Calling my grandmother Joyce a top notch lady does not do to justice to this wonderful mench. She was always putting others before herself and helping out in any way she could be it volunteering at her favorite museums, charity functions, homeless shelters or going out of her way to take care of her friends, family and neighbors. It is no mystery why this sweet, bubbly, kind lady from Alabama was adored by all. It is also no surprise she was named Joyce because she had such a joie de vivre.
One such volunteer group that was dear to Joyce’s heart was Bread and Roses. This is a cheerful cafe in Venice open to the homeless and is no ordinary soup kitchen, rather is a cafe in a beautiful setting where the volunteers act as waiters serving the homeless men and women at their tables. I used to volunteer with my grandmother when I was younger at this cafe. Now feeling a bit frivolous about my recent purchases and values, I intend on going back to Bread and Roses this month and helping out, though I know I have some big shoes to fill.
In addition to my grandmother’s volunteer work, she also had many interests which she passed down to me. At an early age my grandmother exposed me to the spectacular world of the arts, taking me to exhibits, shows and performances all over the city. We both shared a keen eye for detail. Like my mother, my grandmother was also very artistic and crafty. She would sew and work on needlepoints for hours. She also was quite clever and a crossword puzzle and Scrabble champ. However her green thumb is what I remember most vividly about her, and of course her lovely rose garden and exquisitely landscaped backyard.
Today I draw most of my inspiration from her and would probably not be the person I am today had it not been for her influence. She passed away a few years ago but I know that she is not far when I smell the roses. Happy birthday Joyce Marie! You are dearly loved and missed each day. ❤
It appears that many Angelinos have been caught up in the chaos and hype of Coachella. I am among them. The festival goers get pretty pumped for this event in Palm Springs every year but the killer lineup this year has taken the excitement surrounding the festival to another level. Though I am trying to make weekend 2 work out for myself I am pretty bummed that the highly anticipated first weekend is not in the cards for me.
I have also been reminded of the lesson my grandparents taught me when I was younger that life is full of disappointments but its how you handle them that defines your character. If the second weekend also does not end up happening I will try to remind myself that there are more important things than an epic weekend of music and festivities. If you are able to attend either weekend or in some lucky cases both, I hope that you will make the most of it and not let minor issues or potential drama like the moral dilemmas of which crop top or bro tank to wear with your jorts or deciding between Avicii and Dre and Snoop prevent you from enjoying the experience and most importantly the music.
My grandmother on the other hand never needed to be reminded of these lessons. Since her birthday is next weekend I thought it would be fitting to dedicate a post to her and honor her memory.
I have posted songs from the awesome band Neon Indian, an act I’m super stoked is part of the Coachella lineup.
Whenever I go to the Palisades I always drive by an extraordinary blue dome. I became more and more curious about this place and figured that it was probably a private mosque or temple of some sort. I recently found out that it is indeed a temple but it is actually a public space of meditation and apparently has a beautiful lake and garden. That was all I needed to hear and went to check it out with my mom. When we walked into the place it was even more breathtaking than I had imagined. I again did not feel like I was in LA anymore and instead transported to another realm. This realm was a peaceful meadow of soothing waterfalls, the lushest grasses and gardens, a quaint windmill chapel and even a Ghandi Shrine all centered around a glistening lake. I was able to sink pretty deep into meditation resting on a nice bench by the lake, at least until the swans floated by. I find these exquisite creatures that gracefully float along the water quite alluring. I am also quite aware that there may be something deeper lurking beneath these piercing eyes and delicate feathers.
30-rock-perfect-meditation#s-p1-sr-i1After my visit to the Lake Shrine I was pretty inspired. I often find myself being the most inspired when I am distracted, either in the shower, in a beautiful setting or on a jog. It is funny that my surge of inspiration occurred simultaneously during the same week a 30 Rock Episode about the same Shower Principle aired. I know meditating may be easier said than done, unless you are Jack Donagy, but check out this episode and see if The Shower Principle applies to your life and if you are in the neighborhood stop by the Lake Shrine and see if it allows you to escape.