Posts Tagged: love

The Coyote’s Ode to the Full Moon

Thursday, March 1st was the full moon. Late Thursday night / very early Friday morning, the local coyote society decided to yip and howl out an ode to the Full Moon.

It started with one coyote making a low keen, a second joined in with a howl, and before you know it a number of coyotes were yipping, keening, and howling – of which started off several local dogs to barking.

The dog barks were in a low, fierce tone. The coyote yips, keens, and howls were at least an octave higher on the musical scale and more delicate. It was as if the coyotes were singing a love song to the full moon.

A Declining Scruffy Hanging Out with Lukas and Erika

A Declining Scruffy Hanging Out with Lukas and Erika

Thurs. 11.10.16 – This is a very rocky week. Starting the day of the election, Scruffy’s back end and legs stopped working for him and by yesterday morning he was unable to walk or even raise up and stabilize his legs.

We had already planned to visit Erika and Lukas today so that Lukas could play with Belle. Erika let Lukas know that Scruffy was at the end of his life and that Lukas would most likely not see him again. Near the end of the visit, Lukas wanted to sit on the couch with an ailing Scruffy in his lap. It was very sweet.

In this photo, Erika was telling Lukas the story of the first time that Lukas met Scruffy.


Sometimes a thought will pop up in my head that is fully formed and completely contrary to current thoughts on a subject and contrary to the evidence at hand, but in the long run the thought will turn out to be completely true and will come to pass. Most of the times that this has happened to me, I am not the primary actor who could or could not make the contrary thought come to pass, usually it is forces that are larger than myself, outside of myself that are the primary actors and my actions are how I react to it or the situation.
I have never been comfortable about calling this knowing a premonition or ESP. I suppose if I was a futurist or an analyst, I would have a lucrative career with these knowings. But mine are much more whimsical, as they are usually about art, music, or people.
I am sure that there are a legion of psychology studies that have explained away or rationalized this type of behavior; but whatever the reason, it still happens.


Reflections: What would you do?


Photo taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N86.

The question of the day at the Ladies Luncheon yesterday is what would you do for your career, any job, that would be a job that you loved and you are good at?
Our answers ranged from 2 personal shoppers, 1 prostitute, 1 mattress tester (aka professional napper), 1 movie reviewer, and 1 travel photographer.
Given my last blog post about a very passionate 15 year old who is determinedly working towards her dream to dance in the Bolshoi Ballet, regardless of your age, circumstances, and current employment situation, what would you do that you love and be good at?
Me, all jokes aside about being the first professional camera phone travel photographer, I would love to be on a team that is creating camera phones or is creating software for camera phones and I would be good at it.
And you? Do tell.

I have Dreed my Dree, I have Wooed my Wyrd

On May 28th of this year, after the Google I/O conference, I got to SFO a wee bit early and picked up a book at the bookstore in the airport that I had put on my wishlist at Amazon a few months earlier. The book was “Incredible Good Fortune, New Poems” by Ursula K. Le Guin.
I love Ursula Le Guin, she is a writer who is up there in the Holy Septinity of Writers in my book of reading love along with Madeline L’Engle, JRR Tolkein, Charles de Lint, Anne Dillard, C.S. Lewis, and Dave Hickey. I even more love it when authors cross genre and write in a form that is not their usual fare.
I particularly love it when a fiction writer or a very thoughtful nature writer takes time to write poems. Almost all of my Holy Septinity of Writers has published a book or two or three of poetry or has embedded poetry & verse in their fiction, with the possible exception of Dave Hickey. Then again, Hickey is not a fiction writer but one of the preminent cultural critics in the the US in the last 30 years and writes hysterically funny and pointed pieces on art & rock’n’roll. As for Hickey, I just wish he would publish more often.
All this being said, I took Le Guin’s “Incredible Good Fortune, New Poems” with me today down to the Grandparent’s place so that I could read some poems while we waited. About 5 or so pm, everyone left except me, Grandma, and Bill. The Aunts Dana & Anne went back to Anne’s house, Mom & Allison went to go get Mom’s bag and sleeping bag as Mom has overnight duty tonight. I stayed to hang out with Bill and Grandma, even though Bill wasn’t so chatty to say the least.
I know I briefly explained the situation here, but Bill, age 93, went to the hospital last Monday for dehydration and a blood sugar level of 850. While he was there, it was determined that he was at the end of the road and soon to be off to the Great Fishing Lake. Bill did not want to die at the hospital, but in his own tempur-pedic bed at home under Hospice Care. After much to do, he was transported back from the hospital to home yesterday morning.
Ever since, the various family members have been waiting in vigil, both to honor Bill and support Grandma. Bill last spoke on Wednesday, and as of early yesterday afternoon, while appearing to be asleep he could hear folks talking to him, but as of yesterday later afternoon he has been a coma.
Most of what we have been doing is sitting in his room and talking to him. Letting him know that it is ok to go. This is important, as in a family full of folk born between April 20 and May 12th (Taurus people, a pack of stubborn bulls), Bill has been one of our best and most stubborn, faithful, and loyal constituents.
After all the folk left late this afternoon, I went into Bill’s room with the book of Le Guin’s poetry and started to read poems to him. Bill West grew up in Washington State, and taught Forestry and was the Forestry Department Chair at University of Oregon in Corvalis for his career. Bill has had a deep and abiding love of the forest, lakes, and nature of the Pacific Northwest. Le Guin has lived in Portland for many years and more than a few of the poems in the book are about the Northwest as well as about aging and dying.
So far, my favorite line from the whole book is from the first poem called “The Old Lady”, which starts with “I have dreed my dree, I have wooed my wyrd.” Or in rough translation of the Scots and older forms of English, ” I have endured my hardship, I have wooed my Fate (or The Fates).” I read the poem to my brother yesterday, and he who does not like poetry was intrigued.
I figured that reading Le Guin to Bill would be appropriate, not just for the thematic poems that would be relevant to his life, but also for this one:

