Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gardening for the Future

To the Journal Jar, once again!

Have you ever planted a garden?  What was in it, and why?

I have planted several gardens.  One year we had tomatoes and peppers planted, but the peppers didn't really produce very well.  But we had good tomatoes that year.  A few years back we had an artichoke plant that produced a few meals for us.  And some pretty flowers. We had tomatoes again that year, along with a couple strawberries and a jalepeno bush.  The strawberries were good when we could get them before the critters did.  Same with the tomatoes.  Jalepenos didn't fare so well.  But that artichoke produced for a couple years-- might even still be there.  But we moved away.

I also tried planting asparagus one year, but it never produced anything.  Not even a asparagus weed of some sort.  Just dead dirt.  I've planted a few trees in my time, too.  Got a few seedlings from the City on their Arbor Day celebration, where they hand out seedlings to the kids.  They always seemed to have leftovers, and I'd get a couple of different things-- one year my mom, my aunt, and I got Japanese maple tree saplings.  I ended up with them all-- six trees.  I nursed them along through heatwaves during the summer and ended up keeping a few of them alive long enough to plant in the ground.  One, I know, is doing really well in the back yard at our former house, unless the new owners chopped it down.  But it was so healthy, growing so nicely, I don't see why they would have done that.  We had also planted a 5 in 1 fruit tree in that same back yard.  I wonder how it's doing.  It had two varieties of peach, a nectarine, a plum, and an apricot all grafted to one trunk.  Probably finally producing some nice fruit this most recent season.

We've yet to get things going here at our new homestead.  I'm in the planning stages still.  I don't tinker around in the yard like I used to.  Not sure why.  Mostly because I was so depressed that I just couldn't do it.  Didn't feel like it.  Now, I want to redo the whole yard.  Take out the lawn and put in crops.  Or berries and grapes.  No more of this lawn crap.  I want food.  If I'm going to have to work in the yard, it should produce something for me.

Where we're at now, we have more front yard square footage than in the back yard.  And we have a few trees planted already.  We have a Navajo ash and a crepe myrtle that are "City trees" and then an Oregon ash that I planted over a year ago that I don't know for sure if it's going to make it, but it's trying.  There's also some sort of pine tree that I'm not sure what to do with...  In back we have an orange tree, a tangelo tree, and a lemon tree, plus another shade tree that I planted to help keep our bedroom cool in the summer.  (I forget the name of the shade tree or I'd put it down).  I want to utilize the philosophy of permacultre when designing my landscapes.  And I've misplaced my permaculture books.  So until the time when I organize my house so that I can actually find books that I want to read... the yard must wait.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dreaming Face Fractals

Do I dare do two Journal Jar entries in the same day?

Here goes something--

What is the weirdest dream you've ever had?

Well now, that's just impossible.  I have too many weird dreams to choose from.  They're all extremely weird.  Dreams can be that way.
Face Fraction

One of the weirdest sensations I've had while dreaming was the feeling that I can't wake up completely.  This has happened several times.  In the dream, I realize that I'm asleep and I'll start trying to wake up, trying to move, but I'm separate from my body.  I'm just thinking, detached from the physical body.  I try to move, to slap myself in the face to wake me up, but nothing works.  I usually end up trying to yell something, screaming.  Sustained straining and screaming starts to move my body away from the deep slumber, and I'll whimper or moan as a connection starts to establish itself.  After what seems like a long and drawn out struggle, I awake to myself yelling and sit up with a start.  I usually still feel drugged, heavy, drowsed, but I'm rattled and anxious now.

This dream led to my central struggle in the plot of my short story that I wrote in high school, called "Death of a Nerd."  Someday I'll have to post it.  I have to unearth it from all the writing stuff I have amassed.  It's in here somewhere.

I have a lot of writing that I've already done that hasn't seen another person's eyes.  And a lot of it might just stay that way.  I wrote a lot of journals when I was younger.  It was therapy before I could afford regular therapy.  Writing is powerful like that.  It gets the stuff out of your head and into your hands so you can work with it, like clay.  Once it's out, you can organize it, shape it, work it into something.  And it clears space for the origination of greater thought.

I worked today on my sort of children's book.  I'm thinking more and more that I just need to get on with it and make some dumb ass drawings for it and get it done so that I can publish it myself and give it away to Armand and Melissa before their kids are in college already.  The book was born over ten years ago already.  Ten years.  That's a lot of reading time.  A children's book takes only minutes to read.  How long do they take to write and illustrate?  A little longer, I'm guessing.  A little longer.

Anyway.  Back to the weird dreams... I've blogged about them before: see the Dream of Life and Goals Work to Make Dreams Reality.  Also Return to the Journal Jar.  Do check them out.  I don't recall having much weirdness happen in my dreams as of late.  So I'm due.  Maybe tomorrow I'll have a real doosie.  Or is that Duzy?  Douxie.  You get the idea.  Something major.  Until then, then.

More Christmas in October

I think the Journal Jar would like it to be Christmas all year round.  Look what it has to say today (in October, no less...)

What is the best Christmas present you received?  What is the best one you gave?

I talked about the jacket I got that was the perfect gift at the perfect time in Christmas in February (and there's a great photo of it, too).  I still think that was the best gift I have received, because it was exactly what I wanted and it was still such a surprise that I got it.  That's hard to pull off.  But mom and dad did it.  Hooray for mom and dad!  Hooray for me!

Another great gift I received was a bit more unconventional.  It happened last year, when Suzy allowed me to attend the Children's Book Writer's Conference in Big Sur.  It was a magical experience, and I got so much of what I'd been looking for in critique, suggestion, and advice for several years.  I met some wonderful people from all over the country and bonded with them-- told stories, laughed-- it was a whirlwind of activities and learning and cheerful growth-- like getting the right medicine and finally getting a chance to be well after years of suffering...  Thank you, Suzy, for trusting that I could handle such a thing by myself at a pivotal time in my recovery-- and even though I ended up back in the hospital, I think it made me a better person, a better man.  I became in tune with my heart and really felt whole for the first time in a very long time.  And coming out of the hospital, afterward, I think I was the most put together that I've been since the diagnosis.  I received very good care at the Kaiser facility and made strides toward wellness that I haven't made in years.  So I got a gift from Suzy in allowing us to splurge on Big Sur, which led to more gifts from my caregivers and fellow "students" at the hospital.  And all well before Christmas!

The Kolbs

Shifting gears to try and talk about gifts given instead of received... wow.  That's hard.  I don't remember anything standout right off the bat.  Come to think of it... I think the year that I framed up the Kolb family portrait and gave one to each of the siblings (and their offspring, and others that requested one) was a good one.  It was the first Christmas without "Daddy" and the family was grieving the loss of him earlier in the year.  Years earlier, we had gathered under the Kolb Place street sign for a photo session while all of the kids happened to be in town, and I had snapped a few shots and eventually settled on one that I liked of all the kids and mom and dad.  Then that Christmas, Suzy and I found a stack (a large stack) of picture frames at a store on sale.  I think we counted out 15 of them and set to work.  I got the prints enlarged to fit the frames and we assembled each one with care.  When the time came to open the gifts, we handed them all out and had everyone open them at the same time.  It was a very quiet room, filled with the emotion.  And love.  A few tears were shed, and we embraced the memory of Daddy and longed to have him there, passing out the gifts and running the show.  We quietly resumed the celebration with him on our minds and in our hearts.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

What?  Like you haven't noticed it yet?  I've been humming Christmas tunes already, dreaming in egg nog and pine scented happiness.  So why not just roll with it?  Screw Halloween.  And like Lewis Black says, Thanksgiving is just Christmas Halftime.

So speaketh the Journal Jar.

Describe getting a Christmas tree as a child, when did you put it up and decorate it?

I think I've already blogged about our jaunts to the hills to visit the Christmas tree farms.  We even passed the tradition on to our nephews, driving them up there several different Christmas seasons to select a tree and bring it home for decorating.  See Christmas in February for some o' dat.  For now, though, how about a picture?  To the left, to the left...

We've borrowed my dad's truck and driven up into the Santa Cruz mountains with the boys, playing the Beatles and singing as we snaked through the hills on the winding roads.  The weather hasn't always been very kind to us, but we got out there and got a tree, nothing stopped us.  One year it was windy and raining and we took a wrong turn and ended up in the back access road, kind of four-wheeling our way until we could find our way back to the tree lot.  We made it back, and little Michael exclaimed "That was COOL!"  And you know what, it really was.

