Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nablopomo - One more month = 365 days

I have been working on Nablopomo daily since last November. Occasionally, I write a post and only save it as a draft, or I finish it just after midnight or I write them by hand and publish them when I'm back at the computer.  But I have been able to put something up daily for almost a year now. Sometimes something small - a picture, a poem, sometimes a video, something longer.

I don't really know why it has been so important to me to post at least SOMETHING every day.  I guess when I started, this was kind of my online diary or record of me or something. I didn't expect to meet anyone, to find such friends, to have old friends find me here.  It feels great to just write.

So, tonight, I was just thinking about how close I am to my goal of posting every day for a year.  I think I will continue to participate in Nablopomo monthly - it holds me accountable in some small, intangible way.  I like it. 

October's theme is Haunted.  I'm not good with the themes...we'll see what happens.  Maybe I can theme it once a week or something. Who knows?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Light Posting Week

Forgive the light posting this week.  I have an event at work, rehearsals for "Ragtime" and trying to heal my back.  I am taking it easy this week and when I get home, sort of vegging instead of my usual sit at the computer.

Event is done, so one down.

Back to regular programming soon. 

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Peer Call, Rehearsal, etc.

My back is tons better, although not 100%. I had a great peer call today with one of the instructors of my telecourse - just the conversation I needed to have. Right before it, I was freaking out - literally thinking that maybe I was having a nervous breakdown (I'm not) and thinking about taking time off work and AARRGGHH! Then we had the most lovely call and I didn't feel so beginner-y and so lost or alone, at least.

Rehearsal was good but a little longish, so I am tired and ready to go to bed.

Good night, all.

P.S. I saved this in a draft last night (Sunday), but didn't publish. I guess I WAS tired.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Rainbow's" End

I was dismayed to find out today (belatedly) that the PBS show, "Reading Rainbow" with LeVar Burton (of "Roots" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation" fame) will no longer be broadcast.

Have you ever felt acute disappointment about something that doesn't even really affect you?  That is how I feel today. I was too old to be impacted by "Reading Rainbow" since I was almost out of high school when it started, but I have always felt a comfort in knowing that someone out there was helping kids understand the world of books and teaching them that reading is FUN!

I'm saddened to think that there is no advocacy on one of our society's most powerful mediums (maybe there is something on cable, but I don't have it and I doubt if there is anything comparable).

Third SOTA anyone?

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Joy Diet: Nothing Report

15 minutes is not a lot to ask of myself, for myself.

When I look back on the week, there is a part of me, the surface part, that wonders why I can't embrace Nothing. There are truths about the week - it was the first week of a new term and I had to prepare for the course that I interpret and the course that I teach.  I hurt my back this week and I have spent much of my reading and Nothing time sleeping, trying to heal my body. I have a show coming up, so I had to rehearse and spend some time with my script.

All of these things are true, but when I really stop and look at it, I think that I am afraid to really embrace Nothing.  This dance that I am doing between the life I have built and the life I am seeking - this pulling together of two diametrically opposed pieces, is a difficult, complicated, scary dance. When I went on vacation in May, I was amazed at how easily I unplugged, let go of everything - and have struggled to be back on pace since coming back.  

Deep down, I think I am fearful that putting down all the threads, even for a moment, will be a glimpse into a life and a practice that I don't want to give up.  If I put down some of the threads, I know I won't want to pick them up again. What does that mean?  If I have defined myself by those threads, by the activities and the "success" that I have attained, what does it say about me that I just want to leave them. Not tied, not threaded somewhere else, not anchored or cared for.  If I could just walk away, feeling no guilt, feeling no worry that the Universe would take care of it, I would.  What does that say about me?  What does that mean for my life?  Who would I be - would I be different than the definition I have for myself?  Would it be such a bad thing?

It probably sounds like I'm beating myself up - I'm not.  I have to think about these things. That is part of who I am and how I work. I know that I am headed in a new direction and I am happy about that.  It was just really interesting to look at how threatening Nothing can be.  How scary Joy can be.  I'm simultaneously sad that Joy can be so scary, but thrilled to be on the journey TO JOY.  Accepting Joy when it comes, creating Joy, is a state of mind - an active choice.  Choosing Joy takes practice.  That can't be bad. I just have to exercise those muscles. I can't be a Joy Champion after a couple of weeks.  But I can pick up the 5 lb weights and start the conditioning.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Weight of the World or Bad Ergonomics?

