Saturday, June 28, 2008

Kado Untuk Keith. (posted for my Malay speaking friends)

I sit with one quiet satisfaction. Every year, in June, I remind my coworker how terribly old she is getting. This year, she has turned thirty-eight. Well, come July eight, I too will be thirty-eight years old. I have this on my profiles. I have no point in hiding. I know that when my friend refers to me as Bapak Keith, it is a sign of respect, not of my great chronological advancement.

What I reap, I shall sow. If I want to be mean to my coworker- a hair's breadth older than me- than I will likewise be haunted by others wanting to remind me of my special day ahead... This is in one, if not many of my profiles.

I do not want to discuss this. I have received a picture, and I will post it here, of my birthday present, en route to me from a location very far away... I see the picture, haunted by the picture. I think what kind of taunting person would send me a picture of my gift, a very beautiful picture.

Understand me when I say this. I hated the taunting notion that I would have to wait until Christmas to figure out what was inside my packages, sitting under the tree. I also knew that there was a horrible enticement in this room, this one room in my home, that my sister and I were forbidden to enter in the weeks prior to Christmas. I would imagine in that room were paper shopping bags of presents that would eventually show up under the tree on Christmas Day.

I want you to know I only assume what was in that room. To admit more would inculpate me, and I live in a country where I am encouraged never to say anything that would in anyway incriminate me. I understood the ultimate value of this Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution when I heard the case of the renowned psychic Miss Cleo, who was arrested for her questionable business practices.

When Miss Cleo was asked her name, she invoked her Fifth Amendment rights, and I still think that that is wild and intense.

"What is your name?"
"I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that the answer may tend to incriminate me."

So, I drifted on a tangent long enough. My gift is a taunt. That I have to await its arrival is a taunt. That I ruminate on my fortieth birthday as if it ius a landing strip. I see the landing lights. I was already told by my sister of our approach to forty. I told her in disgust that that is two and a half years away.

So, where is Monty Hall when I ponder what to do? Do I ask to open the curtain, or do I accept what is in the box? God is good, so I will wait for the package.

Thank you for reading.

(I have received the picture, and will post it once I get an accommodating Internet connection. )

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Jangan Bermain Api! or Don't Play With Fire

I am sitting in Redding, CA. While I was stocking groceries in Cypress Square on Saturday, I was amazed at the weather. Here I am, from San Jose, California, and this surprise rain showers with an astounding (maybe not astounding. I have no idea what is normal) 5, 000 lightning strikes, creating around 700 fires, giving firefighters enormous amounts of overtime hours .

While I am aware of the damage, and potential damage to peoples' homes, and the fear people face living in their homes in the more forested areas here in the north state, I am thinking about me, and the air quality of the valley I live in. It is strange how when I left my apartment yesterday, I was struck with that humid, warm air. I was feeling the exhaust of all those fires on my skin.

Here, in Redding, the exhaust hung in the air for days, blowing out, and filling back in. The advisories to stay in are falling back as the air starts to improve, but it is amazing what this little day of storming did to our valley in one, short day. Still, many people, even if their homes are fine, have been forced to find alternative lodging while the billows of smoke filter through the mountains.

At Cypress Square, we had a parking lot celebration where the many store owners stood under tarpaulins and were providing free samples to the many visitors that showed up in spite of the sporadic rain. It was wild to hear of one band whose operations were shut down when lightning struck their sound equipment. I only can say I am shocked at their lack of dedication. I toiled over bags of bulk foods, and listened to the thunderclaps overhead, and never once did I think that such an active storm could cause any problems.

The festivities included watching much of the management staff from our own grocery perched on a platform, above cool water, as determined nearby residents bought tickets to show their gifted pitching skills. I was pleased to hear all my bosses got soaked at least once.

Well, we have had problems. Governor Arnold has brought in fire crews from several neighboring states, and the burning is still going strong. The attendant firefighting efforts still can only address a portion of the fires burning at any one time. I must enjoy the fresh air coming in today, because we may have more smoky haze blowing in soon.

I sit in this coffee shop, and enjoy the fine air conditioning. I know I will have to enter into the fray soon. I am feeling too leisurely for my own good.

I have more business to address to.

