28 January 2009

I've been experiencing another bad bout with my neck since early December when it was - 20 F (that's -29 C) and I had to split a cord of wood by hand. If I spend more than 15 minutes to an hour in a vertical position, the weight of my head puts pressure on the nerves coming out of my neck and going into my right arm. This is happening because I had a compression fracture in my C5 vertebra in 1977, along with disk damage, and now there is arthritis, stenosis, and disk inflammation all aggravating the aforementioned nerves. Ouch. The sensations range from 0 to 8 on the 1 - 10 pain scale, usually hovering in the 2 to 6 range.

I have been through this before. This pain in my neck has lasted for years in the past. There is one practitioner who treated me with 100% success...nearly no pain for over 3 years until I split that wood. She is in Salem, Oregon and I am planning a trip there this coming month.

Pain is just a sensation, and I can relegate it thus at times, but it also wears on my emotional and physical stamina. When this is going on I don't have as much patience as I usually do, and learning to be patient has been part of my life anyway. I become irritable more easily, and I feel useless and wrung out.

Now, I am aware that I just became employed in a "job" job for the first time in a long time, and while there are things I like about it, and I am glad to use my skills both because they are useful and it feels good, I am also aware that I resent having a job. I don't work a ton of hours and I make about $700 a month for about 60 hours, which is just barely not enough for me to live on, and yet I don't feel up to or desirous of working more than 20 hours a week. Money stress has been a theme in my life...the scale may change from tens of thousands to tens of dollars, but it's still a factor.

I'm living in a place that I chose, which I like, and where I have met good people, and right now in the cold of winter with pain in my body I feel more like cocooning than like seeing people.

Anyone reading this who's known me for a while recognizes my pattern...just goes to show you, wherever you go, there you are.

Traveling affords a sense of pattern interrupt which is part of why I like it. Being in one place you have to deal with patterns within oneself and in relating with the outside world of people, Earth, life, etc.

So here I am, a week 'till payday, propane tank is empty, not a lot of food left, freakin' bills to pay...passing the nights by feeding the fire and watching movies on the computer...

I'm also watching what Obama is doing and liking some of it. I am very disappointed, however, in the things he is not addressing. People are really poor out here in the hinterlands, with no help in sight. The stimulus package he is proposing has some really good stuff re: infrastructure, education, energy, but it doesn't address the immediate need for health care, food, shelter. He is also not addressing the civil liberties issues that exist in the US. Maybe he is working on these things behind the scenes but I'm not seeing much about it in the media. he is also not condemning Israel for their horrific invasion and subsequent slaughter in Gaza, nor has he stopped the drone assassination flights into Pakistan. He has not pulled back on the missiles in Poland. There is a long list and I know his administration is super busy settling in and getting things in motion, these are just some priorities I'd like to see immediate action on.

My wish to you all reading this is that you are well and surrounded by people you love who love you.

22 January 2009

I see a lot of sour grapes coming from the right in commentaries, in Congress...hey you folks, it's time to put aside your ideology and get with doing what's right for the people. Bush had 8 years during which he wreaked havoc on the world, on our economy, on the Constitution. You all had your turn and you fucked things up royally. Now bow your heads, have some humility, and do the right thing for a change.


I have also seen signs that the Dems in Congress may do some holding out for their corporate neocon fascist masters. "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have made it clear -- it's not their job to answer to Obama." Really, fuck them. They sure have been kowtowing to Bush for years. How dare they stand in the way of real progress!

Now that there is someone decent in the white house it is critical that Congress be pressured like mad to give up their allegiance to greed and power. Since most of the members are too craven to do this they must simply be replaced ASAP. As far as I'm concerned people like Pelosi and Reid should stand trial in The Hague just as much as Bush and Cheney should.

21 January 2009

Here are some of my thoughts during and after the inauguration of Barack Obama to the Presidency.

