“Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear.” ~ Dave Barry

“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.” ~ Johnny Depp

I sat down to write a post but ended up playing Spider Solitaire. I just couldn’t find the words. So I thought I’d post these wonderful pictures. After all, it’s hard to compete with a smiling dog.

                   

Music by Nicolas Jaar, “Encore”

“I pretty much try to state in a state of constant confusion just because of the expression that it leaves on my face.” ~ Johnny Depp

Ramona’s Pino Grigio Crazy-Eyed Stare

 

“It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend, one’s present or future thirst, the excellence of the wine, or any other reason.” ~ Latin Proverb

So last night was my Real Housewives of NY fix, and boy was it crazy. Ramona: “Pinot Grigio? Where’s the Pinot Grigio?” But what makes each episode truly enjoyable is reading the next day’s synopsis by Richard Lawson on Gawker.com. He says it so much better than I ever could, so I’m sharing just a bit of it with you today.

I couldn’t have said it better myself . . .

After that there was sort of a lull and Bethenny and Alex made fun of Kelly, which was a great little scene. The island sky was purple behind them and they were just laughing on a yacht, which, as we all know, makes laughing better. But of course it had to get ruined again. Ramona went streaking by, yelling “HiI’mmarryingpinotgrigioandI’mgoin’totheHootersboatbyeeee,” and then Sonja and Kelly came bumbling up after her. Alex decided to go to the Hooters boat (moored next door) with Ramona, because she though it was a boat full of owls, and that sounded interesting, so that left Bethenny, Sonja, and Kelly alone. They traveled down to the bowels of the boat and sat in a living room area. Sonja was hilariously wine-drunk. Her eyelids were even more purple and hooded than usual, and she was doing that sort of hand-fitzing drunk talk. That’s really hard to describe, but like you know when people are drunk and they sort make these quick, dismissive movements with their hands while saying something, and usually they talk kind of fast. Like, “But forgetaboutit, you know, iss fine, [hand fitz].” She was that lovely kind of drunk. So she was tottering over there on an ottoman and Bethenny looked like she wanted to shoot herself because she was pregnant and couldn’t drink (why on Earth did you go then B???) and Kelly was just marching in place to the tune of the Bolivian national anthem. And then, of course, a fight broke out.

More later. Peace.

“Yellow Submarine,” by The Beatles

“When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.” ~ Chinese Proverb

Moonrise Long Key Florida by JJ

Moonrise on Long Key State Park, Florida by Janson Jones

“Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.” ~ Alice Walker 

Okay, so I’m back. Finally.

Brett’s last day of 11th grade was Friday. Eamonn’s graduation is tomorrow afternoon at 3. I am looking forward to Eamonn graduating, but I am not looking forward to the actual physical aspect of the ceremony. Huge crowd, people all together in the convocation center, hunting for parking. I can feel my claustrophobia setting in already. But it’s all for a good cause.

Brown Noddy Garden Key by JJ
Brown Noddy, Garden Key, Florida by Janson Jones

I told Eamonn that we wanted to take pictures of him in his cap and gown before we leave. Of course, he is not looking forward to that.  Trying to get Eamonn to stand still for five minutes to take a picture is almost impossible. He bitches the entire time. We did pick up his senior portraits, though, and he is quite handsome, if I do say so.

My niece graduates on Tuesday, and my old friend Chris’s son Gordon, who is the same age as Eamonn, graduates on Wednesday. May I just pause here to say how fricking old this makes me feel.

So in an effort to make myself feel a bit better, I gave myself a manicure and pedicure. I’m trying to keep myself from taking scissors to my hair again. One of these days, I’ll be able to visit Cathy so that she can fix the haircut I gave myself. Until then, I hide the flaws with the waves. It’s much harder to see an uneven cut when the hair is wavy and dark.

“Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.” ~ Corita Kent 

All of the pictures in this blog are from Janson Jones’s Floridana Alaskiana blog. He spent several weeks back in Florida a few weeks ago, and he has been posting some wonderful pictures.

Crocodile Lake Nat Wildlife Refuge Key Largo by JJ
Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Key Largo by Janson Jones

I thought that I would share some selections with you in tonight’s post. The images are from several areas of Florida, and include birds, toads, frogs, moonrise, sunset, and several other wonderful subjects. To see what Janson has posted so far, click on the link.

I love this picture to the left. Everything is so verdant and lush, and there is an air of mystery about the whole location—as if in walking down this path, you are walking back in time, into the wilderness.

Speaking of which, I had a horrible dream last night in which I took my camera and started beating it against a metal porch rail. It was horrible. Actually, the whole dream was horrible, full of betrayals, lies, violence and broken glass. Anyone want to interpret that one?

As always, I told Corey about my dream once I woke up, but it was one of those weird ones where you can wake up and then fall back to sleep, and the dream continues. I always think that when that happens the dream is more meaningful somehow. But how exactly? I have no idea. But I always end up feeling disconcerted for the whole day when I have a dream like that.

“Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.” ~ Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), Star Trek: The Next Generation 

In helping Brett to get his work completed for the end of the year, I reread Macbeth and Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. One of my graduate classes was a special seminar on Conrad. I don’t remember the exact reason why I needed three credits that I couldn’t get from the regular schedule, but I got approval to do an independent study.

Broad Headed Skink Blackwater Creek Florida
Broad Headed Skink, Blackwater creek, Florida by Janson Jones

The advisor they gave me was J. J. McNalley. He was a character, spoke in quotes all of the time. I liked the man tremendously, but would have preferred someone else for my advisor. J. J. thought that it would be splendid if I did research on Joseph Conrad. I would have preferred Virgina Woolf.

But I digress . . .

“Life resembles a novel more often than novels resemble life.” ~ George Sand

After I reread Heart of Darkness I started to think about Apocalypse Now. So I rewatched the movie. Although, the movie itself is still hard to watch. It is so full of violence and disillusionment. Just like the real Viet Nam war.

My favorite part is still the air cav guy played by Robert Duvall. I think that the Lt. Colonel Kilgore is probably my favorite Duvall role. He plays it to perfection.

Marlon Brando’s Colonel Kurtz is written to mirror Conrad’s Kurtz, but instead of ivory, the movie’s Kurtz is collecting people, souls. The movie plays Kurtz as having a mesmerizing voice, just like the Kurtz in the book. Brandon’s voice is perfect. The epic line, “The horror. The horror,” resonates.

“Life is a succession of lessons, which must be lived to be understood.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Eastern Six-Lined Racerunner Bahia Honda Key by JJ
Eastern Six-Lined Racerunner, Honda Key, Florida by Janson Jones

Other than that, Brett and I have watched Harry Potter 5 and 4 in anticipation of the release of The Half-Blood Prince. Yes, I like Harry Potter, and yes, I’ve read all of the books, at least three times. I’m actually quite sad that there won’t be any more additions to the series. The characters in the books grew up with each new book in the series, and I really admire the way Rowling made each successive book darker, keeping in mind that her audience was getting older, and the story necessitated moving from 11-year-old concerns to encounters with truly foul individuals, like Dolores Umbridge.

Yes, the basic story is about good versus evil, but characters like Umbridge are perfect antagonists for students: the teacher with the treacly sweet voice and the imperviousness to common decency. The one who addresses a room full of teenagers as “boys and girls.” Blech! Just thinking about this character makes my skin crawl.

That being said, I’m looking forward to the next installment of the movie version, even though we all know that it has an incredibly sad ending.

Other movies that I’m looking forward to are Inglorious Basterds, with Brad Pitt, and Public Enemies, with Johnny Depp. No. It’s not for the eye candy. Quentin Tarantino directed Basterds (yes, with an e), and Michael Mann directed Public Enemies. I love both directors and am hoping for a couple of good action movies that don’t involve large robots.

I know. It seems that I like both ends of the spectrum, but really, I’m pretty much at the action end unless it involves Tolkien, Star Trek, or something to do with literature. And no, I haven’t had a chance to see the new Star Trek. I’m still debating over that one. It’s hard to let go of the originals, even though I hear that the update is pretty solid.

“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Mediterranean Gecko Mt Dora Florida JJ
Mediterranean Gecko, Mt Dora, Florida by Janson Jones

And just let me finish by saying that I don’t have anything to wear to my son’s graduation. Oh, I have a closet full of clothes, but I feel like a sausage in everything that I own, which reminds me of a post that I read on Zirgar’s Fresh New Brain Squeezin’s. Zirgar delved into that sensitive area of being overweight.

Perhaps delve isn’t the correct word choice. It was more like broached the subject with a sledgehammer. It did remind me of the fact that I live in an area that is replete with woman in stretch pants, and shall we just say that stretch pants are not the most flattering attire for their body shapes?

Why do people do that? Seriously, why, or even how does a very large woman push herself into purple stretch capris with a cropped top? Now before you get riled, this is not an indictment on people who are overweight. I have no room to speak on this particular issue as I am carrying around more poundage than I like. What I’m talking about are people who choose to wear clothes that are too tight, too revealing, too skanky, too young, and too fugly for words.

