Sunday, December 31, 2006

Head In The Clouds, Reading

So, I've been back to work since yesterday... and as you may know from the last post, I've been sick since Christmas Eve... it's been crazy. The non-drowsy meds just don't work for me and I have weird chemical sensitivities... which basically means that any medicine which says in the fine print that one should not operate heavy machinery while using it.... usually will send me for a heck of a loop in which I feel like a just drank a fifth of Jim Beam and my head is a hot air balloon floating around.... viewing the world through a long paper towel tube... you know, that weird almost visceral feeling like you know you're there, interacting with people and doing things, but you feel like you are watching it on film instead of actually experiencing it. While some people partake of certain substances to attain this feeling on purpose, I generally don't enjoy it. On the positive side, this was a very busy, productive day at work and it was the first day that I've not had to take anything for my symptoms. Considering that other people I know have been down flat for more than a week with this bug, I got off lucky with just a few days. Chock it up to a cast iron immune system :-) I almost made it the entire year without calling in sick to work.

I've just finished reading White Oleander by Janet Fitch and it was an incredible read all the way through. I would highly recommend it. I am currently delving into The Deep Well Tapes, a book on Archetypal Dreamwork (which seems to be based in Archetypal Psychology), authored by my own Uncle, Marc Bregman. In truth, I am not certain what to think of it yet. There is some of it that I do not understand, but some the points that he is bringing forth in the beginning of the book... are starting to make perfect sense to me as one who was raised in a literalistic, somewhat fundamentalist, closed-minded and reactionary form of Christianity, yet secretly held a mystic's point of view on the entire religion, as well as the way that it applies to humankind. Another interesting point is that many of the philosophies that he puts forth seem to align with a majority of the tenets of Quakerism (for those of you who don't know, I've been attending regular meetings at various Quaker meeting houses for the past few months). It would be entirely arrogant and premature to say that I have even a loose grasp on any of this yet, but we will see how things go in the next year or so. I have clawed as far as I can go under the old mindset and it is necessary for me to change and grow...

Which brings me to a minor point of order in my life... several times in the past year, I have felt a strong compulsion to go back and edit this blog, to remove past content or statements that I have made in moments of strong emotion, to gloss over my own reactive nature. But every time I felt this compulsion, I resisted... why?
Editing history is the hallmark of fascist regimes and those who are controlled by their fear of the ghosts of what was. And because I have come to realize that it is better to own up to the past, how one has acted in the past, and it is necessary to preserve the past as it was so that one may see clearly how they were in order to work on what they are to be.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


I hope you all had a Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday time. Santa was very good to me, but it has been hectic over on this end... the whole pre-Christmas shopping & wrapping frenzy & whatnot.

I could whine until the cows come home about being sick on Christmas day, having all my expensive soaps ruined by a leaky pipe below the bathroom sink, catching conjunctivitis from my little brother (who I am still happy to see, regardless), not having the health insurance necessary to cover a doctor's visit to treat said issues, and finding out that whoever has been rifling through my belongings in the basement had also trampled 3/4 of my wrapping supplies... but even in light of all of this, I am still quite blessed compared to some of the folk I see walking the streets of my town every day, and they in turn are far more blessed than some of the unfortunate people in overseas locations whom I read about in the news every day. Wrapping supplies can be replaced cheaply, my illness and conjunctivitis are already clearing up with the aid of some home remedies, and I have had excellent health for almost a decade... a lot of those who are less fortunate have problems of a much more permanent and severe nature. I don't live in a war-torn region of the world (although that could easily change if the current administration doesn't pull it's head out of it's rear end). I don't have to defend my household & family from inner-city criminals. I don't have any dietary deficiencies or diseases due to bad living conditions. Really people, a lot of us spit about being cut off in traffic, getting bad coffee at the drive-through, or having to put up with some annoying character in line at the supermarket, but these issues are trivial in the grand scheme of things.

I am contemplating whether or not to make a New Year's resolution this year. I kept last year's resolutions well enough, but I am already changing so much of my life that I don't know if there is anything else that I need to pile onto it. Perhaps it should be this: that I focus more on being compassionate and appreciating what I have been given and how I can help others to see the same blessings in their own lives.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I'm Dreaming of A..

Christmas dominated by various shades of earthy brown and pine green. I was hoping for white. As almost everyone living in New England right now will attest to, the weather is currently freakishly warm for this time of year. The most snow we've gotten has been an inch or two, but it didn't stick around for long. For the last two weeks, the daytime temps have been in the high 40s to mid 50s. I've been on a lot of hikes in the hills lately and have only needed a light jacket for most of them. On the upside, this means that it will likely be a gentle winter for the wildlife and they will be reproducing heavily in the springtime, but on the downside this means that ticks and fleas will also multiply like jackrabbits and next season will be atrocious for said wildlife and those whose animals go outdoors. (at least my cats are kept indoors). On top of that, Lyme disease is becoming more and more prevalent in my area, so I have to slather myself in this nasty DEET-laden chemical concoction whenever I go for one of my wanderings in the warmer months.

My little brother is up in my area visiting for the season and he has been crashing at my place. He lives out in the midwest and I rarely get to see him, so it is nice to be able to spend quality time. We used to fight like cats and dogs when we were younger and I didn't typically get along with (or care for the company of) most of his friends, but things change. Now that we've all got a few years of life experience under our belts we have learned how to interact while not to pressing each others' buttons.

In other news my buddy Dan invited me to go see Matt Besser doing a standup comedy act at UNH. The show was great, we had a good time, and I got to meet him and have my picture taken with him afterward. For the uninitiated, Matt played the character Adair on the comedy show Upright Citizen's Brigade which started as an improv comedy troupe of the same name. I love the show and I used to watch it religiously during my high school years.

The computer is back up and running, sort of hobbling along on a crutch, but at least it is useable for internet-surfing now. I likely won't get back to blogging until after Christmas... so MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm IT!!!

Having blogged for this long, I guess it was inevitable, but I've been tagged by Peterson Toscano. So, against my better judgement, here goes: six weird things about myself.

1. I frequently talk to myself when I think that I am alone, usually about some conundrum that I am currently facing.

2. I am a "dog breed racist." I only like large breeds and I dislike most small, yappy, ankle-biter types... pretty much anything that can wear a bow in it's hair and be called foo-foo. (though I do like mini-dachshunds and corgis)

3. When I get distracted by something while walking, I sometimes swagger clumsily and my head oscillates.

4. I occasionally have specific feelings of (mostly) bad things which haven't yet happened to close loved ones, but these things usually come to pass, someone else in my family has weird premonitions like this too.

5. I baby-talk my cats with saccharine-sweetsy, made-up words.

6. I have frequent dreams that involve me exploring the countryside and woodlands while inane, strange things are happening all around me.... a classic sports car zooming by on a very narrow hiking trail that cannot possibly accomodate any sort of vehicle; faceless people passing through my campsite carrying strange objects or pushing a wheelbarrow full of junky found items; seasons changing rapidly every few meters while traversing a path; dead people from my past walking along side me, having a conversation; and somehow most of these dreams involve me being on a mission to do something or find something that is yet unnamed and in the dreams I am apparently totally OK with all these unnerving things going on around me.

.... and in turn I will tag some other fellow bloggers:
Sensei Rainbow
Steve S
'fess up folks, what are your personal oddities? :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My Computer Is Soon To Become A Satellite!!!


Yeah, so... computer issues, likely to result in less frequent blog posts for the time being. Currently experimenting with Ubuntu Linux as an OS alternative because I am absolutely sick of windows and it's horrid security holes which allow virii in despite some of the supposedly "best" antivirus programs. That coupled with the insane amount of Christmas shopping and whatnot, I am completely frazzled. Maybe things will come back down to status quo after the holidays.

Speaking of holiday shopping, has anyone else noticed a definite drop in the amount of quality gift items out there? I went shopping after meeting the other day and all the stores which usually carry wonderful gift items are now selling some of the worst kitschy crap I've ever seen. Who the heck needs to buy a faux brass plastic-framed glass top coffee table with random soul-less Thomas Kinkade paintings screen-printed on the surface; or how about wolf-themed statuary with American Flags painted all over it??? Oh, and let's not forget generic exploitative Native-American themed knick-knacks which usually feature some barbie-dollesque "Indian" princess in a skimpy outfit. Either it's the economy or the businesses & consumers in my area have lost all sense of taste.

Wow, I'm a real peach today. It doesn't help that I was one the phone for two hours last night with a tech support rep for my DSL service; she was very polite but had such a heavy middle-eastern accent that I couldn't understand 90% of what she said (could you please repeat that??? could you please repeat that??? could you please repeat that???.... ad infinitum) and as it turns out, I knew more than she did about configuring my router. Sorry people, maybe I'll be in a better mood next time I post.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I almost snarfed my drink this morning while idly perusing webcomics and I happened upon today's Ozy & Millie

click to enlarge

The message is cutesy and simple but it hit me as being entirely too true. How many people have I encountered who constantly use their religious beliefs to direct them into inaction in the presence of or action against what common sense dictates is the right thing to do. Religious tenets are not a 'get out of jail free card'. Many who excuse themselves from responsibility using this logic forget that their reasoning is a double-edged sword which can kick back after a strike and injure oneself in return.

On a lighter note, it has been in my webcomics link list in the right column of this page since the inception of this blog, but I'd recommend that all of you check out the archives at D.C. Simpson is really a talented political satirist who packages liberal, common-sense wisdom up in the easily digestible package that are his webcomics. Better yet, buy a book of his work to help support him (I intend to)!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Simple Gifts old Shaker song that has been brought back to my memory and touched me deeply in recent times, my sister wrote it within the birthday card she gave to me a few weeks ago, and an instrumental version of it happened to have been played at my Aunt & Uncle's wedding vow renewal service yesterday. For this reason it's theme has been on my mind and I wanted to reprint it here...

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,

'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,

And when we find ourselves in the place just right,

'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain'd,

To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,

To turn, turn will be our delight,

Till by turning, turning we come round right.

...and here is the tune that it is sung to, I've also heard a beautiful version featuring Allison Krauss singing with a cello.