Monday, November 21, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
This is Zhou Xuan Yun, a taoist monk I met in China in 2006, teaching me kung fu in the mountains.
I shot this video as a little taste n sampling of Xuan Yuns focus and determination.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
A little little girl, couldn't be taller than 3 feet scampered over to us and asked if Ninja (my dog) was friendly and happily started petting her and having a good time doing so. A few minutes later, a little blonde fellow, about a foot taller than the little girls sauntered over and with a serious pontificating look set in his brow said to us "she can be so annoying sometimes, she just goes up to people to get attention." this kind of sentence made me think, wow, this little fellow heard some of this kind of talk from a parent.
the little girl danced and twirled and was having a joy of a time while the little boy started up a conversation with Sonia and I about this little girls behaviour. I then noticed that he was wearing the same kung fu shoes that i was wearing which is pretty rare, I proclaimed "hey! your wearing the same kung fu shoes as me, do you do kung fu??" he had a stunned and pleased look in his eyes and said, "no, I do Karate!" I asked him if he took lessons and with all seriousness and earnestness in his eyes he said "no...I just happen to know it", this made me smile on the inside because I could see him glowing with esteem. he started showing us his moves flinging around kick punching, chopping and twirling, making psshhh and pppkkrrckrrr noises while he let loose on his super karate moves. we applauded and told him how awesome he was (cause he was).
The little girl with a juicy smile looked at me and told me she had invisible shoes on, I looked at her cute dirty toes and said, well yeah!!!! the boy said in a tone "shes not wearing invisible shoes, shes barefoot" the girl ignored him and kept dancing and twirling with joy.
She then ran up to my face and in all innocent earnestness said "do you want to see my underwear?" Before I could answer, she did a cool handstand in the splits and her underwear was smack right in my face, i said, well, there it is! she must have loved her underwear to want to show me.
meanwhile this boy continued in his dialogue and demonstrations of karate/kungfu and explanations of what the power rangers do. before the parents wisked the kids off the little boy asked Sonia and I if we were Ninjas, we told him yes and that we met at Ninja school (which is true) and he asked us if we had a teacher, we told him we did, he once again put his serious look on his face and sid "well, you can show your teacher this move and teach it to him" he then went in to precise demonstration on the hand positions and the options of hand positions to use. He said "you can show your teacher that and teach it to him" We both agreed that we would definitely do so.
His mother then came over and put his little red suspenders on and he wandered off to play and show the world his moves.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Every time I would say "Im sorry" , it felt like I was apologizing for myself repeatedly, leaving a feeling of inadequacy inside me. During the beginning stages of this word elimination, there was a pause when I was about to utter "sorry" and not know what to do instead.
I noticed a shift inside me more and more and felt less sorry for myself, less sorry for my actions, and more of a realist of my actions and behavior.
The challenge is, what words fill in the void left from this word removal? Acknowledgement and ownership. below are examples of what it looks like.
-I totally blew you off by not calling you back which is disrespectful to you.
-of course you would be mad! I changed plans at the last minute without telling you which is so unfair.
- I totally bumped into to you and made a huge frikkin mess!
-of course your mad! I hit your car and made a huge dent in it which is frustrating and maddening because its expensive.
-of course you'd be pissed, makes total sense, my dog just took a shit on your property and I didn't pick it up, how disrespectful of me.
-It makes sense why you would feel ignored becasue I am totally ignoring your emails and not responding to you which is disrespectful to you.
-I said mean and hurtful things which makes sense why you wouldnt trust me or want to talk to me
-WOW! I totally messed that up!!
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Today a friend told me about a place on Chicago Avenue near my house that is a dollar store in the front and in the back, a ping pong court filled with tables to play on until 10pm. So... tonight I investigated and its true! This dollar store is run by this thai couple and in the back is what you see in this photo.
