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Friday, October 30, 2009

I love chivalry. When a man opens the door for me or does any number of small niceties to make sure of my well being, a tingle of appreciation runs through me and a smile springs up from the center of myself. Manners seem to be disappearing. I go into a very nice restaurant where I put on a dress for dinner. I notice most people dining in baggy shorts and flip flops. I met a man recently at a film screening and we talked about many things. He felt the lack of style and manners was making women appear cheap. I agree, and men too. Street style might be cool but when did shooting down your neighbor or finding the most disgusting idea you can, and calling that fun, become the norm?

With all "The Secret" touting, yogi headed, spiritual seeking and self-help reading folks watching Oprah, where have the manners gone. Those little things that say, thank you? It's the little things you do each day that add up to your life. For years I have taught people that with food everything counts. You get to be committed to what you want with each bite. What are your habits. Habits of thoughts, habits of actions and habits of being? Being kind and honoring your word is more than sending a card for someones birthday. It is a day to day way of living.

Perhaps if we step up our game and be more for ourselves it can seep out into everything. Start now with yourself. What do you want for your life? How do you want to look and feel about yourself. What is your relationship with food?, your body?, your belongings?, your co-workers?
What would your ideal relationships look like? How could you uplevel every area of your life? It might as simple as treating each with a little more manner.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Plan A

It's 90 degrees F. but it feels like 100 and dry. It's days like today when you know Los Angeles is a dessert. I biked to the post office and then walked down to the ocean where even there it was calm and scorching. The waves lapped up offering only a little relief from the heat. I didn't stay long. I might like to come back tomorrow in a bathing suit with an umbrella to sit under and have a picnic but I have meetings all day and doubt it will happen until a weekend.

There are only a few of those left here by the Pacific Ocean and I intend to make more of the time than I have all of these years. As I dropped the last of my application materials in the post office this morning I felt that tingle of excitement that comes when you know your life is about to change in a big way. I don't have a plan B so plan A better work out well.

It was comical to see the men building the outdoor ice skating rink that has now become a yearly event near the 3rd street promenade in Santa Monica. They are early this year. Perhaps they forgot how it can be blazing just around Holloween, when the rest of the country is preparing for snow. We make snow here and it must be more lucrative to keep the ice cold and let people skate than to wait for cooler temperatures to happen naturally. It does start making everyone think of Holiday time and it's a cheery artifice.

I go home and make a shredded cabbage, apple, carrot, seitan salad that is cooling and satisfying with cold barley tea to sip. I contemplate my options and I only see plan A. I'll be moving soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Over the weekend I pulled out a small book from my shelf that was one of my first introductions to whole foods cuisine. I saw some recipes for jinenjo, the Japanese mountain potato that I recently discovered was also grown by Native Americans. Jinenjo is an odd veggie that not only provides a nice hit of energy, it has a list of health benefits that is long. Everything from helping stomach ulcers and digestive problems to alleviating pain and was even an original source of diosgenin that is now synthetically made for birth control pills.

I love its sweet mild flavor and odd sea foam consistency when grated. You can use it raw as a condiment mixed with soy sauce and ginger or cook it into as many potato sorts of recipes as you like. I hopped on my bike and went to the Japanese market to buy some.

Once home, I grated it, added chopped green onion and fried it up to be solid and crispy on the outside. Yum!

In folk wisdom, the jinenjo is used to increase sexual vitality in men. Experiment and see what you think!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I got home from Bali to find out that 2 cousins and a friend died. Two of cancer and one of old age. Both cancer cases were under 40 years of age. Before I left a dear friend in NY had had 3 friends and relatives die in a span of 3 days. I wonder what the next Oscars, Grammy's, and other award shows are planning, as the entire program could be one long tribute to those entertainers that went with Micheal, Farrah and Patrick this year.

Billions of dollars go into cancer research and drug research and yet it seems people are more unwell than ever.

In Bali people were more connected to their families and Deities. They seemed more connected to each other and their land. I saw little if any sickness and a whole lot of smiling, well looking people and children. They were not over weight nor starving. They were living how people have lived for thousands of years.

I could eat in Bali without any problem. Most of the food seemed to be about the kinds of things I normally eat at home. Fruits, veggies, grains, a little meat, a little bread or crackers, some seasonings. I was surprised at never needing to say no this or no that. I just ordered, ate and enjoyed. I discovered new flavors and generally felt great.

Perhaps a sense of belonging and keeping busy and happy throughout the day is their secret to staying well. I do not know for sure. I do know that one friend who just died never got to do so many of the things she wanted to. She was frustrated and talented and felt she had failed at life in many ways. Her beauty didn't save her. Her goodness didn't save her. I wish for her that she had taken more trips and gone to more auditions.

I loved seeing the small amount of the world I just got to see. What do you want for your life now? Find ways to explore the possibilities and make the most of your days. Let me know what your doing. I'm interested.