Saturday, April 28, 2007

Plan "B" From Outer Space... And Other Observations!

"Plans get you into things, but you have to work your way out."

-Will Rogers

It's a plan "B" life, a plan "B" life... for me! Yes, I can sing about it. LOL. I am learning not to sweat the petty stuff, but to rather pet the sweaty stuff... and so on and so forth. LOL. Yesterday, Friday, was supposed to be Elvis's big day... I will get to the reason as to why we will be celebrating it today, instead, in a little bit... just read on. :) See... I am smiling, and yes I am aware of my over use of the under appreciated punctuation... ellipsis. See, I used it just then, to indicate a brief pause, which you will understand as you read on...

The Girl From The Wrong Side Of The Street...

It all started when I called AT and T/Yahoo, to order my new service of DSL, which they had assured me by snail mail, that I was more than qualified for. Tee Hee. Okay, so I called the nice representative, her name was Marge I think, and she took all my information, and explained every plan available to mankind even some plans that AT and T doesn't offer. :) Smirk. Anyway, the very last bit of information that Marge needed, was my existing phone number. "Ooooops," said Marge, "Ms. Gordon, it seems that we cannot provide you with the exceptional service of AT and T, together with Yahoo DSL at this time." "What?" Asked the shocked consumer. "Why not?" "Because, unfortunately, at this time, it is not available to customers in your area."

"Ummmm... yes it is," I said. "I have seen my good neighbor Midge, enjoying your excellent service, Marge." "Where does she live, Ms. Gordon?" UT-OH! Had I just got my good neighbor Midge in trouble for stealing DSL? Panic! "She lives across the street, and down the way. Why?" "That's the sticky-wicket Ms. Gordon, she is on the right side of the street." "No, I think she is on the left side of the street if you are coming up the hill." I informed her. "ROFLHAO, actually ma'am I meant, we only offer DSL on the side of the street that Midge lives on." "HUH?!" It was all so surreal. Madge was telling me, I couldn't order DSL, because the line doesn't cross the street. I repeat... "HUH!?" "I am sorry Ms. Gordon, how else may I provide you with excellent service?" Long pause on my end of the call...

"Ms. Gordon... ma'am? Hello? "Yes Madge, I am still here... you have a nice day!" CLICK! I know, it wasn't Madge's fault, but really now... I was living on the wrong side of the street? How earthy of me. ;) With my nerves completely fried, I took a nice long nap, and decided to check other ISP companies later in the day. As of this morning, I am a proud Earthlink customer, with DSL coming in about 8-10 days. Yeah, I know, although it comes with everything I need to install the gadgets all by myself, I am already preparing for the inevitable plan "B" that is sure to follow. :)

And Then The Next Day...

Thursday, Alan woke me a little before 9:00 AM, so I could tune-in to see Regis Philbin return to his show, after having been gone for 6 weeks, while he recovered from a Triple-Bypass. I like that show. It touches on topics, but it isn't all stressful about things. You know? Just a little talk show. Nice. It's a pleasant show to eat your breakfast to, although lately I have really gotten into downloading the Rocky & Bullwinkle show from AOL Video. Tee Hee.

I love the thought of a squirrel and moose making friends, solving crimes, and otherwise assisting humanity. :) It's deep. LOL. But on occasion I do also watch Live with Regis and Kelly. So it was good to see him back up and running. Afterwards, Alan and I watched The View, debated a little, and then he talked me into keeping my word about going on our date to the Marina Green, to fly our kite. My Fibromyalgia was telling me to, "go back to bed," but it was a warm day, really clear, and a good bit of wind, so the conditions were just right. So, I got up, it took me a couple hours to get dressed, man I was tired, but my spirits were high, so off we went, across the bay to San Francisco.

We decided to head to Golden Gate Park first. It would be nice and windy there, and I could drop by the gardens and look for life. I found lots of life, see above. The California poppies were in lovely full bloom, and dancing about them, were some enormous bumble bees. Happy bees. I had a blast stalking them. It was kind of fun to realize my fear of them is completely gone. :) I was hurting really bad, so I had to sit down a couple times to work through the pain, but I got back up, and waited patiently, until I got the picture I had in my mind, a bumble bee in flight. :) I did pretty good I think. :) With the photo achieved, it was time to go down to the beach to fly the kite, there's always wind at the beach!