There was much to appreciate in the President's speech, in the song and poetry that surrounded the inauguration. From the anxiety over whether it would even happen to the substance of everything that happened during and after he was sworn in...wow!  I liked his speech a lot...even though he had to make his token defense statements he didn't dwell on it...and his blatant utter repudiation of Bush was so satisfying to hear.  George, with his tepid little round of applause...everyone's glad to see him go and he is skulking a bit...maybe he has some sense that he is leaving with his tail between his legs. I was heartened by Obama's repudiation of Bush in his speech, by the beautiful stirring and real poem that was read.

Rick Warren has been a practitioner of bigotry his speech indicated that perhaps he sees the value of becoming less ideological, but he asks for forgiveness when he treats life without respect, instead of saying he will do his best not to do those things. That’s not right. I think maybe Obama picked Rick warren, a big fat white bigoted evangelist, because it exposes Warren’s bigotry to such a large audience that it weakens it.

Reverend Lowry's benediction was just fantastic. Amen! All the christian stuff is somehow easier for me to take coming from a black civil rights hero Reverend like Joseph Lowry. I know there is usually more behind what’s being said, but it was good to hear Rev. Lowry’s little rap balancing things out. I recently read about his position on gay marriage...I actually appreciate the way he expresses himself in this exchange...

Abrahamic ideology and defense posturing aside I support our new President who is not an ancestrally wealthy elitist, but someone who has ideas, vision, and is one of the people, though I do find all the Abrahamic dogma tiresome. If you’re not a christian, muslim, jew, or hindu, you’re a nonbeliever. Hmph.

Congratulations to the Obama's and to all of us. If President Obama (I love saying that) is true to his words then we can actually hope for a significant and healthy change in direction on many levels. I amnot blindly following, or messianic, about Obama, but I do have hope. Friends tell me “hope is a demon bitch” and that may be true at times, but hope can also be part of inspiration. I’d rather be inspired than afraid.

I love Aretha!

31 December 2008

1st sentence of the month Meme 2008
This idea comes via Angela Magara via Donald Engstrom from Copper Stewart. Interesting perspective!

January 08
I’m back in CA student teaching EAT.

February 08
It's cold and partly cloudy in the Bitterroot Valley tonight.

March 08
Here we go! Early tomorrow morning we climb into the truck and start heading east.

April 08
Wow. I am in Italy in a stone house on a hill facing a valley of steep cliffs and ancient terraced herb and tree gardens.

May 08
Today it is a bit cloudy and cool, windy even. The house has been a bustle of activity in preparations for the wedding Saturday of the two people who live here.

June 08
I read this in today’s Guardian:
Polar bear shot dead after 200-mile swim
This is a perfect example of human stupidity. This beautiful creature’s life wasn’t worth the effort of saving. I weep for the polar bear, and I weep for us.

July 08
Watching the modern film Beowulf and reading some of it again gives rise to these thoughts.

The story symbolizes the death of the old, the dragon, and the rise of the modern patriarchal mechanized world, but not without a cost to that new world, for it is born out of violence and the gradual disconnection from the spirits of Earth and the rise of monotheism.

August 08
Chloe and I are settled in at a friend's in Den Dolder, near Utrecht. The train ride from Italy was quite an adventure in small ways, and exhausting.

September 08
I am focusing in this entry on events in Minneapolis where people gathering to protest the criminal actions of the Republican controlled/manipulated government at the Republican National Convention. Houses are being raided, people are being detained and otherwise hassled and intimidated by the police.

October 08
It rained last night here in the Bitterroot valley, western Montana. It's a beautiful sunny morning, Lasky is asleep on the floor. We arrived here on Monday after 6 days of driving.

November 08
It's election day...finally! I voted at the local High School at around 10:30 AM. The place was packed. There were no parking spaces left in the huge parking lot, I had to park on the grass. This is a small town and yet there had to be 200 people in the gym with me, along with dozens of local folks serving as election officials. I voted, then drove 5 miles to someone's house to do a massage.

December 08
We have a home, Chloe the cat, Lasky the dog, and me! I've been spending most of my time during the last three weeks fixing up an old log cabin behind my friend's house in Hamilton, Montana. It's coming along just fine! I've been told we can stay as long as we want. The rent is low, the view's are great, and the cabin itself is really cool.