Wednesday, July 31, 2002

On July 27 a special buddhist teacher passed away while trying to save his drowning daughter, who also did not survive. Kobun Chino Otagawa Roshi was "a lineage holder of the Soto Zen school and a master calligrapher, his influence on our Shambhala community goes back many years. He personally taught oryoki and other forms from the Soto tradition which helped to form and enrich our Shambhala culture. He and his family have been residing at Shambhala Mountain Center and Roshi held the World Wisdom Chair at Naropa University." [1]

This poem was sent in to a list-serv I belong to in response to Roshi's passing. I thought it was a beautiful poem and am taking the liberty of posting it here (without permission).

The Perfect Guest

When we went to meet you, you were already there.
But when we arrived, they said you were just here.

You were the traveler, who had met all our grandfathers.

When we begged you for stories, you played with the sounds of the words.
When we stared, you made kabuki faces till we laughed.
When we showed you a picture, you turned the mirror so we could see.
When we poured you water, you divined a spring.
When we asked you to dinner, you prepared the meal.
When we folded down your bed, you helped us try on your robes.
When we opened your window, you built us a mountain shrine.
When you lit your pipe, the stars sparkled back.
When we knocked on your door, we found you down by the river.

Not remembering, you had endless time for us.
Not knowing, you blessed us with our own wisdom.
Not hesitating, you calmed our fears.
Being helpless, we found the possibilities in each moment.
Being defeated, we learned to rest in solitude.

You were the great joy in a child's life.
The gentle monster, at our side,
The old book that never needed to be opened,
The karmic magician hardly noticed.

We sat silently in your lap and fell peacefully awake.
Now you float eternally in our hearts.

— Chris Magnus

[1] David Brown

the snake, the engine, and the roadtrip

jen (aka b.n.e., best neighbor ever) and ryan went on a roadtrip. they took six weeks to meander across the states and hit the sites. at the apex they saw both jeff and reb in mass as well as the bean queen, raelene, in new york city. they got back last night and today jen unraveled one of the stories they picked up on the way.

while in oregon they spent a night in a campground next to a man and a woman who were camping with cats. "the cats are nothing," the man said, "you should see the 10-foot boa constrictor we have with us." they didn't see the snake and the next morning the man and woman were gone, on their way to their next destination. and i'm sure as jen and ry got on the road they never thought they would think of that strange meeting again.

that was until two days later.

they were in olympia, washington after two days of traveling and meandering. jen had just left a restroom and ryan was just heading into one. jen walked back to the truck and as she passed the hood, something caught the corner of her eye.

"snake! snake!" she yelled and she ran to the restroom and began to bang on the door to get ryan. all the comotion also summoned a few onlookers who came to see if they could help.

sure enough, there was a snake's head peering out at them from underneath the car. sure enough the entire 10-foot boa constrictor had wrapped its body around the engine of the car. sure enough -- or as the sweet luck of serendipity would have it -- one of the onlookers was a snake-lover. he volunteered to remove the big boa and happily began to do so.

luckily jen had her camera handy.

one: snake peering out from the truck's underbelly
two: snake wrapped around the engine
three: snake lover pulling snake out from the truck
four: snake fully out

needless to say, snake-lover guy has a new slithering friend.


given, i have been sick. and when you are sick you tend to be a bit more sensitive to everything. i've been snappy and sad. easily provoked. and just generally feeling like shit. somewhere around eight o'clock last night the fog began to lift. i don't know if it was the virus finally easing up, or a good 30-minute car ride with kristin where i could just pour out my heart on all the things that have just been piling up around me. i'm usually not one of those girls that needs to talk through my problems, but i think i am learning that doing so really helps and might be a shortcut to emotional health, if not just plain lighter shoulders.

i learned another lesson too. a lesson about confronting -- or is it releasing? without going into details here, i found myself amazingly, heatedly, irrationally, maddeningly jealous two nights ago. i don't find myself jealous very often. and this was not a love-possessive thing. this was about my housemate going to visit my s.x.b.f (the s is for stupid not scottish) in scotland in a few weeks and a few other things having to do with said sxbf and his contact with my friends and my inability (out of respect) to not contact him. (does this make any sense?). anyway -- man, without acting any of it out -- i felt consumed with jealousy about this upcoming trip. consumed with jealousy and minimized by feeling 100% left-out. left-out is not an emotion i deal with very well.

anyhow, (I have now officially joined the land of the confessional bloggers), i finally just wrote him an email and explained it all. told him how crappy i was feeling. telling him that not being friends was tearing me up inside. and ... i haven't heard back. and... it might not matter if i hear back or not or even if he even reads it or not. i wonder if anything i might send to him is simply filtered into his delete box anyway. it doesn't matter. i was able to get it off my chest. get it out there. and this helped like nothing i had anticipated. weight of the world lifted. jealousy gone. frustration gone. anger gone. bad feelings gone. amazing healing elixir found.


i went home for lunch today. grabbed a sandwich and the l.a. times. read a few paragraphs here and there in different sections. but by the time i started perusing the section with the article on manzanar i found a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. life is filled with so much heartache and pain and trouble and yet people prevail and triumph. in a blog where you don't spend much time cultivating a thought, much less editing your thoughts, it's hard to convey this feeling. but it stung in my eyes and it contracted in my throat and i felt overcome by... the meanness and the fear and the courage and the heart of the human spirit. and in the end i think courage and heart trump meanness and fear.

cheesy squeezy overheard

rem: what, are you afraid of the firemarshall or something? then why are you dressed as such a little hotty?
marya: that is such an overheard.
rem: do NOT credit me.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002


jaxon: good morning marya. mar. mar-mar. maria. mary. mariah. marya. russian snowflake. spanish flower.


we'll be moving the office around at the end of the week and i'll end my year-long spree of sitting near jaxon. and i'll miss his little daily quips. i guess i'll have to break it to him pretty soon that i'm not russian. ;)

Monday, July 29, 2002

Two Cheers for Democracy

"I believe in aristocracy, though-if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others as well as for themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but the power to endure, and they can take a joke."

— E.M. Forester

Friday, July 26, 2002

The Song of Impermanence

Kye ma, the dharmas of samsara are futile.
Impermanent, impermanent, they are futile.
Changing and changing, they are futile.
Uncertain, uncertain, they are futile.

When there is land but no owner, it is futile.
An owner, but no land is futile.
Even land and owner together are futile.
The dharmas of samsara are futile.

When there is father but no son, it is futile.
A son but no father is futile.
Even son and father together are futile.
The dharmas of samsara are futile.

When there is father but no mother, it is futile.
A mother but no father is futile.
Even a mother and father together are futile.
The dharmas of samsara are futile.

Even father, mother, and son, all three together are futile.
The dharmas of samsara are futile.

When there is man but no wealth, it is futile.
Wealth but no man is futile.
Even man and wealth together are futile.
Even happiness and prosperity together are futile.
The dharmas of samsara are futile.

Whatever one does brings suffering and is futile.
Whatever one thinks is impermanent and futile.
Whatever one achieves is illusory and futile.
Even if one has it all, it is futile.
The dharmas of samsara are futile.

Since this is the nature of futility,
Let us yoginis now accomplish
The esssential truth: well, then!
Vajradhara, whose essence is Akshobhya,
Grant your blessings so that this lowly one may keep to retreat.

i read this story in today's l.a. times about a woman who won the badwater ultramarathon, a 135-mile race in temperatures that reached 123 degrees. she won 5 hours ahead of her next competitor! this is including both men and women.

she finished in 27 hours and 56 minutes.

she started the race at 104 pounds and ended the race at 98... but that doesn't sound that bad to me, considering the exertion and the heat.

this race started in death valley (near death valley?) and ended some 8000 miles up mount whitney. check out the pictures.

