Saturday, May 29, 2010

Reflection: You're calling to me...

I thought this was a very good time for the artist "I'm singing, though rather poorly" to release another verse of "Time After Time" -- even if the artist is singing rather more poorly than the first time. (And even if one of my photos seems missing.)

Read on...

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Reflection: A Note to the Person...

A note to the person who's voice filled me with so much panic:

An intake of air -- Oh -- and I held the phone away from me and began to cry. And after a little while I was aware of the dial tone.

Of course I am talking to you. I am not talking to you tonight.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memory: Conversation on a Bus

On the bus, there were 2 people ahead of me -- separate seats. I was sure they were both men; they had men's voices. Everything they said I tried to assimilate into my original assumption: 2 men talking.

One of them talked about a change in appetite.

"Are you pregnant?" the other asked.

"Heck, no," came the reply. My assumption at that point: They were clowning around. It did seem they kept the joke up a little long, but what the hey...

The one said soething like, "In another 20 years, when I'm too old to have kids..." Again I was a bit puzzled. I mean, can't men have kids at any age? But maybe he meant in another twenty years he'd be too old to raise kids...

It took me rather a long time to challenge my original assumption: that here were two men talking.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Reflection: Stimulating Relaxation

Counterintuitive as it is, I find these things calmative: coffee, mucuna pruriens supplements, as well as some energy drinks (depending on the formula). The "Caffeine calms me!" response is surely not unheard of-- but mellowing out on stimulants is more typical of ADHD than it is of anything I've ever been diagnosed with. So in a way, I have a biogenetic marker for ADHD, even though I don't fit the phenotype.

Here's a different sort of explanation for the phenomena: Stimulants activate the "flight or fight" systems in many people; that's why we say they're bad for anxiety. But I have hardly any "fight or flight" response in me at all; while many anxiety-disordered people have abnormally high arousal levels, mine are very abnormally low. My anxiety is actually monotropic vulnerability; it's a matter of putting my eggs in one basket (and often a flimsy basket at that). So... if a substance like coffee can stimulate enough interest/ arousal that I focus outward on things other than my own particular obsessions, well, the overall effect is going to be calming.

People who've known me over the years know I have this thing about coffee -- and that I did long before I had any explanation whatsoever for the fondness!

Coffee Picture: Gregory Szarkiwicz, Free Digital Photos

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Reflection: Uploading Oneself to the Internet...

I did an online test of my netbook's internet connectivity speed. The upload speed was slower than the upload speed, yes, but not by as much as is usually the case. The upload speed measured at close to average for all computers with similar ISP addresses, while the download speed was markedly slower. What does it mean that the netbook has a much better upload speed than download speed? It (like me) shows, relative to the general population, marked adaptation/ preference for uploading itself to the internet as opposed to merely downloading.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Reflection: Farmers Market Scenes

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I tried out the Animoto 'air' template on this one, though I think I prefer using the traditional (or nontraditional as it were) Animoto template. A majority of the pictures here were taken in or near the U-District Farmers Market; a couple were taken in or near the Capitol Hill Farmers Market. There is, however, one major 'imposter', a themed picture far removed in space and time. It's not the cat -- that very sociable feline greeted me a couple blocks from the Capitol Hill Farmers Market and would have been happy to let me take a whole roll of pictures of it, had I been so inclined.

There is a "Summer Sunshine" contest on Squidoo -- create a page and set the royalties 100% to charity. Every weekday during the summer, they're picking a winner -- $99 bonus to the charity, $99 to the writer of the page. I haven't put a page up yet, but I'm planning to showcase the Seattle Farmers Markets, and set the royalties to a microenterprise or hunger charity.

The song for this little farmers market musical slideshow is "(Love is) Better Than Money". Ironic choice, or not so much? I dunno. I had actually selected the song for my farmers market slides a long time ago, but I had to get some "fairer month" photos before I put it up. I'm not sure which month the U-District Farmers market sign photos were taken, but the other farmer market photos represent December to May. So... now I'll probably get the page up by the weekend.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Reflection: Irises Crossing

I enjoy things more when I see some big reason for doing them -- when they seem, to me, to fit into a personal grand design. My first summer in Seattle, I roamed all over with my disposable cameras. That habit surely did fall away. But now, with so many goals -- personal and pragmatic -- tied to what I put on the internet, I go roving with Fujifilm cameras again. It's not a chore; I enjoy it -- yet at the same time, I require a reason to enjoy.

Seattle is still a beautiful city, even despite... The snippet of (my) song lyrics that appears on the sidebar of this blog -- the lyrics that this blog derives its title from -- include the lines, "I cry for disappointed dreams/ For things you would not give to me/ But in between you're beautiful.." There's a bit more of that on the Evening Nigh Reflections opening post.

I just got a roll of film developed, and scanned some things this morning. I didn't intend to photograph the crossing sign along with that iris, but I kind of like it. I chose not to crop that one.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Reflection: Up a Down Staircase

I checked my mailbox today -- some of it. (I do recognize of course that many people complete this activity on a regular basis and don't feel the need to brag about it online, but 'check mail' is one of the main activities rendered difficult by my bad news phobias.)

