Thursday, April 24, 2014

420 Vancouver 2014! Astonishing Count Down! With Sights And Sounds! Wee...

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Why We Must Pray For The Missing Malaysian Plane And Their Families

As the search for the missing Malaysian plane enters into its third week, one must wonder how the thought of not knowing what happened to the passengers  must feel for the families and friends.
It must be excruciating. Yet, in this time of need, we must, as fellow humans pray for the passengers, pray for the families. For surely when millions of people pray at the same time, we must hope that our good thoughts and our urgent entreaties will reach the Almighty God who will surely hear our desire to find the passengers.
We need an answer so that we can help the family members get resolution.
We also need to find the plane so that we can make flying safer for everybody. If in fact it was a mechanical error, then engineers need to know. If there was pilot error, the same thing needs to be said.
And yet as days go by, the search for the missing plane is still very much a search.
Leads are followed, only to go nowhere.
Yet, there is a way for this waiting to end. We must, as a collective group, start to pray and help the families have healing. Distant praying does work. And tons of books have been written in this area.
The lady weeping on television could be your aunt, your sister, your cousin.
Standing by watching the families suffer is difficult so I believe it is in everyone's power to pray and help the families.
There are angels who can help. In fact, I am told that we can also pray to Saint Anthony, the Catholic patron saint of lost items. The angels who specialize in lost items include Archangel Chamuel and Zerachiel.
We don't have to stand by watching the anguish happen in front of our eyes. All it takes is a prayer.
After all, we are one in the eyes of the Lord.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Jools Holland And My Mother

One of the best shows on television lately in my opinion is Jools Holland. He’s the British chap who hosts a weekly show  featuring a list of stellar musicians from the past and the present. This wonderful host has been doing it for the past 20 years and he could be considered the current Ed Sullivan, the TV legend who showcased the likes of Elvis and The Beatles.

Watching the show makes me feel like I am at a music festival --there is such a wide variety of musicians, from African drummers, hip hop, souls and blues, to more mainstream musicians like Elton John, Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello.

When Jools introduces the acts, he is usually smiling, quite charming, and cheerful. It often seems like he is talking to the viewer directly.

My mom likes Jools and when he turns on the charm, she smiles back and says “Hello, “ too. She claps for the musicians, too, and for Tony Bennett when he sang one evening. But mostly, she likes Jools.

She tells me that if I had any sense and acted nice, Jools, too, could be smiling at me, too.

My Mom has memory problems --the doctors think it is dementia, but I don’t like to uses these words. I want to think of my mom with issues that can be fixed.

It wasn’t too long ago when my Mom would lay in bed for hours and be grumpy and quite irritable. After doing some research, our family put her on coconut oil and have lately been giving her lots of vitamins and other supplements, like fish oil, which has made  my mom  more sociable.

TV does not interest her much. She walks away when there is news and lot of movies don’t have enough interest for her. Modern movies have too much violence, she says. And she didn’t quite understand the movie about a man in love with his computer’s operating system.

But she seems to perk up when Jools comes on. He smiles and talks in his affable, British accent which keeps my mom riveted in her chair. The musicians come on and sing and play various instruments.

Jools seems to look in my Mom’s direction and it does look to me like he is talking and smiling to her.

I like to think that Jools is a secret weapon for people living with  dementia. Music, but more importantly, smiles and kindness go a long, long way.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Walking Down The Aisle in Viva Las Vegas

If you are a couple and don't have rich parents to help fund your Wedding day, Vegas just may be the answer for you.

We recently took the plunge in the gaudy, busy, chaotic and wonderful world of Vegas and found out that this place is great for cheapskates or couples on a budget. Yes, it's wonderful to have a big wedding for your large family and friends, but think about it: the cost factor. It can cost thousands of dollars and countless hours of planning, stress, reservations and tons of energy to fund your fabulous one-day event. But our Vegas nuptials took a few bus rides and a few hundred dollars. Ok, there was the cost of the airfare and the hotel but in the final analysis, the photos cost more then the entire event.

This all started after doing some research on the Internet for events of this nature. I found all sorts of places offering to hold the special day with an Elvis minister in attendance, or the event can be held at the very hotel that you are staying at. With too many offers and not enough time to call up all the businesses, we decided to explore the options after arriving in Vegas.

Since we were only there for the weekend, time was the essence and after arriving Friday in Vegas, we took in a buffet and decided to make a late-night trek to the marriage bureau, which we heard, opened til midnight. Perfect. Yes, we could have got to the bureau by cab, but since we opted to use a map and the bus, we decided to take this longer but more scenic route.

The monorail which was conveniently located near our hotel made a perfect way to escape from the drab, pouring rain, which greeted us on way to the marriage bureau. Once we arrived at the last stop, it seemed rather strange the the down escalator was moving strangely too fast for me to step on it. I decided to take the stairs.

It didn't take long for the bus to arrive and once on board,  we made our way to find a seat in the lightly packed bus. It didn't take long to realize the the bus driver wasn't going to be a good guide. He seemed ignorant of the location of the marriage bureau, which on the map, appeared to be a few blocks down the road. In fact, he gave no help at all, much to our surprise. I wondered silently how Vegas could be considered the Wedding capital of the world if the bus driver didn't even know where the marriage bureau was. Thankfully, a passenger on the bus, who happened to be a taxi-driver who just finished his shift, took the time to point out the way where we could register our marriage. What was eating at the bus driver was anyone's guess.

We took a few steps to the marriage bureau and looked around to see if there was a line up of couples. None. Inside, a security guard sat in a chair looking bored. A few couples were at a table filling out a form in pencil. Yes, I saw a few embarrassed couples giggling at the wicket. When it was my turn, the clerk asked a few questions and after looking at the pencil-filled application, she entered it in the computer and in a few moments, I received a certificate that would entitle us to get married at a Las Vegas chapel.

Across the street, we checked out a walk-in chapel that happened to be open. A smiling woman gave out some incredibly cheap prices for the ceremony. As we were only inquiring, we didn't take part in the ceremony that evening.

The next day, we decided to go back to the same walk-in chapel, since it was conveniently located and we didn't have time to check out other places. Yes, an Elvis Wedding seemed nice, but also a bit expensive.

This time, the same woman we met last night seemed a bit strange, and didn't seem as pleasant as she was the last night. Perhaps, she felt bad when I had asked her if she was married. She said she and her partner chose not to get married. It seemed strange that a woman would promote a Wedding ceremony to other couples and chose herself not to get married. In any case, she tried to stir up problems by implying that I was the one that was going to make decisions in the household. I kept telling her that it was going to be 50-50 and she replied that in her household, her man pulled the strings. I held my real emotions in check since I didn't want to ruin the moment and the thirty-something woman was showing her jealousy.

In a few moments we were ushered in another room and given a handful of fake flowers.  The minister spoke a few words and declared us legal together in the eyes of the Lord, etc. The photographer took photos and captured the moment in video. It was amazing that this momentous occasion was all completed in one afternoon, and we didn't have to face the countless hours of planning and organizing a reception.

But strangely that's all people wanted when we got home from Vegas.
People asked us, "When's the reception?"

Photo of the Chapel of the Flowers --one of many chapels in Vegas that offered quick Wedding services. We didn't go there but went to another one, near the marriage bureau.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

There Is Hope for People With Family Members Suffering From Dementia

I took a family member to the doctor that other day. Sitting in the doctor's office is no fun matter. There is always the waiting game and the long drive to the office. No one likes to go to the doctors. Only sick people go.
When I went, it was to get a check up for my family member who has been diagnosed with dementia. Over a year ago back in 2011, this person was having a hard time and it was troubling to everyone. She  couldn't talk sensibly or seemed to have trouble recognizing people and places.
The doctors gave little hope and one specialist at the hospital looked at me and advised me that since there was no cure for Alzheimers, we should  start planning for the worst and look for a rest home.
Being a person who loves research and finding that living a life without hope is no life at all, I began to conduct an intensive research to see if there were any cures for this dreadful disease.
One website pointed to a woman who treated her husband with coconut oil. She received some remarkable results with this very inexpensive food item.
I quickly sent news articles to all my family members with the news that giving coconut oil may help my relative suffering from dementia.
Now after over a year on coconut oil, along with a variety of other over-the-counter pills including gingko bilova, and vitamins, my relative has made an amazing recovery.
She is able to communicate more, laugh, help fold the laundry, watch movies and more.
To be honest, she is not 100 percent what she was before, but she is a whole lot better after taking coconut oil and a few other vitamins.
So when this doctor told me that my mom seemed to be improved from her last visit, I started clapping in the office.
Yet, since I am not a scientist, I did not conduct a proper test to see if in fact, coconut oil was the main ingredient that helped make my relative improve mentally. Other pills were used, including gingko bilova. I've read that there are now studies being conducted to test the effectiveness of virgin coconut oil on improving people with dementia. Let's hope that they are able to finalize the studies soon. So many people need this information.
The lesson in all this is to never lose hope for yourself or anyone else. Hope, faith, love and the Internet can be used to help solve almost any problem that you have.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Quest for Perfection is an Imperfect Goal

