Wednesday, February 28, 2007


I interview this morning for the job I mention in my previous entry. I got better rest last night, and feel more ready to visit with my prospective employer than I would have been at the same time yesterday morning.

I believe I need to focus on three things during the interview:
- Be natural; be myself; visit as I would with a friend
- Look the interviewer(s) in the eye
- Remain positive about my current employer and current situation

I have not yet informed my current employer about this opportunity. I have chosen to keep my own council until I have a good sense whether I will be offered the position. If it isn't offered, no harm. If it is ... well, we'll deal with that at the time.

It has been hard to keep this secret. There are two or three dear friends I will greatly miss. Two in particular have called on my computer skills frequently, and I wonder whether they can find a similar resource if I leave.

Funny how I felt a little sad about that yesterday. Seems a chunk of my neurosis is expressed through co-dependency.

Send positive thoughts this way. If you pray, pray that my prospective employer and I allow God's will to work through us this morning; pray that we discern whether this will be a positive and fruitful collaboration.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Monday was a unique day in many ways. I obeyed an impulse to transcribe a poem in a card I sent to Alexandria. This task delayed my departure from the house; additionally, I chose to swing a bit out of my way to mail the card. These two choices caused me to be later to work than normal - by all of 5-10 minutes. I was still at my desk at least 20 minutes before I was supposed to be.

Why I choose to get to work 30 minutes early most days is another discussion.

The change in routine - and general tiredness - really threw me off. I left my office keys and ID tag in the car. I was able to follow a co-worker in the door, and chose to go back for the keys and ID after I had settled in a bit. Coffee was a necessity.

On my way to the coffee pot, Cyndia, a dear friend and co-worker, called me over. She had heard a rumor that someone in the Dean's Office (where I had previously worked) was seriously ill - on death's door. I promised to check with a source in the Dean's Office to verify the rumor.

I got my coffee, and decided to stop into the Dean's Office on my way back to my cube. Sarah confirmed the rumor, and also told me my former supervisor had broken her leg. Sarah asked me how my job was going, and I vented some frustrations.

"You know, there's a similar position in another department. I know they've asked someone back for a second interview, but you might call and see if the position is still open."

So, I called. Ironically, I had interviewed with this person when I was originally seeking a position on campus.

The interview was positive, though informal. In order to have a formal interview, I have to navigate the baffles & chambers of the campus Human Resources office.

Assuming I successfully navigate those waters; assuming I'm offered the position; assuming I accept -
Although the duties are essentially the same as my current position, the title would more accurately reflect my responsibilities. The new position is professional (which has pluses and minuses). The base pay would constitute a meaningful raise - a little over $400/month.

Any wonder I was excited by this possibility? Any wonder I spent the rest of the morning creating a brief CV from memory, and officially applying for the position on-line?

Any wonder I had trouble getting to sleep last night?

Monday, February 26, 2007


This day has been packed. It began early, with some rather bad news regarding a friend and former co-worker. It then continued to information concerning a job opening, a job for which I am very qualified. If offered this job, it would mean an improved job title and a meaningful pay increase.

Details to follow.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


A card I created while on retreat, the first weekend of this month.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Went to the annual Friends of the Library Book Sale this morning. The first book I picked up, and ultimately bought, was Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. As previously promised, here's an image of the cover.

Paperbacks cost half a dollar, and hard backs cost $1. I bought five paperbacks and six hardbacks. Included were -
  • In Focas: Alfred Stieglitz

  • The Belle of Amherst

  • Finding Your Religion by Rev. Scotty McLennan

  • Keeping Passover by Ira Steingroot

  • God Among the Shakers by Suzanne Skees

  • Mark Twain: An Illustrated Biography, companion book for the PBS series

  • Hooray For Yiddish! by Leo Rosten (author of The Joys of Yiddish

Friday, February 23, 2007


The cross is draped in Lenten purple (as below). People sing "Amazing Grace" by candlelight.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

52/365: Horned Moon

Horned moon
Isis' crown

Columba sails a dark sea
in his oarless currach

Sail west to east
let storm and sea guide

Honor the ancient virgin spirit
wrapped like a bud

in the labyrinth
of your heart

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


One of the many objects I have to remind me of Padre. Padre made this from a kit, sometime in the early 1960s. This was sometime after Kennedy became president, but before he was assassinated. Rocking chairs enjoyed popularity because Kennedy liked a rocking chair; it gave his back needed support.

