22 November 2016

Dave Grolle - from the RLG years

Grolle contributed to the best of RLG...RLG's heart. He was a big, upbeat, generous guy who engaged with everyone in an open, down to earth way.  We all cherish our memories of interacting with Dave, and mine are very funny and sweet. I remember an articulated wooden rabbit (like the image above), that we "dressed" in seasonally appropriate fabric ears...a gift from Grolle. RIP Dave.

David Frank Grolle

January 12, 1952 - November 5, 2016

Obituary for David Frank Grolle

Dave Grolle passed away quietly at the age of 64, finally succumbing to the progression of Parkinson's Disease which he had battled for over 15 years. The oldest of four sons, Dave was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan to parents Floyd and Barbara (Schumm) Grolle. His family relocated several times during his childhood, taking them to Kalamazoo, Michigan, New Jersey, Illinois, and finally to Los Altos in December, 1970.

In 1970, Dave graduated from Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Illinois. He attended Northern Illinois University before moving with his family to California and transferring to Foothill College. He later graduated from San Jose State with a BA degree in Business. He worked in sales for many years for JC Penny, and later spent many years working at Stanford Medical Center in the Research Library Group, supporting and maintaining their computer system.

While Dave never married, his life was filled spending time with his many family members and interests. He was an avid golfer, frequently combining visits to see relatives with his passion for the game. He was a big fan of Stanford sports as well as the 49ers, attending decades of games at Candlestick and two Super Bowls. He had a lifelong interest in automobiles, and spent much of his time renovating classic cars. But Dave's hobbies always were put aside to provide volunteer help with a church project, or to be present at an extended family member's life event celebration, sporting event or recital. Dave traveled extensively in his "favorite Uncle" capacity and was often the only representative of the "California Grolles" at various Grolle or Schumm cousin events in Hawaii, Washington, Colorado and Ohio.

Dave is survived by his three younger brothers, Ken (Jay) of Mountain View, Tim (Lucy) of Sunnyvale, Fred (Margaret) of Sonora; five nieces (Erin, Dana, April, Lenore and Lizzie); three nephews (Matthew, Michael and Steven) and his "California" cousin Craig Anderson (Teri) along with their extended families. Dave was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mountain View since 1970, serving the congregation in a number of capacities and being a strong supporter of its Child Development Center. A memorial service and reception in his honor will be held there on Saturday morning, December 3rd at 11:00 AM, 1075 El Monte Avenue in Mountain View.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Child Development Center, St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1075 El Monte Ave, Mountain View, CA 94040, or The Parkinson's Institute, 675 Almanor Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94085.

19 September 2016

Politics...make me sick...


Morning news - I gotta drop you again. I stopped watching the AM news 15 years ago after seeing the 9/11 plane crashing into the World Trade Center towers. Recently, I started watching HLN morning news but that is over now. First top news story highlighted every day...started with ___. Switched to the LA version because I hoped they would be less biased. Today I drop them too...after this tease "One week to go before the first debate between ___, and his opponent...." (fill in the blanks; I know you know) 

WTF media jerks..you have squashed my morning mellow for the last time. Might as well drink week-old decaf with soured milk, if I want my soul crushed before I get in my morning swim. So sick of throwing up a little in my mouth every morning. Thinking I should head south before that wall gets built. Or float north into the open arms of our other neighbor...before they make us pay for the wall they are planning to build starting November 5th. 

Yes I know we are slowing dying everyday since the day we were born, but it feels like I am being pushed along faster and faster. That light at the end of the tunnel is looking more like hell-fire...coming at me instead of waiting for me to come to it. Not what I expected and hoped for in my golden years.

04 September 2016

Thrust into pre-retirement: so this is how it ends...and how it begins

Goodby OCLC and the commute to San Mateo: A very well groomed VP who I had never met before  burst into my stuffy, cluttered office and dragged me and my colleague into a conference room I had never been in before...to sit and listen to a rep from HR on a conference call from Dublin OH, break the news that we (4 of us considered "remote" staff) were being laid off. That was Friday, the last working day of April 2016.  Then we gathered some of our personal crap and gave up all access to accounts and machines related to our employment, and we were walked out the door.  Early release...what fun!

We had 3 working days to decide what we wanted to do with the options that were presented in the paperwork.  So I chose termination with severance, beginning on May 3, 2016.  I could have packed up my family and moved to Dublin OH to keep my job for another 11 months, but I decided not to do that.

There was a ton of financial impacts resulting from that decision, but I have negotiated my way through some of the big ones.  I managed to close the refi I had started a few weeks before this change in my employment status.  That was a quite a trick.

My old Pontiac needed parts that were no longer available, so I needed a newer car.  I shopped long and hard and decided on a Honda CR-V.  I found one I liked and bought it with cash from the equity in my townhouse. I basically rolled the car payments into my new mortgage since the interest rates are so low on mortgages now, on advice from my financial advisor.

It is good to have a financial advisor who is on your side but not trying to sell you new investments or make their fortune off your business.

Now, as the severance period is winding down, I have a few more weeks of unemployment income and then no income from November to April.  April marks my 65 birthday and I plan to file for Social Security and Medicare and probably annuitize some part of my retirement savings to complement SS and provide a basic budget that I can live on. Again, on advice from my financial advisor.

I moved about 75% of my investments into very conservative positions, leaving just a few in more aggressive funds, that may provide some additional growth.  One of the big hits this abrupt pre-retirement move caused...I cannot invest any more funds into the 401-K or 403-B contracts.

I had planned to pump a good 20% of my income into my retirement savings this year.  Oh well. Again, my financial advisor has been a crucial driver for the decisions I have had to make.  I cannot make stupid financial moves anymore, as I confess I have done in the past. Now I have to make sure I can take good care of myself and enjoy the last years of my life...with some money left over to leave to my daughter.

So here I am. I have a great used car and a new 7 year mortgage. I am ready to start the joy, joy!

06 May 2016

Happy Mothers Day!

