Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Goals # 53: Reading list

53. Read a book every week for 2 months

So, I started posting my reading list and all the books I was getting from the library, but I was embarrassed at how many I returned, and late at that, unread and actually unopened. I did manage to read a book or more every week for the past 8 weeks, though. It helped that they were series books, so my attention was already given and I knew I liked the style of these authors. It's been fun, but I remember now being totally absorbed in reading when I was a kid. I have to find a place of balance, doing some reading, but not getting interested in the stories at the expense of my own life.

Here's what I've been reading:
Week 1: December 31-January 6 Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Week 1: January 7-13 Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
Week 2: January 14-20 The White Dragon and Dragonsong by AM
Week 3: January 21-27 Dragondrums by AM
Week 4: January 28-February 3 Fool's Errand and Golden Fool by Robin Hobb
Week 5: February 4-10 Fool's Fate by RH
Week 6: February 11-17 Ship of Magic and Mad Ship by RH
Week 7: February 18-24 Ship of Destiny by RH
Week 8: February 25-March 1 Shaman's Crossing by RH.

Thesis Plans and Progress

My gal pal wrote: It can be very daunting to be accountable only to yourself, so I hereby demand accountability (to be fun and interesting) to me as your friend. And I have only loving things to say in response.

How is that for love?

So, with a little progress since the start of the year, I again regroup to attack this project.
I thought about forcing myself to sit down and work on my thesis for an hour of half hour every evening this week, but decided not to force myself to it since I'm working extra and exhausted from a weekend out of town.

My plan is to schedule my time pretty fiercly when I get back from Seattle this weekend, including an appointment with my thesis advisor. I've written some more since last he and I spoke and come up with some answers to questions he had. I may even make a weekly appointment with him to add to my accountability. And an outline of what remains to be done - yeah, an outline, that'd be good.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Howling Wolves

A busier Sunday than expected when J's movers woke him at 7. We scrambled to get our things and ourselves out of the way - it seemed the best option since he'd already hired people to do the laboring. We absented ourselves for more bagels (not as good, since Bagel Junction is closed Sundays and Mondays, but decent with egg, cream cheese and cranberry sauce) and coffee. The Grants Pass bakery we went to is also the gallery for a local photographer who's work we found interesting - lots of photoshop effects and creative and amusing posing.

A quick Internet search helped firm our plans for what remained of the day after the movers had finished: a short drive to the nearby Howling Wolf Sanctuary followed by our tour of the Rogue Creamery and then an early return to P___. The Howling Acres Wolf Sanctuary was an amazing experience. I had another glimpse of a well mannered and confident teen in Alex, our tour guide, who introduced us to the 28 wolves of the sanctuary and told us the history of the sanctuary and the wolves within it. Viewing photos and reading their stories cannot do the wolves justice. To stand within feet of a wolf and hear that a man had over 60 of these majestic creatures chained to posts in his backyard to kill for their pelts has cured me forever of any desire to wear fur. To see movement from the corner of your eye and experience the heart stopping realization that a wolf is walking there is to touch on what wilderness is and to mourn all that we have lost. A has taken some amazing pictures of the wolves - this is only one. Take a look at this for more information.

That experience could not be topped, but I'm pretty sure our visit to the Rogue Creamery would have be a disappointment nonetheless. It was the weekend, so this small artisan creamery was not in operation, but their cheese shop was open with several cheeses, honeys and other misc available for tasting. Don't get me wrong - the cheese is fantastic! We were just hoping to learn more about how they make such fantastic cheese. And I was hoping for a menu inspired by their cheese offerings. But alas, a few tastings and we were on our way...on our way next door to Lilibelle Chocolates. Again, no tours or lectures, but delicious tastings. We tried the salted dark chocolate covered lavender caramels, which were fantastic and a couple other chocolates I can't remember. But I wanted something a little more...stimulating. I asked about shop favorites and we purchased one to try. The SmokeyBlueCheese Truffle combined the award winning Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue with chocolate in a way that brings tears to my eyes. It is possibly the perfect food. I can't say enough, but words also cannot express my joy.

Close of day in a Jewish deli in quaint Jacksonville which has the great fair trade shops in a beautiful classic downtown setting. I am humbled and amazed yet again at the presence of kindred values in unexpected places. I loved this glimpse of SW Oregon and look forward to getting to know it better.

Bagel Junction

R used to drive through Cave Junction, OR on her way to visit her beau, so when she heard J was moving there and I would visit, she recommended I stop by the bagel shop. I didn't have to ask which one, because Cave Junction is a tiny town with only the one bagel shop, but it needs no others - they couldn't even compete with the gastronomic delights that Bagel Junction offers. I don't make those words a link because they don't have a website. I suppose their rural location doesn't need a website for advertisement, but it could also be the glowing accolades that any visitor will heap on them and the efforts that visitors from afar will make to have their bagels brought to them. J is coming to town tomorrow and I ordered a dozen bagels - 6 sprouted wheat hiker bagels and a mix of 6 other flavors. I enjoyed the hiker so much that I wanted only those, but A insisted that we try some others - who knows what we might be missing?


Too Much Too Fast

Life comes at you fast, or so the commercial goes. So true - no small wonder it's a phrase used in advertising. We can relate to it. I want to take notes on every moment, every day, because it seems like there are always little things that I think, "oh yeah, that's going in the blog." Sometimes it's this blog, sometimes it's my work related blog and rarely, but occassionally, Chibo speaks up and wants something in his blog. I don't know how to keep up and keep it all straight.

I do actually email myself notes when I'm at work and thoughts occur to me, but if I'm out in the word, it's more challenging. As I note this, I realize that it's just possible that my concern about photography could apply here as well. I used to think that if one was overly concerned about taking photographs at a party or event, one might not fully participate in it - I think that could also be said about wanting to memorialize daily moments - when they're gone, they're gone. Lived, learned from and let go. It's okay to let some of them slide into forgetfulness - if they're really important, hopefully they'll come up again.

The other funny thing that comes to mind as I'm writing this up is that the challenge of writing a lot of things at once into the blog is really my own strange habit of each entry getting it's own day. I don't know if you've noticed that in reading, but it's a rare case that two entries have the same date. If they do, they were probably written the same day, but just because two entries don't have the same date most definately does NOT mean they weren't written on the same day - I write and change the dates all the time. It's just a strange habit, but I think it also prevents me from just blurting everything out. And I don't like to talk about multiple subjects in any entry - like, I want to talk about Howling Wolves, but I'm saving it for another entry.

It would be lucky if I still had "office hours" with an accessible computer - I'm surfing a lot of internet at work which gives me a lot of fodder and material for writing, but doesn't allow me to write about it until I get home. Because another oddity of my blogging habits is that I don't ever write a blog outside of the little blog posting box - I've never written an entry in Word or in my email or really even in my paper travel journal. The entries for which I use that journal usually just refer to my notes in that journal. Maybe that's what I should do - just keep a list of daily notes that I could write about later? Okay, now I'm just rambling. Good night.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Common Merganser Pair

Saw a beauty like this at the pond. Glad that I caught sight of them when I did, because I haven't seen them since.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Hooded Merganser Pair

These beauties were only on the pond for one day, but they really made my heart sing. It's mostly mallards these days, but I'm hopeful to spot some other varieties on their pass through.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Don't Get To Be Mad

I don't get to be mad when I call my friends and they don't answer their phones. I never answer mine (which makes at least one of my friends very annoyed with me - mia culpa!) and rarely even have the ringer turned on, so how can I be mad? I hope they are enjoying the sun setting on this gorgeous day...

...however, I can be annoyed. And I am. But only because I didn't really want to talk on the phone anyway. I'm content to cook my dinner, sniffle my sniffles (I hab a bad cowd. Translation: I have a bad cold.) and chase the dog around the house. So, I'm putting my annoyance in a bubble and blowing it away. And getting back to dinner, dog and sniffles.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Why You Love Someone

I have been known to tell people all kinds of things about how they love me, from telling them they couldn't possibly love me yet because they don't know me well enough (and advising them to wait 2 weeks!) to telling them their feelings aren't love to breaking up with someone for telling me he loved me. And just the other day, I told someone that their reason for loving me isn't a good one. Who died and made me Cupid?