Okay, well, we realized that it was a little too windy to be able to photograph the kite flying. I didn't want to get sand in my digital camera... I like my camera, so the beach was out. What to do? Where to go? "I know... Crissy Field would do!" Silly me, I had forgotten that there is a large wind break at Crissy Field, in the form of rather tall eucalyptus trees. Sigh."Well, shall we try the Marina Green?" Said Alan. "Yes, why didn't we just go there to begin with?" I asked him. "Well, when you said "lets try the beach," I thought you had moved on to a Plan "B." LOL.

Poor Alan, he has gotten so used to life throwing us curves, he just rolls along, and loves me while we go. :) As it turned out, it was a fabulous day to fly a kite, and he did all the work getting it into the air. We laughed, and we made others laugh. He had no idea what kind of kite I had purchased last winter. I let it be a surprise. (Insert evil laugh here). Tune into my blog next Wednesday, to see our kite. Alan is currently looking for a kite of his own, he say the one I chose is just too, "out there!" LOL.

There Are Other Things On My Mind, But...

I had some other topics I wanted to talk a little about, but this entry went a little longer than I had planned, so I decided to just let it flow. :) I am glad I did, it was a little bit of levity, and I needed that because we had to postpone Elvis's 10th birthday party, from yesterday, until later today, and it made me a little sad.We had a bit of drama last evening, when we went to put his balloons and streamers into place. Alan noticed that sitting up under the table umbrella, was a rather large wasp nest! YIKES! It took a while to deal with that.

Sigh. We had everything wrapped, and the balloons ready, and we even got a Lemon Supreme pie, then had to cancel everything. It is the first time since 2001, that we haven't celebrated his birthday on time. In 2001, we were just moving in to our current little place, and everything was just crazy... including me. :( It will be a special party tomorrow, we will make it special. Cross your fingers that the balloons survive overnight. Plan "B" has been activated yet again! If nothing else, this week has given me a chance to pause here and there, choose and unplanned path. There must be a message in there somewhere. :) Why even this entry is a plan "B." It seems Blogger doesn't recognize the very important, yet under appreciated punctuation character that is known as the **Ampersand**. LOL. I had to take two stabs at saving this entry. :) The adventure continues! Check back tomorrow, Sunday, to see Elvis's birthday party photos! :)

"Happy Bumble"
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
April 26th, 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #162: Karma Chameleon

"My whole belief system is that our paths are drawn for us. I believe in reincarnation. I believe we're here to learn and grow. We choose how we come into this life based on what it is we have to learn. Some people have harder lessons than others."

-Gillian Anderson

Hey! Welcome to the first of the reader-submitted Weekend Assignments, in which I've chosen topics suggested by you, the lovely and talented By The Way readers.

This week's question is a head scratcher of a poser, from Astaryth.

Weekend Assignment #162: Reincarnation is a fact and you are going to come back as some type of animal. What kind would you prefer and why?

Extra Credit: Do you think you have good Karma or bad? Do you believe in Karma?

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Hmmm... Reincarnation you say? I am definitely going to come back as an animal? Not a person? An animal? What animal would I come back as? That's easy... I am most certainly going to come back as a common, everyday, house cat. Yep. Probably a gray tabby cat, like my first ever tabby, Chloe. :) How do I know for sure that is the animal I would come back as? It's easy. More than one ex-boyfriend... and current husband... lol... have felt compelled to point out that I have one or more kitty-cat like habits and or traits. ;) Apparently, I am somewhat "aloof," I am "witty," I am "persuasive," I "sneak about," and I can be a little "catty" towards others at times. Particularly females. Alan says that I sleep with one hand tucked under my chin, like it's a paw. Which I do. And theres the fact that I love taking naps in direct sunlight. But now to my credit Alan, and the others, also admitted that I can be quite friendly, clean, adventurous, and very affectionate as well, so at least it isn't that I am just a big fur ball of negativity! WINK! :)

Extra Credit: Over all I think I have good Karma. I am a happy girl most of the time, which isn't to say life has always been a non-stop whirlwind of HAPPY, HAPPY JOY, JOY moments, but I have always been able to eventually get my humor on! Looking for the humor in life really does help.

