Friday, July 30, 2010

My Sleeping Inner Artist Sits Up in Bed and Takes Notice

Ok.  I have no business blogging right now, says my rational brain.  It is one in the morning, and I want to get up around six.  Taking little boys to the beach awaits, as does tasting the wares downtown tomorrow night for the annual "Taste of Fallbrook".  But no, as usual, my impetuous side gets the best of me and I just have to share what I just saw.

The image above is an example of "photojournaling" which entails painting paper, creating collage, then journaling on it. 


I have been feeling very  creatively stagnant for a very long time.  Part of the process of healing and growing as a person calls for one to embrace the passion in one's spirit and create!  Anything!  Be musical, write, paint, draw, dance, cook, act . . . whatever it is that feeds the spark in your soul and makes your eyes sparkle, we are supposed to devote time to it and embrace it.

About 30 minutes ago, I was turned on to a website showing the work of an artist who photojournals.  Here is the link:

It took my breath away to see these fabulous colors and the tiny, handwritten words, and the random collages. 

I have been (slowly and erratically) keeping a journal in which I paste different cloth and images and words and pictures.  Each page represents me in one way or another.  Some of the pages hold things that I might like to have, like an amazing bedset of distressed, black wood, or a garden of bamboo and moss.  One page held a picture of a tree-house and a few years later, we built one for (me!) my son.  When I was working on my latest tattoo design and ideas, I had my son take a picture of my back, then glued a huge sword on it.  My brother Scott designed an idea for me and I put that in there too.  Here's how it turned out:

Well, anyway, I just wanted to share that my excitement is up.  I am grateful for the tangible things that have emerged from dreaming creatively so far.  I am inspired to try new things.  I love recycling materials and and words in general.  I think I am going to try this new medium, photo journaling.  I'll let you know how it turns out.  :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Horse Boy. A story of autism, mystery, healing and love.

Wow.  I just finished watching "The Horse Boy" and want to tell you about it.  The first time I heard of this amazing true story, I was at my friend's house.  They were watching it on Netflix.  I only saw about 20 minutes of it, but was already weeping and feeling overwhelmed with emotion.  I am really good at crying silently, but she noticed and apologized for my sadness.  On the contrary, I was incredibly drawn in and vowed to watch it on my own.  (I am not a big fan of crying around others.)  She lent me her copy of the book and sent me on my way.

I read the book last week while on vacation.  It is about Rowan, an autistic boy born to an English dad and Californian mom.  They live in Texas.  Rowan's autism had completely taken over his family's life.  His tantrums could be triggered by anything at all and could last up to 4 hours.  He would be inconsolable; flailing around and thumping his head on the ground or wall or hitting out at his parents. 

Rowan was unable to hold a conversation, play with a friend or use the toilet for pooping. 
Rupert, the dad, is an avid horseman.  He had kept Rowan away from horses, fearing that the boy would make a sudden move and spook one, possibly causing disaster.  One day while out walking, Rowan got away from his dad and ran straight for Betsy, a cantankerous horse that lived on the property next door.  Rupert ran after him, fearing the worst.  He was amazed, however, when Betsy's eyes softened and her body language showed submission to this small boy, wriggling around on the ground right in front of her.  Rupert got permission from Betsy's owner to ride her.  Rowan continued to show an amazing link with the animal.  He would become calmer while in the saddle and actually speak in a coherent sentence. 

Rupert had been an  advocate for some African tribes in the past and had noticed that when Rowan had been around some of their Shaman's, he seemed to be more "normal". This got him to thinking that perhaps if he could tie Rowan's love and connection with horses with a Shamanic experience, perhaps Rowan could be healed.  After doing some research, his heart set on taking Rowan to Mongolia, the birthplace of horse riding and the only country where Shamanism is the national religion.

It took a couple of years for Rupert to convince his wife, Kristin, to consider the idea.  Going to a country on the other side of the world with a child who was difficult just to take to the local market seemed insane to her.  Also, she disliked horseback riding!  In the meantime, Rupert saved money and came into contact with an independent film maker who was interested in going on the journey and making a documentary. 

