Saturday, June 30, 2018

The Monkey Buddha is Married!

This week, I am marrying my fiancée & the love of my life, Loretta. We have been planning our wedding for a year, and the day is finally upon us!

It's hard to put into words how I feel about this exceptional woman. We are writing our vows and mine are clocking in at 4-5 min, because it's hard for me to sum up my feelings about her & our relationship. She is my life partner and my best friend. The spiritual, physical, intellectual, and emotional bond we share is something I treasure and do not take for granted for a moment. It sometimes boggles my mind that my ideal woman has appeared in my life. I try to just appreciate it & let her know how glad I am for her.

We were friends for many years, and for most of that time I had a deep attraction to her. Although she didn't share my level of attraction for a long time, eventually in 2014 I asked her to go on a Valentine's date "as friends". At that time, Loretta was changing her perception of me and this was a turning point where our relationship took a more romantic direction.

We have been engaged since 2016 and after spending almost every day together, sharing countless life experiences, going to premarital therapy, taking part in ventures together, deeply working on emotional and communication issues, and furthering our careers, we have no doubt that we are ready to travel this road together. I know Loretta is truly a soul mate, someone I am connected to in mysterious and inexpiable ways.

We had a private, legal ceremony in NJ where we live a couple days ago on Thursday, June 28. It was just our parents and our officiant with us at Malaga Lake, a small but scenic local lake. The weather was cloudy & rainy, but as the ceremony started, the sun came out and scintillated over the lake.

 Loretta DeStefano & Paul M. Micarelli

Our public ceremony for family & friends, and our reception will be at The Old Mill in Rose Valley, PA this Sunday July 1, 2018. We picked the venue because the grounds are beautiful & we planned to have an outside wedding, with us both being nature lovers. There is also an open but covered wooden pavilion and nice indoor reception hall, and we are going to party hard! The weather is going to be almost 100°, so it is going to be rough for those of us wearing tuxes. At least it's not supposed to rain... but at that heat level, we might welcome a downpour!

Anyway, I'm sure our vision will manifest into a beautiful day, just as our private ceremony did. I consider my time with Loretta to be a blessing, and I try to make every second count. Life is a flash, and all we can do is slow the mind down, be present, and breathe deeply as we take it all in, uploading our experience to the universal field.

I am joyous and proud to announce that I am now happily married to the woman of my dreams!

Since I'll be on honeymoon in Cape May and vacation in the Poconos for the next couple weeks, I may not start posting regularly until mid-August. Please check back until then, while I enjoy some down time.

Here are some photos from our engagement shoot with the excellent & talented Won Yang of Yang Photo Studio. We were at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania and Won spent hours with us, taking some amazing photography capturing our love.

Here is a link to the whole album:

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Big Paul's Adventures in History VIII

I have a lot of photos of my Dad sleeping in many different chairs, on many different occasions.  

Before his retirement last year, he worked hard in the food retail business all his life. When he would get a chance to sit down & relax, it usually turns into a snoozefest. Family events or holidays inevitably become napping opportunities for the big guy.

My old friend Dan J. gave me the idea- to have pictures of my Dad sleeping right through important times in history. I thought this idea was hysterical, & created this series of "snapshots" showing Big Paul experiencing historic events, in his own special way.

This is the eighth set of of "History Adventures," as he sleeps his way through the most important events in history.

To commemorate my Dad's birthday & Father's Day, I made the 3 new History Adventures below.

Click the link to see the whole series:

"Big Paul's Adventures in History"
Death of Julius Caesar
"Et tu, Paul?" 
My Dad sleeps through the assassination of Caesar 
during the Ides of March.
"Big Paul's Adventures in History"
John & Yoko Bed-In
"Et tu, Paul?" 
John Lennon's pleas for world peace 
are drowned out by Big Paul's snoring.

 "Big Paul's Adventures in History"
Eagles Win Super Bowl
Even the collective cheers of Philadelphia fans 
and a win by his favorite team 
are not enough to wake this football fan from his slumber.

Friday, June 22, 2018

"Become The Light" by Cameron Gray

I saw this awesome image by Cameron Gray that explores the idea that the fusion of cybernetics and digital technology could actually connect us more deeply to "The Light"- all the energy fields and integral patterns that make up our reality.

People tend to think that tech and the Internet disconnect us from reality, but perhaps these tools are shifting consciousness into a new mode, to perceive reality in a different way than the biological brain can do on its own.

I've always seen computers and electronic devices as augmentations of the mind, external support systems that are interconnected with the internal functioning of my own thoughts. Once these biological & digital systems become truly integrated, it's likely that the state of being that we are familiar with (as light forms trapped in these monkey bodies) will be radically transformed. It could be a vehicle for our luminous nature to reach a much more vast expression.

Merging mind and machine could also be a means for limiting and imprisoning consciousness, but I prefer to be an optimist...

"Become The Light" 
by Cameron Gray

I have posted about Cameron Gray's art before, and all his art is visionary and mind-expanding. 

Check out his art on his websites:

Monday, June 18, 2018

"Psychodelic" by Paul Micarelli

I have been processing my large archive of abstract imagery. I want to share them online and create prints for exhibits & sale.

This one is a psychedelic fractal kaleidoscope of rainbow colors. A print of this piece was featured recently in a local art show at The Spot in Vineland, NJ.
by Paul Micarelli

by Paul Micarelli

**Buy Prints & Products With This Design***
The Monkey Buddha Bazaar:

Friday, June 15, 2018

Art Show at The Spot

This past week, I had some of my abstract art prints featured in an art show at The Spot in Vineland, NJ. It is a vintage & antique mall that started hosting art exhibits.

Most of the artwork I had on display has been featured here, & is available at my online store The Monkey Buddha Bazaar.

Here is the gallery of my abstract computer art:

by Paul Micarelli
I took some pics of my display, including one with me & my parents:

I also placed a table with my professional graphic design portfolio, and info about my business Paul Micarelli Design:


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Garden Spider Macro Photo

I saw this tiny spider in its web among the bushes, and wanted to see if I could use my macro lens to get a closeup photo.

by Paul Micarelli

It turned out better than I thought. You can see all kinds of interesting details on this arachnid's underside. I love being able to see things right in front of me in a deeper perspective.

Friday, June 08, 2018

More Spring Flowers

Although I haven't been able to get out and take photos as much as I'd like, I've taken some more pictures of the Spring flowers blooming outside.

I love the warm weather and the vibrant feeling of life this time of year brings.

by Paul Micarelli

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Bachelor Party Paintball

Next month, I am getting married to my wonderful fiancée Loretta. We were good friends for a long time before dating for the past four years. I truly consider her my life partner, and we support each other in every aspect of our lives. We even created a blog together, called Conscious Living for You, to promote healthier lifestyles using our unique areas of expertise.

To celebrate our transition into an official married relationship, we had our bachelor & bachelorette parties on the same day this past weekend. I am 40 years old now, and didn't want to go the "traditional" route of strippers & getting wasted. I told my brothers I wanted a day of playing paintball with my friends & a chill night out.

So, we went to a local paintball place and played for 5 hours, then went to a tiki bar later in the evening and closed the place down after 7-8 hrs. They had horseshoe pits, pool tables, & it was open-air so we got to safely observe the lightning storms going on around us for a little bit as they passed through. A lot of my friends & family came out, and we all had an awesome time. It's humbling to know that I have so many great people in my life that are there to support me. It was a great day, and by the time we got back to my brother's house, I passed out immediately on his couch. Luckily I controlled my alcohol intake, so I didn't feel like garbage the next day.

Here's a pic of the 10 guys that came out for paintball (that's me in the middle), and there were twice as many at the tiki bar.

At the end of paintball, I succumbed to peer pressure & "ran the gauntlet". All the guys lined up, & I had to run past them while they blasted me. I tried to shoot back at first, but the searing pain of being hit by all those paintballs at one time made me go into protective mode & I just ran the hell out of there as fast as I could. After I stopped running, I reflexively yelled out every expletive known to man & promptly cursed out all the guys.

I had welts all over me and by the next morning there were bruises covering the half of my body that was facing the firing squad. I saw it as a rite of passage- enduring pain & suffering to spur a transition into a new phase of existence. However, I would definitely NOT recommend any one else taking part in this insane activity. Loretta was not happy about my battle wounds, and when I sent her the pic, she texted back simply, "Those mother fuckers".