Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The End

No worries, just the end of 2008. There's plenty more to come from "Deep In The Forrest". Stick around, I'll be back in 2009 with renewed vigor and plenty more words. But until then...


Go on, have a blast and ring in the new year. Please be safe whatever you do.



Mark Twain Said It Best! "New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual."

And here are just a few others...

May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions.
~Joey Adams

One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.
~John Burroughs

Maybe time for a toast?

Irish toast:
In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want.

Benjamin Franklin:
Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thank You Mario But Our Princess Is In Another Castle

Two thousand eight... 2008... Two Zero Zero Eight... anyway you slice it, what a year it has been! It was lightening fast. My family started 2008 after a bit of a better holiday last year, I think, but then January brought us in (albeit nearer the end of the month) with Dad going into the hospital after falling and busting his head, causing more problems, and more decline of his condition. Then we wrapped the year up with the same, a hospital visit and a worsened condition. I can't lie, this was the worst year for me and the 'holiday spirit'. Just the way things have been around my childhood home, and my feelings about it all, I've fought depression and reasoned with myself about the realities of life, and then of course work, band, and the rest of everyday life is really enough to keep us all occupied. It keeps on moving though, and it's like being on a fast motorcycle, you gotta pick your feet up and lean with the bike on the turns or you're gonna get "P3WNED!!!"

Wow, I was really planning on saying a lot more in this blog entry, like a run-down of my latest rants and all, but I swear I still just feel ultra low on emotional energy, and my fingers just don't feel like the extra mile. So we'll go with what I have.

So basically, the title of my (official) year-end blog entry for 2008 just seems to fit how I'm feeling right about now. We've played the game, we've lost a few men, we've tried to find all the bonuses and rack up as many points as possible, still we get to the end and find out that we didn't quite accomplish all we set out to do this go-around. Therefore the message seems to fit, "Thank You Mario But Our Princess Is In Another Castle." If you ever played Super Mario Bros growing up, you will understand that, and having played it alot with my neices, and throughout the video-game generation, I identify. If not, I hope at least you might see the point I am trying to make.

Can 2009 Be A Better Year??

I thought it might be fitting at year's end to do a little 'statistical' data on 'The Forrest'. Some people put a few things up here and there throughout the year, and I really haven't in a long time, so I will. Just a few fun facts I guess.

Let's start with the top keywords for 2008. I tried looking through the top 50, and they're not all interesting enough to put up, so I will give you my favorite keywords out of the top 50 (courtesy of Google Analytics.

  1. full frontal friday - Something I started and didn't have the material or creativity to keep it up, but still people somehow find my blog with these keywords.
  2. memphis top blog pages - Hmm, would be nice to know that I am one of those, but I highly doubt it.
  3. tu morrow - Celebrities and their baby-naming skills are always a hit.
  4. josie grossy - I'm not the only one who identifies with Drew Barrymore's character in "Never Been Kissed"
  5. homemade jamz band - Very talented kids
  6. people in hell want ice water - Well, they do
  7. aunt jackie - One fantastic Aunt, who happens to have a dance named after her apparently.
  8. raffe's beer garden - Had a few mentions on the blog, great place for Mediterraneann flavor and a few beers!
  9. birthday spankings - Come on, you know you want some.
  10. dear santa i want a stick - Don't ask me WTF these people were looking for.
  11. back in the day when things were cool - Good song, and of course we all wish we could go back there.
  12. fullfrontalfriday - (See #1)
  13. spankings - Always an opportunity for fun.
  14. dick chop video - Part of the BME Pain Olympics, and a video that nobody needs to see.
  15. elvis is dead and i don't feel so good myself - Well he is, and I don't... lol
  16. ramesses shadow tattoos - Best Tattoo Spot in Memphis
  17. butterflies, zebras, moonbeams - I love Jimi Hendrix, and his song, "Little Wing" has more than a little significance for me.
  18. butterflies and zebras and moonbeams and fairy tales (see #17), and this is obviously true for others.
  19. some of the worst mistakes of my life have been haircuts - Jim Morrison-related quote, but rings true for us all.
  20. weird things to do in an elevator - This theme seemed quite popular for keywords to my blog. You'd think I would be surprised.
  21. mark it zero - Related to "The Big Lebowski" and one of the funniest scenes from the movie.
  22. hump day jokes - Always good, but I don't recall having many of them here.
  23. strippers caught on video - Interesting that this brought folks to my blog
  24. tgif drinks - Sometimes you just gotta have one
  25. that'd be great - yeah it would
  26. things that were cool - are most likely not cool now huh... but still they brought folks in
  27. top 10 things to do in an elevator - More elevator stuff, what kind of girl do you think I am? ;)
  28. bme pain olympics dick chop - related to #14
  29. butterflies and zebras and moonbeams (see above)
  30. forrest people - (?!?)
  31. full frontal tattoo - Yeah I got em
  32. laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion . . . . i myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward - This one was long, and I am baffled by it. Anyone? Anyone?
  33. legion of divine punishment - My husband's ex-band, LDP, "Legion of Divine Punishment", mentioned in the posts about how he and I met.
  34. some of the worst mistakes in my life have been haircuts - (see above)
  35. "deep in the forest" - Yes but missing an "r", I spell "Forrest" that way on purpose.
  36. 100 things to do in an elevator - Now you're talkin, let's get creative here... any suggestions?? Personal Experiences?
Ok that was fun I guess...

I had 12,173 total visits since January 1, 2008, 8054 of those being "unique" visitors.
*The Highest Hit Day: March 22, 2008 with 187 hits for Easter Bunny Is Coming For You (for whatever reason)

Finally, my appreciation goes to my top bloggers (or sites) who referred visits (whether themselves or others) in 2008. Most of these are part of my blog family and I am quite fond of. Remember, these are in order of # of hits coming from these urls.

1. fourdinners.blogspot.com (Four Dinners xoxo!! He's my Hero)
2. olebluetheheretic.blogspot.com (Ole Blue, a great writer)
3. cynicalbstd.blogspot.com (Jay is really high competition with his Vlogs, and the way he Rocks his Viking hat, he Rules!)
4. barnze.wordpress.com (Barnze was my first official member of the blog family, He's the best!)
5. further-on-up-the-road.blogspot.com (Furtheron is one cool talented guy, I enjoy his words)
6. zigzagman.blogspot.com (Zig, although I rarely hear from him anymore is still tops in my book)
7. fubar69.blogspot.com (Nothingman, yeah he is a great writer/poet so glad to know him)
8. pickledbeef.blogspot.com (Tink I learned about through the Weekly Words Challenge, but now am a regular visitor of hers too)
9. bbc-spiritsdoings.blogspot.com (BBC definitely dances to the beat of his own drum!)
10. anothermanicstreetpreacher.blogspot.com (Four Dinners again, he switched blogs, and he rocks)
11. the-tranquility-of-solitude.blogspot.com (Cappy is one sweety pie, and a mod but we'll give him a break for that... haha kidding Cappy!)
12. fabflawed.dreamhosters.com (My blog sister, Awa!)
13. sibupegasuspower.blogspot.com (One of my newer family memebers through the WWC)
14. mostlyinappropriatetales.blogspot.com (Blondie rocks, even if she's elusive sometimes!!)
15. mallofmemphis.org (an old dead mall now, but I wrote an article on this page and I guess it gets hits)
16. speedcathollydale.blogspot.com (Speedy is definitely a unique cat!)
17. farmerdave.blogspot.com (He's quiet around the Forrest, but he runs an enjoyable blog too)
18. greenlighton.wordpress.com (Mike has a unique slant on life, and from his own experiences takes us on quite a journey)
19. imissmychildhood.blogspot.com (Chelly is fantastic, and thanks to her, we can enjoy our childhood memories and share stories)
20. wormbrain.com (Interesting and unique blog, although I haven't been by lately, sorry worm!)

You guys are all so cool, and I am glad to have you in my blogosphere. You Rock... Thanks for hanging with me in 08'... But now, let's get movin' and shakin' make 2009 a better year for us all... Best of luck and lots of love from my house to yours (and better luck next time Mario!) -AJ

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Seven

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY
RICHIE AND ME!




Has It Really Been Seven Years?!?

I love you with all of my heart. Thanks for always being just you.

Richie and Jackie
December 28, 2001

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Deb

It's one of my sisters' birthdays today, she was born the day after Christmas, which I'm sure happened to be a bummer sometimes. But there are plenty of people born too close to various holidays. She made do. I want to wish Deb a very Happy Birthday today, December 26th. :)

Anyways, I've been in and out, and I haven't had time to get around to blog hop during Christmas, but will be back through to check on you guys very soon.

So, my apologies for that, I am not trying to ignore ya. It's been very busy, and I've just had my mind on so many family things lately with Dad's ongoing dilemma and all. Hope things get back happy and semi-normal soon, but I have my doubts. Looks like we're in this for the long haul. :(

In the spirit of important people in our lives, this video, Social Distortion "Don't Take Me For Granted", I might have posted before but I like it, and it fits. Here's a little music to tide you over... don't take anyone you care about for granted. It's true, you never know how much time you have to enjoy with them while they're here. Take it away Mike!!



Anyways, I'll update you guys soon, thanks to everyone who sent Merry X-mas messages, and festive wishes. The holiday wasn't all bad. I truly hope you all enjoyed yourselves.

Have a great Friday or Weekend, etc, and I'll see you soon!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Naughty or Nice? (WWC)

Not sure that I, Aunt Jackie, would be on Santa's nice list (if he really does keep up on all that) rofl. But as we're celebrating this week, it's time for a little Christmas Cheer... right?

No matter the hard times that have been going on for my family, or myself, I always find time to be plenty naughty... don't you worry about that!

It is very near Christmas, so what a perfect time for Tink (Our WWC Mistress), to choose such a theme as "Naughty" and "Nice". She's probably been a little naughty herself... so Tis The Season, and here we go my fellow bad boys and girls.

I don't know two more "Naughty"
boys than these two brothers.


You might remember this "Naughty" devil.


Could that same "Naughty" devil actually become
a "Nice" Christmas Angel?

Blade probably cannot decide if he wants to
be a "Naughty" or "Nice" driver
(give him a break, he's only 2) lol

And that's all she wrote, or I wrote I guess you could say for this week's "Weekly Words Challenge" (WWC). I think they are giving it a break through the holiday. Tink is closin her down until January 6th! I'm sure it's a much deserved break for us all.

Don't forget that If you haven't joined the fun yet but want to, go to Tink's Blog for details. Don't forget, we also have a Flickr group for easy shareability. Plus, you get to find out the new words at least an hour earlier. Happy snapping!

One more thing for today I guess. I may or may not be able to post again before Christmas, or right therein, so I wanted to share one more Christmas Video. This one is bringing back my favorite Bird, "Snowball" the Cockatoo. He's dancing in the cheer... I give you, "Snowball's Snowy Christmas". That sweet bird sure makes me smile.

Alright. Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year Friends!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Spinning Me

We went back to our old gym again. It's larger, has more amenities, and it is cheaper. We still like to try to go in before work and grab a good cardio workout, so this morning I forget that Mondays are "Spin Class", and they group all of the little bikes used for "Spinning" over in the corner. I thought getting away from them would help, but the overzealous "Murial Hemmingway-esqe" teacher shouted, "Woo-Hoo'd" and chanted loud enough, still, to ruin my morning workout. Once I made it through that, and all the eye-rolling and under-breath cussing, I decided to hit up the "Hot Box", or Sauna for some heat and relaxation. It was not long before some incessant "Clanker" began clanking around the bathroom, slamming doors, and flushing toilets and having unnecessarily loud conversations around the shower area. I have to wonder... "Why Me?!?!" It's like I attract the clankers and the clackers and stompers and the "Yoo-Hoo'ers" of the world. And furthermore, why DO they get on my nerves so? Why can't I shut these people out?? Geez. Vicious cycle.

Is in Ur Gym Swetin To Tha Oldiez

More Animals

So I work out, and people watch as all of the "Flo-Jo's", and the aging soccer moms and the "Gym-Skank Barbie's" and other clowns join side-by-side like lab hamsters, all of us getting a quality workout. It is to laugh, and I know most of you or at least a few think that going to the gym is bullshit and that if you remain active and live the way you're supposed to then you shouldn't have to go exercise. Well, everyone's different, and what works for you might not work for me. I have to have some sort of gym-like environment to force me to go burn calories after working my 8-9 hours.

Football highlights... Hummm, let's see. I was excited for the Titans yesterday as they whooped the Steelers. Not because I don't like the Steelers. I actually loved the Steelers way before Tennessee had a team. So I had mixed feelings. Also, my "Z" was a Steelers fan, so I could not help but wonder if he was enjoying watching the game with his brothers... To him, I'm sorry, but I am proud for the Titans.

Also in watching the game highlights, I rather enjoyed The Patriots as they were getting frosted with snow. One player, Wes Welker, even dropped and made a snow angel and was penalized for it. Here's The Video Footage.


I sure wish we had some snow around here to brighten things up.


Now as for Daddy, he's doing about the same. He still has not regained the strength in his legs, and he is sitting up in the Den in front of his big T.V. in a hospital bed. They moved his recliner over to the other side of the room, and fixed his bed up there. He does not like it, but it is more comfortable than the chair itself (since he can't really get around unless someone lifts him and moves him). He's still on soft foods, until they say he can swallow well of course. He's not happy or comfortable, except for the fact that he is at home rather than the hospital. I don't know what the days to come will bring, but I'm hopeful that we'll have an "OK" Christmas dinner and everyone will at least be semi-happy. It has been a rough month though. I'm quite tired.

Speaking of Christmas stuff, we've tried to get a few last minute things done... what gifts we DID have to buy, and wrapping up the loose ends so we could muddle through. I am glad we get a holiday off from work, but aside from that, I kinda just want it all to be over with. :)

Today, I have been obsessing over the Craigslist Website. If you're not familiar with Craigslist, it is basically a "Classified Ad" type website, and available to many regions and all. Usually, I'd say that Classified Ad sites are mostly alike. There is just something kind of crazed and whacked out about Craigslist though. You will just have to click up on the link and go read for yourself. Check out some of the things under "Free", as well as the rants and raves, and personal ads. There are some big sickos out there, and you might be surprised or at least get a big kick out of the site. When you click on the link, you will be taken to a page to choose the Craigslist nearest your area. Then just be aware that you never know what you might find! Really.

Ok, well that's all for me today. I just wanted to pop in and say hello and give an update on everything going on in my little corner. I'm hoping to be able to do the WWC tomorrow, and will certainly try.

Until then... XOXO from AJ

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ten Guilty Pleasures

I figure I've been fixated on downers... depressing stuff lately, and I thought I would try to do something a little different. I haven't been tagged to do this, and it isn't a tag or "meme" (although I was tagged a few days back by Speedcat Hollydale, and just never had the chance to sit down and think it all out. Sorry Speedy! :(

This title or idea I found while just browsing around a while back, and saved it as "ideas".

I give you, on behalf of my ID, I suppose, even though it's not 'bizarro', 10 of my Guilty Pleasures (in no particular order).

Guess we'll start at #10. Just Cuz.

10. R&B Slow Jams

9. Ice Cream

8. My Z Memories

7. Getting all 'made up' just to take Self-portraits

6. Flirting

5. Crystals and Healing Stones

4. Men, I just love em.

3. Blogging

2. Playing With My Husband's Hair

1. Just being lazy and sometimes doing absolutely nothing.

Those were probably boring, but hey, I tried... lol

In the spirit of this, I will share with you one of my favorite R&B Slow Jams. This is some OLD R. Kelly, yeah and you can't go wrong with this shite... Sorry, I love my Punk and my Metal, and my Rock-n-Roll, but there's nothing better than passion set to this song. It really brings back some steamy memories for me. Guess that's why it's one of my top guilty pleasures.

