Section 2. FYI

Sustenance: 8 simple things
by Dorisse Aha*

When I was a teenager, my family moved to Borneo. “Where’s Borneo?”, my siblings and I asked in unison. We made front-page news in our local weekly newspaper in rural Virginia.

Now, over 40 years later, I can see how living in that idyllic place as well as other foreign countries shaped the ways that I have lived my life and provided me a stable foundation and belief system that has kept me going when my edges became sharp and uncomfortable. They have become my sustenance.

1. One step at a time. When things get rough around the edges, focus on one thing only. The mind incessantly wants to figure things out or plan ahead, making a difficult decision more complicated in the moment. (To read a little story on how I began noticing this in Borneo as a teen, scroll down to the last past paragraph.)

2. Eat meals with family, friends or in silence. When you are focused on the food you’re eating, rarely do you text, answer the phone, turn pages or TV channels. Studies have shown significant increases in health and safety of teens when they share at least 5 dinners a week with their family or someone who cares about them enough to ask, “How did your day go?”.  By slowing down while you eat, you are more able to sense “fullness” in your belly, so that you eat just enough, not more. Appreciate and enjoy every bite.

3. Take your time, don’t rush. Rushing in a car is an accident waiting to happen. Rushing in your mind does absolutely nothing to change exterior circumstances. Rushing conversations or interactions with those you care about are moments lost forever.

4. Walk somewhere everyday. Saunter and enjoy the early morning mist, have an after dinner stroll in the evening, tune in to the world that comes alive every night, especially on a full moon walk.

5. Expect the unexpected, or better yet, have none. Every outcome will be a delight and a moment for appreciation. Believe in magic and don’t be surprised by strange and unexpected things because they happen all the time; it’s just part of life.

6. Limit your consumption of paper products. Make meals fun–use napkin rings and remember the feel of fabric napkins. Dishtowels, cotton throw rugs and sponges are as good as or better than paper towels to wipe up spills. Use only the amount of toilet paper you really need. You will significantly contribute to a decrease in deforestation and generate less trash.  Consider installing a bidet in your home; bidet toilets are readily available these days.

7. Develop daily rituals. Something that you do every day, or every week. The manner in which you make your tea or coffee in the morning. Hanging your laundry outside or on a rack indoors. Pausing for a moment before each meal to give an intentional thanks. Going back over your day before you fall asleep.

8. Smile often. Lifting the corners of the mouth begins a relay process of exercising muscles in our head, which stimulate and energize the pineal and pituitary glands – amongst the master glands in the body. Smiling and sitting up straight at the same time will open the upper chest and initiate a conscious breath. Make it a ritual, every day.


How I began focusing on one thing: I remember watching the making of a new highway between our little village and the main city, Jesselton (later renamed Kota Kinabalu when the local government let go of the name which the British rule had imposed decades earlier). It took almost 3 years to lay one mile, as it was all done by hand. Women would load up their baskets with gravel from the pile by the seemingly never-ending pile. Slowly they would lift the heavy basket on their heads and without hurrying, carry it over to where the men sat and waited. Together–man and woman–would carefully take the basket down from her head and dump it where needed for the next phase of road building. And then it was the man’s turn to work while the woman returned to her spot in the shade with the other women, while they waited for their turn to come again. And they were all smiling . . . always it seemed.

* Reprinted with the gracious permission of Dorisse Aha, RN, Respiratory and Wellness Educator. For more information about her, please click:


Section 2, part 2

(1) Ed B. in NC: Saw Les Miserables at FRPH yesterday. I was very impressed. Very well done. The voices were amazing. It is on through August 18. I may try to see it again.

(2) Janet S. in NJ: I just read “Proof of Heaven” a book by a neurosurgeon who “died” and had experiences of heaven and came back. These are experiences I have everyday while living. I forgot that people are not aware that we have access to all levels of consciousness all the time, we just shift our vibration.

(3) Eileen B. in NJ: Really enjoyed #878!

(4) Elizabeth P. in NC: I went to see Carousel also.   Loved the production and was especially thrilled with the dance by two Motion Dance Theater performers, Molly Sansone and Travis Guerin.    If you havent seen Motion yet, you missed a doozy of a choreographers workshop.

(5) Rob K. in NY: You know, I’ve always disliked that expression [“break a leg”] too.  I’ve always heard it comes from the notion that the worst thing that could befall a performer
would be to break a leg–then he or she really couldn’t perform at all.  So by
saying the most horrible thing, you’re somehow innoculating them from its

I really like “be amazing!”  I’m going to use that.


Section 4, Reviews 

A. FRUITVALE STATION tells the poignant, true story of a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wasn’t perfect . . . but he was trying to turn things around and seemed to be making progress until he was shot in cold blood by a transit officer . . . though it starts slow, the ending is as powerful as any you’ll see . . . Michael B. Jordan is outstanding in the leading role, and Octavia Spencer also excels as his mother . . . rated R.

B. MUD is now out in DVD format . . . my review from BLAINESWORLD #867 follows:

MUD is an engaging Southern drama about two boys who find a man hiding on an island on the Mississippi River They hear fantastic tales from him that prove to be mostly true. Matthew McConaughey gives perhaps the best performance of his career, and I also liked the work of both Tye Sheridan  and Jacob Lofland as the youngsters. Rated PG-13.

C. BLIND CURVES: ONE WOMAN’S UNUSUAL JOURNEY TO REINVENT HERSELF AND ANSWER: WHAT NOW? (Opus Intl.) by Linda Crill is an engaging book about a former corporate executive who lost her husband to cancer. To shake things up, she learns to ride a motorcycle in just four weeks and then heads out on a 2,500-mile trip down America’s Pacific Coast Highway.

It felt like I was part of the author’s learning curve every stop of the way . . . what she went through also got me thinking about my life; for example when she observed:

* In most of life, I take living for granted and assume I have plenty of time to accomplish anything I want to do. Since time seems so bountiful, it’s easy to waste it doing nothing. How often have I spent a whole evening in front of boring television, eating unsatisfying junk food, feeling sluggish and dull? In moments like these, life is cheap and its exquisite value unappreciated. But at times when I am pushing life to its limits, there is recognition of the volatility of life. In these moments life is priceless. The present moment, all moments, become sacred. Full attention is paid to each second-to each detail. Nothing is missed or unexamined.

In addition, I’m now rethinking my future vacations because of the following tidbit:

* Arthur Frommer said in his travel books that the purpose of a vacation is to provide contrast. To me the best vacations were the ones that offered a change in weather, location, activity, food and routine. This vacation had certainly succeeded in doing that. I had chosen a radical departure from my solitary life. For the past nine days, I had spent few moments alone.

And I was especially touched by how Crill described the love story that was her marriage:

* Two hours later my name was called over the loudspeaker, and I was escorted to Bill’s bed in post-op. He was still groggy from sedation, but it was reassuring to see him. I instantly relaxed, leaned over his bed’s side guard, touched his arm, kissed him and told him I loved him.

Bill smiled up at me.

After a brief conversation he asked, “So what did they find? Is it a virus like we thought?”

Shocked that no one had told him the results of his surgery, I tried to disguise my inner panic. It was up to me to deliver the diagnosis no one ever wants to receive or report. I knew Bill would not want me to tiptoe around the truth so I told him as gently as I could.

“The doctor said it’s cancer, probably mesothelioma.” I awaited his response, unable to predict his reaction.

He pondered for a moment, then smiled up at me and smiled up at me and said, “but I haven’t had my fifteen minutes yet.”

“What?” I said.

“I haven’t had my fifteen minutes yet.”

“What?” I asked again, still not comprehending Bill’s answer.

“Everyone’s supposed to have their fifteen minutes of fame before they die. I haven’t had mine yet. “

Even if you’re not a motorcycle enthusiast, you’ll like BLIND CURVES. The accompanying illustrations by Kevin Miller will add to your enjoyment of the book.

D. Heard HOW SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE LEAD: TAKING YOUR INFLUENCE TO THE NEXT LEVEL (Hachette Audio), written by John C. Maxwell and read by Chris Sorenson.

Though this is a short book, it is packed with powerful ideas taken from the author’s most requested speaking topic that he has presented to FORTUNE 100 companies and leaders around the world.

To cite just a few of them:

* Titles are not enough. They are ultimately empty.

* People not positions are a leader’s most valuable asset. It takes no time to let others know that you value them.

* If somebody on your team can do a task as well or better than you can, give him or her responsibility for it.

* Helping others grow and develop brings great joy to any leader.

* Helping others develop their potential enables leaders to become world class.

* If you’ve become successful, it’s only because a lot of people have helped you along the way.

I’ve enjoyed several other books by Maxwell with respect to leadership. This is up there as being one of his best.


Section 12A, NC events


(4) Jeff Thompson Band at Emerald Lounge

Sunday, August 25, 2013

  • Yeehawww! This is going to be a night to remember. Those of you who saw my full band play our debut gig in July can appreciate how much butt will be kicked when we play again.
    Lenny Pettinelli will be on keys, sax, and backing vocals.
    David Cohen on percussion.
    Zuzu Welsh will be on bass.
    Allijah Motika will be playing a set at 9.
    Tyler Nail will go on at 10.
    We will start at 11!

112 N Lexington Ave, Asheville, North Carolina 28801
(5) At Parkway Playhouse in Burnsville, NC . . . Eric Martinez stars in The Mystery Of Edwin Drood – Who killed Edwin Drood? Take a trip back in time to a Victorian music hall where a rowdy ensemble of actors mounts an hilarious staging of Charles Dickens’ unfinished murder-mystery novel. Everyone on stage is a suspect in the murder of young Edwin Drood—and it’s up to you to choose the killer! Each performance ends differently as the audience votes on the identity of the killer and several other plot points. Is it John Jasper, Edwin’s protective but slightly maniacal uncle? Rosa Bud, his reluctant betrothed? The debauched Princess Puffer? The possibilities are hilariously endless in this multiple Tony Award Winning musical.
Runs through August 10. For tickets, please click:
(6) Mary C. in NC:  STEEL MAGNOLIAS at ACT: FANTASTIC. Highly recommend it. Best thing they’ve done since Chicago. Great.
Cast was perfect. Very tight. Much expertise. Lots of laughs; write them down. (“I’d rather step on my lips than say bad about someone, but…”)
For tickets, please click:
(7) The third annual Asheville Artful Bra Challenge supports a serious cause through community involvement and a little humor. Crafters from across the region decorated and submitted artful bras earlier this summer. Their efforts will culminate in a fashion show and auction from 6–9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7, at Altamont Brewing Company in west Asheville.
For more information, please click:
(8) Imagine taking courses just because you want to learn something–and can do so without taking exams or writing papers. That’s what I do when at OLLI (Osher Life Learning Institute) at UNC Asheville. The fall schedule has just been announced, and one course I’m looking forward to is this one: “THE 1919 Black Sox, The1969 Miracle Mets and 96 other World Series Championships” that begins on September 24 and runs through November 5. It’s being taught by Larry Griswold, a former advertising sales manager for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, who taught three other courses that I thoroughly enjoyed. For more information, please click:


Section 12B, PA/NJ events


(3) ★ Double Headliner Shows in S.J. & Bucks ★

Bucks County – this Saturday and next Saturday be admitted for VIP RATE ($5 off each for your entire party), just write ‘VIP’ in the comments box when you make your reservation on line.   – click here for reservations.

South Jersey next Saturday the 10th. Get your friends together for a killer double headliner show. Be admitted for VIP RATE ($5 off each for your entire party), Just write ‘VIP’  in the comments box when you make your reservation on line to receive the deal.

in Northeast New Comic Competition Finals this Saturday – Admission $10

And coming August 17th –
New comedy shows in Harrisburg, PA. If you have any freinds out that way – let us know and we will hook you up for a great rate!

Thank You for supporting live stand-up comedy shows!

Karen in the office : )

We do fabulous Funny Fundraisers for sports teams and civic groups – call the office: 215 322-6642.

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