Lesson finally learned (the public version)


You have to fucking care about you.

A lesson I have finally learned.

A company won't do it, you have to do it.

Related: Hey! I'm writing a book about Drush!

A Somewhat Bucket LIst


I have so few items on my bucket list that it seems almost odd to even be thinking about writing down a bucket list. I do have a few items, though:

1. Walk on every continent.
2. Swim on both sides of every ocean.

I've been doing an okay job with that first one, having walked on North America, South America, Australia, Africa, Europe and Asia. I tried Antarctica over a year ago, but, well, that didn't work out. Maybe this coming winter, er, Antarctic summer.

I've been doing an okay job with that second one, having swum on one side of the Pacific Ocean, both sides of the Indian Ocean, and one side of the Atlantic Ocean. There aren't really sides to the Arctic and Southern Oceans. I expected to swim in the Southern Ocean during that trip to Antarctica, with a Solar Plunge, which includes a defibrillator and a glass of whiskey at the end.

I used to chase eclipses, which is a fantastic way to choose new, interesting destinations when travelling. That chasing took me to Machu Picchu and Curacao, both places I likely wouldn't have visited otherwise (of note, the mosquito-less Aruba and Curacao are mosquito-less for a reason, and that reason also causes them to be nominally vegetation-free, and that reason isn't pleasant for a mountain girl).

Ultimate changed my destination selection algorithm, with travelling to new places depending on where the next tournament was. Another good way to choose a bucket list, BTW: play ultimate on every continent.

I've decide that the next item to add to my travel destination generator masquerading as a not-really-but-sorta-is bucket list is hexagonal basalt formations. I've been meaning to go to Devil's Postpile since Mom and I went to the Giant's Causeway years ago. And now, having found a list of basalt formations, from, I have to say that, yes, this would be a great way to travel around the world.

The places listed are:

1. Litlanesfoss, Iceland
2. Sea Cave on the Akun Island, Alaska, USA
3. Ghenh Da Dia, Vietnam
4. Takachiho Gorge, Japan
5. Los Organos, Canary Islands, Spain
6. Jusangjeolli Cliffs, South Korea
7. Garni Gorge, Armenia
8. Fingal's Cave, UK
9. Giant's Causeway, UK
10. Prismas Basálticos, Mexico
11. Kirkjugólf, Iceland
12. Svartifoss, Iceland
13. Hexagon Pool, Israel
14. Cape Stolbchaty, Russia

I'm adding:

15. Devil's Postpile

One of those I've done. One trip going from Iceland to the UK and I have another 1/3 of them. A weekend trip to Devil's Postpile and I'm approaching half of them seen.

Should be a fun item to cross off the bucket list.

Right after that Solar, er, Polar Plunge.



So, there's this guy at work whom I have a crush on. I want to say "crush" is the wrong word, but it's sufficiently light-hearted enough that it works perfectly to describe my emotions towards him. Which is to say, I simultaneously want to meet this person and don't ever want to meet this person.

Oh, didn't mention that part?

Yeah, I haven't met him, haven't said hello to him, haven't sent an email to him, haven't been in a meeting with him, haven't had any interaction but a small smile today. I am fairly certain he has no idea who I am, and I am not only okay with that, I also have every intention of keeping it that way.

See, this crush scares me. It scares me because this guy's personal representative is, as near as I can tell, pretty much everything I wanted to be, a physical manifestation of my idealized self.

In reading about his adventures, in seeing his works, in watching his talks, in noticing him interacting with his coworkers, you can see what drives him, what inspires him. You can see he works to make the world a better place with an idealized definition of "better" that nearly hurts in both its purity and its impossibility.

And my curiosity of him has caused me to reflect more and more about myself. To finally begin questioning what drives me, what inspires me, what motivates me. I've started looking at my goals, my choices, my decisions. I dug up and dusted off the buried rationalizations I've made for the things I've done, brought them out to the light of day and actually looked at them.

Looked at them and come to the conclusion that, against the measuring stick of my idealized self, I pretty much suck.

And this is why the crush scares me: because it is so much easier to be lost in the deep black hole of depression than it is to reflect honestly on your life and realize that the person you disappointed the most is yourself. That the years of self-hatred weren't because you were actually incapable of being a better person, but because you never moved beyond being that small frail child who craved love and acceptance. That it's okay to work towards an idealized version of the world: even if it is unachievable, even if you fail, the effort moves the world just a smidge that much closer to it, and that smidge can still be worth it.

Without having met him, without having said a single word to this person, he has inspired me to be a better person.

Problem is, I can't tell if my desire not to meet him is a fear of losing my idealized version of him (because let's face it, reality is dirty, and no one is perfect), or the fear of looking deeper and, instead of finding the strength to become a better person, giving up on myself.

Because, well, I really want to meet him and ask him a billion questions.

Just being


I've been trying to relax. I'm not very good at relaxing, at just being. I'm working on it. I'm working on that, and at being grateful for everything I have, and at letting people know I appreciate them.

Being at Dad's place, I've been able to relax a bit, and just be. After being chased by Chris in Dad's truck, playfully of course, more like I raced the truck giggling the whole time and he let me win, I lay down in the front yard and just was.

The feel of the sun on my face, the sound of the birds, the slow swoosh of the intermittent traffic driving by, the grass on my back, knowing that Dad was going to be okay. For a moment, yeah, I was able to just be.

It was nice.

I want to try this more often.

Family stories


Every family has its stories, its tales of woe and triumph, of loss and redemption. With 6 aunts and 23 cousins, yeah, my family has its share.

