Happy Halloween!

mask1

I really have to hand it to my husband. When the man invites me to a romantic night out, it IS romantic!  Wow!  What a lovely time we had last night!  Everything was just beautiful.  The food, the guests, the music. Such interesting conversation…so much fun, but I was also concerned about a sick friend and found it hard to enjoy myself at times.

I ended up selecting a vintage theater mask because it was smaller than the big feathered thing I was going to wear.  Kind of funky, but it went well with my dress.  There were some of the most elegant costumes I’d ever laid eyes on!  People really went all out for the occasion.

I just wish I could dance as well as John!  He is amazing on the dance floor.  Always has been.  He attributes this to the fact that his mother made him take ballroom dancing when he was a kid.  I think he just has a natural flair for it.  He swept me off my feet.

cruise1

The night could not have been lovelier, and it was wonderful to spend time together, albeit only a brief encounter.  I ended up staying the night, and got back a short while ago. Frankly, I’m just too tired to write much except to say that we had a lot of fun, and it was great to be away from computers for 24 hours, but now, I am faced with that reality again…one more paper to write, and a nonparametric data analysis to conduct before tonight when I shall take wee Ingrid trick or treating and then make appearances at two parties.

cruise2

I could go to bed right now and sleep through until tomorrow, but isn’t that the story of my life?  Always overdoing it.  sigh….One more week of this term and then I can actually get caught up on my rest a little bit.  Then…back to work again.

cruise3

Saying goodbye is always hard.

johnsea

Have a happy and safe Halloween, my friends!

applesauce

Today Applesauce – Tomorrow the Bay

As I sit here typing this, I cannot believe I did everything that I did today…but somehow, I got it all done.  I had to cram two days worth of work into one day, because tomorrow, I’ll be flying to San Francisco to join my husband, some of his professional colleagues and some music and theatre friends for a charter dinner cruise in the San Francisco Bay.   It is going to be catered by a really good restaurant.  This will  be a formal Halloween dance with a band that I absolutely adore, and I can hardly wait. Rumor has it that a couple of celebrities are going to be on board, too…but I am sworn to secrecy.  :-)

Meanwhile, today, I made cinnamon applesauce to take to John from three different kinds of apples.  I used the over abundance of organic apples that have been delivered to me this week and i still have some left over.  I also made a plethora of small vegetable pies that I shall take for him to freeze.  He loves my cooking and says he misses it…so this is my gift to him for the treat he is giving me with what sounds like it will be a lovely party.

veggie pies

Unfortunately, I will have to fly right back out on the last flight home…or the first flight the next morning….because I have a party to attend here in my Portland neighborhood, and another one down at the studio…..and of course, there’s Ingrid and our traditional Halloween crusade that will actually only take a few minutes, as we greet our neighbors and do a little early trick-or-treating before she heads off to be with friends.

I couldn’t get a seat on the last flight home, but I am on standby for one leaving from Oakland.  Wish me luck! I do have an early, early reservation for the next morning from SF, which I hope I will not have to take.  I really do need to get right back or I won’t get everything done.

I have missed my sweet husband and really look forward to seeing him.  He looks handsome in a tux, too, so I look forward to that as well.  I am wearing a pretty Dolce and Gabbana gown and a big, feathery mask that one of the theater people is providing.  I chose this gown, which is really quite full with the undergarment on, because I expect it to be rather nippy on the boat.  The color is much nicer than the photo shows.  It has gold thread in it so that it really shimmers in the light.  Very pretty dress in person.  I am going to wear my hair up.  We’ll see how all that goes…  The main thing is that I get to be with John for a beautiful evening.

dolce

So…..

Tonight I have to finish a paper that I started today, do my research discussion paper and begin two other papers that I will have to complete before Sunday night.   If you’re starting to celebrate Halloween…have fun!  I know I’m going to!  Can she do it????

Of course, she can!

The Beebs is Haute!

Last night, I mentioned to my friend that I walk Beatrix at least three times a day, rain or shine.  He informed me that in a rainy climate like ours here in Portland, that might not be such a great idea, because chihuahuas’ ears are especially sensitive to the rain.  Ya learn something new every day!

Well, I fixed that!

I created a little haute hoodie for her out of an old sock….and I must say, she DOES look smashing!  Don’t you agree?  This will look riveting with the sweater arm coat that I made for her! Very chic! :-)

beebs haute

UPDATE:
After I snapped the above-photo, I made some adjustments to the garment and made is less snug around her neck.  Then, we went out into the rain to try it out.  She HATED it…tugging and pulling and shaking her head….so I just took it off of her.  When we got back, I phoned Beatrix’s vet and asked her about the whole chihuahua wet ears thing.  “Ridiculous,” she said, “Chihuahuas thrive in wet weather. They also love to swim.”  Oh, well….c’est la vie.  :-)
yoga

Yoga by the Dawn’s Surly Light

As I type this, I have begun my first day of the oil pulling that I wrote about last night.  I am using sesame oil rather than coconut oil, as I am out of the latter….and I am incorrectly doing it after breakfast, because I didn’t realize I would be having breakfast with my yoga group until I was already there.  Tomorrow, I will do it first thing before eating, but didn’t want to procrastinate about starting it.

vase

I feel energized this morning…happy and good.  A new yoga studio opened about a block away from me to replace the one that closed there about a year ago.  I signed up for a one-time “a la carte” class because I have had so much work to do lately that I feel my muscles will soon begin to atrophy if I don’t get them stretched out properly, so I decided to try a Yin Yoga class.  I wanted to try it out before I committed to regular classes.

