Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Listening Out 2

Father to small daughter: Get in the car. Get IN the car. GET--damn it. Where's Cassie? Gimme the damn gun.

Nice. I love my neighbors. On the other hand...

Stop. Stop. (In a calm and patient voice.) Look at my face. That's not safe. My job is to keep you safe. If you turn the corner, then I can't see you and you're not safe. You're my 4-year-old. You know better than that. Look at my little ones. They're not walking ahead. Okay, let's try it again and this time stay with me. Much better.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Oh, so I'M it now, huh?

Well, thanks to the great Michael5000 who tagged me, I'm charged with the oh so painful task of listing "the top 10 reasons why you like yourself". Very likely this is difficult for anyone, but this is especially difficult for me right now because...I'm experiencing a low point, let's just say. But, damn it, I'll try. Big breath in (i'm good i'm good i'm good). Here goes...

1) I'm funny. I make people laugh. And I don't need a common language to do it.

2) I'm absolutely, totally, completely turned-inside-out in love with my brother's kids.

3) I don't want any kids of my own, though, and so I'm not having any. No, not even one.

4) I'm a really, really good teacher. I mean, the kind everyone wants. Recently one of my students (a 20-yr.-old) said, "I didn't know I could learn and have fun at the same time until I took your class."

5) I'm courageous. I stand up to injustice when I see it despite my fear.

6) I'm bold. I ask the people in my life what's up and I tell them what's up with me. There's no time for guess work, as I see it.

7) I'm open to new ideas. I used to be a fat, meat-eating, bible-thumping Jesus freak living in the burbs, whereas now I'm a fat, new-agey vegetarian living in the hood.

8) I'm a Triple Threat. I'm an actor/dancer/singer. (Well, I used to be a dancer, before I was fat.) But I can still belt a tune any time of the day or night and I can wrap an audience around my little finger.

9) I'm a damn good writer when I want to be. Don't believe me? Check out my other blog http://karinleak.blogspot.com/

10) I take care of my health. Okay, so I'm fat, but not as much as I could be given the SPAM and eggs model I was given. I exercise, don't smoke, don't drink really, I think about meditating and I talk, cry and journal a lot. This is a big deal in my family, this taking care of myself. I seem to be something of an oddity. So, hey, good for me, if I do say so myself.

There, I did it. That wasn't so bad. Thanks, Michael5000.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Listening Out

For someone who lives on side streets, it's pretty noisy around here. I'm at the intersection of two streets that are both a block away from big busy streets, so I guess that brings in a lot of vehicular and foot traffic. On top of that, my building is right up against the sidewalk. Any "yard" we might have is entirely in the back. I mean, if not for the screens, we could hang out the windows and deal drugs like I see people doing out of their cars just there on the corner. To make matters worse, or better, our apartment is exactly at the corner of the building. So as I sit at my desk, I have the distinct advantage of hearing all manner of conversation that I'm not meant to hear--most of it innocuous, some of it interesting. Here's a smattering from the past week or so. I'll add more as I Listen Out (the Window), which the uppity among you might call eavesdropping.

· "Shit. It ain’t no thing ‘til you mutha fuckas left. And then shiiit."

· "He's so cute." "
Yeah, I wish uh, he’d act is age though." (about a big puppy)

· "She’s been in my house every day."
"Yeah. Well. That doesn’t surprise me."

· "What was the first level, bro?" "
Yellow." "And what could you, what could you do with the yellow?"

· "You better wag yo little tail feather so I can tell where you mutha fucka at."

· "Oh and by the way, those Math people do not know the rule."

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Your Results: er My Results:
The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.

How did the Belief-O-Matic do?

Well, I'm pleased to see that it acknowledges my shift toward the acceptance of many different ways to connect to God or practice spirituality. I'm quite surprised to see Reform Judaism at #2 and matching 99% of my beliefs, considering I really don't know what Reformed Jews believe, or do I?

And it's reassuring to note, that although in recent years my spiritual thinking has markedly changed from, "You don't believe in Jesus as your personal savior? I'm sorry, then you're going to hell, but I can help you with that. Here, take this Steps to Peace with God tract." to something more like, "Hey, you're doing what you can to make a connection to something bigger than yourself and applying that to your daily life? Well, good on ya, mate!" my ideas actually haven't drifted as far away from my Liberal Quaker friends (Friends, get it, haha) as they would have feared. (Is that a run on sentence? Let's just move on.)

