Parts Unknown – Heaven

clouds-2709662_640The 2nd in a week, Anthony Bourdain was found dead of apparent suicide. May he rest in peace.

anthony-bourdain-parts-unknownHis TV show, Parts Unknown, was entertaining and interesting and pulled us out of our busy world and into adventure. Anthony lived life to the fullest, sucking every last drop of fun out of his existence. A self-proclaimed alcoholic and prior drug user, he battled his demons through his passion for food. Heaven will be eating well.


restaurant-2697945_640Like Kate Spade, creativity appeared to be the outlet for all the good within. Something beautiful, whether a handbag or a dish to be savored for an evening, their true self and soul shined through. We have all benefited from their contributions.

Addictions typically mask pain. Many people are afraid to deal with their pain for the fear that it will never go away. You MUST feel, then deal and THEN you will heal. You don’t have to do it alone and there is no shame in asking for help. Your family and friends don’t need to know the details. Surprisingly, pain can be present in your life from birth. It comes in from past lives. I realize that not everyone believes in this, but I know it to be true. Why else can a small child, in a pleasant environment, display “issues”?

If you battle addictions, mental illness, or ongoing negative behavior patterns, please do something to heal yourself. There is nothing in your life that can’t be replaced with something better. You are a beautiful human being. Your needs, your feelings, your very life is important to the Universe. You are here for a greater purpose. Maybe you are here to teach someone else that you can recover from whatever troubles you and live peacefully. Maybe there is a culinary delight or fabulous handbag in your future.

I wonder what’s for dinner in The Universe Cafe tonight? Cheers, Anthony.

Techno Trash

password-222331_640The saga of the crashed computer and lifeless Seagate continues.  After recovering the black box of death, I have continued to leave it unplugged until I feel that restoration is complete.  I have been digging through the 10,000 files.  Don’t laugh, you might be there too and will need a sympathy pat on the head.  Or sympathy shot of tequila.  Or whatever.

There were quite a few techy files, like the FAT tables and such, that I vaguely understand but am doing nothing with.  I wouldn’t know what to do with them even if I did understand what they were.  I worked my way through the documents and pdfs and it appears that I am missing some so I will have to run the magic recovery tool again.  Got the music files sorted out and then moved on to the photos.

Head-scratching time.

Most of the photos were replicated 2 to 4 times.  I have a lot of travel photos so that explains the 10,000 files.  Oh. Dear. God.  I picked through some of them and realized that might take a decade.  Then I discovered that I could sort the recovered files by date created.  Ahh!  Then I made folders by year and month and dumped them into each folder.  I was wise enough to label my original folders by destination, month and year and they are not very extensive.  So I have been viewing each of the month/year folders, sorting them by date created and deleting the duplicates.  And triplicates.  And quadruplicates – or whatever.  Once I get them cleaned up, I dump them back into the original folder.  It is tedious to say the least, but it is better than crying myself sick.  I plan on getting a flash drive to save all my photos as an additional source in case of crashes or push-here-dummy drive deletions.

broken-153601_640And the laptop crashed again.  Sure glad I decided to keep Big Dog Dell.  It recovered much faster this time, but I am puzzled as to why.  Looks like it will need to go visit the geek doctor.  Hopefully said doctor won’t laugh at my sorry tale.

I read in the news about the VPN Filter unleashed upon poor, unsuspecting routers.  To be safe, I unplugged and reset my router.  I don’t know why any of those mean hacker people would bother with my household.  We won’t vote for someone we don’t like.  We have no political influence. Our bank accounts aren’t worth enough to buy a small country or missile.  My internet goes up and down often enough that their hacking efforts would be wasted.  Hard to say if any of this has anything to do with my laptop, but the geek doctor can figure that out.

I miss good old-fashioned printed photos, but they take up space and can get lost too.  Technology is a useful tool, but it is not infallible.  The reality is that nothing really lasts forever.  Our human bodies give out and we pass on, leaving behind a bunch of photos or music that no one likes and stuff to haul to the landfill.  Enjoy and cherish the moments.  Live well and live happily.  Enjoy your stuff for you alone and not what you might leave for someone else.

But remember to back-up your computer.  You never know who might be hacking.

