Sunday, July 31, 2005
And ignorance is even worse. I read in my psych textbook that one researcher found that we have two types of knowledge; fluid, which is our sort of human RAM, that which we use to learn and assimilate new information, and crystallized, the accumulated information of our lifetime. Well, there's good news and there's bad news; the crystallized kind just keeps growing as long as we are alive, and the fluid kind drops off dramatically the older we get. It appears that some of us get older faster, like our elected officials. A ticket to Washington seems to automatically lower their IQ, and send their testosterone levels soaring, too. Power is something that is apparently intoxicating and titillating at the same time. I don't like politics, try to stay away from any opinions at all, and yet, does anyone else think our president has peaked out on his fluidity? Is it just me, or does he look a lot like Alfred E. Neuman of Mad Magazine fame? Since when do our leaders just stamp their foot and give us this I-am-not-wrong-ever crap? It is scary, folks. And even scarier that there are still a lot of people who are buying it. Fortunately, there is Air America. And Bernie Ward. And Bill Maher.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Dogs are such wonderful people. My brother and his partner breed wire-haired dachshunds, not the itty-bitty squeaky ones, the standards, stalwart 16 pounders. Wire-hairs are the mellowist of the clan. Around the house, they sprawl all over the place, often on their backs with all four feet waving in the air, like they have on their bathrobes. Their hair sticks out in odd places. Then they get into the show ring and you would think they were on the red carpet. They jaunt along with a see-me attitude. Man, it is a joy to behold. And so, I know when I watch these glitzy dog shows on TV that these are really just somebodys' pets prancing around the ring, all dolled up and putting on the Ritz. The English are a little more pedantic; their animals actually look like everyday dogs. Ours, here in the United States, are groomed to the max. I know that poodle breeders actually use shoe polish or chalk to cover up pink spots after those ludicrous trims they give those poor dogs. And the competition is among the humans, only. The dogs could care less. I watched the Eukanuba National Dog Show the other night, and even though I had to get up early to study for my final the next day, I could not turn it off without seeing the Best in Show winner. And what a hoot, it was Jeffrey, the Pekingese, this waddling clump of tawny fur. The judge said it was because he had the perfect head for the breed. Hard to tell that creature even had a head. And this is about as far away from the original animal, the wolf, as dogs go. I know from personal experience, too, that this is an affectionate breed, and a wonderful companion animal. My friend Joe, master of dear collie-mix, Shadow, said today how very rich he feels. Amen.
Friday, July 29, 2005
I have read bunches of spiritual books. In fact, behind me at this very moment is my woo-woo bookcase just bulging with them. It has been an interest of mine for more years that I have been sober, actually, beginning with Shakti Gawain's Creative Visualizations, which caught my eye mostly because I wanted more than anything to create my own universe. I had spent so many years tossed around because of the expectations of the cruel world. Poor me. Later, I read Love is Letting Go of Fear, which sent me on a long journey of studying The Course in Miracles, not a worthless pursuit by any means. At least it helped me stay out of my self-pity for a while. And then The Road Less Travelled gave me a new and better perspective of love and life in general. Eventually, I read The Tao of Physics and The Dancing Wu-Li Masters, books that draw the interesting conclusion that Eastern thought and Western physics have landed us all in the same place, that there is only one thing happening here. The stars are made of the same stuff we are made of, it is all energy delightfully arranged in many different shapes. So I know under all the picayune crap that happens every day around me, I am really one with all these people, even the ones that cut me off on the freeway, even the ones that drive monster trucks with tires taller than me, even the ones who pilot a shopping cart piled with everything they own into the library on a rainy day. Now, that's challenging, to realize that some of what I am one with smells bad, and isn't very attractive. And it is humbling, too. And empowering. I am not a spare part, after all, a leftover without form or function. Somewhere in this web of humanity, I am connected and have a place. Today, I am practicing being a part of the world. Not sure what that will look like, but here I go! One.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
One of the fun things we got to do in our psychology class was diagnose two really crazy dudes: Hitler, and Van Gogh. The only hint we got was that there were more than one diagnoses. So, I did Vincent first. He was obviously bi-polar, seriously so, with major mood swings from high elation to the depths of darkness. You can see it in his art, too. Some of his paintings explode with color and energy. Others are dark and muddy. He was also an alcoholic, which was like throwing gasoline on his fire. But I didn't know that the poor guy was named for an older, deceased brother, and that he had to pass the graveyard where the first Vincent lay in eternal rest every day of his young life, so he began his life with serious survivor guilt. Personally, I diagnosed him as a borderline personality, which would account for the incident with the ear. Of course, absinthe had a role in that episode, as well. And oh, my, God, Hitler. He was his mother's favorite, and had a terror for a father. He really never had a chance of health. He was obsessive-compulsive to the max. I kept thinking, man, he was paranoid, and settled for a diagnosis of paranoid personality syndrome, with narcissistic and histrionic overtones, who was fixated in the anal period, too. But, no, he was really paranoid schizophrenic, high functioning, until something went wrong. That was his Achilles heel. He could not accept defeat, not even small ones. That is why we aren't all marching around like automatons, wearing swastikas and zig-heiling all over the place. Evil never prospers, not for long, anyway. And I really don't believe in evil, anyway. I do believe in profound sickness, though, now, more than ever.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Once upon a time, 42 years ago, I got the only A on the English 1A final, a written test on material I didn't read. It was not good enough to get an A in the course as I had kind of been more interested in other things, like drinking and smoking and messing around with boys. Well, today, I made up for that. My score on the final was 97 out of 100, for a cumulative total of 572, and a score of 496 was an A for the course. The old gal still has it! Or, actually, finally got it. Hard work beats sweaty, last-minute guesswork every time. I noticed a few of my fellow students sweating away today. And some barely squeaked by with a B. So the test drive was an overwhelming success. Now to bone up on (gulp) math for the placement test. This is tons of fun, and beats working by a mile. Grace.
My friend Sue gave me a rainbow maker for my birthday. It is this little clear plastic machine with interesting gears and cogs that sticks to the window with a big suction cup and has a crystal dangling from it. A solar cell is supposed to power it up, the crystal rotates and sends little rainbows twirling around the room. I have had it there, dutifully stuck to the window, for almost a week, and nothing happened. Well, the window does get only sporadic sunlight due to the big sycamore tree that (thank God) shades the western exposure, and the box did say full sun, but I thought that was pretty persnickety and probably it was just broken. Until yesterday, when Boo and I were perched on the bed in full study mode, surrounded by books and papers and laptop and a pen to chew on, and I looked up. The whole room was whirling with them, joyous little rainbows. "Look, Boo!", I cried. You should have seen the look on his face; his eyes got as big as sewer lids. The shade came back only moments later, and the show ended. Is anyone else as amazed as I am about little things like rainbows? Imagine, this is what light really looks like, all bright and beautiful. And on a more icky note, where do you suppose that slug who leaves that glittery trail all over the carpet every night hides during the day? I have crawled all around the living room, and cannot find that sucker. What does he eat? How long can he survive there, and oh my God, where will he go to die? Inquiring minds want to know.
Monday, July 25, 2005
I'm with Meredith on last night's (rerun) Grey's Anatomy; adulthood is overrated. All these decisions to make, checkbooks to balance, and oh my God, traffic. I can see the allure of dementia, where someone else does the dirty work like cleaning the bathroom. My current headache is that the college keeps bumping me off when I try to register at their weblink. First I thought that maybe I was not in the system to be able to register for more than 9 units. Not so, my counselor, Martha, told me. Then we decided that the computer could not find that I had taken a prerequisite, Eng. 1A (well, it was 43 years ago), so I filled out this nifty affidavit and hoofed across campus to Bailey Hall to stand in line and give it to the harried clerk. He twiddled his keyboard and called out "next", so I figured I was all set. I decided to go home then, and do the deed from my own private keyboard, somehow registering in public right there at school seemed kind of indecent, like I might screw up and someone would see me doing it. This was late in the day on Thursday, of course, and the school is not open on Friday, so another weekend has gone by and I am not registered. Another thing to take care of today, and I still have to study. Tomorrow's my final exam, and I am still murky on Adler and all this really general guessing the experts have done on the origin of personality. Sometimes I think God just loves watching me jump through hoops.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
I had good news the other day; I actually begin this college thing with 30 units of the 60 I need for my AS degree from JC. I had bad news, too; I have to take a natural science, with a lab. So I perused the catalog, and immediately dismissed biology as I have no desire to slice up little creatures, and chemistry, the lab is 3 hours long. Astronomy demanded only one lab a week, but it was 9 hours, from 3 pm till midnight. So I decided to take meteorology. What is more enigmatic than the weather? We have been limping along this summer, for instance, with fog that hung around till 11 am, and suddenly, temperatures soared into triple digits, which was 10 degrees over what was predicted, and we all sat around with sweaty glasses of fizzy drinks, shaking our heads. My old friend at the coast, on the other hand, had not seen the sun for days. I bet he's seeing some now. Well, it could be worse. My friend from Manhattan was talking to an old buddy, and they are dying in NYC. Their heat is mucho different from ours, humid and sooty back there, dry and smelling of sun-silvered grasses here. Today looks like a repeat of yesterday, and that is just as well. I am hunkered down, readying myself for my final and have no time to flit about town. We have double-paned windows that captured the little cool we got in the night. And I actually look forward to learning why we can land a man on the moon, and still not be able to predict the weather.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
OK, I admit it. I watch CSI, reruns, I'm sure, because I am usually way behind the madding crowd about this stuff. Star Trek Generations had been on the air for years before my brother talked me into checking it out; it seemed such a betrayal to Captain Kirk & Co. And I only began watching CSI because I had a couple of hours to kill before Monk, which I used to watch on East Coast feed at 7 pm, and now have to wait until 10 like the rest of the peons. So, isn't it interesting the myriad of ways that people age? William Peterson, who was such a hottie when he was young and nubile, has now become this fireplug kind of guy, a lot like my father was, actually; my mother called him "husky", not fat or even plump, just more solidly packed, like an Italian sausage. I just love his character, so laid back, always professional and terribly sincere. It would be nice to think that if I were to die horribly, there would be this team of experts crawling all over the scene like cockroaches, picking up every tiny piece of evidence to pore over in a lab until every nuance of my death was uncovered. I fear that in real life, where there are daily tragedies that pile up like dirty dishes, no one has the time or money for this kind of investigation and I would wind up a cipher in the big ledger of life. And even though he has spread a little, I still like watching William Peterson. He has some good years before, again like my father, he develops little-old-man butt, where he withers some and his pants get that droopy look in the back.
Friday, July 22, 2005
I don't know how I lived without them. My freezer is full of gallon-sized Ziplocs full of Costco muffins. And I keep my veggies in them, where they stay nice and fresh instead of dissolving into mush in the bottom of their store bags. And whoever thought up those red & blue strips that meld together to make purple deserves a big hug, too. People who are digitally challenged, like me, need little helps like that. There are so many things like that in my life now, things that didn't exist when I was a kid, in the mid 40's. Like television. Not HDTV, just television. I got my first VCR 23 years ago, the first of many I would later own, and my first DVD player came along a mere 4 years ago. I said goodbye to my 8 track player, and my laser disc machine, you know, those CD's on steroids that were the size of a vinyl record. And my turntable is on the fritz, but I still have those stored away, just in case I get a few $$$ ahead and can afford to get it fixed. All my young and tender memories are imprinted on those dingy black discs.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
God beamed Scotty up yesterday. I just caught the end of it on a news channel as I flipped by last night. Well, Bones was waiting for him, I'm sure. Back in the 60's, Star Trek was a phenomenom. And we Trekkies were fanatical about it. Klingons and Romulans and tribbles. Mr. Spock's eyebrow. And Captain Kirk fighting harder to hold in his stomach in that velour top than to save the Starship Enterprise from its weekly peril. He had really snappy sideburns that came to a point, sort of counterpoint to Mr. Spock's foxy ears. When NBC threatened to cancel it, I wrote letters. We missed a symphony to see the second part of an episode, probably the pilot which they cleverly encapsulated into flashbacks (it had a different cast) and featured a lot little aliens with big heads who were actually played by little old ladies. Gene Roddenberry was clever that way. I was fondest of the stories that all took place on the ship. The planet scenes were often pretty cheesy, except, of course, when on a Class M planet, like Earth. I can't remember if Scotty ever got to fall in love. I'm sure he did, though. He had to do something more that fiddle with the warp drive. Anyway, here's a Mr. Spockish salute to our fallen hero: Live long and prosper, dear Scotty.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
I just finished Harry Potter VI, and am as shocked as I can be. Won't divulge the ending, as everyone should have their own copy to relish. I tried to stretch it out, actually taking time to do my life in between bouts of reading. Then the last 100 pages gripped me yesterday, and now I am seriously in Harry Potter withdrawal, again. I can only say the next book is going to be a humdinger. And poor Harry. I had to be seriously nagged before I picked up the first book (there were 4 books out by then), and they were like popcorn. I read the third before the second because I had not paid attention to the order of publication, and forestalled reading the 4th waiting for the paperback. It never arrived, and I bought it with a Barnes & Noble gift certificate I got for my birthday (bless you, Steven). I never pay retail for books. Never. The fifth book was a Mother's Day gift (bless you, Amber). Harry is a bright light in this world where they just made a movie of The Dukes of Hazzard, possibly the worst TV show in the history of the medium. Bless you, J. K. Rowling.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
That guy's name is Patrick Dempsey. Every so often, my brain kind of burps, and I just have to let it digest for a while before it belches out the information I have requested. It is alarming, sometimes, because I forget the names of people I know and see, often. I have been assured that all is well in there, just a little foggy as time wears away at the grey cells. So far, I have been able to access all the data necessary to take tests. The secret seems to be to do a quick and dirty review just beforehand, and of course, to thoroughly read and outline and study the material first. I take it in little gulps, otherwise I space out and that's a waste. I have two chapters to work on for the final, next week. And they are easy ones, because I already know a lot about the disorders, having personally suffered from a lot of them throughout my long life. Well, I self-diagnosed, but I could have, my life has been such a maelstrom of emotion. Sometimes I worry that there is not any drama happening at the moment. This is a good thing. It just feels like it's not worth getting up if there are no dragons to slay. Anyway, I am glad I remembered that hunky guy's name. Staving off Alzheimer's for another day.
Monday, July 18, 2005
Funnily enough, I was more savvy in my television viewing when I lived on the wild and wooly coast, with my satellite dish and HBO. Life revolved around the Sopranos and Six Feet Under, and I would rather watch re-runs than network television, that abysmal soup of reality (translate that as cheap) shows and sub-moronic sitcoms. Now, I am finding that there is a redeeming quality to some network shows, like House, the adventures of Dr. Gregory House, on Fox Tuesday nights. To begin with, there is Hugh Laurie, that delightful actor I remember best as the beleaguered husband of the flibberdygibbit in Sense & Sensibility, my favorite movie to watch when I am feeling a lack of cultural stimulation, and one of the villains in the real-life version of 101 Dalmations, another I own and reserve for more depressed moments. He has been nominated for an emmy for his portrayal of the wounded and tortured but brilliant diagnostician. I particularly resonate with his angst. Then there is Monk, the obsessive-compulsive detective on USA, Friday nights. Tony Shalub is amazing, the stories are unpredictable and quirky and frequently hilarious. He is another Emmy winner, terribly talented. And yes, I am addicted to Desperate Housewives, despite the fact that the show does not portray women very favorably, well, except Felicity Huffman, who does show some spunk in raising her little hellions. And that led me to Grey's Anatomy, mostly because I think Sandra Oh rocks, and oh my God, what has happened to that actor whose name escapes me (dead brain cell), who used to be this pencil-necked geek with an Adam's apple the size of a bowling ball. He is now all hunked out, bless him. You know, he was in Sweet Home Alabama. It will come to me later. So, hope blooms eternal that reality TV will go the way of the western and mosey west till its hat floats, and creativity will once again reign, hopefully not with another CSI.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Harry's back! I stopped by Barnes & Noble at noon yesterday, and got the next to last unreserved copy. I really meant to reserve it, just didn't get down there. Nevertheless, am finding that living my life when Harry is within arms reach is really challenging. I did make my meditation meeting this morning, and will have to take some time to wrap a shower gift and concoct some guacamole to potluck with, while that purple book is laying there, singing its siren song. So far it is amazing, and like coming home again after a long, long trip. After Harry, there is this math primer waiting, and it looks kind of fun, actually. Learning is a wonderful experience at my age. Later. I have to eat to keep up my stength to read every spare moment I have today.
Saturday, July 16, 2005
When I was a kid, in the 40's and 50's of the last milennium, I went to the movies at least once a week. We didn't have VCR's so we couldn't wait till they came out on tape, or DVD. But some old movies did make it onto the tube, network, of course, there were also no premium channels. I loved Bar 7 Theater, the westerns starring Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, and my personal favorite, Johnny Mack Brown. OK, you never heard of him, but he was yummy. And there were all those Andy Hardy movies, starring Mickey Rooney, who was the Michael J. Fox original, spunky and very short, which kept him in juvenile roles for a long, long time. Andy was your typical angst-ridden teenager, always in love with some teen heart-throb, sometimes it was Judy Garland in her post-Dorothy mode. They were the ones that would get together and throw an extravaganza of a show in the neighbor's barn, something worthy of a Buzby Berkley film. Andy's parents, Judge and Mrs. Stone, were old. I mean, they were older than I am now. They looked at least 70, though in a kindly gone-to-pot-but-still-well-groomed way. Now, think about that. They would actually have been about 40, maybe 50 if they started really late, and people didn't do that as a rule in those days. So that was what I expected to look like when I reached 40, kind of frowsy and a little fat, wearing tents printed with rosebuds that covered me from neck to knees. I am 60, and I can tell you, I don't look like that now. Well, I am 61, but who's counting. I don't plan on looking like that when I'm 80, if by some grace I get to do that. No Ma Kettle mode for me. Which makes me want to run right over to the gym and sweat.
Friday, July 15, 2005
After I got done with my dreaded presentation yesterday, and got my scintillating grade, I could sit back and watch my fellow students struggle through theirs. Some really knew their stuff, but were as stiff as boards, unable to utter a word that was not on their transperancy or in their slide show. Another group bypassed this humiliation by making a very inventive video, complete with soundtrack. The subject was consciousness, always a favorite of mine. The most interesting concept of consciousness is, of course, dreams. I loved that the group in the video used a lot of 50's music, like Sleepwalk and the Everly brothers Dre-e-e-e-eam, Dream, Dream, Dream, though only the teacher and I got the joke. In their honor, I had a pip of a dream just before waking: I was in church and making change in the collection basket (we often do this when passing the basket at AA meetings). When I looked at the money, I realized that I had taken a $50 instead of a $5. The basket had moved far away by then, so I was determined that I would give it back. Of course. On my way to do that, I found myself rationalizing, thinking that I had given very generously in the past and the church probably owed me at least this much. Now, isn't that interesting, in light of all the stuff psych class has stirred up about my childhood. I'm keeping my $50. It is only a down payment, after all.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Sad to say, but another friend has decided do more research about drinking. Some rather rude people would tell her she is having her misery gladly refunded. Well, maybe she didn't belong with us in the meetings, guys. Maybe she will be able to control it and drink like a lady, like Holly Golightly in her Givenchi gown and hat, all elegant and svelte. And maybe she will wind up looking like a rough version of Ma Kettle, too. Life is, at best, a crap shoot. You can load the dice, and it will still come up snake eyes sometimes. And sobriety, with all its myriad gifts, is an inside job. I have been cheering my friend along, you know, rah, rah, rah, surrender! Rah, rah, rah, let go! Whenever that happens, it is an indication that I am more engaged with her recovery than she is. And that never bodes well. So I spent a few moments feeling sad and kind of depleted. Today, I will take care of my sobriety with my favorite circle of wise women out in the wilds of west county, where there is warmth and healing happening. I find that an apt antidote to the rudeness of life that happens pretty much every day. Oh, and my presentation that I was all nervous about, that was supposed to happen yesterday, didn't. It is up first thing this morning. I stopped worrying after seeing the few that went before me. I am going to be fine here. Well, there's the bottom line. All around me may flounder, but I am still sober, still afloat. Miracles happen.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Today is my presentation in my psych class, 10 minutes on physical and cognitive development in adulthood. You would think I was performing Hamlet (the lead role, of course) for the Queen of England. In the nude. I dreamt about it all night, once dreaming that I totally missed getting to class because I had a fender bender, and had to ride my little bike in heels and my long coat. Honestly, if there is a subject I know better, I don't know what it is. Growing old(er) is a grace and a curse. The class is composed of fresh-faced 18 year olds, and me. Somehow I thought college students were sophisticated and studious. I got that idea from Mademoiselle magazine, which used to publish a college edition every fall, lovely Grace Kelly clones in lots of plaid pleated skirts and crew neck sweaters, clutching books wrapped in college-emblemed covers, all posed on the walkway of an Ivy League university. That was my ideal, to be one of those "women". Then I actually went to college, to visit my daughter at her dorm. When I walked into the lobby, there was a huge mural, on butcher paper, you know, long rolls of cheap white fibrous paper, done in crayons. It looked like a third grade classroom, only because the words were all spelled right, and the drawings were somewhat organized. She told me that during midterms, they all hung around the dining commons in their jammies with their blankies. Not my idea of collegiate life, at all. Part of today's talk consists of a warning about all those things that I did when I was in school (smoking, drinking and sex) that made me quit, so I could return again 42 years later, determined to do it again. So the whole damned thing is just a public service announcement, if you will. If I can get the PowerPoint slide show to play, I will be just fine. If I can get through this, I will be just fine. There is only the final ahead, now, and I am doing swell on the tests, so I am not worrying about that. I just wonder why I am worrying at all.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Playing hide and seek with my keys again this morning. Now, this is nothing new. No, it is not like this never happens and all of a sudden those little suckers up and disappear. We go through this dance together a couple of times a week. I don't like to get up too early, though I wake around 6 and again around 7:30. I like to just stretch out on my 3 inch memory foam and luxuriate in the knowledge that I don't have to get up and go to work. Isn't that what retirement is all about, anyway? So I have about an hour before I have to be at school to find them. This is not fun, either. It produces lots of stress; my sympathetic nervous system gets all riled up. I know they are here, in the house. And I know they are not in my purse or in the pocket of yesterday's capris. Once I found them in the garbage can. Well there was a very good reason they were there, actually. I had been cleaning out the car, and they were in my hand when I dumped all those muffin papers and empty latte cups on my way into the house. And once they went through the wash in the pocket of my jeans. Not a good idea, but surprise, the little zapper thing still worked! Well, I'm off to hunt under the bed, through the closet where they may have snuck out of that pocket, etc. I need a zapper to tell me where my zapper is.
Monday, July 11, 2005
I created a graph in PowerPoint for my presentation later this week on Cognitive Development in Adulthood. Easy subject, because there isn't very much, development, that is. Most of that occurs through childhood and adolescence. And on this graph of Intellectual Abilities from Ages 25 to 67, vocaulary skills peak and stay almost the same, as does verbal memory. However, number skills and perceptual speed take a serious nose dive. And I have to take (gulp) math. In fact, I have to take a math placement test, that will probably put me in the bonehead group, so I will have to take two or three semesters to complete the requiste Math 155. Now, I don't mind the science with a lab. I already decided to take meteorology, I really like clouds. And I don't mind the American history, though I have always thought it was the most boring subject in the catalog. But, oh, my, God, I thought all those symbols and stuff were behind me in Mr. Hogenmiller's trigonometry class 43 years ago. I am seriously going to need tutoring here. So I am not doing it next semester, for sure. I think I will save it for summer session next year. OK, I have math anxiety here. Now committing to meditating on the vicissitudes of pi.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
OK, so sometimes things don't go as I would like. Maybe that's a lot of the time. But don't you just hate it when people stomp all over your boundaries? I no longer have 16 foot high brick walls with razor wire on top, like I did when I was so tender even a nasty look would send me spinning with pain, but I do have this barrier that I am acutely aware of, especially when someone just ignores it. The sad part is I have to think about it for a while to see if it really is a trespass or am I over-reacting. I spent so many years fending off blatant sallys of garbage, I have become kind of used to it. Now I know not to spend a lot of time with people who say "You know what you need?" Yes, I tell them, and leave. Perhaps this has me crazed because it has not happened in so very long, and I feel really nuts that there are still people in my life who do this. I thought I had rid myself of all those "difficult" people, bless them, you know, the ones who need me to be something I am not so they can be OK, except I can never quite be it right, so we are continually starting over again, in search of their happiness, and who cares about mine in this mix. Nobody, that's who, because I am not home for the only person I can really please, me. So today I am home, again, not trying to fix anyone or anything else, not even trying to fix me, though I do have this little cold lingering and some things that could get done which would make my life more easy, like laundry and a long walk with Boo. That may happen. Or maybe I will just hole up with my new Patricia Cornwall novel. Sounds like a plan.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
We saw this film about schizophrenia in class last week. I wrote my review of it last night. This is such a devastating disorder that always begins in late adolescence to early adulthood, usually at college. And they know almost nothing about why it happens, except that it may be genetic, and is exacerbated by stress. I hypothesized (gee, I love that word) that these were individuals that could not deal with the "real" world, you know, that cruel and ugly one out there, once they were cut loose from their parents. They become disjointed emotionally and mentally, so that their conversations are with themselves regardless of who is with them at the moment. There is a scary look about their eyes, a Charlie Manson look. And they are really angry most of the time, frustrated that no one can understand them. About 1/4 do not respond to any treatment. This is an improvement. It used to be 1/3. Prolonged disease causes real physical damage to the brain, especially the hippocampus, a center for emotion. And isn't it interesting that most of them smoke. Nicotine actually has an effect of clearing pathways to make connections easier in the brain. I still miss it, you know, after 16 years. My brain cells could use a little rubber cement, too. Anyway, I came away after this film (we never call them movies in school) feeling very grateful that my family dodged this very horrible bullet. No matter what is going on with me and mine, it could be worse. It could be terrible.
