Monday, January 31, 2005

Letting go

"The self is not a solid entity, yet we congeal around that self concept until it becomes a continuous activity centered around a tightly held, cherished egotism."

~Lama Surya Das (2003) in "Letting Go of the Person You Used to Be : Lessons on Change, Loss, and Spiritual Transformation"


I liked this found at tinywords:

playground rain
a white chalk heart
washes away

--Carol Raisfeld
27 January 2005

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings Week 104

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Coroner:: deals with unexpected death of the body
  2. Mystify:: I am mystified about so many things and I have no expectation of ever puzzling them all out. The longer I live, the less I know that I know. Except, I know what I felt in my heart and soul about you and for a moment I knew it was reciprocal.
  3. Corroborate:: additional supporting information, back up; more evidence is not proof, but more lends weight
  4. Misinterpret:: easy to do when we see, hear and sense everything through the lenses of our own perception
  5. Humorless:: sad that some folks go through life this way
  6. Calculus:: Not a strength area; functions, intervals, derivatives- and it grows much more complicated than I have the patience to struggle with.. A little pre-calc was enough.. Fortunately I don't need it in my daily activities, though there have been a few things for which it might have been useful.
  7. Eye for an eye:: makes everyone blind
  8. CPR:: be prepared
  9. Stitched:: think of hand sewn; needlepoint, patchwork, silk embroidery, hand tailored clothes, pretty things carefully done with loving care. Gosh I miss having time to sew and do needlework; Pieced together also comes to mind- and that has nothing to do with sewing.
  10. Facility:: sounds institutional, confining, foreboding
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Pheromone Research

From FuturePundit: Pheromone Increases Sexual Attractiveness Of Postmenopausal Women
"Researchers Susan Rako M.D., a medical doctor in private practice as a psychiatrist in Newton Massachusetts, and Joan Friebely Ed.D., a researcher at Harvard's psychiatry department, have demonstrated that a synthesized pheromone applied to postmenopausal women appears to make them more sexually attractive to their partners. Here is the abstract of the paper "Pheromonal Influences on Sociosexual Behavior in Postmenopausal Women"."

They are trying to patent this particular formulation. I can't decide how I feel about it all, but the subject is a curiosity of mine- the whole attraction, non attraction thing. What attracts two people to each other, and what deepens and furthers it, makes it go cold, etc. etc. etc. How much does it change with age? How much is biological, how much is learned social/psychological and so on...

I would file this under things that make you go hmmmmm....

Friday, January 28, 2005

Familiar somehow... ("On A Seven-Day Diary" by Alan Dugan)

On A Seven-Day Diary
By Alan Dugan

Oh I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
and ate and talked and went to sleep.
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
from work and ate and slept.
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
and ate and watched a show and slept.
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
and ate steak and went to sleep.
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
and ate and fucked and went to sleep.
Then it was Saturday, Saturday, Saturday!
Love must be the reason for the week!
We went shopping! I saw clouds!
The children explained everything!
I could talk about the main thing!
What did I drink on Saturday night
that lost the first, best half of Sunday?
The last half wasn't worth this "word."
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
from work and ate and went to sleep,
refreshed but tired by the weekend.

From: "On a Seven-Day Diary" from New and Collected Poems 1961-1983, by Alan Dugan (Ecco Press). © Alan Dugan 2000.
Found at Conscious-Living Poetry

It brings to mind the Jackson Browne song "The Pretender".. though the poem is much more positive.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

"To avoid disillusionment ..."

"There are no perfect human beings! Persons can be found who are good, very good indeed, in fact, great. There do in fact exist creators, seers, sages, saints, shakers, and movers...even if they are uncommon and do not come by the dozen. And yet these very same people can at times be boring, irritating, petulant, selfish, angry, or depressed. To avoid disillusionment with human nature, we must first give up our illusions about it." ~~ Abraham Maslow

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Way Cool

High Speed connection is set up... Wow, what a difference!

... omg ....