Do I believe in Karma? Well, what I believe is that what goes around, comes around, and most of the time you will be treated the same as you treat others. Most of the time. I also believe due to free will, a lot about life is random. Shrug. Personally, I just try to do the best I can. :)

"How people treat you is their Karma; how you react is yours."

- Dr. Wayne Dyer


"Cats Stare" By Teo Alfonso

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Rosie O' Donnell Opts For A Different View

"When you are silent, it's as good as lying."

-Rosie O' Donnell

The announcement yesterday that Rosie O' Donnell will be leaving ABC's The View this coming June, probably didn't surprise most people, or did it? According to an AOL poll I read earlier today, 81% of those who responded to the question as to whether they agreed or disagreed with O' Donnell's opinions, said they did not, and 80% also said that the attention given to her sometimes controversial remarks is "excessive." It's a fact however, that when Rosie O' Donnell joined The View last September, the ratings climbed dramatically, and have consistently stayed high. So, I have to ask, who are the people that took the poll? And who are the people tuning into The View every day that represent the spike in ratings? Are they sometimes one in the same? Was Rosie, the person we loved to hate?

I know speaking for myself, she did actually draw me back to The View, after having not watched the show for a number of years. As frustrating and childish as I felt she could be at times, I found myself agreeing with her about 85% of the time. I think she had an uncanny ability to be right, and at the same time, be so completely wrong with how she chose to present her opinions. When those moments of ire came up, I also found myself putting some thought into why I felt the way I did. It challenged me. I think on some levels I appreciated that, but not always. I found her remark about Kelly Ripa, being "homophobic" to be an irresponsible assumption, that seemed to be based on one incident, in which Rosie wasn't there to see the whole story. It didn't seem fair to place that characterization on Ripa, without at least asking her side of things.

I also have to admit, I watched to see the fur fly between she and Elizabeth Hasselbeck. OK, it's not the best trait I have, but there it is in all it's honesty. I can admit it... I liked the controversies, most of the time, however, the situation with Donald Trump continues to annoy me. He is a bully. His remarks about Rosie were, and are, vile. His remarks about Rosie are actually a hit on all women. It's so strange, I found his comments about her appearance as offensive as the remarks made by Don Imus about the Rutger's team, but we don't say much about jokes regarding weight, the way we do about gender or race. I wonder why that is? It seems jokes about weight, either too fat or too skinny, are still fair game, no matter how much damage they do. Sigh. I wish Rosie could have used the incident with Donald Trump, to bring that more to the forefront. The question has been asked, "Was Rosie too fat for ABC?"

Oh well, whoever ABC chooses to replace Rosie, one thing is for sure, they will have to be ready to deal with whatever controversies remain. Of course ABC might choose to bring someone to the mix that will be willing to pick up where Rosie left off. Personally, I would like to see The View moderated by someone who is a little more like the woman Rosie replaced, Meredith Vieira. She had her opinions, they were strong and she pulled no punches, and yet she kept it all under control. She was the only woman on the panel, with the exception of Barbara Walters, with a background in journalism. That is what made a difference, and it was a difference for the better. There was a certain class to the show, when Vieira was moderator and co-host, so perhaps the powers that be will play it safe and choose a someone from the world of journalism as Rosie's successor, or maybe they will go for someone with a completely new, fresh perspective on things, who can also bring a different kind of controversy to the show.

Here are a few possible candidates...

Ann Coulter

Ann Coulter could be considered the "Anti-Rosie." Her presence, and views could be interesting!

Elizabeth Vargas

I really liked Elizabeth Vargas, as co-anchor of ABC World News Tonight. I was sorry to see her leave. She just might be the right journalist to moderate The View.

Tipper Gore

She made a snazzy vice president's wife. She worked on causes and issues and continues to support her husband, while not losing herself in the process. She is a strong lady with integrity.

Ariana Huffington

Hey, it's a woman's right to change her mind! Once a republican, Ariana saw the light and became a democrat. No matter which party she was affiliated with, she held firm, and didn't cave to the bullies of the world. Again a woman of strength, but could she practice her view in moderation, or would she bring about even more controversy?

Maria Shriver

She is the first lady of California. She comes from THE democratic family of America, and she is married to republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggar. She has certainly had practice in seeing both sides of any given social or moral issue. I think she would be a fascinating choice.

Sheryl Crow

Her recent trek into environmental activism impresses me. She is currently touring the country with Laurie David, wife of Larry David, and the Academy Award winning producer of Al Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth." As a Breast cancer survivor, Sheryl Crow has also worked hard to bring awareness of the disease, and it's early detection. I could see her bringing a certain perspective to things, but would she want to take a break from singing, to try a new gig?

Carly Gordon

OK, yes I know, I am not now, nor have I ever been a high profile celebrity, but I do have my opinions, and I think I can be fairly articulate when I work at it. LOL. It kind of intrigued me when The View, on a couple occasions this season, chose a member of the studio audience at random, to act as co-host for a day. I could do that. Besides, Donald Trump does not intimidate me in the slightest. PLEEZZZE!

Portia Di Rossi

It wouldn't be a bad idea, to continue to bring a lesbian perspective to the show. It's about time we were representing all kinds of opinions, and lifestyles, rather than perpetuate stereotypes and hide behind our fears and misunderstandings.

Michelle Pfeiffer

As a woman in my 40's, I like the idea of seeing someone with class, from my age group, who can convey an opinion with style. She isn't a journalist, but maybe having someone from the acting world would be a fresh change.

Anne Heche

This lady knows a thing or two about about controversy, having experienced her share over the years. When it all got rough, she didn't stay down, she got back up and reinvented herself. That takes some guts, on the other hand, she has been a bit too controversial lately. She might actually be bringing some difficult baggage to an already stressed situation.

So, there's what I think. Tell me, what do you think? Who should replace Rosie O' Donnell? I have installed a brand new quiz on my sidebar, asking that very question. Go take it. If your first thought for a replacement isn't on my list, let me know who your choice is, by leaving me a comment. Click here for the results of the previous quiz, "Which Comedian Makes Us Laugh The Most?" Come on everyone, opinions, opinions!


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

18 Cat Years

"Procrastination gives you something to look forward to."


It's been a year and a half, since Black Tuesday over on AOL. At that time I was ready for a change, in both blogging places, and ISP's. Sigh. I hate change, so I have dragged my feet, hemmed, hawed, fretted, and otherwise found every excuse in the world to do nothing at all. See, I hate change, lol, bet you didn't know that about me. It's so strange, and such a contradiction, because there are so many things I would like to see change. Lots of stuff in the world, issues much more important than who is my current Internet Service Provider, and so I spend my time considering and pondering what would happen if those other changes took place, rather than how much better off I would be without AOL. Finally, the time to stop fighting the inevitable has come. In a little over a week, I will be making the big switch to Yahoo, with a lovely little DSL connection.

What made me finally come to terms with leaving AOL? Well, it was my latest bout of Fibromyalgia. I have been experiencing one of my worst times since being diagnosed 18 months ago. I am just so tired, and so very achy, that it is painful to sit here and type this, but before you ask why I am here typing and not taking care of myself, consider the healthy trade-off. I feel good emotionally. I am in a good mood, despite feeling like the walking dead. I feel happy that I am making the switch, and being proactive. It's a simple matter of listening to my body, I don't have the energy to sit and wait for AOL to load a page for me, sometimes taking up to 10 minutes, because all their ads don't play nicely with my dial-up connection. It puts me in a bad mood, and makes me tense, which in turn, exacerbates all the other symptoms I have. I need to do what my doctor said, and do what I advise others to do, which is to simplify life a bit.

