Discover New Things; Be Adventurous!

Sometimes you have to get away from the computer, get outside and commune with nature; do something you have never done before, try a new food or find a new friend. Joining Meetups, going to concerts, the library, sporting events, movies, all of these “Social” things will get you out and among people whether they be your peers or not. You will undoubtedly have something in common with them since they chose to be at the same events.   In Southern California in general and in San Diego, specifically, we have so much to do and see, so many venues, attractions, natural areas and wonderful scenery, that you cannot lose no matter what you choose to do.

A list of all of these things would take hours to compile, so I will just do a short list of the “MUSTS” when you are here.   There is the “World Famous” San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park; Sea World; The Harbor (Maritime Museum and SeaPort Village (Shopping).  We have Horton Plaza and Fashion Valley Malls.  There is Balboa Park with all of its museums and gorgeous landscaping, gardens and a couple of really good eating places.  Whale Watching is now a year round attraction, tours of every kind can be had to almost anywhere you would want to see. Neighborhoods such as Old Town, Little Italy, Hillcrest and many more have wonderful attractions, food and venues.

Whether you are here for a weekend, a month or forever, there is so much to do and see, it might take the rest of your lifetime and be very worth it to explore all that San Diego has to offer, I did and I am so happy to be a permanent resident now.  I found my happiness here in my chosen home, you can too!

The Star of India on Sailout Day 2013 - 150th Anniversary
Tall Ships in San Diego

San Diego County Fair 2014 San Diego Zoo is World FamousMt Soledad Cross War Memorial SD POPS Concert Classical Mystery Tour 6-29-14Balboa Park FountainBeach at Sunset Cliffs
Sea World Christmas FireworksCabrillo TidepoolsKissing Statue San Diego WaterfrontBeautiful SD Day 3-11-13

Balboa Park Spanish Village 12-6-141603554050477Coranado Bridge and Super Corn Moon 8-10-14


 

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New Poetry and Prose

  Septembers Harvest Moon
RainbowSoCal Media Surfer Happy St Patricks Day3Beautiful Flow

       FULL MOON’S GRACE 

 Lovely Lady, Light Up The Dark,

You Show Us Many Moods Each Phase;

Shine On The World To Make Your Mark,

Float Above Us In Starlit Skyways.

Golden Huntress, Lonely And Blue,

Ever Changing In Wondrous Duty;

Trusting Minds And Hearts Speak True,

Loving Eyes Gaze On Your Beauty.

Wolves Howl By Your Bright Yellow Glow,

You Watch Eager Lovers Embrace;

You Rule The Tides, Both High And Low;

Always With A Smile On Your Face.

RAINBOWS

Multi-Colored, Jeweled Tones, Faceted With Light,

Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo & Violet;

Sunshine & Rain Combine To Form The Arch;

Each One A Miracle, Gladdening The Heart &

Creating A Feeling Of Joy Within The Soul.

LUCK

Wishing Stars, Pennies In A Fountain, Promises Made, Vows Spoken;

Wishes Granted, Dreams Woven, Fantasies Abound;

Legend, Lore, Poetry, Song – All Speak Of The Power – Mythic Rhyme,

Magic, Odes & Epics, Good, Bad, Indifferent, Ever Present & Changing.

WAVES

Waves Can Be Good, Waves Can Be Bad,

Waves Can Make You Feel Happy, Or Make You Feel Sad;

Waves Can Make A Sound That Seems So Alone;

Waves Rush To Shore – Searching For A Home.

Waves Of Destruction Can Flatten Your Life,

Waves of Rage & Anger Can Only Cause Strife;

Waves Of Emotion Can Conquer Your Heart,

Waves Of Devotion Can Be A Great Start.

Perfect Day!

Indian Summer LakeIndian Summer 9 Indian Summer 6  Indian Summer 5

Indian Summer 2Indian Summer 3Indian Summer 7

 Prose: Indian Summer Day – A Beautiful Fall Day in the NorthEast

This day was nature’s rare gift to you and me. Warm, lovely, soft breeze caressing uncovered skin. The sunshine welcoming the travelers among the pumpkin patches seeking that perfect Jack O’ Lantern for Halloween.

No sweaters needed, no hot cocoa or spicy chili – shorts and sunscreen were the uniform of the day and cool cider being consumed by eager, running children. Willy-Nilly they dart, here and there, as parents fondly watch.

Up and down the straw bale pyramid they climb, in and out of the tunnels and slides they go, laughing and free from school on this holiday. Wagons pulled by mom and dad, or pushed by bigger siblings.

Hay Rides and nature trails, watching bunnies hopping and cows, goats and llamas eating out of their hands. One more train ride around the yard and off to the zip line we go! Excited squeals and flying hair as they whiz by.

As we leave, the sun is setting on this Indian Summer day – gorgeous hues of red, pink, purple and blue cover the western sky over the lake. How I wish that I had remembered my camera! It looks like a painting and fades quickly into dusk. The joy of today will be remembered and talked about until the leaves are gone and cold reality takes us into winter’s clinging grip.

“IMAGINE” by SoCal Media Surfer

John Lennon ImagineI watched a BBC Documentary from 1988.  it struck me so strongly that I had to sit and watch it again.  It was “Imagine” John Lennon, and it was in his own words, apparently filmed in 1971 and pieced together with interviews from Yoko Ono, Julian and Sean Lennon, as well as the aunt that raised him, his producers and his former wife.

I was 20 when Lennon was killed and I had opinions about him and his music, as well as opinions on the Beatles break-up, Yoko, his post Beatles music and other things about him.  Watching this documentary really changed some of those opinions, making me take a personal look back at that time in my own life.  I was born in the year that the Beatles went to Hamburg, Germany; spending time playing and recording there.

I remember my mom playing the radio in the late 60’s and hearing Beatles songs, I fell in love with the music.  I was just 12 when they had their last year together and in my pre-teen way, I felt that it was the end of something really interesting.  I did not experience that “Beatle Mania” stage that older kids had gone through, I was, after all, only 4 when they came here for the first time.  My mom, at 21, was not into the hysteria and hype of it all.

I thought of myself as a bit of a rebel as a teen, my parents were strict.  I was the eldest and therefore the babysitter and help at home while my parents worked 2 and 3 jobs to support us.  There were 6 of us by 1972.  That year I was 12, I lost both of my grandfathers, a traumatic thing for me.  I rebelled by trying to wear mini skirts, face makeup and talk back to my parents, typical stuff.  Music for me was an escape and Elvis, the Beatles and others were my saving grace during those years.

Like most teenagers coming of age in the ‘70’s, I was “against” the Vietnam War, while not really understanding the whole mess.   Having to watch it all on the news was surreal.  I had an MIA/POW flag and bracelet that I wore faithfully.  Protest music was popular and even though I was not allowed to date or go to parties, I heard the music often.  John Lennon’s “Peace” songs were known to me, but I really did not take the time to absorb and truly understand the thoughts behind them. I was too busy having crushes on boys in my High School and trying to spend as much time away from home as I could to assert my independence.

As I watched the documentary, the songs played behind the scenes and I really LISTENED to them, reflecting on what I was seeing AND hearing.  “The Ballad of John and Yoko” suddenly made sense to me!  Before, I had sung along with it, not really knowing what it all meant.  Seeing the song through John’s words and the home movies made me look at it from a different point of view.  He really did love Yoko; was devoted to her and the Peace movement.  I never understood how he could be with someone so obviously different from anyone else in his life.

I never appreciated the words to “Beautiful Boy” before seeing the home movies of John with his son Sean.  What an eye-opening thing it is to hear and see a father’s love in a song written for Sean.  I had thought John to be a horrible father for abandoning his son Julian; he admitted that in this film, he never really got to know his older son until he married Yoko.  I had, like so many others, attributed the troubles of the Beatles to the pairing with Yoko.  I am still a bit convinced that she was a controlling person, but I did see that she loved John from what was shown in the film.

I think that I never really liked her because she seemed to always be in the forefront of every aspect of their lives; he sang almost every song for her or referenced her in a lot of his speech.  Watching the interviews he gave with reporters and other media, as well as his protest speeches, was enlightening to me.  He honestly believed that he was doing the world a favor by trying to let them see him as a real person instead of the icon that was sitting atop the pedestal that the world had placed him on as a Beatle.  I find Yoko annoying in general but really can’t explain exactly why.  For me, something has always been off about the way that she is; hmmmm, have to figure that one out eventually.

I have always been deeply offended by John’s atheistic and pessimistic approach to life in the realms of religion and politics.  He did not seem to believe in God, seeming to prefer a world without a deity of any kind, with the ensuing (as he put it) peace that a religion free world would bring.  I find that very notion to be appalling – without faith in a higher power, no matter what you call it, there is no optimism, no hope and no way to comfort the dying or the living left behind.  If John’s words from his songs post-Beatle years are to be believed, we escape into nothingness and just disappear.

It is, IMHO, ironic that a man can write such beautiful words of love to his wife or his children on one hand and such hopeless and bitter tinged songs about religion and politics.  He preferred to believe in a world without God’s love or in human goodness in government anywhere, including his home country.  It has been 30 years since his death and it has been asked how a man of peace could be so cold bloodedly gunned down with a loving God allowing that. It is not ours to wonder, we are all given this life and it is but a grain of sand in an hourglass of eons, borrowed for us to make a difference in whatever time we are given. I believe that John really did that.

A few years ago, I attended an “Imagine There is No Hunger” benefit at the Hard Rock Café, Hollywood.  I went for lots of reasons – I believe in the cause, feeding the hungry.  I also wanted to help in my own small way with a donation of food and my support.  Yes, getting to see Ringo, Dave Stewart, Joe Walsh and Edgar Winter was a plus, but the whole thing made me wish that I had, in that before time of the 70’s, paid more attention to the words behind the music and the thoughts of the song-writer.

I find that I can put aside my feelings of disappointment in one  side of John to say that he was one of the most talented song-writers of modern times, going from the innocence of “Love Me Do” and “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” to “Woman” and even to the song I still have a love-hate thing with – “Imagine”.  I love the idealism behind the words while hating the pessimistic tone.  I don’t remember where I was or what I was doing the day John died, I was pregnant with my daughter, that I do know, and I was in Germany.  I was 20 years old and I was still, in many ways, a very young girl, not a grown-up yet.  The world would have no chance to know what he may have accomplished in his later years, but I know with all my heart that he was wrong – there is a heaven above us and a hell below us.  I hope he realized that in time and is in “Peace”.

Diamonds in the Rough Edges of Life

 

Diamond Rough Diamond

SoCalMediaSurfer-MiccilinaPiraino

DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH:

Life is like a diamond in the rough.  There is hidden potential there; you just have to put pressure on it, let it ride for a time, evolve, change and grow and before you know it the true worth is revealed.  Every life has its rough edges, its un-shiny moments, where we feel that we will never overcome and get to be the sparkling gem that we could and should be.  How do we get there, what can we do?

Patience is the key – it takes a lot of time – sometimes generations for a priceless gem of a life to emerge from what looks like a worthless hunk of coal. There are bright and shiny “Diamond” moments to every season when we are looking at a long, cold winter that hangs around for months of dreary skies and cold, icy wind – We can look at the beauty of a rare sunny day,  sparkling on the new fallen snow or the trees looking ghostly white  with a winter coat, icicles winking from branches.

While we are waiting for the beginning of our summer fun, we can listen to the birds joyfully singing in the spring days and watch the leaves unfurling in bright green banners of color.  While we wait on vacations to far off places, we can see the wonders of our “Home Place” with new eyes, open to the possibilities.

When we are lamenting about the shortness of vacations or the end of our summer activities, we can look forward to the pretty colors of autumn and the coming holidays to be spent with family and friends.  Each cloud has that “Silver Lining”; we just have to look for it – Each piece of coal has the potential to be a priceless diamond.

Each person, if motivated and open to the unlocked recesses of their own worth, can be a diamond in the rough edges of life.  If given the chance to evolve, grow and change in engaging, upward ways, each soul is a valuable asset to themselves and to others.  If we look hard enough, we can turn every negative into a positive and every rough edge into a smoothly polished work of art.   Micci

Gadgets, Glitches and Gremlins!

SoCalMediaSurfer-MiccilinaPiraino  PC Laptop TabletGremlinsPC Issues

Did ya ever have one of those days?  LOL  Yeah, I had one of those days today!  Everything that I tried to do to new designs, new pages, new blogs, just went wonky on me!  I found that pages I was designing came out with errors on them, gadgets I tried to download, just suddenly stopped working and some things moved on thier own, I swear – I got Gremlins!

My writing means alot to me, when I write things, I write from the heart and I really don’t rehearse,  or write from notes, so it is all off the cuff and original to that moment.  So when the glitches happen and I have been writing non-stop for an hour and suddenly everything disappears and can’t be rescued, that old saying that should be drummed into every writer’s brain – SAVE and SAVE OFTEN – came to mind – ayup, was supposed to do that, but I was on a roll….uh huh!  It is never the same twice, so when I rebuild it from scratch, it’s a whole new Blog – I feel as if something precious was lost.  Live and Learn, Ok, so I am not an expert at some of the newest tech stuff!  I admit that I AM NOT smarter than a Fifth Grader and be done with it!  My son used to run rings around me in what used to be my area of expertise! He was a teenager at the time.

YES!  I was a designer of web pages when geekiness was not cool!  Don’t want to date myself, but Rick Springfield was playing Doctor on General Hospital and LoverBoy was struttin their stuff in Hot Red Leather Pants!  Okay, it was the 80’s, so I am sadly out of date on alot of new design, gidgets, no, midgets, awww heck, I mean widgets!

I learn fast so I actually had my son give me some pointers, now if I could just find the post it, he left for me…..Shoot and Sugar, bet I threw it away with my left over sandwich.  Oh well, back to the drawing board  Tomorrow, I will tackle and conquer that silly techie stuff if it kills me and it just might, lol.  I am having as much trouble with this as I did learning the IM lingo, but I did get that finally – OMG, my BFF has been LHAO at me all this time, I just didn’t know it!  Sooooo….now I get to get some rest and try not to dream of widgets, gadgets, web pages and design error messages – Good Luck on that one!  Run Away, Run FAR Away and Be Afraid, Be VERY Afraid!  For if there is a power outage on the Eastern Seaboard, the West Coast or a big computer crash at some whosit corporation tomorrow, you may just have gotten my Gremlins!  They multiply with feeding, you know.  CYA! Micci

HUNGER IS A TWELVE-MONTH LONG PROBLEM

Food Pantry 6 Food Pantry 5   Food Pantry 3

 

 

 

Food Pantry 4Food Pantry 2Food Pantry 1

SoCalMediaSurfer-MiccilinaPiraino –

I attended the “Imagine There’s No Hunger” benefit at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood   It was a great night, wonderful performances and a REAL NEED behind it.  I think it is time to repost my Blog on Hunger:  Please repost, reshare and spread the word!  This problem will NEVER GO AWAY until we resolve it.

I am now in San Diego, CA, but still support efforts back east at my “HomePlace”  so Foodlink will always be close to my heart.  It does not matter WHERE you donate food, time or money – what Matters is that you DO!  Food Pantries right here in San Diego make a difference at Holiday Time and all through the year.  If you can help, PLEASE DO!  Micci

HUNGER IS A TWELVE-MONTH PROBLEM

Hunger is a prevalent and ever-present specter in the world. It does not take a vacation, is not discriminatory, does not care about circumstances. It stalks and takes a toll on the young, the middle-aged, the elderly, the poor and  the middle of the road (sometimes called the working poor) Even those who may consider themselves to be comfortable in life and never in need, could find themselves having problems and suddenly needing services that they have not in the past considered.  Hunger does not respect us, it haunts us and leaves lasting scars, it can damage lives in many ways. No matter your race, religion, position in life, male or female; you can always come up short and in need.

The economy is slow; Food Pantries, Church Kitchens and other state and local service agencies are seeing quite a large jump in  needy families and in those individuals that for whatever reason are no longer working – either temporarily or permanently.

Foodlink, a Rochester based foodbank (The only one of its kind in NY State)and provider of services and goods to these agencies, is trying to raise awareness of this ever-growing need. They  in Rochester, but partner with Feeding America and 550 state and local agencies to collect and distribute food and goods over a 10 county area.

I recently toured their current location on Exchange St and found it to be  an extensive and well-organized agency with a simple plan that takes care of individuals and families by treating hunger as not only a problem for one but for all.  Tom Ferraro, CEO and founder of the Foodbank wanted to take care of the root problems of the community as a whole, not to just bandaid the small hurt and hope for it to heal itself.  Hunger is a symptom of a larger problem that can be helped with Education, Encouragement and Empowerment.  Nourishing the community by feeding its people.

They collect 10,000,000 pounds of food per year. Some of the local Stores, Markets, Growers and Manufacturers that contribute to this amount are:  Wegman’s, Sam’s Club, Motts, Barilla, Helluva Good, Kraft, USDA, Venison Coalition, Freshwise Farms and Bejo Feeds.  There are more currently than are listed here and Foodlink is in talks to add others in the future.  Through a program of rescuing (irregular packaged or slightly damaged that would otherwise be waste), and composting, most of what is collected gets used by either a consumer or for farming and growing fresh produce.

Collection, sorting, packaging and distribution are done in a large 4 story warehouse setting with a small freight elevator (One of the reasons that they are relocating to the former Pepsi Bottling Plant  off of Joseph Ave – It is one floor).  They have several steps including a first sort into usable and non usable items, those that are non usable are either discarded or set aside for composting.  The usables are taken into a second sort where they are categorized, then to a Fulfillment Center, a “store” of sorts, and distributed out to providers that are members of the Foodlink Family. They also receive donations of paper products and other irregular goods that are then distributed to agencies that give them out to those that need them.

The education component includes  Freshwise Catering in Greece and Charlotte,  Freshwise Farms – a hydroponic and open farm that you can go and see in Penfield,  “Kids Cafe” and “BackPack” programs that provide healthy choices for kids in need or out on summer break from school.

A large percentage of the families and individuals served in the communities are children or include children.  Holidays see a rise in donations and everyone is in a giving mood, but summers when those children are away from school breakfast and lunch programs is a very important time to remember to donate to Foodlink.  They are always in need of core items: Peanut Butter, Canned Tuna, Mac and Cheese, Jams and Jellies, Pasta and Tomato Products , Canned Fruits, Canned Vegetables – as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

The Check Out Hunger campaign is currently starting and will run through the end of November.  It is not much to do, simply say yes to a 2,3 or 5 dollar donation coupon when the cashier at Wegman’s or  “>PriceRite asks you.  There will also be a Food For Families Drive in December.  You can find Foodlink at the referened link here.  www.foodlinkny.org to donate or volunteer.  John Baldanza is the Volunteer Coordinator.  They have many opportunities to donate food, time, or talents to the best cause in the world – giving healthy food to those who need it.

I want to thank Maria Oberst, Foodlink’s Community Relations Manager, for the very insightful and thought-provoking tour that I and other members of the Forge Faction went on. (We are playing Picture The Impossible – an ARG community based game for charity  – www.picturetheimpossible.com) and Foodlink is our chosen charity.

PLEASE GIVE WHAT YOU CAN AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE!   Miccilina M Piraino, Blogger, Writer, Community Member

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