Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I'm just sayin'.

I find it an amusing study of human nature, mine and other peoples,' when I'm in the middle of solving a problem (and perfectly happy to be doing just that), and then someone else comes along who thinks they can magically solve it!, but in reality, they exacerbate the problem, because I have to start from scratch explaining the problem, and they propose the same solutions that I have already tried to no success, and then I have to waste more time explaining that those solutions didn't work, and then they take over....and that's when I walk away.

(Dusts off hands.)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Things that inexplicably make me happy

Thinking of my friend Emily today.
Who else loves funky school supplies? I know Em and I aren't the only ones.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


If I may engage in a small pity-party. (It's my blog, and I'll cry if I want to.)

This week has been like water torture. Aside from one major student problem (which in itself has been taxing), I have been dealing with one small issue after another. Phone calls to that student, emails to that worker, more requests for services, running out of workers and having to hire some more, finding out I didn't forward a tutoring request to the right person, showing up at a club meeting to find I had the wrong week...it just goes on and on. Each of these are small hurdles to my work, and problem-solving is a big part of my job. Ordinarily, I don't mind. But taken all together, it is wearing.

I'm holding on for the weekend, and hoping things will get better.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Latest in Good News

In my neverending quest for good news, here's an interesting article about how a hospital in Merced has formed a policy for working with the Hmong people, to allow shamans (healers) to be part of the treatment process.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Music Made for Me

So I was listening to Pandora today, and created a music station based on a band I enjoy called Nickel Creek (not to be confused with Nickelback). And one of the groups that played was the "Wailin' Jennys."

Seriously? I gotta get their cd.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Always on the lookout for interesting info

Browsing through Psychology Today (October 2009 issue), I read this snippet about who people refuse to vote for, as part of a larger gathering of information about politics and atheism.

According to a 2007 Gallup poll, percentages of people who won't vote for specific groups:
(read the data to yourself like so: 53% of respondents said they would refuse to vote for atheists)

53% - Atheists
43% - Gays
42% - People over 72
24% - Mormons
12% - Hispanics
11% - Women
7% - Jews
5% - Blacks
4% - Catholics

Wish I had seen the questions/script for this survey. Are we talking voting for President, or voting for congresspersons? Mayors? School boards? Also wish I knew more about the sample of this survey. What was the sample size? Average age? State of residence? Political affiliations? Surveys can be deceptive. (Always question what you read!)

But still. Interesting look at our prejudices, eh? What does this say about how people make assumptions about others? Where do your biases fit in these categories? My prejudices - I would be less likely to vote for an old (70+) male from the South, for example - because I would assume he is 1) a "good old boy", 2) an ultra-right-leaning Republican, 3) anti-feminist, and 4) racist, to name a few.

I wonder what some other categories would be. What about, percentage of people who wouldn't vote for someone who is not a parent? Or someone who was an addict? Or someone who was once on welfare? Or someone with a disability?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Brain research - open your mind

Catching up with my alma mater, UC Davis, led me to an article about their Center for Mind and Brain, a research institute for the study of all things brain-y. The article I read discusses the Shamatha Project - how meditation affects attention, emotion and mood. Results are being submitted for publication, but suggest that "repeated practice in focusing the mind and opening the heart appears to stabilize attention, promote health and well-being, and lead to more compassionate responses." (College Currents, the UC Davis College of Letters and Science Magazine, Fall 2009, available here in interactive or PDF format).

So now, my questions for you:
  • What do you do to focus your mind? Meditation is one powerful way, but I find exercise also focuses me, or prayer, or cooking, or creating music.
  • How do you open your heart?
  • In what ways would practicing more compassion change your daily life?
  • And how can I prescribe meditation sessions to Congress?

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Our 12th anniversary was spent on the coast, wandering, eating, and resting. We love Monterey!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Brain Fry

The sizzle you hear isn't just the late summer heat in Sacto (still 90 degrees last night at 8:45 pm, and 75 this morning at 7:30 am). It's my brain. Classes started for the new semester, and I've been racing around like the proverbial headless chicken. I'm getting so fried that I'm dreaming of leaving it all and becoming a hermit somewhere. When this happens, I know I'm reaching my limits and it's time for a getaway. Luckily, TH has one planned for us soon. So if you don't hear from me in the next week, I've either 1) fulfilled my hermit fantasy, or 2) escaped the valley heat for coastal climes, or 3) been run over by a truck due to perpetual distractedness.

Let's hope for 1) or 2).