Dedicated to healthy mind, beauty, and spirit

Dedicated to healthy mind, beauty, and spirit

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Its common knowledge that dogs who share their lives with humans require obedience training, otherwise they can be aggressive, hyperactive, destructive, and eliminate inappropriately. Owners who do not train their puppies deserve to be shunned for boorish, improperly socialized dogs. Dogs cannot train themselves. Consistent training eliminates confusion helping a dog know his place in the world and understand right from wrong. The ideal relationship between dog and trainer includes mutual respect and well defined roles. Once trained, dogs can be extended greater freedom as they’ll be more trustworthy. A confident, reliable dog you can take anywhere is a constant pleasure. Well respected canines are valuable members of their communities.

OPS! Did I say dogs?
I meant boys.

"Training" is really consciousness awakening. Women are accountable for their evolution as well, but in this metaphoric training story, women are chew toys:

Chew toys come in many different shapes, sizes and materials it can be hard to decide on just one. There are squeaky toys, tough chew toys, toys that crackle, chew bones with a ham scent and almost indestructible chew toys. What dog doesn’t love a good chew toy?

Stores are stuffed with short, tight chew toy clothes that attract untrained men. These items entice girls to dress like female celebrities who push the boundaries of exposure. When a twenty something ingénue covered her entire figure in an Oscar gown, the co-hosts of “Fashion Police” moaned that she was too young to be dressing that old, suggesting that girls should "give it up" while they can. Hollywood fashion stylist, George Kotsiopoulos emphatically objected to their criticism, “Girls need to stop dressing like hookers! Girls - stop dressing like hookers - it’s ridiculous!”

I question what is gained from excessive physical exposure (and discomfort from tight clothes and high heels). A young man told me women his age dress a certain way to let guys know if they will “give it up.” If men degrade their behavior toward women, it’s doubly sad when women meet them there. Giving is one half of an exchange to a grateful receiver. A woman who loves herself exudes a confident and trustworthy vibe, suggesting a person of value and substance. When a man is hunched over he resembles an ape, and when he stands erect he appears more evolved. A woman who loves herself won’t fall for a monkey.

In the film, “The Miracle Worker”, Helen Keller’s teacher Anne Sullivan witnesses Helen at the dinner table with her family. Helen, deaf and blind, wanders in to the room with her arms projected, feeling her way to the food. She plunges her hands into everyone’s plate, scattering food like an animal. No one objects. Her family gives her control by not rejecting the behavior. Are we the collective family afraid to object to the spiritually deaf and blind?

Too many women are looking for love and attention but can’t figure out how to get it beyond the physical body. The symptoms of desperate longing include self sacrifice and poor choice of companion. Squandering self worth is a lousy price to pay for the empty promise of something. Stunningly beautiful women are jilted, proving that physical assets do not guarantee fidelity or security. Demi Moore’s statement, “I’m not really lovable or worthy of being loved” is shocking because we might assume that beauty is the opportunity to attract love, and attractiveness comes before self esteem, but it’s really the other way around.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


BUBBLES,INK is an online portfolio of my glorious photographs of bubbles. You can view and purchase prints at: You'll find a mesmerizing slideshow of the entire collection!

Monday, November 29, 2010


I was a passenger in Mama Natty’s car the night she was pulled over for speeding. When I spotted the sheriff’s car in the distance, I glanced at Natty’s speedometer and saw the needle bobbing around 60mph. We were surprised when the officer claimed she was doing 71mph in a 55mph zone. He wrote a 4 point, $240 ticket, siting a court date if she chose to appeal. Clearly the unfortunate caboose behind a chain of speeders, I convinced Natty she had a good argument and a keen eyewitness. It would be my first ever appearance in court.

Two weeks later in the Court House, defendants and lawyers mingled around the hallway while Natty and I waited on a wood bench varnished in stench. Assorted body odors clogged the air. A man in orange coveralls with a chain belt was led by an officer into a special elevator. Across from us, a young man in a soccer shirt slid down the grayish wall, letting out a big sigh, resting on the grungy carpet. His eyes picked me out of the crowd and became fixed. I never trust a “love-at-first-sight” moment from someone who might be in deep do-do. Mama Natty acknowledged my curious situation but steered her wheel back to the oncoming court debut.

My new admirer pushed others to take a seat next to me, and precociously stared at the side of my head. I kept my gaze forward, refusing to engage with him while my mama was facing the guillotine, but he was persistent. I turned my head dramatically to confront him. “Do you have any kids?” he said surveying my potent curves. This fresh faced kid, Josh, was a divorced father of four, caught with an ounce of marijuana. He confessed, “I’m too old for this sh*t.” (I was thinking - too young to have so many children). Unbelievably 37 years old, I agreed that he was too old, and more importantly, too laden with responsibilities for that kind of recreation. Then he asked what I was doing here - a fair rebuttal. "I am an eyewitness for my Mother" I stated, leaning backwards to reveal her on the other side of me. “Are you guys like Thelma and Louise?” Staying on task, Mama Natty questioned Josh about the accuracy of laser guns. He didn’t know much about them but apparently his clever Uncle kept a cup of water in the car to splash on his lap if he was pulled over. No one wants to mess with incontinence. Before long, Josh was called to the hallway to confer with a Public Defender. He was relieved that the best outcome for possession would be ten days in jail.

The court was called to order. Judge Wagner took his seat and the first defendant walked to the chair. He was caught driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol level well over the limit. The defendant’s lawyer spoke first, noting the positives and politely asking for a gentle sentence. Next the defendant apologized and pursued his remorse, noting he had already left his bartending job because it contributed his temptation to drive while intoxicated. The judge called for a prior history. This was my favorite part because it shed the light of truth on previous statements. After an unflattering history revealing three previous DUIs, Judge Wagner delivered a stinging sentence. The defendant left weeping. Josh snickered at the emotional reaction, fidgeting with his fingers. I was at amazed how callous the other lawbreakers were.

A few minutes later, the same defendant was returned to court in handcuffs. Outside the courtroom he was given a breathalyzer test. His blood alcohol level was 1.8. Inebriation during sentencing was a big no-no. Making matters worse, the defendant blamed Benadryl for faulty test results. Judge Wagner fuming at the familiar tactic, demanded to know when the defendant took his last drink so he could properly sentance him. After he stated "Midnight", Judge Wagner reissued a tougher sentence - "...effective immediately".

The next defendant was guilty of pleasuring himself in front of a school bus full of children and the residents of the Sunshine Retirement home during rush hour. The defendant’s lawyer said his client was seeking gainful employment. The sheepish defendant apologized, stating he wanted to get on with his life and forget about the whole thing. Judge Wagner suggested that the young and elderly, who unwillingly witnessed the act, might feel the same way. His “priors” included a fertile list of lewd and lascivious behaviors dating back 15 years. The lawbreakers giggled as Judge Wagner knocked out a fair decision. Natty was reassured of Judge Wagner’s integrity and ability to preside.

