Monday, August 31, 2020

How to Journal Your Dream House

Don't we sometimes fantasize about what your perfect dream house might be like? A topic you might journal about during this Covid-19 time of uncertainty is what you picture as your dream house. But why now? During Covid season!? Now, when you're perhaps in no personal or financial position to move anywhere, much less to a dream house? Isn't it materialistic or even torture to spend time thinking about it? 

I did so to find out. Today, I finished writing seven journal pages of thoughts, whimsies and even plain wish lists about what my dream house might be comprised of. Not so much what it "looks like," but what it's "about." Many of those aspects of such a future house (or never-in-the-future-house, as I may never get one) had been eating at me, spinning around in my head in random order.

After I spent an hour or so putting my thoughts down, seeing them on paper, I actually felt much better and even felt released from the fantasy of what "could be." By putting the needs, wants and not wants in front of me in writing, it brought a realism and organization to an unrealistic situation. All and all, a house is not a home. I have a home now. It's the site of what's important to me: family, love, faith, poetry, art. Someday a future house might be a home, too. But I don't have to think about it anymore, right now. Or desire it anymore, right now. Because it's there, inside my journal. If I ever really need to refer to it. I'll be prepared. haha. Nevertheless, all the while, I had fun and learned more about myself and my own personality. Actually, some of the things I "wanted" are ideas I can put forth right now, and cost little to nothing. Perhaps this exercise was more about me than about an actual house. 

Some fantasies about a house that stood out in my journal: 

~ "Every room should have its own song (or at least a poem written about it with an abstract portrait created in pastels or acrylics) as in Harold Budd's ambient music album 'The Room,' in which room/songs with titles 'The Room of Ancillary Dreams,' 'The Room of Oracles,' 'The Candied Room' and 'The Room of Accidental Geometry' appear."

~ "The house might have a winter bedroom and a summer bedroom, with the seasons' respective clothes in each bedroom closet. The winter bedroom would be on the sunny side of the house, painted in warm, earthy colors. The summer bedroom, on the other hand, would be on a shady side of the house, with cool blues and greens in its palette. "

~ "A house should have a minimum of one bedroom, one bath, one kitchen and a living room with a desk and bookshelves. A house should have a maximum of 10 rooms and then be themed like the game Clue ~ with the Library, the Conservatory, the Billiard Room (or names like the Harold Budd album, above). If unattached at the time, I would try to meet someone named Colonel Mustard, as in the Clue game, or at least someone who likes the mustard color, or the condiment. Just kidding."

~ "If you have so many rooms you just don't know what to do with them all (haha), retain one room for the most kitschy or throw-back-era items you can find: old black velvet paintings, a lava lamp, a round bed with a pastel rococo headboard, spool table, bean bag chairs, tacky vases, plastic flowers, ornate crazy-looking side table lamps from thrift stores, funny road signs, making it a real American Pickers' lived-in paradise."

I also included aspects of a house that SHOULD NOT be included, though other people might think they're important, such as an attached garage, a white kitchen, a formal dining room, cathedral ceilings, be near a golf course, a swimming pool, a media/theater room, PVC plumbing. I don't have any of those things right now, so that's covered!

Of course, my list of what a house SHOULD have is quite long, highlighted by some unusually self-indulgent entries, but also, importantly, to have rock outcroppings nearby, a front door high above ground level reached by stairs, arches somewhere, and space for archery out back. 



Sunday, July 19, 2020

Poem: When the Three Gorges Dam Collapses

An earth-shaking story that barely appears in any Western news source is evolving right now in China along the Yangtze River. Here is a "what-if" poem of what might happen in the near future.

When the Three Gorges Dam Collapses

On that terrible day, after months of rain,
when the Three Gorges Dam collapses,
it will spew 100,000 blue whales of water waiting
behind it like a tsunami wave down the Yangtze,
knocking down skyscrapers as shoddily built
as the dam itself like bowling pins,
erasing great cities of Wuhan, Nanking 
and Shanghai off the world map.

On that terrible day, and the days that follow,
600 million people will either lose their lives,
lose their homes, lose their livelihoods,
lose their minds, or lose their patience with
a government that cut corners on
the largest hydropower project in the world.

On that terrible day, they’ll also recall days
of its too quick construction,
of its more than mile-wide failures
of poor rebar, of substandard concrete
not connected to bedrock,
but with so much water held back
by its massive shoulders
it lengthened the day and flattened the poles.

On that terrible day, they will blame Tibet,
where headwaters of the Yangtze spring,
on that terrible day, they will blame Western
engineers who pointed out flaws of the project
and were called racists because of it,
on that terrible day, they will blame 
Mao Tse-Tung, who, after the great floods of 1949, 
brought Communism to China 
and reseeded an old idea
to build a Three Gorges Dam 
so it would never happen again.

But on that terrible day
it will happen again,
on that terrible day, and the days that follow,
not only will China lose countless souls,
not only will China lose 
its formidable face forever,
not only will China be 
thrown back to a medieval past,
but countries of the whole world 
will also groan in pain
from the repercussions of its ancient 
and once-wise brother 
sold out to the mythology
of short-term gain.

~ Cynthia Gallaher (July 19, 2020)


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Memories of Aunt Jemima, hostess at Aunt Jemima's Pancake House

Excerpt from my memoir manuscript, "The Year of 14 Jobs" 

Job 3: Waitressing at the Bum Steer, Harwood Heights, Illinois, 1969 (formerly Aunt Jemima's Pancake House)

The street sign itself should have been a tip-off. Who named a restaurant “The Bum Steer?” Was it based on a really bad inside joke? Naming a restaurant “The Bum Steer” was like naming a used car dealer “Rip-off Roger’s” or a tile store “Chipped Charlie’s.”
After my day delivering phone books, it was tough to find another job. It seemed as if every prospective employer I spoke said, “Do you have any experience in this line of work?” Whether it was for a job selling shoes, slicing meat or working a cosmetic counter, how much experience did they expect a 16-year-old girl to have, anyway? Soon, I went back to what I did have experience in – waitressing.
The Bum Steer occupied a wide building on Harlem near Montrose, formerly Aunt Jemima’s Pancake House. It had been there for years. The facade always reminded me of a columned plantation manor when Aunt Jemima had been there. It stayed as it was after Bum Steer took over.
I remember when the Aunt Jemima Pancake House previously hired a black “mammy” to dress up as Aunt Jemima. Sporting a do-rag bandana and huge apron, “Aunt Jemima” lavished southern stereotypical greetings on northwest side, lily-white Chicago customers. “Land sakes, you folks come right on in and set down. It’s chow time,” she’d say, or if sleepy-eyed Sunday morning customers walked in, it might be “Wake up, Jacob, day's abreakin' -- yonder comes a hare with his tail ashakin'.”  
The term “Aunt Jemima” itself might indeed be considered a kind of inside joke, if certainly a racist one. Someone told me, I'm not sure if were a black or white person, that it was a personification of “Ain't Yo Mama,” which is dialect for “I’m not your mother.” Slave women could have said this to plantation owner’s children they were placed in charge of. If the children didn’t see their real mother as often as their black nanny, they might begin to look at her as their real “mammy.” “No honey, I ain’t yo mama, I’m your Aunt Jemima.” Of course, having a black “mammy” in costume, holding court in a restaurant or any other venue today would surely be labeled as racist.
When the Aunt Jemima Pancake House chain finally went out of business, each former restaurant locale transformed into something else – a bridal salon, an auto parts store, or in this case, another restaurant. i.e. “The Bum Steer.”
I filled out an application. The manager Gus called me in. I landed a part-time position. I studied the menus along with guidance of Hazel, the head waitress. Hazel was a tall, robust, forthright woman in her late 40s, who also wore her hair back in a chignon, ala Rose from Rose Grill (Harlem & Higgins), but in a lovely auburn shade and without it looking nearly as much a Rose hair helmet. She was a full timer who had spent some years working for Aunt Jemima’s as well.
As we skimmed the menus, I was glad that The Bum Steer didn’t serve the old man, pick-yer-butt roast beef and gravy sandwiches that Rose Grill had. Hazel explained that the breakfast menu matched Aunt Jemima’s old breakfast menu nearly verbatim, right down to the berry syrup for the pancakes and waffles. “The breakfast customers loved Aunt Jemima’s and hated to see it close,” said Hazel. “We want to keep those same Aunt Jemima customers loyal to Bum Steer.”
In addition, Bum Steer kept the same woman who had fulfilled the role of "Aunt Jemima" as the restaurant hostess on weekend mornings, since so many people knew her. Gone was the outfit, she wore her own clothes. Everyone was thrilled she was part of the new restaurant. I never found out her real name, or at least I asked her and soon forgot it, since Hazel always called her Aunt Jemima. She didn't seem to mind. Hazel even suggested that she wear the "Aunt Jemima" get-up again on Mother's Day, every restaurant's busiest day, but she said the outfit went by the way of Aunt Jemima's and they had repossessed it.
Besides Aunt Jemima in street clothes, I always felt bad for a Mexican-American cook at the restaurant who also worked weekends. He lived so far on the south side of Chicago that it was too far and too late for him to take public transportation home on Saturday night, and too early on Sunday morning to make it back and get enough sleep in between. Because of this, Bum Steer let him sleep in one of the restaurant booths overnight so he could be ready, bright and early, on Sunday morning to cook breakfasts. I'm sure it was totally illegal, and they bent the rules for him. But I thought it was just downright sad someone had to travel so far on three buses to get employment. I wrote a poem The Egg Man about one of the Mexican-American cooks at Bum Steer.
BTW, in later years, I came to realize that The Bum Steer might have been a financial cover for a mob-owned business. Italian-American "managers" from California who knew nothing about the restaurant business would come and go occasionally, as would the capped "owner" and his entourage of henchmen.
After The Bum Steer went out of business (after I had left, haha) it next became the "Earl of Old Town on Harlem," a folk club for all ages. I had later gone on a date there with a guy who teamed up with the comedian Andy Kaufman in California and became the character Tony Clifton in his touring duo.   


Friday, May 08, 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update: Homeopathics, Herbs, Foods, Essential Oils & Supplements for Prevention

Dear Friends,

There aren't many scientific papers on COVID-19 as it's emerging, and the most accurate we can be is to provide an informed clinical impression. Forty years ago, I made the decision to tell people not to smoke because it could cause lung cancer; however, it took 30 more years for the scientific community to prove this fact. The message should be obvious - Asking for complete scientific proof in this situation won't provide an accurate understanding of the situation. 

In my background as a former lieutenant commander in the Public Health Service, in this situation, I have the option to wait until all necessary proof is in before making a statement, or I can give my informed medical public health opinion based on 47 years of experience. I've made the choice that if I'm wrong, the worst that happens is people get healthier. If I'm right, this protocol can save many lives. There are other agencies, including government agencies, and people who I believe are taking similar positions. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease at the National Institute of Health, says, "We are on the verge of a global pandemic reasonably soon." The coronavirus infections at this point are showing up in between 25-27 countries. Director of the CDC, Dr. Robert Redfield, has said, "This will be a major pandemic with repeated infections." AMAC (Association of Mature American Citizens) has issued a statement, "The coronavirus is worse than the international media claims."

One of the top world experts on biological weaponry, as well as a professor of international law at the University of Illinois, is Dr. Francis Boyle. He also had a law passed in the US in 1989 against the use of bio-weapons, which was adopted into world law in 1989 (the Biological Weapon Anti-Terrorist Act of 1989). I'm getting much of my overall information from him in trying to understand this COVID-19 virus. Dr. Boyle has stated that this is a very serious situation and feels that this COVID-19 weaponized virus was the result of bio-weapon technology that escaped from the DSL-4 laboratory in Wuhan, China. He also points out that there are scientists around the world confirming that this is a weaponized virus. 

Dr. Francis Boyle also points out that there are 4 French scientists who recently published an article in the journal, Science Direct, on antiviral research on February 10, 2020. These scientists did a genetic analysis of the COVID-19, and their analysis showed a form of bio-weaponization that "may provide a gain of function to the COVID-19 for efficient spreading in human population as compared to other coronaviruses”. The phrase "gain of function" means "manmade and weaponized". This analysis included the observation of a spiked protein shell on the virus for better penetration into human cells. He explains that the phrase, "gain of function", directly implies that DNA genetic engineering was done. In other words, their research showed the COVID-19 virus was clearly weaponized. This conclusion is also in alignment with the findings in India at Kusuma School of Biological Sciences showing that there was a genetic sequence taken from the HIV virus to and implanted into the COVID-19 to improve infectivity. Their research was published in the Lancet, but, later, it was "pulled out" of the publication. Dr. Boyle also points out in a 2010 journal, Archive of Virology, from Australia that there has been active work in the use of SARS and HIV to create weaponized chimeric viruses. 

The most serious research that he communicates is a study reported at the DSL-3 laboratory in North Carolina in 2015 that shows that MERS (another weaponized coronavirus) was developed with the technology that makes "gain of function". The article states, "A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronavirus has potential for human emergence” (Nat Med 6/21/15). He also documents that a leading bio-warfare scientist from Wuhan was trained in "gain of function" technology from the DSL-3 laboratory in North Carolina. In this paper they admit being paid by China to train the Chinese scientist from the Wuhan DSL-4 laboratory. It's specifically designed to infect human respiratory airways. It is thought provoking to realize that the National Institute of Health, according to this 2015 North Carolina paper, okayed this training of the Chinese scientist. In other words, this technology was not stolen by the Chinese, but, rather, sold to them. Apparently, they also used an HIV cell wall attack virus DNA section that helps it penetrate cells. This 2015 training done by the North Carolina DSL-3 laboratory was also approved by the National Institute of Health, as cited in their 2015 paper. (Phonetically pronounced, the top Chinese researcher was Genlee Hi Shi.) The MERS research showed a 36% fatality. Generally, at this point, with the current virus, we have a gain in what they call “pathogenesis” from 2% to 15-18%. The point is, this top Chinese researcher was trained at the North Carolina DSL-3 laboratory to develop "gain of function" bio-weapon technology. In another very recently released paper, 2 Chinese professors at the South China University of Technology also concluded that the virus leaked out of the Wuhan laboratory. 

A few months ago, there was a paper, published in the Lancet, that stated the incubation period for the COVID-19 was 24 days rather than 14. This means holding someone in quarantine for 14 days is insufficient prevention. The problem, as mentioned earlier, is that it takes a long time to document all that's happened. In summary, we can surmise that the bio-weapon technology that is the basis of COVID-19 was developed in the US and sold to the Chinese before it's accidental release from the Wuhan DSL-4 laboratory. 

Why are humans choosing to act criminally by making offensive bioweapons against humanity and against the Biological Weapon Anti-Terrorist Act of 1989? It may actually be a reasonable idea that all these DSL labs around the world (including the 12 in the US) be shut down for the protection of humanity. From a biblical point of view, the fourth of the four horsemen of the apocalypse is the rider on the pale (slightly green) horse, who brings plague and pestilence. 

Our best defense against this is to care for ourselves preventably the best we can. This is why I've created this prevention and treatment protocol for optimal protection and treatment. Since it is highly likely we will all be exposed, this protocol is the key to dealing with this.

When flying or traveling I recommend 2 essential oil blends:

Immortal Immune [not sure if he means Helichrysum oil] – to put on the tops of your feet before bed and upon waking.
Germs-Be-Gone [a Thieves Oil version] – to spray on surfaces (such as airplane seats and tables)

Recommended Homeopathics:

Influenzinum 200c to 1m

Include the following herbs and foods 
in your diet to protect you from COVID-19:

The basic mechanism of infection is that the virus latches onto the cell’s surface. As many laboratories around the world have noted, COVID-19 is weaponized with an HIV delivery system. First noted in India, it is highly likely this is a human virus weaponized with an HIV delivery system and also a SARS-like upper respiratory component. At this point, even some officials from communist China are saying it was accidentally leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan. Some have said that the virus enters through an ACE2 receptors on the cell wall membrane, and, supposedly, Asian people have 5 times more ACE2 receptors than other populations. Others are saying it may be more race-specific with the Japanese and Chinese people being the most susceptible. Older people are statistically dying the most, and no fatalities have been reported for children under 10 years old.

The virus enters the cell via a vesicle called an endosome. Once inside, it releases its RNA into the cell cytoplasm and hijacks the cell machinery to produce more viral proteins and thus virus. It also releases an enzyme called 3CL (3-chymotripsin-like protease). This enzyme attacks the cells defense mechanism against the coronavirus inhibitors.

The following herbal remedies that are suggested destroy the 3CL enzyme and thus protect the cell’s ability to protect itself against the coronavirus. The best for destroying the 3CL enzyme is quercetin and epigallocatechin gallate, which is found in green tea and green tea extract we carry (to add to other beverages). These anti-3CL substances are also found in: 
·      flax seed 
·      citrus peel
·      tickberry leaves
·      orange peel
·      oregano
·      garlic
·      ginger
·      elderberry
·      turmeric

Essential Oils to protect you from COVID-19:

Shanti and I have decided the most important essential oils, which were key for prevention and healing during the bubonic plague are: 
·      eucalyptus
·      clove 
·      grapefruit
·      cinnamon
·      tea tree
·      lemon grass
·      frankincense
·      Immortal Immune
·      Germs-Be-Gone

Add these into your overall prevention system. The key concept is prevention. Rub on top of feet, wrists, and chest.

Let's use this situation to improve our 
overall health habits and wellbeing by:

1)  Deepening our connection with God.
2)  Getting enough sleep.
3)  Minimizing stress.
4)  Staying hydrated.
5)  Associating with loving people.
6)  Exercising moderately.
7)  Doing breathing exercises everyday (pranayama).
8)  Eating high raw and eating 100% vegan.
9)  Utilizing my Wuhan Coronavirus Protection Protocol.

The healthier you are and the more proactive steps you take, you minimize your chances of catching and/or dying from the coronavirus.

To protect and enhance our natural immunity, here is my current COVID-19 Protection Supplement Protocol:

Illumodine - 20 drops in a glass of water 3 times daily (15 minutes or more away from food) (Iodine has been shown to destroy SARS and MRSA viruses and, in its atomic form [Illumodine] is probably the most powerful antiviral on the planet.)
Nano Silver - 1 teaspoon twice daily (Nano Silver has been shown to destroy SARS and MRSA viruses.)
Red Algae - 2 capsules twice daily such as on waking and bedtime (away from food). Red algae is extremely anti-viral.

*Illumodine, Nano Silver, and Red Algae are the top 3 antivirals.*

Mega Defense - 4 capsules twice daily (for building and protecting the immune system)
Antioxidant Extreme - 2 capsules twice daily
Licorice Root - take as tea or tincture once daily (for lung protection)
Vitamin D - 2,000 IU daily (for building the immune system)
Vitamin A - 25,000 IU daily (for protecting our upper respiratory mucus membranes and lining)
Vitamin C - as much as you can take before diarrhea

The good news is that this plague could be a sign of a great awakening and a huge spiritual shift on the planet. Our task is to survive this plague to participant in the cosmic messianic shift in consciousness. 

May we all be blessed to take appropriate prevention and to stay strong in uplifting the health and spiritual energy of the world.

Blessings to your health and wellbeing, 
Rabbi Gabriel Cousens, MD, MD(H), ND(hc), DD

A March 2020 update from Dr. Cousens appears here.


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving Poem: Beat of the Pumpkin Drum

big orange, Illinois,
rotund autumnal 
heartland center,

pumpkin territory.

August’s thrum begins to drum
against tough hides
of pumpkin acres,

the ripening signal.

tiniest ones line window sills 
along back porch halls,
while grandest usher

Cinderella on route to the ball.

the beat continues through harvest time,
as burners heat for packing plant’s
canning extravaganza,

on behalf of la calabaza.

raza rise from the south,
close to pumpkin’s native birthplace,
up to its new home north, factory rat race,

with 10 weeks of good wages in the bargain.

heat and jargon turn up pressure gauges,
the beat rages 
over 12-hour days, seven a week,

pumpkin gold catches its fall winning streak.

men and women line up
for cleanin’, slicin’, sortin’ 
up here in Morton, Illinois, 

not a mecca of salt,

but perhaps sweat and tears,
where workers keep returning
after 10 and 20 years.

they’ve even built a church around it
in old Soledad,
with money from 

la calabaza, el norte and God.

by November, raza again heads south to Mexico,
the Morton factory turns quiet,
while throughout the USA, another riot,

as cans of pumpkin fly off grocery shelves.

creamy, cooked and canned,
the forefront of another Thanksgiving,
lending America a hand,

to make a pie, then get on with real living.

it’s the grand finale course in West Virginia, 
Washington, Wyoming, with ample room for 
another slice of pumpkin pie, then back to video games, 

hour-long naps and sinks full of smeared-up dishes.

how is it that no one asks or wishes
to know where pumpkins start out
or who brought them to the end of the line.

please pass the wine.

after the last empty can’s discarded
and final hunk of pie digested,
the workers will still be fully vested,

with another hefty slice of cash,

for their annual 10-week drill,
when the autumn beat 

in Morton, Ill.

                           ~ Cynthia Gallaher

"Beat of the Pumpkin Drum" originally appear in Big Scream magazine and as part of my full collection Epicurean Ecstasy: More Poems About Food, Drink, Herbs & Spices (The Poetry Box, Portland)


Saturday, July 27, 2019

Sestina poem for Bernie Sanders

Way back in 1986, poet Allen Ginsberg wrote a poem about Bernie Sanders. I am no Allen Ginsberg, but today I offer a recent sestina poem I wrote in Bernie Sanders' voice (words my own, but inspired by Bernie).

A sestina is a poetry form comprising six stanzas of six lines and a final triplet. All stanzas have the same six words at the line-ends in six different sequences that follow a fixed pattern. All six words appear in the closing three-line envoi.

The six words in this poem are: grassroots, billionaires, our, wages, street, debt.

Bernie Sanders Sestina
(in the voice of Bernie, words are mine)

was it worth a lifetime dedicated to grassroots
ideals, while one percent of our wealth lies in billionaires’
hands? I’m old, you’re young, it’s Our
Revolution, to speak up for higher wages,
to call out the special interests, Wall Street,
the cushy expungers who’ve left us in debt.

it’s not to Congress, but to you I’m indebted,
let’s take the grassroots
to the White House, take our voices into the streets,
hold onto what’s valuable save the greed of billionaires,
max up the minimum wage,
declare health and education ours.

will it take the time Egyptians built the pyramids for our
younger generation to pay off their student debts?
can we expect wage slave owners to automatically offer decent wages?
would a skyscraper bow down to its landscape of grassroots?
could a pseudo-billionaire promise to make us all billionaires?
will this highway to hell we’re on pave over our hometown streets?

to comprehend our grave issues doesn’t require street
smarts. Or a math degree to see the tatters of our
economy. There’s been an uptick of billionaires,
yet with heads barely above water, the body politic now drowns in debt,
if we’d grab one end of a rope at the grassroots,
we might buoy up our backsides with a living wage.

corrupt leaders don’t believe that the wages
of sin is death. They look at our powerful words as bearing no street
value. Lavish lawn parties are their idea of grassroots.
they believe in holding our
infrastructure, climate future & immigrant children as bargaining tools, debts
that everyone in America will pay for, except the billionaires.

the rich in compassion and action are our spiritual billionaires,
but big business and big pharma won’t pay their wages,
to look out for one another should be our primary debt,
instead of chasing the empty dream of easy street,
it’s not my America, or your America, or their America, but our
America, that wouldn’t have happened from the get-go without the grassroots.

might even billionaires soon awaken to grassroots ideals? To realize equal
wages are for all our benefit? Banded together, might we finally arise from
sewer depths of debt to solid street level? Sound pretty good?

                                                           ~ Cynthia Gallaher