Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

However you spend this day, I hope everyone is enjoying themselves.


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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Small Town in a Big City

Sunday morning.  Bright and early.  Giving that small town feel to big city life.

Longing to move out of the hub-bub of the city.  I've lived in LA for over thirteen years now.  Yikes.  That's a lifetime.  An entire adult lifetime.  I wouldn't have it any other way.

But lately I've felt like a visitor in my own city.  My heart is still at the beach, in Venice.  Since leaving there, five years ago, I haven't felt at home anywhere.  Sure, I only live a few miles up the street.  I've lived one mile away and still, it's not the same. 

Venice is part of LA.  So what's the difference?  Community.  I haven't found that here, in the heart of the city.  It's busy, dirty, messy, loud, and I miss having trees and a yard or a balcony or a view of the sunsets.

So I (we) have just over six months left in our lease.  That should give us plenty of time to save and look, really look, for a place to call home.   I've lived in many parts of LA over the years.  I love LA.  And I'm tired of moving.  I'm ready to find a home here, where I can grow roots. 

At least I'm still able to find peace around me.  I enjoy hearing the kids in the neighborhood, playing in the alley, riding their bikes, skateboarding.  They all know and love Hunny.  Funny, when I'm walking without Hunny (which isn't often) they don't recognize me at all -- until I get their attention.  Then I hear, "Where's Hunny?"

Still, I only know about half of our neighbors' names.  Many of them ignore me as I pass by.  I've been known to step in front of them and introduce myself.  Some have come out of their shells and smile at me once in a while now.  But many are struggling to make ends meet.  I know that place.  And it shows in their body language.  Stress.  Anguish.  Fear.

So many people.  More than when I arrived in the summer of '92.  And still, we don't look at each other.  We don't really talk to each other.  We're all in such a rush.  Too busy to be bothered with anything outside of ourselves.

The thing is, when I do step outside of myselfand make a connection with the world around me, I usually feel more alive.  Hm. Figure that huh?

My world is what I make of it.  So today, this my little town.

Happy Hunny.  Ready to continue on down the path of her small town amid the concrete jungle.

Pacific Standard Time

Ahhh ... a beautiful, bright Sunday morning.

I woke up before 8:00 and the morning light was shining through my bedroom.

Impossible to sleep through.

Now I sit with coffee and my thoughts.

Pacific Standard Time makes a world of difference on this first day!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Another sick entry?

Being sick is not very good for business.  I struggled through another half-full dog day yesterday.  On the way home I stopped at the drug store for ... something, anything different than NyQuill.

I just can't handle my Quill.  All it does is make me foggy and groggy.  Not enough to sleep through and too much for me to get up.  Too uncomfortable.  Made my arms feel heavy too.

So I'm back to basics - Tylenol, cough expectorant, vitamin C and water. Oh, and lots of bed rest.

This sucks.  It's been almost a full week of being sick.  I don't have time for this.  I know, it is what it is.  Whatever.

I just have today to get through and then I'm looking forward to resting over the weekend.  Ooh, I'll even get an extra hour for that on Saturday night as we change the clocks back.  Yay.

I wish I had something more exciting to report but I've basically been looking at the same three walls all week.  [the fourth wall being behind me.]  Oh wait.  That's not true.  I spent an hour on the couch last night, eating chicken soup and watching Law & Order: SVU.

I could write all about my dreams but they have been so detailed lately, I would never get out of the apartment.

It's been chilly and gray all week (perfect dogpark weather, if you ask me).  It was supposed to rain today but now it looks like it might be clear.  That's something to celebrate.  Oh yeah, proof I'm pretty hard up for entertainment.

I vow to write about something - anything - other than being sick next time!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

NyQuill high and surprise at the door

I went to work today.  First time since last Friday.  I mean, first full dog group.  I've seen other dogs individually.  But I fell asleep on their couches.  It counts.  Their folks just wanted them to have company.  Works just fine for all of us.

I forced myself out of the apartment this morning, after a quick prayer over the porcelain god.  I had to work.  I couldn't afford to cancel another day.  I had pushed all of my clients to the end of the week, so I wouldn't miss out on much work.

So it was a full group.

Apparently the dogs hadn't seen the light of day since last Friday either.  I swear, they must know when I'm most vulnerable.  Marley knows I'm not going to run down to the other end of the park to pull his humping-butt off of every dog he greets.  Thankfully, my pack really likes each other.  They play very well together.  They wore themselves out.  And took me down in the process.

By the time we were leaving the park, I was feeling queasy and achy.  It all came back to me in a split second.  I could hardly get the pack home fast enough.  All I wanted was to crash into bed, high on Ny-Quill.

...which is starting to hit me hard right about now.


One sec -- doorbell, and viciously-barking-Hunny-girl need my attention.


I'm back.

Well, it's a good thing I hadn't crashed yet.  I just received my first flower delivery.  A cheering up from MOM.  Thanks mom.  They are beautiful.  I'll photograph them when I'm more awake.

