Being Alive is Great

Morning Installment

It is still raining out there, after raining all night. The driveway is ice/slush/water, but Attila got out without any trouble, so I expect to as well. The roads will be clear and wet for the drive into work. It is a beautiful drive. No matter how distracted I am at the thought of the work day ahead, on the drive in the universe always sends me some little sign that being alive is great. Sometimes it is field of mist and evergreens, sometimes a dear bounding across the highway in front of me, sometimes the sun doing a fan dance with the clouds…

Attila and I watched the devastation of the earthquake (8.9) in Japan on the news this morning. The universe has many messages, one of them is that we must coexist with the natural world. The natural world is reminding all of us that we are not the centre of the universe, collectively; far from it.

When I write a post in parts I’m never sure when to send out the notification. I am only allowed one missive per day. This morning I think I’ll send a notification out and hope to get back to writing this evening after returning from work. Gotta run for now!

Evening Installment

It rained all day, then it snowed, then it rained again… March is so fickle. Tonight heavy snow is forecast, then rain or snow by morning. The drive to work tomorrow morning should be interesting.

Attila and I have an anniversary coming up. We don’t eat out, my allergy makes that impossible. Most years we celebrate with a special homemade meal. This year we are going to try to find a fast food solution, possibly a frozen pizza, so that we don’t have to cook on our anniversary. There are frozen pizzas that are made without my allergen, we just have to look a little harder to find them. We are hilarious though, every year we have to look up the date for our anniversary because neither of us can remember, with certainty, on what day it actually falls.

Here it is 7:00 p.m., and I am wondering how long it will be before I can turn in for the night! Six hours on my feet; how did I ever stand for eleven hours a day at that little job in the shop! That was just last summer. I’m getting soft, no doubt about it.

Worldly Distractions


4 °C
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 99.8 kPa
Visibility: 5 km
Temperature: 4.0°C
Dewpoint: 4.0°C
Humidity: 100 %
Wind: ENE 11 km


“We lift ourselves by our thought, we climb upon our vision of ourselves. If you want to enlarge your life, you must first enlarge your thought of it and of yourself. Hold the ideal of yourself as you long to be, always, everywhere – your ideal of what you long to attain – the ideal of health, efficiency, success.”
Orison Swett Marden
1850 – 1924
[A statement made in a “free” country that espouses the rights of the individual; there are other realities on planet earth.]


Orison Swett Marden

“Orison Swett Marden (1850 – 1924) was an American writer associated with the New Thought Movement. He also held a degree in medicine, and was a successful hotel owner.”

Quiet Day, Early Night

Today was a long day; I worked for six hours and am no longer accustomed to being on my feet for that long. I feel pretty good, all things considered. The office I’m working in for the next few days is a pleasant one, so I’m happy to be there.

Rain, rain, rain! We received a lot of snow last night, and then the rain started. The road we live on was not plowed by the time we left for work this morning. It was quite a slushy mess; Attila got stuck part way down the driveway. It didn’t take him long to dig his way out, and he cleared the messy spot so that I could get through when I left a little later in the morning. It is still raining tonight, and the slush is thick and slippery in the driveway. The highways were bare and wet when I drove home from work.

Attila and I are working every Saturday in March. Since March is such a dismal month when it comes to weather, we are both glad to be extremely busy. When we come up for air it will be April.

A quiet day, an early night.

Worldly Distractions


4 °C
Condition: Light Rain
Pressure: 100.9 kPa
Visibility: 6 km
Temperature: 4.0°C
Dewpoint: 4.0°C
Humidity: 100 %
Wind: E 11 km/h


“Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.”
H. L. Mencken
1880 – 1956
[Speak for yourself, Mr. Mencken!]

The Scent of Honeysuckle

This morning optimism hangs in the air like the scent of honeysuckle on a hot humid day. Why? That is unknown. Sometimes things just are the way they are, and the reasons present themselves in their own time and place.

Yesterday the high speed Internet bill arrived in the mail. The young phone-answering employee at Rogers had told me that our account was a rare, unlimited usage account. I did not take him at his word though, and have been waiting for the bill to see for myself. We have been viewing programs on Netflix, so that our usage has been high for the last month. Our bill has not changed. We will continue viewing Netflix on the computer.

