not all who wander are lost.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"This Will Make You Laugh..."

A few weeks ago my great friend Pat from Costa Rica sent me an email with the subject line, "This Will Make You Laugh...". Well damn, she was right. But it wasn't a laugh, it was a grin from ear to ear. Patricia is a great person who I'm lucky to have found, and though we haven't been in touch too much lately, it's emails like this that remind me of the love she has for me - and I for her. Thanks Pat for giving me something to cheer me up on a gloomy day.



Pat has a blog about her life in Costa Rica...check it out: www.gringaticacostarica.blogspot.com

Friday, October 29, 2010

My Julia.

I was editing my iPhoto library and found some photos from Julisa's visit that I neglected to put on the web. I love this shot of my very best friend...she is beautiful inside and out. Since we were kids she has loved Japanese haiku's, and has often written them for me. Here's one I've written for you Julia...


autumn breeze brings me
sadness i cant seem to shake
warm embrace, you are my sun

World Dominator: AJW


Andy Welker.
We are about as opposite as black and white, hot and cold, apples and oranges.
Yet, we are the best of friends... For many years now.
Andy took some time off from is outrageously insane work schedule {he is currently working towards total World Domination down in Texas...} to come visit Dad (and me and Mom) for a few days. Well, about 48 hours....

Picking stone crab claws, and drinkin' Modelo. Life is good.

Went for a walk to burn off some of the beer gut...

Mom + Dad

Andy + Me

Mom, AJW + Me

Lula Bandha's CRIB, Ojai Valley, California

Here's a photo journal of my most recent Jaunt to Ojai Valley, California for the CRIB yoga retreat @ Lulu Bandha's. HUGE thanks to the The Soens Clan {Bill, Scott + Alison} for the amazing, warm hospitality. I'll be back sooner than later...

The beautiful, Ojai Valley.

Scott, Alison, Bill and I enjoyed our own little dinner party every night. Bill bought the groceries and I was the chef. This night was Curry Apple Chickpea pasta, Beet + Honey'd Goat Cheese salad with walnuts, and my famous Roasted Squash Soup. Good times on the regular.

ME on MEDITATION MOUNT.

We ate all of our lunches @ The Farmer and the Cook. The husband is the farmer, the wife is the cook...and everything they serve is from their garden.

Alison + Me, DownDog, Meditation Mount, post-Jason-Crandell-class

Mr. Bill Soens + Me. Friends Forever.

Jason Crandell, putting us in BOAT...ugh....

Om Shanti, Ravi Ravindra.

Dr. Ravi Ravindra

While in Ojai, CA for the Crib yoga retreat, I was lucky enough to spend a few hours listening to Dr. Ravi Ravindra. We discussed a little of this and a little of that, but mostly focused on the Bhagavad Gita. The Bhagavad Gita is the eternal message of spiritual wisdom from ancient India. The word Gita means song and the word Bhagavad means God, often the Bhagavad Gita is called the Song of God. It reveals the essence of all spiritual knowledge: accurate, fundamental knowledge about God, the ultimate truth, creation, birth and death, the results of actions, the eternal soul, liberation, and the purpose as well as the goal of human existence. It has been studied and revered by the likes of: Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr.Albert Schweitzer, Herman Hesse, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Aldous Huxley, Rudolph Steiner and Nikola Tesla.

Ravi is the kind of person that radiates kindness, wisdom and compassion. He speaks softly with his Indian accent, casually discussing some of the most intense and serious subjects out there: life...and death. I scribbled notes down for three hours, and thought that I'd share them with you. I'm looking forward to catching him again in the upcoming weeks in NYC {I've listed dates/places below for those of you interested, trust me...you won't be disappointed}.

Apologies if this is a bit scattered...the discussion was here, there and everywhere...

  1. Ravi began the lecture with the sentence "120 million will die in the next year." FUCK, I thought! Is there going to be a plague? Can this guy see the future?! Well, in reality - that is how many people in the world will die: whether it be murder, natural disaster, car accident..whatever. He continues {and please keep in mind that this intelligent serious man also has a great sense of humor} "We are on a large conveyor belt. Self-importance? HA. And you know what - 120 million will die, yes, but just as many - if not more, will be born." Freedom from myself. From the impression that I'm the center of it all. Ego. Freedom from self-occupation.

