"[My relationships were] like I was in these movies where the script was only half-written. When I’d get to the end of this half-script, the other actors wanted me to ad lib. But I had never gotten the hang of that. That’s why these movies were always box-office failures. Six of them in the past twenty years. I always blew the lines." ~ from my horrible first novel "Learn How To Pretend." (unpublished)(obviously)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

And I Quote ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Maybe the fear is that
we are less than
we think we are,
when the
actuality of it
is that we are much much more.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Lady or the Tiger? Or the Strawberry?

"There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life."
Pema Chödrön (The Wisdom of No Escape: How to love yourself and your world
)

This feels like my life at the moment. Well, it feels like my life most of the time. The difference being that I’m seeing the strawberries and I get that worrying about the tigers and mice won’t get me tasting that luscious fruit. Of course, tasting that luscious fruit will also not get me out of the tigers and the mice. 

But, Tigers + Mice + Strawberries > Tigers + Mice – Strawberries.

I’ve been in a dark place the past few weeks and have had to make a very difficult decision. It’s a decision where no one comes out unscathed. The pressure of that decision combined with the fact that my work contract is nearly up for the semester has me stressed. Nothing new, I suppose.

And the Strawberries look tasty. And the mice might like them. And the tigers would like me. I guess the real question is, will letting go of the vine to take the strawberry make me fall into the mouths of the tigers?

Maybe it’s time to find out.

Chronic Worrying and Anxiety Disorders


In an article presented on the website About.Com, Cathleen Henning, a former sufferer of panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety and depression, discusses chronic worrying and presents some recommendations to those who feel the disorder may have taken over their lives. In her article, Henning delivers an empathetic presentation of the disorder, assuring readers that, while everyone does indeed worry, when worry/anxiety becomes disruptive to their lives there is help available. Due to her status as a nonprofessional, Henning reminds readers that a mental health provider must make diagnosis.
 Several warning signs are mentioned to help the reader distinguish between what may be seen as common everyday worry and an anxiety disorder that needs treatment. A link is available to more in-depth information from the National Institute of Mental Health on various anxiety disorders, though the general warning signs are synopsized. Warning signs mentioned include feelings of continual anxiety, inability to express the source of the anxiety, avoidance of anxiety producing situations, loss of interest in formerly enjoyable pursuits and immobilizing fear. Also mentioned are physical symptoms, including sleep disorder, headache, irritability/depression, lightheadedness and difficulty breathing or concentrating. Henning notes that conditions tend to worsen when untreated and highly recommends that persons suffering with these symptoms seek professional treatment.
 The majority of the article focuses on the use of cognitive-behavioral therapy as treatment used by professional mental health care providers, although, for those who choose not to seek professional treatment, the author offers similar methods. Henning breaks this therapy down into two basic areas, “Changing how you think about the problems that cause you to worry,” and “changing what you do about the problems that cause you to worry.”
 Common thinking patterns mentioned regarding chronic worriers include expecting the worst outcome in a situation and dwelling on situations that are unlikely to occur. Henning suggests journaling as a method of identifying negative thinking patterns. Negative thoughts, once identified, are rewritten in the form of positive “counter thoughts.” During times of anxiety, the resulting list is used as a reference.
In addition to changing the thinking patterns (the cognitive aspect), mention is made of changing the behavior. One of the major disruptive effects of chronic worry is that the worrier generally has difficulty in focusing on the tasks at hand. The sources of worry may often be exacerbated by the seeming inability to act creating a vicious circle. To break this circle, Henning recommends the use of a time management system. Additional recommendations include relaxation in the form of relaxation techniques, meditation and exercise as ways to help regain focus.
As discussed in class, anxiety disorders are characterized by difficult to control anxiety. They may also present themselves as maladaptive behaviors whose goal is the reduction of anxiety. Henning’s article discusses the differences between the normal worry that most people deal with and the types of worry that are excessive and begin to interfere with normal function. In this we see clear examples from class lecture regarding anxiousness and physical symptoms which significantly disrupt the life of the patient, whether it be at work, home or socially. In the Myers text, we are presented with a case study of Tom, a 27-year-old electrician. Tom “complains of dizziness, sweating palms, heart palpitations, and ringing in his ears. He feel edgy and sometimes finds himself shaking” (Myers 627).  Tom’s disorder has caused him to avoid or limit social contact, thereby interfering with normal function.
Difficulty in controlling the worry, presented in the class as one of the defining characteristics of the disorder, is brought up as Henning looks at cognitive-behavior therapy. The patient must make conscious decisions to overcome the behaviors. Myers refers to a study by J.M. Schwartz regarding patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Though the disorder is different, the effect of the treatment is similar. In this case, when patients recognized they were feeling compulsive urges they would verbally reinforce the fact that it was abnormal brain activity. They would then engage in fifteen minutes of a behavior they found pleasurable. “This helped ‘unstick’ the brain by shifting attention and engaging other parts of the brain” (Myers 671).
In discussion regarding anxiety, the class was taught that there is generally no specific focus of the anxiety (as in Generalized Anxiety Disorder), or that the anxiety may be excessive or unreasonable (in the case of a Specific Phobia.) Henning talks about common patterns such as the negative exaggeration of the outcome of particular problems as well focusing on events that will probably never happen to the patient. Myers cites a case study regarding a woman with a fear of thunderstorms (Myers 628). She would become non-functioning during thunderstorms, hiding from windows and closing her eyes so that she would not even see the lightning. Despite that fact that it is highly unlikely that this woman would ever be hurt by the storms, she displayed anxiety-related behavior if the weatherman mentioned even the possibility of a storm later in the week. This woman was otherwise normal.
An additional symptom brought out in class discussion regarded problems with concentration. Henning spends time on this issue and offers ways in which a person suffering from an anxiety disorder might overcome this problem. Myers also mentions difficulty in concentration as being caused by the patient switching from worry to worry (627).
Throughout her article, Henning confirms symptoms discussed in class and the Myers text including continuous anxious feelings, inability to control feelings, concentration, avoidance and disruption of normal lifestyle.


