Archive | March, 2011

Designer Drugs Jewelry

30 Mar

REPOST: Cancer survivor turns medication into jewelry

Susan Braig, a 61-year-old Altadena cancer survivor, takes old pharmaceutical pills and tablets and mounts them on costume jewelry to create colorful necklaces, pendants, earrings and tiaras that she sells. It’s a way to help pay off her medical debt.

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Restaurant Review: Brandon’s Diner

28 Mar

This place is about a mile away from our place on Baseline Rd. I posted this on Yelp:

Sunday morning I had a hankering for eggs, sausage and hash browns. Hearty helpings! Hubby liked the eggs benedict, though the 3/4-inch-thick ham was too much for him. (Preferred thinner slices.) The hollandaise sauce was lemon-y. Nice.

In the mood for down-home, bare-basics, greasy diner food? Well, then this is your place.

Morning Gems

28 Mar

Seth Godin wrote some true gems in the last 24 hours. Take a look: 

 

REPOST: Initiative isn’t given, you take it

The amazing thing is that unlike taking an apple or a chocolate bar, there’s no loss to the rest of us. After you take it, we all benefit.

There’s one other thing you can take at work, easily and with approval: responsibility. In fact, they sort of have to go together. One without the other is a mess.

 

REPOST: Accepting false limits

I will never be able to dunk a basketball.

This is beyond discussion.

Imagine, though, a co-worker who says, “I’ll never be able to use a knife and fork. No, I have to use my hands.”

Or a colleague who says, “I can’t possibly learn Chinese. I’m not smart enough.”

This is a mystery to me. A billion people have learned Chinese, and the failure rate for new kids is close to zero. If a well functioning adult puts in sufficient time and the effort, she”ll succeed.

The key to this disconnect is the unspoken part about time and effort and fear. I agree that you will never ship that product or close that sale or invent that device unless you put in the time and put in the effort and overcome the fear. But I don’t accept for a minute that there’s some sort of natural limit on your ability to do just about anything that involves creating and selling ideas.

This attitude gets me in trouble sometimes. Perhaps I shouldn’t be pushing people who want something but have been taught not to push themselves. Somewhere along the way, it seems, I forgot that it’s none of my business if people choose to accept what they’ve got, to forget their dreams and to not seek to help those around them achieve what matters to them.

Not sure if you’ll forgive me, but no, I’m not going to believe that only a few people are permitted to be gatekeepers or creators or generous leaders. I have no intention of apologizing for believing in people, for insisting that we all use this moment and these assets to create some art and improve the world around us.

To do anything less than that is a crime.

Losing Time

25 Mar

I’ve heard that passion is something that you do that makes you lose track of time. This morning, while baking the banana bread and creating this blog (ie, selecting a template, writing/editing posts), time flew! Maybe I’m on to something here…

It’s already 11:40 am. Am off to bring the get-well-soon banana bread to Tita Carrie. (I tasted a piece. Super moist! Hope she likes it…)

Sarah Kay

25 Mar

“Spoken word poetry cracks open locks”

Sarah Kay

Sarah Kay

“If I should have a daughter, instead of Mom, she’s gonna call me Point B … ” began spoken word poet Sarah Kay, in a talk that inspired two standing ovations at TED2011. She tells the story of her metamorphosis — from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse at New York’s Bowery Poetry Club to a teacher connecting kids with the power of self-expression through Project V.O.I.C.E. — and gives two breathtaking performances of “B” and “Hiroshima.”

Watching this yesterday touched a chord from my past. The days of writing in my Los Feliz apartment, performing open mike at Tuesday Night Cafe and being more expressive.

I gotta get back to that.

Banana Bread and Bonnie

25 Mar

Woke up at 5 am to bake two loaves of banana bread; One for me & Marvyn, the other for my Tita Carrie. She had surgery on Wed. to take out a cancerous growth in her thyroid. Not sure if she can eat, but I hope it cheers her up, nonethless.

My Tuesday session with Bonnie was insightful.

  • About Mom: At my session, I cried for the first time since learning about my mom’s CLL. All of her chronic conditions were preventive, but not this. I bought travel insurance, knowing in the back of my mind anything can happen. Call her more often than usual, which had been about once a month. Weekly now.
  • About Kevin: My guilt is in my control. There are no shoulds (ie, I “should” take him in if my parents die, I “should” take care of/parent him because he can’t take care of himself”). Why should I do the work? HE should do the work. He’s 34 — an adult. If anything, I should expect more from him. He’s capable. I did it, so can he.
  • About work: Continue to look for opportunities, not emotionally invest at work (or else feel depressed/disappointed in myself).
  • About transition: My life in Los Feliz was fun and spontaneous. My life in Rancho is not so much. I knew this coming in. But knowing and actually experiencing it are two different things. Of course, I have to realize that it’s going to be different, of course I have to adjust, and of course I have to be aware I’m going to feel a gamut of emotions — sadness, depression, resentment. But I also feel fortunate, grateful, happy, and in love.
  • About creativity: Of course, starting this blog. Continue to cook my weekly new recipe or perfect a previous one. I started reading “Eat Pray Love.”

Bonnie pointed out that I flourished when I was removed from my family. I can be supportive — just from a distance so that I don’t get emotionally overwhelmed.

My life for now M-F is what it is. I have a job that’s 55 miles away from my home, hence my long commute. It is what it is. Don’t invest energy bemoaning or brooding. Invest in other things, like creativitiy, relationships, cooking, nesting and personal growth. 

I booked the airfare & insurance ($1700) and hotel, tour & insurance package ($1427) in the last week.  Only had to put deposit and insurance down for package ($512). The balance to be paid May.

To save up for the trip, am earnestly cooking more meals to bring to work. Marvyn deposits money in my account a little bit at a time. $800 so far. Less than three months until our Canada trip!