Friday, March 31, 2006 someone else is worrying about this too

This morning, too damn early, I awoke to this story...

It's not all sweet and roses; no one ever said it would be. But at least they are talking. Once they start talking, they just might figure out that they are, indeed, fighting over that little crumb and decide to ask for an appropriate sized piece of the pie.

At least, I can hope that it will happen that way.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Fighting over the crumb the mouse left

I would like it if someone would take up the challenge of discussing the black-brown fight over the last crumb; you know the one, that itsy bitsy crumb that not even the mouse wanted and left behind. It is so easy for the white pundits to start up the talk; you know you can always find someone the right color to speak for his/her entire race. But who is willing to look underneath this struggle for the least? Who is willing to ask the hard questions like would Americans pay more for fruit? for restaurant service? for buildings being built? Who is going to go to the home depot parking lot and interview the folks who are hiring someone to do their dirty work for $20 a day instead of $20 an hour?

Don't get me started because you won't like it.

I was wondering why there is no Latino commentary on the AP or in the NY Times, but then, I was horrified to see that this is what they print. Linda Chavez is in no position to speak as the Latino commentary on this issue. I like the way she says it might provoke "anti-immigrant" sentiment. Really? Like the House bill, the Minutemen and the new law enforcement imperative in Costa Mesa don't represent significant anti-immigrant sentiment. I like the comment from a young protester in Los Angeles, quoted in the LA Times, two weeks ago people were waiving the Irish flag on St. Patrick's Day and that didn't provoke anti-immigrant sentiment.

Here's one guy who wants you to think about the issue more maturely, and is willing to say so. Unfortunately, if you are not a New York Times Select member, you won't be able to open the link. Let me know and I will forward the text to you. Why are black and Latino pundits unwilling to tackle this issue from the bare facts. Why are we always only willing to talk about the hyperbole?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Okay, anyone else think this is fishy?

I know that it soothes our savage need for revenge to execute this man for the sins of the hijackers, but, honestly, do you really believe anything he says?

Dude is borderline schizophrenic; he hasn't testified to anything we don't know; he points to the one other crazy dude who got caught in the act; and he wants to be important. He also has been reported to say he would rather die than be in jail for the rest of his life.

Do we even know if his reported friend, Richard, was really trained somewhere or if he is just crazy too?

I mean, I understand, that like late night commercials, the terrorist camps appeal to a certain set of crazy, infamy-seeking loners, so the bulk of the hijackers could have been just as wacko. But, will it really make all those families feel better to execute a crazy man who had nothing to do with the deaths of their loved ones?

I cannot say as I didn't lose anyone in the Twin Towers. But, I would like to see some justice/revenge on the FBI folks who ignored the real hijackers, the CIA people who have been meddling in other countries' affairs for years, and the warmongering Bush administration that continues to put American lives at risk with their nasty behavior.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Bitterness is as unattractive as insecurity

Searching my soul for motives, I discovered that ugly emotions are the most easily expressed; in my case, anger and bitterness are the emotions most visible. Underneath, though, a struggle between hopefulness and realism rages.

It might look and sound like bitter reactions to past experience. But, really, I am wrestling with the challenge of moving on with compassion and enlightenment while still figuring out how to protect my heart.

So, when it looks like I have sold my soul to the devil and given up on the idea of the essential goodness of people, cut me a little slack. I am working on it.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Happy Hour Therapy

I know it sounds a little dangerous to be engaging in Happy Hour Therapy, but, honestly, it is much healthier than Donut Therapy.

Let me break it down for you... just because it's happy hour doesn't mean you have to get drunk. One drink, particularly if you are at Luka's where there are no drink specials for happy hour, and good conversation, decent people watching and a lot of laughter is truly good shit.

Then there is the Lucky Hour at Kingman's Lucky Lounge, from 8 to 9 drinks are half priced. Ok, so the decor is a little gaudy and the dj is likely to play weird mixes, but the lucky hour gives you the time to go for a run, grab some dinner, maybe do a little work, and still get your drink on.

