Saturday, December 31, 2005

When You Hold Me Near You...

The rain is pouring down outside tonight, and the air is cool. It is going to be raining all weekend here in Northern California, and it is making me feel kind of introspect I guess. Time never stops amazing me. It sometimes moves painfully slow, and yet again it can all seem like a blink. I am just going to let my mind do it's drifting, in and out of memories and the rain beats on the rood and the windchimes sing in the evening breeze. Happy New Year! I'll think of you at midnight.

When You Say Nothing At All
By Ronan Keating (From Notting Hill)

It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word you can light up the dark
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don't say a thing.

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me
A touch of your hand says you'll catch me where ever I fall
Now you say it best...when you say nothing at all.

All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near you, you drown out the crowd
Try as they may could define
What's being said between your heart and mine.

The smile on your face lets me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me
A touch of your hand says you'll catch me where ever I fall
Now you say it best...when you say nothing at all.

"Romance In Red II" By Gockle

Friday, December 30, 2005

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #92: Resolutions

"So, what is it like in the real world? Well, the food is better, but beyond that I don't recommend it."

-Bill Watterson

Weekend Assignment #92: Do you have New Year's resolutions for 2005? If so, share one (or more if you like).

Extra Credit: How did you do on your resolutions for 2005?

-John Scalzi

In that I have had to cut back my photography treks and accept that I will be spending more time at home, I have decided to keep a promise to Alan, and expand my recipe file by creating new original recipes using the vegetables and fruits from our yard. I think it will be fun and will give me a chance to try some different photography as I create each new recipe. Alan has a favorite recipe that I created, it is the "30 Pound Lasagne" also called "Don Lasagne." I tried making an all vegetable lasagne this past summer using the fresh vegetables from the garden. It was a lot of fun, and came out pretty good I think. I also created a summer veggie soup, that was light and tasty. I think this year I will expand the recipes to include more desserts and appetizers. I will be posting my adventures in recipe creating, so don't forget to tune in to see how I do. LOL. I am sure it will be an adventure! How does "Honey Lemon Fondue w/ Fruity Angel Food Cake" sound? :)

Extra Credit: I did just fine. I didn't have any! LOL. :)

"Summer Feast"
Berkeley, California
Summer, 2005
Late Afternoon

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Veritum dies aperit (Time Discovers The Truth)

"Lost time is never found again."

-Ben Franklin

At 7:00 pm EST, the year that was 2005 will gain an extra second. The adjustment to time will take place by adding one second into clocks worldwide at the stroke of midnight Coordinated Universal Time. Personally I am not greatly pleased about this year having any extra time in it. I won't miss 2005 for a number of reasons, the dreadful worldwide catastrophe's, some personal losses and of course the change of residence for my journal Ellipsis. On the other hand this year also saw some personal gains for me, like the building a some new, wonderful friendships and even the gift of repairing some damaged relationships. I guess it was like any other year...with the sweet comes the bitter. I am here to write about it so I am lucky to have that, and if nothing else, I think 2005 gave me a lesson in being much more aware that to lose any time spent with your passions is a sad thing. That extra second will be added to my life this Saturday at 4:00 pm Pacific time, I wonder how I should use it well? A second is a long time, you become aware of that when you stop to measure it.

It took a PSA airplane 7 seconds to crash to the earth, after a midair collision over the skies of San Diego, in 1978.

What could be done in 7 seconds?

You could dial the phone number of someone you love.
You could laugh.
You could say "I'm sorry" "Forgive me" "I forgive you."
You could pet your cat or dog.
You could make a face at a child so they can laugh.
You can look in the mirror and smile at yourself.
You can think a good thought someone's way.
You can choose to remember one good memory, and choose to forget a bad one.
You can really look through the lens of a camera and visualize what the photo you are about to take will look like. Someday the photo will be a part of history, as well as your own personal history.

In the days after Hurricane Katrina devestated New Orleans, it was estimated that the pumps used to return the flood waters back to Lake Ponchatrain, pumped as much as 380 cubic meters (380,000 liters or 23,190, 000 cubic inches) of water every second.

Now...what to do with one second...

You can smile at a someone you love.
You can fart.
You can allow that fleeting idea you have about reaching out, come alive by dropping someone an email to say "I thought about you today."
You can sneeze.
You can kiss.
You can take a cleansing breath and give yourself a break.
You can take the opportunity to go with whatever idea you have.

I believe that everything, good or bad, begins with one second. While I am not particularly happy about any additional time being added to the year, I am also aware that the extra second doesn't have to go unnoticed or feared...after all maybe it is in actuality a "second chance."

"Time Enough"
San Francisco Ferry Building
San Francisco, California
Summer, 2005
Early Morning

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings

"I used to say, "I sure hope things will change." Then I learned that the only way things are going to change for me is when I change."

-Jim Rohn

For most of the past year, I have been watching my pal Wil over at his journal, The Daily Snooze, playing a fun, weekly free association game called unconscious Mutterings. The list of words is from, and anyone can play along. A new list of words is posted each Sunday, and you have the whole week to post your responses to the listed words. I decided since this is the last full week of 2005, it would be a very good time to play along for the first time.

"The rules are, there are no rules." There are no right or wrong answers. Don't limit yourself to one word responses; just say everything that pops into your head. And you don't have to have your words up on Sunday. Take all week if you want! Read the FAQ for more information."

1. Virus: Illness
2. Poop: Crap
3. Smart: Maxwell
4. Agent: Agent 86 (Played by Don Adams in Get Smart.)
5. Wrap: Cover
6. Brass: Knuckles
7. Waste Of Time: Bore
8. Suspicious: Food
9. 360: Crop Circles
10: Dummy: Quiet

"Free association is described as a "psychoanalytic procedure in which a person is encouraged to give free rein to his or her thoughts and feelings, verbalizing whatever comes into the mind without monitoring its content." Over time, this technique is supposed to help bring forth repressed thoughts and feelings that the person can then work through to fain a better sense of self.

That's an admirable goal, but for the purposes of this exercise, we're just hoping to have a little fun with the technique. Each week I'll post ten words to which you can respond to with the first thing that comes to mind."

Berkeley, California
December 18th, 2005
Late afternoon

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Looking Out My Window

"Photography is a way of feeling of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured remembers little things long after you have forgotten everything."

-Aaron Suskind

Today was one of those days. I didn't get much done, but I did decide to take the advice given to me by a good friend, a while back, for handling days like today. "If you can't go out to take photos, set the tripod up in your bedroom and take photos out the that's what I did! And look what I saw. I got to see this deer and a couple others walk through the back of the property in the late afternoon. I love living up in the hills. Good advice friend! :)

Over at my photoblog, Ellipsis...Legeres D' Ambiant, I am counting down my top 10 favorite photos of the year. Be sure to drop by when you get the chance to see my very best in photographs!

"Deer Crossing"
Berkeley, California
December 26th, 2005
Late Afternoon

Monday, December 26, 2005

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Holiday Celebrations!

Before the ice is in the pools,
before the skater's go,
Or any cheek at nightfall is tarnished by the snow,
Before the fields have finished,
Before the Christmas tree,
Wonder upon wonder
Will arrive to me.

-Emily Dickinson

Monday Photo Shoot: Lets see how the holidays happened for you and yours.

-John Scalzi

The holidays in our home are usually played out in small vignettes. Christmas Eve has a spontaneity that I adore. This year we played in the new fallen leaves, then we went for a long car ride to see what was going on around town. We came home and exchanged Christmas ornaments and wrapped Elvis's new sweater. The next day we had breakfast and Alan went off to work. Later in the afternoon we exchanged presents, and then we played the Dreidle game and talked and laughed and enjoyed each other's company. Like I said...little vignettes. :)

"Home At The Holidays"
Berkeley, California
December 24th/25th, 2005

Tagged By Shelly 5x5

"And remember, no matter where you go...there you are."


I have been tagged by my friend Shelly for a new meme. This one is a bit longer then the last one I did, but it was a lot of fun to do. I really like this part of blogging, fun little projects like this were we can get to know each other. I thought it was a lot of fun at parties to play games where you got to know your friends a little better, I mean everyone knows how well I can draw, but can you guess what kind of pickle relish I prefer on my hot dogs? Or what my favorite pizza topping is? Or, what perfume I wear in the daytime or at night? :) Guesses anyone?

Now on with the meme...

Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot. Remember to add the links.

1. Eddy
2. Sara
3. Kirk
4. Shelly
5. Carly

Then you tag five more people to pass the meme to so they can play also.

I think I will let people play along if they want to, this is a busy time. :) Be sure to come back here and drop me a link if you decide to play, so I can come and read your answers.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was caring for my mother and working on some country type craft projects and scrapbooking.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
A year ago I got my first digital camera...and the whole world opened up for me!

Five snacks you enjoy.
1. Peanut butter filled pretzel pockets.
2. Fresh fruit with white chocolate yogurt.
3. Assorted cheeses.
4. Cinnamon pecans (toasted)
5. Pizza Bites

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics.
1. Take The Long Way Home...Supertramp.
2. Somewhere Someone Waits For You...Carly Simon.
3. Yesterday...The Beatles.
4. I Saw The Light...Todd Rundgren.
5. Wouldn't It Be Nice...The Beach Boys.

Five things you would do is you were a millionaire.
1. Buy all the stock in my good friend Jon's toy store and give the toys to Toys for Tots and Children's Hospital in Oakland.
2. Set up a scholarship fund for young writers/artists.
3. Buy a penthouse apartment in San Francisco and New York.
4. Learn to play the piano.
5. Attend a professional cooking school.

Five bad habits.
1. General procrastination.
2. Forgetting to put the CD's and DVD's back in the proper cases.
3. Forgetting to eat. It makes me weird.
4. Finishing Alan's sentences.
5. Forgetting to put out frozen meat to thaw for dinner.

Five things you like doing.
1. Taking digital photographs of the Bay Area.
2. Shopping in small out of the way specialty shops.
3. Reading.
4. Collecting dragonflies.
5. Playing board games.

Five things you would never wear again.
1. High Heels. Those days have come and gone!
2. Headbands.
3. The color yellow.
4. A fanny pack.
5. Black nail polish.

Five Favorite toys.
1. Elvis
2. My digital camera.
3. My cell phone.
4. My Sims2 game.
5. My laptop.

And there you have it, now you know me a teensy bit better! :) Don't forget to comeback here and leave me a link if you want to play. Come know you want to. ;)

"Staying Within The Lines"
Berkeley, California
December 24th, 2005
Late Afternoon.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Night Before Hanukkah

The Night before Hanukkah
By Melinda Bell

Twas the first night of Hanukkah and all through the house
Pleasure was spreading, as quick as a mouse.

The children played dreidle and ate with such glee
Oh latkes and donuts a pleasure to see!

The menorah was placed by the window with care
So all who came by could see it was there.

We sang lots of songs, and told lots of stories
About the Maccabees and all of their glories.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the shutter and threw up the sash.

When what to my wondering eye should appear
But a vision of Judah the Maccabee there!

As he walked from the hill he was so proud to say
That the war had been won, we were all free to stay!

The Greeks were defeated and so it was sure
The Israelites could stay in their homeland so pure.

He wanted to go to the temple and pray
But needed to warn of a hitch on the way.

The temple was ruined by some in the war
It was dark, and I worried we'd be lost for sure.

As we traveled to Jerusalem on some mighty trail
Judah assured me that we would not fail.

The night was dark, as I feared it would be
Hey we were traveling through the 2nd century.

But far, far above us, we saw a bright light
Coming from the window of the temple that night.

Those that had gathered there were quick to say
There was just enough oil to last only one day.

They worried as news of the victory spread
Others would be lost, or left asleep in their bed.

Those that came after would not get to see
The lamp which told of our victory.

The faithful were sure that all would right
And that one cruse of oil would last us eight nights.

As the eight nights befell us, it soon became clear
The lamp would stay lit...darkness was nothing to fear.

So now to this day, each year we celebrate
The Festival of Lights for eight nights on this date.

And so as you enjoy the great gift of light,
Happy Hanukkah to all, and to all a good night.

"Dreidle And Coins"
Berkeley, California
December 25th

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Up On The Rooftop

"Why does Scrooge love Rudolph The Red-nosed reindeer? Because all bucks are deer to him." :)

Well, the last time I checked, Santa Claus had landed in America, having just set down in southern Florida! Tee Hee. Time for me to put Elvis in his pajamas, send Alan off to bed, and grab myself some eggnog and a snack of Moose Turds. Trust me, they taste better then they sound...and look! ROFL. Here is Elvis's official Christmas portrait for 2005! I think I will do some writing tonight, it has been a while since I have felt up to it, but tonight I just feel in the mood. :)

Merry Christmas To All...And To All A Good Night!

Always, Carly :)
"Elvis At Christmas"
Berkeley, California
December, 2005

That Red Light In The Christmas Eve Sky

"Christmas is sights, especially the sights
Of Christmas reflected in the eyes of a child."

-William Saroyan

Santa has left the North Pole! He's on his way! :) I am off to make more Christmas cookies, Elvis and his daddy ate all the Snickerdoodles! YIKES!


Christmas In Quad 1

"At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year."

-Thomas Tusser

According to Santa Claus's official website, Santa At NORAD," the area I live in, the San Francisco East Bay, is in quad 1 on his travel itinerary. That means he will be heading toward my part of the world toward the end of his travels later this evening. I am excited! LOL. I am loving being in the holiday spirit for the first time in a long time. Too many to count I guess. While my energy is low, my spirits are high and I can't help it...I feel giddy. :)

I had a good day. I talked to my Aunt Amanda on the phone, and found out she has already opened the packages I sent her! Silly woman never could wait for the holiday. LOL. She is so much fun, maybe sometime I will get to go and visit her in Virginia. We haven't seen each other in years, but one phone call and that old kinship falls right back into place as if it were just yesterday, when she and I last saw each other. On one trip she and I spent the day doing girly things, we went shopping in Arlington. She and I could shop till we dropped. :) Mostly, I just enjoyed her company.

Elvis is already being the perfect little Christmas kitty. He knows that there is something under the tree for him, and he goes over to his package and paws at it, then looks back to see if I am watching. Today he stole 3 Snickerdoodles off the kitchen counter where they were cooling. I came out of my office to find him trotting down the hall, with a look on his face that seemed to say, "go ahead, get mad, it will be totally worth it!" Goofy cat. :)

Do you think the curse will make it to 18 years? Will it happen? Will someone who I have never met call me a "BITCH" on Christmas eve? It's only 12:36 AM here on the West Coast, there is still lots of time. Tee Hee. I am going to track Santa Claus as he leaves the North Pole at 4:00 AM EST, and travels around the world. In fact, I plan to track him throughout the day, so come by if you want to see some updates, and I will let you know if the curse comes true. The curse of December 10th came true this year, and I will share the details of what happened in an entry next week. Let's hope I will have something to share about today as well. Long Live The Curse! LOL. Ok, I know, it's a dysfunctional way to look at Christmas, but it's all mine. :) See ya later today!

"Santa At NORAD"

Friday, December 23, 2005

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #91: Holiday Haiku!

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day; their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the word repeat of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Weekend Assignment: Write a holiday haiku on any subject.

Haiku have three lines
And seventeen syllables:
5-7-5. See?

Extra Credit: Find a little extra time, for greetings in rhyme!

-John Scalzi

A Haiku huh? Ut oh...LOL...Ok, here goes.

Holiday Haiku
By Carly Gordon (OndineMonet)

A season of joy
Bows, presents, ribbons, love, hope
Holidays at home.

Extra Credit: A holiday Rhyme

Poinsettas are red
Christmas trees are green
Here's wishing you all the joy
The holiday can bring.

"Christmas Bow"
Castro Valley, California
December 22rd, 2005

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Steven's Feline Friday /Christmas Trivia & Fun Facts

"Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of a child they are all 30 feet tall."

-Larry Wilde (The Merry Book Of Christmas)

It's been a couple weeks since I have done one of Steven's Feline Friday here is my Christmas kitty Elvis, all dressed up and ready to go caroling! LOL. No, actually he is ready to go and play outside. Elvis is a strange boy, he loves to go and play in the rain, the harder the downpour the better! It is a lot of fun to watch him run around the yard or sometimes just lay back on the chair and open up his mouth for the rain to dance on him tongue. My camera has a video feature, I think I will make some holiday movies of him playing in the rain, we are supposed to be getting a lot this week...could be a fun way to spend Christmas day since I will be alone. If you haven't played along with Steven's Feline Friday before, well, here is your chance. Just get a really cool picture of your kitty they hop over to Steven's and leave a link. Do your kitties enjoy Christmas bows and ribbons?

Now, here are 10 Christmas facts and trivia for I thought you might enjoy...

1. A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard.

2. According to a 1995 survey, 7 out of 10 British dogs get Christmas gifts from their doting owners.

3. "Hot Cockles" was a popular game at Christmas in medieval times. It was a game in which the other players took turns striking the blindfolded player, who had to guess the name of the person delivering each blow. "Hot Cockles" was still a Christmas pastime until the Victorian era.

4. Franklin Pierce was the first United States' president to decorate an official White House Christmas Tree.

5. In 1907, Oklahoma became the last US State to declare Christmas a legal holiday.

6. In 1947, Toys for Tots, started making the holidays a little happier for children by organizing its first Christmas to drive for needy youngsters.

7. The Puritans forbade the singing of Christmas carols.

8. The real St. Nicholas lived in Turkey, where he was bishop of the town of Myra, in the early 4th century. It was the Dutch who first made him into a Christmas gift-giver, and Dutch settlers brought him to America where his name eventually became the familiar Santa Claus.

9. An average household in America will mail out 28 Christmas cards each year and see 28 cards return in their place.

10. During the ancient 12-day Christmas celebration, the log burned was called the "Yule Log." Sometimes a piece of the Yule Log would be kept to kindle the fire the following year. The Yule Log custom was handed down from the Druids.

"Elvis Celebrating"
December 21st, 2005
9:00 PM

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Mary Christmas

"Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend."


Do you think that political correctness has gone too far? It seems that the war rages on about whether or not Christmas is being given the proper respect it is due. The whole debate about whether it is a "Christmas tree" or a "holiday tree" has left me a bit frustrated. I suppose, it seems like a silly thing to put so much stress on. Why does something so basic have to be placed under a microscope? Be over analyzed and generally picked apart? Why do we humans work so hard at making things so difficult? Sometimes it seems like the people making the biggest fuss aren't actually making the fuss in the name of the ideal so much as crying out for attention. Everyone seems to be in a mad race to be deemed the "most correct" in the war of political correctness. Is this the ideal behind the original idea of trying to be sensitive to those around us? To wear our correctness like a badge?

The above four photos are actually screen shots of one of my favorite episodes of the The Mary Tyler Moore Show . The original air date was, December 19th, 1970 and was titled, "Christmas And The Hard Luck Kid." In this episode Mary Richards, has learned that she will have to spend Christmas in Minneapolis instead of going home to spend time with her family. Her good friend Rhoda Morganstern offers to keep Mary company for the holiday and Mary happily accepts the offer of kindness. There is a brief mention that Rhoda is Jewish in this episode, but the larger point that is made is that religious differences didn't stop Mary and Rhoda from not only enjoying each other's company, but indeed exchanging holiday presents. The feeling of love, of friendship and of the family we sometimes make in the world was what was stressed. The two friends loved each other as family...and as such treated each other with the spirit of the season, respect, love and reverence.

The episode doesn't end there. By the end of the program we find out that Mary's boss and co-workers also go the extra mile to ensure that Mary isn't left sad and lonely for the holiday. Again, expressing the true meaning of the holiday. I was 8 years old the first time I saw this episode,and I enjoyed it a lot. I think because I enjoyed knowing that it wasn't a far stretch to think that folks would do that for each other. In 1970 there wasn't so much arguing about what the absolute most correct image of the holiday season was. A traditional tree? A nativity scene? A snowman? A pink tinsel tree? Like with everything I suppose the holidays even back then had their trends. I don't remember arguing over who would feel offended by semantics. Sigh.

The idea of political correctness should help us mature into a more tolerant and accepting society, but it seems with every other bitter declaration of offense we as a country slip back into the days when people REALLY didn't care about their fellow man. Back to the days when not everyone was allowed to vote. When interracial marriage was illegal. When the color of your skin dictated where you were allowed to worship...despite your devotion to God, even at Christmas. I have heard disturbing things over the last few years. Notions like; "we have to take back OUR God." Sigh. Funny, I thought he was everyone's God, even for those who choose to not believe in him. Religion is a God given right, and as such each of us has been given the gift to choose for ourselves what our beliefs are. Pure and simple. As a country we dictate to the world our joys of religious freedom. And then we turn around and engage in mini-wars with each other about what the most absolute correct way is to spread "the message." After a while, it all seem so hollow, when it should be so simple, especially this time of year. So much could be accomplished if all the bitter hearts, the one's who just have to be right, would simply say, "Have a nice day," no matter what the date is...and mean it.


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Autumn Kisses Winter

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"

-Robert Browning

Today, Tuesday, is the last full day of autumn for 2005. I wish I could have gone out more and played in the sun. Hopefully by next autumn I will have my pace set, because I missed going out with the camera and drinking in the sun. I love the lighting in October and November especially. When I did get out with the camera, I tried to get the most of it. This picture was taken on a good day, at a pretty little flower stand in San Francisco. There were a few clouds in the sky that caused a waxing and waning effect, I like the challenge that provides me.

Hopefully this next year will bring some good opportunities for trying out different lighting scenarios. I am becoming more picky about my subjects and how much time I set aside to capture the shot. I am working on being more aware of my backgrounds. I am going later this week to do some evening shots, if the weather permits. One good thing about my diagnoses is that it is causing me to stop, take a breath and really think about what I want to accomplish when I go out to take photos, where before I would pick a subject and get a general idea for what I wanted and then hope for the best. I photographed a lot of different subjects this year, and the nice thing about that is that I now know what subjects I enjoy photographing the most. Time for more feedback please...What photography subjects do you think I do best with? And what tips would you like to offer me for taking better photos?

"Autumn Kisses Winter"
San Francisco, California
December, 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Decorations!

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love."

-Hamilton Wright Mabie

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Show me the decorations! Yes, it's time to pimp your seasonal decorating bug, folks. Show us what you got. Take the picture post it on your journal/blog, and then come back and leave a link. Easy!

-John Scalzi

Here are my decorations for this year! Both of these photos are of the decorations in my home office. The tree sits right behind me on a table and if you look at the very top you might see something a bit unusual. Yep, we don't put a star on top, we always put a Santa Claus hat! Tee Hee. Long story I will share on another day.

The pretty snow angel bear is new this year, her name is Clare. She sits on my desk and she makes me smile. I may have to keep her out through winter. She is so...wintery! LOL Oh and by the way, the Christmas tree has a name...we call him Axel. He has been with us 12 years, and he is a beloved family member.

"Christmas At Our House"
Berkeley, California
December 19th, 2005

My New Photo Journal

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair."

-Kahlil Gibran

I am not sure if it was the sound of the rain pouring down on the roof, or the warmth of Elvis asleep on my feet, or even the beautiful scent of the various types of wood burning in the nearby fireplaces...but I slept well last night! I know I reached the all important 4th level of sleep, because I woke up feeling clear of mind and warm of spirit. I was even feeling a bit creative. So, as the rain and thunder made a grand noise outside, I sat back in my chair and thought about how much it sounded like laughter to me, and then I made a new journal.

It is my new photo blog, and it is a combination of the two artsy journals I had on AOL, The Moonlight Gallery and The Blue Willow Gallery. I decided to call my new journal, Ellipsis...Vignettes legeres d' Ambiant (Ambient Light Vignettes). It is all about light, and clarity it provides. I will display my own images along with some personal observations and of course poetry and musical lyrics. All the things that calm the nerves and soothe the soul.

George Bush makes my feet swell. I tried not to watch the speech from the White House tonight, I tried to remember it was the TV and that he wasn't really in the room spouting that...crap...good thing I remembered that because I kinda like my TV and throwing it into the bay from my window would be wrong! LOL. That would be littering, and I am a conservationist so that would just be bad! I thought about pulling out all my facts and going on a rant. I decided instead to visit my own journal and take my own advice. OmmmmOmmmmOMMMMM. LOL. Lalalalalalalal I can't hear you Bush! I am going to make it until after New Year's without going on a rant. It's a goal. The letter I wrote to Santa about George Bush doesn't count as a rant...Santa understands. OmmmmmOmmmmmOOOOMMM.