I'd better wrap this up before I fall asleep at the keyboard.

Catch you later.

And while I'm resting, remember to vote for me in the Viv... Zzzzzz...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

VIVI Awards 2005

What?  More about the Vivi Awards?  Yes, and I can assure you, this is the final round of voting.  And we're having a lot of fun ... aren't we?

When I first posted my picks for nominees, I chose Robbie's Ruminations as Most Creative/Original Journal.

She made the ballot!  Yay!

However, she just announced her departure from AOL-Journals.  Boo!

No worries.  She can still be found blogging up a storm in her new digs here.  Yay!

Now I have to change my vote.  Boo!


Thanks to some of you, I made the ballot too.  Yay! 

And since I'm all about a good campaign, I figure, why not?



Most Creative/Original Journal - Journey to Peace

Other nominees I encourage you to vote for:

Most Well-Written - Unhinged

Best Entry or Series of Entries - Growing up Shelli (Part One)
If you haven't read it already, do it now.

Best Collegiate Journal - Hmm...  -and-  Life Or Something Like It
I'm completely torn in half on this one.  Mallory and Sarah are the epitome of AOL-J College journalers.  They are living, breathing college life.  They both have longevity.  They are admired among their peers.  They are young, beautiful women - future leaders/teachers.  I need to somehow find a way to split my vote in half.  Oh I hate it.  It's like asking a mother to choose between her two children.

Best New Journal - By Popular Demand
No question about it.  Mikethedawg rocks!  We love our Carol.

Best Kept Secret - Lotus Martinis
Trying to prove that I'm not really all that good at keeping secrets!

I will be casting votes in every category but these are the folks I fully endorse.  If you have an AOL or AIM screen name, please vote.  Remember to spread the love.  I'd love to see a different journal win in every category.  Peace to all.


Polls close at midnight Sunday, October 30th.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Sick, Past and Present

The word of the day is:  SICK.  

not sicky.  not sick-ish.


ess-eye-see-kay - sick!

I was so hoping this was just a really bad allergy attack.  But it hasn't passed.  I have a headache in my entire body.  It hurts to lay down.  It hurts to sit up.  It hurts to walk.  It hurts to look at light.  It hurts to hurt.

However, it does not hurt too much to graciously receive coffee in bed from my attentive roomie.  That's probably the last I'll see of her today.  Now that she thinks it's not just allergies - and that it might be a bad cold - she asked that I not cough until she left my room.  Fair enough.

I don't blame her.  I'm miserable.  I don't wish this on anyone.  No, not even him!

I did have a beautiful weekend though.  I did some soul searching and went deep into the pains of hell.  Sounds pretty dramatic.  Well, it was.  I continue to learn more about life, truth and illusion.

Cousin M left a comment in J2P recently.  It implies that I've been unavailable for relationship.  I understand that's her experience.  But it's based on who I was.  Not who I am.  I'm not the same person I was 25 or 30 years ago.  I can hardly believe I'm old enough to use those numbers and still have some left over!

The fun we had when we were kids will never be replaced - nor forgotten.  We were best friends.  I remember all of our inside jokes.  The variety shows we produced in her basement.  The Family Mag we edited.  The shadow people on the wall at bedtime.  The intense laughter that only kids know.  That kind where you turn bright red, with tears rolling down your cheeks, taking a huge inhale just before passing out from lack of oxygen.  We shared many, many moments like that.

So I'm not willing to forget the past.

In cases where the past conjures negative feelings, I'm willing to remember with new eyes.  I must be, or I wouldn't be here.

I'd love to know more of who Cousin M is today - beyond the obvious:  A beautiful mother.  A gifted teacher.  A funny comedienne.  We've all grown.  We've all changed.  This applies to all Counsin Ms out there.  Meet me in the present.  We can still laugh our asses off about the past.

As my good friend, Robbie, wrote:

We're all on the same journey. We're just taking different paths to get there. My path might be different than yours but it doesn't mean it is any better or worse than yours either.

Forgiveness for some may be a completely different process than my road to forgiveness.  Accept that, or don't.  There's always a choice.

Much love and peace.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

VIVI Awards - Nominees Announced

Well, it's that time!  The nominations have been announced for the VIVI Awards.  And I must say, the list is impressive.  There are many categories, many nominees in each category, and many great journals to discover and/or rediscover!

Congratulations to everyone who received a nomination.  Thank you to all who took the time to cast a vote (the process wasn't easy).  Major thanks to Patrick and the Vivi committee for all your hard work and attention to detail.  And of course, lots of love to Vivian who started this program in the first place.

On a personal note, I'd like to thank everyone who nominated Journey to Peace in the Most Creative/Original Journal category.  A nomination is the same as a win.  I'm honored to be on the list with some of my favorite journals.  Pay them a visit and see for yourself.

Adventures of the 2-Faced Baseball - upseted
Ellipsis... - ondinemonet
In The Shadow Of The Iris - justaname4me2
Journey to Peace - freeepeace
Judith Heartsong - judithheartsong
My feelings are real... - globetrotter2u
Robbie's Ruminations - krobbie67
The Soundtrack of My Life - pollysci

Get ready for the next round of voting.  Be sure to check back here in J2P for my picks!  I'm looking forward to having more fun with these awards.

Let's hear it for the AOL-Journals community!  Viva la Vivi - 2005


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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Sadness, Compassion, Forgiveness

Oh what am I gonna do?  I'm starting to feel ... sad.  I was going to say fear.  But sadness.  That's what it is.  I know that's okay.  It's just uncomfortable.

Sadness seems to imply there's something wrong.  When really, everything's good.  I mean, good-ish.  You know what I mean.  Maybe I just need to have a moment of sadness.

It's weird.  I'm on the verge of tears but my thoughts are on all the goodness in my life.  My friends.  My work.  My spirit.  My creativity.  My my my.  Maybe that's it.  Everything seems okay with me.


Then there's my mom, 3000 miles away, not in very good health.  Lupus.  And other complications.  My dad too - poor health.  I know I don't talk about my family much in here.  Mostly because this is my space.  I don't want to impose on their lives.  When I mention them, they get exposed through me.  Even though it's just my view, I want to be clean in my intentions.  Plus, I know they're reading. If not today, then some day down the line.  [hi mom.  hi dad.]

Sometimes I want to go back there to be closer, so I can help take care of her.  Other times I am grateful to be so far removed from the pain.  Demons and shadows, you know?

I think I'm more helpful way over here.  There's less of a chance of butting heads with each other.  But at some point, I'm gonna have to get over it.  Over what?  I don't even know.

The hurt maybe?  The idea that the god and goddess of my universe failed me as a child?  Big deal!  Really.  I mean it.  What's the big deal?  I know the story.  I lived it.  I survived.  I thrived.

Okay then, can you tell that to the core of me that's still surrounded by some murky muck?  It's physical.  Cellular.  It lives in me, unconsciously.

Still, I'm sad.  Sad for her.  Sad for him.  Sad for them.

I have compassion for my folks.  I do.  A deep sense of understanding and compassion.  It's difficult to explain.  It's sort of like, I am the child, the mother and the father all at once.  I can feel all of our pain and grief.  Our choices.  Our mistakes.  Our fears.  And I really get it.

Today I understand the choices my parents made yesterday.  And whoooo-boy, those were some big, bad-ass decisions.  Not easy.  Not pleasant.

I may not condone their choices.  But I truly understand them.  Just as I believe they understand my (big, bad-ass) choices.

No matter what we think.  No matter how we think we'd feel or react.  No one can say for sure how they would handle a situation.  They can only account for how they did handle a situation.

There's freedom in that.  Breaking the cycle is more than just stopping the pattern.  For me, it's about healing it.  Retraining it.  Learning from it.  Forgiving.  Moving forward.  And it's just so damn hard to walk through ... sometimes.

* * *

I'd been looking everywhere for the purple wristband to support the Lupus Foundation.  The smaller size had been on back order for, like, ever.  Last week my mom sent me one.  I can't remember if I asked for it.  But here it is.  I never take it off.  It helps me feel more connected to her.

I know my parents need good thoughts and prayers or voodoo or whatever positive spiritual thing you do.  I think of them every day.  I email once in a while.  That's the best I can offer in this moment.  I know I should call.  And I will.  But it's just taking me a moment to pick up the phone. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mudpups FollowUp

Supplies to keep a dog walker happy:  Six towels.  One oversized painter's tarp.  A handful of leashes.  One splitter-leash.  One Hunny-collar.  All clean and ready for the next adventure.  Except for one little item over there on the left-hand side.

To give you a better perspective, here's what Hunny's collar used to look like:

Here's how it looks today:


And there it shall stay, until the next laundry day.

It's been a while since my last doggy photo shoot.  Tuesday's muddy adventure was a great opportunity to play with the camera again.  I didn't realize how much I missed it.

The thrill of my day was watching Hunny spring into her puppy-like spunk.  She's almost eleven years old.  She's been showing signs of slowing down in the last few months.  She's still healthy and fit and able to take down any challenger on a whim.  But for the most part, she strolls on our morning walks.  She lingers on the grass.  She plays a little, but mostly she lays around at the dog park.  And she sleeps in the car.

Tuesday was a different story.  I was squealing with delight and laughter when I saw my little girl go wild in the puddles.  Her playful energy continued throughout the entire park visit.

How did it start?

I have an ear-witness who can attest to the fact that I tried to lure the dogs away from the puddles.  Some of the parks are equipped with a hose.  This particular park is not.

