Saturday, May 06, 2006

Things That Go Boom In The Night!

"Pentiums melt in your PC not in your hand."


Whew...Grrrrrrrrr...Whew. It's not like I haven't been warned! Karen has mentioned it, Patrick has mentioned it, Steven has mentioned it. Did I take their advice and do it? No. LOL. It is such an easy thing to only takes a few minutes, so why don't we all do it? Maybe we should designate a special day for it. Yeah...that's it, I hereby proclaim that the first Saturday in every month be, "BACK UP YOUR TEMPLATE DAY!" LOL.

It was tragic! I sat down last night, all ready to post several profound, poignant and very important entries about Lima beans, cats, pigs and orbs, except what do you think happened? I couldn't post those entries because my template had suffered a horrible, hideous, untimely death. It was sooooo sad. I clicked on my journal, and all that was there was a tiny little symbol that looked like this...

( ~T/)
Weep...WHINE...Whimper....WHINE. Oh my, I saw my whole bloggy life flash before my eyes. There is NO way I could go through rebuilding yet another journal. That would just be too much, so, imagine how it felt to think I might actually be looking at the end of my blog...and my blog career! Why, whatever would the Internet do without me? LOL.

Fortunately, my good friend Karen was awake and online, and she came quickly to my aid. Within an hour, I was once again up and running, with only a minor amount of fussing. Karen was awesome. A tweak here a tweak there and faster then you can say, "HTML." I was back. Listen and learn gentle reader...DON"T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! Back-up your templates, so if yours decided to leave the cold, cruel world of the Internet, you can rebuild with a minimum amount of muss and fuss. Say it with me now...

"Yes, I will back up my template!"

The only casualty of the great template breakdown, is that I lost the poll I was running about gas prices. Fortunately I had saved a copy of it earlier in the day. So, I will be writing about the results of that poll tomorrow, but now I have a new poll on my sidebar, about the challenges of blogging. Stop by and take a look at it, I think it will be fun to find out what we all find most challenging about keeping a blog or journal. :) Let me know what you think. Also, do you have any blogging tips you would like to share? Please feel free to leave them in the comments.

Thanks again Karen :) You're the best!

Note: What I mean by backing up your template, is that basically you go into your template, open up a document file, such as word pad, then copy and paste the full body of text information into the document file. Keep it for safe in your document files, or even email it to yourself, should you ever have to replace your template information.

Berkeley, California
May 5th, 2005
Early Morning.

Friday, May 05, 2006

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #110: Strange Dreams...

"A dreamer is someone who can only find his way by the moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."

-Oscar Wilde

Weekend Assignment #110: Recount a strange dream you've had recently. Any sort of dream is fine except the really explicit sex dreams. Because, you know, we're running a family show, here. Otherwise they can be as weird as you want them to be.

Extra Credit: Name a favorite song with the words "dream" or "sleep" ( or some variation of those words).

It's been a tough week. There have been some external stresses going on for me, ones that are hard to explain. Here or anywhere really. You know...sometimes it can be that is...but I get up every day and deal with it anyway, because...LOL...that's all I can do. Sometimes I have trouble communicating with a friend of mine. Shrug. I don't always know why. Is it me? Is it him? Is it because we are both cancers? LOL. Who knows. Somehow...I must be...that I am lacking. I'm just not enough of what he needs in a friend. Shrug. It happens I suppose. It doesn't have to feel good, and as a result, my sleeping is intermittent at times.

So, because of times like these, I take every opportunity I can to try and catch up on whatever sleep I have missed. It's not the amount of time that counts, it's the quality. So, today I took a nap in my back yard, under the pear tree. That tree is magical for sleeping, and it is especially wonderful right now because believe it or is going through a second spring. Just a couple weeks ago, most of the pear blossoms fell from the tree, but to my delight, this week it began to blossom all over's gorgeous. So, I took my pillow, by favorite quilt and I went into the yard to rest...and rest I did.

I was in the middle of a big everywhere, and I was taking a nap, while listening to top 40 music, when all of a sudden an advertisement for Lima beans came on the radio. And not just any Lima beans, "Barry Manilow" brand Lima beans, "which contain no trans-fatty acid." Whew! Because goodness knows that would be something to be concerned about! LOL. Well, just the thought of a good can of Lima beans, had me get up...leave the beautiful meadow, and head straight for my favorite grocery store, Andronico's Market. Except they don't carry Lima beans, so I had to settle for a can of Skintimate, Apple-Berry Moisturizing Shave Gel.

It seems I had to shave my legs because David Duchovny was going to be meeting me back at the meadow, where the big tire swing was now hanging. I no sooner got my legs shaved then David showed up, with a bottle of white wine, a single perfect lavender rose...and a can of Lima beans. LOL. Then we pretty much played out the song, "Kiss Me," as played by Sixpense None The Richer." When I woke up...the Ethereal Musician was playing his sax...and all was very nice in the Berkeley hills. :)

Extra Credit: Dream A Little Dream Of Me...

Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper "I love you"
Birds singing in the sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me
Say "Nigh-ie night and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me
While I'm alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me

Stars fading but I linger on dear
Still craving your kiss
I'm longing to linger till dawn dear
Just saying this
Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me.

"Dream A Little Dream"
Berkeley, California
May 4th, 2006

A Meme From T J :)

"She glances at the photo, and the pilot light of memory flickers in her eyes."

My friend T.J., author of the journal, "Photo Inclusions: Every Picture Tells A Story," included me in this neat little meme, that features one of my favorite The idea is to post of 5 photos as answers to a certain 5 questions. Fun, fun, fun. Follow me...

1. One photo of something you made.

Here is a photo of what I prepared for St. Patrick's Day dinner. Traditional Corned Beef & Cabbage. I love to cook, almost as much as I love taking photos. I want to do more with that this year. I want to learn to take good photographs of food. :)

2. One picture of a gift someone gave you.

Here is a photo of my favorite pendant. Alan gave me this dragonfly for Christmas this past year. I have a dragonfly and butterfly motif throughout my house and in the garden. I have been collecting them for years. He bought me this dragonfly, the day after I was diagnosed with is representational of change. :)

3. One picture of something strange.

LOL. ;) My Pillsbury Doughboy with a dirty face is kinda strange. LOL. So is my sense of humor. LOL.

4. One picture of something with a pig. Why? Why not?

See, this could qualify as both "strange" and Piggy. I don't know what came over me. One day I was shopping at the World Market, and I saw this plastic bag filled with these little pink piggies. I couldn't resist. What the heck was I going to do with a plastic bag of piggie? Well, take pictures of them I guess...that's my story and I am sticking to it! LOL.

5. One picture of something unique.

It doesn't get any more unique then this sculpture, which can be found on the Cal Berkeley campus. The university grounds has all kinds of wonderful sculptures and art pieces...this one is a favorite of mine. It's called, "Rotante Dal Foro Centrale," and is by Italian artist, Arnaldo Pomodoro.

Thank you T J for including me in the neat meme, it brought back some wonderful memories, just by looking at the photos. :)



Thursday, May 04, 2006

Have You Met Miss Molly?

"Cats are dangerous companions for writers because cat watching is a near-perfect method of writing avoidance."

-Dan Greenberg

Meet Miss Molly, she is the sister of Elvis's best friend Ernst. She is a lovely, polite little girl, but she is really shy...and sometimes downright wee. Molly had been a little bit afraid to make friends, until about a week ago, when all of a sudden she decided to trust me. One bright, warm, morning last week, I stepped out the front door to go on some much needed errands, and there she was, sitting on my front stoop waiting patiently for whatever cats wait patiently for. Elvis, her brother Ernst, or maybe she was waiting for the morning delivery of the New York Times. I'm not too sure, but I do know that after 6 months of running away from me, this time Molly was wanting, more then anything else, was to say good me! :) It's a good feeling when a cat gives you their attention. They don't have to you know, as a good friend once reminded me, "Carly, you haven't been ignored, until you have been ignored by a cat."

So Miss Molly and I sat together on the porch, mewing and cooing with each other, we chased a toy mouse left over from Elvis's birthday party. We watched Ernst try to figure out what exactly the opossum was doing, as it made it's way through the ivy, you know, we contemplated all the great mysteries of the universe. And we enjoyed each other's company. I like my friend Molly, I bet she would be great fun at a tea party. :)

To see and share about other beautiful feline friends, be sure to visit my good friend Steven's blog, "(sometimes) photoblog" for his weekly meme, "Feline Friday." As Steven says, "Cats Rule."

"Miss Molly"
Berkeley, California
April 28th, 2006

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Looking For You

"The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people's reality, and eventually in one's own."

-Susan Sontag

I took this photo a couple weeks ago, during my week long respite. I don't know, the bridges in the area just inspire me so much. Especially the Golden Gate. This photo kinda sheds some light on why they probably named it that I suppose. The light that comes in and out of this corridor is stunning. I don't know, it's hard to explain really. This photo was taken on April 18th, the night of the 100th anniversary of the great quake of 1906. I couldn't help but wonder, as I took the photo, could the sunset on the night of April 18th, 1906, have looked anything like this? Do you suppose that when Jack London was photographing the city, as it laid in ruins, he also noticed the sun, golden and smooth in color, dropping gently behind the Marin Headlands, even amid such devestation and chaos?

Jack London Exhibit

"Looking For You"
San Francisco, California
April 18, 2006
Early Evening

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Art About Town: Santa Rosa

"Art is indeed not the bread but the wine of life."

-John Paul Richter

The town of Santa Rosa, California is an art lovers dream come true. The whole town has a rich history, with it's wine country past. There are nearly 200 wineries in the region, as well as some of the finest California cuisine to be found. The Area boasts 16 gold courses, some of the countries top spas, some awesome hot air ballooning adventures and of course, some of the best public art to be found, north of San Francisco.

Santa Rosa is also home to the Charles Schultz Museum. Last year I showed you some examples of the Charlie Brown sculptures that dotted the town throughout the summer of 2005. The 55 statues were auctioned off for charity at the end of the summer. This year it will be Woodstock, 77 of them to be exact, that will be positioned around town, from the end of May until September 24th, at which time they will also be auctioned off. But that is by no means the sum total of the art to be found in Santa Rosa, in fact sometimes art can also be found in the most unusual places.

How about on a bus bench? Yep, the above photo is titled, "Wine Country," and it is a part of the Artstart Benches Program, which is a public art project in combination with a youth employment opportunity. 24 of these benches can be found all around the town, each with a unique theme. 21 apprentice artists from the Sonoma County area were selected to participate in the public art program, which also included a large mural. This particular bench paid homage to the rich history of wine making in the region. Other bench themes included one with a cow theme that was titled, "Sonoma Cow-nty," which sat outside Santa Rosa High School, and "Spirit of Santa Rosa," which was placed at the Sonoma County Indian Health Clinic.

I am looking forward to seeking out the Woodstock sculptures, I will of course have my camera in hand. LOL. Don't ya just love great art? :)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Your Monday Photo Shoot: The Birdies!

"The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the top of the scale, so vehement and intense his life...the beautiful vagabonds, endowed with every grace, masters of all climbs, and knowing no bounds. How many human aspirations are realized in their free, holiday lives...and how many suggestions to the poet in their flight and song!"

-John Burroughs ( Birds and Poets) 1887

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Snap some shots of the birds around you.

-John Scalzi (By The Way...)

Don't ya just love spring? I am so blessed to have lots of fruit trees and Poplars for these wonderful creatures to nest in. I am also blessed with a kitty who brings me the injured ones when he finds them. Life is good.

"In My Yard"
Berkeley, California
April, 2006


"An architect is the drawer of dreams."

-Gracie McGarvie

I love this house. If you are driving north, up the peninsula from San Jose heading for San Francisco on HWY 280, you can see this, "Town Of Bedrock" inspired home, sitting nestled on a hillside. There are all kinds of gorgeous, expensive, homes and mansions all around it, but this place steals the show. Every time I see it, I half imagine seeing, Fred and Barney at the next on-ramp, getting ready to merge into traffic. But alas, I never do, but I always look for them all the same. Now I ask you...How cool would it ne to live in a house that looks like it was built for a "Modern stone-age family?"

Opening Lyrics...

Flintstones, meet the Flintstones
They're the modern stone-age family
From the town of Bedrock
They're a page right out of history
Let's ride with the family down the street
Through the courtesy of Fred's two feet
When you're with the Flintstones
Have a yabba-dabba-doo-time
A dabba-doo-time
You'll have a gay old time

I guess, if one was in the right position to do so, they could have a house built modeled after any of the TV houses we all grew up watching. One of my favorite episodes of the X-Files, "Sunshine Days," features a young man named Oliver, who had the ability to to change the appearance of his house, at will, to resemble the Brady Bunch house. Oliver had grown-up feeling like a loser, kind of like the character of cousin Oliver, from the Brady Bunch, so he created a world where he felt secure and accepted.

I think when I was a little girl, if it had occurred to me that when I grew up I could have a house built to look like a TV house I would feel comfortable it, I would have chosen the Addams house from the Addams Family, complete with the including the artwork! LOL. I loved the marlin that had been stuffed and mounted on the wall, with a human leg hanging out of it's mouth. And who didn't want to blow-up trains with Gomez? Honestly, there are some days when I consider investing in two sets of trains and engaging in that very pursuit. LOL.

Closing lyrics...

Flintstones, meet the Flintstones
They're the modern stone-age family
From the town of Bedrock
They're a page right out of history
Some day, maybe Fred will win the fight
And that cat will stay out for the night
When you're with the Flintstones
Have a yabba-dabba-doo time
A dabba-doo time
You'll have a gay old time

So tell me, if you could have a house built that looked exactly like any TV house which one would you choose? Would you like to live like a Brady? How about a magical house like the one Darin and Samantha Stevens owned? Or maybe you would prefer the typical all American address of 1313 Mockingbird Lane. Of course, in the summertime I used to daydream about living in a hut like on Gilligan's Island. I had such a crush on the professor! LOL.

Hillsborough, California
April 19, 2006

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Garden Gnomes And Codeine

"Do not all charms fly at the mere touch of cold philosophy? There was an awful rainbow once in heaven; we know her woof, her texture; she is given in the dull catalogue of common things. Philosophy will clip an angel's wings, conquer all mysteries by rule and line, empty the haunted air, and gnome mine unweave a rainbow."
- John Keats

Strange...Very strange. Tuesday will mark the fifth anniversary of when Alan and I moved into our little cottage in the hills. In some ways it has been a blink, in other ways it has seemed to drag. I was just thinking the other day about how we lived in our first home, a three story walk-up apartment, for the first eight years of our married life, and all was bliss...well...most of the time. LOL. No marriage is completely blissful, that is one of those things no one chooses to share with you before you get married. Oh, don't get me wrong, there were signs of such here and there. And if my some reason you do happen to miss the clues about marriage having it's moments, there are always soap operas to clue you in.

They always struggle to bring the hero and the heroine together, despite insurmountable odds, only to have them marry in an elaborate ceremony then within six months one or both of the lovers will be plotting the other ones untimely demise. LOL. Well, it's justified, I mean we can't have a boringly happily married couple saving the world...right? LOL.Fortunately Alan and I have always found the adventure in our life together. LOL. Well, I am happy to report...the adventure continues!

If you were reading Ellipsis when it was on AOL, you may remember my little run in with the freaky garden gnome that lives in my back yard. Just in case you missed that adventure here is the basic details. When I moved into my cottage, I was blessed with not just a comfy new home, but the property it sits on, which is more like a small park, then a back yard. It has five fruit trees, and a lot of space to get lost in. It is in a safe place, so I can pretty much feel safe about going for a walk on the property and taking a nap under one of those trees on a warm summer day. No worries. Well, except for the gnome. See, when I moved in here, there were two creatures that were here first, and who I would have to agree to share the space with. A black, ceramic duck, and a freaky garden gnome. I say freaky, because he tends to move about the yard...all on his own.

