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Name: Justine
Location: Annapolis, Maryland, United States

Justine, is a little bit more than you'd expect. This is where you are supposed to put your "elevator speech". What you'd say if you were in the elevator with somebody you wanted to connect with. I don't have an "elevator speech". If I ran smack-dab into one of my "heroes" I'd just have to smile and be polite and keep my yipper shut and that's probably for the best anyway!

Sunday, May 28, 2006
Better call Sandy.....

Ok this post isn't finished.....I got called away in mid thought gathering. If you've seen XMEN 3....let's just say I believe that Jean Grey had a good reason to kick a few asses and disassemble a few jerks!

Hell hath no fury like a woman kept from being born....

Jean Grey, the most abused mutant. Who'd have thought? Who'd have thought behind all that "Yes sir, no ma'am" girl next door sweet cuteness there was a real person.

The mutant who had been used and abused the most by Charles Xavier.
Monday, May 22, 2006
And your little dog Toto too!

On a hook....

Freaky darlings. We are not amused. We have hung old Jimmy on a hook. (see pic above) We are liable to have the whole class hung up in the cloak room if they don't straighten up!

Book binding class turned into a free for all. The instructor didn't instruct. She didn't have her packets together. She didn't have a freakin' clue. When anybody tried to get info out of her, she took that "You poor babes havent' taken real book binding classes before" attitude.

So I complained to the store owner. Then the store owner chewed on me because I didn't say something sooner and because I complained because the teacher was in the corner with a student going over the next day's class. Well excuse me, I turned off my psychic abilities....I couldn't tell that chick was going to miss the class the next day.

I made a big mistake then. Instead of just letting her have it with all four feet and my Wolverine claws. I made nice nice. I went back to class.

Then that little part of me that don't take no crap got pissed. I could feel that wonderful little red stripe of hot anger run up my back and into my neck.

I blew. Just like an old pressure cooker on Thanksgiving. I chucked my stuff into my bag, and left. I left the teacher it was the worst class I've ever had. Let the store owner know I wasn't going to be back.

Well, that sucks. Art classes were one of the few things I really enjoyed. Now that part of my life is gone. Time to find a new store to go to. Time to find a new, perhaps less expensive, hobby.

Divine discontent is coming through like rain on the fields.

Good thing I'm lined up for vacation. The energy is gathering up and it's ready to break on the shore. I can feel it gathering up to bring in change, to bring in fresh work on the keyboard.

Change is sweeping in all around like the tide. I'm breaking open, like a seed, giving up a new sprout, a new flower stem.

What a relief. Change has arrived!
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Tears and rain........
This Thursday will mark one month in physical therapy.

Tonight I leapt into the deep end instead of wading in. Jumping into the pool, something I used to take forgranted. I used to walk on the bottom of the deep end, just to look up and watch the surface.

Tonight, I walked up to the edge and knew I could swim, knew the water was no problem, knew all that and jumped.....

As soon as both feet left the concrete a voice in my mind started screaming for me to stop. It screamed, my heart leapt, the adrenaline joy rushed through me. For the terrible second midair, I felth uncertainty, excitement, trepidation, and that crunching feeling that comes from driving on through fear.

As I was coming up from the bottom, chlroine burning my sinus cavitity like the whiff of a spoiled chili pepper, I saw it. I recognized it, poised there in the center of my mind like a big ugly kracken. Slathering and sucking my life into it's maw.

It is that horrible numbed down, disconnect that comes along after years of abuse. When the only stimulant you get is pain, when hope flickers out, when each dream fades and is pulled apart at the seams. The body turns down the flame. There is no such thing as "good excited", there's only bad excited (aka dread, fear, pain, cruelty)

The body turns down the pilot light, and you feel nothing, and you want to feel nothing, because nothing is better than pain.

I'm in the strange place where anything exciting hurts. Whether it's jumping into a swiming pool on a hot day, or starting a new career, or preparing for vacation, or going to a new restaurant, or leaving a crazy job, or starting something new that I've always wanted to do. It's all change, it's all excitement, and it all registers as pain, fear, bad. The feeling is indistinguishable from agony to me now.

The wires are crossed, burnt, fused together backwards and upside down.

Learning to be a beginner, to have "beginners mind" has been a struggle. But this, learning that I can feel good, to have faith, hope, expectation of good things, this swim forward....this therapy....this freeing up of the joints in my mind and soul.....this is tough. This feels funny, this hurts, this makes me sick and dizzy and wheezy and scared...This is rolling back the clock...becoming the girl who used to love the driv ein, and jumping into the ocean in June, and riding her bicycle standing up, and exploring new places, this is so far ago and long away....these feelings, they pull up sensations in the body, they pull up memories lodged in the mind, in the muscles, in the body.

