Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Poetic Reflection on Last Post

Venus Just Asked Me

For just one minute a day,
It might be of value to torture yourself
With thoughts like,
"I should be doing
A hell of a lot more with my life than I am
- Cause I'm so damned talented."

But remember:
For just one minute out of the day.

With all the rest of your time,
It would be best
To try
Looking upon your self more as God does.
For He knows
Your true nature.

God is never confused
And can see
Only Himself in you.

My dear,
Venus just leaned down and asked me
To tell you a secret, to confess
She's just a mirror who has been stealing
Your light and music for centuries.

She knows as does Hafiz,
You are the sole heir
to The King.

-Hafiz, Tonight the Subject is Love

Going Deep for Just a Moment

Maybe it's the lack of sleep. Or maybe it's all the incense and sage I've been burning. (My bedroom smells like a ganja factory. (We grow copious amounts of ganja here, and you're carrying a wasted girl and a bag of fertilizer. You don't look like your average horti-fucking-culturalist. Sorry, I digress.) But anyway.

After last night's stress factory, I woke up with a start at 4 am. Terrible dreams filled with CBL, USB interfaces, misfired emails, collateral pieces that don't exist and budgets gone awry. Sure, I probably could have TRIED to go back to sleep, but let's be honest with ourselves...

Anyway, I made it up and in to the office. I made it through the day. I conspicously did NOT go into CBL's office until our 1:30 call with a colleague. And then I was conspicuously ... reserved. I wanted to shout at her, scream at her, tell her that she had no right to infringe on my life, on my psyche. But that's not how the good little employee acts. The good little employee smiles and nods. She does her work. She gets stuff done. She does not ask for recognition or reward. Stifling all this, I got through a three hour meeting. Stifling all this, I made it through the day. Until 5 pm. At which point I planned to head to yoga.

NOW - before you get mad at me for skipping yoga yet again for CBL, let me say I DID go to yoga. And it rocked my world. More in a moment. But first.
I stopped into her office to say goodbye. At which point I mentioned I was heading to a new-to-me yoga studio and did she want me to pick her up a schedule. After which brief conversation, I mentioned, hesitantly "And I think at some point I'd like to talk about the expectation of email responses on nights, weekends, vacations, you know..."

And we did. We talked about it. And it was awkward. She knew I was upset. But I wasn't giving in. I had a stand and I was taking it. Ms. Insecurity that she is, she stumbled all over herself. I wasn't that smooth myownself, veteran of confrontation that I am. But the conversation was had, a truce was called and I left for yoga.

And then, yoga. It was a Forrest class, a style I'm not usually fond of. Far too much ab work for my taste. It reminds me a little too much of those classes the hot young things take solely to look good in a bikini. Thanks but no thanks. But this one was different.

The instructor was amazing. She talked about going deep within to your core. She talked about staying with your feelings as they arose. She talked about how good people are at "faking it" - to themselves or others. Don't pretend you have an injury or weakness to take a modification because you're tired or weak. Don't come out of a pose and rub your wrist, ankle, knee because you were really about to fall. At the same time, if you have an injury. Listen to it. Don't fake that you're fine or you're strong because you want to push yourself.

Every moment and every sensation has something to teach you.

And that's when I had another one of my friggin A-ha moments. (God, I love yoga).

So often in my days, I pretend there's something wrong. I imagine myself tainted, shameful, needing to detox or cleanse or heal or harmonize or balance or ... on and on. And, here's the thing. I don't really need to do any of these things. I am perfect the exact and precise way I am. Every moment, every sensation, I'm learning something. When I'm happy or proud or accomplished, I should not hide these things. When I'm achy or sweaty or puffy, I should not hide these things.

Every moment the Universe brings to me (and you and you and mostly me and you) the exact lessons we need.

We just need to stop faking and start listening. We need to start owning our truths, using our voices, being open to exactly who we are.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Channelling My Inner Elliot Garfield

One of my favorite all time quotes from one of my favorite all-time movies:

Elliot Garfield: OMmmmmmm
Paula McFadden: Is that it? Is that the last chorus?
Elliot Garfield: I am in a blissful state so don't bug me.
Paula McFadden: Is this going to be a regular routine? I mean, guitars at night. Humming in the morning. I've been in musicals that didn't have this much music.
Elliot Garfield: Miss McFadden, this morning I start rehearsals for my very first New York play. Probably the most important day of my life. Am I nervous? No, I am not nervous. Because I have meditated I am relaxed, I am calm, I am confident. You, on the other hand, have not meditated. Therefore you are a pain in the ass.

I quote this tonight, because, unfortunately, I have NOT meditated. I am NOT calm, not confident.

Someone earlier this weekend asked me, "When you get home at night, what do you do?" How sad is it that the answer to that question is often, "spend the night freaking out and screaming inside my head about CBL's email."

You see, when I'm telling CBL stories I mean them to be funny. They're amusing - to readers, to friends and, often, to me. But sometimes they're really not funny at all. Because, sometimes I don't have control of my life. She does.

Tonight, she was in all-out freak out mode. I can tell this by the way she structures her emails, the way she flurries multiple (like eight or ten) emails on one subject. The way she starts emails off with my name, like she's my mother scolding me as a toddler. "Miss Priz Mary Jane, do your homework right now!" She had a report to turn in, she's been "on vacation" for four days and she'd thought a database report I'd run on Friday contained the data she needed. Except she opened it at 7:15 and it wasn't in the format she needed. Hysteria ensued.

When she couldn't get ahold of me, she emailed just about every other person on my team. None of whom, by the way, have access to the data I do, since I am the only non-VP master user. I watched all of this happen, of course, via Blackberry, as my name got spammed around the Carbon Copy universe.

What is the right response in this situation? Do I just ignore her, stick my proverbial fingers in my ears and say, "na na na I can't heeeeear youuuuuuuu. It's past my bedtime"? Do I respond with my own flurry of emails, apologizing left right and center and proving myself to be the good little employee that I am? Do I hold my ground and respond and say "Now, CBL, relax. The report will get run in the morning and no one will die and no one will bleed out on the OR table"?

Yes, of course, that would be the centered, calm, meditative response.

I, on the other hand, spent two hours generating the report, screaming at the walls and generally getting my adrenaline and blood pressure up. It's now 10:30, my alarm goes at 5 am and I'm still hours away from relaxing enough to get a decent night's sleep.

Of course, there is ONE small thing that I am revelling in in the midst of all this chaos. It's childish, it's ridiculous, and GoodBuddy would yell at me and tell me I'm being an idiot. But that's not going to change it.

You see, CBL loves to labor under the impression that she and I have sooooo much in common. We're like so, totally, BFFs and so alike.

So, tomorrow, when she shows up to the office in her Ann Taylor suit and David Yurman jewelry, this is what I'll be wearing:
  • Purple pants with brightly colored yoga sutras embroidered on them
  • Purple toenail polish
  • A henna tattoo snaking (literally) around my upper arm

Maybe, just maybe, with all that outward expression of my inner self, I can actually find some inner self to center my universe around. Maybe.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Local Food

It's been rainy and dreary for so many days now. I long for the afternoon I can sit on my porch and let the sun heat my skin while I sip tea and read a book.

But there is something to be said for the grey, cool days when you find yourself inside a cozy, warm restaurant. Lobsta Land has to have one of the better views of restaurants in this city, especially when the places on the Neck aren't yet open. They don't have too much to offer the veg-heads of this world, but their open-faced portobello sammich is a real gem. Look how beautiful that presentation is. Yum yum yum in my tum.

A Guy Named Eddy

Standing in line at the now infamous Serenity Now! event, I had the pleasure of standing next to A Guy Named Eddy. He took the below photo of me and my crew. And he's got some very cool art and photo work on his website. I especially like the Teople.

Thanks Eddy!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Deed is Done

But now I'm going back to bed. Slept from 4:30 to 10 but it just wasn't enough. My body feels wrecked. Surrounded by kitties, I hope to pretty much waste the day away.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Serenity Now!

And, thus begins the allnighter.

Meeting the peeps - dorks that we are - down in Boston for a double-feature, midnight movie event: Can't Stop the Serenity. It's the fourth annual event in the Serenity Now / Equality Now fundraiser, to support the important and necessary work of Equality Now.

It's a really important cause and it's going to be a great night. I loved Firefly and Serenity is one of the best Sci-Fi fantasy movies, oh, pretty much evah. And it's opening with Dr. Horrible!

The problem is, I got about two hours of sleep last night. I've been under tremendous amounts of stress. And if I watch both movies, I'll get home, oh, around 5 am.

And, of course, Capt Joe wants me to swing by the docks for some French Press afterward.

I am realizing - in no uncertain terms - that I am NOT in college anymore.

Pulling an allnighter without the "assistance" of GoodBuddy? Can it be done?

We shall see!

Sweet Suite

I am a success. That feels obnoxious to type, but it appears to be true.

I just got back (yes, on a Saturday) from a very successful trip where our CEO gave a keynote address, our business unit President made a well-received presentation, CBL had a meltdown, and I got a commendation from not one, but TWO CEO's. Who rocks? I rock.

As mentioned before, I was in attendance to oversee a videotaping session for a social media "testimonial" project I proposed. It's a high price tag item but I think one that can be well worth the investment. We leveraged the fact that a lot of our clients would be in Baltimore for a conference and set up a makeshift filming studio in a suite in the same hotel. Upside to this is, I got to spend my entire stay in said suite. Sweet!

Here's a picture of the cool woodwork inlaid in the floor:

And here's the platter of AMAZING Berger's Cookies we got for our film subjects:

It was a much-needed upside to what was otherwise a very stressful, very intense trip. I worked about 20 extra hours last week to prepare for it and pulled three 12-hour days in a row while there. But I got a lovely note from our President (who I think is one of the smartest guys ever) and I was actually offered a bonus award by CBL.

Not only that, but when I had to share a cab with her to the airport (Universe, what up with that?) she said to me (and I quote): "So, you're taking Monday off? You know, you shouldn't even switch on your laptop or check your Blackberry. Really take the day off. You deserve it." (Which seems like kind of an obnoxious request (No, really, take the day off. No, I insist. No, I'm not thinking snarky thoughts about your work ethic. Really, I'm not.) But, I'm going to take her up on the offer.

So, for once, here's to getting the recognition I deserve.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Do You Have DInner Plans?

It seems an innocent enough question. An innocuous enouugh question. But there are so many ways to answer it. What it right? What is wrong? What is technically fine but actually harmfully in many many ways?

Today was the culmination of a months-long project wherein we have been gathering testimonial videos of many people regarding my product. I was responsible for every aspect of the project - securing the video production company, confirming the interviews, crafting the scripts, scheduling the events, and - the most painful of all - "wrangling" the talent.

It would be a tough enough project as is, outlined above. Add to that we were interviewing my boss, my boss's boss, our CEO, our partner company CEO, and several major big wigs from overseas. So, yea, I've been a bit nervous.

Given the amount of work I've had in the last couple of weeks and given the amount of "grunt work" I have to do on any given basis and given the fact that beyond all of that I am trying to manage the anxiety of this project, well, I've been a bit of a mess......

Last night - not surprisingly - despite going to bed nice and early and nice and relaxed, I had a fair amount of nightmares. I didn't get a massive amount of sleep. I didn't get a good night's rest. So when the alarm went off at 4 am, I was a wee bit groggy.

Tonight, after all of this, CBL offered to take me out for a "casual" dinner. Now, maybe she was genuinely trying to be nice. Maybe she just worried about making me eat alone. But, really, after all this stress, worry and distress, the last thing I wanted to do at 8 pm was hang out with CBL. Not that she isn't a nice person. It's just that ...

I'm sure you see where I'm going with this. It's what Therapist calls my "serving my essential needs." I tend to give precendence to what CBL needs (hanging out with me for dinner) with what I need (R&R). Of course, the tough thing is that, if I lie, I can't exactly expense the dinner.

So, here's me. Rock (expense report) / Hard place (hang out with CBL). It really sucks that she has this much control over my life. I know, cry me a river. Story of my life. Yadda yadda.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

CBL - Another Example

It's about five hours past my bedtime. Still....

I was all fired up when I got home. Positive social interaction and all that...

Then, I made the mistake of checking my Blackberry.

People want to know why I call her CBL. To whit. I sent my last email at 6:10 tonight. Nothing very major or pressing.

At 11:45, I had 27 new emails.

I have a conference call with her at 8 am. What couldn't possibly wait 9 hours?

Anonymity and Personality

Tonight, I went to a meeting for fellow CapeAnn Bloggers. It was begun by Capt. Joe and seems to be a great way for fellow writers and artists to reach out and meet one another. What struck me most about tonight's event is how, despite my amazing and seemingly innate love for this place, I do not truly belong here nor will I will for what I am sure is a long time. Gloucester has a long and deep history that is way beyond how gorgeous the sunrise looks from the backshore or the current political landscape. The town's history runs through bloods and bones, through stories and generations.

That being said, I had a really great time. I am sure I drank too much at the Cape Ann Brew Pub but the beer was very, very yummy. And it was great to chat with others who are involved with writing and the arts and exchanging thoughts and idea.

At one point, someone asked me, "If you're not creating, do you feel like you're dying?"


Yeah. I mean, yes. Yes, I do. Of course I do.

The thing is, sometimes, I'm too tired to realize that. Sometimes I am too focused on shipping boxes or faxing forms or filling out budget accruals to realize that I want/need/have to be creative. In some way shape or form.

What I guess I'm thankful for, is that there are others out there who share that need. That passion. Because when you're not being creative - and you feel that closeness to souldeath - you can feel like you're going insane.

But you're not. You're just drying up. Dessication.

I am glad I skipped the gym. I am glad I slathered on the makeup. I am glad Capt. Joey started the group. I'm glad I moved to Gloucester.

When the alarm goes off in exactly four hours, I might rethink all of this. But for now.

Tomorrow, folks, I promise, a more entertaining, amusing post. Or, back to the regularly scheduled programming. Cross my heart.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Only two weeks ago I was feeling like there was just absolutely nothing in my life to look forward to. I spend Saturdays and Sundays feeling lonely and then feeling like I have a million things to do to get ready for the draining a demoralizing week ahead. You can imagine that I wasn't happy in my existence.

And, while not all that much has ACTUALLY changed, I am doing my best to shift my outlook. Do my daily affirmations. Look for and find the positive.

Last weekend I had a lovely day with the ladies hanging out in Salem. We enjoyed the sunshine, the atmosphere, the amazing beverages at Jaho Coffee. They have some amazing artists on staff there. Witness:

But most importantly, the day out confirmed for me the things in this world that make me happy. Honest discourse. Reliance on Mother Earth for health and happiness. The belief that energy and attitude is what truly makes existence worthwhile.

And, sure enough, I had some amazing releases in yoga classes this week. I may have actually met someone. I might have made some friends. I've set myself up with a budget that, while restrictive, can provide me boundaries within which I can find true expression (that's a yoga thing...). And most importantly, I've discovered a new way to begin living on a day to day basis.

No, not all is happiness and light. Not all is fuzzy bunnies and fluffy lambies. But for the first time in a long time, I see the horizon of light and it looks like hope.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

If this were a short story, it would be funny, poignant...

So, last Saturday, I dropped the car off at the service repair shop. I convinced a dear friend to pick me up at the shop and take me out for the day. All of this happened before 9 am. ON A SATURDAY.

I dropped the car off. I left the shop. I got to a coffee shop. My phone rang.

They had the wrong color replacement mirror.

I bitched and moaned and shrieked and wailed. And, at the end of the day, I wound up shuffling around my schedule to get back to the shop. I gave up my work from home day and made it a work from the car shop day.

Which was today.

An hour and a half into my waiting time, I felt a tap on my shoulder. "Um, Miss Miller?"

This time, they'd ordered the wrong size.

What was miraculous about all of this: I did NOT flip out. I did NOT scream. I did NOT get mad. I DID laugh. A lot. Out loud.

What are you going to do? They didn't have the mirror. I couldn't make them have the mirror. The woman who was helping me was not at fault. And she was cute. And she caught my dropped hint that this weekend was Pride Weekend in Boston. (Ding ding ding ding). This now means I will be forced (ha!) to not go into the office for either a morning or a day. And, of course, it means that they're going to eat the labor costs.

So, every cloud, silver lining, yadda yadda yadda. It still means I have to spend ANOTHER day in the waiting room of a car service shop. Fun.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Now What the F**^ is the Universe Trying to Tell Me?

Here are the facts of the case:

This morning, I awoke from a very disturbing, very realistic dream, when my alarm went off at 5:05. It usually goes off at 4:45. I had gone to bed 20 minutes earlier than normal. Despite this extra sleep (and no extraneous circumstances) I was EXHAUSTED.

On my way to yoga practice, I stopped off at an ATM for cash. In doing so, I took the sideview mirror clean off the driver side window. The only repair window they have available is Saturday at 9 am.

On my way into work, I got a call from a program I'd contacted regarding their MBA program. They're still interested in candidates for the fall program, even though I'd indicated I was a likely candidate for winter. They're interested in my background.

I went to lunch and ordered the lunch special. Except they didn't have the vegetarian portion of the appetizer. So I could get the lunch special without the part of it that makes it special, for the same price.

I finally got off the train at my station only to find my car - complete with broken mirror - had been towed. I wandered around town for 20 minutes before finding the impound lot. They charge more than they do in downtown Boston. But at least they take Visa.

SO - given my debt level, and the fact that I am now looking at a $115 tow charge and at least a $500 repair fee. AND given that I might have the opportunity to develop my career here in town. AND given the fact that I might be looking at having a real heart to heart with CBL about my commute logistics. Does it still make sense for me to be registering for the three Anusara Immersions with Todd and Anne?

I can't make any decisions right now. I'm much too close to everything. I know that in yoga lies the path to my healing and sanity. But I also know that the $2k I've put aside for the fee, not to mention the 15+ nights hotel accomodation I'll have to book, could come in wicked handy right now.

I don't know what the Universe is telling me to do. But I do know that I am going to take a cue from past regrets and not make any hasty decisions. Time to meditate. Time to breathe. Time to think.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Re Animation - Literally

I still maintain A-ha! is the most brilliant band ever. Still, this IS pretty darned funny. Frunkiss!!