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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in mel's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, May 9th, 2006
12:38 am
update
after i got the nudge from a friend, i guess i ought to at least update anyone out there who cares; although i thought i already mentioned i was ending this two years ago (or more now, i forget when, it's been so long)........
anyway, i've been gone because it was not my intention to come back to livejournal after i stopped blogging. i had many reasons and excuses........it's been real and it's been fun, but it hasn't been real fun.......
i had some interesting experiences and dialogue with many people from LJ over the year or so i was on this, some good, some bad, to be bluntly honest i cannot remember which outweighed the other.
suffice it to say i decided it was for the best for me to end it.
all good things must come to an end they say and this thing was no exception certainly.
over the time i haven't been on LJ, my life has had some interesting things happen in it, too numerous to mention, suffice it to say to share with with total strangers no longer interests me.......on the other hand it was useful as a tool for writing and self-expression which i realise is part of why so many are on LJ in the first place.
as for networking and actually making any kind of friends (on whatever level), i can't say for anyone else (we're all different) but as far as that goes, it was not successful at all, in fact it was a total failure in terms of using LJ as a tool to connect or network with anyone out there.
at best i got a few really kool, nice comments, at worst i guess i might have made some whacko enemies in cyberspace who seriously just need to get a life, and they know who they are out there. 'nuff said.
if you were on here and wanted to be in my life as a pen-pal, friend, connexion, comrade, brother or whatever, you know who you are and you should have my email address by now, if not and you don't fit those descriptions or categories, i wish you well, and bid you peace.
take care and may you always have light on whatever path you walk on your journey in life. many blessings to you all.
goodbye-
:-)

Current Mood: accomplished
Tuesday, January 11th, 2005
2:59 am
nights in white satin
(spoken)
breathe deep in the gathering gloom
Watch lights fade from every room
Bedsitter people look back and lament
Another day's useless energy's spent
Impassioned lovers wrestle as one
Lonely man cries for love and has none
New mother picks up and suckles her sun
Senior citizens wish they were young
Cold-hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colors from our sight
Red is grey and yellow white
And we decide which is right
And which is an illusion?
- (the moody blues)
Friday, January 7th, 2005
11:48 pm
khristos razhdajetsja
i called heiromonk father symeon in albuquerque today to wish him a very happy nativity as today is christmas day in the julian calendar.
one of the nuns at the skete answered and recognised me.
father was so happy to hear from me.
he's getting up there now, he says he's doing fine although he has a cane now and misses me.
i miss them and him as well.
as i called he had guests at the monastery as usual.....nice to know he's still there and things are going well for them.

afterwards i called mary bagshaw. my old friend from palomar college years ago when i was still a student there and she and mary and i were all in the american indian students club (they accepted me even if i was non-indian/non-native).
she's doing well, still in the same place after all these years, her and sylvia those old rascals.
mary is still at home taking care of her parents now.
last i saw her was at a pow-wow in riverside at sherman indian highschool.
that was a nice surprise.
i told her about the u.c. riverside student pow-wow and how they had bird singers and dancers there like they used to in the old days, but none of the younger generation know how to play the old "peon game" anymore.
she said they didn't know the right people that's all.
in san diego all the local natives still play peon. but if they knew how to sing the old bird songs and do the dances with it, they should also know the old peon.
it's about as traditional in native california culture as you can get, but i know it makes the old people smile to see the old ways being kept.
anyway, i also called sylvia but nobody was home i guess. they will get together at the end of the month and i hope i get to spend some time with them then, i sure need it.

tonight even after talking to father symeon and sylvia, my thoughts are still with prancer and how to deal with it.
i remember him going around in circles for his exercise. so i made it so that when he went around in circles he made a 'parikram' or circumambulation around a statue of Buddha that i had. he would always stop in front of his feet and sniff Buddha.
it made me smile.
this is gonna take some time...
Thursday, January 6th, 2005
3:37 am
suffering
How different religions view the reasons for undeserved human
suffering.
By Ellen Leventry

For centuries people have been asking, "Why, God, why?" when disaster
strikes. And for centuries, religion has been trying to answer the
question
of how a loving or just God could allow humans to endure such
suffering.
While Western traditions strive to teach that God's power and goodness
are,
indeed, compatible with the suffering of innocents, many Eastern faiths
view
undeserved suffering as a result of a cosmic law of moral cause and
effect.
Read on to see what each of the five major world faiths has to say
about why
bad things happen to good people.

Buddhism
According to the first two Noble Truths of Buddhism all of life is
suffering
and suffering is caused by attachments to worldly things. This
attachment,
which can take the form of greed, hatred, and ignorance in this life
and
past lives, can, unless mitigated, return as more suffering (karma).
According to the Dhammapada, "By oneself the evil is done, and it is
oneself
who suffers: by oneself the evil is not done, and by one's Self one
becomes
pure." Suffering caused by disasters is not necessarily punishment from
a
divine being, but rather something that must be transcended by not
clinging
to material objects or relationships. According to Lama Surya Das, bad
things happen to good people "because there are myriad karmic causes
conspiring to bring about any particular event, which then becomes
cause for
other effects to take place."

