topiary cats

topiary cats

Friday, April 27, 2007


I have brought the office home with me tonight.

Physically and mentally. The physical part I don't mind so much; it happens once in a blue moon.

The mental part I mind a lot. I am frustrated. I work on a training team full of people who aren't trainers. And I'm really at my wits' end over the lack of project management skills. Unfortunately, since I do the production and development of the classes, I am directly on the receiving end of Project Management Incompotence.

Person 1 doesn't know how to manage a project at all, even though I've coached them in the past, and they are still asking me the same questions and having the same verbatim conversations we've had three or four times already. Then they come over and ask me what to do three more times. The last project they were managing, they simply *didn't do* the work and I ended up having to bail it out last minute.

Person 2 has poor communicaton skills and an aggressive personality. Also needs work in PM skills, but can at least put out a good project when all is said and done. Today I called them before going home only to discover that the project I'm currently doing needs to be delivered by 2pm Monday, and they never even told me about it!!! This person has also called me rigid and inflexible because I said no to spending hours on end-stage production work before the content was final, because they were impatient for the project to be done and couldn't get the person on the phone that they needed to speak to. I told person 2, as respectfully as possible, that not getting so and so on the phone wasn't my problem, please give me the content when it's final and I'm happy to produce it. Same Person 2 has given me feedback changes that were outright incorrect. Person 2 apparently has no verbal or written English skills whatsoever and always gives me script text that is so incorrect it makes no sense. The excuse? They didn't write it, they just copied and pasted from somewhere. This poor communication about expectations and sloppy work is causing friction between us. They had this same problem with a vendor last year. Now I know why. It wasn't the vendor's fault, I see that now. I refuse to work on something that I'll spend hours on and just have to re-do because the PM was sloppy.

Maybe I'm just crazy, but in my mind if you're managing a project and then handing the content over to someone else, take fucking accountability for it and make sure it's 100% ready for production.

Thank Goddess I am good at what I do, and my boss told me the other day that I'm one of the real treasures on the team. That was nice to hear, especially because I feel on the outsides socially...not that I mind a great deal about that. I much prefer to keep my social life separate from work. I am thankful that at least I have a great manager...and I think I need to have a meeting with him about this, and how it can be resolved in a positive way for everyone to be successful.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Shadow Dancing

Daya has discovered that singing and dancing with her shadow is fun. :)

Shadow Dancing on Vimeo

Monday, April 23, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007


This is a few days delayed but I've needed that time to think and collect thoughts.

I am so deeply saddened by the shootings in Virginia earlier this week. It's so tragic and horrible. It makes me feel sick to my stomach.

My reaction to it is that law enforcement needs to take non-physical violence far more seriously than it does. Of course this means resources on an already overburdened system and I don't have a good answer or solution to that because I feel there are so many factors involved in why these things are happening en masse to begin with. But the police do need to take things seriously even with no history of previous physical violence.

Right after I had Daya things got even worse at home than they had been previously. I was extremely quiet and withdrawn; that was my defense. To appear weak and immobilized, lost in depression. Incapable of doing anything.

When Daya was 11 days old, the ex came home frome wherever he had been for the past four days. He came home for less than 10 minutes, just to tell me that he "had a vision" that the baby and I would be found dead in the apartment. He said it "was confirmed" and would definitely happen.

I took that pretty seriously. Seriously enough to call the police. The police told me that since he hadn't hit me, there was nothing they could do except file a complaint of harassment, which wouldn't even keep him away from me. Even though he is an expert martial artist. Even though he has firearms training. Even though he was crazy in the head. Even though he had said those words of his newborn baby girl.

What I think could very feasibly have happened, had I not moved out less than a week later, isn't a far stretch in my mind. The ex was crazy and that was dangerous because it meant he was unpredictable in his actions, regardless of previous known history. He was finished with me, that was made very, very clear. He also made it clear that he changed his mind and "couldn't" be tied down with responsibilities after all, meaning Daya. He said normal rules of humans didn't apply to him because he was god's special messenger. I was simply excess to him, something he used up and no longer needed. Something that could be discarded without a second thought. (Meaning he built up his social network, had a new woman to be parasite to, resources, and thought he had his greencard secured.)

That gives us a man who is expertly trained in the art of killing along with a total lack of conscience or sense of empathy or personal wrongdoing. And a motive. Very, very dangerous. It would have been so easy for him to have done something and make it look like a post-partum depression suicide/infant murder. So easy. Too easy, in fact, especially because it was no secret that I was not emotionally well during the pregnancy or afterwards. Add to that whatever he was telling people. And it would most probably have worked. Because people loved him and would have sworn on their lives he'd never do such a thing. Because of his way of presenting himself, and because no one knew the truth of what was going on in our home. And he wouldn't have to deal with me anymore, he'd be clear and free to go about his life of parasitical charm. And he'd get a ton of sympathy and attention from such a horrible thing happening...playing up his anguish...I can see it so clearly.

My story continued to a much happier place, for which I am beyond thankful.

Which cannot be said for those poor souls mowed down by one man's insanity.

Which could have and should have been prevented.

My Dad the Rock Star

Have I ever mentioned that my dad is a rock star? It's true. He opened for the Doors right when Light My Fire came out, back in the day, and I have met two separate unrelated people who remember his old band from way back. Cool, huh? He's also a cool person!

Here he is, doing his thing on steel guitar.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Secret Wish

I have been carrying a wish around inside myself since I was a little kid, since at least 8 years old. And it's such a stupid thing, inconsequential really, but somehow it's major to me and has been for a long time. A secret desire, if you will.

After I had Daya and found myself single with no support or help, I told myself that I wouldn't let my circumstance stop me from being who I am and doing things that I want to do. That I would never use the excuse of being a single mom to prevent me from living life. This doesn't mean that I'm wanting to go off and do a bunch of stuff and leave Daya all the time, but I can certainly take a few hours here and there. I spend a lot of time with Daya and I intend to continue that- it's all just a matter of balance. Most of my social life also involves Daya, which is nice. But I need "me" time, too.

So back to my secret wish. I decided that I wanted to take a class of some kind. I was taking tea ceremony lessons, and I'll probably still do them sporadically, but they are much more expensive than I initially thought. I also still want to do Yoga, and that's pretty cheap and I'll probably work it in starting in the summer. I considered figure painting, because I love it and it's been a long time since I've had the opportunity. But for all these things, that little background voice started up again with the "...that would be fun and I'd enjoy it a lot, but if I could choose absolutely anything, what I REALLY want to study is voice."

So, as stupid as this is, I have a long-term build-up of fear with this, and it's a sticking point because I never properly resolved it. I believe in facing fears and blockages, and for some reason this is significant enough to me to the point where it's stayed around for a really long time. There is a definite energy block and I'm still not sure why it is so significant. But I guess I'll find out, because I start working with a vocal coach tonight. I could have gone the cheap route with this and done cheap lessons, or CDs and books, but I really want good training. Lessons aren't cheap (more than tea ceremony, actually) but somehow it's working out. I feel the cheap approach isn't doing justice to something that has been so secretly significant to me for such a long time. I need to give this the attention and space it wants. There is something that I need from it.

I have no interest in performance. This is purely personal. It's just something I need to do. I have been in choirs, both audition and non-audition. I studied piano for about 9 years growing up, and I deeply miss the world of music. Since I come from musicians, that's not really suprising.

Sometimes, when looking back on life, I really feel I could have gone the route of either music or visual arts. I took the road of visual arts and while I don't regret it, I do regret that my piano training got badly screwed up by an incompotent teacher. By the time I switched teachers it was a little late, and I was too young to realize the incompotence sooner. One day, when I am out of NYC and settled in a place where I can have a piano again, I'll resume it. I made that promise to myself a long time ago.

