Thursday, October 30, 2014

my first costume/Halloween party in decades. . .

I am going to a slamming Halloween party that promises good food, lots of fun and even a costume contest.   I think the last time I was invited to a costume party was in law school and that wasn't for Halloween.

One of my classmates was quite wealthy. She held a costume ball once a year, every year. It was a family tradition, held at a fancy private club. I accepted her invitation but did not go because I couldn't think of a decent, cheap costume.

Tomorrow, after dropping lit to a lawyer running for El Cerrito City Council, I'm going to this Halloween party, sans costume. I ran out of money about a week ago and I literally have no money to even buy some face make up and paint my face like a punk rocker or something. I saw a good costume idea:  painting your face like a Cubist painting, all angels and different colors. Paint, face paint included, costs money.

I'm skint.

But I'm going to the party.

One cool thing about this crowd:  they have gluten-free options for food.

everything matters somehow

Every piece of the universe, even the tiniest little snow crystal, matters somehow. I have a place in the pattern, and so do you. --T.A. Barron

Food, poem by Anne Sexton

Food by Anne Sexton

I want mother's milk,
that good sour soup.
I want breasts singing like eggplants,
and a mouth above making kisses.
I want nipples like shy strawberries
for I need to suck the sky.
I need to bite also
as in a carrot stick.
I need arms that rock,
two clean clam shells singing ocean.
Further I need weeds to eat
for they are the spinach of the soul.
I am hungry and you give me
a dictionary to decipher.
I am a baby all wrapped up in its red howl
and you pour salt into my mouth.
Your nipples are stitched up like sutures
and although I suck
I suck air
and even the big fat sugar moves away.
Tell me! Tell me! Why is it?
I need food
and you walk away reading the paper.

I think this is about a woman needing to get her emotional needs 'fed'.  I need food like that. Urgently.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

a sensual longing to connect: Pierre de Chardin

“There is almost a sensual longing for communion with others who have a large vision. The immense fulfillment of the friendship between those engaged in furthering the evolution of consciousness has a quality impossible to describe.”
― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

on eating animals . . .

Been sitting with this question recently, it is mostly directed to folks who believe humans should eat no animal flesh:  many animals eat other animals. Lions, tiger, bears, cougars, cheetahs, fish large and small.

Why can non-human animals eat animals but humans can't?

If someone is familiar with the  lost salmon economy of the Pacific Northwest, when wild salmon was unbelievably abundant and truly served as a form of currency to meet other needs. . .well, it is hard to believe it was wrong to eat some of that abundant salmon.

Just wunnering.

one of my finest traits

One of my finest traits, perhaps my finest, is I let things go. True, true, in the past I have taken things harder than most and I have offloaded my pain, only sometimes, recklessly onto others. No matter how unhappy an interaction has ever been with someone, esp. someone I love, I let it go. For me, letting go of past conflict means that within me it is as if it never happened.  I like this about me.  I like me.  I love me.
I let things go.
I don't let people go quite so smoothly. I grieve the loss of people I love forever. For example, I last saw my daughter in August 2001 and my grief grows deeper. Let go of wanting my daughter in my life? I don't think I have it in me and I don't want to have that ability. Letting go of friends I have loved very much who dumped me?  I don't want to have the ability to let go of people I have loved. People can leave me but, within my being, they remain alive for me, not unlike the way my parents are still alive in me even though they have passed.
I let things go. I don't let go of love. I like this about me. I love this about me. I love me.

basic income 4 all Americans?

If humanity does not snuff itself out, or snuff out the planet, which is the same thing, giving everyone a basic income will happen. Doing so will make us human again.

if you want the rainbow, you must have the rain


(Oscar Levant (m) / Billy Rose / Mort Dixon (l) )

First sung by Fannie Brice, then  by Annette Hanshaw Oct 1928 < Harmony and Diva Labels >
This video, if it works, was sung by Lee Morse, also in 1928.  How cool we have such old recordings.  

Youtube would not let me post Annette Hanshaw's video.

What does it matter if rain comes your way

And raindrops patter along

For rain descending should not make you blue

The happy ending is waiting for you.

Take your share of troubles

Face it and don't complain

If you want the rainbow

You must have the rain.

