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Missing Left Sock Beast
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Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

The first issue of 42 Magazine has been shipped to the printers! I would pimip this anyway, as it's being run by a friend of mine (waves at serenejournal), but I'll confess that I'm also pimping it because I'm the featured poet!

So, you know. Go. subscribe, or buy a single issue. I am 100% certain it will be worth the money. :)

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

Clueless white guy ends up in the middle of Chinese legends and cultural conflict; manages to save the day anyway.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

Netflix has quite a few of Hitchcock's classics in their "Watch Instantly" section.

If no one hears from me in the next 24 hours, please send someone to make sure I haven't keeled over from forgetting to eat/sleep/drink/urinate.

This is a joke, yes. But it's still a bad discovery for me.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

I think this might even trump Giant Cerulean Wang.

That link manages to be worksafe, just barely. And is undoubtedly funnier if you know who "Bert" is.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

I thought, since I was so tense, that I would come home and take a nice, leisurely, hot bath.


The stopper in my tub doesn't stop.


Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

Things that keep showing up since I attended the Museum of Jurassic Technology (including items or concepts in the MJT but nothing "spoilery"):

1. Cat's Cradles
2. Systems of logical argument
3. Madelines and Proust
4. The How of Memory
5. Eating mice

I'm pretty sure there was something else, too, but my brain is under the influence of ambien and I can't remember. The Proust and Madelines thing gave me a profound moment of confusion becuase when I re-encountered some information from MJT in "Proust was a Neuroscientist" (A book I recommend), I suddenly understood the point of the exhibit at the MJT. And don't get me wrong, I love those moments. It isn't so much that I wave at them as they go by, but rather I can tell, somehow, that I'm thinking differently because of that trigger.

And that's why everyone can go to the Museum of Jurassic Technology. So you all can try to figure out how any or all of it is related. Because I still don't think I understand. And I'm still pretty sure I want to go back.

Also, the Cat's cradle thing was getting freaky there for a while.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

Espeically since I have to get up early tomorrow, but.

I thought I would post this bit of art I made for myself first. I guess it's art.

A box with a quoteCollapse )

Please let me know if the pictures don't work, though I won't have a chance to change the settings until later. Also, if they show up they will all show up as links, but the links won't work. This is because the flickr TOS requires me to put a link when I post the picture.

I need to figure out how to drill out the clip so I can put an actual lock on the box.

And now I am going to bed.

At:: 89434
Feeling:: creativecreative
Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

I grow old ... I grow old ...
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

Not on purpose, mind you, it's just been one of those days.

I turned my desk around in the office so that it is no longer facing into the corner. This is only a temporary fix, as I need to decide where exactly in the office it should go, but it's a start. In the process, I made the area between the desk and the file cabinet a little too close, and there was whangage of the toes against the legs of the desk. Later, I was downstairs and managed to slip on a dryer softener sheet, which I don't understand either. Also, I managed to step on the corner of a VHS tape that had fallen on the floor.

Then, a few minutes ago, I was in the bedroom putting on my pajamas and in the process managed to bring my foot down, hard, on the lip of the bedframe. That one still stings, and I suspect will be bruised tomorrow, making walking around amusing if painful.

I don't know what I have against my feet tonight, but I'm kind of glad that the day's almost over.

In better news, I also made myself some Peanut Butter cookies, and they were exactly what I wanted.

Understand: This is a Big Exciting Weekend in the Coyote's world.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

Includes the story "Terminus" co-written by ashenseraph and me.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

NerdTests.com says I'm a Kinda Dorky Nerd Queen.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and talk to others on the nerd forum!

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

Joss Whedon to direct a horror film "Cabin in the Woods".

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

Just because.

1. Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind
2. Peter Walsh, It's All Too Much
3. Neil Gaiman, Coraline

In Progress:
1. Bill Bryson, * A Short History of Nearly Everything
2. Robert Gilmore, Alice in Quantumland
3. Paul Kurtz, Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Secularism

In my to-read Stack:
1. Joshua Palmatier, The Vacant Throne
2. Jim C. Hines, The Stepsister Scheme
3. Brian Greene, The Fabric of the Cosmos
4. Jonah Lehrer, Proust was a Neuroscientist
5. Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys

Part of the reason that I haven't finished A Short History of Nearly Everything is that I'm in the section on cellular biology and also Darwinism, which (oddly) doesn't hold my interest the way the geological and chemical stuff did.

