying always
      face to face.

It's meant to cover walking,
being apart and knowing
that coming back together
makes small distances
            even smaller.

And taking the time
                  to love
is, most of all
            caring enough
to not hold on too tightly
and yet not run too loose.

"Taking the Time" copyright 1972 by Rod McKuen.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Last final of the quarter

I finished the last final of the quarter (Laws & Ethics Relating to Child and Family) midday on Wednesday, turned it in and discussed the answers later in the afternoon, so I know I got 45/50. There was no serious discussion of all the issues this time, so my answers and score will stand unless an item analysis shows that the majority of students missed a question. I had an A on the midterm, so hopefully that is still an A for the course.

I missed one on account of carelessness and failing eyesight- underlined the right answer, but eyes skipped upward to see and then write the wrong letter in the margin. I subsequently marked that same wrong letter to the scantron sheet. I missed 3 because I really didn't know/have the correct answer (and I should have done better on an open text, use all reference, test). And for one question I would choose the same answer again, but understand why the professor believes his is the correct one.

That question was "True or False? If there were a conflict between the ethical and legal course of action to follow in a case I would always give priority to ethics." The choice that will be counted correct is False and most of my classmates chose that answer.

I answered True and here is why.

I would break the law in certain circumstances to NOT violate my ethics- professional or personal. My guess is that most often the law would likely outweigh any professional ethics in any situation that might arise. Those ethics don't require me to break laws, only possibly bend them in some cases around certain issues. But my personal ethics versus the law are something else entirely.

To follow like a sheep because something is law, when you believe that same something is wrong- IS wrong to me. When dealing in gray areas, I think people ought to seriously consider all ramifications, weighing everything, and not just blindly follow some legal statute or case law. Everything ought to be considered on a case by case, situation by situation basis. I am not talking about avoiding consequences, I am talking about doing what one believes is the right thing to do- for self, for others- no matter the law or the consequences.

Now I happen to know that what the professor had in mind was Tarasoff as well as the child abuse reporting laws that exist in every state in the Union. I would violate client confidentiality to report those things. All ethics codes as a trainee and future professional in any of the helping professions as well as my own personal ethics, agree with those laws. But I can't say the same for every other law that might exist now or in the future.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Something about this

I don't understand any of this, but all the words and even several of the posts prior, evoke varying levels of feelings that I can't quite put entire labels upon (though not being able to label hasn't ever stopped me from feeling anything). But it is strange to feel something from these words, when together most of them don't really quite make logical sense to me. I get impressions of things and feelings, but not sense of what the whole is about.

Maybe its just me who can't grasp a whole other than feelings. See what you think.

Notes from the Dovecote- These were possibly more rational somehow than the rest to me: "To speak again soon, despite, let it be. To happily hold the head and hand, a joyful embrace so long in the waiting has at once arrived and speaks fondly, a wonderment and kind word, a solace and respite together and to share again.

For the love."

link via blog of the day

really posted on Tuesday before midnight.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

True/False and Multiple Choice answers.

I came home early from Tierra, to work on a take home ethics/law final (due Wednesday) that is giving me a few problems- before I head out to the final meeting of the Tuesday seminar in counseling.

Ethics/Law doesn't fit neatly into True/False or a single Multiple Choice answer- especially ones made up by someone else.

Come to think of it, neither does life.

Soon orange hills- poppy time.

A small pic of the beginning of orange hills, though they aren't limited to Antelope Valley:Los Angeles Based Blogs and Community Blog. There are also purple hills and patches (not sure what flower- probably domestic gone rogue, rather than wild) and mixed color ones. It is quite a sight in wet years, but still amazing in drier ones. It isn't just tiny patches here and there of color- it is whole rolling hills of bright color for miles.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Monday Question

Do you say yes or no to life and living?

Another way of thinking about the question is also to look at approach/avoidance issues as defined by psych/counseling.

AllPsych dictionary
Three fundamental dimensions of personality

And yet another way is to look at the words in these articles below- but the question is open ended- create your own meaning for it.
The thing is, I really like saying yes.
I like new things, projects, plans, getting people together and doing something, trying something, even when it's corny or stupid. I am not good at saying no. And I do not get along with people who say no. When you die, and it really could be this afternoon, under the same bus wheels I'll stick my head if need be, you will not be happy about having said no. You will be kicking your ass about all the no's you've said. No to that opportunity, or no to that trip to Nova Scotia or no to that night out, or no to that project or no to that person who wants to be naked with you but you worry about what your friends will say.

No is for wimps. No is for pussies. No is to live small and embittered, cherishing the opportunities you missed because they might have sent the wrong message.
-- it's something that I wrote about
in the sort-of eulogy I wrote for my friend Rick, who died after the Bali bomb in 2002, something that he believed, and something I have believed for many, many years too. Say yes, say it again, sing it, scream it, or get out of the way, grandpa.

Or this one from The Invitation:
"I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!!"

