Saturday, May 10, 2014

No Click Track in the Can

So this is a fun experience.  This is a Google site, but using Google Chrome makes editing impossible, at least on my system.  I'm typing blindly, no click track in the can, and hoping that this will actually be publishable.  Maybe this isa good exercise.  Nope.  Just frustrating and lame.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blah blah blah de bla- Ooh, Dexter is on!

I'm dancing a choreographic display of doing the daily thing. Work, sleep, recover from being sick, work. Rinse and repeat. But I've also taken to looking forward to TV shows with a troubling intensity. These things are the two dancers squiring me across the floor of life right now. Functionality and TV to get by. Lovely...
But Dexter is awesome. I'm catching up on all the previous episodes which has been a real delight. If someone mentions another show, I'm ridiculously piqued in interest and reaching for the On Demand button. I can't share how much the cable bill is right now - it's kind of embarrassing.
You know, though - I'm at least making it through having some health issues without any time off, which is something to be thankful for. And in the Pacific Northwest, our weather resembles the hibernation of the winter - chilly, rainy, dark days that are better suited for huddling inside and seeking comfort. So the environs match the motivation right now.
I'm wrapping up Season 4 and looking forward to Outcasts (still giving that a shot) and TrueBlood on Sunday. When does The Walking Dead come back, anyway?! :D

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Releasing The Ties That Bind

"Where you invest your love, you invest your life."
Mumford & Sons

It appears that I am bound by my conceptions. I don't want to cut these ties that are holding me because sometimes they hold me together. But at this time, I am bound by them. So I need to untie them for a bit and proceed.

I'm sitting in the clinic, struck by loss. Surriya, the doctor's mother in law, has passed away. She was beautiful - a radiant person with a smile and courage as she fought cancer. We had a connection - I think I loved her upon first meeting her. I haven't been able to grieve these past two weeks since she passed because I'm holding down the fort at the office and it's once again a person with whom I am peripherally involved but has strongly impacted my recent life. She brought persimmons from home when she visited. I loved to see her smile. And I've kept a pink sweater that is three times too small because she thought I would like it. Once again, someone who shows everyone with whom they interact a gentle, shining soul is gone, and I have to absorb how their impact on me can be turned into something good as a tribute.

It's Father's Day tomorrow, and for some reason it's hard this year. Actually, I know why. I'm going to pick up the sword and make a run through the gauntlet. Dad's life's work - I can't put it off any longer or it will fade away. I don't know how long it will take me to work through the codes, research the historical references, and apply the information. I suspect I have two to three books on my hands. Or on my head, really. Taking a deep breath...

I know just four months ago I posted about how I can't wait for the time when I have nothing to do. School ended two months ago and I'm falling into a dank well of self-recrimination. It's good that I had time to identify that my aspirations aren't about accolades or a tally sheet to justify my existence. I just can't drink the mundane waters of 'getting by' and thrive. I diminish.

So now I have to acknowledge that I need these outlets - all of them. I will never choose just one thing to do and do it really well. I will flail; I am a Cat o' Nine Tails hitting several targets at once. And if it's never a bullseye, it's okay because I'm still taking down the enemy: Complacency.

That's a part of who I am. Just like falling in love with people, even when I don't feel as though I have expressed that love or gotten enough time with them. Whomever is involved in my life is loved.

Today I will pull the cord and let the ties fall to the floor. I'll be back for them later.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The Dissociative Order

So the first half of my grant certificate went pretty well, though it was exhausting. Whereas my excitement for school had burned like the sun at the outset, it slowly faded to a mere glimmer before the 'break' between semesters, and it's only growing dimmer as we've stumbled out of the first month of the year.
And honestly, it's more like we escaped the beginning of this year, much as though it were the seediest, grimiest, most disgusting club in a bad neighborhood. You know the kind; you wander in for a quick drink and it's so dark that you can't see the filth & menace around you until you're at the bar and question if the bartender is the same species. Then, you try and fail to escape its gravitational pull of despair, so in desperation you hurl yourself toward the door and pray that the detritus strewn about the floor doesn't wrap up your ankle and do a Hotel California on your ass.
2011 has not been fun so far. Keefe had the pneumonia at the end of December during the break between semesters (Merry Christmas!) and we've lost a friend, Zach, at the beginning of January. And it is a loss; there's so many things that we had planned: Gally, Doctor Who viewing parties, Keefe's shows, and to try and set up another Doctor Who event here in Seattle. But mainly it's the fact that he was such a sweet guy who had so many interests and took so much interest in others that it is a loss keenly felt.
Every year that passes tallies another person that moves on. As we grow older, how each of us deals with death is impacted by the circumstances of these losses and the circuitous paths that we travel in grief. I've heard from a few people who knew Zach purely from online interactions as well as those who partied with him at Gally and were friends on Facebook. Some seem to think that they don't have as much right as others who interacted with him face-to-face to mourn his passing. But that's ridiculous.
Does this mean that coworkers have no right to mourn the passing of a fellow employee? Working in the same building and interacting for an hour or so per day or week means that you get to know someone - and if it's someone like Zach, you'll be touched by them. Kids, Facebook and online forums are like that - you are interacting once a day or week, hearing about plans, dreams, or even just shooting the breeze. Add the fact that you see that person once a year (or even a couple of times) at an intense event like Gally and you're more than a face in the crowd.
Our world is changing, but it has also changed already. Most of us interact online and spend a percentage of time interacting with other human beings in that forum. It's legitimate to make connections with people you don't even see but with whom you have continuous contact and to feel something for them. It's if you don't that should raise some eyebrows.
Wow, guess I had something to say about that. I've actually deleted quite a bit as I went all ranty. Not only about the validation of emotion in online interactions, but the fact that grief is not linear - the biggest disservice is the popularization of the perception that there are stages to grief. It makes it feel like a process that, once you've touched upon each stage like a stone in a pond, you shouldn't have to worry about falling in again. But it's not so easy; you can skip all the way across the pond and then see someone's photo and fall right back into it. You can jump from denial to anger and make it all the way to acceptance until you talk with a mutual friend and then you're jumping on the anger stone again.
But we seem to need a way to distance ourselves from these emotional rides, so we identify, categorize, and attempt to make sense of things that are inherently non-sensical intellectually and can only be sensed, experienced. It's like we want a membership card for the Dissociative Order so we can operate in spite of our frailties. This past month, I nearly applied to join.
There are no trumpets when we close out our life that signal success. Time marches on. People move on. Zach's memorial was beautiful and let us know how active he was at work, at church, in Doctor Who, with soccer & the Sounders, in his community, with Transformers - but he never let anyone feel as though he didn't have time for them. He came to Keefe's shows as though he had nothing else to do on a Friday or Saturday night. He chatted on the phone when I called, never seeming as though it wasn't a good time for babble. When the time came at the memorial for people to say something about him, the shyness was overtaken with anecdotes of things he had done and people he had influenced for the better. And I realized that I could do better. Not only with people but with my perception of what I want my life to be. I've been processing this for a couple of weeks. Chewing on it in my subconscious.
And while I have, apathy has made a strong case to me - it's amazing how insidious it can be. Procrastinating homework, ignoring the paperwork at the office, and throwing all of my toys into the craft room again and closing the door without a twinge. All I can think of is getting done with school and not doing more for a while, getting done with projects that have loomed over my head as I put everything on hold for school, and not having to DO anything for a bit.
It would be great if this was the product of a revelation, but it is the symptom of processing. Not too many times in my life have I succumbed to this, and thankfully there was a sunny day today showing all the promise of Spring to shake me awake. What the hell did I almost do?! There is a sweet feeling to melancholy and a lethargy that lulls you when you're in the throes of apathy. It feels as goodbad as having cake and ice cream at midnight, alone except for The Return of the King and the far off mutterings of one's conscience.
So I lean in a bit and hear it calling. Focus. Stay on target. But my target changed. It's like the Death Star went into hyperspace and my third eye knew exactly where it had gone, but the X-Wing couldn't follow. My S-coils are still locked and ready to fire - so I pause. I regroup.
There is no ribbon at the end ~ hell, there's no finish line because death is not a conscious state. What I do or what I don't do is answerable only to me as long as I draw breath. I've come to a partial realization of this once or twice before, acknowledging that I should enjoy the path or it is not worth traveling, and that experiences are more important than accomplishments. I don't have a C.V. that I need to hand to anyone, a summary of my life's successes to justify admittance or even my existence. What I have, is a responsibility to myself to be happy.
So once again, I'll turn my eyes to the joy to be found in life, in others, and experience everything I can while I can do so. This means I can have my cake [and ice cream] and eat it, too.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

