In no fashion do these mushrooms endorse any advertising that may smirch this journal page, placed there by the corporate greedheads at aol.
Mere words cannot express the deep and complex emotions that we who are afflicted hold for you who prop us up. The burden is immense, yet you carry it with such grace. Day by day, each and every minute, knowing that there may be no going back, knowing that, if anything, conditions may worsen, you continue on, seldom if ever complaining, to do that which you do so well.
When we suffer the frustration of wavering between the desire for independence and the fact of insufficiency, you let our pain wash over you and flow beyond, allowing it to leave no trace. It is difficult for you, we see, to watch us struggle to accomplish some small task, to forbear from saying, "Here, let me do that ..." because you understand that it is so very important to us to make the effort, even if we fail, for it is imperative that we discover our limitations. It is even more difficult for you, we know, to observe our failures and witness our outpourings of anger at the seeming futility of our attempts. You come to comprehend that it is not you, will never be you, at whom we are angry; we rage at the feelings of betrayal engendered by our weaknesses. Most difficult of all for you must be the moments when we dissolve in bitter tears, unable in any other way to express the anguish that we sometimes undergo. Even though you may experience your own pain and sorrow at watching our struggles, you steel yourself and make sure you are there to hold and comfort us, to help us to our feet when we stumble and fall.
But we also see the gladness and pride in your eyes when we succeed, when we attain a goal, and we delight when you rejoice with us, understanding that we have fought a battle and wrested a victory from the clutches of the bleak demons of despair. In this way we learn what we may do, where our strengths lie, how best we may compensate for the weaknesses that are, and your support helps us to accept, adjust and adapt, to develop an indomitable will to overcome, as much as possible, the boundaries of our new existence.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Bonnie insisted that I transcribe the following vignette, Creator alone knows why:
Mal went to bed somewhere around 6:00 pm and fell into a sound sleep (helped along by a few shots). I knew that he would want me to wake him up for Letterman, because he gets mildly annoyed when I don't (he tries not to show it, but I can tell), so I entered the bedroom and the following conversation took place -
"Honey? .......... Honey?"
One eye cracks open. "Hmmmmmm?"
"Letterman's going to be on. Did you want to watch it?"
"What time is it?"
"Do you think he's going to feature the Second Coming or the resignation of Bush?"
"Mmmm. ..... Screw it."
"I'll wake you for Countdown."
The eye closes.
Oh, and remember: you can't spell 'a$$hole' without the letters aol.
(Technically this is Monday in NY - we woke up late.) Welcome once again to another edition of the weekly puzzle page. This week marks our 6th 'Sudoku' entry (for anyone who cares.) In case anyone has tried to do these puzzles and found them difficult, we're working on ways to make them easier. We now list the names of the journalers who represented the themes of the first two puzzles: Celeste and Marti. They know who they are and now you will, too. Here's the new entry:
The name of the journaler will, as always, appear in the puzzle, and this week's fill-in/anagram portion includes her first name and her screen name. We hope you enjoy our efforts, and may you all have a wonderful week.
Welcome a new friend into our midst. Her name is Ayn, and she is one of us; she has an infirmity. But, of course, she is so much more than that. Stop by and visit her at Ayn's Multiple World, and view an astonishing array of videos.
Attention aol. Remember those irritating, annoying and obnoxious popups that arose with the welcome screen and interfered with our turning off the computer? Ever since it became necessary to take steps to recover the use of our journal's 'save' button, they are gone! No more aol popups! And we still can't see the ads you have placed in our journal, or in anyone else's journal. It's almost as if aol doesn't exist! Marvelous!
Our sleep schedules seem to have flipped, so for breakfast we're having Thanksgiving dinner. The aggregation of aromas is wafting through the air - turkey, peppers & onions, squash, potatoes - and we just woke up (well, at around 11 pm.)
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there in the journaling community - we are very thankful for all of you!
One of the reasons we love Hallowe'en is because our party stores and factory outlets issue cheesy circulars advertising their vast selection of even cheesier costumes. Here are some of our favorites from this year -
Our hands-down favorite has to be the whoopie cushion. Here are a few more -
How do they come up with this stuff??
Here's an ad from our favorite li'l grocery store -
Damn! We missed the first Black Friday specials! If only we had known! (Now all we need do is figure out exactly what a Black Friday Special is. It must really be special, since it's first come, first served.
Lastly, our favorite car commercial guy -
We love Rich Ferrari - he's so earnest in his sales pitch, and, as you can see, his favorite slogan is "You can't stack cars!" delivered in a nasal, whiny voice. A number of commercials have run for months on end repeating this plaintive message. But the most amusing upshot is a commercial for a rival dealership, Joseph Neri Ford, in which a crane can be seen placing one car atop another ... cut to a closeup of the crane operator, revealed to be Joe Neri himself, grinning widely and saying, "Who says you can't?" We love it.
I thought, as I aged, I was through with rebellion ...
Thanks to aol, I'm a reborn hellion.
REMOVE THE ADS, aol.
It's early Monday morning, but here are some thoughts left over from yesterday.
Rochester, try as they may to deny or forestall the inevitable, is a dying city. The population is slowly dwindling, younger singles and couples moving on to more exciting and lucrative territory, leaving behind an aging body of citizens, shrinking the tax base and increasing the schools' deficit. There seems to be no good way to staunch the outflow; the various civic upgrades have had little to no effect.
They tried to create an upscale district called "High Falls" to attract the younger set with an entertainment venue; the eateries, microbreweries and clubs have mostly closed, leaving behind an empty shadow. The city hired an outfit to begin ferry runs between Rochester and Toronto; tellingly, the ferry was constructed in Australia and was damaged by running into a pier in NYC before it ever reached Rochester. The outfit running the ferry went bankrupt within 5 months of implementing their plan; the city ended up buying the ferry outright for a ridiculously high sum, and has already spent more than half of the contingency fund during the first quarter of operations. Unless the good people of Toronto begin swarming into Rochester in legions to sample our attractions, this enterprise too seems doomed to failure.
Construction plans continue apace for a glorified underground bus station in the middle of downtown, destroying a series of historic buildings in the process. When the public grew leery of paying millions for what was nothing more than an attempt to provide patronage and give the gentler citizens a method of avoiding having to contemplate the deteriorating downtown area, the planners tossed in a Performing Arts Center and a Community College branch, thus assuring that millions more would be squandered on a facility that, unless we miss our guess, will be little-used and a money pit.
Other ideas have been advanced, in particular the destruction of what was once prime retail and office space, the hub of downtown, in fact, appropriately named Midtown Plaza, now a hollow shell. Some politicians are advocating that there should be erected on that site a casino. We are indifferent to gambling; we refrain because we have better uses to which to put our money, and it is slightly possible that it may be profitable, at least after a number of years of operation. We do wonder, though, why it is that politicians so often promote gambling as a means of salvation.
Saturday, the main headline on the D&C read "Catholics to shut down 11 churches." This is just another omen of the slow, excruciating death of Rochester. Most of the churches were operating at 25% or less of capacity, and the dwindling supply of Priests available to conduct Mass is approaching a crisis point. The parishioners of the churches will be folded into the congregations of those churches that remain open. How sad they must be.
The banner headline at the top of Sunday's local section read "All Saints dissolved by vote."
The Episcopal diocese of Rochester voted to shutter the church and transfer the assets and property to trustees of the diocese. Why did they do this? The diocese refused to pay All Saints $16,000 that it was owed because the diocese disapproved of the decision of the church and the Episcopal Church of the USA to support the 2003 ordination of a gay bishop in New Hampshire, and to give individual dioceses the right to decide whether to bless same-sex unions.
Turmoil. A city at the brink of chaos, with ever more grandiose plans proposed to resuscitate it. Religions, losing adherents or driving them away. These are grim days, friends.
OH YES. I ALMOST FORGOT. SHAME ON AOL. BOYCOTT THEIR ADVERTISER.
Here is the fifth installment of the J-land Sudoku puzzle (if you'd like the instructions, you can find them on the Nov. 13th edition.)
This puzzle includes the name of an energetic J-lander, and the fill-in/anagram portion has her name and the name of a piece of equipment with which she is associated (at least two of our visitors will guess this one immediately.)
And now, since Malcolm hasn't had any sleep for about 29 hours, he thinks he'll go try to get some.
May your week be filled with joy.
P.S. STOP AOL ADS!
(Thanx to Lisa for informing us that today's mercenary corporation is kodak. Shame on them! Refuse to buy their implements of image capture!)
We got this from whipping-boy Journals Editor Joe at Magic Smoke (btw, his definition of magic smoke differs somewhat from ours) and we're guessing he knows and approves of what we did with it (we're tempted to post this every day until the ads disappear):
That was fun - thanx, Joe.
Oh, and if you are not already a customer of verizon wireless , DON'T BECOME ONE! Shame, shame, shame.
(Thanx to Marti for alerting us.)
Winter has come to the Northeast, and we dread the first snow of the season. We'll have to hire someone to clear the driveway this year, an added expense (on top of the gigantic heating bills we expect to bitterly weep over) we'd rather not have. Living on a fixed income means that we must engage in some creative juggling in order to stay on budget, and this year we'll have to be particularly dextrous. Perhaps we should move to Belize and live like monarchs. Yeah, that'd be nice.
Fractured philosophy - "If you let a smile be your umbrella, all you'll receive is a mouthful of rain."
OH....my mom wants to move to Belize. She is sure that that is where happiness is found.
oh man, tropical sounds good right about now
We wanted to, we started to, do a post on the splitting of J-land by a chasm called AOL advertising. A large chunk of the community has been pulled away by this 'calamity'.
We, too, as so many others have, began a journal over at blogspot, we're using it mainly as an archival resource and a place in which to pull together a number of previously disjointed posts (well, ok, they're still disjointed, but more coherent than before.) For now, we'll probably be gathering up previously posted puzzles and reposting them there.
But we can't let go of this community. The members of longest standing seem to be the ones most outraged and most determined to turn their backs, and we too felt betrayed, but we have not yet been here long enough to give it up as a bad job. There are good people here, and those of us determined to fight the good fight will stay and continue the bonds we have formed.
This will probably be our last post on this particular subject; we'd like to move on, and Sunday is almost here. To all those who have been left behind, we're glad you're here; keep in touch and we'll all be fine.
To those who have moved on, we bid a fond farewell.
In brash defiance of aol's attempt to drive us into a different blogging realm, we are still here, and a new visitor has dropped by our little clearing in the woods. We say hello to Cyndy of the journal CEEGEE AT LARGE! Stop by and greet her.
Be sure, whatever you do, to shun (we repeat: SHUN) the hungry-for-excessive-advertising-space Bank of America. A pox upon their enterprise! (Thanx to Lori and Cyndy for letting us know what nefarious evildoer is attempting to acquire eyeballs at the expense of our journal.)
For those of you who still can see ads, you could try going into Internet Explorer, clicking on TOOLS, clicking on POP-UP BLOCKER, clicking on POP-UP BLOCKER SETTINGS, and checking to see if AOL is allowed. If it is, remove it. It might kill the ads.
Testing rebuild ... success! Here's the info we got from Lisa (see previous entry).
A. CLEAR THE WEB BROWSER CACHE AND REBUILD THE AOL ADAPTER
A damaged web browser cache and/or a damaged AOL adapter may cause this issue. Windows networking requires that a network adapter exist for any application that must access the internet. The AOL software uses the AOL adapter to access the internet.
1. Sign off and close the AOL software.
2. On the end of the Windows taskbar next to the clock, click the AOL icon, then click SYSTEM INFORMATION.
NOTE: If the AOL icon is not displayed, click the START button, select PROGRAMS or ALL PROGRAMS, select AMERICA ONLINE, then click AOL SYSTEM INFORMATION.
3. Click the UTILITIES tab.
4. In the BROWSER section, next to CURRENT CACHE, click the CLEAR button until the Current Cache size reads 0 KB.
5. In the AOL UTILITIES section, next to AOL ADAPTER, click the REBUILD button.
6. Click the OK button.
7. Click the CLOSE button.
8. Restart the computer and launch the AOL software again. The AOL Adapter will be rebuilt automatically.
B. RUN WEB UTILITY
Webutil restores system settings to resolve connection and browsing problems.
1. On the end of the Windows taskbar next to the clock, click the AOL icon, then click SYSTEM INFORMATION.
See NOTE above if icon is not displayed
2.Click the OK button.
3. Click the UTILITIES tab.
4. Under the NETWORK section, next to WEBUTIL, click the OPEN button.The WebUtil tool will now conduct a system check.
5. Click the OK button.
6. Click the CLOSE button.
C. RESET THE WEB SETTINGS IN INTERNET EXPLORER
1. Click the START button, select PROGRAMS or ALL PROGRAMS, then click INTERNET EXPLORER.
2. On the menu bar, click TOOLS, then click INTERNET OPTIONS.
3. Click the PROGRAMS tab.
4. Click RESET WEB SETTINGS.
5. Click the YES button.
6. Click the OK button.
7. Click the OK button to close the Internet Properties window.
8. Click the X in the upper right corner to close the Internet Explorer window.
D. RESTORE THE INTERNET EXPLORER SECURITY SETTINGS
1. Please close any Web pages that may be open.
2. Follow step 1 just above.
3. On the menu bar, click TOOLS, then clickINTERNET OPTIONS.
4. Click the SECURITY tab.
5. Click the DEFAULT LEVEL button, then click the OK button.
6. Click the X in the upper right corner to close the Internet Explorer window.
We didn't have a Web Utility (this could be because I forgot to sign on to AOL again) so we used Quick Restore. We had to sign in as an existing member but that was a minor inconvenience. If you still can't save entries to your journal normally, this method really works.
P.S. If any of you see ads on our journal, please let us know what corporations are sullying our space. We are going to send them emails expressing our displeasure and our intention to boycott them.
We would like to welcome another visitor to our journal, a young mom with a 2-year old and cabin fever. Go visit Danielle at Danniboo05 and say hi to her.
We would also like to give props to someone who has unknowingly helped us out. Her name is Lisa and her journal is Adventures From Florida. Check out the nice and helpful lady.
Bonnie and I wanted to assure you, our friends and visitors, that we will continue to post here in this journal; it is, after all, our first, and it has grown on us.
Even though we went through AOLHell yesterday, it wasn't all bad. We'd like to thank "Don" the AOL tech guy, for doing his level best to help (although, for all we know, his real name is Rajneesh Surubindanam or perhaps HAL 9000) and Joe Loong the Journals Editor, who suffered a shitstorm of criticism yesterday, but was unfailingly polite when we presented him with our problem and took the time to help us out, and we must also thank Christina of "My Journey With MS", who offered us the correct solution, even though we incompletely understood the information that she passed along.
As of this moment, we are still forced to access our journal through a stand-alone browser - if we enter the normal way, we are treated as guests rather than owners. This added step takes slightly more time and is annoying, and should be unnecessary. It is to AOL's everlasting discredit that they did not bother to consider the inconvenience to their paying customers. We are unfortunately paid up for a year, but when that year ends, we will seriously consider using another ISP. We have local ISP's that would, we're sure, be ecstatic to have us as customers.
We are not enamored of having to suffer a thoroughly unpleasant and aggravating experience. Last night we received a "fix" program, but it experienced a "compatibility problem" and stopped responding, so the fix was never completed. We're unhappy about that, also.
Those of you who have Symantec's product installed on your PC do not see the ads, we have discovered, so if you don't like having to endure viewing them, you might consider their firewall and anti-virus programs.
Joe, we just wanted to thank you again for your invaluable help yesterday. You were forced to endure a lot of misdirected criticism (a position that Mal has personally been in) and it had to have been at least a tad uncomfortable. There are those of us who understand that you personally were not responsible for this ill-advised mess, and we want you to know that. We would just like you to pass along to the corporate honchos that J-land is not happy about this state of affairs. It is disrespectful and an affront to those of us who are subscribers.Thanx.
Bon & Mal
Hi. Bonnie here. I'm not above blowing my own horn, so be prepared for a tantara.
You'll remember that in the post A Survey Like None Other the other day, I quoted Dorothy Parker, "What fresh hell is this?"
Well, today in Scott Adams's Dilbert strip, the first panel included this quote. And, on Countdown with Keith Olbermann tonight, Keith used the quote.
All I'm saying is,
Scott Adams and Keith Olbermann read our blog!
Good night, and good luck.
We debated whether we wanted to bother expressing ourselves, because, due to our residing in the sorry backwater of dialup, we can't see the ads that are adorning the headers of many (perhaps all) journals. But even though we can't see them, we know that they must be there.
We do not want aol-supported advertising on our journal. We pay $240 per year for this subscription, and this is a violation of our personal space.
A further outrage is the placement of these ads without any warning whatsoever. We don't care if, buried somewhere in the TOS agreement, there is a clause that allows aol to commit an atrocity such as this.
This is completely unacceptable. If you at all care about the feelings of your paid subscribers, you will remove these objectionable pieces of excrement now. Are you listening, aol??
Peace (as if).
This is a test. This is only a test. Do not be alarmed.
We have created a new journal (just in case), the address is http://ofmiceandpuzzles.blogspot.com
We hope to see you all there!
Bon & Mal
Let's see if this will let me save now.
(This page sponsored by the National Rhinitis Association. "Rhinitis! Catch it today!")
Heard on the local news last night: "GOOD NEWS! No one won the MegaMillions lottery tonight!" We presume that the "good news" is that we now have a chance at missing out on even more money when they next hold the lottery. Oh joy.
For any new visitors, we'll reiterate the directions - each column, row and block of nine boxes must contain only one of the listed letters. If you solve the puzzle correctly, the name of a J-lander will appear in the puzzle (hint: the name is always located on the diagonal). The anagram/fill-in portion features the journaler's name and his screen name (whoa - another hint! Aren't we feeling generous today?)
A joke before we go -
A harried young stockbroker, desperately attempting to find a way to earn more commissions, looked up from his work to find a well-groomed, nattily dressed individual watching him. The broker said "Excuse me? Why are you watching me?" In a mellifluous voice, the man sang "Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste .... Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name."
The broker said "Oh, ok, I know who you are. What do you want?"
The devil replied "Your soul, of course. In return, I will arrange it so that you will never lack for commissions, and when you die, you will end up here." The devil turned his palm toward the ceiling, and upon it there appeared a holographic image of a high-end gentlemen's club, with freely flowing liquor, exotic dancers and men in rolled-up shirtsleeves and loosened ties merrily carousing.
The broker said "Can this be true?"
"Oh, yes" the devil said. "I never lie."
The broker said "It's a deal! You can have my soul."
"Done." pronounced the devil.
In the fullness of time, nature took its course, and the broker passed away. Arriving at the gates of Hell, he waited expectantly for the promised reward. The gates swung wide, but instead of the promised vision, he saw naught but lakes of boiling mud filled with screaming humans, lit only by the flickering of flames.
In a cloud of sulfurous vapor, the devil appeared and said "Welcome." The broker, distraught, said "What's this? Where is the vision you promised?"
The devil laughed and said "Before you were a prospect. Now you're a client."
Okay, we'll take a shot at this 'Survey Like None Other' (courtesy of Christina)
1. What sign are you? Aquarius and Taurus
2. What is your favorite color? Amethyst and Emerald
3. How many waffles could you eat in one sitting? Usually four, five if I'm hungry / Two, three if I'm hungry
4. Can you touch your tongue to your nose? Whaddawe look like, contortionists? Besides, there are better uses to which one can apply one's tongue.
5. If you had to choose between cats and dogs, which would it be? Dogs /cats
6. What is something you have learned recently? Infirmity is not disability
7. What is your favorite quote? "Several years ago Ben Graham, then almost eighty, expressed to a friend the thought that he hoped every day to do 'something foolish, something creative and something generous.' " - Warren Buffet "What fresh hell is this?" - Dorothy Parker
8. What is your favorite entry in your own journal? One we haven't written yet
9. What color is your bedroom? Mahogany
10. Where is your favorite place to visit? The uncharted landscapes of our imaginations
11. What is one thing you want to accomplish this year? Surviving to see 2006
12. Why do you write in a journal? We believe this was answered in 'Anatomy of a Journal' (July 24 - 26 entries)
13. What is your favorite joke? The short-short video 'Bambi Meets Godzilla' / I can't tell you my favorite - teehee
14. Do you like the city or the country? We live in the country. Does that answer your question?
15. (In) What style is your house decorated? Early clutter
16. Who is your favorite artist? Jon Gnagy (heh heh) / Don Martin LOL
17. Can you pat your tummy and rub your head at the same time? Briefly and spastically / No, but it's fun to watch Mal try
18. Are you a night owl? You bet we are
19. What is something you love in your house? Our collection of books and magazines
20. Do you believe in God? Oh,yes, we believe in the Creator
21. What hobby could you never give up? Puzzling
22. What color makes you think of Hope? Sky blue
23. What color makes you think of Love? Rose red
24. What is your favorite flower? Lady's-slipper / Lilac
25. If you had one wish for the world, what would it be? Peace
26. What's the best surprise you have ever received? The discovery that we were falling in love
27. What can you cook like no-one else? Bacon 'n' eggs / Yankee Pot Roast
28. What do you think about most? The wonders of married life
29. Who is your favorite poet? We play no favorites
30. And last but not least, if you could wrap yourself up in one word, what would that word be? We do this everyday - that word is - togetherness
(Are we done? Can we go now?)
The furnace is on, the temperature is 36 degrees, almost low enough to form a ghostly scrim on shallow puddles, and the serenity is heavenly. If you listen closely, you can hear the quiet squeal of an exercise wheel, but nothing else intrudes upon the blissful blanket of silence that has descended upon our pleasant corner of the world. Bonnie is doing her puzzles and listening to the radio, I am here in front of the electronic hearth, and our mice are doing what they do best, being mice.
This is a wonderful life, my friends, and an amazing world that has been placed into our hands, entrusted to us as its stewards, a classroom where we are taught myriad courses, a curriculum necessary to our advancement into a vaster and grander world. I have used this metaphor before, and will continue to, because it is the best understanding that Bonnie and I have been able to pluck from the totality of our experiences.
The difference from other classrooms is that the teacher is not apparent. The Creator is standing beyond a one-way mirror, watching as we children freely roam the classroom, selecting and inspecting whatever objects we may find, reading what instructional material has been left for us, left alone to learn at our own pace. There are to be found in this room things to fascinate us and things to repel us. We must analyze them all, scrutinize them from all angles, and derive what wisdom we may from our study, because the knowledge we gain is crucial to our advancement to the next grade.
Not all children will learn the information integral to passing; some will take away from their studies the wrong lessons, and some will simply refuse to gain understanding. Some students will become belligerent and disrupt the classroom in an attempt to prevent others from learning. It is definitely possible that those children who fail to pass the final exam may be held back, until realization sinks in and reason takes hold, allowing them to learn properly what they needs must.
The students who have absorbed the material, who have acquired the information necessary to further their progress toward the next level, will be well rewarded, for not only will they have enriched themselves, they will have discovered the vehicle whereby their journey into the great beyond will be facilitated. Can one ask for more than that?
(news flash - for immediate release)
(source - Al Jazeera Television)
JACKO RENOUNCES AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP
(translation follows - "Jacko renounces American citizenship ... ")
SELLS NEVERLAND RANCH
("sells Neverland Ranch ...")
TRANSFERS CITIZENSHIP TO BAHRAIN
("transfers citizenship to Bahrain")
In an unrelated story, Bahrainian authorities are currently searching for a number of children who have recently gone missing. Many of them were apparently last seen in the company of a thin, rather short, pasty-looking man. Eyewitnesses have stated that the man was wearing sunglasses, a curious blazer adorned with epaulets and medals, appeared to be carrying a large blanket and a 12-pack of Coca-Cola, and walked with an unusual sliding gait. Authorities are exceedingly anxious to question this individual.
We need to point the way to two other journals, because they have previously given us props:
(Look below for the links, please)
Lori has two journals currently updated - Food for Thought and More, and Purple Snapdragons. The first contains recipes that Lori has personally prepared and pronounced "not poisonous." The second is a celebration of all things Lori.
And I must not (although I did) forget Queen Big O, who also has two journals - The Big O's Ramblins and Conquering the Beast. The first contains a potpourri of whatever she likes to write about (family is right up there) and the other is about her son's struggles with ADHD.
Go visit both of these good people; you'll be glad you did.
Today,as you know, is Veterans Day. Please take a moment to remember those who have fought and those who are at this moment fighting, and pray that humankind might relinquish its warlike ways, so that no more of our daughters and sons have to die in this fashion.
Curious happenings of the week:
We had wild turkeys in our yard today! Eight of them! We've had birds of many feathers, including a couple of grosbeaks (they sing so prettily that we got out our tape recorder and captured their song), ducks, squirrels (26 at once!), chipmunks (11 at once!), raccoons, opossums, woodchucks, rabbits, mice, voles, moles and deer (5 at once!) and 1 fox, but never before have we had turkeys! Far out, man!
(And then the man with the leaf blower came along and startled them, and they faded away into the woods.)
While preparing dinner tonight, I cracked an egg into the pan and, to my surprise, two yolks were nestled in the center of the white. It had never occurred to me to ponder whether such a curiosity might even exist. Now I have to wonder what would have happened had that been a fertile egg. Would both chicks be viable and able to survive inside the shell together? Shells have slight flexibility, and this shell was of a normal size. It is hard to imagine that they could both survive without being severely stunted. Now I won't be able to sleep for considering the ramifications.
We're sorry, we're sorry, we're sorry! Blame our aging brain cells; they aren't always firing on all synapses. We forgot Vicki (we knew we'd forget someone.)
Go visit this marvelous lady at her journal Maraca - she is interested in investing, she loves games and has a special sense of humor.
Above all the awards that are handed out here in J-land, the most prized are not the "official" awards, but the mentions of one's journal in another's. It's humbling to realize that someone else thinks enough of your journal to give it a mention.
Thank you to LeAnn, Celeste, Kathy, Albert, Deanna, Tamara, and anyone else we might have missed for your kindness and your kind words. Bless you all. (I'm not up to adding links right now, but if you want to read these excellent journals, you can find them all in our 'Other Journals' section:
LeAnn - Befuddled
Celeste - the dailies
Kathy - Life on Flamingo Row
Albert - Albert's World of Artsy Fun
Deanna - Keeping the Weight OFF
Tamara - Letters to My Daughter
The sheer variety that you will find in these journals will hopefully compel you to return again and again.
And now ... ta-ta-ta-taaa! A new prop!
Thinking Out Loud - Niki - has been prowling about for a bit now, we suspect (we have our ways, heeheehee) and she has finally left discernable eye tracks in our journal, so welcome to you, and we'll be by for a cuppa soon.
That's it for now. I have to lie down for a bit.
How to tell if a stoner's been indulging ... amaze him or her with a little-known fact - you'll receive one of two responses, depending on the stoner's state:
You: "Hey, your hair's on fire."
Stoner: 1. "Oh, wow, man."
2. "Ooooohhhh, wooooow, maaaaaaaaan."
Aging hippie's benison: "May all your drugs be recreational."
Thanx, one and all, for the good wishes, the eye tracks, the cookies and brownies. We're both as full as full can be, and "Ooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, woooooooooooooow, maaaaaaaaaaannnnnnn!"
Hearken! Can you hear that? Why, it's the sound of .... cheap, tinny, dime-store kazoos!
Look over there! A waif wearing a gaily-colored pointed hat, listlessly waving a small banner and blowing soap bubbles through a wand!
And there! A line of mice, flourishing tiny top hats and gem-studded walking sticks, kicking to shame the Rockettes and squeaking paeans of joy!
What's this? A present for us? Just because our journal is 1 year old today? How thoughtful!
It's a brick of blonde hash!! Marvelous! However did you know? Here, let me dig the ol' bong out from under 35 years of domestic detritus and we'll fire her up.
(Damn, where'd I put those screens?)
Warning - Politically incorrect terms will be used in this exposition. If you are easily offended by words like gimp or cripple, well, know that I am allowed to call myself whatever I wish, and when last I checked, we were still allowed some limited use of free speech in our grand country.
Many people take the simple act of walking for granted, and why should they not? I have no memories of my infancy, no recollection of the moment at which I clutched a table leg or the seat of a chair and hauled myself into an erect position, probably so surprising myself that I most likely fell directly back onto my ass. I’m certain that my mother faithfully recorded, in one of those too-cute-for-words baby journals which invariably depicted flossy clouds and pastel bluebirds and blurry, grinning cherubs, every feeble longitudinal attempt and ass-landing, and the glorious occasion when I let go the support and toddled perhaps two steps before finding myself polishing the floor with my face.
The world is filled with people walking, strolling, trotting, ambling and shambling, and flat-out running. I tried out for track and field in high school because I was too scrawny for football, a mediocre southpaw at bat, couldn’t for the life of me learn how to successfully dribble a basketball, and loathed hockey and Greco-Roman wrestling. (Oh, and despite my parents’ insistence that I visit the YMCA weekly as a stripling, never mastered the art of swimming. Do you remember the dead man’s float? I sank to the bottom like an anchor.) I was a pretty decent runner, and the coach encouraged me to attempt hurdles, which to my lasting astonishment, I discovered that I was eminently suited to.
As I have written in my unkept journal, throughout my childhood and young adulthood, I (accompanied by Bonnie and various neighborhood pets on many occasions) enjoyed lengthy walks in the woods. I am gratified to have those clear memories to sustain me, now that I am compelled to stay put.
I was blissfully unaware of what the near future held when, in the winter of 1993-1994, someone I know well was hospitalized for 6 months. I spent hours nearly every day (I missed only two days of visitation, both due to massive snowstorms) negotiating the seemingly endless corridors of the hospital, many as long as six city blocks, some even longer. I could walk with no difficulty and was not considered an impediment or obstacle to others, not then. I shopped for groceries in a megamart (Wegmans), visited the numerous area malls (Lori, you’ll remember Marketplace and Eastview, among others) and was able to mow the lawn without taking frequent breaks to calm my twinging leg muscles.
Then, almost unnoticed at first, as I would walk for long distances, my legs would begin to ache as if they were starved for oxygen, and I found myself having to search out benches at which I could sit and wait for the aches to subside. I began to slow noticeably, the rest periods perforce became lengthier, and I caught people glancing at me in perturbation as I slowed their rapid advance through a narrow passage or aisle. It was increasingly borne in upon me that I was an unwelcome presence in places where speed was desired.
When I last held a job, back in 2002, I called myself a gimp. I was still able to walk, albeit not at a rapid pace and not for a prolonged period of time, but I could negotiate most obstacles and sets of stairs, and I remained upright virtually constantly. I used my cane only when necessary, when the pains in my legs prevented me from moving about freely enough to accomplish my job, because I preferred not to relinquish what dignity I had managed to preserve.
I have since learned that false dignity is subjective, and true dignity arises from within, untouched by what others may think. I was taught this by my father, who, although lying in a coma, unresponsive and perhaps unfeeling, appearing to be nothing more than a thinly fleshed skeleton, mouth open and eyes staring at the ceiling, unmoving and slowly dehydrating, displayed as much dignity in his final hours as I have ever seen anyone - president, religious leader or corporate executive - manifest.
I have been a gimp. I am now officially a cripple (disabled, differently-abled, mobility-challenged, whatever the latest faddish terms are in vogue at the present moment). My latest contention with a virus has seemingly sapped whatever small reserves of energy or motive power my legs possessed. The muscles are unable to hold me upright without assistance, and were it not for the cane and a walker, I would be dragging myself from room to room like a dog with an ass-itch. This alteration has necessitated some adaptations to my more limited circumstances. As I have written to some, I was accustomed to carry numerous objects with me from room to room to save myself excess trips. I became quite good at it, somewhat like Dagwood Bumstead with his armfuls of sandwich fixin's. With a cane occupying my right hand, my ability to tote is vastly reduced (although, now that I consider it, many items can be placed in a plastic grocery bag and hung from the grip of my cane ... to write is to think.)
Whatever. Now a trip from bedroom to kitchen must be carefully planned as if it were a long vacation. I must think what to carry and in what way it should be packed, I must leave earlier than usual so that I don’t arrive late, and I seldom enjoy the trip.
(To be somewhat indelicate for just a moment, you may imagine that, in my altered circumstances, a bout of diarrhea raises the suspense level of "Will he or won’t he?" to the outer membrane of the lower stratosphere.)
If I were an engineer, I would attempt to design a pair of bionic legs that would encase my own poor limbs and power me along with alarming rapidity. Alas, such is not to be (they would probably be prohibitively expensive, if they were to exist.)
This is not just about me, of course. It affects Bonnie fully as much as me, because she must deal with the consequences if I happen to fall, and there are many times when she has left the house to go shopping or accomplish some other necessary errand, even when she was not feeling well, because I cannot. Without her support and caring, there is no chance that I would be able to live what life I still can. She tends to me unstintingly and unselfishly, and there will be in heaven no better angel than she.
I have not allowed myself to get angry or bitter about this new circumstance, because those emotions solve nothing and can only hurt Bonnie and me, were I to give vent to such. This infirmity is what it is, and no amount of denial will alter a whit of it. There is occasional frustration, but it is momentary and of no account. It is simply another reminder that existence is much more than just what we make of it, and I have always adopted as one of my mottoes, "Try or die." I do not intend to die just yet; I still have so much to learn.
As you can see, it's almost 2 am here; I've been up for about 5 hours and have watched a lot of tv; I've just finished reading all the emails, and I'm getting hungry. Instead of leaving comments in a lot of journals, I'd just really like to say hi to Deanna,Lori and Celeste, say thanks to LeAnn for her well-wishes (and I'll be reading your entries shortly), and send hugs, kisses and a big thank-you to Vicki for plugging Bon and me.
I'm working up an entry on my transformation from butterfly to caterpillar; I'm just not sure, as yet, how I want to tell the tale. I will not make of this journal a continuing saga of my infirmity, but I feel it necessary to at least give you some idea of how my life has changed.
May the Creator bless and keep you.
Congratulations to all who took home VIVI Awards last night. Enjoy.
Here is the third installment of our J-land Sudoku puzzles. As always, someone's name will appear in the grid when the puzzle is completed.
The fill-in portion includes the journalist's first name and the title of her journal.
Those discovering this puzzle for the first time may wish to check the directions for completing it, if they have not previously solved Sudokus. They can be found in the entry printed two Sundays ago.
I have not been able to write much recently; I am learning to walk again (a possible future entry.)
May you all enjoy a wonderful Sunday and upcoming week.
It’s been an interesting few days. Bonnie tells me she has kept you minimally informed (she has never been one to waste words), for which I thank her, so you know that I have been kept out of commission by a vicious strain of flu virus. The worst is over, except for persistent muscular weakness that causes me to topple at odd moments, even with cane at hand, so my forehead has temporarily assumed some curious new contours, and various spots on my arms and legs have become festive and colorful. I feel as if something sizable and weighty had rolled over me, but withal I am in a good mood, so let’s get this show on the road.
We're not going to print the answer to last week's puzzle; we're not certain that the person to whom it was dedicated and whose name appears within it has even seen it yet. If you have solved the puzzle and found a first name, it is probably correct; if you want to compare your answer to ours, send us an email and we'll send the answer to you.
Herewith the second installment of our J-land Sudokus:
The anagram includes the journaler's first name and the name of her journal. Note: the name found in the puzzle will be crucial to solving the last few boxes.
Bonnie rates this puzzle at about a 3.
P.S. Bonnie herself designed this puzzle; I transposed the numbers into letters.