How Much Longer? Are We There Yet?

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How to stay sane until November…

I feel like a child in the back seat with two squabbling parents
fighting for the steering wheel. I can’t ask, “Are we there yet?”
So I’m left with – how much longer can we stand this?
The fringes of our society have taken hold of their ideological ends
and are reaping us apart like skirt seams.
I cannot wait for the sun to rise on November 8th.
It will be the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election.
Like deep-sea divers, how low can we go?
I hope that those who have drowned their sense of civility and elected to
engage with prosecutorial glee in depraved depths of inhumane rhetoric,
blatant falsehood and tribal rage will once again be neighbours and friends.
Did the salacious appetite for coliseum-style politics seep
into our veins while we were asleep?
How did this get so vicious that we are demanding the heads of political rivals on silver platters and shackles on their supporters’ wrists across the aisle?
Surely America is better than this.
Surely once again, rays of love will beam across this land,
and we can fix the labels sticking out like tongues at the back of our heads.
We are officially in the twilight zone, and we should all feel
betrayed by the state of our union.
What to do? Let’s pray and read haikus to ease our troubled minds.

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Full moon night
All that is
and isn’t.


“Xyz?”
“Abcdef,
Xyz!”


Hydrangea rain
will I see you again
in my dreams?

Credits:
Haikus – Johan Bergstad, Kika Hotta, and Kris Kondo respectively
Images – Pixabay.

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Shout Outs and Giving Thanks on Happy Yum Day

Shout outs and Thanksgiving

My first Thanks to God who keeps us by His Love!

A little late, but better than never so here’s a big Shout-out and Thanks to our WordPress family. I would love to list you all by name, but after slaving away at my kitchen, prepping, grilling, mashing and opening packages – *wink*, I can’t…just can’t.

Yesterday and last night stretched out for hours, I was bone tired, my head was setting up for a tango session and I could not finish my glass of Gaucho Spur Malbec Reserve, but today…

I look forward to a day of rest, NO black Friday shenanigans. I’m stuffing myself with left-overs, enjoying the deep red rich wine from the mountains of Mendoza with flavors of black cherry, blueberry and notes of raspberry, crafted masterfully by South American , Gaucho – a keeper of the grassland, protector of the fruits of the land, a man with heavy manners and a tall reputation.  Esta bien bonito!! 

More than ever, I am so thankful that I washed my turkey with lemon wedges, plucked out and rubbed off the remnant feathers and loose pre-dermis tucked between the wings and thighs myself. I am anal about the pristine state of the bird, before it’s stuffed and smothered with my signature rub of melted butter, celery seeds, curry, rosemary, thyme, salt and MSG! I am sometimes tempted to buy a pre-cooked thanksgiving package, but my conscience will not let me serve my family a bird I didn’t personally decontaminate.

Thanksgiving is an uncommon holiday, by nature I am thankful and optimistic, so a whole day to have an entire country in sync with the spirit of gratitude is incredible! I believe that’s why America is so blessed. Think of a world, all countries of the world, setting aside one day in a year to be grateful for loved ones, break bread and give thanks…

Shout-outs and ThanksgivingBack to the Shout Outs! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Here’s to all you dreamers, subscribers, followers, blog-guests, rebels, closet writers, the go-getters, the ones who inspire, the steadfast, the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world in their own unique ways…God Bless You ALL!

A special Shout Out to the NaBloPoMoers of 2013… At least we tried!

I hope you all had a great time with loved ones and I am officially declaring the day after thanksgiving…Happy Yum Day!

If I Could Peek at the Super Power of Love

Love Super Power

The super power I would have chosen would have been the ability to travel through time.
Definitely.

I love…’love’ and the greatest love story that I would have wanted to see or know was my fathers’
Call it a stroke of genius or what, but before my Dad passed away, I sent him a voice recorder to tell stories about his childhood and family history.

Sadly, I didn’t get all the juicy details I really needed, one because ‘someone else’ – my brother was the interviewer.
And we know guys do not care much for details.

But, thankfully, I still got some nuggets which I am using in my book.
Dad went to Morehouse College and married his American sweetheart and returned to Africa with his new bride and their growing family.
I would give anything to be the fly on the wall, while she had told her family and friends that she was relocating to a third world country.

