June 30, 2005

compromise is the art of dying slowly

Yes, Virginia, it has been almost a month since I wrote anything online. I have been contemplating the meaning of life. Yeah, that's it....really I have. Part of that is trying to understand how we get away from being ourselves and become something we don't even want to be for the "love" of other people. Or even to get them to like us. I hated seeing it happen when I was in high school even though I was probably an unwitting player of the game myself. Loneliness does strange things to people. They pretend to like certain books when really they don't enjoy reading at all. Movie tastes change. Sometimes it is a gradual thing and a person actually does change to be more like the person whose attention they want to keep. Other times a person changes because he sees the good in the way the people around him are, or she wants to be something more than she was reared to be. The sad part is when someone tries to fit into a mold he doesn't fit to gain or remain in a relationship. In the end there is much resentment and the feeling that you'd do anything for a person is replaced by a self-loathing and a despair about the significant other not loving you for you, but loving what you showed him you were in the first place.

So pondering all these things I came across this post by Amanda at Mouse Words, who is actually posting through Pandagon now, about women who will have surgery to replace their hymens so they appear to be a virgin when the big day comes. I agree, between all the active living we do these days, hymens don't really pose the painful and bloody problem they once did. However I think Amanda sums it up nicely in her last paragraph:

Ladies, if a man looks deep into your eyes and lovingly says that he cannot wait until he rips into you and you bleed and cry, if your first thought is, "Uh-oh. I don't know if I can give that to him because of other partners/tampons/a horse-riding hobby," you might have a problem that surgery isn't going to fix. But, a good step is to ditch that guy and maybe think about one who wants sex to be about fun and love instead of bloody conquest.

Someday people will be proud of who they are enough so that they don't pretend to be something else for the attention of others. Someday people won't put up with the crazy expectations of potential mates. The best relationships I have ever been witness to is when each person is his own person who enjoys the company of the other. Perhaps this is why the middle of love is much better to me than the beginning. In the beginning it's fireworks and sparks and giggles and inside jokes that are disgusting to watch from outside the relationship. With time that flame tempers and glows. Ten years later you realize how comfortable you really are, how much more yourself you are because the fear of offending the other person is gone. The security of the relationship affords us the ability to be ourselves more. I wouldn't want to jump straight into that part of the relationship, though. The journey is as important as the arrival.

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June 06, 2005

fear is the mind killer, and the productivity killer too

I love magazines.

Maybe it's because I have a short attention span, or perhaps it's a fear of commitment, but I like reading short articles, short poems, short stories and short novels. I realize that fear of commitment is pervasive in my life, and oddly the very magazines I read serve to rub my face in the fact. Glutton for punishment? Guilty as charged.

I especially love reading "green" magazines, the ones that tell you where to buy recycled bamboo flooring or non-COV paint for your walls. The ones that tell you to clean your house with lemon juice and white vinegar. That has never worked for me. My house for some reason doesn't seem clean using some of the recommended home-made cleaners, but I really really want to use them. I have a vested interest in being "green" and using alternative forms of energy. I am a hippy at heart I guess. But back to my commitment issues. I was reading Natural Home recently and there is an article about a woman who lived for 10 years in a great apartment with some garden space until the landlord sold the building and the new owner made some toxic changes and destroyed the beauty of the natural oak floors and the original look of the windows and such. She had to pick up her garden and move it to a new place. First of all, what a tremendous effort! But she found a place and transplanted her garden. She mentions that the yard was too quiet, so she put out bird feeders and planted flora that would attract butterflies and other of Nature's pets. Soon she could sit on the porch and watch the wildlife. How I envy her!

I have been in this house for almost 8 years. I just planted some iris in the front flowerbed this winter. I got a landscaper to give me a plan and a quote once, but never followed through. I could do it myself, but I don't. I live as if I am about to move, and have been doing so for the past 5 years. I finally got around to painting my office a couple of years ago, and bought some artwork for the walls. The art is resting against the cabinet in the guest bathroom. It has to be moved gently aside if ever a guest actually wants to use the bathroom for its intended purpose. The guest bathtub is used for storage of a Python aquarium hose that is too long to use (but I might need it someday! Really!). There are two computers in the guest bath just waiting to merge into something that actually works.

The point being that I have all these wonderful ideas of how I want the house and yard to look and I don't act on them because of an underlying feeling of pointlessness. If I won't be here, why make the changes? I know and am impressed by friends who go about making their houses and apartments, however impermanent, a home and a refuge. I make do, I deal, I put it off, I don't invest the time or effort.

My last house was really a great house, but I did the same thing. When it came time to move, we had to fix the place up because the buyers had an FHA loan and FHA has regulations it imposes on the seller. Once we made the changes we were loathe to move but we had already committed. See, it is a bad word! It means not changing your mind, being trapped, loss of freedom.

I am sure that someday I will come to discover that there is actually more freedom in commitment than there is in the limbo state I seem to have lived most of my life in. I just hope this epiphany comes before it's too late.

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May 26, 2005

miscellaneous musings

Hunting for an old blog post recently, I re-read a lot of my first few months of entries. I am so ashamed at what I have become since then. I used to write stuff that was more than a few sentences and actually showed an opinion about things. Now, cheesy blog quizzes. Not that there is anything wrong with cheesy blog quizzes, but when they become a staple of your blogging, you gotta wonder what contribution you are making. Or at least I do. Bah. So my, um, Mayday resolution a few weeks late is to write more and make it a better quality too.

I realize that some of this may be precipitated from an underlying depression from not being "gainfully employed" for so long. So to hell with that. I enjoy what I do and the interviews are becoming more frequent. Things are looking up. I had an interview with TWU last week for a tech support position and I thought it went really well. Granted, I thought I would have heard from them by now, but I am going to follow up and see where they are in the process. I liked the people I met, I liked the job description and potential within it. This week I had an interview with UNT, the other university in town, for a programming position. I thought the interview went well but it didn't click as well as the TWU one. I really like the job, though, and the benefits are incredible. The guy who interviewed me seems like a great manager, too. They won't be calling people back till after the 1st of June.

Finally, I had an interview with a staffing agency that is submitting my resume for what would be a cherry of a job if it lasts more than 2 months. And it might. One of the cities around here has a fire department that recently acquired quite a bit of land. The fire dept. is creating a mock town called "Safety Town" and it will have a post office, fire department, chamber of commerce, even a "mayor" which is probably just the head administrator. They are looking for someone to write stories that demonstrate the importance of fire safety. The stories will be geared to children from kindergarten age to about 6th grade, because the main "tourists" of Safety Town will be school children on field trips. What a fun job! And it pays well enough. There is a possibility it could turn into something long term or permanent, and I have some ideas that would help that right along. The next step is to get an interview with the fire department itself. While the university jobs pay more and have better bennies (discounted or free tuition, anyone?), this job sounds like a lot more fun. I think if I were to get any of these three positions I would be happier with life in general.

Last news for today before I go make sure my spaghetti doesn't boil over: I added a new blog to the blogroll, Aurorealis. I like her site, she's a fellow geek/retrophile. I will also be going through my blogroll to clean it up a bit. I realize I don't go read everyone every day any more, probably for the same reason I haven't written a lot of value here lately. Trust that I try to visit all of you regularly, even if that is once every week or two.

Life 12:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

April 29, 2005

adding to the census

A big congratulations goes out to my neice and nephew on the birth of their twins today. 5 lb, 12 oz and 5 lb 13 oz each, a boy and a girl. They have been wanting this addition to the family for a long time, and now they have three beautiful kids. I am so happy for them! I'll annoy you all with pictures when I get some.

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April 13, 2005

aging gracefully, part 2

In keeping with the theme of my post on aging, a friend of mine sent me this bit from Andy Rooney that has made the rounds several times. I think it bears repeating.

Andy Rooney says....
"As I grow in age, I value women who are over 40 most of all. Here
are just a few reasons why:

An over 40 woman will never wake you in the middle of the night to
ask, "What are you thinking?" She doesn't care what you think.

