“The clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.” ~ Jack Kerouac

 

Prayers on the Wing, by T. Umlaut

                     

“When you do something, you should burn yourself completely, like a good bonfire, leaving no trace of yourself.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki
Gypsy Alley Mail by GemFireAir

Greetings from my computer. Yes, my computer, as in the one belonging to me. Is my euphoria simply jumping off the page? Is there a big, goofy smile on my face? 

That would be yes, on both counts. 

But whoa, doggie. Too much happiness could be dangerous . . . as in the newly-fixed computer does not quite boot up correctly; it still reads a CPU fan error, and oh, yes, it shuts off without warning. 

So why so much joy, you might ask . . . because I know that you are sitting there with bated breath just hanging on my every word so that you can be up-to-date with my life . . . not . . . 

Simple, even with the remaining hiccups, it’s still my computer, my little corner of the world, my files, my keyboard, and my Bose speakers. I had to force myself to go to bed around 5 a.m. after downloading the temporary files that I had stored on Corey’s computer. Corey, ever diligent and attentive, took my glee in stride as I bounced around the bedroom and stopped him several times to make him listen to the sound coming from my speakers. 

After not having it for a month and a half, having it—quirks and all—is bliss. 

“…I am a water woman, not a vessel, not something you can sail or charter. I am instead the tributary, the river, the fluid source, and the sea itself. I am all her rainy implications. And what do you, with your rusted compass, know of love?” ~ Kate Braverman
Not my humble desk . . .

So yes, it is a cloudy, drizzly day here. The pool water is green as there has been no need to clean for the past three days of rain. At least the temperatures are not ridiculously hot. 

I spent several hours this afternoon cleaning my pseudo office area (also known as corner of the bedroom). It’s amazing how much clutter can accumulate when left to its own devices. I removed everything from the desktop, dusted the desk, wiped down the lamp, desk accessories, and dumped the critters from inside my keyboard. I also hung the clothes that I had tossed onto my chair, and threw out oodles of scraps of paper onto which I had written various notes that are now irrelevant. 

In going through my post-it collection of notes, I found a password, an account number, a few quotes, a telephone number that I had been looking for, the name of the new phone that I want to get someday (of course, it will be outdated before I get it), and the titles of several books on my to-read list. Speaking of reading, now that my computer is accessible again, I need to catch up on my book reviews. I have four books sitting here waiting for reviews, two of which are notable, and two of which are forgettable. 

“The world is incomprehensible. We won’t ever understand it; we won’t ever unravel its secrets. Thus we must treat the world as it is: a sheer mystery.” ~ Carlos Castenada
VW Bus: Back to Naure

 On to other things . . . Eamonn finally got another car, a 1991 Honda. I had no input in this purchase (otherwise, I would have strongly advised against purchasing a car equal to my age unless it were a classic like a Bug or VW bus; but hey, what do I know?). Eldest son’s college classes started today. Unfortunately, the car, which he has owned less than a week, broke down on his way home.  I completely understand his vanquished attitude. 

Classes begin on August 30 for Brett. He is already beginning to stress. Nothing I can say will make him feel any better about this next big step in his life. He will have to begin and see where the months ahead take him. However, I did give him his starting college gift a few days early to try to assuage the fear: a beautiful pen. As with many other things, my children love good writing utensils as much as their mother. 

Nothing (well, I exaggerate), beats a beautiful pen that glides across the page effortlessly. 

In other news: I drank my last Pepsi this afternoon. Not nearly as traumatic as what my sons are experiencing, but my own personal hell. And Alfie is having withdrawal from spending the afternoon in my lap. I cannot work in my little corner and hold the little doggie, no matter how much he whines and protests.  As I write this, he is sitting forlornly next to my chair glaring at me. Who said that dogs don’t have facial expressions? 

“I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.” ~ Hermann Hesse
Queen Anne's Lace by Miranda Wildman Art

Other than that, summer is winding down, and I feel as if I haven’t taken the time to enjoy it at all. Probably because I haven’t. Admittedly, it’s been a strange summer, and perhaps I feel as I haven’t really done anything because the computer has been out of commission for so long, and we had no deck parties at Anne’s when the Germans were here, and I haven’t spent much time floating around in the pool. 

Not to mention that the continuing saga of health insurance, medication, and doctor’s visits has remain unchanged over the past two and a half months. In fact, I had yet another mix-up with a pharmaceutical company just today, which led to a very pleasant conversation with a Wal-Mart pharmacist. Perhaps I should be kinder as I do not know what kind of attitude I would have if I had to work at Wal-Mart, but it seems that most pharmacists are unpleasant on the telephone, except for the swing shift pharmacist at Walgreen’s who seems happy to be speaking with anyone. 

Time to watch “Project Runway.” Don’t be envious—a working computer, a pouting dog, Bose speakers, unhappy children, and Project Runway—how much can one person have? Jealousy is not attractive on you. 

More later. Peace. 

Music by Dayplayer, “Neverending Summer,” kind of whimsical 

If it’s Friday, it must mean leftovers . . .

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“Blue Comes Through,” by Alice Dalton Brown

“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself,” ~ Zen Proverb

“If we wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come.” ~ Arapaho Proverb

Okay, so I haven’t posted in two days. I am going through serious withdrawal. I was working on a post called Twenty-six Things That Won’t Disappear when my computer crashed—again. I’m really not going to be able to hold off much longer on downloading all of my files onto flash drives and completely reinstalling everything from scratch.

Corey says that he’ll do it whenever I’m ready, but when do I have time in my über busy schedule to step away from the keyboard? I mean, in between all of the galas and social events that I attend, and my special appearances to talk about my writing career, I just can’t seem to find the time. So many people to do, so many things to see, or something like that.

Damn. There I go being delusional again. Sorry.

“If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him . . . ” ~ Dhamapada Proverb

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Torture? Who me?

So anyway, I might try to get back to my list of 26 things, but I’ve kind of lost the anger that was behind the post. I’ll bet that you’ll never guess who made me angry . . .

Gee, you’re good. Yep. It was W. and Darth Cheney, and the whole report on torture. So when I get riled again, which could happen the next time I watch Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow, I’ll probably finish my list. I know that you can hardly wait.

“There is nothing you can see that is not a flower; there is nothing you can think that is not the moon.” ~ Basho

Moving along, I got some really great comments on my list of my favorite 100 rock ‘n roll songs, even though I cheated and listed 115 songs. So I was thinking that I might have to do my favorite 100 movies. Memphis Mafia said that he had done his favorite 100 movies, so I’ll have to be checking that out soon.

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Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro in Heat

I do love a good movie. Last night, Corey and I watched the latest DeNiro/Pacino movie: Righteous Kill. I love those two together. Even though they were only on screen together for the last part of Heat, I loved that movie, just knowing that they were playing cat and mouse with each other was enough for me.

In Righteous Kill, they are together in almost every scene. The movie did not get great reviews, but that never bothers me. I decide for myself (what a surprise), and I just think that as far as actors go, it’s pretty damned hard to top DeNiro or Pacino.

Maybe I will have to do that movie list after all, but I don’t know that I would ever be able to do my top 100 books. Maybe if I did it by genre, just my mystery/suspense novels. Hmm. Things that make you go hmm.

“The most important point is to accept yourself and stand on your two feet.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

I got a call from the Stand Up for Virginians people regarding the long comment that I made when I signed the petition. Seems they liked what I had to say.

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Sally Field: "You like me. You really like me."

Want to know a secret? It was an awesome feeling. Validation for the first time in quite a while. Don’t get me wrong, all of you wonderful people who support me by reading me on a regular basis and suggest my blog to other people are a constant source of validation. Sometimes your comments make me go all Sally Field: They like me . . . They really like me. (If that reference makes no sense to you, then you didn’t see Field win her Oscar for (not Norma Rae) whatever it was she won her Oscar for.)

But back to the validation thing. Since I stopped working almost two years ago, I have had my dark moments when I just don’t feel that I am contributing anything of value to society. Granted, not all of my jobs involved contributing anything meaningful to society, but in most of my jobs, I was able to leave my mark on something, and even the smallest thing can have some meaning.

So when I got the call about my comment, I really felt good about myself again. I had written something on an open forum, spoken my mind, and it mattered.

Of course this does not mean that I won’t still be sitting here everyday writing about whatever strikes my fancy for anyone who happens to stop in. This blog is my lifeline. It keeps me sane, which is why having the computer act up tends to tweak my temper just a wee bit.

“All of the significant battles are waged within the self.” ~ Zen Proverb

This weekend is supposed to be absolutely gorgeous here. I plan to sit outside and read and soak up the rays. Yes, yes, I’ll be using sun block. Don’t want any telltale sun damage. I already have a hard enough time looking at myself in the mirror.

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No Filipino Faces Here

What a telling comment that is. People who don’t know me might think that I’m fishing for comments when I become self-deprecating. But people who really know me understand just how insecure I am about my appearance. And I can tell you exactly when it started: when I was a young child. Truly. No lie.

Try to imagine how it felt to be half Filipino, half American, sitting in a classroom with a bunch of white English school children. You see, I began school while my dad was stationed in England. So I had an American accent and a decidedly different name: Lolita Liwag.

Then, fast forward a few years, and I’m sitting in a classroom full of American school children, only this time, I have a very proper British accent. Still have the olive skin, dark hair and Asian eyes. Still had the oddest name in a class full of  girls named Kim, Brook, Nancy, Meg, and Linda.

The reality is that everywhere I have ever been, I have been the different one, and because of that, I have always had to prove myself. I have proved myself on my jobs with my abilities, but my quirkiness born of a façade of toughness, has always set me apart. I once had a co-worker tell me (after we had been friends for awhile that when she was first introduced to me, and I shook her hand, that I scared the crap out of her. That really blew my mind, especially since she was known as the reigning bitch. I scared her? Whoa.

“And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” ~ T. S. Eliot

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Battlestar Galactica's Anders & Starbuck

Maybe I’m like Starbuck from “Battlestar Galactica.” Not in the sense that she’s incredibly buff, blond, and fierce. But, you know, all tough talking on the outside, but sensitive and loving on the inside . . . It’s a thought.

Speaking of which, I was longingly looking on Amazon at the boxed sets for Seasons 4 and 4.5. When I get some money (if?), I’m buying those babies. Then, I’m going to sit down and have myself a BG marathon, starting with episode one of the first season. No, wait. Back that up. I have to get the movie first, the one that started the new series. I don’t think that I have that either, and in fact, I don’t believe that I’ve ever seen the two-hour movie. 

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Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings

Getting back to my plan: I’m going to sit down and start with the two-hour movie, and then I’m going to watch every single episode from every single series. It will be just like when I watched every extended version of Peter Jackson’s masterpiece Lord of the Rings.

The first version would come out, and we would buy that, and then I would proceed to watch that over and over until the extended version came out. It was sort of a ritual. I remember the boys saying something to me about falling asleep to the music that played as the credits rolled. Think of it as a kind of lullaby, I would say.

I watched each of those at least ten times after they came out. My friend Rebecca would say, “What did you do last night?” And I would get that goofy smile, and she would say, “Not again. You watched it again?”

“There is no fire like passion; there is no evil like hatred; there is no pain like this body; there is no happiness greater than peace.” ~ Dhamapada Proverb

What can I say. I am a woman ruled by my passions. When I’m passionate about something, I am very passionate. Granted, that can have its downside, for example, when I get too intense about something and cannot understand why everyone else is not as intense as I am.

But at the same time, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to certain movies or television shows: “Highlander” (loved me some Adrian Paul) (ooh aside: Plans are in the works to remake the original Highlander movie. Hooray!); “Battlestar Galactica,” such a great remake, “The X-Files,” never the same after Mulder left, but I had an X-Files coffee mug that changed messages when hot liquid was poured into it (too cool), “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” best of all of the series even though Spock was not a character.

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Adrian Paul as Duncan McLeod in Highlander

 And the Underworld movies (what I wouldn’t give to have boots like Selene), one of the best openings to any movie in the first of the three.

You get the general idea. In fact, when I was teaching at ODU, I really wanted to teach a Science Fiction class, but they weren’t ready to add it to the curriculum at that point.

So, my geekiness aside, my point is that my fierce loyalty towards family and friends also extends to certain shows and movies (but I still wouldn’t attend a sci-fi convention; aside from the total geek factor, who would I be?).

Well, I think that I’ll stop now and put on the first Underworld movie. I don’t think that I’ve watched it in several months. Although, Brett and I are in the middle of re-watching Lord of the Rings; the only problem is that we can’t watch it on the big screen because the DVD player that is hooked up to that television is being skittish (like my computer) and will only play CD’s but not DVD’s. Go figure.

More later (as long as my computer cooperates). Peace.