Friday, December 21, 2007
I started making a list of the good and bad of today (and yesterday and this week), but there really isn't a mathematical formula for deciding if the day is good or bad. It's just the feeling. How can you rate a one-way two-hour commute followed by slapping your dog (gasp!), but getting one item done on your to-do list? Well, that's pretty easy: crappy day. But how about fighting and making up with your partner, having a good business meeting in which you felt utterly inadequate and inexperienced, finishing your Christmas shopping and wrapping, but wishing you had done more and clearing off your desk, but knowing the really important item(s) that don't have sticky notes on the desk still didn't get done...? Well, I guess that sounds pretty crappy, too, but because it's filled with positives, I think this day still has hope. Maybe Alvin and the Chipmunks can help?
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
- my nephews growing up
- my neice, full stop.
- anything good my dad has to offer
- the remaining moments of lucidity of my grandmother with Alzheimers
- the opportunity to help my sick family members
- my chance to connect with my brothers
- opportunities to live or work overseas
- falling in love with a stranger overseas
- girl time
- seasonal sales at my favorite store
- great recipes listed in Food Day
- using coupons before they expire
- phone calls from people I haven't talked to in a while
- great seasonal food specials at yummy restaurants
- the perfect opportunity to wear ____
- the right timing for a witty retort
- the look in someone's eyes that says more than their words
- a diagnosis
- an opportunity to get my affairs in order
Friday, December 7, 2007
It's in alignment with my values and also with my recent decision to stop buying so much...food. I'm all about not buying so much in general, but I've already got that one down pretty well as guided my my non-existent budget. The place where I find myself splurging and spending cash is on food. Well, we need food - we have to eat, right?
Yes. We need to eat. But neither in the quantities that we usually do nor the variety that we usually demand. I don't need to eat prepackaged cookies and puffed rice covered in cheese powder when I can make my own better cookies and a piece of toast with butter and nutritional yeast will do. (I know it sounds weird if you aren't used to eating nutritional or brewers yeast, but it's fantastic! Try it!) And I don't need to eat multiple servings to feel full and satisfied. I just do it because I'm bored.
So, I get all kinds of free food at work and that's going to be my guide. If I get free eggs, I'll make a quiche. Free greens and it's time for salad. Two happy effects of this are 1. it's free! and 2. I'll often get things free that are seasonal. That's a good guide for what are appropriate things to be eating at any time of year - for example, it's not necessarily the best for us to be eating pineapple and raw salads during the middle of winter when our bodies need our vital heat just to keep us warm. (Unless we live in the Caribbean, which is a fine option!)
I am going to buy food, but only food that I plan to use or eat within the current and next day. Generally, whenever possible, my meals should include something that was obtained free at work and I'm going to measure my servings so that I'm not overindulging all the time. This isn't just about weight loss, but I expect that will also be a happy side effect.
If ever I think I'm hungry and I'm not sure if it's real, I'm going to try to drink a glass of water and walk the dog before preparing food that I will sit down at a table and slowly enjoy. Wow, that sounds nice. Let's start with a healthy breakfast right now. :)
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Now, part of the interest I had in her lecture is that she pointed out that most of the chemicals she was speaking about are NOT carcinogens. Nope, they are not known or even suspected of causing Cancer. That said, they still have major health impact. They cause hormonal imbalance which could be seen is such symptoms as fatigue, PMS, major menopausal symptoms, skin disorders, digestive disturbance and the list goes on and on. Somehow the public doesn't get excited or upset about chemicals until we attach the label "known carcinogen." And even then, at the whim of the FDA, we may not really get to hear that information. But that's a whole other part of the puzzle that needs to be addressed.
Since I'm speaking/writing puzzles, let me add another piece: The Story of Stuff. This video is all about the state of current economic activity. I think it has wide appeal and is appropriate for adults of all ... political persuasions. This video is much more about consumerism and its effect on our happiness, environment, fellow man and more, but it also touches on the existence of toxins in our world. Toxic chemicals into our factories = toxic products into our homes + toxic byproducts into our environment. And the environment, our world, is a CLOSED SYSTEM - we live in a terrarium and the atmosphere is our lid. Cutting a hole in the ozone does NOT have the effect of letting the toxins out.
The good news is, there is something you can do. There are FOODS we can eat to strengthen our body's natural detoxification processes and there are herbs if you need an extra boost. Interestingly, one of the great liver and kidney enhancing herbs (these are major organs of detoxification) is the common dandelion weed. Our bodies and our world needs detoxification and nature is showing us the answer all the time. And we apply more toxic chemicals to our lawns to kill it. Sorry, this was supposed to be the good news. Yes, we can strengthen our body's defenses. And, we can make choices about how we intereract with the consumer system. Buying organic isn't just about getting "better" food, but it's about changing the system. Demand creates supply - as more people are buying organic, farmers and farming industry are changing and responding. And yes, they charge more for it, until there is enough demand that supply increases so there is competition!
So I'm going to get off my soap box now and get on with my day, but the take home message is this: buy or grow organic broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, brussel sprouts and herbs and eat them.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
I wish there were signs in other arenas of my life that I continue to question.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
2. My friends - from casual acquaintances to deep friendships, I am so grateful for those people who support me, make me laugh and share a cuppa. God, make me worthy of my friends.
3. My partner - this year we're spending the holidays together and he said, "We're each other's family now" since we can't be with our parents this year. It was so lovely. I so enjoy watching the evolution of our relationship.
4. My health - I'm so glad for my continued wellness. With each night of sleep, I feel strength returning. It's amazing to see just how much I need because it clearly reflects how depleted I've become in the last seven years.
5. My dog - Chibo is so patient with my efforts at parenting and always ready to play, cuddle or give me a little kiss to pick me up.
6. My job - I'm so lucky to work for a company with real values. My company takes good care of me for the amount of work I do. I heard an immigrant employee saying how spoiled we Americans are in general and especially at our store and I believe it. I'm so grateful to have good health care coverage, a retirement plan, free products, discounts, education and a job that I enjoy.
7. My practice plans - Something is in the works for starting a clinic next year and I'm very excited about it. I'm thankful for having some direction.
8. My apartment - What a gift to have my friend Jon offer me a one-bedroom apartment for less money than I was willing to spend with no paperwork or security deposit! It's perfectly cozy and such a nice place to spend this winter.
9. My turkey - It's in the oven and I can't wait to have a turkey sandwich tomorrow!
10. In the spirit of manifestation, I'm also thankful for finishing my thesis by year's end. Yes!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday - late to meeting (irresponsible)
stuck in traffic on the way to a party (poor planner)
stayed only briefly at that and another party (bad friend)
didn't want to talk to anyone except my close friends (antisocial)
changed my mind on an important decision (pushover)
Wednesday - got rebuffed at work (over eager)
was told "that would be nice" in a nasty tone when I offered help (lazy worker)
forgot appointment (irresponsible)
boyfriend realized we might not see each other for several days (bad girlfriend)
Thursday - forgot that I was supposed to come in early (irresponsible)
The end result is that I find myself wanting to withdraw from society even further. I don't want to offer up ideas at work, I just want to do what I'm told. I don't want to make social plans because they backfire either due to traffic (that makes me extremely bitchy) or not feeling up to being social. I just want to end my relationships before I get my feelings hurt any more and I want to go it alone. That said, I know escapism doesn't work and I don't really want to be alone. So, I'll take this weekend as a break, hit the reset button and try to do whatever it takes to get myself back on track.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Compliments don't come easy to me and high praise is even harder to pry from my lips, but I will say again, our night at The Portland White House was practically perfect. We had the best room in the house with a private bath with a jacuzzi bathtub for two. The bed was a huge four poster with immense columns and a feather duvet. The entire house has an old world feel to it and our room was incredibly romantic.
