education, humor, love, marriage, psychology

lies, damned lies, and the “S” word

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“He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts‚ÄĒ
for support rather than for illumination.”
‚ÄĒ Andrew Lang

“Equations are the devil’s sentences.” ‚ÄĒ Stephen Colbert

“Like other occult techniques of divination,
the statistical method has a private jargon
deliberately contrived to obscure
its methods from nonpractitioners.

‚ÄĒ Ashley-Perry Statistical Axioms quotes

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hardtoeraseI¬†hate statistics. I¬†hate it so much I’ve re-named it “sadistics.” I¬†hate it so much I’d rather blog about it than DO it for class. I¬†loathe it so¬†hard my husband had a good laugh at me. He came around the corner to find me with damp washcloth and spray bottle in hand, circling a kitchen table splayed out with books and erasers and graphing calculator and he cracked up. He noted that I¬†was purposefully avoiding doing the homework by cleaning the kitchen chairs. That’s right, I’d rather wash wooden legs with Murphy’s oil and scrub food & dinner fart-laden seat upholstery than sit in front of numbers and formulas that after awhile, just start to look like an invasion of picnic ants marching across a description of Greek whoredom.

humor circa 1983 Todd Rungdren song
humor circa 1983 Todd Rungdren song

My eyes begin to gloss over, I¬†let my cheek slump into my hand. Propped up on my elbow, I¬†allow my mouth to go slack and open into a balloon-shaped maw, all in an effort to allow more oxygen to get into the situation. Anything to tease the possible formula i’m supposed to use out of the useless and impertinent question being asked in the longest series of lamest story problems of all time. On any standardized test. Ever. I¬†could be in the same state if¬†I drank 3 fingers of bourbon. And I’d be having way more fun.

I’ve begun creatively insulting the theorists and their theorems. Chebyshev’s theorem? Nope. Chubbynut’s Nonsense (it’s not my fault his first name is “Pafnuty”). No joke.¬† It would take a Russian mad man with a crater on the moon named after him to make me do this crap. In order to get a BS Psychology. Emphasis on the BS.

I want to stab myself in the boxplot with an ogive. That, of course, being a joke that perhaps only someone subjected to statistics would be able to understand.

Which leads me to the only fun thing I learned so far . . .

Because I HAD to know the word origin for the ogive curve, turns out Wikipedia has this to say:

“In statistics, an ogive is a graph showing the curve of a cumulative distribution function (which, for the normal distribution, resembles one side of an Arabesque or ogival arch.”

statisticsAn ogival or pointed arch is one of the defining characteristics of Gothic architecture.

Ogives are also used descriptively in ballistics or aerodynamics where an ogive is a pointed, curved surface mainly used to form the approximately streamlined nose of a bullet or other projectile as well as the complex ogives in missiles and aircraft.

Ogives are used in applied physical science, engineering, architecture, woodworking, geology, and yes ‚Äď even statistics.

That concludes this episode of nerd notes . . . and now, you may have a better insight to my bad attempt at a stats joke, which is like, a monstrous exercise in futility. It does it all on its own. Writes itself, honey.

But what are the postitives? Will I be a better Poker player? I prefer Cranium. I get to act, solve puzzles and play with clay. Better able to understand and plot risk-analysis? I only do dangerous stuff to myself, not to others. (most of the time.) More equipped to look at those numerous, tiresome graphs, dots, squiggles, pointed notation marks and fluffy numbers and make perfect sense of psychological research. I. fucking. doubt it, son.

In fact, if it weren’t for Joe holding my hand through some of these problems and talking me through it (and away from mathematical ledges) I’m certain I¬†wouldn’t be getting any of it at all.

