catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (McKenzie)

McKenzie and Logan
Originally uploaded by catecumen
McKenzie and Logan - sitting peacefully together for a change!
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (capable of so much more)
A post from a friend reminded me about some of the ways in which I'm trying to change my thinking and how I still have quite a bit farther to go on that.

A moment of anger and frustration very quickly gets translated into my mind into global self-condemnation. "I made a mistake" turns into "I never do anything right." Someone else's momentary annoyance at me, which the other person probably forgot within thirty seconds, turns into "so-and-so hates me and is totally right to hate me because I'm a bad person." I am well aware that I'm not the only person who takes something trivial and pounces on it and turns it into a referendum on my value in the world, but I can't stop anyone else from doing it; I can only change myself.

This morning, I remind myself to claim the right to be imperfect, to be human, and to be OK with that.
catecumen: (Ellen Page)
I have decided that, for at least this season in my life (duration uncertain), I am going to explore Judaism again. That doesn't mean that I've made any definitive, permanent repudiation of Christianity. I have always been a spiritual wanderer, never quite comfortable in any one tradition, always meandering on to the next challenge, the next adventure. So I'm going back to spend some more time getting to know the path that I had left behind about fifteen years ago. Many people have trouble understanding a spiritual journey that isn't about zealous commitment to a single unwavering truth; I have trouble staying within any frame of reference which demands that.

Tom Sonday

Aug. 29th, 2009 09:12 am
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (Default)
For those who follow the Tom Sonday blog but who may have stopped following because it was just too hard to read it, Tom Sonday has now moved on to whatever awaits after this life. May it be a place of well-deserved peace and joy.

I never met him but have been in touch with his daughter Jessica off and on for several years, primarily through LiveJournal.

This has been a tremendously difficult time for the family, and the road ahead for them, now that he has passed, is still going to be a painful one. Because I'm in a weird space of spiritual transition myself at this moment, I am not sure what to say, but for any of you who pray or who are willing to send good energy, please keep the Sonday family in your prayers and keep sending good thoughts their way.
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (black sheep)
When I was a child, I had very little knowledge about my Jewish heritage, since I grew up in a non-observant family. About all that I thought I knew about being Jewish was that it meant not believing in Jesus. After many years of learning about the history of religion, and many years of my own meandering philosophical and spiritual journey through multiple religious traditions, I find it sad that so many knowledgeable adults still have that same simplistic view of what being Jewish means.

My ethnic identity will always be Jewish, regardless of what I believe. If I believe in Jesus one day and doubt him the next, do I turn being Jewish off and on like a light switch? No, I don't think so, because being Jewish is more than a set of theological beliefs. It's being part of a people, and one can't turn that off by changing one's mind.
catecumen: (my happiness)
In response to a friend's comment: when I post about the funny things the dogs and cats do, I'm sharing them because they're funny and I enjoy them. Even when I'm frustrated by something that is happening, I can still be amused and entertained by it, at the same time. I'm not really complaining, and I will try to stop sounding as if I am.

Just now, for example, I had to rescue my cup of coffee from an inquisitive kitten who wanted to taste it. I think that's funny, and I want to share it because I'm getting a giggle out of it, but I can understand why some readers might think I'm being negative, always whining about how tough things are and asking for advice on how to make it better which I then refuse to follow. Actually I'm enjoying the kitten and having a great time watching her.

I tend to forget that when I post what I think are funny pet pictures and accounts of what mischief they're getting into, most things that I post sound like I'm bemoaning my horrible life and asking for advice about how to fix these terrible things. Actually I'm enjoying my life and my pets very much, and getting a lot of joy out of watching them play even when they cause trouble, and I need to make it more clear from now on that I'm sharing the funny, not complaining about something bad.
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (princess kitten)
How can I move on to do something else (no matter how many other things there are to be done), when my office chair is occupied by a sleeping dog, and the file in the center of my desk is serving as a bed for a sleeping kitten?

Time to relax and enjoy the moment!


mckenzie sleeping on file
Originally uploaded by catecumen
McKenzie dozing on the file I had planned to work on this morning

Logan sleeping on chair
Originally uploaded by catecumen
My dog is occupying my chair, how can I work?
catecumen: (improve the silence)
Wikipedia definition of "woofer":

Woofer is the term commonly used for a loudspeaker driver designed to produce low frequency sounds, typically from around 40 hertz up to about a kilohertz or higher. The name is from the onomatopoeic English word for a dog's bark, "woof" (in contrast to the name used for speakers designed to reproduce high-frequency sounds, tweeter).

A novelty site called Woofer requires a minimum of 1400 characters, and uses people's existing Twitter identities. It's an amusing concept, and I was playing with it today.

I am well-known as a long-winded person who will never use a few words when many will do, so I have been finding it an interesting experiment for me to use Twitter and text messaging. It has been teaching me at least a few basic lessons in the art of brevity.

So, are you a "woofer" who uses lots of words, or a "tweeter" who uses few? :-)


Aug. 9th, 2009 10:32 am
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (glasses on manuscript)
Just located two more old friends on Facebook and sent friend requests, although I don't know whether either of them will approve me after all these years.

(*mutters something unintelligible about water under bridges*)

There's a certain vulnerability to the visibility one has on Facebook, with real names and photos. It's a step away from the comfortable pseudo-anonymity of LiveJournal and its clones. Oh, I do realize that LJ / LJ-clone identities are not totally anonymous - it's not that difficult to find out who is behind a username - but at least there's an illusion to be maintained here.
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (capable of so much more)
I watched the first two hours of the new ABC series "Defying Gravity" online, and I'm enjoying it so much that I might actually watch the next episode in real-time. Maybe. It took me a web search to identify how I recognized Christina Cox, and of course it was from "Blood Ties."

I'm also trying to figure out why I'm pushing myself toward disaster again by refusing to let go of my anger even when I know it is causing problems for everyone, including myself. It's like I'm somehow afraid to let go of it. The consequences of NOT letting the anger go (for me and for the others affected by it) are so much worse than those of letting it go, so what is this fear all about?
catecumen: (my happiness)
I set my alarm for 5:30 AM so that I would have time to wash the dishes, brew and drink coffee, take care of all the pet stuff for the morning, and still have time to shower and dress without rushing before 8 AM court (summer hours). Instead I'm still sitting here at the computer, waiting for the morning fog to lift, not outdoors but inside my head.

And why is it that I'm still at the computer, and not in the kitchen brewing the coffee, which might actually help to lift that fog? Well, there's a warm, snuggly little kitten on my lap. She has a paw stretched out beside her face, hooked on the edge of the desk, with her nose leaning against that outstretched paw while she snoozes on my lap, and it is beyond adorable.
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (alley-oops)
A photo of McKenzie, taken by Jess

From Drop Box

catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (socially retarded)
A thought prompted by something in a post by a friend: Why is it that whenever I hear, "I hurt," in my own head that statement immediately translates into the direct personal accusation "YOU have failed me"? And, while this is MY problem, does it also relate to the larger problem of privileged-group guilt?

Edited to add: I think that at least part of the problem is the same psychological process which manifests itself as "derailing" in the context of discussing racism. It happens in the interpersonal context too. I would describe it this way:

1. I hear YOU talking about what bothers YOU;
2. I hear this as being all about ME;
3. I feel attacked and react defensively and I try to take YOU down for attacking ME (which YOU never did).

So, everything that is said gets fed into that internal meat-grinder of thought and gets processed into more of the same "they say I'm BAD."
catecumen: (WTF)
I posted a link at Facebook to the ABC story about the new blasphemy law in Ireland, and I have found some more links about it, so I'm putting them here instead of filling up my Facebook page with these.

I half-expected to find this story debunked, and that it would not be possible for a "civilized Western nation" to pass such a law in this day and age, but apparently it is quite true:

From the Irish Independent:

July 9, 2009: Libel and blasphemy bill passed by the Dáil

July 24, 2009: Opponents to continue fight after blasphemy made illegal

An organization called Atheist Ireland was planning to publish a blasphemous statement as a test of the new law.

So much for the idea of retiring to Ireland to write ....

(*still shaking head in disbelief*)
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (rant)
Oh my, I couldn't have made this one up if I tried:


and an update .....
catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (alley-oops)
I'm not doing Blogathon this year myself, but if you're not already sponsoring someone, you are invited to sponsor a friend of mine who is blogging for Amnesty International this year.

Since I'm crossposting this, and that makes the coding for user links "a bit dodgy," I'll use a standard link to her LJ: Darla's Mom, a/k/a Heather

So, whether it's my friend or you're already sponsoring someone else, or even if you can only chat with a sleepy blogger in the small hours of the morning when it gets SO hard to stay awake, support your favorite blogger today!


catecumen: Ellen custom made by dhampir (Default)

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