Sunday, July 31, 2005

Pictures from Europe

Street of Praha, where houses sprout from one another like mushrooms!

"Liberty KO" (my title) on the lawn of University Karlova in Praha.

Schloss Schobrunn in Vienna.

Tasting Sacher Tort at the Sacher Hotel in Vienna.

Haydn's preforming Hall in Eisenstad.

Town Orchestra, Igls, Tyrol. The ladies serve schnapps to the audience, we thought we would try that at the local performance hall!

Best cup of coffee, ever! Gruyere, Switzerland.

Hike near a Glacier in Grundelwald, Switzerland.

Hangning clouds, Grundelwald, and moonrise over the Yungfrau, (more spectacular in person!)

Sorry, I can't seem to get them in the order I want!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Still hanging

Went to a great party for a friend's birthday tonight. Still drifting in and out of reality, feeling like I want to be somewhere else most of the time. I found out that my brother as been moonligthing on tv in canada. That sounds like fun, but I wonder what kind of roles he is getting. He used to act when we were teens and even had his own theater as a young adult and was fairly successful. I am glad that at sixty, he is discovering new arenas of his life. Sorta gives me hope that I can still rearrange my life no matter what age I get to be!

I had my yearly evaluation this Friday and asked my boss for an extra day off. Blamed it on my health, which is true the stress increases my symptoms of asthma. I am hoping to go to 4 days in September. A friend is also recommending I start teaching at local colleges. She has some connections and said she would advocate for me. That sounds exiting to me and different. Even if I have less caseloads, child welfare is still quite stressful and intensive and I am reaching my point of no return. I hope that good things are in store for me.

I am exited as I am going to a promising show tomorrow night Issa Bagayogo, right here in my town. My good friend the spin doctor is producing the show. He has brought some great acts to our area. I think it will be great. Another friend who is a percussionist will be the opening act. Should be great. I need some fun things where I forget myself as I am still reeling from my recent travel and only reluctantly do I enjoy what I usually enjoy. AHH fickle heart of mine, always looking for the greener grass in the neighboring pastures.

Saturday, July 23, 2005


Well I had the most amazing trip throughout Europe, hence the long delay in posting. I will plug in some pics later.

The overwhelming feeling right now is sadness. I cannot believe how quickly and wonderfully the last two weeks have gone by. I am in love with Praha (Prague) and seriously want to go live there. The language is the most beautiful I have encountered yet and the folks are just good, down to earth country folks, at least those I met. I expected I would hate being on a tour, surrounded by 30 others, not having much time to myself and following everything in group. And to my surprise, I adored it. Yes, I did feel stupid being part of a "meute" (French word for herd), but the group of folks was amazing. We had two activists women from LA, whom I originally assumed were a couple, and later found out they were good friends, and other fun adults, a group of 22 young adults who sang in venues and churches throughout the trip. (After their first performance, I expected I would grow weary from the repertoire, and now, I keep missing their voices). It was enchanting. Small towns in the Alps, where the town band gives an outdoors concert while two "maiden" serve schnapps and sell CD's, the Montreux Jazz Festival with amazing performances, Vienna (Wien) which is way too stately for me, a hike up a mountain near the yungfrau in Switzerland that took every ounce of energy I could muster with the thinning air, the moon rising over a trio of peaks in that region, and more and more. In addition we had the most amazing young man for our bus driver. A drummer from the Czech republic who embraces values that are immensely dear to me: caring for others, doing the right thing just because that is what we should do, those small town values that are nearly nonexistent in this American world I now inhabit safe for a few of my close friends. My heart is rended being back at home and returning to the humdrum of my routined life.

I could feel the shift in attitude the moment our plane left Amsterdam: the selection of entertainment and food, the rudeness of the staff. I thought "what am I doing living in a world that is so far from my canadian heart?" I felt so at home there, even when in a country whose language I did not understand. It awoke in me some feelings that have laid silent for too long and I do not want them to go away. I am torn between the necessity of functioning in my current work world, and that of my ideal self. I know this too shall pass, but for now I wish to wallow a bit. (The insane jet lag is not helping either, I slept on average 4 hours a night throughout the trip).

Thanks for all your comments to my last post.

Monday, July 04, 2005

World Hunger

What an odd combination of movies I ended up watching tonight. First, I saw that Supersize Me was playing and after a day of laundry, cleaning the house and prepping for our coming trip, I decided to vege and watch it again as there were several bits of info that I felt I could use a refresher on.

Then I found Beyond Border. While I was not impressed by this love story, I was shocked by the young child that is found by Angelina (who wears impeccable while linen throughout her stay in Ethiopia, and despite the lack of potable water, she finds enough to wash her feet, which are also pristine compared to my feet after a few days of camping). I forget that starvation is still very much part of our world. Living here in the US, we are reminded daily of the ravage of overnutrition. In the last four years at my current job, four of my clients have undergone gastric bypass surgery paid by medical because their weight was such that it endangered their health. I can still see that child, his arms so emaciated, his skin glued to his skull, and those huge eyes, that seem to always be searching.

I read with pleasure that Flash enjoyed Live 8. I hope it was a success. There obviously is still a need for a lot of work to bring equality to this world. In the meantime, many of us drive our SUV around, complain about the price of gas and groceries, and cringe at the thought that we should do laundry in the evening when the demand on electricity is less. A simple image can change one's perspective in a moment.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Changing times

Sandra, Sandra, Sandra,

Why did you do it? Why now? I feel abandonned and also I fear the results of this change on the supreme court. Not only are we losing a female, but also a moderate who often, not always, brought some reason and balance in the Supreme court. Contact your representatives and other persons of power to let them know that balance is still needed in this country.

On another note, I saw today a bit of news that is most amusing. As you know this week Canada passed legislation in favor of same sex unions, and Spain also did so amidst quite a bit of protest. In addition, Spain also passed a law that requires husbands to do half of the housework and caring for children or elders. Track records will be kept and help in determining financial settlements and custody in divorce cases. You got to like that! Maybe when I figure out how to put links in I can add that one!