Monday, January 31, 2005

The Most Beautiful Woman in the World

Wow, Ebert says it's Aishwarya Rai. I don't see it. I think Michelle Pheifer in her glory days was more beautiful, and then there's the woman I most wanted to look like (when I wasted my time wishing I looked like someone else:) that French Victoria's Secret model Laetitia Casta.

Aishwarya has that classic, grown-up, generic mom beauty of Elizabeth Taylor and Catherine Zeta-Jones. (Catherine Z. is quite a stunningly classical beauty, I have to admit.) Laititia Casta has bow lips, like babies do. I'm a sucker for bow lips, probably due to genetically encoded mom instincts in me.

Ironically I started looking on the web today for the greatest American feminists. oops.

Power and privilege

I saw the Aviator tonight. I thought it was a good flick. It continues my obsession of the week with power in it's many forms and how to get it. In some strange way the film made me feel better and reminded me that angling for power, even with all it's serious consequences, at base, is still just a game. The real thing, the true thing, is love. It upsets hierarchies and can also be a form of power, but an unreasonable, messy one. By the way, I couldn’t find the word I was looking for to describe love, but found out the interesting etymology of the word “true” in my search.

Now I’ve got to go read what Ebert said about the Aviator.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

How low can we go?

While you're at it, check out Tom Tomorrow's current cartoon.

The Red Pill

Speaking of movies and secret messages, I just found a website using the Matrix to introduce people to less official views about the U. S. government. I lifted these quotes from the site:

"I've got enough anger for ten people. I work as hard as I can, and when I can't take it anymore, I go to the beach."
Kevin Danaher, Global Exchange (personal communication, 2000)

"The fearsome social and global environmental crises from which we mentally flee are not unbearable additions to our already extreme weight of personal problems; they are the key, the answer to those problems."
David Edwards. Burning All Illusions

"The peace movement is filled with anger and hatred. It cannot fulfill the path we expect from them. ... That is why it is so important for us to practice meditation, to acquire the capacity to look, to see, and to understand. ... Peace work means, first of all, being peace."
Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

"Despair is suicide of the imagination. ... to voluntarily close a door that has not yet shut."
Sam Smith, Why Bother?

"People with power are perfectly happy for the population to be cynical, because that tends to paralyze people and leads to passivity. Those same powerful people also do their best to derail critique -- the process of working to understand the nature of things around us and offering judgments about them -- because that tends to energize people and leads to resistance."
Robert Jensen, "Critical Hope"

"Many people feel quite unjustly discouraged and gloomy about the opportunities to do things, but there have been really remarkable victories in the last couple of years."
Noam Chomsky (1998) from the CD, "Case Studies in Hypocrisy"

Portends of Grrr...

I've been in a stew. My aunt said it best, "When you are sick, everything has portends of doom." Yesterday, I talked to a school advisor who said I would probably end up working in a coffee shop, (or was it a gas station?) after hearing my professional plans. Asshole. For some reason, knowing that I was going to ignore his advice gave me the same feeling as Allison running from the cops. I felt like I stepped into another reality, without the protection afforded by following the sanctioned rules of the group. I saw my reflection in the blank TV, with my matter of fact eyes, and could see the little girl I used to be, with no respect for authority for authority’s sake, no respect for rules that didn't make sense. I used to refuse to call adults by their last name and would call them by their first name, as they did with me. Are some of us just born that way, or is it a product of my childhood where I was inherently an outsider, so I could see with more unsocialized eyes?

I went to the library to get more videos to ease my at-home-with-the-flu boredom. I was looking for videos that would make me feel better and change my darkening world view. It's interesting how many movies have the theme of the individual vs. the group. I checked out Cold Sassy Tree and Clueless, among others. I watched Cold Sassy Tree. The main character is trying to find a home and is shunned for her non-conformity by the townspeople. I can relate. Luckily she finds a stand up man, so she has a framework of safety around her different ness. I can relate to that too. No matter how weird you are, if you have a stand-up conformist-seeming man, you are still acceptable, not dangerous as you might be on your own. Yesterday it seemed to me that so much art, like movies and music, was made by non-conformists who were sending secret messages out to us other non-conformists telling us, "It's alright, keep following your dreams, you can find a way, a path, no matter what the herd says."

Seemingly paradoxically , I am finally discovering how important having a group is to me, and am learning to reach out to people when I need help. It’s a very healthy thing for me. Yesterday I could viscerally feel the safety in it, especially after watching the Net! (It's not the video to watch when you are feeling jumpy from running from the cops, or sick.)

Sunday, January 23, 2005


I definitely have the flu. "Pain when you move your eyes" ??? I've never heard of that before. That is now my worst symptom. ick.

Pleasant way to prevent cold/flu

It started on Wednesday with a hacking cough and congested lungs. I had a fever of 101 to 102 until the middle of Saturday night, when it broke, and I woke up soaking wet.

Since I moved to a new place I have gotten about 4 or 5 colds. I usually pride myself on not getting sick and when I catch the rare cold, I boast that I can recover completely in 2 days or less. Once my roommate and I had the same cold and she was sick for 3 weeks and I got better in, yes, two days. My plan:
  • Rest immediately, don't work through the illness, it will just prolong it.
  • Gargle with hydrogen peroxide at the first tiny tickle in your throat.
  • Start taking zinc lozenges right away- 6 a day, suck, don't chew.
  • Eat chicken soup with cayenne pepper and raw garlic in it- enough of both that it burns your throat.
  • Mix salt with warm water and suck it up through your nose - cleans out germs and mucus.
  • Avoid cold medicines that dry you out- your body is trying to wash the virus out.
  • Drink lots of liquids, of course,
  • take Echinacea and vitamins, and
  • eat healthy, and avoid sugar.
  • Wash your hands often and disinfect surfaces you touch a lot, like doorknobs. (This is probably more for the people around you.)
It works! So, in the past, I didn't mind getting a cold so much- I hardly ever got one, and when I did, I had an effective routine. Now that I've gotten 4 or 5 in one year, I'm feeling a little irritated and frustrated, and my treatment enthusiasm is waning. That protocol takes energy. I'm tired of telling people, "Sorry, I can't, I'm sick." I feel more inclined to work through the cold, so I don't miss out on stuff. This weekend I would have gone on a road trip to Arizona, even with a cold, if I didn't feel so bad that it would have been ridiculous. I missed a fun dance last night which two people invited me to, I'm going to have to foist my church job off on someone else today, and I just pray I can go to the concert I've been looking forward to tonight. Even typing this is a drain. This is one of the most miserable colds ever and after doing a symptom check on Web MD, I think it could be the flu. I have some of the worst symptoms of both the cold and flu.

Hope on the horizon: Web MD lists lots of ways to prevent the cold and flu, including getting a flu shot, (which I never dreamed I might do before.) Here is the one that prompted me to write today:
#5 Take a Sauna

Researchers aren't clear about the exact role saunas play in prevention, but one 1989 German study found that people who steamed twice a week got half as many colds as those who didn't. One theory: When you take a sauna you inhale air hotter than 80 degrees, a temperature too hot for cold and flu viruses to survive.

Hey, that sounds enjoyable! They also reccomend eating yogurt, which I used to do daily and now never do. Could that be the key variable for me? There have been so many changes in my life it's hard to say what the real factors are in the no-cold, lots-of-colds difference. I'm going to drink some more liquids and take a hot shower. When I get better, (hopefully in time for the concert tonight... I can dream,) I'm going to eat yogurt and sit in the sauna. Meanwhile, I'm geting a shooting pain in my head when I move my eyes too far in any direction. This is beyond the scope of my treatment expertise. Any advice?

Wishing you health...

Friday, January 21, 2005

I've had a weird couple days...

I’m supposed to be at a party, but I’m home with a chest cold. I’ve had a weird couple days, I could tell you about that.

Tuesday I sang at my first open mike, I was bumped after the comedians. A punk rock singer named Wolf asked me to dance with him during his set- I did. My foot got wrapped in the over 6-feet tall microphone that was behind us and as he was singing his grand finale, it fell past me and almost hit his head. He looked up just in time to see it and caught it as the song ended. The crowd went wild.

