Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Got Stress. Does It Make You Itch All Over. Don't Scratch. PUNT.

Punt is kicking the ball before it hits the ground. How do you kick stress? Start with kicking the biggest stressor. Do not scratch it. Give it a kick before it scratches you raw.

Whether the stresses are people or stuff, stress can make you itch all-over. Kick stress hard and deep. Punt like in football to let your gunners do the work. The gunners force a guy to fair catch. You control stress. It can be a fair catch--not an itch.

A fair catch is a catch of a punt on the fly by a defensive player who has signalled that he will not run and so should not be tackled. You kick stress and then catch it and it doesn't tackle you. 

Football and stress have common tools to combat itching.

Photo by Orrling andTomer Scheib-Wikipedia Commons

for disclaimers by VikingsWorld on this youtube video

Photo by Pitke: a 5-year-old Finnhorse gelding nibbling his itching right hind leg, Wikipedia Commons
Related Links:


Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Myeloma. Bone Marrow Cancer. What do you do? Go to the playground.

You live. Day by day. Minute by minute. The clock ticks. You try to forget. Stress builds.

You live. How to control your thoughts? Some say faith. Some say ____________.

I say go to the playground everyday. Children keep us alive. Watch the children.

Go to the playground. Sit on the sandbox edge. Watch them play. 

Play is therapy for body and mind.

Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive) 15 Jul 1955, wikipedia commons

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thinking. Creating. Use of Time. HOW TO DO IT ALL? Receptor Ripples.

Solution to HOW TO DO IT ALL: Take the kitchen sink throw it in. Leave the faucet running. Then watch the ripples. Let the plasticity of your brain form ripples in its neurons. Be mindful of the wave action to sooth your receptors. Insight will come.

If you create this state of mind, you can call on it when you need it.

Imagine having the power to release ripples on your brain neurotransmitter receptors.
  • Every time you are at your kitchen sink. 
  • Every time you see water.  
  • Every time you see any ripple pattern. 
  • Even on a very hot day in rush hour traffic watching heat ripples... 
Create a Memory Trigger of Ripples.

Perhaps ripples in a tidal pool...
Photo by Hugh Chevallier. Children swimming in the tidal pool at Dancing Ledge, Purbeck

Or if you think better alone perhaps ripples in the sand underwater ...
Photo by Michael C. Rygel from

YOU CAN DO IT ALL. Use ripples on your receptors. Ripples are everywhere.

Some ripple links:
Dancing Ledge and World Heritage site on your doorstep
Wikipedia on Tide Pools
Ripples in a Beaver Pond by fellow blogger, Kim Ykema
Isle of Purbeck
Ripples of Change by Sandy Penley, a fellow blogger

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Post Office by Charles Bukowski. A Menu with Intense Flavors. Choose one of His Dishes to Pass.

With June's book club selection, I selected the first novel of a poet. His life in Los Angeles, from 1920 when he was born to 1994 when he died, went through many social changes. These changes and the alcoholism, his bad acne scarring, his strict upbringing brought forth in him a need, a drive to write. So his writing reflects those different times and experiences. Just as Studs Terkel wrote of the people in Hard Times so has Charles Bukowski written of the people in their lowlife hard times.

This lowlife has intense flavors. No 12-course meals. During a period of his lowlife he lived on one candybar a day for the only meal a day he had. This candy bar was ironically  a bar called Payday. His first real payday was his novel, Post Office. It was the only regular payday he hung onto with the hopes of having enough steady money to continue writing.

Working at the post office began with delivering mail. But it helped him have money to drink, write and get very ill from bleeding ulcers and drinking too much. After he nearly died from this he returned to the post office to sort mail for over 11 years. Grueling grunt work.  During those years he drank and wrote every day. The people at the bars and race tracks were what he wrote about--he told their stories. He was their voice. Bukowski began also to write poetry that told a story with the raw intensity of life in the streets. 
Charles Bukowski, portrait by italian artist Graziano Origa, pen&ink+pantone, 2008
image from
Bukowski says it was his father that gave him the ability to write.  His father beat 'the shit out of him.' Bukowski says his father's beatings took away all pretense, all that was unnecessary. Pain cleared his mind. Usually the beatings occurred several times a week from when he was 5 until he was 11 or 12 years old. Bukowski comments that as the years of beatings continued he slowly over time cried or yelled less and less during the beatings.  When he finally stopped reacting to the beatings his father stopped beating him. Within a year or two later he started writing. Writing stories. Later  also writing poetry.

He wrote his first novel, Post Office, in three weeks for John Martin. Martin was a book collector who discovered  and admired Bukowski's streetwise stories in the alternative press of the 1960s. He proposed that Bukowski quit his job at the post office to write full time and he would pay him $100 a month for life. Martin remarked to Bukowski that he might consider writing a novel since novels can produce more income compared than selling stories or poetry. Bukowski found his own Payday, the novel, Post Office. Within three or four weeks after their agreement he called John Martin to come and pick up the novel.

But he had to wait five years before he could cash this Payday from the novel. During that time John Martin gave Bukowski 25% of his own income for 5 years; then Martin sold his  book collection of valuable editions for $50,000. Just as this last money was almost gone, the publishing began to make a profit. Black Sparrow press was in the black. Bukowski finally earned his PayDay, making a living as a writer.

John Martin says there is no other poet whose poetry has gone into 30 to 40 printings and no other poet who has written so much poetry. Here is just a few stanzas of Bukowski's  poem called
Dinosauria, we

born like this
into this
as the chalk faces smile
as Mrs. Death laughs
as the elevators break
as political landscapes dissolve
as the supermarket bag boy holds a college degree
as the oily fish spit out their oily prey
as the sun is masked

we are
born like this
into this
into these carefully mad wars
into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
into bars where people no longer speak to each other
into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings

born into this
into hospitals which are so expensive that it is cheaper to die
into lawyers who charge so much it's cheaper to plead guilty
into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
into a  place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes...

You can get a sense of who he was from some films. There is the documentary film on his life, Bukowski: Born into this. There are poetry readings. One reading is titled Bukowski at Bellevue. Also there are two DVDs called The Charles Bukowski Tapes: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. These are film clips of Bukowski during the filming of, Barfly, which Bukowski wrote. All these films are in Netflix.

Bukowski is complex. He had to drink to face people. He wrote of so many intense human emotions but John Martin says Bukowski could not approach a stranger and wouldn't be able to engage in every day small talk.

I would encourage you to read some of his poetry if you cannot get a copy of the novel. Some say his poetry during the 1970s reflect his best voice. But his later poetry gives voice to all the frailties ... being alone, being sick, writing to Lady Death.

Survey the large Bukowski menu and choose your meal, an experience that you can relate to. If the critics are right people will still be reading Bukowski just as we continue to read Shakespeare today. Many say he is not a 'Beat' Generation poet though some label him so. Bukowski's poetry has a timeless quality. You can see that in theDinosauria, We poem. His writing flavors are intense. I am curious what flavor appeals to you and which of his dishes you are going bring to the book club table.

Here's a Link to the youtube list of Charles Bukowski Poetry Reading. Almost 300.
Also see my previous blogs posts on Charles Bukowski by searching my blog with his name in the search box.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Michigan may Reduce Funding to Universities w Unmarried Partner Benefits. Knock. Knock. Who's There?

Protect Michigan's Universities and Families

By Stella Sunstein
To be delivered to: The Michigan State House, The Michigan State Senate and Governor Rick Snyder
“David Agema's amendment penalizing universities over same-sex benefits violates the universities' budgetary autonomy, interferes with their academic freedom, and penalizes all unmarried couples, particularly those who are not allowed to marry in the first place. Any further cuts in state funding will directly harm Michigan students and their families. Please ensure that the reconciliation process eliminates this hate-driven legislation.”
The Michigan House Republicans recently approved an amendment to the House bill on education funding written by Rep. David Agema. The amendment proposes that the state subtract 5% from the state funding of any university that offers health insurance coverage for employees who live with another adult outside of marriage.  
During a time where public education operates under increasingly difficult financial constraints, ideologically driven legislations have even less of a place in educational policy than ever. The amendment violates the autonomy of public universities and is thus a direct attack on academic freedom.  

Moreover, the amendment’s clear intent to divide the academic community is deeply immoral. Targeting unmarried couples, and by intent particularly gay and lesbian families, at a time where every public poll shows significant majority support for civil unions flies in the face of the country’s commitment to equality. Americans, as a rule, do not want the government to tell them how to conduct their private lives.  

Middle class families already suffer from the rising cost of college tuition. If the amendment passes, the loss of funds may well contribute to an even steeper rise, thus penalizing all Michigan families in the interest of an obsolete sexual morality Americans have rejected resoundingly.  
The bill still needs to be reconciled with the Senate version. Please petition the Michigan Senators, both Republicans and Democrats, to oppose this nasty piece of legislation.
If you want to personally call Dave Agema, the author of this proposed amendment, his office phone is 5173738900 per the QUEERTY [Gay Rights] post.  Click here to read their conversations with Mark in Rep. Dave Agema's office.
If you are in a petition signing mood,  Click here to go to the site that wants to "Reclaim Michigan. Recall Rick Snyder," the Michigan governor. Note: 807,000 valid signatures are needed before August 5. 

I think getting petition signatures is a learning experience for anyone going to law, economics, sociology, political science or considering how to get an internship with a desired company  . 

  • Real life experience knocking on doors shows initiative which every employer values
  • Advocating a pro-employer stance of their right to determine compensation 
  • Advocating basic rights of unmarried partners...
If I read your internship request I would want to meet you to talk about your 
"Knock. Knock. Who's There?" experience.

A Soliloquy. Youthful Mercury. "What's this 'ere on the plyte? 'Knock and ring'! Blowed if they won't be harsking yer to 'walk hinside', next!!"
Cartoon from The Project Gutenberg eBook of Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 102, April 23, 1892, by Various, Edited by F. C. Burnand

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tired of People Giving You Their Advice. Test If You Can Stop Giving Advice and Tune into Active Listening.

I failed the test when I tried to stop giving advice. Short of zipping my mouth shut or duct taping it, it is a great effort for me to change and stop giving advice.
designed by
 So rather than focusing on stopping my advising behavior, I think I'll try a pro-active plan: to be a listener, an active listener. The art of listening is a rarity. It requires me to suspend my own needs. How do I let go of my need to give advice?

Michael P. Nichols who wrote The Lost Art of Listening, says "effective listening requires attention, appreciation, and affirmation." If I can learn to really listen then there is no need for advice-giving. The person to whom I am listening will instead form their own solutions.

Can you imagine how much attention, appreciation and affirmation I can show if I said, "Take Your Time -- I'm listening." Listening is not a one-way street - it like a two-way radio or satellite which sends and receives signals. 

When a person talks to me and I am listening, I need to tune into their channel and reflect back what that person said, their original signal. Why? Because my own signal is so strong the other person's channel has static and I don't receive their signal completely. I need to reflect back what they said and check that I received the complete signal. I need to tune my antenna to their channel.

I need to practice listening with the people I have communication problems with. I guess this is how peace negotiators work.

Oh! How I and everyone around me could use more peace! So I'll not need to zip my mouth shut, but to open my ears, my radar, my satellite... to tune in their channel and check with them if I received the signal they sent without my static, my needs.
ACRIMSat animation.gif from (NASA/JPL) wikimedia commons
A Look Inside Michael P. Nichols' book, The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships

Hints for listening if you are in business or social networking

Hints for listening if you are a parent.

Hints for those in Healthcare

Reflective Listening Tips and Some roadblocks to avoid by Chris (WordPress), a fellow blogger.

Please share any ways you have learned that help or prevent the Art of Listening.
I need to tune in... having too much static on my satellite lately.