elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 01:55 pm

Prednisone seems to be leading the side-effect race, particularly with wakefulness. Awake late, awake early. I dozed through the mid morning, and i am somewhat out of it now. I decided to eschew caffeine, which may be part of this splitting headache.

We watched Gravity Friday night, which had me pondering whether the debris cloud issue was real (very plausible, it seemed) and whether we could effectively lock ourselves in our planet with our debris. Today i find the description of the Kessler syndrome. The original article presenting the issue describes a belt, so i presume we are far more likely to just make particularly useful and inexpensive orbits unsafe than totally deny ourselves access to space (barring that intention). It also seems that the cascade of collisions would not occur over the timescale of the movie.

The lake, it turns out, is Lake Powell, rendered unrecognizable with greenery from computer graphics.


Last night's ride woke us up, and i could hear buildings shaking. I tweeted promptly, remembering the first medium sized quake i experienced in the bay area. This time, even with the very massive Edward, there was no way to mistake that shaking for a cat jumping on the bed. My goal was to get back to sleep as soon as possible, so after filling out "Did you feel it," i did my sleep ritual and managed to even sleep in.

I am looking for any notes of the 2007 5.4 Earthquake. I remember it vividly. I seem to have no notes in LJ, none in my elainegrey twitter account, and i can't go back that far in my elaine grey twitter account. Ah! The date is in UTC: here's my LJ entry.


I've received several emails from my distressed staff member. He's concerned about how he can't remember what he said, and is clearly obsessing over the event. He's been dealing with something he has identified as a health problem for several months. I am impressed at how it seems no doctor has said, "do you think you might be depressed?" to his presenting symptoms of low energy and lack of motivation. On the other hand, i think he would dismiss that all together: he seems to be very dismissive of emotions. With his concern over his mental gaps of the conversations on Thursday he's now reporting he's going to see a psychiatrist.


I continue to rest. But i'm having tea this morning since i got plenty of sleep overnight.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, August 21st, 2014 07:13 am
Yesterday was triggery. There were some excellent aspects: i successfully isolated an hour to get some things done first thing, and i got a call-back from a psychiatrist who sounds tolerable. However, engaging with the health insurance company and their obsolete list of providers (3 of 5 no longer taking patients, the remaining 2 with month long waits) did not cheer me.

Again, thank you to the three professionals who have the "no longer taking new patients" message on their voice mail!

There were kerfluffles and poor communication channels. One kerfluffle had me thinking back to my mental state a year ago: job loathing, huge crisis, weeks of round the clock crisis response work. I do see from a journal review that i was trying to keep a good frame of mind: i noted something good from my previous incompetent "new director."

I believe i have deeply offended the HR professionals by blowing off participation in last fiscal year's "Management Incentive Program" and then saying the reason was because i found it annoying. My new boss raised his eyebrows, and went with a whatever, (but may have forwarded my response verbatim). In retrospect perhaps just an abject apology would have been more politic. Apparently, one must participate in the incentive program.

While i had apparent success in the mental health professional lottery, Christine had a failure. Possibly triggery bad behavior from a therapist )

One thing about the elephants: one of the concurrent issues was Christine going off paxil after over a decade of use. As time has passed, my conclusions are that it has a really nasty withdrawal. Now that the withdrawal distress is subsiding, she seems to be coping with the elephants pretty well. During the withdrawal distress i was really worried about her, and so was urging care of a psychiatrist. Now, i think much of the worrisome reactivity was withdrawal.

There are still elephants tromping about, and i still need to let her lean on me when she gets tired, but she's got capacity again to let me lean on her.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, August 17th, 2014 07:43 am
My yam was downed pretty quickly and proficiently yesterday morning. It's made me think: i've had many fewer early meetings (is my new boss glowering at folks for me?) and so i'm wondering if i can now begin to set aside morning time as Work-Yam time when i am working from home.

In other work news, my new boss has offered to "make it happen" for me, where "it" is a rather nebulous new job that is not management but more product direction oriented. I am very curious as to what he has in mind for "it" but it sounds very good.


We did some shopping yesterday morning, culminating in a stop at a glorious Italian bakery where we splurged on a half dozen cannoli. They sell Amarena Fabbri Wild Italian Cherries: i wonder if that's the cherries that at the end of the cannoli. Christine hasn't eaten her share yet. I think i can hold out on eating my last one for perhaps 90 minutes more.


After we got home both of us had some variation of being down, low energy, something. It was odd. I read the following and pondered about whether i should mention last week's fever to the doctor:

Five residents of Santa Clara County have been infected with the West Nile virus … Those with the virus in the county live in areas where the highest concentration of mosquitoes carrying West Nile were found this year, including Mountain View….

Symptoms: http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/symptoms/

I collected our share of the farm box in the early evening and loved the look of one of the huge beefsteak tomatoes. I had a vision of a dinner of grilled cheese sandwiches with the tomatoes and, yes!, it was decadent and delicious.

I really need to make the salad niçoise and ginger roasted apples and beets i planned last week. The beets and apples are sad relics at the bottom of the fridge. So, that's on today's to-do list


I created a Twitter list to consolidate the streams of many of the journalists (plus Alderman @AntonioFrench and @Felonious_munk) in Ferguson, Mo, and started reading it yesterday. I checked in for a half hour before curfew last night, watching the live stream from VICE news, but *cough* my bedtime meant missing the post curfew events. I generally believe getting caught up in the news cycle is a bad idea. There's a term from postmodern discourse that describes the way we humans can get caught up and own a story that isn't ours. Various school shootings, various tragedies get picked up by national media, and it seems to me people consume them emotionally without critically examining the news. They are, truly, stories, and not news. How aware are we of our own local shootings and tragedies?

So, i do try hard to keep news as news and not as story: to look for news that informs and doesn't inflame.

Why am i reading the twitter feeds? Because the injustice in this country isn't localized to St Louis, and because the feeds are giving me the insight into the pain of those who live subject to the injustice. I think of the transit police's shooting of unarmed Oscar Grant: why didn't i get up and do something. (Probably depths of depression at that time? Or in the long downward slide?) No one in Meeting talked about it.

I may talk about it today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cases_of_police_brutality_in_the_United_States#California seems helpful, although there's the recent issue of the older woman... Marlene Pinnock.


OK, that cannoli awaits.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, August 16th, 2014 07:19 am
Moss Landing Dunescape

From two weeks ago, nice bigger.

Taking asthma meds: still coughing. Took yesterday easier than perhaps i should have, but plan to start work shortly to get the hardest thing done. I went through the "Learning about learning" course week 3: this addressed procrastination and a bit about memory. It all continues to be a refresher, but -- if i had learned this before grad school!! I don't know how the depression would have played in, but the depression and the procrastination led to a vicious, vicious spiral into the black hole. I don't think memorization was an issue for me in grad school: indeed, the focus on just deriving everything from known concepts and not having to fill in blanks about names means i'd no need to memorize, just conceptualize. This section also addressed memorization and mentioned some of the mental hacks i've picked up in the past year. The Anki software i've recommended was given a brief positive shout out, as well.

In the slides there was another sad frog rendered in clip art and the lecturer noted some writing coach as recommending eating the frog first in the day. What is it with eating poor frogs? It's yams for me, and i'm off to eat mine.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, August 14th, 2014 06:03 am
Twitter news, thank you for the OMG-headshake of Ferguson news overnight. The fascinating view of http://map.ipviking.com/ had revealed to me last Tuesday the Anonymous attack on the St Louis area.

Query: Are there yams i've eaten in the past day, yams getting cold on the plate?

There are probably yams getting cold, as i have been feeling like a lump as i wait to clear from the asthma attack (and then had the face pain flare yesterday afternoon into evening). There's a staff review that is definitely on the to-do list as critical to wrap up.

In Fury news: the psychiatrist Christine went to see yesterday sent her packing when she mentioned her other therapist. He wants to be your only mental health provider. I haven't sent my letter yet to the health care company. MUST SEND EDITED LETTER. Is that a Yam? Probably. I should call, too. Have them find someone competent again as the guy Christine saw was one of the only highly ranked providers for the health care company. She's going to go see another person out of pocket who comes recommended by her current therapist.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, August 11th, 2014 06:33 am
I woke far too early in the predawn gloom, and didn't fall asleep easily. The last hour before trying to fall asleep and the hour before journaling, though, i have made good progress on sweeping up loose ends. I'm beginning to feel a sense of knowing what i've committed to out there, and like i can make decisions about what to do next without missing something important.

I almost missed a commitment yesterday morning: i was signed up to close Meeting for Worship, but having been feverish the past few days i had lost that thread. I didn't want to leave Christine in the morning.... It worked out fine, as i recalled as i drove in.

Today's query: What joy have i experienced in the past day (week)?

I was thinking about joy during worship, and how i don't know if i sense joy as an experience that often. "Rejoice," i thought, and i realize i do know how to do that. (Some difference between active and passive experience, i suppose.) I rejoice often in seeing the expressions of contentment on our sleeping cats, and, with Greycie Loo (who never seems content in the way the boyos do) i rejoice in when she reaches out and asks for affection.

This past week i've rejoiced in my borage plant: tossing some of the bright blue flowers in a salad of basil, cucumber, tomato, and orange, pinching back some of the faded blossoms to see if that promotes continued blooming along the cyme.

"Make Grace a habit, not a ritual," came to me during worship, too, tied up with my reflection on joy. What i call grace is a refreshing experience, washing away clutter that overwhelms me and helping me see the simple next steps forward.

I noticed yesterday evening, as i awaited my brother's visit, that i had the energy and clarity to do some chores -- with ease, not with "gotta do." I was aware in the moment of the ease, and i will say i rejoiced in it.

I'm not sure how to make grace a habit: other ways of thinking about it are remembering to be present in the moment. I've lots of little triggers i've tried to create for myself out there: i'll just keep reminding myself.

I know what woke me was anxiety about a meeting today. So it goes.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, August 10th, 2014 07:31 am
This morning's dream ended with a rocky beach shore landscape, with the tide far out, and instead of fascinating tide pools, there was junk junk and more junk. Earlier in the dream the landscape was very cold, a village of some sort, with horses in a corner lot and a handful of us standing at that corner, when a white colt jumped cleanly over the fence and went running about in the joy of being young and coordinated. A great deal more in the dreams: a code written in playing cards? But little beyond impressions left. Foreign coinage. Something about the arctic. Hotels. Public transportation on carts or backs of trucks.


I was reminded yesterday of my intent to journal in response to queries (mucking through my inbox), so this morning i have "rolled" for "Do I let people in power (politicians, large companies, influential organizations) know of my concerns? Do I follow that up with action such as voting, shopping or donating differently?" This comes from a list a queries a friend wrote up for allies.

Christine has lead us in one direction: due to the seal hunts we boycott Canadian fish. I don't write letters as much as i would like, though. I'm happy to say that yesterday i spent some time reading an environmental impact statement and wrote the City of Cupertino of my concerns about how they were progressing with project approval. I think the alert email i received was a little too ... overwrought, but it is a sensitive and critical habitat.

So, other than a few choice points of evidence, the answer is no. I sit in the morning gloom and wonder what i will, could, do about that. What do i want to do about that? I can imagine what i can do, with joy and skill, about the project in sensitive habitat: i'm putting time and energy into developing those skills. Advocacy in the face of injustice: first i need to open myself to being exposed to the injustices, and i fear being overwhelmed.


Meanwhile, i'm pretty sure the fever has passed and i'm mostly back to myself. Some evidence in hindsight comes to mind, and i wonder if i caught the bug at the aquarium where all those vectors were screaming and running around. When i was feeling my worst, Christine subscribed to the Consumer Reports website and did research on what was the best thermometer, and then went out and bought it.

I've subsequently found myself with up to three degree variations in temperature measurements over five measurements. Sometimes throwing out the outlier can help, but sometimes not. I don't know what i'm supposed to think, but a baseline seems required. The thermometer instructions note that one has a lower temperature in the morning than the evening and that there can be a difference of .2 degrees due to slight differences in measuring: neither explains a three degree difference.

The last time i had a mercury thermometer, i was in college. I dropped it on the terrazzo floor of my eighty some year old dorm room, and the environmental team showed up in hazmat suits to clean it up.

I wonder if you can buy them on ebay? Ooooh! You can.

elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 07:44 am
"Conditions of Enoughness:" I got my Monday's (day off) and Tuesday's goals done. I note that I am a very very easy grader on meeting my daily goals. Someone was once trying to suggest i drop my expectations for targets: currently i have a list of walking, talking microbreaks, journaling, and some other self care goals. These are behaviors i want to turn to habits, but rarely do i do them all, so a weekly review invariably finds me short. This doesn't bother me as much as the idea of not trying to make those all daily habits. None of them are competing goals: i never have a competition between journaling and walking as one is a morning habit and the other is an evening habit for me. Thus, i don't see what dropping one to focus on the other would do to "help" me.

Setting (and meeting) "Conditions of Enoughness" -- limited and specific daily goals -- is another self care practice. I generally use these for highlighting things i would procrastinate in doing. Oh, if i could set aside a chunk of time at the *beginning* of my work day! Instead, the time for these is after 2pm. (Which is when i would prefer to have meetings!) The "easy grader" thought came to mind because one of my COEs for yesterday wasn't completed, but it more than doubled in scope between when i put it on my list (two familiar change write-ups) and when i started (plus two less familiar, plus a three unique write-ups). Still, i worked on it all afternoon, so yay me.

Google's contact harvesting: Wow, what a lot of contacts. And strange ones - there's one for my grandmother who died before Google existed. Is that from some photo label? I'm deleting it, anyway. I don't know what i'm breaking, but they need better metadata if they're going to intertwingle details this way.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 10:00 pm
Back from Monterey (late afternoon Saturday). The drive on Friday, despite leaving early, was... long. Some of the length was due to avoiding the heavy traffic: we took the route over Hecker Pass for the first time. I did enjoy that drive, and found the western vistas after we crossed over the pass to be quite fine.

Watsonville was having their strawberry festival, and that introduced more traffic.

We stopped at Elkhorn Slough's Kirby Park, and I ambled down the trail (roughly 3000') and then walked back at a decent clip. That was a good walk: i am still in discomfort with my ankles, but can't stay still any longer. 144 photos: plants (including the poison oak), crabs (Pachygrapsus crassipes, known as the striped shore crab or lined shore crab), distant shore birds (the wider-angle lens will not do the sightings any favors), and two bunnies. I've already deleted 40+ photos: i kept trying to get a sequence of terns diving. Never quite succeeded, and all were too far away. (OK, now down to 20 photos left in lightroom. Even then, the photos aren’t that aesthetically pleasing.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 04:56 pm
Yesterday and today i continue with the nigh OCD data organizing. It's clearly an escape behavior of some sort, one i can remember from past. I've started writing a simple script to convert a VCF (VCARD) file to the Evernote XML format, so all the cards can be imported into Evernote.

I feel like i am reinventing a wheel, and wondering if i should learn python to do this instead of the quick awk script.

elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Sunday, July 27th, 2014 07:12 am
Rain this morning! Or, "rain," but wet stuff from the sky splatting on the pavement and plants.

Probably just enough to rearrange the summer dust.


Last week exhausted through sheer work, yesterday had some elephants stampeding and i engaged in some rest. Part of the rest was doing a little genealogy: a distant cousin in Sweden had contacted my mother's cousin who forwarded the family summary to me. I entered in the summary, correcting other links (usually spouses i had listed as siblings) and updating details. I sent her the summaries i have and a little bit about myself.

I also had an email from someone who thinks they have a connection to my Swedish great grandfather, who shows up in the 1910 census with several children claiming to arrive in 1880, when he would have been around 6 years old. Using the form of the names she suggests, i still had no luck.


Must find some vacation time soon.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, July 24th, 2014 06:36 am
First day of meetings went well.

As did the second & third.

Exhausting. I have anxieties about the impression i am making, totally died when i realized how i was adjusting my bra straps( as they slipped down my sloping shoulders) at the conference table. I am so frowsy. And then there are other dimensions of professional behavior where i feel i am slipping.

So here's some gorgeous camera trap bunnies: http://natureofaman.blogspot.com/2014/07/pygmies-of-great-basin.html
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, July 21st, 2014 06:29 am
Did i get things done yesterday? No, not really. But i did do things. I prepped some veggies for meals: if i cut up the cabbage, Christine will make a delicious slaw. And i snipped up the green beans and peppers from the farm box, adding two beans and one tiny pepper from our garden.

I added amaranth leaves to my dinner. I think i'm going to start eating them much more frequently. They're an extremely easy green to grow.

