occupy together

Starting September 17, 2011, adbusters (ironically, a Canadian magazine, called for the American people to #occupywallstreet (that’s twitter talk). Four weeks later, the movement is alive and growing throughout this great country, the US of A. Yes, we have it good compared to Iran or Somalia but it can be MUCH better. Too many people are unemployed, sick, unhealthy, over worked, misrepresented, and disenfranchised to be living in a so-called free society or even a democracy. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, watch Democracy Now some time!

I have copied a few of my favorite links,Β  images, or videos that are related to the OCCUPY WALL STREET movement below (this should keep you busy):

WE ARE THE 99 PERCENT! (tumblr page)

Read this letter please (EXCELLENT!!) :

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/12/1025555/-Open-Letter-to-that-53-Guy

My 2 favorite protest signs:

Watch the LeeCamp youtube channel:

“Greed is no longer Good. … The revolution would like to apologize for shitting all over your apathy.”

this guy is hilarious yet right on … “STOP THINKING POSITIVELY … wake up from your vacation of innovation.”

and most importantly,

Get rid of your television! It’s the best thing I’ve ever ever ever done!!!

peace, love & adventure!

Lala

HOT in London!

One of the hottest days in London during my stay was Sunday, June 26th. Days before the main topic of conversation was the temperature — a whopping 28 degrees Celsius. Being a lover of nature, I was eager to visit grass and trees that day so we walked to Hampstead Heath Park from Camden Market What a BEAUTIFUL DAY!!

Noticed this guy outside the park - RELAX!!

Giraffe Restaurant - Smiling is infectious πŸ™‚

Love - Eat - Live

And many thanks to Fola and Joel for great conversation and laughter. Happy Sunday!

La La London!

Where to begin. Nearly twelve years ago, there were two cities on the re-location table: New York or London. My ex-dude and I decided we wanted more than what Philly had to offer and longed to try our luck in another part of the world. We booked a one week trip to London to get the feel of it. And, although the weather basically sucked, we had the most splendid of times, met the coolest people, danced in the best underground joints, yet made the decision to stay in the states since my father was ill at the time plus NYC was screaming loud and clear: Come here now!!!

Since then, I have visited the City of London 3 or 4 times. The last time being in the past two weeks. I had an amazing trip from start to finish! I also extended my stay by four days because my brother (Grey Reverend) had 2 shows nearby; I joined him for the one in Brighton.

Here are images from the first few days. I will share these in 3 or 4 blog posts because I’m photo-happy πŸ™‚

Dalston, London - empty location of farmer's market

the Underground Tube

two guys at Ali Baba Turkish Takeaway - Dalston

stay tuned for artist's name

stay tuned for artist's name too

a view from a double decker bus

more art

Wahaca mexican restaruant in Soho

Wahaca mexican restaurant in Soho too

Afropolitan at the V&A - this model was ON every minute

music on Portobello Road

Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Jazz - incredible!

Dele Sosimi himself (i believe)

Mau Mau Bar - jazz re:freshed is the name of the night

A SUPER MEGA HUGE thank you to my hostesses, Stephanie B. and Elsa M! If they were any sweeter, I would have given them a kidney. And a quick shoutout to my very special, amazingly talented, inspiring, and generous friends, Fola, Alex, Angela, and Sam.

More photos to come, stay tuned!!

Cheers
*Lala*

i love my life!

really πŸ™‚ just needed to acknowledge this. happy weekend!


gratefully yours,

*Lala*

 

second chances


Last night was the first night of the year I slept with my windows open. Having been fooled by rising temperatures weeks ago, I was reluctant to fall asleep without — at least — closing my bedroom window. However, at sunrise as I awoke to birds chirping and the buzzing sounds of city traffic, the chill was gone, and this time, I believe, it’s for good. Comforted by the breeze that hints at the arrival of spring; I bask in the glow of possibility and lightness.


When Spring arrives, I am reminded of second chances. It’s a time of re-visitation and renewal. Meditating on where I was mentally, emotionally, and physically the same time last year, I extend myself to those whom I love and make things right in an effort to move forward without the heaviness of regret. I suppose that is what Easter is all about … a re-birth of spirituality and faith.


Focusing on the past will only lead to a heavy heart. Fretting the future can lead to disappointment. The present is full of promise and light. There is enough going on in the world to cause heartache and suffering, it’s our responsibility to first, love ourselves, and secondly, to extend our love to the world in the form of words, art, hugs, food, compassion, a listening ear, a smile, or even a kiss. I mentioned in my new Happy year post that my #2 focus this year is:

Love, Partnership, and Relationship Building

This is a fun one! A natural communicator, I thoroughly enjoy meeting new people with positive energy and varied perspectives. I value all types of relationships, but I wrote this key focus with romantic love in mind.


This morning I read a note on someone’s Facebook page … I paraphrase:

Love is when two great people come together and produce something even greater — something that they could not accomplish without the energy, love, support, and greatness of the other.

This is exactly what I’m asking…to have a partner who appreciates my greatness, someone who is great in his own right, and a man who is eager to build something even greater, together, with me. In matters of the heart, I’ve had many chances and I am grateful for each and every love connection.


Here’s to LOVE! and Happy Springtime!

*Lala*


These photos were taken April 17, 2011 at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens by me πŸ™‚ The cherry blossoms are not in full bloom just yet but you can check here for the status map.

Why Did I Eat That?

photo_klawdietIn my New Year message, I mentioned focusing on 3 things this year. The first being my new web site and book project. Well, the time has come. My blogging energies have shifted from here to here:

http://wdiet.net/

I’m so very excited about this project titled, Why Did I Eat That? (W.D.I.E.T); and seeing that the best way to bring traffic to a web site is to link to other web sites, I thought I’d start here.

WDIET is short for this catchy-title — a dynamic and light-hearted food book turned food blog that offers recipes, recommendations, and information about all things food related.

Take a look, subscribe, and please share with your friends and family!

Muchas gracias – thank you very much – muito obrigada!

*Lala*

india


back in NYC again. my time off has been a glorious mix of play, warmth, conversation and flirtation — i even shoveled snow at my Mom’s place which was super fun. speaking of shovels, this morning, i woke to the sound of my neighbors scraping the snowy cement and smiled because winter is in full force and we have barely made it through January. no sweat. i have a new mind or perhaps i have returned to my old one. either way, nothing can stop me — especially not snow.


i am flirting with the possibility of romance. not to be confused with love of which i have plenty. i am grateful for the work that love has produced but a girl needs romance too. love belongs to all of us and comes in numerous form. romance is sought after by the heart and loins coated in pure vulnerability. the other day, i watched a man on the train platform and felt a deep love for him (with a little lust thrown in there too). this is what i wrote in my iPhone:

Streetwalker. Today I am a one woman show. I’m watching. Hoping that you will enter the same subway car as me so I can watch some more. We are close but too far to speak. I noticed you tip the Mariachi singers just as they switched cars. I want you but only to look at and smile on. You too are present, gazing at the violinist at Jay Street station, and this makes me want you more.

You must be hot because your coat is wide open and I can see that you’re clothing is made for you, the way your shirt hugs your body and your jeans adopt your frame, slender yet athletic. The A train arrives and I am tempted to follow just to see what’s next in your life. So long beautiful stranger. What’s your name?

Yesterday, after a 9am yoga class, I visited India by way of one of my favorite Brazilian songstresses, Gal Costa. In the confines of my living room, I danced with an old friend to this song bearing the same title as this blog post. Produced in 1973, I discovered it during my stay in Bahia in a cute record shop in Pelo (of course, I bought the album): (it will play in a separate YouTube window if you click on it twice)

Gotta run, I’m making lunch for a former co-worker today and I can’t wait to see her face πŸ™‚ Congratulations Nina on completing your thesis statement and obtaining a Master’s degree at Pratt U!


This weekend, it’s going to be a cold one New York so bundle up, drink plenty of tea, and eat something hearty! And if you wanna come by for a snack or beverage, give a call!


Oh yes, Mr. Conti, bring some warmth back to NYC when you return. Super lovely to chat with you yesterday and thanks for doing your best to stay in touch. Happy travels πŸ™‚

Hugs, love, smiles and cuddles!

*Lala*

new HAPPY year

Give thanks for we have made it to another year! It amazes me how fortunate we are to be alive in this day and time. Boy, we have it ultra-easy compared to those who have lived before us.

I am extremely grateful for my good health, for clean water, for earth and sky, for my amazingly fit body, for my incredibly supportive and fun-loving family, for a strong heart, for a decent, safe, and comfy home, for experiencing love in many forms, for an abundance of food (a special shout out to Kale and Beets), for friends who inspire me, care for me, tolerate me, and teach me, for the many skills acquired over the past 15 years, for art and the artists, for creativity, for reiki, for vipassana, for yoga, awareness, for dopamine, for the ability to travel, and most of all, for peace of mind (stillness).

Each year gets better even when it feels like a tough one. Hindsight is a teacher and blessing. With each triumph, loss or mis-hap, I discover that the universe is on my side and everything that has happened to me has made me stronger, wiser and more capable.

For me, 2o11 will be primarily about 3 things:

1. My New Web Site and Book Project (W.D.I.E.T)
2. Love, Partnership, and Relationship Building
3. Awareness, Conservation, and Education

What about you?


I want to acknowledge the people who inspire me, encourage me and accept me. I love each and every one of you tremendously with a whole heart and positive spirit. Thank you for being a part of my life and for keeping our friendship or relationship alive and ticking!

You know who you are!

Lots of love and productivity in 2o11!

