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