“Good Citizens”

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I first became “aware” back in the late 80s when I attended Modesto Junior College. I was an “older” student… beginning my college path at the age of 34. I wanted to go to college and become a teacher when I was a teen, but things didn’t work out that way.  I clearly remember the day, I finally decided that I wanted to attend college… no matter what.

I was at a party with my husband (since divorced) and all the guests were college graduates — I will admit, back then I was more interested in clothes shopping than politics. The group was discussing the Sandinistas and a long running civil war … each one giving their opinion about what was going on… then the unthinkable happened… a woman sitting next to me, asked me for my thoughts. I sat frozen in my seat… no one ever asked my opinion about anything political before and I never heard of a Sandinista. I knew I couldn’t bullshit my way out, so I confessed — I didn’t know what a Sandinista was or why they were at war.

The woman actually was quite encouraging and after giving me some background about the civil war, she suggested I take a class at my local community college, if I would like to learn a bit more. So I did and I was “hooked.”

Within a year, I was joining protests where I lived, which was Modesto, California… a pretty conservative town. The majority of the city council were (and still are) active members at First Baptist Church, and made decisions that affected the citizens of Modesto, based on their faith. A chapter of the KKK held secret meetings a few miles away in the next town. For me, those two extreme ideologies (both citing the same religious text to justify their actions) were enough for me to stay busy and stand up against. It was the Modesto Junior College teachers that took me under their wing and taught me the ins and outs of successful, peaceful activism.

Fast forward to today and I am still speaking out, but usually through the written word; It’s a bit harder for me these days to march in a crowd with a walker. If you are so inclined, you can check out the political blog I write for here. I like to write about a few different topics, but food and what’s in it, is my passion.

But enough about me… you probably want to know about the book I am currently reading, “Good Citizen — Creating Enlightened Society”, by Thich Nhat Hahn.  In a nutshell… it’s a guide for activists who want to follow Buddhist teachings. I like the book and will buy a copy. The majority of books I read, come from the library — if I like it, I buy a copy for my personal library. If you are thinking about getting into activism or already are and want a different perspective, I highly recommend this book.

Peace, Love and Health,

Inge

Best New Vegan Restaurants Los Angeles

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New vegan restaurants are popping up daily around the country. If you live in the L.A. area, click this link to find a vegan restaurant near you. I have not eaten at any of these places yet; I am taking the authors word, for them being the “best”. So I suggest calling them ahead of time and asking if they have gmo free on their menu. You know I will!

If you know of others, please list them in comment section…

Eat Healthy/ Stay Well!

Inge

I May be a Bohemian Non-Conformist

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If I had to describe myself, I think I would say I am a Bohemian at heart, even though most of the time I don’t dress that way… but that’s because when I was in the working world, not many jobs allow for individuality when it comes to clothing options — especially in the restaurant business. And when one works 40 hours + a week (when I worked 2 jobs) why buy an extensive wardrobe for my days off? Tee shirts and jeans were pretty much my staple.

The Urban Dictionary defines a bohemian as somebody who leads an alternative lifestyle, they are not hippies because they can have an extremely wide range of different tastes in music, fashion, art, literature etc. — they are usually very creative people. they are above all optimists, even if they can be very cynical too(it does make sense…sort of). they like wearing a mixture of weird clothes and mix different fashions together just for the heck of it. they like weed. generally very laid back and relaxed. I probably wouldn’t call myself relaxed, but I am working on that… that’s where the mediation comes in.

I do walk to the beat of a different drummer and since I no longer have to answer to a boss… my drum beat has gotten quite loud. I also see myself as a non-conformist. Traditional ways of doing things never appealed to me. I was always interested in alternative medicines, tarot, spirituality; I am optimistic and a smart-ass; I was always interested in health food, the environment (long before global warming was discussed) and shopping second hand stores — whether it was for furnishings or clothes. I always liked vintage, funky looking cars. I have also been known to create what I call upcycled art. I have extended my interests now to include Buddhism, yoga and meditation. Yes, I  I’ll say I am a Bohemian, if I were asked what group I felt I belonged to…even though I don’t fit well in actual groups. I don’t like to be pigeon holed. Ok, maybe Bohemian non-conformist describes me better.

I don’t know what got me started on wondering where I fit in — maybe it’s when hubby and I were talking about how people naturally gravitate to those who have the same values, ethnicity and lifestyle choices. I wouldn’t say I do because, to be honest I am pretty much a loner. I like being around others, but on my own terms — maybe that’s because for most of my adult life, my jobs required me to be social and I didn’t get a lot of time to myself. I will have to meditate on that some more… or not. Maybe I will just quote Popeye — “I am what I am” and leave it at that. Sometimes I can think about certain things to death.

Next month I turn 58. Hubby says 58 going on 13 and that’s pretty true.  58 is a strange number for me. I am not your average 58 year old-to- be. I prefer interacting with younger people. I just don’t have things in common with those my age. I like loud music and blast my car stereo when a song comes on that I want to “rock out to.”

I am not a grandmother, even though my son is 35 and I am ok with that. Most women my age either have grandkids or complain they don’t. It doesn’t bother me a bit. I admit I am more comfortable hanging out with the guys — always have. It’s not that I don’t like women — I am one, I just don’t have much in common with them. Does that make me weird? When I lived in San Francisco my friends were gay males, but again my time with them was limited because I enjoyed spending time by myself. We mostly hung out at gay discos. Did I mention I am also a disco queen?

Maybe that’s where I get caught up in the  — “where do I fit in?” question. If I think about it, I can be a chameleon and fit in with whatever group I am with at the time…sort of “love the one your with.” And I guess that’s ok. Hubby says I have many layers to my personality — I guess we all do. Right? Maybe the real reason I’m thinking about this stuff is because my birthday is coming up and in dog years, I am pretty dang old.

Do you ponder such things?

Peace out,

Inge