Saturday, April 05, 2008

Round Robin Challenge: Your One Perfect Scene... Captioned

"In photography, there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality."

-Alfred Stieglitz

A recent poll in my dLife (Diabetic Life) newsletter asked the question, "What is your main creative outlet for dealing with diabetes?" I was surprised to see that 24% of those who responded, don't consider themselves to be creative. I find it a little silly that one would think that they would have no creativity. If you can dress yourself, you have creativity. If you have ever had to think on your feet, really make a decision quickly, you have creativity, if you eat, you have creativity. I think folks forget, it takes creativity to get up in the morning. Creativity can be found in the simplest of endeavors.

When I was ill, I was really ill. Part of my recovery involved participating in an art class. We had all kinds of craft projects available to us, and even if nothing made sense, all we were asked to do was to make the effort. I made masks that represented my moods, I made small seashell creatures with little plastic eyes and yarn mouths, and I did a good bit of drawing and sketching, which usually ended up being pages and pages of sunsets and butterflies. I began that class, as part of my adult daycare. I was a very sad lady. Completely lost. I wasn't even speaking. Thats how sad I was. I wasn't saying anything out loud, but I would think to myself that this was an "impossible feat" they were asking me to do. The doctors didn't understand that colors didn't make sense to me anymore, so how could I possibly do anything positive in this class?

About 2 days into the art class, I dropped out. I felt lost. After a short talk with the teacher, I learned that all they wanted me to do was try. A brush stroke here, a glued eye there. Adding some sequines is a nice touch, so is a little yarn. LOL. They just wanted me to see color, and let it lead me where I needed to go. We experimented with lighting, and textures, and color, and within a month I was talking again. I even managed a smile or two. I didn't know it at the time, but I was on my way back to life, and I have tapping into my creativity to thank for it.

Now don't get me wrong. It was a long road. I had fallen into Anhedonia. That means I had completely lost all ability to tap into my creative mind. It took about 3 years of constantly experimenting with picking out my own clothes, and taking a drawing pad along with me when I had an appointment, and finally, picking up the camera again and taking photos, when I felt the least like doing so. I am so thankful for my camera, and being able to see scenes like the one in the above photo. It's was a series of perfect scenes that saved my life. It really was.

It takes a lot of creativity to be a diabetic. We have to put more thought into things then most people. We have to plan our meals, and think about how we will get the right amount of sleep and exercise. Personally, I bring the camera into as much of my diabetic planning as possible. It aids me. I wish I could speak to those 24% and show them just how creative they already are... and probably don't even realize. :) Creativity gives us hope. Maybe that is why I like naming my photos so much. It reminds me a little bit more of how, and what, I was feeling as I took the photo. :)

We have some outstanding photographers in the Round Robins. I am constantly being impressed with their creativity. Be sure to visit everyone on the Linking List and give them your support. This challenge is especially open to a wide range of interpretation, so you are likely to see a lot of originality! Just follow the links below...

Linking List

1. Carly... Ellipsis

2. Lisa... Lisa's Chaos

3. Karen... Outpost Mavarin

4. Wammy... The Ellis Family Cincinnati

5. Martha... Perception

6. Jan... The Prytz Family

7. TJ...T.J's Photo Expressions

8. Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pics

9. Swampy... Anecdotes, Antidotes & Anodes

10. Janet... Fond Of Photography

11. Monica... Family Affair Photography

12. Marie... Photographs & Memories

13. Vicki... Maraca

14. Jennifer Robin... Robins Woods

15. Jill... Letting Crazy Take A Spin

16. Kiva... Eclectic Granny

17. Suzanne... New Suzanne R's Life

18. Molly... Return of the White Robin

19. Kim... Nekked Lizard Adventures

20. Steven... (sometimes)photoblog

21. Robin... The Yellow Brick Road, The World Thru My Eyes, The World Thru My Eyes, The Yellow Brick Road


22. Sarah... Charish

23. Gattina... Keyhole Pictures

"Closing Time"
Point Montara, California
March 9th, 2005
Early Evening

Friday, April 04, 2008

Black-Eyed Junco

"Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see a bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses."

-Dale Carnegie

Isn't it gorgeous? This little bird is a Black-eyed Junco. I spotted him on a recent visit to the Botanic Gardens, in Berkeley's, Tilden Park. I love going up into the park and walking around. It is a beautiful place, filled all kinds of treasures, such as the beautiful carousel and the Steam Trains. If it's spring, you can usually find me out, with my handy binoculars, looking for new birds, and just this last Wednesday that is exactly where I was. I also spotted a beautiful Great Blue Heron, and a Wild Turkey, but the Junco was new to me.

Great Blue Heron

Wild Turkey

My National Audubon Guide to Wild Birds says that these little guys stay pretty close to the ground, building their nests in small areas of brush. I didn't have my book with me the other day, but I am already planning for my next visit, and you can bet I will be seeking out these lovely little birds, with guide in hand. I can't wait, I want to know more about them!

"Black-Eyed Junco"
Tilden Park
Berkeley, California
April 2, 2008

Thursday, April 03, 2008

April Is National Humor Month

"I wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup?"

-Jerry Seinfeld

I found out a couple days ago, that April is National Humor Month. As I have never been someone to pass up a chance to have fun, I seized the moment and went out to a comedy club with Alan. We have been to quite a few different ones here in the Bay Area, including some Open Mic nights here in Berkeley, but we have narrowed them down to a couple we like the best. One is Rooster T Feathers, which is located in Sunnyvale, and which you see in the above photo, and Tommy T's in Pleasanton. Now, if I had to choose between those two, I would definitely go with Tommy T's. The food is a lot better, and the service is perfect. And it doesn't
hurt that I am not as likely to be the oldest one in the room! LOL.

Tuesday Night at Tommy T's is Taco Tuesday, and what that means is that you get 3 Tacos and a Margarita for $10 per person, plus a $5 cover charge. Now of course you can order a non-alcoholic drink, so don't be thinking I go out drinking and driving. LOL. OMG... can you just imagine me falling into a jail cell because I was fit schaced? The tabloids would be all over me, and there would be my face, on the AOL Welcome screen, all disheveled, with the caption: "Carly, The Next Paris?" LOL.

This past Tuesday was an especially enjoyable evening, as we got to see a dear friend of ours, who just happens to be a comedian, perform. He is a great guy with a brilliant future in comedy. I am looking forward to watching his career and I am excited to be able to support him in his passion for laughter. He has been on many a stage here in the Bay Area, and well he should. He is so very talented. As an added treat to the evening, the headliner that evening was Michael Mancini. You may have seen him on Jay Leno, or A&E's An Evening At The Improv. He is an awesome, high energy comedian, who delivers, among other subjects, hilarious tales of his life in law enforcement!

So tell me, do you like to laugh? Who is your favorite funny person? Have you ever participated in an open mic night? Do you have a favorite comedy club? What's your favorite funny movie or TV show? How will you celebrate celebrate National Humor Month? Do you have a joke that will make me laugh? Feel free to share right here. Leave me a joke or funny short story. And if you do a special entry for National Humor Month, comeback and leave me the link. I will update this post so folks can find you.

Now go be funny. Share the gift of laughter with a loved one. Laughter, after all, is the best medicine. :)

"It is a serious fact that people are never so trivial, as when they take themselves seriously."

-Oscar Wilde

"A person without a sense of humor, is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road."

-Henry Ward Beecher

"Some people are like slinkies... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you see one tumble down the stairs."


Rooster T Feather's
Sunnyvale, California
February, 2008

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Martha's A-Z Photo Challenge: "B" Is For Bixby Creek Bridge

"We are told to never cross a bridge until we come to it, but this world is owned by men who have 'crossed bridges' in their imaginations far ahead of the crowd."


This is my entry for Martha's new A-Z Photo Challenge. We are on the letter "B." What you are looking at is the magnificent Bixby Creek Bridge, which is just south of Monterey, California, along HWY 1. I love photographing this bridge, it is such a beautiful place, way above the ocean below, just being there makes me feel like I am on top of the world. It's a happy place.

Note: Please click on the main photo to see it in a larger version.

If you would like to see what folks came up with for the letter "A" just click here to find the linking list.

Bixby Creek Bridge
Monterey, California
March 8th, 2005

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Karen's Monday Photo Shoot: Unusual Sights

"Stones fall onto the kitchen floor, as if they had come through the ceiling. Somebody, or something, starts banging on the wall. Things disappear and then reappear somewhere else. Before long you realize it can't be an earthquake, or the Concorde, or mice. It must be something else... something entirely inexplicable, and very frightening indeed."

-Guy Lyon Playfair (This House Is Haunted - An Investigation of the Enfield Poltergeist)

New Monday Photo Shoot # 14: Photograph something so unusual that it's seldom seen, by you or the rest of us. I'm looking for stuff that provokes the reaction, "Now there is something you don't see every day!"

-Karen Funk Blocher, of the blog, Outpost Mavarin

Here it is spring, a perfectly lovely season in it's own right, and am I happy it's here? Well yes, but I am still longing... deeply... for autumn. Autumn seems to provide the unusual more then any other season, at least it seems to me that it does. I don't know, I suppose it might be common to see some ghosts in autumn, but how often does one see a ghost hootenanny in full swing, in the warm autumn sun?

"The Ghost's Hootenanny"
Carson City, Nevada
October 25th, 2006

Monday, March 31, 2008

You Don't Look A Day Over 125

"Age is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a cheese"

-Billie Burke

Would you want to live to be 100? How about 125? How does 150 grab you? I was watching ABC's The View today, and they were sharing in, Hot Topics, about a new Barbara Walter's special, which will air tomorrow night called, "Live To Be 150, Can You Do it?"

Living that long is an awesome thought. On the one hand, I would love to see what's yet to be, for as long as possible, and on the other hand, what if our nation continues to decline. Things are tough enough for we middle age folks, I can only imagine the impact of the failing economy has had on the elderly. I have a general idea, in that I have been hearing local stories about how a lot of senior services have been cut in my area. One of the hardest hit was the Meals On Wheels program. With gas prices poised to hit $5 a gallon by Memorial Day, volunteers simply cannot afford to bring those much needed meals to those signed up for it.

