Saturday, July 08, 2006

Deliberate misunderstanding

How many times do we all deliberately misunderstand what someone has said, wanting to start an argument or a fight in order to safely vent our spleens?

When I lived in New Orleans for a brief time I lived with someone. His nickname was Cap, short for captain. He was a pushboat captain and I met him in the French Quarter when he was pushing a hot dog and getting what work he could since pushboat jobs were few and far between. I had an apartment in Gretna at the time and he lived with me. Many times he would come home angry and upset and start a fight with me. I knew enough of his habits and cycles that I knew not to get caught up in his need to vent. Of course, me sitting calmly on the couch while he stomped up and down waving his arms and shouting and answering him in quiet but neutral tones didn't help his mood at all. My calm fueled his rage until he finally stormed off in a huff.

Growing up, my mother's favorite pastime, or so it seemed to me, was arguing with me. She knew exactly what buttons to push and how to goad me into exchanging verbal blows until I was in tears and she ready to whip me. When I was older and married and living clear across the country she called me on the phone just to start an argument. That was in the old days when calling long distance was not even close to affordable. My mother's favorite tactic was starting an argument, get me going and then hang up when I had the upper hand. She did the same thing when I lived close by and the phone call was free. It was as if she needed to stir up my emotions for some need or reason of her own.

I have learned not to rise to the bait. It took me many years and I still sometimes slip but most of the time I remain calm and neutral and refuse to engage. Today was one of those days.

Every once in a while a friend, determined to be angry and vent their spleen at me because it's safe and they know my love and care for them will prevent me from walking away, takes a verbal/emotional poke at me. It's easy to remain calm and reasonable in the face of such anger -- even when the anger comes by email. I readily take responsibility for what may have seemed unclear to them but they seldom respond with sweet, calm reason. I know at such times they are going through some difficulties of their own that have nothing to do with me and I happen to be a convenient target -- the old "hurt the one you love" scenario. They don't know I understand their attach isn't personal, just convenient. Instead of facing their emotions and their anger and dealing with the reason(s) or person(s) at the root causing their need to be angry and vent they vent where and when they feel it is safe. In this case, with me. I would explain this to them if they were in a sane frame of mind and willing and able to listen and understand but that is a remote possibility. The only safe course of action is to recognize what is happening, if not why, and give them time and distance to cool off.

I know from personal experience that when I go to the calm and neutral place in the face of anger and personal attacks it seems disingenuous and almost as if I don't take the person or the situation seriously. I have even on occasion been called a martyr for such actions. That isn't the case. It's simply having learned the lesson that nothing is solved or resolved when people emotions are in the red and it's a waste of energy to discuss anything at that point. I'm no martyr but I am a student of human nature and their subtle but equally loud and clear nonverbal signals. I learned my lesson from a book called The Celestine Prophecy, which is now a movie. I have written and talked about the scene before that helped me understand what happens when people argue.

The narrator is walking down a path in a forest in South America when he hears and sees two people arguing. He sees them each sprouting flames from their heads (not real flames but psychic flames) that shift from person to person as they argue. As each person gains control of the argument the flames bend towards them and feed them, a sort of energy transfer. I realized at that moment that's what happened when I argued with my mother; she was being energized and feeding off my emotions. The same is true of anyone involved in an argument. Someone is being energized by the strong emotions being generated and that is why some people look for contention or cause arguments and emotional upheavals. Do it long and often enough and you have created a ready made source of psychic fuel for your system. People can and do become addicted to this kind of energy exchange. Some people actually use the energy to control others, especially people close to them, either physically or emotionally close. It is abusive -- emotionally and mentally abusive.

Today's situation was not meant as abuse. It was more like a child throwing a tantrum. There are two ways of dealing with someone having a tantrum. You can either fuel their need for attention or you can ignore them. Of the two, the latter works 100% of the time. As much as I care about my friend, I realize they are going through a difficult period and I am a safe target. Unfortunately for them I intend to ignore their temper tantrum and give them time to cool off and gain some perspective. Hopefully, they will realize what they are doing and face the root of their problem instead of aiming at a safer target. Maybe some day they'll get it.

