December 31, 2006

Nothing Doing New Year

Just to report that we are officially "in" for the new years eve celebration. BORING.

Hot yoga this morning. We took a walk around the WH reservoir this afternoon. Some beefish thing in the crockpot for dinner. And I spent a few hours down cellar cleaning up - not finished, not even close, but I made a serious dent in the tool area and nobody is going to get killed tripping over things anymore.

Nothing else to report. Going to have a quiet night, and tomorrow I think some work (get my end of month invoices out, mostly - along with some reports and get my training program organized for next week) and a 10:00 am yoga class.

Yoga Dream

I have not consciously dreamed of yoga, until last evening.

I was in a practice, which I perceived to be tomorrow's special new years day practice. We were doing a partner exercise, with one yogi in the posture and the partner assisting, doing an unfamiliar posture which I perceived to be a hip opener. The yogi was in table, doing something with a leg and arm on each side, and the partner was behind the yogi, pressing the leg or arm into the back.

In my case, there was an odd person in the room, and my partner (initially male) abandoned me to work with the odd person (another woman). It did not feel a conscious and deliberate rejection, but rather "I am going to try to work with you both" but in reality, I got short-changed. So I objected, and told my (male partner) I could not work with him and went to work with the odd person (woman)

Except that she also had another person to work with, and again, I was left out. In the course of it all, I realize that my yoga mats (which are in reality fairly new and in good condition) were ripping and shredding under me. Also I recall pushing back into pidgeon (a hip opener I can do alone, without a partner). Finally, I kind of left the studio in frustration, and was driving around. Ostensibly, I had left temporarily (just during this posture) but it seemed like I might not go back.


Wow. Lot's to chew on.

First off, in the studio, doing partner work, this sort of thing never happens. If one is the odd person (and that has happened to me on occasion) one ends up working with the teacher or an assistant - and tends to get a bit of extra attention, a bit more work (no need to reciprocate or trade places). So I do not think I can take the dream literally.

On the surface, it might simply be that I had such a magical new years day practice last year and I am afraid it will be less magical tomorrow.

There is a sexual / relationship aspect of it (first working with a man, then with a woman, being rejected by both) which might be meaningful, in terms of Zippy and myself and our physical relationship. (hip openers = genitals = sexuality)

There might be a "feeling like an outsider at the studio" perspective. And perhaps there is a looming crisis in my practice, an opportunity for misunderstanding, for rejection, for the possibility of me walking away.

Hm....stuff to ponder. Stuff to be conscious of.

Addendum: Ninty minutes of hot yoga later, a new spin on the dream. Perhaps the male partner who was not paying attention to me at first, and the subsequent female partner who was similarly outwardly focused are both me. Both of my life identities so far have spent a lot of time working with others, and perhaps not so much time working with myself. I mean. Duh.

Now who do I make the check for the co-pay out to?

December 30, 2006

Year End Wrap-up

A day early - am I daring the universe to shatter my reality tomorrow by summing up tonight? So be it. The universe and I are dancing, and one cannot be too predictable a partner, eh?

2006 was a year of Spirit and Music for me.

I went to see more music than in recent years (two folk fests, lots of concerts), and I played more music than I had in a decade. I bought two new instruments. And I expect more growth and music to come in 2007.

I did more yoga in 2006, finding my practice grow into more challenging formal practices, and more personal exploration. I took a 10 week course on mindful eating (lots of meditation), and attended a life changing Enlightenment Intensive. I came to a couple of incredible awarenesses about myself and life. I chose to live this specific life. I am a small piece of the divine. Remarkable. Wonderful. Awesome.

I described my birthday in 2006 as the "best birthday ever". Until this year, perhaps. I had a marvelous and magical dinner. I made new friends. I kept one very special old one despite my stubbornness and misunderstanding. I healed some old wounds.

I spent a lot of time with a sweet, wounded, beautiful young woman who I hope to keep a part of my life throughout 2007. My adopted daughter perhaps. I can not save all, but I can damn sure try to save one.

I blogged all year.

I moved back into an office outside our home this year. I found new clients, kept old ones, and kept busy enough to remain challenged and solvent. I laid some foundation to begin to explore writing. My professional life feels reinvigorated (even with way too much morning yoga eating up working hours!)

2006 - thanks. You have been gentle with me and most generous. 2007, welcome. I eagerly await your sunrises and surprises.

Buying Books

It's been ages since I wandered into a bookstore to purchase books. I have been buying online for a while. But Zippy had a gift card from B&N and wanted to browse, so I tagged along. And bought:

* A collection of Mary Oliver poetry "New and Selected Poems, Volume 1". Seems like Mary Oliver has been haunting me for the past year - with certain poems (The Summer Day & Wild Geese) popping up repeatedly at meaningful moments. I owe myself the pleasure of exploring her work more deeply and deliberately.

* A little collection called Zen Inspirations, by Miriam Levering. Just looked like a beautiful little "greatest hits" collection - nice size, wonderfully packaged and illustrated.

* A geek book on PHP and MySQL; I bought one last year and it dod not get me over the hump in terms of developing a database for a client's ticketing system, so let's try this year.....

One last investment in me, to close the book (so to speak) on 2006.

David Newman / Durga Das

Is coming to West Harford Yoga for a special Kirtan this coming Friday (January 5th). I am looking forward to it. Shankara says "....David is a whole different kind of kirtan leader with a more cool and laid back, "folky" approach with guitar and Mira on drums. He is very devotional and takes you right into the heart. Hopefully he will be the first of many more to come....." - and as the guitar player for the WHY kirtan group, I hope to get some ideas and energy from his version of kirtan. Also, will be most fun to be part of the crowd and not up front - so as to be a bit more able to absorb energy.

Information about David Newman / Durga Das here

Information about Kirtan on January 5th here

Please do come! It should be a special evening....

Saddam Hussein

Apparently, Mr. Hussein has been hanged. In Pontius Pilate fashion, he was tried and found guilty and then turned over to the Iraqi's to do the deed - we wash our hands of the matter. Nice of them to take care of this matter near the end of the year, when we have holiday distractions and can start the new year fresh. Ick.

Not sure how I feel about this. Will it inflame the violence in Iraq or has it been an open wound that now can begin to heal?

Certainly, his trial was a sham, a kangaroo court. But surely too, he was a ruthless and evil tyrant who did some horrible things. I am not a huge fan of capital punishment under any circumstances. And I am distinctly ashamed of my country over this matter, but my level of disgust extends so far and deeply these days that I am not sure this one additional boulder added to the pile makes that much difference. What is the death of one man atop the 100's of thousand of Iraqi's killed in the last few years?

On the other hand, the hanging of former heads of state guilty of war crimes does set a nice precedent going into the future. So we got that going for us.

I Hates Fleeces to Pieces

Not really. But I have a lot of 'em (along with hoodie sweatshirts), and I am not loving most of 'em (in terms of fit and color), and they tend to collect in places (bedroom, closet floor, car) so they add to the clutter and mess in my life. A canonical list:

* A dark grey one with the corporate logo of one of my clients. Not bad for corporate gigs where there is weather involved, but its a size too large and it just hangs
* A forest green one for the balloonist I crew for. A pullover, which makes it less useful as a layer, and has a small seam rip (ballooning is a contact sport at times)
* A navy one with another corporate logo (no longer a client) but some nice maroon / green trip - this is my office fleece for when I get cold
* A black Columbia one I just bought for corporate gigs - for whne head to toe black is appropro
* A light grey one I bought in Colorado on one of my trips. No serious sentimental reason, and the pocket got chewed out from within (I foolishly left dog treats in there) and the zipper got broker so I cut the zipper out and now its lining the dog crate
* A red hooded one I picked up at some clearance or closeout; I was hoping it might become a good exercise cover up but it has not fallen into heavy rotation.
* A light blue snowflake hooded fleece that has become my automatic "toss it on in the morning to feed the dogs and putter around the not yet warm house" fashion choice

Those are the fleeces. In terms of hooded sweatshirts:

* A light grey, heavy cotten balloon crew sweatshirt that I still wear to chase - nice and warm albeit a bit frayed
* A dark grey TRINIDAD STATE sweatshirt - good quality, good sentimental meaning
* A dark green generic sweatshirt (good for lawn work and cleaning gutters)
* A (once) bright fushia Champion sweatshirt - kind of frayed and worn
* A dark blue BLOGGER logo sweatshirt - a freebie from when they switched over from a pay service (I had subscribed) to a free one, and kind of an "I was here early" trophy
* A light cotten, light grey colored sweatshirt of fairly indeterminate value and use

Too many damn possessions.

December 29, 2006

A Mile in Her Shoes

Actually 7.2 miles. Did the Farmington Canal Greenway this afternoon with a friend, wherein lots of talking, and reconnecting got done. Also a lot of serious walking. I was bushed when I got home - a pretty strenuous hot yoga class this morning, and a long walk. Feet tired. Legs tired. But good.

Kind of a lazy weekend ahead - no serious plans. Probably jazzercise tomorrow morning, probably yoga on Sunday (maybe) and Monday (most likely). Probably a movie tomorrow night. No serious New Years Eve plans. No serious New Years Day plans.

A couple of late in the day reports came in which I would love to bang out tomorrow so as to bill them this month. I could / would / should get over to the office and do some cleaning. Also on that list, crank out some work on a couple of days worth of training I am doing the week after next - been a while since I fired up the training cannons - need to pull up the old courses, integrate new material and new graphs, format and edit the training manuals, print it all out. Next week will be busy (two days in NY for a PPT gig, one day in Milford prepping show computers)

I suppose it might be a good time to do some year-end summaries or wrap-up or put together some resolutions or something. But.....nah. Life is going pretty well. I burned up my intentions at Kirtan - things to let go, things to manifest. Time to just relax, recoup, and get ready for 2007.

Gentle Twist

Home of the Turkey Asanas, apparently. Have not dug too deeply but looks like a fun read....

(and click on the turkey icon in the upper right, if you are a yogi who practices in a class or at a studio, you will be amused)

December 28, 2006

Ask and You Shall Receive

A week or so ago, my friend Yogababe commented on a post and mentioned:
Also searching for the right 'om' charm or necklace. My vision is sterling, simple, possbily on a thin leather chord or delicate chain.

And today I come home and find an email from someone who said:
The blog writer was interested in finding someone that sells sterling silver OM necklaces. I do.

I love when this stuff happens, but its usually not so rapid, obvious or concrete.

December 27, 2006

Coming Around Again

Apparently, a web radio interview I was featured in back in 2003 has floated to the top of the blogosphere again ("Best of" and all that jazz)

You can run, but you can't hide.....

Friday Night Lights

I am not sure if this has hit too many places in the blogosphere, but it strikes me that along with everything else, Friday Night Lights has an incredible sub-plot with Jason Street dealing with his paralysis. It's pretty incredible in terms of the guys in the wheelchair rugby league, his recovery, his wheelchair bound roommate, all that.

Coming out of a marginalized group myself, I can only imagine the furor that would ensue if the trans community had this sort of a sympathetic and substantial spotlight on a network television show. Not to mention having acting opportunities for a pile of wheelchair athletes.

Pretty damn good television.

Bruce Stevens - WDRC 1360

Popping home from work today I had a deja vu moment - the dulcet tones of Mr. Bruce Stevens, subbing for Dan Lovallo on WDRC 1360 (and going head to head with his old partner Colin), as I scanned the AM dial. Was good to hear him back on the airwaves - here's hoping he finds a permanent spot on the dial soon.

A Clean Desk

I spent some minutes this morning remounting a shelf in my office (for the purpose of having a home for my new office stereo system). At the same time, I cleared off my desk - step 1 in what I hoped would be an office cleaning this week. I suspect the office is *not* going to get cleaned, since I am being hijacked tomorrow. But whatever.

Regardless, having a clean desk is, I think, helping me crank out a few end of the year projects. A lesson learned - investing time in keeping the office clean has some significant benefits in terms of productivity.

Packaging Girlhood

Just heard a quick interview on CM's show with Lyn Mikal Brown, Ed. D - who recently co-authored a book called Packaging Girlhood: Rescuing Our Daughters from Marketers' Schemes.

Good interview, looks like a good book for parents of young women, there is a lot of online content and, well, yeah. I approve wholeheartedly.

December 26, 2006

Holiday Marathon Fini

Wound down four days of holiday madness today with a trip down and back to Westchester County to have lunch with the Zipster's mom. Was very nice - mom is an incredible cook (pork roast, celery root soup, oven glazed potatoes, string beans, roasted apples, a yummy brocollini salad, and coffee souffle for dessert. All I can say is "burp" - it was wonderful.

Lot of driving however - heading down late morning was not bad but coming home we hit traffic - 684, Danbury, Waterbury - so it took about 2.5 hours (I was driving). So not relaxing. I compensated by treating myself to a gentle class (which was more of a restorative class, truth be told) and it was a good way to wean myself from my holiday frantic self and move back into my yoga self.

So - back to the real world for a few days. Work mostly, will get some yoga in I am sure as well as some personal errands. Mostly need to finish up some projects before the end of the month, clean up and organize my office, start to do my year-end collecting of records, data, and paper, and work on putting together a training seminar for the beginning of January.

Disappointments

We spent some time yesterday - cooking, preparing, cleaning - for xmas day drop-ins. It ended up just being 3 of us: Me, Zippy, and our dear friend AC. While we had no firm commitments from anyone (we simply mentioned to people who seemed footloose that we were going to be home if they wanted to drop by), we also figured at least someone might visit. Nope. Understandable - no firm plan, verbal check-in, last minute, and people have things to do. But nonetheless, it was a little disappointing.

Continuing the trend, I popped by the studio this morning for a 6 a.m. "hour of power" class - which did not happen. There were only two of us waiting outside the studio (so clearly, it was cancel-worthy) but a note on the website might have been useful.

So I wandered into the office (where I am now) to set up my new stereo and crank out a report. We're heading down to Westchester this morning for lunch with Zippy's mother and sister.

Buddha Boy Returns

I blogged back in March about the disappearance of Nepal's Buddha Boy. Apparently, sixteen-year-old Ram Bahadur Bamjon has returned."I have been wandering in the forests since then," Bamjon has reportedly said. "I am engaged in devotion which will continue for six years."

Very interesting. Also interesting, the tree under which the Buddha Boy has chosen to sit under looks to be the same or similar genus to the iconic scenic root under which I blog (at least looking at the roots).

Wow.

December 25, 2006

Slow and Steady

Oak will burn as long and hot as a July afternoon,
And birch will burn itself out by the rising of the moon.
Lyrics from the song Birches, by Bill Morrissey. I have been thinking a bit about the slow and steady path - about commitment, energy, longevity.

I have watched recently as a number of support spaces and online communities flare into life, sputter and burn, and then quickly die out. I have become aware that my relationship with the Zipster - uncommitted, unwed, un-civil unionized, is nevertheless a long term one at this point - we have been dating for over 6 years, cohabitating for more than 5 years. One of my clients will soon face the task of replacing an assistant - the third person in this role in the years I have worked with her, and I suspect there will be some small chaos and upheaval in the interim. And in so many places and spaces in my life, I watch with a small smile as people panic, over-react, are quick to anger or judgement. I am patience.

My chinese birth year animal is the ox - and sometimes I feel just so - steady, strong, not so swift or svelte or flexible. But always pulling the plow, always yoked up. Sooner or later, we will get there. Being an ox is not always good - I am slow to anger but once I get there, its difficult to let that go. I carry long simmering grudges - with insufficient energy to flare up and burn off - just enough to keep them lit and warm.

I am not sure how I got to this point - age? wisdom? tempering? just being around long enough?
In any case - where I might have been thought a shallow and quick stream at one point in my life, I seem to have become a deeper and slower moving river as I inexorably make my way to the sea.

On the First Day of Christmas.....

....I cleaned the copper bottom pots and pans. It's been a while, they were pretty tarnished and dirty, and we're having guests over today. So, a holiday tradition is born.

We're having some friends over today which may end up being as few as one person and as many as 8. Have a small turkey, some sweet potatoes, and brocolli, along with some appetizers and leftover desserts. No big deal, but we are doing some above and beyond cleaning of the clutter and mess nevertheless. As good an opportunity as any. Might even fire up the fireplace today!

I am fretting about the lack of vino (Zippy is not a drinker and is fairly adamant about that; I have some beers left over from various functions but no wine, and no hard stuff).

Happy xmas to all. If you are feeling all punk today - go see a movie or go for a walk or hike - looks like it will be a nice day out there, at least during the first part of the day.

December 24, 2006

Momisms

Part of the family lore is my mother's mangling of aphorisms and phrases. We call these "Momisms". She will say things like:

"He does not have two wooden nickels to rub together" (broke) or "She must have stepped in something" (lucky, implying that she stepped in dog poop and this is karma balancing out) or "Made out like a banshee indian" (a conjunction of "scream like a banshee" and "made out like a bandit")

Last year, we noticed that every gift from Mom for my brother Tom was labelled To Tom, Love Mom and every gift from Mom for my brother-in-law Tom was labeled To Tom, From Mom. Hilarity ensued.

Today's xmas Momism: She wrote nice card's to each of us, wishing us a merry xmas and a successful new year. My brother Kevin was specifically wished "All good things for 1907" Helluva big laugh.

Of course, both my sister and I left the price on gifts this year - also a mom tradition. Whenever one of us does that, we look at the other and mouth "MOM" - a silent acknowledgement that we are heading that way as well.

Day 1 of the Holiday

A fairly successful Saturday as we move into the holiday weekend. Started with Jazzercise (a regular sub who gave us a wonderfully aerobic workout!). After that, I went to fetch MYA, stopping at 2-3 package stores in a vain search for bottles of Pesce Vino, a rather inauspicious wine (I think) that comes in a noteworthy fish shaped bottle. My goal - gifting the wine, a bottle of dish soap, and a drink pourer stopper to by siblings - the fish bottle makes a decorative dish soap container. Thanks to MB for the concept, but the one place where I have seen the wine (Crazy Bruce's in West Hartford) was out, and nowhere else (including Crazy Bruce's in Bristol) carried it.

With MYA in tow, we stopped at the house to fetch Zippy and food (dump cake, cajun beans, and el cheapo rolls) for the support group holiday meal. That went OK - the food was delicious, the atmosphere was so-so (we should have bought some table clothes and set a formal table, IMHO) but it was nice. Afterwards, we boogied out a bit early (Zippy was falling asleep) and hung out at the house for a while before I took MYA home.

MYA liked her gifts (Hello Kitty pajamas and a book) and I also gifted her family with an inexpensive DVD player (she has DVD's to watch, her baby brother I am sure will benefit, and her mom by having the baby occupied). Not too pricey at Sears - I should have gotten one for the house (our DVD player is old, large, and finicky)

While I shuttled MYA home, CM stopped by after the meeting and we had a nice visit. She and Zippy got some time to talk before I came home. It was good to see her and spend some time with her.

Today, we head up north to Bolton MA for xmas eve with my family. We are taking a modest pile of giftage, some snackage (beef log, cheese, crackers), two bottles of wine, and ourselves. Should not be a long day - Mom and Bro's are heading to 6 pm mass and we will probably head back around then.

New Blogger

With abandon, I migrated to the new blogger interface. I say with abandon because I use blogger to manage content on about 20 webpages for clients. My recreational blog (here) is a more or less traditional blog but I also use blogger to manage news pages, manage front page marketing icons, manage small news scroll bar content. Lot of places to have to go patch and fix if the new interface is a problem.

So far, so good.

December 23, 2006

High Functioning

Also, let it be known that on top of all the bloggishness being spewed forth this morning, I also made a jumbo batch of cajun-garlic green beans, crawled back under the covers for some snuggle time with the Zipster, and I am heading out to Jazzercise. It's 7:50 a.m.

No Spare Capacity

In which our heroine lays out her Nobel Prize winning (ha! right!) grand unifying theory of three systems that are getting broken by the information era (the ability to squeeze spare capacity out of the system), the drive for efficiency, and the free market. My targets: the passenger air system, the electric utility, and hospital beds.

Back in the bad old days before computers (and before the rising costs of energy) there was a certain excess capacity, a fudge factor built into these systems. Let's start with airlines. Planes rarely flew full - almost every flight had 10 or 20 empty seats, often in first class, but they were there. So a problem - a mechanical issue, weather, a late flight, dumped 100 or 200 passengers that were quickly absorbed into a reasonably robust system.

These days a single flight cancellation can cause major havoc to a system running at capacity, without the ability to absorb extra bodies. Twice in the past few weeks, I've been on late / cancelled flights, and instead of being told "we can get you there in a few hours" the answer has been "we can get you there late tomorrow". In both cases, my trips were not mission critical, I simply canceled them, and got reimbursed. So I (and other customers) end up suppplying the extra capacity - instead of the airlines, some passengers cross the threshold of arriving too late or not at all, and simply leave the system.

The recent blizzard debacle in Denver is good case. Weather is unpredictable - but one wonders if the impact of closing one airport sent too many shockwaves through the system. And how long will it be before those stranded (in Denver, or elsewhere) get to where they are going? My bet - a lot of the excess capacity will come from passengers - deciding not to fly this holiday, not getting home, taking alternate forms of transportation.
Some travelers gave up hope of making it home for the holidays as airlines running at near-full capacity had little room on planes for thousands stranded after Denver International Airport closed amid a blizzard.

Trends to look out for as a result: alternate transportation channels (trains?) are going to begin looking more reasonable / realistic. And travel agencies (yahoo travelocity, in my case) are going to lose sales - since in both cases I could not get credited immediately from the airline. In future, I may find flights via a travel service but book direct with the airline.

That's the air travel industry. In the case of the electric utilities, the free market has split generation from distribution. So electric utilities are no longer able to paternally plan for capacity and reserves - they buy kilowatts on the free market, and market forces drive available capacity. But the result is that the system optimizes rather quickly to a capacity point which has no margin for error or for severe circumstances. The blackout of 2003 is one result. Another result is that utilities are switching power grids and capacitors more and more to maintain system reliability (impacting quality of the power). In the past, the system had extra capacity, had reserves.

Finally, in the case of hospital beds, the old days of subsidized hospitals with plenty of extra beds has given way to industry consolidation and specialization. Hospitals with extra beds are closed or consolidated or specialized. Elective procedures formerly done inpatient are pushed to clinics, hospital stays become convalescent stays. And the next time there is a serious health crisis - an epidemic, a pandemic, a new disease, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster - well, those in need of medical care will be out in the halls and in the streets.

My theory is that left to the free market, under cost pressures, and in the age of information systems, the excess capacity gets squeezed out of these systems pretty quickly. But perhaps a little bit of excess capacity is not a bad thing - to deal with extenuating circumstances, worst case scenarios. And unless the government steps in to mandate that capacity, to subsidize that capacity - well, it will not be there when we need it.

December 22, 2006

An unusual christmas gift


So, let's say you get to the holiday and you get an unexpected gift from someone. You want to reciprocate - but wht to get the person who has everything.

Might I suggest a copy of The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification (Hardcover)by Julian Montague

We saw an exhibition by this artist at REAL ART WAYS a few years back and were charmed - the book is a hoot - professionally done, well conceived and polished, and almost (Andy) Kaufmanesque - you never quite know if its serious or not.

We picked up a copy for Zippy's baby brother Adam, an artist in his own right. Adam tells a meanly funny story of a stint as a shopping cart wrangler at a grocery store in one of his lean periods, so we decided he needed this book badly. He was sorely impressed, and now we need to pick up copies for other family members. I mean - you just know this is a gift that they do not have, and is about the perfect coffee table conversation starter.

Two Musical Women

Zippy and I surfed the channels for a few minutes tonight before clicking off the television. In lieu of video, we've been sitting here together listening to music made by two friends.

Victoria Bouffard has a new CD out called All the Reasons. Find her on Myspace here. We camp with Victoria every year at Falcon Ridge - and we're excited for her new CD - we've been listening to a rough cut version that she sent around to get feedback a while back - so we are excited to get her final disk.

Following Victoria, we plunked in some CD's from an old and so very dear friend Jane Bolduc, who has an older acoustic disk out there as well as a more recent (and more produced) EP disk.

Really enjoying listening to both of these talented and wonderful women. If you have some spare bucks and want to support some independent musicians, you could do worse....and I think there are some freebie MP3's floating around out there on the web. Give 'em a listen!

A Slow Start

Worked this morning; got some reports out and a couple of letters of introduction. Good time to plant some seeds for the new year.

After lunch, Zippy and I went shopping - Apple Tree and Stop n' Shop. Getting ready for the holidays.

We have a gala four day streak ahead of us. Tomorrow, probably Jazzercise, then a support group dinner - need to pick up MYA beforehand and drop her off afterwards. Sunday, up to my sister's place for xmas eve. Monday, xmas day here will be quiet, although we are cooking a turkey and making dinner, and will have a few friends over (holiday strays). Tuesday, down to Westchester County for dinner with Zippy's mom and family. We all came in our cumberbunds.....

Hot yoga this night - although not the usual instructor and not so hot - between a lighter practice, a cooler room, and having fans going, I did not sweat much - and used a blanket during savasana (unheard of for a sweat-monkey like me). A good practice, and the blanketed savasana was snuggly. Not what I expected, but not a bad prelude to what will be a busy few days.

Oh, and Happy Solstice

We noted it's coming last night at the Creative Cocktail Hour (7:22 pm)

6:00 a.m. Phone Call

My cell phone just rang, its 5:55 a.m. I did not get to it in time, and do not recognize the CT number - waiting to see if there is a voice mail.

My suspicion - its MYA who tends to be on a goofy sleep pattern and calls me once in a while in the early morning expecting to get the voice mail.

December 21, 2006

Creative Cocktail Hour, Holiday Edition

I have not gone much of late, for lots of reasons, but I went tonight. And it was a good night.

As I walked from my car to the door, I saw a friend Chris driving in. Waited for her, got a big hug, and had a schmoozing buddy for a while. Connected her to AC (Chris is thinking of relocating to AC's neck of the woods), and she and her BF might pop by on Xmas (our small dinner is turning into an open house for holiday strays, much to my delight, huzzah, hooray)

KC was there, so I got to schmooze with her a little. An old friend Bill was there (had not seen him in 5-6 years) and although I have certainly changed since we last met, he had as well. Nice to connect with him.

Also met many other people (between KC, AC, Bill, Chris, and the strangely gregarious Colin, there was a lot of mingling and networking and handing off of hangers on going on). It was the sort of "Wow, I know people and there is energy and synergy here" kind of thing that was really good. So...fun.

I did not actually get in to see the art, but I bet we end up at RAW sometime over the holiday, so I will catch it then in a quieter and more intimate time-frame.

Polka Christmas

For some strange reason, courtesy of WWUH, 91.3, and F.M. On Toast (Pine Grove Blues, River City Slim)

Zippy just came into the living room. "Think I've had enough of this christmas shit" says she. Click, off goes the radio. I'll find a nice soothing CD.....

December 19, 2006

World Yoga Championships

I practice with a few yoga instructors, all of them wonderful in their own way, and having access to them all is wonderful. One in particular is fond of saying "Yoga is not a competitive sport" usually, in the midst of a difficult or challenging posture that only a few in the room are able to get themselves into. The rest of us flail, strain, grunt, make funny faces, then look around the room to see if someone is actually able to get into the posture. Then we put on our complacent yoga faces to hide our burning yoga envy.

Except that, apparently, yoga is a competitive sport. The 15th annual World Yoga Championships have recently been conducted in Delhi India (Dec 12 - 16). A group of five young yogi's from Pune, India walked away with the lion's share of medals: 7 Gold, 2 Silver, and 2 Bronze. Story here. Who knew?


And who knew there was a yoga flag? Surely not I. I am even at this moment pondering the purchase of same and wondering how and where and when I might have the opportunity to unfurl it. Yoga Pride Day, maybe? The metaphysical conundrum of that concept is shattering my reality even as I type this. Heh.

Also linked in, the World Wide Yoga Council, which has so many names and faces among its emiritus, active members, teachers, and advisors that it makes me think twice about yoga - I mean, I've always perceived it to be a sort of nice little niche community. Dang. Yogi's run amok!

A Trip Deferred

Ah well, the best laid plans.

The USAir flight out to Charlotte was highly delayed - mechanical difficulties. At 6:40 (departure time) the flight was still on the ground at it origination city. So I could have gotten to Charlotte tonight, but not to Little Rock until past 4:00 pm tomorrow. (all the earlier flights were full). So I would have had to reschedule my return flights (instead of Thursday afternoon) but the flights were so full due to the holiday weekend that they could not guarantee me a seat untul after xmas.

No thanks. I cancelled, called the client, we will try to work remotely tomorrow. Pain in the neck - but I am glad to not be traveling.

This is the second time in two weeks I have been shut down, flight wise. Not really happy about that.....but what can you do. I am convinced that the air travel infrastructure is pretty close to being permanently broken.

Good News / Bad News / Good News

Good news: since I got to the airport so early, I was able to claim an exit row aisle seat en route to Charlotte.

Bad news: The flight to Charlotte seems to be running late - with a scheduled 6:40 pm departure pushed back to 8:15 pm. Doh!

Good news: My connection to the Little Rock Flight is somewhat generous (scheduled for 75 minutes) so I have some fluff time to play with before I am faced with spending the night in Charlotte. I assume they will hold the Little Rock flight, although it looks close at this point.

Episode VII: Off to Little Rock

In which our intrepid heroine sits at the gate at Bradley Airport, waiting for a USAir flight to Charlotte, with a connection to Little Rock, AZ.

Why Little Rock? Damned if I know. A client has equipment that is having problems. Or is not having problems, but a power quality report raised some flags. Or not. The wild goose chase du jour: grounding.

I suspect its a case of getting to the site, digging through the electrical system, making some measurements, taking some pictures. Go over some theory with the onsite engineers, then come home and write up a trip report. I am flying this evening and will not get into Little Rock until way late. I have return flights booked for Thursday that get me back into town after 9 p.m.; hope I can sneak onto an earlier flight.

If I had spoken to the site folks prior to today I might have been able to talk them out of a site visit. But I had booked things prior to conencting with the on site folks, so away I go. Not exactly the best way to spend the week before the xmas holiday, but its a living, no? One last billable for 2006.

2007 is shaping up to be busy - I have to do an end of year turnover for one of my clients websites; I also want to implement a better ticketing system with a database to permit more flexible ticketing. I have a production gig for the first week of January, and a training program in Wisconsin for the 2nd. Busy girl. Woman. Whatever.

In preparation for this week's trip, I pulled a yoga marathon, hitting three consecutive days of morning hot classes. Sunday was hard, Monday was sublime, and today was also delicious.

Crank du jour: I popped up hear very early (expecting Hartford traffic as well as Bradley crowds), thinking if I got here early I could grab a Fresh City wrap for dinner (always yummy) but did not realize that US Air shares the crappy, underconstruction United gate area which means my dinner became a rather bland salad and a meat (of dubious origin) lovers pizza. Yum. Not.

December 17, 2006

Pleasant Valley Sunday

A quiet Sunday. Starting with hot yoga - a class of humility. Methinks the combination of kirtan on Friday (3 hours of fairly scrunched legs), Jazzercise on Saturday, Thursdays aborted trip (3 hours on a plane, going nowhere) and no serious strength yoga since Tuesday (a gentle-ish practice on Thursday) all added up to weakish legs. I got tired, and my legs were shaking at times. Ow!

After yoga, we puttered. I put together my client xmas gifts, and got those all mailed out today. For future reference, the Paypal / Ebay site has some mailing features that permit label printing, no fees or monthly service charge a la stamps.com (which is about as cost effective as a Pitney Bowes postage meter, that is to say, now very)

Zippy went out raking; she did most of it and I helped at the end. Between yesterday and today - 12 bags of leaves and rubbish to hit the rubbish bin over the past coming weeks.

I made a nice dinner; spaghetti squash with a tomato-ish sauce: peppers, onions, diced tomatoes, zucchini, and tofu. Topped with a bit of Mozzarella - yum.

December 16, 2006

Faith of our Fathers

Apparently, John Rowland is pinning his future on faith.

Call me cynical, but why is it that fallen politico's always seem to find salvation through Christianity, and more specifically, the bible quoting born again version? I mean, its not like its the official state religion of the republican party, or the best way to ween ones way back into the hearts of those in power, be they business leaders or politicians.

I'd believe a prison conversion if the former Gov came back a true believer in Falung Gong or Buddhism or Islam or Christian Science or Quakerism or Judaism. Something other than George W Bush's version of Chrisitanity, thank you. Something that does not smack of sucking up to the religious right.

Hell, I bet he could parley this into a run for the presidency (Can convicted felons hold high office?). Nothing plays better than a repentent sinner.....

Saturday Afternoon

A warmish December day. Zippy and I spent some time outdoors, making a dent in the jungle that is the right side of our house - an overgrown perennial garden, lots of weeds and vines, unraked ground. Seven garbage bags later, we made a dent in it.

Kirtan was wonderful yesterday although it was a LONG day. Went over for set-up around 2:30 until 4:30, then home for dinner, then back at 7:15. We chanted from 8:10 to 11:10, then hung out and schmoozed, the cleaned up. I got home around 1:00 a.m.

S, M, and I went out afterwards to burn our intentions in the fire pit - things that we want to let go, things that we want to manifest. As we burned our last papers, a wind came up, swirled the burning ashes around and into the night sky, and blew shut the studio door. It felt very much as if energy had been released!

The chanting went well - guitar was much more in the mix this time (which people liked) and no major faux pas - one new chant that nobody had been told about (I found a key, and a verse or two in I found the chords). By the time we got to the Snatam Kaur song (lots of delicate guitar) I had been playing close to 2.5 hours non stop. Not too much subtlety left over.

This morning, Jazzercise. I stopped by WHY to drop off some food (yoga for food workshop today, but I decided to skip the yoga). We went shopping for food. I have a pot roast going in the crock pot for dinner.

December 15, 2006

Not your usual vomiting forth of consumerism

This christmas season, that is.

Somewhere along the line, my family has developed a sort of christmas pathology. Gifts = love. I trace it back to two family stories that I know (there may be more)

1) When she was young and just out on her own and working as a nurse, my mother, with her own money for the first time, purchased gifts for her entire family (10 siblings!) - but the gifts were stolen from her car.

2) Around 1973, my father lost his job in York, PA at McCrory's, and that year we were prepped for a slim christmas. I specifically recall that year there were plenty of presents under the tree, and I literally cried because I had been all ready for a "Little House on the Prairie" christmas (I got an orange and a pair of socks!)

Anyway, my immediate family tends to overgift with abandon.

This year things seem to be different. Three family members (mom, brother, sister) have let it be known that they'd like something large - so we are all chipping in. So that leaves one brother, a neice, and two nephews to buy for.

I'll probably pick up some smallish things, maybe something personal for mom. And Zippy is getting a little something for the kitchen / health (although she and I do not formally gift). I have a boatload of balloon calendars for clients, and I will probably pick up some gift cards for the receptionists at work, my zapper, and my stylist. Oh, and MYA needs a little something.

But all in all, not a lot of holiday madness.

Precious Breath

Went to Kelkolo's in Middletown last night to hear Peter Anthony. Always entertaining, Mr. Anthony. In the course of things, I imbibed in two double desserty latte-ish drinks (leaded) and when I went to bed the caffeine induced physiological affects were pretty evident. I slept OK (and was up early) but it was a lesson learned in the "wow, thats pretty much how you were all the time before you stopped drinking caffeine" vein.

Peter was Peter. Which is to say amusing, entertaining, tender, and occasionally touching on the sublime and divine. I owe a lot of my "less is more" picking and strumming from him, he has come to joke about two string songs (and noted that I have commented on that in the distant past). And I confess to knowing much of his canon by heart, simply from hearing these songs (the ones he writes, the ones he covers) so many times over the past 15 years.

Peter's friend K was there, who I run across at WHY. She works at a senior home, prompting Zippy to comment that she'll kill herself before going into one of those. Now maybe this is the response of a person who has enjoyed fairly good health, who has not dealt with a lifetime of discomfort, medical intervention, and juggling the effects and side effects of medications for multiple diseases. But at this point in life, I do not feel the same way. Each breath is a new learning experience, each breath is precious.

Yoga? Spiritual awakening? A lifelong optimism and hope? Or the overly optimistic and pollyanna-ish beliefs of someone who has yet to butt up against real pain, sufferring, and discomfort in her life. Not sure.

December 14, 2006

Best Laid Plans

Well, I almost made it to Atlanta.

My 7:30 am flight was cancelled due to mechanical problems. SO I was booked onto a 9:00 a.m. flight. That flight got fogged in (at Bradley) for close to 2 hours - then as they were releasing us in Hartford, Atlanta had a hold on arrivals (weather and traffic) - I deboarded around 11:30 am - it was too late to get down there for my 1:30 pm meeting.

So, I am gonna do the meeting remotely (just tossed my slides online in PDF format, in case) and we'll go from there.

No biggie - gives me a bit of breathing room. A chance to practice for Kirtan, a chance to do some yoga or maybe jazzercise, and maybe go see my friend Peter Anthony trod the boards (or pluck the strings) at Klekolo this evening.

More Like It

....blogging from the airport. Now I'm fulfilling my minimum requirements as a blogger!

En route to Atlanta; I was up this morning at 4:30, hoping to be en roue at 5:30 am, but as I stepped out of the shower I got a robo-call from the good folks at Delta informing me that my 7:30 am flight was cancelled (BDL was pretty fogged in this morning, its still foggy out there) and so I was on a 9:00 a.m. flight. No biggie - my meeting is at 1:30 so I have a good 2 hours to get from the airport to the site. So I got to crawl back into bed for an hour.

I'm also drinking a cuppa leaded coffee - I have been off caffeine for a while now but one cup will not hurt - help get me started this morning.

Not much else to blog - today is fly / meeting / dinner (Malay - yum!), tomorrow is fly and then into busy bee mode for kirtan. No idea what is on tap for the weekend - I am not thinking that far ahead.

Rest of the trip down - I have some emails to clean up, and I have a powerpoint that I am going to tweak for the meeting this afternoon.

December 13, 2006

Hot-lanta

Not being a very good blogger, me.

It's been a busy week; I've had a largish work project in the works which I finally squeeked out today. And I am heading to Atlanta tomorrow morning for a quick trip (fly down tomorrow morning, fly back Friday morning). Not quick enough, apparently, one of my local friends / clients also happens to be in Atlanta tomorrow night so we've scheduled dinner with a third (local) friend.

Quick summary. Sunday was morning yoga and a balloon party. Monday was work and evening Jazzerise. Tuesday was work, morning yoga, more work, and a mentoring meeting. Today was work and zapping and a support group for the Zipster tonight. Tomorrow - Atlanta all day. Friday Atlanta in the morning, coming back late morning. At that point - errands, catch up, help set up the sound system for Kirtan, and then the big winter Kirtan at WHY.

Saturday and Sunday - I dunno. My PDA is at the office; I need to fetch it and directions and stuff on the way home from tonights meeting.

