Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holiday activities

My first time snowshoeing! Rented a pair of snowshoes and went with my family. It was lightly snowing so it was very pretty. The snow wasn't that deep, but I could definitely see how snowshoes help. It's been a long time since I hiked, so I was pretty sore by the end.

Other than that, it was a whole lot of very little, which is how life is supposed to be for the holidays. I have a hard time doing that at home, but it's a heck of lot easier at someone else's home. And did a lot of eating - way too much chocolate. And made turkey pot pies for my family, which they thoroughly enjoyed. I'll put the recipe up here next time around. Also read two great books: Jodi Picoult's Second Glance (great!) and Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez (very good). The Kabul story is good, but it's depressing to read about what some of these women must go through, and I also wondered about her two sons, since she never seemed to be home. Here's an article about the controversy related to the book.

I'm feeling a little boring at the moment - woke up this am with a migraine so had to go back to sleep for several hours after taking the drugs. Now just trying to get into the frame of mind of working. It's hard when not many other people are doing it!

Hope everyone is well.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Cats

I thought this photo appropriate for the holiday season. Relax. It's all good.

I'll be away until next Wednesday, so everyone enjoy yourselves until then. And be good. Unless you don't want to.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Failure *is* an option

So, got dumped from my consulting gig yesterday. It sucks, and I cried a lot, but to be quite honest, I'm relieved. I was always waiting for the ax to fall. And it did.

I can beat myself up for failing, and I have a little. But I can also start understanding what my limitations are, and still feel good about myself. I'm doing pretty well on the first part, and taking minute baby steps toward the second. There's this me that I would love to be, but it's not me. If that makes sense. I have to accept what's me and move forward that, finding challenges within that realm. Or at least a job within that realm! I have a networking meeting this morning, and have a least learned what I'm not good at and can emphasize what I'm good at, and find something appropriate to my skills. I still thank the heavens that I did not get that Executive Director position. I would have been in over my head. But then again, I tend to swim or at least tread water when I jump into something. Except in this latest instance. And maybe a few other times. Oh well.

That and other things that happened yesterday have left me feeling quite battered. But the new year is coming, and with it new opportunities. I gotta believe, and do to a certain extent.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Countdown to Christmas

Here's item #2 in the silly/tacky vein.

Friday, December 17, 2010

J-tree climbing adventures

I'll just tell a few tales of Joshua Tree climbing as I stare out the window at the rain...

So this is a climb I did on the last day that I really liked. It was challenging enough, ie not so challenging that I could crap in my pants. It had a lot of different styles of climbing in it. And it was really short, so we could do it in a short period of time and get out of there before the sun went down. (That's me at the top in the white.)

I'd prefer to do something like that than the slab climb my friend did:

This is a distance shot of M climbing. A beautiful route - I did not do it, but I will someday. Just a 5.4, but challenging.

At the end of one day my friends had gone to get a rope on Loose Lady. This is rated only 5.9, but boy is it heady. It's all bolted slab:

They happened upon someone just taking their rope down, so he pulled our rope up. We took turns climbing it as the sun went down and the wind picked up. It turned out I was the last to go. Talk about pressure as you know your belayer is stuck in the shade freezing his beehind off. And it's not an easy climb. Especially when the wind is howling. I was 2/3 of the way up and the sun went below the horizon. At the top, I was setting up my rappel with the wind whipping my hair around, freezing my beehind off, but going every so slowly to make sure I did not make a mistake. Apparently it was a nice sight, since I was photographed by strangers. I would have liked to see that photo.

OK, happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm rubber, you're glue

Ah, what you can find in Big Lots' gumball machine area. Rubber stretchy men! 25 cents each. And what fun you can have with them!

blurry stretchy men

men on bottles


Given they are acrobatic, we had to see what they'd do with the ceiling. Well, they stuck! And were still there when we left, many days later.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holiday Spirit

I was talking with M this morning, and I realized I've only had one tree in a very very long time. 10-15 years. M and I do not have one, alas, since we don't have our Christmas stuff here. But we do have a pointsetta and one string of lights. It's something!

To help get into the Christmas spirit, I sat down on a Sunday afternoon (yesterday) and watched Olive the Other Reindeer. I really do like that one. It's only the second time I've seen it, but it's great.

Finally, here's a funny Christmas comic. Ho ho ho.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Making friends

Last night I went to the climbing gym's event at which they encourage people to find new partners (you get raffle tickets for every new climber you climb with). I've been to one other and I believe I described it. M's out of town, so it was well timed. I climbed with a few interesting people and managed to avoid the one guy who wanted to climb with me but I saw that he took his hand off the rope when belaying and thus I did NOT want to climb with him (we use grigri's at the gym which have sort of an auto catching mechanism, but still, you have to stay safe in the event of failure). I came out of it with one contact, which is great. He seems like a nice guy, likes to climb outdoors, easy going, skis, has a girlfriend, etc. So one by one, finding climbing friends.

Saturday M and I are going to not one but two parties! A friend who we have not seen in a long time and have not seen since we moved here is moving to Washington in January, so we will see him just in time for him to move. But, we'll at least meet some other people and though it's not likely to go anywhere, it's still nice to feel like you know people.

Then we have another party. I don't think I told this story.

