Friday, December 28, 2007

Slideshow of Benazir Bhutto's last rally, including the bombing

This slideshow shouldn't be missed. Not only does it show you the last few images of Bhutto (and some beautiful images from the rally), but it shows the bombing and the aftermath.

» The Assisination of Benazir Bhutto

Saturday, December 22, 2007

365 Self Portrats in one year


20.365 | new water filter = yea!, originally uploaded by emdot.

I mentioned in a post a few days ago that I started the 365 project in Flickr. For those of you not in the Flickrverse, it's a project where one joins and commits to taking a self portrait each day for a year. That's a whole lot of emdot, folks. I'm not sure if even I can handle it. :)

I thought that today I would point out the flickr stream of the person who inspired me to do the project, yellowbike. (That link goes straight to her 365 set, but I'm sure you can figure out how to see her flickr stream proper). I freaking love her self portraits. They make me smile, they make me want to take photographs, and they make me admire her life from far away.

It's funny because all this inspiration and she wasn't even one of my contacts. Well, I just rectified that. So everyone go go and check out her stream and enjoy! :)

(I would have used one of her photos here, but her photos are copyrighted and I'm very lazy with the whole plan-ahead thing that it would require for me to get her permission. So, you got a photo of me. HA!).

And p.p.s., click on the photo of me and learn why I am smiling. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hot damn I love that guy in the blue t-shirt


The Super Ninjas from moxie on Vimeo.

This is one of Moxie's videos on vimeo. (Thanks Mox).

That's Orrin, being fun and silly. That's Hex on the left, being his wonderful Hexodus self. And that's 7s far right and stealing my heart with that look in his eye and saying "it's true it's true." I didn't know these guys when this video was taken. And now I know each one. And I've been to the Red Lion several times BUT NEVER WITH THE NINJAS. That has really got to change. Next time I'm in LA. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

for my friends interested in GTD but don't have the time to read the book

Lifehacker had an article today about an abbreviated form of GTD. Check it out.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

it's one of those morning

  • i pulled my right glute at the gym
  • my bangs stood STRAIGHT UP after blow drying my hair. they are mostly down now. it took an act of god to fix them
  • 10 minutes late for work
  • that glute really hurts

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Answering More Questions. This time: What are you sewing?


8.365 | my salute to sewing, originally uploaded by emdot.

leedav on flickr says she wants to learn how to sew and then asked me what i've been sewing. Here's my answer. :)

basically, i'm sewing easy stuff. while i "sewed" as a kid, i haven't done any sewing as an adult. until now. my friend kb is lending me her machine (so nice!). if you want to learn, here are the books i bought and that i'm using... all geared for the newbie sewer seamstress (I think I just realized why one says "seamstress" and not (stinky) "sewer."):

5.365 | work window


5.365 | work window, originally uploaded by emdot.

My friend Steve C. in South Africa is starting down the GTD path (go Steve!). This morning in an email he asked me what tools I'm using (he uses Thinking Rock). Here's my reply:

I use pen and paper mostly. I am a fanatic about the filing system. And I also use a wiki called tiddlywiki made for GTD called GTDMonkey or some such. It is okay. It works for me, but I've heard about other GTD tools that work better. Are you familiar with Merlin Mann's hipster PDA? I like that a lot.

What I've fully adopted:
  • using a labeler (not hard as i LOVE labelers)
  • right-sided manila folders (right tabs, i mean, only)
  • next action steps
  • tickler file (although i HATE the term tickler file)
    (i also hate the term "tiddlywiki")
What is harder for me
  • planning/scheduling/sticking to calendar items (like x hours at this time to work on project y)
The above is a pic of me at the start of my work day last week. I started participating in a Flickr group project called 365 Days where you take a self-portrait every day for a year. So, if you are interested in that, you can see my ever-evolving set here.

Friday, December 07, 2007

everything's always changing. even this.

What is our life but a dance of transient forms? Isn’t everything always changing? Doesn’t everything we have done in the past seem like a dream now? The friends we grew up with, the childhood haunts, those views and opinions we once held with such single-minded passion: We have left them all behind. Now, at this moment, reading this book seems vividly real to you. Even this page will soon be only a memory.
— Sogyal Rinpoche

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Thinking about "Getting Organized" for your New Year's Resolution?


Dog-eared, notated, and page tabbed, originally uploaded by emdot.

Why not start reading Getting Things Done now? It's an easy read and pretty motivational. And then you'll be good to go for implementing the plan on Jan 1, or even taking advantage of slow days between holidays. :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Hmmm,These Magnets are Strangely Attractive


Calavera Christmas Magnet, originally uploaded by 7-how-7.

7s (my bf, for those who don't know) has opened an Etsy shop and is selling very fun magnets that he makes out of very fun things. You should buy some! :)

From his blog:

I've opened a little shop, The House of Sevens, on Etsy, that online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade.

Most of what I'm making and selling are cool, unique magnets that you won't find anywhere else: magnets like the bottlecap magnet in the photo, a sort of Day of the Dead / Christmas mash-up magnet: magnets made from old wooden Scrabble pieces: magnets made from old Japanese kanji game pieces: magnets made from vintage Shiner Bock beer bottlecaps: An Asian Map magnet set: Magnets made from old money, like the Greek Drachma magnet: Mexican comics magnets, Chinese Joss Paper magnets, Christmas magnets, and more. I add something new every few days.

I sell some individual magnets, but most of what I sell are sets of magnet that I make at home. My magnets sets make great gifts and stocking stuffers. I also do custom orders, so if you look at my stuff and see something you want, but maybe a little different, let me know and I see what I can do.

So when you're looking for the perfect, unique gift for the person who has it all, or for you, come check out my magnets in The House of Sevens.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Two Things

Thing one.