(if you can't get to the story, for whatever reason, do a google search for "pam reed" and "badwater ultramarathon.")

two poems by thich nhat hanh

For Warmth

I hold my face in two hands.
No, I'm not crying.
I hold my face in two hands
to keep the loneliness warm --
two hands protecting,
two hands nourishing,
two hands preventing
my soul from leaving me
in anger.

(his note: this was written after i heard about the bombing of Ben Tre and the comment made by an American military man, "We had to destroy the town in order to save it.")


Promise me,
promise me this day,
promise me now,
while the sun is overhead
exactly at the zenith,
promise me:

Even as they
strike you down
with a mountain of hatred and violence;
even as they step on you and crush you like a worm,
even as they dismember and disembowel you,
remember, brother,
man in not your enemy.

The only thing worthy of you is compassion --
invincible, limitless, unconditional.
Hatred will never let you face
the beast in man.

One day, when you face this beast alone,
with your courage intact, your eyes kind,
(even as no one sees them),
out of your smile
will bloom a flower.
And those who love you
will behold you
across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying.

Alone again,
I will go on with bent head,
knowing that love has become eternal.
On the long, rough road,
the sun and the moon
will continue to shine.

(his note: i wrote this poem in 1965 especially for the young people in the School of Youth for Social Service, who risked their lives every day during the war, recommending them to prepare to die without hatred.)

not sick, just detoxifying

jamie says her friend never gets sick. instead, she is "detoxifying." the belief being that being sick is a way for our bodies to detoxify. this makes a lot of sense to me, as i've been doing a lot of healthy things — mind-body-soul — this year. and i've been sick a lot. a lot a lot a lot. funny thing, too, when you think of it as detoxifying, your attitude about being "sick" kind of changes. i felt myself wanting to support this — in other words, it made me want to drink more water, eat healthier food, rest more etc etc etc. right now sprouts sound good.

meanwhile i'm at work and my head is killing me. sinus pain. yuck. and i wonder — why am i sharing this on this ridiculous blog. heh. because it's there?

mld put up a [dw] blog. check it if you are interested... wonder how that will evolve. soon to come, blogs from deAnna and kate du nord.

— marya (queen of the em-dash; leader of the emdot)

Thursday, July 25, 2002

today's promotion of ongoing stereotypes

New Delhi, India — Hinjew leaders today conceded the merger of Hinduism and Judaism has not worked out as planned, as instead of forming a super-religion to fight off the common Islamic enemy, they have instead created a race of 900 million people who, no matter how many times they are reincarnated, can never please their mothers.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

book crossing

i first heard about while reading the latest issue of the utne reader. then, last saturday (sunday?) the l.a. times had an article about it as well. today, i looked up the web site and now i'm wondering which one of these puppies that faithfully line my bookshelves am i going to set free. it was fun to look up where i live to see what books have already been set free (sadly, most of them were danielle steel novels). i'm thinking barrel fever by david sedaris, as i have two copies. or maybe an old calvin and hobbes collection. it would be good to leave something that would make someone chuckle.

carsten (if you are still checking in) i think you should do this in berlin. and nigel, you should do it in england. my stupid exbf could do it in edinburgh, but we aren't speaking and that is really starting to piss me off. but it would be cool if he did it too as he does have pretty good taste in reading material.

what? sick again

yeah. i've been sick again. i'm trying to will myself back to health. and tonight i finally feel a little better. the good news is that all that resting time let me finish the road less traveled which i've had forever. but have never read past that part about delaying gratification. great book, though he lost me a bit in the fourth section. the first two sections were definitely the best.

last night we watched hedwig and the angry inch, which is the movie moulin rouge wished it could have been. it's brilliant. that's one of those movies though that you need to see on the big screen atleast once. big and loud are good qualities to add for your viewing pleasure.

other than that my days have just been popping sudafed and my nights have been drinking nyquil. sigh. i remember when i was all high-and-mighty and would never take otc drugs. welp. those days are over.

i'm bummed that i'm missing out on the bishop's peak kick butt boot camp, though. it's been going on without me.

and now that i'm done reading the road less traveled it's back to bell hooks all about love: new revisions. she's my new hero.

