06 April, 2007

Good (???) Friday

Oh yeah, right --- "Good" in this holiday sense doesn't necessarily mean easy,
right, JC?

This holiday makes me realize that as a good little Catholic girl celebrating this Holy Weekend, that the title Good Friday went with -- by all accounts -- a pretty difficult and painful day. Hmmm. In my child's mind, good got equated with hard.
But then came Easter Sunday with black patent leather shoes, new dresses and baskets of goodies to make it all better. No wonder so many of us are confused and we flock to New Thought and therapists and "The Secret" to find our way back to the Garden. (Insert the "Woodstock" theme here and kindly send
royalties to CSN & Y).


I am home today from my maternal pastoral trip to Los Angeles.
I am disoriented, dizzy, weary and weepy and all the other dwarves.
I find myself hiding from the ringing phone... it feels so intrusive. I don't even want to talk to people I would want to talk to...
aaaargh.
I know animals can communicate with you without words, so Belle and I are doing fine. In fact, She is doing her best to reduce some of my angst and stress.

The majority of my personal and professional life has been on hold. I come home--which feels oh, so fine-- and then the onslaught of the ignored chores, the messages to return, the numerous of e-mail and the LISTS of THINGS TO DO haunt me.

One of the blessings I acnowledge this weekend is that the rest of the world is on holiday-mode and therefore, more tolerant of being incommunicado. Whew. I am tackling little things today that I know I can accomplish. The overcast weather adds ambience to the mood, don't ya think?

Please understand that I share state of mind with you not to extract your concern. My intention is two-fold: by writing, I am able to move through most of what may at first sound like self-pity (which it isn't). This is how I process things. If I can allow myself the privilege of my feelings and experience, as well as a smattering of weeping and whining, I can move beyond the trials and tribulations. And I share all this in a fond hope that it would offer enlightenment or comfort on someone else's journey. My story is just that--my story; my stuff. This creative venue and public forum is one way that I move myself past old patterns and mindtraps. So, if when you read essays such as mine (or someone else's) and it strikes a concern chord in you, the best thing you can do is think thoughts of strength, clarity, wholeness, peace of mind and of course, my fave, JOY for the person for whom you feel concern.

I did for myself what I would proffer to most of you. Every time I had a negative or whiney thought, I would change it. Yeah, but...and change that. Oh, look a chicken... and then bring my focus back. And I took myself on a walk. Walking and writing are my saving graces. And it was so good to be home to walk in my wonderful neighborhood. Sure enough, there were pooches to stop and visit; a beautiful little girl in her stroller and she had the bluest eyes since Paul Newman; and at the post office, my Von's Barista, Rachel (whom I have written or sermonized about) was there. I got to say hello and meet her children. Her little girl, Cassandra goes by the name of Sassy. (Sassy is darling and already has a head-start to living up to her nickname). Earlier, Rachel told Don she guessed I must be back from L.A.if he was ordering a Venti Cafe Americano. Then I found I was smiling again and knew that I had re-connected. I extended my walk past the Carmeline Monastery, where the plethora of prayers there reach out to me; the fragrance of jasmine as I wend my way to Meditation Point to stand in the silence and pray. ahhhhhh...life is good.

Waxing just slightly spiritual...we all have (or had) or crosses to bear. And much like Jesus the Christ, we chose to bear them. I am grateful I have the principles and philsophy I have to see me through; to allow me to choose differently; and to elevate my consciousness without denying my experience. We do not have to continue to carry the burdens, the crosses, till exhaustion --we can choose to put them down. Become Buddhist for a day and stop the suffering. Get refreshed, get centered and do whatever you need to do with your cross to be complete with it and then be free. Free to choose the life YOU deserve and desire. And while carrying the cross to the end destination; or making bonfire wood of it, remember to stay at choice; remember to surrender to the Highest Good of all concerned and let go (of the cross/the burden) and let God effortlessly handle it through you.

And so it is.

04 April, 2007

WAY TO GO PADS!

Even though I am blogging from Los Angeles, I had the blessing of listening to Double X radio on the trip up yesterday, so that I could celebrate Opening Day of MLB Season with our San Diego Padres. It was a great way to ignore traffic and smog and delight in the fact that our Pads trounced the San Franciso Giants, 7-0!! Way to go Jake Peavey. It was the first opening day shut out in Padres history, too. And what a Peyton Place cast of characters with Bochy now being manager for the Giants and having on the team Dave Roberts and Ryan Klesko. And I learned that Bud Black, now our Padres manager used to be a Giant. And oh my, one needs a score card and a legend to keep track of these guys. Talk about your small world....

Didn't get to hear the game tonight, but happy to report another win for our Padres.

I was tickled by the response from folks about Oinkberry. An establishment that does indeed have porcine embellishments in their front window but is actually (drum roll please)L.A. Eyeworks! They sell glasses, frames,etc. And Kelli, you were actually the closest answer in that the store has a different theme each month. This LA Eyeworks is the showroom for their own designs and has a funky window display (this month is "oinkberry" - a tribute to the Year of the Pig and the Pinkberry phenomenon). Which leads me to my next L.A. tidbit.

In reading the L.A.Times Arts section (which is one thing I prefer in L.A. to the San Diego U.T.)I landed on a little article about the fact that Venice Beach has acquiesced to having a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf store there. Not one for commerical/corporate establishments, this was quite a hair-raiser for many months for the local Venetians. However, now it has become quite the comfortable place to be and it is inspiring locals to think about adding a Pinkberry store. And I wondered what in heaven's name is a Pinkberry? I suppose I could google that and find out but I am curious as to how many readers already know? Could I be the only cyber-fogey who is out of touch with what's hot these days??? (Maybe I don't want the answer to that question....)

The Arts section also had a great write-up on the upcoming start of the sixth and final seasons of "The Sopranos" on HBO. Philosophers and the like are waxing as to what should or could happen to Tony Soprano that would be fitting for this ground-breaking gangster drama. I neglected to contract for HBO as yet, so I am going to have to watch it on iTunes or via the kindness of a friend who would record it for me. Rather ironic or oxymoronic to start the season on Easter Sunday, wouldn't you say?

Wouldn't you like to see Tony Soprano on "Dancing With the Stars?" And Meadow singing on "American Idol"? "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" getting a hold of Christopher?
We already know that Carmella is one of those "Desperate Housewives".

And speaking of T.V. shows, I just learned that I have missed the opening episodes of a new series produced by and starring Eddie Izzard called, "The Riches." I am a huge fan of Mr. Izzard as I think he is one of the most intelligent men on the planet with a sense of humour to boot --and usually it's stiletto boots that he wears. If you want to laugh till you cry rent his comedy video, "Dressed to Kill". He is the closest thing to a British Robin Williams on the stand-up circuit. And now he is venturing further into TV and film. If anyone has any info on this show, let me know. Thanks.

A sad note in the entertainment industry--just heard on the local news that film director, Bob Clark and his son was killed today in an auto accident on the PCH. Bob Clark was the director of one of my all-time favorite films, "A Christmas Story." I do not know the details and don't really need or want to. I am just saddened. People die in car crashes all the time, I realize that more attention was paid to this because of his celebrity and that may or may not be fair. Because of this man's creativity and gift, I felt close to him somehow without ever having met him. On some childlike level, I always hoped I would get a chance to tell him how much joy he contributed to my life. This does give me pause to reflect on who is within my realm, within my reach to contact to let them know they made a difference to me. Pax.

Some visits, the senior care gets very frustrating. Today, was one of those days. Phone calls not returned; information incomplete; distractions abound and annoying communications. Argh. So I had to do what I would encourage someone else to do-- I took a long walk to get back to nature and conscious breathing. I took a walk over to the Pan Pacific Park. This park was a local site when I was going to school but it never looked like this. It was a tiny little community center with a drive-in movie on the the Third Street side. Now, it is a huge park, large center and no drive-in. There were several fields being used by mostly soccer teams. Only one with a softball game. People walking, jogging and a few dogs on leash. It was nice to see more green and feel the ground underfoot. There is a Nazi Holacaust memorial in the middle of the park. I was disappointed that it was fenced off and I was unable to view it. Not sure why it was gated with no access. I could only read one or two of the inscriptions on the marble columns. Hard to feel compassion or support if one cannot really view the monument.

On the way back to mom's apartment, I stopped in at Erewhon Natural Foods to see about something for dinner. This store is one of the earliest health food stores in L.A. And now it appears to be one of the hoity-toityest--at least, as gauged by the their prices. Geesh. Soy yogurt cartons for $1.45; an a vegan, low-carb ice cream that was in a four ounce carton was over $8.00!!! HUH? Eating healthfully shouldn't be so expensive should it?? I bought one zucchini to fix with dinner and it cost $1.05 for one fresh vegetable. Organic notwithstanding, it seems costly. I was amazed at some of the other new organic products available--especially when it comes to chocolate. Oh yeahhhhhhh.

And it is not a 'secret' that Agape and Dr. Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith is THE hottest ticket in town! Their Easter service this year will be held at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal City Walk. Wow. At least, it will be a big enough space to hold the crowds. 11:00 service, doors open at 10:15. No admission fee, but there is a parking fee charged by Universal. For more information: www.agapelive.com

Wishing you bunnies and jellybeans and patent leather shoes.

City Slackers

No, I did not misspell the title of this post. Yes, I was playing off of the comedy film title, "City Slickers" about a bunch of...