Saturday, August 12, 2006

"Transportation"... A Round Robin Promotion

"He who loves, flies, runs, and rejoices; he is free and nothing holds him back."

-Henri Matisse

This is going to be fun. :) Robin, author of the journal, "These Are The Days Of Our Lives," can up with a cool new challenge for us. She has chosen, "Transportation," for our next Round Robin outing. :) Pretty awesome, because there is so much one can do with that topic. We all have to get from here to there...don't we? LOL. The little butterfly in the above photo, decided to hitch a ride on my arm. I was very pleased to let her. :) She was incredibly soft, and quite properly respectable. LOL. She had been on the floor of the conservatory, she looked a little wee, so I gently scooped her up and she and I spent most of the afternoon together as I snapped photos of her friends. When it was time to leave, I placed her on a large yellow flower, and said goodbye, but I have to say, if I could have brought her home with me, I would have. I would have made her a tiny hat, and she and I would spend whatever time she had left, discussing life, and the silliness of it all. :)

"Transportation," is a pretty cool topic for everyone. I hope you will join us for the fun on Wednesday, August 23rd. As always, you can post your entry any time between the midnights of that day. Or, if for some reason you have to be late, you can post any day for up to one week past the challenge date. Your best bet, to have as many folks see you as possible, is to post the day of the challenge. :) You can find out all the information you need at the official Round Robin blog. Also, in case you haven't already heard, Steven, is now a full team member of the Round Robin Challenges. It's going to be a lot of fun to have him on board. Yay! Thanks again Steven, for helping us to make the challenges a lot more fun!

Hitchin' A Ride
By Vanity Fair

A thumb goes up, a car goes by
It's nearly 1 am and here am I
Hitchin' a ride, hitchin' a ride
Gotta get me home by the morning light

I got no fare to ride a train
I'm nearly drowning in the pouring rain
Hitchin' a ride, hitchin' a ride
Gotta get me home, to my baby's side

Ride, ride ride, hitchin' a ride
Ride, ride,ride, hitchin' a ride

Long distance call I got today
She sounded lonely, so I'm on my way
Hitchin' a ride, hitchin' a ride
Gotta get me home, keep her satisfied

Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride
Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

A thumb goes up, a car goes by
Oh, won't somebody stop and help a guy?
Hitchin' a ride, hitchin' a ride
Been way too long from my baby's side

Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride
Ride, ride, ride, hitchin' a ride

"Hitchin' A Ride"
Conservatory of Flowers
San Francisco, California
August, 9th, 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #124: Learning To Drive

"I feel like I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe."


Your Weekend Assignment #124: How did you learn how to drive? How many tries did it take? What was the first car that you bought?

Extra Credit: Got a picture of that first car?

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

LOL. I looks like the theme for Ellipsis this week is transportation ! :) Yesterday, I shared with you my, "whattheHELLwasthat," passenger in a near tale of woe experience, and now I find that John Scalzi has chosen a driving them for our weekend assignment. LOL. On Saturday I am doing a promo for our next Round Robin challenge, which coincidently is "Transportation" and I will be finishing up the weekend with another round of, "Caption This!" Which, again by coincidence, has an transportation feel to it." LOL. Will wonders ever cease? Oh well, on with the assignment...

Q1. How did you learn to drive?

A. Alan taught me to drive. I was 23, and he thought it was about time I learned. He was right. It only took me six weeks. He was very good about teaching me to drive in different cities around the Bay Area, in which each seems to have their own rules, lol, and different lighting conditions. :)

Q2. How many tries did it take?

A2.I got my license on the very first try, the day before Thanksgiving, 1985. I scored a 96. Thank you very much! ;)

Q3. What was the first car you bought?

A3. Hmmm. The first car I ever owned in my name was after we got married. It was a Pontiac Firebird, but that was Alan's car before we got married. The first car we picked out as a couple was a Dodge Shadow, after that came a really dumb purchase of a KIA Sephia. Sigh. So I guess the first car I ever bought with my own money...sort of...was a 1999 Saturn SL1. She is pictured above and her name is Angelica. I said sort of, because I used my own money for the down payment, and while I was working I made the car payments. At one point I had to quit my job, to care for an ailing relative, and Alan took over the payments at that point. But Angelica was always mine all mine. :) She is beautiful. I love my car. :)

Extra Credit: See Above :)

Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
Spring, 2005

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Hey Buddy! I Have A Cell Phone, And I Am Not Afraid To Use It!

