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orchid_shadow5
29 April 2009 @ 10:37 pm
Mercury turns retrograde in Gemini on May 6, and turns direct in Taurus, on the 30th of the month.

Mercury usually turns retrograde three times a year -- however, in 2009 Mercury turns retrograde four different times. For this second retrograde of the year, Mercury turns retrograde in its own sign, Gemini, and it's a time for a thorough review for everyone. The normal Mercury-retro rules all apply: don't sign contracts; do not buy products that are communication-related, such as phones, mp3 players, and computers. The same goes for anything travel-related, such as cars and plane tickets.

There is a full Moon in Scorpio on May 8, urging you to stand back and assess how far you've come. Use the power of this Moon to put finishing touches on your plans.

Saturn, the planet of discipline and karma has been retrograde since December 31, 2008. On May 16, Saturn finally turns direct and opens the door to forward movement and fewer barriers. It will be easier now to create a firm foundation for success. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish!

On May 20, the Sun enters Gemini. It's birthday time for all the Geminis out there, and a time for all of us to open our minds to new ways of thinking.

Neptune, the planet of illusion, turns retrograde in Aquarius on May 28, giving you the opportunity to review how you invest in your dreams, and how to establish a solid foundation for your life achievements.

Finally Mercury turns direct on May 30, and communications become easier and less confusing, so you can move forward and put all your plans in motion.

astrology.com
 
 
orchid_shadow5
03 February 2009 @ 02:27 pm
Hope you all are enjoying the weather! I have not been. I've had a fever, cough and body aches all over for a day or so. I took the day off and watered the plants and admired the daffodils and cherry blossoms in my immediate surroundings.
I found out today I will be moving in the next month or so. I've yet to tell my landlord, so I will write a letter when I pay my rent. this place has been good to me, alas, but I am ready to let the west side facing apartment go. I personally need a lot of sun! My lakeside apartment will make it easier for me to be physically active in my downtime. I will be further away from work, so I will need to be more regimented about waking early, and not rolling out of bed 15 minutes prior. I once lived with a girl who told me "You are just like a guy!" She was referring to my habits of not lathering my body with lotion and waiting to dry while drying my hair. I'm kind of low-maintenence, wash face, brush and i'm good to go. I personally really commend myself at the ability to do this---but for some things it just doesn't cut it.

i will be needing help with packing and moving, and don't know that I want to hire day labor but might. I'm sure I could just drink a few steaz (energy drinks) and blare up some music and be out of here in a jiffy, but the task seems so daunting. I've lived here since right after my brother passed, so energetically it feels like the right thing to do.

I'll have more creative space at the new place, and storage, and will also be accountable to not leaving my place a shithole having a roommate.
I will also be able to have a companion animal, most likely a kitty. Which I am thrilled with! I've never had a cat of my own!

alright, i'm ready to take a nap or a walk. I think I might go for the first option.
 
 
orchid_shadow5
15 January 2009 @ 08:21 am
In response to an email I received:

It's horrible that household products are the only unregulated things on shelves, even in supposed "natural food" stores. I have been thinking about this too, since the last time I went over to my mom's to do my laundry (something i've done all throughout college.) the last time I brought my batch home it reeked of whatever she put in the laundry after I left. I asked her about it and she was offended. You know the inactive ingredients on these products don't have to be listed? I think about what happens when the stuff runs down the drain. people may say, oh, my whites don't get as white with that stuff, or it just doesn't feel clean...but I don't care. it's all I can use. I wonder sometimes if i'm desensitizing myself to my dismay. I don't think so. Even when I go to the chiro office, he's got these towels that smell like downy or something. I opt for not using them. And it's such a component in most skin problems it's not even cool.
Since i've been looking to get a cat, and bird, i'm looking at these things. I don't own a swiffer. I don't own teflon or a microwave. I can guarantee this would only happen in the US>

