Looking for translation software? You're in the wrong place. But. If you think you might be interested in the musings of a cranky forty-something learning to follow her dreams, live without fear, love herself, and look good doing it, well then, hell, come on down!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

To Know Me is to...What?

Risk drawing back a nub, maybe. That's what someone who reads me on another site did. Draw back a nub, I mean. And all for the sin of being enthusiastic about my writing. One of the reasons I write is to be known through my words. And yet, when a Hannah Fan said, "Hey, I know you, and guess what, I like you," I sent a flip comment in response. It was "supposed" to be a joke, but after HF called me on it, I could see that the unmistakable underlying message was, "Back off, Jack." Why in the world would anyone like me? Clearly, if someone sees good in me, particularly on short (or no) acquaintance, there's something wrong with them.

It reminds me of a friend's daughter, who at three would beg, "Chase me, chase me," until someone took her up on it, when she would scream in real terror and hide behind one of her parents. Cute in a toddler, not so cute in a so-called grown-up. I invited comment, but when I got it, felt threatened and lashed out. Easy to say that "It's not you, it's me," but I'm not the one with virtual blood dripping from my hand.

Add this to my list of thing to work on--getting rid of behaviors and defenses that don't serve me. Or anyone else, for that matter. Maybe I need to re-think what I'm doing here, and about the information I share here and in other writing formats.

And, T, I truly am sorry.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

(Word) Clouds in my Coffee

How cool (or maybe vain) is this? SnapShirts puts the words from your very own blog on a word cloud tee shirt.

A word cloud is a visual depiction of content (words) used in a body of text. The word clouds we use at are arranged alphabetically and depict more frequently used words in progressively larger fonts.

...The Custom line uses your own personal website to make word clouds. For Custom word clouds, our software analyzes your weblog and presents some of your most frequently used words. You can edit this list as much or as little as you like, it's completely customizable. If you have a weblog, click on Custom and give it a try.

Thanks to Kyle MacDonald of One Red Paperclip for the link. And speaking of cool, if you haven't seen One Red Paperclip, you need to. Right now. Go ahead, I'll wait.

[humming the Jeopardy! theme song while I wait... Da duh da duh da duh duuh, da duh da duh DUH!!... da duh duh duh duh...]

Now, is that cool or what? Not as cool, maybe, as the words from my blog on a tee shirt, but still. Kyle started with literally one red paperclip in July 2005, and has so far managed to trade his way up to a recording contract. His goal? A house. All by trading. So if you didn't check it out before (and I know you didn't), do it now. You'll be glad you did.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Feels Like Spring!

It's 4:34 pm and it's 59 degrees. In Des Moines, Iowa. In February. Absitively amazing. I wish I could bottle the way I feel now. Eau de good mood. Something to guard against the dark days when I feel I'm in the "pitsth of despair." The sun is shining, it's warm, I've made real progress on my grad school applications and other procrastinatory items--life is good! On days like this, I feel capable and confident about what needs to be done, inspired and dare I say, happy. I love my life and don't get bogged down in what ifs. So if anyone would like to take on the task of inventing Eau de Good Mood, I'd be grateful. I can't offer any research money, but I'd be happy to look over your shoulder and murmur, "You go, girl!" at appropriate intervals.

Many thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

And the Hits Just Keep On Coming

Shortly after I posted my last entry, I got a call from Meredith about a proofreading job scheduled for today. Seems they wanted me to come in an hour earlier, that is, in an hour. I said sure, I could do that (I want them to keep calling me for jobs, so I try to be as accommodating as possible) but, crap--no shower yet. Or breakfast. Double crap. No time for both cleanliness and a full stomach: what to do about breakfast?

"Junk is always good ," I told myself, reaching for a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg. Then whapped myself upside the head with a metaphorical 2x4. Junk food? Junk food?! Seems that's all I eat, lately. How does that serve my goals of eating healthy and achieving a healthy weight (not to mention the one about eating breakfast every day)? Bad Hannah. Bad, bad, bad Hannah.

And that's when something else hit me. (Yeah, I know, my poor head. Don't you feel sorry for me?) Aha! I'm procrastinating about my grad school application and I feel guilty about that.
  • Procrastination + guilt = I'm a bad person.
  • Bad person + punishment = self-defeating eating behaviors (kinda catchy, no?)
  • Poor choices + guilt = I'm a bad person.