"Reckless automobile driving arouses the suspicion that much of the horse sense of the good old days was possessed by the horse."


Sigh. Something happened yesterday (Wednesday) that both frightened, and angered me. I think it would have inspired those emotions in anyone. Here's what happened. Alan and I drove from Berkeley, down to Castro Valley to check our PO Box. It is about 19 miles south of Berkeley. After we picked up the mail, we continued on with our plans to go across the bay to San Francisco. We got onto Hwy 580 heading westbound, it was about 10:00 am, and there was hardly any traffic, so good for us, it was going to be a pleasant ride.

We were driving along, talking about a recent episode of ABC's, Extreme Home Makeover, when all of a sudden a black Ford "F" series pickup truck crossed came up behind us at a high rate of speed, passed us on the left, clearing us by about 4 feet, and exited off the freeway at 150th avenue. There was nowhere to go. There was a white SUV in the left lane, and we were in the far right lane, if we would have swerved, we would have hit the retaining wall. If we would have hit the brakes and locked them up, we would have more then likely spun, and hit the white SUV. Alan, thought quick on his feet. He applied light pressure to the brakes, and gripped the wheel...really tight. It was too damn close. You know? I think there is a good possibility that if I had left the house as little as 3 seconds earlier, or did one thing a little differently then I did, I would more then likely be dead. Sigh.

As I saw the truck coming across the lanes in front of us, I tensed my whole body up, raised my legs up on the seat in front of me, and prepared myself for what I thought just might be the end. I remember thinking about Elvis being home alone, with no one to take care of him, and then I thought to myself, "Please don't let Alan be in any pain." Then, nothing happened. The truck cleared us and exited the freeway doing about 50 miles per hour. Alan was still gripping the wheel, and holding the lane, and the SUV pulled over...quickly. I don't think either Alan or myself was breathing...not really. I know one thing...I WAS PISSED!

Here's the part that I like the best, and I think I deserved a pat on the back. Instead of demanding that Alan follow Mr. Truck off the freeway, so I could personally beat the guy to death with his own arm, I picked up my cell phone, and reported him to the Highway Patrol. I didn't get a license plate number, but I did remember some details of the truck that could be helpful in tracking him down. Another plus in this situation, Mr. Truck, exited the closest off-ramp to the Alameda County Sheriff's Department. I have no idea if he was caught, I don't really want to know, what concerned me the most was that after he exited the freeway, he may have harmed someone. I could not have lived with myself if I had come home, and found out that he had killed someone later in the day. Sigh. It happens that way all the time.

I don't call 911 lightly. I don't take traffic slights with anger and acid. If you get on a California freeway, a freeway anywhere for that matter, you will more then likely encounter someone who really doesn't belong behind the wheel of a vehicle. After we both stopped shaking, we continued on with our day at the Conservatory of Flowers, in San Francisco, but I have to tell you, all I really wanted was to retreat into myself. The whole episode brought back memories of a car accident I was in with my brother, when I was 16. Ironically, we had been on I880, heading to San Francisco, to see the King Tut exhibit. Sigh. I said nothing to Alan, and we went ahead to the Butterfly Exhibit, at the conservatory. And then from there we did some other, usually fun things, around the city, and down the coast. I will share some of that next week.

I am sore tonight. With Fibromyalgia it doesn't take much to make your muscles hurt. Sometimes your body will hurt with no provocation at all, let alone after you have tensed up to the extent I did. I laid down after we got home for a little while, and woke up to Alan asking me if I was ok, because I was talking and crying in my sleep. I don't remember what I was dreaming about, but I have a suspicion that it was probably all the things my mind didn't have a chance to process. Sigh. I know for sure that literally seconds, made the difference in my life yesterday. There are a couple things that I think I can hold onto in this. Alan didn't loose control, I did call the police and give all the information that my mind was clear enough to catch and retain, and when we passed the white SUV, that had pulled over after the incident, we both saw that the driver was on his cell-phone. It is my hope that whoever that was, they were able to get the license number, and that the call they were making was to the Highway Patrol.

On a personal note...

If you are reading this blog, and you are the one who cut us off in traffic today, at approximately 10:10 am, heading westbound on Hwy 580, near the 150th avenue exit, LISTEN UP BUDDY! You don't want to piss me off! I might be 4 ft 10, but I have a cell phone, and I am NOT AFRAID TO USE IT! And I will be more then happy to show up for your court date!

On a lighter note...

I went on to the conservatory, and I photographed the butterflies. I lived my life. I may have been shaking most of the afternoon, and I may be in some pain right now, but if what happened did anything to me, it empowered me! I didn't occur to me to take the easy way out, by engaging in road rage...I did something far better in the long run...I stood up for myself the RIGHT way! Go me! LOL.

"Seeing Eye To Eye"
Conservatory of Flowers
San Francisco, California
August 9, 2006

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Round Robin Challenge: Summer Gardens

"Flowers are beautiful hieroglyphics of nature, with which she indicates how much she loves us."

-Wolfgang von Goethe

rRose, author of the journal, "WAIT-NOTYET" has chosen, "Summer Gardens," as the subject for this Round Robin challenge. I didn't plant a summer garden of my own this year, so I decided it might be fun to show you some of my favorite public gardens, and how lovely they can be in summer. :) Thank you rRose, for the chance to reflect on one of the loveliest parts of summer...the flowers! :)

Lets begin with the Conservatory of Flowers, located in Golden Gate Park. The above photo shows it from a distance. It is always stunning, now matter what time of year you visit. In that it's basically a hothouse, you are treated to the very best of summer florals, not just outside the conservatory, but inside as well. The orchids are my favorite.

Conservatory Of Flowers, San Francisco

Alamo Square Park "Six Sisters," San Francisco

Aquatic Park, San Francisco

Queen Wilhemina Garden, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Mission Rose Garden, Santa Barbara


Be sure to visit the other members of the Round Robin Challenges. To see their interpretations of this challenge, and give them a little support. Simply click the links below, and you will be redirected to their journals and blogs. And be sure to check out the official Round Robin blog tomorrow (Thursday) to find out what our next challenge will be! :)

Round Robin Participants


2. Carly... Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly POSTED!

3. Karen... Outpost Mavarin POSTED!

4. Tammy...The Daily Warrior POSTED!

5. Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pix POSTED!

6. Robin... Search The Sea

7. Suzanne R... New Suzanne R's Life POSTED!

8. boliyou... Percolation ***Welcome New Member*** POSTED!

9. John... Personal effects POSTED!

10. Maryanne... Inside The Gilded Cage POSTED!

11. Patrick... Patrick's Portfolio POSTED!

12. Janet... Fond Of Photography POSTED!

13. Betty... My Day My Interests POSTED!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Ice Cream!

"I doubt whether the world holds for any one a more soul-stirring surprise than the first adventure with ice cream."

- Heywood C. Broun

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Cool down with a photo that in some way involves ice cream. Other frozen treats such as Popsicles, frozen yogurt, ice milk and sherbet are also entirely acceptable. If it's sweet and it's frozen, it qualifies.

Also remember that although it's the Monday Photo Shoot, you can get pictures in until Thursday noon.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

That's not just any scoop of Ben & Jerry's chocolate ice cream, that is a scoop of Ben & Jerry's chocolate ice cream that I bought at the Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop, which sits at the corner of Haight/Ashbury in San Francisco. I probably should have gotten a scoop of the Cherry Garcia, named for Grateful Dead musician, Jerry Garcia. LOL. Especially since that particular Ben & Jerry's store, is just down the street from Jerry Garcia's one time home. The atmosphere on that famous corner is pretty eclectic, and the ice cream shop only adds to the local history and surroundings. As you walk out the front door, and you realize that it faces up the hill toward that famous house, it makes it a much more enjoyable experience. As if it gets better then chocolate ice cream. Especially THAT ice cream. :)

And now, for your enjoyment, an ice cream Haiku!

