Sunday, October 29, 2006

Campaign for REAL beauty

Caught this video today.... it speaks for itself. Wonder why our girls can't just accept the beauty God gave them? Remember, what you see in the media is completely unreal. If you are confused, go look in the mirror - right now. Now, that's gorgeous.

Skyline Drive 06

I finally got to Skyline drive to do a bit of leaf peeping with some friends. Reminder to self about that - when going somewhere with Adventists, make sure you pack your own chicken. Even tho I love a veggie dog, I'm feeling like on a Sunday with friends, there should be some fried chicken or fish or something else that you've killed to eat. Anyway, I digress. It was a lovely day spent with lovely people. Cold as a witches tit I tell you, but lovely in spite of the chill in the air. Seems like many people had the same idea we did - get out into nature with friends and EAT!!!!. Sit around a warm fire and/or take a hike (can you guess what I was doing?) ;-)

It was nice not to have to drive - but just be able to look out of a window and enjoy the scenery. Mark this on my calendar for an annual outing.

Pics can be found here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Microsoft Redesigns Ipod Packaging

This was too funny not to share. Personally, I've been saying that Google needs to takeover Microsoft - perhaps then, we'd see products that actually work well.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Well, another friend has fallen to membership in the 50+ club. Big shout outs and congrats go to our gal Donna for hitting the half century mark! AARP cards are right around the corner. Here's a recipie for a fun time. Take a great group of people, add a big buffet and sprinkle with jokes and giggles - mix very well with the cou-cou stick of love. I guarantee you'll be drunk with happiness.

Want photos? Click below for the album.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Girl Like Me Revisited

This 17 year old filmmaker was interviewed today on Good Morning America.

I'd posted the film before...but I think it was worth a revisit. If you haven't viewed it...please take a moment.

More About A Girl Like Me from Director Kiri Davis
For my high-school literature class I was constructing an anthology with a wide range of different stories that I believed reflected the black girl’s experience. For the different chapters, I conducted interviews with a variety of black girls in my high school, and a number of issues surfaced concerning the standards of beauty imposed on today’s black girls and how this affects their self-image. I thought this topic would make an interesting film and so when I was accepted into the Reel Works Teen Filmmaking program, I set out to explore these issues. I also decided to would reconduct the “doll test” initially conducted by Dr. Kenneth Clark, which was used in the historic desegregation case, Brown vs. Board of Education. I thought that by including this experiment in my film, I would shed new light on how society affects black children today and how little has actually changed.

With help from my mentor, Shola Lynch, and thanks to the honesty and openness of the girls I interviewed, I was able to complete my first documentary in the fall of 2005. I learned that giving the girls an opportunity to talk about these issues and their experiences helped us all to look deeper and examine the many things in society that affect us and shape who we are.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Time Gem

Ever have one of those days that you just want to hold close - like little gem in time? Today was one of those for me. First of all, it was a beautiful day after much chill and rain during the past week. Today, it was clear and crisp and sunny...just warm enough to not need a jacket. I got up early, and having no food in the house, first hit the regular grocery store. Now, if you really know me - you'll know that I'm a total foodie. The culture of it, the taste of it, the variety of it, the preparation of it, the ingredients in it, the origins of those ingredients - I could go on and just excites me ;-). I left the grocery and hit the latino market with what I call the best kept secret in takoma park fish markets. Bought some red snapper and rockfish. Then to the caribbean market for some jerk season and mango achar. Now, I was in heaven. My fruit basket was filled with fresh plums and pineapple and young coconut. My fridge was happy. My stomach however, was still empty. I was already feeling kinda good about the day...but then it really just got better.

On a whim, with an idea from Janet - I called my mom and asked her if she would hold an impromptu cooking class. With fresh fish in hand (3 beautiful red snapper), I marched off to mom's to meet some friends. Mom held court in the kitchen, teaching us all how to make cou-cou and steamed fish. Now, cou-cou is a Barbardian thing. It turns corn meal into an art form and a test of good kitchen skills. It's a hearty, warm, feels like home kinda dish when prepared just right. We watched, and helped turn the meal. When done, with tired arms....we all sat around and ate the fruits of our....(well really, MOM's) labor. It was funny - and beautiful. Women ranging in age from my Mother - who is 81, thru the 50' and 40' somethings that were there to learn and absorb tradition from her.

What was really nice was the warmth in the room. The laughter, the friendship...I realized what a privilege it is to enjoy my mothers company, and have my best friends enjoy it as well. Everyone seemed to feel it. For a few hours there was nothing else in the world but good food, and loving fellowship. I'm thinking that's a glimspe of heaven there. No worries, just togetherness.

I'm richly blessed to have such wonderful women in my life. I only hope that I can contribute as much to their lives, as I feel they all contribute to mine. And I will always be eternally grateful for the time that i get to spend with my mom. This time is a gem - like a diamond - precious, rare and fleeting. I just had to take a moment to say "Thanks" and appreciate it for all of it's beauty.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Daily Walk Just to Listen - (taken from "This I Believe"

I love listening to NPR's series, "This I believe". For me, this one hit home - for the writer, it's her daily walk - for me, it's working out in the gym. It's funny what you can get in touch with at times when you unplug completely from the world around you.

A Daily Walk Just to Listen
by Susan Cosio

Courtesy of Susan Cosio
Susan Cosio is a chaplain at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif. She also writes feature articles for The Davis Enterprise. Cosio's favorite places to walk are in the mountains or on the beach, as well as through a nearby bird sanctuary.

“I believe in a daily walk to listen because that is when I am close to God; that is when I find my way.”

All Things Considered, October 2, 2006 · Sometimes I feel like I have no real sense of direction. At 45, this is a little scary. I think my distraction is due to the variety of roles I play and my tendency to try to please others. Much of my day is spent responding to requests: "Mommy, will you..." "Susan, can you..." My world is full of spoken and unspoken expectations that I try to live up to as a parent, as a person, as a friend.

I believe I have to remove myself from the voices that barrage me in order to find my true compass. This includes a daily walk just to listen. The guiding light of my life is the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. In our hectic, noisy world, I have to slow down or withdraw in order to hear it. Prayer, I have discovered, is less about what I say and more about what I hear.

Time set apart with God is like a hike to a peak from the middle of a dense forest; it gives me perspective and some ability to see where I've been and where I am going.

Discerning God's voice is not so hard when I make time to listen closely. Sometimes I hear it as a sudden insight when I step back from a situation. Other times, it's a deep sense of my priorities or a conviction about something I should do or say. I often take a walk with a pencil and notepad in my pocket, and return with notes for a speech or piece of writing. Later, when someone tells me she was moved by the words I'd scribbled on that paper, I know my prompting came from God.

My pursuit of spiritual truth is not about religion as much as it is about relationship. It is not about intellectualizing God's commands, but about internalizing his truth within my heart as well as my head -- an understanding so deep and intimate that it affects not only my thinking, but my behavior as well. On my daily walks, I've recognized how to parent my children through difficult situations, been prompted to call a friend I hadn't heard from in a while, and felt compelled to reach out to strangers who soon became my friends.

I believe in a daily walk to listen because that is when I am close to God; that is when I find my way. I am most at peace when I tune out the voices of the world long enough to hear the still, small voice of God directing me. "Be still," Psalm 46 reminds me, "and know that I am God."

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I don't know how you felt about the current tragedy at the Amish one room schoolhouse...but there is much discussion about what made a man (from the reports who would seem to be a good father and husband)go into a schoolroom of innocents and do what he did to them.

Since I'm in the middle of the book of Matthew - Jesus is going around casting out demons from people...the connection is easily made for me that this was not a "normal" spirit having a human experience but one of the "fallen third" coaching a spirit having a human experience. I'm starting to believe that acts like this are perpertrated upon especially folks like the Amish (who day by day work hard to follow Gods word in the way that they believe is right) this by the devil himself.

But on the other side, I am also convinced that God uses these events for his own purpose. Have you seen the Amish and English praying side by side? Do you realize that the Amish have already forgiven the murderer and his family? There is indeed a lesson there for all of us. Even the English are marveling at the Amish capacity for nonviolence and forgiveness. These are the values that Jesus taught - the ones that so many of us struggle with. One Amish fellow on the news said rather straightforwardly that "if we were to hold on to the anger and pain of this - where would we be in our realtionship with God? We trust that God will carry us thru this extermely difficult time". You know what? I absolutely believe him - and long for that kind of peace. That kind of Grace and Peace is what I believe Jesus offers.

So making any further comment about the man who did this, is irrelevant. He has probably sealed his own fate - indicating in his notes his hate for God. The best thing is though, that God will come out a winner even in this tragedy. The Amish and the English will grow closer/try to understand each faith better/and hopefully both draw closer to God.

My sympathies and prayers to the community and for the families of the children.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What happens when the spirits come

Today was a strange day. Strange in a spiritual sense. I started this morning the way I've been working on starting my days. Prayer, Listening to the bible (I'm listening to the audio new testament), and studying my sabbath school lesson. Everything was peaceful. I asked God for his presence in my day.

Then...I went to our health fair and sat down at a handwriting analysis table. The guy told me stuff that scared me a bit. I took notes. He was a little too accurate for my tastes. Then, cuz I was scurred I ran away. I came back to my office and told a couple of folks about my experience and how it kind of made me nervous. I also told a story about a "ouija" board experience I had when I was young that turned me away from ever knowingly messin around with stuff that I was taught was even remotely occultish or "supernaturaly" not of God. That handwriting thing felt a little like that.

So, after I share that stuff...what happens next is just weird. At least two people (one of whom wasn't even on the initial set of discussions), initiate conversations with me about spiritual matters. DEEP spiritual matters. One guy was a pagan who just wanted to tweak me...he intiated a conversation about man being made in the image of God and man being flawed therefore the image of God is flawed...etc., (I prayed when he started talking)...and my answer left him going back to his office to "think" about what I'd said. (I felt a sigh of relief that he was gone) The second person being a woman who really almost wanted to convince me that I totally create my own reality and that GOD in a outside-of-self-higher-power sort of way, doesnt really have anything to do with it. The conversation wandered down a path to her daughters' belief in ghosts and her experience with psychic's etc... I sat back and didn't argue with that one...I just felt like an attempt had been made to spiritually derail me for the day, and get me to wondering about a whole lot of stuff that is irrelevant to my personal relationship with God.

And it all started with a visit to the psy...opps I meant "handwriting analyst".

I feel like I must have said Beetlejuice three times.

Here's what I know that I know. There is only one Power for Good. We may all call that Power many things, Yahweh...Allah...God....but it is ultimate and in close touch with our lives. Sometimes that Power works within us to accomplish something, sometimes it works on our behalf completely outside of us to accomplish something, but I know for sure, that the Power I speak of is not me. Of myself, I am and having nothing. But with God....
all things are possible.

Today, my Christian construct holds fast - even when challenged by the "spirits" that came to visit. ;-) And I firmly believe that it's because I started my day tapped into the Power I believe loves and protects me.