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Zen and the art of being me

27th September, 2010. 10:52 am. Writer's Block: Do you remember?

What is your earliest memory?

There's a hodgepodge of those early memories floating around in my head. I don't know what age I was exactly but somewhere between 1 year old and 4 years old and we lived in Hamilton, New Zealand. Here are the snapshots:

1) Sitting under a slide at the daycare with a plastic bucket and shovel. I know I was singing "There's a hole in my bucket" while I shoveled sand into the bucket, although I think I filled in the right lyrics later in life.

2) My sister jumping on her bed (the top bunk) falling off onto the rug in the middle of the floor in our bedroom and then swearing me to secrecy. (The memory resurfaced in my 20s and I finally told on her :-D )

3) Being a passenger in a vehicle. It was raining and we were on a dirt road in the woods. We turned down this steep, narrow driveway toward a large barn-like structure. I remember being terrified we were going to slide off the side of the road. I also remember acoustic music being played at the barn. I've had this memory for years and never was able to find the place. I always assumed it was somewhere in Arizona, but after vacationing with my parents a few months back and asking them about it, they say it was New Zealand.

4) Feeding a donkey a carrot, then going for fish & chips wrapped in newspaper.

Current mood: chipper.

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18th June, 2010. 8:37 pm. Good story


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12th June, 2010. 12:41 am. rambling

I want to write tonight. I want to just let the words flow, wherever they may lead. This feeling hasn't happened to me in over a year... since before I started my job in January 2009.

I realized recently that I lost an entire year of my life. The experience has been worthwhile, mind you, but my writing suffered, my gaming suffered, the things I did for enjoyment were burdens I simply didn't have the energy to handle.

But I loved the driving. Road trips out in the desert, seeing old buildings, finding hidden treasures, exploring the backroads. Arizona is full of great hidden tidbits of history and I loved discovering them on my own.

But when I'd get home I'd be exhausted, sore and worn out. I wasn't able to focus. I'd make mistakes at work sometimes and kick myself forever for them. Stupid mistakes, or I'd miss something on a survey only to have it brought up to me later by my boss that someone else found something there that I missed. On one project, the mistake was mentioned every time I was in the room for about 4 months after the fact.

I was stressed.

I'm quite content to maintain a "worker bee" status in an office. I like being the support staff, the one to correct the spelling errors, straighten up the files, organize things and label stuff. I think linearly in some respects and that's one of the things that benefits a worker bee.

However, I simply can't work in a hive full of Queens with only one or two worker bees. It's not that I'm not happy worker beeing... it's that all the Queens assume I want to be just like them and make it more and more difficult to do my worker bee work.

Make sense?

That became a real prominent part of my employment experience this past year. Things were made increasingly difficult because not only was it assumed I wanted some position of authority or "clout" within the company, but everyone else was trying so hard to protect their own projects that to allow a support person to help them might imply weakness on their part.

At one point I was instructed to ask my co-workers for work and projects to do. Very few were willing to give any work out to me. I found it demeaning and don't think I should have had to do that.

I'm down to an on-call status at work. I did so willingly. Not just because of the managing the Fibro issue, but because I simply refuse to beg for work, and to fill my required 30 hours a week with the contracts I was working on ending the end of May, I felt it better if I took the burden off of the office to find me things to do (since it's quite likely they wouldn't) and reduce my stress by simply changing my status. To make a scene and refuse to beg for work would have just caused more drama.

I have learned that I am not suited to "small company" environments without "big company" structure.

So what am I gonna do? I'm going to write up grants to do research and develop educational programs for regional parks, museums and schools about various topics like Arizona History and Prehistory, Alternative Fuel, Environmental Awareness, etc. I will take the grants, produce these presentations (a couple hours at most per presentation) then travel around presenting them to whomever want to see them.

So far, my first research project is a blast to research. Lake Pleasant Regional Park and surrounding area Prehistory (before written history) and History.

Good night friends. I'm off to sleepy land.

Current mood: calm.

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5th June, 2010. 12:02 pm. Writer's Block: Nature v. nurture

In your opinion, how much of our personality is genetic, and how much is shaped by environmental factors?

I was a single parent for 14 years. My daughter never new her father (she met him once last year just before she turned 18).
Watching her grow up, I could see certain facial expressions she did that were distinctly her father's. She definitely inherited features and physical resemblances.
To be safe, I told her about her father's addictions and problems with drugs and alcohol. I told her that it's safer for her if she doesn't try drugs because there's a chance that she might REALLY like them... and that they would destroy her potential for a good life.
She's smart. She listened. Simply because one is genetically predisposed to certain behaviors doesn't mean they have to fall into them unaware. Many mental disorders, chemical imbalances, etc are genetic and personality quirks related to those genetic factors definitely play a role in the shaping of who we are. However, I think a good, aware, educated environment will allow an individual to choose how they deal with those genetic factors as they grow up.

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11th April, 2010. 9:26 am. Wow!

Yesterday evening I felt better mentally than I have in weeks. I did the 5k Asthma Walk in the morning with R. D even signed up and joined us in support. It was a really nice walk through Scottsdale and the weather was perfect. We saw a Great Blue Heron, a Snowy Egret, and a White Tailed Hawk at the beginning of the walk and then on the way back to the event there was a mama duck with TEN tiny babies walking alongside the route. There were hundreds of people, a free pancake breakfast after for the participants (of course I didn't get any, but D and R did), a live band and some other fun stuff. Thanks to alysten, I had enough money raised to earn a t-shirt to remember the event by. While that's not a huge thing, for me it's a significant start to my 2010 reinvention. My 100lb weight loss goal this year, and the first charity walk I've ever been in. I am thinking perhaps I need to organize a Celiac walk for The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center where they're doing some amazing research on the disease and what other things it can cause if untreated, etc. I'm thinking Tucson might be more receptive than Phoenix to such an event for such a cause. We'll see.
I took some photos with the work camera.

Phoenix Asthma Walk PhotosCollapse )

I came home and made up some cucumber dill salad and homemade BBQ pork for a party. The party was at a beautiful venue I'd never been to before. The Alwun House is part gallery, part performance space. It's located near downtown Phoenix in an old two-story home. The back yard is the performance space and they also rent it out for private parties. It was amazing. I love the location! I plan on having a party there sometime. It's a place I want to take hankpineapple sometime as it's reminiscent of some of the places she's introduced me to in Tucson. Perhaps a First Friday show or something. There was also a piece of art in the gallery that I would love to buy for her, but alas, I can haz no funds. :(

I did fall in love with this sculpture. It's kind of Gieger-esque. If I were to make a garden, I'd want a sculpture like that.

The camera wasn't handling low light photos well, but here's an idea of what the back yard looks like. The people there are all sitting around a fire pit.

I can't wait to go back!

Anyway, it's chore day. I have Monday off to get blood work and medical stuff taken care of. Won't be a "vacation" day that's for sure.


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10th April, 2010. 6:49 am. Team Trakes

The step-kid and I are are getting ready to go participate in Phoenix Asthma Walk. It's not too late to participate!

Team Trakes!.

In other news, my primary physician has given my daily pain a preliminary diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. Blood work will be this coming Monday and confirmed (or not) diagnosis will be the following Monday. I'm hoping I have something curable instead.
My husband thinks it's a made-up disease.

That's about it. Nothing exciting or fun other than those two tidbits. I'm sorry I'm not updating here much.

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17th March, 2010. 5:27 pm. Hmmm

If you want to get my husband on a rant, ask him about the latest strong arming techniques by the recording industry and the Motion Picture Association of America...
Or about Universal and Fox's attempts to squeeze every last dime out of a dying format (DVDs) by demanding that RedBox and Netflix to not have their DVDs available for at least 30 days after DVD release in order to promote sales. Of course, they pulled out of Redbox and that made news. Disney has tried to shorten the length that their films can be shown in movie theaters by several weeks (for the same price) only to meet with boycotts of Alice in Wonderland in Europe (I have too).

Anyway, I heard about the ACTA thing from him, but then heard more on NPR today:
Secrecy Around Trade Agreement Causes Stir

"This is not a trade agreement," says Gigi Sohn, president of the Washington, D.C., nonprofit Public Knowledge. "This is a multilateral intellectual property agreement. It's only about intellectual property. They've called it a trade agreement in order to get secrecy and protection that trade agreements normally get."

We should not only know all about this, but we should have a say in what we can and can't do. Whose to say that a filter that Cox (for example) might set up to block Disney movies from being downloaded won't block legitimate free speech (say blogging about said movies?) in the internet? Where do we draw the line?
Tell me why we keep letting corporations tell us how things should be? Are we that dumb, ignorant, or just plain lazy?

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1st March, 2010. 8:52 pm. I knew it all along

Just a fun article my ex sent me.

Liberalism, atheism, male sexual exclusivity linked to IQ

article text here tooCollapse )

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28th February, 2010. 12:39 pm. DONATE DONATE DONATE

The step-offspring and I have created a team for the Phoenix Asthma Walk scheduled on April 10th.

We need donations! Our team has a simple $500 goal. I honestly didn't think it'd be that hard to get a bunch of my friends to donate $5 or so to help out a worth cause, but I know the economy is tight.

Which is all the more reason... if you're doing well and can afford a few bucks, now is the BEST time to contribute to a cause you believe in. Even if you don't want to donate to mine.

If you DO want to help us out, my page is:


You can join us too if you'd like!

Thanks. :)

Current mood: excited.

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24th February, 2010. 11:29 pm. It's a sad day

Arizona ranks second in the contest for the State with the worst economy.
So you might understand my ire when I heard what our legislature has been up to.

In prime idiot fashion, 40 Republican Lawmakers backed a bill that would require Presidential candidates to verify their citizenship in order to get on the state ballot. a little blurb of it here

or text hereCollapse )

As though we don't have any real problems to worry about, the legislature obviously don't keep up with current events or they'd know that Barack Obama is ALREADY PRESIDENT! By the time any of this makes any difference, he will have served a term of 4 years.

It's nice to know that they find my childrens' education or my police protection such a vital and important part of their workload.

writing about it just made me seethe again.
Time to try to sleep.

Current mood: annoyed.

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