Question: How do you relax?
Shelley des Etages: I try to practice meditating. I do meditate. I belong to a local martial arts school, Bushido-Kai, and we study Kosho Shorei Ryu, which is the old pine tree school of encouragement with diligence and self-enlightenment. And within that practice there's the regular physical martial arts, but we also learn about traditional Chinese medicine. We also learn about brush calligraphy, philosophy. So I am trying to increase my daily meditation practice. I'm actually taking a class right now at the dojo where we're looking at Shintoism, Daoism, Phi Bella Mann [ph?] teaching, and the whole integration of them. The meditation is something that's a constant work in progress.
Question: Are you an artist?
Shelley des Etages: I dabble, so there was for about a year and a half, I had my camera with me everywhere I went so that I could capture the moments. I do enjoy doing that. I wouldn't call myself a photographer, but I did do some photography. I do some gardening. I love crafts, so I do do arts and crafts. My mom actually trained to teach art and craft as a teacher. That was her specialty area, and so we learned a lot of crafts at home. My latest craft project was a diaper cake for a baby shower. You make the
cake layers out of diapers. And we also learned to do, this I don't do to relax, but we also learned to do cake decorating. So making wedding cakes with all the layers and the roses, etcetera, that has a sort of relaxing quality to it, but it's not something you would do unless someone actually wanted a cake. But it is actually one of the things that I learned to do.
Question: What is the last book you read?
Shelley des Etages: The last book I completed was The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah. , I had heard about that book before and just wanted something completely different to read. It was cold, that ending was very cold. I had heard a lot about Sister Souljah and never read any of her work, so I was going on a break and I thought, "Let me grab a book to read that I've heard good things about but haven't read the author before." Audacity of Hope, I chose it because I actually heard Barack Obama speak at an event last year, and I thought he had some interesting things to say. I want to find out more.
Recorded on: 06/25/2008