Spring 2006 Letter

Hello Friends,

This winter, we measured our rain in feet, instead of inches. Dave issued snorkels to our lettuce plants. Sadly, one of the dams broke and caused the loss of seven lives. The deluge made the national news. Now, it’s sunny and we are drying out.

Four-Star Movies
Lantana. Love, sex and deception rule the day in this psychological drama. Detective Leon Zat dives headlong into a missing-persons investigation just as he's grappling with guilt about his extramarital affair. His case crisscrosses the lives of four couples, all of which have secrets.
Saving Grace. Newly widowed Grace finds herself in financial ruin when she discovers that her dearly departed husband has left her deep in debt from his failed get-rich-quick schemes. With the help of her gardener, Matt, Grace turns her green thumb to growing ganja, and soon, everyone in her small English town is getting high on more than life. This comedy won the Sundance Film Festival's Audience Award.

Terry’s Terrific Tip: “I put Post-Its on the inside of a big door that I don’t use very often. It becomes a hidden bulletin board.” Terry is highly organized, lives in S.F.

World’s Most Dangerous Ideas: Eureka! I found a collection of scary ideas of leading thinkers. Go to An idea may be called alarming, hair-raising, spine-chilling, and shocking if it shakes-up the status quo, tipples our addictions, get us think outside the American dream machine.

A Great New Magazine: I recently subscribed to SEED magazine. Check it out online at
Gift Book: The Nature of Happiness, by Desmond Morris, anthropologist. Read about the various kinds of happiness: target happiness (going for a goal and reaching it), competitive happiness (one-upping someone), cooperative happiness (assisting others), genetic happiness (passing on your genes), sensual happiness (sex, food, etc), cerebral happiness (asking questions and finding answers), rhythmic happiness (dancing). Wow, how can we not be happy?

Mango Iced Tea: To make this tasty springtime cooler, add a splash of mango syrup to any brand of black tea. So refreshing.

Rebecca’s Concept: Recently, I had tea with blunt, affluent, cerebral Rebecca, who dresses much like the women in the illustration below. She wears plaid caps, short boots, novelty jeans, and granny skirts. She’s got a hip-and-happening style that I envy. Recently, we met at the Java Kai Café.
     “I’m so bored with people who say love is the answer, a cure-all for everything,” said Rebecca. “Hundreds of New Age, spiritual books end with a gushy, abstract message that pitches love and compassion.”
     “So what’s better than love?” I asked, believing that love might be the answer to many of the world’s ills.
     “Less hate is better,” she said. How can we love someone we hate or mildly dislike? First, we must stop hating them. At the very least, become neutral, detached. Going from hate to love is too big a leap. I can’t do it. Can you? Honestly?”
     “Probably not,” I replied, sipping my soy mocha latte.
     “Once you’ve reached neutrality, then go for acceptance!”
     “Acceptance, as in he’s-okay-the-way-he-is? But can’t acceptance bring neutrality? Maybe I should go for acceptance first,” I said.
     “Good point.”
     “So people are basically okay and don’t need my sterling advice. I could offer advice humbly, accepting them as they are.”
     “What if you have a hidden agenda and don’t know it, because it’s hidden from you? For instance, you may want someone to change because a personality make-over would benefit you in some way.”
     “That’s possible, then I’m being arrogant and self-absorbed. I’ll just tell people to watch Oprah. Let her find the experts.”
     “Better idea,” she said, pausing, looking at her watch. “I’ve also learned that most of the dictums we espouse can be seen from many different angles. Concepts lead to concepts lead to concepts. Sidebars lead to sidebars. I think I’ll just shut up and tend to my orchids. It was fun seeing you.”
     As I drove home, I thought about hating less, neutrality, and acceptance. She got to me think—and to think about not thinking so much.

Big & Little Views: See a wild slide show of the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards your house. After that, move from a leaf to its cell walls, nucleus, DNA and, finally, into electrons and protons. Take the trip!

Read This & Be Amazed: The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch taem at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

My Favorite CD:  LJ Plays the Beatles by Laurence Juber. I play it over and over. Juber, played with Paul McCartney’s band and, two years ago, performed on Kauai. One night, he played at our house.

Three Levels of Conversation: Which subject fascinates you the most?

  • People. Mostly women. “Harry and Sally are…..”
  • Things. Mostly men. “The best surf board is….”
  • Ideas.  Guess which gender? “If Free Will actually exists, we should pretend it doesn’t because…”

My Itinerary: In May, I’ll spend six weeks in California, mainly Sausalito. I’ll see relatives in Fresno, the raisin capital of the world. In the fall, I’ll be living in Paris for three weeks. I rented a petite apartment on the Ile St. Louis, an island in the Seine River, a short walk from Left Bank cafés.

Have a Happy Spring!

Best Wishes,

P.S. Below is an orchid blooming in our hardwood forest.

yellow orchid


Spring 2005 | Summer 2005 | Fall 2005 | Winter 2006 | Spring 2006 | Fall 2006 | Winter 2007 | Spring 2007 | Fall 2007 | Winter 2008 | Summer 2008 | Fall 2008 | Spring 2009| Summer 2009 | Winter 2010




Copyright ©2005-2010. All Rights Reserved

Author • Speaker