Christianity
The question of the unjustified suffering of the innocent is at the
heart of
Christianity, which holds that a sinless man (Jesus) suffered and died
for
the sins of humanity. Some Christians see in natural disasters God's
punishment of sinful people or the world as a whole. Others see
catastrophes
as a way a loving God tests the faith and fortitude of survivors.
According
to St. Paul, Christians should rejoice in suffering because it produces
endurance, hope and character (Romans 5:3-5). Still other Christians
see
innocents' suffering as evidence of the inscrutable will of a God who
"works
in mysterious ways" toward an ultimate but unknowable good. Some
Christians
offer no explanation but, like Job, seek to trust in God. In the past,
Roman
Catholic Christians were taught that they should "offer up" pain, with
the
idea that through faith, suffering that seems meaningless can be
redeemed
and transformed. Most Christians believe that innocents who die in
natural
disasters go to heaven. Some Christians believe the deceased must be a
baptized, believing Christian to attain salvation.

The fourth-century saint Augustine says, "God would not allow any evil
to
exist unless out of it he could draw a greater good. This is part of
the
wisdom and goodness of God."

Hinduism
Many Hindus view suffering, including that caused by natural disasters,
as
punishment for misdeeds committed in this lifetime or past lives. Even
a
seemingly innocent person who has not eradicated bad karma from past
lives
through charitable deeds is susceptible to such payback. Individuals'
suffering should be placed in the broader context of a cosmic cycle of
birth, life, destruction and rebirth. Hindus believe victims will be
reincarnated and may be happier in their next life.

Islam
The very word "Islam" means "submission." Many Muslims understand that
to
include suffering--enduring pain or loss is a way of submitting to the
will
of Allah. Some suffering is Satan's doing or is the work of his cohorts
in
the spirit world (the "jinn") and is allowed by Allah as a test of
humility
and faith. Many Muslims believe suffering and adversity strengthen
one's
faith, as pain often leads to repentance and prayer and good deeds. The
Qur'an mentions many incidents of Allah using natural disasters as a
way to
maintain a balance of His natural laws or inflict a punishment on a
population. Even the Prophet Muhammad appealed to Allah for protection
against natural disasters. When the Prophet heard thunder and saw
lightening, he said: "My Lord, do not kill us with Your wrath and do
not
send us to perdition by inflicting suffering on us. Spare us all that,
our
Lord."

Judaism
Sometimes it is believed that suffering is caused by a weakness in
one's
devotion to God. Generally, it is believed that God gave humans free
will to
feel pleasure and pain, and His purpose in allowing deep suffering of
the
innocent must be good even if mysterious. God suffers along with the
sufferer. Many believe that God's sense of justice, and therefore the
reasons for human suffering, are unknowable. To some Jews, knowing why
God
allows suffering is not as important as knowing that God will punish
the
perpetrators. All Jews place high importance on working to help those
in
need; the concept of tikkun olam, or repairing the world, will help
allay
undeserved suffering. Interestingly, suffering is the only issue listed
in
the Talmud that could lead a person to lose faith in God.

Current Mood: sad
Saturday, January 1st, 2005
3:32 am
despedidas y bienvenidos
as my way of saying goodbye (or rather more like "good riddance"....not to quote greenday) - to 2004, i'm blogging one of my faves from abba.

I wonder (Departure)

This park and these houses, old streets I have walked
Everything dear, will it be here
One day when I am returning?
My friends will get married, have children and homes
It sounds so nice, well - planned and wise
Never expecting surprises

I wonder, it's frightening
Leaving now, is that the right thing?
I wonder, it scares me
But who the the hell am I if I don't leave it
I'm not a coward
Oh no, I'll be strong
One chance in a lifetime
Yes I will take it, it can't go wrong

My friends and my family, this dull little town
Buses I've missed, boys that I've kissed
Everything old and familiar

I wonder, it's frightening
Leaving now, is that the right thing?
I wonder, it scares me
But who the the hell am I if I don't leave it
I'm not a coward
Oh no, I'll be strong
One chance in a lifetime
Yes I will take it...
Yes I will take it, it can't go wrong

Current Mood: tired
Friday, December 31st, 2004
12:26 am
no hay mal que por bien no venga....
rebbe taught me an old saying in hebrew which means the same thing basically...."gam zu l'tovah." - from this must also must come good.....there is nothing bad that doesn't come for (the sake of some) good."
reb gershon sent me this forwarded letter concerning the south asian tragedies and tragedy in general.
i find it helpful and understand it...

Was God in This Disaster?

Turning to both Judaism and Buddhism for solace, the author meditates
on
God's role in the tsunami tragedy.

I am trying to connect to this tragedy the best I can. The pictures
help a
little. I see dead children on the floor, a parent weeping. The little
ones
look like they are sleeping; it is unimaginable that they are dead. I
see a
parent holding his dead child. I feel in my body what it is like to
hold...
that weight. To feel the life gone, and the heaviness of a body that
does
not have life. It is different from holding a sleeping child, carrying
a
child to bed for instance. I can feel what this father feels in the
photo,
can reach in my imagination, and in my memory.

But I can't multiply what I feel by 10,000 or 40,000, or even by ten.
We
know more than we can feel. And we respond as best we can, I think.
This is
our situation in a time of instant global communication.

The heart does see from one end of the world to the other, and faster
than
the internet.

I read that when someone witnessed the huge tidal wave approaching the
shore, he thought it was "biblical." The flood story came to his mind,
I
guess, and behind it the old primitive idea of an angry God, destroying
what
he once created. Some people still think this way: everything bad that
happens is a curse or a punishment and has a reason, even if we don't
know
what the reason is. I don't buy it.

The children killed didn't have enough time in this life to deserve
this
death.

This kind of disaster opens difficult prospects for the Western
imagination.
Some would see in it a monstrous demiurge: an all-powerful God who
kills
innocent children. We hear the bitter words in King Lear: "As flies to
wanton boys, are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport." Others,
seeking to justify God to man, will offer the simple idea that whoever
suffers somehow had it coming.

There is a deeper story about suffering in the Talmud. In this story,
Moses
travels to heaven and sees for himself that Rabbi Akiba is the greatest
teacher of Torah. When Moses asks God what Akiba's reward will be, God
shows
him a vision: Akiba tortured by Romans in the marketplace, his flesh
stripped from his body.

Just as it is incomprehensible to us that children, whole families,
whole
islands could be taken up by a wave and drowned, it is incomprehensible
to
Moses that a great and good teacher would be "rewarded" with torture.
When Moses asks why, God answers with a riddle, "It arose in thought."

To our own human notion of justice, "it arose in thought" seems cruel
and
unaccountable. Those who wrote this story must have felt that injustice
keenly. But the starkness of this tale shows a kind of maturity of
vision we
sadly lack in today's religious discourse. God in the story offers no
real
explanation. There is none at the human level that we could understand.
We
stand before it stunned and uncomprehending.

At the level of our feelings of right and wrong, we understand there is
no
explanation for dead children on a beach who were playing and swimming
one
moment and taken away by a huge wave in the next. I can't accept the
answer
suggested by the Buddhist idea of group karma, that whatever happens to
a
group is somehow the result of a previous action of that group, either
in
this life or in a previous life. I don't accept that explanation in
this
case.

I don't believe it because this disaster happened to children. They
didn't
have enough time in this life to deserve this death. And in a previous
life?
No, that is too abstract for me. The explanation that their acts in a
previous life may have warranted this death lacks specificity--and a
number
of deaths so huge already lacks too much specificity. I need to feel
more,
not less.

One time I asked the Dalai Lama how he would respond to a parent who
had
lost a child. And he said--these aren't his exact words--that when you
lose
a child you are constantly thinking of that child in your imagination.
He
called the child a "dear one." And he said, "You must know that your
'dear
one' does not want you to suffer, to feel so much grief." I found this
meditation wholly beautiful.


I don't believe in a God who punishes through disaster. The disaster
is.

He added that for a Buddhist, suffering is in the nature of things, and
so
he would try to remind a Buddhist to reflect on that. But, he said, for
a
Westerner, there would arise the question of meaning. This boils down
to the
question of Job: Why would a just God allow the innocent to suffer? The
question is just as profound for an individual loss as for a mass
disaster:
It doesn't get more profound, just more inescapable.

I don't believe that a mass disaster, in and of itself, tells us
anything
about God. I don't believe in a God who punishes through disaster. The
disaster is. That is exactly the way I would understand it, without
adding
my own interpretation, without supplying a meaning or completing the
sentence. The disaster is. The tragedy is. And I need to abide with it,
and
feel it, instead of seeking an answer, because the answers just make me
complacent and take me away from the children on the beach, and the
father
with the dead child in his arms.

There is no God in the disaster.

I think there is God in the response, in the human hearts of those who
are
feeling and responding to this, the families and neighbors of the
victims,
and the rest of us, the bystanders, and us, too. The whole world is
feeling
it.

I used to think that if something unaccountably bad happened to
someone, it
needed to be compensated by something good. That was my own internal
accounting, my own way of repairing my sense of order, of justice. A
boy
loses his sight, but he becomes a musical genius. A teacher of mine
lost his
mobility to polio, but he gained the ability to be a blessing to
others. One
time I said such things in a public talk, and a woman in a wheelchair
rolled
toward me and said with great seriousness and very slowly, "I would
like you
to consider that a disability meansŠabsolutely nothing."

I heard her and felt how I had glibly covered over my heart with an
easy
reaction.

I love what the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of modern Hasidism, said
when
asked to define equanimity. "If whatever happens you can say, if it's
good
enough for God, who am I to judge? That's equanimity." And he added,
"But
that is a very high rung."

It is a very high rung and I cannot say I am standing on it now, and
rarely
ever. I cannot say that this tsunami is for the good.

It is not for the good, it is not for the bad. It just is.

It is not a blessing, it is not a curse, it just is.

A tectonic plate shifted, and a vast wave spread across the ocean, and
took
with it many lives.

And now another wave is spreading, and it is also vast, and it spreads
through the hearts of those who let themselves feel it.

The disaster is. It happened to a "dear one," someone's "dear one,"
many
dear ones. I open my heart and feel it. The place it touches in me,
touches
God.

