Give the Bitch a Gift!

Anxiety attacks that wake me up in the night. I was wondering why, and see from my journals that it must have to do with the time of year.

This past week I’ve awakened gasping for breath. don’t remember the dreams, but did remember one. It was the old repeat: going to a class where I was going to take a test, and being totally unprepared.

Last year, same time frame.

i got on the bike and took off to get home on my bike, out of the park down the steps and onto a very dark bike path. realizing it was a long way home. and dark, and then i got a flat tire. i stopped by a house, and the good news is that i recognized the boy who lived there, realized i did not have my phone or the keys, and that if i called dad or nic from the boy’s house phone, i didn’t remember their numbers. of course i could ask for a ride home, i realized when i woke up, but i didn’t have the keys.

Realizing that the anxiety must be about the deadlines for the extra work i get during the holidays… certainly a good thing to have the work, but it comes with the pressure.

For interesting, outside of me news, I read about terry gross (NYT) and what she does to prepare for an interview. It’s worth remembering, I think…

“She clarifies her thoughts first thing in the morning in the shower. That’s when she asks herself: What do I care about? What in all of this research is meaningful? It’s important to be away from her notes when she does this. She emerges from the shower with her ‘‘major destination points.’’ Then she goes to her office and refers back to her notes — sheafs of facts; dog-eared, marked-up books — for the details. Then she does the interview.”

and this is such a cool statement about how it feels to be interviewed by her:

‘‘Having the conversation’’ — that’s what’s compelling about the wish. It’s a wish not for recognition but for an experience. It’s a wish for Gross to locate your genius, even if that genius has not yet been expressed. It’s a wish to be seen as in a wish to be understood.”

calling all glass walkers and wine drinkers

ok, i should be doing other things, but a facebook friend got me going, here.

See this link about walking on glass

Isn’t that the best? especially the question and answer format…

and I like the family portrait of the glass walkers.

I also like the fact that the meditation calls for 40 champagne and wine bottles.

and how about the question, “is it ok to walk on the glass alone?”

also, although the glass is for walking, wear protective gloves and glasses while preparing your glassy bed, and have your spiritual teacher bless it before you use it. always a good idea….

Don’t forget to get a nice pedicure and pick out a good color polish.

sense of adventure

i was looking up what this means and came up with this. NPR’s Krulwich wonders.

or maybe it will come up. I’ll put it here in case.

I also learned that people do their sense of adventure thing on trips, which kind of surprised me — that people pay for it. but then again, I’ll have to think about that.

THen I came across victor milian, who has an adventure blog. he’s calls himself a modern day swordsman, sorcerer and adventure outfitter for the mind. He also battles depression, it seems (Being that my adventures are inner journeys, I can understand that)

Some other thoughts — on my weekly 80 -minute drive to Vero, I thought about analogies. That kept me going the whole trip. I’m going to try to come up with some (about something). That’s clear, right?

But back to risk taking: there’s an article i came across, a study by Bianca C. Wittmann, Nathaniel D. Daw, Ben Seymour, and Raymond J. Dolan. Striatal Activity Underlies Novelty-Based Choice in Humans. Neuron, Vol 58, 967-973, 26 June 2008 [link]

What they did was give volunteers a chance to pick cards with images that each had a unique reward attached to it. Mixed in were unfamiliar images. These volunteers were hooked up to fMRI scanners, and when they picked the unfamiliar card, an area of the brain, the ventral striatum, lit up.

These scientists have identified an area of the brain that encourages us to be adventurous. ok, now for an anology. Wittmann said that seeking unfamiliar experiences is a fundamental behavioral tendency.

“It makes sense to try new options as they may prove advantageous in the long run. For example, a monkey who chooses to deviate from its diet of bananas, even if this involves moving to an unfamiliar part of the forest and eating a new type of food, may find its diet enriched and more nutritious.”

The ventral striatum is an area that processes rewards, and when we do something beneficial, dopamine is released (Now that explains it).

There is a downside, of course.

“In humans, increased novelty-seeking may play a role in gambling and drug addiction, both of which are mediated by malfunctions in dopamine release,” said Professor Nathaniel Daw.

Looking for a definition, i also came across articles on being a lumber jack, hiking, opera,  fly fishing and skiing. Getting off your butt seems to be another definition. So there you have it.

orange moon

I was driving back from Vero, and knew I couldn’t catch up to my friends who went to watch the moon rise over the ocean. Had to be satisfied with what I saw off of I95.

So, here she is. My rendition. And it doesn’t do her justice. A succulent orange, she appeared good enough to eat… and a nice big portion, too.

Thanks Diane Duffy

The Washington Post’s Mensa Invitational once again invited readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are the winners:

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2 Ignoranus : A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxicaton : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone ( n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future

6. Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid..

7. Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high

8. Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.

9. Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Osteopornosis : A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

11. Karmageddon : It’s like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.

12. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

13. Glibido : All talk and no action.

14. Dopeler Effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

15. Arachnoleptic Fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a  spider web.

16. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

17. Caterpallor ( n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you’re eating.

The Washington Post has also published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.
And the winners are:
1. Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

3. Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

6. Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

7. Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent, n. An opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men

I am a sailboat!

Every so often, I feel wonderful. Very happy. Peacefully excited maybe a little bit in love.

What the heck is that?

Here are the kinds of situations where I begin to feel that way.

• When I’m finished work, and can take a minute to play.

• Right as I start to take my day off.

• Taking some time off to go shopping.

• Getting ready to jump into bed.

All in all — Relishing the moments that are mine and mine alone.

Hey. Is there some kind of pattern here?

I think I’ll take a whole day to do that. But when?

And then something happens, and I feel the rush. Not in a good way. It’s heavy and horrible. When the realization sets in that I have very hard work to do, and I better get at it.

What the heck is that? Who made it so very hard and horrible?

The other day, I had a realization. When I wake up in the morning and face another long period of work. I put on a huge smile (forced, I might add), and say, “This is fun!”

The weird thing is, it sort of works!

This is from a site about building a sailboat. Sounds like too much work, but I'm going to check it out! Click on the picture to go take a look... I was going to say, like any of us have the time... the thing is, I guess, all of us have to make the time. Let's start now!

Then the sailboat dream, followed by the message from Isabel.

“Quickly before I go…” working until midnight from 6am!  please  please be careful.  I know that you have been through hard times, and that there is a future out there that you would like to secure, but you also must not induce disease by overworking yourself.  You know that I am as close to being an atheist as it’s possible, but St. Augustine appears to have been a pretty wise guy, and the Augustinian Rule says 8 hours work, 8 hours leisure and meditation, 8 hours sleep.  Leisure time and of course, sleep are real necessities for the body’s immune system to keep our health, both physically and mentally.  I think all the wise people out there, Lamas and others would agree on this.”

And the sailboat dream. What lovely boats, all oiled wood, sleek — vessels that use the wind to move them, and engineered to make it so. Masters of leisure time – actually the ultimate symbol. Who, but the very rich, can own such a lovely thing?

Oh how I would love to be a sailboat!

When the wind dies down, the sailboat rests quietly. In a storm, with sails trimmed, it rides the waves. And these sailboats I envision, they are pleasure crafts. They can race, but more often, they just are out and about, traveling around (going on exotic, thought-out, amazing trips) and having a good old time.

What a life!

St. Augustine. Did he have a boat?

ps. visited the sailboat site. they have building a sailboat in about five or so easy steps! sounds like an afternoon’s work! so funny!

I love South Florida mornings

It will get sweltering, but early mornings are delightful. Here’s a peek into my back yard!

I am not a gardener, but, I don’t care! My back yard looks great to me. No grass to contend with — drip irrigation, so I don’t have to water, and even though some numskull planted the oak  tree under the power line, I can still have it pruned in such a way that it’s not a problem (yet). And another piece of good news — the mosquitoes don’t care about me anymore!

I think about my mother when I enjoy my back yard. Her’s was so perfect, manicured and prim, blooming and verdant. But I think she’d have liked my yard, too.

Let’s go to church

But let’s only go for a couple of minutes

Here’s the text that came with the video: It’s from Tim Sanders’ site, and he suggests taking a few minutes off every day to spend some time in a quiet place — a great idea — a gift to the soul. Sounded so good to me, I wanted to keep his video close to me, like on my site, so I could visit virtually.

Now, I’m going to get on my high horse, and do some art history. Thought I’d check my books first. Yes, I still have some! I knew my old Praeger book on Medieval Art had lost its cover (and some of its pages), so I thought it would be easy to find on my bookshelves. Pulled out Mary Poppins instead — That book is coverless, too!

But alas, Santa Maria del Mar isn’t in the Praeger book or Janson’s History of Art either, so here I go back to Wikipedia.

The cathedral, a Catalan Gothic in Barcelona, was built in the mid 1300s, although first mention of the church dates from 998. Churches take a long time to be built, it seems, especially taking into account that one of the towers was finished in 1902!

Exterior architecture is said to be severe, and belies the spacious interior, which gives the impression of being filled with light.

So, there you go.