I know that ordinary people do not have extraordinary loads of cash to spend on clothes when they are just trying to get by. But I shop in Target. I know that you can look on the 50 percent off rack and find a nice shirt for $7, a nice skirt for $8, a t-shirt that actually fits for $4. If you are going to buy clothes anyway, could you at least buy clothes that fit, or that are flattering, or cover up most of the private parts of your body?

Am I being too harsh? I don’t mean to be. I suppose I just don’t understand certain mindsets. Of course, if you are perfectly comfortable with your body, that’s great. If you are overweight, no one is saying that you have to hide in the house. I have worked with a few overweight people who dress to the nines and have wardrobes that made me salivate.

For me, the issue is not the weight or the body shape. The issue is fugly, ill-fitting clothes. Unless you are Rush Limbaugh . . .

Then the issue is not bouncing on your toes and making your egg-shaped body look like a Weeble (as in “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down”).

Great Egret Lower Matecumbe Key Fl by JJ
Great Egret, Lower Matecumbe Key, Florida by Janson Jones

Aren’t you glad that I used this beautiful picture instead of a picture of Rush?

And with that, I shall close. More later. Peace.

An Exploration into The Enneagram

Brand New Topic: The Enneagram

Background and History

enneagram
Sun Enneagram

One of the great things about belonging to a blogging community is that you find some really interesting sites. Lately, I’ve been enjoying another wonderful bout of insomnia, which has led to my blog perusing into the very wee hours of the morning. I came across a really beautiful site called “View Pacific”  (viewpacific.wordpress.com/), which is now included in my Interesting Sites category on the left hand of the page. While I was exploring this site, I read a very informative entry about Enneagrams, something about which I was totally uninformed. So, I left a thank you to the author for the great info, and after leaving the site, I did what I always do in such situations: I went exploring.

Enneagrams have been around for quite a while, just how long depends upon which source you read. Their usage and their meaning are also dependent upon which sources you consult. As best as I can summarize, one researcher, Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar Ph.D, traces the origins of the Enneagram to the 13th Century Islamic Sufi traditions of Central Asia based on the belief in the oneness of God. Bakhtiar claims that the nine-pointed symbol represents “the presence of God”  (http://www.sufienneagram.com/overview.html).

Other researchers claim that the Enneagram is a personality typing system used in psychology that was first developed in the 1950s by Oscar Ichazo of Brazil. Common knowledge is that one of Ichazo’s student’s, Claudio Naranjo further developed and refined the system in the 1970’s.

Purportedly, the most recent refinements to the Enneagram psychological personality system have come from D.R. Riso and R. Hudson, who have developed and entire industry on the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator, or RHETI, which is a modern synthesis of the nine personality types based on a number of ancient wisdom traditions. If you do a search on the Internet, Riso-Hudson will be your first hit. You can purchase tests, follow-up tests, test guides, interpretations of test results, books, seminars, etc. Apparently, assessing the personalities of your employees is a rather large, rather profitable business.

Then there is an entirely separate branch of Enneagram history that supposedly dates back to the Fourth Way, or can be tied to Kabbalah. G. I. Gurdjieff, writing in Russia in WWI, claimed that the nine-pointed Enneagram is:

“a symbol that represents the ‘law of seven’ and the ‘law of three’ (the two fundamental universal laws) and, therefore, the figure can be used to describe any natural whole phenomenon, cosmos, process in life or any other piece of knowledge. The basic use of the enneagram is to explain why nothing in nature and in life constantly occurs in a straight line, that is to say that there are always ups and downs in life which occur lawfully.”  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Way_Enneagram)

And if I had had another few days, I probably would have found another few theories on the Enneagram, its nine points, its ties to the Catholics, mysticism, and probably coral calcium.

And This Has What To Do With Lola, Pepsi, and Dogs, You Might Ask? 

So after all of this background reading, which, quite frankly, started to piss me off more than anything, I decided to just look at it in the way that View Pacific had intended: as an interesting insight into personality types. I mean, all of these different people claiming that it came from all of these different places, and then these two people in particular branding it and turning it into a form of screening potential employees, all the while hedging everything they said with sentences such as (I’m making these up): keep in mind that all personality types are blends of pieces of this and that, a 1 could also have pieces of a 4, and a 7 isn’t necessarily a serial killer (I’M MAKING THIS UP—REMEMBER? I don’t know if these people have a sense of humor or if they’re like Tom Cruise and the Scientologists . . .it’s the lack of sleep, it’s making me particularly snarky tonight).

So anyway, the first read that I did squarely placed me in the Number 4 category, which says (and again, I’ll summarize): I’m a dreamer (really?). I tend to keep things inside or to pour them out in a creative outlet (hmmm . . .). I can be reclusive and I can get depressed (what? you’re kidding me, right?).  I grieve longer than most people (did someone put a camera in my bedroom?). Number 4 Enneagrams have old souls (I swear I didn’t write these descriptions). Just to prove it, I’ll actually quote from a #4 description taken from Enneagram Explorations by Katherine Chernick Fauvre and David W. Fauvre :

Overview
You want to be gifted, intuitive, original and unique. More importantly, you want to be passionate, true to your feelings and uniquely authentic. You see yourself as sensitive, expressive and spiritual. You would like others to see you as idealistic, emotionally deep and compassionate. Your idealized image is that you are accomplished and special.

Motivated by the need to understand and to be understood, you desire experiences that are rich with feeling and meaning. You may find it easier to deal with painful emotions than to deal with the tedium of daily routine. You have the temperament of an artist and long to freely express yourself. You feel your emotions deeply and are not afraid to go emotionally where others fear to tread. This includes having an exquisite, intuitive ability to distinguish between subtle emotions that others often miss. Painfully self-conscious, you are often overly focused on how different you are from others. A true humanitarian, you have a natural passion for protest. At times intense and contrary, you are not afraid to think for yourself and voice your point of view.

Nostalgic by nature, you often focus on past experiences. This can lead you to deeper insights or to downward spirals of melancholy and/or painful unresolved feelings. Craving ideal circumstances or love, you often ruminate on what is missing and perceived to be important. Your tendency towards self-absorption is both an asset and liability. It can lead you to deep personal insights that can benefit everyone while feeding your self-deprecating sense of humor; but it can also make you appear to be self centered and disinterested in others. Feeling your own inner world so powerfully, it is good to remember that others’ experiences are just as real for them as yours are for you.

When you step out of the river of your emotions, you can bring forth your many talents into the world and express them in a way that is extraordinary and original. You are like the lotus flower growing in the mud that is able to transform emotionally painful experiences into fertilizer for personal growth. Attuned to feelings, you have an uncommon sensitivity when it comes to dealing with suffering. You are not afraid to hear about someone else’s troubles, and you can be a great friend to anyone in emotional pain. (emphasis added mine)

Famous 4s
Francis Bacon, John Barrymore, Ingmar Bergman, Peter Bogdanovich, Marlon Brando, Jackson Browne, Raymond Burr, Kate Bush, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Prince Charles, Eric Clapton, Kurt Cobain, Judy Collins, James Dean, Johnny Depp, Neil Diamond, Isak Dinesen, Bob Dylan, Judy Garland, Martha Graham, Billie Holliday, Lena Horne, Julio Iglesias, Jeremy Irons, Michael Jackson, Jewel, Angelina Jolie, Janis Joplin, Harvey Keitel, Charles Laughton, T. E. Lawrence, Vivien Leigh, Rod McKuen, Thomas Merton, Joni Mitchell, Jim Morrison, Morrissey, Edvard Munch, Liam Neeson, Stevie Nicks, Anais Nin, Nick Nolte, Laurence Olivier, Paris, Edith Piaf, Pink Floyd, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allen Poe, Prince, Anne Rice, Percy Shelley, Simone Signoret, Paul Simon, Meryl Streep, James Taylor, Spencer Tracy, Vincent Van Gogh, Orson Welles, Tennessee Williams, Kate Winslet, Virginia Woolf. (I can’t believe how many of these people I admire and adore, and ooh ooh, Annie Lennox is a 4 as well.)

I Know I am But What Are You

enneagram_alltypes
Enneagram Personality Types in Groups of 3

 

So now that we all know what I am . . . I think that I’ve figured out what everyone in my family is, but I haven’t told them. Here are a couple of links to sites that I thought were the most straight-forward in figuring out what number Enneagram you are without a whole lot of test-taking: http://www.enneagrambook.com/, which also offers links to other sites, or http://www.enneagram.net/types.html, which is where I found the description with the long list of 4’s to whom I can so closely relate.

I’m certain that I made the whole thing harder than it needed to be, but I have to do my research first. I like the idea of the the Enneagram being 2500 years old. That adds an air of mysticism to it, which, of course, appeals to me. What I don’t like is how it has become so commercialized. Isn’t that always what happens, though? One of these days, they’ll put a portable Enneagram in Happy Meals with a secret Ronald McDonald decoder ring. I can’t stand it.

Enough already. More later. Peace.