Finally, for now, there is the Golden Bear, with its misleading sign and bleacher seating, it is the perfect spot for the serious sports bar crew. And as long as they are buying, who cares what game is on. The people watching here is especially entertaining as these folks are serious sports fans and willing to tell everyone about it. Perhaps my favorite part, though, is that they don't care if you bring in outside food. I mean, the sign says that there's seafood inside, but I didn't even see peanuts. And one day I walked by there, I thought I smelled BBQ. Making friends is key as you want someone to buy you drinks and share his pizza.

Any of these therapies require the right set of willing participants; luckily for me, for the past two weeks, there have been plenty of bar buddies. I guess in some way, all the bar buddies are a little part therapist part patient.

Try it out and report back on the best therapy spots.

Friday, March 24, 2006

15 minutes of infamy?

So, this little article demonstrates why you should avoid getting your real name in the national news if there is an outstanding warrant in that name!

I love the Oregon police department's response: we don't have an investigation on them.

These are the same folks that cry about how much the meth trade has impacted law enforcement??

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Window to my Heart

I subscribe to the Daily OM. Sometimes, they pile up in my email account. You can't just glance at them, many times, you need to read them, reread them, process or just recover. Sometimes you can skim and delete. But, more often than not, I sit back and think to myself: How do they know exactly what I am going through?! Am I that transparent? Are my obstacles so universal that everyone is facing the same exact issues? It hardly seems possible, yet, here are these daily meditations that 3 out of 5 times a week hit me like an arrow through the heart.

I am not going to bother wondering anymore...I am just going to accept them as little messages from the good angels who are keeping track of me.

Today's message was about allowing the Universe to just be...TRUST was the subtitle. They do that, title the daily tome as innocuously as Letting the Universe Be and then punch you in the stomach with the subtitle: Trust.

Here's what struck me like an arrow through the heart today (emphasis added):
... at a certain point, when [we] have done all that we can, we must let go and allow the universe to take over. This requires trust. It requires a trust that runs deeper than just expecting things to turn out the way we want them to. Sometimes they will, and sometimes they won't. We develop equanimity and grace as we learn to trust that, with the guiding hand of the universe, life will unfold exactly the way it should.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

StoryCorps: Joshua's Questions for His Mother

Friday morning, as I was thinking about getting up and on with the morning I heard Joshua questioning his mother in the StoryCorps booth.

Please go to the link and listen to the interview.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Your Heart's Desire

There is a whole world out there, and if you ask me what I want, I wouldn't know where to start.

There is only one dream I have held onto all these years. Even though I ran away from it more than once, it was still the only want I have ever been able to name. Now that I am coming to grips with never getting that want, I don't know how to name my heart's desire.

That dream is so strong, various sub-wants outlive the reality that the dream can never be... most visibly the dream of having a family. What does it mean to be a single parent? How much love can one person pass on to others? Is it selfish of me to have a family that is less than what I had growing up? Two parents don't guarantee a happy family, but two parents working together can make it easier to get there.

To me, being a parent means sacrificing; making your children and their well-being more important than anything else. I don't mean spoiling children by any means; I mean, giving up what I want for what's best for my family. My father went to work every day to a job that was much less than his dream so that we would have a stable home. But if you asked my dad if he regrets those 40 plus years, he wouldn't know what you were talking about. That's love. That's sacrifice.

I love children. I find them the most fascinating creatures on earth. Even as I have always dreamed of having a family, I have always been afraid that I would not be a good mother. Now, contemplating, no planning, to have a family as a single mother, I wonder what it will be like.

I know I can do it. I believe in my ability to work hard, but I fear failure. It won't be easy. I am not afraid of tough times, but what if I don't have what it takes to sacrifice and make someone else paramount in my life? Is this just a selfish attempt to have a captive audience to love me? Am I manipulating the circumstances to create an insular world where I can hide?

For every logical reason I can articulate why it is a good and right decision for me to adopt that mythical sibling group, there is an opposite emotional construct that makes me doubt everything. Is the sky really blue? If the sun is shining, is it really warmer outside? Will the rain ever really stop? It's a vicious battle with the demons.

So many questions, so few answers. Too much doubt and not enough certainty. As long as I continue to look for the answers outside, I will always be unsure of the responses to these questions.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Death Watch

Moderately to extremely morbid, but I am on the Department of Defense listserv. Everytime they identify a casualty, I get an email. Partly I am tracking the number of Latinos dying in the mideast, but mostly I am trying to honor their ultimate sacrifice.

