Friday, August 28, 2009

Do the Right Thing?

Yesterday I had a co-worker call because he needed help with something. I use co-worker loosely since we are all scattered around the country and only see one another once a year.


He starts talking about the property he inspected and starts his description with, "It's in a nice neighborhood, a mostly white neighborhood. I think."

I was a stunned with this superlative irrelevant descriptor. My internal voice said, "What the f... does that have to do with anything?" "Why would you think that is okay to say to me?" My external voice, the one that really counts said nothing. I made that quick decision that this is not the time and the place.

Afterwords, I was left with, when exactly is the time and the place? I don't want to turn my work world into a socio-political platform, but by being silent I believe I did just that. My silence let him believe that I was in his ignorant racist camp. I felt shame. I still feel shame. I feel like I'm big blow hard bag of righteous indignation, but no true action.

I made a quick and probably cowardly split second decision not to say anything. Like anyone, I have some regrets here and there in my life, but the ones that cause me the continual stabs of pain are moments like these when I failed to do the right thing.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This is a favorite of mine. I did a good job stopping when it was done.

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's Official

My doctor called on Friday to inform me that not only have I torn my rotator cuff, but that the tendon has torn completely from the bone. Bonus!! I do such a good job of imagining the worst case scenario that it is a special prize when things are actually worse than I thought. The surgery is scheduled and, frankly, my shoulder is so bad (I wish I were exaggerating here) that I'm actually looking forward to the surgery. Looking forward to the day (many months from now) when I can get dressed without pain.

As an aside...I'm giving serious consideration to doing a left-handed art series during my 4-6 weeks in a sling. For this to succeed, I have to let go of any perceived limitation that forces my left hand do/see what my right hand would ordinarily do/see.

What do ya think?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Foundry Man

This is a favorite photo of mine. I have not done any serious photography in some time and miss it. I miss it from the creative process side and from the fact that most of my work was done at conversation distance. It allowed me to meet all sorts of people and hear wonderful stories. There's a lot of personal back story on this particular photo, but I'm not one to talk in detail about the actual work. I prefer the viewer to have their own experience. I will say that the man in this picture was only 42 at the time.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

What will We DO when No One HATES Us?

When no one hates us anymore, we GAYS will walk down the street holding OUR partner's hand without the hyper-vigilant look over OUR shoulder. OUR families won't bat an eye at the revelation. Strangers and family alike won't feel they need to "protect" their children from US. OUR lives won't be used as a political fodder. Soldiers in the armed forces will serve openly without being dishonorably discharged and will be publicly greeted with the loving arms of their partners when they return home.

OUR lives will seem mundane and normal. NO ONE comes out at work because WE just are. The stories of a sweet young man beaten and left to die on a fence in the wilderness will be a horror of a long distant past. WE will marry and adopt children if WE desire. WE will look back with nostalgia at the days when WE held Pride Parades to celebrate who WE are and combat OUR own internal hatred.

As I wake today, I am assured that events like Saturday's Kiss off which was organized in response to my fellow GAYs being harrassed and arrested in Utah and Texas for a little innocent PDA will continue. WE will need to stand in protest to fight for marriage rights, and protect OUR GAY soldiers and their invisible partners. I know that come next summer I'll attend the PRIDE events and stand with my community in all OUR collective glory and celebrate who WE are. Because today I wake to the truth that far too many still hate US.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Just Pictures

There have been a lot of words of late and no pretty pictures. I thought I would post a picture and very few words this time. You can decide if its pretty.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Head's a Swimmin'

I feel like I should post, but have so many divergent thoughts that I seem unable to collect them in any real coherent manner. So much is going on I don't know what to pick and choose.

Euna and Laura made a short video to say thank you to all who were rallying for their release. It was very sweet of them to do so at a time that has to still be so very difficult for them. They are truly the lucky ones. So many brave journalists never make it home.