Into that setting, I brought our take out dinner.
Now, take-out has the suggestion of fast food or ethnic food from southeast Asia, but I just picked food up at work, so it was northwest cuisine - chicken meatballs, potato-leek cakes, a green salad and a bottle of Tantrum from our wine tour last January. It was delicious and I had carefully selected it to make sure we didn't get overfull. I also brought Tiramisu, which we still haven't eaten. Somehow, eating this meal laying in bed in our bathrobes was more romantic, more delicious and gave me more feelings of romance and contentment than either the wedding reception dinner we had last night or our anniversary dinner out the previous night. It's certainly not all about the food, but I think the food contributed to the atmosphere as much as the atmosphere contributed to the food.
For example, for dinner, we relived our first date, so it was a very romantic restaurant with a cozy booth setting and a history of providing us with very good food. This time, we had awful service, probably the worst table in the house and a meal that neither of us really enjoyed. We had green salads, clam chowder, goat cheese torte and sauteed mushrooms. I very much enjoyed the chowder (which was more northwest style than New England as both A and I could attest after our recent travels) and the torte, the salad was passable and the mushrooms were not my style, so generally the food was good, but we weren't content and ended up coming home and removing our finery to watch a movie (that, come to think of it, also wasn't that good) and go to sleep. Last night's meal at the reception was a lot of foods that should have been really good, and I heard people claim it was, but for me, just wasn't that interesting.
To sum up and end my rambling exploration of food for the time being, the conclusions I've reached (which are not unique) are that I enjoy my food best when I am relaxed, but hungry and that I enjoy simpler foods. Contributing to that simplicity is both fewer options (less stress of choosing) and fewer flavors/kinds of foods. Silly that I had to write that much to come to those conclusions again, but I guess it never hurts to repeat the lesson.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Like so many nights, I tossed and turned much of last night and couldn't even sleep in until 7 as planned. I find myself up getting ready for work a little earlier than usual and not one bit happy about it - in fact, I'm fairly frustrated and furious at moments. Tonight must be nap evening and/or alone sleeping time - sorry Chibo, sorry A.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I decided today to reinstate the three-a-day program with a twist. The twist is that I'm going to set the three daily goals a week at a time and they are going to be project oriented. For this week, for example, my projects are 1. thesis, 2. boards and 3. life. These are all areas in which I would like to see some progression. So I have set goals relating to these three areas for each day of the week. In the life area, my daily goal is just to accomplish 1 thing from my ongoing to-do list. If I accomplish more than 1 in a day, that's gravy, but it doesn't count towards the next day. In thesis and boards, I'm breaking down my writing and studying into small manageable chunks so that I'm not overwhelmed to start and so that I'm working a little everyday instead of cramming once a week on my day off.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I NEVER watch horror movies and after watching Hellraiser with him last night, I remember why. Even hokey 80's horror flicks scare the daylights out of me. I'm already scared enough in this world from real attackers that I don't need to add fear of supernatural or unnatural things. Hellraiser was so fake and really a strange story - I imagine it's probably a great book, but horror books also scare me, so I stopped reading them, too - but I was still scared. Okay, this is going to get personal, brace yourself: I was so scared that I made my boyfriend walk into the livingroom with me and turn on all the lights so I knew no one was in the house and then I peed with the door open. Huge taboo for me. Bathroom time is private time, but I couldn't be in there alone.
It's a good thing I have to go see my landlord tonight and can't go to the scary movie night he's going to, otherwise I'd be in real trouble. I just hope I can get through the "haunted tour" we're doing tomorrow!
Monday, October 29, 2007
It started with me deleting the "guest" account he had created for himself on my computer - you know, when you start up your computer and you select the use icon from the front page and enter your password. That account had been painfully slow and really unusable anyways, so I got rid of it. Then I decided to defragment my C:// - after the analysis, the computer reported that it needed to defragment, but didn't have enough memory to do it properly.
So I decided to delete Norton Internet Security software which I'm no longer using. That un-installation was taking a long time, so I left it while I went to work, thinking I would start the defrag when I got home since I had company coming and wouldn't be on the computer anyways. When I got home, the computer was frozen in the middle of the un-install, same place it had gotten hung up before. Unfortunately, I forced an End Program through Task Manager and then couldn't restart the uninstall and started getting messages that my computer was dangerously low on memory. We later learned that lots of people have this problem and the Norton is a bitch to remove. Removing your Norton program using SymNRT helped though.
Before we did that or found that, we cleared up a ton of space (from 60 MB available to about 3GB) using CCleaner and deleting some duplicated or unnecessary programs from my hard drive. After all that, we ran Spybot and Ad-Aware which found NOTHING! Previously, while running on my Norton subscription with automatic live updates, both programs had found critical objects that required attention. So, in addition to being a pain in the ass to remove and almost shutting me down, Norton wasn't even providing the same level of security I now have with AVG, a free Internet security program. I can't recommend AVG more glowingly - it automatically updates and scans the computer EVERY DAY.
So, from now on, cross my heart, it's a weekly computer maintenance day with the following tasks in order of operations:
- Backup all
- Check for unwanted/unneeded programs and delete
- Clean up unneeded documents and files
- Spybot and AdAware
- Restart several times
- Backup all
And, as part of the beauty of the Internet, you may start to see some things posted here as a place for safe-keeping. Oh, how I love and hate technology.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I also love being a naturopath and the freebies and discounts I get there. As part of our graduation package, which I had never opened, one of the vitamin distributors we work with gave each graduate $100 credit towards our first order of $100 or more. So, I get $100 worth of products at wholesale cost - FREE. It's time to order as my stock is quite depleted, so I'm happily going to use them. Did it work to create favorable feeling towards their company? Yes. Do I care? No. What's interesting is they are a distributor and not a manufacturer, so I would probably have used them anyways, but I feel even better using them after they were generous - since I graduated in a group of 100 and there are 3 schools with similar class sizes, we're talking about a potential of $30,000 in gift certificates that they gave away.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Upon my return, I wanted nothing more than to be alone with my dogs and my thoughts, but that was not to be until several hours later. Even though I feel a little like I already blew my post-vacation resolutions, I haven't really and I can still stick with my resolutions for the rest of the day. I'm just not sure I can catch my blog up by the end of the day like I had hoped! :)
I've wrote a lot during the first leg of my trip and learned a lot about what interests me and what's important for me during vacations, so that may be more expressive and more in-the-moment. During the second half, I luxuriated a little more and didn't write after the first days attempt failed so miserably (I got distracted... a lot), so I'll just be recalling a lot of what happened. Maybe lists - those are just easier. At any rate, this is notice that the previous two weeks entries were actually entered after this one, though the experiences were appropriate for dates.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
The rest of the day was spent relaxing in the AquaSpa, napping and, of course, eating.
