Saturday, March 31, 2007

My 30-Minute Rule

"The individual woman is required... a thousand times a day to choose either to accept her appointed role and thereby rescue her good disposition out of the wreckage of her self-respect, or else follow an independent line of behavior and rescue her self-respect out of the wreckage of her good disposition."

-Jeannette Rankin

For the most part I am a pretty flexible, but ever since the good old days of dating, I have had a rule that once applied to all my boyfriends, but which now applies to everyone. It's simple. If I have an appointment with you, I ask that you show up on time. If you can't be on time, because lets face it, sometimes things happen, that's fine, but in that case, I ask you to get to the meeting, or at least call me, within 30 minutes. Period. I think in the year 2007, we have enough availability to phones, that there should be no reason to be late for an appointment, without being able to at least call the other person and explain our circumstances. Sound reasonable? It's easier now, then it was in 1987, to get in touch with someone, and I think I was being reasonable back then.

So, if I am waiting for you, and you don't show up, I will leave, and go onto other things, in the hopes that you are perfectly healthy, but otherwise engaged. Gone are the days where I sit by the phone, wait in the rain, or hope on a star that someone will show up when they promise to. I expect folks to keep their promises and their word. Sometimes in life we have to compromise, but we never have to compromise ourselves. For anyone. If we set a precedent for being treated with disrespect, we should expect to be treated that way from that point after. Sigh. Sometimes stuff happens. I had an appointment to meet someone this past week, and they didn't show up... or call. So, after 30 minutes I left, and drove back across the bay, back home to Berkeley. Frazzled.

It didn't help my mood, to come home to an email that implied that the confusion was partly my fault. As it turns out, after looking up the address where we were supposed to meet in the, San Francisco Merchants Directory, I found out I was 100% correct on the directions I had provided. Sigh. Being 100% correct, doesn't happen often. I wanted to send a really immature email and say... "Here... see... YOU WERE WRONG." But really, what would that have accomplished? In the end... things would still be what they are now. A really nice opportunity left hopeless. Sometimes being right, doesn't help matters one little bit.

By the way, this was the third time this same person had messed up what time we were supposed to meet. The first time I waited by the phone for a phone conference, they didn't call when they said they would. We rescheduled. The second meeting, they said they would call at 12:00, they called 20 minutes early.Then we had this third meeting, which was supposed to be in person. Oh well, I guess they just missed the opportunity to meet and know the wonder that is me. :( It must be the year... I blame it on 2007. This simply isn't my year. Can it be over now?

You tell me. Do you have a rule, for expecting folks to be on time? Do you go about your business if they don't show up? How long do you wait for someone, if you have a set time to meet? Is it just as rude to show up early for an appointment, as it is to show up late? If someone sets a pattern with being irresponsible with time, do you grin and take it, or do you eventually say something? Opinions please.


Friday, March 30, 2007

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment # 158: Your Favorite Time Of Day

"It is impossible to believe that all the past is, but the beginning of a beginning, and that all that is and has been, is but the twilight of the dawn. It is possible to believe that all the human mind has ever accomplished is but a dream before the awakening."

-H. G. Wells

Weekend Assignment #158: What's your favorite time of day and why? It doesn't have to be a specific hour and minute, mind you: "early morning" or "sunset" works just fine too. Although if you do have a very specific time, by all means note it.

Extra Credit: What's the longest you've ever stayed awake?

It's an interesting coincidence that John Scalzi chose this topic for this week's edition of the Weekend Assignment, in that my previous entry was basically dedicated to how much I had enjoyed a recent sunrise. :) I enjoyed it so much so, that I have been using the photo I took that morning as a tool in my meditation practices when I need to feel renewed. I do enjoy a pretty, golden sunrise, but I am not a morning person at all. I am a night person, so I guess if I am to share my favorite time of day, I would have to go with the twilight.

Yes, twilight.