This little lady is my mom. She was one tough cookie. She put up with a ton of crap from eight of us kids and my dad. She taught me to sew and knit and crochet. She let me keep a little black kitten that my friend's mom dropped off at our house...because I had told her my mom said it was OK...that was when I learned not to ask. Consequences always work out somehow.

She used to lock us out of the house so she could mop the floor...so it would be clean for a couple minutes.  She was determined to learn to drive and finally, she did!  She had her own car and she deserved every moment of freedom that afforded her.

She loved yellow roses and I sent huge bouquets for birthdays and mother's day.  I did not spend enough time with her, so I have to cherish what I remember, and celebrate her sweetness and her strength.

04 April 2016

64 and there is so much more...

Small, delicate, desert 5 spot and friend. 
Seriously? I stopped writing in 2009? Like talking on the phone, I stopped doing it for pleasure because I'm chained to a desk 5 days a week, talking and writing, acting friendly, interested, and like I always know the answer to the question or problem...right?

Some of my friends have slipped away because I never answer my phone.  Maybe that is not the only reason, but it certainly has contributed. Can I start writing again?  I want to start writing again. Each little post is not a polished gem, but so what?

The one thing that was at the top of my list for today, get my next refi going, did not make any progress.  I called "Chad"  but Chad did not call me back, although I waited until 2 PM.  Figured that was long enough seeing that they are based in New York.

While waiting I cleaned the upstairs bathroom...cleaned it a little bit too good.  The drain cleaner leaked through the drain and soaked the ceiling below and so much for that.  Looks like that repair will not wait until I get ready to stage the house to sell it.

29 March 2009

25 Things about me - number one "Thumbsucker"

Hello there. These have been popping into my memory by association with events or encounters in the present, so not in any order but deep long lost snapshots from past lives...actual life though. My life that is...

I used to suck my thumb(s). Both of them; I think I used to switch back and forth when one became too sore. I had calluses on the top of each thumb where my lower teeth rubbed. I remember wondering if those calluses would ever go away. They did go away and I mostly forgot about thumb sucking but I think I stopped only because I was starting first grade and the nuns said it was time, so my parents put a nasty tasting tincture on them every day and night. If I started sucking in my sleep I'd wake up with a truly nasty taste in my mouth. Today, there are other methods more modern and fun like ThumbBusters.

31 December 2007

12/31/007 - A new year is about to begin

Happy Holidays! A gift from my employer arrived today; business cards! They were just one of several gifts from my employer, but I fancy them the most. The ultra cool box calendar from my boss for crochet and knitting patterns, one each day, has not arrived yet.

Sister Bette sent a very classy, giant tin of coffee and biscotti. The tin will store my bulk lavender until I have time to complete all those eye pillow projects.

I'm re-dedicating much of my discretionary time and systematically abandoning my crafty ideas for making pin money, to focus on a new obsession: book collecting, and book selling. That is where the revenue will come from to keep my little household a-float. Maybe, hopefully, provide something to do into retirement.

More of my writing efforts will be over at the new book blog. I'm trying to keep book collecting a bit separate from book selling. But I've brought everything together in a Web page/portal whatever you want to call it. I bought LluxeBooks.com and printed some little bookmarks to enclose with book purchases.

My life has settled into a fairly dull routine and I think I have achieved enough balance to keep on dancing into 2008, unafraid. I'm very happy with this life. I love Skipper and C and all my friends. I'd like to dedicate 2008 writing in NONCE about my friends and family.

So enough about me. What's up with you all?


22 December 2007

12/22/007 - I've been waiting

Waiting for a long long time. It looks like I've been waiting since this time in Sept. for something to happen. Waiting for a question to resolve itself. Now that it has, at least I think it has; I have more thinking to do before I act.

Meaning...what? I think it means I've got till the end of this year to catch up on my writing. For starters. This is what I sent for my holiday card:

Skipper and Pam dancing the Elf dance

I published two blog drafts that were languishing. bam...bam!

While cleaning my room, I found most of the typed output from what I wrote in New Orleans. It deserves to be written into a blog entry.

There is always more about Mary.

I could scan a bunch of the ephemera that I've kept to jog my memory of lives past. And write about that.

I have not been doing nothing exactly in the meantime. Honestly, I think I've discovered a niche that satisfies my needs on many levels and fits very well with my life. I will collect books.

See my LibraryThing which reflects all the books in my inventory. Some, I've sold on Amazon , half.com, and Alibris. Mainly, I just collect them.

It is the only thing I've hit upon that has a business model with potential for a real revenue stream. Unfortunately, there is no revenue stream associated with sleeping on the couch in the living room all day. I would be rich, rich, rich if there was.

03 October 2007

11/22/007 - Thanksgiving, Have a hike and a dream

This photo is from a lovely hike C and I did with Skipper on Thanksgiving Day. We were on our way to Mt. Diablo for a hike but the traffic was backed up to "stop and go".
We got off and found our way to Mission Peak where wild turkeys roam and there are miles of hiking trails for people, dogs, and horses.

The pleasure of sleeping in allowed me to remember my dream; a vivid dream about college classes and people I knew in Allegany from high school years, all brought together in an emotional and visionary version of Now.

Wonder how long have I been on anti-anxiety meds? It seems like forever but is likely only 4-5 years. So 5 at least. I'm backing them down. I need more energy and I need some of that edge back.

What will be the result? more fights maybe. Is that so bad?

Joe Catalano and Cindy Nye were there. We were all at Stony Brook or maybe Berkeley. I think it looked more like New England. Hartford CT? I was confrontational. Ha!

My dream was rooted in the present but brought forward folks from the past. I wonder what that all is leading to...going off my meds. A life fess calm.

23 September 2007

09/22/007 - Weekend lost again

Bits and pieces of the past three days flit about as I get ready to face Sunday night again. The weekend started off with a walk after work, on the levee with Skipper; down to Microsoft and back at the end of the day - it was breezy and fun.

Two new tattoos arrived Friday afternoon. Healing nicely now.

