In 26 years, Aaron Swartz had more guts and made a change that we all have to be thankful for. Sad that it was cut short.

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You may not know the name Aaron Swartz, but i guarantee that you can be thanking him and a number of others for a multi year battle keeping our beloved internet from being censored.

You may remember a while ago when many websites chose to go black for 24 hours in protest to the bill up in front of congress that at that time they were calling SOPA. It did not pass thanks to the grassroots work that Aaron and his friends did. They managed to do the imposible… Stop a bill that was unopposed from passing in congress.

Anyway, it is so sad to report that Aaron took his life. He was facing a 35 year prison sentence that he was to be reporting into soon. Maybe that was the reason. His family said that he had also always suffered from depression. This doesn’t surprise me. Often brilliant people pay the price on the inside. Regardless to why he took his life. He did so much in the short time he was here.

Take a look at this really nice article that was written about him on the SFist. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Fgh2dFngFsg

Other bills will come again he reminded us, so it is up to us to continue to fight for the freedom of speech within the digital realm.

It is too bad we lost a genius like Aaron. But we thank him for all he did do while he was here. He lived a life to be proud of!

I feel like the end of this year it has been a game of knock down and get back up over and over again.

Woah. It has been quite an eventful and trying end of the year for me this year. From my computer going down for almost 2 months to my dad getting sick and all of the back and forth travel between San Francisco and Las Vegas.

It has been a defeat and then a triumph and then a defeat and then another triumph. It has been such a roller coaster ride!

The reason why i am choosing to bring this up with all of you is because i really thought i was just about to get back into the writing roll here after successfully fixing my computer (finally! and PHEW!!). Things were on the right track. It was only a little bit longer before i had gotten my brain out of its forced writing hiatus. I could feel the blog topics forming in my subconscience.

Then, Christmas night rolled on through with the news that NO ONE saw coming and thus shut my desire and ability to write right back down the rabbit hole again.

I found out that i lost one of my dearest friends….

It has been a long time since i had to actually mourn. In 2007, i lost my kitty of 14 years. It was really rough. It took almost 3 years before i was ready to rescue another one. Then when i was 19, my best friend from 7th grade (and former roommate) committed suicide. I still haven’t gotten over that one. I don’t think i ever will. And finally the last mourning i had done on this scale was when i was in high school, I ran over my dog of 13 years by accident and we had to put him down. (Ironic twist to that story, my mom hits the cat accidentally 2 weeks later, and since we just put the family dog down, my mom decided to plug $2000 into our 13 year old cat that we found hiding on top of my dad’s wheel well in his truck at his job when he was a baby. He was scrappy and had clearly been in a few fights already in his few months of life. We took him home and he and my dog became fast friends and he went on to live to be 16 years old. (funny note: I named him cuddles… i know… i was 6 years old! However, i re-nic-named him night-stalker because he sure was not very cuddly!) However, in retrospect, there was a reason why he had been hit so close to Charley’s death. He lived a miserable life those last years.).

Anyway, since Christmas, i have been nothing but constant tears and disbelief. Usually when someone we know dies, there is a reason for it… they had a weak heart, they were driving in that terrible weather, he has a history of ____ in his family, or he had come down with ____. This time, we dont know the reason for my friend Reid Gilbert’s death. He had some minor surgery on his toes 2 days earlier and they were causing him a lot of pain. The afternoon of the 21st, he laid down for a rest. His partner John went into the living room with Reid’s mom to have some ice cream and talk. John went to check on Reid about an hour later and he was not breathing. He WAS NOT BREATHING??? How can that be?

My friend Reid had more life in him than just about anyone i knew. He was filled with enthusiasm and charisma and so much love. He could talk to anybody. He was so friendly to the point where he almost had no shame in it. He was blissfully unaware how other people often are socially awkward. Reid was somewhat socially awkward, but not when it came to meeting people. He was gifted with words. When his father died, he did a lot of writing but otherwise, those words were expressed through talking. And boy could Reid talk! (maybe that is why we got along so well! lol.)

I have known the boys for almost 18 years, but this last 3 years or so, Reid and i spent a lot of time together. Oh how i did not know what a gift it was back then. We could spend hours talking about EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. He was this amazing loving, giving man that i had the honor of knowing and loving for so long.

We dont know why he died. He was not ill or even shown signs of sickness, let alone death. And unfortunately, we will have to most likely wait for a while because our dear coroner is backlogged (we can spend tens of thousands on MLB parades and Mid-Market revitalization, but can not hire enough coroners to autopsy our dead?! Thanks again Mayor Lee… for doing a shitty job!

Anyway, it doesnt really matter why he died. He is gone. That is the reality that i am left with and it has made it almost imposible to write you all because of it.

So if my blog posts are not back on with the same zeal, know why. I am mourning. I can only heal as fast my heart will allow and i appreciate your patience while i am going through this.

Thank you for your patience and understanding!

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(this is Reid on the left with his partner of 21 years John Fox)

On such a day of thanks, How could it be that one of my dearest friends Reid Gilbert passes away when he is in the prime of his life?