I love many things about the place where I work. One of them, is that to get to my office I have to pass a row of "Browsing" books every morning. These are recently released, non-academic books. It's like a little reading nosh table. This morning I picked up In an Instant by Lee and Bob Woodward. Last week I picked up Shakespeare by Bill Bryson. It's the little things.

In the elevator, going up to said office, I opened the book up and my eyes fell on this:
Love is in the heart, not the head.
That slayed me. Right there in the elevator. Such a little, but awesome, reminder and a great way to start the work week.

Thing two.

I am not embarrassed to say here (again) that I am an Angel fanatic. I came across it (via 7s) long after the damn show had stopped airing, but oh so many DVDs and oh so much time. We picked up Season 1 this weekend at Best Buy and had Angel mini-marathons during and after dinner. Anyway, the last episode we watched last night featured super silly self-help. BUT parts still resonated. Like this:
Anger is just disguised fear.
That is the truth people. Though I would add disguised sadness, too. It's something that I believe. And I felt strangely validated when they said it last night in the show, even though they were poking fun.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Daily Coyote

You probably saw this in Dooce; it's where I saw it, too. But in the (hugely) off-chance you don't read/subscribe to Dooce, or if you saw her post, but didn't check it out, I'm here to highly encourage you to check out the Daily Coyote. It's the blog of a Wyoming (via SF and NY) woman who rescued an infant coyote and has been raising it in her one-room cabin with her cat. It's just about the sweetest, cutest, ooh-and-ahhing blog out there right now.

Monday, November 19, 2007

More Tactics in the Energy Front

I haven't written about the energy effort in a few days (or more than a week), but I want to keep sharing the steps I'm taking.

Likewise, I'm starting to consider that I may actually start properly writing this blog, which includes editing and perhaps cohesiveness. These considerings have been slowing me down in post creations, but I haven't jumped on the "yes i will edit this before i post bandwagon" yet.

Energy. The next fighting step: CLEARING THE CLUTTER.

I've always been a bit of a clutterbug. Paper seems to be magnetically pulled towards me from all directions. Things pile up. And then get overwhelming. And it seems so much easier to just put it all in a box and tackle it later and then boxes pile up. In addition, there are hundreds of CDs. So many little bits of memorabilia. Mail. Books. Magazines. Things I will craft with later. Things I will wear later. Things I will play with later. Things I will... you get the picture.

This weekend I began to tackle it. It's my (not original) thought that clutter slows us down. Bogs us down. Slugs us down. Keeps us down.

I spent all day on Saturday tackling one section (just one). And while I didn't complete it, I made great headway. Am nearly complete. Will be complete after the Thanksgiving holiday and that has already filled me with space. More space. More energy.

Quick note of internal controversy: all the CDs (about 500 of them)? They are going into storage. I'm not ready to make a decision about them and I don't have a decent way to store/keep handy in the apartment. So, they are getting the boot to storage. This makes me a little nervous.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I stole this idea from Jamelah

10 Things I liked as a teenager that I don't like now

  1. Talking on the phone
  2. Days of Our Lives
  3. Madonna
  4. Mustaches
  5. Wine coolers
  6. St. Elmo's Fire
  7. Weird little snack apple pies
  8. Cheerleading
  9. Bumming money off of people (anyone around me)
  10. Christianity

10 Things I didn't like as a teenager that I like now

  1. Cilantro
  2. The Estero Bay
  3. NPR
  4. A quiet night in
  5. Old Stevie Wonder
  6. A lot of jazz
  7. Paso Robles
  8. Photography
  9. Sewing
  10. Being with my family

10 Things I have never much cared for and very likely never will

  1. Swiss Cheese
  2. Rye Bread
  3. Rice pilaf
  4. Classical music
  5. Opera
  6. Lionel Richie
  7. Conservative Right Wing Radio
  8. Exclusion
  9. Being weighed
  10. Nascar

Ten things I’ve always really liked and probably always will

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Singing
  4. Performing
  5. Drawing
  6. Being barefoot
  7. Wearing earrings
  8. Roadtrips
  9. Big Sur
  10. Lay Lady Lay by Bob Dylan

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

one


one, originally uploaded by emdot.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

friends i have many links and tidbits to share with you


sons and daughters, originally uploaded by emdot.

but they will have to wait until tomorrow.

also, a few thoughts and ponderings. they will have to wait until the day after tomorrow.

i just listened to the news and they said it was 72 degrees in a town just 20 minutes away. it's almost midnight. it's almost thanksgiving. and it's 72 degrees.

we don't even get 72 degrees at night in the summer.

this weather is wacky. and warming.

and i'm tired and fading. good night!

Monday, November 12, 2007

pelican


pelican, originally uploaded by emdot.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Let sleeping sea lions lie


Let sleeping sea lions sleep, originally uploaded by emdot.

This photo is from our table at Pete's Pierside Cafe at Port San Luis in Avila Bay. The tablecloth reflection is off of the protective wind barrier glass.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Random webness I have read lately

Most of these are from Lifehacker or Kottke.Still to come: a few of the craft/design blogs I've been devouring.

Good Morning, Internets

I should be in the shower. But it's one of those mornings when it's foggy out and cozy in and the coffee's delicious and I'm pretending it's Saturday.

Little Tidbits

Last night we watched All the President's Men (which I'd never seen) and it was really good and it made me even more cynical about politics. Do things ever change? Can political people in high reaching places be decent? Can we trust anyone? It makes me sad. But Robert Redford is hot. That never seems to change, either.

That whole Hilary not tipping thing made me gasp out loud in my car when I heard the segment on Morning Edition while driving to work. And now there are conflicting stories about did/did not tip. And if Hilary did tip... well that is a drag bc you know the evildoers are going to run run run with this. But if she didn't... tsk tsk doesn't do it justice.