I hurt my back sometime Monday.  I can't decide if it is from sitting in a chair that completely doesn't suit my body or if it is the weight of the world that feels like it is resting on my shoulders this week.  Monday night was the worst - I couldn't sit, stand or lay for very long at all - didn't get much sleep.  Tuesday was a little better, but not great.

Little by little, I am feeling better, but I have had to forego my "Wizard of Oz" viewing, have gotten very little accomplished this week and am feeling very down about the whole thing.  I hate feeling so slowed down, but I think it is a message from the Universe.  

Suffice to say that this week has not been the best week.  I know it will all settle down.  I know that my back will feel better soon. I'm looking forward to spa time - a little coddling will be a welcome relief.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Artist's Way: Starting Chapter 6 (Senes of Abundance)

"Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous.  That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor." ~ Paul Hawken

This was the quote that most spoke to me in the chapter on Abundance. To tell you the truth, I don't really have much issue with abundance and economic well-being.  I went through my broke period when I was younger and working in crappy jobs to get through - even when I was working in jobs that I had thought I was earning a good living at - sometimes I was broke.  I have never believed that I had to be poor to be a writer or to be happy.  I have already suffered for my art, so I don't really feel inclined to do so again.

At this point in my life, I am starting to use some of what I consider my abundance to actually take the time to enjoy life a little.  For example, I am taking a vacation to Dave Walley's resort and spa at the end of October.  I decided I needed a vacation - somewhere fun and where I could just relax and be with my friends. So, I'm going. 

For me the lack of abundance isn't economic - it is that I am time-deprived. It is mostly a self-deprivation and I am looking at that and working on it. Committing to myself that I will take and make time to do art, to write, to read, to relax are the more difficult issues.  I have the whole work-a-holic thing down pretty well by now, so I am looking for inspiration on the other end of the spectrum.  Slowly, but surely, I am getting better about this. 

The more I succeed in making time, the more time I want to make.  I think that is a good relationship.  Something I can sustain.  Something I can be happy about and proud about.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"The Wizard of Oz" 70th Anniversary

I am treating myself to go see "The Wizard of Oz" on the big screen tomorrow night.  I haven't seen the movie in years - maybe since Roby died. It will be the first Hi-Definition viewing in theatres set to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the film.

I was always a "Wizard of Oz" movie fan.  When I was a kid, they used to show it annually - somewhere around Easter-time, I think.  We would gather around the television and my Dad would groan and moan about having to watch it.  I later found out that he just didn't like Judy Garland and he had read all the books and the movie didn't live up to his imagination.

When I was 6 or 7, we went to see the movie on the big screen in Wiesbaden.  It was showing at the Air Force Base movie theatre.  My sister and I went while my parents went to the commissary.  I knew the story, I knew the movie.  When the Wicked Witch of the West's face appeared full screen, I jumped up out of my chair in horror and ran from the theatre. My sister had to run to the lobby and drag me back in to finish the movie.  I was terrified.  For a little kid, the Wicked Witch is definitely do-able on the small screen (like 19 in), but not on the big enormous movie screen.

Later, I became a fan of many of Judy Garland's songs and movies, particularly, "Meet Me in St. Louis".  Roby and I used to listen to old Judy Garland albums and sing together.  What fun!  We watched "The Wizard of Oz" several times a year until maybe the 1990s...I don't know why we stopped.  We were probably just to busy or distracted or something.

Anyway, the movie is playing in several local theatres.  Go see it. Remember the magic. Celebrate 70 years of being one of the most beloved movies of all time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Artist's Way - Chapter 5 (A Sense ofPossibility)

Early on in "The Artist's Way", readers are asked to write about five imaginary lives.  I didn't do it.  I sort of wrinkled my nose at the idea and moved on.

