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Joyous Greenmountain
20 May 2012 @ 07:06 pm
I have an alcove that I need to keep my cat out of for an undetermined amount of time, but maybe a few weeks or a month or two. The doorway is actually an archway with no molding on which you could mount hinges, etc, for a door. Plus it is too wide for a standard door - about 37 inches wide.

My first idea was to buy a couple (or maybe 3) of those baby gates and stack them one on top of the other. I don't need to go in and out of the alcove frequently, so even if it's a pain to remove them so I can walk through, I won't have to do it often, and hopefully for not a very long time. But, wow - baby gates are expensive! And I have to buy 3 of them? That'd cost well over $100. For just a temporary problem?

The aluminum foil on the floor idea: not an option. My cat likes to tear anything tearable that's on the floor. He would remove and destroy the foil in minutes.

Not worth it to get one of those radio signal barriers. See "temporary problem." :) (Also, see "expensive." :))

Someone suggested I build a screen door myself. I guess I could install a latch on one side and hinges on the other. Don't think my landlord will be too thrilled... although it's not like I haven't put holes in the wall in other parts of the apartment.

Anyone have suggestions? Thank you!
Joyous Greenmountain
One of my Facebook friends posted this link to an article about sleep deprivation and health. It's not a very in-depth article, but it does concur with something that I have always suspected - that chronic sleep deprivation is associated with (and therefore, possibly a causing factor in) many of the same diseases that are associated with other behaviors such as smoking, a poor diet, and lack of exercise.

What interests me about this is that if someone is chronically underslept and is therefore stressed, less capable, and perhaps developing long-term illness as a result, we do not hear anyone heaping contempt upon them for "not taking care of their health", the way we hear it about smokers, or the favorite scapegoat du jour, fat people. Can you imagine someone saying, in a sneering tone, "Go to sleep, you stressed-out nutcase. Why don't you *do something* about your health?" Quite the opposite, actually - as was stated in the article, it's a point of pride, not shame, when someone can function a long time on inadequate sleep.

Which leads me to theorize that health isn't the true concern, when people express their opinion about these behaviors. I think it's about values such as hard work, self-denial and stoicism. Enjoying activities that provide comfort and pleasure is seen as a weakness, an indulgence, regardless of its health implications. And since drinking, smoking, eating lots of high-fat and sugary foods, and not exercising much are all pleasurable (or don't require much effort) and are potentially risky to one's health, those who are judgemental about this perceived weakness can simply pretend that they're "just concerned about your health".

But what about sleep? People who consistently function on insufficient sleep are taking similar risks with their health, but that doesn't trigger the same contempt. Why don't they? Well, I think it's because going without sleep is seen as stoic and macho. It's sleeping that's suspect under these values. Sleeping is for wimps; it's for lazy people, regardless of its relationship to your health.

So, the next time someone chides you for "unhealthy behavior" when they see you eating some ice cream, don't buy it! Your health is not what they're commenting on.
Joyous Greenmountain
26 February 2010 @ 06:28 pm
Has anyone used those Topsy Turvy tomato planters? I have a smallish balcony, but lots of sunlight. Yet I haven't had a lot of luck growing tomatoes, probably because I haven't found a good place to put the big pot where I grow them. I thought these planters that hang upside-down might be a great use of the space I have available. I've seen the ads, but I'd like to hear from people who've actually used them. Are they as good as the advertisements claim they are? Any problems with them? Are there particular kinds of tomatoes that would be better grown in these as opposed to being planted in a right-side up planter or in the ground (eg, cherry tomatoes vs full-sized)?

I'm in Northern California, SF Bay Area (but not in San Francisco itself - it's usually sunny in my neighborhood.

Joyous Greenmountain
20 November 2009 @ 01:42 pm
This morning I was lying in bed, listening to the radio and trying to wake up. So I turned the dial to KPFA, a lefty radio station in the Bay Area. A talk show was in progress and the guest was discussing politics, politicians, and the political landscape in the US, with regard to race and class. I was totally blown away by the 10-or-so minutes I heard of his comments. It was so nuanced and thoughtful. He was able to make fine distinctions on a subject that is usually very polarizing and is usually painted with much broader strokes.

