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Noblesse oblige (3) Feb. 21st, 2013 @ 07:33 pm
We, so tired of all the darkness in our lives...
    Some years ago, I realized that the concept of
    “noblesse oblige” was strongly ingrained in me
    almost to the point of deformation of character,
    traits and abilities. That in some way one (I)
    is always required to do the “highest” duty one can –
    that one must devote oneself to the most complicated,
    abstract, mentally-intensive work one is capable of
    performing – because there are many people who can't
    do that kind of thing, and it's unfair of one to not
    live up to one's potential when others can't do it.

    So I felt like I was not supposed to – or more like,
    allowed – to do things that “just anyone could do”.
    Or anything that might be the only thing someone
    else could do – that I couldn't take anyone else's
    job away from them.

    Of course, there's a lot of definitional questions of
    what that would involve (or exclude). Mostly it seems
    to involve concrete thinking (anyone can read or write
    simple things, add numbers together...) or practical/
    household skills (anyone can clean a room or polish
    furniture or dig a hole...) or physical techniques
    (anyone can do rudimentary sewing to repair clothes,
    or paint a wall, or drive a car, etc.).

    So there are many things I'm not supposed to waste my
    time learning, much less doing, because I am “too smart”
    for that.

We are young but getting old before our time...
    I was pondering this because my dad, specifically, is a
    very “handy” type of person (he worked as a machinist
    mate in the Navy, and then was a mechanic in the Martin
    airplane factory before he went into teaching). Yet
    while I helped him with several home and/or car repair
    projects, I don't feel like I ever learned much in the
    way of actual, systematic repair skills or techniques
    from him – i.e. how to analyze a concrete problem and
    then either troubleshoot or resolve it.

    Did I ask my dad to teach me? No, but I'm wondering if
    that was a subtler version of my “don't bother someone
    if they are busy” fear. Could he have taught me that way,
    those things? I have no idea, though the times I watched
    him as a teacher or heard him tell stories, I know he's
    very emphatic and intent on teaching people things that
    are applicable to their lives.

    Either it just didn't dawn on him that he could (or should)
    teach me those type of things (but certainly he did share
    other things with me) – or maybe he tried to and I didn't
    have the capacity to learn that kind of thing (though I
    do like to solve things systematically) – or maybe, as I
    perceive it right now, the expectation was that I should
    be learning the highest-level abstract things I possibly
    could so that I could aspire to bigger and better things
    than being a janitor or repairman or farmer or factory worker.

    Similarly, my mother went to college and became a teacher
    because she was intelligent, and that was an intellectual job
    that was acceptable for women back in the 50s, not to mention
    the fact that my father was doing the same thing and she wanted
    to be with him.... but she didn't like teaching, it wasn't a
    good fit for her personality. The rest of her jobs went
    “backwards” from that – from basic office/clerical tasks in
    my grade school, to being a meat cutter/cashier at the local
    grocery store, to her last attempt to work as an expert/
    salesperson in a craft store... where my own perception is
    that she panicked at the added responsibility, began to feel
    like she had failed/was about to fail, and got sick in order
    to quit.

    Which goes back to, I'm not supposed to take someone else's job.
    I'm not allowed to do simple work or tasks. I feel like I have
    to do what other people expect me to do, or need me to do because
    they can't. That I am trapped into doing intellectual work, or
    thinking academic thoughts, all the time, and forever.

    I fear that if I take any time off – or if I stop doing this
    type of work for any reason – I'll be perceived as quitting,
    or irresponsible, or failing my potential and not fulfilling
    (others') expectations. (Also that if I then try to go back
    to doing it, I will have lost all ability for it. I already
    have a lot of that fear just in the fact that I've done little
    explicit user-centered design or testing in the last year.)

    I don't know that I would want to stop doing it completely and
    permanently – I am good at it and there is some value in it –
    but I've been in some version of the “information sciences”
    field for over 25 years (if you count my library assistant/
    grad school years, it's been 26 years where this has been my
    career path) and am now feeling quite a bit exhausted by both
    the constant change, challenge and pressure of having to learn
    new things to “keep up with the field”, and the parallel feeling
    that actually both the problems and solutions just keep getting
    recycled rather than actually resolved.

We'll leave the TV and the radio behind...
    At this point in the formal essay-writing process, the
    expectation is: having discussed the fundamental issue,
    one should now propose realistic ideas or suggestions
    to resolve the problem and not play “yes, but...” with
    the reading audience. However, I don't feel able to
    find solutions or possibilities that aren't radically
    drastic and thus perceived to be unrealistic since people
    don't dramatically change all at once – if they think
    they do, it tends to be a “Flitcraft moment” where they
    move out of their pattern briefly but eventually lapse
    back into the same type of existence they ran away from
    previously. Because as Buckaroo Banzai and all the Buddhas
    say, “Wherever you go in life, there you are.”

Don't you wonder what we'll find
Stepping out tonight--

    I don't feel like I can stay the same.

    But I don't feel like I'm allowed to change, either.

    And there's damn little fruit juice in this bottle....

We'll be there in just a while...
If you follow me

Originally posted on Dreamwidth as http://netpositive.dreamwidth.org/76641.html . Do comment either hither or yon, as you see fit.
(seem to be a) verb: too used to starving?
Soundtrack: Joe Jackson - Stepping Out [At the BBC]

Goodbye to Reggie (aka Ashlea's Regal Splendor), 1999-2013 Jan. 10th, 2013 @ 07:42 am
We just lost our Sealpoint Balinese cat, Reggie, to breast cancer - first diagnosed back in March 2011. Some of you may have seen an earlier version of this posted on that other social media site yesterday. Thanks for your sympathy - this never gets easier, but all y'all do help.

Dear Princess Reggie (1999-2013),

Read more...Collapse )

Everyday wear

Evening wear

Originally posted on Dreamwidth as http://netpositive.dreamwidth.org/76461.html . Do comment either hither or yon, as you see fit.
(seem to be a) verb: sadder, yet lighter, so sadder
Soundtrack: Cheap Trick - I Want You To Want Me (live)

From Kashmir to Katmandu (draft) Dec. 20th, 2012 @ 09:05 pm
The year, the year, the year gets dark.

Soundless fury, toneless fear, blackness so stark
closing your eyes against it only makes it brighter.

Everything counsels patience, waiting, slowness.
If I sit any more still I will go backwards.

If you had a clue what I think -
If you ever asked how I felt -
If it wasn't all about you -
Maybe there would be me.

Instead, every day is a new misadventure.
I don't tell you anything, I keep myself
in the cage that keeps you safe from me.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth as http://netpositive.dreamwidth.org/75804.html . Do comment either hither or yon, as you see fit.
(seem to be a) verb: closing my eyes makes it light
Soundtrack: Led Zeppelin - In My Time of Dying (2007 live version)

Strategy and tactics (15) Nov. 12th, 2012 @ 11:23 pm
Miles looked up at his father. "Did... I do
the right thing, sir? Last night?"

"Yes," said the count simply. "A right thing.
Perhaps not the best of all possible right things.
Three days from now you may think of a clever tactic,
but you were my man on the ground at the time. I try
not to second-guess my field commanders."

Miles' heart rose in his aching chest for the
first time since he'd left Kyril Island.

