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Glenda Lotuseyes
14 May 2011 @ 03:54 pm
 Today is the worst day yet as far as obsessing over John. It's been three weeks, but today I am truly pulling my hair out. Doesn't help that I got my period, which always makes me anxious and a bit depressed, and that the weather contributes to dirty gloominess. I need to start doing something productive, rather than reconstructing every detail of what went wrong, when, and why. *sigh*
Glenda Lotuseyes
05 May 2011 @ 05:00 pm
 I recently had to write a manifesto for school. It was supposed to be read in a minute, so it's short. I also recently read a manifesto by Kkoagulaa, a band I want to know way more about, but for now I know they are kick-ass Thelemites. I wish to share them both. 

Here goes Glenda's Minute Manifesto:Collapse )

Imagination is at the heart of art.

Not that there is no room for the intellect, but art that focuses on the intellect misses the point. Conceptual and intellectual art is not fine art, it is applied art.

Art is by and for the imagination.

Our lives are clogged with facts that are hard to untangle, with realities imposed on us by society. Art has to break the bonds, and bring us closer to freedom.

The imagination is our connection to Spirit.

Self-expression requires us to tap into Spirit, and draw to ourselves the power of creation. We all have a duty to attempt tapping into our creativity, even if we may not succeed in creating work that excites those around us.

Art is necessary, art builds on art, art stimulates art.

Art connects us and stimulates our imagination. We need it to become the best we can be. We all need to give art a place in our lives, make sure we get our daily dose to keep the dogs of reason at bay, to connect to the Source, and to connect to other human beings. Art rescues us from solipsism, consumerism, alienation, and emptiness.

Please don't let this pithy work discourage you from reading this great work of art: The Kkoagulaa's ManifestoCollapse )

thee kkoagulaa manifestoooo (Alpha Test)
Posted on 22 May, 2008 by choronzon333

This statement will evolve as we evolve, as you respond and remix it, as worlds collapse and return…
This manifesto is a living document, constantly evolving, part of the process of art itself. kkoagulaa is a living, constantly evolving entity, a shout from the mountaintop proclaiming the primacy of the act of creation.
All life is a collage of every form that has been engaged in a dance with the chaos that calls forth new forms. Order dissolves into chaos and then collapses into a higher form of order. This holds true for galaxies, ecosystems, empires and civilizations. The Universe, society, culture manifests in eternal change, and so should music and art.
The artifacts of kkoagulaa too are not so many calcified forms, but moments of the process of discovery captured. In a time when the business and cultural role of music and art is becoming increasingly destabilized, a quickening of chaotic activity ends up opening up new possibilities. This period of chaos before new structures coalesce into the next orthodoxy, before a possible return to and strengthening of corporate hegemony, the creative community has an opportunity to stretch out beyond safe art and safe social functions.
Better still, we see an opportunity to include everyone when we talk about the creative community. Not in theory, not as a fluffy bromide to flatter an “audience” or a way to make “customers” feel included in something when they’re nothing but another resource to be exploited. Art exists for you to shape it, hijack it and remake, remix, reiterate and even reject it. It is for you to inspire thought, critical thinking, re-consideration.
You are part of kkoagulaa. Your grandma is a node of kkoagulaa. Your cat is integral to kkoagulaa. Art is commentary on society and culture, whether it is intended to or not. We have been sold a notion that art is something the majority is to sit back and passively observe, if art plays a role in daily life at all. It is vital that you reject that notion. Throw it out, public, go on, take the next step.
kkoagulaa declares that society, culture and all actions in space-time are examples of art, and by extension magic, the continued creation of the Universe. All life, all processes, all art and the Universe is partially finished. Nothing will be done until the Universe collapses in on itself. And even then, the process begins anew.
You create the patterns you see in everything you behold, hear, touch and think about. You create the meaning of a work of art. By looking at it, listening to it, reflecting on it, you complete the creative act. should you take that symphony, piece of writing or painting and add your own touch, cut it up and recombine the elements, you bring the process further.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Glenda Lotuseyes
25 March 2011 @ 03:59 pm
I recently rediscovered my love for natural, home made skin care. I will likely post more good stuff here on LJ in the upcoming weeks. Forgive me for the long post, this was not an exercise in brevity. I am pretty excited about what I discovered, and I want to share it with you.
I will be nice, though, and put the whole long ramble behind a cut.

