Tuesday, January 20, 2009

FORMER President Bush


Sweeter words were never spoken. FORMER President Bush. That's all I have to say about that.

Watching PRESIDENT Obama's Inauguration was inspiring. I think I know why I like him so much—there is something about his quiet soft-spoken confidence and the manner in which he speaks that reminds me of my Dad—calm, reassuring, intelligent, certain.

Obama thinks before speaking rather than opening his mouth and rambling just to fill space while he reaches for an answer. My Dad was like that. I'd ask a question of a somewhat serious nature, and we'd all just wait. Dad would shift slightly in his seat, clear his throat, maybe take a carefully measured sip of his drink while considering the question.

Just about the time my Mother would begin to squirm (she was the impatient one, "just TALK, Stewart!!"), my Dad would lift one finger in the air (signaling us to hold on one moment). Then he'd utter the non-committal noise—ah-heh.... mm—that we all knew was the prelude to the short, succinct bit of wisdom that was about to emerge.

Then, using words as carefully measured as the sip of the drink he'd previously taken, Dad would calmly and quietly answer. The way he spoke, you could feel the punctuation mark at the end. And usually you came away reassured and wiser for it.

My Dad was a man of few words, but what words he did offer were worth their weight in gold. He was a man whose mere presence in the background provided security and the reassurance that everything was all right and would continue to be.

He was a man of certainty, conviction to his cause, and held a quiet confidence in the face of all storms.

Obama reminds me a lot of my very pale but ruddy, blue-eyed Scottish-German father, and that's a very good thing.

Welcome to the Obamanation.


Friday, January 16, 2009

So Long, W!

Warning: liberal and full of Bush-bashing

So Bush's outgoing speech declares that we as a nation will "never tire, never falter and never fail".

Anyone who has done an in-depth study of the LOA and NLP is shaking their heads in disgust right now because they know, as I know, that Bush's declaration is full of NEGATIVES: which means, if his desire is that we avoid experiencing these things, well, he Bushed it up as usual.

Remove the negatives and what do you get?

Tire, falter and fail!

Bush just declared that our nation will do exactly that. Nice going, W.

And his White House took "decisive measures" to safeguard the economy? Whose economy, might I ask? Certainly not mine.

The last bit of moosepucky to which I must respond is this bit of self-serving drivel:

As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before Nine-Eleven.

Oh, really? I'm sure I and the other hundreds of thousands of people who have been struggling financially, who have lost their jobs and have been unable to find another even with a PhD in many cases, would disagree with that statement.

For me, "life before 9/11" meant I had a house with a mortgage I could afford because I had a JOB that paid well and seemed stable. But AFTER 9/11, that changed. I was working in print production at a print shop. Our clients were ad agencies. Anyone who has ever been near the ad industry is aware of the parasitic symbiotic relationship between advertising and the state of the economy.

When the economy collapses, so do the ad agencies because the first thing businesses do is find an area in which to cut costs. The first area they look at is advertising, THEN payroll, because advertising is a "luxury" (in their eyes, even though we were taught in ad classes it's the opposite). So the businesses that provided the ad agencies with the meat, potatoes, bread and butter pulled their projects and tightened their belts. No ad work meant nothing to print. No print jobs meant nothing for me to do all day, and my company had to tighten its belt too, so...

To be brief and to the point: 9/11 happened, the economy crashed, and so did my job as well as my industry. And there it has lain for the past seven years.

The seven years following 9/11 have been the worst years of my life, financially speaking, coupled with the whole parental loss thing. There have been bright spots, of course, but...

I'd GLADLY go back to my pre-9/11 life. Sorry, Bush. You're full of it, and I am so looking forward to Tuesday January 20, 2009. Bring on the Obamanation.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Valkyrie (The Socks, NOT the Movie)

Well, it's blacker than I anticipated, but my skein of BMFA Socks That Rock Mediumweight in "Valkyrie" has arrived! I can now begin swatching and knitting Mintyfresh's Leyburns (direct non-Ravelry link) for the Ravelry KAL (Ravelry link).

