In search of …

Gettin’ Outta Here

Oh, I cannot wait until I leave this country!

I look forward to detoxing from the Internet, being around different people (instead of the same ol’ same), and just enjoying myself. I promise myself, when I return I will read very few blogs – like a handful, nothing political, or outside of natural hair content.

I will stick to researching topics that interest me. I always have a number of questions that I require answers to. I don’t feel as though my searching abilities are as good as they should be. Also, I am going to cleaning up my Delicious account by removing a lot of links. I am becoming overwhelmed.

My travel plans are coming together. I am so excited!

Sprucing Up

I might get a pedicure and manicure, before I leave. I usually don’t paint my toes or fingernails. I do keep them filed, neat, and short. They are very soft, and breaks easily, like my hair; my skin is very soft too.

I don’t paint my nails, because I have an aversion to the odor of any (possibly) toxic chemical. I have an acute sense of smell (sometimes). I limit my use of powerful – will knock you unconscious – smelling bathroom cleaners. I try to use milder, innocuous, “natural” products.

Gadgets

I’m tempted to buy a netbook, mini-laptop, PDA, or another cell phone. I am leaving my laptop behind, and make do with what I have. I need to send my Palm Zire away for a new battery. I love that old device. I’ve yet to find anything to replace it.

A new toy?

I still have yet to find a reasonable replacement all-in-one device. Hewlett Packard has the HP iPAQ 910 Business Messenger. It’s close to what I want, but not exactly. It doesn’t have to be a cell phone. I want a PDA-type device that has: calendar, world clock, very loud alerts, camera, Internet browsing, plays music, word processing, e-book readable (PDF files), read/write SD cards, and GPS. My Zire does all except for GPS, which isn’t necessary for now.

Interesting Sin(s)

My older brother has no love for Las Vegas. This fellow is truly a remarkable, stable, family man. He doesn’t drive fast, curse, gamble, or drink: He goes to church every week and prays. He’s my exact opposite! And that’s why I love him so much.

As for me, each week, I aim for every one of the deadly sins, and feel bad when I miss a couple.

You could not pay me (enough) to go to church. I left that institution at around 11/12 years old. The only times I have been back is for weddings, and the holidays, which mercifully, have been few and far between. I have my reasons for not praying.

I’d go back yearly if I could, to Las Vegas, that is. I don’t think I’ve seen enough to be bored with yet. I like to go, because the place is very, very amusing. It makes me laugh. It’s getting harder to do that now-a-days. I don’t gamble either, although I would like to know how to play poker. I still drink, but I can’t handle it like I used to. (Said with much regret.)

It’s strange, I find Vodka easier to manage than Champagne or wine. I remember at a vineyard a host saying that a lot companies put cheap chemicals in the batches to “fix” a bad crop yield, or speed up the curing process. I believe it. I’ve had experienced enough bad drinks.

Language Tricks

I have no language skills, but I’m wondering if brushing up on a few words wouldn’t hurt. Where’s the bathroom? Are the most important words I need to know.

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Blog Wars: I Am Always Right!

It’s confusing to peruse some blogs (I have read a lot!), and there will be a long winded, or short biting rant about persons X, Y, and Z. They may leave some crumbs as clues, but overall I don’t know who / what they are talking about. And do not care, for that matter.

I know blogs serve all kinds of purposes: people explore thoughts, issues, and answers. I am the last one to tell people what to write, but…. It distracts from the intended message. It changes the tenor of a good, vibrant blog to a boring, bloviating one.

I wish I could be amused, but it reminds me of Junior High School.

Words do have power. I hope everyone remembers that. Although I do not believe that wishing or praying (calling on God to punish people on one’s behalf) ever bears fruit. No, it does not. Well, maybe the person doing the evil wishing will probably get struck dead first. That I do believe.

Well Balanced: Equanimity

I was thinking about how invested a lot of us are in being right. It’s a fascinating phenomenon. Among women, it start with words. Among men, it takes the form of action, killing one individual to millions. I’ve watched enough altercations, in person, to know how quickly the war of words will escalate into something worse.

However, no matter how clearly we all try to write, intention, thoughts, and meaning will get misinterpreted. Folks, let these things go. Life is too short worrying about hammering a single, or even two, points home to a bunch of strangers, some of whom belong in a mental asylum.


Frankly, for me, all I feel is indifference, or neutrality. It is the best emotion to have when dealing with this online medium. If I start to feel emotional, heated or disturbed, I am gone. I definitely need other things to occupy my time.

How people write has zero correlation to the individual they are in real life. A snarky online persona may be just that – an online persona.

I’ve know people who cannot write a coherent sentence, but are very smart, sharp, and kind. There’s a lot invested in the written word, but it is (to some degree) a poor second to looking an individual in the face, watching his / her expressions, and listening to how s/he sounds.

Being right though, is a matter of perspective. What works for one individual, does not always work for another. Folks have to learn to let it go. There’s something to be said for not having the last word. It might make one appear an intelligent adult. Well thought out rebuttals are dandy, but after a time – enough already.

Employ some mental balance; learn to see things from the other side on occasion.

Getting off my soapbox….

I have been loving the weather this spring and summer: Sweet!

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The False Lure of Sexual or Reproductive "Freedom"

I believe women have the right, and I wouldn’t criticize it, to fornicate with any number of men, women, and animals (where legal) if that is what they want to do. I believe the same rights also apply to men. This applies, obviously, to consenting adults, whatever age society believes an adult is. And as we are aware, the age of maturity is defined differently from state to state and nation to nation.

What I cannot tolerate, are monies taken from society to support individuals whose problems are caused by these behaviors. If adults are consenting, they have to live with the consequences of their actions.

I am aware there will be arguments made that while people are engaging in all sorts of licentious, and/or promiscuous sexual acts, they may be misinformed, and society needs to support them when it causes harm. No, not at all. If women want abortions after freely sleeping around, her lover, husband, boyfriend, or herself should pay for it. Society did not get her pregnant. Her man did. Society should not take on the expense of helping her to raise her child resulting from her freely liberated lifestyle. Is that a blanket statement applied to every situation? No, of course not.

Western societies with sexually empowered, promiscuous (or not) adults, are free to do whatever they want. People have fought for freedom from judgment. I concur. They are also free not to be subsidized. They also don’t want to know, or hear, about abstaining from sex, waiting for marriage, or staying monogamous. They claim all they need is more educational information, or not. They want to be able to procreate freely, and then have this entire chain of irresponsibility sponsored by others. The way I look at it, adults must, can, and will manage their lives as they see fit. Society is not obligated, nor should it be, to pay for all the mistakes of individuals.

If a woman wants an abortion, she can have it, as long as she pays for it. If she was told she would be sterilized, doesn’t that lower incidence of more abortions in the future? The same should apply to the man who impregnated her. DNA testing will find him quickly enough.

I’m all for the free expression of lust, and its non-procreative (copulating) engagement. However, if it spreads disease, I believe people should be quarantined for maliciously spreading it.

I believe in procreative freedom, yet it sometimes come with a price. A second abortion should automatically get one sterilized. Men who have a number of children, with multiple women, that are supported by the state should be sterilized. Why make the rest of society pay for unproductive persons? There are cult compounds with men impregnating multiple women (and very young girls) just to collect monies from the government. Children are important, a healthy, educated, and growing populous is important, but people who pay no consequences for their behavior need to be held accountable.

I believe in the freedom to have as many children as one wants without interference from the state. However, once you cannot afford to raise, clothe, feed, or shelter children – an individual invites interference from society (government, state). One’s freedom ends with the abuse of children; while they may be the offspring of one’s loins, one does not own them.

Therefore, the well being of children are separate from their parents. This is why so many are in foster care. The biological parents give the children up voluntarily, or were taken by the government for inadequate care. This is the result of irresponsible, and selfish individuals, not free-thinking, thoughtful and caring adults.

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Praying versus Purposeful Living: The Tigress Has Stripes

I had taken this vow, or made it my goal, to be nicer to people this year. I don’t mean mindlessly self-effacing, humble, or accommodating. I am polite, that’s a given. My intention is to shutdown the harsh critic that resides in my brain. I decided that if I keep the internal-thought-troll quiet, it wouldn’t appear on my face.

I know that a placid, or blank mind, would help me keep a calm and “open” disposition. Less agitation equals less stress and distraction.

So, this past weekend some strange(r) guy was trying to get a rise out of me. His tomfoolery did not work. It was rather amusing watching this individual loudly utter his non sequiturs, interrupt everyone, and attempt to goad me by intimating some rather silly topics while beaming in my direction.

Sorry, not biting! In the old days, I would have been irritated. Yet this time, I felt like I was watching it all from a distance.

It was a good feeling, having self-control and emotional mastery such as that.

Praying and Meditating

I am contemplating on learning to meditate, since I’ve decided that praying doesn’t suit me. I want to meditate to improve my focus and concentrate. I’m a bit too scatterbrained these days.

I shared this philosophy with my Mother a number of months ago – that I don’t actually pray – and I thought she was ready to say that I was going to hell. (LOL)

I explained myself in more detail, so she would understand.

I think today’s version of “I’ll pray for you,” or “I’ll pray on that,” comes across as 1-800-God-is-listening, or 1-800-God-does-what-I-want. Call that number, and the big Jesus will do as you request. I know people fervently believe that.

I do not. I also do not live in fear of this eternal being, this divine diety(ies) most folks on this planet claim, or swear, to believe in.

Honestly, I think a large number of people are atheistic, or malignant non-believers, based on how they conduct their lives, although they may spend a lot of time talking as if they believe in a higher being. I’m not convinced, based on human behavior, or actions, that they have any faith.

I believe we have absolute control over ourselves, yet the rest lies with fate (randomness, chaos, or maybe the butterfly effect).

We can only do just so much to steer our own destinies.

I find that living purposefully, and saying to myself, “That is what I’m going to do. This is what I want,” works best.

Purposeful Living

I’ve compared praying versus purposeful living, and to me, there is no contest. What I’ve always said I’m going to get, and want – I get. However, I do not ask for much. I know the limits of how much I can handle. I am endlessly surprised by how much I’ve already received.

My Mom calls it being, “lucky.” Nope, I don’t like that word.

I just truly believe in being careful of what I ask for. The devil really is in the details. I keep it all very, very simple.

And after each desire, want and need has been delivered, received or accomplished, I do thank that heavenly divine infinite being(s).

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On the Horizon: School and Travel Plans for the Fall

Recommended Reading: Goals, Planning, and Execution

I’ve finished one set of classes. This month I have to make some preparations. I’m great at planning; it’s the follow-through that’s harsh.

I’ve finally decided do some moderately serious non-fiction reading. I’ve acquired (via the library) a list of books to read by Barbara Sher. It was recommended by a classmate. Ms. Sher tells you how to follow through on your battle plan(s).

Books by Barbara Sher

I have another class coming up in August. Come September, I will take a break.

Travel Break

I am thinking (deeply, as usual) about visiting Europe in late September. I want to stay for a couple of weeks. I’d visit, but I’ve never stayed with family before. I might this time. Also, I think most of the tourists from the US are gone by then.

I’ve always visited Europe in the summer, which in retrospect is a big mistake. I am a laid back, easy going woman. I really am. I am extremely polite. However, the worst thing is to sit next to a very inquisitive middle-aged American white woman who seems confused as to how, and why, a person, namely me!, could be heading to, or touring, the same European country.

You’d think some of them would know better by now. Oh, well. Don’t get me wrong, they’re nice women. It’s just that I am not the kind of person who immediately spills her guts to a complete stranger.

It’s also interesting how white men know how to carry on a conversation without working your last nerve. Frankly, I’d rather sit next to them than anyone else when I travel. In future, and when I remember to, I will write why they are my preference.

I will make my plans, and aim to go when the tourist season starts to ebb, but before flu season starts. Is that even possible?

Travel Research

I never leave for any country without conducting research. My first stop is the CIA web site. I may look at the country via Google Earth. I try to check: crime rates, news of recent rioting, how the people feel about their government, weather, exchange rates, and if there is any kind of (widespread) backlash against African, Arab, and Latin American immigrants, etc.

Although when I was Spain, everyone knew right away I was American before I said a word. Not sure how they knew. I’m still scratching my head over that.

A Bit of Travel Prep

I’ve been walking up to 90 minutes per day, because traveling is exhausting. I will have to increase my weightlifting routine as well. I’m giving myself roughly 12 weeks to get into super-duper-shape; to get ready for the tourist-triathlon.

I still haven’t decided where I may go, so I’ll have to start with the where-to? list first.

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