Friday, January 27, 2012

Truth or Consequences: A Message From The Cocktail Party


It's no laughing matter and the consequences can land you in more hot water than that resort town in New Mexico.

Even in our world of outrageous television ad disclaimers, political action committees with vaguely ominous names, and fact-deficient public leaders, most people still believe there should be consequences for not telling the truth.

In lieu of a long diatribe about how lies degrades both individuals and society as a whole, I'm going to keep this short then fill up the remaining space with a calm-inducing picture of my cat.
If someone lies to you, they do not respect you.
If someone lies to you, they do not deserve your trust.
Now for the cat picture:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Be As a Dragon

As well-read and well-fed frequenters of Chinese restaurants with paper placemats are aware, this Monday, January 23, marks the beginning of a new cycle of the lunar calendar: The Year of the Dragon.


As you know, I kind of have a thing about dragons.*

Unlike western dragons, which are generally portrayed either as fearsome beasts or folk music stoners, the eastern dragons of lunar astrology are auspicious symbols of power and good fortune.

The eastern dragon is so highly regarded that the term has become synonymous with "strength" and "excellence." An emblem of royalty, eastern dragons are credited not only with the ability to fly, but to change shape and control wind and water, as well. Sometimes depicted as guardians of great treasures, the dragons of eastern mythology are more likely to aid than to attack questing humans.

According to this random website I Googled, persons born in a Year of the Dragon are: “are energetic and warm-hearted, charismatic, lucky at love and egotistic. They’re natural born leaders, good at giving orders and doing what’s necessary to remain on top.”

While a couple of those characteristics could possibly trend toward the obnoxious, it seems to me that we could all benefit from having the occasional dragon in our lives and being, at times, more dragon-like.
This Year of the Dragon, embrace your power to enrich your own life and to assist those around you. Use your talents and abilities to make positive changes to your environment and yourself. Understand that you possess treasures of great worth and know that you don't need wings to soar.

Today's lesson: Embrace your inner dragon

Next: Truth or Consequences

*Though I was born in the Year of the Hare

Friday, January 13, 2012

13 Fortunate Things

In order to counteract the very “Friday the 13th” Friday I'm having, here is a list of 13 random fortunate things:

A foresighted genius once looked at a pile of rotting fruit beneath the cacao tree and decided to try adding sugar

Someone then got peanut butter on said chocolate

They put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp*

A visionary at HBO said, “Let's do a show about nekkid vampires.”

Nicklas Lidstrom** took off his shirt for Cafe magazine

They sell booze on airplanes

In the Bay Area, one is rarely more than a block or two away from a decent cup of coffee

Free delivery and free egg roll with orders over $25

In spite of being born 18 years and half of a continent apart, I met and married my husband

Corsets went out of style as every day underwear

I no longer wear my hair like I did in 9th grade

The ubiquity of Ugg-style boots in malls across the US means this horrific fad has officially peaked and may now begin to fade into shameful footwear history

Tomorrow is Saturday

Today's lesson: Gotta take the good with the bad...

Next: Nary a clue...


*If you find yourself singing this the rest of the day, my apologies. 

**Four starters from the Senators in the All Star Game and only two Red Wings?!?!? What gives, people?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

On a Motorcycle

The spell of sunny, spring-like weather the Bay Area is enjoying this January has put me in a two-wheeled frame of mind. Below are just a few of the reasons why I am proud to call my self a “motorcycle enthusiast*.” 

Yosemite National Park
On a motorcycle, as in life, there is no reverse.**

Riding a motorcycle can make you a more mindful car driver, giving you a more visceral sense of highway speeds.

It can also make you a more mindful traveler. When it's cold, you're cold. When it's hot, you're hot. When it's raining, you're wet. When it's snowing, you're sitting in a truck stop drinking bad coffee. (Secondary lesson: In riding, as in life, at times you will encounter forces greater than your own will.)

Riding requires extreme physical and mental concentration, which makes it a brilliant form of meditative yoga. (And the subject of a truly excellent book by Robert Pirsig.)

Marin Co., CA
Learning to pack for a week in a motorcycle side case is a powerful exercise in non-attachment to material possessions.

Riding a motorcycle means never having to apologize for buying boots. (Also, “motorcycle hair” is an excellent excuse to buy and wear hats.)

Jim Strider: big bike rider
In a refreshing reversal of gender roles, at motorcycling events, the line to the men's restroom is generally much longer than to the women's. (Also, the men tend to carry with them various forms of “tank bags,” into which we ladies can stash odds and ends, what with it being so difficult to manage a purse on a bike and all...)

36” of empty curb = parking spot

If you enjoy having people look at you – and I really, really do – nothing beats riding a motorcycle.

In your helmet, no one can hear you sing.

Today's lesson: Motorcycles = good

Next: Maybe something for Friday the 13th.

*Call me a “biker” and I'll stomp you with my heavy leather boots.

**Yeah, yeah... I know... Honda Goldwings and later BMW LTs have reverse gears... Whatever. It sounds better my way.

 (Look... A recommend button... I think I'll click it...)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gifts of the Magi: Three Personal Epiphanies

This week, many people around the world will celebrate The Epiphany, commemorating the visitation of the newborn Christ by wise men* from the east, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In the interest of being copacetic, today I am celebrating the gifts of enlightenment I've received from three modern magical men. 

Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel – I can't entirely say why, but this song never fails to reach the still optimistic part of my being that I often think is dead.

Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon – The scope, the language, the imagery, and the dream-logic – This novel taught me more about what fiction can be than any book before or since. 

Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders – Generally speaking, if someone uses the terms “lyrical” or “haunting” to describe a film, I pretty much want to dump a pitcher of water on their head. This film, however, is both haunting and lyrically beautiful, charming and wry and was my personal gateway into foreign** films.

Today's lesson:  Cherish the gifts of the wise men and women whose Yum has influenced and increased your own.

Next: Probably something boozy and weird...


*Thus, the reason baby showers are now generally women-only events. Unguents and nards, gentlemen? You wise guys never heard of a blankie or a binky or a onesie? Sheesh...

**I really, really hate this term. Not only does it leave my Netflix queue basically in chaos (half of the titles falling under that heading without further indication of actual genre), but it is essentially meaningless in the modern film industry. Take for example, the Christian Bale Batman series. The director, screenwriters, the lead, and a significant portion of the supporting cast are British, yet they are considered “domestic” films in the US. Sigh... Follow the money, I guess... and kudos to you for following this long, rambling diatribe.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Proof of Concept: Virtual Author Reading

Dear Yummish Friends,

I need your help!

Below is a "proof of concept" video for a series of "virtual author readings" I'm considering filming.

What do you think? Is this something I should pursue? Your feedback is very important to me. Thanks in advance for your help!

Today's lesson: I have no skill with lighting or editing 

Next: The Gifts of the Magi: Three Personal Epiphanies