Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Scottish Version

Scottish version of Amazing Graze in the previews tonight of next week's episode.

I knew I was on to something and yet no one was talking about it.

Amazing Grace - how sweet the sound - that saved a wrench like me

I once was found but now am lost

Was blind but now I see (THE EYE)

The Wolverine is back

I always loved Chad Gaudin. And when he was traded with Rich Harden to the Cubs, I by chance got to see his first game at Wrigley (in which the Cubs beat the Giants with the help of Harden and Gaudin's pitching).

So when I heard the other day that he was released from the Yankees, it didn't even cross my mind that he might be wearing green and gold this season. But sure enough the A's signed a one year deal with him yesterday.

Chad Gaudin can be hit or miss but when he is on, he's good so I'm glad to see him back. Especially since the A's did barely nothing in the offseason - this gives me something to look forward to.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Amazing Grace

** Warning - there might be LOST "spoilers" so if you care you shouldn't read - although I don't think you would if you didn't..


This last week's episode brought me to a lot of deep thought. And it quickly reminded me of my favorite LOST preview that was shown in January with my one of my favs, Willie Nelson, singing Amazing Grace (one of my favorite Christian hymns)

You can watch it here: Grace - Lost Preview

"Amazing Grace" is a Christian hymn written by English poet and clergyman John Newton (1725–1807) published in 1779. With a message that forgiveness and redemption is possible regardless of the sins people commit and that the soul can be delivered from despair through the mercy of God."

So how is it that I haven't read yet a blog relating this promo and last week's episode?

Jacob tells Richard (Richardus/Ricardo) that the Island is like a cork to keep the "evil" out. The other side (Man in Black) doesn't believe that people can change and redeem themselves. He explains that he (Jacob) was bringing people to the Island in hopes to prove him wrong - yet no one had.

I started to wonder if the people in the promo had anything to do with what last week's episode was about and what Jacobs was saying because it doesn't seem to me that everyone has sinned. For example what did Rose and Bernard ever do to deserve her cancer? Perhaps there is something we aren't seeing because for the most part every story has had a "sin".

I quote it because Christianity teaches us that we all sin. I'm not saying LOST is completely Christianity now but the idea of what they are focusing on is very prevalent in Christianity. We are all not perfect. We all sin. The only one who didn't was Jesus Christ - that's why he forgives us of our sins, etc...

I don't really think that LOST is trying to preach the bible to us - I merely think they are basing it off of a theory.

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see. "

I might be going on a limb here - but I've faced two deaths almost a year a part. My father died February 2009, my grandfather (his dad) February 2010. Not something anyone wants to go through but one thing that comes out of laying a loved one to rest, is the aliveness that comes from those around you and experiencing it as well. When faced with the reality of death, how does one react? Is it not that the little things in life don't matter anymore? Or even the "big" things?

Thinking on LOST there are extreme cases - to someone running away from the law to someone striving for the acceptance of a father to someone who just didn't want to have a baby at that moment. Life. Stress. Worry. Fear. Sin. We all live it.

But given when you are faced with death - would you want to do anything to remain alive? would you willingly let God (or Smoke Monster, or whatever higher being you believe in) take you because you are ok with life (smoke monster part was a joke)? Or would you want a second chance to make amends, to live differently, to get back to the U.S. in this case?

The thing is, most people just live day by day, not thinking it might be their last. You hold off on calling that one person who means something to you because you are too busy, you postpone hanging out with a family member because you are too tired, you live your life just trying to survive - just get day by day. Not ever thinking it might be your last.

So if you were faced with that..

Would you go peacefully? Do anything to live? Or really just want to make a change to live better, more alive and more present because you were too busy worrying about something else?

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,

And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

You Drive Your Own Bus

I wrote a blog back in 2006 that touched on this and it seems I've been talking a lot with friends about this very topic so I thought I would just write about it.

My dad taught me when I was a child that you drive your own bus. I was in elementary school and I would come home and he would ask me how my day went and I would say “horrible” and he would ask why and I would say that someone wouldn’t do what I wanted them to do or whatever the reason was. And he would always respond with “you drive your own bus”. He explained to me back then that many people play the victim role in life and blame others for their problems. Instead one should accept responsibility for their own life, grab a hold of the steering wheel and direct your own life and happiness or sadness, whichever you choose.

Someone wrote me the other day something I found profound:

“Any reliance on outer conditions to make us happy is just a form of negativity addition”

You make yourself happy. Not someone else. It’s your bus, your life, and no one else can determine how you feel. Live your life for you and no one else

"Don't seek happiness. If you seek it, you won't find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness. Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is rather than making up stories about it. Unhappiness covers up your natural state of well-being and inner peace, the source of true happiness." ~ Eckhart Tolle

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Why I'm a Cubs fan

Growing up I spent one month every summer in a small corn town in central Illinois. My parents had divorced when I was a little girl and my mom remarried and we moved to California. I grew up a California girl and still live here til this day. I never liked going to Illinois much but it was mainly the normal children thoughts - being away from friends during the summer, missing birthday parties, etc. And being in a slower paced town. But it also help me become me and while I might have not realized then, gave me time to spend with my Dad that I now know how much he looked forward to.

