Wednesday, November 29, 2006


i just discovered 24

last night after being rejected by Hukilau, Sol and I decided to celebrate bday at the Park Chow.
Fabulous dining experience. George was our lifeline to correct wine.

Lasagna and tuna. yum.

and then an unexpected phone call....

i am giggling again!

Monday, November 27, 2006



Alright, I've been in a FOUL@$$ mood for the better part of a month.
I brought in the cumpleanos bailando salsa last night at the Luka's with random strangers.

Thanks so much to my parents who didn't use birth control 5 years after their marriage to make this all happen.

Since then I've spent the last 34 years learning, living, laughing, brooding, pooping, bruising, brushing, driving, writing, dancing, and LOVING.

I have a cute picture of me at like 5 I'll put up tomorrow...but YOU, WORLD, have given me a womb to be in, so this morning I snuggled in bed while people called and wished me happy, happies.

I sang a salsa version of the happy birthday song for my voice mail greeting. Apparently people thought it was me live and have been singing along...THAT'S FUN!

Happy Birthday, mami and papi! Happy Life Day to me!

Un placer esta aqui, mundo!

Y un bendicion a todo que sepan amor y paz!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Amma Northern California Tour: Day 2

For some spiritual resurgence I headed out to Castro Valley a second time this week. Got there about 5 pm and left this morning about the same time.

Stars? Pretty amazing?

Expectation? Pretty low.

I wanted to get away and get some perspective.

Some 16 pages of journal, 12 hours, and 2000 people later, I think I found some perspective on this community.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Reflection at the Ashram

Children are the fragrance of the future, they are the flowers of the future. - Amma

34 minus 3 days.

I'm at a prayer center I purposely kept from my friends.

Her [Amma's] voice is deep, kind, and gentle. I wish I understood.

The interpreter makes me want to close my eyes and take inventory in the mind.
So the space goes, so the mind goes. My house is a mess. And it's my mess.

So in the last few months my bouts of depression have manifested in ill-health and negative thoughts. It's been acute in 2006.

Words from My Time in the Ashram

November 24, 2006

I'm in the dining hall with a lot of eople to be part of this celebration: Devi Bhava.

I'm an emotional sponge at the moment and seem to have been since September, it's something to add to my general "malaise".

What's interesting about this illness (or condition or however one describes depression) is that it's inconsistent in where it strikes.

Depression is an emotional cancer. It's difficult to detect and diagnose. It spreads.

Everyone tells you it will be fine.

It strikes different parts of the mind and body inconsistently. One day you are filled with energy and optimism. Gradually the items on the news begin to erode your shield and the body counts, the economy, the weather, even Terry Gross' current guest seems to get to you.

You're like a burnt out candle. Some people can even see the licks of smoke curling from the wick. There was once a fire an it was you.

I find it strange that I can write, drive, follow, directions, bathe, cook, wash dishes, fill the car with gas, operate an ATM, jump roe, pick out CDs and choose between KQED and KALW.

What I can't do is figure out WHY I feel broken. I feel that my precious mind that has held such amazing thoughts of love and appreciation for others cannot examine and see myself in the same light. I'm an incredible engineer of why I am ill-constructed.

I can take a vast inventory of my faults and flaws and how I'm defeated and can't dig out of the HOLE.

The HOLE means I can guarantee failure. Guaranteed. I suffer.

What kind of torture have I constructed for myself? It's neither saintly nor honorable nor productive.

But I keep on constructing.


Why is an eddying question. Yes, they are part of the river, but they are still and stagnant.

This general malaise began about 1992 or 1993. I don't remember.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

tv is weird

i'm housesitting for joe's cats. rocky and sierra are lovely companions. sierra sleeps at my feet, it's loverly.

joe has cable and so i am looking at it.

i have been sucked into watching grey's anatomy. i have heard this show is decent. i am impressed. the characters seem decent. some funny bits. the medical bits are cool.

the music is kind of annoying. some decent tunes, but i feel it's a little uber-hip.

the advertising is annoying. i have seen the stupidest ads for gap's "peace, love, and gap" campaign, the victoria's secret ads, and lots of ads for the sales starting tomorrow at 5 am.

i have also noticed that the volume of the ads is about 20% - 30% than the actual television show.

what's up with that?

thankfully the show is over now and so i will return to catching up on 6 weeks of daily show and colbert report.

both mssrs. stewart and colbert are ridiculously sexy. topical news items with wit?
man, gotta love that. and colbert has the glasses thing going. woo.

both are married and have children, therefore my having any thoughts about them is breaking one of the commandments...thou shall not covet thy neighbor's spouse.

oy vey.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Amma Means Love

Two summers ago a film rised up among the arthouse crew that featured a huge river and a celebration that shadowed Burning Man. Burning Man revelers bawked.

