"We Three"

"We Three"

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The last commute, sigh...

Highway 101 served up a slow but uneventful rush hour for me on this, my last day working at my job of 12 1/2 years. It is sad but wonderful at the same time. I sat there, in my lane that was of course the slowest moving, whatever lane I choose is the slowest and moving out of it just means slow karma will follow me, so I sat there, luxuriating in the knowledge that I didn't ever have to do this again. As I got to Marin Civic Center, a little sun broke through the marine layer (aka fog) and illumined the gold spire on the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed complex and it was like a beacon for the rest of my days. I start college on the 13th of June, and it is one small step into a bright new future for me. It may just be a way to stave off Alzheimer's, or it actually may lead to one of those superman capes they let you wear when you complete post-graduate work. Age really is a state of mind, you know. I will turn 61 in a week, and feel about 16 most of the time. OK, I do get stiff if I bend over too long, and there are other little irritations which I will not go into here, but by and large, I am healthy, active, flexible and horribly grateful. My mother does crossword puzzles (she's 84) to keep her mind exercised. I think I will just go to school forever. I could have worse ambitions. Being with young people is a real trip, too. They can be so very entertaining, with their shorthand slang and sweet unlined faces. I just have to get through this last day, and my new life begins. Watching my step and saying my prayers. You betcha!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Feminine me.

Once I had this very illuminating talk with a man friend on the theme of if-you-think-it's-hard-being-a-woman-you-should-try-being-a-guy, and I had to agree, all that testosterone driven machismo is dreary at best, and can shred tender egos. And I still think that there are times when being female put me at a distinct disadvantage. For instance, I loved to sing as a kid. I was in a choir as soon as one was available to me. Once I was taped singing "O Come All Ye Faithful", and I had this sweet little voice that could have become pretty dynamic. Then, in 8th grade, the choir teacher made a pass at me. He was this Ichabod Crane clone with flyaway ears and lips that leered, about as attractive as a drooling camel. He was one of many reasons why I was thrilled to graduate from grammar school and matriculate to high school, where they had this dandy Acapella choir. Except he matriculated with us. So I didn't sing in high school. I didn't sing again till I was 22 and we moved to Hawaii and joined the Honolulu Chorale, big, big choir. Gee, I loved that. We performed regularly, once at the Waikiki Shell (Elvis performed there, remember?), with Carmen Dragon, and Van Cliburn, where, among other pieces, we sang the hymn in Finlandia. The Chorale was the only thing that got a good review in the local paper.
Then I had a baby, and that ended. My next gig was with a local chorus, and I had to audition to join it. There I was, sitting in the hallway of this art center converted from an old school that smelled just like kindergarten, and the gal before me was trilling away at something from Tosca, thinking I was going to kill my friend Richard who talked me into doing this. Well, she didn't get in, and I did. She didn't blend. Funnily enough, the director of this choir was a lesbian, and I learned to give her a wide berth, too. Isn't it funny that women are judged so often by appearances? It makes me wonder why I spend so much time plucking and exfoliating and highlighting and working out and moisturizing. Well, maybe it is because I like what I see in the mirror better, and when I look my best, I can put myself out into the world instead of pulling the covers over my head and suffering. Perhaps I need a t-shirt that says I do it for me! Nah, they still wouldn't get it. It's enough that I do. Get it, I mean.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Some thoughts about attitude...

My favorite bumper sticker reads "Don't believe everything you think." Good idea. The AA program taught me that I am powerless over people, places and things. In fact, the only thing I can control at all is me, my actions, my thoughts, and yes, my feelings. Interesting idea, deciding how to feel. I always thought feelings were just natural events, like tidal waves and tornadoes. But in truth, I have conditioned myself to react in certain ways to certain stimuli (see, I have been reading my Psych1A text), and for most of my life was tossed on the tortuous wind of my own creation. I am much better at making different decisions about how to feel. And occasionaly, an old button gets pushed, and I am off and running with my righteous indignation or rampant fear or wounding pain. Then, it becomes impossible to do anything but ride out the storm until the feelings pass. And I have to decide at that time what to do about what happened to me, if anything. Luckily, I have also conditioned myself to ask for help. There's a wild concept, but a cooler head can often keep me from majorly screwing up my Karma with words that, once spoken, can never be undone. Attitude is everything, you see. It is the difference between a lot of bothersome unhappiness or a few annoyances interspersed with hours of sweet serenity. I was watching CSI last night, and some bozo pushed a woman's SUV into the path of an oncoming train because she threw her latte at him in a fit of road rage. We are all so very angry, and we are the only ones who can change that. It is one reason I want to study psychology. Perhaps, even in these twilight years, I can make a difference. But as Robert Fulgham said, "don't worry that you kids don't listen to you, worry that they see everything you do". The secret is to be the person I want others to become. It is easiest if I can laugh at myself. So, learn to laugh at yourself. You'll never be without a source of amusement.

My computer fairy is all tuckered out.

Many challenges for this old woman. Once upon a time, I was on the leading edge of technology. I had an AT, with a 40M hard-drive, partitioned into two drives, of course. Mine, BigBadMama, and my daughter's 8M, LilSquirt. I could program in Basic, and menued it all by myself. It had a VGA monitor, the very latest. Today, it would be comparable to a 1955 Chevy BelAir. Even this big honking Dell I am now sitting before, with 120G and 19" flat-screen, is now a 2002 Crown Victoria. Oh, I have Windows XP, Professional, mind you. But I long for the days when I could interact with my operating system. My next task is to figure out how to post pictures. That should be fun. All my digitals are shot at high resolution, on my 1999 VW Passat. The files are BIG, and I need a guru to come shed some digital enlightenment on me. I had some that were trapped on my old laptop for a while, because it didn't have a CD burner and they were to large to e-mail to myself. I had the nerds down at the computer place give me a copy of all my data when it expired earlier this year. That is one of my talents, murdering PC's. Since I began owning them about 19 years ago, I have owned 9 machines, well, 81/2, because one was an upgraded system that cost almost as much as a new one and never worked very well. And one was a laptop that I dropped less than a year into its life, and shattered the screen. Not my finest hour. Hence the challenge of changing ISP's and finding a new address for the blog. On top of that, I changed my cell phone number yesterday, too. I put the number in my phone book. Today's challenge is to memorize it. And change my screen colors. PeoplePC is at the moment Pepto pink.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Off we go into the wild blue yonder...

Here we are, new e-mail, new blog address, I even changed my cell number today to reflect my current area code. Don't have new address on drivers license yet, and somehow it is not official till I do, the move I mean, but that costs money and that is not on the approved spending plan at the moment. I think it is good to every so often throw everything I have up in the air and see where it lands. I added it up and I have moved 24 times in my life, and this is the very first time I have done it because it was all my idea and I believed it was for the best. Imagine that. I had to be almost 61 to get what I wanted, without thinking of someone else first. Maybe I could become a total narcissist and think only of myself for the remaining years. You think? Nah. It would never work for me. There is Boo and Phoebe, the fur and feather people, and there is Janet who shared this little house with me and so sweetly keeps our yard from overtaking us, and Mom and Dad are still perking over there in Sebastopol, and the kids, well, they're grown-ups, probably more so than I am at this particular time, but still my kids. And there is this great wonderful community that I embrace regularly, too. Ah, this is a good life. So, welcome to the new one. It is feeling pretty OK so far, and considering how much I dislike change, I certainly seem to do a lot of it, don't I.