Tuesday, August 27, 2013

PLANTER PART II by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Oh! This IS the analogy I needed... Just realized it: k. Let us make the married woman in the grocery store i just posted about, a planter. And to make my point.. Let us put the attractive man from that same post in an uncommonly bright neon purple shirt. This, so there is a quick/recognizable verbal short cut to describe... here's what the wife (a planter) does. -she waits a day or two... Returns home from somewhere.. Says to her husband, "remember that guy in the neon purple? I just saw him again. (when, in fact, she did not). And she repeats this every once in a while.. "isn't that funny, I was just at the farmers market.. Guess who I ran into." -the time and place of these crossing paths occasions will start to sound less and less coincidental. Important to remember here: a planter is a species. What ideas/doubts/etc they plant is an infinite variable. I use jealousy here for ease and convenience. -motive? Intention? -worth thinking about.... And wow! I wonder if they'll create a human robot that can do all that?

IS THIS HUMANLY POSSIBLE wonders (me!) Sandra, tvgp

So, In prayer I say to Jesus... I know when concerns are being intentionally planted in my mind, and by who... What an ugly thing, huh. Thank you for protecting me.. And not allowing that ugliness to take root inside me. I am tempted to plant back Jesus.. Very tempted! But, what I pray instead, is that you help me ...continue to help me.. Recognize when I'm in the company or earshot of a planter.. And none of their ill intentions will ever be successful. -no weapon formed against me will prevail! Thank you Jesus! And Jesus... Should I give in to the temptation myself... And plant back in a reactionary, defensive, vengeful way... I pray I am held to the same standard..I must play by the same rules, as they say... And so, nor will my reactionary planting be successful. -ouch! Ouch! Ouch! -this is much harder than I thought! And wow! I wonder if they'll create a human robot that does that too!?"

PLANTERS as seen by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Planters are a specific species of human. I may have not worded that correctly, but you know what I'm trying to say, -write. I will search here and now for one analogy, but! The variables are infinite.. In Jesus name, I search for a safe analogy... A clear and safe and telling analogy... In Jesus name, in Jesus name: k! Planters are people who, use conversation to plant... Who with intention, use conversation to plant.. Doubt, worry or concern but never directly and would deny it if you suggested it. I'm still hunting for an analogy... A story to provide an example.. In Jesus name... Grocery stores seem to offer a lot of life lessons... So, we are at a grocery store then... A planter is the person who walks by you as you are selecting a package of food, and says out loud, in regard to their own selection, not yours, but so you can hear it: "I heard they took this old meat in the back and just put new labels with a different expiration date.." and then tosses their meat selection back in the bin, looks at you and keeps going..." -and that's not a great example really, but I'm close... -that's the amateur version I just described.. But I have come across some highly skilled planters! Highly skilled. It is such a huge temptation to plant back... Or to call them on it... But for the highly skilled.. They set it up, so that to call them on it.. If not accomplished exactly so, ends up making you look unnecessarily suspicious instead of them looking mean-spirited. When you have two highly skilled planters... Gets more interesting still... To win the game, the planters plant must be revealed without ...wait! To win the game... To really win the game: the planter must be tricked into self-revealing their intention. -somehow.... Wow! I wonder if they'll create a human robot that can do that too?!"

SPECIAL NOTE: from (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Everything I write, from here on out, will be concluded with statement/closing: "wow! I wonder if they'll create a human robot that does that too?!". -ready? Here we go. True story: keeping in mind, two of my super-powers are listening and observation. We are in a grocery store. I am standing next to a married woman. How do I know? Looks, age, wedding ring. K, she is standing next to an attractive man. How do I know? Looks. K, they do not know each other and are having a conversation for the first time.. Small talk about the price of things. How do I know? It is a conversation that should take place, in passing... Two people that Just happen to be in the same aisle, at the same time, looking at the same shelves. Simple as, "I think they have those on sale at -such n such, store." now.. The attractive man starts to continue on his merry way.. But the married woman quite intentionally engages him in longer conversation.. She was not flirting in a direct way, but she was making an obvious effort to keep his attention. How do I know? I watched and listened. K, I start to wonder just how long she is going to keep this up.. The attractive guy obviously wanted to continue shopping but did not want to be rude.. How do i know? I listen to words and body language. K, now guess who comes around the corner and down the aisle to join us? What appears to be the married ladies husband. -and now! ..once the married woman sees that her husband sees her talking to an attractive man... Suddenly, she frees him in conversation to go.." -I mean, wow! I wonder if they'll create a human robot that does that too?!"