The above photo was taken last October, while I was visiting the California coastal town of Cambria. Everything that makes me feel good inside, was so much a part of that day. It was my 16th wedding anniversary, it was October, which is in my favorite season of autumn, I was near the ocean, we had just enjoyed a really delicious meal, and I was with Alan. What more could a girl ask for? Well, how about the perfect sunset, and a guy who understands and loves them as much as I do? :) So we stopped at a nice spot along HWY1 and got out a blanket and our cameras. Sigh. Alan knows I come alive at twilight. We sat together and took photos and snuggled under the blanket, and took photos and snuggled a little more, until the darkness washed all but a small bit of life away. I love the twilight, there is just a romance in it like no other time of day. :)

"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset."


Extra Credit: The longest I have ever been awake is 37 hours. I was a long time ago, when I was about 18 or so. Some friends and I held a game night at our church and we were playing the Monopoly game from HELL. LOL. Alan won by the way. :)

"Together At Twilight"
Cambria, California
Moonstone Beach
October, 2006

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'll Follow The Sun

"The Sun, with all the planets revolving around it, and depending on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as though it had nothing in the Universe to do."

-Galileo Galilei

A couple weeks ago, while on my way to Nevada, I had a chance to see the sun come up for the first time in months. I am usually asleep most mornings around dawn, as I usually go to bed at 5:00 a.m. or so. I had forgotten what I had been missing. The sun makes me feel good, and there is nothing like it's soft, golden radiance on a chilly late winter morning. Close your eyes, and imagine it for a moment. If you did close your eyes, were you able to actually feel the morning sun, shining on you?

Try it again, sit back in your chair, close your eyes, take a long, deep, cleansing breath, and imagine you are sitting in the warmth of the early morning sun. Now tell me, when you opened your eyes, were you smiling? Frowning? Did you feel warm inside? Try it one more time with me. Close your eyes, take two long, cleansing breaths, only this time, tell me what you see, feel, hear, touch, and taste in your imagination. Be aware of where the sun takes you, and let yourself feel it. REALLY feel it.

Did you just create a memory? Did you relive a memory? Did you picture that sunrise where you are right now, or did you transport yourself to another place and time? There is nothing like taking a moment, to clear the mind of clutter, and follow the sun.

I'll Follow The Sun
The Beatles

One day you'll look to see I've gone
For tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun
Some day you'll know I was the one
But tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun
And now the time has come
And so my love I must go
And though I lose a friend
In the end you know, oooh
One day you'll find that I have gone
For tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun
Yes, tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun
And now the time has come
And so my love I must go
And though I lose a friend
In the end you'll know, oooh
One day, you'll find that I have gone
For tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun.

"I love the sweet smell of dawn... our unique daily opportunity to smell time, to smell opportunity...each morning being a new beginning."

-Emme Woodhull-Bache

"Looking East"
March 15th, 2007
Early Morning

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Self Care For Ingrown Toenails

"Ducking for apples... change one letter and you have the story of my life."

-Dorothy Parker

I'm in a mood. Not a good one mind you. I have this irritation that is, well, irritating me. It's an ingrown toenail. Sheesh. No more ballerina moves for me, not that I was ever that graceful on my two feet, but it would be nice to think that at any given moment, I could spring into a spontaneous pirouette. You know... in case anyone might be watching. You always want an audience for that sort of thing. I wanted to take ballet lessons when I was a little girl, but my mother new better, see, she knew I had taken after my father when it came to my silly little feet. Dad and I both, had silly little flat feet. I managed to make my right foot slightly more interesting by dropping a large can of peach halves in heavy syrup on it in 1991. It hurt. A lot. Then it the bone grew back funky, and left me a tiny little hump on my foot, that can be seen if you look very, very closely. It will be how they identify my body someday, after I am hideously murdered while sitting at an outdoor cafe in London.

