Wednesday, April 30, 2008

No Preocupa

Cassandra (kə-săn'drə)
  1. Greek Mythology. A daughter of Priam, the king of Troy, endowed with the gift of prophecy but fated by Apollo never to be believed.
  2. One that utters unheeded prophecies.
"Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces." Matthew 7: 6

Pernicious indeed are the efforts of the seemingly well-intentioned. The comfort I take is the quiet knowledge that many people while causing harm have no good intentions at all. I need to take stock of my own motives whenever I want to counsel someone on their language use. I have read enough psychology, pop psychology, self-help books, and far reaching philosophies from westerners exploring the east and easterners wanting to think west. My favorite response to questions is "I do not know." I think this will shelter my heart from virulent attacks, of other well-meaning interlopers.

Of what is the language I speak? Throughout my adult years I have listened to countless arrogant advisories from people telling me, musing on books, watching films, or otherwise involving themselves carelessly in the language of others. How are the words you use going to effect you? Answer: I do not know. No spurious claims on how your success or failure rest on your word usage will issue from my lips. Not today.

I will listen politely as you tell me anything about your life. You can be confident, pro-active, self-deprecating, or mindlessly self-effacing. Your maintenance of your language, and your use of your words remains none of my concern. The reason is not some high minded philosophic commitment to non-interference. It is my personal assurance that I do not know what any person's true goals are; what a person has in their heart should often stay guarded, and I fully believe reading- from Dr. Phil, Dr. Laura, Baba Ram Das, Tim Leary, Rush Limbaugh, or sheriff Joe Arpaio- in no way qualifies me to guide an individual in their acquisition of their goals. As such, I cannot bring you unsolicited advice, of which my opinions are legion.

Sigh. I speak often of the damage I believe is caused by too much reading. Certainly that statement alone will reduce my readership. Be it by compliance or revulsion, I will drive you away, no doubt. ( Such thoughts could have a negative impact on my life). I know, because many people have told me so... I would never discourage someone from reading. I cherish my visitors to this blog.

But for me, I have to temper my temptation to read studies. No one yet has produced a study which I am assured would yield positive returns for me. That is a study that I know will show conclusive evidence that many people accomplish great things by not listening to psychology obsessed directors.

I do not say that negative self-talk is not harmful. But is the constant analytical chatter of the control freaks of the world any better. We have nothing to fear but fear itself, so I cannot stifle myself by stopping everything I do to ask myself : is this going to inhibit my growth.

My life is moving in a good direction, despite everything people have tried to do to convince me otherwise. I am growing up just as fast as I was intended.

Update: I have been to give my blood. I have given countless vials of my blood to the phlebotomist and will have my platelets counted, my sugars analyzed, my metabolic panel checked out, and my medication load looked at.... More to report later...

Monday, April 28, 2008

Blood Glucose, Procrastination, and You

Something about fasting makes me very hungry. I do not mean the act of fasting. I mean the otherwise sated hours preceding a fast. Fully engorged, I stay comfortable when I am struck with a thought. The thought is this: after eight you can have no more food, no more coffee, no more anything, except water... the result, the stifling challenge is realization that donuts, cookies, coffee, and fast food shine like beacons in the night. I need to stop typing so I can take a bite out of a chocolate old fashioned donut, and a sip of outrageously hot coffee.

What happened? What has transpired to make me this way?

Earlier I was thinking about this blog entry where I spoke of my now international accountability group. I spoke of this, wrote of this in the week since my doctor's appointment. I have held onto the fact I was given a lab slip over a week ago, and I had not gone in to get my blood drawn. I have been on the blog of some eighteen year old who wrote of avoiding procrastination. I could try to explain why my procrastination bears all the elements of legitimacy, but I feel my readership would lose respect.

Well, yesterday, I told people I would go to get my blood drawn. I decided this is Monday, and I would have ample opportunity to have the blood drawn before my day ended.

I forgot that getting around would be a challenge, because my bicycle was locked up at work, and had to stop at work to get my paycheck. I had already decided I was too poorly organized to get out to complete my task, and let the phlebotomist puncture my arm. I decided to flake out on the plan.

The bus pulled around a turn, and I could see the roof of Orchard Nutrition Center in the distance while on the side street, I saw a sign which read “give blood today.” It did not say 'give blood'. It did not say “sometime soon”; it said today. I could write about the habits of the brain, and how constant conjunction is a theory that tells me two events happening in close proximity do not have any significance. I wanted to see that sign on the road as my sign. I wanted to say that the constantly conjoined events of my roadside bargaining, and the emergence of that sign evidences that one caused the other. I wanted to believe that that sign was placed there for me.

After I retrieved my check, I went to the clinic. The man took my slip, and raised one eyebrow: “did you have anything to eat or drink today?” I said yes. That was it. I had to come back. I resolved, therefore to fast as commanded between seven tonight, (which is now) and twelve hours from now.