I enjoyed The Name of the Wind. I may post a longer review later.

No, I am not a monogamous reader. I'm sure there are more books in both the "In Progress" and "To Read" stacks, but these are the ones I'm sure of.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

HarperCollins has put fully-browsable copies of Coraline up (according to Neil, so that people can read the book before they see the movie).

Browse Inside this book
Get this for your site

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

So, as part of my "give me suggestions for Holidailies" post, I was given "Coyote's Commandments." After asking for clarification, because you have to admit that's a little vague, I was told that the person in question wanted to know about living with "Coyote," what the Commandments are or I perceive them to be, those sorts of things. Great, I think to myself. An easy topic.


Truth be told, though, Coyote-as-presenting-to-or-from-me isn't exactly the Trickster God most people think of. Coyote is not Webster Kitchell's Coyote, anthropomorphic and Warner Brothers-influenced in a purple zoot suit. And in any event, and other people's posts aside, that Coyote isn't really the sort to hand down Commandments. Coyote-as-presenting-to-or-from-me (hereafter "Coyote" because I'll get tired of typing all that crap) does in fact have four feet and fur (and, as a side note, is usually female). The communications we have had, inasmuch as we have had conversations, have all involved me speaking and Her responding through body language (including typical and easily recognizable canine body language such as play-bow). So, definitely not the type to give Commandments, and they would be Commandments that I would have to interpret, anyway.

I took a break from writing this to go run an errand at lunch (two more payments and my car is MINE! Woo Hoo! But not too much woohoo, since that money will be going to my Student Loans next and no, ashenseraph, I can't put my loans off because I'm not a full-time graduate student), and I suddenly realized what Coyote meant by nudging the cub to me in the "vision" I had during the guided meditation. And it wasn't what I thought. Way to take ten years to understand what my guide is trying to tell me.


So, not the sort of divinity to be giving Commandments. That's where I was. Now, as I've mentioned before, I've done my research into Tricksters in general and the Trickster I've been saddled with in particular, just to see what I can learn. I've also done a lot of nature reading about coyotes to learn what I can about them. And that's largely where I take lessons from. Coyotes (the animals) are an awful lot like humans in some of their underlying instincts (not in an anthropomorphizing sense, although what I'm about to do is anthropomorphize to a certain extent).

Some things I've learned from studying books about other people's studies of coyotes, and also from my own occasional encounters:Collapse )

The purpose of most (but not all) Trickster Tales seem to be to point up where the boundaries are:  don't be too proud, or you'll trip and find yourself in the dirt.  Pretending to be someone or to know something you're not could lead to your death.  Don't stretch your penis out to have sex with girls on the other end of the pond, or it'll get lopped off when one of them thinks it's a snake.*  The Trickster steps over the boundaries, and sometimes gets away with it, but most of the time doesn't.  So I guess the message I take away there is mind the boundaries, even when you're crossing them, or else be really inventive about your reasons for crossing them.

Then, finally, there's something mentioned around the web and in books I've read about Coyote Wisdom being Everything is sacred, and Nothing is sacred.  Everything is "worthy of respect or dedication," and nothing is "worthy of respect or dedication." This resonates with me, in ways that I just cannot adequately explain, but I'm going to tryCollapse )

*This is now going to be the take-away message from this post for 95% of you, I just know it is.
Also, I cross-posted this to Radical Daffodils, and I may yet move my "religious" musings over there.

At:: 89512
Feeling:: contemplativeLook! I have a navel!
Listening to:: silence (but not of the lambs)
Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

I maeded dis

Also, I maded myself soem cookies, and I eated them.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

I would just call this Ferretshock, but it's kind of embarrassing to admit that I had ferretschock over the number of choices that were suddenly available to me at ... Del Taco ... of all places.