NOTE: AMEYN
Thursday, December 23rd, 2004
1:57 pm
errata
i know i don't give a rotten toss for my spelling errors and typos usually, i figure i know what i'm saying, and after all, this is my personal journal, and anyone else reading it, i figure they also know what i'm trying to say, and if they don't, the one's who truly care either way can certainly simply ask me what the hell i was trying to say.
lol
i must correct something that is important though this time, an error that is significant......kieran prather didn't pass away on the 10th of december (i was thinking that i suppose because of my date of birth as well as papa's memorial).
he passed away on the 25th of december, 1994.
that is why the Los Angeles Catholic Worker community chose to commemorate him and make him a significant part of their christmas celebrations this year.
merry christmas catholic workers, merry christmas kieran.
1:00 am
guru puja and christmas party
yesterday i had to come from temecula since i stayed over there the past couple of nights since sunday night.
monday mama had an appointment to see her doctor in san diego, so i didn't want her to be late or miss it altogether, so i decided since it takes me so long to get to temecula from riverside, i'd just stay over the night before...works a lot better.
so anyway, i took her to her doc, and afterwards we stopped by anthony's home in poway, and since she forgot her wallet at home, he decided to come with us to buy flowers for papa and everyone else there we were visiting at the cemetery.
so we stopped by a store to buy them all flowers, nice pointsettias which was what mama wanted to get, and a couple of nice daisy bushes.
so off we went to dearborn, and brought the flowers for them all, cleaned their gravestones and watered the plants and flowers left there for everyone, grandparents, uncle, aunt and father. afterwards i left the little recplica 'stone' crosses i bought for auntie and papa especially since he had no stone yet.
it looked nice.
anyway, i stayed over that night after the long drive, and the next dayi just took mama to the grocery to get some things for her christmas eve supper planned, and then i headed home to riverside so i could check on the critters as well as get ready to drive to west covina (another 40 miles) to the Land of Compassion Buddha for the Guru Puja and tsok feast.
i had plenty of time actually, so i just got some fruits and headed over.
the lama had some tibetan guests there.
i'm guessing his mother, or brother and brother's wife's mother.
i don't know.
i don't speak tibetan other than tashi delek.
hehe....which i greeted them as they came in and they smiled and felt more welcome.
the older lady spoke little or no english i think so i know she appreciates some of the chinese people there and other such as me who can at least greet her with "tashi delek".

the puja seemed to go fast, all recited in tibetan of course, with the few exceptions in sanskrit (tibetanised), as well as those prayers said in chinese or english.
afterwards they gave me some of the fruit and offerings blessed from the tsok (prasadam), and took it home.

tonight aarne and i went to the christmas party at the catholic worker house in LA.
they mostly remember him, and a couple of people kind of remember me from visiting last year although it has been quite some time.
we brought some cookies and went out on the porch to talk with one of the people there about the sad state of things in general, as well as how nice it was just to be able to enjoy to company of other like-minded people (for a change).....more on this later....
12:35 am
length of days
yesterday was the winter solstice (the 21st), today was the first day of the longer days.
not very noticable but according to astronomical calculations for thousands of years, from the time of the winter solstice (the shortest day of the year) the time afterwards are days which lengthen towards the longest day in the year which is the summer solstice.

haven't done too much in the past few days since the weekend of the 12th.
sunday of week before i ended up going to san diego anyway for papa's 40th day memorial feast (even though it was actually on the 10th).
it was the only day m family could reserve a public place for his memorial celebration, and mama really felt obligated to everyone who came to his funeral or those who simply offered sympathy to come and offer their respect one last time by coming together for his 40th day memorial last sunday.

i definitely didn't feel the need to go myself.
i felt like i already did my part and padi my respects and after all it was past his 40th day already, the traditional mourning period (which also used to be for a year traditionally).
....
....but every 12th of december i always celebrate guadalupe day in some way or another.
when i was in seattle i always went to the celebrations, in san diego i always tried to go to the mananitas, or at least pay my respects to the Tonantzin in some way.
this year i didn't want it to be any different.
i do it out of a sense of tradition as well as gratitude; as a form of the traditional 'promesa' that is offered in thanksgiving.
but this year, it was not meant to be, with having to be in temecula so often, and having to deal with a sick pet again, it was not gonna happen.
little Diego, another of my poor pet rats, got sick over the weekend, aarne took him in saturday and they called early morning (or rather tried to and got some wrong number....bizarre details), anyway, they tried to call us and tell us that the poor little ratty died anyway, they could not save him.
it would seem naming him Diego was inauspicious on guadalupe day since after coming from the memorial in san diego that night, we passed by old st mary's church in escondido, and i knew the church would be open to we stopped by to pay our respects, and as i sat there in the pew looking at the brightly decorated shrine to the virgen, i looked up at her face and cried, i was reminded that she loved juan diego, and i though how she must have taken little diego to her that morning as a special mananita.
the thought would be absurd if not ridiculous to pious catholics or mexicans out there, but to me it made perfect sense.
she is formost as Tonantzin to me.
this is what i was taught growing up from the storied we learned in school as a child going to our lady of angels in golden hill. every year we reenacted the story of tepeyac and cuauhtlatohuac (he-who-speaks-like-an-eagle, or "singing eagle").
being the mother of life, all came back to her as they came from her womb.
aunque le hagas reir, la Morenita lloraba conmigo.....

so little Diego, rodent or not, was hers as well as i see it.
Saturday, December 11th, 2004
11:38 pm
love's divine
tomorrow is when my family is having his 40th day memorial commemorated for those who knew him although his 40th was on friday.
the priest finally called me and apologised for not being there friday, i said it was ok, and he asked if we could do it today before he did his vespers service, so i agreed.
i brought the kolyva and he and his deacon intoned the panakhida memorial prayers for the dead.
i stood there with a lit beeswax candle and listened while i thought of papa and everything else going on.
papa was a good man, and in his own way fairly orthodox; i was not like him.
i'm not orthodox at all, and was never a very good christian, jesus i never had a problem with, and to some extent i had some respect for many in the church through history, but through the years i've always felt like i never truly "fit in", like a square peg in a round hole (or vice-versa).
still, papa being a catholic christian who's church no longer officially does memorial services as in the eastern churches, i felt like papa would appreciate that, especially mama.
at some point in the past when those churches were united before the great schism, they had done the custom together, and my family inherited that old tradition long after the church had split and the latin west no longer practised many of those customs which originated from the east.

