Tuesday, November 30, 2010


They continue to flow down my cheeks as I read about the plans for B's funeral.

I wish I were there to offer my support even if it is just silently sitting in the room.

It is odd how someone can touch the lives of so many people he has never met.

And then there is the hole in my heart for L. I am trusting the universe to give her all she needs. Though I know in my heart that the one thing she wants most she cannot have.

May we appreciate the abundance, health and love in our lives.

Monday, November 29, 2010

What may come...

Someone I have never met died yesterday.

(yes, there were probably many more people that I don't know ...)

I have been following this blog (at the request of another blogger I don't know personally) for many months now.

X (the blogger who asked us to follow B and L's blog) asked that as many people as possible pray for B and his wife, L. He was fighting cancer at a very young age only 6 months into their marriage.

It was heartbreaking to watch them go through it. But truthfully I derived a lot of inspiration from the strength, courage and love. I wished that I could will him to health. I knew there was nothing I could do. I don't even really pray.

All I could do, and did, was to hope that they would have the strength to handle whatever came their way.

This morning when I read the news, my heart broke into little pieces. I am heartily glad that B is no longer in the excruciating pain I have read about for the past six weeks. I cannot imagine how long it actually was so painful. He hid the extent of the pain for so long.

It is a different kind of pain for L right now. If I knew her I would write some cards and push then under her door and let her know that many hugs and much love is being sent her way.

It will not be easy. I know she has a good support system but they too need love and support right now.

Their story ... a love story, really... should teach us all to appreciate what we have more, to love more and complain less, to live life everyday like it is our last.

May B rest in peace, may his family find some solace in the way he lived his life and the love he spread around so thickly.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

TSA and Untethered Fear

I am amused and shocked by the backlash against the TSA for the latest round of security measures.

We might start with the fact that this venom is being spewed at the wrong people. One would think that the TSA is some disembodied snake head charming it's way into new and invasive regulations.

In fact the earliest protests came in the guise of claims that the agents themselves were using the body scan images inappropriately. The implication being they were enjoying their jobs too much.

The more recent claims however focus on pilots being targeted to receive radioactive exposure. Note that the recent compromise made does not include stewards. Somehow either their risk is less or their lives less worthy.

Oh the righteous indignation over particular cases that while somewhat horrifying pale in comparison to the abuse of power we have seen in cases of police brutality or even judicial discrimination.

If you don't know what I am talking about search for stories on Oscar Grant and the judge who ruled the ex-transit cop who killed Oscar was only to serve the minimum sentence. As some wise commenters pointed out, Michael Vick got more time in jail for running a dog fighting ring.

Yeah, people, there are issues in our country begging for a little righteous indignation. Alas...

I have heard people who I know don't watch news or read newspapers bemoan the breaking down of our civil liberties. Seriously, have you heard of the Patriot Act?? How about some assiduous protesting of that intrusiveness? That is some serious threat to our civil liberties. (While I am at it, how about a little shout out to that brave jury that rejected testimony elicited from torture? Now, that is America!)

I know that folks are in a crazy space because of the economy. It is a scary time when our inability to find a way out makes us feel powerless and doomed. Yesterday the students in my class presented various doomsday scenarios as answers to some innocuous but clearly thought provoking questions.

And apparently Palin's daughter didn't win the stupid game show.

I am just saying that there are any number of issues that could use some kind attention from paranoid people. For instance, hunger. It is something none of us can solve, but that we can all help to alleviate some. Or homelessness ... it is another issue we cannot solve but could at the very least offer some compassion.

In fact, in the spirit of this movement, I would argue it would be more fruitful to opt-in. That is, connect to your fellow citizens. If you cannot manage a physical manifestation, just use the strength of your righteous indignation to send out some serious love and compassion to the world.

That is the kind of activism I can get behind on this day before thanksgiving.

I am opting in!!

May you acknowledge abundance!
Mat you allow love to flow to and from you.
May you express your tender, whimsical self.
May you embrace your gifts and talents.
May you be at ease.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Breakup

No, not that one. This is about the friend break up.

A friend of a friend, let's call her Esmeralda like the princess from the Hunchback, has a flair for the dramatic and a tendency towards narcissism.
[I don't know anything about the Disney Esme, so I am not trying to make any judgments about her, just like her picture.]

The friend, let's call her Wanda, tells me stories about her relationship with Esmeralda. It would seem that from time to time, Esme feels the need to break up with Wanda. Keep in mind that for years they have been "best friends." I was going to write it without the quotes to hold down the cynicism, but it's late and I am tired ... too tired to feign compassion.

It goes like this. Something will happen, usually Wanda will have no idea that said something has happened, then Esme will call, or even better text, to let Wanda know that she has stepped outside of the friend box with her behavior. Esme always makes Wanda the bad guy, but she also always leaves the door open. Esme will say, Wanda, you are behaving badly, so I need to take some time away from you.

The implication is that Wanda should take that time to contemplate her transgressions so that she can dutifully apologize to Esme at the appropriate interval.

I relate this story because, however humorous I find it when Wanda is telling it, I recognize the pattern in myself all too well. It is not exactly the same thing. But it is close enough that when I hear it, I cringe a little, on the inside. It is about that open door. And a little about the opportunity to self flagellate.

I have a considered aversion to friend conflict, particularly this break up drama. In my mind, I am that modern woman who would just say what she feels. In fact, I generally do about so many topics, why not this one?

However, when it comes to breaking up, I clam up. Perhaps worse than the email breakup, I just quietly do that thing with my hands that says "I'm done" and erase the person's phone number or email address without the least mention to the ex-friend that he or she has been let go. In essence, I have moved on.

One would look at that and say, "well done, just walk away, who needs drama??" Right?!


It is in fact the opposite of walking away or making a clean break. I'm done with the relationship, on the outside. Unlike Esme, I don't offer the other person time and space to consider his/her transgressions. It is not an interlude, it is the end.

But saying good bye in your head is not at all like a clean break for me. The pain of regret continue to plague me long after the end of the friendship. Perhaps it would be better to have the knock-down, drag-out confrontation and put all the cards on the table (to use only TWO cliches in one sentence!). But I am apparently too tender to manage it. I think I had way too much confrontation with my ex-husband that ultimately never led to resolution to put any more faith in the process.

I am afraid of not having the internal resources to bounce back. I guess I do know somewhere that I do, but I am afraid that I don't. This is a recurrent fear ... if I dissolve into a puddle, who will rescue me? If I am in charge of consoling myself, I cannot afford to be a little puddle on the floor. Regardless of my "toughie" reputation, I am just not that sure of my resiliency.

The drawback, at least one of them - since I think I could probably enumerate various, is that I do not let go. There is no catharsis, no confrontation, no letting go. But there is a lot of self recrimination.

Monday, November 22, 2010

mis viejitos

UDPATE added below...

Not the ones that live in California. I don't think I will ever actually refer to them that way. I just don't feel them as viejitos.

But the two that come in to sb every evening, now those two are viejitos. Most evenings, that is. Somewhere between 7:30p and 8:30p they shuffle in with their canes.

In the summer, they always enjoyed the late evening on the patio. Now that it is getting cooler (actually cold but I am still in denial) they sit inside.

Lately there has been one extra person with them, maybe a daughter or son or niece or nephew.

It is noticeable because neither will allow the extra one to pay or carry the large mug to the table. They always get a to stay mug. At least one drinks hot chocolate with whipped cream.

Every once in a while I sit near enough and take my earphones out and one or the other wants to know what I am reading and why.

When I am sb late and they don't show up, I get worried. Funny how you can worry about someone whose name you don't even know.
One of the reasons I posted this was because I hadn't seen them in a bit. I thought it was because I had not been at the right times, but I suspect, now, that is not true.

Tonight as I entered SB they were here and another man, not with them, but someone who knew them, I think from here, was talking to them. It sounded like the "younger" one, the one who carries the cups and is so fiercely against any kind of help, has been sick. The other man said something to the effect that my viejito #1 was probably tired of seeing the inside of a hospital and that he "had been through it" quite a bit lately.