I think we live in a world that is always seeking perfection, whether it is perfect workers, a perfect vacation, even a perfect mate. I am constantly assaulted by pressures everywhere, in my workplace and else where, to do perfect deeds.
Although I try ultimately to try to make as few mistakes as possible, and seek to overcome my imperfections, always there is a problem, a misstep, an aberration from perfection.
I constantly remind myself that we are not robots, and cannot work like a computer tirelessly and without complaint. Yet, so many companies expect workers to be this way --accept work without complaint, try not to take too many breaks, etc.
The quest for perfection puts an incredible amount of stress on ourselves --our bodies and our minds. We are often too hard on ourselves as we strive towards perfection. The crazy world of advertising would want us to have buff and leaner bodies, attractive faces and great minds. There is too, the quest to have it all --a beautiful home, mate and children. Vacations are also supposed to be perfect. There is no such thing as tropical storms, only azul waters, sumptuous food, and a spacious and smooth flight. We are not supposed to have a vacation that has a cramped room with no view, bland food, and a long walk to the buffet restaurant. If it doesn't look like the pages from some high-class ad, this is not a good vacation, some people believe.
I met a local lady recently who professed a distain for her hotel room. She hated her room so much that she cried, both literally and figuratively. Her complaints went to the ears of a vacation company representative who booked her vacation and she was promptly upgraded, at an extra rate, to another hotel.
I've stayed in rooms that were too small to sleep in comfortably (Paris, France) and dealt with air turbulence. It was not always a pleasant time but vacations are sometimes an area where you are supposed to experience some discomfort.
Life is not always going to be a pleasant journey. If we strive too hard for perfection, we can almost always be disappointed. We should accept life the way it is. Those things that cannot be changed, especially. Like how we talk, look and feel. God made us this way. If we strive to look like a super model, or try to be like someone else, we can only bring stress upon ourselves. 
Life is beautiful --just the way we are.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What Kind of World We Live in If a Movie House Cannot be a Movie House

I love movies and looked forward to the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises,  with anticipation. Knowing that one of my favorite actors would be in it was appealing too. So it was to my horror and disappointment that I read of a terrible tragedy that took place in Colorado. A crazed gunman had opened fire on innocent people in the first part of the new Batman movie. At least 12 people had died and 58 were injured, and all they wanted to do was to watch a movie.
Movies are places to fantasize about a life that we aspire to. We can pretend to be a glamorous person living a glamorous lifestyle. We can pretend to be with Batman as he fights his latest foe.
Yet on that horrible midnight hour, someone had decided to play the heavy --shooting people at random with little regard to their hopes and dreams.
What kind of world do we live in? It is a crazy world, at times, one where we often read about evil face to face. Just knowing that someone so normal looking could lose it --and kill people is horrifying and terrifying at the same time.
The question however arises whether we should live in fear and stay hidden away at home, so as to be safe from the enemy.
If doing so is safer, then it may be best not to do anything. Like drive a car, eat in a restaurant, or go to the bank.
Yet, living in fear is like being in a kind of mental prison. I felt so fearful that night as I sat in the movie house watching the new Batman movie. I looked at other people suspiciously, wondering if someone would pull a copycat act and start shooting innocent people. That same night, I also noticed other spectators openly looking at other movie patrons with suspicion.
A scruffy-looking man with the smell of alcohol chose a seat nearby us. He left briefly to get something. I glanced to see if he had a backpack. None. I remembered a security guard downstairs watching theatre-goers but I silently wondered why there was no ban on backpacks.
As I sat in the dark in the packed movie house, I relaxed a little as we neared the end of the movie. When the movie finally ended after more than two hours, I finally could relax, knowing that everyone there was present to watch a movie. That's what going to a movie should be all about.
When the show ended, it should be noted that some people applauded and liked the "Happy Ever After" conclusion. But the greater applause should be with the audience, who decided to live with courage and not hide away in their homes because of one monster bent on inflicting evil.
It is the ordinary people who live each day not in fear but with hope for the future that makes living in a city what it is supposed to be like. At the same time, we should never forget what happened in Colorado not too long ago.
God bless the victims and their families in the Colorado shooting. And may we never have to have this happen again.