Friday, October 22, 2010

random thoughts: update edition

Hi, y'all.  I have lots of short things to say, most of which are in response to previous posts of mine, at least one of which was a long time ago and no one is likely to remember, but I'm calling them "updates" anyway.

1.  So, the Shakespeare test.  It went pretty well.  We've read four plays and several dozen sonnets so far, and there were ten IDs.  It's harder than you might think to identify 3 or 4 line snippets when you have several thousand lines to choose from.  But I figured if I concentrated on the scenes he had gone over in class, it would work out OK, and it did.  I knew seven of them for sure, and managed to guess correctly on two based on context.  But the reason I'm typing this out is to pass along a strategy he gave us for the essay part, which probably everyone else knows but it was new to me and it worked really well.  You come up with an essay in your head ahead of time.  I didn't write anything down, but as I was reviewing, I kept my eye out for similar themes between the plays and I had something in my head.  Then when you get the essay prompts (there were three, and we had to choose one), even if you don't have *exactly* what you need in terms of a prompt, you can fit what you've got in your head to one of the questions.  It worked great.  Or at least, I hope it did.  I have no idea what he'll think of what I wrote, but there was none of that pit-of-the-stomach panic that I often get when i read the essay prompts and can't think of one dang thing to say.

2.  The four letter word (diet).  I don't diet.  Old post, I won't go over it again here.  But I have let myself get too heavy over the past six months (metabolism slowdown--menopause is a bitch)(have I written that post?  I don't think I have.  But perhaps I will pass, because hello, how to scare off your readers.)  Anyway.  I mentioned my dilemma (too heavy, hate dieting) to a friend who is a health care practitioner and she recommended The Slow Down Diet.  All I've read so far is the first chapter, and I haven't lost any weight yet (I don't think, I don't weigh myself very often, but it doesn't feel like I've lost any), so this isn't exactly a ringing endorsement, but it's really interesting.  The first step is to slow down, relax while you're eating, and allow your body to accept nourishment.  Sounds simple, right?  But it has been surprising.  I didn't realize how much of my mental attitude about food is about fighting it off-- sort of willing it not to make a difference, willing it to be about something else besides meeting my body's needs.  I'm not sure I'm describing this very well.  But just the mental act of thinking about my body absorbing nutrients from the food I eat while I'm eating it has been an interesting exercise.  It has been so interesting that I haven't even gone on to the next chapter yet.  Will keep you posted.  ha.

3.  Guilt, guilt, guilt.  I was snide on Monday about my past, about the way I used to believe and many people I love still believe.  In hindsight, I should have confined my 'snidery' to the hair splitting attitude, but I didn't.  I made fun of having the joy of the Lord.  I know better.  I knew when I typed it I would regret it later.  But I was going for cynical funny, and later it made me cringe.  I actually had a dream about it that night.  We were at a big, shiny clean roller rink (seriously), and everyone was skating past me on their shiny roller skates singing praise songs and I was not moving.  Just standing there stock still while everyone else whizzed past.  Can you believe it?  OK, then! that is clear enough even for someone as dense as me.  I don't believe in the same thing I meant when I used that phrase twenty-five years ago, but I still do believe in joy that comes from some kind of spiritual wellspring.  (Of course I'm not going to define exactly what that means because that would be against the principles of abeyance, right?)  I shouldn't have been snide about it.  I apologize and humbly repent.  So now I should get a happy dream where I'm flying, too, right?  But it never seems to work that way, damn it.

4.  Twitter. I'm getting hooked.  It took me awhile to get it set up so that I like it, but how else are you going to feel your phone buzz the "incoming text message" buzz and then you look down and you've got a text message from the Dalai Lama?  How cool is that?  I'm so curious whether or not he has anything to do with it or if it's just one of the under-Lamas doing all his techie stuff, but I don't care.  It's still cool.  Except could he lay off that compassion theme?  Because I'm getting really impatient with it.  (that was supposed to make you laugh.)  That and the daily quote from GoogleBooks are the only ones I still have coming to my phone-- I figured out really quickly that you could end up deluged with texts if you turn that feature on for all your tweeps. (For those of you who still haven't taken the plunge, you can read the "tweets" from the people you've chosen to "follow" on the twitter webpage or have them sent to your phone as text messages.)

well, these turned out to be longer than I anticipated, so I'm going to save the fifth one for a separate post because it was going to be the longest one anyway.

TGIF and all that.

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