Ice Cream Folly On A Summer Day (Haiku)
By Carly Gordon

My head hurts so bad.
Hey, what did you do that for?
And you look so sweet.

"Fun With Ben & Jerry"
San Francisco, California
May 25th, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

Earth Standing By... The "Caption This!" Results

"Space is almost infinite. As a matter of fact, we think it is infinite."

-Dan Quayle

Remember the song, "Major Tom?" It was first sang by David Bowie, then by Peter Schilling, in the 1980's. That is what I thought of, when I saw the scene that I used for this caption contest. You can find the entry here. Wow guys, I was amazed at the creativity that I saw in your responses! I may have to do this again, sometime soon. I think you guys might be better at captioning my photographs then I am. LOL. It was difficult to choose just one, in fact I couldn't, so here's what I did.

There were one line captions, and small essay captions. I chose one of each. LOL. Most of the responses I received were just too funny, not to receive some kind of nod! LOL. Below are the winners, so if you haven't already read the entries in the comment thread for the "Caption This!" entry, please go and have a read, you will laugh... I promise! :)

From Will...

"Flamingo machine gun nest guards the Shrine of the Unknown Astronaut... "

From Brock...

"Dr. Crenshaw please? And hurry. What? Oh, yes, I'll hold... Hello? Doctor? Oh thank God. Yes, yes, that's why I'm calling! It's happening, just like in the dream! Wha? Yes, yes, I remember what you said about 'unnatural fear' but you don't understand: It's JUST LIKE in the dream! Yes, the dream we talked about at last week's session. Wha? Of course, do I have to spell it out for you? There are flamingos. F-L-A-M-I-N-G-O-S!! Wha? Well, ofcourseI'mwearingmyspacesuitIalwayswearmyspacesuit!! Hello...hello? Dr. Crenshaw, are you still there? Hello?

{good god, do those flamingos look like they're closer to you?}

Honorable Mention

From John...

"Garden Globe, Berkeley Style"
If you visit your Home Depot garden center, you will find garden globes, clay bunnies, copper butterflies. This is what is being sold at Berkeley's Home Depot garden center. They've already moved 23 of them.

LOL. See what I mean? Tee Hee. Ok, I am still laughing over here, we will do this again soon. In the mean time, would you guys like it if I brought Madlibs back to Ellipsis? Would you play along? How about a different game? Leave me your thoughts in the comment thread for this entry. Come on, you know you want to! :)

I will be sending the winners their prizes shortly. Congratulations! :)

Major Tom
(The Peter Shilling Version)

Standing there alone, the ship is waiting
All the systems are go, "Are you sure?"
Control is not convinced, but the computer
has the evidence, no need to abort
The countdown starts.

Watching in a trance, the crew is certain
Nothing left to chance, all is working
Trying to relax, up in the capsule
"Send me up a drink," jokes Major Tom
The countdown goes on...

Earth below us, drifting falling
Floating weightless
Calling, calling home...

Second stage is cut, we're now in orbit
stabilizers up, running perfect
Starting to collect requested data
"What will it affect, when all is done?"
Thinks Major Tom

Back at ground control, there is a problem
"Go to thrusters full," not responding
"Hello Major Tom, are you receiving?"
Turn the thrusters on
We're standing by, there's no reply

Earth below us, drifting, falling
Floating weightless,
Calling home...

Across the stratosphere, a final message
"Give my wife my love"
Then nothing more

Far beneath the ship, the world is mourning
They don't realize he's alive
No one understands, but Major Tom sees
"Now the light commands, this is my home
I'm coming home."

Earth below us, drifting falling,
Floating weightless coming home
Earth below us, drifting falling
Floating weightless, coming, coming
home, home.

