Saturday, September 06, 2008

Round Robin Challenge: Blog Spot

"My ideas usually come not at my desk writing, but in the midst of living."

-Anais Nin

Alan teases me when he says that "most of my friends now live in a box on my desk." LOL. Yeah, I have gained a lot of wonderful blogging buddies over the years, you know who you are, but they hardly live in a box on my desk! Nope! They live in the computer on my desk! And there it is! Tee Hee.

I have been thinking about the subject of my desk for quite a while, in fact, a similar topic to this one was going to be the first photo assignment for the Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot, but Steven beat me to it! LOL. Great minds think alike I guess. It happens. Anyway, like I said, this is my blogging spot. I am happy with it, it is comfortable. What you don't see is the little area under my desk where Elvis sleeps and gnaws on my knees. It's more of a tickle then a bite mind you, but I will save that for another entry!

Here is a close up tour of my desk...

I am currently reading "Fair Game" by Valerie Plame Wilson

One of my favorite bears Windy :)

My Favorite games; 5 Crowns, Quiddler, Backgammon, SET

My favorite CD ROM game The SIMS2

A box of holiday tea, that sits in a little cubby hole with all my favorite calming teas and potions. :)

The idea for this challenge came to us by way of Martha, who journals at "Perception." Great idea my dear! Go and see what her blogging space looks like, and then be sure to visit all the participating Robins. Just follow the links below!

Linking List

1. Martha... Perception

3. Carly... Ellipsis

4. Karen... Outpost Mavarin

5. Gattina... Keyhole Pictures

6. T.J. ... T.J.'s Photo Blog

7. Annie... Pictures of Craziness and Me and my Phone

8. Whammy... The Ellis Family Cincinnati

9. Jama Hameed... Sweet Memories

10.Kiva... The Eclectic Granny

11. Maryt... Work of the Poet

13. Greg... Photo Trek (Welcome New Member)

14. Raven... Raven's Lament (Welcome New Member)

If you would like to play along there is still time! Just visit the official Round Robin blog for all the details!

"My Blog Spot"
Berkeley, California
September 3 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

What Would You Have Said To The Man From Great Britain?

"The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we hold of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us."

-Quentin Crisp

The other day, while in Golden Gate Park, I had an extraordinary experience happen to me, one the solidifies my belief that once in a while, one must venture out into the world, rather then veg in front of the computer, because out in the world is where you find life, opinion, and experience. You see, the other day, I met a tourist, a world tourist really, who makes London his permanent home, but who is currently touring the world, and who just happened to be in San Francisco on the same day I was.

The British man with the brown shoes had an easy smile, and talked about how much he was enjoying America, but that he hadn't been fond of Monterey. He shared that he thought the Oregon coastline was stunning, and that he would like to see it in winter sometime. We talked about how lucky he was to be in the Bay Area, during a week when there was hardly any fog, a rarity really, and then we paused, as the conversation lulled a bit.

The British man broke the silence by asking me a question that I should have been able to answer without hesitation, but instead I answered with great embarrassment, "How do you feel about George Bush?" He asked. I was taken aback for so many reasons. First of all, I have never been asked that question by someone who lives outside the United States. In all the time I have spent in the city, and all the folks I have talked to with all the many languages, not one person has ever asked by opinion about Bush. In the moment I had to think about it, I considered apologizing for Bush's actions, I considered being offended by the smirk on the man's face, but in the end I merely muttered, "I am looking forward to him leaving office." It was as honest as I could be in that moment.

"Do you think he will leave office?" Asked the man. "Yes" I replied, "according to our Constitution he has to." The man simply widened his smirk and said, "But hasn't he pretty much made your Constitution into rubbish?" Sigh. I felt sad as I realized the man's opinion of the U. S. politics, the president, and of Americans as a whole. It made me sad, and a little defensive to think I had to somehow justify the mess we are in around the world to a total stranger in the park. "Well," I said, "he has taken some liberties I believe, but he will be leaving office soon, and then we can set about rebuilding America's reputation, hopefully." The man said nothing for a long time. "Well, what do you think about John McCain, and Sarah Palin? Asked the man after a moment. I simply smiled and said, "Actually, I am supporting Barack Obama, and Joe Biden." Again the man said nothing.

A long quiet rested between us, and after a little while I got up to leave. I wished the man a safe journey. He smiled a polite smile, and shook my hand. "Good luck with your elections," he said. I just smiled and then I turned and walked away a little shell shocked. Why hadn't I told him that I think John McCain would bring nothing but further humiliation to America? Why hadn't I mentioned how embarrassed I was by Sarah Palin's speech the other night? How can the GOP on one hand be touting change, when their speeches were filled with the same belittling rhetoric that they have been spouting for years? How can they on the one hand, call young people to think about serving something greater then themselves, and on the other hand, mock Obama for his community service and leadership? But then again, how would I explain that to a total stranger, from another country, when I don't understand it myself?

So tell me, if you had met the man from Great Britain, what would you have said?

"The Man From Great Britain With The Brown Shoes"
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
September 4, 2008

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Pretty Wings

"Just like the butterfly, I too will awaken in my own time."

-Deborah Chaskin

I know I always say this when I discover a new butterfly, but, isn't she beautiful? This is a female of the Mexican Bluewing, or Myscelia ethusa. It is a medium sized butterfly, which behaves a lot like the monarch, in that in flight they don't seem to move their wings as fast as some of the smaller butterflies do. While it is called a bluewing, the colored bands on the wings actually appear purple, rather then blue. I enjoyed watching it, and studying it the other day at the conservatory, in fact, I think it might make my list of personal favorite butterfly species to watch. I always learn something new from these amazingly beautiful creatures.

Additional photos...

Mexican Bluewing (Myscelia ethusa)

Learn about them here...

Bluewing Information

"Mexican Bluewing"
Conservatory of Flowers
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
September 3, 2008

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Martha's A - Z Photo Challenge: "L" Is For Lace

"It is difficult to see why lace should be so expensive; it is mostly holes."

-Mary Wilson Little

And we have arrived at the letter "L" in Martha's A - Z Photo Challenge! For my "L" I chose the LACE that was on my wedding dress. I have been thinking about my wedding dress lately because my wedding anniversary is coming up in just about 6 weeks, and I always get a little sentimental around this time each year. I like to take the dress out and look at all the fine detailing on it. What can I say? It was pretty much the dress I had always dreamed of. Smile. Poofy and Sparkly.

If I were getting married again, all these years later, I wouldn't go for that style at all. Funny how your taste changes over time. I think I would more then likely go for a tea length dress, with much more simple detailing. Maybe just the lace around the top, as opposed to all over. Thank God I will never have to make that decision again! LOL.

There's still lots and lots of time to play along with Martha's challenge. Just pop over to her AOL journal (Perception) to get all the details.

Berkeley, California
September 2nd, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Standing Up To Cancer: An Elvis Update

"The power of love to change bodies is legendary, built into folklore, common sense, and everyday experience. Love moves the flesh, it pushes matter around... throughout history, "tender loving care," has uniformly been recognized as a valuable element in healing."

-Larry Dossey

Well, my boy is off to chemotherapy! This will be his 5th dose of the stuff, and it is doing it's job well, because he is pretty much his usual goofy self most of the time again. He got two new shirts this week. One is a red and white sailor suit with a blue anchor on it that you see here, and the other one is a flannel tank top that has a big chocolate chip cookie that has the caption, "Got Milk?" LOL. Dr. B told me, from the very beginning, that there would be times when Elvis would look so good that I would actually forget that cancer was in the shadows. Weep.

Yeah, there are times when I let myself forget about it. Alan and I aren't letting it keep us from enjoying our boy, but mornings like this one, when it is really cold outside, and I wake up with Elvis curled into my side, I have to take a couple moments and cry. I know that I will be facing next autumn without him, for the first time in over a decade. Elvis has seen me through times I never thought I would survive, and even when things were going wonderful, and I was on top of the world, he was still there, taking care of me. Somehow, I kinda think that even death won't stop him from watching over me.

Have you heard about the special that will be airing on the three major networks this Friday night? It's called, "Stand Up 2 Cancer." Did you know that cancer kills one person every minute? EVERY MINUTE! My grandfather died of leukemia, and cancer has already touched Alan, when his father was diagnosed with it just a few years ago. Chances are, you might know someone right now who has been diagnosed with cancer, or already lost someone to it. Weep.

Go and look at the website, then be sure to watch it this Friday. It will be on ABC, NBC, and CBS at 8 pm. Watch it. If you donate a $1 or more, you can launch a star for a person you know who has been diagnosed with cancer. Alan and I are going to do that later this week for our boy Elvis. Yes, I know he's a cat, but there is research being done to find a cure for our fur babies as well. We are all in this together. Please remember, cancer can come at any age, if you haven't already had your annual physical, please make an appointment this week to take care of yourself. And while you are there, also talk to your doctor about having an A1C test for diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is on the rise as well.

Nearly three years after her death, I still miss and indeed mourn Pam. I miss her little IM's when she saw me log on really early in the morning, and her funny little comments and emails, and I miss... her voice. This has to stop, or at least more has to be done. Wouldn't it be wonderful if cancer was stopped in our lifetime? We all can't just hope it will happen, we have to make it happen. One day I hope to purchase a star for Elvis from the star registry, and then after he is gone, I can look up, and see him watching over me. It's a comforting fantasy, but I would rather have him cured and sitting by my side. For now, hope is all I have.

Don't forget to watch Stand Up 2 Cancer on Friday, September 5th!

"Elvis The Sailor Man"
Berkeley, California
September 2nd, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot #1: Lets Say Hello

"A fine artist is one who makes familiar things new, and new things familiar."

-Louis Nizer

Welcome to the very first week of the Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot, or (EMPS) for short! :) Let's just jump in, shall we?


Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot#1: Let's Say Hello!
Although we have known each other for quite some time now, I thought it would good to get things off to a friendly start, by asking you to take a self-portrait of you and your camera! If you want to add a frame and/or a little "hello" as a caption, well, that would be even better!

**You have until next Sunday at 9:00 p.m. (PDT) to do the assignment, and submit your entry. It doesn't have to be submitted on Monday! Please double check your link before you leave it, it is your responsibility to submit it correctly. The link you leave me, is the one I will use to link back to you!

Now go be photographers, and I will see you in one week!

Photo Tip #1: Follow The Rule Of Thirds.
Imagine your photo divided into three horizontal and vertical sections. Place your subject near the intersections of the imaginary lines.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Weekend Assignment #231: Candidates With A Difference

"When the president decides something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday... no matter what happened on Tuesday."

-Stephen Colbert, referring to President George W. Bush

Weekend Assignment #231: Over the years we've had a number of oddball candidates for public office, from cartoon characters to a live pig, from comedians to TV stars to an ex-wrestler. But it's only in recent years that a candidate who doesn't fit the usual profile can run for office and actually expect to win. Who is the most unusual political candidate you have ever supported, either seriously or in just?

Extra Credit: Present politicians excepted, have you ever regretted voting for a candidate, in light of later events?

-Karen Funk Blocher, of the blog, Outpost Mavarin

I guess this my weekend for politics! LOL. See my entry from yesterday! Although as we get closer and closer to the election in November, I expect I will be spending my weekends sharing my political observations. I hope the thought of that doesn't make you run and hide in fear, because I am not always serious when it comes to politics, I can find the humor from time to time, so you never know... maybe I can make you smile.

Anyway, onto the assignment Karen asked us to do. All my life I have been democrat. My first crush in life was on Hubert Humphrey. LOL. SIGH. There was just something about that man. In my teens I admired Jimmy Carter very much, and I still feel that he wasn't given enough time in office to accomplish his goals. As an ex-president, he has been an even greater man, and I still admire him and his work for Habitat For Humanity. I didn't get excited by too many others, until I saw Bill Clinton on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, and I remember Johnny Carson saying that night that we should, "Keep watching Governor Clinton, because one day, he will be president." Johnny was right. I consider him the best president in my lifetime. I know, I know, he is a bit randy... so what? His policies were sound, people could afford to live their lives and he left office with a surplus, not to mention the fact that, while he was in office, we were a happy nation. What could be wrong with that?

But the people I just spoke of were in the mainstream of politics. Karen wants us to discuss the unusual politicians we supported. I was a bit stumped by that request. I haven't ever really gone for the novelty candidates. Although, I was once really intrigued by an episode of Maude I saw as a child were Maude, sick to death with politics as usual, decided to launch a one woman campaign to get Henry Fonda elected to the presidency. Mr. Fonda declined to run, but the thought stuck in my mind that politicians weren't a different species, they were human beings and not really larger then their celebrity. I have since rethought that, lol, and at times I am indeed convinced that they are different species, otherwise how could they do the things they do. Oh, not the affairs, or the scandals, but rather allowing, and sometimes causing the suffering they do, in the name of love.

I thought and thought about the assignment. Had I ever, EVER, considered and alternative to the same old, same old? Then it hit me! How could I have forgotten? Earlier this year, we got a chance, albeit a slim one, that Steven Colbert could have been our other choice in the field of primary candidates. He applied to the Democratic party, and was promptly turned down because he wasn't a seriously viable candidate. I think he also applied to the Republican party, but I don't remember what became of that.

His candidacy didn't last long, but while it was alive, I kept my fingers crossed. And why the hell not? Wouldn't that have been a nice strong statement to send to Washington D.C.? I swear, after the piss poor showing of the democrats and the lunatics some people refer to as the Bush Administration, I was ready for intelligence, and humor again. And intelligent humor for that matter. Google "Stephen Colbert For President" and see what you find. I wasn't alone in the idea of having a really different choice to vote for! So, to answer the question for the assignment, Stephen Colbert is the most unusual candidate I have ever supported, if only for a few weeks anyway. :) I like that man!

Extra Credit: Arnold Schwarzenegger! What the HELL was I thinking trusting that republican? Well, we Californians are like that, we look for talent, and promise, and if it happens to be in the form of a republican, we will listen. I am rethinking that philosophy. I can admit when I have made a mistake, and voting for Schwarzenegger is certainly it! The thing is, considering many of his policies, he leans away from traditional republican ideals. Sometimes I think he might be a democrat at heart, and it simply hasn't occurred to him!