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Hashing out things isn't always pleasant. I do like arguing for the sake of improving my thinking on a particular issue, but of course there is the painful possibility...nay likelihood of appearing the moron. I hope that the moron description is only in my head, but even then it is unlikely to be any harsher coming from another source. Some days it seems if no growth or change is possible without pain and suffering. And I'd like to believe that all pain and suffering holds the potential for growth. And long past experiences that I'd like to think I have gotten over/learned all I could from still seem to hold marrow in those bones I gnaw. And hashing things out in a semi public form is much like holding bones in the fire, eventually they will crack and that marrow is easier to get at. The trade off is that you have to hold them by hand and that means you end up in the fire too.

Ideally I hope that whenever I right something about my own struggles with...well anything, that someone else will get a bit of free wisdom. Avoid a painful scar or seven. I also hope that I can learn from others as well. Intelligence is learning from your own mistakes, Wisdom is learning from others. I have pretty actively avoiding being wise, "Gotta make my own damn mistakes!" I figure I am pretty good at offering advice to those about to make the same mistake I have or am going to make again. I hoped to at least claim the mantle of intelligence but even that is perhaps asking too much. I figure I can continue to fake both intelligence and wisdom and perhaps even fool a few people along the way. That may be enough. And perhaps I'll even manage a little real wisdom here and there. As a side note I don't figure claiming to neither be intelligent or wise is some actual sign of intelligence or wisdom. That's just making the whole damn thing far more complicated than is useful.


Eventually there comes a time when I can no longer distract myself. I get restless and need to wander. The difficulty therein is that as a parent and currently the one on duty I must be responsible and not just get up and go, then I realize that in fact my kids are old enough to be dragged along with me. And the next layer of realization hits...they have stuff to do and I have no money to wander anyway. At one point in time in my life no of these problems occurred. The restlessness in the first place would be soothed merely by the presence of another. I know that we are social beings and need other people around and I recognize in myself that I really don't tend to like large gatherings of people. I can manage them if I have a small cadre of my own people to be with. And I can manage just about any crowd I noticed if I have a person. A singular person. Ah yes that "the one" person, the "you complete me", "soul mate" etc. Somehow that person provides a tether, a ground, a touchpoint.

No intention really of being sappy or melancholy or whatever here, just "thinking aloud". Is this centered feeling one I can achieve without that other person? One of the failings I always felt in Buddhism was the push for non-attachment that indicated one must be alone in the world. Monks and Nuns are celibate typically, the Buddha famously left a wife and children. That seems selfish to me, at least if as in my case you have kids. You don't just leave them behind. Buddhists recognize we need each other, in the form of the sanga, the community of people you learn with. But I think more than that we need our close friends, lovers, spouses. Without a doubt they provide opportunity for great suffering (insert joke about having scars or t-shirts here) because those attachments will induce pain, but they are also the strongest reminder, the personal as opposed to theoretical reminder why we try to release all beings from suffering.

Long time no meme

Your results:
You are Will Riker
Will Riker
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Mr. Scott
Mr. Sulu
Beverly Crusher
Geordi LaForge
Jean-Luc Picard
Deanna Troi
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
At times you are self-centered
but you have many friends.
You love many women, but the right
woman could get you to settle down.

Click here to take the "Which Star Trek character are you?" quiz...

Dec. 17th, 2012

Having transferred some of my posts about being in love to FB I realize I have crossed over into the warning sign stage of relationships. That stage in which outsiders seeing the relationship need a warning sign so that they can prepare an insulin shot or a barf bag. Part of me wants to inflict this on everyone else for a variety of reasons.
1. It's funny to watch other people react with gagging gestures and the like.
2. "Dammit it is my turn and I paid attention when you fell!"
3. Maybe this will make someone jealous (yep I have petty parts of me, and the someone really isn't specific)

Those are a few of the inflict reason and if those were my only reason I would probably skip it. Obviously I haven't skipped it. So why?

