Wednesday, June 29, 2005

New Additions

I added some additions to my beloved fish tank this week. I have a simple 29 gallon fresh water tank that houses my very colorful gold fish. I know, gold fish are not all that exciting to some, but I am endlessly entertained by their antics.

This week I added more plants, as the gold fish eat almost anything in their tank, another rock cluster and a little friend to help out with the algae. I have a Rubber lip Plecostomus! I have wanted one for a while now. This one will grow to only 5 inches as opposed to the bristlenosed plecos that get really big and grow frighteningly fast.

He (or she??) is about 1.5 inches long and is gray with iridescent tiny white dots all over! So cute! And FAST. My goldies dwarf him and so he can be found scooting along the glass in an effort to avoid contact with my other four babies. One issue I have already noticed; the gold fish, being gluttonous pigs, LOVE the algae wafers that are supposed to be for my pleco. So I have to time feeding so that the goldies are at the top and the wafer can actually get to the bottom of the tank.

It is so much fun to sit and watch all the behavior. The goldies investigating the pleco as the swim past. The pleco scooting this way and that in a vain effort to stay out of the way. I'm sure everyone will settle down soon. Until then, I have much entertainment!! Only as long as I stay up....The pleco is nocturnal. Finding him in the day is, well, the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Monday, June 27, 2005

You think you have a plan....

Just a thought. Do you ever think that life waits until you think you have this plan, this idea of where you are headed, and what you want to do and then Life jumps in and says,

"A-hah!!! Plan, shmam, what the H E double-hockey-sticks where you thinking??? You don't know what you're doing. Here, have this monkey wrench along with this banana peel and oh, yeah some foam stuffing and now try to make your life work. "

Am I the only one who has this feeling?
Please, someone tell me it's not just me....


For those of you who know me, this will be no surprise. I'm OCD...Yes I have tendencies toward Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have found ways to help control these tendencies. For example, if I find something I think I really, really want, I make myself wait a predetermined time before I actually purchase it or obtain it. If, at the end of the wait period, I still salivate when I am in proximity to said item, then I relinquish my self control and buy the item or make arrangements to buy it.

So, with this in mind, I have continuously fantasized about the Mini Cooper. I am a car freak from way back, my obsession starting with my first car, a '66 Ford Mustang coup. I loved that car. My sister and I tore it down to its block and my father ( a mechanic by living) helped me rebuild it. I love cars. My parents gave it to me, not running with two thrown freeze plugs and in desperate need of a total over-haul. She got it in spades. When we were done, she did 90 in 2nd gear and laid rubber to third. It is amazing I am still alive. No 16 year old should have a 289HP stock V-8 engine to play with. Well, except me of course.

I will take my horse power any way I can get it.

So, back to my Mini obsession. I want one. I have wanted one since they first came out. I must own one. The obsession is not subsiding. I have found when obsessions don't subside, you have to satisfy them. They evolve into their own existence and then you just simply aren't in the driver's seat so to speak.

I'm thinking a 2003, Mini S ( one MUST have the S) Blue, the dark Blue, with a white top and sunroof. I just love that 6-speed manual transmission! 163 HP is what the super-charged S version can dish out. I realize the convertibles are all kinds of sexy. However, the convertible will have to wait until it can be a convertible Boxster.....A whole other obsession....

So, before too much longer, I think I have to have one.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

On Our Own

Tonight in my martial arts class, both our head instructors were absent. That left myself and my fellow 1st degree black belt, Mr Preece, to lead class.

Mr. Preece has done this once before. This was my first time to be without both our head instructors. I guess it went OK. At the water break after warm-ups, he and I quickly discussed who would take what group of students and how we could work it out.

Fortunately we have several fantastic brown belts to help with teaching and organizing the class. So we were lucky. Class was over before I knew it! And I wasn't quite finished yet...

I think back to when I started and there was only Mr T. Mr. Davis had just had back surgery and was out almost the entire first year I was there. What a load to be the only teacher!

I hope I can always help. I know Mr. Preece and I really appreciated the wonderful help of our other students.

A New Kind of Dating

I have a very close friend who has become very involved with someone online. She met him through an online sports organization she is very active in. She has friends whom she used to live close to and hang out with that are a part of this organization. So, they have mutual friends who know the two of them. Thus, they got to chatting in the discussion rooms and things moved on and on...

With the mutual friends involved, they both know the other is truthful in their discussions. They are now madly in love and will be meeting soon for the very first time in person. We are all excited for them.

This brings an interesting point that my friend and I have discussed at length. We have compared and contrasted the traditional meeting of prospective dates and the now more "cyber" meetings that are becoming more and more common.

It is interesting. In my friend's situation, they know they are both being honest because of mutual friends. So we limit our discussion to this type of meeting. I know there are zillions of people out there who are not honest on line.

On one hand, you are open and honest with less chance of being misunderstood or having your body language be deleterious to your being understood. You can assess whether you and the person you are talking with are on the same page. You can let the discussion ramble as it wishes. Email or chat also allows something else; the ability to ponder things and respond later. There is no one to force you into answering when you aren't ready, you just email back later.

You also wait. You get to know each other on a different level, in a different way. The biology behind physically meeting and interacting with someone is removed. And for anyone having met someone they are overwhelmingly attracted to, you know how distracting and overpowering that biology is. So your head is clearer. If there is a real attraction even on line, the head doesn't stay clear for long!

For people who are honest and open and interested in discovering another person, on line "meeting" can be a good thing I think.

Granted, there still has to be chemistry when you do finally meet, but even if there isn't, you have cultivated a valuable relationship and learned a great deal. Not just learned about another person, but about yourself as well. In the words of another friend, you have to like how they smell....
So very true.

I am really hoping and wishing my friend's meeting goes well, I feel very confident it will. Only 2.75 weeks to go!! Hang in there!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Repression that is America

Wow...Look what I ran across on the BBC web site regarding sex!

Do you think you would ever find this anywhere in the Dallas Morning News??? I am glad that there are nations out there that can discuss and educate so openly. Educate, educate, educate!!! Especially about sex. Sex is natural and should not be shrouded in our puritanical, "anything that feels good is bad" repressed attitude. If you educate, then there are no secrets, less disease, less mistakes. I went to high school with girls who thought if you had sex while standing that you wouldn't get pregnant!! Unbelievable..I'm not THAT old. Kudos to the BBC.

The hint on positions isn't bad either!!
Happy reading!

Gender selection

I have always been interested in the biological differences that are hard-wired in men and women. This interesting BBC article, discusses briefly how the gender choice of offspring is environmentally influenced. It appears that in different species different factors influence whether the offspring will be male or female. It seems our biology is way ahead of us. We are more in-tune with what goes on around us than we realize. Even our bodies realize it, we seem to have tuned that information out. Too bad. I simply think it is so interesting what stimuli are integrated into our functioning and we don't even know it--we don't even acknowledge it. Amazing.
The world is a cool place. The organisms that are 'us' are so fantastic. Take care of that organism!!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The First Day of School

I had an interesting turn of events today. I helped take my mom to her first college class. At 70, I thoroughly believe it is never too late. She has always been a talented artist both in oils and general drawing. Not to mention her music! She used to paint quite a lot years ago but hasn't done so in many years. About 4 weeks ago she asked if there was any way to sign up for an art class. So I did; through the continuing education at Richland college. Today was her first day.

I had temporarily forgotten how difficult it is to navigate a college campus. I completed my first 56 hours at Richland and thus am familiar with the campus. Yet now I had to find a way for her to find the campus, park, find her building, find her classroom and then be able to find her car again and leave. It really is a great deal of doing!

Although quite spry, she is still 70 and can be overwhelmed with such a big place and so many directions. I think she'll do fine though. I took her to the classroom, introduced her to the prof and wished her well and hugged her bye. As I left, I thought, is this how it is when you drop your kids off at kindergarten? The same mix of both apprehension for them and a sense of excitement because you know of all the possibilities that can be?

Education, school in general, always held this great allure for me. I could easily be a "career student" as they say. As we entered the building, I thought, she is going to have so much fun! College just holds so many opportunities.

It was just such a turn of the tables, I was taken off-guard a bit. So I learned a few things this morning. One, the things we learn to do and think, "Oh, that's easy" can be mountainous vistas for others. Two, it's never too late to start. It's all about attitude and having some courage. It took quite a lot of courage for her to go and be there with all those 'young whippersnappers!'

My advice? Do as my mom, and just go for it!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Return from DSL-less land

I have returned! I had not realized how intertwined my existence had become with my internet connection. This past week, it has been down. I have been isolated from the cyber world.
And it sucked.

I had emotional responses to the situation. I felt isolated and ostracized. Craziness.

Man, did I hate not being able to look things up on a whim. Are we really this connected? Are we really so accustomed to being able to have all this information at our fingertips at any given moment?
My answer is yes! It was crazy, I realized I didn't even know where the phone books were. I just google for the phone number. Oh, and if I had some obscure question ( I know my having a question floors some of you...), I would just look it up. I wanted to find a title to a particular book and put it on my Amazon wish list....Couldn't....

I must admit, I was really surprised at how much I had grown to depend on the use of the internet. Not to mention how accustomed, I never gave it a second thought as to how much I really use it.
It was a little revealing. Frightening too. I am a geek.
At least I can make that online Victoria's Secret purchase now!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Technology: More or less?

After struggling with a virus at work, not being able to open my excel file that has MOUNTAINS of my data in it, fumbling with the new phone system at work and generally trying to get different software packages to work together (they don't always play well with others!), I thought, does technology add to or take away from our lives?

It begs the question; technology was supposed to improve our lives, has it?

It's advances were supposed to give us more time, help lower our stress, organize us and help stream-line or work.

One of the things I see occurring is that we are more pressed for time and have less true unavailability. We all have a cell phone with us. Pagers. Blackberry.

We are becoming so 'available' because of the electronic leash. Or leashes as the case may be.

I think we are supposed to be "out of pocket" as my grandmother always says. I think our technology has outstripped our humanity. I don't think that is a good think either.

As a good friend of mine has recently been reminding me....


That is what we all need. We need to tip the scales back the other way.

Thanks for the reminder.