SPEAKING OF MASTERPIECES by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

That's how I would teach the class: once all the students arrived, I would blind fold one, tie-up another one's hand, bind the feet of another, tilt the neck of another and he'd be required not to move, prick the finger of another so we could see blood, empty glasses (no water) on some desks, glasses of water on others.. To understand/appreciate thirst.. Swallowing, -tape the mouth closed on someone.. Having something hot to touch, something cold... But no one would be allowed to speak, mouth closed or not. Only think. Only experience. Only process. -to have an experience... But no way to express or share it with another.. Every. Single. Object. The design of the whole class would be to grow the appreciation of all that humans get to do.. Can do. -I never stop marveling at what a masterpiece we are: human beings. And the more exposure I have to scientists designing human-like robots, the deeper my appreciation grows. Will someone create a robot that can itself -learn? Appreciate what it has learned? Teach another? For dessert today: my 7 layers of chocolate appreciation cake: pull up a CHAIR. Now, you've been sitting in that same chair everyday for how many years? Ever notice it? ..or is this the first time it has been brought to your attention? Let me tell you about the wood, how it was made, who made it. You had no idea, did you. Well go ahead now, and sit down on it... What's that? One of the legs is wobbly? I wonder when that happened? Try and fix it. -well, perhaps we can just buy a new one then... What's that? They don't make them anymore? Well, maybe you can go find that same wood and make one of your very own... I'll just put the cake in the refrigerator until you get back... -now, you've opened this REFRIGERATOR how many times?... -now, YOU've opened this refrigerator how many times?

911! The vocabulary ambulance.. That would be (me!) Sandra, tvgp

It made me remember when my handsome prince told me his daughters couldn't go swimming because they were -sick. I said, "sick?.. That's awful.. What do they have? The flu?" and he hesitated, and then after a few false starts, pointing here, and gesturing there.. I realized he was trying to tell me they were on their periods. Or, if that colloquialism is unfamiliar: having their menstrual cycle. I will skip the part where I talk about how it is perfectly safe to swim.. Etc. And instead go write to how I reacted to hearing him describe menstruation as a "sickness". "have you been using that word with your daughters!? Telling them they're sick every month!? Honey, honey, honey... No, no, no! It is A GIFT! Not an illness... The very thing that allows us to give life! It means we are alive! And healthy!". And trust me.. I didn't stop there. I'm sure I went on for a while, trying to undo in one conversation, a few years worth of detrimental dialogue. And thank you Jesus and Holy Mother Mary, The word transplant has been a success.. With some consistency (and sarcasm) he now says, "did you receive your gift?" -"yes," I say, through the bathroom door, "I'm unwrapping it write now...and it's a beautiful bright red..." VOCABULARY DISPATCH: hit the siren...go! (rescue mission number two): we were watching the dance party on tv. Everyone, or almost everyone, on the dance floor was dressed in 80's attire. A lot of spandex pants, off the shoulder tops, high hair and large sunglasses, shorts and short sleeves in a rainbow of colors. my handsome prince says, "I used to dress like that... I wore shorts with a t-shirt.. But never! Tucked the t-shirt in.. Always it just hung out, long," he said and gestured toward his crotch, "had to cover my junk.". I go, "did you just call that junk?.. Honey, honey, honey.. No! No! No! ..if it's going inside me, we are definitely not calling it junk!". He goes, "what do you want me to call it then...?". "a masterpiece!". And then he goes, "okay then, 'my masterpiece' -and I just laughed and laughed. But you know what... I think that might be literally true.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