December 10, 2006

Balloon Party

A holiday gathering of airheads, spiced up by the passing around of photo albums circa the late 70's, mid 80's, and mid-90's (balloonists are a particularly narcissistic bunch, and love to see pictures of their balloons).

Thankfully, no photos of your faithful correspondant (who has been crewing since around 1984, with some significant gaps) from those particular eras surfaced.

In other news, somebody found my blog with the search term "loonette the clown and paganism". Should I be more scared that someone was searching for this particular combination of terms, or that my blog popped up baed on this search?

More Colin More Gooder

I know it's been a period of upheaval for my favorite pundit, with his radio partner being canned, NE magazine disappearing, family stuff, dental stuff, etc.

But, for the record, having a weekly dose of Colin McEnroe in the Hartford Courant is not a bad thing. Unless, perhaps, you are Colin McEnroe, and are now facing a weekly (as opposed to biweekly) deadline.

This means his personal productivity has doubled, right, as measured as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product? Doing his part to help the American economy!

Happy (sorta) Birthday to Me

Not my real birthday; for the record I am a Pisces (Piscean? Piscus?)

But December 10 is a day of some meaning, to me anyways.

December 09, 2006

Goodwill (and all that Jazz) to Wo(men)

Well, not Goodwill. Salvation Army, actually. I've been thrift storing in Bristol, had some time to kill en route from dropping MYA off at home. I'm particularly happy with the funky print pants I am finding - kirtan wear, more festive work and party wear. I have a certain style developing. These are not my clothes, remember.....

Back at the homefront, I am listening to WMNR (Monroe based, but broadcasting in West Hartford at 91.9 FM) - which has been been airing totally outstanding jazz and swing: ‘Big Band Hall of Fame’ with Susan Kennedy from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and ‘Swing & Jazz’ with John Danscuk from 9:00 pm to Midnight. Definitely going to become a Saturday night tradition here.

In other news, I hit Jazzercise this morning for the first time in ages - a good workout. Definitely a different energy level than yoga - not as much sweat, but more aerobic. It felt good to be back - odd because a lot of new faces (in just a few months) but also some old friends who were happy to see me back. I think I need to be more careful at Jazzercise - to keep from pulling hamstrings, achilles tendon, or irritating my elbow / shoulder - might drop down to 5 lb hand weights. But I think I will cut back a teeny bit on yoga and try to Jazzercise 2x a week.....

Reverting to Form

Last night, crawling around on the floor in the spare bedroom to plug in a peripheral, Zippy noticed a pronounced "plumber's crack" (in my defense, I had my jammies on)

And later, I decided out of the blue, to have a beer.

please if you get a chanse put some flowrs on Algernons grave in the bak yard...

Back to Jazzericse

It's been a long time since I trod the wood in Ryka's and spandex. My last class card expired Sept 29th; I think I went to one class in November. But, been a while.

I was taking a workshop on Monday nights throughout the fall that conflicted with one of my regular Jazzercise nights. I was balloon chasing throughout the fall, usually on Saturday mornings, another regular session. I have been mindfully aware of being too much "out there" and not enough "in here" in terms of spending time, meals, energy, etc. with the Zipster. Finally, I have been too enamored of yoga.

But today, I am headed back to Jazzercise. And I am gonna buy a class card, and going to get there 1-2 times a week. Jazz hands! Chasse! Attitude!

December 08, 2006

Friday Night

Quiet night; Zippy and I are hanging out, channel surfing. Waiting for AC to pop by. Should be a quiet weekend as well - Jazzercise and taking MYA to a support space on Saturday, yoga and a holiday get-together tomorrow. Maybe go pick up some balloon calendars (my annual holiday gift to clients) one day this weekend.

I'm headed to Atlanta next week - Thursday into Friday. A new client, connected with them at RSNA. So I have a report to crank out on Monday for them, and get some presentations together for visit. Along with some work for another newish client and my regular stuff - December is shaping up to be pretty busy. And I have a production gig the first week in January.

December 07, 2006

Bush in Tears

This story hit the media a few days back. Apparently, in a speech at a leadership forum in Tallahassee, George H. Bush broke down in tears while discussing the leadership, and his son Jeb's first gubernatorial loss in Florida.

Thomas de Zengotita has a great take on it here - which I pretty much agree with. But I will add a few thoughts. Jeb Bush *was* the chosen one, the one who should have carried the Bush standard (and maybe the gubernatorial loss that Dad was recalling was the moment he got untracked). Perhaps Bush I is suffering with the rest of the country under his son's so called leadership, more so for having created this monster.

And perhaps he is aware that for the rest of time, the country, the world, history is not going to recall 4 years of fairly moderate leadership under the Bush banner (I never disliked Bush I, he struck me as a decent man, somewhat patrician and privileged but he was neither a puppet nor an firm ideologue). Instead, the name of Bush will now and forever be associated with 8 years of mismanagement, idiocy, lying, waste, needless death and suffering.

In the arc of the saga, as historians note the influence of the Bush family on the world history, perhaps historians will note that 1994 election defeat as the moment it all started to go wrong. And Bush the First, I suspect, is a smart man. He know's his legacy started to die on that day, and any good thing he has done with his life has been overshadowed by the sins of his son.

To shift back into comedy and irrelevance - will Jenna and Barbara become the Luke and Leia of this saga - rising to the challenge, joining the rebellion, learning the ways of the force, avenging the evil emporer and saving the soul of their father gone over to the side of evil?

Not holding out much hope.....

December 06, 2006

Cell Phones and Cancer

OK, I am not a huge cell phone-ista. I own one, of course, and have for years, but I tend to use it sporadically - quick calls here and there, some longer calls while driving. I still have access to (and use, mostly) land lines at the office and at home. Hell, I even maintain a second fax line at the office, even through its been years since I did a lot of work via fax. Occasionally the memory function makes it useful (I have not reprogrammed my office speed dial in eons, and my home speed dial is not even programmed).

That being said, this news is good:
A huge study from Denmark offers the latest reassurance that cell phones don't trigger cancer. Scientists tracked 420,000 Danish cell phone users, including 52,000 who had gabbed on the gadgets for 10 years or more, and some who started using them 21 years ago.

They matched phone records to the famed Danish Cancer Registry that records every citizen who gets the disease — and reported Tuesday that cell-phone callers are no more likely than anyone else to suffer a range of cancer types.

I do some freelance work in the video production field, and whenever a high profile media celeb (who presumably, is a heavy cell phone user) comes down with brain cancer, the looks go around and the words are silently mouthed "cell phone".

It's hard sometimes to set aside anecdotal evidence for hard epidemiological evidence. But I'm going to try to.

December 05, 2006

Guilty Pleasure

Friday Night Lights. Yeah, that show. Damned if I know why, but I am hooked in a way that I rarely get, with television shows.

I noticed that Snuffy Waldrun has done the music. Hearkening back to 30-something, another addictive show a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

Coat Drive & Yoga for Food & Kirtan

If you have no longer worn but serviceable coats, consider brigning them down to West Hartford Yoga - the studio has a coat drive each holiday season.

On Saturday, December 16, the studio has a special power class, free with a bag of donated non-perishable food. The haul will go to the local Foodshare. Not 100% sure of the class time, think its in the late afternoon or early evening....will post details as I get 'em.

And on Friday, Dec 15th, join us for Kirtan, led by Shankara and Friends. I am proud to be among the "friends", playing guitar. This is a very special Kirtan, with a ceremonial burning of things we'd like to let go of, and things we would like to manifest. It can be very powerful and renewing, so please join us!

December 04, 2006

Midway Through

Nice training setup they have here at CR Computing Service, Inc (CCS) - with internet access, shared presentation monitors, decent food, etc.

I am becoming wise in the ways of SSIDs, IPs, WEP, WPA, MAC Addresses, and assorted other wireless networking stuff. Well, wise enough to get myself into trouble, I imagine. Hopefully wise enough to either back out of jams or to find the hardware reset button.....

Forgot About That

I signed up for a subsidized course on Wireless Networking at Connecticut Computer Service, Inc. in Plantsville (Southington) today. Which I totally forgot about - until I got into the office and for some reason remembered.

More than enough time to get my sorry rear end down here, and they have net access at the workstations which is quite nice. Not 100% functional, but I can work a little in the downtime. Which is now....(class did not get started yet)

Work Week Ahead

Monday morning dawns cold, with the threat of our first snow of the season (flurries or showers, perhaps). It's been a busy weekend and I am looking forward to getting into work and getting things done.

Last night, we went to see the Marriage of Figaro at Trinity on Main in New Britain. Our friend Laurentiu played two smallish parts (Antonio and Bartolo), but the opera itself was very enjoyable and the rest of the cast was excellant. Figaro especially was wonderful vocally and performance wise, Susanna was as well. Nice evening.

Still recovering from the yoga beating I took this week; I will probably hit the mat again on Tuesday. Tonight is a the first of two follow-up sessions (eating awareness) and tomorrow I see MYA for the first time in a while. Thursday night is Kirtan practice; I should spend some time practicing before that. Friday afternoon there is a DCF / Safe Harbors appreciation thing.

Goals for this week (outside of work) include doing something about the back porch (the holiday stuff ended up out there, a bunch of boxes of work / support group / life ephemera as well, and the hardware for the last "backyard flood" also - along with two bicycles. The basement too needs a lot of attention.

December 03, 2006

Wrung Out

On the clothesline, drying in the cold sunshine, are two yoga mats, two sets of yoga clothes, and a pair of leather work gloves.

Between a three hour yoga workshop yesterday and an hour and a half of hot yoga this morning, I am drained. The feeling is almost catharsis / mind altering.

Oh yeah, we got the gutters cleaned out. Even the high ones (we borrowed a ladder, both Zippy and I took turns at the top)

December 02, 2006

Bollywood - Lagaan

We're about an hour into watching this 3.5 hour movie, courtesy of Netflix. And LOVING it.....

The musical / dance numbers are incredible - very fun.

Post Film Wrap-up: The music is infectious. The plot compelling. The actors skilled and good looking too. Lots of somewhat heavy handed moralizing but yanno, thats OK. We watched 3.5 hours of movie tonight - I have a hard time envisioning us watching that much of ANY genre, domestic, mainstream, foreign, independent, you name it.

Bollywood and Lagaan get two thumbs up in this household.

Friday Night Follies

We went to see Peter at the Interlude Cafe / Summit Studios. What a cozy little arts space! There is a small music shop with instrument rentals and used instruments, a cafe (which I suspect is primarily for parent's waiting for young'uns taking lessons) and a bunch of small studios. It felt very vibrant and alive. I saw a few kids coming and going from lessons, one had the score from WICKED with her. Music geeks. My people. Heh.

I also got to meet a friend of Peter's who has been stalking me. Not really - she just see's me around and tells Peter so he sort of knows I am still breathing even though he is incommunicado. Funny, small world thing.

Then, we got home (Zippy, me, MP, and AC) to find a message - my old friend RC (who I have not seen since Oct 2003) was in town and nearby in WH, as was another friend JK (have not seen her since 2000 or 2001. So I shamelessly abandoned my friends to go visit. It was good to see them, especially JK. While there, two other old friends (Jodi's former GF, and AP) came over which was weird - I had not seen AP in close to 10 years, she and her husband were particularly uncomfortable with my path.

Anyway, I stayed an hour or so, visited a little, had a beer. Came home around 11:30. Not sure if this is meaningful in terms of permanent re-engagement, but it was nice to be not excluded (which I have felt, over the years). These are friends of my ex-J, and I ceded them to her in the messy aftermath of the split, but it still felt a bit like I was cast off.

Who would have expected that going in to yesterday? Not I.....as K said "it feels lik e there is magic happening"

Last night's wind and rain and storminess brought in cold and clear - feels like winter out there. Not totally frigid, the high today is slated to be 48, although that might have come and gone already, but more seasonal anyway. This morning is gutter cleaning day - I am going to get the low hanging fruit, (er, muck) first, and then hopefully borrow a large ladder from across the street to get the upper gutters.

November 30, 2006

And in Case You Need Me

Friday means work. End of the month and all, will be busy. I'll take a yoga breather in preparation for a 3 hour Feed Your Spirit workshop on Saturday. Friday night, eclectic folk with Peter Anthony in Manchester at the Interlude Cafe / Summit Studios.

Saturday, the aforementioned yoga workshop. And maybe do some things around the house. Have not seen MYA for a while, maybe I'll find something to do with her.

Sunday morning, probably more yoga. My 8:30 am hot class is pretty sacred. Sunday evening, the Marriage of Figaro, courtesy of the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and the Connecticut Lyric Opera, at Trinity on Main in New Britain. Zippy's friend from work Laurentiu Rotaru is featured.

Buzz Buzz Buzz Buzz

That's the sound of activity. The RSNA annual meeting has come and gone and I am gifted with a newish project / client as well as a reinvigorated one. November winds down with a buzz of activity as we move into December.....usually a slowish time of year. Ha! I got a call from one client contact while I was out in Chicago, and tonight came home to about 30 Meg worth of reports that I need to sort and bin and I assume do some analysis and review of eventually. And a promised trip to Atlanta.

We went to see Darsham this evening which was wonderful - I sat with my hands in prayer pose through most of it, my body electrified, totally engaged. I am not sure I am ready to jump on a plane to see Amma, but I can understand.

And I got a good hug afterwards from an old friend who happened to be there. Serendipity indeed. She mentioned "magical things are happening" and I guess I am just so used to that sort of energy in my life of late, all I could say was "there always are"

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the missing in action PA has resurfaced, apparently he contracted some horrible tick-based disease over the summer which knocked him out (literally, he came to in hospital) and so its been a slow and probably not full recovery. He's gigging tomorrow night at the Interlude Cafe / Summit Studios in Manchester, so we might head that way.

November 29, 2006

Darshan, The Embrace

It's been at Real Art Ways all week (while I was in Chicago); tomorrow seems to be the last day (at 5:30 pm). Something made me check the RAW calendar tonight, thankfully. I'm pretty sure I will be there.

Darshan the Embrace Amma, one of India’s most famous “Mahatmas” or spiritual guides, is known internationally for her charitable donations, fight for peace and work with illiteracy. In 2002 she received the Gandhi-King Prize for her work on behalf of non-violence, joining a group of winners that include Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan. This intimate documentary by France-based filmmaker Jan Kounen chronicles Amma’s journey throughout India with her disciples. Over three decades, she has hugged more than 23 million people, imparting love and serenity through her touch, and giving comfort to those who have little hope to cling to. In 1979 she had only a handful of followers, and today she is the center of a massive charitable enterprise that builds houses for the homeless, feeds the hungry and runs a hospital and orphanage. People wait hours on line to hear her captivating speeches and line up a second time to get a hug from her. With elegant camerawork that encourages us to observe and meditate on the phenomenon, filmmaker Kounen demonstrates that, after all, 23 million people can’t be wrong. –Ricrad Peterson, Smith Rafael Film Center.

Home Home Now Now

We made it home, not too late. The flight from ORD to BDL was fairly full but not packed (small 737); I ended up MP3ing most of the way as I read Postcards (Annie Proulx) - part of my catch up on literature campaign. Zippy has a library of good literature: feminist, lesbian, world, classics. I might as well dip into it; I tease her about hording books (I am all about letting literature run wild once I have ingested it). As long as the books are here, I should avail myself of them.

Cranking out some reports tonight for a client - a bunch came in today and yesterday and I want to get 'em out by tomorrow (end of the month) so I can focus on billing and RSNA follow-up on Friday. I also have a bunch of website updates for another client, as well as a MIA website (think they did not pay their registration fees) which I need to sort out as well.

MP was here when we got home (our dog sitter) so we took her out to dinner. Zippy has some laundry brewing, I have yet to unpack my bags although I did hang my business suits up.

Delayed in O' Hare

No surprise, eh? Our 10:40 am United flight to Hartford is slated for 10:52 am right now, but I am betting its gonna be longer - because its raining and thundering / lightning out there right now.

Lovely. When I saw there was a delay I coughed up $7 for Wi Fi access. Might as well surf and blag and clean up email.....

Argonautika

Zippy and I were blown away happy to have gotten the chance to see this play. It was delicious - there were moments where I found myself just beaming with happiness at some effect, a line, a piece of acting. It was a spectacular work of art. It told the story of Jason and the Argonauts (fairly well known, due to Ray Harryhausen's 1963 film)

We really enjoyed the company's athleticism - the set featured an elevated walkway and many characters descended from the walkway to the stage via gymnastics. Puppet characters were multi-person constructs. Goddesses exeunted on the shoulders of ensemble members; Athena's flying exits were particularly striking.

The set, a long central stage with seats on both sides, was wonderful. The lighting was effective at keeping our eyes focused to the stage, and made good use of multiple dimensions and vectors.

Particularly fun were the puppets - from Phrixias' Golden Ram, to a lifesize baby, Harpies, a two-person boxing giant (Dimias), a sea monster, a monster to guard the golden fleece. All so very creative and effective and fun.

Added bonus, the Lookingglass Theater is housed in the Chicago Water Works (that hugely famouns white castle in the center of Chicago). And we happened to be available to go on Tuesday, which was discount night. Go us.

November 27, 2006

Scored!

We got tickets to Tuesday's performance of Argonautika at the Looking Glass theater.

Highly recommended by Lawrence and Mike. Director Mary Zimmerman is a Tony Award winner. I am a sucker for mythology. Should be a good night!

A plane crash

Reading this story about the Lidle plane crash in NYC, for some strange reason. I am struck by:
Among those displaced was mystery writer Carol Higgins Clark, who has been staying at a nearby hotel while workers replace walls and do other construction. "Everyone would prefer to be home, but we'll get through it," said the writer, who is the daughter of author Mary Higgins Clark.

Funny to have a mom and daughter writing pair and the use of the same "Higgins Clark". Kind of makes me glad that I was not gifted by mom's middle name (which is Gertrude)

Another tenant's experience:
Lila said she willed herself to get out of the apartment by repeating a line from the poem "The Summer Day" by Mary Oliver: "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

This poem is haunting me, in a weird and delightful way.

Weird Dreams

So I listened to some of my yoga music to lull me into sleepyland, where I dreamed weirdly. Said dream snippets included:

* Being in some sort of cult or group with my ex, I think she was involved with the group / cult leader (male)

* Holding hands in a big circle in said group, and having an ecstatic experience whilst there. We were in a circle, and two people were shaking chimes in the next room (visible through a large window) and then a large candle was flying around in the chime shaking room, which only I could see. And then I kind of collapsed back onto a counter and when they tried to revive me, fell onto the floor.

* Came to, went out to my car, where I found another set of keys in the ignition (the cult leaders, I thought) and the steering wheel had been broken as if I had been using "the Club" which had been cut off.

* I took my car to drive my youngest brother to high school (he is now closing in on 40) and on the way there was fretting about my own high school or college classes. (even though in the dream I was rationalizing that I had already graduated from both)

* Ran into a house / apartment that I used to live at (not an actual place) and forgot my key (since the cult leader keys in the car ignition were not mine), but teh door was open, and when I got in, I realized it was someplace I used to live but someone else lives there now (sidebar comment: Who lives here?), so I backed out slowly.

* Came out of the apartment to my car to find a cat sleeping in the front seat, and my dog (loosely based on Nispy) was in the back (my car had become a pick-up tuck somehow) barking at the cat. I let teh ddog in the window, the cat jumped out.

* Ended up in a CVS with my sister, thinking if I should start xmas shopping. On teh way out to my car, a man and a woman started harassing us. I got all butch on the woman, they backed off, but my sister fell and her pants got all wet in snow. But then came back to get us. As the dream ended, I opened the car door, my sister got in the passenger side, and turned to confront the man on the drivers side. The man had a small vial which he injested (sniffed) - I think it was glue or poppers or speed or something - and was about to hit me, and I was raising my arms in front of me in a yoga-ish way to block the blow.