1. Spread the love. I actually like seeing people in love the only bad feelings I ever had about that were related to me not them.
2. Doesn't it deserve as much time as any rants or humor I might post? Love should never be second class.
3. It is a courageous act in my view because I know I am opening myself to ridicule and yet I want her to know I will face slings and arrows.
4. Not many good rooftops to yell from.

This brings me back to a common theme aka "Damn your moving fast!" Yep and that is some scarey shit. I got on a roller coaster, no not that, I climbed into a stock car on a racetrack. Why a stock car? It goes faster and there are turns but no ups and downs. If there was something that just went faster and faster, straight up overcoming the massive pull of gravity and flew into a bright sparkling sky...well I'd talk about that then. So on the is rocket ship ride I have myself convinced it will not end in disaster, despite the fact that I feel at times as if I am doing this without space suit, seat harnesses and other basic safety precautions. Seems odd but here is my reasoning. When I was younger falling in love I didn't know much. Squat one might say. I didn't know enough about myself and what I truly valued in my life and in my partner, how relationships work, how the logistics of life work and so much more. Now I do know, not everything and still have much to learn, but I know enough to choose better about who I am likely to work well with. I know what I am willing to experiment with, put up with and where my boundaries lie. I know enough to talk about boundaries with her and find out what are deal breakers. I know enough to be honest about all that. I know to see if I can enjoy more than just one part of her. Oddly enough all that is years of rational brain work and now intuition is taking over and the Rational brain is wondering where the safety gear is. It certainly may be needed but sometimes one has to have confidence in the design and you just go.

Luckily the rational brain still has enough pull that there have been no trips to Vegas, no joint financial ventures (dinner doesn't count right?) no new living arrangements, brief contact with children (prepped by the way). I say luckily because I'm ready to go crazy and move in together, plan retirement and funeral arrangements together, with everything in between. "Relationship" are only going to last about 6 months roughly, in 5 months I will be reassessing with a more thoughtful retrospective as to the nature of this beast. It can be difficult to decide what is being timid and what is being rational at times. I see both of us hesitating to say things, or do things. I have a few arbitrary deadlines in my head for when things can happen No vacations together before My birthday. No moving in together before Summer. No weddings or proposals before her Daughter's wedding (next October).

I'm scared about things I might do to screw things up, including my depression. We actually talked bout what would make the other mad. I also talked about my fears of depression. It is of course hilarious to me to talk about Buddhist fears. I fear the attachment, not to her or the relationship but the idea of what that relationship is or isn't, what it could be, or wont be. I fear going to fast for her and being a creeper, despite the fact that we have talked about this very thing. This is why of all the Bodhisattvas the one with a family and wife was most revered. Not worrying about all the possible things that could go wrong (aka suffering) while being in love and having children is amazing.


What I love about teaching:

The ego boost! Now this only really happens on rare occasions. A student tells you how awesome you were, how much you taught them, that you were right about whatever. Mostly on a day to day basis you get sleeping, distracted, unconcerned students. Blank stares, tops of heads, complaints and excuses fill your day. You essentially have to ignore that. It is a short term vs a long term payoff you are after when you teach.

Seems like thick skin is a requirement for teaching. As the strike in Chicago unfolds there is plenty of vitriol for teachers. I've read a few pieces about why people hate teachers, even liberals. Then of course there is the comments section, which has both support for and attacks against. Typical arguments are teachers get all kinds of vacation, great benefits, easy schedule, aren't being evaluated etc. Rejoinders; many teachers pick up extra work aren't actually paid well if compared to others with commensurate education, work many hours past scheduled duty hours, work over the summer, constant training to stay certified yadda, yadda, yadda.

The primary issue I truly believe is that you can see directly in state budgets how much of it is made up for education. Whenever teachers fight for better pay, working conditions whatever it is up for public debate. Very few jobs have the same scrutiny by the public. It is between the boss and employee. The employee can somehow work harder to improve the companies profit. The profit of the schools is all of society. Now measure that...go ahead I'll wait. OK how about this The salary of every person who every went to school is taxed and that amount is sent directly to the schools they went to. Of course some will go to the elementary, some the middle school, high school. Now college we pay for so I suppose we don't need to send anything to them...right? Anyway despite all the various bureaucracy headaches tracking all that information would take (as teachers and former students move etc), that plan shows how specific set of teachers effected particular students. But which one and how much? I would love to see an economics professor tackle that idea. Perhaps I'll see if any have studied it. Why would they? No money to be made for a company, the info would currently be of most use to politicians who will decide the issue on what voters/interest groups wants.

We produce intangibles, things that everyone takes for granted unless they don't have it. Things that everyone who is moderately trained in believes they are experts at (at least when speaking about teachers). Like any industry we are regulated by legislators who have little understanding of what we do. Unlike most we rely on our money (union dues) to fight for us as opposed to the companies profits. Don't get me wrong we have a fairly strong union, decent lobbyists etc. There is of course the extra PR hit of unions and lobbyists, but companies get that too.

The question of course is what is education worth to you? Professional sports seems to be worth a great deal to people, lawyers, doctors, financial analysts, bankers, venture capitalists these peoples value is rated quite high based on salaries.

Looking at the Tax Foundation's page for Tax freedom day, which is the day the average person has earned enough to pay their taxes for the year (usually mid April of late) and the center for Public Policy and Budget (Determine % of budgets spent on education) the average tax payer has to work 67.4 hours to pay for education. This is a rough estimate, obviously varies by state and taxpayer. Is it worth it?

For me it is worth far more. Yes, I have vested interest; I teach I have 3 kids in school. I also have a future of people I will depend on and their education.

Personal VURD request

Here I am once again sleepless in the middle of the night. Unanswered questions drive me nuts.  I don't know why I'm divorced. Other than she wanted to divorce me.  I got nothing I understood in our talks, or therapy sessions. Was I that bad? Was I that dysfunctional? My depression so awful? All of her aswers seemed yweak. Did she not want to hurt my feelings?  Because divorce hurts less. 

When I wake up in the middle of the night I can't seem to shut this part of my brain down. I lose enough sleep. Maybe no answer will ever be enough. Maybe there is no...no I don't believe there is no answer.  I wonder if she would tell me now?  I wonder if I'd except any answer? I'd like to try.  Obviously I get that we don't have great control of our emotions. Maybe that is it.  She fell for him and it was over.  Didn't I at least deserve to hear that?

Anyone know?

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.



I handle time very well when it comes to equations and clocks, but calendars are a whole different beast.  Not sure of this is an issue of my brain in particular put an evolutionary homo sapian deal. Out doesn't really matter if it is evolution. I have to deal with it because science doesn't care. 

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.


Going more mobile

I wonder if I'll even bother to get internet at home again? Can do lj from phone now.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.


The dingo has led a charmed life, abandoned somewhere in KCMO when she was a very wee lass. Rescued by an Ironclad Marshmallow and given to my oldest when she was needing a new puppy. We had just lost our other dogs a few months before. Marley, the dingo, was under 10 weeks old when she was found. She was malnourished, covered in fly strike and somehow managed to get some asphalt on her. She survived this and became a well loved member of the family. Then about a year into her time with us she was hit by a car. This dog loved to run and from her early days thought life was sometimes better off on her own. The surgery and what not wiped out our entire vacation fund (the vacation we were slated to leave for in 2 days) and then some. The in-laws covered the difference and footed the vacation (we were going to visit them). So we left ill fated dingo with newly embedded plates and screws with Zilch. She escaped many more times since and when the divorce happened went to the happy dog camp at Der Fractalhaus. I retrieved her last year and she began to show signs of arthritis. Recently a large swelling of on ankle lead her to escape the stairs of my place and head for Gardner. Last Sat she saw the vet and was declared to have much more arthritis and the swelling was bone cancer. The solution would have been amputation with not the greatest chances due to her age and arthritis for a decent recovery. So this Friday my oldest has decided that Marley will receive a special home visit from a vet and will be put to sleep. The oldest has had it rough as her bunny died not to long ago and last night the bunny's sibling also died. This has been a rough week on little girls and animals. Circle of life keeps on rolling.
Day 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
Day 2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.
Day 4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.
Day 5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.
Day 6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.
Day 7 - Lust. Seven love secrets.

GluttonyCollapse )
Day 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
Day 2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.
Day 4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.
Day 5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.
Day 6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.
Day 7 - Lust. Seven love secrets.

GreedCollapse )
Day 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
Day 2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.
Day 4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.
Day 5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.
Day 6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.
Day 7 - Lust. Seven love secrets.

SlothCollapse )


Day 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
Day 2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.
Day 4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.
Day 5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.
Day 6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.
Day 7 - Lust. Seven love secrets.

WrathCollapse )
Day 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
Day 2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.
Day 4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.
Day 5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.
Day 6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.
Day 7 - Lust. Seven love secrets.

EnvyCollapse )

This seems like fun.

Day 1 - Pride. Seven great things about yourself.
Day 2 - Envy. Seven things you lack and covet.
Day 3 - Wrath. Seven things that piss you off.
Day 4 - Sloth. Seven things you neglect to do.
Day 5 - Greed. Seven worldly material desires.
Day 6 - Gluttony. Seven guilty pleasures.
Day 7 - Lust. Seven love secrets.

PRIDECollapse )
You've been living for 41 years, 7 months, and 19 days.
You were born on Saturday.
Your date of conception was probably 22nd June 1968.
You have seen 11 Leap years.
Your Zodiac Sign is Pisces.
Your Chinese Zodiac Sign is Rooster.
Your Ruling Planet is Neptune.
Your Birth Stone is Aquamarine.
Your Birth Flower is Daffodil.
Your Birth Tree is Lime Tree.
Your Birth Number is 7.
Your Lucky Color is Sea Green or Turquoise.
Your Lucky Day is Friday.
Your Lucky Number is Three or Six.
How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.

Do we need change in education? There seems to be a huge cry for it but no real big changes happen. We seem to be looking for the one new way. The one that works, the one that can replace the old system. Too many cooks etc. The idea that the there is a silver bullet is a myth (not just for werewolves) but despite that rational knowledge we continue to look for it. Not just in education but across the board. I do wonder however if in every sector there isn't a deeper understanding that it will take a multifaceted approach to solving their problems. If we are directly involved in the problem we know that it will take more work, harder work etc. But as soon as we look outside our sector we fall back to the silver bullet. So people outside education try to solve it. Some are good, with good intentions, others have good intentions, others have financial motives unrelated to kids success.

It's tough to know what is right to do, even with data.  It's even tougher to do anything, change is difficult for all people but I think there is a tendency for educators to be very much do things the way they have always been done. 

Then schools create products (aka students that move to the workforce) that we get no direct compensation for.  Sure taxes pay for schools but many beneficiaries of school products constantly haggle for a lower price.  Walmart mentality, more product lower price.  Hardly any wonder that we have to look over seas for our engineering, technical workforce.
Thoughts on DC-

I have no real research to back this up, only a vague perception of the rest of the world. What makes America great is our institutions and underpinnings. Our founding fathers knew that people were amazing, wonderful, thoughtful, creative beings and had great potential for harming others purposefully or not. We can blindly follow the dictates of religion (ANY religion), economic theory, National fervor, fear, optimism etc. We can use the same to manipulate others for our own benefit or for those we manipulate. I have frequently used the aphorism "people are sheep" to get what I want accomplished. Perhaps in a perfect world this would never happen, but I don't know. I have never lived in a perfect world and don't expect to.

We as Americans have institutions to protect us from people like me, who might go overboard. We argue, we fight, we whine, we moan, we decry and rarely do we kill each other. We have had our awful moments in history and we do not sweep them under the rug but we teach them, we make films, plays, art, stories about them. We don't rely on any one person for our success or failure. I do not doubt that some will disagree with me. I would be profoundly sad would it not happen. It is in that disagreement that we have our greatest strength. Sure it leads to gridlock, do nothing congresses, but that is a temporary situation. Because we will not sit on the sidelines if this happens. We will get involved, we will change things, we will not rely on others to solve our problems. This is why we are the land of opportunity, we allow for the individual to change us for the better and at the same time we can prevent the individual from ruining us.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
-- Margaret Mead

I believe we have enshrined this into our very being as a country. We have the institutions to handle the day to day and maintain the status quo. The status quo is not inherently a bad thing. It is the last best version of what we have created in this great democratic experiment. Racism is generally decried, it still exists no doubt but there is also no doubt that is it better. Homophobia exists but it is getting better. For the first time less than 50% think Gays should not be able to marry and more than 50% believe gas should be able to serve openly in the military. Neither can be forgotten, and we have seen that they are not and people will continue to fight racism or homophobia. Some will object form organizations and raise money to elect people to stop such things, but they are merely stalling the inevitable. We have a system that is faulty sure but it is designed to improve itself and us as we slowly grind forward to a more perfect more peaceful world. For as it says on the Justice department building we are "sanctioned by the light of reason".

Our institutions are the brakes, and yes they slow us down, but they keep us from rolling too far back down the mountain we are climbing. It is a mountain that is strewn with traps and pitfalls, but at it's summit is a better us. With each step forward we get better and though we may never reach the top we will keep going. Never stop fighting for what is right and know in your heart that we can and will get to a better place than we are now, and so will our children.
Dan Brown and Stephen King seem to be the primary comparisons for my writing. Aren't they lucky!?! I suspect that comparison doesn't hold up over 500 pages. Reasons: 1- Never wrote more than 200 pages on any one thing. 2- Never finished any work longer than 30 pages. 3- Unpublished, never even tried. 4- Isn't 3 enough?

Mind Doodle

I read Inkheart this weekend. The Coatl started it and found it to be no bueno, a year or two and she'll love it. But it got me to thinking about things I love. Story telling and story creation, adn yes my daughters. So we have been "cuddling" before bed and I tell them a story. They decide on two things that have to be in the story and off I go. Tonight with Inkheart fresh in my head I told a "scary" story. It seems that many of the stories I love start off immediately bad. As in "oh dear this..this can't be good" Got to hook them soon, that ever flighty audience. And characters may bring a person back to the story but it is that plot device that keeps them there the first time they show up. I miss writing, perhaps I need to get back to the library and coffee shops where I like to write...it is easier when there is an audience, even if they don't know they are such. And there is anonymity that comes too, curiosity may run through their minds but they wont ask nor look over your shoulder. And I can spring my trap when I am ready.
It is always amazing to be reminded that talking about shit helps depression. As if the emotions and the thoughts latch onto your words and fly from your mouth. Now it is not a perfect system but when you are used to living with depression even a 25% reduction is darn useful. Useful like standing in water feet in concrete (been thinking about RI lately) and the water is up to you nose, 25% lower is huge!
Things on my to do list that are interesting - (at least to me)

1. Read through 3 Physics books to see if we can get a new text book.
2. Clean the desk area and make a functional workspace.
3. Make more room for stregalunae (she currently has a smidgen of space and should have more.
4. Begin writing a Waiting for Godot like piece about the last Buddhist waiting for the last non-Buddhist to reach enlightenment. The last Non-Buddhist is doing just fine living in this world. I miught throw in a few other religious types trying to convert him/her as well. It sounds fun.
5. Build something...not sure what I just feel like building.
6. See if I can figure out what XLI feels like.

Writer's Block: Categorically speaking ...

If the interior discussion in your head were indexed by category, what would the five most recurring subjects be?

In no particular order
My girls

It's all about the methane

Living in a new place seems to call for a new name. I do like Eyrie but that also fit the old place so well because it was 3rd floor and I was a bit more reclusive. While thinking about a new name the girls and I watch Labyrinth online via Netflix. The Bog of eternal stench was greeted with great gales of laughter, for those of you unfamiliar (anyone, anyone?) the bog is one big Fart joke. Apparently the diet over here supported "singing along" with the bog scene. The current unofficial name of the new place is the Bog of Eternal Stench. While I am sure we will find a new name, Bog of Eternal Stench is now a regular in the Turner lexicon.


A Green Man

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