Now let me make something clear . . . I¬†don’t consider myself a dumb bunny. And to his credit, the teacher is excellent, clear, procedural, by the book and full of examples. Why my tiny squirrel brain can’t wrap my head around it all is well, probably mostly due to my obstinance. (SEE above paragraphs)

Then there’s the pretty graph making program called MiniTab (MinorStab) which I¬†have to use in order to complete my Math Labs. I’ve decided I¬†don’t want to trek out to school, find and pay for parking, hang out in a computer lab for an indefinite amount of time, be hungry, cranky and confused and have no means of escape, so I¬†“rented” the program for 6 months for $30. Which is about all I’ll need to get through two semesters of it. And I¬†can drink wine while I¬†load data sets. Yeah. You got my number.

So‚ÄĒI’ll slog my way through it. I feel a low grade B fever coming on.


In the meantime here’s some fun stats from Graph Jam.com

Prince Stats

university education stats

dreams, family, friends, gardening, health, love, nature, pets, photography, psychology, travel

Lust globally, make love locally

Listening to: Let It Die – Feist

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I’m tired of screwin’ up, tired of goin’ down,
Tired of myself, tired of this town.
Oh my, my, oh hell yes
Honey put on that party dress.
Buy me a drink, sing me a song,
Take me as I come, cause I can’t stay long . . .

Last Dance With Mary Jane ~ Tom Petty

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My first act of 2006, at the stroke of midnite,¬†I¬†chased my birth control pill with a glass of red wine. I¬†sure hope that is some funky premonition for love, protection and celebration. 2 weeks into the New Year, I¬†saw a Friday the 13th followed by a Full Moon Saturday – what a witchy week! And no winter white in sight.¬†It’s been strange weather in the high 50s to 60s some days, rainy with a thin veil of fog and this strange wind coiling, whispering around the boat masts, whipping the lines to into clanging night bells, making the canvas into flapping voices. Then this wicked cold moved in, more high winds and sleet, but NO snow. Global Warming anyone?

Seriously, we just don’t have winters like we used to, but the Farmer’s Almanac claims it’s coming . . .

The nitelife here in my “home-for-now-town” is, umm – interesting. I¬†am living in (as the locals paste on t-shirts) a drinking town with a sailing problem. Midshipmen on the wander, plus drunken, bloated congressional types and supposed professionals making laughable passes at me, wearing striped shirts and power ties, riding power boats, power mowers and eating power lunches while I¬†try to escape and go take a power nap.

But there is an artist conclave here ‚Äď some of them are advertising successfully, playing music, photographing, sculpting, painting, recombining, pack-ratting, twisting and forming new shapes. Some of them have already slept with everyone of the same ilk, hacking the local six degrees of separation down to a fearsome three or two.

Then there are people like me, or what I¬†imagine to be the way i am perceived by the way I¬†project myself. Living in Maryland eight years, a few interesting jobs, a little bit of recognition in the photo department via contests and small tea house for sale hangings.¬†I¬†garnered a good collection of friends and acquaintances, spurned a few, stalled a few others, gave more still gigantic berth and avoidance and still, I¬†don’t feel like a townie‚ÄĒlike I¬†belong here utterly. my sense of here and now and then owing only to the people I¬†love and who love me in return. When I¬†wander down the street, we familiars nod to each other. We may not have broken bread or put down a bottle of wine or shared a secret, but we know each other’s faces.

I¬†know I’ve been less involved, but as I’ve sort of stated prior, my real life outside of my online community involvement has been so full, full of changes, and engaging.

changes and growing bring in new things while simultaneously initiating a whole exodus of others. also, i have come to realize, though it has pained me to be so upset, that i have had to go inside and question myself about all of it ‚Äď particularly the recent issues i’ve seem to run up against with personalities and people whom i’ve previously counted as friends. i have concluded that it is largely THEIR problem and not mine. all the little insults i’ve been experiencing in my life recently, the little setbacks, i now view as some sort of cosmic insistence nudging me to get out of my brain, to finish my journey within and start implementing the change without. That is to say, recognize the things i have been and gone without and the necessary psychic changes i need to achieve balance again: such as a job where i feel appreciated, friends who i respect and who love me as i love them, the places and people with which i conduct business and pleasure. some of these things have changed or evaporated or fallen away or have demanded my immediate attention over the last 6 months since my life imploded last June. oddly enough, most of this inspirational need for balance arrived as a sort of vision as i lay in shivasana, or corpse pose, after a very hot and strenuous yoga practice. during meditation, the instructor encouraged us to find and practice strength and balance both on the mat (in here) and off the mat (out there) and to remember to breathe deeply through the difficult places and painful times.

