if its not yummy, then we better make it funny.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Its Been Busy!

I have decided to write daily blog entries for a while. I am also submitting a recipe a week. The first one is my simple but first rate cheesecake recipe. It has family history and it is good in all seasons. It is a special occasion dessert due to its decadence.

I have arrived at the St Heliers Library. I walked from home along the shoreline for about an hour and a half to get here. Its a stunning day. St Heliers is a very civilized and well equipped suburb. It is sophisticated but not stuffy. New Zealand has wonderful libraries. My former San Juan Island library is hard to beat, though.

It has been an eventful couple of weeks here in Auckland. The whole family, Jordan, Desmond Lillian and I, went to a great music and art festival at Topapakanga reserve, about 90 minutes from home. One paid for admission for the whole weekend and that included camping area and facilities. We arrived at about dinner time on Friday night and the camping area was full of tents and people. We parked a good distance from the camping and lugged our gear to a gap in the tent community. There were probably 5000 people there. The reserve (a Kiwi word for park) was amazing and it was decked out with flair, to understate it! There were beautiful shimmery gauzy flags about one yard wide and four or five yards tall all around the grounds, wind whipping cooperatively with them. We took a vintage firetruck shuttle from a one legged man (not going unnoticed by our vocal kids) down to the stages, food pavilion and art vendors. The main stage was right up against the beach and had crazy wild light show effects. There were magical enormous trees, some with sculptural enhancements and lots of large star shaped lanterns swaying in the trees, lighting up the summer night. We danced in the blacklight strobe framed by a huge carved picture frame. The kids favorite scene was the giant swing made from a smooth slick slab of wood and swinging on four large ropes with room for about ten or so kids. The lighting was enchanting and the crowd was happy and peaceful. We didn't have a single drink or anything else for recreational enhancement but I suspect there were some chemicals cursing through the artful minds of some there. What a difference it is to go to a festival these days. Where there used to be drunken brawls and people upchucking, there are now kites being flown and people asking how one another, even strangers, are. Where there used to be shores littered with beer bottles there are now empty plastic water bottles (you cant win them all). Im not condoning the use of ecstasy or MDMA, but it sure is much more family friendly for the non users in the crowd. One highlight of the festival for me was a rollicking swim on Sunday, which was pretty stormy. I was within good view of the band with its two horns and spirited guitars and drums. I got to dance in the water which was in big gentle swells. I was in mermaidic bliss. Eventually I got the whole family to the dance floor and we watched act after act, particularly enjoying the Wellington Ukulele Orchestra who had devout fans and great senses of humor.

We had guests Bruce Robinson (Nina's early years elementary teacher) and his wife Tina Fisher for an overnight. They have been travelling for five or so months through Australia and New Zealand. It was nice to see them and hear of there life on the island and their travels. It was also refreshing to have fellow Americans around, especially ones that share a lot of our views and humor.

I went off to a weekend seminar of Avatar consciousness training. It was good and bad. The introductory section one that I attended was administered by “Avatar masters” using two textbooks by Harry Palmer, the founder. I found the techniques a little novel, particularly considering how simple they were. We saw one video each of the two ten hour days. The premise to the program is that we all are operating as our beliefs dictate and our belief systems are not always in good clean working order. You may have an outdated belief sabotaging your efforts and you can find it and “discreate” it if you take the full course (for $2900 NZD). I got my moneys worth from my two day trial and have a shiny new set of clarified consolidated goals and some awareness of old beliefs I have carried and the reassurance that I can slink free from them, on my own. One hook that the team used was the role Avatar can have in helping usher in a new enlightened planetary civilization, world peace and elevating the collective consciousness. I say: fine and dandy, we need that for sure! But does it have to be so expensive? Is the Star's Edge corporation (read Avatar) giving where it can, (it doesn't take a mathematician to figure out where they can give) It was the suffocating pressure that started to mount on the second day to get me to cut loose with the real money that turned me off, that and the chatty bragging about attending 'Wizards' year after year. Wizards is the grand Poobah (how do you spell Poobah poo bah Poo-ba...) of Avatar. It is where the truly elite Avatars get the really good lessons and the true tools to create civilizations. It costs over 7,000 USD and then you gotta figure out where to stay! Apparently those prices are still cheap, though, when you compare them to Scientology. Speaking of Scientology, there are plenty of connections there.

Let me just practice the good things I learned there, and there were some substantial ones, and take it in a homeopathic dose (that means a tiny bit only, Mom) It is amazing how much of our own blossoming we permit or prohibit in this life. My new Motto is: Reach high, but dont be afraid to eat the fruit on the ground either, just be sure to check for bugs.

I have been swimming five days a week for the last few weeks. I must say that the effort has been worth it and its not such a chore to get to the pool or the shore as it used to be. My workout time is getting longer to coincide with my upcoming event of Rangitoto to St Heliers swim which is 4.4 km and will probably take about an hour and a half if I'm swift. There are several hundred people who swim in it each year. I am sticking to my purist no wetsuit viewpoint (we in the togs are outnumbered 10 to 1 by the wetsuiters). I just hope that doesn't make me look more delicious from underneath, if you know what I mean. Im getting pretty hydrodynamic by now, especially from the coached swim sessions I go to twice a week. Last weeks tip really helped and Im sure Im swimming faster, but my neck muscles are rearranging and it has me sore. I think Ive grown in length from all that stretching and pulling.

I think the library is going to close soon. Id better get something else done, too. Its been nice blogging with you. Good day-night-morning .

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