But anyway. I went out tonight to spend my Bookstore Gift card and came home with: Proust was a Neuroscientist, a book I had heard of during one of the Radio Lab podcasts that some lovely person introduced me to during Holidailies. If I could remember who you were, I would offer kisses and virtual first borns because I have much love for the Radio Lab shows. Popular Science, but not in a bad way. So, yeah. Proust was a Neuroscientist, in the cart, followed by Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Secularism, which is about just exactly what it sounds like it might be about. I also picked up the book that Peter from Clean Sweep wrote on uncluttering. My house is not hugely cluttered, but it could use some help to avoid going that way (I have three computers in my house: two desktops and one laptop. Two macs and one PC. This strikes me as somewhat excessive. and is an example of why I picked up Peter's book). I also picked up The Fabric of the Cosmos, Brian Greene following up on The Elegant Universe: Superstrings, Hidden Dimensions, and the Quest for the Ultimate Theory, a book which I have made it almost 95% of the way through and of which I have probably truly comprehended about 12%.

And, of course, because I know I will get pleasure from reading them, I picked up The Stepsister Scheme by Lj's own jimhines, and The Vacant Throne by Lj's own jpsorrow, and Joshua may I just say that I can't spell your last name to save my life. The Stepsister Scheme I've read a snippet or two of, and I don't recall seeing any of Jim's Goblins, but I doubt he needs them to tell this story. I did not buy a copy of mindy_klasky's Magic and the Modern Girl, the latest in the Sorcery and the Single Girl series, because I had already received a copy. It was on my list, though, along with a copy of The Last Lecture (why, I do not know), a book published by Beacon Press on understanding the bible for religious liberals, and a CD on meditation by Jack Kornfield who has a really unfortunate name. And Shreve's book about Charlie, The Daily Coyote.

In fact, if either Jim or Joshua were to be willing, I might try to come up with some interview-like questions to be shared around with their answers as my part of arranging a virtual tour. Actually, that offer goes pretty much for anyone who's having a book published or who thinks that a second push of the founder of bookwhores_anon community might get them some more readers. And Bookwhores is probably where I'd post said vInterviews.

I never make "interesting" posts when I'm under the influence. Just slightly off-kilter ones.

Anyone want to bet on the quality of my coding?

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

wow, that's a bigger image than I thoughtCollapse )

These books are dark, but really quite good.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

Sense about science: http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/index.php

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

I have a deadjournal that I think is sistercoyote but it's been a Very Long Time since I've used it.

I'm definitely sistercoyote on JournalFen.

I have a blogspot blog, Radical Daffodils that I almost never post on (The last time I posted to it was September 7, 2008) but I suppose might become more active.

I'm also on facebook, but I really only use it for playing games.

Listening to:: Love Will Tear You Apart (She Wants Revenge vs. Joy Division vs. Bauhaus)-A plus D
Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

Got a little (very little) shredder yesterday with my Christmas Gift Certificate from Target. Spent most of last night and today shredding old papers that I didn't need, and discovering just what a pack rat I am.

My file cabinet and kitchen are now clean of superfluous papers. I have a spreadsheet set up showing me on what days my various bills are due. I have three and one-half bags of all paper garbage to go downstairs, that I would happily recycle instead if my garbage company did recycling in this neighborhood. Overall, though, even though my office is somehow more cluttered than it was when I began this morning, I'm quite satisfied with the work I've done.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

I just saw this icon:

And now I want to make one that says, "You can call me Mister President."

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm a
Spiritual Self-Knowing Builder

Listening to:: All Along The Watchtower-The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

When I signed up for Holidailies, I kind of forgot that I would be taking this week-long vacation at my parents' house, which is not particularly condusive to writing posts.

But I am now home. I had a kitchen-gadget-filled Christmas, plus wireless speakers for my iPod and some clothes. (I'm not spoiled - I'm not I'm not I'm not - but I did get a not-Kitchen Aid stand mixer, a set of good knives, a double-boiler and a candy thermometer, so maybe I'm a little spoiled.) I also received Alice in Quantumland, which I have read about halfway through and have probably understood about half of what I've read but I already know I'll be reading it again, and A Brief History of Everything, which I'm also steadily chugging my way through. My sister crocheted me an afghan which I thoroughly enjoyed using at Mom & Dad's, but which presented a few problems for packing and which has resulted in most of my clothing being shipped to me (it was all very convoluted and confusing and I'm still not quite sure what happened), and the other half of her present (to all of us) was a complimentary ticket to the Long Beach Aquarium, which was a pleasant day that I may or may not record more about later. Unusually for my family, we did not make a trip to Disneyland, Downtown Disney, or Disney's California Adventure (which was actually just as well as far as I'm concerned, based on Mom's description of how busy her work location has been this week). I visited with ashenseraph, and am still bummed that the two of us couldn't come up with anything to do for New Year's Eve, which was largely my fault since I flew home today.

I do not make New Year's Resolutions, as I consider them setting myself up for failure. As I am perfectly capable of failing on my own, I see no reason to give me another reason to beat myself up. There are things I will try to do more or less of in 2009, of course, but I will make the changes I need to make as I need to make them.

And now, I'm going to go find my wrist braces, which means I will be getting off the computer because I can't type very well with them on.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

But then again, I worked from about 7:30 a.m. to almost 9:30 p.m. last night, which is why I didn't get a holidailies post done. And so I'll do this very short one now, and a longer one later (in twelve hours, which is how often holidailies will let me make an entry).

Anybody want to ask me anything?

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

So, it's the last Sunday before Christmas. Despite not being Christian at this point in my life, I decided to use the four Sundays of Advent as prompts. When I did this, I saw that love was on the list, but didn't think much of it at the time. Now that I'm faced with writing about love, however...well, I'm kind of rethinking my choices. But I'll behave myself and keep to my plan, even if part of the reason this post is being made lateish on Sunday is because love is one of Those Subjects. It feels somehow presumptuous and trite to write about, and largely for the same reasons: my brain keeps asking me what I could possibly say about love that hasn't already been said a million times, and probably much better by many of the people who said them. Say, Shakespeare.

But I don't want to talk about romantic love. For one thing, that would be breaking the "write what you know" rule big time. For those who celebrate Christmas, maternal love seems a more suitable topic. Or love of the light returning for pagans and those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder. I could discuss the love between friends, or the love that moves us to reach out to people we don't even know. Or the way that love is an overused word.

I think I will start out by quoting Jesus (I'm too lazy to check chapter and verse, though I think this is possibly from the Sermon on the Mount, which would make it somewhere in Matthew), who said that the whole of the Law could be boiled down to: Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. I'm going to set aside "Love God" for the time being, since half the time I don't believe in God(dess[es]) at all, and the other half of the time...well, the face of the Divine I have the most reason to believe in has been known to take advice from their own shit. Regardless, I think most of us can agree that "Love your neighbor as yourself" is not bad advice, except for the huge taken-for-granted in that command. Do you see it? Here, let me add emphasis: Love your neighbor as yourself.

This has always, always raised for me the question: What if you don't love yourself? That would bode ill for one's relationship with one's neighbors (and, come to think of it, may explain some people whose behavior I've never really understood). The thing is, I'm not sure the idea that people love themselves is a reasonable assumption. I can understand why Jesus (and the other wise folks who have said something similar) made the assumption. But I think there are a few things that might get in the way.

For one thing, at least in Western culture as I have experienced it, we are not encouraged to love ourselves, nor to treat ourselves with the sort of kindness implied in "love your neighbor as yourself." It seems to me that we are taught that tender lovingcare is something we give to other people, and that we may be considered narcissistic or worse, selfish, if we give it to ourselves. (I do consider narcissism a problem for the same reason I consider the Seven Deadlies a problem - it's love of the self taken too far. Selfishness, although it, too, can be taken to far, I don't necessarily consider a negative trait.)

I think this is wrong. I think we should treat ourselves with the sort of tenderness with which I imagine Mary treating the newborn Jesus in his cradle. I don't think we shoud reserve lovingkindness for others; I think we, ourselves, deserve it too. Which is not to say that I'm any good at sitting down and nursing my spiritual and emotional aches, either, or that I'm any good at forgiving myself those things which should be forgiven. I still beat myself up over little things that I did years ago, if I haven't done anything recently I can beat myself up over. I don't imagine I'm alone in this. I think we probably all do it (except for the aforementioned narcissists) to some extent. But I think that if we're going to hold others in the light, it's better if we can at least sometimes hold ourselves in it.

