"I don't need your attitude. I already have one."

  • Don't worry about what people say behind your back. They are the people who are finding faults in your life instead of fixing the faults in their own.
  • Never hate people who are jealous of you. Love them instead. Because they are the ones who think you are better than them.
  • Ugliness is superior to beauty because it lasts. (Sorry for that bitchy one.)
  • Commitment does not mean sticking to a person when you do not have options. It means keeping a relationship with someone even though you have many options.
  • The ideal man does not smoke, drink, flirt, and goes to bed early. In short, does not exist.
  • Love's greatest gift is its ability to make everything it touches sacred.
  • When you are single, all you see are happy couples. When you are committed, all you see are happy singles.
  • Love doesn't need to be perfect. It just needs to be true.
  • To HELP is the most beautiful verb.
  • Wicked men obey from fear. Good men, from love.
  • Friendship isn't about who you've known the longest. It's about who came, and never left your side.
  • The person who is hardest to forgive is the one who can teach you the greatest lessons.
  • You will always see what's wrong when you're right. But you'll never see what's right when you're happy doing wrong.
  • Everyday is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be.

Did anyone else see President Obama today on The View ? He did a fantastic job---thoughtful, funny, calm, intelligent. The way you want the Chief Executive of the land to be. But then again, I am biased.

The highlight for me was when he put Elisabeth Hasselbeck (who looked and sounded like she was near tears) in her little Republican place. She asked him "how his administration could “claim” and “boast” to have “saved jobs” when the unemployment rate keeps “hovering” around the 10 percent mark and so many were jobless. After he explained that he believed, and noted that even Senator John McCain’s former economic advisor believed, that, if not for the stimulus package supported by his administration, millions of more people would have lost their jobs (and the country would have experienced another Great Depression), especially those who worked in state governments that were specifically targeted by the stimulus."

Overwrought Miss GOP kept up the attack and repeated her question about how his administration can say they have saved jobs. Here's the delicious part *rubs hands gleefully- closes eyes-smiles-while inhaling presidential disdain in the air*....wait for it....

“It makes a difference if your job is one that was saved,” he told her.

Lissie, you were just p0wned on national television by the President of the United States.

It's been so hot here in the Northeast that I stayed in yesterday and watched DVDs after work. I finally saw A Single Man, designer Tom Ford's directorial debut. Based on the novel by Christopher Isherwood, it stars two of my favorite actors, Colin Firth and Julianne Moore. Mr. Firth is George Falconer, a college professor grieving for his partner Jim (the handsome and charismatic Matthew Goode). It has been 8 months since the fatal accident, and George realizes he is unable to cope with his loss anymore. The movie follows him as he goes about his normal day, all the while planning that it will be his last. He is meticulous in his preparation for work, as well as for his demise.

Mr. Firth was rightfully nominated for his restrained and powerful performance. I totally got it when he said that looking back in the mirror staring back at him isn't so much a face as an expression of a predicament. The ever wonderful Julianne Moore is Charley, a fellow British expat with unrequited feelings for her gay friend. Christopher Hoult plays Kenny, a student with an affinity for his English professor. George's meaningful experiences with these two people will define how his day will end.

The film is an artistic gem. The story is set in 1962; kudos to the brilliant costume and set designers for their elegance and simplicity. The cinematography is beautiful, going from sepia and gray hues to warm oranges depending on our protagonist's encounters and sentiments. Many shots are art directed to death---the slow motion views of eyes, lips, even cigarette smoke---but I do understand the purpose behind them: Falconer taking in every detail, paying close attention to what's happening now, as if savoring it. He said that everyday goes by in a haze, and decided that today will be different.

I have not read the book and don't know how it ends. I didn't like how the screenwriters decided to end the film, but it doesn't take away from the beauty of the film. The message I got is that little ordinary moments in life add up to an extraordinary life. I love this voiceover: "A few times in my life I've had moments of absolute clarity, when for a few brief seconds the silence drowns out the noise and I can feel rather than think, and things seem so sharp and the world seems so fresh. I can never make these moments last. I cling to them, but like everything, they fade. I have lived my life on these moments. They pull me back to the present, and I realize that everything is exactly the way it was meant to be. "

(photo from Movie PosterDB)

Ever meet someone who immediately gives off good vibes? Or sometimes, the opposite---energy drainers. (In JK Rowling's world, dementors.) Working in health care gives me many opportunities to meet both types everyday. I can almost sense who wants to get better and predict who will get better. I can even guess who has fibromyalgia. They fit a certain profile in my head. Especially patients in chronic pain or with multiple medical conditions who become so identified with their illnesses that it interferes with their healing. They're so used to rattling off their various ailments. Even though they say they want to get better, I feel their mind isn't really into it.

