Tuesday, December 31, 2013

back to buyiing lottery tickets in 2014

I like to play the Powerball. I only buy when the jackpot gets high.

The main benefit to buying lottery tickets is fantasizing what I will do with 30 or 50 or more millions of dollars. Me?  I'm going to buy some land, or else an already-built set of houses with lots of room for permaculture food gardens. Lots of lowers, sure, but edible gardens are smart futures.

My whole loving family can move in with me. It doesn't have to be in a city but I prefer that my co-housing community, that I will create with my lottery winnings, is near a city with great art museus.  I guess my community should buy a small hotel so when we go to the city, we have somewere to stay. 50 million won't go far in SF so I guess I better win 300 million or more.

How will I pick the residents?  People I like and love who love me back.

I will fund their dreams, their art, their hobbies. But if they just want to stay home, have lots of homemade gluten, sugar and dairay fere meals with me and sit in rocking chairs, smoking weed if they wanna, drinking custom blended chairs. ...  . .

I'm back in the dream of creating a family for myself since no family is coming out of the woodwork to love me.

Happy 2014!

Midnight is just over an hour away here but it is 2014 on most of the planet.

For 2014, I want to have lots of fun, including great sex, romance, love and family. Since I don't have any blood kin, or any that interact with me  (Katie, come back!), I will have a family of friends, emotional intimates committed to loving me and me loving them back.

I am reading my crystal ball as I write so I can see that I make mistakes in 2014, treating my most cherished family friends imperfectly. They all forgive me and none of them dump me for being humanly imperfect.

Everyone in my world loves me around the impediment of my human imperfection, as Shakespeare reminded folks to do in his beautiful Sonnet 116.

I meet my life partner this year. He loves me just as I am, flawed but loving and wonderful.

2014 looks so bright for me, I should be wearing sunglasses.

Happy happy happy New Year. Happy happy happy me.  A man, my man, loves me all year and treats me like I am his sun. He will be mine.

If my daughter were to come back into my life, that would be awesome but she's my past, not my life companion. 2014 is all about my life partner, my tender, loving life partner who thoughtfully cherishes me every day of the year -- as I thoughtfully cherish him.

2014 is going to be a great year.

just had awesome dinner w/ addendum

organic corn and gluten free tortillas, cooked then stick-blended pinto beans (I don't refry them) with lots of chili spice, some slice avocado and hot sauce.  So good it is almost unbelievable. The avocado is as creamy as cheese and s. cream, I think.  I didn't have any homemade salsa, which would have made this dinner heavenly. So yummy I want more but I am stuff with two small ones.

I prefer anazasi beans but Rainbow Grocery has been out of them for a couple weeks. I even called today. I would have gone to the city to get them. Anazasi beans are WAY better than pinto.

I am increasingly seeing that I could become a vegetarian and altho never a vegan. I can give up dairy but I can't give up eggs, not yet.

For brekkie: sauteed mushrooms then eggs cooked along and around the shrooms.

I am eating some of the tastiest meals I have ever had since I started The Abascal Way/To Quiet Inflammation diet. I am cooking a lot more, putting more effort into food prep but this is self love, because I am only cooking for me.

And some unexpeced good news: I had a bit of leftover chocolate bliss -- which passes the TQI standards and it tasted too sweet and bored me. This is good because it is full of healthy fat.

I am having fun with food. I wish I had been  a better food mom.

Note:  I acknowledge I ate my dinner a little early. I had only eaten one meal today and I was ravenous. I ate one corn tortilla at the bus stop waiting to return home. I shouldn't let myself get that hungry. Messes with my blood glucose. But I did and I am just fine and dinner was awesomely tasty.

Note:  I did have a super awesome dinner of organic corn tortillas, blended and spiced pinto beans and perfecty ripe avocado. Yum!  Then I dosed off and burned almost a whole pound of pinto beans. Dang.  I sure wish Rainbow Grocery would restock their anazasi beans. They are the best.

gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free

It's not as hard as it might first appear to folks used to bread and pasta, milk and sweets. But it is not that hard.

The hard part, if there is one, and I don't count this as a hard part, is you have to cook more.

I am following The Abascal Way, To Quiet Inflammation diet. You don't have to eliinate gluten, dairy and sugar forever just during the elimination phase. Then you an, one at a time, reintroduce things and see how they affect you. I find it simpler, and it appears to my black and white thinking habits, to just stay off gluten, sugar and dairy.

Coconut milk is now my milk. Coconut is a miracle food and not just for milk. Altho if you want an awesome treat, make your own coconut milk -- the canned stuff doesn't do it for me and the stuff sold in the dairy deparatment to emulate milk is fine except it is loaded with carrageenan, a known carcinogen.

Ask ourselves this: why does our federal Food and Drug Administrative cave to pressure from for-profit corporation lobbyists and allow carcinogens in our food so the corporations can make  more money?  I think they put carrageenen in the milk substitute, thin kind of coconut milk sold in half gallon cartons next to the milk to 'thicken' it but that it phony. the product is still super thin. And I think it keeps the fats from separating but, geez, if your fat separates from your homemade milk, shake it. Problem solves.

So take some homemade, very nutritious, low calorie and delicious coconut milk, add some raw cacao powder and a bit of stevia. Stevia is an herb that tastes sweet, much sweeter than sugar so you need very little. The Abascal Way suggests no sweet substitutes but I went off stevia for weeks and I am back on it to stay. I did the elimination and it does not harm me. In FACT, stevia is believed to help the pancreas stimulate insulin, which is good for a Type I diabetic. My pancreas has not completely stopped producting insulin and my body clearly resists using insulin properly but I think stevia is good for me.

There are several foods known to help the pancreas stimulate generating insuliln. Swiss chard is one. Stevia another.  Why not eat them? As a Type I with an illness allopathic medicine says is incurable, why not?  I don't have much to lose (other than lots of fat) and it I an get my pancreas to generate more insulin, I say go for it. At least try.

revision the Magi: all chicks, they bring fireworks, wine and party food

©Turns out the three kings were chicks. Why not?  I am surprised, or maybe I am not surprised, that men happily accept that all our big myths involve almost all male protagonists. Don't men love women? Don't men want to live in a world full of heroic, angelic, powerful women? So put them in your stories, men. Rewrite the fundamental myths that create how we humans see ourselves:   include chicks.

So let's imagine that the Magi were three women who individually and collectively heard, either through the grapevine or through the inner voices of their goddesses, that a great new being had been born, a girl, and that  this being was going to change the course of humanity and then they all felt called to visit this baby and bring her gifts. Celebrate. Party.

I would not have brought gold, frankencense and myrrh even if those three things were highly prized back then. Well, maybe I would. I would have been a product of culture. Gold has always been up there in value, right?

I like to think I would have brought incense, which I guess is what frankincense is. Didn't they do scented candles back then? Why not? They had beeswaxe and scents.

I would have brought a hand knit, or maybe a purchased woven blanket, something really nice, to swaddle this magical baby girl whose teachings on love were going to transform humanity. It might have been nice to weave a few golden threads into that blanket.

I wold have brought something for the mom, who just tore a new human out of her body. And, what the heck,  a gift for Joseph.  As a new mom, I loved it when people brought over dinner. When I when I was first breastfeeding, unaccustomed to sharing my body, sometimes I would be starving but I'd also be too tired to cook.  I have one vivid memory of being prone on our masterbed, my baby suckling and me starving. I was so hungry and I couldn't wait until my husband came home so I could ask him to go to the grocery store or get take out. Something. The house was out of food because I had been absorbed with my newborn. they are a lot of work -- happy work but still work.

He was not a preach, my baby daddy. His offer was to watch the baby while I went out and got foot. Very angrily, I dialed for pizza. And he had the balls to grumble about pickiing it up. The pizza joint nearest us, and our favorite, did not deliver, oddly.

So the three Magi, being wise women, bring food. Barrels of fruit, barrels of legumes, flour to make bread and cake. Wine. Water. Sugar And fireworks. The new baby girl who is going to teach the world about love deserves some awesome fireworks, right?! Party and party on.

When I give gifts for new babies, I tend to overlook the baby, who always has way more stuff than they need, at least in my formerly middle class world and even now. People indulge babies hella lot, eh?  I have special empathy for pre-existing siblings.  My favorite new baby gift is 'pie of the month', a gift for the whole family.  It is fun choosing the monthly pie, doing my best to keep the pie related to the time of year. In the winter months, you fall back on pecan, lemon, lime. And there is nothing wrong with that. Now that I know about shaker lemon pie, thanks to Mission Pie in San Francisco, I fucking love lemon pie whereas lemon meringue was always too sweet and too tart for me at the same time. Shaker lemon uses the peel. Shaker lemons slices lemons and adds them to the pie, with sugar, I suppose (no more shaker pie for me, I am off sugar forever but I'll never forget Mission Pie's shaker Pie).   If I ever get to be a Magi, I'll bring some shaker lemon pie, which are are in season right now and I bet they are in season in Jerusalem but in my version of the new born king Chini Bolini -- ultra sound was unrealiable and heralds heralded a boy but, low and behold, the new born kind of a girl.  Who says a king has to have a penis?   Not me. Put the job of teaching the world how to be loving in the hands of a female, I say, and make men bow down before her and listen up.