The trick is to catch yourself being cruel to yourself, and forgiving that part of you that's being unloving. To take "Love your neighbor as yourself" as a command to love yourself (as well as your neighbor).

It's a process.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

I have no idea what Holidailies day it is. Fifteen?

I love the Carol of the Bells. It is probably my favorite Christmas song of all. With or without voices.

I made peanut butter cookies today. Very dry, unfortunately; I'll have to add another egg or perhaps a bit more oil next time I make them.

I ate the peanut butter cookies and only felt a little guilty about it. I'm doing my best to do the intuitive eating thing, and I really wanted the cookies - even if they were dry - but I apparently am still struggling with "good" and "bad" foods. Getting better all the time, though.

Also, I like Caroline Julian on Bones, and I love that she's described as the "scary woman."

They're predicting freezing rain for tonight. Given that they're one for four on snow, I don't know if I should believe the meteorologists (yes, schizospider, that's how it's spelled [not spelt. Spelt is a wheat grain that makes tasty bread]). It's damn cold, whether or not wet falls from the sky.

I have no idea what I'm going to write for "love" tomorrow that won't be trite, sappy, or otherwise redundant to that which has been written before. Because love is one of those topics.

At:: home
Feeling:: amusedamused
Listening to:: Bones: The Passenger in the Oven
Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

I'm still pondering a couple of other topics that have been suggested to me. However, as it has not been a quiet week here at Lake Woebegone $employer, I thought I would share the adventure that it has been.

First of all, the weather has not been cooperating. They keep telling us it's going to snow, and then it doesn't snow, instead settling for high winds and freezing temperatures (it's a positively balmy 50 degrees F right now). Apparently, some airlines have more timid pilots than other airlines.

Our department at $employer is hosting a Fairly Important Person from China today. FIP, however, was on a plane that was re-routed to a smallish-but-major city on the other side of the mountains from us last night, since the winds were very, very high. Several other persons here flew back from other destinations on different airlines and arrived home - later than they thought, but they got here. FIP was stranded in a strange city, where they had no contacts, and which we could not get to because the roads over the mountains were closed due to snow.

I arrived at work this morning, and received notification that we had no idea where FIP was.

Yes, somehow "we" managed to lose an entire person.

(A momentary digression. A couple of years ago, my family went to Disneyworld for the first time. One night, when we had walked over to Downtown Disney to do some shopping, I got distracted by a book about the history of the Haunted Mansion. My family continued deeper into the store. My cell phone had apparently died at some point during the day. When they finally re-located me, I looked at my father and said, "I wasn't lost. I knew exactly where I was.")

Scientist-who-I-call-my-boss was, understandably, freaking out about this, particularly since the last thing SWICMB had heard was that he was going to try to catch a bus. I rallied my part-time co-worker, we figured out who needed to be in the loop that: a) we had no idea where FIP was, and b) we had no idea if or when FIP was going to arrive at $employer. Co-worker and I had just finished making that first round of calls when my phone rang.

"Hi," the nice-sounding woman on the other end of the line said, "my name is Mrs. Rescuer. I wanted to let you know that we have FIP, and that we just crossed $MountainPass, and we should have him to you in about an hour."

Oh. Well, okay then.

Turns out that this couple had been on the re-routed flight with FIP and had offered not only to bring him to $employer (since, in Mrs. Rescuer's words, "[they] wanted to get to Reno, too"), but had also offered to pay for FIP's hotel room in smallish-but-major-city one state over.

By 10:30 all the excitement was over. FIP was safely with us, and the Rescuers had gone on their merry way home.

I suppose this qualifies as a Holiday story of a sort, though I'm reluctant to chalk the Rescuers' actions up to "the Christmas Spirit." I'd rather believe that they are kind people who would have done the same at any time of year.

Feeling:: soreheadachey
Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

I sort of, vaguely, kind of, maybe am having the urge to write some fiction, or possibly some poetry. I think. I'm not actually sure. And the truth of the matter is that whether or not I feel like writing, it's something I should do. Only there's that tricky word "should" that I have so much trouble with.

