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.

Eighteen Awarenesses About Food

Even though I was NOT really working with food issues during the Intensive, there was a remarkable parallel track to it all related to my mindfulness eating stuff and food in general. I actually sat down and took the time to write out some thoughts and was surprised to find quite the list of observations, awarenesses, or issues that poked above the surface over the weekend.

1) Loss of control. We had few if any choices. Eating times were fixed. Choices were limited or nonexistent. Portions were controlled.

2) We had an official tea time, snack time, and nap time. It felt very safe and protected - like kindergarten for adults.

3) Taste satiety was an issue. The cook was skilled but was not so familiar with veggie / vegan fare, so did not have the repetoire nor the spice rack to make the food enticing. High quality food, just not so flavorful at times.

4) Not sure if it was the Intensive hyper awareness or what, but the food was, at times, visually stunning. On at least one occasion I cried to see how beautiful (and bountiful) a plate of food was.

5) The quantity and quality of the food seemed to ramp up, with the first day meals and snacks being spartan, almost subsistence level, and at the end being bountiful - way too much. (portions were controlled) I wondered if this was deliberate?

6) The eating was silent / contemplative. Wonderful experience.

7) No caffeine! (I ramped down over the two weeks leading up to the Intensive)

8) Coffee deadens the taste buds. Though I am back on Decaf (having a cup right now in fact), I am aware of the trade off of taste sensation vs. the comfort of a cup of coffee.

9) At one point I became aware of suddenly starting to eat mindlessly while being aware of some tension in the facilitor ranks. A really wonderful awareness - linking tension, stress, anger, family of origin stuff to my eating issues.

10) Switching over to vegan food, my stomache was howling all weekend.

11) I had to deal with fullness awareness, by the end of the weekend the plates were so full I had to stop. Much easier to be aware of fullness in a contemplative environment (no distractions, eating slowly and thoughfully)

12) I had to throw away food (see items 5 and 11) - which was really difficult. I found myself apologising to the food, thanking it even as I threw it away.

13) There were small choices - usually breakfast (fruit or hot cereal) and snack (fruit or something crunchy) and those choices became precious.

14) We did not have to prepare the food nor worry about cleanup. A blessing, left us free to do the work. Also made me realize the "pull" of fast / easy food.

15) There was "celebration eating" with apple crisp and ice cream on Sunday night, and a traditional breakfast buffet for Monday brunch. Delightfully, I ate reasonable, maybe even small, portions, without even trying.

16) In my re-entry, one of the first things I did was remove my laptop from the dining space, and clean off the mail / ephemera / junk from the table. Thats a place for eating, for contemplation, for bonding with my partner.

17) My first night back I cooked a special dinner (along with cleaning / nesting) - was very aware of the process of cooking, the love through preparation.

18) Of course, I did do a little bit of intending towards my gut over the weekend, and themes of emptiness and hunger were omnipresent. But really, most of my stuff was not directly linked to food / eating.

Wait. Actually, my image of enlightenment was of the divine (envisioned as a large fish) eating me. Whoa. ::clonk:: this is the sound of a zen whacking stick bonking be right between the eyes.

And in the news.....

Flamingo Production Comes To A Halt At Massachusetts Firm - because there is never enough kitsch in the world, and

China issues 'one dog' policy in Beijing - does this mean we will see a rash of dogless lesbian couples adopting puppies from China? (don't look at us, we are already two dogs over limit)
Dog owners also were forbidden from taking their dogs to public places like markets, shops, parks, exhibition halls, community gym zones, amusement parks, railway waiting rooms and sightseeing areas, Xinhua said.

What about yoga studios? Heh.

November 08, 2006

Getting back to life

It's been a few topsy turvy days as I settled back into the world following the Intensive. A quick recap will get us all caught up.

Monday, I got back around 1:30, pretty much flying. I spent most of the afternoon "nesting" - cleaning, tweaking, cooking dinner for Zippy and I. It just felt like I wanted to make my life, my space, more sacred and more cared for. Zippy came home and after some tension (related to my being incommunicado for four days, the length of the intensive, and the "you are moving forward, I am stuck" stuff) we talked. Things are much better. The glow was definitely still there.

Tuesday took me to vote, then into work for a while. I alse ended up doing a huge car cleaning - my trunk had started to look like a junk drawer. All cleaned. Then off to Bristol to pick up MYA, mom, and baby bro, and up to Boston. That took all day but was a pretty smooth trip all in all. We stopped once each way - sturbridge rest area for lunch, and dunkin donuts en route home for coffee (decaf for me, I'm pretty much off caffeine!) When I got home, MP was here visiting, so we hung out and chatted for a while.

Today, more work. Then a session with my mindfulness eating facilitator - even though it was not at all about food, I ended up with about 18 food awarenesses or observations that I wanted to share with her - to integrate that work with the intensive work, and split out the food / eating stuff from the other work. Good session. Home for lunch, back to work, off to zap, back to work, then home. We went to Zippy's monthly support space tonight - which amusingly got into "mindfulness" as the facilitator (a psych doc) apparently is a proponent / fan.

Tomorrow, hopefully, life resumes with the regular amount of work. I need to get two reports out, get a couple of overdue invoices out (from the first of the month, woefully late) and start on some long term projects. Yoga too - it's been a week since my last formal practice although I practiced once up at the Intensive.

Kind of interesting to witness the post Intensive glow as it fades and integrates. I am trying hard to plant anchors and touchstones. I emailed the Intensive facilitator with my "first days back" experience. I emailed a few participants I especially want to connect to. I am writing things down, talking about things, trying to plant seeds and make small changes that will endure.

Thank-you Ned Lamont

Ned Lamont, you lost the battle. But I think you won the war.

You stood up against the war when too many people were afraid to. And other, less courageous politicos realized they could as well. Even Senator Lieberman began to hedge his support for the war at the barrage of your campaign. I woul dlike to hope that he has learned something from this campaign. I would like to think he has paid a price for his hubris and ambition, in terms of loss of his party, loss of his reputation, loss of standing. You were the innocent child calling out "The Emporer has no clothes"

I have small, very small hopes that Senator Lieberman will come back humbler and softened. I have expectations that he will cling tighter to his Republican friends. And I am curious to see how and if some of Colin McEnroe's speculation about "what next" play out.

Mr, Lamont, your campaign energized a democratic and independent base that brought voters to the polling places in record numbers, helping to sweep out Nancy Johnson, and maybe others in CT. I have no doubt that hadyou not run the campaign you did, that we would have a status quo congressional deligation. Not anymore.

Your campaign made national waves as you took on an established democratic centrist, an incredibly quixotic fight, and won the primary. Other democrats found their spines, critics of the national policy in the middle east found their voices and their way to the polling places.

Ned Lamont, you rock. Sleep well, soldier. You kicked ass. Go back to your business, your family, your life. I am honored to have tossed in some bucks, churned up some energy, held up some signs, did some phone banking. I will keep your name on my bumper for a while - as a reminder. Senator Lieberman needs to see your name every day of his term - to remind him. To humble him.

THANK YOU, NED LAMONT!

November 07, 2006

Lamont Lost

Bummer. Hope Sen Lieberman has had enough of the piss scared out of him to get back to his roots. Not too optimistic, but hope springs eternal.

And another opinion......

You seem to like to hide in the bushes, but you're not afraid of jumping out and getting down to business when its time.

November 06, 2006

I'm Keeping You

Sayeth a new friend as we hugged our farewell this morning and promised to stay conencted. So warm and mischievous and wise. I feel like a puppy.

Back...sort of

Wow. Just saying. Not sure you will notice it here, but damn. Hard to explain.....

Heading up to Boston tomorrow, with MYA. So not a lot of blogging, and I am not going to blog about the Intensive other to say that I survived, I am back, and the world is very different. Once I get my feet back on the ground I will be posting a bit more.

Oh, election day tomorrow. Don't forget to vote....

November 02, 2006

Off the Air

WJMR will be off the air for transmitter maintenance from 5:00 pm on Thursday until 7:00 am on Monday. No email, no cell phone, no blogging....

See ya next week!