Thirty Things That I Wanted To Do In 2014. Did I Do Them?

Thirty Things That I Wanted To Do 2014. Did I Do Them?

“Every hundred feet, the world changes.”  Robert Boitano

  1. Go to Colombia. Yes
  2. Go To Southeast Asia. Yes
  3. Go to Seattle. Yes
  4. Read more books on the 1000 Books You Have To Read Before You Die. Yes
  5. Go to the theatre with my son. Yes
  6. Meditate every day. I think this may be like a dieting resolution. I will make it every year. Still not every day.
  7. Do an Urban Art tour in LA. No definitely in 2015
  8. Do a spa day with my daughter. Yes
  9. Watch even less Real Housewives. Yes they are getting boring now that so many of them are going to jail.
  10. Go to Guatemala. No
  11. Go To Miami. Yes
  12. Have more spiritual friends. Now I want to have less spiritual friends.
  13. Eat less sugar. Hmmmmm not sure but probably not.
  14. Go to the Bridge On The River Kwai. No
  15. Try ten new restaurants in LA. Yes Orsa and Winston, Bucato, Sushi Tsujita, Bachi Burger, Cleo, Republique, Wallys, Everleigh, Carousel and Escuela De Taqueria
  16. Try ten restaurants in other places. Yes Andres Carne De Res – Bogota Colombia, Matiz – Bogota, Colombia,  Salou – Cartegena, Colombia, Morning Glory –  Hoi An, Viet Nam, Golden Rice – Hue, Viet Nam, Pepper Tree – Phu Quoc, Viet Nam, Washoku Bar – Tokyo, Japan, The Dining Room – Siem Reap, Cambodia, Salumi –  Seattle, Washington, Anchovy and Olive – Seattle Washington.
  17. Have ten meals with Kitchensurfing. Yes
  18. Go back to Japan. Yes
  19. Spend more time at 826 LA.Yes
  20. Practice tai chi. Yes sort of.
  21.  Go to a ryokan.Yes
  22. Go To Angor Wat, YES ( a bucket list item)
  23. Drink less coffee maybe No
  24. React less. Maybe
  25. Go To Agua Dulce. Not yet
  26. Get more people to read my blog. Still trying
  27. Do more yoga. Yes
  28. Go to Bainbridge Island. Yes
  29. Go to the Grand Canyon. Not yet.
  30. Go to a Grouplove  concert. Yes

Not too bad.  Two thirds yes. I don’t beat myself up over stuff like this. On to the 2015 list. I’ll make it smaller and harder.

25 Things I  Want To Do In 2015

1. Do something big that I am afraid of.

2. Drink less coffee.

3. Go to Rio.

4. Go To Another Grouplove concert.

5. Finish my hamburger blog.

6. Get more people to read my blog.

7. Try eleven more new restaurants in LA.

8. Try eleven restaurants in other places.

9. Go to another place on my bucket list.

10. Read more books – the kind you hold in your hand that smell like books.

11. Go to Sao Paulo..

12. Meditate every day.

13. Look up less random questions on the internet.

14. Go To Brazil.

15. Have more real friends.

16. Go to The Stanley Film Festival.

17. Get more involved at 826 LA.

18. See ten documentary films.

19. See ten foreign films

20. Eat less gluten.

21. Read more of other people’s blogs.

22. Do more beach walks.

23. Be more grateful every day.

24. Finally do that urban art tour in LA.

25. Be a tourist in LA.

Happy New Year and Fly Safe,

JAZ

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“I’m Spiritual Not Religious” – An American Thing

“I’m Spiritual Not Religious.” – An American Thing

‘Don’t use Buddhism to become a Buddhist. Use Buddhism to become a better whatever you are.’   Dalai Lama

Most people don’t enter a path of spirituality when they are happy. It is when life gets hard that they look for help. When I started on a spiritual path, I learned a little of everything. –Meditation, Mindfulness, Kabbalah, Buddhism, Anything A Non, Judaism, Taoism and Sufism. I took a Spiritual Christianity class and learned about the Koran.

When I travel, I try and learn about the religions of a country –to see how God fits in their lives. The religious buildings are so much a part of the architecture that I love. I like to learn about the kind of people that use them. What I have seen is that the poorer the country, the stronger the faith and the community of faith. Spiritual but not religious people seem to be prevalent in America only.

