Cultural Codes

Cultural rules or codes of communication are at play in any interaction we observe. It’s interesting to see that it all comes down to the showing respect, or displaying authority and power (or so it seems). The same components of these rules are throughout (respect, slang/jargon, cursing, and attentiveness) just used in different ways depending on the culture and context. While interviewing co-workers, all agreed that the use of cursing in meetings would appall their mothers, however completely acceptable in the workplace. Then it was noted that if you were in a presentation to a higher up (Steve Ballmer or Bill Gates, say) or for customer (at a conference) you would refrain from cursing. This is reminiscent of the Teamster’s who’s behavior was modified in cases of asymmetrical relationships. Continue reading


The Influence of Advertising on Magazine Journalism

Please, just call me Ms.

Ms. Magazine was the first U.S. magazine to feature prominent American women demanding the repeal of laws that criminalized abortion, the first to explain and advocate for the ERA, to rate presidential candidates on women’s issues, to put domestic violence and sexual harassment on the cover of a women’s magazine, to feature feminist protest of pornography, to commission and feature a national study on date rape, and to blow the whistle on the undue influence of advertising on magazine journalism. Continue reading


Gender, Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation and Class in Popular Television

Sex and the City‘ has been known for pushing the edge of ‘real’ on television. You might imagine with this greater breath of freedom that they would use that position to promote positive images of women, people of color, gay and lesbians and those of different classes. However, that is just not the case. Women are portrayed as being absolutely consumed with the pursuit of men, love, clothes and shoes. Little do we know of their jobs, and even less time is spent discussing them. The main cast is white American’s, with few ethnic characters appearing in a single episode. Carrie and Charlotte have ‘best’ gay friends who serve as fashion accessories. Stanford is the prominent gay character, and together with Anthony, these men serve up flamboyant gay as if it’s going out of style. Finally, issues of class aren’t approached at all… everyone is well-to-do with an amazing apartment with only one financial concern – how many of the new season’s shoes you will be able to purchase.
Continue reading


Ethnicity, Gender and Communication: Privilege

Privilege is an advantage, right or perk that is not available to everyone, but only an elite group. For example, my boyfriend and I work for the same company, his group reimburses a portion of his cell phone expenses, while mine does not. He was complaining when they took that benefit away. I explained to him how he cannot complain because it was a privilege, not a right. He should be happy for the benefit while he had it, because others just as deserving did not get the same perk. Continue reading


Highlights of the History of Communication

The absence of print technology made oral communication of vital importance during the classical period in ancient Athens. Without the luxury of the printed word, the Athenians had to rely on the spoken word for the propagation of political theory and ideas, for personal expression which at times was used as a means of entertainment and finally to argue for justice in the newly formed democracy. Continue reading


Math, A Practical Art

My Math Cheat Sheet

  • Frequency: the number of data values in a class
  • Relative: frequencies divided by total data values
  • Percentage: relative x 100
  • Frequency polygon: line graph; pie chart
  • Mean: sum of all values / total # of values OR for each (add) freq(value) / total freq of values
  • Median: the middle number of the set, or split diff
  • Mode: occurs most frequent, only bi-modal or no mode
  • Range: subtract the lowest from highest in data set
  • Standard Deviation: the sq. root of [{for each} (data value – mean)2 / number of data values
  • Draw the bell curve. Make sure to account for the other half in the answer (50% above or below)
  • Std Dev. Grouped: the sq. root of [{for each} freq (midpoint – mean)2 / total frequencies]
  • Normal Distribution: z = (data value – mean) / standard deviation
  • Margin of Error: Margin = z value / 2 (sq. root of population) [confidence/2 then look up area.]
  • Regression Line: Table of values: x  |  y  |  x2 |  xy, and sum of each column.    where ∑ = sum   n = # of points
    y = a + bx                  b = [n∑(xy) – (∑x)( ∑y)] / [n∑ (x2) – (∑x)2]                 a = [∑y – b(∑x)] / n
  • Percent: out of 100
  • Percent to Decimal: Move decimal 2 & drop %
  • Fraction <-> Decimal key
  • Retail: Price + Markup
  • % Inc or Dec: amount of inc or decrease / base starting amt (use the inverse of the percent if needed)
  • Simple Interest rate:  I = Prt (principal x rate x time)
  • Amount Simple Int. Acct: A = P(1 + rt)
  • Compound/Nominal rate: A = P(1+r)n [r = periodic interest rate = (annual rate / periods per yr)  and n= number of time periods = (years x periods per yr)]
  • Compound interest over time. Calculate each period. Then add all.
    Make sure n & r are correct! Make sure time is all in the same units (years vs. months)! Don’t remove negative w/1.
  • Effective Interest Rate: reff = (1 + r)n – 1              [r = periodic interest rate and n = number of periods per year)
  • To get rid of exponent: move n outside number, LN both side                 512n = 25 … 12n(ln5) = (ln25)
  • Annuity (fixed deposit) r = periodic rate    n = # of deposits
  • Amount in Annuity = PMT [ ((1+r)n – 1) / r]
  • Loans formula r = periodic rate    n = # of payments
  • Loan = PMT [(1- (1 + r) –n ) / r]
Gatehouse Alliance Discovery (Angela Baxley, 2005)

Gatehouse Alliance Discovery (2005)

See also Gatehouse Alliance Discovery (Angela Baxley, 2007)

Personal Profile

Angela Baxley, Microsoft, Designer 
300 110th Avenue NE #212 Bellevue WA, USA 98004 425-705-9582

Download PDF

Gatehouse Alliance Insights Discovery 3.0 © Copyright 1992-2005 Andrew Lothian, Insights, Dundee, Scotland. All rights reserved.


These statements provide a broad understanding of Angela’s work style. Use this section to gain a better understanding of her approaches to her activities, relationships and decisions.

Personal Style

Angela is extremely perceptive about the attitudes of others, aiming to understand rather than judge events. She can find it hard to concentrate on the small details and she may get bored with projects quickly. She appears to thrive on a wide variety of tasks focusing on a motivating or promoting role. She needs work that makes use of her strongly creative drive. Angela may generate more ideas, possibilities and plans in one day than others might manage in a month!

Tasks that involve practical day-to-day maintenance tend to frustrate her. Angela’s interest, enthusiasm and energy levels are high. She will dismiss negatives, being eager to accomplish the task. Angela gains motivation from her ability to generate ideas. Her almost permanently positive state can often carry others with her. Angela tends to know intuitively what structure and organization is necessary to harness ideas and people to achieve long-range goals. Angela is energetic, enthusiastic, responsible, conscientious and persuasive.

She gravitates to other people and is highly skilled at understanding others’ needs and motivations, usually appearing friendly, tactful and sympathetic. She focuses attention on achieving success and acquiring status symbols as evidence of that success. Routine is the real bad news for her, and it may sap her energy. Angela is an ingenious and original problem solver. Tending to pursue success mainly to reinforce her sense of self worth, she likes to experience a steady stream of new ideas to assist her in goal attainment.
She tends to have an interest in the new and unusual and is gifted at expressing her feelings. Writing important facts or steps down on paper helps her keep from getting side-tracked, but she may lack the discipline necessary to do this well. She feels constantly drawn to begin many different projects, yet by failing to complete many of them, she allows her energies, inspirations and insights to become dissipated. Her life will tend to be a series of initiated, but unfinished projects. Her aim is to fit all the pieces of the jigsaw together into a complete picture, but for Angela the jigsaw keeps expanding with the discovery of every new piece.

Her imaginative perception gives her the energy to start lots of new projects, and keep a large number of balls in the air. She is inventive, independent and can be extremely perceptive of the potential contained within the views of others. Details and the deeper interpersonal skills are not her strong points as she is mainly interested in seeing the possibilities beyond the present. She will invariably have more to show for her efforts when she follows through to completion the necessary but tedious parts of a project. She enjoys projects where she can be seen to bring out improvements.

Interacting with Others

Angela enjoys involvement in many activities, with a variety of people. She is stimulated by doing the unexpected or the unusual. Unconventional in approach and enjoying motivating others to exceed what is accepted and expected, she likes to live freely, looking for variety every day. Angela’s feelings play a prominent role in her life and she manages to inject a friendly element into any work she is assigned to or involved in. Angela is both charming and popular, constantly enthusing through her gift of ready articulation.When Angela is in charge of a project she offers the team long-term vision and the ability to inspire and communicate that vision to others.

Her “drive” is natural and not contrived. She prefers democratic and participative processes rather than written instructions or autocratic systems. Angela remains open and perceptive to the attitudes and views of others, often seeking to understand others rather than to judge them. Because she is so interested in possibilities, Angela sees significance in everything while preferring to keep lots of options open. She prefers what might be, rather than the reality of what is already.

People see Angela as enthusiastic, ingenious, imaginative and dynamic, with highly developed interpersonal skills. She may sometimes present herself as an “expert”, fully knowledgeable on a subject and eager to educate others about it. This can sometimes prove embarrassing when challenged by a more qualified expert. She can be very vocal about social or people issues that concern her and can often be seen as the underdog’s “champion”. She is at her best in co-operative roles that deal with people and allow her to air her views. Angela’s preferred focus is on the positive, harmonious and uplifting aspects of people and human relations.

Decision Making

People occasionally see Angela making decisions that appear to fly in the face of logic. With her enthusiasm and spontaneity, Angela brings a refreshing approach to decision making. Angela expresses what she thinks are strong, decisive opinions in the hope that unresolved issues and conflicts can be concluded quickly. Constantly generating ideas, she sometimes has trouble focusing on just one thing at a time and can find difficulty in making consistent and lasting decisions. Trying to focus more on the facts, not just on the people, can be helpful in her decision making.

As an extraverted, future oriented person, she may fear failure but knows how to turn it on its head into something positive, if the event occurs. She is a quick decision maker and considers people within the context of the result of the task. To carry out her innovative ideas, Angela relies on her impulsive energy. She is a keen initiator who finds most problems stimulating. Angela is inquisitive, versatile, adaptable and resourceful in solving challenging, theoretical problems. A tendency to take rejection and conflict personally may lead to her not taking early notice of the opinions of key members of the team.

Work that uses her ideas to improve or start a project suits her, but once these ideas get off the ground she prefers someone else to carry on with the details. Because she finds the information gathering part of a project the most tedious, she runs the risk of never getting past the “start” phase, or once started, never completing. She can be creative and imaginative. She sees so many possibilities that she sometimes has difficulty selecting the best activity or interest to pursue, or in keeping to the agreed track. She has a tendency towards making higher risk decisions.

Angela Baxley (2005)

Key Strengths & Weaknesses


This section identifies the key strengths which Angela brings to the organization. Angela has abilities, skills and attributes in other areas, but the statements below are likely to be some of the fundamental gifts she has to offer.

Angela’s key strengths:

  • Can make impossible dreams possible.
  • Participative and involved team player.
  • Articulate and competitive self starter.
  • Becomes involved in many activities.
  • Has a well developed sense of urgency.
  • Enjoys and seeks variety.
  • Articulate and active in communication.
  • Adaptive and versatile people skills.
  • Constantly juggling a large number of projects.
  • Investigative, interested and inventive.

Possible Weaknesses

Jung said “wisdom accepts that all things have two sides”. It has also been said that a weakness is simply an overused strength. Angela’s responses to the Evaluator have suggested these areas as possible weaknesses.

Angela’s possible weaknesses:

  • Gets so involved may ignore her own and others needs.
  • Her confidence can sometimes be interpreted as arrogance.
  • May appear devious.
  • Feels that some who may be modest are justified in their modesty!Takes losing as a personal failing.
  • Can be perceived as manipulative or coercive.
  • Can be rather patronising or somewhat superior.
  • Becomes impatient with routine and repetition.
  • May not actively listen to (or hear) others’ points of view.
  • May not appreciate symptoms of underlying stress and anxiety.

Value to the Team

Each person brings a unique set of gifts, attributes and expectations to the environment in which they operate. Add to this list any other experiences, skills or other attributes which Angela brings, and make the most important items on the list available to other team members.

As a team member, Angela:

  • Creates considerable activity.
  • Can focus effectively on both task and people issues where the team is concerned.
  • Provides inspiration and perspiration.
  • Motivates others with contagious enthusiasm.
  • Is opportunistic, original, spontaneous and versatile.
  • Is an excellent mediator.
  • Has an ability to predict accurate outcomes.
  • Has strong personal and interpersonal skills.
  • Uses her highly-developed relationship skills.
  • Influences others by her infectious enthusiasm.


Effective Communications

Communication can only be effective if it is received and understood by the recipient. For each person certain communication strategies are more effective than others. This section identifies some of the key strategies which will lead to effective communication with Angela. Identify the most important statements and make them available to colleagues.

Strategies for communicating with Angela:

  • Be enthusiastic and positive.
  • Encourage her to stick to the agenda.
  • Check that she is with you as she may be easily distracted from listening attentively.Share in and promote her ideas and visions.
  • Be warm, friendly and open.
  • Provide information that stimulates conversation.
  • Maintain a positive and open stance.
  • “Temper” her optimism with realism.
  • Allow scope for negotiation.
  • Be aware of her becoming defensive by watching her body gestures.
  • Be bright, be brief and be gone.
  • Support her need for new ideas, material and challenges.

Barriers to Effective Communication

Certain strategies will be less effective when communicating with Angela. Some of the things to be avoided are listed below. This information can be used to develop powerful, effective and mutually acceptable communication strategies.

When communicating with Angela, DO NOT:

  • Be vague or imprecise.
  • Be negative or non-communicative.
  • Be obscure, obtuse or dogmatic.
  • Forget to agree outcomes or decide conclusions.
  • Prevent her moving on to other challenges.
  • Let her imagination run riot at your expense.
  • Be addicted to rules and procedures.
  • Be vague or leave things open to interpretation.
  • Overload her with facts, details and paperwork.
  • Spend too much time discussing “what ifs”.
  • Burden her with too many papers to read.
  • Challenge her perception of herself.

Possible Blind Spots

Our perceptions of self may be different to the perceptions others have of us. We project who we are onto the outside world through our “persona” and are not always aware of the effect our less conscious behaviours have on others. These less conscious behaviours are termed “Blind Spots”. Highlight the important statements in this section of which you are unaware and test them for validity by asking for feedback from friends or colleagues.

