less mystery, more me.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

working on an autoethnography

I'm working on an autoethnography because it's been waking me up in the middle of the night with whole sentences running through my mind. I started it yesterday. I'll put up pieces on the blog in the sidebar.

I'm listening to some NPR referred to by Holman Jones explaining autoethnography in the 3rd edition of the Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research:

On the Edge, Timbuktu

there are 4 parts. She quotes Wade Davis in Part 1, who states "storytelling can change the world..."

Good for a listen.

Too much work for blogging today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

2 old friends

I mentioned that I had heard from 2 old friends for my birthday. One was my college roommate from ETSU. We shared a dorm room in Whitley Hall which had a view of the prairie and rolling hills of east Texas. We also share a birth date and always assumed that that was how they matched us up to room together. We hadn't corresponded in 11 or so years. She found my phone number by searching for my name on Google. I'm glad she was able to find me, but troubled by how easy it is. Oh well, that ship has sailed.

Now to catch up. She went to pharmacy school, I went off to adventures unknown & untold. I know her daughters are big girls now, about to graduate from high school, into golf, but no idea what else. We compared stories about our mothers' strokes. What I crave is the everyday details. The little things, like what kind of car does she drive, what sort of computer? Hell what kind of cell phone does she use? Does she have a dog, a cat (oh, yes she told me, she has an elderly feline), a fish, a gerbil. Does she still hoard shoes and paint her fingernails to calm herself down?

And my other friend, a fashion designer, and I had not seen each other in much longer. Same questions for her and also, where does she shop for fabric now that so many fabric stores have closed? Zippers and buttons?

Another friend I seldom see also drove up from down near Portland, the_neecer. Known to me and my other friends as the red haired poet. We correspond by email and blog, but there is nothing like having someone sitting in your luxury box at a basketball game for several hours such that you can walk over and hug her every so often.

It's funny what you miss about your dear friends when they are gone. These little "knowledgets" must be the at the root of the profound grief we feel when they are no longer with us.

On another note, my Macbook pro freezes. A lot. It's not making me all that happy!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

today's causal modeling music--Willie Dixon

no time but to play music for you today! I've been warming up my brain to Willie Dixon.

Willie Dixon

It don't get better than this.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

the neverending birthday

Those of you keeping count may remember that I had already gotten a new Beetle convertible for my birthday, and for the planet. Now 2 computers. What next you might ask?

I've received calls from two old friends that I've been out of touch with for 11-15 years. One was my one and only dorm roommate from what used to be East Texas State University, and now is a satellite of Texas A & M. These are the most precious gifts of all!

over to the mac side

I definitely can see moving to the mac side. I was somewhat extravagant and bought 2 new macs, a MacBook Pro, and an iMac because they were having a screaming deal. I got two fine closeout Macs for the price I usually pay when I update my Sony laptop every couple of years.

My last
desktop is just at the stage where it's a little slow with new technology and a complete rebuild and maxing out the RAM didn't help. I've been wanting a larger screen and a 24 inch is built right into the computer. Or should I say the computer is built right into the monitor.

And now my better half is actually using a computer and has to wait behind me for her chance on the little Sony.

race is the new black

It's very trendy now to talk about race in headlines, I guess since we have a good chance of having a biracial man for our next president. The American Medical Association has apologized for "racial inequality" against black physicians in medicine. I'm all for splashy public headline grabbing apologies, but I'll be more impressed when I see the AMA and all of the health science fields do more to recruit black students into health care training. I'd like to see a public apology to the African slave women used by J. Marion Sims for gynecological research to benefit white women. Much has been said of the Tuskegee medical crimes against American black airmen, but have you heard of unlawful and unethical research on Depo Provera involving poor black women?

In an opinion piece in the WSJ Ward Connerly, a racist activist writer talks about how Obama is racist in an indirect way by saying that Obama is no "post racial" candidate. This got my attention for several reasons. One, I'm always interested when "post" is attached to anything because because of the controversy I've encountered for using postmodern and poststructural methods in my research. "Real Scientists" think I've gone over to the dark side of vague, unfounded theoretical claims. When I mentioned my next research project (a quantitative study) to a fellow postmodern researcher I got the distinct impression she thought I had gone over to the other dark side of grand narrative production! Fortunately I have a thick skin for this sort of thing.

But I digress.

In his article Connerly uses the phrase post racial to refer to ending affirmative action! He argues that using racial preference in hiring or in university admission screenings is nothing more than racism. He's turned the whole racism argument around and used it against measures employed to end the negative effects of 400 years of racism! See how interesting the new black can be?

I'm an Obama supporter by default. (My candidates were Kucinich, then Clinton, now Obama.) Obama is too conservative for me, has been too disingenuous by having so many registered lobbyists working for him while criticizing Clinton for talking to lobbyists. Not all lobbyists are working for cooporate welfare, some work for social worker groups, nursing groups, etc., and apparently a lot of them work for Obama!

However, I have to take Obama's side in this one. We need racial preference to heal a festering wound.

Connerly has left quite a bit out of his analysis with respect to achieving equality for black American Descendants of African Slaves. He fails to account for debts owed due to:

1). American fortunes built on the unpaid labor of African slaves over 100s of years. The USA has enjoyed the world dominance it has had for 400 years solely because of this free labor. Our leaders have gone searching for more free labor in international trade agreements, the gutting of the American education system, and our archaic health care system which currently excludes 45-100 million Americans, mostly people of color. (The 45 million number oft quoted only applies to Americans who go more than 365 days without health insurance. If you go without health insurance for 364 days, you're not counted!) Keeping Americans poorly educated and in poor health is builds a workforce so cheap it's almost as good as free labor. But first you must do away with employer sponsored health insurance for the working class, and do everything possible to block universal single payer health care for all.

