jmfargo: (Default)
Sometimes radical honesty can be a bitch. I find that when I'm embarrassed about sharing an idea or instinctively shy away from it that's when it's most important I say/do something about it. No hiding secrets behind silence; no lies by omission. Simple, straight-forward honesty.

Oh dear lord how much easier it is.

"I like you" instead of weeks of twisting and turning in the wind. "No, I'm sorry, I don't want to hang out with you, please stop asking." It hurts at the moment but hopefully they get over it and move on instead of eventually realizing that they've never been invited to hang out and never will be. "Yes, that's true" instead of a prevarication to a potentially embarrassing question. True, I might blush while saying it but then the truth is out there, not hiding and making me feel awkward.

I'm not perfect at it. There are things I want to say that I keep inside, mostly things that come to me at night when my emotions are running high and hot. Words that would tear people apart for no reason, or rip my life to shreds while not being as true as I want them to be.

Sometimes the most important part of radical honesty is figuring out when I'm not being honest with myself.

This stream of consciousness has been brought to you by the letter r and the number 4,754.

Life Is Fun

Feb. 9th, 2009 10:33 am
jmfargo: (Default)
So I just finished my Linguistics Winter class on Friday. Winter classes are fun because you go to class longer each day, but for a shorter amount of time overall. The teacher has to cram a bunch of knowledge into your brain (or tell you to do it yourself) and generally everyone's a bit more frazzled.

Today would be the first day of Arabic 106 (Intermediate Arabic), except that any classes before 4pm are not in session. I have no idea why they do that on the first day of class, but I like it. I feel bad for the students whose classes are after 4, but I'm not one of them, so I'm not that worried.

Meanwhile, work has picked up again to where I'm earning decent money. A few contractors got let go, so there's more work to go around. I think the manager wanted to make sure she kept the good contractors, and in order to do that had to make sure to have some work in queue for us. I'll say this: It's nice to have put in a full days work before 11 AM. I don't think I could do that with any other job unless I started working before 9.

Social life has gotten busier too. With the addition of meetup.com to my life I've started finding some really cool things to do around here. The game night last night was a potluck dinner with lots of people at a really cool location. The next thing I want to do is go with the Adventure Group to one of their outings; they cost a lot of money, but they're usually something cool like learning how to ride a Harley, or how to make sushi. Diverse, and cool. Then there's the musician group, and the roleplaying group, and then, and then, and then.....

Things are good.

Now that I'm done with work, it's time to start cleaning the house.

My day just went from "AWESOME" to "Man, that sucks."

Not really. I'm in a great mood! Today rocks!
jmfargo: (Default)
Today's been nice. I've started keeping better track of my day-to-day life, paying more attention to what's going on around me, and what needs to get done. It's really helped, and the phrase "pay attention" has become central to the way I'm trying to live my life.

Which of you was it that wrote a post about that? Thank you. You've given me a new way to look at life, even if I eventually forget to pay attention to it. I haven't yet, so that's a good thing.

The three dogs are in the room with me now. I've been teaching our foster puppy, Pooh Bear, to "sit" on command. Well, Maria and I have been working on it, but what I mean is that I've been directly working with her today. It's going well, and she'll do it for a treat, or for a walk, but not just on command without any hint of reward. She's still learning.

Did three loads of dishes today, and still have one more to go. I'm not exactly what one would call a whiz at housework. I'm working on it, though, and trying to keep up. I'm trying to get in the habit of cleaning up right after I use something, and if I can "pay attention" long enough to remember that that's what I'm doing then it may actually work. If I forget, and let myself lapse, well, I'm sunk.

Went outside, enjoyed the sun. My tummy is feeling fine, and I ran around a little bit out there with the three dogs. The garden is growing okay, if a little crowded, so I worked on getting some of the bigger weeds out and put into my compost heap.

Next year I have to remember to plant things a little farther apart. Right now the tomatoes are mixing with one another, the zucchini are a little too close for comfort, and generally things feel a bit tight. Next year the garden will be bigger, so I'll have room to do it right. This year I was trying to focus on productivity more than prettiness.

Nothing too amazing going on today, but things are getting done. Laundry, dishes, dogs, and day-to-day life. Tonight we're going out to some community meeting in hopes of seeing what we can do to help the area where we live, and maybe meet a few people. It should be nice.