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Ways to procrastinate studying for finals

Bubble Wrap

found via McGee's Musings

Unconscious Mutterings

edited 6:30PM
Week 58
I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Old Navy:: Too much hype and ridiculous commercials for clothing.
  2. Out:: of focus. of time. of money. to lunch.
  3. Indecent:: Where?
  4. UPN:: Television station with the Enterprise series --> T'Pol and Archer-> undercurrents of love.
  5. Pupil:: of the eye- dilates when seeing or feeling something pleasing.
  6. Toothpaste:: tube- squeeze from the bottom or the top?
  7. 1999:: party like.. nah.. I didn't, but did spend all that time fixing the old computer bios, OS and various software for Y2K issues. Remember those?
  8. Passion:: is what one can bring to life- zest for living or a single facet of it or a zeal for a cause --and of course passion for a loved one- in all ways, not just one.
  9. Social security:: Security sure, uh huh. right. Not if the Republicans have their way.
  10. Cliff:: If I am falling off the edge you wouldn't just watch me hit the rocks, would you?

Want to play? Word list and email sign up at Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Spring fever?

My heart hasn't been into studying this quarter. It is in part some of the subject matter, and also in part the fact that I am tired of living in textbook thoughts and want to be doing- hands on. So in that respect, the internship has been perfect. It has been perfect in so many other ways too. There are other things- good things that have kept my mind from being so focused on the words in textbooks and lectures.

But the quarter is ending. There is reading that I still haven't caught up on, case notes for an imaginary case to be re-written, case notes to study to answer ethical/legal questions about for a final and one final exam to study for- all must be done by noon on Monday.

And my heart isn't in any of them. The day is pleasantly warm and full of sun. The sky is pale periwinkle blue dusted lightly with palest gray. There are gentle breezes blowing outside, birds that I can hear, almost no traffic noises and wind chimes sounding gentle notes in small moments.

I want to be outside, walking and taking in all that the day has- maybe walk down to Tujunga Wash and away from buildings and people; I want to touch what was in my head when I woke - lightly but solidly connect -and none of that has anything to do with studying.

Is this spring fever perhaps? Or maybe it is spring fever combined with everything else that yearns for an all senses expression and experience?

Friday, March 12, 2004

This looked interesting.

Yahoo! Groups : Journal-Inspirations

Thursday blogging words got lost

Thursday blogging got lost in a windstorm of concern and worry for one underlying the pleasant and happy parts of my day. There were moments of smiles for others in their accomplishments, moments of well received encouragement I gave for their work, nice words to me about my assistance in some areas and even long passages of words from an interview with me, quoted in exactness- valued enough to use, though they now make me cringe a bit. I could have been more thoughtful, less wordy, and more concise about the value I was talking about.

The temperature of the actual weather was too warm by ten degrees or so, but the night was cool, crisp and pleasant as most desert nights are. No night blooming jasmine in the air to scent the night though, because the winds had died down. I think I must investigate planting some of my own. The scent of it is almost intoxicating, bringing unexpected smiles.

Not that I need intoxication exactly, because life has become soaring and sinking at the same time, often in almost the same measure and moment. It is so strange to soar and sink at the same time; to smile, laugh and cry; to feel tenderness, love- selfless and selfish and sadness. So strange to feel all and everything at once and not know what to do with some of the excesses.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Wednesday daytime Santa Ana's.

The wind is blowing strong this morning; earlier the temperatures were cooler. I can feel a touch of the heat that the day may bring. The weather people on television have said it will be cooler today, but I long ago learned not to trust them entirely. I used to be able to offer better forecasts than they. Besides there is not much difference in feel to an 85 or 92 degree (F) outside temperature except for what the thermometer shows. Only humidity makes much of a difference in feel and we have very little.

Last night, it was warm enough to have had the glass door to the deck area open all night and all the east facing windows open, but cool enough that I needed a blanket to sleep. The breezes were around, but calmer, only sometimes causing the wind chimes to strike tones. Night blooming Jasmine was in the air though- a deliciously overpowering scent at times. Today promises in this moment to have the stronger winds.

The blinds clink all over the house and the wind chimes ring madly, but it is the sound of the wind in the trees that catches my attention. I can hear the forcefulness of the Santa Ana's only barely held in check. They call to me. I need a half summit up and away from the daytime city noise so I can feel, taste, hear them- alone from labeling eyes, so I can dance with them.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Moonlight and Santa Anas.

Heading westward on the 210 it was behind me and I was caught up in thoughts and music and trying to drive with awareness and not looking in the mirror except for microsecond glances to try to keep the other cars headlights out of my eyes.

Taking my exit, a declining elevation with an slow eastward turning curve, suddenly there it was hanging just over the mountains to the east in much, much larger than normal splendor. The moon almost full, with the palest hint of lemony color, blue tinged around the top right, not yet full edges, bright fuzzy halo surrounding it (though that could have just been my failing eyes) and a glow underneath earthward that suggested that even away from city lights the night would be well lit.

It was an incredible sight that added more pleasure to the feel of the winds coming from the west. With wind clearing out the skies for a real glimpse of stars twinkling in the clear night, it was a sight to share. Only one looked out the window from upstairs.

"Uh, huh, nice." Well, at least he looked.

How does the moon become that size? What trick of atmospheric conditions magnifies it? Where does that particular color come from? How perfect of the universe to give me warm wind gusts and a most beautiful moon all at the same time.