The city is such so filled with gems like this. My mind is blown!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
here is my advanced studio lighting class at columbia college!! we had a lovely ice breaker learning about each others preferences and hobbies. what I learned the most is that most people dont think shit is a bad word and that Christmas is not peoples favorite holiday.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
We are in desperate need of a venue for an "after the movie" event. If you have a connection for a venu anywhere in Chicago, please email us with your phone number so that we may call you to ask further questions. In your response please give the address of the venue. After movie event with be from 5:30pm - 8:30pm on Saturday, August 27th.
We are seeking a Venue to accommodate 70-150 people with ample parking.
Please respond asap with your venue connection.
- Sheriff Richard Mack,Constitutional Rights Advocate http://sheriffmack.com/
- Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Presidential candidate 2004 http://www.
- Elizabeth Rich, Attorney Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund VP http://www.ftcldf.org/ *invited not confirmed
- Vernon Hershberger, Wisconsin Dairy Farmer
- Jim Marlow, Expert Nutritionist
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
-the amount of time you spend in work doesn't equate to the quality of your work
-give your life to your life
-work is secondary to life
-money amounts do not reflect the quality of your life
-working as a bartender, repair person makes you an equal to anyone
-having a hard time at work does not reflect your quality of life
-you are a winner if you work only 3 days a week
-you are a winner at work if you are not working 60 hours a week
-you are wonderful no matter how much cash you make
-you are wonderful no matter what kinds of things you have or don't have
-success is having valuable friends
-it is inexcusable to use work as an excuse for not being there for your family
-emotionally supporting your family is by far more valuable than any amount of money you make
-downing gobs of alcohol after work to decompress is dysfunctional
-ignoring your children because you have "too much work" is inexcusable
-people care more about who you are more than what you do
-you are interesting no matter what your job is
-working until you are exhausted is abuse to yourself
-life can be fair if you choose to make it so
-giving your respect and attention to people who respect you is important
-your own opinion of yourself is more valuable than anything else
-kissing your bosses ass is undignified and sad
-if you aren't perfect at work, you are human
-skipping a day or two of work is fun and well deserved
-if you aren't making enough money, you are trying hard but just need a bit more time
-if not enough work is coming in, it is doubtful that it is your fault
-women are very hard workers just like men
-a woman in the workplace showing boundaries and clean communication will be respected
-a softer personality woman is as intelligent as any other kind of woman
-your ranking at work has no relevance to your intelligence
-your financial gain has nothing to do with your intelligence
-you being the top dog in your company doesn't mean that you are smarter than others
-if you are not working, you are working on other things
-if you have financial distress, it is normal
-no matter what you do or who you donate to, being an asshole means being an asshole
-being an asshole to your coworkers is just being an asshole
-being an asshole means low self esteem
-being an asshole to other people means you will gain distrust from them
-being an asshole to your coworkers is inexcusable and is abusive
-if you are not better than your competitor, who cares
-you need to be whomever you are and that is enough
-being number two doesn't exist
-having friends, family and support is as crucial to life than work
f-riends and family support you in your life and help support you to achieve your goals
-your families love for you shows your success
-burying yourself in your work is lonely, sad, and isolating
-your soul and being is what defines you as a person
-your personality is your passion
Monday, August 8, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
On the downside, this youngness doesn't work in my favor when I am talking to clients on the phone. I know that if I were talking to me on the phone, a little voice in the back of my head would say "uh...how old is this chick, and is she for realz??"
here is the nuts n bolts folks. Im 38!