Monday, July 22, 2002

notes from down undah

rebel and jeffrey have made it to australia. and with inferred permission [insert grin], i am putting them up for all to read. for those not in the know, R.B. stands for Rat Bastard which stands for "I love you."

[note to reb: thank you for the great email. i wish -- quite seriously -- that we were all traveling with you. you two are missed right now down to the core. i think it is only just now hitting us that you are not on a month-long vacation and coming back soon. kisses and polenta pucks, m.]

Friday, July 19 : Guess Where We Are
Okay all you little R.B.'s out there!

First, I would like to apologize to all of you for this group email thing. It is the most efficient way right now though. Second, if I have left anyone off the list that needs to be, please let me know.

We have just arrived in Sydney Australia today, 6am on the 20th of July to be exact. We lost the 19th as we crossed the international date line, we ceased to exist! The good side is that we will get two of the same dates going back, flashback to "Groundhog Day". Anyways, the flight was unbelievable just because it took six hours to cross the states, Boston to San Francisco, and another fourteen to get to Australia. The later of which was in complete darkness the entire way! We got a total of six shitty movies to watch and I was served a vegan meal which I like to call polenta pucks in pita bread, that was a little alliteration for all you smarty pants out there! (Did I spell that right? Operating on very little sleep here)

So we showed up in Sydney and were really surprised by how small the airport seemed. Podunk was what I believe my buddy Jeffrey called it! From there we took a train to Kirribilli where we had a hotel reserved. We were at home immediatly as there was a personal note with a key for our room hanging on the door of the hotel welcoming us to Sydney. The owner of the hotel, Mary, is probably going to be our mother figure for the following week, she is so great! We had a liesurly breakfast this morning and I already tried "Vegemite" which seems to be a very dense yeast mixture, it spreads like nutello and is a nasty brown color, I decided I needed to develop a taste for it because it is such a big local thing but I haven't had something so icky in a long time, flashback to polenta pucks in pita! (insert Wayne's World fuzz out)

We have been hiking around Sydney since then, it feels like it should be around 9pm now but a glance to the clock tells me that it is only nearing 3pm. Rebbie is tuckered. We have already hiked from Kirribilli, which looks across the bay to the Sydney Opera House, accross the gigantic Harbour Bridge into downtown Sydney. Through a beautiful Saturday market selling Aborigine art and photos, blown glass, roasted corn, amazing furniture made from local woods, and all the while the market reaks of yummy spices from a local vender selling whole spices.

From there we hiked to the Sydney Opera House, just a hike around though, we will try to take a tour inside in a few days. Then off to the Botanical Gardens. We actually skirted the gardens too, I think we are waiting to really be able to appreciate it after some sleep. I think we are starting to understand the layout of the city now, a lot less intimidating than the maps try to lead us to believe. Sydney seems rather smaller than we imagined. And this pleases me. I love the architecture this far. Such and eclectic mix of times and styles. Its quite yummy.

Other than that... Rebel got hungry and her pal Jeffrey desperatley grabbed for the guide book for the first time yet and led her to an amazing vegetarian chinese kitchen. First Australian food experience bad, second excellent. We are 0 for 0 folks. Looks like the little veggie will fare pretty good overall (even without the bowls of grass her pops likes to mow for her!)

Now it is time to rastle up my pal and make him take me back to the hotel so we can get some sleep. A couple of personal notes first though... Thank you all you stabbies for the icing on the cake of my California experience. It makes me start crying every time I think of that send off you gave us and all the beautiful things we have shared in the past three years. (Keep it short and sweet Rebbie!) The only way I could have really shown you all just how much you mean to me is if I tore my heart from my chest and threw it on the table for you all that evening. I love you all. To my east coast family...I miss you already. Jordan with your little yellow blanky stuffed in your mouth. Splashing with Austin the wet little seal in the water. I will see you very, very soon. Momma, Papa, my beautiful sissies, I love you. Jen try to keep those crazy pimentos away from Missy...Shawn your on my "Big S" list because Jeffrey threw your sweet little "Turner's Trash" comment at me today and he still hasn't changed out of those Massachusetts fireman shirts yet!

Now I go because I am leaking love goes out to all of you...

Rebecca Leigh (A.K.A. Rat Bastard)

Sunday, July 21 : G'day
Hey there my beauties!

We are on day three of our travels here in Sydney. It is a lovely place. Jeffrey has always said that I would never survive in a city because I am always smiling and striking up conversations with strangers...this is the city for me! People here are wonderful. They look you right in the eye, offer help without being asked and are very genuine when asking how you are, and they never have something more interesting to look at as they pass you on the street. I love it.

So, day two of our travels took us into Darling Harbour after a leisurely breakfast and yummy soy lattes. We must be putting about 7 or 8 hiking miles on a day. First stop, was the Sydney aquarium. They have an exhibit on the Great Barrier Reef, it was lovely being able to touch and see all the corals, fish and jellies. Touch the corals, see the fish and jellies (please remember that everything here will kill you!) Especially the Moon Jelly which was lit with what appeared to be some kind of black light making the jellies seem eerily irridescent as they floated through the water. My favorite part, however, the sharks. You could walk through this glass tunnel, and it felt like you were in the ocean with all these menacing creatures around you. Sharks, Rays, Turtles, and these huge glass sucking creatures (can't recall what they were). It was amazing to be able to watch every inch of a monstrous shark as it cruised overhead.

After that we had some lunch and Jeff harassed a bunch of seagulls that were begging bites. Then off to meet a pal I used to work with in California, Jamie, who is also here in Sydney. We spent the better part of the afternoon listening to schwanky jazz and sipping local brews on the harbour outside of the Sydney Opera House, and what a sunset! We were told to stay out of the Harbour because it is full of sharks and that makes me wonder about the people I see kyaking in it in the mornings. I am watching very closely but haven't seen anyone go down yet!

Today hasn't been much more exciting than chore day as we are opening accounts and contacting EDAW for work, though we did have a rather pretty Ferry ride through the harbour this morning, still looking for shark fins!

So, I will leave you for now with a couple of interesting observations I have made here. Well, interesting for me (and probably my pal Marya, because she will want to put these on her beautiful website as keepers!), but then again I am my biggest fan! We noticed a car named the ka2, that makes it the ka-ka car, can't imagine that it is a very big seller. Secondly, I saw my favorite billboard, it stated..."California has issued six driving licenses to people named Jesus Christ". I don't really know what it was in reference to and honestly don't care, it's just funny!

And then....I love you all very much and hope these letters aren't going to be too much of a clog to your inboxes because they will be coming on a regular basis...and no you can't unsubscribe!

My love you all of you, Rebecca

P.s. thanks for the lovely responses, we love to hear how you are all doing on your side of the world, you know who you are!

Sunday, July 21, 2002

a fabulous 24 hours

cholla (pronounced choy-yah -- which is a type of mean little cactus plant that grows in the arid arizona and does not at all represent our wonderful and giving friend and co-op mate) is moving to phoenix. and friday she turned 50. so the house has had july 20 marked on the calendar as a party day for a few months. she decided early spring not to make the eastern move until after her birthday so that she could be surrounded by friends and loved ones.

so saturday (the day after her birthday and the actual birthday of current co-op mate michael) finally rolled around and we did our part to clean the house and take the tables outside to line them up for a big feast. out came the christmas lights and the candles and the old-converted-stand-alone fireplace we use for outdoor parties. and in came former housemates from outta town. and friends. and then more and more friends. some with tri-tip to cook up and cakes to eat and bottles and bottles of wine.