In Chapter 5 "Recovering a Sense of Possibility", the idea of imaginary lives came up again - this time, the idea was more intriguing, so I wrote about them.  Five of my imaginary lives.

1.  There is a book called "An Unknown Woman" where a woman goes to live alone for like a year.  She brings her dog, Logos, and lives in Maine or Connecticut and learns who she is and what she needs to do in the world. 

I would live on the Oregon coast, in a house right near the beach.  I would learn to be a morning person to get up and walk the beach early in the morning, and also late at night.  I would probably have a dog for company and a cat.  I would always have a notebook and jot down notes and observations about the world.  I might work as a barista or a bookseller.  Or maybe I would become an artist of some kind.

2.  Living in Manhattan, right in the heart of the theatre district.  I would work as an usher or a concession sales person or a box office person and see shows on all my days off.  I would go to museums and walk through the park, walk the city, visit all the strange and interesting and bohemian places. I would interpret on Broadway with Alan and Candice and Lynnette and Stephanie at least once in my lifetime.

3.  Touring the country with "Les Miserables" or "Wicked" or some other brilliant stage show as their interpreter.  I wouldn't even mind living in hotels for a year or so, to take a chance to see the country in all the small and common places, in all the big and interesting places.  To see the growth of the show, to see the behind-the-scenes dramas but not participate in them.  To feel the joy of performing something you know so well you don't even have to think about it - it just flows off you and every time you do it, you do it better.  To meet Deaf people all over the country and talk about theatre.

4.  I would travel to Africa and sign on as one of the Elephant Keepers at the Elephant Orphanage.  Taking care of some sweet baby elephant who needs constant attention and love, warmth, milk and tutoring on how to be an elephant.  On my one day off a week, I would go on safari and see the beauty of the country.  Before I left, I would also go work in a human orphanage with children who were orphaned by AIDS.  

5.  I buy a bookmobile and fill it with free books.  I would drive from town to town doing readings and giving away books to kids who can't afford them. I want to share my love of words and books and reading - to share the beauty of picking up a book and being instantly transported to Manhattan, the Elephant Orphanage, to a touring company of a Broadway show, to a woman living alone at the beach or to a person who drives a bookmobile around, sharing her love of words.  

Wouldn't these be grand lives?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lazy Sunday

I woke up at 7:30am and did some work on "Ragtime" this morning, then I went back to bed around 10:30am and slept for several hours.  I had big plans for today but then, after feeling guilty and beating myself up about not doing all the things I need to do, I realized that today is really my only day off for a while.  Unfortunately, I didn't come to this acceptance until about 7:30pm tonight, so I really kind of ruined a perfectly good day off. Disappointing, but at least I was able to salvage the evening.

The next few weeks may present themselves in rocky ways, but I am doing some things that sustain me - work-wise.  Now, I just need to be sure that I carve out the personal time that sustains me.  I haven't really paid that much attention to that until the last couple of years.  I'm still digging out from the work-blizzard I allowed myself to stand under for so many years. Don't get me wrong - work got me through some pretty tough times, but it is so much easier to just find shelter than to get buried and have to dig out eventually.

I have so much I want to do and experience and I just need to keep reminding myself to follow through.  Forgetting is too easy and it doesn't help anything.

So, those are my thoughts on this lazy Sunday.  

Saturday, September 19, 2009


 I was visiting some blogs yesterday as I have not been able to say hi to some of my favs lately and I came across the Art-o-mat machines on Kristin's blog, The Goat.

I couldn't resist posting about them here because I think they are the COOLEST THINGS EVER!!

In a nutshell, these are old cigarette machines turned art dispensers.  Talk about recycling!  Isn't that ingenious?  There is one at Pacific University just installed recently, so I may have to drive out to Forest Grove and visit it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Joy Diet: Introductions

I have joined a group of women in reading "The Joy Diet" by Martha Beck. We will move through the book, blogging on Fridays about the different practices that can add, enhance or help us notice the joy that is in our lives. Special thanks to Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler Studios.  She is the leader and host of The Next Chapter: The Joy Diet. I first found Jamie's The Next Chapter through Rachel at The Metaphorical Magpie and participated in the Wreck This Journal journey.