Angela’s possible Blind Spots:

Angela is occasionally tempted to opt for the quick decision even though some of the key facts may not be in place. She needs to resist the urge simply to perform and instead try to more readily share who she really is. Her intense dislike for routine and predictable events can make it difficult for her to notice or even acknowledge the necessary details. As a forthright, results oriented individual, she will challenge authority, take risks, overstep boundaries and act without reference. She would do better if she sought the advice of more practical people to find out how workable and useful her ideas are.

Angela’s tendency to become distracted from finishing the tasks she starts sometimes may make her appear indifferent or disinterested to some. She expects to win and is very assertive in attaining outcomes despite how narrow her view may sometimes appear. She could sometimes slow down and pay closer attention to the finer details of her projects. Angela is often so involved in her own processes that she fails to notice what is happening elsewhere. When she doesn’t see the logic in others’ feelings, Angela can appear argumentative and difficult to approach, and may not seek or accept common-sense advice.

As an extraverted, future oriented person, she may fear failure above all else. It is difficult to know what to expect from her next. She would much rather engage in quick intellectual banter than complete some mundane task or consider spending quiet time on her own. She is honest and fair but can be seen as rather blunt and tactless in her ready criticism of others.

Suggestions for Development

Insights Discovery does not offer direct measures of skill, intelligence, education or training. However, listed below are some suggestions for Angela’s development. Identify the most important areas which have not yet been addressed. These can then be incorporated into a personal development plan.

Angela may benefit from:

  • Accepting that decisions based on solid analysis are more reliable than intuitive decisions alone.Focusing more upon objective, measurable criteria.
  • Spending a few hours each week in the reference section of the library.
  • Exploring work that gets in touch with the inner self.
  • Being less vocal at group meetings.
  • Taking over fewer new projects.
  • Monitoring the in/out process flow of the department or office she works in.
  • Withholding her opinions.
  • Thinking very carefully before rushing into action.
  • Learning how to relax completely.


Creating the Ideal Environment

People are generally most effective when provided with an environment which suits their preferences and style. It can be uncomfortable to work in an environment which does not. This section should be used to ensure a close match between Angela’s ideal environment and her current one and to identify any possible frustrations.

Angela’s Ideal Environment is one in which:

  • The emphasis is on informality and tapping in to inner creativity.
  • A flexible approach is taken to the specification of hours and days worked.
  • She is free to be herself.
  • Family and outside interests can be discussed, and mementoes displayed prominently.She can set the pace.
  • Bright, motivational, inspirational posters and prints abound.
  • Detail and routine tasks are carried out by someone else.
  • Rules on time keeping and dress code are generally more relaxed.
  • She can change focus immediately to deal with opportunities as they arise.
  • The culture promotes a democratic management style.

Managing Angela

This section identifies some of the most important strategies in managing Angela. Some of these needs can be met by Angela herself and some may be met by her colleagues or management. Go through this list to identify the most important current needs, and use it to build a personal management plan.

Angela needs:

  • Limited exposure to bureaucracy and paperwork.
  • To fully understand the corporate mission.
  • To understand systems and cultures if she is to avoid upsetting others.A big goal to aim for.
  • Regular reinforcement of goals, activities and timeframes.
  • A “walkabout” manager whose presence is obvious.
  • As little time as possible spent on the details.
  • The opportunity of networking during her working day.
  • Meetings with strict agendas and timetables.
  • Involvement in all the team activities.

Motivating Angela

It has often been said that it is not possible to motivate anyone – only to provide the environment in which they will motivate themselves. Here are some suggestions which can help to provide motivation for Angela. With her agreement, build the most important ones into her Performance Management System and Key Result Areas for maximum motivation.

Angela is motivated by:

  • Challenging and changing the “status quo”.
  • People who express flair, talent and creativity.
  • Public recognition.
  • Personal appreciation and public recognition for a job well done.Taking risks and “smelling the danger”.
  • “Pioneering” opportunities with little limitation.
  • Knowing she has the approval of others.
  • Authority to match her responsibilities.
  • Seeing the results of her efforts.
  • Setting stretching goals for herself and others to achieve.

Management Style

There are many different approaches to management, most of which have different situational applications. This section identifies Angela’s natural management approach and offers clues to her management style, highlighting both gifts and possible hindrances that can be further explored.

This section identifies Angela’s natural management approach and offers clues to her management style, highlighting both gifts and possible hindrances that can be further explored.

In managing others, Angela may tend to:

  • Worry about having to depend on people whose main interest lies in the detail.
  • Welcome free expression within the team.
  • Show great pride in, and demand recognition for, her team.
  • Offer tangible rewards for extra effort.
  • Try to do several things as once.
  • Appear somewhat shallow at times.
  • Surround herself with like-minded, open, enthusiastic people.
  • Lead from the front in a “follow me” style.
  • Fail to listen actively to the views and opinions of others.
  • Motivate best when working towards a bonus or prize.

Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness

A Guide for ESL Tutors

As a tutor, you will be working with students from other cultures. You will gain an appreciation for different cultures by providing the student with an atmosphere of trust and acceptance. Encourage the student to talk about his/her family and country. If you are asked about American customs, be sensitive to the tutee’s viewpoints. What is socially acceptable in the U.S. might be unthinkable in the student’s culture. Most foreign students are eager to talk about their country and traditions. This interaction might be a valuable learning experience for you. Continue reading


Savage Inequalities

The inequalities described in Jonathan Kozol’s Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools seem to paint a picture taken from a third world country, appallingly however; these are scenes from modern day America, the realities of inequalities and their pervasiveness. Continue reading


Walking in the Ghetto

When I was young, probably about 12 or 13 years old, I would do volunteer work in the “First Ward” neighborhood of Charlotte, North Carolina. I always felt awkward and so completely out of place. As a white girl with fairly nice clean clothes, I couldn’t help but wish I didn’t stand out so much in a way that accentuated the advantages I had versus the severe disadvantages that the residents of First Ward had. Racial and educational inequality is rampant and increasing in America. The photo of Lloyd’s kitchen in “Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago” page 190, of two children sprawled on a filthy disgusting kitchen floor is a haunting memory from the time of helping my mother as she visited Charlotte’s version of the projects. I can’t imagine what it would be like today, after another ten years of disintegration and destitution. Our America is not one and the same with “their” America. Continue reading


“There goes the neighborhood.”

The phrase easily conjures up a picture in your minds eye… A white family standing on the porch of a picturesque house wearily eying the new neighbors moving in as “they” are the darkest color found in this sunny scene.

Inequality is defined as “unequal opportunity or treatment based on social or economic disparity”. Racial inequality is still seen today in the picture painted above, and in one example, stems from the residential segregation of neighborhoods across America. I grew up in the South where some neighborhoods were somewhat interspersed with various color and ethnicities, while areas remained faithfully “white”. It wasn’t until I had moved out of the South and lived in both Dallas and Seattle that I ever comprehended how pervasive residential segregation was. Continue reading


Educational Inequality through continued Racial Segregation

Educational inequality found through racial segregation in schools continues to plague our nation’s children. Though the efforts to improve the inequality found within our educational system has waned over the past several decades, the Supreme Court still remains correct in its standing that segregated schools are “inherently unequal”. However, segregation is not necessarily just mean by race, but also by socioeconomic means, or more simply stated: poverty. Continue reading


Sociological Imagination

The sociological imagination is a term coined by C. Wright Mills in 1959. He defines sociological imagination as the means by which people look at their own personal troubles in light of social issues and try to make meaningful connections between their individual experiences and that of the societies.

Sociological imagination is a useful tool to have as it as it inspires the transition from apathy to involvement through the ability to bring understanding to both your personal life and the history of a society. Mills contends that one cannot be accomplished without the other. Continue reading


Interpersonal Communications: Summary

I’ve learned a lot over the past several weeks about my communication skills; areas where I am adept and areas where I could use focused attention for improvement. First, I will explore the skills I have demonstrated some measure of ability over are my use of non-verbal communications, confirming communications, and resolving conflicts with the win-win approach. Next, I will delve into the areas that I will, using the resources provided by this class, exerting effort in my endeavor to improve. Those areas are reducing my defensive reaction when it comes to criticism, having a better understanding and grip on my emotions, adjusting my self-concept, identity management, using the clear message format in tense situations, and finally empathic listening without diverting attention to myself. Continue reading


Communication Skills of Leaders

I have had the honor of attending my first Microsoft conference, TechEd, and watch the inventor of ASP.NET and the head of the team I work for, Scott Guthrie, speak. He is consistently rated one of the top speakers at the convention and is an influential leader in the world of web technologies.

Foremost of importance in what a key leader such as Scott should follow is an awareness of perception. In marketing they say “perception is reality” conveying the concept that it doesn’t matter what is real, just what other people think is real. It is of vital importance for Scott’s position that he come off as a “no shit” guy who knows what he’s talking about. Continue reading


User Experience Centered Design: Valuable and Desirable Product Design

Think back to when you last tried to set up your VCR to record an episode of your favorite T.V. show that you were going to miss. Or have you ever watched someone struggle just to get a video tape to play? And just how many VCR clocks are there around the world that proudly proclaims that the time is “12:00 am” in a testament to a battle lost in man versus machine? Continue reading


Interpersonal Communication: Self Disclosure Exercise

You will need to find a partner to complete this exercise. Although it is possible to do this experience online, I think you might enjoy it more with face-to-face communication. Your partner could be your spouse (significant other), a friend, or family member. Each person will ask the other questions from the list. Participants in this exercise are encouraged to go in to detail with their answers and avoid 1-2 word responses. Either party may choose to pass on a question, but that person must not ask that same question of the other party. You do not need to record your responses. Continue reading


The Best Method to Lose Weight

Fen-Phen, Slim Fast, DexaTrim, TrimSpa, South Beach, Atkins, The Zone, Weight Watchers, Low Fat, High Protein, Cardio, Weight Training, Pilates, and the list continues. Seems like everyone you talk to wants to lose at least 5 pounds, and little wonder why when there are an estimated 65% of Americans who are overweight or obese according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Continue reading


The Other Box that Changed the World

It’s been called a phenomenon. It’s been praised as a piece of highly desirable innovative design. It’s been regarded as inferior and hard to use. It became an instant pop icon and has changed the streets of every metro city in the country. Beyond its significant price tag, substantial amounts of money is spent accessorizing this accessory. It’s sleek and smaller than a breadbox, it’s about the size of your hand. Its translucent white case with stainless steel back lays the foundation for its undeniably powerful brand.
Continue reading


ENFJ: a.k.a an Idealist Intuitive Feeler

Go to and take the Keirsey Temperament II Sorter.  You will be asked to identify yourself with a name and an email account.  For those worried about being spammed, you may choose any name and any email. Please be sure to take the Keirsey Temperament II Sorter assessment—there are several offered at this website. Continue reading


The DSMIV: Labeling Mental Illness

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSMIV) is not used to categorize or label people, but rather conditions or disorders that people have. If I said my friend Barbara is breast cancer, you would laugh at me, right? No, silly, you would say, Barbara has breast cancer. Well the same is for another friend. She isn’t a manic-depressive, she has manic depression. While it maybe true that labels may burden a patient with the stigma surrounding it, finally having something concrete to learn about, to understand, to fight against and to conquer can be such a relief. Labels provide patients with a means of communicating about what is going on with their body or psyche with others. It helps them identify and to find support. Continue reading


Spanking Children

I believe spanking should be a last resort in disciplining a child, but not out of the question. I agree with Dr. John Rosemond, To Spank or Not to Spank: A Parents’ Handbook, that are more effective means of disciplining a child, but that when done properly spanking is a viable option that can benefit an errant child. Dr. Larzelere (Combining Love and Limits in Authoritative Parenting: A Conditional Sequence Model of Disciplinary Responses; 1998) contended that “optimal disciplinary responses begin with less severe tactics, such as reasoning, but proceed to firmer disciplinary tactics when the initial tactic achieves neither compliance nor an acceptable compromise.” Continue reading


A Beginners Cheat Sheet to Psychology


  • The scientific study of mind and behavior
  • Social/Behavioral sciences
  • Principles are based on research
  • Psychology has its foundations in philosophy and biology
  • For tips on how to study and other information about the field of psychology, visit
  • Psychology is a behavioral science
  • Because it is a science, all of the principles of psychology are supported by someone’s (or several people’s) research. Continue reading

real estate in the DR

From: Derrick Glass <>
Date: Friday, October 29, 2004 at 10:07 PM
To: Angela Baxley <>
Cc: Angely Glass 
Subject: RE: real estate in the DR

CC’ing Angely, she’s done most of the investigations.

“go ‘spy out the land’ first”

M. Derrick Glass, October 2004

First, if you’re thinking about serving where the need is greater, it’s probably better to actually go “spy out the land” first. There are a couple of major metropolitan centers – Sto. Domingo, and Santiago – and some resort areas – Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, etc. – which are attractive to the more westernized visitors.However, much of the need is in areas where there is no real well-established real estate market. As a matter of fact, if you are not sure where you’d end up, you might prefer to look into renting. You can usually find attractive prices – RD4000-5000 per month seems to be common for decent houses outside the capitol – and you aren’t locked into a decision you later regret.

There’s a need-greater website that has a lot of information you should really pay attentioin to. Angely can give you the link.

A word of caution – don’t buy off the web. Dominicans are scandalously famous for scamming tourists. The prices I saw were unreasonable…


From: Angela Baxley
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2004 6:08 PM
To: M Derrick Glass
Subject: real estate in the DR

How could I get info on this. Seriously thinking about figuring out how to buy a house down there, even if I can’t move for a few years…


Angela M. Baxley
Product Designer : Web Platform & Tools
42/3641 : 425.705.9582 : abaxley

Are You There God? It's Me, Gidget, Correspondence, Religion

10/20/2004 – 7/12/2005

Date: 10/20/2004 12:19:26 PM
From: East Coast Hottie
To: angie

you there?? How are ya?

Date: 10/20/2004 12:19:40 PM
From: angie
To: East Coast Hottie

can’t talk right now. i’m in mtgs for the next several hours will be out at 6pm your time

Date: 10/20/2004 12:20:02 PM
From: East Coast Hottie
To: angie

cool deal

Date: 10/20/2004 12:20:02 PM
From: East Coast Hottie
To: angie

love ya

Continue reading


State of Affairs

What’s been up lately? Work sucks. It’s been a literal nightmare for several months now. I won’t even address it, except to say that it’s causing me to have an ulcer.

My best friend has left his wife, and was removed as a servant on Tuesday. He decided that he doesn’t like being married and doesn’t want to be anymore… That he’s happier living a single life. His wife is devastated, and confused. I think back and wish I would have stopped the wedding… which the time seemed overly dramatic, though in hindsight seems fairly reasonable. I adore him, and hope for the best, but only fear the worst. He didn’t sound himself at all.

I talked to an old friend from back home, and she told me that pretty much everyone I grew up with is either disfellowshipped, sleeping with an elder’s wife, doing drugs or marrying a stripper or something. No, I’m not kidding. She studies for meetings, but rarely attends.

My sister and her husband don’t go to meetings at all. Haven’t for quite a while. My brother and his new wife are disfellowshipped, but I’m pretty sure they’re all right.

My little sister is terrorized by the small minded small town folk in their Kingdom Hall. She’s a pioneer who is shunned by the other pioneers in the congregation. Although she’s pioneer for a couple of years now this is the first time she’s old enough to go to Pioneer School. She was going to quit this year because she didn’t get her time (apparently the other pioneers in the congregation don’t really support her or go out with her in service) but I encouraged her to keep it up. I told her Pioneer School is supposed to come at the end of the first year for a reason… because you need it so bad. I told her how amazing it is she’s survived this long without getting to attend, and to keep it up and go. Apparently, she’s going!

My mom is flipping out. I guess she’s going of the list again. I don’t think she drinks any water, and I understand that she eats very little. I worry about her, and ave no idea what to do, or really what’s going on. It seems as though ever since I had problems with demons when I still lived at home that she’s never quite been the same. Since then it really seems as though all the trouble has just transferred to her. I don’t know what to do for her, I don’t know how to help. I feel helpless.

My newest friend here seems to be shunning me. He explained that he’s not sure whether I really want to be the pioneer I talk about doing or the party girl everyone thinks I am. Apparently I don’t fit into the spiritual progress he’s outlined for himself.

So everything is pretty much rough, but I’m alive, kicking and screaming.


“Yeah, we’re watching you….

Emphasis added by Editor, now, today. Published 30 Nov 2018

Two minute reply time, given time zones.

Didn’t even get to take a breath or break…

From: Derrick Glass <>
Date: Monday, May 10, 2004 at 12:16 PM
To: Angela Baxley <>
Cc: <>
Subject: RE: Is this…

Yeah, we’re watching you….

Helps you appreciate why you should never do anything you wouldn’t want other people to know about. It comes out sooner or later.

“Yeah, we’re watching you….

Helps you appreciate why you should never do anything you wouldn’t want other people to know about. It comes out sooner or later.”

M. Derrick Glass, May 10, 2004 11:16AM

We would love to contact Irene and her family. I attempted their email a while back and it was rejected. Angely may call her from time to time. Rainer Thomson cannot forget us. He made an announcement from the morning worship table the day we left from a four-day assignment in Bethel: “We have some sad news. The Glass family is leaving today, and they’re taking *our* children with them.” Our kids were a big hit.

To spend three months, you need to do this (in order):

– Get married.

– Have a baby.

– Take your fully Infant Care Leave, including unpaid absence.

Let us know how that goes. 🙂

By the way, we’re friends with Todd and Mendi Hibbs (more Microsofties). We IM them, with video, frequently. Her sister is currently in D.R. as well, in Santiago.

Do you have any recent photos you’d like to share?


From: Angela Baxley (BENSON)
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 2:11 PM
To: M Derrick Glass
Cc: Angely Isabel Glass (
Subject: RE: Is this…

Yeah, I went blue with MS mid-February. While I was contracting I had planned on taking my three month break in the D.R., but now I just have three weeks. How do you manage to  spend so much time down there? I see you’re some how related to VS… what do you do? Forgive me I still have so many acronyms to learn.

BTW, the Thomson family (from Redmond) also says ‘hi’. Isn’t it such a small world? Aunt Rhudelle had told me to contact Rainer Thomson in D.R. to have him keep an eye out for me for someone to partner with… then I happen to start dating a guy by the same last name, only to find out that a.) they are cousins to that brother I was supposed to track down… and b.) they also know you guys, who ironically have been spending time in the D.R. too.


From: M Derrick Glass
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 11:00 AM
To: Angela Baxley (BENSON)
Cc: Angely Isabel Glass (
Subject: RE: Is this…

Yes I am.

How are you? I talked to Melvin a couple of weeks ago, and he gave me the news. Obviously, he’s passed it on to you. Congratulations on your job.

Incidentally, my family and I just got back from the Dominican Republic a month or so ago. We were there for three months. We’re planning on going back shortly. I hope you keep your plans alive as well.

Please stay in touch. I’ve been sent to Seattle a few times. I’m on the SIE team now, and get sent out a lot to other places; I’m supposed to be in Puerto Rico at the end of this month.

I’m copying my wife, since I’m sure she’d like to get acquainted as well.


From: Angela Baxley (BENSON)
Sent: Monday, May 10, 2004 1:58 PM
To: M Derrick Glass
Subject: Is this…


If you’re the right Derrick, then you’ll know it.

Just taking a chance that this might be you… Let me know!


Angela M. Baxley
Product Designer : Web Platform & Tools
42/3641 : 425.705.9582 : abaxley


Don’t burn the day away…

I have a friend who feels the need to tell me on occasion that I am not her best friend. Beyond the fact that I don’t really

feel the need to be made aware of this, it doesn’t bother me much. That’s just the way it is.

What confounded me this weekend is the realization that she expects me to continue to give the best to her. She didn’t get reserved seating, so she automatically expects that I’m going to take her. I would never expect that from a friend. It’s just mind boogling to me how someone could expect that. You tell me I’m not your best friend, but you expect me to treat you like one? I don’t think so.

Worst yet, it’s not about sharing an experience together, about attending the show with me specifically… it’s just about having a better seat.

“Turns out not where but who you’re with that really matters.” — Dave, Best of What’s Around

So I’ve honestly thought about giving her both reserved seating tickets. I’d just head out to the lawn to share the experience with my friends who didn’t have the chance to get a little closer look. Although my impulse is to give for the greater good, and perhaps prove my point a bit, I’m going to hold off. Dave has always been incrediably special concert for me, and who knows who I might want to share the experience with, and from a great vantage point.

So one more complaint… (I’m ranting here, because I don’t really feel like it’s worth bothering telling my friend how I feel) the Maktub show was awesome. I was a bit of an idiot and didn’t really think about the possible effects of three Long Island Ice Tea’s. This was my first time drinking one, and boy, are they powerful. Well, the complaint is more about the fact that I was having a merry ol’ time, but meanwhile my buddy kept bugging me about who I was talking to. At times I was chatting with Ash too much… “Making him think that there could be a second chance…” Then I was giving Joel too much attention, and not enough to Jared. There were several behavior-modifying comments along the way.

I was totally fed up. I had told her before, and again, that I’m not trying to date Jared, we’re not going out, we’re just friends. There was no reason for me to treat him any differently than I would before. If anything I ended up staying a bit further away because of her prodding. I don’t remember what the last straw was, but I do remember thinking “that’s it!” and going to the bathroom to escape for a moment. She followed me, and then my happy bubble was shattered. That’s when I turned into an idiot. Whenever I get frustrated or emotional I end up missing my family and friends. This was not the time to have that happen.