Happiness comes double

After a little pain

If you want the rainbow

You must have the rain.

What if your love affair should breakup

As they sometimes will

When you kiss and makeup

Boy, what a thrill.

Sadness ends in gladness

Showers are not in vain

If you want the rainbow

You must have the rain.

Look for brighter weather

Or watch for the sun again

If you want the rainbow

Then you must have the rain.

Pull yourself together

Whistle a happy strain

If you want the rainbow

Then you must have the rain.

So if your lucky star deserts you

And if shadows fall

Even though it hurts you

Laugh through it all.

Be a cheerful looser

You have the world to gain

If you want the rainbow

Why you just must have the rain.

That's all!


(Catherine) Annette Hanshaw, an American, was a blues and jazz singer

from the 1920s and early 1930s and was purportedly one of the first

female jazz singers of that era.

She was known as 'The Personality Girl' or later as the 'The Flapper

Girl' by her followers and fit the 1920s period perfectly with her

flapper style and sweet innocent-sounding voice. She often ended her

songs with the cute tag "That's All".

forgiveness is for yourself

many visionaries have seen the right path

Monday, October 27, 2014

eating well = self love

I am very proud of how disciplined I have become about food. Yes, I very occasionally slip and eat some dairy or sugar but not often, and never much of that stuff.

Instead, I eat fruit and veggies daily, supplemented with small servings of protein.  I love good eggs that have had no chemicals added to their feed and been pastured. I enjoy the rare, expensive piece of wild salmon. And rare quality, pastured, no chemical-in-feed chickens, which are expensive.

At my farmers market, the chicken vendor sells the whole chicken, plucked of all feathers but the feet and head are sealed into the sucked-plastic bag. I like letting that whole chicken simmer all day, with a fine mire-a-poix (sp?) to begin the seasoning and various spices depending on my mood. Indian curry one day. Mexican chili spicy another. Bland chicken soup another -- but the bland route is quite unusual for me. White soaked beans that are in the pot from the beginning. The longer I simmer, the more flavor the beans absorb. I cool off the whole pot to debone the chicken, then reheat. When the simmer returns, I usually dump in a ton of chopped spinach. I used to dump in whole spinach leaves but they dangle off soup spoons, dribbling on my shirt so now I chop the greens.

Tonight:  I braised a bunch of spinach in garlc-infused olive oil, tossing just a dash of tamari when the spinach was ready. Tamari gives it a zing I quite like, a zing that makes the meal sing (for me). And I just pan baked the salmon lid closed for the steam effect, a spritz of lemon juice and pink Himalayan salt.

The taste difference between Morton's heavily chemicalized salt and natural salt is wonderful. I have not eaten any chemicalized salt in at least five years. More. And I am so fond of the pink Himalayan salt that I have had a jar of Irish Sea gray salt crystals for years that I haven't opened. I can't give up the pink. Each natural salt has nutrients that the others don't necessarily have. It might be good to change up my salt but I am so into the pink Himalayan. And it is said to be very good for a body.

Awesome supper:  wild salmon with lemon, braised spinach with garlic and tamari.

Yum, yum, yum. and barely a carb, no need to inject any insulin before my dinner. Yea Tree.  If I love me enough, someone will come along and love me also.  I pray.

this is awesome

Years ago, when I first moved to CA, in 2006, I lost a lot of weight in the first year and a half. One time, I bought a new pair of smaller jeans and wore them to SFMOMA two days later. While waiting to get into the museum, my new, smaller pants literally fell down, slipping off my waist. I caught them in time so I wasn't standing in SFMOMA in my underpants. I gotta tell ya, that was fun. Losing a lot of weight is a whole lot of fun.

Now I am experiencing a new weight loss fun.

My yoga pants, lycra/spandex kinds of pants, that I began to wear because they stretch comfortably on a fat  body and are usually warm, at least warm for N. Cali.

Well, now my yoga pants are getting baggy on me. They bunch up all up and down my legs. My legs just don't fill them in.

I am flat tap broke so I can't buy new ones but it is fun wearing pants that used to tightly but comfortably encase my legs and fanny sorta hanging loose.  This is also awesome fun.

Emotion? Energy? What is Love?