I have been a complete schmuck for paying $25.00 and some change, over the last 18 months, for services which don't really work for me. I am usually smarter than that. Oh well, rather than continue to beat myself up over not making the switch sooner, because of my dislike of change, I am going to do what Sarah says to do when I have to endure something unpleasant... look for the lesson... and be happy in my new found smartness. Sometimes, it takes a lot for me to write an entry on Ellipsis. Tonight, for example, my hands are hurting pretty bad, and are swollen. I am tired, not sleepy, tired, which is a completely different thing from sleepy. I have little pin point aches from head to foot, and I can't get enough sleep. I go to say one thing, and something completely different comes out of my mouth, and not in a cute, interesting way like... say if ... David Duchovny were in the room. :)

But OK, I feel smarter. :) That's a good feeling, so I am going to celebrate. I have a new magazine, and a big bottle of bubble bath waiting for me in the bathroom. Chocolate/Strawberry scented bubble bath. YUM. I love bubble baths. Ahhhh. All in all, life is going pretty well. I am going to try to go kite flying tomorrow afternoon, Alan thinks the sunshine will be good for me. LOL. We'll see about that one! :) And soon, I will be able to snazzy up Ellipsis with some YouTube videos, I think that will be fun.

No, not videos of me in my bubble bath, naughty people! LOL. No something much more interesting then that! I have always wanted to upload a video of Elvis, you won't believe how much cuter he is in video. He has a neat little meow, and can be quite talkative. Maybe I will make a video of one of our nightly rituals, like the one where he forgets he already has food in his bowl, and I have to walk him into his closet to show him he has crunchies. I have to warn you up front, he can say a bad word/meow from time to time. I don't know where he picks up that kind of language from. LOL. Those entries might have to be rated PG-13!

Stay Tuned :)

"Ghost Party"
Carson City, Nevada
October 28th, 2006
Late Morning

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Blue Skies

"When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky."


Your Monday Photo Shoot: Picture some blue, blue skies. Wide stretches of blue are the goal here. Fluffy clouds are great, too - but try to get skies mostly blue. Interesting stuff in the foreground is groovy, too.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

I remember this day, it was August 9th of 2006, and it was an absolutely gorgeous day! It was a mild day, as temperature goes, and I swear I could see forever. :) Earlier in the day, I had met a bit of stress when someone came very close to hitting my car on the freeway. It was so close a call, that it left me shaken for most of the day, but I continued on with my plans all the same. We spent the day photographing butterflies at the Conservatory of Flowers, and when we were finished, we decided to take the long way home, by way of HWY 1 along the coast. Alan knew all I needed was a nice long break at my favorite little lighthouse, to calm my nerves. It worked perfectly. By late in the afternoon, we were at Point Montara Lighthouse. He and I sat in the little area, just to the right of the lighthouse in the picture. My favorite green Adirondack chair was waiting for me. We talked and laughed, and counted out blessings. It was a close call we had had that day, but just sitting in that warm summer sun, under that gorgeous sky, I was just focused on all that blue.

Blue Skies
By Irving Berlin

I was blue, just blue as I could be
Every day was cloudy day for me
Then good luck came a-knocking at my door
Skies were gray but they're not gray anymore

Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see

Singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds
All day long

Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you're in love, my how they fly

Blue days
All of them gone
Nothing but blue skies
From now on

I should care if the wind blows east or west
I should fret if the worst looks like the best
I should mind if they say it can't be true
I should smile, that's exactly what I do

Point Montara Lighthouse
Montara, California
August 9th, 2006
Late Afternoon

Monday, April 23, 2007

A New Week... A Week With Cat-Attude, Cat Class And Cat Style!

"There are two means of refuge from the misery of life- music and cats."

