dreaming forgiveness

Submitted by la miller on 9 June, 2009 - 16:48

book review: dreaming me and the wisdom of forgiveness

There is a tradition in Tibetan Buddhist literature of the nam-thar, the sacred life story of a Buddhist saint. They are inspirational in nature, narrating how an ordinary human can accomplish great things. While nam-thar might not be an accurate description of [w:Jan Willis]'s Dreaming Me: An African-American Woman's Spiritual Journey or Victor Chan’s The Wisdom of Forgiveness: Intimate Conversations and Journeys, it’s a model to keep in mind while reading them. Both Willis’s memoir and Chan’s account of the time he spent with [w:His Holiness the Dalai Lama] can serve as inspiration to all of us as we try to be good people on this troubled planet.

do it for the love

Submitted by la miller on 4 June, 2009 - 15:39

I'm currently loving soul singer [w:Joy Denalane]'s 2006 release Born & Raised. Inspired by soul divas stretching from Aretha to Mary J, Denalane's second album avoids the generic over-produced sound that plagues recent releases by so many talent soul and R&B vocalists. Instead, Denalane draws heavy inspiration from a pluckier 70s sound. Denalane's voice is lush and expansive, calling to mind Erykah Badu's reedy flair, Lauren Hill's satiny cadence, and Amy Winehouse's deep grit.

Like Winehouse, Berliner Denalane proves Europeans no only get American soul music, but have something to say about it. Denalane sings of African ("Soweto '76-'06") and African-American ("Stranger in this Land") experiences as well as the torment of relationships ("Heaven or Hell"). In "For the Love," she ask why can't musicians "do it for the love" instead of constantly worrying about money. Denalane teams up with [w:Lupe Fiasco] on "Change," a song that could've been written for the Obama campaign. The [http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1zkaz_joy-denalane-feat-lupe-fiasco-chang_music0|video] shot in Tokyo shows both artists at their sweetest.

Photo: Joy Denalane in Munich 2006, Wikipedia

a good day

Submitted by la miller on 28 May, 2009 - 00:21

Turned in a paper this afternoon and on the way to catch a bus home thought, "Today would be a great day to catch a matinee."

I've been meaning to see a matinee at one of the downtown theaters for months. Seriously, too long. It was now or never. So, I grabbed some portable spring rolls from a nearby Vietnamese food cart and ducked into see [w:The Brothers Bloom].

Yeah! Perfect matinee fare: Beautiful actors! Stylish costumes! Hip, noirish production design! Amazing locations! Huge explosions! And it's all about con men! What's not to love?!?

may i have your attention, please

Submitted by la miller on 27 May, 2009 - 00:09

“You can’t be happy all the time,” Gallagher tells me, “but you can pretty much focus all the time. That’s about as good as it gets.”
That's Winifred Gallagher, author of the new book on attention [http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9781594202100-0|Rapt] talking to writer Sam Anderson in his great essay for New York Magazine "[http://nymag.com/news/features/56793/?imw=Y&f=most-viewed-24h10|In Defense of Distraction]". Check it out.

more pink blossoms

Submitted by la miller on 24 May, 2009 - 17:35

This is a city of pink blossoms. Sure there are white ones, some orange, red, and yellow, but pink is everywhere. Here's a photo of one of the rhododendrons growing in front of my apartment. I took the picture last night after a delicious dinner at a newish Ethiopian restaurant in my neighborhood. So many lovely warm red spices in the food. The sun light was at a warm angle, too. I don't know ... it all came together for me.


Submitted by la miller on 22 May, 2009 - 13:57

A dear, old friend of mine, Petr, is doing groundbreaking work in the field of neuroscience, studying music perception. Here's a nice [http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=980807|profile] about him. I remember being an early test subject of his with electrodes on my head, listening to tones. He gave out delicious monster cookies to his test subjects afterwards.

deep breath

Submitted by la miller on 21 May, 2009 - 14:08

One of the glorious things about the Pacific Northwest is the blossoms in the spring. The rhododendrons are going full-tilt boogie. I'll have some photos of them soon. And I've already planted my nose square in a delicate orange blooming rose. Did it smell sweet!

tae carmen

Submitted by la miller on 18 May, 2009 - 19:05

An email arrived in my inbox last night with the subject line: "Carmen is finally free." It was meant to be uplifting. But I was sad. It's hard for me to accept a death to cancer when it strikes someone otherwise healthy and vibrant.

I only knew Carmen in passing. She was active at my Dharma center. She had a glowing smile and a warm personality. She was stylish and a little bit sexy. I'm not sure how old she was, but she couldn't have been over 50. She got sick last fall and threw herself a huge party before she went into treatment. How awesome is that?


Submitted by la miller on 30 April, 2009 - 21:58

Bob keeps a beekeeping [http://piobair.wordpress.com/|blog]. But you have to ask him for an invite to see it. Very exclusive.