Friday, February 29, 2008

Patience of a Cat

I sat tonight after a very long day at work enjoying a movie (see the music, books and movies I'm enjoying in the column at the right) and ate some thawed frozen shrimp.

The cat, at whose house I'm sitting, rubbed and rubbed and rubbed against my leg in admiration and wanton lust for a bite.

I'm impressed at her patient ability to enjoy the smell of fulfillment, if not the taste.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Every couple of weeks, I share an evening meal in silence with a friend. We eat while listening to soothing music, an audio book, or like last evening, we simply eat in silence. It's a good way to experience a friendship in an alternative way.

It's also good for noticing things anew. Not just how food looks, feels, smells and tastes, but to notice the act of eating itself.

David Byrne said in his movie "True Stories" that he likes to forget things so that he can notice them again. Notice the whiteness of paper, how a doorknob feels in the hand. I like that. And last night I noticed again that I eat.

Then I went home, enjoyed another fire in the fireplace and some reading. I noticed those things, too.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Third Time's a Charm (but not charming)

Remember my 14 sage who sends me those mass e-mails of the sappy sentimental nature? Now I'm caught in a terrible loop of lame, "hi-I'm-thinking-of-you-and-you-and-you-and-you-but-none-of-you-personally," saccharin-sweet spam mail.

I first get them from my cousin who is bed-bound and loves to find "funny" and "inspirational" messages and send them out. His mass email list happens to include my mother and my niece.

So then my mother forwards these messages to her email list. I'm on that list and get the message a second time.

Then my niece forwards her copy to her mass email list. Yeah. I get that copy, too.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Update on last week's and the weekend's intensities:
  • Live burglary settled now with alarm system.

  • Depressive friend has had some increased suicidal ideation.

  • Restraining order is in place for another acquaintance and the cops have gone home.

  • Talked sick friend into going to the hospital yesterday morning and we have him being cared for by family friends of his.

I need more logs for the fire!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Crazy intense week helping friends going through pretty severe crises. It felt good to be there for them. Now, these past few days, I've been enjoying myself in the evenings around a wonderful crackling fire in the fireplace. Good company.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Isn’t it curious that I meet someone now and, without knowing that person, decide to invest time and energy trying to deepen our connection to a level that I have already with someone else. Why would I not equally invest time and energy trying to deepen my love for someone with whom I already feel a deep connection?

In other words, what is love that it compels me to forge connections with someone I don’t know, yet it fails to compel me to forge it when I already have those connections with someone else? Why does love compel me to discover it here, but not over there?

Love is curious and escapes my understanding. It just is, I suppose.

Monday, February 18, 2008

George W. on John McCain

"The senator has got to understand if he's going to have--he can't have it both ways. He can't take the high horse and then claim the low road."

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Did You Know...?

More Americans now die from misuse of prescriptions drugs--including anti-depressants, painkillers, and sleeping pills--than from heroin and cocaine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Fatalities due to drug overdoses have been rising dramatically in the U.S. since 1999, largely because of the abuse of prescription drugs.
Los Angeles Times
Americans eat about 100 billion cows, chickens, pigs, and other animals every year.
The New York Times

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ant Farm

I started an ant farm today. It sits on my office desk. I'm impressed that the ants can completely double over and lick their own butts.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

V-Day and the Polls Are Closed

Love is:
  • 16 votes that it happens a little to you, but is mostly a choice
  • 10 votes that it is a choice
  • 2 votes that you choose a little, but it mostly just happens
Love is:
  • 13 votes that it is 90% choice, 10% sex
  • 12 votes that it is all thought/soul/emotion connection
Sex is:
  • 14 votes that it is all sexual activity from intercourse to sucking/licking
  • 6 votes that it is all sexual activity from intercourse to fondling w/o clothes
  • 1 vote that it is only intercourse
You have love if:
  • you have a 90% connection with someone based on emotion/thought/spirit...12 votes
  • only you have it all...2 votes

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

We return to my 14-year old sage.

