Monday, December 29, 2003

Here is a fragmant of an e mail I received today.
Fw: lets show there is a bunch of us!
Hello, everyone. It will be interesting to see who
>responds! I told this guy that I could find 300
>who believe in God before he could find 300 people
>who do not believe in God. If you believe in God,
>copy and paste this onto a blank e-mail form (leaving
>off the headers). Add your name, and send it to your
>friends and family. If you happen to be the 300th
>person signing this, please send it back to: Dorothy
>Wiser. Her e-mail address is:
(and there follows a list with some 142 names along
with a (nearly identical) list with 141 names.
First of all, it's spam from a person I barely know.
Secondly, "lets show there is a bunch of us!" ??? Just
looking at that sort of grammar makes me irritable. If
I was a Xtian it'd drive me nuts- is the whole point
to prove how obnoxious and illiterate one can be?
Besides, what is the objective and purpose of the
exercise? Majority opinion wins in a very personal
matter? If 99.9% of the people believe in God, he must

But what really got my goat ;-) was the fact that
there is no list for those who do not believe, and
this makes the whole thing seem even more pointless
than it already did.

I guess...whatever makes someone's day...::shrug::

My two best friends are agnostic and atheist, and I
never get this sort of equivalent spam from them. My
Jewish friends don't send anything like this. Nearly
every Christian person I've corresponded
with has sent me this kind of stuff at least once.
I suppose the goal is to make sure that everyone hears
the TRUTH whether they wanted to or not...but wouldn't
a little curiosity make it more interesting?

Saturday, December 27, 2003

I must be seven shades of red right now. I think I've mentioned before that my husband has a habit of referring webpages to me by leaving them open on my browser. Generally he does this with sites that he believes warrant my attention. This annoys me- his idea of what I should see often isn't congruent with mine. Besides, I'm an adult and I'll think whatever the heck I want to!!

I think the idea this time might have been to shock or embarrass me...(it worked)

Genital art
Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome

Actually....*blushing mightiliy*.....I agree with Betty Dodson. People need to quit being ashamed of their genitalia and the associated activities. I really believe that if this could happen, there would be a dramatic improvement in our society as a whole: less exploitation, healthier interactions between men and women, less unhealthy sublimation. There isn't anything dirty, shameful, or wrong about the sexual organs. Maybe sex was regarded as mysterious and therefore magical by primitive man and a whole range of superstitions arose that we still haven't outgrown.

So why am I blushing and acting all uptight about this?!

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Fed and milked the goats, started the generator-we're on solar power and the voltage was alarmingly low- and walked up through the greenhouse to come inside. As I did so, a smell wafted past was like parsnips, but I know it can't be. We haven't grown parsnips for a few years, and there never were enough to dig and store in the greenhouse, at any rate. Still, the scent filled me with nostalgia and a sort of wistfulness. This- living in the country- is what I thought I really wanted. For years I dreamt and planned and fantasized about it and thought I'd be soooo happy if only I could live on a self sufficient homestead and have lots of goats, a nice garden, home-schooled kids, homegrown food, you know, the works.

- THE SIMPLE LIFE - (or, death of a dream)

I've got the goats- better than I ever thought I'd own, from the same bloodlines I used to drool over. I taught myself- from a little booklet- to A.I. them and in time became successful at that. I can now breed the does to bucks that I'd once have been thrilled to get a grandson from at great cost. I've won at a show or two. Heck, I even have a website and a dairygoat forum for crying out loud. Who'd of thought?

For several years, I had the sort of garden I'd always wanted. It was lush, fantastic. I grew pumpkins so large they had to be moved in a car. Then, for whatever reason, it apparently became impossible to get water to the garden. I watched as my indivually planted and carefully spaced seeds (sown into beds I'd dug and shaped myself- completely with hand tools) germinated and then curled up and died in the dry soil. Did this enough times until one day I couldn't bear to do it again. Now I plant flowers and bulbs that can do without much more water than the rain and ground provide. Even these die sometimes, but enough live to make it worthwhile.

The kids- Three was great. Four was a handful. Five????? Some women are cut out to be mothers and they do a really spectacular job of it even with a number of children. My husband's first wife was/is such a woman. I've never achieved her level of excellence, and I'm tired of trying to be something other than myself. Homeschooling went well with the first kid. The second one had a mind I couldn't get through to. Then there were the power struggles about schoolwork. Sent them both to school. They love it. Otherwise...I've failed my kids. One of these days they're all going to grow up and hate me; unless I change things, dramatically.