...it was a difficult sacrifice since another little friend was dying, one of the male rats. he has been ill the past couple of days which i thought was just a small wound from a fight,turns out after what i found out tonight he had mycoplasma pulmonis, an infection which weakens the immune system and sometimes makes them dehydration which is fairly dangerous.
so my brother with whom i argued at length about different things, finally brought him to the emergency clinic while i went to the church to have the priest do his panakhida.
there were no prayers i could say, they were all empty.
i felt that whatever love there was out there left in the universe, whatever healing energy left would come to the little rat and save him.
his name is Diego after the nahuatlaca man to whom Tonantzin appeared to as a Virgin Mary whom the spanish named - guadalupe.
he's in good hands i think regardless of what happens tonight even if i don't think his chances are great.
i can only wait.
Print Seal - Love's Divine Song Lyrics
Mail Seal - Love's Divine Song Lyrics to a friend
Rank Seal - Love's Divine Song Lyrics

Then the rainstorm came, over me
And I felt my spirit break
I had lost all of my, belief you see
And realized my mistake
But time through a prayer, to me
And all around me became still

I need love, love's divine
Please forgive me now I see that I've been blind
Give me love, love is what I need to help me know my name

Through the rainstorm came sanctuary
And I felt my spirit fly
I had found all of my reality
I realize what it takes

'Cause I need love, love's divine
Please forgive me now I see that I've been blind
Give me love, love is what I need to help me know my name

Oh I, don't bet (don't bend), don't break (don't break)
Show me how to live and promise me you won't forsake
'Cause love can help me know my name

Well I try to say there's nothing wrong
But inside I felt me lying all along
But the message here was plain to see
Believe me

'Cause I need love, love's divine
Please forgive me now I see that I've been blind
Give me love, love is what I need to help me know my name

Oh I, don't bet (don't bend), don't break (don't break)
Show me how to live and promise me you won't forsake
'Cause love can help me know my name

Love can help me know my name.

Current Mood: exhausted
Friday, December 10th, 2004
5:47 pm
birth and death
today is the day my mother gave birth to me, and today also marks the 40th day after my father's death.
birthdays and anniversaries, what are they for i wonder.
all a reminder of samsara as i see it.
some say to be thankful to G-d, or life or whatever, i say we are who we are, we simply exist....what meaning you attach to it according to your experiences are yours, there may be those who share similarities but in the end we are alone existentially.
birth-days, i have no idea who originated that custom, i know not all cultures celebtrate them, and the years go by i find the marking of my time on earth less important and more pointless.
the 40th day...hmmm, this is a rather tricky one. i know this custom exists among the eastern orthodox particularly in the middle east, i am not aware of latins, particularly hispanics who celebrate or mark that day as significant, but my family has always kept it, who knows where it comes from.
yes, yes, 40 days is a significant number biblically and symbolically, but i know of no jewish custom of marking the 40th day of someone's death. a one year anniversary, yes, but not the 40th.
who knows, who cares.

the other day i finally passed my drivers license test after taking it a second time, i guess taking the peanuts and perhaps the short invocation to Kokuzo might have helped. who knows. at any rate i suppose this means i may as well stay here in cali for a bit since i feel more like a resident here now having given up my washington state license finally.
lol
i asked the orthodox priest to do a 40th day memorial for my father being that he was a christian (albeit not orthodox), but the good father flaked on me. he said he'd do it, and to remind him this week, i called this week, i assumed he got the message, at any rate, i showed up at the church with the traditional kolyva, and no priest.
plus he's not greek (or an arab) so him being on greek time wouldn't count.
oh well, so much for trying to get something for papa on his 40th.
well papa, i tried. he's still got his mass next week since they couldn't schedule it for today either.
for me personally it doesn't matter as much, except that i'm making an effort (or trying at least) to do it coz my mother and father would want it that way.
but life doesn't always cooperate.
for me, i've already done my own rituals, prayers, or whatever for him.
tha purification prayers, the offerings at the temples and monasteries, etc.
i've done what i could....time to just let it all go, someday soon no doubt, i'll be joining him....
birth, death.....anything beyond that is anyone's guess.

Current Mood: blank
Thursday, October 14th, 2004
5:45 am
chenresig wang
went to land of compassion buddha tonight, got there just in time for offering khatag to the lama...right at the beginning.
was extremely happy to be there, met some interesting people afterwards as well, several who know Lama Zopa and Lama Choden Rinpoche.
the lama giving the empowerment was Lama Khen Tsephel Rinpoche.
wonderful teacher.
hmmmm....lots to say on this.....mind spinning, but need to sleep, tired....more on this later....
Friday, October 1st, 2004
2:38 pm
impermanence
last day today here in los angeles, at least staying here.
officially, i still 'reside' in riverside, but what defines truly living somewhere as opposed to simply visiting?
i mean, most of my belongings and important things i have or need are in my home in riverside, but having been working here in la, and more importantly, doing things here, going to places, talking to people, i've had more of a life here really.
i suppose i could do what other people do which is to simply commute. work in la 9-5 and come home to the 'bedroom' community that the inland empire seems to be for most people these days.
too bad really, but that's life as we know it.
still, i always get a little 'verklempt' or emotional about leaving one place.
they say every new beginning comes from some other end somewhere else.
kinda like in that song "closing time". (liked that song a lot).