I imagine a plot of mustard and amaranth and sunflowers. I'm sure there are other plants to add there. Indeed the thistle would be another: rich in seeds and greens. A bunch of vigorous colorful edibles, for humans and birds. I wonder if chickens would do well on thistle seeds. (This is filed away in my, "When we have a farm(ette) some day," speculation.)

Cooking is a stress because the microwave in the convection-microwave has become so temperamental it is useless. This is the second time the convection-microwave has died before its time: it was just earlier this year Christine went round and round getting a replacement for one. Care for elephants means she does not have the bandwidth to deal with this. (We use the convection-microwave because the oven is HUGE. Heating up that volume of air just for a small meal for the two of us seems insane.) I've proposed we just buy a tiny microwave. We'll wait a bit though. Other than popcorn, i think we can get by without. (Christine argues against stove top popped popcorn.)

The kitchen needs a purge of things we never use, anyhow.

Cirsium vulgare (Bull thistle)

I also began photographing a bull thistle we snatched from beside the highway. I'd scoped it out some time earlier, and on Saturday i nabbed it. My, the prickles are significant! I'd wanted to do some focus stacking of the seed with its plumes, but gravity pulls down the plumes too fast shot to shot. Thistle down is amazing: i can easily imagine stuffing pillows or quilts with it. I do want to take a series of images of the down expanding: its impressive how it expands. The down is so silky in contrast to the spiked leaves.

Cirsium vulgare (Bull thistle)

This week is all meetings, all day.

I have started walking in the evening, around the pool, listening to the biology lectures. At 36 hours plus, even at double speed, these lectures will keep me busy. However, with the walking, plus a commute every day this week, i'll be steeped in this section on how structure develops in organisms by Saturday.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, July 19th, 2014 07:44 am
I inflicted the trailer to Zardoz on Christine last night. She had insisted on showing me a few early scenes of Connery playing MacBeth from about the same era: i thought it was fair play. Then again, you can't unsee things.


I'm not sure where i got this link, but it is a depressing article about data management and why poor schools can't win at standardized testing: http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/07/why-poor-schools-can-t-win-at-standardized-testing/374287/

I don't know where to begin. The layers of game going on here are heartbreaking: i hate games. This system is so horribly gamed for profit and not value.


Something entertaining goes here but i've forgotten it.


A very abbreviated rant goes here:
* News article about how Santa Clara County officials are working with "community organizations" to provide relief for unaccompanied refugee children at the US Border is posted to meeting mailing list.
* Several, "Wonderful, we should be involved posts"
* I post the contact info for the official to the mailing list, and a question as to contacts at the San Jose Meeting who could be contacted re whether they were part of "community organizations."
* More posts "What do they need?" follow.

ARGH. Call the bloody number and talk to the guy.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, July 17th, 2014 06:57 am
I read in a friend's journal comments a thread about inflammation and depression. This got my attention knowing i consistently have lots of random chronic inflammations, in my lungs, on my skin (my biggest organ), probably my sinuses. There's still inflammation going on in my ankles due to the sprains. I wondered before, when i first started regularly treating the asthma and allergies and other irritations: if these had been addressed when i was a child, would depression have shaped so much of me?

I have wondered if one can get addicted to aleve or other NSAIDs. Now i can see a reason why they could make me feel so much better. And, oh my heavens, prednisone! I feel like i can do ANYTHING when i am on prednisone! I'm just suffused with energy. Coming down off it is the most horrible feeling: Icarus hitting the sea.


An iNaturalist person i follow posted an unidentified flower in the past day, which showed up in my daily mailing. One was clearly an asteraceae, and i was able to get its genus through a little analysis. I'm not highly confident of the genus, having learned how important some features unavailable in the picture are to the ID, and having basic features like size (is it a shrub or a low crawling plant or what?) and leaf shape unavailable, but i have a sense of some confidence and pleasure in zooming in on the ID.

I had a discussion a week ago with the incoming clerk of meeting (i'm to be associate clerk). He said that he found people needing him helped with his depression. I've heard that before, doing things for others, etc. Since then, i've had waves of self recrimination pass over me: "What are you doing about the Palestinians?!" "What are you doing about immigrant issues?" "Why do you only know of these things from twitter?" "Shouldn't you give more money to the New Underground Railroad, regularly?"