Yes. That's how the end will come. I will be killed while eating scones and drinking tea. And reading the London Times. Probably the gardening section, or maybe the Arts and Entertainment section, that part is kind of irrelevant. LOL. The point is, I will have been hideously murdered. It would have to be hideous, if the only way they could ID me is if they looked at the hump on my right foot. Of course, in the mean time, I have this goofy ingrown toenail to tend to. I have to, so my humpy foot won't fall off, because if it did, there would be no way for them to ID my hideously murdered body. But I bet you figured that out... right? ;) Sigh.

We live in marvelous times... don't we? A few years ago, I would have had to go to a special doctor, who would have gotten a big, fat needle, and shot it up under my funky toenail, as if I were some kind of footwear terrorist that he needed vital podiatry information from. He would speak with a thick German accent, and look at me quite sinisterly as he jammed the needle deeply into my poor painful, yet girlishly gorgeous big toe. "OUCH"... I would scream. "OH THE PAIN!... STOP... I WILL TELL YOU ANYTHING!" And I probably would. LOL. Sheesh.

Thank goodness I don't have to go through that, not while the Internet has places like the MayoClinic and WebMD. I looked up a wonderful article tonight on self care for ingrown toenails. A little soaking of my toe in warm salt water, and little lift and separate with some cotton balls, a new pair of sensible shoes, and I will be good to go. Whew! I didn't really want to go to the doctor. Nope, self help worked very well for my nervous breakdown, and now I am just fine, and it will work for this little nuisance too. Right? I mean, can't you tell how much healthier I am, mentally speaking? I haven't wished anyone mad fits of eyeball rolling in nearly 12 hours. Go me! :)

"Cold Love"
Yuba Gap, California
March 15th, 2007

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Working Outside

"Be glad of life, because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars."

-Henry Van Dyke

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Take a picture of people working outside. Because now the weather's right for it (mostly). If you have a photo in your archives of people working outside, that works too.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

My friend Steven inspired me to choose this photo for the Monday Photo Shoot, he posted a similar photo of a clown just the other day. You can see it here. I admire folks who put on these costumes and advertise for companies. It can't be easy to have folks driving by all day, shouting at you or possibly making fun. I don't know, I think seeing these characters is kinda fun. :) It makes me smile.

Still, folks can be so judgemental sometimes. One day, several years ago, a friend and I were driving down the road, when we came across a similar character, standing on the sidewalk advertising for another restaurant, and she remarked to me something to the effect of, " I don't how some people could lower themselves to take a job like that!." To which I replied, "It's honest work, would you prefer they either starve or sign-up for public assistance?" Sometimes we do what we have to do. Sometimes we take jobs, we don't necessarily aspire to, so we can pay for college or put food on our tables. Sigh. Needless to say, my friend and I had quite a conversation that afternoon.

"Men in general are quick to believe that which they wish to be true."

-Julius Caesar

"Hail Caesar"
Castro Valley, California
March 7, 2007
Late Afternoon

Monday, March 26, 2007

Don't Drown

Please click on the above image, to see it in a larger version.

"Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it."

-Charles Dudley Warner

We are due for quite a storm here in the Bay Area. It is supposed to be really rainy and windy, and the lower foothills might get a dusting of snow. That thought makes me smile a bit, because I would like to head back to the Sierra to try for a few more still life shots in the snow. We'll see. I have a lot going on this week. Even with my sore joints and various and usual aches, I enjoy weather, even if I am just staring out the window.

I have a Weather Channel weather indicator installed on the sidebar for this blog, and every once in a while I will hear a little lightning strike sound, which indicates that there is an update to the weather in my area. I was looking at the storm alert earlier today, and noticed it said something kind of strange... "Do not drive into flooded roadways, turn around, don't drown. "Don't Drown?" You have to actually remind folks not to drown? LOL. At first I kinda laughed... at my most dense, I knew enough not to drown if I didn't have to, but then I thought about how that same statement applies to life. "Don't Drown." Suddenly the thought wasn't as amusing to me, when I thought about all the times I let myself metaphorically drown... even when I knew the water level I was in was getting dangerously high.