Once we'd get home I'd set to work cutting the bottom of the tree to prep it for the stand, and Suzy would get the boys started unpacking the tree decorations and such.  Christmas music would be played on the stereo, and once I got the lights on it was a decorating free-for-all.  Pretty much ended up with all the decorations hanging on the front of the tree, but that was fine.  It was perfect that way.

We even had fun having the nephews overnight before we'd go to get the tree in the morning.  There's always great food on our get-togethers-- monkey bread, Psycho Donuts, mac-and-cheese, and of course, grapes.  Suzy can elaborate on the food angle better than I can.  Maybe she will.  All I know is, we don't go hungry.

And we do hot chocolate.  I think we've even made coffee for them (decaf), with lots of cream and sugar, of course.

But none of this would have happened, potentially, if it hadn't been for my parents taking my sister and I to the hills to cut down our own Christmas tree when we were young.  I remember getting the tree about a week before Christmas and listening to Christmas music while we untangled the lights, drank hot chocolate, and hung all the decorations with care.  Each decoration brought back a memory, and we came to look forward to unearthing each one from the tissue paper and boxes of all our prized Christmas stuff.  My aunt Bernice used to make lovely bread dough ornaments that she sculpted and hand painted.  They were some of our favorite things and we treasured them as if they were worth more than their weight in gold.  Many of them came to an untimely end because we stored them in the attic of our garage, and during the summer in the Central Valley everything was cooked at well over one-hundred degrees.  We lost a lot of keepsakes to the summer heat, discovering the melted mess when we went to decorate for Christmas that year.  It was sad, but we didn't fret for long.  But I think I'm still grieving the loss of some of the things.  Like the marshmallow ball I had made as a kid.  What a sticky mess it became.  But it had been beautiful, and I had made it.  It's often hard to say goodbye...

Anyway, I now have an even greater appreciation for my parents taking us out like they did.  As a kid it was great fun to hike around in the hills, looking at all the trees, breathing the brisk air.  As an adult-- it's a lot of work!  But so worth it.  The kids love it, and hopefully they'll have fond memories of it when they are adults, just like I do.  And maybe they'll even want to take me up into the hills and run me around in my old age.

Maybe.  Better get in shape just in case.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy San Jose and Other Acts of Activism

There's been a flurry of activity in my life this last week.  I've had appointments, impromptu acts of activism and altruism, and I've had a bunch of caffeinated beverages.  And a few beers.  But what else is new.

I went downtown to San Jose where the Occupy protest was being staged last Friday.  I helped out, met some folks, bought a few supplies, and talked at length with one of the participants.  He was very interesting.  Probably in his sixties, he's a wanderer of sorts, networking for people and getting things done.  He said that he was fired from his job just the other day, and that he'd been spending too much time down at the occupation.  He asked me what my story was.  I told him that I'm unemployed, that I quit my job to deal with my life as a citizen diagnosed with a mental illness.  He asked if he could pray for me, so I said sure.  We bonded and shook hands.  He seemed to be a genuine and nurturing individual.  He told me he might have some leads on a job for me.  So I'll keep him in mind.

We went back on Saturday and dropped off some water that we had left over from Suzy's high school reunion.  They were appreciative, even though I gave it to them in a red fabric Wells Fargo bag.  Suzy pointed this out to me as not the best move.  Still makes me giggle a bit.

I also attended, sort of, a conference via webcast over last weekend.  It was the Bioneers conference that I had hoped to attend, but it was just too expensive.  So I watched it online for free!  Do check out the video presentations at the Bioneers site, while they have them up for free (Go to and click on the video archives to get a list of the presentations).  Lots of amazing work being done out there in the world, and these are some of the purveyors of activism and ingenuity.  I highly recommend Paul Stamets, Gloria Steinem, and many others.  It's a mind expanding experience.

Also, I went with my buddy Mary to Berkeley to visit a couple salvage companies.  The first was Urban Ore, a huge warehouse filled with recycled parts and parcel for redoing your home kitchen, bathroom, or back yard.  It was really overwhelming.  There were so many parts and pieces, it was kind of like a thrift store crossed with a junkyard.  They had record albums and books, doorknobs and cabinet pulls, lampshades and electrical boxes, doors and windows and toilets and sinks.  The second place we went to was  Ohmega Salvage.  It was a bit more organized, a lot smaller scale, and a lot more expensive.  One of the most interesting things that they had was a stack of chunks of what appeared to be a gymnasium floor.  You could get 17 square feet of floor, finished on the top with the clear, shiny polymer, for about $320.00.

What you would do with that, I don't know.  Maybe a nice coffee table?

This weekend takes us to Relay Committee Academy in Gilroy.  In fact, I need to be up in about six hours to get going to that.  So I shan't be long here.  But it should prove to be fun.  We'll be honing our skills in fundraising, motivating, and just plain having fun.  And there will be bagels, I'm told.  I foresee no downside.

We'll be in touch, blog friends.  Onward to the euphoria of life!  Bring forth the learning and the change that you wish to have in this life.  You must be the change.  Bring it.

Best of luck to y'all.  Mighty changes.

Can You Say "Geeyaw?"

The Journal Jar strikes again...

Between the ages of 5 and 10, what was your favorite activity?

Now that's some throwback cred.
Hmm.  It's kind of difficult to remember that far back anymore.  But I know I liked riding my bike.  It was a red K-mart special with a white banana seat.  I rode the hell out of it.  It took me to different neighborhoods, dirt paths in vacant lots, all kinds of places.  I jumped that bike off a lot of ramps and it held together pretty good.  I finally ended up transitioning it into a BMX bike, dismantling and rebuilding it myself as I was able to afford parts.  But that was much later.  I wasn't working with tools much when I was ten, much less five.

I remember that I liked to watch Sesame Street and the Electric Company.  As well as Bugs Bunny cartoons.  I liked playing with Hot Wheels, and collected a decent collection that I just gave to my nephew last Christmas.  It was kind of hard saying goodbye to them all...

We used to live on Blossom Hill Road, a four-lane street with lots of traffic.  Our front yard had a slope to it, so it acted as a starting ramp for me, giving me some momentum so I didn't have to pedal too hard.  I could ride around the block to visit my best friend Greg and play in front of his house, because there wasn't nearly as much traffic there on the residential street.

There was one time that Greg's dad, who played football in college (I think), was punting the football straight into the air in the street in front of their house.  Each time he tried to kick it a little harder, and each time it seemed to reach farther into the sky.  Greg muttered, "Geeyaw!" when his dad kicked it super high into the sky.  Then his dad kicked it even harder, and I screeched, "GEEYAW!" as I imagined the football dancing amongst the clouds.  They both stopped and looked at me like I was strange.  I guess I was.

Still am.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Take Me Out With the Crowd

Tell about anniversaries, celebrations, trips, and gifts that you remember.

I already blogged about some of the gifts (Christmas ones) that are most memorable back in the day (read it here) so I will skip over that one.

I wanna talk about trips I remember.  And not just the ones on LSD.

My wife and I have traveled to Greece, Ireland, London, Paris, Wales... the Bahamas...  We've traveled around the country pretty well too, seeing more than thirty out of the 50 states, and 18 Major League ballparks. 

Here we are at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA, back when I was quite a bit thinner than I am currently.  A bit younger, too.  We flew in and got to check out the ballpark through the restaurant that was built into the ballpark-- I think it was a TGI Friday's or a Chili's.  Watched the crowd go wild as Rob Nenn blew a save and the Pirates won late going away.  Not a good omen.  But the Giants won the next day when we actually went inside the ballpark.  Beautiful place.  Really liked how they close down the Roberto Clemente bridge to automobile traffic so that the fans can walk from the city across the river to the stadium.  And the views of the city skyline from the stadium are astounding.  One of my favorites that I've seen firsthand.  Don't know if there's something better or not 'cuz I haven't seen them all yet.  Someday, we hope to see them all.