Frilling amazingly magical!

Only the wind blowing rustling the trees

only the wind blowing
tinkling the wind chimes
making the blinds clink.
traffic gone
people asleep
town carpet rolled up for the night
only the wind blowing
rustling the trees.
11:23 PM
single gunshot echo in the warm night
too close.
only the wind in reply.
no scream. no angry voices.
no siren.
only the wind blowing
rustling the trees.

Monday, March 08, 2004


Word Beads: a possibly interesting diversion some night; weekly lists of random words to string together in whatever fashion one wants with whatever fillers seem appropriate. The idea sounds fair, the word lists so far aren't really catching my imagination.

Monday Question

#6. When you think about who loves you, do you count yourself?

Or you can use the converse of that: When you think about who you love, do you count yourself?

Recap of the previous questions:

1. What did you do for your soul today?
2. What made your heart smile- today or this week? Did you also pass some of that feeling along?
3. Which do you value more, the destination or the journey?
4. Are you open to joy? Do you seek it out? Do you examine it for traces of something else to negate it or do you simply open yourself up to accept, experience and feel it in total?
5. Question via my son: What are the top three things you want to do before you die?

Sooner or later I will get around to making a page for these. Probably in a few weeks, it is the last week of classes and next week is finals.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings, Week 57.

I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Dogma:: Too often, authoritarian structure that limits.
  2. Spirit:: Essence of self should be soaring and free, un-caged to be able to give and receive as much light and joy as possible, to grow and expand in all directions. I leave it to others to characterize mine.
  3. Voodoo:: A religion? sometimes using fear in the minds of others.
  4. Demon:: Internally created; everyone has one or more to accept and overcome.
  5. Digital:: Numbers, not analog. Makes me think of binary, which is arrangements of 1 and 0; 10 makes me think of 2; Which makes me think of the potential in the perfect connection of 2, which makes me smile.
  6. Ceremony:: Ritualized occasion marking something; can be informal or formal.
  7. Research:: Thirst to know, to understand, to grok. I want to understand- everything.
  8. Career:: is not all of life, but it takes up big chunks of it, so ought to be enjoyable.
  9. Penis:: Pleasant part of anatomy.
  10. Film:: Visual stories that can touch my heart. I am in the mood for some happy ending, romantic ones. Also snapshots, little slices of life, pictures of loved ones, dear ones. Technically a medium used to capture the visual.

Want to play? A new word list is posted each week. Find it, and/or sign up to be notified when the new list is posted at Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Jazz with a little rhythm and blues

There is a bit of music that keeps floating into my head. My mind hears little pieces and then it escapes me. It is a song I think I want to know by heart and play by ear; but it certainly is a song that I want to experience fully. It is a song that has parts of yesterday and all of today, but it has tomorrow's notes in it as well. Perhaps I can't hear it completely, precisely because it is tomorrow's notes that I am straining, trying to hear, instead of fully absorbing today's.

I want a head's up, a glimpse of the twists and choices. I want to know before I get there, which notes will appeal to me more, which ones will be discordant, which pleasant, which harder edged. Foreknowledge and planned out seems so much easier, because it fits with linear and doesn't ever require any angst in choosing in the moment that one has to choose. One can go smoothly and calmly to the choice that one made in the past, like familiar comforting tones and riffs that one has played hundreds of times (or more).

But it is possible to go calmly (or at least with full acceptance that it is this moment's notes that count most) to the point of choice without knowing which one will fit and without choosing ahead of time. Just go, and the choice will be clear or perhaps several choices will be made at once, attempted, and one riff will be or become more important. There is no hurry to get to the destination. This is jazz (with a little rhythm and blues), and this piece is all about improvisation and accepting that there is no one note or run of them that is always right and no way to know what it/ they will be until I get there.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Avoid the walls.

Little walls here,
and little walls there,
and soon there are little walls

Reminder to self:
Avoid the walls.

Later, better thought and reminder to self:
Don't build them.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Two Quotes

“In the depths of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” - Albert Camus, French novelist (1913-1960)

“To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.” - Pearl Buck, American novelist (1892-1973)

More quotations on an assortment of topics, found at Frame-a-Quote, part of the creations from Denny Coates at Book of Life.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Time racing by, no time to blog

Due to all sorts of circumstances, it is possible that there will be no blog entries for a few days, unless I find a quote or two for thought.

I do have one from last night's class:

"We derive our identity from who loves (and loved) us, also some from who hates us." H. Swinger, Ph.D.

I am not sure that I agree entirely, but there is something about it that has a touch of truth.

DLJ- 3/09 and 3/01- I can take those trips down memory lane, I just don't do that too often. There were lots of good things, and lots of youthful mistakes made. I am sorry for the painful parts I caused, but without those there were things neither of us would have learned and there wouldn't be a Josh or a Mike in the present.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Monday Question

Question via my son:

What are the top three things you want to do before you die?

His was a list of active, single activity things that he couldn't narrow down to only three. Mine might have been too, when I was his age. There are still some of those things on the big list, but fewer 'try once' things that make the top.