Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Making a Memory

"Mistakes have consequences, but they shouldn’t tank our joy for each other in the long run."

I know—I totally scored getting an easygoing partner. But during often-literally-crap-filled times, couples have a choice: We can blame the other person for the unpleasant situation in which we find ourselves, or we can solve the problem at hand. When we dwell on mistakes, the stress can linger and set the tone for the rest of the day. So after we've figured out a solution, realized that we're safe, and that like most things, This too shall pass, we'll announce our favorite phrase: "Making a memory!"
This is not to say that we are a perfect couple without tensions or problems—making a memory doesn't solve everything. But it does redirect the frustration from one another onto getting through the unpleasantness at hand. This is true even when someone is "at fault."

I didn't write this but assume most couple who learn to live together get this.  The bad times will come and you can either work them out together or tear up the relationship.  

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Image result for daca
We attended the lunch and learn program at our church today. The meal was chili and cornbread with salad and plenty of deserts. The "learn" part of the day was centered on U.S. immigration policy and more specifically DACA. Elmer Rodriguez, Dream Program Coordinator at Mt. San Antonio College was the moderator. I came home still thinking about the young people who shared their stories and some of the "after the program" discussions I had with those sticking around to talk. Of course, I went directly to the computer when I had a few minutes to browse. I found this speech Four Questions About American Greatness by Bret Stephens who writes about foreign policy and domestic politics. Stephens cited these very interesting set of statistics about immigrants to the United States: 
Did you know that immigrants account for 35 percent of all U.S. Nobel Prize winners? Did you know that 83 percent of the finalists in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search - widely known as the junior Nobel — are the children of immigrants? Did you know that 40 percent of all Fortune 500 companies — accounting for $4.8 trillion in revenues and 19 million employees — had founders who were immigrants or the children of immigrants? Did you know that immigrants start businesses at about twice the rate of other Americans? Did you know that without immigrants we would have had no population growth whatsoever since 1970, putting us on a path to a Japanese-style demographic death spiral? "
 Also from Bret Stephens (His response to the President's "alleged" remarks in a meeting to discuss immigration policy last week. Proud to Live in a Nation of Holers : Also obvious is that immigrants don’t steal jobs. They fill jobs Americans won’t do or create those that haven’t been invented. They don’t bring crime to cities. They drive out crime by starting businesses and families in shrinking cities or underserved neighborhoods. They don’t undermine American culture. They feed, enrich and reinvent it, not least through their educational ambitions for themselves and their children.This is true of most immigrants, but perhaps more so of the so-called “holers.” As Michelle Mittelstadt of the Migration Policy Institute notes, sub-Saharan Africans have “among the highest college-completion rates of any immigrant group.” As for Haitians, MPI found they had a higher labor participation rate than the overall workforce, and had median household incomes of $47,200 — lower than the overall U.S. median, but robust by any developed nation standard.
 What people who are so afraid of the immigrants seeking a chance in America have forgotten is that we have always attracted people who found life more difficult in their country of origin. They came here because there was no food to eat, or there were mountains tumbling down, or there was a war that took their home, their work and perhaps their family. They came because they could not practice their faith, or worse yet they were killed because in some way they were different. They arrive on our shores with a determination to live the "American Dream". They teach their children that the dream is real and anything is possible. Immigrants see things that those of us born here sometimes have difficulty seeing. We are often distracted by the holes torn in the fabric of opportunity by systemic racism, income inequality, a broken health care system, partisan bickering, the school to prison pipeline and a shredded safety net. Immigrants are often the shining lights in our community who prove the "dream" can be realized, in spite of the potholes in the road.

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Terrifying Aedes Species Mosquito

I was at the travel clinic this morning to discuss where I would be traveling the next two months and what I could do to protect myself from disease. The suggestions were immunizations against Hepatitis B, Typhoid and Yellow Fever.  A prescription for pills to protect myself against Malaria.

NOTHING for Ebola, Zika, Dengue or Chikungunya - hummmm.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites the doctor said looking sternly at me over the rims of his glasses.

I came home (instead of shopping for thick long sleeved shirts) and spent a little time on the CDC  site to learn more about how to protect myself from mosquitos. Who ever thought I would be searching the sporting good store for a huge net to go over our bed? How will I keep the net off of our skin?  I obviously cannot carry a netting frame.

Checking on line for Permethrin - the insecticide that kills mosquitos so i can treat my clothes and shoes.  Yep - Amazon sells everything

Sunday, January 24, 2016

LA at Night


We had dinner at Clifton's last night.  We both have fond memories of eating in this restaurant when our families brought us here as little children.  The restaurant had a reputation of welcoming all people and our families felt comfortable here.  My friends and I took the bus here to have a celebratory dinner the day we graduated from High School (we thought we were so adult) and I was here in the fall when it first reopened after an extensive renovation.  I was sure Robert would enjoy seeing the old restaurant  - and he did.

The Restaurant has retained some of the decor and fixtures from  the earliest years of operation.   This bench and lamp are downstairs where the telephone booth was located.  (The booth is still there but no telephone)  I imagine people sat on this bench and twiddled their thumbs as they waited for caller ahead of them to finish.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Moose Lodge

Jimmy often performs at the SmokeHouse in Burbank, at least that is where we saw him before, but this time we found him at the Moose Lodge, still in Burbank but so much more intimate.  The fans had a great time, singing along on occasion,  having a drink or two at the bar and jumping up to dance on the tiny little floor.  It was a fun night.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Alaskan Youth Native Dancers

Twenty-five High School students from the only native reservation in the state of Alaska at New Hope Presbyterian Church in Orange, CA .  

Friday, May 15, 2015

Us and Them

Los Angeles City Hall Reflected from the Los Angeles Police Department Building

 I was shooting (you know with the camera) in downtown yesterday.  I walked past the new Los Angeles Police Department building and saw the smiles and hugs of families celebrating a new generation of officers as they were being promoted.  

 I wondered if there were videos of the hundreds of positive interactions between "us" and "them" would that help improve the trust between our citizens and the people who have taken an oath to "protect and serve" or would we simply ignore the positive stories?

I suspect the horror stories we see today are not new to our culture but the "camera in your pocket" phenomenon has brought it to everyone's attention.  I think it is also true that there are many more positive interactions between the police and our citizens everyday but no one is photographing these events and perhaps, if they did, they would not be seen as "news".  What is about the consumers of news that we are always more attracted to the negative?