"We Three"

"We Three"

Friday, September 30, 2005

My spotted mind...

I never saw that movie about the "spotless mind", but I remember thinking that Jim Carrey probably was not Catholic. Not only was everything that was fun a sin, it was a sin to think about anything that was fun, too. I have given up on being spotless. I couldn't even stay spotless from Saturday afternoon till Sunday morning, between confession and communion. I just figured Jesus would have to live with it. Now, I accept that sometimes I am a perfectly awful person, in my mind, that is. Some people are perfectly awful outwardly, and send signals that if you play with them, you are in danger of really getting messed up. But people who are truly perfectly awful are the ones who cozy up to you and pretend to be your friend, then snicker about you with other perfectly awful people behind your back. I am not that bad. I mostly keep my perfectly awful thoughts to myself, and do my best to turn them around, to see that these perfectly awful people are like me, after all, just full of fear and dealing with it in their damaged little way. We are all damaged, I have decided. Life wounds. I am doing my best to get over it, one wound at a time. And still thinking stinky thoughts now and then. Sigh.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Political awakenings...

Our PoliSci professor asked that we give him a paper on our first moments of political awareness. Most of the kids in our class are too young to remember JFK or even Tricky Dick in his third go-round. I, on the other hand, was born when FDR was still in office, and vaguely remember Plainspeaking Harry Truman, who make the truly ballsy decision to drop the A-bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the was with Japan with two very big bangs. I was 5 when that happened. My first awareness of the process came in the 1951 campaign of Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was the general that commanded our forces in Europe during the war. Ike was this totally bald, benign guy who loved golf. He had a little moon-faced wife named Mamie who wore cunning little hats with flowers on them and smiled all the time. His opponent was Adlai Stevenson, a senator from, I think, Illinois, who was bright and articulate. Neither was an appropriate candidate; Ike was too inexperienced in the political arena, and Adlai was an egghead, far to acerbic for the taste of his blue-collar party, the Democrats. My parents were small business people, and felt the Republicans represented their interests. This was before they allied themselves with the Christian right and started to try to legislate our family lives. Anyway, I was a Republican for a long time after that, because it is what I knew. And yesterday in class, I was the only one who had broken with her parents in my political affiliation. Interesting. And Tricky Dick was Ike's Vice President. I never voted for that man, not then (well, I was only 7), not when he ran for governor of California, not when he ran for President twice, and I was still a Republican then. In fact, it is the kiss of death for most politicians if I vote for them. But I always vote, anyway. Even if I am not a college graduate.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bs are good, too.

I came home early from school today, with a headache and other bodily distresses. Really, it had nothing to do with the B I got on my PoliSci midterm, which was really hard and a bit obtuse, as well. This is going to happen, like, into each life a few Bs must fall. It was more about the workshop in Critical Thinking, where Joel uses most of his time cozied up to Erin, dear luminous blond person who knows how to use those baby blues. Don't think that approach will work very well for me, I am going to have to dazzle with my articulation and clarity. I've already given up on balance, it is not my forte. I am definitely opinionated, as you can see. Anyway, I am taking the afternoon off, once I knock off the piece on my first political memory, a long, long time ago, when Dwight Eisenhower ran against Adlai Stevenson. That was in 1951, for all you youngsters, and Ike was the commanding general of the war in Europe, a real hero, and it was a more innocent era, less mud-slinging, more real issues, though the nation was very prosperous, as a whole, after the war. Guess I will do a little research, too. After my nap.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I think I am in the wrong season, again.

Standing in line for the shuttle bus yesterday in my corduroy fleece lined jacket, I noticed all these young things in their camis with that requisite band of belly peeking out and had one of those moments when I believed everyone else had been issued a manual and I was, once again, hiding behind the door. It was chilly, really. And they did know something, because by the time I trudged back to the shuttle, it was warm. Not shirtsleeves warm, not for me, but not chilly any more. Just one of many instances when I questioned my reality. Like the last trip to (soul-sucking) Safeway for broccoli, and ice cream, of course. The shopping cart had a cup holder. Very handy, as there was a Starbuck's tucked into one corner of this enormous supermarket, as well as a Wells Fargo Bank, not just a counter, a whole bank. Add that to the drugstore and the bakery, and I only need a Gap outlet to complete my happiness. Wonders in merchandising. Anyway, today I am in my cami, with a fleece top over it. Right out of the manual.

