Saturday, December 31, 2005

Note the change in my profile!!!

For those of you who are looking and going "what change?", or only noticed the AE and Delta Shift comments, what I' m really referring to is the removal of the word in parenthesis that used to be after the word "unmarried". Yes, there's no "almost" there - a year after the papers were filed (!) I am finally, legally...

SINGLE!!!

Funny, because I didn't think it was weighing on me that much, or that I really cared what the legal status was, or even that I so desperately wanted to be divorced. (Not that I didn't NOT want to be, but you understand the difference, I hope...). Yet I feel almost euphoric, knowing it's done.

I think it may be that it was just hanging for SO long. And it's the final door that needed to be closed to get on with my new life. Closure is a good thing.

So, last call for anyone who has a compelling reason for me not to take back my maiden name with the French pronunciation -- speak now, or I start the long and tedious process of name changing!

Happy New Year, indeed!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Love heals...

But we already knew that, didn't we? Still, it's nice when science confirms the mind-body connection.

Monday, December 26, 2005

They make it sound so easy...

from the "What Are You Looking For In A Man" test...

(And notably accurate, btw...)

Suzanne, you're a Romance Middle High!

Romance - 7 on a scale of 1 - 10 (where 1 is "less romantic")
Although you're a sucker for romance, you'll probably cut a guy some slack even if he doesn't constantly pamper you with gifts and affection. You crave passion in your relationships, so you want a guy who can (and will) express his deepest feelings for you through his actions. Someone like Richard Gere or George Clooney, perhaps? But you know that men aren't very romantic, so you're willing to lower your standards in this area if need be. Chances are you're willing to stick around once the courting period ends, though it's still very important that your guy occasionally dote upon you. Your realistic-yet-hopeful outlook will guarantee you a good catch!

Maturity - 6.5 on a scale of 1 - 10 (where 1 is "less important")
There's no denying that men are like fine wine — they definitely get better with age. It's not hard to understand why, when you consider all the benefits of getting older, which is why you like your guys a bit older and more mature. Suave and sophisticated, a mature-yet-fun man — like Regis Philbin or Kelsey Grammer's "Frasier" character — would be more likely to settle down into a real relationship and make a lasting commitment. On the other hand, your answers show that you don't go for stiffs who can't crack a joke. What's the point if there's no spontaneity, right? It sounds like you go for guys with experience and a sense of humor that's dry as a fine Chablis, but with a hint of spice.


Lifestyle - 3.5 on a scale of 1 - 10 (where 1 is "less important")
Love doesn't come cheap, but it doesn't have to be all that expensive, either. It sounds like you're not very concerned about your ideal man's financial situation. Of course, we all dream of living well, but it's a mistake to mix your expectations of love with your hopes for a first-class lifestyle. Based on your answers, it seems like money isn't a real romantic concern for you. On the airplane of love, you're just as happy traveling coach as first class. (Two TV guys who live up to your financial expectations — or lack thereof — are Chandler and Ross from "Friends.") Being detached from materialist concerns is a healthy, realistic attitude and should help make you happy. It means that when Mr. Right crosses your path, you'll be sure to recognize him and not worry about the size of his wallet.

Looks - 3 on a scale of 1 - 10 (where 1 is "less important")
You seem to know instinctively that love is blind, so why rule out any potential suitors? Sure, you probably prefer a looker (who doesn't?!), but you don't have strict standards by which you measure a potential date's physical appearance. Nicolas Cage? Ben Stiller? Just your style. Not only does this tendency reflect your innate good nature, but it also indicates that you'll be more apt to find your ideal man, since you're not someone who shuts the door on anyone who couldn't make a magazine cover. Of course, just because you're willing to look past the surface doesn't mean that your guy will be anything less than stunning. Whoever he is and whatever he looks like, you'll find him because your mind and heart are open.

[and what's wrong with Nicholas Cage's looks, anyway? I guess the fact that I say that makes them correct?]

Saturday, December 24, 2005

I've got what I want for Christmas...

...an approval on the apartment!!!

WHEW.

Not to say that's a HUGE relief or anything. Not being homeless is a GOOD thing. Living someplace that doesn't, frankly, feel like the slums is even better. Having 1650 square foot with hardwoods and huge closets in a complex that I think is just gorgeous is even better than that!

I is a northsider now!

...oh my g-d now I have to PACK...

One thing at a time; let's get through Christmas first.

But... HOORAY.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Are you brave enough to set goals in writing?

If so, maybe you should talk to your future self to do so:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051219/ap_on_hi_te/future_e_mails

Time capsule e-mails. There's a fun idea!

I'm also going to put apartment applications in today or tomorrow. I'd appreciate prayers, good thoughts, whatever kind of energy you send, that at least one of 'em is accepted...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

And so now I'm on my own...

"On My Own"

I'm wiser now
I'm not the foolish girl you used to know
So long ago
I'm stronger now
I've learned from my mistakes which way to go
And I should know
I put myself aside to do it your way
But now I need to do it all alone

And I am not afraid to try it on my own
I don't care if I'm right or wrong
I'll live my life the way I feel
No matter what I'll keep it real you know
Time for me to do it on my own

It's over now
I can't go back to living through your eyes
Too many lies
And if you don't know by now
I can't go back to being someone else
Not anymore
I never had a chance to do things my way
So now it's time for me to take control

And I am not afraid to try it on my own
I don't care if I'm right or wrong
I'll live my life the way I feel
No matter what I'm gonna keep it real you know
Time for me to do it

Oh I start again go back to one
I'm running things my way
Can't stop me now, I've just begun
Don't even think about it
There ain't no way about it
I'm taking names, the ones of mine
Yes I'm gonna take my turn
It's time for me to finally stand alone, stand alone

I am not afraid to try it on my own
And I don't care if I'm right or wrong
I'll live my life the way I feel
No matter what I'm gonna keep it real you know
It's time for me to do it
See I'm not afraid

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

All I have to say is...

Tracy Ullman as Winnifred!

I think I must see this version. :)

edited December 28 - We got it on DVD and watched it tonight - it was fabulous!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

But what if I don't draw the same conclusion from this?

"Married People Happier Than Others"
http://www.4woman.org/news/english/529511.htm


Researchers analyzed information collected from 691 people and found that the stronger the commitment, the greater the sense of happiness and well-being. Married people had the highest sense of well-being, whether they were happily married or not. Next on the scale of happiness and well-being were people who were living together, followed by people in steady relationships and those in casual relationships.... "Some commitment appears to be good, but more commitment appears to be even better..."

But let me give you an alternative interpretation to ponder: Does this really mean that married people are happier?

Or does it mean that we need to do a better job teaching people that they are responsible for their own happiness, and that they don't need a relationship to prove their self-worth?

For that matter, how do we know that it's the committment that is the cause of the sense of well-being? All other things being equal, don't you normally enjoy being around someone who feels good about themselves more than someone who is insecure? That being the case, suppose the results actually come from the fact that the people had the greater sense of well-being first, and that the sense of well-being is what caused someone else to want to marry them, rather than the marriage causing the well-being? Indeed, since it says that being "happily married" isn't a factor, I would suspect that this is the more likely scenario.

Just some thoughts...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Ok, if anyone knows anything bad about these apts speak now

Anyone know anything about http://www.chateaudevilleapts.com/?
Am looking pretty seriously at them.
It would put one kid in John Strange Elementary and one in Eastwood Middle School. But not until next year; this year they can finish the year where they're at.

Am very, very stressy this week, as you can imagine. I'll make it. It helps if I keep telling myself that.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

You know, I'm not even sure I'd *really* call myself an Allison Krauss fan...

I mean, I like her, but I'm not a fan.

So how come it's always her lyrics I post?

(Well, not always... but it does seem like she sings my heart's songs more often than not...)
So here it is, my theme song for the month, for sure!

(Though the sky isn't raining, it's snowing, far too much.

And my heart has not grown cold. A bit tired, perhaps...

Oh, and I'm learning to feed that hunger myself, rather than look for it from someone else. Now, sharing the meal with another is a delightful thing... but I don't need another to feed the hunger, if you understand the difference.

Ok, maybe the only part that really fits is the chorus...)

GET ME THROUGH DECEMBER
Vocals: Alison Krauss
Lyrics: Gordie Sampson & Fred Lavery
Based on the melody 'Neil Gow's Lament For The Death of His Second Wife'

How pale is the sky that brings forth the rain
As the changing of seasons prepares me again
For the long bitter nights and the wild Winter day
My heart has grown cold my love stored away
My heart has grown cold my love stored away

I've been to the mountain left my tracks in the snow
Where souls have been lost and the walking wounded go
I've taken the pain no girl should endure
But faith can move mountains of that I am sure
Faith can move mountains of that I am sure

Get me through December
A promise I'll remember
Just get me through December
So I can start again

No divine purpose brings freedom from sin
And peace is a gift that must come from within
I've looked for the love that will bring me to rest
Feeding this hunger beating strong in my chest
Feeding this hunger beating strong in my chest

Get me through December
A promise I'll remember
Just get me through December
So I can start again...

(One last parenthetical comment: this is a song worth looking for, whether or not it fits my mood completely, as it's not only Allison Krauss, but Natalie MacMaster's fiddle, which is a glorious thing...)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Now here's a diet I can get into!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/05/AR2005120500586.html

In this article he says,

"One of the advantages of intuitive eating is you're always eating things that are most appealing to you, not out of emotional reasons, not because it's there and tastes good," he said. "Whenever you feel the physical urge to eat something, accept it and eat it. The cravings tend to subside...."
Can I argue that as far as I know, you don't get physical urges to eat anything specific? I mean, if the tummy's grumbly, the tummy's grumbly. The cravings for something specific, by definition, are emotional, right?

Now, that being said, I have found that when I get a serious jones for something specific, I might as well eat it, or I'll just graze until I get what I want. The trick, as with everything, is moderation.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Comments and Questions

1) Not only does coffee sober you up, it sobers your liver up too?

2) I must praise the humility of this forecaster: " 'There are no clear reasons and I'm not going to make one up to explain the recent strengthening of Epsilon,' hurricane forecaster Lixian Avila said..." No one should be afraid to say they don't know something. Especially in a year with such unusual weather.

3) Anyone know anything about the Fountain Parc apartment complex? I'm considering it...

4) Is the Washington Township school system really everything it's cracked up to be? Before I pull my kids out of programs that are (con) in IPS but (pro) really working for them right now, I'd like to know. (Along with that, does anyone have any personal recommendations for any other school systems?)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

My name may be different by the end of the year

Both cars are fixed, at a total cost of around $165. Not something I had to spend right now, but far less than what I feared. So that's better than it could have been.

And great news: IF the person at the court today was correct, once the almost-ex and I take our "What Divorce Does To Your Kids" courses next week, the judge signs our papers and it's all finally done. Seems like a lot of paperwork for something fairly anticlimactical.

(no, there was NO pun intended there. Get yer minds outta the gutter there, people! :) :) :))

But I'm quite glad it will be settled before the end of the year. Pragmatically, it's nice to not have to deal with next year's taxes jointly. For him, it's going to be good to move with all the loose ends tied up, and his lady will be happy about this too, quite understandably! :) (Yes, I realize no one understands why I'm not angry or jealous; just accept the fact that I am genuinely happy he has someone, because I probably can't explain it to you...)

And for me, it means I start the new year with a new name, a new home as soon as I can possibly financially manage it, a new business, and if it doesn't completely sound corny, a new attitude. I'm not sure what's happened to me completely the last few months -- get back to me on this -- but I'm sure happy that it has. I know it has something to do with understanding that detachment is not necessarily dispassionate. It simply means that, instead of being passionate when something lives up to my expectations, I get to be passionate about whatever happens. Which actually ends up being far more often, I might add!

It feels good. Rich. Whole. Joyful.

How many people get the chance to wipe the slate clean and start over? I think this is a good thing. I'm excited about the possibilities.

A new life for the new year. I like this.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The pen is sexier than the sword...

For all my creative male friends who were ever picked on for choosing the arts over sports, here's a study that says that artists get the girls!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

So maybe I should pay more attention to Louise Hay and the like...

"Research is showing the power of expectations, that they have physical -- not just psychological -- effects on your health."

So perhaps I should be a bit less skeptical of folks like Louise Hay?

Not that I didn't agree that our thoughts affect reality, just that I'm very... cautious... about it. (See my comments in this blog post for commentary on one reason why I'm cautious.)

I know, I know, my partner is reading this and snickering "I-told-you-so" now. :) That's why we make such good business partners, though: when my skepticism borders on pessimism, his optimism keeps it from becoming negative thinking, and when he's so hopeful that he might be about to commit too many resources, I can suggest pitfalls to avoid so that the optimistic outcome can happen.

In other news, as if we needed more difficulties on the home front, first my car died (I believe it's the starter, though one can hope it's only a battery)... THEN last night someone smashed in the passenger side window on the car that's WORKING, to steal a portable CD player worth maybe $20 and some CDs I burned off the computer. Sigh. I hope they enjoy it; my kids already are getting virtually nothing for Christmas this year because moving expenses are so high, and that's not going to help matters any. I will not stress I will not stress I will believe that the money will show up when it has to...

Does it help if I keep saying that to myself? I sure hope so.

And for that matter, had I mentioned here that it looks like not only will the ex be moving, but the kids and I will also be going to an apartment? If I hadn't, well, now you know. :) Not sure the timing on this (although after the vandalism, my thought is "tomorrow would not be too soon") but sometime within the next few months.

However, we did start formal testing on the SAP implementation at work yesterday, and I made it through the first day of testing without any security defects! This almost makes me worry. :)

Ok, maybe I am a pessimist. Except I don't feel like I am. Even when I worry, I do genuinely trust that all will be well. I think maybe I just always expect the happy ending to show up by the skin of its teeth after much turmoil, when you least expect it. Perhaps I've been inspired by the Muse of Plot too often to believe that happy endings can come without some sort of conflict resolution first?

Then again, that IS how we learn...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Finding support where you need it...

As I move into the less-than-three-weeks-to-full-time-single-parenthood countdown, I found this article useful, and am gratified as to how many people I can put in the "emotional support" category. Every day I am aware of how blessed I am to have the supportive friends I have. Thank you all.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Now here's a meme I can get into...

Thanks to Exhausted Mind. :)

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Mindless memes

Your Birthdate: January 18

You are a cohesive force - able to bring many people together for a common cause.
You tend to excel in work situations, but you also facilitate a lot of social gatherings too.
Beyond being a good leader, you are good at inspiring others.
You also keep your powerful emotions in check - you know when to emote and when to repress.

Your strength: Emotional maturity beyond your years

Your weakness: Wearing yourself down with too many responsibilities

Your power color: Crimson red

Your power symbol: Snowflake

Your power month: September


And I just am not sure what to think of this one...

Your Daddy Is Arnold Schwarzenegger

What You Call Him: Big Daddy

Why You Love Him: He gives good spankings


Who knew?

In a Past Life...

You Were: An Obese Fortune Teller.

Where You Lived: South Africa.

How You Died: Dysentery.


And rude comments on THIS are NOT necessary... ;)

You Are Smoked Salmon Pate Soda

Tasting like fish ain't so bad!


Now, off to work. On time, darnit! :)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Tag - I'm it!

I have been memed by an exhausted mind. Given how exhausted I am lately, this seems oddly appropriate. :)

My mission, which I have chosen to accept:

  1. Go into your archives.
  2. Find your 23rd post.
  3. Post the fifth sentence (or closest to it).
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
  5. Tag five other people to do the same thing.

Now, the trick is (a) counting my posts and (b) coming up with 5 other people to tag. :) Hmm...

*saves as draft in order to go count, then returns*

And the sentence is:
Meanwhile, if you feel bleary Monday, here's the mathematical reason why: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4187183.stm

Hey, at least the link is still good!

Now, to tag...

And time to see if anyone else reads this journal (who I know has a blog)... :)

  • Wednesday
  • Elfwench - since I just heard from her other half that she and the hospital got to be chummy recently, perhaps she could use a distraction...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Well, we didn't end up running the seminar Saturday...

We were ready, though, by golly -- I had the manual written and everything. :) Just didn't have participants. I need to figure out if we mispriced, didn't advertise enough, didn't publicize -long- enough, didn't have effective advertising, or if it was just the November "too-busy-with-the-upcoming-holidays" syndrome. However, we spent the day in a "business plan retreat" and have ideas for the future.

