Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Computer Crash

Mercury is certainly in retrograde.  I'm always affected in one way or another.  This time it has hit my computer.  I can hardly do a thing with it.  I haven't posted an entry because I've spent the last two days struggling with computer issues.

Wish me luck.  I'm using the Restore CD to basically 'start over'.  I've made a backup of MOST of my files.  But because the process is so dang slow, I had to take what I could get.

I may lose everything - including my mind!  I've completely misplaced the software for my digicam.  That's the biggest drag of all.  Will this render my camera useless?  How will I upload pictures?  I guess I just have to trust it'll all work out.

There's so much I want to share from this past weekend - stories, pictures, etc.  But I'm limited on time with this (borrowed) computer.

OK, the Restore CD just finished doing its thing on my computer ...  HOPEFULLY I'll be back very soon!

Positive vibes please!

Friday, August 27, 2004

Road Trip

  

It's been a long - but rewarding - day.  Ellie and Scout have begun their long journey home.  I picked them up in Ventura County today - without a hitch.  Everyone at the Humane Society was very nice and accommodating.

These dogs are amazing.  They knew I was there for them.  They knew which car to run to. They accepted water, toys, treats and food from me.  I've received many sloppy kisses and I've gotten slapped by happy tails.  I even got a few hugs from Scout!

We went on a short walk with Cheryl, Hunny and Opie.  It was the smoothest dog-meeting I've ever experienced.  All four dogs were like, "Oh hi.  Yeah, we belong together."  Hunny never growled.  Come to think of it, neither did Opie.  That's usually their first 'greeting'.  And I haven't heard a peep from Ellie and Scout.  Even when sirens passed - not one little howl.

I've fallen in love!  Of course, Hunny is still my number one love.  But there's room for them all.  I don't think these pups have gotten much exercise lately because they're both wound up.  Very loving.  But very hyper.  Kinda how I'm feeling during all this.  So much confusion and excitement at the same time.

Ellie slept during most of the 2-hour ride home.  Scout was up and down.  It was obvious he was still trying to get comfortable.  Right now, they are laying side by side at my feet, finally sleeping.

I haven't even packed.  The PeaceMobile did not get a proper cleaning.  I didn't buy food for the road.  I have to leave here at 4:30 AM to pick up Robbie for the next leg of this journey.

I'm looking forward to this road trip.  I bought some new music for the road.  Jason Mraz Live rocks my fricken world [thanks for the reminder Mary!]  I love it so much I haven't even opened the John Mayer CD.  I did pop some Queen in for a while to mix things up a bit.  But it wasn't long before I was a Mraz Spaz  "on the California skyline drive...up the coast...  Cuz I've got ELLIE the dog who exceeds my expectations. I say, I like your style crazy pound-pup. You need a ride?  Well, come on girl, hop in the truck..." 

Thank you all for the well wishes.   We'll be back sometime Sunday.  I have got to get some sleep.  Goodnight all. 

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Life is Peachy

By now most of you know that Robbie and I will be taking the PeaceMobile on a road trip to Arizona this weekend to bring Peachy's brother's dogs to her.  For details on the story, visit Peachy's journal.  From there you can link to the many AOL-J Community members who've pulled together to help in this crisis.

For the short-ish version:  Peachy's brother is a soldier in Iraq.  The soldier's wife voluntarily left his two dogs with the Humane Society in California.  The soldier is/was devastated - afterall, these dogs are his babies - and it's completely out of his hands.

The nearest relative is Peachy.  But airlines won't fly the dogs to Arizona because it's a heat risk.  After 150 phone calls and many emails - with little luck - Peachy appealed to the AOL-J Community.  And in true AOL-J fashion, we banded together.  Emails of support, comments of love, research, information, resources, etc.  We show up the way we can.

Here's where I appeal to you.  If you have the means, please consider sending a donation to help Peachy care for these two loved ones until their human-parent returns from serving our country.  You know I personally believe none of our troops should be over there in the first place. But they are.  It's not his fault and perhaps not his personal choice.  He is there because of his dedication, commitment and love for his fellow citizens.  For that, I support him.

These dogs didn't do anything wrong.  They just happen to be victims of circumstance.  Both are rescue dogs - already loaded with their own share of past trauma.  We'd like to make this transitionas smooth and comfortable for them as possible.

Thank you for any support you can offer.  With our help, Ellie and Scout will rise from victim to victor.  I love this community!  