Anyway, hop over to the new journal and leave me some feedback. Tell me what you like and what you don't like. Do you want me to post more letters from history? How about musical lyrics? Yea or nay? Do you prefer it when I just post a photo and a quote? I want it to be a good combination of the two journals I had to leave behind. I want it to be a place of peace and comfort. We all need that...don't we? Now say it with me...Ommmm, Ommmmm, OOOOOMMMMMM! :)

"Autumn Fires"
Berkeley, California
December 17th, 2005

Sunday, December 18, 2005

My Winter Movie Picks

"If its a good movie, the sound could go off and the audience would still have a perfectly clear idea of what was going on."

-Alfred Hitchcock

As I sit here, in my office, typing this entry, I am also listening to the rain pounding on the roof. The weather gauge on my computer's desktop reads 39 degrees and my dragonfly windchimes, that hang just outside my office window, and making a beautiful, melodious noise. I am drinking a cup of hot chocolate with cinnamon syrup and topped with whipped cream, some of which, Elvis is licking off his nose. LOL. I can't keep him out of the whipped cream! :) On my desk is a small stack of DVD's, some of them are my very favorite ones to watch in winter. Is there a better way to spend a cold winter night, then to curl up with your favorite cat, and your favorite movie? You could probably think of another way, but for me, this is a great stress buster on a cold winter day. So, here are my winter movie picks...

Holiday Comedy: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Holiday Romance: Love Actually

Horror: Sleepy Hollow
Sci-Fi: Village Of The Damned

Drama: Forever Young
Independent: Party Monster

Family Film: A Bug's Life
Family Film Animated: Chicken Run

Documentary: No Direction Home: Bob Dylan
Musical: Everyone Says I Love You

Political Thriller:The Sum Of All Fears
Action/Adventure: Conspiracy Theory

Stephen King Winter: Dolores Claiborne
Alfred Hitchcock Winter: North By Northwest

Movie With A Lesson: Working Girl
Romance: Return To Me

Christmas Movie: A Christmas Story
New Year's Movie: Bridget Jones Diary
Groundhog Day Movie: Life Or Something like It
Valentine's Day: Chocolat

Movie For A Saturday Afternoon: Dragonfly
Movie For A Sunday Afternoon: A Fish Called Wanda

If you have a favorite movie you enjoy watching in winter, please tell me about it. Just leave me a comment. I would enjoy hearing about them. :)

"Sunlit From Heaven"
Sierra Nevada
December 2002
Early Morning

Saturday, December 17, 2005


"We're all capable of mistakes, but I do not care to enlighten you on the mistakes we may or may not have made."

-Dan Quayle

It has been a long time since I posted an entry about Mondegreens. You know, misheard musical lyrics. I swear there are so many songs in my personal library of misheard lyrics, that always left me wondering, "what could the artist have had in mind when they came up with those lyrics. LOL. For years and years the theme song to both "All In The Family" and "Maude" left me scratching my head in wonder. It all made perfect sense one day when I found out that the last lyric to "Those were the Days," the theme to "All In The Family," wasn't "Gee our old salad ran late, those were the days" but was rather, "Gee our old La Salle ran great, those were the days." Yeah, that makes a lot more sense! LOL. I looked up some mondegreens today at the "Archive Of Misheard Lyrics", and here are some that I thought might bring you a smile. If you have a personal favorite lyric that you have misheard and want to share, feel free to leave it in the comments section. :) I would love to hear about your personal favorite mondegreen.

"I Try" By Macy Gray
Misheard Lyric: Dan stranger, you're weird.
Actual Lyric: Games, changes and fears.

"Killer Queen" By Queen
Misheard Lyric: A built-in remedy for Kruschev's virginity.
Actual Lyric: A built-in remedy for Kruschev and Kennedy.

"Jet Airliner" By Steve Miller Band
Misheard Lyric: Big 'Ol Jed left the light on.
Actual Lyric: Big 'Ol Jet airliner.

"Tub Thumping" By Chumbawamba
Misheard Lyric: I get no towel, but I get hope again, you never gonna give me a towel.
Actual Lyric: I get knocked down, but I get up again, you ain't never gonna keep me down.

"I'd Really Love To See You Tonight" By England Dan & John Ford Coley
Misheard Lyric: I'm not talking about Bolivia.
Actual Lyric: I'm not talkin' about moving in.

"Down On The Corner" By Creedence Clearwater Revival
Misheard Lyric: Brewster hides the waffle and people just gotta smile. Rufus forms a duck face and solos for a while. Beaufort playing the rhythm house on his Kalamzoo, and Willie goes into a dance and the devils on kazoo.

Actual Lyric: Rooster hits the washboard and people just gotta smile. Blinky thumps the gut bass and solos for a while, Poorboy twangs the rhythm on his Kalamazoo, Willie goes into a dance and doubles on kazoo.

"Against All Odds" By Phil Collins
Misheard Lyric: 'Cause we shared the laughter and the pain, and even shared the cheese.
Actual Lyric: 'Cause we shared the laughter and the pain, and even shared the tears.

"Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore" By REO Speedwagon
Misheard Lyric: Corndog winter's night.
Actual Lyric: Cold dark winter's night.

"Can We Still Be Friends?" By Todd Rundgren
Misheard Lyric: It's a strange, savoir-faire.
Actual Lyric: It's a strange sad affair.

"Like A Virgin" By Madonna
Misheard Lyric: Like a German, touched for the very first time, like a German when there's hard cheese next to mine.
Actual Lyric: Like a virgin, touched for the very first time, like a virgin when your heart beats next to mine.

"Lyin' Eyes" By The Eagles
Misheard Lyric: She drives on through the night all constipated.
Actual Lyric: She drives on through the night anticipating.

"Paradise By The Dashboard Light" By Meatloaf
Misheard Lyric: So open up your thighs, I've got a big surprise.
Actual Lyric: So open up your eyes, I've got a big surprise.

Yeah...not quite the same thing huh? LOL.

"Just Another Autumn Night"
San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge
December 8th 2005
Late Evening

Friday, December 16, 2005

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #90: Holiday Memories

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time."

-Laura Ingalls Wilder

Weekend Assignment #90: Share a treasured holiday memory. If it happened during the holiday season (which means, basically, from the day after Thanksgiving to the end of the Bowl games), it's eligible.

Extra Credit: Fruitcake:Ever, you know, had any?

-John Scalzi

Ok, so there aren't many holiday memories from when I was a child that I care to dwell on, that's ok, because I don't happen to believe that one has to reach all the way back into the deep, dusty archives of one's personal experiences to come up with a beloved fact some of the nicest ones can sometimes be the newest ones we make. As a matter of fact, I was given a pretty nice memory gift this past Wednesday, when I got a very well timed phone call from my Aunt Amanda, who lives in Virginia and who I am convinced is psychic.

I see my therapist every Wednesday, and this past session she thought it might be a good idea if I laid out my plans for the upcoming holidays. Was I coping ok? Was I sad or feeling misplaced? All valid questions. It can be a strange feeling to know that you are alone in the world. That what blood relations that are close by as far as geography goes, might as well be strangers. It's that family dynamic that usually makes me feel lost at the holidays. Seeing other folks embrace their brothers and sisters can be somewhat painful, but at the same time it also leaves me feeling hopeful in a strange way, because it is good to see that not all families were as fragmented as mine. Who would want a world like that? family are circus people...someone has to be...right? LOL.

Actually, there is one member of my family, my last real blood relative, my Aunt Amanda who isn't a circus performer, she is a sweet, loving, kind hearted woman, who is full of energy and who loves me, faults and all. She even shares my wacky sense of humor. With my Aunt Amanda, all she demands of you is that you be yourself...whoever that may be, good or bad. She and I have always been close, and she has been there for me in times when I had lost everyone in my life except for Alan. She has always understood the scars left behind by my mother, because mom was her sister, and she knew all about mom's problems with mental illness. My Aunt has been a neverending source of love and strength for me. She loves me.

Last Wednesday she and I made another memory. Alan decided after my appointment that I would feel better if I went on a drive, as opposed to going right home after my appointment. He grabbed some lunch for us and took me up to Twin Peaks, in San Francisco for a quiet lunch and an afternoon with one of the most stunning views of San Francisco that can be seen. We were up there for about 45 minutes , when Alan decided to go and photograph some beautiful Red Tailed Hawks that were flying on the other side of the vista. I stayed in the car and shut my eyes, trying very hard to not notice how achy I felt and how sad the therapy session had left me. cell phone rang. It was Amanda.

" ok honey? I have been thinking about you for a couple hours." I couldn't help it, I had to cry just a little. She always knows when I need a long distance hug. :) So far this Christmas that is my favorite new memory, the sound of my Aunt Amanda's voice on my cell phone...telling me she loved me...and that I will always have her love and acceptance, then asking me what silly thing I have done lately? We usually get a pretty good laugh sharing our mutual penchant for misadventures. LOL. She is a wonderful lady, and a fun person to make memories with, even across the miles.

Extra Credit: I LOVE Fruitcake. My favorite fruticake was made at a bakery in New Orleans. Sigh. There was nothing like it. They are rebuilding and hope to open up by next Christmas.

"The Guardian"
San Mateo, California
November 26th, 2005

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Squirrely At Christmas

"Perhaps the best Yuletide decoration is being wreathed in smiles."


Ok, so I am standing in the very narrow aisle of Albertson's grocerie store having the most bizarre conversation with Alan, when all of a sudden it dawned on me...I am a bit squirrelly at times. LOL. Now, I have been noticing for months that I have been losing words and mismatching my verbs and other assorted grammar boo-boos, and frankly it had me somewhat concerned. It all made a lot more sense when my doctor went over the list of symptoms for Fibromyaliga, and sure enough one of the problems one will experience will be difficulty in concentrating. This is also a symptom of Epstein-Barr, the difference is it doesn't take me 20 minutes or more to come up with common words when I am having an Epstein-Barr flare-up, but it does with the Fibromyalgia. Sometimes it can be even more severe, resulting in my not being able to get a whole sentence articulated, that's when I worry. Who wants to seem, "not quite right?" Right? This can be a very judgmental world.

I am taking things slow, following the wonderful advice that I have received from all of you who have either emailed me or left comments with suggestions. Shelly, is right, I have to learn to find my pace, I am new to this and I am in the early stages so I am still educating myself as how to proceed, there is no real reason why I can't lead a somewhat normal life if I want to. So, it's a support group after the first of the year, so I can give as well as get some support and a class in Tai Chi, to keep my muscles in shape. Today was a good day. I was thinking clearly, and I even took a trip to the top of Twin Peaks and got some lovely shots of the city. I am crossing my fingers that I will be able to go next week and do some night shots of San Francisco from Twin Peaks ...the view is stunning.

But sometimes, like at Albertson's the other day I have my moments which remind me of how human I really am. But even I can see the humor in being human, after all if you can't laugh at yourself...others will just do it for you. :) So, here is how the conversation went...

Alan: Carly, do you want to make some cookies or brownies this weekend?

Carly: Well, how about some double chocolate brownies with some chopped Peppermint Patties added on top during the last 5 minutes so they make the brownies taste all minty?

Alan: That sounds good.

Carly: Ok, let me look at the box to get the directions.

Alan: Ok, I will go and get some Peppermint Patties

(During this time in our story our heroine is reading the back of the box of brownies to get the very complicated directions.

Alan: Here are the Peppermint Patties

Carly: I can't believe the directions they have printed on the box! They must be owned by Stouffer's. Look at this...(Carly points to the back of the box) It says use 2 cups unwrapped York Peppermint Patties. What in the world are they thinking? I mean, what kind of recipe would call for leaving the wrappers on. Maybe because the foil would give it a fancy look. Shrug.

Alan:Ummm...Carly...let me see the box please.

Carly: See right there (Carly Pointing to the directions in question).

Alan: Umm...Carly...The directions are right.

Carly: How can THAT be?! Is this like your ridiculous explanation about how you sex a chicken.

(At this time, I hadn't noticed that there was a child of about 7 years of age with his mother standing directly behind me).

Carly: Remember how you tried to tell me that all you had to do was run your fingers between the chickens leg to make he or she flab their wings? Sheesh.

Small child of about 7 years of age: Well, wouldn't it make them flap their wings?

Alan: Laughing his butt off

Mother of the small child: Laughing her butt off.

Child of about 7 years of age: Laughing his butt off.

(Chortles all around).

Carly: Alan, lets get back to the situation with the Peppermint patties...shall weeeeeeeee!!!!!!???? Said Carly, unamused.

Alan: Honey, read the directions slowly.

Carly: Yadda Yadda Yadda...eggs...water...Yadda...OH! UNWRAPPED Peppermint Patties means you take them out of the wrapping. Oh, Never Mind! (Spoken as Emily Latilla).

Now about the squirrel...this past September, Alan and I went on a trip down the 17 Mile drive. The squirrels along the drive are very friendly and will come right up to greet you. They love little offerings of pretzels and cookies, well a lady who was sitting on one of the benches next to me was about to toss the little fella a cheese cracker, but dropped a Starlight Mint by accident. The squirrel LOVED it! It completely rocked his world. That was a fun day...and minty too. Ok, so I am a bit dingy these days...I am never boring. It's all just one more thing. :) I am happy this holiday season, and that is a very nice feeling. :) Thanks everyone. :)

"Minty Goodness"
Pacific Grove 17 Mile Drive
September, 2005

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Moon Before Yule

"The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand."

-Frederic Lawrence

I have had a bit more energy the last couple days, I even went for a short drive by myself last night. The weather has been a bit warmer the last couple days, and so my joints haven't been as swollen, and except for one particularly bizarre conversation I had with Alan at the grocerie store last night, I have been feeling a little more clear headed. So, we decided to take a long drive late this afternoon to Tracy, California, to just get out and about the holiday shoppers. I took the camera with me, I always take my camera along when I leave the house, and as I gazed up into the late afternoon sky I saw the moon, peeking out from a buttermilk sky and I felt warm...inside and out. Even with Alan musing that the closer I get to the Full moon for December, the better I feel. The Full Moon for December with be on the 15th, and is called the "Full Cold Moon" or the "Moon Before Yule." Do you suppose the full Moon is making me feel better? I am wired differently, I tend to feel more depressed in the summer where most folks seem to feel it more in the winter. There I go again...always the nonconformist.

Dawn Came Too Soon
By Tomislav Kendjel

Graceful entwine
Of lovers divine
A shadow over the Moon

Alone in the dark
Light just a spark
Dawn will come soon

Caressing hands
Her eyes like deep wells
In them I will drown

A single tear
Nor sadness, nor fear
But a satisfied frown

Our midnight dance
A lover's glance
A waltz through the flowers in bloom

Music so clear
Quite like your tear
Moon casting an awkward gloom

Aux corps d' athlettes
Our soft silhouettes
Again, shadow over the Moon

I beg you, don't cry
I must say goodbye
For dawn came too soon.

"The Moon Before Yule"
Berkeley, California
December 13th, 2005
Late Afternoon

"Lovers In Moonlight" By Marc Chagall

Note: Click on the above image to see it in a larger version.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Art About Town...Sacramento

"The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions which have been hidden."

-James Arthur Baldwin

This past October, I went to Nevada for the first out of state getaway in almost 8 years. On the way we decided to stop in Sacramento to take some photographs of some of the public art displays about town. Sacramento has a lot of open art exhibits. One of the best places to visit is the Capitol Park, which surrounds the Capitol Building. The park is 40 acres filled with trees from around the world, a fantastic rose garden that fills the air with it's spicy, sweet scent, and of course art. Among some of the most poignant of the statues, is the Vietnam memorial which engraved with the names of Californians either killed or missing in action in Vietnam. The California Veteran's Memorial is dedicated to California soldiers who served from the Mexican-American war to the Persian Gulf war. Especially poignant is is the statue of a mother embracing a child with the words printed beneath it on a tiny plaque which reads..."We Honor Those Who Also Sacrificed."Of all the statues that I photographed that day, that is the one I think about the most.

"Art In Sacramento"
Late October, 2005
Early Afternoon

Monday, December 12, 2005

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Pictures With A Theme

"Besides the autumn poets sing
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side haze"

-Emily Dickinson

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Show us a series of pictures with a theme.

-John Scalzi

For this week's Monday Photo Shoot, I thought it would be nice to take a multiple look at the last few images of autumn. There is only a little over a week left of my favorite season, and I am afraid I miss it already. Everything seems so much more vibrant to me during this season. The sunsets, the animals, the flowers, the leaves, the harvest, even the cool water moving gently in the brooks, all seem to embrace life as if they know their time is limited. I love my camera. :)

"Views Of Autumn"
Autumn 2005

Confused Pasta At Christmas Time

"Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant? I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God...I could be eating a slow learner."

