There's More to Life Than Knitting!

Join Suna as she stops knitting long enough to ponder her life, share her joys and concerns, and comment on the goings on in the world.
You are very welcome here, so feel free to comment and contribute!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Nice Little Shawl, Sad World

Here is the finished shawl I made with the yarn I dyed with KoolAid, finally. When I first finished it, it was tiny! It was the size of a headscarf, and I wore it babushka-like to Starbucks down from the knitting shop, as a joke. Thank goodness blocking is my friend, and it actually ended up only an inch less in width and exactly the right length as the shawl in the pattern (Interweave Knits, Fall 2006 I think). Click it to see it better, and especially click the close-up version, where you can see the very tedious p5togs that made up the bluebells in the border. Or snowdrops, or whatever they were supposed to be. I am glad the yarn didn't end up detracting too much from the pattern. I have started another shawl in very pale colors of suri alpaca, but really and truly DO think it is too loose (really Tina, I think it is over gauge and will check with Jody on Saturday if y'all live through Friday). I also started one in Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace in blues and tan, the faroese shawl with hearts. It is way harder than the green one--lots of complex stitches that better actually make an interesting pattern.

I have had a long and interesting day at work, more of that new friendship fun that I am enjoying so much lately, but I am tired from learning so many things.

And I am sad about my former work, just because some of the women I worked with are so disappointed in how they were treated in the last day or so. I think it is best that I am gone and not all involved with it, so it doesn't hurt me as much as it does them to find out that they were kept in the dark about plans, mislead or whatever. And after I had the realization today, finally, that the reason why I was so upset is that I didn't feel like an employer dismissed me, but like my family had disowned me and stopped speaking to me, I felt some closure. I now "get" why I was so hurt. And I will not ever, ever mistake a group of coworkers for a "sisters" again. Shoot, I can't hardly believe I am allowing myself to make friends at work, period. Sometimes you can't help it. But I will draw a line, I hope.

I do feel better about most stuff, though, really. Just writing to process, but now will go be an American and watch my favorite TV show.

translation: yes, the work fun referred to involves Lee (and Greg, and other coworkers). We simply have a good time doing stuff. No crime.


Sam said...
{{{{{Suna}}}}}I hope you find a place where you feel safe to have friends in your new job and they have the presence of mind to treat you the way you deserve to be treated. You did make some great friends at your other job and they do still love you.Have a FABULOUS day!!!Sam
Friday, September 29, 2006 8:35:00 AM

She who paddling her own canoe said...
Bingo! Yay for you and your moment of enlightenment! I hope it brings you one step closer to closure and healing. (((hugs)))One suggestion: Let your hair down at work! Enjoy the company of your co-workers. Don't mistake the environment you're in now, for the environment you left behind. Remember the old saying- Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe. :)BEAUTIFUL shawl! I'm amazed that you can craft such wonderful things. You're craf-tay. :)Take care, SAK. Wishing you continued success and happiness!
Saturday, September 30, 2006 1:15:00 AM

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Stop It, Suna

I can sure set myself off into a downward spiral of introspection easily. I guess that's why I try to keep myself busy--otherwise I start over-analyzing my shortcomings. Just seeing the kids' dad reminded me how little he thinks of me, and then I kept feeling like I wasn't living up to anyone's expectations all day, and I got worse and worse. Also, I think I just don't get enough introvert time these days, so I got some last night. Trying for that now, too.

So, what is good? NJ is surely a sweet and loyal friend, and I appreciate anyone who defends me on my blog, like she and Sandy have done. Awwww. I guess I'll keep them, both. Besides, NJ also loves Bejeweled.

Also good. I finished a frothy pink scarf as a surprise gift for a coworker (none of them read this, far as I know, so I think the secret's safe, and if not, hi coworkers). I put a ruffled border on it, and it is very girly, for its very girly/jock/brain recipient (she's an over-achiever like me, and in the first graduating class of the school my kids go to!). I also got my felted ornaments to felt, and delivered them to the yarn store, and finished the cutest little sweater for a store sample and class to teach. I forgot how much fun top-down raglan sweaters were until I did this one--no seams and just one needle in each size, because I magic looped it. The yarn is mostly acrylic, but a lot of fun. I think it's Spilto or something like that (I don't have a label). There are little dots of yarn that fall off and onto your pants, but otherwise it's nice, and the colors are intersting blends. Another nice shade has oranges and yellows and tans.

Sorta sad. I had to go get all the scarves that were left at the store in south Austin that was supposedly selling them for me. They sure weren't selling. It's no problem for me--I can sell them at Ye Olde Spiritual Community Yule Fest or at some other similar event and end up with some good holiday cash. But I feel sorry for the nice folks who ran the shop, because they had a good idea, to support local artists. I just think it was hard to SEE the place, back off the road like it was. And the prices were high. Because I was already in South Austin, I dropped by The Other Yarn Store and got some laceweight yarn I did not need, but will enjoy working with. Some suri alpaca in muted colors that will make yet another nice shawl. Like I need another shawl.

I have to pay bills, take the kids to the dentist, and do other "fun" stuff tomorrow. But I hope work is fun and that we get new folks, and the old folks come back (worried about a coworker with a hurt knee).

There, I posted and did not dwell on how unfriendly I can be, how intolerant I am of some annoying habits, and how weird it is that I want to be social and have friends, but need to be alone so much. Oh well, we're all weird.

translation: the coworker mentioned above is Genia.


Jody said...
All a bunch of weirdos, we are. yup yup.I've had some good introverted time this weekend and I needed it, so you certainly aren't alone on that front. Friday night & Saturday night by myself and most of today.I hope you feel spunkier soon!
Sunday, September 24, 2006 8:58:00 PM

sandy said...
Ya know, just becasue your ex used you as a "trial wife" without really thinking about what he wanted in a life partner in no way makes you a terrible person, and neither does needing downtime ALONE. Just a kick from your fellow in weirdness.
Sunday, September 24, 2006 10:18:00 PM

Christine ( said...
Don't feel bad. I am needing tons of down time it is one of the many reason we do not have kids. Monday I go no where and basically talk to no one. Tuesday I usually have an appointment then spend the day by myself. I am trying not stay at home all day on fridays. I usually goto the grocery and clean up the house. Now I try to let myself goto the yarn shop. I volunteer on Wed & Thur morning thru early afternoon. Remember hub does not come home betw 6:30-7:30 then he is programming, plays PS2, read groups things on the internet. I usually hope he will watch tv with me. Weekends we try to geocaching in morning then hubby spends time programming and playing PS2.Struggle between needing downtime and being extremely lonely.It is a balancing act. I know a person who wanted 30 min free from the kiddios had a timer and if they came in during the 30 min he would restart the timer.Even my mom had downtime rules. Read the newspaper and watch the nightly news needed to be interupt free.Take CareSmile :P
Monday, September 25, 2006 3:32:00 PM

Suna said...
Thanks for all the support, friends.
Monday, September 25, 2006 6:21:00 PM

Anonymous said...
Hang in there SAK, and be proud of yourself that you recognize your need for down time. I am constantly amazed at your productivity! I have been knitting the same sock for two years and could never make something good enough to sell! Revel in your down time.
Thursday, September 28, 2006 12:48:00 PM

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Happy Peace Day

It's the International Day of Peace, and with all my blathering (see my blathering comment that I added to yesterday's blathering, too), I figure I should acknowledge this event. My coworker and I had a minute of silence for peace (not at noon, but near noon), and I have tried to send positive peace thoughts out into the universe today, rather than negative anti-war thoughts. Hmm.

I also want to note how proud I am of some local musician friends for acting on their beliefs about peace. Steve Brooks and the Therapy Sisters come to mind. And all the folks who are doing the Instruments for Peace concerts and other events in town. I am proud of these folks for making their beliefs known and acting on them. It's wonderful to see my hero Slaid Cleaves and my friends Edge City listed among their participants. (PS--Slaid's own hero, Don Walser, died yesterday, so I send my thoughts to him.)

But again, because I am all for peace doesn't mean I hate people in the military. I pretty much don't "hate" anyone, though there are some folks I'd probably prefer to not hang out with.

No more from me today--I am supposed to be thinking, not proclaiming, today.

translation: the coworker mentioned above was Kathy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Proud to Be a Usonian

It's probably obvious, if you are one of the three people who actually reads this blog, that I have been thinking a lot about my dissatisfaction with how the US is governed and what I am going to do about it. I have often been feeling ashamed to live in a country where the leaders are acting aggressively, treating others as if they are not human, well, acting like big ugly bullies. I wonder if I am alone, I wonder if our country is so divided that we share no common values any more, I wonder if there's any hope?

That leads us to today, when the boss read to us the preface to a book she is reading for an MBA class in leadership, Leadership, by Rudolph Guiliani. That's not a book I'd rush out and buy--he seemed to me like a basically good fellow, but perhaps not someone I'd have a lot in common with. But, the preface was really interesting, and from the description, I was surprised to learn how many of the leadership principles he has developed in his life matched the ones I have come up with, though of course we have had very different experiences.

But, the best part came at the very end, when he talks about what it is to be an American.

"We're like a religion, really. A secular religion. We believe in ideas and ideals. We're not one race, we're many; we're not one ethnic group, we're everyone; we don't speak one language, we're all of these people. We're tied together by our belief in political democracy, in religious freedom, in capitalism, a free economy where people make their own choices about the spending of their money. We're tied together because we respect human life, because we respect the rule of law.

"These are the ideas that make us Americans." p. xvii

I thought to myself, "Hey, those sound like ideas nearly all Americans would actually say they agreed with." Really, rich, poor, left, right, whatever--most Americans agree on these core beliefs. But. Who doesn't? Our current political leadership demonstrates practically every day that they do NOT respect human life (for all their braying about stem cell research and the evils of reproductive choice they sure like to send young people off to their deaths and to kill people in nations whose leaders don't toe the line politically). They have been lately brazenly demonstrating that they do not respect the rule of law, too. "Geneva convention? That's for OTHER countries to apply to OUR people, not for us to apply to them!"

Guiliani's assertions helped me pin down exactly what I am so upset about with our head honchos. And reminded me what is good about the country where I was born.

What else?

Not much else. Worrying about the partner's health, but glad he is making positive steps toward helping himself, at last. Surviving a lacrosse meeting with total civility. Playing Bejeweled 2 on the Big Screen of my home computer (ooh, should not have bought that--I'll turn as addicted to a game as one of the kids--those graphics are something else). Thinking a lot about friends, former friends, future friends.


deb said...
I just bought Bejeweled 2 as well. LOL the kids are addicted to it as well as I am.I agree with your other thoughts as well. I wonder daily would our world is coming too.Deb
Wednesday, September 20, 2006 10:18:00 PM

Suna said...
Thanks, Deb. I want to acknowledge the perspective of reader K, who pointed out to me that her parents both were in the military and she was raised in that culture--and she knows that I would not have wanted her mother to die in the Gulf War or anything. She is correct. I love and value all my friends who were or are in the military--I just don't like the concept much, and more to the point, I don't like what our leaders are doing with our armed forces. There are plenty of defense or public works projects that a well trained and in-shape bunch of ladies and gents could do, and they could be PROUD of those things. Anyway, without being forced to say the mandatory, "I support our troops" cliche, I do want to note that as human beings, I value people who choose militaty careers as the best option for their particular lives and situations.
Thursday, September 21, 2006 2:21:00 PM

knittingwoman said...
i think i'm glad that the online free verrsion of bejeweled 2 doesn't run on my mac. I like that game too:)
Friday, September 22, 2006 4:33:00 PM

Nancy Jo said...
I need to find Bejeweled for some other handheld device, so Patty can have one for herself. She is now attached to it, which leaves me leaving my Palm at home for her rather than keeping it with me so I have all my contacts with me. What is wrong with this picture? And why aren't I just retaining possession of my toy?Sigh. My middle child researched it and said we could get Bejeweled for her old GameBoy Color game (which she doesn't use any more), but I haven't been able to find it. Need to write to her and ask what to do now.Nancy Jo, more interested in the games than the liberal news today, and heading off to church instead of finishing reading everything. Really. I'm not kidding . . .
Sunday, September 24, 2006 9:44:00 AM

Oh yeah, and my work friend did some Korean medicine thing involving little pellets of metal on my finger and now my sinuses finally feel better. I think I will live. I was in awful pain yesterday.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Reading the News Is Educational

...and depressing sometimes. I think I am going too overboard on liberal news sites.

This is a quote from the last words in a wonderful yet sobering speech I just read by MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann, who is one of the new heroes of our sad time, which needs heroes so much:

When we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have “forgotten the lessons of 9/11"… look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:
Who has left this hole in the ground?
We have not forgotten, Mr. President.
You have.
May this country forgive you.

This cartoon by Mr. Fish goes with the speech. Truly and really, how DARE the people who have bought/stolen the priviledge of running the USA tell those of us who live here that we don't remember 9/11 just because we haven't turned into raging murderous war mongers? Often there is more than one lesson to learn from an event.

Another hero for today is Colin Powell. Arianna Huffington says what I would like to say about his bravery for finally standing up to his former boss, the man who runs the country. How comme none of "us" Dems will start pitching fits? I don't want to live in the country that is the "bad guy" of the world. Thank you, General, and Sen. McCain. We need people who think and don't just react however their political party tells them to, whether liberal, conservative, Christian, or none of the above. I am glad these guys are there and either have enough power or bravery to speak up.

I heard this dude on NPR yesterday. A really frightening evangelical fellow who has some mission to be pals with Jews. Ah, Gershom Gorenberg is his name, and here is his story if you can stomach it. Anyway, he has that evangelicalically smug certainty that he knows exactly how the world we are in, exactly where we are on the countdown to the Rapture, and such that scares be "bejeezus" out of me. Of course, every once in a while he sorta sounds like he is telling the truth (all these wars getting worse and worse, etc.). But that's how they suck people in--some of the stuff they say is barely plausible. I just couldn't stop listening to his assertions as to why the Jews will be JUST fine thanks--as soon as Jesus actually shows up for the second time, they'll say, "OK, we see him now, and so we can believe in him," and magically they'll get saved! What a relief, I am sure, for our Jewish friends. AAAAAA......

On a happier note (yet a very low one)

Want to learn a lot about tubas? I really enjoyed this news item on Friday, and am glad it is all on the web. A 21-year-old woman is the principal tuba player in a major orchestra! The sound samples from the episode are amazing--hard to believe it is tuba music.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I Am Right about Something

OK, this isn't proof or anything, but this article on using video games to teach children reading and writing backs up a gut feeling I have had. I watch my own children reading complex sets of directions, interacting with compatriots, and doing all sorts of complex linguistic functions while playing their role-playing games every day. I see that the younger one types nearly as fast as I do (93 wpm last time tested, remember?). I love it that the teacher in the article uses a nonviolent but richly themed game to spur his students, even male ones, to do creative writing, problem solving and more.

It backs up my impression that like any other tool, video games can be used well or misused. It is up to those who use them, or in the case of children, to the parents and teachers who authorize their use, to make sure that they are being used for purposes that lead to new skills, develop character and improve creativity.