iz old by erikaninja
Monday, July 25, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
the more time you spend at work the better worker you are
more work is best
give your life to your work
life is secondary to work
more money means better life
working as a bartender,repair person makes you a lesser person
if you fail at work, your life is a failure
your a loser if you work only 3 days a week
you are failing at work if you are not working at least 60 hours a week
you are a failure if you don't make gobs of cash
you are a failure if you don't have quality things
success is having expensive things
not being there for your family is an excusable side effect of working a lot
making more money for your family is more valuable than emotionally supporting your family
downing gobs of alcohol after a work day is normal
using your work as an excuse to ignore your children is fine
people care more about your financial success than your personality
if you don't have an interesting job, you are not interesting
if you don't work until you are exhausted, you are not working hard enough
life isn't fair
giving more attention to your coworkers is more important than giving it to your friends and family
your coworkers opinion of you matters more than anything
kissing your bosses ass is dignified
if you aren't perfect at work, you are a failure
skipping a day or two of work is failure
if you aren't making enough money, you aren't trying hard enough
if not enough work is coming in, you must have done something to deserve it
women aren't as hard working and are complainers
a woman in the workplace is to be a hard ass to be respected
a softer personality woman is not as intelligent
your ranking at work directly reflects your intelligence
if you aren't making a lot of money, you are not as intelligent as people who are
whomever is the top ranking person at a company is the most intelligent
if you are not working you are failing
if you have financial distress, its your fault
donating to charity makes up for being an asshole
being an asshole to your coworkers is how you get shit done
being an asshole means power
being an asshole to people means you will gain respect from them
being an asshole to your coworkers is excusable, in fact commendable
if you are not better than your competitor, you are a failure
you need to be better than everyone
if you are number two, you are a failure
having friends is unnecessary if you have work
friends don't get you higher up on the ladder of success, neither does your family
your family should be physically perfect to show your success
burying yourself in your work is a dignified way of living and dying
work is what defines you as a person
your personality is your work
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I shot this right before I left for my meditation excursion (stand by for super long post)
Monday, July 4, 2011
In usual Erika manner, I hurled myself into a petri dish of experiment of self-determination and exploration, a thing in which I now call... meditation boot camp. It seems like life, or at least mine, is a culmination of experiences quantifying to a now 38 year portfolio of experiments defining who I am.
Last month I decided to sign myself up for a doozie of venture , which I now call, meditation boot camp, formally known as Vipassana meditation.
Heres the deal ... 10 days - no technology whatsoever (cell phone, computer, ipod, etc. etc) no journals, no books, nothing whatsoever, on top of this, no exercise, no skipping, no running, no yoga. and the cherry on top is NO TALKING. yep, thats right, no speaking in any way shape or form the entire time, no gestures, no eye contact, no sign language, just plain no interacting with any other human being on any level. This actually felt refreshing to me. no need for social graces, no apologies, no excuse mes, no listening to someone babble on, no listening to myself babble on etc etc. fuckin silence!!
In my trusting manner, I said OK. I didn’t really think really hard about the schedule that was presented on the website that I would be meditating for about 11 hours a day and getting about 5-6 hours sleep. This rigorous schedule didn’t hit home until day 3 when I was transforming into a walking zombie.
Upon the first sitting at 4:30am, I settled myself on my little pillowed spot I was assigned to and thus the meditation began. We were given instruction on where to direct our mind for a few minutes and one of the directives encourages you to move as little as possible, as moving distracts the mind and also is a sign that you are succumbing to your inner chatter.
It is quite an eerie feeling to be in a dimly lit room with about 40 people sitting in silence. It becomes a little less eerie when you start hearing the sounds of humanness. Burps (a guy burped every ten minutes) , farts (less sound, more smell), swallowing (I couldn’t stop swallowing), coughs, knees cracking, ankles popping, shifting fabric, nails scratching skin became the soundtrack of my 10 day enlightenment. Partnering these sounds was the visual representation of peoples pain created with piles of carefully arrange pillows in order to support knees, back, hips, etc etc. After day 3 I decided to scan the room after a sitting to see what each persons stations looked like, as mine looked like a mini nest. Amongst the little pods of pillows peol had towered a 3 foot sculpture of pillows stacked to look like a sort of demented couch, this poor woman was suffering indeed!
Like a good little girl, I didn’t budge for an hour and a half for my first sitting, then a recording of a froglike chanting man came on, chanting incomprehensible croaks, which seemed like an eternity, not stopping going on and on and on. I forgot to mention the side effects of sitting still for that long. It is the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced in my entire life. My knees were going to explode, the muscles in my back to pop out and that I was carrying a cannon on each shoulder.
The culmination of the croaking and the searing pain in my body lead to a building noxious feeling. i thought OH SHIT! IM GONNA VOMIT, then the black curtain of passing out was creeping in,I thought JESUS! IM ABOUT TO FAINT! An intense sound filled my head, sounding like waves crashing with the volume cranked to maximum, and suddenly my body was covered with clammy sweat from head to toe, I was drenched, an finally my innards started to turn, I thought, OH FUCK! IM GONNA SHIT ALL OVER THIS MEDITATION HALL! then everything stopped and I felt and heard nothing and sat there in a complete and still void.
WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?!!?!! I immediately signed up to talk to the teacher where you have a mere 10 minutes a day for a private talk. I was ushered into a tiny room where the frail and nun-like teachers assistant sat cross legged on her pedestal. In my most polite and held back way as possible I asked WTF just happened she said "ah, it is working already" I thought, uh what’s "it". Well, It turns out that this wasn’t “it” working, it was actually a panic attack.
Like a clan of drones, we would silently convene 3 times a day in the cafeteria room which was the highest form of entertainment, EATING!!! Like a bunch of mutes, we sat at our table ignoring each other as the cacophony of utensils clinking on plates and crunching sounds of teeth moshing on apples filled the room. I felt like I was in an insane asylum as I folded my lipton tea wrapper into random origami shapes observing the eating habits of the woman sitting across from me, watching how she made piles of rice, and sections of veggies, and how she would get a second helping of rice and then use her spoon like a knife to push the food onto her fork and dip it into her concoction for soy sauce and cayenne pepper.
In the evenings was an hour discourse from Mr S.N. Goenka was played to us on two screens at the front of the room explaining the Buddhas philosophies and how this particular meditation is the technique that the Buddha taught himself. Many great positive life lessons about being in the moment were talked about, but every now and again I would hear messages discerning that if we didn’t practice this particular meditation, wed most likely die in misery. Or messages like, “if you leave now, you may suffer the consequences” or “the more you move, the more you are succumbing to the negative parts of your life” or “you must practice this two hours a day at home or you will not be on the path” or “ you should donate your time to the vipassana meditation center and volunteer to serv on others retreats” these little tidbits were fed to us with more frequency as we became weaker and more vulnerable due to the lack of sleep and interaction with the outside world and sitting still for 11 hours a day. These little nuggets stood out to me and I became defiant and angry. I realized OH SHIT!!! THIS IS A CULT!! Just like other very successful cult of Landmark Forums, Scientology, and basically religion itself, laced with nuggets of fear and threats about having a life of misery... Sigh, I JUST wanted to learn how to meditate goddamnit!!
BUT… the meditation technique rocked. Basically, your mind becomes more and more sharpened to sensations and you begin scanning your piece by piece, part by part, creating these vibrations of sensation wherever your mind is focusing. These body scans felt very relaxing and soothing. Most of the times though, the mind became so loud with thoughts, repeating, growing , going down dark roads, pornographic roads, creative roads, creating scenarios, reverting back to your childhood, propelling forward to the future, and theses thoughts became more and more exaggerated as the days went on. I realized how loud our minds are when we shut up.
On the morning of the last day, the veil finally lifted, and we were able to speak, but yet we weren’t allowed to touch anyone. I found this to be a tease and absolutely silly. We all chatted for hours about our experienced, some people were bleary eyed and had drunk the koolaid fully having a haunting smile that looked like they were brainwashed, some were more realistic like myself and had a sense of humor about the whole thing. I formed some close bonds with certain people and I am proud to say that I gravitate towards healthy minded people. (at least I think so).
I did come away with a great epiphany form this entire adventure. I saw in the entirety of my life as a series of extreme tests of pain and difficulty, ranging from being a dancer, to choosing one of the more intense yoga practices for 5 years, to attempting to be a kung fu artist for 7 years, and them pushing myself to perfection in my work then signing myself up for this intense meditation seminar, fearing failure, fearing inferiority, fearing myself as I am.
I come away with a new compassion and tenderness for myself, I don’t have to put myself through this kind of extremeness. I am fine, I am good just right now as I am. I can exercise and meditate and dance and kung fu, but but I don’t have to ACHIEVE, I can just be.
