Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mountain Biking the Lagunas

Here are a few photos from our last fun ride out in the Laguna Mountains of Southern California, followed by a video clip that should give you a little flavor. Note: We are not "rippers & shredders;" we are the brand of mountain biker who enjoys stopping every so often to enjoy nature and "smell the roses," chew on a Power Bar and laugh at each other's bawdy jokes.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Vision Quest - by Patty Mooney

After emerging victorious after a fun and refreshing bodyboard session at Ocean Beach yesterday, I turned to watch my husband, Mark, catch some more waves. As I stared out at the surf zone which was strangely gray and foggy, even as the beach was bathed in sunshine, I noticed that my vision was filled with small black dots. When I blinked and the dots did not disappear, a fear rose up in me. I turned to look at sunbathers on the sand, and the dots seemed to dimish; but they were really stark and obvious when I again turned towards the fog.

I've had floaters in my eyes for years, and have paid visits to the eye doctor because of them. He has said they are something I'll just have to live with, and explained how as we age, the viscous gels in our eyeballs get thinner and more liquidy; thus, the floaters are more noticeable. I've gotten used to the floaters and try not to concentrate on them, or they simply drive me crazy. A deep blue sky unfettered with clouds is like a canvas for the various shapes - like dust particles - that live within my eyeballs.

Well, these small black dots were nothing like the floaters I to which I had grown accustomed. This was something else. I thought about what could have caused it, and realized that I'd been rattled pretty good by a major wave that broke right over my head. I decided to relax and let the dots subside.

Later in the evening, when night fell and I walked outside, I noticed a slight flash that seemed to occur every time I blinked my left eye. With that cold fear once again gripping my heart, like one of those squeeze balls, I went on the Internet and googled "eye black dots flashes". After reading that these are all symptoms of a detached retina, and that ignoring the problem could lead to blindness, I resolved to call my eye doctor first thing in the morning.

Dr. Newman got right on the phone with me, and suggested that I see a retinal specialist immediately.

About an hour later, I stood on the first floor of the medical building waiting for an elevator. Quite a crowd had gathered, as two of the elevators were out of order. Finally, the middle one descended, opened, and we all crowded in, after a large man wheeling a woman in a wheelchair. When we arrived at the third floor, a woman in the back wanted to get out, so a few of us moved aside to let her through. She said in a panic-stricken voice, "I need to get off on this floor!" It seemed like the man wheeling the woman was trying to hem her in and not let her get off; she stood there, a little cowed by him. He said, "Have some patience. There are more of us who need to get off here." She stepped off, and then he followed with the woman in the wheelchair saying, "Although there are those who feel they're more privileged than others, it appears."

There was a man in green scrubs who looked at me as the elevator doors shut. "Well, look who's talking! That seemed like the pot calling the kettle black, didn't it?" The look on his face was so classic, and his timing was so brilliant, I broke up laughing until tears came to my eyes. We both got off on the fifth floor, and I told him, "Thanks, I really needed a laugh." Then we both went our separate ways.

I was called into the exam room almost immediately where a female technician asked me some background questions and applied eye drops.

And then, the doctor entered. It was none other than the man in green scrubs who had made me laugh on the elevator. When I saw him, I knew everything was going to be all right.

As he examined my eyes, he said that the retina was not yet detached, but that it was poised to, so if I could lay off any jostling activities for the next six weeks, and let this trauma settle down, I'd be okay. He said, "Give peace a chance."

Apparently the symptom of floating black dots is something that occurs in many people as they - ahem - get older. So heads up, everyone. Keep your eyes open (pun intended) for such symptoms, and then if and when they occur, pay a visit to your friendly opthamologist.

Friday, September 18, 2009

In the Basket - A Poem by Patty Mooney

I have seen beautiful things
in baskets.
A woman I know
makes hand-twined pine-
needle baskets
enhanced with beadwork
in which one may place
a frond of sage
plucked fresh,
or shells from an ecstatic
walk on a tropical beach
or pottery shards fired
by ancient hands.

I have a gigantic reed basket
my best friend gave me
in which I keep a hundred puka
necklaces, from small polished heishi
to fat cowrie clusters.
It calms me to plunge
my fingers in that stash
of cool shells.

