Wednesday, December 15, 2004

On reading my most recent post, a friend of mine who worked an internship last summer with Environmental Working Group, a non-profit advocacy group, directed me to the EWG report on mercury and autism in susceptible children. Its findings are in line with many of the other bits I found and posted, but it is all bundled up in a nicely written and referenced package. Good reading.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Everywhere I look, these days, I seem confronted by the topic of autism. I learned last week that an aquaintance at work has two autistic children. Care was so difficult and the cost was so high that he and his wife eventually had to give the boys up to full time care facilities. The New York Times has had several articles on autism recently. I have seen articles in a number of other journals, as well. It has come up in a number of conversations, recently, and not of my accord.

Today I gave in, and I read a number of articles on on the disorder, discussing onset, causes, rise of incidence in the US, related diseases, etc. I figured if fate so vigilantly continues to place the subject in front of me, perhaps it is worth taking her up on it and exposing myself to it.

I found particularly interesting one article which claims that breastfeeding might help autistic children, and may even prevent autism. Of course, there were also articles warning against breastfeeding autistic children, speculating that the casien protein in breast milk can worsen the condition.

Then I got side-tracked for a while, reading about breast-feeding in general. Autism aside, it seems that children who are breast-fed develop a higher IQ than children who are formula fed, and develop stronger immune systems, as well. I plan to breastfeed all my children. I found it interesting (although unsurprising) that women with unintended pregnances are much less likely to breastfeed their children.

Back to autism. Further reading on autism led me to read about vaccines. Some feel that childhood vaccines are at least partially responsible for many incidences of autism these days. Preservatives in vaccines are a concern, particularly thimerosal, which is 50% mercury (although it seems that they have been phasing thimerosal out in the last several years due to such concerns).

What, then, can you do if you are concerned about the risks of vaccinating your child? Vaccine requirements are decided on a state to state basis. Generally, states require some level of vaccination for children to enter into the public school system. Many states allow religious excemptions and a few offer philosophical exemptions, but these can be hard to obtain.

I'm not sure how I feel about vaccination; there's so much diverse information out there, and I'm not at all educated on the subject. I will certainly want to become more educated before my children are vacccinated, however.

Reading about mercury in vaccinations and the possible causal link to autism led me to read about mercury poisoning compared with autism. Symptoms of mercury poisoning are quite similar to symptoms of autism, and some believe that at least a portion of reported cases of autism today are actually cases of mercury poisoning. Mercury toxicity also seems to be related to a number of other diseases, including (but not limited to) Alzheimer's disease.

This brought me to dental amalgams. Did you know that these widely used "silver fillings" are actually 50% mercury, and continually leak mercury vapor into your system day after day? The American Dental Association maintains the position that "amalgam continues to be a safe and effective restorative material" and "there currently appears to be no justification for discontinuing the use of dental amalgam". The US Government maintains a similar position. This line of thought is hotly contested, however. Some countries, including Canada, Sweden, German, and the UK, have even passed laws restrictng the number of amalgams that can be placed in children and pregnant women.

I now want to get my amalgams removed. Certainly before I ever conceive or bear children, hopefully quite a while before then. I'm going to call my dentist tomorrow to chat about it.

For all that blather above, I've barely brushed the surface of these topics, and I don't really know anything more about autism than when I started. I feel so under-educated and uninformed.
Good news - I passed my exam. I think. I felt like I did well, and our instructor said she would call to notify us if we failed, but only if we failed. I have not yet had a call from her. Safe for now!

Saturday, December 11, 2004


In class just now, as we were winding down to our lunch break, the instructor said something to the effect of, "blah blah blah blah the exam on monday blah blah."


I turned and whispered to Janet, sitting behind me, "Did she just say 'the exam on Monday'? Did she mean this Monday?"

Apparently she meant this Monday.

Janet said that it's better that I found out now than it would have been if I had found out ON Monday.

I guess that's true.

Still... oops. I should pay more attention to these sorts of things.

Friday, December 10, 2004

So cute!
It's not just me -

According to a story on eWeek, AOL has mistakenly suspended a very large number of AOL Instant Messenger (one of the most widely used IM programs) accounts, by mistake. I don't know about you guys, but this happened to me and a large percentage of friends and coworkers. AOL says that a fix should be ready by Monday.

AIM also finally added the following bit to their tech support page halfway through the day today: "If you recently began receiving an error message indicating that your sign on has been blocked because your account has been suspended, please be patient as we restore the accounts over the next several days. We apologize for the inconvenience." Rumor has it they'll have all accounts restored by Monday.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

AOL has suspended an AIM account that I use regularly. When I attempt to sign in, I am directed to a page that tells me:
Your Screen Name is blocked from signing in to the AIM service.

Your Screen Name is blocked from signing in to the AIM service. There are several reasons why you may have received this message:

  1. Screen Names that were previously used on AOL but have been cancelled or suspended, can no longer be used on AIM. This includes both master accounts and sub-accounts. In order to continue using this Screen Name on AIM, please reactivate the account on AOL.

  2. AOL Screen Names that have one or more of the following Parental Controls set will no longer able to use AIM, even if they have previously been able to do so:
    - Instant Messages are Blocked.
    - Kid's Only age category.

    To access AIM, the Master Screen Name on the AOL account must go to AOL Keyword: Parental Controls and change the above settings for this Screen Name. In addition, your Screen Name must also be set to one of the following age categories: Young Teen, Mature Teen, or General (18+).

  3. Users who identify themselves as a child under the age of 13 may not use this service at this time. If you are an adult and have entered your birth date incorrectly, you may use a credit card to complete our age verification process now, or anytime within 30 days of the date when you identified yourself as a child. You will not be charged for this credit card verification.

    Click here to sign in to our age verification form to reactivate your Screen Name.

  4. An account may be terminated for violations of the terms of service.
This was never an AOL account; it was only an AIM screen name.

No parental controls were set.

The age verification system will not allow me to sign in with this account, leading me to believe that age verification is not the problem. I am quite sure I set the account up with my correct birthdate, anyhow.

That leaves only terms of service. But I read through their terms of service, and did not find any that I have violated. I use the account only for messaging a few friends. No email at all. No spamming. No questionable material. Did someone else hijack my account to do bad things? Is AOL erroneously blaming something on me? Are they suspending accounts for no reason at all?

It's just a silly IM account. I know that. But still, somehow, I feel violated.
I wrote the following in a comment on a friend's blog. As it's been on my mind, recently, though, I think it perhaps belongs here as well.
There was snow in MN when I was back last weekend. It made me so, so happy. So did all the brown. I realized that perhaps one of the reason I feel oft compelled to wear shades of brown these days is that I miss seeing it in the landscape around me each winter.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Well I had a dream I
stood beneath an orange sky

Yes, I had a dream
I stood beneath an orange sky
with my brother standing by,
with my brother standing by.

I said, "Brother, you know, you know -
It's a long road we been walking on
yes it is, yes it is, you know
Brother it is such a long road we been walking on
Oh brother, oh brother."

And I had a dream I
stood beneath an orange sky
with my sister standing by,
with my sister standing by.

I say, "Here is what I know now, sister
here is what I know now, goes like this -
In your love
my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
in your love, in your love."

Oh, but you know, I am so weary
and you know my heart, my heart's been broken
Sometimes, sometimes my mind is too strong
to carry on

Too strong, too strong to carry on.

But when I'm alone, when I've thrown off the weight of this crazy stone
When I've lost all care for the things I own
That's when I miss you
that's when I miss you, you who are my home
You who are my home now.
You are my home now.

Here is what I know now brother,
here is what I know now sister - goes like this:
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love!
My salvation lies in your love
My salvation lies in your love
My salvation lies in your love
in your love, in your love, in your love.
In your love, now.

Oh, I had a dream I
stood beneath an orange sky
with my brother and my sister standing by.
My brother and my sister standing by.
- Orange Sky, by Alexi Murdoch.

Heard this on John Richard's show this morning. He made some comment about having had it played at his mother's funeral. The song resonated well with me, and also it seemed fitting with yesterday's post.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

One of Alex's friends died in a plane crash on Sunday afternoon.

Alex is sad.

It makes me worry for the friends of mine who fly.

It makes me feel inadequate as a friend. I don't know what it is to have a friend die. I have not yet experienced that.

It makes me feel more mortal. What would happen to my dog if I passed on? Who would notify my family if something happened to me? Who would even know how to contact my family?