You can't see the claw marks in this picture. The lady in the lower left-hand corner has left her mark on the chair. Hard to know why she responds to it this way. It endured the dust of Midland, West TX, for over two decades. But it may still have retained the scent from two dogs (Frieda and Gidget) and a cat (Sam).


Alexandria recently returned from a stay in Key West, Florida. She was there for a little over a week. While there, she was introduced to a chowder of cats said to be descended from a cat owned by Ernest Hemingway. This is one of them.

It was a good cat.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


Now I face the evening.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


It's all about the coffee.

Friday, February 16, 2007


I made chili last night. It is one of my two or three specialties. I made it for a (belated) Valentine's luncheon I'm hosting at work today.

I make chili using Wick Fowler's Chili Mix as a base. I then add spices as whim and inspiration dictate. Last night, I added two habenaro peppers and two Thai peppers. I ate a beanless version of the chili for supper last night.

How many alarms is it when sweat beads on your forehead and the back of your neck?

I serve the chili with beans. I know this is contrary to true Texas-style chili. But, I've got to stretch the food.

I cook the beans in a crock pot. This time it was Great Northerns. I throw a few spices in with the beans as well, just for color - a little Greek seasoning, a little Spike, a dash of cinnamon. That cooked overnight.

I got up about 15 minutes early (5:15), drained the beans, and mixed in the chili. It's warming as I type.

I am curious to find out how many alarms the beans deduct from the chili. I'm also curious how my co-workers will react.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


It's snowing. Light fluffy. Sailing on the wind. Fractional accumulation overnight, but some streets are slick. Cars driving at least 5 miles under the posted speed limit, which around these parts indicates a degree of wisdom.

Currently 16°. Wind chill in the single digits. Tonight's wind chill expected to be zero or below.

Suddenly, my cat finds my lap very comfortable. All night long.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


"Dominique and his Flying HouseCats featuring Oscar breaking the green paper ... at sunset. Live! In Key West, FL."

Received this as a postcard from Alexandria, who went to Key West with her boy friend, Bill. Her comment on the scene: "Only a Frenchman would train cats to jump through hoops - quite a sight!"

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Another view of the Volkswagen Graveyard.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Saturday was a hustle-bustle day. I did sleep relatively late, though. My faithful feline alarm woke me a little after 8.

Following breakfast, I settled in to do my taxes. Once I have all the information I need, I see little point in waiting 'til April to dispense with this task. I did learn something which may be of use to my readers - if you earn a certain amount (~28K), you qualify for free filing on-line. I went to the TurboTax site via the IRS site. On the TurboTax site there is a button to push to determine whether you qualify for this free service. The IRS site lists several on-line programs, and I suspect this free service is available through any of them.

After that, I went shopping. Bought a new pair of pants and a new belt. Bought a pair of second-hand books (Sherilyn McCrumb). Went to the health food store and got St John's Wort. Got home from that excursion around two.

Took myself to the movie, Pan's Labyrinth. It's an excellent movie, though a bit violent for anyone under 18. The ending is somewhat ambiguous - could be happy or sad, depending on how you choose to interpret the last ten minutes or so.

From there, it was straight to Alexandria's house to feed her starving kitties. They were starving because I had missed Friday (I'll explain why over on Love During Wartime). Even so, Martin was more interested in loving on me than he was in food. Martin is overweight, and diabetic, so I'm a tad worried that he eats just a few mouths full, but I can barely see any change in his weight. Plus, he seems to be just as energetic as when I started feeding him - he jumps surprisingly high for such a chubby cat - so maybe I'm worried for nothing. Shadow - who was standoffish when she first met me three years ago - is also very pleased to see me, and seems to want petting for long periods of time. Happily, Dame Julian doesn't seem to mind sharing me with her "cousins".

Alexandria will be home tomorrow evening.

Sunday was a sleepy day, I suppose. I slept in until 6:30. Went to church, visited with friends after. Went grocery shopping, ate a light lunch. Then, because I felt utterly exhausted, I lay down on the couch. I really intended to take a walk, but I wasn't sure I could even drive to the closest mall. So Julian and I had a pleasant nap on the couch. I didn't fully wake up until sometime after 4.

And even with that, I got drowsy around 8. Finally laid down on the couch again, and napped until a little after 10.

My working theory is that I was recovering from a busy week, and coming down from the steroids.