Miles and Aral Vorkosigan, _The Vor Game_
    I've reached out to other people.
    Now I need to reach myself.

    If I've seen or talked to you recently,
    know that I cared enough to do that,
    and that you do matter to me. But
    there needs to be a right me
    for you to matter to.

    I said something I needed to you,
    and the world did not end.
    Thank you for listening.
    Thank you for touching me.
Take a moment to remember WHY creating something
fills your soul or spirit.

-Marianne Mullen

    The entire point of dreams filled with trivia is:
    Hey! Your dreams are filled with trivia.
    Either wake up, or get new dreams.
It's not the writing part that's hard.
It's sitting down to write.

Stephen Pressfield, _The War of Art_

Originally posted on Dreamwidth as http://netpositive.dreamwidth.org/75691.html . Do comment either hither or yon, as you see fit.
(seem to be a) verb: grumbling
Soundtrack: Panic! at the Disco - Always

Lyon, tyger, burning out Oct. 20th, 2012 @ 12:57 pm
And the truth might be just a little too sour for
You, you don’t, you can’t, you won’t, you will
From the house up on the hill
Where time begs the truth to tell
And the clocks demand that time will run the show
And truth has found that there ain't nowhere to go
But hide among the shadows of the lies, the lies
We told

Bronze Radio Return, "The Truth"
    It's important.

    I'm tired of it not being important.

    I'm sick of being told what I should think
    is important.

    You don't know me. You don't know.
Give the gift of your absence to those
who do not appreciate your presence.

-Marc and Angel Hack Life
    Sometimes I don't realize how hungry or thirsty I am,
    until I have a little meat, until I drink some juice.

    Sometimes I don't know I still am.

    If you knew. If you knew.
If my wings should fail me, Lord,
Please meet me with another pair

Led Zeppelin, "In My Time of Dying"

Originally posted on Dreamwidth as http://netpositive.dreamwidth.org/75021.html . Do comment either hither or yon, as you see fit.
(seem to be a) verb: feeling shallow
Soundtrack: John Barry - Dixie Kidnaps Vera

Reflectology (9), or The Mirror Stares Back Into You Sep. 12th, 2012 @ 12:34 pm
Your attitude about yourself is going through
some changes right now, and it's almost like
you are getting to know yourself all over again.
This process of getting comfortable with new aspects
of your personality isn't always the most comfortable
experience, but it is necessary to improving your sense
of confidence. One thing that might help you adjust is
to avoid folks who are always telling you what to do
with your life. You don't need this kind of advice
right now.

-Yahoo horoscope for Leo, 9/12/2012
    Anyone got a Banana Splits decoder ring?

    In other news, I still hate fall.

That's an ooch...

Originally posted on Dreamwidth as http://netpositive.dreamwidth.org/74698.html . Do comment either hither or yon, as you see fit.
(seem to be a) verb: batting clean up
Soundtrack: Rush - Xanadu [Different Stages, live]

Uncomfortable clothes Aug. 2nd, 2012 @ 10:21 am
[No actual coworkers were harmed or upset in the making
of this dream. This is only partially about work, after all.]

I dreamed this morning that "they" killed one of my coworkers.
Officially he "fell", but several of us figured he was pushed
because we saw him wrestled away from the balcony before he
could speak. "They" instantly replaced him with someone new
who cheerfully spouted what "they" wanted to hear rather than
doing difficult work to fix or change things.

One coworker, who had been close friends with the victim,
fell completely apart, sobbing in my arms. I was trying to
help and hide her in case they might go after her too.

Then things shifted slightly... and I was parking further away
from work, in a rather hidden spot in an underground garage.
I noticed I was wearing a specific T-shirt [a meaningful but
uncomfortably constructed one that I haven't worn in years -
however, I saw it a week ago when I pulled out its sister shirt
for my first solo takeoff and landing]
and so on my way in
I started looking around for a more suitable shirt, but no one
had noticed I wasn't dressed right.

At least before I woke up.

Would the death of hope hurt less if it hadn't been given a voice?

At least my first impulse seems to have been to worry about someone else
in more trouble, rather than myself.

Would you have still said what you did if you knew what I was thinking?

One of the leftovers from my childhood is that I don't like surprises.

Do I change my shirt, or do I walk away?

Ah, sometimes Tir'na Na Nog'th disappears right under your feet.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth as http://netpositive.dreamwidth.org/74307.html . Do comment either hither or yon, as you see fit.
(seem to be a) verb: looking for a puzzle piece
Soundtrack: Basement Jazz - Where's Your Head At (radio edit)

How are you finding yourself? May. 5th, 2012 @ 05:55 pm
A genuine work of art must mean many things.
The truer its art, the more things it will mean.

-George MacDonald
    This afternoon I stood in the yard in the rain.

    There was earth and stone, cool wind and breath,
    water in drops and blasts and broken sheets.

    And small -- so small - sparks of fire, burning
    like navigational stars in a lost universe.

    And there are still flower petals on the car,
    after the deluge, as the storms move on.

    The divine should not be somewhere out there.
    The divine should be in here.

    Come back to me.
    Or let me go.
    Or find me here, and take me there.
"How should I turn back, with no boat,
here on the edge of the world?"
"This the edge of the world? No, that is
farther on. We may yet come to it."

-Ursula K. LeGuin, _The Farthest Shore_

Originally posted on Dreamwidth as http://netpositive.dreamwidth.org/74201.html . Do comment either hither or yon, as you see fit.
(seem to be a) verb: coming out of the cold
Soundtrack: Extreme - Am I Ever Gonna Change

Not spring. Not yet. Mar. 2nd, 2012 @ 12:00 pm
Do you notice how sensitive you are to your feelings
and the feelings of others when you realize you’re in love
and it doesn’t look like it will work out?

-Carol Chanel
    Don't look at yourself in the mirror.
    Look at what is reflected in the mirror,
    if you wonder what I see.

    If you don't wonder? Then I don't care.
That’s the last thing we need more of –
things that don’t fuel our light, our life,
and our happiness.

-Betsy Cross via Stan Faryna
    I dreamed last night that someone
    stole my wallet, drained my bank account,
    and maxed out my credit cards.

    You were there.

    I can be vulnerable with someone I trust,
    but you have to *be* that person.

    Or not.

    Dear Tir'na Na Nogth,
    I can't run away from home
    if I don't know where it is.
    And I don't know where I'm going -
    Only that I'm not there. At all.

    Forever yours in Amber,
Keep the lines of communication open at all times.
Yeah, right.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth as http://netpositive.dreamwidth.org/73728.html . Do comment either hither or yon, as you see fit.
(seem to be a) verb: trying to look up while fallin
Soundtrack: Brian May - I'm Scared / Neil Sedaka - Tit for Tat

Midwinter madness Jan. 10th, 2012 @ 10:05 am
1. Go exploring. Explore ideas, places, and opinions.
The inside of the echo chamber is where all the
boring people hang out.

-Jessica Nagy, "How to be More Interesting (in 10 Simple Steps)"
    I hate midwinter.

    Everyone who knows me, knows I hate midwinter.

    Gonna put one foot in front of the other
    until spring.

    Going slowly, maybe.

    But going.
You know, I keep dreaming of other people.
I want to be in my dreams once in a while.