My roommate started a dialogue with me, using the question, “Keith, remember when you moved in almost a year ago, we agreed your stay is to be temporary? Well...”

I have to visit my neurosurgeon's office to deliver papers to get my records released from past medical in San Jose.

I have my financial aid papers all rteady to go, but still do not have transcripts in Shasta College to get the ball rolling.... Today is not about leisure. I will post more later.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Next Thoughts on the Subject

COURSE: Mindful Communication (WSP 141)

Mindfulness, a major tradition within meditation practice, is also known as
insight meditation. With its practice, awareness is brought to each moment in
a non-judgmental way that helps you see what is on your mind without editing
or censorship. By observing your thoughts and emotions, as if you had taken a
step back from them, you can see much more clearly the processes of your
mind. With more mindful awareness comes greater mental clarity and calmness
to meet life’s challenges.

With practice, these qualities can be integrated into day-today interactions
with others. In addition to silence, movement, and other mindfulness
, this course will also teach awareness of speech through the use of
a non-judgmental language known as Nonviolent Communication (NVC), which can help you learn to be true to yourself while compassionate with others.
Through this process, you will learn to transform habitual, reactive patterns
of thinking that often lead to anger, depression, or isolation, and move
instead toward a conscious language that is based on life-affirming
connection and empathy. A list of area practice groups and ongoing classes
will be provided to strengthen meditation and communication skills. Both
instructors have studied and practiced mindful meditation for more than
thirty year

After, listening to all the commentaries on forgiveness, I have been struck with what a forgiving readership I have. I think to my challenges, and to my righteous anger, and then read about all the forgiving souls I have listening to me. This it for me a challenge.

I have some people that know what I believe. I may b e a little quiet, a little ambiguous on that. I know that for me, I see how important this is to many folk, and I would never actively deprecate anyone for having these ideas that seem to swim in the direction of altruism. I am not altruistic, and when I contemplate the concept of 70x 7, m,y thoughts move to a world where maybe people would admit their faults before I could forgive them. In this world, one thing I know is my willingness to admit my faults only invites others with opportunistic zeal, to trounce upon me when they feel a need to attack someone. So, I offer up today's course description, and am willing to resume our talks on forgiveness.

In church I was taught to be contrite. I was taught to have remorse when I did things wrong. Here I am told I have to let these things go, if only for my own peace of mind. Some people will never own up to their mistakes.

Yes, I read from the course that my forgiveness will heal me. I know my forgiveness will save my heart, and my health, so perhaps I am silly to deny myself this. I told my coworker, a beautiful, discerning woman, that I was distraught over all the free flowing claims of people's forgiving natures...

She looked at me tenderly, and said with great love, “Keith, these people want to show you how they put these principles in practice. Perhaps they are arrogant, or perhaps they are sincere. It is possible that they are trying to act better than you, or maybe they are filled with a conviction, backed up with worldly experience...”

“:... In any case, you have to forgive them.” (She seemed tickled by this). Sigh.

Well, she did not say I have to forgive anyone else. I guess that is fine. So, how do I get from last discussion to today's course offering from the Stanford catalog?

I think maybe some more mindfulness will serve me well as I mull over the eighteen responses I had to my last post. I am feeling oxygen deprived, and I crave my chances to witness entropy in the world, and the degradation of the glues that hold it all together as oxidation brings everything back down to its base elements. I need to meditate, and you all think I need to forgive. Seventy times seven was the message

Mindfulness is my next course. I am learning how to be open to thjese ideas. I suppose you all are helping me along the way.

Thank you reading.

As for the doctor, I actually know the name of my doctor, and I am delivering the release form they want so they can review my past neuro records. I will be in expert care, as my neuro doc comes with very high recommendation.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Stomach Acid, Forgiveness, and Recovery

Forgiveness as a practice is taught by all the major religious traditions of
the world. These diverse doctrines all claim that forgiveness can help heal
relationships, soothe painful emotions, and serve as an example of the
religious life. The importance of practicing forgiveness has been extolled
for centuries, but only in the past ten years has research demonstrated that
forgiveness promotes physical and mental health. Specifically, our research
has shown that interpersonal forgiveness can lead to decreased depression,and
through blood pressure, stress, and hurt; increased hope, physical vitality,
and self-confidence; and, most important, reduced anger. In this course we
will explore forgiveness from a biological, psychological, and social
perspective. We will reflect upon the need for forgiveness in our own lives,
and through guided practice, work with one of the few forgiveness
methodologies that has been successfully subjected to scientific examination.