I ended up sitting against the wall for a second, and wondered what it would be like to have Jess around still. A few tears escaped, and then I walked back into the crowd with my friend close behind. I guess Ash was upset at me, although I really didn’t notice or understand at the time. (Remember, I was slightly less perceptive than normal.)

Leaving the show was a bit of a blur. Joel linked arms with me and was trying to be a comfort. I think he felt sorry for me missing my family. Later he told me that Ashley told him that I do this every time I drink. The fact that he walked with me after being informed as such was all the more surprising to me.

In the end, there is no excuse. I’m a tough girl, and I’ve got to get it together. But I wonder what I’m supposed to do when I have friends that end up making me feel like a lesser person, or some how never quite good enough.

It’s hard, in times like this, not to wish you could just go back to yesterday. The past may be gone but I look upon it so fondly. The day’s where I wasn’t so beaten, battered and bruised from life. When your friends were people you had built several Kingdom Hall’s with, and were people who shared your dreams. When relationships weren’t so hard. When it was easy to tell people that you love them. When it was easier to make everything okay. When I was me.

“I will go in this way
And find my own way out
I won’t tell you to stay
But I’m coming to much more

“Oh, isn’t it strange
How we move our lives for another day?
Like skipping a beat
What if a great wave should wash us all away?
Just thinking out loud
Don’t mean to dwell on this dying thing
But look at my blood
It’s alive right now,
And deep and sweet within
Pouring through our veins
Intoxicate moving wine to tears
And drinking it deep
Then an evening spent dancing
It’s you and me…

This love will open our world
From the dark side we can see a glow of something bright
Oh, there’s much more than we see here
Don’t burn the day away

Is this not enough?
This blessed sip of life,
Is it not enough?
Staring down at the ground
Oh, then complain and pray for more from above,
You greedy little pig
Stop, just watch your world trickle away
Oh, it’s your problem now
It’ll all be dead and gone in a few short years

Just love will open our eyes
Just love will put the hope back in our minds
Much more than we could ever know
Oh, so don’t burn the day away
Don’t burn the day away

And don’t burn the day away…

Look, here are we
On this starry night, staring into space
And I must say
I feel as small as dust lying down here

What point could there be troubling?
Head down wondering what will become of me?
Why concern we cannot see
But no reason to abandon it
The time is short but that’s all right
Maybe I’ll go in the middle of the night
Take your hands from your eyes, my love
All good things must come to an end some time
But don’t burn the day away
Don’t burn the day away…

Come sister, my brother
Shake up your bones, shake up your feet
I’m saying open up
And let the rain come flooding in
Wash out this tired notion
That the best is yet to come
But while you’re dancing on the ground
Don’t think of when you’re gone

Love, love, love, what more is there?
‘Cause we need the light of love in here
Don’t beat your head
Dry your eyes
Let the love in there
There’re bad times
But that’s okay
Just look for love in it.”


Things to do in an elevator when you’re bored

  1. When there’s only one other person in the elevator, tap them on the shoulder and then pretend it wasn’t you.
  2. Push the buttons and pretend they give you a shock. Smile, and go back for more.
  3. Ask if you can push the button for other people, but push the wrong ones.
  4. Call the Psychic Hotline from your cell phone and ask if they know what floor you’re on.
  5. Hold the doors open and say you’re waiting for your friend. After awhile, let the doors close and say, "Hi Greg. How’s your day been?"
  6. Drop a pen and wait until someone reaches to help pick it up, then scream, "That’s mine!"
  7. Bring a camera and take pictures of everyone in the elevator.
  8. Move your desk in to the elevator and whenever someone gets on, ask if they have an appointment.
  9. Lay down a Twister mat and ask people if they’d like to play.
  10. Leave a box in the corner, and when someone gets on ask them if they hear something ticking.
  11. Pretend you are a flight attendant and revue emergency procedures and exits with the passengers.
  12. Ask, "Did you feel that?"
  13. Stand really close to someone, sniffing them occasionally.
  14. When the doors close, announce to the others, "It’s okay. Don’t panic, they open up again."
  15. Swat at flies that don’t exist.
  16. Tell people that you can see their aura.
  17. Call out, "group hug!", then enforce it.
  18. Grimace painfully while smacking your forehead and muttering "Shut up, all of you, just shut up!"
  19. Crack open your briefcase or purse, and while peering inside, ask,"Got enough air in there?"
  20. Stand silently and motionless in the corner facing the wall, without getting off.
  21. Holler "Chutes away!" whenever the elevator descends.
  22. Wear a puppet on your hand and use it to talk to the other passengers.
  23. Listen to the elevator walls with your stethoscope.
  24. Make explosion noises when anyone presses a button.
  25. Stare, grinning at another passenger for a while, and then announce,"I have new socks on."
  26. Draw a little square on the floor with chalk and announce to the other passengers, "This is my personal space!"
  27. As you are walking out, push as many buttons as you can.
  28. Tell a stupid OJ knock, knock joke & laugh at it.
  29. Stare at your thumb and say "I think it’s getting larger."
  30. Pull your gum out of your mouth in long strings.
  31. Announce in a horror-movie voice: "I must find a more suitable host body."
  32. Carry a blanket and clutch it protectively.
  33. Wear "X-Ray Specs" and leer suggestively at other passengers.
  34. Say "I wonder what all these do" and push the red buttons.
  35. Bring a chair along.
  36. Take a bite of a sandwich and ask another passenger: "Wanna see wha in muh mouf?"
  37. Blow spit bubbles.
  38. Walk on with a cooler that says "human head" on the side.
  39. Stare at another passenger for a while, then announce "You’re one of THEM!" and move to the far corner of the elevator.
  40. Burp, and then say "Mmmm…tasty!"
  41. Leave a box between the doors.
  42. Ask each passenger getting on if you can push the button for them.
  43. Wear a puppet on your hand and talk to other passengers "through" it.
  44. Start a sing-along.
  45. When the elevator is silent, look around and ask "is that your beeper?"
  46. Play the harmonica.
  47. Shadow box.
  48. Say "Ding!" at each floor.
  49. Lean against the button panel.
  50. Whistle the first seven notes of "It’s a Small World" incessantly.
  51. Sell Girl Scout cookies.
  52. On a long ride, sway side to side at the natural frequency of the elevator.
  53. Offer name tags to everyone getting on the elevator. Wear yours upside-down.
  54. When arriving at your floor, grunt and strain to yank the doors open, then act embarrassed when they open by themselves.
  55. Lean over to another passenger and whisper: "Noogie patrol coming!"
  56. Greet everyone getting on the elevator with a warm handshake and ask them to call you Admiral.
  57. On the highest floor, hold the door open and demand that it stay open until you hear the penny you dropped down the shaft go "plink" at the bottom.
  58. Do Tai Chi exercises.
  59. When at least 8 people have boarded, moan from the back: "Oh, not now, darn motion sickness!"
  60. Sing "Mary had a little lamb" while continually pushing buttons.
  61. Meow occasionally.
  62. Frown and mutter "gotta go, gotta go" then sigh and say "oops!"
  63. Give religious tracts to each passenger.

Laws of Lasting Love: Written by Paul Pearsall, Ph.D.*

During my 25 years as a therapist, I have seen hundreds of people disappointed
over unfulfilling relationships. I have seen passion turn to poison. I
have grieved with patients for the love they lost or never found.
"We seemed to love so much, but now it’s gone," one woman lamented
to me. "Why do I feel so lonely every night even when he is right there
beside me? Why can’t a relationship be more than this?"
It can. I was once invited to the 60th anniversary celebration of a remarkable
couple. I asked the husband, Peter, if he ever felt lonely and wondered where
the love between him and Lita had gone. Peter laughed and said, "If you
wonder where your love went, you forgot that you are the one who makes it.
Love is not out there; it’s in there between Lita and me."
I know we can love deeply, tenderly and lastingly. I have seen such love,
and I have felt such love myself. Here are the laws I have discovered for such
lasting and loving relationships:

Put time where love is. A fulfilling relationship begins when two people make
time together their No. 1 priority. If we hope to find love, we must first
find time for loving.
Unfortunately, current psychology rests on the model of the independent
ego. To make a lasting relationship we have to overcome self-centeredness.
We must
go beyond what psychologist Abraham Maslow called "self-actualization" to "us-actualization." We
have to learn to put time where love is. Many couples have experienced
a tragic moment that taught them to value their time together.
In crisis, become as one. Just after a couple left my office
one evening, I heard what sounded like a gun-shot. I looked out the window
and saw the couple
backing toward their car, and the shadow of a large figure near a street
light. Clinging together, they couple kept backing away. The figure quickened
pace toward them. The couple joined hands and ran to their car. As I dialed
security, the figure came closer, and I saw it was one of our guards. I later
discovered that the "shot" was a noise that had nothing
to do with my couple, but they didn’t know that. Like herd animals, they had
reacted to danger by coming together, in a "couple caution circle." Threatened,
they had become one.
Take a loving look. How we see our partners often depends more on how we
are than how they are. The loved-ones in a relationship are not audience,
but participant
observers in each other’s lives. Author Judith Viorat once wrote, "Infatuation
is when you think he’s as gorgeous as Robert Redford, as pure as Solzhenitsyn,
as funny as Woody Allen, as athletic as Jimmy Connors, and as smart as Albert
Einstein. Love is when you realize he’s as gorgeous as Woody Allen, as smart
as Jimmy Connors, as funny as Solzhenitsyn, as athletic as Albert Einstein,
and nothing like Robert Redford in any category–but you’ll take him
anyway." This law of lasting love instructs us to look with instead
of for love.
Try another perspective. This law illustrates how some people spend their
relationships struggling to change a partner’s mind. People in lasting-love
relationships begin with the premise that there are many realities. They
learn to accept different points of view. When a couple breaks free of
their one-reality
trap, their problems are solved. The lasting relationship is never sure
of the seperate "selves" that
make it up. But it has complete confidence that the relationship will grow
in a never-ending process of learning.
Look out for No. 2. There is a power healing energy that emanates from loving.
Lasting love can learn to sense it, send it and make it grow. We are energized
by love if we put our energy into loving. Bad energy springs from conflicts
that arise when two egos collide. When I watch couples argue with each other,
I want to shout: "Grow up, stop fighting, start loving!" It is better
to learn how to love than how to fight. Don’t try to win in your relationship,
win for your relationship.

Relationship is designed primarily for giving rather than taking. It is meant
to be a permanent union of two unselfish people. As one person told me, "The
old saying was look out for No. 1. But we’ve learned to look out for No. 2.
If you fight for yourself, only you can win. When you fight for your relationship,
you both win."
* Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at Wayne State University School of Medicine
and former Director of Professional Education at The Kinsey Institute for Research
in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.


Welcome to Seattle.

I’ve been neglecting to write in here lately. Moving from Texas to Washington just got passed by, with good intentions of telling the story in the vivid detail I remember it with. So here I am, going to give up a few of the morsels of thoughts that remain in my mind to be shared with all.
First off, I thought living in Texas was bad? Driving out of Texas is worse. I drove the first four or five hours, and the wind was TERRIBLE. The road was boring. Flat. Plain. Ugly. At one point in the past I marveled at how the sky in Texas is actually bigger… And I figured it out. Its because there’s nothing on the earth to look at. Few sparse, bare trees, and fewer hills or other earthly distractions.

New Mexico was interesting. Started to see a bit of what I’ve seen only in movies. Mountains started to appear. Stopped in Albuquerque for the night. (“Don’t forget to turn left in Albuquerque!”)

The next morning proved to be a nice drive. It started to snow a bit, and mountains popped out of the landscape as if they were after thoughts. We stopped at this really scary gas station. I had needed to go to the bathroom, and we hadn’t passed a city in a long time. I think this was the first gas station for about an hour. There had been a sign a while back that said “No services, 140 miles”. Well this gas station was scary. It looked abandoned. The restrooms were next door. Next door was an abandoned diner. It was completely empty, very eerie. Classic barstools and booths emptied as if a chainsaw massacre had chased all the locals out of town. What I would have given for a camera with film at that moment! Needless to say I tinkled as fast as I could and got outta there!

Utah was amazing. I loved seeing the red rock jutting out with the Rockies in place behind them. Just amazing to me to see such different types of landscaping put together.

As night fell we were closing in on Salt Lake City. After two days of driving in wilderness and nay a city in site I’ll tell you seeing Salt Lake was a site for sore eyes. Stopped for Arby’s for dinner as we trucked the last hour and a half into our destination, Malad City, Idaho.

Malad City is a tiny place. Exit 13 off the hwy. One of those places you reluctantly stop for gas… unsure of whether or not there is indeed a gas station. It was adorable. We went and checked out the local coffee/soda/ice cream/bait/lotto shop/bar called Jones’. We had a cup of coffee. A cup is .30 cents. Oh, that’s with tax. The woman waved us off when we went to pay. No charge. Reading the signage I could determine that this was a place that still kept tabs for folks. I could imagine Pop’s coming in early in the morning and sitting down at the ancient counter to his morning coffee. Put it the tab Sue, he’d grunt as he walked out the door. I took note that you could also buy an odd assortment of grocery store items as well. Just a random assortment. Like someone was selling what was left over from their cabinets at home. Betty’s Lounge was the bar in the back, but we wouldn’t be checking that out until later. That evening before sundown we got to check out the jacuzzi on the back porch. It was beautiful sitting outside, the Rockies circling around with snow topped peaks, and steam rising into the air.

I went snowmobiling for the first time ever! What a blast. First let me explain. Mat’s family has a “town” house. You know, a house in town. So that’s where we were staying. But they own a farm in Arbon, where Mat actually grew up. It’s a dry wheat farm of 10,000 acres. I nodded knowingly at the dry wheat farm part. Uh, say huh? A dry wheat farm is one without an irrigation system. It depends on natural resources… like rain, duh.

Well we headed out to the farm for snowmobiling. He pulled open the barn’s side door, and I was looking at a man’s dream playhouse. Let’s see… First there was a purple 18-wheeler truck… Bob Sorensen’s d.b.a. Sorensen Farm’s it proclaimed proudly on its side. Next was a huge tractor. HUGE. Um, HUGE. Lined up in front were five or six snowmobiles, and four wheelers each. Tucked in the back was a huge camper. Again, I emphasis HUGE. We pulled out a couple of snowmobiles, gassed up at their gas tank (convenient) and headed out. We desecrated acres upon acres of flawless snow. I wanted to go into the mountains, and so we did. I made a snow angel at an untouched spot. Mat got sagebrush for me to smell. I carved initials into one of the mini barns along the way. I saw a fox. I saw tracks of a fox chasing a rabbit. It was beautiful.

Back to town, dinner with the family. Everyone was absolutely wonderful. They all liked me. There was fresh home baked bread. Yum. Well duh, they are wheat farmers. Mat’s grandparents have a horse ranch. That’s where dinner was the next night. For breakfast it was kind of a fend for yourself thing, Mat made French toast with some of the leftover bread from the night before and it was the best I’d ever had. He put pepper in it, to which we all raised our eyebrows–but the guy knows what he’s doing!

It was hard to leave. Soleil had just gotten used to the other cats, and had actually made friends, sort of, with Calvin. (Three cats, two dogs, including Emma, Mat’s dog.) Note to self, I want a kitchen just like there’s. Amazing cabinetry ## from floor to ceiling on one wall. All stainless steel matching sleek appliances. Counters with marble tops, and a center island. That of course would have to have a hibachi grill for my kitchen!

The next morning it was time to take off. The Ryder truck was wedged into the snow, it didn’t want to leave any more than we did. We finally got off and on our way. Oregon is a state that takes about three hours to cut through. But not for us… It was like nine or so hours. Yeah, moving pretty slowly with snow blowing and coating everything. The roads were terrible in Oregon. As soon as we crossed the border you could see how they hadn’t prepared them for the snow like in Idaho. (Idaho’s were black roads, and Oregon’s were white.) Roads called for snow chains, which we didn’t have. But we moved along slow with the rest of the traffic. (It’s important to note here, Mat hadn’t let me drive again since those first few hours on the first day of our trip. Thanks, Mat!) We finally gave up in Ellensburg, Washington having met our re-negotiated goal of just getting out of Oregon before stopping, versus our intended pulling into Seattle at just about that same time of night. Seattle was a pass away but the worst pass there was to pass.

Snoqualmie pass brings travelers in and out of Seattle. It’s the last hour of driving, and it took about three. Coming out of the pass and into Seattle it was absolutely astonishing how fast the snow melted away into the greenery.

Crossing the lake there were incredible waves crashing into the highway and over the barriers into the road. It was the worst windstorm Seattle had had in countless years, according to the news report. I was happy to be in a larger vehicle, so the water didn’t obstruct our driving view.

Welcome to Seattle.

SpunkyGidget [ She's gonna drink the sun | Shining just for you ]
Correspondence, Culture, Ethics

Travelocity on the anniversary of September 11th

9/11 and Beyond
9/11 @ Bank of America, Charlotte, NC

September 2012 I was told that as an employee of I would have to remove my blog post about 9/11. I did so to keep my job, …and left.

Photo of printed blog post from Sabre TVLY HR records (below)

SpunkyGidget [ She's gonna drink the sun | Shining just for you ] TVLY Response to Sam
SpunkyGidget [ She’s gonna drink the sun | Shining just for you ] TVLY Response to Sam September 12, 2002


I came to say

I came to say…
Hey la, ho ho,
Hey la, ho ho…

Instead I’ll wonder and ponder over a thought… Music can be used to express so much. People could sit and make a CD where every word would apply – or so they could claim. Then you couldn’t believe that a song could mean anything less than every word, right?

I’m left in confusion, left in the dark. I don’t know what fuel’s the fire, I don’t know what happened to the spark. I guess we’re left to leave things as is? Don’t worry because I carry you around. That’s my tribute to the teeth you bare.

Several years ago my best friend died. The same weekend I found out that I was losing my other best friend to a different kind of death. I so wished I could reach out to her and share this song with her, in hopes that it would touch her heart. She’s still out there, and it’s so many years later.

Just Wait

If ever you are feeling like you’re tired
And all your uphill struggles leave you headed downhill
If you realize your wildest dreams can hurt you
And your appetite for pain has drinken its fill

Just wait
And it will come

If you think I’ve given up on you, you’re crazy
And if you think that I don’t love you, well then you’re just wrong
In time you just might take to feeling better
Time is the beauty of the road being long

I know that now you feel no consolation
But maybe if I told you and informed you out loud
I say this without fear of hesitation
I can honestly tell you that you make me proud

If anything I might have just said has helped you
If anything I might have just said helped you just carry on
Your rise uphill may no longer seem a struggle
And your appetite for pain may all but be gone

I hope for you and cannot stop at hoping
Until that smile has once again returned to your face
There’s no such thing as a failure who keeps trying
Coasting to the bottom is the only disgrace

And the song she shared with me, so many nights and stars and memories ago?

I pick up my smile put it in my pocket
Hold it for a while try not to have to drop it…

A pocket is no place for the smile anyway
Someday I will find love again will blow my mind
Maybe it will be that love that got away from me
Is there a line to write that could make you cry tonight


State of Affairs

“What do you see when you look back at your life?”

When I look back I see good friends, great memories and a life I’m now so detached from. Looking back I see a life I don’t know how to return to. I no longer go to sit in a sea of faces who don’t see me, to listen to the voices that never heard mine. In my dreams my friends visit me, silent and too far to touch.

“I really don’t know what’s going on with you. Good, bad, or otherwise?”

I’m doing well actually. I have a few good friends. People who love me, and I share my time with. How I’m doing with the rest of my life is up to perspective. Depends on who you are and how you look at it.


Cast Away

Hmmm… Christmas Day. All the world is closed. A very nice day. Yet another morning not waking until lunchtime. Movies, movies, movies in sweats and crashed on the couch. The Muppets Take Manhattan. The Nutcracker. My Cousin Vinny. The Story of Us. Tommy Boy. Varsity Blues. Finally to the theatre for the 10:20 showing of Cast Away. Good movie.

Put my house up on the market on Saturday. Have to do some repairs though. Trim work where Danielle (my puppy) was teething. Also some drywall patching where she apparently thought she’d escape the bathroom. Minor stuff – just the kind of thing that makes me wish I had a handy guy handy. Got to pick up the yard, sweeping away leaves. The left over shreds of the cover to my grill… another of Danielle’s adventures. I hope it sells quick. I want to make a move. Claim my independence in a step. We’ll see though – it’s winter.

It’s Monday – so nice to not really think about it. I have the whole rest of the week off… It’ll be so hard to go back to a work schedule – but so nice to have consistency again by the time it gets here.


Personal Achievements

Well I’m sure no one else is interested in this – but I’m pretty proud of it. I’ve paid off two credit cards. And am almost there with another one. Last paycheck I paid off a personal loan that’s been around for about three years. Debt is a bad thing. I plan on spending my little vacation tucked away in a room at the beach, snuggled in a warm bed – a treat to myself.


Dancing Queen!

Last night I had fun being the dancing queen. Did the usual half-price martini’s at Cosmos, and Margo even made it. Then on to Rock Bottom to rock the pool table. Lost a couple coupons on that one, oops! 😉 Then dancing at Have a Nice Day. Dance the night away until two am. Gotta head into work. Tonights another night of fun and pool to come.

I’m going to need a nap!