Then at home, I settled in for my date with Bill Maher. I was worried when his first new show of this season fell flat. But I still tune in and this past Friday was a delight. Great choice to have Janeane Garofalo. Her energy was excellent. I'm with Bill on Friday nights for two reasons. He is a self declared pot smoker as am I, and he calls himself a rationalist. I've never called myself a rationalist but maybe I might.

Two or three movies, Ghost Rider w/ Nick Cage; Freedom Writers, and the Black Dahlia.

Rain...OMG yes it rained on Saturday. Walked Skipper in the rain; she loved it. So did I. Then went to the Sunnyvale Farmer's Market in the rain. No prob; heirloom tomatoes like to be rained on. Just like in Seattle life goes on, and some days it rains.

Coffee at Starbucks on Sunday, almost ever Sunday at 9:15 AM. after church. No I didn't go to church but somebody did. somewhere.

Shopping at Lucky's in Fremont, at the corner of Mowry and Blacow. Nice wide aisles.

Last minute search for GoodSearch. Is it legit? It looks legit but I wonder. I want to hear what Yahoo says about GoodSearch.

15 September 2007

09/15/007 - Beach Impeach III

Look for me in the "I", in the "R", and in the "T". Fine day in SF for BI3, and a fine group of people gathered to celebrate Brad's birthday and lie down on Crissy Field waiting for the choppers. Lots of dogs, big and small. We did the "wave" and I usually hate doing the wave. But it was fun and seemed in some way more connected with reality than...well lets say...than voting. The fog rolled in and then it cleared out. They asked us to spell "Impeach" again for the clearer shot, sans fog. The guys shouted..."back to the "I".

Look for a couple purple pixels, purple camping mats and grape color shirts, sun glasses and smiling faces. That would be us. The YouTube Video

14 September 2007

09/14/007 - It was 20 years ago, today

Happy Birthday! My little sweety. 32 weeks into my first and only pregnancy, the little sex-unknown bundle of kicking and screaming joy, decided it was time to get the hell out. My water broke at Mountain Mike's Pizza on El Camino, at a party I was hosting for a departing Stanford Employee.

When I realized I was standing in a puddle, and no I had not just wet my pants from laughing to hard, without any explanation to the party people I rushed to Stanford Hospital (glad to have a clean towel service towel in my swim bag), parked outside the ER and just squish/squashed in, in flip/flops that were all wet, and announced the name of my baby doctor.

A bit hysterical, because I could feel little contractions starting, I was rushed into a room, in a gown now, my soaking wet dress in a paper bag in the closet. I started calling people. Whoever. Could not reach anyone right away because it was Friday evening.

They did a quick ultra sound and said the baby was good sized but they wanted to hold me back, so started the IV drugs, and steroid injections to help the baby's lungs mature. Three days later, when it was convenient for every one else, they let me proceed and push her out.

September 14, 1987. Her original due date was November 10. Apparently, she wanted to be a Virgo, and by god she is a Virgo. Twelve days later, I brought her home. Then the fun began.

29 August 2007

08/28/007 - Man burned at Burning Man!

So this is about Search Engine Strategies, San Jose 2007. but first...
HEADLINE: Man gets burned at Burning Man. too soon.

I was looking for a good example to use to demonstrate various components coming together in Google's Universal Search paradigm. I thought...Burning Man! Timely! West Coast focused. blah, blah, blah.

What pops up but flaming articles about the premature conflagration of the Man! Hey, I love this kind of stuff. Life goes on la dee da and then whoops...somebody thinks outside the box and the unthinkable happens. Paradigm shift.

Point is, how does this get on my radar? Universal Search. Casting a bigger net. Which can be interesting if it pulls in an exotic starfish that entrances me for the nonce. But what if I'm hungry and alls I want is a big fat mahi-mahi? There is the rub for the way things are evolving in search. Will everyone be served as well as at the dawning of the ubiquitous "Google one-box"... that was golden.

My impression of SESSJ2007, it feels a bit like watching a soap bubble swelling, bigger and bigger. When will it burst? This thought brings me to one controversial session topic:

"Are Paid Links Evil?" which actually got some real debate in addition to some blustering, admittedly, but lively enough to be a hot topic for media coverage.

26 August 2007

08/03/007 - Skipper!

Here she is, at the mercy of my tickling finders. Skipper's first time at the dog park was very successful!

She made friends and ran like the wind. Here is her Flickr set. She is eating like a dog, so soon will look much more like a Husky than a lean hungry wolf.

She is our honored guest for the next 12 months. I adore her.

28 July 2007

07/21/007 - BBQ and Bindis with the Jones Girls

Once again it is time to celebrate my friends. They are all precious to me and it feels so good to look forward to a party and then sink back in the comfort of your group of girlfriends.

Time for the summer gift exchange. Fresh salmon on the BBQ. Fresh mango salsa and mmmm good mango margaritas. I rode shotgun this time on the trip to Dublin. Newly purchased copy of Harry Potter 7 wrapped discretely in a Sketchers shoe box and then nicely in handmade paper and studded with two hibiscus flower candles.

There are ten or so of us. We drink, we smoke, we eat, but most of all we laugh. We enjoy each other's company. I am lucky to be one of this group. The end of the evening was topped off with a group pic. L had shared a cache of her travel trinkets from India and Japan, including some colorful Bindis. We all sported one and posed for a classic group shot.

07 July 2007

07/07/007 - Nonce

What the haps. Kwik-E-Mart.

Have my stitches healed enough to begin lifting and painting and vacuuming again, after remove nasty lipoma clinging to my shoulder blade?

Waiting and wondering and hoping...where will they move my office?

How many diet pepsies does it take to get me off my butt?

