Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ouch and a Candle4Tibet

I have FINALLY gotten to go rock climbing! Ironically, the
injury photos that are here aren't from the actual climb. They are from the hike down afterwards. Overall, the day was great. I met up with two recent graduates, a student who moved to the midwest, and one of the members of the climbing team, and together with my son and his best friend, we headed up to Boulder Canyon for a few hours.

The day was perfect. We got there early enough in the morning that it hadn't gotten really hot yet, so that really helped. We knocked out a couple of climbs, and then around noon decided that it was getting hot, so it was time to go. That's when
the fun began.

About halfway down the trail, there is what is called a talus field; basically a big section of rocks. I was the last one over it, and I guess I wasn't paying full attention, because the next thing I knew, down I went. I pitched forward and landed on my knees and right arm. Not a lot of fun. I actually hit my arm hard enough that I thought maybe I'd broken it, so I rolled over on my back and took a few seconds to make sure I was okay. I did a quick scan and realized that nothing was broken, which was a pretty huge relief. I got up and finished the hike down, then we headed home.

I still can't believe that school starts in less than a month. Wow... this summer went by incredibly quickly!! I'm still working on getting podcasts together, and I haven't had much of a chance to experiment with my Smart Board.

In other news, on August 7th, I would like to encourage everyone reading this to light a candle for Tibet. It's part of a campaign to get 100,000,000 people to light candles the night before the Olympics starts to remind people of what is happening to Tibet and the Tibetan people. It is a nonviolent, global public statement that will help to remind our world leaders that we have not forgotten Tibet. There is also a social network on Ning (which was mentioned during our Global Learners training... see?! I was paying attention!), which I would also encourage people to join. The time to light the candle is 9:00 p.m. local time (whichever time zone that may be). If our world leaders won't do it, someone needs to show them how.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Rested, relaxed... and even more reasons to eat local and organic

It's finally over. The Elevision: Free Tibet ended up being a lot of fun, and I think pretty successful as well. We had something like 400-500 people there, and the event seemed to flow pretty smoothly. I've previously mentioned how great Robert Thurman was; add both Robert Schmidt and James Gimian to the Great People To Meet and Know list. I didn't get a chance to have Bob Schmidt sign anything, but I definitely got James Gimian to sign my copy of The Rules of Victory.

I took yesterday to do nothing. Kyle went to a friend's house, so I had the place to myself. I did yoga, some meditation, read a few chapters of The Unfolding Now by A. H. Almaas, and watched The Simpsons (of course!). I considered either leftovers or going out for dinner, then decided to stay at home and make myself a nice meal, so I grilled a steak,and some onions (sweetened with sucanat, a more natural form of brown sugar), and also grilled some potatoes coated with olive oil and parmesan cheese, then washed it down with some raw milk. VERY tasty!

(The above pic is of Robert Schmidt and me at the Boulder Theater; the one below is of James Gimian and me outside the theater.)

After that, I watched King Corn. If you haven't seen this movie, it's basically about two men who decide to grow an acre of corn and follow it after discovering that they (and subsequently most of us) are primarily made of corn (since "we are what we eat" is quite literally true). I was shocked by several things, and am even more glad that I eat local and organic food, including the meat that I buy and feed my family.

I was quite surprised to find out that most of Europe does not import chicken from the United States since it is rinsed in chlorine in an effort to kill pathogens due to the way we raise and process our chicken.

Considering how often we've had food recalls over the past two years (tomatoes, beef, spinach, etc., etc.), I am more and more grateful to the farmers at the Boulder Farmers Market for what they do... every time there is a recall, I know I can continue eating, secure in knowing that my food is safe. The more I know, the more convinced I am that local and organic is the way to go when choosing food for my family and for me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

An amazing 24 hours and the countdown has begun!

I think I mentioned that I was going to be attending a teaching and talk by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche. It was last night; I went and it was outstanding. I really enjoyed the talk, even though I did get incredibly nervous when actually talking with him afterwards.

Tonight I had a chance to meet and chat with Prof. Thurman at the Tattered Cover bookstore. He's amazing. VERY laid back and warm, and his talk was very entertaining: funny as well as full of great information. He talked about quite a few things, but focused on Tibet and his book, of course. I had him sign my copy after the talk, since I figured I'll be so busy tomorrow that I'll forget. (The goal will then be remembering to have James Gimian sign my copy of his book.) Fortunately, I was no where near as nervous meeting him, which was great. I am really glad that I committed to helping out with this event. It's been a HUGE amount of work, but after listening and talking with him tonight, it's been totally worth it. If you are at all on the fence about attending, then get the ticket- it'll be totally worth it.

It's hard to believe that come Thursday morning it will be over. It's going to be a little strange not having to wake up and head off to Boulder; to not have to check my Elephant Journal emails every five minutes... it's going to be odd to be able to kick back and BREATHE!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The deep breath before the storm

Some time ago, I mentioned that my raw milk delivery had started. One of the niftiest bonuses of that is access to raw cream. I got my first order of raw cream this past weekend, and got inspired to make some creme brulee. I don't know why I don't make it more often... it's ridiculously easy to make, and hey, I get to play with a blow torch! At any rate, I made it, and it came out the most AMAZING sunlight golden color I've ever seen from a creme brulee. It was beautiful to look at, and the flavor was both delicate and rich at the same time... the perfect match of decadence. Next time, I'm making a double batch. :-)

Tonight is a night of (relative) quiet for me. Tomorrow I have to be sure to post my review of Why the Dalai Lama Matters by Robert Thurman, then I head to the Elephant office to get some work done for Wednesday's event. Waylon (publisher of Elephant) is taking me to sushi for dinner (ROCK!!!) since I'm going to stay for the Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche's teaching later that night. Tuesday, I'm off to the Tattered Cover to touch base with Prof. Thurman, who will be there doing a talk and book signing in Denver, then Wednesday is the Elevision event.

