BY ME114

01/01 Direct Link
The Twilight Zone Marathon again. Danny and I were totally into it together, every year. Itís one of the many things I miss sharing with him. Every time one of his favorites comes on I hope in some way he is with me, watching it. His favorites were:

Hocus Pocus and Frisby (probably the one he enjoyed most)
The Masks
The Brain Center at Whippleís
To Serve Man
Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?
Nightmare at 20,000 Feet
Nick of Time

He liked Robert Duvallís performance in Miniature. I never get tired of TZ.
It's timeless and brilliant.
01/02 Direct Link
At one point, I took photos of the cats at the local Humane Societyís adoption center, hoping to help their adoptions. They only shelter cats, some smaller animals and the occasional dog or two. Animal Control only shelters dogs.

June 30th, while bringing in my disk of photos, someone had just come in with a tiny female kitten found in a parking lot. This pet store adoption center doesnít do intake. I said Iíd take her. Miette is now approximately 7 - 8 months old, permanently small, lively and adorable. She is the best thing to happen to me in 2009.
01/03 Direct Link
Iím writing from the ďBusiness CenterĒ at a hotel in Jacksonville, Florida. My friend, Kim did the long driving. It's so odd for me; for over 20 years, Danny and I drove here together. So many familiar places, so many stories. To say the least, Iím sad to be doing this trip without Danny, but there are many good memories. Now Iím sure that thereís a big part of me still in denial.

Dinner with some of my in-laws was really nice, and Iím glad Kim got to meet them.
I hope Iíll get to see some Jax friends, too.
01/04 Direct Link
Still in Jax. Mildly funny incident: I was on line at Publix when I heard the cashier say something to the man she was checking out about his ďkitties.Ē I guess he was buying cat food and/or litter. I couldnít resist getting into this conversation. He said he has three and he put in a dog door so they could come and go. I said, ďI have five, and have a dog door on my bedroom door.Ē He thought five is too many, and that was spoiling them too much. Ah! I said, ďBut my cats are worth it.Ē
01/05 Direct Link
It took a lot of riding around in the dark, but Kim and I finally found a restaurant on the advice of a guy who worked at another restaurant. Where 3rd deadends into Atlantic Blvd., it's artsy, quaint, with gift shops and a gallery or two, and very nice restaurants. Okay, there was one I'd been to years ago. It's incredible: in over 20 years I'd been visiting Jax with Danny, I had barely a clue, and now I know my way around quite a bit in the space of a few days. We ate at "Sundog." It was amazing.
01/06 Direct Link
Today Kim and I will be leaving. I need to go to the credit union and there are more places we want to see. I wish I could've seen more people. Tina, my mother-in-law (Danny's stepmother) has a terrible case of flu. Sheís the sweetest person and doesn't deserve this. One of my resolutions is to be more involved with Tina. Her grandson lives with her; I think he's 18. I said, "Tell Derek to take care of you." She said, "He's as useless as tits on a boar hog." We laughed!! She said her mother used to say that.
01/07 Direct Link
It was worth leaving late, to have another nice meal, peruse the shops and walk on the beach, collecting shells.

On the beach, Kim met a man she had met before, looked to be around in his 80's. He's an MD (retired, I assume), who started out as a psychiatrist, and was one who's therapies included LSD and mescaline. I had seen a documentary on this. These drugs really helped some patients before becoming illegal, and this doctor said that street use ruined them, making them dangerous and unregulated.

Thanks to Kim, we both get to meet some interesting people.
01/08 Direct Link
I like snakes, so why this? Yeah, I would be scared of venomous snakes.

I dreamt that there was a rattlesnake - no, copperhead, no, rattlesnake... trying to get in through the glass sliding door. It's tongue flickered through an opening, and there was a bird there which I hoped would distract it enough. Suddenly, it was inside. I was terrified it would kill one or more of my cats. Koji, my Siamese, killed - severed it, but Miette stepped in the venom that spilled from the dead snake. I freaked, trying to get Mom to drive me to the emergency vet.
01/09 Direct Link
Have I mentioned this before? I'm in a sort of class called "DBT" - Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. I don't know what else to write about at the moment, so I chose this. And no, DBT is not just for people with borderline personality disorder. I've been assured I don't have that.