Home-grown food- it's nice. Nothing like homegrown, for sure. If you have kids who can't drink cow's milk, fresh goat milk is just the ticket. But at this point, I'm really happy for food in general, any long as it's not oatmeal, venison, or beans. Even pasta and potatoes have grown a little old.

So sometimes I look at this place, at the trees and gardens and ground that I love the five cute expectant little faces...and I wonder what's the matter with me. Why can't I be happy with this?


The so-called simple life isn't simple, it isn't cheap, and the food certainly isn't free unless you go and pick it out of the woods. It isn't easy, it isn't euphoric, and it isn't the ideal way to forge a relationship. It's a whole lot of hard work, everything is complicated and interconnected so that whatever you do affects several other aspects of the homestead, there are always umpteen tasks and chores that should be done even though you put in 12-16 hour days, the rewards are not always forthcoming, and if you want something that'll test and strain a relationship to it's breaking point, try having a whole bunch of little kids under these conditions and then being asked what you did all day long when he comes home from work!!
I'd still like to live in the country. But I don't want to do it like this. I wouldn't even try to grow/make everything we need. I'd just grow what I wanted to, what I enjoy having, and buy the rest. Idealism is great, but it can't supersede reality and human limits. Allow it to do so, and you'll have to deal with the cold hard facts of life pretty danged soon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Add to current readng list: Faust by Goethe. I was warned that it would be difficult reading...don't know why. If you can make sense of a King James Bible, even Shakespeare isn't hard. Actually...I never did suceed in making sense of the bible. But I suppose that's another subject.

It's Christmas Eve, and I was feeling kind of down about that. I hate Xmas. It's just a big, phony display of sentiments and materialism. Even so, other than a card from my mom, and a box from my Filipino Grandma (she sent me ramen noodles for the New Year- long noodles are lucky and portend a long life- heh), I haven't heard a peep from any of my family. Oh, wait. There was a form letter from my sister that informed me of how fortunate I was to receive it. (I love my sis, but this is a bit much!!) My dad emailed me about a month ago with a one sentence question. I could call him, but really, what would be the point? I mean, I've got this huge family, and I don't even feel close to any of them. I don't care about presents. I'd just like to be more connected than I am.

And then, when I look at myself through their eyes, I can see why. They're all middle class, professional white collar people and here I am, the loser. I never seem to follow through on most of the great ideas I come up with, because they're so much more interesting to think about than to *do*. Once you start *doing* them, the parameters become more fixed. When it's all in your head, it's still plastic and flexible. I suppose this accounts for part of why I've hung on to the goats although it'd make more sense to have just 3 or 4 of them. The breeding program is one of the few things that I've stuck out and actually *done*. I can always point to them and feel that I'm not a total loser.

So enough of all that. Something lighthearted from The Book of Lists #2:

11 Physical attributes men imagine women admire most about them out of 100%

  1. Muscular chest and shoulders---21%
  2. Muscular arms------------------18%
  3. Penis---------------------------15%
  4. Tallness------------------------13%
  5. Flat Stomach--------------------9%
  6. Slimness-------------------------7%
  7. Hair (texture, not length)--------4%
  8. Buttocks-------------------------4%
  9. Eyes-----------------------------4%
  10. Long Legs-----------------------3%
  11. Neck-----------------------------2%

11 Physical attributes women really admire most about men---out of 100%

  1. Buttocks(usually described by women as "small and sexy")---39%
  2. Slimness-----------------------------------------------------15%
  3. Flat Stomach-------------------------------------------------13%
  4. Eyes----------------------------------------------------------11%
  5. Long legs------------------------------------------------------6%
  6. Tallness--------------------------------------------------------5%
  7. Hair------------------------------------------------------------5%
  8. Neck-----------------------------------------------------------3%
  9. Penis-----------------------------------------------------------2%
  10. Muscular Chest and Shoulders----------------------------------1%
  11. Muscular Arms--------------------------------------------------0%

You know, I'm beginning to wonder about these lists. The attributes are the same for both of them. Were there no other options? Like eyebrows, for instance. Can't imagine a nice looking guy without strong or expressive eyebrows. I think eyes would be pretty close to the top of my list. But neck? Lips, yes. Ears, even. But neck? I mean, if I love a guy I guess I'll find a reason to love just about every physical attribute he has, including his neck. But I wouldn't put it on a list. And very muscular chests scare me, but a nice angular muscularity is nice. But really, none of it is even half as important as a good mind. Eh...what a silly survey......

Monday, December 22, 2003

Current mood: empty, frustrated, and bleak...which translates into general crankiness. I'm listening to Simon and Garfunkel oldies- which I love- no mistake about it... but when I'm fertile and practically keening with loneliness and longing, it just makes me want to go and get stoned or drunk...which I never do...mostly because I'm afraid it'd become a habit. Now "I am a Rock" is playing. I've felt that way before..often...and when I don't it seems like I'm sort of weak...but I suppose that ultimately everyone needs to have a soft and vulnerable spot, an achilles heel....a heart...and being a rock is pretty damned lonely.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

I've got all kinds of thoughts snarling around in my head tonight. Perhaps my current reading list has something to do with it. (Note- this list is incomplete. )
The Male Myth This book is sort of the male version of The Hite Report. Apparently there is a Hite Report of Male Sexuality that's fairly recent, but I've only read the female version from back in the '70's. I suspect that women were quite a bit more prudish then but really don't know...Back to The Male Myth: It's pretty interesting stuff. There have been a few surprises although I haven't read much of it yet (the book was acquired just yesterday). I have mixed feelings about this sort of book that comes to conclusions based on polls and statistics though. First and foremost- who was polled? The sort of men who would answer the poll may not be an accurate cross section of American men. Also- they leave some of the most interesting questions unasked!! And, if the Hite Report (female version) is any indication, I'm not sure that it reflects reality. There have been so many times when I've read a portion of it and then shrugged... and said, well, I guess that's the way some women must feel. I think it's a mistake to read a book like this and then stereotype all men (or women) and to think that since 60% of men want women to lick their ears, you should go right out and lick your guy's earlobes because that's what he's wanted all along. I mean, what about *communication*? As far as I'm concerned, the majority really doesn't matter that much. But if I had a partner, *he* would matter, and he might not agree with the majority. ::Shrug::...whatever....

Losing Faith in Faith Biography of a born again Christian Evangelist turned atheist. Very good read except that the first part deals with Christian stuff which I find supremely boring. Skipping to the midsection of the book, he makes many sound points, some of which have already occurred to me.

Science Matters So far, a good comprehensible overview of science. Looking forward to reading more of it.

Georgia O'Keeffe Biography and picture book of the artist's works. I enjoy her deceptively simple and subtle style, sooo understated. Actually, I tend to enjoy understated things in general. American taste seems (to me anyway) to be rather garish, crass, in your face, and overstated much of the time. There's so much flash and hype and bragging going on that it doesn't allow for very much real appreciation or discovery. Geoergia's work was big, even oversized at times, yet it seems always to have retained some restraint and reserve. It has class. There never seems to be too much or too little of anything, always just enough.

While I'm talking about art, there are a couple of books about Aubrey Beardsley that I'm reading. Here again- economy of line, restraint, yet very expressive, graceful flowing lines. Besides, Beardsley had a sense of humor. :>)

The Last Great American Hobo I'm not sure about the title. There are still a lot of hobos out there. I've met them. Lots of black and white know, what irks me to no end about this book is that there isn't a single picture of any hobos, including the one featured, riding a train, or even hitchhiking for that matter. I'd have to look again, but I don't think there's even a picture of a freight train in the book. There are many, many pics of hobo jungles...but a jungle is merely a stopping place between rides. I mean, the main difference between a hobo and a bum is that the hobo rides trains. The bum just gets drunk, panhandles, and sleeps on the ground or inder bridges or whatever, all of which the hobo may also do, but he rides trains. How in the heck can a book about a hobo not feature guys getting on and off trains, the distinctions between different trains and cars and railroads, and so on? You can't. I guess the title sounded better than- The Last Great American Bum

The Secretariat Factor I picked this one up partly becuase I like horses, but mostly because it's about Secertariat's history as a stallion and his use in breeding programs. I wanted to compare this with dairy goat breeding programs. Unfortunately, the book was written while there were only two or three years worth of foals from him. Why didn't the author wait until more was known and there was something interesting to write about? It seems, so far, that the stallion wasn't as prepotent as they'd have liked him to be. None of his offspring really equalled him, at least not during the itme the book was written. Which begs the question- Hello? Linebreeding, anyone?? If I had had the opportunity, I'd have taken a granddaughter and breed her back to him, if not a daughter. I remember reading that after Secretariat died, they did an autopsy to try to determine what made him so great, and his heart was a LOT larger than normal, and they thought that must have been a key factor. Perhaps he was an anomaly and it wasn't a heritable trait. it certainly explains why colts who looked a lot like him didn't run as well as he did.

There are also a couple of philosophy books I've been flicking through, not exhaustively by any means.

Also The Sun magazine. I love this magazine. I picked up a stack of them from the library's free rack. They're great.

Oh! Not to forget- Chess in a Nutshell by Fred Reinfeld. I love Reinfeld's books. They demystify chess, and you don't have to decipher all sorts of obscure codes and reasoning to make sense of it. I never much enjoyed chess until someone gave me a few Reinfeld books several years ago. I've been working through the openings. There must be a book like this somewhere about Go. It irks me that I lose so consistentl and miserably at that's like I'm missing some vital facet of the game.

Past midnight now...I need to go feed the goats and take a bath before turning in.

Friday, December 19, 2003

First day of Chanukah! Umm, no I'm not Jewish. I'm not even religiously inclined anymore. But for some odd reason I'm still Jewishly oriented despite the preponderence of gentile blood in my veins. I've considered conversion, even recently. But then I had to sit down and ponder exactly what the point would be. I mean, we're talking about an ancient, 4,000 year old religion based on a patriarchal god and the people who wrote down what they thought he told them. I don't even particularly believe in god any longer, at least not in the conventional sense of a god with a personality who's interested in humans. So why the heady attraction to Judaism? Danged if I know, but there is something about it that feels like coming home, it *feels* familiar. Isn't that irrational? At any rate, I celebrate Chanukah, menorah and all.

Tangents: I figured out a way (at last!) to deal with my long hair without shaving my head. Long hair is nice. It's sexy. Men like it. I like it...sometimes... It can be fun to play with and braid and swish around and pin times. Mostly it's such a pain I spend inordinate amounts of time trying to restrain these strands that keep sweeping down into my field of vision, getting in my way, and generally feeling uncontrollable and messy. The notion of hacking it all off and spiking what was left became more attractive by the day- my 11 month old offspring delights in waking me up by tearing handfuls of it out of my scalp, and clutching fistfuls of it throughout the day. But- today I discovered a solution. Twist it all up inside a hat or cap. Easy. No hairpins scratching my scalp. No ponytails loosening up and having to be redone over and over and over. No hair straggling into my eyes. Just a nice, neat little hat. Yes. This is sublime. Perhaps Amish women with their little black bonnets are onto something after all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Amazing isn't it...

How you can go through life with a heavy burden, realize that it isn't really necessary to carry it any longer, and still feel anxious about letting it go? Guilt is such a powerful motivator. I've made so many stupid, stupid moves, decisions that have all but ruined my life, based primarily on guilt and a sense of obligation towards someone else's feelings. What about my feelings? Why in the hell didn't they matter?

I was afraid. Afraid of retribution, afraid of people breaking down into tears, afraid of having to deal with a nasty emotional mess, and perhaps, lazy. It was so much easier just to go along with whatever someone else wanted and not to rock the boat than to put up with a temper tantrum. I don't like having to deal with emotional confrontations, and I got into the habit of smoothing things over, of placating people and going along with their plan unless there was some life-threatening reason not to (ummm, and sometimes even when there was.

Well, it's pay up time. I'm now in a position where everyone expects me to be compliant, where unless I can come up with a damned good reason, I should do it their way, every time. The prospect of doing this for a moment longer is intolerable, so clearly something has to be done, and quickly...AND I've got to be on guard for adapting myself to someone else's views, because that's the pattern my brain has become so accustomed to. It's gotten to the point where I practically beg people to tell me what to do and to dominate me. *SIGH* This is just fricking pathetic.

And like the chess games that I lose night after night, maybe it's too late. Maybe I've lost too many opportunities, made too many bad moves, sacrificed things I should have kept, gotten myself backed into a corner and used up my assets until defeat is the only possible outcome. I hope not...

Monday, December 15, 2003

I'm finally back online again. It's sooooo nice. Now I've got a lot of catching up to do, including editing the various websites and maintaining the forum. I've been playing a lot of chess lately. It's hard to say whether my technique is improving or not; while I've definitely become a lot more aggressive, I still tend to overlook little details at very critical times in the game, which of course is deadly.

What else- I've also begun going to the food bank. I feel a little defensive about this, but on the other hand, I sort of feel like it's my responsibility to make sure there's enough food for the kids to eat. Also, I worked in a branch of the food bank for several years, and so I have firsthand knowledge of what goes on behind the scenes, particularly with salvage food (day old bread, past date cheese, yogurt, and milk, and so on, given to food banks by grocery stores). The fact is, the people running the place skim off the cream, the best of the stuff, for themselves. Same with thrift stores. Which isn't to say that the poor don't benefit from these programs, they certainly do! But an awful lot of stuff spoils before it can be distributed, and like I said, the best of it goes to the food bank workers.

You know, it seems like I've done a lot of work, in so many varied fields, that I should qualify for *something*. I think I'll sit down tomorrow and make a list, there isn't time tonight if I want to get any sleep. But the point is, I've done all kinds of work. I should be able to come up with a resume of some kind from all that. In the meantime, I think I'm going to start selling stuff on Ebay. There are a lot of books and various other items that are just cluttering up my life. I've sent an incredible amount to the thrift store, especially clothing. There's still a LOT of stuff left and I don't need or want it all. Moving it would be a pain. Selling it locally would be unprofitable. Just storing and keeping it all organized is more work than I want to deal with. If someone else can use it, I could definitely use the money. A stray thought: I wonder whether the advent of Ebay and selling used items online has had any appreciable impact on reducing the amount of waste and purchasing *new* things?

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Well, I've been offline for a good week or two because the modem isn't working on the home computer. I'm at the town library now, which is less than ideal but certainly better than nothing at all. Current mood: pretty crappy. I began the day by falling down the stairs and bruising my elbows and back (the baby who I was holding, didn't get hurt, which was good). I spent about half an hour feeling sorry for myself and the rest of the day despising the sort of mentality that would want sympathy....along with nearly nonstop demands and noise from the children. So I've escaped from the house *all by myself* and am drinking in an hour or so of solitude and sanity before returning to the insoluble problem that appears to be my life. I have tried and tried and TRIED to figure out a way to get out of this mess, and nothing I can think of works. Getting a job would work- if only there were jobs to be had, and something to do with the smaller children (or a night job which would be preferable. I love the night.) Day in and day out, finding some way to get on my feet and get a life is just about alll I ever think of (almost! ;-) ...) And then people come along, family, aquaintances, dearest friends even, and say something along the lines of..."Well, I'm sure you could leave if you really wanted to! You just have to make up your mind and then do it!" or "Why don't you sell alll the goats?" or "I think you should stay there for the sake of the children. If you sold the goats and kept the house clean, everything would be better", or, OR, OR!!! I get so sick and tired of it... Sometimes I feel like giving the whole world the bird and screaming *FUCK*YOU*!!!! Why in the heck do they seem to think I'd be happy living *their* life? I don't want their life, I want mine, thank you very much.... And as for thinking it through and sheer willpower...geez....pure stubborness is the only reason I'm still around, and as I said before, I obsess day and night about ways to get free of this. Maintaining a facade of politeness can be very difficult, but I have to; I can't really afford to piss people off just now. On the positive side, I don't ever think about suicide any more. I've decided I want to live and if that's inconvenient, too bad- I'm sticking around and going to find a way out of this.


I dreamt that I saw a man...but he was sitting with a bunch of other people we knew. There was an empty seat near him, but I was afraid to take it, afraid he or someone else might notice I liked him, afraid he wouldn't want me sitting near him. So I went away...decided to go to bed...there were several beds in the room and I crawled across an empty one, but he was in it...he drew me into his arms and I was happy.

Dreamt that I was with a group of people on a tour. A man was showing us through rooms and corridors. As the tour went on, the corridors became dark underground hallways, labyrinthlike, and there were fewer people. Then there was no one but myself, and the man, and the gloomy passages, one door opening into one hall, then another. I began to think I'd like to go back, tried to remember the way I'd come in, we come so far it was difficult to tell. I turned around, and the man was shutting the door, leaving me alone in the darkness, only his hand showing and pressing the door shut. Panicking, I beat on the door screamed at him- 'Don't shut me in! Don't shut me in!' Claustrophobic....I got that door open, rushed to the next, he was already closing that one... and so on.... then the tunnel closed in around me until my entire body was enclosed and it squeezed me. Only my feet emerged. Someone was pulling on them. And I thought...this is what being born is like...