Friday, March 31, 2006

random choices

I do a lot of quick re-reading of passages in different books. Cloudy days and the slow windup at the start of an academic quarter, push me towards a great deal more of this. Generally it is done by what I call 'the book choosing me', but which I know is my unconscious choosing a book ---- perhaps in synchronicity, serendipity or perhaps in entirely random ways.

Today's choice was a tiny book of selections from Kahlil Gibran which opened to the essay "My Soul Preached to Me". So many different places of significance to me, but I will start with the beginning...
My soul preached to me and taught me to love that which the people abhor and befriend him whom they revile.

My soul showed me that Love prides itself not only in the one who loves, but also in the beloved.

Ere my soul preached to me, Love was in my heart as a tiny thread fastened between two pegs.

But now Love has become a halo whose beginning is its end and whose end is its beginning. It surrounds every being and extends slowly to embrace all that shall be.
I think I understand.. and that understanding grows with age.... but sometimes I still want it to be "a tiny thread fastened between two pegs". Selfish, eh?

Thursday, March 30, 2006

forty questions????

I ran across these questions at mole.... in this post. They went quicker than I thought. What enticed me to answer, though, was this - found in comments:

"These memes are, like, chatty, you know? Ice breakers? I prattle, then you prattle, and it makes me feel better. I prattle, you don't say nothin, I feel like a goof."

1) Who is the last person you high-fived? -- one of the agency clients who was outside my boss's office.. funny though, at first I could remember the action, my awkward response, his hands, but not the face... then it suddenly came into focus. It's one of those things I respond to, but seldom initiate.

2) If you were drafted into a war, would you survive? -- maybe..

3) Do you sleep with the TV on? -- occasionally.. well, often if I am actually sitting down watching TV.

4) Have you ever drunk milk straight out of the carton? -- absolutely, but shush.. don't tell my son; I tell him that he can't.

5) Have you ever won a spelling bee? -- yup.... ages and ages and ages ago. I used to be pretty good at spelling.

6) Have you ever been stung by a bee? -- yeah, twice. The first time, not a big deal; the second, a very, very big deal. I'm supposed to carry one of those EpiPens for any potential third sting and I ought to get one for any day hikes... I wonder what hoops I need to jump to get Kaiser to prescribe one. The last one I had was with a different doctor, different insurance carrier...

7) How fast can you type? -- depends on the day... fifty, sixty wpm on some.. forty with mistakes and frequent backspacing on others..

8) Are you afraid of the dark? -- sometimes; more that I intensely feel being alone in the dark

9) Eye color? -- blue/green/hazel.. my driver's license used to say blue/green

10) Have you ever made out at a drive-in? -- ahhh... memories.. yes..

11) When is the last time you chose a bath over a shower? -- too long

12) Do you knock on wood? -- sometimes

13) Do you floss daily? -- some weeks

(-- 14 seems to be missing)

15) Can you hula hoop? -- used to in the nineteen-fifties (1950's), and was very good at it; not tried it lately though I noticed some in a ToysRUs just last week and considered buying one for a lark.

16) Are you good at keeping secrets? -- Yes

17) What do you want for Christmas? -- world peace

18) Do you know the Muffin Man? -- no

19) Do you talk in your sleep? -- not that I'm aware of.. surely someone would have told me????

20) Who wrote the book of love? -- I don't know, is there only one? If there is only one, would someone send me a copy or point me in the right direction, please? Please?

21) Have you ever flown a kite? -- Yes! fond memories

22) Do you wish on your fallen lashes? -- no

23) Do you consider yourself successful? -- Do I? by what standards? yes- because I've survived to this point in life with a sense of humor intact and growing.

24) How many people are on your contact list of your cell? -- I'd have to count; it's filled with clients, work and academic contacts... much fewer friends and family.

25) Have you ever asked for a pony? --no... I wanted my own row boat (got it too)

26) Plans for tomorrow? not to cry about the lack of free time, and to socialize enough and carefully in the monthly staff meeting

27) Can you juggle? -- yes, but like Dale, only three items.. been a while though and I'm out of pracice... OH, AND of course, i can juggle. I do it every day- time, money, people, priorities!!!!!!!

28) Missing someone now? -- yes, yes, yes...

29) when was the last time you told someone I Love You? -- my son, last night. Oh did you mean some other significant person- not one's child??? not in a while.

30) And truly meant it? -- yes.

31) how often do you drink? -- almost never

32) How are you feeling today? -- up and down, normal, ordinary.

33) what do you say too much? -- "really" - as statement, question, sometimes as a sarcastic comment

34) Have you ever been suspended or expelled from school? -- maybe

35) What are you looking forward to? -- finishing my degree and having more unstructured time

36) Have you ever crawled through a window? -- yes

37) Have you ever eaten dog food? -- not dog food but dog biscuits because my baby sister seemed to think they were good.. they weren't, but she and the dog would share them.