Then I woke up.

Sleepless in Chicago

I've been up since 3:15 or thereabouts. Not sure why.

Meditation did not help. Nor did listening to Brooks Williams "Guitar Player" on the MP3 player. Nor did lying there. So I got up and messed around online some to avoid waking the Zipster. Gotta love having a suite with two rooms.

I'm headed back for another stab at it. This time, armed with the ultimate weapon: Enya.

November 26, 2006

Sunday Morning in Chicago

Last night, the Zipster and I hoofed it North to Lake Shore, to see her friend L. L's boyfriend M picked us up and took us to the northernmost part of the city, to Devon, home of an Indian-Pakistani neighborhood. We feasted on the most delicious Indian buffet (vegetarian) one might imagine, washed down with a Kingfisher. I ate too much!

Afterwards, M took us to the hotel via the back road (Clark, I think), through Andersonville, Boys Town, and Old Town. We got to see all the G/L hostspots. Certainly is vibrant and colorful neighborhoods / enclaves. Nothing like that in Hartford, for darn sure. We also got the 411 on a wonderful play - Argonautica - which we might try to see on Tuesday.

We got back latish, but that did not stop me from waking around 4:30 am locally (my body clock is still back East) and so I put down my mat and did about an hour of postures - enough to get a light glaze of sweat going. Next is a shower and primping a bit, then off to breakfast. Today is Day #1 of the show....my client TF from Milwaukee will be down for breakfast, and Zippy likes him. He's been teasing her about her bacon consumption / passion for the last few weeks so it will be fun to get them together again.

November 25, 2006

Safe in Chi-town

We're ensconced at the Embassy Suites. We've unpacked our clothes, hit the local grocer for soda, water, salty snacks, sweet snacks, and fruit. I'm online. Life is good.

We went over to the booth and helped set up; Zippy got to see the RSNA floor (in process) and was duly impressed. I'm on show duty Sunday through Tuesday.

Tonight, dinner with Zippy's friends L&M - some Mexican place that works for them (vegetarians) and has a BYOB policy.

Until then, R&R. I might climb into the tub and scrape the legs - horribly furry in the winter, I was mortified during my pedicure yesterday.

Traveling Again

With the Zipster at my side, for a change. We are sitting at the United gate in BDL, and I am taking advantage of free WiFi.

We got an early start, thinking back to last year (we flew on Sunday) but its a lot lighter travel day today, with no lines at the ticket counter or security. It helps that BDL has a new security checkpoint for United only, it used to be a single checkpoint serving all the gates except for American.

Looks like a gorgeous day to travel - clear and calm - and Chicago bodes well with temperatures in the 50's (highs and lows) today through Monday, and some weather and cold on Tuesday and Wednesday.

November 24, 2006

Busyish Day

Things to do today:

* Pick up a dress / jacket at the dry cleaners (7:45 am)
* Go to hot yoga (9:30 am)
* Get my nails done - pedicure if I have time, I am gonna be on my feet all week (2:30 pm)
* Pick up cards for nephews (birthday, get well) and friends (thank you) (7:45 am)
* Pick up panty hose and knee socks (I get to play dress up adult this coming week) - (7:45 am)
* Hit the post office (11:30 am)
* Hit the bank (1:30 pm)
* Pack my bags for Chicago / RSNA show - TBD
* Do a load of laundry - 9:00 a.m.
* Drop by the office and feign work or at least load up the laptop, get business cards and brochures, etc. - 3:30 p.m.
* Go to kirtan practice tonight - 8:00 p.m.
* Cook dinner - TBD
* Pick up a Friends and Family phone for Zippy - 1:00 p.m.

We're on a 9:25 am flight out to Chicago tomorrow morning.

Thanksgiving Wrap-up

We had a quiet but delicious thanksgiving.

Zippy and I traveled down to Westchester County to her mom's and then from there into NYC for dinner with her sister who has a beautiful condo on the east side (86th and 2nd). We had an intimate thanksgiving, the food was wonderful - more or less traditional thanksgiving turkey and fixin's, but cooked wonderfully and delicately. On a few occasions I found myself staring out the windows (her corner place faces North and West), listening to light jazz, sipping a glass of wine. Felt like I was in a Woody Allen movie. I love NYC at times, and yesterday was one of those times.

The cost of this tranquility and bliss was driving - about 6 hours worth in the rain. Ugh. Hartford to Westchester was not bad, traffic wise - we ran into traffic on the Deegan before the GWB in both directions. But just the tension and stress of driving in the rain - worrying about stopping, skidding, hydroplaning. I am heading out for hot yoga session this morning to get some of the stress out.

I missed my family this year. My nephew woke up in pain on Tuesday morning, and my sister wisely sussed out the problem and hurried him to the hospital to have his appendix removed. They got him in and out with one overnight, got home on Wednesday. She then proceeded to cook dinner for the extended family on Thursday. Before flying off to save the universe or the planet or something. Superwoman, she.

November 23, 2006

Connecticut Sun Wallpaper

Oh, just because. Here.

Erin Phillips, #31 now graces my desktop.

November 22, 2006

Pre-Turkey Day Shenanigans

Some work this morning. Picking up MYA at 2:00 - driving her to Hartford to pck up her friend at the bus station, then I suspect I am taking them out for some foodage. I will not see her for about a week - between turkey day (we're in NYC), Friday (Kirtan practice), and Saturday through Wednesday being in Chocago for the radiology show. So it will be nice to spend some time with her.

Yesterday's gentle yoga class seems to have worked the kinks out of my upper back / neck, so tonight perhaps, back to the kick my ass Ashtanga class.....

Rumor has it that tonight is the busiest bar night of the year, but one would not know that from me. It's been, I dunno, years since I have gone into a bar to drink socially.

First They Came

A while back a friend sent me a copy of Martin Neimoller's poem. The mail came in the context of a discussion / impasse that started out with a bit of anti-catholic irreverence (on my part), and moved into a discussion of my apparent bigotry. She and I are still at a bit of an impasse (admittedly, my crap is involved) but it led me into some web surfing this morning about this particular work.

Wikipedia has some interesting things to say. That the McCarthy era Americans deleted the "communists" stuff is interesting and understandable. More interesting is that the piece did not, in some original forms, mention religion at all. Lots of links and analysis; apparently Neimoller worked on this theme a great deal in the 40's yet the formal piece did not coalesce until much later. The formal version endorsed by the Neimoller Foundation mentions communists, social democrats, trade unionists, and then "me". No Catholics. No Protestants. No Jews, even. This may be revisionism on the part of Niemoller's heirs, surely he was mentioning the Jews (and Jehovah Witnesses) in his speeches that explore this theme in the 40's.

Wikipedia translates the piece from the NM site thus:
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent; I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

While wikipedia is never a sure source, the translation looks reasonable to my untrained eye; I ran the NM site text through Alta Vista's translator and it came out close enough.

According to Franklin Littell, Martin Niemoller , when asked about the addition of the Roman Catholics (the dissing of which started this whole dogmatic pileup), commented, "I never said it. They can take care of themselves."

Weirdness. This is such a pervasive piece of modern prose - odd that it has evolved and been adopted in the name of so many causes, and that its most common / accepted incarnation is not really what it was at the start.

November 19, 2006

The Simpsons

OK, so how the hell can the Simpsons get Jonathon Franzen, Michael Chabon, Gore Vidal, AND Tom Wolfe as special guests / cameos?

These are not my clothes....

One of my immediate post EI experiences (the Monday I got back) was looking into my closet (for something to change into) and thinking "these are not my clothes" - it was a pretty interesting observation. So I have been slowly working on the wardrobe. I have a couple of closets - I have been going through them, pulling out things that do not fit, do not look good, are outdated, or are just not worn. Reacquainting myself with some of my things, making room for other things.

I have a pile set aside to donate. A few things to go into winter storage. And a lot better idea what is there, that it all fits, and its all worth keeping. And there is more room in my closet, and things are more organized.

We're heading down to NYC on turkey day; I need to pick up a few bottles of wine for our hostess, who has asked us to "only bring tupperware". I picked up a fallish (kind of umber / dark pumpikin) blouse to go with some batik pants I have. If the clothes I do have are not my clothes, well then I guess I need to figure out what clothes *are* mine.

"I Guess it Worked"

Zippy's comment to me yesterday, as we were fetching the 40 pound bag of dog food.

She was talking about the Enlightenment Intensive. And I asked her "What do you mean?" - I mean, I had a kicking buzz and afterglow, and I feel very positive about it all, but I do not feel like a different person or anything.

Per the Zipster, I am more attentive, more thoughtful, spend more time and energy on our home and my space, spend more time with her (as opposed to occupying the same space, but not being there). I'm a better person to be in relationship with.

Hmm.....wow. Cool. Nice to have that sort of feedback. Not that the EI was supposed to "fix" me - but one would hope that a dose of enlightenment, a few dollaps of knowledge, wisdom, and awareness, and a taste of the divine might have some positive impact on ones life. And I think it has.

Boredom some Moredom

Kind of a low key Saturday night.

Zippy and I went down to a mentoring activity in Middletown (woefully underattended). MYA bagged on it, but we went and schmoozed with K the program director (one of our favorite people who we do not hang with, really, she is a sweetie) and hung out with a newish mentor/mentee pair.


Then off to Sears where Zippy found some new glasses (more butchly) and I found some things to buy - a pair of uncharacteristically funky / girly shoes. As our friend Audrey would say "The straps are too wide". As I look at the image I recognize that these are actually kind of butchish girly shoes. The fact that I call them "girly" says something about me, no?