Monday, September 26, 2005

I am not amused.

OK, anyone else really disgusted with the Geico Insurance commercials? You know, the ones that show the attorney telling his client, who is about to be executed, that he has good news, he has just saved a bundle on his auto insurance? How obnoxious is that, anyway. In psych class, we saw this nifty film (you don't call them movies, they are educational films; I learned this in grade school) about advertising, and the subtle use of sexual innuendo that objectified women. That is preferrable to this self-serving tripe, like who cares about anyone else as long as I am served. Give me the Harley-Davidson ad, where a series of sweet men get the brush-off at the end of their dates, then we pan to a Harley festooned with a red brassiere, parked in front of a sweet little house from which emanates the cries of passion. There's good old exploitation in action. OK, I am probably watching too much television. What can I say, I have no life.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

At the movies...

The best thing about going to the movies is the previews. OK, they put them on DVDs, too, but they may not be current, you know, like they are in the theater. I went to see The Corpse Bride yesterday. Creativity like that deserves my attention, since I gripe all the time about the recycling of old material, like another movie about Oliver Twist? Give me a break! Anyway, Jennifer Anniston has a new film (actually, she has four coming up, and maybe that was a factor in the breakup, like she is very, very rich now) and it looks great. It's hard to go wrong with Shirley MacClaine and Kevin Costner. I could do without Mark Ruffalo, but he seems to be hot right now with the Clearasil crowd. The name of the film sort of slipped by without note, though. Then there's Nanny Macready, starring a heavily disguised, uglied-up Emma Thompson, and my favorite hearthrob, Colin Firth. That looks amazing, all sparkly and magical with adorable children behaving very, very badly. And then, Harry Potter! Boy, this movie looks like a blockbuster. The book was incredibly thick, full of Death Eaters and dragons and daring deeds, not to mention the International Quiddich championship match. I can barely wait for November 18 to arrive. Oh, and the movie was good, too. I liked it better than The Nightmare Before Christmas. There were more completely drawn characters (my favorite was Scraps, the skeleton dog), and even though the plot was a little predictable, it had a lot of charming moments. Three and a half stars from this viewer.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Honorable wounds...

Some breeds of show dogs are allowed to have defects, like scars or rips in their ears, because it is their function to hunt or herd. These are called "honorable wounds". I always liked that phrase. It implys that we are banged up, yes, but it is the process of fulfilling our function that is the cause of our scars. At my age, I think my soul must look like a piece of paper, folded upsmall, and stuck in God's back pocket of Her jeans, that have gone through the wash a few times; all fuzzy and faded and smeared, and frayed around the edges. The neat thing about that process is that I have softened. I no longer need to be all crisp and clean. I can face the world exactly as I am, kind of beat-up and sometimes, plain defeated. Most of the time, however, I feel that I can prevail, even when adversity rips me a new hole in my already battered soul. They say that if you are still here, you are not done yet. I just want to finish this life on a high roll. Please.

Friday, September 23, 2005

What a world!

I was sitting on the shuttle recently, on my way to class, and the young man next to me was ranting about how unfair it was that they had to shut down in November when the mall needed their parking spaces back for Christmas shoppers (though with the current price of gas, I doubt thy'll need that many). Life, lamented this sweet youngster, wasn't fair. Well, no, it isn't. Life is messy and painful and sometimes, downright rude. He was missing the point. It isn't personal. I used to think there was a petulant spirit that followed me around, sort of like that character in Dick Tracy, Joe *&%$@!, who walked around under a personal perpetual thunderstorm. I expected bad things to happen, and would have a pocketful of possible solutions even before the badness fell down from heaven. At the moment, not having a place to park at school looks pretty tame. I have two friends, one who moved to New Orleans, and one who moved to Corpus Christi, both on the run from those horrid storms. Another friend lost his son in a motorcycle accident last week. Strangely enough, these tragedies seem to have tempered these people, to have tested them in a bizarre way, and taught them how very strong we all are when we need to be. In the end, there is always a blessing, yes, even when loved ones die. That friend has learned how much we all love him, and has seen himself as deserving of it. Now, that's a gift.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Thinking lessons...

I just love Critical Thinking, because thinking is a favorite passtime of mine. Our current project is about definitions, which Joel says are often not very, well, definitive, even in the Dictionary. Three of us are working on defining "terrorism". My current one is: Terrorism - Premeditated, atrocious acts of unprovoked violence perpetrated against a civilian population by an organized group of fanatics and designed to instill fear and intimidation with the ultimate aim of asserting a religious belief or political agenda, or as acts of retaliation for presumed offenses. Believe me, I thought a lot about it before I came up with it. Tomorrow, it will be added into the mix with my two comrades-in-thinking, and then we get to defend it in a three page paper. Have I mentioned that this is the hardest part for me, collaberation? I would be happy just to do it myself. There must be a trust issue here for me, like everyone I ever trusted let me down and I don't believe that I deserve to get anything from anyone? You think? Whatever, I don't think my guys are going to lay down and let me do that, so our paper should be verrrrry interesting. And maybe I will get over myself. That would be a good idea.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Oh, dear...

If I begin to sink into that mire known as self-pity, I just turn on the radio. I got used to listening to talk radio when I was working at home. The local talk jocks kept me company in my tiny office under the stairs. Once in a while, I shot them a fax, and a couple of times, I even called them, on the air. Anyway, a newscast is all I need to perk myself up. People are out there crashing into one another, or sitting in gridlock, getting nowhere. Makes my life look really fine, really fast. And today, I got my newspaper I have to take for Political Science. Newspapers are different than radio. There is way too much bad news per square inch. The lead story today is about a man whose daughter took a taxi to the Golden Gate Bridge, left her wallet on the rail, and jumped. She was 14 years old. Now her father has killed himself, too. That is way too much bad news for one day. The depth of depair that exists out there is unfathomable. I think it comes from not sharing the pain with others, from stuffing it down till you are so polluted with it, no light can get in anymore. And we are meant to be creatures of light. Of course, it is too much to be light-filled every moment of every day. But at some point, I need to crawl out of my darkness, feel the warmth of my connection to my species. I guess that is why I am studying psychology, so I can share that in a professional capacity with others, and help them find their own source of light and love. How very much this young girl was loved, and how very little she knew it. We are all so precious, and we just never get to feel it. That is my teddy bear's name, Precious. She reminds me to live in my heart, as much as I can bear. Ooh, a pun. Forgive me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Midterm heebie-jeebies...

I am back from my first midterm, and I have learned the following:
1. Even though she gave us the study-guide from hell, she will throw in a couple of questions not covered on it.
2. I will mark at least one question I know wrong (I think I caught it in my mandatory review I make myself take before handing in my Scantron).
3. I will get at least one question wrong that I was absolutely sure was right.
4. I will get at least one question right that I was absolutely sure was wrong.
OK, that's out of my system. Honestly, you would think the future of mankind rested in my ability to do well on this test. I am still spinning, axons and dendrites and stressors and neurotransmitters are doing the macarena in my prefrontal lobe. Must decompress, take a bubble bath, and get over myself. But not for too long. I have another one coming up. Midterm, that is.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The boob tube and I.

I am a child of the television generation. We got our first one when I was 5. Not only was it our first one, it was one of the very first ones. No remote. Can you imagine? You had to get up and walk all the way across the room to change the channel! Of course, there were only three, channels that is. It didn't matter. We would watch anything that was broadcast, we were so mesmerized by the idea of pictures that talked, right in our living room. Uncle Miltie and Sid Ceasar, Dinah Shore, and oh God, Lawrence Welk. Color didn't come along till I was 9, and most shows were still in black and white. Bonanza was one of the first to come along in color, and Wonerful World of Disney, my very favorite show. I had Mouseketeer ears and watched "Spin and Marty" on the Mickey Mouse Club. Then, American Bandstand. I was 14 when that came along, and it was still not in color. Still, I love television. My kids grew up with Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. I kind of drew the line with Captain Kangaroo, thought it was moronic, and thank heavens they were too grown up for Barney, that would have sent me around the bend for sure. Last night, I watched the Emmys, and was all torn up that Tyne Daly did not win for her wonderful Maxine on "Judging Amy" and Hugh Laurie is my current heart-throb on "House", he got passed over, too. But my precious, fragile, incredibly smart Monk guy did win, again. And I got to see a lot of bad taste in dresses, which I will delight in slamming with Joan and Melissa later today. Only in America.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Spiritual breathing lessons.

I am reading Plan B by Ann Lamott. Ann writes a lot about her faith, which buoys her through her recovery down there in the Marin County outback, on the fringe of the Mercedes people. Her digs are the beach at San Quentin and the south face of Mt. Tamalpais and Bolinas, quaint, sweet little town on the way to Point Reyes, where herons and elk abound. Last night, I read the chapter about the Church of Eighty Percent Sincerity. Now, that's for me. We have a saying in AA, "progress, not perfection". If I could be sincerely recovering 80% of the time, I would be so much happier. My worksheet, the state of the being, where I chart my moods, shows that I go up and down like a yoyo, but most of the time I rest in that OK mode. Well, hohum. I do want to reach Excellent on occasion. It sounds like the main minister of this religion is attaining it, and he has a grotesque facial deformity. He has found that, when faced with this challenge, he had to really search for his own beauty and worth, and it was not in the right makeup or wardrobe. It blossomed beneath his breastbone, and it shines out all over everyone else, too. Now, that is grace, to be able to look into the mirror at the terrible ravages of circumstance, and let that be a lesson and a blessing to shape your life around. Not that I am asking for a deformity. I am asking to see the same thing in the mirror David saw, God looking back.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Autumn thoughts..

We are losing the leaves on our sycamores down Wild Rose Drive. Of course I knew this would happen, the trees were bare when I moved in here. Just sorry to see them go, though I love fall. At first, that was because I loved school. School was a place where I got noticed and appreciated, not like home. Later, it was the joy of football season. I followed the hapless 49ers for nigh on to 25 years before they even hit the playoffs, only to be bumped out in the league championship game by Dallas (my Dad always says if they gave the world an enema, they'd put the nozzle in Texas). Then, in the 80's, the team took off, and we would scream home from bowling to watch Inside the NFL on HBO and hear all the praise for Joe and the guys. Now, I just enjoy getting out my sweaters and wooly socks and flannel PJs, and watching the light go all golden. I put two more quilts on the bed, ever so much more satisfyingly weighty and fluffy. Last night, I curled up there with Ann Lamott's book Plan B. She is like a female Woody Allen, all insecure and self-involved, rolling around in it. Her's is the way of the iconoclast, with those blond dreadlocks and her pithy faith that buoys her through a life full of supremely personal upheaval. She hates George W., too. And like me, she knows that means she has to pray for him. I love this woman.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Renaissance man.

My son Steven has been doing Renaissance Faire for a whole lot of years, since he was 14. Now, he's a strapping big guy, and all the little muffin-capped maids there fall over each other when he passes their way, with his sword and little beard. He used to wear his hair in a great unruly mane that gave him a mighty mystique, at Faire, but he thought it scared away prospective employers and lopped it off a few years ago. But even sensibly shorn, he is a hunky guy. His Faire personna goes back and forth between British foot soldier and German mercenary, both of which are in his ancestory, so he is entitled. This year, at the Casa de Fruita event, he is German. That means a really colorful outfit with cut-outs in the leather and hat with a lot of feathers on it. I have a picture of him in this costume, atop an elephant, with a flag and his sword crossed over his head (this was at Southern Faire, no elephants up this way, alas). If you want a gander at this mighty man, you can check him out in Renaissance Magazine, Issue #41. My very own dear arquebusier.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The thing about people-watching...

I went to our annual Book Faire this weekend. They hold it in Courthouse Square, that big empty space that used to embrace a really nifty Greco-Roman, marble-halled courthouse (you can see it extant in Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt, really worth seeing all by itself). There are all these little white canopies over card tables loaded down with the odd little publishing houses' tomes, chapbooks, hourly performances of literary stories and poems, and my personal favorite, stacks of cheap used books. Many dogs roaming through, so I always take Boo, too. We are a hit with all the kids; Boo is mellow and soft to the touch. I ran into a writing buddy from class, and the teacher as well, who introduced me to her friend as "a really good writer", which gave my ego its daily supercharge. It was one of those amazing Northern California fall days, clear skys, temp in the 70's, tiny breeze. After rifling through the stacks (I bought a couple of mysteries, of course, and Frances Mayes Under the Tuscan Sun (I know, really old and they've already made the movie, but it is still fun to read), Boo and I sat down on one of the benches that had been cunningly painted to depict a Sonoma County scene, and watched the crowd. Book Faire's draw out the all-natural-fiber folks, the one's who wear big clunky Birkenstock's and straw hats that tie beneath their chin. One woman wore lemon yellow cotton, stretched tightly around her girth. From behind, her buns were clearly outlined in their also too tight undies. What amazed me was her attitude, which was audacious, frequently bending over to display this extravanza to all passers-by. I want that attitude. And then there was Emilio, my writing buddy, in his green baseball cap pulled down to shade his marvelous honker. And the woman who was at least 300 lbs, in flappy black tee and shorts, looking positively regal with her thatch of blond curls. What a fascinating variety of expressions of the Divine! We are all so delightfully diverse, and yet all part of this great Universe. Necessary parts. Me, too.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The real scoop.

My greatest sin used to be my refrigerator. I would store leftovers dutifully in plastic containers, only to watch them decompose awfully, and finally, I would breathe through my mouth long enough to clean it out. I have gotten better. Well, there's hardly any leftovers any more. I guess I've just gotten better at portion control. Now my greatest sin is my car. Now, I love my car. It gets me where I want to go admirably. And it used to live at the bottom of a big hill, so that was my excuse for it getting all littered up with stuff. Now, it is just around the corner of the house, in the little carport, still crammed with stuff. There is dog stuff, of course, the leash, water bowl (actually an old Cool Whip container, but it works), brush and towel for emergencies, as well as paper towels for picking up poop, and plastic bags, too. Then there is the gym bag and towel, the writing group journal and exercise book, a box of Kleenex, the spare books I keep for idle moments, when I have to wait somewhere, and an old O magazine that a friend gave me. In the center console I keep spare glasses, a small pair of scissors, my AAA card and gas station receipts, until it gets too full, then I bring them into the house to file with paid bills. The glove compartment (and isn't that just so civilized and old-fashioned, glove compartment) holds my manual, service records, registration and insurance, of course, along with a comb, hand lotion, cologne, air freshener, hair spray, pens and an extra pair of sunglasses. The side pockets are full of CD cases, some actually with CDs in them. And there is a CD holder attached to the passenger side visor. The pocket in the back of the seat holds my sun visor thingy, an umbrella, and God knows what else, because I never look in there. Oh, and my Big Book lives in the car, too. And my cell phone, because I have one of those adaptors to charge it from the cigarette lighter plug. The ashtray is full of change, and down to nickels, dimes and pennies, too. I must replenish it with quarters, for parking meters, you see. Once, I locked my wallet in the office, and was happy to have that change so I could call for help (a per-cell phone moment). I also keep water on board, for me as well as Boo. I don't even want to mention the trunk. I have not seen the bottom of it since I had to disgorge all the stuff by the side of the road to get to the training wheel they call a spare, one flat tire ago. I know there is a backpack in there, and a bag of books that was going somewhere. I am adding a package of cookies to the mix today, my contribution to the noon meeting on Friday. So, that's my true confession for the day. At least it is clean, my car, though it is hard to tell, under all the stuff.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Staying behind the scenes? Not happening here...

It is hard to fly beneath radar. I tend to open my mouth a lot in class, even when I look stupid doing it. I had this dandy topic all mapped out for my narrative argument in critical thinking, and it didn't fly. So, I came home, fuming, and changed it. Because teacher thought otherwise. Well, he must know, right? But isn't that what the class is all about, thinking for myself and not cowtowing to the powers that be? Nevertheless, I need the grade. This is a perfect example of selling out, I'm sure. Well, it could be worse. At least I know I am selling out. Besides, I got an A- on my last paper, the one I fought tooth and nail with my co-conspirators about, to keep my very well-constructed linear design, and not have raised my overall grade to A-, also. Man, that man is a nit-picking freak. When I am done with this class, my writing is going to be pristine, free of redundancy, and thinly-veiled criticism, too.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Oh, for a friendly ear!

Last night, I was channel-surfing, waiting for my sleepy-bye melatonin to kick in, and caught a performance by a male ballet dancer, doing this amazing routine of little interludes in characters like a drunk, an old man, a fairy (I kid you not), a macho man. Well, it was Barishnikov, of course, something from the 80's. He was great, and very powerful. His leaps astonished me. I yearned to yell to someone "Come here! You've just got to see this!" And there was no one else there. Part of me just wants someone to know how very cultured and refined I can be. See, I listen to Mozart! OK, I've got a way to go here.

Back in the dark ages, the early 60's, I saw a film with Rudolph Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn, a performance of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. Margot was a little long in the tooth to be playing a 14 year old, but still so lithe and sylph-like, you could forgive her. Rudie, on the other hand, was a joy to behold. When he leapt into the air, he just sort of hung there, in anti-gravity grace. And you'll never see a more gorgeous glutious maximus. That's th polite phrase for bottom. With all that lusty, throbbing music, it was a consummate wonder. Mikail never quite lived up to Rudie in my book, not till last night, anyway.

Oh, well. If there had been someone there last night, he would have been in the other room, watching football highlights, anyway.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Watch out, Arnold, here I come!

I am going to spend a happy hour balancing the state budget today. This is a homework assignment for political science, and I have already decided to raise taxes. Probably an across the board tax hike, because I don't want to favor any interest groups, but maybe beginning at $50,000 annual income, to exempt the really poor folks who don't need any more bad news. I know, that's pretty low, too. Well, maybe this will take more than an hour to figure out. Politics is such a sticky wicket, I don't know why anyone would want to do it, except George W., of course, who seems to delight in it like a kid playing with toy soldiers. Has anyone told him he is not wearing a white hat anymore?

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Please pass the humility.

I played bridge last night with our fun and sober over-the-hill gang west county foursome. We can only get together in summertime, when the guys are here. Lucky Peter and Paul winter in more temperate climates. My cards were dismal from the get-go. I had only 3 worthy of opening all night, and only got to play two of them. Since they were measly one bids, I made them both, one just barely. So I was feeling kind of slighted, you know, the bridge fairy just kind of sat on Peter's shoulder all night. Then, before we all toddled off home, at 9:30 pm, Holly reminded us that we should take a moment to savor our moment together. They are so precious, those moments with dear friends, and can end so suddenly. Then I got in my little car to wend my way home on the country roads. Town is always kind of a shock, like a little too bright after that drive, and College Avenue was all lit up like a Christmas tree. When I got a little closer, I saw that all four lanes were shut down by a feeding frenzy of emergency vehicles. This necessitated a detour through a lot of curvy residential streets, until, by some lucky chance, I wound up east of the calamity, and continued on home. This morning's paper told me a young woman, still in her teens, lost her life there, and two more are still in the hospital. Amazing how fast these things can happen, isn't it. There's that old leveler, perspective. Sure helps to know that my troubles are so very small, irritating, but tiny, nevertheless. And my blessings are wondrous good.

Friday, September 09, 2005

My garden needs some work...

A while ago, when I was being all woo-woo spiritual, I found a poem about planting my own garden instead of waiting for someone to bring me flowers. Lovely thought, that. But it also means that I have to tend that garden; weed and water and mulch and prune. Oh. I just took a look and my garden is in really sad shape. Here, it is overgrown and thorny. There, it is all dried up and dusty. The only thing that has the look of constant attention is the bench under the tree. So, I am gathering my spiritual tools and heading out to the south forty for some serious landscaping. There doesn't seem to be a magic wand in the toolchest yet. When do I get that tool?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The state of the being..

I actually started a worksheet with that name. I am rating my physical, emotional and spiritual state daily. OK, I am a little self-absorbed, but my psych teacher says we go through natural cycles, and I am checking to see if that is true, post-menopause, as it is. I have four ratings: E for Excellent, O for Okay, N for Not so hot, and D for Don't even ask. Since the beginning of the month, there have not been any "E" ratings. But only one "D" so far, a day I want to forget. And I got up to grayness this morning, not a bad thing, it's good for the lawns, but it was gray inside, too. Then I opened my e-mail. One was a boogie-woogie animated manifesto of perkiness, that was hokey but fun. One was a Mollie Ivins column sent by my acerbic friend Jim that implored this idiot and all the others out there to pay attention to what our government is doing. Well, duh. Now she tells me. And I am, I am! I am taking the newspaper, and most of the time, reading it! Give me a break. But the best e-mail came from my daughter, who always apologizes for forwarding something. It's OK, honeybun. We all do it. This was the annual Mensa contest asking members to change or add one letter to a word to give it new meaning. My favorite was "decafalon", the grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you. I go through that process, a lot. Not today, though. I began my day with a large pancake topped with homemade cinnamon applesauce and Cool Whip, and two cups of my Columbian Supremo. Maybe I will be able to give myself an "E"? Later.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Pole-vaulting over mouse turds...

Small things are my downfall. I studied for the psych quiz, everything except classical conditioning, which I really understood, right? Guess which question I missed. I did get 18/20, so it could have been worse. And today, in poli sci, I just didn't read a question right, or I would have aced the quiz, which was ridiculously easy, after I studied all the constitutional amendments, the cabinet members and looked up the speaker of the house, thinking he would shoot off one really stinky question. So it was 9/10 there. Sigh. Just goes to show, I am only 80% present most of the time. More stuff to get done, like another paper for critical thinking, and one for political science, both due next Wednesday, and a midterm to study for in abnormal psych, though she did give us study questions and that helps, a lot. At the moment, my biggest question is what to have for lunch. I'll write that paper later. And download the reference sources for that other paper. And read chapter 5. Nice to know what's happening next, I guess.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tardive dyskenesia, federalism and a CSI marathon, wow!

Studied all day yesterday to the CSI marathon on Spike TV. I now am in William Petersen overload, and confused, too. Beard, no beard, beard again! Can't decide which I like the best. Hell, he's just a hunk for the over-the-hill crowd, whatever. I went dashing out to class, only to be let off after the quiz, which took 10 minutes, and another 10 to review and correct. I got 18 of 20, got my unconditioned stimulus and response mixed up. Oh, well. Now to finish final draft of the paper on global warming, which is an Oh-My-God issue, and study for the Constitution quiz tomorrow, too. Really a thing of beauty, that document. We are so lucky our founding fathers, all really young men in their 30's, were into democracy and smart enough to not let the masses rule. Well, they were into protecting their property rights, but in the end it works pretty well. Better than any other government has worked in a lot of instances. Man, I love being free, don't you? I don't love the government, and am working to change that, as I think most of us are, in the next election. What a hoot it is to be able to think for myself, and not have anyone fault me for it. Not something everyone gets to do. So, I'm off to study, once again. Life is so interesting, n'est-ce pas?

Monday, September 05, 2005

Twilight Zone time...

Do you suppose Chief Justice Renquist watched Pat Robertson? Gosh, I hope not. I saw this clip of Pat (Daily Show, of course) where he was praying so hard for openings on the Supreme Court, all squinted up, I thought his what was left of his brain was going to come squirting out his ears. Now, that's a scary thought, God listening to Pat. What would we all look like if Pat was God? Men all dressed in baggy suits and ties, women in skin-tight white blouses and tube skirts, with kick pleats? Lots of makeup and big, big hair, too. Those Christians sure do know how to make a fashion statement, right? This sure is the downside to free speech. Anyway, I was really sad to hear of the demise of our chief justice, even if he did live a prosperous 80 years. Couldn't he have waited till George was out of office?

Sunday, September 04, 2005

So much to learn, so little time.

Interesting stuff, psychology. I particularly like classical conditioning. It explains a lot about myself, like why I store all my memories in music. The feelings I was experiencing when I first heard the music (and I listen to it over and over and over) are all there when I hear it today. The soundtrack to ET, for example. I was separated from my husband when I saw the movie, then bought the soundtrack album. There is pain beyond comprehension in that music that I will never be able to scrub away. But I found that I can use this process to help myself, too. My mother gives me perfume, lots of it, all the time. I think I mentioned that I don't wear it any more, too many people are sensitive to it, but no matter. Here, have another bottle of White Diamonds. Well, I like the scent, so I began putting it on at night, as I was getting sleepy. Now it is a trigger for sleep, which is sometimes quite elusive for me. It works great, and I have used up a lot of it. Smells better than the dog, too.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Survivor guilt...

It is just horrid what is happening in New Orleans. I was sitting in my family room, watching Sleepless in Seattle, eating my boneless, skinless sauteed chicken breast with Thai rice, broccoli and carrots, feeling really grateful that all four walls of my little house are around me, no water on the floor, and the power is on, while back east, the people are homeless and have only just begun to get food and adequate sanitary conditions. It is always like that for me. I feel guilty that I have so much, while others have so little. Oh, I will send a donation to the Red Cross, as will so many of those other guilty folks. And that will help, a lot. It sometimes just seems like I should stop for a moment, and reflect on the grace I have all around me, my little dog, the friends and family who are well and also without tragedy in their lives, the sunshine and sweet breeze now blowing in the sycamore trees in front of the house. And I send my prayers for a quick resolution to the despair that has fallen on the gulf coast.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Mental health day.

The seasons are changing. Oh, I know fall doesn't start till the 21st of this month, but tell that to the weather. And everytime the barometer fluctuates, I get a headache. Whatever was God thinking when She gave us sinuses? Who needs these litte annoying holes in their head, anyway? Mine have been throbbing away, probably objecting to the fact that I left my ceiling fan on a couple of nights ago. It was hella-hot. Now it is cold, and that has my head all stuffed up and confused. So I am cherishing the fact that it only hurts a little, and am determined to just lay back today, no where I have to be, till later this afternoon, when I have to do some shopping, and that is more fun than chore. Meanwhile, I am very grateful for my foam matress-topper, my highly scrunchable down pillow, and the little pile of black fur now curled up on both. Wonderful.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

My voice got me into trouble again.

We read our drafts in critical thinking yesterday. Now, to be fair, our paper is, well, our paper, and contains snipets of text from all three of us gals. However, I slipped their snipets into the envelope I had created, as I was the one integrating all our stuff, and there were piles of it. I noticed from the other readings that ours was the best organized, a feat I accomplished all by myself. In fact, that was how I was able to take pages and pages of stuff and get it synthesized down to 2 pages, double-spaced, 12 font. When I found that progression, it was easy to insert examples and lead it up to a conclusion. Not bad. But once again, the criticism was that our voices bled through the analysis, and you could tell we were all steamed that the world is going to get fried extra-crispy and George W. is toasting marshmallows. I'll give you odds that soon, the glamor will wear off police and firemen, and begin to shine on the scientists. If anyone can save our collective butt, they are the ones. Anyway, it's back to the drawing board. Everything is in place, we just need to attribute it to the author, and tone down the final paragraph, where disdain and disgust just ooze off the page. Whatever, it was really fun writing it, and I can barely wait till I get to say what I think.