Medical intuitive and mystic Caroline Myss has a term for this: woundology. In her book Why People don't Heal, and How they Can, she made the observation that in the past, people were wary about expressing their emotional or psychological troubles and needs. Nowadays, it's become almost like a badge of honor. Certain personality types find value in dwelling on their issues. Not to minimize their suffering, but didn't Dr. Phil say that we teach people how to treat us? And that people do what works, waiting for the pay off. When people see themselves as victims, they perpetuate that notion in their lives and their family/friends respond appropriately. Ms. Myss said that a defeatist state of mind allows them to lead a life of minimum expectation and limited responsibility. They feel powerful relying on other people for help and guilt people into doing things for them. It is never their fault. It's always their illness, or whatever disorder or "wound" they're nursing. That's how psychologists and psychiatrists stay in business. "My parents were emotionally unavailable; I was called names or bullied in school; it's my mother's fault;I'm the victim here;I'm sick/was sick/still sick'', etc, etc.

I know how difficult it is to let go of personal traumas---physical, emotional or psychological. We're human after all. Ms. Myss quoted Buddha as having said that "My teachings are a raft meant to help you cross over the river. Once you get to the other shore, set them down and go on with your life." We're supposed to let go of our life stressors. Don't lug the raft (or baggage) around. Into each life, a little rain must fall. But we need not stay soaked and freezing cold.

I saw this on The Soup tonight and I can't stop watching it. I'm laughing hysterically every time. That is one PO'd ibex! You gotta give props to the reporter for persevering when it's clear the ibex doesn't want to be on camera or to give any statement. Can anyone tell me what the reporter is saying?

I have this South American patient D__ who doesn't really speak a lot of English. She had missed an appointment the other day because she had to bring her teenaged son to the ER because of chest pains. She came in Tuesday so I asked about him. He's been through some tests and they're waiting for results. She kept saying "God is good." and saying thanks to the Lord. It so happened that a Puerto Rican patient M___ was there at the same time. They struck up a conversation and D was so happy to finally have someone to talk to. She kept telling me how this was the best day in therapy ever. They even exchanged phone numbers. I told M that she's done her good deed for the day. She just smiled and said her husband always said she has the gift of gab.

As D was leaving, she said her goodbyes, then turned around and asked to hug me. She gave me the longest hug and kept telling me she loved me. She was nearly in tears at that point. I didn't even know what I did. Maybe she was all emotional because of her son. I'm not an affectionate or demonstrative person. But it felt great to get that hug, and to give that hug. It reminded me of these quotes: "Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver."---Barbara De Angelis

"If you love someone, tell him or her. Forget about the rules or the fear of looking ridiculous. What is truly ridiculous is passing up on an opportunity to tell someone that your heart is invested in him or her"---unknown

Obsessed with Memphis the Musical! How can you not be with lyrics like these? "I listened to advice from folks smarter than me. And I ignored it. I listened to hatred from folks richer than me. And I deplored it. I listened to music from folks darker than me. And you know I adored it."

"Listen to your soul, heed it. You need it. Let it make you whole. Listen to the beat, play it, obey it. And if you listen to the beat and hear what's in your soul---you'll never let anyone steal your rock and roll."

Just saw this one tonight: a paw print saying "Who saved who?"

Pinky forwarded these photos to me. I didn't have the heart to delete them :) That would be a shame. Here's Spain's David Villa...
Italy's Fabio Cannavaro in tidy whities...

Muy bonita foto del Nadal y Casillas!

I've been going to meditation classes on Sunday before I go to Mass. I can't stop smiling afterwards. I go so deep now that I've been seeing colors. Call me crazy, but today, I actually felt I was being taken up into the clouds, into space. I think I even saw Jesus and Mother Mary :) (Actually, as I was driving to the studio, I had a sudden inspiration to go to Mass at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Massachusetts. That's probably where the Jesus and Mary vision came from.) Anyway, the teacher has been meditating all week on what we're worth and asked us to do the same. It didn't take me very long to decide that since God made us in His image, then we are priceless. And that's not the ego talking. If we don't believe that we are precious, then that would be an insult to our Creator. Being Catholic though, it can be hard to reconcile this with the teaching that we are all sinners, born sinners in fact. That's why I'm attracted to other religious disciplines that say we are holy, we are perfect the way we are. And we only have to look inward to find that divine spark.

