Saturday, February 28, 2009


The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

I Need to be Downtown in 14 Minutes

Kalpana Mohan's blog is delicious. Scrolling through it just now, I was reminded that I felt a bit indignant, reading The Diary of a Maidservant, knowing that an upper-class man wrote it, and that Oxford University Press published it. That's sort of how I guess some feel about so many white Brits having been behind "Slumdog Millionaire." Both artworks match my definition of art: They restore dignity and so I need to say to myself, Who cares who created these artworks? Thank God *someone* did.

And I related to Kalpana's experience at the cheese counter, only in my case, it was at the drycleaner's and the woman behind the counter asked, "Picking up for Mommy?"

My partner is 15 years older than I and we do not resemble a mother and daughter -- not remotely -- but it's all about others' frames of reference.

The flower entry made me hungry for Spring.

I will be late....

Friday, February 27, 2009


The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

What Is It Good For?

Absolutely everything! I heard the "War" song on my way to CVS to pick up my prescription this morning and having just watched this film, "Love Actually," I'm reminded that love is what keeps me so alive.

There's Pat-love and cat-love and love for our nephew who will be 16 in less than two hours, and our niece who'll be 16 in a few weeks, and our twin-nephews, who are 10, and for my mom and Pat's, and for the memory of my dad, z"l, and for my dear sisters, brothers-in-law, my friends and myself.

And there's love for the sound of the rain outside, and the daylight lengthening lately, and for relief the that comes with exercise and laughter and intimacy. The movie was full of schlocky moments, but it charmed me anyhow. Spoiler alert:

It showed the love of a mentally-ill sibling, of a childhood crush, of a dead spouse and others. As I'm writing about the movie, I'm thinking about a loving response from earlier today that I received from a girl (she was then) who I knew in high school and reunited with electronically via Facebook.

It turns out that now, she identifies as bisexual, but she was not self-aware back then. And it was lovely to hear her celebrate my life and love: "I'm very happy that you found happiness in your life. I think life is far too short to hide what we are and to not grasp the happiness we all so totally deserve," she wrote.

If I had self-destructed in the face of feeling like the only one of my kind in high school, rather than hanging on, I would have missed the comfort that this simple note gave me a quarter of a century later. Sometimes, things take a quarter of a century to feel all right.

Watching a Friend's Favorite Movie

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

"Love Actually"

This is a pretty good date-movie so far, especially after a busy day that began with a trip to the podiatrist to X-ray a growth in the sole of my left foot. I'm a lefty and it scared me terribly. Nothing was visible in the X-ray, so I'll have it MRI'ed soon. She said it was likely nothing, since nothing appeared in the X-ray; I liked how high my arches looked.

The doctor sent me away with a prescription for an MRI, an anti-inflammatory for 30 days and directions to ice it for 10 to 15 minutes six times a day all weekend.

As If Woody Allen Were in Love with London

Pat is sitting with me, saying we need to go to London. It's so gorgeous in this movie. So far, all that's missing is more of Laura Linney.

I'm pretty sure I saw that "Love Actually" as one of my friend's favorite films in her Facebook info. And then when Laura Linney was in it, I got curious. She's dancing with the guy she's got a crush on now. This is the best part so far....

Now, January Jones is offering the British guy home-hospitality and this machine is running out of battery-power....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Survivor's Guilt

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Trying Not to Suffer from It

In the past few months, a number of my friends have experienced their last day at work, involuntarily. Job-loss feels scarier for me to discuss here than nearly any other topic I can imagine.

I've steeled myself and compartmentalized the losses mostly, but also have happily surprised myself that I was not inhuman when I heard from these friends by e-mail. Unlike some of our friends as it turned out, I did not treat them like they were contagious.

Times like these will test one's humanity. I'm glad to be passing the test.

Still, no matter the compassion and presentness I've demonstrated for my friends, I've managed to keep pumping and producing...and to feel a good deal of survivor's guilt along the way.

More than an Academic Discussion

In class tonight, we talked of social time and how time feels when one is unemployed. I remember my dad's unemployment in the '70s. I'd have enjoyed having him around more so, as we did when he was out of work, if only he hadn't always been pre-occupied with looking for a job!

And then he and my mom went into the lamp business -- actually manufacturing them(!) Necessity is the mother of invention.

My father designed the lamps, my sisters and I cut felt bases for them, my mother wrote the hang-tag copy for them and my parents hired boys from the technical high school to work by the hour on assembling them. My mother became a traveling salesperson and carried them into lamp- and gift-stores, and department-stores in pet cases because all of them were animals -- hippos, elephants, cats, owls....One of the coolest times of their marriage wouldn't have happened had my dad not become unemployed.

Please, God, I love what I do and hope never to lose my job. I suppose I'm telling the story above, again, out of survivor's guilt, i.e., cool things can happen after a job loss....

Cutting Off a Bad Mood

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

How I Did It This Morning

Today, I awoke earlier than I wanted, as Thursdays are soup-kitchen-volunteering days for my partner Pat and she gets up extra-early. She got up even before Toonces the cat had a chance to do her 6 am-ish ritual of marching around on us till we get up to feed her sister and her, and before her sister let loose her daily, plaintive cry, always issued at the bedroom threshold.

I woke up cranky with insufficient sleep and thought, Since I'm working from home today, I will spend no commute-time, and so I want to start the day with an activity just for pleasure, rather than instantly being my dutiful self. I'm going to go take a bath and read the rest of the "Lesbian Nation" article my brother-in-law Gary told me about, I decided.

The bathtub was filling up with bubbly-jet, hot water on this cold-porcelain morning and I eased into the heat. The article was fascinating, but discouraging. Why couldn't I be Ariel Levy, the author, or why couldn't I be a lesbian worthy of profiling, like the profilee, Lamar Van Dyke?

I finished the article in despair. Why didn't I lead such a colorful life? Why didn't I become a hot, young journalist? A friend once taught me the slogan, "Compare is despair," but that didn't stop me this morning...until:

Showered with Miracles

I stood up to shower and get going with the day. Standing in the spray, all in a split-second, I wished for the fortitude to shut the shower, go put on a bathing suit and drive to the pool for a swim.

My prayers were answered: I turned off the water, toweled myself off quickly, put on my purple Speedo and petted the kitties before alarming the house and heading out.

"Where's the other lady?" the lifeguard asked.

"Thursday is her day to volunteer at the soup kitchen," I told her as I walked to half a free lane. I hopped into the water, goggled up, looked at the pool-clock, leaned forward and pushed off from the pool-wall, kicking out my foul mood.

What's the Difference...

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

...Between Reflection and Critical Reflection?

For much of my life, I feel I've been reflective, and since April, 2007, I've been especially reflective, as that's when I launched this blog...but what's the difference between plain-old reflection and critical reflection? Thinking and critical thinking?

Historically, I would have said that reflection and thinking in any case would be good, but ever since starting this Masters Program in Organization & Leadership with a specialization in Adult Learning and Leadership, everyone's always talking about critical thinking and critical reflection.

I know I've read chapters on both for school over these two years, but if someone had a gun to my head right now, God forbid, I don't know that I could provide the distinction between critical thinking and default thinking, or critical thinking and critical reflection....Maybe *reflection* means it has to be aloud somehow, whether orally or in writing, whereas thinking can remain in one's head and never feel a breeze.

With a sleeping cat on my lap right now, I feel tranquil, I feel menstrual cramps less acutely and I feel cozy, but I do not feel like thinking critically, let alone doing critical reflection.

Monday, February 23, 2009


The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

All the Time

A colleague shared a fantastic "Scientific American" article with a number of us earlier today, "The Serious Need for Play."

Coincidentally, a different friend and I were talking first thing this morning about how she wished her daughter would have some fun. "She's always reading. It's too much....I used to read under my covers with a flashlight and my mother said that that's why my daughter's that way, but I wish she were interested in having fun, too."

"Maybe that *is* fun to your daughter -- reading all the time," I responded.

And then I read the article, which talked of the importance of unstructured play -- how it builds the imagination, negotiation skills, the ability to problem-solve....

Recently, I was writing for school about how I get a thrill from doing experiments at work. Others might call it risk-taking; it's not the risk that thrills me, but rather the sense of experimentation.

Did I get that way from going to my first year of nursery school at a Montessori school? Did I become experimental because my friends all liked to pretend with me when we were very young? Did playing with Lego by myself, in the corner of my mother's Weight Watchers meetings, make a difference? How about running around outside whether on foot or by bike, often improvising my destination?

During our most recent class in Time & Learning, our professor asked, "What makes you feel in or out of synchronicity with others? And when you feel out of synchronicity, what do you do to achieve or restore it?

"I try to make people laugh, which always disarms everything," I responded. It wasn't till I gave that answer that I realized that laughter is so valuable to me at work as a creativity agent that if no one around me is particularly funny, I try to take up the slack, to ensure that I feel my most open, and so my most creative.

"So you're saying that the element of surprise, which laughter brings, can bring synchronicity?" our professor asked.

"I think so."

Reading the "Scientific American" article, I was wishing, also, that it had talked about being playful at older ages, and explicitly about laughter. As a reader, I could infer that when two kids are playing, if they're having fun, probably there is at least some laughter.

Laughter can be a deeply pleasant surprise, and a pleasant surprise opens people's minds. If I can no longer do spontaneous fort-building, or other unplanned, fun activities with the people with whom I spend my workdays, then I can try to make all of us laugh in any case.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Girl Scout Cookies and the Neighbors

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Due at Lunchtime

Every day that we live in this lovely house in this sweet neighborhood is a blessing. This morning, on our walk, a black van slowed down across the street and our neighbor Thea announced, "The Girl Scout cookies are in. We'll bring them over around lunch-time."

I don't eat refined sugar anymore -- not since understanding my allergy to it by 1990 -- but we bought a ton of boxes to be good neighbors. Pat'll probably bring most of them to the Soup Kitchen with her on Thursday.

This is the same neighbor who gave us surplus zucchini, basil and tomatoes from her garden last year, and who brought over a scratching-post that her family no longer needed since their cat died. The girls love it.

Around us, everyone's a good neighbor. We're fortunate. And it's a neighborhood full of families who are Chinese and Indian immigrants, biracial, black, white, older and younger. It's odd -- or not -- that when we lived in St. Charles, Illinois, everyone looked the same in our neighborhood and it was much less warm. Does everyone feel more like an ambassador of his or her people in this neighborhood, and so everyone tries harder to be kind? Or are we just randomly lucky?

Cat on My Lap

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Whose Stomach is Gurgling? Hers or Mine?

Sometimes, her leg quivers and I think she's dreaming. "What does she dream about, Pat?"

"Chasing birds and squirrels."

On a winter day like today, Phoebe is a comforter. When we first invited her into our home in July, it was less lovely to host her on my lap in terms of the heat she generated, but no less sweet to feel her silky, shiny coat under my sweeping hands, and hear her purr-engine become louder as I swept.

Have the cats slowed me down? Tranquilized me? Made me less intense? Do I need this forum a bit less when I have such positive attention from these lovely little beings?

Maybe, I am becoming slower, more tranquil, less intense...and maybe these cats are going to extend my life-span, if not primarily inspire my creativity-drive.

Over time, I hope they'll do both. A couple of months ago, I read Doris Lessing's book on cats and was delighted by how well she described each of the ones she had parented over her lifetime. She did amazing character development. It made me take jealousy by cats seriously and now, I ensure that I always pet and praise both of them when they're together.

Phoebe likes my lap during the day and Toonces prefers my TV-watching legs at night.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

More Music & Synchronicity

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

iseecolor "Songs with the Best Lyrics"

Lynetta White is so great to have started up the group, "MEMORY LANE: R&B Oldies, 60's-80's Classic, Rare, Smooth & Mellow Music."

"My Greatest Inspiration" by Teddy Pendergrass is playing now on Lynetta's profile. She started a discussion this afternoon that I couldn't resist responding to: "What songs captured your heart because the lyrics were so touching?"

My response:

  • "Street Life" by The Crusaders
  • "I Will Be Here for You (Nitakungodea Milele)" by Al Jarreau
  • "Poetry Man" by Phoebe Snow
  • "Portuguese Love" by Teena Marie
  • "Sarah, Sarah" by Jonathan Butler
  • "Breakin' My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)" by Mint Condition
  • "Sensitivity" by Ralph Tresvant.

Growing up, I always said that I didn't care that much about lyrics. Songs just needed to be cheerful with a beat. And it's also true that not all of the songs on this list necessarily would have been included if they hadn't also had such great melodies.

What makes people feel an affinity for one another, akin?

For school earlier today, I was writing about synchronicity and society for an assignment:
I feel in synchronicity with society as a whole when I see or hear a great piece of art that is not of the mainstream, and yet somehow makes it to sufficient prominence that I’m graced with seeing or hearing it.

I feel in synchronicity with society when someone from the margins is allowed to lead....I feel in synchronicity with society when I’m among people in a beautiful, public natural setting, or when I’m exercising among random members of society.

I love these feelings. Feeling in synchronicity is to feel like an insider.

I feel out of synchronicity with society as a whole around the issue of same-sex marriage. I feel that my humanity is not recognized; otherwise, it would be legal worldwide....I feel vulnerable at best and at worst, erased. When I’m not synchronous with society, I feel like an outsider.

And then Lynetta's profile serenades me with The Manhattans' "Shining Star" and I'm an insider again....And then Cameo's "Sparkle" comes on and I'm included among this world's beauty. As I've written here before, music is the balm.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Grace Jones Was Right On

Edward T. Hall is an anthropologist whose work we've been reading for class these past two weeks. In *The Dance of Life*, he writes, "One of the differences between white Americans and Native Americans, as well as blacks, is that the latter two are closer to their music" (pp. 171-172). The whole article is about rhythms -- interpersonal and collective ones.

He also writes about a number of musicians and composers: " represents a sort of rhythmic consensus, a consensus of the core culture" (pp. 169-170).

In the margins, I wrote, "How come I love Disco when my core culture wasn't black or gay male?" Always, I have loved the music played on radio stations that were hosted by black D.J.s. No one else in my immediate family appreciated those stations. In its day, Disco was known to be beloved by a number of gay men, and not necessarily by as many lesbians, and so I'm always a bit moved, recalling my painfully self-aware and as-secret-as-possible-lesbian, teenage self, rollerskating alone to it with pre-Walkman headphones, up and down Hickory Rd., which ran parallel to the street I grew up on.

Often, I'm convinced that Disco, Funk and R&B altogether were how I got through my teens.

Of course, I know that not all black people love Disco, Funk and R&B, but growing up, more of the black kids liked these genres than the white kids I knew, for instance, when I was the Freshman Class treasurer, I planned a rollerskating party as our year-end fundraiser and many of my white friends thought we'd lose money. It was wonderfully profitable, even as I was among the only white kids to participate in it.

Here's a photo of me back then (I'm on the right), among my fellow Freshman class officers; I don't recall Brian, our class VP, to my left, being especially enthused by the rollerskating event...:

I don't know if my dad had a favorite musician, but my mom's was Barbra Streisand and my sisters' were Judy Collins, Michael Franks, Steeleye Span...although I did learn of The Crusaders' "Street Life" from my oldest sister Deb.

Here, I'll share a list I posted within the EAGLE Community space for GLBT IBMers and our friends a number of years ago, and you'll see my musical 'druthers:

Some of My Autobiography in Music

The following songs have informed my life especially so far; I can't recall names of a number of the artists, but I've tried to list them in chronological order:

I Feel the Earth Move -- Carol King -- When I was four years old or so, I used to spin around to this record of my older sister Deb till I was dizzy and then would fall down and listen to the rest, amused that I felt the earth move.
Lovin' You -- Minnie Ripperton -- At 10 or so, hearing it was my first consciousness of my capacity for romance; it stirred me way back then. I loved the birds singing in the background.
Street Life -- The Crusaders -- Deb's record, too; made me wistful, and feels like I'm Randy Crawford myself whenever I hear her sing it.
Popsicle Toes -- Michael Frank -- Another of my sister Deb, with the best lyrics. I used to try to imagine the girl about whom he was singing.
Sarah, Smile -- Hall & Oates -- Whenever the sun came out, my mom would say, "Sarah must have smiled." It was so thrilling to hear a pop song about a beloved woman named Sarah.
Oseh Shalom Bimromav -- From Jewish liturgy, about God bringing peace, and is my mother's and my favorite tune of the daily services.
Halachma'anyah -- From the Passover Hagaddah, about all who are hungry feeling free to join us at our table and eat. I like the sentiment and also the tune, which is gorgeous and pure.
Gesher Tsar M'od -- Israeli Folk song -- I like the lyrics, which mean: "All of the world is a very narrow bridge. The main thing is not to be afraid." I sing it as I descend especially steep hills on my bike or Rollerblades.
Sir Duke -- Stevie Wonder -- This was the first and only 45 my dad bought me -- the only pop song both of us agreed we liked.
Shake Your Body Down to the Ground -- Michael Jackson -- My friend Amy and I won a school dance contest when we were 11, doing a line-dance to this song.
These Are the Good Times -- Chic -- Major rollerskating music, and I rollerskated to it in Central Park and up and down Hickory Road in Stamford.
Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now -- Same.
We Are Family -- Sisters Sledge -- My mother, sisters and I would dance to this routinely at family weddings.
Is She Really Going Out with Him? -- Joe Jackson -- Wasn't fully conscious as to why this resonated with me at the time and have since figured it out.
Illusion -- Imagination -- This is a beautiful, silky song that I can't find anywhere, by a British Jazz/Pop group, Imagination. **Update: Nat of EAGLE in Hursley was kind enough to locate a copy and sent it to me for Chanukah, 2001. Heaven!**
Burnin' Down the House -- Talking Heads -- We danced to this a lot in high school.
Papa Can You Hear Me? -- Barbra Streisand -- Heard this right after my dad died and it made me cry.
Sexual Healing -- Marvin Gaye -- This was the first song I heard after returning from sitting shivah for my dad, z"l, over the PA system, publicizing a school dance and I burst into tears from grief and from relief at hearing music again.
Purple Rain -- Prince -- Prince was the nicest part of the only serious relationship I ever had with a boy, during some of high school and two years of college.
Always Something There to Remind Me -- This song haunted my girlfriend and me in high school, as we were trying to be heterosexual and forget each other.
Brick House -- A dormmate, Liz, blasted this a lot during freshman year of college and all of us would dance up and down the halls to it.
Honey for the Bees -- Allison Moyet -- This gorgeous song reminds me of a Lesbian kiss-in I covered for Gay Cable Network in Chicago in 1989.
Send Me Forget-me-nots -- Patrice Rushen [thanks to EAGLE - UK member Michael, who knew the artist] -- I liked the beat and cheerfulness of it.
Lover Girl -- Teena Marie -- I used to imagine that she was singing, "I just want to be your lover, Girl," rather than, "I just want to be your lover-girl."
Oo la la la -- Teena Marie -- Transports me.
You Make Me Feel Mighty Real -- Sylvester -- Celebratory and makes me feel alive. Reminds me of Sandra Bernhard, who sings a version of it, and of bikeriding.
Mama Used to Say -- Junior -- I just love the beat and melody, and Mama's advice: "Don't you rush to get old."
Holding Back the Years -- Simply Red -- A beautiful song I first heard on the radio while a student abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, which was my final year of valiantly attempting to find a man who could be sufficiently attractive to me.
You Spin Me Right 'round -- Dead or Alive [thanks again to Michael E.] -- We would dance to this at the club affiliated with Hebrew University, the Bar Aton.
Through the Fire -- How I felt upon coming out during my senior year of college.
Father Figure -- George Michael -- Appealed to me, since my father, of blessed memory, had died when I was 17.
Pull Up... -- Grace Jones -- Saw her in concert as the guest of my friend Robert, of blessed memory, for his birthday. He died of AIDS at 28.
Pump Up the Volume -- Used to dance to this at "Paris" dance club for lesbians after playing rugby matches in Chicago; was number 5 in the scrum. We felt almighty after matches.
Keep on Movin' -- Soul 2 Soul -- The entire album felt like my soundtrack for at least a year.
Everybody, Everybody -- Black Box -- Another song we'd dance to after rugby.
Constant Craving -- kd lang -- a theme-song for my early-20s.
Somethin', Somethin' -- Maxwell -- a good song to rollerblade to, and which made me feel more settled faster after our move to Montclair, where I skated to it around a student parking lot of Montclair State University.
Golden Lady -- Stevie Wonder -- on par with "My Cherie Amour," both of which automatically elevate my mood as high as it can go when I hear either song.
It's All for You -- Janet Jackson -- Pat took me to her concert for my birthday in July, 2001, and I just love everything about Janet Jackson, particularly that this song, for example, embodies my definition of music that I love: cheerful with a beat.
Shackles (Praise You) -- Mary Mary -- Thanks to EAGLE - Mid-Hudson Valley member, Peter, who furnished the correct title and artist. I heard it most memorably at the GLAAD Awards dance in L.A. in 2001.
I Feel Like a Woman -- Shania(sp?) Twain -- I don't know that that's the exact title, but I love dancing to this song with Pat and friends.
I Know it's Not Too Ghetto... -- Faith Evans -- and that's not the title of the song, but that's how it begins and what I really like about the song is the driving background instrumental part of it, rather than the actual singing
Wonderland and the one about reality being surmountable -- John Meyer -- I just love his voice and the themes of both of those songs.
Wonderful -- Annie Lennox -- I love scream-singing along to the chorus when I'm on long drives; I play it over and over because I like the whole song so much, how it's slow and sad and then cheerful/angry and quick and loud, and thank God, I can't relate to the lyrics.
Update: I'm adding these more randomly than chronologically, and wanted to include them, too:
Life's What You Make It -- Talk Talk -- I'm feeling like that's the stage I'm at now: hopeful, optimistic, learning, growing
Golden -- Jill Scott -- Heard it while rollerblading around Montclair this morning. Just went to and watched the video twice...awe-inspiring
Move Your Body -- Nina Sky -- Like Aaliyah's "Hot Like Fire" or Sinead O'Connor's "I Want Your (Hands on Me)," I'm shy about listening to this song other than around Pat or in my car by myself, but anytime I hear any of them, I smile and become imaginative.
I Can't Wait -- New Shooz -- This 1984 song might be the theme song for our wedding when Pat and I ever have one.
Outstanding [Girl, You Knock Me Out] -- Gap Band -- Or this one.
You're My Everything -- Anita Baker -- Or this one.
Note: Looking for the lyrics to New Shooz's "I Can't Wait," which I couldn't find, I found, which prompts me to add all of the following songs:
Take on Me -- Aha -- Was living in Jerusalem when this was popular; probably heard it on Voice of America's pop radio show.
Come on Eileen -- Dexy's Midnight Runners -- There was no particular Eileen in high school, who moved me, so I enjoyed the song more purely, imagining my own playfully, smiling ideal version of an Eileen.
Sarah, Sarah -- Jonathan Butler -- My mother told me it made her imagine my one boyfriend ever, wondering, as Butler sings "Sarah, Sarah, what happened to you and I [sic]?" Nonetheless, it's a gorgeous song and I'm fond of it.
People Are People -- Depeche Mode -- Liked the beat and the message; don't know that I allowed myself to connect it with my lesbian identity at the time.
I Want to Know What Love Is -- Foreigner -- Could have been a theme song for discovering my lesbianism, but it wasn't, consciously anyway.
Everybody Wants to Rule the World -- Tears for Fears -- I love the melody of this and the chorus; made me want to do something powerful whenever I heard it.
Promises Promises -- Naked Eyes -- was a freshman at the University of Michigan when this came out if I remember correctly.
(Keep Feeling ) Fascination -- Human League -- Just fun!
Look of Love -- ABC -- Reminds me of a high school friend I lost after college. I had such a crush on her in high school; I first saw MTV at her family's condo; it was a Roxymusic video.
True -- Spandau Ballet -- Reminds me of living in Jerusalem...more Voice of America -- didn't matter if the artists were American, just that they sang pop tunes in English.
Something About You -- Level 42 -- I love the sound of this song; maybe this is another possibility for a future wedding, but I can't recall all the words.
Lullaby -- The Cure -- Listening to this when it came on the radio (WLIR-FM) calmed me a bit after my dad died during my senior year of high school, as I mentioned above.
Close to Me -- The Cure -- In high school, this made me long for love, but with no one specific in mind.
Tainted Love -- Soft Cell -- Was fun to exercise to this; stayed in Ann Arbor over spring break and had my dorm-room to myself and I recall moving to it then.
Shattered Dreams -- Johnny Hates Jazz -- Like Level 42's song, this one transported me into its story through its beat and great-sounding singer.
And now am remembering in addition:
Black Boys on Mopeds -- Sinead O'Connor -- Just loved the sound of it; was working at VMS ( in Chicago at the time and my colleague Cedric introduced me to that particular song.
OK, and now to return more closely to our time:
It Wasn't Me -- Shaggy -- I just love the bouncy-ness of the tune and the lyrics amuse me; insisted that Stan listen to it with me in our rental car as we drove back to the L.A. airport from having visited an openly gay business owner and client in Orange County, CA.
Just in Case -- Jaheim -- I like the tune and also the sentiment, which is a bit morbid, but it moves me.
Love -- Musiq -- Sounds like a Gospel song to me and has beautiful lyrics.

Nine Haiku for Valentine's Day

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Haiku #1

Confess that forgot?
No, find Pat did, too, and laugh...
Love, at 17.

Haiku #2

Chagrined at blogging,
but Pat's on Facebook right now.
Cats killed all languor.

Haiku #3

Cynthia Nixon --
Our entertainment later.
Phew! A date is nigh.

Haiku #4

Pat, I love always;
She makes me laugh and is kind.
The combo delights.

Haiku #5

Today: Chocolate Day
Not a day of greater love
Pat is better than....

Haiku #6

Our marriage still waits.
Will I ever be a bride?
New Jersey, come on!

Haiku #7

Recall macro-love;
Offer g'milut chasadim
Give loving kindness.

Haiku #8

How grateful I am!
I have a relationship.
Please, God, sustain it.

Haiku #9

Romantic love lasts;
It does not burn, though, like prior.
I smile, recalling.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stealing Time...

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

...From Sleep

I so miss my blog; Facebook used to be just my "chick on the side." I marvel at a couple of friends who have 1,000+ Facebook friends and who seem omnipresent online. They must not do any offline living, I reason.

And then I consider that a number of people might think that about me with my 500+ friends...not to flatter myself that others besides me are noticing the degree of my online-ness....

It's true that I do spend a lot of time online. Over the weekend, a Brazilian colleague and friend and I were instant-messaging while she worked on the design of a cultural artifact for an event we were hosting on OpenSim.

We were discussing my lack of visual self-expression relative to hers. "I'm more verbally self-expressive," I wrote.

"I'm just the opposite," she responded...which is why she was wearing a custom-made outfit, hair-style and complexion while, by default, I appeared as a long-haired black woman in a gray jumper-dress. I liked wearing a dress when it was only my avatar that had to.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Theory vs. Experience

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

I'd Rather Be a Generator than a Consumer

In class recently, I told our professor that in undergrad, I wrote a paper on the psychology of humor, which I thought would be great, and fun to research, and it was pretty boring...and that I worried that while thinking about and discussing time and learning fascinated me, I wasn't so sure how much I'd enjoy reading different theorists' conceptions of time.

"I don't prefer reading theory either; I prefer to elaborate it," he said. My professor was Swiss and sometimes, his word choices sounded like they came from French, but I related to what he meant; he'd rather create theories than read others'. And he said something so appealing in further response: "I am looking for all of you to build your own theory about time in this class."

In general, I'd rather create than consume. It's easier just to consume, but it's more satisfying to produce.

The Chronobiology Discussion Appealed to, and Frustrated, Me

During our small group discussions, when we spoke of biological rhythms, I discussed how baffled I am that I don't exercise as regularly as I ought to, considering how good/confident/clear-headed it always makes me feel.

In plenary, I suggested that it was a self-destructive impulse that kept me from doing something so good for myself as routinely as I wanted to. Others suggested that Capitalist, societal expectations kept me away from exercise.

In response, I was a bit sharp, saying that I'd not blame my recalcitrance on society, but rather, was sure it was individually-based for me; I guess I was feeling a bit cranky from having missed swimming that morning.

Friday, February 6, 2009


The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.


This is the lawn-sign that has been posted in front of some neighbors up the street who we don't know, for the past week. The exclamation is, presumably, coming from a girl-dog, as that is the photo featured in the center of the sign.

Straining toward the sky, but less so than a week ago, is a helium-filled, silver-on-one-side Snoopy balloon, which reads, "It's a boy!" Is it a boy-puppy or a baby-boy?

"How could she be the older sister of just one puppy, Pat?" I asked my partner. "Don't they come in litters?"

"Not if they bought the puppy from a breeder."

So is it a human boy or a canine one? Either way, I'm touched at how beloved the female dog must be to our neighbors, since she has been the star of Squire Hill Road for seven days.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Family Reunion

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

...Planned for This Summer

My third cousin Michael contacted Pat and me and is organizing a family reunion in upstate-New York this summer for my mom's side of the family. The invitation captures my imagination, as I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen these relatives since I was eight years old. Historically, we have not been a close, extended family.

To my knowledge, there's never before been a reunion of this family. The idea is so retro and so perfect at once. The names listed for the reunion include the maiden surname of my grandmother of blessed memory and of two other ancestors. My mom might be the oldest-living relative invited; she'll be nearly 84 by then.

Pat's not as enthused as I, understandably, as she has zero history with these people, and one of my relatives imagined as much and said to Pat by phone the other day, "The family's rife with gays," as though that would be an incentive.

The invitation reads in part:

"Saturday lunch and dinner, Sunday brunch, beverages, nosherei, volleyball, bocce, boat rides, tubing, water skiing, lounging, schmoozing … and the fun continues after Sunday brunch!"

Could we possibly use the weekend to have some pure, relaxing fun -- a getaway from the routine of everyday living? I hope so....What a neat time to look forward to, even to the possibility of such fun. Fun and relaxation are never pure, where family's involved, though, are they?

That reminds me: I wonder if my cousin Michelle will be there. Michelle was a couple of years older than I and her mother Ada Helen used to ship a box of Michelle's hand-me-downs to me annually, it seemed, till I was in high school. I hated wearing someone else's clothes. Last I heard, Michelle and her family (husband and kids) lived in New Zealand, so I doubt she'll be there, but....