Wow! WOW!! This was a guy who thinks almost exactly the way I think - except that he knows a lot more. :) At no point did I find myself thinking, "Yes, but what about...?" For example, he was able to criticize Obama without writing him off, as many on the left have done. He was able to distinguish between the positive symbolic effect of having a black man in the White House, and this particular man's policies, which themselves are neither all-good nor all-bad. He was able to talk about Obama with great respect for him as a politician and an intellectual, without pulling punches about the ways that Obama has not addressed issues of most importance to the poorest people in the country.

So when the announcer said who he was, I made a note of it, and as soon as I got to work, I looked him up on Our Friend Google, only to discover that this guy is a world-renowned scholar and has been publishing highly regarded books for many years. Where have I been??

His name is Dr. Cornel West, a name I'm sure many of you who are reading this post have already heard. Many of you have probably already read his book "Race Matters". (Even I am familiar with that title, although I haven't read the book.) Now I'm off to my library's online catalog to reserve myself a copy of that book, or maybe another one.

By the way, if you live in the East Bay, Dr. West is going to be reading and speaking tonight at Barnes & Noble in Oakland (address: 98 Broadway), in case you want to go see him. 7 PM. If I can get there in time, I'm going to try to go.
Joyous Greenmountain
02 February 2009 @ 08:22 pm
I went into a bookstore yesterday and discovered several new (or new to me, anyway) books that I'm excited about reading. I'm not usually inclined to buy hardcovers, but I also don't want to wait a year or however long it is until the paperback is released. That's what libraries are for! All the books I want to read have been purchased by the Oakland library, so I put holds on a couple of them. (I don't want them all to arrive at once - that would end up costing me a lot in overdue fees.)

Here's the listCollapse )
Joyous Greenmountain
01 February 2009 @ 08:57 pm
Every night for the past week, I've seen a large "star" in the sky that seems too big and too bright to be a real star. So I'm figuring it's a planet, but which one is it? It's more yellowish than the other stars, but not exactly reddish, so my thought is it's probably not Mars.

I did a search for some information about this but I didn't find anything. No mention of any visible planets right around this time. So I'm wondering if any of you out there might know more about it.

Joyous Greenmountain
25 December 2008 @ 04:05 pm
Too few, unfortunately, but still worth seeing:

I think Christmas threw up on that house
Joyous Greenmountain
22 March 2008 @ 04:12 pm
If you're not a cat-lover, you might not find this story very interesting. But if you are, it's worth reading - just have a kleenex ready.

I belong to an online group of cat lovers, and this is the story of a rescue kitty one of our members tried to save. It's a touching story that has a sad ending.Collapse )
Joyous Greenmountain
14 March 2008 @ 02:56 pm
Today is Pi day, so have a slice of pie. :)

At about an hour ago - 1:59 - it was Pi minute. (If you're on a 12-hour clock, that is.)

Apparently, Europeans celebrate Pi day on July 22 - guess why? :)

This icon is the best I could come up with on short notice. At least it's circular... sort of...
Joyous Greenmountain
11 March 2008 @ 12:54 pm
Does anyone know how to set up a posting filter so that a post can be seen by everyone in the universe except one person?

I know how to do the reverse - nobody except one person can see it. I have a bunch of sub-filters on my overall friends filters, so that I can restrict who on my friends list can see this or that.

But that only worked when my journal was friends-locked as a whole. But now my journal is public, and so are most of my posts. However, I might still want to block certain people from particular posts, from time to time, yet allow the rest of the LJ world to read it.

I couldn't find anything about this in the FAQ, nor could I find anything that says, "We don't allow this".

Thanks to anyone who can help!

I'm amused by the fact that the spellchecker here doesn't like the term "LJ". :)
Joyous Greenmountain
10 March 2008 @ 07:28 pm
1. Do you often have songs stuck in your head? Does it bother you? What sort of songs get stuck for you?

Always! It usually doesn't bother me, but after a while I might get sick of the song I have "playing" and then I try to change it. Sometimes it's as easy as thinking of something different. Sometimes the original song just keeps coming back no matter what I do. Often what's needed is for me to listen to that song, for real. That seems to get it out of my system. It's kind of like a cat that keeps meowing until you feed it. :)

The songs that I have in my head are usually ones I've heard fairly recently. A while ago I made a CD of a collection of songs from my favorite online radio station (which I had bought at various sites where you can buy one song for a dollar or so). So these days, one or more of those songs is in my head. Yes, you didn't ask, but I sometimes have more than one during the same period of time - in which case, the songs will alternate.

