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Friday, August 29, 2014

Night Lights... Mel's Drive-In, San Francisco

 "Most love stories are nocturnal. That's what makes them so fascinating"

~Raymond Federman, 
Smiles on Washington Square

I have been eager to do this series for a long time, finally I think I am ready to give it a try. Welcome to my new project, Night Lights.

First up is the gorgeous retro eatery, Mel's Drive-In. I love this place for it's awesome comfort food, it's retro decor and it's friendly waiters and waitresses! But the most interesting element to Mel's is it's rich history, and it's connection to the films American Graffiti and Guess Whose Coming To Dinner! Both of which were filmed at Mel's and which just happen to be two of my very favorite movies!

You know how much I enjoy visiting the sites of where movies and TV have been filmed around the Bay Area, so visiting Mel's Drive-In was a natural choice. My experience was so positive that Mel's may, in fact, end up in more than one of the different photography projects I have planned, but for now, just look at the beautiful light it shines into the night!

And think to yourself... yeah, I could go for some eggs!

Mood: Happy/Inspired

~Me :)

Visit the official website for Mel's Drive-In to peruse their delicious menu, or learn more about the history of their restaurant!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ginger Ale...

"It's not what you have on the outside that glitters in light, it's what you have on the inside that shines in the dark."

~Anthony Liccione

Okay, so in a mad fit of photography boredom, I decided to return to a project I began in the spring of 2013... photographing food and beverage in an exaggerated and filtered light! I began that project because I somehow managed to contract a nagging cough. According to my doctor it was one of the harshest coughs the medical world had encountered, and it would just have to run it's course. And it did... eventually... 6 1/2 weeks of hacking later it was gone! But during the time I was ill, I saw very little of the outside world, so what could I do? I picked up the camera and did some experimenting with the lighting available to me indoors. I came up with a few photos that came out to my liking, then I added in some special effects that really made the photos POP. 

I had fun with that project, and while I was thinking about it the other day, I decided revisit that project, and I began to experiment with a glass of ginger ale. I liked the dark amber color, and was surprised at how lovely the tiny beads of effervescence looked in the glass! The bubbles didn't last as long as I hoped they would, so I may do this one over at some point. We'll see. I am waiting on the delivery of a new camera, so I might redo it with new one. It has a slightly higher megapixel number, so I am counting on that to bring my photos to the next level. Photography takes a lot of concentration, some planning, but mostly luck. Sometimes I think I use up every bit of my allotted luck in life, being in the right place, at the right time, with a ready camera in my hand. That's what I get for taking my cameras everywhere I go!


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Three Different Cats... One Week!

"A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, 
for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not."

~Ernest Hemingway

It's been quite a week for our three little furbabies. Dylan, that you see above, has finally begun to understand that our kitten Joey is a part of the family, he isn't going anywhere, so it's okay if Mommy plays with the little brother, because she still loves her Dylan. Believe me, bringing Joey into our family went a lot better than I thought it would, but there was some hissing and hostility. we were ready for it, that's a normal thing, and thankfully that behavior didn't last long, so I guess I am saying that all considered... it's apparent that Joey coming to live with us it was meant to be.

And isn't Dylan's fist and tongue cute as can be?
That's how he looks when he wakes up every morning!

 Now Joey's Story...

Our kitten Joey almost isn't a kitten anymore! He turned 10 months old this week, and isn't he amazing? Honestly, he has the most beautiful eyes, and he has a really kind heart. He loves to engage in play, and tries really hard to learn things. He is quick, and playful, and very, very cuddly. He is just a joy to have around. We were happy with our two little boys, Hendrix and Dylan, and the last thing we were looking for was another cat, but now we can't imagine our family without Joey. He isn't the baby, that will always be Dylan's nickname, but he is the little brother, and that fits him perfectly, because that's how is siblings treat him... like he is the little brother!

And Now Hendrix...


Ut Oh... Guess who has worms? Yep, poor little man has worms, for the second time in a month! Sometimes these things happen... at least it's an easy fix. They should be gone by tomorrow afternoon, but in the meantime he isn't allowed on the furniture, so cuddling is discouraged. And honestly, I don't know who it's harder on, Hendrix, or me! I adore the attention his lavishes on me, he loves me...and snuggles into me...and watches over me... like no pet or human I have ever known. I didn't think another cat could possibly beat my cat Elvis in the affection department, but Hendrix does. He has three main priorities in his life. Eat. Play. Love.

Although not necessarily in that order!

Love always comes first. He is extraordinary!

It's amazing how much love is in our house!


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

One... Sir Richard Attenborough

"They criticize the films they think you ought to have made, not the films
 you wanted to make and did make."

~Sir Richard Attenborough

I went to see A Chorus Line when it came out in 1985. I hadn't seen the stage play, but I had been reading about it for years! I looked forward to the film adaptation of the stage play with enthusiasm. I liked the movie very much, and in fact, had "One" stuck in my head for weeks. Now when it is on TV, I never miss it. It's one of those movies I would love to catch on retro night at the theater. 

Unfortunately, the film critics in 1985 didn't care for the movie as much as I did. Shrug. It's my opinion that film reviewers are sometimes snobby about things, and by the time that these people actually make a living at tearing apart a film, they have long since forgotten how to simply sit back, and go with it! Never underestimate the power of pulling the stick out of your ass and just enjoying a film for what it is. 

Still, I suppose I understand the need for a paid film reviewer to tell it as they see it, after all people do spend hard earned money to go out and enjoy a film. 

But if I had a free movie ticket for every time I have completely disagreed with a professional film critique, I would have free movies for life. 
I must have really bad taste in art.
Let the critics criticize, I will just enjoy the film!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Don't Put Off Till Tomorrow... No Really... Don't.

"If you're tired you take a 'nappa.' You don't move to Napa."

~Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw
~Sex And The City

I don't think I agree with Carrie about that, Napa, and the wine county in general, is the perfect place for the weary soul. First of all, you have vineyards to stop in and do some wine tasting, but if that's not for you, there are the vineyards for photographing! Oh my, the colors you will see! If you aren't all that into photography, then perhaps a hot air balloon ride over the valley, speaks more to your romantic heart. Sigh. All I know is... Napa, Santa Rosa, Glen Ellen, wherever you prefer in the region, is some of the most beautiful places in California, if not on earth!

I feel kind of bad tonight, because I had planned to visit Napa in October to do some photography, and chase down some public art. I planned to photograph the beauty of the town as well, but now I fear some of the very buildings I was going to photograph may have been hopelessly damaged in Sunday's quake! I am keeping a good thought, and with a little luck I will be able to get up to Napa to do some documenting of the quakes aftermath, but I find myself once again, wondering why I am taking life for granted. Why didn't I go sooner? Why was I waiting for October?

Why do I procrastinate, even while lamenting the losses of this year?

Mood: Quiet

~Me :)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bristol Fleck Dahlia

 Bristol Fleck Dahlia
Golden Gate Park Dahlia Garden
San Francisco, Ca
August 18th, 2014

"What a desolate place would be a world without a flower!
It would be a face without a smile, a feast without a welcome.
Are not flowers the stars of the earth, and not stars the flowers of Heaven?"

~A.J. Balfour

Isn't that a beautiful dahlia? It is called Bristol Fleck. It is just one of the many varieties of the flower that has been planted in the Dahlia Garden (Dell) in Golden Gate Park, next to the Conservatory of Flowers! A project that was first planted back in the 1920's.

It's one of our favorite places in the park, and it's where we eat lunch at most often when we are in San Francisco! It's amazingly beautiful, and peaceful. Although, if you are lucky, you might be serenaded by the sound of bongo drums or a wandering musician playing his sax.

I love San Francisco, and Golden Gate Park.


And the Dahlia Garden.

I think this year I will begin an in-depth catalog of the gorgeous dahlias in the garden!

Stay Tuned!
Mood: Quiet But Content

~Me :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tender. Juicy. Delicious?

"I can throw an orange like a baseball, but I can't eat a baseball like an orange.
Let that be a lesson for you."

~Jarod Kintz
A Zebra Is The Piano Of The Animal Kingdom

First let me start off by saying... ewwwww! And I can't say that LOUD enough or with too much emphasis! Just ewwwwwwwww! I spotted this tasty looking cube steak while out shopping with Alan at a supermarket offshoot of a famous discount store. For discretion purposes I will say the name of the store was "MalWart. I am not using the real name because, conveniently, the name of the supermarket was not on this tasty looking beef. The tags had the beef marked down for quick sale because the expiration date was getting close, but even with the savings of $3.04, I decided I didn't need the cube steak that badly... or any other meat from there for that matter. Too bad, I have a great recipe for Swiss Steak, and that was going to be for dinner. We settled on Spaghetti Marinara, with some delicious zucchini and onions. Sigh. It was good. Really good!

Mood: Disappointed About The Swiss Steak/Happy About The Spaghetti Marinara.

~Me :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Come Into My Parlor, Said The Spider To The Fly...

"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the Spider to the Fly,
 "Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy."

~Mary Horwitt

~The Spider And The Fly: A Fable

I am not big fan of spiders, mind you, but I kinda loved this pretty little green spider I spotted on a white flower in Golden Gate Park. 
Don't you just love it's shape?

The Spider And The Fly: A Fable

"Will you walk into my parlor?" said the spider to the fly;
"Tis the prettiest little parlor what ever you did spy.
The way into my parlor is up a winding stair,
And I have many pretty things to show when you are there."
"O no, no," said the little fly, "To as me is in vain,
For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again."

"I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high;
Will you rest upon my little bed?" said the spider to the fly.
"There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin,
And if you rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in."
"O no, no," said the little fly, "for I've often heard it said, 
They NEVER, NEVER WAKE again who sleep upon YOUR bed."

Said the cunning spider to the fly, "Dear friend, what shall I do, 
To prove the warn affection I've always felt for you?
I have within my pantry good store of all that's nice;
I'm sure you're very welcome; will you please to take a slice?"
"O no, no," said the little fly, "kind sir, that cannot be;
I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see."

"Sweet creature!" said the spider, "you're witty and you're wise,
How handsome are your gauzy wings, how  brilliant are your eyes!
I have a little looking-glass upon my parlor shelf,
If you'll step in one moment dear, you shall behold yourself."
"I thank you, gentle sir," she said, "for what you're pleased to say,
And bidding you good-morning NOW, I'll call ANOTHER day."

The spider turned him round about, and went into his den,
For well he knew the silly fly would soon be back again:
So he wove a subtle web, in a little corner sly, 
And set his table ready to dine upon the fly.
Then he came out to his door again, and merrily did sing, 
"Come hither, hither, pretty fly, with the pearl and silver wing:
Your robes are green and purple; there's a crest upon your head;
Your eyes are like the diamond bright, but mine are dull as lead."

Alas, alas! how very soon this silly little fly,
Hearing his wily flattering words, came slowly flitting by.
With buzzing wings she hung aloft, then near and nearer drew,
Thinking only of her crested head - POOR FOOLISH THING! At last.
Up jumped the cunning spider, and fiercely held her fast.
He dragged her up his winding stair, into his dismal den,
Within his little parlor; but she ne'er came out again!

And now, dear little children, who may this story read, 
To idle, silly, flattering words, I pray you ne'er give heed;
Unto an evil counselor close heart, and ear, and eye, 
And take a lesson from this tale of the Spider and the Fly.


Mood: Content

~Me :)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

So Close To Paul Rudd, And Yet So Far From Paul Rudd...

"The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it's as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot,
so you have to work it all out for yourself from the clues."

~Terry Pratchett, Moving Pictures

Yesterday, I grabbed the cameras, and the hubby, and we headed over to San Francisco to chase down Paul Rudd. Well, not chase him down per se, but rather to find the location of where his new movie, Ant-Man is being filmed. It was fairly easy to find really, once again, like a couple years ago when Blue Jasmine was being filmed in the city, Twitter, and On Location Vacations provided the time and the place to be! In yesterday's case it was at the corner of Java street, and Buena Vista West. Just off Buena Vista Park, and the Haight/Ashbury district of San Francisco. In other words, one of my favorite neighborhoods of the city!

Unlike two years ago, and my stalking... um... enthusiastic pursuit... of  Woody Allen, I was able to find Woody, and walk on the same side of the street as he was, in-between time for him to be inside making movie magic! I could have walked right passed him had I wanted to, but yesterday, it was NO DICE. The closest anyone could realistically get was about a half a block. Which I did, but I didn't get to see Paul Rudd or Michael Douglas, or any of the other stars of Ant-Man, and add them to my folder of candid celebrity moments. 

But all was not lost. I was able to buzz the neighborhood and get some photos of the cameras and some long shots of the general area. I love the behind the scenes stuff, and really enjoy all the technical details, so I am a happy girl! It would have been fantastic to have a photo of Paul Rudd, but for me the fun is in the photography safari, and what you might see along the way! Driving through Haight/Ashbury you have the opportunity to see almost everything, and there was one or two sights that caught my eye, but we will speak more on that later. For now, enjoy the shots of the Ant-Man filming that I did get. They aren't stellar or anything, but it is a cool memory for me. 

Yesterday, I was only a half a block away from Paul Rudd. That doesn't happen every day!

Ant-Man Gallery
Buena Vista West and Java Street
San Francisco
August 20th 2014

And now a look at the neighborhood and street where the filming
 was being done by way of Google Maps...

More and more films and TV shows are being shot in and around San Francisco, so this is far from my last chance to have some fun chasing down movie magic!

The fun, for me, is definitely behind the camera!

Mood: Happy

~Me :) 

Oooh... an intriguing update! The photo on the left is of the first official "Ant-Man" photo, posted on Marvel Entertainment's official Twitter page.The picture on the right is a photo I did yesterday in the Buena Vista Park area. Did I accidentally photograph Ant-Man's van? Interesting!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Joey Says Relax

"Cats Are Connoisseurs Of Comfort."

~James Herriot
~James Herriot's, Cat Stories

 I have already posted this photo to Twitter, so if you have seen it I apologize for the repeat. I just figured that it deserved to be seen. Joey is such a cuddly, sweet, funny little cat, and I couldn't be happier that he came our way. He is very nearly integrated into the family, by October he will finally be able to spend the night out with the family, as opposed to being put in his room at bedtime.

Dylan no longer hisses at Joey when he walks by.

Hendrix no longer hisses at Joey when I pet him.

We are a family.

And our three boys help Alan and I cope a little better with this crazy world.

Joey Says "Relax"

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Art About Town: Foster City... "On The Wing" By Artist Bob Bennett

"The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time.
Always listen to the art."

~Junot Diaz

"On The Wing" By Artist Bob Bennett
Leo J. Ryan Memorial Park
Foster City, California
Photographed February 2nd, 2006

Public art is my refuge, and maybe one of the great loves of my life.
I am planning on photographing a lot of it during the remaining part of summer.

Fair warning... Ellipsis is going to be a bit art heavy!


Mood: Quiet But Content

~Me :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Art About Town: San Francisco, "Apples" By Gustav Kraitz and Ulla Kraitz

"There must always be two kinds of art: escape-art, for man needs escape as he needs food and deep sleep, and parable-art, that art which shall teach man to unlearn hatred and learn love."

~W.H. Auden

Another from the archives, but never before posted, "Apples" by artist Gustav Kraitz. It sits in the sculpture garden at the DeYoung Museum, in Golden Gate Park, in San Francisco. The DeYoung is my favorite of the San Francisco museums, although I do love the Legion of Honor as well! Oh my, art is my refuge, and I find myself needing more and more of it. I hope to get out with the camera this next week. I have located a few more from the Hearts In San Francisco series, and there is a new film scheduled to be shot in the city mid-week. 

Ant Man, which will star Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas. I can't even imagine how surreal it would be to actually run into Michael Douglas on a street in San Francisco, after growing up watching him starring as Inspector Steve Keller, on The Streets of San Francisco! LOL. How fun would that be? Maybe I should try to locate as many different types of art as I can find along my travels next week. 

Yeah... climbing into the art sounds like Heaven.

Good idea methinks.

It's a plan.

Mood: Quiet but Okay.

~Me :)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lion's Mane Jellyfish

"I am longing to be with you, and by the sea, 
where we can talk freely and build our castles by the sea."

~Bram Stoker, Dracula

These beauties are called Lion's Mane jellyfish. I love their wild color! I could have stood all day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, just watching them dance around in their little blue world, all day! I think on that day there were maybe 10 different displays of different kinds and colors of jellyfish, but I kept coming back to these! Somewhere, buried deep in the archives, there is a short video I did on that day, I will post it sometime if I can find it! Anyway, I am thinking about jellyfish because we have been experiencing an unusual amount of jellyfish washing ashore all along the California coastline. Most recently, Ocean Beach in San Francisco, saw thousands of Velella velella jellyfish finding their way onto the beach. They are a gorgeous blue, which almost looks like glass, rather than a sea creature! I am wanting to try to get over to the coast early next week to maybe photograph them. You see, unlike most other jellyfish, the Velella velella don't have stingers! 

Wish me luck on my journey, it seems like my mind is going in so many directions lately, and we are getting to the point of the year when I feel at my most restless, so my focus could completely change by then. Plus, there are several other possible photo ops in the city next week, any one of that would make my inner photographer happy! The is some filming being done at Union Square on Monday and Tuesday for the new Paul Rudd film, Ant Man, and I have a list of some public art that I have been meaning to track down for the longest time. When I am feeling emotional, like I have this past week, I find that climbing into art makes it all seem easier to take. I sure need that about now... a coping mechanism. I just want to float about like an orange jellyfish, happy and content in my own little world, riding on a soft blue wave.

Trying to keep from beaching myself.

Mood: Quiet


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Into The Mystic

"... hark, now hear the sailors cry, 
smell the sea, and feel the sky
let your soul and spirit fly,
into the mystic..."

~Van Morrison
"Into The Mystic"

I took this photo off the Marin County coast, near the Headlands, back in February. It had been a good day with the camera, but the day was coming to an end. I was tired from the workout of capturing the beauty around me, saved forever in a tiny SD card. Knowing I can put that card in my computer, and feel once again the first time I saw a scene, makes me amazingly happy! On this day, it was one mystical, magical moment after another. The sea became silver, and it looked like little diamonds shimmering. The color scene that was in front of me a few minutes began to look gray. It gives the area around it a timelessness. I love when the sun is shining, and I can still capture what appears to be a black and white photo. For me, it's a little bit of Heaven. It always reminds me that seeing things in color isn't always the way you will see them, but it's okay to be black and white or gray under the right circumstances.

Mood: Inspired

~Me :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Art About Town: San Francisco... "Always Hope."

"Be still, sad heart! And cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall"

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The Complete Works Of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Okay, still a little tender, but doing better... just not enough to get out with the camera. Someone was a bad kitty (cough...DYLAN) and meowed LOUDLY after Alan left for work this morning, which made my attempt at sleeping nearly impossible. Good LORD that cat hates to see Alan leave for work! The naughty kitty finally came to his sense around 8:30 AM. By then I was exhausted... again... so I caught a couple more hours sleep before baby cat Joey woke me so I could give him a big bowl of crunchy cereal for cats, also know as, Purina Cat Chow Indoor Formula.

So, it was a day of cleaning, feeling sad, and tip-toeing through my archives. In an effort to help myself out of the funk I have been in, I have been revisiting some of my favorite photography subjects from years past. A big help in times like this are the photos I have done of Bay Area public art exhibits. One of my very favorite being the, San Francisco General Hospital, Hearts In San Francisco project!

Each year since 2004, the hospital puts out a call to local artists to design different themed hearts, which are then put on display throughout San Francisco. The hearts are eventually auctioned off, with the proceeds going to fund programs at at the hospital. It is their mission to... "... provide life-saving care to anyone in need, regardless of ability to pay." What public art project could be more life affirming and heart warming than that?

Here are two of my very favorite...

"I Left My Heart And Shoes In San Francisco"

"America's Greatest City By The Bay"
Designed By Tony Bennett

The call for artists to submit their heart designs for 2015 closed on August 1st, 2014, and the designs that are chosen will go on display throughout the city next February, just in time for Valentine's Day, and American Heart month! Excellent... I am already looking forward to putting on a lovely red outfit, to help promote Women's Heart Awareness, grabbing my hubby Alan and taking him for a heart friendly mean, before we go in search of the Hearts Of San Francisco!

It's A Plan!

Mood: Encouraged! Inspired! And Getting Better All The Time!

 "Always Hope"

~Me :)

To visit the official website, and see the galleries from past years click here.