Saturday, November 24, 2007

Endangered or Not?

How come the fact there are only 1600 Giant Panda's in the wild makes them endangered and the 1545 wolves that now roam Idaho, Montana and Wyoming is making the federal government think about removing them from the endangered species list? In fact they may open up a hunting season on them. Ranchers can already kill a wolf that they feel is a danger to their herd.

Does the fact that you are cute and seem cuddley from a distance make you more endangered and make people want to save you?

If a wolf was cute and did not eat your cattle would that make them more worthy of being saved?

Just a thought.

God Smack Moments

Last nights hugging mania (see previous post) started me thinking about what I call God Smack Moments. No matter what you think "God" is I believe we all have these on occassion. They can be as simple as the beauty of a smile or the agonizing pain of the loss of someone you love. We all have them, we might call them different things, but they are there for all of us. Thanksgiving weekend seems to be the right time to think of my own God Smack Moments. Why? Because whether they filled me with joy or brought me to my knees in agony they help me be me and I am thankful for that. I do have one that I will share with you.

It was my first trip to Paris and my life was a mess. Michael, Dominic, Ann and I were in Notre Dame. I can remember looking up at the stained glass and it just happened. I started to cry, tears running down my face, my shoulders shaking. My friends noticed and they gathered around me, put their arms around me and said nothing. But something in my head told me it would all be alright, things would get better, what was done was done and I would be OK. I truly felt a weight leave my heart, I felt blessed right at that moment.

The moment ended as quickly as it came. My friends let go and continued exploring and I think if you asked them today if they remembered that moment they would not. But, it is a God Smack Moment for me that I will never forget.

Thing Called Love

What redheaded rocker that lives in Marin kicked my beloved while looking for spiritual guidance on Friday night? My beloved expressed an interest in going to the San Ramon ashram of Amma the Hugging Saint this weekend. It seems that we (and said redheaded rocker) and so many others are seeking something. What is it? I am not sure. I just know that neither I nor my beloved has found "it" - we seem to be looking for something to believe in? I am not sure if that is correct, but something to give us comfort, to let us know things will be alright, that there is something out there that is more than "this". I will admit that I went because my beloved wanted to go, not because I had a great interest in going and being hugged by a stranger. The ashram is located in a beautiful spot in the rolling hills of San Ramon. Amma comes twice a year from India to inspire, I think that is what it is. She does not preach, in fact she does very little speaking. She sings, she sits, she laughs, she smiles at the children that come up and sit on the stage and she hugs. Upon arrival my first thought was that in America people seem to become caricatures of what they think they should look like. Women and men draped all in white because that is what Amma wears, rather cultish. Or the ones with every shawl or piece of tie die they own wrapped around their heads or the skinny dreadlocked chicks that appeared to not spend much time on how they looked but in reality seemed quite put together. My cynical self got my little token to be hugged, we were in the very first group since it was our first time, sat in my seat awating the arrival of Amma. People were everywhere (and just because they are looking for spiritual enlightenment does not make them any less rude then people waiting in line anywhere for anything) and I sat there thinking what am I doing here?

Then sometime during the bhajans I had a thought whiz thru my head that perhaps I needed to stop being so judgemental and selfish. Then I took a few minutes to look around, really look around to try and see more than just the caricatures I had been picking out. There was the woman sitting two seats to my left who was crying so hard that she was shaking. Or the small little black woman that looked like she should be at a Baptist church somewhere that knew all the words to all the songs. Or the man sitting on the floor right next to me, his head bowed, his hands clapping and every once in a while he would look up at his wife who was sitting a few people ahead of him and they would smile at each other. My beloved was sitting behind me so I could not see her, I wished I could have watched her.

Then the time came for the hugging. We got on our knees and were guided up the aisle to Amma. First she took my beloved in her arms, held her to her breast, then she took me into her arms. It was quite for a moment. Then she gathered both of us together and said something to us that we could not understand, we were given a rose petal and a hershey kiss and sent on our way. Was I immediately changed or made better in some way like some spoke of. No. Did I feel I had done something nice for my beloved? Yes. Will I go again? Yes, when Amma is not there and the ashram is not so full, we will go back and seek some guidence.

I will admit that there is something there that I want to learn more about. What it is I am not sure. Will it give me the "thing" I seek? I don't know. But there is something about a woman that thinks she can change the world with hug that makes me want to try and find out.

And my favorite moment from this night was not the redheaded rocker, it was not even the hug we had come for, it was something I could not see. During the silences I could hear a little baby hiccuping, that made me smile.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Chief-Matron-Mare-son, Renie and I went to Chinatown yesterday. We had such a fun time. We walked into this store where a husband and wife sold lots of stuff in their little tiny store. We were just being ourselves, to most that is being stupid, to us it is a glue that has kept us friends for lots of years. The husband told us that he could tell we were good friends. That we needed to cherish our friendship and protect it. I do cherish it, I have my pointy hat on and will always wait for you in the garden.

Thank a Veteran.

Most Sunday mornings find me sitting on the couch, drinking far too much coffee and reading the paper. Today is no different, except that in the Parade magazine rather than the usual fluff of celebrity in James Brady's column In Step With was an interview with a young Marine, Corporal James Webb. Mr. Brady is promoting his new book "Why Marines Fight". On this Veteran's Day I find it appropriate that he ask this question. I ask it myself every single day, cause I would really like to know. This weekend is also the 232nd birthday of the Marine Corps, so again an appropriate column. Yesterday I ran into one of my favorite Marine's, Harry. Harry is not your stererotypical Marine we all see in the commercials, the tall, handsome, young man in the great uniform with a sword (official name: Mameluke). Harry is short, a voice that sounds like rocks in a tumbler, a face tanned by the sun from living life in Maui, lined like fine leather, a smile that lights up the room. Harry is also a Vietnam era POW, I don't know the details, not sure if I want to know, but what I do know is that I am grateful he came home and that I met him. So to Harry, the Col. and all the other veterans I know, I thank you.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


The rotation of the world is off. You can feel it, we are hurtling thru space in a skewed orbit. The sun no longer rises in the east, the tides no longer change on any schedule, route 95 no longer runs all the way from Maine to Florida. What has caused this? Pat Robertson has endorsed a thrice married, pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-same sex civil unions. If I was Rudy Giuliani I am not sure I would think this is a good thing.

Popcorn has popped

My beloved told me today that POPCORN (767-2676) is no longer in service. ATT got rid of it in September. I am not usually taken by surprise, but this just threw me for a loop! What? No time lady? What is one to do when the time changes and all the clocks in your house are wrong. Well, I guess you can just look at your cable box, but I sure will miss the time lady. At the height of her fame she was heard around the world about 40 million times a day. 40 million!! I miss her.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Are you ready for some football?

Did Jesus play football? That seems to be the question asked in this picture:

At least this is what I thought this ad said, so I asked my lovely assistant and he said, yes that is what it says. Did Jesus play football? We think so. Pietro Champions League is a football team somewhere south of the border. This of course, got me thinking - trouble. If Jesus did play football, what about those 12 other guys? Rather than spreading the word of Jesus were they just part of the team? Was Jesus the David Beckham of his day? Was Mary his Posh? Gosh why do I even start? Who played goalie? Who was on defense? Offense? Did he play as a child? Did Joseph run up and down the sidelines and scream at the coach?

Leads to so many other thoughts. Did Buddha play on a bowling league? How about Mohommed - baseball? St. Theresa maybe lacross? Do they all play up in heaven? Gives new meaning to the phrase inter-faith league.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tat On Tat Off

I am a lover of tattoos. I have liked them since I was very little. A friend of my Dad's, John Humphry was the first person I knew that had them. He had three little baby faces on his chest, they were his kids. Then he had a hula dancer on his right forearm that he could make dance. Man, I loved him and I loved his tats. It took me ten years to show my mom my first one and I never told her my inspiration until after John was dead, I figured he was safe then. Anyway, I have always made sure that anything I put on my body, I want forever. So I just do not understand this! So first you go on Miami Ink and get a tattoo and then you go to Dr. Tattoff and get rid of it?