On Thanksgiving day our group went to a small area in Joshua Tree that has short climbs, many of which are in the sun. It was a semi-cold day and we needed it! Plus we didn't get out the door until 11:30, so we doubly needed it. We had a nice time at this one set of climbs - there were enough so that all of us could either lead, follow, or top rope something. Towards the end of sunlight, I noticed a guy talking to another group that had come in to do a 5.7 in amongst 'our' climbs. I thought he looked familiar but had no idea from where I might know him. (That's a problem when you've lived and been too many places!) Then I heard his first name and took a guess. So I went up to him and said, um, did you by any chance happen to go to xxx high school? He looked at me, squinted and smiled and said 'Pamela xxx'?

!!! It was a guy who was friends with my sister's friends and who also went to my college. I knew him but wasn't really friends with him. Turns out he's lived in the SF area for 20 years and has climbed for about as long. So, the SF climbing group is having a party at his house, and so we go! This has more potential for making longer term friends, and I'm excited.

Tis the season to party. I'm glad we have one or two to go to. Someday, we'll hold our own....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

For your viewing pleasure Wednesday

Station manager of Jersey City-based WFMU will fly in balloon-lifted lawn chair if donors contribute $180 K. "I weigh 180 pounds and we found out that it would take 180 balloons to lift me off the ground . So this just seemed like the obvious thing to do."

They have a $180k shortfall until the end of the year, so this is the stunt. One balloon for every $1,000 raised. It will be broadcast via webcam - 9:00 AM to 12:00 AM Eastern time.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Another book

I just finished reading a honkin' book. I read a long time ago Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone. And saw another of his in Goodwill so picked it up. Turns out I am following a theme of alcoholics, though in this book it's just one element. I almost gave up on this huge book several times, but I'm glad I worked my way through it. "The Hour I First Believed". It sort of traces the impact of violence in a family over time, most specifically in one that's related to Columbine. It was not as subtle a book as Blame, nor as good I thought, but still definitely worth reading if you can just go with the negative flow that is his life.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Stuffing and turkey

A very popular turkey stuffing recipe, and a few notes for cooking a turkey.

Turkey Stuffing

Mild sausage (in roll, 1 lb., breakfast sausage - Jimmy Dean is good)
8 oz. Pepperidge FarmTm Stuffing Mix [not the cubed one]
1 egg
1 c. diced celery
1 c. diced onions
1 c. water

Mix the Pepperidge Farm with the egg. Cook the sausage and add to this mixture, leaving the grease in the pan. Cook the celery and onions in the grease from the sausage. When done, take out with slotted spoon and add to the mixture. Pour out the grease. Add one cup of water to the pan used for the celery, etc. and heat it up to get the “good s**t” out (won't be needed if you used a nonstick pan). Pour that into the mixture and let sit. (More might be needed depending on how moist you like it.) Pack the turkey loosely.

Wash turkey and neck with cold water ‑ rinse inside cavities. Sprinkle bottom with salt and pepper to taste. Put into roasting pan breast side up with turkey neck. Stuff turkey: both cavities. Use leftover grease from completed stuffing, adding some margarine, and melt together in microwave. Pour over turkey, then salt and pepper top of bird, sprinkle minced onion over surface to taste.

Place into 450 deg. oven on time allotted for size of turkey. Approximately 30 minutes before due to be done open foil. Baste and brown in oven. Allow turkey to rest a little before serving.

[M believes in roasting breast side down. Seemed to work, though awkward to flip to brown the breast side.]

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Blame - a novel

I finished reading this book on vacation. It's written by Michelle Huneven. I had picked it up in Goodwill - my current source of reading material. It is the story of an alcoholic and her recovery. Simple one sentence summary, but it's very thoughtfully written and weaves perspectives in and out. My favorite chapter is the second to last one, and I can't say why until everyone's read it. It's an allegory/metaphor for her life in a day to day experience. (I should look up the difference between those two words - anyone want to save me the trouble?)

Anyway, this one is an adult novel that you would enjoy.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Story Tale

So, imagine if you will...

We had a very heavy comforter and so I took off my pajama bottoms to sleep. Me being me I threw them on the floor. One morning I got up and put on my bottoms, and felt something inside my left pant leg. It was kind of fuzzy, so my mind told my mind that it was a piece of fuzz. It couldn't be anything else, right? So I stuck my arm down my leg and grabbed it. When I grabbed it, I knew it wasn't fuzz.

I threw it out onto the floor, simultaneously jumping and screaming REALLY loudly. A fuzzy caterpillar. Ah, so harmless, so I laughed hysterically and kept flapping my pant legs with my arms. M came in to be sure I wasn't dead, picked up the caterpillar, and brought him outside, likely to fry in the desert.

And you know what, I care only just a little if it fried. Because this is what it did to my leg in its self defense:

You can see how long the caterpillar was. I still have the marks on my leg even now.

Sweet dreams!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Thanks all for your comments. Turns out PMS-ing didn't help matters - though I firmly believe that all PMS does is make matters come more to light, and yes, a little bit more difficult.

And it also turns out that three friends, M and D and M (my M), have parallel relationships. M and D are women and were talking about their relationships, and I sat there and said, um, I'm like your partners. They turn to me with a crazed look, 'why do you do xxx then??'. ACK! I backed away from that one. But it was interesting to hear their perspectives at least for a little while - coming from a woman's mouth. My M did talk to them at least a little bit apparently, so that was good.

