Thursday, December 31, 2009

Enneagram And Beyond 2009

Dad & Mom (Ray & Susie)


Paul (Mug Shot)

Cheryl & Keri


Hardy & Christmas Elf

Rick, Erin, & Rodney



And Me!

My lovely case manager, Erin, and I, concluded our breakfast/case management session Tuesday morning by sending our names to Venus.
Or at least I did. Erin used a pseudonym. "I don't trust the Japanese," she said.
She was referring to the Japanese Venus Climate Orbiter, nicknamed "Akatsuki," which of course means "Dawn," when Venus shines most brightly as the first graying of dawn appears in the east sky just prior to sunrise. The mission, designed to study the atmosphere of our sister planet, including surface imaging with an infrared camera and experiments designed to confirm the presence of lightening, and determine the existence or otherwise of current surface volcanism, is set to launch in May of next year, and enter Venus's orbit sometime in December. The Japan Aerospace Agency is taking the names and short messages of those who wish to submit them, to be placed on the orbiter, which will circle the planet for at least 2 years.
"It's a good thing it's an orbiter," I told Erin, as she printed out our certificates of participation.
"Why is that?" she asked.
"Because the surface temperature of Venus is around nine hundred degrees, the atmospheric pressure is ninety times that of Earth's, and it rains sulfuric acid. Our names would last, oh... maybe a good five minutes or so before being fried."
But her names not going as she didn't give it. My case manager is very weird.
Yesterday I took it upon myself to include Leah's name on the orbiter, Erin's roommate, my sister Cheryl's, and my niece Keri's, my cousin's Kathy and Janet, and my friend Shannon's name as well.
I don't like to travel long distances by myself.
You to, dear readers, can send your names to Venus by following this link:

But hurry, as they'll stop accepting names on January 10th.
At one o'clock, Erin, Paul (back from Detroit safe and sound), Hardy, 2 guys from some other hotel, and myself attended our last yoga class of the decade with our esteemed teacher, Beth. We did a lot of twisting and stretching, with some Bridge, Downward Dog, and Warrior poses thrown in for good measure.
My mat was next to Erin's and I had to keep resisting the urge to tickle her bare feet whenever they were within easy reach and just crying out to be tickled. Beth would have disapproved though. She had already chastised me and Erin for doing some unsupervised shoulder stands as she entered the building.
I don't think Erin would have approved either.
After class I consumed a quick and nutritious Bologna, cheese, lettuce, mustard and mayo sandwich, before heading down for the Drama Free Support Group in the case manager's office. It was good. I wish I had one right now. Oh, I still have those ingredients! Please excuse me while I have another sandwich.

Em, that was good. Now let me wash that down with some fresh peanut butter juice. Eemm... sticky.
Erin and Paul thought it would be fun (and time consuming) to subject Hardy and myself to the Enneagram online personality rest. I don't know why. Something to do I suppose.
Erin let me use her computer, while Paul read the questions to Hardy who verbally answered them. I don't know why Paul did that as Hardy was perfectly able to read them himself, but I'm glad he did, because if he hadn't Our Support Group would have been completely silent for the twenty or so minutes it took to take the 120 or so, question test.
Questions like, "Rules annoy me," with the possible answers of "Yes," "Partly," or "No." And "I want to observe and think, without giving myself away, before I go into action," with the same choice of answers. 120.
Erin had taken the test earlier and had discovered that she registered more points toward personality type 4: The Individualist, which states: "People of this personality type tend to build their identities around their perception of themselves as being somehow different or unique; they are thus self-consciously individualistic. Fours tend to see their difference from others as being both a gift and a curse - a gift, because it sets them apart from those they perceive as being somehow "common," and a curse, as it so often seems to separate them from the simpler forms of happiness that others so readily seem to enjoy. Thus, Fours can manage to feel superior to others while also secretly harboring some degree of longing and envy. A feeling of being a member of the "true aristocracy" alternates with deep feelings of shame, and fears of somehow being deeply flawed or defective."
Very nice.
When I finished answering all of the questions, and clicked on the results screen, Erin got rather annoyed.
"What the... did you answer the questions honestly?"
"Yes," I told her. "Of course. Why?"
"Because... because, I've never seen results like this before, that's why."
"What results?"
She showed me my scores, which were listed for each of the 9 different personality types, and my top three scores were all 7.3, for personality types 2, 4 (like Erin's) and 6. This irritated Erin to no end.
"This irritates me," she said. The complexity of my mind is an enigma to her, which I find delightful.
Besides testing positive for personality type 4, I was also a 2 & 6. 2 being, The Helper: "People of this personality type essentially feel that they are worthy insofar as they are helpful to others. Love is their highest ideal. Selflessness is their duty. Giving to others is their reason for being. Involved, socially aware, usually extroverted, Twos are the type of people who remember everyone's birthday and who go the extra mile to help out a co-worker, spouse or friend in need."
And 6 being, The Loyalist: "People of this personality type essentially feel insecure, as though there is nothing quite steady enough to hold onto. At the core of the type Six personality is a kind of fear or anxiety. This anxiety has a very deep source and can manifest in a variety of different styles, making Sixes somewhat difficult to describe and to type. What all Sixes have in common however, is the fear rooted at the center of their personality, which manifests in worrying, and restless imaginings of everything that might go wrong. This tendency makes Sixes gifted at trouble shooting, but also robs the Six of much needed peace of mind and tends to deprive the personality of spontaneity. The essential anxiety at the core of the type Six fixation tends to permeate the personality with a sort of "defensive suspiciousness." Sixes don't trust easily; they are often ambivalent about others, until the person has absolutely proven herself, at which point they are likely to respond with steadfast loyalty. The loyalty of the Six is something of a two edged sword however, as Sixes are sometimes prone to stand by a friend, partner, job or cause even long after it is time to move on."
When Hardy finally finished it was determined that he had a type 9 personality, The Peacemaker: "People of this personality type essentially feel a need for peace and harmony. They tend to avoid conflict at all costs, whether it be internal or interpersonal. As the potential for conflict in life is virtually ubiquitous, the Nine's desire to avoid it generally results in some degree of withdrawal from life, and many Nines are, in fact, introverted. Other Nines lead more active, social lives, but nevertheless remain to some to degree "checked out," or not fully involved, as if to insulate themselves from threats to their peace of mind. Most Nines are fairly easy going; they adopt a strategy of "going with the flow." They are generally reliable, sturdy, self-effacing, tolerant and likable individuals."
When Paul took the test after Hardy, he was determined to be a 9 as well.
I don't think you can find two people any more different, personality wise, than Paul and Hardy. One is mild mannered, thoughtful, sensitive, while the other is cantankerous, easily irritated and outspoken. But who am I to find fault with the Enneagram?
This may be some comfort to my dear friend Erin: yesterday I took the test again, twice, up in my box, and scored a big 7.7 points for Type 1, The Reformer: "People of this personality type are essentially looking to make things better, as they think nothing is ever quite good enough. This makes them perfectionists who desire to reform and improve; idealists who strive to make order out of the omnipresent chaos."
The difference in results from one day to the next leads me to believe that this test has little value, and is in fact a great big bunch of crap.
It does pass the time though.
You to, dear readers, may waste your time by taking this test at this location:
A rainy day on Wednesday. I had no scheduled events and could have stayed nice and dry in my box (which suffers no leaks I'm happy to report), but I decided to go to the library and pick up a book they were holding for me, "Asimov's Guide to the Bible," which seems to be bigger than the book it examines. Freaking Isaac, he never knew how to write a short book. My umbrella jumped out of my coat pocket while on the bus, which I found rather annoying. Fortunately I have a back up.
Upon returning to the hotel I found Erin in the kitchen heating up some kind of soup in the microwave, which was a good thing as I wanted to chat with her.
"Hi Rick," she said to me. She almost always says the same thing when she first sees me.
"Hi Erin. I wanted to ask you a question about tomorrow's Cooking Club (we would be making pizza, which I had suggested)."
"Does the oven at the Olympia work?"
She reflected on this briefly before replying, quite artfully I may add, "Shit burgers!"
We had had the oven in the Las Americas repaired just before Thanksgiving. The Olympia had broken their oven right after Thanksgiving. Pizza requires a working oven in order to prepare it, as far as I remember, so there may have been a need to relocate the club from the Olympia to the Las Americas, which I had just brought to the attention of Erin.
She told me she'd find out.
This morning I was pleased to receive an Email from my dear friend, the lovely model, television/radio personality, and singer, Odalys Garcia (we've never met, but have corresponded, and I feel that we are kindred souls) who replied to my Email wishing her a Happy New Year. "Hi, thanks very much. Whishing you the best for next year and always." She mistyped the word wishing. Isn't she adorable!
The only other piece of business left to do this decade was the Cooking Club at 11:30. Pizzas!
Paul was out sick again, so it was up to Erin to facilitate. I cooked the hamburger. Hardy, now bald for some reason (I kept calling him Lex Luther) chopped various vegetables, as did several others from the Olympia. Yes, we were at the Olympia despite my urgent warning to Erin about the oven.
Young girls are so resistant to change.
It didn't take long really to get everything ready and the pizzas in the oven, 1 hamburger pizza, and 2 veggies.
All 3 in the oven at 450 degrees.
We waited. We waited. After a while... we waited some more.
"I'll be right back, Erin. I'm going go pay my cable bill," I told her.
I walked over to the check cashing store on 7th, paid my bill, then walked back just in time to wait a while longer.
"Maybe we should put it on broil for a while," I suggested. Earl agreed, and set the oven on broil. After 5 minutes the broiler kicked in, and our pizzas were finally ready after about 4 minutes more.
They were good, and we consumed them greedily.
I wished every one a Happy New Year and took off.
Now tonight I'll meet with my friend Crystal, then we'll attend the End of Year Service at Higashi Honganji, before heading to North Hollywood to Rusty's Mexican Restaurant, where we will meet more friends to share Mexican food and sing karaoke (Led Zeppelin for me) until the wee hours. Hopefully, no fires will ensue.
And from all of us here at Joyce's Take (pictured above), we wish everyone a Happy New Year, and a better tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. Rick: Thanks for including my name on the orbiter. I love the pictures of your mom & dad and Cheryl and Keri. Cousin Kathy