Monday, February 28, 2011


I waver between the notion that I should only ever rely on myself -- you know to avoid even the opportunity for disappointment, and that desire to be so open that even the person crossing my path can be my ally.

Really the most challenging falls somewhere in the middle ... trusting that those that you know, know you well enough to be your allies when you need them.

I do mean to say that there are only some times when you need your allies ... hopefully there are other many times when you are available for someone who needs you. Achieving that balance with a variety of people is what challenges me most.

Despite the fact that I feel all too often like I want to crawl into a cave and stay there alone ... I have had several conversations with people this week when I advocated for exactly the opposite.

There were times when I reached out and asked for that help, too.

I admit to having no answers, to getting it wrong more often than I get it right...

photo credits: still that last train trip from Oakland to Oxnard last July.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscar Ready?

I don't think there is any real chance that I am going to get to see the 10 movies nominated for Best Picture by the awarding of the Oscars.

Truth be told, there are some that I have no interest in seeing, for instance, Toy Story #? (read that ? as who cares). I apologize to all of you who enjoy that franchise ... and that is what it is. I seriously think they make those movies just so that they can market products. In fact, I know someone whose job it is to market food items to children for that company, so, it is, at least, partially true. I finally saw TS#1 with my nephew over break. He had his tonsils out, so he was in need of a lot of video game and movie watching ... and boy did he take advantage of that fact. Back to the movie, it was alright, but it starred, vocally, two of my least favorite actors of all time ... and that doesn't make me want to run out and see any of the sequels. In fact, I am not super into sequels, prequels or straight to video continuations...

But, I digress.

Of the movies nominated this year, I would really still like to see True Grit, The Fighter, and Winter's Bone.

I have a moderate interest in The King's Speech and 127 Hours.

I have absolutely no interest in TS#? as previously stated.

I have already seen Black Swan, The Kids Are Alright, The Social Network , and Inception. If there were only five, I would almost be there...

I understand why The Social Network was a hit; and my unofficial bet is placed on it as the winner. (See what it provoked here.)

I felt like The Kids Are Alright was a glorified TV movie. Not that I didn't like it; it was just more appropriate for the small screen. And I thought Ruffalo was the best thing in that movie followed closely by Moore's performance.

I dislike action movies and even less when I am watching them at home ...I just ignore all of the "action" as it is generally gratuitous. I imagine that when the Academy nominated Inception, they believed they were choosing an action genre movie that had a story. I beg to disagree. What little story I found there was so engulfed by the action that I can honestly say that I am still trying to figure out what that story was... but how do I really feel? Yeah... you guessed it.

I can say that I really enjoyed Black Swan. The folks that saw this movie with me were so jarred at the end that they needed comfort food to regain their balance. I just enjoyed it ... I love that a movie about a ballerina and her crazy could make you sit at the edge of your seat. GENIUS. I think they will give Portman the award in order to make it seem like they liked the movie, but I will be surprised if it wins Best Picture. However, it is the hands-down best movie in the line up that I have seen so far. Granted there are six (really only 5) others that might well have displaced it from the top spot in my heart and mind, but just going on those I have seen, I would vote for it. Not just for Portman, because she was good, but for the movie because it was the story and the directing that really made that movie GENIUS.

Perhaps the others will hit video or the dollar theater soon and I can partake of viewing them as well.

At this point, I am not even sure that I will have time to watch the awards. And, I already have award show fatigue after just watching the Golden Globes...and I made good use of the remote during that show. I guess I just don't have it in me to care about award shows anymore. Or I just have too much to do.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Grandma Power

I printed out this photo (first one) of my grandmother when she was about 10 and put it on the front of my folder, the picture of her with my other grandmother (third one) already graces the back. She reminds me why I am here, particularly when others, through their own fumbling, seem to be doubting why I am here...

In honor of those grandmas, I am going to share this Ecuadorian one with you. Maria Aguinda is kicking ass and taking names (CHEVRON) like only a grandmother can. Read all about it here.


In case you didn't notice, this is your news round up for the day. All the news I heard this morning made me want to scream or cry, so I decided not to post any of it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NRU links...

For the I LOVE LA (really the I heart the LA Times) file a fantastic story about a farming community in the heart of Compton and another about Charles Lummis' house. Yeah, you are just going to have to read them to figure it all out.

I have just been waiting for someone to say this. Was there ever really a doubt that the diplomatic immunity that was being applied to this bizarre situation was really a cover for some covert operations. After last week's JAR talk and the coffee I had with Dr. Price, there was no doubt in my mind. Perhaps he was shooting in self-defense, but his position in Pakistan certainly makes it difficult to take his word at face value. I hope that he gets a fair trial, but I think he should be subject to the justice of the country where the act was committed. Not to mention that the US would never try him for it here.

Another story from the LA Times on the Ruben Salazar files and how they intend to *share* them with the public and whether this will quell the speculation. And a column from Tobar. And a couple of articles from their archives.

photo credits: since most of the photos are about Los Angeles, more of lovely Union Station, this time of the little patio!

News Round Up ... full articles

These links die quickly, so I am going to post the full articles, bear with me, these are two silver lining stories meant to brighten the week...

Studies showing that knowing more than one language can forestall Alzheimer's...
People in Madison, WI, remembering that the people have power when they stand together...

Speaking 2 languages may delay getting Alzheimer's

LAURAN NEERGAARD; Published: Yesterday(2/17/2011 -- I think)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Mastering a second language can pump up your brain in ways that seem to delay getting Alzheimer's disease later on, scientists said Friday.

Never learned to habla or parlez? While the new research focuses mostly on the truly long-term bilingual, scientists say even people who tackle a new language later in life stand to gain.

The more proficient you become, the better, but "every little bit helps," said Ellen Bialystok, a psychology professor at York University in Toronto.

Much of the study of bilingualism has centered on babies, as scientists wondered why simply speaking to infants in two languages allows them to learn both in the time it takes most babies to learn one. Their brains seem to become more flexible, better able to multitask. As they grow up, their brains show better "executive control," a system key to higher functioning - as Bialystok puts it, "the most important part of your mind."

But does that mental juggling while you're young translate into protection against cognitive decline when you're old?

Bialystok studied 450 Alzheimer's patients, all of whom showed the same degree of impairment at the time of diagnosis. Half are bilingual - they've spoken two languages regularly for most of their lives. The rest are monolingual.

The bilingual patients had Alzheimer's symptoms and were diagnosed between four and five years later than the patients who spoke only one language, she told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Being bilingual does nothing to prevent Alzheimer's disease from striking. But once the disease does begin its silent attack, those years of robust executive control provide a buffer so that symptoms don't become apparent as quickly, Bialystok said.

"They've been able to cope with the disease," she said.

Her work supports an earlier study from other researchers that also found a protective effect.

What is it about being bilingual that enhances that all-important executive control system?

Both languages are essentially turned on all the time, but the brain learns to inhibit the one you don't need, said psychology professor Teresa Bajo of the University of Granada in Spain. That's pretty constant activity.

That's not the only area. University of British Columbia psychologist Janet Werker studies infants exposed to two languages from birth to see why they don't confuse the two, and says bilingual babies learn very early to pay attention better.

Werker tested babies in Spain who were growing up learning both Spanish and Catalan. She showed the babies videos of women speaking languages they'd never heard - English and French - but with the sound off. By measuring the tots' attention span, Werker concluded that babies could distinguish between English and French simply by watching the speakers' facial cues. It could have been the different lip shapes.

"It looks like French people are always kissing," she joked, while the English "th" sound evokes a distinctive lip-in-teeth shape.

Whatever the cues, monolingual babies couldn't tell the difference, Werker said Friday at the meeting.

But what if you weren't lucky enough to be raised bilingual? Scientists and educators know that it becomes far harder to learn a new language after puberty.

Partly that's because adults' brains are so bombarded with other demands that we don't give learning a new language the same attention that a young child does, Bialystok said.

At the University of Maryland, scientists are studying how to identify adults who would be good candidates to master a new language, and then what types of training are best. Having a pretty strong executive control system, like the lifelong bilinguals have, is among the good predictive factors, said Amy Weinberg, deputy director of the university's Center for Advanced Study of Language.

But people don't have to master a new language to benefit some, Bialystok said. Exercising your brain throughout life contributes to what's called cognitive reserve, the overall ability to withstand the declines of aging and disease. That's the basis of the use-it-or-lose-it advice from aging experts who also recommend such things as crossword puzzles to keep your brain nimble.

"If you start to learn at 40, 50, 60, you are certainly keeping your brain active," she said.



Science meeting:

Thousands of protesters surround Wisconsin Capitol

DINESH RAMDE and TODD RICHMOND; Published: 5 minutes ago(2/19/2011)

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, near right center of photo, takes the stage amidst tens of thousands of protesters gathered at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis., Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, Michael P. King)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Thousands of protesters have gathered outside the Wisconsin Capitol for a fifth day of demonstrations on a budget bill that would strip public employees of most of their collective bargaining rights.

The bill has been pushed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Hundreds of his supporters have gathered on the east side of the Capitol but they are surrounded by thousands of pro-labor protesters.

The Walker supporters are shouting, "Pass the bill," while the pro-labor group chants, "Kill the bill."

Pro-labor protesters have already been at the Capitol for four days. Walker's supporters showed up Saturday with signs reading, "I was at work yesterday. Where were you?" and "Sorry, we're late Scott. We work for a living."

Monday, February 21, 2011

darkness and light

If there is a convenient time for a breakdown, I hope there is someone who can explain it to me.

The work is piled ... I am trying to figure out what I can and should get done for each class without killing myself and still keeping afloat in the class. I am trying to do the work for money that will allow me to pay for the things that I want and need... like the expensive birthday present I wanted, and the eye exam and new contact lenses that I need. Perhaps neither of those is a real need. But, you get the idea.

I am keeping my head above water.

I am trying to keep my mental state in check by giving myself time off ... and having fun. Maybe I took too much time off this weekend considering how packed next weekend will be.

Then I have to find out that a young cousin committed suicide.

I can't even look at the screen while I type this.

I know what it feels like to be in that dark space. I don't know what it feels like to let yourself go into it, to free fall into the abyss.

I imagine it feels like the end of pain. Or at least right before falling it feels like the only way to make the pain end.

It's different when the demons you are battling are cloaked in mental illness. It's harder to know and see that there are ways to bring light to the darkness.

I understand that. I know how horribly isolated someone could feel. I know how people could misunderstand self-medication. Mental illness doesn't come with a cast or a limp or anything visible. People don't always understand just how painful it is. Or how to help.

Sadly, the story we tell ourselves about our loved ones hitting the bottom often involves us denying their real pain in order to not feel the guilt. Or feeling guilty for something that we had no power to change.

The story should be that there was someone walking in darkness in incredible pain. No one reached him in time or in the way that could pull him from the brink. Now he is gone. And the hole in our heart will never completely heal.

Sometime in the future, maybe we can grasp that there are actions that can help, sometimes, not always. Maybe we will take the time to reach out to those people in pain. Maybe we will make the effort to let him/her know that he/she is not alone despite the fact that we cannot completely know or understand his/her pain. Maybe we will tell him/her that we love him/her instead of assuming that it a given.

Maybe we will hug more and judge less. And look for the warning signs. They don't always come with red flags.

Maybe we will make meaningful contact with people, not just the ones we love. And help them the best we can.


For now I am praying for J's soul and holding my family in my heart. And thanking the universe for putting someone in my path that could see my pain and help.

If you are standing in the darkness, reach for hope. You are not alone.

and another thing...

By the way, I am also blogging again here.

News Round Up ...

Here are a few from last week that missed the first round up ...

I love me some Magnum, P. I. I am sure I have seen every episode a dozen times, but I haven't brought myself to actually watch the new one. This review, however, made me really think about whether or not I have another hour in the week to devote to television. [BTW, the answer is NO but maybe while I am washing dishes...]

10 years ago, sadly 10 years too late for me, Princeton decided to not have students take out loans ... here is their review of the program. Since it is Princeton on Princeton, just no it won't be hyper if at all critical of the program. Then, again, since Harvard keeps getting the buzz on the decision, which they entered into many, many years later, I guess some peacock behavior is understandable on Princeton's part.

I watched this trial through covered eyes because I am not hopeful or trusting of our legal system or even our populace to make appropriate decisions whenever the word "immigrant" is used. A guilty verdict in this case isn't going to bring back this little nine-year-old or her father, but I hope that it will knock some sense into the crazy vigilantes who think they are protecting the country's honor by killing people they believe are undocumented.

Signs of the times ... education, higher education in particular, is so important right now. I hope folks will spend some time prioritizing the dollars they spend so that education is not on the bottom of the list despite the strains of budget deficits, spiraling costs and the economic situation in general...

So, I started off with a sort of light article on Tom Selleck ... so don't shoot me for the rest being downers. I am working on a round up with more silver lining stories... Happy Week!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

perfectly imperfect

So, what does Brene Brown say ...

She says vulnerability is scary and so ...
We numb
[instead, she says we should think about why and how we do this]
We make the uncertain certain
[instead, we should breathe through it ... stop trying to control and predict]
We pretend what we do doesn't impact other people
[sometimes we just need to say we're sorry... we'll fix it, or at least try]

I have been medicating with Pink lately, here's what she says...

What Brene Brown said in her TedTalk was that she discovered that there were these people she calls wholehearted... and she said this about these people:

"Courage -- ...comes from the Latin for the heart ... They told their stories with their whole hearts. They have the courage to be imperfect.

They show compassion to themselves first and then to others... turns out this is the only way we can do this...

Connection is a result of authenticity. They had to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they are.

Embraced vulnerability. Believed what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. Believed vulnerability is necessary. Breathe through... Invest and give and say how you feel without anything coming in return.

Letting go of controlling and predicting.

Vulnerability is the birthplace of joy creativity belonging and love."
You should listen to it for yourself, go back one day in this blog to find the link to the talk. But, I needed to have these tidbits somewhere I could see them without having to listen to the talk ...

Here's what she said we can do...
Let ourselves be seen

To love with our whole hearts even though we have no guarantees

Practice gratitude and joy in our moments of fear

Believe we are enough

I am pretty sure she is right about all of it. ;)

NRU Update

No surprises here, really, but this is what was reported from the review of LAPD files on Ruben Salazar's murder, so I guess I will post it. [Yes, I called it murder just as the coroner's inquest found he died at the hand of another. And a projectile of that kind in the head is hardly accidental.]

Apparently, beyond acknowledging that they were stupid, okay, they didn't really admit that... the police's report notes that they just admitted that mistakes were made. Wonder where they read that one?

Yeah... and their stupidity meant that they didn't really bother to figure out what really happened...

"The report acknowledged that its conclusions were limited on the key issue in Salazar's slaying — whether he was a victim of a plot by authorities — because sheriff's homicide detectives at the time discounted theories that the newsman was killed intentionally. As a result, they failed to ask questions that might have prevented the speculation and conspiracy theories that haunt the case to this day."
...or they knew all along and decided that the easiest way to bury the truth was to pretend to be serious bunglers.

And, if you buy this load of bull, I have several bridges to see you here in NM.

The Los Angeles Times did offer a link to the actual report, however, which is fun.

Time to watch some Sunday morning news shows...

photo credits: Los Angeles Union Station, taken on my trip from LA to ABQ. I love that building.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tenderness, part 3?

I guess this is just going to be an ongoing theme, so I might as well get used to the fact that *tenderness* is going to be the

Many bloggers I read have posted stuff about and by Brene Brown. And I have resisted... don't ask me why except that her honesty did really scare me the first time, but now that I am learning to live vulnerability, I am loving that very same honesty.