It’s one thing for her family when crazy, young love is on your turf, with civilization, 911 and emergency services at your disposal, how do you let your baby girl go off with a strange African? How did she navigate the unknown in the even stranger language, culture,  food and the village life??
Oh… the questions…

There must have been something extraordinary and fearless about this African-American beauty, who loved, married my Dad, and returned with him after his studies to the Nigeria, Africa in the 1960s.
There was not much to help with her research. She did not have any extensive background information about Nigeria, now called (erroneously, in my opinion) as the ‘Giant of Africa’ or have access to travel, adventure websites.

She did not have today’s internet or safari travel agencies, which among the poverty, corruption and painful maladies also paints an exotic picture, promising the thrills and wonders of:

‘Exciting tourist attractions, Historic sites nestled amid rivers and rain forests, breathtaking mountain vistas, remote creek villages, miles of pristine beaches and exotic national Wildlife reserves, museums, festivals, music and dance, a rich cultural melange right down to everyday traditional markets, spectacular sights and sensual delights awaiting the traveler to Nigeria.’

Love Super PowerShe had to trust her husband completely and rely on stories from books which labelled Africa, the Dark continent, a third world and undeveloped country.
Horrid stories of savages living on trees, barbaric rituals, black magic – ‘juju’ and still she migrated, taking that dreaded sixteen-hour flight with their two sons. She had a vow to keep, one to love and cherish till death.

I’m a fill-in-the-gap person, so the ability to go back and see how it all evolved who have come in handy. Sure, I can make up stories and extrapolate how she was swept off her feet, but like they say, there’s nothing like the real thing, baby!
Love is the real thing. It’s the only super power that matters 🙂

Prompt: You get to choose one superpower: The ability to speak and understand any language, the ability to travel through time or the ability to make any two people agree with each other.

Day Shift at the Weather Station

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Day Shift at the Asylum (Excerpt from Poem by Ama Danesi)

Blond dandy meteorologist pumped his fist
High in the air giddy with the forecast of sunshine
Promised to the nurse high on whatever she gets high on
Promised to diminished egos stranded under hopeless arcs
Promised to beach bums in Venice, like that even makes sense
The obstinate moon tripped and drenched nurse lady….

This poem was my attempt at giving my local KABC 7 news meteorologists some edge!

The only  uninteresting news today was the weather report on my local TV station. It still amuses me when my partner, stops in the middle of dressing for work, tilts his head like a cocker-spaniel to listen to the Live Mega Doppler 7000 HD local weather and traffic report. I bet, most people just gloss over the details – “Dense fog advisory – foggy nights, people…visibility is low in parts of Orange County, Palm Springs looking beautiful, 84 degrees over the weekend.”

The nice GPS lady and Siri, have made this totally unnecessary. I know…I talk to both, they talk back and sometimes, I can’t get them to shut up.Here’s my weather summary: It’s sunny in the valley, it’s foggy on the mountains and we need more freeways. Not news helicopters directing to us to freeways to get stuck on! Though not entirely their fault – in Los Angeles, we wake up to and head right into the nightmare of the morning commute.

But on the day’s report, something was different. After the sun worship and fist pumping, the news that Super Typhoon “Haiyan” was wreaking havoc in the South China Sea sent panic waves through those with loved ones over there.

Typhoon HaiyanTyphoon Haiyan Makes Landfall

Busy with errands I didn’t hear the news, till later in the day and I was alarmed! It seemed that phone lines and cell towers were all down , and I couldn’t reach our family friends, until I got a Facebook status from them asking for prayers for their safety, as it was still raining heavily. This is one of the few times families and friends can say, “Thank God for Facebook!” Social Media will play a huge role in helping loved ones connect and get help.

This is definitely going to be a long rough road to recovery,the strongest and possibly the most powerful typhoon in the world this year has just hit land in the Philippines. About one million people have been forced to flee their flooded villages and homes and there are already talks of widespread casualties.

Patrick Fuller, spokesman for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in a statement, that “The humanitarian impact of Haiyan threatens to be colossal”.

So as we pray for families and loved ones, let’s help the various charity organizations getting involved in the rescue and personally, I have resolved to be grateful. I’ll take a boring , uneventful report any day, because when the weather gets excited, it has  hyperkinetic tendencies.

Here are Some Other Facts on Typhoon Haiyan:

  • Haiyan is the second category 5 typhoon to hit the Philippines this year after Typhoon Usagi in September.
  • An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year.
  • Last year, three towns on Mindanao were devastated by Typhoon Bopha flattened three towns on Mindanao, killed 1,100 people and caused damages of more than $1 billion.
  •  In 1969, the world’s strongest recorded typhoon, cyclone or hurricane to make landfall was Hurricane Camille. It  hit the southern US state of Mississippi with 305km/h Weather Underground’s Masters reported.
  • Haiyan  grazed tourist destinations of the northern tip of Cebu province and then headed northwest towards Boracay island.It also affected the central islands of Leyte and Samar with 275km/h wind gusts and five to six meter waves.
  • The death toll of over 100 dead, could rise higher as more reports arrive.

According to Associated Press (AP): Rescuers in the central Philippines counted at least 100 dead and many more injured Saturday, a day after one of the most powerful typhoons on record ripped through the region, wiping away buildings and leveling seaside homes in massive storm surges, then headed for Vietnam.Meteorologists in Vietnam said it could be the country’s strongest storm ever and have already started evacuations per the state-run Voice of Vietnam radio. See the full AP story here

Update: The death toll is upwards of 1866 people. For those who want to help out, these are some websites organizing relief for survivors of Typhoon Haiyan – Red Cross, AmeriCares, UNICEF, SaveTheChildren.

Lord have mercy…and comfort the distressed.

Prompt: Connect the Dots

Books By Color – RED

Book by Colours - Red

RED.

I’m feeling dangerous, daring. I feel like diving into a red book today. My bookcase arcs across the wall like an uneven rainbow – my refuge in the middle of the storm or as in this case, boredom. I feel heady with anticipation, my fingers stroking the glossy covers. With each book title I try to imagine where I was, what event prompted it’s acquisition and I get excited…these are way better than sexy red pumps.

I arrange my books by color not genre, they are like old friends…I want to be reminded and surprised of the highs, the twists and plots as I run into each one.

Choices…I have the British Medical Association’s review on Children’s Symptoms, old faithful Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, 1001 Recipes by Martha Day, so far I have only used one recipe – plain old Banana Bread ( yeah..I am full of good intentions), Courting Disaster by Pat Robertson – this must be a stray – did I read 270 pages of how the Supreme Court was usurping the people’s power?

Ah! Gooseberry Patch’s Celebrate Winter – It is noted on the recipe for Smiling Bishops, in proper Victorian cursive script that the combination of port, red wine, eight whole garlic cloves and an orange put Ebenezer Scrooge in a holiday spirit. Well, that’s news to me. I just cracked open that book for the first time! Now I can thank the Christmas catalogues from my son’s school fundraising for that piece of Christmas trivia.

Then I pause to flip through The Laws of Money, The Lessons of Life by Suze Orman and she’s smiling at me – I’m approved. For whatever I want now, I am approved! But none of these are hitting the B-spot! I want to read something fire-engine-red bold! I’m not giving up, tucked between Limitless Love by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland and Healing the Heart by Joan Hunter, I find it!

I think your book collection attempts to define you, but don’t pass any judgement on me yet. Wait till I get to my section of blue books!  Does anybody out there have this much fun with their home library? Please tell me I’m not weird.

Anyway, I carefully pull it out by its golden braided thread. It’s a numbered limited edition chapbook of Decay Constant by Margaret Ross. My copy is #46. I dive under the checkered cotton throw on my armchair, settle in and it reads me.

“ …from space when night appears
a hammock swinging gently out across our
Earth, each fall slushed over

bird calls could be recognized for tiny screws
creaking shut your mind
when used my fingernail to scrape
white tallies on my naked ankle then

think of the long trip home.
You’re already home. All the loyal
idiot details know what to do to stay believable but you…”

An excerpt from – A Timeshare by Margaret Ross.