Friday, July 08, 2005
I have this little cold, and this morning I woke up miserable. I rolled over onto my back, which is a bad idea, because then Boo thinks I am getting ready to get up, and always comes up to lick my cheek and sneeze all over my face. Usually I think this is cute. Not today. My nose was all stuffed up, and I felt like really lousy, so I rolled over to go back to sleep. It was only 7:30 anyway. Then Boo decided he liked the smell of Janet's toast and wanted to go out. Then the workers arrived and began banging away at the emerging house next door. Then the phone rang. Then Boo wanted back into the bedroom. So I got up. I did go back to bed, with my cereal and coffee, for a while. But I was going to buy Lauren Hutton's makeup, only $29.95 and the solution to all my problems, if I stayed there any longer. Now I am dressed, and ready to do, what? Not much, but I'm ready for it.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
I have this little cold in my head. It gives me just a bit of a buzz. I'm sober here, really I am! And I have not taken anything, well, except a whole big bunch of vitamin C. It's not entirely unpleasant, and after 3 o'clock, I can dive into bed and slather myself with attention. Just not a convenient time to be sick, like I had to take a test this morning in class, and then meet with a counselor to look at what I should take in the fall. The real challenge was finding the couselling office. It was tucked away in a strange little corner of the Student Center. Actually, this whole day feels like a test. And I think I did well on that, too, despite the murky head thing. Hard to be enthusiastic, though. And probably not a good time to study for a (ick) math placement test. Later.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
I am just loving school. This psychology class is sooooo interesting. I am probably fixated in 4 of the 5 stages of development Freud put forth: oral, anal, phallic and genital. The latency period never happened for me at all. All of a sudden, my very crazy upbringing is in my face, again. I thought I dealt with all that in therapy years ago. Sigh. I guess it really never ends, and though I yearn for mental health, I really enjoy some of my quirks, most of which would not be there if I were totally healthy. Like Taco Bell, and those new thingies they call crunchwraps, a bunch of yummy Mexican stuff that includes a crisp tortilla, all wrapped up neatly in a soft tortilla. It can't be too bad for you, after all; it does have lettuce and tomatoes in it, as well as refritos and cheese and sour cream. I just had to get one today, and as luck would have it, there is a Taco Bell right across the street from the college. Isn't that convenient? Oh, and we talked about Jung today. He is just incidental in our text book, mentioned as a disenchanted follower of Freud, along with Karen Horney ( pronounced Horn-eye), who so deliciously debunked penis envy and the Oedipal complex, she is my heroine. But Jung, now there was a guy. He developed the theory of the collective unconscious, that great race memory that lives in all of us, and incorporated spirit into the psychodynamic principle. This was a great idea, as so many of us suffer from broken spirits. I know I did, and healing has become an imperative, because if my spirit is unhappy, so am I, and everyone around me as well. And Jung conjectured that we embody all these archetypes, like earth mother, seductress, eternal youth. He understood that everyone has male and female traits, regardless of gender, the anima and animus, he called them. I just love all his woo-woo stuff. He made my day today, that's for sure.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Yesterday was one of those blessed days when the air was warm and sweetly scented and stepping out into it was like Dorothy opening the door to Oz. It occurred to me that this was ideal dog-washing weather, and Boo had not had a bath in a few months. The spot where I administered his flea medication was still spiky, sort of punk-doggy. So into the tub he went, not without some protest. A happy half-hour later, after sudsing up with the deodorizing doggy shampoo and rinsing, rinsing, rinsing, our Boo was all sleek and clean. Then I spent the rest of the day picking up the hair that suddenly released its grip on him. Finally, I took him out into the backyard and sat on the lawn on a towel for an hour or so, brushing away. It was alarming, actually. But he didn't wind up bald Boo. It was just a whole bunch of that fuzzy undercoat that he doesn't need, anyway. Now he is shiny and sweet-smelling, for today, that is.
Monday, July 04, 2005
I got this e-mail about bananas that was mind-blowing. They are good for everything, chock full of great stuff, most of which I can't remember, and it took a while before I remembered to buy some. Then I had to get something to go with them, so I picked up some organic cereal. That didn't quite peak my appetite, so I got some strawberries and Cool Whip, and had a Belgian waffle with all that heaped on top. Now I am bursting with goodness and ready to begin the day. And I just realized I am listening to Russian music on this Independence Day morning. Oh, well. It is quiet and lovely here in the little yellow house. Roommate is off, working, bless her soul. I have studying to do for yet another test, and a presentation to get together, too. Not a bad way to spend the day. It occurs to me that my life is a little boring. Actually, I am thinking of writing a book about how to live with oneself, alone. Because if I am not happy now, all by myself, I will not be happy later, with someone. It is challenging. Solitude need not be loneliness, you know. It can be blessed. Ah, here is the 1812 Overture. That works, what with the cannons and bells and all that brouhaha. Russian fireworks.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
I feel like a contestant on the Live and Learn Show. My @#$%^& ISP is acting out like a petulant teenager. Well, it was a bargain, you know. And don't I know that bargains are usually shoddily made and ready for the scrap heap with amazing speed. Now I am going to have to change, again, and that is really a hassle and a half. Well, probably not that bad. It really is amazing how little it takes to spin me out of wonder and into angst. A few hours piddling around with PowerPoint did it yesterday. I made this lame slide-show, like my teacher is going to give me extra points for this piece of crud. Sigh. At least my appliances like me. My microwave told me to enjoy my meal. Of course, it was just a defrosted Costco muffin, but the sentiment was pleasant.
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Every time a siren is heard around an AA meeting, some bozo has to remark "here comes my ride". It's funny, and it isn't, if you know what I mean. Most of these people know intimately what it feels like to be out of control. I want to remember that feeling, so I don't have to do it again, for sure. Holidays are big triggers for me, and certainly, July 4th was a time to celebrate, which equated to drinking, a lot. Beer was made for summer. Wine coolers, too. Sangria with big gobs of fruit floating around in it. Well, at least it was nutritious, right? Now I drink club soda with a splash of cranberry juice. If I am feeling particularly festive, I add a slice of lime. And lots of ice. Ice was kind of a turn-off when the drink was alcoholic, as I remember. On my way home this morning from my home group AA meeting, I saw four police cars, all in this short 2 mile lurch through traffic. And as I turned into my driveway on my peaceful little tree-lined street, a siren wailed by on the busy cross-street just a half block away. So they're out there, doing what they do on the holiday weekend. Like they used to say on Hill Street Blues, "be careful out there". And if you get into trouble, I know some great meetings where you will fit right in!
Friday, July 01, 2005
It's difficult to be authentic if you dye your hair. I deviated from my usual $17.97 super-special highlighting kit and tried on a "medium reddish brown" this time, which is very close to my once-upon-a-time real color, the one God bought. It goes best with my eyebrows and brown eyes. I guess it was kind of a set. Anyway, it is a little redder than I thought. Violently so. Yet, I like it. I mean, if I am going to do this anyway, it might as well be audacious, right? And, yes, I would like to be brave enough to meet the world in my natural state, but I think what happens as I age is really rude. All kinds of things get taken away, like the ability of my flesh to cling to my bones and that amazing hair color that would fade to red in the summer chlorine bath I gave it. At least I can still put my jeans on standing up. This is a gift of Stan Bennett's Gym. And I still feel really young, inside. We have only one mirror in the house. That's enough these days.