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Half-full, Half-empty?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo | Posted on 15-06-2012


Today’s NaBloPo­Mo prompt: “Is the glass half-full or half-emp­ty?”

It’s half-full, and things are get­ting bet­ter all the time.

Last night as I was sleep­ing
I dreamt — mar­velous error!—
that I had a bee­hive
here inside my heart.
And the gold­en bees
were mak­ing white combs
and sweet hon­ey
from my old fail­ures.
Anto­nio Macha­do

Where I Hope to Be in Three Years

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo | Posted on 14-06-2012


Plinky asked, “Where do you hope to be in three years?”

The future

I hope that I’m no longer dis­abled, that I’m ful­ly func­tion­al, tak­ing few­er med­ica­tions and see­ing few­er doc­tors. I’m work­ing on that goal now. I plan to be work­ing full time either for myself or in a posi­tion equiv­a­lent to the one I had back in 2000, when I last worked. I want to be attend­ing school, unless I already have my degree. And final­ly, I hope to be liv­ing in a blue state or mak­ing seri­ous progress towards get­ting there or even emi­grat­ing.

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An Old Friend

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo | Posted on 13-06-2012


Plinky asked, “Which of your friends have you know for the longest amount of time?”

2009-05-23: Morn­ing Sky Green­ery (rest) IMG_​9780

I’m just going to count peo­ple I’m reg­u­lar­ly in touch with offline who are not close kin, or things would be very com­plex, as there are lots of old friends and rel­a­tives on my Face­book friends list.

I’ve tech­ni­cal­ly known Tate since high school, but we didn’t get to know each oth­er very well until this past year. So I sup­pose James, who I met via Sam back in 1998, wins the prize for being around the longest, poor guy.

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My Top 5 Strengths

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo | Posted on 12-06-2012


Plinky said, “List your top five strengths.”


1) When I give my word or my heart, I don’t change my mind. I’m loy­al to a fault.

2) I can learn just about any­thing I care to learn. Intel­li­gence is use­ful.

3) I don’t lie or mis­rep­re­sent myself. I’m the same per­son online and offline. I prac­tice rad­i­cal hon­esty.

4) I inher­it­ed cre­ativ­i­ty from both of my grand­moth­ers. I’m great with col­ors and am a tal­ent­ed stitch­er.

5) I’m a sur­vivor. I’ve expe­ri­enced some ter­ri­bly painful things start­ing in child­hood and haven’t allowed them to ruin my life.

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Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo | Posted on 11-06-2012


This month’s NaBloPo­Mo theme is “Jump.” All the prompts have been cen­tered around that theme, but I haven’t yet used them. I’m going to play catch-up here.

What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the word jump?
The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word “jump” is a fam­i­ly lore that said I could not man­age to jump as a child. I tried and tried, but I just couldn’t get off the ground with­out some­thing to jump off of (I was fear­less then, though). 1 Maybe that’s one rea­son I’m just not ter­ri­bly excit­ed about this month’s theme.

What is some­thing you recent­ly jumped into?
I jumped back into play­ing the ukulele, after some con­tem­pla­tion.

How do you feel about start­ing new projects? and How do you feel about new peo­ple jump­ing into your life? and Do you need to look before you leap?
I’m not fear­less at this stage in my life. I def­i­nite­ly look before I leap, espe­cial­ly regard­ing bring­ing new peo­ple into my life. I don’t jump into projects, either, although I would prob­a­bly be more like­ly to do that if I had more mon­ey avail­able. I’m hop­ing to return to work soon and improve that sit­u­a­tion, at least.

What is some­thing you’d like to jump into if you had more time/​money?
As I men­tioned in a recent post, I would try weav­ing. I might even try spin­ning.

1 My mater­nal grand­fa­ther, Dad­dy Boots, said that my legs were so short the fam­i­ly should sue the city for build­ing the side­walks too close to my rear end.

Meeting Someone Famous

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo | Posted on 10-06-2012


Plinky asked, “Who’s the most famous per­son you’ve ever met?


Oprah, def­i­nite­ly. I was on her show about ten years ago to talk about inter­net safe­ty and our family’s expe­ri­ence with cyber­stalk­ing.

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Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo | Posted on 09-06-2012


I’m so tired of all the depress­ing sto­ries in my Face­book news feed. Every day there’s more news about all the ground lost in women’s rights (espe­cial­ly repro­duc­tive rights) in this coun­try, or some­thing like the ter­ri­ble results of the Wis­con­sin efforts to recall Gov­er­nor Walk­er, or some child gone miss­ing, or peo­ple shot dead while doing some­thing innocu­ous like attend­ing a funer­al (that hap­pened in Dekalb Coun­ty, here in the metro Atlanta area, yes­ter­day).

