25 Random Things from the Facebook meme

Must be something in the stars. I finally cranked out a meme. Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?

Seems I've been bogged down in work a little too much lately--life working for the man has become quite Matrix-esque. My brain hurts from being jacked in all day herding projects. Sucks the energy right out. I don't want to see a computer when I get home--I juggle electronic balls and plates online making other people's stuff come true.

Meanwhile, here's this meme.

Now I'll REALLY have to get busy with the meme that Kay from Kay's Thinking Cap sent me!

1. I learned to read when I was 3, and was skipped straight to the 2nd grade when I started school. My teacher took me from classroom to classroom, randomly pulling a book from the shelf and opening it for me to read. I had my first stumble in a 9th grade history book.

2. I learned to play the piano at about the same time, and continued to sing/play piano/organ every Sunday until I left home to major in music.

3. Got my first flute when I was 7, majored in flute performance/musicology through grad school. Haven't found many flute-playing opportunities in Austin--too many damn flute players here, not enough gigs for classical/experimental flutists!

4. I had my wonderful daughter at home in N. CA with no drugs (except for herbal teas) using the Bradley method. Right after she popped out, she wiggled and squirmed her way up my stomach and latched onto my left boob.

5. I lived in an alcoholic relationship for 12 years before I understood what it was doing to me and my child. It took another 10 years to extricate myself from it, and another 10 years to recover from it. SUGGESTION: Never marry an addictive/abusive person--it's a menace to the rest of the family's health and no one wins.

6. I was one of the organizers of the Pocono Pop Festival. Worked for Showco Sound, who did sound/light for the top 10 groups of the time: Led Zeppelin, 3-Dog Night, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, The Carpenters, Leon Russell, Rod Stewart and the Faces, can't even remember them all. Got to travel by helicopter while the 200,000+ attendees lined the interstate all the way from NYC to the Pocono Raceway. Went to the wrap dinner with an international rock'n roll trucker from Boston--IN the semi truck.

7. Worked for Screen Gems/Columbia making demo tapes with Michael Martin Murphy, Boomer Castleman, and Diane Hilderbrand.

8. Was followed and spied on by the FBI during the Vietnam War.

9. Lost (literally) a friend one November late '60'sin the High Sierras camping in the Stanislaus Wilderness. Endured a week of searches and questioning by the local, county, and state law enforcement. They thought we knocked him off to get him declared a missing person. They finally had to let us go b/c they couldn't find his body. We were in big trouble til I convinced the head cop we weren't murderers. He was reading Durrell's Alexandria Quartet at the time, one book of which described how a man bought a body in the bazaar and set it up to make people think he was dead. To this day I still don't know what happened to him. Maybe he survived and will join Facebook some day...John Cassteel, where are you?

10. Used to perform in Carnegie Hall with Opera Orchestra of New York (Eve Queller, director) on an annual basis when I lived in Princeton. Great fun to sing with many of the top and upcoming international opera stars.

11. Worked in arts (music) management on both coasts for decades until I moved to Austin. Austin is about 15 years behind both. Which is a huge bummer. Texas is pretty much a closed shop--not enough classical/experimental music opportunities for the hordes of musicians here. Lo, see how far the mighty fall...

12. One of the first people in N. CA to start and maintain a garden using the French Intensive/Biodynamic method. No petroleum products, all done by hand, with lots of companion planning and natural pest control. One of a group of 5 adults and a baby.

13. I have an exceptionally high degree of ESP, with lots of examples to prove it.

14. Had an out-of-body experience when I was attacked while hitchhiking in Topanga Canyon on a fire trail off Mulholland Drive. Managed to talk the guy out of raping me, but ended up with a bruised windpipe, a cracked rib, and broken glasses. Not to mention PTSD. Walked out of "A Clockwork Orange" in a cold sweat a month later during the rape scene.

15. Absolutely adored living in Australia. Would have emigrated if I could. They know how to live life fully there.

16. Sang with the top Australian choral group for 2 years, in the Sydney Opera House, Australian Broadcast Company studios, and various other venues. Good stuff, too--Beethoven "Missa Solemnis," Walton "Belshazzar's Feast," and a bunch of original Australian and African composers works.

17. National Merit Scholar semi-finalist.

18. IQ clocked at 165 when I was 15, eroded to 154 as I've aged. Actually, I don't think I'm any less intelligent, I just don't give a shit any more :)

19. Never lived in any one place longer than 2.5 years growing up--preacher's daughter.

20. I collect pieces of drift glass, shells, and coral from around the world. I make collages out of bits of kitchen middens from Victorian Sydney, trinkets from grandparents and great-grandparents, photos, baby teeth, bones, buttons, beads, and other found objects, new and antique.

21. I have enough photos on various themes to publish dozens of photo books. Portraits of friends, windows, rock 'n roll musicians, other series.

22. This is the third time I've lived in Austin. 1968, '84-88, and since '96. Each time it's been more impersonal and less intimate. Gone are the days of heading downtown for a concert in the gazebo with Janis, Angela Strehli, Bubble Puppy, Conqueroo, Rocky/Elevators, Shiva's Head Band, et al. When everyone could fit into a small park, and we walked everywhere.

23. Fascinated by: Gaudi', Wittgenstein, Jung, Dali, the philosophy of art, music, dreams, Zen.

24. My daughter started talking at 6 months. Really. Spoke in complete compound sentences by the time she was one. Explained subtleties in human physiology to me when she was 5. She's a scientist now, and is still teaching me about mass spectronomy, DNA sequencing, and other biomedical technologies. I actually understand them...she's a good teacher.

25. It's relatively simple to come up with 25 random things when you're as old as I am!



Obama's tech folks had a live and functioning official White House Web site seconds after he was sworn in, at least we think he was. The site is an exemplar of good Web design. And they take comments from everyone.

Gone is the tired, monolithic Bush era site, still proclaiming Iraq had WMDs...somewhere...

News reports depict a medieval-like tech setup in the dank dungeons of government, a miasma of spotty and substandard communication systems. Kinda reminds me of the unveiling of the Great and Magnificent Oz, when Toto grasped the curtain in his teeth and pulled it aside to reveal a powerless snake oil salesman. The contrast is staggering.

They have not yet updated the "designate" status of various cabinet members, but considering the state in which they are operating, it's unfair to criticize the delay. The site itself is an open window into how Obama plans to proceed, and it will be interesting to see where they go with it.

The antidote to fear is knowledge, which can only be achieved in an open community. Bodes very well.


21st century elderblogging skills?

Please excuse the messing around. I'm about fed up with exploring apps for this and apps for that. I'm ready to make some choices and stick with a few useful, delete those that are just getting in the way.

Firefox, for sure. Research tools, search engines, virus/spy/etc. ware to the max and updated. My tech equipment is so miserably outdated. Surviving in the 21st century tech world can be a real pain in the ass on a modest income and an increasingly annoying proliferation of the aforementioned ware. I've been able to keep up with an Apple system at work and Dell system at home for more than ten years. But I'm about to throw in the towel with the exponential amount of WORK that entails. I'm continually having to look for ways in and out, longing to simplify rather than accrue, finding maintenance chores breeding alarmingly like Tribbles.

Tribbles were the micro-teddy bears of the original Star Trek generation. I first learned about Tribbles at my neighbor's house in the woods outside Edmond, Oklahoma, sometime in 1967. Now that's another story, which would include such shenanigans as having one of my very first psychic events. Five years later, a relative confirmed a creepy feeling I had of someone watching me. Apart from a dollop of native paranoia, the hair on the back of my neck actually stood up, and chills echoed up and down my spine. The relative said, did you know my dad had you watched by the FBI?

I've paid very close attention to any piece of information that comes to me from outside since then, even if I don't understand it immediately. It will come to pass. That can be exhilarating, or it can be scary as shit.

Doesn't have much to do with computers, except in a William Gibson-esque kind of way.

Now to figure out why folks still aren't able to leave comments. Geeze--another one of those time-sucking, fuss-budgety annoyances.


Lecturette on Change, Vacation-Head, and the Universe

Everyone's having trouble getting back into production. Whatever that maybe for you. I left a blissful environment, free of care, surrounded by beautiful people and lovely hospitality, and all the crap is still right here where I left it. What, you may or may not ask? Dishes, dirt, only a little mouse until it got so cold that Linus deigned to sleep inside and scared him away. And a pile of clothing that measures roughly 7 feet by feet by 3 feet--I say roughly, because there are dozens of smaller items that have sloughed off, effectively mulching the floor between bed and bath.

It occurred to me that this construction is about the size of a grave, except not so deep. A shallow grave. Then I read communicatrix on change, and I saw my body lying in that shallow grave of fabric. With an aggregate of shoe, book, a used cotton swab or two, a United boarding pass, old computer printer and keyboard, and as I squinted deeper into the layers, a confetti of various and sundry dropped pills and nostrums for the average Austin allergy season.

After I laughed myself silly, a vision hopped into my mind of hundreds of thousands of clever women all over the world coming to a simultaneous epipany about change, vacation-head, and the universe. This is the part that makes the leap from physical to intellectual to paradigm shift. And you know how I love paradigm shifts.

What we're experiencing here is the effects of the Winter Solstice, or however you prefer to name the cyclical phenomena of life on this planet. And this particular solstice is fraught with an extra scoop of socio-politico-astrological-astronometrical nutty goodness. The universe is a whole, and we each get to describe the size of that universe for ourselves.

We mystical Capricorn INFPs get downright visionary. We are billowing in dreamscapes. We take an eternal exposure of the world and instantly project our own future on the path ahead. We swim in Jungian protoplasm.

We are awash in analogies. The goat. The seed. The darkest night. The coldest stone. The basement of our dreams. And then we put one foot in front of the other and climb toward the light, singing, or writing, or chatting, or drawing, or otherwise sharing the journey with other travelers.

Which brings me to another point I don't want to forget. Multi-tasking is a made-up word by some smartass youngster with ADD. I know that because I recognize it as serial-tasking at light speed, which is what I do 24/7 unless I consciously focus on finishing one activity. Multi-tasking gives the IMPRESSION of being incredibly good at all those things, but is in fact an excuse for not properly completing projects or losing things through the cracks in the road.

Most of us are responsible for churning out some grist for our daily bread. Don't get me started on work stuff. But in my real life, I know deep down that I do my best work when I de-stress to alpha level and let all that I've experienced and absorbed ferment and coalesce into some creation that magnifies my soul.

So I observe the earth's changes, my skin feels the traverse of the sun day to day and year to year, the lover's pull of the moon at perigee. I cherish the winter (in the US--an Aussie friend says she's sweltering) as much as I do the summer solstice, for it is a time of new beginnings, growing things, and this is the optimum time to examine flows and inclinations and nudge them toward the light.

Not particularly earth-shattering, but according to the I-Ching, perseverance furthers...

Tip of the hat to Communicatrix Colleen Wainwright, one of my new favorite writers. You go, Colleen!