So as a magi, I am pretty sure I would have brought something really tasty to share with the new mother, the new father and, depending on how much I could carry, enough pie for all the hangars on, shepherds, angels, wise men trying to steal the attentoin from us wise women Magi.

Most definitely:  the myth of the Magi needs to be redone. Chicks would do a better job at gift giving.

Pie, really good soup, scented candles, a couple gorgeously hand-woven blankets, at least one with a few threads of gold to signify this new baby is special -- female but very special.

Isn't anyone else sick of male dominated mythology? I sure as heck am.

And women would have been much better at following the bright star that supposedly guided us, the Magi, to this new special baby, this chick baby.

Yup, I see now:  the Magi were chicks and, like most things, men hijacked the glory.

And how about lots of yarn so the mom or her servants could make stuff for the baby, like booties.

What did they use for diapers in the days of the Jesus' birth mythology?  A smart female magi would have broght some diapers, am I right?

The only reason most religioins are founded on the entirely mythological fact that a male founded the religion is because men don't listen to them. All that has changed in my alternate universe.

Women rule. Matriarchy is the norm. No female taliban pushing back time on the men. Although, just off the top of my head, I have no problem with chastity belts for men who can't keep their dick in their pants when they should. give them a chastity belt and time to think, ya know?

But it's all good. The Saviour has been born, Baby Chini Bolini. She'll grow up, teach all to be loving to all and the world is just going to get better and better.

I need to go to a food store but don't want to go out!

My heading for this post reminded me of a Katie story.

When she was about four or five, we went to a Byerly's, an upscale, great grocery chain in the Twin Cities, MN. We were at what I think was, at least then, their biggest store, in St. Louis Park, in suburbia. The dairy section was in a section that curve away from the main store, a semi circle of all things dairy. If no other customers were in the dairy bend, no one saw you.

While we were in the dairy bend, choosing yogurt, Katie's pants fell down, right to her ankles. She pulled them up quickly. No one saw. And i thought nothing of it.

Then, several years later, when her Waldorf teacher had the children write every day, about whatever they wanted, he  would give them suggestions for what to write, to seed energy for writing. Once he asked the children to write about their most embarassing moment. Katie was in the first grade, so  I guess this was pre-Waldorf. She wrote down "The most embarassing thing that ever happened to me was the day my pants fell down in a food store."

The children, with these writing assignments had to write at least two sentences. Seldom did a child write more than two sentences. And the first sentence usually echoed the assignment for the day, to fill up one sentence. Still, it got embryonic writers writing, right?

When I saw her writing noticebook and discussed the pants-falling-down-in-the-food store, she was embarassed anew for having written 'good store' instead of grocery store.She sheepishly explained to me that she knew the right words were 'grocery store' but she did not know how to spell grocery so she wrote 'food store'. Isn't that endearing?

I love her. How could she deny herself the love of someone who loves her as unconditionally as I do?
I feel much sadness for myself in her loss but I also feel sadness for her. I know she needs unconditional love. I don't care what she does in life:  drug addiction, anorexia, obsession with clothing and status symbols, hot guys, prestige social connections, being too skinny, being vain, whatever imperfections she might have, I love her beyond everything.  I love her as much as when she suckled at my breast and we lived in a cocoon of bliss. That's not something to give up lightly. What the heck caused her to give me up? What pain does she carry that tells her not having her mother's love is a good thing, better than having it?   I'll never know.

As I do so often, I am off course in this post.

The food store.  I need pinto beans. I want anazasi beans but Rainbow Grocery, the only store that sells them in bulk, and even in bulk they cost one third more than organic pinto beans. I won't buy them packages, when they cost four, five six bucks a pound.  I am eating lots of legumes and right now, I am way into the anazasi but they are all sold out and have been for two weeks.

I don't really need anything else. Desparate, I could eat canelllini beans but it seems good to get out. I have not been outside since Xmas. I hole up too much, methinks.

Oh, I need bananas, key to my daily chia pudding delights.

my silly fantasies: and thanks to angels for love

An acquaintance, who never really was a friend, has severed all ties with me, telling me he wants to have no more interaction with me because I crossed a line. It is painful. I have loved him very much. And he has hurt me, crossing many lines that cut me deeply.  I guess I am more adept at letting things recede into the past and focussing on my love for the other person.  I won't list anything but he has hurts me as much as anyone ever has and I just loved him around that impediment, as Shakespeare calls us to do in Sonnet 116:  love around the impediment of human imperfection because we are all imperfect, we humans.

I am so sore, so hurt, by his severing of the relationship. As a mutual friend of ours said, "What does it mean to end a friendship? I don't know what that means."

In my silly fantasies, I have iamgined this man has been reading my blog but I don't think he is.  Now that I am accepting the loss better, I am also accepting that he is not fulfilling my fantasy, not reading my blog.

Loss loss loss. When will I be fed and treated as a cherished, beloved being as I deserve? When I love myself? Am I waiting for another to love me before I deem myself lovable?  I don't think so.   I know I am lovable. What I struggle with is a little different than a lack of self love.

I struggle to believe others can see I am lovable.

Fortunately, I have a few, very few, dear friends who love me no matter what. So I now it is possible. Thank you, angels circling me this week, for the gift of loving friends.

angels are circling the globe, circling us

Angels, all twelve hierarchies of them, need us as much as we need them. They cannot fulfill their destiny unless we fulfill ours. So try to feel them, pray to them, seek their help and help them as you can.

This is the best time to feel the angels but they are always with us.

The Holy Nights: most sacred time of year

I'm not all that into Christmas. I reject that the birth of one baby with a penis is the foundation for all Christendom and much of what many see as civilization. The more I learn of all the different religions in the world, the more relieved I feel. So male dominator to bully the world with Christianity. I'm not objecting to God. and I totally support Jesus Christ's radical message of love but the birth of one male is no my creation myth. No way. No how.

The Holy Nights, on the other hand, are when we anthroposophists believe the veil between the physical and supersensible world is at its thinnest and a very good time to meditate, set intentions for the coming year and coming years and seek to feel a deeper connection with the nonmaterial, or supersensible, realm.   I approach these nights with reverence and prayer.

In the darkness of Winter’s night, when the great breath of the Earth Mother finds its greatest point of inhalation, human beings are afforded the grace to touch into both magic and miracle. In the pause between her mighty in-breath and out-breath there is a still-point of rest. This still-point has long been known as the Holy Nights. In these blessed Nights, the angels circle the globe as if in a great cosmic dance. They long to speak to listening human hearts. Throughout the ages the ‘listening ones’ on earth have heard the angelic choir; they have received messages of Peace and Love. What is received during these sacred days and nights, resounds a thousand-fold in the year that follows. In this year before us, a great light is striving to find willing human hearts. May we each be the ‘listening ones’ during these Holy Nights. May we work with angels.

I got this quote from a lovely website created by an Anthroposophical scholar but I have pored over the site and cannot find her name to credit her.  Got her name:   Claudia McLaren Lainson.

The Journey of the Magi, T.S. Eliot

It is not particularly reflective of me that I love the work of the poet T.S. Eliot but I sure do. His poem, The Journey of the Magi, seems particularly appropriate. Not all Christians focus on the Holy Nights, which end when the Magi arrive on, theoretically, Jan. 6th. So here it is, Eliot's The Journey of the Magic

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet below the snow line, smelling of vegetation,
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the dark-
And three trees on the low sky.
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.
All this was a log time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our palaces, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

my mom was shocked when I did not name my daughter after her

The simple truth, which I never told my mom, was that I did not like the name Mary Ann. Maybe that was some kind of passive aggression towards my mom but if that is what it was, it was unconscious. I still dislike the name Mary Ann.  I can deal with either name separately but together, I hated it.  Now, but I did not know this when Katie was born, I associated Mary Ann with all my mother's negative traits, of which there were many.

Also, it seems pushy to suggest someone name their baby after themselves. Doesn't it?

I had decided what I would name my first daughter when my baby sister Catherine died. I loved that name. I had to argue a lot with Katie's dad.  And all the baby name books said Katherine or some version of it (Katie, Cathy, Kate, etc.) was one of the all time ten most popular names.  I didn't care. At Catherine's funeral, gazing at her teeny tiny body, I had promised myself that if I ever had a daughter,I would name her Catherine.

Katie's last name begins wth a 'K' so it never occurred to me to spell it with a 'C'. The two K's just looked right. They still do, if you ask me. But when my mom saw her birth announcement, she said "I just realized for the first time that I misspelled Catherine's name." No she didn't.

Names have power we do not acknowledge much.

Once, when my Katie was still very tiny, a few weeks old, I was sitting in our living room cooing to my baby in my lap and I called her "BabyCake". No Babykate, but Babycake.  I had endless pet names for her and at that point, I had just gotten started. My husband rose up from across the room and struck me on my face, slapping my face hard enough to leave his handprint. "Don't you ever call her Kate."  Shocked, I could barely sputter out that I had sake Cake, not Kate. He had had a crush on a girl naemed Kate and he did not want his daughter associated with her. What if I had called her baby Katie? Not a sin. And how was I do know Kate would anger him as it did? Crying, I said "I called her baby CAKE". Oh, he said, that's okay but no apology for the slap.  he thought nothing of hitting me. And, dang, I thought nothing of being hit. I would think "It was just one slap, he didn't beat me."   Now I know that the threat of just one slap is very intimidating, a real power thing. I was, I am, such a dope.

My mom was not sublte in her wish that I name her first grandchild after her. The more she asked, the less I was even remotely inclined to do as she wished, not that I ever would have named my baby Mary Ann.

I think life is too hard and most mornings I wake up and check to see if I am still alive. I would not mind finding myself across the veil, having moved on to whatever the supersensible realm has planned for me next. This round has sucked big time. I'm ready for a new round.

I am not junk

©I am not junk
I am not bad
I deserve love
I deserve to be loving
I deserve kindness
I deserve opportunities to be kind
I deserve to be forgiven when my human imperfection appears

I am not junk.

I am love.

Love is letting go of fear: marianne williamson, I think.

Anyone who loves me, do the work of letting go of fear. I am kind, good and loving. Truly I am. Let go of your fear and you will know I am love.

I wish I could talk to Marc T. about my surgery

but he has refused to talk to me for five months. Not a friend, eh? Friends act like friends when you really need them. Don't they? That's the kind of friend I am.

Monday, December 30, 2013

rethinking surgery cancellation

Man, I'm driving myself crazy. To be cut or not be cut?

I believe healing with food and meditation is nature's way. There is little support in allopathic medicine world for such thinking and holistic practitioners are not given any respect -- or insurance coverage.

It is my decision, and mine alone, but I wish I had a family who cared about me to help me decide.

I'm canceling some surgery for Jan 16th

I had a long talk with someone who loves me yesterday, someone who gave me space to talk through the whole thing.  I don't want to have the surgery. So she said "so don't have it".

What a concept, eh? To not do something I don't really want to do. All my instincts were screaming.

I have to talk to my surgeon today. I would like to have something repaired that she was going to do as part of a bigger surgery. I want to ask her if she will do the repair without the bigger, more major surgery. My instinct says she will say no.

This was wearing on me.

I had a really sucky 2013. I was physically and emotionally sick most of the time. Someone I thought was a real friend dumped me when I was sick, like dumping me for being sick. that just added to my suffering, of course.

Anyway, surgery off. I have postponed this surgery three times now, counting today. I have not actually made the call, waiting for office to open.

This friend I talked to kept telling me "I hear you saying you don't want to do this so why are you?"

I don't trust our health care system, esp. allopathic care.

Feeling stressed, struggling but relieved.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I want to feel cherished. How about you?


For the record, I felt as if my feelings did not matter at all to the person involved in this sad story.  Forget cherished. I felt totally unvalued.

For my sixtieth birthday, a person I know asked me out to dinner. I suggested lunch only because lunch is cheaper and he had complained a lot recently about not earning much money. He used that lunch date, on a Saturday, which was supposed to celebrate my sixtieth birthday, to justify saving himself another trip to the East Bay for a business meeting.

The day before this awful date, I called him three times. First I asked if he was bringing his bicycle or his motorcycle. If he brings his motorcycle, that is so he can go up in the Oakland hills to see a guy he works 10 hours a week for. Why can't his royal highness rich guy in the hills pick him up at a BART station in Oakland, with his bicycle?

Anyway, instead of telling me his truth, which was that he was bringing his motorcycle, and he knew I would know that meant he had made later plans, he evaded answering me. He didn't tell me whether he was bringing bicycle or motorcycle.

Then I, excited about my sixtieth birthday celebration with this guy, called him back and offered to show him how I make coconut milk if he would bring containers. He said he'd bring a plastic milk bottle and we got off the phone. But I called back to suggest he bring glass jars, because the milk is almost boiling when it is done and I didn't think a plastic milk bottle would be a good container. Does that sound to you like a woman, celebrating her sixtieth birthday, who expected a quickie lunch?

And he didn't even ask me where I wanted to eat. What if I had wanted to go to Vic's, down by the Marina and far from where I live, and takes 30 minutes each way to get there by bus?  I don't have a car and he has never offered me a ride on his motorcycle so we were limited to buses. Or what if I wanted to go somewhere in the Gourmet Ghetto?  We had no express agreement to stay close to my place.

And when did he think we would go to the restaurant, eat, return AND make him that damned coconut milk if we weren't going to hang out afterwards?

I was gutted when he arrived and announced "I only have two hours. I asked him to leave, and he initially agreed but then he asked if there was anything we could do in that moment to save the visit.  All I could think of was if I didn't make the coconut  milk before lunch, which by then I badly needed to eat and fast, because of my diabetes ,it would not have a chance to cool off if I made it after lunch. Since we did have an express agreement to make that cursed coconut milk, I rushed to make it before lunch.

And he knew I was feeling sick, knew I needed to eat, cause I had told him. But he let me post pone lunch, blow off the reservation I had made, and let me eat let and feel even more sick. But he got his cursed coconut milk. I bolted down lunch so he wouldn't be late but also so he would leave and I could feel my pain alone.

I stupidly offered to show him how I make coconut manna in my blender. Coconut manner is must blended coconut. The friction melds it with the friction heat into coconut 'butter'. It is very expensive when store bought. Then he pressured me to keep going and show him how I make chocolate bliss. He was in a hurry but squeezed out an extra 30 minutes so he could get his chocobliss.  He got what he wanted.

I was blind hurt and told him so afterwards, in emails. Then he became furious, wrote long, unkind letters negatively characterizing my expression of hurt with elaborate intellecutalizations that were not even remotely relaetd to what my intentions were. This guy insists on retaining the right to define the intention of anything he says or writes but strips that privilege from me.

And then he told me, in angrily unkind tones, that I was being such a borderline. I do have borderline personality disorder. I was trained in BPD therapy to acknowledge when I feel hurt. That's all I was doing when he melted down and then blamed me for his meltdown. But I admit:  I melted down when he angrily said "you are being such a borderline."  He's never talked to me about my disabliity, altho I haeve asked him to. He has ignored the many efforst I have made to describe what I need from friends to manage my disability. He says it is codepedent to need help. Bullshit. We all get by with a little help from friends.

I did blow a gaskeet with his borderline remarks. I said some awful things. I was really awful. So was he.  /but he dumped me, telling me he will never communicate with me again because I crossed a line. I guess I should be thanking him because when he behaevd as he did for my sixtieth birthday, which most would see as a special milestone, he crossed my line of friendship, kindness and basic decency.

I want to feel cherished. And loved. I want friends who take my feelings into consideratoin all the time but especially on a milestone event in my life.  I feel bad that I lost this "friend" because I didn't like being treated like dogshit on his shoe for my birthday. I feel bad? What's wrong with that picture?

what do you want to write?

What is it you most long to write -- and get published -- out of all the things you could write?

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Reality is merely an illusion. . . Einstein

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.- Albert Einstein

Pain bears its cure

Every need brings in what's needed.
Pain bears its cure like a child.
-- Rumi

I got a Xmas gift. . then regifted it immediately

I had dinner on Xmas with a few people, none I know very well, most were people I met for the first time at the dinner. One of the people previously unknown to me brought gifts for everyone. She had stuffed dates with chocolate, coconut oil, and walnuts.  I won't eat that many carbs, plus I am doing The Abascal Way To Quiet Inflammatin diet which does not allow dates.

So when I got home, I gifted the stuffed dates to a neighbor from Iran, where dates are a big part of the food culture. She lit up to get them. I lit up to see her light up.

It was very nice. The gift to me mattered to me. The woman who made the stuffed dates was generous and kind. And my Iranian friend loved the stuffed dates.

Sometimes, people try to expose what is wrong with you

Sometimes people try to expose what's wrong with you, because they can't handle what's right about you.

lamb and baby lawyers

Growing up, we literally never had lamb in the house. My dad often said he had to eat a ton of mutton when in the Navy in WWII and he would never eat lamb again. We kids would often say "but dad, lamb is not mutton, mutton is old tough lamb" but he would not allow lamb in the house.
A couple times since I have known her, a friend has mentioned buying lamb steaks. Each time she has, a small jolt of surprise goes through me, as if I have been given a glimpse of an exotic land where lamb exists. I have never bought lamb in my life. And my ex-husband never asked for it so I suspect his family never ate it either.
Once, when I was still in law school but my ex was in his first law job, he had to take a visiting female lawyer out to dinner. He brought me along because he was insecure about going out with a female colleague, anxious that she might think it a date. Once I met her, I was sure it would never have occurred to her that it was anything but a business dinner. She ordered the lamb and that was literally the first time I ever saw humans eat lamb. And the only time so far.
So your harmless detail, telling me you were trying lamb spaghetti sauce was also a little surreal to me. I am thinking "Gee, people eat lamb? Where do they get it? Is it sold in regular meat departments?"

I knew the butcher and the meat counter at the store where I did most of my family''s food buying after I got old enough to cook the family dinners, which my mom deemed was age 7, the age of reason as she liked to point out.  Mr. Meyer owned the store and presides over the meat counter. He saw on a perch high above the meat department so he could watch the whole store, probably keeping an eye out for shoplifters. He had to climb down to get my meat orders.

If Mr. Meyer sold lamb, I am pretty sure I would have known about it.  Tasked with not just preparing dinner but manu-planning, I did my chilidhs best to provide variety. But, then again, I knew that lamb was completely orbidden. maybe I just never asked Mr. Meyer about lamb because I couldn't buy it.

I remember being so curuious about lamb. I don't think I have ever eaten it.

