Monday, December 23, 2002

So, I'm going to go visit my mother for Christmas.

After I got her letter asking me to call or come see her, I wrote her one back saying that I would visit her so long as she promised that she would not say anything negative about anyone in our family - including my father. I got a message on my answering machine a few days later telling me that she is looking forward to seeing me and my son.

I am absolutely not looking forward to this. My younger brother and godmother are going to be there. Neither want anything to do with me. I'm determined to be nice and pleasant, and I'm going to pick some topics of conversation we can all (safely) talk about.

Hey, if she's willing to respect my need to keep things on a positive note, then I'm willing to make an effort, too.

The road to healing is long and painful. I can look over my shoulder and see that I've come a long way. But, I look up at the stars and see that I still have lightyears to go. I don't think I'll ever stop trying to improve myself and my relationships with others. I just hope I have the wisdom to choose the most important and valuable things to fix first.

I'm still capable of being stumped. My lover, upon hearing the news that I was going to suck it up and visit my mother on Christmas, told me he was proud of me. It hit me all at once like a paralysis: It was the first time I've ever heard those words from someone I care about and respect. I couldn't say anything. I just froze up. I didn't know what to feel or how to respond. I hope he doesn't think I'm a complete moron. I just plain ol didn't know what to do. Is "thank you" the right thing to say on such occasions? Or, "I'm glad you are." Or, ... what? nothing? I honestly don't know.

And then I began to think of all I've accomplished in my life. All of the charitable things I've been involved with, all of the GOOD choices I've made, and all of the career accomplishments I've had - not one family member who knew about these things ever uttered those precious words, "I'm proud of you." Then I had to think: Do I tell my son I'm proud of him? With a huge smile, I can honestly answer myself, "Yes!" I've broken the pattern - the cycle of dysfunction. My son knows I love him and he knows I'm proud of him and he knows I think he's a good boy and that I trust him.

Fuck it. I'm proud of me. :-)

Saturday, December 14, 2002

I'm holding an unopened letter in my hand. It's addressed very sweetly in her best handwriting. There's a happy snowman sticker on the back, his scarf flying in the breeze. One stick arm is waving. The other holds an American flag. Scribbled on the front in red is, "Happy Holiday to all postal workers."

Yes, this appears to be a sweet, innocent holiday greeting from mother to daughter. Yet, my heart is beating fast and my hands sweat in anxiety. My instincts scream, "Danger!" and "Poison!!!"

I don't know if I dare open it - especially after the last card she sent. I've lit candles and incense in hopes of scaring the daemons away, but there are no external daemons. Fear is my daemon. It's amazing the power she still holds over me - the power of a disapproving mother who overuses the whip of shame and the mace of guilt on her powerless victims.

I have had so much love in my life, lately. I'm afraid that if I open this letter, I will become blind again to all the love I'm now able to see.

Nothing says I have to open this letter. I could just return it. "Return to sender. Keep your words of poison. I do not want them."

Thinking ... I have not yet decided what to do.

...
...
...

Just open it.

...

Not poison. A plea. The power has shifted from mother to daughter. If I wanted to, I could be cruel and lash out and hurt back as much as I've been hurt. There is absolutely no desire within me to do so. A few years ago, I might have been cruel, but the love that life has shown me has made me stronger than that. There is already enough hurt and sadness in the world without inflicting more.

The door has opened. And, I'm afraid.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Ok.

So, maybe I'm not quite ready to move into a little cabin in the woods just yet. I've come across a few human beings who make living in this society a little bit worthwhile for a little while longer. One is a female friend who I just seem to click with. She's the coolest and she's fun to dine with. We only get together about twice a month, but it's quality time. One started out as a friend-of-a-friend and was the only person I quasai knew when I moved down here. He has since turned into a friend, and he's fun to spend time with and is a quality human being and fun to hang out with. Another is a really manly yet sweet guy I've been keeping a bit of company with now and then. I like his perspectives on life, his sense of humor, and the way he treats me. If all men thought and behaved like this guy, the world would be a better place.

I'm just trying to remind myself that there are plenty of people in my life who make it worthwhile to NOT move to a little cabin in the woods. As I think about it, there are several more: my friend who moved out here from Michigan, my good friend and former lover in El Segundo who is still a good friend, terrific sculptor and artist in every sense of the word (never have I met anyone so meticulous), and my former sister-in-law who validated my decision to bail the hell out of the patch of uncultured tundra to which I was prisoner.

Yeah. Hello, society. I'm hanging out for a while.

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Urges

Every single day the urge gets stronger to sell everything I own and move to a little remote cabin in the mountains. I believe that if it were not for my son, I would do so.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

Feminine Jobs

Maybe I should be glad that I'm a femmy woman, but I just can't help but get a little annoyed when some guy tries to guess my job. I never ask them to guess my job. They, for some reason, think it's cool. Of course, none of them ever guess right.

So far, they've guessed Legal Secretary, Court Reporter, and Travel Agent. None of these, you will notice, are leadership-based. All are considered 'feminine' careers that 'smart chicks' usually choose - at least the Legal Secretary and Court Reporter gigs.

I once had a guy suggest to me to move to Alaska. There's lots of work up there for you, he reasoned, and then proceeded to give examples. I could work at WalMart, Longs, and other shopping places they were developing outside the larger cities. I asked him what these career options had to do with military aviation.

These were all younger guys, too. My age or in their early 40's. It makes me wonder just how far equality has come. Based on this observation alone, I would have to say we've not come very far.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Someone Forgot to Put On Her Thick Skin this Morning

I guess I should have gotten the thick skin out of the cleaners this morning. It would have come in handy.

As soon as I walked in the door, the guy who coordinates the contractual part of one of my projects greeted me with a problem he construed as a huge deal and wouldn't even let me say good morning to him. I tried to calm him down and explain to him what was going on, but he was all in a huff. So, he called his colleague - who is the boss of the guy we're working with on this project - and tried to explain things to him. When things started getting technical, he handed the phone to me.