Marley (expectedly) made himself comfy in a soothing bed of mud.  Oh God!  My car!   Otis kept squeezing between my legs at my feet, to rub the mud off!  Oh God! My clothes!   Hunny splashed and spun in a thick puddle, displaying chocolate-dipped Hunny-legs.  Hunny out!  Hunny here!  Hunny get!  Oh God! My bed!  When Bunnie, the bulldog, dove head first into the deepest puddle, I knew there was no turning back. 

They won.  I gave in.  And we all had a great time.

The thing with mud is, eventually it dries.  The drinking water fountain helped wash off their faces.  The mounds of towels helped brush them off and protect the car.  [Whatever that means.  The filth in my car is at the point of no return.  My Honda dealer keeps requesting a trade-in.  They have no idea!]

How muddy did I get?

Not too much really.  Just my nasty dog park shoes, the bottoms of my pants (thanks Otis!) and a big smudge across my face and neck from Bunnie.  I had to lift her into the car -- she jumped up to meet me.

The rain had stopped.  The sun was making its way through the clouds.  The dogs and I were dry before loading into the car.  So it was very pleasant.

The one thing about my work that I really dislike is walking dogs in the rain.  I'd take a dry day and mud puddles anytime, if it meant I could skip the rainy days.


Monday, October 17, 2005


Whatever you do - don't panic.

Okay.  Breathe.

I didn't make it to yoga this morning.  I guess I could've seen that coming.  I'm sorry Cheryl.  I wish she taught an evening class.  Yoga for her, is best in the morning.  Everyone's different.

So it's my goal to make it to an afternoon/evening class this week.  Just one.  That's all it takes.  I have got to get back into the swing of it.

Many of my dog walking clients canceled today.  One canceled all week.


Makes me nervous.  Very nervous.

When this happened last Monday, I rearranged my room.

Today I plan on cleaning the apartment.

The winter-like-rainy-weather we're having in LA makes me want to hibernate.

I'm still working on Feng Shui-ing my room.  Since I have some extra time today, I could add that to my cleaning schedule.

I also need to wash the towels and throws from the car.  Man!  Some dogs really stink.  I still haven't gotten cedar chips for the back either.  That's on my list.  But the thought of spending money right now makes me a little panicky.

It's okay.  It's just a lull.  Ebb and flow.  I have to remember that.

Cleaning around here - and walking my two clients - will be my yoga for the day.  That's how I treated my room-rearranging last week.  Every movement had an accompanying breath.  Hey, moving furniture is no easy feat.

I've gotta say though, it was a blessing that I had last Monday free to winterize my room.  Last night's rain storm was strong enough to keep me awake worrying about leaky windows and cold walls.  With my bed away from both outside walls, I should be able to rest a little easier this winter.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Where Did the Weekend Go?

My dentist appointment went as I expected.  I'm still in pain but giving it till the end of the week before I cry out loud.  I have another appointment in three weeks to get the job finished.  Hah. Sounds like a mob-job.

I worked all weekend.  That doesn't mean every hour of the weekend, but my schedule was like regular dog walking days.  It's good.  I'm taking all the work I can get.

My absolute favorite actress joined Law & Order: Criminal Intent.  I didn't realize till last night that Annabella Sciorra is starring in--not just featuring in--eleven episodes this season. 

Fourteen years ago, after watching The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, I predicted she would be a mega-superstar.  I'm happy to see she isn't -- she's a highly respected actress in her field.

I have this thing about being a fan of those who soar under the radar -- or above it. 

Like with Jason Mraz.  Unfortunately he's at a point in his music career where he's a mega-superstar in his league.  Bums me out because his music is getting stomped on by his record label.  I love his original style.  I don't love his overly produced label stuff.  Sorry Jason.

It won't stop me from adoring him.  I'll always love and respect his creativity.  Same with Annabella Sciorra.

Andi and I met Cheryl for drinks and dinner last night.  I love those unplanned meetings.  It was great to get out and spend time with both of them.

Somehow I got roped into believing I committed to going to Cheryl's 7am yoga class on Monday.  Uh...that'd be tomorrow.

Retracing my drunken steps:
- I offered to pick up Andi from work so we could go to the 6:30pm class on Monday and Wednesday.
- We discussed other evening classes.
-Andi asked if the instructors were as good as Cheryl.
-We decided every instructor is different.
(From here it gets fuzzy.)
-Time passed.
"See you Monday morning."

Huh? What?

Guess that means I need to get to sleep, like, now.

Ilove yoga, when I'm into it.  It'll be good to get back into a routine that includes daily yoga.  But I definitely enjoy (and thrive on) evening yoga the best.  I want to end my day with savasana.  If I start my day with it, I might end up right back in bed before breakfast.

We'll see.

I'm ready for something though.  I can't fit into my jeans.  I haven't worn them all summer (too hot) and I have a few extra inches around my waist this year.  No big deal really.  You wouldn't notice it if I wasn't always pointing it out.