Sewing. I've been sewing. What I'm about to share with you could be its own blog post (and hmmm... I may recycle reuse this sentiment at a later date) but I've learned something about sewing. Are you ready? Here it is:
Sewing is not about sewing. Sewing is about ironing, measuring, and ironing. You heard it here first.
The energy thing is going great. Yesterday when I got off from work I still had energy and I was very stoked. By the time I got home, tho, I realized that I was extremely grumpy. Maybe next month I will tackle grumpy. This month I am reacting to grumpy the same way I react to no energy which is to sequester under covers and read a book. Better than a fifth of gin.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

office stretching


salt, originally uploaded by emdot.

Do you know what I love about libraries? ILL. Which has nothing to do with feeling sick, but stands for Interlibrary loan. Which means that if your library doesn't have the book you are looking for, they can probably get it for you from another library.

My library loans and borrows from libraries all around the world. China. Europe. Bakersfield. :)

Today I got a book from ILL called Office Stretching and I am oh so excited about it. Me? Doing 60 seconds or so of stretching every hour or so. 60 by 60 you could call it. Or I could call it. 60 by 60.

It took me years to figure this out, but sitting in a chair for a million hours in a row just isn't great on yon body. Who knew?

I'll be sharing office stretches, thoughts and strategies later in the week.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

yea! energy!


, originally uploaded by emdot.

Okay. Great thing happened today: I got off work today with a definite spring in my step. Which added more spring.

This is what I think did it: a.) lots of movement in my workday as opposed to sitting at my desk all day; b.) late afternoon protein snack.

I had to run a bunch of errands for work which meant 90 minutes out of the office and a decent amount of walking. And then I had half of a turkey sando around 4... I think this made a huge difference.

Here I thought I was going to say how my new step towards energy was going to be getting to work earlier so I could get off of work earlier and have more day time to do things.

Instead, I worked an extra hour and coulda kept going.

Monday, November 05, 2007

taking my own advice


busy bee resting, originally uploaded by emdot.

this weekend i linked to an article about beating burn out. first piece of advice was to take vacation asap.

i think i knew that implicitly as i had set up november in a way that made me high-five myself. i only have four-day (or less) work weeks for the entire month. i took a four-day weekend this weekend. then i work four days - two days off - work four days - three day weekend - work four days - two days off - work three days - thanksgiving vacation (four days off).

this means i love november.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

you need to welcome rejection


anise, originally uploaded by emdot.

i just heard a line on a dan savage podcast that stopped me in my tracks:

you need to welcome rejection.

savage was addressing a gay guy who was too shy to go up to another man at a bar. everyone is afraid of being rejected. everyone. and dan's advice was "you need to welcome rejection."

and i thought to myself, yep. me, too.

and i'm in a really awesome relationship, so i wasn't applying it to my life in a "go to a bar" situation. but in an every other situation.

i am one of the biggest scaredycats i know, deciding to forgo oh so many opportunities (travel, new location, new school, new job, my dreams, etc.) because in truth... i am terrified of rejection. i am terrified of failure. i bank on the tried-true-and-hum-drum because what if the other were to go south?

anyway. dan savage is the man and i swear to god his advice is spot on 100% of the time. or atleast 98%. if you don't know who he is OR if you are a prude and/or easily offended/squeamish, then he is most probably not the guy for you. so don't go googling him. :) all the rest of you should be downloading his podcasts.

Take yourself out on a date

We all need to do this more often: take ourselves out on dates. Whether you are in a relationship or not. What is a great way to spend an afternoon? An evening? Go do that by yourself and exalt.

The photo above and the self-date idea both came from Stephanie in Korea, aka Elizabeth Taylor on the Internets. Read her photo description to hear about her fabulous day/date.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Coping with burn out


natch, originally uploaded by emdot.

Let me just say right up front: I really do love/like my job. Not only that, I love my employer, my co-workers, the location, the hours. There is a lot to love, and love it I do. Not only that, but I feel real gratitude about having this job. Not only do I get to be creative, I get to be creative AND have killer perks. Try finding that in other places. Very hard to come by.

But I was starting to get burned out.

Burn out is something that I am really familiar with, but is not something I have a successful track record with. Me? I'm the one who gets burned out and thinks I can muscle through it. Maybe you are someone who has the wearwithall to succeed with that strategy, but I'm not.

So my surgery was actually a huge blessing. It required me to a.) stay home for two weeks and b.) do nothing. Two things I would have loved to have done but would never have given myself permission. Those two weeks of nothingness fed my soul. Sleeping. Resting. Resting. Sleeping. Reading. Resting. Sleeping. Knitting. Resting. Sleeping.

In the second week I took up embroidery, which was a great addition, because besides the hands moving and the fingers avoiding puncture wounds, embroidery is almost sleeping. :) It's definitely resting.

But I digress.

This is the month of November and the month of November is about regaining energy. And my second tip to share with you came handily today in the form of a web page: Dealing with Professional Burnout without Quitting Your Job.

First piece of advice: take a vacation as soon as possible.

Friday, November 02, 2007

my new, ultra-perfect, keep-yer-paws-off-of-it waterbottle

I used to be one of those Nalgene Bottle Fan Girls. Seriously. I submitted poetry to their freaking web site. Okay, so they were limericks. Still, I loved me some Nalgene.

But then slowly, throughout a span of years, I got tired of always having to unscrew the lid. I wished that they were "nicer" to bring into professional meetings. And most of all... they were hard to clean (as I tended towards the liter, small-mouth bottle over the larger-mouthed version). And and and. I don't know. I lost my love of Nalgene.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed two of my best friends sporting some new looking bottles. Camelbacks. Hmmm. I was intrigued.

