Friday, January 30, 2004

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Random Thoughts

- Hi. Did you miss me?

- As some of you guessed, e, I went to Denver for the weekend. Always good to go home. Sunday my niece and I drove to the Barnes and Noble Bookstore on S. Colorado Blvd. and hung out there for a bit. Then, since we were almost in the neighborhood, we drove to a couple of metaphysical bookstores on E. Colfax Avenue. One bookstore wasn't open yet so my niece asked if we could cruise Colfax while we were waiting. We started just east of Colorado Blvd and drove down to the state capital building and then turned around.

This part of Colfax is in the Capital Hill section of Denver and is a mixture of low rent and funky. This is were I grew up and this is where my niece will be going to high school next year. As we drove by East High my niece told me she couldn't wait to go there but she was disappointed that she would not be able to leave campus for lunch during her first year. Good. I never liked the idea of allowing fourteen year olds to run around off campus at lunch. She also informed me that she wanted to live in Capital Hill when she was old enough. I don't blame her, it's the kind of neighborhood that attracts the artistic-hippy-goth-punk-bohemian-outside the box type personality and my niece leans towards that type.

- McDonald's is promoting their Chicken McNuggets with the phrase, "now, all white meat." Oh God, what was in them before?

-I watched the Golden Globes Sunday night and looking at so many surgically remade faces gave me the creeps. Some of those women's faces look like a Barbie doll face with the texture and hardness of plastic. They looked like walking airbrushed photos of themselves.

- I found this website on Blogger Fourm (button above Blogger button at the bottom of my sidebar) that they say "will give you a visualization of your "neighborhood" --that is, a map of sites Google considers similar to your site." I would like anyone out there who is more computer savvy than me to check this out and then explain how it works. All it seems to show is the blogs that I am linked to and the blogs that those blogs are linked to. Am I missing something?

Friday, January 23, 2004

"All Right, Keep Moving, Keep Moving. Nothing To See Here."

Got places to go, things to do, and people to see today. Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

"Baby, I don't care."

Film Noir-
Literally: "Black Film"; describes a genre of film which typically features dark, brooding characters, corruption, detectives, and the seedy side of the big city.
-The Internet Movie Database

I just finished two book written by Eddie Muller; Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir and Dark City Dames: The Wicked Women of Film Noir. The first book is a history and critic of Film Noir. The second is a collection of interviews and short biographies of six women actors; Coleen Gray, Jane Greer, Evelyn Keyes, Ann Savage, Audrey Totter, and Marie Windsor, who are now considered "Queens of Film Noir." Women who's acting style made the characters they played unforgettable, turning those movies into film noir classics.

I first saw these movies on television and was fascinated by them. The "grownup" feel of the stories. The way the women (nothing like the women being portrayed on network television shows) were as tough men. And the look of them. Always shot in black and white but in a way that made them richer in color than color could ever be. They were mesmerizing for me.

Some of my favorites are, Double Indemnity, Out of the Past, The Killing, The Asphalt Jungle, and The Big Heat. Then there there are the ones I've heard about but not seen, The Big Steal, Gun Crazy, The Set-Up, and many more. A few are on DVD and more are coming out so, hopefully, I will be able to see them all.

I've searched the Internet for film noir sites and have found a few that I liked. One online magazine, Images has an article about film noir with a list of their top ten noir movie picks, Ten Shades of Noir. At FilmClassics the following articles are interesting, High Heels on Wet Pavement, Two From Siodmark, Style, Out of the Past, Film Noir; an interview with Ann Savage, and With Kubrick; an interview with Marie Windsor about Stanley Kubrick.

Kathie Moffett: I didn't know what I was doing. I, I didn't know anything except how much I hated him. But I didn't take anything. I didn't, Jeff. Don't you believe me?
Jeff Bailey: Baby, I don't care.

-Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

George W Bush's State of the Union Address

Terrorism and "The War"


Gay Marriages


The Economy

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah

Keeping Teenagers from Having Sex

Blah, Blah, Blah


blah, blah

The Medical Crisis In This Country and The High Cost of Drugs


The Cost of Sending Men To Mars


Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Who Are You?

What do you think? Not a bad looking person. The photo is a little blurry because the person taking it was laughing. It's me in the photo. Me in my twenties. My sister sent me this photo right before I went to Spain. I had not seen it since the day it was taken. When I saw it again I was shocked by it. As I gazed at it I thought, "But, I'm not ugly."

I thought I was at the time.

Self image. How we see ourselves. Body image. Those things can be warped so easily. How could I see myself as ugly? I know self image begins at birth and that the way other people react to us helps to form our sense of worth. Our sense of worth affects how we see ourselves.

I know I was a sensitive child that tuned into other people's feeling very quickly. I remember at the age of three or four walking into a room that my grandmother was in and feeling her hatred pour over me like a bucket of black paint. It was so overwhelmingly that I could not move and stood there as the darkness of it blinded me. It wasn't until years later that I remembered my mother was in the room. Then I realized all that hatred had been directed at her. My grandmother never tried to hide her dislike for my mother.

I picked up lots of stray emotions that flew around our house. Lots of sadness, depression, hopelessness, worthlessness. All that I internalized. How could I see what I looked like? I was using a mirror that was cracked and distorted by other peoples emotions. Try using that mirror when you going though those self absorbed teen years. The mirror gets even more distorted.

I think as we grow older in body we also mature (if we are lucky) in self image. We start out seeing ourselves through that distorted mirror in our head. We don't use that distorted mirror when we look at other people. At some point we no longer use that mirror to look at ourselves either. I think that is why I can look at this picture and finally see what I really looked like then. I am no longer looking at the picture though that greatly flawed mirror that was in my head at the time.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

"Cause It's Summer"

Summer time is here
Yes it's summer
My time of year
Yes it's summer
My time of year

-lyrics from Summer by War

We have a saying out here in the West, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” Two weeks ago the temperature was down to -14F/-25.6C, there was two inches of snow on the ground, and the river had frozen solid enough for my dogs to scamper across it with impunity. The last few days the temperature has been in the upper 50's/teens, all the snow disappeared last week, and the only ice remaining on the river is hidden in places where the sun never reaches but even that is melting fast.

Yesterday I was driving to the eye doctor and listening to the car radio when a song started playing that made me think of summer. I remember the first time I hear it. I was on a city bus heading home from an afternoon at the shopping mall. Hearing it again put me right back there on that bus on that hot summer day, my body rocking to the motion of the bus and a hot breeze blowing in though the open window hitting my face.

Summer, when I was in junior high, was a time when I walked around barefooted as much as possible. The only time I would willingly put on my sneakers was after a late afternoon rain shower. Those showers were few and far between but when they did come they were short and intense. After the sky cleared we (friends or siblings) would put on our sneakers and go gutter walking. That meant walking in the gutter as the rain water raced down the street on its way to storm drain at the street corner. The water would be running so fast our shoes would create a wake as we shuffled our feet along. Some times we would turn our feet sideways and create a spillway that the water would rush over. There were two reasons why we did this. One, because the cold water felt good on a hot day and, two, because it was also a contest to see who could keep their feet submerged in the water the longest. That water was always ice cold. I never won these contests because I could never stand the cold for more than a minute or two.

Even though I wore my sneakers a little as possible I would carry them around with me if I thought I would be going somewhere I might be made to wear them. I would tie the shoelaces together and throw the shoes over my shoulder or walk with them hanging from my hand. One time I got on the bus carrying my sneakers and it wasn’t until I was half a block away from where I got off the bus that I realized I did not have them anymore. I knew my mother would be upset if she found out I had lost my shoes because they were my only pair. I never told her I lost them but the next morning I rode three buses to get to the city bus garage and pick them up from the lost and found. I never even considered the fact that someone might not have turned them in.

One Saturday my brother, sister, and I went roller-skating, Later we stopped at a liquor store that was near the bus stop where we would be catching the bus home. I bought a bottle of 7up for the three of us to share. The law at that time said any bottle leaving a liquor store had to be put into a paper sack so, after opening the bottle of pop for us, the man behind the counter put it into one of those one of those tall thin “there is a bottle of liquor in here” paper bags.

As I got on the bus clutching the bag the bus driver gave me a funny look. As we walked to the back of the empty bus I came up with a great idea. My brother, sister and I would pretend we did have a bottle of liquor in the bag. We would pass the bag back and forth and each time one of us took a drink we would first duck behind the seatback in front of us. So we did just that, giving the bus driver a quick peek before ducking behind the seat. The bus driver kept eyeing us suspiciously through the rear view mirror. Finally, he pulled the bus over to an empty bus stop and told me to bring the bag up to him. I walk up to him and gave him the bag with what I thought was an innocent look on my face. He took it, looked inside, and with a small smile on his face handed it back to me, telling me to go sit down. When I reached my brother and sister we all broke out in laughter. The driver was watching us again but this time his eyes were dancing in amusement.

By midsummer we would be bored with the normal summer things we did and would try to think up something new. One night a group of seven of us neighborhood kids were sitting on the grass strip out in front of one kid’s house. We were just hanging out watching the cars and people go by. The street we were sitting beside was also the street that the Number 11 bus came down. Somebody came up with the idea of seeing if we could get bus driver to stop the bus by faking a beating. We all agreed this would be fun so we picked the one kid in our group who wore glasses to be our victim. Then he and five of us went behind the house and waited as one boy stood in the street watching for the bus.

When the boy in the street yelled, “Now!”- our victim ran toward the street and a couple of seconds after that the rest of us chased after him. When he reached the grass strip the boy who was watching for the bus grabbed him and “threw” him to the ground. The rest of us formed a circle around him and started pretend-kicking the crap out of him. Our victim covered his head with his arms and rolled around screaming, “Mommy! Mommy!” We all started laughing at this performance. In fact, we were enjoying it so much we forgot about the bus. Then the sound of bus brakes squealing brought our attention back to the reason for all of this. We all looked in the direction of the street and then froze, shocked by what we saw.

Not only had we got the bus driver to stop the bus, he was so upset by what he thought we were doing he had stopped the bus right in the middle of the intersection, opened the door, leaped off, and was now running toward us while screaming obscenities at the top of his voice. And he was big. Nobody moved until our victim broke the spell by voicing what we were all thinking, saying, “Oh shit.” We exploded in to action like a covey of flushed quail. Seven kids took off in seven different directions, all running for their lives. Later, we decided that bus drivers did not have the sense of humor we thought they did.

Sometimes I really miss those days.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Random Thoughts

-My brother is doing much better. I talked to him on Tues and was surprised by how much better he sounded. He said the doctors do think is was something gastric and gave him an appointment next week for those tests.

- My husband's friend's mother is not doing well. I heard that the hospital is not allowing her any visitors and that they have not set any of her broken bones. The first statement is probably true but the second statement is probably a rumor. A sad story getting sadder.

-George Orwell said, "At age 50, every man has the face he deserves." He may be right. I caught a glimpse of Madonna in her movie Swept Away and she is looking very hard. It used to be only her eyes were that way. Now, she looks like you could drag a kitchen match across her face and watch the match light. Hard very hard.

-I love Campbell's Tomato Soup but there is trouble in soup land today. Campbell Soup has come out with a new can design that they are describing as an, "Easy Open Pop Top." I hate it for three reasons. First, it is not easy to open. Here are Campbell's directions for opening the can:

"1. Hold the can firmly below the can edge with one hand. 2. With your free hand, pull the tab up until it touches the rim (do not rock the tab back and forth). 3. Rotate can one half turn (180 degrees) and pull the tab back slowly while pressing down firmly on the rim with thumb. 4. When the lid is almost detached, twist the lid slightly to pull completely off."

Simple? Try that if you have any pain in or problems with your hands or wrists. These cans are so badly designed that Campbell's has created a special tool called a Pop N Pull to open them. They will cheerfully sell you one at the supper market if you need it. At their website, under FAQ's, their answer to someone who was having problems with opening the new can was the following:

"We're sorry you are having trouble opening these lids. The cans and Pop Tops we use have been carefully designed to balance our requirements for product integrity and ease of opening."

Company speak for, "We are sorry you can't open the can but it works for us so bug off."

The second problem is that you cannot open these cans with "traditional manual or electric can openers"(Campbell's own words), they suggest you go out and buy one of those new can openers that cut the whole can top off.

The last problem with the new lid is that the new design has created a lip around the top of the can. When you turn the can of Campbell's Condensed Soup over to pour the soup out, that lip turns into a ledge which traps some of the soup, soup you can't reach no matter how you try to scrape it out. This I find annoying and frustrating. I would like to eat all the soup I paid for, please.

So, Campbell Soup wants me to keep buying their soup now that they put it into a can that is hard to open, cannot be opened by some people without their "special" tool, and cannot be opened with a regular can opener. They also want me to keep buying their soup packaged in a can that reminds me I am not getting all the soup I paid for when ever I pour it into a cooking pan. I can still get Campbell's Tomato Soup in the old cans, so, my plan at this point is to keep buying Campbell's Tomato Soup as long as the old cans are available, after they are gone I'm done.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Tower of Babel

Definition: [n] (Genesis 11:1-11) a tower built by Noah's descendants (probably in Babylon) who intended it to reach up to heaven; God foiled them by confusing their language so they could no longer understand one another.
-WorldNet Dictionary

Dave at Clear Blue Skies found a German translation of his page though Google yesterday so, I decided to see what my page looked like in Spanish. Instead of Google I used Altavista's Babel Fish. When I looked at the Spanish translation page I wondered if the translation was accurate. I figured the only way to see if it was accurate was to translate part of it back into English. I used the following paragraph of yesterday's post:

"I am reading Baseball (100 Years of The Modern Era: 1901-2000): From The Archives Of "The Sporting News." One of the fascinating things in this book is a copy of a baseball questionnaire that Jackie Robinson returned to The Sporting News in 1947."

This is what I got:

I am the baseball of the reading (100 years of the modern era: 1901-2000): Of the Archives "Of the News That are amused." One of the fascinadoras things in this book is a copy of a questionnaire of the baseball that Jackie Robinson returned to the news that were amused in 1947.

Well, that was interesting. Now I decied to see how that paragraph would translate into some other languages.

English to French and then English:
I am the baseball of reading (100 years of the modern era: 1901-2000): Files "Of The Sporting News." One of the attractive things in this book is a copy of a questionnaire of baseball that Jackie Robinson returned to the sporting news in 1947.

English to German to English:
I am measured value baseball (100 years of the modern era: 1901-2000): Of archives "the Sporting message." One of the fascinating things in this book is a copy of a baseball questionnaire, which Jackie Robinson returned to the Sporting messages 1947.

They are baseball of the reading (100 years of was modern: 1901-2000): From It arches You "Of The News Di Sport." One of the fascinating things in this book is a copy of a questionnaire of baseball that Jackie Robinson has given back to the news of sport in 1947.

I am baseball of the reading (100 years of the modern age: 1901-2000): Of The Archives "Of The Notice Exhibiting." One of the fascinating things in this book is a copy of a questionnaire of baseball that Jackie Robinson returns to the notice exhibiting in 1947.

Babel Fish sure is having trouble with that first sentence. Now, let's see how garbled this paragraph can get:

I am the reading baseball (100 years of the modern age: 1901-2000): Archives of the sporty message von?The? One that fascinantes things in this book is a copy of a baseball questionnaire, which Jackie Robinson referred to the sporty messages in the year 1947.

Babel Fish is aptly named, wouldn't you say?

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Jackie Robinson

"Jackie was the greatest competitor I ever saw. He didn't win. He triumphed."
--Ralph Branca, Dodger pitcher, 1947

I am reading Baseball (100 Years of The Modern Era: 1901-2000): From The Archives Of “The Sporting News.” One of the fascinating things in this book is a copy of a baseball questionnaire that Jackie Robinson returned to The Sporting News in 1947.

For those of you who don’t know the name, Jackie Robinson was “the man who broke the (Baseball) color barrier” in 1947. The first black man to play the game in the Major Leagues. Jackie Robinson was a living definition of grace under pressure. No matter what type of racial slur was hurled at him, he kept his mouth shut and never reacted to them. Of course, that didn’t mean he never passed up the chance to tag some racist SOB out with a backhanded smack of his glove so powerful that the butthead felt a little woozy as he walked off the field. Still, I’m sure the intense pressure of being the first contributed to his death at the early age of 53.

Anyway, this questionnaire asks about baseball ( playing position, bat left or right, throw left or right, baseball experience) and the personal (born where, height, weight, etc.) but the thing that grabbed my attention was the line that asked Nationality. Here Jackie Robinson has written square in the middle of the line, “American,” then squeezed into the remaining space is the word, “Negro,” as if it was added as an afterthought. The first three letter,” Neg,” are written on the line but the last two letter,” ro,” are falling away. The “r” is barely hanging on to the line and the “o” is dangling in space. Looking at that saddens me. Talk about a visual statement showing how black people were seen in America at the time. Not just as Americans but with that little qualifier added; “Negro.” Squeezed to the edge but hanging on.

Branch Rickey was the man who hired Jackie Robinson and at the time he said,” I look for this thing to take its natural course…The signing of a Negro will be no more news that the signing of a white boy.” Well, Branch Rickey was right, the color of a man’s skin is no longer newsworthy in baseball or any sport. So I guess we’ve come along way since those days. At the same time we still have a long way to go. I’m waiting for the day when a man like Al Sharpton can run for president confident in the belief that anyone voting against him will be doing so because they do not agree with his ideas and not because they don’t like the color of his skin.

Monday, January 12, 2004

So, What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?

"I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that. "
-John Cusack's character in Say Anything

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Friday, January 09, 2004

Dog Cheese

One of my dogs is on pain medication due to arthritis and the only way I can get her to take the pill each morning is to wrap a little cheese around it. The best type of cheese to use is pasteurized process cheese. You know, those packets of soft sliced cheese that melt so easily on a cheeseburger? Since they melt so easily they are also easy to shape into a little pellet around the pill. Kate loves it.

Anyway, I noticed I only had one slice of cheese left this morning so I put "dog cheese" on my grocery list. Later I stood in front of the dairy case studying the packets of process cheeses. Not all process cheese is created equal. I picked up a package of cheese that read, "pasteurized process cheese," then another package that read, "pasteurized process cheese food", then another package that read "pasteurized process cheese product," and, lastly, a package that read,"imitation process cheese." Why do I have the feeling that with each package I pick up I am moving farther and farther away from real cheese and farther and farther away from real food. I buy the "pasteurized process cheese."

When I get home I look up "cheese food" on the Internet and find the following information.

1. Process Cheese is made from real cheese that has had an emulsifier added to it which allows it to be melted and molded into blocks of soft cheese that melts quickly when heated. These blocks are sliced and packaged into individual slice packs.

2. Process Cheese Food has less cheese than Process Cheese, only 51%, and has had dry milk, whey solids, and milkfat added.

At what point does cheese stop being cheese?

3. Process Cheese Product has even less cheese than Process Cheese Food and more dry milk, whey solids, milkfat.

4. Imitation Process Cheese is just what it says it is, imitation process cheese. It has no cheese and is made from vegetable oil.

So, I'd say the last two aren't even real food. Now I wonder how much of the food at the grocery store can be considered real food.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Life And Death In A Small Town

My husband's friend's father died last Saturday. When I heard the news on Tuesday I was surprised because I did not know he was ill. Then I found out he died in a car accident. He and his wife were driving home from a family gathering at his brother's house, in another small town just across the Colorado/Kansas border, when the van he was driving hit a patch of ice, slid off the road and rolled over. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was killed instantly when he was thrown from the vehicle. Now the horrible part of this story. His wife has MS and is in a wheelchair. The van was equipped with a wheelchair lift but it did not have an attachment that locked the wheelchair down nor did the wheelchair have any type of safety belt. When the van stopped she had broken one leg below the knee, three ribs, her collarbone, two vertebrae in her neck, and seriously bruised her lungs. She is alive but in severe pain. The last thing she remembers is her husband saying, "Oh, shit. Ice."

When I heard this story I was horrified. I had seen the two of them at the library just before Christmas. After they left that day I thought about how sweet they were together. How could this happen to two such good people? How could this happen to my husband's friend who is such a sweet gentle man? This thing has haunted me since I first heard about it. I can't stop thinking about his mother being in that van with that loose wheelchair as the van rolled over. How could something like this happen?

Today was the funeral. Normally the church's congregation only fills up about half the pews but so many people showed up today the church had to put chairs up in the balcony where the choir usually stands. On an off during the service the sound of people's muffled sobs drifted though the church. When I read the service bulletin I was a little shocked to see that today would have been the man's 76th birthday. Then I understood this was fitting in a way, it completed the circle of his life. Born on January 8th and then buried on the same date.

This was a man who was well loved by his community. He was the kind of man you like right away. The kind of a man you were glad to know. The kind of a man who was going to be sorely missed after he was gone. This man was so loved that even on a cold, bluster Winter's day half of the people in the church went up to the cemetery for the graveside service. It was bitter standing there in a inch of slushy snow while an Army honor guard lifted the flag that was draping his casket and silently folded it up to the sound of another soldier playing Taps on a muffled trumpet. After the flag was presented to the family the service ended and we headed back to the church for lunch.

I ended up sitting beside my next door neighbor and asked if she was there as a member of the church. No, she was my husband's friend's distant cousin. They had the same great-great grandfather. She then mentioned six family names that I recognized. Names that made up most of the town's families. She was related to all of them in some way or another. I found this fascinating since I don't know anything about my mother's family and I am so totally disconnected from my father's.

As we sat there we talked about our own parent's death. For me, my mother, and for her, her father. Both our parents had been ill for along time before they died and she said she felt guilty because she had felt so relieved after her father had died. I told her not to be because I felt the same way, it was normal. You are relieved that your loved one is no longer suffering any pain and also relieved that you, yourself, are no longer suffering the agony of watching a loved one be in pain.

I have always understood that death and pain are a part of life. As I sat there talking to her I accepted more deeply the fact that this is true. We do not like to see other people suffer and when they do it is hard to accept. So by asking how all of this could happen, I was not accepting that pain and death are a part of life for everyone, even good people. How could it happen? It was an accident. Accidents happen.

Life happens.

But I don't have to like it.

Good News

They sent my brother home from the hospital yesterday. They ruled out a heart attack but still do not know what the problem is exactly. He gets some more test next week.


Today is my sister's birthday.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

La Peregrina Back On Line

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.
-John Lennon

Hello, I've been off line or had intermittent connection to the Internet since Sunday afternoon. My husband put a new motherboard in our computer and had some problems with both the modem and reinstalling Windows. He finally got the modem working again on Monday and then connected to Microsoft to reinstall the Service Pack. This took the rest of the day and did not get finished until 0300 the next morning. I know because I was the one who stayed up until then. God, I hate Microsoft. We kept getting a "error in service pack, do you want to retry?" message and each time I clicked "yes" it would start downloading again.

Tuesday I pretty much stayed away from the machine while my husband reinstalled some of the programs that did not make it when the new board was installed. Yesterday he was a little upset when he got a message that new Windows updates were available since we and spent all the time updating crap from Microsoft already. God, I hate Microsoft.

But this was small stuff compared to the phone call I got from my sister-in-law on Monday telling me my brother was in the hospital after suffering what they thought was a heart attack on Saturday. He went in that day but did not want her to call at first because he was sure he would be out of the hospital by Monday. They kept him because they wanted to run some tests. Well, he was still in the hospital this morning but they both hoped the doctors would let him go home today. We still don't know what the problem was but I will be talking to my brother tonight. Life goes on.

Sunday, January 04, 2004


It won't be long before we'll all be there with snow
I want to wash my hands, my face and hair with snow

I long to clear a path and lift a spade of snow
Oh, to see a great big man entirely made of snow

Where it's snowing
All winter through
That's where I want to be
Snowball throwing
That's what I'll do
How I'm longing to ski
Through the

Those glist'ning houses that seem to be built of snow
Oh, to see a mountain covered with a quilt of snow

What is Christmas with no snow
No white Christmas with no snow

I'll soon be there with snow
I'll wash my hair with snow
And with a spade of snow
I'll build a man that's made of snow
I'd love to stay up with you but I recommend a little shuteye
Go to sleep

It snowed last night. Yeaaaah! Two inches on the ground. Cold, sparkling, dry, light, snow.

Snow, written by Irving Berlin.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

New Year's Resolutions

I don't do resolutions and until I read this post by Kathryn at A Mindful Life I did not understand why.

"Happy New Year! I hope your holidays brought some joy amidst all the chaos. Here we are, full of hope and resolution to improve ourselves. What is it about the turn of the calendar every 12 months that causes us to aspire to change? A more logical new year would be one's birthday, actually.

In any case, I didn't make any resolutions. Nope, not a one. I've decided, this year, to apply the concept of intention. (Yes, I know what they say about intentions, but I'm not playing.) I believe there really is a difference. A resolution feels like a declaration -- a promise to deliver -- with expectation turning to disappointment and judgment if it is not fulfilled. Who wants to start a new year with guilt?

Intention feels different. I've identified what I would like to do this year and will use this list to keep me inspired. The issue of whether or not I do them isn't paramount. If I slack off, there is no sense of failure. I'll just remember my purpose and return to fulfilling my intentions as best as I can. (This is similar to meditation. When you notice yourself thinking, the point is not to castigate yourself for failing to keep an empty mind. That's a distraction. You simply notice that you're thinking and then return to meditation.) This way, I'll fulfill my intentions to some degree and not fritter away NOW with self-recrimination. Sounds a lot more fun, don't you think?"

I agree, it does sound like more fun. This year my intentions are:
1. To eat healthier
2. To exercise daily
3. To drink more water
4. To meditate daily
5. To carry out the above intentions the best I can.

Friday, January 02, 2004


It's a dangerous business going out your front door.
-J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.
-Dr. Laura Schlessinger

When you close your doors, and make darkness within, remember never to say that you are alone, for you are not alone; nay, God is within, and your genius is within. And what need have they of light to see what you are doing?

Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.
-Chinese Proverb

When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.
-Joseph Campbell

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.
-Graham Greene

When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, the circle of Creation is completed inside us, the doors of our souls fly open, and love steps forth to heal everything in sight.
-Michael Bridge

Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.
-Flora Whittemore

In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself.
-J. Krishnamarti

If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thru' chinks of his cavern.

When in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns.
-Raymond Chandler

You can do anything you think you can. This knowledge is literally the gift of the gods, for through it you can solve every human problem. It should make of you an incurable optimist. It is the open door.
-Robert Collier

Photo, Misty Morning, taken by my sister.