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Tag Archives: hubris

Jesus ain’t got nothin on me

This is a painting that’s odd if you don’t know anything about it, so I’m not going to give anything away. I like it for itself, and I’m sure it will suggest some dream-like writing.

via Sunday Strange microfiction challenge — Jane Dougherty Writes

I began doing Quigong off the Coastal Trail some years ago. I’m not a very grounded person.  Supposedly all the movements follow the breath and I would become more whole and integrated with daily practice.

Then I took it too far. I  kept breathing in such a mindful way that I popped the buttons off my jeans and had to switch to wearing a toga. I began to expel large amounts of gas because of my overly mindful breathing. The gas propelled me off the ground and I began to float over the water.

All I could think of was where are all those microwave cameras now? This must be how Jesus did it.  No one would believe me anyway because they’ll think I’m just using special effects like in Swiss Army Man.

That’s when I hit the water. I have since realized that if I can maintain mindful breathing, avoid gluten and negative people then  I can walk on water and my farts smell like ice cream.  But I can’t wear shoes, especially ones with marking black soles.  Bad karma.

I would suggest you try this at home in the safety of your own bathtub. Work your way up to a wading pool before you get over your head. It’s not easy being holier than everyone else but it’s lots of fun.




Alaska earns title “Most Delusional State”

Perhaps you saw this article in The Huffington Post or USA Today.

We made it – We are clearly the most un-empathetic, self involved state in the Union! In a time of racial conflict, economic repression, religious and military turmoil, we Alaskans are giddy with our finances and well being.  I bet  the poll numbers in Dubai are high up there on self satisfaction as well.

Who answers these surveys? People who think Game of Thrones is a reality show?  Are our ridiculously high sexual assault rates or our nationally highest rate of fetal alcohol syndrome disorders the particular Alaska trends they are ignoring? Perhaps it’s because everyone who answered was drunk or high?

I acknowledge that happiness is not my strong point. Maybe people here are overjoyed to be moving into the Twentieth Century while the rest of the world sails into the Twenty First. We have finally given up the right to discriminate against gay marriage although I watched a Lisa Murkowski video on The occasion of Black History month where she  bragged about our being twenty or so years ahead of the country in getting rid of Jim Crow laws.  I note that one can get rid of laws but that prejudice against Native peoples still thrives.

Seasonal affective disorder layered on top of depression is not a burden I alone bear.  Many people at this latitude have been bemoaning low gas prices and the lack of snow this winter which would seem to other more sane states to be an upside down attitude. If you love to make money out of people by overcharging for oil, by all means, you belong here. If you want to ski, move to somewhere it snows like Virginia.

I agree that some people in Alaska are pretty happy with themselves. We have jobs to pay for our extraordinarily high health insurance and plenty of wilderness to roam in. But bring up the subject of Federal Government oversight and you might have to call an ambulance to stop these same folks from choking on their own bile/oil.

Do I begrudge the happy Alaskans? I’ve tried not to be one of those awful people who say, “If you’re not angry, you’re not listening.”  I just don’t think that the kind of happiness we have in Alaska is sustainable. As long as the economy is good, we are happy. That’s not real happiness. It’s the bliss of the overfed, extreme sport loving not quite deep thinker. It’s a self righteous, young and entitled kind of bliss. Even if you look and feel old you can have it by thinking that you earned it by being rough, tough, individualistic and perhaps white.  I encourage you to try it. It seems to work well for certain political parties.

Anyway come visit Alaska and see if any of our wacky happiness rubs off.  We’ll share our amusing stories about shooting and eating wild animals, overcoming the elements and hope that you don’t notice that we bulk shop at Costco and Sam’s. We have an image to maintain. Notice it’s never raining in our brochures. Don’t believe everything in print, including this. It isn’t all that bad.  I’m just jealous.

A reason to celebrate –  I feel something thus I must still be alive..

Because I’m Happy…. sometimes, not really but I can fool myself

I’m listening to a TED talk about Happiness. Less is more, slow down, be in the moment. Blah, blah, blah. Especially scaling down to the tiny apartment where you live alone  will make you happy, that drove me crazy. I say, try living collectively, you might be more happy.    There is NO FORMULA for happiness, sadness, success, failure.  For me, I like living with other people. I would love to have 10 kids. I’m sure some of you would not want to follow my formula! I don’t have 10 kids but I’m still happy. That makes sense because the brain can accommodate and learn to live with just about anything. It just requires getting unstuck from the old goal and finding a new one.

“Have great stuff you really love,” “space efficiency”, “sinks which double as toliets”. Oh please, mr. Gearhead. Shut up! I read between the lines, don’t buy cheap stuff, buy the best ( more money). Why would I listen to this person?  He advocates “digitizing”. Take a picture of the shirt your mother gave you.Throw  away the shirt . I, on the other hand, advocate not spending any of your life taking photos, it takes you out of the moment.   I also advocate not listening to TED talks.  I would rather read a good in depth article than hear a motivational speaker any day. It comes from being an entertainer. I see how they are keeping things moving, using sound bites and anecdotes.   And don’t even get me started about the “research” and numbers.  I’m pickier about my research than I am about my friends!


What really matters is memorable “experiences.”  or so he says.  You would think I would agree with this. This is the part I really hate. Spend all your money on travel and classes, parties and fun.  I’m for finding fun in washing the floor, singing while I try to fix my bike.   Call me crazy but I find that addiction to “experiences and travel” is all fine and dandy but why is that better than just sitting alone reading if that’s something someone wants to do? Are people who don’t have the money to travel or jump out of airplanes less happy? I doubt it. Perhaps they travel in books or by walking down the same path everyday but looking closer each time. Perhaps there is joy in knowing that you don’t know anything, like even how to make yourself really happy, let alone everyone else.

Maybe I’m just unhappy. Perhaps I’ve worked in psychology too long and feel that lots of researchers and TED talkers are just talking out of their butts to justify their existence, their fees.

I suppose  these folks do not have depression.  We can create our own happiness. I know that, but everyone will have their own formula and that formula may change as life goes on. I need to have hope that happiness will return even though it may go away for a time.

Here are some photos of times when I was happy,


visiting my friend Rose Anne at Christmas time.



visiting Provence with my sister Beth


visiting my sister Ruthie




visiting my brother, his family and the town I grew up in.



It doesn’t always make me happy to look at the photos because then I always want to be on vacation and that is not a realistic goal.  Realistically, happiness is having the freedom to write this blog, Happiness is not being allergic to chocolate. Happiness is snow and  a good night’s sleep.   Happiness is shoveling.  Let me know what makes you happy.