And I feel more acutely the mortality of those around me. What if this were the last time I ever spoke to he, or she, or you? How would I ever come to terms with it? We are all mortal, and the time will come when these things become a reality, no longer idle questions -- how will I hold up? Will I hold up?

Why do we live in this world, just to die? Why expend so much effort living, doing, working, buzzing about, when it all comes to nothing in the end? Why do we waste so much time on so many things that matter so little, when time is a limited commodity?

Susie's rat died the other day, also. This rat mothered the rats I had out here in Seattle last year. I was home for my brother's wedding last weekend and held the rat on Sunday afternoon. Two days ago, it was happily crawling up and down Susie's scarf, and I was petting it and playing with it. And now it is dead.

It's sad. And so much. So beyond my understanding. Life, death, time, mortality... I can't get my head around them.
According to a new study, lack of sleep messes with your hormones and may cause weight gain. Vewy, vewy intewesting.
If Susie were a princess, she would be Snow White. Which Disney Princess would I be?

. . .

I am Esmerelda!

Mysterious and passionate, I am a survivor. Even though life has swung me some difficult situations I have a strong intuition that gets me through. Also, I have the capacity to sympathize and relate to people.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

Monday, November 29, 2004

They told us tonight in class that Term 2 will be our most difficult term. This makes me nervous, especially as I've already been feeling a bit strung out. Wish me luck. And health and happiness. And maybe a Time-Turner; I could totally do with that.

Man, speaking of Time-Turners...

Thursday, November 11, 2004

I miss Paul Wellstone.

You know that thing you see on some web-forms, where you're supposed to "type the words in this box", and they're all skewed, and it's supposed to prevent spammers and bots from using the form?

Yahoo makes you do that now before forwarding an email to multiple recipients. Insane.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Monday, November 08, 2004

From my brother's fiance's blog:
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
4 More Years?

4 more years of worrying about Leroy having to go back to Iraq (or who knows where)...
4 more years of fearing being a widow at the age of 25...
4 more years of being unemployed...
4 more years with no health insurance...
4 more years of budget cuts...
4 more years of poverty...



Canada is looking mighty good right now. Or perhaps teaching over seas.

posted by Amber @ 1:29 PM

That's one way to say it.
I've not, for the most part, had to deal yet with death on a personal level. I mean, my grandfather died when I was two. I don't remember him at all. A cousin died at sixteen about four years ago, but he grew up across the country from me and I never really knew him. Recently one of my great aunts passed away, but I only have vague memories of seeing her at family reunions when I was a child. I've had a number of pets pass away, but it's not the same, you know?

That's it.

None of my friends have ever passed away. None of my daily acquaintances. All of my immediate family is healthy. My living grandfather got very sick once, but he got better. Nobody that I've ever been really close to has died.

How will I handle it when I am suddenly confronted with death?

I don't know how to deal with people I am close to when they are confronted with death. I don't know how to relate. I feel suddenly inadequate.

Can I really understand the life and death cycle on a deeper level without ever having been confronted with it?

I think I still have, to the core of my bones, some misguided feeling that I am immortal. That I always have been, just as I am now, and always will be.

Also, I think I have the same notions in relation to everyone I am close to, to family, to friends. To anyone I love. They will always be, just as they are now. I know it's irrational, but some deep part of me still feels it.

Do most people feel that way?

Some people?

Is it just me?

It's all so irrational, but so deep within me. How will I get by when I am actually faced with death, when these deeply held beliefs all crumble?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Now isn't that sexy?
Jon said that he'll marry me if Bush wins a second term. I'm prepared for the worst -- Canada, I've got you on my radar.
I nearly cried on the table last night.

We were doing energy work. I'm actually a bit of a skeptic when it comes to energy work; it sounds like a lot of feel-good goopy hocus pocus to me. People may break down when I massage them because their muscles can hold emotions within? We need to remember the emotional and spiritual connection when thinking about mind/body, because it's all interconnected? Maybe, but I'll withhold judgment for now. I believe in the things I can see.

So anyway, we were doing hands-on energy work. Broke up into groups of three; a counselor, a scribe, and a client. I got to be the client first.

So my upper rib muscles and the muscles over my sternum have been sore the last few weeks. I'm not sure why. I've figured it's something to do with the dancing I'm doing recently; I'm using new muscles in ways I haven't before, and they are sore as a result. The soreness is a good sign.

On a whim, when asked where my 'counselor' should do her hands-on work with me, I indicated that my upper ribs should be touched. I lay down on the table, she touched...

And man, it was emotional.

I had images of cold steel, hard, light glinting off of it. Where her hands were, all gray. The rest of my body, red, warm, but still cold where our connection was, that part of my body, her hands. The image shifted a bit to steel padlocks, a lock, locked. Her hands, the connection, felt so far away. Here I was, but that part of me was almost unreachable, was somewhere else. And I felt inexplicably sad. And I almost cried. It took a while to come down from that, even after she stopped touching me.

I don't know if there are actually emotions locked away in those muscles, or what the deal was, but it was an emotional experience. Maybe there is something to all this energy stuff, and I need to just be open to it? I don't know.

Later on, when I was 'the counselor', my client asked that I put my hands on her forehead, with my fingers cupped over her eyes. I did. She visualized this, visualized that... then asked that the pressure be a little less. I realized that I was putting some of my own energy into her, that I wasn't being really open to the messages coming from her body, wasn't listening to what was coming from her. I let up the pressure.

Momentarily, a vision come to me of her head as a glowing white-green ball of energy, much like the bauble Eilonwy carried about with her in The Black Cauldron. I listened. And she felt a difference, and her experience was deepened, improved. That she could feel a difference when all that had changed was the way that I was thinking, receiving her... I dunno. That's something, too.

Then I went dancing, and I swear, I was aware of people's energy in a way I'm usually not, and it made my dancing better.

I don't know what all this is about, or if I can be aware like that more of the time, if I can cultivate an energy awareness. Our teacher last night talked about quantum physics, how if we studied it, we would learn that we all have pockets of energy rooted in our bodies, more commonly known as auras. Magnetic fields and such. It's so outside the realm of things I know, have been taught, have believed in. But is that cause for me to cast a quick judgment and throw it all out the window?

My upper chest muscles are still sore. Not as much as they have been, but whatever's going on, physical, spiritual, emotional, whatever - it's still there.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Creepy! I browsed to The State Quiz from some girl's blog, which I had in turn browsed to off of my youngest sister's blog. It pegged this particular person as "Nebraska", her childhood home state. Then I took the quiz, and it pegged me as Minnesota, the state where I spent my childhood.

You're Minnesota!

You love hanging out around lakes, even if they're frozen solid. Given your probable Scandanavian heritage, it all just demonstrates that you're pining for the fjords. Your obsession with wrestling got a little carried away for a while there, and this should prompt some serious reflection about the separation of mind and body. It may be time to celebrate, even throw your hat up in the air. You're going to make it after all.

Take the State Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

6 questions, 64 possible outcomes, and it manages to link me to Minnesota.

Why not Guam, or Idaho, or The Moon? Crazy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


FDA approves computer chip for humans

Medical milestone or privacy invasion? A tiny computer chip approved Wednesday for implantation in a patient’s arm can speed vital information about a patient’s medical history to doctors and hospitals. But critics warn that it could open new ways to imperil the confidentiality of medical records. . .
How crazy is that? Kinda scary, I think.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

  1. My butterfly has passed on. This before I was able to snap a picture. I suppose I could snap a picture of his corpse and post it still.

  2. The last several nights in a row I've had nightmares all night long. I meant to post about them all, but I don't think I can right now (see item 4). At least some of them involved seeing a bear attack and maul people I know, and being pushed around by several dirty cops, led by Ian McKellen who, for whatever reason, was the chief of police (and a dirty bastard at that).

  3. For the first time in my life, I had a knife pulled on me. So much excitement. I'll post about it later; if I don't, remind me.

  4. I'm sick. Caught a goddamned cold, from my goddamned roommate. I planned not to be sick, but man, I went and screwed that up. So now I'm all busy feeling sorry for myself and stuff. Oh, woe is me, I have work in the morning. Oh, woe is me, I have school all the time. Oh, woe is me, I have so much homework to do. Oh, woe is me, I've no one to take care of me, and I'm in no shape to take care of myself. Woe, woe, woe. I might just cry myself a river.

More (and more sensical) updates to come, when I am less under the weather.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

I HAVE A BUTTERFLY!!! It's a boy -- I've discovered this from the wing pattern. HE HATCHED! Isn't that super-awesome?!

