banksy image via denial_land on flickr

Some things!

--In an attempt to have posts look uniform, I am going to try to have a photo and an eventual read more link in far more of my posts now. Whee!

(can you see how exciting this post's gonna be?)(I bet you can't wait for more!)

--I wrote about 800 words tonight. Not online--SIMPLY TO WRITE! This is astounding to me.

--And scary because I know it's lame to start with my childhood but I'm going with the "just write, sort it later" mentality It's always worked before, and I believe in it deeply.

--There's actually, perhaps a story in what I was writing. Somewhere anyway. And that's also quite exciting. Because I do believe I will be applying for grad school in writing within a year or so, and uh, that means writing samples, eh?

--I would totally apply this year, to start fall of next, but the lack of samples and current letters of rec would be challenging. As would the GRE-taking and fee-paying.

--I am listening to tonight, exciting in and of itself, but also I'm delighted to report that it's over wifi, on my netbook, through VLC. Computers are awesome.

--So is jolicloud. Seriously, it just works. And for Linux on an Asus EEE PC 900, that's pretty amazing.

--I've taken three sick days in a row, which is something I maybe have done one other time in the 2.5 years I've had a job with that many sick hours. It's crazy. More on that in a second.

--I've never been sure what genre I would want to study for writing, even though I'd like a 3 year program. Isn't that odd? And now I think maybe even creative non-fiction even though I think terms like that are actually fictional.


So the being sick thing.

It was really bad. By the second full day off, I essentially was in bed all day, only pausing for more liquids and to pee.

But the main thing it did was slow me down. A lot. Things got very basic (in my head: "okay it's 1pm so you have to eat" or "it's a good idea to drink more of something."), but it also upset me when I got caught up in reading about MA programs so I wanted to write or at least look up specific program info, and I simply didn't have the energy.

I was able to see what scarce ability looked like, and that was a bit game-changing for me. I feel like this week has taken so long, and in such a good way, despite being sick, because it really just became about setting myself up for successfully getting healthy again.

Weeks can always feel this long, if I just wasn't stuck online all the time, if I was writing, doing the right things, for me. I see a lot more of that now, and I'm so glad.

I'm excited about a new adventure! It's starting soon. Maybe even tonight.

I'll edit tomorrow, so apologies for any weirdness. It's time for sleeping!

Ellen and Ben

Sometimes I want to just start a tumblr that consists of screenshots of the terse descriptions that Pandora assigns to favorite bands.

Other times I just want to be the Dismemberment Plan.



Not a Fighter

I really didn't think I would end up posting anything about Michael Jackson, to be quite honest. I think as a midwestern boy growing up, he sort of represented in a human being all the cries of "Faggot!" that boys grow up with as well as scary city stuff, all wrapped up in a man who had two massive faces--the weirdo my mom would probably group in with David Bowie and a few others, and the genius that no one could escape.

He was one of those transcendent musicians who still trigger indiscriminate memories (seeing Alfonso pretend to be him on "Silver Spoons") as well as memories that understandably seemed big enough at the time to still be rattling around in my 31-year-old brain (being envious yet fascinated when a classmate could dance like him; watching as my TV broke the scandal about "markings" a young boy could identify)(a story breaking, as I recall, at a time also scarred by the Magic Johnson announcement).

Is Michael Jackson what I hope to hear when I go to Soul Night? Of course. There's no question that, now that the 80's no longer seem so kitschy, his music still makes people put their drink down and get back to dancin'.

But really, I wanted to write a post simply because I read this over at Said the Gramophone, and it simultaneously showed the strength of that blog while also reminding me of the greatness of a man so wrapped up in so many things beyond "just" making shockingly good music. It's a post worth sharing, and the demo of "Billie Jean" accompanying the piece will make you smile. I really hope you all will read it.

Silence comes from somewhere

Today has been quiet.

Erin and I stayed up very late after an evening of a lot of drinking and awesome company. We celebrated one coworker's 25th bday and another's 28th; I drank odd themed martinis and Erin searched for suitable beer. When we came home, I (again) got lost in some MoO2 while she cracked up at Trailer Park boys outtakes. For the first time maybe ever, I began feeling like it was okay to lose my mind in a game for a while. I've always had a lot of guilt associated with that sort of thing.

This morning was the second morning in a row when I woke up and my first three tasks were walk Wrigley, meditate, write morning pages. Both times, I could have gotten up simply to walk Wrigs and then go back to bed; both times I consciously went for the meditation/writing route. I'm so glad I did; it felt right.

The last few weeks have been challenging at work, but I met a pretty large personal goal on Friday and I feel like everything felt lighter as a result. It bled into the weekend, and the way that this weekend feels so long, so full of life and love and friends really seems to have happened as a result.

For a long time, I stopped thinking of myself as "stressed." Perhaps overbusy, overworked, juggling, but not stressed. I picture the molting of a shell after Friday, though, and consider how much stress I had been feeling.  As I grow older I realize I have a very weird mix of perfectionism with a belief in wanting to be allowed to change things at a moments notice. I can identify expectations that are too high but somehow try to build a win/lose situation out of most things--and most things are not that black and white.

So today has been quiet.  I learned as a child how to be awake but very, very quiet, and Erin's late sleep today meant that I wasn't about to empty the dishwasher, start some laundry, rush in and out of the house and make Wrigs noisy, or anything else.  I spent a lot of time in worthless internet trolling and finishing up last night's Moo2 game, and I upgraded to the Safari 4 beta while also downloading Chromium (seriously, I have a huge crush on Chrome and can't wait for real the Mac port). I finally realized I was gettign srtuck simply to kep quiet, and that seemed dumb (Erin woke up long enough to say that I could break my silence, but whatever). So I walked to the coffee shop, netbook and library books snug in my messenger bag.

I read some of th Oregonian (especially about a group that works with troubled youth to help them write and produce plays) and checked out a flyer about Performance Works NW and felt myself remembering that I want myu profession to be about helping people, that perhaps the arts need a higher place in my life and actions. I started reading my book about Insight Dialogue, and began to remember when my Zen practice was informing my coaching practice and how good and right and not-stressed that felt.

Today has been filled with the Mirah andThermals albums I grabbed on emusic, and full of thoughts and dreams and writing and websurfing and americano drinking

But most importantly, today has been quiet, and I'm so glad this was so.


Postscript:  I think somehow this project figures in to the above realizations.