Wednesday, December 27, 2006

back home

Being back home is great. Christmas Eve, I spent the morning snorkeling. The water was a bit cold to get in, but once I was in, it was perfect. With the winter storms having eaten up a large amount of the beach, more rocks than usual were exposed... providing more housing and protection for fish. I even saw a ray hanging out at the end of the jetty. I dove down to the side of it...we blinked and watched each other for a bit. Amazing!

I'm glad I took advantage of that because, of course, Christmas day was busy with opening presents and family dining. And then, the rain. A rain the way it's meant to be--big fat droplets plopping down so hard and fast it's almost hard to see ten feet ahead. This was the cold front moving through. I saw on the news that the high today would have been around 68, and the surf temp? 76. What the hell am I doing in Cali?? Oh, yeah...that school thing!! (muttering under my breath...yeah, yeah, it's my own damn fault...)
I am glad I could come back even if for a little while. It gives me the incentive to keep going so I can come back and have a decent job (and one I enjoy.)

This is home for me. I see things that have been there for ages. I also sometimes find myself confused as to where I am in areas that have been developed and I no longer recognize. It's a mix of old and new. The old buildings, what I call old Florida, are generally one story...low to the ground to combat the heat of summer. The new ones...built taller and larger with the concept of air conditioning in mind. In the town I grew up, some of the old houses have been torn down and the new "McMansions" built in their place. On one of the streets, I thought that they had built an apartment building because there is practically no yard...the building takes up the full lot. How ugly. I'll have to take some pictures and write the stories!

Friday, December 22, 2006

To all...

It's good to be back in Florida and the humidity...I'm sure I'll have many stories to tell you all but for now, I am working from (gasp!) Dial-Up...(Willow, how you do it all the time is amazing!) Have a great Holiday season everyone!!

How "Merry Christmas" is said .....

Afrikaans: Gesëende Kersfees
Afrikander: Een Plesierige Kerfees
African/ Eritrean/ Tigrinja: Rehus-Beal-Ledeats
Albanian:Gezur Krislinjden
Arabic: Milad Majid
Argentine: Feliz Navidad
Armenian: Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Azeri: Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun
Bahasa Malaysia: Selamat Hari Natal
Basque: Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!
Bengali: Shuvo Naba Barsha
Bohemian: Vesele Vanoce
Brazilian: Feliz Natal
Breton: Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat
Bulgarian: Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo
Catalan: Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!
Chile: Feliz Navidad
Chinese: (Cantonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
Chinese: (Mandarin) Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan (Catonese) Gun Tso Sun Tan'Gung Haw Sun
Choctaw: Yukpa, Nitak Hollo Chito
Columbia: Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo
Cornish: Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth
Corsian: Pace e salute
Crazanian: Rot Yikji Dol La Roo
Cree: Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
Croatian: Sretan Bozic
Czech: Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Danish: Glædelig Jul
Duri: Christmas-e- Shoma Mobarak
Dutch: Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! or Zalig Kerstfeast
English: Merry Christmas
Eskimo: (inupik) Jutdlime pivdluarit ukiortame pivdluaritlo!
Esperanto: Gajan Kristnaskon
Estonian: Ruumsaid juulup|hi
Ethiopian: (Amharic) Melkin Yelidet Beaal
Faeroese: Gledhilig jol og eydnurikt nyggjar!
Farsi: Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad
Finnish: Hyvaa joulua
Flemish: Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
French: Joyeux Noel
Frisian: Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!
Galician: Bo Nada
Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ùr!
German: Froehliche Weihnachten
Greek: Kala Christouyenna!
Haiti: (Creole) Jwaye Nowel or to Jesus Edo Bri'cho o Rish D'Shato Brichto
Hausa: Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
Hawaiian: Mele Kalikimaka
Hebrew: Mo'adim Lesimkha. Chena tova
Hindi: Shub Naya Baras
Hausa: Barka da Kirsimatikuma Barka da Sabuwar Shekara!
Hawaian: Mele Kalikimaka ame Hauoli Makahiki Hou!
Hungarian: Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket
Icelandic: Gledileg Jol
Indonesian: Selamat Hari Natal
Iraqi: Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Irish: Nollaig Shona Dhuit, or Nodlaig mhaith chugnat
Iroquois: Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson honungradon nagwutut. Ojenyunyat osrasay.
Italian: Buone Feste Natalizie
Japanese: Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Jiberish: Mithag Crithagsigathmithags
Korean: Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Lao: souksan van Christmas
Latin: Natale hilare et Annum Faustum!
Latvian: Prieci'gus Ziemsve'tkus un Laimi'gu Jauno Gadu!
Lausitzian:Wjesole hody a strowe nowe leto
Lettish: Priecigus Ziemassvetkus
Lithuanian: Linksmu Kaledu
Low Saxon: Heughliche Winachten un 'n moi Nijaar
Macedonian: Sreken Bozhik
Maltese: IL-Milied It-tajjeb
Manx: Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa
Maori: Meri Kirihimete
Marathi: Shub Naya Varsh
Navajo: Merry Keshmish
Norwegian: God Jul, or Gledelig Jul
Occitan: Pulit nadal e bona annado
Papiamento: Bon Pasco
Papua New Guinea: Bikpela hamamas blong dispela Krismas na Nupela yia i go long yu
Pennsylvania German: En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!
Peru: Feliz Navidad y un Venturoso Año Nuevo
Philipines: Maligayan Pasko!
Polish: Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia or Boze Narodzenie
Portuguese:Feliz Natal
Pushto: Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha
Rapa-Nui (Easter Island): Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua
Rhetian: Bellas festas da nadal e bun onn
Romanche: (sursilvan dialect): Legreivlas fiastas da Nadal e bien niev onn!
Rumanian: Sarbatori vesele
Russian: Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
Sami: Buorrit Juovllat
Samoan: La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Sardinian: Bonu nadale e prosperu annu nou
Serbian: Hristos se rodi
Slovakian: Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce
Sami: Buorrit Juovllat
Samoan: La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Scots Gaelic: Nollaig chridheil huibh
Serb-Croatian: Sretam Bozic. Vesela Nova Godina
Serbian: Hristos se rodi.
Singhalese: Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Slovak: Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok
Slovene: Vesele Bozicne Praznike Srecno Novo Leto or Vesel Bozic in srecno Novo leto
Spanish: Feliz Navidad
Swedish: God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt År
Tagalog: Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon
Tami: Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal
Trukeese: (Micronesian) Neekiriisimas annim oo iyer seefe feyiyeech!
Thai: Sawadee Pee Mai or souksan wan Christmas
Turkish: Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian: Srozhdestvom Kristovym
Urdu: Naya Saal Mubarak Ho
Vietnamese: Chung Mung Giang Sinh
Welsh: Nadolig Llawen
Yugoslavian: Cestitamo Bozic
Yoruba: E ku odun, e ku iye'dun!

tagged again...

This one is's a book search. Crankster tagged me. This is pretty simple and I'm all for easy! Here are the instructions:

1. Grab the book closest to you.
2. Open to page 123, go down to the fifth sentence
3. Post the text of next 3 sentences on your blog
4. Name of the book and the author
5. Tag three people

"True, the hermaphroditic result looked a little silly. Still, I felt a little silly aspiring to this dream. (Girls from Libertyville, Illinois, did not do things like that.)"

The book...Vein of Gold by Julia Cameron.

I will tag....Willow, Pamela, and....Swampy!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

what a day...

It took me two hours to drive to school today. 10 miles. 2 hours. That is one of the downfalls of living in an area with only one major highway. This morning, a tractor trailer jackknifed, and the caught on fire, effectively shutting down the main thoroughfare for the area. The radio didn't say anything about any fatalities or injuries so I would assume the truckdriver got away in time.

While there are alternate routes (2), they really are not equipped to handle the traffic in a quick, or efficient manner. Have you ever seen the movie Office Space? In the opening scenes, he's driving to work--stop and go traffic--and an old man with a walker is going faster than he is in the car. That's how this morning was. I don't know how many cyclists passed. I'm sure they were having a good laugh at us. I would have been had I been the one moving and not the one stuck. Sigh...

Two hours after I started, I did finally get to school. I am so thankful this didn't happen on a class day in which assignments are due. I would like to think the teacher would have given us a break, but somehow I doubt it...and I'm glad we didn't have to test it. If I didn't have to reshoot one last assignment, I would have totally stayed home. But no...I had to get to the studio. I got my shot. Tonight, I'm going for extra credit. It could be the difference of 1/2 a letter grade. I would much rather stay home and get to bed early, but no...I'll go out and shoot.

It's supposed to go into the 20's tonight. Whoever is in charge of that stupid weather machine is starting to piss me off. I mean really!! They are calling it the Big Chill. I call it fucking cold. I had this weather back in Baltimore. After two months back in Florida, I was acclimatized to the warmth blood had thinned.   Then, I move out here, expecting warmth and sunshine. I got fog, cool weather, ashes falling from the sky, and now...20 degrees??? GRRRR.(ok...we do have some marvelous days too...but I can't bitch about those, now can I???)  I can't wait to get back home.

Monday, December 18, 2006

oh the weather...

Ok, last night it got down to the 30's. I love my flannel sheets that kept me nice and toasty. This morning I got bundled up and headed to class. At the light, heater blasting in the car, I watched a man crossed the road. He was wearing a red sweatshirt and jeans, hands tucked deep inside the pockets. He didn't look like he was wearing enough to keep him warm.

When I lived in Baltimore, people were better equipped for the cold. When the temperatures dipped to the 30's and 40's, they were ready for it and wore appropriate clothing...coats, hats, gloves. However, in Florida and now here in California, where the sun shines most of the time and people don't really expect it to be cold, I don't see as many people bundled up. The man this morning was a good example of that. The thing is that in these types of places, it might be freezing in the morning, but by noon, it's usually above 50, if not warmer than that. Why bundle up if you know that the cold will only last a couple of hours?

I understand that type of thinking because I have been guilty of it myself. The people I see here that do wear appropriate cold weather clothes usually come from a colder climate. Those that probably grew up here or somewhere warmer instead suffer the cold until the heat returns. It's an odd juxtaposition of cultures.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Feelin' Groovy...

today was one of those days...busy but yet, lazy. Does that even make any sense? I had stuff to it done. Sat around work and chatted and laughed and had a pretty good time. Came home. Did more stuff (all school stuff...) dropped off my film...and now, here I sit, feeling like I spent the day relaxing and yet, still tired. I am not making sense, am I?

I think the trick was that nice hot shower I took last night before going to bed. God! That was wonderful. I felt human again after that. The past few days I've been trying to get things done and feeling if I don't have enough time. And today...the load has lightened. I have time. I feel like I should write about something more in-depth, but you know what? I really don't feel like it. I've been busting my ass and apparently, my brain is going on strike as well. I had a teacher way back when that said our bodies are lazy and will do the minimum required. I think my brain is in that mode now. The whole monkey mind thing. Stupid cheeky monkeys. I almost feel as if I am drunk...but I'm not. Sheeeeet!!

After I dropped my film off, I headed off to Trader Joe's for eggs and a quart of milk (how quaint of me!) This groovy vibe continued as they were playing some 80's music. I can't even remember the songs right now, but they were good. Have you ever found yourself singing along to the music at the grocery store? It was great. I was having a good time, and people were nice to me because of it (ok, so they were probably laughing at me behind my back. Like I care. I was having fun!!) I love being able to relax and chill and just have a good time. You know, sometimes I think I worry too much. And I stress too much. It's not much fun. But tonight? It was good. All good. I haven't felt like this (like my old self) in a while. That feeling that everything is good, things are working out as they need to be and I don't need to be worried. It's a good feeling. I wish it would last.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Wednesday hiccups

After another stress-filled Tuesday of trying to get everything done, Wednesday rolls around again. It's easy to tell the end of the session is here. In class, we're all groggy, disoriented, and just plain tired. Some of us look worse than others. I think we're all at then end of our energy reserves.

But it's almost done. We have a final assignment due next week, some extra credit, and our final. The final project and the final are about half the grades for the class!! That's pretty funny but it makes sense. The final project is our own creation, a theme, and we will incorporate things we've learned through the class. We're putting more work into it than we have in most of our projects. Our grades should reflect that.

After class, I came home and slept. This seems to be the theme of my Wednesdays. I cram things in on Tuesday, staying up late, getting up early, and then, the aftermath...crashing in the afternoon. Probably not a healthy way to do things, but at least I am getting things done. I am happy with the class and teacher. I like my classmates, and I am happy to go home next week.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


One of my favorite things is sitting and listening to the rain. Right now, it's raining. I have the door propped open so I can hear it. Even the sounds of the cars driving by meld with the sound. It hasn't rained very often since I've been here. Now, with the Christmas decorations finally up, I feel like I should be snuggled by a brilliant fire drinking hot cocoa. It's not that cold really, but the mood is the same.

People have told me that it rains a lot here during winter. Obviously, I haven't experienced it yet. It would be great if it could be like today. The sun was out for most of the day and then in the evening, the clouds rolled in and now it's raining. Isn't that perfect?

In Florida, the summer was the rainy (and hurricane) season. I remember summers growing up, you could practically set your watch by the rain. Every afternoon, around 3/3:30 the deluge would start as if someone had just turned on a faucet. Taking my bike out for a quick spin one day, I was four blocks (maybe 1/4 mile) from home when it started. I raced home, pedalling as fast as I could. I was home in less than five minutes, but every last bit of clothing and every last strand of hair was completely soaked. Those rains lasted maybe an hour or two. Then, just as quickly as they started, the faucet would be turned off. The sun would return and the steam would rise of the pavement as things quickly dried.

It's really coming down now. I'm going to sleep well tonight.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Flower Power

In case you may not have figured it out, I love taking pictures of flowers. So, here are some pictures that I have taken over time. Enjoy.

The Earth Laughs in Flowers
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

With a few flowers in my garden, half a dozen pictures
and some books, I live without envy.
- Lope de Vega

In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends.
- Kozuko Okakura

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it,
it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to
someone else. Most people in the city rush around so,
they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see
it whether they want to or not.
- Georgia O'Keeffe

Lone and erect, beneath light's primal flood,
A lily! and pure as any one of you.
- Mallarme

In friendship's fragrant garden,
There are flowers of every hue.
Each with its own fair beauty
And its gift of joy for you.
- Friendship's Garden

Where flowers bloom so does hope.
- Lady Bird Johnson, Public Roads: Where Flowers Bloom

It is at the edge of a petal that love waits.
- William Carlos Williams

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
- Anais Nin

Exuberance is Beauty.
- William Blake

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Here is my photo. It didn't scan in as well as it could have...definitely time to start looking into a better scanner...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Ol' Folks back home

I called my mom to wish her a happy birthday and see how her day was. She had a very busy day and told me all about it. I last spoke with her a couple of days ago but our call was cut short when she informed me,"The cabinet under the sink is flooding! Gotta go!"

So, today she filled me in. The metallic pipe under the sink had corroded to the point that it finally formed a hole. My mom had the kitchen redone probably within the past 10 years. Why she didn't have PVC pipe under there is beyond me. Sometimes, it's easier not to question. So, she tells me that my dad (stepdad actually but whatever...that's for another time) started telling her all sorts of things to do. "Get a bucket! Put a bucket underneath." This, of course, was after she had turned the water off.

My mom told him to shut it. "What good is a bucket if the cabinet is already flooded? Do you want me to put a bucket in the middle of all that water? Doesn't it make more sense for me to get rid of the water first?" At times, I think my dad enjoys getting her all flustered.

After my mom had pretty much sopped up all the water, she tells my dad that she wants to call their handyman to fix it. What? And not let my dad do it? Never!!

See, when my dad was in better health, he could do all this type of stuff, a regular macho man's man. I know he worked as an electrician and did other types of construction. He travelled all over the world doing these jobs. He and my mom ran a locksmith shop while I was growing up; he was a locksmith and she handled the business side of it. He's got a garage full of gadgets and gidgets and tools and...and....junk! They can't park in the garage; there's no room!!

The problem is, in the past few years his health has deteriorated pretty badly. He doesn't have the strength he used to have; he can barely walk and I am sure he hates that. So, back to the leaky pipe. He started telling my mom that he can fix it. It's not that big of a deal; he's got the tools in the garage, etc. She tries to tell him that he cannot do it-physically it is no longer a possibility.
"You'd have to get down on the floor! How are you going to get back up?"
"Well, maybe you can help me."
(My mom is just a bit taller than me, which is not saying much and my dad, even in ailing health, is still 6 feet and close to 200lbs. Can you see my mom getting him up off the floor??)

So, my mom tells him that if he'll get the tools and tell her what needs to be done, she'll do it. So, he gets the tools. And the pipe doesn't budge. So, he gets down there and tries it. Nope. Nada. Nothing. Mom tries again. Nope. I wish I could have been there to see this spectacle.

Finally, Mom calls the handyman. He comes right over. While my dad starts telling him that the pipe is brittle and needs to be soldered and it's going to break and so on, Mr. Handyman gets my dad's tools, and pop, the pipe comes right off and the new PVC pipe goes right in. Voila! Fixed in about 5 minutes. I have no idea how long he and my mom tried to get that pipe off, or how long it took my dad to just get up again. Sometimes, it's better to just call in the professionals.