31 December 2006

Spleen Chakra (Companion)

Spleen Chakra ~ SoulCollage® (Companion) Wolf Totem Animal

I am the One who dances with desire and I am in step with the arousal of its passion.
I am the yin and the yang.

I give you eyes to see the world from a place of innocence and with a sense of wonder.

I shall remember when the tracks of my footprints lead me to the seat of creativity and allow my Self to feel the Source.

30 December 2006

Root Chakra (Companion)

Root Chakra ~ SoulCollage® (Companion) Snake Totem Animal

I am the One who survives.
I am the One who rises above the fear like the transforming kundalini fire.
I am the One who connects with the Earth and reaches for the stars.

I give you strength and stability.
I give you physical health and prosperity.
I give you the ability to overcome adversity.

I shall remember when fear arises and attempts to paralyze me, and with resolve I shall stand firm and bring forth my truth and my song.

SoulCollage® was developed by Seena B. Frost and is a trademarked collaging and writing process with just a few requirements to follow when using it or talking about it with others. There are certain elements that should be included in SoulCollage® work, such as non-competitive artistic expression and the "I Am One Who..." exercise. SoulCollage® cards are for personal and inner exploration. They are to be shared, but not to be sold, traded, or bartered.

20 December 2006

Susan Tedeschi Receives Grammy Nomination

Susan Tedeschi's critically-acclaimed Verve Forecast debut, Hope & Desire, has been nominated for a Grammy award in the category of Best Contemporary Blues Album. This is Tedeschi’s fourth Grammy nomination: she was previously nominated in 2000 for Best New Artist and received two nominations in 2003 for her album Wait For Me. The Grammy Awards show will air on February 11th on CBS.

Susan Tedeschi website

Andreas Vollenweider nominated for a Grammy Award!

The Soundtrack of Andreas' latest DVD "The Magical Journeys of Andreas Vollenweider" is nominated for a Grammy Award!

Andreas already has quite some history with the Grammys:

1987 he received a Grammy for the album "Down to the Moon"
2001 his song "Cor do Amor" from the album COSMOPOLY (featuring Milton Nascimento) was nominated for the first Latin Grammy together with Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan, Marc Anthony and Ketama
2006 the soundtrack CD of his current DVD "The Magical Journeys of AV" is nominated for a Grammy!
Let us keep our fingers crossed until February 11th 07!

Latest releases:
DVD "The Magical Journeys of Andreas Vollenweider"
25 years live! Almost 4 hours of live concerts, interviews, documetaries, music videos...

a special, even unusual album; a Christmas album – in the widest sense. An "all-year-Christmas-album"!

Andreas Vollenweider

08 December 2006

Yoko calls for a day of worldwide healing

"Love is touch, touch is love. Love is reaching, reaching love. Love is
asking to be loved." John Lennon

Yoko calls for a day of worldwide healing on December 8.

In a full-page advertisement appearing November 26, 2006 in The New York Times, Yoko Ono urged readers to mark the anniversary of John Lennon's death by apologizing to those who have suffered due to violence and war.

"Every year, let's make December 8th the day to ask for forgiveness from those who suffered the insufferable," writes Yoko.

In the open letter, Ono urges readers to take responsibility for failing to intervene on behalf of victims around the world.

"Know that the physical and mental abuse you have endured will have a lingering effect on our society," she writes in a portion of the letter directed to victims. "Know that the burden is ours."

Of her own loss, Ono says: "I don't know if I am ready yet to forgive the one who pulled the trigger. ... But healing is what is urgently needed now in the world."

"Let's wish strongly that one day we will be able to say that we healed ourselves, and by healing ourselves, we healed the world."


07 December 2006

Pearl Harbor sailor given final honor

Pearl Harbor sailor given final honor

Plaque at Analy to be dedicated Dec. 7

by Patricia M. Roth - Sonoma West Staff Writer

Randolph Franklin Theiller, one of 1,078 sailors, including three from Sonoma County, entombed aboard the U.S.S. Arizona.

SEBASTOPOL - A Sebastopol sailor who was killed in action during the bombing of Pearl Harbor 65 years ago will be memorialized in front of his hometown high school on Dec. 7.

The public is invited to the 3 p.m. (1500 hours military time) ceremony complete with taps and a 21-gun salute in honor of Randolph Franklin Theiller, one of 1,078 sailors, including three from Sonoma County, entombed aboard the U.S.S. Arizona.

“We're thrilled that he's finally being recognized. It's long overdue,” said Analy Principal Martin Webb, who will be one of the speakers at the memorial along with city, county and state dignitaries.

A highlight of the event, sponsored by Gold Ridge Post 3919, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, will be the unveiling of a cast aluminum memorial plaque that will hang forever near the entrance to Analy High School, from which Theiller graduated when he was 16 years old in 1939.

The ceremony will give guests an opportunity to reflect on what President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called “a date which will live in infamy” and, moreover, to remember a teenager from the Hessel area south of Sebastopol who played high school basketball and football, was active in Future Farmers of America, showed his Hampshire and Duroc hogs at the Sonoma County Fair and later received a state degree in agriculture and a Gold Key Award from the governor for being one of the top students in the state.

Larry Graham, 85, of Sebastopol “chummed around” with Theiller during high school, and especially enjoyed driving him back and forth to basketball and football games in his yellow 1929 Model A Ford Roadster.

“He was a good friend. I feel I was fortunate to have been a buddy of his, and I'm honored to say he was my friend,” said Graham.

He remembered Theiller as being “a quiet fellow” who was “well oriented about what he wanted to do with his life and where he was going and how he was going to get there.

“Like my grand dad said, ‘He's the kind of guy that has his feet on the ground.'”

Graham said that during the last semester (of high school), Theiller talked a lot about joining the navy. “He felt that would help him get to where he wanted to go. It was either that or go to the JC or try to find some kind of a job, and there weren't a lot of jobs at that time for people getting out of high school. We knew the world was not really at rest. There were so many conflicts around the world, it was inevitable that something like Pearl Harbor was going to happen.”

According to a biography Robert Theiller wrote about his brother for the upcoming Memorial Dedication Program, Theiller's parents (Rudolph and Martha Theiller) wanted their son to enroll at Santa Rosa Junior College and finish his education at a four year university. But “the U.S. was just coming out of the Great Depression ... he didn't wanted to burden his parents with that cost.”

Theiller enlisted in the Navy “to learn a trade and see the world” on August 6, 1940, attended boot camp in San Diego and was assigned to the U.S.S. Arizona on Oct. 14, 1940. He was inducted in the Navy as an Apprentice Seaman and by Sept. 1, 1941 had advanced to the rank of Seaman First Class before his death on Dec. 7, 1941.

“We knew soon after Rudy had been killed that he was at Pearl Harbor. It was not a happy day,” said his friend Graham.

However, Graham explained that the rest of his friends were being faced with “the same sort of thing. It was just a thing on our backs that was going to happen” as his three brothers and most of his classmates were either drafted or enlisted.

“The fact that Rudy lost his life was a sad thing for all of us,” he said.

Graham, a Navy pilot, and his brothers came home from the war. “But it was not easy on my parents, and I'm sure it wasn't easy on Rudy's mother or father either,” he said.

Sebastopol native Jim Nagy, who was a junior at Analy High School during the attack on Pearl Harbor, is active with and serves as adjutant for the Gold Ridge Post 3919, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. He and Jim Richter, commander of the post, will be the masters of ceremonies for the Analy High School event.

The idea for the dedication came last year after a Pearl Harbor Survivors breakfast. “Four or five of us said it's a wonder nothing had been done for Rudy from the community. We thought it would be a nice gesture to do something,” he said.

The two other sailors who died on the U.S.S. Arizona were from Santa Rosa: George Maybe and Robert Montgomery, who has Montgomery High School named after him.

According to military records, Theiller was listed as missing until March of 1942. “His mother traveled to Letterman Hospital in San Francisco two to three times a week to talk to the wounded sailors who came back to see if they knew anything about her son, hoping that someone saw him,” Nagy said.

Although Theiller's parents are no longer living, his brother Robert will be present at the ceremony with his wife and children - and will be presented with the American flag from members of the United States Naval Guard.

Members of the Analy High School Band will perform “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Along with MCs Nagy and Richter, speakers will include Martin Webb, principal of Analy High School; Frank Sennello, Pearl Harbors Survivors, Chapter 23; Michael Whitaker, Analy High 11th grade student; Chris Smith, Press Democrat columnist; Mike Reilly, Fifth District Supervisor; Nancy Bennett, Deputy Director S.F. Branch of Governor's Office; Sam Pierce, Sebastopol mayor; Jeff Weaver, Sebastopol police chief; and Larry Graham, Analy High Class of 1939.

The Santa Rosa American Legion Post 21 will furnish the rifle squad and a bugler, who will play the hauntingly beautiful bugle call, “Taps.”

Chaplain Bill Brandt of VFW Post 3919 will give the closing prayer.

Members of the community in attendance will include Analy High School alumni, the Analy High School band and students, 2006-07 Sebastopol Future Farmers of America officers, students from Santa Rosa Junior College Agricultural Leadership Program and BSA Troops 14 and 27 of Sebastopol.

When asked what attendees can expect during the ceremony, Nagy responded: “Some of them that knew classmates, they can reminisce. They all knew who Rudy was ... the class was small at the time, 120 at most. They can expect maybe humor, or a bringing back of memories of their own family and close relatives. And of course, appreciation for the people and shipmates that never knew what was about to happen that day ... and, they can expect tears.”

What: Rudolph Franklin Theiller Memorial Dedication

Date: Dec. 7, 2006

Time: 3 p.m/1500 hours

Place: Analy High School, 6950 Analy Ave., Sebastopol

06 December 2006

David Crosby ~ Carefree Hippie

Note: I was lucky to meet David and his wife along with Graham Nash (oh, be still my beating heart..) and Jeff Pevar in the early nineties in Oceanside CA backstage after a show they did. David was so sweet. He embarrassed his wife Jan by showing us a hole in his t-shirt under the arm. She made him change shirts right in front of us. It was a good laugh. He went outside to greet some fans and after coming back inside handed me some love beads that a fan had made for him. He said "You want these? I get so much of this stuff." They were mostly yellow and done in that style that looks like little flowers, which my cousins could do but I never could. I said "Sure." So I have some love beads given to me by David Crosby, a true hippie. Pretty cool. I also managed to get away with a golf tee from Graham that he pulled out of his pocket from his day on the links in San Diego. Great memories.

David Crosby - from carefree hippie to father of 6

By Christine Kearney

American songwriter David Crosby is famed as a leading light of the 1960s counterculture movement but his second memoir finds him showing a gentler side as a father of six children.

The title of the memoir -- "Since Then: How I Survived Everything and Lived to Tell About It" -- hints at the perennial Crosby question: How did he survive his various drug addictions, prison stint and stage highs with former band The Byrds and the still-touring Crosby, Stills and Nash?

But Crosby, 65, says events from the last two decades detailed in his new book, including a life-saving liver transplant, becoming a sperm donor to musician Melissa Etheridge and her partner and embracing fatherhood, are more interesting than any hollow party tales or drug escapades.

"Yes, sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll are a part of my life and have been but this (memoir) goes way beyond that," Crosby told Reuters in an interview. "It (the memoir) is about nearly dying but at the same time having a new son born.

"If I was writing about a life like Paris Hilton's, I wouldn't want to read it, it would bore me to tears. But this is real stuff, life and death."

Interest in his former days addicted to cocaine and heroin is "tawdry and pretty simple," he said, compared to receiving a new liver in late 1994 and coming back from the brink of death.

Then early in 1995, Crosby met an adult son who had been given up for adoption years ago. Crosby's meeting with James Raymond, who is also a musician and sometimes plays with Crosby, came just a few months before his wife gave birth to their first son.


But while Crosby transformed into his role as a father and stopped using heavy drugs, the autobiography shows how he continued to push social boundaries.

Crosby, who also has two adult daughters, donated sperm to Melissa Etheridge and her then-partner Julie Cypher, who gave birth to two children, in the late 1990s. Crosby, who regularly visits the children, wrote it was "discouraging" that rock singer Etheridge and Cypher have since split up, and does not know if he would do it again.

"Do I wish they had stayed together? Yes, but not if they are not in love with each other," he said. "I am not out there volunteering myself. I have enough kids."

The book was published in November with the release of a career-spanning triple-disc CD set. His first memoir, "Long Time Gone," was published in 1998.

The new book tells of Crosby's 2004 arrest in New York for marijuana and gun possession while on tour -- an incident he calls "stupid, one of several mistakes that were very dumb."

After years of staying away from drink and drugs, Crosby and his wife Jan started again to use marijuana, which he says should be legal: "It is certainly better for you than booze."

Crosby saves his biggest gripe for the large companies which he says have ruined the music industry, resulting "in people like Britney Spears, who cannot write, sing or play."

"It hasn't produced any Bob Dylans, it is not going to produce a James Taylor or a Joni Mitchell," he said. "It produces crap."

He still tours with Neil Young and Crosby, Stills and Nash, and has not lost his social conscience, but knows some things have changed since the sixties.

"I am a hell of a lot older and more beat up," he said. "And I've got more scars."

30 November 2006

As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back.

Sometimes we get magic. Like hearing a song out of the blue that reminds you of a friend you've been missing. Or seeing a rainbow and wishing it to a sick friend and then suddenly seeing a double rainbow.

St. Andrew's Day

In honour of my Scottish heritage (by right of marriage) I am observing St. Andrew's Day today.

Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew's Day is celebrated by Scots around the world on the 30th November. The flag of Scotland is the Cross of St. Andrew, and this is widely displayed as a symbol of national identity.

The "Order of Saint Andrew" or the "Most Ancient Order of the Thistle" is an order of Knighthood which is restricted to the King or Queen and sixteen others. It was established by James VII of Scotland in 1687.

Very little is really known about St. Andrew himself. He was thought to have been a fisherman in Galilee (now part of Israel), along with his elder brother Simon Peter (Saint Peter). Both became followers (apostles) of Jesus Christ, founder of the Christian religion. St. Andrew is said to have been responsible for spreading the tenets of the Christian religion though Asia Minor and Greece. Tradition suggests that St. Andrew was put to death by the Romans in Patras, Southern Greece by being pinned to a cross (crucified). The diagonal shape of this cross is said to be the basis for the Cross of St. Andrew which appears on the Scottish Flag. St. Andrews bones were entombed, and around 300 years later were moved by Emperor Constantine (the Great) to his new capital Constantinople (now Istambul in Turkey). Legend suggests that a Greek Monk (although others describe him as an Irish assistant of St. Columba) called St. Rule (or St. Regulus) was warned in a dream that St. Andrews remains were to be moved and was directed by an angel to take those of the remains which he could to the "ends of the earth" for safe-keeping. St. Rule dutifully followed these directions, removing a tooth, an arm bone, a kneecap and some fingers from St. Andrew's tomb and transporting these as far away as he could. Scotland was close to the extremities of the known world at that time and it was here that St. Rule was shipwrecked with his precious cargo.

St. Rule is said to have come ashore at a Pictish settlement on the East Coast of Scotland and this later became St. Andrews. Thus the association of St. Andrew with Scotland was said to have begun.

Perhaps more likely than the tale of St. Rule's journey is that Acca, the Bishop of Hexham, who was a renown collector of relics, brought the relics of St. Andrew to St. Andrews in 733. There certainly seems to have been a religious centre at St. Andrews at that time, either founded by St. Rule in the 6th century or by a Pictish King, Ungus, who reigned from 731 - 761.

Whichever tale is true, the relics were placed in a specially constructed chapel. This chapel was replaced by the Cathedral of St. Andrews in 1160, and St. Andrews became the religious capital of Scotland and a great centre for Medieval pilgrims who came to view the relics.

There are other legends of how St. Andrew and his remains became associated with Scotland, but there is little evidence for any of these, including the legend of St. Rule. The names still exist in Scotland today, including St. Rules Tower, which remains today amongst the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral.

It is not known what happened to the relics of St. Andrew which were stored in St. Andrews Cathedral, although it is most likely that these were destroyed during the Scottish Reformation. The Protestant cause, propounded by Knox, Wishart and others, won out over Roman Catholism during the Reformation and the "idolatry of catholism", that is the Saints, relics, decoration of churches, were expunged during the process of converting the Roman Catholic churches of Scotland to the harsh simplicity of Knox's brand of Calvanism. The place where these relics were kept within the Cathedral at St. Andrews is now marked by a plaque, amongst the ruins, for visitors to see. The larger part of St. Andrew's remains were stolen from Constantinople in 1210 and are now to be found in Amalfi in Southern Italy. In 1879 the Archbishop of Amalfi sent a small piece of the Saint's shoulder blade to the re-established Roman Catholic community in Scotland.

In 1969, Gordon Gray, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland was in Rome to be appointed the first Scottish Cardinal since the Reformation. Pope Paul VI gave him further relics of St. Andrew with the words "Saint Peter gives you his brother". These are now displayed in a reliquary in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Edinburgh.

St. Andrew

29 November 2006


My sweet George was a kind and gentle spiritual being in life and in bodily
death. George was the essence of love and that love was ever present in his
music, his heartfelt words, his family, his voice, his gardens, and in his smile.

George, with great love and affection, you will always be in my heart.

Remembering George Harrison

Wednesday, November 29, 2006
The Rock Radio online

Hard to believe, but it was five years ago today (November 29th, 2001) that George Harrison lost his long battle with cancer and died at the age of 58. His legacy was secured as soon as the Beatles started making records in the early 1960s, but Harrison wasn't content to just be a sideman to John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

His contributions to the Beatles included the songs "Taxman," "Something," and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and his solo career kicked off with the Number One hit "My Sweet Lord" and Number One album All Things Must Pass. He was also responsible for The Concert For Bangla Desh, which was the first major rock and roll fundraiser paving the way for countless other music-supported benefits over the years. He later went on to become a member of the Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne, finally securing himself legendary status. He is sorely missed -- today, and every day.

Maybe the best way to judge Harrison's importance is for his fellow artists
to talk about him:

When Harrison was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a solo artist in March 2004, Tom Petty said: "George really was a man who lived every single minute of his life. He was a very upbeat person, had a very keen sense of humor, very keen sense of spirit, he led by example. Years before Live Aid, George invented the idea of rock and roll giving back to the people."

Badfinger guitarist Joey Molland worked with Harrison on All Things Must Pass, and Harrison helped the group make their Straight Up album in 1971. Molland told us what it was like taking direction from Harrison: "It was easy, very easy. You know, George was just such a nice guy, like...a regular kind of person, really. He doesn't come off, like, 'I'm a Beatle,' you know?"

Life-long friend Eric Clapton said that it might have taken Harrison's death to show people just how great he really was: "The best thing that came out of his passing was that we all got to remember exactly what he'd contributed, you know, as much as any of the other guys -- and maybe more so, because it was an individual achievement. You know, Lennon & McCartney's one thing, and Paul is one thing, and John's one, but I think George -- in my opinion, I found him, his work the most accessible, and the strongest, for me to tune in to."

Kiss singer-guitarist Paul Stanley told us that Harrison's legacy can't be underestimated: "Everybody knows that George Harrison is part of the fabric of rock 'n' roll and he's been an influence on everybody no matter what kind of music they play. Probably more so than they even know. He's been an influence on every kind of music that exists at this point because the Beatles are woven into everything that rock 'n' roll is about."


28 November 2006

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown

For those of you who keep up with this blog (ok, I'm admitting to two of you now, thank you very much) I will just say that I am recovering from my recent health problems. I thank everyone for your concern and good wishes.

Tonight we watched the Charlie Brown Christmas Special. Nothing gets me in the Christmas spirit as much as Snoopy and Linus. Now I'm ready to finish my Christmas shopping, mail the cards and bake the cookies.

Charles Schulz, aka Sparky, takes his eternal rest just around the corner from where we live, and I feel his spirit very near at this time.

15 November 2006

Time of the month

Tomorrow I go in for a second surgery in the past six months in an attempt to relieve symptoms of heavy and continuous bleeding. My so-called time of the month has been lasting for months at a time. It’s been draining (all puns intended) to say the least. I have not had my usual enthusiasm for living; I’m tired all the time, due to anemia. Everything I try to do seem to have some other undesirable side effect. I have had days where I’ve taken up to three birth control pills (by doctor’s orders). I’ve been an emotional wreck. I’ve been bitchy (ok I’ve been more than usually bitchy).

This procedure tomorrow will essentially end my fertility. I will not be able to carry out a pregnancy, BUT I can get pregnant so I must continue using birth control.

I asked my doctor if I am going through "the change" but he assured me that as long as I am bleeding I could not be menopausal. I feel like I am in some nether world of post-fertility and pre-menopause. No longer a maiden and not yet a crone.

09 November 2006

Fuzz Huzzi Rocks!

Best wishes to my nephew and his band Fuzz Huzzi and congratulations for being nominated for the Los Angeles Music Awards as Independant Rock Artist of the Year.

Allen has worked hard for many years in a tough business and he's finally getting some noteworthy recognition. I remember his first gig at Chula Vista High School... a long time ago.

Tonight Hollywood will rock to Fuzz Huzzi!

02 November 2006

Best Hug Video Ever - Grandpa Caleb does Halloween

27 October 2006

New Multicolored Bird Found in India

New Multicolored Bird Found in India

"Hope is the thing with feathers-
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without the words-
And never stops-at all."

-Emily Dickinson

26 October 2006

Volunteers Place Wreaths at Arlington

Readers may be interested to know that these wreaths -- some 5,000 -- laid at Arlington National Cemetary are donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine . The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He's done this since 1992. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out. Making this even more remarkable is the fact that Harrington is in one the poorest parts of the state. Up to 200 volunteers have participated.

Please share this You hear too much about the bad things people do. Everyone should hear some good.

Why Dogs Bite

19 October 2006

Free Hugs Campaign. Inspiring Story! (music by sick puppies)

13 October 2006

Friday the 13th

I have always loved Friday the 13th. It has always been lucky for me. It seems especially auspicious in October.

I have a lovely day and weekend planned. More on that later. Hope you have a very lucky day.

12 October 2006

I am "Uncle Black"

Which Mark Ryden Painting Are You?

You are "Uncle Black"
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09 October 2006

My "Comeback Chargers"

After a sluggish start last night, the San Diego Chargers rallied to overtake the reigning Super Bowl champs, the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning 23 to 13. It was an exciting second half and the emotion exhibited by "rookie" quaterback Phillip Rivers reminded me of Dan Fouts of yore.

After having lived in Northern California for over ten years, I still get excited when my Chargers are winning and I'll never trade my allegiance to either of these Bay Area teams.

I've often said football is the only consolation for the end of summer. And this fall is looking brighter and more colourful than many in recent memory.

Go Chargers!

66...If only...

Happy Birthday John.

Happy Birthday Sean.

03 October 2006

Blogging apathy

Blogging apathy, that's what I got. And I blame the media. No, I take that back, they're just the messenger. I don't know who to blame really but it's become way too apparent to me that it is a sick world in which we live.

First there was the rash of baby stealing in the news. So many in one week that I think I may have lost track. Then there were the almost daily school shootings. The reality of which seeps into my psyche and gnaws away at any semblence of security. My 15 year old son said he didn't want to go to school today. Any other week I may have just said "Yeah, right." But today I held my tongue, I couldn't blame him. Who could fault him for feeling sick at his stomach. Still we soldiered on.

And now the media seems focused on this congressional page instant message and eMail scandal. Not that it compares even minutely with the murder of innocents but the fact that these men who claim to be leaders of the free world are nothing more than negligible scum, it just makes me want to bitch slap the lot of 'em. The whole fukcing world seems to be on a souless bender of indescretion and immorality and just plain ol' fashioned meaness.

The highlight of my life last week was the release of George Harrison's Living in the Material World. Because I credit this album with having allowed me to survive my own adolescence in the mid to late 70s, it was nothing less than a baptism for my wounded soul to hear those songs once again.

The lyrics of The Day the World Gets 'Round come to my mind so succinctly right now.

The day the world gets round
To understanding where it is,
Using all its found,
To help each other, hand in hand

The day the world gets round
To understanding where its gone
Losing so much ground
Killing each other, hand in hand
Such foolishness in man
I want no part of their plan - oh no

If you're the destructive kind
Now I'm working from day to day
As I don't want to be like you
I long for the pure of heart
And the ones that have made a start,

But lord, there are just a few
Who bow before you,
In silence they pray,

Oh how they pray for the day the
World gets 'round

Using all they've found
To help each other, hand in hand

The day the world gets round....

I simply pray that God has mercy on us...

02 October 2006


I apologize to those of you (all one of you - you know who you are) who regularly check in on my blog for being so out of it the past few weeks. My heart just has not been into it and I've been distracted by other mundane things known as my life. Anyway, no real excuse for it just plain ol' laziness.

However, in honour of the new month and new season I will endeavour to try harder and practice being more consistant (something I am loathe to do but know I should strive for more often).

11 September 2006

Amazing Grace

I was to have flown across country on September 12, 2001, to the funeral of my recently deceased step-grandmother. And while watching the horror unfold on the television on the morning of September 11, this thought hung in the back of my mind. Will I be able to fly? Would I even want to fly? And as the hours ticked slowly by, it became more and more evident that no flights were going anywhere for quite some time and I was not going to be at the funeral with the rest of my family.

The impact of the Twin Towers was surreal. I have never been to New York. It was horrifying but with a slight remove. The strike at the Pentagon, on the other hand, hit quite at home, having grown up in Arlington and been in the halls of the Pentagon numerous times as a child when my mother worked there as a secretary. That was the mortal blow. And the reality sunk in deep.

I, like so many others, will forever measure my life by before and after 9/11. So many changes since then seem to have been linked to that fateful day. My daughter’s boyfriend had recently signed up for a stint in the Marine Corps. His plane to Camp Pendalton for boot camp was to have left on September 11, 2001. My daughter was the first one to utter the prophetic words “We are going to war.” Her words hung in the air sounding both matter-of-fact and despondent. A part of her precious young heart closed that day and has yet to be moved to open since then.

I found it hard to sleep for many months after, the horrific images replayed over in my dreams. The knell of solemn warning proclaiming that life is too short, and that contentment and inner peace must be sought after, fought for and won at all costs. That anything less was implying a quiet suicide of soul and I was no longer willing to settle for such loss of self.

A few days after I tried to write a few words of the impact that had left it’s imprint on my psyche. The following is what I wrote:

These are things that amaze me:
In a magazine that I bought tonight, there was, unknown to me, an article about the Solicitor General’s wife, Barbara Olson, she was in the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. She was a beautiful, vibrant woman obviously adored by her relatively new husband. Now gone. The article said she regularly received death threats because of their position in the government, she called him from the hijacked plane to ask him what she should do. He worked at the Justice Dept. He immediately notified the Dept of Defense. These are variables that the hijackers could never have known. The magazine was published before September 11 and dated October 2001.

That the plane carrying the sister hit the building where the brother was helping someone else get out. What kind of farcical coincidence is that?

The man and woman holding hands as they jumped from the building, who were they? Were they strangers in a doomsday suicide pact or were they friends, co-workers, office lovers? Did they have kids, family?

The husbands that called their wives from the planes, to say good bye, to say they weren’t going down without a fight. The hijackers could not have known what their captives were capable of.

That the buildings fell down. That the buildings stood as long as they did. That the planes could make such a devastatingly accurate blow. That people could be so heartless. That people could be so good.

That two friends could be flying to the same destination for a vacation together but on two different flights (mileage plus) only to both go down in the separate planes.

The people in the second plane who saw the first crash before they hit too. The people in the buildings who saw the planes coming directly at them. The people who never saw what hit them. It all amazes me.

The man who ran back into the building before the second plane hit it to phone his wife and tell her he was ok. He never made out.

That the death toll at the Pentagon was reduced by one because one man had been counted twice, once at his job at the Pentagon and once again as one on the plane. He was on the plane.

Cruel, cruel desperate fates, and miraculous survival stories, but too much, way too much death.

That a firm could lose 700 of 1000 employees in one fell swoop leaving behind 1300 children orphaned of a father or mother, and the CFO of that company who was late to work so that he could attend his own son’s first day of kindergarten, who lost a brother as well as a best friend, and who must console the 700 grieving families.

That a woman had a baby but the father was a missing police officer, that the doctors named his baby Hope.

That the madness has already begun: Yesterday on the news some guy was talking about baseball resuming and the changes that fans would experience at the ballparks, such as closer inspection of bags etc, and even said “you might want to look twice at who’s sitting next to you.”...

That a turban wearing Indian Sikh was shot and killed in an incident of revenge, having been mistaken for a Muslim. And that rather childish "dead or alive" thing, I wish we had a leader who better understood the intricacies of the problems, rather than talking like a B-grade cowboy. The "nuke all the goddamn Arabs" sentiment raging in the dark corners of chat rooms and across the country. Theses so-called Americans aren't even hawks. They're hawk droppings.

That there are some who believe that they could actually make it utterly impossible for us to frolic in the grass and sing in the shower and kiss with passionate intent. Only we ourselves, could do that, to ourselves, through paranoia and fear. What they do to us is merely spark a numb panic. That it’s apparently a little known fact that if you walk more slowly and move more mindfully and really look at what's going on around you at any given moment and take in all the information and let it drift over your consciousness and if you breathe more deeply and meaningfully the world will orient itself accordingly to match your careful and quiet pace and you'll discover it's not really about trying to keep up with the world but more about the world shaping and adapting itself to your approach and your rhythm but the unfortunate part is this is all just terribly easy to do but more easy to forget which is what most people do eventually anyway.

08 September 2006

Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today marks the day that many Catholics celebrate the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. While I am not Catholic by tradition, I am inspired by the Marian convictions and awed by the depth of faith of her followers. I am likewise moved by it's iconology and take solace in the image as Holy Mother, Divine Mother, Earth Mother. She has inspired poets and painters and artists of every age. Her many symbols include the rose, the violet, the lily and the colour blue.


With His kind Mother, who partakes thy woe,
Joseph, turn back: see, where your Child doth sit
Blowing, yea, blowing out those sparks of wit,
Which Himself on those doctors did bestow.
The Word but lately could not speak; and Lo,
It suddenly speaks wonders. Whence comes it,
That all which was, and all which would be, writ
A shallow-seeming Child should deeply know?
His Godhead was not soul to His Manhood;
Nor had time mellowed Him to this ripeness;
But, as for one which hath long tasks, 'tis good
With the sun to begin His business,
He, in His age's morning, thus began
By miracles exceeding power of man.

~John Donne

In Praise of Mary

Hail, holy Lady, most holy Queen,
Mary, Mother of God, ever Virgin.
You were chosen by the Most High Father in heaven,
consecrated by Him, with His most Holy Beloved Son
and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.

On you descended and still remains all the fullness of grace and every good.
Hail, His Palace.
Hail His Tabernacle.
Hail His Robe.
Hail His Handmaid.
Hail, His Mother.
and Hail, all holy Virtues, who, by grace and inspiration of the Holy Spirit,
are poured into the hearts of the faithful
so that from their faithless state,
they may be made faithful servants of God through you.

~St. Francis of Assisi

Holy Mother

Holy Mother, where are you?
Tonight I feel broken in two.
I've seen the stars fall from the sky.
Holy mother, can't keep from crying.

Oh I need your help this time,
Get me through this lonely night.
Tell me please which way to turn
To find myself again.

Holy mother, hear my prayer,
Somehow I know you're still there.
Send me please some peace of mind;
Take away this pain.

I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait any longer.
I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait for you.

Holy mother, hear my cry,
I've cursed your name a thousand times.
I've felt the anger running through my soul;
All I need is a hand to hold.

Oh I feel the end has come,
No longer my legs will run.
You know I would rather be
In your arms tonight.

When my hands no longer play,
My voice is still, I fade away.
Holy mother, then I'll be
Lying in, safe within your arms.

~Eric Clapton

Friday Funnies

This was lifted from Craig's List. Having recently bought a compass and protractor for my son to use in his 10th grade Geometry class, we had a good laugh over it.

A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in
possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule, and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

"Al-gebra is a problem for us," Gonzales said. "They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are 3 sides to every triangle'.”

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes." White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the president.

01 September 2006


Goethe said "What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

Arthur Stace was one such genius. His is a story of inspriation and hope. He reminds me to never give up. That no matter how small a part one plays, play it well. You never know what small act may affect thousands of souls.

Thanks to Jennifer Stewart (WritingTips@yahoogroups.com)

30 August 2006


The U.S. Post Office has issued a commemorative stamp which recognizes the role of motorcycles in American culture with four stamps that feature digital illustrations of a 1918 Cleveland, a 1940 Indian Four, a 1965 Harley-Davidson Electra-Glide, and (my personal favourite) a circa 1970 chopper.

In 1901, a 10' x 15' shed in the Davidson family’s Milwaukee backyard served as the birthplace to an American icon. Arthur Davidson, 20, and William Harley, 21, began experiments on "taking the work out of bicycling." Soon after, the duo were joined by Arthur's two brothers Walter and William. Many changes were made to the engine design before its builders were satisfied. After the new looped frame was finalized, they were ready to begin production. 1903 production: 3 motorcycles. The Harley Davidson Motorcycle Company was born!

In 2003 the Library of Congress celebrated the 100th birthday of the Harley.

Harley Davidson has established itself as a paragon of American ingenuity and craftsmanship.

Here is a picture of our Little Martha Pearl. A 1980 XLH Shovelhead Sportster 1000cc.