Friday, January 28, 2005

She looks like...

Originally uploaded by LisaPal.
"...little Tony Danza," says Renard.
"...the stylist had a seizure during the haircut," says Lisa.

This picture was probably taken when I was in first grade. My mother swears that this haircut was done in a salon and not by me.

How could that be?????

I don't know what's more pathetic: the haircut or the possibility that what my mother says is true!

At long last, this picture may have found a place in the world. It may actually have some value. (Well, I guess it's always had comedic value to me.) The author of the very amusing and creative He looks like... blog is looking for pictures of subjects who will give permission for their use. I can think of so many things that one might infer from this tragic photo. Cruel things. Given that, it should suit her purposes quite well. I'm glad to think this shot may finally find a happy home.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Light Housekeeping

I finally managed to address a couple of the links in the "Blogs I Read" section of the sidebar. Saudimized has disappeared and in its place is its author's newest blog, called Gulf Discourse. But I have chosen to call the link Zaytuni, after its author's nom de plume. This all makes good sense since Zaytuni has been long gone from Saudi Arabia, recently gone from Kuwait, and has now moved on to Oman. (Oh Man!) You might think the desert makes nomads out of men, but trust me, Zaytuni has been nomadic far longer than his tenure in the Middle East. Now he's making it the Middle Easy, I think. (But can we still access the Saudimized archives?, I ask, as I believe I had a link or two to them.)

With great sadness I have deleted Lasciate, who has been absent since November. But I've added a one of Richard's finds from the sidebar of Electronic Ephemera called He Looks Like.... I find this blog quite amusing and am impressed by the depth of the author's insights. I think I could be clever and creative for aboout three posts and then I'd be out of ideas. I know I'm being crypytic, but I don't want to tell you what it's all about. Just visit it and you'll see.

The semester is underway again and I have a few things to do before tomorrow's class, so that's it for now....

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Ten Things I Did on My Hiatus

I could just sum this up by saying I did a lot of nothing, but the truth is that, as much as I love doing nothing, I can't sustain it for very long. Here are some of the thrilling activities and events that I could have been writing about during my absence. (Not necessarily in the order they occurred.)

1. We had the rare and unexpected pleasure of a (sort of) White Christmas in New Orleans. What actually made it (sort of) white were the tiny balls of sleet that fell for hours before the flakes arrived. The flakes fell for about an hour and melted immediately. We spent the day at my brother's house where little Rachel, desperate for a snow experience, scooped the accumulated sleet off of cars and patted it into ersatz snowballs to hurl at her cousins. (Actually, we were all pretty excited by this very rare event. Just two days earlier, the temperature had been in the 70s. Two days later, it was in the 70s again. That's winter in New Orleans.)

I had the additional pleasure of having the central heat unit on the first floor of my house go buggy at the same time as the freeze and snow/sleet event. The best we managed was to get the temperature in the den up to about 60 degrees. Thank God heat rises and we have a bathroom upstairs.

2. I crocheted two scarves and two hats and I knitted one afghan. That's right, I actually completed them. This is a real accomplishment for me, as I am a great starter but pathetic when it comes to finishing projects. I've started knitting two more afghans. We'll see what happens.

3. I discovered through extensive research that the plant growing in the place where we buried our beloved pet hamster, Katie (who, by the way, lived more than a year beyond the normal hamster life expectancy) along with her bedding and seed stash, is sorghum.

4. I read two works of fiction for a change. (I mentioned these earlier... the two latest Tom Robbins novels, which I highly recommend, especially if you like really loopy and creative stories written by someone who elevates use of the English language to its highest art form.)

5. I did one of the most empowering things I've ever done. I bought #6 and #8 Torx screwdrivers, those magical little keys that unlock the innards of Apple computers, and I, just me, myself, without help, installed a new power board on my laptop. I've never hesitated to do any kind of upgrade that requires you to just open the machine (accessing the parts anyone can get to) and snap/plug some component in and out. But this was not that sort of thing. This required poking around in the forbidden innards, the ones that ordinary humans cannot access. I have to admit that the repair was really easy. But I felt like a computer demi-goddess nonetheless. Now I might have to make a t-shirt that says "I own my own Torx screwdrivers" so that I can be identified by other Apple computer demi-gods and goddesses.

6. I put together a kind of funky little song using Garage Band without ever leaving my bed or plugging a real instrument into my laptop. It took about 45 minutes and I admit that it was not just simple drag and drop, as I did alter and adulterate some of the stock loops (both MIDI and audio) before dragging and dropping. To me, the facility with which this can be done is nothing short of amazing. This program is so cheap and it (along with 4 or 5 others) comes standard on all new Macs now. (But my preference is still to make music the new old-fashioned way, meaning with real instruments and rhythm sequences that I create myself.)
Here's a little piece of the song, for your listening pleasure. It's only 1:26 long, for bandwidth's sake.

7. I worked on my original songs. Still don't have anything I consider finished, but no one should be surprised by that.

8. Got another bad cold/sinus infection. That's two in a period of six weeks. Or maybe the family germs that we've been circulating around here have never really been vanquished. We probably just keep passing mutated versions of the same bug around, and will ultimately create the ultra- uber-germ in our mad laboratory.

9. Renard and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary. We've contemplated breaking up a couple of times this year and even said we would at one point but we continued doing everything just as we always had because to do anything else just felt so unnatural. I've said it before and I'll say it again; we are just so good together. Remembering this makes it so easy to forget the occasional paradigm differences that shake us up.

10. I renewed the New Year's Resolution I made way back in 1979, one that I decided was the last I'd ever need to make, which I guess makes it a life's resolution.
Here it is: Take nothing and no one for granted.

If you live by this resolution, it keeps your focus on gratitude and off of complaining. But I would hope that the terrible tradgedy of the Tsunami really brings the power of this resolution into focus for everyone on this planet right now. Nothing in my lifetime has demonstrated in a more visceral way, the truth that you can have everything in one moment and nothing -nothing an instant later. Including your life and those you love.

Moral of the story: Never let love get more than an arm's length away (if that) and never forget that nothing is guaranteed. Love and treasure everyone and all your blessings, always. This kind of gratitude is a great antidote for pain, discontent, grievance and anger.

And on that note...

Thanks for reading. I love and appreciate you all!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Slacker Fest Ends With a Sigh

A sigh of relief. Ahhhhh. Boy, I needed this.

I can't believe my last post was on December 18th! Oh, how time flies. What's even more humbling is that you, my beloved blog brothers and sisters (and you know who you are) didn't give up on me after all this time. I accidentally hit the link to my stats page today and really didn't want to look, but I did anyway. I was shocked and humbled beyond words to see hits from familiar places every day. You guys didn't just bag this blog! You've actually been checking in to see if I'd ever show up again! You all are truly among the highest of the high beings on this planet and I feel ugh!!!... undeserving, especially after my protracted abandonment of everything and everyone here. And I've been feeling so bad about not posting and not reading, but.... but.... but.... (Oh, how I hate the buts!)

You deserve an explanation.

I needed an intervention. Info junkie that I am, I was consuming too much of the unhealthy kind and it was beginning to consume me. Everyone around me agreed. But because everyone knows better than to get between me and my Mac, no one intervened. So, I had to resort to an old tactic and put myself back on a media embargo for a while, this one more severe than ever, as it included all digital communication media as well. This is not to say that I eschewed the web all together. (I don't think this would be possible for me to do. I am, after all, quite addicted.) But I quit reading news, blogs, and gave up e-mail completely for WEEKS!! I can't tell you how nice that was. But there's always a price. However, it was worth paying.

Here's why:
I am all about love, folks. This last year, (as you well know), has been filled with worrisome things. And if you subscribe to the notion that fear is the opposite of love, then you can see how this might begin to invert my sense of self and my natural state of being. I was living more of my life from my head rather than my heart and more decisions were being produced and evaluated from that place alone than from my gut, which always knows best what to do with what my head collects. I was also spending too much time in the state of righteous indignation, which, as unbecoming as it may be, can be good fun and quite satisfying in small doses. But you know what they say about too much of a good thing... And it was becoming quite a drag for every else as well. So, I gave my head a break and let the other parts of me have their fun for a while. I'm feeling much happier now.

I've got some personal news updates to deliver, but I've decided to try to be less long-winded in these posts. Less is more, they say. So, we'll see if I can actually deliver more in smaller bites.

I have a lot of reading to do as well. Some of you have been rather prolific. In any event, I've missed you, one and all.

Thanks for sticking with me.