Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Musical Notes and Insulting Remarks

  • I highly reccomend Prairie Home Companion. It is listened to by people all over the country every week. In my family it was a tradition to listen and I still listen to it. Not only do they have contemporary music, the show gives the real flavor of many types of average people in America. (You can listen to the archives online and listen to the current show Sat night and Sun morning.)
  • In Utah I listened to KRCL. Because the DJs are all volunteers, they have an eclectic mix of music.
  • NPR has a music show called All Songs Considered. They are also starting a new feature where they are podcasting their Open Mike which is a program which features unsigned artists. I haven't listened to Open Mike yet. Their tastes are pretty current, so it might take some getting used to if you like the classics. In the archives, you can listen to the staff and listener picks for the best songs of 2004.
I sent these links to my proffesor. He was talking about music and media in class and how there isn't much variety the public has access to. I thought to the contrary. I have to wonder about myself sometimes. At one point in the conversation I actually said "Now you sound like my Grandfather." I don't know why he brings out the feisty side of me!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

FrontPage Tutorial - Creating an Image Rollover

I'm just reminding myself where I can find out how tocreate an Image Rollover in Frontpage.

Checking it twice

This is the time for cataloguing. What I have (Thanksgiving.) What I want (Christmas.) Who do I love and what shall I give them? Today I am also gathering up all my projects for an online portfolio, and more importantly, gathering up my list of skills, my list of favorite job characteristics, my list of what companies I want to work for, and the names of who I will contact at those companies. Soon it will be New Years and time for gathering up my favorites from the year, my memories, my hopes for the future. I like gathering and listing. Well, I dread it, but then I feel better. Like everything is squared away and finally, a little less chaotic.

Monday, November 28, 2005

This Shit Is Bananas: a critical analysis...

...otherwise known as Braidwood is procrastinating again. Seriously, though, have you ever wondered about these Gwen Stephanie lyrics? Then check this article out and put your nagging doubts to rest.

Just in time for the holidays: My Christmas Wish List

A list of wants that are buyable, 'cause my family keeps asking.

The big one, in descending order of cost
  • Ecologically built house in a co-housing neighborhood by the mountains and the sea, in the country near a city, close enough that I can ride to it on a bike, or a train. :)
  • Ecologically built house
  • House
  • Townhouse
  • Condo
  • Very small condo
Technology (may add specifics later)
  • New computer! A tablet pc (sorry mac, but I want a tablet.)
  • Printer
  • Scanner
  • Video camera
  • Digital camera
  • Voice recorder
  • A combo CD player, tape player, and radio that has good quality sound and is fairly small.
  • A tempurpedic mattress. (I have one of the pillows and I like it, but I think I need a softer one.)
  • A softer tempurpedic like pillow.
I can live without but would be nice if you happen to win it in a contest
  • New fuel-efficient, part-electrically powered car
Other car stuff
  • Oil change
  • General check up
  • Air conditioning
  • CD player for my current car
  • Tape player for my current car
Highest priorities from my Amazon wish list
  • The Five Keys to Permanent Stress Reduction by Neil Fiore
  • The Science of Fitness with Tamilee: I Want That Body! by Tamilee Webb -ok I couldn't wait, I just bought this for myself today. A steel butt by Christmas! Actually, I did start using this over two years ago. I paused the video during the intro to look at Tamilee's little half moon butt on the TV screen. I stared at it while thinking positive half-moon butt thoughts. She used weights during the piddly 15 minute work out. I was training for a marathon at the time and could not get through the whole 15 minutes even without weights! I swear to you that within 3 or 4 times of doing the video I lost 3 inches off my booty. And I did eventually get a perfect half-moon butt! It was amazing. Then I had to stare at my own butt in awe. A friend told me with true feeling in her voice that she loved my butt. I eventually moved to the longer Firm videos. Now my butt looks like a large ballooning doughy lump of dough, starting to dribble down the back of my legs (seriously, this all is more than I intended to write) and I don't have the time or inclination to do the whole Firm videos anymore, so I'm going back to my half-moon roots. (Hey! If I ever start a production company, I can call it Half-Moon Productions! In honor of my booty's glory days!)
  • Making Friends with Death : A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality by Judith L. Lief
  • Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis by Joan Bolker
  • City Comforts: How to Build an Urban Village, Revised Edition by David Sucher
  • Creating Optimism : A Proven, 7-Step Program for Overcoming Depression by Alicia Fortinberry
You can find the cheapest online prices for books including shipping costs at Fetchbook.

