Ketchup

Or catch up.

I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with recurrences of the same headache I had Thursday, making for a decidedly unpleasant weekend overall. I can’t be sure the damned thing won’t be back today, so I’m hauling ass through the podcast (voted Podcast With Worst Sound EVER by an independent study—I’m so sorry), and with luck I’ll get through it and get it posted today.

I forgot, as I forget after every project, that the week after I complete something, I am worthless for writing. So the fact that I made almost zero progress last week, on the heels of writing Night Echoes on hellish deadline, then turning around and doing the Create A Culture Clinic immediately afterward, should have come as no surprise. It does, though. Every single time. The words “week off” cannot find their way through the inescapable pounding of “Write! Write! Write!” that drums through my mind in military cadence. Only getting kicked in the head by a week of no progress reminds me that I need that week.

RECOMMENDATION: Go see Stranger Than Fiction. I’m astonished anyone had the nads to make the movie. It isn’t a sequel; a remake; a Hollywood Message; or an immediately classifiable genre flick. It is, rather, a story, and a damned good one, with characters you find yourself liking, some humor, some sadness, some very fine writing brought out by very fine acting, and a rich and poignant ending. The fact that it stars actors I can’t stand (Dustin Hoffman, Will Farrell, any Gyllenhaal) made it all the more amazing to me that it was so good. Farrell, freed from bondage to the execrable Molly Shannon, demonstrated both talent and heart. Hoffman played his usual scumbag, but didn’t turn his dialogue into an inaudible mess of mumbles, and the Gyllenhaal, while doing the “creepy, weird and grungy” act she and her brother have perfected, still managed to be likeable. I wouldn’t want to eat anything she cooked, though. Emma Thompson was wonderful. Emma Thompson is always wonderful. I went to see the movie because she was in it, and because she played a writer. Everything else was a delightful surprise.

Young people in developing nations are happier than those in developed nations. Big surprise. Unhappy young people in developed nations need to discover three things in order to be happy:

  • It’s not all about you. It’s not ANY about you.
  • You do not have the right to be happy. You only have the right to pursue happiness.
  • You will find happiness when you are working your ass of to help others find it. If you try to find happiness for yourself, you’ll stay miserable for the rest of your life.

And finally, according to Yet Another Goofy Survey, my tarot card is the High Priestess.

The High Priestess

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

8 comments… add one
  • eitje Nov 26, 2006 @ 2:02

    one thing i wonder about is the huge negative impact that air travel seems to have on the HPI. i fly a lot, which really hurts my score. :S

  • hollylisle Nov 25, 2006 @ 14:43

    eitje—Took the Happy Planet test. I liked my results, though clearly I’d be doing better if I went back to being vegan and got out and walked more. And if our area had any available recycling facility.

    Thank you for the link.

    My results suggest being a writer and liking what you’re writing are pretty good for you. And that a passel of relatives that lived to ripe old ages is a pretty good thing, too.

    Happy Planet Index

    Your personal Happy Planet Index (HPI) is 79.4, which is above that for any country, including top-placed Vanuatu. Congratulations! However, it is still below the reasonable ideal we have set, of 83, so you can still do more to improve your health and well-being, or reduce your environmental impact. Your score is above that of your country, 28.8.

    Below is a breakdown of the various components that make up your HPI score.
    You:
    79.4
    Average:
    43.3
    [Average is of all online responses to this survey – not the average for your country]

    Life Expectancy

    Hurray! Your life expectancy is well above average for your gender and country. Probably, you’re doing all the major things right – eating well, not smoking, getting regular exercise, and you’re lucky enough to have the right genes. Are there any more ways you could make a difference? Some factors that improve your life expectancy are more surprising than others. For example, giving up your car, avoiding living alone, moving out of the city and shrugging off stress.
    You:
    90.4
    Average:
    80.8
    [Average is of all online responses to this survey – not the average for your country]

    Ecological Footprint

    Your ecological footprint is 3.59 global hectares, or 1.99 planets. This is equivalent to the average in countries such as Poland, Slovakia or Malta.

    Your ecological footprint is less than half the average for the country you live in.

    You are using between and one and a half and three times your share of the planet’s resources (assuming no resources are put aside for other species). This is an amount typical of people in many industrialised countries, though just below the average for the UK. As such, if you are living in an industrialised country, you are probably doing some things well and some things not so well in terms of reducing your ecological impact. Seven ways that everyone can reduce their footprint include:

    1. It’s obvious, but we have to say it. Conserve energy. Turn off the lights when you leave a room, buy energy-efficient bulbs and appliances, turn off your TV completely, rather than leave it on standby.
    2. Reduce your waste. If there are ways to recycle where you live, try and do so. If you have a garden, start a compost heap. Re-use plastic bags. Give away clothes you don’t use, rather than throwing them away. There are hundreds of little things you can do.
    3. Live with someone! Whether it be your partner, family, children or friends, sharing your living space means sharing your ecological impact. It will probably also increase your well-being!
    4. Leave your car in the garage. Car use has a huge impact on ecological footprint. Obviously it’s easier for some people than others, but where possible, try to use public transport more. Or, even better, get on a bike, or simply walk!
    5. Go local. Why buy tomatoes from another country, if you can get home grown ones? For those living in Europe – think about all those miles travelled by wine from South Africa and Australia, when Europe produces some of the best wines in the world.
    6. You don’t have to become vegetarian, but cutting down on meat, particularly beef, and particularly from animals fed by imported soya feed, is an effective step to reducing your footprint.
    7. It has to be said that air travel is one of the biggest contributors to many people’s footprints. For example, flying direct from London to Sydney and back would add 5.44 g ha to your footprint – that’s the average Briton’s footprint for an entire year. Flights with a connection add even more polluting air miles.

    You:
    3.59
    Average:
    5.42
    [Average is of all online responses to this survey – not the average for your country]

    Life Satisfaction

    Lucky you! You reported a maximum life satisfaction of 10, meaning you are as happy as you could possibly ever be. Dare we even offer you any tips on improving your well-being? You’re not alone though. In the European Social Survey, 1 in 10 respondents across Europe reported feeling the same as you.
    You:
    10
    Average:
    6.74
    [Average is of all online responses to this survey – not the average for your country]

    Well-being

    The new economics foundation (nef) recognises that there’s more to life than feeling good, which is why our model for well-being is based on four domains – personal feelings, personal functionings, social feelings and social functionings. ‘Feelings’ refers to your attitude to the way you, your future and society are. ‘Functionings’ looks at whether you have the opportunities to do the things that bring you well-being. Like with life satisfaction, a score of 5 is theoretically the middle score, but, given the way most people respond to surveys, is below average.
    Personal Feelings

    In this online questionnaire, personal feelings are assessed with two questions – one testing your optimism and one testing your self-esteem.

    You are optimistic about the future and probably also about yourself.
    You:
    6.55
    Average:
    6.03
    [Average is of all online responses to this survey – not the average for your country]
    Personal Functionings

    In this online questionnaire personal functionings are assessed with five questions – two evaluating your subjective opinion on your health and how activity you are, the other three testing you for feelings of autonomy, purpose and worth.

    You are healthy, active and full of strong feelings of worth, autonomy and purpose.
    You:
    8.33
    Average:
    6.15
    [Average is of all online responses to this survey – not the average for your country]
    Social Feelings

    In this online questionnaire social feelings are assessed with four questions – three assessing your opinion of your community, whilst the last looks at personal relationships.

    You have a very strong sense of trust and belonging in your community, combined with an excellent personal life.
    You:
    7.09
    Average:
    5.67
    [Average is of all online responses to this survey – not the average for your country]
    Social Functionings

    In this online questionnaire social functionings are assessed with four questions – two assessing your job / studies, one your free time, and one your community participation. If you did not respond to the work / study questions, your score is judged purely on the other two aspects.

    You are very satisfied with your job / course – it is very interesting, rarely stressful, and leaves you plenty of time to do the things you want to do, such as participating in community activities.
    You:
    7.22
    Average:
    5.59
    [Average is of all online responses to this survey – not the average for your country]

    Calculations for the Footprint are based on, and are copyright of, Best Foot Forward Limited. Please note that calculations for the Footprint and life expectancy are based on UK statistics. Conversion factors are used for other countries, but these are conservative and may underestimate differences.

    Powered by IT Intermediaries top | close window © 2006 new economics foundation

  • eitje Nov 24, 2006 @ 19:54

    interesting about the kids – seems to also reflect up to the parents.
    http://www.happyplanetindex.org/map.htm

    😮
    You are The High Priestess

    There was a game for the Super Nintendo when I was growing up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogre_Battle:_March_of_the_Black_Queen) that asked a series of questions when you were creating your character. the way you answered dictated the character type you ended up with.

  • Jim Nov 20, 2006 @ 19:04

    You are the Hanged Man
    Self-sacrifice, Sacrifice, Devotion, Bound.

    With the Hanged man there is often a sense of fatalism, waiting for something to happen. Or a fear of loss from a situation, rather than gain.

    The Hanged Man is perhaps the most fascinating card in the deck. It reflects the story of Odin who offered himself as a sacrifice in order to gain knowledge. Hanging from the world tree, wounded by a spear, given no bread or mead, he hung for nine days. On the last day, he saw on the ground runes that had fallen from the tree, understood their meaning, and, coming down, scooped them up for his own. All knowledge is to be found in these runes.

    The Hanged Man, in similar fashion, is a card about suspension, not life or death. It signifies selflessness, sacrifice and prophecy. You make yourself vulnerable and in doing so, gain illumination. You see the world differently, with almost mystical insights.

  • arrvee Nov 20, 2006 @ 15:31

    Oh, and the first item on your list is really the only one that matters. Once you realize that NOTHING is about you, the rest follows naturally.

    Good writing!

  • arrvee Nov 20, 2006 @ 15:29

    Hope the headache fades and stays gone for a long, long time.

    I’m The Emperor. MWAH-HA-HA-HA!!!!!

  • pugh7755 Nov 20, 2006 @ 11:06

    I’m glad your back, Holly. You were missed greatly. I hope your feeling much better today.

    As for my tarot:

    I am The Hermit

    Prudence, Caution, Deliberation.

    The Hermit points to all things hidden, such as knowledge and inspiration,hidden enemies. The illumination is from within, and retirement from participation in current events.

    The Hermit is a card of introspection, analysis and, well, virginity. You do not desire to socialize; the card indicates, instead, a desire for peace and solitude. You prefer to take the time to think, organize, ruminate, take stock. There may be feelings of frustration and discontent but these feelings eventually lead to enlightenment, illumination, clarity.

    The Hermit represents a wise, inspirational person, friend, teacher, therapist. This a person who can shine a light on things that were previously mysterious and confusing.

    Pretty accurate, a little off in some areas. I’ll have to do my own reading later and see how close they match.

    Good to have you back, Holly.

  • The English Rose Nov 20, 2006 @ 7:30

    Good to see you. I hope your headache stays gone and you can get some work done. Hm. My tarot card: “Good fortune and happiness but sometimes a species of intoxication with success.

    The Wheel of Fortune is all about big things, luck, change, fortune. Almost always good fortune. You are lucky in all things that you do and happy with the things that come to you. Be careful that success does not go to your head however. Sometimes luck can change.”

    Only I have the worst luck of anyone I know! *g*

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