Attention! if you have indoor pets or small children


Swiffer Sweeper information
>
>
> I found this interesting and wanted to pass it along.
>
> Recently someone had to have their 5-year old German Shepherd dog put
down due to liver failure. The dog was completely healthy until a few weeks
ago, so they h ad a necropsy done to see what the cause was. The liver levels
were unbelievable, as if the dog had ingested poison of some kind. The dog is
kept inside,
and when he's outside, someone's with him, so the idea of
him getting into something
> unknown was hard to believe.
>
> My neighbor started going through all the items in the house. When he got
to the Swiffer Wetjet, he noticed, in very tiny print, a warning which
stated 'may be harmful to small children and animals.' He called
the
company to ask what the contents of the cleaning agent are and was astounded
to find
> out that antifreeze is one of the ingredients (actually, he was told
it's a compound which is one molecule away from antifreeze). Therefore ,
just by the dog walking on the floor cleaned with the solution, then licking its
own paws, it ingested enough of the solution to destroy its liver.
>
> Soon after his dog's death, his housekeepers' two cats also died
of liver failure. They both used the Swiffer Wetjet for quick
cleanups on
their floor. Necropsies weren't done on the cats, so they couldn't file
a lawsuit, but he asked that we spread the word to as many people as
possible so they don't lose their animals.
>
> This is equally harmful to babies and small children that play on the
floor a lot and put their fingers in their mouths a lot.
>
 
 
orchid_shadow5
29 December 2008 @ 09:15 pm
i'm trying to imagine what it was I did last year about this time. I remember talking to a friend of mine, and she thinks I went out dancing. I can't remember where or with who. Isn't that horrible. I guess i've got some healing to do around the beginning of the year and my forced social abilities. I keep a gratitude diary that I update from time to time and I was hoping to have some hints...no luck.

This year I have the wonderful opportunity of buying lots of noisemakers and tiaras. I can't say i've ever purchased party supplies for a bigger party. I got invited to see the flaming lips in oklahoma and really wish I could make it. Part of me always fantasizes about running away. I guess it's another suppressed urge from my childhood.

hoping all you in livejournal land are having wonderful holiday seasons and a safe and happy new years.
 
 
orchid_shadow5
14 September 2008 @ 09:00 pm
I missed the autumn moon festival this year. http://www.chinavoc.com/festivals/Midautumn.htm Again! No quiet stroll along westlake among lotuses and cicadas lulling the summer heat. Who am I to even recognize and honor such events and celebrations?
Perhaps the part of me that blushes after 1 drink, the part of me that studies most of my life, the part of me that enjoys forbidden rice and reishi mushrooms. The part of me that would rather hang my clothes outside and bike everywhere than not.
There is always next year, and I may have missed the celebration but I did not cease to celebrate. The moon greeted me ever so curiously on my walk home tonight. Peachy pinkish in tone, we recognized the time and one another.

Red lentils, garden greens, pickled fiddleheads and kabocha squash greet me. I am home. ©
 
 
Current Mood: amusedamused
 
 
 
orchid_shadow5
08 May 2008 @ 06:25 pm
I am growing and challenging myself daily, and it feels so good. I'm committed to conquering my sugar habits once and for all, and my leaning toward lethargy. Yoga certainly helps this.

I've been alphabetizing recipes and really kind of gung ho about helping one of my clients out. I've been developing clientele!! I like to call them friends. I don't know that you can get many places naming something as the other, it's all the same. That reminds me.

good story. I was at the restaurant where Eric works and they were feeding me. I was sitting there enjoying a glass of wine with the owner. The first glass i've had in eons by the way. The food was delish. Later a homeless woman walked in and asked boss to use the bathroom. He said sure, told her where it was. She came out of the bathroom, blanket and bag and all and had a seat right next to the wall of wine bottles. We finished eating, and soon I noticed she was sleeping. I was a little alarmed. He said, Oh, "it's okay, let her sleep...she can rest here." At the end of the evening, he wakes her and asks her politely to leave. Meanwhile he tries to make it a little more gentle by offering her some food. She suggested he give her a glass of wine. He didn't want to go there. There were 3 glasses of unfinished red sitting on the table next to me. I picked up my glass and handed it to her. She smiled with the biggest smile, "Thank you! Bless your heart!"

I'll leave the story at that. Because later the woman sat outside not wanting to leave, telling me not to worry my pretty little head. But for a minute, that made my heart warm. Anyway, the owner just kept saying, "she's no different from you or I" and I thought about all the little tests we get put through...to see how we will react, to see if we will react. such a good reminder.

Loving you all, and wishing you full glasses of all the wishes you could hope for,
 
 
orchid_shadow5
13 April 2008 @ 01:17 pm
An Appeal to the Chinese People

Today, I extend heartfelt greetings to my Chinese brothers and sisters around the world, particularly to those in the People’s Republic of China. In the light of the recent developments in Tibet, I would like to share with you my thoughts concerning relations between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples, and make a personal appeal to all of you.

I am deeply saddened by the loss of life in the recent tragic events in Tibet. I am aware that some Chinese have also died. I feel for the victims and their families and pray for them. The recent unrest has clearly demonstrated the gravity of the situation in Tibet and the urgent need to seek a peaceful and mutually beneficial solution through dialogue. Even at this juncture I have expressed my willingness to the Chinese authorities to work together to bring about peace and stability.

Chinese brothers and sisters, I assure you I have no desire to seek Tibet’s separation. Nor do I have any wish to drive a wedge between the Tibetan and Chinese peoples. On the contrary my commitment has always been to find a genuine solution to the problem of Tibet that ensures the long-term interests of both Chinese and Tibetans. My primary concern, as I have repeated time and again, is to ensure the survival of the Tibetan people’s distinctive culture, language and identity. As a simple monk who strives to live his daily life according to Buddhist precepts, I assure you of the sincerity of my personal motivation.

I have appealed to the leadership of the PRC to clearly understand my position and work to resolve these problems by "seeking truth from facts." I urge the Chinese leadership to exercise wisdom and to initiate a meaningful dialogue with the Tibetan people. I also appeal to them to make sincere efforts to contribute to the stability and harmony of the PRC and avoid creating rifts between the nationalities. The state media’s portrayal of the recent events in Tibet, using deceit and distorted images, could sow the seeds of racial tension with unpredictable long-term consequences. This is of grave concern to me. Similarly, despite my repeated support for the Beijing Olympics, the Chinese authorities, with the intention of creating a rift between the Chinese people and myself, the Chinese authorities assert that I am trying to sabotage the games. I am encouraged, however, that several Chinese intellectuals and scholars have also expressed their strong concern about the Chinese leadership’s actions and the potential for adverse long-term consequences, particularly on relations among different nationalities.

Since ancient times, Tibetan and Chinese peoples have lived as neighbors. In the two thousand year old recorded history of our peoples, we have at times developed friendly relations, even entering into matrimonial alliances, while at others we fought each other. However, since Buddhism flourished in China first before it arrived in Tibet from India, we Tibetans have historically accorded the Chinese people the respect and affection due to elder Dharma brothers and sisters. This is something well known to members of the Chinese community living outside China, some of whom have attended my Buddhist lectures, as well as pilgrims from mainland China, whom I have had the privilege to meet. I take heart from these meetings and feel they may contribute to a better understanding between our two peoples.

The twentieth century witnessed enormous changes in many parts of the world and Tibet too was caught up in this turbulence. Soon after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the People’s Liberation Army entered Tibet finally resulting in the 17-point Agreement concluded between China and Tibet in May 1951. When I was in Beijing in 1954/55, attending the National People’s Congress, I had the opportunity to meet and develop a personal friendship with many senior leaders, including Chairman Mao himself. In fact, Chairman Mao gave me advice on numerous issues, as well as personal assurances with regard to the future of Tibet. Encouraged by these assurances, and inspired by the dedication of many of China’s revolutionary leaders of the time, I returned to Tibet full of confidence and optimism. Some Tibetan members of the Chinese Communist Party also had such a hope. After my return to Lhasa, I made every possible effort to seek genuine regional autonomy for Tibet within the family of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). I believed that this would best serve the long-term interests of both the Tibetan and Chinese peoples.

Unfortunately, tensions, which began to escalate in Tibet from around 1956, eventually led to the peaceful uprising of March 10, 1959, in Lhasa and my eventual escape into exile. Although many positive developments have taken place in Tibet under the PRC’s rule, these developments, as the previous Panchen Lama pointed out in January 1989, were overshadowed by immense suffering and extensive destruction. Tibetans were compelled to live in a state of constant fear, while the Chinese government remained suspicious of them. However, instead of cultivating enmity towards the Chinese leaders responsible for the ruthless suppression of the Tibetan people, I prayed for them to become friends, which I expressed in the following lines in a prayer I composed in 1960, a year after I arrived in India: "May they attain the wisdom eye discerning right and wrong, And may they abide in the glory of friendship and love." Many Tibetans, school children among them, recite these lines in their daily prayers.

In 1974, following serious discussions with my Kashag (cabinet), as well as the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of the then Assembly of the Tibetan People’s Deputies, we decided to find a Middle Way that would seek not to separate Tibet from China, but would facilitate the peaceful development of Tibet. Although we had no contact at the time with the PRC – which was in the midst of the Cultural Revolution – we had already recognized that, sooner or later, we would have to resolve the question of Tibet through negotiations. We also acknowledged that, at least with regard to modernization and economic development, it would greatly benefit Tibet if it remained within the PRC. Although Tibet has a rich and ancient cultural heritage, it is materially undeveloped.

Situated on the roof of the world, Tibet is the source of many of Asia’s major rivers; therefore, protection of the environment on the Tibetan plateau is of supreme importance. Since our utmost concern is to safeguard Tibetan Buddhist culture – rooted as it is in the values of universal compassion – as well as the Tibetan language and the unique Tibetan identity, we have worked whole-heartedly towards achieving meaningful self-rule for all Tibetans. The PRC’s constitution provides the right for nationalities such as the Tibetans to do this.

In 1979, the then Chinese paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping assured my personal emissary that "except for the independence of Tibet, all other questions can be negotiated." Since we had already formulated our approach to seeking a solution to the Tibetan issue within the constitution of the PRC, we found ourselves well placed to respond to this new opportunity. My representatives met many times with officials of the PRC. Since renewing our contacts in 2002, we have had six rounds of talks. However, on the fundamental issue, there has been no concrete result at all. Nevertheless, as I have declared many times, I remain firmly committed to the Middle Way approach and reiterate here my willingness to continue to pursue the process of dialogue.

This year, the Chinese people are proudly and eagerly awaiting the opening of the Olympic Games. I have, from the start, supported Beijing’s being awarded the opportunity to host the Games. My position remains unchanged. China has the world’s largest population, a long history and an extremely rich civilization. Today, due to her impressive economic progress, she is emerging as a great power. This is certainly to be welcomed. But China also needs to earn the respect and esteem of the global community through the establishment of an open and harmonious society based on the principles of transparency, freedom, and the rule of law. For example, to this day victims of the Tiananmen Square tragedy that adversely affected the lives of so many Chinese citizens have received neither just redress nor any official response. Similarly, when thousands of ordinary Chinese in rural areas suffer injustice at the hands of exploitative and corrupt local officials, their legitimate complaints are either ignored or met with aggression. I express these concerns both as a fellow human being and as someone who is prepared to consider himself a member of the large family that is the People’s Republic of China. In this respect, I appreciate and support President Hu Jintao’s policy of creating a "harmonious society", but this can only arise on the basis of mutual trust and an atmosphere of freedom, including freedom of speech and the rule of law. I strongly believe that if these values are embraced, many important problems relating to minority nationalities can be resolved, such as the issue of Tibet, as well as Eastern Turkistan, and Inner Mongolia, where the native people now constitute only 20% of a total population of 24 million.

I had hoped President Hu Jintao’s recent statement that the stability and safety of Tibet concerns the stability and safety of the country might herald the dawning of a new era for the resolution of the problem of Tibet. It is unfortunate that despite my sincere efforts not to separate Tibet from China, the leaders of the PRC continue to accuse me of being a "separatist". Similarly, when Tibetans in Lhasa and many other areas spontaneously protested to express their deep-rooted resentment, the Chinese authorities immediately accused me of having orchestrated their demonstrations. I have called for a thorough investigation by a respected body to look into this allegation.

Chinese brothers and sisters – wherever you may be – with deep concern I appeal to you to help dispel the misunderstandings between our two communities. Moreover, I appeal to you to help us find a peaceful, lasting solution to the problem of Tibet through dialogue in the spirit of understanding and accommodation.