I'm ambivalent about starting this journey for only one reason - I'm drowning in commitments.  HOWEVER, one thing I am clear about, the commitment to myself - the one that promises a shared experience with other women looking to add JOY to their life, the one that will give me 10 new ways to open up my own experience of life, the one that will expect me to take a little time to read and do something form myself is NOT the commitment I am going to say no to.  The NO has to go somewhere else.

I am excited to take this journey as JOY has been a hot topic for me here in the blog and in my life.  Finding ways to EN-joy my life is one of my goals for the year, and so far, I have been pretty successful.

I may get behind, I may not be able to visit as many of my fellow JDs (Joy Dieters) on their blogs as I would like, but I am here and I am ready.

Bring on some moments of JOY.  Bring on the learning. I am ready.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Artist's Way - Week Four (Integrity)

I'm so far behind, but I am still in it. Still reading. Still thinking all day long. It is exhausting to have this inner dialogue going on while still moving through the rest of my life.

So here's to "Recovering a Sense of Integrity". Buried Dreams: An Exercise -

1. List five hobbies that sound fun: pottery, painting, scrapbooking, reading, photography
2. List five classes that sound fun: writing memoir, creating mosaics, beginning digital photography, improv class, creating collage
3. List 5 things you personally would never do that sound fun: kayaking, hiking, living in Africa, doing "The Amazing Race", working in the Elephant Orphanage
4. List five skills that would be fun to have: mad web design skills, photography composition, dancing, letting go, stand up comedy skills
5.List five things you used to enjoy doing: swimming, playing outside, bowling, coloring, going out with friends
6. List five silly things you would like to try once: staying at that hotel that is on stilts in the ocean, swimming with dolphins, learning to play a drum, hypnosis, living at the beach for a summer.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If I had a hammer...

Mary Travers, age 72, died today after a long battle with leukemia. I'm feeling a little heartbroken. I have been listening to their music since I was 6 years old (I had probably heard them before but didn't know it). Mary's voice was the first female singer I had ever heard with an alto voice. So comforting.

I had the good fortune of seeing them in concert several times and it really ruined me for most other concerts because they were so genuine, so personable, so giving. Imagine spending your life doing what you love and helping people at the same time - raising conciousness, fighting injustice.

I never really gave up home that I would see them in concert again, but I think I didn't really think about the fact that they have been singing together since 1961...

If you are a fan (or if you aren't, you should be), my recommendations are "A Holiday Celebration" video and CD and Peter, Paul and Mary "In Concert". There are others, but these are my favorites. I watch "A Holiday Celebration" every year on Christmas Eve, late into the night as I wrap gifts. I listen to the CD any old time of year when I need to be in touch with that soft part of myself.

Peter, Paul and Mary - Blowing in the Wind

Leaving on a Jet Plane (not the best recording but it is captioned!) John Denver with Peter, Paul and Mary

If I Had a Hammer

Puff the Magic Dragon

Where Have all the Flowers Gone?

I will stop now, but I'm pretty sure if you click on the tag "music video" and "PPM", you may find other Peter, Paul and Mary videos I have posted here.

The world has lost one of its great human treasures in losing Mary Travers. Go in peace, Mary.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What if...?

What if, after all this efforting to be a better person, to live up to my own expectations, to write because I have stories to tell, to be good at my job, to be kind, what if it kind of doesn't really matter?

What if all the things I am good at and have spent time becoming good at are all the things that I need to shed and I really need to build something all new and different to live the kind of life that I want? What if I don't see it until it is too late? What if I don't know how to let go of things because I tend to hold on too long and too tight? And even when I am drowning in things, in memories, in stuff, immobile, why can't I throw the thing away or delete the email or sell the cds I never listen to?

All these demons are in me today. I know they are roaring because I eek closer to being on the journey I want to be on. I take a step forward, but my other-self, my self-defense self, my child-self, my scared-of-disappearing self howl until I back up a half step. I do not know the answers to any of the questions I ask today. I'm pretty sure that some of them lurk around the corner, ready to pounce on me when I am weak or too slow to react. I'm almost ready. If I know the predator is hiding in the bushes, isn't that more prepared than not knowing there is a predator at all?

