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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


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