See... I haven't been drinking enough water. Not even close. And I gotta admit, I wonder if my lack of water drinking contributed to my problems with my now-gone gall bladder. Maybe if I'd been drinking enough water, my digestion would have been better and I never would have had this problem.

And then there is the problem of energy -- lack of energy. Me? No energy. I'm pretty good in the mornings... but M - F? When I get off of work? Dawn of the Dead. Or Dusk of the Dead. Whatever. Key point = dead. Walking dead.

So I've decided that November is the month for me to take some positive steps to regain my energy and get my M-F evenings back.

Step one = buy a killer water bottle that I really love to drink out of.

Step one = total success. Yesterday I drank about a gallon and a half. Okay. Or a gallon. Or almost a gallon. Damn near a gallon. A lot.

And it was fun. :)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bloggers, Start Your Engines



It's that time of year, people; when crazy insane folks decide to write a novel and the rest of us decide to write in our blogs. Color me lazy. I'm not noveling it. But I am blog-posting it.

The focus of November? ENERGY. How to have more of it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hounds of Love


Hounds of Love, originally uploaded by ranjit.

Write it on the walls, people. That's a great link if you need a little pick me up, too. xo to all.

(And yea! This is Samson, one of my favorite flickr dogs. Click the pic to see more from his human and/or more of Samson.)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

i have but one egret


i have but one egret, originally uploaded by emdot.

Our minds, however, are riddled with confusion and doubt.

I sometimes think that doubt is an even greater block to human evolution than is desire or attachment.

Our society promotes cleverness instead of wisdom, and celebrates the most superficial, harsh, and least useful aspects of our intelligence. We have become so falsely “sophisticated” and neurotic that we take doubt itself for truth, and the doubt that is nothing more than ego’s desperate attempt to defend itself from wisdom is deified as the goal and fruit of true knowledge. — Sogyal Rinpoche

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

7s swings into action


7s swings into action, originally uploaded by YardSale.

this is why i love this man.

three ways to start your day


the official BEFORE photo!, originally uploaded by emdot.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Skull Cap


Skull Cap, originally uploaded by 7-how-7.

7s is making some really cool and fun bottlecap magnets and you can check them out and buy them at his Etsy shop.

Friday, October 12, 2007

what choices are you making today?


good-morning-good-morning, originally uploaded by emdot.

As Buddha said: “What you are is what you have been, what you will be is what you do now.” Padmasambhava went further: “If you want to know your past life, look into your present condition; if you want to know your future life, look at your present actions.” — Sogyal Rinpoche

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A few things to share


good-morning-good-morning, originally uploaded by emdot.



Good morning. I'm kinda worn out this morning. I think I pushed it too hard Tues eve and Wed morning, even tho I really was taking it slow*. But yesterday afternoon and this morning I find myself.. really beat. So I wish I was adding descriptions to the above links, but it's time to get off this computer. ;) (What I'm healing from.)

On top of that I'm feeling kind of anxious. And/or very anxious. And I wonder if this is a symptom from no longer taking the Vicodin? My heart is kind of racing and has been since yesterday afternoon. Also, my throat is so tight like I'm just about to cry -- but I don't feel sad or anything. No tears are there. So why the tightness throat? I decide to combat by going boldly back to bed.



* Slow = 1.) looking for fabric at beverly's and getting a very small frozen yogurt; 2.) having dinner with KB at Kokku's and meandering around Old Navy; 3.) breakfast with my mom at Big Sky.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

good news


good news, originally uploaded by emdot.

yea! i woke up and felt "normal" again. you know, like a member of the human race. not a member of the i'm sick and can't get outta bed bring me some OJ race. yea!

as i said in flickr, i may still need to blow my nose, but at least i feel like myself again.

onwards and upwards!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

memes and things


emdot, originally uploaded by emdot.

insprired by B Bol.

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
Paquito Rav *

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Rocky Road Milano

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)
M Fig

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Navy Crane **

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Micole San Manuel

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)
Figma

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
The Green Coffee

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
Carl Gilbert (or is that Gilbert Carl?)

9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Bucheron Dumle

10. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )
Marie.

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Center Cannes

12. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Autumn Peony (this would be a better weather person name)

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + "ie" or "y")
Raspberry Jeansie

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Bagel Jacaranda

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)
The Photo Rainbow Tour (obviously for 9 year old girls)

* I'm not really sure which pet was my first. :) I usually use a different cat's name cuz it's funnier.

** Meh. I don't have a favorite color right now. And favorite animal. Please. What animal isn't my favorite? ("except for the weasel" -- homer simpson)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

sea of color


sea of color, originally uploaded by emdot.

I suppose it's bad to have a crush on your own photograph. But I heart this photo. I'm not one of those people who gravitates to color (so much as light -- I could photograph a white wall with light reflections on it for hours), so I guess this is a surprising photo for me to have taken. but i really really like it. i guess this is more that I just really really liked her chalk drawing. and her outfit was great too.

This is a completely random posting
(to warn you).

  • I love Lambchop
    They just came on my iPod. They make me happy. I'm so glad I found them. And "C'mon" and "No you c'mon" have been two of my favorite and most listened to CDs for the last few years. Years. I need to get more music.