The disruptions at the townhall on meetings that have grown from disgusting to shameful to downright dangerous have me wondering if all the brains have left the Republican Party. Don't get me ranting on Sarah Palin and the "Death Panels". This is important and why some people want to disrupt the process just for "win" of an Obama failure is a sad commentary.

The left button on my mouse is malfunctioning. This is an expensive 9-Button mouse that I fear I cannot find anymore.

The Two Body Solution has managed to draw me in to the gender debate, which doesn't take much since I've been fascinated by gender politics since my late teens. Their site is well composed and thought provoking. Let's add Angry Asian Man to the mix when it comes to racial politics because I feel much the same way as I do about gender politics. I am after all a self-proclaimed gay feminist bleeding heart liberal Buddhist. What do you expect?

Aung San Suu Kyi's extended house arrest is a wound to the world's soul. The thousands in Taiwan injured, killed or still missing from the Typhoon Morakat. Their suffering is our suffering. You should care.

The protests by the people of Iran over a corrupted election is awe inspiring. They are doing everything possible to get the news out to the rest of the world. Thanks to Ann Curry for getting their message out to Twitter Land.

Michael Jackson is still not buried. The oddity of his life continues in his death.

My shoulder has made NO improvement in the last ten days...good thing I'm having surgery. I have been able to keep up my gym regimen despite the injury, and am proud of myself for that. The injury has stopped any metal work, which requires a fair amount of muscling at times. I guess I need to pull out the pastels and focus that creative energy elsewhere.

"Julie and Julia" was wonderful. I totally understand the relationship with Julia Child that comes from working your way through "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". I hear Julia's voice telling me to have confidence every time I flip my omelet.

I'm not studying enough for my licensing exam in October, nor am I able to devote the time and attention I want to my Mandarin studies.

My meditation practice is staying pretty consistent and the positives of this show up in my life in so many ways I won't attempt to list them here. After over 16 years of being a Buddhist, I feel like I'm actually beginning to "get" things now. I understood before in my mind, but now I feel it ooze from my pores. Everything makes sense from here.

There's so much get the idea...who wants to read that much of almost posts?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi

I continue to write about Daw Aung San Suu Kyi because we should care. We should care that this courageous woman continues to held under house arrest by her government. I've written about her a couple of times before when her detention was extended in the past, and have been following her story for more than 15 years now.

I do wonder when the world will care enough for her to be free. She has courageously refused to leave Burma in the past. She stayed when the opportunities presented because she knew leaving would mean never returning...never continuing the fight for freedom for all of the citizens of Burma. While she is there even under house arrest she is a beacon of hope for the opposition, for freedom.

So you see, if Aung San Suu Kyi is truly free then so is Burma.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I forgot to lay out the chicken, which sent me scrounging for something to whip up. Fortunately, I had a bit of seafood mix (mussels, squid, octopus, and shrimp) that doesn't have to fully thaw to cook. A tiny bit of prep and some rice noodles and I didn't have a half bad dinner.


As I prepare for my upcoming surgery, I first want to recognize the wonderful friends who have made sincere offers to assist in the aftermath. I truly feel the love and concern from them all.

I do find it interesting how aghast many are at what my "handicap" will be following surgery. I will have essentially no use of my right arm for at least three weeks. There are questions of how will you drive? cook dinner? get dressed? etc. I can only say that one-armed people all over the world do these tasks among many others every day. Let's keep things in perspective. Okay?

Yes, I will have to make adjustments. The biggest is the fact that my arm will be STRAPPED to my side in addition to being useless. The binding creates additional challenges especially when getting dressed. Regardless, this is not a permanent condition. A blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things. I will be released for full activity in less time than Laura Ling and Euna Lee spent in a North Korean prison eating rice with rocks in it, in less than half the time of a normal pregnancy, and it only represents 4 one-thousandths of my life span. Nothing.

I think people are trying to be sympathetic and I'll credit my Buddhist practice in helping me keep things in perspective. My meditation helps me release my mind's grip on the possible suffering (real or imagined) and focus on the step in front of me. The injury is here. I can't change that. The surgery hasn't happened yet. I can't worry about that. Today, I exercise the uninjured parts of my body, ice the shoulder and go about my day.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

No. 9

It's Official. My special talent of finding new ways to injury myself continues. Surgery on my right shoulder is forthcoming. It will be my ninth orthopedic surgery and because of the degenerative condition of my right knee I have a guarantee of more to come.

...and yes, I do mark many life events as to whether they were before or after a surgery.

I don't know what it is in my psyche or my body that makes me prone to so many injuries. My athletes mind and heart don't allow me to relent...not ever. I played almost three years of college basketball without an ACL in my right knee. Each day of practice during that time I donned a t-shirt with the phrase "Never Give Up" on it. I never did. My right knee did. It could no longer bear weight in some ranges because of a huge bone chip off the end of my femur.

Some have been mundane little incidences and others have been rather spectacular. Flying over the handlebars of my mountain bike ranks at the top.

I've been extraordinarily fortunate in that I have always had health insurance when I needed surgery. Given the large gaps during my 30's when I had little or no coverage, the timing of my injuries has been pretty good. I also have had access to some of the best doctors in the US. A long-standing team physician to many Dallas pro teams, a doctor for the Women's Olympic Team, and now the Doc who does the shoulder surgeries for the Florida Marlins.

I finally typed a list to take with me to the doctor because it just takes too long to write it all down and the dates have become muddled over the years.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


A little something from last year. Don't really remember what "place" I was in when I did this. My metal work is definitely about form and space, but my pastels are very connected with emotion and inner "vision". I promise to get some more pictures of the metal work soon.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Snappy Din Din

I've been waiting all day to go see YaYa, the owner of my favorite Thai restaurant in South Florida. There are fancier places, but no one makes it better. I knew before I left home that I was going to order the whole fried fish. Someone ordered it last week when I was there and it looked divine. I go through her menu and try as many different things as possible and often let YaYa choose for me. Her chef knows I like things very spicy and will make it truly Thai Hot when she knows the order if for me. They had whole fresh snapper today and I ordered it with volcano sauce. (Sorry the quality of the picture is not better, I only had my last generation Palm Treo with me. )

Let's just say I ate everything that I could chew., fins, tail, etc. This was what was left.

YaYa...true to form brought me Pa Thong Ko (Thai Donuts) as a free dessert. She also continues to give me a 10% discount on my bill. She and I have a little dance about that. She gives me the discount and I make up the difference in my tip. We've been doing this for many months now, and I eat there almost every week.

Come to South Florida and I'll be happy to take you there!

Welcome Home

I've been hanging on any thread of news for weeks...and every minute of the last day and a half once I learned of Bill Clinton's Trip to North Korea.

I am beyond relieved they are home. Seeing Laura and Euna reunite with their families this morning was a joyful start to the remainder of the day!

Welcome Home!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Julia and Me

After catching this episode on PBS over the weekend, I had to treat myself to a ham and cheese omelet this morning. Couldn't have been more perfectly done via her technique. Wish I had taken pictures but was on my last bite when the thought occurred to me.

Fun and Yummy!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Latin Buddhism

I came to the end of my day on Saturday feeling exhausted. I opted for an early bedtime (for a Saturday) of about 10:30. As I lay down I could hear the neighbor's party several houses away. They had a live band playing some really good traditional Latin music. I quickly became annoyed. How dare they?!!

This is a residential area. It's past 10:30. The people next to them must be beside themselves. I lay there in this tizzy of mine for about 5 minutes.

And then I thought...

Why am I upset? It's Saturday night after all. The music wasn't loud enough to keep me awake. How do I know their neighbors are annoyed? They might be at the party too. As I examined my own emotion, I realized there was no reason to be annoyed. I created the reason not my neighbor. I became attached to what I decided was a justifiable negative reaction. What's wrong with a bit of good music in the distance to "sing" me to sleep? I let go.

Honestly I couldn't tell you how late they continued to play.

I fell asleep within seconds of letting go.