Which leads to more procrastination, and the whole damn cycle repeats. Endlessly. Or not. I just need to break the cycle. Must. Break. Cycle.

In case you're wondering, as I type this I'm eating lunch, a real one: a Subway roast beef sandwich with red wine vinaigrette rather than mayonnaise (6 grams of fat or less, according to Jared), baby carrots instead of chips, all accompanied by a lovely bottle of 2005 Dasani. See, I can do it.

Who's Afraid of the MFA, the MFA, the MFA?

My friend Kate was reading my blog yesterday. Said that my rant about being who people think we are rather than who we think we are reminded her of something she learned in Sociology last year, called the Looking Glass Self:
"Looking Glass Self- the process of developing a self-image on the basis of the messages we get from others, as we understand them. There are three components to the looking glass self: 1.We imagine how we appear to others; 2. We imagine what their judgment of that appearance must be; 3. We develop some self-feeling, such as pride or mortification, as a result of our imagining others' judgment." [Definition courtesy of University of Colorado doctoral students.]

I wonder if some of us (namely, me--it's all about me, y'all. Deal with it) place more significance on the judgments of others? Or tend to imagine that the judgments will be harsh? Note that this is based on how we imagine we appear to others. And on "the messages we get from others, as we understand them." (Emphasis mine.) If our perception is faulty or skewed towards self-criticism/mortification, then it's easy to see how someone (again, me) might avoid taking risks for fear of appearing even more stupid.

On a related note, I got a call last night from the Chair of the MFA in Creative Writing Program at one of the schools I'm applying to. He asked if there was anything he could help me with and I actually, so help me God, said, "I don't suppose you can help me finish my application?" Then we laughed, ha ha ha, and I had to confess that I'd done the easy parts and was procrastinating on the hard parts, the dialogue/statement of purpose and the creative sample. You know, the parts that really count? The ones that help them decide if an applicant deserves one of the seven nonfiction writing slots available? Why not just write in my dialogue, in big bold letters: "I HAVE TROUBLE MANAGING MY TIME AND TEND TO PROCRASTINATE AND THEN DO A HALF-ASSED JOB AT THE LAST MINUTE"? Yeah, I can put that in the section where they want me to provide evidence that I can work independently. Yeah, that's it. I'm sure he put a big black mark next to my name: "Hannah B., not a serious contender. Not as committed as those who have sent their applications in well before the March 1 deadline." Crap, crap, crap.

But I was thinking about it later, and asking myself why I was having so much trouble making myself finish the application: fear of failure? Fear of success? Do I not really want to go? And it hit me. (Almost literally. I was brushing my teeth at the time and nearly bonked my head on the door to the medicine cabinet.) I'm not afraid they'll reject me. I'm afraid they'll accept me, and then I'll have to actually go. Do. Be an actual graduate student. And that's what I think I'm not capable of. I think I can fool them into thinking I'd be a good candidate, but that I wouldn't actually be able to do the work required, and then, then I'd be exposed for the imposter that I really am.

Ah, but if I put things off until the last minute (which is rapidly approaching) and do a half-assed job (something I'm very good at, by the way, having decades of practice), why, then they'll be forced to reject me and I won't have to go! Brilliant! La la la--I'm off to finish my application!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking

Actually it was more like ten white chicks and two white guys sitting around talking in my Strategies for Creating a New Life Class. And that's all we did, for two hours. Where were the strategies? What about setting goals? Nope. We just talked about the book and whether we were or were not like the description in the book. Most said not. Or that they were on the borderline between one temperament and another. The facilitator listened to this for awhile and then said, "You know, I've had other people tell me the same thing." What? And you're still using this crappy thing? "But then they go back and re-read the book and re-take the test, and then they come to me and say, 'I never knew that about myself.' " Right.

Which all tends to support the idea that we're who other people think we are rather than who we think we are, doesn't it? And that just pisses me off.

But I still want a life coach. Someone to keep me on track, give me a kick in the pants when I need it and call me on my crap. Sort of a personal trainer for my psyche. I auditioned for Starting Over. I did. I, Hannah B., actually auditioned for a reality show. But they didn't want me. Too short, too old, too fat, too lacking in "coachable goals," whatever the hell that means. I haven't given up, though. Ilanya would make a kick-ass coach. In no time at all I'd be following my dreams, living without fear, loving myself and losing weight.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Back Away from the Claws, Dirtbag!