I realized at some point that I have not reported on my knitting progress in the past few days. On Saturday I finished a really pretty store sample in a yarn called Mille Colori, which has a very, very long repeat, if any, in its wonderful striping patterns. Check it out! I am progressing away on the shawl I am making. Monarch, is that its name? Some kind of butterfly. I think it may be even smaller than the small size it is designed to be, but it is looking pretty cool in my hand dyed sock/laceweight yarn. I also finished one plain sock in the crayon-colored Lorna's Laces yarn I got a while back, thanks mostly to a long work meeting where I could knit. I am partway through the leg of sock 2. Gotta move on some socks. Once the shawl is done, I will work on finishing the blue angora blend vest, then a silver mohair vest is next!

My next wish list item is the Lizard Ridge afghan on Knitty. The second I saw it, I knew it was for me. Silly me, I didn't realize everyone else I knew would ALSO want to make it. It'll be like Icarius--lots of folks sporting the same item, but no one making it exactly the same, as Jody pointed out. Jody already got yarn to start it. I am gonna see if I have any Noro that is Kureyon or the same weight ready to go on making a few squares. Not enough knitting time any more.


sandy said...
That article will make Jeremy's day. The computer in general is a wonderful tool and I find it so aggravating when they are discounted and demonized.
Monday, September 18, 2006 8:04:00 PM

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Tired of Sick

I am now officially tired of having a cold. I slept most of today, for no good reason--I had slept last night. My head hurts and I couldn't taste the nice dinner I had last night for Cheri's birthday. But, I enjoyed conversation with her and Jody, and doing some tarot, then listening to the older son talk and talk and talk when he got home from his debate event. I should have people over more often. (And I ran into Shannon from tarot class today at church, who would be a fun person to invite for a tarot evening at some point.)

This is the photo I tried to upload in the previous entry. It simply will NOT load there. He is attempting to look "cool." Turns out all the buttons fell off the jacket! You get what you pay for!

A story with a happy ending I hope: As I was waiting for the bus to come back from the debate tournament on Friday (well after the endless football game at far, distant and hot Bowie HS which the team did win) the band director, who was finally heading home as I was heading to my car to sit and wait, found a lovely tortoiseshell kitten with no tail meowing her head off under the "McN HS Band" trailer. It was tame and loved him, and we were worried about it, there with no houses nearby or anyone to feed it, and many cars to run it over, so he (and the older boy, who arrived while we were cat wrangling) and I managed to get it into his truck. I hope he made it home with that loose scared kitten in the cab of the truck!

Too tired to write more. zzz.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Remembering and Looking Forward

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Ann Richards, former governor of Texas, on Wednesday. Here’s a great article from that gives the top ten reasons why we already miss her:

Ann Richards always impressed me, even from a distance. She and some of the women that I worked with in local politics in Illinois were wonderful roll models of women willing to invest their time and energy in changing the system from within. We need more women in national politics, but the ones we really need are too smart to want to get involved in all those PACs, lobbyists, corporate donors and other corruptive influences that prevent you from doing what you actually set out to do when you get elected (represent the actual people in your area).

While dealing with the Tower in my tarot reading (Jody suggested it represented Ann Richards’ passing) and the card that represents feeling a bit trapped in a world that is too small…I have a lot of good stuff in my life.

Forward Looking (to the future)

I am so happy with my children. I left work yesterday and drove to the high school to get Older Son, so we could go shopping. For what? For a jacket to wear to debate tournaments, of which he has his first serious one today. Photo will be added when it will load.

We had SO much fun at Kohl’s looking in the men’s clothing department. I was impressed that he is developing a sense of style and fashion, at last. He picked a very nice navy blazer with festive gold buttons, and asked for suit pants to go with it, and who could turn down a boy who wants to look nice? (Plus everything was marked down, so I did not spend the fortune I could have). We wisecracked, joked, teased and had fun through the entire process. And he didn’t pout or sulk at having to try stuff on…sniff, my boy is growing up. The most fun part was when I said he could get a shirt, and started pointing out bright colors (figuring he’d want a white one). He went straight to a beautiful medium purple shirt and said, “My favorite color is purple.” Wow! Then he found a very nice purple tie with some navy in it that really tied the look together. He looks modern, but very “kempt.” He even suffered through his mother looking at a few things, hee hee, but did an exaggerated teen pout that was hilarious.

When we got home, he very seriously watched as I showed him all the things you need to do to dress clothing before wearing it (opening pockets, etc.), then tried on the outfit. He decided he looked like Fabio with the shirt open and tucked in (he looks SO cute in the dress pants, with that teeny little rear end and broad shoulders above it). I had to take a couple of “Fabio” pictures for him. It was sweet how serious he took getting his first suit—kept repeating how nice I was to get him such an expensive piece of clothing as the jacket. It should last a while, though, through a lot of weddings, funerals, dances and debate tournaments.

I am also enjoying the younger one, who likes to share his homework with me so we can both learn vocabulary and do math projects. His conversations are also great fun, and we have some interesting discussions when we watch plastic surgery shows and other oddities on the Discovery Health Channel. Such joy. He’s very interested in the challenges faced by little people (there’s a show about such a family) and other people with challenges. What I like is that he views them first as people, and second as people with physical challenges. That may be because he has known quite a few people with various issues at church, and can see that they are parents, students, employees and thoughtful people, as well as those with handicaps. It’s good that the kids are kind and interested in something other than World of Warcraft (interesting article on that in Newsweek this week: ).

As for me, I am doing well—dealing with work issues as well as I can, though everyone says I take my work too seriously. Well, how on earth are you supposed to do a good job unless you do a good job? Yeah, Suna the overachiever. My work friends have been so nice. And I find that I will miss the techie dudes as they all spend 5 weeks in various foreign lands teaching our stuff, and the ever amusing Lee, who is on vacation next week (note, ALE employees seem to get a LOT of vacation—I miss vacations).


After something of a drought, I have gotten a lot of good CDs in the past few weeks. Here are some I have really liked (the latest from each artiste):

Wailing Jennies – oh they sound wonderful, ladies singing harmony, mmm
Bob Dylan – this is his best since Blonde on Blonde as far as I am concerned, and his voice sounds really cool
Tom Petty – there are a couple of very amusing rhyming songs in this one
Linda Ronstadt – I can’t remember who she is singing with (sorry lady) but the lovely, spare Cajun style background to the simple folk tunes is music to my Linda-lovin’ ears
Slaid Cleaves – stop snickering John. I can’t help that I only got the Unsung CD last week. It’s a lot of fun and I like the arrangements

On another note “The Who” were on Dave Letterman last night. Sniff, it was just Roger and Pete. It’s more like “Who’s Left.” Pete played a beautiful acoustic guitar, so I am glad he didn’t smash it. And Roger had cute round glasses on, and looked MUCH better than he has in a while. The song…it was weird. I will be sure to get their next CD, because Pete is My Hero.

translation: Note that while I said I'd miss him, it was just because I thought he was amusing. Because he made me laugh and didn't treat me like I was stupid. I got through the endless vacation just fine. I did not call him. I did not send him email at home (anyone who read his email would note I NEVER sent an email to his home until we moved past the friend stage). I actually did not dwell on his absence. I did other stuff, talked to my other friends, and was fine. No relationship other than friendship at this point.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

War and Metaphor (and Mom)

Something useful, if irritating, to read...

How Bush's Metaphorical War Became Real

I have been “enjoying” this article on AlterNet, one of my favorite sites (thanks to Elisabeth for reminding me to look!) by my hero George Lakoff. He is so good at identifying metaphors the conservatives use to manipulate people, but what I have been waiting and waiting for is for his lovely think tank to come up with some good metaphors we can use to promote ourselves as the virtuous and correct thinking ones. Hmm, maybe they are, but are not sharing them beyond policymakers and speech writers. I guess the Bushies read liberal websites, too.

What is pasted below is a comment on the Lakoff article someone wrote that could have been made by me (spelling errors not mine).

I'm Weak and unpatriotic
Posted by: Madnessfilm on Sep 12, 2006 4:15 PM
I am anti war period. If that makes me weak and unpatriotic so be it, better than sending my kids or anyone else's kids to die for no apparantely good reason. The "war on terror" should be waged against this administration, which uses terror to control the populace and scare reasonable people from standing up to them. ENOUGH already, I don't agree that by killing Iraqi women, men and children we are going to be safer. It's immoral and unjustified. Didn't we learn anything fromVietnam, the only way to stop people from killing us is by treating them with respect and dignity. Vietnam is one of our largest trading partners and the wounds of the war are slowly being healed. We should be trying to heal the Muslims anger with peace and not with bullets and force.

Yep, I am “weak” like that, too. But in some ways it takes a lot of strength to stick with one’s convictions in today’s environment, when some of those subtle metaphors are used to make anyone who is against war on principle into someone who “hates our boys over there.” I don’t hate people in the military, though I don’t particularly think it’s a great career choice (“oh boy, I want to kill people for a living” (and yes, as I have said before, I think most military jobs are about killing people or helping others kill people)).

What I end up shaking my head over is WHY it is so hard to choose peace and so easy to choose war? What is it about human animals that they seem compelled to form factions and turn on one another? Maybe that will be my next career, studying why this type of aggression “won” out in evolution. Eh, I guess natural selection is to thank, since the peaceniks are more likely to get wiped out by war mongers than vice versa. But, that doesn’t make mongering wars the right thing to do.

And on another note or two…

Today would have been my mother’s birthday if she hadn’t managed to smoke herself to death in 1984. For someone so overly medicated, she was a good mom. I am glad I got her crafty gene and not TOO much of the Canova family tendency to nasty ole mental illnesses. (You should have SEEN my mother’s mother and siblings. The best thing I can say is that only one of them had to be separated from society because of her illness (kleptomania). I sorta wish the kids had been able to meet her. On the other hand, perhaps one reason they are relatively well balanced is that they didn’t get the passive aggressiveness heaped on them from their grandmother that I got from both my mother and grandmother. Hmph.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Why I Don't Like Today

I never do real well on September 11, since the Big Day, when I swear everything started to go downhill. I think I was coping with the gradual downward spiral of my life at that point (falling for the wrong man at the wrong time, discovering my spouse was in his own midlife crisis, blah blah), but that day was when I had my existentialist epiphany. I really AM alone. Ever since the men in my life deserted me on that day (the "soul mate" fellow was there, but sorta threw me at a hotel and left me alone, and the spouse really didn't act concerned that I was stuck in another city, away from my children and him). I realize they were all shell shocked. All I had that day was my dear friend NJ, who braved ALL her issues to get me from O'Hare airport, then spent hours numbly watching TV coverage with me in the stark hotel room, where the usual planes were not rumbling in the background. OK, so I was not ALONE--I will always have a few people, most of whom are so, so far...but full of kindness (thanks NJ, and all my friends who called or emailed to check on me at that time). But, I felt alone all that week, and it got worse.

I already didn't trust most people. September 11 cemented my lack of trust in my government. And in the goodness of other humans. I can't grasp how anyone could consider another human's life expendable. It's why I am a pacifist. But I can see that people who DO consider others expendable can easily be the ones whose belief systems predominate (it's curtains for me, the nonreligious, female, liberal pacifist!). Then I see even people in causes and organizations I believe(d) in acting like humans are expendable and like there is no real reason to be kind or tolerant (my experiences in the past 2-3 years with the work, spiritual home, and friend issues). I want to continue to try to do good, be an example of kindness, love, and trust. But, I often feel alone in that. I need to see more of it in others at times like this.

So, I will go look for it. And try to "make it so" as soon as this temporary dark phase passes. Today, when I was really irritated and not feeling charitably inclined toward people who can't read and follow instructions, I went to the window and looked at a crepe myrtle tree. There was a beautiful yellow warbler eating the berries in it. I remembered there is so much more to Gaia/earth/us than people and their dorky issues. There is beauty--and some of it is harsh. That's the way it is. The world is full of death and life. Star Wars was right--there needs to be a balance in the Force. I just have to stop seeing one side or the other and not forget about the whole.

So, I don't like this day because it reminds me of how easy it is to lose your connection to your center, your family, your friends and your world.

Of course, I will eventually recall how I like this day, because eventually I remember all the kind and interesting people I met on my long and hard trek home (the Jewish anti-terrorist specialist from Peru who got us through the incredibly long line at O'Hare, the friendly IT guys I had so much in common with in the waiting area, the lovely people I sat with, petrified, on the plane home (two days later than scheduled--so that I missed the ONLY real gig my band EVER had), and how I learned that strangers can be friends.

This is probably gibberish. But it helps to type it out.


Tina said...
so, um...would you please give me the name and # of you stylist? I went Sunday for a haircut, and they screwed it up, so Monday I called and spoke to the store manager, and she set up an appointment for me with her. That was today, and my hair is STILL screwed up, so I think I need an appointment with a pro (I just went to TGF by BB). I would've emailed you, but I guess your old email is no more, and I only have your ALE email, and I didn't know if you'd get that at home.I'll be at CwS tomorrow so you all can see how tragic my haircut is.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006 7:06:00 PM

I Am an Evangelist

Why am I an evangelist? Well, remember my beloved pens I posted about a couple of weeks ago? I am their evangelist! At Barnes and Noble yesterday, when I was buying a bunch of school books and religious parodies for the older son, there were interesting pens at the checkout. The cashier mentioned how much she loved pens and wanted to try out one of the new pens (they were quite sealed). She said she was a writer, and on a quest for the ideal pen. Of course I launched into a heartfelt testimonial about the wonders of my Uniball .38 pens and showed her one. She was duly impressed and had me write down how to find them on the Internet and exactly which ones to get.

What's the Picture?

That is the car (supposedly a Yugo) that goes with the "You Go" award from work that I got a while back. Everyone who gets the award is supposed to contribute something to the car. For example, Karen who used to sit next to me, put teeny little golden versions of "fuzzy dice" on it. I had thought of just sticking a pansy on it, but my coworker suggested knitting a hat for the bobble-head tweetie bird who is driving the car. I got out my teeny 0000 needles and leftover sock yarn and made a hat that actually fits! Thanks to Genia for taking a picture for me.

The Weekend

I was pretty dead to the world over the weekend. Some of it was because last week at work was so intense (but we had MAJOR fun on Friday writing test questions ALL day long and laughing our butts off when we got punchy). It didn't help that what should have been a pleasant football game chaperoning experience ended up a very wet one. It drizzled through most of the game, including halftime (where the tubas performed valiantly, if not perfectly). But in the 4th quarter, it REALLY began to rain. We had ponchos (older boy's was pink, ho ho, and he stuffed it in the sousaphone). But, my birkenstocks were ruined by the end of the game (which the football team did win). Then, on the bus, I had to sit the bag of chaperoning supplies on me, which DRENCHED me. I should be glad we made it home--all the wet students caused the bus to fog up heinously, and there was no A/C and apparently no defrost. Fun.