Honestly, being needed isn't helpful for me. Perhaps because one chunk of the depression lands with work and being a manager and feeling very needed. Over-needed. What helps is time for curiosity and creativity. Associate clerkship and then, if nominated, clerkship in the following year, is not going to satisfy any creativity and curiosity needs.

(Yesterday's career efforts: found random conservation master's degrees would run me on the order of $30k, looked at BLM jobs.)


Off to work, grabbing an NSAID on the way out.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 07:28 am
Quick journal check in so i can ticky-box my list of things that i should do to keep an even keel. So, there must be some sort of transitive property of intent where the motivation of the ticky box is also the motivation of keeping an even keel.

The first thing that comes to mind is the distribution of the "You Rock" package at work. Many mixed feelings about the receipt of a fluorescent 9x12 envelope which had been trimmed to some length, the then open bottom folded up about two inches, a "You Rock" imprinted sticker band wrapped around the outside of this fold, creating a little pocket.

In the pocket were gift cards and specially printed thank you cards, and four staggered cut cards with the new "core competencies" of speed, execution, accountability, and inclusion printed on them. Inside the envelope were the envelopes for the cards and a FAQ that was on letter sized paper trimmed to fit the abbreviated envelope.

So first, excellent presentation. I can't help but marvel at the bespoke assemblage. Yet -- REALLY? I can think of a number of less bespoke yet equally impressive presentation package plans.

Second, OMG FUMES. I had a headache the rest of the day, despite aleve.

Third, was not my issue, but the issue of a friend, stuck in a very very dead end position. Her anger was -- unmitigated. She wasn't expressing it clearly, but i can: the money for this program comes from somewhere, and it doesn't take long to realize it comes out of the compensation pool. While a $100 raise doesn't sound like much, it's there year after year, and if you are unemployed or on disability, that raise is part of the calculation about what your benefit will be. By putting the compensation into a program that is going to show up as an expense of the company's budget, but not an increase in the year-to-year compensation line, the company saves over the long term.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Saturday, July 12th, 2014 06:40 am
I read The Oldest Living Things in the World by Rachel Sussman yesterday, quitting work early.No insomnia was involved: Amazon's 2:47 am delivery was their commitment to have it in my email box between midnight and 3 am.

I enjoyed reading it, and file it in my mind as another model of book i could write.

I felt my photographic skills were reasonably validated, although i recognize she's using significantly more complicated film and formats. It's tempting to consider medium format photography, but i think i can be comfortable living between the extreme of professional kit and consumer tools.

My writing: oh, once upon a time i thought i could write! I now ponder that perhaps if i took time to go past first draft, i could write once again. (Three drafts of an email to staff this week in response to an outburst of unacceptable behavior.)

So, how to keep moving on?


Christine has already been trampled byElephants this morning. I'm feeling steady, leading me to believe that a week ago i was, indeed, under the weather. It's so hard not to project. I know what spiral my thoughts would be in if i were her: but we are not shaped by the same deep chthonic forces. Empathy needs then to be able to project and yet not over project.


I shared with my sister earlier this week that Elephant Wrangling on Christine's part is part of The Solution, the process by which we free ourselves from dependence on my salaried position. Elephant wrangling tools are accessible to us right now, and she's making good use of them. I know i had begun to feel trapped again, pinned against my career, but reminding myself that this work is just as much a part of The Solution as is learning biology has helped me recognize our forward progress.

We are not trapped.

We do have work.


Meeting this week hasn't helped.

I ignited a great deal of consternation that has not been settled, and flared again this week. I will spend time discerning today.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Friday, July 11th, 2014 06:37 am
I woke this morning to find Christine had given me the Kindle copy of The Oldest Living Things in the World by Rachel Sussman in the wee hours. I suspect Elephant induced insomnia led to a 2:47 am gift.


My ankle is rather achy today. I want to believe i over-protected it yesterday, but the alternative of over-using it doesn't seem impossible either.


Follow up from this post: $14,000.00 is how much the owner of colornoun.com wants for their domain. (I own color-noun.com.) Insert a derisive snort. To amuse myself, i found a random appraisal site. color-noun.com is worth $54 and change by their measures while colornoun.com is $56.

