Thursday, August 30, 2007
It does not tell me much but
it's a clue!!!!
This does not squelch my curiosity, but it is something. As I still wonder about the blue building down the road everyday (since I pass it when I get off I-195 at Warren Ave), but this is the new information that I gathered. In the window above the right entrance, you can spy a banner that says "allmilmo" and some foreign writing. Through the magic of the Internet, a search provided the information that almilmo is a German Kitchen design company. So that makes me surmise that the corner store in the building may have been an interior designer's business or kitchen design showroom. That's not much to go by, but this is the most tangible info I have been able to drum up.
The other, extremely vague, tidbit was from a woman in a passing car. When Gregory and I were around the building photographing interesting details of the building, a woman in the passenger seat of a passing car inquired if we were going to be buying the structure. We replied that, no, that was not our intention, but rather we are fascinated and curious about it. She added that there were some groups that used the space upstairs. It seemed like she was implying some sort of support group. She was not very clear with her description and the driver appeared eager to continue on to their destination as evidence by his continual inching forward of the car. We thanked the woman and bid her adieu.
I will still continue my research and see what I did up. It is quite the sleuthing adventure. An exciting, albeit slow, adventure but I have not surrendered yet. Next stop: Town Hall records!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
In regard to "what he is going through" (poor, poor Vick) he is quoted as saying, "Through this situation, I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God," said Vick, 27. "I think that's the right thing." (And, as evidenced by his past actions, he's a good judge of the "right thing", isn't he?)
That's great! Now here's a question (and mind you, I'm no theological scholar) but wouldn't it have made more sense and saved a lot of canine suffering if this knucklehead would have found religion BEFORE abusing animals and getting sucked into the gambling of it all? You mean to tell me that throughout his twenty-seven years of life he miraculously found Jesus only after getting busted? And only now knows that animal cruelty is wrong?
I believe that spirituality, religion and faith are wonderful things for good, honest people to possess. It also grates my ass when people use the "god card" for sympathy and leniency when facing legal charges or jail time. If someone is expressing what is true in their heart, then that is wonderful, but when it is for self preservation....just remember, the God you are pledging allegiance to is watching.
So, is it wrong to discuss Jesus and things that "grate my ass" in the same blog? Ah well, forgive me Father, for I have linguistically sinned.
Monday, August 27, 2007
I'm going to try and find my former master list, then start penning an updated one in my journal. I will share some of it at a later time, I just wanted to share the inspiration of the morning. Until later, Happy List Making, folks!
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Detail above the main door
65 Warren Ave
East Providence, RI 02914
Friday, August 24, 2007
"So, why is it so important for me to have a bigger flickr account anyway?" you ask. Yeah, I know, I know, you don't really care but I am going to tell you anyway. Stop reading here if you truly couldn't care less. If you have an inkling of curiosity, read on:
Good, now that the uninterested people are gone..... Many years ago (back in high school), in a land far, far away (NY), I was a bright-eyed, eager and creative artist/art major. I had plans on attending art school and continuing my creative life as a means of income and fulfillment with utter enjoyment. That was until twists and turns of my life's path commenced during my first semester at college. I took one elective class that inspired me enough to change my major away from art and alter the course of my life as I had planned it. More years of twists and turns, as well as faltering confidence in my skills (that's a whole other blog) I strayed further from my creativity. (How the hell does this apply to flickr, Melissa. Come on and get to the point!) About a year ago, I decided that enough was enough, It was time to start dipping my feet back into the pool of my personal artist pond. I then was lucky enough to acquire my dad's hand me down digital camera. I just began playing around with it and, as I have mentioned before, really found joy in taking pictures. Over this past year I have started to overcome this self-imposed safety barrier that stopped me from allowing myself to be vulnerable. As a therapist, I am often encouraging clients to head towards places in themselves where they are vulnerable, so I decided to apply that to myself as well. That is the reason I signed on for a flickr account in the first place; as one way of putting my stuff out there and being uncomfortable in a healthy way. I am loving it and now that I have reached my limit of uploads, it was time to upgrade. This is important to me and I think the mental/artistic/expressive benefits are worth the expense of a pro account, don't you think?