EYE KNOW by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

I was after a coke, a pepsi, something sweet and carbonated to keep me going. Closest place was a bar. A very well established bar: elliotts. -since 1907. The sign says so. The second I walked in I could tell it was filled with regulars, locals, no tourists. Friendly enough woman behind the counter.. I bellied up, as they say, between two men, with a dollar bill in my hand. Stayed standing. Made eye contact with the bartender "just want a coke.. Do you sell those?" -and that's when the man on my write said, "hey.. Is that a tattoo on your face?". I looked at him with a smile. His eyes had a visible here-but-not-here glaze. My guess, and it was only a guess, was that he had been there since breakfast.. And was drinking more for lunch. "what does it stand for?" -and the thing is, he spoke so articulately. So clearly. His speech was in entire contrast to what I was reading in his eyes. And so, shame on me for being quick to judge, -write. I went ahead and answered while I waited for my coke. Then he said, so articulately, "conquer the world, one man at a time, with kindness. -that's my philosophy too!" and I felt a little guilty for misjudging this fine, sober and obviously noble young man. About then, I made the exchange with the bartender lady, dollar for the can of coke. "would you like a glass, some ice?" I said no thank you and then the fine, sober, noble young man on my write, he goes, "hey.. Is that a tattoo on your face? -what does it stand for?" and we had the exact same conversation again before I left and got back to work.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

DOING THE WRITE THING by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

I am fully aware I am not the 1st or only to say this. But, I have also, independently, come to this same understanding: there is such a thing as doing the write thing, for no other reason/intention/motivation beyond simply, -because it is the write thing to do. There is also doing the write thing because you -have to vs. Want to. -doing the write thing, so you look good in the eyes of others, or because it makes you feel good. -but there does exist the ability/desire to do the write thing for no other reason whatsoever than because it is the write thing to do. Studying/meditating on this motivational/moral spectrum leads me to a better understanding of why we cannot have good deeds/good people always = rewarding life. It would make a mess of our motivations, it would, in fact, become impossible to do anything good with a pure motive, -wouldn't it. -our God is a God of hearts;true hearts. It's in your best interest (I say with a smile) to go ahead and hand yours over to Jesus. Amen.

Revelations for (me!) Sandra, tvgp

How do I begin? -someone needed my teaching/lesson. I knew the answer. I knew what to say... But! In order for this person to understand/appreciate/apply what I had to teach, they -first- had to have my same understanding/belief in God, and an enemy (the devil) working in the spiritual realm here on earth; through people. The lesson could also be taught with a secular vocabulary and secular analogies, but in order for me to really cut to the chase and explain things, I needed for us to -begin- with this mutual understanding and belief... This would make everything else I had to say make quick and easy sense. An example: when someone is suffering, my first question is "are you a man (or woman) of faith?". If they answer yes.. We can proceed forward from there, according to that mutual understanding, and the conversation is easy. If they say no.. We have to go backward.. Find a starting place.. And move awkwardly forward, but in many respects we will be speaking a different language, with different understandings, while trying to arrive at the same place, and it is going to take an extra long time to get there. And, it dawned on me recently.. How that is exactly the same problem big bang theorists run into.. They have a lot they know and want to explain, but nothing they say is really going to make sense, unless you first just believe as they do, in this big bang. With that mutual understanding, they can proceed forward... Without that mutual understanding/ belief... You are speaking two different languages and it takes so much longer to explain things. -everything they hope to teach you is based on you already agreeing to that beginning. the upshot for both is this: in order to understand this; you just have to believe that. It is a matter of convenience not knowledge. Or as I said recently, and as also applies to both: we are not knowers; we are believers. Our origins are unknowable, but we require a starting place... Somewhere, anywhere.. In order to turn the page. if you believe as I do.. In an infinite universe, you know there is no one, true starting place. -so, perfect place to pose the question(s): where do you choose to begin? -if you don't believe in an infinite universe, we can't really have this conversation, which captures the entire message of this post. -see.

