Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reflection: Sometimes You Picture Me (2)

This picture is made from a snapshot someone took back in my co-op days. I uploaded into a frame and used it in a personal post, some months back, about body language and illusion. It was one of the few posts that I've written that I hesitated to publish. One of the ways that people have misinterpreted body language is that they've thought they saw fear in contexts where it didn't exist. Of course there are also more harmless illusions created by body language...

In co-op days, a housemate (I generally don't name names, but it start with 'J' and rhymes with 'mud') said, "You must have been so good at gymnastics when you were growing up."

I laughed. "In all my years of PE, I couldn't touch my toes -- couldn't even come close."

"How could that be?" he said, in his Mud-like manner (bemused, but not disbelieving).

It took me the better part of a decade to come up with a partial, non-scientific explanation about something that's mostly a 'nothing issue'. The interesting thing isn't the explanation; it's that it took me so long to come up with any reason at all that sounded plausible -- as it has been with some far deeper life issues. I tend to know in advance when my words are going to sound flat and unbelievable and I've made the choice in those situations to simply... not try. There are reasons, other than fear of not being accepted, to be mum about who you are.

Put yourself for a moment in my... leotards. Imagine: When people watch you, day after day, carelessly turn yourself into a human pretzel, it's gonna sound hollow and clunky when you say that in PE, you were gasping and wincing trying to bring your fingertips much more than halfway down your calves. (How can that be? I mean, really, how can it?)

Now you're not losing opportunities in life because you create a false illusion of flexibility, but other false do illusions carry with them losses. Yet it can take years to explain away those illusions in ways that don't sound hollow and clunky when they hit the floor. Because you yourself don't know how something can be, only that it must 'can be' because it is.

As for the toe touching thing, this is my partial explanation. It was always was difficult for me -- more so than the average person -- to bend at the waist when my legs were straight. It was always easy for me -- more so than the average person -- to bend at the waist when my legs too were deeply bent. Just put together a bit funny, I guess.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Reflection: Strong Bonds

When I put a new blog, I tell this one here it'll always be my #1 commitment in blog-land. When I contemplate a little pot of meandering rosemary, I tell the basil plant, it's my precious little one, it and not that other plant. And as for the netbook... it's this netbook, this, this one I'm committed to.

There's research now that attachment is actually a drive, related to pair bonding, and supported by its own neurochemical system. It's not normally as strong a drive in humans as it is in certain other species, but like other drives, it can be out of whack and out of proportion. (We know that drives can cause strong impulses that can't be explained at the logical or macro level, but do we realize how many small -- well, often small! -- drives we humans have within us?)

What I see in genetic testing is the chance to talk about things that I haven't been able to before -- kind of like web writing, but opening even more doors. (And, yes, there's a little more I know than what I write on the blog at this point.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Reflection: Basil Plant (Again)

Google advised me that my basil is a delicate perennial; it can probably survive winter inside with a flourescent light upon it. The sky will grow grayer and dimmer when fall sets in, but insufficient sunlight has actually not been its problem lately -- no, more nearly the opposite. The plant wilts with too much bright direct sunlight, especially if it's soil is either too wet or too dry. I'm figuring it out. The basil wilted again yesterday, but today, resilient thing that it is, it has again plumped out its leaves.

Google also gave me a heads up that incadescent light might have some effect -- that me leaving th light on way too much might be causing it to grow spindly or stalky instead of bushy. My 'leafy green Space Needle' has gotten a bit funny looking, but it is green and very much alive. Sitting several feet from the window, it is engaged in the task of making new litttle baby leaves.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Reflection: The Time You Waste For Your Basil Plant

There is a basil plant. I think she has tamed me.

Let me say this: I do not have a green thumb. I have neglected plants in my time. I seldom have a plant at all except the summer basil -- and I have neglected summer basil before.

But this one... The basil plant and I live in a room with two windows facing the afternoon summer, in a city where even in the sun, the cloud cover often doesn't dissipitate until noon. I set the basil plant atop the dollhouse, so it can be right up by the window. Sometimes I move it around a bit in late afternoon, chasing patches of afternoon sun. I poke and stir at the soil to check tht is is very slightly moist.

Two days ago (the last really sunny warm afternoon) it got hot in that room. I couldn't work on the netbook -- on sunny afternoons I can't see the netbook. Closing the blinds wasn't an option as the basil plant thrives on sunny afternoons -- because a good afternoon photosynthesizing followed by a night recouping and rebuilding restores that basil's firm umbrella-like leaves, but it's quick to get droopy when conditions aren't favorable.)

What is it about this basil? It's simultaneously so vulnerable and so resilient -- but so, I imagine, are the others if I got to know them. This, though, is the basil plant I took pictures, this is the basil I wrote about... To echo The Little Prince, in herself, she is more important than all the other basil plants.

Postscript (a day later): Trader Joe's chucked their basil plants last week -- they weren't doing so well. I was thinking this morning -- looking at the rainy sky, at the droopy leaves -- that my basil plant wasn't going to make it more than a few days. But it looks so much better tonight -- and will likely look even better by morning. Today was actually a mostly cloudly day, but I realized that with the window open, I could set the plant directly on the sill with the rail of the day bed to hold it in place. There it sat except when the lowering sun sent some bright rays into the room and we chased them.

And now... nightfall. Goodnight, netbook. Goodnight, basil plant. And (outside the still open window) Goodnight moon.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reflection: The Hand Holds the Key

My little finger wanted me to write this.

Today I was out walking when I became conscious of my middle two fingers tackling the little finger, yanking it so it was perpendicular to it's previous position, and holding it down. The little finger was very appreciative: Ah, that felt good!

No, I'm not just writing this to be silly. I came up with a phrase for something. It occurs to me that some of my postures that are the oddest -- and most comfortable -- are variations of "bend and lock": First bend a finger, arm, leg inward and rotate it differently than the way it grows out of its socket. And when it's rotated to wear it feels comfortable, grasp it, lay on, wedge it somewhere -- yes, somehow lock it into place... but not for long, because a lot of other things are waiting to be bent and locked, too. (Hey, the little finger had it's turn.)

The things we can look at and only think we see. You might look at me and notice that my fist was clenched, but fail to notice the reason: One clue is apparent when you look very closely and observe that the other fingers are curled around the little finger, holding it in that perpendicular position.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dear Evening Nigh Reflections

Evening Nigh Reflections began on August 12, 2009. The first post -- no, the first two posts -- went up that day, on public computers. And so the blog turns one today!

I've put so much online since the inception of this blog: notably 68 Squidoo pages. This summer this blog was joined also by a sister Blogspot blog, Audio Reflections.

But Evening Nigh Reflections is still my baby.

My most used tag this first year has been "soap box post"-- used over 40 times. I don't do any analytics on this blog, but the LinkWithin widget that makes the related posts thumbnails gives me some clues about which posts are (relatively) popular in tiny spheres. Some show up as "You may also like..." under a lot of posts in the weeks after they're written. The Kitty Carryall Metaphor was one of those. And from an even earlier time: Netbook Attachment/ Beautiful in my Eyes was a 'frequent flyer'. My Widget's Under the Weather, on the other hand, has hardly shown up as a "You may also like..." post at all (possibly due to some modesty or embarrassment on the part of the widget in question).

Some other theme strands: Well, I'm not going to link directly to either of the posts with the off-key singing, but here's one of the posts that began the "Time After Time" theme: Watching Through Windows.

Browsing back through the posts, I noticed that earlier Animoto videos -- most of which had soundtracks by real artists in the Animoto library -- had vanished off my Blogspot posts. They're all still on Animoto, though, and it looks like I can re-embed them using their new codes. I just re-embedded one on Mauicat Tribute -- a tribute to a kitty that a lot of folks know died in June of '09.

I messed up the formatting of the post a wee bit, but once a blog has any subscribers at all, it's probably best not to republish it a bunch of times.

On that note, oh, what a year. And "Happy birthday, dear blog, happy birthday to you."

Friday, August 6, 2010

Reflection: Basil Plant to the Foreground

New digs... down one floor only. I'm in a smaller -- but sunnier -- apartment in the building I've lived in for most of my time in Seattle. Now I want to speak about that basil plant, looming large in the foreground. Today it is sitting atop the dollhouse, right up by the window, soaking up Seattle sun. Yesterday afternoon it did the same. If I had a little Fujifilm camera handy today, what a shot I could get: the basil plant against a segment of North Seattle skyline... kind of like a little green leafy Space Needle. (The Space Needle isn't actually as downtown Seattle skyscrapers, and it is not in fact downtown. Photographers like to take pictures looking down from Queen Anne Hilll.)

I've done something now a bit surprising to those who know me: I haven't exactly set myself up as Martha Stewart, but I do have this page on Squidoo, One Room Living with tips and pictures. And yup, things are much more spiffy when I'm armed with a camera, a scanner, an internet connection... It's the monotropism thing again: I function at a much higher level when I have a reason, a real reason, for everything I do. It's more comfortable doesn't tend to cut it as a reason for the likes of me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hard to Keep Me Off the Internet...

It is hard to keep me off the internet. My phone and internet have theoretically been moved to my new room today -- I moved down a floor in the world! -- but there are some obstacles in the way of actually getting ethernet up and running. This is after all a 1920 building. The phone jack, which of course wasn't designed for ethernet, almost appears... well, walled over. The apartment manager, Jack, is going to come up later to remove the old phone jack and try to install the ethernet one. Hopefully Jack will have the jack -- and the internet -- working later today.

So where am I typing this post from now? No, not the local library, which doesn't open til 1:00 on Tuesday. I am typing from... my new mini-studio on floor 3. It juts out a little into the alley, see, and I am a little closer to the free wi-fi zone on 'the Ave' a block over. Close enough to... I am sitting on the day bed by the window enjoying a very week internet connection, courtesy the city of Seattle. This city-of-Seattle-sponsored-freebie wouldn't do at all for, say, internet teaching -- that's reason alone for ethernet -- but if I don't mind pages timing out quite frequently, I can engage in some internet activity!

I think it may help to raise the (adorable) netbook more to window level, but I do want the (adorable) netbook perched in a very secure position. So I have my arm and the netbook resting on... no, not a lap table... a large stuffed bear.

Speaking of which... I was taking some pictures of my 'recording studio' and the studio, in general, but there is another little obstacle. The computer that's hooked up to the scanner at Online Coffee is down. Actually all the computers in that corner were wearing "Out of Order" signs this morning. But... there is another Online Coffee with a scanner that doesn't work as well, but, last I knew, was working.

It can also be hard to keep me from scanning pictures if I have a mind to do so.

Now if only everything else were so easily solvable... using will alone.