Spinach and Gorgonzola Stuffed Pastry
Chilled Melon and Mint Soup
Everything was delicious, but if I never eat meat again, it will be too soon! At the end of dinner, the entire staff was presented to us and the waiters came out to some shipboard song bearing baked Alaska to every table. I didn't realize that Baked Alaska was simply an ice cream cake - it was delicious, but come on - it's ice cream cake! I have to say that it's a good thing for my rapidly increasing waist that this was only a three-day cruise!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
After browsing about for some time, we headed to a tea house for a real English style tea. It was amazing. The tea was warm and lovely - and we all said lovely a lot while we were drinking it - but it was the food that blew me away. Now I know why they made white bread! These little sandwich were so delicate and delicious. There were three-tiered trays of food and enough for us each to have one of everything, so there was no picking and choosing - I tried everything, much to my stomach's dismay, but how could I not?! It was the perfect way to spend the afternoon. A, E and I walked back to the wharf after tea and got to enjoy some other sights.
I do regret that we didn't have more time in Victoria, because it was such an interesting place and I was particularly fascinated by the Royal BC Museum. A promised that we'll go back sometime in the summer and enjoy a mix of indoor and outdoor activities!
Back onboard, it was time for yet another dinner! This evening, I got my first taste of escargot, which was prepared in a butter and pesto sauce and was delicious! I thought I would never eat this, but Sasha had ordered several orders and was sharing it so I felt almost dared to try it. A tried it after I told him how good it was and he enjoyed it as well. Sasha said that as far as escargot goes, this was really good, but that when it's bad, it can be really bad. Based on that, I don't think A and I will be trying it willy-nilly, but neither do I think that will be our last experience with it. The rest of dinner was just so-so.
It seems that I either shared my birthday with many other cruisers or the wait staff does all the birthdays on Saturday night, because all around the room, waiters were doing birthday cakes and "happy birthday" songs to other cruisers from our dinner course onward. I think I may have been the last person to get cake and a song, which delayed our tables dessert and we were then somewhat unceremoniously rushed out of the dining room, but it was nice to get birthday cake and a song, even if we didn't get to eat it.
After that, I was feeling a little seasick, so I had a nap while everyone else went to that evenings entertainment: a ventriloquist. A said I didn't miss much, but another of our friends were singled out and brought onstage to act as the dummy! When A returned, he really wanted us to take a walk to the back of the ship - he said the view was amazing and that maybe some fresh air would help me feel better. We did walk, I didn't feel better and in fact, looking out at the water brought the nausea on a little more firmly. So we headed back to our room, but on the way, he took me through a door marked "private event" behind which was our entire group yelling "Surprise!"
It was my surprise birthday party, which I almost missed due to my seasickness! A and Kurt had arranged for our private use of the small bar just down the hall from my room for several hours. The group welcomed me in with hugs, offers to buy me drinks and many happy returns. I felt so loved. Another cake and song and then cards and gifts, including a Rubberneck CD and a QueenBee bag from A. Just what I wanted! How did he get it onboard without me noticing? He had Joanne smuggle it on for him, the little sneak! Speaking of sneaking, after about an hour, the party was getting pretty raucous, so I snuck out to go back to bed, still seasick, but happy about a birthday well-spent.
Friday, October 19, 2007
FB and E met A and I (where were you?) at my place to drive up together. A lucky detour for coffee and toilets resulted in my first contact with the Oscar Meyer Weiner-mobile. That was fun. When we arrived in Seattle, I started to feel a little uneasy - my first cruise! But most everything went off without a hitch - most because unfortunately one of our group didn't have all of the identification documents needed for boarding. I haven't ever been privy to such happening, but he was literally turned away. Because he'd ridden with us, he didn't have a ride to get anywhere, so that was an unfortunate and unexpected drama for him. Luckily, he didn't use E's luggage tags as he had considered doing or he would have been unable to retrieve his luggage as well!
Once onboard, it was all the junk food you can eat, but it was pretty good junk food. E and I took the Aquaspa tour which we were both really interested in since we've considered doing cruise ship acupuncture. We were both suitably impressed and cruise acupuncture earned a few extra points. We signed up to use the Thassalotherapy Pool, which is a big hot tub with extra-strong jets that come from all directions - it's like getting a wet massage and soak all in one. The water has mineral salts, too, so it's detoxifying. We used that every day and it was probably the best money spent during the trip!
There was a lot of hustle bustle about the boat that afternoon seeing everything there was to offer, dancing at the bon voyage party, getting pictures of the rainbow over Seattle as we headed out and then it was on to dinner. It was an informal night, which means no tie or jacket required. Ugh. It's a small gesture and women love it - why don't men understand that? Dinner was pretty interesting though - you really can get whatever you want, in any quantity on the cruise - it's really an exercise in gluttony, but I enjoyed every minute of it! The highlights of dinner were the Duck Confit appetizer that my waiter tried to talk me out of, A's Chilled Tangerine Soup and my salad, which had julienned daikon radish in it for a little spice. It was fantastic! My prime rib and twice baked potato were only okay, but the Creme Brule was great.
After dinner, it was onto the entertainment for the evening: a comedian! How fun! Except that our group got front row seats and A and I ended up the butt of several jokes. It was fun to say on the mic that I'm a physician, though, and when I said naturopath, someone in the audience "woo-hoo'd" me. I never learned who that was, but they weren't a part of our group. I enjoyed A's discomfort when the comedian asked when we were getting married, but that's just a little bit evil, right? Karaoke after that and then to bed exhausted after an eventful day!
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Last night, I got mad. A met me at my house after work and was ready to take me out for dinner, a movie and some early Halloween shopping. It does make sense to be Halloween shopping right now because we're leaving for the next two weeks. However, even though it makes sense, I don't feel any urgency about it whatsoever. Until he starts talking about it and then I feel like I'm going to have a crappy costume, I'm not going to fit in, but I'm not going to stand out, I'm probably not going to have any fun at all and so on. So there was already the start of some tension - mostly due to my own weird, unhealthy and unconsciously driven thoughts.
Then I started having this weird anxiety. I called E since we were in the neighborhood and she decided to come shopping with us. I don't know why this added to my tailspin, but then A said something to me along the lines of: I just didn't want to spend another night at your house watching movies, I wanted to get you out, see some people, have some fun. I was mortified. Did that guy at the next rack (who I don't know and don't even care about) hear that? Did the cute girl with the funky bracelets he admired hear? Does he think she's more fun? Does he want to date her now? I was so pissed at him, after he basically said he just wanted to show me a good time, that I couldn't speak, we had to leave the store and I fought back tears for the next 30 minutes.
What I don't like about myself is how my internal dialogue is this panic driven, full throttle anxiety bomb. That A and E both have a fair bit of emotion to them sometimes doesn't help and let's not even start on my mother. But really, it's my dialogue. Any influence they have is based only on my permitting them to do so. How do we change our internal dialogue? Fake it until we make it? I like that method for changing other things, but I'm not sure it would work with myself. Would it go a little something like this:
Self: Wow, A admired her bracelets.
Self: She's a bitch.
Self: No, she's probably not a bitch. They're cute bracelets.
Self: You're a bitch.
Guess I'll have to work on some healthy self talk. In the meantime, I'm keeping my mouth shut a little more in the moment and that helps. Instead of screeching, A and I end up talking about my feelings which is a lot more effective and also helps me realize which ones are real and which ones are just me spinning my own wheels.
