Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Some people periodically recommend blogs. Others, like me, have a list on their sidebar. I explore their lists -- some lead to dead ends and others are just delightful.
What is the most delightful surprise you've encountered when exploring other blogs?
Okay, update. Alicia has a post about Marcy Winograd over at Last Left Before Hooterville. I mention this because a) Marcy needs our support, and b)Alicia has been my blogging mentor. Thanks, A!
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
I will admit it: I love a painterly image. I love the texture of oil paint. I love the smell. I also love the way drawing feels. There is something so physical about drawing on a large scale that I love.
Over at Au fil du temps/As Time Goes By", Suzanne had a post about a book, Big House, Little House, Back House, Barn, which addresses the evolution of architecture in New England. After ordering the book, I thought heavily about that month in residency. My work since then has been quite sporadic, but I am suddenly in a place where my need to paint has taken root. It's like I'm awakening from a long hibernation. Painting, and photography, are beginning to rule my life again, and a feeling of anticipation is growing.
What triggers change in you? What are your dreams and what are your compromises?
And I spent the weekend with good friends, one of whom is a Viet Nam combat veteran, who is so articulate in his crticism of this administration. An intersting comment he made last night: he said that while the Iraq war is at a similar point to Viet Nam when Johnson turned the mess over to Nixon, the major difference is the body counts. Iraq has about the same number of troops deployed as we had in Viet Nam, but the deaths are not at the same numbers, and most of the deaths are not combat related -- they are murders caused by cowardly actions. He said that until the death toll in Iraq reaches the numbers of Viet Nam, public opinion will not change very much -- that we are essentially preaching to the converted when we talk amongst ourselves.
We also talked about the corruption of this government. We agree on so many levels except one: I believe we can be a voice for change and he believes we are at the end of the line. He's a cynic, I'm skeptical.
But I say this: we must never give up, never give up, never give up.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Two cups home made yogurt
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons vinegar (I use basalmic)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon fresh dill
Put it all in a blender, liquify, serve chilled. Makes two servings. Yum. Today's lunch between outings.
I try to avoid the mid-day sun, especially on days like today which are clear and warm. Was out early morning with some Kommando forays, and will go out again later for some meditative walks. The soup is staying home, but the key lime pie is ready to go to the barbeque.
There is only one way to honor the dead, and the LIVING veterans of Viet Nam, and that is to get our soldiers out of Iraq, to end this nightmare. Pay a visit to the Kommandos and post a memorial day action.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Four of us are not in relationships (I include the nephew and one of the men); one woman is in a long-distance relationship; and the couple whose house we were at have been together for quite some time. For me, divorced nearly 15 years and quite adept at getting involved with the wrong man, it was great to see a functional couple at work.
We talked, we told stories, we told jokes. We laughed. It was such a pleasant evening that bears mentioning because sometimes I think that conversation is a dying art form. We teased the nephew a lot, because he's great looking, and we're a bunch of dirty old women -- that was fun.
Laughter among friends has great restorative power. It makes me feel safe. I mean laughter at a deep level, belly laughs, laughs that take my breath away. It makes me feel connected.
We started talking about creating a food co-op for us -- I remembered the one I belonged to 30 years ago when my kids were babies. There were about 30 families in it and we took turns shopping for everyone once a week. Did that for about a year or two. We talked about creating our own "retirement" community although I know I will never be able to retire -- and we talked a lot about Viet Nam -- one of the men was a Nam Vet who gets compensation from the government because, as he puts it, it's the government's way of saying they were wrong to send these soldiers. That Viet Nam was wrong.
And that was our evening. How is your holiday weekend shaping up?
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Another variety I like is Seascape. They're firmer, not quite as sweet, and just have a delightful taste. They are particularly good with brown sugar and sour cream.
Growing up, I never liked strawberries or tomatoes. Grocery store fruit has no flavor, and that's what I grew up on. Right before I moved to Israel I was told that I would be eating a lot of tomatoes -- and first night on the Kibbutz, at the dinner tables, were nothing but tomatoes, cucumbers, cottage cheese, bread, and onions. I sat waiting for a hot meal, and someone told me this was it. I broke down and tasted a tomato, and have never looked back.
