Sunday, December 31, 2006

Tetras

My aquarium has been empty for a very long time. I went into PetCo today and bought five tetras (three neons and two yellow ones). They are very cute. One of the yellow tetras is bent and is missing his tail fins, poor thing. I wasn't planning on buying them when I woke up this morning. But it feels very nice to know that they are swimming around in my aquarium.

I looked at the goldfish. They didn't have any Black Moors, but I miss the gracefull ballet that Squishy did enough that I thought about getting an Oranda or something. But my aquarium isn't really big enough for a goldfish, and I would like for my fish to have at least one friend (two goldfish = a twenty gallon tank) so I didn't think about it for very long. I think the tetras will keep me happy.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Higher Education

There have been many periods of difficulty in my life where I was required to undergo extended trials, or a series of challenges. As these trials drew towards easier times I often thought that I had seen the worst and that I deserved not to have to go through it again. I used to think that having endured such, I was exempt from having to experience anything so difficult again.

Sometime during the past few years I discovered a sneaking suspicion that I'm not likely to get away with less trials in the future because of what I have endured in my youth. Trials can help us grow, if we let them, and I prefer to let them because I found they end faster if I try to learn their lesson. Lessons generally lead to more lessons. Line upon line: Where the Wild Things Are comes before Pride and Prejudice. Precept on precept: mastering algebra prepares us for calculus. Surely abstract lessons such as gaining patience and faith, developing time management skills, or accepting humility qualify us to receive a higher (and more difficult) level of lessons in the future. I don't particularly like to think about it. But I know that once the lessons (and the accompanying trials) are over I will be a better, deeper, wiser person and that seems pretty cool to me.

Counting Calories

As if I need to diet!

Towards the end of September I discovered that I weighed less than 100 lbs. Before then I didn't really think that I would ever go under 102. But when I stepped on the scale and saw the double digits blink at me, I realized I had better take some drastic action.

Eating is not an easy thing for me. Anorexia and Bulimia have nothing to do with it, I just don't eat very much very often. (Although sometimes I will eat humongous amounts - I think it is my body rebounding from the anti-food phase it goes through regularly)

One night, having given up on sleep after over an hour of wide-awakefulness, I found a program on my phone which has been very helpful (at least in motivating me to eat). It is called Diet Tiny Assist. It is a basic meal and excersize journal. I discovered that as I keep track of the food I eat and the physical activity I do throughout the day, the program will tell me how many calories I've eaten, and how many more I need to eat to break even with what I'm expending. It also has a Goal option where I can put in a weight goal (so that I know how many extra calories I need to eat to get into my 'ideal weight range.'

Basically, I should be eating 2000 calories a day. That's a lot! I ate just over 2000 calories yesterday (I don't know the last time that happened!) It was a lot of work ... and I cheated; I ate some sugar cookies and drank some peppermint tea with heavy cream in it. I can't do that every day. This is going to take a lot of practice.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Good Books

This is not an inclusive list. This is an accounting of my goal to read good books (Which by my definition does not usually include fantasy and children's books because it is not a challenge for me to finish them. This does not mean they are not good books, it just means that good books are harder for me to eat than my ice cream and apple pie books)

Gertrude
by Herman Hess
(Thanks Nick)
2006

The Once and Future King
by T.H. White
(Thanks Michael)
2004-2006

The Chronicles of Prydain
by Lloyd Alexander
The High King still needs to be read.
(Thanks Darren and Michael)
2006

There Will Be Time
by Poul Anderson
(Thanks Alex)
2005

Ender's Game and Ender's War
by Orson Scott Card
2005

Billions and Billions
by Carl Sagan
2004

turn and fall

Autumn has come. The leaves turn and fall. Some of them crunch delightfully. It is a good time to walk. To enjoy the crisp dry change in the air.

My car is gone.

My car is gone.
Not where I left it.
How do you misplace something that heavy?

I liked my car,
it was me.

This one is nice.
This one is borrowed.
This one is not me.