Friday, July 1, 2011
I forgot about this ignored veggie, at least I was ignoring it. I must be a veggie racist as well.
Apparently it is great for the intestinal tract, it reduces bloating and intestinal problems and intestinal stress. It is also said to help eyesight and it an effective diuretic. WOW!!
And guess what?? Its delicious!
I made this salad yesterday and had it with sauteed scallops breaded with roasted seaweed and breadcrumbs.
Monday, June 27, 2011
You don't have to be a foodie, you don't need tons of ingredients, or special tools! Just a sock puppet, a captain america mask and a little profanity!
Lil Erika puts on her super hero mask and lil Marc slaps on his chefs hat to make a simple and healthy cabbage slaw.
It was such a joy working with my brother on this short skit as it is the first project that he and I have worked together on in our adult life. I am so proud of us being so close and and making hilariousness together!
We hope to make a gazbillion more!!
An infinite thanks for Brian Schilling for directing and assembling a crew to make it come to fruition. and of cours a great thank you to all the contributors! LIL ERIKA LOVES YA!!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
well...it turns out that I am one of these uneducated. YAY ME!!
this is what I am going to say about this.
I have spent so many years listening to people talk politics, debate, go back and forth, sitting at a coffee table with long dissertations of whos doing what, who killed who, why this is doing what to who, how much we are surrounded by our own gluttony, how fucked we are environmentally, how much we are destroying the planet, what corrupt asshole has taken over whatever country, what other corrupt asshole has managed to pull a financial fast one thousands of peeps, what laws are fucking us now, how much quicker we are going to die, what movies star fucked which and is now having a baby with whomever else, which country will kill us all first, how many thousands of people are dying of starvation or are dying of diabetes, how many guns we have, how we are overpopulated, how fat we are, whose sexier and skinnier than you, who has more money, and then the cherry on top how much anxiety we have.
Witnessing this dialogue being incessantly volleyed continuously makes me wonder, does sitting around this table comparing notes and dropping names and headlines help? what benefit is this dialogue doing? are solutions being made? are plans being drawn up to work on this? NO i dont think I have ever heard of any solution-based political discussions. This is my observations, as the conversations escalate, voices raise and speech speeds up, faces turn red, people interrupt to get their snippet of knowledge in, then more interruption to counter that interruption, volume goes up more, then an overall sense of weakness, helplessness, and then exhaustion and resentment of the world. then you go home and try to sleep.
If only I could have heart rates measured during these discussions, it would be a fascinating experiment.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Are you a fruit racist?
I bet you are. I bet that you would never dare buy that fruit who you havent bothered to find out what its name is, and take it home with you and sample some of its tastiness. I bet you sneer at that fruit as you passby it, and go for that safe banana or apple.
I know I have been, and still am a fruit racist. I am afraid of these foreign fruit. what if they smell like fart when I cut into them? what if i take a bite and its disgusting? I will be sad also if I buy this foreign thing and had expectations of greatness and it wasn't what I thought, or i didn't know what to do with it. and I ate it the wrong way and have deep shame.
I declare that I will try to sample a fruit before I dismiss it.
END FRUIT RACISM!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
here she is on the tube of you so you get an idea of her awesomeness.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
There was a dude with a red hoodie rolling round on top of the stacked bags of mulch/dirt/whatever. he then stood up and hurled himself on top of the bags like a pro wrestler and rolled around, face downward smooshed into the stacked bags. this happened for five minutes and I just watched.
I tell ya, life is like a movie sometimes. perfect comedy placed in the perfect moments.
Submitted by Brian Schilling
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- Kim's blog
- green home accessories
- Vosges haut-Chocolat
- Emily Inman - Artist Rep
- Jess Robson Photography
- Ranquist Development
- textile printing by Kiyomi
- Ceiling Stars - Joe's band
- bird and whale - a music blog
- styling by Amy Lauhoff Obrien
- T. Harrison Hillman photography
- Daniel Strack custom woodworking
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- Roscoe Jackson sustainable furniture