I've been arguably on something of a roll the past few hours: Not wanting to live life as a fugitive I went to King County Library to pay some library fines. When the lady behind the counter looked up my account, she was really staring for a moment. No, it wasn't because of the size of my fine (not that bad actually) and no, the matter had not been transfered to any other agency (neither collections, nor the FBI, nor the mafia...) No, she was staring because... well let's just say there's a limit to how long they hold onto things there, but if I'd gone in sooner, I would have left with a picture ID.

While the activities of the past few hours have been arguably exemplary, they do, I realize hint at pockets of dysfunction. I also want to say (and this is important) that I do feel uneasy about some missed calls. I try to make myself frequently reachable through at least one communication mode. I may need to get a new phone. When it's been off the hook (and sometimes I do knock it off accidentally) I tend to lose the next call. There are times when I jiggle all the ports and cords and still don't get connected -- it's happened too frequently in the recent past.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Reflection: Don't Let the Party Dress Fool You

Don't be fooled by the party dress and mary jane shoes! The Squidoo web page that that picture appears on has willpower like you wouldn't believe.

There has been a thread going on Squidoo about how having an eBay module on a webpage may cause the page to fall out of the Google index or be ranked very low. Some say this is an unintentional bug (that the eBay module is generating some kind of weird code). Someone did an experiment and removed the eBay module to find the page rise again. Anyway, A Paper Doll Childhood is one of several of my pages that took a hit Google-wise and took something of a dip in terms of visitors. By the time I removed its eBay module this morning, it had fallen fell a few thousand spots in the internal ranking system.

But here's wear it gets curious. When I looked in on it this morning, its stats were kind of paltry in terms of visitors, but it had risen back up a few thousand places in the internal ranking system -- and was once more seated at the top of my personal 62 lens Squidoo stack. (Yup, find the line, "This member's top ranked page is ______" and there you will find the page with the paper dolls smiling out in its little pink dress and patent leather shoes.) Hmm, how does it do it? Maybe the page got an "angel blessing" -- something that can raise Squidoo rankings. Sometimes, though, I am hard pressed to explain just how that page manages to be so successful. Sometimes I think it has a will of its own. (Perhaps it is reading the Law of Attraction?)

Anyway, the larger lesson is one I frequently return to: Appearances can definitely belie intenal strength.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Reflection: Community

That's my mother long ago with a group of Eastern Airlines pilots -- a big part of what was then her community(and, I will note, a different world than any that I knew her in). I myself have been a part of different communities at different times: a dorm, 2 co-ops...

I don't think there are more than a few people who really have an idea of the cascade of events that led me to find myself finding myself online. There's pain in the cascade of events, and there's a lot that's not ideal. But there are times I have had reason to love some of these virtual communities and some of these still-real people!

Now then... about another another community not quite so long ago as to be rendered yet in black and white: At my latest scanning session at Online Coffee, I also scanned one more photo for use in a second verse of "Time After Time".

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reflection: Good Hands

I did find out what the disenrollment letter. One of the first they does now as part of their recertification process is send a letter to verify a person's address. If the letter is returned -- and the address is not verified-- the person is disenrolled. The person can appeal, though, if they think there was a mistake. Despite the budget and the fact that they want and need people off the program, I think I have a good chance of being re-enrolled. I'm still here (and I got the second letter -- obviously).

Well, these thing do evoke some anxiety in me. But as for silver linings in silver and oft-chilly lands, today I was at the University of Washington Medical Center as an uninsured person. I guess it's the first time that I've ever been there for any medical evaluation or treatment; I've been there as a visitor. I do strongly feel that they're the best medical facility around -- they treat people well.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Reflection: Missing Things

You wouldn't recognize me from the picture, huh? Indeed it wouldn't have added much to the birth card the state of Virginia issued, even if technically it had been a photo ID. I'll get back to that idea in a moment...

In a way, this is an addendum to yesterday's post. And oh my, do I have things to add. I got something in the mail that was startling -- and I was telling myself that it appeared to be in error and there was a good chance I would get it straightened out. After prowling around on the internet, though, I'm not sure the correspondence had anything to do with either negligence or perceived negligence on my part. It may have to do simply with changes in legislature.

Apparently, for the first time, Medicaid is going to be extended to people who don't have children (as in single people with incomes less than 14,400). I think I did read somewhere that Basic Health was going to disenroll people with who were Medicaid-eligible, even if they weren't currently on it, but I can't find the information on the internet now. So here I am with a generic letter saying that my payment due is now 0, the reason is disenrollment, and to file an appeal within 30 days if I thought there was an error.

Well, I definitely feel it's better to get disenrolled for reasons other than one's own negligence or error. (Has the government really done something so useful with dollars as to extend that safety net?) Still I would consider it far from ideal to have to go on a program where the income is capped so very low (133% of the poverty level as opposed to Basic Health's 200%). It's not good to be wanting/ needing to get one's income up beyond what it currently is...while simultaneously needing to have such a very low income.

Here I am in the midst of all this medical testing, which brings me back to... that picture. I've got a stash of photos for a geneticist. But UW genetics sent me a mailing telling me what to bring to the appointment; they want to see my pictures, yes, but they also want to see my ID. Dang. I brought back that official birth card from the State of Virginia, issued in '72. But it's not a picture ID, and even if it was... Well, hey, if I still looked like I did then, the doctor wouldn't need to see pictures.