It was humbling year

I have heard many lies, from many people and come to conclude that indeed nothing anyone said is as painful as the silence of friends when needed… People lie because it is convenient. An unpractical solution; it seemingly does not work as history has told us. We have a choice to be nice with others and we often choose not to be; how odd? Ones self-worth ought to be low to hide when help is needed, promises are broken or the truth denied to gain “before the other does…” From Minahasa in Indonesia through Burma, Singapore, Hongkong, Germany, New York (Wall Street) and a snooty gay Beverly Hills residence to the White House (via my addiction in CNN) and my very personal home – all the places I have been this year; I have experienced shaming ideas of interaction. I’m not that earth bound, power driven and in need of possessing anything beyond need, but I have learned that even less is more powerful and helps me sleeping peacefully. I see more than most because I look with my heart.

In January I discovered a huge waste dump at my work place, promoted as environmentally sane… It was the same month I committed to my resolution in 2008 to participate in preserving and managing my littering of this planet after becoming a scuba-dive Instructor and seeing the devastation below sea level. The reaction I received was unexpected ignorant; I personally participated in carrying the stinky mess away, a week long process that could only be done with the help of many local Indonesians; I learned that nothing is a powerful as the hands-on participation in correcting something that makes little sense to others. It was a humbling experience.

I helped, taught and fought to educate the people giving into my guidance, gave all I have to help others in need even building a house for a stranger and I did risk my life when a boat burned on the river behind the kitchen I helped building. I learned equally as much in return and embraced friendships I now have for the rest of my life. These hold me responsible for the commitment I started; it is humbling and soothing to be a part in the life of others. I’m grateful for my responsibilities.

My relationship with Q ended in a bizarre chain of events; I felt strong, I felt secure and I felt loved; learning in the end that all had been a fabrication of my colorful mind and simply a lie on “the other side”. Ones strength is fascinating; wanting to believe in something can be powerful but blinding; I drew strength from these illusion, survived a difficult time at work and gained the humbling knowledge that indeed – drugs create distortions even in the mind of a sober soul aside. I have lost the last grain of compassion for any addicts! I am currently housing a recovering friend on my couch… I can’t fight my humble heart.

I returned to Los Angeles, finding the American life stunningly disconnected from the reality of a larger world out there. My personal struggles felt silly in comparison with the crises on the horizon, the endless war in foreign lands and the overall blindfolded views of most; that all is dandy; this problem is not mine. Instantly, the tightness of having people carrying for each other as I learned in North Sulawesi, was replaced with superficial artificialities, shocked to be back and happy to have come home. It could have all been a little too much at once, the unexpected breakup, the egocentric US traditions, old friends with their old problems, holding on to traditions; even when long proven wrong; it’s humbling to be back.

We’ve voted for a black president; and every one believes now – next year, we will be back on our feet. To be a part of voting for the first black US President is humbling, the later is plain silly. Wait until April 2009 when even the most ignorant peeps around me will have discovered that something is shockingly wrong with our economy. Right now it‘s Christmas and everyone is flocking to WalMart to purchase “made in China” presents for one and another… Oh, we are soooo stupid; it’s humbling (latin word for humus… you figure). I walk around in my neighborhood and see “for sale” signs more so than decorated facades. My slammlord land-lady still hunted by her past years of greed, desperately trying to rent out the many vacant apartments for the same ol’ price; it’s greed that got us in this mess and it’s greed that will keep us in here until we have learned to be humble, nice, helping each other and truly carrying for another, even for strangers. Life is short, live it wisely!

I’m glad I have been through this humbling year, it makes witnessing others having to “touch the fire” more enjoyable. In the end I only want to be close with others that care, feel and share in the same way I do. I have left a few souls from my past in the past. I have adapted four God children and care dearly for them. I am working in a lovely place with lovely people and I simply enjoy my moments at home. I smile when looking back at the last twelve month; it was incredible. Thank you all for participating. I’m eager to accept what 2009 is offering for me and the souls in my care.

Chef Raphael

AIDS day December first

It is an amazing time to be back in the US. Although I have picked up responsibilities while in South East Asia; Godfather to three Indonesian families and a kid in the coming; no, not mine… I am glad to be back in my born-to homeland and participating in the shaping of a new future. Laying to rest the eight years of abuse under the Bush administration will be difficult, but hopefully we can learn from the crimes committed and the false promises dished during George W’s rein. May he be remembered in the history books as the worst leader and most egocentric wealth motivated president this nation ever had! It is painful seeing him under a red ribbon promoting AIDS day; Yesterday, December first. Laura on his side. GW promises another infusion of money for vaccinations in Africa and lists all the good he thinks he has done for the people infected with HIV. Laura silently smiles. Yes, Pharmaceutical companies have trial tested newest medicines on people (humans) in Africa and abandoned such research and within created resistant virus variations that we can barley control today. To think he is honestly promoting any “good” is a lie; He is still covering up the traces of corrupted Pharmaceutics Companies that seem to pull the strings of the marionette he is… until January 20th, when the puppet leaves the stage. Laura might keep her smile? I wish he would stop doing any public announcements and stay away from public proclamations of his “good character” – stay away as should Paulson, Paulin, Cheny … ah! Don’t get me going.
Mumbai’s massacre was a predicted action in the end. I look upon the Al Qaida network as a well coordinated franchise; They only have to train Managers and Executives and send them to pre-existing special forces groups, like the one financed by Pakistan during the 70th and 80th but later abandoned (but not dissolved…) and give them a new mission and a new Goal (target) and voila; you have a mess. How many of such groups are out there? Even here in the US we have extreme (stupid) groups that are susceptible to “management”. Seemingly we observe but don’t react… Why?
We are warning for years that our sea ports are a clear risk for attacks and within all the warnings we televise we point to the weak spots we have and invite for trouble. As promoter of non-violent solutions, I simply invite to re-think the war on terror – (fist against fist) ideology and start working on a solution that invests into education and peaceful means of dealing with people that dislike us for reasons that make little sense to educated scholars. Instead we are encouraging rage and anger, talking about bombing out terrorists – a title we have bestowed upon a group that thinks of them as liberators and strongly feels we are the terrorists… Time to sit down and talk! Fear mongering has made us fragile objects. Angry minds don’t think straight.

I have finished the epic script called Koken. A biographical story of the twice Empress during Japans Nara period responsible of incorporating Buddhism with Politics. Shall I publish an excerpt?
I am back writing. It gives me peace. A very hyper neighbor of mine inspires me daily to stay on track with my talents, I enjoy such motivational support. My work in the private residence is great fun and not until about two weeks ago I found out my client is himself a talented writer and Hollywood producer. For me he is a joyful soul that appreciates my care in cooking healthy and comforting food for him. I love working there. But my hobby is clearly dominating my life; writing provokes a sensation in me to be involved, curious, informed and expressive all at ones. I did approach a few angles in trying to find a literary agent of some sort, but as it is with any true talent, I am my worst self-promoter. Barry, whom I met through a cooking show concept keeps promising a phone call for weeks and weeks and never follows through; I am getting a real Hollywood treatment here.
I ran into an old friend the other day; he is encouraging me to pick up the old self-biography and finally present it to a publisher. I think he is right.

With Christmas around the corner I will be a busy bee. The www.TCMchef .com website is in progress, although Htun, my friend and webdesigner is working soooo slow! Hint. I am looking for a few creative folks that would love to get involved. I think it is a great concept and could help tons of people becoming directly involved with the power of food we daily eat.

To all of my fans out there I wish you a very pleasant Season, enjoy it with friends family and certainly with yourself. Don’t forget to buy yourself a present, something you deserve to have. Something made in the USA in support of our economy. Stop purchasing the useless foreign made crap sold in stores with little regard for American made product; become a smart supporter of a new strong US economy! Or safe the buck until you know exactly what it is you need… Life is beautiful. Ho ho ho!