So, for now, I know I just have to relax. I have artificially elevated my blood sugar, and will climb up Market Street to home, and sleep early... This is my report for now .

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Power in The Blood

It is a beautiful day here in Redding, CA. I am happy to be one of the few people in this state that is not destroyed by heat. No precipitation, and low humidity, I am quite okay with this heat. Though when I am tired, the heat seems to impact me harder. I have spoken of this leg thing. I am still able to bicycle alright.

If I had my old bicycle, I would be able to judge better how well my endurance has changed. I force myself to push harder while biking. Still, I do not know what kind of endurance I would be able to get should I attempt to bike back to San Jose. So, tomorrow (Monday) I go to the clinic to have my blood drawn to check a whole slew of things. Most important of these are making sure my liver is functioning after two years of being medicated without adequate monitoring.

I also turn in my medical forms to the government which will request paycheck stubs to verify that I qualify for the CMSP assistance. I remember when I was younger, all I had to do was walk into the county hospital, and say I was too poor to pay, and they would admit me to treatment on an “ability to pay” program. It is humbling to realize that that was indeed close to fifteen years ago, and I have no idea what is in place in the hospitals in Santa Clara County.

I have received much loving encouragement from my mother. The beautiful person that she is, she has suggested to me that she has noticed one, maybe two, typographical and spelling errors on my site. She had therefore also concluded that if I wrote all my posts in advance of going to the coffee shops, I could produce cleaner writing, with fewer errors. I would say that I am starting to heed this advice, though, I am sure no one has noticed, nor would care- about my little typing errors. Mothers are quite wonderful. I recommend everybody get one.

As for my trip to the doctor's. I laugh, because now I have a whole world as my accountability group. I have people reading me now asking me about the commitments I have made. I have people ask me if I have seen the doctor. I saw one lady, a bus driver,who asked me what is going on with my medical situation, and she does not even read my blog! One thing instilled in me as a child was that I am a lousy liar. Not that I am lousy in that I am a liar. The comment was that I am merely incompetent in lying. So, by default, I choose to tell the truth. I would love to say high moral character and sterling values drives me to tell the truth. I think that would be a lie.

One of my friends wrote online that she is “surrounded by beautiful people.” I have always found I find the people I am looking for. It is exciting to read from Napoleon Hill. In the 1920's he wrote of how people can evoke change in their lives through the use of a Master Mind Group. This is a principle he espoused after a long study of the wealthiest, most successful people of his time. It was in the 1920's he worked on a theory he called the Law of Attraction.

It is a very practical concept as Hill presents it. Decide on what you want, and surround yourself with like-minded people. Surround yourself with people who are living out the realities you want for yourself. It is important to say that Napoleon Hill was probably not making any kind of mystical associations. He said that “thoughts are things” and with that thought launched the book “Think and Grow Rich” many decades ago. With the support of others I come to see that I, with all my creativity, and all my dynamic enthusiasm, can flounder without the support of others.

If I believe that such support is available, I am more apt to see it. If I fall into depression, I will fail to see every open door in my path. So, I am grateful today. Life, indeed, is good.

Thank you for reading.

Note: I have reread this twice. I have looked at all the red lines drawn by my computer, and I am certain that I have caught most of the glaring mistakes in this post. With practice, I am sure my competence as a proofreader will improve.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Day at the Doctor's

I reported to the HOPE van today. I was seen by a doctor who said I amn overdue to get a lot of work done so they showed me how top get my medical assistance funding work filled out, had me talk to a social worker, and assured me that nothing easily diagnosed was wrong with me....

Sigh. so much for: "take two aspirin and call me in the morning."

As a medically indigent member of Shasta County, I am being sent through the social services system so I can get my referral approved to see a neurologist who will review my latest CT scans of my brain, check out my medicine levels, review my life medical history, and determine then, maybe then a diagnosis of what is wrong with my legs...

In the past year I have gotten tired of dsragging my foot, tired of randomly losing my balance, and surveying scabs from falling on my knees and elbows. Those carpets can be a challenge sometimes. Sad, I find hope in thinking I may get an answer to my questions, but what are the answers I am going to get?

I believe that whenever one door opens, another one closes. For that I can be grateful.

I was given a prayer at a retreat house in San Juan Bautista:

God, thank you for everything you gave to me.
Thank you for everything you took from me.
Thank you for everything you left me.

I suppose being frustrated over my physical problems is just another thing to move past and learn from...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Time to Attend to Business

Since last summer I had noticed a slight limp in my leg. As months passed, I noticed it got worse, and then leveled out.... I am a grocer. I work in a warehouse, moving product, and stocking shelves. Sad to say, I think that ignoring it has not served me well. It is frustrating to think my ability to do my job has suffered as a result...

I am going to go see a doctor tomorrow. I do not know what thje result will be. As an uninsured working member of Shasta County, the services available top help me are severely limited, but, as man y of my friends have said, I was negligent in not going sooner...

So, one service available to me is a place called ther HOPE van. It will be parked in front of Living Hope, a church and service center. So, I will take this chance to see what I can find, what help is available..... and move forward.