I didn’t want to leave the courtroom to plug the parking meter and miss the big moment, but Natty was fretting. Before I dashed, I told her to keep away from “Super Fly” - a charismatic cat with skin the shade of an ebony Steinway. Earlier, he proudly strutted his "Soul Train" into court. “Super Fly” stretched his arm across the back of the bench, leaning toward my attractive Natty. She was immune to characters who could take advantage of her naiveté and especially fond of African-Americans because of the nannies that raised her.

When I returned, Natty had already stood before the judge and spent time with the assistant DA in the hallway. Josh was gone and I wanted to know what happened, especially if he teared up, but Natty was busy consorting with “Super Fly” until her name was called again.

Mama Natty sat on a small chair looking up at the formidable Judge Wagner like Shirley Temple facing a big scary monster. Her slight build was erect and respectful. She spoke thoughtfully as the judge and lawbreakers listened intently. Natty explained that she was confused by the process and was having difficulty deciding what to do. Judge Wagner took a compassionate tone, slowing down to help her make her way thru, a gentleman holding the frail old lady’s arm across a bustling road. (Note: Natty is a hot youthful mama) She confessed to going a few miles over the speed limit because the 55-speed zone came up quickly in the dark, but not 71mph as the officer claimed. She continued, questioning the accuracy of the lasers, and felt her case came down to the sheriff’s word against hers. Then, she publicized, “The young gentleman in the hallway (assistant DA) told me if I said my speedometer was broken he would reduce my fine to $75.” The judge’s face turned pink and the assistant DA was mortified. Natty innocently blew the lid off the shenanigans. The court stirred and other DA’s whispered frantically. The mood of the court had changed. “Super Fly”, seated next to me, swung his head around and oozed, “you’re...Mama’s…al-right.”

The softened Judge Wagner told Natty that the system was not perfect and confusing at times. Before he declared his judgment, he made sure she was confident with her decision. Holding back a smile he said, “$25 fine, and 30 days to pay.” Then added, “Or if you need more time, I can make it 90 days, I have the power to do that.” She graciously accepted his first offer.

Judge Wagner will have a long wait ‘til someone like Natty shows up in his court again.

That day the truth set her free, and it’s doubtful a lawyer could have secured a better settlement.
I will always let Natty do the driving; she has a wonderful sense of direction.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Before the recent elections, I received a call hoping to confirm my vote. The candidate's campaign slogan was, "Standing up for (Our) Families." So I asked, "What about the people who are not familes - what about me?"

How often are we asked to contribute to organizations to help children, from diabetes research to hot lunch programs. A society that puts such incredible value on marriage and reproduction should wonder why these groups need so much help. Gee, maybe it's more expensive and difficult than people realize, and perhaps a couple's financial situation should be considered when making the choice to multiply. I have never heard anyone say they couldn't afford children. And how about the mental stability or intelligence of the parents? Sure, every baby is cute, but bringing one into a family that can't take care of it properly, isn't. Is there an assumption that singles are throwing away their paychecks on frivolity rather than responsibility, and if you chose to have children you can be as irresponsible and unqualified as you want? No matter what though, our government is looking out for families and their children.

Financially, a single, self-employed woman loses on every account. No spousal contribution, no children to write off, no insurance, and an unpredictable income. Not having children of her own, she is asked to donate money to someone else's. Who's standing up for her during the economic collapse? Are singles ever acknowledged in the desperate times arena? If making a family wasn't on the pedestal, maybe the decision to create them would be taken more cautiously and seriously.

Furthermore, I would love to chat with the, "Standing up for (Our) Familes" canidate and clarify that being single is not necessarily a default position. (Although it might have been for him). Being single does not always mean, "not being chosen" or "still waiting to be married or with child." It's time to get comfortable with the idea of single people. The ingrained fear of being unmarried and childless distorts the reality of a great single life.

My content single friend Shelly sent me this link to an article by Eleanore Wells. Her yet-to-be-published book about being single and child-free is called, "The Spinsterlicious Life."

Monday, November 8, 2010


What’s everyone up to? Poised in front of the computer throne making social business on Facebook? Or Twittering? Texting? Blogging?

Fresh off a solo screening of The Social Network, I’m hankering for an afterglow discussion. Since no one is available, I’m writing, not discussing my views. Would that qualify as being social?

Facebook began as a social networking vehicle for college students. Eventually it became outrageously popular with grownups because life after college makes it hard to stay in touch with friends. College classes, parties, and roommates put social contacting at its peak, so it was bound to attract the rest of the population longing to reconnect to that energy. Still, it’s a far cry from the basement lounge in “That 70’s Show” and you can’t get that from the glow of a computer screen.

Entertaining myself one evening, I searched for groups of friends from past stages in my life, finding guys I might have married, couples I fixed up, and friendships that dissolved. I felt nosy and weird for days. Movies are like a peep show, and so is Facebook. Information is there for the taking.

The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, stuggles with dilemas remeniscent of Charles Foster Kane and Ebenezer Scrooge. Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg’s only friend at FB inception, helps build Xanadu, but when it rises to glory, Saverin is tossed to the curb. Insecurity keeps the girl Zuckerberg loves out of the picture. Like Scrooge, a lack of self love disables their connection. Unable to woo her with remarkable success, Zuckerberg can’t believe her rejection. He falls prey to the shortcomings of his own creation. She tells him that what you say or blog can never be taken back, especially when you put it on the internet.

The irony of the story is that the inventor of the consummate social network can’t consummate - socially. Also, if a key feature of FB is friendship-building, Zuckerberg is deficient and disinterested in his own arena. Technology is his comforting thumb.

His brain is his weapon of choice, his mind a formidable opponent, but in the end, his win is bittersweet.

Too bad you can't buy love or friendship. (I mean real love and friendship).

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Spring cleaning is done, the winter debris has gone, and my home is OM. I found healthier cleaners this year that are great performers and environmentally compassionate. Unclutch that toxic Febreeze, Pinesol, and Windex - when you try these impressive products you'll never miss them.

Hope’s Perfect Glass cleaner has a label that doesn’t lie. (Windex does). There are NO STREAKS! And even better, it’s ammonia-free emitting only a faint lemony scent. My windows and mirrors have a spectacular sheen. I found this product at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Buy two at a time.
Biokleen has a complete line of home cleaning supplies, including laundry detergent, but my favorite is Bac-Out Stain & Odor Eliminator. It is natural, non-toxic, biodegradable, with a natural scent from lime. Biokleen breaks down stains, dirt, and odors with live enzymes. After
soaking sheer curtains embedded by resistant road grime they came out clean and bright. With a damped cloth I wiped Bac-Out across my white micro-suede sofa. Now 8 years old, it looks brand new and smells awesome. The enzymes in Biokleen products eliminate troublesome odors and stains gently. It’s sold in gallons.

My floors must think it’s Christmas. The best gift you could give your carpets and hardwood floors is a Dyson Vac and Bona Floor Cleaner. There are Dyson vacuums and there are the others. If you have allergies this system will make a big difference. I bought the canister style and I love its strength and smart design. You can go to Sears for a demonstration. They are worth their price in the long run.

Bona Floor Cleaner is non-toxic to the environment and your home.
Floors are rejuvenated, polished, and fresh. It is GREENGUARD certified for indoor air quality. The company researches their product more than any other, and considers health, beauty, performance, and environmental responsibility. Developed in Sweden in 1919, Bona Floor Cleaner is available online or at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Great OZ

How do we make medical attention affordable, reduce insurance premiums, and maintain wellness? Staying healthy would be a wise solution. But before that can happen, a comprehensive understanding of our bodies is necessary to manage them properly.

The Dr. Oz Show is a prescription for empowerment. At a time when we need him most, a great teacher has come forth, gifting us with the necessary knowledge to begin a journey of biological self discovery. Dr.Mehmet Oz dispels myths, recommends natural remedies, and reveals the typical symptoms of many diseases. The coverage of topics is brief but it’s a starting point of expansion.

What a treasure to have this mysterious body that carries our soul through life. It’s a genius organism we can protect, shape, and recreate with our minds. There are many respectable sources to chose from; The Dr. Oz Show is one I highly recommend. Weekdays on CBS, 3pm central time

Sunday, February 28, 2010


“Fame or integrity: which is more important? Money or happiness: which is more valuable? Success or failure: which is more destructive? If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
- Lao Tzu, from the Tao Te Ching

Lots of people want to be famous. Especially prone to the longings, are children, teenagers, and a whole lotta California. Statistically, wouldn't becoming famous be similar to landing a winning lottery ticket? Even if talents were whetted to perfection, fame would still be a shot of luck. The need for praise, popularity, or appreciation drives those who want “it” regardless of daunting probability. During the last few weeks of American Idol auditions, judges sifted through thousands of performers afflicted with “fame-itis” to discover a scant few who might have the goods.

Successful artists like Josh Groban who have prepared their craft, can accept the well deserved acknowledgements when they come. But a “lottery winner” like Susan Boyle freaks out when her simple life is overtaken by video cameras staked outside her home. Blinded by her desire for celebrity, she wasn't prepared for the dark side of the dream.

The negative aspects to fame like loss of privacy, penetrable scrutiny, and pressures to maintain success are irrelevant to the star-struck. Fame and celebrity are a tempting delusional sundae full of corn syrup, not always as tasty as it looks, but when someone is starving, satiating the need is all that matters. Then, when the in-coming praise doesn’t match the internal praise, the difference is maddening. Fame cannot accelerate self worth or cure life’s problems. While the spotlight exalts, it also exposes flaws. Are the nervous breakdowns and addictive behaviors common to meteoric fame any surprise?

Perhaps it’s best to be the star of your own life, first.

“I don’t think I realized that the cost of fame is that it’s open season on every moment of your life.” -Julia Roberts

“If you come to fame not understanding who you are, it will define who you are.” - Oprah Winfrey

“With fame, you know, you can read about yourself, somebody else’s ideas about you, but what’s important is how you feel about yourself - for survival and living day to day with what comes up.” -Marilyn Monroe

“The image is one thing and the human being is another. It’s very hard to live up to an image.” -Elvis Presley

“By accident of fortune a man may rule the world for a time, but by virtue of love he may rule the world forever.” -Lao Tzu


Ten years ago I discovered world music super group, Afro Celt Sound System and began collecting their entire discography. They are the least likely group to see live, but that's ok, the best seat is in your ear. If stranded on the island with one CD, I would choose Afro Celt Sound System and never tire of it, if it was the last music I ever heard.

Afro Celt Sound System is a musical group which fuses modern dance rhythms (trip-hop, techno, etc.) with traditional Irish (Celtic) and West African dance rhythms formed by Grammy-nominated producer-guitarist Simon Emmerson, and is considered to be somewhat of a world music supergroup, often having a wide range of guest artists on their albums:

Peter Gabriel, Robert Plant, Pete Lockett, Sinéad O’Connor, Pina Kollar, Dorothee Munyaneza, Sevara Nazarkhan, Simon Massey, Jesse Cook, Martin Hayes, Eileen Ivers, Mundy, Demba Barry, Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh, and Ciarán Tourish of Altan, Ronan Browne, Michael McGoldrick, Myrdhin, Shooglenifty, Mairead Nesbitt, Davy Spillane, Jonas Bruce, Heather Nova, Julie Murphy and Ayub Ogada. -Wikipedia

One click will take you to the experience:


My parents were raised on farms, so a necessity for their first home was space enough for a large vegetable garden. We dumped food scraps on a compost pile behind the shed, and every spring my father tilled the soil and added fresh manure. If that didn’t raise a few eyebrows, when the elder neighbors spotted my hippy Mother weeding in her white go-go boots they declared the neighborhood was going down the tubes. Actually, in the 60’s sustainable farming was a growing trend, but for my parents it was second nature.

In summer we ate from the fruit trees and vegetable garden, “canning” our winter food in glass jars. We stored pickles and tomato sauce in the basement cellar. Corn, plus other veggies were blanched, frozen, and stashed in an auxiliary freezer along with meat from Grandma’s farm. Several times a year we visited the cheese factory that processed her cow’s milk. It was a way of life and I became accustomed to the taste of good food.

When I left home, these food sources were replaced by processed and non-organic food. After a few years I was overweight, chronically tired and malnourished. It took many years to get healthy again, and it wasn’t inexpensive. To survive, I had to start spending more money on food and less on health care. I returned to my roots and sought options for better quality food. Thank God for the Outpost, Health Hut, and eventually Whole Foods. A simple solution to the healthcare crisis - spend more on quality food, stop inflating medical costs, and don't support companies who produce nutritionally poor food. In his new documentary “Food, Inc.” based on two books, “An Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, and “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser, filmmaker Robert Kenner explores the dilemma.

Kenner is adamant that food is not an elitist issue. Rather, “it is a health issue, an environmental issue, a human rights issue. This industrialized food, whether you're eating it or not, is going to cost us all.”
- June 11, 2009 By Tamara Straus, Special to The Chronicle

My other food hero is co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey. His fascinating story appeared in The New Yorker in January 2010. I’ve always been curious about the origins of this super market. I encourage you to read Nick Paumgarten’s impressive profile of John Mackey’s journey through the food industry, and support businesses that benefit you and your whole community.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Surround yourself with the things you love....Make every day a love fest!
My valentine to you, dear readers, is a bouquet of bright ideas and a box of delicious surprises:

Are you still using a microwave? A convection toaster oven is the most used piece of equipment in my kitchen. It toasts, broils, warms, convection bakes, and reheats food adding crispiness you can't get in a microwave. Microwaving destroys flavor and texture and makes leftovers second rate. Replace your microwave and toaster for one space-saving wonder machine. (Find at Target stores under $70) Bon appetite!

Sifting through the thick glog of television’s heinous crime, disaster, or freaky people drama, I am always on alert for intelligent, positive programming. If you like music you must check out Elvis Costello’s show, “Spectacle” on Sundance Channel. (Executive produced by Elton John). The common thread among the diverse appearance of musicians and songwriters is talent. Their bells and whistles do not include over-the-top costumes, vulgar dance moves or exploding stages. They discuss personal history, careers, artistic process, and the music industry. Guests perform with and without Elvis. Thinking people’s entertainment. Explaining his approach to the program, Elvis said, "I'm not interested in extracting some dark secret. I'd rather hear about a bright secret, a deep love or a curiosity that might be otherwise obscured by fame. This is a wonderful opportunity to talk in complete thoughts about music, movies, art or even vaudeville, then frame it with unique and illustrative performances." -PR Newswire

Are you concerned with bad breath? Do you brush twice a day? Find out the best way to have fresh breath. Dr. Tung’s Tongue Cleaner:
“Modern research confirms that tongue cleaning is the best way to remove bacteria that cause bad breath. Tongue cleansing also helps improve taste, remove the coating on the tongue and slow the growth of plaque.” -Dr. Tung

Every morning for breakfast I prefer coffee and something sweet. I should be having fruit, yogurt, or oatmeal, but most days I have Nature’s Path chocolate toaster pastries. An organic alternative to pop tarts, with many natural flavors to choose from and nothing artificial.
(toaster pastries + convection toaster oven = love)


What’s up with the playboys lately? Not popularity or respect it seems...
Cumulative headlines suggest the pedestalus erectus may be crumbling:

-Tiger’s worst 16 holes
-Letterman the-well-hung-man
-Fellini’s philandering film fest
-Peter budget-eater Orszag
-Donald mad man dumped Draper
-The politically incorrect John Edwards
-Warren Beatty’s
unauthorized bedpost boast

Is the womanizer image withering? Do playboys coat intimacy issues and arrested development with persona and power? Does the recent finger pointing mean we are collectively rejecting adolescent behaviors in favor of integrity?

Sex rehab seems to be on the rise as well. Such healing has a collective effect, but starts with individual intention, acceptance, and responsibility. If a man stands behind promises thus cultivating his self esteem, relationships with girlfriends, spouses and children will be his pride, not his failure. The harm of playboy behavior - the temporary relief of insatiable lust or insecurities – takes its toll. Dalliances destroy personal relationships, but they also impair businesses that rely on reputations for endorsements. So why have we glorified the playboy for so long? Are we becoming more conscious?

Women are playgirls too, but the term is comparatively derogatory. Playgirls are viewed as sluts tramps, or cougars, while playboys are billed studs, sex-gods, or heart-breakers. Are women who are drawn to playboys hoping to conquer the noncommittal and share their limelight? Practically speaking, why date or marry a man who’s not capable or interested beyond infatuation? They’re dealing in Mr. Right Now, not Mr. Right. The infatuation phase is undeniably addicting for men and women, but the treasure of real love takes time and commitment. If you have a partner who is mutually willing to get there, the payoff is greater than temporary pleasure.

Wouldn’t it be great if playboys were heroes instead?


I love Charlie Rose, he is the Kung Fu Master of the interview. Which makes me wonder how he still flies under the mass popularity radar? Is it the late night time slot? Or does average find little interest in the way above average?

For 19 years, the Charlie Rose show has been broadcast and honed to a surgeon’s scalpel. He glides from intrapersonal to interpersonal with perfect measure, leaving room for the subject to bloom. Confrontational and occasionally ornery, he is obsessively eager to harvest details and truths.

His dark minimal set is a round oak table illuminated in the foreground. The focused environment inspires guests to relax and open up. Charlie introduces actors, writers, politicians, scientists, entertainers, political correspondents, Heads of State, and Presidents. He interviews the greatest minds of the world with equaled brilliance.

The Charlie Rose Brain Series should be programmed on your DVR. Over the next year Charlie will be interviewing scientists and researchers about different subjects of the brain like perception, social interaction, aging and creativity, including scientific discovery and advances in technology.

Be my Valentine, Charlie Rose!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


A new female archetype, The Eccentric Nerd Woman can be found married or raising children, but are usually independent, devoted to furthering personal development. Eccentric describes an unconventional nature sculpted by insatiable interest, and nerd refers to being more passionate toward knowledge than popularity. The social majority, critical of individuality, blesses followers of the status quo and unjustly diminishes the appeal of nerds. In nerd relationships, prerequisites include smarts and a distinctive character rather than age, creed, or appearance, which is why nerds often have a diverse collection of like-minded friends.

Eccentric Nerd Women manifest personal style that's impossible to categorize. Creating identity from the inside out makes them beautiful. These curious adventuresses are young at heart, playful, but not play things. Their great compassion extends from intelligence. A respectful manner in dealing with people, animals, and valued things, exemplifies their regard. This sensitive, idealistic nature will not be found among the rough and tumble, an Eccentric Nerd Woman’s scene is more meditative. A career would have to challenge mind, body or spirit. Naturally committed to purpose and outcome, these are the women you want on any team.

Eccentric Nerd mares are hard to catch. When randy, biologically programmed stallions pursue fertile mares they take the one they can lasso, not always the finest. Unfortunate foal cannot discern quality while being so impatient. However, it may be just as well that they pass up something too wild to ride; this mare needs a bull.

Because Eccentric Nerd Women do not subscribe to conventional roles they require renaissance men. Certain types of women are interchangeable but these ladies are notable. Eccentric Nerd Women adore creativity, education, and free will because they feed perpetual contentment. She will be a friend, confidant, and an equal - easy to love but impossible to control, but never a desperate housewife.

Eccentric Nerd Women don’t compete for male attention, utilizing that energy for personal evolution. It appears as though a relationship isn’t needed to complete their lives, but this is a misconception of EN Women. They don’t settle because, they don't need to. This lady horse must be powered by her own muscle since dependence or control would cripple her spirit. Finding a relationship of virtue is important, but these convictions don’t make her search any easier.

Roots of this Eccentric Nerd flower may stem from the often misunderstood Greek hetaera or the Japanese geisha. Judged against social laws of their time, these women were tarnished for having sexual relationships outside marriage. In his book “Lying with the Heavenly Woman” Robert A. Johnson explains, “…this particular kind of woman – is a companion, and intellectual partner, a carrier of grace and beauty, a source of inspiration. All women have the hetaera capacity in their natures, and in some it is so strong as to dominate their personality structure. It is no less powerful for us in our own modern times, but we have virtually no terminology for it…” Until now!

Katherine Hepburn, Amelia Erhart, Diane Keaton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Oprah, Bonnie Raitt, Angelica Houston, Julia Child, and Cherrie Hanson are my short list of modern Eccentric Nerd Women. Shall I add your name to the list?

Georgia Berndsen
Colleen DuVall
Shelly Stark
Katrina Cravy


When asked whether it was acceptable to wish “Merry Christmas” to Christian friends or business associates, Indian Islamic preacher, Dr. Zakir Naik, declared, “Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to a non-Muslim submits that Christ was the son of God and makes us one of them. It is one hundred percent wrong.” Dr. Zakir, a doctor of medicine, knows that the human body is a universally designed machine, created by one architect, and regardless of who/what that was, we are physically the same flesh and blood in need air, water, food, sunlight, love, etc. It is our thoughts that separate us from each other. However, acknowledging another person’s thoughts does not deny our own. If life experience shapes beliefs, how could we expect them to be the same? Wishing "Merry Christmas" to a non-Muslim is not about self interest, it’s about recognizing someone else’s customs.