Each night, when I drop down into the water in the therapy pool, each inch of range of motion, each flip, each movement, each swirl of the leg that comes easier and easier winds back the clock, releases the memories frozen in the muscles, thaws my spirit, thaws my soul, brings my life back into flexibility and feeling, it brings me back from paralyzed terror on the inside and the outside.

If I were to tell you the indiviualed movements, the inches more I can move, you'd think I was nuts. Nobody can see it from above the water. But I can feel it and I know it's there. When I hit the showers I can feel joints and muscles twinging and twanging, getting stronger a millimeter at a time. Moving farther and inch at the time.

Thursday night when I go to therapy again. I will jump into the deep in again. This time I'll hold my nose. That chlorine burns like a mother......
Monday, May 15, 2006
New Post
....what happened to the old post? Maybe it fell down....who knows.

Well Freaky Darlings, just an update. Over the weekend I tried a new blogger template. Tried to customize the Tuxedo Inn to look a little more like itself.

The template had problems. The only thing I kept is the profile pic.

Took mom out for lunch Saturday and Sunday. Took the dog to the do-it-yourself doggie wash. Gave mom two dozen roses, a nice nail care set, and some Bath & Body works fluffy hand soap.

Things went well, she's mellowing out. I think she won't admit to me, but she likes not being alone all the time. She's getting her hair done weekly now. When she first came up from Floriday she had that "Einstein" hairdoo. Scary.

I had a lot of clever things to say yesterday but I was too busy doing domestic diva jazz to sign in.

Cuddles freaky darlings!

Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Night, night , night
Darkness has come to lay it's longing smoky kiss. On a hot summer night, after a rain, you can hear the corn in the fields growing. Clicking and snapping as the stalks rush up to the night sky. Each plant taking a stretch before the next day's work of photosynthesis.

But, me being the kind of girl whose mother told her to stay out of corn fields at night, I wouldn't know.

But I think that if you get close to me these days you can hear me crickling, breaking, snapping out form.

Each night, when I come away from work, from the old life, I come home and take in the elixir of change. One night it's an over chlorinated therapy pool. One night it's plein' air writing. One night it's an artist's play session. Another night, it's writing on this thing...trying to get loose enough to get out of the way of the words.

I was given the choice yesterday-- I was offered a shot with a job with IBM proper. A consultant's packet, travel 4 days a week, being top gun, the one called in and paid handsomely. When I thought about it, I realized I'd rather tie a cinder block around my neck and jump off a bridge.

I'd don't want to be working with a computer any more than I absolutely have to now.

When I talked about the offer later with a friend....I realized that I had the choice to make. I could choose to chase the cash with IBM or I could choose to make a serious commitment to making the changes I've been sidling up to for the last five years.

If I take the IBM job I can pretty much guarantee that I'm going to have at least 2 hours a day on the road plus long hours on a project. Plus if I get an out of town gig, I'll be away Monday through Friday.

There's no way I can continue therapy with a schedule like that. There isn't any room left to work on the writing. No energy left to change careers.

There's only room to a decade or more of commitment to keep on doing what makes me sick now.

I double guessed myself, but I made loud squeaks about being committed to changing careers.

I felt myself snapping and crinkling as I said it. Something broke, changed, reformed, became new. For the first time I could actually see a new life, a changed life.

Possibility came down like a hammer on my third eye. Suddenly a new life was possible. The life I would choose if I could go back and choose again.


In a moment, a moodling instant over mediocre chow in an empty restaurant, I fell into a fledgling new life.

I was different.

After all the struggling to be born, after digging from under the hot house compost heap of the past, I was through, free, into the new light.

Now, night comes again, to lay its longing smoky kiss on me. It wants to dance, it wants to take me out to fly on the breeze over the river, it wants me to see my new reflection in the water and see a fledgling bird taking its first flight towards its true life.

Invitation to the festivities
Monday, May 08, 2006
Closer to maddness.....

Invitation to the festivities
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Flaming hoops of Sunday night....

Invitation to the festivities
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Spinning, the center does not hold.....
The world is coming apart at the seams. Paul McCartney is on the cover of AARP magazine. Keith Richards fell out of a palm tree and actually hurt himself. My mother keeps confusing me with her childhood cohort “Cousin Betty”. Suddenly I’m wondering if I’m too old to date the guy I met at my bookbinding class. I’m taking a bookbinding class!

The world has turned itself on its ear and I find myself surprised by the whole thing. It’s like Dr. Who suddenly dumped me out of the Tardis in a strange and alien time. I have no idea how I got here. I’m sure I wasn’t drunk or stoned or unconscious, but here I am, staring down the barrel of being forty four.

The sun is still shining, my fingernails are still growing, the laundry still piles up during the week. But now it strikes me as semi-tragic that I’m living in a garret apartment overlooking the river. There is no romantic hopefulness in the red tin London phone booth bank where I keep my quarters to add to the “house down payment” fund.

It’s even more heart wrenching to realize my mother’s long term care insurance isn’t going to be enough to keep her out of a public care senior center for long.

I’ve been a certified computer professional for over twenty years now and I still haven’t made enough to afford a house in the county where I live. I still slither into work at what seems the ungodly hour of 8:30 a.m. and many nights don’t slither out again until well after midnight.

The overtime no longer has the allure of cleverly overcoming electronic disaster with my unique and needle fine intellect. It smacks of a cheap employer who won’t follow standard best practices and won’t spring for a second shift.

I’ve learned there is no BMW and happening beach house for the technically brightest and best in this burg.

They say the music business is a shark tank feeding on the innocence and naiveté’ of youth. I’ll tell you another industry that grinds rubes up in its teeth and spits out eating disordered middle aged mesomorphs.

I watch the county school board on TV, touting the new computers in the elementary schools. It makes me laugh at the illusion. At the rate software and operating systems change, what makes anyone think that anything technology related that you learn when you are seven is going to have anything to do with the world you’re going to fall out into when you leave school at eighteen?

The only thing that remains constant in the daily threshing of the computer world is that computers serve the function of the business, they are always changing, and the only thing you can do about it is improve your problem solving skills and learn to remain calm. If you don’t learn how to keep your head and take it home with you, intact at the end of the evening, you will truly be lost in a sea of mad hatters and dancing teapots.

Problem solving, as mundane as it sounds isn’t any different than that same prosaic grade school question, “If a train leaves New York for Albany at 10:30 and a train leaves Albany for New York at 10:45 what time are they going to collide because the switching computer has got a bug in it?”

Learn the operating system and software of your own mind. Run your own virus scan and spy ware scans on your eyes, ears, mouth, and mind. Keep yourself, body and spirit, intact and survive the silicon sea.

Computer technology carreers are no more or no less a means to an end than being a buggy maker was in 1860.

The world spins apart every once in a while. If you don’t fall off, you’ve done the best there is to do.

My soapbox bubbles over.

Where have I been? I've been to London to visit the Queen?
Friday, May 05, 2006
Calm on the river....

Thrice said
Truth be told

Return to me
Return to me
Return to me

Come home.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Night on the river
Night on the river, isn't as dark as you would think it would be.
The moon, the reflected lights of the city, streetlights, starlight...they all make there way to swim across the wide gray water.

I can see the lights of a firetruck on a hill on the other side of the water. There is the small amber orange glow of a housefire. It's far enough away that it doesn't seem real. It might as well be on tv.

They are across the river with their flames and smoke and sparks. I can go to sleep in my tinder box house, safe in the thought that no flaming embers will make their way across the mile of water still alight.

I should tell you where I've been, but I can't find the words. I've finally failed them here, at least for now. I've been in some odd and familiar place where I am free. I'm running, joints intact and lungs working, across a heath....laughing in the sunlight. No pain, no trouble, no thoughts but the sunlight and how cool the pub will feel after the sun.

Someplace, where there is no physical therapy, where there has been no accident, no terrible shambling crash, where everything works. Where I want for nothing. Where I'm not hungry for anything. Where I'm not walking the road alone anymore.... where I look into deep gray eyes and see myself cherished and held.

Eighteen years I've walked the road alone. I believe it's been enough to drive some mad....stark raving mad. Perhaps I have crossed the thin invisible line into madness. But better mad than in dispair.

Better caught in the suenos of deep gray eyes. Better to think there is a better end to this long road....than another forrest of night.

The only lights left glowing across the river are the fire trucks and the burning house....night is turning round me, as it always does.

Perhaps age is nothing but forgetting, leaving hope, leaving foresite, leaving possibility behind and letting the lamp go out.

I remember when I took flight, leapt onto the road, headlong away from another hell. A different hell, worse than this one.

Maybe the stars are only houses burning on the other sides of different rivers ...while we dance indifferently along....dreaming to avoid burning ourselves.

Walking on the night river in those gray eyes that talk us across the current of time until we are home to stay.

Where have I been? I've been to London to visit the Queen?
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Going through the gates, retreating from the ordinary, moving into the place where everything is possible.....everything is likely.....

Feeling the sun of the high desert, breathing in the fragile air, driving towards the sacred moutain, hearing the drumming from the pueblo at night.....

Taos is never far away in my mind.