30 June 2007

06/30/007 - Countdown: A study in Metadata

Fire the Grid

TITLE "Fire the Grid" :: Be Defined.TITLE

META name="rating" content="General"
meta name="distribution" content="GLOBAL"
META name="revisit-after" content="7 days"
META name="robots" content="follow, index, all"
META name="author" content="Shelley Yates"
meta name="copyright" content="Shelley Yates"

META name="description" content="This is a tale of two miracles and a message from beyond about how we,
as a group of humans can help heal the earth and prepare ourselves for the ascension. Light beings guided me
to revive my four year old son from death's door and have given instructions as to how to revive our earth and its inhabitants."

META name="keywords" content="Save the planet, ascension, awakening, prophecy, love, spiritual path, human guidance, peace,
star seed, light beings, pleiadian, remembering, awakening, aligning DNA, extraterrestrial, near death experience, miracle,
channelling, fire, grid, earth grids, metaphysics, spirituality, Shelley Yates, DNA reconstruction, Bradfield, Anael,
Within our Reach, Buddha Spirit, Spiritual Beings on a Human Journey, Sky Sent (Disclosure), APSIS Music."

META name="classification" content="New Age Spirituality"

TargetDate = "07/17/2007 11:11:00 GMT";
BackColor = "101B24";
ForeColor = "0099FF";
CountActive = true;
CountStepper = -1;
DisplayFormat = "[ %%D%% days :: %%H%% hours :: %%M%% minutes :: %%S%% seconds ]";
FinishMessage = "We have fired the grid!";
showLocalTime = "";

23 June 2007

06/22/007 - In-N-Out Burger: Special Menu

My daughter introduced me to the INO Special menu a couple years ago in summer when we got addicted to Neapolitan Shakes. Vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry swirled in one cup.

Then recently I've been treating myself once a week to a double double with grilled onions. Really the perfect burger.

But...I am now on a low carb diet and I've trying to cut the carbs further and further back. I discovered my favorite burger can be ordered as a lettuce wrap..." Protein Style" with grilled onions. Messy but still so delicious and bun-less. Once each week, usually on Fri, I carefully consume one of these and I feel so good; it is a reward, and a tasty, tasty treat.

(My reward for walking by the table of donuts or bagels that appears once each week at the office.)

10 June 2007

06/10/007 I drink the cool-aid

Every day, even on Sunday. My TV, 5 million trillion channels and nothing to watch. Now comes along the Iphone to tempt me. Tell myself to take a walk in the woods...do something outside like go to the farmer's market and enjoy the flowers. Leave the laptop home. Leave the camera home. Camera home...camera phone...Iphone. Can't leave home without my tech friends. Won't leave home. Tonight it is just me and Tony.

31 May 2007

05/31/007 - GDD07

No I did not attend Developers Day 2007 but I did borrow a badge and crash the after party in Mountain View. Fun to ride one of the "Black Buses" that cruise a 50 mile radius, picking up the Googlers and bringing them in perfect creature comfort, to the Googleplex for their daily labor. We just rode from Shoreline Amphitheatre parking lot to the Googleplex, less than 1 mile, but I wanted to see if we might beam up to an alternate universe or slingshot somewhere more exciting like another dimension.

Well there was good free food, lovely wine, and beers from many lands. Google color dry markers called out to developers to decorate the white top tables. The toy d'nuit was a Google/Rubik's Cube. Later, as dusk fell, the bartenders broke out Google glowing rave cups in Google glowing colors.

Our little OCLC outpost is just across the street from the Googleplex, but we will be moving soon. We don't need as much space as a few years ago, when we were still RLG.

19 May 2007

05/14/007 - Start of a new day

I'm feeling the love. Employed again and very happy for that! The big orange bag came for me on day two. Beamed down from the mother ship in Ohio. Signature water, coffee mug, sports water bottle, pens, propaganda, and personalized stationary...from the desk of...me!

15 May 2007

05/13/007 - Mother's Day

Another Mother's day, cool and overcast. Clear and cold at night. Stanford PowWow 2007.

22 April 2007

04/22/007 - Eat a beet for EarthDay

I will myself to become "she who eats beets first." Do chores around the house and then have some fun. Drag that sorry ass to the office.

As my neighbors replace their tacky kitchen cabinets, I collect their best cast-off doors and swap them for my worse doors.

(Now, back to the Tarot reading I gave myself for my birthday)

"Be of assistance to higher-ups if you desire greater influence on the world around you. This refers to social or circumstantial factors which could be affecting your life at this time, or an individual with power who can predict and control outcomes and is central to a situation. If you are not in this position yourself, your role may be to advise the person as long as you perceive that actions serve the common good.

Remember that the person who has "eaten her beets" swings the fate of the nation. You may be needed to provide some objectivity, you will enjoy a wonderful period of overcoming obstacles and hindrances with grace and ease. Despite appearances to the contrary, you will win big and you will help everyone else to be winners as well."

14 April 2007

04/14/007 - Rain

Perfect day. Spring rain. Flowers soak it up and bloom. Little birds drink from the drops on leaves. Hummers dance together in the air. So happy to be alive, just like me, so happy just to be alive. Living in California is like being on vacation everyday.

This weekend began with a happy visit with my good friend M. Today I sleep in as long as I want. Have a couple chores to do like paint the upstairs bathroom. I will enjoy the benefits of the completion of that task ever day...or most ever morning.

I have a final date on my contract and I'm so looking forward to the freedom of working at home again. No more hourly in an office. F that. I'm 55 and I'm too old to be tied down. I've become more inflexible with age, less physically flexible...the joints are going, More importantly, I'm more inflexible in my habit. Less willing to bend and conform to corp culture. F that.

I'm deep into the re-fi that will save my bacon financially, and give me a fresh start. Working that all week.

I tripped and fell when I was a toddler and pushed one of my front baby teeth back up into my jaw. It rotted up there and I had a gap toothed smile as a child. Then the permanent tooth came in damaged and it never was very good looking. One dentist did a bit of work on it 20 years ago but that has worn down and I really need to get veneers but that is too expensive right now.

My dentist spent some effort on my front teeth...evened them out a bit. So I look a bit less snaggle toothed when I smile. Such a small subtle thing. but it feels so good that someone is willing to give me that confidence boost. I have a great dentist. She helps me smile and feel good about myself.

Thurs was a good day to cry. Kurt Vonnegut died at 84. He was a significant influence during my college years. When I found him...well I found the Sirens of Titan. Then Cat's Cradle. I also discovered pot and LSD and well... began to practice deep thinking. At age 18, I began to think different.

Vonnegut helped save me. His writing resonated with my own experiences and washed over me in waves that felt like coming home. He made me feel not so alone on earth. I cry at his death. Ouch it hurts.

09 April 2007

04/04/007 - Tarot Reading "The Pterodactyl"

If you are Ptaralized by uncertainty about your future, you cannot develop your talents and enjoy greater abundance. This pterosaur in the Self position reveals aspects of how you Pterceived yourself in the past.

The Pterodactyl soaring in this position indicates sublimation of survival fears, freedom from worry and uncertainty. The reverse image plummeting, shows a person who never has enough, is uncared for, and needy. The abundance she will not allow could block her freedom to be herself and cultivate her natural talents and interests.

This is a wonderfully optimistic card that says you have attained a well-supported Ptosition. Somehow you have placed yourself in a flow of abundance. The question is "What are you going to do with this opportunity?

07 April 2007

04/07/007 - Obit, ten years old

001264 Carls - Patrick James Carls, A Former Clergyman With The United Federation Of Metropolitan Community Churches, Died Monday At Project Lazarus Of Complications From Aids. He Was 43.
Mr. Carls Was Born In Allegany, N.Y., And Lived In New Orleans For Many Years.He Received A Nursing Degree From State University Of New York At Albany And Studied For A Master's Degree At Loyola Institute School Of Ministry. He Was A Former Systems Analyst At L'chaim Group Home And Worked With The People With Aids
Coalition And Darrell Hamby Food Bank.He Was A Member Of The Board Of Directors And The Choir At The
Vieux Carre Metropolitan Community Church.Survivors Include His Companion, Charles Midura; His
Parents, James R. And Orma Carls Of Allegany; Three Sisters, Pamela Carls Of Sunnyvale, Calif.,
Virginia Carls Of Olean, N.Y., And Elizabeth Carls Crissafuli Of Fort Worth, Texas; And Three Brothers,
Richard L. Carls Of Allegany, John J. Carls Of Sarasota, Fla., And Timothy F. Carls. A Memorial Service Will Be Held Tuesday At 7 P.M. At The Vieux Carre Metropolitan Community Church, 1128 St. Roch Ave.
Burial Will Be In Allegany.

04-12-1997 Times Picayune

06 April 2007

04/03/007 - In peace

perfect crystal forms
take flight, float, twist, turning, fall
quiet. still. rest. melt

(for Bret)

27 March 2007

03/27/007 - Just keep swimming

Some of my daily horoscopes are more apropos than others. Today's is particularly apt:

"You may be facing a basic conflict between needing to work and wanting to play, yet you aren't receiving enough support to ease your concerns. Let's face it: you have been burning the midnight oil in order to get everything finished. Unfortunately, it's not quite time yet to slow down. Pace yourself until you complete your work. The fun will follow."

25 March 2007

03/25/007 - Walk at the Beach

This is what last Sunday looked like. Foggy, waves crashing, sea breeze made us cold and sticky with salt spray. Birds and flowers and sand o my. Walking, walking, chatting, taking photos, eating, and walking back. Girls day at the beach.

18 March 2007

03/18/007 - Lord tie my shoes for me...

St. Patrick's day was going to be my day. All day, a me day. I am my own best friend, ma amie. What does that mean? It's my life; why is every day not my day? Truth is I wake up every day thinking about other people, worried about other people's lives. My family, my ex used to consume me. For a while my troubled teen consumed me. My family, I left behind, often fills my dreams.

C fills my days, even today. Took me hours to look at the car in the garage. But then I did some of the things I had planned to do and it was a good day.

As I was sipping coffee, the doorbell rang insistently. I had dressed by then so I went to open it. Ahhh, good. Just a couple guys in suites with fliers in hand. Not the cops. I smiled at them, prepared to be polite but firm. The front guy held out a flier and tried hard to get out his spiel but sputtering did not resolve into a speech; the utterance would not come, so I started looking at the flier and he let go and passed it my way. I said thank you, I will read it. I smiled a genuine kind smile because after all, they were not police here to give me more bad news.

The guy behind, poked his head out and said something perfectly clearly, about participating in an event, detailed on the back of the flier. OK. Off they went, picking their way carefully off my stoop and back down the short side walk. Tidy suits but oh , one shoe is untied. I hope their lord and savior looks kindly at their efforts and gives him credit for trying to speak. Please don't let him trip, I pray.

Later that night, I packed up fuzzy boots and ripped jeans and schlepped those across town to the bistro where C is working. Valet guys had packed it in by then, so I could park the truck all by myself, and drop her clothes off. Asked why girls were screaming in the adjacent room. Party... 40 young people. Whatever.

On my way home, 10:30 ish, in the few minutes since I had left 101 to cruise across town, the way back to highway has been turned into a DUI/Traffic Safety Check funnel. All lanes are compacted into one and as I inch forward, roll down the window and prepare to...blow into a balloon? or have a flashlight shine into my eyes. Guy in front of me was waved to the side where folks were out of their cars, among the crowd of cops in reflective vests...carefully walking straight lines.

Cop looks at me...well looks into my truck and yells at me to keep driving; drive on through. Almost in disgust. Huh? That gigantic spliff I just smoked gone unappreciated? haha just kidding but WTF? Am I too old for a sobriety check? Damn. That was the end of my day.

14 March 2007

03/14/007 - Remember the blender

Don't forget the blender...I wrote it on my wrist. Don't forget the blender; too bad I took a shower. So I forgot to bring my blender to the potluck party at the office today. My mind is like a sieve. Solve the problem, just go home and get it before the party. Oops stop for gas first. $3.01 for regular at CostCo. My fill up stopped at the exact same amount as the previous customer...to the penny. How wierd is that??