We've been to Seattle, both Chicago ballparks, Fenway, both old New York stadiums, Coors Field, Atlanta, Florida Marlins, St. Louis' old Busch stadium, the Twin's old Metrodome, Baltimore, Pittsburg, and lots of Giants games at both Candelstick and Pac Bell.  We've seen A's games a plenty as well, and not just when they play the Giants.  But we primarily follow the G-men.  We saw them play in Milwaukee a few years back.  That's a pretty cool ballpark, too.  And then of course we've been to Angels games and Dodger games.

Still have yet to go to Petco or Arizona, relatively close trips.  Might be one of our next jaunts (cost effective is key right now, especially since I'm not making any money writing...)

We've had a few trips to Chicago, both together and separate.  I went there while I was going to college in Iowa a couple times as it was a fairly short trip (about 6 hours drive).  But we really enjoyed our time there.  Wrigley is fun and a huge party because of the surrounding pubs and restaurants that get into the games.  Wouldn't mind going to more games there, although I remember the beer selection as being kinda sub par.  Not to mention the bathrooms are a horribly long endeavor.

But we love Chicago.  We have to get back to New York because both teams have built new stadiums.  But we also wanna get to Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and all the others.  Just need time and money.  So if you have some to spare, we're a good cause.  And we're nice people.  Just sayin'.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Typical Middle School Experiences

Today the Journal Jar brings us the following:

Describe a typical day in middle school or junior high.

I don't know if I can remember anything "typical" about middle school... I had so many of them.  First there was Lynnhaven,  in San Jose, CA, where I went to fifth grade.  I remember that I really started to notice and like girls that year.  Then it was sixth grade at Creekside Private School in Modesto, CA.  This school was anything but typical.  It was an oversized farmhouse converted into a school.  All of the rooms connected with large collapsible walls, so you could pass from classroom to classroom easily.  My 5th and 6th grade class was made up of a bunch of misfits and rejects of the public schools-- characters that didn't fit well with others at the time, I guess.  We got along okay, though.  Finally, for 7th and 8th grade I attended El Portal Middle School in Escalon, CA.  It was a big change from private school, but it worked out in the end.

Let's see.  What do I remember from Lynnhaven?  I remember my friend Ronnie making moves to "date" Brenda Allred.  Brenda was taller than he was by a couple inches or so, so Cliff Odle made fun of Ronnie when he got his first kiss from Brenda, saying that she had to stoop down to catch his lips.  But the joke was really on the rest of us, as we watched in awe of him, living vicariously through him and wondering if there would ever come a day when we could have the courage to be just like him.  Oh, the simplicity in the drive to grow-up...

I also remember one day finding a Kit-Kat bar on the sidewalk, still wrapped and sealed.  Ronnie berated me for wanting to eat it and thinking that it would be okay.  He was a persuasive young man, and he talked me into throwing it away, even though I couldn't see how in the world someone might have tainted it.  Easy come, easy go.

There was also a rainy day where the gutters were leaking from the eave of one of the buildings.  It caused a puddle to form, and soon the bubbles gathered into a white/yellow foam on the surface of the puddle.  Someone remarked how it looked like the building was peeing.  There were lots of laughs and "ews" that followed the remark, and lots of ideas that followed.  I remember Brian getting an empty 2-liter soda bottle and stomping it into the foamy mess, to a chorus of "ews" and "oohs".

At Creekside, we were literally located at the side of a creek that snaked by, just off campus.  I got in trouble for wandering off towards the creek one day, when Ted and Scott were busy pretending to catch a mouse in the classroom after digging a hole in the wall.  They ran from the schoolhouse, through a hole where the fence had fallen down, and over to the creek to throw the mouse in.  I followed to watch what was happening.  They didn't get in trouble, but I did.  And they dug a hole in the wall of the school, then faked the whole mouse catching scenario.  If it was so bad to go over towards the creek, why didn't they fix the fence?  Sheesh.

Also at Creekside, there was Michelle Sequeira.  I don't remember the spelling of her last name, so I just made it up.  But she was an angel.  I loved her like no young man had ever loved anyone before.  Which is to say that it was a crush.  I still remember her singing "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Hall and Oats while we were at Woodward Reservoir with Mr. Haack and his tiny sailboat.  She was so beautiful, everything that I could have ever wanted... What little did I know at the time...

Then came El Portal.  I got my own locker for books and stuff, and my own PE locker.  Visions of my life with Michelle soon faded and I became engulfed in another crush named Kim McGuire.  She was my everything.  So beautiful.  Oh, to have spent any time in her arms...  She once poured me a cup of juice at a school fundraiser of some sort.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  I held the styrofoam cup out and she filled it with juice, then looked up into my eyes and smiled.  Good God, the bliss!  The grandeur and momentousness! 

The typical day at El Portal was spent walking the campus, hoping to get a look at the beautiful girls that might someday lock arms with mine...  But I was too shy and proud and scared to actually approach any possibilities.  Even when Lisa Chamberlain approached me during a recess football game with news that she knew of someone who liked me, I couldn't be bothered-- I was playing football, for crissake!  Another failed relationship before it ever had a chance to start.

I did get married at El Portal during recess to Karen Chandonis.  Betty Amini presided over the ceremony.  I was cajoled into it by Karen, who was very pretty and quite persuasive.  So I was shy and accommodating.  We didn't kiss to seal the marriage-- we didn't honeymoon or anything.  Just married in the 7th grade. 


Monday, October 10, 2011

Imagine All the Writing

"...without imagination of change you can't have change.  It's the imagination that comes first." -- Gloria Steinem

So they suspended my AdSense account because of "invalid clicks" or something.  Basically, they are on to me and my friends and they don't like us because we're parasites.  And they like the advertisers better because they're paid to do so.

So no more ads on my blog.  The experiment is over.  I will not make any money from my blogging.  At least not this way that seemed so easy and possible for a little bit.

So now what?

Now the real shit starts.

Back to writing for writing's sake.  Back to getting it all down on the paper because it has to come out, not because it has to satiate and entice readers.  Back to the content being what I am not what I wish I could be.  Or not what I wish I could be-- more like trying to be something I'm not to make people like me.

Genuine draft.  That's what this is.  Find the ingenuity.  Genius is in you.  Let it out.

The Gloria Steinem quote above is from a movie I watched last night, "One Bright Shining Moment," a documentary chronicling the George McGovern candidacy for president.  I enjoyed it.  Maybe you would too.  You can stream it on Netflix like I did.  It's haunting to retrace those steps in our history, but inspiring too. 

Another quote, this time from Albert Einstein: "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow."  That is festooned to the wall above the "blackboard" in the room where my NAMI Peer to Peer course is being held every Wednesday afternoon.  Two weeks in and so far so good.  There are some neat people in class, and every week there are snacks.  How great is that?  Free information and they feed you, too.

So I guess we'll see what happens.  Still gonna do Journal Jar 'til it's empty, aiming to have it done by end of the year.  So I hope you have fun reading along, trying on this life with me.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Memories and Passings-By

Interesting name that I once ran across: Rosean Contreraseckstrom.  Interesting enough that I wrote it down on a post-it note and carried it around in my stuff for several years.

Try not to judge and move forward.

All the sticky is gone on the post it note, having amassed a collection of dust, lint, and assorted fuzz and dirt over the years.

I throw the post-it note into my recycling tray.  Rosean, we hardly knew ye.

Try not to judge, and move forward.

How about a Journal Jar prompt?  Yay!

But first-- a word about Al Davis.  What I hear a lot of people saying is "You either loved him or you hate him."  I just want to say that's not the case with me.  I have a lot (and I mean a very lot) of respect for Mr. Al Davis.  He made the NFL an amazing thing, and you can't love football without acknowledging his greatness as an innovator.  But I didn't love him either-- he downright pissed me off many a time.  I move forward with the thought that he was a great man who is still greatly loved.  Condolences are in order.  Just win, baby.

And now!  The Journal Jar.

Describe a childhood Christmas.

Whoo.  Geez.  Just one?  Man.  So many ways we could go here...  I remember the Christmas when I was five and my grandmother died.  I remember the empty pained expression on my dad's face that morning as we kids tried to celebrate.  I remember the stuffed bear-- a bean bag bear-- that my grandma gave to my sister that year.  My sister was only two, but we both were sentimental about that bear.  I wonder if she still has it somewhere, almost forty years later.