I very calmly explained the situation and by time we said goodbye everything had been resolved and our customer had a good understanding of what to expect from us. Bob took back the phone and I hung around so that we could talk about the situation afterward.

I didn't mean to listen, but I was sitting right there and Bob is kind of loud, so he knew I could hear what he was saying, "Yeah, she knows what she's talking about." "Yeah, I'm surprised!"

Fortunately, a coworker was sitting right there, also and heard the whole thing. We just looked at each other and groaned and I shook my head. I think I cried in the bathroom for about half an hour. Usually stuff like that doesn't get to me, but it got through the filter today. Probably because I'm emotionally stressed out again.

I'm still not over it. I mean, to slam me in front of the customer. Tacky. Very tacky.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Cell Phone Insurance Claims

Did you know that the #1 claim that cell phone insurance companies get are from people dropping their cell phones in the toilet?

Ask me how I know.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Success hasn't spoiled me, yet. Still lots to work toward, but I'm still happy and chugging right along, leading a happy life.

Saturday, November 09, 2002

When the Going Gets Good, the Tough Freak Out

My life is good. I have all of the bottom teir of Maslov's Heirarchy of Needs fulfilled. I even have some of the stuff on the other teirs. I have friends who keep me company and banish the lonliness. I have great books to read. I have a class I'm taking. No complaints. I have a job where my boss recognizes my hard work, treats me like a human being, and is giving me a chance to succeed - or fall on my face.

It's funny that at times like this I find myself most combative - internally and externally. Old fights erupt in my head and make me angry - especially those concerning my mother and other people who told me all my life "you can't do that." The chip on my shoulder reappears and I feel like I have to prove myself all over again.

Fortunately, I'm able to recognize this 90 percent of the time. The other 10 percent - when I actually react strongly to those old memories or other people's stupidity or prejudice - occurs when I'm very stressed.

For example, in class the other night my instructor made a somewhat innocent remark that pissed me off. He asked me to give examples of what I do for a living. I told him that I'm writing job guides for the removal and installation of hydraulic components for an unmanned aircraft. He started bobbing around and said, "Oh, guy stuff!"

After I ripped of his head and shit down his neck in front of the entire class I found that I didn't feel any better, so, right after he announced break and again in front of the whole class I apologized, explained that I was having an unusually stressful week, and that "innocent" remarks like that usually bounce right off normally. Then I excused myself for the rest of the night and went home and went to bed.

My goal in life right now is to recognize when I'm stressed so that I don't respond inappropriately to things. I'm going to try to learn to keep my mouth shut when I know I'm stressed out.

We'll see how I do.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

*** YEEE HAWW ***

Went to see Southern Cutlure on the Skids last night at the Casbah in San Diego.

The 45's opened for them. They were good, but they did a lot of covers. I prefer original music. They got the place jumping, though.

I thought S.C.O.T.S. was pretty jammin. Their stage appearance is hysterical - with the female vocalist and guitar player wearing a big ol Dolly Parton wig and the keyboardist looking like something straight out of Deliverance. They really won me over, though, when they started playing their fried chicken song Eight Piece Box. They had groupies throwing chunks of fried chicken into the audience. All of these bouncing drunks on the dancefloor were getting pummled with fried foul projectile.

They rocked the house for an hour and a half. It was probably the best $23 I've spent in a while.
*** No More Spring Chickie ***

I've started to occasionally use my vibrator as a back massager. Does this mean I'm getting older?

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Be Careful what You Wish For

My coworker took a few of my notecards to the farmer's market in Poway with him this weekend. I only gave him six. I should have given him more. He asked me for a set of them and I didn't deliver. I'm usually a maniac about deadlines and fulfilling what I say I'm going to do, and my lack of follow through distrubs me.

So, I thought about it. Why didn't I follow through? I've never asked myself before. The answer I gave myself is true and has been true all of my life. I'm afraid. I'm afraid of success when it comes to my art and my craft because it's the thing in life I want to do the most.

Okay, here comes the psycho-babble. Everything that has been top priority to me in my life has either been taken away by others, or betrayed by others, or when I was helpless brick walls were placed in my way so that I could not attain my heart's desire. I'm afraid that if I start being successful in my art and crafts, someone is going to come along and destroy my dream.

Because this is THE BIG DREAM in my life, it's really all I have left. I've accomplished Maslov's bottom tier of the needs heirarchy, and I've progressed to other tiers since - which frees me up to actually DO a lot of the stuff I thought I wouldn't be able to do until retirement.

I'm still scared, even though I was able to see this truth, but I'm going to have to take a chance. I got up this morning and assembled lots of sets of notecards and even made some extra ones out of the homemade paper and pressed flowers I've had hanging around for a while. I've assembled my collection of recent drawings to go get them matted and sealed today so that they can be sold at the Poway Street Fair next month. I'm finally doing it!!! Well, I'm starting, anyway.

Fortunately, I have some terriffic friends right now who totally support me in my artistic endeavors and who are very encouraging. I'm a lucky gal.

Okay... here I go ...

Saturday, October 05, 2002

I dreamed last night of being at the farmer's market and I was choosing flowers for a boquet for myself. I chose a core group of mustard-yellow carnation-like flowers and accented them with delicately petaled white ones, some eucalyptus, and some brick red flowers - very autumnal colors. I arranged them in a vase, but by time I was done, all of the flowers were the same and all the mustard-yellow color. I noted the difference, but I was still pleased with the outcome.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

It's a damn shame that a woman with a good job can't afford even a cheap little condo in which to raise her family.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Strange dream.