Kumbh Mela: Shortcut to Nirvana was a documentary following the 2001 Kumbh Mela.
The Kumbh Mela is a gathering along the Ganges River. Pilgrims gather in the MILLIONS follow their yogis and spiritual paths.

Each yogi (or teacher) had their specific practice. There was a yogi who held one arm up ALWAYS. I don't remember his name.

I remembered Amma. She was termed "the hugging yogi."

Apparently she has an ashram in Castro Valley, CA.

I sought some peace last night and there was a service. I've never been to an ashram, but part of me wants to do the tour of spiritual places so that G-d can hear me in whatever language or practice her/his ear is directed. I want to cover my spiritual bases.

Driving out to Castro Valley I thought of the larger trucks and Confederate flags I have experienced there.

Not to mention some of the ignorance.

I drove up a windy, lonely hill. The lights dissipated and the stars shone ahead. Without lights the hills were round shadows of giants on the landscape. Chill touched the air as I climbed.

5 miles above the 580 I found myself on a lonely country road. And I thought of my mother. I wondered what this ashram thing would be like. I hoped there would not be a large contingency of patchouli present. I chastised myself for being so judgemental.
I asked G-d/dess to give me strength.

A line of red lights led me to the ashram.

Wow. Devotees don't play. I arrived 45 minutes early and there was a line. Parking lot plan Q seemed to be in effect. It was dark, but the stables already were at capacity. Overflow was directed up a hill. It seemed like a steep hill and the road was made of gravel.

We parked and we walked to back to the road.

We cued up. An Indian family ahead of me with their young daughter were ahead of me. The wife/mother was in a sari and a WARM wool wrap. Her daughter was cute in her long skirt and Tinklebell hoodie sweatshirt. She kept on asking questions about the line.
The caucasian family behind me were made up of a skater/alterno mom/dad. They were dressed in black and thick-rimmed glasses and spoke with a skater affect. The daughters name was Carmen and she was exerting her independence.

Dad insisted that she zip up her jacket and she, although vocally announcing how COLD it was, did NOT want to mess up her hair. Father and mother took turns comforting her about how they were concerned with her health and that this was not the place for vanity.

Patience faded with each plead.

Dad finally said, "Put on your hood or I'll make you wear the hat."

She seemed horrified at this prospect and pulled the hoodie up. Father, already snugged under his own black hoodie, expressed his disgust by exclaiming, "Why do you have to piss me off?" He was perturbed that his asking previously had no effect on the girl, only threats. I think he was disapppointed to have to refer to such tactics.

Mysteriously vans came and people piled in. It was informal.

We drove up the hill, which would have been a CRAZY long walk. It looked deceptively short from the bottom of the hill.

Out we piled from the vans and went to the signs. Volunteers were all about directing devotees. People were orderly.

Apparently the main temple was filled, so we were directed to the overflow area - the dining room. Amma was being broadcast in there and we could see her.

I walked there. No arguing. I just wanted to sit and be still.

As I walked, I noticed two swan gliding along a pond below. I looked about and saw this was a little retreat in Castro Valley.

The tightness in my head loosened just a bit.

I walked in, made my way to the front and kept to myself. I took out my journal and began writing my stream-of-consciousness. I asked G-d/dess to help me sort things out. I thought of the people I am priveleged to know and thought about how disconnected I have felt over the last month or so.

That made me sad. Not depressed, mind you, but sad not to have that connection.

Amma was chuckling and answering questions on the screen. She didn't speak English. She responded to questions and a man served as her translator.

Amma was seated in easy pose under a wrap of a simple sari. She was surrounded by mostly girls and some women who later served as cantors and musicians.

Amma seemed like a comforting presence.

She was like that in the movie. She hugged and those she hugged responded in the film.

She gave advice to devotees in this moment. The translator guy gave us the English version.

Then singing began. Simple music. Long songs.

I was comparing it to the Catholic Church. We seem to have short ceremonies in comparison.

6:45 pm I arrived.

I listened and watched and wrote until the end of the ceremony.

When I finally looked at my phone, I noticed it was 10:30 pm.

Where had the time gone?

I left the space, barely noticing others, but in a place of introspection.

Was I transformed? Is sadness forever gone from me?

No, but it was wonderful leaving with a sense of peace. I lost a sense of time and thought about possibility and loving acts.

As I watched the ceremony end, I saw people cued up to receive their hugs from Amma.

She came down the stage and came into the audience.

Amma didn't hug and release. She enveloped those people in her body and held them and stroked their hair. Her lips moved and I am sure she gave them words of comfort.

And I thought to my day, how my 6th graders - about 100 of them gave me a card and thanked me for helping them make movies. They enveloped me in their arms that are becoming the arms of women and men and they said "Thank you, Ms. Ishkabibble!... We love you, Ms. Ishkabbble!" These words pierced the ice that's been glaciering my mind and soul as of late.

The corners of my mouth turned up.

I thought to myself, "Thank you."

Monday, November 20, 2006

stupid people

went out to a friend's birthday saturday night to shake off the blues.
it was one of my usual spots that i love.

for the first time ever there was a line
and a $10 cover


and a wait.


and then when i got inside i had a little chat with my friend and his crew
over some old school
and some new stuff i dont care for.

the mood switched with the more angry sounding stuff.

i heard...

a scuffle. yelling.

bartender became bouncer.


the crowd screamed and made a dash for the back of the bar and the door.

angry men snarled foul words and were dragged away.

outside the window from my vantage point i saw grown men
drag one another
wrestle one another
kick one another
punch one another

all while folks nervously laughed inside
or gasped at the spectacle
or tried to run from the madness

black on brown on yellow...hatred, on and on
all this for a good time?
on a saturday night?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

depression 1, me zip

Me: I have no idea what it is, but something is bothering me.

My brain: Well, since you suck in so many areas of your life, that's not a surprise.

Me: I've worked damn hard over the last 3 years to work with you, brain. We've been a team. We've begun to be more optimistic and move on from depression. We're identifying areas of our life, moving on from the victimization thing and identifying where we have power to change things we don't like.

My brain: Yeah? Well then how come you're still in a place where you're struggling? You're 33 and haven't maintained anything you need to survive. You depend on others ALL the time.

Me: I don't know. You must be right...

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Am I a Capitalist?

I just had a brief conversation with a colleague about how evil this capitalist system is.

Well, I don't agree in entirety. I don't agree the tool of currency is evil. Grant it, I do believe some insanely bad things have been done to the agreed value of LOTS of money.

I am actually glad that someone decided that non-material things also had value and that currency is an effecient system that allows people to carry value with them easily. It's also interesting how people have adapted to that.

So now if you're not a land owner with 7000 heads of cattle, you can still purchase clothes and goods and transportation and not barter for it. How much would you barter for an iPod? Your car? That PHRESH shirt you just got? How about a birthday cake? Or a chance to hike pristine trails in Utah?

If you're like me, your value is measured by how someone thinks of your non-tangible work. I know how to work with computers on some level, but I don't OWN any computers or manufacturing of computers or components.

An assessor would look at my collection of curios and clothes and cups and perhaps give me a couple of pidgeons in barter value. Not to say that pidgeons DON'T have value, but I doubt I could trade two birds for a week's worth of groceries or vitamins and supplements. I could be wrong...maybe they are valuable pidgeons...

Anyway, I ramble. I am glad that my work can be worth something I don't have to carry with me to prove my value. My working with youth and technology earns me a certain salary. BUT if it was all bartering, I don't know what my skills would earn me. I don't OWN anything to start creating things to BARTER with. I am GLAD my worth can be carried in my head and heart.

I don't have access to credit to expand my worth beyond what I earn except for cash advances and that expands my worth at a two week interval, so I am what I earn. And I reduce my debt at that earning rate and I purchase what I need within that window of earning. So I earn and spend within my means. I don't borrow extra pidgeons to buy a cloth for the week only to have to give six pidgeons back. (And would I breed those pidgeons to get the six pidgeons I needed to pay back?)

I'm all confused.

I felt like my coworker may have thought I bought into a system that says your worthless if you don't have assets. That's not true. I struggle with the idea of being worthless. I may be worth less than, say, Bill Gates, but I am really rich in relationships. I wouldn't barter those for Noah's Ark worth of pidgeons.

I also use my sweat equity wherever I can to experience that which I cannot pay for. With that I have earned river rafting, construction on solar housing, gained access to special events, AMAZING food, and a LOT of t-shirts. Sure, I'd love to convert some of my time into car repair or a hair appointment or a trip home every so often, but that's not how the bartering system works that I am aware of.

I need to do some research on economics and how we developed our money systems and agreed upon them. If anyone can recommend a book to explore this topic, I would LOVE it.

Til then, I am thankful that my ATM card links to my bank account and allows me to spend my Hamiltons without having to carry them all over the place with me.

Monday, November 6, 2006

I Voted

I also trained as a FED this weekend to make sure that the election process runs as smoothly as possible within a county and city of almost a million people.

I am FED #44. That's Federal Election Deputy in layman's terms.