It all fell into place.  They flew to Mongolia and  their adventures began.  They had contacted a guide who had put out the word on the family and their quest.  A gathering of nine powerful Shaman's came together on behalf of Rowan.  They all did their own rituals for the boy, going into a trances and contacting the spirits, asking for guidance and healing.  They (on separate occasions) told Kristin that there was a spirit of one her ancestors that was pulling Rowan away and possibly trying to harm him.  Kristin's grandmother had suffered from manic-depression after the loss of her son.  The Shaman's asked the ancestor to let Rowan go.  They also told her that a "dark spirit" had entered Kristin as she swam in a large body of water while pregnant.  She was told to bathe herself with a ritualistic mixture of milk and vodka. 

Kristin shared with the camera that she had a hard time embracing the idea of spirits and the possible healing of her son by Shamanic ritual.  She is Buddhist, however, and believed that her intent for the betterment of her son carried her through on this wild ride.

The family traveled by horseback and a van for many days.  They bathed in sacred rivers.  Finally, they reached an area where the van could no longer go.  They rode by horseback for two more days until they reached the Reindeer People.  Their Shaman, Ghoste, was the most powerful in the area.  He also performed a ritual for the boy.  The next day, when he came to say goodbye, he told Rowan's parents that his tantrums will soon subside.  He said that over the next 3 years, Rowan's autistic tendencies would become more under subdued.  Also, he said that Kristin's greatest wish, that Rowan could use a potty to poop in, will begin that very day.  Both she and Rupert steeled their hearts against such miraculous news, but they were hopeful.  Later that day, for the first time in his life, Rowan attempts to master his bowel movement by squatting.  A few days later, when they reach a public toilet, he uses it.  The whole party celebrates!

Rupert's greatest wish for his son was that Rowan will be able to ride a horse by himself.  Within two weeks of returning to Texas, he can. 

On the trip, another amazing breakthrough for Rowan was his immediate connection with Tomo, the young son of their guide.  For the first time in his life, he plays and communicates with another child.  This ability grows after he returns home.  One very touching scene is a birthday party where Rowan has friends over to celebrate.  This has never been possible before.

If this story has touched your heart, I recommend you read the book and watch the movie.  The book goes into greater detail of the journey.  So many challenges were faced by the family and so many other miracles take place.  The movie itself is beautiful.  Again I wept.  Jake called me a "drama queen" for crying, but that is not my definition.  I was very touched by the story of love and devotion and faith in the unknown, as well as the kindness of people who live half a world away for a little boy who didn't know how to connect with the people who loved him.  In the film there are snippets of interviews of various people regarding autism.  I did not know that America is one of the few countries that keep mentally "different" people separated from the general population.  In many other countries, autistic (and other "different" people are revered as holy.)  My eyes and heart were opened by this amazing story.  To find out more, click on the links I have enclosed.  

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Review: Invisible Acts of Power

Read this book!

'There are only two ways to live your life.  One is as though nothing is a miracle.  The other is as if everything is."  --Albert Einstein
So, I just finished reading a really awesome book and you might want to think about reading it.  Caroline Myss (medical intuitive, mystic and author of spiritual and psychological books on healing) has written an amazing book called Invisible Acts of Power.  Channeling Grace in Your Everyday Life.  (I bought it new for about $4 through  I can't promote this company enough!)

I have been "researching" grace for a few years now.  I start nearly everyday with a prayer and acknowledge that there is a portion of grace out there for me that is neverending.  I have come to acknowledge the presence of miracles in my life.  Big and small things jump out at me as having been a result of the grace allotted to me.  Not getting a ticket when driving a little too fast, hearing much needed words from a friend, receiving financial help to go on a trip, and books coming my way are all examples of grace in my life. 

In Invisible Acts of Grace, Myss correlates the power of God within us to the 7 Holy Chakras that every human has.  (Some of my conservative loved ones may be rolling their eyes at me but I encourage you to stick with me on this.)

The 7 Chakras are our energy receptors.  I first heard of them through my Yoga practice.  It is believed that every organ, gland and body system is connected to a Chakra.  According to mind-body-spirit  ways of thinking, disturbances in our energy field can cause physical and mental and spiritual blockages and imbalances.  I am still pretty new at all this.  I was raised in a Western Country and saw a Medical Doctor regularly for treatment of asthma.  All this "New Age Psycho-babble" was not a part of my family's way of thinking.  But you know what?  The older I get, the more I realize that everything is connected and learning new ideas can lead to wisdom and healing.  I'm all for that!

When Myss began this book, she asked, through her Web site, for readers to share stories about personal acts of service in their lives.  What had they done for others?  What had others done for them?  She was pleasantly surprised at the surplus of amazingly grace filled stories that came her way. 
"People need to feel good about other people again . . . Indeed, the need to be of service has evolved into spiritual necessity for many people . . . I rarely met people who want to retire from a meaningful life."
She tells of an old Hindu legend in which all humans were gods.  People lacked appreciation of their divine nature, however, so the gods decided to hide their divinity from them.  The gods thought of hiding the divine spark under the ocean or on the top of the highest mountain range.  Brahma, however, knew that humans would eventually explore all those places looking for their connection to Spirit.  Finally, he decides, "But if we hide their divinity within their own being, they will never look for it there."  Myss says, "We humans have been looking for our divinity ever since."  Amen, sister!

Now we've all heard (and perhaps told our children), "Treat others the way you want to be treated."  All religions have their version of this sage advice.  When we treat humanity with compassion and kindness, we let God shine through.  Opening the door for someone, helping someone out with money, a kind word, an impetuous phone call just to see how someone is doing, these are all acts of grace and divinity.

Many of us are afraid to give to others, fearing that our own lives will be depleted by the act or that our generosity to another will give them the "edge" to surpass us.  This book begs us to think otherwise.

"Each of us, as the hero of our own life, faces different earthly and spiritual challenges from which we learn lessons that allow us to evolve different, increasingly higher qualities of power.  All problems, all stresses present an opportunity for spiritual learning in which you can gain insight into the use, misuse, or misdirection of your personal power.  For instance, our first life lessons are about how to live within a family; how to accommodate each other and abide by our tribe's rules.  Eventually we undergo initiations into adulthood and learn how to strike out on our own and live within a larger community; we decide whether to rebel against our tribe or remain part of it; we take a partner; we develop skills, create a livelihood, or enter a profession; we become parents, mentors, masters in our vocations and avocations.  As we age, we are also meant to grow in responsibility, in compassion towards others, and in wisdom, understanding, and consciousness."

Myss correlates our Chakras, our power centers, with all these steps and briefly explains each Chakra and how any act of service we do or receive correlates to one of them.  Here is a brief overview:

Chakra One:  the root Chakra: Gifts of the Earth--Food and Shelter
Chakra Two:  the Energy of Self-Protection:  Gifts of Survival--Financial and Creative Support
Chakra Three:  Ego Energy:  Gifts of Self-Esteem--Unconditional Support, Friendship, and Personal     Dignity
Chakra Four:  the Heart Chakra:  Gifts of the Heart--Kindness, Love, Forgiveness, and Compassion
Chakra Five:  the Energy of Determination:  Gifts of Will--Courage and Guidance
Chakra Six:  the Energy of Rational Thought:  Gifts of the Mind--Wisdom and Optimism
Chakra Seven:  the Center of Higher Consciousness:  Gifts of the Spirit--Angels in Disguise and Good Samaritans

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest . . . a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."          --Albert Einstein

I dog-ear the bottom of pages when I read a book and want to go back to re-read something.  This book had so many, if I wrote about them all, this blog would be way too long.  Suffice it to say, reaching out to others, following one's intuition and being kind without thought for what good it will do for you personally, can only make your life more enriched and blessed, not to mention what it will do for others.  I will end this ramble with a personal story.

A few days ago, my family and I were returning from a vacation.  We were hot and tired and a little cranky.  We stopped at a Dairy Queen in the middle of nowhere to get some gas and a snack.  While E pumped and waited outside, my son and I sat at a table waiting for our food.  The place was crowded and hot.  Babies were crying.  The floor was filthy.  I sat there, breathing deeply and not giving in to grumpiness or judgement calls.  Our number was finally called.  Jake went outside and I followed, stopping to hold the door open for three ladies who had their hands full of food bags.  They thanked me and walked past.  As the third lady was passing by our truck, she stooped and picked something up from underneath.  She asked me if this was my truck.  I told her that it was.  She handed me a folded ten-dollar bill that she had found lying on the ground.  She smiled and walked on.  All of this transpired in about 30 seconds.  As I climbed into the truck, with a smile on my face, I thought about finding her and giving the money to her.  It wasn't ours!  But within the same second, I felt that it was OK for me to keep the money.  Our snacks had come to just under $10!  Now, she might have gotten the money and handed it to me, even if I hadn't held the door for her.  Who knows.  But talk about instant turn-around!

Whether or not you are interested in Chakras or finding the divine inside yourself, this book is awesome.  It is full of stories that people shared about how their lives were changed by the kindnesses of others.  I smiled and wept often.  Check it out.

Wormie Update

So I know you are all on the edge of your seats concerning the fate of my beloved worms.  If you need catching up, I discovered a few days ago that my once thriving, 3-tiered worm bin had become a mass, stinking grave.  Maggots had taken over and my heart was broken.

In usual form, I procrastinated a few days in taking action.  This morning was the trash pick-up, so yesterday was the day of reckoning.  I donned a bandanna around my mouth, easing the stench blow with a dryer softener sheet folded in.  I put on disposable gloves and brought a trash can lined with a bag and a large shovel.  Time to discover the true depths of the tragedy.  Were there any survivors under that mess?

I removed the lid and despite the flowery scent of the dryer sheet, felt my stomach react to the smell of rotting food and death.  I reminded myself to tackle this task with the attitude of compassion for what I was dealing with.  These worms had dedicated their lives to cutting down the amount of waste I sent to the dump.  Their sacrifice deserved respect.  (In case you feel I am being overly dramatic about all of this, you might be right, but I was very happy to have the worms eat my garbage and I am the kind of person who would rather trap a bug and let it go outside than squish it.  Just the way I am, so deal with it!)

I pulled all three bins apart and set them aside.  I squatted down and used a trowel to see what lie beyond the obvious.  There was a wriggling worm!  Another!  All was not lost!!!!

I emptied the nitrogen-rich liquid bin from the bottom on my favorite, and thirsty, flowering tree.  (The one that is uprooting my garage.  If I get a choice, I say save the tree and bulldoze the garage.  No, I'm not easy to live with.)

I shoveled out the top layer of death and destruction into the trash bag and sealed it up.  I had to sacrifice a few worms in the process, but it was in the best interest of the survivors and as much as I love them, I hate maggots more.  (As I am typing this, the trash trucks rumble outside.  Hasta la vista, wormie babies.  Do your good work at the city dump.)

I decided to replace the lid on the bins and let it ride for a month.  I will not collect any food waste for the worms until things have subsided.  I think the main problem was that I overfilled the top layer before leaving on vacation last week.  The excessive heat proved too much for them.  I also think that my laziness in not adding shredded newspaper to the bins like I used to was part of the cause.  We no longer receive the weekend paper and I have not been keeping the small, weekly town paper for them.  I swear, wormies, that I shall be a better mommy! 

Stay tuned for an update.  If I have to dump them all and start over, I'm sure I'll need to vent about it.  Thanks for listening.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grieving Worm Farmer Needs to Share

I am a Vermicomposter, one who keeps worms to eat my veggie and fruit waste.  I have been doing this for about 7 years, and today I went outside to feed them a bunch of overly ripe grapes and plums, only to discover that the excessive heat we have been experiencing has killed them all.

This happened to me a few years ago, a few months into the vermicomposing life, when my area proved to be not shady or cool enough and the worms cooked.  I then moved the bins under my outdoor stairs and have been very happy with the results, until now. 

It's amazing how one can become attached to worms.  I don't name them or pet them (like my son did when we first got them), but I very much appreciate the job they do for me.  Every week or so, I am able to recycle a few pounds of trash into soil that my plants love.  Coffee grounds, hair, dryer lint, any fruit of veggie, pasta, bread, anything that isn't meat or dairy can be eaten by the worms.

The bin is a three-tier dealy that I bought through the county for about $30.00.  The bottom bin has a spigot that I can drain the nitrogen-rich liquid and water my plants with.  A few years ago, I poured it around my grapefruit trees and it got rid of a bunch of white flies that were taking over.  It's a bit stinky, but is marvelous stuff.  Black tea, they call it. 

When I went to feed them tonight, I noticed an "off" smell and was a bit apprehensive to lift the lid.  My worst fears were realized.  My usually wriggling mass of thousands of worms were a stagnant sludge.  I pout as I type this.  Now I get the unenviable task of scraping the mess to the side and see if there are any survivors in the lower levels.  If not, back to square one.  Sad.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Julie and Julia. Blogging and Cooking and Following One's Dreams

It's 2 a.m. and I should be sleeping.  We leave on vacation tomorrow.  My alarm is set for 6 a.m., but here I am, just finishing a movie and wanting to talk about it.

"Julie and Julia" is one of my favorite movies of all time.  The first time I saw it, I watched it again a few hours later.  Then, as now, I weep as I watch.  Why?  It is not a sad movie, really, but one of following the muse in one's life and discovering oneself along the way.

I love the food aspect, and the relationships between the women and their men.  I love the way Julia interacts so zanily with her sister.  I love the way the movie goes back and forth in time.  I love Meryl Streep.  This movie inspired me to blog.

My darling brother and his wife got me the DVD for my birthday last month, by my request.  Tonight I was sorting through clothes, deciding what to take and stuff and popped the movie in.  I decided I was finished packing for the night and lay down on the bed, covering myself with my adored down throw blanket with the snowmen on it and settled in for another viewing of this beloved movie.

I have not run out to buy a copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I have to say that I know it will cross my path and when it does, it will be mine.  I had sworn off acquiring new cookbooks because, though I have pared down, I own too many still.  They sit and occasionally help me out with an answer to a question like how long to cook brown jasmine rice, but for the most part, they just sit.  I have gotten into the habit of blowing the dust off the top of them each time I grab one off the shelf.  I do own The Joy of Cooking (which was a wedding present to us 19 years ago) but it has always intimidated me.  Once I saw the movie, I no longer felt guilty about not cooking more out of it, as the author is not flatteringly portrayed, although I must recommend the Beef Stroganoff recipe.  It's divine.

Julia was a mature woman when she "finally learned to cook".  I am almost 40.  What lies before me?  What passions lie inside, dormant, waiting quasi-patiently to emerge?  I do love to cook.  It is an act of passion and of love for me a lot of the time.  On other occasions, it is simply a duty so my family does not go to bed hungry.  This movie inspires me, however, to keep reaching and cooking and living life as an adventure. 

One of these days, I will attempt Julia's "Beef Bourguignon".  It sounds too delicious to pass up.  I can't wait until I pour the wine over the meat and the delicious steam envelopes me.  I don't know about boning a duck, however, or all those aspics. Probably not so much.  Anyway, gonna sign off, get a little sleep, then finish up that packing.

Bon App├ętit!

Friday, July 9, 2010

John Joseph, Cro-Mag

"John Joseph McGowan has been a lot of things in his life, a drug dealer, brawler, crack head, scam artist, hardcore legend, cult member, spiritual pilgrim, storyteller and more. He’s hated by many in the New York City scene and loved by perhaps an equal amount. He’s opinionated, honest and unwilling to compromise his beliefs. He is also the author of one of the funniest and most disturbing punk autobiographies in recent years."  Ben Conoley (

I was searching for an image of the cover of John Joseph's The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon and came across an interview with him.  The opening paragraph summed it up perfectly, so I borrowed it.  He is all that and more!

I was hesitant to read the book for a number of reasons.  First of all, even though I am married to a "hard-core" music guy and have been to more shows than I can count, it isn't my number one choice in music.  It's hard and fast and pissed off and not really known for its melodic finesse.  I tend to put on metal when I'm in that type of mood.  Jim had the book and lent it to E.  I heard over and over from both of them, "You should read this book.  You'd love it."  Yeah, yeah.  Whatever.  I have stacks of books I have picked out to read and hate feeling obligated to read what others think I will like. Why would I want to read a biography of a singer of a band I only listen to when it comes on when E's ipod shuffles it up.   But you know what?  They wore me down and I'm really glad they did.  This book was engaging and enraging.  From the opening stories about how John had to eat Oreo-filling-mixed-with-spit sandwiches made by his first foster mom, to his harrowing life-on-the-streets adventures as a youth, once I started, I put aside all other books until I was through with it

John's duality of personality between violence and spirituality was eye and heart opening.  It just goes to prove that everyone is on their own search for a Higher Power.  I don't doubt it for a second.  We are all looking for answers.  Whether it is through Hare Krishna and vegetarianism, or Islam, Judaism or Wiccan, we all want to feel a part of something big and in control of all this chaos we are living in.

"I've met a lot of people who use their unhappy, abusive childhood as an excuse to be an abuser, a drug addict, and alcoholic or a con artist.  But there comes a point in life when you can't use that excuse anymore.  It's a crutch for weakness if you don't deal with it, because you never grow as a human being.  My spiritual practice taught me an important principle in life - perhaps the most important - forgiveness.  Not the corny 'turn the other cheek' Bible-thumper sort of forgiveness.  F*** that!  You swing on me and I will try and f*** your ass up, by any means necessary.  No, this was deep forgiveness.  This was the kind of shit you just have to do, because the power is not in your hands in the first place and you need to throw up those hands asking God for help.  I have been around some of the toughest, scariest people you would ever want to meet and all of them, in some weird way or another, acknowledged God for his blessing"

And you want a hard dose of what kind of people are out there?  Drug addicts, back-stabbing rock-stars, psychotic freaks, he met them all.  After a while, I started wondering how he remembered all those people and places so well, with all the drugs he did.  Well, I'm not calling him out on it, you can be sure of that! 

Here are some more words of wisdom:  "The bottom line is that assumptions of character based on race alone are bullshit of the highest order.  The first teaching of any real spiritual practice is ... 'I am Spirit'.  You are not the material body, but the spiritual spark within. ... The soul has no material designation or color."  Amen, brother!

He also got me thinking about the whole vegetarianism thing again.  When E and I were married, we didn't eat any meat.  I did that for about 2 years, then got homesick for my grandma's chicken.  I have been eating meat ever since, but John set the gears in motion in my brain again.  "I strongly believe that the food we ingest not only affects our bodies, but more importantly, our consciousness, our souls.  There are three modes of foods:  foods in the mode of ignorance, passion and goodness.  Foods in the mode of ignorance are over-cooked and decaying, usually rotting flesh with no life force.  Meat, fish and eggs are a few examples.  They make you sickly by ingesting them either immediately or down the road with diseases that include colon cancer, arterial sclerosis, hardening of the arteries and gout, among others.  Foods in the mode of passion consist of animal products  and hot spicy foods.  They also have have adverse affects on us like ulcers, gout and hemorrhoids, etc.  Foods found in the mode of goodness however, ... fruits, nuts, beans, grains, seeds, vegetables and dairy products promote longevity and vitality and make us feel good both physically and emotionally.  It's also very important that no angry people cook your food because food is directly affected by who's cooking it."  Hmmmmm.  Makes sense to me!

This man's story is inspirational and fascinating.  When I was finished with the book, I went ahead and played the "Age of Quarrel" album real loud.   I suggest you pick up the book and check it out.  You won't be sorry.  Wow.  What a ride.  I'm smoothing out all the ear-marked pages that had information I wanted to re-read on them, and give the book back to Jim.  Thanks for talking me into reading this book, guys.  It was great.

Rachel Getting Married

I just love movies that pull me in with layers of interpersonal communication and drama, especially between family members.  If you are like me, and love to see people tick and how they react to what life offers them, you might enjoy this movie too.  I just watched "Rachel Getting Married" (thumbs up to Netflix instant view!) and it sucked me in from the start. 

Kim has just been released from a nine-month rehab program.  Her sister Rachel is getting married in a day or two.  Kim is jumpy and emotional, as is to be expected after being away from her family for so long.  Her addiction to drugs and alcohol has caused a lot of grief and tragedy in her family, which includes an emotionally-distant mother and a hovering, co-dependant father.  (They are divorced and with new partners).  Her baby brother is dead because of her.  She has no idea how to forgive herself or trust in a God who would let such a thing happen. 

I was humbled by the bond between the sisters.  Rachel is older and "has it together".  Soon to be a psychiatrist, she is marrying a lovely musician.  Although Rachel calls Kim out a number of times on Kim's need to be the center of attention and drama creating, she loves her dearly.  After Kim wrecks her dad's car and comes home on the day of the wedding battered and bruised with a black eye, Rachel tenderly bathes her.  I don't have sisters.  I could only watch it with an open heart. 

Pretty much the whole movie took place in the girls' dad's house, a beautiful, sprawling Connecticut dream.  It was full of people preparing for the wedding.  The groomsmen/band mates were all over the place, playing their tunes.  To be around that many people for days on end in one's own house is a foreign concept to me, but I found myself drawn to it. 

The wedding was gorgeous.  Multi-cultural and emotional, the love from the family and friends was flowing.  The party afterwards had  many layers of music and dancing.  I hope to attend one like it one day.

I was a little disappointed at the ending, as Kim packing her bags and driving off with her rehab counselor without saying goodbye to her dad was hard for me to bear.  I really felt for him.  He had been through so much and loved her without limits.
It's a long movie and drags a tiny bit, but is definitely one I'd see again. 

Thanks for listening.