Slips, drips and missed messages

I took a break to get something to eat and ended up with half of it all over the front of my nightgown and the sink and the floor, leaving me the pleasant task of cleaning up the spills, drips and clots of pureed berries, chocolate and coconut milk, all of which I fully expected to enjoy inside instead of outside. Oh, well, I planned to clean the kitchen anyway and at least part of the floor in front of the sink is clean. It's a start. Since I was en dishabille, more so than usual, I decided to get me cleaned up and put on some clothes. That led to a trip downstairs to check the mail and retrieve two boxes delivered by Fed Ex and UPS and a belated message from to renew my domain name, which I did week before last. Guess their computer didn't get the notice that I'm paid up for three years; it's more likely they want me to buy server time with them and get my magazine up and running. I have other things in mind, like contacting one of my errant children.

Yesterday I was told something I suspected but didn't want to believe, my oldest son was still using drugs, which explains why he didn't have enough money to go see his father in South Carolina when he had two heart attacks last fall. I didn't know the full extent of the problem until yesterday. I found out my nephew was sentenced to four years in the same prison David Scott lived in for several years and for the same thing as my son: breaking and entering. My nephew added a new wrinkle to David Scott's crime with aggravated burglary; the people were home at the time he broke in and stole from them. All because of drugs. My sister Carol is devastated and wonders what she did to deserve this happening to her son. She doesn't realize it's not about her, but she will take center stage no matter what.

So far my brother's kids have avoided the drug problem, but Beanie's boys have dabbled in a little herbal refreshment from time to time and her youngest, Cody, has a drinking problem. He obviously inherited the genetic predisposition from his father and from the May and Hanner sides of our family. There were several alcoholics on that side of the family, all of whom are now dead. Like Beanie said, at least Cody isn't cutting himself any more. She is worried Cody will follow his cousins, David Scott and Clint, down the road to drugs and prison, which is not only likely but quite possible. Maybe she will help Cody dodge the bullet and get some help now while he's still young and not too far down the road.

Ultimately, it is up to Cody, just as it was up to Clint and David Scott, to choose for themselves, regardless of how much they are loved and taught. It's something inside of them and not the fault of the way they were raised, although that is definitely a factor. David Scott spent many of his formative years with his father and stepmother, both of whom drink and have problems with alcohol. David Scott also spent time with me but neither alcohol nor drugs were a part of our household and David Scott was held accountable for his actions and his whereabouts. He acted in school plays, sang in the choir, ran track and got pretty good grades while he lived with me, but even if he had lived with me most of his life I don't think he would have chosen a different path. There was something inside of him that followed the call of alcohol and drugs like the mice of Hamelin following the Pied Piper. Each of us hears a different siren's call and some of us end up on the rocks.

I called my ex-husband and talked to his wife, Brenda, wanting to know where I could reach David Scott. He's living with them now and not with his brother AJ, working construction and going to church -- or at least he was going to church last night. I left a message for him: Clint was just sentenced to four years in Orient and I know about the motel room. He didn't return my call and now the phone isn't working. No big surprise there.

I really didn't expect David Scott to call me back, just like I didn't expect him to pay me back when he "borrowed" the money for a bus ticket to go see his father in the hospital last fall. At least now I know what all the delays were about. He and Clint were holed up in a motel room (and not at Clint's sister Shanna's condo as I had been told) using and selling drugs. David Scott was working for Clint and got the boot when David Scott used more than he sold. There were girls involved. That wasn't a surprise either. The money he said he was owed by Denny's in Youngstown, Ohio, where he worked training cooks and setting up new restaurants, he probably got and promptly spent on drugs. He couldn't get the money from my parents (they refused him) so he contacted me for the money, ostensibly to buy a bus ticket for South Carolina. I thwarted his scheme by buying the ticket online and calling him with the information on how to pick it up.

I'd be willing to bet he tried to cash in the ticket but found out I made that impossible for him, so he stalled for several days looking for ways to get around the system and get the money. It didn't work. When I told him he'd better be on the bus without any more delays on excuses by a certain time and date or I'd cancel the ticket, he knew he'd been had. He forgets that I am the only person, outside of Shanna and Clint who have done drugs with him, who knows who and what he really is and that I keep more than a couple steps ahead of him. His charm and lies don't work on me like they do on everyone else, especially my mother and father, but even they finally caught on. He's burned his bridges in Ohio and with me but I'm certain he hasn't burned his bridges in South Carolina yet or he wouldn't be living with his father.

I have to admit my son is bold as brass. When he called and asked me to help him buy a bus ticket to see his father, telling me his usual cock and bull story of having had his money robbed by friends while he slept, he had the chutzpah to tell me I owed him and to consider it his birthday present since his birthday was the following week. I know his birthday. I was there when he was born. I asked him if he knew when my birthday was and when I could expect a present or card or call from him. He didn't know when my birthday is and he gave the usual excuses of not knowing how to reach me. I reminded him we were talking at that moment and he knew how to get in touch with me to touch me for some money. He sputtered and stuttered and used his final resort tactic -- crying. I listened for about 15 seconds and then told him he was wasting his tears just like I would waste my time waiting for a birthday card or call or even a note or call on Mother's Day.