Grant it, I am a passionate person. I definitely have my opinions. But as I drove in my city-rented official deputy mini-van along with the 50+ other FEDS who fanned across the city to stake out their precincts, I had the distinct feeling that there really are folks who want the system to work.

This afternoon, after I got unwoozy from yet ANOTHER bout of food unhappiness, I voted early in the basement of Alameda County. People were in line. I was asked to fill out an absentee ballot form and was given my new ballot which had the arrow connecting. It's FUN to complete the arrow!

Oakland doesn't have too bad of a ballot. Two pages, front and back. Much simpler than the 5 pager, double-sided tome in San Francisco.

I felt a little unsure of the Judges race. Basically you vote yes or no...without having any info on the judges as a cheat sheet on the ballot.

Other than that I had my little crib sheet for the state propositions and other races. It was interesting to see the candidates who don't have a million glossy posters up. There are about 5 candidates running for governor in California, for example. There are 3 candidates for Congressman.

I'm actually jealous of friends and family living in more heated parts of the country. Friends in NY, Mass., Florida, and Virginia have interesting gubanatorial races. Some interesting races in Oregon, Ohio , Washington, and Rhode Island, too.

I may have a lot of opinions, but what I appreciate about this process is that there is a general invitation for ALL to participate. We can vote early. We can have access to accessible voting places and methods. We MUST demand them, however.

The legal requirements are written down so someone doesn't get sued for screwing up...but let's be a little less cynical about it...democracy is meant for ALL the people - the worker who takes my toll when I cross the bridge, the school teacher who is teaching 7th and 8th graders history, the CEO who is deciding to make the business public, the gelato scoop person, the homeless person. As long as we're 18 it is our right.

Get your sticker. Get out there, make your choice and then let's get on the phone and email or whatever and discuss it.

Make Mama Democracy proud.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Bottle of Vomit with French Fries

Just to gross you guys's the bottle of wretch. I found a french fry in it!

My scientific brain is just so excited about how this all works.

It does not gross me out. Other things like war or injustice grosses me out.

My own bile with items floating in it just FASCINATES ME!

Food poisoning is NOT right, however. I do NOT recommend it.

From now on I'll keep it a little more kosher...perhaps only one dead animal per meal I choose to consume them....

P.S. I was balled up in fetal position in my car on Sunday night before Houman rescued me from a continued sense of poisoning returned.... YUCK!

Friday, November 3, 2006

@SS Spigot

K. So I caught up with Christine on Wednesday night. Had a FABULOUS Bacon Cheese Burger and a vanilla shake and fries and onion rings. We caught up. Life was good.

Thursday morning I don't feel so good.

That's when I developed my @SS Spigot.

It was not good.

It was not solid.

I took my charcoal and marveled at how terrible the feeling of knots in one's digestive track can be.

Got myself together. Drank lots of water. Kept on burping up bacon cheeseburger.

Continued to make period visits to the rest room and really appreciated softer grades of tp.

Last night as I drove to my doctor's appointment, I got nauseous...and pulled off the freeway. My stomach wretched and I reached for an empty bottle next to me so as not to spew on myself or my friend's car.

Terrible cramps, wretching, sweating, and I wrapped my lips about the bottle and SPEWED! (Twice.) I do not throw up often. I can count on my hand how many times in my adult life. It's SO weird to lose control of your body. Vomiting is SUCH a violent act for the body to do.

I opened the window to breathe and calmed down. I waited to see if the body wanted to do any more of did not.

I went on to doctor's appointment and settled down in the car before I walked...I felt dizzy.

I leaned into the couch arm as I relayed the week's events.

I took another trip to the bathroom.

False alarm.


Finished the appointment, drove home.

Just as I pulled the car up to the car port...the wretching came back. I didn't have I spit up a little on the drive way. Yuck.

Closed the gate, rushed to get the hell inside, drink more water and wait for oblivion to come.

Sleep came at about 9 pm.

And I woke at 1 am.

I prayed.

And I woke at 4:30 am.

I thought to myself, "This, too, shall pass."

And I woke at 8 am.

Tummy semi-settled. I took my vitamins and showered and bought some coconut juice, aloe vera juice, and headed to work.

No wretching.

Today's been okay.

I thought I had developed lactose intolerance.

Nope, perhaps it was just a bad something.

No more eating like THAT for awhile.

End of @$$ Spigot?


Sol, I found these pictures from when we met up for ice cream whenever that was a few weeks back.

Thanks for being cool peops, always.


Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Election Tactics...

Chris Daly is a supervisor in San Francisco and for some reason his opponents have a decent sense of humor. They have co-opted the Daily Show for their aims...

Election Day shenanigans in San Francisco...gotta love it.