Category Archives: Blog

Musings, momentary insights and sometimes mundane details of life as a 50 something single female at the beginning of the 21st Century.

Invisible Friends

I just checked my guest stats and it seems my invisible friend from childhood is back and visiting quite regularly. I do love invisible friends, some I can see while no one else does and the ones I can’t see. Welcome invisible friends. If you read my blog yesterday you know I am partial to invisibility.

I am not a stranger to online blogs as I have been cyber soliloquizing since the Bulletin Board systems of the 1980’s (the last decade I was cutting edge) but am relatively new to Live Journal. I actually made this blog on Live Journal because of the plethora of Nanowrimo participant connections available AND the fact I do not already have a Live Journal persona. Bonus fact was discovering that authors I admire also have Live Journals where I can read bits of their lives and inspiration on a daily or almost daily basis. I did not realize that I could look and see who had visited my page until this morning as I scrolled through the top key options, I saw "guest stats" and the old Ego jumped up crying "is anybody listening?" and clicked the button . This is when I realized my invisible friends are back.

The first thing I learned though as I scrolled through my options, is that for a mere 20$ a year I can rid myself of the advertising and optimize my journal experience. Since I am someone who once supported herself through more intangible creative efforts than my current gig as a nurse, I like to support those whose genius make my life better, I will therefore willingly pay the $20, and yes ridding my morning of advertising loading then clearing is definitely a bonus motivation. I also learned that I have invisible friends.

I on the other hand feel no need to sneak here so “ Yes” Live Journal creators and maintainers and bloggers I will be your visible friend and you can bank on that as well. Paying for the privilege of using someone else’s ideas brings me to another musing as I here my Inner Budgeter way the time spent earning against the privileges of paying, "but you can still use it for free.." I ignore and pay.

I am constantly amazed at the creators, writers and artists out there who will in almost the same sentence tell me how they wish they could really support themselves (get rich) through their artistic, design or verbal efforts and then tell me how they got someone else’s efforts free. I smile and listen because I am trying to do that more. [This entire decade has been about letting go of my ego driven attachment to judge the world or make everything about me and my opinion of things, a challenge for someone whose youthful gifts of concise sharp penned criticism (bloodying the egos and professional reputations of other creative types) were rewarded with lots of accolades and attention and financial remuneration.] See, this last interjection is just proof of how far I have to go in my struggle to allow Authentic Self to master ego, as I once again make it about me.

Bleh! I almost erased that last line but will not as really the personal rules of preparing for Nanowrimo deny that possibility and it is an ironic twist that makes me smile, my squirmy, uncomfortable smile but still a smile. Now back to the blog I mean to write….

I read authors’ blogs because I also like free stuff, but I like free stuff that is offered for free. I grew up believing that taking something for free, that someone is charging for, is called stealing. I do not believe in stealing. Reading authors blogs is meant to be free stuff so I like reading them for the same reason I like samples while grocery shopping. I also read authors blogs because I am a too avid reader and no human being can create books fast enough to feed my appetite for their work. Blogs give me snacks of my favorite living authors words and ideas between the book meals appearing. (New Gourmet Meal "The Dragon’s Apprentice" is sitting on the table right now waiting for me as my reward tonight for updating my resume and putting in an application.) Finally, I read their blogs because it gives me a chance to feel, however misleading the feeling really is, that I know them a little in this the real world not just in the world and characters they created.

I like the sense of connection between me and someone I admire. Author blogs stream into my everyday life like some cyber ley line; their blogs bring their light and magic into my home with just a few clicks of a button. Some blogs I read are of less famous but equally talented people, life a particular australian poet who if she wants you to find her can be found in my blog comments frequently, she is not invisible. I read them for the same reason I read famous authors. Also I like the safety of internet “connections” as well as its ability to fit anywhere in my over scheduled life. I do not like its cultural counterpart “loss of privacy”.

I am unclear what the national obsession is about, this voyeuristic knowing as intimates people we have never and may never meet while ignoring the people in the same room; think reality TV, blogs, gossip magazines, paparazzi, etc. While I am not immune to its siren call, I do not understand it anymore than I understand cheeseburger addiction. However, fast food friendship is not what I mean about wanting to know them a little. I read my favorite living writer’s blogs (for example James Owen: http://coppervale.livejournal.com; John Scalzi at http://whatever.scalzi.com/) for the same reason I more than occasionally buy cut flowers for my home (the cheap ones from Trader Joe’s are the longest lasting and most beautiful), not because I think this makes me a gardener but because I want raise my light quotient I carry forward and take through my door in my smile and thoughts some of the beauty and light they bring to my world on a daily basis.

Hour finished. Time is up and I still need to ramp up a bit. I only managed 886 words and my goal is 1000/hour. I hope my invisible friends you enjoyed today’s installment . And I am off to apply for jobs! Have one already but am moving the end of this month and need a second one to get the ends to meet. ….

Being “Meme”ingful with Alien inspirations

This Meme is borrowed from the blog of Gini Koch (http://ginikoch.blogspot.com/) an author whose work I stalked in her too few pseudonymic incarnations. Recently I got to share a bit of whole grain bread, organic peanut butter and ginger marmalade with her as well as talk about her novel "Touched By An Alien".  I like all kinds of reading material just like I love all kinds of food. Her Kat books, if they were a food, would be Krispy Kreme Donuts. So since the writer’s block prompts sent me off in directions of which I intend to keep this blog clear, I will meme instead.

 1. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Why?
My choice has varied between flying and invisibility, although both are super powers that seem to less useful if they aren’t coupled with hours at the gym buffing up for the punch or years at college to make sense of the overheard and over"seen" info. Today I pick invisibility as favorite

2. Who is your style icon?
Easy peasy, except not so much….which style? Fashion? Philosophy? Lifestyle? I would say my style icon is Victor Frankl as played by Doris Day in a tribute to Katherine Hepburn about Kuan Yin.

3. What is your favorite quote?
Today it is "How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. "
George Washington Carver

4. What is the best compliment you’ve ever received?
I have a box of awards, published articles and even programs from conventions where I was a "noted speaker"  that speak my attributes with erudition but whose memories are faded and grey if not intangible.  On top of that  is a 10 year old picture of me with one of my  sons from a  day when I heard . "That’s  MY mom", spoken with pride by my teen-ager when he thought I couldn’t hear and I can still smell gamer socks, cheesy puffs and mountain dew with a huge warm smile. 

5. What playlist/CD is in your CD Player/iPod right now?
Its a self-made list called "Jason, no Argonauts" that begins with U2’s "If I Don’t Crazy….", moves to some Jack Johnson with "Breakdown" then I  Concretely "Dance Along the Edge" and eclectically meander on through other semi-pop and rock music of the last two (3?)decades including some Ego Likeness, Queensryche, and Dreamtheater. This playlist is one of the three I made last year for Nanowrimo. Just before that I was listening to Stings amazing John Dowland CD.

6. Are you a night owl or a morning person?
I am a crow so what do you think? Corvids are up at dawn and asleep by sunset .

7. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
I am happiest when the proud Mother of both but always have a dog, cats come and go.

8. What is the meaning behind your blog name?
The name I want to legally change to as a final means of escaping into my super power of invisibility, and Ok, its my magic pirate name and if a black feather is found in your soup when I am around, I know nothing…

And the importance of this meme  to my preparations is that now all my Nanowrimo 2010 characters will be answering this as well as the Faire Character interview on the days leading up to November 1.

And now I am supposed to tag three people….but I don’t think I even have three readers here.LOL. See it IS my superpower already!  Nanowrimoers, friends, and invisible readers chomping at the bit go for it…..

Having nothing to say is not saying nothing

 If having nothing to say was the same as saying nothing then political spots would be fewer and shorter, and half the Tempe public library (both fiction and nonfiction) would disappear so having nothing to say can never be an excuse not to sit and write my 1000 words. That is my next goal, Not just to awaken at the ungodly hour of morning and open the laptop with a loose connection (subject of a whole other blog someday) and begin typing but to actually complete a minimum of 1000 words a day.

During Nanowrimo the goal on non working days will up to 3000, this lets me complete the gazillion word novel in the 30 days. OK, not really a gazillion but I don’t remember exactly what the number of words is and stopping right now to go to the page and look it up would be one of those distractions that I am observing and not indulging at the moment.  In the interest of knowing the number of words I am actually writing I may start composing in Word. Not to say there isn’t a way to count my words in LiveJournal itself but once again, looking that up right now would again be a distraction from writing.

On paragraph three, not bad for having nothing to say. Or at least that is what my brain said when I rolled over, looked at the clock and saw it was 3:48 AM and knew sleep would only come again if I got up and increased my water intake, while also beginning my output totals for the day. My brain immediately suggested that I reset my alarm from 4 AM to 430 AM, walk without turning on lights to kitchen, then bathroom and grab another 30 minutes of sleep. I could always write tomorrow it whispered. I would just turn on my Meditation Podcast and pretend I was getting in some subliminal meditation time.  When my Authentic self replied that I had made a commitment to myself to write every morning and discipline was the important principle here, Ego retorted that I (we) had absolutely nothing to say and no one was reading it anyway. Which Authentic self just sighed at and put my feet on the floor.

It is true. I really have nothing to say and my readers are just almost as few as if I were writing in my paper journal but that is and is not the point. This journal is about discipline and about my continued work on separating myself from my enslavement to ego. If I wanted to be read I have other venues. As to having something to say,  I am committed to listening and understanding first. I have been talking or writing my whole life, trying to be understood and equally trying to subvert truly being understood and then defining my worth or lack thereof through others acceptance, inclusion, admiration and inevitable betrayal/departure, and then filling the holes in my soul with habitual consumption.

I am in short an American Human who is now out of time way before rambling around to any brilliance or point. Except the point this morning was to get up and write. Which I have done. My thirty minutes "about me" cause now I shower, don the scrubs and head back to another 15 hour day where it is not at all about me, if I am doing it right that is. 

Counting down to Nanowrimo and pebbles in a pond.

 I did it. I am writing at 5:15 AM for 15 minutes before running off to my 15 hour patient day. I was kind of slow moving this morning because of having to lift a 115 pound patient yesterday as well as lots of bending and suctioning, and gloriously it is raining this morning. However that was of benefit as well. No long walk this morning, LOL. My decade+ old dog refuses to do anything more than pee and bolt back for the door when its is raining or over 100 degrees.  So here is one to the discipline I need to complete nanowrimo again. Then comes the rewrites on all three books since the last three years have been a trilogy of sorts, not linear but more like a triangle placed in of course that moment when the world is about to end.

Now to pebbles in a pond. I am still to wrapped up in the actual magic of the whole event to write well about it. I am holding it close to my chest like my ongoing faith in Santa Claus, just enjoying the joy of it. I was anything but happy that I had been called to go to this patients house. He is really too big for me to handle safely and so when he contracts and coughs it takes all the strength and dexterity I have to suction his trach clean again. However, I believe nothing ever happens by chance and this was true here as well. This patients life is small, filled with love but due to medical constraints and developmental disabilities limited in scope. I grabbed James Owens "Here There be Dragons" and threw it into my nurse bag yesterday because when I go to this patient,  I usually turn off the TV and read aloud (honestly I do this everywhere I can get away with it because books trump TV in my world). Where usually this patient falls asleep within 10 minutes of me beginning to read, yesterday he was entranced. Every time I would stop reading to do care, whether feeding, suctioning, etc, he would begin emphatically shaking his head no until I began reading again. When I would read he would just lay there and listen and smile. Now I know it wasn’t my reading cause i have read him Twain, Stevenson and Lewis; it was the story and the way it was being told.

Unfortunately, I had to leave at the end of my ten hour shift with John and Jack and Charles and Artus and their company in the greatest of peril. So I decided to use my Borders giftcard to get him the book on CD and drop it off  later this week. And I was very reassured to know that it was no happenstance that I was the nurse yesterday but had through Owen’s talents made a real difference in his happy quotient.

Then to make the story even more magical, I had sent a letter of thanks to James Owen last night telling him how lovely it was to share his transportive magic with my patient, he wrote me back that he is sending the CD’s for me to deliver. I cried a little, then almost said no since it was not at all why I wrote. But maybe he is also feeling some of the heart swelling joy of making someone truly happy and it is n’t my right to be selfish so I sent him my address, because yesterday was physically hard, skill challenging, and yet a fabulously spiritually fulfilling day.

Life is magic and life is good and yes, there is a Santa Claus and he lives in every one of us.

Now off to work.

Homemade espresso and vegetable soup

This is not so much a title of this blog as what I am having for breakfast this morning before heading off to work. It is harder to fit in writing on a work day, although today is not so bad because I do not need to be at my patient’s house until 10AM. Tomorrow, however, the day starts at 6AM at the patients house. I may do the old yellow tablet at her house during a nap and then just transcribe at home, or if I am disciplined enough I will get up earlier and write a brief blog, which may or may not be lucid, before leaving for work.

Fits and starts towards running again, walked a quarter mile this morning and managed to breathe in a small flying insect while increasing my pace. Still incredibly grossed out by eating a bug, and not just cause I am a mostly vegetarian! The air was finally crisp and cool enough to make me want to break into a run, I refrained. The patient today is a pediatric patient in designation only and saving up my energy to keep him clean and dry. I adore his family and the patient but keep asking my agency to NOT assign me there because he is toooooooo big for me to do alone safely. However, they just care about filling slots and know I need the hours and if I say no they won’t give me anyone else. I may be job hunting again as soon as I am settled in my new home unless they are able to fill my hours again with patients for whom I feel comfortable caring.

So absolutely nothing meaningful or even enlightening in this blog; just random life being regurgitated onto the page but then that is the point, writing. Writing daily is like meditating daily, the habit is an important part of occasionally achieving the goal. Habits are created by repitition, habituation then allows my Ego to get out of the way and let my Authentic voice slip through onto the page.

In creating new habits, I follow the laws of physics. Getting up the initial thrust of effort to change behavior takes something BIG, like a crisis, unbearable pain or Nanowrimo. Then however once in motion the beginning is easy.  But days or weeks into the new behavior my motion begins to peter out, I find excuses to not do it, do something else, and slowly the object is again at rest.

Maybe I will try defying gravity this time……(hee hee, listening to Wicked) . Today I did OK so far. I started with my gratitude list, the dog and I went out for exercise, am eating a healthy breakfast and did my writing all before heading off to work.

…and now off to get ready to live my childhood dream of being a nurse yet again. Life today is good.

A musing morning meanderings without a point but itself

 ‎"..a lonely ghost uttering a truth that nobody would ever hear. But so long as he uttered it, in some obscure the continuity was not broken. It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage." 1984 by George Orwell

Getting ready for Nanowrimo by writing daily again.  Seems everywhere I turn these days there are reminders of that past life, where I wrote and sold and performed for my bread and butter instead of my current occupation as nurse. Requests to read what I wrote keep confronting me and my desire to still maintain that wall of protection between what was and what is remains still too strong to accommodate. Luckily most of my published work was the throw away kind and published before computer technology made everything written or spoken immutable in form and at the whim of any editing punk for function. Yet it is ironically comforting that I do still exist as a writer on the internet. 

I entered the "New Era" writing contest while living with my foster parents the Urbanawiz’s (people who will ever be my example of what is good about Mormons) and my winning gave them the rights forever to my poems. They re-appeared again a decade later and hence their being readable on the internet. Two of my book reviews reveal more of my prosaic style under JM DeBiasi in archived Alibi issues. It used to be that this far right spiritual publication and this intellectual voice were properly triangulated by a third archived Gay travel article written in my perky, Girrl on the Go voice, but it has fallen off the cyber map now due to increasing age.

A poem written two years ago about a time when I was much clearer about my truth. And now Hilary Hahn, "my timer" is done so I will make breakfast and leave you with this tribute to one of many times I learned the size of the ocean of human misery.

Passive Resistance

We strummed acoustic guitars and sang in groups
Of missing flowers, blowing winds
As they approached with billy clubs and shields
Hurling insults and orders.
We met each others eyes and held ourselves in check with our chain of stares

The biting smoke they unleashed made even my airy soprano
a bit more Janis Joplin.
Our eyes streamed tears and nose dangled mucous tributes to
American justice
And voices quavery with chemical fear
Rose again in growing tides and waves
Unison, "Give Peace a Chance."

Until the boys in blue
roused the angry soldier in one of us
and he became at last what he had yet refused to be
And he rose up into contact with the billy club and shouted something back
and
that’s when the screaming started
and the bruises and the blood and the blame poured out
in American portions, service for one
but plenty for all to share.

I sat unmoving still keeping our three sets of eyes locked
Quietly caging our animal need to run, respond, fight back.
I had three stitches in my chin and two butterflies and my first bald patch on my head
You an armcast, and she with nothing broken
was witch green with healing bruises and a Jimmy Durante nose.
We were the lucky ones
Who knew peace could hurt so much.

Five days later we buried the one who fought, the one who fled
Ourselves quite alive, only our belief in justice was dead.

Read more: http://www.myspace.com/cassandracrow/blog#ixzz12XiORFhT

Drink in the possibilities….

Thirsting for knowledge
thirsting for inspiration
thirsting for love…… intense needs are often expressed as a thirst. Even the sound of the word in my mouth makes me reach for my Brita pitcher and a glass.

Thirst is such a powerful metaphors because our bodies need water more than food. Humans are 70% water. This is not really news to anyone living in the civilized dessert metropolis of Phoenix. Dehydration is a common cause of our daytime fatigue. With triple digit autumn temps this year, our cells are promoting the cause of clean water. And if our bodies messages are not enough, all the competing voices trying to sell their bottle or filtration device as THE one best answer for combating thirst remind us that we need water, clean water, and we want water that tastes good and is free of bacteria and poisons. All these billboards and television commercials and popup ads need also be a reminder that we are the lucky ones. More children, millions of them, die every day from lack of clean water than from disease or accidents combined.

As an American citizen clean water has been mistaken by me at times as a given, or a right. I am not alone in that mistake. Our marriage to resources abundance has made us complacent as a society and clean water has become the spouse we take for granted instead of cherish and protect. 

The official sites offer a plethora of political, donation and just do it opportunities. If you are interested in joining the Blue revolution just Google and begin, and in the meantime I offer up the five things I am doing in my daily life to help.

I turn off the shower while I soap and condition.
I water my plants with the used water in the dog dish and bottoms of portable water bottles.
I use a filtered pitcher and reusable glass containers for cold portable water (used to be POM and now its the Monkey drinks)
I only do full loads of laundry
I pick up my trash, minimize my driving and buy organic.

What are you doing to keep the rivers running clean and protect our most important resource?

Change.org|Start Petition

Why read blogs….

 I haven’t ever really needed a reason to read since I first realized letters formed together in order were a tool of communication. I have always read whatever I could get my hands on, from milk cartons to newspapers to road signs to mountains of books. As a child I actually got so bored with seeing the same street signs I began phonetically reading them backwards. So my initial reason to read a blog is because it exists and has words on it.

As I have aged and the block of time expended has amassed a size exceeding the block of time stretching before, I have become more selective. There are actual books I have started that I have left unfinished, words I have skimmed over or ignored as unnecessary. Words now need to inform, entertain or inspire to warrant my investment of time. Blogs make all three available to me: second reason to read a blog is the information contained therein and the entertainment value of how it is presented.

Finally, I am hungry for real human connection. Overscheduled, rarely alone, and gifted with an abundance of people I call friends, my life is still empty of much intimacy. I itch for the touch of one mind or soul sharing energy.  Reading Blogs simulates that intimacy, sometimes even stimulates it.  Blog reading is to intimacy in cyberspace what sexual attraction is to real time interaction.  In the right amounts and chosen wisely, blog reading (and writing) can instigate real relationships with the author’s ideas, but reading blogs can also just be a way to scratch the itchy edges of loneliness without  ever filling or healing the wounds. 

So to sum it all up, sometimes I read blogs for the pleasurable experience of reading, sometimes for cheap entertainment, sometimes to make and find connections with others, to find new ideas and understand the real stories of other lives; and sometimes, sometimes I read blogs just as an addictive escape from having to re-organize my life into a shape that accommodates real time friendship development.

Why do you read Blogs?

The real me….

 So I have a dozen filled or partially filled blank books, a half dozen other Blogs, although two are linked to social networks so don’t really count as Blogs, so why start another one? Excellent question, other self, let see if I, the authentic self can answer that for you. 

Why do we blog at all? Why do we journal? Is it because we are all so busy "communicating" with the plethora of instant electronic devices that we can no longer hear ourselves or anyone else and therefore find a Blog the only way to speak out truths? Is it a need to speak or a need to be heard. If it is the latter then Blogs are not the right approach. As of right now, we (the Ego, the Observer and the Authentic Self) are out only readers.

If it is the former, then maybe the answer to the question is similar to the answer to "why do we need mirrors?" I Blog to see myself from the outside, as others see me, and then adjust the necklines and comb the hair to bring that written image closer to the one inside my head.

So OK, I blog to produce a verbal mirror of my Ego so that Observer can adjust it to more closely overlay with Authentic Self, so why a new Blog.
I guess because the other blogs, like so many of my rediscovered half done knitting projects, lurk here in my cyber attic missing pattern and with clearly dropped stitches. It is easier in anything to start over than recover and repair a past whose threads are tangled and original inspiration lost.

And so I begin…