that's it, that's exactly it like in the song closing time......"closing time, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here...."
that's the problem now, my life is changing schedule, pace and lifestyle again.
of course this depends on whether or not i choose to stay at matt's in monterey and look for work there rather than stay in riverside.
not too sure yet.
i'm tired of riverside in so many ways i don't need to go into here, if nothing else, i'm tired of the smog and socal congestion....but if nothing else, there is some part of me that still believes there may be a reason for me to still be in riverside or socal in general. maybe there's still something for me to do here, something to learn, someone to benefit (besides my family of course, that goes without saying and hopefully shouldn't change regardless of where i may live or move to).maybe, it's simply not time yet. everything has it's 'ripeness'.
so today matt gets back from monterey and we load up the remaining things at the apartment and hopefully get him up to monterey. i'm still not sure if i'm coming along to help unload and get stuff in his new place up there or if i'm going back to riverside.
either way works for me, i'm good for it.
still, i'm planning to go up there in the coming week (or so anyway) for several reasons, one is the upcoming talk at land of medicine buddha in soquel, and another is to potentially 'scout' out new places potentially to buy a home perhaps and settle?
who knows.
i still don't know at this point which animals are going where.
but i'm very worried about the sick rat with all the tumours, she's not in pain but very uncomfortable right now.
still, neither matt nor i have the heart or balls perhaps to have her put to sleep.
i dunno, it may come to that yet.
in the meantime, i try to make her as comfortable as possible and maybe find a way or easing her pain if not getting rid of the tumours if that's still possible. all i can do is feed her good food, and say prayers, recite mantras for her right now.
i brought my prayer wheel and gau as well as sutras, and a tsa-tsa of tara and a murthi of ganesh to put on her cage, i hope that helps her.

kinda ironic (or appropriate, depending on how you see it) but yesterday i went to the store "thunderbolt" named after indra's vajra symbolising the intense power of compassion; while wendy-rattie was at the vet's and matt called me about how she might not live very long because of her tumors and if we should have her put down.
all i could do was to worry about her and pray...which is why i bought the little nepalese tsa-tsa of green tara hopefully to help her in some way.
time to go.
hope all things work out well.
*om padmosnisha vimale hum phat*
Tuesday, September 28th, 2004
12:11 pm
last week in LA
well, this is moving week for matt, so it's my last week staying here even if i don't really 'officially' live here, i've been living here (on and off) for the past year since i've been working in westwood.
now this chapter is coming to a close.

i've had this nasty cold (that i probably contracted from warren- matt's friend and boss) on the trip down from monterey last week, or possibly from someone in temecula at the parent's home; but most likely i got it from warren....the bastard. kidding.
still i haven't been sick ina while and i do not like it one bit. worst time for it since i've had so much to do.
had it since friday and it's slow but i try not to let it stop me even if i need to rest as much as possible.
sunday i went to the big temple complex in the malibu hills.
i got to the venkateshwara temple as they were halfway through the laksarchana and i got to offer my fruit and receive prasadam as well.
i even ot a picture of venkateshwara from tirupatti as a souvenir of the prayers offered that day.
i know right now my family, matt and myself need all the prayers and blessings we can get regardless of where they come from; but preferably from a place i respect and cherish.

yesterday and today we've been busy packing and trying to get as much stuff finished before we have to load on thursday. still don't know if i'm driving up there since we have two cars plus the moving van (and matt's truck he's towing along) so who knows right now what we're gonna do.
got some herbal formula medicine i took last night with osha in it as well as yerba santa and other things i know and some i don't know.
familiar with most the herbs and their usage and safety, there are a couple i'm not totally familiar or sure about, but i will take less doses and dilute them as much to lessen any potential 'toxic' risks or side effects which are not so likely.
anyway, busy day, gotta get going more on this later.
Saturday, September 25th, 2004
8:02 pm
days go by
time goes by so quickly sometimes, easy to forget these days what day it even is.
tuesday we were in monterey, wednesday drove back, thursday i finally closed my account with the bank, what a relief.
got nothing but 10 bux back with everything i owed them
but who cares at least the stupid account is closed. i'll most likely go with a credit union instead of a bank next time.
matt was broke too, but i had just enough money to gas up the 'spaceship' and decided to drive to temecula with matt coz it was papa's birthday; i didn't wanna miss it.
so off we went broke and hungry, but it was nice. we brought charlie with us. he was a really good doggie and everyone in temecula enjoyed meeting him. mainly cherry and anthony hadn't met charlie yet. they liked him. i'm glad they got a chance to meet charlie before matt moved so they can understand why i was so desperate to get him from the junkyard two years ago when we found him all alone there.
it worked out anyway. mama made some mu-shu rolls for papa's birthday as well as sotanghon (beanthread noodle soup) that was his long life noodles instead of pancit or lo-mien.
we had a good dinner there, they always enjoy seeing matt come over, especially mama; i think she thinks of him as family by now. at least that's the impression i get.
while there, they prayed the rosary since they had the visiting statue of the virgen de fatima there which mama always looks forward to.
i told her they had a big old statue of the virgen de la soledad in the old san carlos mission in monterey that the spanish brought. different from cavite's patroness (la virgen de la soledad de porta-vaga).