With my prayers,

The Dalai Lama
 
 
orchid_shadow5
11 April 2008 @ 11:04 pm
http:blogs.reuters.com/china

deeply saddened in troubled times

For years now I have tried real hard to stay out of the news, out of politics, because my own happiness and livelihood has been nearly dependent upon it. How is it we can manage to carry on when others suffer so much. The shared histories and blood lines make it hard for me to identify as anything separate. What is finally calling me to words, which simply haven't come in the last few years other than one on one conversations with those whom I sincerely trust in the spoken tradition, the oral tradition, the uncondemned and free tradition, is this subjective media coverage taking place over the situation regarding the protest of the Chinese Olympic ceremony. No mention of the torch being ripped through the cultural and spiritual heart of a great nation. No mention of the civil rights that have been denied from this country for over 50 years. Instead, it is a pitch at "tibetan groups" or "chinese" figures.

Our fearful man behind the curtain himself calls for discursive behavior with a religious figure! After being in exile for many years, I hardly call on this conversation to take place. His Holiness is no longer a political leader, in fact, Tibet has attempted to have their own form of democracy electing yet another candidate to try to resolve and restore any bit of Tibet left in the actual region of Tibet. He is though a really valuable authority on all this nonsense. How many families must suffer? How many individuals have been harmed with no trace? How much longer must this continue? Why is America not defending the Tibetan stretch to become more democratic? This is indeed what the call for a "free Tibet" has been all these years and continues to be. In a blessed region near India, who just recently had it's own election, one wonders will the course of history ever change? Or must thousands of innocent and patient and lovely people continue to be tortured and prosecuted for religious fundamental and independent viewpoints? Must a smaller nation always be destroyed and taken over by a larger and more nationalistic monster?

I must also declare that I myself, being out of the news, being in my own little working class American bubble am also misinformed. However, I am deeply troubled by the misconceptions and misnomers portrayed in the media. ON the news. On the radio. And my heart beats a little faster, thinking, gee we are that much closer to resolving this, now that it's in the forefront, but what is really getting resolved? America is one heart, one nation, one blood line, where Tibetans, Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Italian, Mexican, African, Caucasian, (and forgive me, because I do not list everyone) brother and sisterhoods have been formed. Not only this, but America has been a place of refuge for all these remarkable individual groups adding to our collectivity.

The Cold war is a long gone thing. But the age old declaration of "careful not to wake the sleeping giant" is still very fresh in my memory for some reason. Yes it is most certain that our message would get lost in translation before ever reaching China's military officials. So what is the message in the meantime? Every cell in me is hoping that instead of pitching us at one another we really use this opportunity to come together for a common cause and humanitarian birth right. How will our voices ever be enough?

The call to have a boycott of the opening olympics ceremony is indeed an action that will mean many things. But what will it mean really? As the main producer of goods we consume here in the US unconsciously, are we really going to bite the hand that feeds? Shouldn't a democratic nation be able to pick which nation or who it wants as a source provider of goods? How is it that all this has leaked into the American economy without being tracked. We are in a deficit in time of recession in time of war in time of deficit. Did I say deficit? It is obvious America must hire someone to help with accounting. I see Chinese men and women collecting cardboard here in the states, while we simply unpack it, and "recycle" it. I realize, what a valuable resource this is in California being surrounded by an environment on the edge of being exploited always, but in my middle class, working class ways, I must work, to live, to eat, and don't have much other time to find ways for creative reuse. I realize however that these people collecting cardboard and pennies are indeed smart. I had the opportunity to visit China and live off $1-2 American dollars a day. It does add up. It does matter. It does still feed and house us. Where some of us make homes and sleep on the streets with cardboard, those lucky enough to have a dependable and efficient, did I mention, fantastic, piece of machinery like a Toyota fill to the rim the back of the truck and instantly, $$$. Especially since it costs more to create cardboard, and ship it, than it does to recycle it. The cost effectiveness of this equation is mind boggling. The plastic bottles we find ourselves dependant upon in our busy lifestyles no doubt cost more to make than they do to reuse. I'm losing my train of thought here. What i'm saying is that it is a negative surplus of waste, a negative surplus of energy and time consumed, and we are so far behind where a developed nation should be in terms of justifying this economic equation. And it's consciousness, not apathy that can shift this.

What is needed at this time is an intellectual discourse, not mixed messages, like the "butchers and monsters" Nepalese official depicted chasing after the Buddhist monk with a baton portrayed as "chinese." The protests happening in America are not being shared with the rest of the world as American protests but "Tibetan groups" protesting. A call for for knowledgeable journalists is key. A call for a clear perspective and authority on the subject. But how is it there is an authority on injustice? The call for absolute unbiased truth speakers is ultimately what might make sense of this nonsense. Perhaps Amnesty international could step in, or the United Nations. Perhaps some of our trillions of dollars allocated to prisons and war might be set up instead to help out an organization based on promoting peace and cooperation among nations.

The nonsense must stop. Our invasion of an already war torn vicinity to promote democracy is a far reach for the lives of humanity we care to protect and honor. We have indeed increased the polarity and the disapproval of many. It is vigilance and authority that will stop the communist takeover of the economic well being of our nation.

It's a complex and frightful situation with China. All this time we've paid into their pocket, theirs into ours. A tricky place to be in for an advanced and developed nation. There are in deed a significant amount of consumers who like "architects of their environments" demand goods made else ware, and ethically, or as local as possible.

The preparation for the Olympic games has been a difficult one for Beijing.
When will the embarassment on both sides of the equation stop?
My heart goes out to all.

4/9/08
 
 
orchid_shadow5
04 April 2008 @ 09:54 pm
a side of strawberries with cappucino coconut bliss and peanut butter cookies slathered in hemp nut butter anyone?

Today has been a challenging day!!! I woke up this morning to find myself a little disoriented. I got into my car and it reeked of cigarettes. As I drove away I realized it wasn't a figment of my imagination that all the contents of the inner console had been strewn all over the seat, the ash tray cleared out...

The keyboard I just got out of storage and my GPS>>>>GONE!!!

I could only describe the feeling I felt next as sadness. Sad that someone would feel the need to break inside my car. Oh, did I mention I also had a parking ticket?

Yeah, I felt violated, but I've felt that before. Honestly, I said a prayer for whoever it was in the desperate circumstance to take my goods from my car, in hopes to make a dime. it gets better. THEY TOOK MY LAUNDRY!!!

So missing gps, dirty laundry, cd's, a bunch of tears and keyboard later, I had a visit with my chiropractor. I melted into the table and into his hands.
He let me use his phone to call the cops. Now, I don't have much luck or faith with these people in uniforms. Luckily, it was a woman officer who was pretty cool and had really nice eyeliner on. They decided given the nature of the value of the articles they would fingerprint my vehicle. I can't say this has been the only time this vehicle has been fingerprinted. Although, I don't know whether the fingerprints could still be my brothers. His car was at the scene of the crime that took his life. And then at the police station for "investigation" forever. I still feel incredibly privileged to drive this car, and a little odd.

My day was a little off today. But hey, a push to buy a new wardrobe, gps that works, and practice guzheng http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.stringandbamboomusic.com/images/instruments/Guzheng.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.stringandbamboomusic.com/string.aspx&h=535&w=799&sz=136&hl=es&start=11&um=1&tbnid=BfiXDetLB-1_UM:&tbnh=96&tbnw=143&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dguzheng%26um%3D1%26hl%3Des%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26hs%3DTH0%26sa%3DN
Luckily my basket carrying my digital camera remained in the car along with my cherished traditional chinese instrument. I guess the burglar only had 2 hands. And an 80lb threshold.

And my tummy aches thinking of someone with my dirty laundry whenever I see the charcoaled prints on my brothers car.
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.stringandbamboomusic.com/images/instruments/Guzheng.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.stringandbamboomusic.com/string.aspx&h=535&w=799&sz=136&hl=es&start=11&um=1&tbnid=BfiXDetLB-1_UM:&tbnh=96&tbnw=143&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dguzheng%26um%3D1%26hl%3Des%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26hs%3DTH0%26sa%3DN

I hope your day was exponentially better!
kisses
 
 
orchid_shadow5
14 February 2008 @ 08:29 pm
Who or what do you really love?


children and future generations. Plants and nature.