Monthly Archives: November 2010

repost: of mice and woman

this is from another defunct blog that i used to be a part of, zaadz. zaadz turned into the gaia community, which was a part of gaiam, which is when i stopped writing so much there. although i like gaiam’s website and products, the whole thing smelled too corporate for me, so i went onto blogger. when i heard that zaadz/gaia was going away last year, i saved most (but not all) of the postings that i had left behind.

anyway, this particular posting is about my fear of rodents and how they are my ‘room 101’, and how my fear clashes of them with my feelings about the sanctity of all sentient beings. really, we’re all just trying to get by. it also kinda cracks me up, because of the way i handled this confrontation with a mouse who was already just about dead. one of my friends who originally read this had a creative idea on how to deal with that conflict: meditate ‘good thoughts’ to the mice, telling them that i loved them because they were a part of god’s creation but if they didn’t leave my home by a certain day, i was going to have to kill them. i did try it, after this particular event, and it worked, at least for that season. (the following year i had mice again, and actually don’t remember if i did this again or not.)

so far this fall season, no mice have been sighted, but i have an awesome little cat who will take care of it for me if they are. in the meantime, here’s hoping i don’t have a replay of the following scenario again…

of mice and woman

[originally posted on Sep 22nd, 2006 on zaadz.com]

i have a mouse problem.  yes, it’s that time of year when mice start coming in from the cold, hiding out in various nooks and crannies in apartments and homes, and that is certainly happening in my home at this point in time.  however, my mouse problem consists of questioning why mice and other rodents even have to exist.  what in the world was god thinking???

snakes and bugs don’t creep me out in the least.  i used to know this guy who had a female boa constrictor named floyd, and i had no problem letting floyd wrap herself around my arm.  i also used to live with a guy who would literally scream like a girl if a snake came within 20 feet of him, even an innocent little garden snake.  when our cat brought in a snake from the surrounding woods, it was me who ended up retrieving it.  however, because we lived in a rural area, we had a mouse problem, and whenever we trapped one, his bad idea of a joke was to chase me around the house with the dead animal, taunting me with it.  and because he considered himself to be egalitarian, he insisted that we take turns disposing of the dead mice, instead of being a gentleman and doing this one little thing for me that he knew i could barely stomach.

so anyway, over the last couple of weeks i have found two dead and one half dead mice in my apartment.  i’ve said something to the apartment management, and they just shrug their shoulders.  meanwhile, i continue to put out the de-con (and feeling guilty about it), use sonic rodent repellants (that don’t work), and sleep with a light on (which i am finally getting used to).  the other day i got home and the half dead mouse was in the middle of the floor, so i could not ignore it.  (how did i figure out it was not dead?  from throwing shoes at it from across the room and seeing that it jumped, but didn’t scurry off)  so that’s when i started crying…

…back when i was 21 years old, i was still living at home with my mother and her significant other.  they had gone to mississippi on vacation, which meant that i had the house to myself.  whoo hoo!  my bedroom was upstairs directly across from the attic/storage room, and the first evening they were gone, i heard a rustling noise across the hall.  i gingerly looked in, and saw a rat.  i ran downstairs, and after several attempts, managed to dial the number where they were staying.  sobbing hysterically, i told them they needed to come home immediately.  (for the record, my mother practically hung up on me.)  they, of course, did not return home, but i enlisted a friend to accompany me to my bedroom one last time so i could gather my clothes, etc., for the week that i’d be sleeping downstairs in the guest room, until they came back to deal with it….

…so this crying because of rodents is not a new thing to me.  and i knew i had to dispose of this mouse but there was no way i was going to go near it, on the off chance that it would suddenly decide to run up my arm and into my hair.  i had to kill it.  i truly do believe in the sanctitiy of all living creatures… except for rodents.  and that really isn’t the case, but, well you know how some people wonder why god made mosquitos?  i really wonder the same about mice, so that and the fact that it was on the way to dead anyway were justification enough for me to do what follows.

crying and apologizing aloud to the mouse the whole time, i sprayed it with about half a can of bug spray.  at first it started convulsing, but then, mercifully (for both of us), it stopped.  okay, it was dead, but now i was breathing in all these carcinogens with a shiny dead mouse on the floor.  i wanted to sweep it into a bucket and flush it down the toilet.  instead, i guess because of the angle the bucket was at, i kept sweeping the mouse under the bucket, and then somehow the bucket was squishing the mouse and then the mouse got wedged against the refrigerator and as it turned into a comedy of errors,  i started crying again, saying ‘oh why god, WHY is this happening to me?’  i finally had to use a dustpan to unwedge the little fella and sweep him into that so i could flush him down the toilet (hoping to god i didn’t trip on anything between the kitchen and the bathroom, knocking the dead mouse someplace much worse, like onto my bed).  i then proceeded to scrub down every surface in the kitchen.

i would like to think that i learned something from this experience, and that maybe my fear of rodents has lessened.  however, other than learning a new way to kill a mouse, i don’t think this is the case.  a part of me felt horrible for taking the life of another living creature, and i tried to imagine how i’d feel if this giant alien came down from the sky and sprayed me with a supersize can of raid.  still, if i gained anything from this, it’s that i can do the thing i think i can’t do.  and i also learned that it’s time for me to get another cat.

it’s all a vast conspiracy

yes, i am that person, the lunatic who believes in conspiracy theories, the crazy who believes that 9/11 was an inside job. (do i believe that bush was pulling the puppet strings? no, but i do believe that someone, or a group of someones, was controlling even dick cheney’s actions that day. but let’s not get into that right now…) and i do believe that we are living in some sort of a matrix, where instead of focusing on things that really matter, like the degradation of our planet or on treating each other with respect and dignity, most of us (at least here in the west) only really care about lindsay lohan’s latest stint in rehab, or if american idol will last another season without simon cowell? you may call me crazy, but i’m not the one ignoring my crying baby in the next room so i can play farmville.

i don’t agree with 100% of the premises presented in this following video, but i think there is something to much of what is being said.

crazy like an introvert

maybe i’m not a borderline aspie. maybe i’m just really really introverted. i’ve kinda known this all along, but sometimes it helps seeing something in print that explains what i’ve already known. i’ve had spontaneous moments in my life, but i much prefer planning things out in advance. this article linked to below says that’s okay and is in fact *normal*, but you wouldn’t know it from the ongoing cacophony that is american culture.

on the other hand, on occasion i do have difficulty with eye contact and knowing what to say next, so there is a little aspie in me. but not enough to matter so much, because i think i’ve had the ups and downs experienced by most people, and while social anxiety may slow me down a bit, ultimately it doesn’t get in the way of me eventually having the experience i seek (whatever that may be). so, if i must be labeled, i’m an introvert with very mild aspie tendencies.

revenge of the introvert (from psychology today magazine)

update: so, after i posted this entry, i did some more looking around on the topic of introversion. i was completely unaware that being an introvert is actually considered a mental health issue. the american psychiatric association is actually considering adding introversion to the next edition of their diagnostic and statistical manual, which basically would make introversion a symptom of certain mental illness. talk about some crazy shit. the definition used in the DSM-5 is not indicative of a typical introvert; the symptoms listed here are more for someone who is depressed. yes, of course there are introverts who are depressed, just as there are depressed extroverts who manage to hide their sorrow by using their personalities as masks. however, there are plenty of people who are perfectly fine being introverts. introversion is nothing more than thinking before you speak, planning out your next move instead of acting rashly, enjoying your own company instead of needing to either entertain or be entertained. there is nothing wrong with us because we don’t dance on the table with the lampshade on our head at every party. there is nothing wrong with us because we don’t blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. if the APA wants to go this route, i would think that extroversion should be included in the DSM-5 as well. a lot of people who are actually introverts use extroversion as a mask because they think they need to in order to get by in this society. how healthy is it to pretend to be something you’re not?

paleo gaileo

so i’ve been doing this paleo thing off and on (mostly on, but more off than i should be) for awhile now. i don’t know when i started exactly, but it’s been after my move to kc back in august. (before my move, i was working 7 days a week, getting free meals from trailside and otherwise doing the fast food thing, which is not good, but was what my schedule allowed – not that i’m making excuses or anything…) i’m seeing results because all of my pants are now officially too big, although i really can’t afford to buy new ones at this juncture. i’d like to put that off as long as possible, at least until before my trip to amsterdam next spring. however, i suspect i’ll have to break down in the next month or two and buy a couple of pairs as sort of a transitional thing. in the meantime, i’ll be making do, swimming in a sea of fabric as time goes on.

anyway, i really enjoy the paleo/hunter-gatherer/primal/low-carb way of eating. i’m actually eating more vegetables than i was when i was a vegetarian. my meals are certainly more filling and delicious. (not to go off on a tangent -but here it goes: people selling vegetarian diets often tout how vegetables are so very wonderful and you can eat so many of them to get that full feeling, as opposed to eating other items that are more calorically dense that you have to eat less of, and therefore you’ll be hungry more often. i’m calling bullshit here. the calorically dense foods often being referred to usually include items containing flour and/or sugar, or are otherwise processed. beef, poultry, and seafood are also more calorically dense than vegetables, but in addition to their other benefits – such as providing building blocks for our bodies – they also provide a satiety that you’re not gonna get from eating 3 pounds of lettuce or a loaf of whole grain bread in one sitting. eating a medium-size grassfed piece of beef with a couple of sides of vegetables is going to keep hunger at bay a lot more easily and realistically than eating a bunch of carrots dipped in fat-free ranch dressing. but i digress…) lately i’ve been on this kick, that i kinda stole from the idea behind chipotle, where i pick some kind of meat, such as chicken or turkey breasts or even ground beef, sauté some veggies fajita-style, add some cumin and chili powder, mix that all together, then top it with salsa and guacamole (or just a plain sliced avocado). heaven. it fills me up, and it’s good for my body, and i’m seeing results. a couple of weeks ago i was into (by ‘into’, i mean having the same meal 3x in a week) having a grilled salmon filet, with sautéed spinach and roasted asparagus. other times, i’ve been into having salads featuring a mesclun mix with grilled chicken, red onion, avocado, and chopped pecans, with homemade honey mustard dressing. and these meals, yes their vegetarian versions can be just as delicious, but it’s the protein that has made all the difference for me in so many ways.

i am all gung-ho about this although i actually don’t talk about it to people in my day-to-day life. i’m the kind of person, if i talk about goals, i seem to set myself up for failure. so, other than this blog, which i’m not sure my friends read anyway, i’m keeping it to myself and the results will speak for what i’m doing. however… as excited as i am about this ‘lifestyle’, i have one major major major problem: i still have a sugar addiction, and it’s only because i don’t cut sugar out cold turkey. i wake up every morning with the best of intentions, but then after work i go to cosentino’s grocery and they sell slices of tippin’s peach pie, right by the entrance, and i tell myself, this is the last time, and i buy the damn thing and take it home and eat it for dessert. or my roommate will bake bread from scratch and the smell fills up the house and how can i say no to smelly bread? 🙂 (ultimately bread, or any carbohydrate, turns to sugar as it goes through the digestion process. and sugar is sugar, whether it’s the cheap refined white stuff or honey or agave nectar or from a piece of fruit. it has the same effect on the metabolism – at least it does on *my* metabolism.) the worst thing is knowing that i feel so much more energetic when i’ve gone a few days without it, feeling almost invincible, then i’ll have a bad day at work and fall into the trap of thinking ‘this reese’s peanut butter cup will solve it all.’ and the cycle begins anew.

my other problem is trying to figure out breakfast. one thing that has worked for me in the recent past is making a crustless spinach quiche on sunday evening and intending to have that for breakfast. however, it usually ends up being lunch (which, if i planned better, wouldn’t be a bad thing). other things i’ve tried have inclued making paleo style muffins using almond meal and honey or mashed dates as a sweetner. however, just because something is paleo doesn’t mean that you should eat it all in one sitting. perhaps, i have other food issues that  need to addressed before i can trust myself to make half a dozen muffins and savor them throughout the week. the third option, the one i exercise most often but like the least, is grabbing breakfast at the hospital cafeteria. i usually get scrambled eggs and a couple of sausage links. this isn’t the cleanest way to eat (although it’s definitely the best out of all the other choices there) because: 1. i know i’m not eating real eggs. and even if i were, i know they were not raised organically or in a free-range environment, and 2. sausage? do i have to go into all that about the slaughterhouse floor? plus, this is all served up in styrofoam, that i am embarrassingly helping to contribute to the landfill.

sigh. i’m trying to make the best decisions i can at this point, but honestly need to step it up a bit. i read and/or listen to anything that mark sisson and robb wolf have to say, plus i check out blogs such as the clothes make the girl and primal kitchen chaos for inspiration from people i can relate to. in addition, for the holidays this year, i’m buying myself a kettlebell – yeah, you read that right, a fucking russian kettlebell. okay, yeah, my kettlebell will be much smaller, starting out at 15 pounds. my hope is that committing to a kettlebell practice will will motivate me to stop it with the sugar once and for all (well maybe not for all, but for a significant portion of the time) as i start to see *real* results.

i will not be going back to being a vegetarian, especially after reading lierre keith’s the vegetarian myth last year. there’s too much at stake for me (my health, my quality of life, my life), plus i think there are some real holes in the vegetarian idea that sustainability means not eating animals or wearing leather shoes.  i don’t want to go into that aspect of the choices i make daily, but i imagine at some point in the future i will. i’ll just end this particular post by saying that this is the way that most of humanity has eaten for thousands of years. diabetes and heart disease and inflammation were not issues back in the day. people alive then of course had other issues to deal with in order to stay alive, but it is the paleo/hunter-gatherer diet that gave them the energy and fortitude to deal with those other issues. i think such a way of eating could do similar things for many of us, right here and right now.

speaking with authority

‘it is not enough these days to simply question authority; you got to speak with it too.’

i love this video/poem! i think that the way people speak is symptomatic of much of what is wrong with this culture. if we want to be taken seriously, to be serious catalysts for change (and it doesn’t matter what needs changing), we need to learn to speak with conviction and to stand behind what we believe to be true, even if it’s not the popular thing. myself included.

more f*ckery

(yeah, as far as nablopomo goes, i’m out. i hope i’m not making excuses here, but i sit in front of a computer every day for at least 7+ hours. i don’t want to come home and turn on a computer and be forced to write in the evenings after staring at a screen all day.)

continuing in the spirit of my last post on the word ‘fuck’, i’m going to repost something i wrote back in 2006 on my now defunct blog ‘books music food’ formerly hosted by bloglines. it’s mostly something of a treatise on the use and misuse of the f-word, and how it loses its meaning if it’s continually used (and i guess i’m at the risk of doing something similar here…).

fucking for dummies

I have a friend who has read my blog and made the comment that I am ‘brave’ because I used the ‘f word’ in a public forum where it could be read by anyone.  I’ve thought a lot about his comment (incidentally he made several other comments about my blogging that were quite complementary) and realized that I disagreed with him (on this one comment only).  Saying the word ‘fuck’, or many of its variations, in public is no sign of bravery; indeed the brave thing is to be able to converse with another person without using it.  In my travels throughout a typical day, whether it’s on the city bus, in the grocery store, being around loved ones, or complete strangers, it’s a rare occasion where I can go without hearing the words fuck, fucked, fucking, motherfucker, or a poor excuse for an euphemism, such as freakin’, flippin’, frickin’ (these usually uttered by an adolescent whose parent is somewhere nearby).  Thankfully I’m in a workplace where some sort of professionalism prevails, but otherwise I feel like my poor little virgin ears (sarcasm) are assailed most places I go.

Trust me, I’m not a prude and I can throw about the f-word with the best of them.  In a heated moment (and define heated however you wish), I can and will introduce the word into a given situation as warranted.  A good percentage of the music I listen to and the fiction I read (and the nonfiction for that matter) has a noticeable presence of the word.  However, I truly believe there is a time and place for everything, and that includes profanity.  It seems to me that a definite downside about excessive use of this word is that it loses meaning when heard and used all the time.  I know people who literally will use the word ‘fucking’ at least one time per sentence.  (I’ve heard sentences like, ‘I fuckin’ hope it don’t fuckin’ rain again to-fuckin’-day.)  So how is one to know if you are truly upset about something or need to make a significant point if you are constantly fucking up your sentences with this word?

Also, excessive use of the word shows me that you really don’t have anything worthwhile to say, so you’re just filling up spaces between your meaningless words.  Instead you are making yourself look low-class and just plain trashy, with a minimal education and vocabulary, even if you have an advanced degree.

I do understand the need and place for the word; all I ask is that people only say it when they really mean it.  And if you take issue with anything that’s been said on this topic, please, go fuck yourself.  (Just kidding…)

On a related note, I have another friend who is currently living in Ireland.  She recently told me of a milder version of the word fuck, ‘feck’, that people use in pretty much the same way as fuck, except the meaning is not so intense.  So I’ve been amusing myself and others (getting on other’s nerves is probably more like it) by using it in conversation on occasion.

In completely unrelated stuff, here is what I’m currently reading: Collected Fictions by Jorge Borges, The Middle Mind: Why Americans Can’t Think for Themselves by Curtis White, and still working on The Devil Never Sleeps by Codrescu.  I’m also trying to listen to a 3 cd lecture by writer, activist, and anarchist Derrick Jensen entitled The Other Side of Darkness, where Jensen discusses injustice and what humans are doing to the planet and each other.  The only problem is that these days I don’t have time to listen, but I guess I need to find it somewhere, because he’s incredible.  I would recommend to anyone a couple of books of his, The Culture of Make-Believe (on how Americans are in denial about racism) and A Language Older Than Words (about his experiences with child abuse and how those experiences really are a metaphor for what western civilization is doing to the planet).  He doesn’t really give answers in these books, both of which are rather lengthy, but that’s one problem with Americans; we always seem to look to other people to solve our problems, instead of looking at what we can do to begin to fix things.  (But now I’m digressing…)  On the other hand, according to Jensen, he thinks it’s too late and we’re fucked no matter what we do.  Whether you agree with that or not, I think Jensen gives a much needed dose of reality and would be well worth an investment of time.


it’s f’n day 10 of nablopomo

…and even though i’ve had a lame post here and there this month, i think working on the discipline to write something daily has been a good thing.

anyhoo, last night i saw the funniest video, a talk by the controversial hindu spiritual guru, osho. this talk was about the word ‘fuck’, which happens to be one of my favorite words in the english language. (seriously.) its versatility knows no bounds (just ask george carlin). and in this video, osho gives his listeners some examples of that versatility.