A few generations away and boy the times have changed!

One of my favorite websites is called FoundSF.org.  It has such great articles about San Francisco and all of its colorful history.  Sometimes when i am bored, i go to it to just read.  My ancestors were some of the founders of San Francisco.  I did not learn this fact until i was the age of 19, at which point i began studying San Francisco history as well as my own lineage.

When i came across this article this morning, i could not believe how perfect it was… like it was written just for me!

I have always had trouble understanding just how my ancestors lives influenced my own.  It is several generations away and clearly lifestyles have changed greatly.  But i feel the past.  I feel my relatives around me.  They push me to become a better person and to continue to be proud of the Koshland name as well as my closely related relatives. Continue reading

Seems to be an anomaly to be spending my delayed flight with a bunch of pencils!

In this day of technology, we don’t do many manual things to pass time besides reading & sleeping & eating. After not having my computer for so long, the first thing I did was pull it open. That worked until I just got another delay notice. Time to find my gate & visit the loo. After changing out of my wet (from getting caught in the rain earlier) clothes and freshening up, I found my gate… And it was packed! I found this table kinda in the middle but at the same time out of the way. For this stretch, I wanted to DO something! (Anything to alleviate the urge to want to smoke!). So, I pulled out a drawing l started a couple days ago. Our dear reader Katykins suggested that I take a picture of some of the stuff I have been working on. So, I give u a 2 in 1. My drawing (unfinished!) AND the airport! Hope u all have a fantastic. Holiday!!

Xoxo.
Blue.

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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!!

i think i have never been so scared before in my whole life! (& i lived with a crackhead!)

A chocolate-chip cookie.

I was in the room with my dad.  He is very thin and frail and on oxygen.  He used to smoke but all but quit.  It is just not so much fun when you can not breathe anyway.  I had some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies i had forgotten for a hot sec. in the oven, so i went quickly into the kitchen passing Debbie in the living room.  Debbie is my dads roommate, best friend and caregiver, and she was heading into dads room which is like in a u shape from the kitchen.  I did not notice anything or hear the boom as far as i can recall, but maybe i did because i have this distinct idea of a very flat sounding boom.  I think it registered for a brief second in my conscience before falling deep into the folds.   Anyway, regardless i am totally oblivious of the trauma going on concurrently on the other side of the walls.

Flame the fire

Flame the fire (Photo credit: Darwin Bell)

Evidently when they tell you that oxygen is highly flammable, they were not kidding around.  I am merrily putting hot cookies on a plate and a couple glasses of milk poured and walk unknowingly into my dads room where he is sitting on the edge of the bed with the blanket melted, a huge hole in the bed and his face and his face and arm blackened with soot &n smoke filling the air.  The the blanket he was using caught fire and that fire made the oxygen he had on his face explode.  He has some burns on his nose and cheek as well as his arm and part of his mustache is gone too. He had a wet rag up to his face.  He was in shock.  Maybe even more than Debbie and I.  I am very thankful that i am not Debbie because she has the picture of my dad on fire in her visual memory now.  I dont think i would like to be haunted with that image!  The house is smokey and we had to move him over to the other side of the bed after we cleaned and covered his burns.  He doesnt want to go to the hospital and he seems to be alert and doing ok.  These pain pills really make him wander and  while on them and at the same time, he nods off.  That is why he fell last week.  it is really scary.  If Debbie was not right there right then, my dad could have died in a fire tonight.  That is i think the most scared i have ever been.

Oh, and before you ask me why he is not in the emergency room right now, I think that a Sunday night emergency room would not give my dad anything different than what we have done and it will be cold and scary and he has his nurse coming at 8 am tomorrow.  I dont think it is enough to kill him in 12 hours and if he is not doing well in the morning and/or if his nurse recommends it, we will go then.  I just want my dad to be as happy and comfortable for as long as possible and he is one of the most stubborn people i know.  I will pull rank if i need to, but i think it is ok to wait, let him get a good night sleep and see where we are tomorrow.  If at that time it is what i need to do, there is a first time for everything i suppose!

