Sunday, July 27, 2008

Guest Performance

The Buddha recommended that every person should remember every single day that we are not here forever. It is a guest performance, which can be finished any time. We don't know when; we have no idea. We always think that we may have seventy-five or eighty years, but who knows?

If we remember our vulnerability every single day, our lives will be imbued with the understanding that each moment counts and we will not be so concerned with the future. Now is the time to grow on the spiritual path. If we remember that, we will also have a different relationship to the people around us. They too can die at any moment, and we certainly wouldn't like that to happen at a time when we are not loving towards them.

When we remember that, our practice connects to this moment... We need to act now. We can only watch this one breath, not the next one.

~ Ayya Khema, When the Iron Eagle Flies

Friday, July 25, 2008

I will miss you, my friend

Sally, I will miss you even though I don’t feel you are really gone.

I don’t know what to write; it’s still a shock to think that we’ll never laugh again together. I’ll never hear that cackle that gets me every time.

We were young together. We laughed. We studied. We partied. We fought. We got on each other’s nerves. We took nightclubbing road trips. We ogled UCSB boys. We ate burritos. We cooked Thanksgiving dinner. We explored nude beaches for the very first time. We shopped for used records in Hollywood. Oh l’amour -- broke my heart and now I’m aching for you! We both met serious boyfriends in Summer 1993.

We grew old(er) together… though far apart. I envied you and your husband. But I felt lucky to spend time with you both and know you were my friends.

You told me how much The Living End affected you. You always said, “You only live once, so why not!” You loved me unconditionally -- and for once, from someone, I felt it and believed it. You allowed me to be a crazy queen when around so many others I was and am Mr. Stick-Up-My-Ass. You got me to dance in public in ways I never danced before or since: Don’t Go Wasting Your Testosterone, Spray All Your Love On Me!

Our visits grew infrequent, but whenever I saw you, it was always as if we were roommates in Isla Vista again. We spoke a secret language sometimes, you and I.

Last year I finally told you I was “sick” and I worried that our time together would run out too soon, and it did, only not in the way I imagined and feared.

We talked a few times about me job hunting up there so we could regularly be in each other’s lives again, but I never did. Life happens.

I want to sit on your deck. I want to smoke pot and drink too much wine and I want to be silly in a way I rarely am these days. I want to go down to the Resort and watch the men and have you bring me a mudslide even though I don’t need one.

I want to go driving with you up the highway to the coast in your spectacular yellow car with the top down, because we never did that and I feel cheated, dammit.

I want to stop talking about when you’re going to finally come visit me because it’s been years and we really should take the time and it would be like the old days and you need to get away and I need to show you my new place and we need to relax and be friends again…


And I will miss you forever, but I know you’re listening, and I’ll try to dream of you so that I can say goodbye, because I really believe that we can talk to each other in dreams. You said you dreamed of me only three nights ago: Monday night, the night before you wrote your email to me. And I hope it was a good dream. I know it was. All my dreams of you will be good.

I promise.

Sally, I will miss you. For now.

xoxo - Judy

Friday, July 18, 2008

Buckeye Baby

Ok, ok, this may be turning gradually into a Baby Blog. If I lived in closer proximity to my 14-month-old nephew, it definitely would.

Many many pictures to come from Central NJ and Long Beach Island, but suffice to say for now that I had a great time and I started to feel more determined than ever to start a job hunt back in my native state -- insurance fears, years of service, and defined-contribution plans be damned.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Along the midnight edge by those milk-white combs careering

48 hours, plus ou moins.

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Cherry Clafouti

Yes, I know that doesn't even make sense.

Factory Work in Chişinău is So Uplifting

During an otherwise ordinary weekend, I love discovering the existence of new third-world labor markets! (And so, I'm sure, does Gap, Inc.)

So, have you heard about this book, The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy?

Try. Move on.

From: ---
Sent:Tue 7/08/08 1:25 PM
To: ---

... It was nice getting together for dinner a couple weeks ago. Thanks for making the time. I'll miss you when you move away, doggie.

Just let me know if you feel like getting married while it's still legal in California...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Better than 'Sicko'

OK, my three faithful readers: this is important, y'all. I think the current NPR segments on comparative healthcare (link below) are really worth looking at and listening to. The piece on Germany's healthcare system aired this morning and I was extremely impressed. NPR might have done a better job exploring possible downsides of the German health system, but I really learned a lot from the comparative perspective.

Health care access is an issue that bothers me deeply -- not least of all because I feel literally chained to a job because I'm in "a situation" in which great health insurance coverage is a necessity. It pains me to think of how many people are slipping through the cracks, and I feel lucky, yet resentful that my career choice is dictated almost solely by insurance benefits. I know that sounds like a whine; I just don't believe career fulfillment versus health is a choice people should have to make. But yes, I'm lucky.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Lee Pace Wednesday

I became kind of smitten with this heretofore unknown to me actor when I saw Tarsem Singh's The Fall a few weekends ago. Those eyebrows!

I thought The Fall was visually amazing and the locations swoon-worthy. The story was a little simple, though I'm a sucker for anything involving unrequited feelings, depression, the death of love, and other assorted fun topics. I found the way this was filmed to be much like the fairy tale it depicts and evocative of a short story or fable.

I can't believe Pace played a transsexual in Soldier's Girl, which I guess I'll need to add to the Netflix queue as I've never seen it. He may also be a good reason (along with Amy Adams) to rent Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. Anyway, enjoy.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Religious Homo-Acceptability Quotients

This past weekend, I enjoyed another of several recent summaries the Los Angeles Times has printed of the poll results from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

The details in the above chart of attitudes toward the homo-sexicals (click for very large view) are the type of data I love to pore over. I've highlighted the groups with the highest and lowest acceptance rates. I'm glad to see that Unitarians & Buddhists (I love my people!) are so accepting -- apparently even more so than atheists, which was somewhat surprising. And you've got to hand it to Reform Jews; I'm assuming they know from persecuted minorities! It also surprised me that American Catholics are so accepting. However, for all Il Papa's ranting and venom-spewing, I think the Catholic rep is at odds with how your typical Irish-/Italian-/Polish-/Mexican-Americans actually live their lives.

As for lack of surprises, the religious groups that are least accepting of teh gay? JWs, the Happy Mormons, and Evangelical Christians.

I was also somewhat encouraged by the weekend's news that the Presbyterian General Assembly voted to allow noncelibate singles (e.g., gays) to be ordained. It just shores up my general feeling that while the Evangelical crowd is very scary and hateful, they don't really represent the majority of the "religious" in this country, and not even the majority of Christians. They may be the most visible, vocal, and politically active, but I'm still optimistic that they don't have the power to completely hijack this country.