Nine Lines, August 9
The gold of evening is closing,
drawing in, tightening.
The light is losing. It is
a little frightening
how fast August goes.
Others have noticed this.
The cat on his concealed switchblade toes
comes by, and what he says
is silent, but enlightening.

The gold of the evening is closing and while Bill may spend his last hours silent in words, he has dreed his dree, and wooed his wyrd.

Sweet Love, Sweet Art

Vikki and James outside of Elite Restaurant in Monterey Park The Getty James and Vikki Laughing Vikki taking photo of fountain, Italian girl taking photo of reclining Boyfriend

Strand of Hair Aloft! Staircase in the West Wing of the Getty Museum James praying at the altar of mobile photography and art V&J Across the Way
Photos taken on Sat. 05.02.09 by Jen Hanen with a Nokia N79.

Sat 05.02.09 – Oh Sweet, Young Love. Sometimes when one of your friends is in love, it can be a bit too sweet, a bit sticky; but at other times it can be sweet indeed to know your friend is so happy.
It was good fun to hang out with James Whatley and Vikki Chowney today, and sweet indeed to see them both so happy. I am glad that they decided to take their much needed holiday, or escape from London to SoCal.
We had a good time going to dim sum at the Elite Restaurant in Monterey Park, driving around downtown, stopping to take photos at the Gehry Disney Concert Hall, driving from the start of Sunset Blvd at Main Street all they way to the 405 fwy, and then off to the Getty Center and Museum on the hill for the views and the art. After toddling about the Getty for a few hours Matt Singley and his lady met up with us and I departed for home.
All and all a lovely day.

