Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mercy Buckets

I am grateful for the many, many blessings in my life. This year has been particularly trying in so many ways (financially and emotionally, just to name a few) but when I look around me I realize I have very little to complain about....healthy and happy children, a loving husband, a small circle of friends that I love and love me in return....so many things to be thankful for.

After watching  this series I have become an even bigger fan of Gwyneth Paltrow and, in turn, this site.  The Thanksgiving newsletter was especially poignant and relevant for me and I hope it speaks to you as well.

 An excerpt:

"Yes, it’s easy to be grateful when something good has been done for you (although, sadly, even this healthy human response seems increasingly under challenge nowadays in our escalating culture of entitlement and victimhood). But have you ever thought about gratitude not as a response but as a force in its own right; an initiating and healing energy that is not dependent on external circumstances but is rather an innate power of the human soul? When understood and wielded in this fashion, it has the power to liberate us from our self-imposed prisons of self-pity and envy and to actually change the energy fields (and hence, the outcome) of our circumstances.

In plain words, we can actually change our reality by being grateful first; not as a response but as an innate way of being."
– Cynthia Bourgeault

Cynthia Bourgeault is an Episcopal priest, writer and retreat leader. She is founding director of the Aspen Wisdom School in Colorado and principal visiting teacher for the Contemplative Society in Victoria, BC, Canada.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Unplugged

We have made the executive decision to cancel our cable service. This is a decision based on many factors....hours wasted watching shows (thanks to a fave Twitterer, I now know I can watch everything here), ridiculous amount of money wasted to watch said shows, valuable family time wasted watching said shows, gross mismanagement of time....you get the idea.

There is a slight sense of panic knowing there will be no t.v. in our lives very soon and, as a result, we are getting our fill of favorite shows before the plug is pulled. It's ridiculous, I know. When I lived in the magical city of San Francisco, I had no t.v. and I'm positive that contributed to the many, many invaluable things I learned while living there. Still, being the total pop culture junkie that I am, it's a bit scary giving up the DVR (even though I know it's for the best). As we near the cutoff date, I watch my favorite DVR'ed shows repeatedly. There are two, in particular, that I never tire of but thanks to the omnipresent YouTube I am in the clear.

It's no secret that I am a big fan of Mad Men (me and half of the world, it seems). My borderline obsession began this past season because my fab niece was the hottest secretary in the steno pool (take that, Mr. Weiner) for the first eight episodes. What started as an effort to spot her in any and every possible scene turned into a near fixation on what would happen next to Don, Betty, Joan, Roger, Pete and the rest of this intriguing and sometimes tragic group of characters. From the very beginning, I was mesmerized by Peggy. Sure, I wanted to be Joan (who doesn't want to be Joan?) but there was something so terrifying about Peggy. I felt for her. I really wanted things to work out for her. I always thought I knew what was going on just below the surface of this quiet, unassuming, subservient girl and then this happened.

Even if you didn't watch the entire season, you cannot dispute the power of this scene. The dialogue. The delivery. The acting. It is devastating.

The Sundance Channel is definitely at the top of the list of things I will miss once the DVR box is shelved. The series featured on Sundance are, in a word, riveting. I eagerly anticipate new episodes of Iconoclasts and was looking forward to this starting in December. But the series I set the "record all episodes" option without fail for is Live at Abbey Road. The premise of live, unplugged sessions at this famed studio is fascinating in its own right but what impresses me on a consistent basis are the combinations of genres and bands. Thanks to the groundbreaking combos featured on this show, I have been exposed to bands and musicians that never would have made it onto my radar.

I have been a dedicated fan of Del Amitri for many years. They were always one of those bands that seemed to provide a timely soundtrack to my life. Not only were their talents numerous but their lyrics brilliant. After mysteriously fading away years ago, Del Amitri became a thing of the past (or so I thought). Imagine my surprise to find Mr. Currie doing what he does best on Live at Abbey Road. As previously mentioned, there are two DVR'ed shows that are on heavy rotation until the plug is pulled. This one, I'm almost embarrassed to admit, I watch on a near daily basis.



In the spirit of change and paring down in this mercurial economy, the cable will go. But, thankfully, the talent will not.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Closer

I'm not sure if Trent Reznor ever dared to imagine this incarnation of his song "Closer" but I thank the stars above for Maxwell's brilliance.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Bash

Too much preparing to do for a birthday bash tonight.....guests are in town, lots of visiting to do.



More on Monday....happy weekend!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Served

We will never forget.

I will never forget.



Please remember all of our veterans today and all that they have done for us.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Baby

"Nothing so bright, nothing so smooth, nothing so pure
As my baby
All of my life days into night, all I did dream 
Was my baby
Until the days darkness entwined with silver eyes
Was my baby staring at me"

~ Rufus Wainright

Three years ago today my life was changed in a way I never expected. From the moment I knew she was coming into my life I was grateful. No one else shared my excitement and elation (except her father, of course). It was a difficult and trying time in our lives but I had this little life raft to cling to.

Three years ago today she came into my world after much nausea and stress and fear. It was an experience as close to faith as I've come thus far in my life. I was afraid. But I knew it would be okay. I knew we would be okay.


Three years ago today she arrived.


My baby.


My little independent soul.



My partner in crime.


My wise, old soul.


You'll never know the myriad of ways you restore my faith in the light.

Happy birthday Ramona Christine. 
I love you more than words can ever say.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lovely

Isn't she pretty
Truly the angels best
Boy, I'm so happy
We have been Heaven blessed
I can't believe what God has done
Through us he's given life to one
But isn't she lovely made from love


Happy Birthday, love.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Smile

If this doesn't make you smile, well, you are in big trouble.

Happy Friday, everyone!





Thursday, November 6, 2008

Zen du Jour

Thank you, Universe. You always make my day.

Of course not everyone understands you, Nannette.
It takes crazy to know crazy.
It takes sexy to know sexy.

And most assuredly, it takes cool to know cool.

Yeah, un-hun, alright -
The Universe

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vox

I voted.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to vote and grateful to those that believed in change enough to make it possible for me to vote.


GO VOTE!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bitter

I hate Ebay. 

I am officially giving up any contact with anything that has to do with Ebay. And Ebay can thank their lovely Ebayer Julie Lanzillo for that.



Lately, I've been having a more-hate-than-love relationshit with the Internet. I feel duped by the lure of it. A lot of blogs and articles I read leave a foul taste in my mouth. I'm not so inspired anymore by the hey-look-at-me-I'm-so-original crap that is duplicated over and over. As with Ebay, I'm tired of taking part in building a money-making machine that is sucking dry what used to be an original, and at times, artistic forum.

So, good bye and good riddance Ebay....the jury's still out on the rest of the ether.

Aftermath

Halloween is officially tackled (although I can't say the same for the massive amount of candy we have leftover), two Scorpio birthdays down with three to go (all in the next 7 days), voting tomorrow (yay!), parent/teacher conferences, Disney on Ice (I'm actually excited)....I guess what I'm saying is I AM SWAMPED.

More meaningful, thought-out posts to come....until then, here's a picture to amuse you.