Works Cited
Henning, Cathleen. “What you can do if worry has taken over your life.”  About.com 
20 Feb. 2005 http://panicdisorder.about.com/cs/gadbasics/a/chronicworry.htm

Myers, David G. Psychology. 7th Ed. Holland MI: Worth, 1986

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Life to Date

Steering wheel on a ’58
’s got about eight inches of play,
so you need – as it drift
s off left or right – to spin it back.
Forget the suicide knob.
Just do your best to keep going
down the center line.
©2007 Rick Robb

The Healing Time

    
        
 © Pesha Joyce Gertler

Be healthy

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Great Art: Renoir's Girl Braiding Her Hair.

Happy

Check out this page -- it's pretty nice. You'll have to click through from the Pinterest link.

And I Quote ~ John Scot Erigena

"We do not know what God is.
God Himself does not know 
what He is because 
He is not anything. 
Literally God is not, 
because He transcends being."
John Scot Erigena (9th century)

Place

Source: flickr.com viaImages on Pinterest

Monday, March 25, 2013

Immolation: The New Girlfriend

Memories of searing pain
and months spent in
the burn ward
stay the hand, stop me
from bending down,
striking a match,
and setting fire
to these fuel-soaked bridges
at my back.
© 2007 Rick Robb

Thoughts make you suffer


Neti Neti


Wayne (Wirs) wanders from town to town teaching the ways of enlightenment to anyone who cares to listen. This video discusses how he found enlightenment. His Photo Blog can be found at http://WayneWirs.com

wake up!


Marah

Marah

(You’re so paranoid you
prob’ly think this poem’s about you)



She puts on bitterness

like she takes off makeup.

Not in one big splash

but a swipe at a time.

And not with a ball of cotton

but using a pad of Brillo,



Each stroke pulls her face

into ugly contortions.

Each adding to her pain.

The blue soap blinding her eyes

and streaking her countenance



until the lurid expression she bears

is from the shredding of the steel,



and even bitterness recoils in fright.



We weep to behold her.

“Oh, Marah, let it go!”
©2007 Rick Robb

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring fashion

Spring fashion:

Galeria Inno

Hermes – featuring their own luxury bicycle, of course

What if...?


Friday, March 22, 2013

Instruction Manual for Humans



I bought a cheap watch from a crazy man
Floating down canal
It doesn't use numbers or moving hands
It always just says now
Now you may be thinking that I was had
But this watch is never wrong
And If I have trouble the warranty said
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On


And it rained, It was nothing really new
And it blew, we've seen all that before
And it poured, the Earth began to strain
Pontchartrain leaking through the door, tides at war

If a hurricane doesn't leave you dead
It will make you strong
Don't try to explain it just nod your head
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

[Guitar Solo]
And it rained, It was nothing really new
And it blew, seen all that before
And it poured, the Earth began to strain
Pontchartrain buried the 9th Ward to the 2nd floor

According to my watch the time is now
Past is dead and gone
Don't try to shake it just nod your head
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

Don't try to shake it just bow your head
Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On

~Jimmy Buffet

Great Expectations

And I Quote ~ John Green

I don't need it anymore


It's not just this country, V.

Be satisfied

Source: Rick on Pinterest

Sweet bike!

Source: coolbusinessideas.com viaRick on Pinterest

 My only real complaint about this bike -- at least from only having seen a photo of it -- is that, with that insanely long wheelbase, that chain would be rubbing and snagging on everything. I'd be interested in riding one though and seeing how it handles on corners and steep hills. I also wonder if the gearing is adapted for hauling heavier loads.

There are options available for it, such as a cargo bin -- including one with seatbelts for hauling kids.

Shrink it



Source: grist.org viaDiane on Pinterest

Want to save the planet? Shrink your habitat — not just your apartment

A few weeks ago, internet millionaire Graham Hill wrote an essay for the New York Times about the virtues of “living with less.” Hill explained that he has but a scant six shirts and 10 “shallow bowls” in his 420-square foot New York studio — a lifestyle familiar to many non-millionaires in Manhattan. He raved about how much happier and more simple his life became after he ditched the 3,600-square-foot Seattle residence, the SoHo loft, the turbocharged Volvo, and personal shopper. Thus unencumbered, he traveled the world with Olga, an “Andorran beauty.” His life was full of love and adventure.....

Read the rest of this inspiring article at grist.org.
Or the original referenced piece at The New York Times.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Change

Source: Cathy on Pinterest

Truthdig - The Last Letter

The Last Letter
A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran

To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young

I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief. 

Read the rest of this powerful letter at Truthdig - The Last Letter

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Yogaaaaaaaa!


            The Power of Yoga
           

                The Power of Yoga infographic by infographicworld.
           

           
           
           
       

Floristic and Vertical Zonation in the Sandia Mountains

Creative Commons License
Sandias from Bosque by Rick Robb is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Source: Rick on Pinterest

(This paper was written for a class in 2005)
In an introduction to the recently published Field Guide to the Sandias, authors Robert Julyan and Sue Bohannon Mann inform us that the Albuquerque area is made up of seven different “life zones” or “vegetation zones.” Four of these zones occur within what is commonly accepted as the Sandia Mountain range.  Our textbook discusses vertical zonation in which “significant elevational changes in short horizontal distances cause various plant associations to exist in relatively narrow zones on mountain slopes” (McKnight – 289). The concept is that there is a distinct correlation between altitudinal and poleward-longitudinal travel regarding floristic associations.
            Julyan and Mann state that the change in vegetation experienced in traveling from the foothills to Sandia Crest is equivalent to driving along the California coast from San Diego north to British Colombia – about 1500 miles” (Julyan – 3).
            The authors note that slope and exposure also influence where plants will occur within these zones. The ubec slopes on the north end tend to be cool and moist, whereas the south’s adret slopes are sunny and arid. Diverse soils, as well as a disturbance history, create hundreds of plant communities throughout the region.  In addition, vegetation zones on the east side of the mountains will generally occur two hundred feet higher on the west side, due to the latter’s exposure and drier climate.
            Zones designations in the Field Guide are based on the predominant tree species in a particular zone and roughly correspond with zones mentioned on page 290 in our textbook. At 6,000 to 7,500 feet is the Piñon-Juniper or “Upper Sonoran” zone. This most widespread of the state’s vegetation types is characterized by hot summers and mild winters, with moderate precipitation and high evaporation. Flowers, shrubs and grasses are extremely important in this zone for holding the soils and preventing erosion. Aside from its namesakes, typical fauna include various cacti, chamisa, Gambel oak and Apache plume. In areas of water, cottonwood and box elder will also appear.
            At 7,500 to 8,200 feet is the Pine Forest zone. Also known as the Transition Zone, this region is marked by mild summers and cold winters. Larger Ponderosa pines becomes the dominant conifer, replacing the shrubbier piñon and juniper. This zone has the greatest species diversity in the Sandias, including wildflowers, New Mexico locusts, and riparian willows.
            In the aptly-named Mixed Conifer zone we see the introduction of a variety of fir trees, including Douglas, white, and subalpine firs as well as Engelmann spruce and common juniper. Deciduous trees include Rocky Mountain maples and quaking aspen. The latter tend to occur in disturbed and transition areas. Also known as the Canadian zone or the Fir-Aspen belt, this zone occurs from 8,000 to 9,800 feet. As a result of cool summers and cold winters combined with significant precipitation, wildflower displays are much more frequent in this zone; penstemons, wild geraniums, columbines and wallflowers being predominant.
             The Spruce-Fir zone tops out the Sandias. Engelmann spruce, white fir, corkback fir, Douglas fir and limber pine are the prevailing species. Dendrochronologists have dated some of the area’s limber pines to the 5th century c.e., as well as a Douglas fir to 995 c.e. Cool summers and long cold winters, combined with an average precipitation of 30 inches, make this zone an interesting contrast to the city it overlooks.


Works Cited
Julyan, Robert, and Sue Bohannon Mann. Field Guide to the Sandias. Ed. Robert Julyan and Mary Stuever. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 2005
McKnight, Tom L., and Darrel Hess. Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation. 8th Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall-Pearson, 2005

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I happy you ask


I happy you ask me home, my girl

and always we are family together

us get a magic play glow

like night love

~the friend


A poem I "wrote" in magnetic poetry words.

place

Time for a pick-me-up!

It's about time for a little pick-me-up from everyone's friend, Matt Harding.


If this doesn't make you smile you are a cold, heartless, soulless bastard.

Just sayin'.....

Quote of the day: Time to scrap the American Dream

 
People in China, India, Vietnam, and other developing countries are still dreaming the “american dream,” as if that dream were the ultimate goal of mankind—everyone has to have a car, a bank account, a cell phone, a television set of their own. in twenty-five years the population of China will be 1.5 billion people, and if each of them wants to drive their own private car, China will need 99 million barrels of oil every day. But world production today is only 84 million barrels per day. so the american dream is not possible for the people of China, India, or Vietnam. The american dream is no longer possible even for the Americans. We can’t continue to live like this. It’s not a sustainable economy.

We have to have another dream: the dream of brotherhood and sisterhood, of loving-kindness and compassion. That dream is possible right here and now. We have the dharma, we have the means, and we have enough wisdom to be able to live this dream. Mindfulness is at the heart of awakening, of enlightenment. We practice breathing to be able to be here in the present moment so that we can recognize what is happening in us and around us. if what’s happening inside us is despair, we have to recognize that and act right away. We may not want to confront that mental formation, but it’s a reality, and we have to recognize it in order to transform it.


~Thich Nhat Hanh from The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology