Monday, September 08, 2008


I have been asked to write a correction to my Blog entry about our vacation to Los Angeles. In my entry describing our activities at the top of the San Jacinto Mountain in Palm Springs I said the squirrels were slightly obese.

Correction: The squirrels were REALLY obese. They were so fat that there was a group of children who made up a song about one of the squirrels that started with "Fatty Fatso." The photo attached with this blog entry will attest to the thick squirrels we encountered among the pines.

There was a sign posted in clear view about feeding the animals. And, obviously people are illiterate or they just think they are above the law that is the San Jacinto Park Rangers.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Inspiration Born Out of Boredom

I may be in trouble with the Lord for typing this, but seriously...does anyone else expect to go to church and actually hear about the Bible and our duty as Christians? Or, is it just me? Today in church there was a complete lack of message coming from the pulpit. It sounded more like my pastor was doing a commercial for the church. Granted it was Fellowship Fair today (also known as Open House or Please Sign Up for a Committee or Volunteer Opportunity of Some Kind Day), but I didn't realize that meant all signals we were at service had to be thrown out the window.

I will give credit to the pastor that there was a passage from the Bible read to the congregation. It referred to our responsibility to take care of the earth, tying into the theme for the day's activities -- Be Green!

So, as I attempted to stay awake (because Ry and I had stayed up way too late last night), I wrote up an impromptu poem, inspired by the Amen at the end of the sermon, sung beautifully by our choir.


Round melodious sound
Beginning anew and finality of forgiveness

Song, word, prayer in one
Expression of soul, heart and will

A word to say when quiet is too still
And, perhaps there is no need to say more

Namaste, Shalom, Amen

Round, infinite, eternal vibration of deep love, peace and one voice

Post Script: I believe the poem was in part because I am going to help my senior high youth write poems tonight for a Poetry Slam they are doing in a week. I was in that mind set.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Maybe it Wasn't Such a Book of Rubbish

Okay, so maybe the book wasn't total rubbish. It was a great concept that had me inspired and excited to take time to write. But, I did get rather bored with it. Wait...I don't think I have told you the book yet. Have I?

The last book I read was The Post-Birthday World by Lionel Shriver. I was really looking forward to reading it when I purchased it with a gift card in January. I had seen reviews for it in a couple of different places and it sounded like a writer's kind of book.

The concept behind the book is brilliant. It all hinges on one decision and then the book takes two directions from the decision-making point. Every chapter has two versions based on whether she kisses a man or not. Does she taste the fruit and get kicked out of eden (aka her long-term relationship) and is content with the new knowledge of infidelity, her sexuality and being all-around the person she wasn't before? Or, does she behave and do as society would dictate?

I was loving the book through the first half and then began to lose interest in the character's self-absorbed, yet naive, attitude. Not to mention some of the mundane in the book was beginning to wear me out. To be fair to the writer, she has an extraordinary vocabulary and she has a strong grasp for the human condition. She does a wonders expressing the deep-down of her main character/narrator. But, the whole book is told from the first person. I yearned for another voice. I ached for the perspective of the complex characters she introduces me to me.

I finished reading the book while I was on vacation a week ago. And, frankly, I was relieved that it was finally over. I was satisfied with the ending and it wrapped everything up nicely, but I didn't care to meet her character again which is generally a rarity for me when I read books. I can usually find some redeeming quality for a character so that I still want to peek behind their eyes again in the future. But, not this one.

After a week of marination and thought...the book wasn't total rubbish. As a writer, I can now appreciate the fact that the author gave me a perfectly voyeuristic view into the life of a common person. She let me see the struggle, pain, passion, and imperfection that exists in other lives outside of mine. Yes, we know people are generally like us, but sometimes it is hard to remember this when you are trying to get a clear view through our everyday mess, wonder, awe, and just general living.

I am the kind of person who reads a book to get away. I like faraway places. I adore happy endings. I like books that take me away from my everyday stress. This book showed that real life, without firework-creating kisses and violin soundtracks in the background, can be art. It can be inspiration for a book that can fascinate the reader. And, it can be written well.

With that, I have found some additional strength and encouragement to continue writing my book. So, maybe the book wasn't all rubbish. But, it won't keep me from turning it into the bookstore for credit toward another book.

Post Script: Current read is Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri. Love her writing and was fortunate enough to borrow this from a friend.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Ahhh, Vacation.

Why does vacation have to be over so soon? We had a lovely vacation in California, returning the Sunday before Labor Day. Our extra long weekend included:

1. A trip up the mountain on the Palm Springs aerial tram. We walked around at the top and stood in awe of the overfed, slightly obese squirrels.

2. A glorious day and a half on Catalina Island. We stayed at the lovely Old Turner Inn, rented bicycles to ride around Avalon, tried ice cream from Big Olaf's and watched Hancock at the Avalon Casino. The beautiful art deco walls of the theatre with the plush red velvet seats was a treat, especially while we chewed on salt water taffy.

3. A wonderful concert of John Williams conducting the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. Yes, he had the orchestra play the Olympic Fanfare, Indiana Jones, and Superman, but the performance of Star Wars was fantastic! I have never seen so many glowing sticks, errr I mean light sabres, waving around in the air at one time.
Can you tell why we weren't in a hurry to come home?

Other highlights of our weekend included, my best friend's birthday party, Griffith Observatory, Sherman's Delicatessan in Palm Springs, Colorado Avenue in Pasadena, Beard Papa's cream puffs while watching the weirdos on Highland and Hollywood, and roaming the Farmer's Market.

Catalina was wonderful and we certainly didn't want to leave. And, the Hollywood Bowl was spectacular. But, the best part about our visit... holding my little nephew Corron. He is home! I didn't want to put him down.