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Out of all of the abodes I have resided in, only one was a studio apartment. It was very small but wonderful with a huge closet and a retro kitchen on one wall. Located in the historic district of Boulder, Colorado, it consisted of one room on the top floor of an old house. My window faced the backyard and alley. Not a city alley, but a dirt road that runs behind some residential houses where driveways, garages and garbage cans are. I had one particular squirrel who would climb on my screen everyday in hopes of some handouts. Since I am a pushover for cute furry vagrants, he ate well. I shared a bathroom with a 20-something triathlete who wasn't around much. Downstairs in the two larger units were Carrie Jo, a Canadian performing arts major, and Miss Sis (Betsy), a world-wise massage therapist with many stories to tell. Most evenings, Carrie Jo, Miss Sis and I would spend our evenings sipping wine, laughing and telling tales of life and (occasionally) debauchery. Those were wonderful times spent with some wonderful women!
I had moved into this home when my relationship with A ended. I was struggling with change and, being in Naropa's graduate program for Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, was already peeling open the layers of my psyche in my processing classes. I was raw and vulnerable and trying to figure out what exactly the meaning home was. My room at my parents' house now contained some of my grandmother's furniture. I no longer resided with A and our dog. I was living 2000 miles from New York and only had my friends from school around me. It was difficult but in the process of finding this place, signing the month-to-month lease and experiencing living there, I came to the conclusion that, for me, home is within me and yet it is so much more. It is a feeling of comfort that I can hold myself in. It is having a loving family and circle of friends that are always there even when you do not get to speak that often. It is in a space that just feels right; a corner of the world that is uniquely mine. It is also what I can share with Greg, with my family, with friends and even with the occasional acquaintance through a simple smile or kind word. I have taken that feeling with me and hold it close to my heart always.
As I have been mentioning, changes are inevitable and currently looming large. Tied in to these dreams of apartments is our meditating on what to do now that our lease is coming to an end. I just know that if we move to another apartment, home will come with us. Of course, I'm hoping home will also be larger than a studio apartment physically. And I know, without a doubt, it will continue to grow larger in my heart. Home, sweet home.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I am too tired to proofread this entry.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
This past week has been a nice reprieve from even thinking about work. That, in itself, makes vacations wonderful. Time to recharge my battery and take a break from "therapizing" adolescents. I work with some wonderful kids who have been born into some less-than-wonderful situations. I love my work but sometimes I need to step away from it for a few days and reground myself.
This vacation week was not very restful though. There has been much going on but some things are starting to fall into place quite nicely, thanks to my wonderful friends. (I will fill you in on this stuff/changes/etc. I keep hinting about at a later date. Now is not the appropriate time to post it all publicly. E-mail me if you just can't wait and need to know now, and I'll think about telling you.) It's amazing how, even after residing out of New York for the last four and a half years, my dear old friends are still important parts of my world. It's nice to be reconnecting with people from the past and even building new friendships back home. Despite a bit of recent added stress, life seems to be feeling more full lately and more fulfilling. So much to do, so busy planning and dealing with snags that come up, but such an overall feeling of joy permeates everything. Life is good.
I have no problem being goofy for the camera. My friend, Rich, snapped this pic of me enjoying a veggie burger at the vegetarian restaurant Garden Grill in RI. Gosh darn, the food there is amazing but don't go there is you're in a rush. Some of the waitstaff are stuck in their own bad cliche's and they don't even know it. And their misery translates into poor service. But, mmmmm, the food!
I enjoy my goofy side (...and veggie burgers). Having fun and finding the humor in things is one of my favorite coping skills. Even when life is stressful, there is usually some kind of humor to be found. Like at funeral homes where the decor is so loud it could wake the dead (c'mon, hysterical) or when every little thing is going wrong, the stupid things are like the Universe flicking you in the back of the head. It's life and it's funny! Go ahead and laugh at yourself and the world around you. You can't go around being serious all the time, that's not living.
Sit back, relax and find the humor in it all. Cheers!
Saturday, August 18, 2007
The air was cooler today.
Reminds me that change comes without trying.
Thinking back on the bum
Over on 16th & California
Boldly begging for change of her own.
Did she once feel like me?
When she was young
© 2006 Melissa I. Minicozzi
We change over time, even when it is not seen or noticed by ourselves or others. How do we benchmark changes in ourselves? Or do we change so gradually that it is imperceptible? How do we perpetuate or hinder change? How do we present how we have changed to the world? Do they have to be within awareness for such changes to exist fully? Do we have some sort of need to have change acknowledged by others? Is it inevitable but uncontrollable? Or do we have the reins of some but not other changes that occur? Do we refuse to change even when our repeated patterns are not working?
How am I changing? How do I want to continue changing? What do I want to change now?
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
The original and his prodigy. That's me and my grandfather way back when. I scanned this picture while Greg and I were out on Long Island this week visiting our families and trying to figure out the next step in our journey. We also visited two of the schools Greg is interested in possibly attending to study acupuncture. I am so excited for him (even a little jealous) that he'll be learning this modality that I respect so much, but I am open to being his guinea pig when he needs to practice. We have a lot of things to think about and consider over the next couple of months; exciting changes, moving forward towards goals, and getting to a better place.
Today I am in a weird head-space. I think it's a combination of having slept on an air mattress for a bunch of nights, dealing with some stressful things that I choose not to air here, the extra travel hour yesterday due to Connecticut traffic and getting woken up twice by wrong numbers this morning. I am tired and need to go food shopping, so I am off to shower and shop. When more coherence enters my foggy head, I will blog something more cohesive.
The doctor is: OUT
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I drink way too much coffee. It all started as a child. My cousin Julie and I playing with my plastic tea set at my grandmother's house was when I got my first buzz fix. We didn't care that it was a tea set. The only tea we knew of was iced. Plus, most of the adults in our family swigged the deep roasted coffee goodness day and night. Mimicking our kin we poured the liquid gold into our little blue cups which, of course, were half-filled with refined sugar to mask the coffee taste. In retrospect, what was I thinking? I suppose I didn't quite know what I was missing. The deep and layered aroma and flavor of a fine roast had not yet passed my palate. Blame it on youthful naivety...or perhaps brain damage from the plastic we probably ingested by imbibing hot liquid from such unsuitable mini-tableware. Either way, we claimed to love it when in fact we were probably just reeling from the sugar and caffeine high; the likes of which we had never experienced before. This experience planted the bean. A coffee bean that sprouted and grew in my soul but would not bear fruit again until college. That is when the addiction took a stronghold. (Damn you Gloria Jeans and your frozen coffee with crunchies on top! You pulled me back in to coffee's clutches.) Now I can't get enough of the stuff. I even get a shot of espresso added when I order a chai tea latte. Turbo? Extra shots? Extra buzzy? You betcha! Everyone needs a vice and at least mine makes me more productive. Time for me to take my current buzz and prepare for some upcoming travels.
I raise my cup and bid you cheers!
Friday, August 10, 2007
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein
And yet, how many of us do just that? Long term habits are so deeply ingrained. Whether it's biting our nails, dating people with the same baggage as all our previous lovers, taking the same type of job that gives no satisfaction, repeated patterns of communication with family members or any vice we have, they are hard to stop. We hope, pray, and desire things to be different, better, more tolerable, or happier, yet we are not doing anything different to make that happen.
So, how do we change this? As always, awareness is the first step. We cannot change something we do not know is happening, true? Next, we need to explore the things that are in our power to change. These are usually internal: our actions or reactions to triggers. We can sometimes change the environment and external factors, but don't expect to change other people. That is a huge uphill battle with an greased elephant on our backs and swim-fins on our feet, that will probably just exhaust us, give us blisters on the backs of our heals and make our shirts oil stained. After that, figuring out what our specific triggers are is vital. This awareness makes it possible to put into action the different mindset or behavior in order to break the cycle.
I see my own insanity. I see how it affects me. I have intercepted some of my own cyclic patterns and I am aware of the ones that are still ingrained. Change is not always easy, but it is constant. It is what change we decide to make in our own lives that is integral.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Enough on that for now. Just a brief, brief, brief update about the pending changes. School for Greg (joy, joy, joy), lease on our apartment to an end, changing life in new directions, and, after an amazing conversation yesterday evening, loving Greg even more. Also, mini-vacation commencing in a few days. No work, visits with family and friends, relaxing in the hot tub, swimming in the pool and talking details of pending change.
Water is currently clear, but this is the only photo I have of the pool with it's new brickwork.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
A five minute conversation can change the foot path you chose to tread. New possibilities can open up breathe pulse new energy through the veins.
Like breathing in crisp fall morning air!
and having a wonderful man to share this all with is the icing on the cupcake.
Monday, August 6, 2007
Anyway, I was passing time while the laundry spun in circles and decided to see if I could find any interesting photo ops of the non-celebrity kind. It helped the time pass by and it was certainly not celebrity night at the Super Suds. I am thrilled that my dad handed down this "old clunker" camera to me. I'm having a blast playing around with it and trying to figure out all buttons and settings. Manual? Sure I have one of those! Oh, you're supposed to read it? Huh? Really?? Who knew!? But, come on, where's the challenge in that?
Enjoy the photos. More musings at a later time. Have to go have a zen-like moment and fold the laundry. Click on my flickr badge in the right column if you wish to see the rest of the visual delights I decided to post.
Until next time, my beloved readers. Smooch!
I have no idea how to sustain motivation, nor I do not know how many steps it takes. What I do know is that it is not always easy and it is time for me to turn up the heat with a fire under my ass. Motivation has been something that ebbs and flows in my life, and as I have mentioned before, I am my own worst enemy. This is true in my motivation as well. So here I am, exploring what motivation is, what my motivations are and why I let myself backslide in reaching my goals.
The best (or I should say, the one I like best) definition I discovered reads as follows:
1. the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior; "we did not understand his motivation"; "he acted with the best of motives"
2. the condition of being motivated; "his motivation was at a high level"
3. the act of motivating; providing incentive*
Motivation is the stimuli, the the thing that stimulates us into doing things to obtain our goals. Ideally, we utilize both internal and external stimuli. One could surmise that the more motivation we have, the more apt we are to moving. For instance, if the goal is safety, a bug being poked by a little boy's finger will begin to run and scurry away. But a bug who is being poked, having a magnifying glass concentrate sunlight on it's tail and a shoe stomping down on the ground behind it will haul ass to get away. The internal is the innate desire to be safe, the external is that pain-in-neck little child taunting the heck out of it are Buggy's motivational factors. It could be said, too, that the internal motivations are more powerful (or perhaps more vital) than the external. If Buggy had really strong internal motivation, he would have turned the other way when he eyed Little Johnny come out of the house, keeping himself out of harms way entirely. We are more likely to reach and, more importantly, stay at a goal, if it is for our own reasons. If the goal is jogging daily and you do it to win a race and get a trophy, once that race is won, that main motivation is gone and the jogging daily has lost it's fire. If the mindset is tweaked, the results can be longer lasting. Internal motivation: the good feeling of the "runner's high", the increased energy level, long-term heart health, feeling good about ourselves when feeling fit....these continue even after the external motivation has passed.
Now comes the personal part of this. Being the "over doer" that I am (Not an overachiever, that would imply perfectionism. I just like doing lots of things most of the time.), I usually have a laundry list of goals I am working towards, big and small, short and long-term. Here's a taste: Getting another associates degree, getting into a PhD program, going through and organizing paperwork, buying a house with a yard, getting married, having a baby, paying down my debt, getting a second job, restoring a car, visiting at least 40 of the States, traveling to other countries, re-learning how to fold paper cranes, setting up a good system for coupon organization, learning to speak Spanish fluently, start painting again, teach American Sign Language, get down to my goal weight, teach college level classes, get my professional licensure.......I could go on, but I will spare you the eye strain.
I'll examine a goal that many people have and in the process openly discuss something that makes me uncomfortable: my weight loss goal. (Um, the goal doesn't make me uncomfortable, it's the disappointment in my lack of achieving this goal at this point that does...not to mention tight waistbands...ooooph..not comfy!)
Photos at my brother's wedding in October
Greg's friends' wedding in September
Kudos from loved ones
Not getting "criticized" by people who are important to me. Not really criticized, more like people pointing out the obvious, "Wow, did you put on some weight?" or "Should you really be eating that?" or "Aren't you on a diet?" Yeah, all questions that irritate and make me want to go into Defiant Adolescent Mode and act all "I'll show you" while stuffing my face with a HoHo (Well not a hoho with the chocolate allergy thing. It just sounded good.)
Getting those "Damn girl! You look good!" reactions from people.
Being able to buy a new wardrobe. Not that I like to shop, but it would be nice to buy some higher quality threads and have another reason to spend the money.
Supporting/getting support from others with the same goal.
Soliciting support from loved ones in the form of being accountable for my progress or lack there of and for words of encouragement.
Having more energy
Feeling better in my own skin/clothes
Less strain on my back/joints
More ease in movement (Maybe even more bendy in yoga)
Less impact on my knees when jogging
General health improvement
Lower cholesterol (It's not high, but I want to bring it down lower than it is.)
Feeling proud of myself for accomplishing another goal
I am capable of reaching this goal since I have done it before
Feeling beautiful on the outside
Having more strength and endurance to bike, hike, jog, join a competitive sports team again, etc.
Feed my competitive side
To sustain my motivation, I am going to use this list to remind myself why I want it. I will print it, add to it and carry it with me. I will post it on the refrigerator (after I complete the goal of "cleaning off the front of the refrigerator" of course) and on the bathroom wall so I see it every day. I will request that Greg exercise with me and help me stay focused. I will again set up a visual representation of my progress along the way and put this on the fridge as well. I will set up mini-goals to accomplish along the way (exercising X number of times a week, doing something physical daily, celebrating each five pound loss, entering the "healthy weight range", etc.)