But I digress. Anyway, although it was so hot, I enjoyed my drive up. The sun shining, beautiful scenery, wind blowing, and music playing as I sang along. I even took roads I don't normally take, just to see new things. I got back home, there was no running water. Then a text exchange with my sister really bugged me. It's crazy how easily one's peace of mind can be broken by life and our family/friends. We are only human. I guess that's part of spiritual practice, finding our way through little distractions, irritations, the noise and hassles of daily living.

Fostering one's spirituality is a tough task. I want to see God everywhere, in everyone and everything. It's not easy to make every moment a spiritual one. Anger is such a powerful emotion, and all logic easily lost in the face of it. Here's Sylvia Boorstein's introduction to her book Happiness is an Inside Job reprinted by Kripalu Online. She was speaking about restoring the mind to kindness.

As I type this, I remembered something my teacher said today. Something simple: she said to respect everyone. Do not judge. We judge because of our own expectations. Try to walk in other people's shoes or at least try to understand how they're thinking/feeling. She always gives her own experiences as examples. Her father criticizes her vegetarian-yogi lifestyle, saying she's too thin or needs to eat something. She just smiles. She got invited to a wedding yesterday and her friend got upset when she wouldn't go. She told her she can't stand the noise anymore. She's done her drinking, eating, dancing, etc. And she's past all that. She's been told she's anti-social, even strange and weird. But like Joy Behar would say, "so what, who cares?" All we can do is follow our hearts. When faced with any (especially a bad ) situation, we tend to hear people say "It is what it is." Even George Lucas had a version of this:"Well, what are you gonna do?" as he shrugged his shoulders or threw his hands up in the air. Like I posted on my Facebook page, "Let go, or be dragged." Let go of expectations of being this calm, serene person just because I've been meditating more or going to classes regularly instead of on my own. Let go of expectations of how people should react to any particular statement. We can only control our own thoughts. Everyone interprets or misinterprets messages and conversations depending on their own perceptions, values, temperaments. Let go of our ideas on how long we could stay in a funk. I'll stay in a bad mood as long as I'm in it. It's all a cycle anyway.

One word can summarize this philosophy: SURRENDER. A yoga teacher patient of mine put it brilliantly: It's yoga practice, not yoga perfect.

I don't know what to make of a high school classmate's Facebook posts. First she said "WHO IS _______? A NURSE IN ROME...MY HUSBAND'S MISTRESS!" A day later, there was a captionless photo of a woman on her wall. Of course there were many comments inquiring about the identity of the female, which she never responded to.

I feel horrible she is having marriage problems. And yet I feel that FB was not an appropriate place to air out dirty laundry. I know her anger made her do it. Maybe she felt it was the easiest way to get the word out about her cheating husband.

All I can do is pray and wish her well.

I got this email comparing General McChrystal's resume with President Obama, ending with "the wrong guy was forced to retire." This was just one of the many right-wing racist propaganda BS that I get from conservative acquaintances. I saw some men standing on the sidewalk the other day, holding up signs to impeach Obama. Where were they those 8 long years Pres. Bush was driving the country into the ground?

Obama Biography:

Birthplace: Location remains questionable. Proof of United States Citizenship hasn't been provided.
Education: Columbia University, Harvard Law School. Records never produced, attendance remains questionable.
Military Career: None
Business Career: None
Political Career: Community organizer, Chicago, 1983-86; civil rights attorney, Chicago, 1991-96;
University of Chicago, lecturer, early 1990s-2004; Illinois State Senator, 1996-2005; U.S. Senator, 2005-2008; President 2008-.


A mosque at Ground Zero? Outrageous! Why should we New Yorkers promote tolerance in a place where intolerant elements of another religion declared war on the American way of life? I feel for the families of those who died at the World Trade Center. I hope Mayor Bloomberg doesn't allow this to happen.

"I'm not mean...I just don't like you."

Inquire Within.

All problems come to you for a purpose,
To teach you a specific lesson.
When you fear problems you lose
an opportunity to learn the lesson.
When you look at them without fear,
You grow through the lesson they teach.
Welcome problems as a gift -
A gift which makes life constantly stimulating,
constantly fresh and filled
with ever-unfolding challenges. --- Yogi Amrit Desai


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