He, el viejito #1, was quiet and looked sad the whole time I was here. I imagine that he didn't appreciate being reminded of his fragility. From what I have observed, he doesn't much enjoy not being in control of his physical abilities. It made me want to cry and not want to ever grow old.

Then the firemen came in. Since viejito #1 was so morose and not talking to viejito #2, he (v#2) decided to engage the fireman (younger) in conversation. He was asking about the "heavy rescue" truck ... what was it for? What did these firemen do?

When fireman (older) came over, I missed that part of the conversation except that he said something to v#1 about being sorry that he had not been feeling well and was glad he was out again.

We are all regulars, so in some bizarre way connected yet we don't know each others' names... what a world internet, what a world.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

just below the surface

A few weeks ago a man and woman came to town for a business conference. It was his conference, but she came along to see a new city. By all accounts they were a loving couple who enjoyed each others' company so much that they would travel together to these conferences.

They were staying in an extended stay hotel and had a rental car. They appeared to be enjoying their stay. Then something happened.

He reported her missing to the police. They put out a bulletin for the rental car's license plate.

I didn't hear about it until a young man, her son, working as a contractor in Afghanistan called the local news to plea for help, and offer a reward.

It was heart wrenching to see this young man, half a world away, helpless, trying to figure out what to do and how to make sense.

Can you imagine learning your mother is missing from a newscast or a google search? I don't know what the circumstances were that led him to be googling his mom. But there he was wondering what he should do next. Apparently his stepfather had already traveled back to wherever they had come from and left the searching to the police.

I didn't hear anything about it for about a week. I was out of town myself and back by the time I read an even more disturbing news story.

The university police had found the woman's body in her car parked on campus. The disturbing part was that they had already ticketed the car three times before anyone had noticed she was in there.

How is that even possible??

They made excuses. She had lowered the driver seat back. The windows were dirty.

Actually, they just didn't care. I always wonder when they leave the second ticket (mind you they are not allowed to ticket more than one a day) that someone would think to check the license plate. I get that they are rent a cops and don't have access to the police databases, but how could it hurt to once a day check in with the real cops on weird situations? I am sure that many stolen cars end up with a stack of parking tickets around cities where no one checks.

Not my job.

Meanwhile, the family, at least the son, is waiting in hell trying to understand what happened without really knowing what is going on at all.

Now the cops say that there was some kind of domestic dispute and she took off in the car.

Now they are saying she probably took some pills and then just locked herself in the car.

The picture of the loving couple is now shattered. Just below the surface we never know what is really going on with anyone.

I am sure all of those things are true, still that was a person. Someone's wife, someone's mother, someone's daughter and someone's friend.

As we rush around doing what we think is our job, how much of life are we missing? How many opportunities to reach out to someone who needs us are we missing?

Friday, November 19, 2010

your cousin, emma

I did sleep, about four hours, but I am a little incoherent ... little disclaimer.

The other day the mystery texter returned.

The style was the same, though with a slightly different spelling, "hey waz up"

If I am not mistaken, this was the message... this time, I couldn't resist.

So I texted back, "do I know you"

The response?

"Ya ur cuz, emma"

As far as I know, I don't have any cousins named Emma. I don't think I have any cousins in NM.

Now, I could have any number of third, fourth or fifth cousins named Emma somewhere in the world.

As a friend pointed out, it's not just a random got the wrong number since whoever it is has my out of state number.

I was tempted to keep going ... and next text, "Ok, who am I?"

You know, just to see who Emma thinks I am! I was imagining in my head the mother of whomever Emma thinks I am getting a phone call wanting to know if I had lost my mind... in all of the possible contexts of that statement.

But, for now, I am just tickled to think any Emma I might meet is that cousin Emma who texts me! And, I am going to try, now, for the rest of the day to not feel overwhelmed or stressed.

Happy Friday!

Utterly unrelated picture, for fun. I just like the image conjured by the word Elkette! And is there just one Yreka Elkette?

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Under the new regime of zen ... when is it okay to just feel bad?
There has to be a way to activate compassion without alienating myself from feelings because that is hardly being present.

Some days and weeks and months and semesters are harder than others. I don't know why I am feeling it so strongly just now. I feel like someone has tethered me to a couch and is forcing me to watch those tear-jerker coffee commercials of the past.

Being the "toughie" of my family has often served me well. But just now it is making for a very lonely and sad existence. Should I imagine that I will always be able to console myself? Why do I feel guilty about wanting a shoulder to lean on? Is this not a sign to ask for help?

Instead I think to myself that I should acknowledge abundance and be grateful for my bounty. And I do and I am but I am still sad.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SB Roundup

This has been a very productive week in terms of sightings at the sbucks.

You already know about the man in black. He rated a separate post. These are just fleeting glimpses of the others. Perhaps you will get the impression that I have not been as intensively focused on my work as I should be especially given the quantity and time constraints.

But these really were just glances. I looked up, something caught my eye and I noted it.

I swear.

Gold running shoes on an otherwise unassuming book reader in comfy chair.

Large pink calculator across from red skinned Mac with matching red phone. These ladies know how to pick electronic devices.

Then of course there was the little cat on a leash.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


That is the best way to describe the state of my mind at the moment.

Sorry, you will get the brunt of it.

On the one hand, tired, still sore and plotting dinner because I have yet again managed to go a whole day without ONE proper meal. I have a big snickers bar in my purse that my sister gave me as a prize for running the marathon. Somehow it doesn't seem like either a proper meal or a healthy choice. Plus, I want WINE. As stated previously, it makes everything better.

I am irritated. I intended to be super motivated and just finish the damn drafts. Then something irritated me ... and I mean really irritated. I am not sure if it is just a clever way to get out of being motivated or if it requires attention.

I tried metta and it didn't really work... truthfully, I was too irritated to even get through it all... SUPER IRRITATED. Yes, I am yelling, on the inside. On the outside I am just sitting near the fireplace at sb and listening to TRAIN sing sweetly in my ears. Insides and outsides not matching yet again.

But, then, I remembered something that happened this weekend with The Mijo and it made me smile. Perhaps that is the ticket.

I am not hesitating or concentrating or farting ... all things he and I discussed this weekend. Oh, and maybe one of the best ones was when he asked me upon reaching the beach, "Why does there have to be so much sand?" Imagine the exasperated and irritated look on this 6 year old's face. "Actually, I am six and a half." Yeah, that's THE MIJO!

This is how he wanted me to take his picture on another beach day.

Monday, November 15, 2010

the day after...

I think my sore muscles have sore muscles.
I am sure my blisters have blisters.
Yesterday it was my hip... and feet and well, yeah, I guess all of my legs...
Today, after over 7 hours traveling, it is also my quads and hamstrings and back and abs and ...
Boy, I really should have scheduled that massage... physical therapy tomorrow morning ... and maybe a massage later this week.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

the race

Yes, I did win, that is to say, I finished.

Let's just say that not training properly is not a good omen for an easy run. However, I only walked about 1/3 to 1/2 of the 11th mile.

Though I did profit from the advil fairy. Just past the 10th mile, my hip was starting to complain more loudly than I could ignore. This was on top of the many blisters I could feel growing. I just said to myself that the faster I got to the end the sooner I would be able to take something for my pain. Then as I approached the 11th mile water station, I looked down and there was a packet of advil. When I opened it, one of them was broken but I figured it would get into my blood stream faster.

Here are some things you don't have to worry about with regards to me and races...
I will never wear green or pink or purple tutus while running
I will not buy or wear a pink argyle matching outfit including compression leggings and little sweater.
I will not wear little beanie caps with propellers on top.

However, someday I might get a team shirt if there is a good enough reason for it.

This was a gorgeous run...highly recommended (other than the parking situation). I enjoyed being paced by the dolphins jumping up through the surf and watching the pelicans fly low over the surf...

Friday, November 12, 2010

zen and real life

I have been trying to be more zen [I know, I know, whatever that means]. That is to say, I have been trying to be more present. To acknowledge discomfort and other feelings but not be derailed by them ... and if I fail, to be more compassionate with myself.

What it means in real life is that I catch myself either about to jump off the cliff or already over the side and apply metta. Metta is just about the only tool in my toolbag (thanks, Dad, I guess I did need one afterall) that I know how to apply and that generally does work. I try to first send it out to those who I am judging (when the eyes narrow, and I start to think ugly thoughts about someone else, I know for sure, that I have gone over the cliff already ... good thing I am tethered or all would be lost over and over). Then I try to take a few more minutes and apply some to myself because, honestly, if I could just love myself more I wouldn't need to be so critical of others. It's a perverse way to torture yourself by being mean to others. But it is a skill I mastered before I knew better than to go down that road. And I am really, really good at it.

So, there I am, at the sb, or in line at the store, or just walking down the street, taking a moment and applying some love to the world and then to me.

It works... but not like eating chocolate. It doesn't make you feel good and satisfied ... it reminds you to have compassion. It is a different feeling than the ugly feeling that sent you there, but it is a little like touching a bruise ... comfortingly familiar and slightly painful but not that sharp pain of the original injury. I am really selling this as a remedy, right?

I imagine that someday, after more practice, it will feel different ... but looking forward to that day isn't exactly living in the present. It also isn't exactly having faith that it will all work out as the universe has planned.

It is at these moments that I just want a sign ... you know the neon one that says, you're doing the right thing. Comfort, I guess. It is at these moments that I envy those faithful people who "give it up to God," and theoretically don't worry. [I don't believe that they really feel this way, but they say they do, so on some level, that would be the envious one, you have to take them at their word ... okay quickly applying metta for that incredibly judgmental thought ... you see, life, it's endless.]

That is how I feel today ... I want a sign. I don't want to be a grown up and do my work and take my lumps and apply metta liberally. I want a sign. A really big, neon sign that says, You're OKAY and it's OKAY to eat chocolate and pizza. I just threw that chocolate and pizza thing in for good measure, and because I am hungry. And why not? If we are asking for impossible things, why not go all the way... chocolate, pizza and whipped cream with cherries!

Now that I said it, I can breathe a little more deeply and maybe the metta will feel less like a bruise and more like a hug.

Happy Friday, ya'll ... whoever is out there reading this, that is. Love life!

[For the uninitiated: METTA]
Taken on the train... unlike that day the sun is shining and it is 72 degrees in SoCal today. Beach day for some, but not for me...

Thursday, November 11, 2010


On this day especially I remember you.

I wish we were still friends.

Happy Veterans Day.

This is the message I won't send - I'll just feel it deep in my soul.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

sucker punched

That is how it feels right now.

I know I have no right to feel that way.

Maybe it is just that I have such a wild pile of things to do and no time and no energy and no motivation.

Maybe it is that I wanted just one thing to go as planned.

Get out the world's tiniest violin because I deserve it.

Everything is fine, just fine. I am being utterly dramatic ... exagerada de primera.

On the other hand, I needed to get it out.

So, here it is. Something told me to look at a particular website today. And sure enough, even though I have looked there so many times before, there it was. And that piece of information led me to the confirmation of what I have KNOWN in my heart for some time. Regardless, it still felt like I had been punched in the stomach. All the air went out and there I was, facing down that which I have known to be true but without any corroboration.

Be careful what you ask for... that's all I can say.

You tell the universe you want to understand what is going on and then you get the gut feeling that points you to just the information you knew was true but didn't really want to know.

Yeah... there it is. I have seriously no right to be hurt or upset even because I wanted to know and now I do.

I bought myself some soup and some seriously yummy cheese and bread and I am going to drown my discomfort (I shouldn't really go beyond that descriptor) and listen to Luis Miguel ... why not make the torture complete?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


I know, you don't have to start with all the corporate whore comments.

If you knew anything about me, you would know just how little they fit me.

But I will say it, I am a Starbucks person. I would love to be having a torrid love affair with a local coffee shop full of eccentric patrons and down-home baristas (is that even possible?).

I tried and failed to bond with the locals. They were full of pressure and devoid of comfort for me.

At sb I am a regular with all of the rights and privileges that entails and all I had to do was come here all the time and occasionally engage in minimalist sharing with the baristas. Incidentally they change too quickly to really bond but you can do the we all hang out here bonding with no trouble.