Sometimes my thoughts spin me right around. I wonder what direction I will be facing tomorrow.

Monday, September 14, 2009


I had an experience last week that taught me a lot about defenselessness.

I went to a meeting where a lot of "feedback" was going to be flung in a person's direction. We all knew that there was the potential for badness, but the receiver came in with a very defense-free stance. "I would like it if you all would spend the first part of the time giving us feedback. When that time is over, we will spend about 5 minutes each responding to concerns by sharing with you how these issues are or will be addressed."

What would it be like to approach all situations from that stance? I'm not sure I can do it, but I really, really, really want to try. Defensiveness creates more blaming which creates more defensiveness which creates more blaming. If, in any given circumstance, we assume that two people have the same desired outcome (I know, that is a big assumption), can we agree to look at the issue, at the circumstances or context surrounding the issue and then take a step to the left or right or to the north or south or east or west and maybe, just maybe see it from the other view? What would it be like to find the problem, solve it and get on with it, no tears, no recriminations, no smug "I told you so"?

Just something I'm thinking about...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"Wicked" Tidbits

I couldn't resist this...I LOVE this show.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I'm BACK!!! and An Act of Kindness

I have to post from my hand-written journal and I will do so today and tomorrow (to keep my Nablopomo commitment).  I wasn't near a computer and my sidekick didn't have a signal most of the days I was away. 

So- little story about arriving at the airport last night:

Flew into Portland at 9:30pm or so, moving slow - long, emotionally tiring week, was hot (100 degrees) where I was, and hot when I got home.  I went to baggage claim and there was my suitcase just getting ready to go back into the conveyor belt hole which meant I would have to let it go around again and I just didn't think I could wait that long.  I hurried over to the bag, grabbed it up and then went to wait for my ride.  Apparently, I ran out of all ability to disguise my exhaustion because a man walking along with his wife looked at me, smiled and said, "Long trip?"  I nodded and said yes and we continued walking in opposite directions.  I found a seat near the main doors waiting for my ride and a few minutes later, the couple came back towards where I was, and stepping on the escalator, the gentleman said, "Are you all right?  You look exhausted." His wife said, "Do you have someone coming for you?  Do you need a ride?"  I was overwhelmed by their kindness and I assured them that I was all right, just tired (apparently, that was CLEARLY SHOWING) and that I did, in fact, have a ride coming.   The husband reluctantly got on the escalator, but luckily, my ride arrived so they were able to leave me there without concern. What amazing kindness they showed me!  Later, coming out of the parking lot, we waved a car ahead of us out of the parking structure and I saw that it was that couple.  I was struck again with their kindness to a fellow human being who looked in need of a hand.  They earned a lot of good karma points from that small act.

I need to be more kind.  I want to be more kind.   I hope that those two people have many blessings showered on them for being the kind of person who stops to ask a tired traveller if they need some help.  They are great role models for me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Mystique?? Dispelling Rumors

So, my friend came to visit last night. Here's what happened...She was originally going to be here around 6pm at the end of the work day for me. She had to work late and didn't get in until 8:15pm or so. I went to dinner with my other California girlfriend who I also have not seen in a year. After dinner, we walked back to the hotel and then S. arrived. We met her, my other friend went upstairs and S. and I went in to talk. She had come from 2 hours away so we determined that it would be best for her to stay over and leave in the morning.

We talked and talked until well past midnight. This morning, I packed my suitcase and got ready to check out of the hotel. We went to the lobby to eat the continental breakfast and talk some more. When we entered the breakfast area, three of my colleages were there already and turned with some surprise when I arrived with an unknown person. I introduced them and we sat down separately and chatted.

It came to my attention later that since I don't really discuss my personal life at work, everyone was speculating about Jean and the woman who stayed in her hotel room all night and came to breakfast.

Why don't people ask questions? Why do we just make assumptions? People prefer this speculation and mystique to actually getting information and knowledge. Why don't I ever realize/remember/recognize things are going to go this way? Not that I could have changed it, but I could have been prepared for it.

