Saturday, August 23, 2008

Round Robin Challenge: Public Art

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

-Scott Adams

My pal, and Round Robin teammate, Karen, has chosen one of my ideas, submitted to the challenge pool during our last suggestion round, "Public Art." I love Public Art, and chase it around the Bay Area as much as possible. It's nice when there is a big project being shown in one place, such as the Cool Globes that are being shown along the Chrissy Field promenade. Out of all the globes I saw at the exhibit, this one ended up being my favorite. "Food For Thought" by artist, Nicholas Kashian. The "Cool Globes" project was brought about to bring awareness to Global Warming, by reminding us of how we can work together to help ourselves as we help the planet.

The project began in Chicago, in 2007, and after it's overwhelming success, it continued on to San Diego, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and after that it will be debuting in London in 2009! Each city brings it's own unique message to the globes, as regional artists select themes to represent the areas the globes are being shown in. This project will be around through October 12th, so I kinda think I will be out with the camera again before it closes. There are a lot of powerful messages that go with the globes, like the one Bill Clinton made in his Global Warming Initiative...

"Global Warming Inititive"

"It no longer makes sense for us to debate whether or not the Earth is warming at an alarming rate, and it doesn't make sense for us to sit back and wait for others to act. The fate of the planet that our children and grandchildren will inherit is in our hands, and it is our responsibility to do something about the crisis."

-Bill Clinton ( Global Warming Initiative)

Cool Globes "Hot Ideas For A Cool Planet"

Along the Chrissy Field Promenade

"Support Organic Products" By Vicky Tesmer

"Chicago's Green Roofs" By Mason Dixon

It's an amazing project, every city in America should really do more to raise awareness to the various challenges we face. Art can be a powerful medium for change, especially when we get children involved. I saw a lot of families that day, stopping to read the messages together. I wish there were more art programs being offered in public schools, but here it is, 2008, and sometimes I think we haven't learned a damn thing!

Here are some additional examples of Bay Area Public Art, that I have particularly enjoyed...

"Crouching Spider" By Louise Bourgeois (S.F. Embarcadero)

The Hawk For Peace By Alexander Calder (Berkeley Art Museum)

"The Dreamer" by Pepe Ozan (Golden Gate Park 2007)

"Capriccio" By Carol Sutterlund (Santa Rosa, California)

"Red Quake" By Peter Forakis (Santa Rosa, California)

Follow the art. Just click on the links below to see the Public Art the other Robins found for this challenge. And remember there is still time to play, just visit the official Round Robin blog for all the details.

Linking List

Karen... Outpost Mavarin (Posted)

Carly... Ellipsis (Posted)

Momma... Sandcastle Momma (Posted!)

T.J. ...T.J.'s Photo Blog (Posted!)

Annie... Pictures of Craziness and Me and My Phone

Wammy... The Ellis Family Cincinnati (Posted!)

Vicki... Maraca (Posted!)

Molly... Return of the White Robin

Pamela... The Dust Will Wait (Posted!)

Swampy... Anecdotes, Antidotes and Anodes

Sahvvy... Instantaneous Exsistence

Em Dy... Captured Beat (Posted!)

Jama Hameed... Sweet Memories (Posted!)

Jennifer Robin... Robin's Woods (Posted!)

Teena... It's all about me! (Posted!)

Gattina... Keyhole Pictures (Posted!)

"Food For Thought"
Chrissy Field Promenade
San Francisco, California
August, 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

4 Years 364 Days Give Or Take

"I sincerely believe blogging can save America."

-John Jay Hooker

What Does The Title Of Your Blog Mean?

Can you believe I have been blogging 5 years? Well, actually, as of tomorrow it will have been 5 years, officially, oh, how about I just explain. As some of you may remember, I am part of the great AOL exodus, of November 2005. Originally Ellipsis was an AOL Journal, but after the banner ad scandal, I left my simple pink journal behind, along with approximately 150 others, and looked for a new home in a different neighborhood.

Well, at least that's how I thought of it. I sent out a change of address email, and some folks supported me and understood my decision, and some didn't. I don't want to dwell on anything negative here, I have since let go of the disappointment, but I will say I wish the folks who went their own way all the best. I always did. I am just sorry the friendships had to end. Change happens, and but it never has to affect relationships if we don't want it to.

Anyway, here I am on Blogger, ready to welcome the start of my next 5 years of blogging. I hope that isn't an ambitious number, lol, blogging can be difficult from time to time. I get tired. And because of some physical pain, a lot of time I am not able to get out with the camera as much as I would like to, so I have to rely on archived images, or pictures I find on the net, to go along with whatever I am trying to convey to you. I will always prefer to use my own photos, because I am a visual person, I speak through my photos. A lot of the time, I try to present you photos that tell the whole tale, rather then babble on, and on, and on.

So, I don't know for sure I will be celebrating Ellipsis's 10th anniversary or not, but I know I am going to give it a go. I have stuff to say. Politics, photography, healthy living, cats, monkeys, 9/11, recipes, cat care, Fibromyalgia, Degenerative Arthritis, John Ritter, Elvis, spooky movies, chocolate, life, art, LOST, George W. Bush, Type 2 Diabetes, Play-Doh, autumn, Halloween, married life, men, clothes, hairstyles, and Mr. November all make up my Ellipsis life. (...)

Main Entry: el·lip·sis
Function: noun
Pronunciation: i-'lip-s&s, e-
Inflected Form(s): plural el·lip·ses /-"sez/
Etymology: Latin, from Greek elleipsis ellipsis, ellipse, from elleipein to leave out, fall short, from en in + leipein to leave -- more at IN , LOAN
1 a : the omission of one or more words that are obviously understood but that must be supplied to make a construction grammatically complete b : a sudden leap from one topic to another
2 : marks or a mark (as ... or * or -) indicating an omission (as of words) or a pause

Ellipsis 5th Anniversary
August 23, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Guest Starring Connie As Herself...

"When you take charge of your life, there is no longer need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life."

-Geoffrey F. Abert

Yesterday, I told you about an extraordinary journal post that I found on my pal, Connie's AOL Journal. In that post Connie asked us to consider the question, "What Would You Do If You Only Had 37 Days To Live?" There is a lot to think about, in terms of how I might want to live, but I also wanted to consider if I would share with others that my time on earth was suddenly limited. Connie remembered some really good people, Lahoma, and Pam, who both suddenly had to deal with watching the clock tick their life away. I didn't know Lahoma well, but I do I remember Pam's brave battle with Lung Cancer.

I was lucky enough to have spoken with her on the phone on numerous occassions, we were both Bay Area gals, and it was like speaking to my neighbor next door. She sounded exactly like I heard her in my head. Exactly. I didn't comment much on her journal, most of the time I simply couldn't find the right words, but she knew how much I cared about her, and one of the last conversations we had ended on a fun note, she asked me to have a scoop of peach ice cream for her. Whenever I have peach ice cream now, I always smile and remember my friend Pam. I will never forget her, and I visit her journal from time to time. Thanks Pam.

As I told you about Connie's "37 Days" entry, I forgot to mention that her journal is private. Actually, I am so used to going over there that I completely forgot, but she has given me permission to cut and paste her original entry into this entry, so you can read it. Please do. Please read it and consider how the knowledge that you will only have 37 days left on earth would affect your life. Would you change anything? Would you want to travel? Would you want to be alone? Would you tell someone off? Would you tell someone, who you haven't told before, "I Love You!"

What Would You Do?
By Connie

There is an author named Patti Digh, who wrote a book called Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally. It's written to enlighten, and build a person up by making you think about what you would do if you knew you only had 37 days left on this planet to live. She also writes a blog entitled 37 days.
I haven't read the book, but I intend to. I did however read an excerpt from the book, and found it uplifting. I realize that a person is only human, and can't possibly live life 100% of the time in pure bliss. Life does tend to get in the way, and there are some things that make us sad, overwhelm us, make us angry, etc. But I really think I can take away a valuable lesson from this book. I encourage you to read an excerpt from the book and decide for yourself if you think it might be beneficial to your life. I'm willing to do just about anything for some clarity, and joy in my life, and if this book can help me do that then I'm going to be a sponge and soak up everything I can from it.
Now the question. What would I do if I knew I only had 37 days left on this earth to live?
I would tell everyone in my life how much I love them, and what their presence in my life has done for me.

I would worry less about what people think about me, and consider more what I think about me.

I would go outside and spend time brushing, petting, and playing with my dogs. I would hug them, and give them each a special chew treat. I would scratch my cats backs, and pet them, and give them each a can of really good cat food...not that hard stuff.

I would call my Aunt who I have hated in some ways for things she did while my Father was alive, and young and dumb, and try to forgive her for all the things she's done.

I would try to see as many beautiful things that I could. The Grand Canyon, Hawaii, The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Yellowstone. So many places that I've always wanted to behold, and yet never could.

I would see the ocean, and let the sun beam down on my face, and feel the wind in my hair.

I would go to the cemetery and have a talk with my Dad, and forgive him.
I could go on forever, but you get the point. There are so many things in our lives that we think are important, and yet in the grand scheme of things, they are so small in comparison to the big picture.

Pam never thought in a million years that she wouldn't live out all her dreams. She fought cancer to the bitter end...most days thankful, some days beaten down and extremely sad. I still miss her, and I know many of you do also.

Lahoma never got to see her son grow up, get married, and become a Father. She never got to live out her dreams because cancer stole her life as well. I still can't believe she's gone.

We aren't guaranteed tomorrow, all we have is today. Hanging on to hate and resentment only drags us down. Forgiving is so much easier...and it doesn't matter who is wrong, and who is right. Even though we are all human, and we all ask "why me" I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, even if we never find out what that reason is. Always feeling sorry for yourself just keeps us beaten down, and sad.

I'm trying. That's all I can do. And I'm not going to quit trying.
So I ask you...If you knew you only had 37 days left...what would you do?

-Used by Permission Of Connie

"Emerging Water Lily"
San Francisco, California
Summer, 2006

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Sign Of My Times

"One always overcompensates for disabilities. I'm thinking of having my entire body surgically removed."

-Douglas Adams

Fine. Fine. I'm fine. Really... fine. Well, actually, not so much fine, but rather ok. Yeah. I am ok. I would be better if I didn't feel like such an old lady. And old lady with a handicap placard. It's all the fault of this stupid arthritis in my knees. Especially to blame is my right knee for betraying me in this most painful fashion. The idea of a handicap placard hadn't even occurred to me, but rather it was my Dr.'s idea. You see, the phone rang in my house the other day, and the conversation went like this... "RING, RING." "Hello" I said. "Mrs. Gordon, this is Dr. E's office, do you want to pick up the form for your handicap placard, or do you want it mailed?" "Huh?" I was a little perplexed. Like I said, it had never occurred to me that I even qualified."

After a couple moments of dumb-founded-ness, I thought about it, then told the nurse I would pick up the DMV form later that day. After I cried for a couple moments, I went in the bathroom and looked at the top of my head. Yep, I got some gray. Then I began to check for wrinkles. No, face looks ok. "Is my butt falling?" I thought to myself, but after a quick check I was relived to find it right where it should be... give or take 5 inches. I could be happier with my boobs, but heck, all in all, I am ok for an old woman of 46! So, why was this hurting my feelings so much?

Is it because it is just one more thing, in an already heartbreaking year? Is it because I am in physical pain, every time the temperature dips below 50 degrees? Is it because I am just not the girl I used to be? Well, I already gave up wearing Capri pants, Micky Mouse shirts, and sleeveless tops, because while I believe that one should dress in whatever style makes one feel comfortable, I also realize that at a certain point you have to dress to suit the total you, including your age. So, rather then dress like a hip 80's girl, I now dress like a fashionable woman of 2008. But will the new fashion accessory the doctor picked out for me, make me no longer attractive, because lets face it, can orthopedic shoes be far behind?! LOL.

Sometimes, when I go to the grocery store, I come out in pain, and barely able to walk. Even just 30 or 45 minutes can be enough to make me nearly cry. What the heck happened to grocery stores? Is it just me, or have supermarkets really gotten colder in the last few years? The store I shop at most, Lucky's, has the freezer, and produce section right in front of the door. It's makes the whole place cold. REALLY cold. Safeway is similar. Or maybe it's not as bad as all that, and my knee is just that sensitive. And maybe, just maybe, the root of all my hurt feelings, and apprehension stems from the fear that one day, my doctor will tell me to put my camera down. AHA... fear of the unknown.


For now, she hasn't said anything like that. She and I have discussed all the options. Cortisone shots. Surgery. Quad exercises. Right now I am doing the pain killers, and quad exercises, with the proviso that we keep a close eye on the damage already done to my knee. Sigh. I am already preparing myself for things. Doing my research. Avoiding feeling sorry for myself. Self-pity does very little to improve my circumstance. I suppose, if need be, I will reinvent myself yet again. I did it after I went nuts, I did it again after I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and then yet again after Type 2 Diabetes, and once more after Mr. November left my life. Why should this situation be any different... right?
I know I plan to spend the next 37 days educating myself on how to better handle arthritis and being proactive in my life. Why the next 37 days you ask?

Well, my pal Connie gave me some things
to think about the other day, after I read one of her best ever entries on her journal, "Thoughts On My Life And Other Mindless Chatter." In that entry she asks the question, "What would you do if you only had 37 Days left to live? Do my a favor, go and read her magnificent journal, and leave her your thoughts about what the last 37 days of your life would be like, if you knew you only had 37 days left. Connie's writing always makes me take a step back and think about things. She has had some incredible struggles, and she still gets right back up. So many times she has inspired me with her honesty and wit. If you haven't read her yet... you should. Thanks Connie, for giving me something to think about! You're awesome!

What Would You Do? (Thoughts on my Life and Other Mindless Chatter)

"Red Sign"
Berkeley, California
August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Steven's Feline & Furball Friday: Elvis And The Boy Next Door

"Our perfect companions never have fewer then four feet."


Have I told you about Elvis's canine pal Mac? Mac is a beautiful bulldog mix who lives just over the fence that has the beautiful Morning Glory growing on it. Mac and his human, Oliver, moved into the neighborhood almost a year ago. Since that time, Elvis has had the same routine. Each morning Elvis wakes me for his regular breakfast, consisting of two cans of Gourmet Chicken Fancy Feast, then it is on to picking out his clothes for the day, followed by cuddle time with mommy, as we watch Live with Regis & Kelly.

It seems Elvis isn't a big fan of The View, no offense ladies, but the minute Regis and Kelly go off, he walks to the back door and asks to go out, so he can play with Mac. So far the cat and dog haven't been in the same yard, but they seem to enjoy chatting about neighborhood gossip through the fence. :) Sometimes, Mac will bark late at night, as if to say, "Hey, can Elvis, come out and play?!" I am pretty sure this is true, because as soon as I let my boy out, Mac always stops barking, and then sits down by the fence, quietly, and politely. I am proud of my boy, and his ability to make friends. It doesn't matter if you have paws, claws, legs, or fins, Elvis will consider you a his friend. Friendship seems to be the most important thing to him. :) What a boy!

"Oh boy, a belly rub!" This is part of our nightly routine, so Elvis will be able to let go of the seperation anxiety he has been feeling lately. We have lots and lots of quality playtime before bed. :) Good for the cat, and for me too. :) He was just starting to giggle as I took this picture. Everyone loves a good giggle. ;)

Medical Update: Elvis is doing awesome as far as we can tell. His nose has stopped bleeding, and his eye infection is completely gone. And the best news of all... he is eating enough again, to be able to tolerate his insulin, and last night he ate some fried chicken for the first time in 6 months. He can smell his food again!!! And if all that wasn't enough, he has let me sleep through the night, for the last 2 nights in a row!

Have you got a feline or furball? well then, you should play along with Feline & Furball Friday. Drop by Steven's blog for all the info.

"Elvis And The Boy Next Door"
Berkeley, California
August 19th, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Martha's A-Z Photo Challenge: "K" Is For Kings

"Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."

-Mark Twain

It's time again for Martha's A-Z Photo Challenge, and this time around we are on the letter "K." I was a bit stumped for this one! Hmmm... k...k... what begins with "K?" K-9? Nah. Kaboodle? Kit and Kaboodle? LOL. Nah, no one wants to see a picture of my Kit-n-Kaboodle, so, what to do, what to do? I know, how about KINGS? Now, which kings? Burger Kings? King Krab? Nah, how about the KINGS in one of my favorite card games, KINGS In The Corner? Yep, that's what you see here, two of the KINGS from the game. :) Happiness.

It's time for the letter "K" have you played yet? If not, you can see Martha's entry for the letter "K" and there also just happens to be where you leave your link as well. Just click the link below, to join in the fun!

Martha's A-Z Photo Challenge: The Letter K

"Kings In The Corner"
Berkeley, California
August 18, 2008