 

loss2012

loss 2012

  On Christmas night.  Right after finishing a lovely Christmas dinner with my dad and 3 of his friends, i receive the news.  Reid is dead.  What?!!?  NO!!  How on earth could this happen?

Reid and his boyfriend John Fox have been 2 of my closest and dearest friends for almost 20 years.  They moved to Mexico two years ago after Reid’s brother (who was living in Mexico) went missing and was later found to be murdered.  In the process of looking for his brother, Reid fell in love with the community that his brother had decided to call home for 21 years.  After dealing with a lot of paperwork and legal tangles here in the states, John and Reid ended up moving down to the community that his brother had made his own.  They had been down there for a little over a year.

We dont know what the cause of death is (possibly a blood clot from some small surgery to his toes 2 days prior.  Regardless, he passed in his sleep while staying with John at his mom’s house.

When someone asks you… do you know anyone who has a perfect relationship?  Most of the answers will be no.  However, i did have one.  One perfect pairing that lasted from start to finish for 21 years.  This is John and Reid.   They found each other early on in life and decided to be together then and there.  Since then, they have formed a bond so tightly that they worked almost more as a single unit.  They perfectly complimented each other.  There was never a time where some other person put their relationship at risk.  They loved being a couple.  They were one.

How John will go on with the last half of his life?  It is going to be tough i am sure.  They planned on being together for much MUCH longer than this!  John is strong though.  He was the one that was more of the anchor and i am glad that it is him and not the other way around that has to pick up the pieces because i dont know if Reid could have if the tables were turned.

So on this season of thanks, i have to thank you Reid Gilbert.  You brought this world so much happiness.  You were one of the very best ones one could find.  Even if you did not know Reid, we all have lost a giving loving soul.  He was an amazing person who will be missed so much for so long.

So, for me, although the world did not stop for us all on Dec. 21, 2012, It did stop for Reid, and in turn, our lives (those who knew him) have ended an era as well.

I LOVE YOU REID GILBERT!  I HOPE YOU CAN SEE FROM ABOVE, THE POSITIVE IMPACT YOUR LIFE HAS MADE ON SO MANY AND THAT YOU ARE AT PEACE.  THANK YOU!!  I miss you so!

Holiday gift giving just isnt what it used to be. Mostly because they have our cash hijacked once we spend it… Even if it is a gift!

itunes gift card

itunes gift card (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

 

I was having a conversation tonight with a couple of friends about gifts and gift cards as well as exchanges and returns.  After about 5 minutes of discussing the gift card industry and things associated with it (Specifically a gift card i received for christmas early this year.  This was a gift card that came with a gift receipt.)   We started to realize that there was Zero, 0, Zilch. Non, Nada reason for one to be included with the card.

Then we started to realize that with the implementation of Gift Receipts, even if paid for with cash, one can ever only get store credit or an exchange.  With the gift receipt we can never prove that cash was spent on the item because they so graciously leave off form of payment so they can force you to contain the money within their company or store.

Once a gift card is purchased, the money has to go to the store.  You can not change your mind and get any kind of refund anymore.  People used to pay with checks and if you wanted to return something, and you paid by check, they would return to you cash.  Since checks are practically antiquated, the only way to get your money back is to have the original receipt and within that first 7 days, you can free your money in what ever form that you chose to pay with.

Then we started to think about how many BILLION$ and BILLION$ of dollar$ that are floating out there in our wallets, our pockets, the dumpster, the sidewalk, the cushions of the couch etc.  with a small remainder of credit on that very gift card that will NEVER be used.  Just think about the amount of money that is generated on that odd remainder!  That is technically our money still.  But it is already with the company so they really are making a double double double profit.  Profit from the initial gift card purchase and then the mark ups when spent on the items and then the unspent remainder.  All benefiting the company and the company alone.

I remember years back when we didnt like something that we got, we could go back with the tags in place within the seven days and we could get some money.  Nordstrom did this for MANY MANY years to many returners (and scammers) appreciation.

Now i think about how much money is going one way never to be able to come back if it is something we dont want these days.

Now I  can definitely see the benefit of these gift card trading (buy and sell) sites as well as places like ebay and amazon to be able to resell your brand new perfectly unused unwanted item to retrieve some cash said item.

All in all, they are fleecing us dry by the looks of it in a lot of ways, that are less obvious than higher interest rates and inflation.  There are the fees and the 1 way money flow… out of our pockets & into theirs.  It is pretty scandalous and we dont even see it or realize it happening or at least the bigger impact of what these policies truly mean for them stealing our money.

So on this year of gift giving… Do your loved ones a favor… Just give them CASH for godsake!  It is a different time than it used to be.  It is no longer seen as lazy or tacky to give cash.  It is only what we work our whole lives for!  Cash=freedom so you are actually giving them the feeling of freedom when cash is given!

People are not judged by how much they spend, but on what they spend. Give your loved one the right to chose where that hard earned money should be spent.  That way, A. the change stays with them and B. they will have a receipt showing that they paid cash incase they change their mind when they get home.  The bottom line is you are at least giving the windfall to the one you are giving to and not some financial corporation for them to take over the free world with!

Plus.. Cash is pretty!