The advantages to Netflix are multiple, in our situation. We have only basic television service, so that most of the programs are of little interest, or are aired at inconvenient times. Netflix allows us to view programs we like at our discretion, in our own time. Netflix allows more selection; their catalogue of programs is extensive enough that we have been able to find programs of interest on a regular basis.

The only disadvantage we have found with Netflix on the computer is that the sound is often very low, making it difficult to hear and follow some of the dialogue. A set of speakers would resolve this issue, so we will begin research to purchase them at a future date.

On a sombre note, Lares grandfather is quite ill. We are thinking of Lares and his family.

The weather remains capricious. We are expecting a storm this afternoon, and luckily neither Attila or I need drive far. In grade school, the pictures in the classroom for March included a little girl with rubber boots, an umbrella that was blown inside out and hair blown horizontal across her face. It isn’t as if we weren’t expecting windy, stormy weather!

This seems like a song written for March in the North; just guessing because I don’t understand the language. The landscape is spring-like, floating ice, warm coats…

Worldly Distractions


-3 °C
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.8 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -3.0°C
Dewpoint: -9.9°C
Humidity: 59 %
Wind: ESE 18 gust 35 km/h
Wind Chill: -9


“There is only one optimist. He has been here since man has been on this earth, and that is “man” himself. If we hadn’t had such a magnificent optimism to carry us through all these things, we wouldn’t be here. We have survived it on our optimism.”
Edward Steichen



“hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome [unspecified]”


“a belief that someone will or should achieve something [specified]”

Edward Steichen

“Edward J. Steichen (March 27, 1879 – March 25, 1973) was an American photographer, painter, and art gallery and museum curator. He was the most frequently featured photographer in Alfred Stieglitz’ groundbreaking magazine Camera Work during its run from 1903 to 1917. Steichen also contributed the logo design and a custom typeface to the magazine. In partnership with Stieglitz, Steichen opened the “Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession”, which was eventually known as 291, after its address.”

Disowning Projection

International Women’s Day today. I’d already written the topic below when I realized what day it is. Not one single person in my world of face-to-face contact mentioned it, and not many, perhaps not one, would know what I was talking about if I mentioned it. So, I’ll mention it here.

I’m actually doing pretty well with the situation at work, managing to get through the time and sleep at night. I’m on a regime of medication to assist my stomach through the month of March, which is flaring up from the stress, the stress of the day to day with herself, the negative coworker. I am lucky enough to be working almost every day in March, but with herself. The silver lining, adequate work, is shiny and bright and much appreciated, the cloud itself keeps me busy keeping dry.

Here is a day in the life, my life, my working life to be specific. Working with my negative co-worker is a challenge. Here is part of yesterday’s interaction. I was busily working away, minding my own business. She came around the corner, stood watching me work and began to converse, which I cannot reject out of hand without causing a lot of conflict, been there, done that. She is in charge of the office, the boss, when we are working together.

Her: “you get a pension right”
Me: “do you mean a pension from this job?”
Her: “ya”
Me: “no”
Her: “you don’t get a pension!”
Me: “no”
Her: “you get benefits right”
Me: “nothing but the hourly wage minus union dues, taxes, usual deductions”
Her: “you don’t get benefits”
Me: “nothing”
Her: “nothing!”
Me: “correct, nothing”
Her: “I don’t blame you for being to so bitter”

Bitter? Every conversation is some sort of head game, a setup for future gossip with the other employees and/or the community. She will continue her efforts to entrap for hours, she seems to thrive on it. Maybe she has learned this from her favorite TV show, Survivor; I doubt it though, this seems ingrained. It seems she lives to gossip, loves to stir up conflict, loves to repeat what people say, out of context, projecting her own dysfunctional perspective onto anyone [disowning projection] who is not present to defend themselves. I have to listen to her for hours every day that I am there. They really don’t pay me enough! Where oh where is the relocation I asked for! As another employee who refuses to work with her says, “life is too short”.

It is quite possible that at the end of March, having spent almost every day with this individual, I will be feeling quite bitter. However, that feeling will go away when she does, or, more accurately, when I stop working with her. I know that relocation is coming, I know it!

Thank you dear reader, for your forbearance of my efforts to project this unhealthy experience onto this page.

Worldly Distractions


-14 °C
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 103.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -9.0°C
Dewpoint: -14.1°C
Humidity: 67 %
Wind: ESE 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -19


“A bully is not reasonable – he is persuaded only by threats.”
Marie De France
12th Century

“If it were not for history everything would happen at once, if it were not for geography everything would happen to me… ”

Written on a stall wall in the washroom of the By The Way Cafe, Bloor Street, Toronto, 1991.
[I have my reasons for loving geography!]