Monday, April 7, 2008

What's the Word?

DICTIONARY, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work. --Ambrose Bierce

I am in coffee-land, America, gulping decaffeinated brew (already had my caffeine fill) and was tryhing to get a sense for why language, why words mean so much to me.... I am sure I could trace it back to childhood trauma, social anxiety, or fears related to my neurology, or ongoing angst working in a service framework, where the highlight of my day is where someone asks, “what is lecithin good for?”

Working in a health food store does have advantages. I am a grocer. I do do my job well, but alas, I love words. I love language, and I love coffee which elevates my neurotransmittors, and brings my Tourette's Syndrome to new levels of animation. Caffeine, readily available in my workplace, is regularly vilified by our vitamin consultants. I feel it is unfair. I have reduced to only a few cups a day.

Still, I am getting ready to go back to school, and what is the inspiration? Well, I can start saying that I am not making very much money in the service world. I do not have medical insurance, and there is just nothing very inspiring about stocking apple cider vinegar, organiccally grown beef, and gluten free pastas. I am not particularly happy with fielding comments from those who ask, “are not helth food employees some of the more sickly people you see?”

I am going back to school, because I know -unlike in time's past- that teachiung is not merely something I could do, but something I could do, and do well. I could find some moments of satisfaction working with others excited aboiut learning....

Also, with a chronic limp, I have crossed out long distance running, and basketball as possible money-makers for me.

Neurology is a weird thing. From the time I was a 150 cell blastocyst to the present day, some thirty eight years later, I have experienced assaults to my nervous system from spinal meningitis, hydrocephalus, and epilepsy to unexplained lack of balance, dragging foot, and drifting attention span.... I mention the last one to beg forgiveness if my writing likewise seems to drift...

So, after all is said, I am still here, alive with a love of learning, a love of words, and a love of the histories that spill forth when words are cracked open.

From language we can see the truest meanings of our communications, the movements of armies, the influences of land mass, bodies of water, and the worship of Gods. It is fun to see where a word got its start, and more exciting to understand that each day we can find a older beginning than we found before. These are the thoughts that encourage me as I trudge on.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Back to ... Me?

The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.
Napoleon Hill

Oh, soon we'll be out amid the cold world's strife.
Soon we'll be sliding down the razor blade of life.
Tom Lehrer

One day I was looking at my blog, a blog post from time's past, when one anonymous chap criticized my writing on my use of the word “formidable.” The funny part oif it was the man wanted to criticize me on account of my “self-conscious prose.” Frightful. I never was more self-conscious in my writing than following that horrid accusation. My writing may drift into the realms of affectation or frivolity. My chief fault if anything was my lack of self-consciousness. Once again we see where one man tries to find his way into another man's head, an intrepid endeavor to say the least.

Of course, I have little formal schooling where I could learn what an English professor would view as my or some other person's writing as “self-conscious prose.” Perhaps I am due to continue my schooling. This inquiry has been with me for two years. I always wondered what it is about the word “formidable” that would qualify it as “self-conscious prose.” My hope is I will be able to see what words in the English language I would have to avoid to protect other's delicate sensibilities.... But that creates a double bind. I would become more self-conscious than ever.

I write all this in humor, of course. It is a sad day when I take any of this, this blogging too seriously. Right now, I am priming upo to start on my next evolution. I am looking to start teaching. Life for me has been following one service job after another. I have to say I am eager top establish a new path for myself. I am now in the college computer, and anxious over facing a classroom for the first time in thirteen years.

I hav e started this process, retrieving transcripts, meeting with counselors, planning a study course, and planning, at the age of thirty-seven, to finish a four-year degree. My goal, though, is to teach English overseas, and am getting a lot of support. I will keep you all posted.

Thank you for reading.

(following are some note I wrote before......thought I lost them, was surprized to find them on the blog)
I am sitting in Breaking New Grounds Coffee shop, waiting to embark on another day throwing groceries in insanely cold temperatures. I love the freezer, and I love many aspects of life in the service sector. I have decided I really need to pursue more. I wrote in m onths past I was looking to make more money, and I have taken steps to further plans I had a long time ago.

It is frustrating to admit all the back-burner plans in my life. Having read so much on personal organization, I have to say I do not benefit myself in stating anything overly negative about myself in this respect, but I do know historically I have had challenges following through on my plans. I have had enormously helpful people, enormously encouraging people. I have known a wealth of books designed to coax, help, shame, and in spire me into different living.

I think that is why I identify so heavily with Sheldon Kopp's book. There is no truth that can be impartted upon me. I can read books all my life, but it is only when an idea wants to germinate, when I really want something, when my heart is ready toi change, that the new behaviour takes place. I suppose I could get my PhD. and write a book, explaining how I will say nothing in truth that will change your life.

So, if you are inspired by the thought you might want to teach English overseas, I have several links on this blog with information. I have not a single inspiring link.