R. Kelly "You Remind Me Of Something"
(Video features wrong cover, but the song is what counts)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pine and Contribute (WWC)

Guys, this is a cop-out of sorts, but I promise I am going to try getting back into the game next week.

Tink's Weekly Words Challenge words for this week are "Pine" and "Contribute". I will do a little demonstration with pictures, but these are not my pictures, just some I found to 'contribute' to the cause... I am participating but not really participating.

Next week I will really try... I swear.

Anyways, here we go.

I PINE FOR THE GOOD OL' DAYS...


AND THAT TENDS TO CONTRIBUTE TO MY MELANCHOLY.
ENUFF SAID.

Monday, December 15, 2008

You Are Here

They're calling for Ice Storm warnings today. Other than that summer wind storm that screwed things up around July of 2004, we haven't experienced something like that since the Ice Storm of 1994. When things like this overtake the Memphis area, which is as I said, rare, the panic and rudeness factors go through the roof. All you need around here is a mention of a snowflake or a few drops of ice and the city shuts down and goes into emergency-mode. Schools and other establishments close, and the streets are no place to be at all.


People run to the grocery stores like the sky is falling, and stock up on Hot Dogs, Bread, Milk, Hot Cocoa, and other "essentials". If the electricity goes, all this ruins of course, people not really knowing how to survive anymore since we've all de-conditioned ourselves to plain living. Therefore, it becomes a sort of "Armageddon".


"Shot Taken From Ice Storm 1994"

The worst thing that worries me right now is if it does turn "Ice Storm", and electricity is affected what about Mom and Dad? It's harder when you are caring for someone sick in your home when these things happen. So we can only take one day at a time and hope for the best I guess. We'll see... How's the weather in your neck of the woods today?

So this afternoon I will have to scramble around and try to play demolition derby with all of the "Residents of Rudeville", and get a front-row seat to their outlandish stupidity in action. It sounds like loads of fun really. Here we are... let the games begin.

Ho Ho Ho

Just a quick reminder, if you are looking for more entertainment, and haven't checked these out in a while, slide on by the other blogs that I contribute to.

For Childhood nostalgia, and holiday memories, hit up I Miss My Childhood, owned by the fabuloso "Chelly"!

For outrageous Friday WTF Fun, don't miss WTF Friday (Updated Fridays and then some!)


Ho, Ho F***ing Ho, right?? ;)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Where Are My Salad Days?

Ahh the good ol' days... where have they run off to? Every time I start trying to live in the moment and forget the past, I fall right back into melancholy nostalgia. Saturday has zoomed by, and I hate that. I wish Saturdays would last much longer than they do. Spending the night at Mom's last night to help with Dad, upon trying to get some things done around here since I have been home it's just nearly gone.

Dad being home isn't making things much better, and it's not the happy event that it should have been. He is still miserable, talking some weird stuff, you know like trying to tell you something but he calls things very odd names, seems to be talking out of his head here and there. Then since he is still on "Honey Consistency" foods because of his poor swallowing (thank you elephant tranquilizer), he doesn't like anything that you bring him. He keeps asking for "Kool-aid", or "Fruit Juice". Then when you bring him something, like the Orange Juice he loves so much, or the Lemonaid, he doesn't like it. He isn't eating a lot really, but he's having lots of problems because he still can't get up and down and walk on his own, and it's difficult to impossible to get him from his chair to the bathroom. So there you go... Not quite sure how it's going to go, it's not good... not good at all.

Like I said though, I try to write to relieve stress, and to relax myself most of the times, and rarely come to my blog with the intentions of fixating on depressing things, but I just have lately because of everything we've all been facing in my family, and that it is the holiday season. It sucks on many levels, but it being the holiday season takes the 'suckatude' up a notch for sure.

I was trying to straighten up earlier, and I did run across the instructional handbook for my old Commodore Vic 20 that I got for Christmas when I was a kid. To think, I was actually kinda programming in BASIC and didn't even know it at the time. I had a couple fun games on it too. Wow, what a blast from the past. Most of you won't even know what the heck this thing is. Ah how many a' childhood hour I wasted on this thing probably.

Yikes what a keyboard!

Honestly though, I would love to come out with something fun and entertaining to write about right now. What on earth could it be though? Dreams? I haven't really been remembering my dreams the last few days. I haven't had any very cool experiences, and I've been just trying to hang on and get through everything while still trying to keep up with my own work and deadlines.

The only thing I can think of right now to return me to my "Salad Days", is to watch a Bugs Bunny cartoon. I miss cartoons, I miss the good ol' days and I miss "My Daddy"... Bear with me, I hope to be back again one of these days. You know what I mean.

Click to watch "Bully For Bugs"




Keep on keepin on with me everyone... hope you're all doing well. Thanks again for the continued support. Even when you don't know what to say, or think you've said something wrong, you're trying and that's very sweet of you.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Mama I'm Coming Home

Well, "The Chick Magnet" rides again. Back into his own Barnyard he goes! How happy he will be.

Yes, they're releasing Daddy this morning, and he is going home. That doesn't mean he's in the best of conditions of course. But he's strong enough and out of the water enough to go home where he is happy and comfortable. We all believe that he will thrive his best in his own surroundings where he is most happy. Yesterday they started him on "Honey Consistency" foods that he seemed to swallow best, which he will continue at home, and as he is stronger and more able, we can gradually have him back on normal foods.