Truly. I will place him under the lemon tree, and then the next morning he will somehow be sitting on the patio. YIKES. I thought for a time that maybe the opossums, might be moving him, they have quite a sense of humor you know, but no, I think not. Hmmmm. Anyway, one day last year I fell out of a tree, and landed on the gnome, injuring my leg. LOL. Go ahead and was funny. That will teach a forty-something woman to climb a tree in search of the perfect photo opportunity. LOL. So, I was off my feet for a few days, and thoroughly looped on pain killers, when the crazy thing ended up tripping me again. This time in my own office. No, he hadn't wandered into the house on his own, Alan had put him inside one night to give him a coat of paint, and he thought my office would be a good place to put him that was out of the way. Uh huh. Kaboom...

So, fast forward a year to now. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia late last year. I am doing well, learning to find my groove, and learning to take care of myself, but even though there are still the occasional days when it really doesn't matter how hard I try to brain simply won't work the way I want it to. That's ok, it makes for an interesting time. LOL. Like the conversation I had with Alan early yesterday morning, when I held a very intelligent conversation with him while I was sound asleep. It's one he won't forget anytime soon, and I learned that I can still get embarrassed, even around someone who I have been married to for almost 15 years.

Generally speaking, I usually do my writing and photo editing between the hours of 10:00 PM and 5:00 AM. See, Alan snores the roof off, so it makes sense to do my cleaning and creative pursuits during those hours, then I go to bed when he leaves for work. I sleep till about 12:00 noon, get up, and by the time he comes home at 2:30, I am ready to spend the afternoon with him. Well, sometimes I get tired easily now, and staying up all night simply isn't an option. Last night, I was tired, but I felt ok, so I kept to my usual schedule. Well, almost. What I did differently was to get up from my desk, sit back in my favorite recliner, and turn of a rerun of "Dharma and Greg." I don't know when I fell asleep, but I was out cold.

About 5:30 AM or so, I heard Alan, laughing his butt off, and asking me, "what the hell does THAT mean?" Well, I didn't know myself, but I knew somehow I had gone off course. I woke up with words coming out of my mouth, and NO idea who it was saying them. LOL. To the best of my knowledge, I have never heard myself talking in my sleep. LOL. I gotta tell's weird! LOL. Ok, so here's how it went...

I, at some point, got up from the recliner, and came into the bedroom with Alan. He was lying in bed, grabbing those last couple, "one more minute," moments. As I got into bed, he asked me if he could tell me what had happened at work the day before. "Sure", I said..."absolutely." Apparently, he began to tell me that he had some silliness come up regarding a supervisor who double scheduled him, and he was having trouble getting the time straightened out. It wasn't a big problem, but it was one of those stupid scenerios that happen in life. You know...silly stuff. Well, I was listening VERY closely, he said my eyes never blinked once. When he was finished conveying the situation to me, I responded by sharing that, "Well Alan, THAT's exactly my point. THAT is why America has a poet laureate after all. To make sure the opossums put the gnome back in it's proper place. And don't forget the cheese!" ROFLMAO! "Carly, we have a poet laureate to handle my scheduling woes?" LOL. "No, of course not Alan...huh?"

I heard the last few words, and wanted to know myself what that meant. LOL. Oh boy, is that what it's like? Talking in your sleep? It was so surreal. I was only a tiny bit spooked after that. I managed to get back to sleep, but I did wonder why the gnome had been on my mind, since I try so hard to not think about it. It gives me the wiggins, but I don't have the heart to get rid of it. I can be such a schmuck sometimes, but the thing is...he was here first. And besides...what if he came back? That would be a whole other deal completely! LOL. So, I have learned to peacefully co-exist with the gnome. Last night's little adventure probably had more to do with the Codeine I am taking for the back pain which is exacerabted by the Fibromyalgia. Still, there are times when I have to wonder, can an inanimate object REALLY be out to get you? LOL.

Tell me, have you ever encountered an inanimate object that for some reason, seemed as if it didn't like you? Share your story with us. Also, have you ever talked and or walked in your sleep? What did you do? Where did you go? What did you say? Was stress the cause or did you just spontaneously do it? As for the gnome in the above photo...he's isn't my freaky gnome, I have never wanted to photograph him, well, not without his permission. That would just be rude! LOL.

NOTE: Ted Kooser, is our current Poet Laureate. He was appointed in April of 2005 by, James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress. Kosser is the 2004 winner of the Pultizer Prize for poetry for "Delights and Shadows."