Saturday, December 18, 2010


I've realized's not really a new idea, and I have "realized" it before. And I know others have heard/realized/thought of this too....

But you know what the trouble is with the world? Differences. We all learned when we were little, and it has been reiterated throughout the years, that tolerance is good - that everyone is different - that diversity is a very good thing.

Yet, wars are being waged. People are being killed. Others are homeless, jobless, unable to obtain proper health care or education ... all due to differences. Whether it's their color, their religion, their gender, their sexual orientation, their manner of speech, their age, or some other physical or perceived "class" difference.

Why? Is it a crime to be different? From what I learned in school and church, no. Some say God created all men (and women) equal. The civil rights act of 1964 (it took till 1964!!!!) attempted to reinforce that equality.

As for diversity, I found this on a simple google search:
Definition of Diversity

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect.
It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration
of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

And how about the UK there are:
The Equal Pay Act 1970
The Sex Discrimination Act 1975
The Race Relations Act 1976
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995

All these laws and acts and such to try and get people to treat others with respect and dignity. I feel it is a very sad thing that we must TELL everyone to be nice. (And at this time I won't go into the question of - who has the RIGHT to say how others are to be treated?) I understand that there are powerful people, and power-hungry people, and of course there are people who decide to do harm and evil. I know that there is no such thing as a utopia where everyone is happy, healthy, friendly, and content. Progress cannot be made if there is not some sort of impetus to CHANGE something - whether it's improving food, housing, transportation, entertainment, etc. - but must that change always come with contention?

I know we are all emotional beings....but what a beautiful world it would be if we were all "color" blind, "gender" blind, "religiously" blind, "socially" blind, and just accepted everyone as special, unique, impressive individuals.

Open your heart and mind to your fellow human beings...after all is said and done - we all live on the same planet. Happy Holidays.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dreams and Storys

Every now and then I have really involved, realistic, and ultra detailed dreams. Ones I'll wake up thinking about, and later - maybe in the day, in the week, or even later - I'll catch myself thinking about a specific scene from the dream. I even have "flashbacks" to dreams I had months ago.

In one, I was driving on a road that went along a lake/ocean, with long grass on either side of the road....I still see that scene in my head.

Another one - dark woods, with a house where I have to stay, even though there are other houses near by.

As usual, the words I write here just don't express the vividness and views of the dreams. And that's something that riles me. I mean, I've had stories in my head forever....And while I've tried, and almost succeeded at times, to write them down so others can share them - I never can figure out how to really get the story down, to put what is in my head down onto paper....and that riles and saddens me at the same time, because I think people would really enjoy my stories.

So - any advice on how to put dreams down onto paper?

Oh, and happy holidays. How are you spending yours? What are you celebrating (Hanuka, solstice, Christmas)??

Sunday, October 24, 2010

What do you do?

On a recent weekday I had very similar situations happen on both my morning and my evening commutes, and it got me thinking.

I rode my first bus down, got off and transferred to the next bus. I chose a seat mid-way back, noticing that the front, center-facing seats were rather empty but for two men. Shortly after the bus started moving, one man (the rather gray-haired white man) started just yammering about black people and how they were not treated right and that Jesse Jackson had some good things to say...and that black people weren't less intelligent - that his nurse told him that you shouldn't judge someone on their IQ, because everyone was human....

This went on throughout the rest of my ride on the bus. People got on the bus, heard him ranting, and moved to the back of the bus. He tried to make eye contact with people, but they (and I) looked away - unsure what to do, or just uncomfortable with the situation.

Then, that evening--again on the 2nd bus--I got on, found a seat, and promptly was treated to a similar situation. This time it was a black guy just ranting - at and about the bus was being driven, who had gotten on, what the weather was like...all at the top of his lungs with a LISP. And again, he tried to draw people into his world. I tried not to look in his direction - which was kind of hard, since he was directly in front of me and facing my direction.

I know these people are people, harmless more than likely. They deserve respect, honesty, and caring....but when you're on a bus confronted by do you respond? If you speak to them, sometimes they just get more vocal, more into their delusion. But if you don't, if you ignore them....does that make you unfeeling? Uninterested? Uncaring?

It's kind of sad in today's world that these people, who probably should be someplace caring, taking the proper meds, getting the right counseling, being cared for...that they're out in the regular world usually because they can't afford proper treatment. That's the majority of our homeless situation (that, and the delightful economy taking people's homes and jobs)....institutions and hospitals who can't keep someone where they need to be because insurance or other funds are not willing to pay anything any more.

Anyhow. I'm just curious about how other people would handle these situations.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Two in one day! ...a Q&A

Proust Questionnaire
This is the version of the famous set of interview questions that appears at the back of Vanity Fair every month. It was fun to think through.

Proust Questionnaire (Vanity Fair Version)

Marian's Answers

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Being held in my husband’s arms while enjoying a beautiful sunset.

What is your greatest fear?
That America will never learn to use its intelligence, talent, and bountiful resources for the true betterment of its OWN people.

What historical figure do you most identify with?
I really have no idea……

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Lack of self confidence.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

What is your greatest extravagance?
Books, and an occasional pair of shoes (I just got some REALLY nice walking shoes)

What is your favorite journey?
Any airplane ride to somewhere far away.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

What is your greatest regret?
Not learning all my Dad’s stories before he passed..

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My hubby

When and where were you happiest?
I first realized that my (then) husband-to-be really liked me while I was walking in a overnight marathon, and as the sun came up on the mountains I felt so very happy.

What is your current state of mind?
Happily optimistic

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d have lots and lots more energy.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
That we’d all get along well enough to get together for a reunion every other year or so.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Endurance through despair – I may go down, but I always come back up.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
I have no idea what it would be, but I would HOPE that it would be a creature – either a wolf, or some other predator.

What is your most treasured possession?
This would have to be the collection of courtship notes that my hubby wrote me during the first year of our relationship -- and then he got them printed in a book for me.

But the opal ring my dad gave me (one that he had made specially for himself in Brazil), and the opal ring my mom bought me (to replace the one she bought me for my 21st b-day that got stolen) are also very close to my heart.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Where would you like to live?
Summer home in London. Winter home in either Greece or Spain.

What is your favorite occupation?

What is your most marked characteristic?

What is the quality you most like in a man?

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

What do you most value in your friends?

Who are your favorite writers?
Mercedes Lackey, Jim Butcher, and Anne McCaffrey…so far

What is it that you most dislike?
Lacking the resources to do what I really want to do (whether it’s finances, energy, time, or ability).

How would you like to die?
Quickly and at the same time as my husband.

What is your motto?
Do what you will, but harm none.

Sorry for the long pause...

Things have been really rather good - busy, but good. I've started Voice Over lessons and seem to be doing quite well, not to mention having a lot of fun. Had a great trip to Michigan back in August with my hubby and our dog - dog did a GREAT job, very good and no whinging at all! The weather was pretty good, and time spent with mom was really good. We had a very nice ceremony to inter my dad's ashes, and I feel that he's finally at rest.

I'm still working at the job I started in July and really really like it. I feel useful, important, intelligent, and worthwhile, not to mention that I actually LIKE the subject matter I'm working with! It's cool. I haven't been in a position like this in YEARS. And I know it's not just the first blush of being in a new job, since I've been there over 3 months now. I'm finally happy in my job. This is way neat.

I've also taken a beginning knitting class, and look forward to starting and completing my first project. I'll take pictures once I have anything to photograph.

My family is doing rather well....Mom is adjusting to being alone (most of the time, as is expected), and seems to be as busy as usual, though she's learning to "play" a little too now; a nephew just got his first full time job in his career field and is really liking it. (Good job Ken!!); a niece is really blossoming in a new tech/high school/college program; a brother seems to be enjoying his new direction into film as a Production Manager. BUT...unfortunately, another brother just got let go from his job. He found out at 4pm this past Monday that his position had been eliminated....and he had only started in THIS job last November, after being laid off for almost 6 months. Major bummer. So life is moving along with smooth patches as well as bumpy patches...much like life SHOULD.

Anyhoo...I promise to post more often. I'm almost believing that the really dark times are behind me for now...Yeah, I know there's always the potential for more, but I'm finally feeling rather optimistic. Cool, huh?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

new directions and stuff

So. It's been a while....mainly due to the dark times I was going through months ago. I was working, but at a job I wasn't really happy in...

BUT NOW....I've got a new job. Started on July 12th. I'm still a government contractor - but now I work for a different alphabet agency, and am working with some really cool people. And for the first time I think I'm finally in the job I've been looking for. I'm actually, finally, officially working as an EDITOR...not a writer/editor, not a project manager, not as a copy writer...but an EDITOR. I spend my days reading and editing some really interesting documents. Everything from 500 word articles for an e-newsletter to a 148 page document to be printed as a booklet. It is so very cool. I've wanted to be an editor ever since I graduated from college, and while I've had some interesting - even fun and challenging - jobs, they've never really "just" been editing jobs....Now I'm a Sr. Technical Editor. I'm happy.

Other happenings:

a) Started Voice Over lessons!! Woot!! More on that later.

b) Took Gomez to the mountains for the first time - as seen in the photographic evidence, he loved it!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

every day life

(me about 4-5 years old)

When you have nothing to say, say nothing.

Charles Caleb Colton (1780 - 1832)

Monday, April 19, 2010

I watch my life pass...

"Every man passes his life in the search after friendship."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friendship is a strange thing. When you’re little, all that seems to matter is whether or not you can find someone to play with, who treats you nicely and is tolerant of your moods. Do they like to draw? To play hide and seek? To run through the woods on imaginary horses? Do they share their toys? Cool – that’s a friend.

As you get older, friendship seems to get a bit more cerebral. Can you share your innermost secrets with this person (giggling about that silly stuff only the two of you understand)? Do they seem to have the same opinion of the boy who sits in the 4th row in music class (is he cute or a nerd)? How about fashion – does it matter to them as much (or as little) as it does to you? Movies? Books? Music? Cool – then that’s a friend.

Once you hit early adulthood – say your 20s, these things still matter, but in a less comparative way…meaning, you’re less co-conspirators and more companion like. This person is someone to hang out with – go to sports games with, go shopping with, hang out on a Friday night and chat with. This too, is a friend.

In “full” adulthood, friendship is a fragile thing. New stressors come along to test the bonds, see how far they stretch….can you fit other people into your matrix, such as a spouse and/or kids? That doesn’t always work, depending on where each of you are. Some people go full into family mode – house/kids/soccer games – while others prefer to remain “just” a couple (or a single person) who like(s) to be active and get out a lot. If you go one direction while your friend is going another, this can strain your relationship – either actively (maybe jealousy over time spent with kids or without) or inactively (a general drifting apart due to time taken up by other matters and a lack of contact). So, the friendship doesn’t necessarily die, it just gets set aside…sometimes forgotten or just dormant waiting for a much later revival.

Then there’s the horrible struggle to MAKE NEW FRIENDS. Once you’re in your 30s-40s, just where in the heck do you meet new people? How do you ‘feel them out’ to find out if they’re friendship material? Especially if you (or they) are married? Commitments also “get in the way” (again: family, spouse, work situations, sports, etc.) – causing the natural bonding that happened when you were younger to not only take longer, but maybe just not even happen. Yes, maybe you are one of the lucky few who run into MANY people in similar situations as you (a bunch of soccer moms, or being part of a choir or team), which presents many opportunities for forming lasting friendships. But basically – usually - Life happens, so friendships don’t. Sad thought, huh?

So think of your friends today – treasure each one, thinking of the good times you’ve had and try to make sure you both have many good times ahead of you together. Because once they wander off into their own life, they are REALLY hard to “replace” or “recover.” And that makes life rather lonely.

"If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself alone. A man should keep his friendships in constant repair."
~ Samuel Johnson

Saturday, April 3, 2010

15 years later....

And tomorrow I shall pay for it...

But today - TODAY I had a blast. I went out to Warrenton Virginia and got on a horse. First time in 15 years, and I didn't fall off or get thrown!! I DID realize how out of shape I am - and that my current "shape" is not so hot either. But Buck was a good boy and patient with an out-of-practice rider. I walked and trotted a lot - forgot how hard it is to post! - and even tried a canter...but 15 years of not riding didn't make cantering a really good idea....maybe next time (or the one after that....).

Why'd I go now?

My friend T rides twice a week out at a farm there, and has been trying to get me to go with her for a while now. So...with temps aiming for 80 and an absolute TON of tourists due in DC today (Cherry Blossom Fest., Easter, and good weather) I decided it'd be a good idea to get OUT of DC.

And what a beautiful day!! Even brushing a dirty horse and picking out his hooves was wonderful. I had forgotten the joy the smell of a horse brought me.... The facilities were good - happy, healthy horses, good tack, and good grounds. The only bad thing...poor Ruth (the instructor/owner) had her barn collapse this past February during that horrible snow - luckily no horses were inside, and she was able to salvage almost everything....but now she needs a new barn!!

So...yes, it's a long way to travel, but I think I might start doing this at least once a month...AND work on getting rid of some of this weight!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

*warning: pity post*

Having the reason to think about death recently (I really miss you Poppa-dog) I've been wondering about regrets. I truly hope when my time comes that it comes quickly - otherwise I fear I'll be looking at a lifetime of regrets.

Because I know that a lot of what I want to do in my life just won't happen. Whether due to financial reasons, logistic reasons, timing reasons, or just lack of follow-through reasons, I know many of my dreams will not come to pass. They're not huge dreams really, but they're just big enough to be insurmountable - in my past, my current, and probably my that when I look back on my life it'll be clouded by regrets.

Deep, profound sadness envelopes me when I think about my dreams. I just don't see any feasible way of fulfilling many of them. I know part of it is due to my lack of faith in myself - faith that if I really tried hard I could MAKE it work....but that isn't possible, because I have to be responsible, have to stay on the more profitable, logical course, and therefore can't go haring off after a fantasy. Bill collectors don't give a damn about dreams. And even though I have the goal to be debt free by the time I'm 50, I know I'll still have to pay the dreams will still be pushed aside.

So - what is it called when one looks to the future knowing one will have regrets about the past?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Get them mousies!!!


We have mice. Coming up through the floor....There's a gap between the hardwood floor and the quarter-round edging....We plan on picking something up tomorrow to fill in the gap, but what else can we try? That will only be (hopefully) sealing one room away from them....There's the rest of the house too - it IS a 1915 row house, so there are definitely other gaps and holes that they're probably using, mainly from the basement I'm guessing. Any advice on how to get rid of the little buggers? Or maybe you know someone who is a cheap but good exterminator?

Monday, March 8, 2010

at a loss for words

Sorry for the long silence....I still got nothin' but thought I'd at least put something up to show that I'm still thinking, trying to come up with something intelligent.

But nothing is coming to mind. . . . well, not nothing. Plenty is coursing through the gray matter, but none of it is shareable. It all sums up to self pity stuff again, and I know I am rather sick of that, so why inflict it on the 2-3 people who actually read this?

Flavoring the day: frustration, desire, loneliness, irritation, disappointment, wanting....and a wicked headache.

I am glad the snow is gone - experiencing 40+ inches in little over a week is just not something I ever want to deal with again. It really brought home the realization that whenever we retire, my hubby and I are going to have a hard time finding a happy medium in regards to environment. Not that he loves the snow - but he sure isn't into the heat and sun the way I am. But I'm not going to worry too much about all that. As of the year 2002, I've realized that you just really never know what's going to happen next, so you best prepare while also making yourself open to whatever.

Anyhoo. This isn't going anywhere, so I'll just say good night. Here's a quote for you to think about:

Anais Nin:
Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

deep thoughts

Expectations. We all have them. Things we expect to happen [grow older, have a job, get married, have kids (or not), etc.]; things we expect FROM people [respect, friendliness, dislike, indifference, etc.]; and things we expect OF people [respect, decency, interest, intellect, help, independence and/or dependence, etc.].

As life has recently shown me, one really shouldn’t expect to have a future – don’t expect things to happen … plan for tomorrow, but live for today.

But as for the people around you…an intelligent person I met many years ago pointed something out to me: NO ONE is required to live up to your expectations except for YOU.

But see, that works for the negative too. What I mean is if you try to NOT expect anything from anyone you’re still projecting your expectations on them. That goes for yourself too. Self expectations feed on comparisons. If you expect people to judge you as you see them, then you will be fighting a loosing battle. Everyone has their own definition of the world, their own interpretations, and EXPECTATIONS, of how people should be [kind/mean, happy/sad, helpful, etc.], who should do what [parents should always…?], and how they themselves should fit INTO this worldview.

And their view will NEVER be the same as yours.

So in reality, you will never live up to “their” expectations, which you have defined for them.

Hmm. I think one thing to try is to be as open-minded, -spirited, -armed, and accepting as possible. A very important friend of mine once said that he doesn’t DISbelieve anything, because anything is possible – proof can always be disproven, and vice versa.

This leads to the subject of dreams. I think everyone has a dream or two deep in their heart. Heck, many people don’t keep them buried deep, but let them out to frolic in the sunshine – possibly to grow or fade away. What I think is important is the faith and power one puts into those dreams. If it’s just a “pipe-dream” it will fade away – maybe leaving a warm glow behind full of simple “what-might-have-beens,” or leaving a dark hole waiting to fester with genuine regret. But if it’s a strong wish-dream, one with faith/power behind it, it has the potential to grow stronger, fuller, more possible in the sun – to potentially blossom.

And dreams tie back into expectations. Because the two overlap/meld/feed on each other. If you have a strong dream (not a plan, but a hope-for) then you start to push it into the realm of an expectation. Which can be either great, or dangerous – it depends on how you approach it. This is where the pain can happen – that you see the world through expectaglasses… that you start thinking all you need to do is really dream/see yourself in a situation for it to HAPPEN -- thus expecting circumstances to help things along. Those circumstances do not happen. Nothing will come along and help you get to where you want to be. It’s all up to you.

And that’s where faith and power come in, but it has to be faith in yourself and the self-power to act in/on your own behalf.

Because in the end

you are IT.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

And now for something completely different....

I realized today that I didn't post anything about the past Christmas holidays. My Mom came down to stay with us for a week - I didn't want her alone for her first Christmas as a widow. Oh, and I really like spending time with her too - she's an amazing woman.

Even my dog loves this woman!!

She flew in on the 22nd...just a few days after our FIRST major snow storm. Luckily back in December it melted quickly. We didn't plan a lot, just spent time relaxing. But one super fun thing we did - went to the Kennedy Center and saw Young Frankenstein!! WOW was it great!!! (Mom found out it was coming to Detroit and bought tickets to go see it a 2nd time, even!!!) Other than that, we met up with some friends of Mom's who have a house in Maryland, and then just relaxed the rest of the time.

Love you Mom!!

It ain't heavy...wait, YES it is!

When we saw that one of our neighbor's electrical wires was stuck in the snow on our garage, and that the weight was starting to pull on it - hubby to the rescue!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's Official

1) I hate winter. . . with a MAJOR passion.

2) DC has broken its past record. We have now officially had 54.9 inches of snow this winter...over 40" in the past week. The average for DC FOR THE WINTER is 15".

3) I REALLY hate winter.

Deja vue - or Here We Go Again


Yesterday and last night - at the beginning of the SECOND snow storm.

And today during the BLIZZARD.

Monday, February 8, 2010


You just CAN'T be serious....the Weather people are predicting ANOTHER STORM!!!!

Supposedly starting tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon and continuing through till Wednesday evening - this new one has recently been upgraded to probably dump 10-20 MORE INCHES ON US!!!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

It stopped!

The snow finally stopped at around 6:00pm today. So we suited up, and took the pup for a walk in the street. Oh, and here's a picture of the back deck chairs to give you an idea of the "damage" that over 20" did...The storm total is around 23".

Afternoon "delight"???

It's STILL snowing at almost 3:00pm...We're up to at least 20", and the snow is predicted to continue till late tonight. Wow. Things happening around here...a ladder truck (those really long, big ones, with the "driver" in the back?) got stuck trying to turn a corner - a wrecker had to be called in....also, a church's roof collapsed - no one was inside or hurt. I think hubby is going to shovel off the roof of our extension, just in case. I feel confident about our main roof, since it's all new as of 3 years ago.

Update - Saturday #2

Now later....this is from 11:30am this morning. It's still snowing. Note that the trail hubby shoveled at 8:30 is almost filled in.

Poor tiki - it's almost up to his nose...

For more pictures, go to:

Update - Saturday, #1

wow...last official estimate for DC was 21"....yes, that's TWENTY-ONE INCHES.

And it's still snowing. Really glad we still have power. Oh, and a plow just went by, so that's a good thing too.

From last night:

And this morning...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Update #2

Ok, now it's 10:30pm....and it's starting to get a bit windy. Hopefully the wind will knock the snow off those wires - and NOT take the wires down too!!

And out front...

The street looks really bad...and it's still only 8:30! I'm SO very glad that I don't have to drive anywhere in the next 48+ hours!!

Update #1

Ok, it's now 8:30ish....getting a bit worse - check out how those wires are hanging...

The Beginning....

The snow has been falling for about 5 hours now...not too bad yet.
This is at 5:30pm.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

snowpocalypse - take TWO!!

They are predicting 16 to 24 it comes again....I will post pictures....and sigh a lot.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"The eternal quest of the individual human being is to shatter his loneliness."
Norman Cousins

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"When the day is long and the night[...]is yours alone;
When you're sure you've had enough of this life;
Well hang on, don't let yourself go;
'cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes."
- R.E.M., Everybody Hurts