Thursday, October 30, 2008

Travel by Foot

While I've spent a good bit of my life walking, I have not tried to walk every single day in quite some time. But I've always believed firmly in this, and one or more of my parents instilled this belief in me from the time I could stand on my two legs, that walking is one of the best things a person can do for the body. It's an exercise that's good for your heart, your circulation, your mood, and it doesn't put any unnecessary strain on various parts of your body like other types of exercise can. After walking every day for a series of eight weeks recently, I have noticed a pattern. People and animals feel territorial when you walk by their houses, with one exception: the drunken college student neighbor, otherwise a stranger, who invites you up for a drink because it's his friend's birthday. The territoriality was evidenced in the frequency of questions I received about whether I was lost, and by the dog that bit me when I walked in front of its house on the opposite side of the street. My co-worker walked in the seemingly friendly neighborhood behind our office, and received comments from one of the residents several days in a row about whether she needed or wanted a ride somewhere. After the dog bite, I decided to seek out the mundane, flat areas specifically set aside for walking. There, no one asked you if you were lost, were looking for someplace in particular, needed help, or needed a ride, and no one bit you, which otherwise translate to: I definitely think you do not belong here. I probably would have gotten fewer questions about what I was doing if I had a dog in tow (on leash) with me. I decided that the circular track I had always resisted was a respite for peaceful exercise. Other people on the track were there for the same reason, and no one questioned or challenged my presence there. It's unfortunate and disturbing that I can't feel OK about taking a walk in my own seemingly safe, family-friendly neighborhood.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Can I Escape Evil and Still Find a Place in this World?

Recently I've been wondering about a personality trait. I will call it "exploitation." There's a very good reason this word exists. It exists because some people possess this trait, in which they naturally, possibly unthinkingly, operate by targeting a perceived weakness in another person, and figuring out how that perceived weakness can be used against that person for personal gain. What I've been wondering about is how people get that way. I think it must have to start with a judgmental attitude. An eager-to-judge and quick-to-judge attitude. Did exploitative and judgmental parents raise them to have exploitative and judgmental attitudes? I think people who do try to habitually exploit others' perceived weaknesses may have the mistaken belief that everyone operates this way, and that justifies their entrenched habits of manipulating the facts to make the other person look bad. When I find it happening, I have a brief mental image of me living in a cave as a hermit (my back is hunched over, I'm wearing layers of brown, torn cloaks, and I'm dragging a cane for a stick) -- the thought briefly crosses my mind that it might be best to live a secluded lifestyle, away from the painful social pitfalls of backstabbing, being judgmental, and hurting other people for personal gain. But I like and need people in my life. I like people especially when they are nice and not mean. It's often easy to tell, but sometimes it can be more insidious. And I don't want to be judgmental, so I try not to place labels on people, and I try to give them the benefit of the doubt that there is some decency inside them, despite what I may perceive. They may hide their evil plan to exploit the person, carefully plotting to gather information while they appear nice and accommodating on the surface. It's the typical plot for a soap-opera story. It's pretty pathetic, but it works. People watch that stuff. People get fooled by that stuff. It happens all the time. It happens in the movies. It happens on TV. It happens in school. It happens at work. It happens in POLITICS! It happens in court. That's why we have that word. It serves a useful purpose. It acknowledges that it is a part of life. I wonder if it easily translates to other languages.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


The weekend is not over yet, but much has been accomplished. I made White Grass vegetarian chili (with carrots), cleaned up around the house, did laundry, and took a great walk in the sunny cool weather today.
My eyes are tired. When I close my eyes, all I can think about is all the things left undone at work, and negativity.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More reflection

Waking up to rain is a part of life, but one of those sad, depressing, bleak things that must happen in order for the world to work. It's one of those things that make you want to make your house glow on the inside with happiness, light and warmth.
Last night I talked about making decisions in the present that will affect life in the future. My friend said you can't live your life with the thought about how you'll look back on life when all you are capable of is reflection in your infirm days. I said that's not really how I live my life, but it's nice to be reminded of it now, to remember that there's no time like the present to live the life we want, so we don't regret doing something, or don't regret not doing something, later in the day, or the next day, or the next month, or 20 years from now. The whole time I talked about this, all I was doing was talking, making dinner, getting a drink, and pacing. I might regret those two and a half hours I lost talking about stuff like that and not living life to its fullest. On the other hand, I might have just been watching TV.
I had another dream about my grandmother still being alive. I was talking about her yesterday. She died when she was about 95. In my dream, she was trying to finish a bunch of artwork. They were collages and dioramas. She really wanted to do it all before she died and she did. She wore herself out, though, and I saw her near death. I have a need to create something beautiful, like a painting of a field of red and yellow flowers, with the sun shining bright, if I can do that.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Non-stop action today, almost as bad as yesterday. The chaotic day was interrupted by a nice peaceful walk along the river again. The windy fall weather strangely reminded me of my poem happiness that I posted last week. There is something surreal about the swirling leaves, combined with the starkly bright, sunny fall weather, and a person you know suddenly entering the picture. It's especially surreal if you talk yourself into believing so. A poetic mind is also essential. Minds are funny like that. A gloomy sky would probably have changed the whole experience.
Later on in the day, I went to a playground, where I was asked to fix the six swings that someone or some evil creatures had wound around the top of the bar. I had a feeling it would end in frustration, but I gave it a try anyway. Once I started, I didn't want to stop until all the swings were down. I tried swinging them really hard, and that did not work. I tried throwing the rubber, wobbly seats of the swings over the top of the bar, as one hurls a spear or a football, which eventually worked for three of the swings that were stuck. We found a long, tall stick, which helped a little when the swing and chains got caught at the top. My back already hurt when I started, and now it hurts worse as a result of my determination to not give up on the task I undertook. I wanted to defeat the evildoing of the people who decided to sabotage the plans of the innocent children who look forward to swinging there. I was only partially successful. Part of my stick got stuck in the chain where I couldn't reach. My fingers were numb from the cold. I almost got to the point where I sort of had to catch my breath. I really, really tried. Before that, I went to Kroger. Every time, as with this time, I inevitably run into someone I know. It doesn't happen to me in other grocery stores.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Today was a beautiful but cold day. I got to do something fun and different, which was be a guest lecturer for a college class. I had good vegetarian chili for lunch but had to forego all other meals as work responsibilities took precedence. I missed my favorite TV show, the only show I insist on watching regularly, for the college class. All day I was being pulled in three directions at once. It was a continuous battle among phone calls, other problems that demanded attention, and preparing for the class. Even though I'm busy at the moment, I must take time to call my sister to wish her a happy birthday, like she ritualistically does for me.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Recently in the book store I came across, in the photography section, the book Naked New York, which consists of pages and pages of photos of people in front of a brick wall, in the first photo with their clothes on, and then in the second photo with their clothes off, with a caption underneath stating their professions and their ages. No glamour, no airbrushed perfection, no statement at all to project other than reality. I think readers can't help but be curious, but I'm still kind of looking around while looking at the book, wondering if someone I know will pass by and see me looking at photos of naked people, even though, if that did happen, they might be just as interested in seeing it. It's the kind of book that, if you see the title, it may be difficult or impossible to resist the curiosity, and, once picked up, difficult to resist the curiosity of what's contained from cover to cover. I know that so many people can have so much anxiety about what they look like. I think the book helps to dispel the anxiety people have when they feel they don't measure up, particularly to the beauty portrayed in movies, books and magazines. I think that's what the photographer was trying to get across, and it works, in a light and whimsical way.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bottle Rocket, A Rumor of Angels, and Beat

I watched some older movies while on vacation this week. Bottle Rocket was made in 1996 and I watched it late Monday night. I drifted in and out of sleep, as parts of it caught my interest at times. Luke and Owen Wilson, in their first movie, starred as friends, who have energy and passion for committing petty crimes; actually it's Owen Wilson's character's enthusiasm and excitement about what he does, and he ropes in Luke Wilson and other people to go on crime sprees with him. I don't remember laughing, but maybe the funny parts happened when I was asleep. I do remember feeling mildly amused, but that was about all. Come to think of it, I felt the same mild amusement while watching the Royal Tenanbaums and the Darjeeling Limited. The movie was directed by Wes Anderson, the same guy who likes to put the Wilson brothers in other movies, like the Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited.
I only watched A Rumor of Angels because Ron Livingston is in it. It played out like a made-for-TV Lifetime movie about an older woman, a widow, and a 12-year-old boy who become friends and bond over the deaths of people who were very close to them. The widow, played by Vanessa Redgrave, is an interesting character with intelligence, quirky energy, and a touch of madness. As usual, Ron Livingston adds enough to keep me interested, but if you took him out, then the movie would have been the biggest waste-of-time movie since the last time I got accidentally hooked into a Lifetime movie (I think that was about four years ago).
I watched the movie Beat last week, with Ron Livingston as Allen Ginsburg, and Courtney Love as William Burroughs's wife, and Keifer Sutherland as William Burroughs (the guy who wrote Naked Lunch, among other writings). The Ginsburg character was my favorite, but he had a small part. However, the movie kept me interested and wanting to know more about the characters' lives. There was too much history to put it neatly into one two-hour movie, but I liked the pace of the movie and the struggles and conflicts the main characters were facing, and how the viewer could virtually put herself into their situations and feel the storylines.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vacation, Sleep, Cooking, Fall

I took a few days off from work this week, doing nothing important except taking walks, taking in the spectacular fall scenery at all the local trails and scenic spots I could find around here. My big film camera seems archaic. I didn't get any photos. My friend keeps taking photos and saying they will be sent to me, but they don't get sent.
I've also been doing a lot of cooking, taking advantage of the older ages of the children in the household, hoping they're now open-minded enough to try experimental things, after years of trying to get them to try experimental things at an approximate 60-40 pass-fail rate. The usual complaint is, "it's too spicy," which pretty much means "it has pepper in it."
I had a bad dream last night. I was in court. Someone was suing me and I came to court, not knowing exactly what it was about, except that it involved people I know, people who are closest to me, in a very realistic setting. In real life, someone accidentally hit me in the face while I was trying to speak to the judge and explain why I hadn't known what the case was about, and me getting hit jerked me awake, out of court and startled into the blackness of the early morning. I was kind of glad. I've been randomly falling asleep lately, maybe because my sleep has been so broken up these past three days.
I don't know about anyone else, but I am excited about my discovery, finding my posts from 1999 and a poem I wrote in 1998 about an old friend coming to visit, which I reproduced below. They were posted on a Web site that long ago, and I thought they had been deleted a long time ago because I hadn't been able to find them. It's nice to be reminded of what life used to be like, that so much time has passed and so much has gotten better in that time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Long-Lost Poem Called Happiness, circa 1998

I thought I saw you.

I thought you saw me.

The wind curled strangely around the fallen leaves.

Cars ceased from passing on the road in the breeze.

A familiar thought wove mysteriously all around my head.

The smell of the trees and the stream entered instead.

Simple strides across a sunny field, hands in pockets.

A wall of surreal silence streamlined your entrance.


A smile spread across my body.

Sunshine poured in.

Here came you, to me.

And that’s when I knew

All good things were about to happen.


(First posted on

Blog from 1999


We went to Snowshoe first thing this morning. It was crazy getting out of the house. He kicked around the laundry at the frustration of not being able to find the shorts from yesterday that held his wallet. Once we were on the road, things started to get better. He forced some mood-altering, silly expressions into the van. At Snowshoe, the resort was offering lift ticket rides for $6 each. A side show of the Chili Cookoff. The four of us went all the way down the mountain and all the way up. It was beautiful. The breeze was perfect and made it great. Fresh hay from the slope we passed over really smelled great -- like being on a farm without the animal droppings scent. The ride down the mountain took about 15 minutes, and then of course it was about 15 minutes back up. You really didn't want it to be any shorter or longer. Once we got back into town, we were in a race for the countdown to the birthday party. First through three houses on the Daylily Days home and garden tour. Then to the grocery store, Kmart, and to the party. I had about 10 minutes to put the banners up and prepare. Just as things were falling into place, a few kids showed up. Then came the birthday girl. We had nine children, not too few and not too many. Then off to meet my dad and sister for dinner. Finally, we could breathe a sigh of relief when we got home. Then we had an icing catastrophe. Not only was the regular cake (orange) icing everywhere in the van, but the auxiliary cupcakes fell over also. Where was the plastic lid to the cake? Why wasn't it on the cake? We all had to change outfits and bring in the Spic and Span forces. A good day, but thoughts of impending doom crossed over a few times.


We went to Seneca Caverns Sunday. A great relief from the heat. It was 56 degrees inside, compared to the hazy and humid 90 degrees it felt like outside. Tickets were less than we thought they would be. The tour guide was very knowledgeable about what the cavern formations looked like. She gave us detailed stories about what each rock actually WAS: a chipmunk, an indian, a tombstone, a city, an alligator, bananas ... it seemed like it didn't end. We also stopped at Seneca Rocks and the newly constructed Seneca Rocks Discovery Center. It was a big, beautiful building. There were art displays, lots of brochures to pick up, a 3-D map that looked like it was made of plaster with paint, and a few stuffed animals native to the area. The seven to 10 stuffed animals were in the window of a room called the Discovery Room, which was locked. You could still discover, even though you couldn't enter. Many of the walls were made of what looked like indigenous rocks. Today is a vacation. From what, I'm not sure.


I can't help but be sleepy today. Just about every morning I awake to some sort of yelling or complaining from one of the other members of the house. Barely awake, struggling to remember those foggy dreams, noticing how good it feels to stretch my legs across that once-occupied space, and it almost could have been a good morning except for that predictable miserability. Yesterday some of us went to the movies for a pretty good time.


There is another birthday to celebrate today. Summer birthdays are great. You can do just about anything you want, I think, except play in the snow. I did some studying and drank lots of caffeine yesterday. I came home very late. I saw Jan Hopkins of CNN speak at Halliehurst yesterday. She was very articulate. How does she do that? I wonder how you get to be that way. A lot of people, like me, mumble aimlessly a lot of the time.


I've had this strange feeling these last few days. It's strange because it is this new thought, and it just creeps along slowly like a spill, getting bigger and bigger, spreading through my brain. The more I think about it, the bigger it becomes. If I would just stop thinking about it, it wouldn't be so bad. It's not all bad, but potentially unhealthy. This is just how thoughts and ideas work, I suppose, but when a foreign thought, unlike any other I knew before enters, I really take notice. I keep having this dream about a person I know. I want to talk to him and he avoids me in my dreams. I remember about seven years ago I kept having dreams that I would go over to his house to see him and he wasn't there. Last night I had this dream -- I looked all over for him at some kind of event and saw him several times but he was busy and talking to someone else every time. I told him a couple of times I wanted to talk to him, and he found a way not to. At the same time, I tried to talk to another person I know, and he did the same thing to me too. A few years ago I had a very faint memory of what I thought was a glimpse of my very early childhood, and I didn't know if it was an actual memory, a dream I had, or what. I was sitting with my sister, and she had this hood on her head, and a nightgown, and I could see the pattern of the wallpaper behind her. She was sick and things weren't good. And I remember thinking to myself, it doesn't matter whether it was a dream, memory, or something else -- it's something that exists in my head, as if it's a memory.


I've been having a hard time lately. In those ups and downs of life, this is really a down time. I know it will get better. It could be worse. It's a lot my fault, though. I guess that's the worst part of it. Maybe I will do something about it.


I've had about two hours to myself today for the first time in years, I think, and I feel so much better. I feel like I visited a part of life that I forgot about -- silence. It was very quiet. I wouldn't and couldn't have it this way all the time, but I am much, much, happier. All I did was take a nap. I don't think I dreamed about anything.


How do I explain that I've made this huge mistake and everybody knows it and it's too late now? How can I escape this miserability? What can I do to feel better?


OK, I calmed down a little bit. I'm not very much happier though. The day is the most beautiful sight outside. The sunshine makes the grass and the trees the brightest shade of yellow. The wind is blowing just a little bit and the sky couldn't be bluer.

I've been reading the advice given, and it has given me reassurance that I should make the changes necessary to make me happy. But that gets so cloudy. What if I make the changes, and I'm worse off than ever? What if I have it good now and just don't realize it? I should take that chance. I've done it before and when I did change my life, I wish I had done it long, long before. This morning I wished that I could go back about six years and erase everything. Then I wouldn't be miserable like I am now. Or would I? I have so many questions and so little answers.


I have been wondering if something different will happen today, if I can stumble onto something every day and learn something new and interesting. There is much to discover about the things that seem routine. I noticed that I drive by the same things every day, and see the same cars all the time. I pass the same cars on the road all the time, and can almost immediately spot cars that are driven by people who don't live here. I think everybody who lives here must pass all the same people all the time, with the exception of a few strangers every day. For some reason, I saw this one particular car passing by my house when I got the mail last week. A few days later, I was getting the mail again and saw the same car passing by. I don't know why it stood out. Every day, the same cars pass by. I wonder if the old neighbor who sat on his porch every day knew all of them. Some people who have lived here for a long, long time know just about everybody they pass. If you notice which cars are at all the businesses one day, you will see the same cars there the next day and the next day and the next. Those people have the same routines every day -- going to work, coming home, passing by. I was at Wal-Mart earlier this summer and saw a young girl who had shaved her head, and knew she wasn't from here. She was parked next to me in the parking lot and seemed to be passing through from Michigan. Of course, it must be true that the people driving the cars are the same people I pass all the time while walking and shopping and doing whatever else. It's all so obvious, but when you think about it, it's a little bit interesting. Maybe.


Early in the morning yesterday I drove through town. On the highway before I got to town, I passed a Mercedes which I had never seen before. The car was going exactly the speed limit. The car and the man driving it all the sudden seemed to be a symbol of something entirely good. He had a woman sitting next to him. Here he was, in a very luxurious, reputable and reliable car, plugging along steadily according to the speed limit. I went one way through town, which I thought would be fastest because I was short on time. When I got through town, he was in front of me -- still plugging away by going exactly the speed limit. When we got to the 65-mile-an-hour highway, I passed him again. Then I got to my turnoff and he passed me again, because, of course, I slowed way down. The point of my story is that this driver consistently behaved according to the law, under only the best of circumstances, and came out ahead. I wondered if that was a metaphor for his life, and I wondered what type of job he had. I imagined that he was some upstanding attorney.

Maybe I'll come back, but maybe I won't. To continue with this would be dangerous.

(First posted on

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Victory and Sunshine

Today I escaped the office confinement for a walk by a river, along a trail with grasshoppers jumping everywhere, butterflies flying around, a bright, blue sky, and brilliant fall colors everywhere. The river dam had water rushing out of it and a man was fishing there. Lots of people were walking, jogging, and riding bikes. What a difference the sunshine makes. I love vitamin D. Back at work, things were peaceful and happy. Our office won a prize for a window decoration contest. I might have won first or second place in a logo contest for work. I'm looking forward to a sunny, beautiful, happy weekend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Recently I read some things I had written three years ago, and some things I had written six years ago. I learned so many good lessons, and they're so easily forgotten, not too many years later. Trying to move on with problems, and my advice of the day (recalled from the not-so-distant past) is that your troubles are just a tiny star in the infinite galaxies of our existence. It's usually so hard to keep the tough problems in life in the right perspective. Maybe a few years ago I had a momentary stretch of infinite wisdom and maturity, when the planets were all in alignment with something or other. Maybe journal-writing therapy is the best way to figure something out. Maybe being impressed by my younger self is a little like being impressed with something witty or clever your child says, that only you and no one else finds to be witty or clever.

Here's what I wrote about rejection, from June 2005:
I was happy that I could feel so happy and energetic again. My happiness was feeding upon itself. I have been through this before. I knew then and I know now that it's my own brain that causes me to feel happy and full of self doubt. I know that my troubles this week are but a drop of water in the babbling brook of life. I know that pain and self doubt and jealousy are natural and normal. Disconnecting myself from things beyond my control should be possible. I only know what's here and happening at this moment and nothing else is real. Of course, people are shaped by their experiences, but they're selective experiences and the lessons from them are subjective.
What lessons have I learned? Nothing I didn't know already. Listen to my intuition. I don't want to do this again. I don't want to repeat what happened. I need to have more strength and commons sense and act on it. I should say no. I should have discipline and restraint. It's not easy to do when it feels like there may be more happiness in taking risks.

And here's what I wrote about rejection, from April 10, 2002:
I feel like the mystery has been solved, the etherealness of this will settle soon, and then the clarity will emerge. My mind is going in a thousand directions until this happens, and I'm still trying to keep an open mind so no damage occurs to my psychological condition. Maybe I'm still too sensitive to handle this. Hopefully I'll look back on this in a few years and find it amusing. When did my emotional side do me any good, anyway?
He called, I guess to say hello. I guess he's not completely detached. A very nice thing to hear from him. I feel good. I had a good walk today.
From April 12, 2002:
I thought I was supposed to be getting wiser as I get older, but I feel just as naive as I was when I was 17. No matter how I feel about this, I need to put these feelings way aside so I can get my work done. I have way too much to do, way, way too much to address this right now. Just store it away for when I have time to deal with it. Clarity over the issues is not as important right now -- I have school to deal with and the more I don't deal with school, the more I hurt myself.
From April 29, 2002:
I am developing a healthy realization of this man's faults -- critical, arrogant, cold. That doesn't mean I don't like him ... but I feel better, good, happy.
From May 15, 2002:
The whole fabric of his relationship to me he designed such that he never gets hurt ... how ingenious ... he got what he wanted ... someone who lives what, and carries out what, he knows is right for him ...
From May 27, 2002:
I was reading for my class about how to deal with difficult situations, and it said to imagine yourself looking down on yourself from a balcony. From the balcony, looking down at myself, I saw that my thoughts are just agony, I am agonizing myself, causing my own detriment, and that there's a reason, well, good reasons, why he does not want to be with me. That if we agreed on how we wanted to maintain a friendly relationship, then we would have one. Instead, we are apart, because we have different ideas on how well we relate. I have so many ideas about this, but I have no idea about whether and to what extent he put any thought in it.
I was putting my clothes away and I got frustrated for just a second that the hangers got caught together. But then I maneuvered the two stuck-together hangers so that I could take advantage of them being stuck together -- so the problem became part of the solution, in that I could use both hands to separate the hangers once I had picked them up -- it was all in a split-second thought that's hard to describe in writing, but I thought that if I could just apply that to my trickier problems -- making the problem itself work as the solution, using the problem to my advantage, then that is the answer. I thought of that months ago, though ... I thought that I really appreciate my time with him because it has been a real challenge to keep up my self-confidence and a no-defeat attitude; that I really needed this, to see and know that it wasn't me, it wasn't that I did anything really wrong, it's just that different people have a different way of treating you, and that most likely it's not a reflection on me ... I think that's a good answer, maybe the best one I'm going to get -- that this happened so I could become a better person, and to figure out what will make me happy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Wilderness Therapy

Last weekend I entered the land of sunny skies, brilliantly colored trees, and scores and scores of people. I checked out a smaller-than-usual but satiating art show, a disappointing photo show, a shorter-than-usual parade, and a few other traditional events of the time.
There was also a walk in the woods, where beauty surrounds at every single angle and the fresh air feels like ohm. I found a Burtonesque dead tree (Tim, that is), an orange and white mushroom scene in a dark spot in a log that looked like a small stage, yellow and red leaves suspended in mid-air by a spider web strand, dying ferns, several varieties of bright, green moss, sparkly rocks, and beaver teeth marks on some trees.
I felt so happy and refreshed, until the grind of work, and the jolt of a conflict from last week getting rehashed again today, reminded me of why I so badly needed a change of scenery. I need to go back to the woods. I never thought I would think that.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Today I took a trip all the way across the state and back and it was great to get a view of the leaves that are starting to change and the landscape of trees and sunny sky. How could one not be in a great mood, looking around, unless one were looking down? I wasn't doing the driving, was the passenger for once, and it was OK. I got to enjoy more of the scenery that way, but the jerks and turns and unpredictable braking of someone else's driving is hard on the stomach.
I got two compliments on my new green jacket.
I had fantastic plans of taking another trip, once I returned home, but I was unable to gather all the members of my household to pull it off in time. We'll have to go tomorrow.

Wednesday - Thursday

For the last two days we've combed the town for geometric shapes. They have to be outside, in this town, and they have to be part of "structures," for a class assignment. Upon trying to glean an accurate definition of what it means by "structures," I find that it is loosely defined but it has to do with buildings and things built outside. I suppose that doesn't mean a geometric shape that has been painted or drawn on a sign outside. We found an arc in a parking meter, a pentagon in a stone block pattern on a college building in the archway above the entrance, a trapezoid in a pattern on the sidewalk, a pyramid that makes up the post for a sign, a cone that has no other name but a cone, and various types of triangles in the frames of windows and doors. It took about three hours of work on the computer, not my work, but work that nevertheless took much of my time. Not that I did the work for someone else. I just had to provide the accommodations, travel, and money to buy the equipment.