But tonight is about airing a block, facing a fear, and doing something that was important to me as a child and contines to be important in adulthood.

Life is for living, no excuses.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Out of the Woodwork

I just got a call from an old friend/acquaintance. Someone I haven't talked to in over a year, and it was such a nice call to receive. He was also good friends with the ex.

He said the last he heard, which was a long time ago, the ex was managing a restaurant in Cape Town, and he had a major emotional breakdown/ reality check when he got back to Africa and cried for three or four days or something like that.

I do not feel sorry for him.

I trust him about as far as I can throw a train. Nor do I wish to have any contact with him whatsoever. I don't trust his breakdowns; I've heard that story before from him and even if they're genuine in the moment, I think they turn into part of his facade for people to pity him and respond to him. The whole Poor Me act. I just don't buy it. My friend didn't know about his plans for a next marriage.

What I think is that he's so screwed up and so used to thinking of himself in a certain way, so used to lying and justifying those lies in his mind. He has an astonishing ability to bend reality and truth to suit his perspective. He has a natural charm and charisma; a magnetism, a glamour.

Daya has it too and it's my job to teach her to use it responsibly.

Monday, April 09, 2007

It Got Better

That chaotic anti-electronic energy is fixed. While I was soaking in a nice steamy bath last night, a helpful flash of insight told me to do a Triple Grid. It's been a very, very long time since I've done one. I really feel so much better now.

In about 15 minutes I am picking up my cd from the old memory card. The photo machine thingy crashed the first time I tried to order the cd, but all was well the second time so my Electronics Curse is officially over.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Electronically Cursed?

I feel like I have some sort of chaotic energy around me. Not good. It is apparently very bad for electronics, whatever it may be. I just feel prone to clumsy disaster right now. I do hope this goes away very soon.

Daya- my baby, my treasure- threw my cellphone into the bathtub. A dry bathtub. So now the display is all wonky. The phone works, and I'll be able to retrieve the numbers. Thankfully I don't have an expensive cell phone, so I was able to get the same one on ebay for very little.

But still. This is weird.

I have had a very expensive weekend. (Though I must say I am falling in love with my new camera.) Is Mercury in retrograde or something?

Hmmm... maybe I should get off the computer. (Dear computer, please don't explode.) Oh, and Daya is now banned from playing with my cellphone. She doesn't know it yet, and it might not go over very well.

I want to hook up my new camera and download pictures, but honest to goddess, I'm actually afraid to do it tonight.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


"The good, the bad, the sane and the mad- 
all things must surely pass."
Today an old and very dear friend of mine met an untimely passing. The image of her newly-deceased corpse will forever remain in my mind.
To my Canon Powershot A40, I say thanks for all the memories.
In a surreal freak accident, which I had two pre-cognitive warnings about 10 minutes before it happened, my dinosaur digital camera jumped out of my hands, bounced three times, and landed in the duck pond at the Flushing Meadows Zoo.
The last picture she ever captured was of the water that took her life.
Thanks to Tom the Zookeepper, I recovered her. Got the batteries and the memory card out and THANK GODDESS they still work. So I will get a cd made of the images on the memory card, which amazingly enough is in perfect condition. I tested it to make sure...and what a relief!
Because I am completely neurotic about replacing things immediately, I bought a new camera. I'm a Canon girl, so I got the Canon Powershot A570 1S. 7.1 megapixels, versus 2.0 megapixels in my old model.
But the Powershot A40 was a fabulous camera. She took a good picture. I bought her in 2001, for more than I paid for my new camera today. She never had a case and suffered much abuse. She went a lot of places, met a lot of people, was dropped a few times, and took thousands of pictures. And except for a slight occasional difficulty with the flash, she worked perfectly. My new camera has a legacy to live up to.
What memories will my new camera capture, I wonder? I am looking forward to finding out.
May 2001 to April 2007

And here is the Last Picture: