who's the ECL?

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm not BAD evil, more like devil's food cake evil.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wish I Was Here


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There is a certain solace I find at the ocean's edge. A certain peace, grounding, and homecoming. It is the place that I run to when I am unhappy.

I was there Monday and it was grand. I wish I could be there everyday.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Of Pirates and Drunk Men

We didn't end up going to the pirate festival. Well, we got there, and looked inside the chain link fence at all the pirates in attendance, and then saw the admission price posted as FIFTEEN DOLLARS!!!

Bloody pirates!

So we had a large Indian dinner instead. Yum.

Then my doula friends called me up and told me I was meeting them at this skanky bar on Hawthorne. So off I went.

A few minutes after I got there and sat down, this random drunk guy sat down with us. I caught some of him on my camera, but unfortunately it was too dark to get good video footage, but you can listen to him just fine. And if you listen closely enough, you can hear us all react when he dumped his drink out on the floor behind us, and then later toasted us with his empty glass. We didn't find him threatening or insulting, just stupidly drunk and...entertaining.

Take a listen:


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Saturday, September 23, 2006

This Is What I Am Doing Today

Today is a day filled with good things:

1. treat a pregnant lady

2. shop the Macys sale with a some girlfriends

3. pop in at the green sprouts organic baby festival (and help pack up our doula booth)

4. go to the 1st annual Portland PIRATE FESTIVAL! arrrrrrrrrgh mateys!!!!

plus, it is a beautful sunny autumn day; my favorite.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Perspective On My Whiny Life

I read what I wrote in Horoscope This Week, and I took a shower.

And I realised this: I make it sound so drastic; that Stinky is dying or something. Let me make it clear, to myself mostly: He is not dying.

Yes, he is moving away and we won't be together anymore. We won't occupy the same heartspace in each other as we do now, we won't cuddle in bed and watch movies anymore, we won't be the last person we talk to before sleeping anymore, or the first person to share the news with anymore. We won't talk about things that we don't talk about with anybody else anymore, we won't hug and kiss and have sex together anymore. Eventually we will move on and date other people, and someday we'll fall in love with others.

There is a lot about us that will be done, and gone, and over with.

At best, we will remain good friends. At best, we will continue to occupy important places in each other's hearts, even if it isn't The Space anymore. At best, we won't go into fits of whatever when we start dating other people, and when we fall in love with other people.

But he isn't going to die, and I can still talk to him every now and then, and we can hopefully be friends.

But there is a lot about us that will be done, and gone, and over with. Let me make it clear, mostly to myself, that I am mourning the loss of our relationship, and all the bright and shiny and exciting potential we had together as a couple, and all the wonderfulness of letting him live in my deepest heart, and me in his. There is a lot to mourn, but I do not have to mourn him.

Horoscope This Week

Listen Up -- the Cosmos Is Talking!
Rethink your approach and harmony will prevail

Since powerful Pluto is in a high degree (24 degrees), as all planets finish their transits through a sign -- and they enter a new sign -- they have their last conversation with this transformational planet. It's like a doorman who has something profoundly important to say to you on your way out. Pluto's message to Venus on September 25 and to Mercury on September 27 is to let go of old beliefs and ideas about love and what you think you need in your relationships.



Its hard to spend time with someone you love who is leaving for good in a few weeks. I feel this giant clock ticking away above our heads, counting down to D-day, reminding me that this will be the last time we'll be in Portland together, this will be the last time we'll get coffee at this place, there are no more chances for him to get to know my friends.

When he carves out time to see me in Olympia in a few weeks, it will be even worse. It will be The Last Time, period. The last time we cuddle in bed, the last time we watch a movie together, the last time we kiss, the very last hug and the very final Goodbye.

And I don't want to do it. At all.

So what am I telling myself about love these days? I am telling myself that love sucks, and that there is so much pain involved in being in love that I am sick of it. And I am telling myself that maybe mom is right and I should just settle for a humdrum boring kind of guy that loves me way more than I do him, so that there is less passion and heartbreak. I am telling myself that love is too cruel to mess with, and I am telling myself that love, however sucky and cruel and heartbreaking and terrible, is something that I just can't live without, and so I am telling myself that I am resigned to hurting and loving forevermore.

So Pluto, Mercury, and Venus, if love can be some other way, you let me know. In the most kind and gentle way that you can, please, for I don't think I can take it any other way right now.

Cranky McKrankenstein

Warning: I am about to use some acupuncture terminology that I won't define, so if you are not an acupuncturist, please go find one to help you decipher my rant.

I just read an article that said that in the UK, one in five births are done by cesarean, and most are due to "failure to progess."

I HATE that phrase.

There are a million and one reasons why a mom might get slapped with the "failure to progess" diagnosis, and believe me, it is a slap across the face to be told YOU FAILED TO LET YOUR BODY DO WHAT IT WOULD DO ON ITS OWN ANYWAY. BIRTH IS NATURAL, JUST NOT FOR YOU.

I have seen simple acupuncture treatments of, duh, Spleen 6 and LI 4 change labor patterns. And it wasn't a big deal, I used PRESS TACKS.

This is what is making me so damn mad. Press tacks on two acupoints is so freaking simple and easy, and it can keep a woman's labor on track and progressing, so that she has a fighting chance of being able to avoid being told that she failed. And avoid major abdominal surgery to get her baby delivered. It is such a simple and mostly effective solution that it is a crime women don't have the option of getting a few stickers stuck to her.

But of course, this leads to the even bigger and stickier problem of no acupuncturists in hospitals. Sure, at least here in Portland an acupunk can jump through a few flaming hoops to get hospital priviledges, but even then the attending physician needs to order the acupuncture. Why isn't acupuncture being integrated into hospital settings? At least for pain management post injury or surgery, at least for relaxation of pre-op patients, and certainly at least for laboring moms who are trying to avoid a cesarean.

Especially for those moms who got the epidural and have to remain lying down--those moms need help more than others, because they can't move about or use gravity to keep labor going. The incidence of cesarean birth increases once a mom gets an epidural--for failure to progress. Come on, if she's lying in bed we could even do sacrum points (like the Ba Liao) to help things along.

And this is why I am leaning towards Nurse-Midwifery; I want to not only bring acupuncture to labor and delivery, I want to do it in the hospitals. This substandard quality of care is ridiculous; change needs to happen now. I'm sick of this shit.

BBC News: Unnecessary Caesareans Warning

Monday, September 18, 2006

When It Rains...

Boy, has my life been turned upside down in the last week. Not only is a very dear friend staying with my roommate and I for an umlimited amount of time, not only is the Stinky coming home to the West coast this week, not only is the Stinky turning around in 3 more weeks to move to NY, not only is my clinic throwing a big to-do this Friday for which I am baking an inordinate amount of stuff, but a whole lot more is being piled on my plate.

What a harvest, huh?

So ironic, too, because at the last full moon ceremony (Thursday the 10th) I made a point of talking about the harvest, and how sometimes the community wouldn't get a good harvest; sometimes we don't get what we think we need to survive the oncoming dark times. And I said we could either look at our failed harvest as something that happened to us (victimization), or we could agonize over what we did wrong that led to such a situation, or we could get angry, or panic, or blame, or we could sit with what we did get (even if it is nothing) and realise that maybe what we received is what we really needed, instead of what we thought we needed. Maybe what we recieved is in fact exactly what we need to get through the hard times ahead, maybe what we received is the seed of our answers to our questions, maybe what we received is quite bountiful and abundant and rich with possibilities after all.

And so I invited everyone to look at their own harvest, look at what gifts Creator had brought them to get through the dark times ahead, and to see the blessings that lay before them, disguised as not enough.

Haha--and I guess that applies to me too!!

On a side note: how can you get to a place where you can give, and give unconditionally, where you can give without expectation of result or product or return, where you can give because it is a joy to give, because to do so is a celebration of life itself, to do so is an acknowledgement of the truth that we cannot do it alone, how do you get to a place where you can give because at the soul of things to give is to be alive?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Reminders That I Am Not In Charge

I just spent an interesting few days camping at Cape Lookout. I highly recommend everyone do that.

I am a self-proclaimed princess camper. I am a car camper, flush toilet user, free shower taker, fat air mattress sleeper, and two burner propane stove cooker. I do not want to have to dig a hole to poo or carry my inordinate amounts of stuff more than 20 yards to my campsite. Cape Lookout is exactly what I require in a campground, plus it has the super extra special added bonus of being just on the other side of the dune from the beach.

The downside to Cape Lookout is that in the summertime the campground is always packed, and the majority of the campers are 16-26 year old partygoers with their Creed, their Bud Light, and their good times that don't stop when the sun goes down and all other campers are snuggled inside their down sleeping bags.

So camping the weekend after labor day was excellent. The campground was maybe half full, mostly retirees and some young families. Dog fights weren't breaking out every ten minutes, nobody saw fit to play loud radios at all times of the day and night, and for the first night I didn't even have any neighbors!

Well at least no neighbors I could see, that is. When I woke up Monday after a nice sleep, I walked out of my tent and noticed that huh, my cooler was open. And muddy. And there were broken eggs all over the grass. And a couple of empty plastic bags, that used to have a bunch of grapes in them, and some cheese. And my bag of salad greens was on the ground (apparently a rejected food item).

Well, I guess I made my offering to the spirits of the campground, I thought. At least they got some nice, organic foods to eat. Then I saw that my package of cheddar dogs was gone. Now I was MAD. Cheddar dogs are a must-have camping food item! When else can you feel justified to eat that crap, save when camping? And the damn animals ATE MY CHEDDAR DOGS. Assholes. I hope their livers clog up on the nitrates and other by-products.

Reminder that I am not in charge #1: even after enjoying a starry sky followed by the just-recently-full-moon rising, and going to bed happy and thankful for simple beauty, the animals will insist on stealing your cheddar dogs right out of your cooler.

I had plenty of food, really, so cheddar dogs aside, I was just fine.

So after my eggless breakfast I packed up my backpack with my beach supplies and headed out to greet the ocean. Wow, I thought as I crested the dune and saw the shoreline, the tide is up pretty high. I thought about the tide timetable that the camp ranger offered me the day before when I registered, and how I turned it down. Was the tide coming in or out? I figured that it would be easy enough to tell and I could move if needed. I found a nice little spot and settled in. The sky was bright blue and cloudless and the salty sea air felt great. I sat and listened to the pounding of the waves meeting the land and I began to let go. I took a walk, took lots of pictures, and opened up my Birthing From Within Keepsake Journal to do some work. I delved into finding my deepest question--the question that drives me--and I found this: how can I be present to each moment?

I took a break and went back to the campsite to use the potty, and a lady stopped me and said, "wow, the tide is really coming in!" And I said, really? As I sat back down in my little space with my camera next to me, my book open in front of me, a box of pastels, my backpack and my shoes behind me, I pondered my deepest question and watched a wave crash on the shore not too far away, and I watched it rush in towards me, and then I watched it rush even closer to me, and then I finally realised the wave wasn't slowing down yet, so I grabbed my apple and said, oh shit! The wave rushed over me, my book, my camera, my backpack, my shoes, and as things began to float towards the laughing sea I finally clicked into action. I chased down all my gear as the other beachgoers looked on, and although waterlogged, everything seemed to be okay.

Except my camera. Which is dead.

RIP little camera. How I loved thee.

Reminder that I am not in charge #2: no matter how many warnings Creator gives us to get out of the way, we can choose to ignore all of it and get our ass kicked instead.

The next morning I ran out of propane. But I cleverly built a small fire, and boiled water in my now very blackened teakettle and had tea and instant oatmeal for breakfast.

Reminder that I am not in charge #3: you can plan a weekend of great meals but that doesn't mean you'll get to eat them.

Then that night on the phone the Stinky told me he's moving to New York. In 4 weeks.

Reminder that I am not in charge #4: just because you pray and pray for the man to spend your days with, and you even ackowledge that Creator's timeline for when you meet The Boy isn't necessarily the same as your own, and you pray that if its okay, to speed up the timeline and meet The Boy NOW, and you meet a boy which after a little bit you are 99% sure is The Boy, and two of you have a deep strong connection that is more intimate and supportive and healthy than any other relationship you've had in your life, and you love each other deeply and passionately, it doesn't matter and that timeline will still stand and fate will pull the two of you apart anyway.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Lost In Tripe

Hey! Look what I found on wikiHow!

How to Dissuade Yourself from Becoming a Blogger

What a buzz all the bloggers are making these days! It seems like just about everybody is pouring their musings into a text box. Are you feeling tempted to start a blog of your own? Here are some ways to bypass the trend.

Steps

1. Find five completely random blogs, and read them daily for a month. After thirty days, you will absolutely dread your self-imposed requirement to read all that dreck. Any blog you create will most likely be on par with what you've been reading. Don't put anyone through that.
2. Consider that your voice, even if it is truly a good one, is a tiny peep against the massive wave of tripe out there. The odds of anyone you don't already know finding your blog are low.
3. Write on a regular basis in Wordpad instead. If that doesn't satisfy your urge, and you feel that you must post your blog online, then you might just be craving attention and validation--which you'll never truly find in a blog. If you give up on your Wordpad journal after about three days, you'll do the same with a blog that just takes up server space.
4. Ask yourself if you really have the time to commit to a blog. What about that treehouse you wanted to build? Or the book you wanted to write? Or the car you wanted to fix up? Or the restaurant you wanted to take your wife to? Or the new career you wanted to pursue? Instead of writing about pretty much nothing, or whining about all the things you wish you were doing instead, start doing something that'd actually be worth writing about. And if it's really worth writing about, you'll be having too much fun doing it to tear yourself away from it.


Tips

* If attention and validation is what you're looking for, know that you will get neither from blogging. As above, very few people will ever know that your blog (or you, by proxy) exists. Of those who do find it, a large percentage will be flamers and trolls, who will only post comments to you about how you suck. The remainder of comments posted to your blog will be sappy treacle, which you won't trust as being sincere anyway.
* Consider writing on a wiki instead. Unlike most blogs, wikis like Wikipedia and wikiHow are read by millions of people each month. Several wikiHow authors receive fan mail messages every day from appreciative readers. In addition, many authors discover that they enjoy the wiki collaborative process more than writing in solitude.


Warnings

* The information you post on the Internet is likely to linger for years and years to come, as web pages are archived by "snapshot" services like the Wayback Machine. Once it's out there, you can't take it back. An employer running a Google search on your name years down the line might be turned off by your now documented obsession with your cat.


Related wikiHows

* How to Start a Blog
* How to Write a Famous Blog
* How to Keep a Diary and Stick to It
* How to Write a Featured Article on wikiHow
* How to Defeat a MySpace Addiction


External Links

* Top Ten Blogger Lies
* Top Ten Reasons Why Nobody Reads Your Blog
* 100 Reasons Not to Blog

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Recycled Piece of Summer

I wrote this for my clinic's neighborhood newspaper last year, but then the newspaper organization decided to implode. Even though this piece was written for the summer, and now we are beginning that delicous slide into autumn, I thought I'ld be lazy and post it now anyhoo. Enjoy.



Health isn’t always about taking pills or going to the gym. Sometimes health is about how you carry yourself through the world.

For example: summer is the time of the heart, of relationships. This is the time to deepen our connections to each other, the natural world, and ourselves. Get out there and talk to your neighbors. Play with your kids outside or take them for a walk. Reconnect with loved ones that you miss. Eat fresh, ripe fruit and colorful salads. This is also the time of year when all of our dreams ripen and come to fruit—what dreams and ideas did you store away all winter? How can you encourage them to come true? Who do you need to ask to help bring your secret wishes into reality?

We live such busy lives that we forget to stop and admire the beauty that surrounds us—simple things like two people chatting on the corner, flowers blooming, happy children. While the days are long take the time to look at the simple beauty around you, and then go out there and be beautiful yourself. I’m not talking makeup and plastic surgery; I’m talking about carrying pride for who you are, carrying yourself with grace and dignity, and treating others with respect. That kind of beauty is like the summertime: ripe, juicy, and full of life.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Men That I Love

I am not exactly sure which planet I've been on in the last week, but I am trying to touch down on earth again.

Cetain lovely men that I have the pleasure of knowing are out and about in the world and I wanted to publicly declare my love for them, and introduce you to them.

1. If you have read any of my previous posts, you already know a little about Joelfre'. (Read about Joelf baking cookies, avoiding falling art, drinking at the fir, and hanging out in the PDX metro area.) My sister started calling him Joelf and the name has stuck. [fun aside: if you search joelfre in blogger, the engine will ask you if you meant moelfre...so I might just start calling him Moelf.] Joelf and I met on our first day at Willamette. He lived downstairs with a crazy red head (crazy in the not-so-good way) and I lived upstairs. He finally moved upstairs in the second semester and I got to hang out with him more. As the Willamette years flew by I found myself more and more drawn to Joelf and his crazy ways. He is an excellent listener, a loyal and honest friend, and his affections for the people he loves run deep. Joelf is off on a wild adventure in Kenya, where he is volunteering with the Global Volunteer Network. I set up a blog for him so that we could keep in contact with him, and so please go give him your support: Joelf's Blog

2. The Stinky has joined a band named Two Gun Man and they are off in upstate NY, where most of the band is from, playing shows and generally kicking ass. I love The Stinky with all of my heart, and I am so excited that he is out living his dream. He drives me crazy, and 99% of the time I love him for doing so. Anyhoo, go check out Two Gun Man's MySpace page, listen to their music (recorded before Stinky joined them as lead guitarist), and check out the first photo posted under the comments--that crazyhead lead guitarist with the blue shirt is the man for me! Sigh.

3. Okay, this is a man I don't personally know, its just that I just watched him in Take The Lead, and I'm not talking about Antonio Banderas. I'm talking about Dante Basco, the Phillipino actor who I totally want to make it big, and be a superstar movie guy. Mostly because he's a Flip. I first saw him in The Debut, a movie touted as the first full length feature film to show the filipino-american experience. It was pretty good and all, and I found parts of it dead-on: it could hve been my family they were talking about, and as any minority-american person would admit, that is pretty damn cool. I guess Dante's also been in Biker Boyz, and Hook, and I saw him recently in a cell phone commercial--you know, the one pimping Nelly Furtado's new song, Promiscuous...
Dante has a bunch of brothers who are also actors/performers, and I guess they are now trying to make it as a singing/R&B/hip-hop group. Whatever. I want Dante to be a big moviestar. So you should, too.

Hooray for good men!