it was one of those surprising events that blossomed into both an old-friend reunion and a new friend introduction. interesting happy people, great food, perfect weather etc etc etc.

and finally we got that geggy tah house concert that i mentioned last summer. tommy (who is the tah) and two friends (one in gt, the other not), quietly set up their microphones and seats. and somewhere around 11:30 we got a very intimate and sweet living room show. it started with them coming into the living room via a very long hallway, unbeknownst to us. slowly we began to hear the horns and the makeshift drums (a steve austin 6 million dollar man metal lunch box and an "elite" plastic playmate). this segued into the guys taking their seats (tommy's seat was an upended, opened, old-style suitcase attached to kick pedals of a drum kit -- so he sat on the suitcase and used it as a drum at the same time) and the songs beginning.

they played new stuff, using us as a practice hall. at one point they asked for poems or bits and peices of writing we had done that they would turn into a song on the spot, so i offered up a verse i'd written while my grandmother was so very sick a few weeks ago.

it was great and it lasted for hours. and intimate. we were all so close to each other and tommy would just look at you for almost entire songs while he sang. billy and lewis played almost the whole time with their eyes shut. and there were stories between the songs and we even had a heckler (that would by a wee bit past sobriety miss maya, practicing her version of beligerant and onery (sp?) and then flashing the smile that commands forgiveness, all in a mere one-second time frame).

the house (audience) was transfixed. we soaked it up. we pinched ourselves. we laughed at the stories. we made tea when theirs ran out. we dimmed lights. we shouted out requests. and we memorized the mood and the sound and the allaroundness of it for our inner memory scrap books.

this morning tommy was still here as were the former housemates and friendsweethearts. we talked in the den for more and more hours, almost missing breakfast. not minding missing the paper. sipping coffee and chatting about everything from heather's brush with ickyness while living in new zealand (scary stalker stories) to jan's new life in tajikistan to custom-designed swimming pools to living in italy to favorite books and movies and the other whatnots of the house. slowly around noon we meandered to the park to watch ryan practice capoeira then to the palm for a matinee of lovely and amazing.

overall a fabulous twenty-four hours.

plus i got some song writing tips from tommy (make sure your songs have hips, which i may explain later). i did get to play one of my songs with tommy, and played two others while on the deck before the livingroom concert began. and ryan busted out his beedybow (how do you spell that? brazilian one-string instrument you play with a finger and a rock) for an impromptu capoeira call and repeat.

now the house is napping and later we will venture for sushi to see if we can prolong the magic just a few more hours.

Thursday, July 18, 2002

today is the birthday of hunter s. thompson and nelson mandela.

i know this because i was a little late for work this morning, so writer's almanac was on as i sped off to work. i love the writer's almanac and i think garrison keiler is pretty great, too.

the poem today put a lump in my throat. which is kind of a nice way to start the day: a little tender and a little more open. here it is:

No Longer A Teenager

my daughter, who turns twenty tomorrow,
has become truly independent.
she doesn't need her father to help her
deal with the bureaucracies of schools,
hmo's, insurance, the dmv.
she is quite capable of handling
landlords, bosses, and auto repair shops.
also boyfriends and roommates.
and her mother.

frankly it's been a big relief.
the teenage years were often stressful.
sometimes, though, i feel a little useless.

but when she drove down from northern California
to visit us for a couple of days,
she came through the door with the

biggest, warmest hug in the world for me.
and when we all went out for lunch,
she said, affecting a little girl's voice,
"i'm going to sit next to my daddy,"
and she did, and slid over close to me
so i could put my arm around her shoulder
until the food arrived.

i've been keeping busy since she's been gone,
mainly with my teaching and writing,
a little travel connected with both,
but i realized now how long it had been
since i had felt deep emotion.

when she left i said, simply,
"i love you,"
and she replied, quietly,
"i love you too."
you know it isn't always easy for
a twenty-year-old to say that;
it isn't always easy for a father.

literature and opera are full of
characters who die for love:
i stay alive for her.

— Gerald Locklin from The Life Force Poems (Water Row Press).

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

feminism defined... for macker

imagine living in a world where there is no domination, where females and males are not alike or even always equal, but where a vision of mutuality is the ethos shaping our interaction. imagine living in a world where we can all be who we are, a world of peace and possibility.....

"Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. This was a definintion of feminism I offered in Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center more than 10 years ago. ...

"I liked this definition because it did not imply that men were the enemy. By naming sexism as the problem it went directly to the heart of the matter.

"Practically, it is a definition which implies that all sexist thinking and action is the problem, whether those who perpetrate it are female or male, child or adult. ...

"As all advocates of feminist politics know, most people do not understand sexism, or if they do, they think it is not a problem.

"Masses of people think that feminism is always and only about women seeking to be equal to men. And a huge majority of these folks think feminism is anti-male.

"Their misunderstanding of feminist politics reflects the reality that most people learn about feminism from patriarchal mass media."

-- bell hooks, feminism is for everybody (my paragraph breaks -- for emphasis).

1. i can't help but read this stuff and think of macker. a.) i think he is a feminist at heart. (smile); b.) i think he doesn't understand the real goals and meaning and history of feminism; c.) i truly believe that these ideas (of equality) frighten so many people in such a way that they don't even understand that they are frightened. they act out ... but might not even understand that they are acting out. so we have people labeling all feminists as man haters. but in my experience this couldn't be further than the truth.

bishop's peak kick butt boot camp

silhouettes. this one is very much what it was like this morning.
typical pre-sunset view. what you'll usually see.
panorama one.
panorama two.

this morning, diana, heather and i trudged up bishop's with more energy than yesterday. the early morning saps some of our energy. but going up through the dense damp fog was all worth it. at the top we were suddenly above the fog, an island. the rooftop of san luis. the sun was still coming up and was a bit on the same level as the fog bank. this created a fantastic circular rainbow across the fog top. it was gorgeous.

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

overheards and working out

so tonight was my first appointment with my personal trainer. my first personal training appointment ever. and it was much more fun than i expected. i don't know what i expected, really. but i learned a lot — from technique and new exercises to figuring it out that working out at the gym can actually be fun. i've been a cardio girl all my life. have belonged to this gym for four or five years. and haven't ever really worked out with weights there. and it was fun.

about three quarters of the ways into the work out and in the middle of working out the upperbody...

personal trainer, becca: okay. have you ever done a skull crusher?
marya: no. um. wait... is that a mixed drink?


my personal trainer was great and i'm not just saying that cuz she is my little sister, rebecca ann. i was really impressed. we had a good time and i got a good workout. and that's saying a lot because number one, i can be a little critical. and number two, i was exhausted. i'd climbed bishops last night when i got off of work and then first thing this morning. worked all day. hadn't had dinner. just plum tuckered.

but by the end of the session i was happy. and it was good to have sister time and a good work out simultaneously.

and about the bishop's double duty stint. that was really unplanned and unusual. after work yesterday diana, heather and i went to hike it and were just marvelling at what a great hike it was — fun and beautiful. and good to be in each other's company. yadda yadda yadda. and some how that turned into our Bishop's Peak Kick Butt Boot Camp. We're going to hike it every morning for 21 days. And that was starting the next day. So we did it. And lemme just say... it was easy last night and pretty damn painful this morning. Ai-yi-yi.

But I had a great day all around. So I'm gonna head off tomorrow morning too.

Meanwhile you can look at two different panorama views of Bishops — an ancient volcanic core and my favorite of the seven sisters.

nigerian women win

Women protestors

good news: the nigerian women who had taken over the Chevron Nigeria terminal eight days ago demanding employment for their families and investment in the local community, have won. i love this story. triumph of the people against Big Business. triumph of third-world nation over the overbearing states. triumph of culture over boring blase watered down beige business mores. triumph of spirit over greed.

Monday, July 15, 2002


marya: wow. did you know that 10% of the people of South Africa are HIV positive?
jaxon: that's really bad. they should do something about that.
marya: they are; they're creating a new muppet.

hmmm... well that's sure to make a few conservatives upset, hiv positive muppets leading to premarital sex and all. seems to think there's a new teletubby in the works as well:
"In somewhat loosely related news, the creators of the Teletubbies are planning on introducing a new character to the wildly popular toddler program next season, tentatively named Zonk, who will allegedly be a mullato lesbian dwarf quadriplegic encephalitic autistic scoliotic genius waterskiing dentally challenged philatelist with multiple STDs and a wandering eye."


and on a not related other note, i've been incredibly grumpy since returning from my 9-day meditation retreat. i can't explain it. but people's speech -- meaning sarcasm or even their opinions -- is sending me over the edge. i don't get it. usually i'm pretty easy going. but everything's been bugging me for about a week now. i think i used up all my love and compassion while on the gomden. damn. i even got into a semi-argument with a friend at Music in the Plaza. he was stating this ... maybe sometimes mostly true ... stereotype. but his tone came off as very condescending and patronizing in a very innocent way. he probably didn't realize that he was conveying either of those things...

he said that it is impossible to empathize with parents unless you are one yourself. i disagree. i mean, probably most of the time that could be true. but to say that no one could empathize without being a parent seemd like a very limited view. then he went on to explain the difference between empahty and sympathy to me. i'm not sure which insulted me more -- the english lesson or being so pigeonholed.


Thursday, July 11, 2002


pat sent in a cool photography link from norway. great pictures. i was going to use one of the postcards as my wallpaper. i found three or four i really liked and asked jaxon's opinion. i'm not sure if i've mentioned before, but jaxon is black. half-black. i'm half mexican. separately we're incredibly PC. put us together and we're a hate crime.

the first was full of cotton bales and with one lone man sitting in the middle.
marya: what do you think jax?
jaxon: is that cotton?
marya: yeah...
jaxon: and there's a black man?
marya: yeah, but...
jaxon: but nuthin.

the second was a date field in cairo.
luke: hey jaxon i think there's a black man in there too.
jaxon: tsch.

the third was a lagoon with eery bare trees.
marya: look jaxon, if you look closely you see a man in a boat.
jaxon: yeah. it's probably a black man.
jaxon: is there a motor? no.
jaxon: he's probably a black man, buck naked, bucktoothed. they probably call him buckwheat.

jaxon suggested i use the green heart in the marshland... how could i say no? soon i'm going to change to the camels and then to the date fields, though.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

one nation, under canada

from the New Yorker
Under where?
After a federal appeals court ruled last week that it is unconstitutional to make schoolchildren recite the phrase "one nation under god" in the Pledge of Allegiance, we placed a call to Robin Williams, to hear his thoughts on the decision. "Why don't they change it to 'one nation under Canada'?" he said. "Or 'over Mexico'? That way, everybody's happy."

from Matt Groening
I plead alignment to the flakes, of the untitled snakes of a merry cow, and to the republicans, for which they scam, one nacho, underpants, with licorice and jugs of wine for owls.

from email
I plead ignorance and tend to lag
a modern son of America
and in this place I take a stand
one person usurping gods
individual with a well ment out breath for all

from a different email
i grew up before Under God was added / shoot / not only that but in the beginning we began reciting the pledge with our hand over our heart(s)
at the "I Pledge Allegiance" part and then thrust the arm out towards the flag for the rest of the recitation

then someone noticed how Germans saluted Heil Hitler

boy scouts love god, but find the pledge a little boring
i wasn't there, but i heard that the boyscouts marching in the Cayucos 4th of July parade did the pledge of allegiance, kinda in quiet monotone, until they shouted "UNDER GOD!!" sigh. silly earnest boyscouts. i'm sure their parents were proud.