And sometimes it goes like this for (me!) Sandra, tvgp

K, anyone who knows me even a little knows I am exhausted of the "he or she is having an affair" story line in books or conversations or commercials or movies. And I am thrilled beyond description when I get to read something that avoids this played out, overused, wildly predictable scenario. -and I was very excited to have a book sent to me recently "thank you Chris!". -especially because she (Chris), my dads wife, is responsible for introducing me to my 2nd favorite fiction book of all time: the elegance of the hedgehog.. So with high hopes I start in, and no need to guess what happens by page 3! I'm like, really. And then, a little movie plays in my mind where I get to be the obnoxious editor-in-chief person. I sit with a stack of books and magazines on my desk.. The writer sits in front of me.. I open a book from the top of a pile.. Scan, scan, highlight the sentence where we have the predictable affair..say the page number out loud.. Then throw the book out the window behind me. Grab the next book from the pile. Scan, scan.. Highlight, say the page number out loud, throw the book out the window.. And this continues for like 25 books and magazines. Then I say to the writer, "did you appreciate having to sit here and hear that over and over? Well neither do I!? Bring me something FRESH.. And then I grab THE JEWEL and place it on the table in front of me... This is an accomplishment. Don't knock on my door with anything less than this, understood. But in truth.. I flipped to the back of the book and read where one of the socially awkward characters in the story communicates with mathematical formulas.. And I'm so intrigued by how that reads, I told my handsome prince that I am going to force myself! To read the whole story and see if I can get past my own obstacles/prejudices so that I can enjoy the bigger picture. -will let you know. -I just had a visit with my Kathy biondi recently where I said during a much longer conversation (in her spectacular backyard over a delicious salad) "I just know there is an algorithm for creating self-consciousness and insecurities." I am not a mathematician.. But I do know a pattern/formula when I see it.

Sometimes it goes like this: for (me!) Sandra, tvgp

From inside the bathroom: "oh!? why now Jesus!? Why now?! I have a job I love! My kids and family are.. Wait! I have two jobs I love.. No, no, 3! I have 3 jobs I love.. My kids and family are good...I finally made it back to San leandro! My dad and family are moving back! I have my handsome prince.. And all this time you've kept me healthy and strong.. Even with no medical or dental benefits.. I finally got more hours.. I love where I live! I just started really taking in all those pleasant surprises.. I'm practically on top of the world! /and it's a much longer list of the blessings I am swimming in... /save love letters from the IRS.. But really.. two lessons I really have learned and applied: not to let my temporary circumstances dictate my attitude, AND there IS always some kind of temporary circumstance.. So if you wait to enjoy your life until all the challenging circumstances subside; you'll miss out on your whole life.. It's always simultaneous: blessings/burdens. You choose where to put your attention...k. I know all this! I know this! I know, write now, faced with a toilet bowl full of blood, that I am to thank you Jesus! In times of trouble as well as times of victory! So, thank you Jesus! For whatever lesson this is meant to teach me.. For whatever situations I will be tested to endure.. But my God! Why now.. Everyone around me that I love is thriving... Thank you Jesus! That everyone I love is thriving! It's been an amazing, these past couple years... Thank you Jesus! Who has a better circle of friends than me? I've been so blessed! Who has a better mom? Dad? Kids? Sibling? Spiritual spouse? No one.. I've been so blessed! A best friend in the blogosphere! Getting to read and write every day! I spying all those hearts... Every picture! The hearts seen... /and may I pause here to tell you my gratitude prayer went on and on.. And then I spotted an empty wrapper from the dozen or so red Liquorice vines I'd devoured earlier that day and I just smiled the biggest smile. Said to heaven... "so, that's not blood in the toilet bowl?" I don't have to go to the county doctor? Oh. Well then... Keep those blessings coming! I love you! I love my life! I love my family! My friends! I love my handsome prince! I love my jobs...

Bullet points from my journal of life -by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

* everything is a self portrait. * all of life is star wars. * everything is an analogy; as demonstrated write here.

