Wednesday, November 30, 2005
So, I aced my PoliSci test this morning, Yay Me! And my paper is on track, as well as extremely well written, of course. So now I just need to study, study, study for the Psych test tomorrow, then I can begin my moral narrative and study for finals. It is looking better than I thought it would just yesterday, when I was thinking I was a nutcase for even starting down this path. I think it will get easier still, once I begin to work the system and let it be what it is instead of trying to plow down the academic establishment. They are terribly invested in their way of thinking, aren't they though. I can, when beaten into it, be very flexible, yes I can.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
We had that when I was a kid. I loved rainy days, because we didn't have to have PE, which I found excrutiatingly embarrassing as I was like a giraffe in a herd of gazelles. On rainy days, we had recesses inside and played games like Fruit Basket Upset, and Kings and Queens, where we chased each other up and down the aisles between desks with blackboard erasers on our heads. I could do that kind of stuff and not look ridiculous doing it. Then we got to get out early. I often wound up walking home in the pouring rain, as my mother was home with two baby boys, and I was pretty much on my own, even when I was little. I know, poor me. But I still loved the rain, and I get all excited when it begins every year, still, like maybe I will get out of work early? Well, that happened, too, when I was commuting and Hwy 101 threatened to flood in Novato. Now I just keep trudging. They don't worry much about the weather in college. Back to the infamous moral narrative. Two more weeks, just two more weeks and we get a month off.
Monday, November 28, 2005
I saw my counselor today, and she had my transcript from 1963, that's like the dark ages, right? Anyway, it was bleak. I actually got a couple of (gulp) Ds. However, I have a lot of As ever since, and it is looking up here. I get to keep all those credits, or I can take them over and they disappear. We'll see what comes down the pike. I am planning on taking a science (geology), American history (up till 1877) and Music appreciation, which I already had once but didn't complete, and that should be a walk in the park. I have listened to a lot of music over these many years, and know a bit about it. And I need it, yes I do, if I want to go on to a university. But there is still that @$^&% math requirement, and I guess I will bite the bullet and take the )(*$%&* placement test during semester break, which I can barely wait for. It is only a couple of weeks away now. Unfortuately that means the finals are only a couple of weeks away, too. This is where I wonder what I could have been thinking when I climbed aboard this ship. Just hope it is not named Titanic.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
I went to my favorite coffee house today for a 20 oz non-fat latte, my Sunday morning treat, and there was a woman in front of me that was at least 18 inches taller that I. That would put her well over 7 ft tall. And she was beautiful, slim, long swanlike neck, and in proportion everywhere. But what must it be like? I mean, beds and automobiles are made for people a lot smaller, and where did she get those jeans that fit so well? So I was grateful to walk out, all 5 ft 9 inches of me. At my early morning (10 am, but that's really early for Sunday morning) meeting, a man spoke who had lost his wife to cancer, just two months ago. It was a heart-breaking story of everyday courage, especially for an alcoholic, who did not drink in the face of this tragedy. And I took a deep breath and thanked HP for my health, which I had been grumbling about lately, because I get these irritating sinus headaches whenever the weather changes. Perspective is such a wonderful teacher, don't you think? Now, at home, dog at my feet, homework spread out all over the place, getting ready to get going, any minute now, really. Wonderful to be alive and sober on this crisp autumn day. Yes, it is.
Friday, November 25, 2005
I am often awake at 4 AM. It is a funny time, too early to rise, for sure. So I toddle off to the bathroom, just in case that is what woke me, then settle back into the cocoon I fashion for myself, full of hope of another 4 hours, sometime soon. Usually, they come, but later, like at 6 AM. So I meditate. Because if I don't quiet my mind, it flits about like a famished mosquito, feeding on every fear I ever could imagine. (Why is it that fears are fifty times more frightening in the night?) Money is high on the fear list, along with rapid aging (I'm going to wake up looking like Boris Karloff in the original mummy picture), schoolwork (a five page paper, two chapters of PoliSci and one of Psych before Monday, oh my), etc. So I shut off the worry works and go to my sanctuary, this pristine house where there is never any dust, or other people, for that matter. Just crystal vases filled with flowers, sunlight through lace curtains, and music everywhere, where I walk about weightlessly in flowing silky robes and rest on poufy-soft upholstery in seashell colors. And before I know it, morning is with me. Sometimes I have not gone back to sleep at all, but I still feel refreshed. Beats pills, any night.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Just have not thought an original thought in days. All the leaves are now gone from our sycamores, and the atmospheric changes make my head ache. I kept schlepping off the school, but not much else has been going on. This morning, I am baking (please, no applause) an apple crisp for the orphans' Thanksgiving dinner I will be attending later. I am too challenged by crust to do a pie. I had forgotten what an ungodly mess this makes of the kitchen, but no matter, I was watching the parade as I peeled, and peeled, and peeled. All the balloons were nose down to the street, on tight rein, so I guess it is windy back in the Big Apple. Later, the National Dog Show is happening, one of my favorite things to watch, and I will be in the kitchen again, making brunch for my big guy, Booboo, my son. I made him a little apple crisp all his own. I know, I am such a good mother. Well, sometimes. Feeling a little of the old holiday ennui, too. My favorite memory of Thanksgiving was the time my mother, grandmother and I finished cleaning up the feast, and sat down with all the liquers from the cabinet in the middle of the table and got royally toasted together. Three generations of boozy broads. Only in America.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Ever notice how there is always something calculated to irritate the hell out of you, even in paradise? At the little house on the edge of the world, it was mosquitos. The whole town was a mosquito hatchery. Apparently, no one had even heard the word "abatement". And nothing is as crazy-making as having one of those buzzing little suckers dive bombing you in the dark. That little old problem-solver me bought a mosquito net at Pier One. I think they were basically used for decoration in these environs, but not at our house. There was only one problem with it' on occasion, we would close a mosquito in with us. Then things got really nuts. And did I mention the poison oak? We got rid of it in the garden, but it was everywhere in the bushes. So, you say, just stay out of the bushes! Except then we got a dog. And I got to spend half of every year with itchy red rash from my knees down. Here in town, the problem is noise. Yes, I live on a sweet little street out of the hubbub of city traffic. But there is this constant rushing sound of the freeway one half mile to the east. Not loud, just always noise, running in the background like an uninvited guest. And, man, it is c-c-c-cold here! At the coast, it cooled down, sure, but not brrrrrrr cold. I usually climb into bed early in my pj bottoms, a cami and thermal t shirt, then strip down before turning off the light. Now I add soft little socks and another quilt on top of the four I already have on the bed. And winter isn't even here yet. OK, time to get grateful. Any minute now.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
I raked up piles and piles of leaves from our front yard, and tried not to think about how we waited with so much anticipation for them to arrive last spring. Though it looks very bare, more sunshine now comes into my bedroom, and my rainbow maker gets all charged up, so there is a blessing there. My writers' group was kind of sparse yesterday, only one of us brought a piece to read, and it was short, so it got a thorough going-over (not mine, thank HP) and probably more criticism than it would have otherwise. So we gabbed, and I found out one of our members teaches screenwriting at the local college. He invited me to check it out whenever I wanted. Now there's an interesting concept, I could write a screenplay! I always say the movies are, for the most part, amazingly facile, which has led me to believe that movie audiences are, too. But I notice a fair crowd at the smart people's theatre savoring the clever and deep independent movies, like Capote and The Squid and the Whale, movies that are atmospheric and thought-provoking. I could do that, right? Sort of a Ladies in Lavender set in suburbia thing, with a hint of The Graduate thrown in for spice. Sounds like a plan.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
My new homepage here at SBCGlobal.net gives me all kinds of tidbits from the news, like Sen. Ted Stevens' "bridge to nowhere" he got out of the pork barrel in Congress for his Alaskan constituents, for a mere $27 million. Are we at all surprised? Ted is 82 and knows how to work the room, for sure. He is the poster boy for term limits. But the really amazing news is that Heidi Fleiss is opening a "stud farm" in the Nevada desert, a bordello for women! How great is that! For only $250, women can buy themselves an Adonis who will adore them, for an hour. I am not sure how well this will play out, though. We women love our Chippendales, for sure, all swarming to put $5 bills in a sweaty jockstrap, but actually pay some guy to do the big nasty? Especially when a trip to the neighborhood bar would serve up a smorgasbord of men who would do it for free, or even pay us, if we so wanted. Maybe truly beauty-challenged women would want this service? But then I am wondering about ability to perform. (Well, forgive me, but I do wonder about these things.) And Viagra makes you blind, I heard. Gosh, that sounds like an urban legend, doesn't it. Anyway, what a world, what a world.
Friday, November 18, 2005
It was the best one yet, full of impending doom, magical special effects, and all this wonderful teenaged angst over learning to dance and asking a girl for a date. Herminone grew up to be stunning, Ron sulked in his frou-frou dress robes, and Harry was, well, Harry. That little guy has so much dignity and integrity. I just love that the Christian right is all huffed up about Harry being evil. That'll sell more books and movie tickets than the ads. Honestly, how sad it must be to be that scared all the time.
We are going to see the new movie today, my little schoolmate and I. All the blurbs and clips show it to be really fantastic, and kind of callow, as well, as Harry goes to his first ball with a date. Of course, I read the book, so I know how that goes for Harry, who is far from a smooth operator, bless his sweet soul. Herminone does infinitely better, but then, girls are aeons ahead of boys at 14. That is a lot of the charm of Harry, the English schoolboy thing, with snakes and magic and looming peril thrown in. I always get all fired up, and after the movie, feel this great emptiness just waiting for more. So I made plans with friends this evening, too, so I can work through my hangover with good company. And maybe watch the third movie on DVD when I get home. Sounds like a plan.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
You know that old adage, which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, stuff like that happens to me all the time. Like, this woman came into my life, and I was trying to help her. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I was studying about personality disorders. Good thing, too. Because what happened next would have been ever so confusing otherwise. Somehow, my stock with this woman, which was blue chip to say the least, suddenly plummeted to a level somewhere below belly button lint. Other clues abounded, that she suffers with borderline personality disorder, a really devastating dysfunction that causes these huge and catastropic shifts in attitude. She's got some paranoid tendencies, and a few histrionic symptoms, as well. Makes me grateful I am just schlepping along with plain old humdrum depression, a little SAD (that's seasonal affective disorder for you who remain uninitiated in things psychological), and fleeting moments of anxiety as deadlines for things like term papers draw near. Oh, and a smattering of procrastination, hence the anxiety. Let's not even go to the alcoholism. Just another symptom, actually, of a wounded soul. One among many, it seems. But, definitely a grateful, wounded soul. I know where my wounds are, and I know how to heal myself. This poor woman may never get through. Makes me glad I found my prayer bracelet. If ever there was a candidate for the big bead...
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
What was I thinking? Going to school is really hard, and I am really tired. The mid-semester, midterm, term paper blues have descended and I feel like I am carrying the weight of the world around in my big red book bag. OK, I got a B on the PoliSci test. Though I love the teacher, all witty and smarmy in this 60s-ish kind of way, his tests are really obtuse and difficult for me to decipher. And my Psych term paper, well, I have been obsessing over it for months. Now, it's due on Thursday. Mostly written, really, and I have all the research here, tabbed with Post-Its, just need to do the last little bit. Treatment does exist for narcissistic personality disorder. It's just that narssicists don't think anything is wrong with them. If they think anything is wrong, it is with other people. So, they don't ever get well. Actually, they never get reasonable. Narcissism is an affliction of everyone around the narcissist. Interesting disorder. Anyway, once I get through this week, I think it will be clear sailing, right into finals. For now, I will just keep shlepping along like that lopsided camel with my big red book bag attached.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Some things are better the third time around. I saw the new Pride and Prejudice last night, and have to report I have not felt that young and juicy for a long, long time. Kiera Knightly, in her brown-eyed brunette personna, was delightful as Elizabeth Bennett, and this new guy whose name escapes me brooded delightfully as Mr. Darcy. Mr. Bingley was very jejeune, which made Mr. Darcy's concern for him quite justified. And dear June Bennett was this lovely blue-eyed blond, and though Lizzie was quite dazzling, June had an instant appeal. Donald Sutherland played the father without being too sarcastic, considering the flibbertygibbit of a wife he had, played by Brenda Blethyn with sweet dittsiness. It was an atmospheric film, filled with sweeping landscapes and houses that would cost the world to heat. Best of all, the Bennett domicile was somewhat seedy, always reminding us that they are not rich. At one point, a huge pig took a walk through the back door. And rural England was dusty and a lot like Tombstone in the old westerns, just a little more sartorial. The (smart peoples') theatre was filled with old folks, and I mean filled. They packed us in. We clapped. This is one for DVD, as soon as it is released. Cannot wait to see it again. And again.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
It's gratitude month. That makes a lot of people go Blecccch! But not I! In fact, after today's class in Abnormal Psych, I have reached new and more wondrous levels of gratitude. We are studying schizophrenia, which affects 1 in 100 people (that's a lot, if you think about it), is incurable, and even the treatments, which are effective about 75% of the time, to varying degrees, can cause potentially fatal side effects. It begins in late adolescence and early adulthood, and can cause horrible hallucinations, delusions, and major break from reality on all levels of existence. And no one knows what causes it. How devastating is that. And I am so grateful that those I love are well and functioning, even if some of us, me included, will limp a little all our lives. There are degrees of misery that I have not known, and that makes my angst over yesterdays Political Science midterm, which I think I blew, bigtime, so not important. Again, perspective rears its head and what a mavelous teacher it can be.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
I am aging well here. That is not a bragging kind of thing. It is a grateful kind of thing. Even though the calendar tells me I should be old, I don't feel it most of the time. I can still put my panties on standing up, I don't huff or puff going up the stairs at school, there are no aches in any of my joints. That being said, I could wish for a bladder larger than a shot glass. True, I get lots of exercise on my nightly forays to the potty, but really, it's getting ridiculous. Is this worth taking a drug? I mean, I see them advertised during my soap opera everyday, at least two of them, so I can't be the only one with this little deficiency. Not to mention the aisle in (soul-sucking) Safeway with the Depends and Poise pads. That wasn't there all that long ago, was it? It just goes to show, things change, and change, and change.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
I just installed my new DSL. What a trip! The phone rang while I am still online! Is this wonderful or what! Feeling so grownup and sophisticated, I can barely stand myself. Meanwhile, Beany went home this afternoon. This was after we innocently went out the front door to get the mail, and Beany met our neighborhood flock of wild turkeys, who ended up on the roof of the new house across the street. Didn't know those big suckers could fly! So, it's just all so exciting, and yet so much calmer now that the hyper one has left. Onward.
That's from The Jabberwocky, for those who are literarily challenged. I have broken through the ceiling, and I got a solid A on my midterm in Psych. Not a measly, mealy-mouthed A-, but an A. OK, this is good. Now to study for the PoliSci midterm, tomorrow, where a B will be most appreciated. Politics are a sticky, messy business. How they think they can turn it into a science is beyond me. Maybe it is like Hari Seldon's psychohistory (Asimov's Foundation Trilogy), and predicated on the ripple effect through the masses. Certainly, our system is interesting, and difficult to nail down. You think you have campaign finance reform, and those buggers just wiggle through the first available loophole. Depressing. But, not today. Today I am going to jump up and down for a while, celebrating the opening of new and more vital neural networks.
Monday, November 07, 2005
I have returned from my ivory tower, once again, fired up by my higher education. We were supposed to bring in a draft of our paper on abortion, now there's a juicy issue to contemplate. I was determined to sit back and let them tear someone else's essay apart this time, but guess what? I was the only one who had done the assignment. And I did it, in bed, cold pills and Kleenex within arm's reach, piddling away on my laptop, sniffling as I went. It was not long enough, but hey, 4 out of 5 pages is better than nothing, which is what everyone else brought. I got shot down, kind of. The essence is there, just too much me in it, as usual. I do have this kind of passion that bristles Joels hackles. Then he did his usual explanation of why some of the grades on the last assignment may dissapoint us, and I got to that trembly stage of fear and loathing even before he handed them back. I thought I found the argument, and based my premise squarely there, so I was mentally preparing a defense, then I got mine and it was yet another A-, which is my grade so far in the course. Sigh. I intend to dazzle him with this next paper. The writing is not the problem. I am the problem. It just isn't in my nature to not feel anything, and that seems to be the gist of this particular discipline, to use reason instead of passion. OK, I can do that. I think.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
You know how it is. Other people's defects are just soooo glaring and easy for me to see. My own exist in this perpetual murk. However, I get clues from what spins me out about other people. Clever how that works, right? So, yesterday, I went to my very spiritual AA meeting, where all the spiritual giants of the Program meet. It was our first day in a new venue (we got the boot at our old one, by the winery that rented the back of the building, how bizarre is that), and I was feeling kind of disoriented anyway. I brought all my goodies, the cream cheese Danish tray, the muffins and a huge bowl of strawberries, just gorgeous. Beany and Boo were with me; I didn't want to leave them home to bother Janet while I was gone. So I parked in a shady place somewhere on the south 40, carefully guaging that it would stay shady for at least the next hour and a half, rolled down the window and popped the poptop. No sooner had I settled in my seat and this woman comes up to say I'd better be prepared to check on my dogs in a half hour, the sun will move. Gee, you think? Not the first time I have been admonished about how to treat my dogs. And, unfortunately, not the last, because instead of saying MYOB, I defended myself. Old behavior. My whole life has been spent defending my actions to someone, usually my mother, but could be a husband, too. So, this week I am working on not being a wuss, beginning with telling this woman, how sweet of her to think of me, now don't ever do that again. We'll see how that goes.
Friday, November 04, 2005
I had one of those dreadful nights, awake for a couple of hours in the wee hours. Usually equally dreadful things parade through my head, like should I call my mother and the state of my finances. But last night I got to think profound thoughts courtesy of my midterm study guide, things like "tricyclics work by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin and norepinephrine by the presynaptic neuron". Now, that's an impressive thought. Also jockeying for consciousness were such weighty ideas as refutation by analogy and political socialization. I don't know how any of this will further my intelligence, but it is less threatening than my bank balance at 2:30 AM. In the end, I thought about how dispassionate critical thinking seems to be, dry, dry, dry. But politics are ever so juicy, and current therapy techniques no longer require that stonefaced detachment, but are actually seen more efficacious when filled with positive regard. There's another wondrous postulation. So, perhaps there is a benefit to these midnight meanderings, allowing stuff to bubble up that normally just sits on the back burner and simmers.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
The Bean in visiting for a week. Who is the Bean, you ask? Beany is Boo's little buddy who lived with us when we lived in the house on the edge of the world. My partner got custody of Beany by virtue of being joined with him at the hip. Little guy just loved the mad-man artist, sitting by him on the bench in the garden, sleeping at his feet when he stood at his easel, even rode in the canoe out to the mouth of the river to pick up interesting bits of driftwood for creating cunning little sculptures. Art-man has gone to Maui for a week to paint plein-air and restock his gallery there, so we got the Bean. Now I remember why I didn't fight for custody. Beany is a terrier mix, translate that to terror, yappy, hyper little bugger. Town has him all flummoxed. He jumps up every few seconds to bark at something, some perceived little noise or twitch. Good news, though. He figured out how to get in and out the doggy door in the back, and bad news, he does it ten times an hour. I have now crawled around the backyard and stuck my nose everywhere he could and ascertained that there are no holes in the fence through which he can wriggle, and yet I still worry. This little guy is used to roaming free and wild up on his hill by the sea. Five more days. Just five more days, while I am studying for a midterm (another one), writing a 5 page argument for Critical Thinking, and a term paper for Psych. Right.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
I turned in the dreaded term paper, which is probably going to get shot full of holes and oh well, progress not perfection. Now to work on study guide questions for 75 question midterm tomorrow, then 5 page paper on abortion rights for Critical Thinking, 7 page term paper for Psych5, and another lengthy study guide for midterm in PoliSci, and I am thinking of pulling the covers over my head and remaining there forever, or at least until this semester ends. What was I thinking? This is nuts, and I don't even have a full boat; I'm only at half mast. OK, it's doable, I think. I hope. Just keep putting one foot in front of another. I may not be speedy, but I am reliable. Right.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
I have just birthed my first term paper, an awesome tome on Proposition 76, just possibly the most dry and boring, not to mention mind-boggling, initiative to come down the pike lo these many years. Even the experts couldn't understand it, and the Governator has virtually abandoned any effort to foist it off on us beleagered voters, well, except to threaten to raise taxes if we don't pass it. Anyway, it was a breech birth at best. And I am all tuckered out and would now like to ensconce myself with my dog, and his visiting buddy Beany, in my soft-as-a-cloud bed with a steamy mystery novel and a large cup of hot chocolate. But, nooooo. I have to keep truckin'. There is a study guide from hell for the Psych midterm Thursday, a thousand page article on abortion (that sounds really exciting) for Critical Thinking and other very exciting projects to do, like clean the bathroom and rake the leaves that have fallen since the last raking, it never ends. OK, off to make some tea, and think about what to eat for dinner. My life. A thrill a minute.