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I like remembering my dreams.

The other night, I had a dream where I was sitting on a couch, watching TV at a gay bar. Mind you, there was no roof -- this was a sectional sofa with a large screen TV outside in the open.

I was sitting between 2 guys. The guy on the right was, appropriately, "Mr. Right". The guy on the left was "Mr. Right Now"...

Mr. Right was sandy blond, average to muscular build, quiet and rugged. Mr. Right Now was glassy eyed and dark haired and very demanding of my attention. As a matter of fact, Mr. Right Now wouldn't leave me alone until he got my contact information, and I remember thinking that I was wasting time talking to him when I really wanted to be talking to the guy on my right.

Mr. Right Now also had a kiss that was WAY TOO WET...In the end, I did get to talk to Mr. Right (on my right)...I remember that he made me feel emotionally safe. An interesting detail.

I don't remember anything else...it was a pretty vivid dream as they go.
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Started the new gig...as usual, I felt out of place the first week. I'm a little worried about this place because everything seems to be done via phone -- I prefer face to face meetings because that is actually my skill -- forming relationships with customers. In my not very humble opinion, phone-email-text "conversations" suck and don't allow for relationship building.

Been self medicating this week with yard work, wine, and peep pictures, lol --
Peeps Mountain Climbing

The weather seems to want to become spring, but there's still a fair amount of cold! I've been doing a bit of yard work, putting down some dirt, getting up sticks and leaves from last year. I've also been looking at seeds that I might plant --

The tomato seeds I planted inside have sprouted!

Here's the sky the other night from my front porch -- the rest of the sky was dark and stormy looking, but the west had a nice orange glow -- it made for very interesting light outside!
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I’m starting a book that I’m excited about because of the subject matter. The book is called the "Final Pagan Generation", and the book’s subject is the last generation of people living in the Roman Empire as the Empire changed into a strictly Christian empire -- a generation who could not imagine a world where the pagan religions were not able to practice publically.

The generation he’s talking about is the older one that was still alive just AFTER Constantine (first Christian emperor) had died.

I’m just on the introduction now, but already I find it interesting how he is comparing the younger generation, who recognized the existential threat to paganism represented by Christianity, and the older generation (the ‘final pagan’ one) who could not even imagine the world order changing so much that paganism could be forbidden.

Here are some excerpts from the intro:
The younger pagan and Christian religious warriors were born into a world in which Christianity was clearly ascendant. They anticipated its destructive and transformative power, and as they matured, they came increasingly to understand that the dawning new religious order threatened the very existence of traditional Roman cults…

Older men did not see the world in this way…They reacted instead as if they could not imagine a world in which traditional religious practices did not have a part…

The “final pagan generation” I will speak about is made up of the last group of elite Romans, both pagan and Christian, who were born into a world in which most people believed the pagan public religious order of the past few millennia would continue indefinitely…

They lived through a time of dramatic change that they could neither anticipate nor fully understand as it was unfolding.

What I find interesting is that I might equate the words “pagan religious order” with "US political order" -- my generation's understanding of the rules and mores of how the US Republic works. I wonder that we might be the ‘last generation’ to think that the political order of "how things have always been" might not be how things might always be in the future.
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"Sing, Unburied, Sing" is the selection for book club this week. I didn't expect to like it because it is set in the Jim Crow South, and I grew up with the remnants of that, and didn't feel like I wanted a reminder.

But I did end up liking the book -- many of the scenes are painted with descriptive waves of supernatural familial sentiment: "....Mama...looks at Leonie with so much understanding and forgiveness and love that I hear the song again; I know that singing. I've heard it from the golden place across the waters. A great mouth opens in me and wails; I am an empty stomach.

The scaly bird lands on the windowsill and caws.

I found myself re-reading sections just to hear the words again.

Later Addenda -- It wasn't until the book club meeting tonight that I realized that this book is actually set in modern day! One of the guys at the meeting mentioned a cell phone used by a character -- and he's right, so the book's setting is in modern times, but I didn't realize it! The reason is just that the setting in the book was so very descriptive of the 'Jim Crow South' that I had read the book that way, but the story of the book happens in recent times! I imagine that was part of the author's intent -- to show that the Jim Crow South hasn't really gone away.

Also, I learned a phrase: "magic realism" as a description for the type of book this is. Basically, the ghost characters, and the talking animals (as understood by some of the characters), etc. amounted to magic realism.
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I may have posted this before but ran across it again tonight, but I really like this Youtube...it's a graphic description of Ancient Egyptian afterlife beliefs, set in the Biblical story of the final plague against the Egyptians before the exodus.


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It was a dreary, but fun day at the river with my friend yesterday, but the sun did come out as we were walking to a nearby brewery to have a couple drinks!
At the river yesterday with a friend

I got a little yard work done today...and now the rain has come back. I swear, the weather is driving me crazy this last year...and what if the unpredictability gets worse as the climate changes?

I brought some daffodils in before the big freeze arrives again next week --
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In the Buddhist way, I have been watching my monkey mind's thoughts.

I am in-between gigs right now -- I left the last one yesterday, and will start the next one in a few days. I noticed today that my mind has been swirling between tasks I forgot to do for the projects at the last gig (past), and doing laundry, etc. to prepare for the gig starting soon (future).

The Past and Future thoughts are totally stealing my Present! Both types of thoughts are natural, but I would like to settle down and enjoy the Present :)

Hanging out with a friend tomorrow and then dinner first part of next week with another friend, so hopefully that will help!
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I haven't posted much lately because nothing much to report. I'm in the last few days of my current gig, and I've been working harder lately than I have in a while because I'm trying to tie things up. It has been cold and rainy -- typical February. Spring has arrived, as attested to by the daffodils, but it's still dreary weather.

I've also been taking pictures of Amaryllis as they bloom. This is the last one!
Amaryllis 'Sweet Star'

Spent some time with various friends -- eating dinner and drinking mostly -- lawd, my weight has gotten out of control since New Years! Really, just not much to report, lol!
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Today is a good day. I settled on a rate for a new gig last night and gave my notice at my current gig today.

And I made an Amaryllis time-lapse (I think you will have to click on this and have it open in a new window in order to watch) --
Amarylis Time-Lapse
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Maybe too many episodes of that British baking show...but I felt like making bread today! I hadn't in a very, very long time, although it's something I really love to do!

It took a bit more time than usual because the particular recipe I used called for 3 rises -- 1 more than usual, presumably because this recipe only had 100% wheat flour, no white flour in it, so it probably needed a bit more time rising.

And so it begins --

After I finished kneading --

Nice 1st rise --

My favorite part is the punch down!

I forgot to take a pic after the 2nd rise, but it looked pretty similar to the 1st rise, just higher. Here it is after the 3rd and final rise in the loaf pans before going into the oven --

Final result, cooling on a rack --
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The Flowering Quince in the hedge is always the first sign of spring! The flowers bloom in February every year.

Every February, the Flowering Quince in the hedges are always my first sign of spring!
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Gawd, I have been busy at work for 2 solid weeks...I can't get what I need to get done and my typical organized work behavior is becoming disorganized. And for pretty much the first time I can ever remember, I came home with tense shoulders last night. That's not where I hold my tension -- it was bizarre.

Part of the problem could be that I need to make a trip to the eye doctor for a new prescription!

But a big part of the problem is that the current gig thinks that all Projects Managers are interchangeable. Need a rocket ship? Pull a Project Manager from the inventory. Need a new defense system? Go grab a Project Manager, would you? Need a new building? Hey, can you go grab a Project Manager from the back room?

I've been assigned to managing a fucking CONSTRUCTION project -- big, new building -- zoning, entitlements, MEP, general contractors, subs, building plans, the works. But my ENTIRE background is in software development project management. I am in no way qualified for this. I'm not in charge of the overall project, of course -- only managing from the perspective of where I am currently working. But adding the additional work of this to my other projects has just resulted in stress for me.

#NotTheBestSituation but Imma take care of myself. Count on it! You can mark that shit down.

Anecdote -- a PM was recently let go. He wasn't the most experienced, and his "EQ" -- Emotional Intelligence Quotient -- was not as strong as mine. Truth. And I really can't say if I liked him or not, although I did buy him lunch before he left. #basicdecency

Someone recently described him as a 'Goldfish in a Barracuda tank' -- and I LAUGHED SO HARD because it is true. The Barracudas just gobbled him up in one bite...no bones left...nothing! Me? Not a Goldfish. But not a Barracuda either. I like to think of myself as a nice, old fish -- maybe a Dolphin? The Barracudas generally leave me alone. But Imma take care of myself. Mark it down!

De-stressing tonight with some old Madonna --

On a more pleasant topic, I was rather pleased with this photo of a hawk last weekend. I actually missed it, but when another guy saw that I was taking pics of a heron, he pointed out the hawk to me.

The colors are nice. It was in the morning, so the light is nice. I used my longest zoom, and tried to be careful not to disturb the hawk.
Birds at Maymont
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I'm still ruminating on the news that the VA Governor had a picture on his medical school yearbook page with 2 guys, 1 dressed in blackface and the other in KKK robes. The picture would have been taken in the early '80s.

And first I read that the Governor admits that he was one of the guys in the picture. Then the next day, I read that he denies it. Changing his story, in itself, is a strange occurrence that gives me pause. And yes, I know how ironic it is that I'm concerned about the state governor's story change when we have that crazy dimwit in the White House who makes up fantasy stories every.single.day.


First some of what I'm thinking about Blackface --

I try to think back to the early 80s, and I wonder if I, myself, realized at the time how hurtful blackface had been to black people -- basically, white actors in times past painted their faces with shoe polish and then mocked black people as dumb Sambos or clownish buffoons.

Would I have known about that in the early 80s? Probably not completely. But I am almost positive that I would have known enough not to do that, not even as a 'joke' or a costume.

On balance, I believe that I could 'kind of' move past the black face, and ignore that picture from the 80s.

KKK Robes

But then I see those robes...those robes! The KKK was not a 'joke'...not just mocking, not just words. People died, were beaten, had their houses burned, etc., all by groups of cowards wearing hoods and too afraid to show their face.

I have a real problem moving past those robes -- I don't think I can ignore that image.

What do I think?

My first reaction was that he would not survive this, which led me to looking up how the succession works when the governor resigns. However, now the Governor says he won't resign. Personally, I think he should resign.

The only reservation I have about is that the jackal in the White House is heaping onto the governor. Trump has been the biggest disaster in US presidential history, and anything he does is highly suspect to me. And the news was dug up and released by a conservative political group.

I still think the governor should resign, although I wonder about the conservative involvement in it.
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Shit in their pants,indeed...

If the world should end tonight, I had a crazy classic life...apologies to Janelle Monae...

So glad it's Friday...I needed a break this week! Work was weird. Non work-related discussion today between (in my not so humble opinion crazy-assed conservative and in my not so humble opinion more sensible and realistic people....) Jiminy, when was the last time I had to use the word macaxeira at work???

Glad to have had TANG -- the drink -- yes TANG, lol cocktails with a friend. We also played Shuffleboard, lol!

I had a 'Tang-quila Sunrise' at Tang and Biscuit, lol!

Got my taxes filed.

And got my escrow analysis from the mortgage company -- as expected, payment going up because of local taxes.

And it snowed unexpectedly today.

And it got down to fricken 10F (-12C) this week...wtf!?? And it will be 70F (21C) next week????

And I'm now the project manager on a project at work that I have no skill set for???

And visited the breweries with a friend from out of town the other night...

And tomorrow having coffee with someone I don't know to offer career advice???

Always look at the cards that fall out of the deck!

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I was pleased with this photo -- it was such a dreary day that I didn't expect to find much to photograph, so it was nice to see this Blue Heron in the one of the canals along the river.
Blue Heron in the Manchester Canal

The heron photo was Saturday, and then Sunday night around midnight was a full lunar eclipse.

OMG...it was so cold! So cold! While I was out for the eclipse, it hovered around 29F (-2C). The low last night was supposed to have been 16F (-14C). The temperature made it uncomfortable to be out long, and the moon was directly overhead which meant I had to kneel or crouch uncomfortably to see the camera screen or peer through the viewfinder. Luckily I was at home, so I could go inside sometimes to warm up a bit!

Near the beginning of the eclipse (time 22:35) --
Lunar Eclipse

Further along (22:58) --
Lunar Eclipse

I was not entirely happy with my full eclipse (23:48) photo. I'm not sure that I was in focus, or maybe I kept the shutter open so long that I got some movement.
Lunar Eclipse


15 Jan 2019 19:10
karmicdragonfly: (Default)

It's been out a while now, but Janelle Monáe's album really has been a good listen!
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With the pending snow and/or ice, I just put on some lentils on to slow cook. No particular recipe -- just dumped lentils, tomatoes, stock, spices and assorted other stuff into the Instapot.

Snow is preferable to ice -- ice often brings power outages. And I've put some water in pitchers in the fridge, and turned up the heat a bit just in case.

The past week was fun -- dinner or drinks with several different friends!

One night, I had dinner with my Portuguese speaking friends -- I had a good time, and for the first time, I understood most of what was said!

Of course, these friends always slow down for me, which helped. But even when they spoke slowly, I often had trouble! But this time, I understood a lot, and they even commented on that! Also, I didn't feel exhausted afterwards. In the past, I often felt exhausted because it was such hard work to follow the conversation. But I did okay this time!
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This past Christmas I bought a book as a gift. I didn't pay attention that it was coming from the UK, so I felt all special when I got a package from Royal Mail by Airmail! The British company included an additional gift, which they called a "Diary"...which doesn't mean the same thing in American English. The additional gift is what I would call a "Datebook" -- a diary in American English means a "personal journal", not a calendar!

In any event, I have no need for a Datebook -- I mean, we have electronic calendars now!

So as a way to remind myself of good things in my life, I decided to use the Datebook to record something I am thankful for each day. For example, today I recorded that I am thankful that I like to play with electronic things -- having just bought a couple of HomeKit connected plugs to turn lamps on and off with Siri. Mostly, this was just for fun, and I guess what I'm really thankful for is that I still like to play :)

But one worry I have had is that sometimes, I think I am just writing something quickly at the end of the day without really stopping and really thinking about what it is that I'm thankful for. I think I'll have to be sure to stop for a few seconds each day and consider why I'm writing what it is that I'm writing.

Maybe at the end of the year...or maybe the end of each month, I'll read the entries to remind myself....sort of a Buddhist meditation :)

And as I think of it, maybe I'm using this 'Datebook' as a 'Diary' lol, recording what I was thankful for!
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The weather is so early Spring-like that the early daffodils are coming up!

I got the last of the Christmas light decorations down today. And because of the mild weather, I have a bunch of windows and doors open to air out the house!


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"O seguro morreu de velho, mas o desconfiado ainda está vivo." -- "The safe one died of old age, but the suspicious one is still living."