She is raw and open and vulnerable and honest and what she says is right on.

Thanks to Claudia for pushing me to listen to BB again.

Enjoy! If you don't want to listen/watch, and prefer to work with the interactive transcript, here it is.

I will be writing more about this... I continue to view the piece and meditate on the lessons, both what we do to avoid vulnerability and what we can do to become the wholehearted people Brene describes.

Blessings and compassion to all...

Friday, February 18, 2011

the mind wanders

While I work for the evil empire, my online job, I have to keep my sanity by checking into websites. It is a wonder where the mind will go.

This week, while listening to a few of my favorite James Taylor tunes ... you'll find two of them in the v-day post... I decided that I really didn't know anything about JT. So, off to Wikipedia I went between items.

It was a super long article... and a pretty sad and winding road that man has traveled.

I am not sure how I feel about it. There was some beautiful innocence about not knowing about his heroin habit or his bouts with depression. On the other hand, it adds another layer to my love for his music.

Thankfully, I have a reprieve this morning ... no work, though I need the money, I think I need the sleep and time to think and read more.

Happy Friday.

photo credit: from the last coastal train trip last summer ... this one is for JT. I used to call these grasshoppers...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

News Round Up

Remembering Larry... it is a hard anniversary to be sure, but I am glad that these college students are not letting it slip into oblivion. With the trial set to start for the young man who took Larry's life in May, it is the perfect time to remember the tragedy, and to work on ways to make sure that other children are not put in this position (and I mean both sides -- because, really, both of those boys lost their lives that day.)

I heard these two stories on NPR the other day and think they are worth sharing...

A Friend Calls, and a Best Friend Moves to Help ... these are the kinds of stories that remind you of the goodness of people and the power of connecting with other.

Morning Edition decided to cover the Ruben Salazar file release story ... as far as I know, we are still waiting.

This one is for my friend who is writing articles for an online subsidiary of AOL for very little...

I guess that's it for now... Tomorrow, I will, however, be tuning into Tell Me More's Barbershop and Morning Editions StoryCorps ... almost every one is a winner.

photo credit: from the last Oakland-Oxnard train trip... this was the house we always looked for on our way to Santa Barbara on any road trip. We thought it looked like Witchy-Poo's house from a TV show that I couldn't even name. Anyone out there reading this old enough to know which show it was??

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

new habits

One of the things I came to rely on fb for was my clipping service and the place where I could post up articles that moved me ...

In the spirit of honoring creating new habits, I am going to do a news round up ... not every day, just once a week or so, or more if there are things that really need to get posted. I had stopped putting them here because the links die... however, I post these in the spirit of the day, not to live forever.

This article, titled: "Spanish-language radio drama tackles gay issues," warmed my heart as much as that piece on the prom queen/kings did a couple of years ago. Who would have thought that the Central Valley of California would figure out how to be gay friendly? Not me, that's for sure. I am so glad that there are people out there that can challenge my biases!
[another try on the link, just in case.]

Truth be told, this article is for my own research. It is about how the local school district is worried about the new governor's education chief who has hired eight consultants who will remake NM education in FL's image. Not to mention that the state is in such dire financial straits that is it not hiring staff at regular salary, but paying high fees for three months of consultancy.

[another copy of the link:]

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Social Networking Addendum

After writing the last post, I decided to deactivate my fb account.

There are a lot of reasons beyond the way my stomach turned during the movie.

But, the long and the short of it is that fb is a band-aid and a denial for me.

It is a substitute for making real contact with people, and a place to hide, and worst of all, a place to indulge insecurities. So from now on, it means writing here or in my journal or reaching out to real people instead of wasting time on fb.
I recognize that there are fun and useful functions associated with fb.

I realized after I deactivated and sent out emails to those who are really my friends to let them know they wouldn't be able to find me there, that there are a lot of people who I have connected with over fb that I don't have emails for... It gave me pause, but then I also realized that if I wanted to be in touch with them, or they with me, that there would be a way.Truthfully, I can say I feel disconnected, like the 3rd of 5 from The Borg... suddenly the world has gone silent.

It's feels lonely...but it forces me to deal with the fact that lonely is how I feel with or without fb.
This is not to say that there might be some time when I can figure out how to interact with fb in a more healthy way... but, on the other hand, maybe I will just figure out how to be in better touch with my friends... and meet some new ones in the real world.

Turns out I had some pictures on my camera ... these are some of the sunset from my back step
Did I mention that we have spectacular skies in NM?

Monday, February 14, 2011

mib, another attempt

Sometimes, I feel you so near,
dangerously so... [why it had to be dangerously and not expectantly or anxiously or even excitedly I don't know]
but I don't know what you look like.

What if I pass you by?

What if I don't recognize you?


What if I am too afraid to see you?

I see you in my dreams.

I know you.

More importantly, you recognize me.

Is there a way to reach to when I wake?

M.Z. Gave Me a Headache

M. Z. (winner of the social network stakes) gave me a headache.

I know, I am late to the party, but as a starving student, it is, in fact, my duty to wait for the movies to hit the $1.50 theater. I know that I could have rented it for $1 at the redbox and then all four of us could have seen it for $1...if we could have gotten it back on time, but, well, then we wouldn't have gone to the movies. I pay the $1.50 for the experience of sitting in bad seats ... I really enjoy what little crowd interaction there might be.

And what did I do with my headache? I brought it to the coffee shop to BLOG about it, hah!

Yeah, so the second best thing to seeing the movie in the theater is having a great discussion afterwards. I only indulged in this precious pass time while in the car for fifteen minutes because I should be actually READING something for class right now ... or working on my master's paper or the archive work or doing some work for money. Like M. Z., who I will not name fully because he really doesn't need anymore publicity, I don't care about money. I only need what I need to live, honestly, even though lately I have been coveting some gadgets and boots...coveting and blowing money on it are really two different things.

I came here to write something, but I am rambling. Oh, yes, and James Taylor is singing in my ears, my own private concert, no Carole King, though.

Not half an hour into the film, I wanted to get online and disable my fb account. Seriously, there might be bigger assholes in the world, but it is really hard to imagine. Maybe he has some undiagnosed mental illness, I did want to get him a therapist and some meds, but no one is exempt from a modicum of good behavior.

I am interested, though, in the fact that the movie, which will probably win the academy award (no one really deserves capitals today), managed to display so accurately the double-headed coin that is the "American Dream" (okay, somebody got capitals, but only derisively). That is to say, on the one hand M. Z. epitomizes the go for it, no holds barred, take no prisoners, ends justify the means American Dream. He got his... but he also epitomizes the other side of that ... the intense disdain we have for those who have gotten theirs. We want the OPPORTUNITY to screw everyone and the RIGHT to hate their guts when they get it.

So, some super geeky, insecure asshole with no social skills got a girlfriend ONCE and ruined it by being an asshole (I am not advocating that he should have just been grateful, obviously he had to be himself, but the rampant insecurity and complete lack of reflexivity was not just being himself). Then after sticking in his foot so far into his mouth it came out his ass, he decides the best way of rectifying (rectal, haha) the situation is to publicly humiliate someone for choosing to no longer date him. Oh, and then to objectify all other women that he insecurely considers out of his reach. And what is his prize? A hollow victory, really, oh, sure, he is a bazillionaire, but he will also never be able to have a relationship with someone that is just with him because he/she likes him. That's right, no one will ever know him or tell him like it is, or be real with him, ever again.

That's what I got out of it besides a headache.

I need Mark's hand on my neck and shoulders right now. Not M.Z., the masseur from 10K waves... one can dream.

I took the camera with me ... the batteries were dead, and then I charged the batteries, and now the camera is in the trunk, but I haven't taken any pictures and I haven't uploaded the last ones I took ... so, soon...

el dia del amor y la amistad...