I dreamed I was hiking with a group of friends. We were climbing around somewhere in Greece. Then we decided to go bowling. I was mad because someone kept using my bowling ball [it's a very personal item, after all]. My friends asked me to meet them at the peak of this mountain. When I was about half way up the mountain I realized I was climbing the wrong one. I saw them in the distance climbing the mountain we had agreed on. So, I started cross-trekking over to the correct mountain. When I got to the peak they were already gone. I hiked down and met up with them in a meeting in this beautiful pillared hall. I was dirty and sweaty, and they were slightly annoyed at my tardiness.

Sunday, September 29, 2002

This evening I was pondering my love life, and I realized that if I had a nickel for every man who said, "I'll call you," and never did, I could buy the Golden Gate Bridge.

So, I've decided that from now on, every time a man asks me for my phone number I'm going to charge him a nickel for the privilege of having it. I figure by time I'm 65 I'll be able to afford the Golden Gate Bridge - or a nice retirement in Hawaii.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

This is my Intention to Live Note [contrary to a Suicide Note].

You can throw me curve balls just when I'm getting the hang of life, but I'm only going to swing at the strikes.

You can dangle promises in front of me and then yank them away like Lucy does to Charie Brown's football, but you're not going to break my spirit.

You can set me back to square one after I've gone as high as I've ever been, and I'll just climb that ladder all over again. You want fries with that?

Go ahead and lie to me, tell me you'll be there for me and then don't deliver, lead me on to the brink of happiness and then leave me for emotionally dead, but I'll still find good in humanity, and I'll still strive to surround myself with people of integrity who can love.

Hello forever. I'm not going anywhere, and you can't break me.

Love always,
Sandy

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Cast Offs

I found out last night that one of my classmates is a Gulf War veteran. He was making a point about something during class, but abruptly cut himself off and then briefly concluded his statement. Usually, that indicates that a person is putting the reins on their emotions. I decided to talk to him after class.

As I was waiting in line to talk to the professor, I lightly touched his arm and jokingly said, "Hey, man, I just want you to know that while you were out there in the desert, I was shipping pudding to ya." I told him the story about loading up one of my C-5s with stuff going to the desert, and out of curiosity I lifted up one of the tarps covering a pallet to discover a 12 x 12 x 4 pallet full of Jello Pudding. We laughed a bit and swapped a few friendly exhcanges. He was really in the trenches and performed a lot of missions that were never shown on CNN.

In the military, you make friends fast and furious because you never really know when you're going to have to depend on that person to watch your six. It was kind of like that with my new friend. I learned enough about him to know that he suffers from Post Traumatic Stress, and that when he tried to get help from the military for it, they told him that they can't help him deal with 'things that never happened.' So, now this guy is forced to just 'deal' with the horrors that haunt him all on his own. He doesn't want to. He wants to get over it.

Once again, the government is casting off unwanted products of their devising. They did the same thing to my father, who in the last couple of years of service showed blatant signs of alcoholism and mental illness. Instead of trying to help him out, they ignored his symptoms, kept him in a job he hated, and allowed him to continue to terrorize his wife and children. [Which is where my PTS comes from.]

It never went on record that my father acquired his illnesses in the military, and therefore the government can ignore his disease and illness. Since 1985 he has been in and out of jails, mental institutions, and sleazy apartments.

Fortunately, my new friend wants to get better. That desire alone tells me that there's hope for him. I know I can't do much, but if I can just be a friend to him then maybe we both can get a little better as a result.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Weird dream.

Dreamed I moved back to Michigan to live near my son. I was very unhappy about living there. I was back in the old farmhouse and was overwhelmed with a lot of the bad memories I had while in that place. It was very dark. Very dim.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Great weekend!

I met a guy. Mutual physical attraction is a great thing, especially as you start to get to know him you discover that you're fundamentally compatible. I'm not getting all stupid about this one. I just want to see what happens.

Talked to my big brother today. I called him out of the blue. I had just done some journaling in my special little log with all of the beautiful pressed flowers and pastel colors on it called "Mother: This is Why I Hate You." I was tearing apart the elements of the nasty-gram she had sent me for my birthday, and when I was done, it really sank in how much she is responsible for keeping us siblings apart. I mean, it really struck at the core of my being how her badmouthing of us to each other has kept a wedge driven betwixt us. The urge to do something about it was overwhelming.

It was the most amazing feeling in the world to reach out to someone I love and actually have them reach back. With my sister, it was more natural because we have a clean slate. With my brother, it was different. The fortress of years of separateness built up so strongly over time came tumbling down as easily as an adobe wall in the rain. We were able to connect in ways we never have before.

I think he (finally) no longer sees me as the little child he remembers, but as an adult who is capable of making her own determinations about life - to a point. He still insists that my political and life decisions are influenced by the liberal state in which I live and was raised - all bean sprouts and tofu - instead of crediting my decisions with years of personal deliberation. Ah, well. It's progress, and I'll take it! We talked for a long time and cleared a lot of the air between us.

We've jelled. I can't remember the last time I was so happy. Now, I have three people in my family with whom I can connect on some level. [my son, my sister, and now my older brother] This is such a miracle to me. I feel so much less alone as a result. I think I could actually call one of my siblings with a problem and not feel shame for having gotten myself into a dilemma or that I'm being weak in sharing it. It would be difficult for me to actually practice this, but at least the thought is there, and it's a start. I'm not going to rush things. I'm just going to savor the moment.

That seems to be my theme right now: Savor the moment. Don't rush the guy thing. Don't rush the personal development. Don't rush into inundating the siblings with sudden outpours of emotion. Just enjoy the connection. Allow everyone involved to get used to it. Let it flow. Yeah.

This is a new thing for me; the savoring of the moment thing. I'm so accustomed to rushing into everything. But, I see now that rushing causes mistakes sometimes. Quality is sometimes lost. And, what is life without quality?

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

How Jedi are you?


:: how jedi are you? ::


So true ...
I woke up this morning with no worries. Everything is going along just fine. Things worked out with my friend. He says he was never mad at me. It's a beautiful misty morning and I'm glad to be here at work and productive. There is a massage in my future. hee hee.

Friday, August 23, 2002

Things are looking up.

I finally got the nerve to call my friend [who I pissed off] last night. I had sent him an apologetic email three days ago and hadn't heard a peep out of him. So, figuring we both had a chance to cool down and that it was time to do something about it instead of letting it fester, I decided to suck it up and call.

I got the answering machine. Don't you just hate it when that happens? You totally psyche yourself up to finally do something about something and you hit a brick wall. Yes, I left a message. I hope it sounded warm and not too upset.

It must have been okay, because I got an email from my friend this morning. He said he would have called back last night but he got in real late. I thanked him for not calling me at 2 am. hee hee. I hope I get to talk to him today.

Then I bopped over to emode.com and took an emotional IQ test so that I could figure out how to avoid pissing people off in the future. I found out that I see people very clearly, that I usually behave very maturely and responsibly, but I don't always pay attention to clues they give me about *their* emotional selves. Ah. There's the weak link. I got some advice about how to improve that skill, so I'm going to work on it. It's going to take practice, and I'm going to have to remind myself that not everybody deals well with observations and criticism no matter how well-intentioned it is. My best advice to myself is: If they don't ask, don't tell, and even if they DO ask, gauge the person's ability to deal with feedback FIRST and don't be brutally honest if they can't take it.

I think I'm on my way to becoming a better human being. I'm trying, at least.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

I had a bit of a trippy experience last night. A guy I've had lunch with a few times called me up yesterday morning and asked me to dinner. So, I got dolled up a bit and got to ride in the big Mercedes to La Jolla. I don't know if you've ever been there, but La Jolla Cove is really neat to walk around in. There is a family of seals that live in the cove so we walked down to see them.

The path to get there is this really skinny railed sidewalk that's way up above the surf. We were laughing and talking on the way down to see the seals and we had to make our way past a Filipino family that was coming up up the sidewalk. Right in the middle of this family group was a guy I had dated for a while when I first got here who led me on to the point of intimacy and then told me he was going to go visit his ex girlfriend in New Mexico the next week [Yes, he was promptly dumped]. He looked really unhappy, wasn't with a girlfriend, and didn't say hi. Life is funny sometimes.

I had a pretty good time. My date is interesting, affluent, artistic, gentlemanly within reason, attractive, well-off enough to have financed a 40-minute movie that he directed and edited himself, takes care of his geriatric mom, exotic, a celebrity in his community, and I don't feel a thing for him but curiosity. It makes no sense at all. Yep. Life is really funny sometimes.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Life Happens

So I put my wee one on a plane back to his daddy yesterday. It's been a long time since I've cried in public. I was a blubbering idiot for a couple of hours. I managed to make it through the work day, but productivity was really low on my part.

I also managed to piss off a friend. I'm learning that it's better to just agree with some people when they argue for their limitations and self-perceptions instead of trying to convince them otherwise. I hope we can resolve this one.

To top off my lovely day, I went to my favorite little pub for a glass of wine and conversation and ran into a couple of the local boys there. They asked me to go to Pete's with them right down the street and since I had never been I agreed to go. It's a dive. I would never go in there alone. I noticed a guy across the bar from where we were all sitting who I had met before in my little pub. He made quite an impression on me back then - he was leaving as I was coming in. He said hi and walked out the door. Two minutes later he walked back in and right up to me and introduced himself and told me that he just had to come back in and meet 'this beautiful lady' and apologized that he had to leave. I thought that was pretty cool. So, I noticed him and he noticed me in this dive and we kept making eye contact throughout the evening.

Eventually, the local boys decided to go get stoned and I declined the invitation as usual, which left me all alone in this dive. I was getting ready to get out of there when 'the guy' invited me over to help him choose some music on the jukebox. It was our first opportunity to really talk to each other. Chemistry. Pure chemistry. He smelled so good. He's one of those people who naturally does, and he accented it with Patchouli. I can't remember what we talked about exactly, but there was definitely mutual interest and compatability.

We talked about half an hour before he finally told me that when he had introduced himself to me a couple of months ago he was single and he was now seeing someone. I told him that I appreciate his honesty and left.

I'm glad I'm starting school soon. It will be a lovely way to get a life.

Saturday, August 17, 2002

Revelations

I'm on the recovery side of Post Traumatic Stress. It used to be that something would occur in my life that would cause a strong emotional response [crying, angry, 'survival mode'], and I didn't know why I was responding so strongly. It confused the hell out of others, too, especially if the response seemed inappropriate for the occurrence [only the people closest to me ever saw it, I was good at hiding it otherwise].

In the last few months I've learned how to talk to myself or 'parent' myself, and now most of the time when I feel a strong emotional response I'm able to calm myself and remember what caused me to respond that way [because it is now safe to do so] - to remember what about that incident caused strong emotional response in the past instead of blocking out the memory [and feelings] again. ... which means reliving some things.

But, reliving it, acknowledging it, and feeling it helps it to go away. It's AMAZING. [seems so simple, doesn't it?] Now that I'm an adult I can comfort my 'child' self and let it go. It's like an avalanche - a very terrible, big, loud yet beautiful thing, and when it's all over with there is ubiquitous peace and the mountain is less burdened for it.

I've been dubbed a 'normal person,' which is a concept that was foreign to me until now, but I'm getting used to it. :-)

Friday, August 16, 2002

... and here's what type I am. Big surprise.

You are a Hippie Chick

The '60s are over, but their legacy of peace and love lives on in you, a genuine, granola-loving Hippie Chick. A fan of flowing skirts, Birkenstocks, and all-natural organic foods, you probably wear your hair long and loose so you can always go with the flow. The rhythm of your life is definitely laid-back and groovy. Genuine and unpretentious, you're a free spirit with a big heart. A Dharma looking for her Greg, after winning your guy's heart, you'll take him on a pilgrimage to Woodstock and make him wear flowers in his hair. And he'll love every minute of it. All in all, you've got just the right mix of idealism and social conscience to keep any guy trippin' over you, right into your arms.

I took a test on emode.com to find out what is my type. The results were interesting! Try it!!!

Your type is the Artiste

Creative. Sensitive. A bit offbeat. Your type is the Artiste, a unique guywho knows how to express himself in many ways, whether it's through words,music, or attire. You're attracted to his unconventional ways and hisremarkable talents. He doesn't feel compelled to abide by society's norms.He believes that individuality is the key to happiness, and everything hedoes is a reflection of his "inner self." You fall head-over-heels for suchconfidence and style. Whether he's playing a song he wrote for just you orwriting you a love letter, this guy knows how to make you feel special. He'sin touch with his feminine side and doesn't need to assert his masculinityto feel manly. If we were to paint a picture of your future, the Artistewould definitely be part of it!

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Ever have one of those weeks?

Well, it's been one. Monday night I took my car to the dealer for service, rented a car, and made dinner. I got up early on Tuesday to make a hot breakfast for the kid and discovered the oven is broken. Minor inconvenience.

Tuesday afternoon my service advisor calls to let me know - in detail - that it's going to cost more to fix my car than the car is worth. Okay, no biggie, I'll buy a new car - but I have to get my ex to sign off the title. I'm in California. He's in Michigan. I had to pay big bucks to overnight the papers to him and provide an envelope so he can overnight them back. A little stressful, but manageable.

Then, Wednesday, I met with my customer counterpart to find out what kind of extra work they're going to kick our way. I got a pretty good idea, but nothing definite. Then he tells me he'll probably be issuing a stop work order on one of our jobs.

Today I broke the news to my boss. He was pissed. Livid. I'm the bandit who pissed in his Post Toasties this morning. Yep. If we lose the job, well, ... he let me know it's a big one, and if we lose it without getting work in its place, well, I'll be out of a job and so will a couple of my coworkers.

Okay. I've had enough.

Tomorrow things have to get better. No matter if I get the paperwork or not, I'm getting a new truck - Tomorrow. No matter what, the kid and I are going to plan a trip to the desert to watch the meteor shower - Tomorrow! Tomorrow is another day. Yes, Scarlet.

Friday, August 02, 2002

The Ewok Syndrome

Remember Ewoks? You know, from Star Wars - the cute little creatures that laugh and sing and party and are really primitive - but then later you discover that they're really pretty good warriors? Ok. I have Ewok Syndrome. Because I'm female and short and cute people assume that I'm ... well, less than I am.

Example: Tonight I was at 31 Flavors with my son. We happened to sit next to a single dad and his son and we were talking and just enjoying ice cream. The dad told me that he had spent time in Alaska. I told him that I knew people who had spent time up there and that it's like the best kept secret in America.

Trying to sell me on the idea, he said, "Yeah, there's plenty of work up there for you. There's lots of Wal-Marts and K-marts and places like that." Ok. There's NOTHING wrong with working at Wal-Mart or K-mart, if that's what you enjoy, but I've spent many years working my way into a high-tech management position.

I replied, "Well, I'm in the aviation industry, and as far as I know, except for the military, there's not much of that up there."

It makes me wonder - is it just because I'm female that people assume that I'm incapable of having a high-tech job? Is the fact that I'm wearing a tie-dye sundress that shows my tattoos give people the impression that I'm a knuckle-dragging Neanderthol? Can you say, "Time for an image overhaul?" Something!

I always have the weirdest experiences with strangers. ... Like the time I was wearing my [very small and expensive] pentagram in a grocery store in Lansing, Michigan. This woman looked at me, grabbed her child and held him close, pointed at me, and started screaming, "Witch! Witch!"

Is it a wonder I want to live in a remote cabin in the woods?

Thursday, August 01, 2002

A New Way to Gauge a Mate

I think I finally figured out a way to tell whether someone is going to make a good mate for me. I do it by asking myself a question and apply it to the men in my life. The question is, "Would I be embarrassed or uncomfortable taking this person to a company party?" If the answer is yes, then the person is obviously not mate material. If the answer is no, then the guy is potential mate material. Yeah. This works.
Dreams of Risk

I'm trying to figure out why I keep having dreams where I'm taking huge risks. Maybe blogging them out will help.

Earlier tonight (hello, insomnia) I dreamed of crossing railroad tracks in my car as the gates were coming down. In one instance I actually drove around the gates to get where I was going. (Then my car morphed into a bike with a flat front tire. I was riding it anyway, and rode to a hardware store to buy some Fix a Flat. The hardware store turned out to be nothing but a glorified pet store and they didn't have anything to fix my tire. The guy just pumped up my front tire for me and sent me on my way.)

A couple of nights ago I dreamed of driving on the freeway in the middle of the night while intoxicated and noticing police nearby and wondering if I was going to get pulled over.

In neither instance did I have any regard for my own safety, the safety of others, my career, or my life-style. This is so blessedly out of character that I really don't know what to make of these dreams.

I've also had a couple of dreams about receving hostilities from men. They were either making rude sexual comments or were trying to rape me. I have no idea what my subconscious is trying to tell me here. I'm on good terms with all of the men in my life - and there are a blessed lot of them.

Okay, now that I've blogged a bit I think I have discovered the cause of these dreams - all of them. I'm not sure how they're connected, but it 'feels' correct. I've been reading a really cool book called, "In a Different Voice." Is has a lot to do with self-talk and I've been learning a lot about myself from it. I've learned that, in order to survive, I've taught myself how to think like a man and logic like a man and for a long time I silenced the feminine voice inside me. Now I'm learning how to listen to both voices (minds) and achieve balance.

For example, I'm just now starting to acknowledge that - like so many other women - my feelings get hurt when an immediate coworker leaves the office and doesn't say goodbye to me. In the past, this feeling never would have made it to my mind. It wouldn't have been acknowledged. It would have been ignored by the masculine mind. Now, my heart can go "ouch!" and my mind will acknowledge it and say, "Sandy, if that person had a problem with you or if he were mad at you, he would tell you. He probably didn't say goodbye because he knows you're busy and didn't want to bother you." And then the hurt feeling is resolved and goes away ... instead of hanging around for weeks because it was ignored.

I mean, guys have this wonderful way of confronting you when something's wrong. They're pretty much face-value kind of beings, and I cherish them for that.

I'm figuring it out. Slowly but surely. I wonder if I'll be able to sleep, now.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

In this day and age, it is impossible to imagine that a document can be on back order - no matter how 'government-controlled' it is. This is insane. Electronic conveyence of said item can be conducted instantaneously, and then it's up to the vendor to print the damn thing out. I mean, my god! I've been waiting on this damn TO since April. One of my guys needs it to do his frikkin JOB! I hate it when people fok with my schedule! We need this damn thing to get the deliverable out on time! Luckily we have things to do in the meanwhile ... but a DOCUMENT - a damn collection of electronic pages - to be on back order for almost four months? It's stupidity. It's frustrating. It's ridiculous.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Thought for the Day

You know you're a parent when ...

... you realize that the stuff in the little juice boxes makes a pretty good vodka mixer.

Friday, July 19, 2002

Flying Dream

I haven't had a flying dream in years, and I've never had one like this.

I started out in an old bi-plane that I taxied out of a hangar. I was supposed to fly in a squadron of other women, but they had already taken off and I couldn't catch up to them. So, I decided to go off my own way over the green countryside.

I saw huge black clouds in front of me. A very large thunderstorm was coming my way. I turned tail and was flying out of there, but the storm was quickly catching me. Suddenly, I was no longer in the airplane, but flying. I was surfing the air pressure wave in front of the clouds. The black clouds beneath my feet looked a lot like horses with their manes flying. I kept looking back to make sure I was staying in front of the storm. I was terrified and exhilirated at the same time. It was fun! I looked down and saw craggy mountains. It lasted quite a while.

I came upon some mesas next to a canyon and decided to land there. I stepped down onto the gournd and turned to face the storm. The storm never came. It got caught in the canyon and stayed there. I watched the clouds churn and flow, but they never got any closer.

Chip Off the Old Block

My son is at home. He's not sick enough for me to be tending him hand and foot, but he's sick enough to stay home from camp. So, I charged up the ol cell phone and we've been in touch all day. He's fine and feeling good enough to tear apart one of my old pagers. I'm so proud of him. He likes to take electronic things apart and try to figure out how they work. Of course, I make him take the batteries out first and make sure all of the capacitors are discharged before I let him go to town clipping components off of the circuit boards. He just called me because he couldn't figure out how to get the battery out of the pager. I told him where the little access door was, but he couldn't open it. I asked him, "got a screwdriver?" I literally "heard" the light bulb come on in his head. Quickly he says, "Thanks mom! I love you!" click.

Sob! Sniff! Sniff!
That's my boy!!!

Saturday, July 13, 2002

A ha!

I've figured out the source of my frustration dreams. It's no surprise that it is related to my work. We had a big meeting with the customer on Wednesday. I don't know why I didn't see it before, but they're more hung up on the bottom line than they are concerned about producing a product the tech in the field is actually going to be able to use.

Having been a tech on the receiving end of this stuff, I'm having a difficult time with the realities of this business. Maybe I'm too much of an idealist. Maybe I thought I could actually make a difference and create something worthwhile for the people in the trenches. Maybe I should choose my battles more carefully. I feel a bit defeated.

I will be very disappointed if this turns out to be just another job.

Friday, July 12, 2002

Mind Sapping of our Youth

I had a scary experience this morning when I dropped my kid off at his day camp. I walked him in, as usual, and noticed a group of children over by the television completely absorbed. I walked over and looked at what they were watching. "Is this Sailor Moon," I inquired. I got no response. A little louder I said, "Hey, guys, what cartoon is this?" Several of them looked at me with dull stares and open mouths. One had enough cognitave ability left to shake her head no in a fashion that meant she didn't know. The others ignored me completely.

It's like something sapped their little brains. It's like they all had lobotomies. I gave a horrified look to the camp leader, but she just shrugged. I made a comment about "The Stepford Children" and walked out.

Thank you to the powers that be that I never let my kid watch more than two hours of TV a day. I'm grateful that he would rather go outside and play than veg in front of the boob tube. How sad am I to have witnessed what has become of our youth. How powerless I feel to change it.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Freeway Dreams

Last night I dreamed I was driving on the freeway and couldn't get to where I wanted to go. I kept getting on the freeway in the wrong direction or missing my exit. This is a frustration dream. I seem to be having a lot of them, lately.

I wonder what I'm frustrated about! hmmmm.

Monday, July 08, 2002

Rude California Tax Board

I got this really rude notice in the mail on Saturday. I got this letter from the state tax board saying I owe them $1600. Now, I *always* pay my taxes. I'm so paranoid that I overpay just to make sure I never have to deal with this. Imagine my surprise when I got that notice saying, basically, "Pay us $1600 now or we're going to tag you with tons of interest, garner your wages, and take your first born child." I'm serious. It was that rude and that bad.

There was no explanation as to why I suddenly had to pay $1600. There was no justification whatsoever. No hint as to what the nature of the mistake was. It was just, "Pay me, now!"

I talked to the lady today, and it turns out that they sent me a request for more information about my dependent child. I never received the noticed - probably because I moved. Luckily, the lady at the tax board whom I talked to today (was a little surprised I was being so nice to her on the phone) took all of my son's information and told me that she's putting a hold on the account until it gets cleared up. So, there are no worries.

I think I'm going to have to write them a letter. I'm sure that there are plenty of people out there who try to cheat or who are really nasty about getting notices, but I don't think people deserve that kind of rude notice with no explanation in the mail.

Maybe I'm just being a whiner.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

Another Beer Review

Hair of the Dog, ADAM, Hearty Old Woman Ale

This one tastes just like the other one. Maybe I'm not as fond of stouts as I thought. It tastes just like the one I had yesterday! Guh!

Friday, July 05, 2002

Beer Review

Black Hawk Stout - Brewed & Bottled Mendocino Brewing Co., Ukiah, CA

I didn't know if it was beer or tar I was pouring out of the bottle. The head is tan, but doesn't last very long because the fizziness of the beer makes it go away real quick. The first thing I thought of when I inhaled the aroma was "hickory barbeque." Fortunately, this is one of those beers that gets better as it warms up. There's a little caramel in there to help balance out the barbeque. A little bitter, too. Pleasantly so. Surprisingly, it's not as filling as other stouts. I think I could drink one of these and still have room for a piece of chicken and a bit of salad. Not much more, though.

Not as good as Amstel Light for burping contests ... even though it is a little fizzy.
I remember in the late 70's and through the 80's when I was growing up, when we would play with action figures or in any role-playing game where there was an enemy, the bad guy always had a really bad Russian accent. Even in movies of the time or tv shows all of the bad guys had Russian accents.

I think this was still true through the 90's and the early 00's - right before 9-11.

Have you noticed that things have changed? Now when I listen to kids role-playing they are putting on really bad middle eastern accents for the enemy. Now, even radio and tv are picking up on it, too. I heard a guy on the radio pretending to be a bad guy and he adopted a middle eastern accent for his character.

I wonder which language or cultural stereotype is going to be next.

Thursday, July 04, 2002

... on why I'm still single ...

You could say I work in a male-dominant environment. I'm one of two females in our office and the only one in a management position. Everyone else is at least 20 years older than me - except one of my co-workers. He's only 10 years older than me. I love my job. Everyone is retired military or retired civil service. It's very relaxed. The people are *real.*

It wasn't until this last Tuesday that I realized why I'm still single. We had a meeting with some government-employed engineers about doing some work for them. These guys were all around my age. Everyone in my company was trying to keep things light, cutting up a little now and then, yet still being professional and conducting business. The government weenies (around my age) looked scared to death, took themselves way too seriously, never laughed, became defensive easily, and seemed a little too tunnel-visioned about the project. In plain English, they were a bunch of sticks in the mud!

This made me ponder the last few dates I've had with various individuals. Hmmm. Yep, the last guy took himself so seriously he couldn't have any fun. He wouldn't build a sandcastle with me at the beach - refused outright! All he wanted to do was sit in *my* chair and drink beer. You can do that at HOME, dude! No wonder I ditched him.

The guy before that was an engineer who thought my career choices and hobbies were "unfeminine." So I like to build little robots! So what? So I used to wrench on airplanes for a living. It helped me get the job I have now! Maybe he was threatened by that. I don't know. I sent him packing, too.

I've dated a few 40-somethings. They're alright, but a lot of them are bitter from paying alimony and child support for so long. One was kind enough to give me the starring role of "Bimbo" is his mid-life crisis. That sucked. Actually, it's pretty funny, but I'll spare you the gory details.

So, what's my solution? I don't have one. I guess I'll just keep plugging along, doing what I love to do, laughing at myself and the dumb mistakes I make, and hope I eventually run into someone who's around my age that is secure enough with himself to have a sense of humor and a little fun once in a while.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

I dreamed I was meeting a group of people for a business meeting in the upstairs of the Mattel Design Center where I used to work. The meeting was for my current job, however. I greeted the customer we were meeting with in the lobby. I told him I used to work in the Design Center and asked him if he wanted to look around. He agreed. I asked Shirley at the desk for a pass to visit my former coworker Jeannie Sanchez.

When the pass door opened, the inside of the Design Center had changed significantly. They were apparently doing some testing on some new arcade games, so the first part of the center was covered in darkened tents and people were inside the tents playing the games. We looked around. I got a little lost and confused in the tents. I saw a former coworker, Michael. I asked him how to get to the Sound Design Studio from where we were and he told us.

When I got out of the tent I looked at the clock on the wall and realized that we had missed our meeting and that I was already late for my second meeting that day. The second meeting was to start at 1:00 pm and it already was 1:00 pm. I figured I was fired. We met up with the other people from the meeting in the hallway and they were making copies of the presentation I was supposed to give. I accepted the fact that I was probably fired. I decided to hop in the elevator and go to the meeting room and see who was left up there from the meeting.

The dream morphed into one of those elevator dreams again where I keep taking the elevator but am never able to get to where I want to go. I then decided to get this guy to come up with me to the top floor and mess around. He kept getting distracted on the way, so I decided to leave him and go do something more interesting.

I was wearing my sarong and decided to go jump in the pool at the top floor where they were giving a show. I knew I didn't belong there. It was really high class and I really didn't fit in. And, my sarong kept opening up and exposing me, which made me double uncomfortable. That, and the people surrounding me kept looking at me weird because I was making repairs to my seat (changing out the light bulbs and things), when normally "service people" would have been doing the repairs. (Why we were sitting on chairs that lit up with light bulbs in the shallow end of the pool is another issue altogether. It was a pretty effect, though.)

Sunday, June 30, 2002

Speech Dream

I dreamed I had to make a convincing speech to an audience of military people for work. Because it was such a large crowd, I used a stage and auditorium for my presentation. I was all over the place and delivered a great presentation; I saw nothing but smiling faces in the crowd. Then, at risk of my job, I decided to make a point. I went to far stage right and had them spotlight me and yelled, "Praise the Lord." As the crowd was going wild, I moved a little more toward stage center and was spotlighted again. I yelled, "Praise Muhammud!" A few in the crowd yelled. I moved to stage center and was spotlighted again. "Hail Buddah," I yelled. I continued on with just about every deity name I knew and then exited the stage. Much to my surprise, I didn't get fired.

Under Bob

I have always thought that the prayers we said in school and the "under god" statement in the Pledge were inappropriate. Even as a young child in grade school I knew that not all people in this country believe in god, and this is supposed to be a country for ALL people. I personally have my own brand of spirituality, and I'm extremely patriotic - having been raised by a Marine and served in the Air Force myself.

It always made me uncomfortable at graduations and other events when prayers would be said. They were always Christian prayers that referred to god as HIM and Our Father. I always thought it was unfair to inflict one's beliefs on another at an important event such as graduation. This is probably why I've avoided most traditional graduations and public events.

When I voiced this uncomfort to peers, I was often ridiculed. People always told me that this nation was founded on Christianity, so I had better suck it up and shut up. I did a little research on this and found it to be untrue. The Christians did not found this country. The Free Masons did. That makes me feel a little better; they're closer to being pagans (like me) than Christians.

I am all for people keeping their religion in their own way. I'm equally supportive of those who have no religious beliefs. I will be very glad of the day when we evolve to the point where we realize that such phrases like "under god" or prayers at graduation really do alienate people. People like me. Like athiests. Like other pagans. Like anyone who has a spirituality other than Judeo/Christianity.

As our "minority" numbers grow, things will change. We just need to have courage and a voice.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

I wonder what it means to dream of burning your hand accidentally and then peeling the first burned layer of skin off only to expose fresh new pink flesh underneath. That's one for the shrink, I think. ... shrink I think. Uh, oh. I feel a bout of Dr. Seuss coming on ...

I dreamed about my hand you see
Not of a car or of a tree
My hand had burned and there was skin
Skin was peeling again and again
Again and again peeled my skin, my friend.

The skin peeled off
And my hand was pink
Pink was my hand.
Pink Pink Pink.
This is one for the shrink I think.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

A dream from 16 Jun 02

I had made a trip to the desert to visit my mother in her new apartment. Things being what they are, I really didn't want to be there and don't know why I went. It was very cloudy - like a thunderstorm was brewing.

She mentioned she bought a car. This is highly unusual because my mother doesn't drive. I supposed she was expressing her independence. It was a bright purple/pink VW Beetle - one of the older ones, like a 70's model.

The car wasn't running, however. The palm tree that was planted in the middle of it and sticking up through the sun roof was dying - almost dead, she insisted. She also insisted that the car couldn't be driven unless the palm tree was replaced.

It was a $1500 replacement part and she didn't have the money to buy a new one. I commented something like, "How interesting." (In the past, I would have offered to buy her a new one.) This obviously irritated her.

Finally she came out and asked me to buy her a new palm tree so her hot purple VW Bettle would run. Her reasoning was that I have lots of money now. I told her to go get herself a cover for the sun roof. It would be cheaper. I also explained to her that my money is invested and I can't get to it. She was very angry with me.

She wanted a new palm tree.

I left her there in the desert, palm tree-less.
In my dream I just got back from a deployment. Me and two guys were helicoptered into Germany. One was killed by an assassin during the mission.

In the post-mission briefing, (just off the 'copter and still in battle dress) I was informed that the assassin who killed the other guy was in the U.S. and after us.

I took leave and went to my house in the desert and holed up. It was abandoned. This is the house I grew up in. It was very dark; almost as if the electricity had been turned off.

The house was in the state I remember it best; the garage was still standing, the walls had been torn out, only interior framing remained, and there was no carpeting on the floor. I remember that the bare concrete made the place feel cold and contributed to the darkness.

The assassin was staking out my house in some kind of van or SUV and I knew he was armed. I could see him outside the front fence parked along side the road. I wasn't armed. I didn't expect him to find me there.

I tried dialing the police on our old beige phone, but kept misdialing the number. I had the telephone number to the police scribbled in black ink on a white piece of scrap paper. The number was 414-949-4414. I finally got someone on the line and let them know I was being stalked and asked them to respond.

Nobody did.

I was holed up for a couple of days. I remember the light changing. It was mostly dark - dusk-like for the duration of this dream. The one time I remember bright sunlight - appropriate for the desert - was in the next phase of the dream.

The assassin was working on a clever plan to flush me out of the house. (Apparently, he didn't know I was unarmed.) He pretended to have car trouble and when other drivers stopped to help he had them come to my house to ask to use the phone.

I remember seeing the lady who stopped. She was in a VW Van and was wearing a tie-dye dress mostly of red with a blue and white flowery pattern. She had long, light brown, wavy hair. Definitely a hippie type and helpful to those stranded.

They sent her Spanish-looking boyfriend to my house to ask to use the phone. I felt bad about having to turn him away, but I would not allow myself to be seen and would not unlock my door and let him in my house.

Things were dark again like mid-evening. I knew that staying in my house would be futile because the assassin would eventually get in. So, to escape, I drove my car into his to disable it, but ended up disabling my car too. He was able to catch up to me by simply walking.

I thought, "He's on my turf." I grew up in the desert and I know that, being from Europe, he was on unfamiliar ground. I got out of my car and ran through the field next to my house. He was behind me shooting at me and slipping in the sand. Lousy shot, too.

When he was out of rounds I turned around and slammed him into a very tall cactus. It was a cholla, and the barbs consumed the hand in which he held the gun and half of his face. I know that had to hurt.

It was full night time, now. I could see him in the amber light of the street light on the corner. He was disabled, but still coming at me, so I grabbed a half-full, white bag of garbage, somehow got more cactus in it, and started beating him with the garbage bag.

The points of the cactus, of course, were poking through, and I knew that the added weight of the garbage would enable me to wield it pretty good. Cactus is very light. I gave him a good flogging. My dream ended when he stopped fighting and I felt that he would pursue me no more.