Saturday I taught two nice women to knit, plus a bonus teen boy, which is always fun. We all cheered when a friend called the kid up and asked him what he was doing and he said, "Knitting...yeah, I am knitting!" What a fine young man! After that Jody and Tina and I went tarot card and bead shopping, which was quite fun and interesting. I especially enjoyed my Mexican barbecue lunch--the restaurant we ate at was really good. We met some interesting characters at Whole Life, spent a long time finding Tina a deck, then discovered they didn't have copies of it at the store. AAAA. She did purchase a different deck later (maybe she will explain in comments). It was fun going to the bead store, which was nice, but didn't have the large selection that they have at Nomadic Notions, and weren't organized by a system I could identify (probably made a lot more sense to actual beaders!!).

On Sunday I went back to the old spiritual homeplace, and it went better than last week. I avoided most irritants, got to spend some time with old friends, and was touched when a sweet elderly woman came up and told me how glad she was to see me. It was so nice to hear that from someone who wasn't really a close friend, just a nice fellow member.

Today I am sort of sick. I think I have whatever the youngest son had yesterday, with a weird sore throat and a lot of drainage. I am trying really hard to fight it off. Rah rah, fight fight.


Deb said...
Love Tweety's hat. That is so your touch.
Monday, September 11, 2006 11:06:00 PM

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Bag, Before, and Long Day

It sure has been a long day. But even after 11 hours at work (ALE, sweet ALE), I managed to do laundry and am now felting my messenger bag made from the yarns we dyed. Just in case all the color washes out or something, I figured I'd better take its picture BEFORE felting/fulling. There is a sheep measuring tape in the photo so you can see the size it started out with, which is a little narrower than the knitty instructions said it would be, but then I used smaller needles, and Ella Rae yarn (originally off white), not Cascade. The strap is 65" but I draped it artistically, kind of. I also folded the flap so you can see the i-cord edging.

If you click the picture, you can see the individual stitches, which are no longer there, because it's felting away! All the stitches merged nicely. You will have a new picture by Saturday (I will be busy tomorrow working and going to the first high school football game, then Saturday is knitting class and bead shopping with pals, so I bet there won't be photo taking or blogging time until Saturday evening).

Well, this tired broad needs to get AWAY from a keyboard and go to bed. I have typed and looked at screens enough. But, I am proud of the work my group has been doing this week, and that's nice.

translation: This was all about work, even if I was enjoying it. It was work. Note that my employer is getting their money's worth with me. I haven't missed a deadline and have exceeded expectations, even if I happened to start dating a coworker in November.


deb said...
Looks like it will be really cool. Anton is felting his right now too. 5 wash cycles later it looks really quite nice. Now he just has to sew on the strap and he made pockets for the front of his to hold his phone and ipod. It is blocking and drying now.
Thursday, September 07, 2006 10:25:00 PM

Suna said...
I only ended up felting mine once, but I didn't want it to get too small. He probably made his larger or with two strands (I just used one, since it was my hand dyed yarn). The strap didn't felt well. I will have to do it again. Do send a photo of Anton's!
Friday, September 08, 2006 8:13:00 AM

Anton Olsen said...
Here's mine. of texture left but it shrunk up nicely and should hold it's shape well.
Saturday, September 09, 2006 12:54:00 AM

Wednesday, September 6, 2006


Don’t you think it’s time I moved on to a different topic? Yes, I do, too. So I will talk about my children. I went to the high school open house last night, and it warmed my heart to hear how nicely the teachers spoke about the older boy (pictured at right in an image intended to highlight the fluffiness of his hair). They all talked about him being respectful yet funny, and a very interesting person. And more than one teacher talked about how this year’s group of students is so focused and interested in what they are learning. The Spanish teacher nearly made me cry. I should probably write her a thank-you note.

He makes me laugh and laugh with how he plays World of Warcraft, IMs his friends, and does his homework all at the same time. I sure passed on the multitasking gene. I really can’t chide him for it—that is how I work, too.

We are still working on organization with him--and doing his work at the last minute. But, hey, everyone has their challenges. I am really proud of how he meets challenges, works with others, and stays upbeat. He was SO happy to see his friends at the former spiritual home last Sunday—makes me want to go, whether I personally like it or not.

And the other boy, his interest in tarot has warmed my heart—I know sometimes he gets interested in things just to please his parents (he has decided to like watching marathons and stuff, to support his dad, which is sweet). But, he seems genuinely interested and quite intuitive about it. And he is really improving at school. After being so worried about him for so long, I think he will be all right. He is even coping with having a rather unpleasant group of fellow students at school this year. Makes me proud.

Both boys are helping more around the house, and not complaining about it. So, even if Dear Partner continues to point out their areas of improvement, I am sorta pleased at their progress. I am a lucky mother.


deb said...
My children have only met your oldest son at a conference just over a year ago. They still talk about what a neat person he was. He was entertaining them with this little finger puppet of an irish man or leprechaun maybe it was. They thought he was quite funny and very sweat since they are considerably younger than he was. You have done well in you parenting department.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006 9:25:00 PM

Suna said...
Thank you, Deb. One of my son's endearing comments is that he truly loves to entertain younger kids, and he likes to talk to them, not talk down to them. We will just have to get them all together, huh.
Thursday, September 07, 2006 5:47:00 PM

knittingwoman said...
My oldest has glasses and curly hair like that too. Sigh, I miss him, he lives so far away.Multitasking, that would be my second son. IM, music, webstuff and a tv in his room too when he was finishing up highschool.
Thursday, September 07, 2006 8:38:00 PM

Anonymous said...
gracias Piero
Wednesday, September 13, 2006 2:14:00 PM

Monday, September 4, 2006

Answer to Comment


Glad I finally got this picture to show up. Scrunchy says rest in peace to Steve Irwin. He loved the Crocodile Hunter show. Steve was an odd guy, but loved his life and his family. He did a lot of good.


Someone who did not say who they were (funny how people with criticisms don’t sign their names, isn’t it?) asked

“Nice to see your comments. For a number of years, I wondered why you supported the crap going on...until the axe fell a little closer to home...”

Ow. But, worth responding to. For those of you wondering why I kept my thoughts to just a few close friends, here are some points to note.
  1. My feelings and thoughts changed over time. I started looking at new organizational structures and procedures with a very open mind, because I enjoy learning about new ideas and trying new ways of doing things. Mind you, I don’t change how I work willy nilly without seeing if a technique actually works or not, but I like to add new techniques and methods to my management and collaborative repertoire. (For example, I was skeptical about the Open Space meeting technique, but I tried it, and I realized it was a great technique for making certain kinds of decisions and doing certain kinds of work. Is it for every meeting? No. But it is in my repertoire now.)
  2. I made sure I learned as much as I could about things. I went to all the meetings, read all the books I was given, read all the information from people with questions and concerns, etc. I considered all of this stuff. I also included my gut feelings, input from friends and all that. I ended up with a lot to think about! I ended up deciding that I actually liked the ideas, techniques and thoughts that were being introduced, a lot, for my personal life, philosophy and way of working. But, I realized I was uncomfortable with how these things were being used in the organization, and especially with how information was being disseminated.
  3. It is NOT the case that I “supported the crap going on.” In fact, I voiced thoughts, concerns, criticisms and kudos as appropriate to my bosses, the Board, and my colleagues at work. What I did not do was post my feelings on organizational email lists, Web sites, blogs, or other such places.
  4. WHY? READ THIS: I was a paid employee of the organization in question. It was my job to represent the policies and decisions of that organization, whether I agreed with them or not. I did my darnedest to work within the framework I was given to continue to help people and fulfill the mission of the organization. I am proud of what I accomplished by “self organizing” with volunteers to create a lot of interesting and helpful programs, focusing on the needs of the population we were supposed to be serving. I did just that until the last day I was allowed to help out. It would have been very inappropriate for me to publicly criticize the organizational structure and the people who paid me. I also would not have been allowed to do what I could from the inside as long as I was allowed to if I had acted that way. I was disliked enough for daring to “criticize” the Board in private.
  5. I also stuck with the organization and remained quiet after being treated very shabbily on more than one occasion. Did you all know that I was forbidden to utter a series of 6 letters at one point? Or that I was banned from attending a meeting where the decision about a program I had been working on for years was made? And forbidden from providing information that might have helped those in charge make an informed decision? So, don’t think I was sitting around being a “yes person.” I tried to be reasonable, supportive and helpful, but did present alternative points of view and ideas. All the time my focus was on what would be best for the members of the organization and the people they helped. I guess it should have been on appeasing those who make decisions. I have learned my lesson, though. I am currently saying, “Yes ma’am,” like crazy in my new high paying corporate job.
  6. And did you know I am a single parent who is the main wage earner in my family? Without me working, my children would lose food and housing, or I’d lose THEM to their dad. I appreciated having a job where I could work from home and be with my children when they needed me. The flexibility of my job (at least until 2005 when I had to spend WAY too much time traveling and missed a LOT of my kids’ activities) was something I appreciated—I didn’t want to have to go get some corporate gig just so I could make comments about organizational issues freely.
  7. I still believe that the organization’s visionaries (i.e., those with money and power) can and will do what they think best, and they are entitled to do it. They got put in charge in various ways, and they ARE the people entrusted to make decisions. If you want to be a part of the organization, you need to trust them and go along with the new things, or retreat to your local level and focus on the mission (saying lalalalala to the larger organization). If folks don’t like how an organization they are a member of works, they need to either REALLY get moving to do something about it (too late, I think), or find something fulfilling and not frustrating to do. Start a new organization that you ARE comfortable with whose members have a say in how things are run. Find an existing organization and put your energy into it (I think some of my friends are going to do that—you go, gals!).

Anyway, anonymous person, I am not someone who went along with things until they affected me personally, and it hurts to think that is how some of you view me. If you knew me well, you’d know that, but I realize not everyone could know me well, since I had to put on my public face a lot. I hope this clears things up, because I would really like to get back to talking about my friends, family and knitting. I am thankful that all the organizational stuff is behind me and I am still intact, just minus some people I thought were lifelong friends—that is my only regret at this point.


sandy said...
Awww, to the Scrunchy picture.

Now to the meatier stuff...I've known Sue Ann for practically all the years she has worked for HFE. I would say she has had that axe swing towards her several times. Not only that, but practically every enhancement to HFE she implemented (at user and admin request) came with a whole lot of barbs being slung at her. I am AMAZED that she stuck with the work and hasn't been permanently debilitated by the stress of it. I can also understand why she chose to do what she described in the blog blog post. Even minimally decent paying IT management related jobs for women are still pretty rare. IT related jobs that let women have flexible hours and family time are even more rare. IT related jobs that also feed your passion? I would have made the same decisions she did to keep such a position. Which brings up the organization itself.

Despite having training for communications skills (for which I was a facilitator) there seems to be a lot of theory and not so much application of those skills by certain people in the organization. I personally have experienced favoritism, threats and just plain ignoring of those whose ideas don't "fit." And who doesn't "fit" can change, too. This organization recently pressured a long-time volunteer to retire for posting information that might be embarrassing to them on a blog! I knew and I'm sure Sue Ann knew what would have happened had she gone public with her thoughts as they evolved. She did the best she could with the information she had and built a kick-butt web presence for a cut-rate price in an increasingly tense environment. And in the end, it still ended up like this. I try to remember all the people she reached with her work and the community she built for all of us who worked with her and the good that came from that. A lot of those people who also built great projects, are also getting their work axed, without explanation.

Good luck in your new work world, Sue Ann. You deserve the best.
Monday, September 04, 2006 2:37:00 PM

Suna said...
Thanks, Sandy. I appreciate that, and hope it gives some perspective to those who have questions about my motives.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006 12:56:00 PM

deb said...
Sue Ann, well said. Just because we earn a paycheck from a company does not mean we support everything that company does. If we want to keep our jobs we don't smear the company to the outside. We might take a stand on the inside and get shot down but we are still not free to discuss it if we want to keep our jobs. I think some people just can not see what it is like to work in the corporate world. You sometimes have to do a lot of things that you don't necissary choose to do. And if you can manage to do that without compromising your own moral standards that is all the better. Sometimes however you need to feed your family and house your family will overrule you ideal dream job.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006 11:30:00 PM

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Lozenge Shawl Is Here!

I finally finished the endless binding off phase of this shawl last night and immediately blocked it. Thank goodness the shawl expanded significantly in blocking, because it was sure disappointing looking before blocking. The way the increases were done along the sides made it not really flexible and I was worried it wouldn't expand well. But it did, and as you can see the border looks good, too.

The bind off makes little picots. you bind off one normally, then in the next stitch p1,k1,p1 and then put two of those stitches back on the left needle and bind off the two stil there, then put the next one back, and bind that off, then the next, then you p1 and bind off that, then go back to the p1,k1,p1 thing. Poorly explained, yes.

This is an odd shawl, anyway, which I made because a) I had the yarn already and I truly love Lorna's Laces Heaven yarn, and b) I am still cold at work--Icarius is pretty but not warm. It will make a nice thing to cuddle in when I get work chills! The shawl is supposed to have arched lozenges, but the lace pattern really doesn't do what I think the designer wanted it to. Oh well, it is vertical and the yarn stripes are horizontal, so it all balances nicely, even if there isn't a terribly pretty pattern in it.

If you would like to see more images, look on the Flikr link in the left margin. Click the pix and you can see all of them. That includes the cute picture of the dog that wouldn't load itself into my long post about my personal angst from a couple of days ago.

Speaking of personal angst--I did go to my former church again today. I said I would, because I do feel better. It still made me a bit anxious, but it was nice to see people--some were so welcoming! Just a couple of people who weren't nice to me in the past got into my space and bugged me. That is not too bad, really. This time the good outweighed the bad. Plus, the Oldest Boy really liked seeing his friends again. He went off to lunch with them and is still not back. He is such a big boy now. Man. Boy.

PS: The September issue of Magnits has at least three nice pairs of socks in it. I really like the first one, Lombard.


Des said...
The shawl is beautiful and your new hip hair is beautiful! I know first hand about those going back to church feelings. I hope you find warmth and wrap yourself in beauty. Desiree
Monday, September 04, 2006 10:16:00 AM

Friday, September 1, 2006

Thinking about Letting Go


The following is personal opinion that is being posted to a private blog (not searchable on the Internet), which is only intended for people to whom the author has sent a link. Please do not redistribute without written permission from the author.

The thing I have been dwelling on of late is why I can’t let go of my anger at how I was treated by the people who set policy at My Former Employer (MFE). Trying to look at things from their perspective, trying to just put it past me, enjoying in the support of upset others, venting to get it past me—all those things have helped a bit. But I need to do whatever that thing is in therapy that brings you the “aha” insight and lets you come to peace with an issue. I can finally afford therapy again but now have no TIME to get there, so…

I’ve been thinking and reading and getting ideas from others. One idea came from the boss at the new job, who has lots of techniques for writing, instructional design and such, plus self help stuff. Sure, some things don’t work for me, but the one she did yesterday in our meeting was useful. I will present it here.

Cost/Benefit Technique

The idea behind this technique is that you have an issue that is bugging you, big or small, that won’t go away. Like, you are always tired, or you can’t get over the fact that your sister did blah blah blah. You write down two columns. One has what holding on to the issue is costing you. The other is the benefits it gets you—because the idea is that you would not hold on to something that’s a pain in the butt if it didn’t give you some benefit (often excusing behavior, allowing you to act in a way you know you really shouldn’t—enabling your shadow side, I guess). After you do that, you can decide whether the benefits do not outweigh the costs so you should let go of the issue, or if you are actually getting something you LIKE out of it, so you can keep it, but realize it is OK and not let it bug you so much. Either way, you can move past it.