... 10 killed, 200 injured.... my safer rainy day route...
"Ten people were killed and about 200 injured on Wednesday when two Los Angeles commuter trains collided after one of them hit a vehicle left on the tracks by a man contemplating suicide, authorities said." ...

Asteroid Named After Douglas Adams

From Slashdot | Asteroid Named After Douglas Adams:

"tc writes "MSNBC is reporting that an asteroid has been named after Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy fame. Fittingly, the asteroid carried the provisional designation 2001 DA42, thus commemorating the year of his untimely death, containing his initials, and incorporating the famous answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. This seems like a fitting tribute to me.""

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The morning view out my door. Posted by Hello

The sidewalk view of the morning. Posted by Hello

Northeastward. The air is a little misty or maybe smoggy. I would move my little red car, but my assigned spot is in the taped off zone. Posted by Hello

Morning mess.The water is still shut off- maybe until Wednesday. Posted by Hello

Fubar Monday night

Or maybe it is only SNAFU, instead of FUBAR. It was after all, a Monday.

I left campus starving and tired and having an attack of 'must eat now or will take someone's head off' (I have Neutrograin bars stashed everywhere for that kind of emergency- but earlier I had eaten all the ones with me before I left class -plus tuna salad and crackers; the rest were in the car). I was trying to keep my mind off the fact that the Neutrograin bars weren't really working and my stomach and right side were now in serious pain, along with my mood/brain being altered- presumably from the sugar low. I tried to concentrate on driving. I thought about Johnny Carson- about how many years he was a part of my late nights and what talented man he seemed- nice fellow midwesterner too; which probably added to why I liked him so much. Jay Leno is ok and has done a good job as a replacement, but no one compared to Carson.

[Drive, pay attention to traffic, breathe in... breathe out... focus... home soon... breathe....]

Close to home I saw multiple fire trucks racing up La Tuna Canyon (opposite direction) with news helicopters trailing in the sky, of course (later I learned it was a home on fire in Tujunga Canyon). The 'copter noise and sirens were audible when I exited the freeway. When I reached home I found my parking space (and ten others) blocked with 2 large plumbing pick-up trucks, assorted equipment and 'do not cross' yellow tapes. It seems there is a leak somewhere in the water main for the complex- right outside our condo south wall. The plumbers were using jackhammers to tear up the pavement-a foundation shaking, hanging things quivering, teeth grinding, sort of operation.

The water is shut off, the car is parked crazily crooked behind other cars parked along the outer edges of the drive, and I have eaten, but without being able to clean up (thank goodness the dishwasher was full of clean dishes!). The noise was intermittent, but enough to unsettle the last of my hold on sanity tonight. When they weren't using the jackhammer they were shouting at each other outside my living room wall. They left around 11PM without apparently fixing the problem- Fun stuff for an overly long day.

Gosh, it is really hard to remember not to turn on those faucets or move handles- too many automatic activities affected for this tired brain not to stumble over. Of course- because I can't take a shower, the only thing on my mind is how good a long hot shower would feel...that and how the pain in my right side doesn't show any signs of departing. [Time to reframe, refocus.. breathe...]

Tuesday morning ought to be interesting. I don't wake with brain engaged; I wonder how many times I will forget there is no water? Oh and the weather report says more rain is on the way by Tuesday night. That seems ironic somehow.

I keep thinking breathe in... ... breathe out... ... sleep, need... shut off the noise in my head, turn off the pain... breathe in....

Monday, January 24, 2005

Colored lenses

Which lens color I see you with depends on the day and the moment; I wish I could always find the clear ones, the ones without the self-added distortion.

Better late than never (Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood)

I finally got the chance to seee the movie "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" (2002) on cable this weekend. This movie has been on my list of videos to rent for quite a while, but I just hadn't found the time to watch any videos, let alone see movies when they first come out.

I loved it- with its great portrayals from some of my favorite actresses (including Ellen Burstyn, Fionnula Flanagan, Maggie Smith, Shirley Knight, Sandra Bullock and Ashley Judd) with a wonderful script!!! Why aren't there more movies like this? Why don't we see more women of our age category than we do? Why aren't there more stories/scripts about women- out there being filmed?

