Friday, June 28, 2013

Film 101: A Compass

(In case you need some inspiration for your weekend viewing pleasure - a guest post by Jason)

American Film Directors:
Oliver Stone – “Natural Born Killers” and “JFK” and “Platoon”
Martin Scorsese – “Gangs of New York” and “Taxi Driver” and “Goodfellas” and “The Departed”
William Friedkin – “The French Connection” and “The Exorcist”
John Ford – “The Searchers” and “The Lost Patrol”
Sam Peckinpah – “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid” and “Straw Dogs”
Dennis Hopper - “Easy Rider”
Steven Spielberg – “Schindler’s List” and “AI”
Francis Ford Coppola - “Apocalypse Now” and “The Godfather”
Ridley Scott - “Blade Runner” and “Alien”
Robert Altman - “The Long Goodbye”
Mel Brooks - “Blazing Saddles” and "Spaceballs"
Ethan and Joel Cohen –“Barton Fink” and “Raising Arizona”
Orson Welles – “Citizen Kane” and “Touch of Evil”
Clint Eastwood – “Unforgiven”

Foreign Film Directors:
Jean-Luc Godard – “Weekend” and “Contempt”
Fellini – “8 ½” and “Toby Dammit”
Michelangelo Antonioni - “The Passenger” and “Zabrinskie Point”
Stanley Kubrick - “A Clockwork Orange”, “Dr. Strangelove” and “Full Metal Jacket”
Alfred Hitchcock – “The Birds’ and “Psycho” and “Vertigo”
Ingmar Bergman – “Persona” and “The Seventh Seal”
Roman Polanski – “The Tenant” and “Rosemary’s Baby”
Alejandro Jodorowsky – “The Holy Mountain” and “El Topo”
Francois Truffaut – “The 400 Blows” and “Shoot The Piano Player”
Michael Powell – “A Matter of Life and Death” and “Peeping Tom”
Sergio Leone – “Once Upon A Time in the West” and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”
Akira Kurosawa – “Seven Samurai”
Luis Bunuel – “Un Chien Andalou”
Jean Cocteau – “Orpheus”
Guillermo del Toro – “Pan’s Labyrinth”

Thursday, June 27, 2013


I made it through seven straight days of constant movement and physical activity during the White Belt training and also took one delicious yoga class on Sunday - all with an angry back. I nursed my back all last week and carefully paid attention to its sensations and warnings. Not pushing too hard. Didn't want it to go out on me.

My mindfulness paid off and I made through all of this physical activity with no major "back event". Phew!

Enter Monday -

First day back at work after a week. Jumped right into my chair and worked away for the day. Only getting up for lunch and bathroom breaks. By the end of the day, I couldn't bend over, I couldn't touch my toes, I couldn't sit and even laying down was uncomfortable.

My chair literally gave me backlash! And it's a great chair (thanks mom!) so I KNOW it was the lack of movement. One day of sedentary life hurt my back worse than 7+ days of intense activity! CRAZY!

As soon as Jason got home Monday night, I strapped frozen veggies to my completely fucked up back and we raised my sitting work area to a standing workstation. We got creative and used a TV tray, random wood planks, some plastic filing racks and an Amazon box.

Cost = $0.

Derville is helping me commit to my new standing arrangement by stealing my chair!

I'm on day 3 of standing at the computer instead of sitting - all day. My legs are definitely tired but at least they get to dance around while I work! I can even do exercises and Nia moves while I'm working. I move around the house more and spend less time dicking around on the internet. You see, often, I'm waiting for an email from a colleague or approval to move forward on a project, etc. With the chair, I would just sit there...waiting...surfing the web. Now, standing up and waiting doesn't quite go together. The web seems less entertaining when my legs are screaming MOVE!

So now, if I'm standing, I'm moving. It's true, a body at rest stays at rest and a body in motion stays in motion. Therefore, I can really feel the caloric burn of simply standing. Funny also is that it makes me thirsty so I remember to drink more water during the day. BONUS!

I can't believe it took this long to make the switch to standing but now that I've done it, I don't think I'll be going back - the backlash is just too much!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Soul Peel

This past week in the Nia White Belt Intensive training has changed my life - I felt like everything I've done before now was leading up to this experience. I was exactly where I was suppose to be (not a feeling I have very often).

It was like having a soul peel.

 I found love and friendship, support and understanding, physical, emotional and spiritual enlightenment. I discovered things about myself that I never understood. I was blessed to spend 7 days with the most inspirational group of people I've ever been around. Everyone of them touched my life and I will never be able to think of them without a full heart, a smile, and a slight tear in my eye. 

Graduation Ceremony


Just as we started and ended each day of the training - I want to thank myself (for being me), my amazing class mates (for supporting me), all the teachers in my life (anyone who I've learned from), the space (for being sacred and secure), and for Nia (the common thread that brought us together).

I'm sure I'll be posting more on this experience but right now I'm just trying to figure out how to work all of these new tools for a happier lifestyle into my existing lifestyle.

I'll dance on it and get back to you!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Journey Ahead: Mind, Body, and Soul

Only two days until I start my Nia White Belt intensive training and I CANNOT wait. There's been alotta weight on these shoulders over the last few weeks. I'm so excited to let go of what no longer serves me and bask in the joy of movement and self-healing for an entire week! It's going to be physically, mentally and spiritually challenging - very introspective - exactly what I need right now in my life.

By Friday of next week, I'll be unfurling my white belt in the air and will have a new road map to my body and soul.

Now I just need to get a pair of those sweet flare legged Nia pants!

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Biggest Ash-hole in the West

We finally made the trek up to the blast zone of Mount St. Helens. We went to the Johnston Ridge Observatory.  This spot is named after David Johnston, a USGS volcanologist, who had been watching the volcano and monitoring the seismic activity from this ridge. His last words were "Vancouver, this is it! Vancouver, this is it!" before he was blasted away by the volcano.

It was a humbling and magnificent site.

 It was pretty cloudy so this is the best shot of the mountain. You can see the snow starts right under the clouds.
We saw Bigfoot!

 That's a big foot!!

Check out more pictures in this slide show.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Vista House and Multnomah Falls

We caught the sunset at Vista House last weekend. It was gorgeous!

Garden Update June 2013

Found this little guy enjoying our strawberries yesterday. He looked pretty cozy so I took some pics and put him under the blackberry bramble to finish his lunch. He was so tiny!

Now, a quick look around the garden. Like I've said before, by the time I take the pictures and get them posted, the garden has completely transformed. It's amazing how much growing can happen in one day!

Strawberries and Herb box

 Hazel nut trees grown from nuts that squirrels buried in our garden that started to sprout and Maple-chu coming back to life.

 Beet box. Wrapping up a year-long experiment to smell the secret ingredient (beet pollen) in K23 from Jitterbug Perfume. I'm amazed to find that it smells like feet cheese. Totes not what I was expecting.

 Planting green beans and snow peas.

 Most of the tomato starts are in. So far we have Early Girl, Sungold cherry and Hillbillie (heirloom)

 Can you spot the out-of-place item in the picture above? Silly dog.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Monsanto Accepts DEFEAT in Europe!

The following information is from a reputable Canadian small farm blogger that I follow:

CBAN Update-Some Good News!

Dear CBAN News Subscribers, Please read below some amazing news as Monsanto accepts defeat in Europe and the first ever state law for mandatory labelling is passed in the US. This is happening at the same time that the US government is scrambling to limit economic damage from the discovery of contamination from unapproved genetically engineered wheat (there is no GE wheat approved or grown anywhere in the world). CBAN continues to monitor, research and bring attention to these and other important events as we build and implement strategic campaigns to stop dangerous genetically engineered crops and animals. Best regards, Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator

Monsanto Leaves Europe:
Monsanto has pulled out of GM crop research in Europe and is not planning to request approval for new GM seeds in Europe. Currently Monsanto sells GM corn only in Spain, Portugal and Czech republic. Monsanto confirmed abandoning GM crop efforts in Europe to Danish reporters: "We have plenty of other things to sell...We will sell it where people want it", said Brandon Mitchener, Public Affairs Lead for Monsanto Europe, "We made a strategic decision in 2011 to focus on entirely on hybrid or conventional, normal crops." Monsanto's confirmation follows a similar decision from German biotech company BASF as well as Bayer CropScience and Syngenta who have also largely moved out of Europe.
Connecticut First US State to Pass Law for GE Food Labelling:
On June 3, Connecticut became the first US state to pass mandatory labelling legislation for genetically engineered food ingredients! The compromise law requires that four other states pass similar legislation in order to “trigger” Connecticut’s labeling requirement. One of the states must share a border with Connecticut and their combined population must equal at least 20 million people.
Philippines Court Stops GE Eggplant Field Trials:
A court in the Philippines has ordered the government to stop field trials of genetically engineered (Bt) eggplant. Groups challenged that the trials violated the people’s constitutional right to a balanced and healthful ecology - the court agreed.
GE Wheat Contamination Update:
On May 29, the US government confirmed that unapproved GE wheat was discovered in a field in Oregon. GE wheat is not approved or grown anywhere in the world. The US government has increased its investigation but has still not been able to identify the source of contamination. Meanwhile, a Kansas wheat farmer has filed a civil lawsuit against Monsanto, seeking compensation for damages caused by the discovery which sent wheat export futures prices spiralling downward. “Consider the liability issues. Why is a biotech company such as Monsanto allowed to get away with setting loose their unapproved genetic material via experimental field tests and yet pay none of the consequences when it escapes? The market impacts of contamination are always borne by farmers who had no say in whether, how, or where these field tests took place. This is an injustice and it is not acceptable.” said Glenn Tait of the National Farmers Union Canada.
Asian and European markets are now testing US shipments for contamination - no contamination has yet been found in US exports and no contamination has been found in Canada. 
Monsanto stocks declined, the biggest drop since Oct. 31, 2011.
In addition to our press release, CBAN has posted some basic background information at and for more information you can also see

Arrests as People Protest GE Trees (US): 
Groups and participants from the Campaign to STOP GE Trees rallied and marched in the May 25 March Against Monsanto in Asheville, North Carolina US, which drew over 1000 people. Anti-GE tree demonstrators converged in Asheville to confront the 2013 Tree Biotechnology conference. ArborGen, one of the sponsors of the conference, wants to commercially sell millions of GE eucalyptus trees in seven southern states from South Carolina to Texas.

Two residents of Asheville, North Carolina were arrested on the opening day of the conference after disrupting a major presentation by tree engineer Wout Boerjan (Belgium) entitled, “Engineering trees for the biorefinery”. “We took dignified action today to directly confront the growing corporate control over our seeds, forests, and communities." The talk was disrupted for 20 minutes. 

Three demonstrators were also arrested on May 30 at the conference. They attempted to use GMO caution tape to wrap a bus full of conference participants headed for an upscale dinner. Dozens more groaning zombie "franken-tree" protesters were present in protest: "We're blocking the buses because these conference attendees are on their way to dinner at the Biltmore Estate. Built by the Vanderbilts, the Biltmore is a symbol of the wealthy and powerful, and one of the birthplaces of industrial forestry in the US, which wiped out forests from coast to coast. The tree biotechnology industry is continuing this destructive legacy. They plan to cut down native forests and replace them with GE tree plantations grown solely for the profit of the elite at the expense of local communities and biodiversity," said Will Bennington, one of those arrested.  

CBAN is a founding Steering Committee member of the Campaign to STOP GE Trees.

New Study Finds GE Salmon Can Cross-breed with Wild Fish:

Scientists from Canada have found that transgenic (genetically engineered) Atlantic salmon can cross-breed with brown trout, a closely related species. The fish, which have been engineered to grow faster, pass the trait to the hybrid offspring and the new fish out-competed other fish in lab experiments. The US could approve the first GE fish - the fast-growing GE Atlantic Salmon - any day.

CBC Report on Failure of GM Insect-Resistant Crops:

Genetically engineered insect resistant (Bt) crops are  failing as insects become resistant - just as predicted. There was actually never any dispute that this would happen, it was just a matter of time...and now is the time. You can listen to the discussion of this problem on CBC's The Current:
Act Before June 7 to Stop Reckless Release of Synthetic Biology:
The Genome Compiler Corporation is promising to send 100 seeds produced through synthetic biology to anyone who backs their project with $40. They already have 7, 700+ such backers; that's 770, 000 synthetically engineered seeds that will be released! The seeds would be the viable and reproducing products of ‘Synthetic Biology’ - a field that has never had a deliberate release into the environment before. The company claims that the US Government had agreed not to regulate, assess or monitor this widespread random and nation-wide release of synthetic organisms. Sign today to stop crowdsourcing site Kickstarter from assisting in this environmental disaster. More information:
Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator
Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN)
Collaborative Campaigning for Food Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
Suite 206, 180 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 1P5
Phone: 613 241 2267 ext. 25
Fax: 613 241 2506
Donate today to support the campaigns!

Monday, June 03, 2013

Babylon System is the Vampire

"Babylon System" - Bob Marley 1979

We refuse to be
What you wanted us to be
We are what we are
That's the way it's going to be

Me say de Babylon system is the vampire, falling empire,
Suckin' the blood of the sufferers

We refuse to be
What you wanted us to be
We are what we are
That's the way it's going to be.

You can't educate I
For no equal opportunity
Talkin' 'bout my freedom,
People freedom and liberty

Yeah, we've been trodding on the winepress much too long
Rebel, rebel
Yes, we've been trodding on the winepress much too long
Rebel, rebel

Babylon system is the vampire
Suckin' the children day by day
Me say de Babylon system is the vampire, falling empire,
Suckin' the blood of the sufferers
Building church and university
Deceiving the people continually
Me say them graduatin' thieves and murderers;
Look out now they suckin' the blood of the sufferers

Tell the children the truth
Tell the children the truth
Tell the children the truth right now!
Come on and tell the children the truth
Tell the children the truth
Tell the children the truth
Tell the children the truth
Come on and tell the children the truth

'Cause we've been trodding on ya winepress much too long
Rebel, rebel
And we've been taken for granted much too long
Rebel, rebel now

Trodding on the winepress
got to rebel, y'all !
And we've been taken for granted much too long
Rebel, rebel now

From the very day we left the shores
Of our Father's land
We've been trampled on
Oh now! (we've been oppressed, yeah!) Lord, Lord, go to ...

Now we know everything we got to rebel
Somebody got to pay for the work
We've done, rebel.