Christmas is a time to remember charity, family, friends, and blessings. We give gifts and spend quality time with loved ones. Muslims celebrate Eid in similar fashion.

Eid follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. It is a time to give in charity to those in need, and celebrate with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and joy.
Before the day of Eid, during the last few days of Ramadan, each Muslim family gives a determined amount as a donation to the poor. This donation is of actual food -- rice, barley, dates, rice, etc. -- to ensure that the needy can have a holiday meal and participate in the celebration. On the day of Eid, Muslims gather early in the morning in outdoor locations or mosques to perform the Eid prayer. This consists of a sermon followed by a short congregational prayer.
After the Eid prayer, Muslims usually scatter to visit various family and friends, give gifts (especially to children), and make phone calls to distant relatives to give well-wishes for the holiday. These activities traditionally continue for three days. In most Muslim countries, the entire 3-day period is an official government/school holiday.

This year I greeted my Muslim friends, Ziad and Kamel, with “Happy Eid!” And, though it’s only customary to give children Eid gifts, I gave them presents anyway. I mixed essentials oils to create individual cologne fragrances. They were moved by my thoughtfulness and consideration. Ziad remembered the excitement of Eid gifts as a child and how much he cherished them. Kamel could not stop smelling his hand.

A few weeks later I was preparing for Christmas. My friends and family agreed, no presents this year, instead giving the precious gift of quality time. But, on Christmas Day I discovered a package wrapped in a colorful gift bag. Inside was an ipod from Ziad, he remembered that I wanted one, and from Kamel, a traditional Palestinian headdress (scarf) called hattah. In Jordan, where Kamel is from, they wear the red and white hattah, known as shmagh mhadab.

It was a Muslim "Merry Christmas" from my two very dear friends!

Eid Mubarak! (Blessed Eid!)
Merry Christmas!

Kul 'am wa enta bi-khair! (May every year find you in good health!)
And a Happy New Year!



David R. Hawkins book contains a bounty of insight to human behavior. Its a Jedi training program. As you take in the information, strength builds, knowledge adds mental muscle, and you grasp power in its best form. When we raise our individual vibration we benefit the energy around us. And when we lower our vibration, we destroy the energy around us, usually through force.

If you want to know power and are frustrated by the results of force, read this book.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


My annual viewing of the play, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, continues its tradition of perspective and holiday tone. The distinguished message this year comes from Jacob Marley, Scrooge's deceased business partner:

"But you were always a man of business, Jacob."

"Business! Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"

A favorite quote of mine, "I like people...but I hate them too!" rings true occasionally. But at Christmastime the best of mankind is on display, magical things always seem to happen and the loving part of our nature comes out of hiding. Maybe that's why they say keep Christmas in your heart all year long.

Merry Christmas with love, from my home to your home!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


My Christmas will be very different this year because there’s little money to host Christmas dinner, buy presents, or a tree. I don’t feel sad because financial issues can’t compete with the prospect of new meaning. The cost of making Christmas special always causes pressure, but this year the financial scenario is so serious for most that things just won’t be the same. When you can’t use money to make yourself or others happy, what’s free becomes very clear.

Love. Let someone other than your family or spouse know that you love them. Say it out loud. Humor. Find someone who’s stressed and turn their mood around with laughter. Kindness. Be generous in a unpredictable way. Listen. Be a quiet canvas for someone to paint their thoughts on. Compassion. Take unwanted books or clothes to Goodwill for someone else to treasure. Friendship. Include someone who doesn’t have a family to share your holiday. These things are available anytime to give and receive. I can always use more of them, and certainly must remember to give more as well. If you’re worried about whether or not your Christmas will measure up to years past, envision a new way to experience comfort and joy.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


The Wizard of Oz won’t leave me alone. The story line, its characters, and themes have been showing up uninvited for quite some time. It’s weird since I’ve never been a huge fan. The most recent “Wizard” intervention came when I was channel surfing. Smoke letters were shooting out of the witch’s broomstick above the Emerald City spelling out a message. The trembling Tin Man was pointing toward the sky calling out the letters, “Sur-ren-der Dorothy!” A woman in the crowd yelled, “Who’s Dorothy?”

At this point in my life “surrender” means letting go of expectations and attachments, having faith in the outcome. In that framework, the meaning of this old familiar story changed dramatically. I’m starting to realize that every time the “Wizard” appears I learn something.

One Christmas many years ago I found myself alone, separated from my biological family because of disputes and disagreements. I wasn’t sad to be apart from them, just petrified to possibly spend the holiday alone. Because tradition and religious beliefs are installed by parents, searching for our own truths may require breaking away from the family at some point, mentally or physically. Remember the story of the prodigal son? The yellow brick road was my metaphoric spiritual path, and the road to find my true self was a great adventure.

I have a wonderful Godmother named Marlene that I call “Auntie”. She has seven kids but a heart big enough to add another. It occurred to me that she was my Auntie M. I was relieved to be included in her large family celebration but I still felt like an orphan because as they say, “there’s no place like home.” For now, home was an open road.

That Christmas was a sunny bitter cold day with temperatures dangerous enough to freeze your nostrils together. I didn’t dress properly. I never imagined I’d have to leave the warm car…

Before leaving town I stopped at the children’s bookstore I live above, aptly named Rainbowbooks. Joseph, the owner, pulled a hot new seller from the bookshelf to share with me. It was The Wizard of Oz pop-up book by genius Robert Sabuda. This fortune teller gave me fatherly advice, a holiday cookie for the trip, and sent me on my way.

After two hours I was passing my father’s hometown of Westfield. When I was a kid my family would stop at The Pioneer Inn for home cooking and a fresh slice of pie. It was always our halfway marker. I noticed a car on the side of the road with a flat tire. I felt sorry for the misfortune and plans thwarted. Seconds later my car started making a terrible noise. Whatever flattened the other tire just dug into mine. I’d never had a flat tire before. As I stepped out to check the damage the icy wind choked me and went right through my clothes. I jumped back into the car and called Auntie M. A drunken cousin picked up the phone and started laughing. No one offered to come help me because Santa was about to arrive. AAA’s line was busy. Back then, my antiquated cell phone was powered by my car, so if I ran out of gas before I got through, I would die in the cold. The only way to survive was to walk back to Westfield. I called Auntie’s house one more time and told my Godfather to keep calling AAA. He couldn’t hear me over the gift-ripping mayhem.

The valley between the highways was extremely wide and full of snow. The air was too cold to inhale. The wicked wind slashed like razor blades across my face and the sunlight blinded me. Chills pierced so deep my bladder started cramping. Walking made it worse. I didn’t think I could hold it much longer. I started to cry, turning back to the car. Just then a vehicle whizzed past so fast I wasn’t sure I saw it, but it kicked up a frosty dust cloud. Another car was coming out of the powder, skidding towards me. A man emerged, calling out to me as he approached. He was bow-legged and skinny with a large nose, weak chin, wearing an odd shaped hat with a chin strap. It was the highway Trooper. The first thing I said was, “did anyone ever tell you that you look like Ray Boldgers?” He replied sprightly, “All the time Ma’am, so what seems to be the trouble here?”

He drove me to the rest stop and called AAA. We waited for over an hour while he did all the talking. Before he spotted me, he was on a high speed chase hitting 110 miles per hour but couldn’t catch the speeder. That’s why I barely saw the car. He pulled over when he saw me reeling in the dust. I was happy to be safe and warm. His job was lonely and he enjoyed having someone to talk to.

The AAA driver came eventually and swiftly hooked my car on his tow truck. He was barrel-chested with thick strong legs wearing a cap slightly cocked to the side. He tossed me up into the cab and drove me back to Westfield. It was four miles away. I noticed a Mc Donald’s next to the Pioneer Inn. We passed a movie theater my father went to as a child. It was dilapidated and falling into the river. The Tin man took me to his garage to tinker with my tire and get me back on the road. The shop was oily. I read slimy magazines while waiting to be salvaged. Since we were alone he told me I could come into the garage and hang out with him while he worked. I thanked him for being available on a holiday. He was a single man without family and a business owner licensed by AAA to help stranded motorists in the area. He didn’t mind working on a holiday. I started to embrace my strange Christmas adventure. Being side-tracked was ok; I had surrendered to the plan. Only 45 minutes of road left to reach my destination.

Everyone at Auntie M’s was happy to see me. I wanted to scold them for not saving me, but they gathered around expecting to hear a story. I couldn’t believe they weren’t frantic or worried, but I did have a tale to tell. A strange man in the back of the room caught my eye. His hair was so long it blended into a full beard that grew from the top of his cheeks down into his chest hair. Auntie told me he was invited for Christmas because he was on his own this holiday. He was nervous around Auntie’s large rambunctious group and relieved to find another stray cat. He followed me everywhere I went, so I sat at the piano and he bravely joined in, singing Christmas songs for the family. It was lovely.

A few days later I took the road back home. My mind was calm and content because I knew the place called “home” was in my heart forever.

The End

…but I doubt it…

Sunday, November 29, 2009


If you want create neural pathways, make time go slower, and ward off boredom, change your routine! A man I knew once said he didn’t think he was interesting. Being interesting usually starts with being interested…in something NEW! There’s so much to discover every day it seems a shame to repeat, and repeat.

Now that I have made my campaign, I want to promote “The Magnificent Ambersons”
for this year’s Christmas movie. Before you dust off copies of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and
“A Christmas Carol” consider a rare treat, “The Magnificent Ambersons.” I can’t believe this film isn’t more popular; after all, Orson Welles directed it. Agnes Moorehead stars as Aunt Fanny; my generation would recognize her from “Bewitched.” Starring roles are played by other legends like Joseph Cotton, Anne Baxter, Dolores Costello, and Ray Collins.

A Christmas movie tends to center around a lesson that can stir a self reflective mood. The Ambersons had their fateful dramas like any other family. This story exposes each character’s angst and the consequences of their paths. Similar to Scrooge, little Georgie Amberson gets his comeuppance and the chance to change course before it‘s too late.
Orson Welles voice-over narration is a soothing shoulder to comfort you along the way.

Directed, Produced, and Scripted by Orson Welles
RKO Studios 1942

Monday, November 2, 2009


After I graduate from college, I must build my business to create income.
I must pass a state board exam, and renew my license every two years.
After I am certified to practice, the work I do will be continual on the job training.
I remove parts of the human body with sharp tools.
Sometimes I need to be available for emergencies.
In the unfortunate case of accidents or mistakes, I pay for protective insurance.
I work by appointment. My business relies on filling the schedule.
I may need to hire a receptionist or an assistant.
I do not receive job benefits such as vacation or sick pay, health insurance, dental or eye benefits, or a pension.
After graduating, I will need to further my education and stay current. I am responsible for the costs of further education.
My workspace must be carefully prepared before I do my work, and properly sanitized after.
I pay rent for the space I use to work.
I have to make important decisions quickly and accurately.
My work place has many hazardous chemicals. Sometimes I must wear protection.
I can specialize within my field.
My work is physically and mentally demanding.
I retain business by having adept technical and social skills.


Did you guess Doctor?....


Here are the wage estimates for both professions in the state of Wisconsin:

Internists, General Doctors
Average Yearly Income - $192,180
Mean Hourly Wage - $92.39

Average Yearly Income - $25,260
Mean Hourly Wage - $12.15

Next time you visit your hairstylist, please consider the value of what you receive.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


“Your journey through life has given you a lot of trouble lately. Now, you are wondering why you ever bothered to set out down a road. You need to stop and check-the-map.”
-Astrologer Jonathan Cainer

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” How often do we examine the course we’re on? What makes us truly happy, and what is the plan to get there? Are you going along with what’s on offer, or compromising to please the people you care about? What do you want?!? Do you know? Are you happy? That’s how you know.

Happiness is the feeling of wholeness. When your soul smiles and knows peace even for a second, and you realize, everything is all right. Wholeness is the center of a wheel held in place while the wheel goes round and round. Life moves forward or back, whichever you chose. What is constant is the joy you can feel anytime, it’s always there. The spokes are our thoughts, our minds with many arms reaching out to the world. These follow the wheel to many places, some muddy, some smooth, but always somewhere.

If we focus our minds inward to that happy content center, then no matter what road we travel, happiness will always be there.

Thursday, October 29, 2009



Chris Rock’s new film “Good Hair” outraged some African-American women who wanted their “hair business” kept private. His intention was to share the incredible amount of time and money needed to attain “good hair.” But he hit a nerve, exposing what women would like to keep secret. Admittedly, the process is not attractive; wet hair, globs of chemicals, head full of rollers etc. The idea that naturally beauty is better than beauty created in the salon taunts some women. If you’re spending hours there it must mean you need a lot of work, therefore not “ready-made.” I disagree; created beauty is an enhancement of the raw materials and the stuff growing out of your scalp needs to be managed. The bottom line?
No one wants to be seen until the job is done.

“Good Hair” documented the techniques behind the job, and the technician in me found it helpful and fascinating. The revealing of beauty secrets should be a constant dialog between hairstylists and clients. The antiquated model of service where clients serve up their vanities to the beautician’s magic wand is not beneficial to either party. Collaboration leaves less room for error and illusion. Clients who understand the fundamentals can properly ask for techniques available to them and are generally happier with the outcome. I educate my clients, sometimes against their will, and encourage them to participate. It’s not magic; it is chemistry, technique, and artistic capacities. Talk to your stylist, ask questions, get involved.


Let’s begin with hair lightening. Any time you are removing color the cuticle has to be opened by the chemical, peroxide. The effects of this process will permanently alter the surface of the cuticle, and color will fade more readily than natural color. There are four strengths of peroxide, 10, 20, 30 and 40 volume. They are chosen for specific needs such as covering grey, deepening color, adding highlights, etc. Peroxide is mixed with haircolor or bleach. The difference between them is that bleach lightens until the process is halted by washing. Haircolor lifts until the potency of the peroxide wears out, and then deposits the chosen color. When haircolor is first mixed with peroxide it has the greatest capacity to lighten and must be applied in a timely fashion. Haircolor is applied to the new growth to avoid overlap from previous applications. A really important detail for clients to understand is that haircolor will not lighten haircolor, only bleach will do that.