***this wasn't meant to be my valentine to the internet ... but the one I am drafting isn't quite ready for the might never be, so this will have to do, feliz de del amor****

a few of my favorite quote about love:

The truth is that there is only one
terminal dignity ... love.
And the story of a love
is not important...
What is important is that
one is capable of love.
It is perhaps the only glimpse
we are permitted of eternity.
--Helen Hayes

and then there is this one...

To fall in love is easy,
even to remain in it is not difficult;
our human loneliness is cause enough.
But it is a hard quest worth making
to find a comrade through whose steady presence
one becomes steadily the person
one desires to be.
--Anna Strong

I have shared this one before, but I love Shasta emerging from the smaller, browner mountains ... The flowers above are from Yreka's Old Town.
And in the anti-valentine or salty category:

As the unofficial host of several (let's say 9 or so) anti-valentine/divorce anniversary parties (I seriously forgot to mark the anniversary this year, does that mean something?), I have to add this one:

And as a nod to the love that might be possible out there somewhere, a little Pablo Neruda:

I don't love you as if you were the salt rose topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
Secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and
carries hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.
I love you without knowing how or when or from where
I love you simply, without problems or pride
I love you this way because
I don't know any other way of loving...
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand
upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep
it is your eyes that close.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I want ...

To be comfortable in this skin.

To not have to protect myself from myself. start...

I am seriously taking the camera with me to Santa Fe today, so there should be new pictures soon... but for now, Mount Shasta...

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I feel like maybe I have written a post titled tenderness before and meant it in a similar way.

I was just noticing how easily I become crestfallen lately.

It may not be noticeable to others, but I feel my sails losing their wind even at perceived slights.

This is a key part: *perceived*

But what I came here to remark on was not that...

It might be that by being more open, I am more tender, more vulnerable. Hurt more easily... hoping this is just the way to being open and not a permanent state.

It seems excessive to need to be bucked up so often, and it reminds me to be lonely in a way that smarts.

My heart is tender, bruising like an overly ripened fruit.

It feels ultra indulgent to be so easily moved to tears or pain or any feeling really.

Is this the way people are supposed to feel?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


I like happy cows. I like them in real life, like this one, that you see driving down the highway. I like them in a burger ... who needs all the neurosis in the unhappy cows?

These cows were particularly happy because they live near the ocean ... and have beautiful vistas. And look quizzically at passers by like me who want to take their picture. They have no idea they are the subject of an ad campaign.

Thanks to the snow day, I caught an Oprah episode where the entire staff was challenged, but not required, to go vegan for a week.

It was interesting given a piece a fb friend posted that morning about how bacon is the gateway meat for lapsed vegetarians. I commented that those folks haven't watched enough "Babe" to consider more carefully their food choices.

Someone responded angrily, but I am not sure if at my comment or the article. But I think it is important to consider where your food comes from regardless of what you decide to eat.

Okay, I am rambling now. Back to work.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Reading Signs

Sometimes I think we have to be as carefully tuned into our emotional state as we are trying to be tuned in to the universe ... in order to read signs accurately.

I mean, we should be trying our best to live in the present.

So many times in the past few weeks something has happened, and I have wondered, is this a sign I shouldn't be doing this? Then, it all worked out, and that was a lesson in itself.

I am trying to hang in there, feel the feelings and trusting that the universe is moving in the right direction.

Some days it is easier than others... and I am trying to just breathe rather than to figure out if these are signs that are trying to tell me something.

Back to the books.

Monday, February 07, 2011

back to life, back to reality

Sometimes you are just sad, and you need to cry.
But every time I feel that way, I get scared. I worry that it means that I am slipping back into the black hole. You know that awful abyss... that place I thought I might never claw my way out of... but, then again, it didn't actually take that long.

Oh, and the bad dreams are not helping.

Well, maybe they a sober way, they put into perspective the kind of struggle my soul is currently engaging.

Vulnerability may be what I desire: right now I call it *known*, but it doesn't make the bitter pill any easier to swallow.

Sometimes people who wish the best for others suffer when others are treated badly. Or at least not the way they believe they are treating others. But, tomorrow is another day...

Photo credits: I have no excuse, but I have yet to take my camera out of its bag... these are from a trip on the train between Oxnard and Oakland, my two favorite O-towns. I have to admit, though, that I really love the juxtaposition of the scorched earth and the ocean.

Friday, February 04, 2011

birthday week

I learned two things this week...

1) a dream deferred is not necessarily the worst thing, as long as the deferment is more of a rescheduling,


2) sometimes you just have to treat yourself to the best birthday present ever.

This year, I had planned to give myself a three treatment afternoon at my new favorite spa, ten thousand waves, in Santa Fe. But weather kept interfering.

To be completely truthful, one of the reasons that I was planning on taking myself to the spa was in order to avoid having to figure out how and whether to include my friends in a birthday celebration. Unless there is someone coming forward to plan the best birthday ever, I would rather just plan something that only involves me. In this way, I get to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, without having to worry about anyone else's disappointment or enjoyment.

I don't know if I am getting across the issue ... but, in any case, that is how it feels to me. When others plan for you, it is just sweet whether or not it turns out to be the best birthday ever. When you plan for yourself and invite others, it is just pressure all the way around, for me.

So, the day was changed but it made it possible to stay overnight in a room that was too expensive, yet just right. Heat from the floor... tv with cable, but the best part: the starry lights in the ceiling. Goldilocks would have totally approved.

In fact, every little thing was just right. I was nervous about getting in a hot tub when it is only 15 degrees outside. But it turns out to be the absolute best way for me to enjoy a hot tub. Seriously, the best time in a hot tub ever.

Then, I had the best massage of my life. And I think I fell in love with my masseur. And it wasn't just his hands... though those strong, intuitive hands were amazing.

Best birthday gift ever. I just won't look when the bill comes... it was worth it!

I wish I had brought my camera ... but instead, I am staying until check out and loving the alone time.

Thursday, February 03, 2011


I was driving along the other day when this song came on the radio.

I love this song.

But that day, a flash came to my mind that maybe what I really need is to recapture the "me" that allowed herself to feel and express with abandon.

Specifically, it reminded me of the time that I almost called someone I was interested in and played this into the answering machine ... yeah, it was a long time ago.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

happy birthday to me...

For my fortieth birthday, I treated myself to a weekend at a lovely bed and breakfast in Mendocino.

Here are some shots from that weekend...

I just loved the way these trees framed the road and the view.

I walked down this way to the ocean to see the whales migrating by after breakfast.

More...but in the other direction. The hotel had beaches on two sides ... and a little river that led into the redwoods in the first picture.

My birthday plans are on hold until tomorrow due to the weather ... gotta figure out how to celebrate today other than eating cake. On the other hand, two snow days in a row mean I could get a lot of work done ... perhaps.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


I don't like rain ... and when I have things to do, I like snow even less.

If one could be assured of time and opportunity to make snow angels or sled, it would be another matter.

Instead I am wondering how I get to and around campus without injuring myself.

I am longing for J's extra pair of Uggs right now and crossing my fingers.

In other news, I have been eating cake since Sunday night ... it's birthday week and it is not looking good for the diet or the working out. YIKES...

Last night, I met the cutest couple out celebrating their 40th anniversary since their blind date ... eating pizza and drinking champagne. Lovely.

It's nice to see *love* in the world. Like a little match in a dark cave, it gives me that glimmer of hope...

I am not taking pictures of this "snow" (and it's in quotation marks because it is not really snow, it is a nuisance... not enough for fun and too much to just be pretty and then go away ... and it reminds me just how cold it is).

I would pretend it was not even happening if they would just cancel all activity today... instead of two hours of it. I have a long, full day ahead of me.

Back to work.

This is where I would rather be

UPDATE: while I was uploading the picture, I got the text, it's official SNOW DAY!