It seems dishonest, somehow, to say that I'm a rebel. I was the quiet kid in school, the one who never smoked, never drank, never snuck out at night, never had illicit sex with anyone in the back of their car, never did drugs. Sure, I fought with my parents and wanted to move out, but I'd imagine most teenagers feel that way from time-to-time (and that most parents fantasize about letting them). I know I've said this before, but I am damned stubborn. And a lot of that stubbornness is based in rebellion: Person X in my life thinks that I'm a fat slob who never does anything right? I'll show them just how much of a fat screwup slob I can be. Or, conversely, Person X in my life thinks that I should be making my living as a writer (Ha! This shows how much Person X knows about the publishing business)? I'll resist writing even a single word, even though I would like to write, just to spite them.

(Several of you think you know who Person X is. You're probably right. Others of you have a Person X in your own life.)

Does anyone else see a problem with this coping mechanism? Cutting off one's nose to spite one's face comes to mind, for one thing. There's also the issue that this stubborn insistance both to do and not to do what Person X expects of me has become an ingrained habit, to the point that I haven't written much of anything in months. Sure, I started NaNoWriMo with good intentions this year, just like I always do, and then petered out because I found it very difficult to sit down at the computer and put fingertips to keyboard. I would have had the same difficulty putting pen to paper, if I were so inclined, compounded by the fact that writing longhand for more than about ten minutes can cause me physical pain.

I have ideas in my head. Several of them, in fact, some of which might even make good books (others, well, the less said about them the better, and they can stay either in my head or on a post-it on my Mac). And probably some of the ones I think are in the latter category are in the former, and vice-versa, but in my opinion that's the nature of the beast. I know there are others more knowledgeable about the craft of writing whose experience probably differs from my opinion, but that's all good. The trick is getting the ideas from my head onto the paper, and then fleshing them out until they're "real." (I suppose I mean real there in a sort of Velveteen Rabbit sense, though I'm not entirely sure.)

The issue is that although I can sit down at my computer and open my writing software and tell myself that I'm going to write 100 words or 1000 words or for five minutes or for fifteen minutes that seldom happens. I might write one sentence, or a couple of words. But most of the time I end up with the software running in the background while I do something else much less productive. And it all ties back to that really non-productive stubbornness and the well-worn tracks of not-writing that have become a really bad habit, and one I don't know how to break. It is very difficult for me to make myself do something. Sure, I can tell myself that whatever it is has to be done, but...the stubborn child reappears and says, "I don't hafta! I won't!" (Insert stomping foot here.) And, it seems somehow naturally, I don't.

This is a behavior pattern I have become very aware of - that I don't do something that I do want to do because I'm trying not to please someone who I actually want very much to please but know I can't so why should I put out the effort to do so? Knowing may be half the battle, but I have no clue how on earth to undo this behavior or turn my stubbornness back on itself so it's working in my favor. Sitting down in front of the computer and telling myself that I want to write doesn't help, because that rebel child is right there convincing the rest of my psyche that I don't want to, that I think I should, and I am resistant to should. This isn't being afraid of the blank page. This is knowing that I'm perfectly capable of starting something that I will "should" myself into never finishing.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

Not on the subject of the post at all, but just because I feel like sharing this random moment from my life: Yesterday I could not decide what I wanted for dinner. So, I whipped up a batch of peanut butter cookie dough, which I promptly proceeded not to cook. So it's sitting in my refrigerator, in a glass bowl, covered with Saran Wrap, waiting for me to decide if I'm going to bake cookes when I get home or not.

But about Pop Holiday Songs. Well, first of all, I suppose we need to define our terms. "Pop" in this context generally means "popular," and "holiday songs" would be songs about the holiday. I think there are a number of hymns that could be considered Popular Songs about the Holiday(s), but I also think that I will rule out any song that is liable to be found in a hymnal.* Lots and lots of people have spent time talking about the truth in seasonal hymns. Also, and a bit unfortunately, I am not familiar with any "pop" holiday songs that aren't in the Western European Christian Tradition, so the discussion will be limited to songs from that perspective.

yep. it's a Holidailies post, and I went on a bit.Collapse )

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

From sea to sea and all across the land/we saw joy joy joy on every hand

I'm not in the mood to make a big heavy post today. Joy to me is a fleeting emotion, something that lifts my heart up and a bright singing feeling that never lasts; but I don't think it's meant to last. I think joy is meant to be ephemeral - one of those things that we feel, relish, and then have to relinquish in order to go back to the day-to-day tasks that make up the bulk of our lives.

I am sure that it is possible to feel joy all the time, but I think that would be as exhausting as being angry all the time (and of that, I know a little of what I speak. I spent a long time angry). And I also think it's okay to not approach changing a diaper or cleaning the toilet or doing the dishes with joy. Which is not to say that feeling or coming to feel joy while doing something mundane is a bad thing; quite the contrary. I just think it's a rare thing; although my moments of joy often come when doing just that - washing the dishes and watching the birds play in the snow outside my window, kneading bread, sitting in peace with a friend, remembering. I don't know that I've ever felt joy in church, oddly enough - but I could be mistaken. It does seem to come upon me at the oddest moments.

The OED defines Joy as "A vivid emotion of pleasure arising from a state of well-being or satisfaction; the feeling or state of being highly pleased or delighted; exultation of spirit; gladness; delight." I like the phrase "Exulataion of spirit:" Exultation is "The action or state of...triumph...[or]...rapturous delight," and, in an excellent example of a recursive definition, exultations is "Shouts of joy; joyful utterances." To feel joy is to be in that moment when one's spirit (soul or self, however one wishes to define the ineffable "I") is raised up and shouts out "I am here and I am glad!"

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

I don't have a lot to post. It was a busy day that started poorly and went downhill from there. But for now, my feet are cold, I'm a little loopy from sleep aid, and I'm getting ready to go curl up in my bed and maybe talk to a friend for a while before going sleep-sleep before it all starts again tomorrow.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

You Are A: Bear Cub!

bear cubBears are strong and independent creatures who roam in the forest in search of food. Bears are usually gentle, but anger one and be prepared for their full fury! You have a bit of a temper -- a classic attribute of bears. Intelligent and resourceful, though lazy at times, you are a fascinating creature of the wild.

You were almost a: Duck or a Lamb
You are least like a: Puppy or a SquirrelWhat Cute Animal Are You?

least like a puppy?

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

Two and one-half of my bathrooms are clean, and I'm really done with the cleaning for now. I am, however, still on the phone with my mother, because she hasn't finished her two bathrooms yet. This is a comment on the tininess of my bathrooms and not a comment of the depths of my cleaning, btw.

I have just put red beans, a ham hock, and some water in a pot to simmer for an hour. The liquid doesn't cover the ham hock. I hope this is okay.

Missing Left Sock Beast [userpic]

Yes, this post was originally supposed to be about "Joy." But it's not.

So yesterday I was curled up warm and snug in my bed at about 11 p.m., and suddenly realized that I hadn't made a holidailies post.


But as the wise man said, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans."

I don't make a lot of plans, I really don't. For one thing, I'm not very good with the follow-through that is so critical to a plan's success. I do have plans of a sort for today, although they're somewhat nebulous: Get up (check), shower (check), eat breakfast (check), make this post (in progress), make some cleaning product (out of baking soda, Doc Bronner's, and white vinegar), at some point today clean my bathrooms while I'm on the phone with my mother. Those are the only concrete things I have on my mind for today, though I'm also thinking I might do some baking and maybe fix up some Red Beans for Rice from scratch, since I did go ahead and buy some ham hocks and probably ought to use at least one of them for their intended purpose before New Year's.

At the moment, I am comfortable if a little chilly on my couch, and my fingers smell of the clementine tangerine that was part of my breakfast. Oh yes - and I need to finish the laundry that I started yesterday (I am reminded of this because the buzzer just went off on the drier).

There are other things around the house that need doing: the floors need to be swept and mopped, the stairs need vacuuming, the kitchen could stand a bit of tidying. I could consider doing some fiction writing today. But if I add them to my list, then they definitely won't happen, and the words "should" and "have to" have a lot to do with that. I don't respond well to a sentence that includes either of those sets of words, perhaps particularly when they come from me.

Really, that's nothing unusual, though. I think many if not most of us respond poorly to "should", "ought", or "have to." And there's nothing wrong with that.

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