Despite the ominous circumstances, that was still a wonderful Christmas.  There was beauty in how my dad allowed us kids to celebrate and revel in the excitement that is Christmas morning, even though his heart wasn't in it.  We had fun opening our presents, and we got toys and stuff.  But I knew something was wrong.  I've been able to reconstruct things as an adult and remember dates and such.  But nothing substitutes for that raw emotion, when an adult is grieving.  It made an impression on me at five and a half years old.  I still remember the moment to this day-- the room we were in, the placement of the Christmas tree, colors and smells.  And the joy above it all because we had love in our family to keep us together and give us strength.  I didn't think these thoughts that day, because I didn't have the words or the emotional maturity to think them.  But my mind left me a post-it note, and I've carried it with me for almost forty years.

This post-it will someday be recycled, too.  Try not to judge and move forward.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Goals Work to Make Dreams Reality

I'm setting a goal to finish the Journal Jar prompts that I have by the end of this year.  Not gonna count how many are in there, just gonna go for it.  Wish me luck.

First towards this end:

What are your goals and dreams?

Well, didn't I just talk about that?  Eerie, no?

I have dreams of getting published as a writer, or being "discovered" for what I've already been doing and landing some sort of deal where I just keep doing what comes natural for me and I get taken care of...  Y'know, sometimes called "pipe dreams", evidently because you're sucking on some sort of pipe while you're thinking about them?  Something like that.  I dream of working with my community to find solutions to our common problems.  I see opportunities to make things happen, but I think about it too much instead of acting on it.  I want to perfect things before I act.  This is a problem for me.

But I find ways around it.  And I keep going.  Forward, onward, march.  Other months too. 

I dream a lot about "figuring it all out" and making sense of every little thing I can think of.  This is a fantastic feeling when I can do it, but I can never seem to transfer it to my waking mind and conscious life.  The beauty of course is that I do experience it, and that it exists, if only in my subconscious.  But it does happen, it does exist.  It is real and I feel it totally, and it is invigorating.  Inspiring.  Intoxicating.

I dream of solving the problems of the world somehow, by dreaming solutions and applying them.  I feel that I can fabricate thought patterns that will manipulate and shape the space-time continuum.  No, really.  My thoughts (and yours too, for that matter) are powerful forces of nature that go unmeasured most of the time.  But I'm giving birth to the universe with every thought I have.  Every thought is a Big Bang.  And I am so much more than just my thoughts.  This is really big stuff.

I just turned my hat around backwards so the "bill" is pointed out over my neck and back.  This could signify a change in direction or thought, but we'll just have to see about that.  Won't we.  I'm noticing that it has changed my vision-- more light is shining into my eyes now.  I don't have a protective shadow at my forehead any longer.  What else shall this bring?

I dream of peace.  I really think it's possible, in the moment.  We can do it.  We just have to want it above all else.  We must love our way.  I dream of love for all.  May you have love.  May you not go lonely.  I love you.  I will at least try.

Gotta go and call my mom now.  Peace and love be with you.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Gunman Opens Fire During Company Safety Meeting

Not a joke.  Just received a call from our city's Communications Department that the police are still looking for the suspect in a shooting earlier this morning. Two are dead, six more are wounded, and the suspect is still at large.  Full story here.

It seems that this individual was a disgruntled employee of Lehigh Cement.  We've done volunteer work with Lehigh for Relay that last couple of years.  My wife knows people who work there.  But she didn't know that her coworker had family that worked there.  Now she does.  Because her coworker's brother was one of the victims killed this morning.

She called me to advise me that I probably didn't want to go out to the doctor's like I was planning because of the police action in that area of town.  That's when she advised me that her coworker's brothers were both victims in the shootings.  One was already pronounced dead.  The suspect was still at large and had apparently shot a woman in the leg while attempting to carjack her vehicle in the area of Sunnyvale/Cupertino/Santa Clara where my Adult Psychiatry office is located.

My mom and I decided to go out there anyway, and we were able to get in and do what I had to do (turn in a request for medical records) before they basically secured the building behind us and went into lockdown mode.  The whole time we were there helicopters hovered in the sky, and police vehicles barricaded the roadways just a block from where we had to go.  So we got our business taken care of, but the incident is still unresolved.  Suspect is still at large as of this time...