Wednesday, May 27, 2009

With no apology to Jeff Foxworthy (I hope he loves it)

There are three categories of drivers: 

Piggie Drivers, Jerk Drivers, & Psycho Drivers (better off in jail or dead). 

Ugly Little Piggies:

You might be Piggie Driver, if you use a cell phone while your vehicle (car, bicycle, skateboard, moped) is in motion. You are also a Psycho.

You might be a Piggie Driver, if you have to get to the stoplight first. You're keeping the brake shops happy, and buying enough gas to drain Alaska, though, so at least you're good for the economy. 

You might be a Piggie Driver, if your willingness to share your music is inverse to your taste in it.  In other words, if anyone besides you can hear the music on your car stereo. You are also a Jerk. 

You might be a Piggie Driver, if you think everyone enjoys the sound of your exhaust as much as you do. (No one does, that's why you're a Piggie- especially if you drive a truck or motorcycle of any kind.)

You are definitely a Piggie Driver if you turn into the turn lane next to the lane you want, then push your way into the lane you want  by cutting into the line. Depending on how obnoxious you are about it, this also makes you a Jerk, and a Psycho. 

Jerk Drivers:

You might be a Jerk Driver if you think you drive just fine while talking on a  handheld cell phone. You are also a Psycho. 

You might be a Jerk Driver if you aren't sure what the black numbers on the white signs mean, or can't read them. 

You might be a Jerk Driver if your dog is a better driver than you. It must be, it's in your lap. Just let the dog drive, it would be safer. 

You might be a Jerk Driver if you have to be in the fastest moving lane. Of course your time is more important than anyone else's. Your life must be, too. Maybe you didn't read the statistics about the driver being most likely to die, in any accident. 

You might also be a Jerk Driver, if you think this article isn't about you. It's about all the people driving too slowly who don't get out of your way. Of course, you are also the only person on the planet. Must be lonely up there. 

You are a Jerk Driver, if your car stinks. Of anything. Including air freshener. 

Psycho Drivers (move into a nice padded room now, and save lives!)

You are a Psycho Driver, if you talk or text on a handheld mobile device while your vehicle is, or will be, in motion. *

 "Cell phone distraction causes 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the United States every year, according to the journal's publisher, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society."

You might be a Psycho Driver, if every stoplight is just a race to get to the next one. (You might be part of the economic stimulus, and you might get your stems pulled by an annoyed co-existant on the roads)

You might be a Psycho Driver, if you think you are perfectly safe, on an interstate, in broad daylight.

You might be a Psycho Driver, if you don't wear a seat belt and secure your kids safely. On the other hand, you might be saving us all from kids who didn't inherit enough brain cells to figure it out.  We could be grateful for that, and sorry about your kids. 

You are a Psycho Driver who belongs in jail, permanently, life sentence, if you do not obey state law at pedestrian crossings and stop.

You are a Psycho Driver, if you don't keep an eye out for bicycles & motorcycles, and treat them like you would a car (given they act in accordance with traffic laws- and if they don't, maybe you should get to know each other).  

You might be a Psycho Driver, if you think this isn't about you. ("Don't you, don't you".. cue Carly Simon..) 

It's a free country, but only so free as we extend courtesy to others to be free, as well (and not die because you were ordering pizza).

"You’ll notice that I try not to use the word “accident” on this blog or podcast. That is because there’s no such thing as an “accident”. The word implies that no one is at fault, that it was truly a random act. Well, if you get swallowed up by a fissure in an earthquake or hit by a meteor, I’ll allow that as legitimate use of the word, but if you are in two-vehicle collision, somebody made the final mistake. "

For more info:

*handsfree isn't that much better-- I have some 20 years of multiple martial arts 'under my belt' and find talking to someone, even handsfree, too distracting to drive with what I think of as a reasonable margin of safety. 

If you think you can do better, try swinging a three foot razor blade for fun. 

Meanwhile, I suggest that anyone with an attention span invest in a simple stem puller, and not hesitate to use it, on the deserving. 

Monday, May 25, 2009

Americans don't drive, so much as they careen. I have driven in Germany, France, Holland (Amsterdam) Ireland, Greece, Czech & Austria; I most dread driving in America. 

