age of heroism

The story of Miriam and it’s inspiration source has me feeling bad right about now. How sad that small-minded pettiness and intentional blindness should be so prevalent.

I am watching the Lord Of the Rings series to believe in courage and selfless heroes again.

They are not all in stories, I will believe that.

Nice thing people have said to me since I quit

From (former) co-workers:

“Good for you”

“You will be missed. You were a breath of fresh air”

“We will miss you more than we know”

“You were one of the ones I really cared about.”

“Say it isn’t so! Oh, Murphy, what are we going to do without you? Oh no!”

And from my mother:
“I’m so glad! I was really worried you were going to end up in the hospital..AGAIN!”

And from the mouth of that human amalgamtion of sugar and solid gold-my boyfriend chris:

(On the friday that was my unintentional last day, as I was assuming the fetal position and crying into a pillow)
“I’m very glad you left. I couldn’t be with a woman who would settle.”

(later that same night when the sobs had turned back into smiles)
“We’re going to have to follow you around with mops and sponges. You will be leaving puddles of creative juices wherever you go!”

Thank you, all my friends. For being the wonderful people you are and recognizing the extremely difficult but right thing for me to do. Or even if you didn’t understand it, you were generous with your big hearts anyway. I won’t forget you.

Apostate to his own intelligence

One who has abandoned one’s religious faith, a political party, one’s principles, or a cause.

A couple years ago I observed a sort of behavioral tendency in one individual, and it’s amazing how the same pattern carries through in many different people I’ve met.

I call it being apostate to your own intelligence.
Apostate is a word with religious implications, and since I come from a very religious background it seems natural to me. I understand it to mean someone who deliberately turns away from God, knowing and understanding that God is God and still turning away from Him.

Of course the same principle applies to other things. For example, a person could knowingly and with full understanding turn away from the smart thing to do.

Here’s where I first saw it:

I met this man , let’s call him Joe, through a friend. When I met Joe, he was cleaning carpets to feed his wife and children.

My friend said, “Joe has a degree in industrial engineering.”

“Good heavens! Why would he want to be a carpet cleaner if he could be an engineer? What happened?”

A few years prior, there had been an infestation of Multi-level marketing in the area. Ponzi’s dream lives on, and it became the dream of Joe. He bought into the product line, bought into the pre-packaged marketing material. He contacted all his friends and spent time trying to recruit them beneath his level on the Ponzi pyramid.

As is easy to guess, this diligent effort did not result in the millions, or at least hundreds of thousands, that the marketing materials implied.

Here comes the point of decision. Joe started this endeavor to make money. He wasn’t making money. Logic would indicate that he abandon this method of making money and find a different method that produced the desired result-money.

But Joe did not choose to do this. He decided that there was a reason he wasn’t making money. It must be because he had not comitted to the plan. He needed to quit his job and do this new job full-time.

He chose to continue on with his original choice, affirming the first decision with a second one.

Now, he’s stepped away from logic and begun to act on faith. Why would he, an engineer, a man of science, choose to act against his own logic? Let’s follow him further.

Joe quit his job as an industrial engineer. He began to sell the MLM products full time, on the belief that the products and the system were reliable and the problem lay in his dedication to them. He fully believed that he would be able to support his family on the money he would be certain to recieve with his new commitment to the plan.

It wasn’t long before his new plan had consequences. His wife and kids had to leave their home and live with her mother because there was no money to pay the bills.

And here came the second point of decision. Should Joe give up his MLM dreams and go back to work as an engineer? There were definitely jobs available. Or should he pursue his MLM career further?

Yep, ol’ Joe believed. He chose to find a supplemental job, one that wouldn’t get in the way of his real job, selling the MLM product.

He took up a franchise to start cleaning carpets. It didn’t pay enough for his family to leave Grandma’s house. As a matter of fact, Joe had to live with friends to get back on his feet.

This is a true story. This man was a fool. He consistently chose the same stupid decision.

What the hell was he thinking? He must have thought that something other than reason or logic (also known as reality) was more important to him.

What could be more important than reality? And what sorts of things fall outside the boundaries of logic and reality?