We made a dinner melange (ground turkey, diced tomatoes, red beans) along with frozen veggies. The cupboard was bare, produce wise. We ended up at Apple Tree after dinner to replenish the larder - coming away with onions, spaghetti squash, fresh pineapple, greens, shrooms, and a bunch of misc fruits and veggies. We love Appletree.

We channel surfed for a while, I got a call from a long time friend which ate up some of the night, and I took care of some personal maintenance. Was in bed around 9 pm.

Left to my own devices I might have snuck over to RAW to see the People vs. John Lennon, but Zippy was not interested. So, a quiet night.

It's early Sunday morning. I am faux caffienating (i.e. - drinking decaf, I remain clean and sober, caffeine wise) and as soon as I finish this I am going to meditate. Hot yoga this morning (methinks John, although I get surprised now and then by subs). Probably end up doing some laundry, cleaning, and yardwork today. Maybe even get the gutters cleaned out, although I'd need to borrow a ladder and a ladder holder to tackle the ones in front.

Oh, and I am totally happy with my new MP3 player - I put every single ripped CD (admittedly not too many) on my puter into it and ate up maybe 25% of the space - and I am planning CD ripping sessions to get some of my faves into rotation (tentatively, Ferron, Dar Williams, John Gorka, Patty Larkin)

November 18, 2006

Saturday Noonish

Just a quick catch-up.

MYA and I went up to NoHo last night to catch a film. Good crowd. Not a super film (an old documentary, MYA had seen it) but some good networking opportunities, and a good discussion afterwards. Of course, I tried to go the back way up to NoHo from Bristol to avoid Friday night traffic in Hartford, so it took 2 hours to get there. Ugh.

This morning, balloon chasing - a long flight from Farmington to Cromwell. Uncharacteristically, I was not at the landing site - I'm normally right there (my favorite is bolting from the van and literally catching the basket as they land) but I got all turned around between the Chamberlain Highway and Berlin Turnpike and not a lot of East-West through roads.

Zippy and I are heading down to a mentoring activity (MYA called up to bag this morning) and then some shopping / errands.

November 16, 2006

New (to us) Couch

We've been without comfy furniture in the living room for a while. An old couch (we had cadged from a friend) got tossed when it got too doggy. So we have have been making do with temporary seating - outdoor chairs, directors chairs. Not comfy.

When I got back from the Intensive, one of the things I "saw" when I came home was how unhomey the place was. So I have been scouting for somke replacement furniture. Craigs List has gifted us with new kitchen chairs (ours were falling apart) and now, a new couch.

It's leather (less likely to get "doggy"). It's dark blue. It's in great shape. We're psyched!

To celebrate, we are sitting on it right now, and watching the Uconn women beating up on Colgate.

Some Toys

According to the various tracking systems out there, I am due to receive sometime today:

a) A music mixer / headphone amp, from Sam Ash. I hope to use this to mix two guitars, provide a bit of a confidence monitor (via earpiece), and avoid unplugging / plugging (pops and crackles) at Kirtan. I ordered this a while back from Music123, they were out of stock and never bothered to tell me. Sam Ash was a little more expensive, but in stock. Excited to get it. Coming via Fed Ex, to the house.

b) A new MP3 Player (a SANDISK) - my Dell DJ Ditty has been great - but I want a bit more memory (4 Gig vs. 512 K) and a bit of a larger uder interface. Price was right.....coming via UPS to the office.

Geekery tech musical warm fuzzies.

A Strong Ashtanga Practice

I've been kind of in a yoga groove, alternating between my morning power and hot classes. I toss in some alternatives - a gentle or all levels class when my bisy asks for it, a special workshop when its available. But mostly, two classes, two teachers.

Last night I went to a different teacher for a 6:15 class - someone I had worked with before (and liked) but the class times rarely work out all that well. I have had it in the back of my mind to get to one of his classes. KICKED MY ASS.

It was a really good and strong Ashtange practice, with less in the way of flow and less fluidity. Every posture was held for five long breaths, and we'd work through cycles of postures. A great cardio-vascular workout as well as a humbling posture workout (lots of twists and binds and folds that I just had to accept my body was not going to find its way into)

Nice to be challenged, nice to be in a different space, nice to get a little different spin on practice. I kind of know where my other instructors are going most of the time, their classes are so familiar, theirs are the voices I hear in my head when I practice on my own. So it was nice to have to ebe a bit more alert and focused. Good call on my part (going to something a little different).

November 15, 2006

I am the Lorax, I Speak for the Trees

I look out my office window, to piles of logs stacked like bodies in a Matthew Brady civil war photograph. I am cranky about that.

The company across the street (ironically, a landscape and design firm) took down 2 or 3 large maple trees that once guarded their street side, and made this particular stretch of North Mountain Road in Newington livable, habitable, peaceful.

It feels sterile, cold, and desolate out there right now.

Mort Pride Center ?

In the midst of questions concerning the mentoring meeting (see below) I asked "Is there some reason we are not meeting at the Pride Center?"

One of the folks from True Colors simply said "They closed the doors"

Not surprised - the move and overhaul at that place have been pretty traumatic, the plac edid not seem to get its feet back under it, and the last time I was there it seemed like a ghost center. Nothing about it on the website, but the calendar lists a Board Meeting and Special Presidents meeting for Monday night. Maybe some things got decided.

Update: False Alarm. No idea where the rumor started or why someone said it at the meeting, but I have been assured by someone on the Pride Center board that all is well, the doors are open.

Bad Directions

I went to a mentoring meeting tonight.
Our next mentor meeting will be held
on Tuesday (tomorrow), November 14, 2006 from 6-8 p.m. at the UCONN
School of Social Work in Room 208 in West Hartford

Uhm, except that there are three buildings (at least) on the campus. I went to the most likely suspect (Library building, where I have been to things in the past sponsored by the same organization) and 208 did not look like a meeting room. 203 did, and 308 did. But I left the email invite at home so I began to doubt myself - did I have the room right? Was it really Uconn Law School? When nobody showed up at 6, I headed home.

Got home, reread the email, decided I was at the right place, but left too early (queer standard time, right?) - so I headed back. Still nobody. So then I decided to check out other buildings - the Undergraduate Building (nobody there) and then the (surprise!) School of Social Work building. I got there at around 7, to find only two other mentors there. Kind of disappointing. The facilitator apologized profusely for the miscommunication - I have to believe there were more people who either tried to come (and could not find the meeting) or simply did not come because they were not sure.

Future reference - adding a link to the campus map and specifying a particular building would help - a LOT. For someone not familar with the campus (such as myself) - I have always thought the entire Hartford Campus was the "School of Social Work") its pretty hard to know what building to go to.

November 13, 2006

Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned.....

Home for lunch, and I find the most compelling thing on television this noon is the USCCB (United States Catholic Council of Bishops) Fall general meeting on EWTN.

It's kind of a cross between CSPAN and a corporate meeting and an old-timey religious synod. Right now its a press conference that is moving between gay catholics (new doctrine / document), human sexuality, and priest abuse scandal. With a bunch of stuff related to policies regarding taking communion.

It's kind of funny to see a room full of old white (mostly) guys with white hair, comb-overs, and dressed identically. The production is not that bad. And the ESPN like pundit desk between segments was hilarious - both in terms of it seeming like a football game halftime show, and some of the contents, digging at how bad catholic music is, etc.

November 11, 2006

Weekend Update

Kind of a relaxing weekend, without too much angst or activity.

Last night, MYA and I went to dinner (Friendly's) and a movie (Marie Antoinette, her choice). Nothing major, except its the first time in a long time I have been to a suburban theater on a weekend - the jaded suburban teens were a bit thick. I came out of the bathroom stall to a bathroom filled with 15 or so teens, just hanging out and policing the bathroom (you could almost hear the buzz of social critique). Sheesh. As a queerish woman, you bet your ass I feel safer in Hartford than in the burbs.....it's been a long time since I have felt on edge about being in a bathroom The movie was OK - not exactly my preference but it had its moments.

This morning, balloon chasing from southern Southington to Farmington in a less common southern wind. Breakfast afterwards, then home. We spent most of the day cleaning up outdoors (raking, cutting back plants) as well as doing some laundry. Tonight we did dinner with Buck, Mediza in West Hartford (quite lovely).

Tomorrow - morning yoga and heading up to NoHo with Zippy for a support group.

November 10, 2006

Pinball

Bouncing from one thing to another. This morning, some work and then an adventure in errands.

A hair appointment, long overdue. My longtime stylist Raymond is moving from Hair Plus in Rocky Hill to a new shop, The Hair Factory, also in Rocky Hill. The new shop will be right across the street from Jazzercise. Huzzah.

Dry cleaners to pick up some business wear freshly cleaned for the RSNA show. Personal bank to deposit some checks. Stor-U-Self to pick up some boxes of documents for a group I was on the board of (need to organize these and transfer ownership). Also ended up paying for my 2007 rent for Stor-U-Self.

Finally, the post office (mail some packages) and the Whole Donut (a cup o' decaf) and now back to work.

Zoom zoom.

November 09, 2006

The Fish Necklace

Somewhere along the line, I decided I wanted something to wear around my neck. I envisioned a small silver abstract fish or flame. It would symbolize the work I did at the Intensive - what I came to know, what I came to believe in my heart. But I did a bunch of web surfing over the past few days and did not really find anything close. Lots of christian fish (not) and lots of zodiacal fish (appropo for a Pisces, but also not).

Tonight, Zippy and I went over to Songbirds on the Berlin Turnpike. We ostensibly went looking for matching silver rings - we had picked some up at the folk fest but they were not sterling, and gave me a rash. We found some nice ones - so now we have partner rings. Not really married or civil unionized or anything, but its nice.

But I also found my pendant. It's a bit larger than I envisioned. It is an abstract form that could go either fish or flame or both. And, most interestingly, it is a jigsaw-like piece, with what I think are quartz pieces that fit into a silver framework to make the larger shape. Perfectly getting to the nature of my awakening, my personal, and very human scaled framework upon which I hang my best approximation of the unknowable and the infinite.