No strings attached.

And before you know it, there is your comfy chair waiting for you by the fire, your favorite drink perfectly crafted just to your liking and you can sit back and start your studying.

Refuge. Just what I needed after a super long day that in some ways has just begun.

Location:Historic U.S. 66,Albuquerque,United States

Monday, November 08, 2010


I am supposed to be writing my proposed plan of study and a statement of previous research and a personal statement...[don't worry, they are drafted]...but all I seem to want to do is write here.

Oh, and sleep.

Funny how these crazy application processes have got me posting something here almost every day. Expect me to hit a limit today.

I decided this morning that I would keep this open and write here whenever I wasn't writing on the drafts. Oh, and maybe put here all the parts that are getting deleted as extraneous over there ... it probably won't be pretty.

So, what often happens when I should be writing is that I am not sure of myself. Sometimes this looks like, I need more DATA ... have to research more, NOW... and twenty minutes later, I have three more docs to read and I am not any closer to just writing.


Yeah... I did get a good chunk of the draft in better shape and I pushed a bunch of the words around for the rest of it; you know like you push your food around the plate to make it look like you've eaten some when you haven't.

If you don't understand that last part that you have either never been a petulant, persnickety child or anorexic. Bully for you.

And speaking of pushing food around a plate. A few months ago I had the most amazing chile that one of the ladies I was sitting with called push around chile...only because you can't really pick it up, you push it around with your tortilla or fry bread til you catch it. It was a combination of really hot red NM chile with beef jerky all ground up on someone's metate.

Um...if you have no idea what a metate or tortilla or fry bread is then you probably don't understand why I am spelling it chile and not chili...and well, I don't have the energy to explain.

Let's just say, chile and chili are two wildly different things.

And now this stream of consciousness has gotten completely out of hand, so back to the books.

Sunday, November 07, 2010


Every day I am reminded of the abundance around me.

I am trying to be as conscious as possible of the resources... internal and external, cultivated and graciously bestowed by the universe.

May I acknowledge abundance.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

inside/outside and other tales on the road to authenticity

A favorite line from an all-time favorite movie goes something like this: "I'm trying to make my outside match my inside."


It is particularly troubling for me sometimes because I can often conceptualize someone's insides even when they cannot. I can further extrapolate from behavior how these insides are manifesting and how someone might try to make their outsides match said insides.

I am learning when and how to tell people these things. I have, in the past, been known to just lay it out there, often not too tenderly. But I am learning...

But when it comes to making my outside match my inside, I regularly fail.

It's November of the year of being authentic (perhaps this is even year two, not sure anymore). I am not sure that I am anywhere close to being more authentic. I take that back. I am pretty sure I am closer, but I don't know how much farther the road is to authentic.

I know what it feels like to be utterly unauthentic. At least, I remember when I began the journey. I had been so cut off from my feelings that I couldn't feel anymore. When I started to open up again, it was fairly involuntary. I told the life coach the other day when she asked how it felt to reopen to feeling ... particularly to feeling others, I told her it felt like being able to hear the birds sing again. I remember that day ... walking along all of sudden it seemed like someone had flipped a switch, and there were the birds singing. Where had they come from? Would they stay?

I gave some advice tonight, did some truth telling to some people ... some about myself and some about them. I feel confident about the truth telling I did about myself though I don't feel utterly comforted by it. I am fairly sure that at least one of the people I told some truth about/to tonight is not feeling comforted at all. What can you do?

I think I will go home and make three cheese, whole-wheat pasta, mac and cheese and top it with Ezekiel cereal ... and maybe chocolate corn bread. Comfort food anyone??

Did I mention that I ran 5.57 miles this morning? Or that I walked an additional 1.06 pre- and post-run? And another little bit this evening? Yeah, I am working on being ready for that half-marathon in 8 days. Makes me want emergency chocolate and lots of comfort food ... and a hand to hold.

But then again, what doesn't make me want that lately?

On the way home tonight, I will put on some song I have been listening to and sing along LOUDLY. It is not as good as any of the above comforts, but it is available NOW and doesn't have any calories.

This post has been hijacked by stream of consciousness, so it must be time to end it.

Okay, before I go, I will leave you with some past comfort food...

I am sure it tasted better than it looks.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Now, that is a look

I wish I had a camera... you will just have to use your imagination.

Black hair under black hat, black wife beater, okay, black tank top, black blazer, black pants and black boots … of course, black shades and talking on the cell phone. I couldn't tell, but I am putting money on black. Wanted him to get into a black car, but I am watching him pass by all of them … he's busy dialing that phone again.

Imagine also the swagger.

When I first saw him, he was leading a woman, hand at her lower back, through the parking lot and talking to her in what I am sure was a low voice so she had to incline even closer to him, head cocked to the side.

On the way back, he was talking on the phone in that same imaginary low voice. I am not sure he does well alone. He kept thinking of what other calls he needed to make. He went from gigolo/Lothario to wheeler-dealer.

Of course, all of this was in my head... you are welcome to make up your own scenario with the visual description provided.

Talk amongst yourselves.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


The title is somewhat deceptive.

When I think about "fierce" right now ... it alternately looks like my grandmother, standing in front of the school she would now call her home or the little lion cub they made swim across the pool to make sure it could.

As Sade softly sings in my ear, "you're gonna need a bullet-proof soul."

The thing is children (and maybe lion cubs) are resilient, pliable even, they bend and survive big and small crises. Somewhere along the way, we start to harden and either our actual ability or our perceived ability to survive diminishes. I certainly saw this in my tough-as-nails dad when he was here visiting. And when I am very honest, I see it in myself too.

Maybe it is that the older we get the more our memories of the hard times wear on us. We remember too well what it feels like to be in the valley. We have a hard time remembering that there is a way out, or that we have the skills to climb out ... or just that the fog will lift, eventually.

So, fierce, is more like the lion cub or the 8 year old orphan. Fearless in a way because they don't know better; determined in a way that survival demands.

Working to recover that sense of fierce in my life. I don't think it's too late.

Feel me?

There are some pics of the lions' swim test here, but none are quite as good as the one I saw on latimes.com.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Wine makes everything better.

As does chocolate.

Though right at the present moment I am favoring wine.

Yesterday I wrote a morose post. But I didn't post it. I ate chocolate and made it through. Though I did not necessarily feel better.

Though perhaps I woke up in a better mood. I don't recall it that way.

Today I have indulged in chocolate, soda, real caffeinated drinks and wine.

Wine wins!

Feel better already.

Everyone drink wine. Unless you are an alcoholic. But that's another story altogether.

Happy Wednesday night!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


all you have to do is give people the platform and then they spill as though they have been waiting all day for someone to ask them...

this is what happened when I spoke to the young man at a catering station with no food

he looked troubled and I guess like maybe he had something to say

I asked him a fairly innocent question and it all came tumbling out

his girlfriend's car that just needed a quick fix...just change the spark plugs
his mom's car that broke down just when he needed to be getting ready for work
showing up for work late and without the correct work shoes
and now the food was not where it was supposed to be and here he was holding back the hungry hordes

funny ... after he got all that out, he was up for a little joke
he told me that the food had been waiting around for so long it had just walked away
and with that the food was wheeled over to him and he was in business

I had really asked the question "you gonna make something here?" because I was hungry and wanted food...
but after the sharing and the joke and the smile, I was done ...

I took myself out for dinner instead, happy with the little gift Matthew bestowed, let the others eat the food, I got the story

Monday, November 01, 2010

uh huh

I just submitted the first of two funding proposals that are due in the span of 22 days ... not to mention the fact that I also have 3 research papers due in what feels like two days ... really, not due until end of the semester, but need a draft for one on the 17th and for another shortly after that... ah well... this little victory is worth of celebration.

After I pushed the submit button, it said CONGRATULATIONS ... but it didn't yell it. I think it would have been appropriate. It is after all four hours early, almost. And it sets me up to have the next one done in very short order.

The picture is of Shasta. It's here because 1) it's lovely and magical and 2) it reminds me of the "little people" that were a book I was reading for a class last week.

Hope you like it ...