Thursday, January 28, 2010

Filter-less

Last night, I was chatting w/ my best friend on the phone and, at the same time, greeting my kitty cat.  This is something Jess and I do a lot.  We talk to each other, and our cats, simultaneously.  We also mimic our cats' responses to our statements - resulting in a cacophony of words and meows.  Sort of like a riotous conference call among species.

As all of this is happening, I'm calling my cat random pet names.  Honey, kittiepoo, and the like.  Jess casually interrupts my jabbering to say, "I like it that you just called her 'Sweet Pea.'  That's a good name."  I stop short and outright deny that I said such a thing, "No, Jess-- Sweet Pea isn't in my vocabulary; I couldn't have said that.  Anyway, that is too charming of a nickname for me to use.  Didn't happen."

"It did!" she shot back indignantly, somewhat miffed.  Back and forth we fought good-naturedly until, finally, Jess said something to the effect of, "Look, that is what you said.  I'm sure of it."  And the tone in her voice strongly suggested not to protest any further, but I silently remained unconvinced.

Moments ago, I received an e-mail from my good friend, April, and the first line she wrote to me therein was:  
"How is your day going, Sweet Pea?"

A-ha!  I DID say it.  I absolutely called my cat Sweet Pea without realizing it on any level.  I wonder what other sorts of cutesy phrases I use minus executive processing?  The fact that there is but a flimsy divide b/t my brain and my mouth has never escaped me (or anyone else, for that matter).  This happening demonstrates that the filter is virtually non-existent.  My unconscious/subconscious is so close to the surface that I am not even cognizant of it becoming manifest.

Maybe this is a function of how close of friends Jess and I are--that I don't filter with her at all...

I beguile me.

Agreed!

but the [State of The Union] speech was not about the indomitable American spirit, it was about how congress needs to stop making him look bad and put a fucking jobs bill on his fucking desk, and fuck you, too, Supreme Court.
- http://gawker.com/5458661/

My sentiments exactly.  I, for one, am glad that Obama came out swinging.  Obviously, the Republican politicians do not ascribe to our President's lofty ideal of bipartisanship and are eagerly taking every opportunity they can to undercut his agenda and undermine his authority.  So, fuck them.  And fuck their lackeys, the Supreme Court, too.  I'm ready for the new Obama.  Make them hurt, Mr. President.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Three-fourths of a Mile

Three-fourths of a mile might not seem like a very long distance to many of you, I'm sure, but it is most assuredly a significant distance for me and I ran that distance tonight.  Upon accomplishing this, I was so elated that blithesome tears--no exaggeration--came to my eyes.

You see, I've had a bad knee (right side) for several years, which has prevented me from doing running of any sort; a very difficult thing for me to cope with b/c I was formerly quite the running enthusiast.  Five years ago, I was doing essentially three miles in fifteen minutes (up and down hills).  Daily.  And I relished it.  It was a point of extreme personal pride.

If you know me at all, you know what a very aberrant thing it was that, one, I was able to run for that distance and with that stamina* and, two, that I was gratified to do it**.  Regardless, I seriously aggravated my knee running downhill on pavement (don't do that!), shortly after I began dating Kenny.  Subsequently, I never found a form of cardio exercise nearly as compelling as running had been for me.

My knee problem got to be so bad that I became completely gun-shy about running.  It was too painful (both physically and mentally) to even consider it, so I tried to make do with "low impact" exercise.  Finally, last week, I decided to give the ol' treadmill a try and see what would happen.  I only ran for a quarter of a mile, but it was a prodigious step for me b/c afterward, I felt no pain.  Nothing.  No pain in my knee while running or in the days following.  So tonight, I tried it again, this time for three-times the original distance and still no pain.

I must be honest, my right knee is feeling a bit loose at the moment (I'm an hour or so out from my run) - not unstable, exactly, but just...sort of...loose.  So in light of this, I will take it easy when I attempt it again on Thursday.  No more sprints at eight minute mile speeds.  More of the easy jogging.  But still.  I ran today.  I fucking ran again.  I can hardly believe it.

Om shanti _/||\_


*I've never been considered "the athletic type."
**Who knew that runner's high could be so irresistible?

Happy Making

When I had the utilities activated at my new place in April of last year, I opted into Ameren's P.U.R.E Power program, which essentially consisted of my paying an extra 1.5 cents/kilowatt-hour in order to raise funds for the development of renewable energy.  Although the program has been criticized by the Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC), I'm a satisfied supporter of the initiative--predominantly, because I received an invigorating status update in the mail this month.  I learned the following therein:
  1. my participation helped to support the generation of 1,765 killowatt-hours of local renewable energy;
  2. which resulted in the prevention of 2,780 pds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere; and
  3. that is the environmental equivalent of taking a car off the road for approx. four months.
Keep in mind, those numbers are only with relation to a small one bedroom apartment over the course of eight months.  (Consider what a larger home could generate toward the cost of renewable energy development in a year by participating in this program!)  Ah, being good to our momma earth feels wonderful.  Perhaps, I'm not really doing much for the environment in the grand scheme of things, but I sure am helping my own peace of mind.  I'd venture to guess that the effect of this knowledge is even better than therapy, so far as contentment of spirit is concerned!  