Disowning Projection

In a projection , a person attributes certain aspects of him or herself to others (→ Attribution Processes ). The process is closely tied to → identification in the psychology of personality. A disowning projection involves attributing negative aspects of the self to others, such as “selfish motives, evil intent … [or] stupid attitudes” ( Cameron 1947 ). Cameron includes the exclusion of those characteristics from the self as part of that projection (hence the disowning portion of the name). Theoretically, a disowning projection should be contrasted with an assimilative projection , in which a person similarly projects his or her own qualities onto others. Although both are projections, the content and effects of the projections are quite different. When negative characteristics are projected, the person who is projecting disassociates him or herself from the characteristics. When positive characteristics are projected, no such disassociation occurs. Instead, the person who is projecting maintains the view of him or herself as being described by these characteristics, and, after projecting them onto others, sees him or herself as similar to those others.

Marie de France

Marie de France was a poet, in France and England during the late 12th century. Little is known of her early life; from the simple but literary Anglo-Norman French in which her works are composed, it is supposed that she was raised in Normandy. Her name is known from a line in one of her published works: Marie ai nun, si sui de France, which translates as, “My name is Marie, I am from France.”

Her written works include 12 “Breton lais” (or lays), the “Ysopet” fables, and the Legend of the Purgatory of St. Patrick. The first record of Marie de France is about 1160, with the last known record being at about 1215. One of her works is dedicated to a “King Henry,” the other to a “Count William”; it is thought that these refer to Henry II of England and his oldest son, William, Count of Salisbury. As the wife of Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine was well known to be a patroness of troubadors and other artists, it seems logical to assume that Marie de France was a member of their court.

Microscopic Scale

Just what are The Fates up to these days? I’m not talking world economic crisis, political unrest, environmental disaster or atmospheric anomaly. If I can’t figure things out at my microscopic scale, there is little hope I’ll be able to resolve anything at a larger scale. I’m beginning at the beginning, which is me, in my case, you in yours.

Attila and I made a bold move, we bought the little house in the city to transplant ourselves near our beloved children. Shortly after the purchase Attila was given a promotion at work and his working conditions improved significantly. In the present economy his job is not replicable, not even close, in or near the little house in the city. He and we cannot afford him to leave his job. Hmm…

My job search has been intense and extensive, both here in the country and near the little house in the city. It has come to my attention that finding employment is unlikely. So my hope that I would find employment in line with my education, experience and qualifications is only a pipe dream, in this great country of Canada. So I will not be able to find work to support us if we move to the little house in the city. Hmm…

When we bought the little house in the city both daughters were living close by it, Luna and Terra. Since we bought the little house in the city Luna has moved away once, a few hours away, not too bad. But a second move is about to take place taking her and her little family far away and largely out of reach for visits. Hmm…

Here is the thing though. We love the little house in the city. We love the house. We love the neighbourhood. We love the milder weather. Most of all, we love being near Terra and Lares. We enjoy doing our little projects to bring the place back from the brink of extinction. I pined for the place at times during the long, long winter of bad weather and foiled travel plans.

A move to the little house doesn’t look imminent. Who knows what The Fates will bring; they haven’t left any crumbs to lead the way through the forest.

The whole experience still seems positive, even if it hasn’t gone according to original plan.

What I wish for is that the disparate parts of my life, whatever they are, weave together to create a cloth, a whole that is greater than any of its parts; that that cloth remain healthy and vibrant and that it sustains my dreams as well as the practical aspects of life.

Here are some sisters who I don’t know at all, found their little show on a youtube search for the song Side by Side. They have the right idea.

Worldly Distractions


-17 °C
Condition: Clear
Pressure: 102.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: -17.0°C
Dewpoint: -18.6°C
Humidity: 88 %
Wind: NW 9 km/h
Wind Chill: -2


“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
Bill Cosby
1937 –


The Fates
“The Fates were three mythological goddesses and may refer to:
Moirae the Fates of Greek mythology
Parcae, the Fates of Roman mythology
Norns, numerous female beings who determine the fate or future of a person in Germanic paganism
Three Witches, characters in Shakespeare’s Macbeth
The Fates, characters in Disney’s Hercules”