M and I need to get out our Myers Briggs results and use those as a launching point for discussions about us. I'm not a firm believer in ultimate power of MB but it's a great starting point for discussion. I'll never forget participating in a training at an old job. They had people with similar markers and then opposite markers perform a task, and it was so interesting how frustrating one experience was and how easy the other was. And good to know that I need to be aware of these different perspectives.

I'm back at home and must get back into a groove of working. Billy's glad to have us back, though leaving his grass inside caused all sorts of bugs to grown and prosper, which is quite disgusting. The grass is back outside. M bought him a toy and we'll see if he can figure it out (it holds treats and he has to roll it to get one out - we haven't demonstrated it yet).

Hope you all had good holidays. I'll hopefully get to reading later.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I'm sitting here in Starbucks using the internet while the other 6 climb in Joshua Tree. I needed some time alone. And I need to work some things out. M and I had a crying discussion this morning, and I just couldn't pretend to be happy or switch my mood fast enough. I have always found healing and comfort and clarity in writing on this blog, and needed it.

M is always very clear about what he will and won't put up with. I have behaviors which he not only doesn't like, but will not live with long term, or for that matter short term.

I have ways of coping which I've gotten accustomed to and which may not be good for other people, most especially a partner. But I've also tried way too hard to respond to everything he articulates rather than taking a stand and saying this is the way I am.

So, adulthood. And needing to eat. And bipolar. And nastiness. And silence.

Where to start?

Going back to the question of what is me and what I want to change and can change and do not want to or cannot want to. [Ha, I like that last one. Very subconscious-ish.]

What is being an adult? Is it interacting in a nice way to others no matter the feeling you have? Seems like this is what I am not good at. I bristle and push and snap. I have always used something as a reason. But perhaps it's time to start believing I have the power. And using it for good rather than evil.

I will say I have a tendency to have a prickly personality. I am brusque. I am harsh. Blunt. Tempering that a bit is a good thing.

M says rightly so that having psychological issues or eating issues should not make it ok for me to treat others like crap. I asked a friend yesterday if she knew anyone who had to eat to stay happy, and she said the only people she knows that have the food issue are guys and they simply stop and say dully that they need to eat. [ie, my interpretation, they don't get nasty.]

But, it's more than what he said this morning. When I'm depressed I don't treat people like crap, I withdraw, which he also doesn't like. Of course, I'm sure it's not fun. But I'm not attacking. I don't think. When I get bipolar ish I can get nasty, but an I control it more?

I this morning took a stand and said I need to be able to be silent when I'm feeling a negativity. M does not like this at all, but I have to take a stand on something. I cannot always speak, for speaking might release bad things, or start a conversation I do not want to have.

What are things I want?
- Him to look me in the eye more.
- Him to ask me direct requests rather than 'if you'd like to do this...'. So afraid of being a burden, or so unsure of my ability to be able to say no, that doesn't want to express an explicit request.
- Him to believe I can be an adult and go on that assumption. In the way that is me and not necessarily what he considers from his perspective to be.
- Him to interact with me in a nice way when he's feeling good, and not do this sarcastic you are crap attitude which is supposedly funny all the time.

He has this tendency to repeat things, which, when they were lovey dovey was a great trait. But, when it's about something he doesn't like, feels like daggers/needles poking me over and over and over. Sometimes he says he repeats because I don't acknowledge what he's said, but it's really just a trait.

Is a relationship always this much work? Perhaps for it to continue?

I hate the feeling that I'm with our friends and him and I watch to see how much people say thank you, to see how much others acknowledge each other, to see what tone of voice they use with each other, to basically compare myself to others.

Is a dull voice an east cost thing? Is it a me thing?

I currently feel like a lower order human being. I don't like that feeling. Noone's forcing that designation on me, but given all the crap I mentioned above, I do feel like a lower order human being. Everyone else is well adjusted and nice to other people and speaks in a nice voice. Everyone else has fun and is interesting and is not self centered.

I do not feel a loving connection half the time. I feel like I'm pedaling to catch up to what he wants, and to what I should be. And I'm not there. And thus not an adult. And thus a lower order human being. Which is not a way to feel in a relationship.

Sometimes two people just don't work together. They may be great on their own, but together make problems. Make the equation 1+1=.5 I sometimes feel that way and sometimes don't. I sometimes feel I'm in the relationship because it's good for me to learn these things. Which all makes it sound very clinical. But in fact there is a spark - more so than I ever felt when I was married, and as I said, it's what makes me willing to continue. But, do I make this relationship more difficult than it should be? Do we both? It's always more than one person...I know that.

I want. What do I want? That's what I need to follow.

Who am I? Who do I want to be? That's what I need to believe is within my control.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy early Thanksgiving

We might be trying to skip out of town very early. M has the days off, and I can work from anywhere. I may check in at some point, but maybe not, so wanted to leave you with the happy thought of at least one turkey not being killed for a Thanksgiving table.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

When worlds collide

A glimpse into living with an engineer.

Me: "Hey, just so you know, I turned down the refrigerator since it was at its highest setting."

Him: "You mean you turned it up."

Me: "No, I turned it down from 7 to 5"

Him: "You turned the temperature up."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Views from our balcony

At first I left no space between the photos but I think it does both an injustice to do that. I'm back from my home area. A whirlwind, but I got to see Fall, which was great. And see some friends, which of course is also great. I can't think of anything really exciting to tell. Except maybe that my friend's dog was incredibly excited to see me and I didn't even realize it - I just said don't lick me! My friend B said the dog never squeaks and she did when I showed up. I think it's because I was there when they first got her - I think I was living with them. And I've been gone a bit. So I think she remembered me. Yay! Billy gets excited but not THAT excited.

Monday, November 8, 2010


Sitting at my computer last night I heard something hit the sliding glass door. Then again, and when I looked, it was a hummingbird trying to get inside, hitting the glass door over and over. I jumped up and told it not to do it, over and over, but it for some reason wouldn't listen. I was kind of paralyzed because I didn't want to open the door and have it come in. M heard me and came out to see, while I went out the other door. In the meantime he went outside and was trying to catch it. I was very scared, since they seem so fragile, and I remembered the moth I accidentally killed. But he got it in his hands like a butterfly, and it simply sat there, apparently holding on to his fingers with its tiny little feet. So weird and so amazing. It just sat there and could have continued, but we wanted it to be free so sent it off flying upward drunkenly into the night.

Now I obsess about how it is, whether we should have brought it to the feeder to drink before it flew off, why it was hitting the glass. I gotta let it go. Deep breath...

Friday, November 5, 2010


Churlita is always talking about the books she has read. Seems I'm an all or nothing type of gal. I find a book I like - it consumes me until I finish it. And then I feel hesitant to start another, since I'll get consumed again. But I'll get over that.

In the meantime, here's a book that consumed me:
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

It was perfect at the time. A very easy read, almost to the point of being for teens, but too much explicit content to really be a teen book in my opinion. And has the supernatural in it, etc.

I found it at a thrift store. I don't mind spending money on books there, as it goes to a good cause. And I can donate it back!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


M and I had a minor-ish altercation, and I went to take a shower. As I'm washing my hair, the lyrics "I'm gonna wash that man right outta my hair" came to my head. I was just trying to get rid of the altercation in my head and I'm old enough to remember the Clairol commercial. I looked up the lyrics later, and hoo boy! They are good advice and something I should have had in my life.

Only later did I realize how the words on a shampoo bottle are appropriate in such a context: Lather, rinse, repeat.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Visiting home

Turns out I'm going back east for work next week. I'm excited! It will be a crazy fast trip, but I'll see friends and family, my therapist and my trainer, and meet the staff I interact with remotely.

But for now, I have to work...

Oh, a new part of my exercise regimen: I put the bag of recycling outside the door and run up and down the stairs to get one piece of paper at a time. Man, it's good exercise! Just tried it this morning. I have to do something because I feel stuff assembling on my hips and in my face. Once in a while recently I like that feeling, but mostly I don't.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sharing a recipe

I am reminded from Churlita's post that I have not shared a recipe I found that I really liked (she talks about all this good food she makes and doesn't share recipes! what a wench... kidding of course).

Tofu Triangles in Creamy Nut Butter Sauce

As it notes in the comments, even meat eaters would like it. I will also note that I did not have all of the ingredients but it still came out pretty well. Ingredients I did not have were peanut/sesame oil (used olive oil), rice vinegar (used red wine vinegar), or tamari (used extra soy sauce). I will note that I would lower the heat a little before putting in the cream sauce - mine disappeared too quickly so it wasn't really sauce-y, which I think would have been nice to have.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Maybe I should play this every morning?

Not sure if I'd want to punch her out though... :-)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Support Group

So, after the mini (maxi?) breakdown, I found a local depression and bipolar support group. I did a search and there happened to be a meeting last night. I was a little hesitant about it being too extreme, but figured I'd try.

It turned out to be a large group (12 people?). The format was to just go around the room and for each person to have 5-10 minutes to talk, with some feedback from others in the room. It was a mix of ages, a mix of diagnoses (though mostly bipolar) and a mix of severity (my current 3 medications I think was the lowest number of meds people were on). There were a few family members/ partners. Everyone was very welcoming.

They meet weekly, and I'm not sure I'll go weekly. It's 2 hours! Though it is close by. It was nice to be able to vent a little, and sadly, to see that my situation could be a lot worse. Though, when I mentioned something about M and my feeling that he doesn't believe in mental illness (and I'm talking extreme here, I know) they all practically in one voice said, he wants you to 'get over it'. Yeah, a common thing people hear it seems... Not that he's said that...

Anyway, just thought I'd let you know.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sick and tired

It's 9:00 and I just got up a few minutes ago.
Not feeling well.
And not physically

alienating M
me feeling frustrated and scared
i don't want to have ups and downs
i want to be stable
i hate the imprecision of all this
where's the magic wand?

i need to find a support group
i need drugs, alcohol, cigarettes
but i don't do those things, thankfully
not an addictive personality
that's one thing to be thankful for

i can't fall apart
i can, but at least i don't want to
i have that

maybe i just don't have the right attitude
think it's easy and it will be
big sigh

i'm lowering my antidepressant
seeing if that works

lashing out for very little reason at the one I love
who of course does not want to be a whipping post
why should someone in a new relationship
take such abuse?
heartfelt sorries are useful
but so much less than what's needed

i slipped last night
and hit the wall
oh and the top of my car dashboard
physical pain stops the mental anguish
if only for a minute

i heard the carol king song last night
'you've got to get up every morning
with a smile on your face
and show the world
all the love in your heart'
i know.

sunshine helps and it's here this morning
now i'll go out and run
chase away a few demons
or run away from them?
i'll think the former

[just checked my email. here is a note from a friend I called last night. I have some amazing friends.]

I think he is a good man.

