Posts Tagged ‘life’


It is fire season folks and the fires have been burning with a vengence for the past 24 hours. They started in Montecito and as of right now there are fires in Orange County as well.  The closest fire to us has been reported in Rancho Palos Verdes and as of 12:40pm it is contained and out according to NPR.

It is hot and smoky in San Pedro and the air quality is absolutely horrible. Charlie is here since Mr. Ocifer is out of town with Ms. Witty and both dogs are inside spread out on the hardwood floor. Charlie is chilling under the table right next to my feet and Indi is doing the same a few feet away.

Update 4:30pm:

We took a drive to asses the situation along the coast this afternoon. People were out and about, many taking pictures of the beautiful sun as it was getting ready to set. Others were playing golf on the DT golf course. Below are some pics taken on our drive.



Construction in the old Marineland area

november-2008-178-mediumDriving on Hawthorne Blvd. towards PVD

Read Full Post »

I was listening to NPR this evening and they were talking about prop 8. It was an interesting argument that I had not heard of before. I knew that mostly Hispanics and African-Americans voted yes on prop 8, but I had not heard about it being broken down this way.

If indeed the accusations are true, then I would really like to know where all the money donated to NO on Prop 8 went. I especially find it sad that she received information in the mail to vote yes on the prop 8 frequently, whereas she did not once receive anything encouraging people in her neighborhood to vote no. To think about it, to the best of our knowledge, we did not receive info about neither here in San Peepee.

The interview was done by Talk of the Nation and you can listen and read about it here.

Op-Ed: Why Black Voters Didn’t Fight Prop. 8

Talk of the Nation, November 10, 2008 · Writer Jasmyne Cannick argues that black voters did not join the fight against California’s same-sex marriage ban because the white community failed to effectively communicate with the black community.

Read Full Post »

America you have spoken. Thank you! I am so proud of you!

We ate our celebratory dinner while listening to NPR. How excited am I!!!


We had a delicious leek and pumpkin soup with garlic and cheese bread. In the back ground you will see my hat with Obama’s pins which nearly got me kicked out of the republican rally in Carson last month. I simply attended the rally out of curiosity and because I thought it would be an interesting subject to write about in the creative non-fiction writing course that I am taking. Well it was an eye opener at many levels and I am so glad they didn’t win. More on that on a later post…

Cheers Ya’ll!

Read Full Post »

The LA Times ran an article about the hard working dish washers and line cooks in the LA area restaurants. Anyone who has ever worked at a restaurant knows how hard these guys work for very little money. It is great to see them transition in the more prestigious positions! To read the article click here

Read Full Post »

I just realized today that we have reached a little milestone here: 100 posts since Aglio & Olio first appeared in the Internet world. WOW for me, I didn’t think I would actually accomplish this, granted the majority of the posts are about Indi. It’s all good though, my mom gets to keep track of Indi’s growth from the other side of the planet and probably grow more anxious about meeting her. The poor dog is feared and she has yet to meet her maternal grandmother!

Anyway, something cool happened today. J and I went to pick up our marriage license at the LAX courthouse, which by the way, is a nice looking building right where the 405 and 105 meet.  In front of us there was a gay couple who were waiting for the same thing. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside when I saw the excitement on their face.  They only do civil ceremonies on Fridays, but apprently, in light of the elections they decided to add another day to allow those interested in getting married before the election. I thought that was cool — I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Read Full Post »

I feel compelled to post the follow email I received. I have never met Celeste because we don’t live in the same city, however, I have heard so much about her.  I am very fond of her mother as she is a dear friend and I consider her family.

I have been blessed to grow up in a non-sheltered environment and have friends from different walks of life. One thing has always been very clear to me, in the matters of love one can’t choose based on race, religion, ethnicity, color, or gender.  I believe that a love based on who fits the right category is not true love but conditional love. I also believe that the more we categorize ourselves, the more we drive ourselves apart from each other.

I think people should be free to be and marry whomever they want because such a decision must be based on love.

I hope Celeste’s candid words will prompt you to think about the importance of voting no on preposition 8 in California.

Dear Friends
My daughter Celeste, who is 35, wrote this letter and wishes to have me forward it to my friends. Some of you know her and will recognize the voice of the lovely woman she is, some do not know her, but can imagine that having her as  my daughter is a gift.
You might not agree with her, but I must say her words ooze with gentleness.
Please feel free to forward it .
May you vote wisely

Dear Family-

I wanted to reach out to you in these 30 days before the upcoming
election.  These are my original words.  I am not following the directive
of a letter-writing campaign led by another organization.  I am following
my own personal directive to let you know how your vote on this issue not
only affects thousands of Californian families, but how it will affect me,
and thus, how it will affect OUR FAMILY – the

Proposition 8 calls for a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Same-sex marriage was recently made legal in California by a State Supreme
Court decision this last spring, making our state one of two (including
Massachusetts) that grant this right.  Soon after the decision was handed
down and made into law, opponents of same-sex marriage mobilized to put
Proposition 8 on the November ballot.  This is a contraversial and
polarizing issue.

I am blessed to have so much family in California.  I know that we may not
all agree on politics and on social or ethical issues, but I know that we
are all intelligent and compassionate, and I know that I love you all very

Here’s how Proposition 8 affects me, and how it affects us all.  As most
of you know, I have been in loving relationships with women in the past.
I also have been in loving relationships with men.  Take it from me – the
love is the same.  The commitment is the same.  The responsibilities are
the same.  The compassion is the same.  The problems are the same.  Two
men or two women cannot “naturally procreate”, but more and more so,
same-sex couples have children, and provide for them as heterosexual
couples do.

Mom and Dad raised me outside of any church, but within a household of
strong ethics.  When I was growing up, I didn’t know all that many gay
people, and those that I did know (all men) seemed destined to perpetual
bachelorhood – they didn’t seem quite “real”, and it was so easy to think
that they were different and strange.  It was only in University that I
became more aware of my capacity to love both men and women, and that I
thus became aware of the fundamental equality in loving either sex.

We are alive at a time when not only are gays, lesbians and bisexuals more
visible in society, but with that visibility, comes an acknowledgement
that like the rest of heterosexual society, we are complex, nuanced people
who cannot simply be defined by our sexual preferences.

We are just as able to be smart or stupid, bad or good, selfless or greedy
as anyone else in society.  We’ll be just as competent (or incompetent) at
handling the responsibilities of marriage.  We’ll be just as good (or as
bad) at parenting, and at taking responsibility for our spouse’s families.
If we are not given the right to marry, we will never have the full
resources to provide for and to protect our families.

Some of my family may have moral convictions against homosexuality.  I do
not know for sure since I have only had the opportunity to share this part
of my life with some of you.  I dont want to strong-arm you into dropping
your convictions.  Just recognize that someone in our family (myself) has
loved people of the same sex, and feels no different from her friends and
family for it.  I am proud to be who I am, and will be even more proud if
I know that you love me for who I am.

Rather, I want to encourage those of you who have moral reservations
against homosexuality to not take your convictions out at the ballot box.
If you vote for banning same-sex marriage, you are voting for government
intrusion on individuals’ privacy.  You are affirming the State’s “right”
to enforce a moral agenda that is not universal to all religions.  This,
in my mind, violates the fundamental separation of Church and State in
this country.

I would like for this e-mail or letter to reach all of the family in this
State.  Please feel free to forward to whomever I have missed, especially
if they are a California voter, or to pass this along to others.  Also,
please feel free to respond to me.  If you disagree with my position, I am
able to listen to your side with compassion.  I hope that if you are a
registered California voter, that you will vote NO on Propostion 8 in
November.  Regardless of what you do, I will always love you!

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Celeste XXXX

Read Full Post »

I saw an article relating to happiness in the LA Times. I thought I would share:

A guide to enhancing happiness

September 8, 2008

Count your blessings. Express gratitude for what you have privately and also by conveying appreciation to others.

