Thursday, June 28, 2007

I've been Memed

First and foremost, I'd like to shout out a "Happy Birthday" to the Cattie Meister. I hope she is having a wonderful time in Norwegia.

Okay. Now down to business. I've been Memed. I don't know eight bloggers, so I guess I just have to at least start this and then delve into the blogosphere to see who might play.

Here's the "rules" (like the pirate code, they're more like guidelines):

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Here is my 11 minute list (I know because I'm cooking pasta at the same time, and when the bell goes off, that's it!)

1. I played the door mouse in a PCPA production of Alice in Wonderland when I was 4, going on 5 years old.

2. I like to kick pigeons (in theory. I've never gotten close enough. Those winged rats are adept at avoiding a shoe tip.)

3. I eat almond butter almost every day on La Brea whole wheat.

4. I worked for a weekly newspaper in Moscow, Idaho for 4 months. My most exciting story was about high school teen pregnancy rates, and it caused quite a stir in this Christian potato farmer town.

5. I had a four year musical scholarship to the University of Hawaii, which unfortunately required playing in a PEP band for the UH Basketball team.

6. I hiked to half dome with my family when I was 3 years old.

7. I tapped John Travolta on the shoulder in Solvang in front of the Solvang Pharmacy when I was twelve years old.

8. I was baptized twice while still in my mother's womb. (She helped with a church school).

That's all folks! Beware bloggers, I'm going to find you and MEME you, whoever YOU may be!

Monday, June 25, 2007

My Santa Barbabyan

So a friend who is a second generation astrologist told us that King Ezra will be good with funds. In fact, he's off to an early entrepreneurial start and wants me to sell baby onesies. Of course, I will have to see what the rest of the world (or, at least Santa Barbara) thinks of his design. See Ezra modeling on this blog! Not bad for a 5 month old, eh?

Other babies are, by now, rolling over, enjoying tummy time, breaking teeth and doing a whole host of other things. Ezra just seems to want to play, chill and make cooing and car sounds. The competitive, irrational part of me is getting drawn into the comparison game. Why isn't my little man rolling over yet? But all the books say babies do things when they want to, not when mom and dad, or other books want them to. Ezra's smile and active reaching hands are another buddha baby reminder that all things happen when they are meant to happen.

On his first Summer Solstice Parade, Ezra did manage to stay happy the entire day. Mom even got away to the beer garden. How's that for a five month benchmark? I know I'll get grief for that last sentence!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Developed Nation Guilt

How do you stay positive and upbeat in life AND stay informed about world events? It seems the two are contradictory, yet I know plenty of well-informed, happy people. I imagine that each one of you has a personal philosophy that keeps the news just out of reach of your soul, and that you protect your soul with a special potion of kindness, that radiates out to protect you, sort of like anti-oxidents fighting off free radicals. Speaking in nutritional terms, if we all had a diet of daily news alone, we would be withering in darkness and shame.

My baby teaches me daily about the importance of being in the moment and appreciating all you have. Even when he's upset, it is an honor to hold him and cherish him. I am in this beautiful bubble of love, and I feel the community I live in is an extension of that bubble, somehow protected from the atrocities I read about in the paper. Yes, bad things have happened to me, to my friends, to my family, in my community. We will never be free of sadness and heartbreak, but most everyone I know is in the privileged top 20% of the world population, where food, shelter and a source of income have never been in question.

Perhaps this ramble is about developed nation guilt. Is there such a thing? You know you have it all, and yet you want more, and you feel guilty, because you know how extremely lucky you are already? Yet, compared to those around you, you are considered lower middle class on an economic scale, so you strive for greater things. If this is a disease, I have it.

So, what is the cure? Perhaps living your life to the fullest and accomplishing as much as you can, because you have the privileged position to do so. And giving back.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Big Brother Ventures Out into the world

This is not about an Orwellian world. Rather, about my real flesh and blood big brother. A renewed interest in God led him on a 6 day trip into the rural depths of Haiti where he volunteered at an orphanage with a group of fellow parishioners. This past weekend, I visited him with my cousin in law and we ended up his captive audience for a slide show with over 300 pictures. Images of major urban decay, and the decay of the flesh from aggressive parasites on many beautiful Haitian children and adults they treated flashed up on the screen, along with pictures of children wishing to be adopted. Supposedly, you can adopt these children for $5000 each. You can also pay for one year of education for one child, which includes a hot meal every day for $100 a year. Talk about a different economy.

It wasn't all despair. My brother asked the orphans to dance for the camera. At first reluctant, they moved shyly, slowly. Then, after seeing the instant playback, they morphed into happy children with broad smiles all wiggling and waving. He also taught them how to make a silly batmanesque mask over their eyes using their hands. Directors and orphans alike all posed with this mask, as if it was a local custom.

I asked him if the experience changed him. He didn't really have an answer. He knew the work was hopeless in a way. All those infected with worms would most likely just get reinfected. The poverty is rampant, as is the prevalence of AIDS. Yet, he fell in love with the people, who he described as beautiful and innocent. If they live with hope, then anyone can drum up a dose of hope in their lives.

Way to go big brother.