My spiritual path is a bit of this and a bit of that. At the moment (and it changes often) It includes some yoga, meditation, mindfulness, quotes from everything, erratic Torah study, Tai Chi, Sufist readings , Indian food, bracelets and feng shui. I haven’t studied the books intensely of any of these religions enough to know the true meaning of the work. I take what I like and leave the rest. My eclectic spiritual path seems to place me on a path alone. My thoughts and belief systems start to change as I continue on to the unknown. It is my journey and my truth and I can become as self obsessed with it as I wish. Is this the religion of the me generation?

True spirituality is supposed to put you in touch with empathy for the world, I’m not seeing the correlation between good, kind and caring people and “ the new American spirituality”.  I’m hearing the words but I don’t see the transformation. Being spiritual allows you to be ambiguous. You don’t have to have a belief system, you can just believe in something. There are no expectations about your behaviors or attitudes . You don’t have to be accountable for your actions.

Spirituality in the American version appears to be a bit selfish. I find myself being hurt by people who say they are spiritual. I give them qualities that they don’t seem to have yet. Their search for their own truths becomes more important than anyone’s feelings but their own. Spirituality and meditation seems to be about making yourself feel better. It isn’t about being part of something bigger or helping a community . It can be a bit narcissistic if you are inclined in that direction. Your own journey is the most important thing.

A  Vietnamese Buddhist monk was teaching a meditation class. He said “If you hear bombs in a neighboring village and your first thought is where is my family? Oh, they are not there. Everything is ok” than continue to sit and meditate.”

So I will have to reconsider my spiritual path once again. I have to change my mindset. I have to make compassion, kindness and integrity more important than my own personal well-being. If the world is going to change, it starts with each of us.

Fly safe,

JAZ

How To Annoy People In Los Angeles, California

How to Annoy People In Los Angeles, California

“Los Angeles is a large city-like area surrounding the Beverly Hills Hotel.” Fran Leibowitz 

Leave your turn signal on for ten miles. Drive very slowly in the fast lane.

Talk about how much better New York is and how more real New Yorkers are. Fill in any other state or country here.

Say that the acting business is all about luck.

Ask us about celebrity dieting, gossip, their fitness DVDs or their clothing lines. Most of us don’t care about them on the way up or the way down.

Tell us again that people don’t walk here. We haven’t heard it before.  Add that our public transportation sucks,. We know that is why a lot of us don’t use it.

Which would be another complaint. The traffic is really bad for us also.
Yes we have traffic for no apparent reason at 2:00 in the afternoon.

Complain about the air pollution. We know  because we don’t have good public transportation.

Ask us if we know someone more important who can read your script.

Take up the whole lane with your bike and don’t pay attention to traffic signs.   (that means you Mandeville Canyon riders)

Name drop celebrities or ask us who we know.

Bring up juice fasts, vegan restaurants,  or talk about how  much better your Mexican food is. (unless you are actually from Mexico). My kids who were born and raised in Los Angeles are serious carnivores.

Bring up new age anything, psychic pet healers, yoga, Pilates.  bar method, Scientology , Kabbalah, acupuncture, Tai Chi or ask about mercury in retrograde.   Everyone does not  like to talk about it.

Ask us if we drive to the gym. We do. Sometimes we go to lunch and pick up our kids in our workout clothes. I drive to walk my dog.

Tell us that you think that you look fat when you are thinner and more fit than we are.

Ask if the construction on the 405 affects us. It affects me every day and night.

Tell us there is no culture here.  There is plenty but some of it you have to look for.

Insult our artists. Some of them matter. Some of them you have heard of. All of them are cooler than you.

Leave the movie theatre as soon as the film ends. We like to read the credits and see who we know on the film and we don’t like you walking in front of us when we do.

Talk really loudly on your cell phone in a public place about all the movie business related things you are doing. We know it isn’t true.

Say you haven’t had any work done.  We know that isn’t true also.  We are from LA and we are professionals at being able to see that.

Ask questions about surfing, skating or being blonde.  We all can’t answer those.

Make comments about our weather.  We live here because we like it.

Ask us why we wear jeans in nice restaurants. Because we can.  We also wear boots, scarves, shorts and bathing suits year round.

Ask us why we wear Uggs and flip flops everywhere. I don’t know.

Ask us if we are ready for the “big one”.  If you need to know, go on facebook. Every time there is a tremor everyone reports it – as in “Did anyone else feel that?”

Fly Safe,

JAZ