Sunday, May 31, 2009

Return to the garden

I had a sort of epiphany a few weeks ago. It was the perfect time to start a garden. I was tempted to start one of my own, but I knew it would be folly. I looked forward to the summer and could see I would have no time to care for a garden. I had a sense of loss.

I looked at all the things getting in the way of having a garden and realized most of them are not of my choosing, and are not reflections of my will. They are things imposed on me, either by other people or (mostly) by my own foolishness. I resolved to not let this happen again. I will have a garden next summer. A large and luscious garden. I will spend the next several months resolving the issues that prevented a garden this year, and building the discipline to reject new impositions that will thwart my will to have a garden.

So mote it be.

Nothing like a good horse

Nearly 20 years ago, Kat and I went to the local Schwinn shop and purchased bicycles. Since then, she has barely ridden hers while I have put countless miles on mine. I got a Woodlands, in medium blue. Last summer the bike was stolen from the porch. Since then I have been doing two things. I have been looking for a bike to replace it, either new or used, and I have been looking for my bike (on the chance that it is still in the neighborhood). My search for a new bike has been frustrating, because I seem to have two choices. Something that is quality, but with suspension and whistles and bells, none of which I want, or a basic frame that also happens to be cheap shit. Nothing I look at is what the old bike was – a solid non-suspended bike with good running gear and a reasonable price.

About two weeks ago, I spotted “my” bike a few blocks away. I was sort of planning to sneak over and see if it was really my bike and if I could get the serial number from it. But yesterday I saw a yard sale at the bike’s residence, and the bike offered for sale. I stopped and checked it out. It wasn’t really my bike. But it was the same make, model, color, and running gear. I gave it a test ride to see if it responded as my old bike did. It was like coming home. They wanted 30 bucks for it, and I paid up. The woman sort of sniffed about being sad to see her old friend of a bike go. But it will be going to a good home. I plan to keep it for years to come. I also plan, starting today, to keep it locked up.

Work Sucks

It seems as if management at work has embarked on a program of protracted and constant demoralization. Three rounds of layoffs are at the core of it. For me, moving between jobs is a part of this, along with having work thrown at me with no training or instruction on how the hell to do it. In some cases, being free to make up your own job is a blessing. This is not one of those cases. Then – obviously disappointed that they weren’t important enough to be laid off - a small number of people quit. There are no signs they will be replaced.

On top of all this, a further blow is being administered. By the end of June – so the rumors say – development will have moved back to the main building. Our current arrangement is pretty sweet. We are in space that offers plenty of elbow room and some amenities. Being across the street from the mother ship, we are close enough to communicate with the rest of the company when we need to, but far enough away to be buffered from constant interruption. (When development was previously in the main building, interruptions became bad enough that they finally had to lock the door during business hours and appoint one person as a gatekeeper to handle communications with sales, support and training.) I am already conjuring up visions of the extreme measures we may have to make to buffer ourselves.

Another factor is just the physical space. We will be losing the elbow room, our own lunch room, the conference rooms, etc. We will be pressed together cheek and jowl. And – worse still – there is a rumor that my team, the NXT developers and QA, will actually be sharing space with four trainers. I am not looking forward to this at all.

Visitors, Coffee and getting back on track

Today I am writing at the new coffee shop on the corner, where the old Cash Saver gas station used to be. They have been open about a month. It’s nice to have a place like this so close. It is also nice to see the property being put to good use. I talked with the owner’s wife a few days ago. She is the walking. breathing definition of MILF, with a daughter the same age as my youngest. Knowing this, I will carefully keep a safe distance.

Kate and Angie made a visit to Utah last weekend. They were here to attend the wedding of a niece. I got to spend a good part of the day Friday with them, then more time on Sunday. Friday was spent eating good meals, taking Tim up the canyon, then collecting Sally and Jeanie and hanging out at the new coffee shop talking. Despite Kate’s complaints, she still looks good and is a delight to be around. Tim becomes less feral the older he gets. With Angie losing her job, and the last of the severance package going away this month, they may be losing the house in Arizona. If that happens, they talk of moving back to Utah. I wonder if that will have us picking up the relationship where it left off, or forming a new one to take its place. Either way, I can’t picture the two of us just choosing to ignore the presence of the other.

Horus Oasis continues to vex me. I’m just not cut out for this Body Master thing. It is too much work. At the same time, I have trouble letting go of things and having other people do the work. I guess these statements form the core of one of the lessons to learn from this experience. Once I learn them, I will learn other lessons, then re-learn these lessons, and so on.

Last year, I had a few months during which I established a firm daily practice then recorded the results in a magickal diary. I noted that, even if the daily practice drew no marvelous results, just this habit of doing and recording made it a “good” month. Earlier today I got out the notebook I was using for this purpose and set down my goals for June. I will be doing the following, for a minimum of 20 days in the month.
  1. LBRP (or Daily Ritual).
  2. Either Yoga or Tai Chi (‘body work’).
  3. Work out.
I add working out to this because my weight never dropped from when I ballooned up to 200, and in fact has started to creep up a pound or two since then.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Smokin'

When my father was a young man, he and a brother stole a pack of cigarettes. They took them into the yard, hid behind a bush, and lit up. Their mother caught them. She asked, "You want to smoke?" The question hung in the air for a second, then she said, "Well then, you'll smoke." She then supervised as they finished off the entire pack.

Needless to say, these two young men never became smokers.

(They later asked their mother how she had found them out. Her answer: "There was only one bush in the yard with a cloud of smoke over it....")

When I was about twelve years old, I found a pack of Marlboro light 100's. I kept it for a few days, contemplating my options. Finally, I took them to my father. I told him I wanted to try them and see what it was like. (Realize - this all happened in a faithful Mormon family.) He found me a pack of matches and directed me to the back yard.

A few minutes later, green faced and convinced of the evil of cigarettes, my father told me his story. He knew enough to tell me to "Go For It" knowing what the result would be.

Not a smoker. Never will be.