Tech No File

broken-153601_640Last weekend, my laptop experienced a heart attack.  I immediately applied the paddles, in the form of Restore and Repair.  It was on life support all through the night and into the next day.  I feared the worst so off to Best Buy I went and came home with Big Dog Dell.password-222331_640




Oddly enough, a few days before I had the thought that the next computer I bought should be a desktop.  Hmmm.  Universe warning me?

I carted the Big Dog into the house and found that my laptop came out of its coma.  Well, sh*t.  I decided to keep Big Dog as it would take me further into the future when I won’t have the income readily available.  Living in a three-story house where all the computers are on the third floor. . . well it would be nice to have one on floor one.  We have a tablet, but it doesn’t like me very much so the laptop would be handy-dandy.

Big Dog sits proudly on my desk.  It has enough ports and slots that I could connect the entire house should I choose.  It could probably power it too, but lest I get carried away I started with the simple things.  It ran through the usual I-must-update-from-my-factory-settings-for-an-hour and then it was my turn.  I loaded up the anti-terrorist/hacking/viral/socialranting software.  Printer.  Office 365.  And then it was recommended to set up a recovery drive.  I thought that was a good idea since I just experienced the cardiac event.

It was then I made the classic rookie mistake.

The available drives were: C: which everyone knows is the hard drive where all the working stuff lives, so don’t touch it; Seagate Hard Drive – an external drive that I keep photos, music and various documents in case the C: croaks; and then it listed F: with some name I never heard of.  Okay, that’s the place to put the recovery drive.  So I selected it and it said it would delete all files on it.  Well, since it wasn’t something I knew about I figured there shouldn’t be anything there.  Right?

apocalypse-2801597_640As soon as it started, the Seagate disappeared.  F*ck.  I cancelled the process and checked the Seagate.  Every last mother-f*cking file was gone.  Double F.*.C.K.  I decided that I would not beat myself up for such a colossally stupid mistake.  Surely to God there is a way to recover the files.  By now, all you techies out there are alternately laughing yourselves silly and shaking your head in sympathy.  I wish you had been there to help.  I unplugged said destroyed black box of death and loaded up the internet.  I landed on the EaseUS website and they indeed had a recovery utility tool that could suck files from the bowels of death.  I paid the 70 bucks and downloaded the program.

code-1689066_640They weren’t kidding.  It ran the initial scan and recovered FAT tables and such.  Okay. Then it went into “Deep Scan” and hit the motherlode.  Ten Thousand – yes that is 10,000 – files later it finished.  OMFG.  I had that much crap?!  It’s going to take a few weeks to get through all that.

I’ve said it many times, and at times with my teeth clenched, that the Universe will deliver us a good solid whack on the head when we need it.  Good things are coming out of this little death.  Several months ago, I uploaded photos and music to the Great Hard Drive In The Sky as a secondary backup.  That was the first place I looked to recover files.  And discovered that not everything had uploaded.  Lesson 1 – if you save something somewhere, close out and go back and check to make sure it is there.  Lesson 2 – if you save stuff either to your C:, the Drive in the Sky, flash drive, CD (yes they still exist), SIM card, external drive or a folder in your desk, look in those places at least once a year and pitch the sh*t that is no longer relevant to your life.  You will be happy you did, unless you really want to view those 10,000 restored files.  As I started opening each of the files that had been in the bowels of the Seagate, I found that a good portion of them just needed to be flushed away.  Into the trash bin they went.

I have to look at all the music and photos I saved, both from the recovery and from the Drive In The Sky, and decide what to keep and make sure I save them in both places.  It feels pretty good, actually.  Near death experiences do that to you.  Help you get a perspective on what you want, need and want to maintain.

I’m going to put a sticky note on the Big Dog to remind myself to clean out my stored crap once a year.  Especially those really awful pictures.  You know the kind I’m talking about.

Let’s Talk Chakras – Part Seven – The Crown Chakra

crown-2533113_640This is the seventh in a series about our energy body that consists of Chakras. Chakra means “wheel” or “vortex”. We each have seven of them located along the spine, from the base up to the crown of your head. There is an additional one located slightly above the top of your head. Chakras are funnel-shaped, spin in a clockwise circle, and you have one on the front of you that draws in energy and one on the back that gives out energy. It is beneficial to you to keep them spinning and have a balance of flow in and out.

The seventh chakra is located, appropriately, on the crown of your head. It vibrates to the color violet in the light spectrum. Physical issues are related to depression, fatigue and constantly feeling out of sorts.

The Crown Chakra connects you to Spirit. Here is where your beliefs reside concerning religion, spirituality, sense of purpose, divine guidance and trust in that which you cannot see. Your deeply held beliefs waging war with those that might be imposed upon you by others will cause you to feel aimless in your life. A general feeling of illness that simply won’t go away can be based in this inner conflict. Only you can determine what you believe in. If it simply doesn’t feel right down in your gut, then it is not for you. Going against someone else’s belief system that they have imposed upon you might feel like a fight you don’t want and might cause a permanent riff, but whose happiness is most important? Another person’s? Or yours? If you choose the path that is for your highest and best good, then Spirit will support you by giving you the direction to take. And your life will be immensely better.

Open your Crown Chakra and connect with Spirit. Listen to the guidance you receive and act upon the direction. Ask Spirit for help with the next step. Watch how your life beautifully unfolds. And thank Spirit for helping.  As this corresponds to the pinnacle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – self actualization – then contentment, feeling safe, feeling supported, and a sense of belonging bring peace to your life.  Which is what all of us really want anyway.  Namaste.

It is important to keep your chakras clean and spinning in a clockwise direction. A regular practice of meditation, with a focus on re-balancing your chakras, is the best method of keeping them healthy.

Let’s Talk Chakras – Part Six – The Third Eye Chakra

brow-2533110_640 (1)This is the sixth in a series about our energy body that consists of Chakras. Chakra means “wheel” or “vortex”. We each have seven of them located along the spine, from the base up to the crown of your head. There is an additional one located slightly above the top of your head. Chakras are funnel-shaped, spin in a clockwise circle, and you have one on the front of you that draws in energy and one on the back that gives out energy. It is beneficial to you to keep them spinning and have a balance of flow in and out.

The sixth chakra is located in the center of your forehead. It vibrates to the color indigo in the light spectrum. Physical issues are related to migraines, seizures, sinuses and vision.

The Third Eye Chakra is all about intuition. For many people, it is the awakened sense of clairvoyance or the ability to see beyond the physical. An awakened Third Eye is your inner “bullsh*t detector”. It helps you to see the truth behind situations and others’ motives. When you have opened yourself to your intuition, you can see your eye looking back at you when you close them. It works sort of like the shutter of a camera, but with more control to the exposure. It can be very beneficial to keep your third eye opened.

But along with an awakened Third Eye comes your need to trust. You must learn to discern spiritual truth from your ego’s barking. The ego will fight for control and try to keep you disconnected from Spirit so its messages are negative and frightfully urging. Spirit will be softly persistent and always be for your highest and best good. The more you listen to and see the truth in a matter, the easier it will become and your life will flow much smoother.

It is important to keep your chakras clean and spinning in a clockwise direction. A regular practice of meditation, with a focus on re-balancing your chakras, is the best method of keeping them healthy.

Bring Me A Higher Love

i-love-myself-417267_640Self-love can be difficult to attain. By design, we are flawed human beings learning to navigate through life and find what lurks within our soul. We, too often, waste a lot of unnecessary effort comparing ourselves to someone or something instead of accepting our humanness.

Being human is about learning after all.

What is self-love? Basically, I believe it is caring about and for yourself without any judgements. You are not like anyone else nor should you expect to be. Caring for yourself can take many forms: rest, nourishment, play, inquisitiveness, creativity, rewards, connections, just to name a few. When you feel bad, you are not caring for yourself. If someone else makes you feel bad, you are not caring for yourself. And I’m not talking about criminal activities or being an a$$hole. That is not caring for yourself either.

Many of us have been damaged during our childhood. Neglect, abuse, bullying, these can cause tremendous psychological damage and create a belief in low self-worth. It is often difficult to overcome these early mind-f*cks and believe that you are lovable.

The path to self-love is through a Higher path. Whatever your belief or religious system, find a way to connect to the Universe. All-encompassing, All-knowing and just plain unconditional loving, it is there you will find what true love for yourself means.

The Universe doesn’t care what you’ve experienced. It doesn’t care your color, gender, race or any other preference. After all, the Universe made you. You came from pure Love. You came here because the Universe wanted you. Doesn’t matter what your parents think. The Universe put you here as a pure, loving extension of Itself.

Wow. And all this time you thought you weren’t all that. In the mind of the Universe, You are everything.

Now tell me again why you don’t think you are lovable.

Tell Me Something Good

a-3308712_640Our local classic rock station just started a weekly segment by this same name. Their purpose was to dispel some of the negativity that is so pervasive everywhere. There is so much anger, hate, violence and just downright meanness that it is very difficult to come up with something good.

Has the entire planet gone bat-sh*t crazy?!

Nothing quite like the media to hype everything up, but it seems like the only thing we have to cheer us up is daffodils blooming. And we know how long those last. So many things are being revealed on a daily basis. Me Too, school shootings, missile attacks, child abuse and fatalities, homeless people, opioid crisis. . .when does it stop?

Think of it this way: evening rolls around and the sun dips below the horizon and it is nighttime. Dark. The darkness can feel like a very scary time to many people. I guess that is why we go to sleep. A time to rest and clear our minds. To let go of the difficulties of the day and dream of peaceful times. Nighttime is for healing. Your body knows how to rejuvenate itself. When we are rested, we wake up and usually the sun is coming up. We are back to light. The sun always comes up. The Light always returns. The sun shines, trees grow, flowers blossom, nature feeds itself and so do we.

These dark and difficult times are necessary. What if all those things we hear about had stayed hidden? And grew and grew. How awful could it become? Horrible things must be revealed so that they can be changed, fixed, healed and reborn into something new and better.

Can you imagine what the world will be like when people feel safe, sheltered, fed and cared for? How will you feel? What if you could send your children or grandchildren off to school and see the excitement in their faces instead of worry and fear? What if a bar of chocolate replaced opioids, kind of like chocolate frogs in Harry Potter? (and they didn’t make us fat) What if you could have Christmas packages sitting on your front porch until you got home?

christmas-2411764_640There are no easy answers to any of these questions. How can you answer “tell me something good”? By changing your focus. They say it takes fewer muscles to frown than it does to smile. Really?! Well, then bend over. You’ll get a head rush in the process so you’ll feel giddy. That will cause you to laugh and then you’ll think of something funny. Maybe when you bend over you’ll bust the seam on your pants and you’ll get the giggles. Then you’ll look in your closet and find one of those “Men”, as I’ve written of, and you’ll preen in the mirror a bit. Some killer shoes and the next thing you know you’ll be strutting out the door and off to do something. Someone will catch your smile and return it. Their day will be brightened and someone else will benefit. And it goes on and on like an amoeba. All because you blew out your pants.

It doesn’t take some big “thing” to change your focus from bad things to something good. It doesn’t cost money. It doesn’t take much time. It doesn’t hurt.

It just takes a smile. So tell me something good.

Hang Ten

surfer-2212948_640Ten toes gripping the edge of smooth, rounded wood.  Water rolling beneath you as you shift and sway to maintain your balance.  The water swells, carrying you up on the wave, riding the surf, controlling the board on so much power you feel as though you Are the water.  Then gradually it lessens, smoothes out and you glide towards the shore.

I guess I still have Hawaii on the brain since I’m writing about surfing. I didn’t try it, nor have I ever, too much water in the face for me.  I’m using it as a metaphor for life balancing.  There is a great amount of turmoil in the world; a little hard to keep up with, much less tolerate.  Even in my little world, it feels like waves slamming into me.  It hasn’t swamped me, but I’m feeling a little worn and frazzled.

surfer-863730_640My work life is a bit crazed.  We have new management, new leadership after a few months of slightly controlled chaos.  I equate it to someone left the gate to the zoo open and the monkeys got in with the giraffes.  Not a pretty picture.  I manage the money and there has been quite a bit of wanting lately.  No is not a popular word, but necessary at times.

girl-2660772_640Riding the waves of life can bring a lot of stress – to your mind and your body.  Occasionally, you will have a meltdown.  It’s okay, it releases built-up stress.  Some level of stress can be good as it propels you upward and onward with determination to conquer whatever it is you are tackling.  Like that big wave.  And when you do – Woohoo! – the rush of power makes you a little dizzy.  In a good way.

So when the waves coming crashing: Hang Ten, maintain your balance and ride it out.  There’s a margarita waiting for you on the beach.surfing-926822_640

DefCon Five

the-pink-panter-1996281_640I have an extreme fear of heights. Maybe more on the level of mind-numbing, nuclear attack type terror. From happy and sane to completely over-the-top nuts in seconds.

My sweetie and I just returned from a week in Oahu. Yes, lovely. Especially because it snowed in Denver while we were gone. But more on Hawaii later.

The first night was surviving the pit of misery. I booked an ocean view room and from the photos it looked like there were rooms on the lower floors. I even noted in the booking that I needed a lower floor due to extreme vertigo. Apparently, they don’t know what that is. The room was on the seventh floor, yes that’s 7 stories above the ground. Might have been able to handle that, but to get to the room you had to walk outside and around on a walkway with an open railing. I glued myself to the wall to get in the room. My sweetie said he would help me in and out so I thought I could do it.

At least they had Bud Light in the Pit of Misery. Dilly – dilly.

Once we got in for the night, the deeply buried psychotic portion of height phobia rose to the surface like the waves so coveted by the surfers. All ration and reason stayed on the ground floor and in its wake was hysteria. The hotel was quite full so they couldn’t move us until the next day. I think I would have slept under the bell desk to get out of that room. I was trapped, yet something from over the railing beckoned me. I have heard of that, so there must be some psychological condition and name for it. Evil lurked outside the door. I had to put a chair in front of the door for fear that I would be pulled out and over the edge. My thoughts went to some scene I think was in Lord Of The Rings where the Hobbits were dumped into a giant bird’s nest on a pinnacle. I was there. I shook with fear and sobbed. My poor sweetie had absolutely no idea what to do with me. I made him hold onto me and eventually went to sleep. I woke in terror several times, but survived until the next day.

The hotel staff worked very hard the next morning to move us to the fourth floor with an inside hallway. Likely in their best interests as much as mine.

I have never experienced such terror in my life. I don’t know where it comes from as I have no recall or narrative of any height trauma in my life. I can only think that it must be some past life recall. Would that I could have a do-over if that’s the case. I suppose there is some trauma therapy, maybe EMDR, that would rid me of this fear. I guess I didn’t know I needed it until now. Other than that, we had a great time and more to come about that.

Note to my fellow vertigo sufferers: along Waikiki the hotels are mostly high-rises so if you go, make sure you request a room on the third or fourth floor. That’s as low as you can get as there are shops below.

The Crazy Train of Menopause

S Train 50Cue up: Ozzie

No, you are not bat-sh*t crazy. Not even a little, peering-over-the-edge into cray-cray. You are on the journey through menopause. Not to say that won’t make you feel nuts. So first let us take a step back in time to understand this.

When you were a young girl, around the age of eleven, you knew what you wanted to be when you grew up. You knew what you were passionate about even if you didn’t know what the word meant. Maybe you took action on your dreams – wrote and illustrated a storybook, orchestrated a fund-raiser at your school, made things and sold them.

And then. . . puberty arrived. You were horrified to discover that you were bleeding DOWN THERE. Then came the Crying and the Drama. You cried your way into your teen years and it escalated into DRAMA. Young adulthood brought “He Loves Me!” and “He Doesn’t Love Me!” and more Drama. And eventually some nice boy decided you weren’t totally nuts and put a ring on your finger. Suddenly estrogen hit its all-time-high and your world became “how can I care for/cook/clean/pickup/work, work, work for you and you and you”. You grew older and you started getting angry when the for-everyone-else became exhausting. You didn’t know it, but your estrogen started its roller-coaster game.

The menopause journey has begun. The gradual depletion of estrogen drives us to return to Self. It is the time to teach others that they are perfectly capable of making their own lunch or whatever. It is the time for you to remember what your eleven-year-old self was passionate about and build your best life. Yes, you might feel nuts and those around you will be convinced that you have gone totally bat-sh*t crazy and don’t love them anymore. You will all get through it and survive. And you know something, when those around you see how happy you are fulfilling your dreams they might just step on the bandwagon and help you.

Here’s to your best life.  Bat-sh*t crazy, indeed.

Originally posted October 2017