If an over 40 woman doesn't want to watch the game, she doesn't sit
around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And
it's usually something more interesting.

An over 40 woman knows herself well enough to be assured in who she
is, what she is, what she wants, and from whom. Few women past the
age of 40 give a darn what you might think about her or what she's

An over 40 woman usually has had her fill of "meaningful
relationships" and commitment." The last thing she wants in her life
is another dopey, clingy, whiny, dependent lover.

Over 40 women are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with
you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of
course, if you deserve it, they won't hesitate to shoot you if they
think they can get away with it.

Over 40 women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know
what it's like to be unappreciated.

An over 40 woman has the self-assurance to introduce you to her
women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her
best friend because she doesn't trust the guy with other women.

A woman over 40 woman couldn't care less if you're attracted to her
friends because she knows her friends won't betray her.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins
to an over 40 woman. They always know.

An over 40 woman looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not
true of younger women.

Over 40 women are forthright and honest. They'll tell you right off
you are a jerk if you are acting like one. You don't ever have to
wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise over 40 women for a multitude of reasons.
Unfortunately, it's not reciprocal.

For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of 40+, there is a
bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with
some 22-year-old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize.

Andy Rooney

Life 08:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 11, 2005

life is a dance, get out on the floor!

Okay, I am looking for new breakfast foods. I am bored with cereal, and it has too much sugar usually since my family is predisposed to diabetes. Bah. Humbug. I am not industrious enough to bake whole grain bran muffins. Plus I think I need a little protein in the mornings. Any suggestions? While I love leftover pizza, the goal here is to lose some weight. What? Exercise? Are you kidding? :)

The only exercise I am getting right now is dancing. You'd think this would be enough, but it really isn't. I have slacked on the yoga and am getting stiff, so dancing isn't as strenuous as it probably should be. However, I did get to perform with my dance buddy Jess last night at a Romanian restaurant. There was a "Romanian" feast, too, but it seemed a lot like Greek Salad and chicken and rice with an artichoke sauce. It was delicious, but not what I consider Romanian. Where's the mamaliga? Where's the tochitura? Okay, not that I really want to eat tochitura. Now sarmale....I love sarmale. Meat rolls in saurkraut leaves. Yum. With the mamaliga.

Anyway, the restaurant. It was the site of this month's Harem Night. We danced a skirt dance that was a big hit. Then Jess danced a great solo, but the words to the song were controversial and she offended someone. No more dancing to that song in public, which is a shame. It's a great song. She got several tips! We will perform the skirt dance again at the next hafla. We have also been asked back to dance at the next Harem Night, back at Stratos on May 5. Stratos has a better dance area. We are going to try to come up with something in the next month, but we'll see how that goes. We may fall back on something we already know. I'm kind of excited, really.

I am waiting to hear back from the few job opportunities I got last week, so keep your fingers crossed!

Life 11:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

March 21, 2005

in like a lion

Happy Equinox, Happy Spring! Ok, I'm a day late (and a dollar short) but I am thrilled that spring has finally sprung. Yeah, the lawn needs mown regularly now. Yeah, the weather is erratic and the pressure changes leave us all feeling like crap, at least here in Texas. But I can't complain that the temps are in the 70s and 80s  and the breeze blows through in a way that makes the local parks irresistable.

On that note, my creativity levels have increased, woohoo! My little gnomes and wizards are coming along (more photos soon) and I have finally picked the art back up and am creating characters for an online comic strip. I have the first two strips written but need to finish designing the way everything looks. Thank goodness for books on art and drawing since there just aren't any really good places to go learn to polish your drawing style here without being in school. Maybe they'd let me audit, but honestly I don't remember any classes at UNT teaching what I want to know. Oh well!

Thursday last was Harem Night at Stratos and the show was wonderful! My good friend/teacher Jessica Dawn and I are going to dance at the next Harem Night, April 10 at Constatin's. That is, if I can get the choreography memorized and my backbends working right again. I haven't been keeping my flexibility up as much as I should but this is a great reason to get it back, as well as my strength. 20 days and counting! Meanwhile, Little Egypt had another great weekend of classes and dancing and...I do have a copy of my last performance on DVD. For those who asked, your copies will be in the mail soon and I will post one here as soon as I figure out how to do it.

A word about the BellyDance Academy that is hosting the Harem Nights. The place is run by Neenah and she is a legend and a goddess. When I mentioned the woman who could roll quarters on her stomach, up and down, left row, then middle row, then right row, this is the woman. Her muscle isolation is incredible and her show is not to be missed! She is a lot of fun to watch and has great stage presence. Dancers like Neenah inspire me to keep working.

Dancing, fun stuff, Life 11:51 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 28, 2005

a bit of odd stuff

First I wanted to mention that the Dance From the Heart benefit was wonderful! I'll try to get around to a full report later, but meanwhile I was sorely amiss by not posting about the 11th anniversary of Bill Hicks' death. He was a great man and a fantastic comedian who used his art to affect change as he could and point out the general stupidity of most of the sheeple in the world. He was a comedic pioneer. Everytime you hear a Dennis Leary bit, know that it has its foundations deep in Bill Hicks territory.

On Neil Gaiman's site I found a link to a place linking to the Bill Hicks Foundation for Wildlife Rehabilitation. The Bill Hicks Foundation for Wildlife is a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing orphaned, ill, and injured wildlife in and around the Texas Hill Country. Just wanted to pass that information along in case anyone felt like donating to a good cause. Check out the Rant Off fundraiser on March 3. I love living in Texas.

Also on Neil's site I found a link to a study that shows that British and American people smile differently. Very interesting. It also explains why everyone, male and female alike, love Angelina Jolie.

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February 25, 2005

dance news

Just a reminder to those of you who come here for something more than the ongoing debate and shrine to Dr Scott, this Sunday the 27th is the DFW Dance From the Heart benefit for victims of the tsunami. Check out the Dance From the Heart website for a show near you.

DALLAS/FORT WORTH, TX. Dance From the Heart is coordinating with sponsors in cities across the US. Locally, we will present a Dance Benefit on Sunday, February 27, 2005 to aid those in Southeast Asia affected by the tsunami. Titled “Dance From The Heart, North Texas,” the Dallas/Fort Worth benefit will present workshops and performances of Tribal Fusion, Egyptian, Gypsy, Indian, and Polynesian style dance. This multi-cultural event will showcase the best in local dance talent. All dancers and instructors have donated their time in support of this cause. The Victory Arts Center, located at 801 W. Shaw Street in Fort Worth (www.victoryartscenter.com), has generously donated their theater and main hall for the event. Workshops begin at 10:00am on Sunday, February 27, 2005. Performances and shimmy thons will take place throughout the day, with an evening gala starting at 7:00pm. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Oxfam America, in support of their continuing relief efforts. This will be a free show, with donations to Oxfam greatly appreciated.

Next weekend, Saturday the 5th, is another Kismet Hafla in Carrollton, Texas. Yes, I'll be dancing in this one, with lots of fake tattoos painted on and a big decorated stick that I shake at the "opposing tribe" in the dance. There will be videos, and thanks to Name Hidden, I am going to try to move the video to mpeg format and post it here. That will be at least a month from now, as it takes that long to even get the video back from editing. This hafla is also the one we are calling Austin Invades Dallas, as the second half of the show has dancers up from Austin. I think the idea is that we will go down there sometime for a trade-off. At least I hope so, Austin is a wonderful town.

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January 19, 2005

cancer sucks

I have a friend who has been diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, and it sucks. He will be selling t-shirts soon, for a donation to help pay his bills. Here is his blog, and to the right, under my "Worthy Causes" heading you see a donate button with a jester on it. If you are so inclined, toss a little dosh his way. He's a good guy and his family are good people. I hope you are giving to the tsunami relief fund, but this is a way to help someone out that is closer to home. Thanks.

Life 11:29 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack