Aug 30, 2005

Shutting a door

Yesterday I had a meeting with the lawyer that wil be handling Grandma's estate. He was very pleasant man and our relatively short meeting went well. The main thing was for me to hand over the keys to Grandma's apartment.

He asked me if I was sure. I said I was, that I was prepared to do this. So when we left, he locked Grandma's door.

I'm not going back.

I will never be able to go back.

It hurts more than I realized it would. I got home, and thought about it, and started to bawl out loud. It's OK to hurt, though. It's part of the grieving process, it's a necessary "milestone". At some point I would have had to give up the key, the access to Grandma's home, so it may as well be now.

The door is shut and all that has been for so many years is shut with it.

Aug 15, 2005

Freak out-free zone

Someone on a newsgroup I frequent, on which I had complained that I was bored (which goes to show how bored I was), suggested I alleviate said boredom by freaking out.

I replied that I do not freak out.

I have stumbled across a hilariously written blog, at dooce.com, and that has alleviated today's boredom. I read the archives to learn of how the expression "to be dooced" came about. You'll probably want to read them yourself to understand this next part:

The authoress of dooce.com lost her job because of her blog. She does things I wouldn't do to tell a story: Exaggerate and outright lie (i.e. her co-workers weren't really like that), but she does so with imagery and a pace that the writer in me finds inspiring and entertaining. But her bosses weren't amused. However, it was her defense of herself, her style, her blog that became the inspiration for this post: Apparantly, some people do "freak out". They like to rev up life's engine to the absolute max before slamming it into a higher gear, burning rubber and scaring pets and old ladies all the way.

And I don't do that. It's not that I wouldn't know how. It's just an odd character flaw in me that I have no need to do such things. I actually like being on the ground - nice, flat ground that my feet can firmly plant themselves on and no where near high cliffs to go off of or deep waters to fall into. I like knowing what's going to happen next, I like having some control, I like predictability, and I like doing unplanned things like long drives into the country on a sudden impulse. Other impulses, though, that might cause upsets in me or someone else, do not turn me on.

I am, however, usually not upset when things are unpredictable. I rather enjoy that. I just don't go in for causing it.

I think it must be chemical. I don't want any alcohol, either, unless I'm already in a happy mood - unlike most people I know, can think of, or have read about in some essay in the Sunday paper. But I like alcohol.

Aug 12, 2005

I'm bored enough to meme

From Ultraviolet's blog I have appropriated this interview because it seemed like an interesting change of pace from surfing Usenet looking for anything not boring, and shredding old bills and stuff (although shredding does have a certain satisfaction as the paper whines past viscious little electrified blades). (See how bored I am?) Questions edited a bit to suit me:

1. Can you explain when and why you decided you wanted to become an astrologer. Why astrology?

I didn't really decide to become an astrologer. I decided to keep it as a hobby. Basically, my interest is genetic. My great-grandfather on my mother's side started keeping long hours at the New York City library, copying pages and pages of stuff from astrology books. I don't know why he did that, but he did suggest to his wife that she give astrology a try, since she was such a nosy-parker, anyway (you had to have been there). Well, great-grandma actually had a knack for horoscopes, and wrote for the now long defunct "World Astrology". She even helped her eldest daughter, my grandma, get a job as an editor there. That job introduced Grandma to a lot of the big names of the time, like Marc Edmund Jones, Dane Rudhyar and Wynn, and she also got a lot of books for free. I inherited a whole bunch of them, as well as an interest in doing charts. It all started when I moved back to Norway and Grandma in 1981. Currently, my interest is focused on doing weather forecasts using astrology, also inspired by Grandma's stories about the astrologer Katherine Spencer and her weather forecasting for farmers.

2. What is the craziest thing you've ever done while under the influence of alcohol?

Kept drinking. Oh, wait, there was the panic attack, my first one. I had no clue what the hell was happening to me. Spending an entire night thinking you're dying has got to be crazy.

3. Are you a good cook? What do you enjoy cooking? Do you have a "signature" dish?

I surprise myself by being able to make tasty food (though I am easily distracted, something my mother discovered when she was rudely awakened by the smoke alarm one afternoon here due to smoking oil in a forgotten). My forté is anything egg. I do mainly scrambled and I do them well. I made a sufflé once and it came out gorgeous, which made me wonder what was so hard about makeing sufflés. (I had the same experience learning to play the clarinet; everybody told me it would be hard, but it wasn't.) My "signature" dish is spinach quiche.

4. Of the different cities you have lived in, which one was your favourite? Why?

I've lived in only two cities, Los Angeles and Bergen, and I love both, different as they are, so they share first place. But I'd go for San Francisco as a good no. 3: All the good things about America, while having a Europeanish compact city center and public transportation.

5. Shag, Marry, Push Off a Cliff: Michael Jackson, Rhett Butler, Charles Murray.

None of the above. Michael Jackson just gets my pity. I once met him - that is to say, he showed up at his CPA's where I was temping, was shown around the place, said hi to the employees, we all said hi back and that was that. This was during the release of his first solo album, "Off The Wall", which is still a favorite album of mine. Rhett Butler, uh, well, I never saw "Gone With The Wind" and don't bother to tell me I should. Both book and movie have been around longer than I have, so I've had plenty of opportunities. That should tell you my level of interest. However, Clark Gable in some photos reminds me of my father. I have no clue who Charles Murray is, and don't care enough to google him. Okay, I did google him. I'm so curious. Still don't have a clue who he is except he probably finished college. So he can be shagged, married and pushed off a cliff. I like neat solutions. ;-)

Now, the way this is supposed to work, is that when others comment asking to be interviewed, I will ask them five new questions. Or not. But if I do, it's a meme.

Aug 11, 2005

The truth is out there

When I was a kid, I was sure I saw a UFO (unidentified flying object). As an adult, I learned that it was likely a jet plane, at just enough distance away to seem to be absolutely silent.

Apart of me still likes to think it was a UFO.

When I was a kid, I wished I was a witch. I always went as a witch at Halloween. What I really wanted were magical powers.

I still wonder if that can happen.

I've been raised on a diet of fairytales. There are stories circulating in many cultures about little people who live underground, under our feet, and who can do magical things.

I sometimes wish fairtytales were true.

I was raised on a diet of science fiction, too. Not only are there UFOs, but there are extra-terrestrials (ETs), visitors from other places that are here on Earth, right now. Or so some claim.

And here is where my childhood dreams and wishes break down.

I was directed to Coast to Coast AM radio's web site, who now offer broadcasts as downloadable MP3s, so I signed up for a month's worth. I'm enjoying listening to American talk radio (again), but listening to some of the topics and beliefs on this show are straining my credulity.

Some people really believe that there are conspiracies, that there are ETs on Earth, that there is a (in some cases, literal) cover-up involving non-manmade space craft on our planet, that there is a city on the dark side of the Moon, and that we don't know about these things because our astronomers are sworn to secrecy by a government which doesn't think we can be told the truth without panicking. Which may be the only fact stated in this paragraph.

What gets me is how willing people are to believe these things, including the end to our planet, especially if the source is some channelled entity. What got me writing was this: A blind listener calling the radio show was frustrated that technology is making is harder to have physical disabilities, not easier, so she wanted the Zetas to tell her whether or not being blind would get easier. The answer: Yes, because during the coming pole shift we will all be plunged into darkness, so being blind would be an advantage. The blind caller was cheered up by the answer.

And that's when the insanity of it hit me: The caller was so focused on her personal needs - or on getting such a positive response from the Zetas - that she probably didn't stop to think that her "solution" would require the destruction of civilization as we know it and kill off half our population, too. To me, that is just...so out there.

The flakes, woo-woos, UFO buffs, Bigfoot hunters, what-have-you, say the truth is out there. Maybe not. Maybe it's much closer to home, but that's too mundane, too easy, to hold our interest. Which is a shame. I think it keeps people from finding more workable and reasonable explanations and solutions to whatever problems or mysteries they are struggling with.

Mind you, I still believe in ghosts.

PS: "The truth is out there" is the catch-phrase for the TV-series "X-files", though not necessarily coined by it.

Aug 6, 2005

More than I realized

A change has happened, for the better. A new era has started in my family. My grandma's passing has brought my mom and me closer, a blessed thing.

Over the years, many friends have listened to my problems and complaints, including those about my family. I chose to inform several these friends of the latest developments - partly to bring them up to date, and partly to thank them all for their support and advice all these years.

The list of people who have been my friends and allies contains more names than I realized it would, and still it is not a complete list.

It's an abundance that I simply have not seen until now. I am truly blessed.