It sounds harsh and it is. He chose his life and chose not to include me. I am his mother but I am not his personal ATM. I told him, just as I told his brothers, that if he wanted anything from me he had to have a relationship with me. He would have to call or send a postcard on a regular basis, find out and remember my birthday, Mother's Day or just any old day if he wanted anything from me. If he chose to call me only when he wanted money, he could continue to stay away and not call, not write, not involve me in any aspect of his life. I have no guilt for the path I have chosen. I have always been here, always been available, and all my boys know how to get in touch with me when they want something -- like money. However, if they can't have a relationship with me when they don't want something other than getting to know me then they can forget they know me when they want money.

Everyone chooses their own life. It doesn't always work out like you plan. The trick is to accept your failures as well as your successes and keep going. I love my boys and I love my nephew Clint, and all my other nieces and nephews. That will never change. The paths they have chosen are theirs alone and the responsibility is theirs to accept what comes, good and bad. No matter what excuses they offer or where they would prefer to place the blame, neither their parents nor I am responsible for their lives or their choices. It's not about us; it's about them.

No matter what people do to us or how they misuse or mistreat us, what we do with our lives is ultimately up to us. My life has been interesting and difficult and rewarding at times and there was a time when I blamed my parents, specifically my mother, for what happened to me and then I realized that no one made me choose the path I walked; I did that all on my own, and I offer no apologies for what I cannot change. I feel no guilt for what I have done because I cannot change the past. I can only learn from it and move on, hopefully with a better understanding and clearer vision, just as I hope my children, my brother, my sisters, my parents, and my nieces and nephews will figure that out for themselves. Regret is a wasted emotion full of wasted energy and apologies ultimately mean nothing. People will forgive or forget or continue to blame others as long as they fail to learn that we cannot change anyone but ourselves. The best we can do is take what we can from life and give a little something back without regret, without guilt and without expecting anyone to make our lives better or worse. We already do a good enough job of that ourselves.

Friday, July 07, 2006


My horoscope warned me about keeping a low profile today and staying away from discussions because they will inevitably lead to contention. I didn't think a simple post on a Lost site on LJ would end in contention.

Being new to the whole Lost mythology, and not having seen all of season 2, I introduced myself and asked if anyone else noticed some of the connections I saw when I watched the show. One young girl came back with a sarcastic remark as if I had questioned her intelligence and ability to see and recognize patterns. I had an interesting exchange with a young gentleman who answered my questions and asked questions of his own, sharing his insights and thoughts, and I shared mine with him. It was a good conversation. Then came another barrage from another young girl who asked if I came to the site to brag or learn from those more knowledgeable than I, and all because I asked a question and offer some insight on a history of a character's name. I should have paid attention to my horoscope and waited to post until things cleared up. Nothing like offering quality merchandise to those who have only plated lead coins with which to pay.

Beware: Lost discussion ahead.

The last few episodes I've watched involved a man Danielle captured in one of her traps and turned over to Sayid. She warned Sayid the man was one of the Others and not to listen to or believe his lies. Danielle disabled the man with a crossbow bolt through the right shoulder after Sayid cut him down. Had she wanted to kill him, she would have killed him. Danielle only wanted him incapacitated.

Sayid carried him back to the hatch and proceeded to beat the truth out of the man who called himself Henry Gale of Minnesota. There is no doubt the man is one of the Others and the clues have nothing to do with Sayid's lack of guilt for torturing him or the rest of the castaways' (the ones who are in the loop and know about the captive) mistrust. It has to do with the circumstances and the man's name.

Henry Gale who came from Minnesota and crash landed on the island in a balloon.

Sound familiar? (that's the question I asked)

It should. Henry Gale, otherwise known as Uncle Henry, was Dorothy Gale's uncle, Dorothy of the ruby slippers and her trip from gray Kansas to Technicolor Oz. The Wizard of Oz crash landed his balloon over the rainbow in Oz, a magical place full of witches and flying monkeys and all kinds of weird and wonderful people, places and things. Beginning to get the picture? Of course Henry Gale is a plant, a mole, one of the Others and even though Sayid and his crew, Ana Lucia and Charley, found the balloon and the grave, they were not convinced the captive was an innocent castaway.
when the truth came out, my deductions proved to be correct. That's not bragging. That is simply fact.