Sunday, January 23, 2005


Oh wow.. Go read: Bird, Mountains

I was pretty awed, and slightly creeped out at an up close and personal experience with some similarities to this.Those who know a little about my crow story might find this interesting; those who don't, might find it fairly amazing.

The networking project

Though this is "my project", since my son is benefiting from the end results I wanted his help getting some of the measurements and running some of the cable. I have my little carefully drawn geeky diagrams on how I want to set things up for now and where I will be changing them later as I am moving things into a room of my own I hope soon. (Of course I have been saying that for many years, but I really have done some work in fits and starts to move that process along. There is an untold story about avoiding certain kinds of change because it means completely and finally accepting something I have been resisting, but I am not sure I am ever going to tell it in detail on the blog.)

At any rate I intended to do all of that yesterday including going out to purchase the router and cable I need, then spending today setting up and configuring everything. Instead my son and his girlfriend went to the beach.

After being on the periphery of several minor (but testosterone laden) hassles today, I finally have the figures for what is needed for the hoped for - current setup, have ordered the router and cable lengths with connectors attached and everything will be here in the morning. I might even get a chance to start setting everything up before I leave for class. It turns out that if I want it quickly, Office Depot has the best price on the router I chose, and their cable prices are within pennies both lower and higher than other places. Click, click and I am done with a bonus of free shipping and delivery. I truly don't like parking in shopping centers and the hassles of standing in long lines to get what I need.

I hope I ordered the right Linksys Cable DSL router/gateway/switch. I notice now that there is one additional letter in the model number than the one I had been looking at everywhere else. It has an extra capability that I am not sure I needed or wanted. I am such a scatter brained person when I am interrupted sometimes.

Now that it is closer, I am really excited about having high speed internet access. It will be a touch disappointing if it is the wrong router or a huge hassle to set up.

Unconscious Mutterings Week 103

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Material world:: spiritual world; balance is what I seek
  2. Satin sheets:: material, in all ways ;-)
  3. Blizzard:: What the east coast is experiencing; the straw that convinced me to leave Indiana in 1978 for milder temps
  4. Real estate:: for sale
  5. Dress up:: diamonds, black silk, sheer stockings and heels
  6. Wesley:: Crusher- Will Wheaton
  7. Robber:: Will someone please find and stop the thief of moments, hours, days
  8. Saliva:: necessary
  9. Slave:: wage
  10. Shift:: gears; earthquakes; focus; change; reality
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings

Friday, January 21, 2005

With Picasa2

Same picture as earlier with a little automatic tweaking from Picasa2. The things Picasa can do automatically or with only one or two clicks is pretty amazing.  Posted by Hello

Early afternoon

Home again; finally finished for the day. There are case notes to flush out and little bits of paperwork to do, but I wanted a little time to myself. I took a little detour before going home- towards Tujunga Wash. The pictures are about a mile from home and I will post one or two of them below this (ie. first) if I can get NIS to play nice with the Hello program. I think I am going to create an album somewhere online- if so I will likely post a link to it somewhere.

With regular cameras even when I try to carefully set up a shot, I am one of those occasionally lucky photographers- I have a few pictures in my albums that are wonderful, but my usual best is only average. This tiny camera is pretty much impossible for me to deal with, but I keep making the attempt anyway. It doesn't really matter if I succeed or fail- it is fun to just play.

There was a period in my life where in front of others I would not show things I had done that were less than my critical eye judged fairly good or try new things that I might not be good at doing. I wouldn't have written a blog either. I didn't want to do or show anything that made me feel less capable and more incompetent than I already felt in so many areas of my life- and I just knew I would see some sort of negative judgment in the eyes of others, because that is how I felt about myself.

There were a lot of reasons that I traveled into that hole and it was a seemingly large change from the bravado and confidence I had displayed on the outside through my mid-thirties. It took many years to get any of that confidence back, only this time it was not a display for public consumption, but instead something I truly felt. I still have many occasions where I feel terribly unsure of myself- but I am less fearful of trying and failing at anything these days and less judgmental about what might constitute failure- for anyone, including me.

So taking these pictures and posting them no matter their quality- is a rather big change from the me that used to live here.

Tujunga Wash

Tujunga Wash- with only a tiny amount of water considering the amount of rain a week or so ago. This would be a pretty good time to pan for some gold. Weekend seekers do find a bit now and then. Posted by Hello

a slice of Tujunga Canyon

A bit of a smog layer today in the canyon Posted by Hello

Question, hope there are responses- need tech help

This weekend, I need to buy a cable/dsl home router/gateway to set up a network at home- wired not wireless. Both systems have ethernet cards and I have a nice new cable modem to hook into the network once it is set up.

I have looked at the reviews of a couple of Netgear and of Linksys home routers, but am still unsure as to which one to purchase. I want to be able to add additional computers (no more than 4 total likely) in the future, and I want ease of setup of course, with no huge amount of fussing with configuration if possible. I already have headaches from the Norton/Symantec product installed on both machines and am likely to run into problems just networking the two.

Any suggestions, anyone??? Please?

I welcome all assistance, even just sympathy for the task that is ahead- use the haloscan comments or email me at gmail- addy is in the sidebar.

Thank you in advance!!

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Signs Posted by Hello

Would this also work for "Crowded"?

Signs 2

I meant to take time to actually compose and capture a variety of signs- weather, spring, time of day, traffic, the obliterations to the beautiful sky at sunset- but instead found myself without enough time to get out of my car and set up a nice shot this week. Besides which this was the last day for the topic at Photo Friday. So I snapped off a few from the car on the way home. Posted by Hello

Postscript to previous

I think that one of the fundamental things that bothers me about Andy's post is the idea that we are "perfect and flawed", "sinners and saints" - at the core.

I disagree. I believe that we hold the capacity for all, that we can act in those ways, but at the core we are light and spirit. With some exceptions, I believe it is mostly a matter of self journey through the layers- including those of darkness and those of the lies we tell ourselves both about the light and the dark- to find spirit and source to connect to that central core of light.

We are not- any of us- inherently dark, bad and evil at the core. Those kind of judgments separate us from others and our humanity.

As the author he quoted says; ".. if you ride these monsters down, if you drop with them farther over the world's rim, you find what our sciences cannot locate or name, the substrate, the ocean or matrix or ether which buoys the rest, which gives goodness its power for good and evil its power for evil..."

Notice she did not say that that the substrate, ocean, matrix or ether contained the monsters and darkness. We must go through those layers to get to the most important parts of ourselves.

Accept and forgive without punishment

I have read Andy's post over and over. There are aspects that bother me which I can't quite put my finger on. I will give it a go here for some of it, but having a lot of fires to put out this day will likely make this incomplete and very possibly unclear. It seems to me I have written something on this once before.

I agree with the two authors he quotes and unlike him, have found similar material time and again in the writings of various psychologists- namely that we must confront and accept fully that the dark sides, the bad things we have done or thought, the whole gamut of capacity for doing wrong- are a part of each of us, a part of the whole. That isn't to say that we give up on being the people we want to be or that we can't determine and choose to be better than the worst of ourselves- ONLY that we must acknowledge and accept that as humans, this is part of who we are. But it doesn't stop there. We need to forgive ourselves too. And it is this forgiveness that seems to give us the most trouble. The non-forgiveness and self judgment of bad and evil within, is what keeps us separate from others, from love, from source, from spirit and allows us to separate ourselves into good and evil- different parts we can reject or accept- not a whole.

The end result is that it keeps us from believing that we are deserving of happiness, of love, of those things we need. After all, if we are capable of being bad evil people, and have done or thought bad things, why would we think that we deserve anything good? Bad and evil should earn punishment. Right? It is where we judge others from, often being unable to reconcile the fact that everyone is both good and bad- because we cannot reconcile it in ourselves.