Friday, October 5, 2007
1. Make unclear and incomplete plans last minute
2. Call only those people who you can really relax with
3. Ask someone else to host
4. Tell everyone you'll make all the food, then change your mind at the last minute and tell everyone to bring something
5. Shake until blended
What a fun night. No movie was watched. Half the food was a flop. We forgot to plan any drinks. And we didn't know who was coming and who wasn't. And it was the funnest Friday night I've had in a long time. I feel content in my heart and in my tummy.
2 : right disposition
Yes, I need to cultivate that. Today my mind is off kilter and uneven. Everything is going to be okay, but today it doesn't seem so, and the slightest of events has me all a-jumble.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
I got into my pajamas and watched a silly movie. Then I watched Coupling on Netflix. Then I blogged a bit, went back into the kitchen to make vegan Cashew Cheez and Aloha Pate, which require no cooking, but a fair bit of food processing and went back to bed, where I was asleep by 10. Needless to say, I was up before the alarm today and feel great this morning.
I don't want this to become set in stone, but I think I might take a Time Out at least once per week. I feel fantastic. Not lonely, but yet rejuvenated and a bit of longing to see friends. Does that make me an introvert, despite my social nature?
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
I used to knit/crochet, blog and email in class. When I first moved into my new place, I also spent a lot of time at the computer, but I noticed last night when E was over how different the energy was when the computer was closed the whole time. I didn't even think of opening it to check email - wait, I did open it once, but technically, that was just before E arrived. I opened the computer to look up how to make corn tortillas just as she rang the bell. Since we were running out to the store, I wanted to see if I needed ingredients. Since the making of tortillas requires only corn flour and water, you'd think I was set, but alas, I have corn meal and not corn flour and these are two different things. In what way, I do not know, but the site I read specified that they are very different and that tortillas can NOT be made with meal. So, I decided to just buy tortillas and skip the whole "tortilla press" and corn flour fiasco. At any rate, that was what I needed to learn on the computer at the beginning of E's visit. Then I didn't think of the computer the rest of the night.
So, now I find myself wanting to describe the calm yet celebratory dinner we had last night and all the cooking and food prep I've been enjoying the last few days instead of getting to the point. And really, I'd like to get to the point, so I can get back in the kitchen. My point is simply this - I don't have to carry a list of blog topics around in my head or in my pocket - if the topic is salient enough, it will come round again. I can and will just write when the mood strikes. I am not a slave to this forum nor to any technique or method I employ. I can do deep breathing when it feels good or just roll over and go to sleep. I can bike to work or drive as the mood and weather strike me. I can have routines and I can stray from them. I made them to serve me, just like this blog. So, I'll let it serve me and if making a list is something that seems important, I'll make it here and come back to it later.
Monday, October 1, 2007
ROASTED EGGPLANT SOUP RECIPE
3 medium tomatoes, halved
1 (1 1/2 lb) lb) eggplants, halved lengthwise
1 small onion, halved
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place tomatoes, eggplant, onion and garlic on large baking sheet. Brush vegetables with oil. Roast until vegetables are tender and brown in spots, about 45 minutes.
Remove from oven.
Scoop eggplant from skin into heavy large saucepan; discard skin. Add remaining roasted vegetables and thyme to same saucepan.
Add 4 cups chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook until onion is very tender, about 45 minutes.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan.
Stir in cream. Bring to simmer, thinning with more stock, if desired.
Season soup with salt and pepper.
Serve with sprinkling of goat cheese.
Modifications: No cream - if a creamier soup is desired, use coconut milk. Vegan cheese or no cheese also works. Serve with fresh olive oil breadsticks!
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Like doing inventory, I got to see many more store products than I might have noticed otherwise. That's great, because I got to learn about the existence of pickled asparagus, canned chestnuts and lime curd, but it's also frustrating because I find the whole range of convenience foods an indicator of how lazy and detached from food our culture has become. Now don't get me wrong, my great food love is itself a convenience item, so I'm aware there is a double standard here. However, I think I've identified the category of convenience foods that irritate me: sweets and non-meals.
The aisle I was auditing this weekend included spices, cereals, baking goods, cake mixes, cookie mixes, and canned fruits and vegetables. Nothing too offensive in the canned fruits and veggies, no complaints in among the flours and sugars, and I even smiled as I looked over the array of spices. It was the baking mixes that put me in a foul mood. I grew up on baking mixes, despite my mom's great talent for baking. With three growing kids and a full time job, she probably just didn't have time for scratch baking. Put it that way, many modern people probably don't. I have compassion for my mother in this, but I find it hard to cop to in others. I find myself frustrated by the varieties of baking mixes available to us: plus blueberries, plus marrion berries, with brown sugar on top...
...it's days or weeks later and I just can't finish this rant. It's in my nature to be relativistic and forgiving and once I realized that the convenience foods are just there for people with busy lives, whatever their priorities are (just because someone doesn't have kids doesn't mean they don't want ease in the kitchen), I couldn't stay upset. I guess I was just lamenting because so much food available is just crap - not good for people, animals, children or the environment - and that I wish people knew the joy of cooking.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
And I'm probably not going.
I need to get a second job. I need to stay home and earn my usual passive moneys from babysitting Plum. I need to work on my side job. Basically, it's worth losing the money that's already gone to make more real and potential money.
But I feel bad about it.
E is going. She even said she didn't want to be the flake that didn't go (although I paraphrase, because she used a word worse than flake), which I try not to take as a direct hit. So now I wonder if I should somehow go. Even though I'm taking two weeks off next month to go on vacation.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I also learned a little something new about housekeeping while at a friend's house the other day. On her coffee table was a copy of Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House. I paged through the sections on bedroom decor (sexual art not necessarily best), the use of stimulating beverages (when to serve coffee, tea or alcohol) and liability (when one could reasonably be expected to pay damages for injury), but carried away on this handy advice:
upon rising in the morning, turn down the sheets and open the window to air the bed.
Both A and E are bed makers, so I've grudgingly fallen into the habit of at least pulling the bedding up over the bed so as to have a slightly less rumply bed to come back to in the evening, but no more. I've aired the bed for the past several days and I find my bed so much more appealing now. I actually leave the bed turned all the way down (with the sheets and blankets folded back) until it's time for bed. The sheets are then cool and fresh every time I climb between them. I guess that's a lesson in listening to my own instincts.
Monday, September 17, 2007
It was served in a pitcher with a shot glass.
It cost about $10 in 1997.
1oz or 30 ml Midori
1oz or 30 ml Malibu Rum
1oz or 30 ml Vodka
1/2 oz or 15 ml Cointreau
1/2 - 1 oz Pineapple Juice
I'm looking forward to having this at my cocktail party (Goal # 97)!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
They described contempt as closely related to disgust, though Webster (below) uses the synonym disdain. I think this is also related to condescension (also below). In my own life, I'm so sensitive to people seeming to condescend or patronize me that I often jump to conclusions and assume everything they say is meant in that way. This is also described in the book - the pattern of how things are received, which can be general to all people or specific to a single person and is another independent predictor for the success of a relationship. I wonder if these things can be changed? I shall read on.
1 a: the act of despising : the state of mind of one who despises : disdain b: lack of respect or reverence for something2: the state of being despised3: willful disobedience to or open disrespect of a court, judge, or legislative body
1 a: to descend to a less formal or dignified level : unbend b: to waive the privileges of rank2: to assume an air of superiority
2 : to adopt an air of condescension toward : treat haughtily or coolly
Friday, September 14, 2007
A and I have started having the strangest car chemistry. We actually have these strange almost-arguments about who drives. He usually uses a teasing tone, but I think he's serious. Usually we haven't established who is driving beforehand and I assume he's driving, because 1. his car is smaller, easier to park and gets better gas mileage and 2. he's always driven everywhere. Maybe he's tired of driving or maybe we just started a trend by taking my SUV camping, but these days he seems to want me to drive a lot more. I don't mind driving if we're going to do "my" plans or see "my" friends, but sometimes I resent it when they are "his" plans or friends.
Maybe we should just ride our bikes?
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Here's one for the literalists out there, though. In general, I use language very loosely, especially for one who likes definitions so much. One way in which I use language loosely is in regards to time. I like to say "the other day" as a description of when something happened. It wasn't necessarily the other day this weekend or even a day this week or month or year. "The other day" in my lexicon really refers to any day other than today. It's not so much that I am being deliberately secretive about when, exactly, a thing occurred, but more that I can't exactly remember and any event that I remember usually seems to have happened fairly recently.
There it is, one of the quirks that defines B...I wonder if that's part of the reason why I also pre-and post-date my blog entries?
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I don't know why I like that terminology but I do. Somehow the words - internal exploration - sound like an adventure. I guess Body Worlds 3 (which I have extremely mixed feelings about) could be one form of internal exploration, whereas therapy and personal growth work could be another.
I found a list of the top 10 things one can do to improve one's life and the top item was something about stop paying so much attention to how you feel. I really jived with that in some ways. My community consists of a lot of people who are really in touch with their feelings and sometimes it gets a little crazy. Like when a friend asked me how I was dealing emotionally with moving in the middle of carrying furniture outside. Or when another friend wept daily for two weeks for no aparent reason and spent hours ruminating on it. I do think sometimes that would help people have a better time.
But what about those people who don't really get in touch with their feelings at all? I guess the answer is the same as usual: moderation.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Turns out, it really is shambles and shamble is something totally different. Shambles refers to:
1 : a meat market
3 a: a place of mass slaughter or bloodshed
b: a scene or a state of great destruction
c (1): a scene or a state of great disorder or confusion
(2): great confusion : mess
Whereas shamble simply means to walk awkwardly with dragging feet.
Even though my life is in shambles, referring to a state of disorder and confusion and not to a slaughterhouse or meat market, I find it calming to read Webster. Perhaps I should use Webster for meditation purposes. How do I, a fairly organized, hard working, rear-end retentive, get so close AGAIN to overdrawing my bank account, not have access to my own mail and give terrible job interviews for a position for which I am not only qualified, but also an ideal candidate? I've moved the money around so everything is covered, I'm going to my complex manager to figure out the mailbox situation and I'm going to 'let go and let God' about the interviews, but even having solutions doesn't help. That my counselor just called saying I missed our appointment for right now also doesn't help. Maybe selling my junk on Craigslist to clear clutter and make money will help. Guess I'll find out.
Monday, September 10, 2007
And now I find myself ironing. Not the shirt I need for an interview later today, but my table linens. How did this happen?!
Sunday, September 9, 2007
I think this is a risk of blogging, especially if you know you have a readership, like on LiveJournal or MySpace, where you have long lists of "friends" that may check in regularly. A few people mention your blog to you, commenting or complimenting, in person or online and then this weird sense of something starts to take over. It's almost like an over-inflated sense of your own importance, but I don't think it's exclusively that ... narrow-minded.
When my friends tell me about their day, I'm interested...until it becomes the laundry list and then I start going over my list in my head, which I then often share and it becomes this vicious cycle. I don't want to that in life or online - it seems just such a waste of time, energy and harddrive space.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
My year off, immediately after college, wasn't spent touring around Europe on a trust fund or lounging on beaches surfing all day because that part of the world just wasn't that expensive. I moved out of state, got a job and starting getting ready for grad school.
In grad school, I started to understand a little of what people were saying, because the difficulty level went up considerably over college and even over working full time. Life was hard - I don't even like to think of how hard! But that's not even what people meant by THE REAL WORLD.
I think they just mean their world. Whatever their world looks like - whatever grim stressers present themselves to that person every day. If working at jobs I love in a city that thrives is the real world, I'll take it. Yes, I can't wait to get into the real world - I can't wait to be paid a living wage for every hour that I've worked and have my free time be my own without guilt that I should be studying. I can't wait to be able to schedule my vacations any time I want and not just during Christmas or summer holidays.
My very good friend S pointed out that the people who say "wait until..." are the same people who say "enjoy it while you're young" and they are just jealous. I like her advise, which is to just say "I love you even though you're jealous." And I would add, "Just you wait until I'm in the real world!"
Friday, September 7, 2007
roqufort: used for a pungent French blue cheese made from sheep's milk
(It's true - it is quite pungent, enough so that I would suggest not eating it in polite company, although I'm sure it's delicious.)
charcuterie: a delicatessen specializing in dressed meats and meat dishes; also : the products sold in such a shop
Etymology: French, literally, pork-butcher's shop, from Middle French chaircuiterie, from chaircutier pork butcher, from chair cuite cooked meat
accoutrement or accouterments (both spellings are correct): equipment, trappings; specifically : a soldier's outfit usually not including clothes and weapons -- usually used in plural b : an accessory item of clothing or equipment -- usually used in plural; an identifying and often superficial characteristic or device -- usually used in plural
Starting with cell phones. I decided not to get a land line, so now I only have a cell phone. I love my cell phone. Like pets, it's okay to love your cell phone so long as you don't love your cell phone. I enjoy the convenience of making calls wherever I am: stuck waiting for my number to be called at the DMV, on the way to my friends house to see if they need me to stop at the store for anything, in the airport, by the pool. I especially enjoy the ease and convenience of text-messaging. I can just ask the question, send the reminder, share the info really fast without actually having to take the time to speak to the person. And it's easy to get the same from my friends too. I find this less disrespectful to the person I am with than actually making a call, but I know it drives some people, that is, A, crazy.
What I hate is receiving calls. When I'm home alone or needing to speak to someone, I love people to call me, but if those conditions aren't met, I hardly answer. It's nothing personal and often it's unintentional because my phone is on silent so I don't notice the call anyway. But even if I notice the call, I often silence or ignore it if I'm with someone or doing something. Because "the phone is there for my convenience." I use quotes because this is, in fact, a quote and not my words at all, though I can't for the life of me remember where I read that story. At any rate, the phone is there for my convenience and I'm not going to pick up if it's not convenient. That may mean I'm busy, I'm with someone, I'm just not in the mood to talk, I'm not in the mood to talk to that particular caller or that I'm suffering from cell phone head, since that's the only phone I have now.
I want to encourage, well, everybody, especially those others who also only have cell phones, to consider taking this approach as well. There is no reason that using or having a cell phone, even if it is one's only phone, should mean that we have to be accessible all the time. The silent and ignore features are there for our convenience too.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
I started writing about my move and using that as an example of how I go it alone, but that was just getting me down. The move itself was immensely depressing because despite hiring movers and taking many loads to the new place in my car (alone or with E), I still had to ask friends for help. Now that I'm moved, it's not as depressing, because I enjoy living alone and like having this space all to myself.
So, on reflection, I really don't have that much to say about doing things alone. I know I do it. I know I don't like asking for help. I know that I should ask for help and that it's okay to ask for help. But I also think it's become so ingrained into my personality that I don't even recognize when or how I do it.
So I guess it's a good thing that I asked E to hem my curtains for me, right?
With my recent move, I've decided not to have a land line telephone. I can easily borrow free wireless Internet from the city, my neighbor or the cafe down the block, so I don't need a line for that either. Since my last phone bill, including Telephone Assistance and high-speed wireless Internet, was about 55$ split with my housemate, this is a great way to save some money. For just about $15 a month extra, I can add enough minutes to let my cell phone be my primary phone number. Since I usually have it on silent, rarely answer or return calls, listen to my messages sporadically and spend most of my talk time with another network user, I don't think my minutes will be an issue.
However, what may be an issue is cell phone head. Not using my cell phone that often, I've forgotten how bad cell phone head can get. Cell phone head includes, but is not limited to the following conditions:
- Buzzy brain feeling
- Sweaty face, including acne breakouts
- Mental confusion and lack of focus
I got a bad case of cell phone head today speaking with A and not only snapped at him, but disregarded his feelings with some crappy comment. Now, I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't want to just stay on the phone while the other party was reading through their mail, but I don't think that is enough to justify being so inconsiderate...but I think cell phone head is a good enough excuse.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
The New Schedule is and isn't great. It's 3 full days a week, which is fewer than half the days of a week, but longer than half a work week. That gives me a nice paycheck compared to my one shift a week paychecks of yore, but the days happen to include Saturday and Sunday, the only full days that my boyfriend and friends are all off work. Luckily, I have the evenings free, though it does limit how much late night activity I can participate in. That could be a good thing, though. For my own edification and because I just love lists and schedules, here's an idea of how I have my schedule planned:
8am : wake, walk dog, breakfast
9am : gym, shower
11am-1pm : work on thesis (for the next week or so : unpack)
1pm : lunch
2pm-5pm : work on thesis or special projects
5pm-10pm : fun time with friends
6am : wake, walk dog, breakfast, shower
8am-5pm : work
5pm-10pm : fun time
Sleep In, Clean House, Run Errands, Free Day!
I wanted to list all the "special projects" that I'm hoping to work on, but when I do that it just starts to look like a task list instead of a list of fun or useful things I'd like to do. I'll just maintain the list in my head or better yet, look around my condo and garage if I'm ever not sure what they are - they're all right there in front of me, either because I bought the supplies for that really fun project or because it's the box of unorganized do-da's that I haven't gone through yet!
For now, my project is "fall asleep quick," because caffeine or no, I've got a big day ahead of me tomorrow.
Monday, September 3, 2007
What I've learned from this move:
1. Book your movers in advance
2. Be the first move on their schedule that day
3. Double and triple check with your movers
4. Pack books in doubled shopping bags or tiny boxes
5. Label your boxes
6. If it goes from garage to garage and you haven't used it in a year, it's probably garbage
7. Meeting new neighbors can be either a pain or a joy - thanks to my new neighbor Steve for helping me get my comfy chair in today - Chibo did flips for joy
8. Try to organize things into appropriate bins/storage/drawers before the move
9. Look at your kitchen cupboards and figure out in advance which ones will contain what
10. Pace yourself
So, I've learned a lot, I'm moved in but not unpacked and unlikely to be until sometime later this month. But I again promise myself, starting today: good nights of sleep, walks with the dog, swimming on hot days and restful reading periods. Oh yeah, and ample time to blog.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
- Nonny's Apartment - birth to age 1
- 28th Street - age 1 to 4
- Greenmont Street - age 4-13
- Buchanan - age 13-18
When I left home at 18, I pretty well stayed on campus and spent my summers camp counseling or doing foreign study, so I was on various college campus for the next 4 years, except for the last year when they told seniors we had to get off campus to make room for the incoming class. It was a drastic policy change from "on-campus required" to "seniors, take a hike."
- College Dormitory, including summers age 18-20
- Australia (international student housing) age 20-21 : 7.5 months
- Cooperative Housing : 3 months - lived in a dry house with 31 other people, worked at a coffee shop and brought home free pastries, my roommate worked in an ice cream shop and brought home free ice cream - I never saw so many sweets move so fast; just lived there long enough to do my thesis research
- Stewart Street : 11 months, graduated college - moved out to come to P____
And in the past 8 years, since I moved to P____, I've moved around a lot. The last couple years have been pretty stable - these and my 12 month leases bring the average to about 1 year per place which isn't so bad, but there were a few moves that occurred in quick succession - you bet your booties, I didn't unpack much those times.
- LaSalle Apartment : 12 months with Ree and J - moved when lease ended
- Willow Creek: 12 months with Jenn and Fido - moved when lease ended - incidentally was on cruches during this move - thank goodness for good friends!
- Cockroach Studio: 4 months with no TV - moved because I wanted to live with Jeff M and friends
- Capitol Hwy: 6 months with rotating roommates including Atlanta roommates who hated me, Jeff M and Ree who wanted to move her gal pal, her 4 ferrets and a 3rd cat in. Moved out because my landlord threatened to evict me when I was 4 days late with the rent and 1 day out of being hospitalized for major surgery. Was again crippled and unable to help much with my own move - thanks again for good friends who helped a lot.
- The Farm: 3 months in the country with former very good friends and their new baby. It was a great time and I think fondly of them often, though we aren't friends anymore. I loved living there, but once I was feeling better, the commute was too much. Not sure why we're not friendly anymore, but I think I got lumped into the category of shit that went along with their divorce.
- Bertha: 12 months with E - cemented our friendship and our ability to tell each other everything, including that I wanted to get my own place. Moved out to try living alone again.
- Hawthorn Studio: 12 months - loved living there, even when I had to sell my car to pay the rent, but moved to live in an amazing house that E was offered.
- The House: 17 months. 3 bedrooms, bonus room, full basement, fenced yard, ample storage, fireplace. Reasonable rent, landlord did yard work. Raised garden beds, passionflower vine. Ping pong. Game nights. I still miss it. Landlord sold the house because he and his partner were breaking up - it's too bad he didn't wait because they are now married and we would never have left that house.
- The Townhouse: 14 months. Great modern space under construction for 9 months of our stay there - you just don't get over that kind of thing. Still not exactly sure why we moved out, but I know we had good reasons.
And that brings me to this round: West Lake. So far so good, and I have high hopes, even though I already miss my ER.
Saturday, September 1, 2007
E and I were both looking forward to some leisure this weekend after the move, but there is something holding me back from doing that during this enforced day off today. I did sleep in until about 10 since there was no need to "ride at dawn" as we've been doing and am planning on finishing watching a movie, but I also plan to finish packing my kitchen, move it over and unpack the kitchen and bathroom today before retiring to A's place to sleep. I'm also getting the dog groomed and going grocery shopping since I won't have much food at the new place. Maybe I'll have some fun with my Bed Bath and Beyond gift card - I need a toaster.
Whoa, somebody stop me.
Friday, August 31, 2007
My verbal tics are many, but the one I'm really struggling with now is : do you know what I mean? E pointed it out to me and I can not only not stop saying, but I'm conscious of it now and have now begun a whole chain of toc's to follow that tic. Do you know what I mean? Damn, I said it again. Did you hear me say it again? I can't believe I said it again. I'm really going to try not to say that anymore, because it's really annoying....Do you know what I mean?
I don't know (what I mean) if it was worth getting pointed out or not, because now I'm just as aware, but seemingly unable to stop myself.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
[Never finished this thought or line of thinking, but I think this issue is improving. It's all a part of boundaries and the ability to make them without becoming rigid.]
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I just got over being sick. I ended up taking two days off work, staying in bed for three. On the fourth day, I felt a little bit better, so I started packing and moving and returned to work. This is day five and I packed and moved two truck loads and worked another shift today. My boss told me yesterday that I wasn't eating enough and that my body needs more fuel to deal with the illness, the stress of moving and working. He asked me to list what I had eaten yesterday and I could barely remember, but it wasn't that much. I scoffed at that, because who can trust a man telling me that I shouldn't be drinking plain water, but that even sugar water would be better for me right now. I'm still not buying that one - sugar water is not good for anyone anytime - but I do believe he may be onto something about not eating enough.
When I went to work today, I got shaky when my lunch break was 15 minutes overdue, so I bought more food than I really needed and ate it with more haste than was wise. Maybe I'm not eating enough to sustain this work load...but maybe more important than eating more is working less. Maybe I'm doing too much. I feel much better today than yesterday and 10x better today than the day before, but I can feel that I need more sleep and restful time. In the middle of the moving work today, I stopped and swam with friends. My moving partner seemed a little frustrated that I suggested a break in the afternoon until I reminded her that I was working the evening shift after a full day of moving that started with her 7am wake up call. That swim helped me feel refreshed, but the swimming and pool side chat only lasted 30 minutes.
There is no help for working hard tomorrow since the movers are coming on Friday, but after the movers on Friday, I need to shift my focus and start getting some rest. No more of this hectic, frenetic moving around. I promise myself that this Friday thru Sunday, I will sleep 8 hours each night, walk the dog around the ponds at my new place, take a swim in the pool and lay around my condo for at least an hour with a good book. If I'm not completely unpacked and moved in within a weekend, who cares? And, frankly, who's going to notice?
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Whenever I get sick, I always think about going to the hospital. Or a medical doctor, but usually I think of Urgent Care. Since I know what I would do as a naturopath and have access to acupuncture at home, it feels weird to go to these doctors when I'm feeling ill. I should go to acupuncture tomorrow and get herbs, though.
Lucky for me, I have A and E to help out today. I have never felt so cared for and this is reflected in my feeling significantly better this evening. My throat is still swollen and sore, my ears still have a lot of pressure and my back still hurts, but the headache is subsiding, my fever broke and I had enough energy to ask for the dinner I'm craving (spicy green curry soup) and pick up my room while A took the dog out.
I hate being sick. It makes me half hysterical and half needy...and all too human.
Friday, August 24, 2007
I told a friend of mine that I was considering telling my mom this lie and she helped me come up with a great justification. Since the lie starts with the phrase "I dreamed..." and most dreams are unconscious, I may actually have dreamt it. Maybe what I dreamed only revisited my consciousness later and is actually a memory rather than an idea. That resonates with me because I find the boundary so unclear between memories, ideas, daydreams, dreams and everyday reality.
My mom doesn't take very good care of herself. She lives 3,000 miles away from me and caretakes for the remainder of the family there, including 3 (relatively) able bodied young men, their 5-6 miscellaneous children, a random woman friend who lived with us in my youth and lives with us again, my grandmother and to a lesser extent her brother, sister and extended family. She takes pretty good care of them, even though she has a chronic cough, intense physical pain, emotional grief and needs to rest.
I have spoken to her often about her need to rest, to recovery, to take some time for herself. I appreciate that she's helpful to the people around her, but I feel that it has become a parasitic relationship and in her less guarded moments, she agrees with me. So I've considered telling her that her dead husband (my father) came to me in a dream telling me to move her to my locality and take care of her. I don't know if she'll listen to this any more than she listens to me in any other way, but this is the most powerful phrasing in my family culture since 1/6/06: dad would have wanted.
It's unfair, probably hurtful and possibly unlikely to achieve results since she has built herself into a hole with grandma, my brother and her house guest living in the house she was supposed to sell this summer, but just maybe... I probably won't do it. Lying is wrong, after all. But I want better for my mom. I want her to have a better life. I want her to last long enough so that I can take care of her. I'm afraid she's going to burn her candle out taking care of other people. I'm afraid she'll never be able to live long enough or near enough to babysit my fat brown babies or teach them to sneak buckeyes out of the fridge when mom's not looking or rock my daughter the first time some boy breaks her heart.
It seems like this is what dictatorship is - determining what is best for someone else without their consent, but if it will help me keep my mom around in a healthy and happy state, I'll use whatever tools are at my disposal, including lies, but who knows? Maybe it was really a memory or a dream and not just an idea.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
The double standard is this: I HATE other people's secrets. I can't stand it. I get suspicious and paranoid. I assume that every mis-statement, omission or hesitation is reflective of a grander scheme to somehow make me look of feel like as ass. It's probably because of how I was raised - I'm sure that JR would say so, at any rate, always finding fresh fodder in family-of-origin. Certain things were just kept as secrets among the family - other things were certainly meant to be secret from the children, the girl children or specifically just me, but were covertly shared or overheard.
I wonder how much of that was intentional secrecy, protection or ignorance instead of the spite I considered it. I do consider it spiteful for people to have secrets against me. Getting to know people deeply has become difficult, because I don't dare ask people personal questions they might not answer - if they don't answer, they have a secret and what does that say about me?
I'm rambling about secrets. Basically, I need to remember the four agreements again and that it isn't all about me. Another way to phrase that, in the words of Jerry Seinfeld, "What are men thinking about? Nothing." What is anybody thinking about? Usually not me and that's probably a good thing.
1 : the quality or state of being mature; especially : full development
2 : termination of the period that an obligation has to run
1 : based on slow careful consideration
2 a (1) : having completed natural growth and development : RIPE
(2) : having undergone maturation
b : having attained a final or desired state
c : having achieved a low but stable growth rate
d : of, relating to, or being an older adult : ELDERLY
3 a : of or relating to a condition of full development
b : characteristic of or suitable to a mature individual
Wow, this was not what I expected. Maturity as a concept seems to be more about having reached "full development" but I wonder how this relates to full potential. The definition "having attained a final or desired state" might suggest that meeting one's full potential would be the end of maturing, but I wonder, "desired by whom?" There are people who do not desire any further growth, probably think they are mature and in whom I see a lot more potential. In last nights conversation about maturity, my friend queried, "Is there a point in one's years when a person reaches a level of maturity and stays there?" Well, per Webster, we may be erroneous in thinking of levels of maturity - fruit and wine are either mature/ripe/ready or not. I don't even ask if people are that way, because as a feminist/relativist thinker, of course I consider there to be a scale and I think the issue is just one of semantics.
Personal learning and growth is one of my core values, so I'm constantly seeking the way to growth. I almost wrote "better myself" but I realize that doesn't really express it and self-betterment also carries with it a tinge of the idea that I might possibly know what is better for myself. There is also an idea with self-betterment that things may also be better, cleaner, prettier or somehow more positive, whereas with growth, I think sometimes things get messier, at least at first. For example, when I started learning to communicate my feelings of anger, I often overshot my goal, said it wrong or whatnot, so my life actually got messier for a time. In the end, I do think we are "better" for having grown, but I guess part of the learning I've accomplished in my growth has been that I'm perfect right now and doing the best I can with what I have available. Given that, I can't possibly be better.
Okay, enough psychobabble. Is maturing a process that ends? My opinion: for some people, yes - for some, no. Alcoholics (and likely other addicts), for example, get stunted in their emotional growth and often retain the maturity of a teenager. Psychologists say that they can resume their growth when they attain sobriety, but I have not always seen that they do - I think the possibility is there, but it requires a personal dedication. I don't think that is exclusive to addicts, either - I think beyond our growing years, there may be a tendency to stagnate if we aren't feeding ourselves the right mental/emotional/spiritual food for growth. That food is what keeps us growing/changing/maturing. What is it? Probably varies for everyone - for me, it includes an exploration of the dao, personal journey into spiritual realms, working with a therapist and lots of exposure to and exploration of the meaning of words.
To continue along that track, I also think that kids and teenagers need a lot of exposure while they are in their growing years to these foods, whatever they may be for them - since we can't possibly know, it would behoove us to expose them to LOTS of different models. This is the same way I feel about their physical health - if kids don't eat dirt and get exposed to germs, they never develop a proper immune system; if they (and we) don't eat lots of different foods, we never develop a wide palate and/or get the nutrition we need! It's really one and the same desire to have a wide array of experience - even if we then choose to walk a more narrow road, at least it was choice and not something that was foisted upon us due to the limits of our exposure.
For my part, as someone who has used and accepted the label "mature" since I was about 11, I now rescind that label based on Websters definition. I hope the day I wake up mature is my last on this planet - I'd love to look on this earth with mature eyes for just a day before ascending to nirvana.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Pro: Coming home to the home in the same state I left it, keeping the house in any state or cleanliness or mess that feels good to me
Con: Having permission to keep the house in disarray, not having someone to help me clean
Pro: Not having to go up and down two flights of stairs every time I forget my keys, phone, wallet, shoes, hat, umbrella, drink, dog, etc.
Con: Gaining weight from the quick drop in my daily activity level
Pro: Getting new stuff for the house, decorating it in my style with things I like
Con: Not having things that my housemate had and I need, having to spend the money to get things I need (like curtains!)
Pro: Having parties again! Game night, cocktails, dinner parties, here I come!
Con: No Essential Rumi to cohost with me...and help me clean up!
Pro: Having people visit - my first houseguest is likely to be the month I move in when my friend J comes to visit from Atlanta.
Con: NONE! There is nothing wrong with that - I love having friends stay with me and my new couch is super comfy for overnights, so that should be a blast.
Pro: Lots of things in walking distance. Per www.walkscore.com, the walkscore at my new place is 6 points higher than my current place.
Con: NONE! Maybe walking to the store will help make up for the lack of stairs.
Pro: Taking the dog out will be easier and there is a great walking trail beside two ponds.
Con: NONE! Anything that makes walking the dog easier is great!
Pro: Personal space for personal things.
Con: NONE! :)
Con: Feeling less than safe living alone on the first floor with a sliding glass door.
Con: Feeling lonely (potentially).
Pro: I can call my good friend and new neighbor NPR to come kill spiders, check the closets and visit with me anytime!
I do so hope that I still enjoy living alone!
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
- Pay off all my and my mom's debts
- Retire my mom to the location of her choice and set her up for a comfortable life
- Put funds in trust for my brothers and their children
- Put funds in trust for my future children
- Consult a financial advisor
- Take a long vacation to determine next steps
Yes, I'd like to contribute to charity. Yes, I'd like to invest. Yes, I'd like to be set up for life. But I'm not sure I'd stop working - I didn't spend the last 7 years living in poverty and training not to use those skills - maybe I'd volunteer several days a week or take a teaching position that didn't pay as well as I'd like. After this past six weeks without a consistent schedule, I do know that I would need something to get me out of bed and into my shoes everyday. (The shoe thing is about some advice E read about working from home - best way to be productive at home is to get up and get dressed down to your shoes everyday. I'm showered and dressed and shod and already very productive today, so I believe that book may be onto something.)
So anyways, I'm rambling again, because this really isn't about what I would do if I won the lottery, but about what I would do if my friend won the lottery. Different perspective, altogether and one that really gives me a picture of some issues I'd like to work on. Often when one is playing "What I Would Do," with a friend, they include their friend in the generosity that comes from playing with imaginary millions - "Of course, I would set you up in a new home and state of the art clinic! I love you!" That helps, because if you win the lottery, I'm going to be JEALOUS! Gasp!
A friend of mine recently came into a situation where she's going to be helped out financially a great deal - she didn't win the lottery, she's not set up for life, she still needs to work her hiney off, but there is no question that she's been given a reprieve. And I'm jealous. I'm happy for her. And I'm jealous. There is no way for her to share this deal - it's not like imaginary millions. So how do I deal with the jealousy and feel better about the situation? Well, I just keep plodding along getting my ducks in a row. And I use phrases like "bailing you out" and feel slightly superior about getting them in a row without a windfall of help. Not okay, but I'm working on evolving beyond that place.
So, if you win the lottery, please be patient with me and my jealousy! I still love you and it'll be easier to love you if you share.
Monday, August 20, 2007
So the topic is this Third Blog that I used to read and now don't. Well, that's a lie, because I'm reading it again. No, I'm not that capricious - Third Blog is private and viewed only by permission from The Writer. Yes, The Writer granted me permission to view his personal blog and then rescinded it and then gave it back. Why and how do we choose who reads our blogs? The Writer keeps his private because he is in fact writing very personal things, in some instances, pouring his heart out and revealing his deepest feelings. I, on the other hand, write more generally and anonymously, or so I hope, and don't mind it being a public blog, but I don't direct more than a couple friends here - and most of those are people I know won't read regularly anyway. Maybe I'd write differently if I knew it couldn't be read by strangers...maybe I'd write a lot differently if I knew my boyfriend was reading?
So The Writer had told me about his blog and even showed me a few entries for months before giving me access. I like to think that I was "cool" about it and not begging to read, but the latter may be more the case. I was intrigued - what was he writing that was so private? And why shouldn't I, close friend, confidante and generally understanding person, read it and participate? Finally, after months of patient waiting, I was added to the readership and voraciously consumed everything available since The Writer and I met and then went back and started from the beginning. I had to schedule an emergency summit of my Staying Sane on Blogs Committee because I was feeling proud, hurt, annoyed, happy, sad, angry and confused all at the same time based on what I was reading. In respect for The Writer's privacy, I didn't mention or discuss much of what I was reading or my resultant feelings with him.
Until this week. What happens when someone who's blog you read vents about you?
Okay, that didn't really happen either, but it makes for good dramatic effect. The Writer has been known to post a few things about me...okay a lot of things, including photographs. I'm not talking about risking-my-Ms.USA-crown photos, just photos of us doing things and photos he thinks are extra cute. Well, that's flattering, right? Except that I'm super sensitive about having photos of myself on the Internet and even more sensitive about possible divergent meanings in text about me. So I often would get annoyed by things written about me, even when I knew they were well-intended. The latest entry particularly frustrated me because it hinted at a not-so-stable financial state, which is something I'm even more sensitive about than my bad-hair photos. In my immediate reaction state, I commented on his blog for the very first time and it was a pretty snarky comment. Made him look bad and would have made me look bad too if he hadn't immediately removed it.
After that bitchy comment, he booted me from the blog. No discussion, no second chances.
Until today. When he added me back. No discussion. Well, of course, I immediately caught myself back up, but lesson learned, no comments from this peanut gallery. Though I don't know what to think or do about getting access again, I do know my new mantra: Call the Committee before Commenting.