Its Holiday Season again… Does it make you warm and mushy or give you the icky feelings of dread?

 

 

Xmas Tree

Xmas Tree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is also not a time in my life that i can falter at all.  This is what all that hard work and preparedness was getting me ready for.  The massive travel back and forth week at a time to get to my dads with bittersweet feelings…  thankful that i CAN be there,  that i have the time and that he is not all the way across or out of the country.  I remember when my dad was in this mode with his aunt (like a mom).  He had to drive up at least every other day from the south bay to San francisco to see her.  Even thought my parents were separated, we (or just my brother and i or just me)  would go up every or every other week.  It was exhausting.  It was stressful.  It was emotional.  It was wonderful to have been given that last bit of extra time!

 

When her time finally came, the feeling was different than i thought it would be for me.  I dont know about how my dad felt, but I had felt this really big empty spot.  A lot more empty and lonely than i would have thought in sort of a different way than i had thought.

 

We had this 2 bdrm apt. to completely go through, get appraisers out, call insurances etc as well as meeting with the lawyers and accountants.  I kept feeling like one did when they were at camp for a week and it is finally time to go home.  You are the last one to be picked up and the place feels SO empty to you.  You feel more alone in that several hours  than i think we feel most of our lives.  Leaving camp was ALWAYS a tough thing for me.  Kind of like leaving my little cat Arthur when i have to leave every time now.  Separation anxiety!  Panic.  Pure panic.

 

This year with the holidays here, its needless to say that they were very important to me.   That since my dad’s real failing health this last month i really just wanted to be with family.  It is probably going to be the last year that my whole family will be here on earth so (aside from the potential apocalypse) this year holdays are especially poignant to me and somewhat surreal.

 

I know (as i have done many many times) that this will be one of those times that i will remember when looking back form the future.  I can see history happening right before my own eyes can see it.  I can sense it.   I can feel the page starting to turn and the chapter is about to change.  I think it is one of those things that mark a major growth and changing of eras.

 

Usually music, which may have not been integrated into my life hardly at all over the last so many months, now comes on full time (not even any news or chanel 9!  No tv!  I would rather use the Roku box to play Pandora than watch tv.  And just a couple months ago, tv was my way of relaxing at the end of the day.  Now i just cant stay focused on just one thing for that much time. Music you can hear while typing or packing or eating or drying ones hair.

 

Not only that, but a whole new grouping of music is starting to mark this period of time like a big memory timestamp.  They (the songs) (wether i want them to or not!) are becoming the soundtrack for this new period of time.

 

The things i do and the way i feel and the things i see right now are going into a more permanent place in my brain banks because it is so filled with upcoming change and surrounded by such thick emotion.  I can feel myself change.  I know that pretty soon, i will never be the person i used to be.

 

For all of you “grown ups” out there, you are probably thinking to yourself… “that is called growing up”…. I know this, it still feels just a bit strange when you feel it starting to happen but you are still the same person.  It is like the forces of change are moving into your soul to make that change in accordance.

 

Some of these changes include the obvious ones like my dad and his delicate health scenario as well as all of the travel associated with it.  There is also some cracks within my family that have been revealed recently that could be game changers for the closeness we have (possibly falsely) believed we had.  It will be interesting thing to see what happens.  It may be one of those times a child must define themselves as a full grown adult to others around them even if they will always be younger or the child or whatever.  At 38, one is a full grown adult and i believe old enough for others to be able to have decided wether or not they are a quality and competent as a person or not.  The role of the parent or older sibling is the job with all of the power and control who usually desperately tries to hold onto that same level of power and control even with fully grown kids/sisters or brothers.  Who would want to give up something they have taken a lifetime building?

 

But everyone deserves to feel like a grown up when they are deeply into their grown ups!  If they do not, it is simply because either A. the family has enabled them or B. because the family undermines their self esteem making them question themselves throughout their whole lives.  If the people that raised you dont believe in you and you have a lot of respect for them, then it usually ends up not so well for the child.  That undermining self-esteem can sit in the back of your head haunting all of your wishes in life.  It is hard.  Even when you believe in you, when the ones you love do not, it is a heavy blow that never seems to be able to be shaken off the back.

 

Self esteem can make or break a perfectly great person.  And usually it is the soul crushing that comes from within the family or those that we look up to.  They have a lot of lasting damaging power over us that they often like to turn back around and blame back on us.

 

These are some of the things that happen to adjust the power structure when children become adults.  The adults sometimes forget that they only get so long to do their raising and then, it is time to stand back and see if they were a good teacher or not.  If they (the child) starts making poor choices, you as a parent do not get the option to jump back in and continue to raise them some more.  If the child fails at making good decisions, that could possibly mean that YOU failed as a parent in your raising.  That is your own work that you are seeing them using to survive.  Most of the time though, the family only sees a part of what the whole story is.  They have no idea how we are to really use our time and solve problems and set goals.  Jeez… they dont even usually bother to ask us if we even have any goals or plans to improve our futures.  Do they just assume that we just sit around whining and picking our noses?