Note: To make a donation, please visit Peachy's journal.  I couldn't get the link to work.  Thank you.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Starring Wessolo

This past Sunday, Robbie and I met up in Hollywood at the Stella Adler Theatre to see Jamey (Wessolo) perform in the rock musical, 24 Hours.  I'm a sucker for live theatre...for good live theatre.  And I love musical theatre.  Especially when the music is good!  And this music was great!

For those of you interested - (I'm assuming that's everyone!) - Jamey looks a lot like his pictures on his journal...but way cuter [if you can believe that's possible].  He's charming, warm, friendly and genuine.  And he has a deep, sexy voice.  OK, enough outta me!  Geez, slobber much?

About his acting?  He's intense.  When he commits...he commits.  There's no breaking that character.  He played a variety of roles with a range of emotions.  He is a dedicated artist.  One of his featured songs put me right over the edge and had me in tears.

This is small stuff for this big player.  His acting is impeccable.  His singing is beautiful.  And the boy can move.  Even the little 'boy band' number they did made him look like a star.  I'm really looking forward to seeing him dig his teeth into a non-musical role of substance.  I suggest everyone line up for autographs now because this boy is headed to Hollywood Stardom.

Bravo Jamey!  We can all say we knew you when...  

P.S.  I gave Jamey veto power on these pics but no response yet.  Seems he's already too busy for the little people.  [and standing next to him, I feel REALLY little!]

Nostalgic Moment

It's been three weeks since I met SloMo and her family.  I almost forgot about these webcam pics - until she emailed them to me (a while ago, I'm just way behind).  I'm pretty sure this was day two of our visit.  We were still getting to know each other.  But I'm telling you, I miss this kid like I miss my own.

It's just the way I am.  I tend to bond with kids and dogs first.  But don't be fooled - I miss SloMo every day.  It was almost easier before we met in person.  I mean, we love each other and all, but we didn't really miss each other.  We had everything our friendship was built on - our journals, email, IMs and the phone.  Now we have the distance factor.

Sometimes I just wish we lived right around the corner from each other.  I could take the kids out from under her feet for a few hours.  She and I could have coffee and a late-night chat at her kitchen table.  We could watch a movie on her new cozy furniture - or we could go out to a movie.  I could get that ride on Hel's bike.  Can't believe I missed that opportunity.  There just wasn't enough time.  Yeah, yeah, I know - Next time.

But come on, how cool would it be if she could meet us at the beach for an afternoon?  Or have dinner in Santa Monica?  Or come for a morning hike?  Her kids could play with fishboy.  And they could torture Hunny.  Hmm, on second thought....

Ah, no worries.  Hunny can hold her own.  She's great with kids - as long as she can outrun them.

Anyway, that's my nostalgic moment of the night.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Homecoming

Breaking through Walls of Pain  - click to play accompanying music. [copyright: Trish Monaco 1997]

Plans are being made for an important trip back east.  Most of you know I haven't seen my father in eleven years.  I haven't seen my brother in about seven years [when my niece was born].  And the last time I saw my mother was when she was having open heart surgery, about six years ago.

There are many reasons we're so estranged.  But mostly, I needed to take the time and space to find out who I am without the expectation of anyone - including myself.

As with any family, there was a lot of pain and anger and much denial to sort through.  Mostly my own.

Five years of traditional therapy.  Another five years of alternative therapy.  A decade of Writing.  Music.  Creativity.  Reading.  Talking.  Screaming.  Yelling.  Crying.  Laughing.  Ranting.  Meditating.  Exercising.  Painting.  Drawing.  Yoga.  Dogwalking.  Learning.  Growing.  Opening.  Loving.  ...  I'm not the same person I was eleven years ago.  I imagine none of us are.

So, this is kinda big.

There's no way I could do this alone.  So in October Cheryl and I will take a week to visit my family and hers.  We will fly into Boston, visit our families, drive to Montreal, visit her family, then drive back to New England for a gathering with my family and friends.

This could explain the intense pain I'm in today.  Every time I think about it, my cramps get worse and I drift off into space.  But each moment helps me better prepare for the visit.

I was thinking, I get to know so many people online.  I give everyone the same respect.  I try to see people through clear eyes, with an open heart, without judgment.  Why then would I not try to give the same to the two people who raised me - the same two people I know very little about?

My brother and sister-in-law know I'm coming.  I guess it's time I sent an email to my mom.  Unless she's reading this...in which case, I'll be sure to hear from her any minute now.

~ ~ ~ The heart The soul The part The whole The love The light No wrong No right The truth The hope The joy of life ~ ~ ~

OUCH!

OK boys, take a hike if you're too queasy to handle a little girl-talk.

OUCH!  That's what I have to say for today...and for yesterday...and probably for tomorrow as well.  I'm suffering serious crampage.  I'm finally bleeding after a week of bloating, pre-cramps, night sweats and meltdowns.  One would think the cramping would cease once I was in the flow.  But noooooo, not gone.  Not even better.  Worse actually.

This is part of what makes me so tired.  Pain takes a lot out of me.  Three Advil and I'm still aching.  This also makes me a total bitch.  [Grrrrr.  Shutup!  Leave me alone.  Argh!]  And a weepy mess.  [Wahhhh.  Poor me.  Don't leave me.  Boo-hoo!]  And a little crazy.  [Ahhh, I feel much better.  No I don't.  Wait.  Yes, I do.  Oh no, another wave.  Oooh false alarm.  Not this time. OUCH...dammit...wahhhhh!] 

Rant over...for now.

note:  I reserve the right to rant for the next five days if necessary.  

Friday, August 20, 2004

More Fire?

I left my side of town to avoid inhaling toxic fumes from the Furniture Store fire yesterday.

Ironically, a candle started a [small] fire in Cheryl's house.  It was calmly extinguished by C. Caliente (it's all in her name).  But not a moment too soon.  The fire burned pictures and tarnish/varnish on a table.  Lots of chemicals.  The smell is still with me.

Got home late last night.  But I wouldn't even have known if my apartment was clear of the furniture store fire smell.  All I could smell was the charred toxicity on my clothing, in my hair and on my skin from Cheryl's.

What is it with fire lately?  I know things tend to come in threes.  But please God, keep me safe in my CR-V.  I am NOT looking forward to that first oil change.

Today I'm definitely moving slower than usual.  Late nights and toxic smoke take a lot out of me I guess.  I've been drinking so much coffee lately that I don't know if it has any affect on me anymore - other than making me jittery, angry and jonesing for more.  I sooooo need to wake up.  I've got a long dogwalking day ahead of me.

I'm already looking forward to tonight.  Just so I can be home, resting and playing in journals.  Maybe [just maybe] I'll watch a DVD this weekend.

Happy Friday everyone!  :::yawwwwn:::

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Fire in the Hole

This is how the sky looks around my apartment.  I drove right into it while trying to return doggies to their homes.

 

Obviously I had to find alternate routes.

 

This is one of my alternate routes.  If it's not a fire, it's a flood.

 

The fire is in a furniture store at Venice and Overland.  The flood is from the fire hydrants and hoses used to extinguish the fire.

As far as we know, no one was injured.  But that's as of an hour ago.  Yes, I feel bad for the furniture store owners and surrounding businesses who may have been affected.  But most selfishly, I feel bad for me.  My entire apartment is filled with the smell of burning chemicals.  My throat is dry and sore.  And I'm coughing up a storm.

I'm about to go to Cheryl's for a while.  No sense in breathing in smoky air when I can be breathing fresh healthy smog in Santa Monica.  Ahhh...I love L.A.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

GOO days and BLAH days

There was a time when I would have to endure twenty blah days just to have one goo day.

For me, a blah day consisted of sleeping till noon, not exercising, eating junk food or not eating anything at all, isolating, making half-assed lists of things I wanted to get done, but having no motivation or desire to do any of it.

A goo day is exactly the way it sounds - yummy and gooey.  [think:  ooooh this is a goooo day!]  On these days I would be up at dawn, walking, eating well, socializing and completing every task on my month's list, making plans for the future.

Rarely were there two goo days in a row.  Hell, there were barely two goo days in a month.  I began to believe this was a way of life.

But lately most of my days have been so goo!  I'm talking, for months!  Like I've been walking on air, with motivation, desire, passion and a flair for life.  It's been a long time since I've had a blah day.

So feeling the slightest bit blah today is sending me to headspins of post traumatic stress.  I'm so conditioned to believe the blah is the truth, and that I'll spiral right back down for another month before I'll have goo day again.  It's become a chemical response.  I'm trying to retrain my brain.  And I know it will take the time it needs to take.  I mean, this is a lifetime of undoing.

How much of this do I want to share?  None of it.  But it's also what's keeping me from writing, singing, playing, and updating my journal.  I'm struggling to find something to toss in the mix and fill up space just so I don't have to admit that I'm just not feeling so goo tonight.  I don't feel sick.  I don't feel tired.  I just feel blah.

I don't even know what I need.  But I know what I don't need.  I don't need to be protected.  I don't need pity [god, please no].  I don't need advice.  I don't need praise.

Wait, maybe I do know what I need.  I need to be supported and loved.  I need to be challenged to grow.  I need accurate reflection.  I need to remember who I am.  And I need to provide all of this for myself.

Whatever.  Blah.  I just feel ... blah, dammit.  

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

CR-V Fires

It's nearing time for the PeaceMobile to get its first oil change.  This upcoming event has been daunting.

Recent reports have shown that more than a dozen '03 and '04 CR-Vs have spontaneously burst into flames without warning.  Investigators have found that it's usually happening soon after the very first oil change.

Honda has no plans to issue a recall on the vehicle.  They claim it's not the fault of the manufacturer.  Rather they are blaming it on sloppy oil changes.  Apparently oil spills onto the hot engine and creates an immediate spark, sending flames throughout the vehicle.

No one has reported to have been hurt in these fires.  But the vehicles were totally destroyed.  Many were on their way home from their first oil change.

While it's highly possible for me to be able to jump out of a burning car, I'm not so sure how my precious cargo will fare.  I bought this new car for peace of mind.  I never thought spontaneous combustion would be one of my biggest worries!

I called my sales representative looking for more information.  Apparently my information was news to them.  I did receive a letter from my dealer offering to give me my first oil change for free.  Of course, they didn't mention why.  But you can be damn sure I'll take them up on it.  I'll tell them what I know.  And I'll make them take it for a test drive.

The Honda CR-V still remains at the top of consumer's reports as one of the best vehicles to purchase.  I can attest to its great gas mileage, spacious cargo area, comfort, ease of driving, reliability ... but what the hell can I do about the possibility of a car fire?

While researching this issue, I discovered that a Nationwide Class Action has been filed on behalf of purchasers of '03 and '04 CR-Vs as a result of these fires.  I've put a call in to the lawyer.  But will that save my life?  I just want to survive my first oil change and get past 10,000 miles safely!  Is that too much to ask?  

reminder:  don't judge a book by its cover.  I love my CR-V.

Busy

pictured: Otis giving Gus a warm welcome to our group for the week.

This week begins one of my busiest dogwalking times.

A fellow dogwalker is out of town for the week.  She asked me to walk her dogs while away.  It was a great reflection actually.  She said she sees how I am with my dogs and that's how she wants her dogs to be treated.  Felt really good to see how I'm perceived in my work.

Another dogwalker is going on her honeymoon at the end of this week and I'll have one of her dogs in our group too.  [the biggest dog I've ever met]  I've had him before so I know him a little better than the few extras I have this week.

Actually, it was because of these two dogwalkers that I took my SloMo trip early in the month.  They filled in for me.  Now I'm filling in for them.

I thought once I left the 8-5 world, I wouldn't have to check in with anyone regarding vacations and sick leave.  But nope.  It's basically the same.  The difference is, I like it.  We care about our work.  We care about our charges.  We care about each other.  This will come in real handy when I take my trip to the east coast this fall.

Unfortunately, this business is not without its own share of drama too.  But I won't bore you with those details...yet.  [oooh, and they're so good too!]

More later.  Off and running.  Well, more like dragging.  I forgot to mention I couldn't sleep yesterday so I rearranged my entire room.  Finally, it's back to the way it originally was.

:::yawn:::  Oh right, gotta stop for coffee too.

Friday, August 13, 2004

A Life in ... Motion

It's hard to believe I've already been to SloMo's and back.  At this time last week we were shopping, laughing, screaming, eating, playing games, and laughing some more.

I have this vivid image of her kids at the airport as I was scrolling down the escalator with my backpack and carry-on luggage in tow.  I barely made it to the ground floor before they ran to me and wrapped their little loving arms around me - almost knocking me over. [Little did I know then, that was a hint of what was to come.]

We held on to each other for a moment.  I took a good look at them and proclaimed that they look exactly like their pictures.  And there I was, wondering if I'd recognize them.  Ha - no worries!

SloMo and I gave each other a quick hug and promptly shot our eyes to the floor.  Thinking about it now, that's probably why we couldn't find the car for so long.

*** What is that?  The shyness.  The insecurity.  The wonder.  Am I all that you thought I'd be...or are you disappointed now that you see the full me?  I've been through that.  Not this time.  SloMo is who she is, and much more. ***

Sure, the first few moments - okay, the first few days - were awkward and quiet.  But I guess that's to be expected.  She was in her territory, with her family, living her life.  I was the foreigner.  A witness.  An observer.  A fly on the wall.  Just taking it all in. 

The awkwardness couldn't have been that bad.  By the end of the first night, I had exposed myself in a mud mask during a card game with SloMo and Elijah.  After that, I beat their asses in Phase Ten with moisturizing yogurt smeared all over my face.  Oh yeah, we're family now.

Who is SloMo anyway?  If I ever had questions about the meaning of A LIFE IN SLOW MOTION, they are all answered now.  Imagine a life as she describes in her entries. [got that image? cake, photographs, web design, books, music, family, new home...sweet, right?]  Now imagine her living ten different entries all at once.

I used to joke about her being able to multi-task better than anyone.  Now I see it's no joke.  A few times during our visit, we both found ourselves wondering how she ever has time to sit at her computer and do all that she does in a day.  I see now why I only got one fifteen-minute nap on the first day.  Who has time for sleep when life is in motion?

Robbie asked me if there was anything about SloMo's personality that I thought might be different.  And you know, there's not one thing!  She's beautiful, smart, witty, caring, genuine, honest, funny.  She can indulge in a light conversation just as freely as she does in a deep heart-to-heart.  And you know we gotta have both!

Her kids are a whole 'nother story [Mary, that's for you].  I could fill an entire journal with entries about them alone.  It may sound crazy, but I ache being so far away from them.  I'll suffer a thousand high-pitched screams for one more chance to play Phase Ten with Elijah and hear Jacy say, "Right on sista-girrrrl."

Saving my pennies for another visit...

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Back to Reality-ish

LA city view from plane - 11 AM.  8/9/04

I had vanilla lattes and coca-cola cake while on vacation.  I haven't quite stopped since I've been back.  So I'm kinda still on vacation-mode.

I'm going through serious SloMo-Family withdrawals.  I've fallen in love with her kids - which is easy to do.  I miss J's witty attitude - she WILL be president one day!  I miss E's sweet sensitivity - he's a natural born healer.  Both kept me on my toes and found a permanent home in my heart...just like their momma!

More to come ... Lots of work ahead of me.  For now, it's latte time!

Monday, August 9, 2004

Cake in L.A.

Newsflash:  SloMo's Coca-Cola Cake has arrived safely in Los Angeles.

Y'all don't know chocolate cake until you've tried Southern Coca-Cola cake.  Nothing can go wrong when you have a mouthful of this cake.  Just thinking about it now makes me want to run to the kitchen for 'just one more little bite' [yeah right].  SloMo did say she was going to fatten me up.  Ah well, it's worth it.

I ate whatever I wanted - I was on vacation.  I drank soda - I was on vacation.  I ate sugar - I was on vacation.  I had vanilla lattes every day - I was on vacation.  Ooooh, potato soup...two bowls the first time.  And one big bowl the second time.  Oh yeah, it's good enough to make every night of the week - I was on vacation.

I didn't sleep much.  [who has time for sleep on vacation?]  But for the first time in a very long time, I slept through the night...all night, every night.  Of course, it helps that I was completely wiped out by the end of each day.

I have not stopped.  My body's still on Central Time.  I flew into LAX this morning and went straight to work.  I had three hours of sleep last night.  We just kept gabbing and chatting ... it seemed we both didn't want today to come. 

Now that I'm home and my work is done, let's see if this sleep pattern can continue in my own bed.  Otherwise, I just might have to revisit Hotel SloMo sooner than later.  Fine by me.

So ... who wants cake?  Speak up...and soon.  There's no telling how long this will last in my possession.  Headed to the kitchen...

Saturday, August 7, 2004

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Another Sleepless Night in LA

I haven't been sleeping very well lately.  And tonight/this morning is no exception.  But I can't go back to bed because I have an early morning plane to catch.  And I mean early.  Too early to get coffee from my favorite place.  I'm also going to lose two hours today because of the time difference.  Oh yeah!  I'm off to a great start.  This is probably why I need a vacation in the first place.

Hunny watched me pack last night.  She gets really depressed when she sees luggage...no matter how small the bag is.  She knows I'm going away.  I did tell her she was coming with me to the airport but that she'd be staying with her Auntie Cheryl, Opie and the cats.

Usually the words, you're coming with me are enough
to make her skip and jump and run around the room with joy.  But I could tell she completely understood that she'd be coming with me part of the way, but not all the way to Texas.


I stopped packing every few minutes to get her to play or give her a massage or look into her eyes and remind her that I'm always with her.  She's smart and sensitive.  Sometimes it's to her/our disadvantage.  She gets so sad, she won't look at me or kiss me goodbye.  It doesn't matter if I'm leaving for five minutes or five days.  To her the bottom line is, I'm leaving.  I'm not looking forward to that moment at the airport.  It breaks my heart.

She'll get over it.  And so will I.  She lo-o-oves staying with her Auntie Cheryl.  The yard, the doggie door, the treats, the other animals, the walks by the beach, the love.  Come on, it's like sleep-over camp for our pets.  The moment she gets her mouth on the big juicy bone waiting for her, she'll forget all about me!  I, on the other hand, will miss her terribly...until I get my mouth on some Coca-Cola Cake.  We're not all that different really.

Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Stylin' Hunny

Look who got her wish!  I was able to get a leash made to match Hunny's new collar.  Thanks [again] to my friend Danielle.  Now Hunny's officially the California-surfer-girl of the dogpark.

Don't forget to visit You Lucky Dog today to order your cool dog's cool collar!  New prints, patterns and colors have just arrived.  Prices haven't gone up yet.  Still ten bucks.  Jump on it!

And if you want a matching leash, send them an email and ask.  If they have enough of the material, they will make custom orders.

Monday, August 2, 2004

Summer Fun

Cheryl's cousins were in town.  We said goodbye to them last night in their hotel with a few rounds of poker and lots of laughs.  [for the girls:  crissy-crossy, read 'em and weep, nothing wild? booooringgg!  Now that's a picture!]

Picture of Freeepeace was taken by the 13-yr-old gymnast in upper left corner.  She's debating whether to get a mini-DVD player or a digital camera.  [I say it's no contest.]  Maybe this will help her decide!

Love shout to the girls!  Hope to see you again soon.

Dirty Dogs

Last Friday I decided to mix things up a bit and bring my dog-group to the Venice dogpark instead of Brentwood.  My pack found their own little corner with plenty to do.  Mostly, roll around in dirt.  And who do you think led the pack?

 

Needless to say, Hunny got a bath this weekend. 

One More Day...

I'm way behind on my updates.  Actually, I'm way behind on just about everything.  I'm frantically trying to get ready to leave town early Wednesday morning.

Tomorrow's my busiest day.  Lots of dogs - two different dogpark trips and one individual walk.  I'm seeing my facialist at 3:00.  She swears she can help me heal from the threading/waxing disaster.  If I want clean clothes for my vacation, I must do laundry.  Oh, and I have to pick up my new jeans from the tailors before they close.  Yeah, they needed to be hemmed.  Usually I just cut my jeans and let them fray - but these deserve a little love.  What else?  Oh...helloooo...I have to pack!  Oh god, what to pack?!

OK, not panicking.  Hyperventilating, but not panicking.

Calming down.  Remembering, everything always gets done.

I do love the day before a vacation.  It's like a personal holiday where I'm walking on air and nothing can bring me down.  Work stress?  Just get through the day, I'll be on vacation tomorrow.  Traffic?  No worries, I'll be on vacation tomorrow.  Tired?  So I'll sleep on the plane when I leave for my vacation tomorrow.

I'm not sure how much time I'll have to post tomorrow, so I'll try to be as productive as possible tonight and leave you with a few quick updates.

Ode to Vivian

  

I humbly post and present this award to honor Vivian -- The Goddess of J-Land.  Without her, this community would not exist as it does today.  Her enthusiasm for AOL Journals has been consistently vibrant from day one.  From the First AOL-J Community Awards to the Birthday Journal to AOL-J's First Anniversary.  And we all know it doesn't end there.

This is just the beginning.  Her love and support reaches far beyond Journals and the Internet.  She genuinely cares about each and every member of this community.

On a personal note, Vivian is a true friend.  When I joined the community last September, she embraced me without question or judgment -- and we know how powerful her cyber-hugs are.  She encouraged me to keep on keeping on.  She taught me how to post my first AOLbyPhone entry to showcase snippets of my music.  Together we've shared cyber-laughs, and shed cyber-tears.

Thank you Vivian.  You are the backbone of this community.  You make things happen.  J-Land wouldn't be what it is today without you.

With Love and Peace Always.  {{{{{{{{{{Vivian}}}}}}}}}}

P.S. Congratulations on being this week's #1 AOL Journals Editor's Picks.  [AOL Keyword: Journals]