So good news, for now... and all I have discussed previously still stands. I know that everyone has an "exit time" and will have to eventually hit the trail and bid us "Adios", but for now, I am happy to have a chance to watch maybe just one more "M*A*S*H* Marathon" with my Daddy.

Thanks again to everyone for their support, love, and positive thoughts... keep them coming, because Mom and Dad will still need them in the days and weeks to come, as we head towards another mile.

It's Dedication time. This is a big song for my Mom and Dad, and I hope you enjoy it too. I'm not much into country as an adult, but I always remember these with fond memories because they take me "Home". This one's for you Mom and Dad... If We Make It Through December

Ain't It The Truth...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thirst

Here's the latest "Daddy Update" just real quick, I won't go too detailed because I'm tired of talking it out more or less, but just wanted to give y'all a little run-down, and some thoughts.

First off, I can't help but feel like we've been in a soap opera. As you run around the hospital, in and out of the cafeteria, people come by that you know. Just like "As The World Turns" or "Guiding Light" always seem to center around people meeting up with one another in the hospital somehow... Very odd. Seems one of my other classmates from High School had her father in on another floor for the exact same thing as my Dad. I found that odd. Then I saw my old crush Bob's Mom (Bob from my "Motorcycle Madness" story). He finally found Mrs. Right in the last few years, but then lost her to Breast Cancer. Irony huh. Another funny? Back when I saw him last he only had 1 daughter. His mom said he had 6 children (dodged that bullet I did).

I digress! On with Daddy update...

Okay so the other day, like 3:00 a.m. on Monday morning, the nurses gave Dad a much too powerful sedative. This may have been due to some of the difficulty that he had been displaying, such as trying to get out of bed, trying to pull out tubes, you know, catheters, his oxygen, etc. Well I think that the sedative they had been giving him to rest was a milder one, and that wasn't bad. Then when they decided to change up and test out this apparent "elephant tranquilizer", Dad could barely open his eyes for about 2 days I guess. Then when he finally started perking up some he was terribly weak, and they thought Pneumonia had set in, and that he wasn't able to cough up stuff, and couldn't eat or drink. So basically he was laying up starving and thirsty. On top of that, 'what about all the medicines they had on his chart to be administered orally?' you say... Well, he didn't get to take them. And they didn't even start him on an IV of nutrition until the whole next day. So he got nothing, and just lay there in a terrible state. It's really awful to see that type of thing you know. Finally, some of the evening nurse staff started to think, 'Hey, he's quite sedated... this is not good, he's not alright.' Y'think?? Why do you think we have been asking you all repeatedly if he wasn't a little "too" sedated, and shouldn't he kind of be coming out of this BY NOW???

Anyroad, they performed a procedure yesterday that took some of the fluid from his lung area, and helped him breath some easier. So he has improved some, but we're still waiting on him to be able to eat and drink and gain his strength back enough to get him home. We've had a host of doctors and nurses, some the voice of doom and indifference, and some pretty good coming in and out of his room. We appreciate all of your words, kind or inspirational, and keeping us in your thoughts. It helps. Thanks so much.

I know that it a selfish thing to want someone to continue to live, and I agree to that. I don't want my Dad to suffer, and I don't want Mom to suffer and/or be so sad either. The fact is, every person on this earth has a different opinion, and belief system too. What one person feels, another will most likely not agree with. That's o.k., because we're all different, and it can't be changed... I wouldn't want it to be changed.

Regarding the suffering, and the forcing someone to keep on living through hell is not my idea of selfless, and it's not the way I want to be. I want to make sure someone is living out their life to their own wishes. When someone loses the ability to have their own wishes be known, and they're unable to speak for themselves very well, then it becomes the family who has to dictate this to the best of their ability. My father would not want to be kept alive on artificial life-support, that's for sure. But I do think he wants everything that could be done to help him, if in fact it is going to help him feel better.

Sure, I hope like hell that he gets to live a little longer and come back home and all, I am only human and I have very fine parents... who would want to lose people like my Mom and Dad?? But I also know that I will always have them with me in spirit and that they are both a part of me... so that does give me perspective when I am contemplating the road ahead... a road that I will eventually continue on without my Mom and Dad as they decide to get off the highway and explore new and uncharted territories.

The fact is, I don't think that dying itself is the scary part at all. To me, the scary part is the pain and anguish that comes along with sickness and aging... the misery that one can go through in this life. So many things seem unfair to those who seem to deserve it the most. But that goes under the unexplained mysteries of the universe. We'll all see the bigger picture one day and maybe understand a little easier.

Thirst. The thirst for knowledge, the thirst for understanding, and then the thirst some days... simply for Orange Juice when the hospital has sedated you beyond comprehension and starved you half to death in an effort to "help" you... help you "what" exactly?? Live? Or Die? We're all doing a pretty good job of that ourselves I think. I'm not so sure that I want that kind of help.

An Apple A Day? I think not.

Well along with all of this, we're also continuing on towards Christmas time, and trying to survive that as well. Everything else seems quite on hold though, including my band stuff (although I'm sure there's a song in there somewhere), and trying to catch up here at work.

Everything will "pan out" though, as my Mom would say.