How arrogant and unappreciative is that?

For someone who loves the romance of Valentine's Day and the feeling of being pampered, I sure do have some kind of resistance to being loved. For this Valentine's Day, I even told my beau that he didn't have to do a thing - no flowers, no chocolate, no candy, no teddybears, no dinner. I said I'd take care of everything. Why did I do that? Sometimes it's not the thing itself, but the intention behind the thing that matters. I don't really want a heart shaped box of candy and chocolate, especially since those chocolates aren't usually as good, but I do want to feel gifted. No teddy bear beats cuddling with my boyfriend, but it's nice to have something soft when he's not there. My intention was to make us a nice dinner at home, but since we both work that day...?

Maybe I'm just feeling this way because I spent most of yesterday working in a location where I was facing a Valentine's Day chocolate display? Or maybe it's because I already ate the fig and almond chocolate that he brought me back from the Chocolatefest this weekend...? Maybe I should stop wondering and get back to my chores. It'll all work out.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Gathering of Light Healers

When the place where I work first opened, one of the early customers happily exclaimed that this was a place that would be a gathering of light healers. I do not refer to a clinic or healing center of any type, but to the grocery store where I work.

My supervisor and the elderly checker are both Reiki masters, one of the grocery stockboys is a vegan who puts together diets for other people, the negative Nancy of the store is an esoteric healer and does Chakra work.

I'm learning (again) to be open to what people can be - not to judge someone based on their current occupation, but to discern who they are. And, maybe, just maybe, I'm healing.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Famililar Faces

At the market, I saw a familiar face - in the space of seconds, I had identified him as someone I'd taken a class with several years ago. At the tea house, just as we were about to leave, a gentleman sat at the next table and I recognized the man who had first introduced me to the house. Now, third time, at a festival, not only do I see a man I'd previously dated, but he actually sat at the table with my group. I would ask if my past is catching up with me, but my past isn't that sordid a thing to catch up.

When I first moved to P___, I did date a lot and had many first dates. Usually, one of us just decided that we weren't compatible (or I thought the man was contemptable, but that's another series of stories!) so most of these never went anywhere that would catch up to me. But now that I'm running into all these men I've known, I guess I'm learning what a small city I really live in. Someone told me that humans evolved during a time when even the most gregarious humans, the traveling traders and storytellers, would only have met up to 200 people in their lifetime and would have trouble remembering them. I could probably name 200 people that I consider friends (obviously not all close) and I think my tally of acquaintances (people I've been introduced to and exchanged words) would be at least 1,000.

Add in the 6 degrees of separation, which I believe in as I continue to trace 6 degrees to the stars and it bears out, and we live on a small planet indeed. I wish others could see that and recognize the impact of their actions.

Friday, February 1, 2008


I've been thinking of posting a list of links, not unlike on del.icio.us, the social bookmarking website, but I just didn't want to open another online account. I think del.icio.us might be a little more worthwhile than I suspected and definately more useful than some of the other accounts I have (MySpace), where I learn little and only indulge my desire to spy. For example, in going to the main del.icio.us page, today I immediately found a great link for multifunctional furnishings and accessories for tiny spaces. The rest of the links on the main page may not have been my thing, but I didn't allow myself time to click past the first page. For the time being I've decided not to join del.icio.us and to post some useful or interesting links here, but take a look and decide for yourself about del.icio.us - after all, you'll probably learn more than on MySpace.

In no particular order, here's some links I have saved over time:

Within the cranium - fun photography
NYT on Cellphones - I text Google all the time!
Pandora - Free music!
P__ Bike Maps
Pedometer - Measure your miles!
Bugmenot - Use generalized passwords for sites you don't want to register for
Intenet Museum
How to Get Free Credit Reports
WalkScore - Based on a 2 mile radius around your home

And finally, what I love to use the Internet for, Free TV: