Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve

Time to reflect and remember. Time to make peace with the old year and start of fresh in the new. Time to start all those projects you've put off until tomorrow. Time to stop all those habits that limit your tomorrows. It's the last day of the year when the god Janus allows us to look both forward and back. We see where we've been and we can project where we would like to go.

I am ending this year in a much happier place from where it began. I have accomplished some new goals, acquired new friends, shared my creativity, fostered my quirky personality and found a friend to go out and play with me. Overall it has been a good year. Hopefully the trend continues into 2013.

I wish much peace, love, happiness and magic to you all in the upcoming year. Be safe as you celebrate tonight as I do not wish to have to visit any of you in unwanted places.Happy New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Laste preparations are well underway as we all anxious await the arrival of : Julemanden, Jultomten, Julenissen, Kanakaloka, Weihnactsmann, Babbo Natale, Ded Moroz, Mos Craciun, Gaghant Baba, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle or Santa Claus!

By whatever name you know him his arrival is imminent. Thousands upon thousands of good boys and girls (of all ages) are hoping their dreams come true and that they were on the n ice and not the naughty list. Traditions are being upheld in households across the land. Family and friends will be gathering to celebrate. Delicious food and drink will be consumed and for those who start tonight packages will be unwrapped in sheer delight. Hopefully those less fortunate will find joy and those more fortunate will give unto others. Hopefully the true meaning and spirit of this holiday will be felt in the hearts of each and all.

Say it once and then again
Many times and many ways
Merry Christmas is a time of Love
We should all praise.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


12 hours of day and night,12 months in the year in the Roman calendar, 12 signs of the Zodiac, 12 Apostles, 12 days of Christmas, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 old testament prophets....

It's the last time in our lifetimes that we will get the 3 number in a row calendar listing. People are going crazy either on the love spectrum or the doomsday aspect. 12 can represent love, completeness, fulfillment and a mathematicians division playground. Wedding bells are ringing, just like on the other days, lottery tickets are being purchased, yin and yang are in harmony, and a little boy who just happens to be turning 12 today is becoming famous worldwide.

We are a people obsessed with signs. We are an "advanced" cultural still chock full of superstition. We are hoping that the numbers will bring meaning to our lives. We are lucky to be able to do all of the above. Whether you are celebrating love or wondering if the Mayans meant today instead of the 21st, here's to an auspicious 12-12-12

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. It is a time to be aware and give thanks for all you have and for those with whom you are able to share your reality. Sadly, the masses have now become accustomed to it being a time to start bargain shopping for Christmas. A holiday which should be a very beautiful moment to spend with family of birth and choosing and friends both old and new has been turned into a footnote for another holiday whose true spirit has been forgotten. I hate the mass marketing of manufactured happiness. I hate that Thanksgiving (even Christmas for that matter) started showing up before Halloween even arrived. I hate that the simple idea of giving thanks has been turned int Grey Thursday.

There is plenty of time for each holiday on the calendar. Traditionally Black Friday was the start of Christmas frenzy in America. With the onset of the internet and more businesses trying to get your butts in the stores no longer is Friday the best day to start. Currently the employees of various places will be striking to show their disgust at poor working conditions which include working on Thanksgiving. Several other places now have extended hours on Thanksgiving instead  of being able to spend time with family. Last year a woman pepper sprayed a crowd in order to get the last item of the big deal sale. People have been stealing, maiming and out right intentionally injuring others in order to be the first in line or with the last item of the sale. America is so obsessed with "stuff" that we have lost sight of the reality of life.

What happened to being thankful? What happened to family dinners? What happened to helping those in need? What happened to spending time with those you love? What happened to common decency? What happened to morals and values? What happened to being thankful for what you have and appreciative of what you get? What happened to feeling good at a job well done? What happened to hard work being it's own reward? What happened? I mean really, what happened?

I am thankful that I have enough common sense to know better. I am thankful for all the wonderfully amazing individuals in my life who have helped in bad times and good. I am thankful to be employed. I am thankful for family far and near. I am thankful for budding romance. I am thankful for a roof over my head, clothes to wear and food to eat. I am thankful for my simple life which I know is more extravagant than those suffering elsewhere in the world but not as fancy as those who need too much and spend unnecessarily here. I am thankful for a mind that still works, limbs which may creek but still keep me on my feet and eye sight that isn't weak. I am thankful. I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Time Keeps On Slipping Into The Future

It's been a moment since my last Madnaloy Moment. IT made me realize how time quickly passes and how we get caught up in our various realities. Time is of the essence. Time marches on. Time stands still for no one. Our society has many idiomatic expressions in regards to time. We feel the pressure of not enough time. We hate when we run out of time and we are always asking for more time when we are enjoying an event and time passes by too quickly. I have a feeling that if we as an entire country approached time differently then we wouldn't feel as if we were losing so much of it.

 In Europe I have experienced the magic of the siesta, shops shutting down with signs which read "Back in an hour" yet no departing time mentioned. I have encountered waiters that want nothing more to do with you once they have delivered your food and been assured you have all you need. The beauty of being left alone to enjoy and savor your meal instead of overly checked on and quickly shooed away is an amazing dining experience. Vacations are encouraged, bonding with your baby expected and fully enjoying life is the norm.

This weekend we "fell backwards" in order to add some more daylight to our day. This also gave us an extra hour with which to enjoy our day. Our internal clocks woke us up at normal time but it was actually an hour earlier. If you are like me, every hour makes a major difference. I am most decidedly NOT a morning person so this extra boost to the day came in handy. I was extremely productive, went to bed at normal time which was now early and got up well rested this morning. Unfortunately that temporary boost fades. We adjust and our extra hour goes away.

Society plays with time constantly but not always wisely. Why do we still "spring forward/fall backward"? We no longer farm so for us city slickers it's just more light at different times of the year. The studies on how much energy it actually saves are dubious. It used to be earlier in the year that we did this (March and October) but since 2007 the government determined a new time period (April and November). If the government can just randomly decide to move it, how beneficial to society as a whole is it truly? If you are going to play with time then lengthen vacations and extend grace periods for child care. Create better working hours and balance them with living life. We can decide. We've got the time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Friends Both Near and Far

What makes friends, friends? Friendships at the elementary level are formed because you wanted to play a game and  you needed a buddy. Later in life friendships spring up through work or educational ties. Sometimes the bond was forged so many moons ago that the actual memory of how it started has long been forgotten. Sometimes it's a common cause, a mutual loss, a united front...that brings you together, but why do you stay together?

Birds of a feather flock together but feathers tend to shed. I have been fortunate enough to have acquired phenomenal friendships over the years. I often see others who aren't as fortunate and wonder how they exist without the core group of support that I have managed to have around me. It's not always easy to keep these bonds alive and well as drifting from career to location occurs and yet I am still blessed with the bonds of friendship. I think some people underestimate the power and value of having like minded individuals with which to share your inner thoughts. I am not one of those people. We might not always agree but I don't know where I would be with out the family of my choosing, my friends.

Monday, October 1, 2012

KXLU Fundraiser 2012

Hello Everyone,

For those of you who might not know I work (for free) at KXLU a local college station which broadcasts live from the campus of Loyola Marymout. IT is one of the LAST remaining student run, commercial free stations in Los Angeles. The annual fundraiser kicked off on Friday and continues through this Friday.
TOMORROW is where I ask for your support to help keep me off the streets (at least once a week) by donating to the annual KXLU Fundraiser during my show. This year my show will be  Tuesday October 2 from 8 to 10 PM. That's TOMORROW 10/02/12. You can call the station at 310-338-KXLU (5958) or donate online at Please make sure to mention my show Soiree Musicale as there's a bit of in house competition for pledges. I will of course send out a  friendly reminder before the show. Thanks in advance for your support.

Yolanda Che

Monday, September 24, 2012

Just an Observation

I was at the beach this weekend and noticed a rather interesting event. Apparently when you are between the ages of toddler to 6, your parents feel it is perfectly acceptable for you to change clothes in public. Out of your street clothes into your swim wear. What was interesting however was the reactions of the children to this event. The toddlers had no problems going from one outfit to another in front of the beach crowd. The four, five and six year old children had a different take on the matter. Apparently society s a whole seems to begin to instill "shame" of self at this young age. Some kids were crying, others were trying to cover themselves and still others refused because: "you told me not to be naked in front of others." Why are we so caught up with guns and violence, yet the human body is what we are ashamed of? Why is it we have children who express disgust at nakedness in art but if something is being blown up in a movie it's funny? It makes me sad.This, I believe, is the start for many for self-loathing, eating disorders, inferiority complexes and a general discomfort in your own skin. The mere fact that a six year old was reacting so strongly to being naked in public shows how harshly we embed the idea that being naked is bad. Do I want to see everyone in  the free world naked? No, that's not what I am saying. Do I want us to understand that our bodies are beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of and not disgusting, YES. THAT would be a great first step in creating a more well rounded individual without the current hang ups of contemporary society.

Monday, September 17, 2012

It's That Time of Year

I am amazed at how quickly the days, weeks, months of this year have slipped into the future. I cannot believe that it is already September, school started a month ago, fall is upon us and the start of all the end of the year holidays has begun. Rosh Hashanah is here and many of my friends are celebrating the year 5773. With the onset of that holiday it let's me know that soon will be more events to come. Halloween is hauntingly near, Thanksgiving dinner will soon appear, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, and 2013 are right around the corner. I scarcely believe that this is my reality. The speed at which it moves never ceases to amaze me. Hopefully, from time to time, we can all set aside a moment to look around and enjoy the world, Chaotic and imperfect as it may be, we should enjoy the fact that we are here to experience it. TO all my friends who celebrate, Shana Tova!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Okay What Am I Going To Write?

Okay what am I going to write?
Not one to get  into politics in print.
Not one to join the nationwide lament.

Okay what am I going to write?
Several friends have birthdays today.
Many more avoid this day.

Okay what am I going to write?
The weather's warm, I slept alright.
The ground held still all through the night.

Okay what am I going to write?
My days are planned from here to there.
A whirlwind of emotion fills the air.

Okay what am I going to write?
A question I ask time and again.
Guess I'll just have to pick up the pen.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Car Chase Craziness

I know there are many of you out there who watch them, revel in them, love them but I am not a member of your group. They always end the same way. You get caught. They stop your vehicle and wind up face down on the ground or the driver gives up and winds up face down on the ground. Okay there has been  a few where they die but that too is in fact getting caught and instead of face down on the ground you're in a box in the ground. Why do you run?

I don't honestly believe that all these drivers feel they will be the one to get away. Could the guaranteed "15 minutes of fame" be that much of a lure to so many? Is it the heady power of I've gone this far so why not keep up til I can't go any further? What is it that makes these escape artist want to be's try to out drive the police and hovering helicopters on the bus streets of LA? You can barely get where you'r e going in a timely fashion on a good day but with local police and highway patrol, Skycam 5 and all the other news copters where do you really think you are going to go?

Why are we as a whole fascinated by this chase? Are we all secretly hoping the driver does get away? To me, that has to be the only reason we watch. It is not that we are on the driver's side, it's more the spirit of the chase. The odds are most definitely not in the driver's favor and therefore that innate desire to route for the underdog kicks in and we watch, waiting, hoping that maybe this time it'll have a different ending. I can't see any other reason to disrupt my regularly scheduled programming.

I know this statement won't sit well with most but I say, follow the chase, film away but don't interrupt my day.Let me see the highlights at news at 6 and 10. Warn the various neighborhoods with the alert system so they can clear the streets but leave me out of the days chase. It's a waste of space. Of course, if you get to the end and they stop the car or the driver stops the car and somehow or another eludes authorities then tune me in at that moment as that would be something different and worth it for me to see.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day

Hope today all the hard working individuals out there enjoyed the "final barbecue of summer". Labor Day traditionally signifies it's time to turn in our white pants, turn off our summer fun and return to full blown reality. It's actual purpose was a day off to all the laborers across the land that help make our cities and states grand. I heard a wonderful way to celebrate this holiday that adds even more meaning to the day. Take a moment to say thank you to someone whose labor helped make your dreams possible. Happy Labor Day everyone!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Built in Self Destruct Mechanism

I just realized that my refrigerator is 20 years old and still going strong. The walk man that I purchased forever and a day ago still transmits the few stations broadcasting on regular radio. The blender from the late 80's and various other kitchen tools from the same time that are hiding in cabinets and drawers are all in fantastic working order too. IF all of these not so modern devices are still functioning, why is it we need new "smart" phones every two years, our computers only come with a one year guarantee and our other electronic devices tend to "fill up" so quickly we need to get more?

There absolutely has to be a built in self destruct mechanism in all our so called modern appliances. I understand that technology moves forward at an alarmingly fast pace but why must we make devices that aren't meant to last? Some of us don't need to keep up with the Jones' (who are those people any way?) Some of us would like to have reliable equipment. I would rather invest a little more now to have something I know will last than  spend less on the great "deal" that will just cause me to have to spend more in a year or less.

It is rather annoying to me that a printer I have had and minimally used for maybe 2 years has not only developed an issue which means I need to replace it, but that I had to search to find this particular model because 2 years was apparently all the life it was expected to live. I was forced to upgrade to a smart phone because of this line of thinking. My perfectly reliable, plenty of power for me multi-media phone has been phased out of the market. You can either have the basic flip or a smart phone but you aren't allowed to be somewhere in between. In order to make sure I changed my phone which had been working well, slowly developed issues that made it unreliable. I also noticed that it was no longer available for sale. All of this occurred right before time for me to upgrade my phone. How convenient is that?! 

