Monday, May 02, 2011


After 9/11 in the midst of processing the horror of the event, one of the most disturbing images, to me, were the video clips of people in the Middle East celebrating the attack on the towers and the deaths of more than 3,000 innocent Americans.  They were in the streets dancing around and handing out candy, waving flags and chanting and wailing.  It was terrifying to think that people could hate Americans so much that they would celebrate the crime perpetrated on the innocent.

Last night when I was watching the news to gain more details about the death of Osama Bin Laden I saw images of Americans in the street celebrating his death, and while I am happy to know that he is dead, I believe that he needed to die, I was never in favor of capturing him - much preferring a well aimed killshot - I found that it made me just as uncomfortable to watch people dancing in the street, chanting and waving flags to celebrate his death.

I want to believe that we are better than them.

I'm old enough to remember those John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies where justice is delivered with a gunshot, after which the hero blows the smoke off the end of the pistol and rides off into the sunset.  That is the iconic American hero - someone who stoically gets the job done cuz it needs doin' - and then moves on to the next town and the next bad guy while the town people gather around the body and watch him go.  They don't dance in the street and have a party.

They do that not us. 

My fear is this:  that these radical extremists, watching images of us celebrating, just like they did, will start coming over here and blowing themselves up in our malls and on our freeways during rush hour traffic.  We will have to start living in a way that is not free.  We will be living lives that always contain the fear of a kind of violence that we have never known.  

When that happens the terrorists will have won.  And since I'm thinking about this in a place of "us" and "them" perhaps they already have.

Monday, April 04, 2011


This past weekend I was lucky and blessed to spend time at an avocado ranch up near El Capitan State Beach.  We went to celebrate Leisa turning 50 and three others, including myself, had just birthdays as well so it was quite festive.  The property itself is amazing with vineyards and avocado groves and a stream and a zip line, but I was mostly into the hammock.

It was nice, cool and damp, misty giving over to rain a few times, which was great because at least 1/3 of the 12 women that were there were having hot flashes at any given time.  One of us who is fighting breast cancer had just had her last radiation treatment, so she was experiencing prickly heat that was so extreme, the material from her shirt was driving her nuts, not to mention the extreme pain from the burn.  She showed me the scars on her chest where her breasts had been and the charred black and red flesh over her left side, at the site of the radiation treatment.

While red and black are sort of her signature colors, the accompanying pain was bad and it was wearing her out, but she was a super trooper for making the trip.  Now that the treatment is over she can move on to the next thing - which will be marrying her best friend in August.  She is also a force of nature and a scrapper, so it seemed appropriate that as the earth is on the verge of bursting with verdant life, she is at the stage in this fight where she is kicking cancer's ass and looking forward to moving on to grand future, a full life, and a really fun wedding in this amazing place later this summer and it will be my honor to perform the ceremony.

I think that's why I love spring so much.  Beyond the fact that the days are longer, there is also literal budding of life which hints at the abundance of goodness and beauty to come with summer days.  When times are challenging there is nothing more important than this reminder of the inexorable forward motion of life and although it can feel bleak and challenging and exhausting, it will once again renew and there will be light on the path ahead.  It's more difficult to find these signs in the middle of a city, but they're still there.  In Southern California we don't have the obvious movement from snow to sun, but we have so many plants that show us that spring is here.  I love that we have hibiscus bushes.

They are floribundufull - not a word, I know, but it sounds like they look, and while this is from the ranch they live on almost every corner of the streets in my neighborhood. 

But back to the ranch, the frogs sang to us all night and the roosters woke us in the morning.  I tried to get a good picture of the little dudes but they were less than enthused about a photo shoot and did not cooperate.  Turns out it's hard to get a good shot when you're running towards bushes at full speed.

We took beautiful walks and ate the most delicious food and did art projects and read and napped and danced in the living room in front of the fireplace, and then ran outside to wait for the hot flashes to mellow out.  We sat on the porch swings and talks and talked and climbed up into the tree house and talked some more.  We walked the rows of the vines which are just starting to make little grapes...

And we look forward to one day drinking the wine that is promised in each little nugget and toasting Nancy and Byron this summer with the first vintage grown on the ranch which will be ready this summer.  Thanks to the Doty's for allowing us the great privilege of staying at their magical ranch.


Thursday, March 31, 2011


The events in Japan, aside from being incredibly tragic, are also very scary.  I have long believed that our technological developments and capacities have far outweighed our spiritual development and ability to manage the technology.

The situation with the nuclear reactor continues to place, not only Japan in great peril, but also the rest of the world.  Yesterday I read that radiation had showed up in milk in Washington state.  Of course, the article assured the readers that the levels were very low, so low as to be negligible and not to worry, but seriously?  That's not okay and imagine what the realities are for the food sources in Japan, a place so small that when I worked for a Japanese company a typical gift was a beautifully gift wrapped orange.

Here in Southern California, where we are close to the abundant food source that is the central growing region of this state, we don't really think about how dear food is for other places that do not have the capacity to grow so much.  I have been keeping Japan in my prayers ever since I heard about the earthquake and tsunami and the issues with the nuclear power plant.  I am a strong believer in prayer and intention.  For me it's my go to game plan when I feel helpless to do anything else to help a friend in need, or when I have no idea what else to do, like now.

The message below has been going out all over the internet and I have received it from several sources.  It's a simple request - to say a prayer - and I know that if everyone who has gotten this message over the last few days would stop and say this prayer, not only today at noon, but everyday, it will help.

Today is my birthday and that is my wish - that the whole world will say a prayer to the water for Japan and for the world.  One of my favorite writers, Anne LaMotte says that her two favorite prayers are help me, help me, help me and thank you, thank you, thank you.

I'm with her.  Simple is best. 

URGENT: A letter from Dr Masaru Emoto, author of Messages
in Water plus other related books.

A letter from Dr Masaru Emoto:

To All People Around the World,

Please send your prayers of love and gratitude to water at
the nuclear plants in Fukushima , Japan !   By the massive
earthquakes of Magnitude 9 and surreal massive tsunamis,
more than 10,000 people are still missing...even now... It has
been 16 days already since the disaster happened. What makes
it worse is that water at the reactors of Fukushima Nuclear
Plants started to leak, and it's contaminating the ocean, air
and water molecule of surrounding areas.

Human wisdom has not been able to do much to solve the
problem, but we are only trying to cool down the anger of
radioactive materials in the reactors by discharging water
to them.   Is there really nothing else to do?   I think there is.

During over twenty year research of dado measuring and
water crystal photographic technology, I have been witnessing
that water can turn positive when it receives pure vibration
of human prayer no matter how far away it is.   Energy
formula of Albert Einstein, E=MC2 really means that
Energy = number of people and the square of people's

Now is the time to understand the true meaning. Let us all
join the prayer ceremony as fellow citizens of the planet
earth. I would like to ask all people, not just in Japan , but
all around the world to please help us to find a way out the
crisis of this planet!!

The prayer procedure is as follows.

Day and Time:  March 31st, 2011 (Thursday)
12:00 noon in each time zone

Please say the following phrase:

"The water of Fukushima Nuclear Plant, we are sorry to
make you suffer. Please forgive us. We thank you, and
we love you."

Please say it aloud or in your mind. Repeat it three times
as you put your hands together in a prayer position.
Please offer your sincere prayer.   Thank you very much
from my Heart.

With love and gratitude,

Masaru Emoto Messenger of Water

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lately the hot flashes have been upon me, like for the last 3 weeks. Lots of friends have gone through this experience and the term has always been bandied about in popular media, most recently in that Estroven commercial where a series of women hold up cards saying funny things like "I no longer take my clothes off at work" and "my husband's not afraid of me anymore". Things that are funny unless this shit is happening to you in which case Estroven seems like the Holy Grail.

To put it mildly I feel psychotic and I am wildly uncomfortable - not a good combo for me as I was born volatile. Not in a bi-polar way, but more like a melodramatic way. Not a personality that is enhanced by flop sweat and a wildly beating heart. I went to bed last night at 10:00pm in an attempt to get at least 4 consecutive hours of sleep. I was up at 1:15 because my heart was pounding out of my chest and again at 4:48 because I was hot which was okay because I had to pee, and at 5:50 I was wide awake with the pounding heart AND a body that was doing it's heat miser routine.

For me this experience is akin to what I imagine a red alert feels like at a nuclear power plant on the verge of meltdown. I'll just be sitting there, or lying there and all of a sudden we're at code red. My lip is beading, my scalp is wet, there is a waterfall flowing between my boobs and my whole body feels unbearably hot. This lasts for about 5-10 minutes during which time I remove my clothes, run to stand in front of the nearest open refrigerator or fan myself wildly with whatever I can find, then I get freezing cold, put my clothes back on and go on about my business until it starts up again in about 15 minutes.

Looking into Hormone Replacement Therapy is frightening. Yesterday I read this article which states that basically these symptoms can be alleviated by taking man made hormones except that there was this study that showed that HRT while alleviating the symptoms of menopause, might cause worse health problems, but if you only take estrogen without progesterone you get protected from the same problems, EXCEPT you get uterine cancer.

Say what?

There are natural things that one can do, for instance I eat flax seed everyday but that's not doing squat for my melt downs. I've cut out dairy, wheat, caffeine, sugar, alcohol and red meat and that doesn't seem to be helping either it just makes me sad as well as sweaty.

Thank God for my friends who've hiked this trail before me - I can call them for reassurance that this will not last forever. We can laugh about it and share our stories which helps a lot.

What doesn't help is when Adi says to me, "You know I think that you can control this with your mind. If you just concentrate you can make this stop, instead of celebrating it like you do."

He's so lucky we were sitting in a restaurant and I was sitting across from him so I couldn't reach to punch him in the throat.

Monday, March 28, 2011


This is one of my favorite questions, usually followed by an absurd query. For the last few days, maybe because the Westboro Baptist Church was in the news picketing Elizabeth Taylor's funeral, or maybe because I watched Real Housewives of Orange County last night and Alexis and Jim are living on Jesus Lane (Gretchen said it not me) - the question has been this:

What IF Jesus Christ really does come back, you know the second coming scenario where Jesus returns and takes all the "true believers" with him to heaven and anyone who hasn't accepted him as their personal savior is left behind? I've done a lot of religious exploration in my life and I was even "born again," but it didn't feel real. It felt like I was in a play with a lot of bad actors. This didn't have as much to do with the gospel as it had to do with the "saved". I've never been around so many judgmental and fearful people in my life, and while I liked the music and singing parts, and definitely felt myself lifted into a communal consciousness during that part of the experience, the minute the Pastor started sermonizing it was like God left the room, and now I was stuck with this guy who was recruiting as hard as a Forum newbie.

The whole idea of Revelation - or the second coming - has always been fascinating to me. It's like the plot of a Stephen King novel, except that there are like millions of people all over the world who believe it's really going to happen. They not only buy into the idea completely, they actively pray for it, and are betting their souls on it. Some of them even sell all their worldly goods and go wait on a mountain top at certain points in time like back at that circle around the sun referred to as Y2K.

Next year should bring a new level of hysteria with it since the Mayan Calendar predicts that it will be the end of the world - I know it's a Pagan calendar so if you're a true believe you shouldn't even be discussing it (Satan!), but anything that hints of an apocalyptic end to the planet is a hopeful sign that Jesus is coming.

Back when I was going to Calvary Chapel and learning about the End Times, the Pastor's version had Muammar Gaddafi starring as the anti-christ, and he was pitching the idea that we would for sure , be seeing Jesus in our lifetimes. Another thing that he said would be happening, because it was written, is that we were all going to be assigned an identification number which would be branded or tattooed on our arms, and that would be scanned at the grocery store when we went shopping!

I think about this every time I swipe my Ralph's card. It's not quite the same thing, but still, who knows what that's really about? I do want the discounts however, so just to be safe, when I filled out the form I used an alias and a fake address.

Maybe it's the combination of earthquake, tsunami, edge of nuclear disaster in Japan, combined with a week of new war in Libya and a plethora of reality TV that seriously scares the shit out of me when I consider that this represents man's creative output in the 21st century, but I've been thinking that if it's really going to happen we're probably getting pretty close to a visit from Jesus.

And here's my question - what if he comes back and basically tells everyone to piss off? That we have missed the point? What if he's just hugely disappointed in the interpretation (or adaptation in you're in the entertainment business) of his gospels by beings who were supposed to take those teachings as a jumping off point, and live their divinity here on this beautiful planet. What if he feels like that sacrifice he made hanging on that cross was just a waste because somehow people got the idea that you could be as much of a jerk as you wanted to be and all you had to do was ask for forgiveness? And then the next day everyone went back out and continued to act like Jesus' name!

I have this vision of him coming back and picking up the people who never claimed to believe in anything other than loving their family and friends and treating people well because they were their neighbors, or because they needed a helping hand. Those people who respected the earth and understood that they were a part of it - that all life was precious? Those people get to go. Them that actually behaved in accordance with the Godly part of themselves - they loved, they respected, they behaved with Grace when they found themselves in difficult, challenging and painful situations? They're in! Folks who lived each day grateful and worked at finding the blessing and seeing God in everything and everyone? Welcome!

The people who lived their lives like hall monitors for God? All those God fearing folks who were cruel to others in Jesus name? Sorry. People like Fred Phelps and his Westboro Church members? Well, in the scene in my head, Jesus looks at those guys and says, "you are a pack of douche bags and tools and since you have perpetrated acts of hatred in my name then you shall inherit this place you have created. I mean I forgive you because that's what I do, but I really don't want to hang out with you and I for sure don't want you bringing this mess into my house. So you just stay here and think about your choices - because everything you do and think is a choice. I'll come back by sometime and see if you're getting it - see ya."

And with that he boards his magical escalator and as it carries him up into the clouds the sky is filled with Lady Gaga's video for "Born this Way" from Youtube (complete with mandatory ad) and it begins to play on a loop..... for eternity.

Monday, January 17, 2011


So I watched the Golden Globes last night. Personally I thought Ricky Gervais was hilarious. Now this could be a reflection of my inner voice which is really snarky although I'm trying to stifle it, or at least attempt to filter, so I don't appear to be a cynical, bitter person to total strangers who don't know my natural twinkling personality.

But when it comes to a group of people congratulating each other for doing, let's face it, not much of anything all that important, while wearing clothes that cost more than the average monthly paycheck in many homes throughout the country.... well, snarky just kind of leaks out.

Yes, I enjoyed the Fighter and I enjoyed True Grit, but c'mon - it's entertainment and most of the time it's not all that entertaining. It's certainly not helping people to achieve a better quality of life.

Ricky was Ricky and I thought he was the best part of the show - well him and and who ever it was that said, "okay now point the camera at Angelina, she's putting on lip gloss."


My favorite parts of the Golden Globes other than Ricky Gervais shining the light on the entertainment business and the flawed and human personalities that take themselves and the work they do waaaaaay too seriously, was Temple Grandin who was the realest person in the room and Ian Brennan of Glee whose thank you speech was pretty much the truest words spoken last night: “I just want to say thank you to public schoolteachers. You don't get paid like it, but you're doing the most important work in America.”