  2. DHARMA. Dharma is the main concern of Krishna. Dharma- has several meanings. Religion? No. Dharma means ORDER...it regards SOCIAL ORDER. Responsibility. Obligation. Duty. The FOUNDATION. Dharma is the order of the Universe - the foundation of the cosmos. Individual Dharma - maintain myself. Dharma is the maintenance of order. Myself, Family, Community, Planet. Various levels of Dharma. Dharma cannot be maintained without Yoga - otherwise its just "a good idea."

  3. "Yoke": something that connects. Connecting the body with the cosmic soul.

    • YAJNA = SACRIFICE.
    • Connection with higher levels is not possible without SACRIFICE.
    • SACRIFICE - "to make SACRED" *not to get rid of something, but to make sacred.
    • Yajna = exchange of energies between different lives. Become unattached. Requires sacrificing myself - my attachment to me, me, me.
    We can be freed of self-occupation - so then the ego of yourself can become an instrument for something higher. This is YAJNA.
    • YAJNA: the navel of the cosmos, from which everything turns.

    "The problem cannot be solved from where it originates" - Albert Einstein

  4. In the Gita, Krishna defines YOGA:

    • YOGA is WORK WELL DONE.
    • You cannot in fact become a Yogi, until you've become free of what philosophers + scriptures have said + will say. "For one who sees directly, the scripture ceases to be of authority."
    • A Yogi is one who leaves all actions initiated by himself.
    • There are those who try to keep the tradition, and then there are those that wish to fulfill it.
    • In any action, the real shell is Yoga.
    • "Yoga is breaking the bond with suffering." -Gita
    • "One is considered the best Yogi who regards every being like oneself - who can feel the pain + pleasures of others as well as his own." - Gita

  5. Spiritual Practice:
    **When one moves from REACTION, to RESPONSE, and from RESPONSE to INACTION.

    Everything in us reacts. In general, human beings don't live the way we should, or could.

    "Non-attachment" is NOT indifference. To be indifferent is a sin against the holy spirit. Impartial as opposed to indifferent.

    One needs to acknowledge suffering - and direct the perception of that to be free.

  6. "SELF":
    • to see "the Self" is identical to see "the divine"
    • the deepest Self, is the same as the highest divinity
    • Gita, 29:Chp6 "A yogi sees the Self in everyone, and everyone in the Self."

  7. Nature of the Motive:
    • "It is not the nature of the action that makes something sacred - its the nature of the ACTOR that makes something sacred."
    • INTENTION.
    • Yoga is not concerned with this action or that action- its concerned with the actor.
    • It's easy to fool oneself - so its important to have a Guru {whether that be a person or book, etc} for guidance.
RENOUNCE ALL YOUR ACTIONS TO ME.
BE MINDFUL OF YOUR DEEPEST SELF....
WITHOUT EXPECTATION,
WITHOUT EGO,
STRUGGLE WITHOUT AGITATION.




"Discoveries...are not so, predictable."

"If you get too occupied with the weeds - you forget to enjoy the flowers.
If you focus so much on suffering, you miss the rest."


- Ravi Ravindra




Ravindra will give a Lecture and Two Workshops
@
the Open Center in New York
22 East 30th Street, New York, NY 10016
(212) 219-2527


  • “Journey Toward Oneness: The Quest for Unitive Consciousness in the Great Spiritual Traditions”, will be on Friday, November 19, 2010, at 7:30 p.m.

Two workshops will be on Saturday, November 20, 2010

  • “The Teachings of Christ in the Light of Indian Mysticism”
  • “The Yoga Sutras: An Eightfold Path to Spiritual Transformation”


Erik Satie.




.Erik Satie.
Divine. Moving. Beautiful.



May 17, 1866 - July 1, 1925
born in Honfleur, France, composer + pianist during the Modern period



"French musical maverick Erik Satie (1866-1925) wrote music that is known as much for its eccentric titles and performance directions as for its unique sound and lack of allegiance to any one aesthetic. Satie's musical education came from the conservatories and the cabarets, and his compositions have both formal and informal aspects. His piano music, especially the Gymnopedies and Gnossiennes, is his best-known work. Much of it has a still thoughtfulness to it that is at once cerebral, yet frank and concisely constructed. His ballets Parade and Rel√Ęche, the Messe des Pauvres, and the symphonic drama Socrate are his important larger works."

Similar composers are:
  • Claude Debussy
  • Phillip Glass
  • Fryderyk Chopin
  • Francis Poulenc

SO... I hate to admit it, but reading Twilight turned me onto Claude Debussy. I've really been enjoying his compositions, though it was his PANDORA station that got me hooked on Erik Satie. I've been listening to a lot of classical music lately - at first it all sounded the same to me. Every once in a while though a song would jump out and really speak to me...whenever I'd check out who it was, low and behold it was always Satie! Now I've come to point out the distinct styles of different composers, more specifically: the works of Debussy vs Chopin vs Satie. And in the end, Satie takes the cake. I was researching Satie and found a touching quote on a "Reviews" site: "It's taken me 20 years to find something that fills my heart with passion, I've found it in composers like Satie." Luckily it hasn't taken me a lifetime to discover and the genius and beauty that he has created. And lucky you - for reading this blog and being educated on the divine, profound compositions of this individual.

amusez-vous bien !

Monday, October 18, 2010

Yoga, Yurt and Ojai Valley!

I finally went through my Inbox and cleared out 4 years worth of emails! While I was scanning through though I found some inspiring letters and funny photos. The photo above is of me @ my beloved YURT in Encinitas, CA. The Yurt was such a magical place for me...and it's where I met some of the most amazing people that I've ever encountered. This photo was in Katie Brauer's class...a physically, emotionally and spiritually intense class. At the end she passed around these little cards: I got "Perfect Timing" and Erin got "There's Nothing To Worry About". Love it. I'm heading out at the crack of dawn tomorrow for Ojai Valley, California. I'll be at the Crib for a 4 day Yoga Retreat. I will be doing a full day immersion with Paul Crandell and then 3 full days with Noah Maze, Sean Johnson, Uma Goswami, and JJ Gormley!!

If you want to check it out:
http://www.lulubandhas.com/yoga/

Twihard.


Go ahead and laugh, I'm officially a "Twihard".

I now own:

  • All four Twilight novels: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse + Breaking Dawn
  • All three Twilight soundtracks
  • Both Twilight DVD's

...the only thing missing now are some Twilight sheets for my bed, and a poster to hang above!

hahahaha.

Bon Iver.



BON IVER
aka
Justin Vernon

Love. Love. Love. Love. Music has a way of finding you when you need it. The perfect song for the moment. Well...maybe it took me so long to discover Twilight because my life wasn't yet ready for the brilliance of musician Bon Iver. I heard his haunting song "Roslyn" while watching the second Twilight installment, New Moon. As soon as the song came on I was hooked, and Julisa yelped "OH MY GOD. Bon Iver. LOVE him!!". Well, so did I. My obsessive behavior lately is now split between watching the first and second Twilight movies on repeat and sitting in my room listening to Bon Iver songs on youtube...over and over and over. There are two songs that battle for the #1 spot in my heart: "Roslyn" + "Skinny Love". So perfect. Other favorites are "Flume", "For Emma", and "Blindsided". Bon Iver: sexy and haunting and wholesome. If it's not in your iTunes library, it needs to be.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Grilled Cheese.




The underestimated Grilled Cheese...yes, it IS for grownups as well. I hate to see this perfectly delicious sandwich bastardized time and again. Crappy white bread, a few pieces of that plastic wrapped mystery cheese, loaded with butter and grilled into a gooey, unflattering, unappetizing sorry excuse for a "sandwich" that people feed their children. People: take note....the grilled cheese is quite simple, and so satisfying, but the key is to use top notch ingredients.

You'll need....

  • 2 slices of GOOD thick, whole grain bread.
    {think "Texas Toast"...but healthier}
  • GOOD cheese
    {think Gruyere, Muenster, Swiss...}
  • GOOD whole grain spicy mustard
It's that simple. Now, the process:

To begin, swipe some delicious whole grain dijon mustard onto both sides of the bread. Layer your cheese between the bread and then close it up! You can lightly butter the outsides of the sandwich, but I prefer to put a few tablespoons of good olive oil into the skillet and then place my sandwich in. You don't get that salty goodness though that you'd get with butter - so at the end I sprinkle a dash of salt on top. The key to the perfectly, evenly melted grilled cheese is to cook it on a medium heat -- so that the cheese slowly melts through out. It helps to place a lid on top of the skillet as well, which helps with even-cheese-melt-distribution. Voila! The PERFECT grilled cheese. Now...if you want to get creative, here are some of my favorite additions:

- one slice of high quality proscuitto
- thinly sliced tomato and onion
- guacamole {and bacon!}
- thinly sliced fresh pineapple



