Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Keep your laws off my morals

***CAUTION*** Political rant. Proceed at your own risk.***

California is about to consider a no-spanking law. Several cities have enacted laws that prohibit restaurants from using trans fats in food preparation. The definition of marriage and who may enter into that union has seen much debate and publicity in recent years. And even after 34 years of safe and legal abortion, states are constantly fighting and attempting to pass legislation designed to legislate moral and medical choices.

An op-ed piece I read recently rants about not only these laws, but also the law that bans handheld cell phone use while driving -- one that is or will be soon in effect in just four US states (although it's being debated federally) but in a myriad of countries.

And the writer blames it all on the Democrats, although not mentioned specifically by name, and the *L* word -- (insert exaggerated shudder here) -- LIBERALS.

Never mind that there are about a gazillion political parties in the US, most with a very specific political agenda. Never mind that if the arch conservatives have their way, personal choice about anything other than guns, [the one True Conservative] God, and apple pie will go the way of the dodo bird.

The writer asserts that only those who believe in God can really think for themselves, implying that everyone else allows [liberal] lawmakers to do their thinking for them instead of allowing God to direct their lives [through the directives of the one True Church aka Religous Right]. In other words, if you hold any LIBERAL thoughts, you couldn't possibly believe in God.

I guess you may have figured out that I make my bed on the "L" side.

I do not support law that encroaches on my right to make medical and ethical choices regardless of which party supports it.

I do not appreciate laws that dictate what I am allowed to eat, drink, or inhale, although I fully support label warnings such as those found on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products (and for that matter, warnings on aerosol cans, poisons, plastic bags, etc.).

Let me know the consequences should I choose to partake. But let me make the choice. If I die from a constant diet of fettucini alfredo, deep-fried chicken and a side of greasy fries topped with Cheese Whiz, it's my decision: ONLY mine. Not the restauranteur's nor the manufacturer's.

Similarly, I don't support a no-spanking law. There are child abuse laws on the books -- and there should be -- but emotional or verbal abuse is far more subtle to detect and can be far more devastating to a kid than a whack on the bottom. Out-of-control spanking is child abuse. Whacking your kid repeatedly in a public place should net a 911 call from store personnel or observers. Ditto shouting and yelling at a child. Leave it at that.

Cell phone usage while driving has been proven time and again to cause fatalities, not only to the talker, but to innocents in his/her path. That is a safety issue as much as is wearing a seat belt or buckling a child into a safe car seat. It's not legislating morality or choice; it's protecting you and others from death or serious injury.

These are not commie-pinko-conspiracy issues. They are not -- or should not be -- political party issues. They do, however, often entice the do-gooder-meddler-busy-body types to preach and proclaim, all too often with God's name frequently rolling off their busy lips. For the record, I believe in God, but I have trouble believing that S/He is vengeful and angry because of trans fats or cell phones or spanking. Or similar issues, for that matter.

I'm not going into abortion or gay marriage in this post. Let's just say for now that I believe individuals should be free to make medical/religious/ethical/relationship decisions for themselves rather than to have those rights determined by others.

And regarding the ability to think for oneself and believing in God: while the majority of US citizens call themselves Christians, there are huge denominational differences in how one lives one's beliefs. We also have significant numbers of US citizens who are not Christian but who do believe in God, and still more who follow other spiritual paths. It is not a given that you must believe in God to be able to make thoughtful personal choices. To dismiss such a large sector of the population as being incapable of thinking for themselves is simply arrogant, ignorant, and narrow-minded behavior.

Keep your morals to yourself. Keep your laws off mine. How we treat others and ourselves has been outlined by various religious traditions for milleniums. That ought to be sufficient.

**Disclaimer: As with any law or imperative, there always are extenuating circumstances. Volumes have been written about each of these topics. I'm addressing here only the superlative proclamations made by the op-ed writer.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Winter memories

Snow was in the forecast last night and today, and Redding saw a small accumulation and Cottonwood had flurries. We had rain, but nothing white. And it probably won't hit here.

It made me remember other snows in earlier years, though, especially one when I was little and we lived in Wayzata, Minn. Last night I was in that semi-dream state between awake and asleep, and could *see* the living room in our house there. I was about 5 or 6 and was in first grade -- which, incidentally, I hated -- and it was sometime near my birthday in November.

And it was snowing, big, fluffy, lazy flakes that drifted out of grey skies and covered everything. I watched it from our kitchen window, and then saw the mailman tromping up our walk with a package. And it was for ME.