On Wednesday “my friend,” let’s call her “Allison,” was actually involved in a car chase. I say this to you presuming you have no law enforcement connections, or won’t be able to find out who Allison is from my blog, or you know and love me and won’t turn Allison in. So, there she was coming out of the doctor’s office, (the doctor said what a fun, yet responsible person she seems like) and she sees a parking ticket on her car. She shrugs and throws it on the passenger seat. Before she could get all the way in her car, a cop walks up to her and says that he has called a tow truck and is going to impound her car because the registration has lapsed. She tells him that she will go get it registered that day, plead, plead, beg, beg. The tow truck is driving up behind her. He says if he lets her go out of the goodness of his heart, the city will be liable. For a second, she thinks he is trying to “tell” her, secret code like, that it would be ok with him if she drives away, but that he can’t give his tacit permission. She asks, “Will you arrest me if I drive away?” He is getting worked up and says that she shouldn’t do that because she could go to jail for 7 days. Ok, no secret message. In one moment she was gauging his uniform (she should have checked for guns,) freaking out about the 7 days in jail comment, and remembering that her aunt was handcuffed, arrested and strip searched for having delinquent parking tickets. Instinct took over. She said, “I’m leaving.” She got in her car, closed and locked the door. He ran towards the back of her car waiving the tow truck driver over. His vehicle was diagonally parked in front of her car, she barely missed hitting it as she hit the gas.

To be continued…

Ps: What made her drive away from a cop? I don’t know. Maybe she has a deep seated disrespect for authority, maybe she wanted to show her solidarity with all people who are treated unfairly by the justice system, or maybe, (this is a friend’s theory) it is just the result of too many years of watching chase scenes on TV and rooting for the criminals.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Oh... the places you'll go, I mean, that I went

Pretty cool! (There may be a few more from early childhood that I don't remember, I'll add them in after talking to my momm.)
Now it's your turn! create your own visited states map!
If you leave a link to your blog in comments, I'll check out your map!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Monday, January 17, 2005

Jeg Elsker....

Two artists

I met two artists at a Christmas party. Here are their websites: and They were both optimistic and doing what they can to live their dreams. I talked to Hugo the most and think he is the type of person who assumes the best about people and glides past troublesome people like water in a stream. I’ve met that kind of person before- the kind of person who flows around the rough spots while focusing solidly on what they want out of life. Happy people. I was inspired by these guys to pursue my dreams. Check out their websites, they are really quite interesting.


Thursday, January 13, 2005

Blog of the Day: Blogdom

Because... I went there more then once and saw two cool new blog toys there which I added to my page. Oh yeah, Blogdom.


My friend Laura just reminded me that I have fallen off the face of the blogosphere lately. For some reason, when I blog, I tend to think a lot about blogging and there are other things I like to think about. For instance, my family. My Granddad has been in town visiting and he has Alzheimer’s. Everybody with Alzheimer’s is different and my granddad has amazingly kept his wit, his silliness and his sweetness. He does occasionally forget who we are. He forgot his old car I was loading my stuff into. "Granddad, you gave me this car." "I wouldn't have just given someone a car would I?" "Well, you made me pay you a dollar." "Isn't it funny, that car doesn't even look vaguely familiar..." "It will in a minute." I said. The back was up and I thought he would remember the car when he saw the bumper sticker with the name of his hometown on it. I slowly closed the back of the car. "Oh!" he said and tried to smile as he started to cry, "Now I think I remember."

Oh, my Granddad.

In other news, soon I will be starting school and I can not comfortably handle all this typing. It doesn't help that I have the most unergonomic set-up ever. So, with my Christmas money, I am going to purchase Dragon Naturally Speaking version 8. I haven't decided to get the pack that comes with a voice recorder or without. Everyone says the voice recorder it comes with is crappy. I think my life and my creative output will improve tremendously with my new gadget.

Speaking of gadgets, my Lucent Technology 1725 answering machine has died and I can't get a direct replacement because someone else is now making that model. I happen to love gadgets and have bought some stinkers because of my craving. However, I made a really good decision when I decided to go with the expensive 1725. It was really a pleasure to use and I was thankful for it everyday that I used it. It just illustrates the heaven of good design. I mean, have you ever had something that you used daily that caused you minor daily frustration, don’t you come to hate or at least resent it? Oh how I loved my answering machine! It was so nifty! It was so easy to use, so sleek and so fun. Now, what will I do? Where will I go? How will anyone get a hold of me?

Thursday, January 06, 2005

New Year's Resolutions

A couple days ago my Grandma, her sister, and my aunt were talking about how they wish they hadn't been so scared when they were my age, and had followed their true dreams and passions. My aunt wanted to be an actess, but took the safe road and became a teacher. I want to sing in a band, and this year my goal is to perform in public often. During the last week in January, I plan to perform at an open mike. (Ackk! Do you know how scary that is for me??!! I was shaking just singing into the phone for my audio blog!) I am also going to exercise 5 days a week and eat healthy food. I've gotten a good start on that one.

My main goal of the year is to enjoy my life. To do that I am practicing gratitude and appreciation. Do you have any gratitude or appreciation practices that you want to share?

I will finish my master's degree by the end of the year. What I really, really want to do in my career is to create a prototype of an invention I have an idea for, research it, and have somebody else pay for this- either in the form of a scholarship for a doctorate or a grant. This is my big passion and and I haven't figured out how to chunk it down into doable steps yet. If you have any tips about getting grants/scholarships please leave a comment. I’m not going to be more specific about my invention here, as it is part of my non-anonymous life. I want to make weekly progress towards that goal, but I’m not sure how to do it yet.

Last, but not least, I’m going to continue to practice dating using my favorite dating book Be Your Own Dating Service.

I wish you the oomph and the urgency to do the things you really love to do. Life really is short. Just do it! :)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

I'm Gone

this is an audio post - click to play

By me. hmmm... the song is cute,(I think.) The singing... well ... at least I don't have to worry about being falsely modest!

Wish you were here

this is an audio post - click to play

Song by Pink Floyd, sung by me. Yeah.

There is Nothing Wrong in This Whole Wide World

mmmm..... another uplifting link. To remind be that there is beauty all around me and to bring me back from my dim view of the world yesterday. (Its so much more fun being happy. - and easier too.) Also, check out the comments- some of them are inspiring too.

When I finally figure out how to organize posts by catagories, maybe I will have a post called "Beautiful Anyway" or "This sad beautiful world" or something that expresses the beauty that can be found in our old, dingy world. American Beauty fits into that theme and a tap show I saw once did too. I think it was Tap Dogs. There was a scene of a grimy alley way and some guys drinking and playing cards. Slowly, a rythm emerged from the shuffling of the cards and the banging of the garbage cans and even the yelling people.

(See how this all fits into the gratitude/appreciation theme I've got going? I think that is going to be my theme for the year! - I like to have a theme for the year.)

Blog of the Day - French Toast Girl...

Because she wants to take care of herself this New Year, wants to live in Italy for awhile, offered free wallpaper which I just put on my desktop, and her letter to herself (little acorn) made me cry.

French Toast Girl is a warm, cozy illustrated blog. This is my favorite Valentine there. Check it out!

In contrast to my rant yesterday...

This cartoon.

Thanks to Laura for the link.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Prayer for Freedom From Suffering

May all beings everywhere plagued
with sufferings of body and mind
quickly be freed from their illnesses.
May those frightened cease to be afraid,
and may those bound be free.
May the powerless find power,
and may people think of befriending
one another.
May those who find themselves in trackless,
fearful wilderness--
the children, the aged, the unprotected--
be guarded by beneficent celestials,
and may they swiftly attain Buddhahood.
- The Buddha
Found at

Blog of the Day - Digital Zendo

Oh, just 'cause. There are some nice thought of the day quotes there. Check it out.

(ps: I'm thinking of making a nifty button to offer my blog of the day people which says, "A Yes, please! blog of the day" First I really need a way to sort my posts by category. Anyone?)


I'm becoming cynical.

Oh and wouldn't you know it, just as I'm about to declare myself a misanthrope the postman comes and brings me not one but two Christmas packages. (One was so late that he said my aunt could get her money back.) Well, people still suck but, heart softened, I will amend my opinion somewhat.

