I have a picture in my head. If I were less sleep deprived, and my head hurt less, maybe i could make a pretty poem out of it.

But I am what I am now, so I just want to write it down before I forget.

Our brain, or consciousness is like a window pane.

People, as we encounter them, are moists masses that hit the glass. They hit the glass, and slide or fall off. They are  gone, but as the process repeats some pieces stick. They stick and form a pattern on the glass.

So, these residues acrue and form a shape. We look out the window, but even if there is nothing there, the shape of all the previous encounters is seen.

Even if a new person comes into view, they are still obscured by the residue of the previous encounters.

Through a glass darkly.

But how do we clean the glass? How do we clear off the residue?

dark night

Well, it’s five thirty and I”ve been awake since two. Or maybe midnight…It’s been a rather sleepless night.

Tomorrow, the workers are coming to work on our floors. They will be beautiful when it’s done, but for the moment, all the comfort is gone from the living room. Not a single upholstered item.

When I can’t sleep, which is happening more than it has in the past, I usually lay on the couch and watch TCM until I fall asleep. Turner Classic Movies has no commercials. When I am trying to sleep the commercials get in the way. TV stations have taken to turning the volume up on the ads, so they jerk you up out of restfulness. Even the non-commercial commercials on PBS are louder than the regular programming.

So, thank god for TCM. No commercials at all. Just the soothing voice of Robert Osborne and the old films.

But I am awake, with no TV and no couch. I had to go to the office and use the fold-out couch there. I was reading a book, which fills my mind more effectively than TV. But I finished the book. I am tired, and I know I will be further exhausted later today. But sleep is not coming.

I am thinking about pain and fear. These are the things that are keeping sleep away. Both are annoyingly subjective. And therefore dismissable.

But I don’t want to dismiss them. I want to find the path to better.

Dr. Laura says “I can’t cure normal.”  I guess it’s normal to feel pain when I am being disrespected and ..well…lied to..Is that what it’s called when the facts are twisted around to suit the one talking and never me?

Yeah, that hurts. ow.

And it’s normal to feel fear when I have to stand up for myself. Standing up for myself hasn’t worked out so well other times. But it’s normal to feel fear to stand up against people who have power over me.

It’s normal. Can’t cure normal. Dammit.

There are pain pills, but not for disrespect pain, I think.

There are not fear pills.

I feel so powerless. What can I do against the big everyone-else? just a whimpering little

stop it

Why bother? because all the big everyone elses are very loud and are very much in positions of power.

I am trying to remember other people who managed their own little stop it and it made a difference.

Rosa, what did you do? how scared were you when you didn’t get up out of your seat? I bet you didn’t sleep that night either.

One small stop it and afterwards half the town had to walk to work. For a long time.

I am trying to think of other people. The problem with people who speak truth to power is that they are often killed. Not a comforting thought.

But Rosa Parks died peacefully, and with great honor.

People say that a lot. “I don’t want to die on this hill” Meaning, pick your battles. Choose what is worth fighting for.

But what about the fights people pick with me?

I need reinforcements. There are long lists, different documents, many many that say “Respect is the policy. Fairness is required.”

They even have pictures and little examples of unfair and disrespectful things that are NOT TOLERATED.

I am trying to suspend my disbelief. Perhaps they do mean it. Perhaps there are reinforcements for my

stop it

No is just a number

I am not a person that takes no for an answer.

NO does not mean STOP. NO is just a quantity, or an attribute.

You’re telling me NO to something I think needs done? No for why?

No money? Okay, that’s a problem to solve. I need money.

No time? How do we find time?

No, that’s a bad idea? What’s a better idea then?

NO, just because you say so? How then can I avoid being around you so that I can go forward with what needs to be done?

It’s just a number, just another obstacle to be overcome.

Orwell quotes

From Homage to Catalonia

It will never be possible to get a completely accurate and unbiased account … …, because the necessary records to not exist. Future historians will have nothing to go on except a mass of accusations and party propaganda. I myself have little data beyond what I saw with my own eyes and what I have learned from other eye-witnesses whom I believe to be reliable

There are occasions when it pays better to fight and be beaten than not to fight at all.

what’s left of what you do

Another article talked about how people can get very discouraged by the abstract nature of their jobs.

What does it really matter, what most of us do?

And all those TPS reports!

This article says that the rise in home improvement projects is in part motivated by society’s desire to see a real end result of real labor.

my comments are working again. What do you all think? What keeps you motivated at work? Or do you save motivation for home?

neocons demystified…at least a little

I have been hearing the word ‘neocon’ bandied about the last few years. It was said with loathing and warning. But I could never get a good explanation of what it was.

“You know…Like George W. and Cheney.”

But what specifically about them was neo conservative? Just that they happened to be conservative in the ‘neo’ now?

I finally saw an article that talked about neocons.

WSJ again. “The Neocons and Iraq.

I hope this link works for everyone.

do what?

Man oh man. The PMBOK is a masterpiece of english literature. I cannot say that strongly enough.

It’s like a legal document, but one meant to reveal rather than obscure or confuse.

Which is not to say it does not obscure and confuse. wow. The language and clauses are like nothing…and I mean nothing…I have ever seen before.

The utter lack of poetics in and of itself makes it marvelous. I think I remember hearing about John Cage, that crazy composer, doing a piece of music where the melody was created by playing all the OTHER notes. The absence of the melody note was supposed to create the melody.

So, the absence of poetics in the PMBOK is kinda like that. DENSE meaning, Maybe not so beautiful
Or maybe incredibly so on the third or fourth try.

I’m still on the first try. Chapter 3, to be exact. The chapter begins by introducing the 5 process areas of Project Management:
Monitoring & Controlling

It goes on to explain that these five relate to the (footnote here) Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.

the what?

Excuse me?

Well, frankly, there was no time to figure that one out, even though it was as close to a metaphor as the esteemed PMBOK writers got.

On to learning about what exactly the 5 process groups were.
They were substantial.

But, the ACTUAL assigment for my class is to read the study guide. I am a bit offended my the simplistic view of the assignment: how the hell does a study guide help if you don’t attack the primary SOURCE?

I am a big fan of primary sources.

I staggered up along Sisyphus and read the source. Finished that (TWO DAYS for THIRTY PAGES! I have NEVER taken that long to read something! After this, I’m reading Ulysses). Now I back to the study guide, which is much more approachable.

Guess what study guide says? “Oh, it’s just like Plan-Do-Check-Act!”


I tried to parse it out. I did. I read it several times. No meaning to be had.

THen I remembered the footnote. And I asked the internet.



I bless the olympians of wikipedia for their honesty. They freely state that ‘do’ and ‘act’ mean the same thing in english.

That was my main problem with understanding it. That and the lack of will to care. I mean, I had no db field in my brain populated with Plan-Do-Check-Act. Why bring it up now?

That’s the way it goes with academic discourse, though. It’s always like walking into the middle of the conversation, and looking like an idiot while you catch up.

But thank god for wikipedia.


Last night I made a planter box. I’ve been meaning to get a whole bunch of them.

But I have 1 (one) box today.

2 feet by 4 feet. It is solid and unpainted. And It doesn’t have any dirt in it yet.

I bought the seeds. I will have carrots, romaine lettuce and potatoes. Those are the three vegetables that my husband eats.

I haven’t actually got potato seeds…The internet is all against the idea of using supermarket potatoes as seeds.They say that you must have seed potatoes and that using supermarket potatoes is just asking for trouble, and you shouldn’t .I don’t know…maybe I will anyway.

I can grow the carrots and harvest them in april, then plant watermelons.

I got a little seed germinating kit, with peat pellets and a roof to make it kinda like a greenhouse. It will take at least a week for the seeds to grow, and in that time I hope to buy the dirt and put it in my planter box.

I found a cool website that helps me figure out what plants I can grow. Southern California has a longer growing season than a lot of places.

nerd movies

No, not “Revenge of the Nerds.” That’s not it at all.

Movies about science and smart people figuring figuring it out. I love those kind of movies:

Apollo 13
A Beautiful Mind
And the Band Played On
A Bridge too Far
Bridge on the River Kwai
The Conversation
3 Days of the Condor
Independence Day
Thomas Crown Affair (the original and remake–i like the remake better)

And there are more, I’m sure. They are not the usual types of movies. I’d like to find more of them.