Every third person here,  has a cell phone glued to their ear, uninformed and unaware of the fact that they may not be the only person on the road.  Handsfree is mandatory in Europe. 

 "Cell phone distraction causes 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries in the United States every year, according to the journal's publisher, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society."

Most of these people are driving very nice cars, and they have nice hair and fingernails and very pretty sunglasses, so I'm not sure why a beautiful cell phone earpiece is not part of their ensemble.

 I spent a lot of money on mine, a delicate contraption which makes it look like a Ceylon has taken up residence in my ear, but I still can't keep track of all these careening lunatics if I have it in my ear and am talking to someone, so I try not to try.  In addition, a light sneeze will send the black plastic into unreachable black plastic reaches of our Honda, so I just don't dare most of the time. Meanwhile the thing is so contrary, it's out of juice most of the time. I have voicemail. I'll call ya back. 

Here in Frederick, cell phone use is usually combined with having the family dog in your lap, a lit cigarette, kids bouncing around,  and gleeful nonchalance about the color of traffic lights and lane markings. Never having had to use a turn signal on uninhabited farm roads growing up, they don't bother on inhabited roads, either. Everyone has to take notes on where these people go, and memorize it, so the driver is never bothered by having to tell others what they will do. 

I assume it's a kind of Darwinistic system by which the offspring of the careless are scared into being more careful, however, the usual result is slightly more extroverted. 

The other kind of driver we get here is something I call a Beltway Bandit-- a term originally used for something else, but perfectly suitable. 
Taxation without representation appears to result in suicidal tendencies, a political result I actively support correction of.  Usually careening at improbable velocity, into spaces too small for both the bulk & lack of maneuverability of the (usually oversized or overpriced) vehicle, the pilot is generally either reading the Post or watching a DVD, if not also appearing to have an Italian-style conversation with someone on some type of mobile device, these people don't appear to have time to so much as breathe without doing 125 things at once. Unfortunately, in their ambition, they steal the breath of those dodging their idiot path of blithe highway destruction. 

I'm not sure what is so important about these cell phone conversations.. I would hate to think that someone's pizza order, or grocery list conversation with the spouse, was the one that killed my kid, my mom, my own spouse, because someone wasn't paying attention. 

"The NHTSA estimates that your chance of getting in an accident increases by 300% if you're talking on your cellular phone while driving. In addition their data shows that 25% of all traffic accidents are a result of distracted drivers."

There also seems to be a rule about Escalades, Suburbans, and tricked-out, overly clean pickemup trucks. They speed, zip around like elephants pretending to be mosquitoes, and work hard to burn as much gasoline as possible. Acuras and BMWs are almost as bad-- does anyone remember the difference between an Acura/Lexus/BMW owner and a porcupine?

 No wonder they are so unhappy. They can't figure out why they have financial problems. Perhaps, if someone is driving one of these unwieldy heaps, they have already failed certain intelligence tests, and are not likely to pass others. 

People with evangelical church stickers on the back of their Suburbans, Siennas,  Ridgelines and other giant gas suckers are aggressive careeners. Unfortunately for those of us without guardian angels, "Not Perfect, Just Forgiven" doesn't apply to involuntary manslaughter in a court of law.    

There are some compensation issues people attempt to address with large or ostentatious vehicular displays, which tend to show up in infantile behavior and attempts at dominance displays while hiding behind several tons of metal and chrome. 

An incompetent, insecure idiot in two tons of metal and chrome, is still guilty of manslaughter, no matter what kind of lawyer they can afford. 

A recent conversation on public radio brought up intoxicated driving, cell phone driving, speeding and other public transportation issues. The solution offered, was to make driving illegal. 

For most of you, it should be, because I hate going to funerals. 
My forensic pathologist friend tells me that they test bodies found near wrecked cars for marijuana as well as alcohol, because the former does a number on proprioception as well. 

As to the US Marine who gave us a friendly wave about the huge space we left in front of us for him to travel North on 495 past Quantico, this is for you. I wish everyone on the road cared as much for each other, as you and I do. 

Monday, May 18, 2009

In any problemsolving effort, there comes the frame of reference problem. 

