since im in NYC at the moment, I thought i’d share this very neat blog i ran across.

Computational Story Lab

Possible answers:

  1. Immediately adjacent to any hot dog stand.
  2. Madison Square Garden during moments of Linsanity.
  3. Tim Tebow’s new apartment building.

No really though, let’s measure some stuff.

Facts: (1) New York City is the most populous city in the US and (2) Manhattan streets are arranged on a rectangular grid. We have already seen how cities, airports, and even streets can be identified using geotagged tweets – here we use more than a half million messages from 2011 to investigate the happiness of NYC streets and avenues (clearly visible in the image below, as is Central Park).

Binning tweets by avenue and street, we use the labMT word list to measure happiness in tweets as a function of avenue and street number:

The results suggest that the west side is slightly happier than the east side, and that happiness actually declines as one moves further uptown. Next we bin by intersection…

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an introvert is not contagious!

key fact #6 about donna.

  • i enjoy time alone
  • i consider only deep relationships as friends
  • i feel drained after outside activities, even if they were fun
  • i am a good listener
  • i appear calm and self-contained
  • i think then speak or act

people with introverted personalities have an inward focus and aren’t usually the “life of the party.” we have a strong sense of self that can make us feel highly self-conscious around other people – making walking into a crowded room a little nerve-wracking. introverts have a hard time being silly in front of the camera and telling jokes to more than a couple of people at a time, but they can be extremely witty. they are less “larry, curly, and moe” and more woody allen – but that doesn’t mean introverts’ personality traits are neurotic!

introverts process their emotions, thoughts, and observations internally. they can be social people, but reveal less about themselves than extroverts do. we are more private, and less public. we need time to think before responding to a situation, and develop our ideas by reflecting privately. introverts’ personality traits can be passionate, and sometimes aggressive. (some of the above facts were taken from the adventurous writer)

the only thing i might disagree with, in regards to me, is the part about being more private, and less public.  im generally a rather open gal, if i trust you.  in fact, sometimes i think i share too much info about myself!

being an introvert is not a bad thing.  but we often get a bad wrap in the world.  i am often accused of being rude, or snobby.  why?  cause i am quiet upon meeting you.  the observer in me surfaces.  it just takes me, and other introverts, longer to warm up to you. it takes us longer to open our mouths.  all the small talk that goes on in the world is painful and would simply rather be avoided by this girl and probably most introverts. in my opinion, small talk is meaningless and a waste of precious time.

i would prefer to go to dinner with two friends, or coffee with one, then to a house party or cocktail gathering of many.  i would rather spend 5 nights a week alone with my girlfriend, having quality time together, than 5 nights a week “being seen” in the world.  i prefer to have a cup of coffee out on the porch or at an outside cafe, with a book in hand, then racing around trying to find the next big event or party.  im an introvert.  i prefer simplicity over show.  this doesn’t mean i am not social.  or that introverts arent social.  it just means we need solitude to charge our battery where extroverts need to be around other people to charge theirs.  make sense?

the fact is, we live in an extroverted world.  us introverts stand out.  we appear odd.  rude.  snobby.  or uptight.  we are out numbered.  we make up 25% of the population.  the other 75% are made up of extroverts.  no wonder introverts “look funny” to many!  we are out numbered.

to all you extroverts out there.  before you judge the quiet ones, remember this blog.  we are fabulous, kind, smart, loving, extremely loyal individuals.  stop focussing on the surface of what you see, and dig a little deeper.  you may find someone very intriguing if you shovel beyond the surface.

hello my name is donna, and i am an introvert.

oh and p.s.  introverts are not contagious!  

stay tuned for key fact #7 about who donna is.

thanks for stopping by…




i’ll be in the background, if you’re looking for me.

key fact #5 about who donna is.

5.  i am an observer.

my favorite pastime is people watching.  places like venice beach, ca are uniquely fabulous for this kind of “hobby.”  i’ll ride my bike down to the beach.  find a place to park myself.  out of the crowd.  in the background of it all.   a place where i can sit back and watch the show.  often times i’ll take my camera with me and get some great voyeuristic photographs of people.  meaning, they are unaware of the camera, thus not acting.  not posing.  just going about their emotional, or unemotional life.  and im simply observing it from a distance.  stopping time now and again with the snap of my camera.  an observer of life.  that’s me.

i like to blend in most of the time.  be a quiet onlooker in life.  listen to your words.  watch your body movements.  pay attention to your facial expressions, or lack there of.  analyze you.  your behavior.  your sounds.  your likes and dislikes.  i do have my masters degree in psychology.  perhaps that is why i love to observe and analyze you.  it’s harmless.  it’s educational.  it’s intriguing. it’s my favorite pastime.

not only do i like to people watch, but i also like to observe the world around me.  buildings that tell stories with their cracks and aged paint or bricks.  graffiti art that means something to someone.  the way the light creeps in between buildings.  the shadows created.  the wind blowing the earth, things people left behind., etc.  there is so much to see and it is impossible to take it all in.  therefore, there is always something new to see.  even if you are walking a road you’ve walked a thousand times.  if you look hard enough, you will find something you have never seen before.  or, you will look at something familiar and see it in a completely different light. it’s a beautiful thing.

as examples, here are a few photographs i took while observing life.

the world is a beautiful place.  what may appear ugly to some, can be beautiful and eye-catching to me.

key fact #4 about donna…i think a lot and speak a little….also suits my observer personality type.  they go hand in hand.

hello my name is donna, and i am an observer.

thanks for stopping by and come again tomorrow to learn about key fact #6.  i am an introvert.

wouldn’t you like to know…

key fact #4

4.  i think a lot and speak a little.

my head never really shuts up.  and there is no rhyme or reason to the madness upstairs.  it’s part tornado, and part buddhist temple.  75% of the time there is a storm brewing, ideas coming in and out.  thoughts blowing from one synapse to the next.  electricity firing and loud roaring voices talking over each other.  it’s a rager up there.  it can all get very…..intertwined.  for example, i’ll go into a room to grab something, and by the time i get to that room, i’ve forgotten why i was there because i had so many other thoughts shoot through my mind while walking from point A to point B.  it can be extremely frustrating. but it can also be extremely entertaining…

the other 25% of the time there is a spiritual calmness. buddha comes for a quick visit to clean up the mess after the storm.  bring me some calm before the next winds pick up.  it is that moment of serenity i seek daily, but is not always attainable because of the chaotic scenes spewing in and out of my brain.  its insanity really.

however, i have to admit, my overactive mind is not all bad/frustrating.  there are some real fun thoughts i get to play with too.  some great creative that emerges.  fun fantasies.  genius ideas.  well at least i like to think of them as genius.  LOL.

now that you have a general idea about my thinking, let’s move onto my speaking, or lack there of.  i don’t say much, in comparison to most in the world.  we live in an ego driven society.  seems to me most people want the focus on them, or want attention, or want to be heard.  im quite the opposite for the most part.  i don’t really search for the spotlight.  i don’t really NEED to be heard.  doesn’t mean i never want to be, just means i don’t NEED to be.  when in a group, especially a group of people i don’t know very well, i will take the role as the listener.  and i am a damn good listener.  i pay attention and i hear what the people in my company are saying.  and then i think about their words and opinions.  i analyze.  i quietly argue or agree.  but much of the time i will not share what’s going on upstairs with you.

why am i like that?  why don’t i want to share my thoughts and voice my opinion?  it’s simple.  and it links back to why i am such a thinker,  and  why i am an alcoholic and drank as i did.  im shy.  im scared.  im afraid i will say something stupid.  i often have trouble turning my thoughts into complete sentences.  this is one very real reason why i drank.  boozing it up took away all my inhibitions and fears.  when drinking, i was not so afraid to open my mouth.  i was free.  and i did the intimidating, not you.  tough girl donna was untied, while under the influence!

today i am sober.  i don’t drink to hide behind my fears any longer.  today i deal with them.  i stare my character defects in the face and challenge them head on.  i don’t want to be so shy and unspoken.  i really don’t.  i kind of enjoy being a thinker, but i wouldn’t mind being more of a speaker as well.  i am making improvements.  i am  breaking out of my shell more the longer i am sober.  it’s a VERY slow process, but i am okay with that.  because i am okay with who donna is.  yes, there is room for improvement.  there is always room for improvement.  but i am in no rush.  i’d rather really learn why i am the way i am so that i can fully understand in order to really develop depth in my change and growth.  this is no race.  and i walk with the pace life presents to me.

next blog.  key fact #5.  i am an observer.

i know i am but what are you?

key fact #3

i am a vegan.

what exactly does that mean?  here is a brief definition….

WIKIPEDIA:  Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal productsEthical vegans reject the commodity status of animals and the use of animal products for any purpose, while dietary vegans or strict vegetarians eliminate them from their diet only. Another form, environmental veganism, rejects the use of animal products on the premise that the industrial practice is environmentally damaging and unsustainable.

so what kind of vegan is donna?

well, im not here to lecture, or be an activist, cause my knowledge of the topic is not strong enough yet.  and im not interested in being something i am not.  so what i am, today, is a budding student in the area of animal activism and animal rights as well as environmental issues and sustainability.  truth be told, i have spent most of my 35 years of life avoiding the truth behind the cruelty of animals on factory farms.  anytime an undercover video or story would be placed in front of me showing the torture of these precious animals, i would turn my head.  if someone tried to speak to me about the topic i would cover my ears.  out of sight, out of mind.  don’t tell me cause i don’t want to feel bad!

well, life came to a fork in the road for me.   I met a woman.  intriguing.  beautiful.  passionate for animals and the planet.  an activist.  she has soul.  and a divine purpose.  and i wanted to know more.

so there i stood.  at the fork.

i saw two choices.  turn right, down the comfortable road, and continue on my merry ignorant way.  walk the path where i choose to only see what i want to see.  and become voluntarily blind when uncomfortable with whats in front of me.


turn left, and choose the unfamiliar road.  feel uncomfortable.  choose to learn some truths.  to feel some pain and discomfort.  and in doing so, feel which way my heart is pulled, once the visor has been removed from my eyes.

i chose the unknown road.  i turned left.

so here is this woman.  i had never met someone of her caliber.  i wanted to know why she was the way she was.  i wanted to know what fed her drive and purpose.  i wanted to know the pain she felt which fueled her passion for animals.  i wanted to know her.

and so began my journey.

I started with some research.  good old google. i was led to sites like PETA and Mercy for Animals.  very informative.  i would share specific links to videos and articles here for you to see, but it’s a personal choice to make the leap and learn about this subject manner.  i don’t believe in forcing such topics onto people.  however, i do believe in supplying the info and leaving the decision up to you to look further.  so click on the links above if you want to learn some truth about factory farms and the abuse those animals are put through in order to “feed” America.  there are so many facts i could share here…regarding the health benefits on not being a meat eater.  the environmental benefits.  the compassion that develops  by not eating meat.  etc.  but im not going to do that now.  instead i will leave it up to you to go and research some facts.  they are easily available in this computer generated world we live in.  i will for sure be discussing this topic on occasion as this blog grows, because my compassion and passion on the subject continues to grow.  it’s no longer out of sight, out of mind for this girl.

hello my name is donna, and i am a vegan.

here are just a FEW animals who have positively touched my life in one way or another.

thank you for stopping by.  tomorrow i will share key fact #4 about who donna is.

4.  i think a lot and talk a little.

one shirley temple please, without a twist.

happy wednesday. as promised, we are onto key fact number two about donna.