We are in far too much of a hurry these days. The instant gratification craze  is killing us. Quality is no longer a guarantee no matter how hefty the price tag. The idea that you NEED the new and better has been pushed upon each new potential customer. "Oh you have level 3 I already have the 4th edition."  Children should not be that aware of consumerism. Once upon a time we took the time to make the buyer proud to come home to well built custom, non cookie cutter quality; It cost more but it was worth it.

Monday, August 13, 2012


I am happy to say that thanks to this and a few other places, I am accomplishing a goal. I started this blog in 2009 but I wasn't very good to it. I let it lie dormant, neglected in cyberspace. I kept saying that I would eventually get back to it but I didn't truly try again until August of last year. That was my first step to a wonderful habit.

I have always loved writing, telling stories, commenting on life...the list goes on. I have always been a fan books, words art in many forms. I have always dreamed of one day being a paid published author. I have had works published and that has made me smile. One day whether now or when I'm 90 maybe my other desire will come true. This was a step in that direction. A weekly exercise of commenting off the cuff. It might not always b quality but it is genuine, heartfelt and done with love of what I'm doing. Most dreams are worth pursuing. It is when you leave them neglected and/or under nurtured that they either fade away or become difficult.

Write for yourself. Write for a small group. Write, paint, draw, sing, dance, create an artistic reality for yourself that helps to sustain that inner you . It is ever so important to keep those artistic fires burning as they nourish the heart and soul. Thank you to all who have wandered by and especially to those who remain near to read what is writ in this tiny corner of cyberspace.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Gabby Gate

So when did hair become an Olympic event? Over the last week I have read numerous articles regarding a 16 year old Olympic Gold champion and they were not only about her significant accomplishments but somehow or another they were also about her hair. The audacity of the armchair commentator to say anything in regards to this talented young lady astounds me.  Hair is the least of her or any other athletes concerns at this amazing moment in time when all the world is watching and you are representing the best and the brightest in your event.

Not only was Gabby's hair on parade but we had numerous articles on the female athletes about whether they were fit or fat. Really? If they have made it all the way to the Olympics I am going to have to go with fit. It may not be Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition look but these people are not here to fill out a bathing suit so they can pose doggy style in the sand. They are here to compete. They are athletes. I  have seen a number of baseball players that I would want to pose that same fit or fat question to and yet where are THOSE articles?

Women athletes are that. ATHLETES and should be treated as such. True athleticism takes hard work, endurance, blood, sweat and tears. These women have more than proven their abilities by being at the Olympics representing their various countries and they should not be trivialized by societies still sorely lacking ability to accept women in all arenas. 

Monday, July 30, 2012


The sky was blue the fields were green and I was eating ice cream. The scent of roses filled the air and I was soaring with it I saw a woman standing on a corner all alone
So I walked over to talk to her and maybe help her home
She looked at me and smiled a memory in her eyes she said,

“Darling child, I am home. At least as close as I will get.”
I didn’t understand her but she didn’t seem to mind
She asked me to stay with her and help to ease her mind.

“Once upon a time I was a girl.” She said
“A long, long time ago. But now I’m just an old woman.
A woman who wants to know: From where does the rainbow shine?
Where do falling stars go? But most of all where does all the time go?
Where does it go?” I didn’t understand her questions At least I didn’t then.
But now as  I sit here alone in the park and watch the children play, somewhere in the recesses of my mind I hear the answers to here questions. At least I think I do.

Colors seem to come out of your mind. Rainbows are just thoughts all in line. Falling stars I’ve seen them on the shore then just grains of sand and nothing more. I still wonder where all the time goes. I don’t think I’ll ever know. But once upon a time I was a girl. Yes, once upon a time I was a girl.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Intertwined Anomalies

Today, as I walked to the store surrounded by such diverse elements in such a minute amount of space, I was struck by the numerous incongruous yet intertwined anomalies of my everyday life. I saw a hummingbird as I passed by the man lying in filthy clothes by the dentist's office. I saw three off-white butterflies clustered around the bushes of the sterile apartment complex as children ran around in the yard of the run down house across the way. I saw gifts left by the dogs of inconsiderate neighbors next to the shiny cars on the street. I heard the beautiful music through the door of the Indian shop and the awful news of Colorado from various televisions, blaring through the open windows of the surrounding buildings. How is it that all of these elements coexist? How can such tiny spots of beauty be marred by ever increasing amounts of  neglect, filth and violence?

Most of us try to do our part to keep the world clean or make it a better place and yet why does it seem that more and more there are less of us doing exactly that? Wild animals are losing their habitats and lives because of us. Civilized individuals are turning out to be less civil than we thought. A lack of respect for ourselves and others seems to be running rampant. A world where we are seemingly more comfortable with all things violent and no things naked seems be where we reside. Why? How is it that the children I teach will tell me  about video games,  movies and toys that destroy but make faces, flinch and say "Ewww" if they glimpse a picture of a naked body? How did we get here? Is this going to get better or worse? When will it begin to change? Who knows.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ever have that feeling?

Ever have that feeling that there's no possible way that anyone else could think, feel, understand, appreciate...what you are going through? I do. Ultimately there are relatively few situations where that emotion actually applies.

Love them or hate them, family can be the answer.  It is actually good to know that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and that the branches are connected to the other nuts in your clan. It is fun to see familiar expressions or realize that everyone likes the same song or hates the same foods. It is nice to know there is a bond, a connection, alink to a common thread.

Being with family brings out the best and worst of each family member but what you have to understand is that in each of those blood related people is a little DNA strand that's a lot like yours. Too many of those strands in one place can lead to volcanic eruptions to put Vesuvious to shame but it can also lead to good food, music, laughter, untold and retold stories, new stories and precious memories. Here's to family.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

General Discontent

"I have a general discontent about everything right now." That is a direct quote from a journal entry written by me several years ago. Nothing was wrong but not everything was right. Sometimes it's not depression but a general discontent which brings us down.It's a feeling that doesn't settle well as we feel embarrassed having it. I mean, if you are employed, eating, with clothes on your back and shelter then what right do you have not feeling well right? Wrong.

These are the moments in life when we are spinning our wheels trying to discover the next path to enlightenment. These are the moments in between the worry and strife which are a common part of life. These are the moments that can lead to a serious depression if we don't "snap out of it" as we are often told to do. Nothing is wrong but it's not quite right and that's just fine.

The mean reds or the blues; The doldrums or the dumps; Melancholy or moody, whatever you call it, it takes hard work and patience and sometimes professional help to get out of this state of mind and into the next. Sometimes it's a passing moment and at others it's a lingering phase. Eventually you come back to you and often times a better than before you. Before long your smile will return but, no matter what, you have a right to have one of those days.