My name is Keith, and I am a vitriolic. I am here to claim my powerlessness over vitrioles in my life. My life, encumbered by the weight of my growing cynicism, and the darkness of my addiction. I started using oxygen at an early age. I started sneaking breaths as far back as 1970, and my desire to claim, to use, indulge in oxygen to satisfy my cravings became overwhelming.

Oxygen, I know, is not the heart of my addiction. My life of indulgence culminates in this plague of righteousness that fills my soul on a regular basis. It is not for me to deal out judgement. It is not for me to see what is righjt or wrong in this world. I am addicted to vitrioles. I am addicted to the burn, the bite. I feel a surge in the way oxygen rots paint jobs, the way it makes my olive oil rancid. My love of oxygen comes from the enormity of its power.

How much iron oxide was produced in the over nine decades since the Titanic went under water? What decay, what transformation took place in the bodies of the many hundreds of bodies that sank with the ship? I know there was a moment. I feel a vitriole coming on. I think that I am not the only one that watched the 1996 Titanic film, with our blood oxygenating in our lungs, and feeling quickened during those moments in which Rose calls out to Jack.

Her hands held his, as she calls out, him getting weaker in the frigid water, as she says, "Jack. Jack... I will never let go. I will never let go." Who else, besides me, felt a niacin flush, skin blazing hot as Rose looks into Jack's eyes, one last time, and ...

Well, she lets go. I saw the director's cut of Titanic, and I saw the camera cut to Rose, her hand going limp, and Jack Dawson( Di Capprio) sinking below the water. In that one soft, tender moment she looks at her lover, sinking to his death, as she whispers inaudibly "It must suck being you."

So, here I am, early in my acid recovery. I am just learning the basics of the twelve steps. I am admitting my powerlessness. I see the draw of the vitrioles. Righteous anger has no more place in my heart. So, with me striving to achieve a more reasonable pH -in my body, mind and soul- I strive to listen to my customers. I work in health food store, as one man walked up to me, and said with complete conviction, "All these dried foods are acid, all of them." I felt a moment of quiet reflection, tried to release myself from the enticement, the excitement of the thought, and knew temptation was at hand.

I went to the bathroom, rinsed my mouth with baking soda, washed my hands in a good alkaline soap, and resolved to trust God, a little more. Just for today.

Thank you for reading.

As an aside, I want to say I have not yet heard from my doctor. I do have to check my voice mail when I get home. But , also good news, for those knowing I am going to school, I have an appointment to go to see about my financial aid application in the college tomorrow.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

If This is an Emergency, Dial 911

I have been working on money things, and taking care of business, and for a while, some of the people -actually in contact with me, out here in my corporeal existence- have approached me, and asked about a simple concern. I was asked by many about my CT scan of my brain. I am listening to a podcast of the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe: Your Escape to Reality. It calms me in this scary time, a time when I am haunted by many folk that have approaching me with New Age and pseudo science answers to life problems.

I did have a CT scan. The people at MD Imaging in Redding, California, took me into a room, and used the CT scanner to take several slice pictures of my brain. Each one is viewed like a slice of a tomato. In my case, my past CT scans were done most specifically to check the ventricles in my brain. My ventricles are the spaces inside my brain, and should there be a problem with the hardware installation done in 1995, and the shunt in my brain is failing to drain my fluids adequately there would be evidenced in the ventricles getting bigger. Like the water in a balloon forcing the balloon to expand outward so would be the case in my brain.

After my caustic attack on the cash machine started by an Australian movie producer, her cadre of out of work authors, “philosophers”, and one token “quantum physicist.” My roommate has assured me that it is my thinking about quantum physicists, and The Secret fans is precisely what brings those things into my world. If I started thinking about something else, I would be able to manifest a new world. I could banish them from my world, altogether.

