Wednesday, May 30, 2007

be yourself (broadley)

be yourself (broadley), originally uploaded by emdot.

Just talking to my co-worker Mike about this cool book project where a woman puts book spines together to make a story. And while we were talking I remembered something about myself that I hadn't thought of in a long long time.

When I was 9 or 10 I cataloged every book I owned AND I put a check out slip in each one, in case anyone wanted to borrow my books. Keep in mind that at this same time my favorite toy was my typewriter and that my step-father would often admonish me to "PUT THAT BOOK DOWN AND COME WATCH TV WITH THE REST OF US!"

nostalgia: me and becI think some things come to us as very young children. I can't remember not being able to read. I can't remember not wanting to be a writer. And I can't remember how many days I spent in libraries or organizing my books as a kid.

This post is brought to you by our word of the week, NERD. As in, that Emdot, damn she's a nerd.

going to seed

going to seed, originally uploaded by emdot.

What is born will die,
What has been gathered will be dispersed,
What has been accumulated will be exhausted,
What has been built up will collapse,
And what has been high will be brought low.

(Trad Buddhsit Scriptures)
Damn, the Buddhists really know how to get a party started.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

How Do You Spell Relief?

  • Write down the project or situation that is most on your mind at this moment

  • In a single sentence, describe your intended successful outcome for it

  • Write down the very next physical action required to move forward

Learn it, people. Live it. Love it. These words (the above list) can get me through damn near anything. From David Allen's Getting Things Done.

p.s. KB, buy it today!

Friday, May 25, 2007

{May 20} high on lights

{May 20} high on lights, originally uploaded by Elizabeth Taylor.

i love this so much i had to share it with the rest of you. don't you just want at least five of these? maybe twenty? lovely.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

What I Can't Wait to Do

  • Redesign this blog template

What I'm Also Working On (aka minor goals)

  • Getting to Work at 8:00 AM
    I seem to be great at getting to work by 8 AM on Mondays and Tuesdays. Somehow the 8 AM charm has lost some of its bracelet by Wednesday. Thursdays and Fridays? Those days are just struggles for getting out of bed at all. STILL: 8AM. It is my goal and I know it makes me happier.

What I Daydream of Trying But Realistically Know Is Beyond Me at This Point in My Life

  • Eating only those foods grown locally.

What I'm Considering to Be Perhaps Not the Best Blog Content Display Choice

  • Unneeded unordered lists consisting of only one item

For those of you who may also be interested in eating locally:
» Will Work for Food: Couple Fills Plates Locally (NPR interview)
» Back to Basics: Kingsolver Clan Lives off Land (NPR interview)

Getting Fit Means Beginning to Be Interested in What to Wear

Cuz you know, if you ain't happy with the body you ain't happy with the clothing. Knowing that you will soon be svelter/sveltish/svelty-esqu-wishing, you may start contemplating future shopping sprees.

Fun Fashion Snacks
» (link: mightygirl)
» Flickr Group: Wardrobe_Remix

So, I don't really cook

Summary from earlier today: diet/health + organization = goals.

One thing I don't do is that I don't cook. I mean, okay, yeah, I'm a wiz with the following things: scrambled eggs, toast, slicing cheese, spreading butter/mayo/mustard, slicing pickles, and adding yogurt to damn near anything. This means that I can make breakfast combinations (eggs, toast, yogurt, cereal) and many many types of sandwiches. And that is the extent of my cooking.

I'm not proud of that. But I can admit it.

So, if I want to get healthier and thinner, I most probably need to start making my own meals (as opposed to eating out at restaurants). Which means, I probably need to learn to cook. Which means I will also be saving money (goal 3!) as well.

What I find hard about cooking

What DON'T I find hard about cooking?
  1. It requires time.
    See that's hard for me because I typically am instantly hungry and need to instantly eat. This means that I will need to be smarter about snacking and smarter about timing.
  2. It requires planning
    How am I supposed to know what I will want to eat ahead of time? This is a huge dilemma for me. On top of that, menu planning gives me hives and makes me hyperventilate. Will need to tackle that in baby steps.
  3. Getting everything done at the same time
    How do people do that? It's a mystery. It's a skill. It seems a bit daunting.
So cooking will be addressed here. And menu planning. AND (this will be the really fun part), what to order when you are out to eat in SLO Town.

Of course, recommendations will be gladly accepted as well.

In the interim, I give you a link to mightygirl's I heart menu planning. Her post was like some kind of discovery for me: what? someone knows how to do it AND they like to do it AND they posted it online? I heart Maggie Mason.

Foods I love that I never eat at home

  • Beets.
Well, okay. That's just one kind of food. But seriously (and all you beet haters, please cover your eyes or turn up your TVs), beets are fabulous and I'm always stoked when they come as part of a meal. But make them at home? Never. Oh, I BUY them. I buy them and they sit lonely and forgotten in my fridge, next to a stalk of broccoli and some left-over tuna fish.

So, here's my self-challenge.

Tonight I will buy beets. And I will cook the beets. Maybe not tonight, but sometime soon. And I will tell you about it and how I cooked them.

Starting small. God love the baby steps! :) And the beets.

New Directions, New Horizons

(In which our fearless author overuses numbered lists and dips her toe into something that could either be beyond fabulous and motivational OR dull and dry and ohmigod what what I thinking?)

For the past month several sewn-together thoughts have been with me every single day for what feels like every single minute. I want to lose weight-be fit-be organized-and I want to do this online. Take my goals to my blog.

I've got some goals -- ongoing, neverstarting, neverending, always persistant goals -- that have been with me for some time. Oh, you know, like more than years. Decades. Old goals that have never been met.

I want to turn that around. I want to really and truly take those steps forward that say,

  1. This is what I want in my life.
  2. This is how I'm going to do it.
  3. And I'm going to do it for everyone to see.
  1. I need to be held accountable
  2. I need constant reminding
  3. I need to be motivated
And my feeling is that some of you may need that too.

So, I'm going to go for it. Tell my goals to all who come here. I'm going to share tips and tricks, and trips and falls. I'm going to ask for help and suggestions.

And, hopefully, purposefully, I will drive my life in the direction in which I want to go.

So, what are my goals?

Here they are:
  1. Lose 40 pounds. Yes. Forty. There I said it. And I will do this in six months. Following the Bob Greene strategy in "Get with the Program" and most probably Weight Watchers. The food deal is a tricky one for me because, let me be really honest, food is all about emotion in the Emdot Day-to-Day. And it has been for a long time (since probably junior high school). So... it's tricky. But I'm willing to try again. :)
  2. Get organized. To me, and I've really been thinking about this a lot, a lack of organization is the fertilizer to my current state of treading water. For that, I'll be focusing on smaller goals as well as tips and tricks based around Getting Things Done.
  3. Get my finances in order. Like super in order. Like I can buy a house without relying on a parental hand out order. This one will take longer than six months and I will not be starting it seriously, or chronicling avidly, until some time next year.
So there they are: the three goals that have filled up thousands of (offline, personal) journal pages, countless hours of self-berating or guilt. Countless statements of "this is my day one of my new workout/diet/lifestyle."

My whole goal is to do this in a fun way. In a sane way. In a non-obsessive way. In a way that will continue to inspire myself and maybe inspire you. My goal is to stay positive and honest. My goal is to move my life into an area that I've wanted for a long time, but has always seemed out of reach.

So there you have it. What I haven't decided yet (and why I haven't started yet) is if I will start a new blog or if I will be doing this here at meandering streamies. The plan is (no matter the previous decision), move this over to my domain, have lots of helpful links, ponderings , and then more thoughtful posts.

And my hope is that I reach my goals. And that some of you might share with me -- what has worked or hasn't worked. And there you have it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Fresh Air

NPR/Fresh Air has been celebrating Fresh Air's 20th anniversary as a daily national show for the last week or so. Today they had another retrospective where Terry and the Fresh Air staff picked snippets of their favorite interview moments and I listened to it during my lunch hour.

I was so glad to hear part of the interview with Father Greg Boyle who founded Homeboy Industries, an LA program to help gang members get off the streets and out of a life of crime. I was so moved the first time I heard that interview that I listened to it two more times, blogged it and even called my mom to make sure that she had heard it.

There is one other interview that I've heard on Fresh Air that made such an impression, and that was a replay of Terry's interview with Gretchen Worden, the former curator of Philadelphia's Mutter Museum. Worden had just passed away, so Terry was rebroadcasting the interview. I can't really tell you what it was about that interview, but it touched me very deeply and I just remember the tears that streamed down my cheeks. That was another interview that I listened to several times, blogged, and demanded that my mother listen to. :)

Fresh Air is by far my favorite show. On the radio, on TV, anywhere. I've learned a lot about people, events, history, and communities. I admire Terry Gross's style, and just like anyone who is a master at their craft, she makes it look so easy. I've heard that she spends hours upon hours reading everything her guests may have written, listening to their recordings, watching their movies, and reading any commentary made about the guest. I've heard she works something like 16+ hours a day, every day.

Who knows if that is an exaggeration. Probably not. But I bet she loves it. And her love for her profession shows and makes Fresh Air what it is. A way to connect to other people, to open your eyes to what is going on in the world, or just to laugh along with a comedian, find a new musician to love, or find the next book you want to buy.

Here are links to the two interviews I mentioned above:
» Father Greg Doyle, Homeboy Industries
» Gretchen Worden, Mutter Museum &
» Remembering Gretchen Worden (I think this is the one that got me)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Two photos that have made me smile very wide this week

that's how we roll in Raleigh, originally uploaded by fubuki.

paisley, originally uploaded by Burps Liberty.

You can see both of these photos on Flickr or on Utata. I recommend both, as you can leave comments on Flickr. But with Utata you get to read the great mini-essays (thoughts? asides? prose? delicious-words-sewn-together) from Catherine and Greg.

reminder to self

sorrel, originally uploaded by emdot.

Whatever joy there is in this world
All comes from desiring others to be happy,
And whatever suffering there is in this world
All comes from desiring myself to be happy.

— Shantideva


- noun
Etymology - combination of jibberish and literature.

Words used by spam technology to create the appearance of being a real email, but in fact, being utter nonsense when read as a whole.

My co-worker Mike coined this term today in the middle of conversation.

Me: Wow! Jibberlit. That's brilliant. Did you just make that up?
Mike: Yeah. Yeah. I think I did.
Me: It's awesome. It's perfect. Everyone should know that.
Mike: You can blog it.

Ha. Well, I don't know about everyone now knowing the term jibberlit, but definitley three people now know the term. Go forth people and spread the good word! :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

limekiln flower

limekiln flower, originally uploaded by emdot.

Renunciation has both sadness and joy in it: sadness because you realize the futility of your old ways, and joy because of the greater vision that begins to unfold when you are able to let go of them. This is no ordinary joy. It is a joy that gives birth to a new and profound strength, a confidence, an abiding inspiration that comes from the realization that you are not condemned to your habits, that you can indeed emerge from them, that you can change, and grow more and more free. — Sogyal Rinpoche
Renunciation. That is what I meant when I said surrender. They are similar creatures, I think. Or maybe I should check the dictionary.

Friday, May 11, 2007

I've begun to re-read Getting Things Done

Ineffective personal organizational systems create huge sub-conscious resistance to undertaking even bigger projects and goals that will likely not be managed well, and that will in turn cause even more distraction and stress. – David Allen
Welcome to my world.

I hit some kind of wall this week. I've been rundown and on the verge of being sick to the point that every day I wonder if I should go home from work and just get more sleep and rest. And it's no like it was just one thing. From finding a stranger in my house Monday morning to taking care of some important personal necessities to feeling like I am probably going to be really sick at any moment, I have not been working at the top of my game -- or anywhere near it -- this week. And that in itself will wreck havoc against me in the little world which is my head and inner dialogue.

More and more I feel like life and the lessons it doles out is a repetition of surrender surrender surrender.

More on that later, if I get time.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal

I read Naomi Shihab Nye's Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport in the latest issue of Hope Dance. It's not linked there, but I found it at plenty of other web sites. Do yourself a favor today (right now) and read this.... it's a heartwarmer.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought, this is the world I want to live in. The shared world....

