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Los Angeles, CA, United States


Monday, December 24, 2012

Bye Bye 2012..Time to Renew and Reflect

So here come the holidays and before you know it, they're gone.  This is a time for giving and a time to reflect and a time to renew.  Yes-all the cliche's we grew up knowing and loving and taking to heart.

Oftentimes we hear something so often it becomes noise, then something happens that causes us to pause and we actually listen.  Like Christmas carols, those catchy tunes are playing everywhere-the radio, the malls, the supermarket.  Geez, even I find myself whistling a tune here and there.  But I don't pay attention to the words or the meaning.  Then something happens and I listen.  In this year's case, the Sandy Hook incident granted me a pause from the holiday hustle and listening to those kids sing Silent Night on SNL made me think and shed a tear. 

As I reflect upon this year, I keep being reminded of my 30th high school reunion and the homily given by Bishop Bennett. This is something I've been wanting to share with my friends and my brethren because Bishop Bennett's words hit home and ring so true.  So my dear friends, take pause and read on.  Hopefully, this homily hits a nerve and causes you to reflect and think.

...Seeing everything in life as a miracle and with allowing ourselves grateful for all of it.Hopefully, you have been allowing yourself to see your life as a mission–not an intermission.Falling in love, vowing your love and fidelity, striving for something that transcends you and your own interests and needs, all of these have become possible because, somewhere in your life, and hopefully here at Loyola, you learned that being vulnerable doesn’t mean being weak and that being generous and generative, surrendering to the call to sacrifice,brings indescribable interior joy and peace.

Hopefully, in these 30 years and contrary to most of contemporary culture, you have learned that the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart; that, in the end, virtue triumphs over power, wealth, possessions, youth, and beauty. I hope that you are beginning to notice that love, your love,is the only legacy worth leaving.

Again, I hope that Loyola was helpful to you in cultivating the habit of love, love for everyone without exception.And hopefully, in these 30years, you are learning life’s most important mystery and yet its most urgent challenge: that is,that you have absolutely no control over the length of your life but that you have ultimate control over the depth of your life. And,hopefully,you are able to resist the globalization of superficiality which lures and lulls our culture even as it diminishes and dehumanizes it. Hopefully you are finding yourself striving to live the life you admire and not the one you envy, and that you are modeling that striving for your children and for all the young and for all succeeding generations.

It strikes me that these reunions in middle age (which, if you weren’t aware of it, you all now are) are not characterized any more by their exercise of the memory–the good old days, the pranks, the discipline cases, how many times you got JUG and for what. You probably don’t think any more about your teachers, those you loved or those you didn’t particularly care for.You don’t remember any more the scores of the games, or the plays you were in.These days, when you get together, I think you are more conscious of our human fragility and of our human connectedness,more willing to marvel at and share in the variety of each individual journey,and more grateful that we still have one another as companions and brothers.

Amen and happy holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May 2013 be filled with love and laughter and an appreciation for what we have and the beauty of life.
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Friday, March 9, 2012


This evening I was watching ABC News with Diane Sawyer.  They did a piece on Sara Blakely, the billionaire that founded the Spanx underwear.  What caught my attention was her recollection of being at the dinner table and her dad asking "So what did you fail at today?"  Wow-what a concept..not what did you do well today but rather, what did try and fail at today.

Why does this seem so interesting to me? I think it's because that simple question promotes taking risks even in areas that we may not be good in or the likelihood of failure is high.  It promotes pushing our own boundaries and learning that failure is all part of success.   In baseball, you're considered an all star if you get a hit 1 out 3 at bats.  You're a stud basketball player if you make 42% of your 3 point shots.  Success doesn't happen with out trying and trying means that failure becomes a factor in the outcome. 

In Star Wars, Yoda tells Luke..there is no such thing as try.  There is only do or do not.  That is typical of conventional wisdom where we are judged by results.  But I want to think that conventional wisdom is way too safe in life.  Napoleon Hill said “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” 

In so many cases, we are faced with challenges that result in partial success or partial failure.  As people, it's natural to look at the negative and focus on that but how often do we forget the fact that against all odds, we achieved some measure of success and took the challenge head on.  Let's congratulate ourselves on making the attempt.  As we used to say in college, you can't get the girl if you don't ask.  How true is that in life? You can't get what you want if you don't go for it.  If it wasn't a tough get then it wouldn't be worth it.  Shoot for the stars and you might get the moon.  The main point is to shoot.  So as I take my spanx off after a long day of work, I salute you Sara Blakely and thank you for your failure.  High five baby!!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I'm a Ricist

That's right.  You heard it here.  I admit it..Tito is a ricist and damn proud of it.

WTF am I talking about?  I am a rice snob.  I've had many different types of rice throughout my life from basmati to to jasmine to wild. Then there's  long grain, medium grain, short grain, white and brown.  I realize that when it comes to arroz- give me white medium grain of the cal-rose variety.  All others pale in consistency and flavor.  Uncle Ben and Blue Ribbon-you guys bite.  I'll take my stickier white rice over any other.  Brown rice is supposed to be good and it's edible when it's freshly made but try nuking it the next day or eating it after a day in the rice cooker-dry, hard, and earthy.  Not for me.

I use my medium grain when making Mexican style rice, Chinese fried rice, or just plain old rice.  Sushi with any other rice is not sushi.  Yeah, I'll eat long grain at a Chinese restaurant but I'd rather eat my cal-rose with that kung pao anyday.

Some people are coffee snobs, some are wine snobs.  I'm proud to be a rice snob.  I just had to get that off my chest.