  • I got a new iPod
    And I'm very exicted about it. :) I really made out like a spoiled bandit for my birthday. I'm old enough where I should not be so spoiled. That is the thought I keep thinking anyway. I got an awesome and very cool lens for my Canon S2 IS (who knew you could even do that?). I got a Crumpler bag. I got a GREAT book (Eat Pray Love). I got a handmade mug that I have been coveting for about 15 years. I got some very cool beads to make earrings with. I got a homemade necklace that everyone stops me to ask me about. And I got some cash from some generous family folk that allowed me to get a new iPod. It's silver, classic, and 80 GB. You know how people love their iPhones? That's how I love my new iPod. :)

  • Things I'm looking forward to downloading: more Pema talks. And I heard that you can download things like the Dalai Lama's talks at Stanford or something like that. I'm all over it. My iPod is like my little buddhist scroll filled with pithy wisdom. And songs you can shake your booty too. Buddha and booty. Not a bad combination.
And then there was a strange email I got addressed to webmaster@mycompanyname's.edu. It went like this:
"Can someone pass on to enginereing and Mr Walsh that I have thought about my new element research and as a matter of fact ,the last time I was on your campus a cop pointed a gun at me and all that cop stuff they did to me so forget it ,people get shot on collage campuses I dont need it to be me,you people realy bring me down!!!!!!!!
Um. Dude? I think you sent this to the wrong place. The wrong webmaster at the wrong place of employment. I have no idea who or what or where or god only knows why.

But has made me chuckle for most of the afternoon. Especially this part: and all that cop stuff they did to me. Which probably makes me a sick bastard, but I can't help myself.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

sometimes i get occular migraines

I got one this morning.

I'm really sick of this sick thing. I just feel like my body and soul are all outta whack -- but oh! so! close! to being within whack. close to touching whack. whack nearing.

the way i experience occular migraines: they start as a shimmering in the outside of my peripheral vision. do you know what moire patterns are? it's like a moire pattern in the edge of my vision -- always in the shape of a C. even if i close my eyes i still get the shimmery moire.

there is nothing that happens that lets you know it's going to happen. it just happens. and it doesn't last long. 30 minutes-ish. but now i'm left with a dull achy feeling in my head and i'm just tired of not being easily carefree healthy.

on wednesday i was hit with a serious case of exhaustion. like thinking was too tiresome. seeing? too tiresome. i went to bed early and then stayed in bed all day on thursday. too tired to flip a page of a book.

what is going on? there is a very big part of me that thinks i need to see an acupuncturist and get all this out of whack back to true. maybe i just need to be trued? perhaps i should see a bike repairperson. :)

Friday, September 07, 2007

true human, being


sometimes todd paints houses, originally uploaded by emdot.

Spiritual truth is not something elaborate and esoteric, it is in fact profound common sense. When you realize the nature of mind, layers of confusion peel away. You don’t actually “become” a buddha, you simply cease, slowly, to be deluded. And being a buddha is not being some omnipotent spiritual superman, but becoming at last a true human being. — sogyal rinpoche

Sunday, September 02, 2007

this i believe


[h]air, originally uploaded by emdot.

"I believe in strange blessings, because taking away my house brought me home."
I think this is one of my favorite "This I believe's" yet. A young woman who moves back to Louisiana to help her family rebuild after their home was destroyed by Katrina. No privacy, very little money and the embarrassment of having to say "i live with my parents." But these things have actually brought her more peace, more fitness, more enjoyment.

This one really touched me.

Sometimes I think we have all so solidly bought into what is "adult," what is appropriate, what is expected, what defines success, meaning and blah blah blah that we erase the thought of staying close to home and investing in committments that really mean something. Family. Hard work. Simplicity.

I love those things.

» Listen or read Robin Baudier's TIB essay called The Strange Blessing That Brought Me Home.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

good morning


Our New Friend, originally uploaded by DBCondit.

happy saturday. i saw this and it put a huge smile on my face.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

i've got two words for you...


i've got two words for you..., originally uploaded by emdot.

My Gmail is basically down, so if you've sent me an email and I haven't responded in a basically decent amount of time, this is why. I guess I need to report this to Google but blech, the last thing I want to do is troubleshoot this problem via FAQs or web forms. Boo.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

are you a digital packrat?

It seems that yes, yes I am. This link asks you ten questions, yes or no. I answered yes to nine. Which makes me 90% digital packrat.

» Are you a digital packrat?

for your wednesday pleasure


funny face, originally uploaded by good morning stradivari.

god damn i love this photo. :) good doggie. ;)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Rob Brezny I'm Counting on You


beaks and blue, originally uploaded by emdot.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Why fight for rights that are already yours, Virgo? Why sacrifice yourself for the benefit of people who wouldn't fully appreciate your gifts? And why are you even thinking about dividing when you should be multiplying? Any of these acts would be a crime against yourself. So listen up: You just have to hold out a little longer. If you can avoid running up a big karmic debt in the next few days, if you can refrain from hurting yourself in a misguided attempt to fix situations that can't be fixed, you'll be home free. Soon the whole cast of monsters, demons, and goons will pack up their inane torture devices and go trundling back to the hells where they came from.
(this week from brezny)

Monday, August 06, 2007

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): ... It's a favorable time to forge a new spirit
of cooperation between the two parts of your psyche -- let's call them
the rational and the transcendent -- which so many of today's thinkers
have told you cannot possibly co-exist. — Brezny
So now I am left with the following question: which do I abhor more: today's thinkers or today's stinkers?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

China is insane

Tibet's living Buddhas have been banned from reincarnation without permission from China's atheist leaders. The ban is included in new rules intended to assert Beijing's authority over Tibet's restive and deeply Buddhist people.

"The so-called reincarnated living Buddha without government approval is illegal and invalid," according to the order, which comes into effect on September 1.
» Read the article

Thursday, August 02, 2007

cuter than possible


, originally uploaded by heather.

this photo kills me. in a good way.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

and now for a shot of happiness for your working wednesday


MEETING AND GREETING, originally uploaded by METAL-ARMZ.

what's cuter than this? not a thing. not a thing.

part of one. part of another.


part of one. part of another., originally uploaded by emdot.

THE WAY IT IS

There's a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn't change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can't get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time's unfolding.
You don't ever let go of the thread.

- William Stafford
Sometimes you read things and you think, yes, exactly that is me. Sometimes you read things and it reminds you that other people have their shit, too. And no matter how much you wish it went differently, it won't. It can't. They can't. They've got their thread, see? And they can't let go.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Unicorn chaser

You know how boingboing always does the Unicorn Chaser after they blog something completely disgusting? This is my version. Gall bladder plushy! So cute! So cuddly. C'mere gall bladdy and gimme a kiss.

All guts, no glory


Shrinky-dink: The Gall Bladder, originally uploaded by St. Murse.

Dear Self,
I mean,
Dear PollyAnna Rose Colored Glasses,

Please remember, the next time you think something is just an "easy little process," look it up in flickr tags. Let reality look you in the face.

And THEN decide if you still think something is an easy little process.

Sincerely,

Your smarter self who will probably take a nap soon so you will probably forget this advice, hence the blog entry so maybe you will remember.

In other words, I just looked up the tag gall bladder on Flickr. I didn't know what I would find -- pictures of gall bladders? There were a couple of those, but also a hand full of post-op scars. Really really reallyl big ones. Like almost foot-long scars.

I prefer foot-long hotdogs.

Which is probably how I got into this predicament to begin with (remember: gall bladder disease).

I'm still researching options and awaiting the next doctor visit (September) (19th). So, nothing new to report there.

But the way this whole entry started is because I (reluctantly) picked up the book Ourselves, Growing Older (oh, humility. how i have embraced you.). Which has an awesome, very informative entire chapter all gall bladder disease. AND it answered so many questions that I haven't found in other places. Or I should say, it answered many questions and it answered them all in one place, instead of me having to piece meal together information from this source and that.

It's so good that I am actually checking it out at the library so my family and friends can read it. Those that are interested. And maybe they can help me make my decision (to gall bladder to not to gall bladder; that is my question).

If you are looking for information on gall bladders, gall stones, gall bladder disease or any other of the fun related topics (cholesterol? bilirubin?), here is where you should go:

The New Ourselves, Growing Older
by Paula B. Doress-Worters and Diana Laskin Siegal
Chapter 26
Pages 382 - 388
One more tidbit in this completely rambling, not nicely put together post: you've heard me yammer away that it is more prevalent in mexican-americans and native americans. but guess what other lucky demographic is also a high-contender? SCANDINAVIANS.

Hello: half Mexican, half Swedish. I'm like a gall bladder problem cookbook. Jeeze Louise.

Tajikistan Jan


Wedding dances, originally uploaded by janski.

Jan's been back in Tajikistan for almost a year now (or so it seems). I love her sense of adventure or can-do spirit. Seriously? Jan can do ANYTHING. Anything. Everything.

What I love is this strange dichotomy. Jan is tall with long long blonde hair. And forthright. But more like FORTHRIGHT. And opinionated. And kinda bossy (in a way that only she can be and you love her for it). And just very... above board. There is no meek Jan bone. No coy or eyes-averted or submissive or quiet or holding back. There is just Jan in all her glory. And I love that brazen Jan so loves this muslim nation and it so loves her back.

The world is great, people. Sometimes we lose track of that fact. And sometimes we think that we are very different people. But Jan proves that we can be very different and very all-together at the same time.



See more recent photos from Jan:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

love letters and dear johns


i love cream, originally uploaded by emdot.

Dear Caballero Sausage Sandwich, Tri-tip Sandwich, Taco Salad featuring sour cream and many many chips and oh the cheese, Any Kind of Burrito, and Cheeseburger,

I miss you very much. I think about you often, though, I must admit, less as more days go by. Tuna Sanwich and Turkey Sandwich have been helping me get through the lunch hour and Soy Yogurt has taken top spot for late afternoon snack. But I still can't help missing those carefree hours we spent together.

Sincerely,

Emdot




Dear Red Wine, White Wine, G&Ts, and Firestone Double Barrel Ale,

I thought I missed you. Which is why I flirted with the idea of getting back together with you. And even met you a couple of times for dinner. But then I was reminded of your sneaky, nauseating ways. I do not miss you, you scoundrels. You pied-pipers. You evil leaders of the evil ways.

No longer yours,

Emdot

Monday, July 23, 2007

Hey, Look...

(Inspired by Heather and Derek who were inspired by the New Yorker's Simon Rich.)

Here’s what I imagined the people around me were saying when I was...

Eight:
"Who is that girl with the boy haircut?"
"I don't know, but it looks like Marya."
"That can't be Marya. Obviously it is her twin sister we never knew about."

Ten:
"Whoa! Where is that awesome voice coming from?"
"I think someone is singing in the shower somewhere in the neighborhood."
"With that talent she should be the lead singer of Styx, even tho they don't have a female lead singer."

Twelve:
"Who's the new girl always hanging out in the library?"
"I don't know, but she obviously has an important inner depth."
"Let's be her best friends."

Fourteen:
"Who is that? A new teacher?"
"No, a student."
"She obviously reads Seventeen magazine."
"Yes she has excellent preppy fashion sense."

Fifteen:
"That girl really talks a lot in class."
"She is really full of great insight."
"I could listen to her forever."

at the sea


at the sea, originally uploaded by emdot.

The masters tell us that there is an aspect of our minds that is its fundamental basis, a state called “the ground of the ordinary mind.” It functions like a storehouse, in which the imprints of past actions caused by our negative emotions are all stored like seeds. When the right conditions arise, they germinate and manifest as circumstances and situations in our lives.

If we have a habit of thinking in a particular pattern, positive or negative, then these tendencies will be triggered and provoked very easily, and recur and go on recurring. With constant repetition our inclinations and habits become steadily more entrenched, and continue increasing and gathering power, even when we sleep. This is how they come to determine our life, our death, and our rebirth.

— Sogyal Rinpoche
That seems about right to me. I see that happen in me all the time. This period of my life seems to be about recognizing more and more things that are just habitual patterns -- from reactions to cravings to crazings to sheer avoidance.

Oh to shed those seeds instead of sowing them.

Learning Strategies for the Visual/ Verbal Learner

  • To aid recall, make use of "color coding" when studying new information in your textbook or notes. Using highlighter pens, highlight different kinds of information in contrasting colors.
  • Write out sentences and phrases that summarize key information obtained from your textbook and lecture.
  • Make flashcards of vocabulary words and concepts that need to be memorized. Use highlighter pens to emphasize key points on the cards. Limit the amount of information per card so your mind can take a mental "picture" of the information.
  • When learning information presented in diagrams or illustrations, write out explanations for the information.
  • When learning mathematical or technical information, write out in sentences and key phrases your understanding of the material. When a problem involves a sequence of steps, write out in detail how to do each step.
  • Make use of computer word processing. Copy key information from your notes and textbook into a computer. Use the print-outs for visual review.
  • Before an exam, make yourself visual reminders of information that must be memorized. Make "stick it" notes containing key words and concepts and place them in highly visible places --on your mirror, notebook, car dashboard, etc.

From Diablo Valley College's Learning Style Survey. Want to know what your learning style is? Take the quiz.

I'm a Visual/Verbal Learner. Here's what they have to say about that:
You learn best when information is presented visually and in a written language format. In a classroom setting, you benefit from instructors who use the blackboard (or overhead projector) to list the essential points of a lecture, or who provide you with an outline to follow along with during lecture. You benefit from information obtained from textbooks and class notes. You tend to like to study by yourself in a quiet room. You often see information "in your mind's eye" when you are trying to remember something.

Spot on!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

overheard on the phone (aka directions)

him: and take the marsh street exit
phone: mwah mwah waw waw wah mwah
him: marsh. you know. like... your feet are getting wet and there are lots of leaches.
phone: fwah fwah waw waw wah fwaw
him: right. right. marsh. boggy. and then you take broad...
phone: cwaw cwaw cwaw?
him: no. you know, like [sings] give my regards to broadway

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cookie mouse winks...


Cookie mouse winks..., originally uploaded by Leighton Cooke.

Cutest thing! Cookie mouse. Which is more adorable, the photo or the term Cookie mouse? Okay, so the photo is so awesome that it wins hands down. STill, cookie mouse is pretty adorable, too. This photog is the only one on Flickr to ever tag anything as Cookie mouse. I love that.

Good morning!


obstructed view, originally uploaded by slight clutter.

Little happy photo to start your week off right. This is from Slight Clutter/Katya in Texas who does magic with a camera.

Katya is also the person who introduced the word "adorkable" to me. So, you can see she is pretty awesome.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Are you hungry or are you thirsty?

Oftentimes, those of us with a few pounds we'd like to shed, feed ourselves because we think we are hungry, when in reality we are thirsty.

How can you tell if you are hungry or thirsty?

Touch the area where you are experiencing the sensation.

Stomach? (hunger pains, growly tummy, etc) Hunger.
Mouth? Thirst.

It works every time. I swear. Try it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A bit of truth that fits into your pocket (book)

Buy what you do not need, and soon you will sell your necessities. — Ben Franklin

When are feelings greater than actions?

It is easier to act yourself into a better way of feeling than to feel yourself into a better way of action. — O. H. Mowrer

Pretty much true. EXCEPT. Except when the feeling you are experiencing is overwhelming, debilitating pain.

Pain is the great motivator.

Spirtual Warrior sounds corny, doesn't it? I wish there was a better term

Difficulties and obstacles, if properly understood and used, can turn out to be an unexpected source of strength. Gesar was the great warrior king of Tibet, whose escapades form the greatest epic of Tibetan literature. Gesar means “indomitable,” someone who can never be put down. From the moment Gesar was born, his evil uncle Trotung tried all kinds of means to kill him. But with each attempt Gesar only grew stronger and stronger.

For the Tibetans, Gesar is not only a martial warrior but also a spiritual one. To be a spiritual warrior means to develop a special kind of courage, one that is innately intelligent, gentle, and fearless. Spiritual warriors can still be frightened, but even so they are courageous enough to taste suffering, to relate clearly to their fundamental fear, and to draw out without evasion the lessons from difficulties. — Sogyal Rinpoche

Monday, July 09, 2007

Smoke Signals

Just talked to my dad. We're not part Pima.

I was really looking forward to being part Native American, too. Darn it.

Coincidentally, we went to see Sicko on Saturday

And, more coincidentally, we sat next to a woman with emphysema who was hooked up to an oxygen tank.

She laughed heartily throughout the movie. But she also cried, quietly, several times. I could see her wiping her eyes.

That broke my heart.

But the movie in general broke my heart. Whether or not you like/dislike, agree/disagree with Moore, how can you not agree that our current medical set up in broken beyond repair? It is broken. Broken. Broken.

We deserve more than this. We deserve better.

Where I live there is a huge shortage of doctors. You have to wait months to get in for a pelvic examination, a dental appointment. And the dermatologist? Forget about it. Expect a six month wait to see your doc. It's wrong.

Test Results Back


walking home, originally uploaded by emdot.

Test Results Back: gallstone disease.

Disease? Disease? It's just so weird to hear that word associated with oneself.

I did some research over the weekend, and here is a really interesting tidbit that I learned about the commonness of gallstone disease:

  • the mean prevalence of most demographics is about 3 - 15%
  • the mean prevalence in Mexican-American women is 27%
  • the mean prevalence in Native American women from the Pima tribe is 73%

I'm half Mexican. My father's family is from the Gila River Valley, where the Pima Indians are from. My mom is pretty sure that my dad's dad has some Pima blood in him.

Who knew?!

On top of that, I eat a pretty fatty diet. Cheese is my staple. And my paper. And my ink.

I've only had cheese once since this happened, and that once was a total slip of my better judgment and caused another (albeit much much "easier") attack.

The lack of cheese has left me ink-, paper-, and staple-less. What to eat has totally stumped me, despite the fact that of course I know about lowfat foods and yadda yadda yadda. I just am a little slow as to how to bring them permanently (and immediately) into my life.

So, I've been researching (yea for library article databases!). Reaching out to people who might have good advice. And scouring the shelves of booksellers. And slowly I've been figuring it out.

Next step: meet with my doctor tonight for more indepth going-over of my test results and probably talking about options....

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Practicing the grown up look

Alternative to antidepressants: the cygnet tag slide show on Flickr.

Oh the cuteness. The cuteness.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Thoughts on 1966

I was born the year before the summer of love. I think that makes it the summer of dry humping.

Wake Up Call

Wednesday afternoon I found myself in some serious pain. I’d say “doubled-over pain,” except the pain wouldn’t allow me to double over or bend or sit or stand or god forbid laydown. Walking was unbearable and I think it’s fair to say that an 80-year-old in need of a double hip replacement could have shuffled circles around me. So I hobbled and I moaned. Really: I was moaning.

I was having a gall bladder attack. Three words that constitute the most unsexy phrase ever uttered.

It hit me at work around 2:30 - 2:45 (three hours since I had eaten my lunch of tri-tip sandwich and peanut butter/chocolate chip cowboy cookie). For three minutes I thought it was indigestion. By minute four I knew it was way beyond that. I will admit that I panicked a little, confused about what to do. Wait it out? Stay at work? Go home? Go to the doctor? Pretend that nothing was happening? Find a place to lie down?

This had happened to me once before about six months ago. It was terrible and painful, lasted about 30 - 45 minutes, and scared the shit out of my boyfriend. That was after I ate a couple of slices of Woodstocks Creamy Garlic Chicken pizza (which I will never eat again). As soon as it was over I entered my symptoms into google (something like “severe stomach, shoulder pain”) and each result came back with the same subject: gall bladder attack.

So Wednesday, when this hit, I knew I was in for some pretty excruciating pain, but thought it would be over in 30 or 45 minutes.

Thank god I had the smarts to say I had to go home because it wasn’t a 30 or 45-minute deal. I was wracked with intense pain for hours and then pronounced great discomfort for hours and hours after that. In total it lasted 24 hours.

I called Steve to see if he could pick me up from work (I had walked that day and there was no physical way I could walk home), and I leaned against a lamp post shaded by an elm tree and I moaned. I sweated. I considered death. I considered throwing up (wouldn’t happen), passing out, or getting on all fours and dry heaving, right there on campus. I smashed my face against the cool lamp post and just tried to get through the next few minutes.

The gall bladder is a pear-shaped (kinda cute) organ that lives under the liver. It makes bile (not so cute) that helps with digestion. Fatty foods need more bile and sometimes can cause the gall bladder to spasm and swell. Still doesn’t sound like it should be so godforsaking painful as it is, but there you go. The pain typically starts under the right side of the rib cage and is so intense that it radiates to other parts of the body. For me the pain spread across the under part of my ribs (more intense on the right side) , enveloped my right shoulder and shoulder blade, and poured down my right arm to my elbow. There is no relief. No position you can take, nothing you can ingest, and it’s not gas or constipation or diarrhea, so there is nothing to be done there. Really, your only choices are moaning or, if you are lucky, percocet or morphine. Many people go to the hospital scared out of their minds.

I know that Steve wishes I’d gone to the hospital. And the next morning he demanded that I go to the doctor. Which I did (by then the pain was bearable) and there it was agreed that I was having a gall stone bladder attack. I was put on the BRAT diet (and I seriously thought the doctor was nuts. There was no WAY I was ever eating again, much less drinking water) and scheduled an appointment for an ultrasound. The next step, I guess is to determine if I have a gall stone (or five), or if there is a problem with my liver or heart or something (because women often don’t experience heart pain the same way as men).

Since then I have felt better. Normal even. Hungry and pissed that all I am supposed to eat is bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. Yesterday I started eating other foods — all pretty bland, extremely low in fat, and easy to digest. I have had one cup of coffee each morning since Friday simply because there is no way I can handle this AND caffeine withdrawal headaches at the same time.

And I’ve realized that I have to change my lifestyle. I say lifestyle instead of “diet” because, hello, food IS my lifestyle. And it has to change. And this is serious. And I never never never ever ever never ever want to experience a gall stone attack again. Ever. Never.

And so a new chapter starts.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Overheard

Mike: This is the draggingest hump day ever!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

You gotta live

39 Ways to Live and Not Merely Exist.

Yea! New blog discovered (for me). Dumb Little Man.

Dear Dumb Little Man,

Your site made my day.

Sincerely,

Baically smart and too tall Emdot


Go read this list. I bet you start thinking of things you could add to it. What makes your heart sing? What change could you make that would take this summer from lowercase summer hohum to ALL CAPS FREAKIN A AWESOME SUMMER?

That's the question I've been asking myself since June 19. The solstice was coming up and I really wanted to come up with a list of Fabulous Things to Do That Would Make Me Look Back at This As a Really Damn Good Summer.

I came up with losing weight. Getting to work early. Walking to work. Drinking water. Being organized.

All fine goals. Things that would make my life better.

But it's pretty safe to say that these are pretty... um... boring. Ho hum. Yeah rights. Yeah sures. And yeah you oughttas.

A list of Yeah You Oughtas does not a great summer make.

I feel like it's five days late -- but with 85 more days to go, I'm pretty sure that DLG's list could make this a summer to love.

What are you doing this summer?