And you are a good woman and deserving of happiness and love. and you both deserve to be patient with each other and yourselves. I think sometimes you forget that. or maybe it is the depression, but you have to try to get yourself out of that spiral before you lose it. You can do it- getting your medication levels normalized is a big big part of this, I know- but you are smart enough to also know that the meds are only a part of how you feel. It is easy to buy into the defeatist thought prcesses-they are much easier than pushing yourself to imagine that you can succeed in getting through - well, this negative thought- these bad feelings- this sad mood- this tough day- whatever.

It is not fair that it seems easier to give up and imagine that we will fail than to talk ourselves out of whatever moment we are in- but it is worth it to try. but it is hard. not sure how it works....Maybe calling me is your attempt to get yourself out of the spiral because...really- what am I gonna say??? Yup- it is over. you are a loser. you will never be happy. it is all your fault. the relationship is doomed. might as well just give up. no sense in trying to work things out. of course not!! I think you know all these things- and I do not know how- but maybe you can try to remember at least one before you it the point where you think it is the point of no return...yeah- sounds great- just not sure how to make it happen. so until you do- call me!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Funny how sometimes falling feels like flying

Even if it's just for a little while.

One of the memorable lyrics from a song played yesterday at the Bridge School benefit. I have not been to such an amazing concert in a long long time, if ever. Despite the fact that it rained 70% of the time, it was so worth it - a 7 hour show that felt like 2 - in a relatively small setting. You can see the lineup if you go to the link.

Memorable moments:
- Elton John and Leon Russel truly rocking the ampitheater. First off, just to have those two legends on one stage, and then for one song joined by Neil Young, blew my mind. And, like I said, they ROCKED. Elton and Leon have a new CD together, and we are certainly going to buy it, but it won't compare to the energy that exuded last night. Incredible.
- Pearl Jam playing one song in which Neil Young came out and jammed on guitar with the two other guitarists in the band - I'm not even sure Eddie Vedder was singing at that point - it didn't matter because the energy of those guitars amazingly played was just incredible. Eddie Vedder said after that that he should just stop right then and there because he had the shakes, and I understood.
- Pearl Jam had 4 stringed instruments - I think all violins. I think after he introduced them he picks up a guitar and said he was playing a classical piece and then played an AMAZING head banging all out screaming assaulting your senses song.
- The final song "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World" brought everyone out on stage who was left. Again, ENERGY. Eddie Vedder and Neil Young trading the main lyrics, and EVERYONE singing the chorus. One microphone had Eddie Vedder, Jeff Bridges, Kris Kristoferson, and Stephen Stills. And that was just one microphone.

OK those are the incredible memories. Everyone else was really really good, though I hate to say it but Ralph Stanley maybe should retire. He's a legend, but he should sit back a little. He's not horrible, but not great either.

Modest Mouse was a surprise to me. I would really like to see them in concert. Unfortunately as they were band #2 I still had earplugs in and it didn't sound as great as when I gave up trying to protect my ears. The last song of their set was really great - tight and interesting and powerful.

We were lucky as we were in a nice section where people didn't stand up all the time. And there were nice people around us. One had flown in from North Carolina just for the show. The others from Colorado. And it is so worth it. One guy did come late in the show and sat right in front of me in an empty seat. Which would have been fine except he was a stander and a big guy. I was having none of that. Poked him in the back and told him to sit. He mutters something to me when I told him to move over to the aisle like he's not allowed to do that, but tough crap. He did it a couple more times and kept poking him. In between sets he turns around and says he works for some magazine and taking polls on how people are enjoying the show. What a load of crap. Whatever - he finally walked away...thankfully.

All of this was to benefit a school that works with extremely disabled children, and has pioneered methods of teaching them.

Friday, October 22, 2010

mixed tapes

I had a friend/boyfriend/friend in that order who made the most incredible mixed tapes. I do miss those days, but I've kept every mixed tape that someone made me with the expectation that I'll transfer it to the most current media. The following was the opening song of a tape that was sent to me when I was in Germany. Intentions were clear and he got the girl for a long while. I sometimes regret running away from a future with him, but I guess if I didn't, I wouldn't have had the future I had. Sometimes that's a good thought, sometimes it's bad. But no point in dwelling. Unfortunately this mixed tape was lost in Germany.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


So, walking through the parking lot to get to the gym, look to my left, and there are two cars with pigeons all over the roofs. I counted 11 on one and 7 on the other (after one or two had flown down to the ground). I have never ever seen that before. I mean, why sit on a car roof? And why those two? Can you explain it to me?

My FB update was imagining them putting on a scene in West Side Story - the rival gangs building their masses for the big fight. Not sure how you determine which one wins - by the amount of poop on the roof?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Clumpy messy job me

I've tried making the cookies/twists again, and again it's a runny mess. It's all oozed into one big pan thing. Not sure what's happening. But, it tastes good! I think I ate half a pan already. Mmmm... cinnamon sugar mmm.... Sigh. Oh well, there are worse things in life.

I kinda threw that out there today, but a couple weeks ago the place I was volunteering for asked me to be a consultant through January. They had one person going on maternity leave and one person out of the office for a month. Uh, hell yeah! I had no idea what to charge as a rate, so I just told them to pay me the hourly wage of the person on maternity leave, plus 15% for taxes, which I would have to pay for self employment. It's not a lot, but it's better than nothing, for sure. No guarantee of a full time job, but they seem to like me and my work, so we'll see.

What's a little scary though is that what they do connects to my past in many ways. I look good on paper, but oh, that one job from 15 years ago? I was told I would be happy somewhere else (how's that for an alternate wording for firing?). Oh, that other job from 7 years ago? I wanted to strangle my boss on a daily if not hourly basis, and she pretty much knew it. We went through mediation and everything, but I was just so sick of her.

I keep hoping my life has changed for the better. I keep hoping I have changed for the better. And I know the answer to both is yes. I know I have learned a lot professionally and can do a lot, and with medication, can get along with people. I know I personally am less than perfect - I hear it regularly and when talking about that situation an old friend chimes in in wholehearted agreement. And I know I am better and still have so much to learn, but I need someone who will share the ride and not look at me from high on the mountain and ask why I've fallen behind.

My messy clumpy life. And me.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Did I tell you I have a second part time job? I do - consulting. It's until Dec/Jan, and perhaps getting my foot through the door. A good thing. Early morning meeting tomorrow, so off I go.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cookies and Crashes and Corn

So, ever wonder what happens when you try to make german sour cream twists with wheat dough, oh, that has also gone rancid? See photo. (It's supposed to look like finger long twisty things the consistency of pizza dough)
What's really sad is that I didn't realize it was rancid until I gave M bit of one that I had cooked and his face all scrunched up. I did not get sick from the one I ate before that.

We went on a hike to a place that had had a plane crash years before, and found the following. It was interesting and creepy at the same time.

Finally, I wrote Corn because it had a C, but it really should be with a P. We watched On Demand - Moby Presents Alien Sax Party (but with an e). Oddest but interesting and funny poorly made movie I've seen in a long time.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Portland, OR

I'll share some music that Entertainment Weekly noted as being interesting duets. This is really nice.

I miss East Coast autumn

I tried to find one in my photos, but I have not taken one since the divorce, so don't have my own. I took this from a website, so thus very small.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Prying questions

A good way to answer someone who asks increasingly personal questions about whether you are going to have children is to give them too much information.
Well, I have to see if my relationship is going to work out since it's rocky because my mood destabilized after all the stress I had.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New song I love, but can't find it on YouTube

I think the band is Life in Technicolor

There’s a light inside of you,
Hope it’s nothing but the truth,
I just want to be with you.

There’s a cloud above our heads,
Predicting stormy times ahead,
I don’t want to know the truth.

Everything always feels like something special when I’m with you,
Everything always makes me lose the truth when I’m with you.

I’m falling faster than the speed of sound,
I’m falling further and further towards the ground.
I’m falling faster than the speed of light,
Nothing is wrong but nothing is right.

There’s a corner in my mind,
That keeps me consigned,
To the facts.

A drop of rain begins to fall,
And I still think I’ve got it all,
But I know he won’t call.

Everything always feels like something special when I’m with you,
Everything always makes me lose the truth when I’m with you.

I’m falling faster than the speed of sound,
I’m falling further and further towards the ground.
I’m falling faster than the speed of light,
Nothing is wrong but nothing is right.

I’m falling, we’re falling, I’m falling for you.
I’m falling, we’re falling, and I don’t want to know the truth.

There’s a light inside of you,
Hope it’s nothing but the truth,
I just want to be with you.

There’s a cloud above our heads,
Predicting stormy times ahead,
I don’t want to know the truth.

Everything always feels like something special when I’m with you,
Everything always makes me lose the truth when I’m with you.

I’m falling faster than the speed of sound,
I’m falling further and further towards the ground.
I’m falling faster than the speed of light,
Nothing is wrong but nothing is right.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lion quilt

I had this as my avatar and referred to it way earlier, so needed to post it since I mentioned it to KenV. Detail of a quilt I made my godmother.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Yoga focus

They tell you to think of something to focus your mind on when you are yoga-ing / meditating. My thing is now the eye of a hummingbird looking at me from the other side of the feeder.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Auf Wiedersehen

First, a little about my weekend. I went Sat and Sun to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in SF. Amazing lineup of musicians - quite overwhelming actually. I must say that my favorite band was the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Interesting, great musicians, good with the crowd. It was also the first band I saw, so not sure if that swayed my opinion. Because it can get to be overwhelming to be at a big festival even half the day (at least for me). I get tired of the wrangling for position and people bumping into me.

There were so many bikes and not enough racks. Not a bad thing - yay for the environment, but bad for the poor trees that had bikes attached to them.

By the end of the second day I had certainly had enough. Part of it was that I had to go by myself. M was sick, and still is. And grumpy me got tired of the "freaks" and though I smelled a lot of pot, I didn't get a secondary high. Bummer. Of course, I did run into one of the very few people I know in the area who I didn't know before I moved - the person I had interviewed with before I came and then touched base with and now have consultant work for the company. She was all happy and serene and good looking and I was frumpy sweaty from biking and layered to the hilt because I didn't have enough clothing on Saturday and so overdid it on Sun.

It was interesting to note that the father and daughter riding in to the festival ahead of me, led me out as I left.

I will be riding into the sunset today. I'm taking a break. Of course I say that today and may get the shakes from withdrawal and write in a few days. I just have stuff that I can't talk about here and I don't feel like putting on a happy face. Of course, it might be good for me to pretend to be happy and then happiness will come. Not sure. So I might be back soon. Who knows. Maybe a haiku here and there. Not sure. All I know is how I feel right now. I don't feel like reaching out to people - not even friends. It's easier to be alone. Not jumping off a bridge. Just alone.

Of course, listening to WFMU, just heard that the Toxic Donut will be on. What a great band name.

I saw stuffed animals in a dumpster. That makes me sad. I always think of them as having a life.

Any other random thoughts before I go? Not sure.

Ah, likely I'll be back soon.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tuolumne last weekend

Rather than begin by boring you with climbing stories, I'll talk about the food first. See photo. Amazing food at the Mobil Mart in Lee Vining just outside the park near Mono Lake. Called the Whoa Nellie Deli - look it up.

It's very unassuming. The owner/chef works the register and wanders around picking up plates and chatting with customers. When we ordered he had suggested that two soups would be too much food, but we went with it anyway, in part because R noted that he doesn't know me well enough to share a soup with me. :-) Funny. We did pretty well eating it all - and the owner came by and remarked on it. He also leads fishing trips, and told the story of asking a client if he wanted to use his pole since the client wasn't catching anything. The guy said no, and never caught anything; he later said, when you asked me if I wanted to use your pole I should have said yes, right? Right. So the owner remarked to us, if you're with someone who knows something it's good to listen to their advice. Funny. The guy also had a sign up on the wall with his photo on it, and it said Employee of the month: April-Nov 2005, April-Nov 2006, and so one. Quite funny. The statement actually came back to haunt me when R the next day asked as I was leading a pitch: can I offer you some advice? And I refused. I thought he was going to tell me how to climb. He actually was going to offer advice on the way he sets up his gear, which I was using. I almost ran into trouble because I didn't listen... Learned a lesson for sure.

This here is an example of what the rock climbing is like at Tuolumne. Slab slab slab. You can see what you do to get off the rock - walk down down down. It's nuts, but I'm getting a little used to it. I don't have good shoes so I have to wear my climbing shoes down - rough on the feet. Those rocks are called...erratics. Really neat. We did in the two days do two climbs which were more like my style - nice cracks and not too much slab. So nice. I was very excited.

And, btw, the Ginko Biloba worked! We'll see if it really works the next time I go to altitude.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quote from Wired

2008 Article in Wird on Errol Morris.

"You know, the whole term ski mask is itself a joke," he says. "If you saw somebody--you're skiing in Vail, and you saw someone on the trail coming from behind you wearing a ski mask, you would go batshit. You'd try to call homeland security, the police. God help us! You know, it's someone skiing with a ski mask! It's a fu**ing terrorist!" He's high on the energy of his riff. "No self-respecting skier would ever be caught dead with a ski mask. It would be risky. You'd get shot," he says.

I laughed a lot at this until I realized it doesn't apply when you're skiing in 8 degree weather, which I have.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Nature in plastic and glass
Hummingbird feeder
Share and share alike? No way!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Solid. Solid as a Rock

That's what my pillow was. I have one of those memory foam pillows and I brought it to Tuolumne. Almost freezing nights create a solid block of foam that only barely gives with the heat of my head. Ah well...

I'll tell stories later. I don't have my photos as M has his computer and I lost the wire that allows me to download photos to my computer (an old computer so thus does not take the memory chip from a camera).

Besides, I want to vomit. Meaning I gotta dump. Meaning, clear my brain a little.

Is it because I'm not taking as much clonazapam? Or because I'm not in therapy? Or is it just me?

I accidentally kill a beautiful moth last night trying to get it back out to freedom, and I'm having trouble letting it go.

I read this line in a facebook response to someone else: Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. And I just think I'm average - I hear this in my head all the time now. I never before thought I was boring, but I feel it a lot now.

OK, those are the two biggest things I want to dump/vomit/etc. I'll move on now. Happy happy joy joy from hereonin. Too bad I closed the blinds since it'd be good to watch the hummingbirds. OK, I'll open them and allow some heat to get in.

*Note: I will add that the guy I went climbing with looked at me and said: you're not wired like the rest of us. Huh? You have a strong sense of irony, he said. Me: Is that different than other people? Him: Much more so than most Americans.
---- I will take that as a compliment.

Friday, September 24, 2010

nature is watching you

So be on your best behavior.

I'm off to Tuolumne for the weekend. Taking Ginko Bilboa which will hopefully help prevent altitude sickness. Hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


So, I forgot to mention that I have some more work. The place I offered to volunteer at had me volunteering for a few days/a week and then all of sudden they asked if I wanted to help with development (grant writing) work. SURE! So, I have the other half of my time covered until the end of December. It's good because I'll have a local company on my resume, and of course get money.

All of this is good because though I do have health insurance, it does nothing for me until I pay out my monthly payment plus a $5,000 deductible. So, in order for me to get any benefits before December I have to pay out about $8,000. And they wonder why we need health care reform. I heard on the radio today that tomorrow begins the stipulation that insurance companies that sell plans for children cannot exclude any child. So, of course, insurance companies are going to stop selling those plans. I truly do understand what's happening, but I wish someone would be able to manage all the variables so everyone wins. That's highly unlikely.

Did I mention also that I've added the antidepressant? Oh, yes. I did. And it's working some. I still have negative thoughts and even periods of feeling really depressed, but I get through them. It does help to have more to do in terms of work. But still have to carry on with my free time.

