Category: Casual Anthropology

Chatting with Former White House Chef Walter Scheib

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I’m gonna start with the moral of the story:

Do what you love to do and share it,

and maybe someone will ask you to do it again.

(Feel free to quote me on that!) 

I’m referring to both how I got my most recent gig, and the guy I worked with on said gig. I was acting as the Mistress of Ceremonies for a “State Dinner” with the former White House Chef, Walter Scheib. He loves to cook, I love to communicate, so ….


 Malayna with Walter-md 
 

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Falling in Love with Angkor Thom

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No, Angkor Thom is not the name of a guy who hangs around Angkor Wat. It's not the Cambodian equivalent of Indiana Jones. It means "Big City" and it's part of the Angkor Wat temple complex.

Being raised on Indiana Jones, I have a thing for temple ruins. If I weren't so lazy and squeamish about creepy-crawlies, I might have gone into archaeology or some such thing. But due to my love of comfort, this is the closest I'll probably come to Indiana Jones-esque adventure–being driven to temple ruins in an air conditioned car. Good enough for me! 

I'm glad we went to Angkor Wat first, because this way I got to enjoy Angkor Thom's Bayon and Ta Prohm in the beautiful late afternoon sun. The entrance was entrancing, with it's greenery and welcoming committee. (Click on any photo to enlarge it.)

P1010044 On each side of the road is a line of statues, very close together.  

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Exploring the Angkor Wat Temples

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For my 40th birthday, I wanted to do something BIG. Something from my Life List, something that came from my dreams.  Since I was in Sri Lanka for the big event, it made sense to take advantage of being on this side of the world. But having just traveled from L.A., I didn't want to fly too far. So I came up with Cambodia and Angkor Wat.  I'll admit that this was partly inspired by Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, which I dig because of my deep love of Indiana Jones. (I also like The Mummy movies, if you must know.)

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Thoughts on Themes of AVATAR

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I was fortunate enough to see the film AVATAR with an insightful chick from India, who explained to me at intermission (we have those in Sri Lankan movie theaters) that the word “avatar” still has spiritual meaning to people in India, and therefore when they’re referring to the movie, they might differentiate it by pronouncing it with an American accent!  

 

The definition for them is “The incarnation of a Hindu deity, especially Vishnu, in human or animal form.” She pointed out that Vishnu’s avatar is Krishna and both are blue.  And also that the Na’vi had tails, much like the monkey god, Hanuman. 

 

She also mentioned that the word “Na’vi” sounds like the Hindi word for “new” and she wondered how the Na’vi language was developed, so I found an explanation for her on Wikipedia.

 

The name PANDORA

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My Freelance Adventure Continued

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Yesterday I tallied up all the articles I wrote for others in 2009 and it came to 570. At an average of 400 words each, that comes to 228,000 words. A minimum of 60,000 words is needed for a novel, so I’ve written the equivalent of three good-sized novels this year—a trilogy! 

Of course if it were that easy to write a novel, I’d paste them all together and publish. But it would seriously lack plot and characters, and other rather important aspects of a novel. 

Just over 100 of these articles (112 to be exact) were written for Garments Without Guilt, a project that I was allowed to attach my name to and even won an award for my part in the campaign!  You can view those articles (and the ones I did in 2008), by following these links, which are also listed to the left of this article: The Garments Without Guilt blog for all  and The Garments Without Guilt business blog.

458 of my total articles were ghostwritten on a variety of subjects. Since I don’t own them and wrote them while incognito (are you picturing me in sunglasses, ducking slightly, while seated at my computer?) I can’t just give you the links. That’d blow my cover. 

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Geography of a Woman

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My friend Nancy e-mailed this to me, and I thought it was interesting and lovely, so I'm sharing. It almost makes me eager to grow old!

Between 18 and 22, a woman is like Africa : half discovered,  half wild, fertile and naturally beautiful.
 
Between 23 and 30, a woman is like Europe : well developed and open to trade, especially for someone of real value.
 
Between 31 and 35, a woman is like Spain : very hot, relaxed, and convinced of her own beauty.
 
Between 36 and 40, a woman is like Greece : gently aging but still a warm and desirable place to visit.
 
Between 41 and 50, a woman is like Great Britain : with a glorious and all conquering past.
 
Between 51 and 60, a woman is like Israel : has been through war, doesn't make the same mistakes twice, takes care of business.
 
Between 61 and 70, a woman is like Canada : self-preserving, but open to meeting new people.
 
After 70, she becomes Tibet : wildly beautiful, with a mysterious past and the wisdom of the ages, an adventurous spirit and a thirst for spiritual knowledge.

Spiritual Metaphors 4 Life ~ Gadgets

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 Gadgets Life is like choosing the latest gadget. Look for the real value—a brand name isn’t as important as knowing that the product delivers on its promises. Knowing what’s really important to us, we can always attract the people and circumstances into our lives that really enrich our experience.

Read my DailyOM article, Technology as Distraction–Choosing True Connections for more.

Written by Malayna Dawn for SymbolicThemes.com

 

An Ecological, Spiritual, Fabulous Book – A Year in Green Tea & Tuk Tuks

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Tuk-tuk-bookThis book was given to me as a gift by a friend who knows me very well.  (Thanks, Meghana!) It’s the personal and true story of a British guy who decides that Sri Lanka is the place to build his ecological dream. 

I related to this book on so many levels—from the part of me who is an expat and understands the culture clashes to the part of me who sees Sri Lanka as a paradise that must be preserved, to the part of me that loves the connection between spirituality and ecology.  It’s all here!

With chapters like “Lanka or La-La-Land?” about his decision about whether to live in Sri Lanka or Los Angeles (to which I would answer “both!”) and passages like, “I found myself on a spiritual quest. I began to believe that the world was engaged in a transition, shifting our values from competition and greed to cooperation and synthesis, giving birth to a new vision, the ‘divine marriage’ of inner and outer, male and female, reason and intuition, Matter and Spirit,” Rory Spowers continued to strike very personal chords.

The beauty is, he’s done it. He has taken 60 acres in the South of Sri Lanka and dedicated it to organic produce, green tea, natural ecosystems, sustainable living, and marrying the best of nature and innovation.  I can’t wait to visit!  And I love the book, so I’ll be sharing more soon.

Written by Malayna Dawn for Symbolic Themes.com

Symbols of Spirituality: Electricity

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ElectricalsocketLife is like an electrical charge. Energy itself is neutral. It will work whether we plug it into a TV or a tablesaw.

We make it feel good or bad with our choices, but we can always make new choices that feel better.

It's like our thoughts, or our prayers. If we focus our energy and attention on what we don't like or want instead of what we do like and want in our lives, we are giving those things our energy.

We are the socket and we give our energy to whatever we allow to be plugged in to us. Does that make sense?

Even if we pray for something bad NOT to happen, we are investing more thought into the negative than the positive. Keep your energy and attention focused on the positive!

 

Symbols of Spirituality: Clothes

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Change clothesLife is like changing clothes. You have the power to change your life by changing your thoughts.

It doesn’t mean the outside world or other people change, it is our approach and our point of view that changes, and that makes all the difference.

Actually, there's a lot more to clothes. "Clothes make the man," they say and popular shows like "What Not to Wear" show the power between how we feel about ourselves, and how we show ourselves to the world. 

Check out www.GarmentsWithoutGuilt.com/blogSelect.cfm for even more info about fell-good, guilt-free clothing that is organic, ethically made, and sustainable!