Read more...Collapse )

For a while, I became complacent about my skin care. I had been a hard-core fan of OCM (the Oil Cleansing Method, ask me if you don't know what it is or how it works), to the point that I was trying to convince every one of my friends to give it a spin, and giving out bottles of my own concoction left and right. I also did not use any shampoo, nor hair dye. Before starting this regimen, my skin was a mess--dry patches, acne, redness, itchiness. Going back to basics with skin care was the best thing I ever did. And it saved me tons of money.

However, I had to stop doing the no 'poo for my hair, because all of the sudden my hair became unmanageable. I don't know what happened. Maybe I just used the system for too long, and my hair freaked out. I am thinking about starting no 'poo again, but I am a bit resistant because I need to have nice hair to work in the corporate world... And I have just started dyeing my hair, and really enjoying it, so, I dunno.

On the other hand, honestly, I stopped doing all the good stuff for my skin because I became complacent. My skin was doing so well, there seemed no imperative to stick to all-naturals. Plus, being down in NC I did not have a Whole Foods on hands to go get some oils in a pinch (I usually order them in large quantities from an online retailer). Also, ordering online is something that I usually resist. I don't know why, but it always seems like such a hassle. I think it is because I always try to maximize my savings, do a lot of price comparing, and try to order as much as possible all together so I can get the best deal on shipping. But I  digress. I started using a lot more crappy things for my skin. Still most of them  RELATIVELY natural, but pre-made. 
 Anyway, this complacency made my skin turn into a mess again. I particularly noticed that my face skin was getting wrinkly, and I was having much more breakouts and, whiteheads, and blackheads.
So, I have decided to go back to making my own skincare products, and to switch back to a better, more natural shampoo/body wash. I will likely post some more about the products I have been using, but I wanted to post today about an incredible find.
Shea Butter. The pure kind.
I had used Shea Butter before, but I always end up making it a rare occasion thing, because it is so darn greasy. It used to take about 10-15 minutes before I could touch anything when I put it on my hands, because I would leave greasy streaks everywhere. But I recently had very dry hands, and Target was the only place I could go during a break at work, and so I bought myself a tub, because it was the only moisturizer I could find there which didn't have silicones or petrolatum. 
Despite the utter greasiness, it really did make my hands feel great. Since my feet were also very dry and cracked, I started using it there, too. Then I moved on to my legs. My skin was very grateful. However, the tub I bought at Target (Shea Moisture 100% Organic Shea Butter infused with Frankincense and Myrrh) was pretty heavily scented, and, when applied to large areas, the smell got quite overwhelming. So, when I was ordering some new skin products online, I decided to purchase a tub of 100%, unscented, raw Shea Butter for use as an occasional moisture booster.
I got the Nourish Organic Raw Shea Butter. Oh my goodness, what a difference! Now I kinda feel like I shouldn't have bought any of the more expensive skin creams I got! I feel like this product might be all I ever need. I will test it out more, but for now I am floored. Particularly because it is so different from the Shea Moisture.

There is nothing that seems harmful in the Shea Moisture. The ingredient list is: Shea Butter, Extracts of Frankincense and Myrrh, Vitamin E, and Essential Oil Blend. Apparently, though, they went a little heavy on the oils. The extracts are probably quite oily. The essential Oil blend could be carried in heavier oils (which are usually cheaper). Unfortunately, there is no way to truly verify what all ingredients are in what they call "essential oils." The net result is that it leaves my skin feeling very oily for 10-20 minutes after application. So, although it is not a bad product, and it did some lovely things for my skin, I am now realizing that it was a poor investment, especially at a price of circa $10.
So imagine my surprise when I got my hands on the Nourish, and applied it to my skin, and it was not oily at all. It actually felt slightly sticky as I was trying to spread it (no worries, it gets softer with body heat, and does not leave a sticky residue when you are finished massaging it in). I applied it to my legs and feet last night, and this morning my skin feels AMAZING. There is a slight "oily" film on my skin, but it actually feels nice and protective. I really don't know how to explain this oilyness without making it sound icky. If you have ever used Jojoba oil, you probably will be familiar with this sensation. It's not sticky, it doesn't smear all over other surfaces, it just feels like the light oily film that healthy skin should have.
I also applied the Shea Butter on my face as a night cream. Again, my skin feels amazing, and my wrinkles are much less visible (this does not mean my wrinkles were erased. Simply, well-moisturized skin will be more taut and more plump. I actually don't believe there are topical products that can reverse wrinkling). Although, I do want to test this, I am not entirely convinced it would work as a day cream, at least if the day regimen includes makeup, because it does take a little while for the product to absorb. 
However, get this: I applied the Shea Butter to my hands this morning, and washed my hands shortly thereafter. You know how usually you wash your hands and they get all dry again, and you need to reapply lotion? Well, not this time--my skin still felt soft and moisturized. I.e. the stuff is heavy enough not to be completely washed off by mild surfactants. Or, better yet, it doesn't just coat, but it actually sinks in.  Sweet! I imagine that a really good use would be to apply it to skin before washing, then washing, and still have completely radiant skin. This could be an alternative for people that won't use OCM. Use Shea Butter as a first step to remove make-up and other daytime cooties, then wash with a mild surfactant. I even imagine that I might use this routine as an occasional alternative to OCM, just to make sure my skin does not get stuck in a rut.
I'm just putting this info out there, because at a price of about $12 for 5.5 Oz, you really can't do much better (by comparison, the Shea Moisture brand was about $10 for 4 Oz). Everybody should have this in their beauty cabinet. And because it is unscented, you can add whatever "flavor" you want to it. I am currently making a little pot of lipbalm out of it for John, and I plan to add some vanilla and lemon to it. By the way, John has extremely chapped lips, which keep splitting and bleeding. I am putting this Shea Butter through its paces, and see if it can fix this mess, which the Alba Botanicals lipbalm stick has not been able to help with. :)
So, now that I've gotten back into my cooking up skin products, if anyone wants to try some of this stuff out, give me a holler. I can give you samples. I am also more than willing to prepare things for any of you, based on requests, preferences and skin type. I used to sell these things as part of my massage practice, and I guarantee you I am not trying to make a profit on this. I just like to have fresh ingredients, and not to throw out excess. We can all save money, have lovely skin, and feel good about ourselves.
Glenda Lotuseyes
13 March 2011 @ 07:39 pm
 I have been taking a Contemporary Art History class this semester, and I am very disappointed with much of the work we've covered. Particularly because of the exclusion of Visionary/Psychedelic artists, which you all know I love.

For this same class, I have been asked to write weekly journal entries, and I am considering sharing them on here, though I do want to do some editing before posting them. While my teacher knows the context I have written them in, I might have to add a little more detail about what I'm talking about for it to be intelligible for a wider audience. 

In the meantime, though, I wanted to share with you one of the incredible artists I have discovered through this class. His name is Andy Goldsworthy. Tonight, I am watching Rivers and Tides, a movie that has been on my "to watch" list for years, and I don't know why I never actually did it. I think I stumbled on the movie reading something on the Internet, or listening to NPR, then wrote it down and added it to my Netflix list. I never really looked into Goldsworthy, though. Don't do what I did. Check this man out. Watch the movie (available in streaming on Netflix, and several excerpts on YouTube). 

I will report further in the next few days.
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Glenda Lotuseyes
21 February 2011 @ 08:21 pm
this post: http://mevennen.livejournal.com/828534.html?view=6007926#t6007926 was very interesting to me. A good perspective of how the NHS works in Britain, debunking the myths we hear in the US.

This, of course, is nothing new to me. 

When I lived in Italy, I would often complain about the service I got at the hospitals. Since I wasn't very sick, I've had to share a room with 6 people before. During that same hospital stay, the doctor suggested I get some kind of test, I don't remember what, probably a CAT scan. He told me I could spend a few more days in the hospital for observation and get the test done. I was adamant about leaving. He told me that if I left AMA, I would likely have to wait a few months on the scan, because at that point it would be considered non-urgent. I was 16, and felt this was a great big inconvenience and a waste of my time. After all, I felt better, so why not let me leave and come back in a day or two to have the scan? I now understand their reasoning much better.