Pictures soon to come. I would take them now, except my roommate isn't here, and I don't know where he's put his camera.

Butterfly butterfly butterfly! My first baby butterfly! I've never hatched a butterfly before; I'm so very, very proud. I'm going to be such a good mommy. I just fed him and put him into a bigger container. I am going to let him free, but I'm going to wait until daytime. Right now it's dark, rainy, and cold. Not the ideal environment in which to send off your first child to fend for themself.


I'm so, so excited!

Pictures soon, both of he in his cocoon, and of he now, wings and all. Promise.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I'm feeling much better this morning. Christa got in last night; it's nice to have her around again. Good times with the roommates.

So anyway, I'm working again now. Yesterday was my first full day.

Had I mentioned that my last contract ended because MS wanted to outsource the work I was doing to India?

Ironically, my new contract is through an Indian company, but back again at MS. Full circle.

It's a small, small world -- it turns out that I'm in the same cube-farm as CRM Product Management. So strange seeing folks from the old team wandering around the hallways at work. I'm not sure I'll get used to that.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Being sick, working full time, and going to school all at once is a bit overwhelming. I wish I had someone to take care of me. I want someone to cook me soup and pour me orange juice and make my life all better.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I haven't been able to publish for two days, but blogger just sent me an email that seems to indicate publishing will work now. Here goes!
I just took the TIPP Learning Assessment for my massage school. I was inclined to dismiss the resulting profile as bunk, although some does seem to fit me (espeically within the "Areas to Develop" section). Following are some excerpts from its assessment of me -- if you feel like reading through them, let me know what you think.
. . .

In the playground of your mind, you learn through relationship and can see the relationships that exist between objects, concepts and people. Whether through instructors, work associates or more personal connections -- these relationships are key to how you learn best.

You are a people person. While some view the learning relationship as a component of their learning process, for you, it determines whether you learn. The relationship, and sometimes even the person(s) involved, acts as a guide - directing you on your learning journey - to a greater level of self-understanding and personal knowledge. Thus, mentors who encourage self-discovery are likely the instructors to whom you are most drawn.

You enjoy the act of communication almost as much as relationships themselves. Language, whether written or spoken, is used to develop deeper, clearer, more meaningful relationships - which in turn, help you to experience learning in a meaningful way. No doubt you have spent hours sharing your thoughts and feelings, opinions and attitudes and relationship perceptions with the "teachers" in your life. The time spent, while socially satisfying, provided you with an opportunity to implement the very language you love.

It should be noted that learning relationships are not exclusive to people. These meaningful connections can also include animals. Although odd to some, you may find that one (or more) of your most significant emotional relationships involves a beloved pet. Depending on your social circle or your introverted or extraverted preference, your pet might serve as a major learning relationship. Your language may not be the same, however, given your gift for creative communication, any existing language barriers are likely broken down.

Typically, your performance in traditional learning arenas (school, classrooms, etc.) is directly related to the subject matter and the facilitator. A preference for the humanities (behavioral sciences, language, literature, philosophy, etc.) accentuates your social interest. However, when the instructor is not relationally oriented and doesn't provide learning activities or offer individualized support, the material becomes much less engaging -- once again emphasizing the value of the learning relationship.

Your ability to grasp theory is high. This has to do with your natural inclination to approach things in a relational way. In fact, one of your greatest strengths is the ability to analyze and articulate general themes and patterns in communication and social behaviors. To share your discoveries with others is your personal pleasure and one of the many ways you contribute to the lives of those around.

Although there is a traditional quality to your learning process, your need for personal enrichment freedom over shadows most of your conventional perspectives. The ultimate search for meaning, is likely one of your objectives, both in life and in learning. Thus, you may view traditional attitudes as a limit to your learning success. However, when structured as an opportunity for self-discovery and the freedom to experiment, even more formal learning activities are appreciated.

Finally, you learn by gathering information through your five senses. Although you are drawn to "the metaphor" or may search for the deeper meaning of someone's behaviors, your initial introduction to any learning material should be by sight. You take in material best through our eyes. You need to see what is asked of you. You need to see and/or read the directions. Reinforcing what you have seen through experiential learning opportunities helps you to internalize the information even more.

. . .

Although your people-orientation and ability to communicate are great strengths, focusing on them alone can limit your learning experience. For example, words without action can result in simply talking about doing something, but never really following through. While learning about a particular subject, you could find that you'd rather share your thoughts and feelings about the topic instead to studying it in depth or developing the skills necessary to implement it fully. Certainly the learning process is valuable overall. But don't forget, the result of most learning experiences includes both process and product - the combination of which demonstrates personal growth and discernable learning success.

Given the significance of the learning relationship, you might have a tendency to obsess on or romanticize those with whom you're connecting. Once you encounter a relationship that invites the process of meaningful self-discovery, you never forget it. In fact, it is often hard to relinquish when the time comes to do so. Being mindful of that, we encourage you to remember that every relationship has a beginning and an end. It has an ultimate purpose. When you realize the purpose of each relationship, the need to hold on becomes less intense. Thus, the learning process remains about you and your ability to learn -- instead of focused on the other person or the relationship that's shared.

Last but not least - remember your playful learning quality. Learning through play is important and can be extremely valuable. It can help you live more in the present and celebrate the temporary. Consider this scenario the next time something big is required of you: Your editor calls you with a hundred revisions to your latest draft. Instead of stewing over the criticism or simply the work that is required, head for your nearest playground. Hop on a swing and feel your stomach do somersaults and the wind on your face. When you're done, keep that sensual memory handy for when you begin writing. Getting back in your body can help you get out of your head. Besides, your heart writes all the true stories.

. . .

Monday, September 06, 2004

As I've been finishing up my move and sorting through contents of boxes that haven't seen the light of day for 10 years, I've come across some old poetry. I'm going to post it, here and there. Be warned that some of it is a little dark.

desperate consumption of
salt water sex
trying to satiate an
all-consuming thirst.
my lips crack painfully
hard tanned leather

. (I fall back to frightened child
. trying to hold at bay
. phalic games, talk
. limbs of a too big alien culture
. But my hands are too small
. pebbles swept away by the flood
. A man-driven storm
. ravages my small ragdoll
. limp beaten form)

must pump harder
engage the thrill
what once devastated
will surely be my salvation
drink more
yet the thirst grows

. (Broken, sobbing
. he has poured my cup out
. Puddle on the floor
. ever pooling out of reach)

salt eating away
dry chapped empty hole consuming

by Kathryn Krueger, written in April of 2000.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

My caterpillar is pupating! How awesome is that? I snapped a few pictures and will post one sometime soon. Try to contain yourself until then, okay?

Friday, September 03, 2004

Yesterday I was eating some fresh broccoli when, lo and behold, I noticed a caterpillar nestled under the florets! He looks like this:

I named him Moses, for although he was not found hiding away in a basket amongst the river weeds, he was found hiding away amongst my broccoli florets, and I set him up in a glass on my table. Inside the glass I put his bit of broccoli, a branch and some leaves from a neighborhood tree, and several drops of water. I covered the top with saranwrap, and punched a number of holes in the wrap to allow him oxygen and airflow.

Moses was slow and lethargic when we first discovered him, but has become much more active. I suppose he was cold, living in my crisper drawer, and is much happier now that he has warmed up.

When I sat down to eat my breakfast this morning, I peeked into his new abode and noticed a mass of yellow-green balls piled at the bottom of the glass. Eggs? Perhaps there will be many Moses Juniors in a short time!

Chris and I think he is an Imported Cabbageworm, the species shown in the picture above. I'm hoping that he will pupate here in our kitchen. He would be the first butterfly I've ever raised.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

So much drama and intruigue in my job world lately; moreso than the last time! Riding on past experiences, I'm a little hesitant to post much about it until I make this site a little secure.

Ask me sometime in person, though, and I'll share a few good stories.

Or maybe I'll get my butt in gear with this site sometime soon. Wouldn't that beat all.
Busy, busy, busy.

Monday, August 23, 2004

So I have no job now, and we have internet access in the apartment, but I've been super-busy lately. Funny how that works -- the more time I think I'll have, the busier I seem to get. Maybe I'm more liberal about trying to fit things into my schedule right now, since I imagine that I'll have all the time in the world -- if I thought I had less time, I'd schedule less and attempt to do less, and would end up having more free time in the balance.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Do you find yourself out on too many intollerable dates? Can't say no, but can't endure the thought of seeing the whole thing through? Cingular and Virgin Mobile now offer "rescue calls" as part of their cell-phone service -- arrange to have them call you up at a pre-ordained time, and a recorded message will walk you through an excuse to get you out of any situation. That's right! Rather than fighting your passive-aggressive urges, you can wallow in them, with your cell phone provider coddling you all the way.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

At the Westlake dance this afternoon, a pigeon was all in a panic because it had gotten some twine caught up around its foot, and a large stick also attached to the twine.