I figured I should try to use it on my issues with MFE. Why do I still care about the organization in any way and why am I holding on to the hurt about how people I thought were good friends treated me? I may not have thought it through completely, so additional ideas are welcome.

* Health issues:
Eye twitch
Stomach pain
Chest pain
Lack of sleep

*Emotional issues
Deep sadness
Loss of trust—from being lied to
Lack of self esteem
Resentment over spending so much time and effort on a program that was not appreciated

*Time wasted re-iterating problems or complaining
*Inability to focus on other priorities (house cleaning, bills, family)
*Negative attitude toward everything
*Inability to project positive attitude during job search
*Detachment—can’t connect with other people or institutions


*I don’t have to work on relationship or other issues because I have this one to dwell on
*I get to be a martyr and appear self sacrificing
*It keeps me connected to old friends I am afraid of losing (as if there isn’t any other way to stay connected)
*I can avoid housework and just sit in bed and wallow
*I get to be dramatic and wallow
*I get pity and sympathy/attention, so I don’t feel so lonely
*I can engage in my natural melancholy “weeping willow tree” style personality—I always tend to focus on my challenges and not what is working right
*It makes me still feel a part of the group I was so strongly attached to for over 15 years
*It is a safe thing to rant and rail about because I can’t really DO anything about it and no one who actually did the damage will ever hear me, so they can’t poke me harder and make me feel worse

When I look at these things, I see that a lot of the benefits are all about me getting to play martyr or poor pitiful me, a role I gravitate toward, but one I am working hard to get away from. I am proud that I really am moving away from this and making a conscious effort to NOT keep whining. I want to get away from some of those negative aspects of my personality.

Still, something keeps me stuck. I can’t just say, “Ooh, those costs are icky, I will just stop that now.” Something keeps me from being able to “forgive and forget.” What could those things be?

Here are some possibilities:

Not understanding—I will write more about my attempts to understand why things ended up the way they did. I am doing well understanding the business aspects—every day doing better with that, thanks to all my reading and stuff. It is the personal ones that are eating at me.
Too high standards—I expect others to treat me the way I would want to treat them—with honesty and kindness. That is it in a nutshell. People, especially my former boss, the fellow I worked with last year, and the directors at the organization, treated me as friends and equals, then, suddenly didn’t.
There is missing information. I have received many hints that there is stuff I don’t know that no one will tell me, but that would make it all make sense. I think that really, really irks me. As a person who wants to know WHY things happen before accepting them, I think I am going to have to work and work to learn to accept the status of not knowing. Yeesh, good luck to me on THAT.

Well, OK, that previous section explains why I am stuck and what I have to get over to unstick myself. Looks like there are a lot of meditations, tarot readings and sever talking to myself sessions that need to happen. At least I know have a clue of where to focus.

If you read all this, my thanks. And ideas, opinions, insights and all that are welcome. You can also tell me I am full of crap. Right now, I can actually take it. Apologies for any typos--my family is bugging me to leave. And I could not get the cute picture of my dog to upload and brighten up this post.

Comments (and Plenty of Them)

sandy said...
I think it is A Good Thing that you are able to put this all down, look at it and muse on it. Even though I had distanced myself from YFE before you did, there is still so much I'd like to understand and so many helpful tips I'd like to send to the PTB, but I don't think it's going to happen. I'm feeling like all I can do at this point is set a date to end it, then on that date get in the car and drive away -- which is what I did when I moved away from my childhood home and ended an unhealthy relationship a loooong time ago.Other than that, no helpful advice.Love, sandy
Friday, September 01, 2006 7:22:00 PM

Christine ( said...
I would say that my theraphist sounds like post tramic stress and it will take time to heal.U have to understand that u are caring person not a robot when u work. It will take time and u have many truly caring people who kick u in the ass as needed.If people are hanging u out by saying they know something that u do not know m/b need to look at those people twice. Why in the h___ would someone that cares about u say there are underling things but I cannot tell u. Hello why not just say Sue Ann freak right now and stay that way until I feel like telling u to not freak out anymore. It is going to be great how could it not with that head of hair that says I am mover and shaker watch me Roar.
Friday, September 01, 2006 7:30:00 PM

jody said...
There was one relationship several years ago that was extremely difficult for me to move past. I understood what had happened and why and that it had been unfair to me and all that but I couldn't move beyond the pain of it. Someone - that priest we talked about recently - gave me a technique to use that helped and I forgot the entire thing (sorry about that). The aspect that broke the cycle, though, I do remember, and that was for me to recognize that there were things that I still appreciated and gained and helped me become a stronger person that I learned from the ex-lover. There was part of me that was trying to reject or negate those positive things because of the painful way the relationship ended.That's the only input I have and I don't have any idea if it's in the least bit helpful. I just know that there are times when my thinking gets stuck on one aspect (typically the negative) and I can't see beyond it until there's a radical shift in perspective. That aha moment you were talking about.I just had one in my sleep last night. :) Hope you get one soon, too.
Friday, September 01, 2006 9:21:00 PM

deb said...
To me you sound like you are moving on and working though all the pain. Before you could not put it into words you just felt it and lived it. Now you have words to put with it and work though them. This all has made you a better person in some way and a much stronger one for the future. I yes it would be so nice if other people could treat us all in the way that we would like to treat others and be treated. I have been trying to surround myself only by people that act like this. In the last few years i have had to let some friendships get distant due to them bringing my down and not lifting me up. Not sure where I was going with this, But I am here to listen and support you in anyway I can. Got to get some sleep now as we are going to the lake to kayak in the morning. It is almost 3 am and the alarm goes off at 7am. Yikes
Saturday, September 02, 2006 2:43:00 AM

Suna said...
Thanks, wonderful friends, for all the comments. They have all helped, even the ones who didn't think they were helping. I am continuing to think on this. No dream insight though--I stole a Porsche with the last person I felt a strong personal connection to in the dream, that's fairly obvious to me! LOL.
Saturday, September 02, 2006 10:06:00 AM

DianeS said...
I got a couple of things. First off, the continued use of the word wallow. That's judgmental -- it implies that you don't deserve to feel the way you do and are being selfish about it. Not being inside your head, I can't say if that's right or wrong, but it's something to look at.But second, I also was treated badly in an organization whose mission was to help people who badly needed it. I think it must be worse to be mistreated by an organization that is supposed to be doing good in the world. I had to remember that even when this particular person was tearing the organization apart from the inside, we were still hanging in there, delivering services and doing good. My suggestion, for whatever it's worth, would be that whenever you think about how badly they treated you, that you remember that you still went on, as long as possible, helping people. And think about how many people over the years you've touched in a positive way. And no matter what else they do, they can't take from you the expertise you gained in this area while working there, so you can continue to help people.
Saturday, September 02, 2006 5:46:00 PM

Robin said...
Good for you for getting some of this down in writing. You know how I feel about writing as therapy!I believe that time will help, too. Your new job, especially the "atta girls", will help. Writing about it will help. Being patient with yourself will help.You will heal. And I'm sending love and support while you are in the process.
Monday, September 04, 2006 11:48:00 AM

The Organization of the Organization

Hey, new friends, this will make no sense to you! But you can read it anyway. Old friends, this one's for you. And long overdue. I finally feel up to it.

For a moody post, here's a moody photo of the younger son. I can't believe this little baby who went to so many parenting support group meetings with me is a teenager.