Hair Products (Thank you to the great site Curly Links for the list)
Surprises from the Heart

I have a friend who usually does not want anyone to give him conventional gifts. He thinks they are too commercial. He often gives handmade gifts and requests the same. For his birthday he asked for homemade gifts from the heart and got some great gifts. So, besides books, an ecologically built house, and styling gel, I would love homemade gifts or other gifts from your heart.

Most of the things I get complimented on were gifts from my gracious family. Their generosity is everywhere.

(planning for) Christmas!

Want to create your own wishlist without all the copy and pasting? Here are some wishlist sites (untested by me.)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Cool Mozilla Firefox discovery of the day

I can search my bookmarks! You can too! Just open your bookmarks and type the word you are looking for where it says "search!" (I know, not exactly a hidden feature, still very cool when you are racking up the bookmarks.)

"How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do."

Wow, check out the rest of this refreshing take on belief by Penn Jillette on NPR.
Believing there's no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate. I don't travel in circles where people say, "I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That's just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than, "How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do." So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that's always fun. It means I'm learning something.

Believing there is no God means the suffering I've seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn't caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn't bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Blogger Hacks

Soon I should have random quotes to go along with the re-purposing of my blog. Thanks to Dave Goodman at Blogger Hacks.

You don't have to be a lone warrior

Thank you to Catana, whose comment on a previous post reminded me of what I learned when I was around people whose stated values seemed very different than mine.

I remember when I lived in a small town where some people were prejudiced against other races, religions, and environmentalists, (which they used as a dirty word.) I used to argue with my friends about EVERYTHING. I thought they were lucky I would be their friend. Then I realized that I was lucky they would be my friend! I was the odd duck out and they still befriended me. I decided to pick my battle and let beef eating, hunting, environmentalism etc.. go and only speak up strongly to any kind of hate speech. I thought of this as a compromise, as a nod to the part of me who yearns to be accepted socially. Maybe if I was stronger and was willing to be alone, I could fight all of the battles.

Well, I'm glad that I yearn to be one of the people, because I am one of the people! (As idiotic as I think some people are sometimes.) I now live and associate with people who are more like me, and that is less stressful, but I learned a lot from those friends who were different. A, they were a lot of fun! We had fun in the mountains of a small town. They enjoyed life. Amazingly, even though their words could sometimes be prejudiced, I learned a lot about tolerance from them. I mean, they were friends with me, even when I was arguing all the time. They accepted people as they were. You could be eccentric, very eccentric, and still belong. My philosophy was more tolerant, but it could sometimes be as a "sounding gong" in practice, as I constantly, and I'm sure annoyingly, set people straight. Thankfully, through my self-imposed diplomacy, I was able to get close enough to really get to know those neat people. I developed a new philosophy of tolerance that I could use in practice, and when I use it, it serves me well.

My goal is to love people and be for people, instead of holding off and feeling like I have to fight against people. When I feel love for people, it's like people just flock to me and I don't have to do anything. But I still get afraid, especially if I think other people just don't understand something and it is urgent that I tell them. I have seen a reappearance of my battle fighting self at school lately. In fact, just this morning I had a dream that I was at a long table and kept interrupting people to correct them. It was a compulsion. Everytime I did it, I knew it wasn't the best way. I put my head down on my arm and sighed.

This is for anyone else who gets a savior complex every now and then. This is for me. So, here is what I have learned since having buddies who took me digging (driving a truck in deep mud,) called me over to watch their goslings hatch, played WWF (wrestling) on mattresses in the livingroom, argued with me about milk, and thoughtfully did not kill any animals when I was along for the ride:
  1. Everyone has something valuable to give, even if it is not apparent at first. So, pre-emptively giving people respect will be the most accurate approach.
  2. Assume that people have good intentions and are intelligent when you are trying to understand them and you will usually understand people who have very different opinions than yours much more accurately.
  3. Tell yourself, "I don't have to fix everything. I do not have to be the savior of the world or even of the people in my immediate vicinity. People will eventually get it," (whatever "it" is to you.) "They will be ok." (This is the part that takes faith, opposite of fear kind of faith.)
  4. No matter how sensible and enlightened your values and opinions are, people will not want to be around you or listen to you if you are angry, miserable and treat them with contempt.
  5. And a positive version of the statement above: People will listen to you and want to learn more about your ways if you live a joyful life and love them. That is an easy, joyful way to be influential.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

"T" is for Thank you

T is for Thank you. I have quite a lot.
H is for "O Hell," the things I forgot,
A is for aneurysm, so worry no more,
N is for NASA! Go out and explore!
K is for kumquat. I'll love you kumquat may.
Y is for you you, on Thanksgiving Day.
O is for opal, expensive and shiny.
U is for "Uh oh! Now I get to say 'Hiny!'"

Believe it or not, I was going to write a serious post about everything I'm grateful for, but when you title a post "'T' is for Thank you," what else can you do?

Happy Thanksgiving to you, you and you!! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Stealing from the past

Remember my Jazz at Night girl? Remember how I used to do art on this blog? :)

Car songs

DA Da Da Da! Yeah, I may look like a soccer mom, but I feel like the jammer I really am when I hear da HEAVY beat! :)

This morning while dropping a friend off at the airport, I heard three good car songs. (Luckily I heard them during the alone parts of the journey; the best time to turn up the radio and pretend I'm tough in my four door wagon.)
(The music links will take you to Amazon, if you scroll down, you'll see where you can listen to a thirty second clip.)
  • Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes better known to me as "I'm going to WICHITA! DA, da da DA DA"
  • Possum Kingdom by the Toadies a song that gives me a guilty rush of pleasure to sing. It's a bad song, but it feels so good. :)
  • Que' Onda Guero by Beck first time I heard it, but destined to be a good Dance Jam song if nothing else.
Yeah, I rock it like I rock it when the coppers right behind me. I'm runnin' from the tow truck I know he will never find me. I look like a soccer mom but the headies start to fly, when they see my rockin' ways and see me wave goodbye. (Add heavy beat and cool music, nod head vigorously.)

Monday, November 21, 2005

What Should I Do With My Life?

Back in 2003 I finally did the exercises in What Color is Your Parachute. I had a list of exactly what I wanted and no idea what kind of job would have those characteristics. It felt awesome to feel clear about my wants though. Because I had such clarity, when I heard about my grad program, I was able to make a quick decision. Now that I'm going to graduate, I need to clarify again. It's hard for me to stop in the middle of all my life tasks and do the neccesary writing and thinking to get clear. It feels like it will take too much time and I need to HURRY and LOOK FOR A JOB. (panic, panic.) However, I know from experience that being really clear about what I want will speed my search up. Ok, deep breath, calm down and go write...

What Should I Do With My Life?'ll be a lot happier if you aren't fighting the value system around you. Find one that enforces a set of beliefs that you can really get behind. There's a powerful transformative effect when you surround yourself with like-minded people.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Too much time on her hands

Oh Yak of the Yakvilles is showing her nerdy prowess again. She has just figured out what the most typical name for a United States state would be. Confused? You probably don't make elaborate patterns from telephone numbers either, do you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Hi, I'm alive

I am just done with a big project that took hours and hours and hours of my everyday. I even had a Gilmore Girls backlog on Tivo! Not right! Although I made up for it today. I keep taking unexpected deep breaths. (One down, a lifetime to go. :)

The Rosedale Diet update
I am liking it. The biggest problem is that I have to plan, and because of the nature of the diet there are not many convenience foods except nuts, which I have now had enough of. I'm going shopping tonight.

The upside: I can see my shape starting to take shape (yahoo,) having to plan forces me to shop and cook in advance which is really nice come hungry, busy weekdays.

Sidenote: I am getting into one of those interesting mindsets that I don't often occupy where I enjoy the discipline of not eating certain things. Weird. I imagine that this is how people with eating disorders live their life. On the other hand, not so weird. I enjoy the discipline of other things. You can't have a game without rules.

The confession: Three times now I have gone off the diet. I had the best of intentions and just ended up in situations where I was hungry and there was nothing else to eat. (see: big project... hours, and hours, and hours...) Hey, I like discipline, but a girls gotta eat.

Best to ya'll!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Now presenting... THe Balancing NEEDS

Jo over at Overexcitable asks "How can we give all gifted people acceptance and meaningful work in modern western society?" Like many people who answered her question, I don't think it is a question of giving gifted people something. I think it is a matter of gifted people learning to give something perceived as valuable.

There are a lot of other factors besides being gifted that affect where and how a person can best fit in and give to society. To maximize the fit of all those variable that make up a person, it's important to
  • know your self,
  • be clear about your intentions, and
  • be able to regulate your self.
Yes, being different throws in a few more challenges. (And probably everyone knows what it's like to feel different.) For instance, I often run across the probably common challenge of being in a meeting and wanting to get the best possible outcome for the goal. If I present my ideas and no one has a better idea, so I take control and push my idea, than I lose several of my bigger outcomes. When I'm clear about my real outcomes, which in the case of meetings are usually a goal outcome that works, and happy relationships which will facilitate an effective community, than I will approach the meeting very differently. It is annoying to have to reign myself in, but that's being a mature adult.

Where self-knowledge comes in is putting myself in situations that most value what I have to give. I think that is good advice for everyone. If you give something perceived as valuable, you will be valued. (Maybe that is part of Jo's question. Where will gifted adults most be valued?)

That's my practical answer. I think in reality, sometimes you are bursting at the seams to give your gift, and you must give it, whether or not it is valued. I'm thinking of Van Gogh, and a thousand other musicians and artists and writers. The thing is to know yourself, and be clear about your intentions. I don't think it will work to tell society, "Please value me!" Nor do I want to do that. I do think that it is reasonable to provide support for everyone to help them learn how to balance their needs, including self-expression and belonging.

How do you balance your needs for self-expression and your need for belonging? Do those needs converge in your life or do they pull you in different directions?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Deathly Satire

You can read the rest of The Death Of Rosa Parks at The Onion - America's Finest News Source:
It is often difficult for young people to understand the segregated United States of the mid-20th century, when black citizens often lived in poverty, had substandard housing, were given poor-quality public educations, and were disenfranchised as voters. With the passing of Parks and the fight for racial equality that she symbolized, such subjects are now relics of a bygone era.
Ok, now back to work. (For me! Not you! You go ahead and meander and do no work you lazy... oops, I've just officially read too many Onion articles.)

I'm Very Interested In Hearing Some Half-Baked Theories

I have this long project I'm working on. To help myself stay motivated, I do what Neil Fiore suggests in The Now Habit, and focus for 30 minutes and then take 10 minute breaks. It really works and I get a lot more done. This small break is brought to you by The Onion.
Now, if you have a half-baked theory that you'd like to disclose, please be so kind as to skirt around the issue. I'll only listen to your elaborate webs of presumption and hearsay if you promise to veer unexpectedly and pointlessly off course at every opportunity. Prose density is part of what makes a half-baked theory fascinating.

