Saturday, July 08, 2006

Pants On Fire

"I don't consider myself an offensive guy. I'm just a harmless lovable little fuzzball."

-Rush Limbaugh

My oh my, what a week this has been! Korea decided to test launch both long and short range missiles, the official cheerleader for the republican party, Ann Coulter, is being investigated by, among others, Universal Press Syndicate, for possibly plagiarising her own column, and portions of her lastest book, "Godless: The Church of Liberalism." According to the New York Post, it is possible that she lifted material from such sources as the San Francisco Chronicle, The L.A. Times, and a Planned Parenthood pamphlet. So sad. Ms. Coulter loves to throw stones, calling most liberals liars or implying as much. I suppose in her perfect world she is exempt from following an ethical course herself, because she is after all, Ann Coulter. Yeah...I'm impressed. I wonder if anything has been decided about that wacky instance of possible voter fraud Ms. Coulter is being investigated for?

One of my absolute favorite moments from the news this week was the report of Rush Limbaugh having been cleared of possible probation violation charges for being caught with at least one bottle of Viagra. It was ruled that it was perfectly of for him to be carrying a prescription that had his doctor's name on the bottle. Here is where I have to laugh (ROFLMAO!). Apparently Mr. Limbaugh's doctor's agreed to have the prescription written in his psychiatrists name, to save the boy cheerleader for the republican party, any embarrassment. Now I ask you...would it have been a big surprise to find out the Rush Limbaugh needed Viagra? LOL. And if you did actually care enough to ponder whether or not he needed it, would you really care if the prescription was in his name? It's called being human Rush, lots of folks need a little boost from time to time. :) On the other hand, if your doctors are willing to do something so unethical, do you really think they have your best interests at heart? Or are they enabling your poor behavior?

Here is the thing. There are way too many people claiming to be morally superior to other folks, and forgetting that we are all human. As humans we make mistakes, sometimes big mistakes, but we all do it. Rush Limbaugh loves to sit in judgment of people, so does Bill "SHAME ON YOU" O' Reilly, and certainly Ann Coulter. Everyone thinks that if Jill says this, then Jack must say that. No you don't. Freedom of speech was not meant as a tool to throw in one another's face, it is a liberty to be used with respect to hopefully communicate our views to each other. Without it, we would all be forced to walk around in silence. Think about that for a moment. (Insert silence here for five minutes). Would our world be better off in silence? As asinine as I find the opinions of both Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, I wouldn't want for them to not be able to voice how they really feel about things. Here is what I don't understand. Why do these folks feel that they have to lie in order to express their views? What's the deal with sitting in judgment of me for being a liberal? Who are they to tell me what my level of patriotism is? Or whether or not I can believe in God and still support pro-choice?

Of course, the practice of finger pointing and judging isn't limited to the republican pundits, we have some loud mouths on the democratic side also. Both parties have decided, to a degree, that name calling, and placing lables, is somehow clever. Sigh. What a fine example all this is for the children of this country. Being able to scream the loudest, doesn't make you right. Being able to make a positive change for the better , for the common good, makes you right. Demanding that a TV show you don't like be removed from the air, doesn't make the world safe, ending wars makes you safe. Too many people think that if problem can be hid, it will go away.What a lesson the American military is learning, about hiding details about certain incidents in Iraq. Making abortion illegal won't make it go away, it will simply mean that those who don't want to know it goes on in the world won't have to face how ugly the truth can get. Hide all the social problems, so we don't have to work at finding some real answers and some real solutions. We all want our own way, and we want it NOW! We are a fast food society, and we are dying of our own fatty consumption, a little more everyday.

"With Relish On The Side"
Cambria, California
June 28, 2006

Friday, July 07, 2006

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #119: Boston!

"Today is going to be a...less bad day. I can feel it. Sometimes I wake up and know everything is going to be...less bad."

Weekend Assignment#119: Boston! Home of baked beans and the Red Sox. Share some of your favorite (or not so favorite) things about this quintessential New England metropolis. From the Big Dig to local Founding Fathers. It's all up for consideration. For the purpose of this Weekend Assignment, you can consider things near Boston as well (Cambridge or other nearby cities).

Extra Credit: Did you ever want to go to collage at Harvard?