The following is personal opinion that is being posted to a private blog (not searchable on the Internet), which is only intended for people to whom the author has sent a link. Please do not redistribute without written permission from the author.

My Thoughts about the Organization of the Organization

Since 2000 or so, the organization I was involved with or worked from 1991-2006 for has been on a path from a traditional hierarchical organizational structure to one that is flatter. A thing I am not at all un-fond of. Some of the larger donors, including the Biggest Donor, have a lot of business background and obviously do a lot of reading of those pop-culture level business books that push untested but intriguing new ideas. And though very intelligent, they are nonetheless very open to charismatic speakers who make alternative ways of doing things appear to be panaceas, because they WANT to make things wonderful for the organization. Some of those new ideas, by the way, really ARE good ideas, or could be, if handled right. And organizations/businesses truly DO need to change to make it today, since philanthropy is changing, communications channels are changing, technology is advancing rapidly, and the world is “flattening.” Change or die--that's the hard facts.

Hey, I read books, too. My current book is The World Is Flat, by Thomas L. Friedman. It explains a LOT about how things work differently, and if I were running an organization, I’d want to turn into one of those quickly adapting ones that changes as the world changes, and creates a niche for itself that no other organization can fill.

What’s the problem? The organization’s decision makers embraced change just for the sake of changing and did NOT change the organization’s focus, mission or audience. So, it was trying to incorporate a 70s kind of organization into a millennium structure. And it tried to pretend that it wanted to include all of its members in it, and promise them that it would not fundamentally change. But it HAD to fundamentally change and there is NO WAY that change could not alienate or isolate some of its members. So, that got folks upset.

To deal with the upset folks, the people in charge tried many tactics, all in a row, which confused the upset people more and more. Now, at last, they are doing what they should have all along, which is just say “too bad, we want things a certain way, and we are going to install the people who think like we do in the positions of responsibility, and anyone who doesn’t like it will just have to go find somewhere else to work or volunteer.” And if someone is a questioner or a symbol of the status quo, they have to go. The thing is, a lot of people would have felt less betrayed if they’d just SAID that before doing it.

It doesn’t take an Einstein to see that the independent person hired to be Executive Director was pushed out by the Board (who also pushed out any Board member who didn’t say “yes” to the two Directors who were in charge and collaborating with the Biggest Donor), because she didn’t “just follow orders,” and was replaced by the #1 adherent of the new philosophy. Then, they brought in the very earliest adapter of the new philosophy as her special helper. And they installed complete outsiders in other responsible positions, who, since they were being paid directly by the Biggest Donor, and not the organization itself, were loyal to the management team, not the organization. And thus, there is a pretty obvious explanation of why I suddenly was irrelevant. The Big Donor did not want anyone associated with the olden days, especially one with her own ideas and suggestions, mucking up their new vision. They used me for the information I did have, then discarded me so they wouldn’t have to hear me question their decisions. Heh, I sure wouldn’t be installing a new ordering system that charged as much shipping and handling per item as the item itself cost!! Oh well.

In the back of one’s mind, one wonders if the organization’s decision makers might not be trying to subtly “help” the organization fail. They are so against having a centralized structure in any way, they could be trying to ensure that the main office systems are doomed. So they can go back to groups of mothers at kitchen tables doing things on the local level. Period. And nothing wrong with that—it might work just fine—if they’d just let their members know that is the plan.

The only thing that makes me uncomfortable any more is how hypocritical it is to portray the organization as one that puts “people before things,” and that truly cares about the people it serves, yet to treat people who work for the organization like obsolete office furniture. Not just me—so many members, workers and other volunteers have been pretty much told they don’t matter, in other words, or by deeds. Not exactly a way to build self esteem. There’s no need to make others look bad in order to build yourself up. You build yourself up by doing good work, ethically. And that’s why I, and a lot of others, regretfully are severing ties and finding more positive places to expend our effort and spend our money.

Like Dave (hey, he's still my friend, at least) said, when the Titanic was sinking, even the band eventually jumped off.


deb said...
Glad to see your comments Sue Ann. I am worried about the future with the organization. For now I will keep working my butt off for the local (TX) organization. That is until I find something else that can use my talents as well. Watching and waiting to see what happens next.
Saturday, September 02, 2006 2:30:00 AM

Suna said...
Thanks, Deb. I wanted to be sure to say that all of you who are continuing on have my respect. Believe me, if I hadn't been forced out, with my loyalty trait, I'd still be trying to work things out, too.
Saturday, September 02, 2006 10:07:00 AM

knittingwoman said...
As you know, i quit the Canadian part of the organization several years ago. It was very painful and I haven't found anything else that fills that spot but i had to leave. One of these days I will have to hear the whole story from you.Hugs to you.
Saturday, September 02, 2006 11:43:00 AM

deb said...
I hang on because I still have dreams of having another child. Granted I turn 41 in a couple of weeks and that door will soon be closing. The thought of another child without the organization is just too far out there for me at the moment. But I must say my job has gotten much harder with you not in your former position.
Saturday, September 02, 2006 7:41:00 PM

Anonymous said...
Nice to see your comments. For a number of years, I wondered why you supported the crap going on...until the axe fell a little closer to home...
Monday, September 04, 2006 3:03:00 AM

Suna said...
Dear Anonymous, I replied to this comment in the main part of the blog, so people might see it better. Thanks for bringing up that point. I need to clear it up.
Monday, September 04, 2006 12:07:00 PM

Nancy Jo said...
Anonymous = unknown and unaccountable.This comment was an unethical, mean-spirited and ill-informed attempt to sound important.You owe nothing to cowards and bullies, Suna. If you find out who it is, I will definitely beat them up for you.I am refraining from obscenities, but whoever this is can feel free to insert their most despised phrase here and be assured that's what I would have typed about them if I had wished to. Sounds a lot like someone whose posts I no longer read. I guess I can just speculate at will, since they are very unlikely to sign their names. But why waste the energy?Enraged,Nancy Jo
Sunday, September 24, 2006 9:32:00 AM

Hair, Glorious Hair

Yeah, I went a bit overboard at the hair place. This is why I should not go to the hair place in a good mood. I say, "Sure, do what you want to." Whee, I am now a copper penny. With blonde highlights. Happy hair for the happy girl.

Note that neither Gregory nor I thought the color would take quite so well. And note second that it will tone down. And third note that I made Dear Partner photograph me in the sun to make it look even scarier. New profile photo is more like how it really looks.

I am now going to post those long things from yesterday that I wrote. Don't read them if you don't want to read what I actually think (which can be wrong!). I hate it that the newest blog post is on top, making it hard to read blogs in order. But that is how it is. Note the following caveat, which will be repeated.


The following is personal opinion that is being posted to a private blog (not searchable on the Internet), which is only intended for people to whom the author has sent a link. Please do not redistribute without written permission from the author.

translation: I am happy because I have friends and work.


Tina said...
OH MY GAWD, I LOVE THE HAIR!!Also, I found out today that iTunes will let me dye my hair pink! Hooray!
Friday, September 01, 2006 6:56:00 PM

sandy said...
I LOVE the bright and sunny hair for the bright and suny Suna. Hey, I am coming to Houston in the fall, can I make a side trip to Austin?
Friday, September 01, 2006 7:07:00 PM

Christine ( said...
I was at BBYS and they were talking that u were getting hair done. I thought a little color but now I remember the blue hair.This hair color fits u perfectly.Must be lots of fun.
Friday, September 01, 2006 7:14:00 PM

deb said...
Love the Hair Sue Ann. Its perfect on you.Deb(ex-hair person)xvxunsftcxir
Saturday, September 02, 2006 2:08:00 AM