For the record, we are FRIENDS. S and her partner are two of my best friends. My other friend who was in Cali with me this week and S and partner and I are all going to Dave Walley's Hot Springs in about four weeks. I can't wait to spend some time with my good friends again. The time we had this week was too short and full of other stuff interfering. Vacations are the only way to go.

Remembering September 11, 2001

I believe that September 11 should be a national day of observance. So much changed for the citizens of the United States on that day. So many innocent lives have been lost since that sunny Tuesday morning. Not everything that happened after that has been a bad thing - Americans have needed to become aware of the perceptions of other nations, the experiences of other cultures. The Course in Miracles says you can either learn through joy or through pain. Obviously, these lessons were learned through pain. A lot of pain.

I remember that day, I remember the next few days. I felt numb and frightened because I had always believed that the world was safe with people like my father protecting us and protecting countries and people who needed that protection. Obviously a narrow view of the world, but something that I had grown up believing and took for granted. As the days passed, as I couldn't rip myself away from the horrific images, I realized that our sense of safety had been a part of that lack of understanding about the world.

I'm not trying to be political, at all. I just remember how it felt. I couldn't turn it off. I couldn't get enough information. When I went to NYC in June of 2002, the air still smelled strange, there was still dust on the streets near the WTC area. I walked from the Juilliard dorms down to the storefront where the "Here is New York: A Democracy of Photos" display was being kept. I needed that walk to ground me and help me to understand what had occurred there.

Music got me through the whole experience. It was strange, really. At the time, Napster hadn't been found to be illegal yet and I had downloaded some tribute music - people adding audio to different songs they felt were representative of their feelings. I would turn on the music at the computer and just cry. Sometimes I was working, sometimes I would just play solitaire. And cry. For the people who were lost, who were affected, who would die in the conflicts in the future that we attribute to the events of September 11.

One of my good friends was actually on the subway in the Wall Street/WTC area on September 11 and has been greatly affected by the tragedy. I know it has been difficult for her. I am sending her (and all those affected) love and peace on this day, 8 years later.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Homework and Connections

For my telecourse, "Live Your Wild and Precious Life Now", I had some homework to do and some of it spilled into the last couple of weeks. First I met with Jeffa for lunch to do it, and tonight, my other friend, S. will come to meet me. She lives a couple of hours away, but we haven't seen each other since last October, so I'm really excited.

I asked her the questions from the homework and I'm excited to sit down with her and just talk.

I love that the homework for the course is leading me to reaching out personally. It has been a struggle to do that recently, so I needed something to push me into it.

More later. I'm off to the retreat.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pig Personality Test

So this was my pig drawing for the pig personality test, found here.

I won't give anything away, but according to this:
I am a realist who believes in tradition. I am friendly and remember dates (birthdays, etc.). I am analytical, cautious, and distrustful. I am secure, stubborn and stick to my ideals. I am a good listener. And then some nonsense about our sex lives that I will just ignore.

We also took one of the more common personality tests - the one where you say how fast you walk, time of day you are at your best, how you sleep. Basically, all of us fit into the same category on that one. I will try to find it and put it here just so I can remember what it said. Very interesting since I just did that Meyers-Briggs test and posted it on my blog.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

It only took 7.5 hours from the time I got to the airport to the time I arrived at my hotel.  You look at the flight time of about 1 hour and 45 minutes and think it will be a short day of travel, but that isn't taking into account the two hours at the airport, the plethora of annoyances at the airport (we still have to take off our shoes) and the shuttle to the shuttle.

The hotel is quite nice - I was surprised because of the brand name of the hotel - usually pretty basic, but it was very nice, bed seems comfy (I've only sat on it for a few minutes).