There is something indescribable about eating food fresh picked, without hormones, and with the taste of the sun still in it. That tomato was incredible. The berries I purchased are incredible. The more we grow our own, in small quantities, the better we all are. We've sacrificed way too much for simple convenience.
Solution #1: I got out of bed.
Solution #2: Will go to the farmers market; then I have to meet a new client despite it being a day off.
Solution #3: Will go to a movie -- something light and fluffy -- with friends.
My point is that I have to keep in motion, and not isolated, or I will cave under the weight.
Sometimes, when I read about the world in chaos, it filters into me at such depth. I internalize it -- like I have the power to stop earthquakes in Indonesia. This is absolute insanity, of course, but I entertain a bizarre sense of hyper-responsibility. Not as bad as it used to be, thank god, but that's a bit of what's going on today -- I feel like I should DO something about everything. I can't. It helps to laugh at this kind of thinking. I wonder if anyone else goes to this sort of insanity?
But today's news included an article in the NY Times about Bear Hunting Caught in Global Warming Debate; and then another about the 6.2 quake in Indonesia that has left thousands dead and injured, while Mount Merapi gets more active since the quake. And last night, I watched again Enron-The Smartest Guys In The Room in honor of the conviction of Skilling & Lay.
And a good friend was in a car accident yesterday, seriously injured her back, in hospital in Chattanoga. Small wonder I'm in a funk today.
Friday, May 26, 2006
This peaceful protest is intimate, and designed to get into people's hearts and minds. Because it isn't strident, angry shouting, because it is muted, it becomes more eloquent. The whimsy of using toy soldiers is poignent at a deep level, because most of the soldiers who are deployed in Iraq, or who will be deployed to Iran if the Bush Administration plows forward, are children who have barely begun their lives. Too many are coming home with limbs missing; too many have come home in body bags.
Like Viet Nam, the soldiers are not the enemy. The administration run amok is the enemy. Many of our Viet Nam veterans continue to suffer from severe mental anguish. I hear stories from men I know who served; my son-in-law never knew his father who was MIA in Nam, and whose name is on the Wall in Washington.
Please join us. Deploy troops. Bring our young soldiers home.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
What's the best thing in your garden?
Bush & Co., however, has not only turned loose the military to spy extensively on the American people, but has also asserted the right to do so in perpetuity. Its claim is that 9/11 turned the homeland into a foreign battlefield, so the nation's historic prohibition against military surveillance of Americans is null and void. And since this war on terrorists has no end ("the long war," Rumsfeld calls it), the Bushites maintain that the Pentagon can engage in domestic spying ad infinitum."
Those of us opposed to the administration's illegal activities are branded "pacifists" and, by extension, traitors. We are spied upon. Our phone calls are monitored. We are silenced. But as American citizens, we have an obligation to stop this insanity. Wake up, America. Stand up, be counted, take back our country!
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Sterling Burnett, senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, compares Al Gore to Nazi Propoganda Director Joseph Goebbels, and the film to Nazi propoganda films. Of course, The National Center for Policy Analysis has received $390,000 from ExxonMobil since 1989, but hey, what's a few hundred thousand dollars among friends? I'm just sayin.
In August 2000, I was part of a 1500 person fundraising bicycle ride from Fairbanks to Anchorage -- the Alaska Aids Vaccine Ride. There were 1500 riders, and a lot of support people -- the people who fed us and provided the shower trucks do this for major events, and disaster relief. They set up temporary camps after Hurricane Andrew, in Florida, years ago. Anyway, it was a complex event, in ALASKA, and so off I went, me, my bicycle, and 1500 of my best friends.
One night we camped on boulders. There wasn't a patch of dirt anywhere.
Gulkana Glacier was nearby -- looked to be about a football field away (more on that in a minute) and what we were camping on is the debris left when glaciers retreat. Now, at our campsites, we had local Native Alaskans who would set up sweat lodges, and would smudge us as we'd ride out. I was speaking to this one man, who told me that the glacier I thought was so close was actually two miles away from us. It had retreated two miles in less than 20 years. He said that it takes 200 years of constant snow to compress to create one inch of glacier, but less than 20 years to cause that much melt.
On day five, a lot of the conversations with local people was about the glaciers. The word is that within 50 years, all the Alaska glaciers will be gone. Global warming is causing them to retreat, to melt, at an alarming rate.
Mr. Gore's film is essential viewing, but action is more essential. A friend said to me she thought we needed to drill in the Artic Wildlife Refuge so we could end our dependence on foreign oil. I said not at all -- we need to end our dependence on any fossil fuel, and develop sustainable sources of energy -- wind, water, ethanol, for example. But we may have passed the tipping point.
I recently purchased a Civic Hybrid -- it is fuel efficient, and it's cute. It's not perfect but it beats the pants off those obnoxious 2 MPG Hummers I see. Tell me this: why did I have to pay OVER sticker for something that's fuel efficient?
Have had a running joke with several women I know in the travel business -- we're all long-timers, with a focus on the South Pacific -- anyway, when business gets so intense we feel like our hair is on fire, I suggest we need to open our own bakery and call it A Bunch of Burnt Out Broads. Focus on all things chocolate. It has been one of those weeks, as we've upgraded some of our systems, and that wrecks havoc for a while. But my secret other life is to open my bakery.
I wonder what your way out is -- when things become too intense in your working life, what is your secret other life?
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
We meet for dinner on Tuesdays and tonight she said "I think I'm switching parties to be a Democrat. Have you heard about Al Gore's documentary?" I was so happy to hear this, so I told her about the
-- she got so excited, she started to suggest locations, and ideas for slogans ("I want to see my family again" was particularly good). Then she said she'd like to put some of her own soldiers around. From asleep Republican to quiet activism. What a good day!
People are excited about Marcy, because she presents a true choice: she's a real Democrat, in the tradition of Bobby Kennedy. She's against the war; she's opposed to the violations of civil liberties that have been sanctioned by the Patriot Act (a misnomer if there ever was one.) The money that's being spent on the war needs to go to education, healthcare, job training and the environment; Marcy Winograd will work to those goals.
Jane Harman is outspending Marcy Winograd. And some of what she's doing is incredibly dispicable. Jane Harman voted for the Iraq War & Occupation; her current ads on Cable say she opposed it. Jane Harman voted FOR the Patriot Act THREE TIMES; her current ads say she opposed it. She voted to militarize space with nuclear weapons; she voted to lock people up indefinitely without charging them of a crime, nor allowing them to talk with a lawyer; she willingly kept Bush's secret about illegal wiretaps, then denounced those who told us the truth -- and again, her ads on television say she's always been an opponent of illegal wiretapping.
Every letter I've sent Jane Harman against the war, against the Patriot Act, any of these topics, has been responded to with a paternalistic (yes, paternalistic) justification of why she's voting with the Republicans. She's got to be held accountable and Marcy Winograd is the right person to do that. She needs your help. If you are interested in doing some phone banking, or even walking a precinct, or are available election day, email me and I'll get you the details.
Monday, May 22, 2006
The woman who is behind this movement, Sallie Gratch, is a resident of a Chicago suburb, and someone I knew years ago. One more time I am reminded of how truly connected we all are, and out of that connection, we have an obligation to work for peace.
Put your soldiers in as many places you can think of!
It annoys me, I'm glad I'm done with them, but this is starting to make me physically ill again. Constant barrages of the same question over and over; answered, and documented. These people accused me of putting them in a hotel they hated BEFORE THEY WERE MY CLIENTS. They're fundamentally dishonest, and what I observe with dishonest people is that they keep accusing other people of ripping them off, or of somehow doing the very wrong doing they do themselves.
Sounds like the Decider and his crew.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
My father loved to garden. He was so proud of his garden, and we had some amazing things in our yard in Chicago. We had a peach tree that bore the hardest, most un-ripened peaches you could ever imagine. I mean those suckers never got sweet. We had an apple tree that produced green apples that made the best applesauce and the best apple pie, but god forbid you should eat them off the tree lest your mouth invert from how sour they were. We had a wild plum tree that grew wee little plums that were so sweet and tasty, but drew all kinds of birds who got most of them.
And we had peonies. Those were amazing. They were so fragrent, and gorgeous. He grew white ones, red ones, pink ones. There were about a dozen in our front yard, more along the sides of the house and more in the back yard. They were his pride and joy. My mother would cut them, leave bunches on the porch until the ants crawled away and then bring the open blooms into the house.
We had lilacs. Bushes of lilacs. I miss lilacs and peonies intensely. We had gorgeous yellow forsythia -- gorgeous.
But we never had a vegetable garden growing up. My mother thought that wasn't very modern. She was big into canned and frozen veggies. It's a wonder we survived her cooking, to tell the truth. She used to make this thing that I called "grey meat" which was really brisket. Oh, my god. Not quite as bad as Aunt Della's second day spagetti, but I digress.
We also had a paperbark birch tree in our front yard which grew from a small thing to a towering tree. These are midwest memories, but in California, in a condo with a balcony, I do my best to have my own little garden and it makes me happy.
Happy even if the roses fail. I can still get my hands in the dirt, and I can still make my attempts. It's all about the effort, sometimes.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
This is the camping trip I went on with Bill Harney. I'm on the far right, hat on for protection from intense sun, marked with sacred ochre on my arm because we are at Moon Lady Dreaming, a womans business site.
So many Dreamtime stories, but Suzanne from Au fil du temps-As time goes by sent me a link to
I only wish you could hear Bill Harney tell this story. He's a short, compact man, about 73 years old, and he has a funny little voice. He speaks several languages (5 different Aboriginal languages, Italian, English, and I believe some German and French), he's an author, he's an award winning artist, but mostly he's Yidumduma Bill Harney (or Bi'larney) and I adore him.
He talks about the Dreamtime, and Still. Dreamtime is when the earth was fluid, and Still is when everything stopped and became solid. Now is still.
He says that the Dreamtime is not when we lay our heads down to go to sleep -- that's dreamtime. The Dreamtime is an active wide awake time when everything was liquid, fluid. Everything, everyone, was in human form and they sang the world into existance.
At one time, there were over 1000 Aboriginal language groups in Australia -- now, less than 300 survive. Bill says that the Aboriginies are the keepers of the land, and when they are gone, the earth will die. He points to global warming, he points to the Tsunami, or Katrina, and says that Rainbow (rainbow serpent) is getting mad.
Rainbow Serpent is the creative life force, and his dreaming is all water courses -- oceans, rivers, lakes, streams, and he gave birth to people, animals, birds, fish, reptiles, all living things. He has a terrible temper, and must not be disturbed. When Rainbow gets mad (when we harm our host, our land) he retaliates by great slapping of his tail.
Raping wetlands by overbuilding; poisoning the air with dangerous chemical emmissions; needless wars; destroying natural resources -- all this makes Rainbow angry.
Friday, May 19, 2006
Bill Harney is the senior elder of the Wardaman People in the Victoria River Gorge region of The Northern Territory of Australia. He's an artist, master didgeridoo player, story teller, author, cattleman, entrepreneur, and keeper of the laws for his people. My camping trip with Bill was an extraordinary experience.
We all bought paintings from him -- I asked for Brolga Dreaming because the story about Brolga spoke to me deeply on our trip. Brolga is about a young girl who goes to a sacred ground and transforms from human to Brolga. It's the original Swan Lake. It's about transformation, about restoration, about spirit.
This image is not the one Bill made for me, but it is similar in style. I put it here for me to remember, and I think I may just put it on a sidebar too.
The choices for the banners are all direct messages. I'm happy to be a Kommando.
Among the travel agents, there's a group of five women who became fast, close friends on a camping trip in a remote area of the Northern Territory of Australia two years ago. We all were acquainted with each other, cordial, but it was exclusively a professional relationship. Four of us served on an advisory board.
We got wind of this camping trip into the NT with an Aboriginal Elder who was working with a filmmaker in order to document the rock art sites in his land -- he wants to preserve the stories and law for the younger generation. Complex story, but the short one is that there is no middle generation to teach the law to the young people in his language group. The middle generation didn't grow up on the land, had no access to ceremony; now they have their land, and the old people are dying out -- so it's urgent.
So the deal is that the five of us, all middle-aged women, unused to camping, decided this was a once in a lifetime experience and I said "I could really get my heart around this one" -- so we signed up. (We are women who think that camping is anything below a Holiday Inn. Another agent, not joining us, started calling us the Divas Downunder -- hence, Diva Jood)
It was incredible -- and out of this grew a close knit group of friends. Not just the five of us, but my friends in Australia -- and New Zealand -- all good people, all smart, with integrity and ethics. Kind people.
Yes, I love to travel. Yes, I love to create vacations for other people. But there is an expression in Maori that translates: What are the most important things in life? The People, the people, the people.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
I'm off to Kiwi Link today, an all-day conference for New Zealand Travel Specialists. I'd consider moving there in a heartbeat.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
But this lead me to consider all the ways we're overly connected:
Video games; game boys -- great training for future fighter pilots for our armed forces. Not only do they make young children adept with their thumbs, they desensitize kids to the act of killing by oversaturation. Besides, in the games, they just re-set and kill again. Isn't that just like life?
Cell phones keep us connected 24/7. I regularly see couples at restaurants seated together, both on cell phones, neither one with the other. Something better is always going on somewhere else -- otherwise, they'd be talking to each other. Teenage girls, walking down the street, three abreast, each chattering away on their cell phone. Nobody has the capacity to be with anybody else, it seems. Small wonder we feel isolated.
Email. Well. I can't remember what a real letter feels like -- and I'm one of the email addicts of the world. It's instant. Sometimes I email rather than use the phone.
iPods and MP3 players -- we never have to listen to the world around us; we never have to listen to our own thoughts.
We have an oversaturation of information; twenty-four hour a day television; we sacrifice imagination for technology, for entertainment. I read an article about how children should not watch television before the age of two, because they can't process the quick cuts, the fast influx of images. The article said television is a major contributor to ADD and hyperactivity -- that it is short-circuiting the wiring in kids' brains.
I'm connected again, and I wonder about it. There are days when I would like to sell my condo, move to a big old patch of land, and live off it. But not today. Today I'm reconnected.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
It's a peaceful way to ask to bring our soldiers home.
But it begs the question: are we too connected? Cell phones; instant messageing; email; text messaging -- we're never out of touch. We have very little down time, very little time to listen to the silence between thoughts.
Monday, May 15, 2006
It is essential to be in the moment when I travel; otherwise I lose the journey, I lose the immediacy of whatever is unfolding in front of me. Yesterday I ordered a new camera so that I can know how to use it before I go to Bhutan in the fall. But I can hide behind a camera too -- and lose the moment. I love to travel; my bags can be backed in ten minutes, my passport is always ready; but wherever I go, there I am. I have no expectations; I know very little about Bhutan other than its location. It is a small kingdom that has strict limitations on tourism, but it is building a new tourism infrastructure including luxury hotels. My guide is a lovely, cheerful Bhuddist who is a bird expert. I'll be there for a festival, a religious festival. My guide says that every week there are festivals, and then he laughs.
But I have forms to fill out, and that has to be done this week, so I'm thinking about the baggage I take with me that will keep me out of the moment.
Two years ago I was in South Africa with another person, who could only talk about the upcoming November election. We were both voting for Kerry, it was October, we were in South Africa, and all she could talk about was the election. We were so out of the moment, it was making me crazy. At one hotel, we were walking along a path, surrounded by zebra and monkeys, but she was talking about Bush. There was NOTHING we could do about the election at that moment. NOTHING. There were zebra so close I could have touched one (and risked being kicked, mind you. As gorgeous as they are, they have nasty dispositions. These were not tame, not pets, they were walking through the hotel grounds because the hotel was in their territory.) I haven't spoken to this person in two years, just exhausted by her inability to be where we were.
But I have to remember this when I travel to Bhutan. I can find other ways to take me out of the moment. Fear of the unknown is a big one. Of course, if I chew on this trip now, I can miss what's in front of me today. So the goal: To be in today.
Sunday, May 14, 2006
So the day for me is puttering, nothing major, but will make my yougurt which is really good.
Saw nothing in the NY Times or LA Times about Rove today, but the LA Times has a wonderful editorial about Why Karl Rove needs Nancy Pelosi which talks about the misdirection and obfuscation this madministration practices to keep away from the truth.
Happy mothers day.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
After a six day work week, I have a full weekend of nothing -- well, not nothing, but nothing but leisure activities ahead. Okay, so I will do laundry and clean my house, but I will not be answering phones at work. I will putter in my container garden, take a hike, be outside. I love a good weekend!
And over at Blanton's & Ashton's there's a post about Karl Rove's probable indictment next week. One can always hope.
Friday, May 12, 2006
When I get home during the week, I love to get out of my work clothes, put on my jammies, and chill out. I mean, it's just one of my favorite ways to unwind. Is that strange? Whatever. I love this little gift, it's just so enjoyable.
Last year, she sent me a gift card for a day spa in Los Angeles -- which was incredible, but once it's over, it's over. These jammies will let me connect with her all the time.
The top painting, Mont Vesuve vu de Torre dell'Annunziata près de Naples, has an almost Japanese feel to it. There's a softness to the image (at least as displayed by my computer) that probably indicates very thin use of of paint -- I don't see any evidence of scumbling, but I could be wrong. It's oil on paper, probably thin washes. It's gorgeous.
The middle painting, Schroon Mountain, Adirondacks, is by Thomas Cole and it has a boldness to it that makes my heart sing. He's painted this with authority, it's a wonderful image.
But the bottom one, Le temps est à l'orage, lac Memphrémagog, just makes me gasp in awe. Just an incredible use of light.
Years ago I was at The Vermont Studio Center, on a month long fellowship. I was the lone figure/portrait painter among landscape artists. One day toward the end of the month, a couple of them dragged me out to do some Pleine Air painting. My god, it's hard work -- so many choices! SO many choices. Clearly the above artists knew how to make those choices.
President Bush told reporters “we’re not mining or trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans,” but that’s simply not true. Although the Bush administration claims they're only directing this illegal spying at terror suspects or international calls, that's simply not true. The government is tracking the calls and communications of millions of ordinary Americans with the help of the phone companies. Another fine example of this administration's blatant disregard for our Constitution and our civil liberties. Take action now!
From an editorial in today's New York Times: "What we have here is a clandestine surveillance program of enormous size, which is being operated by members of the administration who are subject to no limits or scrutiny beyond what they deem to impose on one another. If the White House had gotten its way, the program would have run secretly until the war on terror ended — that is, forever."
One more time we're seeing an example of how we've become like George Orwell's book "1984." In that story, three slogans are engraved in the Ministry of Truth building: "War is peace," "Freedom is slavery," and "Ignorance is strength."
Thursday, May 11, 2006
And the lovely part of my work is that I've been able to live one of my passions! I love to travel. And I've been able to do so, I've been able to go to some extraordinary places, do incredible things, all because of my job. Now, I admit to having a fantasy job: in my dreams I am an anthropologist, (skipping all the hard school part) and I am documenting exotic cultures, making an award winning film about some lost culture. In a way, I think I'm living that dream.
So I wonder: how many of us really love what they do? What are your jobs, and do you love your work? Would you change? Do you have a fantasy job? Are you living your dream? (Alicia, I know you are!)
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I'm thinking again about something Blue Gal posted -- that we are the intellectuals and our country has a history of dismissing intellectuals. We do. The language of the Liberals, Progressives, and Left Wing is always at a higher level. ALWAYS. But when we take our language to an impovershed worker, barely earning minimum wage, no education, our $5.00 words are perceived as arrogant and distant. We may have the program that's going to get this person out of the hole, but we have evoked fear.
The Right Wing approaches this same worker with a paternalistic attitude -- using simple language, treating him as a child -- and appeals to his fears that someone OTHER is getting his fair share; his kids can't go to public school because those Liberal Pinkos are taking up needed tax dollars to send their kids to Private School. Fear.
Health Care, same kind of deal. Familys. You name it, we've got the solutions, but they've got the focus and language.
We need to change this now, or even with a 31% approval rating, the Radical Right will continue to hold power.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
This bill, if passed, will undermine necessary coverage for diabetes education and supplies, and coverage for cancer screening as a routine part of health maintenance. It will also make it difficult for seniors to get health coverage, or to even get jobs.
AARP, The American Cancer Society, and The American Diabetes Association oppose this bill. It comes up for a vote this week. Please contact your Senators and urge them to vote no.
Monday, May 08, 2006
The Hebrew words Tikkun Olam mean to heal the world. That's our job. The blogosphere connects like minded people who otherwise would never have met. NEVER.
I'm relatively new to blogging. I don't know how to link a post back to my blog. I don't know how to create a hyper-link within a post -- still, my own experience is this: I moved to Los Angeles five years ago from Chicago. In Chicago, I was a left-winger among liberals, I had a voice, I had a community of friends who thought, who read, who were the artists, intellectuals, the teachers, the activists. Los Angeles has been something of a desert for me -- the people who embraced me, while lovely people, are very shallow and, sadly, right of center. Not fascists, mind you, but we just can't talk about much other than who will be voted off American Idol.
And then I got an email from Alicia about her session on the Living With War CD -- and suddenly, there's a huge world of left wing bloggers. People who are activists, who give their heart and soul to healing the world. In the blink of an eye, I've made connection with like-minded people.
Still, I'm fairly intimidated by many blogs, and bloggers. I'm older (close to 60), and oddly shy. But I will keep posting, I will be active in my own attempts to change the minds of my Republican friends, I will do what I can to heal the world.
There is something truly obscene about the thinking of this administration. They have an arrogant and casual disregard for human dignity. They have an arrogant and casual disregard to the delicate balance of nature and contribute actively to the destruction of this balance. They have an arrogant and casual disregard for human life in their blind pursuit of control of foreign oil and their own personal greed.
We really stand at a tipping point, and most Americans are asking how we got here. We got here because we tend to abdicate responsibility in favor of watching "reality" television. Our addiction to being entertained at all times means we don't have to read, we don't have to think, we become numb and asleep and one day we wake up at the brink of real disaster and say WTF?
Still, I retain hope that those of us who oppose this administration are making our voices heard. Dinner on Saturday with dear friends -- a gay couple who live in a hotbed of Republicanism, Orange County -- and one of them is a lawyer and Republican (I tease him that being Gay and Republican is an oxymoron) -- anyway, he's no longer a Bush supporter, and is quite concerned about what's going on.
Another friend, a woman who is Republican only because her parents were (she's 65 years old!) said to me on Sept. 11, 2001 "We've got the right man for the job, don't you think?" -- I was horrified, having just lost a good friend on AA11; I said "absolutely not". Anyway, now she's so frustrated by Medicare; she's so appalled by the Iraq war, the lies, and the probability we'll invade Iran as well that she no longer supports Bush.
Two small examples of change. I retain hope.
When I closed up, I went to Whole Foods, picked up some things, drove the 30 miles home, and just turned into a vegetable.
C-Span is running streaming video of Colbert's roast on its website, and will be selling a DVD for $25-ish. And on Friday, Google Video will have Colbert's roast on streaming video.
All over the map right now. Have to get ready for work, the new week, and next week, I will settle in on what digital SLR to purchase.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
This June 3, 1997, statement of principles from the Project for a New American Century is the shaky foundation of the Bush Administration. If you haven't seen it, it is important to read. If you've seen it before, it's worth the reminder, because this is what the Bush Administration believes. Note the signers of this statement.
We need to get these people out of office now.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
It's the tomatoes, though, that have not shown their bloom. I know I did them hastily, and the truth is I probably should have done seedlings instead of seeds. There is nothing like a tomato picked fresh off the vine; second choice is tomatoes from the farmers market. I can't tolerate supermarket tomatoes at all. So I will wait a little longer, but I think I'm going to have to purchase seedlings from the garden store and start over.
The week was great after firing the crazy clients. All of a sudden, I'm getting an absolute slew of calls from honeymooners. I've always been busy, I'm a top producer at our agency, but getting rid of the crazies has suddenly put me into a higher phase. Julia Cameron talks about the Crazy Makers in The Artist's Way -- she says they rob us of energy and time. Once I got rid of them, I had that energy again.
Farmer's Market, laundry, some house cleaning, baking today before dinner with friends. Sunday, I'm at work because we have a cruise ad, and I'm one of the luxury cruise experts. We're open 7 days a week, weekends are voluntary, but it's good business. Yesterday was 3 years with this company, and I'm happy there. It's a good fit for me. Owner of the agency is decent, kind, and fair, and a keeps us healthy. I have good friends in the company. We're an oddity in that many small businesses that are owner/operated tend to be Republican; we're so NOT Republican it borders on hilarious. I love where I work. This makes me very lucky indeed.
So, off to start the day.
Marcy Winograd table at Farmers Market. I got my bumper sticker, it's now on my car. Got there in time to get Gaviota Strawberries, my favorite. And I caved, bought Brandywine Tomato seedlings, and basil seedlings, will replant my non-growing seeded tomatoes now.
Foggy morning, June gloom. I suspect a hot hot summer (thank you, Mr. President, for adding to global warming. Putz.)
Friday, May 05, 2006
So she went to check it out. She went to the Western Wall and there he was walking slowly up to the holy site. She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, using a cane in a very slow fashion , she approached him for an interview. "I'm Rebecca Smith from CNN. Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?"
"For about 60 years."
"60 years! That's amazing! What do you pray for?"
"I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims. I pray for all the hatred to stop and I pray for all our children to grow up in safety and friendship."
"How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?"
"Like I'm talking to a fuckin' wall."
Thursday, May 04, 2006
The premise: the Liberals and Left have all the correct action based on compassion and common welfare, but the language is all about statistics. We put in programs that work, that are helpful and good, but have not mastered the language of kindness.
On the other hand, the Right wing and Conservatives base their language in "family values" and "Moral behavior" and twist it with fear: the fear that someone else who is NOT YOU is getting your fair share of the pie and you are going to do without. "You" have worked hard, you're a real American supporting a family (who cares if your grandparents came off a boat possibly escaping religious persecution) and THEY WHO ARE NOT YOU (Blacks, Jews, Hispanics, Left-wing Pacifists who are clearly not real Patriots) are taking away what is rightfully yours. The Right Wing stokes this fear with a constant referral that anyone who doesn't agree with them is not a patriot. They quash discourse.
The result is we become frustrated, and we begin to scream. Or go to sleep. Exhausted, burnt out, worn out. We can't do that. We cannot afford to close our eyes in the hope or expectation that someone else will correct the wrongs or speak our voice.
We need to take back our language and calmly, steadfastly, take back our Nation. Restore our Constitution. Care for our sick, our poor, our workers. We need to reclaim our dignity by stopping unnecessary wars that are based on greed. Peace.
We need to honor their memory, and the memory of our Viet Nam dead and MIA by bringing our soldiers home from Iraq.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
So, to TFLS, I'm glad Typepad was down, because it led me to the other site, which led me to this image, which led me to pinch and post.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
"Political anxiety in an election year is to blame for a lot of the bad bills Congress passes. "REPRESENTATIVE JEFF FLAKE, Republican of Arizona, on a proposed $100 rebate to taxpayers to compensate for higher gas prices.
And here I thought bad bills were passed because of cronyism and greed.
Monday, May 01, 2006
Anyway, I've been working on a trip for them for high-season, impossible destination, and every day at about 4 PM she sends one line emails (and since she's on AOL, she doesn't reference anything) -- about ten of these emails in a row, all contradictory. I've lost sleep, I get sick, and I can't service my other clients -- and worse, they never trust any of my suggestions, they have to check with their A-list friends to find out if it's worth going to.
On Friday at 4:30, I got one of these emails which began "change of plans" -- followed by three more contradictory emails. And, this morning, I came in to four more of these sort of emails. Nothing was confirmed at this point, and frankly, we lose money on them because of all the insanity. So, with the blessing of the owner of our agency, I sent a very polite email saying that I was completely confused, and that I didn't feel I could provide the level of service they require, that I am probably no longer the right agent, nor are we the right agency for them.
Within ten minutes of sending the email, an old client I'd not heard from in three years called me out of the blue.
I wish it were as simple with the Bush administration: Dear George, after the chaos of the last six years, I feel we are not the right country for you...
Spoke to Ellie bean -- rather, she babbled in her lovely little strange baby language, then tried to eat the phone. I miss her. She has the sweetest voice. Wish they would move to Los Angeles.