This type of yoga is a great way to start off a cool, rainy morning.  I walked there in the dark, and although I was soaked through to the bone by the time I arrived, I enjoyed a relaxed hour of floor postures that were held from three to five minutes at a time. I found that assuming the postures was easy enough.  I wasn’t in as bad a shape as I’d feared. However, at times, it could be quite challenging due to the length of time postures were held.

yoga hands

Afterward, I felt quite energetic and happy.  My body felt good.  Hung out and socialized a little bit over an East Indian breakfast of fresh fruit, raw almonds, a type of rice porridge and some marinaded coconut-curry tempeh.  Had a nice chat with the instructor who is, herself, East Indian, and enjoyed meeting a few new folks I’d not yet met from the hood.  Breakfast is not the norm there.  This was some kind of pre-dawn grand opening occasion.

Gee, it’s only 7:10 a.m. as I write this, and I feel like I’ve already put in a full day.   Took Beatrix for a walk when I got back, but frankly, it was a little scary doing so in the dark.  Next time, I’ll walk her on well-lit Division street if I walk her before daylight.  She enjoyed it more than I did.  Still raining out.

dark skies

(Ok….this oil pulling is getting annoying already.  I am feeling impatient with it, but I will keep going for the full 20 minutes…)

Today, I have to write two articles for a client and work on two papers for my Leadership class.  When I get those in shape, I have to prepare 4 discussion questions for both classes, which are papers, in and of themselves.  Then, I will attempt to struggle with my statistics homework.  These last few weeks, I’ve not finished my stat problem sets until the last minute as I put them off as long as I can.  They are so hard!!  I feel I have learned the SPSS software and how to manipulate it.  It is the data analysis and interpretation written in APA format that slays me.  Ah, well.  I just have to finish up this week and next week and then I can kiss statistics goodbye permanently, I hope.  The new term begins mid-November, and I don’t think my testing and assessment class will have any stat.  If it does, I will be sorely disappointed!

Ah, but before I begin any of that, I have to clean out the refrigerator to get ready for this morning’s organic veg delivery.  The delivery guy is a Cherokee with shiny black hair down to his waist.  One of these days, when I have time, I want to photograph him.  Very interesting looking person.  Good photography subject.

Anyway…That’s all the news there is to tell this morning.  Nose to the grindstone.  Have a good one!

1yogapastels

 

oil pulling

Ever Hear of Oil Pulling?

 

With all of the new  oral care products and devices available today, you may be surprised to learn that a lot of folks (Gweneth Paltrow among them) are turning to a 3,000 year old Ayurvedic oil ritual that can not only result in brighter teeth.  Science supports the fact that it can also help lead to better health overall. Oil pulling is  a simple daily routine of swishing vegetable oil around in your mouth for about 20 minutes every morning, although the more often you do it, the more benefits you get from it.

Recent research supports the contention that oil pulling, used to guard against gingivitis, plaque and the germs that cause halitosis, or bad breath works very well and it also makes the teeth shiny and white without harsh chemicals. While any vegetable oil will do, coconut oil comes highly recommended for its antibacterial properties. Coconut oil also contains  an antimicrobial agent called, “lauric acid” which makes it even more effective in the prevention of tooth decay.

By the way, If your  gums are inflamed, it can sometimes help to rub Vitamin E oil directly onto them to reduce the inflammation.  Vitamin E oil is absorbed easily and is  rich in antioxidants.  Therefore, it helps the gums regenerate healthy tissue.

how to oil pull

 

After the oil pulling procedure, the oil should be spit into a nearby garbage can, as spitting it into the sink could clog the pipes.  Brushing and flossing should follow oil pulling, and routine dental visits should also be a normal part of a person’s dental hygiene routine. For optimum results, oil pulling should be considered a supplemental therapy that is used in conjunction with one’s regular oral care.

 1whiteteeth

Oil pulling.  Who woulda thunk it?!

 

Clenched Souls

gray

We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.

I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.

Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?

The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.

lavender2

It Smells GOOD in Here!

When someone walks into our  house, it is not uncommon for them to say, “It smells GOOD in here!”  because…well, it does!  I keep the place very clean.  Plus, I have long been a fan of the power of natural scents, and have made sure that my house always smells of fresh flowers or all-natural incense or goodies baking in the oven.  I strongly dislike overpowering, fake, perfume-y scents…but truly do love a soft, gentle aroma.  Lavender is among my favorites.

Since I have been under so much pressure with school this term, I have used a lot of lavender, thanks to my friend, Genie, who sent me a number of essential oil diffusers to try out. The one I like best looks like this one (see below).  See that band of blue light at the top of it?  Users actually have the option to change that to green or pink…or a number of other colors.  It looks so nice in my pretty bedroom.

diffuser

 

Scientific evidence suggests that aromatherapy with lavender may slow the activity of the nervous system, improve sleep quality, promote relaxation, and lift mood. I find all of these things to be true.  I find that using lavender oil in my diffuser results in a much- improved sleep quality, a more stable mood in the face of distractions, better concentration, and reduced anxiety.  I have been using NOW brand essential oils that I pick up for a reasonable price at New Seasons, my neighborhood natural foods grocer and am very happy with these.

lavender now

I have also been testing the energizing qualities of orange oil.  In fact, sometimes, I add a few drops of orange oil to the lavender.  The combination is heavenly!  The scent of oranges is said to help reduce the symptoms of depression, and I also find that it has a nice energetic quality, when used alone.  However, when used in combination with the lavender, I go into very deep, dream-filled sleep.  I truly love it.

oranges

I have other essential oils on hand, but these two are my favorites.   One thing, though.  I do not let my puppy into the same room as the diffuser when it is going.  Chihuahuas are particularly sensitive to a lot of things, and I don’t want to irritate her skin or eyes.  So far, however, she does really well, once I turn it off, even though the scent does linger.  I conducted some research that says it is perfectly fine to use these two scents around pets.  However, I don’t want to take any chances with her, especially since she is only a year old.

My family and friends all love how my house smells.  It is cozy, neat, relaxing, and a good place to hang out.  I think the essential oils add another layer to all that to make it especially pleasant.

Little Nip….Little Tuck…..Little Patti

Castles Made of Sand/ Little Wing

We used to go hear Tuck and Patti play at Yoshi’s in Oakland.  I have always admired how Tuck could handle that ’49 Gibson L-5!   Loved them then.  Love them now.

vangoghseye

There Are None so Blind…..

“There Are None So Blind as Those Who Will Not See….”

This is one of my favorite proverbs. It has been traced back to 1546 (John Heywood), and is pretty close to the Biblical verse Jeremiah 5:21: ‘Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not’. It reflects a running theme in my life right now…personally…politically…familial-y….that is, the most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.  You know the ones.  They attempt to snuff out the evidence and live in self-delusion rather than face what is really going on.  Sad, that…

.

The painting that you see above is called, “Van Gogh’s Eye.”  I can’t even remember the year that I painted it.  It was created when I lived in the SF Bay Area, and I painted it to give to my friend, Paul, who recently died….so he has been on my mind of late.

.

The concept behind the painting is an interesting one.  I painted a series of pieces that were based on small sections of paintings by famous artists.  I did this so I could, perhaps, experience some of what the original artists had experienced when they did their paintings.

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  Undertaking of this exercise caused me to examine their work more closely, and to really think about why they made the artistic choices that they had made.  For this piece,   I selected Van Gogh’s  ‘Portrait of the Artist’ that he painted in 1889.   I focused on only a tiny portion of it, one of his eyes.  The section on the original painting is probably less than 3″ wide.  My painting was considerably larger than that, which was the whole point. It was to enlarge the section so I could look more deeply into the work and reveal its secrets.   The lessons I learned by doing this exercise were priceless,and can be summed up in one sentence:  “There is always more than meets the eye.”

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vangoghportrait

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In attempting to duplicate Van Gogh’s brush strokes, I came to realize, first hand,  how complex his technique was.  His brush dispersed the paint over the canvas in virtually every possible direction…up, down, left, right, diagonally….but the thing that amazed me even more, was the fact that I used a total of 37 (!!!) individual colors to duplicate a similar effect.  That’s right.  In the original painting, that tiny 3″ section contains at least 37 individual colors!

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Looking closer.  Examining things very carefully under a magnifying glass…..What better way to come to a deeper understanding of the fact that there is ALWAYS more than meets the eye…both literally and figuratively!  This can be always be applied to one’s art….but it works best when applied to one’s actual life.  :-)

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In other news….congratulations to the happy couple joining their lives in Texas on this day. Wish I could be there for the wedding.  I  know the music will be great.

.

moonlygrace

 Bride of Moonly Grace

by Stacy Alexander

 

Depression

No, I’m not manic depressive….just feeling a little down in the dumps as the crushing weight of these last few weeks of the term rob me of any semblance of rest.  I am sleep deprived, overworked, tired…exhausted, really, and my head is asunder with the multiple tasks that lie before me.  I know the signs of depression, and I know what triggers them, so I also know what to do.

Be Gentle

I know, when I feel this coming on, that I must be gentle with myself.  This involves avoiding stressful situations, television programs, films, books, people and places.  I don’t really drive downtown, for instance, when I feel this coming on.

Exercise

I have doubled my exercise routine.  I am walking my puppy more and more and more, drinking in the beauty of this city, even when the weather has become wet and gray.  It is still beautiful here, and I still stop to smell the ever-blooming roses.

Love

When I’m feeling down, I turn to those who I know love me….my daughter, my husband, my best friend, my parents.  I am a strong woman, but I let them hold me up with their kindness and I lean on them a little bit when I feel depressed.  Of course, I’m there for them, too, when they need it, so it all evens out in the end.  I think about the people that I love…Maya and Ingrid and Harrison, Katherine and John and Sarah…Nate and William and my other friends…my little puppy, Beatrix……and somehow, this makes me feel better.

Vitamin D.

I up my dosage of Vitamin D and take it with Vitamin C.  My doctor recommended I do this and it really works!

Creation

I create something….anything…I bake a cake, create a piece of art…take a photograph…MAKE something creative and constructive.

 

Staying on Task

There is nothing that can cheer me up more than accomplishing a task.  So…I just try to keep my nose to the grindstone and do what needs to be done, chipping away at this work a little bit at a time. When I get to the end of that last paragraph….that last equation….that last problem, I might be wiped out….but magically, I feel much better.

so……..back to work for me!

The Joys of Abnormal Psych

When I chose Psychology as a major for graduate school, I discovered a plethora of different aspects that are useful to my career as a  writer.   One of them that ESPECIALLY appeals to me as a writer, is the study of abnormal psych.   It is a blast to go down the list of personality disorders and find traits around which to come up with character sketches.  The possibilities are endless!  One woman that I am writing about currently has Borderline Personality Disorder ….and is also an alcoholic.  This is a mixture for nonstop fun and drama.    Rene Best musician    Re

ne Best musician

Imagine doing a character sketch based on the following  traits, oh…and couple that with being a redneck, alcoholism and a wacky fundie fanaticism!   Interesting character, right?  Just think of all the adventures! Trowing plates!  Smashing guitars!  Sending drunken text messages…facing the  challenge of going an entire day without claiming to be a victim or without telling a lie!  Making threats….Screeeeeeching!  Cursing!

Rene Best guitarist                                     Rene Best musician      Rene Best musician                               Rene Best guitarist

The list is ENDLESS!  Oh, the fun!    Rene Best musician


Here are some of her characteristics and traits:      Rene Best musician

(Same woman  put up a selfie elsewhere…Same scene.. different pose…)

Rene Best guitarist               Rene Best musicianbpdRene Best musician

Alienation – The act of cutting off or interfering with an individual’s relationships with others.

“Always” and “Never” Statements – “Always” and “Never” Statements are declarations containing the words “always” or “never”. They are commonly used but rarely true.

Anger – People who suffer from BPD often feel a sense of unresolved anger and a heightened or exaggerated perception that they have been wronged, invalidated, neglected or abused. Always the victim!                       Rene Best guitarist

Baiting – A provocative act used to solicit an angry, aggressive or emotional response from another individual.                         Rene Best musician

Blaming – The practice of identifying a person or people responsible for creating a problem, rather than identifying ways of dealing with the problem.

Bullying – Any systematic action of hurting a person from a position of relative physical, social, economic or emotional strength.

Catastrophizing – The habit of automatically assuming a “worst case scenario” and inappropriately characterizing minor or moderate problems or issues as catastrophic events.

Chaos Manufacture – Unnecessarily creating or maintaining an environment of risk, destruction, confusion or mess.                          Rene Best musicia

Circular Conversations – Arguments which go on almost endlessly, repeating the same patterns with no resolution.

Cognitive Dissonance – A psychological term for the discomfort that most people feel when they encounter information which contradicts their existing set of beliefs or values. People who suffer from personality disorders often experience cognitive dissonance when they are confronted with evidence that their actions have hurt others or have contradicted their stated morals.                  Rene Best musician

“Control-Me” Syndrome – This describes a tendency which some people have to foster relationships with people who have a controlling narcissistic, antisocial or “acting-out” nature.

Denial – Believing or imagining that some painful or traumatic circumstance, event or memory does not exist or did not happen. For instance,refusing to believe that a spouse or significant other that is unfaithful.

Dependency – An inappropriate and chronic reliance by one adult upon another.

Depression – When you feel sadder than you think you should, for longer than you think you should – but still can’t seem to break out of it – that’s depression. People who suffer from personality disorders are often also diagnosed with depression resulting from mistreatment at the hands of others, low self-worth and the results of their own poor choices.

Dissociation- Dissociation is a psychological term used to describe a mental departure from reality.

Domestic Theft – Consuming or taking control of a resource or asset belonging to (or shared with) a family member, partner or spouse without first obtaining their approval.

Emotional Blackmail – A system of threats and punishments used in an attempt to control someone’s behaviors.

Engulfment – An unhealthy and overwhelming level of attention and dependency on another person, which comes from imagining or believing one exists only within the context of that relationship.

Sense of Entitlement – An unrealistic, unmerited or inappropriate expectation of favorable living conditions and favorable treatment at the hands of others.

False Accusations – Patterns of unwarranted or exaggerated criticism directed towards someone else. For instance, accusing someone else of being a stalker when the BPD person is actually the stalker.

Favoritism – Favoritism is the practice of systematically giving positive, preferential treatment to one child, subordinate or associate among a family or group of peers.

Fear of Abandonment – An irrational belief that one is imminent danger of being personally rejected, discarded or replaced.

Frivolous Litigation – The use of unmerited legal proceedings to hurt, harass or gain an economic advantage over an individual or organization.

Gaslighting – The practice of brainwashing or convincing a mentally healthy individual that they are going insane or that their understanding of reality is mistaken or false. The term “Gaslighting” is based on the 1944 MGM movie “Gaslight”.

Harassment – Any sustained or chronic pattern of unwelcome behavior by one individual towards another.

High and Low-Functioning – A High-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individual is one who is able to conceal their dysfunctional behavior in certain public settings and maintain a positive public or professional profile while exposing their negative traits to family members behind closed doors. A Low-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individual is one who is unable to conceal their dysfunctional behavior from public view or maintain a positive public or professional profile.

Hoovers & Hoovering – A Hoover is a metaphor taken from the popular brand of vacuum cleaners, to describe how an abuse victim trying to assert their own rights by leaving or limiting contact in a dysfunctional relationship, gets “sucked back in” when the perpetrator temporarily exhibits improved or desirable behavior.

Hysteria – An inappropriate over-reaction to bad news or disappointments, which diverts attention away from the real problem and towards the person who is having the reaction.

Identity Disturbance – A psychological term used to describe a distorted or inconsistent self-view

Impulsiveness – The tendency to act or speak based on current feelings rather than logical reasoning.

Infantilization – Treating a child as if they are much younger than their actual age. For instance, the mother that pampers the adult son and allows him to live at home long after he should have stood on his own two feet.

Invalidation – The creation or promotion of an environment which encourages an individual to believe that their thoughts, beliefs, values or physical presence are inferior, flawed, problematic or worthless.

Learned Helplessness- Learned helplessness is when a person begins to believe that they have no control over a situation, even when they do.

Magical Thinking – Looking for supernatural connections between external events and one’s own thoughts, words and actions.

Moments of Clarity – Spontaneous periods when a person with a Personality Disorder becomes more objective and tries to make amends.

Mood Swings – Unpredictable, rapid, dramatic emotional cycles which cannot be readily explained by changes in external circumstances.

Neglect – A passive form of abuse in which the physical or emotional needs of a dependent are disregarded or ignored by the person responsible for them.

Normalizing – Normalizing is a tactic used to desensitize an individual to abusive, coercive or inappropriate behaviors. In essence, normalizing is the manipulation of another human being to get them to agree to, or accept something that is in conflict with the law, social norms or their own basic code of behavior.

No-Win Scenarios – When you are manipulated into choosing between two bad options

Panic Attacks – Short intense episodes of fear or anxiety, often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as hyperventilating, shaking, sweating and chills.

Parentification – A form of role reversal, in which a child is inappropriately given the role of meeting the emotional or physical needs of the parent or of the family’s other children.

Passive-Aggressive Behavior – Expressing negative feelings in an unassertive, passive way.

Pathological Lying – Persistent deception by an individual to serve their own interests and needs with little or no regard to the needs and concerns of others. A pathological liar is a person who habitually lies to serve their own needs.

Projection – The act of attributing one’s own feelings or traits to another person and imagining or believing that the other person has those same feelings or traits, or even assuming that person’s identity.

Proxy Recruitment – A way of controlling or abusing another person by manipulating other people into unwittingly backing “doing the dirty work”.  Assuming partner’s identity online to attack others or compliment self.

Push-Pull – A chronic pattern of sabotaging and re-establishing closeness in a relationship without appropriate cause or reason.

Raging, Violence and Impulsive Aggression – Explosive verbal, physical or emotional elevations of a dispute. Rages threaten the security or safety of another individual and violate their personal boundaries.

Sabotage – The spontaneous disruption of calm or status quo in order to serve a personal interest, provoke a conflict or draw attention.

Scapegoating – Singling out one child, employee or member of a group of peers for unmerited negative treatment or blame.

Selective Competence – Demonstrating different levels of intelligence, memory, resourcefulness, strength or competence depending on the situation or environment.

Selective Memory and Selective Amnesia – The use of memory, or a lack of memory, which is selective to the point of reinforcing a bias, belief or desired outcome.

Self-Harm – Any form of deliberate, premeditated injury, such as threats of suicide, cutting, poisoning or overdosing, inflicted or threatened to inflict upon oneself.

Self-Loathing – An extreme hatred of one’s own self, actions or one’s ethnic or demographic background.

Self-Victimization – Continually casting oneself in the role of a victim.

Situational Ethics – A philosophy which promotes the idea that, when dealing with a crisis, the end justifies the means and that a rigid interpretation of rules and laws can be set aside if a greater good or lesser evil is served by doing so. Fanatical religious people often do this.

Splitting – The practice of regarding people and situations as either completely “good” or completely “bad”.

Thought Policing – A process of interrogation or attempt to control another individual’s thoughts or feelings. In this process, they curse, raise their voices, threaten, chide, etc.

Threats – Inappropriate, intentional warnings of destructive actions or consequences.

Triangulation – Gaining an advantage over perceived rivals by manipulating them into conflicts with each other.

Triggering -Small, insignificant or minor actions, statements or events that produce a dramatic or inappropriate response.

Tunnel Vision – A tendency to focus on a single concern, while neglecting or ignoring other important priorities.  Refusal to let go.

 

The Joys of Abnormal Psych!

When I chose Psychology as a major for graduate school, I discovered a plethora of different aspects that are useful to my career as a  writer.   One of them that ESPECIALLY appeals to me as a writer, is the study of abnormal psych.   It is a blast to go down the list of personality disorders and find traits around which to come up with character sketches.  The possibilities are endless!  One woman that I am writing about currently has Borderline Personality Disorder ….and is also an alcoholic.  This is a mixture for nonstop fun and drama.      Rene Best musician

Imagine doing a character sketch based on the following  traits, oh…and couple that with being a redneck, alcoholism and a wacky fundie fanaticism!   Interesting character, right?  Just think of all the adventures! Trowing plates!  Smashing guitars!  Sending drunken text messages…facing the  challenge of going an entire day without claiming to be a victim or without telling a lie!  Making threats….Screeeeeeching!  Cursing!                 Rene Best musician                               Rene Best guitarist

The list is ENDLESS!  Oh, the fun!    Rene Best musician


Here are some of her characteristics and traits:      Rene Best musician

(Same woman  put up a selfie elsewhere…Same scene.. different pose…)

Rene Best guitarist               Rene Best musicianbpdRene Best musician

Alienation – The act of cutting off or interfering with an individual’s relationships with others.

“Always” and “Never” Statements – “Always” and “Never” Statements are declarations containing the words “always” or “never”. They are commonly used but rarely true.

Anger – People who suffer from BPD often feel a sense of unresolved anger and a heightened or exaggerated perception that they have been wronged, invalidated, neglected or abused. Always the victim!                       Rene Best guitarist

Baiting – A provocative act used to solicit an angry, aggressive or emotional response from another individual.                         Rene Best musician

Blaming – The practice of identifying a person or people responsible for creating a problem, rather than identifying ways of dealing with the problem.

Bullying – Any systematic action of hurting a person from a position of relative physical, social, economic or emotional strength.

Catastrophizing – The habit of automatically assuming a “worst case scenario” and inappropriately characterizing minor or moderate problems or issues as catastrophic events.

Chaos Manufacture – Unnecessarily creating or maintaining an environment of risk, destruction, confusion or mess.                          Rene Best musicia

Circular Conversations – Arguments which go on almost endlessly, repeating the same patterns with no resolution.

Cognitive Dissonance – A psychological term for the discomfort that most people feel when they encounter information which contradicts their existing set of beliefs or values. People who suffer from personality disorders often experience cognitive dissonance when they are confronted with evidence that their actions have hurt others or have contradicted their stated morals.                  Rene Best musician

“Control-Me” Syndrome – This describes a tendency which some people have to foster relationships with people who have a controlling narcissistic, antisocial or “acting-out” nature.

Denial – Believing or imagining that some painful or traumatic circumstance, event or memory does not exist or did not happen. For instance,refusing to believe that a spouse or significant other that is unfaithful.

Dependency – An inappropriate and chronic reliance by one adult upon another.

Depression – When you feel sadder than you think you should, for longer than you think you should – but still can’t seem to break out of it – that’s depression. People who suffer from personality disorders are often also diagnosed with depression resulting from mistreatment at the hands of others, low self-worth and the results of their own poor choices.

Dissociation- Dissociation is a psychological term used to describe a mental departure from reality.

Domestic Theft – Consuming or taking control of a resource or asset belonging to (or shared with) a family member, partner or spouse without first obtaining their approval.

Emotional Blackmail – A system of threats and punishments used in an attempt to control someone’s behaviors.

Engulfment – An unhealthy and overwhelming level of attention and dependency on another person, which comes from imagining or believing one exists only within the context of that relationship.

Sense of Entitlement – An unrealistic, unmerited or inappropriate expectation of favorable living conditions and favorable treatment at the hands of others.

False Accusations – Patterns of unwarranted or exaggerated criticism directed towards someone else. For instance, accusing someone else of being a stalker when the BPD person is actually the stalker.

Favoritism – Favoritism is the practice of systematically giving positive, preferential treatment to one child, subordinate or associate among a family or group of peers.

Fear of Abandonment – An irrational belief that one is imminent danger of being personally rejected, discarded or replaced.

Frivolous Litigation – The use of unmerited legal proceedings to hurt, harass or gain an economic advantage over an individual or organization.

Gaslighting – The practice of brainwashing or convincing a mentally healthy individual that they are going insane or that their understanding of reality is mistaken or false. The term “Gaslighting” is based on the 1944 MGM movie “Gaslight”.

Harassment – Any sustained or chronic pattern of unwelcome behavior by one individual towards another.