Now then, as for the question of my CT scan. One conversation, I had with my mother, and an email I sent to my sister, we believed someone has seen my CT scan. I am not yet in the care of a neurologist, so, as for the results of my CT scan, I believe precisely this: If I had a brain tumor, or my shunt was seriously malfunctioning, someone would have noticed something in my scan worthy of a phone call.

My belief is that if there was something obvious in my CT scan, I would have heard from them. They are making an appointment, and ordered my visit with the neurologist. Now, the coordinator at the HOPE van is calling me soon to get me further on the path to some answers.

So, what do I know that I did not know before visiting the HOPE van? I know from my blood tests that many functions in my body are working quite well, and the doctor is quite pleased with this, as well as is the patient. For now, I will continue reading for the day. I also have laundry to do tonight.

Thank you for reading.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Just Wanna Know: Do You Really Care?

I have seen the light. I am looking at the path of least resistance I know my lower ph attitude is not popular. I am trying to cut the tomatoes out of my diet. It is easier since the latest crisis has elevated the cost of tomatoes in California. Still, my efforts to drink unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar have come to an end. Will this dietary modification remove the acidic bite from my writing?

Just knowing what a sharply opinionated man I can be inspires me with a quiet satisfaction. I can tone down my criticisms and proceed onto more positive, more enlightened paths. I am sitting in Arby's, drinking water after finishing off a large chocolate shake.

This is a challenge.

I will say that being positive is one of my greatest assets. It is good if I use it more often. My laughter, my dream was founded in an interaction I had years ago with a coworker. I know many have heard this discussion, but here goes:

I explained to a friend of mine that my indifference is probably my greatest strength. He looked at me, and seriously responded , “Maybe, your indifference is your greatest weakness.”

I told him that I do not care.

Now aside from a silly flat line, a moment of opportunism met with opportunity, and I was able to deliver what at the time I thought a very funny retort. Now, I realize, that aside from the humor in that comment, I see I am truly indifferent on precious little. I am still able to find great peace, and live with my great passion. What does my indifference do, but deaden me to the richness of everyday existence?

I was commenting on how many opportunities are opening up to me as I brighten my outlook. I told a friend that people are rushing to me with new thoughts, brighter money opportunities, and bigger smiles. My health is improving, and I can see equivocally how all this came about as a direct result of my actions.

I feel that all my years of listening to positive thinkers, motivational thinkers, physiology coaches has not been wasted. What about physiology? Well, as I listen to people like Tony Robbins, I realize that my physiology is the key to getting past my most unproductive behaviors. I found my personal state that is most productive, the times when I am getting most accomplished, I am anything but indifferent.

My indifference is a quality that steals from me the fire that keeps me moving in a positive direction. Maybe I was filled with joy -another time I failed in my indifference- when I was sitting in the company of a close friend. She looked at me, and with a fire in her eyes, a smoldering passion in her heart, told me that love and hate have there place in the world, but indifference is lethal. She told me that on several occasions. I was amazed at the passion that filled the air when she spoke of the lethality of indifference. I knew then, that try as she might, her excitement discussing the death of others destroyed her chance to be indifferent.

But, maybe she is right. As I look at the times I was most dead- the times my soul was dying- I found that that was when my indifference was at its peak. I cannot testify to the lethality of my apathy on others. I am not certain anyone cares that much. I do know if you read this page, know my passion, know my love, know my dislikes, that for you this page will be more exciting than if I try to inspire you with how little I care.

Let us try again, and move back to that optimum physiology again. I am thinking that mayhbe my friend was right when he dove into biofeedback many years ago. Indeed he is one oif the happier, most calm people I know.

Thank you for reading.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

My System has been too Alkaline Lately

adj 1: harsh or corrosive in tone; "an acerbic tone piercing
otherwise flowery prose"; "a barrage of acid
comments"; "her acrid remarks make her many enemies";
"bitter words"; "blistering criticism"; "caustic jokes
about political assassination, talk-show hosts and
medical ethics"; "a sulfurous denunciation" [syn: acerb,
acerbic, acid, acrid, bitter, blistering, caustic,
sulfurous, sulphurous, venomous, virulent]
2: of a substance, especially a strong acid; capable of
destroying or eating away by chemical action [syn: caustic,
corrosive, erosive]

adj 1: sour or bitter in taste [syn: acerb, astringent, sharp]
2: harsh or corrosive in tone; "an acerbic tone piercing
otherwise flowery prose"; "a barrage of acid comments";
"her acrid remarks make her many enemies"; "bitter words";
"blistering criticism"; "caustic jokes about political
assassination, talk-show hosts and medical ethics"; "a
sulfurous denunciation" [syn: acerb, acid, acrid, bitter,
blistering, caustic, sulfurous, sulphurous, venomous,
virulent, vitriolic]

gaseous chemical element, 1790, from Fr. oxygène, coined in 1777 by Fr. chemist Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743-94), from Gk. oxys "sharp, acid" + Fr. -gène "something that produces" (from Gk. -genes "formation, creation"). Intended to mean "acidifying (principle)," from Fr. principe acidifiant. So called because oxygen was considered essential in the formation of acids. The element was isolated by Priestley (1774), who thought it an altered form of common air and called it dephlogisticated air.

Part of me feels I should be apologetic. People from my past would assure me that the need to apologize is founded solely in my unresolved codependency. It is fascinating how the sensation to apologize, the feeling of remorse, the sense that perhaps I did something wrong. I laugh. One friend told me that the sensation of guilt was caused by too little B12 vitamin. I told her I was always under the impression it was caused by doing things wrong. Of course, if I want to live an amoral existence, free from the ravages of guilt, I have been assured I am already getting plenty B 12 from my carnivorous diet.

Apparently my thinking transcends (or maybe undermines) the more basic psychologies these days. I guess the basic thoughts are that guilt is a feeling that comes on, like a cough or a fever. It is the evidence of dysfunction. In this time when I have been counseled on how all folks have different truths, perhaps my truth- that truth where a person feels guilty as evidence of inappropriate behaviour- is an idea with which I can, and more importantly, should, let go.
Anyway, today, I had a friend explain to me, I am vitriolic in my discussions on The Secret, that cash machine produced by Rhonda Byrne. I love the discussions connecting me to acid. My soul lights up with the excitement over the dual life of oxygen, and the thrill that I should be classified as such. I had already once been called acerbic. My guilt comes when I know I should be ashamed for not wanting to climb into this Brave New World, this veritable preschool where we will stave off all negative thoughts without ever taking time to establish the parameters of what is in fact a negative thought. Where is Aldous Huxley at a time like this?

I am thrilled that, as we discuss this oxygen, that we comprehend my vitriolic comments, it is indeed the cowardice of these Rhonda Byrne drones that drives up my oxygen levels. I see how the oxygen fires up my blood, and at the same time oxidizes and tears apart paint jobs, cooking oils, potato chips, and the connective tissues of The Law of Attraction practitioners. I do not believe that positive thinking, and The Law of Attraction protects anyone from entropy, protects anyone from the ravages of time, as manifest in the form of free radicals in the blood . Ahh, but even they can eat up blueberries, and drink green tea if their newfound religion permits them.(Non skeptics know that antioxidants in these foods will help them live longer without reading books about imagining what we want)

So, am I vitriolic? Is there a silver lining to this cloud? Can we find some solace in skepticism as we resolve to stop building houses on sand? Or, are we going to join this lemur parade, drink some Kool aid, and let Rhonda Byrne show us where the edge of the cliff is?

Monday, June 2, 2008

If I Only Had a Brain

Tomorrow is my day of truth. Maybe.

I think of John Updike discussing the human being as perceived by dinosaurs, their clawless fingers, hairless bodies, the flaccid erectitude of the human body; botched and weak, what, indeed, did we ever do to earn our place in the sun? In this post I enclose a CAT san, done of the skull of a body buried thousands of years ago.

Mine will be a little more useful for me. I hope in this endeavor tomorrow, they will find something, some evidence of something wrong in my brain box, that they can say, "There you go! That is the problem right there!"

I think of the empty cranium of the mummy displayed above, and I know my CAT scan will go a little deeper. My scan will reveal a brain, and the discerning eyes of the doctors examining the film will hopefully yield -early in this investigation- a little about what is impairing my walking.

I will share more on this later....

Thank you for reading