It was from my Grandma Canfield and was a big book of stories and poems -- I remember getting a lot of books from my grandparents as a child because so I loved to read. This one was the kind they don't make anymore: large, maybe 8x10 or 11, heavy cardboard covers with a glossy illustration on the front. The inside pages were very thin and, as I recall, tore easily. But they were filled with what seemed like hundreds of stories.

I don't remember a time when I couldn't read, so I don't remember if my parents read it to me or if I read it first by myself. I had it for years, though, eventually coverless and tattered, although I don't remember specific stories. I just remember being thrilled at all those options, all those lovely words and images.

I was very attached to my security blanket back then, too, even as a first-grader, and I hated when Mother washed it. She'd put together a little, maybe 6-8" square, temporary blanket with the silky binding simply basted on it for those wash days (and remember that clothing and linens was all line-dried in those times, so in winter the wash was strung up in our basement for several days until it dried).

I was, at that age, also forbidden to bring the blanket out of my bedroom because as a first-grader, I was "too old" to be carrying it around. *sigh*

But I recall sitting with my new book in the living room, in a floral upholstered chair that was one of three that could go together to make a sort of loveseat, with the temporary blanket hidden behind my back and looking at the new book with one hand turning pages, one hand stroking the soft binding. I'd suck my tongue too, when I had my blanket, but I didn't realize then that while Mother couldn't see the hidden blanket, she could tell I had it in off-limits territory because my mouth moved!

In my drowsy state last night, I could *see* the upholstery, even feel the texture and that green scrap of woolen blanket with golden binding. The book cover was vivid -- it had a small child with curly blonde hair (one of those androgynous rosy-cheeked tots) reading a book in front of a blazing fireplace. I remembered the snow falling and the grey November winter.

It was a good memory. Maybe that's why I always have liked grey wintery weather -- I was safe, warm, happy, and I had a new book. Not a bad way to spend these days now, either -- safe, warm, happy, and with a new book.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Food, friends and flowers -- spring is coming

The daffodils I've planted for the last two years around the property are coming up, even though we're returning to a taste of winter this week. Almond blossoms, though, have mostly flown with the strong winds we had this weekend. Spring is a mere three weeks away.

Once again -- still -- I am awed by the swift passage of time. Those warm 100-degree days don't seem that long ago, and their return will come too quickly. I want to slow down a little! I want to savor the Irishly-green grass that colors the hills again since the rains. I want to drive down the road through blooming orchards, admire the sweeps of daffodils and jonquils on landscaped lawns. Sniff the aromatic softness in the air that is spring -- earthy, green, sweet scents. It goes by so quickly. This will be the fifth spring we've lived here; the sixth since we first came to Red Bluff. Wow.

We enjoyed a group of friends this last weekend, attending the Rotary Crab Feed where we ate prodigious amounts of those crusty-lucious critters, and again last night at an impromptu birthday party where we laughed so hard our stomachs ached and again ate well. I think life's best times are around a dinner table with friends or family when you're enjoying conversation, good food, feeling warm and cared for. These are truly those "Hallmark" moments! I listened to different conversations and watched animated faces softened by the candlelight, and felt well and truly blessed.

We came here because we wanted a better quality of life than we'd had working in the Bay area. We envisioned our home, having a circle of friends, being self-employed, spending every day with each other instead of just a daily few hours and weekends. And we have it all. (Okay, so maybe the self-employment dollars could be better... but we're also working on that.) That's asking for what you want, setting intention, and working on it. It's "The Secret."

Thanks be. Blessed be.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

"Twas a cold and blustery day

Wellll...the deathless prose I just created got lost in a Firefox crash. Everything wiped out except the title. Mercury retrograde is snickering gleefully.

I wrote about the pregnant tarp over the woodpile that is billowing in the very gusty wind. And the 47 degree temps that feel like 37. And the daffodils and blooming almonds that are going to get their little premature heads nipped. And the fact that I'm not ready for sandals and tee shirts yet -- I want more sweats and sweaters, and yet I note how cold it feels in the office.

I wrote about feeling unsettled like the weather, and acheybreakey in the joints despite the remedies we take for it, and chalking it up to aging.

I mused about saying gratitude prayers every morning for being in this wonderful place, for the tremendous love with which I am blessed, for family, for friends old and new, for enough food, enough warmth, a beautiful house, for loving pets and being whole. And yet I still groused about endless to-do lists and little foreseeable financial gain, and no recreational respite in sight.

Guess that crash was a message that I need to just suck it up and remember how blessed I am.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Life reminders found in "Rent"

What a night. We saw Rent at the Redding Convention Center, and it was absolutely awesome. Great set, unbelievable energy and TALENT bursting out of every pore.

And lyrics that have such desperate hope, such determined optimism in spite of life-threatening trouble.

What grabbed me around the throat and squeezed hard was the 'Life Support" theme that ran through several songs:

"...There's only us
There's only this
Forget regret or life is yours to miss
No other road
No other way
No day but today.."

What a live-in-the-moment reminder! Today is what we have: everything changes; nothing stays the same. Be where you are.

And then, in the musical's arguably most recognizable song, "Seasons of Love," was this:

"You measure (525,600 minutes) in love...a gift from up above...Share love, give love, spread love Measure your life in love."

What matters in life is family, friends, and who/how you love and are loved. (Yeah, yeah, I've said it before, I know) But it is yet again another reminder to cherish each moment, to not sweat the small stuff, to remember that this is not a dress rehearsal, and you will get out of life what you put into it.

One day at a time. Today is all we have. Eat the second dessert (at least once in a while). Tell your closest friends and family that you love them. Show them. Do not squander your life with regret over what has happened. Remember the past, plan for the future, but BE FULLY IN today.

**climbs down off the soapbox enroute to bed***

It's magazine week ... March O Magazine is bedtime reading.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Who dies?

"Who dies?" Inquiring Grey's Anatomy fans want to know.

The last of a three-part series this Thursday is expected to have two deaths, with one of them "sticking." The ABC and fan club bulletin boards are full of speculation about who it will be, some of them featuring odds on the different characters. The leading contender seems to be Ellis, Meredith's mother.

In the site meter data for this blog, there is a place for the entry page, and if it is a search engine, what the search terms are. Because I've mentioned Grey's Anatomy in previous posts, sometimes they show up in previous posts. Sorry, folks. I don't know either.

But what a question: who dies?

My uncle Tom used to say "None of are going to get out of this alive," meaning that life is short and we should live it fully, each and every day. The first anniversary of his death is approaching, hard as that is to believe. He certainly lived his conviction -- he died helping Katrina victims, yet another of the many mission trips he'd led over the years.

"Who dies?"

We want to know that -- or do we? How would it change my day-to-day living if I could answer that question about me, about Tony, about the girls, about my brother? How would I cherish those last hours? Who would I talk to and what would I say? Would I have regrets?

I don't really want to know who dies....

Long ago as an English major I studied the works of John Donne, a metaphysical poet and essayist of the late 1500s-early 1600s. Most will recognize this passage: "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." -- from Meditation XVII.

We are all connected. We have a collective energy, a collective higher source, from which we draw for our life's journeys. When we die, I believe, our energy goes back to that source -- Emerson called it The Oversoul -- and our love feeds it, strengthens its presence within us. We borrow a bit of it on our way through life. It is our task to nurture it, to share it with others, to touch and teach and learn and love. To become involved with the people whose paths cross ours.

It is my job to cherish each day, to feed that energy, to move along my path so that I make a difference somehow. Even though there are so many days that are filled with what seem like mundane tasks and endless duties, I need to look for the spiritual energy in those tasks and nurture it, and to be grateful as I find the nugget of joy in the day, for every day has at least one, even if it's finally snuggling down in bed, safe and fed and warm.

We all die. The question is not "who dies." It is "what we are going to do" with this day, this moment, to make a difference as we move through our days and weeks and months and years.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Elusive sleep and monkey minds

Last night was big time monkey mind -- I turned out the light about 1, but I heard the clock chime 2, 3, 4 -- at which point I contemplated getting up --and finally fell asleep before I heard 5.

I wasn't especially restless, but elusive sleep is not particularly fun. I kept visualizing a few of my intentions; I made grocery lists; I watched the breath in and out; I matched my breathing to Tony's. Eh. Nothing worked.

The prime suspect is two cups of coffee with dinner. I thought it was decaf. Apparently not.

I expect to sleep tonight, however, and am nearly ready to head for the bed. I will cuddle down under flannel sheets with a new memory foam pillow and my bear and my husband and two cats, and hope that sweet sleep happens quickly.

My baby girl turned 31 today -- she has her usual birthday cold, so hasn't felt like celebrating much. The time just flew. I remember so well that tiny child, the willful toddler who told me emphatically "You cook!" when I'd told her to do something other than what she was doing. Recently I came across pictures of her 16th birthday party...I wonder where those kids are now. I am so blessed to have her as a friend and as my daughter! She is funny and smart and assertive, and I'm very proud of her. I just wish we lived closer together -- we've spent so little time together in the last several years, and I miss her, miss hugging her.

We saw Camelot last night, the beautiful 1967 movie with Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave. I knew every word to every song, and it was as wonderful as I remembered it, and yes, I did get puddly when Guinivere meets with Arthur at the end, hair cut short because she'd entered a convent, and with tears pouring down her face and in her voice, tells Arthur that she hopes that one day he will forgive her...*sniffle* Such a lovely love story...really...

I've always loved the Arthurian stories and savored every word of TH White's The Once and Future King, from which the movie draws heavily. And I've read and re-read The Mists of Avalon, a slightly different take but wonderfully descriptive, and I love the ending where the Goddess and Mary, mother of Jesus, blend. It makes such sense.

Skip...skip...swing...the monkey mind lives again tonight...

I'm reading Barbara Delinsky's Together Alone.

Friday, February 16, 2007

As seen in real life...

I don't know whether to write about theatre -- as in Wonderful Town last night at the Redding Convention Center and the upcoming Rent next week -- or tv, as in Grey's Anatomy (although I didn't see it, since I was at Wonderful Town, but I've read a bunch of blogs and episode descriptions today) -- or another Mercury Retrograde that started on Valentine's Day -- or a really horrific murder in San Francisco.

What varied topics!

And really, none of them matter a whit except the last one.

Wo/Man's ability to be cruel and inhumane to another is simply the most abhorrent sin I know, and it is so old. I can think of hundreds of examples, from the incredible genocide of the Holocaust to the shocking deaths at Darfur. I believe it begins in childhood -- if you've ever observed a group of middle school girls in action, you know what I mean. And earlier -- kids pick on anyone weaker or different from themselves.

I was always taller than most kids in my classes, and I was shy. And I believed what I was told. I was an easy target for teasing and ridicule, and I can tell you that the old saying "sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me" is baloney. Verbal abuse leaves scars that can't be seen, but wounds that are as damaging as physical abuse.

I remember wanting so desperately to "belong" to a group of girls -- I was maybe in second grade -- that I willingly sat on the low concrete wall of a small bridge on the way home from school when the three or four girls told me to, and then was pushed backwards into the little creek. They ran off laughing while I made my wet, sobbing way home wondering why they'd been so mean and what I'd done to make them dislike me so much. It made my already shy self even more shy and quiet.

My mother always wrapped me in her arms and was sympathetic, but also continually warned me not to let them see me cry or react; that when bullies get a reaction from their victims, they just go at it harder. She was, of course, right. But I just couldn't believe they'd keep teasing and calling names when it was obviously so upsetting to me (or any other victim).

When bullying extends into adulthood, it often turns criminal. The SF story about the homeless woman who was doused with gasoline and burned to death in revenge for her reporting a previous beating by the same women to the police should outrage every person who reads it.

Oh, you get the idea, and there are far too many more examples: Saddam's sons throwing living people into a shredder, for instance...

I don't understand. I don't understand why so many of us live in safety and security and with shelter and enough food, and so many others live in constant fear and starvation and deprivation. I don't understand why "The Secret" works for some of us, but would be a concept completely and totally foreign for so much of the world's population. How do you "visualize" your way out of that? How do you keep from being kidnapped and burned to death because you tried to protect yourself?

Mercury is retrograde again, and it is supposed to be a very introspective time. Maybe that's why I've been feeling quiet...

But I've also said a prayer for the poor little woman who died, and tried to say one for the two women who killed her. And always, always I am grateful for my life and the love and blessings I feel in such abundance. I hope I reflect that back to the world.

Be grateful. Be well.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Too many words...not enough time

My head has been full of blog ideas but there simply hasn't been time to put fingers to keyboard and get them down!

Some good things: is Valentine's Day and this is the 10th one I've spent with my honey. What an incredible blessing he is! We are my favorite fairy tale...we knew from the first day we met that we were intended to be together, and while many things have changed in our lives, that love and caring and cherishing has only become deeper.

... the universe works in amazing ways. Just a day after the last post, we got a phone call from friends of some 15-20 years that we'd lost touch with...we had been thinking very intently of them and tried to find them on the Internet; they'd been doing the same. It's been two years and a big move for them since we were in touch -- and we will see them this summer when we visit the South!

... we are concentrating very hard on what we need and want for business this year, and I'm working to focus on the joy and gratitude in every situation, every event, rather than any negative feelings. It does make a difference.

...the Air Force Band concert this last weekend was simply wonderful. One piece -- Holst's "The Planets" and specifically the "Jupiter" selection -- inspired me to order the full CD from Amazon, and I have it in hand as well as another long ago favorite, "Pictures at an Exhibition." I'll have hours of pleasure from those two, and they will make the next dental cleaning event more easily endured.

More later...errands have gone from "whenever" to "gotta do it" status.

Friday, February 09, 2007

"The Secret" isn't one. Anyone can do it.

Tony's posted his thoughts on "The Secret," the topic on Oprah Winfrey's show yesterday, and apparently quite the upcoming trend in the spiritual world.

"The Secret" is based mainly on the Laws of Attraction, which were outlined in the little red book"It Works!" that I mentioned in a post last month. If you do some poking around on Amazon or Google, you'll find material about the Laws of Attraction (LOA) that date way back. It's not new information.

(Boy, there are a lot of links in those two paragraphs!)

It is simple, but it is not easy. It takes work to keep yourself focused on the positive, on the joy and gratitude of what you're asking for and envisioning. It takes work not to slip into negative thinking or attitudes. And while I wholeheartedly believe that it works, it doesn't appear on a silver platter, either. You have to do the homework, the leg work, the right speech and right action to stay on that path, even when wonderful things happen to help you along. And it can be a little scary when you slip out of your comfort zone.

As i wrote previously, it was the LOA practice that brought us here, built our house, found us a new business, and created for us the kind of life we wanted. We asked: the universe gave.

I've been doing this practice for years, but didn't know that it had a name! And I am deeply, deeply grateful for what I've been given: my daughter, my husband, this life. There are stories behind each of those -- but the bottom line is that I asked for them, I believed I deserved them and visualized them and worked for them, and I have been blessed with them!

Hard, sorrowful things will happen to us as we go along life's path -- people die, jobs go away, health deteriorates, for instance. What matters is how we react to these events. In everything that happens to us there is a lesson that will help us. There is a reason for every relationship: we either need to learn something from that person, or we need to teach something to that person. There are no coincidences. Everything -- EVERY thing -- happens for a reason. WE create our own destinies.

In it all, there is joy and gratitude. You move ahead from within that surrounding feeling of joy and gratitude and love. And it works. For anyone who wants to make it work.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Rehab, take 2

I'm not the only one to rant about rehab abuse.
See here and here. And that's just a sampling of what you get if you do a Google search.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Rehab is NOT a quick fix

So Gavin Newsom, cute hunkastoopidactions San Francisco mayor that he is, is the latest to "enter rehab" for his alcohol abuse. He joins -- just in recent days -- Lindsay Lohan and Isaiah Washington. We saw Mel Gibson, supermodel Kate Moss, and Robin Williams there last year, along with Congressman Mark Foley (eeuuuwww). And a bunch of others.

It seems to be the "in" thing to do these days. Get drunk in public? Have an affair with your best friend's wife? Verbally abuse a colleague or an ethnic group -- or make passes at youngsters? Go to a party without underwear on and throw up all over everybody? Aha! Go to rehab and all will be forgiven!

Admittedly California is reallllly big on rehab/12 step programs. There's a 12-step program here for just about anything you can think of, and nearly everyone I know has either been in a program or has a friend or family member who has/is. That's quite unlike places I've lived previously, where 12 step programs are attended quietly and very anonymously by folks who want help.

30 days in a rehab program does not a reformed (insert your favorite addiction) make, regardless of the enthusiastic, penitent proclamations most of these celebs make after their stint.

It takes years. YEARS. And it's hard work. Any person who is involved in a 12-step program and honestly making an effort to change will tell you that it isn't just a matter of stopping whatever addiction you have. It's changing your whole attitude, your friends, your hangouts, your habits, and especially your thinking. That is, of course, if you're going to succeed in learning to live one day at a time.

Hundreds of thousands of men and women have dragged themselves to 12-step programs because they were at the very bottom of their lives, or near enough to scare them, and just could not live that way any longer.

They don't do it because it's the quick way to seek forgiveness and get back in good graces with their fans or their families or the media, or their political party. Indeed, some of them are never forgiven by those they've hurt. They do it because they hurt too much inside NOT to do it.

The casual, apologetic "going into rehab" does an enormous disservice to those who struggle so painfully with their addictions. It trivializes the process through which true change occurs as some 30-day wonder treatment that will make everything allllll better.

You celebrate each milestone in rehab: 24 hours. One week. A month. Six months. A year. And every anniversary after that. Sometimes they relapse, and go back to start all over again. Sometimes they relapse and never come back, sinking back into the muck from which they came. I celebrate each 24 hours with those who struggle through the process, one day, one minute at a time. You rock!

But I'm really tired of the celebrity quick-fix rehabbers. They'll keep going back, you can be sure, but it won't be because they've been working the 12-step program and sincerely, painfully, trying to change their lives. They'll be back because they never intended to truly work on their issues in the first place.

*I know there are a very few celebrities who have indeed achieved the "recovering" status through their persistent and hard work. They seldom make a big public display of it, either.

I'm also reading Eleven Minutes by Paulo Caelho.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Speaking of glitches...

More computer glitches: seems that in removing all Norton traces, the nifty program that sorted my incoming mail into folders -- known as Ella -- has been screwed up. Tony spent a couple of hours trying to figure it out tonight, to no avail. Outlook Express blows up when you activate Ella. GrrrrrrRRRRRrrr. He'll get on the phone tomorrow and see if it can be fixed.


I went with a group of girlfriends to see The Vagina Monologues Friday night. I'd read about it but had not seen a performance. It was just outstanding and I'd love a chance to be in it.

It is a look at women and sexuality and power and abuse. Playwright Eve Ensler performed it as a one-woman show, but it's been done with different women doing each monologue, as a readers' theatre, or -- as this performance was -- wrapped around a setting (a wedding) with each guest and the bride performing. It was touching. It was frustrating. It was a little uncomfortable. And I laughed until I cried, until my belly ached.

There were a good number of men in the audience, although most of them were young -- it was held at Chico State, so there were lots of students with a smattering of older folk. I think it might have been a little hard to hear for the men: while it is not a male-bashing free-for-all, it speaks of male insensitivities, cruelties, abuses, and downright criminal behavior. And it also tells about men who adore women, who are sensitive and gentle and caring.

Admittedly, public declarations about vaginas are not commonplace in Red Bluff, nor, I suspect, in most towns, and the title (and probably some of the language) would rile up some folks much as certain movies used to do back in the '50s and '60s.... remember Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Oooo...that caused demonstrations and calls for censorship in my hometown!

I'm going again next year. This was the seventh year it's been performed in Chico, and it's worthy of an annual pilgrimage.

It's been an unsettling week -- perhaps it was the full moon, perhaps the unusually warm and dry winter weather we've had -- but I wasn't alone in feeling something uncomfortable in the air. I pounded away and met deadlines, mailed newsletters (not without glitches), and started some fundraising activities but sleep was elusive and dreams were vivid when it did come. I hope this week will be better. Rain is supposed to return, and with it, more seasonal temperatures. I'm not ready to declare spring just yet, so I'll be glad to see it.

Meanwhile, the books are finally back on the shelves, fiction alphabetized by author and nonfiction in categories, if not Dewey Decimal order. I've got photos spread all over the room now, trying to figure out which to put in what frames to hang. I'll get it all done eventually.

I'm reading the February issue of O Magazine at the moment...marvelous content in this publication, much to my surprise.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I hate computers

More accurately, I hate when they hang for no apparent reason and then everything comes to a screeching, hourglass-screen halt.

It happens when you're trying very hard to finish something so you can put it on someone's desk, get it in the mail, post it online, send it in e-mail.

You know, don't you.

Three times this morning I tried to copy and paste one snippet of text from an e-mail (one of those html ones) into a Word doc. Three times I got the blank screen with the hourglass running. The first time I waited, got another cuppa, waited, tried to close everything else I had open, and finally ended up banging the keyboard with "Alt-Control-Delete" half a dozen times or so in sheer frustration. Fat lot of good THAT did.

The second time Tony came to my rescue (he'd been on the phone while I was swearing at the computer) and managed to get things calmed down (he unplugged it) and then back up. Hung again.

The third time took. But not until I'd pasted the text into another doc and from there into the one I was working on. GRRRR.

Computers are wonderful when they work. And yeahyeahyeah, I know it's operator error most of the time when they don't. But they're like cars: you need them to get from here to there, and when they work, they're great. When they don't, you can't do what you need to do, at least with any kind of expediency.