I also remember the small round, pink slices of lamb that  female lawyer had. We went to the restaurant at the top of the IDS Tower, which was the tallest building in Minneapolis at the time. Don't know if it still is. It had one of those restaurants that slowly rotate as you seat.  She had wanted to go, the company was paying. we were all, nominally, grown ups, but it was one of our first company-paid-for business dinners, for all three of us, jThat female lawyer tried to act blase, but it was her first business trip as a lawyer. She didn't fool me. I don't think very savvy people ask to go to the restaurant that slowly rotates around the top of a building. Such places are not known for their food. You go there for the views, right?

what year did you buy your first computer?

I bought my first computer, a used Mac SE, one of those small boxy early Macs. I paid over two grand for it. It had 20 MB -- yes, MB, not GB, on the hard drive. One had to keep everything on flopppy discs. Remember those? At least the disks for that machine were rigid, not the soft plastic sloppy ones on PC's.

I am overwhelmed by possibilities

Blogger, it turns out, is a dead medium, it's only real value is it links to Google+. I can accept this. I'd like to have a blog with lots of traffic but all I want to write about is me, to share whatever I happen to be thinking about. I don't want to write advice about anything, such as technology, cooking, nutrition, exercise, mothering or whatever.  I want to publish a personal journal but develop a following. I see that what I want is a form of self publishing some memoirish material but the goddess put this desire in me so it must have some value.

So, being intelligent, and ambitious (altho few who know me might get that about me), I have been researching. Reddit, Pinterest, Delicious, Snapchat, Tumblr, HootSuit, Linkedin (I thought that was just for resumes, now it's a social media?!), Twitter and, I hate to admit it, FB.  I am bored with FB.

I have realized that what I am doing is all but pointless.  I feel overwhelmed. I just can't catch any waves in Twitter. . . and I have tried. I don't get what most of the places I just listed do, or if I get what they do, I don't feel drawn to them.

Am I a dinosaur?  Probably.

Feeling overwhelmed. And hopeless.

the most memorable friends

The most memorable friends are the ones who love you even when you weren't being very lovable.  Dumping you but telling you they love you on their way out of your life is not how a friend behaves.

a resolution, but not a new year's one

I am resolved to live in the present. I am resolved to let go of all relationships in my life that do not engender happiness and love.  I don't want to name names but I am rresolved to let go of a relationship I have tried to hang onto that I think I need to completely release.

I am resolved to be happy.

goofy college memory

In my freshman year of college, in the build up to the holiday season, so fall trimester, students that bought the cafeteria meal package, and pretty much everyone did because living off campus was almost impossible, were asked to participate in a fundraiser. And if you lived in a campus dorm or house, you had to buy the meal plan. Living off campus was almost impossible because there were no places to rent anywhere near campus and few students owned cars. Near campus were high end houses, with no rental buildings, and the fancy end of town was capped off with a beautiful 'little ivy' campus along the river.

The fundraiser was to raise funds for the local food bank system. We were asked to sign up to skip dinner and have the money that would have been spent on our dinner donated to the charity involved. It was not much money, maybe three dollar, if that much.  Probably less. $2.40 is coming to mind. The donation only covered food costs, not staffing.

Then all students went out to eat and spent way more than the amount donated, even the high financial aid kids like me. First, we got stoned. Then we walked along the main drag of town, where all the food purveyors were, each of us wanting our favorite junk dinner snacks. We had hot pepperoni subs at the hot sub spot.  Some of my little group had burgers at chain burger joints. And then we got the idea that we wanted hot chocolate.  No place we went to served hot chocolate. So we kept walking down the main street, asking at every open food place. Finally, we got to the far end of down, near the freeway.

We staggered, stoned, into Burger King and asked for hot chocolate. It was the end of the line, our last chance. I guess our disappointment was loudly registered because the kid behind the counter, probably a local teen*, perked up and said "We could make you milk shakes and then keep zapping them in the microwave until they get hot, that might be a bit like hot chocolate."

It took a while to zap four milkshakes, one for reach of us. During the wiat, we totaled up how much we had each spent. We easily quadrupled the 'donation' we had generated for the food bank by passing on the cafeteria dinner that night. We were stoned but not so stoned that we weren't aware that our behavior was bad. We even talked about how we should have gone without dinner, of settled for popcorn in the dorm or given more money to the fundraiser.  We guestimated that each of us had spent at least ten bucks, not really enjoyed our food and kinda missed the point of the fundraiser. We should have actually skipped dinner.

The university must have realized it sucked as a fundraiser because they never did it again.

I am amazed that I can remember the whole names of the three girls I traipsed around town with buying greasey fast food and searching for hot chocolate.

Still, we all got our microwaved milkshakes. That was better than hot chocolate. It was thick, creamy, chocolatey and not too lhot. No whipped cream. 

I remember how proud the teenage boy who had done the microwaving, who had made the suggestion, seemed to be. Plus he thought we were cool college girls but we were dorks, idiots and reckless. I vaguely recall feeling some shame. I resolved, waiting for my microwaved choco milk shake that I would personally give the cafeteria some more money but I didn't.

Then we went to Dunkin Donuts, which was literally the end of main street and, of course, Dunkin Donuts had ordinary hot chocolate but we were too stuffed to drink more. We did manage to et down some donuts. Gong to Dunkin Donuts when stoned was a standard weekend late night outing. jThey stayed open way late.

*In those days, only teens worked at McDonald's and Burger King. Nowadays, with our dying middle class economy, parents work for eight bucks an hour at McDonald's and they don't et enough hours to be eligible for health care so they often work two low wage jobs, their kids never see them but the executives make millions.  I liked it better when teens worked at Burger King. How about you?

Friday, December 27, 2013

maybe a happy ending is letting go

There are certain people who aren’t meant to fit into your life no matter how much you want them to.  And the only ones truly worthy of your love are the ones who stand with you through the hard times and laugh with you after the hard times pass.  Maybe a happy ending doesn’t include anyone else right now.  Maybe it’s just you, on your own, picking up the pieces and starting over, freeing yourself for something better in the future.  Maybe the happy ending is simply letting go.

quote is from:  http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/04/09/11-ways-to-become-the-person-you-love/

humans are born for happiness

Assuredly, all nature informs us that man is born for happiness."
Andre Gide

grocery shopping and culture

For most of the years I shopped for food for others, I used to go up and down every aisle of a grocery store systematically. I would be looking for new products as well as covering all the aisles to remind myself of what I wanted.

Now, I criss cross a store. I haven't gone through a grocery store systematically in a long time, perhaps more than a decade.  And I don't buy much in grocery stores. I try to avoid processed foods so I shop at organic farmers markets and cook.

I am cooking more and more, more than I ever have. Growing up, of course we had vegetables at dinner but they were usually canned things just reheated on the stove. I did not learn to cook vegetables back then.

Now, I can do all kinds of fascinating things with vegies.  I prepare awesomely delicious meals that are often all vegies. I am getting so I love and savor my well prepared vegetables as much, and sometimes more, than my habit of focussing on meat used to satisfy.

Life changes, eh?  My whole relatinship with food is very changed. I think many are gradually chagning their relationship to food, with more and more poeple trying to avoid highly processed foods, which tends to deplete the nutritional value of food.

We have a crazy food sysstem, an insane health care system, a dysfunctional political governance. What is working right?

he was built like a coke machine

My high school boyfriend played left defensive tackle for the boys school across the street from my girls' school. Dating a varsity football player was, pretty much, the height of social achievement. Girls I didn't even know would stop me in the hallways to tell me how lucky I was go to out with So-and-So. Many of them actually would gush as they said "Ooh, those Paul Newman eyes."

He did have Paul Newman eyes but I hadn't noticed until several girls swooned about them.  I didn't think he was handsome. For one thing, he was built like a coke machine, with an IQ to match.   My brother was referring to the linebacker body , thick, weight-trained, muscle-bound body but also to my boyfriend's intelligence. The boyfriend paid my brother to take the ACT for him. He was having trouble getting a football scholarship to college because his first scores were too low even though he was built like a coke machine and played decent football.

With my bro's test scores, possible because in those days they did not check ID of test takers or take fingerprints like they did when I took the LSAT later. Fingerprints!

My brother took the ACT and the SAT pretty much every time they were offered, always for sports players whose dreams of college scholarship for their athletic prowess were shaky because of their grades and test scores.

The thing about my brother saying my boyfriend was built like a coke machine, with an IQ to match, that bothered me the most was I realized, with a jolt, as soon as I heard it, that it was true. How had I not noticed the guy was as dumb as a box of rocks?

I had no idea who he was. I was just happy that every Saturday night I had a date. And I got to go to all the dancses at his school and at mine.  He was boring but so what?  In high school, I knew few boys. My brothers were boroing. Maybe I assumed all boys were?  I never questioned my high school boyfriend's dullnesss or dullwittedness until my brother said  "built like a coke machine with an IQ to match' and then I knew I had to shake him and I wouldn't ahve a date for my senior prom. And I didn't, either, altho by then I didn't really care. It was 1971, the rise of hippieness alive in me. Going to proms, by then, was for people not as cool as me. This is what my best friend and I told ourselves.

Stigma still attaches to mental illness

I was first diagnosed, with the wrong mental health disability, as someone with a mental health disability in 1992.  I knew such a diagnosis was coming and I had already decided I would be out about being a person with a mental health disability.  Why? Geez, twenty+ years later, I am asking myself why I was so fucking stupid but I know why I did it and I still agree with my reasoning.

Stigma is, by far, and admittedly this is my opinion and not a scientifically support fact, the greatest challenge for persons facing the challenge of a mental health disability.  It's like being a closet gay times 1,000, I think.

I have read that closeted gays lived with constant pressure and fear to not give themselves away. Persons with mental health disabilities have to live with the same kind of pressure, plus the added pressure of having a disability that makes it harder for them to cope with pressure and harder just to show up in life at all. If people with mental health disabilities did not have to hide their truth, did not have to invest any energy in hiding their truth to avoid the consider backlash and attacks brought on by stigma against persons with mental health disabilities, I reasoned back long ago, maybe I could invest my energies into being healthy, working to provide for myself and child and, here's a crazy notion, being happy.

I just didn't see myself hiding for a lifetime, pretending about who I am.

Plus, trained as a lawyer, I was still a very naive lawyer and I thought "it is illegal to discriminate in enployment if someone has a disability" and I didn't really think the liberal world I wanted to live in would discriminate against me.

I was wrong.

So very, very wrong.

And I am deeply ashamed to admit that I didn't see that I was wrong until recently, when I realized someone I beilieved was a loving, caring friend who both saw all my good traits but also knew I had a major psychiatrici disability, loved me. Saw me and loved me, that's what I thought  But in eight years, the relationship never worked. He often told me, for years before I ever showed him any anger or unkindness, he told me he feared and distrusted me. He never mentioned my disability so I thought he was talking about who I am.  It truly did not occur to me that he feared me just because I had told him, as I tell everyone, that I have borderline personality disorder.

Eight years in, when he was angry and talking to me, he blurted out 'you are being such a borderline". I asked him how he knew such a thing. He said he'd done internet research. Internet research. He might as well as said "Because you are a fucking damaged piece of shit" because that is (1) what it felt and sounded like he was really saying and (2) most websites that talk about borderlines are written by other undiagnosed crazy people who blame the borderlines in their life for everything.

In this instance, yeah, I was hurt about something this person did but it was not really a borderline hurt. And I wasn't angry. I was hurt. Well, being deeply hurt is a borderline characteristic but what he did was really shitty and even a normal person would have been hurt. What he did really hurt me.

Learning, however, that all these years, he's been living in bigoted, ignorant, stigmatized fear of me because he is ignorant and bigoted about my having a mental health disability shocked me, eviscerated me and broke my heart.

So then, yeah, I acted like a borderline.  I said the most unkind things I could think of to say.  I was so heard to finally understand why he had been fearing me for 8 years but continuing to engage, to realize that he was afraid in ignorance, bigotry and stigma of me, someone I know he loves, someone he has seen as, to quote him, "an amazing special being'. He loved the amazing special being part of me but he feared his own ignorant bigotry about my disability and confused his own ignorant bigotry with me. I am an amazing, wonderful, special being. He knows it.

Eight years and I finally found out that he was never going to see me as a regular person, never invite me into his real life as I had stood back and seen him do with other women that came into his life over these years.

He sees me through a filter of stigma, ignorance and bigotry, he always has, he always will and I did it to myself.

If only my realization about this man's bigotry was the end of it. As soon as I realized he hated me for having a mental health disability, I realized  my decision to out myself had affected my daughter. Andn that was when I really starated to hurt. How the fuck could I have been so stupid? Everyone in our world knew I had a mental health disability. I was proud that everyone knew. I believed, foolishly, that the liberal circles I moved in were enlightened people. But the enlightened folks at yd daughter's first Waldorf School kicked her out of the school becuse of me and I am sure they would not have done so if I had not told everyone I was manic depressive, my wrong diagnosis at the time. Oh, I had also pointed out that my daughter's class teacher clearly had a serious mental health issue. I am such a fucking cluck. I thought the school would be grateful, to me. Instead they closed ranks. They said they had to protect the survival of their school.

The worst part, about the school, is that they board saw I was right about the teacher and fired her a year after they broke my daughter's heart.

I did that to her. Her first day at that school she had come home and said "Mom, I found my kindred spirits". She never found kindred spirits when we moved her to the other local Waldorf School, other than the teacher, who was wonderful. She already had a hole in her heart and then, with my stupid openness, my stupid liberal values, my stupid trust in the goodness of others, she got heartbroken.

I guess I should thank this guy who has treated me like dogshit on his shoe all these years, thank him for awakening me to my own stupidity. It's too late now. Everyone who knows me knows I have a mental health disability and no matter how carefully I say the phrase "mental healtah disability", and  I always use that phrase, now I know that even those who love me, some of them -- not all, I pray -- hear "mental illness, whack job, untrustowrhty, unrelaible, crazy bitch". Or some variation along those lines.

I did this to me.

I did this to me. And my daughter.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Your value doesn't change just because someone doesn't see it.


did you already have what you want before Xmas?

I bet you did. Love is what everyone wants.

saddest thing about betrayal

The saddest thing about betrayal is that it never comes from your enemies.

I do learn new things every day

I lost a lot of weight in 2012. In September 2012, I saw someone I had not seen in a year. We had not seen one another because of quarreling, truth be told.  We had emailed a lot and talked a little but I had never mentioned my weight loss so he was quite surprised when he saw me.

He said he was trying to lose weight. He had developed a middle-aged paunch. I had noticed it, of course, but never remarked on it.  He told me, in September 2012, that he had never had to lose weight before and I politely said nothing. But I remembered that in 2009, he had develops quite a gut and he had taken to wearing his shirts 'out' and wearing big jackets. I didn't ask, or say anything, but it sure looked to me like he was hiding his spreading tummy. In 2009, we quarreled and did not see one another for several months. When I saw him again in May 2010, he had lost the bulge. He had done it by restricting calories.

When he saw me in September 2012, I think I was down as much as fifty pounds since the last time he had seen me. I guess that big drop in weight gave my words a bit of authority. When he said he kept trying to lose a few pounds but couldn't. I said "it isn't just calories in, calories out."

I give this guy credit. He is very smart, one of the smartest people I have ever known.  I find his intelligence very sexy, actually.  Him, too. But really smart turns me on.  He quickly did some research and soon he was all about intense workout bouts, protein shakes, paleo and fermented foods.

I had never been into fermented foods. Only very recently I learned the important of fermented foods:  probiotics. The body needs all kinds of healthy bacteria and if you don't eat right, like fermented foods, you don't get enough probiotics.

I regret that I ignored this guy's big interest in fermented foods. Suddenly he kept talking about the fermented vegies he was brewing.  He gifted me a small jar of fermented vegies. It had fennel in it. I had never tasted fennel before and I learned I really don't like fennel.  I said nothing, though, to be polite. But when he gave me a new jar of fermented vegies a few months later, since we were in my apartment, I confessed that I had never eaten the last jar he gave me and offered to return it to him. Fermented, they should still have been good. The jar of fennel blend was completely full. I opened the new jar and sniffed and thought it smelled more palatable but I ended up hating it.  Plus it had carrots and he said after the fermenting, there were no carbs in the carrots. I don't believe that.

Even then, I did not connect fermented foods with probiotics. Duh. Why didn't I ask him why he was into fermenting food?

He also got me into making raw milk kefir. And I love raw milk kefir but I am off dairy these days.

Sex is nothing?

A male acquaintance invited me out to dinner to celebrate my sixtieth birthday in August. I suggested lunch because he doesn't make much money and lunch is cheaper. Since it was my sixtieth birthday, I expected our lunch to be more than a quick dash to the restaurant but that's all it was. This acquaintance, on a Saturday, budgeted two hours, including travel time to the restaurant from my place, and back, for my sixtieth birthday.  I was wicked hurt. Still am.

I think it was because I was so hurt that I made the mistake of talking to this guy about my intention to go to my first OM class a couple weeks later. I broached the subject by saying I was using some of my birthday money to help pay for the class.

"There won't be men there, will there?" he exclaimed.

When I said "Uh, having men there is the point. You can't OM without men."

"You aren't serious?" he exclaimed next. When I averred that yes, indeed, I was serious, that I hoped to jumpstart my sex life by OMing, he went into a long spiel about how sex is nothing.

"Sex is nothing", he said. It hurt to hear him say that. He knows my sexual history, my history of being abused.  How could he not have instantly understood that if I was taking that OM class, I was serious. "Sure, I have sex. And I have gone after sex with certain women. And I have sex. But after I have it, it is nothing. It means nothing. Sex is nothing."

I felt ashamed that I had ever considered taking the class and ashamed that I want to be more sexual. I toild my OMIng friend in Seattle that I wasn't going to take the class and he offered to pay for most of the class. He wrote to me and taht "That guy was clearly lying to you when he said sex is nothing. If sex is nothing, he would not keep having it. And he was an insensitive jerk to talk to you that way since he knows, as I do, about your history."

I was so glad to have a supportive male friend that day.  When I read my friend's assertion 'he was being an insensitive jerk', it almost erased the insensitive jerk behavior. Almost. Here I am, four months later, still bruised, more hurt than I was then.

Orgasmic Meditation (OM): Clit Love, better sex

Orgasmic Meditation (OM)  started in pretty-much-anything-goes San Francisco but it is run by a corporation called, I think, One Taste, that seems to know how to expand. There are OM classes in several cities and lots of big plans for growth.

The focus of OM is the female clitoris. The woman is undressed from the waist down. The man remains fully clothed. He sits alongside her on a meditation cushion. I have heard the cushions called zazen cushions. Those hard, round things serious meditators, who can bend their knees, which I can't, sit on, with their knees in front and legs wrapped backwards around the cushion. The men stroke the women's clitoris, in the upper left corner (or is it upper right) for fifteen minutes. The woman lays down in the 'nest'.  If the two people engaging in OMing are also sex partners, they aren't supposed to have sex in the nest.  You always separate sex from OMing.

During these fifteen minutes, both the woman and the man focus on what they feel in their bodies, which is what I was taught to do in Vipassana Meditation, without the clitoral stimulation, eh?  Your clit gets stroked and you focus on what you feel. The guy also focusses on what he feels and men who OM women have told me they feel a lot. 

There are OM houses where people live for the 'immersion experience'. Men who live in these houses have to commit to OMing women in the house every day, altho I don't know if a man has to agree to OM more than one. The first OM house is in SF. I believe there is one in NYC. There are plans to start one in Seattle and a friend of mine, a guy, is considering moving in, with a girlfriend but they are not, I am pretty sure, a monogamous couple. This guy friend is pretty adamant about eschewing monogamy. Having said that, he seems in love to me.

Google OM and One Taste.  In addition to offering not-cheap classes and longer immersion experiences such as weekends and well as long-term living situations, the organization offers One Taste evenings that are strictly PG but, as a friend put it, 'crazy sexy'. These gatherings are fun explorations into sensation. Everyone remains fully clothes and there is no OMing. But it is kinda a dating situation. If folks aren't looking to date, they are looking to OM or be OM'd.

I OM.  Google it. There is at least one fifteen minute free video online that explains OMing. The video coveres everything I paid $200 to 'learn' in a full day of a class. The class was poorly designed and held in a space way too small for the number of people. There were at least 75 people there all day, including the huge numberse of 'helpers' lined up in the back.  I think these 'helpers' all aspire to become employed as OM coaches, teachers, etc. One Taste is about to launch a certified OM coach program. Maybe they already have such a program but they are ramping up for much bigger trainings. I am never going to become an OM coach.

One thing that quite surprised me about the class:  the age range. I expected to be one of the very few over forty students but there were actually a lot of older people. Admittedly, there were more older males than females.  I did not leave my judgment at the door so when I noticed white haired men, I confess that I had less than kind and positive thoughts about them, wondering if they were there hoping to score sexually with younger chicks.

I have lots more to say about OM but I am running out of steam right now.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas traditions in my past

Growing up, as us kids got old enough, we wanted to go to midnight mass. We wanted to go to midnight mass to get mass out of the way, so mass wouldn't interfere with our Christmas.  We'd have bacon and sweet rolls. No eggs in my house growing up because dad hated eggs. Fat and sugar. And cocoa.

All the kids in my family got new pajamas on Christmas Eve. I think this is a common tradition, new PJ's?  I got my daughter new pajamas and gave them to her on Christmas Eve. As a kid, we couldn't open gifts on Xmas Eve as long as there were little kids that believed in Santa. Since our last sibling was born when I was 13 and still believed in Santa when our folks divorced, we never got to open gifts on Xmas Eve.

Then we'd all use our gifts while dinner cooked. When we got old enough, we'd go to movies in the afternoon.

Raising Katie, we usually had cornish hens at home on Christmas Eve, then we'd go to the cathedral to listen to the choir that would sing before midnight mass, ducking out before the mass.  We'd open a gift or two

what did you want for Xmas? do you have it now?

Did you have what you wanted all along?

I want company. I want to have fun socializing with people who love me.  I am having dinner this evening with some acquaintances but I wanted more.

When my daughter as young and would want want want things I did not want to give her, I would say "Katie, you have the gimmees." The gimmees was an illness, like the flu.  Saying that to her did not stop the gimmees but I felt better. Now I wonder what her experience was hearing me tell her that.

What did she want for Christmas this year? Did she get it? 

I want love, companionship, intimacy, family, fun, socializing. Love. I want love.

Occasionally, a friend will ask me if there is something I want at Christmastime. I tend to not think of anything I want. I have decided that from now on, if someone asks me if there is anything I want, even though they are offering to buy me a physical gift, I am going to talk about what I want.

I want love, commitment, companionship, sex, emotional and physical intimacy, family, fun, work, recognition. Love. Love sums it up.

what did you want for Christmas?

I want love. I want to be loving. I want to love myself. I want to really believe, and feel, that people I love love me.

I met a special man recently, nominally a homeopath but much more. Talking to him is really great. He seems to hear my thoughts before I speak them. Within three minutes, he asked me a couple questions about myself that laid bare the essence of how I inhabit myself, my life. Next time I saw him, I began to tell him a story that would have taken up, at most, eight sentences. After two sentences, he said the final line.

I often sense into people the way this guy does but he seems to do it as a master level, far above my ability.

I want. I want. I want.

Nothing Ever Happened -- it's all monkey mind running movies?

"Dear Edie,
I have a lot of things to teach you now, in case we ever meet, concerning the message that was transmitted to me under a pine tree in North Carolina on a cold winter moonlit night. It said that Nothing Ever Happened, so don't worry. It's all like a dream. Everything is ecstasy, inside. We just don't know it because of our thinking-minds. But in our true blissful essence of mind is known that everything is alright forever and forever and forever. Close your eyes, let your hands and nerve-ends drop, stop breathing for 3 seconds, listen to the silence inside the illusion of the world, and you will remember the lesson you forgot, which was taught in immense milky ways of cloudy innumerable worlds long ago and not even at all. It is all one vast awakened thing. I call it the golden eternity. It is perfect. We were never really born, we will never really die. It has nothing to do with the imaginary idea of a personal self, other selves, many selves everywhere, or one universal self. Self is only an idea, a mortal idea. That which passes through everything, is one thing. It's a dream already ended. There's nothing to be afraid of and nothing to be glad about. I know this from staring at mountains months on end. They never show any expression, they are like empty space. Do you think the emptiness of space will ever crumble away? Mountains will crumble, but the emptiness of space, which is the one universal essence of mind, the one vast awakenerhood, empty and awake, will never crumble away because it was never born.
The world you see is just a movie in your mind.
Your eternal old man,
The Portable Jack Kerouac

some past Xmas traditions of mine

1. I think is a common one, at least in USA:   all the kids in my family got new pajamas on Xmas Eve, typically after we all went to midnight mass.  Once my dad actually fell asleep at midnight Xmas mass, leaning over onto my head and snoring loud enough to be heard.  I jiggled him awake.  It was very funny. I loved him so much in those moments. I was embarrassed that he had fallen asleep but I knew he was tired because he always took a second job at Xmas to buy presents for his kids.

2. My dad always cooked all our holidays meals.  We always had turkey on Thanksgiving and  Christmas and even sometimes New Year's. Looking back, I think (1) dad really liked turkey and (2) they would be super cheap and my dad could not resist bargains. Mom often said dad would buy six left boots if the price was low enough.  Dad hated that line and that was seriously my mom's idea of humor. To her credit, once when I was about thirty and visiting my baby bro, with his former longtime partner floating around and my college-age baby sister there, mom said "All my children are so funny. I'm not funny. Where did you all get your humor?"  We all said in unison, including my gay bro-in-law, "Dad!" with all of us putting incredulity into our voices. Duh was not yet in vogue but the duh! was in our voices.  Then we all said, not in unison, "He's also where we all got our brains." which hurt her but which was also true. My mom was not dumb but my dad was genius smart, like all his kids.  I have really been missing him lately.

3. Santa Claus would put separate piles for each kid around the living room. He did not put all the presents in a jumble under the tree like every house in the neighborhood of my childhood. I used to wonder why he did that. I still do.  Each kid would solo tear apart their pile, kinda as if each kid was alone.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Lethality of Loneliness

The Lethality of Loneliness

Mindful by Mary Oliver

Mindful by Mary Oliver

Every day
I see or hear
that more or less

kills me
with delight,
that leaves me
like a needle

in the haystack
of light.
It was what I was born for -
to look, to listen,

to lose myself
inside this soft world -
to instruct myself
over and over

in joy,
and acclamation.
Nor am I talking
about the exceptional,

the fearful, the dreadful,
the very extravagant -
but of the ordinary,
the common, the very drab,

the daily presentations.
Oh, good scholar,
I say to myself,
how can you help

but grow wise
with such teachings
as these -
the untrimmable light

of the world,
the ocean's shine,
the prayers that are made
out of grass?

"Every night is secretly christmas night."

I ripped this off someone else on G+ . .. but I could not resist.

football: ritualized war game

I think I understand the phenomenon of being a sport fan, even a fan of commercial, for-profit teams that, unbeknownst to most members of the public, tend to extract quite a lot of public wealth from the commons under the guise of being an economic boost for a city. That's bullshit. Team owners threaten to take their teams out of town to extract money from cities. And cities balk because they are run by craven kiss ups who will serve anyone willing to make campaign donations and keep them

No more fake "I love yous" please. Love plays through

Recently, two people I have loved very much dumped me. I had behaved unkindly towards each of them, yes, indeed. Each of them have behaved unkindly towards me in the years we've each known the other. But these two fucking hypocrites never acknowledge their unkindness and they are horrified by mine.  Yes, I am an imperfect human.

Love abides. Love plays through. Love is like the old days before many football teams had domed stadiums and football games kept going even in frigging blizzards.

Love plays through.

tamales -- perfect Xmas food

I'm going to head to SF tomorrow to find some chicken tamales. It isn't Christmas for most Mexicans and some other latino cultures without some kind of masa food like tamales, pupusas, huaraches, etc. For me, it's tamales. Weirdly, my Irish dad loved tamales. When I was growing up in Chicago, in the fifties and sixties, there weren't a lot of Latinos. There are now!  My childhood neighborhood has all the signs on stores in Spanish.  My dad would have scoped out every tamale joint.

My challenge, tomorrow, is to find some because so many will be out buying tamales tomorrow. And which places sell the best ones?

When I lived in Mountain View, I bought tamales from a woman who sold them outside the Walmart. There was a bus transfer statin at the front of that Walmart. I didn't actually shop there. On Xmas Eve, or the day before, I'd go looking for the tamale lady. That gal make awesome tamales but she'd sell out fast.

All the good ones sell out fast. So do I arise early and just go to the Mission and wander?

Or do I skip tamales? They are gluten free, can easily be had dairy-free, so they fit my nutritional goals. And I want some.

The Mexi joint around the corner took orders until Dec 20th and I missed the ordering. I swung by today -- they aren't open tomorrow - and asked if they were selling to any who had not pre-ordered. Nope.

But in SF's Mission, there will be tamales available if I know where to look. Where to look?

Monday, December 23, 2013


"Remember that I am an ass."

"Remember that I am an ass."
The character, Dogberry,  said the above , in "Much Ado About Nothing"
Aint that the truth. I call upon anyone who ever loved me to remember that I am an ass. An imperfect human. A perpetually wounded Grail King.

Forgive me for being an ass and love me still.

Broken Hearts by Jeremy Reed

Broken Hearts
 There should be heart-shaped rooms in which we sit
 as a collective to repair
 the damage done by love, and half the night
 we'd exchange stories, share a common pain
 that's always different, but never less
 in how the ruin's total, like a house
 slipped off a cliff edge to the sea
 or like a turtle that has lost its shell
 but keeps on going, making tracks on sand
 to find a refuge up beyond the surf.
 We're all suddenly disinherited
 from little ways, familiar dialogue,
 security of someone there to share
 bad news, rejection, a red letter day,
 a downmood's tumble of blue dice,
 or someone there to celebrate a quiet
 in which the meaning is in being two
 without a need to speak. But out of love
 we seem to be falling down stairs
 that never terminate. He left or she
 took off with someone else, it's like the blow
 will never stop arriving in the heart
 as an impacted fist. We'd call the place
 Heartbreak Hotel, and hope to patch the scars
 of unrequited love and leave
 a little less in tatters, disrepair.
 I'll find the place one day, and book a room
 and talk amongst the losers of a face
 I can't forget, and of a special hurt
 bleeding like footprints scattered over snow.
-- Jeremy Reed

Seamus Heaney . . . poet laureate of Ireland


I'm not Irish. Born in South Dakota.  I was raised to believe I am Irish, in a world where everyone's grandparents and great grandparents had been born in Ireland.

Seamus Heaney's poetry resonates powerfully in me. The NYTimes has a sweet little documentary posted about Seamus.

What does Santa Claus say?

When my daughter was 18 months old, experiencing her first 'real'  Xmas, she was talking and even in full sentences but brief sentences. I would encourage her, or at least I imagined I was encouraging her to talk, by asking questions repetitively that she knew the answer to. AT age 18 months at Xmas, I kept asking "Santa Claus says 'ho ho ho', honey." then a long pause and then I'd ask "What does Santa Claus say?" And every time, and I think I asked a few hundred times, she would say "Ho ho". Then I would say, "Santa Claus says 'ho ho ho', ho ho ho, honey, not ho ho, but ho ho ho."  I would have sworn she was being funny, playing a trick on me. She was always very smart. She knew the difference, I was sure, between ho ho and ho ho ho but she never once said the word three times. And believe me, I tried and tried.

So ho ho HO, Merry Christmas.'

The year before, at age six months, she mostly slept through Xmas although the Christmas tree lights seemed to please her. She was oblivious to Santa Claus but aware that some fuss was in the air at six months.

At eighteen months, she knew who Santa Claus was and, I am positive, she knew he said "Ho, ho, HO!". To tell the truth, I loved it that she would not say that third 'ho', loved her stubbornness.

Now her stubbornness is not quite so charming.

But ho ho ho, anyway. Merry Christmas.

She could sing most of the words to Jingle Bells. I just didn't believe she did not get the distinction between 'ho ho' and 'ho ho ho' but gol-dang, she never once said 'ho ho ho'. And she laughed a lot after she said 'ho ho'. 

I would give anything to hear her say 'ho ho' in the soft, whispery tones of my long ago baby.

Ho ho.

Help someone's soul heal.

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd." - Rumi

Hat tip to the friend who shared this Rumi quote on her FB wall.

do you know any former prostitutes?

I wonder how many former prostitutes are in the world, in the USA, in CA, in Berkeley.

I wonder who I know, or have known, that used to be a prostitute but never disclosed that part of his or her path.

I have a couple friends who were prostitutes. One had become a heroin addict and prostituted herself to buy heroin. The other became a prostitute just to have lots of money to party, like it was a game. And long ago, a former client who came to several of my long-ago intensives, was a prostitute.

I half wish I could reconnect with that former client.  I knew her about twenty five years ago. My attitude towards her past as a prostitute was very different than my attitude would be today. Mostly, I didn't believe her when she 'claimed' she had been a prostitute. I actually thought she said she had been a prostitute to get attention. In retrospect, it was awful that I disbelieved her. And remember, I was facilitating her personal growth in training intensives.  What kind of teacher was I if I didn't believe my student? And what in the world prompted me to not believe her?  She never knew I didn't believe her. I never voiced that horrible disbelief to anyone, not one single person, praise goddess, so there was no possible leak of my ugliness.

An acquaintance, someone I wrongly believed was my friend for a dozen years, was a prostitute almost on a lark, although she was 'turned' skillfully by her pimp. Gosh, that pimp must have been thrilled when he found her. She was, and still is, an exquisitely beautiful woman, with a regal, upper middle class look and demeanor. Plus a smoking hot body. Very thin but with a full bosom, not too big, but not at all small. And perky, no drooping. Since her breasts do not droop now, in her sixties, I assume they did not droop when she blithely became a prostitute at age 17.

Listening to her talk about that part of her life is always fascinating but I think the story she told me that is the most fascinating is how she told her mother. She had been living with her mother but met the guy who soon became her pimp and then husband. I am not sure if they married before or after she got 'turned'. She recounts getting turned so matter-of-factly and seems to

as if I were in love .

*I Wonder* I wonder what would happen if I treated everyone like I was in love with them, whether I like them or not and whether they respond or not and no matter what they say or do to me and even if I see things in them which are ugly twisted petty cruel vain deceitful indifferent, just accept all that and turn my attention to some small weak tender hidden part and keep my eyes on that until it shines like a beam of light like a bonfire I can warm my hands by and trust it to burn away all the waste which is not never was my business to meddle with. - Derek Tasker

Christmas borrows pagan rituals to celebrate birth of a Jew

I just read this:  Christmas, that special time of year when Christians borrow from pagan rituals to celebrate the birth of a Jew. Looked at like that, I can almost -- not quite -- get behind the Christmas myth that the birth of a male is the center of creation. So not. 

I do not believe one male, a human with a penis, is the center of all good intentions and love, although I believe Jesus Christ was all about love. I believe in the Christ Impulse. I don't believe a male drives human good, or ever did, not even on the day of his birth.

It's a good story, the Christmas myth, but it's just a story.  I like to keep that in mind.

And pagans, gosh golly, have been worshipping the winter solstice since forever.  Christians conveniently ignore that.

A Charlie Brown Christmas & Christians are bullies & Ducks

©I remember eagerly awaiting the very first broadcast of A Charlie Brown Christmas.  My mom strictly limited how much television we were allowed to watch. Charlie Brown shows and The Wizard of Oz got passes from her limits. Watching such special shows was a warm holiday event.

I haven't watched this Charlie Brown Christmas cartoon in decades, not since my daughter was young enough to watch it. It was never quite as big a deal to her. She did not remember a time when a cartoon being lifted off the Sunday comics page onto TV was radically new.

Before I could read, I would rise early most Sunday mornings to 'read' the comics. I would guess at the stories told based on the pictures, and then get my dad to read the words to me when the whole family was up. Peanuts was on top, the first comic presented and the favorite of every child I knew. And even my mom approved of Peanuts and Charlie Brown. And my mom didn't approve of much. She was stern. When I was little, I told myself mom was stern because she thought a mother should be. By the time I was in my forties, I had learned to actually see my mom. She was stern, preachy, judgmental and not very nice. She loved being seen as very nice by neighbors and other members of our parish. Our parish, with our parish school that all us kids attended and the whole family attended weekly mass, was the center of our social life.  Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Knights of Columbua and the Altar and Rosary Guilt. There was something for boys, girls, dads and moms. We all belonged to something. Plus school and training for the big-deal sacraments like communion and confirmation.  Or the holiday rituals at church. Our lives revolved around church.

And mom had the idea that cartoons were bad. But Charlie Brown was okay.

Pantaphobia, by the way, according to Lucy as the five cent psychiatrist, is 'the fear of everything'.  I don't have pantaphobia, fyi.

As far as my claim that Christians are bullies, I want it known that without knowing much about Islam, Hinduism, Buddhist or any of the many, many religious faiths that there are in this world, I can readily believe all religions are bullies. Christians, especially Catholics, are big bullies. And christians are on my mind because, well, it's Christmas time.

Why do Christians push for everyone to believe what they believe?  How does any individaul human dare to believe that what they believe has to be universally true for all humans? Such thinking is so simplistic. A few clear, starry nights, especially when you can catch a glimpse of Venus of another  planet like a glimpse of Saturn's rings, how the heck can one puny human think "what I believe is universally correct for all?"

The little I know about other faiths, they all have a bullying element. Why? Why can't we all settle for being loving, good humans and let people choose the fine points individually regarding what they believe?  It seems clear to me that religions as institutions grow as a means to grow power for what is always the men running the show. The Catholic Church has amassed a shitlaod of wealth by teling its members they have to tithe. My parish growing up made famlies declare their income and then promise to tithe a specific amount every Sunday. My family was always skint but we put in those envelops every Sunday. And there was no casual giving. Each household was given envelops dcoded with a number for that family so the parish knew if you were kicking in the right amount.  I hated that then. I hate it now.

The little I know about the Taliban, the repression of women in the Middle East, the binding of feet in the old days in China, concubines, geishas.

Religions do not seem to be set up to benefit chicks, eh?

But even if I step around misogyny when thinking about religions, I can't step around the way religions so often seem to very seriously believe their beliefs are correct. It's all just big guesswork yet they demand members believe.

Schroder is playing the song for the Christmas pagent. A Charlie Brown Christmas is a perfectly good religion.

I am thinking about Christians because the red neck duck caller, famous for a tav show I have never seen called Duck Something, gave an interview to GQ and got fired because he said homosexuality is a sin. He also said some callous comments about the happy poor black folk cotton farmers in rural Louisiana fifty eyars ago when he was a white trash cotton farmer. The guy sounds a bit ignorant but he gets his version of Christianity correctly. And I just read that 48% of American Christians believe homosexuality is a sin because the Bible says so. None of such Christians will consider that the endless line of humans, mostly men, who translated the channeled material that constitutes the Bible (yeah, the Bible was channeled -- how come Christians reject New Age channeling but accept the channeled Bible? huh?) might have translated the Bible with bias, interpreting ancient language to mean what they wanted it to mean in the era in which they translated it. Geez. language is ambiguous.

I do not believe God channeled to any of the men -- it's always men, eh?! -- who channeled the bible, New Testment as well as Old -- that homosexuality is a sin. I think God said some things and some translators imposed their own bias onto the meaning of the channeled words.

How can someone who believes in channeled material think in such narrow, limited terms and believe the modern English words they read today in their bibles are incontrovertibly anti-homosexual?

Mind our own business. If homosexuality is a sin, how did it miss getting included in the Ten Commandments?

A Charlie Brown Christmas is a perfectly good Christmas myth for me. Thanks, Charles Schultz.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

snow in San Francisco

©A week or two ago, I rented a citycarshare car that just happened to be across the street from San Francisco City Hall.  The ground all around SF City Hall just happened to be covered in snow. Some kind of celebrating ritual civic cvent was going on. Lots of people were dressed as old fashioned carolers and elves. Or something. I didn't look closely.

Lots of adults were there to show kids snow.  I find that depressing. A couple hours drive east into the Sierras and those kids could see real snow.

It didn't look or seem like real snow because as soon as it was blown, it began to melt into icy lumps. It wasn't cold enough to not melt, either.

Weirder than the snow was all the people in costumes, which didn't had a discernible theme.

So that was it? Snow on the ground in front of city hall?

When I returned my car, someone had parked in my private parking spot. Citycarshare cars live at specific spots. The signs saying it was not a parking spot for any other car were quite large.

I was all bah humbug, called the emergency line who told me where I could leave the car. I asked him to call SF traffic enforcement and get the car towed and given a big fat fine. Scrooge herself, eh?

I once saw snow in downtown San Jose, too, when I lived in Silicon Valley. The snow there was pathetic, inferior to the SF city hall mounds I saw recently.  It's much warmer in San Jose. Still, mountains with real snow are an hour or two away. If parents want their kids to see snow, why don't they go see snow in nature?

My Christmas spirit is flagging.  I wanted to offer to extend my rental and drive some of those kids to see real snow.

Friday, December 20, 2013

debit card declined: no xmas tamales for me!

I wanted to order some tamales for Xmas but my debit card declined. Dang. They would have been gluten free and dairy free.

Worse than no tamales for Xmas, which is not the end of the world, is I have run out of money with eleven days left of December.

Dang.  I have some cash. I always keep some cash on hand, so I'll be okay, but it's going to be a squeaker.

And no tamales for Xmas, a Christmas tradition I love.

if you want go give me a Xmas gift -- poetry. Seamus Heaney would be lovely

Or Alice Oswald.

Or that guy who used to be US poet laureate . . . what's his name?   -- Billy Collins. for some reason, I love his stuff, which evokes Seamus Heaney for me, actually. And chick poets work for me. I just discovered an old lady chick poet .. . Heather McHugh.

It's kinda awful that so many male poets spring to mind. Jack Gardner, who was based in Berkeley when he died recently, is a poet whose works I don't own and would like to.

I see how women are not given the same respect as male poets by my blog. I can see when a post is clicked on and read and when I mention a male poet, the post always gets more posts than when I mention a chick poet. Don't tell me gender discrimination or feminism is wrong. Screw equalism. I'll be all for equalism when women have equality with men.

I have a few Billy Collins and a former friend gave me one of his books. He even read me a poem over a birthday lunch. This was a few years ago when he loved me and showed my birthday a little respect, unlike this year when he treated taking me out for my birthday like an inconvenient chore that dragged him to the East Bay. I can hump it to SF to see him but he has to combine work with seeing me if he is going to bestir himself to the EB.  My birthday disappointment still rankles, I suspect it still rankles because I lost the friendship because I did not pretend I wasn't hurt.  I can't do suppressing my emotions, which sure seems like the key to success in this fucked up world of corporate dominated values systems.

I ramble.

No one is fretting about what to give me for Xmas.  #1 choice, a book by Heather McHugh, a completed works if it exists. Then, sorry women, a Jack Gardner. Man, Gardner could write poems.

If someone wants to give me the stars, give me some reconciliation with my baby.

I spent five days in Santa Fe with an old friend who knew me as Katie's mom. I told this friend that I had seen Katie wearing one of my old necklaces, I had the matching earrings and I was considering sending the earrings to Katie. the friend spoke in an angry voice, almost snarled as she said "Why would you do that?"

Tears stung my eyes. Why would I do it? I felt defensive and wrong but then I pulled myself together and remembered why. Because I love her, I am her mom and the earrings match a necklace that she clearly loves for she posted it in so many photos,wearing it. I should send her those earrings today.

had I not been awake by Seamus Heaney

Had I not been awake

©I tend to repost beloved poems. Poems are not meant to be loved only once, just like lovers do not make love only once.

I love this one and it feels at least tangentially related to winter solstice, holy nights and even Santa Claus. If I am not awake, I miss so much.

I never considered becoming a poet and now I think that's who I am supposed to be. George Eliot has a famous quote that says 'it is never too late to be who you were supposed to be". Could it possibly be true that it is ot too late for me?

Happy Yalda Night: a Persian solstice celebration

©My friend, Farsi, is from Iran. I got this from something she posted:

Happy Yalda night! (December 21st)  Shab-e Yalda "Birth of Mithra", or Shab-e Chelleh (Persian:Shabe Chelleh: "Night of Forty") is the Persian winter solstice celebration which has been popular since ancient times. Yalda is celebrated on the Northern Hemisphere's longest night of the year, that is, on the eve of the Winter Solstice. Depending on the shift of the calendar, Yalda is celebrated on or around December 20 or 21 each year. Yalda has a history as long as the religion of Mithraism. The Mithraists believed that this night is the night of the birth of Mithra, Persian angel of light and truth. At the morning of the longest night of the year the Mithra was born. Following the fall of the Sassanid Empire and the subsequent rise of Islam in Persia/Iran, the religious significance of the event was lost, and like other Zoroastrian festivals, Yalda became a social occasion when family and close friends would get together. Nonetheless, the obligatory serving of fresh fruit during mid-winter is reminiscent of the ancient customs of invoking the divinities to request protection of the winter crop.

So eat some fresh fruit tomorrow.  Well, today!! and be grateful for Mithra, the Persian angel of light and truth. Mithra, I invite you into my life. I need all the light and truth possible.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas from Joni Mitchell

When I was young, Joni Mitchel spoke to me more than most singers. I was also way into Bonnie Raitt. Their styles are significantly different but both of them hit the spot for me. I wore out records by them.

Merry Christmas.