Ever notice how often, mostly during awkward pauses in casual conversations, the weather will suddenly become a valid, hot topic of interest? Is talking about the weather the perfect "get out" for everyone, because it's something we all have in common, no matter who we are? How often do you feel yourself, thinking in terms of how the weather is affecting your life at any given moment? I mean in terms beyond the obvious. As an example, my year, 2007, has gotten off to a proper wintry start all around, but as the year has been progressing, I see the sun trying it's best to give me a little glimpse of life beyond the immediate cold. I live in the Bay Area, which means we have the added weather attraction of micro climates. Just because it's warm and breezy in Berkeley, doesn't mean it will be in Oakland, or Sausalito. Our weather can turn rather quickly. So can life.

I can remember moments... sometimes months... when I was most certainly drowning. Drowning in avoidance, drowning in my photography, drowning in sorrow, drowning in longing for someone I love, drowning in blogging,drowning inside myself, drowning life. Yeah... drowning in life in general, which almost always meant I would rather be drowning in whatever was filling my time, rather then what, or sometimes who was making me feel the weather. Sigh. Sometimes a good friend would see me metaphorically drowning, and throw me a lifeline. "Dummy," said my friend, " you're drowning, don't you have enough sense to come in from the water?" "No, it hadn't ocurred to me to not drown, but just for the sake of argument, how did you know I was drowning?" "I was paying attention to the indicators," said my friend.

We all have weather in common, don't we? Do we always notice it? Do we see it in others? Do we see it in ourselves? Shrug. Like life, the weather is what it is. We never really know about it, what the future has in store, how the micro climate might change, but we can give it our best guess, and if we do find ourselves on a rainy stretch of road we didn't see coming, we can make the decision to turn around, and not drown. Right? ;)


Sunday, March 25, 2007

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #157: Exploring The Fridge

"Never pride yourself on knowledge. Remember; even a head of iceberg lettuce knows more than you do. It knows whether or not that light really does go out when the refrigerator door shuts."


Weekend Assignment#157: So, what's in your refrigerator? Be honest. If you include a picture of the current state of the fridge, that'd be nifty.

Extra Credit: What's the oldest thing in the fridge?

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

What's in my fridge? It's not all that exciting. When I opened it up yesterday, I took a long, objective look, and concluded, there wasn't nearly enough chocolate as there should be. There was however, lots of nice fruit, and salad mix. Some really tasty yogurt. Soda, both leaded and non-leaded. Because both Alan and I love to cook, there was quite a few interesting bottles and jars of exotic sauces, and condiments, not to mention 5 kinds of olives, and 14 different kinds of cheese. LOL. Yep, you read correct, 14 different kinds of cheese. :) We like cheese very much. Cheese makes the world go round. Cheese is our friend. Of course man, or woman, does not live by cheese alone, so below you will find a somewhat complete list of the items, which currently exist in my fridge, give or take a wheel of cheese...

14 kinds of cheese
2 bottles of Pepsi products
6 Yoplait Yogurt
2 bags of Fresh Express Salad Mix
1 Avocado
2 bottles of Lea & Perrin's steak sauce
1 Torani White Chocolate sauce
4 bottles Kraft Salad dressing
1 (24 pk.) Large eggs
1 Arm & Hammer baking soda
6 Kern's Fruit Nectar
1 jar spiced crab apples
1 pkg, Hillshire Farms Lil' Smokies
1 bottle BullsEye BBQ sauce
1 4pk. Kirkland unsalted butter
1 Country Crock Pumpkin Butter

Extra Credit: The oldest thing in my fridge, is probably the jar of spiced crab apples, I bought 2 years ago. :) The "use by" date gives me 2 more years. :)

Berkeley, California
March 23, 2007
Late Evening