"You see, the telegraph is a kind of very, very long cat. You pull his tale in New York, and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way! You send signals here, they receive the there. The only difference is that there is no cat."
-Albert Einstein, explaining the telegraph
Time again for my favorite meme to go about the Internet, Steven's Feline Friday. This week, with the holiday, we have a special Saturday edition. It doesn't matter to me, any day is a good day to talk cats. :) Here is my entry for this week, Elvis looking all dapper for the holidays. He is one handsome kitty! :)
To play along with Feline Friday, just pay Steven a visit and leave your link. You can also tell your cat tale in the comments section of the Feline Friday entry. :)
-OndineMonet "My Date" Berkeley, California November 25th, 2005 Evening
"It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air."
Friday was one of our favorite days of the year, the day after Thanksgiving. It all started about 20 years ago, long before Alan and I were dating, when as friends, we would go and sit at the mall and watch all the shoppers go mad with Christmas shopping frenzy. If you just sit, and watch, you will see some of the most outlandish things. One year we watched as a lady went into a Bed, Bath and Beyond with about 15 shopping bags and her two teenaged daughters. They came out about 30 minutes later with a shower curtain rod, fully extended between her two daughters, and which was now holding all those bags. Good Idea. :)
We were lucky today, we found great parking everywhere we went. Had a nice lunch at the Hillsdale Mall in San Mateo, then grabbed a Jamba Juice and drove up Hwy 1 along the coast. It was gorgeous by the Pacific today. It started out rainy and grey, but by early afternoon...it was bright and sunny. We stopped in Moss Beach, near the haunted, Moss Beach Distillery. You can feel the presence of the "Lady In Blue" no matter what day of the year you come by. I can understand why she is still haunting the beach and restaurant after more then 75 years.
Finally, we ended up in San Francisco for the shopping and tree lighting ceremony at Union Square. God I love it here, especially on the day after Thanksgiving, when everyone is happy and the energy is high. The adults carrying pretty, holiday decorated shopping bags, and the children enjoying the street performers, like the Robot Woman, and anticipating the lighting of the Macy's Union Square Christmas Tree. An 80 Ft, Douglas Fir, brought in from the base of Mt Shasta, decorated with traditional Christmas ornaments, and more than 140,000 bright lights...it is a true holiday treat.
I had some fun starting my Christmas shopping for this year, we visited Fendi, Macy's, World Market, Chanel, and Saks. I gazed into the windows of the fabulous art galleries, the Xanadu, which is housed in the only building in San Francisco that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Post Impressionist Gallery and the Caldwell-Snyder Gallery. Then to finish the day we drove past the marquees of the Theatre district. The Curran and the Golden Gate, just to name a couple. I love the theatre district in San Francisco. It has it's own energy. Sigh, I was too tired to stay for the tree lighting itself...sigh. I know that I will be really tired tomorrow, but I couldn't miss today,sometimes I love the feeling of being alone in a crowd.
-OndineMonet "Union Square Tree" San Francisco, California November 25th, 2005 Late Afternoon
1. Who let the dogs out? 2. Why do fools fall in love? 3. If birds can fly over the rainbow, who oh why, can't I? 4. Do you hear what I hear? 5. How do you solve a problem like Maria? 6. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat? 7. Listen, do you want to know a secret? Do you promise not to tell? 8. How long has this been going on? 9. I want to know, have you ever seen the rain? (Alternately: Why does it always rain on me?) 10. Does anybody really know what time it is?
This is a fun assignment. I have pondered the answers to these muscle questions for a long time, and I think I may have the answers...to all of them. :)
1. A. I think the cats let the dogs out, so they could have all the kibbles and bits for themselves. Cats are smart that way! :)
2. A. I don't know why fools fall in love, but if you should find out could you let me know? I fall in love...way to easily. :)
3. A. Duh! We aren't birds! LOL.
4. A. Yes, I hear it too...it's the sound of the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse...the time is near! :)
5.A. This one is a poser. How about you appoint her as FEMA Director. That's what happens to everyone else when someone doesn't know what to do with them. :)
6.A. I can have my pudding because I will feed my meat to the cat/dog/ferret/rabbit/spider/groundhog/chimp/opossum or other form of domesticated animal which might be waiting under the table. Hey, dessert is important...you just never know what will happen, so it should always be eaten first. :)
7.A. Sure, I want to know a secret. I haven't shared a good piece of gossip in a long time. :) Oh, and yeah, I promise not to tell ;)
8.A. 3 years, 81 months, 481 hours, 72 minutes, and 2000 seconds. Give or take. ;)
9. A. Yes, I have seen the rain...I danced in it just a little while ago. :)
10.A. No, probably not exactly, but I can tell you what time it is by looking at the placement of the sun. With accuracy within 3 minutes. Freaks Alan out! :)
Extra Credit: Do you know where you're going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to? Do you know? (From...Theme From Mahogany)
"Never Enough Ballroom" Reno, Nevada October 24th, 2005 Late Afternoon
"It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes from it."
Back in early September, just after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the gulf coast region, I added a link to the American Red Cross to my sidebar on my AOL Journal Ellipsis. It felt good that day to share with all those who come by to read my musings and to see my photography a little more about who I am and what I support. Charities have always been very important to me, I have supported a number of them over the years. The Red Cross has taken such a beating this past autumn, and it continues to need support. This holiday season, I urge you to give what you can...even if it is just a link in your sidebar and the good hopes in your heart. I will be adding more charities on the 24th of each month to my sidebar, and choosing one among the new ones I add to highlight through an entry. My next charities update will be Christmas Eve. I think that is a very good time to speak of the needs of mankind. Will you consider joining me, by posting an entry on Christmas Eve that brings awarensess to a charity you support? Be sure to send me a link, so I can come by and read what you write. We are all in this world together.
"I celebrated Thanksgiving in the old fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land."
Ah...in less then 24 hours I will be sitting in front of my television, crying my eyes out at the sight of Santa at the end of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I have NO idea why, but truly, it always makes me all sentimental. LOL. Alan gets his best laugh of the year, watching my burst into tears at the sight of Old Nick. Sigh. LOL. Actually I do see the humor in it, it is a silly thing to cause the weepys. I don't know, it's just one more of my personality quirks. :)
I was thinking last night, as I sat at the computer anticipating the holidays, about how much I will miss Ellipsis. I guess I always will. With each new entry here I feel a little more at home and I know in my heart that this is where I will stay. I know, I know...it was my decision to make, and I accept that, but what is so hard to accept is how much I miss about AOL Journal Land. I did some blog jogging last night , visiting old friends that I miss like Slomo (Amy). I read early comments left in her archives and saw how friendships grew. I saw some comments that had been left by Frank ...sigh...has it really been almost 2 years since he passed away?
The hardest thing for me in life, is losing a friend. Sometimes relationships go through ruptures and they are never able to recover from that, sometimes you get very lucky and time does it's magic and healing can take place. I have been able to do that recently with a couple people I care a lot about. Time is such a blessing. I don't know why Amy stopped journaling, she had some pressures in life that got big, and sometimes one simply can't find the words to explain how very bad it hurts. I expect that is what happened for her. Still...I just miss her.
It was a week ago that sent my "Goodbye" letter to my journal family, telling them of my intention to no longer write on AOL. It never once occurred to me while composing that letter, to ever give up on a single person I would be sending it to, that's why at the end of the letter I asked everyone who wanted to know where I ended up, to drop me an email so I could put them on my contact list. Sigh. I was so completely delighted to see so many of my Journal Land family, and even a couple new faces, come by to say, "I'm still here...I followed you." :) I feel a love here that I haven't felt anywhere else.
I have a flaw, one that sometimes I would just give anything if I could change, I have one of those hearts that once I give a piece of it to someone, it's theirs forever. I have never been able to take the piece back, no matter how bad they treat me. It is always theirs, and if I love them, the love never dies. That can be painful when faced with the knowledge that sometimes love ends. Maybe, as I begin to fix Thanksgiving dinner, and work on getting the decorations up, I am remembering all of you...and not taking a single one of you for granted. Frank was a lesson about how soon we can lose someone, we never really got to know...and how bad it can hurt. One time, a couple years ago, I considered making a change to Blogspot. I had a couple friends who sent me an email telling me that they would follow me anywhere. :) I thought they were just being nice...now I know...they meant it. Thank you for still being here, a week after the exodus. I am thankful for you! PS: The night of the VIVI Awards, I made a bet with my date for the night, and good friend Sam. Well, I won my bet, and what I won was amazing. Sam had to write an entry about autumn, that also featured a recent photo of him. He did post a recent photo of himself, but he also posted some of the most beautiful sunset photos I have seen this year. His friendship has meant a lot to me this past year, and I am so glad I won my bet, because we all get to see the creative side of a fine man and friend. Go check out his entry. Thanks again Sam, for being such a wonderful escort to the awards.
"MY illness is due to my doctor's insistence that I drink milk, a whitish fluid they force down the helpless babies."
So the doctor said to me, "Carly, you have Fibromyalgia." After months and months of feeling so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open, forgetting things that were a part of my regular routines, having my legs ache so bad every night , that at times crying was really the only thing making it feel better, and the sudden and frequent onset of those pesky stomach spasms, I had a name to put to the affliction. The worst part of all these symptoms was thinking that it might have been "all in my head." After I was diagnosed with Epstein-Barr in 1995 and then losing my mind in 2000, my doctor would put all the things occurring to my body down to those two maladies. Uggg. Great, all the pain I was having was because I was insane. Really, really nice.
So today, when my new doctor looked at me as said "you have Fibromyalgia," I hated hearing the words, but at least I knew that I could actually listen to my own body and trust what it was saying, and it was saying, "Help me." The bouts of insomnia, the sleepwalking last year, the 26 week headache, my knack for spelling the word (nad) instead of (and) my extreme forgetfulness, the pain in my legs and the worst symptom of all, the stomach spasms, now have not only a reason for being in my life, but now I can fix them.
It's unclear what exacerbated what. It could be one of my setbacks with my Epstein-Barr that set off the Fibromyalgia or it may have been some of the extreme stress of a few years back, either way it is here, and it will be sticking around. It is a chronic condition, but far from the worst thing that could ever happen to me. I simply have to do some things in order to remain the cute, charming, talented writer /photograher I am. LOL. Like get rest when my body says so, not when I think I can do it all then make up the sleep difference later.
I have a huge supply of new medications to help with the pain and fatigue I have been enduring, plus some others for those infections that refused to heal, and I have a whole lot of research to do to help myself from the inside out, like a better diet and some vitamin supplements. The doctor did say that she would now begin to watch for...YIKES... Lupus. That is a frightening prospect, but I know me, I will forget that word in a couple days and I will focus on the plans I have already made. Starting with listening to my body and never letting a doctor treat me like I am an intrusion into their day. I am the patient, they are there to help me stay healthy. Period. I will keep my end of the bargain if they will.
Also today to my delight, I saw a butterfly. A butterfly in autumn. Regardless of whatever else happened today... seeing it made the simple act of getting up worth while. :) I am so glad I took my camera to the doctor's office, I got some good photos there, and I got the picture of the beautiful butterfly while I was on my way home. All in all...it was a very good day. :)
-OndineMonet "Autumn Visitor" Hayward, California November 21st, 2005 12:20 PM
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live them."
-John F. Kennedy
Thanksgiving is just a few days away. My back yard is covered with red , yellow and gold leaves. Here and there are dry brown leaves...it's all so peaceful and warm. Alan and I have decided to eat our Thanksgiving dinner in the back yard, the sun here in the Bay Area has been incredible lately. It will be a warm 78 degrees, but there is always a gentle breeze flowing up from the bay, so while the sun may have plans to be warm and bright...the air will be cool. Mmmmmm.
I have been missing the art and history journal that I kept on AOL. I used that journal to release some of my passions. My love of music and how it stirs my soul, with memories of past loves. Sometimes I would post short scenes of dialog from favorite movies, and of course the love letters. I am a hopeless romantic at heart. I loved looking at the brief glimpses into the passions of famous people such as Mozart, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Franz Kafka. Not all the letters I put into the journal were of a romantic nature, sometimes I came across extraordinary letters that dealt with other types of love, such as love for our fellow man, and the true meaning of what thanks should be in the human heart.
A Letter Of Thanksgiving (from the collection of Lincoln's papers in the Library of America series)
The year that is drawing towards it's close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so consistently enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and aggression, peace has been preserved sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron, and coals the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battlefield.
the country rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who ,while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and promise to our beneficent father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverance and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fevently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.
-OndineMonet "Little Church" Virginia City, Nevada October 25th, 2005 Afternoon
"Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it french; sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon makes it Greek; soy makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good."
-Alice May Brock
Your Monday Photo Shoot: Let us see your collection of whatever it is you collect.Thimbles, NASCAR collectables, Star trek figurines...what it is, let's see those tchotchkes!
Here it is, finally, my collection of restaurant menus. When we first moved into the cottage we are in now, I was really feeling really sad. I was feeling about as creative as a plain baked potato. I was experiencing a strong case of Anhedonia and the thought of all the unpacking and decorating of a new place was overwhelming. Well, the first few days in the new place we long ones, it was May of 2001, and the hot weather was beginning to kick in. I was alone for about 18 out of 24 hours and I began to get a little anxious about getting the place into shape. One night I was looking through a box and I found a Denny's menu. That is really how it all began.
June and I had stopped in at Denny's for lunch one afternoon about 3 years earlier. We were discussing all kinds of important things about family and upcoming projects we would be doing and there were papers and folders all over the table were we sat to have lunch. When we got up to leave, June accidentally picked up her menu along with all the papers. We didn't realize until we got back to her house that she had made that mistake. We had such a good laugh. She was so embarrassed about having lifted the menu, she couldn't bring herself to take it back. I offered to take it back for her, but that didn't feel right either. I offered to take it home and maybe in a week or so we could go together and return it the next time we went there to grab a bite.
Oddly enough I couldn't get her to go back. LOL. June was getting on in years and she simply couldn't face such a silly mistake. I forgot about the menu , and had apparently placed it in a box of other kitchen items because when I opened the box in 2001, I found some pot holders she had made me and some other little items I had collected like a hamburger press and a Godzilla egg timer. LOL. And there was the menu...looking all shiny and yummy. I thought it might be a hoot to see it on the cabinet door in the kitchen. When Alan came home and saw it...he smiled. It was the first remotely creative thing I had done in months. Now I have a different menu on each of the cabinets. Johnny Rocket's, Chilli's, Bancheros, Doug's Place, TGI Friday's, The Olive Garden, IHOP, LOL. All looking yummy as they inspire me to make my culinary creations. I like collecting menus, they aren't likely to be stolen if some demented circus people (like my family) should break into my home looking for prized possessions, yet those menus mean a lot to this collector. :)
NOTE: Just so you know, I don't steal menus, all I have to do is ask the manager for one, and they usually provide one for free or for a nominal charge. :) -OndineMonet Berkeley, California My Kitchen November 21st, 2005 Afternoon
"I just learned that there's going to be a lot of painful times in life, so I better learn to deal with it right away."
-Trey Parker & Matt Stone South Park
The events of the past week have been devastating. For those of us who now consider ourselves refugees of AOL Journal Land, we have faced finding an entirely new home for our inner most thoughts and feelings. We are faced with learning a brand new way to journal and we are still looking back on the routines we knew so well with longing. It was a comfort, especially when we were hurting, to log onto our journals and take for granted how easy it would be to let the pain out. We could put our deepest feelings down in words, and soon someone would come by to help us through it.
I know the feeling of being loved through a time of grieving. My good friend Frank passed away in December of 2003, just a few months after we met through our journals on AOL. Frank was a very good listener, and a very good man. His loss still pulses through the community, he is still missed so much that he was recently nominated for a VIVI Award, which is a peer to peer recognition. It was hard to know that suddenly Frank wouldn't be there anymore to share in my life. To make me laugh, to help me feel a little less scared and unsure about my writing on my journal, to encourage me to keep picking up the camera and looking for beauty. We all felt the shock of him suddenly being taken from us, and the feelings we all had, though individually, brought us together because we were sharing a common loss and the common occurrence after any loss...grief.
Grief is it's own entity. It will manifest whether we want it to or not. It is the sudden anger we feel when there is no particular reason to feel upset. It is the sadness we feel when it seems like there is no way to ever feel better, it is the begging we do with ourselves or others to just please "make it right" so we can stop feeling so completely lost. It is the feeling like it must not really be happening. The loss somehow isn't real..."it just can't be." I know one or two things about these feelings, I felt them when Frank passed away and all over again less the two weeks later I found out my own mother had passed away and no one had told me.
What we have all just gone through together and yet,individually, is a loss. A huge one. Sometimes I think anger is the easiest of all the five stages of grief to understand and deal with. Anger can make you proactive. It can make it very clear what you are thinking and feeling and why. When I have faced the death of someone I have loved, it was anger that always manifested itself first. But if it isn't kept in check a lot of damage can take place, sometimes damage we regret terribly later on after we have finished the stages of grief we inevitably arrive at and endure.
I want to help this time of transition go a little less painful for this community. Whether you have joined me here on Blogspot or if you have chosen to remain at AOL Journals, you are still my friends and my community neighbors. I don't care any less for you because we have faced some bad decisions on the part of AOL. Nothing has to change if down deep we really don't want it to. So, at the request of a few of my journal land friends and neighbors I will be running a five part series on grief management beginning next Monday, November 28th, and running through Friday, December 2nd. My goal is to have members from both AOL Journals and members here on Blogspot come by to share how they are feeling and how we try to bridge this gap together.
Loss will happen in life. I have come to know this so intimately that sometimes it feels like it is the only thing that really happens passionately and completely, but I really know that while it's presence is certainly invasive, and at times way to hard to take, I know it has to be done to reach the peace that will be the final acceptance of the loss. Yes, acceptance...that is the warm hug that allows you to move forward...and believe me it does. If I had never experienced loss I would say tell me I don't know about what I am talking about, but trust me...I do know what grief is.
Please encourage as many people as you can think of to join us. If they have vowed to never read a journal written by a Blogspot journalist...ok...it is perfectly ok to be a lurker, no one has to know they were here. If you know someone who is having a hard time learning to adjust to their new home here and all the new things we have to learn about Blogspot...well...have them come by and let them see they aren't all the things we tend to tell ourselves we are when we are frustrated. You know...stupid, slow, dumb bunny. Those are just my personal adjectives for myself...but from here on out I need to take my own advice and realize I am grieving the loss of all the work and love I put into Ellipsis. Over 2 years worth of my personal history. Of course it hurts.But hey, a little grief anger yesterday allowed me to teach myself how to add links to my sidebar. I did it myself. That is the good side of grief anger...feeling proactive.
Please leave all comments and questions you would like to see addressed in this upcoming series in the comment thread of this entry only. If you leave a question or comment in a different comment section there is a good chance it could be overlooked. It is a goal for me to make this as indepth and helpful as possible so that we can all find that common ground that brought us together as neighbors and friends anyway...the ability and need to reach out and share ourselves through community spirit and light.
"Better never to have met you in my dream, then to reach for you and know you were never there."
It crossed my mind the other day, how OH how, will David Duchovny find the new home of Ellipsis? Sigh. When I bravely began to share my well kept secret love for the former fictional G-Man, I started out slow, knowing there would be no way that he would ever, ever, see my words of love. No, they would go forever unnoticed, unrequited, but there was a small chance that if a star should fall and we both saw the same star at the same time, maybe the universe would somehow lead him to me. So, I blogged and I blogged, and I blogged my little brains out. I even launched the SS Duchovny this past summer in my swimming pool and it was a mighty ship. It made it almost to the deep end of the pool, before sinking slowly to the bottom where it remains to this day. :(
Well, I vow with all the passion in me to keep trying to reach him through my words that are forever archived in GOOGLE. Somehow, someway, someday...He will find me. I just know it! Oh DAVIIIIIIDDDD!!!!! I'm on Blogspot now!!!!