Showing posts from July, 2012

Heath Ledger and Insomnia

Insomnia can make your life miserable. A living hell. You try to catch a quick nap with maybe a beer or wine to help, but that doesn't work.  Your doctors don't take the problem seriously. Ambien, diazapam, ativan, valium--you try it all.  Your brain is in 5th gear but your body is exhausted. Unfortunately, your tolerance for drugs increases and you need more pills. At the start you only used two and now it is up to six, with a shot of whiskey on the side. If you are lucky that should give you 3-5 hours of sleep.

I too have had insomnia for years.  I guess Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole, Marilyn Monroe and Heath Ledger suffered through sleeplessness too. I wish insomnia were treated as a 'disease'.  I know my insomnia is caused by my multiple sclerosis which affects the brain---sometimes my ankles move involuntarily for hours.  All that can sure keep me wide awake. I have medications to help me sleep and I could not sleep without them.  Insomnia can kill us! Too many pi…

Leonardo di Caprio is the Great Gatsby!

Perfection. Leonardo is cast as Jay in the upcoming movie the Great Gatsby. It's not just the way he looks on camera in this role, it is his innate ability to become the wealthy man in 1925--with all the shiny benefits and the dark side that accompanies the good parts.. Leonardo understands well the edge of the sword rich men have to teeter on. One slip and they are down.

 It does not matter what era, the precipice is always there beckoning.  Alcohol often helps push toward the wrong road. But it is so much fun--at the time. 

I cannot wait to see the movie but will re-read the book first.

Note-This blogger got to experience a lot of the extremely wealthy side of life in New Haven, Connecticut USA. Our house had a full working bar with tables in the basement where my grandmother held parties during prohibition. There was a lot of drinking that I remember too even after WW2 when my mom, sis, dad and I all moved into 239 Everit. .

A sad note- both my grandmother and uncle who was attendi…

Art Rises From Destruction in Baghdad~Iraqi Artist Qasim Sabti and the Phoenix Create Collages from Remnants of Burned Books

(Reuters) - As Baghdad burned, Iraqi artist Qasim Sabti headed for one of the places he loved the most - the Academy of Fine Arts - only to find thousands of its books and archives on fire. It was April 2003 and the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, begun in March, had reached the capital. Sabti, who had seen the blaze from his balcony in central Baghdad, recounts the destruction of 6,000 books on art and how he tried to recover just a handful from the flames. "I tried to save a Russian landscape book. I loved it, I always looked at Russian artists for how to do landscapes and used them to teach my students," he said. "I see this book and this huge fire, so I put my hand out to save this book. The fire touched my fingers and the text fell into the fire and the only the cover of the book stayed in my hand." The loss of the books was a huge blow for the academy, which had struggled to build up its collection in recent years as a result of sanctions and meager funding. But …

Red Leggings-Art by Edwin White


Edwin White (born, South Hadley, Massachusetts 1817; died Saratoga Springs, New York 1877) was an American painter who studied in Paris, Rome, and Florence and later  taught at the National Academy of Design, in New York. Works by White, mostly in storage, are in the collections of Yale; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; New-York Historical Society.
A notable moment in White's career was noted in October, 1855, when he met the painter Sanford Robinson Gifford in Paris and told Gifford that he was about to return to New York, was destitute, had no commissions, and might have to return to portrait painting. However, when White did return to his NY studio, he went to work on his Mayflower painting, which he sold off the easel for $1,000, and a new and successful stage of his career was launched. His painting of Washington resigning was painted on commission by the state of Maryland, for $6,000, when White had returned to Paris. The Mayflower…

Impact of Compassion-Alameda Sangha July 8th 7-9pm

Sunday, July 8th: Impact of Compassion 7-9pm
Alameda Sangha
Buena Vista United Methodist Church,
2311 Buena Vista Ave.Alameda, CA. 94501
All welcome

Anthony will be leading the group this Sunday,
The topic that he will bring up this week is the impact of compassion.
There are many different angles from which he would like to approach this subject.
Some of these include: how our compassion impacts others, how our compassion impacts our own lives,
how the compassion of others affects ourselves, how an attitude of compassion can impact awareness
of each arising moment, and more.
As a reflection prior to Sunday, Anthony would invite you to think about the phrase'Impact of Compassion.' How do you hear it? What does it mean for you? What questions do you have?
I hope to see many of you this Sunday evening, and I wish you a good end of the week,

Alameda Sangha
Every Sunday at Buena Vista United  Methodist 2311 Buena Vista Ave Alame…

Alameda Sangha - Peace in Every Moment

 Peace in Every Moment

Monthly Yoga Dina Hondrogen, a sangha member, offers 45 minutes of yoga before our regular meeting on the last Sunday of each month. Yoga can aid settling in and deepening your practice experience. 
Please read more about Dina and the practice offered here

The Alameda Sangha is a place to practice and discuss mindfulness meditation and Buddhist teachings.  Founded in 2008, today we are led by three teachers  of the Theravada tradition, Pauletta M. Chanco,  Rebecca Dixon, and Anthony Rodgers. Find more  about our teachers here..
We meet Sunday evenings from 7-9 pm at the Buena Vista United Methodist Church,  2311 Buena Vista Ave. in Alameda, CA. Please find  directions or contact us here.

Visit our blog for practice guidance and past dharma talks.

Meeting Schedule
 1 Pauletta        Upekkha 8 Anthony        Impact of Compassion15 Pauletta        Urgency to Practice - Reference Sutta22 Rebecca*     Moods & Attitudes29 Anthony       Reviewing the Path
* Plea…

Japanese Internees and Internment Camps in Turlock CA 1940s

There were many internment camps out here in Turlock, California. Doesn't this photo capture the profound sadness of these boys? They are not forgotten!'

"The temporary detention camps (also known as 'assembly centers') represent the first phase of the mass incarceration of 97,785 Californians of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Pursuant to Executive Order 9066 signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, thirteen makeshift detention facilities were constructed at various California racetracks, fairgrounds, and labor camps. 

These facilities were intended to confine Japanese Americans until more permanent concentration camps, such as those at Manzanar and Tule Lake in California, could be built in isolated areas of the country. Beginning on March 30, 1942, all native-born Americans and long-time legal residents of Japanese ancestry living in California were ordered to surrender themselves for detention. 

The Turlock Assembly Center was at the…

Old Time Candy Store in Gold Country California July 4 2012

This store is on the same street where the parade was going by in Sonora, CA!
Photo credit-Thomas Vicknair