Cooler weather is the perfect incentive for starting back on a healthier routine:  whole foods, yoga and daily dog walking.  Nothing too strict.  Sounds great to me.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


So, today is Thursday. Yes, Thursday.

Must be near a full moon.  I started my, uh, full moon, this morning.

Dentist at 2pm.  Just when I thought it was all over.  I'm still having (severe) pain in my right lower jaw, ear and head.  The same pain I always thought was related to the tumor I had removed last year.  Perhaps my surgeon was being truthful when she said it shouldn't be hurting me.

Well, apparently I need to have a new filling removed and repacked for better stability.  The same procedure that was done on another tooth earlier this year, because of a previous dentist's mistake (again).  It's the lower back tooth.  The one so far back that it aches to keep my mouth open wide enough for them to do the appropriate work.

I'll be loading up on Vicodin.

With TMJ and a deep cavity, I'm not looking forward to this appointment.  Mostly I fear the lingering pain from the numbing needles.  They leave big holes in my gums - and aches in my jaw muscles - for at least a week.  [sad and pathetic, aren't I?]

I've gotten a few last-minute calls for dog walking this week.  Thankfully.  I can breathe a little easier.  Still haven't 'replaced' the 'lost' work yet, but I've handed out a few cards to park-goers who've inquired about my dog walking services.

The park I usually go to in Brentwood is closed till the end of the month.  Kind of a drag because I've had such negative experiences at the Venice park lately.  [think Jack!]   The energy there is just...yuk.  Yesterday we had to call the police to intervene when someone began harassing a dog with a chair - charging and calling out injustices.  He was either off his meds, or on too many.  Volatile and unstable.

Thankfully, we (another dog walker and I) found a different park - in El Segundo - to try during the day. It's a little further out - but not as far as Brentwood.  We loved it.  Our dogs had a great time.  That's where I'll be for the next week and a half.  Maybe even more.  Most of my dogs are on that same side of town.  It might be easier for me to continue to go to El Segundo.

Whatever I decide, it's just nice to know we have options.  We're still waiting for the Culver City park to open.  It might be as soon as December.  But it doesn't look like much has been done in the last two months.


Boring stuff, I'm sure.  Sorry.

I didn't have much work on Monday, so I rearranged my room (which is why I got my days mixed up earlier this week).  More about that later. Oooh, exciting, I know.  Hope you can hold out till then.  I know I can.

If you need a fix, check out this link on Feng Shui tips.  It's simple and informative.  A good start.

Happy Thursday!  I'll hopefully be back later -- flying high.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I was stuck in a little extra traffic on the way to the dog park, due to an accident.  Not one, but two cars cut me off, refusing to merge -- you know every-other-car -- into one lane.

I wonder, did they not see the flashing red traffic lights?  The four or five cars involved?  The shoe in the middle of the road? 

I had no choice but to let them pass.

The next thing I knew, we were side-by-side at the next traffic light.  I knew their lane was about to end so when the light turned green, I punched it, 4-cylinder-style, and called out, "Y'all can kiss my peaceful ass!"

You see? I own up to that peace sign on my car.

* * *

Later I was returning a dog to his Venice home.  I use my own leashes.  As I was walking back to my car, I heard two neighbors talking.

One said, "That's weird." 

The other replied, "It's been very weird around here."  

And I chimed in, "It wouldn't be Venice otherwise." 

I kept walking as one replied, "I'll say.  Walking a leash with no dog?!" 

I turned toward him with a smile, "Doesn't get weirder than that!"

Or, maybe it does. 

Driving home, I passed a van.  I did a double-take on the driver.  I swear, I thought he was a bulldog.

I noticed a Rottweiler in the passenger's seat with his head halfway out the window -- wearing flight goggles.

God I love Venice.

* * *

I called my dentist's office to see if I could reschedule today's appointment:

ME:  "Hi, I have a 2pm appointment today. Is there any way we can change it to Thursday?"

D's OFFICE:  "You do have a 2pm appointment, but it's scheduled for Thursday the 13th."

ME:  "Great, that's what I want.  Thanks.  You're good."

D's OFFICE:  "Glad we could be of service."

* * *

A once-a-week client left me a message this morning saying that her dog's training collar was missing a  piece and might be too tight.  I called her back later this afternoon to thank her for the information and let her know I use my own leashes anyway - not to worry.

A couple of hours later she called back saying her husband had been home all day and wondered why I hadn't been there to pick up the dog.

I called her right back.

ME:  "I'm confused.  Did you want me there today?"

HER: [giggling] "Which one of us is more confused?  Let's see, we were on vacation last week but we're back."

ME:  "Yes.  I remember that."

HER:  "And you come on Tuesdays."

ME:  "Yes."

HER:  "And today is Tuesday."

ME: [thud!]  "Oh NO!"

I was so confused that she started questioning what day it was.  I was thrown way off.  I only had one walk yesterday so I guess it didn't register as a Monday to me.

Even more weird: Today felt like Wednesday.  I'm all kinds of confused.

Luckily she was very understanding and her husband was home to take care of the dog.  I'll take her dog another day this week.

Los Angeles, dog walker

Monday, October 10, 2005

Yay for Diversity!

Thank you everyone for stopping by with your opinions in my previous entry.  Many of you had never visited my journal before, and vice versa.  I'm looking forward to paying return visits.

I appreciate that we all have different ideas about how things should be - here, there, or elsewhere.  Thank you for playing nice in my sandbox.

We have one more round of voting for the 2005 ViVi Awards. Patrick is hoping to announce the official nominations by the weekend.  When that happens, let's have fun with promotions.  Let's take the time to visit those journals that get nominated.  Even if we already know who we want to vote for.  This is a great opportunity to expand horizons and get to know our neighbors across the way.


Sunday, October 9, 2005

AOL-J Community

It is my opinion that when one assumes the role of community leader (in any community) one forfeits all rights to public opinion - personal or otherwise.  I feel safe in saying, I'm not alone in this thought.

This year's Vivi Awards are supposed to be a community-wide supportive event where we can promote journals we like and recognize them for their uniqueness.  This gives many of us a chance to read journals we might not have otherwise found on our own.  So far, I've read quite a few new-to-me journals that I'm enjoying, based on the public nominations alone.

And we've only just begun.

I would like to remind everyone (myself included) that the awards are named after a valuable member of our community who started it all.  Someone we all know and love.  Seriously, is there one person who can honestly say, "Vivian who?"

I didn't think so!

So in the spirit of the community and for the sake of the awards, I urge all of us to stop reading the personal opinions of those running the show.  Since one in particular refuses to hear my plea and continues to add fuel to a fire, it's up to the rest of us to keep this community together. Differences and all.  Just like Vivian started!

Let it go and have fun.  Why else bother?

Let's remember : "VIVA LA VIVI"


Though this song was written five years ago, it applies to every moment of every day.  It's about finding strength in one's own reflection (finding a friend in the self) to know everything is always okay, even when it's not. singer/songwriter

Nothing fancy.  Just guitar and vocals.  Very simple.  Very raw.  Very true. (and seemingly very quick load time) Los Angeles


yesterday I cried
and I became
so paralyzed
I couldn't see

today I realize
that it came
much to my surprise
how could that be

when I try
I try
to be free
from the demons
from my wounded soul

yesterday I reached out
to a friend I never knew
was always there

today I preach about
my new found faith
I never knew
that I could care (so much)

when I try
I try
to be free
from the demons
from my wounded soul

when I try
I try
to be free
without reason
letting go of all control
for all seasons
letting go of what I know

© 2005 Trish Monaco Music


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Saturday, October 8, 2005

Anne Miller Music

I've been so absorbed in whatever-the-moment-brings, that I've completely forgotten to send a shout out to an old music pal.

Last I saw Anne Miller was during a time when we were singing original music together with mutual friends on the Paramount lot in Hollywood.  Or...well...that's the last time I remember.  It's been a while.

Anne recently directed me to her website.  She's going for it as a musician in her own right.  It's a big deal.  She's putting herself out there.  Her lyrics. Her music. Her self.

Check her out, listen to some tracks and send her a shout (a love-shout).  Support is what any new artist needs - and deserves. 

Anne Miller's Official Website

Way to go Anne.  Keep it up.  

Photo taken by Tricia Lee Pascoe

Thursday, October 6, 2005


It's hard to think peace when there's so much pain and suffering surrounding me.  Cancer, deaths, hospitalizations, surgeries, scary diagnoses, depression, anxiety and the worst: hate.  Fear kills.  And I'm letting it get to me.  I have moments when I remember the truth - you know, not to give in to the fear.  But lately it's been a struggle.

I lost a client who tells me not to take it personally.  Her two-day notice and recent decision to hire a fellow dog walker (at top rate) make it a little difficult for me to not take it personally.  Especially when I worked very hard for her.  I'm hurt and angry.  I'm trying to let it go.

My loss of her dog means loss of another dog (by default) because I picked them up at the same place.  Even though the other was at a massively, ridiculously reduced rate, it's the dog I'll miss most.  For that I ache.

I'm waking up anxious every morning, even before I open my eyes, my heart races and I lose control of my breath.  It's physiological.  I'm worried, stressed, about something.

Perhaps it's all the seemingly bad news around me.  I know it's all in how I look at things.  And it's up to me to create the life I want to live.  I get that.  But can't I just have one day where I say, "this sucks! this totally fuggin sucks!"

What if I don't want to be positive today?  What if I want to be pissed off at the world?  What if I want to feel victimized by the system?

ickhh... none of that sounds very appealing to me.

still sucks.

it all sucks.

It sucks that I get sucked into believing the lies.  The lies that we are not safe.  That we are meant to suffer.  That there's nothing we can do about the cards we're dealt.

Especially when I know that's not true.  It just isn't.  There's always a different perspective available.  It's up to me to choose it.

I will.  I know I will.

But for now, it just sucks.  I need to be with this first.  Then I can slap myself out of it and make something happen.

Like, a screenplay isn't going to write itself.
Music isn't going to record itself.
Promotional dogwalking flyers will definitely not create themselves.
This extra 10 pounds will not jump off my gut on its own.

I'll be back... when I pull myself up and out of this suckage.

Wednesday, October 5, 2005


Wanna have a little fun?  Maybe get a rise outta some folks?  Add a little spark to your days?

How 'bout this...

Get a big black lab and name him JACK.
Feed him a lot.
Train him none.
Do not neuter him.
Set him free at the dog park.
Ignore him when he barks and humps incessantly.

Laugh all the way home as you count how many park goers yelled, "JACK-OFF!"

The rest of us will laugh at your exit as we count how many times you called, "JACK-COME!"

Of course, the joke's probably on the human parents by then anyway.  Commands are not the first things we think about when naming our pets.  Imagine their surprise when they took Jack to his first puppy training class.

Basic commands are essential.  Basically, this dog knows "JACK-SHIT!"

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

The Vivi Awards - Nominations

~ For Your Consideration ~

Here are my picks for nominations in the following categories (partial list) of the upcoming VIVI AWARDS

-- Andi is an original community member.  First to appear on Scalzi's sidebar, back in the summer of 2003.  She's a recently divorced novelist from Indiana, making a new life for herself in the City of Angels.  Her entries range from profoundly emotional to insanely hysterical.  She has been nominated in years past, but this year she deserves the award honors.

-- Hands down.  Anyone who doesn't know of Vince must be new to AOL Journals.  Visit him now.  He's the nicest, most honest, down-to-earth sweetheart of the community.  He not only has my vote but Hunny's chompin at the bit to get her own screen name to cast her one and only vote.

-- Judith could be nominated in many categories.  A leader.  A warrior.  A sister.  An artist.  A healer.  A teacher.  A student of life.  She has overcome many obstacles and continues to make difficult choices based on her truth.  She is a community leader, having held her monthly creative essay contests consistently for over a year.  Her art is unmatched.  She is one of a kind.

-- Steven is an original AOL Journaler.  The best photographer on the web, in my humble opinion.  And by photographer, I mean, someone who knows the ins and outs of the craft, art and business of photography.  He continues to be one of my biggest inspirations as I dabble with digital photography.

-- No one can write a true account of daily life like Tara (”Peachy”).  Always with a moral.  Always with heart.  And always evoking tears of compassion and tears of joy.  Many times they're tears of hysterical laughter.  She is in a league of her own.

-- Pam is an original AOL Journals beta tester.  Having recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, her journal has taken a turn into the depths of her demons as she faces them head-on.  She brings us along on her journey to wellness.  A must-read for all.  Emotional, yes.  LIfe-changingly thought-provoking, definitely!

-- Sharky is deeply filled with substance, never lack of.  She's a beautiful wise soul.  Art and poetry flows out of her seemingly effortlessly.  She does some amazing stuff with original photos.

WHERE LIFE TAKES YOU... -- Becky has it all.  Family, photos, adoption, education, you name it.  She writes directly from the heart and speaks to the core of us. 

-- Jamey (wessolo) - An actor.  A musician.  A baseball fan.  A political pundit.  He may not update as often as we'd all like but he's always got something important to say.  I don’t just visit his journal for a healthy dose of eye candy.  I learn something new every time I read his entries.

-- My choice for this category stretches well beyond her use of grammar.  Tara (pollysci) is a 20-something bundle of information.  I love her posts, whether she's expressing an important personal plight,educating us on current affairs or participating in Patrick's Saturday Six.  Her entries are all chock full of wit and intelligence.

Here's a category where I'm completely torn.  I cannot get myself to choose just one.  I must submit two college journalers.  Things just wouldn't feel right in the universe otherwise.
LIFE OR SOMETHING LIKE IT ~ LIVE FROM THE U -- Sarah’s journal has gone through a few incarnations.  But the one consistent part is her ability to open up and let her writing flow.  Whatever is going on in Sarah's life, she'll be sure to face it head-on.  A strong inquisitive young woman on the rise.
HMM... -- Mallory is an Early Childhood Education major.  I 'met' her when she was just a wee Sophomore.  It's hard to believe she'll be graduating in the spring.  I always enjoy her picture-collages of family and friends.  And anyone who spends all four years of college dedicated to learning how to teach and raise our future leaders deserves the utmost respect.  She's serving our country, our world, by getting a teaching degree.

-- None other than Mikethedawg.  Our beloved Carol.  Deep. Wise. Funny. And a little crazy.  Great combination!  I love this woman.  Clearly best new journal.  Just take my word for it.

-- How is it possible that Gigi isn't a mega-superstar of AOL-J already?  She's brilliant, creative, witty, wise and beautiful.  Hello.  What more can we ask for?

-- Aileen moved to Vegas to be with her beloved and we never heard from her again.  She must be living a full and exciting new life with no time to return emails (and phone calls), because if things weren't right with her world, she would have thecommon courtesy to included us in her misery.  Come on Miss Aileen.  You've had a few months to get settled in Sin City -- now get back to blogging already.

-- Robbie is an honest, tell-it-like-it-is kind of woman.  Her photos and original graphics tell a story along with the realness of her words.  She's strong and intelligent.  And funny as hell.  I still laugh over one of her first comments in my journal almost two years ago.  That woman has wit beyond wit.

~ * ~ * ~

NOMINATING :  To make things easy, copy and paste the contents of this entry into a blank notepad or wordpad.  Then GO HERE to submit your nominations for the 2005 Vivi Awards.

THOUGHT : Many journals may qualify for many categories.  In the spirit of this community, let's try to give each journal only one nomination.  For instance, Patrick's Place may qualify for the title of both, Lord of the Blog and Journal of the Year.  I would encourage you to choose the one category that fits best and nominate a different journal for the remaining category.  The idea here is to spread the love and have fun! 

(note: I use his journal as an example because he has disqualified himself from eligibility as he is the producer of this year's awards program.  Thank you Patrick.)

DISCLAIMER : So many journals.  And only a handful of awards.  If you are not mentioned in this entry, please don't take it personally.  And if you would like to be considered for these awards, don't hesitate to promote yourself.  You can post an entry like this one.  Or GO HERE for ideas on how to promote your journal and others.


Monday, October 3, 2005

Distractions and DoggieWorld News

A little discombobulated over here in TrishLand.

I've been trying to write for days.  It feels uncomfortable when words don't flow.  No music.  No personal journaling.  No public journaling.  No story ideas.  No scripting.  Nothing.

I'm forcing this entry -- for me -- because I want to write.  Not sure what the block is.  I know I have to roll with it.  I get so distracted lately.  I mean, ve.ry. dis.trac.ted.  The Internet is the worst.  TV is the second worst.  Netflix is the third.  And God help me get through this entry before I give in to this hankering for Ben & Jerry's Half Baked frozen yogurt.  I could easily suck down the whole pint to the hysterical knee-slaps of Airplane! on DVD.

Hopefully I'm getting what I need out of all this distraction.  Maybe my creative mind needs a break?  Yeah right.  Sure.  Let's go with that.

A small (but huge) update in doggy world : LUCY

 I've been walking this young, beautiful, strong, aggressive German Shepherd for about a year and a half. 

 ~ She's never been leash-trained or socialized with other animals because when she was rescued, she needed quite a bit of reconstructive surgery on her hind leg.  She spent 5 months of her life in a cast, immobile.  So she acts a little like a wild animal.  She's becoming more familiar with the boundaries and commands but it's a struggle to get the walking collar on her.  I have to be completely on guard when out on a walk with her.  Any sound of a dog nearby can set her off. ~

She would lunge, bark, growl and claw her way toward any other animal that would cross our paths.  I was constantly on guard.

On May 11, 2004 I wrote this in Journey to Peace:

 ~ The goal is to hopefully get her socialized so she can come to the dogpark with us every day.  I believe it's possible. ~

Today was that day!  One year and five months later.

I brought Lucy to the dogpark with us.  I only had a few dogs in my group (since I lost 2 clients in 2 weeks) so today was the perfect day.  I never let her off leash.  I kept her by my side, as if we were walking on her streets.  And she was amazing!  UH.MAY.ZINGGGG!

Her mom was so nervous that she drove to the dogpark and stalked us from her car (we didn't want Lucy to see her, thinking it might distract her from 'training'.)  She was thrilled and amazed by what she saw.  All the dogs were very good with each other.  Lucy wanted to meet everyone.  She even got excited and wanted to play with a few.  Her tail was up and wagging after the first 10 minutes of sniffing around.  She didn't growl once.  Not one little bit.  She didn't hide.  She listened to me.  She liked all the dogs - big, small, male, female, neutered and un-neutered.

I wanted to throw a party and scream and jump up and down.  But that could've put a snag on all our hard work.  The last thing a hyper dog needs is a ticker-tape parade.  So I did the next best thing, praised her with calming, low tones, a strong stance and a few assertive words, "I am very proud of you Lucy."

We won't be able to do this every day.  But I can definitely bring her with a small group on light days.  At least until we both get more used to the idea of being social together.  She's still too unpredictable.  But our training will increase as we run into situations at the park or on hikes.  It's the best practice.  This will be much better for her than a walk in her neighborhood.  She's worked very hard for this moment.  I'm so excited I could burst.

Okay, time for that frozen yogurt and DVD now.

My picks for the Vivi Awards.
Monaco Music Mondays update.
Some cool linkage.


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