Several dancers and onlookers somehow caught the pigeon, subdued it, and made a quick and efficient operation out of removing the stick and twine. It couldn't be undone just by hand, but someone had nail clippers so they were able to cut the string apart. The pigeon's foot was a little bent and bloodied up, but they were able to remove the twine without futher injury. They then freed the bird, which promptly flew away.

It was so nice to see people actively grouping together to help an animal like that! Too often it seems people are inclined in such a situation to ignore the creature, or worse, to hurt it or compound its misery somehow. Very refreshing to see them all bonding together to help out and make the bird's situation better.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Yesterday morning, I tried to hit google several times, only to hit a server error page.

This was actually quite distressing for me. I hadn't realized that I was so dependent on google; apparently, as far as my internet habits are concerned, google is the backbone of the net. Without it, I am lost.

Where was google?

Why could I not search?

The mystery is solved:
July 27, 2004 -- (WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) -- In an event that severely hampered the performance of Google's search engine, the Google ( Web site was hit by the MyDoom virus on Monday, seriously disrupting service for several hours. Users who attempted searches during the disruption received a server error page.
It also affected Lycos, Yahoo, and Alta Vista, although I didn't personally note those disruptions.
A german clothes manufacturer is soon to release a coat that contains a built in MP3 player controlled by buttons on the sleeve and a hands-free cellphone microphone tucked into the collar. Maybe it's just me, but that seems almost sad.
Crazy - it's no longer just in tech that we can get outsourced.

Monday, July 26, 2004

"Do not induce vomiting, as it will NOT prevent food poisoning. Bacteria and other microscopic organisms cause food poisoning. There is no way that vomiting will remove every bad organism in the stomach. Food poisoning can still occur even if vomiting was induced. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent food poisoning once bad food has been eaten. That is why prevention is the key."
Apparently I just shouldn't eat bad food to begin with. Interesting.

Good thing the thai food this afternoon wasn't too bad. Mike made me really hungry with stories of amazing breakfasts. Then I remembered that I had some left-over thai food in the fridge at work! I don't remember how old, maybe a week or two - but I was hungry, and it was there!

The phad thai tasted a little funny (and possibly looked a little funny), so after a taste or two I tossed it all out. The curry and rice seemed okay, though, so I put them on a different plate and finished them off. Yum.

Now I've been reading about food poisoning, just in case. I don't know how long it would take to tell if what I did was a bad thing and I'm about to die, but I think if I'm okay now, well - I'm probably okay.

Adam says that the good news is I can easily travel to the third world without fear.

It's like I'm practicing, yeah? Building up a tollerance. Good for me! So brave. So fearless. So able-to-eat-questionable-things. I know you're jealous.
Bruce Springstein's I'm on Fire is awesome stuff. Gives me the shivers. Wish I could write music that speaks to people like that song speaks to me.

So I might start blogging more again sometime soon.

Granted, I did give away my main PC. It was a nice machine, but my baby sister is going off to college and she'll put it to much better use than I had been. Also, I must get rid of things if I am ever to travel the world.

Must... let... go of... material... posessions......

I also gave away the trusty Aptiva Pentium 233 that saw me through all of college. Found some non-profit that was interested in taking it off my hands. is awesome -- it's a donation database that connects people with old computer equipment with recipients who can put it to use. Kudos to them.

I still have Shibani, my 486 laptop, though! Not sure anyone would want her even were I inclined to give her away.

Poor Shibani is mess at the moment, but plans are to outfit her again with a fresh installation of Win 3.11, and then perhaps I can hook her up through Chris's little network in our new place.

Alternatively, I also have permission to borrow his computer when he is out or is not using it.

Also, Company-Whatever-Acronym-I-Decided-To-Use-That-I've-Long-Since-Forgotten is outsourcing the work I have been doing to India sometime soon, and I'm not sure yet what I'll be doing after that. So I may have a bit of extra time on my hands for a while, as well.

Time will tell. I do miss the little blog, though. So does Steve. And even if you're the only one who reads it, Stevey-poo, I should be faithful and good to my admiring public. Yo.
Wouldn't it be awesome to live and work in Antarctica? It's on my list now.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

I keep seeing cars with Minnesota plates everywhere. I think we're about to take over the state.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

I will never be bored again.

Yesterday morning, I took Mary out to breakfast at the B&O. Yummy!

On the way home, we walked by Half Priced Books. Usually I walk right by, but they had a clearance shelf out on the sidewalk and I noticed a hard cover copy of A Thousand Acres out for sale, available for $1.00. A Thousand Acres! Only a dollar! That's it. That started the feeding frenzy.

I ended up walking off with 40-some books, most for a dollar or two, a select few priced at $3.00. I figure I'll never be bored again. Probably not until Christmas, anyway. Certainly not before the summer is up. And I won't make back everything I spent, but I can make back at least a portion of it by selling the books back when I finish with them. Heck, if I borrowed the same set of books from the library, I'd probably rack up the same price in library fines anyway.
Check out this photo:

The translation of the French portion reads:
Wash with warm water.
Use mild soap.
Dry flat.
Do not use bleach.
Do not dry in the dryer.
Do not iron.
We are sorry that our President is an idiot.
We did not vote for him.
The label is from a series of Tom Binh brand bags. Some blogger posted the picture above several months ago, which started a media frenzy. One of the articles is posted on the Tom Binh site. Cute, eh?
New findings from the Kath-Lab:

Remember Goo Gone? Turns out that peanut butter works just as well, and is far cheaper. And you can eat it, too!

Monday, May 24, 2004

I met several new people when I was down in Eugene the other weekend, Olga being one. Upon meeting her, she said something to the effect of, "Oh, you're Kathryn. Greg and I found your blog."

That was pretty crazy. I mean, I've had friends/coworkers/etc. find it, but this was the first time I've met anyone who know about the blog before meeting me. I guess it's not totally surprising; they'd been searching the net for info on Seattle tango people, and since I am addicted to tango and friends with a number of people within the community, it does come up. And, although we live in a big world, the world argentine tango community is actually pretty small.

Still, it was quite the experience.
I've had a thing lately for heading out to the beach in the middle of the night. I'm fascinated by the water in the moonlight.

Tuesday night, after the Practica, I managed to talk Patrick into taking a jaunt with me. We originally tried for Golden Gardens, but there were several police cars sitting in the parking lot so we drove on through. We ended up hanging out on dock at Greenlake, instead. Still very nice. The sky was clear and beautiful, the stars bright. The water lapped at the shore and the moon shone down upon us. A blue heron stood guard just across the water for white a while. It had been a while since we had spent any real time together, so we talked and caught up. Lying on the dock next to Patrick, chatting and watching the water and the sky, I dozed off a bit. It was very peaceful. He says that I'm a beautiful sleeper -- calm, content, reaching to hold onto the arm of whoever is near me and curling up against it. I'm just glad that he doesn't take it personally when I nod off during our late night conversations. Not long after that, I woke up and we went home for the night.

Friday night, after the blues dance, I dragged several folk out to Alki. Tegan, Cynthia, Krista, Miles, Jason, and Patrick. A nice crowd. Friday was much colder than Tuesday had been; the day had been gloomy and cold, and the night wasn't much better. We all curled up in a pile of blankets against a log nearby the water and talked. I was really happy. We were talking, laughing, joking around, and it felt so good giving myself up to laughter. Someone -- Tegan? Patrick? Cynthia? -- said that it was nice to see me smiling and laughing, that I look serious too much of the time these days. I think they might be right. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's that I hang around different people these days, and these people bring out a different side of me? Maybe it's that tango seems more serious to me somehow, so I become more serious. I'm not sure. Whatever the case, it was nice to be out with old friends and to be in such good spirits. The night was chilly but pleasant, the water was beautiful, and the company was enjoyable. After we left, we all met up at my place and everyone hung out for a while more. We chatted a bit and then popped in The Secret of Nimh. I don't think I could be that social all the time, but as a once-in-a-while sort of thing, it's very beautiful. The good feelings carried over into all the rest of the weekend.

Patrick and I are talking now of organizing a small camping trip out to the Olympic Penninsula oen of these days soon. I can't wait. I've rarely seen the ocean, and not by night; should be quite the experience.
I took tango workshops from Julio and Corina this weekend; very nice. Their performances on Saturday night were amazing. I felt almost on the verge of orgasm -- their intensity, their control, their movement, their musicality -- all exquisite. I could hardly breathe all the while that they danced.

Wayne and Kirill came up from Portland for the weekend. After the Saturday night Milonga they and Krista came back to my place, and we danced on the roof of my building well into the wee hours of the morning. It was warm and intimate; very nice. I will remember it fondly for quite some time.
An article in the NYTimes today quoted Wikipedia as a source. How awesome is that?

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Have you ever felt that you're being sent a sign? I've seen two magnificent, wild herons in the last three days.

My life is diverging right now. Somehow this gives me the feeling that I'm headed in the right direction.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Here I am in Portland this last weekend:

And here I am at the same event, actually dancing:

I love tango. Someday I'm going to be super-awesome at tango.

If you don't know what I mean when I say "tango", check out the following videos:
Pretty awesome, eh? That's how I'm going to dance, and sooner than you think.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Lately I've been doing funny things like cleaning and practicing my guitar. If you know me well, you know these are things I almost always mean to do but rarely ever actually get around to doing.

Not having internet anymore has a large part to do with it, I think.

I've traditionally not been good at being alone. I get down sometimes. Lonely. I'm scared of confronting myself, letting my thoughts run where they will. When I had internet, I think I used it as an escape whenever I found myself with down time. Rather than be alone with myself, I'd browse the web or play a game.

Cleaning, practicing music -- these things require the body, but they allow the mind to wander. I am coming to believe that part of the reason I put them off so often is that I could not deal with letting my mind freely wander in that way. I couldn't deal with my own emotion so I preferred activities that kept my mind occupied.

Now I am coming to love such activities. When I am at home I am drawn to them. I've grown a lot over the last year, I think, and deal better with myself now that I am finally giving myself a chance to try it out again. I'm happier and my thoughts are healthier. I actually prefer being alone sometimes.

You should see my apartment sometime, if you haven't lately. It's still a work in progress, but is becoming quite cozy.

Do you remember Jacob Wetterling? He was abducted from a small Minnesota town on October 22, 1989 at gunpoint, while riding his bike outside with his brother and a friend. He was 11 years old. He was only one month and 9 days older than me.

His abduction... it hit me somewhere deep inside, moreso than almost any other worldwide event that I can recall during my childhood. He was so close to me -- age, origins, geographical location, family characteristics. He could have been me. I could have been him.

Even now, 15 years later, I still think of him sometimes. What happened to him? Is he still alive? How could he never have been found?

I was compelled just now to look him up on the web. Hoped that someone had learned something in the last decade and a half, that his family had been granted some sort of closure. Not so. No one knows.

His family has since established JWF, a foundation intended to protect children from sexual exploitation and abduction, and they have become strong activists working for that cause. On the webpage for the foundation, there is a letter from his mother to the man who abducted him. I cried, reading it. She is a woman of strength and speaks from her heart.

I still don't understand how such horrible things can happen. I don't understand how people can recover from it. When the abduction occurred, I looked at it from the perspective of an 11 year old, from the perspective of a possible abductee or the friend of such. Now I am older. I look at it from the perspective of a parent, a neighbor. I don't know how I would handle it, were I the one left behind, how I would ever find peace within myself. I am amazed that people can be so resilient, can heal.

If Jacob is still out there, I hope that he is found someday. I hope that he has been alive and well and has made it through all these years. If he hasn't, I hope that knowledge finally comes to light about what did happen to him. I wish for his family to find some sort of closure, to finally know. Not knowing -- that is the worst part of it all.
So, as you've surely noticed if you ever were a regular here, I'm not posting so much these days. That whole no-more-internet-at-home thing gets in the way a bit.

I am still writing, more than ever. But most of it sits in journals now. Or on tape; I've also been playing around with vocalizing my thoughts.

I do plan to publish bits of these writings every now and again, but it will probably come in spurts. Like this one.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Today I drew a picture - rather, it drew me - and as I drew, I cried.

It's not that I was sad - I was actually quite happy, sitting in the sun on the Kirkland waterfront - it's just that that's what the picture required of me. I haven't been consumed by art like that in a long time.
This is my last post from my desktop in my apartment. I'm having my home phone and internet disconnected today.

Over the last few weeks I've been taking a close look at my life, trying to sort out necessities from conveniences. In an attempt to trim down and simplify I am letting go of some of the conveniences, and the phone/DSL is one of the first things to go.

That said, I won't be as responsive to email from here on out. If you need to get ahold of me, best try my cellphone.

My blog will also suffer a bit, I am sure. I will still be writing regularly, but I will likely post and publish my entries in spurts (even moreso than I have been doing lately).
I went out for Ethopian food with Rachel yesterday.

There are two sections to the restaurant. The busier section is up front by the doors. In the back, there is a darker more colorful room. On one side of this room is a bar, and on the other are two or three booths. We sat in one of the booths and we were the only people in the room. It felt small, cozy, intimate -- very removed from the rest of the world. Another world in itself.

We ordered food and got to talking. I've known Rachel for quite a while now, but we've not known each other very well. Yesterday, though, we seemed to really connect. She didn't have any agenda, no place she needed to be, nothing she would rather have been doing -- I'd forgotten how nice that can be, spending time with someone who is completely there with you, not half-focused on where they need to be or what they want to be doing next -- and I was happy to just be there, in the moment, as well. We talked for almost four hours. First more trivial things, and then we wandered in and out of wilder territory. It's the first conversation I've had in a while where I felt both I and my conversational partner were being completely honest and frank. It was refreshing. So often, there are so many things that get in the way of that: a preference for courtesy, fear of offending, fear of conflict, too many assumptions, lack of time, lack of desire... the list goes on and on.

Walking outside when we finally did leave was jarring -- exiting our cozy den, thrust back into the midst of light and traffic and people. Even now, though, there's a bit of a glow left over from the time spent with her. I felt so alive and happy.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Steve passed me on 520, on the way to work this morning. Such a small thing, yet it made me so happy.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Some of the Portland people make fun of me, saying that I always wear green. I don't wear it always, but I do wear it often.

The thing is, green is such a perfect color.

I drove through the Arboretum today on my way back from lunch. The sunlight shone down through the trees, highlighting leaves and grass and greenery. All shades of green, everywhere. Light green, dark green, olive green, forest green. Everything looked so alive, so fresh! And then through the trees the bit of sky that showed was the brightest shade of blue, setting all the green off all the more so. It was like a painting. I wanted to take it with me, to keep it close.

The best I can do, I guess, is to wear a bit of green now and again.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

I didn't dance all weekend. Then I danced tonight, and now I have blisters on my feet.

Four days of not dancing -- that's all it took. What kind of wussy feet do I have? I wasn't wearing new shoes or anything. Same old shoes. Brand new blisters. Lucky me.

Lots going on in my life right now, but I don't know that I'm going to blog it all quite yet. If you haven't talked to me in the last week or two or I haven't yet updated you on all my latest plans and schemes -- if you are at all curious -- feel free to catch me and ask what's up. Or just sit back and hold tight. I'm sure it will all hit the blog eventually.

I don't feel like sleeping, quite. I think I'm going to stay up and clean for a while, and maybe make the sleep up with a nap after work tomorrow. My energy hasn't ebbed and flowed quite like this since college, but I like the way it's going. I feel like I could take on the whole world! For now, though, I guess I'll be content to just take on my living room.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

I had not realized before that groups of passengers debarking planes from different locations look distinctly different.

The crowd of passengers heading up the escalator into the baggage claim, having disembarked a plane just in from Cancun, do not at all resemble the crowd of passengers just having disembarked a plane from Minneapolis, MN. The first group of people seems somehow... tropical. The second seems more pale, pasty, pallor.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

I've been thinking recently about marriage.

I used to strongly believe that I would be married and starting a family by the time I was 25. Now I'm 26.

As men in my life go, there are generally three camps I can sort them into. Here is a diagram:

Yes, there is some overlap between "A" and "B". But note that there is not much.

Note also that this diagram does not imply any feeling on their part for me. Men in the overlap area (or in any area, for that matter) may have no interest in me whatsoever, although I suppose a lack of interest probably tends to push them out of the type "A" bucket.