"The Moon"
Berkeley, California
May 23, 2005 3:50 AM

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Ellipsis Flashback: 8/4/04 "When Clothes Betray" or "Ho Couture"

"Clothes Never Shut Up"

-Susan Brownmiller, "Femininity," 1984

I thought it might be fun to tap into the old days of Ellipsis, and bring a little humor back to things. :) I hope you don't mind a repeat, but anyway, for some of my newer readers, this isn't a repeat! LOL. It is however, a true tale. So watch out, because this could happen to you! :)

Ellipsis Flashback: "When Clothes Betray," or, "Ho Couture" 8/4/04

Why do disasters of a highly personal nature, ALWAYS occur when we are standing in line at the grocery store?You know the ones. Somehow a hair, in an inconvenient place will go awry, or maybe your choice of apparel will decide to betray you. It happens. Buttons pop off, zippers somehow unzip themselves, shoe heals suddenly trip you, sending you flying into some, previously unknown person, who is almost always gorgeous beyond belief. Then, instead of being able to utter a simply, "excuse me," it comes out sounding more like, "themminany, forraay." Thank God that has NEVER happened to me. LOL. Nope, not I. Today, however, I did experience a clothing disaster that was tragic, and yet hysterical, depending on who you ask.

Ok, so I am standing in line at Albertson's, and I looked good! I had on my tight jeans, a nice pink sweater, and my brand new, super sexy, slingback shoes. I was looking mighty fine indeed. Yep, I'd date me! LOL. The store was busy, so I had a ton of time to watch people. The lady in front of me was very kindly reading to me the latest headlines, from the world's most trusted newspaper, "The Weekly National Voice of Reason." The headline was certainly compelling to be sure. "Mars Probe Determines The Face On Mars Is Either John Kerry Or Bea Arthur." Hey, this is an important thing to know! So, as she read the article, complete with punctuation, I listened intently. I want to be an informed voter this fall. All was well, but then, all of a sudden, it wasn't. I heard it. The sound dreaded by all women, and men, who wear frontal reinforcements that are of the lift ,and separate variety. BOING!!!!

Yes, that's right, my left bra strap had indeed snapped sending my left boobage to a 180 degree angle...straight down, and leaving my still positioned boobage in my bra at 90 degrees. I looked like a U-Turn sign. Now see, here is the thing, I did have some possible ways out of the predicament, that would provide me at least some grace. I could 1) Ask the young clerk doing the bagging on groceries, to lift the items in my cart onto the conveyor belt for me, while I explain that I had some sudden, unnamed affliction. 2) I could pretend to need one more bottle of La Victoria Taco Sauce, and then make a speedy exit. 3) I could hold my arms stiffly at my side, and feign paralysis, or 4) I could read all the UPC codes to the clerk. I opted for the last choice, and like most choices that have to be made in a dime, it was not the best choice. Not by a long shot.

"Can I help you?" Said the clerk. "Oh yes," I replied. The UPC number for the Grant's Ant Stakes, is #72136009, and the Cover Girl Clean Make-up is # 6197205051, and the Hartz hairball remedy is, # 3270095009. This was not working. The clerk was simply standing there...staring at me. It was awkward. LOL. Then, to make matters worse, the stress on the side of my boobage sling, that was still working, was now beginning to protest loudly. BOING!!!!. OK, well, I could have guessed that would have happened. At least now, all my parts were facing the same direction. But now it was just a matter of time, before they would escape the bottom of my cropped pink sweater. That's what I get for saying earlier this week ... "Sure I will go to a nude beach with you." But that was only if I had been asked, this was a spontaneous and NOT asked for by anyone. LOL. So, I leaned over to the clerk and whispered I was no longer interested in the sale on Hostess donuts, if I couldn't be involved in the purchase by being informed consumer. I had a right to be up to date on the UPC codes after all. Mummphf! After that, I made my dignified exit with my arms held stiff at my sides. I made it almost all the way to the car, before the entire undergarment flew off completely. That is the last time I buy supportive attire at the Dollar tree. On the other hand, look at this dress made entirely of prophylactics. Now THAT is what I call safe attire. LOL


Entry originally published on the AOL version of Ellipsis, August 4th, 2004

NOTE: Be sure to check back tomorrow to find out the winner of the "Caption This" contest! :)