I have two answers:
1. Self Image
2. Being percieved as being right

Maybe they are just two aspects of the same thing. When Joe chose to join the MLM program, he had a certain image of himself. Rich, successful, prosperous, admired, whatever. That was who he was going to be.

When he came to his first point of decision, he could abandon that first image and admit that he was wrong. This course of action would have made it possible to find another way to gain the rewards he was looking for.

But he didn’t want to admit he was wrong. He didn’t want to crack the image he had of himself, the one he thought he was portraying to others, that was so attractive.

He affirmed his first decision, and chose to act against logic. This was only the first real time he acted against logic. It might have worked, that scheme. But once he tried it, he could empirically know that it didn’t work.

He chose to ignore the reality of the situation, and embrace his inner vision of himself, and shore up the image he assumed he projected to others. That he was a guy that knew what he was doing.

He didn’t see that others were not impressed with him. That he looked a fool.

Just because he had found a way to superimpose his self-image over reality did not mean that anyone else was fooled. It only showed up his foolishness more starkly.

Now, I have seen a number of people decide that they have a story about themselves, they have an image, that is more important than reality. They can take the weight of their supposed position or importance and try to flatten the reality of the situation.

This only shows up the contrast between the truth of the situation and the ridiculous story they are putting forth.

True importance, such that would make a person worth of respect, comes from acting and speaking in accordance with reality.

Which is to say, respect is earned not owed.

And to turn away from Truth towards self-gratification (also known as fear) will only hasten what you fear.

2 weeks

Hey everybody. I gave my two weeks notice at work. Done and done.

There is so much I could say about that place. I could talk about why I left. But you know? I think I’ll wait until I’m really done there.

For now, I think I’ll talk about what I’m going to do now.

For you, my blog readers, are about to get a lot more of me. I’m going to be posting a lot. I love to post here everyday. I can do that again!

I am taking my own life back for me. I am not taking another job for a while. I am going to finish my book.

This is a gonna be a great year.

How I went to college

I started college when I was 17, after I graduated from high school. Jr. College. I had no idea what college was, honestly, except that it was supposed to be more difficult than high school.

So I was worried. High school was easy, but this was the big time. I told my mom I would only take 12 credits so that I didn’t overload. She thought that was stupid, that i needed to take a full load, 15 units, or it would take me forever to graduate.

Forever to graduate.

Let’s see. Jr. College the first semeseter, the University the next.

But then I dropped out to get ready to go to Russia for a semester.

The semester away turned inot a year and a half, three semesters. and when I got back I was flat broke with no parents to mooch off.

I took some night classes. Then I broke free and took a WHOLE SEMESTER of classes. 18 units! Bliss!

THe deal was, I had gotten married to Jack. He said he’d finish his degree in a year, and then I would get to do mine. So I worked and he went to classes.

But he dropped out in the middle. This didn’t make me happy. I wanted my turn! I went to the school to get a definitive answer on what he really needed to finish.

Turns out he wasn’t enrolled in the university. He’d been failing since I met him.


Time for a regroup and re route.

We moved to California, because my goofy brother thought we could start a video game business. We didn’t know anything about video game businesses, but we needed to do something different. And I heard that California had good schools. I’d be able to finish my degree there.

Well, the video game thing didn’t go anywhere, but Jack got a good job anyway. And I started to get ready to go to the University of California.

Did you know that you have to apply to enroll in a University?
I didn’t. The University in Alaska did not require such things. California even had deadlines and things, essays and huge forms.

The UC had all these requirements before you could go there. Courses you had to have completed in High school.

Courses I had not completed in High School. Because I was home schooled.

Mad as hell, I went back to the Jr College in California to complete these classes. Deep in a Statistics class, I missed the deadline to apply

ANOTHER year lost.

man, I was depressed. My sister-in-law said, Hey, why don’t you try out for this internship-it’s for NASA!

That sounded pretty cool. I thought maybe I could be a technical writer. That’s what english majors do, right? Write? Or maybe I could be a software tester. You didn’t have to know anything to do that…

I got hired to be a desktop video conferencing tester. The boss later told me he hired me because I knew absolutely nothing, so I would be a good guinea pig to test the software. Then he said I had proved him wrong, and learned a lot.

I really liked it. It was fun and exhilerating to have a real job, not McDonald’s or Wherehouse or in a mall. I was learning things, solving problems, and writing operating instructions.

In the middle of all that excitement, I did finally get accepted into UCSC. I was so excited! And then I was unsure.

I wanted my english degree. Nothing would change that. But I knew that I didn’t want to be a teacher, and that’s the only thing you can do with an english degree.

I had learned to be a techie. I had this hope, that maybe I could go get a real job doing this. Maybe I could make good money. Pursuing my english degree would not pad my wallet.

I decided to look for a real job, and take classes at night. Later.

Later took a while. I had to find another school with night classes.

I took one big corporate job. Then I didn’t feel like I was doing all I could, I found another, and another. In the middle of all that, I lost the husband. Shouldv’e seen that one coming.

I did take night classes. I did. But it takes a lot of nights to make a full year.

So, that last big corporate job I took was a consultancy. I was beig consulted on how to run the system. I was consulted and not informed. This, then that, then the other. Your end date is now, no wait! we need you!

It dragged on, more and more frustrating. At last, my end date came. I reminded them that they needed me.

But I was thinking. I was thinking about what to do. What other jobs were available? none and getting fewer every day. What would happen to me when it was finally my end date?

It was september. maybe I would go to school. i looked to see. It was really possible! What if I went to school full time for a semester? I had enough saved to live on my own. I could do it, if I wanted to.

Boss man says, “your end day is coming. But we need you…Can you stay a few weeks? maybe…”

And I say, no. Not a few weeks. I have to go.

So I went. A semester. And then partway through, I figured out that I only needed one more semester, and I would graduate. I would be done.

It was just that fast! I was done. The right time came, and I weighed the choice. It was what I really wanted. More than a couple more week’s consultant’s pay.

Sometimes, you have to keep your eye on the true goal. It took me 12 years to graduate.

Once I graduated I was free to move away. I didn’t have to stay in the area to finish. I moved away, and lots of other things-good things! are happening.

But I am right now keeping my eye on the goal. Let go of the little stuff to grab the big, you know?

The Process

Watching the West Wing, the other night..a rerun…They talked about the process. That the outcome was tragic, but at least the process was preserved.

You know, all systems are based on process. I’m huge on process. I love good processes. But when people become involved, and they don’t agree on the importance of the process, it won’t work.

Things will be done, but not according to the process. Which means the outcome will not be reliable.

It’s a matter of deciding on what it the most important. You have to have a consensus to abide by the rules. But if some of the people think that there is a different thing that is more important, it brings the whole process down to a standstill.

I think it’s kind of amazing that America is the place where we most rely on process to get things done:

and yet it’s quite possibly the country that values indepence more than anybody else.

Narcissus and Goldmund

By Hermann Hesse

Heard good things about this guy, but I never read him. A friend gave me this book, and so I had to read it.

Not the most readable. It seemed to wander a lot. Not surprising, since it was about a dude wandering.

The book was one of those philosophical tales, where the author has a serious point to make. He tells a tortured story to make his point.

Camus, Voltaire, Rand, they all did this.

Narcissus was this thinker monk, a man who left the world and lived in the cerebral realm.

Goldmund was a young man who was an artist and lived in world of his senses.

Of course, Hesse had to make them friends so that the worlds could be juxtaposed.

Anyway, it was completely worth it for one part:

“That may be so,” said Narcissus. “Niether of us can ever understand the other completely in such things. But there is one realization all men of good will share: In the end our works make us feel ashamed, we have to start out again and each time the sacrifice has to be made anew”

And to understand that part, you have to read the whole book. But that bit is really really profound. I want to always remember it, which is why I am blogging about it.

got story, will travel

National News: Amber Fry book tells all

Jan 3, 2005 (AXcess News) Reno – Amber fry, who says she still thinks of Scott Peterson, has released a new book telling all, or at least enough to make it pay.

The headline running through the press says “I wonder if he still thinks of me”. A comment supposedly leaked from Amber Fry’s book that’s due out this week about Scott Peterson, her former lover-turned-killer.

Didn’t mention the title, but I propose I Didn’t have a Clue