2. Do you converse with yourself in your head? How distinct are the pieces (from "I'm alone in there" to "there are several distinct people who inhabit our body")?

There's only one of me, but I do have very sophisticated discussions with myself. Usually I am fantasizing that I'm talking to a good friend, mostly it's a friend I've just seen. Often I'm continuing a conversation we were having during the visit. I've always done this. And sometimes I've gotten so deeply into the "discussion" that I would begin - without being aware - gesticulating and perhaps making faces that are appropriate to the conversation, but not to where I happen to be at the moment. My ex-girlfriend was extremely amused by this and would tease me whenever she caught me at it.

In recent years, since I've been alone and have lived alone, this habit has developed further. I now have these conversations out loud. Often I do this in the car. I'll be driving along, chatting happily as though I were on the phone or as though someone were sitting right next to me. (I can only hope that someone driving past and seeing me all by myself, in the midst of an intense conversation, will assume I have a speaker phone in the car. :)) I do this at home as well. And I don't pretend to myself that I'm "really" talking to the cats. I do that as well, but the subject matter is much more appropriate to human-feline conversation.

(Incidentally, one of the songs I've had in my head recently is called "Talking to Myself" by Madder Rose.)

3. How easy it is for you to do math in your head?

You know, considering I have a degree in math, not so easy! I've never been that good at arithmetic. I was great at abstract concepts, logic, proofs and computer programming, but rather poor, and careless, at arithmetic. Before I discovered algebra in high school, I simply thought I didn't like math. I have gotten better at it over the years, but I'm still not great.

4. How easy is it for you to visualize things in your head?

Rather difficult. I don't have good visual imagination at all. I can hear whole orchestras in my head, but I really can't see things in my mind. I usually skim over heavily descriptive parts of books because no matter how well they describe it, I just can't see it.

5. Anything else we should know about that's going on in your head?

At the moment, I'm very surprised to see how late it is. Time to get out of here! :)
Joyous Greenmountain
14 February 2008 @ 03:17 pm
I have nothing against people celebrating this holiday.

I have no problem with people wishing me a Happy Valentine's Day. Same back to you. :)

I'm not in a couple, but I don't resent those who are. (I don't always like the way some couples act, but I'm OK with the fact that many people like to be in couples.)

But in case anyone's wondering why I didn't initiate any wishes today, it's just not a holiday I've ever responded to. I don't mean to hurt anyone's feelings, so I hope nobody's feelings are hurt. It's just not something I get sentimental about.

Which is not to say that I'm unsentimental - at all. Put a cute, furry baby mammal of any species in front of me, and I am unable to say a proper English word. :) I mean, look at my icon! I just don't get all gooey about pink and red hearts and flowers. I hope you all understand. I still love you!

Oh, and about that "valentinr" thing - I went there, but it told me I had to register before I could do it, and I just balked. I have a thing about that... but to those of you who requested it, please know that I am thinking of you sweetly anyway!
Joyous Greenmountain
12 February 2008 @ 03:09 pm
The latest navel-gazing fun and excitement.Collapse )
Current Mood: reflective
Joyous Greenmountain
05 February 2008 @ 06:34 pm
But I'm fostering a kitty!!! It was totally on impulse.

There's a pet food store near me where I buy all my cat food and other stuff. I like to go there on Sundays, because they have a mobile adoption in front of the store on Sundays from 12-5. I come by, visit the cats, and chat with the volunteers and shoppers stopping by.

So I was there this past Sunday, and when I put my finger into the cage of a small cat, he rubbed his face all over my hand. So I took him out to hold him, and he headbutted me all over my face, rubbed noses with me, purred in my ear, leaned into me and generally acted like the most affectionate cat I've met in quite a long time.

Next thing I knew, I was offering to foster him. The foster home he was in wasn't working out very well, and they had someone else in mind to ask, but they hadn't asked him yet, and there I was in the flesh, so I ended up bringing him home - to my 3-cat household.

He's in a room by himself, my computer room. I spend a lot of time in there so he gets a lot of company. For the first 24 hours, he hid under my desk or on a bookshelf, or scrunched under a cart, and refused to move. He was evidently terrified.

But then yesterday, I stuck my hand in where he was hiding, and started petting him, and he stretched and rolled and purred... and soon he was out in the room, eating some food, and then cuddling with me. He's such a sweet little kitty. They say he was born in May '07, but I think he looks younger, more like 5 or 6 months old. But maybe he's just a small cat. He's mostly white, with a few black spots, and a striped tail that looks like it doesn't match. :)

Last night, one of my cats, Licky, was sitting outside the office door, meowing incessantly. So finally, I let him come in to meet the foster kitten. They eyed each other, then approached each other, and then touched noses. The baby turned his face away to show he wasn't aggressive, so I let them hang out a bit, while I got on my computer. But suddenly, I heard a loud hiss. I wasn't sure who it was from, but clearly, visiting hours were over. I guess that's enough for the first day, but I didn't think it went that badly! I don't know how long I'll have the kitten, so it would be nice if he could have access to the rest of the house, if he gets along with everyone. That's kind of a tall order, but we'll see...
Joyous Greenmountain
31 January 2008 @ 09:19 pm
My all-female a capella singing group is talking about maybe going co-ed. EEK!Collapse )
Joyous Greenmountain
29 January 2008 @ 06:52 pm
That surprises me. I think it's an interesting issue, what makes art good. I'm curious whether anyone agrees or disagrees with what I said. (I'm talking about two posts prior.)
Joyous Greenmountain
29 January 2008 @ 06:49 pm
Here are the questions she asked me to post, so she can answer.

Anyone else who would like to answer is welcome to as well. (You can copy these questions to a comment and answer them there.)

Go to the questionsCollapse )
Joyous Greenmountain
25 January 2008 @ 01:28 pm
What was I thinking?! This is not the 10th anniversary of my LTR breakup. It's the 9th! We split up in early 1999. Whoops. Let's not make time go by any faster than it already is. (This is the anniversary, though.)

Today I just feel sad, not angry. I don't think I'm very angry at B. anymore. I'm just lonely, that's all - feeling abandoned, and deeply touch-deprived. I'm not talking only about sex, but about all touch - especially, feeling wrapped up and safe in the arms of someone I can trust. Trust is in low supply these days, too, which is why I get so lonely. It's hard to connect with people when I don't feel safe.

And so the memory of feeling the same way with B, back in the mid- to late-90s, hit hard yesterday. And as I said in my post, I think all that emotion was just reflecting the general mood and circumstance of the day. This day - and month, and I'd say year, but I guess that's not very impressive yet. :)

Really, B - I'm not angry at you anymore. Go on your way and be well.
Current Mood: reflective
Joyous Greenmountain
24 January 2008 @ 11:08 pm
This is the 10th anniversary of my former long-term partner (of 15 years) suddenly ending our relationship. I started writing about it, and wow - seems like I have a few feelings about it. :) Didn't realize I was still angry about this, after all this time.

Actually, most of the time I'm not especially angry about it. I don't think a whole lot about it anymore. Which is why all this sudden emotion took me by surprise. To be honest, I think these feelings have a lot more to do with my current circumstances and mood than anything else. I certainly haven't been this bitter for 10 years!

But anyway, for the sake of those who might not want to hear a rant, I'm putting it behind this LJ-cutCollapse )
Current Mood: bemused...
Joyous Greenmountain
13 January 2008 @ 03:58 pm
Swiped, as usual, from serenejournal.

Editing this long post to stick it behind a cut.Collapse )
Current Mood: a bit antsy
Joyous Greenmountain
02 January 2008 @ 03:58 pm
Based on an exercise developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, PLEASE acknowledge their copyright. BOLD WHICH APPLY TO YOU:

Go here for the answersCollapse )
Joyous Greenmountain
03 July 2007 @ 10:45 am
Someone on my Friends list posted the following:
...if I have to choose between a violent death and a death-by-degrees of closing my life off little by little in reaction to my own fears, I know what I choose. (And no, those aren't the only two choices, thankfully.)
This caused me to do my own riff on fear - my history with it, other people's responses to my fear, my own response to it. I have a very different take on it.

But first let me say that this is my personal trigger, and I am not here to argue with or judge anyone for how they choose to deal with their own fears. It's a very personal journey.

A different takeCollapse )
Joyous Greenmountain
29 June 2007 @ 11:56 am
I saw this on an LJ community. It's low-impact, hand-built house in Wales, and in addition to being friendly to the environment, it looks magical and is just charming as hell! I want to live there!
Joyous Greenmountain
27 June 2007 @ 11:10 am
... as usual, from serenejournal, my survey supplier.

1. Do you still talk to the person you lost your virginity to?
Nope, but I would be happy to talk with him if I ran into him, as unlikely as that is. And I didn't lose my virginity. I hurled it at him.

I lost my virginity twice. Once with a man, at age 22. And then again, with a woman, at age 28. Each time felt like crossing a boundary into a whole new territory, so each time I felt like a virgin.

Oh... right, do I talk to them? :) No, I don't talk to either one.

2. Is it harder to be rejected or to reject someone else?
For me, it's much harder to reject someone else.

Oh, being rejected, no question! Not to say I don't hate rejecting others. But I've never gone into a two-year depression after rejecting someone, whereas being rejected has laid me flat out on several occasions.

3. What kind of music did you listen to in elementary school?
My parents played a lot of Joan Baez; Kris Kristofferson; and Peter, Paul, & Mary. My dad played lots of Elton John when my mom wasn't around. My sister played Tony Defranco, the Osmonds, and lots of other '70s pop music. I don't remember seeking out music independently, but I was always in choir and music classes, so whatever we were singing/playing was likely to be on my mind.

First grade: "Puff the Magic Dragon". Over and over and over. My parents had a record player that had an auto repeat. I used to hold onto a pole in our basement with one hand, and spin round and round while the song played over and over, for hours. (There was a reason I was doing this in the basement. :))

Fourth grade: The Beatles came ashore in the USA. Changed my life completely. After that I was glued to the radio listening to all the pop/top 40 music I could. By 6th grade I had a little transistor radio that I never went anywhere without.

My mother liked classical music, so I also grew up listening to that, mostly orchestral stuff. Dad liked folk and "female vocalists" (eg, Liza Minelli, Lana Cantrell), and also some musical theater stuff. Two of my favorites were Tom Lehrer's "That Was the Year that Was" and the soundtrack to "Fiddler on the Roof".

4. What is the best thing about your current job?
I get to spend my workdays with someotherguy.

And I'm paying my debts, yay!

8. Where are you going on your next vacation?
Probably San Diego to see family, but besides that, I'm planning on Vegas in February for alt.polycon.

Elderflower, a women's spirituality retreat, in August.

9. Have you ever thrown up from working out?
No. I can't even imagine it.


10. Are most of the friends in your life new or old?
It's a mix. I'm still in regular contact with two of my oldest friends -- I met C when I was 11, and A when I was 14. Most of my friends, though, are probably people I met after I got online in 1998, but I'm not sure if 9 years counts as old or new friends.

I used to be really good at keeping old friends, but now I've lost touch with so many people. I'm OK with it for most of my ex-friends - those relationships didn't work any more. But I am missing a few people a lot, and I need to find a way to restablish contact (emotionally, not logistically).

11. Have you ever gotten so wasted you didn’t know what was going on?
No, I've never gotten wasted.

Well, a couple of times in high school I got sufficiently drunk to end up passed out in bed. Mostly, though, I'm not one for getting wasted.

13. Are you touchy-feely?
With family I am. With friends, I do hello/goodbye hugs and that's about it.

I love being around touchy-feely people, but I tend to be shy about initiating it, so I let other people set the tone. If they are comfortable with it, then I am. If they're not, I don't push it.

15. Do you prefer the tanning bed or the sun?
I like being out in the sun, but I don't intentionally tan.

I've never tried a tanning bed - eww. I used to love to be in the sun and get tanned, but I've been successfully scared off doing that, so now I sit in the shade, or apply gobs of 1000 SPF sunblock.

17. What could you tolerate...someone who snores or a sleep walker?
I assume this means "as a partner" or "to sleep with." I can tolerate either. Snoring is safer.