38) Can you handle the truth? -- yes.. and like Dale, that is qualified-- I can handle the truth better than a lie...

39) Do you like green eggs and ham? -- well, I like Theodor Geisel's works, so yeah.

40) Any cool scars? -- hmmmm.. cool??? not sure about cool. There are a few visible scars I can be encouraged to talk about

I'll leave the invitation/tag/ - open to anyone who wishes to pick it up...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

signs of the day

"Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been." ~Mark Twain

I've definitely got the wrinkles...
wink pink

Some smiles from the day:

Surprise visitor 2

My son said, "Look! There's a rabbit out here"... to which I replied "yeah, right" because I thought he was joking. We have wooden fences on either side of what is a room sized deck/patio area between the condo and the garage. But as you can see, there was a rabbit enjoying the fact that we don't have a deck or paving stones and the weeds are growing like crazy. I grabbed the camera, and Mr. Rabbit who actually lives next door, posed for a couple of pictures.

Another smile of the day-- my new spring/summer hiking boots arrived.

To be completely honest, at the same time I ordered these for hiking, I also ordered a pair of suede boots with three inch heels to indulge another side of me. I don't wear heels that often. I much prefer the speed and functionality of flats and low wedge soles for ordinary day use. I expect the boots below are the ones that will get the most use.

new boots

They are waterproof, lightweight, with lugged rubber soles, and comfy except for a slight stiffness at the left Achilles tendon. I'm wearing them right now with my yoga pants- to break them in, of course. Besides, even though it is a bit like the young child who wears a ballerina tutu and cowboy boots, no one can see me.
wink pink

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

youth steps up

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is something heartening about the youth protest over the immigration bill.

I sympathize with the protesters and disagree with the draconian provisions of what I think is the house version of the bill (though I'm having trouble finding either one on Thomas), while I understand the reasons behind trying to create immigration reforms. IF we are to continue having governments and political borders, IF we wish to choose who can and can't come into our country (or at least the majority of those who come), then some kind of immigration laws and penalties for breaking the laws probably ought to exist.

Note the tentative language - I can see both sides. I have an automatic gut response to anything that prohibits the free movement of human beings- while at the same time I expect the government to protect its citizens from anything and anyone harmful that might wish to cross into the country. I'm not convinced we need to be protected against Mexicans and Canadians or anyone else who comes here to work.

Those words poured out when what I really wanted to say was that I wish the youth had turned out, would turn out in the streets, in the same numbers, to protest the war in Iraq.

But noticing and protesting an unfair bill is a start.

Monday, March 27, 2006

no exceptions

There were lots of little things in this day attempting to eat away at the edges of any "I can handle this, I can handle anything for ten weeks" attitude, but at some moment in the middle I saw this bumper sticker:

God bless the whole world
No Exceptions

and it provoked a lot of thought.. bits of sadness... and a great deal of hope. It also served to turn my focus outward and away from my own little self involved angst filled circle.

On the car that carried this banner, was another indicating the person driving was affiliated in some manner with the FCNL...
Who is that, I wondered? ... Checking it out, it all made sense of course.
FCNL- the Friends Committee on National Legislation- the polical action committee of the Quakers.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 164

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Glass castle:: glass houses and stones; fantasy tales with quests, magic, swords and castles

  2. Preserved:: well

  3. Jealousy:: useless emotion

  4. Territory:: borders

  5. Coffee:: magical brew; my elixor of choice- a version of vanilla frappachino with 2 additional shots of expresso... when I want caffeine, I want caffeine.

  6. Stephen:: Wright, King, Segal

  7. Slut:: perception

  8. Dynamic:: ever changing

  9. Daybreak:: dawn

  10. Dew:: on the grass

Weekly word list found at Unconscious Mutterings

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

smiles from the day

The perfect temperature, a little wind, a little sun, water bubbling along in the wash, lizzards skittering under brush, wild flowers blooming, bees buzzing, crows flying, birds singing, a short hike-- all ingredients for a wonderful spirit soothing afternoon!!

Two glances at some of the scenery:
Tujunga Wash 169

Branching paths

Here comes the sun

A reasonable night's sleep, the last free week-day for the next eleven weeks, a beautiful sunshiny day- and I think I will play today. I'll see if I can rustle up a picture or two later.

Here Comes the Sun

Monday, March 20, 2006

country kick

This blues and rock gal finds herself on a bit of a country music kick these past many days. I rather like the dance rhythm of "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy"  , so I downloaded it several days ago. That started a hunt through my CD's for various country artists I enjoy, which turned into a surfing and listening trip through a 79-99 cent download store for some others.

Among those downloads- this one by Keith Urban
Days Go By

I'm changing lanes and talkin' on the phone
Drivin' way too fast.
And the interstate's jammed with gunners like me
Afraid of comin' in last.
But somewhere in the race we run,
We're coming undone...

And days go by...
I can feel 'em flyin'
Like a hand out the window in the wind.
The cars go by...
Yeah it's all we've been given,
So you better start livin' right now
'Cause days go by...

Out on the roof just the other night
I watched the world flash by,
Headlights, taillights,
Running through a river of neon signs.
But somewhere in the rush I felt,
We're losing ourselves...

and another by Keith Urban "Where the Blacktop Ends"

Gonna kick off my shoes
And run in bare feet
Where the grass and the dirt and the gravel all meet
Goin' back to the well gonna visit old friends
And feed my soul where the blacktop ends

I'll not be kicking off my shoes outside just yet- it's a little chilly and wet for that..
wink pink

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings Week 163

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Sugar rush:: energy boost

  2. Chemical:: spill

  3. Suspension:: bridge (or on my car, which needs work)

  4. Defending:: a premise, a thesis, a theory

  5. Conference:: academic

  6. Dance:: by moonlight with wild abandon

  7. Weather:: keeps turning grey

  8. Fuel:: energy; cell; life

  9. Heartbreak:: many that I've recovered from; one that I am not sure if I ever will...

  10. Insult:: shrug it off
Weekly word list can be found at Unconscious Mutterings

Saturday, March 18, 2006

night darker than midnight blue

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." ~Anatole France

It has been a day of mostly successes and only a few negative surprises. But the night has a melancholy feel (that feeling in the night is an old friend, not so welcome, but oh so familiar). It might have been helped along by the skies that keep forgetting to stay blue in the daytime, or perhaps by knowing I no longer have a free day for solitary pursuits. That last bit is something I must figure out how to correct, even if it means running away from home every few weeks for a day or so on the weekend. But it is only one of many things that need some adaptation-- or else complete change.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

work expands...

"...This was my life. Days blended together, consistently ordinary, thanks to a job that was the practical version of my passion. ..." from the movie Catwoman

I've had more than a few days that blended together.. weeks, months, years even. The phrase "consistently ordinary" chafes a bit in it's aptness. It isn't how I want to live all the rest of my days. I suppose I should be careful what I wish for...

For the moment, this day's residue lingers. What started out easy and fun turned into a frustrating search for a computer malfunction within a client's machine... something I suspect is either a virus (it only seems to be affecting programs that connect to or create a connection with the internet) or a terrible symptom of worse things to come. Because I know how much she depends on it to touch the world outside, being a real softie, I'm trying to figure out how to fit some of my weekend time (or how much I wish to give) to work on it more. I sometimes have trouble drawing clear lines and boundaries for such things.. and sticking with them.

"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."
~C. Northcote Parkinson

or perhaps I should listen to Will Wheaton: "When I was so sick ... I had a fever-induced epiphany: I needed to make several changes in my life. I needed to redefine some boundaries, and re-organize my priorities." (his blog is undergoing renovations)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

a weight temporarily banished

I was looking around Quotations using "lightness" as a search term and discovered this:

"“The beauty of flames lies in their strange play, beyond all proportion and harmony. Their diaphanous flare symbolizes at once grace and tragedy, innocence and despair, sadness and voluptuousness. The burning transcendence has something of the lightness of great purifications. I wish the fiery transcendence would carry me up and throw me into a sea of flames, where, consumed by their delicate and insidious tongues, I would die an ecstatic death. The beauty of flames creates the illusion of a pure, sublime death similar to the light of dawn. Immaterial, death in flames is like a burning of light, graceful wings. Do only butterflies die in flames? What about those devoured by the flames within them?" ~Emile M. Cioran

It has nothing to do with my mood or feeling tonight, but the words struck me as worth thought....

I confess to never having heard of Emile M. Cioran before... Wikipedia is such a nice tool.

There are several other quotations at ThinkExist attributed to him -like this one: "It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late." ... (which amused me in its truth)... or this one: "No one recovers from the disease of being born, a deadly wound if there ever was one."... or this one: "It is because we are all imposters that we endure each other."

I finished the quarter. With this class I might have done damage to my perfect 4.0 for graduate studies as I earned a nice solid "B" on quizzes. No matter. I do have two different invitations to this year's honors convocation- one for special division honors and one for special recognition in graduate studies. Not bad for an old gal, eh?

As to the start of this post -- 'lightness' was one of the words I was looking at to describe a certain weight lifted from my shoulders and a week ahead free of classes... the road always seems tangential.
wink pink

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

actions speak louder

Every evening I intend to spend a few minutes writing here and every evening, I seem to have too many things still needing attention that completely fill the time available. And then its time to sleep.

Poor lonely little blog.

Honest, my intentions are true, it's the scheduling that seems to be causing difficulty.

I've pictures, topics, thoughts, silly things that don't really need saying but that I need to express... so more consistency at posting soon... honest.... errr ah well, I hope anyway... more intentions - from a person who believes that actions speak louder.

Wednesday is the do or die day for the academic quarter and after that my whole schedule changes. So we'll see, won't we?