You should be listening to Joyce Meyer... Says (me!) Sandra, tvgp

So, every once in a while I accidentally am stuck listening to the news for a few looong minutes. -seems to me there is an awful lot of people in high profile positions.. High profile in level of exposure, risk and authority, who are taking humiliating falls from public grace. It consistently brings to my mind lessons taught by Joyce Meyer. -specifically when she talks about flesh vs. Spirit and promoting yourself vs. Letting God promote you. I believe what she teaches is true: if you try and promote yourself, Without being in agreement with God's will.. This can be of high consequence. If God promotes you.. If and when you are in a place/position in agreement with God's will... No one, or no thing can knock you down; no enemy will prevail. I believe Joel Osteen teaches this also, in different words. When I review my own history.. It becomes very clear how often I've tried to promote myself.. And indeed, there have been consequences. Now I have the benefit of hindsight AND Joyce Meyer.. So, I am careful in prayer to ask... Or wait and trust, vs. Tell. It is nuanced.. Not just doing something and then praying it's blessed.. But waiting for a blessing to indicate green lights to do something.. Hard to explain, but you know it when it happens. You experience the distinction internally.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

@ THE CELLAR DOOR (me!) sandra, tvgp

there is more to write than what i'm about to.. but the upshot is this: love it! serving at the cellar door in downtown pleasanton -round the corner from the meadow lark dairy, and kitty korner from the firehouse art center. delicious wines AND wonderful selection of gourmet meats, cheeses.. small plates. we were slammin' on the soft open night, last tuesday.. and each one of us serving was on the hussle. made me think quite often of my aunt tina's quote: -my aunt tina.. remember i've written of her in great detail before.. she saved some $10,000 waitressing so she could travel to africa.. but know what she always said? she always said, "if you waitress for just 4 hours you will tip big for the rest of your life." -and that is a very true story. threw her a hug and wink in heaven. truth is, i've always been a good tipper, no matter what my personal financial situation is or has been.. and now it seems the generosity is being returned by customers @ the cellar door. "thank you!" -and even though i just said i've always been a good tipper.. in just the short time i've worked there.. i've been inspired to tip anyone serving me even a little more.. this work is in addition to the work at ricks picks.. my favorite job of all time.. hands down. continue to love it.. and there is a story brewin'... -where has my leonard gone? didn't he just get back from a vacation? -throws my whole day off. -came over here to the danville library and filled out all the paperwork to get a new card, waited impatiently for a computer (not really, just adding guilt), -had to spill a drink on some guy so he would get up and leave the computer free -SPECIFICALLY- so i could catch up on my leonardstegmann blogs.. and what do i get for all that? -might be time to send some of my friends to half moon bay to get him writing again.. so much more.. but dear IRS, you will be happy to know, my hours have "Thank you God" -increased, so.. true to my nature: what i can, with what i've got. amen!

Monday, August 12, 2013

MONKEYS OFF MY BACK by (me!) Sandra, tvgp

I just love this vision that hit me the other morning. It's like the opposite of the iconic Darwin drawing of the monkey evolving into man: in my vision, as the human grows into an adult monkeys start being added to his back.. More monkeys and more monkeys.. Weighing the human down, and then God steps in, and the monkeys (representing addictions, etc) start being removed one by one until the human is standing up write and free... -this has certainly been and is my experience... When I see someone smoking, I always send a quick thank you prayer to heaven, "thank you Jesus that that monkey is no longer on my back!" -when I hear someone speak of eating disorders, or certain phobias.. Long list, I say it again and every time.. "thank you Jesus that that monkey is no longer on my back!". -new page: it's been difficult to be or do unpredictable things.. But very easy to find pleasant surprises. I noticed all my pleasant surprises have been wildlife... A baby lizard, an egret, a mom and baby deer, the Canada geese... -new page: had to laugh because I just talked with a young lady who was going to be visiting family, and it was with some dread, because, "they tell the same stories over and over...". I told her I just got done blogging about that... Turning myself in.. How guilty I am of that very crime.. But everyone seems to do it... And I broke the news to her as gently and politely as I could. Said, "sorry to tell you this truth.. But as your parents get older... It's gonna get worse not better.". I think over riding our default memory settings is similar to clicking on a preset hyperlink but expecting it to link somewhere else... God bless us. Amen.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