I overpacked, as usual. I don't really know why I'm prone to OVERPACKING  (yes, all caps). I get paranoid and I bring like 2 outfits per day. Um. I don't always change clothes after work at home...sometimes, if it is hot or if I'm wearing something really nice.  I have to learn how to pack light.  My biggest problem is that I'm like a goldfish.  They grow to fit their water container.  I fill the suitcase, the backpack and the purse. NO.  Fill one.  There is no reason to have that much crap. Ever.  I have to figure this out.  And on the way home, more stuff in the suitcase that I am checking, less stuff in the backpack as it didn't fit in the overhead bins.  We flew Alaska/Horizon and I have NEVER seen smaller overhead bins.  A backpack didn't fit in the overhead bin. Crazy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Laboring on Labor Day

I have been working all weekend in preparation for a business trip, which, by the way, I never thought I would EVER type. "I'm going on a business trip." It seems so foreign.

So, aside from my date yesterday, I have been hunched over a computer all weekend trying to get ready for some presentations. I feel pretty good about the work I have done, but I would like to have my weekend back, please. :)

I am packed and ready to go, and I have my mobile2blogger address so that I can try to send some posts from my secret location. Ha. Sounds way more interesting than it is, but I don't like to really detail stuff about work here. Just seems like a good idea to keep the two worlds separate.

I am dragging my copy of "The Artist's Way" with me so hopefully, in a totally new environment, I will be able to do some work on the journey. It will be a nice getaway, in some ways. New space, different people, different worries.

Anyway, look for remote posts. No guarantee how long or brilliant they will be, but I haven't been away from the blog in a long time. If I can't post remotely, I will do manual posts and then put them online when I get back. Might even be more interesting than I have been lately.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Good Day

I had lunch with a friend today - we have known each other since junior high school and were inseperable during high school.  It was really good to see her and to talk.  She was helping me with some homework from my telecourse, "Live Your Wild and Precious Life Now" (a new group starts October 12 for anyone who is interested).

It was a difficult assignment for me - we are asking questions of our friends, family and acquaintances - questions about who we are to them and how they perceive us.  It was really interesting...

Then, I had occasion to look at a personality typing excercise I had done - and forgotten about- and many of the answers from my friend were reflected in my personality type analysis.  I came out an INFP - a category that only about 2% of the population fall into.  I laughed when I saw that because I have another friend I used to have monthly dinners with.  We used to always say, "2%!" because we were always boggled at how other people think SO differently from us and were amazed by how consistently that issue came up in our lives.

Here's a tidbit from the INFP (Introverted Intuition Feeling Perceiving) description from here:  "INFPs are introspective, private, creative and highly idealistic individuals that have a constant desire to be on a meaningful path. They are driven by their values and seek peace. Empathetic and compassionate, they want to help others and humanity as a whole. INFPs are imaginitive, artistic and often have a talent for language and writing. They can also be described as easygoing, selfless, guarded, adaptable, patient and loyal." 

Kind of bizarre to be pegged in so many ways - both the strengths and weaknesses.  But also fascinating.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

7 Tidbits about Me

My Wreck-Sister, Kavindra, mentioned WildRumpusing over at her blog, A Clear Path To Happy and asked readers to tell 7 Tidbits about themselves, so I today is Seven Tidbit Saturday. :)

1. I am easily moved to tears by poetry, art, theatre, movies. Over the course of my life, different people have tried to convince me that I was "too sensitive" and crying was not the appropriate response. I don't believe them. Being moved to tears is a beautiful thing. It reminds me that I have a heart and soul and that they are still intact.

2. I can carry off a joke and keep it running for YEARS. Remind me to tell you the "CheezIt licking story" sometime. Or the "whole chicken in a can" story. YEARS, I tell you.

3. I love toys. Roby used to always love the villians and he eventually convinced me that they were more interesting toys. My favorite villain toy is Evil Scowlene. They pulled her from the shelves because she was too scary for kids - her head glows in the dark and she looks a little like Joan Crawford.

4. I love movies. I love to cry at movies. I love to laugh at movies. I love movies.

5. I lived in Wiesbaden Germany for three years and I believe that experience shaped my life to help me make friends fast, to be more aware of other cultures, to have an inkling what it feels like to be in the minority group somewhere (rare for a white middle class American), and to learn other languages as equal to my native one.

6. I miss laying on my bed, listening to music and reading. I used to do that more. Now, I just catch snatches of my book, snatches of music (unless I'm rehearsing for a show). I think I feel guilty if I'm not doing something "productive". I have to stop that.