*Lala*

merry christmas mom

season greetings oh beautiful one!

when we were kids, my parents (or santa πŸ™‚ showered, i mean monsooned my brother and me with gifts on christmas day. we would come downstairs to a living room filled with the latest and greatest toys, dolls, robots, bikes, clothes, video games, and candy! thinking about it now, it was mad-crazy-ridiculous! and i thought that every kid in the world experienced christmas in this way with lots of love, toys, gifts, food, family and friends. oh what a wonderful world that would be!

bad photo but it's an old christmas photo

i’m not exactly sure when i stopped celebrating christmas but it was a loooong time ago. i suspect it was a combination of many things. perhaps i was absolutely fed up with being broke or pretending that i was something i was not. i also had a shopping problem back in the day and it’s taken many years for me to drop the habit. christmas shopping is my internal trigger for this addiction. once, i get the shopping bug, it’s difficult for me to put on the brakes. i would buy a gift for mom, then two gifts for me, and a gift for my boyfriend and three more gifts for me…until i had over $10k in debt and had to eat hot dogs for six months just to hold onto my apartment. those were not the days!

i remember decorating my first place in philadelphia with christmas stuff; but after the first year, i couldn’t justify spending money on shiny plastic and other frivolous items “made in china”. nothing against china but does the U.S. manufacture anything anymore?

removing myself from the holiday hype, i made a conscious decision not to shop or support the retail giants who brand holiday cheer while using sweat shops and charging exorbitant prices in an effort to make record breaking profits. i gradually pulled away from christmas but it was not so easy and it still isn’t because many people i love cherish this time of year.

some years it feels like i am standing in the bleachers with my back turned and the whole team is booing me. it’s all good, i can take it plus my brother doesn’t celebrate it either which takes some of the focus off of me.

please, please do not get me wrong, i am not a scrooge! i will show up at xmas dinner tonight with bells on and genuine holiday cheer all over my face. however, i don’t believe i have to celebrate christmas just because almost the entire world does. maybe this will change, when i have a family but for now i am sticking to my story.

the best part about the holidays is: the loving, giving, smiling, and togetherness!

my mother has caught on this year and will not be spoiling her two grown children with gifts and i get it. we spoke the other night and i suggested that next year, we volunteer at a soup kitchen together, give to our favorite non-profits or independent effort, or buy a chicken or goat for a family in need.

5 of my favorite organizations to support: (feel free to comment and add your favorites)

1. Democracy Now
2. Story Corps
3. Partners in Health
4. The Rural Haiti Project
5. Doctors without Borders

Mom, merry christmas to you and thank you for making the sacrifices so that we could spend our childhood in heavenly toy-filled bliss. the best gift you can ever give us is to keeping taking great care of yourself and being a positive presence in our life!

we love you and appreciate all that you are and have done!

I’m back from Cali and here are photos below from an exhibition in LES at the LZ Gallery where my friend, Jasmine Murrell, was a part. Go Jazz!

self-portrait by Jasmine Murrell



have a splendid weekend and to quote Mr. Santa:

HO*HO*HO* Merry Christmas!!!

*Lala*

ps. as of 2008, i no longer use credit cards and i am debt-free! now that’s something to celebrate!!!


nature’s way

the honeymoon continues in the bay area. i keep finding new things to love about this enchanted city.

as i grow older, i am becoming closer to nature, i.e. plants, trees, soil, and even animals. the last few days have involved helping to build a fence from chicken wire, walking in the woods, eating from my friends’ garden, and spending time with a tropical bird. Hi Kiwi! this afternoon was no different. we visited one of the best nurseries in the country, the Berkeley Horticulture Center.

this morning, when my mother told me that snow was expected in the east and my brother announced the freezing temperature just minutes after i phoned him, i simply gave thanks because at that very moment i was warm and feeling super awesome.

the awesome part surprises me since i have gone completely overboard in the eating department. i should know better but it tastes so good! so far, i’ve eaten at:

Prather’s Ranch Meat Co.
Tartine
Osha Thai
Zachary’s Pizza
Bi-rite Ice Creamery
Cafe GoLo
Pica Pica
Gracias Madre
Champa Garden
Brown Sugar Kitchen (beverage only)
Scream Sorbet
Gregoire
The Summit (beverage only)

I AM A LITTLE PIGLET !!!!

even though my belly is dancing with the stars right now, i am thankfully breathing through my nose — both nostrils. in New York, pizza alone ignites a sneezing fit and at least 36 hours of hampered nose breathing. in cali, i have been able to eat pizza and ice cream in the same day with no miserable consequences. now that’s worth me moving here in itself.

can you tell i’m having a fantastic stay in the Bay! that rhymed πŸ™‚

oh a special HELLO to Hadley in Berkeley representing Home 101 – a terrific boutique that resembles a candy store but for adults with a sweet tooth for antiques and treasures for any cozy abode.

sending sunshine and warmth to you and your family! it’s the season for citrus. Vitamin C is our best friend during cold season so get your orange, grapefruit and lemon on!

this is a budding lemon tree!

and last but not least Happy 9th and 14th Birthday to my nephews – I love you both!

auntie *Lala*

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