Monday, July 2, 2012

July Jubilation

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that 2012 seems to be moving at warp speed? Seriously it's already the 2nd of July. How on earth did we get here so soon? I am not sure I an ready to have the days disappear on me already. Anyhow, it is July and those of us on the west coast should rejoice in the super summer weather and Wednesday's upcoming holiday. Officially it's American Independence Day but we just lazily say Happy 4th July. I am looking forward to the leisure activities allotted to us on this day. Burgers, Dogs and Fireworks;it's a gastronomic menagerie of simple tasty foods, good company for those at parties and loud, colorful fireworks to end the evening. I am grateful that I live here with the privileges that many of my fellow patriots take for granted. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Monday, June 25, 2012

3D technology

My best friend has finally seen the light and is no longer obsessed with 3D technology. I discovered this as she apologized for forcing me to watch Brave on Friday in 3D.  The only open screening of it left that night was in 3D and as she doesn't get to go out that often (Mom's have a busy schedule) we paid the extra cash to see the movie. I honestly feel it would have been better suited as a standard film as the few 3D elements used served no real purpose to draw you in to the film or ad to the integrity of the script.

In the 50's 3D was new and exciting;an innovation in the film industry and used to allow a generation an opportunity to explore like never before. Today, it is overused, underdone and overrated. To me it is nothing but an excuse to get consumers to shell out extra dollars for a film that might just possibly be using technology to hide the lack of creativity in it's script. Despicable me only had one scene where 3D was needed. Avatar, although it appropriately used 3D, was just as great to me without it (I saw it in both formats) I really didn't need to run through the jungle to get the point of the chase. More and more films keep coming out with 3D versions. Less and less of them are appropriately used or even done well. Do we really need to see either Justin Beiber or Katie Perry in 3D? Why on earth is there about to be a version of the Great Gatsby in 3D? It's ridiculous.

With all the various ways to watch movies today the film industry and theaters are losing money. Theaters make there profit primarily on concessions and films today are making there profit on the extra dollars sitting in 3d seats. I live in a 3D world. I know what it's like. A well done film will transport me into it without the need for glasses. Who knows what would happen If we actually stopped sitting in the dark with glasses on, maybe they would actually go back to movies based on acting, strong characters and story lines or perhaps they would  make the technology truly worth our while or cease and desist with this stage of the film industries development.  Stranger things have been known to happen.

Monday, June 18, 2012

How to use Bully appropriately


  1. A person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.
  2. Corned beef.
Use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.
An expression of admiration or approval
You can't surf the net, turn on the television or read a paper without finding an article about bullying these days. Apparently our society has run rampant with bullies over the last 5 years. Unfortunately I feel our society has actually run rampant with a poor interpretation of what an actual bully is as everyone thinks the world runs just for them these days and any obstacle in  the way was intentionally placed there. I regret to inform you that not everyone is being bullied.

My mother told me that if I started any physical altercations I would be punished. She also told me to stand up for myself using words and wisdom but if that failed do to the other individual starting something physical then make sure they NEVER want to try that action again. I personally feel that was the best advice for me, my area, the time period and the neighborhood in which I lived. Every parent will have different advice and times have changed but one thing hasn't, at some point in time each of us will have to be responsible for making our presence appreciated. We are not doormats. The are those who do not clearly comprehend this and will try to walk all over you. Some of these individuals are simply ignorant;some arrogant;some obnoxious; some mean and others will actually be bullies.

On a daily basis we encounter individuals who are just mean spirited. They aren't going out of their way to pick on anyone in particular as they are just mean in general. When we encounter these people, they tend to rub us the wrong way as they don't make us feel our best. These individuals are not bullies and these individuals, believe it or not, are actually in child form. Children are not all sweet adorable beings. We tend to form the majority of our personality at a young age and guess what, mean people were kids too. Not only were the mean kids but the ignorant, the arrogant and the obnoxious as well.These people are a complete and utter pain but not necessarily bullies.A bully goes out of his or her way to target a specific individual to torment repeatedly. That is when we have a real bullying problem. When this occurs is when we need to deal with this person and resolve it. We have to teach children the difference. We have to teach parents the difference. We have to work to solve the problems and give kids coping mechanisms rather than just label everyone bullies and place blame all over.

There is no reason this entire nonsense of cyber bullying should even exist. WHY is your underage child on the internet? If adults can barely exist online without becoming completely idiotic, how do you expect children without fully developed social skills to know how to act online? It amazes me how many talk shows and news segments have been dedicated to this topic. The internet is a cold and impersonal place where people feel free to shame others since the others aren't there. IT is so easy to type a hurtful comment without judgement. The eyes of your victim are not there to stare at you. The sounds of the others aren't there to give you pause. Type and hit send; then sit back and grin. Get your child off the internet. They do NOT have to be there. Problem on cyber bullying solved.

 Today's parents and children bandy the word Bully about as if it's no big deal. They are wrong. The stigma of being labeled a bully can last a lifetime. Teach your child how to use words as tools of personal defense. Teach your child how to know the difference between a bully and a brat. Take your child off the internet. Once we return to parenting and letting your child know that not all situations are fair but that's life and life is not fair then maybe we can all say, "Bully for you!" 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Phone Fun

I'm planning ahead for a vacation which will take me deep into offline territory. Grandma's house is a cyber free zone. As I have vowed to maintain an updated blog, I've had to figure out how to do this from far far away. Now some would say to simply smuggle in a laptop but laptops are not my friend. Also, considering the current status of our airports, the thought of any excess anything makes my purse strings nervous.

I have decided that this smart phone has a great purpose after all. I tried directly linking to this blog through the web but found typing a bit difficult. Once I realized there had to be an ap for that, I downloaded it this morning. This is the beta testing of the ap. I am amazed. So many sci fi films are coming to life in my reality. I am connected to the world in the palm of my hand. I'm not sure if it is good or bad but it sure comes in handy.

Monday, June 4, 2012


In all honesty, I haven't written a post today because I am having one of those moments where my mind has turned to mush. There are so many topics to take on and yet I want nothing to do with any of them. I am tired of the world at large in general at the moment. The news surrounds us with the darkest hours of countries near and far;The neighbors arguing over noisy pets, dirty dishes car alarms and parking spaces; The inane ads for products making promises they can't possibly fulfill are all a big batch of badness I have no desire to attack. It is a true Monday blues day for me. Hopefully my creativity will return to me next week. Maybe there will be an amazing bright spot that shows it's face between now and then. We can hope.  We can hope.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Today is plain and simple. A Thank You to all the many servicemen and women who have given their lives to make our lives possible. You  might not personally agree with what sent them into any battle but the fact that you did not have to fight and that you are sitting where you are today should make you stop long enough to give thanks to them. They leave behind families and friends who miss them greatly. They leave behind total strangers who owe them a debt of gratitude. They leave us free to be right here right now. Happy Memorial Day!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cultivating Abilities

My last post mentioned my discontent at sitting on the side lines of creativity and a set of "whirlwind events" which led up to my having 2 pieces of art in a group showing. I felt that this post should describe those events in a bit more detail as Saturday was one of the major highlights of my reality.

I have always been artistically inclined. I love to sing. I did voice overs for and performed in school plays. I also love to draw. When I was younger I drew in pencil and it was primarily jungle scenes. Maze upon maze of swirling, entangled leaves of varying sizes filled all the pages of my sketchbooks. As I grew and changed so did the pages of my book. I replaced pencil with pen and leaves with lines and curves and mazes.

I was the child that could be set in front of an etch a sketch at dawn and would be there when you returned at sunset. Drawing took me into a space less complicated than where I was. It helps organize the constantly swirling thoughts in my mind. It calms me. It inspires me. It makes me happy.

Art is personal as well. It is an extension of yourself that you want to have accepted by others. It is that part of you which you don't always feel will be allowed to roam free. It is essentially many pieces of you floating around. Usually your friends will accept it even if they don't understand it but others, others may not.

My friends have always accepted and appreciated my work. They have often told me to let it loose upon society and I have smiled but not quite believed I could or should. It is with their confidence in me and a growing confidence within myself that my new journey into the creative side of me has begun.

In December all of my friends, without previous discussion, gave me materials for art. From carrying cases and pens, to easels and gift cards, all aspects of the art supply were covered. The biggest push that Christmas, was the book  2012 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market and the words "Do Something!"

In January The Whole 9 Gallery in Culver City held a seminar titled "Get Hung" which was my book come to life only with an actual gallery owner and individuals in the field to guide and answer questions for you. February offered up birthday gifts and gallery study. March offered a volunteer opportunity which brought me to the Art 4 All People Gallery in Malibu. While volunteering I became aware of a Call for Artists on the theme of the Mother Archetype. I applied. At the end of April I was informed that 2 of my 3 submitted pieces had been accepted into a group show. On the first of  May my work was hung in a gallery. On the 19th of May I attended my first ever Artist Reception which included my first ever artist talk.

I am still in a dream state. Focusing on something despite the voices in your head telling you "NO" is incredibly difficult. Taking that first step towards your dreams is the most difficult. Continuing down the path despite adversity is tricky. Cultivating your possibilities requires confidence in yourself, your gifts, your abilities and a strong support system. I have the strongest support. My friends are the greatest and I appreciate them dearly. I am thankful for that enormous kick in the backside they gave me for none of this would have started without it. I am going to continue down this path. My journey is just beginning.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Shameless Self Promotion

I was the first individual on either side of my family to go to University. It was never a question of If  I go to college but a question of "which college will you attend?". Along the way a phrase was born which I feel, although I understand the reason behind it, limited the scope of my reality. That phrase was, "You will get a real job."

My creative abilities were encouraged. I was told that art makes you a more well-rounded individual and that art was very important. My family listened to music from all over, attended cultural events and enjoyed trips to the museum. There however are no working artists in my immediate family. Art was not a "stable" aspiration and therefore not in the realm of "A real job".

I have discovered that there are many displaced artists in my family tree. I am not content to sit on the branches with them. I have discarded that phrase from my reality and have invested in the artist in me. Fortunately I have fantastic friends who also support me in this creative endeavor. Since December, a whirlwind course has been set in motion leading up to the fantastic culmination of me having 2 of my pieces selected to be a part of a group exhibit in the Art 4 All People Gallery, in Malibu! Today officially launches my website complete with ways to keep up with me on my journey by both Facebook and Twitter. This Saturday is the official Artists Reception. Find out more about this event and join me on my Journey as I experience this amazing adventure. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Discipline Train

dis·ci·pline- 1.(n) training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
                   2.(n) activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training
                   3.(n) punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
                   4.(n) behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained
                         by  training and control
                   5.(v) to train by instruction and exercise; drill.
                   6.(v) to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control.

I want it NOW! How do you learn to appreciate what you have if you are just handed everything? I need the latest technology be it laptop, notebook, or phone. I must have that cookie, cake, fancy dinner. I need those shoes, that car, a flat screen television. I deserve a trip to someplace I've never been. I need it. I want it. I deserve it. Give it to me now. Where did this attitude start? Let's go back in time.

"When I get older, I am going to do what I want." "I can't wait til I'm a grown up so I can do whatever I want." "Adults have it easy they can do whatever they want." "when will I get to do what I want to do?"

Sound Familiar?  Words you've heard by pint-sized complainers;words spoken by you in the past (or not so distant past). These are statements that  have complicated truths. I AM older and for the most part I do what I want but in order to do that I have to be disciplined enough to do what I need to do. Society, these days, seems to be heavy on the instant gratification  but light on the discipline that goes with long term satisfaction.

Discipline is not a natural state. If you notice each definition has train or training as a part of it. Constant conditioning is an on-going life-long process. Those who are truly "having it all" learned this lesson long ago. Think of the habits you have and then think of the world you believe you should live in. Is one keeping you from the other? An honest assessment might shed some life on your reality.

It's more difficult than you ever imagined to be an adult. If you are responsible for more than just yourself it is even more of a world of discipline in which you must live. If I wake up on a Saturday morning, decide to stay in my PJ's and eat cookies all day, that's me but what kind of example does that set for others if you are in charge. If I leave my clothes all over the  apartment, that's me. If I invite someone over, how comfortable will it be for that person? How comfortable will I be letting that person in?  The list goes on.

I HATE eating oatmeal (unless of course it's in the form of an oatmeal, chocolate chip, walnut cookie). I have high blood pressure and oatmeal is good for helping to lower cholesterol and maintain a healthy heart. I eat oatmeal. I don't want to exercise. I do want to be comfortable in my own skin. I balance a small amount of exercise with eating well and portion control. Do I have off days? YES, everyone does. Do I slip? Of course! Do I continue to do what I know I have to do even though it's not what I always want to do, YES because that's what a REAL adult does.

We need to start training the younger generations in the fine art of discipline. We need to start revisiting this skill as adults as well. You are not always going to like not getting what you want but do not consider it a punishment. Only one definition of discipline is about punishment. All the rest are about the ways we can use this sadly lacking ability to train ourselves to do what must be done in order to have real and well deserved fun in our lives.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Don't Check Me In

Why are we checking in to any place that's not an airport or a hotel? Why are our friends trying to check us in? Who thought that giving a precise map to the location was a good idea?If you are online and not aware of all the possibilities then you have been at some point and time checked in. There are apparently rewards waiting for those people in to this idea. I however am not fond of this particular form of online intrigue.