I also come from a big family and in this small town, had many cousins around my age. One of my early memories is playing baseball in my grandparents' backyard. Home plate was in the general vicinity the batter would hit, first base was the cement door step to the garage, second base was the pole to the swing set, and third base was this manhole (I think?) on the ground in the grass.

Also one of my earlier memories is my dad teaching me how to play. I think I might have had a big plastic red bat. and so at an early age I learned how to swing at least a plastic bat and the strategy of the game - basic when I was a child but I grew to learn. My cousins and sister and I would play and play in the backyard. It's one of my favorite memories of the summer. Might not have been "The Sandlot" status, but it was my own "sandlot"

I always remembered these summer days of my grandfather watching the Cubs game on t.v. or if he was in the basement in his shop, listening to it on the radio. My grandma is a die hard Cubs fan and always had these figurines with Cubs jerseys on out in the front lawn. We always joked that you weren't allowed in the house if you weren't a Cubs fan (I think my cousin April became a fan of the Phillies or something random just to be random and bug her at one point). The days of Harry Carey and when people could take a chair up to their rooftop and watch the game for free! The years of Ryan Sandberg, Greg Maddux, Andre Dawson, Shawon Dunston.. I was drawn to the game and loved watching it with my dad and grandpa and playing in the backyard with my sister and cousins.

I didn't live in California during the '89 earthquake that the Bay Area is so famous for. But 1990 was also memorable for me for the Oakland A's. Just won the World Series and my first baseball game. I think it was with my church youth group. Early 90's represented those games with Dennis Eckersley, Jose Canseco, and my favorite Rickey Henderson. It was in that time I became a baseball fan - it was local, I loved the team and it was the baseball games I was able to go to.

But I was always a Cubs fan in my blood.

Years went by and I always looking forward to the baseball season. Kept my faith during the baseball strike, the chase for homeruns by Sosa and McGwire, the Bartman mishap (to which I cried for days) and the last season which I'm not yet ready to talk about.

I got into the habit during the summer of calling my dad who still lived in Illinois to talk about the games - what are the Cubs thinking, did you see that game, and most important are they going to do it this year

Think about it for a minute.. generations and generations of people who have loved the Cubs and have come and gone hoping, waiting and believing in a World Series title - or even appearance!

The reason I write this is because baseball season is about to start. Pre-season has started but opening day is around the corner. My dad passed away last month. I'm feeling pretty numb at the moment, but it did it when I put on WGN one afternoon and saw my first Cubs game of the season (preseason against the White Sox). I didn't even think of it and reached for the phone to call my dad - to then realize... to of course my reaction was to shed some tears.

I have a lot of friends who don't understand how I can be an A's fan and a Cubs fan. Here's the newsflash... I don't have to worry about it until the Richard Marx video "Take This Heart" comes true (yeah, YouTube it). And you better believe in that moment I'm rooting the blue and white.

I have other friends who don't understand how I can be a baseball fan. Ok, if you don't like sports, then there is no hope in understanding. But if you do - well the English and Spanish/Mexicans have soccer (football) and the Canadians and all those iced over countries in Europe have hockey - we have baseball. It's not just about the sport. It's about the history, the passion, the culture, and most importantly the traditions and MEMORIES.

I'm not going to deny this baseball season is probably going to be hard. But before you question WHY I love the sport or WHY or WHO I root for, try to step into someone's shoes and see what has got them to where they are now. And think that it actually might be something they hold very dear to the heart.

Go Cubs. I hope this is the year. And that my dad and grandpa (mom's dad) have a big HD flat screen bigger than life up there in heaven. I'm sure it would be better than any seat in the park.

Here's to all those who have passed with a passion, and specifically those loyal Cubs fans that left before their time was up.

(p.s.: Eddie Vedder - ironically my favorite musician since I was 11 - did an awesome Cubs song last year called "Go All the Way". YouTube that - lyrics below)

Don't let anyone say that it's just a game
For I've seen other teams and it's never the same
When you're born in Chicago you're blessed and you're healed
The first time you walk into Wrigley Field
Our heroes wear pinstrips
Heroes in blue
Give us the chance to feel like heroes too
Whether we'll win and if we should lose
Someday we'll go all the way
Someday we'll go all the way

We are one with the cubs
With the cubs we're in love
Yeah, hold our head high as the underdogs
We are not fairweather by farweather fans
We are like brothers in arms in the streets and the stands
There's magic in the ivy and the old scoreboard
The same one I stared at as a kid keeping score
A world full of greed, I could never want more
Someday well go all the way
Someday we'll go all the way
Someday we'll go all the way
Someday we'll go all the way
Someday we'll go all the way

And here's to the men and legends we've known
Teaching us faith and giving us hope
United we stand and united we'll fall
Down to our knees the day we win it all

Ernie Banks said "Oh, let's play two"
Or did he mean 200 years
In the same ball park
Our diamond, our jewel
The home of our joy and our tears
Keeping traditions and wishes made new
Place where our grandfathers, fathers they grew
Spiritual feeling if I ever knew
And if you aint been I am sorry for you
When the day comes with that last winning run
And I'm crying and covered in beer
I'll look to the sky and know I was right
That Someday we'll go all the way
Someday we'll go all the way
Someday we'll go all the way
Someday we'll go all the way
Someday we'll go all the way