I think the statement that we "don't have to take sides as to whether at heart we are irredeemable sinners or haloed saints" "and in holding that capacity, we are in effect both" implies a certain amount of non-forgiveness for the mere fact of being human. On the face, it sounds as if we should accept and move on, reunite the whole; but the very words suggest an inability and helplessness to change who we are and to determine our actions. We have the capacity to be both; we do not necessarily act from that capacity. "Neither capacity will ever entirely leave us" suggests to me that attempting to stay in the light is an impossible task, because we will always be "sinners". I can't accept that point of view; it places goodness and redemption outside of me and out of my hands. I am good and bad- but those "seeds" do not have to grow. It is my choice which I tend and nourish.

I think that positive thinkers and motivational authors well know that we are aware of the dark aspects of our being. It is the messages we give to ourselves that come from our childhood -black or white, good or evil perceptions our past actions and this capacity to do bad things that cause most of the problems. The counter is to say, yes I accept that I could do bad things, but I choose to not; I forgive myself for those and that capacity and choose light and non-condemnation. Accept and forgive, acknowledge and take back the whole of self without punishment- embrace the whole as one- is the key.

I haven't perfected this forgiveness of self, but I have traveled quite a distance in putting it into effect. I believe it is a process that continues throughout life. I believe it is essential to connecting with spirit and source.

Oh and as a random thought, I do believe that evil exists in the world, that it is not purely subjective. But I think most of us are not evil or even bad- capacity and actuality are not the same thing. However that is a tangent for another time.

And it also occurs to me with some fear from one of my weaker personal areas -that the alternate title of this might be Burning Bridges; but it depends on the reception and the mood of a particular receptee..

Now onto putting out the fires of the day...

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The weather teases

The weather teases
Warm air, Santa Ana breezes.
No spring smells or flowers
Yet green hills growing greener.

I want to dance in the breeze
Spin around, abandon reason.
I want to cast off the grey clouds
Still smothering me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Reflective state of mind

I don't think I would trade being in my fifties to being a teenager again, though there are a few things I occasionally think about for which a "do-over" might be nice... well, only for a moment do I think it might be nice. There are opportunities I missed or turned down that might have been good, and moments of injury and pain of one sort or another that I might like to not have experienced- but would I be the same person? I think not.

I am here - in this city, in this place, in these situations and circumstances, in this mindset, and with this knowledge- because of those things which I have experienced over the course of the fifty-two years. I haven't always made the right choices, but in retrospect darned if they weren't good for me in the long run. I learned some things I wouldn't have learned otherwise. And in thinking that way, I have to accept that those things I might think of as "bad" choices or no choices where I allowed someone else to do the choosing for me- really weren't "bad" at all. I have to accept that they were necessary to become this me.

Though it does occur to me that I might like to look and feel like I am thirty-five or maybe forty again... being an appearance driven society and all. I think one of the superficial things I miss is being able to turn a few heads now and then.

Monday, January 17, 2005

The road and oil for the machinery of life

"You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety." ~ Abraham Maslow

"Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing." ~ Denis Waitley

"I see that I am inwardly fashioned for faith and not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear and doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry my being is gasping for breath — these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence I breath freely — these are my native air." ~ Eli Stanley Jones

And one more, because there is an oppositional duality that seems to permeate this season for me and besides it made me laugh:

"Mondays are the potholes in the road of life." ~ Tom Wilson (Ziggy creator)


Sunday, January 16, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings Week 102

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Yoda:: wise one
  2. Mensa:: Mensa International
  3. Pink:: consumer goods with manufacturer donations to breast cancer research
  4. Text message:: sometimes smiles; once upon a time most of them caused my feet to leave the ground
  5. Galactic:: journey
  6. Chicks:: Dixie
  7. Quesadilla:: with guacamole, a nice snack or even sometimes a meal
  8. Backpack:: have several; none of them adjust to suit me with a heavy load; only used for books these days, rarely a short day hike
  9. Socket:: wrench
  10. Compromise:: sometimes the only solution; sometimes there isn't one
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Space stories and pics

There are a number of stories that caught my eye today at
A sampling:
Huygens Probe Returns First Images of Titan's Surface Best Images of 2004 - Vote

And with a headline sounding like it is straight out of the tabloids:
ET Visitors: Scientists See High Likelihood

It's been a while since I had a little time to spare other than a mad dash around a few blogs and some news headlines. This was a nice little diversion.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

BLUE SKY at last!!! My son needed a ride to work in La Crescenta today- this is the window shot on the way home. I continue to be amazed at this tiny camera, even though I can't tell exactly what I am shooting before hand. My eyes can't see that small, not necessarily the camera's fault- so every shot is a guess.  Posted by Hello

The sun is out!