Being a writer helps because writers learn early on (or they should) that nothing in a story is for effect; there is always a purpose for whatever is in the story or it shouldn't be there. Goes for the written word as well as television, movies, radio plays and theater. Every bit of information, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, relates to the main plot and/or characters in some way. Tidbits like that are not like salting a claim. If you recognize a tidbit you can bet there's gold in them thar hills.

I am certain there are things I have missed and there are lots of things I didn't mention (I kept my introduction short), but my little bit of information it someone wrong and they attacked. C'est la vie. Just like tidbits of information in a story that always have significance somewhere down the line, you can bet someone will take offense at the most harmless and inoffensive words no matter your intent in offering them.

Once upon a time I would have blasted back, defending my intent and my words, but I have learned to hold my tongue and my words, preferring to spend them in worthier causes than trading insults and barbs with misanthropic children mired in angst and mental masturbation they believe passes for intelligence and wit.

Today has been a day of interesting twists and turns, trading long awaited pleasure for disappointment, and even offering up a surprise or two. More rain and cool temperatures that drive my neighbor Nel to drink as she prays for blazing summer heat and a surprise visit from the landlady asking me to close all my windows because the house is being power washed. Didn't take long and only delayed my Lost fest a few minutes, and I was glad to oblige. No work to type and that means I'll be working long hours tonight and giving up my long awaited trip to Monument for the hamfest and VE session tomorrow. At least I'll be able to take a few minutes to gather some fresh organic produce from the farmer's market tomorrow morning and do the laundry between battles with mealy mouthed doctors breaking the sound barrier with their mouths or limping and glossing over intricate and detailed operative reports.

I must have done well this past six months because I also received my six-month review. My error rate has come down from 0.45% to 0.33% and my average page rate (despite long periods of no work) went up another seven pages, which means an increase in my holiday and vacation pay. That was good news. I am a little disappointed because I should have a 0% error rate, but less than half of one percent is still pretty good, if I do say so myself (not bragging, just stating facts), especially when the overall company error rate is 0.51%. Last time the company wide error rate was higher, and it's still higher than mine. I may have to work this weekend but at least it came on the tail end of good news instead of the usual bad or questionable news. I can live with that.

In the meantime, I plan to stay close to home, avoid talking to anyone outside of my circle of friends and keep out of situations that might end in useless argument and name calling.

Come to think of it, that's a good policy to follow every day and not just when Mercury is making hash of the planetary influences in my chart.

I'll shut up now.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Naked in the dark

For some reason "naked at dawn" is in my mind. It's a book written by a character on a soap opera I watched several decades ago. Could it be because I'm sitting here in the dark naked as the day dawns?

It's cool outside and the ceiling fan makes it cool enough inside that I feel chilled and ready to dive into a sweater and cover up with a blanket. I could turn off the ceiling fan and put on some clothes but the air on my skin feels good, almost decadent, definitely soothing.

I woke up a little while ago for the usual morning bathroom call and decided to see if the next episode of Lost was finished downloading. It hasn't. It's taking a lot longer to download than the earlier and first season episodes did. I guess not as many people have taken the time to upload the episodes since the season just finished and the reruns are about to start. It will get better, but I'm not waiting until September or October. It will day several hours longer, but it's worth waiting for. I won't watch it on TV because I hate the commercials and I like being able to watch it all in a continuous stream, like a movie that hasn't been edited for television, cutting out important chunks and redubbing dialogue so they can slip in 15-18 minutes worth of commercials every hour. 'Nuff said.

Moving on, yesterday was a quiet day for me. I broiled some steaks, made bleu cheese sauce for the steaks and watched movies while I watched and listened to the rain. It has rained some part of every day for ten days and there are nine more days of rain to come. The latest emergency bulletin called the rain monsoonal, but what they meant was monsoon like. This isn't the tropics. We don't get monsoons. We get tornadoes and flash floods and downpours. Unless California and the western seaboard has slipped off into the ocean and the earth's axis has tilted and we have slid farther down the planet and I'm now living on the coast of Colorado, this isn't where you'll get monsoons or hurricanes. So, all my friends and acquaintances on the western seaboard, please check in. I don't want to have to drive to Grand Junction to check for a new sea coast line.

I pruned off the dead and rotting end of the geranium start in the bud vase yesterday and broke down a bunch of boxes. I still need to go through the box closet that once upon a time was just the living room closet and get organized in there so I can store hiking and backpacking equipment and so I can paint the woodwork and trim and inside of the closet doors without being smother and covered by a Fibber McGee and Molly's closet style avalanche. And either today or this weekend I intend to hit the second hand stores for a small occasional table or pedestal for the little statue I found for pennies at Celebration (local metaphysical and magic paraphernalia store) to go in my relationship corner. It's a fluid almost amorphous sculpture made of some kind of acrylic, a couple embracing and looking into each other's eyes, except the couple doesn't have eyes. It's representational and quite lovely for the four limp singles I spent on it. I love sales when they end in me getting something lovely for almost nothing and it's the only one on a dusty back shelf in the back. Now I need a small narrow pedestal to fit in the southwest corner, the relationship corner, so the feng shui experts tell me, so I can stimulate and support my relationship. I call it sympathetic magic, the idea being that what you mirror or build in your home and in your mind will manifest in the real world. Sort of like representational art that suggests a couple with simple lines and forms but is really a fluid, amorphous piece of acrylic in which I see a couple looking lovingly at each other while they embrace. Harmony, symmetry, togetherness and love.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth

Independence Day, and I don't mean the movie, although there were aspects of the movie that were special to me -- when ham radio operators sent the president's message around the world via Morse code (CW to hams) -- always stirs me. I am a Yankee Doodle Dandy and my heart beats faster when I hear the national anthem or say the Pledge of Allegiance. My spine tingles when Americans are at their best and riding to the rescue. I'm a flag waving, honest to goodness patriot. Today, of all days, I am definitely proud to be an American, but I am proud to be an American each and every day even when Americans are being idiots or being shown at their worst. Why? Because America is the only country on earth where freedom and honor mean something. Freedom and honor have become obscured in the past few years by events in the international arena, and certainly by the media around the world and here at home, but freedom and honor have never been more obvious than in the aftermath of 9/11 when all differences and difficulties were set aside and Americans pitched in and worked side by side, grieved side by side, stood side by side, arms linked, to show the world we will not be defeated.

We have lost a bit of that fervor and solidarity, but it's all still there at the heart and soul of every American and will come back to the surface when it's needed. Count on it.

Well, I didn't expect that to be the topic of discussion. All I wanted to do was wish everyone a happy Independence Day. Wherever you are, whatever you're doing stop and give thanks for being allowed to live in America -- the land of the free and the home of the brave. Bless the USA by whatever religious beliefs you choose, but bless the USA indeed.

Last night the landlady invited me down for an impromptu cookout and get together. Psycho Ken and his wife Pam and dog park friend Robin were there as well. Add Nel and me and you had a lovely group of friendly, talkative and enjoyable people. It was also the first time I met Pam about whom I have heard so much. She is a lovely lady and quite interesting -- as were the many different conversations going on last night. Good food, good conversation and good people. There is nothing better in life. We're cooking out again today and last night I trundled off to the grocery store to buy steaks. I hope someone else remembered to get the corn on the cob. Vegetables and fruits we have in abundance.

Yesterday was also the day a very close friend came back from a 5-day backpacking trip along the Colorado Trail. I'm sure he enjoyed getting out there and being free and unencumbered by nothing more than his thoughts and his pack. I wish I had been with him, but I wasn't invited this time. I was with him in spirit and, yes, I would have walked in his wake to enjoy the view because he has a great back field, when it's in motion or when he's standing and looking out a window. He does have the sexiest behind and I still don't know how he knows I feel that way because I never told him. I guess my excuses for walking upstairs behind him were more transparent than I knew. And I'd like to thank him for walking so slowly so I could have a good long look.

Just in case he's wondering though, he also has a great front view with a broad chest and just the right amount of furry covering, great eyes and some killer legs. He is my idea of a hunk: tall and well built with a melt my knees and make my heart flutter smile.

Anyway, I signed up for the emergency communications course given by the ARRL and it starts in August and goes until October. I will actually get CECs (continuing education credits) for the course. I have the book already and I have to dig that out (good thing I have time to do that) and after I finish the first course I'll move on to the second and third. After that, I'm certain I can find something to learn and will most likely focus on antennas, propagation and electronics. I have a hungry mind that has starved for too long. Time to feast.

In addition to that, I got the Code Quick program and I'm going to refresh the CW I haven't used since I passed my exam and got my Extra license and increase my code receiving abilities. I want to get to 20-30 WPM by the end of summer. I'll even settle for the middle of fall, but I'm determined to get there. I am working on an antenna that will satisfy my needs and not irritate my landlady or disturb her aesthetic expectations so I can spend more time on the air working CW and racking up a few QSOs with a few QSL cards to go with them. (In layman's terms, making contacts and giving and receiving acknowledgment of those contacts) All the while I'll be building my own radio and using it to operate on short hikes away from the hustle and bustle (yeah, we hustle and bustle a little now and again here on the laid back west side of town). I'm also taking my sketch pad and pencils and maybe once in a while my laptop, depending on what I grab when I leave for the day. I need to get some use out of the new Nike cross trainers and get some mud on the sides.

In the meantime, I am late for breakfast and the fruit is calling me. I have a busy day ahead of me and I still need to drop off the steaks to the landlady for marinating. I'm also making my bleu cheese sauce for the steaks and looking forward to a bit of a feast before 7 PM tonight when we head off to Soda Springs Park to listen to a ham friend's band. It's a holiday after all and I intend to make the most of every single second -- even if that does include doing the laundry.

That is all. Disperse to your own Independence Day activities.

As for my family, don't eat before I get there.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


I cringed yesterday when I pulled out my card and paid for the Nike cross trainers but I needed new shoes and I wanted something that would feel so good I wouldn't balk at walking. The shoes are incredibly comfortable, if a bit bigger than my last 20 pairs of shoes. Even with my inserts they felt like I was walking on clouds and kept me walking and walking. I paid for it when I got home last night. My legs and right ankle (the one I sprained so bad it had to be casted for six weeks) were sore and if I sat down for more than five minutes I felt like I was being racked when I had to get up again. I went to bed to take a nap and woke up several hours later even stiffer and a bit sorer. This morning, however, since I have been getting up and down a lot to visit the bathroom and dump an excess of fluid, I'm not quite as stiff as I was at 2 AM when I got up the first time. I need to get up and get out on the road or trail early in the morning before I start working so I get it done but it would probably be better to get out after the work day is through so my muscles are warmer. I'll play it by muscle and see where it takes me.

Had to take a quick break to get something to eat. It has been hours. I decided to go for the roasted red pepper hummus and some of my very own home grown radish sprouts. Good choice, especially with a banana. ( I finally bought some yesterday) Radish sprouts do indeed taste like radishes, but that is understandable since the radish is the bulbous root of the plant, and the sprout is where it all -- sprouts from. I was worried I'd lost the whole bunch because I forgot to rinse them yesterday. When I opened the vented lid, fully expecting to find rancid or dried up dead sprouts, I found a mating snake tangle of sprouts that had quadrupled in volume since the last time I looked Friday night. Amazing. It took me a little while to rinse and untangle the worst of the mating tangles, but I managed. They are delicious and complement the roasted red pepper hummus I bought at Mountain Mama's and the multigrain tortillas I used to wrap up the whole concoction. The last bite was just as delicious and surprisingly radishy as the first. Now for the banana.

Okay, back to whatever I was nattering on about.

I have been caught in the Lost vortex and supply my voracious demands by downloading the episodes from the web. However, I hit a snag this morning after I finished watching the latest Doctor Who episode (a two-parter that ends with the death of Rose Tyler played by Billie Piper) and couldn't find a single download with more than 16 seeds. It is taking forever to download the Collision episode in season 2 and I want it now. I was spoiled by very fast downloads over the past week or so and now I'm being punished for spending all that time watching Lost instead of writing or working or doing laundry or even walking down to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for a chocolate raspberry truffle. I should know better. This is how they get you in the first place. They lure you in with amazing and intricate story lines that reek of excellent writing and phenomenal acting and then go on a four-month hiatus that turns into 9-10 months while they throw crumbs of lesser shows and vapid and inane characters and plots that couldn't get a rise out of a helium balloon. If this keeps up I'm going to pull the plug and wait for the second season to come out on DVD (I've already ordered it) or, even better, get my fingers busy writing and finishing the two books I should be working on right now. I should be working out whether Tom was right when he said I could turn out a book a month -- and ought to do just that. But then, at the VE session yesterday in Woodland Park, Shel KFØUR, told me that while he and his wife were in Hawaii they happened onto a beach where they saw a burned out multi-ton jet engine on the beach only to find out it was the set for Lost. How could he do that to me? And he expects me to go to Soda Springs Park on Tuesday to hear the Little London Winds play and then go across the street for drinks and talk with intelligent and creative people. Hardly!!

So what's left? Walking and writing. Writing and walking.

Naw. I think I'll read a book and take a nap and think about which I should do.