Fingers crossed!

fingers crossed

fingers crossed (Photo credit: cinnamon_girl)

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:)

A little bit late i know, but i still must introduce our newest family member… Introducing…

Finochio!  In true old school fashion of true San Francisco of days past.  He reminded us of the amazing dragqueens at the old classic Finochio’s.  He is so beautiful!  He is a little guy too!  He i think would be the type of fish that would eat any other fish in the bowl (or at least fight the hell out of it!)  We have to only put his “exercise mirror” in his bowl for 5 or 10 minutes a couple times a day.  I dont want him to give him a type A, heart attack candidate type anxiety issues.  He did not sleep for almost 3 days straight the first day i brought him home because i dont think he had ever seen a mirror.  It was a magnified mirror i realized finally and figured he might be on High Alert!! all the time which would be very stressful too… thinking that a fish bigger than you was mimic-ing every move… I’d be aftaid to sleep too!

Anyway, because of his many different colors in different light, i give you Finochio!  (they are all the same fish…just different light:

Finochio our new fish!

…Also Fincohio!

I was posed the question why is your dad the best? This is my response. Happy Fathers day Dad!

My dad is the best. Period. He is so loved by my friends that he received a xmas card and they forgot me.

Dad has come to save me so many times.

From the time that i was illegally evicted and woke up to the sheriff changing the locks at 9am.

He was there (and he lived an hour away) by 10:30am. He helped me get a uhaul and a storage and then took me in for 7 months until i began school.

Several years later, on Halloween night i got a call from my roommate who was at home who said that there had been a fire.  I had left the house and all was well and within 2 hours i had no home.  I called my dad at midnight.  I woke him up but he asked me if I wanted to have him come right then and pick me up. In San Francisco… on Halloween!  The traffic alone!…!  I told him no but he was at my friends house that i stayed at by 11am the next day.  

He took me to my house where i couldnt get in, drove me down to his house and then drove back up to SF that night to try and find my cat.  He then took me in for a whole year… to the day exactly!  

These are just two of countless things that my dad has helped me or saved me so to speak.  He is my knight in shining armor.

He is my very best friend.  

He now lives in Las Vegas, but we talk about every week or two and he comes to visit 4-5 times a year even with his deteriorating health.  

He is not going to be with me for too much longer, but i know he knows and i know just how much i love him, how great of a dad he has been and that i have always been and will always be his little girl.  I love you dad!  

Happy Fathers day! 

I love you very much!!

Imagelife

Photography by Emelie Koshland

Video

It has been several years since i have watched this video that i made back in the late 2005-2006ish. Some things that these photos contain are San Francisco, some of the quirky things i see here, Highway 1 at devils slide before the last big slide, Pacifica, Infineon Raceway in Sonoma (that is my dad), Tiburon, Capitola, and 2 token Portland, Or. (snow), the De Young Museum (both the pre opening.. thats my dad walking away in the one. He is on the wall of donors too!) and the 48 hour public re-opening that went all day and night and day and night) as well as Dale Chihuly’s amazing glass retrospective, and my garden, and probably other things that i can not remember. I hope you like it! Most of these were taken on a little canon digital camera or my cel phone. No retouching unless it was sideways! :)

In memorial of my dear sweet Sasha who i lost 4 years ago today.

I know most people give me that off slanted look when i talk about a cat that died 4 years ago.  They think i am 1. a bit crazy (which may not be wrong), and 2. going to grow into one of those crazy old cat ladies who wears a lot of purple & hats and the kids are afraid to trick or treat at’s house on Halloween (this may become true too.  Who knows!).  All i know is that the friendship and commitment that this little critter and i shared for over 14 years, left a huge HUGE impact on my life.  I have never had another living creature effect my life since in such positive ways.  I now have little rescue kitty Arthur who is still terrified of everything (except me now.  Yea!) but, he is coming around.  Just because Sasha and i are cosmic friends, doesn’t mean that Arthur and I will not build one either, but no one or anything will ever replace the love i have for that darn little cat.  Here is to you Sasha!  May the afterlife be treating you beautifully.  Wait for me, i will be looking for you!  I still do miss you so.

Sasha and me just before he died. 2007.

Sasha and i when he was younger and healthier in 2003.

Sasha and Emelie in 2003.

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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OmG! This family is so F*ckin cool!! Get down!

Because i dont speak spanish, i do not know exactly what this says, but it is the credits to the coolest sweetest, dang bad assed video i have maybe ever seen!  Be ready to say Damn they are so dang cute and cool!