Good thing it got here yesterday. We had a snowstorm. Nothing drastic. Just several inches of gently falling white stuff that managed to accumulate. But it sure lessens the appeal of leaving the house. This is a great weekend to knit, read, and pet the cats.

And no, my color choice had nothing to do with Tom Cruise. I'm not a huge fan of his—I prefer Colin Farrell.

Since the object of the KAL is to have Leyburns knit in every single one of the more than 200 BMFA STR colorways, there is a master list of colors already chosen and in progress. So I whittled it down to what was left, looked at the options, narrowed it to six possibilities, and decided on Covelite. But then I saw a photo on someone's blog of an unwound skein, and it looked TOO purple. I already have way more purple in my sock yarn stash than I needed.

Someone else had already claimed Smoky Blue and Lunasea but somehow I'd missed it. So that left me with Jasper, Valkyrie, and Rauen (out of the yarns that most appealed to me—only 125 have signed up so far, there are plenty more colorways to choose from if you'd like to join). I like what the pattern does with stronger variegates, so that ruled out the Shaded Solid Jasper. I liked the deep reds and browns... so it was between Valkyrie and Rauen, and Valkyrie just looked... deeper and richer.

Except... it's really really really black. Pretty, but dark. The pattern has floats and might be a challenge to knit... I'm looking at Atomic 6 as my new option, if it's still available... dark, but not so much.

Time to swatch...

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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Waiting for Certainty

A good friend of mine moved out of state in 2007 to take his dream job. I was so happy for him. He'd proven the naysayers wrong; he actually CAN make a living doing what he loves, even if it was by working for another company rather than starting his own (which is his real job).

Last night, he called to let me know the company, which had grown a bit too ambitiously, was now downsizing and, as it happens, last in, first out—so he was laid off. He's also on his way back "home" in the next month or so.

Now. At this point, many people would freak out. OMG, job loss, dream job to boot. Moaning, wailing, feeling like a failure should ensue.

But we both see it differently. It's a good thing. It will, in the long run and retrospect, prove to have been a necessary step along the path.

Before Dream Job, he was a geek with a dream but no idea of how to really make it "work" in the real world. The Dream Job was a brave move for starters, because he had to upend his life, leave his comfort zone behind, and move to a strange city many miles away where he knew no one. Then he spent the next 18 months in what could be viewed as a sort of paid internship in his chosen industry. It's a specialized field, hard to get into, and he was pretty much stunned to find out he could get hired in the first place. (I wasn't; I knew he had the talent.)

While he was working at Dream Job, he got a first-hand look at how to run a business like that, what to do and what not to do, how the flow cycle works, and how to vend products at the annual industry convention. He basically lived a Year In The Life in that business, and learned what he needed to know to be able to do it himself.

Now, he's a geek with a dream AND the knowledge to back it up. He has credibility and contacts and a firm foundation off of which to build. Because of severance pay and unemployment benefits, he has the window of opportunity to make the REAL dream a reality (producing this product himself). Done right, within a year, he won’t need A Job because he will BE the job. He will be established within this field on his own. That’s IF he uses the opportunity, and IF those who still don’t believe in it back off and let him DO it. Or help, if they can.

We were discussing it, and we can both see very clearly how this factors into the path he's chosen. We both see it as happening exactly as it should.

But it's gotten my mind working in directions it shouldn't. Why is it that I can see these sorts of things clearly for OTHERS... but not for myself? How can I see how the pieces fit and see another's path unfolding... and be so clouded about my own?

For I feel as though I've been on hold forever—waiting for something to "break", to give, to heave over. I've felt like I'm on the brink of something big for a very long time... except... lately I've begun to wonder if the Universe got distracted elsewhere and forgot about me. Little things happen and I think, "OK, finally this is all unsticking, finally it's loosening up and beginning to move in a positive upward direction", then... it falls back to stagnant nothingness again.

And I wait some more.

And I have no idea what I'm supposed to be DOING, if anything, in the meantime. And that really frustrates me. And it worries me, because I have (or had in the past) the tendency to ditch my own wagon in favor of hitching up to someone else's because THEIR vision is clear, THEIR ambition is solid, and THEY have a better chance of bringing it to fruition whereas MY vision is cloudly, MY ambition wavers, and I don't feel I have much of a chance at all.

My friend will need my design skills to move his dream forward. I can do this for him. But I'm running the risk of becoming entangled in another person's wagon train when I'm so close to setting out on my own journey. I'm close—I can feel it. I think. But... I don't want to BE a designer anymore. Truth be told, it wasn't my dream in the first place—it was a compromise between what I could study that had job potential at the end (to appease my Mother) and what is creative enough that I won't go crazy doing it for a few years (while I got my music career going, which was the idea).

I don't want to be a designer... but I haven't quite defined FOR CERTAIN what I want to be if I'm not. I've mulled over some possibilities: horsemanship instructor, professor, writer, musician (again), among other things. But I've not been able to stay focused long enough that I know it's gonna stick.

I can help him for a time... but I'll be running the risk of getting too comfortable and once more trading in my own dreams (however vague) for his.

And it pisses me off that I can clearly see how it's all going to work out for him; but I can't begin to get one iota of insight about my own visions. How can I "make it happen"... if I'm not even sure what it is that should be happening?


For months, I've been feeling like there is ONE THOUGHT that I must change, and upon changing it, it will unlock and unblock everything for me. Like if I can just figure out which thought I've been thinking the wrong way, and change it to think the right or better way... trumpets will sound, cheers will go up, the sun will break through the clouds, and doors previously closed to me both in my mind and otherwise will fling themselves open to welcome me.

One thought.

But WHICH thought?


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Love To Read? Join This Challenge!

It's the Feelin' Chunky Chunkster Challenge of 2009! Through March 1, 2009, members can sign up to read overly-large books. Books must be read by November 15, 2009. According to the site,
A chunkster is 450 pages or more of ADULT literature (fiction or nonfiction) Don't complain folks, I read all thousands of pages of the Twilight series and they were good, but not a challenge. A chunkster should be a challenge.
Additional guidelines apply, but I'm already ahead. I just finished Stephen King's "Lisey's Story", which even without reading the excerpt from his Bachman book "Blaze", weighs in at a hefty 653 pages (paperback version—Amazon miscounted!).

On deck:

Stephen King, "Duma Key", 770 pp.
Connie Willis, "To Say Nothing of the Dog", 493 pp.
Jack Canfield "The Success Principles" just barely makes it at 455 if you include the biblio;
David E. Comings, M.D. "Did Man Create God?" 656 pp.

I was hoping to include Nietzsche's classic, "Thus Spoke Zarathustra", but it's a lightweight at a mere 315 pages, all said and done. But I'm still gonna read it.

What is it with me and long books? BTW, I highly recommend Lisey's Story even if you aren't a regular King fan. This one crosses over into more of a literary work than a horror work; it does have a bit of horror in it—wouldn't be King without it—but it's light on the gore. I could read this while eating (which I can't with most of his). It's a powerful tale.

In addition, I'm awaiting the arrival of a skein of BMFA's Socks That Rock's "Valkyrie" from the Raven Clan (not Raven Croft or Raven Claw, as my mind is wont to believe) colorway so that I can participate in the Ravelry Socks That Rawk!!! Leyburn KAL (sorry about the linkage, non-Ravelers; why not join the Rav? It's free...). Speaking of, I am such a joiner. I have enough sock yarn to clothe the feet of Uganda, but nothing for this KAL.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Make It Happen

I know what I’ve been overlooking all this time. I’ve seen behind the door that my brain was shielding from me, and I know what I am. It’s all good. But what I am isn't the important part.

What really knocked my socks off is this.

All this time, I’ve focused on possibility. I’ve asked the Universe, “please—make it possible for me to go to school in 2009”... “make it possible to sell the houses and close the estate”... "make it possible for me to move on".

Note the phrase, “make it possible”.

The Universe has answered, of course. It has shown me through example that it is INDEED possible.

Yet, nothing was changing.

Nothing was happening.

Oh, DUH, I thought, as this was revealed to me in meditation today.

What I should have been asking was, “make it happen”.

Note the SLIGHT variation on the phrase, and the critical word shift. Note how it totally changes the meaning of the phrase.

Please—make it happen for me to go to school in 2009
Make it happensell the houses and close the estate
Make it happen for me to move on

That’s the part about my successful past manifestations I wasn’t able to see before. Several times, while at the old barn, I thought, I need to find a Parelli-friendly barn where my other special-needs horse will be cared for the way I want her to be. I wondered if it were possible. I asked for it to be possible. I discovered that it was. There were barns all over the country that were Parelli-friendly or Parelli-centered, where AANHCP natural hoofcare was practiced and/or supported. But I found no barns near me that were centered that way.

Then one day, my situation at the old barn changed, and a move was imminent to protect my horses. I realized I had to find that barn.

I had to make it happen.

Once I decided that it had to happen, that I had to find that barn and move those horses, IT DID happen. Within 24 hours, I HAD THE BARN. Within 72 hours, the horses were relocated.

Before that: after the fall from my horse that terrified me, I'd examined my priorities and realized having another horse better suited to me might be helpful. I knew it was possible to find a better-suited horse. Once I’d decided I needed to find a partner to help me over the Cheerios fear, I made it happen and found the Late Great Wildflower. Then, I’d not only realized it was possible to take my horse to a clinic and get help, I’d decided that one day, I would make it happen.

Within hours of buying Wildflower and bringing her home to the boarding barn, a spot opened up in a sold-out Level One clinic; the 12 people in front of me on the waiting list all declined the spot; and I found out that the girl from my barn who had trailered Wildflower home for me was going to the Level Two clinic right after mine, and offered to take us! Bam, bam, bam. Make it happen? I'd say so. Ten days after buying my new partner, we were on our way to the clinic I thought would be years away.

And then I needed to find a way to hold onto Cheerios... such as leasing him out to the right person for awhile to offset board and keep him busy. So I made it happen. The leaser appeared one day, and so it went for three wonderful years—just enough time to get me to the point of being more savvy for Cheerios. Funny how that all worked out.

All because instead of focusing on the possibility of it, I shifted to focusing on making it happen.

Why has this been so elusive all this time? Right there in front of me! The key to the whole smucking thing!

What we focus on, expands, right? So... Focus on the possibility of something, you’ll get more evidence of the possibility. But possibility is a concept, not an action. Focus on having something HAPPEN, and something WILL HAPPEN.

Yes, it is possible to sell Grandma's house for a cash offer of $100,000 within the next week. Plenty of homes are selling for all kinds of prices, regardless of what the "economy" or "market" indicates. And if I continue to focus on the possibility of it, that is what I will get: more evidence of possibility without action.

If I want to see it manifest, I must change one word. Change “possibility” to “happen”.

It’s already possible, make it HAPPEN. Focus on the happening of it.

Therefore, I hereby declare:
I know that it is POSSIBLE for me to have the money to attend college this semester—I’ve decided that the Universe is now making it HAPPEN. It’s possible to sell Grandma's house for $100,000 cash within 24 hours—I hereby declare that the Universe MAKE IT HAPPEN. Make it happen, NOW. Thank you in advance, Universe, I am ever grateful that this has been made to happen.
Smuck possibility. Make it SO, Number One!

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