-Lyndon B. Johnson

I do a lot of things at my desk. I read, I research interesting things, I edit my photographs, I talk to friends. I drool over David Duchovny, I bake cookies, I fold laundry, I make greeting cards, I draw a devil face on George Bush. I wrap Christmas packages, I clean my oven, I stuff peppers, I play fetch with Elvis. I shop, I contemplate the universe, I sing into my Magic Marker and pretend it's a microphone. I send my friend Danny cryptic emails, and I sometimes eat at my meals at my desk, like tonight. Isn't this strange? I thought Rigatoni was tubular and long, but according to Stouffer's it is kinda shaped like Ravioli. So, I decided to research the mystery before eating my dinner.

I went to the Stouffer's website and looked up the meal in the pasta section, and sure enough they did indeed package the product this way, It wasn't a mistake as far as they were concerned. Ok, but I wasn't satisfied quite yet, so I went to a pasta website that teaches one the proper shapes and sizes of the different pasta varieties, I Love Pasta, and there it was...the Rigatoni I always knew of, but there was no other variety of Rigatoni that looks like what is on the Stouffer's box. The mystery continues! The pasta was delicious by the way...even if it was a bit confused. Maybe it is a slow learner. Jeepers, now I know how LBJ felt. Sigh. LOL. I find the strangest things in my travels, who says you have to leave the house to find adventure? LOL.

"Confused Pasta At Christmas"
Berkeley, California
December 12th, 2005
Early Evening

Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Nest In Your Hair

"You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your head, but you can prevent them from making a nest in your hair."

-Chinese Proverb

As December 10th's go, yesterday wasn't the worst I have seen, in fact it was pretty much uneventful. Well, I mean nothing really unusual happened. Do you suppose that could be the curse in and of itself? Sigh. I am not in the best of moods as I type this entry. No, I am frustrated. Frustrated with myself, frustrated with AOL. Frustrated with learning the newly installed MSN which is now on my computer and will probably be our new ISP after I finish archiving Ellipsis. And oh yeah...I am frustrated with archiving Ellipsis. More then anything else, I am frustrated with the new diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.

I slept 8 full hours last night/morning, and woke up exhausted. I am not reaching that all important 4th stage of sleep. I try so hard to take care of myself, follow the doctor's instructions, but my joints are all swollen, my body aches so bad, my head hurts, I am hungry but don't have enough energy to fix meals for myself at times, so I just lie in bed or sit in a chair and let Elvis cuddle me to keep me warm. I am too young for this, too young to get as tired as I do. I went to Office Depot today, the first time I have driven alone in 3 weeks, and by the time I got home and had a salad, I couldn't take one more step. I was honestly too tired to lift the fork.

I feel bad even complaining, especially in light of the how brave so many in the land have been, while facing truly life threatening illnesses. I don't have a life threatening condition...but it certainly is life altering. I wanted to go and photograph something very special tonight...the Sausalito Lighted Yacht Parade. Tonight was the 17th year that the parade has taken place, and I couldn't go. Alan and I were going to leave when he came home from work, grab a quick bite and then head for Marin County. Nope.

Sigh. It frightens me that I was too tired to have gone. My camera is part of what helped me recover from Anhedonia. My camera is what helped me through the death of both of my parents. My camera is what has seen me through most of the painful moments in my life, and is becoming difficult to plan on the wonderful day trips I pushed myself to take this year. If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn't have taken the first doctor's diagnosis as the absolutely only one available. I wouldn't have pushed myself to keep moving, because I thought it was Epstein-Barr and that is what you do with that condition, as opposed to Fibromyalgia, where that is the very worst thing you could do.

I don't know if I have the energy to learn MSN. I don't know if I have the energy to finish archiving Ellipsis. I know I can't judge everyday of the future as being like the last 24 hours. I refuse to feel sorry for myself, but at the same time...I do feel frustrated. I am going to shake things up a bit for myself today, I am going to sign off and make some Christmas cards to send out. I want to enjoy the holiday this year, it's very special to me this year. As frustrated and sad as I feel tonight, I am very aware of all the blessings I have been given this year. For one thing, I now have the proper diagnosis. :) Right?

"Marin County Autumn Sunset"
Marin Headlands
November, 2005
Early Evening

The small light in the center of the photo is the Point Bonita Lighthouse which sits on the cliffs of the Marin Headlands. To see the image larger, click on it and you will be redirected.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Five Of Carly's Quirky Ways :)

"Imagination is more important then knowledge."

-Albert Einstein

I love doing these memes. Shelly, author of the journal, " Cyber Chocolate," as well as many other terrific blogs, has tagged me for this one. Five Quirky Things. The idea is to list some quirky aspects of your life or personality. Oh my...where to start! Tee Hee. Shelly, thank you so much for tagging me, I had a lot of fun doing this one! Ok, so here we go...

1. My over use of my favorite punctuation the ellipsis... :)
2. The fact that I do believe in curses. YIKES! Today is December 10th!
3. I have been known to bake chickens upside down.
4. I like to do laundry in my green M&M's Halloween costume
5. I have a "Wall of Fame" in my home that has photographs taken by either Alan or myself of famous people that we have met personally. The only celebrity that is on the wall that I didn't meet in person is John Ritter.

There you have it. I bet you could have guessed most of these, but it was still great fun to remind you of how quirky I can be. :) Ok, now it's time for me to pass this on to five of my friends. So, Sam, Judith, Robbie, Andrea and Tilly lookout, I am about to send you an email! Bwahahahahahaha!

"Stopping To Appreciate Art"
Academy Of Art University
San Francisco, California
December 3rd 2005
To see the above photo in a larger version, click on the image to be redirected

Friday, December 09, 2005

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #89:What I Really Want

"Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury."

-Coco Chanel

Weekend Assignment #89: Money is no object: What do you really want for Christmas/Hanukkah/This seasonal Celebration of our Choice? Shoot for the moon, here folks. Share the thing you'd want to get if everyone you knew was a billionaire and wanted to spend money on you. One caveat: Don't ask to get celebrities or other people for the purposes of, well, you know. We're trying to keep things PG around here. Also: wishing for world peace is all very nice, but come on. Treat yourself.

Extra Credit: Seriously, what would you do if someone got you that thing?

-John Scalzi

Ahh yes, the longed for luxury items we all daydream about. I actually have so much that I don't really do a lot of daydreaming about material items very much, but sometimes...when no one else is around I kind of wonder what it would be like to have this one certain item. It is sexy, practical, fun, and more then a little luxurious. The item I would choose would be the $12.5 million dollar "Sexy Splendor Fantasy Bra" from Victoria's Secret.

No matter what a girl has on, sweatshirt, silk blouse, evening gown, nothing makes a girl feel more sexy and self assured as having on gorgeous, dreamy under things. :) This fantasy bra is sure to do that. It has a pretty floral design, spun from 18-karat white gold. It is covered in 2, 900 pave-set diamonds, 22 rubies and one, flawless, 101-carat flawless Mouawad Splendor diamond. Ahh yes...that would be wonderful under any outfit. If I could wear something like that, for even one day, I think that would be a very nice fantasy to live out. Like I said, it is about feeling sexy, a little naughty, and simply desirable. Yeah...even under a chenille bathrobe. :)

Extra Credit: You bet I would wear it! And smile! :)


"Shopping In The City"
Union Square, San Francisco, California
November 26th, 2005
Early Afternoon

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Happiness And Wonders

"If only we'd stop trying to be happy we'd have a pretty good time."

-Edith Wharton

I got tagged! My good buddy Wil, sent me a very cute little meme to do, it's really easy and it left me feeling kinda good inside. It helps one's mood to focus on the good things that surround all of us and that are at the same time in the eye of the beholder. Here's the idea, "List Ten Things That Make You Happy (In No Particular Order), And The Tag Five People To Do The Same." Here is my ten...

1. Berkeley in autumn.
2. The look on my cat Elvis's face when he sleeps.
3. A caramel apple cider from Starbuck's, on a cool autumn day.
4. Naps outdoors by the pool.
5. Christmas cookies
6. David Duchovny
7. A really good spooky movie
8. Photography. I love my camera.
9. A warm soft, fuzzy sweater, right out of the dryer.
10. French Kissing

There you go, there is my 10 things, and here are the five people I will be tagging. I wonder how many will tag the challenge? Now, go hop over to Wil's journal and take a look at this awesome entry! Thanks Wil, you always send the best memes.

1. Steven
2. Maryanne
3. Patrick
4. Deborah
5. Phinney


"Berkeley In Autumn"
Berkeley, California
November 25th, 2005
Note: To see the picture larger, click on the image and it will redirect you.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

What Lies Beneath

"May peace be your gift at Christmas."


Late last summer I saw on my local ABC affiliate that a local shopping center located in Emeryville, California, had something very unique about it's particular landscape. In addition to a mall containing shops, upscale restaurants, and a theater, the mall sits on a shellmound, an ancient Ohlone Indian community, including a burial ground. The Bay Street Mall was built on one of the many (about 400) shellmounds that are in various parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The mall was built on that particular piece of property, because of it's easy access to 4 different freeways. In fact, this area was also a major area of commerce and culture for the Ohlone tribe. "Historically and prehistorically it was a gathering place for many different groups to come and trade, to come and gather, to feast, and bury their dead," said Chuck Stripen, and Ohlone descendent.

Recently a documentary film, "Shellmound" was released by local filmmaker Andres Cediel, who researched and made the documentary for his Master's Degree thesis at the University of California at Berkeley's graduate school of journalism. The filmmaker was intrigued with the fact what while he grew up a Bay Area, he had never heard anything in history class about the many Shellmounds in the area. His documentary details how the shellmound was created over time. How what started as a pile of discarded sea shells, eventually became a sacred place for the Ohlones. At the time of the shellmounds dismantling in the 1920's, the mound was 30 feet high and covered an area the approximate size of two football fields.

The shellmound became an amusement park, with a dance pavilion built directly atop the mound. People literally danced on the graves of the Ohlone residents. When the amusement park came down, a paint factory was built in it's place. A paint factory which eventually became a toxic waste dump with chemicals flowing into the San Francisco Bay. After the paint factory was closed the town of Emeryville began to clean up the site and that's when the property was first noticed by the Madison Marquette Developers in 2001. The delvelopment company worked together with representatives of the Ohlone tribe to try and build in the property as to not disturb the tribal remains.

As artifacts were discovered on the property, they were moved into small boxes and buried in a very narrow hole somewhere on the property. They placed a small monument to the shellmound stating that the bones and artifacts were from the Ohlone tribe and then the box and the monument were both paved over. There is an acknowledgement to the tribe and the artifacts found on the property, along with some photographs of the old shellmound, but there is no mention of the fact that people are actually buried beneath the mall.

There are many different views of the situation. Chuck Striplen, Ohlone representative says, "I think it would make shoppers uncomfortable if they if they advertised that they were shopping at Victoria's Secret over a burial ground. Developer, Eric Holliman says, "It is an incorrect characterization because a shellmound was a lot more then a cemetery, it was a city. It was a village. And filmmaker Andres Cediel says, "I think the biggest misconception about the site, is that it wasn't a cemetery, because it actually was and still is a cemetery. Archaeologists working in the Emeryville area say that over time more artifacts will continue to be found.

Until this past summer, the property that sits below the Bay Street Mall was not mentioned much. It was never made widely known that the Bay Street Mall was built on an ancient Ohlone burial ground. So tell me... would you feel comfortable shopping there? I have never actually been shopping at this particular mall personally. I have driven through the area and it is absolutely lovely. In fact it is one of the loveliest malls in the East Bay, but I have my own feelings about shopping there, knowing it's history. Tell me what you think. Is this a bad idea? Is this desecration of sacred ground?

"Mall Decorations"
Hillsdale Mall
San Mateo, California
November 25th, 2005

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Art About Town -Berkeley

"How rich art is; if one can only remember what one has seen, one is never without food for thought or truly lonely, never alone."

-Vincent Van Gogh

Berkeley is a town filled with art. There are murals, and commissioned art pieces and sculptures all over the city, and on the Cal Berkeley college campus. In fact, there are over 40 pieces of art that cover the grounds of the university. Sculptures of all different images and ideas. There are gods and goddesses, abstracts and, of course, there are many different bear sculptures that pay homage to the school mascot a golden bear named Oski. They are all truly fascinating, but it is this sculpture in particular that I enjoy looking at the most, and my eyes goes right to it every time I pass it. It is called "Rotante Dal Foro Centrale," and was created by Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro, who has placed variations of this work throughout the world including the United Nations in New York.

Originally the globe sat at the University Art Museum,but during the building's renovation it was moved to a spot near the western gate to the university. According to the university landscape architect, Jim Horner,the globe draws attention and inquiries as to what it's meaning may be. Some have even speculated that it is a memorial to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The sculpture was created in 1968, when the artist was teaching as a professor of art at Cal Berkeley.

It is a wonderful sculpture that brings a different emotion to me every time I view it. Sometimes a smile when I will see someone walk past it and tilt their head, or a when I see children peeking through it's center to their friends standing on the other side. It is fun to watch others enjoying art and contemplating it. Sometimes I wonder which is more interesting, to me, the art itself or the reactions others have to it. Either way, art is supposed to provoke emotion in those who view it, and this particular piece certainly does that for me.

"Rotante Dal Foro Centrale"
University Of California Campus Berkeley
Berkeley, California
November 24th, 2005
Late Afternoon

To see other works by this artist click here.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Favorite Photos Of 2005

"Honor The Past

Live The Present

Create The Future"


John Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot: Favorite Photos Of 2005

The drive along the 17 Mile Drive weaves you through some of the most beautiful area in California. It winds through Monterey, Carmel and Pacific Grove. You see gorgeous landscape of the Del Monte Forest, sometimes wildlife such as deer and the very playful squirrels, and of course the Pacific Ocean and the gorgeous cypress trees like this one, named "The Lone Cypress." This tree has withstood earthquakes great and small, and inspired many artists, writers and photographers and when you see it in person you know you are indeed looking at the past the present and the future.

The Lone Cypress
August 26th, 2005
17 Mile Drive, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey, California

Christmas Cookies

"Isn't it funny that at Christmas something in your gets so lonely for...I don't know what exactly but it is something that you don't mind so much not having at other times."

- Kate L. Bosher

The holidays are a difficult time for me. I HATE Christmas music, well most Christmas music, with a fiery passion. I like the song, "Walkin 'round in Women's Underwear." That one makes me laugh, and I like the Christmas Album Greg Kihn and his kids made last year. It was available as a free download from KFOX where he is currently the morning DJ. And I kinda like a few others, mostly kicky Beach Boys, but traditional tunes...nope. Santa Claus gives me the wiggins, and there is only so many times I can watch "It's A Wonderful Life," before I get the blues, even though it has a happy ending.

There are other things I enjoy about the holiday. The Christmas tree lights, the unique way folks decorate their houses, stories like the little girl, Virginia O' Hanlon, who wrote to the New York Sun to find out if what her playmates had told her was true. Was there a Santa Claus? An editor at the Sun, Francis Pharcellus Church, answered Virgina, in what is now one of the most republished editorials in the English language, "Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus." It's message was timeless and it was truthful. How often do you see that combination?

There seems to be a lot of pressure to be perfectly happy during the holiday season. It's as if a minute after midnight on Thanksgiving, until a minute past midnight New Year's Eve has this invisible kind of pressure to always have a smile on your face and think of the world as joyful and peaceful. That's pretty hard to do on July 10th, just to pull a date out of the air, let alone any day in December. Then throw in some ill timed moves that sometimes happens in life, and all the gloomy nonsense, that's right I said nonsense, about whether or not a Christmas tree is a Christmas tree or a Holiday tree. Yes...It's a Christmas tree. Get over it.

LOL. Sorry but I find that kinda silly, why is the term Christmas tree so threatening? On the other hand why can't some folks understand that wishing someone a "Happy Holiday" or a "Season's Greeting" isn't just politically correct thing to's a polite thing to do. The truth is a lot of different people make up what America is. All kinds of religions, all kinds of philosophies, all kinds of ideas, and we don't know who we are talking to when we encounter a stranger, so is there something wrong with wishing them a thought or a kindness that could apply to everyone without offense? Does it really have to be "Merry Christmas," or nothing at all? It just seems to me that if you really do wish them the good tidings you claim to...then wishing them a "Happy Holiday" does indeed cover it for both involved.

It was a strange feeling finding out when I was in my mid thirties that I am Jewish in heritage. My mother did all kinds of lying and skirting of the truth about herself, and as a result I found out by accident. I am a Methodist in my heart, but I feel a certain longing to find out what she had denied me knowing about the Jewish culture and religion. I explored it a little bit last year, and I am glad I started looking further. I have been reading and educating myself a little bit here and there when I can. I will continue to, taking the trek slowly, so I can get the most from what I study. It's the only way I know how to deal with things happen, that I am not prepared for. Research it till I understand it.

The day after Thanksgiving, Alan bought me a Dreidle and some chocolate Gelt coins for playing the Dreidle game. He was very cute coming home with the small bag of goodies, and smiling because, however small a step it might be, it would be a good place to open up a dialog if I needed to talk about the upcoming holidays. Would I be celebrating both this year? Was I ok? Were the music and the decorations getting to me? Nah...I am ok. I am not hiding from having feelings anymore. Where once I was afraid to say out loud how frightening the holidays were because of painful memories, now I can say if I am getting overwhelmed. I have a mood, I move on.

I did something joyous this weekend. I put up my Christmas tree, which sits behind my desk, because I wanted to. :) I cried and mourned a bit some recent losses, I got mad a couple times because one would think in 2005 there wouldn't still exist people who go out of their way to hurt others, but there are. But something really, really nice also happened, something that put me in the holiday spirit...I sat at my desk and made Christmas cookies, while Elvis slept at my feet, and I felt the spirit, the thing I always saw in other people during this time of year,cover me like a warm blanket around my shoulders. And there was no fear. Yep, there is a Santa Claus in my house, and maybe I will ask him to play the Dreidle game with me. Hey, I made cookies! LOL. :)

"Christmas Cookies"
Berkeley, California
December 4th, 2005

To see my photo in a larger size click on the image and it will redirect you.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Someone To Watch Over Me

"We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey."

-Stephen R. Covey

If you have been reading me for a year or more, you probably already know about the days on the calendar that I am sure are cursed for me. December 10th, and December 24th. I am a big believer in curses, well just as much as I believe in well wishes anyway. I have had some pretty profound proof to back up my impressions, although I will admit that sometimes a curse can be broken. As an example, the town of Santa Cruz, California used to be off limits to Alan and I, not because Santa Cruz didn't want us there, no, Alan and I made it off limits to ourselves because within 2 weeks of visiting there, something really odd would happen to us. Strange offbeat things. Wiggy things. LOL.

The curse of Santa Cruz was broken this past summer, however, by Micky Dolenz. Micky was appearing in a free concert on the beach, at Santa Cruz, for one night only, and I just had to go see him perform. I have always loved Micky Dolenz and wanted nothing more then to grab a blanket, a corn dog and sit in the cool evening sand on the beach and listen to the music. After much debate, Alan and I decided to take our chances...I sang, I allowed myself to feel some peace...I had a very relaxing time. Thoughts of a silly old curse were a million miles away. And guess what...Micky broke the curse because 2 weeks came and went and while some things didn't go perfectly smoothly...things didn't go weird.

But alas...Micky is nowhere in sight, but there is this guy. One day a little over a month ago, I was driving into my driveway, which is set really far off the road and there he was, just sitting all alone on the brick edging that goes around the yard. The odd thing is that I have no idea how it got there or who it could have belonged to, but there he was sitting in the autumn sun, as if he were guarding the place. Like a Gargoyle. I wish I knew how he got there. There are no children around where I live, we are in the hills, and set off from the road. It was a mystery. I don't recognize who or what he might be. Does he look familiar to you? Let me know in the comments if you recognize him.

So, I have the curse of December 10th and the curse of December 24th. On December 10th every year for almost 21 years, something odd has occurred. Sometimes I don't find out about it until much later, but occur it does. One year, in which I thought I had beat it, I got a call in March about a car accident I had been in that involved a car I had rented on December 10th. The thing is...I hadn't rented a car or had any kind of accident on December 10th. How could I? I was home with my head under the covers. LOL. Weird.

The curse of December 24th involves my being called a *Bitch* by a total stranger every year on Christmas Even...18 years running. LOL. I kid you not, if it happens this year it will be 18 years in a row without fail. LOL. I don't deliberately go out and provoke people, I don't go looking for trouble, nope trouble finds me. One year it was a fight to the death over some plastic bananas. Still another year, it involved some misplaced Lamb Chops, On yet another Christmas Eve it was my driving skills that served as the provocation to a grouchy holiday consumer. The very first time it happened, it was a lovely little nun I know, who just so happens to be inflicted with Turrets Syndrome. LOL.

So, I guess you can see why I am a bit guarded about those two days on the calendar. I have decided to take them one at a time, no fretting about both at the same time. December 10th is next Saturday,so I am planning on staying home and reading a nice, long, book. Maybe some Neil Simon plays or something like that, but I am certainly NOT going out. LOL. Nope, no way. Of course, I do wonder if this strange, and mysterious little plastic man was sent to watch over me. If he was he may have already left his good wishes for me, because one morning I went out for the mail, and he was gone! Vanished! Could it be? Can this little man's good wishes break the curse of December 10th? Tell me what you think. Do you believe in curses? And do you recognize him? :)

"My Pet Gargoyle"
Berkeley, California
November, 2005

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Julia Roberts And The Big Yellow Taxi

"A Farewell is necessary before we can meet again, and meeting again after moments or a lifetime is certain for those who are friends."


I don't know. I didn't think I would be writing anymore entries about the exodus from AOL Journal Land. I also thought I had truly put it all behind me, and I thought I was able to keep my feelings and emotions in check, I found out different a little earlier tonight, after reading an open letter posted on Joe's journal over at "Magic Smoke." Sigh. You know, it was a pretty straight forward letter, and I am sure that the man who wrote it, Bill Schreiner, VP AOL Community Programming, meant every word of it. It was a very well articulated, "Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out." And to be sure Mr. Schreiner understood that I saw it for what it was I told him so, among other observations. I don't usually cuss too much, it's just not my personal style, but jeepers I sure wanted to tonight. I got angry. It doesn't happen all that often, I know the difference between feeling angry and feeling mad...and yep...I was angry.

I closed the door on Ellipsis two weeks ago, so I wasn't angry about that issue anymore, I was angry because people I love dearly have been hurt for NO other reason but the pursuit of the corporate dollar. There was no need for this to have happened. There was plenty of time to have either fixed the situation or at least mitigated it by fixing the ridiculous bugs and flaws in the software for those who had decided to stay behind and hope for the best. Joe and John were required to take blow after blow because up until now they were the faces of AOL, but this past week some new faces of AOL were put in the place, I assume to absorb some of the ire, but I have to say I was not impressed with who they chose. The only one I will mention in this entry, Susan, comes off at best incompetent and more then a little condescending. Really...not good. The letter posted tonight, from Mr. Schreiner, was belittling, condescending and insulting. I am glad I didn't see that coming, because at least I haven't gotten so cynical as to have thought that is what AOL might do. Jeepers, he didn't even try to sound sincere.

There is nothing more to say. I will begin archiving Ellipsis over here on Blogspot. It will take a long time, but I worked for over 2 years on the journal. It is a part of my personal history. Someday, when I am gone from this earth, a piece of me will still exist...a joke, a funny story from my silly life, a heartbreak I felt, a passion that burned in me, a friend I made, a friend I lost, days when there wasn't anything in particular happening but the music I heard coming from the Ethereal Musician, days when the camera connected me to life, are all a part of what I put into Ellipsis, no matter what it's incarnation is. Too bad AOL never got that. Too bad for them that there is apparently so little passion in their lives that they don't know passion when they see it. It reminds me of when I had Anhedonia and I couldn't enjoy life in any form. I wouldn't wish that existence on my worst enemy. I pity AOL if that is their existence. I wonder if Julia Roberts would still be doing voice over ads for AOL if she realized they steal intellectual property in order to pay their bills, including her salary? It's all so very sad.

"Listen, late last night I heard the screen door slam, and a big yellow taxi took my love away. Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone, they paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

-Big Yellow Taxi (Counting Crows Version)

PS If you are wondering how the picture above goes with my entry...hop over to Joe's "Magic Smoke," and read my comment.