Om shanti _/||\_

Meet The Mad Hatter



Oh, please - oh, please - ohpleaseohplease(!!) let this be a good movie!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Street [Driving] Cheetah With A Heart Full of Napalm

My mother, kind soul that she is, offered to pick up my car at my office this afternoon and drive it to her mechanic in order to have the headlights replaced and oil changed before the shop closed at six o'clock this evening.  She left behind her vehicle for my transportation in the interim.

After work, when I got into my mother's early '90's Pontiac and started her up, she whined and growled something fierce.  The faux leather covering on the steering wheel had all but disintegrated under my finger tips, leaving not much more than the sticky brackish cushion below.  With a light touch to the gas, the car lurched forward--nothing but "raw power."  I giggled to myself, not having driven a genuine hooptie in quite some time.  As I gamely pulled the car out onto the roadway, I swear it began to sway in its frame. 

Things got progressively worse as I traveled down Forest Park Parkway, picked up speed, and entered onto Highway 170.  When I veered onto Interstate 40, I knew things were truly not right with this vehicle--what with the thumping vibrations and low moan it gave upon accelerating to proper highway speed.  So I got off at the next exit and coaxed it as gently as possible along the side streets of South St. Louis. 

At the intersection of Arsenal and Kingshighway, an economy car bearing a community support bumper sticker attempted to pass me on the right.  I slowed to let the car circumvent me and the driver enthusiastically flicked me off repeatedly as she did so.  Not very neighborly of her, but this is the way people respond to POS cars of my mother's caliber.  Look out honey, 'cause I'm using technology!

Shortly thereafter, I arrived at my parent's where my father greeted me on the porch and asked how I liked driving Mom's car.  I replied, "That thing is a death trap."  I then warned my mother that she should not take it on the highway ever again, as it sounded like it had lost an engine mount or two.  She laughed and confirmed that it had indeed lost an engine mount some time back.  I suggested that the next time she drives her car, she might want to wear her seat belt and bring along a bowie knife, so that she will be able to cut herself free from the wreckage.  Still she laughed.  Unfortunately, I was dead serious.  That car of hers is the one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

Iggy would be proud.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

About Haiti

A friend of mine relayed some information she'd received through a friend of hers about victims of the Haitian earthquake. Apparently, children are sleeping with volunteers in corn fields b/c it is not safe to sleep out in the open.  What follows is some info direct from a volunteer in Haiti--

"...the girls are playing Uno and taking naps...We didn't get more than 45 minutes sleep last night...so we're starting to run a little ragged...just started the clean up process...gathering supplies...Pray that we find water soon...it's running very low...sleeping in the cornfield again tonight... LOVE LOVE LOVE" 


If you can afford to, please donate to the relief effort.  You can give money to the Red Cross by texting "HAITI" to 90999 ($10 will be charged to your phone bill and up to $30/mo. can be donated this way).   I've already donated.  The earthquake survivors certainly need the cash more than I do.  If you aren't sure if you can afford it, check out these photographs--

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/8455774.stm

Personally, I find these images highly convincing...

Om shanti.

PS  If you have a problem w/ the Red Cross, for whatever reason, here is a list of the web addresses and phone numbers of other charitable organizations involved at this time--
http://imaginepeace.com/news/archives/9431

THANK YOU!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Feels Like a Reemergence

It has taken me an awful long time this year to recover from the holidays and to adapt to the dark days and cold weather, but I've finally begun to acclimate myself to the new year. I still don't have much to write about, but I figured I'd at least attempt to provide you all with an update. So, here goes.

In the past week, I've returned to yoga and to the gym--both very positive developments for my mental and physical health. As I'm no longer in dire financial straits, I can comfortably afford to undertake the expenses of both.  Also, on the health front, I've been going easy on the drinking and the smoking.  Yesterday, I only smoked a couple of cigarettes all day long and I didn't drink a drop for several days in a row.  (Granted, one of those days I mostly slept through, but whatever.)

I'm looking forward to an extended visit with an old friend this weekend who I haven't seen since high school. We were friends in first grade, in Girl Scouts together, and, generally, have been bosom buddies for a very long time. She has done really well for herself since I last knew her. She doesn't smoke, drink or do drugs. She is a health nut who goes to the gym regularly and teaches yoga. Also, she is a successful grade school teacher, homeowner, and happy wife. I'm glad to reconnect with her b/c I know she will be a great influence on me and it will be really nice to have such a fine example in my life. However, she is so seemingly flawless that it is sort of intimidating to contemplate spending time with her. I hope that she doesn't find me or my lifestyle disappointing...still, I know she is a kind person and so I don't think she is going to outwardly judge me or anything of that sort. It will simply be good to have a touchstone to who I was and where I came from.

I've also been trying to be more active and engaged with my family. I helped to throw my mom a 50th birthday party in December, which was really satisfying. I've recommitted to helping my little sister with her algebra. I voluntarily called my grandma a couple of days ago just to say hi and I'm looking forward to celebrating her 85th birthday with her this week. I'm realizing, yet again, how important it is to be with my family.