Cultivate optimism. Keep a journal in which you write your best possible future. Practice seeing the bright side of every situation.

Avoid over-thinking and social comparison. When you start to dwell on problems or compare yourself to others, distract yourself with positive thoughts or activities.

Practice kindness. Do good things for others.

Nurture relationships. Pick a relationship that needs strengthening, and invest time and energy in it.

Do more activities that truly engage you. Increase the experiences at home or work in which you lose yourself in total absorption.

Replay and savor life’s joys. Pay attention, delight in and review life’s momentary pleasures.

Commit to your goals. Pick one or more significant goals and devote time and effort to pursuing them.

Develop coping strategies. Find and practice healthy ways to manage stress, hardship or trauma.

Forgive. Keep a journal or write a letter in which you let go of anger and resentment toward those who have hurt you.

Practice spirituality. Get more involved in your church, temple or mosque. Read spiritual books.

Take care of your body. Exercise, meditate and laugh.

Source: “The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want,” by Sonja Lyubomirsky

Tips on switching to a positive outlook

September 8, 2008
While working with unhappy clients, psychologist and author Dan Baker draws on the science that shows that half of our happiness is genetic, but as much as 40% is up to us. “That 40% is huge,” says Baker, who is the founding director of the life enhancement program at Canyon Ranch, an upscale spa and resort in Tucson and the author of “What Happy Women Know” (Rodale, 2008), a sequel to his bestselling “What Happy People Know” (St. Martin’s, 2004).

To help clients rewire their unhappy outlook, he offers this three-part prescription. For the next week, do these things daily:

1. Every morning when you wake up, think of someone or something that you have a deep and abiding appreciation for: a former teacher or coach, a neighbor, a parent or friend. Do the same just before lunch. At night, when you get in bed, think of something that occurred that day that you appreciate.

2. Do something for someone else. Call a friend or send her an e-mail. Give a toy to charity.

3. Curb your negative self-talk. When thinking of a forthcoming event, such as the birth of a baby or having the family over for Thanksgiving, don’t focus on the pain or hassles. Focus on the possibilities — and on what’s good and special about the event.

“It only takes a couple minutes each day to eventually build up a new neural network,” Baker says.

Keep up these new behaviors until they turn into habits.

— Marnell Jameson

Read Full Post »

So I called a credit card company Sunday afternoon because I needed them to send over a letter for a parental issue that I had mentioned before. I have to admit, this portion of this post belongs to a much longer post which I wrote, but then changed my mind about publishing. Maybe I will some day, but here is the tail end of it which is pretty funny in the skim of things.

I spoke with “Amanda,” clearly from India with love, who spoke a mile a minute. I have no idea what the heck she said. I presume it doesn’t matter as long as the bloody letter is sent to the verified address.

For the love of God people, we all speak English with different accents, so maybe it would be helpful if there is a bit of slowing down in the speech department, you know so we all can make sure that we understand each other. Maybe down shift, to oh lets say 3/4 of a mile a minute….cause you know we don’t interact with people with an Indian accent here on a regular basis so we don’t have the accent down, YET. But we will though. To think of it, I have no issues understanding my friends SK and SG who are both from India. We do just fine, the only thing I suppose is that they don’t speak a mile a minute.

Somehow I have a feeling that one of these days when we call 411 or 911 we will be connected to India or the Philippines. I can just see calling 911 for a shooting in front of my house and speaking with a dispatcher in India who is going to contact the LAPD in San Pedro…lets just hope that there is no miscommunication while the info flies from Pedro to India and then back to Pedro. As far as 411 goes, thank God for goog411 and their robot who speaks American English.

Am I alone to think that this is so freaking annoying? I have much respect for Indian English, but seriously, there is need for common intelligibility here. Just a little suggestions from lil’ ol’ me.