That seems about right. Also, i still would not pay that much to take over the privilege of paying the registrar fees every year.

I'll note that the appraisal site didn't know how old the domain was. Pft.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Monday, July 7th, 2014 07:38 am
ARGH, lost a draft.

* mainlined "Witches of East End." Soap opera. Whatever. Meh

* Sister in law working for a NGO that trains North Koreans to understand international business law
* Niece S is 2, cute. Knows how to tantrum.
* Nephew D is doing Houdini escapes from rope and handcuffs. "Don't throw your brother into the pool, i'll do it" says the mom about her hogtied son. Soccer, triathalon, nascent 6 pack abs on the 7 year old, good grief.
* Nephew Z wonderful to talk to about fish and dinosaurs and natural history. He's brillant! And perhaps not as nurtured as i would nurture his interest: a geek among not-geeks. So, i've ordered John McPhee's Founding Fish to give to him when i see him next. He's not a geeky geek: he has a definite talent for social flair and attention (and i cannot help but project that as learned to cover his geekiness).

Elephant issues may have been pressing because I was under the weather: i noted a definite uptick in my energies yesterday. (I had worried so about having the kids over.) With a little more strength, i am able to be present for the Elephant.

In worship yesterday i reflected about the varieties of skill different folks bring to worship. Apparently, having the chairs arranged in one way or another causes significant distress for certain folks. My first reaction is incredulity with an undercurrent of "You're doing it wrong." But with reflection came some compassion. What is it like to first come? I think of a minister who joined a few friends and i for silent prayer ages ago and her restlessness and walking. For some, just the stillness is a challenge. Then, there's being present in the stillness, then learning how to actively listen. And it could be scary: i can appreciate that. I can imagine worship may be a wilderness for some. So, i understand that for some, the framework of no noises, chairs just so, is a signal to center, a framework to hold the center.

But i still come to this conclusion: if you are distressed because you cannot find "your chair" you need to be in that distress for a while and learn about it.

I imagined worship as a landscape: cultivated land on the edge of a wood. I remember walking with some kids at the retreat center through the redwoods and the fear one child had about being in the woods. For me, it's a delight, even though i have stories of being hurt or lost (in the real world), and while i can't think of an experience in worship where i have been hurt or lost, i know one can encounter unpleasant and difficult experiences.

I suspect, as someone who is chronically depressed, i can so easily be lost that i don't associate the experience with worship. If one did first encounter existential despair in the silence of worship - -that could make it a very scary place.

In my reflections, offering my impatience up to be changed by compassion, i then began to ask: if i feel so comfortable with worship, what is my responsibility to the community? How can i comfort others as i comforted that child in the wood? Also, with what am i so comfortable that i need to move out of my comfort to a place i feel uncertain and scared?

Well, the latter is offering vocal ministry. That is a challenge and a stretch for me: when my listening is rich and powerful for me -- what am i to share? The near sermons? The full lessons? How do i not ramble on to the point of distracting? Yet if i share just the queries, will there be enough signal to cut through the noise?

And i did offer vocal ministry yesterday. The noise of my poor speaking skills meant at least one person became certain i had said "competence" where i was trying to say "confidence." Had i offered up the stronger message, the instruction i was feeling so powerfully, would that confusion have existed? On the other hand, the person clarified the message for any others who misheard by understanding that the query was about confidence despite mishearing me.

So, adventures.

Work calls.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 06:46 am
On Tuesday i posted to the Common Nature group some photos from Sunday, and here's one of the three.

Helminthotheca echioides

One lesson i've learned is flowers can droop quite quickly, between one focus and the next. That means the focus stacking -- using multiple images to get different parts in focus and then creating a composite with only the focussed parts -- can't use many images or there's blur from the movement.

I'm still working on jigsaw-like edits where i pull best pieces together and edit out the motion before applying the focus stacking.

Here's a different member of the asteraceae family, taken a month before:

Chondrilla juncea

I can see a significant improvement in my technique. I'm happy about the improvement in lighting and focus.


In other news, wow, blue foot. But the swelling is down, and i'm going to give going into the office a go today. Traffic should be sane and i can get a baseline for next week. The office may be EMPTY, of course, but there are things i can do there, like look for some lost paperwork.