Read an article recently discussing how yoga, meditation, and the like affect a person on the genetic level, which is just really amazing and cool. It couples nicely with another article I read not too long ago discussing a study that was done indicating that a healthy diet and exercise also affects an individual on the genetic level. I KNEW this stuff was good for me... now I find out that it's good for me all the way down to my genes, too. Nifty. All the more reason for me to remain committed to my lifestyle, and to be sure to reinforce it with the kids on the climbing team.

July 20 already. I go back to work in less than a month. Ack!! Where has the time gone?! I still haven't finalized my thoughts on the book club, there's my Smart Board to play with yet, and I have only gone climbing ONCE this whole summer!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Nifty video and book review link

Just finished reading The Rules of Victory: How to Transform Chaos and Conflict: Strategies from the Art of War by James Gimian and Barry Boyce. GREAT book. I posted a review of it here. The really cool thing is that James Gimian is one of the featured guests at the Elevision event I've been blathering on about for the past few weeks. I'm definitely going to get him to sign it. Today I started reading Light Comes Through by Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche (and I'm also reading Why the Dalai Lama Matters by Prof. Robert Thurman). I'll have reviews of both of those up soon. On Monday, I'll be attending a book talk and signing with Rinpoche, and I'm looking forward to that a great deal. Then of course, there is Amazing Wednesday....

For those of you that have been wondering just what I mean by Elevision, check out this nifty video. Only a few days to go! Wow... has it been almost a month?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Elevision update!

The Elevision: Free Tibet event just keeps getting better and better. Not only is Robert Thurman the guest of honor, but now James Gimian, publisher of Shambhala Sun and Buddhadharma magazines and co-author of The Rules of Victory is also going to be there; and if that wasn't enough, Robert Schmidt from the band, Flogging Molly is going to be there too! In addition to the interview, Schmidt is going to treat us to some music as well, which is super cool. I really can't wait!

I've also decided to step it up on the eco front. I've taken to carrying a travel mug with me so I no longer have to use to-go mugs for my coffee, tea, etc. That's my new rule: no to-go mugs. I either use my travel mug, have it there, or don't have it at all. I already carry a water bottle with me everywhere, so this isn't that much of a step. I bought some To-Go Ware a while back, now I have to find it (so much of my life is still in boxes). Once I do, the rule expands to no using plastic forks, etc and when/if I get any food "to go" it has to go in the To-Go Ware containers. Like I've said before, living mindfully isn't convenient sometimes, but it is worth the effort every single time.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Busy, busy day

Wow... what a day. Up at 6:20 and off to the Farmers' Market to pick up the things I needed for the week. We got there early enough that I was able to relax with a cup of coffee and a muffin before hitting the farm stands. Then it was back home to get Kyle and Blake off to work; I then went and got the Elevision: Free Tibet flyers printed and cut so I could pass them out at the World Tibet Day celebration in Boulder. After that, it was back home for a quick shower (riding a bike in 95+ degree heat has a way of making one sweaty and smelly), and bring Kyle his lunch. Blake only had to work part of the day, so I picked him up and took him with me off to Boulder. The World Tibet Day event was great. I got the chance to meet the President of the Tibetan Association of Colorado, Tenzin Dhongyal, who graciously took time to chat about the Elevision event even though he was incredibly busy at the time.

We missed the Tibetan Folk Dancers, which was too bad, but we did get to see Boulder Taiko HIBIKI perform. I LOVE Taiko performances, and theirs was great.

Blake even got the chance to try his hand at Taiko drumming. Since he's a drummer, he said it was pretty easy for him.

Meanwhile, Kyle was busy at work, baking in the hot sun... poor guy.

Check it out!! After a few burps and false starts, my raw milk delivery started today... this is me with my first two half gallons... woohoo!

And all of this before 4:00... like I said... busy, busy day! :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

World Tibet Day

World Tibet Day is this weekend. Basically it's a day of celebration of the Tibetan culture and an observance of the birthday of His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama's birthday. Boulder's celebration of it is tomorrow, and I'm pretty psyched about it. Kyle has to work all day tomorrow, so he had to miss it, but Blake and I will be able to go since Blake only has to work two hours. I think it's going to be a LOT of fun.

In other news, things with the Robert Thurman event are going pretty well. Endangered Species Chocolate has signed on as a sponsor of the event, which is really cool of them, and has moved them up into my favorite chocolate company. It was already pretty cool that they donate 10% of their profits to environmental causes, and now they've demonstrated that they are about a lot more than just that. Very cool of them. Prana and the Gaia Community have also expressed interest, which is really encouraging. I'm really excited about being able to meet and talk with Professor Thurman. By all accounts, he's a pretty amazing man.

I didn't get to do any climbing this week (argh!), but I did get some yoga and lots of bike riding in (yay!). Maybe Sunday will be my big chance to get on the rocks (crosses fingers). Let's hope! In the meantime... I'm off to enjoy some fireworks.