The police called,
they found my car.
It has dents and dings
they said.
and the radio is gone.

Does it work?
Who knows.
It's the weekend
The towing place is closed
The insurance company is closed
Can I drive my own car yet?
Can I have that part of me back?
Do I have to wait?

Will it take long?
I don't need a perfect car;
even though its been violated
its my car.
I want to make the space mine again.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The words we use.

Sometimes the words we use to define a relationship or an event do not truly reflect the character of that relationship or event. Usually, for lack of a more precise and generally accepted word, we settle for the vernacular.

Break up. Maybe some people really do break up, but it seems to me that what our society recognizes as breaking up - or ending a relationship - is sometimes more of a letting go. You let go of the way things are, you let go of hopes, of plans, and you let go of memories. You let go of each other.

Sometimes one person wants to be let go or let the other go. Sometimes both need to let go. Sometimes neither want it.

How often do neither want it, yet are strong enough to do it?

Author Richard Back said "If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours; if they don't they never were." It is a very painful thing to realize that someone you love was never yours to have.

What if you were never theirs to have either?


If you let each other go and you love each other, is it really a break up?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Thursday

Thursday was difficult again. It wasn't a bad day, but when things didn't go as planned, I couldn't get a new plan together.

simplify, simplify, simplify
before it's too late.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

My Door Desk

Darren brought over my desk today. It is marvelously big! It used to be Mary's back door, but she has a new one now. Darren built a stand to set the door on, and he painted it light blue. I am very pleased with it. It is good to have thoughtful friends.

A Bad Day Thought

I had a thought about midafternoon on Thursday.
I didn't get up on time: all my morning plans had to be postponed.
I missed class: I seriously considered dropping out of school this semester.
The teacher I wanted to get advise from was out of town: I talked to another teacher I feel comfortable with instead.
I was going to add a class: I wrote a note to the teacher to let her know I wasn't going to add.
I was going to be stuck in traffic and not have time to eat on the way from school to work: I left school early, shopped at Staples, and had a decent meal before I went to work.
My thought?

I'm not having a bad day; things just aren't going as planned!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Overextended. Again.

I don't know how life gets so crazy. I always try to maintain a reasonable amount of activities and responsabilies so that I can keep up with everything, but I always manage to take on more than I can do. I overextend myself. I was venting to my sister Megan the other day and she said "You are a Crowe. We always do that."

I remember just before I moved to Sacramento: I lived with the Paces and I had a calendar posted on the shelf by my door ennumerating the different places I needed to be and things I needed to have done by such and such a date. It was a weekly calendar (My own style, patterned after the old missionary planners.) and I had goals written along the side. For weeks my goal was to un-overextend myself. Then I moved to Sacramento. I didn't have a job. I wasn't in school. I didn't have local friends yet (they didn't know I had moved back). After I got a job at Prestige I was busy and worn out. But I was only busy.

I am busy still, but more than busy and worn out. I'm not quite sure what I am, but my mind is often numb. Sometimes my soul feels like it has been rubbed against a cheese grater. Other times it is just a dull pain in my chest. I feel tired inside and out. It hasn't seeped into my bones, I'm not exhausted, but I wouldn't mind sleeping for 100 years.

How did I get here again?

I have work, of course. I'm the Lead Customer Service so I need to be there a lot and even when I'm working as fast as I can and trying to stay focused and be efficient I need at least two more of me to stay on top of things. It can really wear you out to know that you have three days work ahead of you when you come in tomorrow and that you aren't likely to make a dent in it over the next few days because your busy working on other things. When the custsomers are mean the cheese grater thing starts happening.

I have school. I finally registered for GIS. I have been waiting to learn ARCMAP since I got home from the mission in 2003. I have to take six units instead of the three that I was planning on in order to get Financial Aid (no Financial Aid means no GIS, so there is no question there: I need to add a class).

I have my calling. I'm Releif Society Secretary and I want to be a better support to my RS President. She does so much. I am amazed at her; she is an example of a dedicated Visiting Teacher. I want to have all the information she needs available for whenever she asks. I want to do what she asks me and not fall through.

I'm the Geography Club President. I really wanted to be president because I have a lot of ideas for it. I want to make a binder that has all the club information in one place so when new officers are elected they have a guide and resource so they don't have to start from scratch every two years. I want to have more informal day trips and local activities. I want to have more cool Geography Gear available. I want to go to all of the conferences and hang out with my geography friends.

I have family and I want to have them in my life and be a part of theirs. I want to go to family dinners and Family Game Nights. I want to write the ones who are far away (and call them too). I want to check my email regularly!

I have a boyfriend who I love and want to spend time and have new experiences with. There is more to be said here, but it is just for me.

Those are just the things I have included in my life right now, I also want to do some other things: I want to volunteer at the Sacramento Tree Foundation. I want to volunteer at a library again. I want to learn how to play the guitar and the piano. I want to have fish in my aquarium again (if they are there I will spend time and money pampering them). I want to read Ayn Rand and Herman Hess. I want to paint my nightstand blue. I need to write. I need to write a lot: journals, stories, research papers, letters. . .

I know I can't do everything right now, but I already have other things that I want to do that I decided I could wait on: like getting my degree in library and information science, like learning to ride horses, like playing the flute in an orchestra, like sewing the skirts and other cute things that are floating around in my head, like having a garden.

I think that maybe one of the reasons Heavenly Father gave me certain physical trials was to slow me down and force me to pay attention to what my body and mind can and cannot handle. Otherwise I would never stop to let myself rest.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

metamorph: the journey back

www.thebutterfly777.blogspot.com
Don't read the Ronne Passing until you've read some of the archives.

Quotes from the butterfly:

How did I get here? 11/15/04
"I have met some truly wonderful people because I have cancer. I have learned alot about myself and what kind of person I am when things get really tough. I have learned who my real friends are and what they will do to help me and my family simply because they love me. I have learned that my husband loves me because of who I am on the inside, not just who I am on the outside. Which is a good thing because let's just say my outside is in a state of change right now. But I'm getting ahead of myself."


Changing the Locks 11/22/04
"When your body has betrayed you, how do you ever feel safe again?"

Free Radicals 11/17/04
"It's hard to describe what it feels like to go to a chemo treatment. They call it an infusion. Doesn't that sound healthy and new age?"

"In Yoga, at the end of the session they say Namaste. It means I bow to the light in you. (or something like that). So to my Good Cells, Namaste and rest in peace, I'm sorry you have to die today along with the enemy. Cancer cells, go straight to hell and don't come back, you are intruders and not wanted in my body. I know you're sorry for turning on me but I can't forgive you because you have caused me so much misery.
Namaste."

Adventuresome and Romantic

Darren brought me flowers today!

He was going to deliver them to my at work, but I had already left when he stopped by. I wasn't home yet when he checked there, so he called me to find out where I was. While he was waiting for me to come home, he devised an adventuresome and romantic plan: he would climb to my second story balcony and go into my house through the slider door where he would put the flowers in a vase and surprise me when I came home later.

Unfortunately the slider door was locked.

He climed down and waited patiently in his car. A few minutes later he noticed a police car drive slowly through the parking lot with an eye on my balcony. Hmm.... Cyrano de Bergerac and Romeo didn't have to worry about things like that!

M&M's

My favorites:
1. Almond M&M's
2. Peanut Butter M&M's
3. Peanut M&M's
4. Regular M&M's
5. Crispy M&M's

My Muse

It is late at night, I should be in bed ... but this is when the words come. Usually they come after I turn out the lights and am trying to fall asleep because I have to get up at a decent hour the next day. I try to relax and think about something interesting. Then they start. First, the beginning of a sentance constructed better than anything I could have thought of in daylight. Next, another sentance or two. If I'm not careful I will have whole paragraphs rolling through my head describing the images I want to express. If I don't get up - which I rarely do since I don't have forty minutes or so to satisfy the muse - the words slip from my memory. The intensity of inspiration is lost in the night.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Weep My Heart

Weep my heart;
Release thy pain
and free the aching sigh.

Oh, weep my heart.
Pour out thy breath;
Let disappointment fly.

The gentle ache of fading dreams
will bring a dew touched eye.

But with it comes the grace of growth;

the strength for knowing why.


Copyright RCBowns 2006

The Girl Who Didn't Write

Once upon a time there was a girl who loved stories. She liked to write and she liked to edit and think about how words and phrased expressed ideas. However, she didn’t write very often. And since she didn’t write, ideas and important things built up inside of her until she was overwhelmed with the amount of writing she needed to do to express everything. On top of all of the things that she wanted to write about and say, as well as the stories she wanted to tell, the girl had school assignments such as essays and research papers that required time and thought and lots of writing. The girl thought a lot about the essays and papers she needed to write, and often felt like she shouldn’t write the other things because the school papers were so important. But she didn’t write the things for school. Or if she did write, she didn’t write enough and she didn’t write soon enough. So the papers didn’t get done, or if they got done at all they didn’t get done very well and the girl didn’t feel satisfied with them. The girl felt bad because she liked her teachers and her classes, and she knew her teachers would be disappointed that she didn’t write her papers because she knew they wanted her to do good in their classes. A lot of times she did do good in their classes, but when she didn’t write her papers her teachers had to mark her grades down and that made them sad. The girl was disappointed too. She wanted to write good papers, but she just never got them done ... or anywhere near done. She didn’t know how to make it better. She changed her strategy for doing research and started to incorporate the writing process in with her research reading. That worked pretty well, except she didn’t start her actual research reading and writing soon enough to get enough information for her paper. The girl thought she might still be able to put a short paper together, but it didn’t work. She didn’t know why. But she did know that if her papers weren’t done – or almost done – within the last one or two days before they were due, then the papers wouldn’t get done. It just didn’t happen. No way.


Maybe it was because she didn’t like writing under stress; writing involved such emotional engagement that writing something large and good under pressure was almost unbearable. She didn’t like to do it. Sometimes she tried, but it was horrible. She hated it. The girl knew that if she wrote regularly things would be better, but she wasn’t very good at keeping routines. And she usually fell asleep in all of her extra time. The girl had a couple of ideas that she hoped would help her write more so that she wouldn’t be frustrated and make her teachers sad. She would focus on getting into the habit of writing over the summer when she didn’t have any school assignments. She would write all sorts of things: her stories, journal entries, warm up exercises, memoirs, letters, and most of all, she would write a research paper. She would finish one of her papers that never got done. She would prove to herself that she could do it. She would go through the process and find out what it felt like so she would know how much time she would need and what kind of organizational goals and schedules she would need to make to do it. The girl felt hopeful about her ideas and plans. She loved writing and felt whole when she wrote. Maybe, if she wrote and wrote and wrote she wouldn’t feel stuck within herself when she knew she needed to write.


8 May 2006

Star Dust: Dreams

It dances in the moolight,
to a melody of magic song.
It weaves and twines with vines of sheen,
creating images in luminous form.

They dance and disappear,
bringing an occasional horror;
or an instance of passion,
a vivid memory and a flash of color.

A puzzle, confused, yet of complex design,
of which only star nymphs can decipher.
Drawn from the wells of rainbow and colored veils,
where Leprechauns find their gold.

It leads to the doorways of Wonderland,
and places where one can fly,
...then it fades,
...waiting,
...for another moonlit night,
...and the magic to ignite.



Copyright RCBowns 2005

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I saw a shooting star

I saw a shooting star in the north west sky. It was heavy and burned for two long moments. It seared the dark, an unearthly streak of white. It was more than a zing or streaking point of light; it stayed long enough to let you wrap your mind around the fact that it was there. Then it was swallowed by the darkness.