2). American gynecology advanced through experimental medical research first on African slaves, and later on poor women of color. See Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide for more on this topic.

3). American history is rife with examples of affirmative action in favor of whites--the institution of slavery is the most obvious example. Jim Crow laws followed and there is good reason to consider the New Deal affirmative action for whites because it excluded most job classifications held by blacks. See When Affirmative Action Was White.

4). Then there was redlining. American Descendants of African Slaves have been deprived the ability to purchase property because they have been deprived the ability to get mortgage loans for many generations. Property is the primary means by which wealth is passed from generation to generation, so this is another example of how the deprivations of American Descendants of African Slaves have been passed down through the generations (See page 163, When Affirmative Action Was White).

I could go on for a while here but my point is that we owe about 400 years of "racial preference" to American Descendants of African Slaves and to Native Americans. It is too soon to pull the plug on affirmative action for people of color.

Connorly and others like him are living in a delusion, ignoring even recent history of white affirmative action.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I am a Writer!

"One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, go places and explore. Another is that writing motivates you to look closely at life, at life as it lurches by and tramps around." ---from Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

I've wanted to be a writer since I was a child and made the connection between the reading circle and the books on the shelf. Being alone in my house for 3 weeks has allowed me to remember all my years of solitude, writing poems and stubs for short stories. I had plans to write the stories of the firstborn of Ray Carver, Grace Paley, Ellen Gilchrist, and Leonard Michaels.

When I was 17 I was graduating high school and planning to go to college. I had a friend from a neighboring town who wanted to be an actor. We spent long evenings in coffee shops discussing all manner of things relating to writing and acting and books we found interesting. I remember working out Einstein's theory of relativity on napkins once in a Denny's or IHOP. Kyle was the first to ever encourage me. I don't think I ever bothered to show him anything I'd written.

Then one day I heard a voice say to me as clear as day "don't bother studying writing until you have something to write about...find a trade, live a regular life, and learn what people care about...then the writing will come..." I had been trying to figure out how to find writer's college like the actor's college Kyle had found for himself. I tried to explain the voice to Kyle, but I don't think he understood it. He thought I was copping out.

So off I went to find a trade. I took a lot of math and sciences early in college because my test scores were high. I was on my way to engineering school. Except that I hated drafting. I loved the idea of computers and loved the theoretical possibilities. I decided against computer science once when standing in line for my turn to run my program in the computer. The line went out the door and wrapped around the building. I saw an upper classman reduced to tears when he tripped and dropped his hefty box of punched cards and they flew willy nilly driven by the east Texas wind. I was standing in line to run my little 10 card program. I subsequently took my little 10 card program right over to the line to the registrar's office where I dropped the class. I left the university at the end of my sophomore year. I didn't think I was learning anything to write about!

After quite a few adventures including moving 2000 miles across country on a whim and working in an emergency room I decided to use my science credits and go to nursing school. Funny thing about that. I needed all the same sciences for nursing that I needed for engineering but no guidance counselor ever steered me toward nursing.

I've loved nursing, and still do. I'll be applying for jobs as a nursing professor very soon. But I still want to be a writer, so for today, on my 50th birthday, I'm declaring myself a writer!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

big hair & other fossils

They've taken her to a bone digger over in Ballard.
He takes coupons.

He said she'd be having 50% less poems in 3 months
Money back guarantee. The poems will always be there
he said. He don't work miracles.

Well, they had to do something
she was up to 10 poems a day--

you should see her house. It looks
like someone lives in it--

she quit putting sheets on her bed
and slept in her sleeping bad. Books piled
write in the bed, all around her

and she was eating frozen chicken nuggets
right out of the bag. (Hold 'em until they melt
& they're easier to chew.) You know her parents

are good vegetarians. It was awful. Hard
to look at her laying there
with that big hair and yellow rocks
piled right to the ceiling
in some areas

(let the fossil record show)

well you know she walked in front of that bus
that day
she was thinking them poems. Hazel
told you didn't she? Everything feeds into her
poemelusional system.

It was sad. I was there. The Fire Department dragged her out,

don't touch me don't touch me don't touch me don't touch me don't

Then she looked right at her Mama & said
"That's the last poem you'll get out of me until I write more."

It made my blood run cold. Still, she wasn't safe.
They had to do it.

copyright 2008 all rights reserved Lisa Trigg

Monday, July 07, 2008

my friend in australia

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I took this photograph myself in the animal preserve near Coolangatta. We spent most of our time at the zoo in the kangaroo area. There is a line there which visitors do not cross. On the other side of the line the kangaroos lounge, nap, play, and the young males square off to box.

This was a magnificent 'roo with amazing muscle definition. He got most of my kangaroo kibble. Yes, I think he's checking out the little female.
Here is some more of the ceiling.
This is the kind of thing I love to find on vacation.
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I took this picture in a restaurant on the WindWard Coast in Oahu last December. It's making me happy today. This is the ceiling. A small piece of the ceiling. We had breakfast here on the way to the barn where E. went riding.

Today my internist begged me not to ride horses any more due to my disk disease. I suspected I shouldn't. I have to lose weight too.
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Friday, July 04, 2008


I've done it. I've bought a mac book pro. I can't believe that I waited so long. It's an incredible piece of machinery. If I didn't know better, I'd say it was a German made car!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

there is something wrong with my face--steven jesse bernstein

I was homesick for an old friend this evening so I went looking for him. Jesse has been dead since 1992, but I found him on YouTube of course! I would prefer to just hear his voice and see the pictures but I know he was working on putting this music to his poems.