Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another Notch on the Birthday Cake

As of 11:36am EST today, I have been on this planet attached to this body for 40 years. I don't feel any different than yesterday, or even any different from the day I turned 30. I think people make fun of these landmark birthdays because they're afraid of their own mortality.

It's just another number to me - a label that identifies your place in society, like your social security number or how many kids you have or how much blood money the IRS will want on April 15. A human record of absolutely no consequence when all is said and done. Now is the only moment that counts anyway. In fact, I'd prefer to be able to say I'm 372. Now THAT'S an accomplishment.

Maybe I'm not so impressed by four decades because I've packed about 6 lifetimes into them so far. 150 years ago you were lucky to still be alive at this age.

I'd really like to write more but I'm coming down with some kind of cold and sleep is calling. I just felt like I should probably write something in the blog commemorating this day since everyone else makes such a big deal of it. So there it is. Yay me - I haven't been eaten by a dinosaur yet. (Yes, Jimmy, I know it's because I am one.)

Sunday, December 28, 2008


He offered his open arms for a friendly embrace and she stepped toward him easily. His comment that she looked familiar was just a marketing tactic; he really had no idea who she was. It would be nice to be able to remember every single face that passed through his world daily, but that would be impossible. She'd met him before, but she wasn't fooled by his claim. It was okay. Although they were friends in many lifetimes, she didn't expect him to remember in this one - yet.

"Mmmm, you smell like magick," she said, almost to herself, as she let go.

"What does magic smell like?" he asked with a chuckle.

Her eyes caught his and suddenly he felt a bit odd. "Physics and faeries, belief in the truth, nature and nurture, with a pinch of stardust," she stated matter-of-factly, as if reading a recipe reflected in his gaze, "or maybe just something like a grape lollipop."

"I see," he smiled.

"I know," she replied as a young girl rudely pushed in front of her, spewing a stream of teenage babble in his direction.

As her smile melted into the crowd, he thought he heard "Third time's a charm," but he wasn't sure if it was out loud or only in his head.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase, each other
doesn’t make any sense.


I know it's been just shy of a month since I posted anything. Not that many people read my blog, but for those who may check in from time to time, I am still here, hanging out on the edge of our planet. My brain continues churning out writing ideas daily, but they are incomplete thoughts, scrawled quickly in notes on my desktop, both virtual and physical. My mantra has become "I shall get to it eventually." (Bad bad bad, but only because I make it so.)

I'd like to say my soul is lying in a beautiful field of warm grass, my world too full to talk about, but the truth is my spirit has been lollygagging in a bog of fear of non-survival. My regular salary is not covering the expense of beautiful San Diego, yet I am unwilling or unable to give up "things" (space, privacy, morals... haha) to reduce the outgoing; therefore, my other choice is to increase the incoming. I've been taking on side projects to make up the difference because even tho I'm aware of my foolishness, I'm still reluctant to just let go and allow something better to manifest. Stupid, isn't it? We all have our demons.

I'm fortunate in that at least I've had an abundance of extra work recently and eventually the money will start rolling in from that, giving me some breathing room. Of course the work has to get done first so that's just about all I've been doing. In the few moments of freedom I've stolen here and there, I've chosen meditation, friends, or simply sitting in the sun over writing. Hence, no blog posts.

It is what it is tho.

And what it is is all the same.
Duality is just a game.
Freedom from name, that's what I crave,
a retreat to the cave
of Self.

And I shall get to it eventually. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Oh Snap!

I’ve always preferred to read books cover to cover, one at a time (as in finish one before you start another), but in the last few years I’ve become lax on that policy after discovering many times that if I had read the next chapter in a book when I “thought” I should, it would not have had nearly as much meaning as it did when I finally got around to it. (This doesn't apply to fiction of course.)

I think this is just another way the Cosmos communicates with us – or at least with me. Nothing is constant in this world but change, so your collection of knowledge in this moment will be different than what you know even an hour from now. We are ever expanding, just as the Universe is.

The book I picked up for the hundredth time this morning was Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. I’ve been reading this book since before I left NJ in June. I’d really like to finish it, but I’ve not dedicated a lot of time to reading lately (at least not books - the net can keep me busy for hours!), and when I have, other books have been more appealing in the moment.

I’m still not sure this was the right choice for this morning as the first several pages I thumbed through had no impact on me at all and I had to go back and read many paragraphs twice when I realized my mind had wandered even as I continued reading the words. Eventually I reached something that grabbed my attention, and as often happens, I had to write about it before I even finished the chapter. (Another reason it takes me forever to finish a book. Distraction is my middle name.)

It’s towards the end of the book and he’s talking about the Three Modalities of Awakened Doing: Acceptance, Enjoyment, and Enthusiasm. He states:

Joy does not come from what you do, it flows into what you do…

This reminded me of Mary Poppins, of all things. After Mary becomes the nanny for Jane and Michael, she decides they need to clean up the nursery. The children groan at the task ahead, as all children (and many adults I know) do when faced with cleaning up their messes. Mary sings that “In every job that must be done there is an element of fun, find the fun and snap! The job’s a game.”

This is precisely what Tolle is talking about – letting joy flow into what you do, rather than looking for what you do to bring joy to you. Find the fun.

It totally amuses me when I think I'm learning something new as an adult, then I remember the same lesson in a more childlike version from long ago. I guess the universe never gives up on us, and some lessons we need to learn several times before they stick.

Yeah... that's all I've got today. Too much work and not enough ocean makes Trayce a dull writer. :sigh:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Evils of Being Awake

I just got finished filling out yet another profile to yet another site I want to be able to post comments on. In the profile it asks you to list your likes and dislikes. For likes I put Cognitive Awareness. For dislikes I put Willful Ignorance.

I then realized I'd had more coffee than food today, which could explain the nervous difficulty of my fingers constantly jumping on the wrong parts of the keyboard, so I went downstairs to make some lunch. While in the kitchen, Haagen Dazs sung its evil siren song to me from the freezer. I don't even know how I hear it when the bottom half of the frig is the only part open. I think it has special Godly powers to transcend the door seals.

Ice cream is a beautiful thing, and as many of you know, I harbor an enduring devotion to coffee in any form as well. If left to my own devices, I would worship at the Church of The Bean day and night. Therefore, in the World of Trayce, coffee ice cream is very much considered the marriage of perfect foods. Haagen Dazs Coffee Ice Cream is like the heavenly appeal of Brangelina - so much pretty in one place, you can't help but imagine the taste. (Uh, yeah, that's not what I meant. Get your mind out of the gutter.)

Unfortunately my particular biochemical composition does not like to play in a polyamorous relationship with coffee, ice cream, or any combination thereof. My Body often reminds me of its zero-tolerance policy for sugary edibles by sending all unapproved substances back out through my skin. My Mind chimes in by circulating a Guilt Memo among the neurons. Ego tells them both to piss off, then sulks in the corner promising to behave better next time while I apply extra makeup to hide my transgressions.

As I was spooning delicious illicitness into my mouth like a drunk sucking down cheap wine (before eating the much-healthier-sandwich I might add), I witnessed through my window one of my neighbors towing a defunct Jeep back to his garage (poor thing! The Jeep, not the neighbor) with just a rope between the vehicles. The Jeep stopped short a couple times with a screech of tires, barely avoiding the rear bumper of the truck ahead.

This is the same neighbor that was offended that my mother wanted to move her car to avoid it being hit while he was trying to unsuccessfully back a boat into his garage, subsequently hitting the corner of a building next door which caused significant damage to both truck and edifice. As far as I know he never reported it to anyone, least of all the owners of the end unit he hit.

My God-What-An-Idiot-He-Should-Know-Better Attitude bristled up and proclaimed, "This is exactly the kind of Willful Ignorance I can't stand. It's no wonder he has a McCain sticker on the back window."

Almost immediately the Cosmos reached down to tap my shoulder, looked me in the third eye, and said, "Hey, Miss I Dislike Willful Ignorance, are you enjoying that ice cream?"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our New Rock Star President

I know of all the important issues covered in Obama's first press conference this hardly ranks near the top, but how incredibly cool is it that he mentions the puppy he promised to his daughters in his acceptance speech is probably going to be from a shelter? The SPCA and PETA must've cried with gratitude. The only thing better would be if they called the dog Dubya. Oh wait... that would be insulting to the dog.

Don't miss the rest of His Awesomeness regarding foreign policy, tax cuts, a plan for the economy, and general grace in presence:

Is it January 20 yet?

How 'bout now?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Love Wins

Love Wins - Robbie Seay Band

I'm about as non-Christian as they come so I'm always surprised when I find a song I really like that's done by a Christian group. Some music just transcends categories and labels. The Robbie Seay Band is definitely transcendant. Sure, they have their share of "come to Jesus" tunes that I avoid, but there are several others I really enjoy that leave the interpretation of faith up to the listener.

If there was ever a theme song for Barack Obama's victory speech last night, I'd have to say Love Wins from their new CD Give Yourself Away would be it. The lyrics are below so you can decide for yourself. I embedded the song above so you can listen.

Other awesome tunes by RSB are Better Days (from a prior CD), Rise, New Day, and Stay (from the new CD). You can purchase the individual tracks on iTunes or directly from the band on their MySpace page.

For those of you here in San Diego, they happen to be playing locally for FREE this Sunday. Check their web site tour page or their MySpace for details.


It’s a big world, we are hoping
For a big change, we are broken
In the fading light of a dying sun
We cry for redemption

There is hope, there is hope, there is hope
But everyone who’s lost will be coming home
And everything that hurts will be whole again
And love will be the last thing standing

Can’t stop, you can’t stop the seasons
Don’t stop, don’t stop believing
Keep on dreaming of the day when it all will change
Believe in the end, love wins
If you’re waiting for the time when your sun will shine
Oh, look above cause love wins

If it hurts you, just breathe in
When it pains you, just believe in
The radiant light of the morning sun
We can find our redemption

Love is strong, love is strong, love is strong
It's been there holding you all along
Everything thrown away will be new again
And love will be the last thing standing

There is hope, there is hope for my lonely soul
There is hope, there is hope to be made whole
There is life, there is life to be set free
There is life, there is life surrounding me

There is hope, there is hope for my broken heart
There is hope, there is hope for a brand new start
There is life, there is life give me eyes to see
There is life, there is life you have captured me

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


“There do exist enquiring minds, which long for the truth of the heart, seek it, strive to solve the problems set by life, try to penetrate to the essence of things and phenomena and to penetrate into themselves. If a man reasons and thinks soundly, no matter which path he follows in solving these problems, he must inevitably arrive back at himself, and begin with the solution of the problem of what he is himself and what his place is in the world around him.”

~ G. I. Gurdjieff

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU GOD and all those people that got off their asses and voted for something better than what we've been handed these past eight years. Did you hear the collective GLOBAL sigh of relief the first time the words "President Elect, Barack Obama" rolled off the jaded lips of the news media? I imagine winning the lottery would feel much the same as the elation that title elicited.

I will finally look forward to hearing articulate, educated, intelligent speeches from the White House again. (Christ, that alone might be reason enough for me to pay for TV service now!) I will no longer DREAD every news report on what's up in Washington DC. It feels so good to say I'm an American citizen again and not have my soul wince in pain.

I know he will do things I don't agree with, and I know there are those that think this was the wrong choice, but it's the energy and enthusiasm our drained country needs to regain its feet in our own hearts, as well as that of the world. I truly believe that.

In the words of Alfred Pennyworth, "Why do we fall, sir? So that we might better learn to pick ourselves up."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Rock The Vote

It’s no secret that I will vote for Obama. Not because I’m some kind of tried and true Democrat - in fact, back in college, I was registered with the Young Republicans thanks to one of my friends who was actually in school to learn something. Somewhere between invading the Sigma Nu house and my roommate’s “How to make a beer can bong” lessons, my good friend slapped me upside the head and said "Hey! Pay attention! This shit is important to more than my Poly Sci degree!" Don’t worry, we finally returned the favor by corrupting her with alcohol, but it wasn’t easy.

I was a registered Repub right up until BushCo started wiping its crack with our planet. After a couple years of peering through increasingly polluted waters, I decided swimming to the other side was the only splash I could make to show my disapproval of where the Republican party was headed, so even tho I don’t agree with ALL of the Democratic platform, that’s what I choose for now.

If the truth be known, I think wisdom for our country lies somewhere in the harmony of the two parties – but since our nation dearly loves to “create sides” and uphold them, voting down the middle often renders your voice mute. Seeing both sides from a center position, however, gives great perspective in my opinion. Obama has some experience at being in the middle of opposing views (examples: Muslim vs. Christianity, black vs. white) so I think he will do more good than harm not only for our nation, but for the Globe.

Did you know George Washington is the only elected President we’ve had that was not affiliated with a political party? In fact, most of our founding fathers were opposed to political parties and never intended for them to be part of our government. But I digress.

Recently, a copy of John F. Kennedy’s book Profiles in Courage came into my hands. I thought it might be worth something on eBay since it’s older than me, but turns out it’s not. Instead of selling it, I started reading it. I am amazed at how relevant the words still are, especially in these last couple months leading up to Our Big Election. Check this out:

This is a book about that most admirable of human virtues – courage. “Grace under pressure,” Ernest Hemingway defined it. …

A nation which has forgotten the quality of courage which in the past has been brought to public life is not as likely to insist upon or reward that quality in its chosen leaders today – and in fact we have forgotten. We may remember how John Quincy Adams became President through the political schemes of Henry Clay, but we have forgotten how, as a young man, he gave up a promising Senatorial career to stand by the nation. We may remember Daniel Webster for his subservience to the National Bank throughout much of his career, but we have forgotten his sacrifice for the national good at the close of that career. We do not remember, and possibly we do not care.

“People don’t give a damn,” a syndicated columnist told millions of readers not so many years ago, “what the average Senator or Congressman says. The reason they don’t care is that they know what you hear in Congress is 99% tripe, ignorance and demagoguery and not to be relied upon…”

Earlier a member of the Cabinet had recorded in his diary:

While I am reluctant to believe in the total depravity of the Senate, I place but little dependence on the honesty and truthfulness of a large portion of the Senators. A majority of them are small lights, mentally weak, and wholly unfit to be Senators. Some are vulgar demagogues… some are men of wealth who have purchased their position… [some are] men of narrow intellect, limited comprehension, and low partisan prejudice…”

And still earlier a member of the Senate itself told his colleagues that “the confidence of the people is departing from us, owing to our unreasonable delays.”

The Senate knows that many Americans today share these sentiments. Senators, we hear, must be politicians – and politicians must be concerned only with winning votes, not with statesmanship or courage. Mothers may still want their favorite sons to grow up to be President, but, according to a famous Gallup poll of some years ago, they do not want them to become politicians in the process.

Does this current rash of criticism and disrespect mean the quality of the Senate has declined? Certainly not. For all the three statements quoted above, the first was made in the twentieth century, the second in the nineteenth century, and the third in the eighteenth (when the first Senate, barely underway, was debating where the Capitol should be located).

The first copyright listed in the front of the book is 1955. Are these paragraphs still completely relevant to today’s political arena, in yet another century? You bet they are. On the next page, JFK asks, “Does it mean then, that the Senate can no longer boast of men of courage?”

My answer up until last year may have been different, but now I’d say we are down, but don’t count us out just yet.

I don’t think Barack is the next JFK (and if he’s elected, I REALLY hope he’s not!). However, my intuition says he has some admirable core character qualities that shine through the bullshit of politics. He is probably going to make policies I don’t agree with during his term, and perhaps there will even be a point when I think "I can't believe I voted for this." However, OVERALL I believe he is a man of courage; grace under pressure; FINALLY A BAD ASS PRESIDENT. And I pray we are NOT a nation that has forgotten the quality of courage because God knows we need it now more than ever.

Make sure you get yourself to the polls today and vote. People died so you could have that right. Don't waste it. And never assume it's already wrapped up just because Obama is ahead in the polls. As Yogi Berra said, "It ain't over til it's over!"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Be Kind, Unwind

Sometimes I feel like the most magnificent failure ever as a parent. My daughter recently went to McDonald’s (EWWW!) to obtain some bit of chemical swill they pass for food (she refuses to eat healthy no matter what example I set or how much I hound her about the crap she puts in her body and the effect it will have eventually – youth is wasted on the young - can I have my AARP card now?) and when she returned, she told me a Mexican guy came up to her car and persistently begged for money while she was in the drive-thru. Her story was not narrated in a compassionate “I wish I could’ve helped him” tone, this was told in a completely indignant, angry “Why the hell are there so many illegals here and WTF business do they have accosting ME?!” Princess tone. :sigh: Who raised this kid?

I have to admit, I’m not wild about the thought of so many foreigners coming into our country and not playing by the same rules everyone else has to, but still having some benefit from our system. I also don’t agree with how they pop out babies one after the other when they can’t even feed the first one they had (although that happens plenty right here at home too). It’s certainly a drain on our nation.

However, when I expand my awareness beyond the details, these are still PEOPLE – they’re HUMAN. They get hungry and scared and need shelter and love just like the rest of us. Most are just trying to make a better life for themselves and their families. And how awful must it be where they come from that they’re willing to risk that kind of journey, and stoop to begging for food, because it’s better than where they were. Think about that. A lifestyle we avoid at all costs, the one viewed as bottom of the barrel – THAT is a step up from where these people lived.

Is that lazy? Is that contemptible? Is that not a shining example of hope, and the ultimate faith that the Universe will provide for you? Isn't it possible we could learn something from that?

Sure, I know the stereotype, and it becomes a stereotype for a reason. But it’s not everyone. And you have to give some benefit of the doubt at some point. Again, these are still HUMANS. There are always going to be those who fit the worst description our imaginations conjure, and then there are those that are truly trying to make a difference in their lives. How do you know which is which in the ten second interaction that takes place when someone asks you for a handout? You don’t. So give the benefit of the doubt. And even if you can’t offer anything more than a prayer for that person to have a better day tomorrow, BE KIND. That's all I wanted my daughter to be.

So I heard Katy’s story, and in the moment I felt like I failed to pass on any compassion at all to her. I argued with her that these are still people, and on paper we’re not that far removed from the dude at her window when I’m down to $10 cash and don’t get paid for a week. She didn’t seem to care, and stubbornly stuck to her disgust. Ego – Open All Night! AAGGGHHH. Somehow I don’t feel I can write that off as naiveté as easily as the eating habits, and I’m not sure how to correct it now. I feel like I failed to impress upon her that yes, there may be cases where righteous indignation is appropriate (witness 8 years of Emperor Rove... I mean Bush... I mean Cheney), but that still doesn’t make it okay to treat someone less fortunate like dirt. Perhaps if more people felt this way, there would be less crime and poverty and bullshit going on in the world.

You know, in the past few days I’ve been worried I don’t have enough compassion. I’m often opinionated and come across cold or elitist about certain subjects. I’ve told my share of racial jokes (but I like to think I pick on everyone equally, like Carlos Mencia who touts himself as an "Equal Opportunity Offender"), and surely I feel like everyone should be pulling their own weight and/or cleaning up their own messes no matter what walk of life they come from. But under those cold, opinionated, ego-filled comments and diatribes, there is still Love. And sometimes people need a little help. None of us can exist completely alone because we are all intertwined - part of a Whole.

The good thing that came from her tale is my own gratitude. I look around my house and see there is food in the pantry, and electricity in my walls, and a clean bathroom, and an awesome bed to sleep in tonight, a computer connected to the internet, and so many things I don’t even look at every day because I don’t need them, and I’m like geez, even when I’m down to pennies in my bank account with creditors breathing down my neck, I’m a WORLD away from that guy. That guy would give anything to have my problems. And maybe I’m not the one to change his fortune, but I’m thankful he exists, and I'm even thankful he chose my daughter to bother (since it was harmless!), because it makes me grateful to be where I am. I just hope someday Katy sees the Light too.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bat Joke

I was talking with a friend on IM tonight and the subject of bats came up. I said, "Oh man, my most favorite joke is about bats." He wanted me to tell it to him but it was long to type so I went looking for it online, and doncha know I found it. God bless the infinite information on the Internet. Here it is:

A vampire bat came flapping in from the night covered in fresh blood and parked himself on the roof of the cave to get some sleep.

Pretty soon all the other bats smelled the blood and began hassling him about where he got it.

He told them to piss off and let him get some sleep, but they persisted until finally he gave in.

"OK, follow me," he said and flew out of the cave with hundreds of bats behind him.

Down through the valley they went, across a river and into a forest full of trees.

Finally he slowed down and all the other bats excitedly milled around him.

"Now, do you see that tree over there?" he asked.

"Yes, Yes, Yes!" the bats all screamed in a frenzy.

"Good," said the bat, "because I sure as hell didn't!"

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Excellent Point

"... the wide dissemination of once sacred and hard-to-obtain knowledge has also given rise to the smug presumption that we know it all; that we are farther along in our spiritual quest than we really are; that we do not need to undergo the difficult and lifelong trial of spiritual transformation. The late Ch'gyam Trungpa said it well:

Our vast collections of knowledge and experience are just part of ego's display, part of the grandiose quality of ego. We display them to the world and, in doing so, reassure ourselves that we exist, safe and secure, as "spiritual" people. But we have simply created a shop, an antique shop."

The entire article I was reading can be found here.

Knowledge and experience are all Ego. Makes sense because what need does the spirit have of such things when it is All There Is to begin with?

Yup yup.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Got water?

Yesterday my daughter calls me from the driveway and says, "Come out here and look at this." I go outside and there's a huge oddly-colored cloud hovering over the area. I agreed that it did not look normal, but we couldn't figure out what it was by osmosis, so I went back inside.

As I walked in, I noticed the sunlight streaming in through the glass doors onto my white papasan chair was literally RED. Since when does natural sunlight look like something from a Steven King movie? Nothing freaky or eerie about that at all! I mean seriously, the sun is always the color of blood, right? WTF?

I was a little freaked at this so I went to the window to verify that our fireball in the sky had not collapsed into supernova or that aliens had not replaced our primary lightbulb with some kind of solar compact florescent. I noted that the cloud from the front of the house actually extended all the way over and across the back of the complex, then funneled down to a V on the horizon over by Camp Pendleton Marine Base. The brain latched onto the only answer: smoke. LOTS. TONS. Again, WTF?

Having witnessed the World Trade Center's demise firsthand, I have to admit this brought my heart up to my throat a little more quickly than most people probably would've reacted. (Funny how I keep thinking that event didn't affect me much.) My brain immediately panicked, listing off things such as nuclear attack, air raids, bombs, etc., and I wondered if I should even continue breathing.

Since I have no tv service (because I choose not to), I had to rely on the internet for information. I called Katy back as I tripped up the stairs to find out what was going on.

CNN had a small banner at the top announcing a brush fire at Camp Pendleton. Not much further information, but at least it gave me some keywords to search with. According to local news sources, the fire started only an hour and a half before, and was covering several acres, but was not in an area that threatened any homes or people. Still... wow. My logical brain pointed out if there was that much smoke from one small fire, do the math for the San Diego fires that made national news last year! Holy crap!

I watched a news video online taken from a helicopter. At first they give you the wide shot, then zoom in a bit. I'm thinking, hey, that doesn't look TOO bad. I mean, how big of an area is that? Probably not that large. The Marines surely have enough trucks to cover it.

Then they show another helicopter below them coming in to drop water (or something) on the fire. It looks about the size of a gnat against a field of flames. Perspective is an awesome thing.

I kept tabs on the news through the rest of the afternoon and evening because it was only about 10 miles from our house, and I remembered hearing how fast the flames traveled in 2007. Fortunately, there didn't seem to be much to report.

That evening I had a date in Oceanside. I took 76 due West. It was after dark. As I rounded one of the corners, my eyes caught the enormous orange unnatural glow beneath a heavy ceiling of clouds. I've never in my life seen such a thing. It was both awesome and terrifying at the same time.

My poor date called about this time and I spewed my incredulity over the cell phone to him (way to make a first impression!), trying to explain in between gasps and babbling that this was my first fire season here in San Diego and I'd never seen a brush fire before. I don't blame him for laughing at me.

I so wanted to stop and take pictures because I had my camera in my purse, but I was already late so I managed to restrain myself. However, on my way back a few hours later I definitely took the opportunity to drive up to a place where I could get a good look at the goings on. Even from a couple miles away you could see the movement of flames licking the air in a frenzied dance down the hillside. I called Katy and told her to get dressed because I was bringing her back out to see this since I prayed it was the ONLY time EVER that we would get to witness a wildfire so close to our house.

By the time I retrieved her and we made it back to a good spot to view the damage, the fire had made it almost to the bottom of the hill. I read later that the wind actually shifted and helped the firefighters contain the blaze. Thank goodness, because it was definitely headed for the nearest community.

Katy and I tried to get pics, but they were mostly blurry. I found the following on www.signonsandiego.com and they are a much better representation of what we saw. God bless professional photographers. May I someday join their ranks. It was just so amazing and mesmerizing, and at the same time I hope I never see that again.

So in my four short months as a SoCal resident, I've already experienced an earthquake and a brush fire. I feel like I am no longer a California Virgin. Perhaps these are the hazing rituals of the Cosmos... or maybe Mother Nature is trying to make up for us missing the autumn colors up North right now. I'd much rather She contain it to beautiful but harmless leaves. The front row seat to Hell's Concert of the Year would not be my first choice of venue.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Social Distortion

Warning: this could be a very uncomfortable and strange entry for any family members or close friends to read, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I met some of the most interesting people last night at a party I wasn’t sure I wanted to attend, but now I’m glad I did. That’s what I get for having expectations. When will I learn? At least this twist of my presumptions was on the positive side.

My hands have that tingling going on as I’m trying to sort out my thoughts and type this. It’s the weirdest sensation – I usually only feel it in the center of my palms, but once in awhile an area around the middle of my chest gets involved (some would probably call it a chakra, blah blah – those new agey terms are so abused I’m loathe to use them). It’s not an itch but an intense sort of tension, like a forced awareness of every individual nerve ending. Sometimes it’s so strong it’s almost painful. I’ve tried every keyword I can think of to search out answers for why it happens, but no luck, so I have to chalk it up to dimensional energy I don’t understand yet. The hands are channels after all. I take it to be a good thing. But I digress.

A couple of the people I met inadvertently got me thinking about tantra (no, nothing funky was going on at this party – it’s just my own train of thoughts that led me here) so I spent a lot of time cruising the net reading up on it today. When I first met Mark 11 years ago he introduced me to the concept but we never really followed through (or so I thought), then after awhile circumstances in our relationship caused me to totally lose interest in all related things and it was shoved roughly a light year away, to a distant back burner galaxy in my brain. Funny how these things snap back - like a cosmic rubberband - at the speed of light, swatting your third eye hard enough to wake you from unawareness.

The more I read, the more I’m wondering if I’ve ever experienced anything NOT tantric when playing in that particular arena. (Not that I presume to know rituals and techniques, having never been taught, but from what I’ve read, I would be a quick study I’ll bet.) Most things they describe on the net I already do instinctively, and it’s not like I know anything special or read much about it, I’ve just always done it that way because it seemed like that’s how it should be.

My first time out I distinctly remember telling the guy to slow down, stop, let me feel this for a minute. He was like, “You want me to do what? Why?!” I didn’t know why other than it was just what I liked. At least he complied. I felt like I was directing a movie trying to tell him what to do and when (like I even knew what I was saying!) and observe what I felt all at once. Overall it was a good experience with someone I cared a lot about and I’m grateful for that. Everyone’s first time should be like that. Perhaps his patience and indulgence was an even greater benefit than I knew because ever since I’ve never been afraid to express what I like, and certainly I can’t recall any bad results.

But reading all this leaves me wondering: If that’s not the norm, then what is? Something that resembles porn? Gods, I hope not. Where is the love in that? Maybe this is why I’ve never understood people’s fascination with adult videos. I can’t imagine ever wanting to do it like that (with a few off-the-hook-hormone exceptions). I don’t care what noises the people are making, I can tell you most of it is fake, and it doesn’t even look like it feels good. (The bad acting is another story all together.)

One thing I don’t understand about tantra is the ritualistic nature of it. All this lighting of sage and preparing this and breathing like that before you even touch each other… seems a little hokey. (Except I see where breathing certain ways at certain times can improve feeling, but sitting across from each other, staring at each other trying to breathe in sync without yawning? Sounds totally boring to me. What is the purpose of that?) I probably don’t know what I’m talking about, having only read what I found online. Or it could be I’m just too impatient, which is probably something they insist you master to “do it right.” Discipline has never been my strong point, but if you ask me, discipline in this area sounds more like work than fun. I dunno. Like I said, I’m no expert, but some things they describe just sound like common sense, and if that’s not how everyone does it, well that explains a lot.

Maybe I’m just a hands-on kinda gal. By all means, set a mood with candles and music and whatever, and there’s a lot to be said for flirting and teasing and building the tension, but I always thought things were more enjoyable when you’re so in touch with your partner’s thoughts and emotions that when you get down to it, you’re wanting to do the same things at the same time anyway and there’s very little need for speaking or “rituals” like I was reading about. Then again, Mark has been the only one in that part of my life for so long, maybe I’m remembering prior experiences incorrectly. Who knows.

Maybe I’m just resisting anything remotely related to a religion that tells me “it must be done this way or else you’re not doing it right.” That’s never sat well with me. There are infinite threads of truth that weave our existence.

OMG – the Cosmos is so damn funny. My email just dinged so I check it and it’s a monthly new agey type ezine I get (unsolicited I might add) called SpiritSide. On the front page is “A Healthy Approach to Shameless Intimacy – Tantra!” I love when the Gods flirt with me.

Well anyway, this is not a subject I want to blog about in depth, but it’s what I was thinking about today. For anyone that doesn’t know what tantra is, please do yourself a favor and at least Google it or buy a book to investigate the general principles.

It could be the answer you’re looking for. ;)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Walked on Moonlight Beach tonight for about a mile. I don't know what it is about that particular stretch of sand, but it's definitely my favorite. It feels like home - familiar somehow. I love the juxtaposition of the silent, solid earthy bluffs on one side and the crashing ocean on the other. The space between was still damp from the tides, and the water came up to kiss my toes often.

A fine mist hung over the waves, but somehow left most of the stars revealed on the inky black background of the heavens. The moon was hidden beyond the night sky and yet light from everywhere cast shadows beside me. We are a glowing species here on Earth, reflections of the pinpoints hovering all around us.

Fragrance from fish, ozone, fire, people, and fast food joints tickled my nose in turn. I am amazed what my human senses could pick up; I can't fathom what four-legged creatures must learn from the breeze. Or perhaps my shape shifted for a moment to discover the secrets of the wind.

Tonight I am most grateful for the experiences I've been having since moving here. The lessons have been fast and enlightening, the people crossing my path interesting in their own ways.

Thank you for Now.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Being Grateful to Breathe Freely

I had to wait in line for almost 20 minutes to put gas in the tank today. At first I was annoyed because I had groceries in the car that weren't getting any fresher, and who wants to spend a beautiful day waiting to fill Big Oil's pockets with blood money? But the orange sharpie marker on my arm reminded me to "Breathe freely" (a new fav mantra that came to me last night as I was falling asleep) so I opened the sunroof and turned off the car to extinguish pollution from both air and mind.

I started by thinking about how grateful I was to again live less than a mile from the cheapest gas station in the area (hence, the lines - I also had this blessing in New Jersey), and that I managed to so easily manifest the money I needed so I could be there.

I also admitted that I was overreacting for my own convenience on the issue of getting the perishables into colder regions, and I was thankful that I was not truly pressed for time.

I then reminded my Self that everything happens for a reason, so maybe the delay had purposes I was unaware of.

When I leaned my head back to gaze through the sunroof, I noticed a beautiful hawk (or perhaps one of our resident golden eagles, I still have a hard time telling which is which) playing in the air currents above. Normally I see them over the field across the street from my house because it is a veritable buffet of tasty raptor snacks. Not sure what this one was looking for over the gas station unless he'd become addicted to stray fries in the McDonalds' dumpsters next door.

My feathered friends are one thing that makes Bonsall really awesome to live in. We have many large birds soaring around and I've often had the opportunity to watch them at length. The more I do, the easier it becomes to lose myself so completely in their flight that I can feel the waves and dips in the breeze as it sweeps over their wings and carries them aloft. Today was just like that. It was so nice (and easy) to rise above my negative thoughts, and I'm grateful to Great Spirit for giving my attention a better focus.

I'm also idly wondering now if gas stations breed negativity because the corporations behind them are doing such awful things to our planet. And now many of them (at least here in CA) have the balls to put TVs at the pumps and try to fill your brain with more blather and pre-programmed propaganda while you fill your tank. Not to mention the "convenience" stores carry such crap food and drink... but that's another post I suppose.


This manifestation of money over the weekend has been interesting. Katy and her bf (we'll call him E) finally made it out here this past Thursday. I'm amazed but grateful my trusty old Camaro made it all the way across country without even blinking. I should've had more faith in a Chevy.

The kids have definitely been having fun on the way as this trip has also served as a vacation for E. A well-deserved one I imagine after living with my overly-dependent daughter for four months. I've been struggling just to meet my bills on the salary from my job, so I was very worried about how I was going to afford doing anything fun with them while E was here. (He leaves Monday to go back East.)

The first challenge came up when E decided he wanted to see the Padres play at Petco Park since they're at home this weekend. My stubborn Irish pride was not about to let him pay for me, who is almost 40 and should certainly have enough funds by this time to not only pay for herself but the kids too. I mean cripes, I may not look my age (which I'm infinitely grateful for) but I should at least be able to act it. (Once in awhile. :)

I've seen people advertise free tickets at the last minute on craigslist before, so I decided I was going to ask the Universe for help. I posted in the Items Wanted section asking if anyone had four tickets that they weren't using to any of the games this weekend. I know this happens all the time, and the Padres are already out of the playoffs, plus they were playing the Pirates, who are in last place. Not something you would call "a big game." I had two responses within an hour. The first one was bogus, but the second one was legit. The tix were for that night's game, so I called the kids to tell them to come back from the beach while I emailed the lady to make arrangements to pick up the tix. I am so infinitely grateful to her and told her so several times. (I feel like I'm abusing the crap out of the word grateful in this post - there should be more than three words in the thesaurus to express gratitude dammit!)

Now I had to figure out how to get enough cash for gas and whatever else might come up. I remembered I still have a second computer monitor we're no longer using, so I quick took some pics of it and stuck it on eBay with every related keyword I could think of in the coding. Normally these things take a few days to sell, so I knew it was a long shot. I priced it above the going rate but with free shipping and I'll be damned if it didn't sell within the hour. I was surprised and not (and OMG was I grateful!) at the same time. Since I make all my Buy It Now auctions the kind where you have to pay immediately, I then had enough cash to be comfortable for at least that night.

We went to the game, I got to see my new friend again (we'll call him K) since he lives downtown near the stadium, and we all had a great time. K wanted to show us around the Gaslamp District (a section of downtown that's been revitalized with tons of restaurants and clubs), but Katy and E were wiped out from their day at the beach. We headed home, but agreed to meet today instead.

Of course, going down there again meant I had to come up with more funds, so last night when we got home I put something else on eBay, and damn if that didn't sell by morning too. How awesome is the Universe for helping out like this?

The kids ended up being super lazy today though and weren't ready to go anywhere until after 7pm. (And people think I'M bad about taking an hour to get ready! HA!) I wasn't going to encourage them to leave earlier because the more they're happy being at home, the less money we're spending. Unfortunately tho, by the time we left I couldn't get hold of K, so we were on our own tonight. We managed to walk the entire Gaslamp District anyway and had a nice dinner at an out of the way pub. It was a good time and I loved just roaming around observing all that was going on. Also found the House of Blues, which was good for future reference since there are several musicians I like that often make that their stop in SD, and Dick's Last Resort, which is a restaurant I've always wanted to check out.

Incidentally, one of my observations was that San Diego women really dress to the nines to go clubbing. There were so many stiletto heels and short skirts on little black dresses that Mark probably would've dropped over from sheer testosterone overload. (That's something I really miss about him - being able to discuss how hot people are and not feel like a total lesbian if the hot person happens to be a girl. I truly have no interest in girls [and he has no interest in guys], but we both appreciate pretty things no matter which gender they are. Too bad most pretty things totally ruin the image as soon as they open their mouths.)

The clothes (or lack of) are what really got me though. I had to stop and think, "Damn, did I dress that slutty when I was that age?" And Ego was totally like, "Honey, you were ALL OVER THAT." (I remember the first time I met Mark I was wearing a red dress and black stockings with 4 inch heels and my father said I looked like a whore before I left. At the time I was pretty hurt and defensive, but now I'm thinking he may have been right. Mark didn't mind tho.) I got all my clubbing/drinking/"whoring" done before I had Katy at age 20, so I was actually younger than most of these girls (in years anyway) when I was dressing that way. Thank God for fake IDs.

So anyway, the Gaslamp District rocks even tho I had to walk around with my hands in my pockets instead of holding someone else's. I was thankful I no longer have the peer pressure to freeze my ass off in a skirt and heels; my jeans and Chucks were never so appreciated.

Best of all, when I got home, I had email from two people answering ads for things I've had on craigslist for a week, so now, not only am I covered for this time with the kids, but I've managed to cover the overdue phone bill as well. Go me.

Breathe freely. Have patience. All I am seeking is seeking me.

It's worked so perfectly since I've lived here it's like I've been given the gift of magic.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mindless Drivel

"Don't let your mind stop you from having a good time. Cuz if there's anything that slows us down, it's all that under the hat." ~Jason Mraz

Mraz relayed this bit of wisdom to the audience the other night when he played at Morongo Casino in Cabazon, CA. It stuck with me because it's one of those tests I'm still failing every time it comes up in my life. Witness a few nights ago: I was out with a new friend and we were trying to get down to the beach but the roads we kept picking didn't have public entrances. He was more than willing to trot across someone's lawn and go down private stairs to get there quicker, but I wanted to go around by a road I knew had a public staircase. He asked me, “What are you afraid of?”

I dunno... cops? Angry property owners? Spilling my latte?

I thought about this a lot on my way home. Is it a good or a bad thing that I don’t like risking getting into trouble (in some situations)? Am I missing out on a lot of experience, or am I being a good citizen? I feel like I’ve had more exceptional life adventures than the average bear, but then I hear of others’ worldliness with realms unfamiliar to me because I was too afraid to go there and I think, “yeah, I am lame and where did this pole come from?”

As with all things I'm sure the answer lies in the balance, but the line is fuzzy and vague and sometimes you only know you’ve crossed it when it’s too late.


So did you see they kick-started the Large Hadron Collider at CERN? We’re one step closer to getting sucked into a black hole of our own making. That would solve all our environmental problems, wouldn’t it? We just wouldn’t have an environment.

Trouble is they broke it already. A 30-ton transformer failed in its duty to power cooling stations that keep the liquid helium at a frosty -459.67 degrees (much like New Jersey in January). Not to worry though, CERN called Hasbro and Hasbro contacted Cybertron. Optimus Prime was sent to deal with it. The magnets were back on the subzero frig by last Friday, but now electricity bills and maintenance schedules seem to be keeping it from actually firing up again until next Spring. Go figure.

Science moves forward like a chameleon.

I think the research they’re doing is both exciting and dangerous at the same time. It’s like aliens gave us a book of matches and told us to go play in traffic.

If we actually observe the Higgs boson, and can therefore make some solid claims on how massless particles become mass, that would be huge. We haven’t had a major advancement in science of that magnitude since Einstein.

On the other hand, scientists swear they have calculated the math nine ways to Sunday to make sure we’re not going to cause a major catastrophe, but hello… they’re called probabilities for a reason. Probabilities usually encompass a few remote occurrences where side effects may include getting run over by our own sun as our universe is inhaled by God’s bright yellow Dyson. And we all know the Cosmos enjoys a good jokes on the humans.

But hey, don’t let your mind stop you from having a good time. :D

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Dog's Life

I've been pet sitting for a couple that's on vacation this past week. I have a lot of fun with their two tiny dogs, who are full of energy and personality (contrary to the pic above - my camera is not fast enough to catch them in action). They make me laugh hysterically every night when we play (I mean seriously, could that tail GO any faster?), then they curl up on the couch and melt my heart with their snuggling. I'm grateful for this quality time with my canine friends because it reminds me that life is more than what bills I owe or how much work I have left to do.

The tail waggers are all about the treats and the petting and the constant anticipation that anything I might be fiddling with up on that counter MUST be something for them to eat. I mean what else is a human's purpose in life if not to feed them? They're positive today is the day they're getting that plate. "What? You're taking that to the CAT? For real? DOG has three letters too - maybe you misread the package! Look again - no wait, ok, I'll follow you. Put the plate down tho. Like now. Ok, let me try to jump up and eat it while it's still in your hand. Is this a game? I'm right here! Why are you still walking? Just put the plate down. No, right here - I'm right here! Oh man... that cat gets all the good stuff." ::scratching and whining at the door ensues::

Dogs are just so present all the time. Now is the only moment on their clock. When you walk out of their sight - even if you're just taking out the trash - they think you've left forever. They cry and pout, then give you the most joyous greeting when you return: "Oh thank God you're back! We thought you were a goner. That door is surely a black hole, or worse - the vet! Did you escape the vet? We're SO happy to see you we will cover you in dog kisses anywhere that skin in showing! And thank you for forgetting NOT to wear flip flops again because we're SURE your toes need our spit between them." Where else can you get unconditional love like that?

I don't have TV because I rarely watched it back in NJ, so I figured why bother even hooking it up here. I haven't missed it, but while I'm with the dogs, it's nice to zone out and flip through channels. Besides, it's impossible to read a book with them on the couch because they are aware of the handicap it creates, and the ratio of two tongues against one hand. The daschund has incredibly good aim and likes french kisses. BLECH.

Tonight I landed on an old black and white movie starring Katherine Hepburn: Little Women. I remember reading the book by Louisa May Alcott when I was young. You could never get my nose OUT of a book back then. I don't remember reading too many of the "classics," but this was one of them. I even collected the Madame Alexander dolls of the characters (the only dolls I could ever tolerate) - in fact, I still have them in a box in the garage. I was amazed that as the story line played out on the screen, I could clearly remember the sets and characters my imagination created back then. How cool is the brain to retain all that for so long? Ok, not THAT long (Jimmy!).

The movie also made me think about that fairy tale I'm trying to manifest. Maybe I'm just old fashioned but whether it was Hollywood or the era itself, it seems to me that men were more gentlemanly back then. That's what I'm looking for. Chivalrous, respectful, and somewhat innocent in their romantic pursuits (or at least they were able to keep things in check during an entire courtship) and they were good sports if they were refused. Ladies were graceful and elegant, with good manners, good posture (of course, who DOESN'T have good posture in a corset?!), and proper speech. Even though the acting was comically bad, the blocking made you wonder if this was the director's first time out, and there were no special effects, there is a certain charm to those old movies that I think more people desire in their daily lives than will admit. Maybe they don't realize that civility is the ingredient that's missing.

What kind of jaded society have we become that we are too lazy to enunciate, too impatient to walk slowly into a new relationship, and too presumptuous to properly introduce one another and take the time to learn who we are? I contend that these are simply bad habits we've fallen into, and we are lazy as well so we don't change them. Most people know how they should act, they just don't bother.

I know not ALL people are like that, but generally in Generations X and Y the tendency towards these traits, along with a sense of community, is deteriorating. I feel like some old biddie when I worry what the following generations will be like, and how this effects our happiness as a Whole. Just lock me up in a retirement home now. Perhaps we can't live in an ideal world because everyone's idea of perfect is different (or maybe we DO live in an ideal world since the Universe works without fault), but I still feel there are some things that everyone would agree could improve.

After I came home I sat on the balcony in the papasan chair awhile, conversing with the moon. It's beautiful and full tonight, glowing so bright it cleared the sky of stars except for the outer reaches of the horizon. In my head I listed out all the good things in my life, and imagined dancing with the man of my dreams. Silly? Maybe. It's true though. He would have the grace of Fred Astaire, the charm of Charlie Chaplin, a dash of the rogue Humphrey Bogart's characters embodied, and the humor of Dane Cook because c'mon - I don't live in that era afterall!

I'm too tired now to really know where I'm going with this so I guess I'll end it here. The things I told the moon I am thankful for were:

  • The balls to move to San Diego
  • New friends
  • Always having enough
  • The ocean only 15 miles away
  • New beginnings

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Quirk of the Network

This morning I woke up about 10am. I lay there thinking for awhile – or rather, trying not to think and not succeeding - then I woke up again at 11:30. Then “I” had a two-hour board meeting with Ego since meditating was putting me to sleep. Is being entertained by your own thoughts for literally hours at a time normal?

Ego aired all its grievances, protests, arguments, and drama in the matter of Me vs. The Recent Past, and “I” listened intently, but the only response “I” could come up with to each diatribe was a big fat “WHATEVER.” When Ego finally ran out of things to bitch about, “I” asked, “Are we done now?” And I think we are.

Perspective is so valuable but easily lost in the pockets of our brain. Sometimes I wonder if Ego even steals it and hides it on purpose.

After that I picked up the Tolle book (New Earth) that I still haven’t finished (it’s taking me months to read because I keep reading other things in between) and damn if the next three chapters weren’t all about exactly what I just did. Well it’s always nice to have validation.

As Jason suggested to the audience last night, we spend too much time in our minds. I know it's true, I even knew it the past few days, but sometimes it's hard to step outside your own drama. Like looking for the doorknob in the dark. I will stop worrying about being cool and just go have fun.

So, um… moving on…

The Beginner's Mind

Last night I went to the runes to try to make some sense of where I'm at. I pulled Inguz, which is actually one of my favorites not only because of the description but also because it looks cool. The book says this about it:

This Rune is akin to the moon, the intuitive part of our nature, with its urge toward harmonizing and adjusting in the sphere of personal relationships. Inguz embodies the need to share, the yearning to be desired, a search after similarities.

The completion of beginnings is what Inguz requires. It may mark a time of joyous deliverance, of new life, a new path. A Rune of great power, drawing it means that you now have the strength to achieve completion, resolution, from which comes a new beginning. Above all, completion is crucial here. It may be timely that you complete some project now; if so, make that your first priority. Perhaps a difficult state of mind can be resolved, clarified, turned around. The appearance of this Rune indicates that you must fertilize the ground for your own deliverance.

Inguz signals your emergence from a closed, chrysalis state. All things change and we cannot live permanently amid obstructions. As you resolve and clear away the old, you will experience a release from tension and uncertainty.

You may be required to free yourself from a rut, habit, or relationship; from some deep cultural pattern, some activity that was quite proper to the self you are leaving behind. The period at or just before birth is often a dangerous one. Movement involves danger, yet movement that is timely leads out of danger. Now it is time to enter the delivery room.

Another of the Cycle Runes, Inguz counsels preparation. Being centered and grounded, freeing yourself from all unwanted influences, and seeing the humor, you are indeed prepared to open yourself to the Will of Heaven, and can await your deliverance with calm certainty.

As always, the runes are spot on. How do they do that? Freaky shit. (That song by Pilot is running through my head... Oh oh oh it's magic... you know... never believe it's not so...)

I saw Jason Mraz play at Morongo Casino in Cabazon tonight. He always puts on an entertaining gig, but I got the idea this may have been a "practice" show for his upcoming weeks in Europe. He's recently been on vacation for three weeks, so I wouldn't be surprised if they needed something small to get back in the groove (small in his case = about 2000 people!). I'll never get tired of hearing the man sing, but I had a hard time staying present tonight. I dunno if it was because my seat was farther back than normal, or maybe I was just spoiled since I got to see him last weekend in the more intimate setting of Mueller College when his friend Bushwalla played with Dawn Mitschele.

They did have a couple surprises: they reworked Clockwatching from the Mr. A-Z CD (very interesting with a reggae beat), and he had the gospel group, Voices of Prayz, with him. Not sure if they'll be on the whole tour, but it was great hearing Live High with the proper choir behind it. I wasn't crazy about the other Jesus-y gospel tune they covered, but then I've never been a big fan of anything related to church. He covered the Steely Dan song Peg in the encore, which was way cool. I'd seen a YouTube version of it from another show, but hearing it live was much better. He still has the Grooveline Horns with him too. Those guys are so awesome - they add a new dimension to the show. In the dictionary next to "groovy" you'll find their picture. I dunno how they manage to fit so many people on stage, but it looks fantastic and I even heard people behind me as I was walking out saying, "That was worth every fucking penny!" That totally made me smile.

Between the show tonight and reading the description for Inguz, it made me think about Jason's tattoo that says "beginner." Shortly after getting the tat, he posted a pic of it on his blog and explained his thoughts about the zen saying The beginner's mind is a beautiful place to come from. That phrase has stuck with me, especially since moving to San Diego and having to find everything for the first time in a new city. I got curious about when his first post on blogspot was because I know it's been a long time. A quick search revealed it was almost a year ago today (9/11 actually) that he moved his blog to these waters. And oddly, his first post was the very one I was thinking about. I hadn't remembered that. :)

So a beginner I am as well - pure potential - and I will keep in mind that it's a beautiful place to come from, even if it's feeling kinda crappy right now.

...just when the caterpillar thought life was over, it turned into a Butterfly.

From my backyard

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Note to Self: Shut the Fuck Up

This is why I don’t talk to any of my ex boyfriends (save one from high school, but that reconnection was in a far different space, long after the wounds had healed). I don’t know if my problem is an ego temper tantrum, or just emotions, or some physical disentanglement of matter and particles, but fuck man, ending an 11-year relationship can really inflict some pain.
The following thoughts may be extremely disjointed so if you can’t keep up, don’t feel bad. My head sometimes rivals the mountains for twisty turns and back asswards roads, and getting lost is easy. Too bad there’s no Google Maps for my thoughts. (How cool would a satellite picture of your thoughts be?)
John and I went to dinner and then for a walk on the beach the other night. It was the first time we’d met and it was not a romantic date (or intended to be). Something he said stuck in my head. I don’t even remember what the subject was but he stops me mid-sentence and says, “That’s the second time you’ve said you’re leaving. Didn’t you just get here?”
Well yes, I did. I’ve been in San Diego three months. I know I’ll probably be here several years – a decade seems to be my average in a place. It used to be that I wanted to live in the same place forever because I was annoyed with how I was moved all over the country as a child. But even after it was my own decision where to live, circumstances kept me mobile. In my new adult naiveté, I decided instead of resisting the changes, I would embrace them and assume that wherever I moved to would not be the last place/time, so get happy with it or die trying. Hence, I accept the knowledge that even tho I just got here, I may not be here forever. I didn’t intend for that to be reflected so prominently in my speech tho. That can’t be good – certainly, it doesn’t portend living in the Now as I strive to do.
It has also crossed my mind that now that I’ve embraced my gypsy gene, the Universe will probably fuck with me and I’ll never leave this area. It would totally be par for the course. I’m just trying to be okay with whatever comes my way.
So anyway, when Mark asked me to move out, one of the reasons he cited was my inability to stay put (despite the fact that I’d lived in NJ 11 years). He said he couldn’t live with always wondering when I might finally scratch that itch to live elsewhere. The kid part of me that got dragged from school to school totally gets that, but the adult part of me that’s trying only to live in the moment was again annoyed. Sometimes it feels like I can do nothing right.
I want a fairy tale (which to me, includes the good and the not as good times). I want to feel like I could be with one man until the end of this lifetime and never want things to change. I’m a very monogamous person. I adore my comfort zone. I certainly felt that way with Mark the first several years of our relationship, but he was not in that space the same time I was.
I also want to be impeccable with my word. If I make a promise – especially of the heart - I want to be sure I can keep it. When Mark asked me to move in with him five years ago, the only reason I couldn’t promise to be there forever is because I KNOW the northeast is not my most favorite place, and I know how long forever is. Doesn’t mean it couldn’t have happened – maybe after Katy flew the coop, I could’ve traveled more and that would’ve satisfied my wanderlust. Maybe I would’ve found that travel wasn’t enough. Maybe I should’ve kept all that to myself, but then what kind of promise was I making? Seems like I fucked myself either way. Is honesty always the best policy?
The practical side of me wonders how anyone can feel good about making promises when they have no idea if they can keep them. Even if you are the type to generally stay in one area your entire life, how can you possibly promise to be there forever? As the commercial says: Life comes at you fast. Forever is a very long time. If you have kids, you know how long forever is. Or look at the divorce rate and you’ll see that even the best intentions don’t always last long enough to meet forever. (Once you think you get the “forever” thing, try wrapping your head around the concept of infinity. That’s really what forever is, but for purposes of this blog, forever will just mean to the end of this lifetime.)
I’m so unsure what to do about that. I don’t want to make the same mistake in the future, but I need to be honest. I mean seriously, Mark’s got a point – how can I ever commit to a relationship fully if I think – no, expect – that someday I’ll want to move? Yet I want that kind of committed connection. The only way it would work is if the person I’m with is the same way, then it’s a matter of deciding whose choice of places we’ll live in next (and when).
Ok, so that math makes my brain hurt, but here’s what killed me.
When I left, Mark and I decided to hold our relationship in limbo. We both understood that we were no longer exclusive so if something came up, we were free to pursue it. We also commiserated that neither one of us was of a mind to seek out someone new. We decided if circumstances offered an opportunity to be together temporarily, neither of us would feel weird about taking advantage. Most people call this “friends with benefits” but in our case it’s more like an IPO (“I Put Out”? haha) with stock options since the dividends only paid out once or twice a year.
Surprisingly (or not, if I think about how our relationship started), it only took him a month or so for something to come up. My out of control Ego whispers to me “Probably not even a month! It must’ve been killing him that you took so long to leave!” which may not be fair, but it’s how I feel on my less mature days. Then Left Brain looks over its glasses at Ego and says, “Oh please. Go to your room.” So Ego stalks off to its brain cell muttering, “Well it wouldn’t be the FIRST time.”
I’ve been trying to keep Ego in time out and sort through all these emotions that ride along with letting go. I know it’s necessary. I know it’s probably best. I know if this is how it is, then we were not meant to be together and I have to accept that. I am just pushed out of my comfort zone is all. I’ll get over it. I cling to the words of Eckhart Tolle (as much as his visage creeps me out) that “whatever experience I’m having right now is the one I need to be having.” Great, but does this thing go any faster? Cuz seriously, I’ve got the pedal to the floor and I feel like I’m crawling.
I don’t begrudge Mark happiness, or new feelings for someone else, or whatever those may turn into. But it adds a degree of difficulty when what came up is one of your own friends, especially one that recently left her boyfriend. Ego totally busts out of the chair at that point shouting all kinds of ideas about how long this has really been going on (again, especially knowing Mark’s & my history), what point it may or may not be at now (like that really matters?), and how little respect that shows, not only from Mark, but also from my friend (but I, of all people, know there is something afoot beyond conscious choice of who you end up having feelings for). Am I that easily replaced tho?
Even though I’ve managed to stuff Ego back into Pandora’s box and lock that shit up, I’m still left to decide how I choose to react to the situation. And Ego’s muffled cries are not entirely unheard. Ignoring any part of Self and leaving emotions unresolved is the cloth dis-ease is woven from, and I don’t want that (witness the sinus infection – let’s not keep going there!). But I’m not a baby or a psychotic bitch either. Sometimes I wish I was because this would probably sort itself out faster.
I’ve tried to remain friends with both of them. We’ve all talked on the phone (not at the same time), but I don’t trust that I’m getting the entire story. Mark has continued entertaining flirtations and sexual innuendo when we converse on IM. I played along until today when it was made clear that I was mistaken in thinking our friendly IPO still had stock options. Ouch. Especially coming from someone who is known for his polyamorous ideas. Now I feel doubly stupid.
I just want to let go of the process. Of ALL of it. Change your mind, change your life. In the daily existence I define as “normal,” I do believe it’s that easy. But this isn’t normal. And is that really resolving anything? Is it easier or harder to rip this bandaid off all at once? (Unfortunately, as a kid I was never the rip it off kind.)
This is one time I don’t want to live in the Now. I want to leave tomorrow in the sparkly dust from my pumpkin carriage’s wheels.
Do you think Cinderella ever had to deal with this shit before Prince Charming came along? I know how long forever is... how long is Happily Ever After?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A Beautiful View, or Snot

The last couple days I’ve been recovering from a sinus infection. I’m a wet dream for most health insurance companies because this is the only occasion for which I drag myself to a medical professional, and I’ve got it down to once a year. Financially, it’s the worst return on investment ever, but it’s not like I’m upset that I’m healthy. It would be nice if premiums were calculated on a sliding scale, but that would be asking too much of an industry built on fear. Reward people for a positive outcome? Not on your life policy!

Right now I don’t have health insurance though, so I made up my mind to beat it without antibiotics this time, and I am. I’m taking Echinacea/Goldenseal every four hours, and enough Emergen-C to make peeing my new hobby. For all those readers with stock in Kimberly-Clark Worldwide (they make Kleenex), you’re welcome for increased profits this quarter.

I remember a long time ago my mother told me sinus infections were “inner crying,” or tears that we’re not shedding. Makes sense, especially during the Water Faucet Phase when I have to walk around with Kleenex stuffed up my nose just so I don’t drip on the carpet. So attractive. If I ever wondered why I’m still single, that might be a clue right there.

I believe Mom learned the inner crying thing from a Louise Hay book. I don’t like to focus on the negative, but when this particular malady hits me, I stop to think about what I’m not crying about that maybe I should be. Well small wonder this time around: there’s been just a little stress in the last couple months with moving cross-country, the financial strain of increased living expenses, family pressure regarding my daughter, and I really miss being in my relationship. Add to that a small misunderstanding between myself, my ex, and his new girlfriend and I can see why it’s raining inside my head.

Oddly (or not), I was trolling through a message board tonight and came across a link to the Louise Hay video below. It took me three hours to watch it because every five minutes I had to hit pause and email the link to someone I was reminded of by what was being said, or to write things down that I wanted to remember. None of it was wisdom I hadn’t heard before, but over time you forget what you’ve learned and it’s always good to bring that info back to the front of your consciousness.

If you’ve got an hour and a half to spare (unless you’re like me, and will have to hit pause several hundred times), this is well worth the view.

Speaking of views, I went to dinner tonight with a new acquaintance and we continued our conversation in a stroll down the beach afterwards. I’ve never been down there after dark because a) generally on the East coast it’s a no-no to be on the beach after the sun goes down, and b) wandering around alone in an unfamiliar place that could be potentially deserted and/or dangerous did not seem like a good idea. I’m crazy, not stupid. (For the record, it wasn’t deserted or dangerous. Must be why they call it Moonlight Beach – duh.)

If you and I were communicating through something other than two-dimensional words right now, you would be hearing those little gasps of unbelieveability people make when they are grasping for a description that is beyond language, while my hands made flailing motions to indicate the futility of speech.

Crescent moon glowing in a clear night sky… sea of stars reflected in a vast expanse of deep blue… the pulsing rhythm of waves rolling onto the sand… BAH. None of it can recreate the image that was before my eyes. I’ve seen some pretty awe-inspiring nature-rific panoramas in my travels, but WOW. All I can say is run – do not walk – to your nearest Pacific Ocean after sunset. Hollywood can’t come close to this kind of scene.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Serenity NOW

I've had days when I felt like this, but I gotta say, none of them have been since I moved to San Diego! :D

This just cracked me up so bad. Poor kitty!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Croc Confession

When people started wearing Crocs - the latest couture horror - out in public I thought it was a joke. Or perhaps they didn't have time to change before leaving the garden on an urgent mission to Target to procure more unconscious synthetic crap cranked out with slave labor from the parts of China not covered by carefully-monitored and censored Olympics cameras. One can excuse a social misstep now and again, and certainly I am no slave to the fashion trade.
When I realized that it was actually a growing fad, I vowed never to allow such repulsive things that will surely become a pop culture faux paux the likes of neon spandex or Jellies (::shudder::) within 100 yards (that's .09 kilometers for my Metric friends) of my closet. And although the manufacturer claims they are NOT plastic, I contend that because the company is loathe to reveal their process by which the "proprietary" closed cell resin (PCCR) is formed, that's as good as plastic to me. Either way, it's some chemicalized unnatural mutant bastardization of fossil fuels that will probably end up being a layer all its own in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I feel the ocean temp rise a degree and the air become more unbreathable and polar ice caps melt and I'm quite sure at least 10 animal species going extinct every time my eyes are unfortunate enough to meet a pair of these biped disasters.
However... I have said before - recently even - how curiosity will kill Schroedinger's cat. Perhaps I should change my blog's name to "Here Kitty Kitty."
The truth is I tried a pair of these on the other day because they were at TJ Maxx for really cheap and they were the actual Crocs brand (as if that should even matter, but sometimes Ego is my shopping buddy - I can't help it). I had to know WTF everyone is so thrilled about with this hideous footwear that a large display had even invaded my organic supermarket. Organic supermarket - as in humans who shop there are generally the kind that think about ecology and the suffering of Our Tiny Blue Marble and try to do the right things to balance their carbon footprint. These organic, eco-minded mortals are not only wearing, but promoting offensive plastic shoes! How can this be? What kind of evil spell did Crocs cast on the population? Are we Hooked despite the ticking of the ecological time bomb we play on?

(Yes, I Photoshopped that myself, thank you very much. Socks with Crocs tho? Tsk tsk Captain Hook.)
The Crocs looked at me from the shelf like a street whore smiles at Hugh Grant. (Don't get me wrong, I love Hugh and could listen to that voice all day long. But when IS he doing another movie? Hey Hugh, stop faffing about the UK and get on with it already!) I passed by them three times sneaking glances out of the corner of my eye before I finally confronted myself and admitted I wanted to know what they could do for me. They were an ugly plain white (like someone forgot to drop the color pod in the vat or something), but they were my size. Even before my feet knew the wicked ways of this foamy footwear, I started rationalizing that the original idea of gardening shoes was not a bad one because you can hose them off without ruining them. Maybe plastic is good in moderation? (Like Americans even know the definition of that word. Moderation, silly - not "plastic"!) I mean look at the iPod. That's definitely worth some landfill, right?
There was no one to witness my temporary insanity, so dammit, I slipped my feet into them, just for kicks...
...and like Snow White's stupidity in taking unpackaged, inorganic fruit from strangers, I found they were the most comfortable things I have ever walked on. It was like having a medium-density sponge floor everywhere I went, and I could instantly see why any professional that's on their feet all day (read: nurses in particular) would immediately adopt these as The Most Important Part of Their Wardrobe. I've heard companies claim that wearing their shoes is like walking on a cloud, but this is the only thing I've ever experienced that lived up to that analogy.
My logical self quickly shoved all that aside and reminded me sternly that a pair of these in my house would not only create an eyesore, but crow would be What's for Dinner for a very long time when my friends found out. My brain also assured me that Scientists would probably release some study any day now that reported all sorts of back problems or foot deformities or other maladies attributed to overuse of these unsightly slabs. My resistance was further aided by this particular pair's painfully boring color - no wonder they made it all the way to the discount store. (And even so, my sinful brain wheedles that the particular shade of cauliflower vomit I was perusing resembles a blank canvas begging for Sharpie markers.) I did notice a more acceptable basic brown pair, but only a tiny Asian woman would've fit in them. I'm small, but not Asian.
I escaped my experience without fouling my recyclable canvas shopping bag with their presence, but the memory of walking in them lingers like a permanent virus. I even considered them AGAIN in another store because there was a display with every color known to man (and some certainly not of this Earth - see grotesque pic above), but they were ridiculously expensive and if I wanted to taste that much feathery guilt, I resolved to at least smother it in economics.
So I came home to write this blog entry but my fairness gene kicked in, and I was compelled to look up what my fellow Hippie TreeHuggers (as Rich, my former neighbor in New Jersey called me) are saying about them. Okay, okay, it wasn't really the fairness gene - it was the "how much dirt can I dig up to make the argument of how these things suck" gene. I'm not sure these squeaky sandals stay as clean as I'd like.
Here's what I learned:
  • Crocs originated as footwear for boating purposes; the gardening people adopted them shortly after, followed by every knock-off company and Walmart shopper around the globe. To me, the boating thing is bad. These on boats = more plastic ending up in oceans/lakes (whether it's by accident or drunken college prank) and will contribute to the downfall of fish & wildlife (not to mention us!) unless ALL boaters are responsible human beings - AS IF.
  • They're easily cleaned, antimicrobial (Hey Jess! There's that big word I know!), and they don't hold smells (mostly... so claims the Croc FAQs which are neatly hidden under the Contact link because what responsible consumer will want to know what they're buying and how it effects our planet?), so for fishing purposes I can see the benefits (except for that fish guts/smelly water/beer spills going right through the holes thing), but again, too close to our fresh water sources to justify them as good boat wear.
  • Obviously, they won't be ruined by water (As in they'll NEVER biodegrade - like EVER! Future archeologists will love that!), unlike the last fabulously dated 80s boating footwear of choice: Docksiders. (And damn if I didn't see someone wearing those just yesterday! Do they still sell those or does that dude have a couple hundred pairs stashed in his closet?)
  • Wikipedia finally provided a more satisfying answer of what Crocs are made of: ethylene vinyl acetate. Like I said, PLASTIC. (Thank you very much. Yes, I DO love to be right.) Then I read that this same material is used in biomedical engineering applications such as drug delivery service. (I'm not talking about pharmacies with a pizza guy.) Hmmm, maybe that's good? Or NOT: "The polymer is dissolved in an organic solvent (e.g., methylene chloride)." Methylene chloride, by the way, is "a colorless, volatile liquid with a moderately sweet aroma. It is widely used as a solvent, the general view being that it is one of the less harmful of the chlorocarbons." Chlorocarbons are nonaqueous, meaning they do not dissolve in water. Our bodies are mostly water. Chlorocarbons are also "usually denser than water, due to the presence of heavy chlorine atoms." (Mmmm, chlorine. Are you feeling healthier yet?) So these chlorocarbons are less harmful than what? Cancer? And when was the last time it was good to put something volatile in your body? But I digress... "[ethylene vinyl acetate] devices are used in drug delivery research to slowly release a compound over time. While the polymer is not biodegradable within the body, it is quite inert and causes little or no reaction following implantation." IT'S NOT BIODEGRADABLE WITHIN THE BODY - or anywhere for that matter. (Ha! Right again!) Just because a drug-delivering polymer is "quite inert" I don't think I want to be carrying that around the rest of my life. And where is the study that proves it causes little or no reaction? Define little! But again I digress... it's not like I'll be eating a pair of Crocs anytime soon. Although they do cover that question in the FAQs! ::rolls eyes:: So perhaps that is valuable information for those of you who own pit bulls.
  • Crocs, Inc. is at least TRYING to be responsible to our Ecosystem by forming a recycling program (www.solesunited.com) that allows you (read: those of us that are aware and responsible, which in no way implies all of mankind) to drop off "used up" Crocs at a local shoe retailer so they can be returned to the company, chopped up, melted down, and re-molded into hundreds of thousands of new pairs of Earth Death for people in third world countries. Just watch their heartwarming video to erase all your eco-guilt. While I acknowledge the noble attempt of We Shoe the World, I have to question whether said barefoot indigents mind their soles being connected with Earth at all times. I mean, some people consider that a good thing. The old-school Australian Aborigines wouldn't have it any other way. Also, if you do the math, the amount of Americans alone who probably own - or have misplaced/trashed/otherwise lost track of - more than one pair, including knock-offs that are NOT recyclable, negate any positive outcome of Imelda Goes Global.
So caveat emptor my Planetary Peoples. Memory is still arguing its case before the jury in my head because the damn things really are just THAT comfortable. But I don't think the Logical Left Brain (which controls the eco-side of me, if not the impulse purchases) is buying it. Perhaps there's something injected into that toxic foamy comfortableness that's instantly absorbed into your bloodstream and causes DNA mutation and separation anxiety so you can't stop thinking about them. I'll keep you posted.

If plastic shoes are not enough to scare the eco-lovin' shit out of you, read these unrelated links I came across in researching what Crocs are made of:
Post: In Answer To Dr. Hood- Fat & Chemical Storage- Doug Haney
US Patent 6835390 - Method for producing tissue engineered meat for consumption
I think I just became an overnight vegetarian.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Finally, I get to be a Magician!

Sera Beak, the Spiritual Cowgirl, comes up with some fun links. The latest posted in her blog is "Which Tarot card are you?" (I know you'll love this Diana!) The test claims I am the Magician.

You are The Magician

Skill, wisdom, adaptation. Craft, cunning, depending on dignity.

Eloquent and charismatic both verbally and in writing, you are clever, witty, inventive and persuasive.

The Magician is the male power of creation, creation by willpower and desire. In that ancient sense, it is the ability to make things so just by speaking them aloud. Reflecting this is the fact that the Magician is represented by Mercury. He represents the gift of tongues, a smooth talker, a salesman. Also clever with the slight of hand and a medicine man - either a real doctor or someone trying to sell you snake oil.

I'd have to agree that since moving to San Diego, it certainly seems as if I can manifest things out of thin air. I'm continually in awe of what has come my way the day after I've given it thought. I've always believed in creating my own reality and I've recognized my skill in manifestation before, but in the past it took time. SD must be some kind of optimal place for me, as my ability to bring what I want into my life has definitely been accelerated.

I've been told I'm clever, witty, and inventive, so I can believe those parts as well.

In contrast, I don't agree with the "salesman" description in this assessment. I don't see myself as that kind of person at all, although I easily recognize those that are. I'll have to dig a little deeper in the psyche to figure out why that would be in my cards.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Most people's fascination with magic seems to wane as they pass out of childhood. Adults become skeptical, practical, jaded. I've got my own healthy dose of those qualities, but not when it comes to magic. I still believe it's a real thing, and that there are people (human or otherwise) who can perform fantastical transformations of energy into form. Not that they are going to TELL anyone they can do that because good lord, you'd be abducted by the CIA that night and tested and tortured and poked and prodded within an inch of your life (or less). Cripes, I'm sure it happens all the time. Governments are full of coyotes and curiosity will kill more than Schroedinger's cat.

Ever wonder about that magician's oath? They are very serious about keeping their secrets among those that are in the business of illusion and enchantment (two of my favorite words). Sometimes I wonder if perhaps it's because some of them really ARE at a level of manipulating the elements. (That's when Logical Left Brain goes "PFFSSHHH. You are NUTS. How old are you?" So Right Brain grabs my tongue, sticks it out at Left Brain, then sulks for a week muttering "I am NOT acting like a six year old. It IS real. I KNOW it. It's just that no one will ADMIT it. Humph.")

Anyway, I also subscribe to the opinion that whatever may be considered "magic" is just physics we can't explain yet, but that doesn't make it any less magical. Think of it this way: if someone from the 1500s were transported through spacetime to our world today (not hard to imagine since Hollywood has covered this idea pretty well!), would they not see cars, movies, electricity, and the very technology I'm using right now to communicate as magic? We don't consider it so mystical because we've learned how it works (for the most part). But we are such a teeny tiny part of the Universe - there are so many processes and events and happenings out there we can't explain - hence, magic. (And Right Brain says, "HA! SO THERE!" Then it's Left Brain's turn to sulk.)

When I was a child my aunt had a friend, Daniel, who was a professional magician (maybe still is). Every time my aunt babysat I would BEG to go visit Daniel because he couldn't resist practicing his skills on the very willing subject of Me. I would ask him to do tricks over and over trying to figure out how he did them, but I couldn't catch him.

As I've grown up I've continued to attract magicians in my life as friends, and I still watch very closely trying to catch how they do their tricks but really, I don't want to know. I don't want to catch them or the illusion is ruined. I love that I can still be fooled by slight of hand and misdirection. Once in awhile one of them will go against their oath and offer to show me how they do it, but I always refuse (which is probably why they offer). I don't really want to know because that takes the wonder out of it. Sure, I feel smart when I figure out one of their conjurings (and they know that's the one they need to work on!), but then I can never again enjoy the wide-eyed feeling of disbelief that provides the thrill of their performance. It takes the fun out of it.

How many other things in life do we take the fun out of with our need to know "How?" and "Why?", instead of just enjoying the awe-someness of reality?

A hui hou, my friends. :)