So, here's what I've noticed that is bringing me down a little. People like strength and tend to attack or at least avoid weakness. I'm not excluding myself here, I hate to admit, and if you are excluding yourself as you read, just think about the people you like. Aren't you attracted to confidence (real confidence, not covering up bravado,) as opposed to social weaklings with no social skills? And if you are kind to those broken winged birds, (I am,) wouldn't you still rather be seen with the more normal people that you know? (I would.) Then there's greed. I've been thunderstruck in these last four years by what lengths people will go to because they are greedy. I had never given it much thought as an evil before I'd seen it result in murder and torture. Oh and there's more, of course there are really awful people who do horrible things, but they have the comfort of seeming like an anomaly. The hen pecking [you know, how hens peck out the eyes of weaker birds] I've finally woken up to seems to be ubiquitous.

I've had such faith in humans and have been such a champion of them. Now I'm turning into an old Mark Twain. Alright, so I promised I would amend this cynicism somewhat and here it is. While I think all the above is true, it is also true that humans can choose to be kind and good and that many have and do. The Dali Lama thinks that people's core nature is compassion. I will give us this: it feels good to be compassionate and kind, therefore it must be in our structure somehow. So... I will not abandon my life's work of making life better and happier for humans. (Aren't you relieved?) But, I will continue my practice of appreciation, which makes me notice what people are really like here and now, and I will be wary of the humans, revealing my vulnerabilities cautiously, because many of them can only be trusted so far. Stupid humans.

Here are more examples of people's tendency to attack (in one way or another) weaker people. (For the cynic in your life.) The first example is well known: most kids will be mean to the weakest (bodily, mentally, emotionally) kid. "Kids can be cruel."
Then there's the "blame the victim" mentality that so often accompanies crime, especially rape. This tendency usually has to be educated out of people. It's a protective psychological reaction based on fear. Here's the psychological logic: a person hears about a horrific crime and is terrified it could happen to them (or someone they love.) So, somewhere in their mind they say, "This never would have happened if the victim didn't do such and such. I never do such and such, therefore, this couldn't happen to me."
The last time I saw this happen was in Utah when Elizabeth Smart got kidnapped for months. People who would never blame a rape victim were saying, "She went with him because she was trained to be obedient. That would never happen to a street smart kid who hadn't been raised in a church where she was trained to be obedient." Well, if it helps you sleep better at night... The truth, of course, is that strong grown men trained to resist torture are still subject to the Stockholm syndrome. It's more the sharpness of the knife than the toughness of the hand that determines the depth of the cut, but that makes the world a kind of scary place. Maybe I can forgive humans for their stupid cruelty after all.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Cleanse, Day 9

Wow, I can't believe its day 9 of the cleanse! I called my mom the other day and she said she was sticking to the cleanse, but she was gaining weight because she was eating a lot of cheese. "Cheese!" I exclaimed, betrayed, "but we aren't eating any dairy!!" She hadn't noticed that part. We agreed that we could eat yogurt. Then she had the nerve to ask me if she could eat a brownie. "No!" I said, "you can not eat a brownie!" Then I relented and said of course she could eat whatever she wanted to. However, I gave her the advice I saw over on Laura's weight loss blog, and reminded her that if she asked, her husband would probably make brownies again.

So, what about me? I'm sticking to my cleanse, but am still having trouble eating as many veggies as I would like. I actually like vegetables, but am some what at a loss about what to do with them. I'd like a wok so I could eat [I meant to type "make" ha, Freudian slip! I really just want to EAT homemade stir fry!] homemade stir fry. This morning I came up with an innovative and yummy solution to my no milk and no soy rule (no soy- I'll explain later.) I used coconut milk in my oatmeal, slices of apples and cinnamon. It was really good. Truly, I want to enjoy eating and have that be a pleasure in my life instead of a utilitarian function.

Exercise: Last Thursday I did my new old Firm video, "Total Body - Time Crunch Workout." Its only 45 minutes long with simple and hokey and EFFECTIVE exercises. It's so much easier for me to get myself to work out with weights than to go running, because I know working out with weights is going to show. When I first started working out with weights, (I used "I want those buns!") I lost 2 inches off my butt in 3 workouts and I'm not exaggerating. My sister-friend told me, "I love your butt!" It still rings in my ear to this day, although the butt she loved is hidden and weak right now. I will raise my rear again! :)

Today I'm going to go try, for the first time ever, the Fitprime video "Strong Bear." Its with Tracey Long and I can tell its going to be good and tough. I'll let you know.

Oops! What I haven't been doing: the P and B shakes. (I bet my mom hasn't either!) I'll get on that.

Weight loss: My scale has just (unfortunately, serendipitiously?) died. It's ok though. From being quite in shape and trim to quite out of shape and plump, I have gained 3 to 5 pounds. That's why I didn't notice how out of shape I had gotten for awhile. So, I'll go by the fit of my jeans and the jib of my... something. (I just wanted to say, "jib.")

Good Luck in your fitness goals!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Blog of the Day: Greedy Girl

Though I suspect she may be evil and possibly, shudder, Republican, I have been going from her blog to links she recomends and back to her blog for well over an hour. Also, I think I may finally understand RSS feeds enough to try it out. For these reasons, and for the greedy girl inside of me, Kari Sullivan's Greedy Girl is my Blog of the Day.

ps: Not literally evil.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! It’s the traditional time of year for deciding what you want to accomplish in the coming year. Here are two books which will help you do that. Really.

The first is The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play by Neil Fiore. If you procrastinate and want to stop, buy this book. If my testimonial doesn’t convince you, go to Amazon and read the rave reviews there.

Oy, have I ever had a problem with procrastination. You have no idea. What I did last semester was tell everyone that I couldn’t go out, I had homework to do and then I’d intermingle doing homework with trying to make myself do homework, missing out on fun. I even managed to drag an assignment well out into the summer- it was humiliating.
Before this semester, I read Neil Fiore’s book, (and I’m going to read it again,) and the main thing I remembered was to work in half hour increments and plan something fun to do each day. It sounds like a small change, but it dramatically increased the quality of my life. The first thing I noticed was how much work I could get done in a half hour. It was astonishing. I also noticed how hard it was for me to quit at the end of the half hour and take a break. It made me want to get back to what I was doing. My days felt more balanced. My semester was more enjoyable, I went dancing a lot more and I got more done. It was also interesting to come face to face with a desire for perfection that I knew was there from side-effects, although it wasn’t very conscious. One time I made myself turn a very imperfect paper in, one that would be on the internet for all my classmates to see, and go to my regularly scheduled fun activity. It was so hard to send that in. I felt embarrassed but just took a deep breath and tried to take a “let the chips fall where they may” attitude. Interestingly enough, my teacher gave me an A and said it was a good, well thought out paper. What?! I can have fun and still get good grades. It is like unto a miracle. Fiore mentions a study about students working on their thesis. The ones who did the best job the most quickly, worked on it the least hours and had the most fun. A nifty paradox, try it out yourself if you find yourself saying no to something fun so you can stay home and organize your pictures. It really works and its very freeing.

Next book: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
by David Allen. While the hallmark of Fiore's book is warm discernment, the hallmark of this book is clear thinking. This is the clearest thinking I have ever read about organizing incoming paper and to-do items in all my live long days. One thing he says that sticks in my mind is that you can’t manage time, but you can manage the tasks you do in time. I am still working on the seamless implementation of his ideas. I can’t wholeheartedly recommend the Getting Things Done Outlook add-in, but I can wholeheartedly recommend this book. The methods in this book helped me take the GRE, apply to grad school, and move me and my possessions in a few short months.

More tips from Neil Fiore. Notice how there are some similarities between his tips and this old post of mine? I love it when famous people have the same ideas as me (or the other way around.) I feel so smart.

Wishing you the ability to thouroughly enjoy your new year,


Site Statistics and "What about increasing traffic?"

This site has been up for two months and 10 days. The average unique visitors per day for the months were:
October - 7,
November - 15,
December - 8.

My goal: I'd like to have 50 unique visitors per day. The only problem with improving traffic is that it could become a full time job and it shifts the enjoyment factor from being about writing, drawing, singing to being about hits. Hmmm.. very puzzling. Nevertheless, I've been looking for ways to improve traffic and have once again come across Blogexplosion, a service where you search other people's blogs in exchange for them searching your blog, and once again have decided not to join. Dave Pollard at How to Save the World has some tips I might use. Although, like other tips I've read about, some of his tips have me asking myself, "What is the point of this again?"

But still I search, and here is something from Greedy Girl about adding your RSS feed to Yahoo. I wish I understood what an RSS feed is.