So I delib­er­ate­ly try to find pos­i­tive things to coun­ter­act all that neg­a­tive stuff. I’m always on the look­out for them, and would love any sug­ges­tions y’all have for such.

  • Pos­i­tive Press, home of the Pos­i­tive Quote of the Day list, Pos­i­tive News list, and oth­er resources.
  • The Dai­ly Good is an entire web site full of good news, with a mail­ing list you can sub­scribe to in order to get a dai­ly dose deliv­ered up to your mail­box. Of course they’re on Face­book, too.
  • Open Your Mind is a Face­book com­mu­ni­ty full of good stuff.

Book Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Reading | Posted on 08-06-2012


Qui­et: The Pow­er of Intro­verts in a World That Can’t Stop Talk­ing by Susan Cain is the sin­gle most strik­ing book I’ve read this year. I real­ly want to talk about it with some­one else who has read it, but I don’t know any­one else who has. GoodReads says that none of my friends there have read it or marked it to-read, so I’m hop­ing to con­vince some­one else to read it by rav­ing about it.

To be hon­est, I fell upon it pure­ly by chance. I was look­ing through the library’s selec­tion of non-fic­tion audio­books that were cur­rent­ly avail­able for check-out, want­i­ng some­thing to lis­ten to while I stitched. I checked it out along with Michio Kaku’s Physics of the Future: How Sci­ence Will Shape Human Des­tiny and Our Dai­ly Lives by the Year 2100, and just hap­pened to click on Qui­et first when I was ready to start stitch­ing. Noth­ing against Kaku’s book (which I’m lis­ten­ing to when I stitch now), but I’m glad of my chance click.

I’m an intro­vert. Amer­i­ca is one of the most extro­vert­ed coun­tries in the world, and my fam­i­ly is a typ­i­cal­ly extro­vert­ed one. I’m the only intro­vert in the fam­i­ly, so my pref­er­ence for reflec­tion and need for qui­et time in order to recharge is marked­ly dif­fer­ent from the rest of the clan’s out­ward-direct­ed ways.

Intro­verts in gen­er­al are less val­ued than extro­verts, seen as being too qui­et, as some­how fail­ing, as being less social or even labeled as anti-social. But we are, as Cain points out, just dif­fer­ent­ly social. Intro­verts tend to feel things deeply, often seek­ing out the com­pa­ny of those who oth­ers belit­tle or ostra­cize in order to com­fort them. We don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly have poor social skills, but we don’t always choose to use our social skills in the same ways that an extro­vert would. We do not seek the same goals, nec­es­sar­i­ly. Intro­verts aren’t nec­es­sar­i­ly shy at all, although there are some shy intro­verts, of course.

Intro­verts can also be excel­lent lead­ers. In fact, research shows that they are bet­ter lead­ers for groups of proac­tive peo­ple than extro­verts are. Extro­verts, in con­trast, excel at lead­ing more pas­sive peo­ple.

Cain inter­views many experts, includ­ing Elaine Aron, author of The High­ly Sen­si­tive Per­son, for the book. Aron says that about 70% of HSPs are intro­verts, which I found inter­est­ing.

Of course, most peo­ple have a mix of intro­vert­ed and extro­vert­ed traits, and even the most intro­vert­ed peo­ple can put on an extro­vert mask for short peri­ods of time when nec­es­sary. I know that I can, but it is extreme­ly drain­ing.

I’ve bare­ly touched the sur­face of the points the book makes, skip­ping around a lot with­out pre­sent­ing the research or argu­ments behind the points, of course. Please, if you’re an intro­vert, read or lis­ten to this book. If you man­age or love an intro­vert, at least give a lis­ten to the abridged ver­sion. If you par­ent an intro­vert­ed child, take time to read the entire thing, as there is an entire chap­ter devot­ed to the care of intro­vert­ed chil­dren.

Energy Boost

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo | Posted on 07-06-2012


Plinky asked, “What ener­gizes you?”

Trans­par­ent Role­play­ing Dice

I strug­gle with major depres­sion (actu­al­ly, treat­ment resis­tant depres­sion), so it’s dif­fi­cult to find much that ener­gizes me. How­ev­er, real­ly great con­ver­sa­tion with just a few peo­ple does it quite well. The same goes for sto­ry games, or a real­ly good table­top role­play­ing ses­sion that focus­es on char­ac­ters and plot rather than hack and slash.

Being around too many peo­ple drains me of ener­gy, and I need alone time to recu­per­ate. A nice soak in the bath with nobody else around, time with a good book, or time to enjoy some qui­et music are all plea­sures I use to help recov­er from being drained.

I’m def­i­nite­ly an intro­vert, as evi­denced by what ener­gizes me and what drains me. I used to be able to fake extro­ver­sion for short peri­ods of time, but I’m not entire­ly sure that I could do that right now.

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Recent Reading

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo, Reading | Posted on 06-06-2012


I’ve fall­en out of the prac­tice of writ­ing book reviews, for some rea­son. There are two lit­tle wid­gets there to the side of the blog that always show the cov­ers of the books I’m cur­rent­ly read­ing and some of those that I’ve recent­ly read, though.

Yes, I do keep that many books going at once, because I keep one ebook in progress each on my Nook, phone and iPad in addi­tion to an audio­book and a dead-tree book or two. I real­ly hate being with­out read­ing mate­r­i­al, so that way I know I’ve always got some­thing good at hand. The book on the Nook is pret­ty much always fic­tion, while the oth­ers are usu­al­ly non-fic­tion.

The most note­wor­thy of my recent fin­ish­es is Reamde, by Neal Stephen­son (one of my favorite authors). No, I didn’t mis­spell the title, but the spelling is an impor­tant plot point. Those who enjoyed Crypto­nom­i­con are espe­cial­ly like­ly to enjoy this one. I rec­om­mend it to every­body, though, includ­ing those who think they don’t like sci­ence fic­tion.

I’m con­tin­u­ing to slog my way through George R.R. Mar­tin’s Song of Ice and Fire, recent­ly fin­ish­ing A Storm of Swords and imme­di­ate­ly pick­ing up A Feast for Crows. Read­ing the books while watch­ing A Game of Thrones has been inter­est­ing, as it brings the changes into sharp focus.

The book I’ve been read­ing on my phone for quite a few months (I sel­dom have rea­son to read on that) is Michael Shermer’s The Believ­ing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Pol­i­tics and Con­spir­a­cies — How We Con­struct Beliefs and Rein­force Them as Truths. It is inter­est­ing mate­r­i­al but writ­ten in an exces­sive­ly dry man­ner, and I’m start­ing to think that per­haps I should have cho­sen to lis­ten to it as an audio­book.

My iPad read­ing is rel­a­tive­ly new, Hap­pi­er: Learn the Secrets to Dai­ly Joy and Last­ing Ful­fill­ment by Tal Ben-Sha­har. While Ben-Sha­har isn’t as well-known in pop­u­lar cir­cles as some oth­er authors, his work is inte­gral to pos­i­tive psy­chol­o­gy and the study of hap­pi­ness as a phe­nom­e­non.

I find it peace­ful to lis­ten to audio­books while stitch­ing. My cur­rent audio­book is Qui­et: The Pow­er of Intro­verts in a World That Can’t Stop Talk­ing by Susan Cain. I’m find­ing it so rich that I keep hav­ing to go back and lis­ten to bits over again, or pause the record­ing to reflect. I strong­ly rec­om­mend this one to absolute­ly any intro­vert or any­one who deals with intro­verts (that means every­body). I may well write an entire post about the sub­jects it brings up lat­er.

My main print book is Polyamory in the 21st Cen­tu­ry: Love and Inti­ma­cy with Mul­ti­ple Part­ners by Deb­o­rah Anapol. I owe thanks to Uncle Ron for loan­ing me his copy of this one, but I real­ly need to get my own copy. More thoughts on this lat­er, as well.

My sec­ond print book, which I intend to review for Fibrant Liv­ing, is The Fibromyal­gia Den­tal Hand­book: A Prac­ti­cal Guide to main­tain­ing Peak Den­tal Health by Flo­ra Parsa Stay.

With all the dark­ness and the huge size of the Mar­tin books, I’m start­ing to crave some light read­ing, so I’m seri­ous­ly con­sid­er­ing putting Feast on hold for some­thing fluffy. I don’t think there’s any­thing incred­i­bly fluffy in the Nook, but I’m sure I’ll find some­thing before too long, even if I have to stoop to a light beach romance or the like. There’s only so much death, doom, and despair one woman can stand!

What are you read­ing? What do you sug­gest I read?