Looking at the list again, I realize that, while of course I recognize the names of these major and minor religions and sects, I don't necessarily know what they believe, which leads me to a Life&Times of Michael5000-esque methodical inquiry into each of the religions on my list. Now, I long to be as methodical and thorough as M5K, but I am nowhere near as delighted by the slow tedium of the process as he is. Not at all. I will get bored with this, or in fact forget my own project altogether and move on to something else long before I've finished if I try to be just like him, which I'm very tempted to do. So, please, gentle readers, do not expect this to be a 27-month or 27-week adventure. I just don't think I have it in me. Having said that, I have every confidence that this will be a Kick in the Butt.

Here's my list:

Unitarian Universalism (100%)
Reform Judaism (99%)
Liberal Quakers (97%)
Mahayana Buddhism (92%)
New Age (90%)
Neo-Pagan (90%)
Theravada Buddhism (88%)
Sikhism (86%)
Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (82%)
Jainism (80%)
Orthodox Quaker (72%)
Taoism (71%)
New Thought (71%)
Orthodox Judaism (68%)
Bahá'í Faith (66%)
Scientology (65%)
Hinduism (64%)
Secular Humanism (64%)
Islam (60%)
Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (52%)
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (47%)
Seventh Day Adventist (41%)
Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (39%)
Jehovah's Witness (37%)
Nontheist (36%)
Eastern Orthodox (25%)
Roman Catholic (25%)


Monday, August 13, 2007

Cell Phones

So, every time I'm on the Max I overhear the same cell phone conversation while everyone else is dozing off, reading a book, spacing out or generally observing the shut-the-hell-up-on-public-transportation rule. Gender, ethnicity and apparent tax bracket are irrelevant here.

It always, always goes like this:

Hi, I'm on the Max. Yeah, I'm just about at Lloyd Center. Okay, see you in a minute? Bye.

WTF? News flash! If you're going to see them in a minute and they're obviously expecting you, then YOU DON'T NEED TO CALL THEM. What's UP with that? Just sit quietly with your thoughts for sixty more seconds, walk two blocks and you'll be there.

I mean, I know I'm completely behind the times because I still don't have a cell phone, but if not having one has helped me retain that precious minute of attention span that cell phone users have lost, then I don't feel so bad. I have friends who don't have cell phones or home computers or email. At them I gnash my teeth and shake my fists. Perhaps that's what the cell phone users of my life are doing to me.

Nevertheless, I still manage to talk to my friends, take and send pictures, and drive to new places without calling for directions. I get that one a lot, "If you get lost, just call me." I always wanna say, "On what, my Bat Phone? Or should I just talk directly into my hand?" I suppose that would be one of the most useful applications of the cell phone. That and finding someone in a crowd. That's pretty cool. Or remote grocery shopping. Man, "Did you want Super Plus, Super, Regular or Thin? With or without the petal soft applicator?"

What do you think?

Cell phones rock! I couldn't live without them. And here's why.

Cell phones suck! They're the bane of my existence. And here's why.

Health Insurance

If you change jobs, you shouldn't have to change your doctor. I mean, maybe I'm crazy (I mean maybe I am, so what's it to you?), but I don't think that if I make a positive life decision to get out from under Manager From Hell, I should have to change my insurance company and very likely change my Primary Care Provider.

And that's such a crock. What kind of euphamistic term is that anyway? Primary Care Provider. Hello! I'M my primary care provider, thank you very much.

I've been working with and sometimes without benefits since 198?-cough, gag, wheeze and I can't even tell you how many doctors I've gone through just because I've moved, I've changed jobs, or my employer or even provider have changed plans. I count myself one of the lucky ones, though, because for the most part I've been healthy. Knock on wood (BWT meaning: may lightning strike this tree rather than me for saying that).

I haven't seen Sicko yet. Dying to. Pun intended. Waiting for it to make it to the cheap theatres. I'm broke, what can I say. Too much of my money goes to paying for razzin' frazzin' health insurance. But I'm not bitter, no. Have you see it?

What do you think?