Saturday, July 07, 2007

In Which I Finish Another Book

Thomas Merton's Contemplative Prayer was in the pile of books "to be read" as part of my Catholic exploration. I had already started another book but the reading of it was tedious. Typical medieval confessional written by a self-denigrating woman. Blah blah blah. I wanted to like it so much more but mostly I found myself wanting to put it down.

So I did (with the intention to return to it) and picked up Contemplative Prayer. I was a little discouraged by the book initially but after the first few chapters I fell into its rhythm and really enjoyed it. I enjoyed it intellectually, not spiritually. I think that is what I am noticing most. These Catholic readings are stimulating me on an intellectual level but not on a spiritual one. Of course, this has always been the way into spirituality in the past. Logically arguing for a belief, defending dogma, catechism responses to prescribed questions . . . all of this been the means to my end before.

Now it just fascinates me in an overly objective manner. I feel intellectual as I read these things but I do not feel convicted nor compelled.

And this is a subjective response to a very interesting book on prayer written by a monk for monks. Curiously, Interior Castle is written by a nun for nuns. I've decided to finish Avila's book before I read Hahn, which is next in the pile.
By meditation I penetrate the inmost ground of my life, seek the full understanding of God's will for me, of God's to me, of my absolute dependence upon him. But this penetration must be authentic. It must be something genuinely lived by me. This in turn depends on the authenticity of my whole concept of my life, and of my purposes. But my life and aims tend to be artificial, inauthentic, as long as I am simply trying to adjust my actions to certain exterior norms of conduct that will enable me to play an approved part in the society in which I live. After all, this amounts to little more than learning a role. The idea of the "imitation" of Christ and of the saints can degenerate into mere impersonation, if it remains only exterior (68-69).

Friday, July 06, 2007

In Which I Make a Truly Horrifying Discovery Whenever Rob and I decide to watch a dvd, it becomes a bit of a production number. First we have to determine whose turn it is to choose. Then that person has to choose three dvd's from which the other person makes the final decision. This has afforded me the opportunity to actually see some of my dvds with Rob, although we still more often than not default to his collection. Not that I am complaining. I can watch my dvds when he is not home. Which I do. Often. And this is how I have made a Truly Horrifying Discovery because I have, in my collection, Star Wars Episodes IV through VI. In fact, I have it twice because I have the special updated (corrupted by George Lucas) editions where they even had the audacity of changing the Ewok song in episode six (blasphemy!) and the limited edition release of the original (aka the way I saw it in the theaters) version. Widescreen, naturally. But nowhere is there a single dvd of SW: E1: TPM or SW: E2: AotC or even SW: E3: RotS!!! How can this be?!?!?! There is something inherently wrong with this. I cannot possibly explain nor offer an excuse. I even have the Clone Wars animated shows but I don't have the first three episodes? Maybe that is why I have vertigo. Obviously there is something wrong with my universe if I have an incomplete Star Wars dvd collection. *sigh*

Thursday, July 05, 2007

In Which Rob and I Celebrate the Fourth of July

Yesterday Rob and I were home together all day. Rei and Marc also had the day off. Naturally this could only mean one thing for Rob—time to grill! He bought food and cooked while I amused Romanov who was convinced it was too hot to be outside. I, on the other hand, was walking around in my yoga wrap, top, pants, saying I was chilly and needing to be warm. Rob found me at one point, snuggled underneath the blanket in our bed.

Rob: What’re you doing?
Me: I’m cold. I just need to warm up a bit and then I’ll be normal.
Rob: (laughing in disbelief)
Me: That’s right. As soon as this passes I’ll be normal.
Rob: Well, I’m glad we had these last seven years together with your abnormality.
Me: Enjoy it while you can because soon I’ll be normal.
Rob: I dunno. I may have to ask for my ring back when that happens.
Me: Ha! When I’m normal I’ll probably just give it back.

After we had eaten, Rob decided we should go to visit his friend Chris so I got up and got dressed and we were off to find Chris who was not home so we had to go to where he works. We hung out for a while and it was good (very good) to see Chris again. Then we came home, watched V for Vendetta and went to bed.

The highlight for me was when Chris told me that one of the guys in the kitchen said I’m sexy. Yep. That’s me . . . all kinds of sexy as I baby step through the world!

Highlight for Rob was the opportunity to show off his new tattoo . . . finally, a picture!!!

Aries Horoscope for week of July 5, 2007

The bad news: Charlie and Sharon Reed, a couple in Dallas, had their old VW convertible stolen. The good news: By the time police recovered the car three months later, the thieves had given it a new paint job, and had fixed its cracked windshield and dented bumpers. Let's make this your metaphor of the week, Aries. I predict that you, too, will be reunited with something you lost, and it will be in better shape than it was before you were separated.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

In Which I Share Lots of Pics

I posted a picture of my herb garden once upon a time.

That was about a month ago and a lot has happened since then . . . although if you look carefully you can see that the sage in the upper left of the garden is not much larger.

I am quite pleased with myself that I didn't kill them all and oh my my my how my tomato plants are growing. They even have little blooms of future fruit on them already!

And my basil is blooming too although I am not sure you can really see it in this picture.

I used to live in a neighborhood where my directions included "you'll pass a cow mailbox on your left." The first time anyone came over for a visit they would inevitably mention the cow mailbox because it is quite a remarkable mailbox. In fact, when the owners put the house up for sale, I ached to buy the house so I would have the mailbox for my own.

I think most people thought that when I said a "cow mailbox" they thought I meant a mailbox that was painted to look like a cow or one of those little boxes where the entire cow is the box and you pull on its head to open its front and insert the mail in the cow's body. Something more like this.

Obviously most people have little vision. So back in April, we were driving down the same street where the cow mailbox is and lo and behold, across the street, there is a new mailbox. A dolphin mailbox!!!

I'm rather glad we moved away before the dolphin was added to the street. Mostly because it takes away some of the remarkable qualities of the cow. I mean, had a said, "You'll pass a dolphin mailbox on your right and a cow mailbox on your left" by the time anyone passed the dolphin mailbox they would be prepared for the surprise of the cown mailbox.

Still, I think that a year from now I want to drive down that street again just to see if anyone else in the neighborhood has added a new fun mailbox to the mix.

PS: A big huggy thank you to Rob who drove back through the neighborhood with his camera just to take these pictures for me!!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

In Which I Finish Another Book I finished More Matrix and Philosophy: Revolutions and Reloaded Decoded edited by William Irwin. This book is one of many that are part of the Popular Culture and Philosophy Series. I picked up the one on Harry Potter ages ago and enjoyed it and have gradually read another and another of the books as inclination allows. I find them very interesting because the authors are philosophy professors who actually apply and intelligently argue various philosophical viewpoints, using the pop culture iconic movie/book/whatever to prove their points. Sometimes this means enthusiastically stating that the pop cultural icon being explored does a great job philosophically speaking or flat out ripping it apart in iconic glee. I find myself occasionally loving the discussions and at other times disliking them. Regardless, I always close the book having learned something interesting. I will, state, however, that I was rather disgusted by one of the articles in this particular volume. This is my first time being flat out offended, which is unfortunate, because I was thrilled with most of it. Sadly, the one essay that disturbed me the most was towards the end of the book so it left a rather bad taste in my mouth. Like having a great meal and capping it off with a dessert where the cream has turned sour. Still, I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the Matrix movies, or even if only a fan of the first one who might be interested in reading why, philosophically, the other movies in the trilogy did not live up to the promise of the first. (Next in the series, I will be reading The Undead and Philosophy: Chicken Soup for the Soulless. I love zombies and vampires. What can I say?)

Monday, July 02, 2007

In Which I Write About My Body I went to see my acupuncturist again today. We went over my tests and it seems that my cortisol levels are out of whack. Basically, I run at the low end of normal until at night when I spike way above normal. I mean, higher than it is in the morning when it should be at its peak because that is when the body is in starvation mode. So basically, it is storing fat when it should be releasing it and trying to draw on energy when it doesn't need it. Also, my insulin levels are not responding normally which suggests that I am hypoglycemic. Average insulin levels in the morning are 3-12. I am <3; but that is not so remarkable. What is very surprising is that even after I eat, when my levels shoud be 5-20 I am still <3. In a nutshell, my insulin, instead of rising and lowering normally spike and drop, spike and drop. Which is why I am hungry all of the time and why my body has a hard time losing weight. There is also a suggestion in the tests that I may be allergic to gluten but I have to take more tests to verify that. Another nearly $500 of tests. As for my acupuncture . . . one needle in each ear, one in each wrist, one in each hand (in the fleshy area between the thumb and forefinger), and one on each leg below the knee. I have a slight swelling in my thumb area of my right hand. It will probably be bruised tomorrow. And this may officially be the most boring blog I have written in a long time. I could have written about my going out to lunch Saturday with Mary. Or about the movie Rob and I watched Saturday night and the very strange dream I had that night as a result. Or even about the book I finished this weekend. Instead, I wrote about my acupuncture and my body. On a good note, I am taking the conium again. Just not quite so large a dose anymore so maybe I won't have as much in common with Socrates. But I'm surey if I put my mind to it I can find some younger man to corrupt. Or men, even! ARIES HOROSCOPE This week July 2 through July 8 Your week picks up momentum with every day that passes until you come to your grand finale on Sunday, when you're graced with a beneficial trine between Venus, Pluto, and your Sun. You'll enjoy the quiet time you experience at the beginning of the week. When Friday rolls around and the Moon enters your dynamic sign of Aries, you should be revitalized. The weekend may bring you a bit of family drama, and your fighting spirit will come out when you deal with a relative. You quickly make your point and come out a winner in this situation.