Then home. Reluctantly lift the lid off blendy and sniff inside. Examine him carefully; is he clean enough for the office? No! some debris from Chocolate protein shakes clings to the base. And there is crud between the buttons. At least the jar has been through the dishwasher; so no worry about that.

Now, clean enough...gather it all up in my arms and run back to the car...oops my neighbor hands me a check that has come back from the bank. Someone wrote the amount in numbers and a different amount in words. Sheesh. Did the teller have to read it? There was a pile of checks all for the same amount...our HOA dues. I made the deposit. Never noticed the discrepancy. Damn, why did they have to question it? Out of context it looks weird but amongst the pile of checks all for the same amount, same every month, and same for the past 4 years...oh well.

Going back to the party, thinking I'm in a hurry and it is mid -day and I still have to stop by the post office to mail the HOA Corp Tax filing that is due for CA tomorrow. I'm mailing it today...I am so good. But then it happened.

Looking for that little U shaped loop that takes you by a bank of post boxes at window height; looking for the drive by post office. And there she was in a red car, waiting patiently to emerge and there I was looking for the entrance, but she thought...well I guess she thought she could read my mind and felt sure I was going to turn into some non-existent entrance, so she pulled on out and kept on coming and I'm being forced into the opposite lane, and OMG! I just squeaked by and found the mail drop and thought I'd be lucky to make it back to the party in one piece, with my old blender in my arms.

I was thinking, remember the blender in the "Brave Little Toaster"? Got his base in a vice and rudely got his motor yanked out for spare parts. Very sad and really gruesome. Not for my old blender. Cleaned him up pretty good. Good enough to make some "Irish Pirate" blended drinks.

Oh yeah, and Erin go Brach...blendy go brach too.

25 February 2007

02/25/007 - Best Oscars Show !

I was sick for two weeks with a cough - that was draining. Goal for this past weekend was to sleep in and not talk, not cough. Time to think, and settle in to watch the Oscars from start to finish. Multi-tasking as usual. This year working on closing the books for '06 LTHA. And keeping a watchful eye on my sleeping sweet Baaboo, whose life has taken a tragic turn. I remember when I was 19 and my life was also altered by a tragic turn.

The show was great; Ellen was smashing! And the Oscar Website is not too shabby either.

I had heard about "seat fillers" a couple years ago but now I think it would be a hoot. I hear there is a process, just like the Red Carpet bleachers and SuperBowl tix. Know someone who knows someone...maybe next year or the year after that.

11 February 2007

02/11/007 - Little Miss Sunflower

LittleMissSunshine. Great movie.
Especially the yellow VW bus. Just like dad's; just like the one I learned to drive.
Just like the red one, my first car, that I rolled. I was going to use it as a camper and drive to CANADA. Drive across CANADA. Then go to nursing school.
That did not happen.
In the movie, they stow a dead body in the luggage area in the far back; we used to call it the doggy seat.
The horn gets stuck. You know the weenie ahhhh sound VW's horn makes. Kinda like the way coneheads scream. Yes dear the VW horn did sound like that...still does.
There are still some hanging on in sunny California.

03 February 2007

02/03/007 - Dream maze

Rising from beneath the sea of grass. Barely have a chance to suck in a quick breath. Then drop back down to the depths of dreams. My dreams, my life played out on the screen in a darkened theater. "Pan's Labyrinth" or more accurately, "'El Labirinto del Fauno" as this is a Spanish movie with English subtitles.

Guillermo Del Toro knows something about my life. As many times as I've jokingly described myself as a changeling, this is the first time a parallel story line so echoed the fine insanity that has unraveled over the past 54 years of my life.

Observant, she sees the truth yet believes in magic: like magic chalk that can create a portal where no doors exists. She is alone and spends much of her time lost in her own imagination. She experiences terrible loss and violence. She tries to do the right thing. She fails but in the trying redeems herself.

That is a cheerful thought, maybe there is still hope. For me.

I've begged and stolen a handful of my Aunt Gerry's paintings. The illustration above is one of her's..unfinished. It is my favorite. Because this surreal perspective was a very real place; my grandparent's place in Woolcott NY.

Scene of many hours walking the elaborate above ground root system of the tree pictured above. Also scene of the first abuse I can remember. Upstairs in the front corner attic bedroom.

28 January 2007

01/28/007 - Jones Girls

Party down last night, with the Jones Girls. I be the DD; well just one of the DDs. I wrenched the car away from my daughter. Tank was empty. Could not see out any of the windows. I figured my passengers would understand if I was a bit late from waiting on a Sat night gas line and hitting the Windex inside and out.

First scrambled up to Redwood city which has changed since my last visit but found my destination and hit more Windex. Rain slick streets and slimy wiper action. Then back down to Palo Alto and my second rider. Off we all went down 101 to 237 and then up and over to 880,680 and 580.Tassajara X.
2 hours later. We are there.

Mystery gifts in hand and pot-luck food contributions prepared. Party games en route and lots of champagne. That is what we are all about; food, drink, gifts, games and laughter.

There are 10 of us. 10 little Indians. 4 Jones girls, and 6 wannabes.

After food and dessert and more dessert and more food (and bubble water for me). We played the board game. and drew numbers for picking gifts.

I went last. I only got one token from the game board and that was a gimme. However, this is a strategically good position; a couple wrapped gifts left and all the rest open to be stolen. I went for the unwrapped gift, it was calling to me. A dragon incense burner, sits his butt down over a burning incense cone and the smoke comes out his face. He sits like a drunk coyote howling at the moon. Yes!

Passed up a marble top plant stand, a spice rack fully loaded, hand knit scarf and my favorite the Beatles remaster album, just released. OK, that was a struggle to let go. Candles, wine glasses and OMG wine!

I love my dragon.

I passed on all the gifts in addition to all the alcohol. Did my DD thing and made it home at 1:30AM. That is a very late night for me. It was fun to drive around on Sat night after midnight. Before the 2 AM scramble. Just quiet dark streets; I'm driving fast through familiar territory but blessedly free from traffic. Party down and out for the night. Thought ahead and made my little bed up with fresh clean linen. Gotta love it. Life is good, with the Jones Girls.

24 January 2007

01/23/007 - TGTG

"Thank God They're Gone". It means pizza for the few remaining survivors, left behind while movers and shakers do their thing at far flung meetings, mid-life conferences and such. It is good to be left behind, to eat pizza. These parties must have EANABs. "Equally attractive non- alcoholic beverages". Such is life.

At one time there were rows of stacks of melting pizza from Tony and Alba's; this time it was New York style, there was only a thin layer, one box thick, so few of us left. TGTG is a happy day, even though the parking lot is more empty than usual.

January 23rd is also one of those days I direct myself to stop and think. I make resolutions. Crystallize my commitments. Evaluate my life and get straight about what I want to be when I grow up.

Time to have a glass of wine. Good French wine. Think about Mary. I approach the subject of my sister Mary often but always carefully, gingerly, adroitly.

On January 23rd it is more important to be direct. See how close to the fire I can get, before I conflagrate myself. Tonight is the night. I will live through this night, I think. I always have so far.

Mary did not in 1972, when she was 14. Unconventional, stubborn, goofy, prone to drama, ready to explode, pushing the envelope of her microcosm. I feel it like a great heat in my heart. Heart stopping words. She is gone. One day, Mary is a 14 year old girl, the next day gone.

But no, not quite gone. Not as long as I can make myself cry into my wine. Not as long as my nieces Mary and Margaret live to celebrate her name. I cherish a couple old photos of her and hold on to some of her childish letters. It isn't much. And why be maudlin about something so far in the past. Why take time to surrender to such saddness. I say, to honor her life, respect her death, and appreciate what I have. Precious life.

21 January 2007

01/21/007 - Clear the track

Anonymous horoscope advises
I'm over committed and I agree
So how the hell do I choose what to trim?
Shall I wait for natural attrition?
Money issues aside what would I do?

14 January 2007

1/14/007 - Can't get enough of that Colbert stuff!

I discovered you Stephen, during a stressful season. You came out of nowhere. I even learned to appreciate Jon Stewart as a warm up act. You exploded on the screen and I was left aching for more. Thing is, I hate suits. I think of you as a razor sharp version of PeeWee. Then it seems alright.

I'm sorry Bill. I still have the hots for you but ounce for ounce, the Colbert Report has what it takes to satisfy me in every way. At first I thought it might have been the fatty that accompanied the Cobert Report in April '06. But that fog cleared and lo, you are funnier and more addictive than at first glance. You surpass yourself so often, I can't wait to see what you will say or do next. You are surprising! That is so refreshing!

13 January 2007

1/13/007 - Shredding my life today

Early January is the time of year I'm in the habit of recycling stuff from the accordion folders that contain each year's accumulated paper backup for the IRS. I keep 6 full years back and empty the oldest, scratching out the year and using it for the new year. So for example, 2000, (the famous Y2K) got recycled and shredded and scratched out to become 2007.
Some things got pulled out to be housed in the "permanent" file.This is a cube of file folders that hold literature and bills of sale for major appliances and such. Contracts for new car loans, original agreements for health club memberships. Interestingly, Y2K contained some investment contracts that were enormously inflated and which are not worth a tenth of that value now. C's famous 35K college fund that is now down to 2.5K. Not the first or last nest egg to break, but mine to cry over.
Also found some holiday cards from folks I no longer correspond with. And a couple handwritten notes from my Mom. So cool to see her handwriting and recognize it. I save those. Every once in a long while, I'll poke through boxes of old correspondence. It makes me wonder at the several different lives I've lived and people I've been close to. So far away from who I am today.
Y2K was a year of unhappy feelings between me and my ex. C was in the middle of all that. I stumbled across a long and agonizing Email exchange that I re-read with dread. Why would I keep such a painful memory? Keep it? File it? no...shred it. Shred it. And vow to never say anything negative again no matter how I feel.

07 January 2007

1/7/007 - Memories

Color everything. Define self. Warm relationships. Deepen emotion. Amuse me in moments of zen, while driving alone, taking a long hot shower, swimming laps, or even in those half waking minutes before the rosy dawn, after hitting snooze again, and again.

I remember running away. I was placed with my Aunties, Mabel and Irene Carls, at their farm house on Four Mile Road, down the road from Great Grandpa Carls farm. Parents were busy having another baby...maybe Rick. I got up early as I always do, pulled on my little red boots and started walking down the road in the snow, still dressed in my PJs. They found me of course and dragged me back. Not the first time I ran away or the last.

That time I was three or four. I did not like the taste of their food; it was the tang of their well water. I did not like the smell of the house or the chilly upstairs bedrooms. I wanted my own home, my warm bed and my mommy. We suffered long stints at another Aunties; Alma's farm in Lyons NY. I did not like the taste of their food, the tang of the well water, the smell of the swamp, or my uncle's loud snoring. But it was a change from the long hot summers in Allegany. Made that trip ever summer and got really dehydrated cause I could taste the well water even in Coolaid.

Those summers held some good times and some bad. Picking berries and putting up jam was fun but got eaten alive by mosquitos in the process. I remember sleeping on the screened-in porch at last. That was pleasant. I always enjoy sleeping outside in summer...well anytime really. Paradoxically, it started that last summer of torture at Alma's.

In fact, I think I will move my old daybed out onto the patio this summer; that would be indulgent and harmless fun. All this unfolds and leads up to the nonce. I share one of my precious memories, and I still miss my mommy.

04 January 2007

1/4/007 - Fold me!

Fold me! Colorful paper squares beg to be folded into graceful cranes, and delicate hummingbirds. My third try looked like a red pterodactyl but at least did not sail into the trash can in a tight little wad.
There are wide variety of folding instructions online, good and not so good, and then there are the creators of folded magnificence.

03 January 2007

1/3/007 - Bird Food

Yummy gummy worms wiggle around in a pot filled with crushed Oreo cookies, ersatz topping for plain vanilla ice cream; but what was it doing next to 16 pints of high-end gellato? huh? Seemed like such a good idea.
Among the other good ideas: a variety of cheesecake with tons of nuts and seeds imitating a suet brick. Tasted great.
Tree branches downed in the last wind storm, were fashioned into a "tree" and festooned with little bird ornaments.
Champagne spilled freely in toasts to our newly retired friend. Our key colors: moss green, lavender, and gold; thank dog someone mentioned she does not like to drown everything in purple, as I so do.
A plethora of "Certificates of Achievement" really made the scene festive. Especially the one bestowed by the boss. Bravo!

02 January 2007

1/2/007 - So nothing has changed

Bridge tolls are up, housing market is down. Traffic is slamming on 101 North when I drive to work.

If we get closer together and huddle for comfort, will we start pecking each other?

Is casual sex an oxymoron?

I used to be driven to workout everyday and I was driving myself insane with anxiety. I traded that insanity for survival in a fog of SSRI induced placidity. Time to come out again...it has been three years, maybe I have learned how to survive on my own. I need to be driven to workout every day or my body will not survive. I'm going to let go the fog and see what life is like without.

01 January 2007

1/1/007 Happy New Year! Resolved

Y2K? Why not.
An image, a list, a link.

My wedding anniversary.
I Vow:
Write everyday
Exercise everyday

More photos, less carbs.

Clear the decks. Simplify my life so I can move on.

25 December 2006

Holidays are upon me...cannot excape...

Each year brings less enthusiasm, less time, less interest on my part to participate in the Christmas hubbub. This year I have accomplished a new personal best. No cards; have not even tried to find the boxes of cards I always buy on sale in January and squirrel away for the next season. What the haps?
I want only to be a funnel, for nice interesting gifts that come to me; I rejoice in re-gifting them.
I enjoy other people's trees.

19 November 2006

Las Vegas Ladies

Back from my first trip to Las Vegas. Something to say about the people who stand along the sidewalk in groups, and snap cards, slapping them against the huge pile in one hand, offering a naughty naked lady card to passersby. The first group I walked past did not offer me any; why would they, no-one was taking the cards. Then I got the idea that it would be a generous gesture to take some of their cards. That way they could get rid of them, which is the point, I think. And I would keep them long enough to put into the recycle bin at home. Free stuff, free fun...a good deed.

Someone pays them to hand them out. No foul there, everybody has to make a living. So next group I passed I stuck my hand out and took as many as they could shove at me, saying thank you, thank you, and lastly, thank you very much. I did this a couple more times as I passed other groups of men and women holding enormous piles of these cards. Naughty, half naked ladies; Las Vegas Ladies for various prices. Introductions guaranteed.

I heard a little sniff and a comment behind me one of these times, so I just turned and said I thought I'd help them out and take a few. Lady behind me did not get it. Oh well. Maybe I'm a lesbo. Or maybe I feel sorry of the maybenotlegal immigrants and the tedious job of pressing these cards into the hands of passersby. It was amusing.

When I got home I had collected 60-70 cards with very few duplicates. The prices on the back of each card included a price for 1, 2, or 3 girls. One card said "Lydia - she is a real girl" Not sure what the others could be. And strangely enough they all had little twinkling stars in strategic places. Word!

12 October 2006

Las Tres Amigas

So much to say and then really nothing that can be said about this brief moment. Rave came back for a few hours; just long enough to get cleaned up and loved up. Then she got watered, well fed and was sleeping all sprawled out on the floor. Just as sweet and innocent as when she left.

So why is she digging out of her new yard? The new owner does not seem to be able to keep track of her and won't let her in the house. We were called to come get her by someone who found her running loose. So we did and checked her out and called the new owner and said to call us because we had Rave and she had run away again, and we wanted to talk about placing her somewhere else.

Later that night the Sunnyvale cops banged on our door. They banged loudly and rang the bell like they do when they think you are a criminal. They took Rave away from us and gave her back to her new owner, who had somehow convinced them that WE HAD STOLEN RAVE FROM HER YARD!

Unfortunate. Unbearably sad for us. We wanted Rave to have a good new home and it seemed that we had found someone who really wanted a dog for her son and had a big fenced in yard.

But now, we want her back. I'm sick about the whole affair. I even offered a couple hundred dollars to buy Rave back. Even if it seemed like ransom. The new owner gave my daughter a few dollars and we gave her Rave and all the expensive doggy equipment to take care of her. Because we just wanted her to have a good loving home and the attention she needs.

Now, I just want another chance to place her with someone who will take better care of her. I fear for her safety. The breeder also wants her back. We pray that Rave will dig out again soon and somehow be found by someone who will get back in touch with us or the breeder so we can find her a better home. Since her new owner cannot be reasoned with, I depend on Rave to do her thing. She is smart and she will find her way to a better home one way or another.

We are looking for her at shelters and on Craigslist. The cops told us we cannot go anywhere near her new home, since they believe we are trying to steal her. I believe everyone will get what they deserve in the end. Just a matter of time, so hang on Rave and dig out soon! Run away Rave and we will come find you.

09 October 2006

Horse Therapy

"Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy" at Taylor Made Farms, San Martin, CA, just south of Morgan Hill. I'll be there one day each week for the foreseeable future. Horse Therapy flickr set.

See: NAHRA - "North American Riding for the Handicapped Association"

EFMHA - "Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association"

For lonely horses. For CASA volunteers.

The pumpkin patches are therapeutic, the cornfields are therapeutic, the boarding stable with 100+ horses is therapeutic. Everything except the commute back home in rush-hour traffic is therapeutic, for me.

This is part of my life now, so in a real sense, it is all about me. But I wonder how much am I getting into MBP syndrome?

I will ask Dr. Low.

Stay tuned.