This link takes you to the Fetzer Institute's website with a good article on love.

Love, especially loving around human impedments, can be hard work.  Love, however challenging, is always worth the work of love.

do not be afraid to love

"Be not afraid to love. Even when love is not requited, you will be forever richer for having loved." Swami Kriyananda
 I love easily. I take it hard when my love is not requited when I want it to be.  I need to work on this.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

friendship is weird

a strolling violinist

I'll be way sad if my candidate does not win. He will. He will.

Win or lose, I'll be glad all the hard work I have been doing will be over.  I've walked 250+ miles since July. I walk five miles or more daily, not just on canvassing days. The walking will continue.

But canvassing is hard. It has its rewards and I see the silver lining. I have experienced much joy on the canvassing trail. I have also experienced lots of slammed doors, angry voters, very hot sun beating down on me*, rain, rejection.  It's hard out there. Worth it, with rewards.

My favorite canvassing moment so far:  the strolling violinist, playing his violin as he walked his dog.

war maintains hierarchy: orwell

I hope I'm this kind of crazy

firefly lights make gold

Someone told me and my childhood best friend, probably some well-meaning adult relative of one of us, that if you caught enough fireflies, or lightning bugs, tore off the part of their body that lights up, catching enough smeared 'light' part of that life form and smeared the light around one finger, using enough to form a ring, and then slept with lighting bug former 'light' smeared around your ring finger all night, you would wake up with a gold ring on your finger.

Nice fairy magic, eh?!

The name fireflies is prettier than lightning bugs. We called them both in my childhood.

My best friend moved in when I was six or seven so i was at least six or seven. I like that I still believed I could magically acquire a gold ring.

At the time, I gave no thought to destroying a couple dozen fireflies to win my gold ring.

I tried to get my gold ring twice.   We stayed out as late as we possibly could. We even moved down the block, so our parents could not look outside, see us, and remember to call us in. In peak summer in Chicago, it doesn't get dark until pretty late. We had to wait until it was really dark for the fireflies to begin lighting up the night.

Heck, fireflies are magical.  Little flickers of light all around one on a summer's night is magic.

I wish an adult in our lives had pointed out firefly magic, just the existence of fireflies being magic.

I killed a lot of butterflies the first night for I somewhat greedily wanted a thick golden ring.

Of course I did not find a gold ring on my finger the next morning. Undeterred yet, I tried again. When the smeared firefly lights on my finger did not become a gold ring after two attempts, I realized it was bunk and not a fairy or magic story.

I still found much magic in fireflies themselves. It is magical, isn't it?  Tiny bugs with tails that light up in the dark flying around on warm nights.

I haven't seen a firefly in years.

My daughter and I went camping in Minnesota. I don't remember seeing fireflies in any Minnesota woods.

In hindsight, I am amazed that fireflies filled out South Side Chicsgo evenings. Right in the city.

Fireflies. Magic.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

on the campaign trail in Piñole. . . .

A nice guy -- I think we were in Piñole but we might have been in Giant (new name to me) -- he had not heard of Tony or Tony's opponent, had no awareness the state assembly seat was open but he was open to listening to me. When we seemed done, I asked him 'on a scale of 1 to 5" he said "Five. The fact that you are here, at my door, talking Tony up really impresses me, that he has such support."  As I walked away, the two of us happy and laughing, he still at his front door, I said "You are doing the right thing, voting for Tony, and I am not the least bit biased so you should listen to me."  I am sure my teasing went over fine.

Interactions like that make up for sun, rain, hills, steps, brush-offs, people who are obviously home but ignore my ring.

I felt warm, fuzzy and happy.

I also enjoyed canvassing Cypress Avenue on the side right on the bay. Just imagine. Folks in relatively humble, somewhat dated tract housing live right on the bay. Along Cypress, I felt mist much of the time. It was light. The wind was blustery all day and I quite enjoyed the way the blustery air sprayed the fine mist all over me.  It had stopped raining just a block or two off the water but right there, wet mist. Delightful.

dodge the car lights

My back hurts.

My knees hurt.

My fingers hurt.

My feet hurt.

My elbows hurt.

Canvassing is hard work.

I canvassed today in unincorpoated 'Giant' and, maybe, a bit of Piñole. The area appeared to have been classic sixties suburbs where all the streets curve, dead-end or cul-de-sac. Such a design was intended, if I recall correctly, to keep traffic slower, make the streets safe for kids. In the sixties, believe it or not, kids played in the street all the time.

One of my favorite memories growing up on Chicago's South Side was playing in the streets. Once or twice every summer, every kid on the block would create a gigantic game-board-like drawing on most of the block, like hop-scotch but more complex. We'd play a particular game endlessly. When a car came down our block, we all ran too play 'dodge the carlights'. You had to hide behind the wheel of a car and when the car passed, no light could light your body. If you managed this, you 'won' dodge the carlights.  When my bully brother was lurking, he sometimes would muscle me away from a spot I had scored first. If a car light touched any fraction of you, and it was most likely to 'touch' your feet, you lost.

Then we would quickly resume our game board intrigue. Sometimes we played baseball in the street. With baseball, kids would just move to the side and let cars pass.

The elaborate board games we drew with chalk on the street was so exciting at every age. When I was still pretty little, it was a thrill just to watch the big kids. And when I was a big kid, it was a thrill to be a leader, unless my brother the mean bully was around. He liked to pick on me because hitting other kids got him in trouble. My parents never disciplined him for pounding on me so he did so often.

Once, when I was no longer living at home but bully bro was living with dad and one of our youngest brothers, bully bro, who I suspect might be manic depressive or otherwise really nuts, would hit our little brother, the only one still living with dad (the two littlest kids moved to Ohio with our mother when our parents divorced and mom probably should not have left my six year old brother with my dad). Bully bro would tell little bro that Murgatroyd lived in the closet of bully bro's bedroom and Murgatroyd would 'tell' bully bro* to hit little bro and then he would. And he hurt little bro. And our father knew about this daily torment of little bro.

I once asked my dad why he put up with that Murgatroyd shit, knowing his adult son in law school was beating on his eight, nine, ten year old son. My dad, a hapless, weak man I guess, shrugged and said "What do you want me to do?"

I said "Act like a father?"

My dad was so angry when I said that. Probably angry with himself but he directed his anger at me.

He said "Your mother and I have never been able to get bully bro to stop picking on the rest of you." and he seemed, my dad, to feel very genuinely powerless.

I did not parent a bullying child but I think some discipline and punishment could have shaped my bully brother at least some.  He was never punished.

Once, when I was in 7th grade and bully bro in 8th grade, my class exited school first. Classes would exit one at a time, in varying order. I exited early one day and then stood to wait for my best friend and next door neighbor to walk home with. She was in another class. Before my friend's class was let out, my older bully bro exited school and when he saw me, he made a beeline to me, jumed up like he was lining up to take a basketball jump shot and, on the down-jump, his fist clenched and raised, he hit me in the left eye as hard as he could, the jump adding some power to the sock.  I ended up with a wicked purple-black eye.  My folks made no effort to punish him. The nuns at school tried to get my folks to issue some punishment when they saw my black eye and learned how I got it.

Of course, the nuns at my school also told my parents not to waste money on a Catholic high school for my bully brother. They said he was destined for prison at a young age and there was no point in wasting tuition on him. My parents were so into Catholic stuff that they send my bully bro and I guess the nuns were wrong. He never went to prison and was, for many years, a judge.

What is eliciting these factured memories out of me?  I never lived in an internecine, cul-de-sac laden suburb, not in my youth or adulthood. Even as a kid, I hated neighborhoods full of cul de sacs, for some reason.

I like grids. Most Midwestern cities are on the Great Plains and have easy-to-navigate grids. Here in the Bay Area, with very different terrain . . . . I am running out of gas.

Canvassing was hard today. I don't want to canvass anymore but I will do tomorrow and next weekend.  It is painfully exhausting to canvass and often emotionally stressful.  Although, having griped a bit, I will say canvassing in great practice in learning not to take others' behavior as a personal judgment about me. I face rejection all day when canvassing and it all slides over me like water off a duck's back. And I remain impeccably equanimous, no matter how voters treat me because I do not want to jeopardize my candidate's image. It's good practice in mindfulness, detachment, equanimity and compassion.  I am sometimes amazed at how cheerfully polite I sound as folks act weird, angry, rejecting, unkind or just dismissive.

I'm so tired I can't stop writing.

rain, canvassing, moral campasses

Canvassing is hard work. Today will be my first rainy day trudging up and down suburban streets to support my candidate.

His opponent is fighting a dirty campaign. She clearly has no moral compass, willing to do whatever it takes to win. She has no issues to campaign on so she uses useless bromides like mailers urging women to vote for her because she is a woman, or because she grew up in Berkeley (altho now she lives in Oakland). She has used smear mailers against my candidate, including stooping so low as to use photo of him with his two little girls in the smear mailer. That's low.

She has a little girl. I wrote to her, via her campaign website, and pointed out that things live on forever in Google, that someday her daughter will be able to google her mom and find out how badly the mother behaved in this campaign.

I'm canvassing up in Piñole today. It is said Tony Thurmond will win up in Contra Costa County. The Bates Machine seems to hold great sway in Berkeley, so much sway that most Berkeley residents see this seat in the state assembly as 'the Berkeley seat' but the district spans Piedmont, Oakland, Emeryville, Albany, El Cerrito, Richmond, El Sobrante, Piñole and a few other municipalities up north, an area I am unfamiliar with. It is not a Berkeley seat!

I really like Tony Thurmond but I think the main motivation that got me so involved in this particular campaign is Tom Bates, Berkeley's mayor. The man is despicable, and has dominated East Bay politics for far too long. His wife used to be Berkeley's mayor but when Tommy got termed out of the state assembly, he and his wife switched public offices.

I am reminded of the original Mayor Daley in Chicago, who ran a tightly controlled dominance over the whole city and much of the state.  My dad was a precinct captain in the Chicago machine, mostly because he had a city job and had to pay his dues for the job. It was often said of the first Mayor Daley, not to be confused with his son who was mayor for a while later on, that when the head wagged in Chicago, the tail would wag in Springfield, where Illinois' state legislature works.

Bates seems to think when he nods his head, his chosen people should be rewarded with elected office. Elizabeth Echols has little to offer, no history in elected office. All she can run on is twisting feminism and smearing Tony. Fuck her.

It's going to be hard if Tony doesn't win. I'll be disappointed that I will not be repped by Tony. but I will be sick that an amoral sycophant will be representing me instead.

Tony not only has 8 years experience in elected office but he has a moral compass. All public servants should have one.

Friday, October 24, 2014

more humanity, more care, more love: william golding

We need more humanity, more care, more love. There are those who expect a political system to produce that; and others who expect the love to produce the system. My own faith is that the truth of the future lies between the two and we shall behave humanly and a bit humanely, stumbling along, haphazardly generous and gallant, foolishly and meanly wise until the rape of our planet is seen to be the preposterous folly that it is.
WILLIAM GOLDING, Nobel Lecture, Dec. 7, 1983

I read "Lord of the Flies" while in high school from 1967 to 1971. I think I was assigned the book my sophomore year. At the time, I thought the book had been written in the 19th Century and William Golding had long been dead.

Just now I learned he lived until 1993.

Not many books have impacted me as sharply as Lord of the Flies.  I wished I had not read it back then. I have reread many books that impacted me greatly but I could not reread this one. Whatever I remember, it's enough.

I'm Nobody, Who are You? -- ED

I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you - Nobody - too?
Then there's a pair of us!
Dont tell! they'd advertise - you know!

How dreary - to be - Somebody!
How public - like a Frog -
To tell one's name - the livelong June -
To an admiring Bog!

This is one of Emily Dickinson's most popular poems.
I most def am nobody.  Hush.

defeat Pepsi & Coke in Berkeley, CA!!! Vote Yes on Measure D.

Vote Yes on Measure D. Vote yes for a tiny tax on sugar.  This is just a tiny step towards ending the scourge of sugar. It is analogous to the many decades it took, with tobacco companies spending millions to suppress the idea that ciggies cause cancer.  It took decades to get a 'warning' on cigarette packs. It took decades to get cigarettes taxed highly to help pay for what ciggies cost society in bad health. Taxpayers fund healthcare for lots of victims of tobacco and sugar.


another take on INFJ, so me, esp. the part about being tender and caring but particularly sensitive to conflict, and then, sometimes, not always, moving into anger because I sorta short circuit when in midst of conflict.

I like the INFJ. I like me.

This is from and is supposed to be based on Jungian personality typing. Who knows.


Portrait of an INFJ - Introverted iNtuitive Feeling Judging
(Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Feeling)

The Protector

As an INFJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via intuition. Your secondary mode is external, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit with your personal value system.
INFJs are gentle, caring, complex and highly intuitive individuals. Artistic and creative, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. Only one percent of the population has an INFJ Personality Type, making it the most rare of all the types.
INFJs place great importance on havings things orderly and systematic in their outer world. They put a lot of energy into identifying the best system for getting things done, and constantly define and re-define the priorities in their lives. On the other hand, INFJs operate within themselves on an intuitive basis which is entirely spontaneous. They know things intuitively, without being able to pinpoint why, and without detailed knowledge of the subject at hand. They are usually right, and they usually know it. Consequently, INFJs put a tremendous amount of faith into their instincts and intuitions. This is something of a conflict between the inner and outer worlds, and may result in the INFJ not being as organized as other Judging types tend to be. Or we may see some signs of disarray in an otherwise orderly tendency, such as a consistently messy desk.
INFJs have uncanny insight into people and situations. They get "feelings" about things and intuitively understand them. As an extreme example, some INFJs report experiences of a psychic nature, such as getting strong feelings about there being a problem with a loved one, and discovering later that they were in a car accident. This is the sort of thing that other types may scorn and scoff at, and the INFJ themself does not really understand their intuition at a level which can be verbalized. Consequently, most INFJs are protective of their inner selves, sharing only what they choose to share when they choose to share it. They are deep, complex individuals, who are quite private and typically difficult to understand. INFJs hold back part of themselves, and can be secretive.
But the INFJ is as genuinely warm as they are complex. INFJs hold a special place in the heart of people who they are close to, who are able to see their special gifts and depth of caring. INFJs are concerned for people's feelings, and try to be gentle to avoid hurting anyone. They are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger. They may tend to internalize conflict into their bodies, and experience health problems when under a lot of stress.
Because the INFJ has such strong intuitive capabilities, they trust their own instincts above all else. This may result in an INFJ stubborness and tendency to ignore other people's opinions. They believe that they're right. On the other hand, INFJ is a perfectionist who doubts that they are living up to their full potential. INFJs are rarely at complete peace with themselves - there's always something else they should be doing to improve themselves and the world around them. They believe in constant growth, and don't often take time to revel in their accomplishments. They have strong value systems, and need to live their lives in accordance with what they feel is right. In deference to the Feeling aspect of their personalities, INFJs are in some ways gentle and easy going. Conversely, they have very high expectations of themselves, and frequently of their families. They don't believe in compromising their ideals.
INFJ is a natural nurturer; patient, devoted and protective. They make loving parents and usually have strong bonds with their offspring. They have high expectations of their children, and push them to be the best that they can be. This can sometimes manifest itself in the INFJ being hard-nosed and stubborn. But generally, children of an INFJ get devoted and sincere parental guidance, combined with deep caring.
In the workplace, the INFJ usually shows up in areas where they can be creative and somewhat independent. They have a natural affinity for art, and many excel in the sciences, where they make use of their intuition. INFJs can also be found in service-oriented professions. They are not good at dealing with minutia or very detailed tasks. The INFJ will either avoid such things, or else go to the other extreme and become enveloped in the details to the extent that they can no longer see the big picture. An INFJ who has gone the route of becoming meticulous about details may be highly critical of other individuals who are not.
The INFJ individual is gifted in ways that other types are not. Life is not necessarily easy for the INFJ, but they are capable of great depth of feeling and personal achievement.

Jungian functional preference ordering:
Dominant: Introverted Intuition
Auxiliary: Extraverted Feeling
Tertiary: Introverted Thinking
Inferior: Extraverted Sensing

Blessed Unrest: Paul Hawken

This video of Paul Hawken is from 2007 but the message remains timely. He speaks of a democracy movement, justice movement, indigenous movement.