"I'M A PANELIST! I'M A PANELIST!" (me!) Sandra, tvgp

"ON THE BRAIN INITIATIVE PROJECT!". -k, so.. And really, thank you so much for inviting me..I'm honored. I'm excited. I'm thrilled. Now.. I've set before you a looong list of questions. Answer them. And I ran out of ink so will verbalize number ten for you now; write it down: k. I can only speak for western culture. K, well, the east bay.. But under the topic of self-consciousness, self worth and insecurities... What you see, is almost a paranoid level of insecurity when it comes to females and physical appearance, and then like ZERO, concern for certain violent criminal behaviors on the part of a certain percentage of men. Now.. If we can figure out how to make these certain percentage of abusive men feel as self-conscious about their behavior, as say, women are made to feel about their hair color and style... This will become a much more giant leap: making man kind. And I know I'm not supposed to give away any answers... But.. Let me provide two subtle hints: mass. And media. Or for you math geniuses on the panel: mass + media = culture. Culture = what you currently witness everyday around you. Culture is not fixed it is a .... Say it with me... My favorite math word, " variable ". For you neuroscientists on the panel... Culture is Malleable; like the brain itself, it has plasticity. And now, before you break for lunch... Why are you here? What are your TRUE motivations? Goals? God knows.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

UNPREDICTABLE & SURPRISING goals for (me!) Sandra, tvgp

K, so.. As we learned from my kasper hot dog stories, It is nearly impossible for me (and all of you) to not tell the same stories upon seeing the same visual triggers. Tuesday I drove with Julia, Megan and cortney to San Francisco.. No surprise here: upon seeing the golden gate I retell the terrorizing 50th anniversary story and the God parted the red sea of people italian heritage/Columbus day/balloon platoon banner babes parade stories.. The international gift show triggers my MagTimeFrames.com, trade show, carol duval stories.. And any girl talk between us.. Not just on this drive, over lunch, -but since I've met them.. Always results in me telling them about how God tricked me into falling in love with someone who travels a lot, but how that stretches out our courting process.. Poor girls, I think they've graciously listened to me say the same things twelve times. -I bore myself these days. But! I'm telling me (and all of you) -it's a great challenge! To not tell the same story, or say the same thing when you see the same things or go to the same places... I failed dramatically Tuesday -but when and if I go to San Francisco again.. I will only remove the tape from my mouth IF I have SOMETHING NEW TO SAY. -you have your noble goals, I have mine. The other goal I have is to be pleasantly surprised at least once a day. Monday I was pleasantly surprised by the art work I found on the corner of Angela & main.. I've been up and down the stairs many times over the years... Blank walls. But Monday.. Turned the corner and, wow! A collage of gorgeous paintings; beautiful! A most pleasant surprise! Stopped and talked and met the artist.. Oh, I forget how to spell or pronounce his name.. Will have to look it up.. Get back to you, but.. Wonderful! -tues. My Pleasant surprise was the moscone center itself, and yesterday my Pleasant surprise was Darjeeling limited and the spectacular sculpture of saint joan of arc at the parish in san ramon i visited for the 1st time. Today. -the two goals still sit before me: do &/or say 1 unpredictable thing. Notice at least 1 pleasant surprise...

A PUBLIC THANK YOU TO MEGAN from (me!) Sandra, tvgp

Two words come to my mind with every Wes Anderson film I see: "thank you!". I'm always on the hunt for a new story line... For decades it seems the same story is told over and over and over and over -they just change the character names and setting.. But not so with Wes Anderson. My most recent watch was the darjeeling limited, which was loaned to me by Megan... And what a signature cinematic style he has... Adding him to my imaginary list of people I'd like to meet... And! Don't you know I enjoyed some unintended extra laughter when I saw the savory snacks and angry red spots... Scenes which can only be appreciated if you've read leonardstegmann.blogspot.com on the subjects.