Sunday, March 30, 2008
Just returned from a little walk with little Boo, bag of Boo poo in hand. I noticed that today's weather pretty much mirrors my inner climate. On the surface, it is a pretty day to look at, all sunny and springy. But once out in it, there is a little chilly, goosebumpy breeze that sometimes just gets downright cold. We have not seen the last of winter. And I am kind of bearing my own inner chill, too. There was a time when this was outrageously importune. I am happy to say that my troubles have shrunk down from peaks and valleys to speedbumps and potholes, not major collisions, just occasions to pause on the shoulder of my highway of life and rethink my route. Today, that took me to (soul-sucking) Safeway, and that carrot cake that has been calling me lately is now in my fridge. Sigh.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
I have been chewing on a troublesome problem now for a couple of weeks. What to do? Is this my fault? What is my part? Stew, stew, stew. And today, I remembered. I never could think myself into right action. The only thing that works is acting my way into right thinking. Wow, what a relief! So I am just doing what is in front of me. I went to a meeting (always a good idea, because others are dealing with real problems, stuff that is probably not temporary, like mine), then I got the car serviced (and only 500 miles late). I stopped at Trader Joe's, where I bought myself flowers. Also, some sushi for lunch, some avacados, some flaxseed cereal, some baby carrots, cage-free eggs, peppermint tea. Now I am here, relaxing into the day, about to take the dog for a walk before I assemble my outfit for tomorrow's trip to Marin County, where I am outclassed even before I start my engine, but always try, anyway. Not thinking too much today. Just taking care of business, as usual. All will fall out the way it is supposed to, any time now.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Funny how retirement kind of takes the zing out of holidays. Easter, of course, was never a real holiday anyway, falling as it does on Sunday every year, and hell, I got Sundays off every week. I guess, like everything, holidays do that cycle thing. It was a time of new shoes and lots of candy when I was little, then smelly, long high mass early in the morning, followed by egg hunts and stomach aches. I liked the new dress and hat, for sure. Later, I had my own kids, and got to do the egg dying thing, and the egg hiding thing, and learned the importance of knowing how many eggs I had hidden to forestall a nasty surprise on the 4th of July. Then there were the champagne brunches or ham dinners, a long parade of them through the years of my middle-class marriage. Single parenthood moved holidays to more convenient times, as I was seldom the custodial parent on the really important dates. And now, well, holidays are a great time to go to the movies. Or take a walk with the dog, as I am doing this afternoon, now that he is perambulating on all four legs again, followed by a trip to the gas station (at least they are open - another major annoyance is all the stores are CLOSED!) for a gallon for the lawn mower. And maybe a Taco Bell cheesy beefy wrap for dinner. Okay, maybe not. But Taco Bell was open.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Happy to hear the professors are fighting back. Yes, I have been to ratemyprofessor.com. Verrrrry interesting. And pretty much dead on, these kids are. The design and composition teacher was a ditz. The geology professor was a peach, and a chili pepper, to boot. The American history guy was ho-hum, but hell, he played the banjo, how sweet it is! Now, MTV lets them tell the other side of the story. Which takes me to the coffee kiosk by Emeritus Hall, where I was tanking up for comparative mythology class, and talking to this other older lady, just chitchat. And I asked what she was majoring in, and she replied she was a teacher. Duh. So I told her how much I appreciate her. I think that's all anyone wants to hear, that those they served feel well served. Never hurts.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
I am a born planner. Give me a year and I will plan the perfect weekend. And all that would be just fine if not for OTHER PEOPLE. A woman I do not know all that well but who I would like to know better suggested we do a retreat together. This was in April of 2007. So I sent in my deposit, and began planning. My dog was a major concern. He is older, and in need of medication at this time, and I didn't want him in a cage anywhere for three days. And, at the very last moment, my dog sitter couldn't. My only option was to trust a guy I really don't trust, because I was also responsible for driving my friend to and from our retreat center. Which made my retreat much more edgy than it might have been otherwise. I don't think I ever really arrived there, at this lovely convent right on the beach in Santa Cruz, with all these lovely other retreaters. We wound up coming home early, my friend to do some work, and me to hug my little dog, who, when I finally got him back, was walking on only three legs. Fortunately, that seems to have cleared up. Let us hope the infection does, too, because he missed a few pills while I was away. All of this teaches me that I must always have a Plan B in my back pocket. It is fortunate that one lesson I have learned from my eighteen years of recovery is to be flexible, and not to over-react to unexpected circumstances. And to always accept the responsibility and look at my part in the picture, because that is the only thing I can do anything about in the long run. And that I am perfectly human, and incapable of seeing the future. Wow, that's a lot! Some people I know who are a lot older than I do not know this stuff. I put myself on the mailing list for future retreats, and will try again next year. As long as I am sober, there is always hope.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I am getting ready for my weekend getaway, which entails a great deal of thought and preparation, so I am a little distracted. Last night, while blowdrying my hair as I simultaneously heated up my curling iron, and ran the fan and heater in the bathroom, I overloaded the circuit and everything suddenly got dark and silent. This being not the first time I have done this, I know exactly where the circuit breaker box is. Since it is on the side of the house, and our little neighborhood does not have streetlights, I first had to know where a flashlight was. I found it in the third location I searched. Not bad. And yes, two of the little switch thingies in the box were at half mast, so I pushed them up to line up with the other soldiers. And nothing happened. I mulled. Since the computer was not on the now-dead circuit, I googled "overloaded circuit", which gave me all kinds of information, none of which told me how to un-overload that damned thing. Next action was to call Sue, who is a former homeowner and a fount of information on all sorts of things mechanical. Sue told me about the master switch, and that I couldn't hurt anything or myself by turning everything off and on again. I decided to wait for daylight to do that, which means that this morning I had to find an extension cord so I could put a lamp in the bathroom to do my leaving-the-house necessities like curl my hair and makeup my face. Curiously, I know I just saw an extension cord somewhere. At the moment, it still eludes me, so I pirated one from the lesser used side of the bed. Actually, I looked better in the light from the little lamp than I usually do in the bathroom overhead. However, I probably do not want to have to jump over the cord several times a day just to look 55 again. I made a little stab at those pesky switches again before toodling off to school, still loathe to turn off everything. I mean, that's hella-drastic. And once again, it did not do the trick. Off I went to study the Mahabhrata, then a truly spiritual experience at WalMart. Home again, I threw all caution to the wind, made sure everything I valued was off, and pulled the big switch. Nothing. Back to the circuit breaker box, and gee, those two errant soldiers were way out of formation again. I coaxed them back, and voila! We are cooking with gas here! And now I know what to do when it happens the next time. Which, spiritually speaking, it always will. Life on life' terms. My karma.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Did I mention that I went gaga for Star Wars? I actually had a pirated copy of the movie (I didn't do it, it came to me in a round about way) long before it came out on video. Remember what a phenom it was? We'd never seen anything like it before. Of course, now we are inundated with digitally enhanced special effects, so much so that story and characters play a backseat role. Where is the Obiwan Kenobi of this millenium? Will we ever see another character with so much, well, character? Whatever. I am thinking, HELP, and that is what came to mind. I am taking my art history midterm tomorrow. All I will have in hand is a pen and a blue book. Everything else must be firmly in place, in my tiny head. The old brain is strained, for sure. Though, I did get my quiz 100% perfect, plus 4 points for extra stuff I threw in because I knew it. So maybe it is doable. I am finding that I learn a lot when material is presented to me this way. Multiple choice is maybe too easy? Oh, not. Thanks to Mr. Thompson who will make the quiz on the Mahabharata multiple choice. I could never remember all those names, for sure. The Pandavas and the Kauravas, Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadeva, Paraudi, Krishna, Durodyana, Karna and that's just the beginning. Seriously overeducated, no doubt about it.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
It is, once again, lawn-mowing season in the neighborhood. Mine wouldn't start. The lawnmower, I mean. I filled it up with the dregs of gas in the red gascan that spits all over me when I turn it upside down, pressed the red rubber thingy three times, and sputter, sputter, sputter. Not even a healthy sputter, but a puny, throat-clearing ahem. So I put it back in the garage and went on a concentrated search for the manual. It wasn't where all the other manuals are, the can-opener and coffee-maker and microwave and toaster manuals, manuals I will probably never need to find again, ever. After a quick prayer to St. Jude, who is in charge of finding things for me, I located it in the tool cupboard. And it said that maybe my gasoline was old. Did you know that gasoline could get old? Well, if not, now we all know. So maybe I needed to drain the gas tank and start with new gasoline. Except that it didn't give me any instructions how to do that little thing. While I was fuming away, a friend called me. And she is the queen of lawn-mowers! In all her years of dealing with these balky things, she had never gotten an old gasoline problem. So I followed her instructions of pushing the red rubber thingy five times, trying (really hard) to get it started, and if unsuccessful, let it stew for a half hour and try again. And that worked! The psuedo-lawn is all mowed down and neatened up! And then it died, just as I was putting the finishing touches on. So I am off to the hardware store for a better gas can, one that doesn't have a dribble problem, and a funnel. That sounds like a quicker, easier way to go. I may even give the backyard a little try. Maybe.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
I finally got my grades from last semester. Well, first I got this dandy little certificate in the mail saying I had achieved Dean's Highest Honors for the Fall 2007 semester. Really? I thought I royally blew the math final, as you may recall. Then this morning I learned I had scored 100% on my mythology test, and I am pretty sure I did the same on my art history test, so I decided I could now look and see what was up with that last semester. And, lo and behold, three As and a B in the dreaded Math 9, Finite Mathematics! Which makes me want to bang my head against the wall for not looking sooner. And the best thing is that I never have to take another math test as long as I live! My mythology teacher told the class today that they had "young and resourceful brains", and when I snickered he told me "yours is young and resourceful, too". And I think now that he is right. Just a little attention and I can remember the geneology of Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth, or that Soufflot designed the Pantheon (otherwise known as the Church of Sainte Genvieve) in Paris in 1755, and that it is Neo-Classical in style. New neural pathways are spitting out all kinds of information even as we speak. So, bravo, synapses! GRATEFUL.