On the plus side, medical innovation continues to flourish. I believe it is easier now then ever to eat a proper diet and still feel satisfied. There are more ways to get the right amount of exercise as well. Everything from good old fashioned walking for heart health, to Sit and Be fit for those with special needs. Personally, I love the way I feel after a long walk, and Alan and I have been seriously kicking around the idea of getting bicycles. We are both learning about the need for exercise in our lives. One day you wake up and realize you just aren't a kid anymore. Proof of that fact came when we began walking, and a mere four months later we weren't making that "old person" noise anymore. LOL.

I kind of doubt that even with the most diligent practices I won't live to be 150, I am living with Type2 Diabetes, and Fibromyalgia. The Fibromyalgia won't take years off my life, but the pain associated with it does make some days so much more difficult then others. Diabetes on the other hand is much more hard on the body. I have to be concerned about kidney disease, and the possible eventuality of needing to take oral medications or insulin to control it. The good news is that people are living longer then ever with diabetes, and I am taking care of myself, so, as my doctor put it, "You can hold it off for years," Yep, thats the plan!

So, do I want to live to be 150? I don't know. I took a longevity quiz a while back, that said I would probably live to be 85. When I read that, it seemed just about right somehow. Not so long as to live our my welcome here on earth. LOL. I think I would be lonely though. According to the same poll, Alan would live to 81. I don't know if I want to be without him, assuming he puts up with me until then. LOL. I am surprised we have made it nearly 18 years... I am a flake sometimes... and yet there he is, looking at me like I am still a young chick. Heck, do you suppose one day he will look at me and say, "Carly, you don't look a day over 125!"

Live To 150, Can You Do It? Secrets to Living Longer With Barbara Walters

"The Kites2"
Union City, California
November 28, 2006
Early Evening

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Martha's Alphabet Photo Meme

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs"

-Ansel Adams

I found a cute new photo meme over at Martha's journal, Perception. The idea is to eventually take each letter of the alphabet and photograph something beginning with that letter. For my first entry, I chose this photo. "A" is for "Apes" in a window. I think this will be a lot of fun. :) Cool idea Martha!

"Apes In A Window"
San Francisco, California
February 14th 2007

Let Me Know When You Are Done Holding Your Breath

"We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society."

-Hillary Clinton

Certain ideas escape me. In a recent poll here in the Bay Area, a staggering number of supporters of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama said that if their candidate failed to win the nomination, they would then most certainly cast their vote for John McCain. HUH? Are you kidding me? You would vote for another 8 years of business as usual, because you didn't get your way? I suppose if you don't mind eventually paying $10.00 a gallon for gas, and the failing economy doesn't concern you, and it's ok that we have now passed the grim statistic of 4000 American soldiers killed in Iraq, with no end to the conflict in sight, you could be quite satisfied with voting in John MCCain. But wouldn't it make more sense to maybe expand your horizons a bit and maybe consider what life would be like with the other democrat in office?

I am supporting Hillary Clinton for president. I really believe she is the best hope for America, but if she doesn't win the nomination, I will have a choice to make. Vote for Obama, vote for McCain or not voting at all. I don't like missing my chance to vote, so it is highly likely I will vote for Obama, if I truly believe he is what will be best for this country. I like John McCain as a man, but I can't get behind his approach to things, such as his lack of interest in the problems with the housing market. His views on Iraq are nothing more then business as usual, and, well, you can pretty much figure out how I feel about the rest of the issues. I am a democrat, so for the most part, I disagree with how he would handle most issues.

I could simply not vote a all. Again, not my first choice. It is a perfectly valid choice if one has zero faith in the candidates who are running. Not voting makes a loud statement. It's so funny, I have always heard that if you don't vote, you can't complain. Well, yes I can. It's called freedom of speech. Nowhere does it say I have to divulge whether or not I voted, but somehow that seems a little lazy to me. While not voting might say, "I don't believe in the candidates," it also says, "I'm too lazy to do any homework on the other candidates, so who cares?" There is just a lose/lose in that way of doing things I think.

So, if Hillary Clinton isn't nominated, what's a girl to do? Well, since she already knows things will be close, she decides to get to know Obama better. She begins listening to statements and speeches and maybe even visits his web site to know more about the man. She already knows why she is hoping Clinton will make it to the White House, so, is there room to include the other guy in what she hopes for? Can she reconcile the mistrust she feels right now? Who knows? One thing is for sure, if she doesn't even try to find the ray of hope in the other guy, she dooms herself to being dissatisfied for a long time. After all, the vote we cast in November had better set the stage for the next 8 years and beyond. It will take at least that long to fix what George Bush, Dick Cheney and their band of cronies have done to us. Let the Republicans hold their breath, and turn blue until they get their way. We have work to do.

Hillary Clinton For President

Barack Obama For President

John McCain For President

Have some fun! Take the ABC News Match O Matic Quiz to see who your presidential candidate should be.

I scored Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinch, and Ron Paul.

Take the quiz and tell me what you came up with!