Read Full Post »

I finally back from my four week hiatus. I wished I could say I have been having so much fun that I have not had a chance to write. The month of May just flew by so quickly. I took the dreaded exam and passed it. Then gave an oral presentation as part of the program. The last two weeks of school were filled with papers. In my case 5 of them. Oh how fun it was! NOT! And finally on the 22nd I walked! It was a long and boring ceremony to be honest. But I was excited to be there for the experience. J and his mom came along, which was very nice. I will let you guess which one was me in this picture taken by J.

You can click on the picture for larger size

My cap decoration was an attention grabber! I was afraid they would not let me wear it during the ceremony. But no one said anything and I got a kick out of wearing it.

So now we should be back to regular schedule and I am going to be posting more regularly. There have been a few food experiments that I need to post about which were really good. One of them is actually J’s, which I am pretty excited about sharing because it was very yummy and the presentation was very delicious looking. I was not joking in one of my post about eating my way through the last weeks of class. I managed to take pictures here and there. I will be sharing it all very soon with everyone. In the mean time stay tuned!

Read Full Post »

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain

It is ironic that I am posting a Mark Twain quote. It is not that I don’t like him, I do–kinda. A good few years ago, when I officially became an English Literature major, in the first literature class that I took we read “The Innocents Abroad.” I liked the book a lot as I found it entertaining and fascinating. I do remember reading another book of his, but I was not as into it. So anyway, the point of the matter is, somehow this quote got to me when I saw it tonight.

I have been grumpy lately…according to someone, very grumpy; my official nickname has become “grumpy buckets.” I have a few reasons for being grumpy…I have got this parental issue that I need to deal with and I am dreading having to open certain lines of communication that are currently closed –very happily closed. The issue has been going on for years and said parent has made my life miserable in the past and currently his careless actions have caused some damage in my life. I have actually been having dreams, or more like nightmares, of the time when communication does take place and it is never pretty because there is always some serious yelling and screaming. I always wake up all out of sorts and freaked out.

The second issue is this F@#$ing exam for my program known as the comprehensive exam. Said exam will take place on Friday May 2nd from 9am to 1pm. The exam covers four courses that we have taken and we are going to be given one question for each course. So I have been driving myself crazy because I have been reviewing for the past month. I have gone back and re-read every textbook and made summaries for myself and now I am just reading my summaries. It is driving me nuts because I can see myself hyperventilating the day of the exam and forgetting everything that I know OR the question will ask something that I neglected to review. So I have been feeling a little neurotic. In the skim of things, I am not the only one…others in my program are feeling a little neurotic too.

The third issue…well it kinda has an impact on everything. I have been having some serious issues with motivation. I am not really sure what is going on with me. I just want to stick my head in the sand. There are a million things that I have going on and need to do, yet I am always behind and don’t seem to get my sh*t together. This certainly doesn’t help matters and makes studying even more difficult. I keep on reminding myself that I am almost done. In about four weeks I am going be done done done with my MA. It has been great but I need to get back to having a life because really, I don’t have one right now. What am I doing on a fine Saturday night? Reviewing and blogging. Can you say LOSER?

So back to the damn quote. It is a reminder of the freak that I was until a little while ago, much to J’s chagrin. He has called me “over achiever” (yeah right, had I been one, I would have been in a different place in life right now), a type A (oh how I resented him for saying that, I am so not type A, I even took an internet test to prove him wrong), and well good old “crazy.” I am fully aware that I have this tendency of multi-tasking and being always busy. I get bored easily, so I need to be always active and do things, otherwise I feel like life is going by and I am just standing still being lazy or missing out.

The thing is, that’s what happened in my 20s, I was busy trying to stay afloat and survive, and I feel that I wasted a lot of my youth and I have a few regrets. So when a new decade came along I decided that it was time to live, explore, grow, achieve, and most importantly be happy. So basically, now I need to get back into the groove of things and sail away, so to speak.

With this said, now I need to go and kick myself in the ass and sail away. And I have big plans for myself because I am going to sail away metaphorically, and well in real life. Our “adventure” group has weekend sailing trips and J and I have been talking about going to one since we came back from our Black Canyon canoe trip. So off I am to sign up for that because twenty years from now I don’t want to look back and regret!

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »