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Showing posts from 2007

New Year's Gift - My Hair - Entry for December 26, 2007

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I donated my hair to Locks of Love , an organization that collects donations of hair to make wigs for children who have cancer and other diseases who have lost their hair. Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Most of the children helped by Locks of Love have lost their hair due to a medical condition called alopecia areata, which has no known cause or cure. The prostheses we provide help to restore their self-esteem and their confidence, enabling them to face the world and their peers. I have thought about donating my hair for a while now. It had grown so long that I was starting to sit upon it (an annoying thing). In truth, my hair was a major vanity of mine. Strangers (usually women) would come up to me and say how beautiful it

El Conquistador - A Poem in Spanish - December 8, 2007

Ese gringo invadió mis tierras Crusó la frontera Subió mis montañas Y enterró su bandera en sus cumbres Ese gringo dejó sus huellas En el llano de mi existencia Clavó su hacha en mis muros Y minó los diamantes de mis cuevas Y cuando ese gringo alcanzó mis playas y se tiró en mis aguas Al punto de ahogarse Yo, con compasión Le di, también, mi aire.

Self-Realizations - Entry for December 01, 2007

I am needy I am not high maintenance I am loving I am not spiteful I am empathetic I am not clingy I am smart I am not arrogant I am high strung I am not crazy I am soft-spoken I am not a push-over I am shy I am not quiet I am sad I am not depressed I am giggly I am not high I am beautiful I am not a beauty I am overweight I am not a monster I am angry I am not violent I am overwrought I am not overworked I am strong I am not invincible I am stressed I am not giving up I am Vanessa I am not what you want me to be

Complacency, Idealism, Politics, and Change - Entry for November 25, 2007

To the world, Americans are ignorant when it comes to world affairs. I get this impression from conversations with friends from other countries and from news outlets outside this country. World news should not be a ten minute segment that follows talk of another celebrity getting arrested for a DUI. In truth, the news covers pop culture and disaster more than they do social unrest and conflict - abroad and at home. At the core of this disconnect is the American educational system and the political machine. We are not taught in school the current events of other countries, the history behind these events, the country's socioeconomic and political status, and how they impact the global community. At best, we get a cursory instruction on the ancient world, and then if we wish to learn more, we can take courses at the university level. From where does American complacency and ignorance of the world stem? How can it be changed? The problem with finding out where the this ignorance come

360 Worlds - Entry for November 19, 2007

I started clicking on the 360s on the pages of my friends. People i did not know. Soon, I was in a sphere of chat friends that was foreign. They had testimonials, references to the same events, and it kept going farther and farther away from the chat world that most of us have here. I have 360 friends from 3 places, and some of those friends overlap for a lot of us. I have seen friends I had in Books and Literature many years ago on the pages of the friends I created in Professors Chat in the past year or so. I also have friends from the Classical Music room, and some that I developed through 360 itself. It is very strange to contemplate the spheres of friends that are going on all over Yahoo and other social networking sites. They exist and are chatting and are messaging each other. Of course, I knew this was happening. There are so many other rooms in Yahoo chat and groups and so many other Yahoo communities that it would be foolish to think otherwise. But to actually venture into

Mariposa Pensativa - Entry for November 14, 2007

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The phrase Mariposa Pensativa itself means Pensive Butterfly. I use the term butterfly not because I like to flit around but because my name, Vanessa, means butterfly in Ancient Greek, and more commonly known as a genus in the butterfly kingdom . The actual etymology of the name is disputed. The website Behind the Name says that the author Jonathan Swift invented the name Vanessa by rearranging the initial syllables of the first name and surname of Esther Vanhomrigh, his close friend. But the name Vanessa could be derived from Phanessa, a feminine form of Orphic Phanes (which, by the by, is also a genus of butterflies), a primeval, golden-winged hermaphroditic god, meaning "appear." Yet some naming sites say that Phanessa is the ancient greek goddess of brotherhood. *shrugs shoulders* When I was 9, my best friend Marcia gifted me a phone book with my name on the cover and a stamp of my name. The cover of this book said my name meant butterfly and this is what I have

In 1995 - Entry for November 14, 2007

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I was sitting on the corner, looking across the street ....Nov. 14, 1995

Writing About Writing - Entry for November 12, 2007

As the minutes tick off in a day, there is a constant dialogue in my brain; a narrator and judge that constantly screens my actions and thoughts. The desire to blog about these thoughts surfaces every once in a while, but it sinks down again and the thoughts are forgotten or stored in the rolodex that fits neatly inside my cortices. A major fear is that if I sat down to write, I might not get up for a few days. While at the San Francisco airport, awaiting my flight home, I began to write about my stay. Within one hour, I had about 3-4 pages of words-- too much for a blog post. Writing was much easier when I had a physical journal. I would write in my journal, draw pictures of things I would see. I was guileless and pretentious enough as a child to think that some future scientist would find my journal and actually gain insight into the world I was living in. The world is too large for that now. So many people are writing down their observations that many of those words will get lost i

Waters of San Francisco - Entry for November 09, 2007

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My recent trip to San Francisco was life-changing. I went touristing around the City by the Bay, walked to the Golden Gate Bridge, took a cable car, visited Chinatown and Golden Gate Park, went to the opera, and just marveled at the sights and smells of the City. I was composing a long blog about my experiences, but I feel I must wait a bit because that beautiful bay I walked along was marred when a container ship was damaged in the bay and dumped 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel into its water . There were so many birds there. So many diving birds, pelicans and seagulls. There was a moment when they all took flight and I captured the moment...the Golden Gate Bridged displayed prominently in the background. Those poor birds will now have to fight to surviv e, including the sea lions of Pier 39, the fish and other sea life. I sincerely hope that this ecological disaster is responded to promptly or the Bay that I saw just scant days ago will accessible to those who live by the bay and j

A Few Bad Apples - Entry for November 08, 2007

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Being in a chat room exposes one to many people. The majority of chatters congregate in the same room because they share like interests and enjoy the same topics of conversation. I like to believe that most of us go there to relax, share stimulating ideas, share music, talk on voice chat, and yes, to laugh and share the minutiae of one's day. I am a veteran chatter. I say this because I have been chatting since I was 16. I have made good friends with the people I converse with. These friendships sometimes extend into my day-to-day existence via phone calls, text messages, and the rare meeting. In fact, one of the first posts I ever wrote on Yahoo 360 (with my now dead 360 account) focused on the fact that I considered the friends I made in chat to be just as valid as the friendships I held with people I can see every day. In retrospect, I did not have true friends until I started working, so my chat friends were my only friends for a long time. Yet, there are those

Helping + Knowledge = Satisfaction - Entry for November 06, 2007

My aunt mentioned a few days ago that my cousin needed help with her algebra. She is a very bright, thirteen year-old, who normally gets A's in her classes. Algebra has been the only class she has had trouble with. Last night, my aunt arrived around 9pm with my cousin to receive help with her math. Sitting with my cousin and explaining to her not only to reach the solution but how to apply it to other problems was really satisfying. There were several moments where I could literally see her eyes light up with understanding. This experience brought back memories of being a tutor. When I was in high school, I was a tutor for a program called AVID. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. I was trained in tutoring my peers in mathematics and English. The satisfaction I received from tutoring almost steered me into the teaching/professing field. I had actually wanted to be a teacher throughout elementary school and junior high. It was only my fascination with compute

SKEDJOOL - Entry for November 05, 2007

The American pronunciation of schedule .

Words - Part II - Entry for November 04, 2007

The Chaos by G. Nolst Trenité, a.k.a. Charivarius 1870 - 1946 Dearest creature in creation Studying English pronunciation, I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse I will keep you, Susy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. Tear in eye your dress you'll tear, So shall I! Oh, hear my prayer, Pray, console your loving poet, Make my coat look new, dear, sew it! Just compare heart, beard and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it's written). Made has not the sound of bade, Say said, pay-paid, laid, but plaid. Now I surely will not plague you With such words as vague and ague, But be careful how you speak, Say break, steak, but bleak and streak. Previous, precious, fuchsia, via, Pipe, snipe, recipe and choir, Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe. Hear me say, devoid of trickery: Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore, Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles.

Words - Part I - Entry for November 04, 2007

[sitting in my hotel room overlooking the alive Geary & Polk intersection, watching a love-scene on a movie for which I don't know the name] words have so much power.. the way we pronounce them.. the way our lips move as the syllables fight for existence . . . the impact they have upon delivery.. words are life

Words - Part I - Entry for November 04, 2007

[sitting in my hotel room overlooking the alive Geary & Polk intersection, watching a love-scene on a movie for which I don't know the name] words have so much power.. the way we pronounce them.. the way our lips move as the syllables fight for existence . . . the impact they have upon delivery.. words are life

Life is a drive

Every time I reflect upon the path that my life is taking, I see a lot of movement. Analogous to the freeways and roads I take every day now to work. There is too much traffic, missed exits, and as some of you know, a lot of cursing! (grins...I am becoming a Los Angelino driver) Sometimes I think that I made a mistake relocating to Los Angeles, and that I would have been better off if I had stayed in Bakersfield, but I know it's not true. I have a real life here. In the few weeks that I have been here, I feel better and more fulfilled. I am still adjusting to everything, and bad stuff has happened- crying and stress, but over all, things are going well. My job is fantastic. My sons are adapting. So I am still driving forward. Enough analogies.

For Sale

MY HOME IS OFFICIALLY FOR SALE!!!!!!!!!!! The realtor drove up from Los Angeles and put the For Sale sign up today. It is such an exciting and frightening time for me. They went through my home, and I could see all the flaws. I am going to fix them as soon as I can. But overall, I am proud that I have been able to keep my home looking nice even though I am a mom and on my own. On Saturday, I spent the day looking at houses and condos with the realtor and my cousin. It was very informative. It solidified my desire to move. My cousin and I had the realtor laughing the whole time. She and I are so good together. She was my best friend as a kid and I am going to love living near her. What am I doing? I have no doubts that I want to move and that I need to sell my house, but there are moments when I am overwhelmed and overjoyed. What will life be like for me there? Will I make more friends, will I like my new job? WHAT the hell am I doing? I have to make a lot of things work right now.

The Garden - March 24, 2007

I have discussed my garden a bit, but I wanted to let everyone know that it is doing beautifully and holding up well in the heat. The picture above is of a Jubilee New Zealand Tea Tree. It has delicate, pink flowers. I have two in my garden. I planted several ranunculuses, in different colors, and purple and Red Fox (Sun Yellow) osteospermums. I also have two Pink Princess Escallonias (or Escallonia x exoniensis "Fradesii"). The ground between these plants is pretty bare as they are still very young, but I hope that they will spread a bit and I can increase my garden to include other flowers. I have installed two trellises on two archways that are in the entryway to my home. I will buy some climbing vines to plant underneath the trellises. There are some pictures in my albums called "Garden." I know it is not the most beautiful thing in the world, but it has brought me a lot of joy.

And she scribbled madly - March 4, 2007

Writing can be such a laborious task for me. The inspiration to write comes at various times of the day. I can be watching a news cast on the television or a listening to the radio, and a rapid succession of thoughts hit my brain, and I think what a nice blog they would make. But I forget, or, more often than not, I think that perhaps I do not have enough knowledge in the subject to write a credible piece. What are left are journal entries about my thoughts and fears, and this, I believe, can become tiresome. My need to feel authoritative on a subject is perhaps why I did so well on essays in school. I cannot be content writing on a subject unless I truly know it. So I would often get the required scholarly sources, but I would also read on the subject on my own from other "non-scholarly" sources to get a feel for the subject. It is easier to form an opinion on something once you get to see an event or subject from all angles and not just facts. Another problem I fi

Maybe I'll Learn to Swim One Day Too - February 9, 2007

Life is all about growth and learning. When we learn new skills, we advance. This holds true for an infant learning how to crawl, then walk, and it holds true for adults. I want to grow. I want to be a strong and confident woman for my children. I want to provide more for them. Instead of sitting on my hands fretting, I have decided to do something about it. To this end, I have enrolled in school again, and the thought of applying myself to study is filling me with dread. This fear is inexplicable because I enjoy learning. I wish I could know more about . . . everything. (I've recently been teased because I like to learn on my own.) Despite this passion, the pressure of being graded again (and paying for it as well) is daunting. There is also the common belief that an online degree is perhaps not the most reputable degree one can obtain. I think obtaining any degree right now would good enough. I have never been happy taking half-measures. Perhaps I can do it this on

Wash in Cold Water Please -- Discourse on Self - January 27, 2007

A lot of thought has been spent contemplating my essence. Who am I? More than one friend has asked me to define myself. In truth, I am not sure who I am. Can someone really be defined in a few words-- in a page? There are years of existence molding a character. How can you fairly define a person. When I used to consider this problem, I invariably brought up the past. I think of my childhood, my siblings, my parents, and my ex-husband. They have molded the path of my life. But they cannot BE me. I do not want to dwell on my past any more. I do not want to be a slave to my memories. There is a crutch to be found in memories. Memories can be vivid, painful, but they also can be beautiful too. I used to think that if my mother had just shown me more attention or shown me more kindness as a child, I could be so much more stronger and successful. The same thing is happening now with my ex-husband. I keep blaming him for not finishing school and for being afraid to love again.

a hobby that I can enjoy no matter where I go. - January 23, 2007

People who know me have heard me sing at one point or another. If they are really close to me (or just plain unlucky), they have heard me more times than they can count. That does not mean I have a bad voice. It is a really good voice (and no, it's not just because my mother told me so), it's just that I am always singing. I sing for the pleasure it brings me. Of course, I want people to think I am good, but I have no aspirations for more. I will not be gallivanting around the country trying to become a star. It's not me and it's not what I want. With that being said, I do so love to sing. I sing in my regular chat room, I sing in a music room, and I sing in the Yahoo Karaoke Club chat rooms. I sing at the top of my lungs in the car, I sing in the shower, I sing while cooking, I sing while thinking, I sing and sing and sing. It is a hobby that I can enjoy no matter where I go. When my life has settled down a bit, I think I would enjoy singing in a communi

Visit with the Family/New Living Arrangements - January 14, 2007

Things are changing and evolving so rapidly. When was the fast-forward button hit on my life? I thought my growth would take on a slower pace. That I would stumble many times before I felt the kind of happiness I am experiencing right now. Last week, I made the decision to invite my ex's sister to live with me. She is a young woman who was in a bad relationship and needed someone. In struck a chord with me. I have known her since she was 8 years old. I realized that I don't need my ex to approve her living with me. I could care less if he likes or dislikes his sister. I know she is going to work well in my household. She spent more than an hour with my guinea pigs, so I have given her my seal of approval. When I went to pick her up, I spent time with the ex in-laws. They were kind and it was a nice get together. Then I drove down south for my cousin's birthday party. This too was a big thing for me. The Ex never wanted me to go to family gatherings. He wo

January 4, 2007