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