Grown Up Grilled Cheese
This cold, nippy weather calls for grilled cheese...and the perfect compliment to this delightful sandwich is a delicious bowl of SOUP! SO, today I made Mom and me a Corn Chowder to go along with our Grilled Cheese + Proscuitto sandwiches. Usually all of my soups are made from scratch with fresh ingredients, but I was feeling a bit lazy. Here it is:

- one box of Trader Joe's Corn Chowder + Roasted Poblano Pepper Soup
- one bag of frozen corn
- one onion, diced and sauteed
- cilantro {dried: 2 large tablespoons...fresh: 1 small handful}
- a tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper for some heat
- salt + pepper to taste

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

High Seas & Low Seas

I went to bed last night flying high...a wonderful date, a wonderful evening. Fast forward four hours, and I was woken up to "Cailin, we need to take Dad to the hospital." He had woken up in a pool of his own saliva because he couldn't swallow, completely dehydrated and pretty delirious. We got him to the hospital and he was in complete discomfort - they hooked him up to an IV cocktail of: fluids, antibiotics, pain meds, and a steroid. I couldn't help but to cry. I hate seeing him in pain, and it scares the shit out of me when he is disoriented. He was in and out of sleep, and once everything kicked in he was able to swallow again and talk. Hallelujah. My Dad is not my Dad when he's not talking. He's always the life of the party, the head honcho in a conversation, the center of attention. BAH. SO, I was glad when he came back to life, even if it was only because of the drugs they pumped into him. The first thing he said was "Hey - what time is it? 7am? I want McDonald's pancakes". Hahahaha...nothing to eat in 10 days, barely able to swallow water, unable to speak - and the first thing he wants are McD's pancakes. Mom and I had a good laugh...and then we gave in and bought him some pancakes. He ate them like an indentured prisoner, feeling no pain because of all his med's. So the ebb and flow of life...the tide fills in, and the tide rolls out. You laugh and you cry and you're happy and you're sad.

Today has certainly been a struggle...and I feel like the universe knows when you are having a hard time. And I believe that THIS is why we have friends. THIS is why my beloved Julia, who works 360 days a year in Seattle, just so happens to be here during the most difficult week I've had yet. Also, I received an email from a good friend Martha who lives in Ocean City. She has been such a rock for me, person that I can really talk to about death -- why it happens, what I'm going through, how it hurts, and what the fuck I'm going to do about it. Martha lost her sister years ago, and shes described the pain as "always there...but the pain evolves over the years into something more bearable". The email that she sent me today really helped, and I hope that she doesn't mind if I share it with you all:


Hey Darlin',

Yesterday morning I was thinking about you and your parents. Thinking about death and it's potential closeness. Thinking how your Dad might look at you and smile because you are such a lovely lady. You know how to live and love and learn the lessons along the way. Thinking about how if I was your Dad I would be so proud of you and confident that you will go forth and continue living as the beacon you are.
I imagine that it is almost easier for Dad than it is for you and Mom because you two will be left behind... and that's if he moves on from this life in a month or in 25 years... cause you never know.
Treatment is so gnarly... seems like there is no chance to be healthy again... but strange things have happened.
Here's to hoping.

You are on my mind

i love you
peace,
Martha

p.s. November 6 is coming up... it will be six years since my sister died in a car accident... it hits me more often around this time of year. Sometimes I just start crying. I miss her. It's okay... loss is part of life and life is beautiful, so I'll take it


It's okay....LOSS is a part of LIFE,
and LIFE is BEAUTIFUL, so I'll take it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hot Date.

Woohooo.

I just went out on a hot date, with a sexy hot man. Woohooo!

And you know what...chivalry is not dead!

He picked me up at my parents house, took me to dinner - paid the bill - opened the car door for me. The works. Walked me to my front door. Goddamn, still blown away by a wonderful evening with a wonderful gentleman. Maybe this winter won't be so long and cold and lonesome afterall...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Twilight.


I am officially obsessed. Living, sleeping, breathing...Twilight. I cannot get enough. Within the past 48 hours I have watched the first Twilight movie twice, and the second Twilight: New Moon 4 times! I would pay any money in the world to watch the 3rd movie of the series...Twilight: Eclipse, but it is no longer playing in theatres and is not yet out on DVD. UGH. SOB. Devastating.

SO, the person responsible for getting me hooked is my wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, talented best friend in the whole world - Miss Julia Bandy. A few months back when she was explaining to me her latest obsession, I simply couldn't believe what I was hearing. Julia - my Julia - my educated, intelligent, worldly Julia...loves Twilight? Huh? Despite her raving, I still couldn't get into it. Well, now that she's here - I was forced to watch it. And goddamnit - I love it. I can't quite wrap my head around WHY I love it so much...I've never watched a two hour movie, only to rewind it and watch it AGAIN right after. It is somewhat of a cheesy romance story - but it's addictive. I think the reason that I've become so obsessed is because it's an escape. Fantasy. So much more exciting than real life, and it's certainly distracting {now consuming my every thought, even my dreams}. Today I'm heading to the store to purchase both the first and second DVD's and I'm then headed to the library for ALL FOUR BOOKS. From what Jules said they are an easy read, and with the way this obsession has taken over I'm sure that I'll be finished all four within the week. Also on the list...purchasing the soundtracks from both movies...because they are EPIC.

For all of you Twilight-Haters out there...if you can't beat em, join em -- and you know what, you're bound to love em!

For all of you Twilight-Lovers...I'm on TEAM EDWARD.

...I'm back.

Yes. I'm back. Sorry that I was away for so long. The new drug that my Dad is on, Tarceva, has really been kicking his ass -- and in turn, it's really weighed heavy on me. I hate to see him in pain, and there is nothing that I can do about it. He has sores all over his face, head, chest, back, and inside his mouth and throat. He's been unable to really eat anything at all, and even drinking has become a problem. He is tired and in pain and laughing and chatting is about the last thing on his list of things to do. It's the first time that I've really seen him sick, and it has scared the shit outta me. Needless to say, we have been BOMBARDED by family and friends. There has not been one night in the past 2 weeks that we HAVEN'T had people at the house for dinner. 15 people, 8 people, 4 people, 19 people...for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner or all of the above. This would stress most people out, but my mom {oddly enough} finds this chaos very comforting, and with all of these people around there is certainly no lack of love in this house. Dad has gone from being the life of the party, to a quiet observer - something completely foreign to me. It has taken some getting used to, but the rest of the Callahan's are also quite good at being the center of attention - so there is never a dull night. I finally purchased a VIDEO CAMERA and drum roll please...an iPhone!! Hello Technology!!! I had a nightmare the other night that I'd forgotten the sound of my Dad's voice and his beautiful blue eyes...I woke up on the brink of an anxiety attack, so later that day I went out and bought a video camera. Hopefully he will be feeling better soon, because most of the video thus far has been me going around a huge dinner table introducing everyone and showcasing the delicious dinner, but Dad's been feeling too rotten to really take part in any filming.

SO: fingers crossed that this medicine works. It simply has to. And in the meantime, though Dad is feeling rotten, we have filled our house with love - enjoying lots of family meals around the table, and lots of Twilight...

Photos to come!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mom Says It Best...

As always, Mom says it best. This is her latest email...

OK so here's the new plan...
We went to the doctor today with our MRI report and disc. The tumor is growing. We are going to continue to get Avastin. The dose will be increased, but the infusion will happen every 3 weeks instead of every two. Paul will be put on two new drugs. They are oral pills. He will take them every day.He will get blood work every week.
The one pill is Tarceva.Its primarily used for Pancreatic cancer , but has some success with brain tumors.Its biggest side effect is rashes and dry skin. He will also take Sirolimus. As soon as I pick it up tomorrow, he will start these two meds.If for any reason they don't do the job or cause too much discomfort there are one or two more possible drugs to try and stop this thing.
Now here's the tough part. We asked the doctor if absolutely nothing works, and the tumor continues to grow at the rate it is right now, then what sort of time frame are we looking at. He said it could be as little as WEEKS. That is not what we wanted to hear , but that is the reality of the situation. Paul is still looking and feeling really good, so we are hoping to continue that. We are still staying positive and hopeful that one of these drugs will at least stop it where it is right now. We need you all to hope and pray along with us. We intend on filling this house with love and peace every moment that we have.
In our usual fashion, we left the doctors office and went to lunch at PF Changs. We came home and Cailin cooked dinner for Paul's brother Sean and the King's.Hey. its what we do.Good times and bad should be shared with friends.
We will be having lots of company in our house and lots of activity. Keep on moving, that's our motto.
I need to go back a few days and thank Megan for her Chicken a la king. Deb for the water and magazines, Jason for the bagels and the visit, Timmy for the Tuna, and to tell you how much fun we had watching Survivor .
Every day , no every MINUTE of your life counts.Live life like you mean it, and never take it or anyone in it for granted.

Love you all, Doreen