anyway, we drove late into riverside, stopped by to check on the kitties, then headed back to la. from temecula it's like 45 miles to riverside, then to la from riverside it's more or less 60-70 miles to matt's place. long night, got home very late, crashed.
next day, matt gets up early, finally gets his check he's been waiting for, then gets things ready to go back up to monterey with al this time.
they left really late plus with traffic they didn't get outta la til after 8 i think.
they got to monterey around 1.30 am i think.
at least today matt tells me he took a look at several places to rent, plus the one he liked and that was really crappy inside as outside and they're asking 1300 a month for that! well, that's the high cost of housing up there.
hopefully he gets the other place real soon, he needs it.
i on the other hand decided to drive to little india in artesia today.
whew, whatta drive.
took me forever to find it. i thought it was off 405, far from it. drove all the way down the 405, then thought i was lost heading down 91 east, so i drove back and then towards the 605, then back to hawthorne, finally asked someone on artesia boulevard if they knew where pioneer was where little india was, turns out i was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. i drove back on the 91, and found it finally after asking again. it sure pays to ask, let me tell ya.
finally got there, and asked at an indian shop if they sold lungis, the sikh merchant told me no but another store sari kiketan does down on pioneer. turns out it was just around the corner. bad parking, but i made it and yes! they sold longis as well as dhotis. so after all this time, i finally bought my first real authentic dhotis. two of 'em, nect time i will buy a longi. would prefer the burmese woven type closer to the malay sarongs and filipino malongs, but the longi after all is where it comes from.
so now whenever there is an event at the hindu or thai temple i can wear a longi or dhoti and feel more at home. it's no big deal to wear western clothes but since i'm not at a western place, and i'm not western i feel more comfortable wearing more traditionally indian or malay like a dhoti/
longi/malong.
i'm glad i found it finally, i will prolly make a trip back again at some point, to buy some more clothes or murthis as well as groceries, although we already have several grocery stores in riverside.
when i'm around indians i usually feel at home (to an extent) coz of the culture and faces that remind me of grandpa's maternal kapampangan ancestors from sumatra; or papa's distant 'bombay' relatives.
i never really knew any of them, but despite what detractors and critics may say about me 'romanticising' cultures that where i did not come from; there is STILL a part of me that is reminded of where they came from despite the long separation and distance in time and cultures.
screw what anyone says, i know my ancestors were beautiful people with rich traditions that are still relevant to my life today; and if i'm just romanticising them or their culture, at least i haven't forgotten them or their stories and traditions whereever that came from.
Sunday, September 19th, 2004
4:09 am
happy ganesh chaturthi
past week has been interesting as i've mentioned with the possible momentary scare about matt's health, as well as the continuing frustration and stress over trying to find a new apartment in monterey for matt as well as potential new home for me and my family (aarne and my critters). so far rather discouraging, but perhaps as they say sometimes, no news is good news. so we'll just have to wait and see.

matt's been gone since thursday.
off he went and drove up to the central coast with warren in his somewhat rickety old spaceship.
sheesh, i hope the thing runs alright.
fingers crossed. x
the main frustration of being here alone to take care of his zoo/ menagerie ....is the fact that i've been overdrawn in my stupid account yet again (w/out realising it), and my bank charged me major amounts of penalty for it.
which is why i never wanted a checking account in the first place, only a savings but stupid b of a wouldn't allow it since i didn't have enough funds to open.
now, even with matt depositing money he owed me on friday before they closed, and aarne also depositing today (sat) they still wouldn't let me take out any money nor use it at any grocery store til monday. so my account is frozen and i'm broke as broke can be.
i was like this close to panhandling today just to get enough cash to get food for the dog, the bunny and other animals yesterday and today.
you don't realise how much things cost and how much a few extra dollars can make a difference sometimes.
i'm sitting in the car counting my coins i found around the apartment andall of a sudden i drop them and lose them in the seats and in the floor of the car so there i am desperately trying to find every last quarter and dime hoping to have enough just to buy what i need for the night.
man.
gives me a real appreciation for people living on the streets living off small change.
one thing for sure....monday morning, my bank of america account is closing. that's it.
the bank of the rich.
they can eat my huaraches......i regretted putting my money with them and now i realise why.
"overdraft protection fee" my huevos........you get a checking account with all the conveniences of visa and all, but don't ever be poor enough or lose a high earning income and have insufficient funds within a week or so, or you're screwed and with no one to blame but yourself.
ah well, live and learn, eh?

anyway, lesson today most definitely from Sri Ganapathi, the remover of obstacles and granter of boons and wisdom.....is that sometimes obstacles are placed there for a reason, for our own good. therein lies the gift of discernment as well as good fortune.
someone needs to look after us sometimes. i know i need it.
but with no money for gas to get home tomorrow, tried every way, but too many 'obstacles'....hehe
so i will try to go to the mandir in malibu to see this famous temple and perhaps an auspicious time since it's the last day of the 10 chaturthi days celebrating the birthday of Ganesh.
*om sri ganeshaya namah*
Friday, September 17th, 2004
10:47 pm
it's been an interesting week in my "so-called" life.
last week i had sort of a scare or a concern that worried me again, not about my health but about someone in my family.....i mean matt.
he's not blood, but i've known him long enough and he knows me and understands me in ways that not everyone in my family does, so he qualifies in my book as more than just a friend.
i've always worry about the health of my loved ones, and having had diabetes in my family that either indirectly or directly caused the life of two family members in the past ten years; of course it's a major concern. when matt told me he had diabetes however i was not that worried since i knew that diet and lifestyle has a lot to do with his having gotten it since he doesn't typically fit all the key risk factors that those of my blood do....including myself as a pre-diabetic.