Hit the snooze button several times this morning. Brain still has a few cobwebs, but I imagine another cup of joe will take care of that.
Edited to add: This is why I missed cat-sitting on Friday.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


This white Beetle might have been mine. The Beetle Brother Dave sold me was white. I didn't have a wreck in it, but I did manage to burn out the engine. I sold it to a salvage yard. Who knows? It may have traveled from a salvage yard in Norman, to this one in Ixl. Oklahoma may not be the hubcap of the universe, but it is a small galaxy.

More about the VW graveyard here, on "Love During Wartime".

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Pam cautioned that I could not catch the same moon twice. True, that. This is the post-groundhog moon. Already subtly waning into Saturday night. Moon rise was around 8 - later than we had thought. I watched and waited. Never had I watched the sky so intently so patiently so long.

Friday, February 9, 2007


Lord, it is night.

The night is for stillness
Let us be still in the presence of God.

It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
What has not been done has not been done:
Let it be.

The night is dark,
Let our fears of the darkness of the world
and of our own lives rest in you.

The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us,All dear to us,
And all who have no peace.

The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day,
New joys,
New possibilities.

In your name we pray.

Prayer at Night fromthe New Zealand Prayer Book

Thursday, February 8, 2007


The path back to the lodge (you can see the roof just right of center). You see a bit of the lake, not yet frozen, in the lower right foreground.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


It would seem we were the first humans to break snow on this part of the path. The path starts about midway between the lake and the lodge, then meanders off into the woods. Some trees have been cleared for modest development; others have been cleared by nature. But it's still fair to call it a wood. It doesn't take long, between snow and shocking blue sky, to forget civilization.

It's between 3 and 4 on a Friday afternoon. Temperature hovers around freezing, with a light wind. We walk about a quarter of the path before we turn back and return to the lodge.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


Path .
A snowy path in the wood.


Sunrise, Saturday, February 3. Just minutes before this picture was taken, the sky was as gray as the frozen lake. I had gotten up around 5, and prayed the rosary in our chapel. By the time I had finished, Pam was up. We sat in silence, a table between us, and rejoiced for a new day.

I sat reading as Pam made coffee and emptied the dishwasher. I would have my turn Sunday morning. I'm reading David Whyte's Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity; I had checked it out from the library Friday morning. The author had been commended to me (he's done work on poetry in the workplace); and, as it turned out, this was a good book to bring on retreat.

Monday, February 5, 2007


Moon rise, Groundhog night. The lake is frozen. Our lodge is just a few yards from the lake. Those are ancient hills in the distance, which have antediluvian mountain memories. Trees are barren, but hopeful. The wind is still; the air is dry and brittle. I balance my camera on a rail post at the edge of the deck, trying to capture the moon.

Pam had seen the moon first. She challenged me to try to capture it. Not just for her, but for the group. For all of us gathered in the goddess' name. For all of us gathered to honor the sky father, earth mother, soul sister, heart brother.

Here it is, groundhog moon. This is when the groundhog truly hunts; she has no need of the bold sun. More for her is the subtle moon. I could only share her moon. I confess it was patience and perseverence, not subtly, which snared me this moon.

Sunday, February 4, 2007


We began our weekend retreat with a walk through the snow.

Friday, February 2, 2007

33/365: Friday Cat

My friend Alexandria is out of town for about two weeks, and I am cat-sitting while she is away. On the left is Martin (technically her son's cat); on the right is Shadow (who could be DJ's aunt). The two cats tolerate each other, but it would be nigh unto impossible to get a good picture with both of them. Thus, this photo montage.

BTW, in the lower right-hand corner, just below Shadow, is my current signature for photo/digital art - a block form of my initials overlaid on the Hebrew aleph. The block initials are created new with each new image; the aleph is a stock image I have on file.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


This is the official photo from a "Guitar Weekend" I went to in November of last year. It was a sort of birthday present I gave myself. I'm seated at the right end of the front row. Visitors from my regular blog (Love During Wartime) might recognize my snap-brim cap.

It was a refreshing time. At minimum, taking a day off from work did me a lot of good. Certainly should consider doing more of that this coming year.

Speaking of breaks, I will be out of pocket Saturday and Sunday. Whether I post a single "wrap-up" entry, or a separate entry for each day, remains to be seen. I am going to a "Nurturing Weekend" at the same place pictured here. The weekend is sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese for Sunday School teachers from around Okla.

I expect to come back with at least a few photographs.