I always find myself pushing the envelope, in other people's frames of reference. 
I'm not sure why this is, we all grew up on the same planet, more or less. 

Maybe getting my idea of stable home & family disrupted at various times in my teens, as my parents waged active warfare on one another in various ways, probably eliminated any remaining expectations I might have had, about reality. 

Many other people, have had the same experience, and worse. 

So, why am I so outside the box?

I score in the minority on so many scales.. INFJ, Morton foot.. I'm pro gun and pro choice, basically a political orphan. 

The last decade of my life, spent as a bodyworker for the most part, spent in transition, spent dancing into chaos.. 

It's a result of who I am, rather than a goal. 

Turns out, I love grabbing the dragon's jaws, and bending reality to my will. 
It's a path fraught with disappointment, however, that's what I expect. I don't move quickly, preferring to gather information for literally years, before launching decisive action in a maximally targeted fashion. 

I do not accept the status quo. Not without a series of good hard kicks and dedicated sabotage. 
I bent a major university to my will, and got previously unrecognized awards for customer service, because I actually knew that the customer.. was the student.. and that, given impetus, they voted. I can control the system just as well as you can, with far less formal education.  I even bent the US Army to my will, and made them like it. It took the persistence of a hungry parasite.. hovering, lurking and chewing until I could make my move. From then, it was a system of human connections into the great dumb framework of the beast, and how sharply I could wire into it in terms of reward and punishment. Note: Punishment is harder to achieve, but worth it. 

Your frame of reference is just that, a frame. 
You may think education is important. 
I don't have one. Note that I tried, repeatedly. People of my economic background, don't have a great chance at education. I w
I am an autodidact. The most brilliant people I know, are unpolluted by the American public education system. Pray it never invades Western Europe, India, or China, or we will have a world of stupid on our hands. 

You may think children are important .
I don't have any, don't want any, don't like them, and think that one of the major problems of the planet is simple random overpopulation. If you don't have as many people to feed, and you can control your reproduction, until you can control your food supply to support it, you don't have a problem. Educate them, to do better than you have done. Don't buy an SUV to carry them around. You can get six in a Corolla. More than that, is some kind of religious agenda if you are not adopting (see Quiver Full fundy wackos).

You may think politics are important. 
It's about who can make the most money, off the population. That determines who is in control. Sometimes it changes, for the better.. sometimes not. It depends on the level of education, and inquiry, on the part of the population, as to how far they can be misled. 

If you just feel.. a little more lost.. welcome to the human condition. 

My very favorite quote from TS Eliot's Little Gidding:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always—
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

My colleagues seem unsure, about my willingness to stay in the USA. 

Sure, it's shaky. 
It's beyond shaky. If someone offered me a full time job as a Rolfer in Munich, I'd be there before the moon changed phase. Regensburg is a good second choice. We love Regensburg. 

I want a city, I want a country, where I don't have to own a car, and if I do have the resources to do so, I can drive the very best, as fast as I want... Porsche baby here I come. 

It's not a question my American colleagues can hope to understand, unless they trained in the great clear sunny halls of Nymphenburgerstrasse, got the support of that group, got the respect of that culture, where osteopathy is understood and appreciated, where people can touch people and the body is not a place of shame. 

The client standing in the class, with her bare and perfect breasts just a fact of nature, unhemmed and unhampered, is just another human being. 

I can't explain to you, the things we have to get past, to get to this level of practice. 
I bring it into my office, but unless you get on my table, you cannot understand what it is I have been given. 

We just have to get over it all, and get to the work. 
If we are not, on every level, about the work, we are failing Dr Rolf. 

Anything which stops us, fails her. 

Keep this in mind as you look at everything we do, and are not doing. 

End transmission.. sometimes I think her tyrannical & grumpy spirit shakes me like a wet cat. 

We are designed to be migrational. 

We Pans narrans, can't take the heat of summer, nor can we bear deep winters, if not well dug in and provisioned. 
Our special skill is adaptation, we move, we migrate. 

The Karankawa of South Texas were reknowned as direly vicious killers who bathed in alligator fat and ate anything they weren't closely related to. 
This is how you have to live, to survive in Texas. 
If the heat doesn't drive you barking mad, the heat will.. wait, the insects will.. wait, the parasites will.. wait, the .. well, if you aren't mad, you aren't paying attention, in Texas. 

Not paying attention, is its own form of madness. 

I do pay attention, to the deep pulses and textures of where I am, and what I am doing. 
I live in a kinesthetic world of sheeps' wool, leaf textures, and the skin, muscle, bone & fascial textures, the kinesthetic world of my clients. 
This is how I root. 
This is why I love to work with farmers, those who live in intimacy with the land. They will know, in their skin, to their bones, what to do and how to do it. 
I will pick it up, not just from asking them about what they love, but how their bodies react to it. 
I learn the lay, the ley, if you will, of the land, from the bodies I touch. 
If they have been here for generations, that's information. 
If they came here from Southern California, and settled deeply, that's also information. 

It's normal, to tell you, that I have an idea of how the season will go, because I chatted with a client about it. 
It's not so normal, to tell you that I gained a sense of the season, from the neurological ripples though their bodies as they talked about it. 

But I do. 
And it seems normal, like reading the phone book. 

My sense of rootedness, my need to grow things and see them fruit is one sense of a way to survive. 
My sense of adventure, my ability to fit into and fall in love with other cultures, my curiosity & intelligence, is another. 

This is a good place to be, but I am curious, as to where it will lead. 
Here in the verdant spring of Maryland, we have cool nights. 
I have a cheap acrylic guayabera, split down one side from use.. I wear it out on the back deck in the blessedly chilly May spring nights here. 

Frederick lies in the lap of the Catoctins by the Appalachian trail, so remnants of mountain weather wash down to us. I was up on the mountains at Gambrill State Park a week or so ago, checking out nonexistent morels. The mist was so bad that I kept wanting to clean my glasses: I don't wear any. The wind was so bad, I could lean on it when hiking uphill. 

I remember May as the worst time of year, in Texas, when there was no longer any hope of cool breezes, and the humidity really started to kick in. Hope just dies in that kind of heat. Hope, energy and optimism simply wither in the hothouse heat. 

We've had to run the cool side of the heat pump, once. 
It's the only side that seems to work.. 

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

It was Patsy Klein, who figured it out. 

We are Crazy. 

Like Teddy Thompson, looking at his superstar dad who has made his living staying up late and singing.. 

We all think, we should be so lucky. 
Richard T, knows he is not so lucky.  He knows he worked like hell on the guitar, fell to some place he would really scratch his own head about, and now the rest of us think we can take a nap if he's on the air or the sound system. 

Quite the opposite.. this one is still Paying Attention, and we should too.

Sophie Hawkins did some crazy things with situational sound. 
The people who had to step into "Damn, I wish I was your Lover"had some serious game to play. 

Imagine having your skull spun around its axis, for six years Try to figure out where you are, when no one will give you a point to fix on. Try to build a career on that. 

Despite six years of trying to orient to Germany, you end up on the NE coast of the US. 

Welcome to my world. 
Despite probably the most apt and willing welcoming committee this side of a full-on Welcome Wagon, I'm still marooned and paddling for my life. 

I am not afraid, and I can swim. I can even wait. 
I am looking for a direction to swim into. I need a line of attack. 
I am, after all, a military orphan, whether I like it or not. 
Don't hate me, don't excommunicate me, because I have been in this service. 
I will never devalue the service of anyone, in any service, because we are all here, together, and we cannot know the ways in which we can help one another. I have personally defied, and complied with, every meaningful order, to help other human beings. I will continue to do so. 

We must simply try. 
I don't think that's crazy. 

Not helping others, is crazy. I choose to help.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

This post is just for me. 

I am here for one thing, one thing only. 

I am here to figure it out best I can, find what I am good at, and seek my path. 

For me, it's about deliciousness. 
Pleasure in being is maximally subversive. If people believe in, and are at home in, their bodies, they don't need imaginary beings and delusional principles to live by. 

I've been a train wreck since birth. Bodywork has brought me back to a kind of pre-birth optimism, honed by the fighting spirit of a body roughly handled, from its first second of existence. No one can hurt me, as much as I was hurt in my first hours of existence. I was born addicted to nicotine and possibly alcohol. 
And I was easy & lucky.
Learning to live as more than a train wreck, learning to not rely on pain and anger, has been the trick for me. Learning and appreciating that I AM the lucky one, that I get to pay attention and make changes, this keeps me active and participating. At the same time, I realize that I am over-activated, and need to take time to gather information and not just react. I might do too good a job of that. 

It's about the principles:

Mutual benefit
Maximum efficiency
Mutual courtesy

For me, it's about these things. 
In that order. 

For me. 
"There's flies in the kitchen
I can hear all their buzzin', 

How the hell can a person
go to to work in the mornin'
Come home in the evenin'
And have nothin' to say?

To believe in this livin', is just a hard way to go
To believe in this livin', is just a hard row to hoe."

Fights within a family, are always the worst. 
I've been there, I've lived through death threats, and countered them, in person. In family.
It's a deep and terrible Trouble. 

I'm looking at another rift I fear, will drive a dear and beautiful family, apart. 
I'm sure there's nothing I can do about it. 
I'm positive the rationals and the intuitives will never find a common ground. 
I say that in despair, as one who is both. 

This is my rational mind speaking, as a rational who has spoken to intuitives, and found a kind of "ad hominem*" defense. I personally would never dispose of the intuitive approach, it's too valuable. I would seek only, to explore how it works. 
I do it, I AM it. 
I have dedicated myself to the rational deconstruction of my incredibly powerful intuition, in order to prove the validity of it. 
Everything that works, can be proven. Every worthwhile concept, stands any test, and is refined by testing. We only have to be smart enough to do it. 

Meanwhile, we must stop taking exchange of information, as personal attack. 

This is a rational approach. If X quotes research as saying the sky is blue, Y has to come up with adequately researched info that says the sky is, in fact, purple with green marshmallows, which 200 others have said they have also seen the purple with green marshmallows, before anyone with any rational perspective, takes it seriously. 
This is the rational world. It's a matter of rational consensus, not just that me and my friends have decided that the sky is purple today, and you have a dark shadow on your left hip. Hello, I have hip dysplasia, proven by scientific X-Rays. That feeds into the Ad Hominem argument, but I put up with a lot of moralistic bullshit about my self-image and my left hip being my female persona which was, let's face it, bullshit, because I have developmental hip dysplasia and I'm more comfortable in my gender identity than most US senators and most Rolfers. 
The scientific answer was a relief for me. My mother had a lot of scar tissue in her uterus from peritonitis, I was crowded as an embryo, and I have a hip problem. It's pretty common, if you research it. It's not my fault. It's not her fault. 

Belief systems which make it my fault, are not helpful to me. I have to do a lot of extra work around it already, because it didn't develop properly. My mom has tried to apologize about it, and I had to tell her it wasn't her fault either. I was glad to do that. We need to understand the physical world well enough to navigate it rationally, and not load our over-rational selves with any more guilt in any situation. Our goal in life, should be to dismantle guilt, because it is not functional. An extra load from the belief system, on top of any existing systems of physical maintenance, have not been helpful. 

The fact is, that we live in a rational world, and rationality is the rule the modern world plays by. 
Keep in mind as well, that we are here to subvert these rules. 

There is a principle in martial arts, of Jyu, or yielding. 
This means you blend with the existing flow, in order to bring it to your own center. 

If we do not do this, we cannot compete for resources. 
If we cannot compete for resources, and people keep getting mutilated by surgical and chemical science, just because they will play the game, and we won't, what will we have accomplished?

Look at everyone who got cut, before they came to you, in your practice, and everyone who goes surgical or medical before they come to you, or look at the fact that they give up to the fact that life sucks, instead of getting great bodywork. Chemistry and cutting wasn't appealing, and they don't know about alternatives. This is the fault of the RISI, and a lack of public outreach and education. 

It's' the ones who won't give up, who come to us. 

We should learn from them. 
If we cannot, we will not survive. It's that simple. 
There are those of us, who don't care to go down that easy. 
A simple disagreement is no reason for extinction, unless you make it so. 

*Look it up. Educate yourself. Your intuition will only get you so far, and the rest of the way is just wherever you are looking.