In the world we live in currently, we don't get to see the coffins come off the plane. If the soldier isn't local, we don't hear her/his name. Occasionally we get to hear a heart wrenching story of one soldier thanks to npr. But don't every single one of them deserve to be honored for their service, mourned for their untimely death, and sympathy sent to their survivors?

So I witness. Particularly now when it is three years from the beginning of the latest conflict in Iraq.

I don't believe in this war, but I appreciate the service of each and every one of those soldiers, even the ones who have behaved inappropriately.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rain Rain Go Away

Today, at least, the rain waited until I got home from work/physical therapy and a quick stop at the grocery store. But even though I am inside, dry and safe, I hear the rain outside and cringe.

I just want it to stop. I am tired of it.

Maybe it is just the angels crying along with me, or carrying the crying for me.

All I know is, today, for a short time, I was able to be outside without my rain coat. I felt the sun on my face and the wind in my hair, and I thought, ah, it's finally over.

I know I am spoiled rotten when it comes to the sun and warm weather, but, this is California not Seattle... and all I want is a little sunshine for a few days.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Ides of March

So, I the ides of March have never been quite as fatal for me as it was for poor Julius Caesar, but as I look back, I realize that these days in the past few years have been trying.

Let's see, last March 16th there was the little incident with Jake.

Two years before that, March 17th, my bank accounts were seized by the IRS; thanks for that Ward.

Neither of these situations really caused me serious pain; I just said no to Jake and eventually he went away; getting my bank accounts seized actually led me to a serious belt-tightening that ultimately has led to me being debt free with a little savings.

But neither of those situations was particularly pleasant in the moment.

So far so good this year; I will keep you posted...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Can you say sour grapes?

I am sick and tired of hearing people belly ache about Brokeback not getting the Oscar. If it is so darned irrelevent, then get over it. Remember when Gladiator got best picture? But that didn't bother you??!!


Crash was a fabulous movie. LOVED IT!

If you haven't seen Crash, rush out and get it!

If you haven't seen Brokeback, imagine Romeo and Juliet 20 years into their marriage, or was it divorce, and be glad you didn't waste time watching the movie.

Monday, March 13, 2006

no turning back

I forgot to check the new horoscope from Rod Brezny's Real Astrology last week. Usually, I check in on Thursday to see what he thinks is coming up for me. I am not sure what might have been different had I read it before the weekend, nothing, I guess. But it was somewhat ironic to note that the picture was a butterfly coming out of a cocoon.

I have been taping the cocoon shut for a while trying to delay my coming out party as much as possible. It would appear that it's not possible anymore. Talking with a friend today about the latest developments and fighting the demon of regret, she said, sagely, you had to do it so you could make room for all the other wants you will be naming in the future. I know she's right, and there are even times when I feel she's right. I am committed to moving forward compassionately and passionately.

Check out what Rod said (I added the emphases):
Aquarius Horoscope for week of March 9, 2006

After taking inventory of the astrological factors coming to bear on you the past eight years, I've decided you're ready to leap to the next octave of your evolution. Therefore, I'll tell you a truth that was articulated by the powerful activist Mahatma Gandhi. It was instrumental in his success at leading millions of Indians to overthrow British oppression. I hope that his demanding, controversial advice will play a central role in shaping your destiny for the next eight years. But beware: It will only work if you're a brave rebel who relentlessly resists the conventional wisdom. Gandhi: "Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe is endlessly bountiful.
Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you."

Giving up the other ghost

I know it is time to walk away from this dream. I know that I have used the fantasy of this dream to get me through many dark days. It has served me well until now. Trying to create reality from fantasy exposed the flaws the dream hid with its ability to make me feel understood.

I know I have to learn to feel accepted, love and understood on my own, without the support of the dream.

This weekend has been an enormous battle between the demons (who would have me believe this is not possible) and the butterfly (who has known for sometime that she can fly without wires).

Pray for me. I am stretching and growing and standing upright on my own, but it is a struggle.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Light of Day

I was up almost all night. I took a little nap between 5:30 and 8am, so if I am largely incoherent, please forgive me.

I should have been finishing up a report I was working on, or applying for the stack of jobs on my desk, but, instead, last night, late, I did the simplest internet search. I don't think I wanted to see the result I got, but I am truly not sure.

I can't say what compelled me, exactly; I had a strange feeling all day that there was something out there that I was intuiting but couldn't name that was asking me to demand answers and/or to commit to my resolution.

I spent a fair amount of time over the past few days examining myself for signs of runaway fear. Was I making up feelings to give me the right to run? Was I just obsessing because I have a lot of other things to do that I don't feel like doing? Both of these are pretty harsh on myself. Afterall, my intuition has been pretty dead on for many other situations.

I turned my attention to my crazy insecurity and that which I think has kept me from having what I want, in many arenas, for as long as I can remember: I don't believe I deserve .... fill in the blank. I know that I cannot claim the gifts of the universe until I am willing to believe that I deserve them, but somehow I keep looking for external validation to believe. What will it take for me to believe? What are the steps? What do I have to do?

The past few months have been chock full of uncomfortable situations that I have to figure out how to survive, and my goal has been to survive with dignity.

Last night, as the hot tears carved tracks in my cheeks and blurred my vision, I fought back the self recrimination. I will not berate myself for wanting, for making an all out effort, for losing to someone else. It is a struggle. I can't decide what hurts most: losing or having played it all and lost.

I have to believe that all these experiences are helping me to make progress, but it is really difficult to find the silver lining here. On the one hand, it makes it easier for me to think clearly about what I need to do for MYSELF with my next professional move. It makes it easier to stay here and continue with my plans to buy a house and adopt children. On the other hand, I give up the dream of raising a family with the love of my life. Someone else gets to do that, again.

Maybe he just isn't right for me. Maybe we are not soulmates. Maybe there is a chance I could feel this strongly for someone else. Maybe happiness is possible without him. I just can't help thinking it is some other kind of happiness, not the one I wanted with him.

I am not in a ball on the floor or reduced to a puddle. I guess that is a victory of a sort.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Making Things Harder than They Have to Be

I try not to blog about work... partly because it is dangerous, and partly because I am sincerely trying to make WORK just one aspect of my life, not my life. However, things are so tense these days, it's hard not to be impacted, feel the need to speak about it, and know that it will only makes things worse if I say out loud what I am thinking.

So, I blog.

One thing, if it's the only thing I will be happy, I have learned in my 37 years (and coincidentally makes me happy to be oldER than youngER), is that we often make situations harder than they need to be.

Starting the day believing that it will be a bad day, like all other situations that fall within the self-fulfilling prophecy, is one of the worst things you can do.

Also, ASSuming that all those around you are idiots, and only YOU can save the day... sets you up for major trouble. Not only will others perceive your condescension, they will be waiting for you to make the mistake all of us eventually make. The same lack of compassion you started doling out will come back to you ten-fold.

Engaging the process, whatever situation, from a negative position, e.g. "This is going to be horrible!" will make it that much more difficult to put in the extra hours, effort or push that is needed to get you over the hump.

All these things, and many others, I learned the HARD way; that is, by doing them and feeling the wrath of others. I am not perfect, and I have bad days when I forget the lessons I have learned, but BY AND LARGE, I have figured out, at least in the work realm, that it is better to be CHEERY and have a ROSY outlook despite the challenges.

Unfortunately, some of my younger colleagues have not learned these lessons, and they are making life miserable for themselves and others.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


In case you don't want to read the whole article:

"Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson, criticized by some evangelicals for comments about Venezuela's president and Israel's prime minister, lost a bid for re-election to the National Religious Broadcasters' board of directors."

So, you can advocate assassinating elected presidents of other countries while simultaneously calling other people TERRORISTS, and the most you get is kicked off the board. Where do free speech and hate speech intersect? If someone had acted upon his call for execution, could Pat be held responsible?

To put it mildly, the folks who didn't vote for him said:
"NRB President Frank Wright said there was no broad effort to distance the group from Robertson. But 'there was broad dismay with some of Pat's comments and a feeling they were not helpful to Christian broadcasters in general,' he said in Wednesday's Washington Post."

At what point are Pat's comments just plain reprehensible? When he suggested that Ariel Sharon was being punished by God for pulling out of Gaza? When he suggested that people in PA could no longer pray for help from God?

Ok...he's stupid, but lots of people listen to him. So, when will his nasty remarks equal calling fire in a crowded theater???