Ok, I can't help it; I'm one of those weird people who -likes- planning stuff like this. Mind you, I love the concept of teaching the classes and getting to do what is, for lack of a better term, my vocation. Even though the classes themselves aren't about spirituality (of course, to me all life is spiritual, but that's my thing. :) ), teaching them is the best way I can think of to carry out what I believe is my mission in life: to help people feel better about themselves. That's what I've enjoyed about creating and leading services at church, and that's what I enjoyed about being a priestess all those years. And jointly, this is our way of trying to make the world a better place: things like the riots in Paris are a very dramatic example of why we think it's important to teach people that they are stronger than their fears, and that at their core they are powerful and empowered beings of love. But turns out I love the whole business planning part of it too: figuring out effective publicity and instructional design and web design and everything else I get to do with this.

Which I guess is what being an "entrepeneurial type" is about, huh?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Final Promo

What masks do we wear in everyday life? What could we achieve if we were free to reveal our real selves? "The No-Limits Life: Unmask Your True Potential" is a hands-on workshop presented by Achievement Engineering, a non-profit National Heritage Foundation, Saturday, November 12, 2005, from 10 AM - 4 PM in the Commons at UUI, 615 W. 43rd St, Indianapolis. The new reduced cost ($49) still includes lunch and a take-home manual. Register today at http://www.achievegrowth.org/nllworkshop.html or 317-536-3795.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Shameless plug for aroundindy.com

We are the featured submitted event today, woohoo! This should be helpful, especially if a lot of people are like me and hit the site on Friday to find out what's going on over the weekend.

And I'll be happy to give the site a shameless plug because I do indeed use it regularly; that's how I knew to post the workshop there. I found it pretty much by accident (ok, via Google search) about six months ago and have used it regularly for both "how do I entertain the kids this weekend?" and "I need a different date venue tonight." :) It really is a great service: it's MUCH easier to find things on than, say, the IndyStar calendar. (I can almost never find the calendar at all on their website. Poor navigation design, for sure!) And while Nuvo and Intake have great calendars for things like live music, they rarely have child-friendly events posted. This site has helped me find haunted houses, outdoor festivals, and reminded me of things that are free or cheap child entertainment, like the Civil War museum , because I can never think of places like that when the kids are in their "Do something with me please please please?" nagging stage. :)

So if you're bored and looking for something to do, visit http://www.aroundindy.com. :)

(More posting later about why I'm teaching the classes, vocation, and the like. But now I must do my paying job, really...)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Happy Birthday JK (if you're out there...)

My (first) ex is having a significant birthday today. I'll be polite and not say which milestone it is. :) However, I can't find his e-mail address, and I've tried several times this month to call him and only get a busy signal, so I've got to think he's on dialup to the internet 24/7/365. Not that this surprises me. :)

So, if'n you happen to read this post, JK, happy (*ahem*-th) birthday, and either disconnect your computer once in a while or e-mail me with your address again!

Advertising everywhere, so how does one get a response?

Our ad is on the back page of Nuvo today, and our listing is on the calendar at nuvo.net. We're also posted at

http://www.wibc.com/community
http://www.radionow931.com/community
http://www.b1057.com/community
http://www.hankfm.com/events/community.aspx
http://www.aroundindy.com
http://www.theindychannel.com

as well, and maybe other places. So why am I paranoid that we're not going to get any signups?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Darnit, someone needs to register for my seminar

Promotions are always the difficult part. :) But I am much happier with the updated website, especially the workshop page. Now, to get people to sign up! Anyone have any other suggestions for locations to promote this at?

Friday, October 28, 2005

Holy now...

Beautiful song my almost-ex introduced me to recently, and I have meant to post the lyrics here for quite some time, but kept forgetting to. This is a song of my spirit, to be sure...

"Holy Now"

When I was a boy, each week
On Sunday, we would go to church
And pay attention to the priest
As he would read the Holy Word,
And consecrate the holy bread,
And everyone would kneel and bow...
      Today the only difference is
      Everything is holy now.

Everything, everything,
Everything is holy now . . .

When I was in Sunday school
We would learn about the time
Moses split the sea in two
Jesus made the water wine.
And I remember feeling sad
that miracles don't happen still...
      But now I can't keep track,
      'Cause everything's a miracle.

Everything, everything,
Everything's a miracle . . .

Wine into water is not so small,
      but an even better magic trick
      is that anything is here at all.
So, the challenging thing becomes
      not to look for miracles...
      but finding where there isn't one.

When holy water was rare at best
I barely wet my finger tips.
      Now I have to hold my breath
      like I'm swimming in a sea of it.
It used to be a world half there
heaven's second rate hand me downs
      but I'm walking with a reverent air
      cause everything's holy now.

Read a questioning child's face,
to say it's not a testament,
now that'd be very hard to say.
To see another new morning come,
to say it's not a sacrament,
I tell you that it can't be done.

This morning outside I stood
And saw a little red-winged bird
Shining like a burning bush,
Singing like a scripture verse.
It made me want to bow my head,
and I remember when church let out,
how things have changed since then...
      everything is holy now.

It used to be a world half there,
heaven's second rate hand me downs.
      I'm walking with a reverent air
      'cause everything's holy now.

Lyrics by Peter Mayer Copyright 1999 (ASCAP)

Monday, October 24, 2005

I'm an entrepeneur!

I said I'd post info about the seminar business once things were settled. Well, the first seminar will be held November 12. See our website for more details:

http://www.achievegrowth.org

I'm psyched!

(I am going to have to get a paying site, as this one has TOO many ads! They're sneaky - when you only have one page up, they only do one simple ad. The later pages have pop-ups. :P )

(edited 10-26-05 to give the new URL. I decided it was indeed worth getting a paid site to get rid of the ads. Given that my total cost was $23 for the domain and a site with more bells and whistles than I'll have time to implement, I can't complain.

Oh, that's $23 annually. Not per month. Prices have come DOWN since last I priced sites!)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Meme Of The Day

Fairly accurate, too, except that the language is too overgeneralized: I don't mistrust _all_ organized religion, and don't think _all_ religious leaders are charlatans. I simply am aware of the potential for problems with religious organizations and leaders, as both are humans/groups of humans, and humans can make mistakes, or lose sight of the transcendant when fear and power issues arise. That's all. :)

You are a Self-Discoverer

You're not religious, but you've created your own kind of spirituality.
Introspective and thoughtful, you tend to look inward for the divine.
You are distrusting of all forms of organized religion.
You especially dislike religious gurus and leaders, who you feel are charlatans.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, no lawsuit...

The House has passed the bill saying that you can't sue Mickey D's if eating their food turns you into a Big Mac. I'm glad. While I don't like protectionist policy, I dislike frivolous lawsuits even more. And frankly, health problems because you pig out on fast food really fall under the Darwin Award category to me.

However, I do have one question for the legal eagles out there, in regards to a quote in this article:
"As one judge put it, if a person knows or should know that eating copious orders of super-sized McDonald's products is unhealthy and could result in weight gain, it is not the place of the law to protect them from their own excesses," said James Sensenbrenner, chairman of Judiciary Committee.
If any variant of this logic ends up in the actual bill, could that then be used to argue for things like drug legalization? I am not saying that I'm necessarily for or against it -- I'm not a proponent of recreational pharmaceuticals, but neither am I a fan of excessive legislation. But the statement "it is not the place of the law to protect them from their own excesses" could certainly apply to something like marijuana use. Is there a legal difference between "if you're dumb enough to pig out, you can't sue them because the purpose of law is not to protect you from your own stupidity," and "if you're dumb enough to waste your life being stoned, it's not illegal because the purpose of law is not to protect you from your own stupidity"?

For that matter, how does one reconcile this law with the lawsuits that the government has upheld against the tobacco industry? (Secondhand smoke being a potential argument here, yes...)

And here I thought I was unique...

Interesting statistics from the research published in this book:

  • Lost love reunions were common in all age groups; the average age of the participants was 35.
  • Two thirds of the participants had reunited with their first loves from when they were 17 years old or younger.
  • Their success rate for staying together was 78%. For the overall sample, the staying together rate was 72%.

Not, you know, to imply anything. It's just interesting reading. :) :) :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Not purchasing school pictures today...

...By request of the boy, who learned a lesson in patience this weekend.

See, he's been complaining that he has a "monobrow."

See, Mom said, "I can fix that; just ask me to sometime."

See, he got a sudden urge to fix it himself.

See, he now has two half-eyebrows.

"But Mom, can't you fix them somehow?"
"With what?"
"You know, pencil or something?"
"A, I don't own an eyebrow pencil, as I don't play the draw-on-facial-features game. B, even if I did, trust me, it would look FAR worse..."

I figure, it's a pretty cheap object lesson. Eyebrows grow back.

And maybe the next time he's tempted to jump on an impulse with No Thought Whatsoever (tm) all I'll have to say is "Remember the Eyebrows!" Kinda like the Alamo...

Friday, October 14, 2005

Inherited traits...

While I'll still claim the Boyds as my clan, as my great-great grandmother was a Boyd, I can trace my line back to the Bruce as well, through someone who married one of the Boyds a couple centuries later. (Then again, I assume when you link into peerage, you will always find significant amounts of overlap, between marriages arranged for political reasons or just matches between people of "suitable" class. This might explain some of the less stable mental traits of royalty. :) )

However, that brings up some interesting thoughts about the possibility of inherited traits. I trace back to 1) Charlemagne (I know, me and everyone else with European blood! :)) 2) the Scottish revolutionaries mentioned previously, 3) William of Orange (the Dutch revolutionary, not the English king), 4) Pierre You, a French Voyageur who was one of only 5 people who survived the expedition to the mouth of the Mississippi with LaSalle, 5) John and Pricilla Alden... Gee, I wonder where my tendency to look for the "new and unique" comes from! :) They definitely have a pioneering and revolutionary spirit in common.

Note too how often that revolutionary streak was tied up in religious beliefs as well. Does that explain the activism I've done in the past for religious freedom? Or does that just tell us that religion is a great excuse to take power from someone else? (Whoops, pardon me, my cynicism is showing. :)

Of course, my link to William of Orange comes through Anna of Saxony, who was so crazy she literally frothed at the mouth and had to be put in restraints. So maybe I know where some DIFFERENT traits of mine come from as well! :)

P.S. Now that's fun. I didn't realize that John Alden was on the jury for a witch trial, one of only two held in Plymouth. What's even better is that in both cases the accuser was found guilty of slander/libel and the alleged witch was freed! Now that's the kind of ending I like to that sort of story. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Ooh, can someone give me a castle too?

Inspired by recent events (there's just something about Celts in kilts! :) ) and attending the Indy Scottish Society meeting this month, I found my genealogy papers, and just now managed to trace my Scotch-Irish line back to 1199! Have I mentioned I love the Internet?

And when tracing, I discovered that it links into this line -- including the Sir Robert Boyd that Robert the Bruce gave this castle to, and the Boyds of Pitcon, who have this castle! Can I go claim one of 'em now?

P.S. Darnit, my tartan has too much red and not enough green to make me happy. :)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

On dialup, in a very quiet house...

The home computer's hard drive is kaput. I can't even get to the XP Recovery Console, or re-install Windows - it keeps giving me the Blue Stop Screen, which is Even More Evil than the Blue Screen Of Death, and telling me there's a "page fault in nonpaged area". Yes, yes, I know there's a fault, idjit machine; that's why I'm trying to reinstall Windows!!! But no dice, it's not going, and an XP-knowledgeable friend ('cause I've just been out of computer support too long to be up to date on these things now) confirms that the drive is D-E-D. Just what I need to do - replace a hard drive. Whee.

Meanwhile, I have the kids all by my lonesome this weekend; the ex is out of town and the housemate has moved. And it appears I should get used to this, as the odds are increasing daily that the ex will not only be moving sometime within a month or so, but will be moving out of state. On the one hand, I do look forward to my space finally being completely mine. OTOH, everyone else I know who is a single parent either has the other parent handy, or has a grandparent or someone in town. If the ex is out of state, I won't have anyone to help. This does scare me more than a little bit. I've never lived alone before, ever. This will mean that if I don't do a chore, it won't get done; that I won't have anyone to take the kids to the doctor while I'm at work; that I'll have to cook and clean every night (I've been spoiled. While the relationship with the ex hasn't been a romance in years, it has meant having a housemate who likes to cook.) Not to mention the potential damper that having to find a babysitter every time may put on my social life. I've had several friends already assure me that they'll be glad to step in and give me a hand, but it's still scary to know that when it comes down to it, there's no one to fall back on but myself. (Plus, it's hard for me to ask for help. I'm not sure why. Probably because with as crazy as my life has been recently, I don't feel like I give other people much of myself lately, so I really hate asking for favors...)

But, I'll survive. I mean, when the Plot Fairies manage to get me to cross paths with my "high school sweetheart" (and a few weeks ago I would have given that roughly the same odds as that of Zoroastran-mythological-creatures-appropriated-by-Judeo-Christian-theology making like Peggy Fleming) surely I can trust that they know what they're doing this time? (Oh, wait, I haven't told that story here yet, have I? I'll have to do that sometime. I don't pretend to know where it's going -- nor, frankly, do I want to know yet, under the same principles by which I refuse to open Christmas presents before Christmas morning -- but just the fact that it has happened at all is one of those absolutely unbelievable stories, worthy of movie plot.)

(If I sold the rights, do you suppose I could get Sandra Bullock to play me? No, she looks nothing like me, I just like her as an actress. :) :) :) )

Additionally, I'm glad I'm no longer a contractor for these folks... though that's been years and years ago now anyway.

In news from my industry nowadays, I'm very glad to see this news, though one could wish we'd come up with it and not Merck. :)

And the quote of the day: "FEAR = 'False Evidence Appearing Real'". ... Think about it!

Friday, October 07, 2005

It's simple.

God has to exist.

Because there has to be Someone to Whom I can say "thank you" right now for my life.

That's all...

-=-=-=-

P. S. Apparently, my subconscious is wiser than I am...

For a decent amount of my evening, I've had a few lines of a song stuck in my head. (And no, it's not a song I heard tonight at karaoke.) I just looked up the lyrics.
So -that's- why they're stuck in my head...

Fools Get Lucky

When I see you lying there
Like a living answered prayer
There are no words
For what I feel for you
My life was once a high trapeze
You pulled me down
And gave me peace
That's something no one else
Could ever do
And on nights like tonight
It scares me recalling
How close I came to falling

But fools get lucky
Fortune must like me
When people ask where you came from
I tell them that
Fools get lucky
Destiny likes me
It must be one of nature's rules
Love like yours
Should save the fools like me

When I see the good times shine
On this wayward life of mine
I tell the world
It's all because of you

And fools get lucky...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

25 SIGNS YOU 'RE ALL GROWN UP
And my modifications, subtitled "You know you're middle-aged when...", are in italics. (My comments are in parenthesis.)

1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can't smoke any of them.
"You don't have time to keep houseplants alive because you're too busy with work, clubs, and being a taxi for your children."

2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.
"Having sex anywhere but in a bed turns something that enjoyable into too much work." :)

3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.
"You have leftovers in your fridge, and actually eat them regularly."

4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.
(Sometimes it's both for me, but I digress...)

5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator.
"And the first time you heard it was on vinyl!"

6. You watch the Weather Channel.
"...to find out how to dress your kids the next day."

7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of "hook up" and "breakup".
"Your friends are back to 'hook up' and 'break up' because they're in round 2 (or 3 for some of us!) of the dating game."

8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.
"You go from 14 days of vacation to 21 or more." (Oh, wait, that's 'You know you're at Lilly when...')

9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up".
"...And you actually look forward to occasions when you can wear what does qualify."

10. You're the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won't turn down the stereo.

11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.
"You no longer feel comfortable telling sex jokes around young people... and "young" sometimes includes college-aged." :)

12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.
"You can only eat Taco Bell if you have first laid in a generous supply of antacids."

13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.
"Your car insurance goes back up because your children get licenses." (Corwin is always so happy to point out he can get his in 4 years - geesh!)

14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonald's leftovers.

15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.
Or, "You sleep on the couch because the bed makes your back hurt"?

16. You take naps from noon to 6 PM.
"...or whenever you can get them!"

17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.
(Ok, this one's not necessarily true. :) )

18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach.