I was playing around on 43 Things when (ahem) I should have been working on my graduate school application and came across a buncha people who want to make people understand that declawing a cat is a painful unnecessary surgery and there are better ways to deal with cat's scratching. Whoa! Now that is a goal I can get behind!

Procrastinatress says:
First of all, the term “declawing” is an inaccurate description of the process. It’s not the “claw” or “toenail” that is removed, but rather the entire first digit of the cat’s toe. Please don’t confuse a “declawing” with a permanent toenail trim… it’s an amputation, plain and clear.

Now that this is said I think the obvious question would be, why would someone amputate part of their cat’s limb without medical necessity?

The most commonly heard explanation is “the cat scratches the furniture.” I’m sure we all know that any type of surgery brings with it certain inherent risks, including infection and hemorrhage. In addition there is pain and (sometimes lifelong) discomfort. I don’t think a scratched sofa is worse than potentially causing lifelong pain to your cat! Read on...

...for information on the the pain and discomfort caused by declawing, as well as tips on training your cat to leave the furniture alone. It's a great post. Cheers to Procrastinatress.

Come on, people. Cats will be cats and they have claws for a reason. If you're not willing to accept that, or to take the time to train your cat, don't get one.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Who Am I Anyway?

So, I'm reading People Patterns by Dr. Stephen Montgomery. Assigned reading for my Strategies for Creating a New Life Class.

For tomorrow we're supposed to take the "Montgomery Shorter Sorter," Dr. Montgomery's version of the Keirsey Temperament Sorter-II. (Which is sorta like the Myers-Briggs, but more simple. Or maybe more complicated. Who can tell?) Knowing my temperament is supposed to help me set goals and change my life. Whatever. I already know I'm an INFJ, but hey. Despite my desire to be Hannah B. Snarky, at heart I'm really Hannah B. A Good Girl.

So, I take the Montgomery Shorter Sorter, which is indeed short; only 38 questions. Fill in the more-complicated-than-it-needs-to-be answer sheet, and bingo, just as I thought, INFJ. Ah, but that's not good enough for this good little Girl Scout. Following directions, I ask The Engineer for "help." "Honey, which of these sounds more like me?" You know, just to see if our answers matched. Sheesh. And then, if that wasn't bad, wait. I'm not sure I can even bring myself to type the next part. It's too humiliating. Okay--no, wait. I can't... Maybe...Oh, hell, here goes: after getting The Engineer's input, I went back and changed my answers.

Oh yes I did. And the few places where we differed were enough to change me from an INFJ to an ISFJ. WTF?? And more importantly, I lost my place in Gryffindor house! Dr. Montgomery compares Keirsey's four temperament types to the four houses at Hogwarts, and changing my answers took me from Gryffindor to Hufflepuff. (He also compares his "Shorter Sorter" to the Hogwarts Sorting Ceremony.) I don't think so. I changed 'em back.

Which raises the question: who am I anyway? Am I who I think I am? Or am I who The Engineer thinks I am? And if I need to make changes in order to create a wonderful new self-loving life, do I need to change behaviors or perceptions of behaviors? I don't know about you, but this makes my head hurt.

Why BabbleFish?

BabbleFish is a blend of babble, one of my normal speech settings, and the Babel Fish.

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"The Babel fish is a fictional species of fish in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. A Babel fish is a highly improbable biological universal translator. It appears as a 'small, yellow and leechlike' fish. When a Babel fish is inserted into the ear canal it allows the wearer to 'instantly understand anything said... in any form of language.' "
And according to, to translate is:

"To be changed or transformed in effect."

Which is what I'm hoping for: transformation, deeper understanding and acceptance of self. But I yam what I yam, and there will also be a fair amount of babbling (see: all previous posts).

And besides, BabbleFish is just more fun to say.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

God Bless the Internet (aka Hambone, Hambone)

It's true: you really can find anything online, including corroboration of family lore.

For some reason (do not ask me to explain; if my life depended on it I could not), while sitting at my computer (read: fooling around rather than cleaning), I thought of an old family story, which goes something like this: Once upon a time, when I was small, my little brother (LB), who was even smaller, took an inexplicable fancy to a white, bowl-shaped, ladies hat. He wore it everywhere. Said hat reminding the 'rents and older siblings of a TV character from the early '60s, they took to calling LB by the character's name: Hambone.

Now, although I have pictures showing LB in The Hat (which also features prominently in a First Haircut story), I have no memory of said TV character or show. Or, by the way, of The Hat. The whole mystical Hambone-hat connection was just one of those many items of family mythology that I had to take on faith. Until today.

Today I typed "Hambone" into my trusty Google search page, and what do you know, The Hambone Gallery1 was the very first entry. And there was Hambone, in all his goofy glory. And a white pith helmet.

Which yes, if you squint, does sortakinda resemble the hat LB is wearing. (Are we or are we not two of the cutest children you have ever seen in your life?)

So the Hambone hat story, at least, is true. God, I love the Internet.

For added enjoyment, check out The Hambone Song. Photos and musical link courtesy of Christopher Gross's Sandy Becker's page.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Well, I'll Be...

...a Neo Pagan. Apparently. Or so says's Belief System Selector, and we all know that online quizzes never lie. But, a Neo-Pagan? Huh. Now, New Age (a 98% match) I can see, but Neo-Paganism as my only 100% match? I'm a bit surprised. You might even say that you could have blown me over with a Pan pipe

My top 5 matches:

1. Neo-Pagan (100%)
Browse Neo-Pagan related books. Click here for info

2. New Age (98%)
Browse New Age related books. Click here for info

3. New Thought (97%)
Browse New Thought related books. Click here for info

4. Unitarian Universalism (97%)
Browse Unitarian Universalism related books. Click here for info

5. Liberal Quakers (86%)
Browse Liberal Quakers related books. Click here for info

Is it just me, or does #5 sound like a contradiction in terms?

You know, this is way more than anyone in cyberspace needs to know about me.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I Want My Week Back

Things I missed out on/had to cancel:

1. The first session of my "Strategies for Building a New Life" class. Crap. I really need that class, too. And there's homework! Which I don't have. The instructor said I could come by long enough to pick up my workbook and then go home. I thought about it. I'd have had to get dressed and shower and shit. Yeah, no.

2. My Tuesday night writing group. Which I lead. And which meets in this House of Pestilence. It so did not happen.

3. Lunch with a friend, which was also a planning session for a writing group we hope to set up at a local prison. Bummer.

4. Babysitting PK's kids. And it was the first time she'd asked. "Sure, I'll babysit, call me anytime," I'm always saying. Only, you know, I can't do it now, when you need me.

5. Celebrating Valentine's Day late at a fancy-schmantzy restaurant.

6. Writers Night at a local college. (Okay, I wasn't going to go to that one, anyway. But still.)

And now that I can actually take a halfway decent breath without coughing up a lung and peeing my pants, all I want to do is sleep. I'm a tough mother to love, yes I am.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

*#@! Cold

First trip out of the house since Friday. Had to return some already-overdue library books and pick up more OTC meds at the drugstore. Came home with, I kid you not: Ricola Natural Honey Lemon with Echinacea Throat Drops, SudaCare Nighttime Vapor-Plug, SudaCare Shower Soothers (vaporizing shower tablets) and Robitussin Cough, Cold and Flu, for which I had to show a picture ID and sign on the dotted line (apparently neither my raspy mouth-breathing nor my doubled-over-leaning-on-the-counter coughing made me appear sufficiently sickly) . The Engineer, bless his heart, brought me some Congestion formula Robitussin the other day. Takes care of chest congestion and stuffy nose. All well and good, but what about all my other symptoms? Body aches, runny nose, headache? I think he forgot which one of us he was buying medicine for. I do not subscribe to the less is more school of anything.

Oh, goody. Time for another dose. Then it's back to bed with a book and the Vapor-Plug.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

(Curlers in Your Hair) Shame on You!

Apparently there's a connection between shame and feeling like an imposter. Found this quiz when doing a google search on the imposter syndrome. It includes questions like:

The thing I've done (or do) that makes me feel most awful about myself is...
If people knew what I was really like they would see that I am...


Deep down, I believe what's true about me is...

I guess we have to face false beliefs about ourselves in order to change them. Don't even ask. I'm not posting my answers.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Show Me the Money!

FAFSA filed. Cross that off my list of things to do. One thing down, 287 to go. Okay, slight exaggeration. Slight. I should get my Student Aid Report in a few weeks, which will tell me what I already know: no federal funds available for graduate students, but oh lookee, here's a list of lenders anxious to "help" finance my education. The confirmation page listed a frighteningly high amount for my EFC (estimated family contribution). Think they know something I don't? Guess I could ask if they think I'm going to inherit a fortune from a hitherto-unknown relative, but I don't think the government has much of a sense of humor. Here's a direct quote from the submission page: "If you purposely give false or misleading information you may be fined $20,000, sent to prison, or both." Purposely give false or misleading information? Yeah, that's not likely; I'm so anal I called to clarify a teensy little detail that won't affect aid anyway. Besides, if we had $20,000 just lying around, I wouldn't need financial aid, would I?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pretty Hair

Got my hair cut yesterday. Well, trimmed. Trying to grow it out. Again. Story of my hair life: When it's long, I want it short. Short, long. Permed, straight. You get the idea. I've always thought that what I needed was a big ol' knob in my back, like my old Tressy doll. Push a button in her stomach, turn the knob on her back (and turn and turn and turn) and she had a kicky shoulder length 'do. Push the button, turn the knob, grab that hank of hair and pull and, just like magic: a luxurious mane that tickled the back of her knees.

[For any purists out there who might be saying, probably out loud, "That was Chrissie!," no, I had a Tressy doll, Chrissie's friend. Tressy had black hair, Chrissie red, and Velvet was a blonde. My Tressy wore a stylish orange Indian-print mini-dress with a matching headband on her black, black hair. Alas, she met a tragic end. Not at my hands, though I did place her, unwittingly, in harm's way. It was very sad.]

But as I, a mere human, have no magic knob, I'm growing my hair the old-fashioned way. As soon as I manage that (or perhaps even before), I will decide I can't stand it and cut it short again. Story of my hair life. When it's long, I want it short--Oh, wait, I already said that. Moving on. I do not possess the blow-dry gene. Or the hairspray gene. Or the anything-having-to-do-with-hair gene. My hair designer (yes, that's her title), being a paid professional and possessing the added advantage of having two eyes and two hands in the back of my head, can perform the kind of magic that I didn't dream my hair was even capable of. (I used to say my hair had a mind of its own: it did what it wanted, and I tried not to mind.)

I left her studio (yes, that's what it's called) with big, pouffy hair. Too pouffy, I thought. But as the day progressed my hair settled into an acceptable level of pouf, with the still-shorter layers flipping up in a most fetching way that I can never manage to replicate. I was so taken with my pretty hair that it seemed a shame to sleep on it. I wished I could set it on the nightstand out of harm's way for the night. Which would be, you know, a wig. Still. It didn't occur to me until this morning that I could have tried my mother's fresh-from-the-hairdresser trick. She used to swathe her new curls and swirls in toilet paper and then cover the whole mess with a hair net. Quite attractive, really. And at least a moderate success.

Too late, alas. This morning my pretty, pretty hair has assumed the chaos and pathos of every other morning: mashed flat in places, standing straight up like Ed Grimley's in others. Really, it makes the toilet paper/hairnet combo look positively delightful.

You notice that Patricia Lynn Reilly's book is called Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself and not Imagine a Woman in Love with Her Hair. And with good reason. It would never sell. Women would take one look at the title and collapse into helpless, hysterical laughter that would quickly degenerate into tears and accusatory shouts until the poor things would have to be carried out of Barnes and Noble on stretchers. Probably under the influence of oxygen and no doubt heavily medicated.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

If I Only Had the Nerve

I'm quivering. Shaking in my boots. Or I would be, were I wearing boots rather than glorified slippers. (The benefits of being self-employed.) Anxiety? More like terror. Why? I just made my first graduate school-related phone call, a seemingly simple request for more information before hitting ENTER and sending my online FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) careening through cyberspace.

I spent nearly 20 years working in administration at various institutions of higher education. I know how to ask appropriate questions, what information to have at my fingertips. I speak the lingo, as it were. After years working in Admissions, deans offices, records offices, those at the other end of the phone are My People. Calling to ask for a tiny clarification should not be A Big Deal. And yet. And yet.

What if I sound stupid? I babble when I'm nervous. Will sounding incompetent on the phone create a permanent blot on my as-yet-unfiled application for admission? Will saying the words out loud make this all too, too real? "Hello, my name is Hannah B., and I'm applying for your low-residency MFA in writing..." Yikes. So I dialed the phone. My second-choice school, the one with the earliest deadline, is in LA. Offices on the west coast not open yet. Call my first-choice school, in New England. The financial aid coordinator is out of the office until tomorrow. Nuts. All that angst for nothing. God help me when it's time to submit a creative sample of a personal statement.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Let Pharoh Go

My husband, The Engineer, brings home church bulletins every Sunday. I may not want to go to church, but I like to know what's going on. After I rolled out of bed around 3:30 yesterday afternoon, I wandered downstairs to ask him about the sermon, which was intriguingly titled, "Let Pharoh Go." I thought I knew what it meant, but I wanted to know more.

Well, The Engineer said, you know that came to Moses, right? Yes, yes, I went to Sunday School when I was a kid. And, he continued, God said that Moses must go to Pharoh and tell him, "Let my people go. They have responsibilities to me." After many days and many threats [major paraphrasing here], Pharoh let the Israelites go but that's not where the story ends. The former slaves, instead of appreciating their freedom, complained to Moses about the tough conditions in the wilderness. They thought they were better off under Pharoh's rule, and even asked, "What? Are all the graves in Egypt full, that you had to bring us out here to die?" They had to let go of Pharoh, so that they could instead serve God.

The point? We have to get rid of whatever's in our way, whatever it is that keeps us from God, or, in more secular terms, from becoming the person we were always meant to be. Sometimes, nothing is holding us back but our own doubts and fears.

Ah, I said, when The Engineer finished his tale. And did the good reverend tell you how to let go of Pharoh, I asked. The Engineer thought. No, he finally said, he didn't.

No, they never do, do they? Imagine a woman in love with herself. Imagine a woman in love with herself. Imagine a woman...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I'm Not Who You Think I Am

I was reading a novel the other day, and on page 66 came across the following passage:
...what Vera lacked, it seemed, was the guts. Sometimes, had it not been a physical impossibility, she would have given herself a sharp swift kick in the pants. When she'd discussed this impulse with Simone, Simone, sagely refraining from delivering it herself, had referred Vera to a scholarly work on the "Imposter Syndrome." Which, Vera had said after a cursory glance, couldn't possibly apply to her, because she was an imposter.
(Jenefer Shute, User I.D. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005.)
And I knew, even before I raced to the 'net to look it up, that I would be a textbook case. Imposter Syndrome is described as:

...a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist even in
face of information that indicates that the opposite is true. It is
experienced internally as chronic self-doubt, and feelings of
intellectual fraudulence.

Read entire article here.

I took an online quiz, and scored something like 93 out of a possible 100 points. Do I feel like an imposter? Hell, yeah. Finally, a name to put with the feelings. If I can name it I can tame it, right?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

What's in YOUR fridge?

Getting up should not have anything to do with food. "There's no good junk food in the house? Think I'll stay in/go back to bed."

Food as fuel, ha. What a concept.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Testing, Testing...

From the department of WTF was I thinking:

Today I had my annual tests, back to back. You know, those tests. Yeah, nothing says I love myself like scooting down and putting my feet up in stirrups. Unless, you know, it's having my breasts crunched between cold metal plates while holding my breath and trying. Not. To. Squirm. Or flinch. Or anything at all that might require a do-over. Thank heavens for efficient and speedy technicians.

On the plus side, signed up today for a 5-week adult education course:

Looking for a life coach approach to kick-start a new life for
yourself? Learn tools, methods and behaviors for moving in
an upward and positive direction. Personality tests will help
identify characteristics, talents and hidden strengths that
may open doors and opportunities in your life. Learn ways
to effectively deal with current life issues and turn them
into opportunities for positive growth. This class is meant
to be fun, lively and results-oriented, enhanced by a life
coach with personal experience in achieving change and growth.

A kick start, just what I need. Or maybe just a kick. The sooner the better: I got some grad school applications that need fillin'.

Imagine a Woman...

PK and I had dinner together last night. Cheesecake Factory, yum. Discussed husbands, writing, fear of success that interfered with writing, general sense of being undeserving of the good life, how much we'd like to go on Starting Over or, failing that, find a life coach. Ordered cheesecake to go, wandered around Barnes and Noble. Picked up a book, Imagine a Woman in Love with Herself (Patricia Lynn Reilly). Opened it at random to the following:

Imagine a woman who follows her creative impulses.
A woman who produces original creations.
Who refuses to color inside someone else's lines.

PK snerled up her lip when I showed it to her. Still, it seemed like a sign, so she bought two copies, one for me. (I bought dinner.) Now I have to read it. Do the work. Crap.