I recognize that this isn't a very exciting or well written blog entry (my apologies).  I'm more in a reading place than a writing place at the moment. I'm currently reading Women Who Run With the Wolves, an epic, which at first struck me as being one of those cheesy, hippy dippy, woman's power books, but it turns out that it has a lot more substance than I first assumed.  I'm enjoying learning about the various mythologies and long standing "ethnic" teachings.  In addition, the book is really well written, so I can't complain about that.

Lastly, I'm trying to fit some professional and mental enrichment into my life.  I want to volunteer at St. Louis Co. public library and also to take a physics class.  I think both will be helpful when I apply to my master's program in library science.  Also, the physics class will aid me in gradually getting back into a structured, academic routine.  I'm really excited about diving into a hardcore science program.  It will probably consist of eight credit hours over the span of two semesters, so I might just end up working toward a physics certificate in something.  I think that will look impressive on my CV and round out my liberal arts and research background. 

I hope all is well with each of you :)

Om shanti <3

Friday, January 8, 2010

A belated Christmas story

My nuclear family, niece, nephew, and I are all lounging in my parents' living room on Christmas evening like a well-fed, lazy pack of dogs. I pluck a small ornament off the tree that my younger brother, Chris, had carefully constructed when he was in first grade. The simple decoration consists of a hard plastic, red, peanut butter jar lid with a school picture of Chris, which he had cut into the shape of an oval and pasted on the interior. Sparkles decorate the outside and a loop of red yarn extends from the top.

I bring the ornament to Chris' son, Tyler, who is about five years old and is reclining on the couch with a video game in his hands. Dangling the ornament near his face, I ask him, "Who is this?"

Tyler pauses a moment, draws the ornament closer for a more thorough inspection, crinkles his brow, hesitates again, then proclaims, "ME!" grinning from ear-to-ear triumphantly.

"Nope," I tell him, "that is your daddy."

"Really?"

"Yes."

I walk into the kitchen and show Tyler's dad, my brother, the same ornament and relay the story. "Really?" says Chris.

"Yes," I say.

Chris smiles thoughtfully to himself and turns back to cleaning his dish in the sink. I return the ornament to its home on the tree and plop down on the couch, with several generations of my family members surrounding me.

Let the new year begin.

Om shanti.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010

In a moment of weakness...

I surreptitiously joined Twitter. Yes. I did. But, not for the social networking aspect, mind you.

Rather, I've joined for the convenience of posting wee pithy blogs. Now, I can vociferate with more regularity and less specificity. An indolent blogger's highest ideal...

If you're curious to read 'em, I posted my tweety-tweets to your left--immediately below my Blogger archive :)

Om shanti <3

They keep coming...

Arrived at work this morning to find a second bonus awaiting me, this one personally from my boss alone.  Good gravy!  This is getting serious, Batman...

Om shanti <3

Sunday, January 3, 2010

St. Louis City Public Library

After an exhaustive search of the twelve titles in the "Have Yet to Procure" section of the My Books list (see lower left side of this page), I have happily determined that the St. Louis Public Library (City) possesses seven of the books at my local branch (although, a couple of them are on hold/on loan) and two others are at nearby branches.  Only three of the twelve were not available, and of those, two were published in the past three to six months (so, I anticipate they will be available in the near future).  Kudos to you, St. Louis Library.  You really are pretty special <3 <3 <3

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Scientists Say: G-spot is a Myth

To all those people (mostly men) who disputed my argument that the grand majority of women need sustained and direct clitoral stimulation to climax, I'd like to state, "The evidence does not support your position"--

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article6973971.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=797093


[Edited for reasons of assholery on my part]

Friday, January 1, 2010

Cheerful, Yet, Tremendously Deadly Objects In the Known Universe

     Astrophysics are most enjoyable when you are highly depressed.  During those times when you can't gather the energy to be with your friends or family, enjoy the hobbies that normally interest you, and/or otherwise muster up any sort of engagement in life, physical cosmology can provide some relief.  Considering things like neutron stars, super massive black holes, and other cataclysmic forces in the heavens make my personal troubles seem quite minuscule (which, in all fairness, they are). If anyone else would like a little lift from the awe-inspiringly ruinous, the hauntingly exotic, and the brilliantly energetic phenomena of the universe, please look upon and ponder the following primers,* as they never fail to uplift--


Pulsars


Quasars

*The videos are gorgeous to view and Alec Baldwin's melodramatic, insipid narration is hilarious, but the science contained therein is intolerably superficial; therefore, I've also included links to Wiki articles that will really challenge you (well, they challenge me,** anyway).  

**I've thought about these phenomena countless times and yet they continue to titillate me to no end.  But then again, we are constantly gathering new information and refining our understanding of the science, so that is probably part of it.  Needless to say, I can't wait until researchers are able to synthesize the newest data, following Hubble's fourth servicing mission this past May, and don't even get me started on how thrilling the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope will be in 2014.  EEEeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!