SpinVox, Let Me List All the Ways I Love You…

1) No more voicemail.
2) SpinVox converts all my voicemail messages into text form or as an email.
3) Did I mention no more listening to voicemail?
I won’t continue to tell you how excited I am that I have not had to listen to voicemail the last month… But I am excited and going to tell you about it. SpinVox, I love you.
Anyone who knows me spent a few years in the mid-2000s remembers being very frustrated with me, as I had my voicemail turned off completely. Yes, I flummoxed some poor defenseless AT&T Wireless employee by calling to request that my voicemail be completely turned off. It took about 15 minutes for me to convince him I was serious and that I wanted it completely deactivated. Turned off.
I happily lived from 2003 to 2006 with no voicemail on my mobile phone. I did have an answering machine at home that I would listen to when I was ready, which was usually at the end of the night & I would return calls the next day. And folks could text me on my mobile or send an email which I check multiple times a day from my computer & mobile. I have had an email enabled mobile since 2003.
Why did I do this? I really love asynchronous technologies and methods of communication. By asynchronous, I mean that the technology or communication that does not require instant response but allows the person receiving to read, process, and to return the communication when ready. Many have written about the stresses of always being on and plugged in, my way of dealing with the expectation that some folks have that one will always be available NOW is to set boundaries as to when I am available.
No, I will not pick up a phone call after 10pm or before 10am, unless it was prearranged. No, I don’t pick up the phone when I am in a store or in a meeting or when having dinner. Etc.
Thus voicemails pile up. Some of them are important communiques that one needs the info fairly immediately, some are just “Hi! Was thinking about you!”, some are long funny ramblings, and some are random who the heck are you. By the time one has dialed up the voicemail, listened to the messages, wrote down the important bits, deleted the rest, and hung up, I am frustrated by the inefficiency of the whole process.
Thus the genius of SpinVox. Our new best friends at SpinVox have a nice set of computers that record the voicemail from the caller when you can’t answer your calls, the nice computers then use voice recognition software to translate the voicemail to a text and/or email, and within 1-4 minutes a nice text arrives at one’s phone and a nice email comes down the pike as well.
One never has to listen to one’s voicemail ever again. Thank the deities of voice recognition software!
Example a client called me the other day, when I was trying to talk to the Auto folks at the Toyota service area and I could not pick up. Before I finished my conversation with the Toyota service rep, I already had a set of texts waiting for me with my client’s message. So, efficient. So nice.
Receiving texts and/or emails with the voicemails transcribed is particularly when folks are giving details that you would otherwise need to write down, like directions or phone numbers, as they arrive already written down.
I have chosen to receive both text to my mobile and emails to my gmail, I have been saving every voicemail to email for later reference. Why? Well, some of them are darned funny as the voice recognition does not get every detail right and does its best to compensate, its translations can be darned funny.
SpinVox does save all the actual voicemails for you if you want to listen to them or if it did not get all the important bits. The parts that the software can’t recognize and transcribe is rendered as ________ and SpinVox gives you a reference number for that message. A reference number? Yep, so rather than listening to every danged voicemail to get to the one you want, when you call in the SpinVox system will ask which message you want to listen to. Fabulous!
SpinVox also allows you to verbally blog to your website, as well as send messages and other services, but I am still so excited about SpinVox converting voicemails into text form that I have yet to explore their other services.
My only complaint about SpinVox is that it took me months to get signed up as when one goes to their website it appears from the front page that the service is only for the UK and folks who have UK based mobile carriers. I was under this impression until May of this year when James Whatley, SpinVox’s evangelist, corrected my error and let me know it was also for the US and many other countries. It is not until one clicks on the “SpinVox for You” menu item that one sees that one can choose a country other than the UK. The country options should be on the front page so that SpinVox does not lose business.
SpinVox, thanks for the great product and user experience. Y’all rock.

Today’s Big Adventure….

Erika at Dim Sum Lauren at Dim Sum The Huntington Library & Gardens Cactus Sale Succulent Flower Lauren & Erika as we walked through the Cactus Sale Grotto at the Huntington Library In Blue Boy's Room Lauren, Erika, and Orchids In the Rose Garden Yellow Roses with Dusty Rose Rims Bloomed Rose and Bud Blooming Koi at the Japanese Garden Dave Asks Lauren to Marry Him!
Engaged! Dave and Lauren. Composite Pink Flower in the Herb Garden Tree Flower Petals Fallen
All photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia N95 on Sat. June 28, 2008 at the Ocean Star Restaurant and at the Huntington Library and Gardens.

Sat 06.28.08 – Today Erika and I had the great pleasure of helping Dave surprise Lauren by leading her off into distraction land, so that he could ask her to marry him without her having a clue of what was to transpire.
Over a week and a half ago, Dave emailed me asking if I could help him pull off surprising Lauren, who is the ultimate planner and very hard to surprise. I said yes, I would love to help, but give me some time to cook up a few good options in subterfuge. That day I talked to Erika about it, we decided that we should trick Lauren with a plan to go to lunch and a museum for Erika’s “birthday”. I was determined that this would go off properly and that Dave’s presence in Southern California would be a big surprise.
Today “The Plan” was executed – Erika, Lauren, and I had a lovely dim sum lunch at the Ocean Star in Monterey park. After a good lunch we proceeded on to the Huntington Library & Gardens, where we went to the “This Side of Paradise” Photo Exhibit and to the Main House to visit Pinky & Blue Boy. Much chatter and laughter. Then off to the Rose Garden. Erika kept Lauren busy, while I texted Dave on our progress towards the Japanese Garden where he awaited our arrival.
I won’t go into all the details, but let’s just say that Lauren had no clue and was VERY surprised to have Dave tap her shoulder while she was taking a photo of a water lily at the Japanese Gardens.
And let’s just say that Erika & I were very happy that D&L were very very very happy.
Dave & Lauren:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.