Take, for example, the story of my cousin who was athletically gifted. First time out playing football, he goes up against some kid with an attitude, thinks he can rough my cousin up because he's the new guy, playing his first year as a freshman. My cousin tells him to stop, that if he continues, he's going to rough this guy up. Oh, think about it, it's football, the guy doesn't let up, no way. Next play, my cousin tackles the guy, breaks the guy's leg, quits the team and the sport.

And that's one of the good stories.

There's the tsk tsk tsk about an aunt, how life didn't quite turn out the way she expected it would, isn't that so sad. When does life turn out the way you expect it to turn out? I can't say ever. That aunt, from an outside perspective, has a good life and has achieved many goals. She's retired, with her husband, in a beautiful house, with great-grandchildren. I often wonder what demons she might have, if life didn't turn out quite the way she expected it to turn out.

And there's the story about my dad, and how he doesn't understand how relationships work, because he never saw one growing up that had conflict in it, never saw conflict resolved in front of him. He tells us how he saw his mother cry only once in his life: she and Grandpa had a fight about his spending so much time with his mom, and not enough time with my grandmother. My dad saw a woman sad because she couldn't spend more time with the man she loves, and that's the only time she cried.

I can understand that reason for crying. Very much so.

I can understand the snickering about ha, life didn't turn out the way she expected it to turn out, and I can understand life not turning out as expected.

And how that wreaks havoc on the soul until, well, you just learn to let go.

You can steer the boat of your life and not end up where you had intended to go, but both the journey and your actual destination can still be great.

Hand update, day 5


Whelp, fifth day after I opened up my hand, and it seems to have healed over by at least a layer of skin. I'm a little weirded out by this, as I'd rather it heals from the inside out than the outside in, but, well, not bleeding is a good place to be.

Letting Go


I emailed Megan yesterday asking her, hey, up for lunch or errands or something? She emailed me back, then texted me that she was over in a local park today, hey, did I want to hang out. Hecks, yes, I thought, grabbing my late lunch and heading over.

The park is around the freeway from the house, so an easy drive over. It took me longer to find her and the kids at the park than it did to drive over. It's a good thing that Merrick was crying, else I'd never find them. I had called Megan on the phone to see where they were, and heard Merrick over the phone. When I hung up, I paused to listen for his cries, then followed them to find the four of them.

For the record, that boy has some serious lungs.

Backseat driver


Okay, let me state right now, for the record, I am a backseat driver. When I know where I'm going, I want the driver to go the way I would drive, which is nominally the most efficient way to go. When I don't know where I'm going, I want to learn, and then I want to know that the way we're going is nominally the most efficient way to go.

See that trend?

Right. Efficiency, in terms of either time or distance, ideally both.

That all said, Kris and I went to Whole Foods this morning. Kris started going to the nearest one, and I asked him to drive to the one slightly farther away, on San Antonio. The one in Cupertino doesn't have the low-fat Brown Cow peach yogurt, the one on San Antonio does.

Why is this important? Well, the low-fat Brown Cow peach yogurt is AMAZING. It tastes like peach custard. Yummy!



So, he turned around, and headed north instead of south. When he turned onto 85, I turned to ask why he was he was going on 85. He promptly said, without my finishing my question, "Bah, El Camino." I decided at that moment I wasn't going to offer my opinion on how to drive to the grocery store, I was just going to go with it.

Driving up El Camino takes about 7 minutes to get to Whole Foods. Turns out, 85 to 101 North, there is no San Antonio exit off 101 North. We drove to the next exit at Embarcadero, but there's no easy 101 South entrance from the Oregon Expressway exit. One U-turn later, and we were back on 101 South, and well past the seven minutes had we just driven up San Antonio.

I kept my mouth shut.

I kept my mouth shut as there was no 101 North exit onto San Antonio.

I kept my mouth shut as there was no 101 South entrance off Oregon Expressway and Kris made a U-turn.

I kept my mouth shut as we hit every stop light on San Antonio on the way west to El Camino, taking more than twenty minutes to go that seven minute drive.

And I was surprised when, as we approached Central, Kris asked me, "Should I turn here or go straight?"

He continued to ask for my opinion about which way to drive as we continued on San Antonio, turned left onto El Camino and parked at Whole Foods. He even asked for my opinion for how to drive back.

So, either I needed to keep my mouth shut just a little longer to draw out the need for my opinion, or maybe, just maybe Kris misses my non-stop running commentary on how best to drive.


Asking the right questions


Six years ago, my mother's husband's sister died. Really, though, it's easier to just say, "An aunt of mine died."

An aunt of mine died. There. I said it that way.

She died.

One of the things that annoyed me most about her death, I mean, aside from the whole death thing itself, was the callous nature of the dissemination of her death. Look, I understand that her death was "unnatural," and I understand that sugar coating what happened doesn't change what happened, but it's still hard when a loved one passes away and people are callous about the whole thing.

(Wow, my site is all about death recently. Maybe a "Kitt, better to embrace life going forward than mourn its loss looking backward" is in order.)

No sense of smell can compensate


In a spectacularly idiotic move last night, I started baking sweet potato fries in the oven as a snack while I was working. That task in and of itself wasn't so bad. Forgetting I had done so, and leaving them in not only for hours, but overnight, however, was.

When I arrived home after the impromptu slumber party at Brynne's place last night, I was greeted by two excited dogs and an odd metallic smell. I puzzled over the smell until I wandered into the kitchen and saw the bake light on.


Burnt fries

One time is an accident, twice is a trend. Given that I've ruined the non-stick mat and an expensive cookie sheet, I have no intention of having said second incident and starting such a trend. I'll be far more careful about starting food, which is a good thing, since being present and in the moment is a recent goal.

That means, yes, I'll be back to my stack of cards and timers starting now, thankyouverymuch.