I've got a lot to get done this week to weekend, though, so I'll be in and out. I missed the WWC this week, sorry for that. Let me know what's going on in your worlds as well. I've rambled enough for today.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Updates and Downers

I'm in for a moment just to check e-mail, check my work queue and catch up a bit around here.

Dad has been fairing "ok" during his hospital stay, as far as, the swelling going down a good bit, and his breathing treatments seem to be doing some good. However, his condition has been a serious one, and I only hope he can recover and regain some strength back. For those of you who have sent sweet notes of support and love, you are so appreciated. Thanks from my whole family.

Meanwhile, I'm still not sure how long his stay might be, and I will continue to keep things posted when I am able. Last night they gave him some sedative that made him sleep way through breakfast and lunch, so he has not eaten yet today. I tried to stay around long enough to get him to eat, but he was too "out of it". I was worried about that. Perhaps they gave too strong a drug or too much? You never know in the hospital.

I will be going back tonight to check in on him, and try to make sure he has supper. Mom went home to try and get some rest as she was very tired from being there all day yesterday and last night, she got barely any sleep. I'm hoping he'll be o.k. through the night.

We are just taking things one day at the time, and hoping for the best...

I'm trying to perk up with some holiday spirit, but it has been quite a challenge.

Talk to you soon... and if I haven't updated you via personal e-mail or notes, please forgive, and just try to keep up on my blogs and status notes online.

Here are a couple silly videos for you to enjoy in the absence of me and my humor. (Of course they're animal related, cuz I love animals... ha.)

Christmas Cranky Cat


Funny Chickens Break Up Fight

Saturday, December 06, 2008

I Hate Hospitals

These are the best parents in the world.
Please have them in your thoughts right now...

Just a quick note... Mom called early this morning to let me know she had to have Dad in their local hospital overnight with his fluid build up. He wasn't breathing easy, and still had all that swelling. They being the small local hospital wanted to send him up the highway to the larger hospital so a cardiologist could check him too... Seems it's basically "Congestive Heart Failure". So I just wanted to put that out there, and please everyone have him, and my Mom in your thoughts, and anyone who does pray or send healing vibes I would appreciate any of those type of thoughts.

May be in and out, so I don't know exactly when I might post, but I will try to update when I can.

Thanks everyone.

AJ

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I'm Going Off The Rails

On A Crazy Train...
Happy Birthday to Ozzy Osbourne, who is sixty (60) years old today. It's been quite a ride, and I've always been a fan... from Black Sabbath, to "The Ozzman Cometh" and on, and through his host of great guitarists.

The funny thing is, with all of our 'musical heroes' turning fifty-something, sixty, seventy and beyond, it only serves as a wake up call to the children that we still subconsciously hang onto. In other words, it reminds me that I am not "that kid" anymore, no matter how much I try to be, or how immature I seem to remain.

We've come a long, long way since those early days when MTV changed the world, or Friday Night Videos were the highlight of our Friday nights (this was before we could date of course, and Stacey and Kristie were forced to stay up for this, but rarely made it. They probably remember "Friday Night Videos" in an entirely different light).

So you go to sleep one night, and you're 10 years old, and you wake up to that harsh reality that you somehow let it all slip away. So you file right in line, marching on, directly right behind those other guys, the ones who you think to yourself 'have started looking 'REALLY old' all of a sudden'. What do you do now?? I'm not quite sure... guess we keep putting one painful, creaky foot in front of the other and that we keep fighting, and even living in denial about it all.

I don't want to grow up, and I don't want to face these harsh realities of the world... I'm just not ready. But given an option, is anyone ever really ready? We watch helplessly, as our parents and elders grow more feeble, sad and ill. It is hard not to let it depress you, it is hard not to worry, even though everyone continuously says, "Stop obsessing over it, stop worrying about things you have no control over, it doesn't do you any good." Yeah, well they're right. It does nobody any good, but I don't know how to make the melancholy about all this go away really. I'm not prepared, and I will never really be prepared for it all.

We can't sit and live in the past forever, or we'll never get anything out of life. Hopes and dreams for the future can never come alive when we won't let go of what used to be. There simply just isn't enough room for all of that to live under one roof, no matter who we are or what we're going through.

How did this begin as a Happy Birthday acknowledgment of a musical icon, then morph into some morbid fixation on the cold hard reality of life? I'm not quite sure... call it my Special Gift.

Then as "Vivian" tells "Edward" in Pretty Woman (1990), "I think you have a lot of special gifts." Yes, she's right... and don't we all. Guess we just have to realize it, get out there and use them, and be happy.

Speaking of "Pretty Woman", that drags up a whole different subject of Movie Nostalgia, flicks that either drudge of more past memories, or bring a tear to the eye... I could list a few.


AJ's Favorite 80s Comedies:
-Ferris Bueller's Day Off
-Sixteen Candles
-Peggy Sue Got Married
-Raising Arizona
-Loverboy (the one with Patrick Dempsey)
-The Breakfast Club (with 'The Brat Pack')
-Planes, Trains and Automobiles
-Arthur
-Airplane
-Fast Times at Ridgemont High
-Back To The Future
(just to name a few)


AJ's Favorite Tearjerkers
(this is gonna reflect badly on me I know)
-The Notebook
-Big Fish
-Ghost (I know, give me a break)
-E.T. (of course)
-Bambi
-Forrest Gump
-The Color Purple
-LOTR (Return of The King)
-Charlotte's Web
(I could go on)


AJ's Favorite Horror Flicks (Eeek! lol)
-Carrie
-The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original is best)
-Return of The Living Dead
-Stephen King's "It"
-The Exorcist
-The Shining

Gotta stop there on Horror, there are not too many "great" Horror flicks in my opinion, mostly they are too cheesy, or if they're too possible meaning, it is something that I think in my mind could be, then I get too creeped out and can't watch it anyway. Stick with those old classics, they're the best though.


AJ's favorite movies of all time (any category)
-The Big Lebowski
-Old School
-A Clockwork Orange
-Forrest Gump
-Good Fellas
-Brazil
-The Godfather
-There's Just Something About Mary
-The Shawshank Redemption
-The Green Mile
-Back To The Future
-Stand By Me
-Rockstar
-Boogie Nights
-Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
-Arizona Dream
-A Christmas Story

All of those in no particular order. I enjoy too many movies as well, it would take me a while to really weed it all out and narrow it down to some "top five" thing. Maybe I will one day. To say the least, the silver screen has taken me to various universes, and helped me escape from reality numerous times. That and of course my big love for music, that's even more than any movie for me. I'll have to go into my favorite songs or some sort of soundtrack of my life type thing another time.

Let's go full circle with this, like I said have been through rounds of emotions in the last few days. It just happens to me sometime, it's not due to any out-of-the-ordinary happening. Sometimes the little things just pile up and if I've been zoned out daydreaming, and suddenly wake up and take notice of everything happening around me, I get a little depressed. That's all. Everything from my Dad's declining health, to bills and finances, to band stresses, work stresses, cluttered house and messy car, to anything else that arises daily. Ridiculous, I know... and unnecessary.

So alright, what if I was ten years old again... now, after having gone through all that I have, and learning certain lessons? Could I apply some of the knowledge, and avoid some of the pains? Would I want to? It might change things in negative ways. I came this route for a reason. So, no maybe I wouldn't change much. I'd say even more "I Love Yous". I might try to realize more what is important through those earlier years, and not waste so much time on those who didn't deserve my best. I would appreciate things so much more, and I would try to stamp out that bad habit early on of worrying over things that I have no control over, and of the things that I could do something about, I would proceed full-force and at least try.

But regarding the "growing up" part? I'd still believe in magic, and still live my life by that prime example that 'Growing OLD(er) is just a mandatory part of Life, but that Growing UP is optional, and should likely be avoided.' So, if I had the opportunity to send a message or note to my now-older self, I would take out a little note card, and I would write on it, "Go, But Don't Forget Me. Love, Your 10-year-old-self".

Today, I hope Ozzy and all the rest of you find the kid in you too...
It's never too late for us.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The following quote is from The Story Of Rose: "There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything, I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability." "The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Abundant Thanks (WWC)

Time for our Weekly Words Challenge by Tink!. This week's words are "Abundance" and "Thanks"

Gotta be short on words today because I have a lot to do, so here we go.

Kristie and Rodney indulged
greatly in the abundant spread

Reanna is tired of the Abundance of photos taken.


Mom has an abundant supply of coffee and cups.


Blade's face says "thanks!" for his fabulous birthday cake!


An abundance of joy for his 2nd birthday.


Blade's friend gave "Thanks" for surviving the ride...


The abundance of Pumpkin Pie surely dwindled.


"Thanks Mee Mee!" says McKenna.


We gave "Thanks" for being able to gather together.


Reanna, Jackson and Austin found an abundance of rocks!

Thanks again everyone... hope you have an abundance of happiness today!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Father And Daughter

Paul Simon is a great songwriter. I thought this was a very nice 'Father/Daughter' song... although someone else had created the video with various Father/Daughter photos, I still think it's very heartspoken.

This is basically going to be "growing pains" week for me, for whatever reasons, and like I said I will share more actual feelings and words later. Right now, I just want to share this.

I love both my parents very much, and I know I could not have been graced with any two in this entire universe any more wonderful... I am very lucky, and I am so thankful.

Check out Paul Simon - "Father and Daughter"



If you leap awake
In the mirror of a bad dream
And for a fraction of a second
You cant remember where you are
Just open your window
And follow your memory upstream
To the meadow in the mountain
Where we counted every falling star

I believe the light that shines on you
Will shine on you forever
And though I cant guarantee
Theres nothing scary hiding under your bed
Im gonna stand guard
Like a postcard of a Golden Retriever
And never leave till I leave you
With a sweet dream in your head

Im gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So youll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

Trust your intuition
Its just like going fishing
You cast your line
And hope you get a bite
But you dont need to waste your time
Worrying about the market place
Try to help the human race
Struggling to survive its harshest night

Im gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So youll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

Im gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So youll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Death To Innocence (A Preamble)

It's very hard to sum-up how I am feeling tonight. It's a strange melancholy. I am mixed up between getting the holiday spirit and thoughts of organizing my house and decorating with festive bells and whistles, and trying to shield myself from cold, hard realities.

I would go into it right now if I could, but I really don't have all of the words to illustrate everything that's in my heart. However, I will forewarn you that the next few days, while I am trying to work it out, there may be some depressing, emotional posts. So if you don't want to get dragged under my painful current, then read with caution.

Innocence is fleeting, I should've had a harder life to prepare me for some of the things that I am going to have to go through in these next years, but up until now, nothing has really 'stepped up' to play the part of the teacher, I guess you could say. For now, I go to gather my thoughts... and to prevent further 'rambling', I am just going to put my feelings into music.



This is Don Henley's "The End Of The Innocence" video.
*I am not a big Don Henley fan or anything, but this song just kind of seemed to express some of my feelings at the moment, so I am sharing.

Now, don't despair. I am still going to throw in some upbeat stuff, and I am still planning on bringing in one of my stories very soon (as soon as I can get it all together). But bear with me and forgive my emotional state, and as always, thanks for kind words when you leave them, thanks for your visits, and of course comments (I always love comments).

Before I go, I wanted to share a few fun photos that I created earlier. I got the idea because of Speedcat Hollydale's page. He found a website called Photofunia.com. I tried it out and got rather hooked. These are really fun and all you have to do is pick an "effect", and upload a pic and save it... they're so cool. I mean, I know I can photoshop all day long, but these were fast and easy and made me smile. Enjoy.





Welcome To December.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Everyone Gobble

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving all. Ours was spent with family, most everyone showed up and we all enjoyed a nice visit. I am thankful for that and many things. Thankful for lots of good food that Mom cooked and we all contributed a thing or two, and I helped her clean up after, then popped by the In-Laws for Huz's side.



Was a really nice day. I'm sure everyone's stuffed to the gills (or full as a tick), whatever your favorite phrasing is... lol. Now on to the next phase of the holiday season, right?

Since last week's "WWC", I had a pic of a Castle in Memphis, and a couple people expressed an interest in knowing more about that. I'm trying to check a couple of facts about it, and I am going to give you all a bit more of the history behind "The Castle" tomorrow. How does that sound?

Also, I am going to work up one of my all-fire-famous "Stories" for you after that, you know one of my true tales of either geekery, debauchery, or just plain cool or goofy memories, if I can get it together.

There you go, you have a bit to look forward to, and a reason to stroll back through my 'Forrest' really soon... mmm'kay??

Now, go digest all that feast, and come back tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Perfect and Flawed (WWC)

Happy Tuesday Kiddies! Holiday Season is upon us, so a great many of us are preparing ourselves for Thanksgiving this week here in the US of A. It's a Time of giving thanks and being thankful for everything we have, no matter how big or small.

If you stop and look around, then you might realize most times that you have so much more than you thought you did, and there are so many people who have way less than you, but are twice as happy. Something to think about... But nobody is "perfect", we are all flawed so there is plenty of room to grow in our ways of thinking.

Anyways, here is a brief little "Wikipedia" overview of Thanksgiving (USA).

United States Thanksgiving
United States Thanksgiving
The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930)
Observed by United States
Type National
Date fourth Thursday in November
2008 date November 27, 2008
Celebrations parades, spending time with family, football games, eating large meals

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, at the end of the harvest season, is an annual American Federal holiday to express thanks for one's material and spiritual possessions. The period from Thanksgiving Day to New Year's Day often is called the holiday season. Most people celebrate by gathering at home with family or friends for a holiday feast. Though the holiday's origins can be traced to harvest festivals that have been celebrated in many cultures since ancient times[citation needed], the American holiday has religious undertones related to the deliverance of the English settlers by Native Americans after the brutal winter at Plymouth, Massachusetts.[citation needed]


Um yes. The Native Americans, wasn't that nice of them? They 'delivered' the people from a brutal winter with an abundant feast of delicious food. "We The People" were so thankful in fact that we decided to slaughter them and steal their land. Grateful aren't we?

Well nonetheless, we have since then capitalized on yet another tradition of our forefathers (and mothers), and commercialized a huge portion of this time of the year. It's a time of greed, over-spending, getting ourselves into more debt than we can shake a stick at, and overeating like crazy. Something's gotta give right?

I happen to know that the "Day After Thanksgiving", normally the biggest shopping day of the year, has also been deemed "Buy Nothing Day". Those who put this effort together urge us to Buy Less - Live More! I thought I would get on board this year. The date is Friday, November 28th. I am providing my very own 'Poster' below, and a link where you can find out more about this campaign. Join me... what have you got to lose? (Well, besides all of your savings and wasting tons of gas and frustrations).

"Nothing" is perfect, so it's the Perfect Time to Buy Nothing
(that's for the WWC)



Ok that was one of my entries, I put that in for "perfect". I had a whole 'brainstorm' going on there.

Now for the rest of this week's WWC (Weekly Words Challenge) entries, brought to us Thankfully by the lovely Tink of Pickled Beef. As you may have guessed, words for this week are Perfect and Flawed. Some of my entries came from the Archives, and some did not.

A Flawed Angel


Flawed Shot On A Rainy Night


The Perfect Rainy Scene


A Perfect Gesture


Perfect View Of The Pyramid


My Perfect Spot For Relaxing
(overlook my flawed feet)


"Purrrrrrrfect"


Perfect Place To Enjoy A Play In Memphis


An Obviously Flawed Desk, Guess Nobody Wanted


The Perfect Parking Spot For Flawed Drivers

That's it for me today... Enjoy the rest of your day and if you don't happen back by before National Gorge Thyself And Sleep All Day... Day, then remember how much you have and be thankful for it all... you never know when you might lose it.

Why not share with someone less fortunate than yourself, give them something to be thankful for too. But wherever you find yourself amongst the madness, do enjoy and have a safe and happy day one and all!