The most recently forwarded exhortation from my Christian evangelical friend is the following touching fable:

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. “What food might this contain?” the mouse wondered - he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock.

To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did not get well; she died.

So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them. The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember -- when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.
Though I usually don't respond to such forwarded e-mails, I did reply to inform the sender that origin of the mouse fable is likely based upon a speech by the German Lutheran pastor named Martin Niemoeller, and was later turned into the following poem:

    "First they came for the Communists
    but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out.
    Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists
    but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out.
    Then they came for the Jews
    but I was not Jewish so I did not speak out.
    And when they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out for me."
There are numerous variations, some which include verses about blacks, catholics and gays. I didn't bother to inform my zealous young writer about what the variations include. Instead, I just left her the history and the link and closed with:
But, of course, animals are far more cuddly and warming than humans. So it is easier for most of us to imagine speaking up for a horse, a pig or a mouse than it is to speak up for groups of people we don't like.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Did you know that over 21,000 people showed up yesterday to hear Barack Obama speak? I don't think they were all so interested in his policy views. I think that people are finding through him a venue to speak with one voice that they want peace and hope and unity.

CLICK HERE to see where Obama (and others) stand on the issues.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


I love Lent. It's one of my favorite seasons. Well, no. Fall is my favorite season, so I guess I mean that Lent is my favorite holiday time of the year or something like that.

It's a peaceful time for me. One of quiet inner reflection, anticipation, participation in getting the ground ready for the first budding of spring.

It's like the time before Christmas (Advent) without all of the commercialism. The absence of all the hype itself makes it feel more real than the winter holidays. I like that.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ash Wednesday

I GoodSearched and Googled 'til my finger tips were blue hoping to find the pagan origins of Ash Wednesday. Unfortunately, all I could find were references that said it was based on pagan rituals, but without saying what were those pagan rituals. Perhaps it is becausethe pagan rituals had disappeared and the Christian church had already started their tradition as early as the 900's.

So that leaves me room to offer my own little take on the meaning (not the actions) of Ash Wednesday.

I like to think of it as an early gardening technique. If you burn out the brush of weeds and sprinkle the earth with the ash, the plants you want to grow will grow healthier. Not only because they don't have to compete with the weeds, but also because they are nourished by the death of those weeds (in the form of nutrient-rich ash).

I'm not using this Ash Wednesday to contemplate the "from ash you were made and to ash you will return" concept. Rather, I'm identifying the weeds in my life that are worth burning. And I'm identifying the kinds of healthy plants that I want to nurture and see come to life in the spring (Easter). It's good to experience resurrection at least once a year; and it's good to prepare for it as well.

For those of you to whom all of this is theologically boring, I offer for your meditation some words of our president:
"There is no such thing necessarily in a dictatorial regime of iron-clad absolutely solid evidence."
- President George W. Bush, Meet the Press, Feb. 2004

Monday, February 04, 2008

Spam or Brainwash?

What does it mean when you get forwarded one of those sappy, chicken-soup-for-the-soul type of messages about life and the subject line says, "This is so true in life"...

and the sender is only 14 years old?!

I typically wince at the syrupy sweetness of such e-mail even when it comes from an adult. Such sentiments (this one was an illustration about a mayonnaise jar, golf balls, sand and about taking time to have coffee with your friends--I know the youthful sender doesn't even drink coffee) become even more obviously shallow when sent by someone who is barely a teenager. Hmmm...come to think of it, maybe that's a good thing.

Are our youth really growing up that quickly? Are they simply fitting the mold that we force them into? Is it harmful to act like we have learned something of which we could not yet have possibly grasped the meaning? So many questions.

Perhaps I'll just consult the 14-year old sage.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it last week, I think this post is pretty good.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Don't forget: use GoodSearch (link in column to right) to support the Albuquerque Opportunity Center (the shelter gets a penny per search); vote in the polls (also to the right), and click Google ads if you want me to get some spending cash from hosting this site.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Went rappelling today. Learned how to do it Australian style, which is going down the rock facing down instead of the traditional sitting form.