-Albert Schweitzer

Ok, with last week and all it's sad events behind me, I am prepared to have a good week coming up, it's a special time at our house right now, because next Friday, April 27th, is Elvis's birthday, and he will be hitting the landmark age of 10! That means he will be 56 in cat years. A youngin' really. He still has so many kitten-like qualities. He is such a friendly, loving little fella, I am proud at his ability to make friends with the other cats in the neighborhood. To date he has only had one run-in, and that was with a cat of questionable temperament.So, with all the plans set, we have invited Elvis's friend Sebastiani to join us for his birthday party and BBQ. Last year we had Miss Molly, and the year before Elvis's pal Ernst was the guest. We only allow one kitty each year, because having more than a couple cats in the yard at a time, tends to get too rowdy. You know how 10 year old boys can be! Especially when they are also 56 year old men! LOL.

So, in honor of all things cat this week, I looked up some cute and funny cat pictures, and found some good quotes to go with them. Hope they bring you a smile, I think we could all use a little humor right about now... don't you? :)

"It always gives me a shiver when I see a cat seeing what I can't see."

-Eleanor Farjeon

I am pretty sure Elvis can see ghosts. I will share about that with you some time. :)

"There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat."

-Tay Hohoff

All cats have a unique way of conveying ENOUGH is ENOUGH! You never really have to guess if a cat likes you! LOL. :)

"The problem with cats is that they get the exact look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer."

-Paula Poundstone

I swear the cat in the above picture, looks just like my sister at her most glamorous! No kidding!

"If purring could be encapsulated, it'd be the most powerful anti-depressant on the pharmaceutical market"

-Alexis F. Hope

"If there were to be a universal sound depicting peace, I would surely vote for the purr."

-Barbara L. Diamond

"Cats speak a subtle language in which few sounds carry many meanings, depending on how they are sung or purred. "Mnrhnh" means comfortable soft chairs. It also means fish. It means genial companionship... and the absence of dogs."

-Val Schaffner


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Earth Day

"Conservation means the wise use of the earth and it's resources for the lasting good of men."

-Gifford Pinchot

Happy Earth Day! There is so much natural beauty all around us, and yet, we continue to see more and more of it slip away. Yesterday, I visited the website of the World Wildlife Fund, to read about which species are still on the endangered list. The Monarch is on the list, as are several other butterflies, some native to California such as the Mission Blue, and the Bay Checkerspot. Sigh. I can't imagine never seeing a Monarch again, their beauty absolutely captivates me. The Bay Checkerspot butterfly was given some special attention recently, when a new natural habitat for them was created at the Edgewood County Park and Nature Preserve, in San Mateo, California. I am hoping to take a trip there soon, to see the beautiful butterfly for myself. :) I wish something similar was being done for the Mission Blue.

It's been a tough week all around. My energy is low, but there are some things I plan to do today to celebrate Earth Day. I am going to get my canvas bags in order, I am quite cross with myself for not doing that sooner. All this plastic bag nonsense has to stop. I saw an interesting story on the news last night, about other common sense things that can be done to help the earth heal a bit. Such as deciding to go Low-carb.

No, not low carbohydrate, but rather low carbon emissions. Little things like buying locally grown organic fruit, vegetables, and cheeses made along the northern California coast, such as Point Reyes Blue cheese. I hear it is fantastic, and I have always wanted to try it, isn't now a good time to do so? Restaurants, such as the DeYoung cafe, inside the DeYoung Museum, features ingredients in their menu items, that were either raised or grown within a 150 mile radius of San Francisco. The breads they serve, are purchased from a bakery right here in Berkeley. I imagine a lot more of our local restaurants will be going to this type of system. It's just a good idea for everyone. :)

After a week like this one, I am planning to stay home today, enjoy my yard, and my cat, and a nice healthy dinner of Mixed Green Salad, and Potato Leek Soup. It's going to rain this morning, but by the afternoon, the sun should be out. It's a good day to take the time to reflect and be happy. Who knows, maybe I will hop back over to the WWF website and adopt a Monarch. :) That would make my kitty Elvis proud of me. Now, here are a few of my favorite moments on earth, and what gifts those moments were...

"Let there be no disguising the perilous state of the earth, or pretending conservation is too expensive when we know that the cost of failure to act is far greater."

-Kofi Annan

Conservatory of Flowers
San Francisco, California
August 9th, 2006