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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in madamwu's LiveJournal:

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Monday, February 11th, 2008
8:40 pm
Yes, I'm alive and well and living in Upstate New York
It was 6 degrees outside this morning and that's okay.

I sell little bottles of shampoo for a living instead of being a librarian--and that's okay.

I'm still not used to climbing the stairs in our house--but that's okay because it is our house, and my honey built me my own library.

I'm no longer living and working in the vicious political capital of the western world anymore--and that is really okay.

I am the happiest and most contented and calmest and healthiest I have been in my entire life--and that is wonderful.
Saturday, November 25th, 2006
11:41 pm
Wow, what a surprise for a librarian
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Actually, poor Tashi got stuck packing some of my books today. Fortunately, a lot of them never got unpacked from the last move. This next apartment I am making sure I have enough (well, maybe more, there is never enough) bookshelves.
Monday, September 11th, 2006
5:17 pm
I don't want to wallow in memories. Yes, it is too bad that all those people died five years ago. But many more died in the tsuinami. And in the terrorist wars. And from not having access to health care. And from taking stupid risks while driving. Etcetera.

I'm not intending to be mean or cruel or unsympathetic. But people die. Anything that is ever alive dies. Just because it was a bunch of Americans doesn't make it any more special or tragic than any other death.

At least GWB had the sense to keep his mouth shut at the memorial. That was one thing I didn't want to hear--that poor excuse of a leader using today to spout his meaningless political hack BS.

First noble truth from the Buddha: Life is suffering.

Many people don't understand how we can take comfort in that. But I do. And today, that's all I can say about it.


Current Mood: blank
Friday, February 17th, 2006
10:53 am
Life in the Twilight Zone
This morning I awoke at about 5 am and noticed that Tashi had left the bedroom. As she sometimes gets up early and goes and writes, I just rolled over and went back to sleep. I had been having a strange dream about a strip-mined mountain where I was shoe shopping.

As I was getting ready for work she comes in to talk to me as I sit reading the paper. I asked her if she had been writing, and she said no, she had a bad dream. One of the premonition type dreams. A mountain top had fell onto a village. It felt like the dream she had about the tsunami Christmas last year.

The television news was blathering on about Cheney's hunting incident, no mention of any disaster. I suggested that since she said it was a village that had been buried, maybe it wouldn't make the news as important enough. But I promised to keep an eye out for any story that might be related.

Several minutes ago I logged onto WashingontonPost.com. "Phillipine landslide buries village."

This is the fourth time I have been able to personally document Tashi having a precognitive premonition about a world event. She predicted a volcano eruption, the tsunami, Coretta King's death, and now this landslide.

How do I feel about this? I struggle to assess my thoughts and emotions. My strongest concern is about how it affects her sleep and equilibrium. I cannot use the standard pacifier of "don't worry, its just a dream." What does one say? When these things happen I get an uncomfortable glimpse of the dark side of having a psychic gift. She is in emotional pain. It seems that sometimes all I can do is help find the evidence that she is not making this up, that these are real premonitions. But that is little comfort to someone feeling the psychic pain of hundreds or thousands of souls crying in anguish as they die horrible deaths. Its a heavy burden to bear.

The selfish part of me is glad that these dire premonitions are about other people, not us. Yet my underlying fear is someday the warning will be about her or me or us. And I will find no escape in dismissing it as "just a dream."

Current Mood: melancholy
Wednesday, February 1st, 2006
10:37 am

After you die...
Guardian Angel

After death, you will exist as a guardian angel in order to protect your still-living loved ones. You might even inspire a classic Christmas movie.

Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com

I guess this is not too far off, for after all, as a Zen Buddhist I take the Mahayana bodishattva vow. Bodishattvas have been considered the Buddhist equivalent of angels, as they promise to help all other sentient beings reach nirvana, before they take their place there. Of course, I'm not expecting to make bodhisattva after this life, if only because I am too fond of bacon. :-)

Current Mood: awake
Thursday, November 17th, 2005
10:27 am
Another lazy LJ entry
You scored as Serenity (from Firefly). You like to live your own way and do not enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you that you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.


Serenity (from Firefly)


SG-1 (from Stargate)


Moya (from Farscape)


Galactica (from Battlestar: Galactica)


Nebuchadnezzar (from The Matrix)


Enterprise D (from Star Trek)


Millennium Falcon (from Star Wars)


Bebop (from Cowboy Bebop)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com

Current Mood: complacent
Monday, October 24th, 2005
11:10 am
What science fiction character are you?
Ok fine. But why do I always have to be short?

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Current Mood: cranky
Tuesday, October 18th, 2005
10:27 am
But of course! There are always Nazis
"You must remember this, a kiss is still a
kiss". Your romance is Casablanca. A
classic story of love in trying times, chock
full of both cynicism and hope. You obviously
believe in true love, but you're also
constantly aware of practicality and societal
expectations. That's not always fun, but at
least it's realistic. Try not to let the Nazis
get you down too much.

What Romance Movie Best Represents Your Love Life?
brought to you by Quizilla

Speaking of Nazis, saw an older movie on cable last Saturday that was better than I expected it to be. It was called "Shining Through" (1992) and it starred Melanie Griffith, Michael Douglas, Liam Neeson, and John Gielgud. It was about Melanie recounting in a flashback her role as a spy in WWII. Now I'm no big Melanie Griffith fan, but it was right up Tashi's alley (women in war time, Nazis), and besides, I can always look at Liam Neeson. It was suspenseful; definitely a good popcorn movie.

We also went to see "Good Night, and Good Luck" at the AFI Sunday afternoon. Commies this time instead of Nazis. (George Clooney's B and W film about CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow's battle with McCarthy's witchhunt for communists.) I thought it was good in an intellectual kind of way, but a little dry. Maybe because it was portraying a bunch of 1950's white guys, but it lacked emotion and passion. Documentary footage was used for McCarthy's side, making it a "film" instead of a movie. Gotta get culture occassionally I guess.

Friday we went to see the Peking Opera at the Kennedy Center. It was one of the first things I saw when I moved to DC 25 years ago. Now, as then, it was a mind-blowing experience. The costumes were amazing. Serious silk envy evoked. Not sure how long it lasts, but the Kennedy Center also had on the 3rd floor an exhibit called "New China Chic" highlighting modern clothing designers. Gorgeous dresses and jewelry. Those of you interested in costuming should try and catch it.

Current Mood: bouncy
Tuesday, September 6th, 2005
3:13 pm
A great idea from Gene Weingarten's online chat
Anonymous: Since the TV networks are putting on a big telethon to raise money for Katrina relief, why not simply switch the $5-6 billion a month we're spending on the war in Iraq to Katrina relief, and then hold a telethon to raise money for the war? This would be a great opportunity for Bush to demonstrate the support for the war that he claims. In fact, if we always paid for wars via telethons (and I think this was proposed during the Vietnam War), we could save tax money and also ensure that our wars have popular support. I can just see Rumsfeld belting our "My Way" during the telethon. Jerry Lewis, eat your heart out.

washingtonpost.com: Capital idea.

Gene Weingarten: Ooooooh.

Current Mood: amused
11:52 am
On hurricanes and Dharma
The hurricane was not an act of meanness or cruelty. Katrina didn’t intend to cause suffering. She was an act of nature and part of nature.

First noble truth: Life is suffering. Life is hurricanes.

I knew I needed to do some kind of meditation acknowledging the lives of those in Katrinia’s path. I was torn between going to a human made Buddhist temple (probably Tashi’s Tibetan one) or doing something outside in nature.

While I can appreciate the effort and thought put into a lavish temple space such as the Tibetans have, a part of me is uncomfortable with the gold, brocade, and crystals. I come from rebellious Christian stock. My ancestors fled the Old World to escape religious persecution and my family culture expressed a distain for the decorating “decadence” of the high churches of the Catholics and Church of England, So therefore I was always fascinated when I would go to the local Catholic church with childhood friends for their “pagan” rituals of first Communion and wedding masses. It was so foreign and exotic compared to our plain Congregationalist Church, devoid of images and gilt. It is probably why the simplicity and plainness of Japanese Zen appeals to me so now.

Yet even the simplest Zen temple is a human made construct.

I do not do well with authority. I do not do well with organized religion, where other people claim authority to tell me how I should believe and practice.

I have tried several Zen groups. Nice temples. But I have found the temple that works best for me is outside, under the trees, sitting in stillness and quiet.

Nature brings hurricanes. Nature brings rose gardens. Nature brings cool slabs of stone, surrounded by flowers, trees and water. So we sat. I mentally chanted “Om mani padme om.” A non-action for peace.

Second noble truth: An additional cause of suffering can be desires we create.

Third noble truth: The only way to reduce the suffering created by our desire is to reduce our craving.

My desire is for our government to be competent. For them to get their priorities in order. What is important is the health and safety of our planet and the inhabitants on it. Not giving tax cuts to Paris Hilton. For that matter not to pay attention to Paris Hilton…why do I even know who she is? Talk about a waste of media coverage.

Where is the media coverage for global warming and government corruption and incompetence and the evil neglect and exploitation of those who need our help most? Instead we hear about Paris Hilton and Martha Stewart.

Life is hurricanes. Life doesn’t have to be the lack of compassion shown by our supposed leader and his cronies. I accept the karma I am, and will be creating as a result of my desire for this situation to change. I desire that this horrible tragedy will awaken the American public to their responsibilities to each other, and finally get them mad as hell and not taking it anymore.

Current Mood: pissed off
Thursday, August 18th, 2005
12:24 pm
Buffy character
Hah! Powerful, great clothes, and minions...what else could a gal want?

72% amorality, 72% passion, 72% spirituality, 27% selflessness
You probably have a complicated, multi-faceted personality. Kind of like Glory-Ben-Glorificus. Passionate and driven with a spiritual side that comes out at times, a healthy taste for the finer things in life and a willingness to do what's necessary to achieve your ends. You're assertive and have no problems standing up for yourself. And, push come to shove, you're the closest anyone's ever come to straight-up beating the Slayer and her gang. Congratulations!

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on morality

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on repose

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on spirituality

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on selflessness
Link: The 4-Variable Buffy Personality Test written by donathos on OkCupid Free Online Dating
Friday, August 12th, 2005
10:52 am
What Disney princess are you?
You Are Belle!
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Intelligent and kind. Your beauty goes much further than your apperance. Also, you make judgements of people based on their personality and not their looks. Attaining all the knowledge that you can is one of your major goals in life, but you are also a person who can make things happen.

Which Disney Princess Are You?

Gee, what a surprise. The librarian is Belle..::eye roll::
I hate being predictable...bah humbug.

10:31 am
What Harry Potter character am I most like?
Pirate Monkey&quot;s Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

That seems right, although considering how I am struggling with my post quittting smoking weight gain right now, I'd rather not be compared to a giantess...

So glad its Friday. This summer has been an endless stream of putting out fires and fighting bureaucrats. Looking forward to making my honey a whole-wheat pizza for dinner, and watching SpiderMan 2 on TV. Simple pleasures are all I want right now.

Current Mood: chipper
Tuesday, July 12th, 2005
2:53 pm
The hidden environmentalist's agenda
I posted this as a comment to divalion's post on What is Poverty. Thought I would share it here also. (Feeling cranky today.)

One of the reasons Al Gore didn't get elected, and why the Democrats don't exploit environmental issues when campaigning is because of a fairly widely accepted truth of the collected wisdom on how to save the planet:

Earth does not have the resources to support 6 billion people in the living standard of the "First world" American/european lifestyle. The only thing that is going to save our planet is for our lifestyle to degrade to a more sustainable level like those living in the self-supporting communities discussed in the article and other's comments.

Al Gore tried to explain this to the American public, and they were not ready to listen. This is a very unpalatable idea to capitalists that depend on constant growth and consumerism. But the downward mobility has already started (fewer people able to afford houses, fewer pensions, less job stability, etc.) Learning from Al Gore's defeat, the liberal environmentalists who know the truth are being cowardly and trying to advance the needed agenda by cloaking it in "simple living", which is better than nothing, but ultimately a disservice to the truth.

Everyone needs to go towards the middle: the hungry poor should be provided with access to the education and means to help themselves, and the rich need to become poorer and satisfied with less. There is too much energy and natural resources being wasted on useless luxury items.

Personally, I try to think globally, act locally. Support local industry and retailers. Resist the urge to buy new pretty shiny things. I work at a job that pays less than I could make elsewhere because here I can help the environmental movement. Do what you can.

Yeah its hard. Its going to get messy and its going to be ugly. Its times like this I am glad the majority of my life is over and I do not have children to worry about. Hope my next reincarnation is on another planet, because this one is going down the tubes unless governments and politicians find the backbone to speak the truth about what is needed. And we saw what happened at the G8 with global warming...::sigh::

Current Mood: cranky
Thursday, July 7th, 2005
4:10 pm
What kind of ice cream am I
You scored 81% SWEET, 59% CHUNKY, and 70% UNIQUE!
brownie batter ice cream with a rich brownie batter swirl

Mmmm....you are a very sweet mix indeed! You are warm, loving, and caring to all those around you, but you're not boring in the least! You have a wild streak and a creative, unique streak, too. You are a great friend, an interesting person, and you know how to have fun without ending up crouching over a toilet bowl. Nice!

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on SWEET

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on CHUNKY

free online dating free online dating
You scored higher than 99% on UNIQUE
Link: The Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Flavor Test written by weered1 on Ok Cupid

Hmmm...I can't really eat ice cream because of my lactose intolerance, but then again considering the context that could be cannibalistic. Never really liked chocolate ice cream either, I prefer my chocolate in other forms.

During my recent trip to my hometown of Cleveland, I did make my required pilgrimage to Malley's candy shop to purchase their dark chocolate covered pretzels. My staff wouldn't forgive me if I didn't bring some back to DC with me. My strongest memory of Malley's was after going to my great uncle's funeral, my parents took me to Malley's for ice cream. After we were seated, a little time later, the funeral director and the minister from the funeral came into the ice cream parlor to indulge also. Last Monday when at Malley's I mentioned the story to my girlfriend and the ladies running the shop said they have mourning groups that meet there. So I guess Cleveland has some weird dessert death ritual.

Current Mood: amused
Thursday, May 12th, 2005
10:57 am
How conservative/liberal am I?

Your Political Profile

Overall: 35% Conservative, 65% Liberal

Social Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

Fiscal Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal

Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal

Defense and Crime: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

I can live with these results. After all, as a Buddhist I try to follow the middle path. This quiz reminds me of election season and when I get calls from pollsters. I always imagine them getting driven crazy by my answers, as I am very liberal on social issues except for the dealth penalty and gun control, but conservative fiscally. Yes, I am pro-choice and pro death penalty. I believe in drug decriminalization and the right to bear arms. People are complex, and that is one of the main problems with the media now, they try to classify everyone into being blue or red. Americans are not that simple.

Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, May 4th, 2005
3:13 pm
Four dead in Ohio
May 4, 1970: Vietnam War Protestors shot at Kent State University

“Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming
We’re finally on our own,
This summer I hear the drumming
Four dead in Ohio”
from "Ohio" written by Neil Young, sung by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

I guess I am stuck in the past, but each year when May 4 rolls around my brain brings to the forefront the memory of the Kent State massacre. Its been 35 years now. And I am still bummed out by it.

I was in Junior High, in Cleveland, Ohio (40 miles from Kent), 15 years old. May 5 I wore a black arm-band to school and was sent to the vice-principal's office. I was a good kid and this was a first. They made me take it off. So much for freedom of speech.

Here is the university’s site: http://dept.kent.edu/may4/

I pray that the Iraqi War ends before America gets to this point again.

Current Mood: gloomy
Friday, April 22nd, 2005
11:10 am
Earth Day
Today is the 35th anniversary of Earth Day. It is a bittersweet occasion for those of us working in the environmental field.

I grew up in polluted Cleveland. Physical and psychological damage has been done to me that cannot be undone. Nothing like having the river going through your city catch on fire. Nothing like drinking a toxic soup called water that might have been responsible for my sterility. Who knows? Who cares?

I have the curse of knowing too much. I try to think globally, act locally. I drink bottled water and buy organically when it is convenient, making an effort for at least problem foods such as raisins. I stay away from large fish such as tuna and swordfish (mercury). I live in a population dense apartment and city. Take public transportation to work and drive a high milage car when necessary.

We have made some progress since 1970. But what is most discouraging to me is the lack of attention to environmental issues by the popular media. We could get so much more done if people were just more aware of the issues. Perhaps it is just a part of the dismal level of scientific knowledge in this country. Kids can’t figure out how not to get pregnant let alone be aware of environmental causes of birth defects.

As a Buddhist I must try and decrease my desire that this fight be easy. I can’t let it lessen my ability to find simple joy in life with my wife and friends and other inhabitants of Gaia. I do what I can. Every little bit helps. Please do what you can.

Happy Earth Day.

Current Mood: contemplative
10:21 am
I want to play too
Interview me. I will answer five questions.


1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Current Mood: amused
Friday, February 25th, 2005
12:41 pm
10 things
Ten Things I've Done You Probably Haven't, in no particular order

1. Met the choreographer Agnes de Mille in her huge Manhattan apartment.

2. Published an article in the medical journal "Toxicology."

3. Attended President Clinton's 1993 Environmental Inaugural Ball.

4. Went on a tour of underneath the Lincoln Memorial.

5. Celebrated my masters degree in Library Science at the Hanger Club (the male strippers were impressed and very nice ::grin::).

6. Won Second place in the Cleveland city-wide science fair for an experiment on air pollution.

7. Fell in love with a transsexual Buddhist nun.

8. Had my picture on the front page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper, showing me at the Equal Right Amendment march in Washington, DC.

9. Took Russian and French language classes in 6th grade.

10. Constructed two custom-made 18th century pair of stays.

Current Mood: chipper
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