Lots to do, and lots already done. It's a good day, despite earlier issues. How are you doing?
jmfargo: (Default)
My tomatoes aren't ripening, so I thought that by aggressively pruning the lower branches I might get better results. Today, the day after doing so, I had some fully ripened cherry tomatoes, and a few Roma tomatoes that look ready to pop soon. Hopefully I'll have some absolutely delicious tomatoes ready for sandwiches, sauces, and stews within the next few days!

Taking this method, I moved on to a few of the other plants, like my hot peppers. I call them "hot" peppers because I can't spell habenaro, and I don't feel like looking it up. I know it's wrong, I'm just feeling much more lazy than normal. It would have taken less effort to look it up than to type this out. That's not the point though.

I moved on to a few of the other plants, pruning them of their lower, non-fruit-bearing branches, and am hoping to have results as fantastic as what I've seen with the tomatoes. I'm surprised I didn't think of doing this before now, but am happy that it seems to be working.

Oh, and helping my zucchini and yellow squash plants have sex by shaking the flowers at one another? Well, it seems to have worked, and so I think I owe "TT" a drink of his choice next time I'm out his way for that advice.

I was thinking about turning this post into some kind of post about aggressively pruning the excess out of my life, and how I'm sure it would help me grow into more, but as true as it sounded, it came across trite, uninspired, and generally cliched. The fact is true, and doing this to my tomatoes did inspire me to think this way about my own life, but I'm not going to belabor the point.

The fact is, my garden is doing well, and next year when I quadruple it in size I have some ideas on how to make things work even better. This makes me happier than I think anyone will ever know. I love my garden, and can't wait for more results.

The two cherry tomatoes were delicious. More are ripening as we speak. Many more.
jmfargo: (Default)
I've been cooking risotto a lot lately.

People tell me it's hard to do, but I've found that the more I do it, the easier it is. Now, I'm cooking risotto while baking a pizza and steaming some vegetables, but when I started out I wasn't able to do much more than slowly stir the chicken stock into the cooking rice.

It's kind of like life. Until you actually push your boundaries, you'll never be able to reach them.
jmfargo: (Default)
Other people don't make you who you are.

They influence your decisions, and your life, especially during your formative years of birth to age 36, but the people in your life do not make the final decisions that make you yourself. You make the choices that put you where you are in life, and you choose the next step. If the people around you say otherwise, then they think they control you, but you always have a choice to break out of the mold you're in now.

Will there be consequences? Hell yes. You might lose friends. You might lose money. You could even lose your life in the end if your choice is severe enough. Every choice has consequences, and you have to accept them.

Did I say have to? You don't have to because you have a choice. Choosing not to accept your consequences has consequences though, so look out for that.

Cause and effect, basically. People just don't seem to understand it, or they fear it way too much. Every choice you make effects the world around you. If you're thirsty, you drink water. If you drink water, you're less thirsty. Cause and effect.

Too often, I think the problems we're seeing in day-to-day life here in the United States* is caused by the fact that people aren't taught cause and effect in school beyond their application in science. They don't seem to understand that every action has a cause and effect.

Let's take my brother, for example. I'm sure he knew that having unprotected sex with his girlfriend could lead to pregnancy. He saw the potential there, but what he didn't see was the effect that a baby would have on his life. Maybe he understood the theory, but didn't take it far enough, didn't think it through to what it actually meant. I'm not saying it's a bad thing because I think my nephew Matthew is the cutest little bugger I've met, but there are ripple effects stemming directly from him in other people's lives.

For me, it's the fact that I'm an Uncle, and I'm going to try hard to be the cool uncle.

For my parents, they now have a grandchild, a precious gift, but one that sometimes seems to be put directly into their laps.

For my brother, his life should be drastically changed, and while there are usually benefits to child raising as I understand it, they don't show up for many years down the road when the kid gets out there and takes everything you taught them through their life, tackling their own hurdles.

For my brother's girlfriend it means, well, lots of stuff.

Ripples. It's that whole cliche about pebbles and ponds. Everything ripples, everything bounces, and changes the way other ripples are formed.

Now if only cause and effect was taught in school, beyond Science, then we might be getting somewhere. Maybe. I don't know.

*Are we the only country that MUST have the word "the" added to the front of it? I can't think of any other off the top of my head, but I don't know Geography that well.
jmfargo: (Default)
As many of you know, I've started lots of journals over on Blogger, the Google blog network. I have one for zombies, one for pictures, another for weight loss, and even an experimental one for writing video game reviews. Really, I have a lot going on over there. Then I have LiveJournal, and I'm not sure what to use it for.

Well, that's not quite true.

LiveJournal is my place to actually connect with people. Blogger doesn't do it very well, and really I haven't seen a site that feels as comfortable as LiveJournal for that community feeling. I want to connect with folks, make friends, laugh and joke. LiveJournal is the only place I've found that really has that down-home feeling, if you know what I mean?

So, while I probably won't be talking much about zombies here, or posting too many photos, I'm still here, still kicking. I'll still have lots to say, but my focus may shift.

For example, my 5 Things in 5 Weeks lists, or general updates about life. (Monster's doing okay, so you know. Just sick, no blockages or surgery.)

Why am I mentioning this? Why don't I just keep writing and not worry about what the content is going to be? I have no idea. I just felt like writing and this is what came out. That's pretty much how it goes these days; I just sit down with the desire to write, and I figure it out afterwards. Sometimes I surprise myself, and sometimes this is what I put out there.

Hopefully I keep being interesting, because that'll mean my life is interesting, which I enjoy.
jmfargo: (Default)
1) Hey all! Over at my zombie blog I've got a poll that I'd love to see get some extra results. If you have a minute, would you run over there, check it out, and let me know your answer? I try to put up weekly polls, and get some great info from them, but this one hold a special place in my heart.

2) I've sort of been forgetting to mention that I've had a bunch of photos published over at Insect POD, so here's a list of the last 7:

Cricket
Black Aphids
Other Aphids on a pretty flower
Maria
Fly
Honey Bee
Jumping Spider with a cool story.

Some of those posts have two pictures in them, so make sure to scroll down! (Especially the Black Aphids. David did an awesome job on that with the story and pictures.)

3) I'm starting a new online project, and am looking for submissions. If you're interested in having your dog featured on a premium* website, please feel free to send your pictures to me!

*"Premium," in this particular case meaning "I think it's cool."

Jobs

Jun. 10th, 2008 11:19 am
jmfargo: (Default)
I've been thinking about life lately. I have a pretty good job that allows me to make my own hours, pays relatively well, and that I do from the comfort of my own home office. I have an amazing spouse, and our two fantastic dogs. I have a home, not just a house. I've learned new skills, and generally am very happy.

So, why do I want to change?

I don't want to change much, really, but in the end, I want to own my own business; I want to renovate our house so that it's more like what my wife and I desire; I wish to train my dogs (one in particular whom will not be named) so that they're better behaved, especially around company. There is this great love of change in my life, and I constantly want to reach for the next level.

I think that's a part of being human.

Who do you know that has everything they want in life, that wouldn't change a single thing about it? Whether we're talking globally about the environment/president/humanitarian aid efforts or locally about weight/job/general life changes. Everyone desires something more, or at least something different.

It's how we continue to grow, even after school, after we find a great job. Even when things are good, we try to change to better. It's why the rich focus on getting more money, or many famous people try to gain more fame. Change is what we thrive on.

That's why, when things stagnate, many folks go into a long chain of depression. They feel helpless, that they can't affect the world around them. Things stop changing, except the time of day, or season of the year, and they feel useless.

I advocate change. Depression has you heading fast into a world of crashing headlong into the ground? Try with all your might to make a change. This doesn't mean you should quit your job and sit around the house all day; that just leads to more stagnation. Instead, find a new place to live, new people to be with, a new job. Get out among your local community, be a face for change, for the goodness inside of people. Or get out on your own to a favorite fishing spot that you haven't been to in years, take some time to relax, to change your location and be who/what you want to be.

Change is the will to live. Don't lose the will, and don't forget to change when you have to. It's okay to be afraid of it. Fear can help us as a fuel to get through the difficult bits, because often it's failure we fear, not the change itself. Use that fear as a reason not to fail, but if you do fail, get back up and keep on changing.

Metamorphosize yourself. As I first heard from David Brady (owner and operator of Insect POD):

"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly."
-- Buckminster Fuller

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