19. If you're a gal, you go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.

20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good stuff."
"...And sometimes you can actually afford the 'good stuff!' "

21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.
(This one will never be true for me, but. :) )

22. "I just can't drink the way I used to" replaces "I'm never going to drink that much again."

23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.
(This one may never be true for me...)

24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.

25. You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn't apply to you and can't find one to save your sorry old butt. Then you forward it to a bunch of old pals & friends 'cause you know they'll enjoy it & do the same.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Today's lyrics...

Harry Chapin, "All My Life's A Circle"

All my life's a circle,
Sunrise and sundown;
Moon rolls thru the nighttime
Till the daybreak comes around.
All my life's a circle,
But I can't tell you why;
Seasons spinning round again;
The years keep rollin' by.

It seems like I've been here before,
I can't remember when;
But I have this funny feeling
That we'll all be together again.
No straight lines make up my life,
And all my roads have bends;
There's no clear-cut beginnings--
And so far no dead-ends.

Chorus:

I've found you a thousand times,
I guess you've done the same,
But then we lose each other,
It's like a children's game;
As I find you here again
A thought runs through my mind:
Our love is like a circle,
Let's go 'round one more time!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

To a man of wisdom: what is remembered, lives...

Darnit. We're going to have to turn the wheel for M. Scott Peck this Samhain. The world is less one wise man...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

No, I'm not having a breakdown now...

Quite the opposite, in fact: filled with faith and optimism, if just a little (ok, a lot) curious about where the ride is taking me THIS time. :) But I heard this song today and thought the lyrics were pretty wise, so I wanted to share them:

Jem - "Just A Ride"

Life, it's ever so strange
It's so full of change
Think that you've worked it out
Then BANG
Right out of the blue
Something happens to you
To throw you off course
And then you

Breakdown
Yeah you breakdown
Well don't you breakdown
Listen to me
Because

It's just a ride, it's just a ride
No need to run, no need to hide
It'll take you round and round
Sometimes you're up
Sometimes you're down
It's just a ride, it's just a ride
Don't be scared
Don't hide your eyes
It may feel so real inside
But don't forget it's just a ride

Truth, we don't wanna hear
It's too much to take
Don't like to feel out of control
So we make our plans
Ten times a day
And when they don't go
Our way we

Breakdown
Yeah we breakdown
Well don't you breakdown
Listen to me
Because

It's just a ride, it's just a ride
No need to run, no need to hide
It'll take you round and round
Sometimes you're up
Sometimes you're down
It's just a ride, it's just a ride
Don't be scared
Don't hide your eyes
It may feel so real inside
But don't forget it's just a ride

Slowly, oh so very slowly
Except that
There's no getting off
So live it, just gotta go with it
Coz this ride's, never gonna stop
Breakdown
Don't you breakdown
No need to breakdown
No need at all
Because

It's just a ride, it's just a ride
No need to run, no need to hide
It'll take you all around
Sometimes you're up
Sometimes you're down
It's just a ride, it's just a ride
Don't be scared now
Dry your eyes
It may feel so real inside
But don't forget enjoy the ride

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Too tired to do anything but meme...

Went to Pagan Pride Day today, the first year I had nothing to do with either international, national, or local events. It was fun to get to just hang out. Of course, I also promoted the new personal growth seminar business a friend and I are putting together, so I guess that isn't just hanging out. (I'll post more about it as soon as I have actual data on the website, which is going to have to be soon as I gave out business cards today!) But I spent most of my time at the bardic circle singing and drumming, which was a blast. However, it was Very, VERY, VEEERRRYY humid. I mean, exceptionally humid even for Indiana. And therefore, having dressed in jeans because the morning was cold meant we were all dying of heat by mid-day. Which explains why I'm so very tired, I'm sure.

Therefore, I'll just post this personality test, which by-the-by is frighteningly accurate for a three-question test... (Ok, I must be tired. After I typed that, I started singing it to the tune of "Gilligan's Island"... "A three-question test! A three-question test!) :)

Your Personality Is

Idealist (NF)


You are a passionate, caring, and unique person.
You are good at expressing yourself and sharing your ideals.

You are the most compassionate of all types and connect with others easily.
Your heart tends to rule you. You can't make decisions without considering feelings.

You seek out other empathetic people to befriend.
Truth and authenticity matters in your friendships.

In love, you give everything you have to relationships. You fall in love easily.

At work, you crave personal expression and meaning in your career.

With others, you communicate well. You can spend all night talking with someone.

As far as your looks go, you've likely taken the time to develop your own personal style.

On weekends, you like to be with others. Charity work is also a favorite pastime of yours.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Looking forward to a lecture Thursday...

I will be hearing Joan Borysenko speak Thursday evening. I hadn't read anything of hers, but a friend recommended her. Even better, the lecture is free. :)

I went out to her website and found some fabulous wisdom. I was especially moved by her analysis of the story of Job. Frankly, I always hated the story of Job. It struck me as encompassing many of the worst points of traditional religion: that if things are going well, look out, because it's all going to come tumbling down; that the reason for evil is "The devil did it/made me do it;" that the answer to tragedy is to shut up and take it, because God is everything and you are less than nothing.

Joan points out where some scholars suggest that the story was mistranslated. I had previously heard that 'satan' actually meant 'adversary' and probably originally was not seen as an opposing force of evil, but more like the archetype of the Trickster - that which doesn't let you use a cloak of righteousness to hide your true self. However, I had never heard that "as a verb it means to 'persecute by hindering free forward movement.' " My personal definition is that there is no such thing as "evil" if by "evil" you mean "some external force tempting people away from good." I have always said that the core ethical dichotomy is of love/courage and fear, not 'evil'. (I prefer the term 'courage' over 'love' because love has such baggage, but that's a subject for another essay!) But what an eloquent definition of why fear disempowers us so (and more specifically, why fighting our fear endangers us): it hinders our free forward movement. If we focus on our fear, we can't be free, because we're constantly on guard to try to avoid the bad feelings evoked by what we fear; we can't go forward, because we're too busy looking back to see if fear is chasing us; and we don't move (or change or grow), because we want to stay in a location that we perceive as defensible. Courage comes, not in fighting fear or avoiding fear or being immobilized by fear, but by allowing ourselves to feel the fear and yet still move forward freely; trying new activities and new ideas to see if they fit us; being open to seeing people in new ways and connecting with them in new ways; viewing the unknown future not as a perilous journey but as an adventure of spirit; and in doing so giving ourselves the opportunity to learn and grow.

Joan also presents an alternative translation of the ending of the story, traditionally worded as, "I had heard of thee by hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee,therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes." She presents scholarly support that it may be more accurately translated, "I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee; therefore I take back everything I said, comforted that I am dust." "Comforted that I am dust" sounds strange at first, but after reading her commentary and thinking on it, I think I'd interpret that as "comforted that the here-and-now 'me' is caught up in the drama of my experience, but the deeper 'me' is limitless light and knows that difficult times are not torture chambers but ropes courses, designed to learn more about ourselves."

Even though I believe that we are co-creators of our lives with the Divine-in-whatever-form-you-are-most-comfy-with :) I've always been uneasy with people who say we are 100% responsible for our own reality. I was gratified to see that not only does she agree with me, she helped give me an explanation why I feel that way: "While we certainly participate in creating the events of our lives, the idea that we are 100 percent responsible for creating our own reality is a psychologically and spiritually impoverished notion. In my experience, when patients with this belief are unable to cure themselves, they often feel like failures or undergo a painful crisis of faith. While such crises can be important invitations to deeper healing when there is time to pursue the ramifications, they can be a serious blow for people coping with life-threatening illnesses that may afford neither the time nor the energy to pick up the pieces of a shattered faith." She also points out that if we are all interconnected, as I believe and as modern physics indicates, that the "...notion that we are 100 percent responsible for creating our own reality [is] too simpleminded. Who is the 'I' separate from the 'we' who has the hubris to think that it acts in isolation?" And at least to me that makes sense: if we live in community, we create in community. (Hmm. Perhaps I need to update my co-creator theory to include being co-creators of reality with one another? Come to think of it, since I believe that the shortest direction to Deity is within human beings, then the obvious correlary is that being a co-creator of reality with Deity by definition is being a co-creator of reality with other people. I see another essay topic, or perhaps a workshop...)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Hidden causality...

I read an interesting book review from the NYT about the Dali Lama's most recent book, The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality. At first I thought the reviewer was going to complain that it wasn't religious enough. Turns out, he was complaining that the Dali Lama started out sounding open-minded (which apparently, to this reviewer, meant "only reporting that which can be verified by tangible experimentation) but then snuck religion in there by saying that evolutionary random mutations might "turn out to be complexity in disguise - 'hidden causality,' the Buddha's smile." He dismisses this with the glib phrase, "There you have it, Eastern religion's version of intelligent design. " Funny - I read a book called Order Out of Chaos by Ilya Prigogine who received a Nobel Prize for discovering that there might indeed be large-scale order in randomness, so I'm not certain how speculating that complexity might arise from chaos is unscientific?

Then again, this reviewer doesn't seem to have anything more than an intellectual handle on the idea that Buddhism doesn't begin from the same rigid paradigm as Western religions. Given that he talks about "how someone so open-minded became the Tibetan Buddhist equivalent of the pope"... Why is it so difficult for westerners to understand that in a philosophy like Buddhism there is no paradigm equivalent to a pope? The pope is the voice of God on earth, able to proclaim infallible, "God-said-it-that-settles-it" decrees of faith. As I understand it, the Dali Lama provides spiritual leadership, not spiritual dictatorship; guiding, not commanding. And as the Buddha is not perceived as God in the way most westerners perceive God, saying that large-scale order could be "the Buddha's smile" does not have the same deterministic connotations as a westerner saying that something "is God's will." I guess the only way I can put it is that it's more metaphorical in Eastern religions; that in a paradigm that doesn't try to rationalize away uncertainty, it is possible to hold seemingly contradictory beliefs simultaneously and be neither inconsistent nor delusional; that I can both believe scientifically that chaos theory says that a system is unpredictable, and at the same time philosophize that the unpredictability itself can be part of a larger pattern or unity, and be neither holding an irrational spiritual view nor rejecting scientific evidence.

The reviewer closes by saying, "All religion is rooted in a belief in the supernatural. Inviting a holy man to address a scientific conference may be leaving the back door ajar for ghosts." Yet is not this strong a rejection of the possibility of the unseen as narrow-minded a view as the church leaders who condemned Copernicus and Galileo for daring to take the Earth out of the center of the universe? To my mind, true scientific inquiry leaves open the possibility of anything unproven, no matter how irrational it might seem. Because after all, how rational does the theory of relativity sound? To do otherwise is to simply replace the deterministic religion of Western Judeo-Christianity with the deterministic religion of Western science.

But then again, I'm a philosopher, so anything I say is suspect anyway, right? :)

P.S. If you want to read more about chaos theory, here's a scientific link from the University of Texas, and a less-scientific link that connects some of the science with the "supernatural". (Interesting that the term "supernatural" is a judgement inherent in the word, isn't it? I think I see the subject of another blog post there...)

Friday, September 09, 2005

Nothin' but memes today...

So I'm lazy. So shoot me. :)

Your Personality Profile

You are dependable, popular, and observant.
Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.
In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.
You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.
And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!



And this means that perhaps the business I'm helping start is a good idea? (I'll say more later, when I actually have the website up and everything...)

Your Career Type: Social

You are helpful, friendly, and trustworthy.
Your talents lie in teaching, nursing, giving information, and solving social problems.

You would make an excellent:

Counselor - Dental Hygienist - Librarian
Nurse - Parole Officer - Personal Trainer
Physical Therapist - Social Worker - Teacher

The worst career options for your are realistic careers, like truck driver or farmer.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Despair and hope...

Just when you think it's hard to stay hopeful when watching the violence in New Orleans, you see things like Sri Lanka offering aid to the Red Cross, and you have hope that there is good in people somewhere after all...

There are also spots like http://www.katrinahousing.org/ , http://www.homeflood.org/, http://www.hurricanehousing.org./, http://www.shareyourhome.org/,and http://neworleans.craigslist.org/about/help/katrina_cl.html where people all over the country are offering space, free of charge, to people and families left homeless by Katrina. It's good to see such generosity. But apparently the big relief organizations aren't allowed for some reason to officially support small efforts like these, so they're asking for help publicizing the websites. Not like thousands of people read my blog, but here's my small contribution...

And if you haven't seen the blogs telling what's really going on there, like the Interdictor or Metroblogging, you should.

Meanwhile, my ex may actually try to coordinate the idea I had for Mardi Gras parties to raise funds for relief. I would if I had more time. If he does, I'll post details here...

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Donate, donate, donate...

80% of that beautiful, vibrant, firey, passionate city... under water.

What else is there to say???

The Times-Picayune was only published electronically yesterday - the local stories are heartbreaking.

The only good thing is that the French Quarter is (at least so far) relatively untouched. I say this is good primarily because it's going to allow them, eventually, to rebuild via tourist money, because that's about all they are going to have left to them.

All around the lake is completely flooded. That means that the restaurant where my high school choir learned how to eat crawfish (and that's a story I'll have to tell here, later, when I have more time to write) is probably gone.

I guess this hits me harder, too, because I know I have blood relatives in St. Tammany Parish. I don't know who they are or anything about them, but my maternal grandmother was from there and I know there were still great-aunts and/or uncles in Slidell. Even though I don't know them, I have always wondered if that contributed to how home-like N'Awlins felt to me when I visited there. I even considered going to Tulane. Beautiful campus... at least it was...

You know, some sort of network of Mardi Gras parties to raise money for the relief efforts would be cool... I wonder how one would organize that?

Monday, August 29, 2005

All I can say is...

...someone had WAY too much fun with this headline:

http://www.thenewmexicochannel.com/news/4899208/detail.html

Praying for one of my favorite cities in the whole world...

I've only been in N'Awlins once, and I was too young by about a year to be in the bars, which is where I wanted to be (no, not to be a drunk, silly people - that's where the MUSIC is! Not that I would turn down a mint julep or two, BUT... :). I'd wanted to get down there this summer, but just couldn't come up with the money.

Now, I'm hoping there's a city left after Katrina gets done with it. I'm not comforted by articles that say things like "...computer simulations indicate that by Tuesday, vast swaths of New Orleans could be under water up to 30 feet deep. In the French Quarter, the water could reach 20 feet..." and "Katrina is expected to push a 28-foot storm surge against the levees. Even if they hold, water will pour over their tops and begin filling the city as if it were a sinking canoe. After the storm passes, the water will have nowhere to go. In a few days, van Heerden [director of the LSU hurricane center] predicts, emergency management officials are going to be wondering how to handle a giant stagnant pond contaminated with building debris, coffins, sewage and other hazardous materials..."

At least it's only a cat 4 now, and going just east of the city. But still... I'm definitely trying to send good mojo to the gulf coast now!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

More leadership ability than I expected...

Sorry I've been quiet this week, but it's almost IIT - Informal Integration Testing. Last year, we worked 7am - 6pm during testing. So far, they aren't planning that for us this year but I won't hold my breath, either. The good news is, I don't have to run any test scripts. The bad news is, any and all security defects are -mine- and if I'm not around to pass them, they can't get fixed. Therefore, I have to be available any time testing is happening. So it's going to be a busy 6 weeks. We have fun, though - I already have toys to pass around (foam airplanes, things like that). :)

Meanwhile, in a completely different kind of testing, I didn't expect this test result (well, except for "efficiency" and "organization" - I already knew they weren't exactly my strong points. :) :

From the Tickle test, "Are You A Natural Leader?"

Total - 6.5 (on a scale of 1 - 10)
Congratulations, you're a real leader! Your leadership skills are quite strong, so don't be afraid to step up to the plate when problems need solving — you'll do great. You've got a solid combination of positive leadership traits — from organizational skills to communication ability. These talents make you a great resource in the workplace, someone people can look to for guidance and direction. Still, there are a few things you might need to work on. To brush up on the different components of leadership, check out your scores below:

Organization - 5.5 (on a scale of 1 - 10)
Let's get it together! Your organizational skills need a little work. Keeping things in the right place means you can move more quickly, making you more efficient and productive at work. So no matter what kind of career you're pursuing, the ability to keep yourself (and your work space) organized lets you spend your time on what's really important — working.

Efficiency - 5.5 (on a scale of 1 - 10)
Stop spinning your wheels and get in gear! Your efficiency could use a little help. Take some time to really analyze the work process, and learn how to get things done. Basically, you need to work on spending your time wisely — just talking about something doesn't always make it happen. You've got to persevere and focus your effort in the right places. Being more efficient is a tried-and-true way to move forward at work.

Teamwork - 7.5 (on a scale of 1 - 10)
Go, team, go! Your sense of teamwork is so strong you're practically out on the field doing cheers. Which is great — the ability to communicate and work closely with others is essential to good leadership. Team-building skills are the foundation of all interactions with your co-workers and can set the tone at work. So give yourself a pat on the back — your talent in this area gives you a real leadership edge.

Confidence - 7 (on a scale of 1 - 10)
You're a born leader ... and you know it! Confidence is a key component of leadership. And it's more than just feeling sure of yourself. It's about tackling new situations without being held back by any doubts. Your strong confidence level lets you focus your energies on success and truly shine as a leader at work.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Stolen from He Who Is Waiting For The Bar

Though I tend to use "Bother" more often... :)

Your word is BUGGER. You are generally quite restrained, but sometimes your anger or frustration comes to the surface and it all comes out. Yet you somehow can't stop sounding polite, despite it all.
Which Swear (Curse) Word Are You?
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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Just because he's my ex...

...doesn't mean I can't appreciate what he has to say. Enjoy this commentary on Pat Robertson's latest faux pas!

('Sides which, he's still one of my best friends. I'm weird that way. :))

No, really, Officer, you must be mistaken...

...I was just high on the Lord! :) :) :)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Perspective...

Nice to be back in this space...

Is Your Glass Half Empty or Half Full?

Half-Full Glass
You try to look on the bright side, and optimism is a skill you've cultivated to help you weather life's rough spots. All the same, you know it's okay to admit when you're angry or hurt. You're neither blindly positive, nor prone to dwell on slights and injuries, and your generally positive outlook helps prepare you to take risks without being held back by bitterness or a fear of failure. Believe it or not, some scientists have theorized that there is an evolutionary advantage to optimism: Human beings may be programmed to view the world as just slightly better than it actually is, in order to recognize clearly any real threats to our well-being and handle them appropriately. Your ability to rise above negative thinking while remaining realistic about temporary setbacks is a great strength.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Finally, some sense...

The case where in a divorce settlement the judge ruled, against the wishes of both parents, that a child couldn't be exposed to his parents' religion, was overturned unanimously today in appeal! (Yes, I know all the people involved in the case, in case anyone was curious...)

Monday, August 15, 2005

I gots Wheels!

Due to complicated circumstances which I won't bore you with here, I've been car-sharing with the almost-ex. But now I gots my own wheels! Nothing fancy, a very basic 1990 Civic sedan, but it's in fabulous shape, only 131000 miles which on a Honda still means it's got a decent amount of life in it yet, and it's a stick! And it was nice to know I could get right back in to the swing of driving one after... geez, 10 years since I've driven one regularly?

Meanwhile, my son starts middle school this week. How did I get this old? :)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Before and After

I think the lyrics to these two songs sum up where I was two weeks ago and where I am today with such precision that no other words are necessary...

-=Then=-

Cheryl Wheeler, "Addicted"

She says she hates to sleep alone but she'll do it tonight
She wants to grab her telephone but she knows it's not right
So if he won't call she'll survive
And if he don't care she'll get by
Climb into bed, bury her head and cry, cry

From the beginning he was all anyone could been
They were delirious with love, they were certain to win
Now he's breaking plans more and more
And he's leaving notes on her door
'took a trip out of town, couldn't turn this one down'
He said 'I guess I should have told you before'

(Chorus)
She says she feels like she's addicted to a real bad thing
She's always sitting, waiting wondering if the phone will ring
She knows she bounces like a yo-yo when he pulls her string
It hurts to feel like such a fool
She wants to tell him not to call or come around again
He doesn't need her now at all the way that she needs him
She's on the edge about to fall from leaning out and in
And she don't know which way to move

She wants to be fair, she couldn't say he was ever unkind
But if she could bear to walk away, she thinks he wouldn't mind
'cause he just keeps himself so apart
And there's no one else in her heart
So she's taking a dive from an emotional high
And coming down hard

She's determined to try, but she'll still give in when he gives her a call
And she'll ask herself why, but in the end it won't matter at all
Sure she could sit at home, stay inside
And sleep alone with her pride
And as she walks out her door, she feels as weak as before
With nothing to hide

(Chorus)

-=Now=-

Fred Small, "Other Side Of The Wood"

We met in the quiet of the meadow
We rambled hand in hand through the glade
We lay entwined on a pallet
Of clover and columbine made
But now the forest fills with shadows
And the raven and the wolf call your name
And you wonder how you ever came to wander
So deep into this unknown terrain

CHORUS:
So go your way I cannot hold you
Nor would I detain you if I could
I will wait for you in the clearing
On the other side of the wood

How I would speed to your rescue
Through the darkwood so wild and overgrown
But where you go I cannot follow
The staff you hew must be your own
For my comfort would only confine you
And my love would close about you like a shroud
All my fears for you would confound you
All my fears for myself would drag you down

CHORUS

I know the wind will tell you stories
And every tale come to a bloody end
But somewhere in that dread parade of possibilities
Is it possible I am your friend

To walk with a companion is a blessing
To forfeit one's freedom is a curse
To open the heart's wounds is agony
To bind them tight is even worse
Wherever the light before you leads you
And whether you find me or no
My love will travel softly at your shoulder
And abide with you wherever you may go

CHORUS

(As a complete aside, why should it not surprise me that Fred Small, my all-time favorite folk singer who almost no one else has heard of, is a UU minister? I just discovered this with a net search. Small world!)

Monday, August 08, 2005

Shift your perspective...

I love these "Magic Eye" pictures, both because they're fun and because to me they teach an object lesson in "all reality is perception." You can enjoy some pictures here - and if you're one of those people who swear you can't see them, you might check here.

Meanwhile, some fantastic "quote of the day" type things can be found here. My favorites from a quick read:

Security does not exist in nature. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. - Helen Keller

If you treat a man as he is, he will remain as he is; if you treat him as he ought to be and could be, he will become as he ought to be and could be. - Goethe

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no person can sincerely try to help another without helping themselves. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

And this one might answer my question, "How does it feel to be in a healthy relationship?"

While doing research for a doctoral thesis, a young man spent a year with a group of Navajo Indians on a reservation in the Southwest. He lived with one family, sleeping in their hut, eating their food, working with them, and generally living their life.

The grandmother of the family spoke no English, yet a very close friendship formed between the grandmother and the doctoral student. They seemed to share the common language of love and they intuitively understood each other. Over the months he learned a few phrases of Navajo, and she picked up words and phrases in English.

When it was time for the young man to return to the university and write his thesis, the tribe held a going-away celebration for him. It was marked by sadness since he had developed a close relationship with all those in the village. As he prepared to get into his pickup truck and drive away, the old grandmother came to tell him goodbye. With tears streaming from her eyes, she placed her hands on either side of his face, looked directly into his eyes, and said, "I like me best when I'm with you."

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Ok, they're not ALL accurate, but most of 'em at least fit someone I grew up with! This should actually be labeled "you grew up in small-town Indiana" 'cause it doesn't fit my kids, growing up in "The" big city. :)





You Know You're From Indiana When...


You drive for three hours and the scenery outside doesn't change.

There's three feet of snow on the ground and school is still in session.

You only go to the mall once a year 'cause it takes too long to get there.

While driving all you see is corn.

People still have Christmas decorations up at Easter.

You start saying to yourself "More than corn in Indiana my butt."

Anyone with a cell phone looks out of place.

Walking through Wal-Mart with two carts full of kids is normal.

Anyone with a tan is rich.

The hip hang-out place is McDonald's. (Hardees, in my hometown. Or the truck stop!)

There really is more than corn in Indiana. There's soybeans, too.

When you plan an orgy and a Euchre game breaks out. (This has to be my favorite one on the list! Why is Euchre the quintessential Indiana card game, anyway?)

A restaurant has an invisible wall in the non-smoking section and you believe it works.

Speeding consists of 2 miles over the speed limit.

You think you don't have to use a turn signal on your car because you don't use it on your tractor.

You build your dream house on a cornfield, and you considered it posh.

You warsh your clothes and you think George Warshington was the first president.

You're proud to be called a Hoosier, even if you don't know what one is.

You have no problem spelling or pronouncing "Terre Haute"

Detassling was your first job. Bailing hay, your second. (Not mine, but just about everyone else I knew!)

You can stack hay, swim in the pond to clean off, and then have the strength to play a couple of games of hoops all in the same day.

You say things like "catty-wumpus" and "kitty-corner".

You own a dirtbike or a ATV. (Nope, but have ridden on a friend's. :)

You live in a city ... and there's a cornfield in your backyard.

High school basketball game draws a bigger crowd on the weekend nights than movie theaters.

You can see at least 2 basketball hoops from your yard.

You can name every one of Bob Knight's "exploits" over the last few years.

You shop at Marsh. (We didn't have a Marsh where I grew up. Them was only in the big cities!)

Damon Bailey was your childhood hero. (Wow, I'm so much older than this question...)

The biggest question of your youth was "IU or Purdue?"

Indianapolis is the "big city".

"Getting caught by a train" is a legitimate excuse for being late to school.

People at your high school chewed tobacco.

Everyone knows who the town cop is, where he lives, and whether he is at home or on duty.

You actually know what the CART vs IRL debate is about and have taken a side.

To you, a raccoon is simply a "coon".

The vehicle of choice in your area is not a car, but a pickup.

Someone you know is BIG John Mellencamp fan.

You've been to the Covered Bridge Festival.

To you, a tenderloin is not an expensive cut of beef, but a big, salty, breaded piece of pork served on a bun with pickles.

You call a green bell pepper a "mango". (OK, this one I've never heard?)

Sometimes, you call the toilet the "commode" or the "stool".

In the fall, one of your favorite pranks was corning cars. (And soaping cars, and TP-ing. And they didn't mention cow-tipping!)

You know what FFA and 4H stand for.

You know what chip-and-seal is, and your high school was located on just such a road.

You go the county fair every night of it's week-long duration.

You can say "French Lick" without laughing out loud.

There's actually a college near you named "Ball State."

The last "g" is silent in any word ending in "ing."

You think the state Bird is Larry.

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Indiana.




Thursday, August 04, 2005

Epiphany

I've been in a lot of pain lately.

I just read a book that transformed my life.

No kidding, folks.

Now, I'm not so naive as to think that everyone will respond the same way. This happened to be a symbol set that -reached- me, right at a time when I -needed- it. It won't reach everyone.

But for them as are interested, the same book that I found by chance at Half Price Books tonight is also available for free, on-line, here:

http://www.whyagain.com/book-en/Default.htm

Basically, I discovered I've been addicted to the concept of romance, as a symptom of a need for external validation. I thought I clung in relationships because I was afraid of abandonment. But taking that a step further, I've not been afraid of abandonment, but been afraid of losing the good feelings I have about myself when I tell myself stories in my mind about a relationship. Because I was afraid of losing the good feelings, I clung to the relationships, and did all sorts of things to try to "make" them work, "rescue" the other person and "make" him stay with me. Oh, nothing overtly controlling... but analyzing every move and modifying my emotional responses in order to evoke emotional response in another person -is- control, and not unconditional love. I learned a lot of this at another fabulous website, http://www.coping.org/coping/titles.htm.

Now, intellectually I have known that external things don't have to affect my internal self-perception, self-validation, and sense of being. I've read and heard those words over and over and over.

Until tonight, I'd never -experienced- them.

And though I've known it intellectually, now I *understand* that I can create these good feelings all by myself. What a tremendous weight to be lifted - to no longer feel compelled to change anyone, for my happiness to not be dependent on anything but me!

This is definitely one of those experiences that just doesn't translate into words. But boy, it feels good.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Today's lyrics

Julia Fordham, "Threadbare"

Threadbare, frayed around the edges
Down where all I'm getting is you don't care
And hoping that I'm wrong

I am crushed by your indifference, know I must try
To stop wishing if only I
Could undo what I've done

If I knew then what I know now
I would have saved my words somehow
Headed underground, crushed without a sound

Threadbare
Tired from the inside out
I'm kind of worn down by the doubt
And time will tell how it should be
If I knew then what I know now
I would have saved my words somehow
Headed underground, crushed without a sound
Threadbare

There's something I'm missing
You're not giving me
I talk and you listen
But will you ever see?

Love's a funny thing

More Memes

Huh. Pretty accurate.

How You Life Your Life

You seem to be straight forward, but you keep a lot inside.

You tend to avoid confrontation and stay away from sticky situations.

You tend to have one best friend you hang with, as opposed to many aquaintences.

Some of your past dreams have disappointed you, but you don't let it get you down.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Much happier lyrics...

Miracles happen, miracles happen
You showed me faith is not blind
I don't need wings to help me fly
Miracles happen, miracles happen

I can't imagine living my life without you now
Not ever having you around
We found our way out
(on you I can depend)
Don't have to look back to realize how far we've come
There are million reasonsI'm looking up
I don't want this to end

Nothing
Nothing should ever bring you down
Knowing what goes around will come around

You showed me faith is not blind
I don't need wings to help me fly
Miracles happen, once in a while
When you believe (miracles happen)
You showed me dreams come to light
That taking a chance on us was right
All things will come with a little time
When you believe

There is no question we found the missing pieces
Our picture is complete
It's fallen into place
This is our moment, you and I are looking up
Someone is watching over us
Keeping me close
Closer to you every day

Nowhere
Nowhere on earth I'd rather be
No one can take this away from you and me

When you believe
The soul is a shining light
When you believe
The heart has the will to fight
You can do anything, don't be afraid
We're gonna find our way

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Today's lyrics...

Gender-changed for "person 1" from the original song:

Person 1:

I've had enough of danger
And people on the streets
I'm looking out for angels
Just trying to find some peace
Now I think it's time
That you let me know
So if you love me
Say you love me
But if you don't just let me go...

'Cause teacher
There are things that I don't want to learn
And the last one I had
Made me cry
So I don't want to learn to
Hold you, touch you
Think that you're mine
Because it ain't no joy
Lovin' an uptown boy
Whose teacher has told him goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

When you were just a stranger
And I was at your feet
I didn't feel the danger
Now I feel the heat
That look in your eyes
Telling me no

Person 2:
So you think that you love me
Know that you need me
I wrote the song, I know it's wrong
Just let me go...

And teacher
There are things
That I don't want to learn
Oh the last one I had
Made me cry
So I don't want to learn to
Hold you, touch you
Think that you're mine
Because it ain't no joy
For an uptown boy
Whose teacher has told him goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

So when you say that you need me
That you'll never leave me
I know you're wrong, you're not that strong
Just let me go

And teacher
There are things
That I still have to learn
But the one thing I have is my pride
Oh so I don't want to
Hold you, touch you
Think that you're mine
Because there ain't no joy
For an uptown boy
Who just isn't willing to try

I'm so cold
Inside

Person 1:
Maybe just one more try...

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Experts say, universe too weird for words

(Heck, I could have told them that - it shouldn't have taken an expert. :) )

But I find it very interesting that a renowned physicist is once again saying what metaphysics has said for years. Richard Dawkins says that we live in a "middle world," a reality created by each person/being that lives in it. Sounds a whole lot like metaphysics and shamanism, doesn't it?

Monday, July 18, 2005

Today's lyrics...

Found a fun artist, David Poe. Unfortunately, the rest of his songs aren't as awesome as this one:

You took me like a drifter takes a friend
I’ll never be that honest again...
and when it seems like nothing’s gonna’ change
Then your world comes crashing down

Your friends accomodate your darker phase...
Then you find it’s been a hundred days
When’s the last time you remember feeling safe?
You’re surrounded by assassins in this place...
but you wanted to be here and I’m amazed

Chorus:
If I appear in every story that you tell
How can you say that I don’t know you well?
Wasn’t I the one that caught you when you fell
How can you say that I don’t treat you well?
When I’m ringing out your name like a bell
How can you say that I don’t wish you well?
I wish you well

You get that lonely feeling at the door
Even though you’ve left this place before
Because the truth is you won’t care anymore
‘Not until your world comes crashing down again
Chorus