Thursday, September 30, 2010

In Between: If You're Human, I Apologize

I do need to get another phone. It's happened occasionally forever (colloquially) but it's been worse for a while. It used to be that sometimes, especially if the phone had been off the hook at some previous point, that I'd pick up a ringing phone... and it would keep ringing. Jiggling the cord -- pushing it in further -- would get it going, and I'd take the call. But now... Someone called several times in a short span of time. I don't think they were an automated subfinder because there were no jobs posted when I logged on to the online version. If you're human, I actually didn't mean to do that that time. It did make me anxious, those several attempts.

PS I have a different one lugged in now.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Reflection: A Star for Passing Brain Chemistry

Talking about purple star lenses again -- but I'm not bragging. It's the stories surrounding the stories that I want to talk about. Someone gave Struggling to Pass Brain Chemistry a purple star. I wrote that story, as some will remember, four or five years back. I later made the choice to self-publish it on Squidoo. Putting it up on Squidoo... well, that gave the story some things it wouldn't have had otherwise, and I'm talking about something more here than giving it a music soundtrack. The comments on that lens... they're a substantial part of why I put it where I did. It went on Squidoo to collect acceptance, and Squidangel blessings. It did that. And a while later it got its purple star.

Those purple star awards... I'm not the only person on Squidoo who has gotten several in a short span of time since it became a pay-it-forward program. I also want to tell a story about... well, not about the first two, but about what I was doing when I got the email notifications. I was checking the one email I don't get scared to check, and I was looking for an email from almost the only friend who has that email address. (And why not? He is on so many shared networks. He couldn't die or do anything noteworthy without it hitting all the major networks. What's an email? But I digress.) Anyway, though there are more purple stars than LOTDs ('lens of the days') in Squidoo-land, it's still considered something of an honor, and boosts your rank and all that. So a lot of people would have reacted (do react) with some excitement -- to the first at least. My response was, "But I'm not looking for a purple star! I'm looking for for a note from..."

Still monotropic after all these years: Laser-light and not incandescent. It's about what I'm looking for, and what I care about, and not what the world chooses to give me. This (the end of this paragraph is an edit, some time later) can sound snobby of me, but no. In 'real life' people have sometimes thought I was not altogether there because I didn't respond to something in a normal ways... like maybe I didn't even hear or observe. I just don't tend to have normal emotional responses to things -- good or bad -- if it's not something that was on my radar. I'm not 'deflected'... though I can surely act if I get inspired.

There are a lot of words I didn't know when I first penned the "Brain Chemistry" piece. But, with the exception of folks' names, I've changed only a few. I may not stand by the labels worn in those days, but I stand by the rest.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reflection: The Art of Research

I was wondering what the appropriate post was to follow that last one. I decided to share a bit of writing (something I have been doing quite a bit of actually). I started my first hired freelance gig just about a week ago. I've done 10 articles so far for $15 a piece. The articles take some time to research, but it's a pretty good beginning gig, the sort of thing that it would have helped to have in the summer when things kept falling through. Now... well, I make a lot more in an hour subbing in the schools, but jobs are still a bit scarce in the 3rd week, and... it's tough sometimes. There have been times... ah, but that's a story for another day...

Now then. I have a few tabs open to research on cardiac sonographers -- job description, certification requirements in different states -- but before I tackle another set of articles, I want to get this posted. Yeah, I'm writing about medical licenses. As a sample of research and writing in the medical field, I had sent a link to... well, it was actually first ever Squidoo lens.

The lens I'm posting here today is also research-heavy. It goes back about 6 months, was an award winner recently -- a different kind of Squidoo award. The"purple star" award on Squidoo is now done as a "pay it forward" receive one and then nominate another lens thing. It was quite a few months ago that Addy first dropped in on Reclassifying Mental Disorders and wrote a comment I kind of had to laugh over. 'Bout a week ago she paid it forward.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Memory: From a Time Before Time

I have a memory of being in the bathroom with my mother, at a time when I had not yet stopped being her perfect little girl. I think she might have been checking me and my long hair for ticks -- a summertime ritual in Virginia. "When I'm 40, you'll be 80," I declared.

"80 is very old," she said, and even then, I knew that was a message that she might not make it to that far off time.

She did not. Not quite.

Some months back, I wrote that my mother's Alzheimers -- or whatever neurological disease caused the progressive loss of function -- had reached the point where she could no longer talk or be cognizant of her surroundings, and that she was asleep or half asleep most of the time. My brother thought then that she'd live only a couple more weeks. But she lived more than five months, slipping the rest of the way away only this morning.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Reflection: Going Around in Triangles

I have written about the different (contrasting) things that people have thought they've seen in my posture: Sometimes they've seen fear. Sometimes they've seen flexibility. There's a fair amount of illusion in both those perceptions, and it occurs to me those two contrasting illusions are actually coming from a common source.

I bend my arm inward, or upward, at the elbow, and again at the wrist -- a posture that forms a triangle if there's space (or a cat) in between. I do something similar with my legs. Lounging around with limb-triangles pointing off in all different directions, or tangled up with each other in the position that teachers call criss-cross applesauce... well, that looks flexible. Standing with that same sharply bent wrist and elbow-- ah, now the pose looks fearful and self-protective. But strumming a guitar with my arm in that triangle, perception changes yet again. Now I am simply told my posture looks a bit off. Finally we have an observation, devoid of false inference.
There's a picture of me even younger, eleven or twelve, holding a bell pepper out toward the camera -- a little bitty girl holding a little bitty lightweight pepper -- and you see the same tight, popping muscles you see here in this picture. There's another picture of me that age with (ack!) bare upper arms, and you notice something else -- that there's such low tone in the upper arm that it actually looks concave. Women tend to know what their worst physical feature is! Mine are my arms: such obvious muscle tone irregularities if I don't hide 'em with sleeves.

Muscle tone irregularites ... There's your flexibility. And there's your fear.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Memory: It Was Then That the Fox Appeared

I tend not to link to the more social communities I belong to -- a few people who read this may have a sense of the reasons why. Today, though, I am going to embed a little audio clip.

This is from a group that is not Squidoo-affiliated, but has a core membership of Squidoo people. There is a writing network, and a weekly BlogTalkRadio show that generally has a guest. I do audio clips for the weekly show: One week, it was one of my short memoir pieces; one week it was flash fiction by our guest, but most often it is a public domain piece.

I looked in on the platform that the crew uses to send messages, and saw that this week would be a recap -- no guest -- and that my audio clip from The Little Prince would be replayed. "Sentimental," the message note, and I smiled.

I wasn't very pleased with that clip, as I don't really have character voices. After several attempts at the fox's voice in which I succeeded only in losing the emotion, I let the voice go. I didn't listen to the show the week it first aired. This time I did. Since it was liked enough to get a replay, I guess I shan't cringe.

Ah, but that is not why I am a bit nervous about sharing this on this bloggy woggy.
Listen to internet radio with Alex Crabtree on Blog Talk Radio