7. My favorite place in the world is the Oregon Coast. It sings to me when I get close. It is the place where I feel my shoulders drop, the tension in my neck leaves. The smell of the ocean soothes me. When I am there, I want to write and sleep and read and live a completely different kind of life. I used to go to the coast once a week, but now, as I am older and set in my ways, it doesn't happen like that anymore.

Any of you reading, please feel free to do 7 tidbits on your blog!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm Playing My Strings

Patti Digh is an unknowing angel in my world. She often posts things either on her blog, 37Days, or on Facebook, that are exactly what I need to hear.

Tonight, she posted "Say Yes" by Andrea Gibson on Facebook. I remembered watching the video before on Patti's post called "Start Handing Out Stars".

Thank you, Patti. Thank you, Andrea. This was just what I needed to be able to begin playing my strings again. I had stopped for a couple of days.

My only regret is that the video isn't captioned so that all of my friends who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing could enjoy this incredible piece of art.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Stream of Consciousness Thoughts for Today

I was driving to work today and I was listening to Thom Hartmann, a progressive talk show host. He was talking about a book about President Lincoln that President Obama had been rumored to have modelled his presidency after...and talking about how the premise of the book (or the way it portrayed Lincoln's terms in office) were incorrect - how he had always reached across the aisle for bipartisan work. Whether I agree or disagree was not the point - what I wanted to say was that it made my stomach hurt to think about the state of our government and our political system. It just feels like everything is so extreme on either side. That there is so much vitriol and fear and anger all around. I can feel it in the air and it worries me. Sometimes, I can't sleep just thinking about all of this and the state of the economy and how it affects my friends, neighbors, customers, co-workers...sometimes it is all too overwhelming.

I have noticed lately that my stomach hurts often these days upon hearing something like this, or when I hear about people arguing or hurting each other or people going missing or dying. Yesterday, when I was driving to work, I saw a squirrel that had been hit by a car and it made my stomach hurt, too.

On the way home, I listened to a discussion about Darfur and the person being interviewed was talking about social networking sites like Facebook becoming the answer to many of the humanitarian challenges of our time - humanizing those who we dehumanize is the only way to change our course, according to this man. He was a documentary film-maker who had been in Darfur in some of the refugee camps. The question they were asking was, "Why do we jump to help in Bosnia or in other European countries when people are suffering and dying or there is genocide, but in Africa, we just shrug and send a few dollars to help build a school?" They talked about racism, about natural resources, about the geo-political ramifications of not helping certain countries. The talk show host, thankfully, noted that all those reasons are valid, however shouldn't we be thinking about the human cost...shouldn't we do something now? It made my stomach hurt.

I always thought I was a fairly sensitive person, but I never had this sense of dread and ache for the state of the world like I do now. There is so much in the world that needs fixing. Sometimes I know we all feel so little and helpless. I do what I can from my sheltered American life. I send money and join causes, but I don't really always know what else to do. It is disheartening. And my stomach still hurts today.

P.S. I'm not depressed - just concerned. All that stuff is hard to hear. I'm gonna have to turn off the radio and listen to something a little more lighthearted, at least for a day or two.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Blogging The Artist's Way at WildRumpusing

I was all set to write a note at the site "Blogging the Artist's Way" and let the participants there know that I just am not with the program right now. Then I went to Kavindra's site and read her post "Kavindra's Meandering Jaunt" and I felt so much better. I just felt relieved to know that other people find that writing the morning pages in the morning is a challenge, that I can take permission to just do it how I need to do it and it is ok.

Maybe someday I will be able to just go through the book and do it the way Julia Cameron suggests. This is not that time, but I'm also glad not to give up. I find the level of accountability to the group that is good for me - make a commitment and stick to it. This community and the Wreck this Journal Wreckers have been so wonderful and supportive, I don't want to give THEM up. :)

So, I'm going to take Kavindra's example and run with it. Here, I will be Rumpusing through the Artist's Way - somewhat at my own pace, somewhat in my own way. That's beautiful (to nod to Nablopomo's theme this month). Stay tuned.


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