Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Have a Divine Time! Try Mountain Biking! - by Patty Mooney


Do you have something in your life that you feel passionate about? Think of all the things you can do that cost nothing, that bring joy to your spirit. My husband, Mark, and I love to mountain bike the local trails, and have done so since 1986. This is a pasttime in which exercise is a by-product of having fun! If you like to mountain bike and live in San Diego, let's hook up! San Diego boasts some of the best trails in the world!

If you are interested in learning more about mountain biking, check out this trailer for our documentary "Full Cycle: A World Odyssey." In 1993, Mark Schulze and Patty Mooney, intrepid mountain-bike duo, set out on a mountain bike adventure around the world, a la "Endless Summer." They sought the best trails in nine countries, including the USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Wales, Switzerland, Greece, Australia, Tahiti and India. Of course, the conclusion is that there is no place like home, but it sure is fun to check out the terrain on the other side of the fence.

video
This project which was one of the first "reality shows" ever produced, would be impossible to undertake in this day and age. For one thing, imagine carting 900 pounds of video and bicycling equipment along with both hot and cold weather gear through various airports, railroad stations, taxis and steep stairways. You'd have to arrive not one or two hours earlier at the airport for check-in, but days!

"Full Cycle: A World Odyssey" won over 13 international film festival awards and yet it has never been broadcast on television, as it went straight to home video release. This is a shame, as the cinematography is quite remarkable.

Take some time for yourself and get passionate with your time.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Women's Music is a Gift to the World - by Patty Mooney

I have been a devotee of independent women's music for many years, and at times I have taken my video camera along to special concerts to record these performances for posterity. These are not "professional video productions." That would entail - at the very least - a professional video crew comprised of a Director of Photography with a broadcast camera and an audio technician with a sound mixer. No, these are casual and off-the-cuff recordings that I like to call "Pocket Productions." Many times, if I was not there to record the moment, the performance would have been but a wisp of wind on the wing of a butterfly. I have posted several of these videos up at youtube, and I figured I would turn all my blogger friends on to a few of them today. I hope you enjoy them!





Thursday, June 20, 2013

Precious Moment

When I went to pick up my niece, her mom handed me a photo of myself. It was a slightly dog-eared graduation photo. "This is the only photograph of anyone that was found in Joe's safe. He LOVED his sister."


A moment of searing grief from out of nowhere then hit me. Just when you think you are fine, you have accepted he is gone for good, and you'd just better be happy his spirit is free, it hits you. I AM happy his spirit is free. I just miss him so much.


Nobody was ready for you to go, Joe, least of all you, I am sure. I just wanted you to know how moved I was about that photo. How much of you I see in your daughter, and how much of you I see in me.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend - By Bill Rosen

A humorous look at how our dogs might like us to behave


Bill Rosen standing in front of Stephen King's house
"Equal," that's all any dog wants to be. They don't want to be placed on a pedestal and treated like royalty, nor do they want to be treated like a beast. "A dog is only a perfect human," (says Stephen King) and I think he is on the right track. They just want to be one of the gang and hang out, tag along, and yuck it up with the rest of us. Below are some do's and dont's you may find useful and that will make your dog proud of you and brag about you to the other dogs when you aren't around.

First and foremost, allow your dog to love you. More often than not this will come in the form of a kiss--a great big "Grandmom kiss" that is not unlike a drive-through car wash and quite possibly rivals the Atlantic Ocean. Dogs are blessedly ignorant of germs so when they offer you a kiss, not only are they extending love, but they believe they're actually grooming you, cleaning you, and making you presentable to the general public, while remarking to themselves how cute you look. It's one of the highest compliments any being can bestow upon another. Accept this graciously and go wash your face later. They say a dog's mouth is cleaner than our own mouth, but do "they" know where that tongue has been? You can't believe everything you hear.

Another thing, never underestimate a dog's I.Q. They will, however, floss when pigs fly. People are smart, people are dumb, and dog intelligence works the same way, so look at this realistically; there's "overlappage." Although the consensus among the two-legged, upright being is that people are smarter than dogs, dogs may or may not agree with this. Some dogs are smarter than some people, although they will never flaunt, taunt, shame, or brag about this. They accept us as the inferior beings that we are. They are incapable of judging others, which make them rather unique. They simply love all people regardless of their station in life.

Some dogs actually enter the realm of genius and are capable of thinking "outside the bowl" but still see us as an "equal." Ever watch "The Dog Whisperer"? Who is the trainer really training, the dogs or their owners? Watch the dog try to conceal a smile when Caesar reprimands the owners. I've seen Basenjis actually wink into the camera when this occurs.

Play games with your dog and let him win sometimes. Be a sport. Let the stick slip out of your hand on purpose and play it up a little. Act disappointed. Dogs see this and react the same way you and I do. Act as if you don't see their rook about to capture your queen.

To really make a dog's day, chase him. If you're playing with a small dog, feign being uncoordinated when you go to grab them and let them slip through your fingers. If you have a fast dog and there's no way on God's earth you could even touch the tail, chase after him anyway. Scream and make noises too. Dogs love this and it makes them feel important. Fake a fall and when they double back to make sure you're okay, then jump up and run after them. Everything's fair in love and tag.

Avoid the word "stay." Okay, I admit it's a necessary ingredient in life, but to a dog it's a four-letter word meaning "You can't come with me. I don't want your company." There are times when this is unavoidable, but do your best to not say the "S word." If you must part trails, always bring back a reward: a biscuit, a piece of chicken... one of those beef or hog byproducts creatively shaped into a little slipper and such.

Last but not least, take your friend with you. For a dog, one of the greatest thrills in life is hanging his head out the window at 60 MPH, and no dog should be denied this. Running after a ball or a stick or a Frisbee is fun, but the freeway is "Heaven on wheels!" Meeting another dog is high on the list, and exploring the other dog's scent from end to end (literally) is exciting, but nothing beats rush hour experienced through a partially rolled down window.

Note: This attractive dog is Yoko the barkless Basenji.

Author and dog lover Bill Rosen is a freelance web content writer from Marietta, GA. Some of his allegorical poetry and fiction writing can be found on the Internet at Associated Content.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Slick, An Online Chapbook by Vivian Faith Prescott

AlaskaImage by drurydrama (Len Radin) via Flickr I have enjoyed reading and writing poetry for many years, ever since I was around 16 years old and discovered a dusty tome in my mom's bookshelf called "The Green Leaf and the Gray" by J.P. Irvine. One of his poems really touched me. It was called "My Little Girl Under the Snow" and featured lines like these:

This night, for my poor little darling,
In her little grave under the leaves,
Only dressed in a shroud of Swiss-muslin,
Cut low at the neck and the sleeves;
For she died when the manifold lilies
Were a-bloom in the garden below,
But the meek little face in the coffin
Was as mute and as pure as the snow.

Sad, isn't it?

I was hooked by the idea that you could write down your thoughts in a rhyming fashion. And so I began to write poems.

Years after first opening that book, I went home to visit my parents, found the book and it now stands on my bookshelf, like a little sentry of time. In leafing through it, I find that J.P. Irvine was a very religious guy (or woman?), a little too many "Gods" thrown into his work for my taste, but I thank J.P. Irvine for showing me the path of poetry.

Recently, I came across this sterling collection - you can read it for free - called "Slick," by Vivian Faith Prescott. She is a writer and poet who lives in Alaska. The theme of her chapbook is the cost of oil, especially the price paid by the indigenous peoples of Alaska.

Definitely worth checking out if you get a chance.

Slick, an Online Chapbook by Vivian Gray Prescott
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Figs - A Poem by Patty Mooney

Figs on the variegated fig Ficus aspera 'Parce...Image via Wikipedia The first figs of the season were offered to Bacchus, and at festivals in his honor, devout females wore garlands of dried figs.

The Prophet Mohammed once exclaimed: “If I should wish a fruit brought to Paradise it would certainly be the fig.”

The fig was Cleopatra's favorite fruit with the asp that ended her life brought to her in a basket of figs.


Pears, oranges, mangos,
and in the case of Wendy Whoppers,
porn star--Casaba melons--
comprise the universal scale
of a woman's breasts,
fruity, squeezable, scrumptious,
from small to extra large.

And the yield of a man?
Luscious figs.
Note the shape, the heft, the texture.
No other object so perfectly approximates.
Nuts?
Balls?
Jewels?
No.

Now figs, those succulent, sun-stroked fruits
which even at this moment, hang ready
for plucking and eating, are sweeter than
you know; each contains more Vitamin C
than an orange.
And Calcium,
Potassium,
Iron.
Think of it!
For a season those fig trees bow
to me with their bounty:
Calimyrna,
Mission,
Kadota.
I nip, suck, swallow, swoon.
The shape, the texture, the heft.



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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Drop the Spray Can, Chachi - by Patty Mooney

San Diego County was blessed with a lot of rain this year. In a place so fraught with drought, this is something to celebrate. My husband decided to take me to some waterfalls I had never seen, in the 30-some years I have lived in San Diego... Adobe Falls, located close to San Diego State University.


The urbanization of a natural setting disturbed me. I felt conflicted about seeing what I would otherwise consider some pretty good art, tagged on most of the available faces of the granite boulders in the area.


I thought about how some of the last surviving records of the ancient Anasazi civilization exist in red-rock canyons as petroglyphs and pictographs. Albeit, some of those have been graffitied and pumped full of shotgun holes.


Self-aggrandizing crap like somebody's initials or inane observations are not what I call "art." Who cares whether Chachi loves Joanie? Why do these people feel compelled to deface Mother Nature?


With these mixed feelings in turmoil like ingredients in a speeding blender, I admired the beauty of the falls while realizing that I would probably not return anytime soon.


Tip of the Day on how to enjoy Nature: Leave the paint cans at home, please.


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