And honestly, a lack of interest in me probably makes men a stronger candidate for bucket "B". Yes, I am drawn to men who are, for whatever reason, emotionally unavailable.

So what does this mean? Does it mean that marriage is not for me?

Does it mean that attraction and passion are not what I should seek out in a long term relationship, since it seems I am attracted mainly to men I am not really suited for? Should I instead be choosing my relationships based on other factors?

Or maybe I should just live and let live, go for whomever I am drawn to. Live in the moment, no regrets, no holding back. Be with whomever I wish to be with, and marry them if it ever comes to that.

It's not that "B" bucket boys are un-marriage-able; I'm just not sure it would last. We might have a torrid affair, an idyllic marriage at least for a time -- a hot and steamy honeymoon phase -- only to have everything ultimately come crumbling down. I'd be another divorce statistic or something. That would suck.

As an aside, I view love and passion as different beasts. I have love for men who do not inspire passion in me, and I am passionate about men I do not love. I am equally able to love "A" and "B" men.

Back to marriage --

I don't know if I can see myself married at all, at least not any time soon. It's strange to hear myself say that, a jolt that I'm starting to believe it. It deviates so much from the plan. Now there is no plan. I don't know where I'm going or how I'm going to get there.

Alex says he could see me married, but for it to work, it would be an unconventional marriage.

Why am I not passionately attracted to the "A" men in the first place? Is there some sensor in me that is malfunctioning?

Ironically enough, I think I am a "B" woman for many of the men who are attracted to me -- no promise of stability or solidity, a captivating siren nested in the rocks.
Sorry I haven't posted for a while.

Not much up with me and yet there's quite a bit going on, all at once.

I spent all of Easter afternoon out on the beach at Golden Gardens, dancing tango with friends. I saw my first sea anemones! Pretty awesome. Played in the water, made some groovin' sand sculptures, and had some lovely dances. Quite a nice time.

The last few days I've been back at work. I've had my lunches outside, enjoying the sun. Still hitting the Spanish classes, which are going well. Dancing lots of tango.

I went out swing dancing last night, for a change, to catch Kevin's last performance before he hits Europe. It was pretty sweet. Odd for me, though -- lindy has such different energy than tango. I felt like I'd stumbled into an alternate universe that I used to be a part of, but had since forgotten about. Superman returning to Krypton, or something.

My lindy connection felt off at first. This "all tango, all the time" thing I've got going on isn't helping my lindy connection any; go figure. I managed to sort it out by the end of the night so that it was feeling better, though.

My mood has been a little up and down recently. I think I'm affected by the moods of people around me more than I know. I started getting moody last week, and it turns out that a close acquaintance I see quite often separated from his wife around that time. His life has been going all crazy. I didn't know about it at the time, but I think in retrospect I picked up on his feelings and that's part of why I started feeling a little crazy up and down, myself. Interesting how that works.

Today has been good. Had lunch outside and read in the park for a little bit. I made daisy chains, on a whim; I hadn't done that in years. I'm still wearing them now. So nice to bring a little of the outdoors inside with me, given that I was stuck in my office during the better part of the day. Especially since work got crazy at the end of the day and I had to stay many more hours than planned.

I love daisies. The plump little sunshiny yellow centers surrounded by a soft white fringe, emitting a soft, fresh scent. I don't remember there being quite so many daisies back in Minnesota. Should I move away from Seattle, I will miss them.

If I find my camera any time soon, I think I'm going to make this more of a picture blog. Or at least make it the same old blog, but supplemented with pictures. Then I'll post pictures of the next flower ornaments I create. You will all be privileged to share in the flowery goodness. I am sure that you tremble with anticipation.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

I just had a breakfast of strawberries, brie cheese, and stone ground wheat crackers up on the roof with Henri, taking in the sun. Louie hung out with us, as well. It was awesome. I love sunshine. I wish every day were as amazingly beautiful as today, although I guess I might not appreciate the days quite as much in that case.

Friday, April 09, 2004

Ha! I am posting this from my cellphone! How fucking awesome is that?!

Today is so beautiful it's unreal. Alex and I are at a used book store. Going to grab a copy of Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle", head over to a park, and then we're going to sit out in
(CONTINUED FROM LAST POST. Apparently my phone imposes an input length restriction on text boxes.)

...the sun and I'll read out loud. Envy us.
More wisdom from Brian:
--Perhaps I am happy in part because of the depression? The one highlights
the other, sets it off. In contrast each is something more.

Some believe depression is a sign of change... and that all people go
through varying degrees of depression when their life changes. SOme more
severe than others. It's the sadness of part of your life leaving to make
room for a new part of your life. It's the part of you that is still
trying to hang on to the old ways...

So perhaps this depression is just a sign that there is change on the
horizon. Some old part of you is passing away to make room for the new,
happier, and more grounded Kathy? Perhaps it is a completely normal
process in your mind.
Man, he's like my own personal sage.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

I'm such a contradiction.

So many moments lately I feel my life is a gift, that this day, right now, this moment is one of the best I've ever had.

I'm thankful for colors, for landscapes, for sunshiny weather, for close friends and family. I'm grateful that I have the ability to think, to reason, to appreciate everything around me. Thankful for dance, for movement, for a working body, for creativity and expression.

I am aware of my own mortality, and all the more appreciative of everything I have right now because of this awareness. The relationships I am a part of, the connections I make, the scenes before me, the landscapes, everything that comprises the fabric of my life -- all of it is transitory and will become something else with time. Dust in the wind. But for the time being, it is all something wonderful, magical, and I feel privileged and blessed. There is so much goodness, I feel my life is charmed.

At the same time, I had the following conversation today, and there is truth in it as well:

FeebleAntelope says: XXXX?
Kathryn says: Er...
Kathryn says: I've kind of been avoiding XXXX.
Kathryn says: and I don't think it would be good to start up with that agian right now.
FeebleAntelope says: oh man..... you silly little twit.....
FeebleAntelope says: ;) sexy twit.....
Kathryn says: i've been a bit of an antisocial freak lately.
Kathryn says: pushing everyone in my life awya
FeebleAntelope says: why pushing away? Antisocial? Things are getting bad?
FeebleAntelope says: I actually thought that you might have been using YYYY as a device to push me away.... I don't think such a thing is really *that* bad and it can be an effective method but I'm sorry.
FeebleAntelope says: :'(:$:S
FeebleAntelope says: (or more specifically, since I was already withdrawing, as a device to ensure I didn't drift back) But again...... silly guy here. Don't throw anything at me.
Kathryn says: i think i'm a little depressed
Kathryn says: i wasn't trying to push you away using YYYY
Kathryn says: i've been pushing everyone away
Kathryn says: i really like what i have with ZZZZ, but at the same time i'm depressed by it, because he pulls me in but keeps me at such a distance at the same time, and i'm not quite strong enough to say "i deserve more than this" and give it up.
Kathryn says: so i'm freaking out a little bit
Kathryn says: i'm doing things like sleeping late
Kathryn says: and cutting out from things
Kathryn says: and skipping all the lindy stuff
Kathryn says: and some tango stuff
Kathryn says: and not making time to see friends
Kathryn sends: "Donnie Darko - Mad World.mp3"
Kathryn says: strangely enough, was listening to this just now, and it's sort of how I feel
Kathryn says: I dunno.
Kathryn says: I am prone to clinical depression, and it's probably at least partially that (it's been a few years, but the signs are there that it's coming back), and i should probably see someone, but my insurance doesn't cover mental health and i don't feel like i can afford it
So I'm the happiest I've ever been and yet, at the same time, I am slipping into a bit of a funk.

How can that be?

And yet believe that both are true. I have no doubt of my happiness, but I feel twinges of depression as well.

Perhaps I am happy in part because of the depression? The one highlights the other, sets it off. In contrast each is something more.

I'm going to start painting again. Harness some of this emotion, all this feeling churning within me. I feel like my emotions are in technicolor right now, all I need is an outlet to harness them and there will be something beautiful. So much happiness, colored here and there with splashes of melancholy, nostalgia, madness.

I have a friend who owns a consignment shop. She occasionally displays artwork in the store and sells it, and has offered to put some of mine up if I would like. It's an interesting thought. If my paintings turn out to be anything, I might consider it.
So I got a cellphone again. Two years off, and now I'm back.

I was debating keeping it on the down-low, not telling many people. I kind of like not being reachable sometimes. I like the freedom to choose not to answer my phone without people second-guessing me over it.

"I called you and you didn't answer -- why do you hate me?"

I hate that. I had friends who did that all the time when I last had a cellphone.

Strangely, I found that they didn't mind as much when they couldn't reach me after I had gotten rid of the cell. Somehow they were able to rationalize it away better if I didn't answer my home phone. They didn't have expectations that my home phone MUST be answered, but the expectations were there for the cell.

I think most of my friends these days won't have those sorts of issues. Hopefully not, because there will be times when my phone will be dead, when I will not hear it, when it will be off, or when I will simply choose not to answer.

It doesn't mean I don't like you.

It doesn't mean I bear you any ill will.

It really just means that I'm caught up in the moment, immersed in whatever I am doing, and have chosen not to let the flow be interrupted.

If you feel inclined to take it personally, please don't. I have antisocial inclinations these days, yo, but it's got nothing to do with you. I like you just the same and I'll get back to you as time allows.

That said, if I haven't given you my new digits yet and you'd like them, let me know.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

If I died tomorrow, I would have no regrets.

I feel lately as if I'm really living. I'm not holding back; whatever I want, I go for it. All out. I feel good about where I am and what my priorities are; I think that's partially the source of my recent happiness.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Miles gave me an "I love Portland" coffee mug as a belated birthday present. How awesome is that?
As I was walking downtown to find Kevin, I happened upon this magical set of stairs heading up who knows where. A sign at the bottom of the steps informed me that the park closes at 11:00 PM. "Park"? Intrigued, I began my ascent.

At the top was a winding maze of cement walkways spanned out over several blocks, lined with trees and assorted greenery. Below me I could hear the distant rumble of I5, but that seemingly had nothing to do with this strange new world.

I wandered around for quite a while, and just as I was beginning to fear that I would never find another way down & would have to retrace all my steps, a second, downward staircase appeared before me. I descended and found myself on Union Street, solidly grounded in the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle life once again.

Monday, April 05, 2004

I love being outside just before dusk, standing, facing the sun. My hair blows in front of my face, and instead of hair it appears as shimmers of gold and light because the sun shines through it just so. The birds are singing, and the air is still warm with just a hint of evening chill.

My dog sniffs about contentedly as I enjoy the smoky smell of BBQ drifting up from a nearby apartment patio. Mingling with the smoke is the smell of fresh paint from a recently painted curbside. The paint smell reminds me of afternoon craft sessions at my grandmother's house as a child, sitting outside at just this time of day painting together with acrylics.

I'm dropping my dog off now, and going to walk downtown for a farewell party for Kevin. Will be a pleasant walk; it's such nice weather for being outside. Afterwards I'll meet up with Michael to practice tango, and then grab what sleep I can before work tomorrow. I meant to hit a yoga class or two today as well, but there's just never enough time.
I've transcribed the entries from Portland -- here's a link if you don't want to scroll down on your own. My apologies for posting things out of order.
I spent the day playing the Spanish speaking CD's that accompany my textbook in the background while I worked. I'm planning on picking up the sounds and tonations of this language. I theorize that having well-spoken Spanish playing in the background throughout the day, even if I cannot understand it, will subliminally assist me in better picking up the language.

I'm also going to overdose in Spanish films for a while. Hooray for Netflix.

I swear, I will get accents and tones down! This will be the difficult part for me; reading, writing, vocabulary, and language structure come easily. My Latin background helps. I haven't taken a lot of French and Italian, but I've taken enough that they will help as well. None of that will help with Spanish sounds, though.

I will also roll my R's someday. Never yet in my life so far, but it will come, yeah? All I need is faith. And luck. And maybe a nice Spanish lover to teach me the ways and wiles of the language.
Brian wrote in an email to me just now:
-- Does it make a difference that my current happiness is grounded in
myself and is not tied to anybody else?

That is the only true happiness. Nobody else can make you happy. Linking
your happiness to others only leads to unhappiness, because it is nobody's
responsibility to make you happy or keep you happy. That's your job!
Other people come and go... so if your happiness is dependent on them, it
comes and goes too. But you're ALWAYS there with you, and so will your
happiness if it is based upon yourself.
I wonder if, the more that I become grounded in myself and happy within my own core, the more okay I will be with letting others go. In a previous post I mentioned that I am overly afraid of losing people. Could it be that this has been made worse because I have traditionally tied my happiness so strongly to the happiness of others?

In always putting others above myself, I am nothing when they move on. I am terrified for them to leave, to face this void. I have no core of my own to fall back upon. I didn't always have it, anyhow. Recently I have building one. I am becoming happier on my own, more true to myself.

Always with the core.

Interesting also that my emotional core is becoming stronger at the same time that I am building up my physical core. I wonder if that is more than coincidence.
Steve observed the other day that I often date or become involved with people I'm not really interested in. Although it is not a pretty thing, I see truth in this observation. I have been involved with a large number of people throughout my life, but I have only been strongly drawn or attracted to a small few.

I mentioned this to Chris Araman yesterday and it turns out he does the same thing.

Chris and I talked for a while of whys.

To some degree, I think I fall into this pattern because I date people who are interested in me.

It is flattering to have someone show interest in me. It makes me feel like a better person, somehow. Warm. Loved. Cared for. Deserving of love and affection. If someone cares for me, can I not find it in myself to care for them? Can their attraction not be enough? Why should it need to come from within me?

So I let myself get tangled up in relationships where the attraction does not come from within me.

For the short term, this isn't a terrible thing. I don't think. I don't know.

For the long term, it is not stellar. It is not fair to me or to the people I am involved with.

Or is it?

Sometimes I think that perhaps attraction could develop over time. With length and depth and time, my love could grow. It might never be the passionate stuff that Harlequin Romances are centered around, but it could still be a stable, lasting affection that would benefit both I and my partner. Arranged marriages often work out well for both people, possibly because of the attitudes and beliefs they take into the relationship. With the right attitudes and beliefs, I could be in a working long term relationship with any one of many people, regardless of level of attraction, of draw and pull.

This is all nice and good, but there's more to it.

As another motivating factor, I get lonely. I think that because there are so few people I am strongly attracted to, I settle in the meanwhile. I don't want to be alone. I want to be emotionally and physically intimate with others.

This is selfish of me, I know.

Somehow I still rationalize it to myself as being okay. I don't want to give this up. I want what I can have while I can have it, even if less than optimal, while I wait for whatever else may come along.

This is a terrible attitude, eh? I hate when my significant others act as if they feel this way, that they are settling for me while they wait for something else. But here I am thinking and feeling it.

I'm sure more to this, that there are subtleties and nuances I am unable to see or to explain. I don't really understand why I do what I do, and the picture I have painted thus far is far from complete.
I feel happy and content these days -- in many ways, I feel that I'm happier recently than I've ever been in my life -- but at the same time, I notice that I have a much shorter fuse than I used to. I'm far less tolerant of other people, much more protective of my own space.

Am I happier because I am more protective and am watching out more for myself?

Am I deceiving myself that I am happier?

Does it make a difference that my current happiness is grounded in myself and is not tied to anybody else? Does that make it stronger or more shallow? Or is it not that simple?

So many questions, so few answers.

I do feel a slight twinge of guilt when I put someone else off to make space for myself or to do what I feel is right for me, but it passes quickly. Several years ago, in the same situation, I would have tormented myself. Ultimately I would have turned around and done whatever I felt necessary to best please the other person, regardless of what I wanted or what might best please me.

This is not to say that I am indifferent to others or that my outlook has become entirely egocentric. There is a much stronger balance now, though, than there used to be. I now take myself into consideration. I have come to accept that I cannot make everyone happy, that I cannot "fix" people, and that I will only make myself miserable if I let doing so become my primary objective. I need to be true to myself and be good to myself when determining priorities, and I have started doing so with more frequency.

This means that I make others unhappy sometimes. I'm not sure I'm crazy about that. But generally, I feel good about where I am and the choices I am making. Life is good.
Chris and I had coffee at a shop near his place in Queen Anne. Such a beautiful afternoon, was so nice walking outside.

Following that, we went back to his place and played Dance Dance Revolution. I suck at DDR. I'll get better though. Under 60 boo's became my general goal, and for the most part, I was able to make that (at least on the easier levels). That's a pretty sucky goal though. I can do better. I swear. DDR party next week, and I plan to kick some ass.

After our video game session, we went out to the theater and saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Good flick. Charlie Kaufman rules. I hadn't seen a movie in the theater for quite a while, but this was a good pick for getting back into it. Even though I'm not normally a Jim Carrey fan, I loved it; he did an awesome job. Three thumbs up.

To top off the evening, we headed over to the Bada Lounge to see Kevin's final Bada gig before his European tour. Kevin is the bomb. I wish he weren't leaving for four months. Happy for Kevin, sad for Seattle.

Now I'm home and exhausted. Tomorrow morning the real world kicks in again, so I guess I should get some sleep. Cheerio.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Although I had an amazing time in Portland, I reached a point, near the end of dance on Saturday night, where I wanted to be anywhere but there. It's like there was a switch: switch is on, I'm having a great time, everything is dandy, there's nowhere else in the world I'd rather be -- and then it clicks off and I just want to be home. It's not that anything went wrong, just that I was done.

That's maybe not such a big thing for some of you, but it's weird for me. I'm the sort who closes things out. I'm afraid I'll miss something if I leave early so I stay until the very end, leaving in the last wave. I don't leave early. It's not something I do.

It's not something I used to do, anyhow. I guess I'm changing.

So I still spent the night in Portland, despite the draw to leave. Woke up and the home instinct was still going strong, so I caught a ride with a group of people leaving much earlier than I had originally planned to. Now I'm home, clean, fed, and feeling pretty good. As far as I know, the group of people I had planned to come back with is still in Portland, possibly dancing their hearts away at one of the Sunday practicas. I'm sure they're having fun.

I'm going to head over to Uncle Jon's in a bit to practice tango with him. I'm jazzed about that. We've been talking about practicing for a while, but today will be the first day of actually doing. He's fun, talented, quite artistic; I'm looking forward.

Then after that I'll spend some time with gay Chris. First time in a long time. I'm looking forward to that too.

Then I might even come home and veg for a while. Bond with myself. I almost never make time for that, but right now I'm having a hankering. It's almost like I'm someone else. Or turning into someone else. I guess that's the nature of growth and change.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

I don't remember a time in my life where I've been happier than this weekend. Surrounded by people that I'm growing to love, sharing experiences that I will treasure for a long while to come.

This morning -- sunshine, companionship. We went to eat breakfast at a cafe that turned out to be quite crowded, so the 10 of us went down the street to a creperie instead. Enveloped by sun, warmth, good feeling, all the walk over.

At the creperie, fresh coffee, cold water, all of us pulled around a few tables in the center of the room. Happy and cozy. As our orders came trickling in, we all shared one another's food. Pleasant camaraderie. I love sharing -- somehow, other people sharing with me or allowing me to share with them makes me feel so connected to them.

Then, this afternoon, 15 of us drove down to the coast. We walked barefoot in the sand, danced with the sea, the sun, the wind in our hair. Pulling sand beneath our feet and between our toes, our music accompanied by the sound of the waves lapping on the shore. I portaged little Lindsay and Lyera over a knee deep water crossing when they didn't want to get wet and cold. I enjoyed helping them, getting my feet wet, really using my body. Being a part of the land around me. Being connected with the people near me.

Everyone else got cold, but without shoes or socks, wearing only a light pair of pants and a tank top, I felt no chill. How could I, with such warmth of happiness radiating from my core?

I have not spent much time in my life near the ocean. Today surpassed all expectations.

I think someday I'd like to live in a little bungalow by the sea. I feel so grounded, so alive when I stand out in the wind, the air heavy with salt water, the sand beneath my feet, the surf pounding the shore. Such grandness. Such reason for living. Words don't do the feeling justice.

Friday, April 02, 2004

I rode down to Portland with Lyera and Greg. Lyera's stereo is broken -- well, not so much broken as currently & for all the foreseeable future, non-functional. It's the kind with a removable face. One time, in Vancouver, Lyera put the face in the trunk in an attempt to thwart thievery. Unfortunately, thieves broke a window and pulled it out anyway, so now the stereo is unusable for both she and for them. The thieves also stole her favorite Piazzolla CD's and a Mickey Mouse a friend had given her. Bastards. Greg thinks that maybe the Mickey Mouse is happier now, off doing heroine and stealing things and really seeing the world.

So, anyhow, since there is no stereo, Greg read out loud from the book Underworld: A Novel for all the trip. How awesome is that? I used to practically beg friends and boyfriends to read out loud to me, and here Greg does it for us as a matter of course. Super-sweet.
Alex Phelps was going to visit this weekend, but he is no longer able to do so due to hellish work stuff. They're going to reimburse his plane ticket and he'll visit a few weeks from now, but that threw this weekend into flux.

I've decided instead to head down to Portland with a few other Seattle folk. I'm a traveling fiend. Tonight, Gypsy Dance Night with the Vagabond Opera! Tomorrow night, Milonga Berretin. And then there are all the Portland folk I'll get to hang out with; should be good times!

Thursday, April 01, 2004

"Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life."
- Terry Pratchett.
Jaimes says I have a hard time letting people go, that I am afraid of losing people. I mean, most people have that to some extent, but he says it's particularly pronounced in me.

I can see truth in that. I wonder where it comes from, though.

On a different note, in a conversation with Wayne yesterday morning I realized that I don't trust people to stick around for the long term. I perceive friendships and close relationships to be much more transient than I once did, and expect that they will all deteriorate, given time. Regardless of how much I care for the other person and regardless of how much I treasure the relationship, I do not have faith that it will last.

So why do I have such a hard time letting go, if I expect that every friendship will eventually require just that of me? Am I trying to postpone the inevitable? Is one observation or the other not entirely true? Is there some level of subtlety I am missing? I don't know. If both observations aptly describe me, I don't understand how they fit together.
. . .

You really had me going
wishing on a star
But the black holes that surround you
are heavier by far

I believed in your confusion
you were so completely torn
Well it must have been that yesterday
was the day that I was born

. . .

I've come to find
I may never know
your changing mind
Is it friend or foe?
I rise above
or sink below
With every time
you come and go
Please don't
come and go

'Cause I am barely breathing
And I can't find the air
I don't know who I'm kidding
imagining you care
And I could stand here waiting
a fool for another day
I don't suppose it's worth the price, worth the price
The price that I would pay

But I'm thinking it over anyway
I'm thinking it over anyway
From Barely Breathing by Duncan Sheik

I am so irrational. I knowingly let myself be used by somebody, but then later I get upset because I feel used. How dumb is that?

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Two squarish layers of clouds sat right over the horizon on the east side of Lake Washington this morning, resembling a large king-sized mattress and box spring. The line of mountains and trees lining the horizon looked like the shadowy area underneath the bed, and the water resembled a freshly swept tile floor. Above the two squarish clouds was a single fluffy mass of cloud, bringing to mind a down comforter all crumpled up from someone having just rolled out of bed.

Such a picture -- the bed of some celestial being, left in disarray when he ran off to start the day. Made me smile.
Lyrics to tango music are generally in Spanish.

In DC, I danced with one guy who translated the lyrics to the music for me as we danced. I loved it!

So now, I want to know what the songs are saying as I am dancing them. I don't need that to dance, but it adds atmosphere, helps to enhance the story of my dance, perhaps. Adds subtle feeling, and dance is so much about feeling. At least dance that I am drawn to.

With that in mind, I decided that I want to learn Spanish. (Well, also with the thought of visiting Argentina in mind. It won't happen for quite a while, but I plan on making it some day and I might as well start preparing early.)

I was going to just hit some books and see then hopefully work out a deal with a Spanish speaker on TimeBucks as a supplemental deal. With all that on my mind, I asked Alex if there were any books he might recommend. He said he had heard great things about the ones used by the state department, and they were available at the U Bookstore. He also pointed me to the Seattle Language Academy.

The Seattle Language Academy! Woah! With a new term of classes starting today! How awesome is that?

I called Alex up and asked him, "Would you like to learn Spanish with me?"

Amazingly, he agreed.

And we signed up for a class that started within the hour. So twice weekly, on my lunch breaks from now until June, I will be heading to Spanish class. The class today was pretty awesome, once we got there (we got lost on the way). I adore our instructor.

Super crazy, all of that. I never thought I would learn Spanish. As a kid, I had some wierd prejudice against Spanish, Mexico, and anything having to do with Spanish or Mexican culture. In Junior High, when all kids in the school got to take one semester of Spanish and one semester of either French or German, I threw a fit and made them let me skip Spanish, taking French and German, instead.

And now here I am, suddenly in a Spanish class, and with Alex taking it with me, to boot. I'm excited. It's been far too long since I've taken classes. I'm even excited about homework.