Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Green Sludge Dreams

There is a new flu epidemic sweeping the Bay Area. Me and my co-worker caught the same bug and had nearly the same rapid progression of symptoms: Sore throat, fever, and then cough, cough, cough. This one is a stinker, folks. If you feel a sore throat coming on, I recommend that you sequester yourself. The doc told me this morning that this virus has brought in heaps of patients and that the tenacious little bugger can live for 1.5 hours outside of the body.

Anyhow, I tried to stay far, far away from the green, licorice-flavored goop, but after three nights spent coughing myself awake, I was beginning to drift off during my appointments at work. So, I caved.

I must say, Ny Quil tastes sort of good.

Nevertheless, I had a dream that night that a giant worm was eating everybody in the Bay Area. It was releasing a neurotoxin through its skin that was corrupting people into sacrificing themselves for the good of the worm....and I was the only one impervious to the toxin. After what seemed like hours of running away from pod people and the worm, I ended up in front of a field with signs indicating where people should line up if they would like to be cooked rare, medium, or well-done in their quest to become worm food.

I woke up and flushed the Ny Quil down the toilet.

I highly recommend an aromatherapy bath instead. About 5 drops of essential oil (I used Rosemary and Tea Tree oils) warm (not hot) water, you will rest easy without dreams of becoming worm bait.

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's All Coming Together...

A few weeks ago, I received some unsurprising news. The UC system will now be operating on a (thinner) shoestring, and in all likelihood our pay will drop substantially this year--probably within the next month or two.

While absorbing this new information as a homeowner earning a modest income, I found that I wasn't as devastated as I thought I'd be. In fact, I felt all right. Naturally, I'm concerned about about the level of morale among staff and faculty (this is an equal opportunity pay cut) and I worry about how this will particularly impact the many single parents who work for UC. But otherwise, I feel more at peace than I have in awhile.

Perhaps it is this little haven of mine?

Amazingly, right before The News, my space started to come together. I brought home a beautiful wall hanging from my office that I had bought at the Berkeley Himalayan Fair years ago. I found some new plants and pillows at an unbelievable price. I resurrected an old oak end table that had been languishing in storage for years. While I used to labor over every conceivable decision in my previous dwellings, I reverted back to my trusty old "screw it" approach and found that everything coalesced.

In the gesture of letting go, there is harmony. I know, shame on me for my lack of eloquence. But let's face it; most of us live in refuge from common sense MOST OF THE TIME. We think that excessive worry is the sticky stuff that binds our lives together, when it is often just the sticky stuff that keeps us firmly glued to a sinking ship.

Ahhhhh...sticky stuff.

Painting my office nook was particularly therapeutic. I was having brunch at Aunt Mary's Cafe in Temescal, and happened to notice the gorgeous color on their kitchen wall. It was midnight blue with a slight suggestion of green, and altogether gorgeous. The gracious and lovely waitress brought me a pint of the paint (a custom mix) so that I could record the number and buy some of my own.

I used to buy little samples of paint color and slap them on the walls, living with them for weeks until I made a decision which I always seemed to end up doubting later on.

This time I marched over to Kelly Moore, bought the paint, and painted the nook. And I don't mind saying that I think it looks hot. No samples or accompanying sticky stuff required.