2.  i am sober.

WIKIPEDIA:  A Shirley Temple (shir-ley tem-ple) is a non-alcoholic mixed drink made with two parts Ginger ale, one part orange juice, and a splash of grenadine, garnished with a maraschino cherry. More recent recipes omit the orange juice and instead combine equal parts lemon-lime soda and ginger ale.  Many restaurants now serve a Shirley Temple as a mixture of lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite, and grenadine, with a cherry added in as well.

Shirley Temples are often served to children dining with adults in lieu of real cocktails, as is the similar Roy Rogers.

The cocktail may have been invented by a bartender at Chasen’s, a restaurant in Beverly Hills, California, in the 1930s to serve to the child actress Shirley Temple, who had requested a cocktail that was not alcoholic. 

i remember ordering shirley temples as a kid, trying to fit in with the cocktail drinking adults.  i couldn’t wait to grow up and have one of the glamorous alcohol filled drinks those “grown ups” around me were indulging in. whenever i could sneak a sip, i would.   i felt the same about the slot machines in nevada, where i spent my summers growing up.  as a young child i would sneak my change in the machines.  or beg my mom to play for me with the few coins i had saved up.  the rush was fantastic.  the smoke-filled, booze smelling casinos.  it was heaven!  the signs were all there, long before i even had a driver’s license.  i was an alcoholic/addict in training.

hello.  my name is donna, and i am an alcoholic.

alcoholism is a primary illness or disorder characterised by some loss of control over drinking, with habituation or addiction to the drug alcohol, causing interference in any major life function, e.g. health, family, job, spiritual, friends, legal.

i can’t speak for alcoholics as a whole, i can only speak for myself.  i was an alcoholic from the gate.  my intentions were always instant gratification, instant escape, instant loss of reality.  numb me now please. and thank you.

lets review quickly donnas personality type.  i am shy.  i am an introvert.  i don’t talk much, especially if i don’t know you.  people scare me.  people intimidate me.  the only way i can get along and feel at peace with you, is if i am filled up with something that will drown my uncomfortable feelings.  alcohol certainly did the trick.  and boy did i come out of my shell once under the influence.  i was fun, happy, so NOT afraid of you.  i was social, a dancer,  i was beautiful, i was wanted, i was in control, i was dominant and fearless.  so i thought.  i know now, that was not really the case.  i simply disguised myself as something i wasn’t.  using alcohol as my cover up.

alcoholism is said to be a progressive disease.  i concur.  it progressively got worse for me.  eventually i was no longer using alcohol in social settings as comfort food, but i was using it at home, all hours, hiding from the world.  i eventually lived life in a blackout.  the world was a scary place for a girl like me.

luckily, i was able to recognize i needed help.  and i searched for it.  i didn’t want to die. i didn’t want to hurt you anymore.  i didn’t want to hurt myself anymore.  i wanted to know who donna really was.  and so the slow discovery began.

hello.  my name is donna and i am a recovering alcoholic.  i will always be recovering, never fully recovered.  alcoholism is not curable.  i must not forget that bit of information.  my life depends on it.

today i am sober.  i have a new program for living.  i work it daily.  i am getting to know who donna is and am having a great time in doing so.  turns out i really like her.  she’s not such a bad gal!

i am sure that more about my alcoholism will come out as this blog grows.  there is so much to say and dissect regarding this area of my life.  and sadly, there is a lot of alcoholism and drug addiction in the world.  much of the worlds troubles and many of its tragedies, especially in America, revolve around drugs/alcohol.

i am grateful to be an alcoholic.  i do not regret my past, nor to i wish to shut the door on it.  being an alcoholic is part of my story.  it has also forced me to take a good look at myself in ways i never would have if not having gotten sober.  i realized i was a lesbian  in my first sobriety (yes its taken a few times in and out of sobriety to get where i am today).  i found my artistic side in sobriety.  i am finding my authentic self.  getting to know her.  and growing with her.  i live a much simpler and honest life now.  i have a way to go in my sobriety, and growth.  but that gives me so much to look forward to!

i still have a vice.  that’s CAFFEINE.  i am a coffee addict now.  but i am okay with that.

me and my big mug. espresso love.

so that covers key fact number two about who donna is.  tomorrow i will talk about key fact number three.  i am vegan.

thanks for stopping by and hope you come back for the next post!

welcome to the birth of my mind.

hello all and welcome to the birth of my blog.  curiosities and thoughts.  it’s that simple.  i can’t truthfully say what the “theme” of this blog will be, as i have no clue.  i suspect it will be diverse and not so rigid in subject matters.  that pretty much mirrors the mold of me, so it works out perfectly.

the reason this blog came to life today is because of my brewing thoughts of the morning.  i decided rather than just replay and dissect my minds chaos in a quiet and lonely fashion, i’d share them with you.  perhaps someone will land on this page and find the words worth reading. but for today and  the next few blogs, i am going to introduce myself, and some key points about me.  i think it’s important to know a bit about me, if i am going to share my thoughts and curiosities with you.

if you read the “about me” section of this blog, you will learn a few key things about who donna is. and who i am likely triggers and reinforces my thoughts, opinions, and curiosities in one way or another.  so lets start this blog off with key fact number one…

1.  i am a lesbian.  what does that mean, exactly?  I would define  lesbians as, women who love women.  women who feel emotionally and spiritually more driven towards and connected to other women.  women who are no doubt sexually attracted to other women.  yeah, that about sums it up.


i realized I was a lesbian at the age of 22.  late bloomer i suppose.  actually, that is a lie.  i was not a late bloomer by any means.  i was on the playing ground long before i probably should have been.  i just didn’t recognize my adoration for women until i was a bit older.  in fact, as a younger person, i really didn’t like women much.  i felt threatened by them.  i felt the need to compare myself to them.  i saw them as frivolous and lacking any depth.  most of my friends were guys.  i fit in well with the “boys”.  i was always “one of the guys.”  i suppose that makes sense now that i think about it.

so on with the story of my lesbianism…i slept with my first woman in my early 20’s.  she was (and still is) my dear friend.  we will call her K-B.  it kinda just happened, as they say.  one minute we were washing our feet in the bathtub, and the next minute…

that day changed my life forever.  i had no idea.  no real clue that i had such a desire for women.  i have rarely looked back since that magical day.  thank you K-B.  thank you.

i get asked this question often:  “did you have bad experiences with men in your life that may have turned you away from them?”

i suppose it’s a fair question, even though i do believe one is born gay  (if TRULY gay)  and is not transformed into being gay based on experiences.  my story does involve HORRIBLE relationships with men.  well, one horrible relationship that sucked me into a black vortex for most of my younger years.  however, i would never give that man credit for my being a lesbian!  paleeeez.  im a proud lesbian.  out and open about my sexual orientation.  i don’t believe that my past relationships with men have anything to do with my current love for women.  the attraction I feel.  the connection i feel.  the burning sensation in the pit of my stomach that comes from a womans touch. the real love that can develop.  these miracles, and many others, have never been felt by me with any man.  ever.  the connection between myself and any man in my past was always very surfaced.  with the one horrible relationship i mentioned, i might have been in love with him, but the mechanics of that relationship were so broken, it never reached any level of purity and truth.  it was my first experience with love.  but it was not love as i know love today.

how beautiful is this photograph i ran across:

at the sweet age of 22, my life transformed.  i finally came out into the world authentically.  i finally began to recognize who i was.  i finally felt intimacy . really experienced intimacy as the beautiful experience it is.  i grew into myself.  i was home.  and i am a lesbian.

thanks for stopping by.  tomorrow i will write about key fact number  2.  i am sober.