-me, to myself, this morning
    And yet... I'm close to the divine.
    I can feel it. I have seen it. Touched it, even.

    I hear you calling.
    Please let me hear what you are saying.

10. Ignore the scolds. Boring is safe,
and you will be told to behave yourself.
The scolds could have, would have, should have.
But they didn’t.

-Jessica Nagy, again

Originally posted on Dreamwidth as http://netpositive.dreamwidth.org/73585.html . Do comment either hither or yon, as you see fit.
(seem to be a) verb: holding pattern, for now
Soundtrack: Caro Emerald - Stuck

Change, stress, and other fears Jan. 2nd, 2012 @ 10:55 pm
I want to fly...
-Ofra Haza
    I'm not good with change, but it does happen.
    This year is likely to be more stressful and busy
    than usual, so I'm being proactive where I can be.

    Posted notice: I will still be reading LiveJournal,
    but will be cross-posting from Dreamwidth. All of my
    previous entries are backed up there. Just in case.

    Thank you all for being there. Wherever there is.
Fear of something bad happening in the future
is one of the things that makes us human....

-Leo Babauta

Originally posted on Dreamwidth as
http://netpositive.dreamwidth.org/73418.html .
Do comment either hither or yon, as you see fit.
Current Location: looking up
Soundtrack: Joe Jackson - It's Different For Girls

Just trying to find the bridge -- or at least a tunnel. Dec. 1st, 2011 @ 12:52 am
He says the best way out is always through.
And I agree to that, or in so far
As that I can see no way out but through --
Leastways for me -- and then they’ll be convinced.

-Robert Frost, "A Servant of Servants"
    I see so many people struggling.
    I hear so many people hurting.
    The strong get torn down;
    the weak get torn up.
    How can I make this world less dark?
    You tell me, and then we'll both know
    how to reach out in a lack of light
    and touch without shocking each other.

    (Unless we both need the electricity.
    Then please, oh please, let the juice run.)

    I've seen the divine. Quite recently in fact.
    But I don't see how to get there from here.
    So far. So far.

    Yet the future keeps right on coming.
I ’spose I’ve got to go the road I’m going:
Other folks have to, and why shouldn’t I?

-Robert Frost
(seem to be a) verb: sleeping without
Soundtrack: Brian May - The Dark

Going once, going twice... Sep. 30th, 2011 @ 09:15 pm
Everytime that you make me smile
it's the same old way it used to be
And that's enough for me

-Fleetwood Mac
    I do not object to making sausage, eating spaghetti, and
    batting clean up. But doing all three at once? A bit much.

    I am grateful for any help and understanding I receive.

    So far, so far, so far.
Keep walking
Though there's no place to get to.
Don't try to see through the distances.
That's not for human beings.
Move within
but don't move
The way that fear makes you move.

Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)
    I want to go where nobody knows my name.
    I want to go a long way.
    I want to go.

    Please let me go.
Everytime that sleep don't come
it's the same old pain it used to be
And that's enough for me
(seem to be a) verb: staying out of sight
Soundtrack: Fleetwood Mac - That's Enough For Me

Lost and found department Aug. 13th, 2011 @ 04:06 pm
Stress is what you feel when you have
to handle more than you are used to.

    I did not dream last night.

    Ssy, have you seen me recently?
    I'm not exactly lost,
    but I don't feel very found.

    I want to sleep long enough to dream.

    I'd like to be present in the moment.

    I need to get by.

    Right now.


    Walk away.

Your goal should never be to avoid mistakes at all costs
and seek control. Your goal should be to strengthen your
perseverance by effectively dealing with the situation
when things go awry.

-a random article on Perseverance
(seem to be a) verb: keeping my head down
Soundtrack: Peter Gabriel - Red Rain

Creatively literal Jun. 7th, 2011 @ 08:11 am
I dreamed this morning that I was dodging fireballs
shaped like ghostly freight trains, in a basement
I know quite well.

We opened a casement window to escape. People got out,
but the piano was destroyed. I was in no danger, but.

Ah, sometimes Tir'na Na Nog'th is a subconscious...
But these past few weeks, been entirely too literal.

How do you get the goose out of the bottle?

How do you get out?
Soundtrack: Oysterband - Blood Wedding

Other people's words (2) May. 6th, 2011 @ 04:55 pm
From tacnukesoul: duty, tech, fan, caring, movement

Duty: not much about me is Puritan, but that part is.
I did learn to say No to things a while back, which has
saved me (and others) some grief. I also keep a running
tally in my head of my own efforts vs. that of others --
sort of the "I'll be true as long as you, and not a moment
after" method of debt discharge... except that others get
bonus credit. Yes, I struggle a lot with duty to others
taking precedence over any duty I might/should owe myself.
Just because I see my world as a series of transactions
doesn't mean I can make that virtual checkbook balance...

Tech: I hang out with a lot of very "technical" people
so perhaps I have more of a reputation for that than I
really deserve. I like helping out and making things run
smoothly, but don't have the interest in tech for tech's
sake, or the obsessional quality of mastering an area of
scientific knowledge/practice to a bleeding razor's edge.

Fan: when most of the people I've known talk about their
finding [science-fiction] fandom, they seem to mention
things like "how I felt an instant sense of belonging",
or "it made me feel free(r) to be myself". Acceptance,
understanding, sharing, kinship... not my experience of
the collective. I've connected with some individuals,
but if you asked me why I still show up, sometimes it's
just force of habit. Or for the amusement of observation.

Caring: I think I'm capable of it. *pause* And the cats
do get it. Beyond that... you'd have to ask other people.

Movement: I love watching other people move, almost as
much as I love doing it myself (as long as I can do it
half-well). But I came to martial arts late and partner
dancing later, and I've never been highly athletic, so
I don't have the elastic skill I see and envy in others.

If you want to play along, reply to this post
by yelling (or even saying gently) "Words!" and
I will give you five words that remind me of you.
Then post them in your LJ and explain what they
mean to you.
Soundtrack: Wings - Band on the Run [live]

Other people's words (1) Apr. 30th, 2011 @ 04:31 pm
From whuffle: Discipline, reticence, jitterbug, cheetah, cautious

Discipline: I was raised to be several adjectives, high
among them being "responsible", "reliable", and "polite".
Sometimes _not_ doing or saying something is discipline
keeping me from not being those adjectives. However, I
do wish I had more positive discipline focused on doing
either highly boring chores and/or highly creative work.
My laundry isn't folded, and my novels aren't written;
one wouldn't be too bad, but both undone is inexcusable.

Reticence: I've often found that showing one's feelings
leads more to avoidance (if the listener finds them
distasteful) or manipulation (if the listener has
evil or selfish motives) than sharing or connection.
I'd rather be simply invisible than actively shunned,
and I know my vulnerabilities too well to show them.

Jitterbug: one of the few places left in my life
where I have the energy and ability to be playful.
(I'd still like some of the others back, mind you,
and am pondering ways to return or to go on... but
at least for now I have this outlet for flow.)

Cheetah: as a kid, I read all the Born Free-type books
by Joy Adamson. I thought it would be neat to go live
with lions. Then, I read _The Spotted Sphinx", and my
allegiance shifted wholeheartedly to cheetahs for all
the things I saw we had in common. Nothing I've learned
since has done anything but intensify the feeling that
I would make a far better cheetah than I do a human.

Cautious: like Treebeard, making up my mind does not
take as long as going over all the facts. I think of
myself as a strong person with a lot of capacity for
intention, influence, or injury; thus I try hard not
to make bad decisions. I don't like to change my mind
once I have decided something, either -- even if the
situation around me has changed, I feel *I* may not;
or even if I *have*, I tend to honor my promises and
just wait for others to break theirs instead.

If you want to play along, reply to this post
by yelling (or even saying gently) "Words!" and
I will give you five words that remind me of you.
Then post them in your LJ and explain what they
mean to you.
Soundtrack: Duran Duran - Is There Something I Should Know

Today's haiku Apr. 22nd, 2011 @ 09:55 am
Don't know where I am.
Only matters where I've been and
How I'm going on.

-me, on the road this morning
    Have been pondering "communities vs. individuals" a lot.
    Connection vs. disconnection. Can you have both?
    How do you balance the social and the solitary?

    Feel like I'm looking for a practical spirituality
    and not finding it. I believe in immanence... but
    right now I'm not sure it believes in me.

    People are hard. Groups of people are harder.

    Am I crazy? Is it me? Is it you?
The kind of spirituality I value is one
in which you get great joy out of contributing
to life, not just sitting and meditating,
although meditation is certainly valuable.
But from the meditation, from the resulting
consciousness, I would like to see people
in action creating the world that they want
to live in.

-Marshall Rosenberg
(seem to be a) verb: drinking deep
Soundtrack: Paul McCartney - Another Day

In my comfort clothes when out of my comfort zone Mar. 12th, 2011 @ 05:23 pm
I'd like to go to Italy
Just to eat the food
Just to drink the wine
Just to go

-Patty Larkin, "Italy"
    So, this post is not about Italy. It's about Japan.

    A friend recently commented that he didn't think of me
    as a T-shirt and jeans kind of girl. :) I was entertained
    because that's close what I think of as my "normal state",
    but this friend has generally seen me (1) in contexts where
    I should be wearing fancier clothes, or (2) when I'm cold
    and wearing sweater or sweatshirt -- which are often hiding
    a T-shirt.

    (1) involves everything from work to dancing, and I get as
    close as I can to social norms without sacrificing too much
    to fashion; (2) includes everything under, say, 65 degrees.

    But I have certain T-shirts that between physical comfort
    and emotional meaning, I come back to again and again. Some
    of them are so worn and tattered now that I only unfold and
    don them for "special occasions". Others hang in there -- or
    more precisely, don't hang because they often get yanked out
    of the clean laundry basket before folding even occurs.

    Two of them involve Japan in some way, which is why this post
    comes out in this particular way and this particular time.

    I went to Japan in Aug. 2007. Not to go to the Worldcon in
    Yokohama (just like I went to Los Angeles in 1996 not to go
    to Worldcon). As Patty Larkin would say, "Just to go."

    Just to be.

    I've lost my luggage in the Tokyo subway locker system;
    bought a CD from a band named Hanamizuki playing free on
    Minato-Mirai plaza; seen The Great Sasuke and Ultimo Dragon
    performing at Korakuen Hall; stood in the Ghibli Museum
    wearing my Princess Mononoke T-shirt; and climbed to a peak
    of Daisetsuzan, aka the "Roof of Hokkaido".


    I've used the Internet to discover the best "jingisukan"
    in Sapporo, and Lonely Planet to locate its two sublime
    ramen-noodle alleys; stopped over in Tomokomai because of
    a poster for an exhibition of matchbox art; experienced
    shinkansen and subways, ryokans and train sleeping cars,
    but did not try a capsule hotel; and discovered "umeshuu".


    I've chatted with train conductors, zookeepers, members of
    art museums, convenience store attendants, early morning
    sushi aficionados, temple attendants, and more: I, in my
    stumbling Japanese, them practicing English eagerly in turn.


    I've been to Sendai. I have a picture of the train station
    sign for Hachinohe because I loved its kanji. I've walked
    the streets of Aomori, provided crazy gaijin amusement for
    their police dept., and had to eat a "tako doonatsu" that
    my kosher-eating companion bought by mistake while he was
    still catching up to me on transliterating and translating.

    My language is rusty again, and my bottle of umeshuu is just
    about empty, but my expired rail pass is still in my backpack.
    For I do miss that alien self, adrift in a stranger's world.

    Clad in a T-shirt, and jeans.

    So, my Japan: never #1 on my list of places I'd want to live
    (that'd be a slightly smaller island known as "the Big Island"),
    but in the top 3. Because I never expect to "belong" anywhere,
    and I would even tell you I don't like to travel... just to be.

    Even now.

    So, send help if you can. Or at least a positive thought or two.

I'd like to go to Japan
So my passport would look used
Just to change my point of view
Just to go

-me, paraphrasing Patty

Direct Relief International for the people and places
American Humane Association for injured/abandoned animals
(seem to be a) verb: looking for the how
Soundtrack: Ryuichi Sakamoto - Nuages

Haiku steps from a walk in my winter Feb. 13th, 2011 @ 07:45 pm
My feet travel five, seven, five.
My hands hold a book, an iPod, cold blood, and keys.
My heart is so very far away.
    Earlier heard birds.
    Now, sere silence of dead grass
    Scratched by vehicles.

    Bobcats squat in mud,
    Yellow screaming against brown,
    Clawed wheels churned deep.

    The sober of cold
    Stays outside blue neon bars
    Not drinking it in.

    Shelves filled with shiny
    things I do not want to buy;
    I do turn around, and leave.

    You level and build
    Metal trees and plastic wood
    Over life's underground.

    You sweep your streets free
    of the broken and feral --
    no place for me, here.

    Beware the beast, then,
    Prowling civilization
    With no affection.

    Later, sun through glass
    redeems one moment -- but a
    window remains closed.
Trying to live in the moment
may be necessary but is not always beautiful.
Sometimes all one has is understanding what is.
(seem to be a) verb: settling my stomach
Soundtrack: Modest Mouse - Bury Me With It

Like a lion in winter Feb. 11th, 2011 @ 01:02 pm

I realized then that I who thought I had complete control
of my life, had control of only three things: my thought, my mind –
the images that these thoughts created – and the action that derived
from it. So here I was wallowing in a vortex of emotions and depression
and what have you, with the enormity of the situation, wanting to go to
a place of healing, health and happiness. I wanted to go from where I was
to where I wanted to be, for which I needed something. I needed something
that would pull me out of all this. So I dried my tears, and I declared to
the world at large... I said, "X is only one page in my life, and I will not
allow this page to impact the rest of my life."

I also declared to the world at large that I would ride it out, and
I would not allow X to ride me. But to go from where I was to where I
wanted to be, I needed something. I needed an anchor, an image, a peg
to peg this process on, so that I could go from there. And I found that
in my dance, my dance, my strength, my energy, my passion, my very life breath.

-Ananda Shankar Jayant, TED video

    Feet? Check. Hands? Check. Brain? Check.

    Will the real me please stand up? Oh, there you are...

    I think. But I feel the Big Cat Blues.

Imagine a lion walking around affirming – I’m king of the jungle,
I’m king of the jungle. And yet this is exactly what people are doing
with positive affirmations most of the time. The lion’s very nature is
that it is a lion. Being king of the jungle is mostly an idea.

Fortunately lions are not as confused as human beings. Lions mostly
walk around being lions without suffering from being disconnected from
themselves and having a bunch of ideas about who or what they should be.

The most affirming experience we humans can have is to land in
our true nature. A moment of perceiving the real is more powerful
than a lifetime of words. Well intentioned, but misguided efforts
at positive affirmations would be better spent in learning how to
settle down and allow what is truly real in us arise into consciousness.

The world is abundant. Life is on our side. We are awesome and wonderful.
It’s the true state of affairs. If we can’t see it, then the more productive
course of action is to explore – why not. Trying to convince ourselves that
the sky is blue when, in fact, the sky is blue – is crazy behavior.

As the saying goes – the only way out is through. Explore the deficiencies,
the hidden beliefs. Open them up to the light of awareness. The truth will
set us free. The false dissolves. Only the real remains.

John, in Open Secrets

    Do you ride the lion, or does it ride you?

    I need more words, more music, more dance, my voice.

    I want to go to the end of my world -- my jungle.

    I would like to walk around being a lion, and
    not worrying about being king or not.

    I intend to stretch.
(seem to be a) verb: lying in the sun
Soundtrack: Deep Dish - Stranded / Big & Rich - Big Time

Bonjour Minet, bouleversant Jan. 29th, 2011 @ 01:58 pm
Have you heard of "conjugating adjectives" in English?

I'm thrifty; you're frugal; he's cheap.
I'm assertive; you're aggressive; she's pushy.

This postholder is possibly about declining nouns.

One person's rescue is another person's escape.
Someone's dream job may be someone else's nightmare.

Sometimes, you do the right thing -- and it doesn't work.
From a particular reference point, looking up may only mean
straight ahead, but it's still a change in point of view.

Trying to reframe this... but it's not easy.

Don't take it personally. Try giving it away instead.

Just another poor boy off to fight a rich man's war

I dreamed last night. Then I woke up and remembered it.

Ah, sometimes Tir'na Na Nog'th is a pattern you can walk.
But first you have to find your feet. Then you have to move.
(seem to be a) verb: blinking idiot
Soundtrack: Steve Earle - pick any song

Draft of a poem: "Love you to death, and beyond" Jan. 9th, 2011 @ 11:55 am
A conversation at dinner last night
reminded me to write things down
when I'm thinking of them.
Or of you.

This will go through revisions,
hopefully many.
But for now it's a starting point.

    I see you.

    In every flower that blooms --
    tree that leaves --
    bee that buzzes --
    wasp that stings.

    I see you in the ice on frozen driveways,
    and the water flowing in Winters Run,
    and the steam rising from cow manure
    dropped in a cold Jarrettsville dawn.

    In pine trees, and weeping willows, and crabapples.

    I hear you in the chatter of chickens and
    the chewing of cows, in political discourse
    and private confessions, and in everyone's

    I hear you in groups, in tete-a-tetes, and
    in silence.

    You are there every time I darn a sock, or
    change my oil, or go to work, or do my taxes,
    or come home, or listen to music, or read a book.
    Right there -- and generally adding your opinion!
    (We don't always agree, but it always has value.)

    I touch you in flannel and in velvet,
    in rusted steel and the fur of animals,
    in fuzzy sweaters and cotton/polyester,
    in the rocks of the field
    and the bones of my hands.

    I taste you in overcooked roast beef
    and fresh asparagus, in white rice
    and red spices -- cinnamon, paprika,
    and catsup.

    I smell you in fresh-cut wood
    and in turpentine, in new-mown grass
    and in bales of straw, in summer's air
    and autumn's fall.

    (Oh, can't forget lemon-scented Pledge.
    Otherwise, I hate lemon -- just about
    as much as you seem to love it.)

    And best of all, in all my senses,
    I can perceive you in others'
    hearts and minds.

    Whatever you eventually reincarnate as, be it
    Buddha or beetle, I know one thing for sure.

    Your spirit, is gonna cause some mischief.

To poets everywhere, even ones I don't like.
And for the one I love above all others.
(seem to be a) verb: reflecting
Soundtrack: Shosakovich - Leningrad, 1st movement

Listening to outside authority Jan. 1st, 2011 @ 02:35 pm
    I dreamed last night that I felt fine,
    but that some doctor was convinced I needed
    an immediate operation to remove something

    But I could never get an answer from him, or
    any of the hospital staff what, exactly, was
    the problem.

    Despite going back into the dream -- twice! --
    to try and get an answer from them. Or anyone.

    Ah, sometimes Tir'na Na Nog'th is a subconscious.
    And sometimes, just a left turn at Albuquerque.

    Still, I think maybe I know what it means.

    The answers lie in me and no one else.

    More later, I think. Cleaning, sorting, changing
    and throwing out are all short-term items on the
    long-term plan.
Soundtrack: Extreme - When I'm President

Of dances and dreams, closets and cabins, cold and dark Dec. 4th, 2010 @ 01:01 pm
Poor little dreamer
Stand inside the door
You can't find the easy rhymes
Of times you had before--

-Heart, "Cry to Me"

Danced with the right people last night
at contra, even the ones I didn't know.
The ones I did? Thank you -- bless you.
    I dreamed last night I was the last
    passenger on a jet plane with 16 cabins
    which varied wildly in accommodation.

    Fourteen passengers were already on board.
    split evenly between friends and allies
    and so there were only two cabins left
    for me to choose from.

    One was the smallest, just a white closet.

    The other was the largest, with controls,
    monitors, and a VHS deck containing a tape
    labeled "Safety Procedures for This Flight".

    Ah, sometimes Tir'na Na Nog'th is a subconscious.
    And sometimes, just a hard slap in the face.

The glass is empty and the wine
Is bitter on your tongue
People don't seen wild and fine
Like when you were young--

In other news, I forgot how warm snowboard socks are.
But how I hate cold and dark months ending in -ember?
That part, full well I remember.

But I also remembered to take my vitamins this morning.

Dancing encourages hyperventilation, increases the
production of adrenaline, and causes a sharp decrease in
levels of blood glucose. These physiological responses
stimulate the brain to release endorphins...

-Barbara Tedlock, _The Woman in the Shaman's Body_
(seem to be a) verb: throwing out trash
Soundtrack: Jayhawks - Baby Baby Baby / Ash - Burn Baby Burn

The city rises Sep. 12th, 2010 @ 12:47 pm
    I dreamed last night that my first solo flight
    in a helicopter was to a town in North Carolina.
    Three important people were my passengers.

    From there, I found I needed a (new?) map
    to go on.

    Ah, sometimes Tir'na Na Nog'th is a subconscious.
    And sometimes, just a mirror.
(seem to be a) verb: rising slowly thru grey mist
Soundtrack: Thomas Dolby - 17 Hills/Flat Earth/White City

Accidentally testing oneself Jul. 9th, 2010 @ 10:13 am
You may or may not know that I work in user experience.

This was my off half hour this morning.
This morning, I usability tested myself,
among several other things...

  1. Get on bus [normally 10-15 minute ride].
  2. How about a quick email check on mobile phone?
    [Motorola CLIQ:Android, 2 weeks and still shiny]
  3. Open [in GMail] a promotional email from a
    certain major book/etc. retailer touting their eReader!
  4. Specifically touting "Got a BN eReader? Get a Free Coffee!"
  5. Don't drink coffee, but do like the idea of a BN eReader.
    Am trying out 2 different ebook apps already, sure, add a third...
  6. Text in email that says "Download eReader" is bold and
    differently colored. Try clicking that to download. Success?
  7. Fail. Does not download eReader(or do anything else).
  8. Irritated and pressed for time, so missed seeing smaller
    link farther down page -- after some more promo text -- which says
    "Download it now". It? What's an 'it'? I'm skimming for 'eReader'.
  9. Also ignore link at top saying "Hurry! Offer Ends July 15.
    Coffee's On the House - When You Show the eBook You're Reading*"
    not expecting it to do anything other than blather on more about
    the promotion, how wonderful coffee is, how wonderful ebooks are,
    etc. Because I don't care about the coffee, dammit, and I'm not
    reading an eBook yet because I don't have your eReader yet. Fail.
  10. Use a link in email to go to major book/etc. retailer
    website home page.
  11. Search for 'eReader'.
  12. Search results don't bring up eReader in 4 results,
    but do have link to "Download eReader" in footer. Success?
  13. Fail. Link says "page not found".
  14. To add insult to injury, it suggests I use search.
  15. Impatient [bus has turned onto Columbia Pike] I go to
    Google and search 'barnes noble ereader'. [I used to be a
    librarian, kids, don't try this at home.] Link to [correct]
    page shows up 2nd or 3rd.
  16. Go [back] to BN via Google. Find "Download eReader."
  17. Fail. Link wants to send me to iTunes to download. WTF?
    If I wanted iTunes on my smartdevice I woulda bought an iPhone.
  18. [Whole rant re: years of me vs. iTunes deleted for time.]
  19. Bus is now on Hayes St. I have about 3 more minutes of
    Internet connection before going into heavy shielding [aka the
    DC Metro]. Back to Google and search just 'eReader'... looking
    for reviews, maybe, to see if this thing is even worth my time.
  20. See a result for ereader.com. Ooh! Go there. Success?
  21. Maybe! Top banner even says "a Barnes & Noble Company"
    and in left nav there is a top link for "FREE eReader Software
    ▪ Download Now!" Click on that.
  22. Ooh! Nice listing of phones and Android is right there!
    Click on "Android", hoping it doesn't route me back to iTunes...
  23. Adds "eReader for Android" choices at bottom. Extra step,
    but I sure feel I'm on the right path now... click on that as
    bus turns into Pentagon.
  24. Android applications manager tells me I'm default set
    NOT to install apps that are NOT from the official Android store.
    Oops. I know how to fix that, though. Quick detour through Settings
    and I'm downloading and installing eReader.
  25. Launch eReader. Hmm, no obvious BN branding? Sure hope
    I have the right app... can't worry about that for the next 5
    minutes as I transfer modes of transportation and lose Internet.
  26. Temporary reconnection as subway crosses above river.
    List of ebooks available. Choice for Categories or "View ebooks
    by Author". [I used to be a *cataloging* librarian, kids, so I
    know how erratic categorizing fiction can be.] Authors! Ooh!
  27. Nooooo! Search and browse design unthinking! Gives me
    a list for 'A' authors, with choices at top for the other letters
    of the alphabet. However, it also alphabetizes the middle initial
    A. as the start of a last name.
  28. And, it displays results as 'first name last name'.
  29. And, should you scroll down to 'Mariano Azuela ' at
    bottom of 'A' list, no way to get to 'B' list without scrolling
    back up to top of page, which is a royal pain on mobile devices
    where the screen is long and thin.
  30. Back underground and on to work, via a maze of twisty
    corridors that all look alike...

Some people debate the 'validity' of usability testing because
it's generally set up to do specific scenarios in a limited
time session with supposedly artificial testing stress added.

I'm now wondering if my usability tests are too nice...

Tell me something ___ (2) Jun. 25th, 2010 @ 04:42 pm
See also the previous post like this.

Today is a day where I am being driven crazy
by abundant boredom and a lack of opportunity.

So tell me something else I may not know...
how would _you_ complete this sentence?
(about yourself)

"I need a ____ that won't drive me crazy."

Comments screened to protect the innocent,
the guilty, and the shy from the shameless.
Current Location: grumbling

Tell me something ____ Jun. 17th, 2010 @ 12:30 am
Today was a day when I was glad I had
lots of Blue Oyster Cult on the iPod.

So. Tell me something I may not know...
how would _you_ complete this sentence?
(about yourself)

"I'm ___________ and I like it."

Comments screened to protect the innocent,
the guilty, and the shy from the shameless.
(seem to be a) verb: crunching
Soundtrack: Thomas Dolby - White City (live)

And when the rain comes, it comes from the west Jun. 14th, 2010 @ 08:52 pm
A touch of cool rain
On the back of a bare neck
Trickles down the spine
Current Location: curling up
Soundtrack: ELO - Summer and Lightning

Sunshower, just a sign of the power Jun. 14th, 2010 @ 07:15 pm
... I guess I'll have to show more skin
in the next one. The public's demandin' it.
Y'know, when they ask for meat
you can't give 'em vegetables.

-Ruby Carter, _It Ain't No Sin_
    If you did something for me?
    Thank you. I appreciate it.

    If I did something for you?
    You're welcome. My pleasure.

    And if we didn't do anything?
    It's okay. Try again tomorrow.

    I feel my connection to the divine.
    I'm grateful for the light and heat.
    But a rainstorm would be lovely too.
Kiss me & don't forget
What you see is what you get

Oysterband, "Blood Wedding"
Soundtrack: Collins/Cray/Copeland - Lion's Den

Win or lose, it's the game you play May. 21st, 2010 @ 12:08 pm
Run while you can. And dance really loud.

So now I know what it would sound like
if Depeche Mode tried to hold a concert
during a German ping-pong tournament.
cut for Em Licht lyrics, original and translatedCollapse )
Soundtrack: Bonnie Raitt - "Something to Talk About"

Yin for yang May. 20th, 2010 @ 05:44 pm
3 is not the same as double.
Adjust your expectations.
Make lemon juice tart.

Friday - contra dancing and Antero Alli.
Saturday - classical musicians and Django Reinhardt.
Sunday - bookcases and hellburgers.
Monday - pizza and intravenous fluids.
Tuesday - sinuses and video archiving.
Wednesday - "That's different. I'm trustworthy."
Thursday - "Listen, I'm not kidding. This is my job!"

Need to step it up a bit?
Ten things a day.
Per room.

You, make me a better person.
You, make me a bigger person.
You, make me a thoughtful person.
You, make me think.

Still need that blue sky, though.
Soundtrack: Der Neier Doina - Dave Tarras

Guerilla girl, hard and sweet May. 5th, 2010 @ 09:17 pm
Been feeling a lot more like myself lately.

A lot of me. And then some.

Kinda nice.

Meat and salt, and juice for me.

A pair of roller skates, and a brand new key.
Perhaps I have the universe. Or maybe it has me.
(seem to be a) verb: thinking big
Soundtrack: Stevie Wonder - Have a Talk With God

Looking more closely Apr. 26th, 2010 @ 10:31 am
Switch off the mind and let the heart decide
who you were meant to be
Flick to remote and let the body glide,
there is no enemy
Etch out a future of your own design,
well tailored to your needs
Then fan the flame and keep the dream alive
of a continent, a continent, a continent, a continent...

-Thomas Dolby
    If I were a believer in omens, this morning I
    missed the bus *and* the elevator to work is broken.

    And then, the cursor on my laptop froze in place.

    And I'm thirsty. Still so thirsty.

If you have not yet succeeded on an inward journey,
be gentle with yourself. Give yourself time. Gently let
yourself go deeper. Whatever experience comes to you,
let it take you over. Welcome it. Relish it.

Soundtrack: Joe Jackson - Obvious Song

Reflectology (8), or, Divination in Lizard Bones Apr. 23rd, 2010 @ 12:13 pm
Hear her laughing in earthquake land...
    Sometimes the 60GB iPod acts more like an
    audible tarot deck than a soundtrack to life.
    This morning's zodiac clockwork orange spread:

    Blue Oyster Cult - "Real World"
    Loretta Lynn - "Mrs. Leroy Brown"
    Donna Summer - "I Remember Yesterday"
    The Joker's Wild - "Crazy Lady"
    Sue Foley - "Let My Tears Fall Down"
    Scorpions - "Nightmare Avenue"
    Joe Jackson - "Rant and Rave"
    Blue Oyster Cult - "Hot Rails to Hell"
    Bizarre Inc. - "Playing with Knives"
    Stephen Halpern - "Trance-ZENDANCE"
    Marillon - "Alone Again in the Lap of Luxury"
    Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - "Halloween Spooks"

    and the hidden baker's dozen song was...?
    Lee Press-On and the Nails - "Jumpin' Jive"

    Other people make decisions without me.
    Why can't I?

    Unless maybe the decision doesn't matter.

We're drifting in the waiting room
Call it real, but call me real soon

    Dear Tir'na Na Nogth,
    Did I really need dreams invading my waking hours?

    Well, yeah, maybe I do.

    But next time, just drive-by with a bunch of Swords.
    Faster, more elegant, -- and I do like to recycle.

    Forever yours in Amber,

Yes, so many geniuses that have been labeled as
weird, crazy, and you know what. But, at the end of
the day, such geniuses prevailed and look what their
great work or baby projects have been giving us--
comforts, enjoyment, and the like.

-Making A Difference Amidst Indifference
- 4 Survival Affirmations to Take to Heart
Soundtrack: Joe Jackson - What's the Use of Getting Sober

Strategy and tactics (13) Apr. 21st, 2010 @ 09:11 am
The Affirmation section is where you'll learn to
change the words you use inside, in order to gain
more confidence and admiration on the outside!

    Seems like I'm most impressive at a (safe) distance.

    The farther away you are, the more interesting I am.

    Maybe I should move very far away from anyone else.

I am a valuable human being.

An opportunity is simply a possibility until I act on it.

Soundtrack: Joe Jackson - Not Here, Not Now

Helpful recommendations (18) Apr. 12th, 2010 @ 11:55 am
So in between the B/W Parkway and West Park Drive,
there's this moment in time and space:

Empty space in your head next day
Memories have come and they have gone
Open your eyes can't get back to sleep
Though it's the earliest crack of dawn
There's a nagging something
You can't quite put your finger on...

-Tracy McDonnell
    Do I feel better because I take the vitamins,
    or do I take the vitamins because I feel better?
    Or maybe the vitamins take me.
    Whatever. Just take the vitamins.

    Easy games can provide a sense of accomplishment.
    It may seem like a "false" sense because the game
    is not "real". But you, and your play, are as real as.

    Try asking for what you want. It's hard to hear nos,
    but at least you're speaking for yourself when you do.

    More honey than vinegar. But vinegar can bring the tart.

    Let's face the music -- and dance.

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together
to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather
teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Soundtrack: Ray Gelato - Forget About Livin'

Going with the flow even when it stops flowing for a bit Apr. 8th, 2010 @ 07:15 pm
There's a message in the wind that blows...

I struggle with change and I grow very slowly.

But I will grow past this.

Please connect me with the divine. Please.
I know it's out there. There's a world out there.

Please connect me now.
Soundtrack: Cher - One Small Step (In Time)

Confidentially speaking Apr. 5th, 2010 @ 04:54 pm
The most beautiful thing we can experience is
the mysterious. It is the source of all true art
and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger,
who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe,
is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

-Albert Einstein

While gaining physical and then psychological self-confidence over time,
I seem to have lost emotional self-confidence along the way.

Sometimes learned behavior still doesn't help.

Please connect me with something.

In and out quick, a cowboy.
-a character in the Illuminatus! trilogy
Soundtrack: Patty Larkin - Not Bad For A Broad

Really? No fooling? Apr. 1st, 2010 @ 05:55 pm

Too long a cooped-up lionness --

    Every song I've mixed this year has been true, if you only knew.

There are rabies vaccination tags for cats who ran away --

    Even the ones you didn't hear me play a thousand times, thinking.

Ignorance is a kind of bliss --

Soundtrack: McDonnell, Longcor, Jackson

Strategy and tactics (12) Mar. 10th, 2010 @ 05:23 pm
Focus, Castle. It's a crime scene.
-Kate Beckett
    ... a secret out, a secret in.

    Break in, break out,
    but not break up,
    not break down.

    The brakes are off.
    The drive is on.

    Not broken, just the breaks.

    A secret out, a secret in...
Could we please focus, people... focus.
-Nathan Ford
(seem to be a) verb: sitting right here in now
Soundtrack: Extreme - Suzi / Lords of Acid - Doggie Tom

The March of Poetry, or, Helpful Recommendations (17) Mar. 4th, 2010 @ 11:23 am
A rendered transliteration of the Middle English original.
For those of you not conversant with ME, þ ~= some kind of th.

Sumer is icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
and springþ þe wode nu.
Sing cuccu!

Awe bleteþ after lomb,
Lhouþ after calue cu,
Bulluc sterteþ, bucke verteþ.
Murie sing cuccu!
Cuccu, cuccu,
Wel singes þu cuccu.
ne swik þu naver nu!
Sing cuccu nu, Sing cuccu!

    Sing me, sing you, sing cuccu too...

    The world goes swift around
    On an axis that shifts instant;
    Sometimes it seems sound
    that only change is constant.

    Dreams are hard to share
    Being so personal a metaphor;
    For our needs that need care
    Are the why that dreams are for.

    Your time is not anyone else's,
    So allot your hours as you may.
    Call it a virtue to be selfish --
    If that new self meets others halfway.

    Longings deferred be not longings denied,
    Long distances need not estrange --
    A walk on your path can be tried,
    But only my own can I change.

    Groweth sed, and bloweth med,
    and springst the world anew.
    Spring and summer are coming, she said:
    In season, let our own selves come true.

Life is all about timing...
the unreachable becomes reachable,
the unavailable become available,
the unattainable... attainable.
Have the patience, wait it out.
It's all about timing.