but last week when he found a mole he's had since he was a child grew disproportionately and change shape and colour; we were both concerned.
tried to see a physician since wednesday, didn't get to one til friday.
we went to ucla medical center since his doctor was too busy, and we went to the emergency room to have it looked it.
took a while to find it and get him in, the whole time i was reciting my mala trying to relax and calm myself; but glad to say when he came out from the visit, the doc and nurses said after looking at it that it seemed harmless, not even a benign anything but a mole simply running outta blood dying and falling off. nothing to be scared of.
still, they told hhim to see his primary care physician and off we went on monday (made the appointment the same afternoon), and saw his doc on monday morning.
again, there i was waiting in the lounge looking at the fishes in the tank and reciting my mala.....when he came out, same results and diagnosis basically, nothing to be too alarmed about.
whew!!
a close one as i see it.
being fair skinned with several freckles and moles, and not taking the best of care for his own health, and his father dying of cancer, we didn't know what to think.
the mind reels and creates its own web of deceit sometimes.
in the end, however little faith i may still have in western a.m.a science and medical practice, i have to put some trust in the diagnosis and prognosis of the docs especially when it seems all is well.
Monday, September 13th, 2004
1:41 pm
bendicho el Dio/baruch Ha-Shem
a rebbe friend of mine sent me some quotes from a book about renewing our lives during this time of renewal and contemplation about the past year and the coming new year.
in the jewish faith and tradition, the high holidays are upon us, the day of atonement- Yom Kippur, and the new year- Rosh Hashanah. it is believed that this is a time when G-d looks on humanity as a whole and inside our hearts.
it is a time we reflect on our lives and what we have done and what we have not done, a time when G-d decides our fate and judges us, it is a time of judgement.
christians believe in a "judgement day".
jews believes judgement day comes every year, and in a way every time we use our free will in deciding out fate and those who are connected to our lives.

rebbe has been a great friend, supportive, understanding and compassionate with a great ear to listen. although he knows i'm not a jew, he accepts me and he knows my great admiration for the jewish tradition (particularly sephardic tradition from where he comes).

i am often inspired by this rich and sacred tradition and tenacious faith. here is one excerpt that makes me contemplate my own life.

<< Try to maintain silence as much as possible and speak only words of
prayer, blessing, love, and compassion to others.
Taking care with speech is a beneficial and powerful spiritual practice
at
any time of the year, but is particularly potent during this month and
on
Rosh Hashanah. This entire month is a time of judgment. As we judge
others,
so we are judged. Be watchful of your words and make an effort not to
speak
badly about other people, particularly on Rosh Hashanah. It is so easy
to be
careless and judgmental in our speech. When we speak badly about
others, our
spiritual energy is actually diminished and the negative inclination,
known
as the yetzer hara, is strengthened. The negativity we project onto
others
returns to us manifold.

Make an effort to be happy, even if you feel sad.
The great rebbe (rabbi) and kabbalist of the nineteenth century Reb
Nachman
of Breslov used to say that it is a great mitzvah (a good deed or
commandment prescribed by the Torah) to always be happy. Being happy
demonstrates our faith in the goodness of God.

This is not an easy mitzvah to do. Being happy does not mean that we
are
always jovial and smiling. It does not mean that we repress our real
feelings and not allow ourselves to be sad when it is appropriate.
Rather,
it means that even when we're sad or heartbroken, we're still in touch
with
this place of inner happiness inside us, for we trust in God.

My rebbe, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, used to encourage us to dance and be
happy
on Rosh Hashanah, for by doing so we demonstrate our trust and faith in
the
goodness of God. And if, God forbid, it were decreed that we were not
going
to live to se the completion of the next year, we could actually change
our
fate by the joy we open up to on Rosh Hashanah. This is true for the
entire
month.>>

challenging words, but with great wisdom.

Bendito el Dio, beraha y salud.....Baruch Ha-SHEM.
Friday, September 3rd, 2004
3:58 pm
vain pursuits
i found this in a vedic indian astrological site called astrogyan:
Suppose the average human life in today's world is not more than 60 years. If you analyse the break-up of activities associated with these 60 years of your life, you can see that it more or less matches with the following:

12 Years in Working

22 Years in Sleeping

04 Years in Routine Travelling

05 Years in Eating

03 Years in Bathing, Dressing etc...

06 Years in Useless Chatting, Gossip

04 Years in Sickness & Illness

Balance ? Only 4 Years
Our only question to one and all is, why should mankind think, be involved in activities that result in sufferings, terror, hatred, fighting, killings etc... in the short span of 4 years left to them. It needs to be utilized in a better way by doing all good things, helping others and thanking God for the opportunity given to us in being a human being... Live and Let Live.

.....and yet, so many do not understand how to "live and let live."
food for thought.
Wednesday, September 1st, 2004
7:46 pm
serendipity, synchronicity, kalachakra, coincidence......
it's been said "coincidence is G-d's way of making a miracle anonymous..."

last night, went out to the grocery store to buy veggies for the bunny and other critters, with everything on my mind lately and everything going on, no other friends anywhere near, and nobody to talk to since matt is out of town, my brother is 70+ miles away, and my the rest of my family is even farther.
i was thinking about getting a veladora to light at the little lourdes shrine nearby as i often do and think about my grandma and auntie (as well as others i miss that have passed)......when all of a sudden this song starts playing at the grocery store on the loud speakers.....gave me goose bumps....and made me smile.

i guess there are those out there somewhere who still listen to me, hear me, maybe know what's going on in life and in my heart.....
i miss my lola, my tita, and everyone else.....but i guess they are still here watching me.
maybe kuan yin, didzang, or my guardian angel told them.
:-)
When you feel all alone
And a loyal friend is hard to find
You’re caught in a one way street
With the monsters in your head
When hopes and dreams are far away and
You feel like you can’t face the day

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I’ll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You’re not alone

And there has always been heartache and pain
And when it’s over you’ll breathe again
You’ll breath again

When you feel all alone
And the world has turned it’s back on you
Give me a moment please
To tame your wild wild heart

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I’ll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You’re not alone
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