I am an Atheist. While I do not hate Christians, I am certainly beginning to fear them as they insist more and more vociferously that I do not belong here.
I knew from an early age that I wasn't welcome. I said the Pledge, god and all, because I knew instinctively that it was better to blend. I protested a little as I got older, but I was a good kid living in a liberal state, so I didn't catch the trouble that so many of my fellow Atheists did.
When it came to matters of principle, I did insist. I had to ask twice to affirm rather than swear to a god when I took my oath of office as a federal employee. I think my Chief was taken aback that anyone could seriously be without a belief in some diety.
Being an Atheist doesn't mean I'm without morals or hope; it means I have the deepest faith, not in a god, but in humanity and its potential. Lately that hope has been damaged some, but I know I'll bounce back and continue to do whatever good work is within my reach.
I've decided it's time to stop blending. I'm here to tell you that, contrary to some opinions, I am a citizen and a patriot. I love this country, and you can't get rid of me so easily. Atheists, by their very nature, don't organize well. It's time we did. Today I registered with American Atheists, and you can see their newsfeed to the right. I urge all my fellow Atheists in the States to make it official. Stand up and be counted.
I am an Atheist, and I belong here.
I often remember many of my dreams. Last night they were vivid, travelling from one exotic locale to another. Many of them involved filming. Gee, wonder why.
The best bit was one beautiful image:
In some southern country, there is a white stucco mansion with a garden and pools jutting out into the beach. Surrounding the garden is a chest-high wall. The water immediately surrounding the wall is about calf deep, becoming deeper only a few feet out.
A friend and I are leaning against the outside of the wall, looking in at something being filmed in the gardens. Various sea creatures brush past our ankles.
I look down, and notice the water is black with schools of fish. I'm astounded--I've never seen anything like it. When I look closer, I see it is density and shadows that produce the blackness, because the fish themselves are of two species--one a very pale yellow, and the other bright gold. I gently scoop a double handful of water, and there are ten or so fish in my hands.
I do love fish. Maybe it's time for an aquarium to entertain the cats.
Well, I didn't hear until after the fact (and then through referrer logs. Hrmph!) but it looks like my 30 seconds of fame aired this morning. No worries though, as it will be archived in a few days and everyone can hear it.
I'm pretty disappointed that I didn't get to tell my Aussie friends in time to hear it live though.
I wanted to do a post on breaking bad habits, so I went surfing around the web. What I found was a lot of stupid advice. "Write down all your bad habits in one column..." "get a partner to help you..." a lot of complicated claptrap that is just the opposite of what I personally must do to have any success. So instead of pointing to help from the experts, I'm going to pontificate a bit.
First, let me say up front that I don't think things like smoking and overeating are mere habits. Habits are small things, not major addictions. Maybe you can hack at bits of addictions with habit-breaking techniques, but generally it's more complex.
I've managed to break a couple of habits over the last while. I had a 20-year addiction to Mountain Dew that I replaced with Diet Coke. Yes, that is an improvement. I stopped tearing at my hands and nails, which I had done all my life.
My big wish: that it were as easy to create a good habit as it is to stop a bad one. I still don't have that down, and if you have advice, I'm all ears.
That said, here are Kitty's Tips For Breaking Bad Habits:
- Choose only one thing at a time.
- Keep it small and specific. "I won't overeat" is too far-reaching and you will set yourself up for failure. "I'll drink Diet Coke instead of Mountain Dew" is much, much easier. Success builds on itself.
- Don't write it down or talk about it until you've been successful for about a month. Sharing your plans takes the wind out of your sails.
- If you have to, replace your habit with something less destructive.
- Don't try to break another habit until you've been successful at one for about a month.
That's it. No special exercises, no mantra. To use a phrase I wish Nike hadn't ruined: Just do it.
I'm not so good with the follow-through, but I'll try to post updates with my successes. I'd tell you what I'm working on now, but that would break rule #2.
Gave my first interview ever last night, for Triple J radio in Australia. Zoie asked me questions about the Blogathon, and about blogging in general.
She wanted to know why blogging was suddenly so popular, and I was a little stumped. For some reason I'm not connecting with the sudden upsurge in the popularity of blogging. I've been here, but I feel like I missed something. I still feel just as insulated as I did before. People in the office give me the same puzzled looks when I talk about my site as they did last year.
She asked what makes blogging important, and I assumed she meant important to the rest of the world, but I think I gave her a bad answer. I said it was made important by the attention focused on it by outside media. In part, I do think this is true, but blogging is also important as a tool for self expression. Ah well, I think I got that across somewhere else.
Zoie asked some insightful questions. Me, I think I stammered and repeated myself too much. Thank goodness it's a tape, so she can edit the thing.
One thing I hope doesn't get edited: I mentioned Jerwin, Paul, Lilly, and JR as good examples of blogs. I think there's great variety and interest in there. Also, they are my friends.
I feel a little guilty for not mentioning this Paul, but ah well. Next time.
Blogathon 2002 launches officially in a few hours. (Unofficially, just between you and me, it's been open since noon.) On the eve of the launch it seems appropriate to talk about what made me do it. It was a quote from a favorite musician, David Bridie. It's here in the archives, but it deserves to be reposted for this year:
"Look, if you don
Bill recently returned from visiting a friend in Kuwait. While there, they visited a satellite station that had been bombed to smithereens in the war. Here are some pics he put together quickly. There will be more to come.
Slight change, but everything is confirmed: August 24, 3:30pm.
I went in to the jewelers to get the engraving on the rings today. Junks of shiny platinum that could take down a brontosaurus. Oooh...pretty!
Have I said that life is good lately?
Life is good.
*taps on glass*
I have a teensy announcement to make.
I'M GETTING MARRIED!
Bill and I have known for a little while, but it was important to tell his parents first before we announced to the world. The details:
When: August 23rd, 2002 (not sure of the time yet)
Where: Las Vegas, NV
How: By Elvis, natch.
What else: It's during BlogCon! Yep, we did that on purpose. We hope to see some of you there!
I got to say "action!"
The first day of film class was as much of a blast as one might expect. Our first assignment is due in about 10 days. Just three minutes of experimenting with shots.
We talked about film stock, played with cameras, went out and shot a couple scenes, watch a bit of Leni Riefenstahl. I believe I'm the second-oldest in the class, but luckily I don't look it. I can blend with the 20-somethings. It is definitely a group of film students. Lots of piercings, tatts, the usual. Well, I do live in Portland, ya know.
This is going to be fun.