Friday, December 31, 2004

Blog of the Day: Something Awful

Maybe you’ll understand why this is the blog of the day after I tell about one of my favorite birthday cards. (This is better if you’re more than in just a bad mood and to the point of thinking everything in your life really sucks, but are feeling too apathetic to even think about killing yourself.) Ok, front of card: “I heard you’re feeling a little down about your birthday…”
Inside of card: “It’s not because life is a ceaseless, nightmarish hell from which none ever escape is it?”

Makes me laugh every time. If you think that's funny, you’ll probably like Something Awful too. I reccomend the anti-drug messages.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Blog of the Day - a new non-daily feature

The blog of the day is the New MexiKen. I wondered there via a google search. Although he did not have what I was looking for, his blog was interesting enough for me to read for about a half hour. It’s mostly quotes from other sources, through which you can see his interests and point of view.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Cleanse, Day 4 - Inauspicious

I’ve stuck to the letter, but not the spirit of my cleanse today. Eating food like rice chips with no trans fat and chocolate soy milk with no sugar. Basically a more expensive health food store version of a junky diet. That’s all I want to say about it. I’ll be more enthusiastic tomorrow and I’ll tell you how my new weight-lifting exercise video is.

Today for exercise I ran up and down an animal park. It counts! I was rained on!

Some thoughts about gratitude

Ok, I’ve been doing research on my enjoy the moment vrs accomplish goals dilemma. I was reading Attitudes of Gratitude by MJ Ryan and was skimming the chapters titles and got to “Appreciate your kids just as they are.” Yeah, I know that concept. I love those parents who just enjoy their kids. Those kids are so free to be themselves and just glow with that security of being loved for themselves. Of being, “this very child.”

Some things are hard to explain until you get the feel of them, and that is one pattern that I have the feel of. So, I was thinking, oh yeah, appreciate your kids just as they are- that is right on, that is true. You can enjoy your kids just as they are with no worries, they will change and grow all on their own. Then I thought, you know I could apply this idea of just appreciating and enjoying to everything I can’t control- PEOPLE! So, that makes it simple. Then I thought of applying the idea to myself, it felt heretical. I looked up “appreciating myself” on the internet and had the interesting sensation of being naughty. I actually glanced over my shoulder as I sat at the computer.

I’ve decided to take a bold, adventurous risk and appreciate myself just as I am now. I've also been noticing and recounting to myself what I am grateful for during my day.

Benefits so far: I’ve been appreciating people for who they are and, ironically, seeing more realistically who they are in the present moment. I’ve found that to have gratitude, I have to notice, and that is very grounding.

Some appreciating myself and gratitude sites: Self appreciation as character training, self-esteem game , gratitude as mindfulness.

Do you like my new do?

Its very late and I'm up making template changes and adding new features to my blog. I added blogrolling and a book list. I would love to add archiving by topic, but haven't found instructions on how to do this yet. Do you know how?

The template changes take me a long time because I don't know this code by heart. I look through it, make a few changes and then test it out to see if it did what I thought it would do. I really like this new template I'm using, although there are still some changes I want to make. I'm using a basic blogger template and I took out the picture of the light house and white lines which framed the blog. I wanted a simple template, yet I really love the sweet and pretty decorative touch of the dividers between the posts.

The next thing I'd like to do is to move my sidebar up to be even with the main posts, now that the building is out of the way.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Cleanse, Day 3

Well, the day has just begun and I'm not running because its raining. I haven't called the colonic lady back yet and now I'm wondering if I should call my mom and say, "Don't do it!" I just read my friend Laura's thoughts about cleansing with links to dire warnings about colonics at Starling Fitness.

I'm sure there is a truth to be found in the mix of different reports from established and alternative medical ideas. I've found several alternative therapies that do work, although I often doubt the reason they work is the reported one.

Bowel movements- it's not a pretty topic, but it's at the crux of the cleanse issue. I have to side with the alternative practitioners on this one. The medical community says there is a range of normal and that it's ok to have a bowel movement every couple days. Eww! The alternative practioners say that a very healthy person should have a bowel movement after each meal. I agree that that is a sign of health. MD's seem like they are constantly trying to calm an anxious and hypochondriacal public, “Don’t worry, that doesn’t signal a disease!” Alternative medical people are like the Cassandras of our day. “Mucoid plauque will be your downfall. Cleanse yourself!”

Since reading Laura’s post and email to me, I’ve been thinking about why I like to do cleanses. I know that a balanced diet is healthy and that weird concoctions are not required. But I like weird concoctions! If I had lived in olden times I would probably have been a witch, stirring up bits of this and that and seeing what they do. It’s funny, because I love science and the scientific method, maybe weird concoctions seem like a more earthy and less controlled science experiment. I understand the alternative practitioners fascination with little bits of this and little bits of that. I don’t know what it means about our personalities! The truth is, part of the reason I want to do a colonic is, I want to see what comes out of the tube!

I used to take very long baths as a child and I would gather up different items from the kitchen and bathroom cupboard and pour them into the bathtub with the water to see what it would do to me. I was right in the middle of my own experiment and I thought it was great fun, like a little scientific witch.

Cleanse, Day 2

Last night I rebelled and ate fries, onion rings and drank hot chocolate. It was at Denny’s, which is the pit of trans fat. Today I ate only cleanse approved foods, but didn’t eat much because I haven’t gone grocery shopping since cleaning out my fridge.


Exercise: The Firm, tough tape 2, 8lb squats.


Good things: My new firm exercise tape came in the mail! Yay! Also my 20 questions about fitness video tape came and I folded my Christmas letters while I watched it. It was motivating, but didn’t pack the punch it did the first time I saw it.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

A Dubious Goal

Right now I’m in the mood to see a movie, and I’m about to go see one. So this idea for a goal is probably just based on my current mood. I think I would like to see Roger Ebert’s list of 100 great movies. (Here's his book.) Then, (always thinking about how I can incorporate something into my blog,) I can blog about it! We'll see. It may happen. I need to figure out how to archive my posts by topic.

Cleanse, Day 1

(This is the sort of topic that makes me wish that this blog was completely anonymous. To all those who know me, sorry if this grosses you out! Just skip these entries!)

My mom is good for many things. One thing that she will do with me, that is hard to find, is weird diets. We have eaten strange conncoctions, drunk homemade herbal teas and fasted for days together. So, when I got a yen to do a cleanse I called her. We just spoke and to give you an idea of what a rare commoditiy she is in a dieting partner, I will relay this short snippet of our conversation. Me: "Ok, so it will be a pretty simple cleanse, and the only other thing is, I was thinking that at the beginning and the end of our cleanse we could do a colonic." Her: "Oh, that sounds nice."

I've done very odd cleanses that involved precise timing and rare ingredients, but this is our simple homemade version. We are going to do a three week long cleanse, cutting out beef, pork, flour, dairy, sugar and trans fats. We can eat any vegis, fruits, poultry and seafood that we want. (Crap, I just realized that no dairy means no butter.) We are going to add two "P and B shakes" daily; that is one Tablespoon of liquid bentonite and one teaspoon of psyllium husks. We're going to do one colonic in the begining and one at the end. (I've never done one before, I'll let you know how it goes.) At the end of our cleanse we will only have two days of traditional cleanse weirdness when we do a liquid fast and drink a strange, tightly-timed concoction meant to promote liver cleansing.

Hoped for benefits: Mostly I just feel in need of a general spring cleaning. During the last part of Fall semester I was eating a lot of frozen dinners and canned food. Blech! I want my skin to clear up, I want to lose weight and I want some break in my routine to help me get into healthier eating and exercise habits. I'm blogging it to keep me motivated. Wish me luck!

People Finder- kind of creepy

Propelled by my Christmas/Holiday letter, I’ve been searching for addresses of my favorite people that I’ve lost touch with. I was thrilled to discover the name of an old friend from Michigan who might be living in California.

I’ve also discovered that these people finder services are kind of creepy. I found myself- the only person listed with my name, thank you very much. For only $30 I can find out any property I own, all the places I’ve lived, any marriages and divorces I’ve had and my credit report. The truly shudder inducing moment was when I saw that for a small additional fee, I can buy SATELITE SURVEYLANCE photos of people. What the hell!?!

Friday, December 24, 2004

Sunglasses and eyebrows

I’m looking for a new pair of sunglasses and wouldn’t you know it, I found a pair by Prada that is just the right shape for my face! Ha! It’s on sale and is $80. Luckily I found my $15 sunglasses again today so I don’t need to buy new ones. I’ve been looking for advice about sunglasses for my face shape any way. There’s lots of info about it on the internet, this is a fun site that lets you try a couple pairs of sunglasses on the “model.”

While I’m at it: here is the website of my favorite eyebrow people. They have pictures of celebrity eyebrows! Check out their book here.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Yep, they thought of that

I do facial exercises using flex effect, which uses resistance bands to work out facial muscles. It works really well and I thought what I need is eyelid weights so that I can exercise my eyelids so they will open wider.

Of course, I had brief fantasies of inventing them and becoming rich and appearing on Oprah. “Well, I just thought of putting weights on my eye-lids, I put it on the internet and here I am! Can you believe when I started out I was just cutting up these little eyelid weights in my little one room apt?” ( I don’t really live in a one room apt, but that makes it more dramatic.) So, just now I looked up eye-lid weights and what do you know, someone already invented them! They use them in the treatment of bell palsy. Oddly, they are available by prescription only. What on earth do they think people are going to do with eyelid weights?
So, I might have to rig up some after all or order them from Canada! I wonder if they will work out my eyelid muscles like I think they will.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


Remember when I was caught in a perpetual dissatisfaction loop? This is what I wrote later that day:

I’m taking the day off I decided. And I’ve come up with some of my own answers to my previous questions. (I still welcome yours!) I’ve been surfing the internet and I just remembered how valuable daily practices are for me. OH yeah! How is it that I know this stuff for years and then forget it?

So, daily practices…what works for me is meditation, reading something uplifting (I have been reading a great book of poems called The Rag and Bone Shop,) stretching (it’s amazing how relaxing my body deeply leads to a habit of general relaxation throughout my day,) and journaling. Also, having one rest day a week is a religious tradition that really works for me and adds balance into my life.

This semester it hasn’t been possible for Sunday to be my holy day, (that’s why I’m taking days off when I can find them – or just when I can’t take it anymore – like today.) Next semester I’m going to plan so that my Sundays can be days of rest again. A little rest and time to just be each day, a day of rest each week, and a vacation or two or three each year. Now, that’s balance. J

Ok…. Sigh… it’s all coming back to me now. No wonder I’ve been dissatisfied. I haven’t been resting, which means I’ve been waiting for things to be over so I can rest. Alright, I remember how this all goes now…

Today I did a breathing exercise and a guided loving kindness meditation.

An uplifting radio show

Prairie Home Companion

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Carry me Home

I was listening to music without boundaries tonight and thought I'd do a little art to the music. This is "Carry Me Home" by Hem on Eveningland.

I need love

"I Need Love" by Terri Hendrix on The Art Of Removing Wallpaper.

Two songs

This is "Train Song" by Mindy Smith on One Moment More, but then the next song came on and covered it up: "What The Hell Happened" by Bruce Hornsby on Halcyon Days.

Rose into the night

"Mother Rose" by Patti Smith on Trampin'

What I wrote to Craigslist

Yes, sometimes I write to craigslist. This time I wrote just to say I was down and some people wrote back. Here it is:

Title: (women seeking men) I am bummed (this is actually just a rant - sorry)

I'm not sure why this is such a down time for me, but I've noticed that whenever I focus on finding romance I get down, because it's just not one of those goals I can work towards and then predictably achieve. Sheesh. This is a tough one. I need to put myself in social situations so that I can meet my honey, but I can't make it one of my goals that I focus on or it's just depressing! hmmm.

Alright, I'm giving up on dating for awhile. I feel so much better when I do. Here is a site I just inadvertently surfed to which prompted this post: I've never been divorced, and REALLY hope never to get divorced- breaking up hurts about as much as I want to hurt. Oy. So, the site reminded me that it's good to be picky.

Like I said, this is just a rant, so don't write. (If you send truly encouraging words, I will silently thank you.) I don't think I'll be writing or looking on
craigslist for awhile. Good look to all ya'll.

People wrote back, here a couple excerpts:

“Holy Shit!!!!!!

I am so hearing what you are saying here...I have never tried to find the love of my heart on the net and then when I start looking it seems to always go nowhere.....
getting out to meet the one, yes, this is it..I have adjusted my Feng Shui to help, so we will just have to wait and see. but like you said when you say to yourself, I am not looking to meet you now I so do not have time and or the desire to feel the lonely and empty parts of me. so I stay busy telling myself that it will all happen in time, when the time is right. …”

“good luck to u :) yeah u might have what i have seasonal disorder :) keep-kickin-it-baby :) 420/24/7/365 PEACE”

Thanks nice craigslist people! Just as a side note: Have you noticed how much more confessional my posts have gotten! This must be a side-effect of writing blogs. I now have the audience I secretly imagined as I wrote in my actual paper journal. Let me know if I’m going overboard and just being too outrageously or, worse, annoyingly revealing. I will post art again! I’m just at the tail end of the semester and haven’t created any art lately. I am dreaming of a fresh drawing pad for Christmas and then I will draw in long meetings and on nice days in the park and will post it here and my page will once again (once again?) be full of beautiful and simple art, unhampered by words.

Dropping Keys...I love this poem

Dropping Keys...I love this poem

This is the poem for the "Dropping Keys" painting. – Mollie
original painting by Mollie Kellogg
inspired by a poem by Hafiz


The small man
Builds cages for everyone

While the sage,
Who has to duck his head while the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
For the

translation by Daniel Ladinsk

Check out Mollie’s painting at:

Saturday, December 11, 2004

A North American Falls In Love with Brazil

Read about “the most emotionally healthy country in the world” and the “anti-Bush” in this interesting article. I was thinking France, but now maybe Brazil?

Friday, December 10, 2004

Soul of a Citizen: Living With Conviction in a Cynical Time

An excerpt from Paul Loeb’s book about how average, imperfect people can help change the world.

“We often think of social involvement as noble but impractical. Yet it can serve enlightened self-interest and the interests of others simultaneously, giving us a sense of connection and purpose nearly impossible to find in private life. "It takes energy to act," says Pete. "But it's more draining to bury your anger, convince yourself you're powerless, and swallow whatever's handed to you."

How then shall we characterize those who participate in our society as active citizens? They are persons of imperfect character, acting on the basis of imperfect knowledge, for causes that may be imperfect as well. That's a profile virtually any of us could match, given a willingness to live with ambiguity, occasional failure, and frustration. Imperfection may not be saintly, but wielding it in the service of justice is a virtue. Whoever we are, we can savor our imperfect journey of commitment. Learning as we go, we can discover how much our actions matter.”

cultural creatives

Have you heard about cultural creatives? Here's the book.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Union of Concerned scientists

I found a cool site today, check out Union of Concerned scientists.

20 Things you Love to do

I made a list of 20 things I really like to do yesterday and asked my mom to send me her list. It was interesting to think about which activities I do that give me the most satisfaction. It was really fun to read my mom’s list. Here’s my 20 or so things I really like to do. What about you? (Tip: write as fast as you can without evaluating and do yours before you read mine!)





Did you write yours yet?


Ok, Here are mine:


  • Dancing
  • Playing with friends
  • Cuddling
  • Eating good food
  • Playing with animals
  • Singing and playing the guitar for other people
  • Creating a finished piece of art that I really like
  • Having an exciting intellectual discussion
  • Talking with someone and feeling a close connection
  • Making people laugh
  • Laughing really hard
  • Making my home and garden space look really nice
  • Choreographing a dance show
  • Expressing my ideas really well
  • Having someone play with my hair and otherwise love me
  • Swimming in warm water
  • Kayaking
  • River rafting
  • Seeing somewhere new and beautiful
  • Listening to good music
  • Listening to sensible and uplifting ideas
  • Learning something new that opens up possibilities for me
  • Accomplishing a goal
  • Knowing that I really helped someone and made a positive difference


I’d love to read your 20 things, if you want to share, leave a comment or a link to your 20 (or so)!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Happy Holiday?

Every now and then I get lost in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction. (“I’ll be happy when…”) I want to enjoy every moment that I can this Holiday season, but I find myself looking ahead more than being in the now.


So, I have a question for you. I’m sure there is a way to resolve what seems like a paradox for me. I am great at seeing, and eventually realizing possibilities. I think this gift has several components 1. I can see what could be 2. I can see what is currently missing 3. I can research and then evaluate and understand what resources etc need to be added to get from what is missing to what can be.


This is one of my main talents and figures into most things that I am good at. However, some of these skills seem to be opposite to what it takes to be happy in the moment. (I’m sure that that isn’t true, but right now I’m not seeing how it can all work together inside of me.) What seems opposite about being happy to me is 1. Seeing what is (Can you see what is and what can be at the same time, or do you have to flip back and forth. Hmmm…) 2. See what is currently right 3. Be grateful for what is currently right.


Of course, happiness is only one of my values and not necessarily my primary value. I get a lot of satisfaction from creating and improving things, so I’m not willing to give that up to be subjectively happy in the moment. And, I’m sure I don’t have to… so any ideas about how I can combine the skills of seeing into the future and enjoying the present? Before you answer, I want to be clear that I am happy every now and then. J I just want to learn the skill of really savoring and enjoying all the moments of my life.


Thank you!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Hi Joe

Short posts for awhile while I finish up this semester. Just wanted to say a quick thanks to Joe for leaving a comment about my Thanksgiving poem! Take a look at Joe’s poems at his website:

By the way, I re-appreciated my family this Thanksgiving even as I shook my head in disbelief at their political views. Thanks for loving me even through our differences, little family. I love you, too.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

End Torture Now

I’m really busy, so I haven’t been posting much. Visit the End Torture Now website.

Wishing us all Peace on Earth this holiday season.