Mixed Media, Mixed Messages

I don’t get it.

I don’t know ‘how it works’, so I ask questions.
I don’t want to ‘do it wrong and get yelled at’, so I ask a question.
I don’t know ‘how you want it done’, so I ask another question.
Your answers don’t make anything clearer, so I ask more questions…

I don’t want to guess wrong (and get yelled at) but then “You ask too damn many questions! Leave me alone!” and “You’re smarter than that – stop asking questions and Do It!

= Yelled at, anyway!

Wah-ahh-ahh! Sniffle – Tears – Hide! I can’t do anything right – I quit! I give up! I don’ wanna!
There’s no point in even trying…
I’m gonna go [eat worms].


“I want a(nother) cigarette… “

I hear that in my head on a regular basis, sometimes within 3 minutes of finishing one.

This morning, I asked myself: “What part of “I” wants what part of that cigarette?”   Mouth? hands? lungs? brain chemistry? blood chemistry? brain habit? (which one(s)?) body habit?

Is it the smoke? the smell? the broncho-dilator effect? the blood vessel dilation? the muscle relaxant effect? the muscle-movements of inhaling? the tiny little division of attention needed to type AND hold a cigarette between my fingers? a ‘cool factor’ (This is what a writer, writing looks like – from really old movies, don’chya know)?

Am I really hungry? thirsty? resisting some Authority?  …my own Authority? Am I bored? scared? confused? excited? (forgot one: horny?) (also: really, really relaxed ~wink~)


One thing I’m certain of, is that it’s not – as the sound-bites would have us believe – “all about the nicotine” — there’s a ton of other things (emotional, logical and physical) going on, too.

And a “smoke break” has a different effect than a cigarette *at the same time*. ~ Sometimes the best thing to do is to get up and get away from the project. ~ Sometimes, what’s really called for is that boost in the *right-here-right-now*.  When I want to stretch and widen my focus, give my attention room to wander,  “Must go outside” is useful.  When I need more focus on the project at hand, the last thing that would help me is to put it all down and go somewhere else and risk losing track of what I was doing.


I’ve been more-or-less successful in keeping to 1 pack per day or longer (20 smokes in 24 hours) but some days are far, far from that goal.

I do smoke much less when I only buy one or two packs at a time, not by the carton.  (There’s no longer a price differential, so using the “scarcity” trick does come in handy!)  Another “trick” I’ve just thought of while writing this is “What else could today’s $8 be used for?”

I can’t give a general answer to any of those questions because they’re all situational: “It depends…” is the only accurate generalization that applies! Maybe simply digging up the questions will help find more deeper answers, though…?

Bright Monday Blessings to you, my friends ~


PS: This article definitely shouldn’t stay buried deep in the comments: http://www.fluentself.com/blog/habits/smokers-edition/

I resent the costs (time, energy and/or money) of living within both my values and my limitations – a lot.

Of course, I also yearn to Avoid Overwhelm, but the over-thinking that I do – in order to ACHIEVE that – leads to its own special kind of Overwhelm.

And then, I resent how easily distracted I am. Talk about yer non-productive roundy-rounds


The list of things that I’d choose to do or not, if given the choice (which means I have to decide every time!) is huge. I’m trying to systematize my decision-making {link to Joel’s post} more of these, but so many come under “It depends…”. And my ADD-ish brain keeps coming up with more conflicts that add to the ‘it depends’ list.


Intellectually, I *know* all the tips and hints and platitudes folks talk about do work. But I need to be able to see the minute, step-by-step, check-off-able “what do I do next?” bits, and trying to figger ’em out for myself often leads to reinventing the wheel. (Then I catch myself doing that, and go through a session of ‘beating myself up’ for not skipping it in the first place, and then ‘accepting that I’ve done it again’, and, and … now it’s 5 hours later, already!) Do ya see what I did there?


I’m easily distracted by: feeling cold. being hungry. being thirsty. feeling inefficient (causing duplication of effort – mine or others’). needing sleep.  being confused. not understanding the why, the how, or the priority of a project.  too many “high priority” parts. not enough time. no “extra” money. not enough money to begin with. clutter (visual). clutter (energy). the “stingies”. other people’s issues. “I wanna do (something else)”. “I don’wanna do (this)”. technical difficulties. wandering thoughts. dirty dishes. too many decisions to make before I can even get started. forgetting where I was, before I got distracted.


… This post is a direct result of wrestling with somebody else’s spreadsheet-as-delivery-route, with DIY maps. That I only deal with quarterly. AND that isn’t accurately updated (by them) in between. So, I have to re-create/re-do most of it, every damn time! (Boy-howdy, do I resent the hell out of that!

I’ll probably edit the heck out of this later, but I want/need to feel like I got *something* done today, even if it isn’t what I really *need* to get done, so here it comes…

Art Project – or What?

This is only a small part of my “collection of boxes” (too good to throw away, or even recycle without re-using at least once, and they *might come in handy*, too, don’chya know). There’s at least one equivalent pile in the garage (but the lighting’s not as good 😉  and a smaller one in Small Room #2, upstairs).

Plus bags and tissue paper and packing materials of all sorts, in bags and boxes and piles… … … Not to mention the spaces behind the piles, where all kinds of ‘stuff’ had been living for lo, these many years.

I think I’m currently collecting Emptiness – feeling into the Space, but still being afraid reluctant to make it permanent by discarding the place-holders. (Also, I do have a sh*t-ton of artifacts to sell – and I WILL need boxes of various sizes for that!) How much of this is fear and how much is legitimate? I dunno ~ but Baby Steps Are Good, and Progress IS Being Made! <grin>


(sorry, @sarahemily, that this isn’t the one about Micro-Rules, but this leaped fully formed from my head while I was ‘first-drafting’ that one. )


It’s nearly 3pm on a Friday, and I have soooo many pieces and projects and gotta-dos that I’ve put off or ducked in the last month, that there physically isn’t enough hours left to do them all –

~ Commitments I’ve made; things that are part of the ‘keep functioning’ file; things that I want to “have done”, but not “do” them…

~ my route – commitment to somebody else, income!, ‘out of the house’

~ shower – (don’t think about that one too hard – ewww!)

~ packing for a week out of town –

~ laundry – several loads – so I can do the packing!

~ sewing – projects and mending, for myself and other folks (there’s that ‘letting people down’ stuff again!)

~ dishes

~ grocery shopping

~ pay the bills (and I even HaveTheMoney in the right account – so it’s clearly not just a surface “thing”!)

… and now, it’s 5pm – can I pretend this day never happened? that it’s still thursday?

of course, I know the real answer to that…

well, let’s get ONE thing done – post this – and then stand up and go shower, and then pick up the mags and go over to J & S’s – another commitment that I’m very close to blowing off … in spite of truly wanting to do it…???

WTF is going on here???

Bridget Pilloud just totally put-words-around where all these posts are coming from:

http://www.bridgetpilloud.com/blog/2011/05/the-aspirational-market/comment-page-1/#comment-3652 and her follow-up posts.

Check out her commenters, too – they’re also awesome!

Bright Blessings ~ K

Paint the house screens!  (Not the frames of the screens – the screening itself. Think of the intriguing back-window-graphics on hot-rods and vans these days… )


Take down your screens and paint a pretty sumthin’ er other on the *outside* surface. Use a light touch – you do want to be able to see through them when you get done.

Could be done with a brush, stencils, spray paint or even sponges – and any kind of outdoor-permanent paint.

Pictures, you say? Well, sooner-or-later, sure… but, I haven’t done this yet ~ it just came to me this morning, and I wanted to write it down before the idea slipped away… Any thoughts, suggestions or additions are welcome!

(Prompted by communicatrix’s sidebar on fake-flokati-rugs from t-shirts … don’t ask me how I got from there to here! It’s just one of those tangential-thinking things, probably with several steps in-between.)

Dear Bloggers ~ Please… item the second*…

Please don’t morph into a Product Monster.

It’s a very easy slope to slip onto – you’ve been writing for a while now, and having good interchange with your readers, and  “You should-could do X-Y-Z for money!” comes into your awareness. Maybe somebody says it directly to you; maybe somebody else’s post triggers it; maybe your Inner-Idea-Generator/Synthesizer comes up with it, with no discernible prompt.

And of course, once you develop a ‘product’, you want to let folks know about it, and how wonderful it is! But if it becomes ‘all you can talk about’, even your best right people can get turned off. You know, like how sometimes a new mommy becomes soooo baby-centered that you wonder whatever happened to that wonderful, vibrant person you used to know? Now all she has to talk about is the latest diaper-report? Ick – so Ick that you’re tempted to not answer the phone when she calls? That’s what the Product Monster brings up, too. For everybody’s sake, don’t go there!

How to recognize a potential Product Monster:

~ It’s difficult, if not impossible, to get to the meat-and-potatoes of their site, their blog, their Goodness – without at the least ‘subscribing’ to their output. Every link out there leads to the ‘squeeze page’, and there’s no links to ‘the rest of you’ THERE, either. How the heck am I supposed to know that I want to hear about everything you post, if all I know (and can find out) about you is that So-an-So liked this one thing you posted, and it’s For Sale????

This is a commonly taught way to ‘build your list’  – as if there really was a point to accumulating the biggest-baddest mailing list in the Universe. But if “Do something for ME first, then I might give you something of value to you” looks like “all there is”, it completely circumvents the vital “Know, Like and Trust” factor – one of the first things *I* learned about how to have an influence in the world. (Thanks, Felicia! – and here’s her current pages: http://communicationtransformationblog.com/)

… and the cut-n-paste, fill-in-the-blanks copy for a squeeze page so easily comes across as icky-sales-and-marketing-speak. Please Rewrite It, several times, until it really sounds like YOU talking, not a photocopy of a page out of a how-to book written by Scrooge McDuck.

Here’s one way to approach A Fix: http://tinyurl.com/4jclerb.  Colleen addresses “public speaking” here, but the principles apply in any communication context.


I love you, and the Universe loves you, and we all want you to succeed (however you define that), but not at the apparent cost of your Heart and Soul!

Bright Blessings ~


* Here’s the first installment about “don’t hide your Archives”…

Some references for this post:

Shanna Mann:  ‘Value for Value’ https://feedthespark.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/value-for-value/

Rosalind Gardner:  ‘InternetMarketing – Not a  Nice Niche’  http://netprofitstoday.com/blog/internet-marketing-not-a-nice-niche/

Mark Silver – ‘Why we talk about problems…’ http://www.heartofbusiness.com/why-we-talk-about-problems/ … as well as his whole site!

Colleen Wainwright, the communicatrix:  http://www.communicatrix.com/ Search her Archives ~ you won’t regret it!


see also Bridget Pilloud’s  http://www.bridgetpilloud.com/blog/2011/05/fast-cheap-and-easy/  (also referred to as the Taco Truck post 😉 )

… and here’s a really funny take on How Not to Market Your Stuff:   http://theoatmeal.com/comics/sell_generation

So, I just got this score in a game I play fairly regularly (yeah, like EVERY day!) at King.com ~

Doing the requisite Google Search turned up this reading at IndianHinduNames.com:  (http://www.indianhindunames.com/character-nature-traits-lucky-number-5.htm)

Character, nature, personality of lucky number 5:

People with lucky Number 5 is usually very versatile, adventurous, and progressive. With a 5 lucky Number, they are one of those people who is always striving to find answers to the many questions that life poses.

They want to be totally unrestrained, as this is the sign of freedom and independence. (T)hey abhor routine and boring work, and they are not very good at staying with everyday tasks that must be finished on time.

They are, however, good communicators, and they know how to motivate people around them, perhaps inclining to be a teacher of some sort. A love of adventure may dominate their life. This may take the form of mental or physical manifestation, but in either case, they thrill to the chance for exploration and blazing new trails. (T)hey are apt to be multi-talented, but just as likely to suffer from some lack of direction, and there is often some confusion surrounding their ambition.

In the most negative application or use of the 5 energies, they could become very irresponsible in tasks and decisions concerning their home and business life. The total pursuit of sensation and adventure can result in their becoming self-indulgent and totally unaware of the feelings of those around them. In the worse case situations, negative 5’s are very undependable and self-serving.

On the average, the number 5 personality is rather happy-go-lucky; living for today, and not worrying too much about tomorrow. It is important for them to mix with like minded people, and try to avoid those that are too serious and demanding. It is also important for them to find a job that provides thought-provoking tasks rather than routine and redundant responsibilities. They do best dealing with people, but the important thing is that they have the freedom to express theirself (sic) at all times.


I tell ya, they had me at “versatile, adventurous and progressive”!
This’ll be interesting material to keep in mind for my hunt for “paying projects” and the corresponding “new resume”.  It really helps to have a clear picture of the psychological milieu that would be your “best case scenario”, before you even start evaluating possibilities. No point in setting myself up for a lose where the atmosphere and culture will be stifling!
One of those “things that make you go Hmmmm”, eh?

I’ve been trying for a while to formulate a post about the new future that I believe Barack Obama is working to craft with us (all of us). This may be seen as a “lazy way out”, but I think Mr. Stranahan has hit several of my favorite nails right on the head.

I’ve added emphasis because I don’t want to get into any arguments over gay rights or the legal  definition of marriage – my point here is this:

“one position that I don’t like doesn’t invalidate all the positions you hold!”

Embrace What You Have In Common With Rick Warren

Lee Stranahan Filmmaker, Writer, Photographer

Posted December 18, 2008 on the  Huffington Post

Apparently, Barack Obama meant what he said about our politics being too small for our problems.

With job layoffs and new miserable financial statistics being announced every day, how else can we explain the press and some Republicans being endlessly fascinated with the non-connection between between Obama and Blagojevich? How else does one explain the thrashing about of some progressives over the idea of Pastor Rick Warren saying a few minutes of prayer at Obama’s inauguration?

The answer is simple: we currently practice a mighty small politics in the United States.

You might not like the idea of Prop 8 supporter Rick Warren anywhere near Washington on January 20th. None of my friends do. This isn’t hype; the people who are so bent out of shape about Warren are literally all my friends or people I admire.

Like my comrades, I think Warren is dead wrong on same sex marriage. But the reality is that at the end of 2008, a majority of voters in California agreed with him. A majority of Americans agree with Warren about same sex marriage and many more states have made marriage equality unconstitutional than have ratified it.

So Warren isn’t out of the mainstream. He seems to agree broadly with the position of Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton in supporting equal legal rights but not gay marriage. Just to underline this again – I think they are all wrong but I also recognize I’m in the minority on this.

I don’t understand how anyone who listened to Obama during the campaign would be shocked that Obama lets Warren give the invocation. It’s vintage Obama. It does not signal agreement with Warren’s political positions, some of which are clearly at odds with Obama’s. Warren isn’t making policy or even giving a sermon. He’s saying a prayer and then possibly dancing later at some inaugural parties. If anything, it’s the possibility of this dancing that should be deeply troubling to all Americans.

Rick Warren felt some of this same heat when he invited Barack Obama to speak at his church on World Aids Day. Conservatives railed against Warren for legitimizing Obama. People with different political opinions aren’t supposed to come together in anything but a shouting match.

In a few weeks, Barack Obama will be sworn in as President and be joined by two men leading prayers – Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery. Lowery is the ‘dean of the Civil Rights movement’, the man who founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr. Lowery supports same sex marriage.

There’s something bigger at play here and you can’t say Obama didn’t warn you. He talked about reaching out, about expanding our politics and that crazy bastard actually meant it. Nobody on the left or right quite knows what to make of it. We want to cram Obama into our old, divisive, two toned ideological and political frame and if he doesn’t fit, we’ll attack him too. Attacking is what we’re used to doing.

But in the long run this new politics benefits us all. Ironically, it benefits the minorities and marginalized and ill-treated the most. I know this may be hard for many to see right now but the truth is that this sort of symbol is what America needs. Not seeing just Warren on stage or just Lowery but seeing both of them of there at once

Obama said it in the abstract time and again during the campaign. Now he’s showing us. Seeing the things that Pastor Rick Warren and Reverend Joseph Lowery have in common is more important than seeing the things that separate them. America needs to see that. It’s a step down the road where a majority of us see the things that straight Americans in love want are the same things that gay Americans in love want, too.

If you are mad about Rick Warren, I’m not attacking you. I understand your anger and I’m not saying it’s not justified. But it’s all right to let your anger go, too. It doesn’t mean surrender, it doesn’t mean giving up the struggle for equality.

It means doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. It means winning, right now – because the fight against hate starts whenever you want it, in your own heart. You can win a battle right now by not hating.

Can I get an amen?

Amen! and So Mote It Be!