LOL, snoring might be safer, but you've never shared a bed with my ex. :)

18. Do you consider yourself bi-polar?
No, nor have I been diagnosed as such.

??? Isn't this a rather specific diagnosis? Either you have it or you don't. Considering yourself to have BPD would be kind of like "considering yourself" to have, say, Cystic Fibrosis. :) It's not really a matter of opinion...

19. What's something your friends make fun of you for?
My friends mock me gently for being a slut and for being unsubtle/brash, but don't often make fun of me, period.

I get teased for the hours at which I (1) go to sleep at night, (2) get up in the "morning", and (3) eat various meals. This has gone on for years and is beyond tedious! (For some reason, the teasing doesn't feel affectionate to me. But maybe it is, and I'm just a big grump.)

20. What's your worst personality flaw?

Um, hmm. Shouldn't this question go to someone else? I don't feel qualified to answer it. I mean, whatever I think is wrong with me is probably not what others consider to be my main flaws. I don't know... chronic lateness?

21. Have you ever gone to therapy?

A more pertinent question would be, "Have you ever spent time not in therapy?" :) I'm currently not in therapy, which is relatively rare in my life.

22. Would you ever parachute off of a plane?
Probably not unless it were to save my life.


24. Are you Irish in any way?
I think so. My dad says his heritage is English/Irish/German/Dutch.

Er... I'm from Boston? :)

I don't think there's any Irish in my considerably mixed heritage. (I consider myself to be a "Jewish Euro-mutt", and can claim Romanian, Russian, English, Scottish, German and Norwegian ancestors.)

25. Have you ever ridden in a U-Haul?

No, but I've driven one.

26. Do you like to play Scrabble?
Yes, but I never win.

Nope. I find it boring.

27. Have you ever been to a nude beach?
Yes. I tend to get naked easily. Ocean beaches around here tend to be places where one would wear sweaters, though, so it's not my usual naked place.

Hell, yeah. One local nude beach is Muir Beach in ... wherever it is. :) (It's in Marin County, California - don't know which town.) On one uncharacteristically hot and sunny day back in 1992, I did go swimming at the nude section of that beach. The water was very warm and comfy, too, and I stayed in for a long time. This must have been an El Nino year!

29. Have you ever had sex on the beach?
Not the drink, but yes on the act.

Ditto. (What's in that drink, anyway?)

33. Does the number of people a person's slept with affect your opinion of them?
No, though sometimes I boggle at folks' choices.

What's with people and their judgements about this? (Not serenejournal's answer - I mean the question.) I've noticed on TV, for example, that one of the worst things someone can call a young woman is a "slut". In this day and age?? And with all the sex on TV?

That said, I think I am affected by it, although not in the usual way. When I meet someone who's slept with a lot of people, I tend to think, "There's someone who's really experienced. I'll bet he/she has a good sense of what he/she likes in a lover/partner." And when I meet someone who's had very little sexual experience, I might be tempted to project some of my negative self-image onto them. I've gotten shit from some people because I have less experience, in terms of the number of people I've had as lovers, than most. That's a whole rant in itself, which I will save for another post.

34. Have you ever gone to a party where you were the only sober person?
I have no idea. At most parties I attend, many people are sober, or everyone is.

I have been to parties where everyone (or most everyone) is smoking weed. I don't smoke, so sometimes I'm the only non-stoned person there. It's sort of fun - suddenly my humor is very witty. :) I don't tend to hang out with people who drink heavily, though. Drunks aren't that interesting.

35. What do you do when you spot a bug in your house?
Usually, I leave it alone. We don't get many bugs here; I suspect the spiders keep them in check.

Depends on the bug. Spiders - I usually leave them alone unless I suspect it's a black widow. I kill those because I worry that they might kill one of my cats. The cats love to stalk and play with spiders, so that's a distinct possibility. If I find a spider in my bed, I'm not thrilled about it, but I'll usually brush it off rather than kill it.

Ants - unfortunately, I do kill the occasional lone ant I find in my apartment. If it were just that one ant, I wouldn't mind. But give them an inch... and they'll invite 10,000 of their friends in.

Pretty much any other bug I leave alone. They provide endless amusement for the kitties.

* Current Music: earworm (Backroads Tennessee, Shawn Colvin)

I love this song! Also "Round of Blues", on the same album.