At the core of it, or so it seems, is the practice of "mindfulness." It's basically being observant, being in-the-moment, much of which is in Buddhist practices. Even though I've been in this class for a long time, I feel like I have a long way to go.
01/10 Direct Link
C.B. has a tumor in his face. Not sure if I've written this, so it may be a rerun. I've lost cats to cancer before, but I can't ignore this. C.B. is such a great cat, I don't want to lose him. If it makes him more comfortable to reduce the tumor, then that's what matters most. In December, I took him to a clinic in Atlanta to have radiation treatments for a week. When I first got him back, he looked worse, but now the tumor is definitely looking smaller. He's been sneezing, though; maybe it's irritation.
01/11 Direct Link
I stayed in a pet-friendly hotel with C.B. It was nice until about 2 or 3 a.m. when he wouldn't stop meowing. Poor little hungry guy! I was instructed to remove his food at 10 p.m. because he'd start his radiation treatments the next day. That evening, I'd visited a friend and her family. Laura was a good friend from high school who moved to Atlanta about 6 months ago. I thoroughly enjoyed the visit! When I got back, I put the harness on C.B. for the first time and walked him around the hotel.
01/12 Direct Link
Sometimes people tell me I'm coping well, but I don't think so. I didn't cope that well before I lost Danny, and now I'm worse than ever. I'm more overwhelmed by things I'm not getting done, scared to live or die, missing him so terribly that the grief is mixed with an awful lot of frustration at not being able to undo the past. Other people get to be in love and be a couple. I had that. Our marriage wasn't perfect, none are, but it was good and I think Danny was as proud of it as I was.
01/13 Direct Link
Kimís teenage son brought home a pair of gerbils some months ago. Now, there are 13. The first litter is still young and cute, and the second is about two weeks old and even cuter. Now, they want to give away all of them. I came over tonight to help sex them in order to separate them. Not so easy. To take two is temping, but no. In childhood, I sadly never got to have a cat or dog; we had turtles and then our gerbil, Frisky. Now that I have five cats, I donít think I should have gerbils.
01/14 Direct Link
I finally got rid of both futons. They were old and stained, so I advertised them for people who have big dogs, ď...why should they suffer on the cold ground?Ē I was surprised how quickly I got responses. Charities wouldnít take them, so this worked out very well. Itís certainly better than my having to pay a removal service to dump them, and if it makes animals comfortable, Iím all for it. Now, what to do about the sofa frame? No more heavy futons. Either foam cushions or Iíll sell the frame. Giving away: not so hard. Selling: much harder.
01/15 Direct Link
I had C.B. hospitalized for two nights. Heís doing well. I held him while the assistant, the vet and I discussed his treatments. C.B. was enthusiastically affectionate, licking and rubbing my neck and face. They couldnít help but say, ďAww!Ē You see that behavior in dogs, but not often in cats except at home.

While driving home with C.B., we went through Downtown, passing the shell that was once The Georgia Theatre. The doors were open and itís still upsetting to see emptiness and wreckage inside since the fire. Many memories, especially from when Danny played there.
01/16 Direct Link
I wish the Magnetic Poetry had more words. Itís one of the gifts I got from Danny because Iíd told him it was something Iíd always wanted. Iíve done at least two that Iíve included in my entries here before. I couldnít think of what to write, so hereís another. This one is obviously about Danny:

If I sit here
Playing your fast, live music
I recall how sweet
It felt as together they worshipped
Luscious, driving licks produced
By your arms and fingers
I see it still
But none needed you
As essentially as I did
And always will
01/17 Direct Link
Avatar. I had no intention of missing this movie. Kim had doubts because sheís not into fantasy/science fiction like I am, but she really liked it. Iíd never seen a whole movie in 3D before. Thatíll spoil me for regular movies. We agreed weíd like to see it again, and in IMAX. I can see why itís making so much money. Itís so beautiful, you want to visit that environment again and again. It has powerful political, spiritual and ecological messages that strike many a familiar chord. I predict a lasting impact in many ways and maybe a sequel.
01/18 Direct Link
When I finally woke up to stay up, it was after a dream that left me depressed for a long time. I wonít go into details. I wasted my day consciously, meaning I watched three movies in a row: the three Star Wars prequels. It had been a long time since Iíd seen them and there was much I didnít remember. Also, I wanted to understand more of the political aspects of the story. So I thought, why not watch them? In short, the ďRepublicĒ was a bureaucratic mess which weakened it to become a dictatorship. I think thatís it.
01/19 Direct Link
A forced promise is not a real promise.

The same with a secret. Unless youíre absolutely sure of an implicit understanding, ask permission first, ďMay I tell you a secret?Ē "NoĒ means no. Donít tell something in confidence and then spring a forced vow of secrecy after youíve told it.

No one person is more important than another. The janitor deserves to be treated with as much respect as the CEO.

To some people: Just because you and I may share a race or similar background doesnít mean I share your prejudices, and donít expect me to not be offended.

01/20 Direct Link
I donít know what to write about. Nothing appeals to me. Something I did today? I ate at a restaurant alone, big deal. I thought of describing something in the room, like the bookcase Danny made for me out of some kind of crate thatís just the size for paperbacks and how I have too much in it, most of which I havenít read or finished. What about that thing-you-want-to-do-before-you-die stuff? See Europe, at least. Wish I could travel. Sometimes I feel ambitious, other times, like Iím just marking time. I miss Danny.
01/21 Direct Link
I felt like doing another Magnetic Poetry creation. Why this subject? Itís just what came out. Itís like a game not having all the words you need, and I promise that I donít cheat, I just make it work. Here goes:

I see in a misty, delicate vision
A woman, a goddess
With shining hair
And a gorgeous white gown
On a smooth, easy road of rose petals
And diamonds
With the man she loves.
How sweetly we would dream as girls,
Wanting the moon
And to be her,
Always loving him
In a picture of beauty,
Together for eternity.
01/22 Direct Link
One hundred bottles of words on the wall, one hundred bottles of wordsÖ

A foggy, post-midnight drive from late grocery shopping tonight, my last errand. Some people shop at night. Itís worth it for the parking.

What will I write tonight?

If you miss the train Iím on, you will know that I am gone. You can hear the whistle blow 100 WordsÖ

Home. A cat - Tab? They donít know I named him. If thatís him, now heís scared of me and limping. Assures me that I did right by making Koji mine. Wish I could save them all.
01/23 Direct Link
I love to reread my 100 Words entries. Memories, I guess. Iím surprised I never wrote about the San Francisco trip in 2000. Okay, when I canít think of anything to write, hereís another source I can draw on.

This was the third time in my life Iíd been there. Danny and I took this trip with our friends Eddie and Lesley while they were still married. I think we stayed a week. Did a bunch of touristy things, but why not? I finally got to see Alcatraz this time. Beauty, ugliness and long history all in one small island.
01/24 Direct Link
The electricity went off in the whole neighborhood. Thatís another thing I miss about living in New York City, that the power lines are underground so theyíre never affected by storms. Itís not a thunderstorm this time, just a lot of rain. I havenít missed writing every day this month, and I wonít miss it now, so Iím writing by hand. Iím glad we can add entries later.

Good thing, this little lantern. Why hadnít I bought one years ago? Better than candles and flashlights. Found my radio with batteries in it. NPR is good on Sundays, anyway. Thatís 100.
01/25 Direct Link
I donít believe in Hell. Heaven may be another dimension, but maybe as more of a learning place than a total paradise. Why should there be ďHellĒ when thereís enough of it here on earth? I was thinking that recently while watching a documentary about the Swat Valley region of Pakistan on the Afghan border. So many areas in the world are hell enough. Then thereís Haiti. When I first heard about the earthquake, I said, ďHasnít Haiti suffered enough?Ē Just now, I bought something on eBay solely for the 100% donation going to GlobalGiving Relief Fund for Haiti Earthquake.
01/26 Direct Link
Yesterday, the 25th was the third anniversary of Dadís passing. Not too late to write of a good memory of Dad. He wouldíve been 89, turning 90 in December. Iíd wanted to believe he wouldíve made it to his 90ís. Time goes by so fast.

Last week, I was rereading some of Dadís poetry. I think he stopped writing in his 20ís or early 30ís. He was extremely good, and Iíve always wanted to have a book of his work published. Someday, I will. He enjoyed his poems throughout his life even though he didnít keep writing.
01/27 Direct Link
Iím addicted to Bejeweled 2. Iíd never before bought a computer game. Now Iím hooked. Iíve gotten better at it, which is bad. I know it gives me a false sense of accomplishment. I know itís a distraction, and I need to not be playing it late at night or I wonít be able to sleep. After awhile, I see the shapes in my head, floating, exploding, and the music keeps popping back in. In my mind, one of the tunes sings, ďYou know, you knowÖĒ

This is why I havenít gotten into more complicated, sophisticated games. Iíd never leave.
01/28 Direct Link
Being a music fan was a huge part of my life from the 60ís through the 80ís. Life changes, and see my 6/5/07 entry. Starting out as a Beatles fan, (still am, forever), I first learned about them when my brother said they were coming to the U.S. and we watched them on Ed Sullivan. I was little, but it made a lifelong impression. People too young to have experienced The Beatlesí music when it was fresh and innovative may not understand the excitement we felt on hearing it, especially when new material was released.
01/29 Direct Link
So far, Iíve decided to not do February.

Itís been a good experience doing 100 Words again, and an exercise in self-discipline which I need. Almost always, Iíve been writing much too late at night, or rather, early in the morning with no sleep. Then, once I get on the computer, itís hard to get off. Itís unusual that it is 5:40 p.m. and not a.m. as I write this.

On February 7th, it will be two years since I lost my husband. I wouldíve written about that. Yeah, and a week later is Valentineís Day.
01/30 Direct Link
Hereís what I want you to do if you havenít already, only if you know you can. Go adopt a cat and/or a dog, preferably one who needs a home. If you adopt from a kill shelter youíd possibly save that life; from a no-kill shelter youíd save the life of the next animal needing immediate rescue. Adopting two or three is better for their overall health. Love them and take care of their needs and comforts for the rest of their lives. What you get in return is immeasurably rewarding and will make you a better person.
01/31 Direct Link
I wrote every day this month. Started off with Twilight Zone as any January, then: adopting kitten Miette, writing from Jacksonville, a creepy dream, DBT and mindfulness, cat C.B.ís adventures and treatments, missing Danny, gerbils (I donít blame Kim for wanting to rehome them all), goodbye to futons, general frustrations, random thoughts, musings, Avatar, Star Warsí politics, two Magnetic Poetry poems, vacation trip in 2000, writing without electricity, hell on earth, remembering Dad and his poetry, Beatles, I wonít write in February, why you should get a pet, and some other things. Maybe Iíll see you in March.