Less color equals less strength. Color molecules, a form of protein, make up the middle of the hair shaft. If you take it away you remove the guts, so to speak. Protein conditioners will help correct the cuticle and the loss of color, and a low ph shampoo will not further re-open the cuticle when washing. A client may relate the poor condition of her hair to the color service, not the high ph shampoo she’s using every day. Make sure the home maintenance practices are in place. No one needs to walk around with straw hair because there are many restorative products.

If a client with lightened hair wants to return to her natural color brown, the hair has to be filled with the colors, yellow, orange, red, and green to make brown. The quantity of each is determined by the practitioner, but it is not an exact science. If you’ve ever painted a room, you know that the color you pick may look horrible once it hits the wall; an excellent reason to leave hair coloring to trained professionals.


There are three basic haircuts: Solid form, layered form, and the wedge. All haircuts are one or more of these combined. Texturizing can be done with a razor or by sliding the tip of the scissors through the hair. Both types can radically change the look of a haircut and give more or less volume depending on where the texturizing is applied. Proportion and balance determines what hair cut will look best. If a client has a short neck, large nose, weak jaw line, or thin hair, the cut should honor those details. If a client brings a picture, the concept should be tailored to fit her proportions. Clients will tell you what they like and what they want to hide.

Keep in mind, a haircut doesn’t style itself. Discontent usually rears its ugly head the next morning. Clients should not pine to reproduce their hairstyle exactly like the hairdresser does, this can cause unnecessary grief. The basics of applying styling products, blow-dryer skills, and using brushes to achieve different looks, are the most important secrets to share with them. My rule of thumb is, always apply styling products like gel and mousse at the scalp moving outward, with the exception of pomade and conditioners. It’s better to apply them to the ends and move inward. Heat from the blow-dryer should be directed toward the scalp first, stretching and pulling hair away to smooth out cowlicks. This technique fluffs the cuticle near the scalp for maximum volume. A flat brush with wide teeth is a good starter tool for moving large quantities of hair while drying. Flipping the head upside down is helpful too. Round brushes make wavy or curly ends, and are best used to finish and define hair. Apply hair spray when hair is still warm because an open cuticle holds the hairstyle longer. For curly hair, air drying or attaching a diffuser to the end of your blow-dryer will help keep the cuticle relaxed. Curly hair tends to be naturally drier than straight hair, needing crème based products or leave in conditioners for protection.

Less confusion, more information, and better communication is the formula for success. From this overview you might glean that hair artistry is a complicated task with many variables and possible outcomes. My wish is to eliminate the mysteries that lead to disaster and disappointment, arming clients with the necessary information to actualize...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

CHERRIE-PICKED: Harvesting the cream of the crop in skincare, haircare, and makeup

Finding great products is not easy. Most of them contain ingredients that do not warrant the hefty price tag. You might assume that decent skincare and makeup would cost more, but that's not always true. Armed with knowledge and good judgement I bring you my own personal choices. These are tested and true, in other words...Cherrie-Picked!

It took a long time to find the perfect foundation. Make Up For Ever has many liquid makeup choices, but the Mat Velvet is their award winner. I have recommended this to friends who agree that it is something special. Hello gorgeous! Find it at Sephora.

There's alot of talk about mascara and I've tried them all. Physician's Formula can be found at Target stores and has all the great character of a good mascara. Since you should replace it every three months, it's also the most reasonably priced and better than the expensive ones.

Mac eyeshadows are non pareil! They go on smooth. The colors are beautiful and there are many to choose from. "Club" is my personal favorite - it blends brown and peacock green in one shade.

As you know I'm not a huge fan of perfume, but Philosophy's Soap and Water is light and clean, like you've only used soap and water. Great for men too.

Beauty Without Cruelty is a wonderful skin care product line. I especially like their facial toner. If your skin is normal to oily you may not want to use a moisterizer, but after washing, this product will balance the ph of your skin and keep it supple and hydrated. A great alternative to moisterizer.

Mircle soap is a miracle! The moisterizing soap removes makeup better than anything I've ever used. It deep cleans the pores and is gentle on the skin. It is a simple pure formula, no chemicals or fragrance added. A little goes a long way, making it the most cost effective skin care cleanser. The regular soap is an excellent cleaner for your home.

This is my favorite collection of Lanza hair care products for color treated hair. Lanza's Healing Color Care line is the ticket to pamper and preserve your beautiful shades. The shampoo will make your scalp and hair feel fantastic.


If you decide to play matchmaker, there are a few things to learn before taking on this noble, but delicate profession. I have successfully matched-up four couples, but have been the unfortunate victim of many well-intentioned, lousy matches.

Rule number one: When you propose a match, be ready and prepared to move forward, don’t raise an expectation and then let weeks or months go by. If you have an intention then follow through on it, it’s cruel to give someone hope and then sit on it. Why mention it at all?

Rule number two: Gather crucial information before they meet, and don’t dangle the carrot unless you are sure it’s worth dangling. When a couple is meeting for the first time it’s already fraught with expectations and fears, don’t make the initial meeting more difficult by glossing over facts about physical appearance, marital history, mental illness, addictions, etc. It all matters, and will come out eventually so, be honest!

Rule number three: Don’t project your stuff. If you are married or in a partnership and uncomfortable with the idea of being single, don’t act like you’re saving lives. Alone doesn’t imply loneliness. The fact that you know two people who are single isn’t enough of a reason to bring them together. Most single people enjoy their alone time, they just don’t want to make a steady diet of it. Don’t assume they are desperate and just anyone will do.

Rule number four: If at all possible, propose the idea to the man first. If a man feels pushed into it, or doesn’t have any control he will probably not like the situation. Let him decide how to proceed and follow his directions. Also, find out if he is ready to invest in a relationship or just looking for a bootie call. (You’re a matchmaker, not a pimp) If you don’t know him very well, it’s not a bad idea to do a back round check. Ask yourself, would I date this guy?

Rule number five: There might be a reason or two your friend is single, don’t make pity a reason to find them a mate. Make sure they are fit to handle the responsibility and commitment of a deeper connection. “We love him/her, can’t you?” is not a reason to dump this person into a match.

Rule number six: If you have feelings for the person you are matching but you are not available, do not fix them up with a close friend. It’s a recipe for disaster and jealousy. Make the match and get out of the way or don’t even start the ball rolling.

There are a lot of wonderful single men and women looking for a healthy relationship, but their paths just don’t cross. It is a kind and loving gesture to help them find each other. Treat them with respect when playing the role of matchmaker because, given the probability of relationship failure and divorce statistics, someday, it could be you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


On my way to a birthday party, waiting at a red light behind a motorcycle,
I was thinking about my 56 year old friend. Professionally, he is a healer, but now he is the patient, very sick with colitis. Friends and family gathered on his birthday to bring loving energy instead of gifts and libations. This wise group knew that pity and sadness would not contribute to his healing process; rather they acknowledged the celebration of life and the strength of our friend to manage his own journey. Before the light changed, I glanced up to read the back of the biker’s tee shirt, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
What a perfect message!

When loved ones are suffering, we want to help, or empathize, but we have to trust that the person can resolve their issue by understanding the arrival of pain in their life. The joyful energy we brought to our friend that day made his journey lighter, that’s what we can do for each other. My Bee-A-Reader recommendation is Louise L. Hay’s book, “You Can Heal Your Life.”

I have battled chronic illnesses and recollect the frustration. I cried a lot, suppressed it with drugs, and beat it down with surgery. It wasn’t obvious while I was suffering, but my body was telling me something. Pain is the baby inside you, crying for attention.

Anger is an example of emotional pain coming out of the body. A depressed person has a low vibration, a numbness of spirit. Anger is actually a higher vibration, less numb and more awake despite that we perceive it as a negative emotion; it’s a sign that your energy is moving closer to happiness. The book, “Ask and It Is Given,” by Esther and Jerry Hicks, charts the emotional scale with depression as the lowest vibration and happiness as the highest. The authors suggest slowly replacing lower emotions with higher ones. When you are depressed, it’s impossible to suddenly replace that emotion with joy. For example, if you have reached anger after being depressed, that is progress. Then frustration is higher than anger, and above frustration is hopelessness. Being stuck in one emotional place is worse than moving to a more positive emotional state. These steps show how progress is being made. We might not recognize this unless we know how emotions work.

When we are hurt, energy instinctually becomes focused on survival. An animal that has been injured will immediately lick the area, and continue obsessing on it for comfort. Humans behave that way when physically or emotionally wounded. If there is no spiritual understanding of why pain comes into our lives, or tools to work thru its arrival, the intense focus on it can lead to addictions, neurotic behaviors, and being caught in the pattern of licking the wounds over and over.

The better option is to embrace pain, not allowing it to make you weak. The marines use this phrase to inspire endurance and strength. Pain should not be feared, but released, knowing that it is only temporary, signaling an opportunity to become stronger. Pain becomes that weakness leaving your body that you replace with a strong muscle for future challenges. Each time it shows up, you have the opportunity to become stronger. Strength lies in awareness, acceptance, and release.

If you or someone you love is physically or emotionally sick, be strong and faithful to the process, understand that pain is not bad luck, but a helpful messenger.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

MISE EN SCENE: A Film Critique

Nora Ephron’s “Julie and Julia” has a unique narrative strategy. Two heroines sharing the same dilemma, “What am I going to be when I grow up?” This revelation signals the desire to live a meaningful life. Thirty year old Julie Powell and fifty year old Julia Child are feeling a tug on their souls.

It’s a rare for a female central character to have a supportive spouse and a healthy marriage, two in one film is monumental. The angst of finding a good man is missing in “Julie and Julia” instead we have two enviable relationships. How refreshing!

Both women come to the conclusion that food is the key to their personal success. Julie begins a rigorous challenge to prepare and conquer the 524 recipes in Julia Child’s revolutionary French cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” in 365 days. At a different point in history, Julia begins to study French cooking, leading to the creation of the aforementioned cookbook. Julie Powell has the challenge of working full time and producing glamorous food in her closet-sized kitchen. And Julia Child has to overcome, well…the French.

Many critics have already claimed that the double cream capacities of Meryl Streep as superb actor, and the perfect impersonation of a famous personality eclipsed the Julie side of the film. Amy Adams role was less meaty because she played the “Any-woman” who was lucky to be discovered. Her character gave women in the audience hope, but Meryl as Julia was incredible to watch. Adams might have been a better contender if she hadn’t portrayed a sanitized version of the real life Julie Powell. Perhaps it was a decision designed to hit a greater audience at the PG-13 rating.

It took awhile for me to digest this tepid film. The problem was, the pot never boiled. The crescendos leading to crisis create an attachment to the main character. After we identify with her, and what she needs, we want her to get it. When monsters, mountains, and mayhem get in the way, we become invested in the struggle. There weren’t any here. The few blips such as Julia getting into the advanced class with men, and Julie’s reporter not showing for dinner, drifted away like tumble weed.

Before you start your argument, let me remind you of the late Paul Harvey. He layered suspense, delay, and artful dodging, subtle forms of foreplay that make storytelling great. Be honest, we love tension, (not necessarily the Maury Povich kind) and a strong narrative structure demands a climax. An unreachable goal for our heroine to overcome is just more satisfying and delicious.

My recommendation is rental. Don't miss the experience of Meryl Streep as Julia Child, or the intriguing relationship with her husband played by sexy Stanley Tucci. How about a Julia Child mini-series starring Meryl Streep?

Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


What in the world is going on with women’s shoes these days? Why are fashionable shoes masochistic and comfortable ones ugly? Footwear is not exclusive to the runway or clubbing, but look into any shoe store and you’d think differently; too high, too flimsy, and construction so cheap you’d only be able to withstand a few hours of wear. Anything practical is clunky, unattractive, and hard to find.
Even sedentary women step one mile per day on their feet. Can they tolerate that in 3 inch heels? In a sea of terrible design and shameful lack of quality from our best designers, we are wearing garbage and not outraged. I would go so far to say, women are ignoring their suffering and victims of fashion brainwashing. Designers are out of touch and I am out of luck finding decent shoes for the simple matter of walking at least one mile per day.

After shopping at Mayfair Mall and DSW, I was disgusted by my options. DSW had endless rows of ridiculous choices: very high heeled boots, torturous thongs with no arch support, spindly high heels, cheap knit boots that could hardly survive a day in the snow, ballet slippers with life-less soles, uncomfortably hot rubber rain boots, elf shoes curled up at the toes, and sneakers with a tapered toe box. Where are we supposed to put our last two toes? What’s the deal with every sneaker having a nasty cropped toe box? Every single pair of shoes I looked at was unacceptable and problematic.

Women teetering about in ridiculously high heels claiming, “They’re really comfortable!” are in fierce denial. They won’t walk any further than they have to, and by the end of the day they’re whining and rubbing their sore feet. When your feet are jacked up on stilts, it distorts your spine. This is not conjecture ladies, its fact. If your vanity insists you injure yourself because you’re too short, your legs look slimmer, or your man gets turned on, the agony of nerve pain, bunion surgery, and disc herniation are probably the only things that will wake you up. And they will…

We need decent attractive shoes! I want women to realize our shoes are not being made well, and then stop buying the crap. “When I snap my fingers, you will wake up refreshed and aware. Your goal will be to insist shoe designers and manufacturers create shoes WORTHY of your feet. This will happen by only purchasing well made designs, from companies who produce healthy shoes.” The obsession for fashion has made us unconscious sleepwalkers willing to live in discomfort for --- what? Shoes are a necessity for mobility, comfort and preservation of our feet and spines!

Bee Aware! Bee Outraged! Bee Choosier!