 

I just know that the holidays are wonderful and yet so stressful and can be so depressing at the same time.  They are wonderful if you have a great loving family or family of friends to surround yourself with, but can be easily as equally depressing if you do not have anyone, just lost someone or are not getting along well with the people you care about at the time.

 

For you all, i truly hope that you have a low stress winter holiday season and are surrounded by the love that every human being deserves.  I hope you take the time to appreciate that this moment is here… because it WILL change.  That is guaranteed.  The thing is that we just dont expect to change soon.  What i have found is that change can happen in the blink of an eye.  So now is the time to live in the moment and appreciate that the hands of change have not moved any of the ones you love out of your lives yet.  Enjoy each other.  After all, we may not even make it to Christmas if the end of the world comes on Dec 21, 2012!

 

 

 

:)

 

 

Guess What? Its our birthday and we are 1 years old! Happy anniversary blog*!*!*

HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!

I can not believe 365 whole days have passed since the day that i decided to start this blog.  I have to thank my dear Bernalwood.wordpress.com and Curbed.com for leading me into the brilliant and hilarious and informative creative genius that inspired me to begin this art experiment.

When i started this blog, it did not have a real direction or purpose. (I dont know if it has a purpose now other than it being my current creative outlet and a very satisfying activity to be able to exercise my right to my own free speech without being sensored in any way (for now!).

I have always been a talker.  I think it is genetic because my mom is a BIG talker and even was a politician so i think it naturally runs in the blood.  But i also like to talk and always seem to have an opinion.  I am not trying to push my beliefs onto you, but i really do like the idea of being able to open up a conversation with total strangers that are based all over the world.  You, my beloved blog followers are representing many different parts of the globe.  It just goes to show, that issues that are important to me over here on the west coast of California can be related with in a place on the opposite side of the world.  There is not so much difference or separation as our media and governments and churches would like us to think.

Just for you to get an idea of what you all have helped me to accomplish in this year of my blog…

  • as of 2:58am on Nov. 17 2012, i have received 59,107 individual views on 417 postings. (my goal was 50,000 but dang i wish i had made it to 60,000 so that way i can figure i get about 5000 each month.  Now it is 4??? a month and i suck at math so i just dont do it. :)  But 59 thousand is not too bad for a  little girl who just babbles online!  Thank you!

Now, i would like to share some of the things that have occurred over this past 52 weeks.  A lot has transpired.  Probably no more than any other average year, but this year, i have markers so i can actually really see what has gone down.

We will start with the farewells….  I lost both friend, family and pet this year.  My Grandma passed away along with my friends Big Ben, John Paizon & Lentle.  Our kitty of 16 years; Tiki and our little Beta fish Tyrone passed as well.  However  I have gained a new Beta named Finochio and saved King Arthur from the clutches of death by less than an hour.  He is now my new family and so lovely!

My little baby Arthur!

I had 2 reunions, a family reunion and a 20 year High School reunion that both were great!

I have begun a daily intense exercise program and cleaned up my diet a bit (less sugar and trying to avoid fried at all costs!  Why then i ask is the fried food the tastiest food?)

I rode the farthest on a bicycle in SF ever (around 30 miles) in one night for the 20 year anniversary of Critical Mass.   As well as attended the 20 year anniversary of my friends awesome party by Wicked Sound Systems (yes… i used to be into early 90’s San Francisco house music scene and it was INCREDIBLE!!).

I also used for the first time and then again 2 more times (totaling 3x) , rideshares.  I really had a good experience with all three in fact and would highly recommend anyone trying it as a cheap, and environmentally friendly way to travel without having to deal with airport security!  Plus, you get to talk to people you may never meet otherwise.  I have enjoyed the ride sharing experience a lot and it is nice that there is a mode of transportation that actually has positive connotations associated with it.

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series and we found out that we are losing the SF 49ers to Santa Clara (Booo!).

I also cleared up some of my credit.

Not too bad in a single year!

But… Now for the most important message of my anniversary blog… My thanks to you, my readers.  You make writing for you so special to me.  I absolutely love that you feel comfortable leaving your comments as well as share some things about yourselves in those comments.  I love that we have an international conversation here even though one would never know it just by reading what you wrote.  I basically love you all, my blog followers and readers.  You make this oh so worth while.

While i would like to say that it doesnt matter if anyone is reading what i am posting, it makes it so much more, more… well… EVERYTHING to have you here along for this journey with me.

You all are my originals.  The first to be a part of my blog experience.  This i find very special and cool and i thank each and every one of you that took the time out of your life to share in what i have to share with you let alone leave feedback.  You all have made this first year of my blog an incredible experience and i am really looking forward to seeing what is going to be on topic for the next year.

So, in short… WE DID IT!! HAPPY 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVERYBODY!!  And from the bottom of my heart… THANK YOU!!

Q: Is it ever anything but torturous watching a parent (and best friend) slowly dying? Answer: NO!!

I have been avoiding this post for some time now.  I guess i just did not feel it right to write about someone who i know is going to read a post about themselves and it is about dying, but this is just too big of a topic in my life right now to ignore any longer.  It is also something that is being discussed openly now between ourselves so i suppose it is time to talk about it here.

I always would ask, which would be worse, being like my grandma on my moms side who passed away earlier this year, having dementia and losing your memory but still healthy as a horse?  (She would take long walks but often not know where she walked once she got there!), OR be like my great aunt on my dads side (and my dad just the same), to be sharp as a tack up until the very end but have the body TOTALLY break down in the process.  So, is it better for your mind to go or your body to go??

I have gone back and forth with this over the years.  I used to say that severe pain would impact the choice of body breaking but there is something to be said for having your wits till the end.  It is a hard choice to make and thankfully, fate or the gods are the ones that decide that for each of us if we are lucky enough to grow old and die from it.

I know life is an ephemeral and fleeting and nothing lasts forever, so why are we so hard wired to not want those around us to ever leave us?  We all know logically that we are only guaranteed 2 things in life.  1.  We get a ticket to planet earth when we are born, and 2.  we get a ticket home when its time to go.  I like to see it as “vacation on planet earth”.  Your vacation can go one of two ways… really good or really bad.  It can be influenced by where you have to take your vacation but it does not make it a guarantee that you will have a fabulous or terrible vacation simply due to location.  However, if you get chosen to “soul up” a body in Darfur, your chances of having a super fun and easy vacation are probably going to be hard to come by.  But, that doesnt mean that you can not hopefully change the location and improve your trip.  On the other hand, you could be “souled in” to a body of a multi-millionaire’s baby and be brought up with all of the luxuries that one could imagine and be isolated or treated so poorly that it does not matter because your vacation on planet earth is just one nightmare walking amongst priceless artifacts and long cold hallways.  I think that is why happiness has much less to do with economics than it does with community.

Anyway, back to my original issue.  The thing that is so tough right now is… well, several things… But, one of them is that there are questions that can only be answered by them and this is your last chance to ask them.  What is it that i need to ask?  Once they are gone, the information they hold in their brains goes too.  You only have this chance to ask all of the questions that only this one person can answer.  AND you can not think of the questions that should be asked.  (i think this is one of Murphy’s laws (btw… who the heck is Murphy anyway?? Poor bastard must have had the most frustrating life!!).

The other thing that is so tough is letting the sick person see that you are effected by their sickness.  I do not want to cry to their face because i am so gutted that i am losing one of the most important and influential people in my life.  I want to appear strong so not to scare them.  I do not want them to see how hard it is for me because i can only imagine how hard it is for them.

I feel like time is going in slow motion, yet it is blazing past me and with each minute that ticks by, is one less minute i am on earth with them.

I think it would be so much easier on our psyches if we knew what happened to us after passing.  If you are religious, you probably automatically believe what you are told to believe.  However, since we have other things that we experience here on earth that we have no explanation for that could possibly tie into our souls local’s upon vacating the body (such as remembering past lives, old souls and ghosts) that it adds a variable of the unknown and hope i think that something is in place for us.  I do not think we are comforted by the thought that after dying our soul just evaporates and vanishes.  How could something so strong as a soul which assisted our will to live while in life, and is invisible anyway, just disappear.  I think (maybe just for convenience) we like to think that there is a place for our souls to go after this life.  The not knowing is the tough part, but also i suppose the part that keeps us as simple people and not as the mighty “God” which i think in life, we forget sometimes.

I know i am not really making any specific point here, but i just need this to start the conversation that i have on loop in my head.   My dad is dying.  He is my best friend and probably the one single person that influenced who i have become more than anyone else so far in my life.  We all know it and we are talking about it (which is very strange when it is with the person who is doing the dying!)  I thought it would be more uncomfortable talking the hard real truth’s with him but now that we are here, it is not hard, it is just so scary and sad.

I know that this is just the natural cycle of life and that if it did not happen, then we would have something really to worry about!  But it doesnt make it any easier at all.  This is a game changer for me.  It is usually for most of us even if we do not have a very good or any relationship with our parent.

In what way my life and personality will be affected is unknown to me at this point.  In fact the impression will be so huge, i dare not even speculate, but i do know that it will change my life.

I suppose when we experience loss, in a way, the gods are clearing out our lives and throwing us out into the unfamiliar world again to start anew but with newly found or understood skills to make the next path taken with a slightly different approach or a different set of desires.

Usually when i find myself in these types of places of rebuilding after major loss, i have found that when it is time to get up and go after those things i want out of life, the wants and the things and the needs have changed.  Always they have simplified and become much more basic of wants and needs.  It allows you to appreciate all that you were unable to realize while spoiled and familiar with the past experiences.

I am not (obviously) not looking forward to the soon future without the protection and love and friendship of my dad, but i embrace who i will become and what he has taught me once he is gone.  I am just so lucky and blessed to be able to have the time now to ask those last important things as well as getting some things sorted out and understood which will make our job after he goes a lot easier and a lot less stressful.  For that i am eternally grateful!

Regardless, it sucks how much we miss the ones we love once they are gone!  At least, hopefully for me, the pain will help to create new art.  And i can say that it is because of my dad that i made it on this occasion!

I love you dad!!

My dad this past year. Love you Pops! (sorry for doing a post about you:)

At 38 years old and One fish can still create One Thousand tears! (this can’t be normal is it? Who cares! I loved my damn fish!)

He was a part of my family… Me, my kitty Arthur and Tyrone.  Now i guess Arthur and I must go on alone.  At least Tyrone had a much better end of his life but i also fear that i may have killed him because i just cleaned his home yesterday and he was ok.  When i received Tyrone, he had been living in a Dixie cup and had been being fed oatmeal!  After getting him into a proper fish apartment, with proper food, he almost doubled in size!  Tyrone was a TOUGH FISH and a survivor big time!  At least i know that i made the last half a year of his life a much better existence with clean water and food and play.  I would talk to Tyrone every day to say hello and i think he knew we were his new family. (Arthur sure did!  Whenever he heard me talking to Tyrone, he would come out into the kitchen and give me this look like.. “you better not be talking sweet to some other animal!”  But i think he got used to Tyrone being part of our family too. Anyway, I just dont know and will never know if it was something in my doing with the cleaning of his water yesterday, and can not go back in time if it was my fault.  All i can do is mourn the loss of a little fish spirit that brought me and so many others a little bit of joy.
 

I will you miss you my tough guy Tyrone!  Thank you for allowing another cross species interaction/ friendship to take place and may you go to a better place… (maybe next time coming back a little higher up on the food chain?).  May you rest with the fishes and in peace!

RIP TYRONE!

i will miss you!

Top 11 things that I innately know but can not prove…in no particular order….

I was watching a movie called The Red Violin.  While watching it, my brain started thinking about how stringed instruments seem to resinate with our emotions.  It is almost like the pitch of the cello is the same wavelength as the feeling of sorrow etc.

Anyway, from here i started wandering through thought and realized that there are things that i am pretty sure of if not damn well sure of, that one could never prove.  They are just things that happen to be true.  Some of the things I know due to personal experience, some are just innately obviously so.  All and all it still tells me the last one all over again and that is that we just dont know much.

 So, here is my short list… Do you agree?  What is your list?

  1. Music has power.  Music reaches a deeper level in our souls than most other things.

2. Love is the most powerful thing in each of us

3.  Greed is a close CLOSE 2nd.

4.  Some people are born with old souls.

5.  Animals feel complex emotions.  (sorry… i could not just give you one picture of animal love!  I just love the animals too much to chose!)

6.  Some people actually CAN see people’s color auras.  My dad’s friend predicted my grandma’s death after meeting her once about 6 hours before she died.  She told my dad BEFORE she died that she was surrounded in a death aura.  She died 4 hours later.)

7.  Music is linked to memory.  If you need to memorize something, put it to music.  You have a much better chance of keeping it in the memory banks!  For godsake, if you see the words and put a bouncing ball over it as it goes, you will NEVER forget it!  Just ask me… i’d be happy to sing you the Pete Ellis Dodge commercial from the early 80’s!

8.  Dreams, smells and music are the only things that can take you back to a specific time and place for a moment.

9.  color CAN effect your mood.  Paint is the cheapest bang for the buck for house improvement!

10.  We are not supposed to live forever.  Everything is ephermal.

11.  And finally, although we are unlocking a lot of knowledge now with the help of science, our brains have a long way to go!  We are in our infancy when it comes to accessing the brains powers.

Well, what do you think?  come on… Dont be shy!  Please tell me any that were missed on my short list.  They just come to you.  You know these things but dont ever really think about it.  So when one does, write it down!

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I have noticed since my own Grandma’s passing just how many of us use WordPress to express mourning.

I started my blog, i think around last November.  I was inspired by our AWESOME local Bernalwood.Wordpress.com blog (which is one of the cleverest blog and communities that i have ever come across!) to start my own.  They were on WordPress so i signed up in turn.

It was incredibly easy to get stared.  It was however, a little bit harder to create a cohesive blog.  I did not even think about that when i started it.  I guess i just thought it would be about any and everything that interested me or that I found amusing or outrageous.  This lead to a lot of re-blogging.  I really felt a little like I was cheating by doing more of this than actual writing myself but i did not know in what direction to start these writings.

Then came December 23, 2011

My roommate had a cat named Tiki.  She was the runt, that was not breathing, from the litter from her mother, who was brought in as an alley cat and died shortly after giving birth.  Tiki may not have come into this world without a helping breath from Jason, but once she got here, she was a toughie!

When i moved into the house, Jason was not home very much (like i mean ever!) and the other roommate ended up mostly feeding her .  As soon as i got there, I was it.  I was adopted new mommy. She picked me as her mom and was by my side from that day forward.  She slept with me, she was fed by me, she even went on a short  walk around the block with me.  She was basically mine by then.  But she was also Jason’s because he raised her. We both loved her very very much.

On December 23, 2011, she died.  It was one of them most awful, violent, horrendous experiences I have ever had to witness.  I think i will always be a little bit traumatized from watching her writhe in pain and howl, with blood coming out of her mouth, over about 20 LONG minutes until she finally died.

I was NOT prepared!  I knew she was 19 years old, but to go out in such a painful way….  It was just awful to every sense of the word.

That moment was when it all came together for me.  That was the time that i decided to do my 10 day homage to Tiki, ending on Dec. 31, 2011.  I thought i would be able to grieve and honor her and also start my new year with some closure.  (It also helped that the next day after she died, i rescued Arthur from being put to death by about 2 hours on Christmas Eve.

Since then, i have had 2 friends pass as well as my Grandma.  Maybe i am extra aware of it because it is so fresh, but i really have been noticing how a lot of people use WordPress as a vehicle to pay homage to those that we love, that we lose.

I know for me personally, it has been EXTREMELY cathardic to the point of almost therapy to have had this outlet to use to express all the emotions tied up in that kind of loss.  From what i keep seeing on people’s blogs, I think others have found this too.

It is really cool because not only can you alert people that you have had a loss, but, you can do a tribute to that person so that their death becomes less about you and your greif, and more about the person you lost and their life.

So for this amongst a lot of other things, I thank you WordPress. for creating a forum for all of us to honor those we have loved and lost!

I miss you Grandma, Tiki, Big Ben and Lentle (this is the dec-april 2012 list).  I hope you are in a place with no stress and pain and only positive energy that surounds your spirit!  I am looking up or out or around at you and i hope you are looking down or over or through or however it might work, to see how much the people in your life love and appreciate you.

(I could not do a piece on loss without saying ‘love you little guy’ to my kitty Sasha who passed away in 2007.  Still feels like yesterday

(above: Tiki about 3 months before her death.)

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(Above: Sasha and Me circa. 2003.)

(above: Family (dad taking picture) circa 1978 with Grandma leading us to our departure gate)

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My grandmother passed this morning. She was 90! And happy till the end!

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Todays post is in honor and memory of my grandmother.  She was my mom’s mom and passed away this morning.  My heart is with her husband (in photo below with her and me).

My grandma was suffering alzheimer’s disease and was being well cared for in her progressive caring facility.  She was pretty fit.  Very happy and non-stressed was the mood she was last in before her passing makes me feel good.  I think that is probably the best way to go… Old. Not in pain. In your sleep. Before dementia steals everything making it a very scary place to have to be.

She has a good life and was absolutely adored by her family and friends.  She was just a really sweet lady.  I am very sorry to see her gone from my world.  I knew it would come but i didnt expect it to be this soon.   My thoughts are with her husband, whom i think of as practically my blood grandpa (my grandpa died when i was 8 and my grandma re-married a couple years later to her childhood friend and have been happily married since).  He loved my grandma so purely.  The kind of love that you just dont see these days anymore.  They were truly a perfect union.   They complimented each other so beautifully.  Now he will be surrounded by family and loved ones who will flood him with love.  It wont make up for the loss of his true love, but it will be ok.

Thank you grandma.  For if it werent for you, i would not be able to be here to mourn you now.  You were the anchor of the family and you did a great job keeping us all together and loving us all so much.    We love you too.

Rest peacefully Grandma!  Keep a look out for tiki and sasha!  My kitties are up there somewhere!  They will take good care of you!

I love you and i am sorry that you can no longer hear me say it to you on this planet.  But i do so i will say it just one more time….

GRANDMA, THANK YOU AND I LOVE YOU!!!

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A clarification of my blog. What it is about, and where it is headed in 2012.


I have been doing some 2012 new thinking lately.  A few things are creating this need to reflect upon my life and what it is all about not to mention this blog.

I started this blog as a neighborhood blog and posted on relavent things that i was interested in (Art and design and craft and clever things.)  It quickly became an outlet for an extreem and sudden loss of my roommates kitty  (who was mine by this time because she had adopted me almost immediately upon moving in 2 years prior and my roommate rarely came home).  She was 19 so it was her time, but it was an incredibly sudden and violent death.  VERY traumatizing.  It all happened over about 20 minutes of horrific body spasms and drooling a lot of blood.  The most heart wrenching yeowling in body writhing pain right on my bed in front of me.  My roommate happened to be home at the time (OH THANK GOD!!) and we were all crying and screaming and telling her it was ok to let go and that we loved her.)  She died in my roommates arms.  Just where she should have because she was born not breathing and he breathed for her and she came to life and so i guess one could say it was full circle.  Regardless, it was HORRIBLE to have had to watch.  I was devastated as was everyone who witnessed it.

My blog now had turned into a healing and honoring device that helped me create closure with the loss.  I also got my new little kitty Arthur 2 days after Tiki died.  The loss of her life allowed me to save little Arthur who was slated to be put to death the following day at 3pm.  I picked him up at 1pm.  He was so terrified but has really come so far in just 3 short months.  He now sleeps and hangs out on not under the bed and now has even let several people other than myself pet him.  Every day or two i have a new breakthrough with him it seems.  It is really rewarding.  And as he becomes more comfortable he shows more and more of his personality.  He is hilarious.  A true character.  More to come on this in the future, but i must get back to my original point.

I went to a great little store opening tonight down the street so i could check it out and do a posting on it (watch for it.  I am going to go back and do some photographing without all of the people there to showcase this cool shop that sells electric bycicles)  I asked someone who the owner was to get permission to take a few photos.  I explained to him that i wrote a little blog.  I may have even said neighborhood blog, but i realize that i have moved from writing and posting really relavent things to me, i had begun using it in a similar way to facebook.  It was a depository of reposted blogs that i thought were interesting with a few personally written blogs intermixed.  I think i needed to do this because not only was i mourning the death of our kitty but also two friends and an ended relationship of a year.  I was really stressed out, scattered and depressed.  The blog although was not my own writings as much, kept me still looking for things that impacted me in a profound enough way to believe it worthy of rebloging or posting.

There is nothing wrong with doing this.  It creates a depository of relavent entertainment to the times pertaining to my life.  A snapshot of culture from my perspective so to say.  But when i started to think about it, i realized that there was no real common thread to my blog.  I hadnt been writing as much about my city and neighborhood.  It was and is kinda all over the place.

I may not correct this 100% but i think it is time for me to really figure out what this blog of mine is all about.  Is it a sort of therapy?  Is it a modern culture statement?  Is it a design and art/craft showcase?  Is it a way to have a voice in this ever failing time?  I dont know, but i promise this to all of you sweet people who have followed the hodge podge of interests posted here so far, that I am going to start really writing again here.  In a sense it is going to also be part online journal.  A way for me to think aloud.

This works well in two ways.  First, i will not ever have to worry about another house fire putting my journals at risk or a move losing them, and second, i can write a lot more before my hands begin going numb while typing than writing.  I will still keep journals.  That will never leave me, but i am going to trust in the readers that they will accept my writing as a thank you to them listening to my thoughts.

It will also continue to be a neighborhood blog as well as a city blog.  However,  i havent wanted to start getting too upset and angry in my observations, and lately, that has been the thoughts associated with things that i see happening in this (once) GREAT! and now Good city of San Francisco (see posting on Sherif Ross Mirkirimi’s political witch hunt).  So i am going to write what i am pondering and what i feel and what i see around me and what i discover, and who i am.

I just thought that of this leap year with the Mayan calendar ending and all, i would begin to clarify my direction hopefully to both you all and to myself.

I look forward to seeing whats in store for us!  I hope you are too.

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Homage to Tiki… day 7. …So gone so quick!

Tiki at the back door 2011

My little companion Tiki who passed away suddenly and violently 2 days ago, was one extremely traumatic experiences i have ever experienced.  One of the reasons was because her youthful spirit.  Every day we would forget that she was 16, or 17, or 18, or even 19.  She only started to show any decline in september when she began losing weight.  But not too much and she still had spunk.  Just to immortalize that fact, i give you a video of Tiki playing just 20 days before her aweful end.  She was actually playing like this the night before she died, but i knew there was something really wrong.  Boy was i unfortunately right.  I miss you like the world little tickerdoodle my persnickity tickity!

Ps. your secret grave is still looking beautiful!

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Death, Dying, Aging and Youth… Let these old guys teach us a very important lesson!

Life is so ephemeral.  It slips by so fast!  We look up and we are long past where we feel we actually should be.  A lot closer to death.  Our energy slows down, our bodies heal slower, our vision begins to slip and then the health problems can set in.

In our hearts though, we are just as sensitive, curious, excited,  and afraid.  We also have in our hearts the want to feel the music through our bodies.  I take my hat off to these gentlemen.  They are thoroughly enjoying still kicking it out on the dance floor.

We should all take a note from these smart guys..  There is no better way to let out stresses of our lives than through music and dance.  I always use the concept, doesn’t matter what you look like (or how foolish you may think you look)  If you are having a lot of fun, that is all that counts.  Go on out there and look like an uncoordinated fool.  Who cares.  If you have a smile on your face, you can only help to bring the energy some joy!

This Christmas season get out there and DANCE everybody!!

This is to allert you all that Bluepearlgirls world in officially in mourning….

Yesterday morning our dear cat of 19 years… (she has been mine for the last 2), died a traumatic and horrific death.  I am in shock and therefor not my usual skippy self.  I plan on taking time away to put together a Tiki Memorial which i will post here.  I just wanted to explain why my header is not Mt. Sutro right now and my page is in black… It is still active and you have found it but it is experiencing some deep sadness and am in deep mourning.

Miss you little critter!

Tiki in the sun 2011

If you or a loved one has recently lost a beloved pet, the SPCA recommends the following reads…

Reading Materials

  • Grieving the Death of a Pet
    By Dr. Betty Carmack, R.N., Ed.D., Augsburg Publishers 2003
  • Losing A Best Friend, a collection of articles compiled by the San Francisco SPCA
  • Pet Loss: A Thoughtful Guide for Adults and Children
    By Herbert A. Nieburg and Arlene Fischer, Harper & Row, 1982
  • When Your Pet Dies: How To Cope With Your Feelings
    By James E. Quackenbush and D. Graveline, Simon and Schuster, 1985
  • Living Through Personal Crisis
    By Ann Kaiser Stearns, Ballantine, 1984
  • Coping With Sorrow On The Loss of Your Pet
    By Moira Anderson, M.Ed, Alpine Blue Ribbon Books, 1996