I'm a big Star Wars fan. And by fan, I really am intending the original usage of the word, a shortened version of 'fanatic.' Quicker to say, but supposed to convey a level of interest that goes beyond a passing appreciation and into the realms of reference quoting, multiple viewings, and overbearing exuberance.

So when Lester Brown begins to discuss in this week's video the current perception held by a lot of people in relation to sustainability, I began to think of a little 900 year old Jedi master. Mr. Brown was detailing the verbiage commonly used when considering the options of sustainability, namely a phrase of something being 'more sustainable' or 'less sustainable.' I immediately heard it in my head: "Do, or do not. There is no try."

To me, sustainability is not a platform-defining political buzzword to be bandied about in hopes of getting the greenies on board. Nor is it another compromise extended to the masses or a great new angle for advertising. To sustain is to do more than just maintain; we're not trying to keep a status quo. There is not an easy way out here. The goal of sustainability is to equilibrate - achieve a balance. Balance implies a natural renewability that does not require outside influences in order to attain that status, and as such, sustainability is a state of being. In order to reach it, our civilization will need to change.

In Leading Change Toward Sustainability, Bob Doppelt conveys that the change necessary is to provide and protect our options. His example of the Northwest salmon was particularly apt to illustrate that sustainability requires more than one solution, and that the beginning steps involve reforming paradigms such as the financial and social benefits inherent in such change. Rather than relegating the philosophical goals of sustainability to the backburner as not being fiscally cognizant, it's important for the worldwide change toward sustainability be encompassing and inclusive in order to succeed.

It really is all about the "Community of Life" as identified in the Earth Charter. All that goes into a community, the people, the location, the goals and accepted behaviors therein, are to be invested in this new world vision. And to sustain that community is of utmost importance. We just have a bit of a drive ahead of us to get there, and one challenge is the communication of the vision.

With so many different definitions of sustainability, from the community idea to the more analytical interpretations, it's hard for people to grasp to what extent such a vast change is needed. Instead, we have social connotations assigned to the movement of hippies, greenies, etc. We have politics and international posturing to overcome. Yet what is clearly important at this critical stage is to clearly convey what we hope to achieve so that we can combat any misconceptions and begin to take meaningful steps at all levels to reach sustainability. For how can we inspire a worldwide restructuring that will affect governments and individuals, economics and religious beliefs, and in fact all aspects of society without a clear definition of what we need to do, why it affects us all, and really, why we cannot fail?

We don't have an X-wing stuck in the swamp to show how our tiny frame can move mountains with the power of our mind alone. But we must do, or do not. There is no try - because Earth doesn't get a sequel.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Conceptualizing a Reconnection

Each raindrop seems so uniform; just part of the wall that's descending from the leaden sky as we are finally tossed into the season of Fall. The showers are varying from light to insistent, but in all cases, the rainy season has begun. So it's easy to contemplate water right now; we're enveloped by it in a meteorological sense, encapsulated by its presence around us.
All this week I've thought about rain and how it can be such a great example of perceived disconnection. Sitting in the living room and watching the cars outside, headlights illuminating the raindrops, their paths punctuated by the sound of the wheels on the wet pavement. Each raindrop appears to be separate, though it is traveling at the same rate, in the same direction, and reflects the same basic physical form as every other raindrop. Project members and proponents tend to do this; seem to be disconnected from the whole when in fact all are moving toward the same goal, so a dual existence is established, one separate, but still connected.
In a project, the members tend to operate from their own space. Maybe it's the whole 'every snowflake is unique' thing, but there are so many instances where this is the case, just like that rainwater that is perceived as separate raindrops.
We separate the oceans, though as William McDonough noted in this week's video, all of the oceans are part of one system, much like a 'toilet that doesn't flush.' We have different names for rivers and streams and lakes, though it's all the same water traveling through those conduits.
So if every goal to be achieved will have some disconnection between the phases of the project, perhaps a lesson is to be learned from the under-appreciated raindrop. It’s let loose from the sky, its existence then determined by the environment around it and anything that will interact with the raindrop.
This could also be the way to establish a project. The design of the project and launch could be exactly like a raindrop leaving the cloud; purposefully and without any fanfare. Since we have learned that an educational approach is not the most successful per the studies conducted, we know that frontloading a project with educational buy-in promotional trappings would be mainly ignored.
For this reason, though I would want to have some educational information available for a project, I wouldn’t need to address everything at inception. Instead, having the educational products be manufactured during creation of the project would help give cause for all invested project members to be involved and cooperating with one another. This would be applied as well to producing the follow-up information and continuation of the project.
Much like how raindrops converge upon striking a surface, pooling immediately, thus would the project members combine to become part of the whole again, which would ensure that the end result is more successful.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

I Am The Sum Of My Endeavors

And right now, my endeavors are play-oriented with one lightning-from-blue-sky caveat.
Mainly I'm having fun with Bejeweled Blitz. So here's a few life lessons from the game:
  • Don't always take the easiest path; it seems easier but you have to work twice as fast and your score will never be as high as when you think things through. Investment/Return.
  • On the other hand, don't overcomplicate things because you'll waste valuable time in planning, not execution.
  • Avoid getting caught up in your own glory when you're ahead; that moment of arrogance can cost you the critical connection that results in a windfall of combos.
  • When you start a new game, take a look around; that first few seconds of assessment will save you floundering later.
  • Make sure you cover all of the board that you can - working one area dry is at first too easy (see #1) and then too hard as you get stuck in one place.
  • Further, avoid becoming too obsessed about making a particular match since you could pass up on even better matches as you struggle to make that one combo happen.
  • If your hand slips and you move the wrong gem, don't brood about it - that's a waste of perfectly good time and that mistake could actually create an even better combo.
  • Never give up the game, no matter how bad it seems; there's more than one way to win (coins & badges), but there's only one way to lose.
  • Once you've gotten a few good combos, don't think the rest of the game will just come naturally; you may have to fight even harder to make connections for a bit but the diligence always pays off.
  • Give yourself a good mix of easy matches and strategy; keep going and watch out for those sweet opportunities that can push you to the next level.

But that opportunity thing happened - I was just wandering around the local community college website and stumbled across a grant that I spontaneously applied for and then...received. Eeep! Exciting stuff and a bit daunting as my path is once again laid out for me in the coming months. However, it's Energy Management and all about sustainability without compromising technological standards with a vein of physics yumminess. So I'm looking forward to it and wondering just how crazy I am to get into another new round of school with 60+ hours at the clinic.

Yet it's all about the experiences, right? Any time that I don't have something planned, I squander my free time anyway. So I might as well push the envelope and try to accomplish what I can with the time I have. There's just a tiny spark of hope that this could mean that I do something that has an impact; what a pretty little flame that could be...