I also have to figure out a way to exercise. I tried doing classes but I overdid it and now my knee hurts. And I tried working out by myself yesterday and tweaked my back. I feel my muscles atrophying. Hear them? Screaming help me help me? I long for the days when I would bike to work. It's just an adjustment though. I'll work it out. Or get very overweight and M will dump me. Kinda a joke. But that's a whole 'nother story.

Monkey see monkey do

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Nah, just sadness.

I was in Maine and around all these people with children. It made me a little sad. I have been trying to make myself feel better by saying I couldn't have dealt with children with all my mental health issues. But, in reality I know that people always deal. And given my current state of mild-ish depression, I just think about how children fill your life, and necessitate an outward focus, instead of me staring at my navel and wallowing in my own state of affairs. I always thought I'd be married and have kids, and it's so sad sometimes that I won't.

So, on a lighter note, we put up a hummingbird feeder on the balcony. I think it took a couple hours for the local hummingbird to find it. It's really nice to watch. Of course he/she is already chasing away another hummingbird. Mine mine mine. I also never knew they sing - it sits on the branch and sings in its raspy voice. Nice.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Finally over the course of several different days of viewing I finished watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Actually, I've never seen the beginning. But anyway, it's actually a really good movie. Ok, maybe I had low expectations, but I was happy when there were these quirky interesting things that happened or were said. I can't really say much more since I hate to give movie plots away, but it was nice. OK, so I've said nothing. How's that for a great movie reviewer?

Friday, September 17, 2010

non-fishy photos from Maine

A flower (?) at the farm where you can pick your own bouquet. No idea what it is.

Wintergreen in the wild.

One of three different snakes I found while there. Bleh to you too! (One snake swam through the water along the beach, stopped for a while in the bushes, then snaked across the sand back to the other side.)

The doorbell to the 2 story house my nieces created/decorated. Even had a pine cone chandelier! They had an open house the day I got there. With signs leading the way and everything.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dream a little dream

So, I had a dream I was hallucinating. Does that mean I'm nuts? It was very odd.

Thanks all for your comments. I was going to start the antidepressants this am, but realized they prescribed me 20 mg of the generic but had talked about 5 mg of the brand name. Um... maybe not? Jeez, I'd be flying around the house I think. We'll see though.

Gotta get to work. It's good and bad the sun is in my eyes...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

my new motto

Treat others, specifically M, as I would treat my cat.

I speak nicely/lovingly to him most of the time. I feed him. I pet him. I don't let him get away with certain things.

I will repeat that mantra every morning, or every hour. I gotta do something!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I thought about writing this in the third person, but that's just not my style, at least right now.

So it has become really evident that all the stress of the past three months (at least) has caused me to spiral downward, or around and around. I see it clearly now that I start having intrusive thoughts of being on a bridge and thinking about how it would be to commit suicide off of it - not thinking of doing it, mind you, but just thinking fairly dispassionately. I'm not sure if it's just depression - it's so hard to tell what's 'me' and what the disease is creating or even exacerbating. It's also helpful to find a psychiatrist with whom I can really share, so it affirms my feelings about there being something wrong.

Yes, the psych at UCSF will work, for now at least. I'm not sure about long term, and overall not sure of it. I had both a resident and a senior person talk to me. I'm not super psyched about the resident, which is why I have my hesitations. And not sure if in the long run I want to help with her learning - I'm too concerned about myself right now. I could see her working her professional side, and she did ok with that, but I also saw her hands shaking, and her foot swinging. And having her comment about me being married for a short time...I called her on that - 6 years is short? and she was flustered. But, as I said, it's better than anything I've found. I may move on to someone I talked to while I was in Maine, even though she doesn't take insurance, because I found out yesterday that my $5k deductible has to be met before I get ANY benefits. Fu**ers, but I read the literature wrong too, I'll admit it.

They want to put me on an antidepressant for a short time, and though I don't like that I'll do it. I need to do something, as my instability is causing relationship problems. M has never lived with such a thing as me...and I know it can't be easy. Yeah, there's always stuff but this certainly doesn't help. I mean, when like last night I collapse on the bed crying (my head just so full of static that I can't think but only cry), then go outside to walk around thinking I should smash my hand into something (but I don't!) and sit on a sidewalk thinking about if things were a different I could be homeless on the street with a mental illness (but I'm not!)'s bad, and actually, embarrassing. But I will toot my own horn and remark how I calmed myself down until I could think clearly. I controlled the self harm thoughts and again, calmed myself down. It felt good and I felt powerful. Part of me wonders if it's just the switch to a high (ie bipolar doing it) but I will give myself the credit for this.

The beat goes on, and I'm trying to dance rather than be beaten. It's really hard sometimes though. I want to be stable after having been through all the crap I've been through. But I have to accept that that's not always possible, and I'm better than I would have been not on medication. Sigh.

Off to work.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Peace fest

M and I biked around SF and found this fest in Golden Gate park. We walked around as curious observers, and it was great to run across it. Sadly, sort of, I was soooo excited that Crystal Bowersox was playing. I heard her whole set as we walked up and down the exhibits and food aisles, passing the entrepreneurs selling beer, etc out of coolers, and measuring out pot, and offering chewables, or whatever he said.

The crowd, the view.
Partner yoga looks painful.
Neat video game.
I didn't know architects were conspiracy theorists. How great that it was 9/11. bleh
Not everyone can pull off a tight short gold lame skirt on stilts.
I've seen cheeseheads, but not cornheads, until Saturday.
Even spinal cords attended!