I swallowed my pride (which has zero calories!) and stepped on the scale this morning. For my two months of ignoring my motivational stimuli, I packed on 9 (count 'em, nine) pounds from my former plateau point. This is more motivation for me! So, my current goal is to drop a measly 39 pounds. I can do this and I will. I am feeling motivated!
Next: Exploring the reasons for losing motivation.
*American Psychological Association (APA):
motivation. (n.d.). WordNet® 3.0. Retrieved August 06, 2007, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/motivation
Sunday, August 5, 2007
It's been a few days, eh? Well, I have been able to get a couple of solid night's sleep and the back is a bit straighter. Things have been going well. And now, without further ado, some more thoughts/updates in bullet format:
- I watched a single guy on a tandem bike peddle down the street earlier. If I was outside, I would have asked if I could go for a spin around the park.
- I went up to Somerville/Cambridge Massachusetts yesterday. Saw Rich and "Framingham Pete" (Guess I have to change his name since they moved). Got some "for the heck of it" pictures like "Sir Roger Bannister" to the right. Had a delicious veggie burger and fries at The Druid Pub, and a cup of probably the best handmade pistacchio ice cream ever at Christina's. (Beware of the ice cream nazi if you go there. Once you pay it's "Move now, keep going" )
- Can anybody tell me what the heck that thing is on the ceiling of the Druid? [see my flickr page to see "it"]
- I am excited that Greg is researching schools of acupuncture. I would love to see him study something that would bring him to find fulfilling life work. He would be an amazing professional healer, too.
- I have my advisory meeting coming up this week at school. I can then register for classes and plot out my studies. I love school, you have no idea!
- The basil plant is finally starting to grow to a usable size and the tomato plants smell heavenly.
- I am going to make some baked ziti with sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach tonight.
- I should get back to cleaning the apartment. (I will in a little while since I am enjoying this little bout of writing.)
- When the space is clean, my thoughts are so much more focused. It will also make it conducive for creativity.
- The air is so much more comfortable today than it has been in a couple of weeks. This really helps elevate my mood.
- I am going to sign up for a 5K happening on September 16th. I just have to check my schedule to make sure there would be no conflicts. This would be my first official race.
- I still want to run the Bolder Boulder 10k one day. These are personal goals, I'm not looking to win any awards, just the satisfaction of participating and completing them.
- I will get to see friends and family next week when we are "on Island" as opposed to "in" Island. Woo-hoo!
- The tenants downstairs are moving out. I guess there will be less nights of smelling marijuana wafting up through the floorboards and no more screaming matches/banging on the windows to listen to in the middle of the night. Of course, the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know. Next tenants could be worse. Let's hope not!
- I am still searching for a second job to help pay the bills. Human services does not pay all that well monetarily, so I am looking for a simple part-time job that can work around my full-time one. Anyone who knows of anything in or around RI, please let me know. As long as it doesn't require me to provide therapy. Forty hours a week of that is enough, I don't want to burn out.
- I would love to live in a yurt.
- Earlier, I talked to my best friend, Bernadette, and my goddaughter, Lily, on the phone. That always makes me happy.
- The sound of zippers makes me think of my winter coat being zipped up and getting to go out and play in the snow as a kid. We would build snow caves and snowmen, make snow angels and sled on the tiny hill in our family's backyard (right into the pool fence). Ah, good times, good times!
- My thoughts have been on moving again. Maybe to our own home (or yurt). I still long for a yard, and maybe even a washer/dryer/dishwasher equipped place. Ah, to dream!
Well, those are all the random thoughts for now. It is high time I get myself away from the computer and back to ziti making and apartment cleaning. Thanks for reading and please shop again!
Thursday, August 2, 2007
What a pleasure to be able to conjure this from the recesses of my mind, especially after the difficult evening I experienced. Spine out, body temperature high and unwavering, mild yet consistent headache, emotional meltdown and the inability to readily fall asleep. Luckily, I slept rather "flat" and my spine is feeling quite a bit better this morning. I still feel warm and muscle-knotty, and still a little crooked spined. When I finally drifted into sleep, it was deep and solid, but the alarm screamed at me much too soon, forcing me into some weak state of awake. I am still a bit foggy but I am relying on the gifts from Juan Valdez now and I have acupuncture later.