Sunday, August 26, 2012

Catching Up With Self

Haven't been writing here lately.  By "here" I mean this blog.  I've still been writing-- I'm back at the Stanford writing group that meets on Mondays, where we write on different subjects for a couple hours, almost.  We also discuss and read what we write.  I really like the group, there are some very interesting people there.  So I think it does me well to keep going to the group.

I have also started rehashing my book-- the one that deals with my Greece experiences, and perhaps my recovery journey.  I haven't decided on the scope just yet, still trying to get down the basics and organize things.  I've probably got about 50 pages so far of raw ideas and basic chronology.  It will come along as I work on it, taking time to get it "right" to my standards, or maybe a bit below, depending on when I want it done by...  I don't really have a deadline set for it, so it's still easy to blow it off for another day.  I did walk down to my neighborhood Starbucks twice this last week and wrote/edited/organized.  So I feel a sense of accomplishment there.

I also started considering going back to school.  To taking a language course to finish up my degree requirement.  I think I will start with an email to the professor that I have worked with in the past to see what she suggests.  She's at Mission College so that's pretty convenient. 

I'm also considering talking to my former employer about working on a temporary basis, doing what I used to be doing.  I'd probably only work 2-3 days a week at the most, but it would be some income and some needed exercise.  Don't know if they'll go for it, but I won't know unless I ask.  So I think I'll go and ask, probably tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, we're full-on into our forbearance plan with our bank for our mortgage.  The new payment amount will be coming out on the 7th of September, if all goes well.  I hope that Wells Fargo works with us fairly.  I'm a little wary about them, but I have hope.  I think we'll end up working something out that lets us keep the house, but I still worry that they'll just set us up and then foreclose on us.  I don't think that foreclosure is good for either party, and as long as we're working to pay them something, even if it isn't the whole payment, that should be enough to stay the tide.  That's my hope.

So yeah, got a lot going on as usual.  Suzy has started a Pampered Chef business and is off doing a presentation right now.  Send her good vibes... She was a little nervous beforehand, as she is doing something new and stretching herself outside of her comfort zone.  So good for her.  She's awesome.  May she stay healthy and happy.  And may I stay in her favor.

Speaking of which, I think I oughta get out from underneath this here laptop and get outside.  It's a bee-you-tea-full day and there's yard work to be done.  So on with the show!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Endure To Cure, End The Cancer

Pretty successful year for the Relay For Life of Cupertino, wouldn't cha say?

If only because I made the newspaper...

Our team, "ETC, ETC" is currently in 3rd place for fundraising.  I developed the name, and continue to tout it and work on making improvements... it's the perfectionist in me.  But anyway... the letters currently stand for "Embracing the Challenge, Enabling the Cure," but I'm thinking of something new for next year.  And you already read it in the title of this here blog!  Surprise!

Endure to Cure.  That's what we're doing.  We are pushing through the boundaries, through the tough crap that isn't acceptable.  We want better for our loved ones.  For our friends and family.  We want to kick this stinking disease, and we're not stopping until we do.  We come together and unify as one under this cause, and we endure to cure.  Through the heat and the rain, through the sickness and health, through the dusty winds and the apathy and hopelessness, we endure.  Through it all.  More examples?  Etc., etc...

So I was thinking that ETC ETC stands for a lot of things, and even for some that we haven't realized yet.  So maybe we can have a contest, or at least play the game of coming up with combinations of what ETC stands for.  End The Cancer.  Endure To Cure.  Embrace The Challenge.  Enable The Cure.  Those we know; what else is out there?  Maybe figuring out more things that ETC stands for is part of our battle?  Can we come together on this?

I think it could be fun.  Exit The Colon, for example.

Eject Tape Concept.  Do kids know about that?

Ergo Titular Creatus.  Whatever that means...

So have some fun with it.  (First person to use the word "crap" gets some cheap "Made in China" stuff)

Monday, August 6, 2012

What's That Around the Corner?

So I'm getting the word out slowly that I'm a published author.  I have my name in print.

You haven't heard?  Please, tell everyone you know.  And buy my book.  It's only ten bucks.

But I'm already thinking... what's next?

I had one person tell me that after reading my book, he was left wanting more.  I didn't get to press him about this observation.  But maybe he just wants another book?

I think it would be fun to develop the story of the Wild Cat of Samos more, to entail more of the legend that it became while we told the story over and over during our trip to Samos.  The initial story is phenomenal enough, with it's caped avenger, cyclops of a brother, and menacing cat.

But maybe there's another story out there.

I do have choices.  For example, I've done a fair amount of work on my memoir of the Greece experience.  That's a project that would provide good therapy to see through to culmination, perhaps tracing my self-development (or rehabilitation) through the recovery process, with all it's turns and tosses.  I could bring the story to the present day, where I am finding my voice and advocating for mental wellness and acceptance.  That's a distinct possibility that offers some juicy, salivating grub for these writing chops.

And I still have my fiction, that's more than twenty years old.  Thistle Penn and his fabled existence.  Where is he, exactly?  And what is he?  Will he be knocking on my door in the near future, trying to find some sustenance?  And who is he traveling with these days?  It's been a long time since I kept track of his pursuits.  Does he even own a suit?

As for the right now, I'm sitting on the couch with my laptop, drinking a beer, and wondering what in tarnation I'm going to eat for dinner this evening.  My wife has left to go see a movie with her family.  I was not invited.  Not that I would have gone... I've never heard of the movie.  I might just settle in with some comfort food-- like a box of mac and cheese-- and watch some Netflix...  Or I could get outside and do more gardening/landscaping, nature-loving and dirt-worshiping...  I've got more seeds to plant and pray over, because I don't know if it will take a miracle to get some of them to grow...  Or there's plenty of books to read.  I've dipped my toes in several books and haven't gotten back to them over the past several months.  The one on top of my stack is Steven King's "On Writing," which is a great title.  In fact, I believe I used it as one of my blog titles.  Great minds think alike.

So who knows where this evening goes?  Certainly not me.  I be ridin' the current, floatin' on down the river.  Gots my cooler packed and ready.  Gonna be a good ride.

Thanks for taggin' along.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Come, Find Me

I've been wondering about my blog interface.  How I connect with people out there who might be looking to read and/or discuss the things that I want to write and/or discuss.  How can I best accommodate my readers?

I guess I'd like to just issue an invitation to start reading at whatever point you feel comfortable.  I write about what is capturing my attention at the moment, and so that can be defined broadly over time.  You might want to try picking a year and going through the old blog titles and starting with one that seems interesting to you.  I've made some effort to link some of the blog entries that are connected in subject matter, so you can get some suggested reading that way.

The other thing you can try is to use the search box at the top of the blog.  Type in something and see if something comes up.  (I think I have written something about something...) 

The thing is, even if you're a slow reader like I am, there are only about 200 blog posts, so you could conceivably read one post a day, maybe more if you're enticed, and catch up relatively quickly.  Or maybe you just save the older stuff for when you have more time and just try to keep up with what I'm doing right now.  I'll continue to try and put things together so that the projects I'm working on will take shape and make more sense and gain ease of access and the like.  Your suggestions and comments are welcome.  Please help me to be a better person-- it is my aim in life to improve myself and the world that we live in.

So if there's something you'd like to discuss, mention it to me and I'll see what I can find out.  I'll even do some research every now and then.  Just remember, this is a conversation.  It's an organic process, dynamic in nature.  There is ebb and flow.  We are both riding this energy, traversing the cosmos.  We improve exponentially, like a web of intricate consciousness.  So if you wonder about something... put it out there.  And see what happens.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

To Take Root or Water Elsewhere

So I missed most of July.  At least, I missed chronicling it here.  So I have a little catching up to do.

In July, I finished quitting my job.  I had started quitting it several times already, talking myself into scenarios about how it didn't matter enough, didn't pay enough, took too much of my time without enough payback.  All in all, it wasn't so bad a job.  But it wasn't enough.  I need something bigger, something that means something bigger.  And that hopefully pays a lot better.  So.  Back to looking.

We had our Relay For Life event at Cupertino High School.  It went well, although it was different with the setup that we had.  Or should I say layout.  We couldn't camp like we usually do on the track so instead had a satellite camp ground on the practice field, away from the track.  The facility is brand spanking new and has the artificial turf that the administrators are very careful about protecting.  No food on the track, or drinks, except water.  So all the day-of fundraising was off, and the interaction was fragmented.  But we made it work.  Got to be nice and hot for the afternoon, and there was no natural shade.  Just easy-ups and some umbrellas.  A nice breeze kicked up in the late afternoon and helped make things much more comfortable.

I've been living through two-week cycles of mood swinging.  Feel great with lots of energy and hope and get-to-workedness, then crashing to sleep, sleep, and more sleep.  I have a hearing on Friday about my disability claim with Social Security.  Wonder how I'll feel for that.

My book is available on and (Barnes and Noble) and I think I've even sold a copy or two.  Now to finish the book about my bipolar life...

We're talking about our financial situation, and things are not very pretty.  We're looking into bankruptcy.  We've considered selling our house and finding somewhere cheaper to live.  Something inside me is yelling to me that I should keep this house.  I don't know why.  I can't justify it to anyone.  I just feel like I need to make a move to grow some roots here, right here, right now.  To work out in the yards and make a difference== not for curb appeal, but for me, spiritually.  To make this a home, where I grow and harvest food that we eat and make use of our land that we own and share the abundance.  We have oranges, tangelos, lemons, and an artichoke plant that has yet to bear fruit.  But we have so much more soil and resources...  I want to plant vines.  Grapes and blueberries and blackberries.  I want an herb and spice garden.  I want to bring back native plants to my yard, and let them flourish.  And I want to be free to do these things on my own property, without the meddling of a landlord.

Now I realize I might have to contend with city ordinances and neighbors who disagree with my choices.  But it's the revolutionary act that is most important to me-- to take back ownership and responsibility for my food and my nutrition.  To unplug from the restaurant circuit.  And to feel better about myself and how I'm eating.

I don't know that I'll be raising chickens anytime soon, but I want to explore the homesteading direction.  So maybe we should look into property in the country.  Maybe the answer is not to bear down and live here at all cost, but to let go and move to another area.

Maybe the homestead is calling me from afar.