Monday, March 31, 2014

Daily Zen - Monday, March 31

We draw our strength from the very despair in which 
we have been forced to live. We shall endure.

~ Cesar Chavez

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Weekend Zen, March 29-30

Men are what their mothers made them.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

(Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you.)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Daily Zen - Thursday, March 27

Whatever ill treatment you receive from another, you should not return evil for evil, you should return good.

~ Sri Krishna

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Daily Zen - Wednesday, March 26

I think it's my adventure, my trip, my journey, and I guess my attitude is, let the chips fall where they may.

~ Leonard Nimoy

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Daily Zen - Tuesday, March 25

Nothing has to happen for me to feel good. 
I feel good because I'm alive. 

~ Tony Robbins

Monday, March 24, 2014

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Weekend Zen, March 22-23

Life is a succession of moments. 
To live each one is to succeed. 

          ~ Sister Mary Corita Kent

Friday, March 21, 2014

Daily Zen - Friday, March 21

Hatred, which could destroy so much, never failed to destroy the man who hated, and this was an immutable law.

~ James Baldwin

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Daily Zen - Thursday, March 20

The world perishes not from bandits and fires, 
but from hatred, hostility, and all these petty squabbles.

~ Anton Chekhov

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Daily Zen - Wednesday, March 19

Forgiveness saves the expense of anger, 
the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.

~ Hannah More

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Fred Phelps Is Almost Dead: My Personal Protest

Phelps and his signature picket signs.
I've never hated anyone.

Anger, rage, disgust - I've certainly felt those things, but hatred, no. No human being has ever pushed me over the edge of that dangerous precipice. If anyone got me close though, it was Pastor Fred Phelps.

Since the 1998 Westboro Baptist picket of Matthew Shepard's funeral, I've been periodically obsessed with my near-hate for Phelps and his entire nutcase "God Hates Fags" clan. My loathing for Westboro and Phelps has never been all-consuming, mostly because I manage to forget about them a few days after each whorish media-grabbing funeral picket. But like God's own demented mafia, each time I think I'm free, their carnival specter makes internet headlines again, and they pull me back in.

This morning Westboro was in the news for very different reasons. According to Nate Phelps, one of the pastor's estranged sons, Fred Phelps was ex-communicated from his own church last August. Even more interestingly, the aging Phelps is on his deathbed in a Kansas hospice.

Now, after more than fifteen years of fiery loathing, you'd think my feelings about this news would be clear. Ding-dong, the witch is almost dead. But it's not like that. Instead, the news that Fred Phelps is near death leaves me confused. As much as I might like to stand on internet hilltops and sing the "good news" at the top of my lungs, that feels all wrong to me.

When I was younger, I imagined proudly picketing Phelps' funeral. I pictured his teary family mourning their beloved hate-mongering mentor at the gravesite, and me ten or twenty yards away, holding a smarmy fluorescent picket sign. "Hey Fred, Tell Satan to Leave the Light On For Me." Something like that. But now that the moment is near, and Fred is finally about to shuffle off this mortal coil, the idea of protesting at Phelps' funeral has lost its appeal. It feels, well, mean.

I've spent the morning thinking about my options, other ways I might mark the miserable life and hateful times of Fred Phelps, and I think I've figured it out. I've decided that I will protest, but not the way Westboro does.

I'll protest by learning more about someone with whom I vehemently disagree.
I'll protest by not judging someone who is different from me.
I'll protest by keeping an open mind when I don't understand.
I'll protest by keeping an open heart when I feel afraid.

When Fred Phelps dies, I'll protest alright, by being exactly the kind of person whose funeral would be picketed by the wicked pastor and his pitiable Westboro Baptist family.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Daily Zen - Tuesday, March 11

If you ever want to be a good master, 
first become a good servant. 

                       ~ Sri Swami Satchidananda 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Daily Zen - Thursday, March 6

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back. A new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.
                  ~ Anais Nin

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sunday, March 2, 2014

And the Oscar Contest Gift Card Goes To...

Thanks to all who participated in our 3rd Annual Oscar Pickin' Contest. Despite adding categories this year, we had our first ever 6-way tie for first place.

Congrats to our overall contest winner, Emily Dahm, who correctly picked the winner in all twelve categories, and then nailed the tiebreaker, coming closest to guessing the length of the broadcast. Check your email, Emily!

Shout outs also go to our runners up. These five folks correctly picked all 12 categories, but were edged out of the tiebreaker by Emily: Geraldine Rodriguez, Naghmana Siddiqi, Brian Bedard, Preston Nicholson, and Dulcie Holtz.

It was a fun Oscars show with a couple of truly standout moments. Here are my two favorites.

The acceptance speech from Jared Leto - Best Supporting Actor (Dallas Buyers Club).

The acceptance speech from Lupita Nyong'o - Best Supporting Actress (12 Years a Slave).

Thanks again for playing and hope we see you on Oscar night again next year!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Weekend Zen (Oscar Edition), March 1-2

I think you should take your job seriously, 
but not yourself - that is the best combination.

~ Judi Dench