High and Low-Functioning – A High-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individual is one who is able to conceal their dysfunctional behavior in certain public settings and maintain a positive public or professional profile while exposing their negative traits to family members behind closed doors. A Low-Functioning Personality-Disordered Individual is one who is unable to conceal their dysfunctional behavior from public view or maintain a positive public or professional profile.

Hoovers & Hoovering – A Hoover is a metaphor taken from the popular brand of vacuum cleaners, to describe how an abuse victim trying to assert their own rights by leaving or limiting contact in a dysfunctional relationship, gets “sucked back in” when the perpetrator temporarily exhibits improved or desirable behavior.

Hysteria – An inappropriate over-reaction to bad news or disappointments, which diverts attention away from the real problem and towards the person who is having the reaction.

Identity Disturbance – A psychological term used to describe a distorted or inconsistent self-view

Impulsiveness – The tendency to act or speak based on current feelings rather than logical reasoning.

Infantilization – Treating a child as if they are much younger than their actual age. For instance, the mother that pampers the adult son and allows him to live at home long after he should have stood on his own two feet.

Invalidation – The creation or promotion of an environment which encourages an individual to believe that their thoughts, beliefs, values or physical presence are inferior, flawed, problematic or worthless.

Learned Helplessness- Learned helplessness is when a person begins to believe that they have no control over a situation, even when they do.

Magical Thinking – Looking for supernatural connections between external events and one’s own thoughts, words and actions.

Moments of Clarity – Spontaneous periods when a person with a Personality Disorder becomes more objective and tries to make amends.

Mood Swings – Unpredictable, rapid, dramatic emotional cycles which cannot be readily explained by changes in external circumstances.

Neglect – A passive form of abuse in which the physical or emotional needs of a dependent are disregarded or ignored by the person responsible for them.

Normalizing – Normalizing is a tactic used to desensitize an individual to abusive, coercive or inappropriate behaviors. In essence, normalizing is the manipulation of another human being to get them to agree to, or accept something that is in conflict with the law, social norms or their own basic code of behavior.

No-Win Scenarios – When you are manipulated into choosing between two bad options

Panic Attacks – Short intense episodes of fear or anxiety, often accompanied by physical symptoms, such as hyperventilating, shaking, sweating and chills.

Parentification – A form of role reversal, in which a child is inappropriately given the role of meeting the emotional or physical needs of the parent or of the family’s other children.

Passive-Aggressive Behavior – Expressing negative feelings in an unassertive, passive way.

Pathological Lying – Persistent deception by an individual to serve their own interests and needs with little or no regard to the needs and concerns of others. A pathological liar is a person who habitually lies to serve their own needs.

Projection – The act of attributing one’s own feelings or traits to another person and imagining or believing that the other person has those same feelings or traits, or even assuming that person’s identity.

Proxy Recruitment – A way of controlling or abusing another person by manipulating other people into unwittingly backing “doing the dirty work”.  Assuming partner’s identity online to attack others or compliment self.

Push-Pull – A chronic pattern of sabotaging and re-establishing closeness in a relationship without appropriate cause or reason.

Raging, Violence and Impulsive Aggression – Explosive verbal, physical or emotional elevations of a dispute. Rages threaten the security or safety of another individual and violate their personal boundaries.

Sabotage – The spontaneous disruption of calm or status quo in order to serve a personal interest, provoke a conflict or draw attention.

Scapegoating – Singling out one child, employee or member of a group of peers for unmerited negative treatment or blame.

Selective Competence – Demonstrating different levels of intelligence, memory, resourcefulness, strength or competence depending on the situation or environment.

Selective Memory and Selective Amnesia – The use of memory, or a lack of memory, which is selective to the point of reinforcing a bias, belief or desired outcome.

Self-Harm – Any form of deliberate, premeditated injury, such as threats of suicide, cutting, poisoning or overdosing, inflicted or threatened to inflict upon oneself.

Self-Loathing – An extreme hatred of one’s own self, actions or one’s ethnic or demographic background.

Self-Victimization – Continually casting oneself in the role of a victim.

Situational Ethics – A philosophy which promotes the idea that, when dealing with a crisis, the end justifies the means and that a rigid interpretation of rules and laws can be set aside if a greater good or lesser evil is served by doing so. Fanatical religious people often do this.

Splitting – The practice of regarding people and situations as either completely “good” or completely “bad”.

Thought Policing – A process of interrogation or attempt to control another individual’s thoughts or feelings. In this process, they curse, raise their voices, threaten, chide, etc.

Threats – Inappropriate, intentional warnings of destructive actions or consequences.

Triangulation – Gaining an advantage over perceived rivals by manipulating them into conflicts with each other.

Triggering -Small, insignificant or minor actions, statements or events that produce a dramatic or inappropriate response.

Tunnel Vision – A tendency to focus on a single concern, while neglecting or ignoring other important priorities.  Refusal to let go.

 

Smiles for a Rainy Day

harrison Oct 22

Just when I thought I was going to feel blue on this dark, rainy day, my sweet daughter-in-law sent me smiles from our sweet little Harrison, who never fails to cheer me up.  He is a happy little fellow and Katherine frequently gifts me with videos that document his squeals of delight.  I watch them over and again, and get such pleasure out of them.  He is growing so fast, and learning so much.  I love this stage in a baby’s life.

I was missing my husband earlier this morning.  We had a nice talk on the phone.  He sounded as busy as I, but happier than I feel today, as he still has sunshine there in Cali, and I think he got more sleep than I did. I had spent the day with Ingrid yesterday and was over-tired last night, so didn’t sleep well.  Got up very early this morning to finish up some work before I started in on my classwork.

Going into the home stretch with this school term.  This week, I’m studying regression analysis and writing a ton of papers.  A nice pot of potato leek soup simmers away on the stove right now,  filling the house with the aroma of rosemary and garlic. That will be my dinner tonight.  I am going to walk over to the boulangerie in a bit to grab a nice piece of bread to go with.   Running a slight fever and feeling a cold coming on, but I am mega-dosing Vitamin C and trying to ignore it.  So much work to do!  Spoke briefly with my best friend last night who said he was also feeling crummy.

One good thing about owning a dog again, is that I have to get out and walk her, regardless of the weather. Mind you, she is completely potty trained to pads inside the house, but she still needs her exercise, so I take her out, rain or shine.   I think that if not for Beatrix, I wouldn’t have bundled up and ventured out into the rain, but I did, and was glad.  We had a great walk, and she is now wrapped in her blanket and sleeping in her bed in front of the fireplace as I write this.  The only other person I encountered on my walk was the postman, and we both smiled.  It’s pretty out there, despite the rain.  A funny thing about Portland.  You can tell the locals from the tourists because locals tend not to carry umbrellas….and the locals tend to smile, as though we are enjoying a delicious secret.  Have I mentioned that Portland is a great place to live?  Well, it is…!

Anyway….back to work for me…I hope all of you are having a lovely day.

Ain’t It The Truth?!

Scorpio (Oct 23 23 – Nov 21)
October 21, 2014
“Your weariness could catch up with you today…..”
retired
This has been one of the busiest, most exhausting periods of time in my entire life!  I have taken to turning my phone off for days at a time, burying my head in my books and doing little else except walking my puppy, cleaning my house and cooking food.  Last night, my husband asked me if I would go see a movie that he is considering centering a play around.  I had to laugh.  The mountain of school work that grows higher by the minute will not topple for another two weeks after this one.  Right now, it seems endless.  I just have to keep chipping away at it…..two papers this week, more statistics, data analysis, discussion questions….sigh….Indeed, my weariness just MIGHT catch up with me today!
Going back to bed for an hour….

Doctors Without Borders Auction Preview!

https://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/auctionhome.action?auctionId=208357702  <——-click here!

Here is your chance to preview all 141 STUNNING pieces of mosaic art created by artists from all over the world in the Doctor’s Without Border’s Charity Auction that will be coming up in November.  There are SO many beautiful choices!  Proceeds go toward a most excellent cause, so make your selections and get ready to place your bids!  dwb mosaic 2014Four René

by Stacy Alexander

© Stacy Alexander – 2014 – All Rights Reserved

Jon Gomm….now THIS is a GUITARIST!! (WOW!)

I have an old friend in Houston that plays in this style.  This is Jon Gomm, a REAL guitarist.   The first time I ever saw anyone play in a style close to this, it was when Kaki King played at the TED talks.  Here are videos of both of them, and both are well worth a look-see.  I adore this kind of playing.  It is innovative, and not just the same ‘ol..same ‘ol, overworked, overused crap that 50 million other guitarists are playing.

I love a musician that thinks outside the box and carves new paths into the music world.  These two do that.  Jack White is another. Chris Whitley was another.

I’m really digging this new wave of talent.    It is fresh, interesting, intelligent sounding.  Pure.

To Shine Like a Bright Star

Scorpio (Oct 23 23 – Nov 21)
October 18, 2014
You have all the right stuff to shine like a bright star today. The unflappable Leo Moon is highlighting your 10th House of Status, but you might not be ready to assume your new responsibilities. Nevertheless, you feel exceedingly hopeful about your future, but it still could take time before you are able to realize your dreams. Your smartest strategy now is to talk less and do more.
Positive action lights the way for you and those who follow.    :-)
double scorpio
Double Scorpio
© Stacy Alexander – 2014

‘Tie your heart at night to mine, love,’

rowlett lake

(Lake Ray Hubbard – Photograph © Stacy Alexander 2014)

LXXIX From: ‘Cien sonetos de amor’

Tie your heart at night to mine, love,

and both will defeat the darkness

like twin drums beating in the forest

against the heavy wall of wet leaves.

Night crossing: black coal of dream

that cuts the thread of earthly orbs

with the punctuality of a headlong train

that pulls cold stone and shadow endlessly.

Love, because of it, tie me to a purer movement,

to the grip on life that beats in your breast,

with the wings of a submerged swan,

So that our dream might reply

to the sky’s questioning stars

with one key, one door closed to shadow.