-Stacey Charter

Back to work.
(seem to be a) verb: seeing fruit juice everywhere
Soundtrack: Extreme - Play with Me / Prince - 1999 (Rosario)

What you say vs. how you say it Feb. 22nd, 2010 @ 03:09 pm
Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.
-Swedish proverb
    Statement 1: I am comfortable in myself and I value my friends.
    Statement 2: I value my friends and I am comfortable in myself.
    Do you feel any difference?
    Do you feel any different?
    Do you believe any differently?

    I believe there's a difference between a
    pain in the heart and a pain in the neck.

    I believe there's a difference between
    education and a lecture.

    I believe there's a difference between
    honey and vinegar.

    If you don't understand me or
    think I should be different,
    you don't understand me and
    you're right, I am different.

    And you know, if you think me childish, then
    hey, I think I'll run along and play now.
In the sweetness of friendship
let there be laughter, and
sharing of pleasures.

-Kahlil Gibran
(seem to be a) verb: avoiding error
Soundtrack: Everything But The Girl - Missing

What our cat Stojko might say about me Feb. 18th, 2010 @ 03:23 pm
I hate going to the vet so much, my family has asked
the lady who I would probably like if she wasn't a vet
to come by and see me in an hour or so. So my catfriend
Reggie the Balinista is gonna steal Mom's password and
put this message from me in her journal, for Mom to see
my last words whenever she misses me in the future.

So, What Is Mom Like? [cut for sad]Collapse )
(seem to be a) verb: sniffling in sympathy w/Stojko
Soundtrack: Desert Rose Band - Livin' in the House

Looking far out Dec. 3rd, 2009 @ 05:33 pm
If I had a boat
I'd go out on the ocean
And if I had a pony
I'd ride him on my boat
And we could all together
Go out on the ocean
Me upon my pony on my boat

-Lyle Lovett
    When I was a child, I read Thor Heyerdahl.
    So I've been in sacred caves on Easter Island.

    When I was a child, I read Joy Adamson.
    So I've been to the savanna and run wild.

    When I was a child, I read J.R.R. Tolkien.
    So I've been to Middle Earth and met Ents.

    I'm not bad at traveling once I get going.
    But I never really understand it
    until I get there.

    If then.

    I want to go to the place where I want to be.

    You know where that is?

    I don't.
It is not down in any map; true places never are.
-Herman Melville
Soundtrack: The Thorns - No Blue Sky

Helpful recommendations (16) Dec. 2nd, 2009 @ 05:32 pm
[Part of this was originally posted private on July 21, 2009.
Updated 12/2/2009 to honor helping hands and making mistakes.]

Bob Uecker, who does play-by-play for the Milwaukee Brewers,
said something the other day that I'm still thinking about.
He was talking about power hitters, and what makes a really
excellent one, and what he said was, "They hit mistakes really hard."
The key here is, he's not talking about the PITCHER's mistakes,
because of course they slug the bejesus out of those. He's talking about
THEIR mistakes. Even when they get ahead of the ball and they're not
going to be able to pull it, they still hit it with everything they've got.
And sometimes, that ball goes out of the park just the same as if
they'd done what they wanted.

-truepenny, in a comment on a post about a post about a post about writing
    Tao is about ten thousand things,
    and the one.

    Try to deal with ten items a day. Move them around,
    use them up, throw them out, whatever works.

    Whenever eating anything with tomato sauce, remember to
    wear a black shirt and also have the laundry hamper handy.

    There must be at least a hundred ways to game a system.
    When in doubt, consider that anything can be solved
    given enough time or willingness to break things.
    Which one would you choose?

    That's a minimum of ten items, by the way.
    You can always go to eleven if you want to.

    Do things you enjoy.
    Do things you can.
    Do things.

    A picture can be worth a thousand words. Though sometimes
    one word is "Aww..." and it just gets repeated a thousand times.

    Thanks Bill, Berry, Cait, cats, and Wolfie.
If we do not fear to commit mistakes, if we take the omens
as a warning, as a help to cross that particular day, then
we start to get deeper and deeper into the soul of the world.

-Paulo Coehlo
(seem to be a) verb: rubbing my eyes
Soundtrack: Pat Benatar - Out-A-Touch + Patty Larkin - 24/7/365

Strategy and tactics (11) Dec. 1st, 2009 @ 02:35 pm
[Part of this was originally posted private on 9/30/2008.
Updated 12/1/2009 as closure for Black November 2009.]

The message for me in what you've said is that
ACTION is always better than inaction, a lesson that
for some reason I have had to relearn again and again.

It goes like this: You must take a step in the direction
that you think is right, because you will otherwise never
know what that step might reveal. Whether that step reveals
the error in your thinking, the missing enabler, the proof
you've sought, the beauty or ugliness you never imagined,
the nature of resistance, or nothing particularly meaningful,
it is worth the effort to pull back the curtain, because
it will expand your knowledge and guide you.

Linda from Deerfield
    Step, step, step.

    If your foot lands in mud, pull it up, shake it off.
    Go on.

    If your other foot lands in shit, pull it up, shake it off.
    Go on.
Take the first step in faith.
You don’t have to see the whole staircase,
just take the first step.

–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
(seem to be a) verb: my face is in my hands
Soundtrack: Joe Jackson - Throw It Away/LCD Soundsystem - Us v Them

Skye, 1994?-2009 Nov. 10th, 2009 @ 06:44 pm
She was an old lady even when she was young.

She was born cranky, and she always wanted to be an only cat. But she got used to us over time (if still barely tolerating the other cats) and slowly she figured out it was all right for her to get on our beds, and to enjoy petting.

Her favorite meal was chicken. Though turkey, beef, salmon, lamb vindaloo, etc. were all okay with her too. As was gooshy food of all types. As were crunchy treats. But her favorite was chicken.


I regret to inform you that the Dowager Empress Skye has taken her leave now, in search of new socks to slay.

Her last meal was chicken.
(seem to be a) verb: swallowing hard
Soundtrack: Gone, Gone, Gone/Prayer/Go Fall Asleep Now - John Hartford

Strategy and tactics (10) Feb. 25th, 2009 @ 11:11 pm
... circumstances indicate that the path
to your destination twists and turns in a
bewildering way. Your insight, however,
can penetrate and make sense of confusion.

-definition, juxtaposition from Tarot.com
    Go to the bathroom first.
    Then drink deep from your mystical cup.
    Pry your ghost loose from its shell,
    and find a right space for your words.

    Point out the middle path, and
    reconcile the polarities. Bring
    creativity and flexibility to
    the way you go about your way
    in the world. Move slowly and
    deliberately if change is required.

    Don't be too proud to ask for someone's
    help. Sometimes you do get it.

    What kinds of negative messages,
    self-doubt or paranoid fantasies
    descend upon you from time to time?
    Don't let them undermine your ability
    to be who you are and to contribute.
    Examine them and give them each a name,
    and identify them as separate from you
    (imagining them as little demons can help).
    This will increase your dominion over them.

    Turn the page. Write the next line.
    Take my foot off the brake already!

    A path is traversed one step at a time.
    A navigator can help you find the way.
    Is it a lantern, or only an hourglass?

    Simon says: take a baby step, baby.
Why must we dream in metaphors?
Try to hold on to something we couldn't understand.

Soundtrack: Seal - Dreaming in Metaphors
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