i have allowed myself the time to heal, to adjust, to date, to make a mess of things and to make sense of others, to get my head screwed on straight and the new self-focus has been challenging, but re-defining in a good way. it has been mind-blowing at times, mind-bending at others, and still mind-numbing further on. it has been terrifically magical. it has been terribly lonely. it has been encouraging. it has been disheartening. it has been more living than i have done in quite some time and i am grateful for whatever force took my little snowglobe world into their hands and shook the unholy fuck out of it to see how i would deal with the fallout. it has snowed powerful weather down on me. it has grown still. i have begun digging out and winter isn’t nearly over. i don’t want to be cold when i stand up. i don’t want to have to lay down and curl inside to feel warm. i am weary of turning on my side, of laying between two pillows like an infant with bumper pads in my crib bed to prevent me from hurting myself or in my case, to feel like no matter which way i roll over, there is always someone there. i fall asleep clasping my own hand in front of me like a prayer to myself, like a pleading gesture to the world. i find myself waking in tree poses, with one leg drawn in and knee cocked out forming a triangle, a branch to crawl up on. i’m tired of sleeping just so i can dream.

i am not utterly disenchanted with my beloved Maryland, but lately, i have toyed with the idea of moving far far away from here and wiping everything clean to get that needed change. and why not just change everything? i don’t have a mortgage, i don’t have children or a mate. i have no real ties. i can travel, i can make a plan, i can set up shop and re-invent life anywhere. i can succeed so long as i define success by tangible, meaningful terms.

Hope explained to me once that black flies, those things that are dark and draining are attracted to the light. i have always tried to maintain my childlike approach to things, to live lightly and to be a beacon of positive energy for myself and for others, to truly believe that i lead a charmed life no matter how high or low i exist, and to understand that all things come to me and through me when they are needed, even minor and major tragedies are blessings and have reasons. this is so much easier and sweeter than spitting in the face of fate and choosing to NOT imbue my life with meaning. people who don’t appreciate my honesty, my kindness, my bluntness, what i consider my lucky charm, my good fortune, my powers of gentle persuasion and genuine openness, my willingness to accept, to forgive and also – my occasional quick-snap judgment when i remove someone from my life because they cause me grief or harm me – i do this now to protect myself. like a mantra i have to tell myself i am not a bad person. i do not need to be punished. i am good and worthy and deserve more for myself and i expect others to treat themselves the same way. anyone who chooses to be a victim, to victimize themselves, to victimize ME and to make anyone in their surroundings miserable as a result needs to get the hell out of my way and off the path i’m cutting.

I¬†have no need to take on broken people as pet projects, as I¬†am my own work in progress. I¬†studied psychology to understand human behavior, to avoid the pitfalls of lower thinking and feeling and to learn to be more human, more flexible and better adjusted, and how to recognize when someone is NOT and to escape those trappings. Though I¬†often attract friends and lovers who need fixing by some general impetus that drives me to help and to heal, I¬†still prefer people who can swing with it and be happy in themselves, and NOT blame me for their own social/emotional shortcomings when things don’t work out for them.

People are generally uncomfortable with bearing their emotions and being honest with others, especially themselves. There are, however, exceptions to the rule . . . there is a website that updates every Sunday called Post Secret. Frank Warren, the man who created the interactive art project began by printing 3,000 postcards with a message that invited their finders to write a personal, anonymous secret on the blank side and mail it back to him. He left the postcards in art galleries, restaurants, between pages of library books and on subway seats. And as the postcards started trickling back to his mailbox, he began posting a few of them each week at what has become one of the web’s most popular blogs. (Ranked 55th among BlogPulse’s top 10,000 blogs.)

Even after they 3,000 were in, they still kept coming. They arrived from all over the world in many languages ‚Äď even in Braille type. The project combines art, poetry and psychological candor in ways that few other endeavors have, and that’s what makes it so fascinating to Warren, a self-described “accidental artist.” (Some secrets on the blog, where about 20 new cards are posted each week: “By the time you read this, I’ll be drunk again.” “I’ve been giving oral sex to a pastor for the past 5 years. He’s married. I don’t believe in God.” “I am a breast cancer survivor. Sometimes I wish the cancer had killed me.” And on a New Yorker subscription card: “I think it makes me look smart to subscribe. But I only like to read the cartoons!”).

He still collects them, and continues to invite people “to anonymously contribute ‚Ķ secrets. Each secret can be a regret, hope, funny experience, unseen kindness, fantasy, belief, fear, betrayal, erotic desire, feeling, confession, or childhood humiliation. Reveal anything – as long as it is true and you have never shared it with anyone before..”

Instructions are to “Create your 4-by-6-inch postcards out of any mailable material. If you want to share two or more secrets, use multiple postcards. Put your complete secret and image on one side of the postcard.

Please consider mailing in a follow-up email describing the effect, if any, the experience had on your life.

Tips

Be brief – the fewer words used the better.
Be legible
– use big, clear and bold lettering.
Be creative
– let the postcard be your canvas.”

Post Secret Exhibit

I go to the PostSecret website every Sunday like a newfound religion. Recently, the cards were assembled into a book: PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives and then put on display as an exhibit in Washington DC.

Getting into Georgetown on any given evening around happy hour to park and entertain oneself is always a logistical nitemare. And the nite was already a carpool all over town posse, picking up friends who had other commitments for dinner and nonsense later in the evening. But I¬†rolled up and got rockstar front row parking, then we looked at the 2 block long queue stretching around the building. The two women I¬†was with who lived 30 mins away in Annapolis balked at the fact we’d probably wait over an hour to get in and move through the exhibit. I¬†frowned and said, “right, well, I’ll take you all home and come back myself.” I¬†was dead serious.¬†This was my mission now.

This mission had a hitch when I realized I was low on fuel and got a little twisted around on the way back (DC will disorient you). I coasted into a station on fumes, got back on track and continued my necessary & epic journey. I tore ass through the neighborhoods, made rolling deliveries of my stunned friends who were muttering soft apologies as i waved my hand away and dumped them at their doors. Then I high-tailed it back for the last hour of the exhibit and by then, the line had become manageable.

It was a moving exhibit beginning with cards posted 3 deep and many across on two stretches of wall, then hanging on clothesline, snaking around like dirty laundry left out to dry in the open air, some of them were printed big as billboards, 4×6′ canvases hung in adjacent cubbyhole-like rooms, shouting at you along the way. in these rooms people sat at a line of tables under the big canvasses and wrote down thoughts and talked together. this opened up to a squared off area where the secret postcards hung four or five high on string and several deep, twisting in the air as people walked in between them, turning the cards to read them, looking up at them, into them like a dark rainy sky full of questions and answers. Finally there was a wall crowded with all the envelopes the secrets had arrived in to protect the artistically done post cards. There were two tables nearby with flipboxes full of post cards that people sat at, looking through them like recipes from their grandmother’s kitchen.

Near the exit, there was translucent mailbox created by Washington DC artist Mark Jenkins where people could hand deliver a personal secret. And at the last long table, a book where you could leave thoughts and reactions to the exhibit just as fascinating as the display itself. Frank Warren himself sat there. It was the last day and the last hour of the exhibit and i don’t think anyone recognized him as who he was. I¬†wandered over, said hello and he struck up a conversation with me about the bag I¬†was carrying.