I am just as guilty as everyone else for tagging photos of people who are with me at public events. I try my best to keep the tagging to a minimum and to the particularly pretty shots. The pictures of us all together after the event that will be posted are wonderful memories. I like the online ability to share the moment. It's as if photo albums found a new life where they are not being brought out to unsuspecting guests but instead left out for those with the desire to peruse to do so. This to me is information enough for any who cares.

 I do not like the idea that someone, even a friend, has the ability to tell the world at large EXACTLY where I am when I am ACTUALLY there. I have personally turned off all of those permissions on my various accounts because I will tell anyone the following, "Don't check me in." As a single woman, I find it a bit unnerving that a map to my precise whereabouts can be generated to show you how to get to me too. If I want you to know where I am, I alone should be responsible for telling you.

I don't need to be the mayor. I don't care about the free stuff. I already am free advertising just by my posting that I went to your restaurant, movie, concert and the like. I do not need to be checked in and have the coordinates of my journey plotted for all to see.  I just don't get how this is useful beyond the free stuff someone receives especially when that someone is not me. We all draw our intrusive line. Here's where I draw mine.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day

I'll admit it. I just nodded along the first time I heard about this day I had no idea of where it came from. I mean. Earth Day? What do you do? Why does it exist. When did we start celebrating this? It was a complete surprise to me. Over the years it's value has become well known to more and more individuals across the globe. Thankfully we have decided to use this time to truly make the masses aware of the Earth and all it's needs. This week my elementary school is celebrating "Earth Week". Here's a bit of history to let you in on the reasons why.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Want vs Need

Struggling to find the difference between want versus need has been a lifelong issue. I want to be independently wealthy. I need to work. I want to be thinner, I need to exercise. I want to travel the globe, I need to figure out how. These are logical want and need progressions. However, I have noticed society has progressed into "needs" that are definitely NOT needed.

A commercial ran the other day that stated "Tired of missing out on the best things in life because you don't have a flat screen tv?" No one NEEDS a flat screen tv in order to have the best things in life. If your reality requires high definition television in order for it to be the best, you need to reconsider your priorities.

I've mentioned this before in an article about the sense of entitlement going around in the younger generations these days. It appears that it is more pervasive than just the sense of entitlement. Somehow what we want has transferred itself to the what we believe we need category.

Currently, I work with children that are around 10 years of age. Most of these kids are not required to do any chores. Over half of my class of 34 are not even required to make their own beds. It rained unusually hard last week and several of them asked me if they could call their parents to get dry shoes. If  these are the building blocks for the future of society. I fear the world will be crumbling around us in the years to come.
How can this lot distinguish between legitimate wants and needs if everything is taken care of for them? Expectations will continue to run high and what these children believe should just happen will become more and more outrageous as time goes on.

A friend of mine actually said to me "I HAVE to watch the games.", when I suggested she cut her cable in order to lesson household expenses. Apparently the reality of having to buy gas to get to work or food to feed the family was greatly shadowed by the NEED to watch a sporting event. If both the children and the adults who are meant to be guiding the children are caught up in this continued keeping up with the Jones' mentality, how can we possibly move forward?

We need to figure out how to bring boundaries back into reality and actual wants and needs back into society. We want and need better healthcare. We want and need better choices for political offices. We want and need homes in which to live, food to eat, clean air to breathe and an end to social and racial tension. We don't have it. No one NEEDS an iPad,  a Kindle, or a Kardashian....yet somehow they are all here and thriving.

"You can't always get what you want    But if you try sometimes, well you might find
You get what you need." The Rolling Stones were quite correct in this statement. We need to try , not some time, but all the time. That time is Now.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bunnies and Eggs

As a child, Passover was directly related to the special movies on television. Lots of "Pharaoh  let my people go." quotes were all I actually understood. As I have grown older however I recognize the significance of Passover more readily than bunnies and eggs. I like the rituals and traditions it brings.

Easter has always meant chocolate bunnies and colored eggs to children who celebrate. Dying eggs festive colors then going hunting for them was always fun. Baskets filled with sweet treats that you traded with siblings, biting ears off bunnies and making faces at funky jelly bean flavors was always a routine right there with going to church.  Springtime rituals crossing over into the story of Jesus, although fun, the connection still confuses me.
I will admit though, Sees Candies half price the day after Easter sale on chocolate eggs is calling my name ;-)

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Fool's Day

Hopefully we all arrived to today without too many pranks along the way. April first has been known as a day where practical jokes run wild and free yet we are not exactly sure why we do it.There are numerous rumors of the days creation but this is one day where the origin has definitely been lost.

I like the idea of a designated day of laughter. We need more laughter, light and love in the world. The wisdom of this day is lost on most as foolishness seems a great waste of time to many. We often get too caught up in the pressures of reality to understand that young or old we all need to laugh. It makes you live longer.

As long as everyone is in on the joke the day is good. It's the pranks that cause mayhem to happen. A good joke and we are all laughing and  happy. A prank and someone's being laughed at, not with. Hopefully all the April Fool's out there know the difference.

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Trayvon Martin Moment

When I was 19 years old I worked at a telephone survey company located  in Marina del Rey (an affluent beach side community here in Los Angeles).  One evening our shift ended early and due to this I was waiting  just outside the company for my friend to come pick me up. For whatever reason a patrol car happened to be in the area. They went by, saw me and returned. One of the officers came to me and asked me why I was there. When I explained the early shift close. He questioned whether there was anyone to verify my story. When I informed him everyone had left. He literally looked me up and down, walked a few feet away from me flashed lights in the building and waited for a few moments  before returning to his partner in the car. They waited and watched me the entire time.

Let's go into more detail. I was a slightly overweight, well spoken, dark-skinned, college coed in the Marina on a lovely Summer's night. I was standing in a well lit area in full view of anyone who cared to see me. I was wearing a sailor shirt with white sailboats across it, paddle pusher pants, flower print deck shoes and a big pink floppy bow in my hair.  Had I been disrespectful, surly, lurking in the shadows or shown any other form of criminal type behavior I would understand the heavy-handed attitude, but I displayed none of those characteristics. Had it been the fashion police, I would fully understand the hard scrutiny, they should have ticketed me on sight, but this was the regular neighborhood police and they thought I deserved to be watched because they had summed me up as not belonging in the area.

When my ride arrived, the officers watched me get into the car of my  5 foot tall, 95 pound, let's go dancing attired, Chinese friend.  We drove off and were closely followed out of the parking lot, onto the street and all the way out of the city of Marina del Rey.  My friend was scared half to death the entire time because she had never experienced being followed by a police car, for that matter neither had I. Once we reached the top of the hill that marked the official end of Marina territory they did an illegal u-turn and returned to the land that they determined was not where I belonged.

Why do I recall this story? Unless you have been completely disconnected from reality for the the last two months, you know who Trayvon Martin was and why he is of great significance to us all. I can't help thinking of that moment , when I was 19, and wondering if I were in Florida and George Zimmerman were a part of that patrol, would I be here now?  We will never know the completely honest full story but just as a concerned individual, I wonder how dangerous skittles are to another person. I wonder how it is legal to NOT at least detain a person who follows someone and shoots them when you were clearly told NOT to follow the individual in the first place.

We live in a suspicious world. Suspicions based on fear of others; which are based on stereotypes perpetuated by cinema, media, and general ignorance. This is one of many stories I have about societal ignorance based on "looking suspicious". In this instance, I was not wearing a "hoodie" but based on current beliefs in this country, I will always be wearing my permanent mark of suspicion.

ALL races have their own ignorance and fears. It is more than black and white here in America. We have to eventually embrace that we are more than just a race. We need to identify ourselves as AMERICANS period. I am not saying to forget your personal heritage. I am quite proud of who I am. However in order for America to truly be united, we must all accept the beautiful color spectrum of each American citizen in order for tragedy's like Trayvon Martin to never occur again.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring has Sprung

This weekend's storm might mean that March might be trying to finally live it to the saying "In like a lion out like a lamb".  Although the weather here has finally believed it is time for winter, tomorrow begins Spring. Equal day and night due to the Vernal Equinox. A beginning of cleaning and various other rituals. Just what's so special about this equinox? Read and discover why you should be excited that Spring has Sprung!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ides, Snakes and Green Beer

"Beware the Ides of March"; Of course that's the "worst" one but May, July and October have Ides too. Actually ALL  months have Ides. It simply means the halfway point of the month.  March, July and October's halfway point is the 15th and all the rest would be the 13th. March's Ides means the betrayal as we all should know.

March also has a day all about snakes and green beer. How the two became connected over the years is beyond me. How both of them are associated with St. Patrick is an interesting story.

 As with many traditions the origins have gotten lost and the party aspect is what remains. Who now knows that the Holy Trinity was supposedly explained by St. Patrick by using the Shamrock? Who knows that the snake myth is just that, a myth? Although the drinking of beer and feasting on taboo foods during lent did happen, turning it green is just pure marketing.

Everyone out there Beware the Ides of March so you can wear green and have fun on St. Patrick's Day!
Your Green Beer, Corn beef and Cabbage await!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Women's History Month

Beware the Ides of March, Wear green and shamrocks, Spring Forward into Spring;all these events mean March is here. You might not be aware however that March also means Women's History Month. In this month we dedicate ourselves to balancing out the history books with the accomplishments of female counterparts.  Make sure you take the opportunity to discover what was created by your mother, grandmother, great grandmother or her friend. It's amazing how many of our historical events had women involved or even had women begin them and yet we have no idea. Happy Women's History Month.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Leap Year

Did you know that in the Chinese and Jewish calendars they get an entire Leap Month?! Apparently America and the traditional calendar is not the only one with a Leap in it. On Wednesday, it will be February 29, 2012. Leap Day of the Leap Year of 2012. People will get married, babies will be born and future stories of how young you are or how few years you've been married will be told. Once every four years this mystical day appears. It's signifies not only an accounting of time but here in America it means elections are here. Mud slinging, name calling, power-plays and even actual political debates will occur. While you are busy sorting through the political possibilities, take time to enjoy some of the educational information about exactly why we take this Leap once every 4 years.

Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day

Many of us are fortunate enough to be in a position to have the day off. We celebrate the President on the 3rd Monday of February. Specifically February is about Washington and Lincoln but over the course of time it has come to include all of the men responsible for leading this nation. Whether you agree with the president's politics or not the position is one that should be honored. Take this day to find out a little bit more about the person leading this nation. Happy President's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day

According to the various stores across the country and around the globe, tomorrow is the official day of love. I've often referred to Valentine's Day as leftover red stuff from Christmas but that's just me. Varying accounts in regards to the Saint (St. Valentine) honored by this day talk about how this holiday came about. No one is 100% positive of the true origin of Valentine's Day but there are 3 possibilities which have all led us to this day that seems to put unnecessary pressure on couples to either get engaged, married or show their love in a large fashion. It also makes singles feel as if their lives are somehow less than if they aren't a part of the love fest.

Although it might be sweet to have an official day set aside to make certain the ones you love definitely get the message that they are loved, it is not appropriate to make the world feel as if not having a significant other makes you less than. It is not appropriate to make those in love feel they must make a grand show of this emotion. It is not appropriate to start advertising sales for this day the moment the New Year has gotten underway.

Love is a beautiful gift found in many ways in all our lives. You are loved more than you will ever know. You can share love in many forms and you should be grateful for this gift everyday. IF you happen to be fortunate enough to have that significant other do not take for granted the special joy you have found. Be sure to make that person feel what's in your heart on a regular basis. Do not bemoan the up coming event but do not feel obligated to make it the biggest event in the world. It is nice to have a romantic date. It is lovely to share a token of your affection with the one you're with. Remembering what that person is truly about is more important than going all out on what feels like an obligation. Do what you know is true to the one you're with not to society at large. A simple "I Love You" is more precious and expensive than any dozen of roses. After all, Love is the greatest gift of all.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Black History Month

February a short month dedicated to many men and women who have contributed greatly to American society. It is Black History month. Although some individuals question why an entire month needs to be dedicated to the study of famous black inventors, I am not one. I clearly understand the continued need for this month of study.

I grew up in elementary school learning of all the famous deeds of individuals like Betsy Ross, George Washington, Eli Whitney and the like. When February came around I finally saw people with my skin color who contributed to society. The names of Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King and George Washington Carver became familiar to the other children in the room. I could finally completely identify with success and discuss these people with others. Of course, it was only during February as these individuals rarely resurfaced during the course of a school year.

As my educational career continued, I noticed that every February the same names were used and reused where as the famous non black inventors, creators and history makers grew and changed. I was fortunate enough to have a family immersed in the idea that I needed to know the entire spectrum of history. The library was my friend. Where were the names of such individuals as Garrett Morgan, Sarah Goode, Daniel Hale Williams, Miriam Benjamin and Charles Drew? No where to be seen in my childhood and sparingly doled out today.

We continue to need this important month to truly allow this country to recognize all the contributions that it's citizens have made. Currently a movie is in theaters called Red Tails. It documents the history of the First Black Military Airmen. That's right the Tuskegee Airman were an all black World War Two flying force that consisting of over 1,000 individuals from 1941-1946. They escorted bombers and had one of the Lowest loss records of all the escorting corps. It amazes me that we are just now getting around to a mass telling of this story and that more individuals did not even know of their existence.

We need to find a way to stop revisionist and exclusionary history from continuing. There is plenty of room in the history books for All of America's famous individuals. Adding another line or two, another page or two to update the history books would make the world a better place. Until we do make room for the real facts, I am glad we have Black History Month.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Groundhog Day!

Not only is it a holiday about a furry weather predicting creature but it's a wonderful love story featuring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. How exactly did we come to have a four-legged forecaster? Well, as with many traditions It traveled across the sea with th Europeans who settled here. Apparently we in the US and Canada didn't have badgers and bears so we settled for the groundhog. Here's a little article to help you understand. Of course just FYI (Bursting of bubble) Whether Ponxatony Phil (the most famous groundhog) sees his shadow or not, there's always 6 more weeks of winter from the date of February 2nd.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Kung Hei Fat Choi! Happy Chinese New Year!

It's the Year of the Dragon. Luck good fortune, and Love. What's not to like?! Don't forget to wear red and have some orange slices for a sweet life. Dragons are fierce, fun and fabulous. Find out your Chinese Zodiac sign and learn more about the New Year. Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Monday, January 16, 2012

MLK the Dream today

Today in America many, but not all, American's have a day off in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sadly, this great man is honored but it is an optional holiday so many businesses can choose not to celebrate the life of a man who inspired directly or indirectly great changes for this nation. One day hopefully sooner than later it will be a mandatory holiday for all.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. Today he would be happy to see that progress towards his dream has been made but sad to not that many of us have gotten lost along the way to the true reality that he felt could be achieved. Last night I was at an event that showed just how far we have come over the last 50 years. All ethnic backgrounds were gathered together for an event. Well dressed Interracial couples and groups were everywhere peacefully, joyfully awaiting the opening of the doors for the anticipated evenings events. I feel he would be proud to see such diversity united together. However, he would not have approved of the presentation of the three young boys in front of me.

Dr. King was about honor, respect and pride. He not only wanted all people to be united together but his own people to present themselves in the best possible light at all times. Over the years a great part of that has been lost. It started in a small way but has extended itself for many years. These young men were among the many who feel it's perfectly acceptable to show their underwear to the world. When they reached the front doors. The elegantly dressed black gentleman at the front who, along with his brother,was in charge of the event  stopped the three and made them pull up their pants and tuck in their shirts. If the three had thought about where they were going or had even looked around them they would have noticed they were the most poorly attired individuals in attendance.I am sure had their mothers been present they would have been pleased to note how well their sons looked after the small action of properly wearing your clothes had been accomplished.

How we present ourselves to the world is so much a part of Dr. King's original dream. There are numerous misrepresentations of the African American/Black community as a whole that are accepted as reality by the world that need to be killed in order for us to continue down the path that Dr. King helped pave for us. HE would be appalled by BET, upset by the lack of presentation of self and disturbed by the lyrics of the latest incarnations of rap music. We must look at the current state of our community and make positive changes for the future or else Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream is lost to us all for ever. One of my favorite quotes from him says it all, "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Out with the Old in with the New

Today is the day that if you weren't back to reality already you are now. Everyone is back to work. 2012 is well underway. Only the people you have yet to see are hearing the greeting Happy New Year from die hard New year's greeters. We are all immersed in our lives. The fun and frivolity of holiday cheer has ended. Closeout sales have been in stores since the first. Items are 50% to 80% off and since the first day of the year Valentines day paraphernalia has lined the shelves. Out with the old usher in the new. Keep moving never stop as something will seriously go wrong if we slow down. The world moves on. As it does, many people and places are discarded in it's wake.

Our current economic climate and computer culture has caused a great decline in several markets. Small businesses are being swallowed up by corporate conglomerates and large businesses are barely holding on.  Paddington's Tea Room was where I celebrated my last birthday with friends. It was a lovely family owned tearoom that gave you the best in quality tea for the past 20 years. They closed last year. Famima is a chain combo convenience store and take out place. It lasted well beyond my expectations but it no longer exists in Culver City. As a matter of fact many places in the once sleepy Culver City  have disappeared due to high rents. These places include El Pollo Loco, Mezza Grill, the Culver Plaza theater (which was once a Mann Theater and has a beautiful mural of old world Hollywood depicted on it's walls) and a local healthy restaurant.

Bookstores both large and small are dying in droves due to online cutthroat prices and the onset of nooks, kindles and the like. I would have never believed that a large chain like Borders would go the way of the Dodo. Sadly it is so. Even more sad to note is smaller more personal places are going down the same route. The Bodhi Tree bookstore has been a small wonderful bookstore located on Melrose since the 70's. It has provided patrons with hot tea, cozy reading nooks and great books for this entire time. On December 31st it's doors closed for good in that location. Rents were just too high to sustain the location. They hope to open again but it's just a matter of where, when and if a generous benefactor can believe in the sustainability of a brick and mortar store.

These are but a few of the many places in the metropolitan city of Los Angeles that have gone out of business due to varying factors. What gets me is that everyone is so obsessed with moving forward that the collateral damage seems to be but a glitch in the process. "Computers are better." "It's the way of the future." "That's just how it's down now." "It's so much easier." I ask you this, If the way of the future is so much better, why are there so many businesses profiting from "retro" materials? Maybe we shouldn't be so quick to toss out the old ways. Simpler times, simpler days the future isn't always brighter sometimes how we did it was just the right way.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Reflection and Redirection vs Resolutions

I hope that one and all have survived the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012. Many of you seem to have had a not so glamorous 2011, a not so glorious end of the year and a not so fantabulous start to the new year. I can say I am one of the many. Most of us make resolutions to offset that unhealthy balance. I can say I am not one of the most. I believe resolutions don't get done. At least not for me. It is easy to slide further and further away from the intent of a resolution. It is not as easy to run away from a reflection (unless of course you are a vampire ;-).

I like to take the end of the old and begin of the new to be more like the God Janus. Janus has the ability to look in two directions at once; both forward and back. Janus represents this time of year as we can look back over the old year and forward towards the new. When we make resolutions we tend to feel guilt at not completing them. We tend to berate ourselves for not being able to live up to our lofty ideals. We tend to feel we are less than instead of better. We are all human. We are going to slip and fall.

 I like to reflect on what I did and did not like about myself, my year, my actions and my life. Instead of making point blank specific must do's I like to redirect my actions to see if I can avoid repeating what happened before.  We are going to eat that cake, date that wrong person, buy that overly priced non necessary item and do what ever it is we should not do just because we feel like it. It is human nature to do what feels good even if it isn't what is the right thing to do. Reflection on what you've done and how it made you feel might however help you to see the connection between the events and allow you to redirect your energies in a more positive manner.

Some may say that reflection and resolution is just a way of making a resolution but it is in a more abstract form. That is possible but I do know that once I chose this path versus the hard lines of resolution my waistline got thinner, my workplace happier and my general out look more positive. Give it a try. You never know what might happen. Happy New Year! Here's to an even more beautiful you in 2012.