I had a similar problem with seeing a Gynecologist in Rome. In order to get a new one assigned to me, I had to go on a waiting list, which was about 6 weeks long. I wanted to see one in a few days because I wanted to get a prescription for the pill right then and there. Again, at about 17, 6 weeks of waiting before I could have sex without a condom seemed like an eternity. Besides, because I would get one assigned, I had no idea who I would get. I already had had a bad experience with a GYN who didn't seem sympathetic to the idea of a young girl having sex. I also had gone to the (state-run) equivalent of Planned Parenthood, where the GYN only saw me for 15 minutes, and sent me home with the pill. Since it was a walk-in place, and I had to wait for about an hour to see the doctor, I was very pissed that I hadn't gotten more attentive care. So a family member suggested her own GYN. She told me this lady was very caring, and had a private practice where I could likely be seen within days. Indeed, the doctor worked at the state-run hospital five days a week, and ran her own private practice the other two, plus a few hours after her shifts at the hospital. She charged about $50 for a visit, which was astronomical compared to free, but, as soon as I saw her, I knew it was totally worth it. She spent an hour with me, talking about all kinds of things related to female health and sexuality. She was very gentle in doing the pelvic exam. She gave me a breast exam and taught me how to do it for myself. Her office was spacious, and filled with posters, teaching models, and several trial packages of medicine, so as to avoid me the inconvenience of going to the pharmacy for something I was just trying out. 

Now compare this to my experience in the US... When I moved here, I was put on my husband's fantastic health insurance. As a union carpenter, he had some of the best insurance available. It was an HMO/PPO plan which meant that I had several networks of providers to choose from. I also found out, by calling the insurance, that I could see a GYN without a referral twice a year. Sweet, right? Since I didn't have a PCP when I first got a pelvic infection, it was a great reassurance I could go see a GYN "right away" because there were waiting lists for all PCPs even remotely close to my house. To get an initial new patient appointment with a PCP I had to wait anywhere between 4 and 10 weeks. So I started calling several places to get a GYN appointment. Everywhere I called, the wait time for a non-urgent appointment was 6 weeks or more. Mind you, non-urgent basically meant you were not pregnant. I had already gone to the ER for a pain I had in my lower abdomen. When I went to the ER, I thought I was having an ectopic, because the pain was excruciating. At the ER, I was not examined at all. The doctor spoke to me, took my medical history, and decided this must be a UTI (urinary tract infection or bladder infection), because I had a history of recurring UTIs. He would not listen to my argument that, because I had had several UTIs, I knew what they felt like, and this was not it. He would not listen, would not even take a urine sample, and sent me home with a prescription of antibiotics and ordered me to take massive doses of Tylenol. The antibiotic regimen did indeed lessen the pain, but after 3-4 days, I was still in considerable pain. That is when I tried getting a GYN appointment, which I thought was pretty darn urgent. Over and over, they told me that if it was truly urgent, then I should go to the ER. If not, I could wait weeks. Sound familiar?

In that particular situation, having gone to the ER, and having had the doctor there tell me that I was clogging up the works with a simple infection, I was really not about to go back there, you know? I did try to call back the doctor who had seen me in the ER, who suggested I see a specialist, because this was not his field. 

When I finally got to see a GYN, I was rushed into the hospital where I was put on a 24-hour antibiotic drip because I had a raging pelvic infection. The GYN told me I might not ever be able to have children because of this. Afterwards, I was left with a nagging pelvic ache, and a pain in my cervix which made intercourse painful. GYNs I have seen since assume the extensive scarring due to the infection probably caused this. 7 years after the incident, the pain finally started to subside, and now it only occasionally hits me. The jury is still out on whether I will be able to have children.

Thankfully, all this BS was covered by the insurance... Oh, wait, not really. I had to pay a $200 deductible, plus a $100 copay for the ER visit, plus a $25 deductible for the doctor's visit. I subsequently also had to go see doctors and get all kinds of tests to see what the heck was causing all this pain I was having--all of which cost me copays and deductibles.

Recently, too, I had a talk with someone who encouraged me not to seek work because of insurance. He told me he pays only $85 for "catastrophic" coverage. I tried getting such insurance a few years ago. 30 years old, non-smoker, no pre-existing conditions. I was quoted about $300 a month. Another $150 a month on top of that if I wanted pregnancy coverage. Said coverage would not go into effect until one year into the insurance being bought of course, because otherwise one could buy insurance, get pregnant, and then get rid of it. Now, since this is catastrophic coverage, it means that there is a $5000 deductible, and pretty hefty copays. But, heck, it will save you hundreds of thousands if you get into an accident. It will still add about $4000-$9000 to your regular bills if you wanna go see the doctor every once in a while, though. I was thinking if this was a worthwhile investment when I applied. But I guess the choice got made for me--in one of my doc's files, I had disclosed having smoked pot in the past. That made me instantly ineligible. 

So, you know, I'll take that crappy socialized medicine any time. At least there would be something for me to fall back on. 

And, if the number from the UK is about correct, that keeping the NHS alive costs every UK citizen about 11% of their income in taxes... Sounds to me that is a good deal, too. In my case, with my $300 premium (and this is only catastrophic coverage, remember?) that would mean that I would have to make $3300 a month for that to be my "premium" through the NHS. Pretty nice. According to www.finweb.com/insurance/average-health-insurance-cost-by-country.html the average cost in the US is about $440, so that, then, is also about 11% of the average income in the US, which is about 50K a year or so. Only difference, of course, being that not everyone is insured. 

Once again, I think it's time to really examine how profoundly skewed our ideas about health care in this country are. And to examine how there are ways to make it work for us. For instance, the system in Holland is a mix of public and private, with a HMO-like model, and it works quite well although Dutch women have recently been given the middle finger by having had hormonal birth control taken off the covered medications list).
I'd love to hear some good arguments about why our current system here is so wonderful, by the way.
Glenda Lotuseyes
17 February 2011 @ 03:47 pm
I just had a super-long post that somehow disappeared on me, and replaced it with an old line of text I started typing weeks ago. 


I really don't feel like re-typing the spiel.

Glenda Lotuseyes
01 March 2010 @ 09:18 am
 Haven't been posting on LJ for a LOOONG time, and missing it. Now I found out a lot of my new friends are here, so I'm back. I'll try to post something interesting soon. 
Glenda Lotuseyes
I love these guys. A very intelligent discussion equating the drug war with a war on the underclass.
David Simon used to be a Baltimore crime reporter, and went on to become the writer and producer of The Wire.


My favorite passage from the interview is this, at the end of the first part: "[...]people were trading crap and calling it gold. And that's what THE WIRE was about. It was about that which is-- has no value, being emphasized as being meaningful. And that which is-- has genuine meaning, being given low regard."

Current Music: Tool - Schism
Glenda Lotuseyes
06 April 2009 @ 09:13 pm
 The more I know about writing, the more I enjoy reading. In the last few years, I've experienced an unimaginable deepening of my experience as a reader. I get so much more out of a book. I am really getting into craft (hence my crush on Shirley Jackson), and voice, and ambiguity (when well used, not just a confusing story).

In the meantime, I have also become self-conscious about my writing. It seems to have started to lack some spontaneity. And I don't seem to be able to judge if something I wrote sucks. It's a strange feeling. I used to be quite sure I was a talented writer. Maybe not a great one, but at least I felt I had a voice, a style. Now I don't know. 

Current Mood: curiouscurious
Glenda Lotuseyes
31 March 2009 @ 06:53 pm
 So often, my dear journal, you become the receptacle of my procrastination...
I need to read a chapter for class tomorrow, and need to organize my desk (which is possibly at its worst ever, I can't find my homework when I need it, and the mess cramps my elbows), yet, here I am, reading friends' entries. 

Sometimes, it helps when I vent like this. Move along, nothing to see (though I could shame myself by taking a picture of this awful, awful mess).

Current Mood: irritatedirritated