I¬†have a black and red tote bag bearing the picture of a little girl yelling “F*CK F*CK F*CK!” He asked why I¬†had an angry bag and “where are all the joy bags?” so I¬†explained myself.

My sister, Racheal had sent me the tote after after Brooks broke up with me. Inside was a card she had sent that reminded me how we all carry baggage but should do so lightly and instructed me to “Carry your anger inside the F*CK bag. Leave your shit in there, not inside.” ¬†I carry a regular purse most other places, but¬†I¬†take the anger bag to Yoga with me, where I¬†unload the little daily insults, bad thoughts, pains, pressures & residual griefs and so I¬†thought it would be appropriate to take it with me to the PostSecret exhibit where I¬†could air out and relate my emotions to some of these brave, beautiful and creative people.

Frank Warren inscribed my book for me. It reads:

To Andrea,

Sometimes art and healing are the same thing.

Be Well,

Frank

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Creativity and sharing love with people is what makes life purposeful for me. Through a friend, Andreas, I¬†had the rare opportunity to go see Bono speak on Friday, February 3rd at the Washington Hilton & Towers as part of the 2005-2006 Nation’s Capital Distinguished Speakers Series. His theme was The Future in Front of Us: Living a More Involved Life.. He shared the cover of TIME magazine with Bill & Melinda Gates as Persons Of the Year. He didn’t sing, but instead took the stage to talk. the blurb i read about it on the informal side stated, “His topic is quite simply the future of the planet. This is nothing new for the U2 lead singer. He regularly consorts with the Pope, the President of the United States and other dignitaries. He is that rarest of rock stars, one who can change things in the real world too. Bono’s activism is directed against the AIDS epidemic and reducing the debt burdens of the poorest countries. Like a rock and roll Robin Hood, Bono doesn’t take money from the rich and give it to the poor. Instead, he tries to assist the rich in changing their world view so that they realize that to help the poor is, in fact, to help themselves. Join him at the Hilton where he will talk about how one can have more of an impact by living a purposeful life.

He said he had come to talk about three things rarely in balance with each other: “music, politics and business.” And also of “tragedy, opportunity and adventure.” He described the “kafka-esque labyrinth of NOs” that we run into everyday of our lives an what we can do to turns those walls and boundaries into YESes. he talked about the situation of starvation, poverty, AIDS and death in Africa, likening it to the Holocaust and how we can choose to effect change on such issues. He was very specific to differentiate that it is not a “cause” but an “emergency” he is discussing and advocating. he said that all the attention of the death toll in the recent tsunami happens every month in Africa ‚Äď one tsunami a month worth of deaths and it goes uncovered in the news. he was funny, serious, compassionate, told anecdotes about Bishop Desmond Tutu and President Michael Gorbachev and snickered, saying that when sitting between President Bush and several priests, monks and holy figures he ordered a Bloody Mary. he talked about Ireland, about his love for America not just as a country, but as an idea, about ways we can make ourselves shine again in the world community.

At the end of his speech, there was a short question and answer session as taken from a box left out front of the venue. He was very delicate about religion and politics being in the nation’s capital, made jokes about lobbyists and when asked what the role of god and religion took in his music and activism he said he didn’t trust anyone who talked about god too much, that it is a private matter and that he wasn’t particularly the poster child or advertisement for such things. “what if i were snapped crawling out of a club my hand and knees, I¬†am after all a rockstar.” his comments were met with loud applause and laughter.

A question came from a 14-year old girl who asked what young people can do to bring awareness to AIDS, poverty, Africa free market trade, and debt forgiveness of poorer nations. Bono asked her to come up onto the stage, he kneeled, kissed her hand, hugged her to her great surprise and told her and the rest of us about The One Campaign. whether or not you agree with Bono, his vision, his politics, his movement to help, whether you see him as a saint or an annoyance, a rockstar with a big mouth or a person who is using his position to inspire goodness and action, indeed, he is leading an exhaustive and purposeful life.

I¬†bought tickets to go see Feist on Wednesday, February 8th at a club in DC called The Black Cat. I¬†also won tickets from my local radio station, WRNR to see her as part of their Emerging Artist Showcase. it’s an afternoon, pre-show private performance before the concert that evening. Feist’s big song is called “Mushaboom,” and she’s also played with Broken Social Scene.

lately i’ve been dreaming of kissing strangers, of sitting on the curb while i watch my house and all the things in it burn in leaping, licking, gorgeous, garrulous red flames; i’ve seen myself changing faces by pulling them out of white porcelain basin, a bowl of water. clearly ‚Äď something needs to move in my life. something is requesting to push through. something is asking to be destroyed and to be set anew.

Odin in the Ivy

I started with my houseplants. I cut a few back pretty hard and they responded with new, bright growth. The space around my desk looks like a little jungle now. Even Odin leaps out from around the pots and green plants, stalking like the wild thing he was and still is, somewhere in there.

me and the orchid

I¬†also bought a beautiful orchid. it’s an Oncidium Intergeneric called “Pacific Sun Spots.” brick red, deep orange and butter yellow.

Oncidium Branch

Pacific Sun Spots

like a California sunset . . .

. . . which brings me to my trip to Los Angeles February 17th-21st to see my sister, Racheal. I’ve never seen the Salton Sea or a Joshua Tree in real life. It’s time I¬†took some of my own photos.¬†I’ve never taken a wine country tour as an adult, and this time,¬†Ithink we will go not to Napa, but some place small and eclectic‚ÄĒto Santa Barbara. Nothing sounds finer to me in the midst of a cold winter month than to take in some breathtaking visions of desert sand, sea foam, waving palms and sun glinting off all things while¬†I¬†sip wine and release the shutter, both on my self and my camera.

art, books, drinking, friends, photography

more wine, vicar?

i don’t know . . . but i sure feel tense lately.

i just started 2 online courses to complete my (neverending) degree in Psychology. having lost two beloved pets last month and the subsequent emotional adjustment left me a little sapped. work has been wearing on me a little and i am STILL slightly sick . . .

but mostly just sick of not having enough time to just sit here
and write
and draw
and sing
and drink
and dance
and sleep
and pet the cats
and take pictures
and scribble
and glue shit together
and create
and laminate
and get paid for it.

so to make myself feel more at ease (and to keep the cold at bay) – i fried up some pierogies filled with potatoes and cheese in butter and warmed up some drinking chocolate sent to me from the UK courtesy of a dearly missed friend, re-read a sympathy card for Miles from another missed friend in Detroit, also named Andrea, stared at my clown fish, the sweeping fan feeders and the little purple hairy ghost crab that inahbits the nano-reef i have in my office, snatched up both cats for a kiss and a cuddle, listened to some old Steeley Dan, wandered DA for some inspiration, slathered up in some lavender lotion and donned some soft pajama bottoms, which i should now waste your time/amuse you by describing:

these newly beloved pajama pants are cream colored with fuschia cats all over them. the cats have big heads, tiny bodies and a little curlique for a tail. they have hearts for eyes and interspersed in the places where cats do not reside, there are tiny chocolate, caramel, and fuschia colored hearts and the word “kitten” right side up and upside down all over in between the hearts. they sit low on the waist and have this really cool japanese, flare and overlapping fabric trimminng detail at the ankles. if i never have to get out of these pants that would be just fine with me.

soon now – i should find myself curled up with actual kittens pressed against my kitten pajamas, jacked into my iPod listening to Douglas Adams read his book, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” for the bazillionth time. (by the way, interestingly enough, if you simply type the word “hitchhiker” into GOOGLE, you get a whole lotta Adams.

i have a box of photos i intend to begin sorting through to and transferring them into 2 large leather books. there is everything from me coloring Easter eggs to my high school graduation and far beyond. i find something amusing in the photos that others take of me – in most of them, i am holding a wine glass.

Well, i suppose i will do what the HHGTTG says, “DON’T PANIC,” keep a towel handy, and drink plenty of fluids . . .

“The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

It says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. ”

and perhaps it is time to unwind with some stellar bevvies ūüôā

in the meantime, i’ll be over at Marcy’s place in the afternoon, setting up a wireless network, which i’m sure will require at LEAST a bottle of wine.

in pre-emptive celebration, i will leave you with a funny bit about fine ladies gone out drinking . . .

Women’s 19 clues to calling it a night
you know it’s time to go home when …

1.  You have absolutely no idea where your shoes are.

2.¬† You’ve just had to get someone to help you pull your pants up in the ladies room.

3.¬† You suddenly decide you want to kick someone’s ass.

4.¬† In your last trip to “pee” you realize you look more like Tammy Faye Baker than the goddess you were just four hours ago.

5.  You drop your 3:00 a.m. burrito on the floor, pick it up and carry on eating.

6.  You start crying.

7.¬† There are less than three hours before you’re due to start work.

8.¬† You’ve found a deeper side to the office nerd.

9.¬† The man you’re flirting with used to be your 5th grade teacher.

10. The urge to take off articles of clothing, stand on a table and sing becomes strangely overwhelming.

11.¬† You’ve forgotten where you live.

12.¬† You’ve started to sound like Jessie Ventura from the cigarettes you’ve smoked, because (as you’ve mentioned like 10 times by now) you only smoke when you drink.

13.¬† You yell at the bartender, who (you think) cheated you by giving you just tonic, but that’s just because you can no longer taste the gin or vodka.

14.¬† You think you’re in bed, but your pillow feels strangely like pizza.

15.¬† You start every conversation with a booming, “Don’t take this the wrong way but…”

16. You fail to notice that the toilet lid’s down when you sit on it.

17. Your sloppy hugs begin to resemble wrestling take-down moves.

18. You’re tired so you just sit on the floor (and why not!).

19. You show your friends that girls CAN pee standing up, if they really try.

food, friends, music, photography

back in the saddle

finally – after 2 weeks, i feel more like myself. i battled some evil sickness, some worrisome money woes and some minor depression over those items and a few internal family matters, but my frame of mind is coming around.

i’ve been craving eggs and toast at nite, which means i am craving that much needed protein. oh – and the hot chocolate with marshmallows doesn’t hurt ūüėČ

i’ve been working a lot of extra days lately . . . and it’s a good thing – having to pay for a new (to me) car’s registration, title, tags and insurance takes a bite out of things. Not to mention, i am back in school with 2 courses and textbooks going above $200. Cultural Anthropology and Linguistics, and Psychology of Human Sexuality. i’m yet to learn more about how we live, how we speak, how we fuck and what we think about it all.

i am patiently awaiting the new Beck – Guero. it was released as a deluxe 2-disc edition which was available for pre-sale purchase. Disc 1 has 3 bonus tracks and 4 remixes. Disc 2 is a DVD which features the 5.1 Surround Sound mix of Guero, along with Movie/video remixes for the 13 album tracks by groundbreaking video artists D-Fuse and other fun stuff. Packaged in a 52 booklet of art and photos with a cool foil stamp cover. needless to say – i am psyched!

i secured another wedding photography gig in June from another co-worker. i am very excited to shoot this one, as it will be outdoors, at dusk in a beautiful park. Megan, the bride is lovely and talented: a professional dancer, singer and generally, beautiful person. i recently met her fiancé, Michael, and he is handsome and gentlemanly. i am so fortunate to work with nice, flexible, fun people and NOT Bridezilla and Frankengroom.

my younger sister (30), Racheal, will be visiting me from LA mid-April for a few days. it has been several years since she has visited me here in Maryland. we’ve had what i will delicately call “a strained relationship,” without revealing too much of our personal dirt. but i am looking forward to enjoying some time with her.

with any luck and some honest to goodness flights being booked, the long awaited journey and visit will take place mid to late June Рi will FINALLY meet and entertain two wonderful people (now married) whom i am proud to call friends. Jennifer & Thad- i cannot WAIT to tear up some evenings and put down some wine with you!  much love to you BOTH!

Odin is standing in front of the monitor. He’s ready to eat, and what a great idea . . . i suppose i will have that egg now . . .

more important thoughts as (when) they occur.

education, family, nature, psychology, travel

Diamond Life

some days after my vacation (and still i would say . . .) adjusting to previous modes of reality was a dull and joyless task. i still find myself researching and reading about some of the creatures i saw and took pictures of while there. for instance, the smallest lizard in the world is a gecko indigenous to Virgin Gorda called Sphaerodactylus Parthenopion. i also took pictures of several birds i’d never seen before.

but then, i have returned to school, in Summer if you can believe i’m up for that kind of self-abuse. but it’s two classes, a Statistical Methods for Psychology and an Adulthood and Aging course. Numbers and growing old. Two things most people can barely manage and often, avoid. well, it was time i tackled the rough stuff. little by little, coming back to my life as i knew it, facets are moving in and out of focus: past, present and future creating and re-creating new visions for me.

on June 14th Zoey, a friend i’ve known for a few years is moving to Maryland where i am. i am busy making arrangements for her so the adjustment will be a comfortable one. it’s strange to think the man i met 7 years ago came to me via this glowing box. as she did. as many interesting friends and acquaintances have. as plane and concert tickets do. as books and music have. as bills do. as this place did. so much dependence on this magnetic, metallic, wire bound piece of furniture. so many words and images and impressions and memories tied up in it and yet – i missed it not while i was gone in the islands. her moving here is the end of an era in some ways. less chatting, more real time together. i wonder if she’ll miss getting my silly packages in the mail. distance is one thing – personality surrounded by flesh is quite another.

3 days ago i came across the cocoon of a Tiger Moth, i know this because the last shed of the caterpillar was still attached to the end of the pupa. i have it in a terrarium with a stick bent at an angle so that it may emerge, crawl up, hang upside down and from its body, pump fluid into its wings until they inflate, then i will let it go into the night. it will be born without mouth parts and all of its energy and food will have been stored up from all the eating it did as a fuzzy black caterpillar. its main impetus is to make more of itself, then in a week, perhaps two, to mate with many if it is male, and to lay eggs if it is female and then, to die.

late last night the cats chased mosquito hawks and beige moths around the nite lights in the kitchen. this morning the red-eyed cicada bloom howled and chirred in a deafening blur as i drove through the woods. this evening a dark field blanketed with fireflies winked like a billion stars, so many, it was a shimmering field of diamonds waiting to be found and gathered up. all of them looking for mates, all of them trying to be brighter than the next. early this new morning, a Luna Moth appeared, wheeling in dizzied circles toward the porch light, dashing itself into the pebbled driveway, flapping like a broken-winged bird in and out and under the ivy near the garden. ghostly, flailing but seemingly tireless. circles and circles and circles.

all of us waiting for a place to land, for our our body to break and our wings to push out, for our life to shine – or wink out at dawn.

dreams, philosophy, psychology

conceptual suffering

“Nirvana consists in the psychological stance
that makes you indifferent to suffering.

What is it that turns your life into nothing but suffering?

It is desire and fear –
desire for something, some delusory desire
and fear lest you should lose something.”

~ Joseph Campbell from Transformations of Myth Through Time

i have made my choice
and my choice is rapture.
i am in the center of neither winning
nor losing.
i am in BEING.