Monday, September 26, 2005

Now you can search my Blog!

Check it out in the blogger banner at the top of this blog! You can now search my blog! Now if Blogger just enables categories, it may become the perfect free, super easy to use, blog service.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The trouble turned out to be of an unexpected sort

I just plucked my eyebrows. I was starting to look like Bert, or even worse, a drag queen who has just taken his wig off. Hopefully thinner eyebrows will give me the boost I need. Here's the email I sent to my mom yesterday:
I'm at achool right now. Boy I had a time of it getting all my ducks in a row to graduate. Luckily I was expecting trouble and didn'tfreak out since I had such unexpected trouble last year. The trouble turned out to be of an unexpected sort.. It turns out that my advisor can't be my advisor for special study because he doesn't have a contract this year with the ... department (he is the director for the ... and is not teaching a class this semester.) So, they had to get another advisor who had work hours in their schedule to sign my paper even though the other professor would really do the work as my advisor. so, I have a fake advisor so I can do a real project and a fake grad assistanship so I can get paid for that project! OY!! :) I spent all day doing this and am still scared there is something I don't know about that will prevent me from graduationg. Yes, I asked everyone if that was all, and got all the signitures, but I did that with my bachelors degree too. ACH! I don't think I will feel totally sure I'm graduating until I hold the dipolma in my hands. And then I am framing that sucker and putting it on my wall.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Comment Spam

I've been recieving comment spam lately, you know "love your blog... free texas hold 'em at such and such address." So, I've turned on the dreaded comment verification. Dun, dun, DUN! Now you know.

Old age is a gift

This is one of those passed around emails that I thought was worth passing along.
Old age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body ... the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to overeat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 a.m., and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love... I will. I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten ... and I eventually remember the important things. Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one or when a child suffers, or even when a beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, and to have m youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face... I can say "no", and mean it. I can say "yes", and mean it.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong. So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Wall- wherein Braidwood reminisces

The Berlin wall being torn down was an amazing experience in my life. It'’s one of those events, like the Challenger explosion or the 9/11 attacks, which I remember exactly where I was when it happened. I was in my living room watching T.V. The people were standing on the wall, cheering, and breaking through it with axes and whatever else they had. I was crying and cheering too. I couldn'’t believe it. I remember watching White Nights and a movie where a family tries to escape over the wall in a hot air balloon. The wall was a dark and terrible thing in my childhood world. To me, the wall had always been up. I was amazed when it fell.

I went to East Germany in 1991. I was an exchange student in Denmark . That was the first year exchange students were allowed to visit there. I was nervous because I'’d heard lots of stories while growing up about people who'’d gone to east Germany and gotten “trapped there. We were given strict instructions to have all our papers in order. Before we were allowed to enter East Germany, about six guards, armed as if they were going into battle, came onto the bus and checked all of our papers. I don'’t like machine guns passing that close by me. East Germany was grey, like a black and white film. I didn'’t expect so much of the wall to be up and I was surprised and delighted by all the art on the West German side of the wall. I brought home a couple chunks of the wall, (although I suspect some entrepreneurial east Germans were spray painting and selling random concrete chunks,) as well as a whole roll of film of the longer than expected wall.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Mary Oliver: The Journey

Here's another poem that speaks to me. It's for the enneagram type twos.
The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice--
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
'Mend my life!'
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do--
determined to save
the only life you could save.
- Mary Oliver

Let the soft flesh of your body love what it loves

Your Superpower and Your Kryptonite, a great article over on Starling Fitness reminded me of this poem:
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

Mary Oliver

I first found this poem at a website which offers poems to different Enneagram types. (The enneagram is a personality typing system.) I just typed a line into google and found it again on a UU website! Go UU's! The exercises there will be a good match with the questions on Laura's site.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Braidwood goes to school

Hi, I've changed the title of my blog again. This doesn't seem to be the normal way to do things in the blog world, but I can't just choose one name forever and ever! It's too much pressure! So, I haven't checked my stats in forever, but I am going to try and post more regularly and you're going to hear a lot of school talk. Lucky you.

Last night I had my second first-class-of-the-semester with the same instructor as my first first-class-of-the-semester. There is a certain look in professors' eyes when they look at me during the first few classes. They see that I'm one of the smart ones. They must see it in my eyes- the shining intelligence, the quickness (don't worry this is going to get humble soon.) They ask me questions, they are excited to have one of the kind of students they think I am in their class. Only I know their inevitable disappointment, when the bright quickness in my eyes sort of clouds over. I can feel it and I can see it in other people. I can spot the ADDer's- the lost, confused, cloudy look. It is the look you see in the dancer's eyes- you know, the one who is franticly trying to copy the right moves because she doesn't know them, staring intently at the one who knows what she is doing, the one with the bright, shining eyes?