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Archive for January, 2006

One: The Movie

Friday night Pauline and I spent a lovely evening together. We haven’t had too much opportunity to spend a lot of time together lately so that made our night out especially enjoyable. We went to see ‘One: The Movie’ in the UDistrict and afterwards enjoyed sushi at Blue C Sushi in Fremont. ‘One’ was an interesting and thought provoking documentary (see www.onethemovie.org). The filmakers (completely new to filmaking) were three guys who came up with a list of 20 questions on the oneness of everything, the nature of God and the meaning of Life, etc. (full list of questions available on their website). It was interesting to hear people like Thich Naht Hanh, Robert Thurman, Deepak Chopra, Thomas Keating, Ram Das and others respond to some of these question. I was a little disappointed that there was only snippets from the interviews with these great spiritual people. I would have liked hearing their responses to more of the questions.

While I really enjoyed watching the documentary, the content didn’t strike me as powerfully as ‘What the Bleep Do We Know?’ when I first saw that last year. Some of the information in that was new to me and the presentation was very powerful. The content of One was somewhat familiar to me. It has come up a lot in the classes on Tibetan Buddhism that I have been attending almost weekly for about the last ten months. What I did come away with from ‘One’ is a number of people whose work I’d like to read, for example Robert Thurman. He’s Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism at Columbia University. He’s a former Buddhist monk and a close friend of the Dalai Lama. (He’s also the father of the actress Uma Thurman.) Riane Eisler, Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev were impressive and I’m inspired to investigate their work.

All-in-all, worth seeing. I’m particularly keen to see the DVD when it’s released. Hopefully it will have the extended interviews.

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Seahawks

Christian, Jennifer and Mochi joined us for the Seahawks game today. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen them play. It was actually very enjoyable, though that could also have been the company I watched it in. Just as the TV channel switched to Qwest Field for coverage of the game there was a huge roar from the crowd. When I heard it I felt a sudden wave of nostalgia and realized that I miss watching soccer matches: the Premier League, the World Cup…Despite the very little knowledge that I have of American Football it was a good game with the excellent result of the Seahawks making it to the Super Bowl in two weeks time. It will be held in Detroit, Michigan-my brother John’s neck of the woods (he’s in Ann Arbor). I imagine we’ll watch that game too 🙂

Btw, Jennifer was such a trooper reading quite a lot of Dora books to Ashley and Caitlin when their interest in the game waned over the course of 3 hours!

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Housebound

We are still in the throws of sickness here. The girls have been sick since Thursday night and I came down with it yesterday. We’ve been housebound since Friday afternoon once we dropped James to the airport. We ventured out Monday  afternoon to pick up James at the airport and, once I realized yesterday that I could be out of energy for a while, I took the girls to the supermarket to get our weekly shop. So just a little out time in several days! James skipped Go last night to come home to the infirmary and help us all out. Good to have him around again.

The girls aren’t eating very much and Caitlin seems mostly to want to nurse. I am keeping the calories up for myself. I’ve learned it’s the best way to stave off crankiness.

We are still spending our days doing crafts of all sorts, baking cookies, singing songs, reading books, playing games and watching some videos and DVDs. The girls  have mostly been in good form, though yesterday we were all a little more sensitive to being grumpy. An up and down day but fortunately more up than down and the downs weren’t too bad. I think that today will be more of a rest day as my energy is much less for engaging in lots of activities to entertain the girls. We’ll see how the day goes 🙂

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Kundun

In the end the day turned out to be a pleasant mellow one. Ash and I got up before Caitlin and snuggled up on the sofa together watching the start of Martin Scorsese’s ‘Kundun’. Caitlin joined us about 45 minutes later, to which Ashley commented that we were “one cozy family” 🙂 I watched the DVD throughout the course of the day, four separate sittings in all. In between the girls and I shared a lovely bath/shower, ate a pancake lunch, played “Dora to the Rescue’ (with string for a rope to pull the rescuee to the safety of the study and Caitlin adorably repeating her newest word learned during the game, “pull”), read more books and pretended to make shaped cookies mimicing our real cookie making from yesterday. We have cookie cutters in shapes of square, circle, triangle, etc (plus a shamrock of course!) and yesterday was the second batch of cookies we’ve made with them. We also have large colourful plastic buttons in various shapes too. Ash and Caitlin enjoy placing the buttons on lids of small boxes and putting them into the little oven of their toy kitchen.

The day ended as it started, “one cozy family” on the study floor making up the Madagascar jigsaw puzzles that Ashley received as a gift from her Uncle Andrew when we visited Dublin last November. It’s a great format of a hardback style book with each page containing one of six 24 piece puzzles with images of characters from the film. Of course Ashley and Caitlin gleefully pulled out all the puzzles and broke them up before James or I could intervene 🙂 They are fortunately colour coded on the back, except there are two puzzles with purple backs, two with green and two with yellow. Fair play to Ash, she did stay interested for quite some time helping James and I to make up the puzzles again. It reminded me of just how much I miss making 1000 piece puzzles. Maybe there is something I can do about that now that we’ve converted the spare bedroom into a study for me (though, with a sofa bed so that we can still have our family and friends come stay!).

As for kundun, I watched the end of it after the girls were in bed. It’s a beautifully shot film. I’ve read some of the Dalai Lama’s books including his autobiography ‘Freedom from Exile’. Watching the film I again feel sorry that the world didn’t (and still doesn’t) do more to help the people of Tibet maintain their independence. It may now be too late.

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I just finished watching the film ‘Veronica Guerin’ about the Irish journalist who was killed in 1996 for investigating drug crimes in Dublin. I’ve wanted to see it for some time. I remember her murder but felt such a wave of sadness, greater than I originally experienced, at seeing her story so powerfully portrayed by Cate Blanchett. Her death resulted in great changes in Ireland around tolerance of the drug world. Sad that it can take such great losses to effect great change in our world.

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Return to Blogging

I’ve decided to take the plunge and start blogging again. I was spurred on by a conversation with Jen in Dublin during our recent trip (Thanks Jen). We were discussing motherhood and touched on my discontinued newsletters these last couple of years. I’ve missed writing them and, on a regular basis, think about starting them again. I don’t know if that will happen given my busy life as a mother of two adorably, high energy little ones. So this is the next best thing. At least I will be keeping in contact with my family and friends-and some of you have been sorely neglected. My apologies to you. As the wonderful people that you are I am confident that you will continue to make allowances for Life. I hope this will help keep you updated as to how Life is treating me.

I’m currently solo parenting this weekend as James exercises his game playing skills in a Go tournament in Vegas. Hopefully he’ll also enjoy the opportunity to hit the Black Jack tables 🙂 Speaking with him today it sounds like he’s playing well and enjoying being there. I’m glad. His chances to play Go are limited these days due to Life. He enjoys the game so much that this is a wonderful opportunity for some intensive Go playing.

From 01 January 2006

Ashley and Caitlin are a little under the weather at the moment. But despite constant runny noses, fits of coughing and disrupted sleep they are actually in great form. Lots of crafts and book reading going on as they are mostly housebound at the moment. We finished making a paper mache piggy bank that we’ve been working on for a few days and I have made them both matching little felt tote bags with a picture of an umbrella with three little raindrops falling onto it. It is their January bag (we’ve been having a lot of rain here!). I’m working on a bag for each month with a themed picture on it (e.g. hearts for February, shamrocks for March, etc). It’s a lot of fun. They enjoy watching and helping as the bags are being made. It gives me a fun opportunity to exercise the creative/craftsy parts of my brain and the girls now have a tote bag that they love to use to carry around their little Ladybird books. Their current favourites are the Meg & Mog books that their Grandma gave them as a gift when we were in Dublin in November-thanks Janet, they love those books 🙂

Ashley is spending a lot of time creating hand art from a book she received from Christian and Jenn for Christmas. The book shows pictures you can create by drawing around your hand placed in various positions. It comes with a little kit of crayons, glue, eyes and pompoms. Both Ashley and Caitlin are thrilled that they can open the glue themselves and practice gluing by themselves. Cailtin also loves sticking two eyes to her sweaty palm and making them stick (no glue involved). She seems to get a great kick out of making a face on her palm 🙂 Christian and Jenn-excellent gift. We are planning on picking up lollipop sticks soon to start on the other book you gave Ashley, the one on making shadow puppets both with your hands and with the card cut-outs provided. We had a small incident last weekend when our little family closed ourselves off in the study with lights off and torch on. All went well until James projected Ashley’s shadow on the wall and made it quite large. We’ve given the shadows a little rest as she felt a little scared! Fortunately she is now asking again that we make the puppets, so obviously no lasting damage.

Today they are also enjoying the treat of much Dora watching. If you haven’t heard of Dora the Explorer, alas you are missing out. She is a little Hispanic girl who has a monkey friend called Boots. Armed with her Backpack and Map they do much exciting exploring together. There is a fair bit of Spanish in the cartoon and Ashley spontaneously comes out with phrases here and there. She even took her chips off her plate one night at dinner and counted them on the table in Spanish! Caitlin says “Dor Dor” when she wants to watch the DVD or read a Dora book. (She picked up the “Dor Dor” from the song “Dora Dora Dora the Explorer” 🙂 She can also say Backpack and Map as the show encourages viewers to say certain words/phrases with them. They both like to play around the house with their own little backpacks on their back taking part in “adventures” as Ashley calls them.

Ashley and Caitlin are playing wonderfully together. Around the Christmas time I noticed a shift in how they interact. Much less struggle and disagreement and easier sharing and cooperation. Caitlin worships Ash and likes to copy her big sister. For example, she methodically placed all her own chips in a row to copy Ash as Ash counted them in Spanish (as mentioned above). Starting yesterday, Caitlin has now taking to wearing a dress that is similar in design to Ashley’s. She was so pleased with herself when we put it on her yesterday and immediately asked for it again this morning when she got out of bed (that is, she indicated with body language and her own personal sounds). They also love to wear the sunglasses they received in their Christmas stockings. Ash loved the glasses we got her last summer at the Strawberry Festival on Vashon Island. Unfortunately Caitlin and her little cousin Ella put an end to them during a little tug-of-war in August. Now they both have sunglasses and Caitlin places her hands on her cheeks with her fingertips touching her eyes everytime she wants her sunglasses. If she wants to play with the rubber stamps she points to the back of her hand (because that’s where she likes to place the stamp before she stamps on paper). She has her own adorable sign language.

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One: The Movie

One: The Movie

Friday night Pauline and I spent a lovely evening together. We haven’t had too much opportunity to spend a lot of time together lately so that made our night out especially enjoyable. We went to see ‘One: The Movie’ in the UDistrict and afterwards enjoyed sushi at Blue C Sushi in Fremont. ‘One’ was an interesting and thought provoking documentary (see www.onethemovie.org). The filmakers (completely new to filmaking) were three guys who came up with a list of 20 questions on the oneness of everything, the nature of God and the meaning of Life, etc. (full list of questions available on their website). It was interesting to hear people like Thich Naht Hanh, Robert Thurman, Deepak Chopra, Thomas Keating, Ram Das and others respond to some of these question. I was a little disappointed that there was only snippets from the interviews with these great spiritual people. I would have liked hearing their responses to more of the questions.

While I really enjoyed watching the documentary, the content didn’t strike me as powerfully as ‘What the Bleep Do We Know?’ when I first saw that last year. Some of the information in that was new to me and the presentation was very powerful. The content of One was somewhat familiar to me. It has come up a lot in the classes on Tibetan Buddhism that I have been attending almost weekly for about the last ten months. What I did come away with from ‘One’ is a number of people who’s work I’d like to read, for example Robert Thurman. He’s Professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism at Columbia University. He’s a former Buddhist monk and a close friend of the Dalai Lama. (He’s also the father of the actress Uma Thurman!) Riane Eisler, Llewellyn Vaughn-Lee and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev were impressive and I am inspired to investigate their work.

All-in-all, worth seeing. I’m particularly keen to see the DVD when it’s released. Hopefully it will have the extended interviews.

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