Baskets from China, India, Africa,
Pine Valley,
from work-worn hands,
the fingers deft and sure
sculpting an organic womb
bound to nurture
and contain
contours of emptiness
and readiness.

The blue pine-cone basket above was made by Lynn and Sue Van Couvering at Moonbug Studio in Southern Oregon, using coiled basketry techniques similar to those long practiced by tribal people. To learn more about their work, go to their site, "Pine Needle Baskets"

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pink Ladders Features My Quote - by Patty Mooney

Rungs of Wisdom

"If you think back on it, haven't your dreams all come true, whether good or bad? The thing is to concentrate on manifesting your positive, happy dreams."
Patty Mooney
San Diego Video Production

Patty comments on her quote

I loved the movie “Gran Torino.” As someone who grew up in Detroit, I recognized several of the places shown in the movie. In particular, the closing scene during the credit roll was a view of Lakeshore Drive on Lake St. Clair, where I used to ride my bicycle as a teenager and then I’d sit on the grass and visualize my future.

What I wanted more than anything was to be a writer living in California with my soulmate. Every single element of that dream seemed way out there, and almost impossible, but in time, by focusing on it, I made that dream come true. I’m now a video producer, writer, poet and blogger living in San Diego with my husband, Mark, who is my business partner; together we own and operate Crystal Pyramid Productions of San Diego. Not only did my dream come to fruition; it turned out to be even better than I had at first envisioned.

Many times I observe someone struggling and basically sabotaging themself by manifesting negative circumstances. For instance, they might say something like “I’ll be happy when….” Remember, there is no “when”; there is only “now.” If you can strive to be happy in the now, then you are going somewhere! Or someone may say: “I can’t…..” Eliminate the word “can’t” from your language and take your power back. If you don’t want to do something, then admit it. But “can’t” is a word of powerlessness.

Own your feelings. Instead say “I won’t.” Isn’t that much more convincing than “I can’t”? The universe is out there listening to your thoughts and your sentiments. The universe moves in the direction in which you tell it you want to move. So stop sabotaging your forward momentum. Center yourself, take a deep breath, figure out what you want, and go for it.


Check out the Stories of Fascinating Women Entrepreneurs at Pink Ladders.

Maybe you can submit yours!

Here's my story at Pink Ladders.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Importance of Family - by Patty Mooney

After spending a week in Michigan with my family, my video producer sensibilities kicked in and I've been inspired to produce a documentary about the Mooneys. I had related my excitement and plan to my friend, Glenn, who sent me this wonderful short video, called "What is That?" that brought a tear to my eye. I know you will enjoy it, too.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Red-Tail Hawk - A Poem by Patty Mooney

When I see the red-tail hawk
gliding effortlessly in its blue reality
spiralling over me as though I am
singled-out special to see such
beauty, then blink-of-the-eye gone
I know your spirit has sent
a message of love, a jewel
for my memory.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Back from the Motor City - by Patty Mooney

Got back from Detroit last night and after all the carousing and fun-filled family times, I seemed to fall asleep right when my husband was asking me for details on the trip. Now, fully refreshed and after deleting a couple hundred emails, I return to the blogosphere with many more stories to share.

You guys know I'm a video producer and recently finished a documentary called "The Invisible Ones: Homeless Combat Veterans" which has won five awards, and will be featured in a second Film Festival coming this month, in Big Bear, California. It took several months to shoot and produce, and then it took about a year for me to edit at night and on weekends. My social life suffered as friends thought I was blowing them off, but I was just obsessed about getting the show in the can.

After that, there were the usual post-partem blues. It's like delivering a child in a way - my way of delivering a child, anyway!

I had been wondering what sort of project I would work on next. The topic of homeless veterans is not something to guffaw about, and working on that was emotionally taxing - certainly not as life-altering or serious as suffering from PTSD; but I wanted my next big video project to be a more fun and fluffy project, so I could exercise more laughter.

And then my dad turned 85, and my family gathered for the celebration in Michigan, and united in fun and frivolity.

It was George Moore who said, "A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it." Let's amend that to read: "A woman travels the world over in search of what she needs and returns home to find it." That's how I felt about this past week with my family. And I have decided to create a documentary about my family; featuring the 85th birthday of my dad who has dementia, and how we all related to him over the years. I left home at the age of 18, and my dad used to say "You couldn't leave fast enough." He's right; I couldn't. He now has dementia which has been a challenge to all of us in our family of eight.

Anyway, I collected a lot of footage over this trip, and brought back a box filled with memoirabilia and old photos including some of my dad when he was in the Army during World War II and stationed in Molokai. I now turn to my own family as an intriguing topic full of depth that I have not seen with these eyes before.

I realized that the theme of my homeless veterans documentary is really about "coming home," and that will also be the theme of my family documentary. Are you ready, world?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Tale of the Detroit Motorcycle Cop - by Patty Mooney

I arrived in Detroit late yesterday afternoon along with my brother, sister and two nieces. We had traveled here to celebrate my father's 85th birthday which is on the 4th of September. My other brother, Tom, picked us all up at the airport in his baby-blue Lincoln town car. Once we'd gotten seated and comfortable, Tom pulled away from the curb and started the 45-minute trek home to St. Clair Shores. We noticed a motorcycle cop following us, and he was following closely.

"He's gonna pull me over," Tom said.

"His lights aren't on," I said.

But within the next minute, the lights indeed went on, along with two byew-byews of the siren, and Tom pulled over. The elation the six of us had shared was deflated like a leaky balloon. We all sat there waiting in the dark pall that had just descended. Oh no, Tom was getting a traffic ticket. And those things are not cheap.

The officer came alongside the driver's window and wanted to know if Tom knew what the speed limit around the airport was. Tom replied, "45 mph?"

"And how fast do you think you were going?" asked the officer.


"More like 59 miles per hour," said the officer.

"Oh, I didn't realize...."

"Your driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance, please."

Tom fumbled in his pocket for a wad of cards and paper, then shuffled through them with some trepidation; was the driver's license even there? He finally produced it and handed it to the officer along with the registration.

As the cop stood there studying the information, I spoke up from the back seat. "Officer, we just arrived and Tom was picking us up. We haven't seen each other in eight years."

My other brother, Joe piped in, "Yeah, he was just doing us a favor."

I continued. "Officer, if you could find it in your heart to not write up a ticket, we would all appreciate it so much. Tom is a wonderful man."

The officer didn't say anything, and I thought maybe he hadn't heard me. He walked back to his motorcycle and spent about five minutes there, then returned to Tom's window. We all thought this was it, here was the ticket. But he said, "Are you going to drive within the speed limit? Because if you do I'd rather not waste my time issuing a ticket."

Everybody's jaw dropped. Tom replied, "Yes, sir, I will drive within the limit. I love you, brother!"

The cop responded, "Don't love me or I'm writing you a ticket."

We all laughed. The air was now back to a giddy elation.

"No, no," Tom said, "I promise you I'll drive within the speed limit; I'll keep my nose to the grindstone."

"Well all right then," said the officer. "Have a good day."

As the motorcycle cop sped on by, Tom looked around at us and said, "Well, that's an urban myth that turned out to be true."

We were all so relieved. And then my sister, Rita, who is the notorious family ham and improvisational comedienne, started up a little romp. "Thank you, officer, and may I say that I couldn't help but notice how great your ass looks in those pants as you were walking away."

"Let's call him 'Officer Rod Studly," I said.

We all drank a toast to Officer Rod Studly later that night, and we hope that he enjoys a marvelous Labor Day weekend.

And thus began our marvelous Labor Day weekend, 2009.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sevens - A Poem by Patty Mooney

They say things happen in sevens.
The seven-year itch, a man, a woman,
a scabies of their relationship
and nothing to salvage.
Seven Years in Tibet Brad Pitt turns
from Nazi sympathizer to devout.
Seven years of bad luck when you
break a mirror, walk under a ladder
or step on a crack.
Seven years I was in prison.
Seven other felons in my cell block.
Seven visitations a month,
seven letters a week.
Seven-ounce servings of humble pie
loaded with carbs.
Seven piercings in my cell mate's torso,
seven minutes on the crapper.
Seven counts of armed robbery.
Seven strands of pearls for my girl,
seven moths fried in the naked bulb
seven years to tunnel out using nothing
but a toothbrush
a ball-point pen, and a playing card:
the Seven of Spades.