Only last week, my friend Janet gave me a book that teaches how, through a diet of salmon and romaine lettuce, you can shave 20 years off your appearance. However, before we got to the hard-core salmon-and-lettuce, face-lifting theory, I was taken through a series of anecdotes, solicited testimonials, and long-winded circular logic proving the author's qualifications by citing the medical establishment's fear of his simple brilliance. It was an eye-opener.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Late night ramble, and I don't even drink

I was just thinking about the characteristics of gifted people and wondering what is going on in the brain to produce that cluster of characteristics. My preliminary thought is that there are primary characteristics and secondary characterizes. For example, I think the, probably, primary ability to see the difference between what is and what could be often leads to the secondary characteristic of perfectionism.

I love that I'm finding validating writing about gifted characteristics. As many of you know, it can be hard when the way you are is not normal, especially if you can't quite figure out why. However, some of the writing just isn't practical and elevates some characteristics that don't seem to warrant it. Some of the advice is basically: "The world should learn to value these characteristics." Well, that's helpful.

I think it is important to value and accept yourself. I also think it is important to take responsibility for yourself if you want to get the results you want. So, I propose that gifted folks just need to learn to be super self-regulators. That's what we are doing anyway when we are ultra-critical of ourselves and ultra-sensitive. I guess we just need to be informed self-regulators. Value all of our characteristics, and just know in which contexts they will get us the results we want. The prevalence of loneliness in the gifted is not right! If our gifts are keeping us from some of the best of what life has to offer, I would hardly call them gifts. Let's use our brains to get the sweetest marrow of living.

I've been wanting to take Michael Hall's workshop about personal mastery for awhile, but I'm a bigger fan of the clarity of Steve Andreas's thinking. Maybe Steve can present at Seng's next conference, and all us bloggers can go there and meet!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Me to a freakin' T

I was going to have a "day of rest" or more accurately a day of re-creation. However, I came home from church, cooked, watched Tremors (I love that movie,) and then did what I said I would not do: started surfing on the computer. I need to write my morning pages. I need to be still and think and process, especially when I feel agitated/anxious like this. When I feel like this is when it is hardest for me to do though. I did do one good recreational thing. I walked on the beach after church. Ahh... Ok now for some morning pages. Really.

Here is a list of characteristics that are common to gifted adults, sans the references. You can read the rest of the article here.
  • A broad knowledge base and seemingly insatiable need for new information that is associated with an insatiable intellectual curiosity.
  • Critical self-scrutiny and self-monitoring.
  • Verbal agility, remarkable expressiveness, and a penchant for in-depth discussion and debate.
  • Exceptionally high standards, idealism, perfectionism, and intense self-criticism.
  • Preference for complexity and novelty and a tolerance of ambiguity.
  • Excitability, multiple interests, high levels of energy...
  • Love of challenge motivated by an intrinsic drive toward fulfillment of potential, meaningful living, and self-actualization.
  • Distinct need for autonomy.
  • Heightened physiological sensitivity and sensory arousal.
  • Feelings of loneliness and emotional distance despite positive relationships and even popularity.
  • Emotional sensitivity and extraordinary responsiveness.
  • History of frustration related to asynchronous development — ability to visualize or conceptualize the desired creative product preceding the attainment of obligatory skills.
  • Compassion, moral integrity and courage, wisdom, global awareness, and potential for humanitarian leadership.
  • Saturday, November 05, 2005

    A new diet, just in time for the holidays

    I started a new diet on Halloween. Halloween!! All that missed candy!! In sharp contrast to Laura's advice at Starling Fitness, I am doing a diet which restricts my food choices. It's an experiment. I'm trying it until Thanksgiving Day, at which time I will eat everything that I want to, which will probably not be as much as I anticipate. The Rosedale Diet is supposed to turn me into a fat burning machine and make all my inside systems much more youthful. I'll let you know. Tonight I made a "pizza" which would have been much better if the recipe hadn't referred to it as a "pizza." I weighed myself for the first time today, on a neighbors scale, so that will have to be my benchmark.

    My experience: So far my biggest fear of being hungry has been realized, all because of lack of planning. I also feel a little weird. I don't know how to describe it, I don't have the icky low blood sugar feeling, but I do feel carb-deprived.

    Wish me luck!

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    Happy Birthday!!

    ...she is brilliant... she also has a very earthy side and likes to run, hike, and be outdoors...

    Hey, did I mention that the other day was my MOM'S BIRTHDAY?! I didn't think so. Even worse, I haven't sent her a present yet. If you see this, D, Happy Birthday!!! Your daughter loves you! :)

    While I'm on the topic, I'll just brag about my mom for a minute. Let's see, she ran a 50 mile race this year, she came in second, which was disappointing, because last time she ran she came in FIRST!! She is brilliant and got a math scholarship to college, which she went to when she was 16. She sometimes does not think she is as brilliant as she is (see: "came in second" above.)

    She is usually pretty quiet in group settings and people find her amiable and likeable. She can become fascinated with things like bugs and genealogy; she's in touch with her inner nerd. She also has a very earthy side and likes to hike, run, and be outdoors. I know this sounds a little like a personal, but I'm sorry, she is already married. She is married to a semi-southern all gentleman who perfectly suits her. Whenever I think about him I just fill up with gratitude that they found each other. Thanks, B, for being my mom's honey. Thanks Grandma and Granddad for having my mom.


    Possible favicons

    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    The Princess and the Pea (I always hated that fairy tale)

    As it turns out, part of my princessness is that I am very raw to stimulus in the environment. (Oh no! Princess and the Pea!!) And I need a breather from all that stimulation fairly frequently. You know how babies turn away when they have had too much stimulation? That's how I am at a dance after 2 or 3 dances. I used to just force myself to keep dancing, or leave early. But last time I went swing dancing, it was different. I honored my princessness. I didn't dance with people who made me uncomfortable. I sat out when I needed a breather from the intensity of one on one dancing and watched the awesome band, or talked with people. I didn't feel like I had to keep going. I had a great time, and I felt like staying longer than I usually do. It was so freeing to let how I am be ok. I don't know why it helps me to accept myself when I can identify my characteristics in a pattern, but it does.

    Tuesday, November 01, 2005

    Interpersonal issues of gifted adults

    There seem to be five traits that produce potential interpersonal and intrapersonal conflict: divergency, excitability, sensitivity, perceptivity, and entelechy...These traits seem to be an integral part of giftedness; however, the behavioral manifestations of these traits may vary depending on other physiological and personality factors, such as tolerance for ambiguity, degree of introversion or extroversion, and preference for particular types of sensory input.

    Although the traits in themselves are neutral, their behavioral manifestations make them socially and emotionally significant. For example, the trait of sensitivity can be manifested as empathy, commitment, touchiness, intensity, or vulnerability. Thus, in any individual, the sum of the behavioral manifestations may be viewed as positive or negative.
    Check out the rest of Can you hear the flowers sing? Issues for gifted adults by Deirdre V. Lovecky, (who I now love forever.) Found via A Mindful Life. And check out the PDF with lots of gifted adult stuff at Gifted Problems. I found the following quote there.
    Unique interpersonal challenges that gifted individuals, couples and families encounter during their life span include learning to interact in the mainstream world; manage expectations and pressures to fit the norm; defuse unconscious hostility, resentment, antagonism and sabotage directed at them because they are perceived as intellectually, creatively or personally advantaged; set appropriate boundaries for the utilization of their abilities; collaborate with others, and manage the daily dilemmas of giftedness involving relatives, bosses, co-workers, neighbors, counselors, teachers and other members of the community.
    Read more articles about Gifted and Talentedness :) at