We have mostly sunshine and large patches of blue sky!!!! We still might have a shower or two, but my spirit feels lighter already.

On another note, I stumbled onto a free photography course- Jodies Coston's Free Online Photography Course at Morguefile. The class is finished, but the ten lessons are still online for self study. Actually Morguefile looks rather interesting to wander around.

found via My Word with Douglas E. Welch

Monday, January 10, 2005

So much devastation

Compared to what is going on elsewhere in and near Los Angeles county, I should feel fortunate that I only had to deal with a little street flooding and road closures. I might have been soggy after my little trek- and first time adventure on Metrolink, but I was safe.

We have had mudslides, people dead, real flooding, roads washed out completely, lots of swift water rescues and then of course a few recoveries (which is code for retrieving a body), dams about to overflow, and many evacuated places waiting for what will happen next.

One more night and day of rain and then we might get to dry out.

Of course, even this is nothing compared to the horrible devastation from the tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

This is the view before I boarded the Metrolink- bleak and dreary.  Posted by Hello

One of two views snapped from the train window. I kept missing the best river shots, but was surprised this tiny camera captured what it did while we were moving.  Posted by Hello

The view out the window from the Metrolink, on the way to Union Station this afternoon-
This river is usually only a trickle at the bottom of a very, very, deep concrete ravine.  Posted by Hello

Another wet grey day

We have yet another day of rain here in Los Angeles and we aren't equipped for this amount. The road just outside of our culdesac is a little raging creek from Foothill northward towards Tujunga Wash. They patched part of the pavement late last week, but it has washed out again. We are getting water from the uphill parts of Foothill Blvd. and water from the storm drain that is seeking the path of least resistance. Apparently that path is out of the storm drain into the street.

Fortunately I have another way out, but I won't drive on the freeways in the rain except in an emergency. If I could, I would just stay home, but I have no options so I am headed out to try out Metrolink again today. The flooding at one of the major streets I must cross, supposedly still leaves one lane open- so I should be able to get to the station. Cross your fingers for me, please.

What makes me really uneasy is that in order to stay for the second class tonight, I will still need to leave shortly after it begins. And even that is taking the last bus that will get me to the last train going my way. If I miss that train, I am stuck at Union Station. There are no buses home at that hour and no more trains.

I like the green hills and I like the spring flowers that will come later, but we are way over our seasonal rain totals. Will somebody please send back the sun...

Thought is viscous

"No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous."
-- Henry Adams
from Quote of the Day

hmmmm.... This time of night, thought is sometimes viscous- adequate words definitely are..

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings Week 101

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Pistol:: gun
  2. Rick:: know a couple
  3. Full circle:: Life; everything moves in a circle
  4. I wish:: no personal wishes I want to think about at the moment; but it would be nice to see no natural disasters and no bombs and bullets in the world for a while or longer. (Is that like the classic beauty contestant answer- world peace?) OH, wait a minute, I do have a personal wish: I wish it would stop raining for several days! I need to be in the sunshine.
  5. Frame::supporting structure; of perception- individual world view; reframe- view from a different perspective
  6. Adult:: defined in many ways and often accompanied by unexamined, subconsciously adopted "rules"
  7. Photography:: some beautiful examples on the internet
  8. Stew:: homemade, cold weather comfort food
  9. Cheat:: dishonest, lie and steal
  10. Brad:: Pitt is the only one that comes to mind
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Cold rain beats down outside
Dark sky hides the sunlight.
I slip
allowing the grayness to seep inside
Drowning joy and light.

Friday, January 07, 2005

My reward for the day

Sad young woman; disappointment dripping down on her cheeks, only half hearing the words from the woman on the phone- cueing in on the words that meant waiting longer for full time employment in an assisted setting. She knows what she wants, and what she wants is this job- with people she likes working with, the daytime hours, not too far away from home, and the paycheck it will bring. She has learned the job, she knows exactly how to get there on time, and the money will mean she can do things on the weekend that she was previously enjoying- movies, shopping, music- going out with her fiancé; life as an adult with a little breathing room. Right now she has to save almost all the part time pay and the state and federal assistance she receives to buy groceries, pay bills and rent. We all want a job where we like the work and the people and have a little money left over to do a few things that make life fun.

The woman on the phone was trying to gently explain to her, then telling me--how the company was ready to hire a team from the work group, said it would happen in January, but now are not sure they can hire them- maybe budgetary problems or a contract of theirs that fell through. At that point, the very nice woman on the phone was quite ready to let me deal with things that were stuck in a disappointed loop in the young woman's mind, so she said her goodbyes to me, with a message for the young woman and hung up.

I listened to how much the young woman wanted this job, and how long she had been waiting, and how ready she was. I listened to the words that poured out - and in between got a sense of how much she didn't understand, and even hints that she might feel it was something she had done wrong.

How to acknowledge her disappointment, not step on or negate the emotions, yet help her reframe so she can see more than the immediate picture? How to suggest that sometimes no matter what, things go a different direction than we expected, but it often isn't the terrible thing we think it will be? Is it possible or even right for me to suggest a different way of looking at things? I know this young woman's tendency to get stuck on certain kinds of things and be unable to think about anything else. This particular event could even be synchronistic, but how to explain synchronicity where abstract thinking is difficult?

"I'm sorry for crying, for getting so upset" the young girl says shortly. I understand you are disappointed" I say gently. "And crying is not something you have to say you are sorry about". "Crying is ok when something makes you sad and unhappy, just as talking about what it is that makes you unhappy, is ok."

After a few moments of silence, I tell her: "There are two possibilities that you might want to think about- two things that could happen. The first is that after a little wait, this will all fall into place - you will finally have this job and in the meantime you have all these appointments and important beginning of the year errands that we can get out of the way. The second possibility is that this isn't the right job for you but you will find a better one. You have a lot of people working with you, a lot of people on your side to help make this happen." I held out my hands in balance scale fashion- "over here, with a little more waiting, you get this job you want; over here you get a different job that will also be just right for you."

Now I know there are all sorts of other possible variables in the outcomes... and all of them are dependent on a lot of other people working behind the scenes in different ways. But it is true- I didn't lie- this job or another one- and if the first one falls through, the other one will be better because it will be hers.

You should have seen the huge smile that lit up her face when she thought about it as a win-win situation- no matter what happens.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

"Change is the only thing we can count on for sure"

"We count on a high degree of sameness not only in ourselves, but also in the people we care about. No matter how much we may complain about our difficult brother or critical mother, we still count on the fact that they will be pretty much the same person the next time we visit them. We may want them to change-- but only so much, and only in the ways we desire. Others feel similarly about us. It's not just the capacity to change, but also the capacity to resist change, that stabilizes our sense of identity, our continuity with the past, and our connections with others.

Change is an anxiety-arousing business because whenever you make a change, you can't make only one. There is no guarantee where it will stop. ... ..."

"... ... Every new place we visit --be it a foreign country, a budding friendship, a child's birth, or a new job-- evokes a new world within us. To avoid the anxiety inherent in change and growth, we may doggedly cling to the familiar. By clutching tightly to the safety of sameness, we may try to keep everyone and everything as sure as sunrise and as fixed as the stars. But it's not possible. Life is process, movement, and transformation. Try as we may to "hold back the dawn," change is the only thing we can count on for sure."

Harriet Learner, Ph.D. (2004).
Fear and Other Uninvited Guests : Tackling the Anxiety, Fear, and Shame That Keep Us from Optimal Living and Loving (pg. 74, 77). Harper Collins.

Monday, January 03, 2005

You can't get there from here

More rain, and while classes started tonight, I am home. I did speak to my professor earlier, though I am not sure she was particularly sympathetic. She did agree not to drop me from the class if I didn't make it.

I tried to go, but even getting to the Metrolink station involved figuring out how to traverse flooded streets (which proved too much for me). The other alternative at that point, a three and a half hour bus journey- wouldn't have gotten me to class much before it ended. So I came home just in time for a new heavy downpour to occur, then a thunderstorm which included hail- so much for it being scattered showers, as someone told me it would be. I think next time I will take my camera - for proof that you can't get there from here.

The Foothills are a neglected place when it comes to mass transit, but I still have to figure out a way to get from here to Alhambra in heavy rain. It is expected to rain to some degree all week and possibly next as well.

I'd better get a new umbrella too.

Childhood passions

I was wondering how much various amateur/home science things cost these days, and delightedly found Edmund Scientific's website.

As a child and a teen (in those ancient times, as my son likes to tease), the Edmund Scientific catalog was one of my favorites to receive. Until I left home, I secretly (from my peers) kept a weather station growing up in Indiana (secretly, because even I thought it might be a little too geeky for a girl of the times). I kept logs and manually collected information, including calculating dew point with a sling hygrometer, etc. My little station anemometer was hard wired to flash a light for each revolution. I counted flashes and then converted that into MPH. For a while even as an adult, I had an anemometer like that first one, mounted up high on the amateur radio antenna tower (yeah, I played with amateur radio too, thanks in part to WD9BFA).

Weather and Radio weren't my only science forays, but other than geology, they were the ones I spent the most time involved with back then.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Song in my head

Here comes the rain again
Falling on my head like a memory
Falling on my head like a new emotion
I want to walk in the open wind
I want to talk like lovers do
I want to dive into your ocean
Is it raining with you

So baby talk to me
Like lovers do
Walk with me
Like lovers do
Talk to me
Like lovers do

Here comes the rain again
Raining in my head like a tragedy
Tearing me apart like a new emotion
I want to breathe in the open wind
I want to kiss like lovers do
I want to dive into your ocean
Is it raining with you

So baby talk to me
Like lovers do

Here comes the rain again
Falling on my head like a memory
Falling on my head like a new emotion
(here it comes again, here it comes again)
I want to walk in the open wind
I want to talk like lovers do
I want dive into your ocean
Is it raining with you

(Alex Parks)

Unconscious Mutterings Week 100

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Newspaper:: headlines
  2. DVD:: another media storage format
  3. Resolution:: image
  4. Intimate:: not
  5. Song:: lost the one in my heart- replaced it with something different... lost forever, or for a while is hard to tell from this vantage point...
  6. Essential:: critically necessary elements
  7. Whistle:: and bird chirps (parrots and others)
  8. Glass:: through the looking glass, where the world operates on unknown rules and it's probably good to have things shaken up periodically. It forces one to take stock.
  9. Countdown:: to the new year; to the start of the next ten weeks; to the next thing, situation, goal, problem to solve, storm, day... Maybe it's much better to live this moment instead of being too concerned with countdowns.
  10. Child:: mine is sometimes careless, stubborn and impatient (did I cause that?)
Want to play? Go to Unconscious Mutterings.

First day of the year ending

Well, technically it is after midnight so this is the second day, but since I haven't gone to bed yet, I don't count that yet.

I have been playing around with a new template, tweaking it this way and that. I don't think I will finish it by Monday (when classes and clients will need attention), but I will keep working on it in bits and pieces. I set up a test site to play with it so I don't lose anything here.

More rain is headed in; we will need life jackets before long. All the little daily concerns (like places to be, deadlines to meet) are starting to flood back into consciousness.

I sure wish I had more time off. I am just about rested up and ready to tackle several projects around here. I guess I should be glad I am on this side of the world and have work, classes and little projects --instead of needing to be concerned about shelter, food and rebuilding a whole life.