I was reminded today of an old classic from Brunching Shuttlecocks. (A "furry" is someone for whom an animal identity is tied up in their sense of sexuality; a Google search will give you more information than you want, but it often involves having sex while dressed in animal costumes. Not my thing, and I confess that I find it a bit odd, even though the vast majority of kinky practices don't faze me any more.)

I'm glad to know it's not just my imagination, and cell phone service is actually sucking more.

Taking a hint from Nancy Pelosi's election as House minority leader, the Democrats are adding Hillary Clinton to the Democratic Party Project for Not Getting Our Asses Kicked Ten Years In A Row. The motivation seems to be the same for electing Pelosi, namely to get the word out that the Democrats are at all different from Republicans (because they are, and one of my pet peeves is ignorant loud-mouthed fools who insist that because the Democratic and Republican parties are both directed by special interests, there's no difference between them, which there absolutely fucking is, and if you can't see the differences between President Retarded Monkey and Al Gore or Bill Clinton, then as someone once said, "Rent a crane and pull your head out of your ass"). Getting that message out, of course, also requires being genuinely different, or no one's going to buy it. So it's not entirely bleak.

    09:32 <FuzLogic> ah HAH! my money worries are done: http://www.craigslist.org/sfo/sfc/etc/6743548.html

I think I am in the process of receiving a lesson from the universe about flow and intention, as my view of the world changes. I have, pretty consistently, been taking moments to kneel down in front of my incense-burning shelf (which happens to have pictures of my family, except for my newest niece), focusing, lighting a stick of incense, and asking for help with something. It's not at all clear to me who or what I'm asking; it sort of feels like it might be kami (Shinto spirits), or the spirit guides that Mona always refers to without elaboration as "them". I don't think these things are contradictory to the Zen all-is-one-ness; more that they're different ways of accessing the same thing, and the danger of the Shinto approach is that you can get caught up in the ritual and forget that you and the spirits are both an extension of the one greater whole. But aikido seems to be leading me towards a more physical understand of the world, feeling in my mind's eye the things we can't see physically.

I got the call about the stupid QA job on Thursday or so (I left a message last night that I wasn't going today), and maybe that was the start of the loosening. Since Friday night, when some tension in my life finally resolved and relaxed a bit, and then Saturday, with more of that tension resolving and with some hours of wonderful aikido, I feel much more open and relaxed. I still have a whole world of problems, and I'm very tired, but I'm feeling pretty centered and like things will be okay. And today I got two job responses, one from a recruiter I emailed through a friend, and one from a company I emailed through craigslist, who turns out to be easy biking distance from my house. The recruiter is trying to fill a position with a financial company--it's a combined systems administrator/software engineer job, and that combination is so rare that the company has been chewing up and spitting out interviewees for four weeks, a ludicrous amount of time to hire someone in this job market. The company near the house wants a "junior" developer with a non-junior host of skills.

It's possible this is all coincidence, that there are not connections...but that's not how it feels, and that's not been my experience. The universe responds to consciousness and intention in ways we barely understand.

I'm spending Thanksgiving with the relatives up north of Sacramento. They're terrific people, so it should be a good time. They'd like to see the pictures from Mexico; I've been delaying developing them because of money issues, but some friends got me paranoid about film's ability to degrade over time, so I'm thinking I'll just bite the bullet and get it all developed, since my 16 rolls range from 9 months to 2 years old. Also there are some kids in Mexico who have been waiting a year for some pictures of them.

Not that everything's okay. I can feel the sense of overwhelmedness lurking on the outskirts, a situational kind of depression, unlike what I've had before, but depression nonetheless. But I'm learning to control my dissociation a little bit, choosing when to blank out and when to be involved--Thursday night, that was the only way I could fall asleep.

Sorry, I don't have a lot of easily expressable interesting thoughts these days. Everything often seems sort of surreal, as I go entire days without leaving the house, at least until aikido. I have a lot of time to stew on my problems: to think about the breakup and the things I have lost thereby (and maybe gained, although they hardly balance); how my actions over the past couple of years have not reflected who I thought I was, or who I want to be; and to think about what I really want, and try to separate that a bit from what I think my limits are (because limits change, and my mind isn't exactly clear these days to the point where I can really decide what I think is possible for the rest of my life). I've been watching Everwood recently, which is pretty decent, with complex and often unlikeable characters. Last week a grandfather was talking to his teenage grandson, and said that knowing what you want, for your life, is what separates the men from the boys, and the solution to the kid's problems was to figure out what he wanted, and then make it happen.

"Knowing what you want" seems like an ambiguous statement to me, but I think it has more to do with becoming the person you want to be than it does with simply doing the stuff you want to do. Plenty of people set goals for themselves, accomplish them, and then discover they're still not happy because they've done all this stuff, but they still don't know who they are, and they've discovered the hard way that the most basic essence of who you are isn't defined by your relationships or your accomplishments or your family or your possessions. They all matter--trust me, I'm flopping around like a fish out of water trying to chase down an identity without either a job or a girlfriend--but you endure beyond those things. Imagine your Self, the essential you, as a white light inside; and your beliefs, your relationships, and your everyday life is like a set of prisms and lenses and color filters through which that inner light passes, creating the mosaic of your life. I'm not sure how far that analogy goes, but you get the idea: the prisms are constantly shifting, so look past them for the light inside.

Time for a nap before I try and go see the Leonids tonight.