1. My favorite season is autumn. The autumns in California have their moments, but when compared to the autumns in the New England states, California autumnal foliage almost looks black and white. I have always enjoyed seeing photos of the colorful autumns in Boston, as the trees that sit along the Charles river, light the days with crimson red, bright yellow and orange hues. Photographing lighthouses is another passion of mine. So maybe, If I am lucky, one day I will get to visit Boston, during that time of year, and then be able to add some east coast lighthouses to my portfolio, such as the one above which sits in Boston Harbor.

2. One of my all-time favorite show was Ally McBeal. I really identified with her, and in some ways it sometimes seemed like it was actually written based on my weird love life, prior to Alan of course. Also, there were times when my imagination could be as vivid as Ally's was. Still is sometimes. LOL. :) David E. Kelly, the shows brilliant creator, also thought up one of my current favorite shows, Boston Legal. Is James Spader amazing or what?

3. Speaking of great shows...who could forget Cheers? My favorite character was Woody Boyd, played by Woody Harrelson. I don't think I missed a single episode of Cheers, throughout it's 9 seasons. One of my favorite quotes came from a very early episode, which involved Diane's mother meeting Sam Malone...

"Hello Mr. Malone, it's nice to meet you. Why you are almost as handsome as Diane says you think you are."

LOL. How do you not love a place where everyone knows your name? The Cheers bar is modeled after an actual bar in Boston, originally called The Bull & Finch Pub, but which is now known as Cheers because the original name made it difficult to find the bar which was the inspiration for the NBC series, Cheers. You can visit the official web site here. I think it might be nice to have a drink in there one day, it is an interesting part of pop culture history. :) Didn't you love the theme song...

Where Everybody Knows Your Name
By Gary Portnoy

Making the way in the world today takes everything you've got
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot
Wouldn't you like to get away?

All those nights when you've got no lights, the check is in the mail
And your little angel hung the cat up by the tail
And your third fiance didn't show

Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name
And they're always glad you came
You want to be where you can see our troubles are all the same
You want to be where everybody knows your name

Roll out of bed, Mr. Coffee's dead, the mornings looking bright
And your shrink runs off to Europe and didn't even right
And your husband wants to be a girl

Be glad there's one place in the world,where everybody knows your name
And they're always glad you came
You want to go where people know
People are all the same
You want to go where everybody knows your name.

Isn't that a great thought? :) A single, comfortable place where you are accepted for just being you? :)

Like Ally said..."Today is going to be a...less bad day. I can feel it. Sometimes I wake up and know everything is going to be...less bad."

Extra Credit: I thought about it for about five minutes. Unfortunately, it simply wasn't going to be a feasible life path for me. It all worked out for the best anyway. :)

84 Beacon Street
Boston, Massachusetts
(617) 227-9605


Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Summer Place

"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy."

-Anton Chekhov

I went back to the Conservatory of Flowers, in Golden Gate Park, yesterday to see the new butterfly additions for the special exhibit. There weren't as many butterflies on this visit as there were the last time I was there a few weeks ago. So, while they weren't many in numbers there was about 5 new varieties. I noticed something that made me a little sad this time around. There were about 20 or so butterflies of different varieties, that had a good amount of damage to their wings, and I saw about 10 butterflies throughout the exhibit that had passed away. One beautiful little brown butterfly was lying on it's side on top of a large green plant. She looked so tiny. :(

I have to wonder if they are being damaged by all the visitors to the exhibit or if they are emerging from their cocoons already injured. I am hoping that most folks would behave themselves when visiting something as amazingly beautiful as a butterfly exhibit, but one never knows. I observed more then one person batting them away as the little butterflies would try to land on their shoulder or clothing. Why would someone come to this type of exhibit if they were afraid of a butterfly? It makes me sad to think that someone would give up the experience of having a soft, gentle being, such as a gossamer, land on their hand, because they haven't taken the time to learn about how delightful, and beautiful these creatures really are.

The butterfly in the above photo is a Polydamas Swallowtail, and while she was really damaged on one side, and she had to work really hard at flying about from flower to flower, the fact that it was difficult didn't stop her. I admire that. :) I must have spent 20 minutes or so, just watching her live her life. She didn't seem to mind my presence. Maybe she knew how much I admired her...maybe she simply paid no attention to me at all, either way she made my day a little brighter just by living her life so carefree, because it hadn't occurred to her to feel sorry for herself. :)

A Summer Place
By Percy Faith

There's a summer place
Where it may rain or storm
Yet I'm safe and warm
For within, that summer place
Your arms reach out to me
And my heart is free from all care
For it knows

There are no gloomy skies
When seen through the eyes
Of those who are blessed with love

And the sweet secret of
A summer place
Is that it's anywhere
When two people share
All their hopes
All their dreams
All their love

There's a summer place
Where it may rain or storm
Yet I'm safe and warm
In your arms, in your arms
In your arms, in your arms
In your arms, in your arms

"Polydamas Swallowtail"
Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
July 5, 2006

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Art About Town...Berkeley

"A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture everyday of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God implanted in the human soul."

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Normal Again...

Ok, so, I had a human moment yesterday...I got angry. The previous entry I wrote in this blog was written at the height of passion, and I meant every word. As good as it felt to sit down to my own blog, open up a vein of my existence, and write an entry that came from deep within my's not a good feeling to feel that way inside, even if the pain of the emotion soon passes. See, I used to think that anger was inappropriate, something to be avoided at all cost. Anger was something you should deny. One day, one horrible life changing day, I found out how wrong I had been.

I can sit right here and tell you that I have endured my worst day on earth. I didn't think I would when it was happening to me, but survive it I did. I went nuts in the process, but that one particular day didn't kill me, at least not physically. As I went about my recovery, I learned that anger is not something to be feared, or avoided, or thought of as a weakness. Anger is a part of healing. It is one of the five stages of grief...all of us will go through it at one point or another...and when we reach the other side of the pain...we will be healed. I needed to put out that shout yesterday, because I love America, I love my life, I love the freedom of being able to share my life with you through my blog, I love my cat, I love my husband, both more then life itself, and I love the arts. I hate the thought of the possibility that we in America could see a day worse then what we had to see on 9/11. Enough said.

Time to feel normal again. To do that, I focus my energy toward the arts. There is a place here in Berkeley where one can go to embrace everything that is right with the world. That place is the Addison Street Art Walk. Addison street is filled with art and music and poetry all along the avenue. One of my favorite mediums is the poetry plates that line the street on both sides. Some poems were submitted by up and coming poets, some of the poetry plates contain the lyrics to songs, some of the plates quote Shakespeare's sonnets, and even one of two are from the beat generation poets such as Allen Ginsberg, who actually lived a couple blocks over from Addison Street when he wrote part of his once banned work, "Howl." Addison street saves my soul sometimes. Here is one of those beautiful poems that I read today, that reminded me of how good passion in life can feel.

In These Dark Times

You must feel loved when you read this.
Lean against the back of the hand
stroking the back of your neck. Relax.
In the pocket where you once kept marbles
In a bag full of kisses
Open it. Let it go.
Someone is humming in the next room
with a throaty laugh at every missed note
because mistakes don't matter.
No, don't go see
You don't even have to listen.
You are loved.
There's a warm smell coming from the kitchen
and a puppy's nibbling your slippers
but you are too comfortable to get angry.
There are so many people who want this.
Just this.
Believe me, they are not your enemies.

-Julia Vinograd

I am so lucky to have a safe place to go to embrace the beauty of the world, I am so lucky to have my cat sitting on my lap ready to pat away my tears, and no matter what tomorrow brings my way...I am lucky to have that sunrise. Everything is normal again.

"Berkeley Poetry Walk"
Berkeley, California
July 4th, 2006
Late Afternoon

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

How Long Till We Reach Elmo?

"Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war."

-Donald Rumsfeld

To say I am seriously pissed at this moment would be a serious understatement! Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks said it first, then took it back, "I am ashamed to have George W. Bush as our president." I don't think she should have taken it back. So, now I will say it...I am ashamed to have George W. Bush as our president!

Three years ago when the United States invaded Iraq...the very same week by the way...North Korea was marching their military prowess in their streets, flaunting the fact that they HAD weapons of MASS DESTRUCTION. And what did the United States do? We invaded Iraq, instead of concentrating our energies, our diplomacy, our budget on working on a way to try and avoid what happened today at 2:30 PM EST. Today, North Korea launched 2 short range missiles, which landed in the Sea of Japan. Still on the launch pad, and fully loaded, is a long range missile capable of reaching the United States. Does it get much worse then this?

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condolezza Rice, and others have let us down. They have lied. They have made us the most hated country in the world. They have sent out young men and women off to fight a war without proper equipment. They entered into a military action without an exit strategy, they STILL haven't captured or killed the main threat to America, Osama Bin Laden. We have all learned the government won't be there if there is another natural disaster. So yes, I guess you could say that George Bush is an embarrassment. I make no apologies for my opinion. I will NEVER take it back, so let the casting of stones begin.

The thing is...what are we going to do when we wake up one day, maybe the day after the 4th of July...and America is no longer here? The weapon capable of hitting America, is called a Taep'o Dong 2. Do yourself a favor...go educate yourself!


White House Calls Missle Test 'Provocative'

Note: I went and double check the quote by Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks. Here is the correct quote, according to AOL music...

"We're (Dixie Chicks) ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."

Natalie...I agree!

Happy Independence Day, July 4, 2006

"If you want a symbolic gesture, don't burn the flag...wash it."

-Norman Thomas

There has been a lot of symbolic gestures lately involving our nation's flag. In case you haven't been paying attention you can read all about it here and here. Keep in mind as you raise the flag in honor of the 4th of July...there is more then one way to desecrate the flag. If you are unsure of the proper etiquette for handling our flag, at least for now, see the link below. Happy 4th of July!

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."

-Thomas Jefferson

"To those of you who received honors, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you too can be president of the United States."

-George W. Bush

Flag Etiquette

"Happy Independence Day"
Sausalito, California
July 4th, 2005
Bush Photo: AP/Charles Dharapak

Monday, July 03, 2006

Your Monday Photo Shoot: A Bugs Eye View

"Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky."

-Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Silent Noon

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Pretend you're a bug. Take a picture from that point of a view. You choose the bug: Fly, spider, bee, wasp, caterpillar, fleas, a dung beetle, which used to be Gregor Samasa, whatever. Just make sure you view the world from that point of view.

-John Scalzi (By The Way...)

If I could be any winged creature it would probably be a dragonfly. So, as I look at the above photo I imagine myself thinking the following thoughts...

"MMMMmmm. I love my home. To sit quietly among the water lilies, in the morning sun, is the only way to live. I can sit on this lily pad all day if I want, or I can stretch my wings and do my dragonfly yoga. I'm content with what my life is about, and to be surrounded by beauty and to know inner peace. Now, maybe I will fly over to that lily pad right over there...just for the experience."

What? That could be what a dragonfly might think. LOL :)

"A Dragonfly's View"
Conservatory Of Flowers
San Francisco, California
June, 2006

If Blogs Had Dust Jackets

"Whenever I endured or accomplished some difficult task...such as watching television, going out socially or sleeping...I always look forward to rewarding myself with the small pleasure of getting back to my typewriter and writing something."

-Isaac Asimov

This weekend certainly held it's challenges, that was for sure. Elvis didn't want me to sleep, he wanted me to play. When a 30+ pound cat sets his stubborn mind to something, there is no convincing him otherwise. As a result, I am tired...really tired. Hopefully I will be able to get enough rest today (Monday) and Tuesday to be able to go up to Twin Peaks and take photos of the 4th of July fireworks over San Francisco. I look forward to that, but right now, as sore as I am, it's a bit iffy.

So, while I didn't feel like making this a long entry, I did think it would kinda be nice to have a little fun. So, I thought I might share and idea I had today. What if Blogs and Journals had dust jackets, the same as books do. If they did, what might yours say about the author? there is a thought. What might mine say? So, with a little bit of fun with my digital camera, I created a self-portrait, then I threw in a little of my sense of humor, and a little bit of my recent past, and here's what I came up with...

"Carly Gordon became a successful citizen journalist by authoring her first journal/blog, "Ellipsis," which she began on AOL in late summer of 2003. Her modest success continues with her second blog, "Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly," after she, along with many of her fellow blog authors, made the exodus from AOL to Blogger following the events of "Black Tuesday." The AOL ad scandal of November, 2005. She is currently working on her first book, a horror story tentatively titled, "Silver Key." Carly currently lives in Berkeley California, with her husband and a cat named Elvis."

LOL. I don't know...maybe if there was such a thing as a dust jacket for blogs and journals, that would be what mine would say. How about you? What would your blogs dust jacket say? If you want to play along, post your entry and come back here and leave me a link so I can see it. I will update this entry so folks can find you. Who knows...maybe it will catch on. :)

Alternately, if you would like to write a review of my blog, "Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly," go for it. Be honest, I can take it. This is your chance to tell it like it is. Feel free to leave your review in the comment thread for this entry. :) Go's ok...I can take it. FRET! LOL. :)

"Me at 44 at 4:00 AM"
Berkeley, California
July 2, 2006
4:00 AM

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Americana...A Round Robin Promotion

"The common place of America are to me the richest subjects in art. Boys batting flies on vacant lots; little girls playing jacks on the front steps; old me poddling home at twilight...all these things arouse feeling in me."

-Norman Rockwell

When I think of Americana, I always tend to think about the moments of America that have become obsolete. I am not sure why. We have a lot on things that are still just as fashionable and American, as they have always been. Apple pie, Saturday picnics in the park, 4th of July fireworks, fried chicken, Texas style BBQ, baseball games, but somehow I always gravitate toward the Americana of yesterday. In fact, when I was writing Ellipsis on AOL, I began a series I called, "Forgotten Americana," which was my nostalgic tribute and the "Good old Days." I wrote about less of Drive-in movies, the Automat, and the big, yummy, greasy burgers that I used to get, at the now defunct, Red Barn. Anyone remember the "Barn Buster?" Since the age of health food, there has been a definite push for fast food restautrants to prepare their offerings with healthier ingredients. Sigh. Tell the truth...didn't the burgers we used to get as children, back in the 60's and 70's have a wonderful, greasy taste?

I miss that taste. Sigh. But I do see the need for American's to have a more healthy alternative when buying food out. I get that. Heck, most of the time I buy a salad when I am on the run. I love my salads, especially late in the day, as a pick-me-up. Sometimes, I replace my dinner all together with a large Jamba Juice. It gives me a ton of energy, and is full of all the vitamins I miss on those days when I forget to eat. It does a body good. But deep in my heart, sometimes I have to look back in time to when I was a little girl and a hamburger from Foster's Freeze, was such a treat. Ahh...the there is a big bite of Americana if ever there was one. Except did you know the hamburger wasn't actually invented in America at all? Nope, it evolved over time, you can read all about it here.

So, scratching my head, trying to think of what I might do for my next entry in the Round Robin Photo Challenge, since the topic will be Americana. Should I go ahead and photograph some of the great American fads? Hoola-hoops, yo-yo's, Beanie Babies (YUCK). Maybe I will cook an authentic California Cuisine menu, and present it. Or I could photograph a t typical day at the beach, or I could photograph a popular landmark! Nah, could you stand seeing even one more of my photos of the Golden Gate Bridge? LOL. I think I will do some research, maybe Google the word, "Americana" and see what it says. Of course if it says something like, Apple Pie, Fried Chicken, Hoola-Hoops, Rock-and-Roll music, Norman Rockwell and Baseball...I might just scream! LOL.

This is going to be a fun round with the Round Robin Challenges, thank you Cosette, for coming up with this idea for our challenge. We had a great turn out for out last outing, of which the topic was, "Flower Power." We added four new Robins to our photo club! That is an awesome number, and there is always room for more! If you have never played before, why not come along for the challenge of, "Americana." Cosette says that the interpretation can reflect anything truly American, such as customs, folklore, geography, or even history. The date of the challenge will be, Wednesday, July 12th. You can post your entry any time between the midnights of that day, and for up to one week after the challenge date, but you have your best chance of having your entry be seen if you try to post on that date. :) Just drop by the official Round Robin blog to learn all the details. If you haven't played before, please read the ***WELCOME ENTRY & RULES OF PLAY*** entry before you leave us your RSVP.

Cosette... Pandora's Bazaar

Round Robin Challenge: Americana

***Welcome Entry & Rules Of Play***

"Order In Motion" at an American Diner
Johnny Rocket's
Milpitis, Califorina
Spring, 2005