I woke up this morning and there was a strange guy in our apartment

I was the first to get up and I sleepily went straight to the kitchen to make coffee as I was so tired last night that I'd forgotten to make it before going to bed. And, I was quick to find out, I also must have been too tired to lock the front door as well.

Because there was someone sleeping on our couch. A rather large (tallish, stocky-ish) overgrown fratboy-looking mid-30s guy. Clean cut. Blue tshirt. And we didn't know who he was or what he was doing there. I ran back into the bedroom and said to Steve who was still sleeping,

"there is someone sleeping on our couch. some strange guy is sleeping in our living room."

I go back into the living room and kind of stand over the stranger for a second then poke his shoulder and he opens a sleepy eye.

"Who are you?" I demand.

"I'm Rich!" he says, like I should be happy about it.

"But who are you?"

"I'm Rich!"

"What are you doing in my apartment?"

"Your apartment?......."

I grill the strange, overgrown clean-cut blue-tshirt wearing Rich because I can't understand what he is doing here and he's acting like he was invited. He was there with friends, "What friends? Which friends? Who are they? What are there names?" it slowly dawned on him that he did not belong where he was.

"You have to leave. Now."


There's a big part of me that thinks I should have been frightened. But in all honesty? I haven't stopped laughing. Okay, nervous laughter. But it was so strange and weird and obviously not dangerous from the beginning but still very off-putting and creepy.

After he left (immediately -- and there's a part of me that thinks he would have just turned back over and kept sleeping if I had not kicked him out and pronto) we went into the hall of our apartment building where there is a small row of antique school chairs. Super old and connected together and toppled over with a pair of black flip flops underneath them. Obviously Rich's.

I can only imagine that this guy got so inebriated last night that he must have come over to our building in a blacked-out state. Tried to sleep on the antique school chairs. Toppled them over. Tried all the apartment doors. Ours was the only one unlocked. Etc. OR his friends played a horrible trick on him. But I really think it is the first.

AND I really hope he finds his way to AA this week. I hope this really scared him. That he could do this. That he was that drunk.

Get help Rich. Get help.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Outside the Bike Show

Outside the Bike Show, originally uploaded by 7-how-7.

i love this photo from outside the bike art show. :)

Friday, May 04, 2007

This song is great!

Moonglow, Lamp low by Eleni Mandell. So beautiful. Don't miss it. And oh, the vocals. The vocals. Lovely.

Come to the bike show!

Bike Month Art Show from 7how7

and meanwhile... other links

» Email Bankruptcy. Ohmigod. I've done this several times. Okay. More than several times. I have best intentions. I do. I do. But sometimes that damn inbox is just too freaking much. (link from Kottke.)

Unrelated aside. Well kinda related. My work inbox is a totally different matter. I am the RULER of the work email inbox. Hear that all you other people who think you own the work email inbox? No. It is me. Your queen. Bow down.

My work email inbox is almost always at zero. That's right. Zero. Because I process and move on. I learned this from David Allen in Getting Things Done and I swear by it. I would share these swear words with you now, but this is a family blog so you'll just have to use your imagination.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Do this survey pronto

Help your fellow web nerds out and take A List Apart's web design survey. Yes, that means you my favorite project manager. ;) And you, my favorite web dev head. And you my favorite geeky programmer. Go take their survey and tell 'em the truth and add your reality to the survey.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

oh i sigh i freaking love this

Lip Dub - Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger from amandalynferri

a la brezny

arbor are blur, originally uploaded by emdot.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): "Have you heard of the 'Nine Pregnant Women' rule?" asks businessman Scott Mills. "It takes nine months to have a baby--but you can't get the job done in one month with nine pregnant women. That rule applies to any project: As you think about managing the time that's available to complete a project, it's critical that you identify which steps you must complete sequentially." I suggest you install the Nine Pregnant Women rule at the center of your meditations right now, Virgo. The time is right for you to gaze at the big picture of your life from on high, and then formulate a revised set of long-term plans.
Don't I know that. But always nice to be reminded.