santa cruz wharf

29 May 2008

sword or shovel......blade as spade

There is not much of me that is part time.
I am not comfortable with the temporary.
I like the force behind the phrase “full-on”

I want my transitions short…and specific.
I want my segues strong…not soft.

I read manuals
I study roadmaps
recherche is research
I like to KNOW.

I do not act normal.
I loathe ordinary.

Now I realize…stagnation has made me less.

The whole “give it time” concept is unnatural
( if not completely unpalatable.)
Patience is what I have for others.
Patience is NOT something I have for myself.

While I embrace what comes from grey matter…
There is no grey area in MY heart.

Anger is my default.
I have crossed swords with the best of them.
Righteous indignation is my powerful friend.
Humor is my shield.
Anger is easier to feel than heartbreak.

However, I made a promise to a man….
and a vow to God…
that just this once
I would not resort to anger.

Not an easy vow to keep.

While cleaning out my “book” I came across a scrap of paper with a bit of wild child wisdom from another time. No doubt it was meant for me to read again today.

Although her namesake became the Lady of the Lake….
and handed Excalibur to Arthur…
(who also preferred to display anger over heartbreak)
to me this wise child handed a shovel and admonished:

“You’ve had too many mountains moved in your life.

You’ve never had to make
mountains move
shovel full by shovel full.

You have just always pushed…and they have moved.

You need to look at things in terms of the real world.

Not in terms of how our lives have been."

I need to ask her if I can use the blade as a spade…
just in case…
cause sometimes I lean toward joel (3:10)
and sometimes to micah and Isaiah (4:3 2:4)

(and mija....what were the eight words?)

28 May 2008

Indy. Indy. Indy.

Saturday we went to see Indiana Jones.
Sunday we watched the Indianapolis 500.

And yesterday in Indiana...
in a quiet respectful voice…the doctor said,
“Mr. Lynch, now it is time for you to decide where you want to die.”

Just like that...he gets to decide.
In the hospital...or someplace else.

Five weeks ago I agreed my girl should be the one to go to Indiana to care for her Great-Grandfather when he returned home from his heart attack. She is the oldest of the twelve “great-grands”. She has always been close to him. She had a window of time not claimed by other obligations and stepped up. The experience of care giving and helping him during this process will be with her for the rest of her life. Not many twenty-six year olds get to know their Great-grandparents…she had seven living Great-grandparents when she was born. She was able to know five of them. She is especially close to this one. Not many people of any age help prepare a loved one for death.

The past few weeks have been filled with stories of doctor visits, medical tests, drugs, shower scenes, arguments, laughter…the little details of life. (hmmmm…maybe I should post her updates.) At his last doctor’s office visit a couple weeks ago, my Grandfather reiterated his decision not to pursue angioplasty…and accepted the inevitable consequences. As my Grandfather was leaving…the doctor stood and told him, “Mr Lynch, I honor you”

A few days ago in the middle of the night, the nitro and the oxygen no longer alleviated his breathing a couple of really nice EMT’s came over to stabilize what they could and provide the 45 minute ride through the back roads of rural Indiana.

“Granddaughter?” They asked.
“no” shaking her head “GREAT-granddaughter”
(met with raised eyebrows)

“You live here?”

“No…I live in California…I’m just here for a few weeks”
(more eye brow action…turns out the EMT did a cross country motorcycle trip which included riding up the west coast from southern California to Alaska…)

Hospital Admission. Tests and Drugs. Palliative Care.

Without going into all the medical lingo of atria and ventricles...the best analogy we’ve been given is that of a six cylinder engine. Up until April his heart was running on all six cylinders. After the heart attacks he was running on three…maybe four. Since then the damage done by the heart attacks…plus the fact that his heart has been running the show for over 93 years…have left him running on a single cylinder. And the timing is off. And the muscle deterioration continues. The domino effect leads to failure of other organs and systems. But not his brain.

Still conscious. Still cognizant. Still fighting. Still living.

My Mama has gotten on a plane …well wrapped in denial.
Because yesterday…in a quiet respectful voice…the doctor said,
“Mr. Lynch, now it is time for you to decide where you want to die.”

My Grandfather answered the doctor by saying that yes…he knows his time is short. And in my mind…I can hear him...without being there I know EXACTLY his tone of voice.

The doctor said “go…die surrounded by your family in comfort.”

I wonder what it must be like. Fully aware your heart slowing down. Fighting to breathe and for the strength to say only a few words. Having decided not to have the procedure…do you wait for the symptoms to take over? Is there fear? Is there joy? Do you embrace it? Welcome it? Do you try and take control…or do you allow yourself to let go? Is it the ultimate acceptance?

And how do you watch him go through this...

your father, your grandfather, your great grandfather?

22 May 2008

far from the fire...

Thanks for the concern....I live in town... quite a ways from the fire and flames....

I have several friends under mandatory evacuation as of this morning....and pray their homes are not in the fire's destructive path. The air quality warnings are out especially for seniors and children. Arnold has declared a state of emergency.

Thousands of acres have been and will be destroyed. Containment isn't anticipated until late tomorrow evening.

Santa Cruz Mountain Fire

12 May 2008

My Offline Life ?

I’ve been mulling over the term “real life” lately.

Specifically what I mean when I refer to my “real life” as opposed to my “online life.”

What is my real life?

Is it only the portion contained in Bricks and Mortar?

I didn’t really consider whether or not my online life was just as real as my offline life until Miz Turnbaby got her ass all chapped last week and decided to make it the subject of her weekly Blog Talk Radio extravaganza. Before Turn’s callin’ me out, if was merely part of my vernacular.

For me….online communication…and friendships…exist in a different realm. Not that the people I know and love in the blogosphere are any less “real”…they just exist in a different realm…almost a different dimension. Rarely am I exposed to the tone or inflection of their voice, the expressions of their face, or the gestures of the body. (One of the reasons I started listening to BlogTalkRadio was to hear the voices of the people I read.)

One of my very favorite web logs has never shown the face of the author. I quote her…and pray for her….and visit her site almost everyday. I consider her a true friend…and very real….but is she part of my “real life”? Kinda. The pieces I take from her blog cross over into “other” parts of my life.

I am a multi tour veteran of online dating. (all the major league sites…and a couple of the minors) I think it is fraught with danger. Liars, cheats and thieves fill out profiles luring unsuspecting men and women. However, I truly believe it is a valuable tool for single adults in all walks of life. For my part, I met quite a few men who were not in person as they were online. Meeting online is just not the same as meeting in person. I met a few who were exactly who they claimed…but with whom I just did not click. They seemed nice enough in email…in chat and on the telephone…but when I met them in person…eh....not what I thought.

Some of you know I had adamantly opposed a long distance relationship. I am not the type well suited to a part time gig. If I had met a man…no matter how attractive to me... who lived a couple hours away….I would have said no way. However I met one online…and a series of significant emails caused me to reconsider. (if you are so inclined… see the links at the end of this post to read the articulate, heartfelt messages The Teamster used to convince me….) Granted until I met him face to face….I had no idea if my impression of him was “real" or not…but if we had first met in “real life” I would have never considered the possibilities.

My family belongs to many online communities, FaceBook, MySpace, GoodReads, LinkedIn to name a few. Some of my weblog friends have crossed over into these venues as well. Does that multiple connection make them more “real” to me….probably not.

You may have read of my meeting Sandee and Linda in real life…(sorry Turnbaby…in person). I have to admit…they are more real to me now having spent a couple hours over dinner with them than before. They were both real to me before…but now…more real.

Just like you all are “real” to me. The personal insights I glean from your writing and your photographs. The private details you share about your life…the good stuff and the bad. The way you comment on other blogs… the blogs I read in common with you. What you hint at and allude to…and what you never blog about at all….provide me a framework of who you are.

Many people (in all demographics) do not invest a great deal of time or effort into the world wide web. They have no online presence…and indeed our blogosphere is unreal to them. Most of the world has no access…for many reasons. They could not consider our blog world as being real life. Many people I know have only heard the horror stories and view the internet as a more efficient delivery method for gossip and pornography (paraphrasing Leo McGarry). I found this funny little video giving examples of "real life vs the internet" which conveys a bit of truth.

The definition of “real life” is changing in our culture. As with everything the degree of reality in your online life depends of what you put into it. And what you get out of it. My online, two-dimensional, virtual, internet life is very real indeed.

For those of you who are fans of the rapper “Plies” the CD “Definition of Real” is scheduled to be released on 10 June 2008.…I‘ve never heard his stuff….but hey…he‘s thinking about "real life" too.

Post Script:
Craig...The Serotinous Man...has expanded (expounded?) on his comment to this post...

"we have created an environment that is causing us to expand our understanding of consciousness, communication, relationship, connectivity, and even humanity - especially blogger's C;). "

He always has some interesting might want to check him out...

The Teamster emails….
get “REAL”...If you actually scrolled down here to look…shame on you. I was joking! Sheesh…even people in my 3D life don’t get to read those…

03 May 2008

Comedy and Connecticut at Cancun

What great fun we had at dinner!

Linda of Are We There Yet visiting all the way from Connecticut. She was the catalyst for bringing us all to dinner at the delectable Cancun in Stockton.

Her fun and funny friend Cyndi who lured her back to California for a visit (atta girl Cyndi - THANKS!) Yeah it’s a little odd to always be taking pictures of our food and everything else. Thank you for arranging the spectacular fireworks show just for Linda!!!

Sandee of
Comedy Plus with the funniest side comments ever (“she must have teeth down there“) Commodore?

Mr History who
only says “its her story“…not much else…but doesn’t miss a thing! (I kept wondering if he was profiling each of us…can I get a copy of the report?)

(I was right…those two are totally lovey dovey and gitchey gooey)

The Teamster accommodating, amused, and all around good guy. He now has two more blogs to read…

And me…..who’s camera had dead batteries…can you beLIEVE that? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

It was the first time my weblog world crossed through the looking glass into my brick and mortar life.

It was interesting to me (having never met these guys) how much we knew of the personal details of each other’s private lives. Previous posts kept popping up in my mind. And of course we talked about some of you who weren’t at the table…..laughing. I think the restaurant is considering a new policy of no flash photography.

Truly…I totally enjoyed meeting all of you. The time went by so quickly. Linda…enjoy the rest of your visit…whether it includes Tahoe or Yosemite or or Bakersfield or “J”. Sandee…we look forward to Isleton Joes!

01 May 2008

all right already....pass me the bottle

I was in need of the Pacific. I had been away the better part of April...and while we visited beautiful...wonderful...awe-inspiring locales....I needed MY ocean. Early yesterday morning I walked over. To one the early light of dawn...I saw an odd glimmer.

A huge pile of bottles...each with a message inside.

Suddenly.... from the distance I heard the rattle of keys...and then that haunting, melancholy piano melody known only to those of us who have had the misfortune of being imprisoned in deep, dark, dank, dungeon of Blogginham Castle.

Knowing what fate would befall me if I did not act quickly.....I pulled my laptop from my backpack. I had been tagged for The Message In A Bottle meme sometime in the late 1980's by her majesty Queen Mimi. I was in big trouble. Half the known blogosphere had complied and the special weblog established for this purpose had overflowed onto my beach.

And although I can righteously claim a multitude of reasons and many ways I put this one off. The entire concept has been forever tainted in my mind by the book "Message In A Bottle" seemed only fitting to draw my message from that work.

"If some lives form a perfect circle
others take shape in ways we cannot predict
or always understand.

Loss has been a part of my journey.
But it has also shown me what is precious.

So has love...for which I can only be grateful"

as said by Theresa Osborne in the novel "Message In A Bottle"
by Nicolas Sparks.

Here's the gig:

1. Compose a message to place in your virtual bottle

2. Right click and Save the graphic above (the empty one)

3. Use a graphics program of your choice to place the message on the picture

4. Return your anonymous "Message In a Bottle" to Mimi via email at

5. Your virtual bottle will remain afloat in the Blogosphere Ocean for all blogernity. You may post the virtual bottle on your own website as long as a direct link is placed back to the Message in a Bottle blog. The graphic may not be altered. Your submission will be numbered and dated. Send in as many as you'd like. If you choose to remain anonymous, no identifying information will EVER be disclosed to anyone. You can also choose NOT to be anonymous in which case Mimi will post the name and url of your website.