San Francisco March 1st, 2014 "Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life." ~Mark Twain
Mark Twain loved San Francisco... and so do I. But he loved the city in a different era, so I have often wondered what he would think of today's San Francisco. I would love to be able to sit down with him, and really find out what he thinks of today in general. Would he be a follower of reality TV, maybe, but I think if he did it would be to mock it. Would he enjoy a good ride on BART? I will have to consider that one longer! LOL. How about all the amazing street performers, especially the ones who dress like him, and tell tall tales? Someone impersonating you could either be the biggest compliment ever, or a total insult, so I am sure when it comes to that he would consider the issue from all angles. What about one of the most famous quotes about San Francisco, most often attributed to him, not actually being by him? "The coldest winter I ever spent, was a summer in San Francisco." According to Snopes.com, it wasn't said by Twain! This opinion is based on some pretty extensive research into his writings. That quote is simply not something mused by him, however it's believable he could have uttered it. Have you ever been in San Francisco in the summertime? It can be cold... really cold... and layers of clothing are often required, but it's also true that we have micro-climates in and around the city, and we natives have just come to depend on the best bet of always leaving the house with a sweater, or jacket, no matter what the temperature says it is! LOL. It's just what we do! And I am sure that during his time in San Francisco, he learned to do the same thing! That's the one thing about San Francisco that he could probably still relate to the best, if he were to suddenly come back for a visit. The weather. Cities change. People sometimes change. Culture changes. The weather generally doesn't. Unless you consider Global Warming a thing. Gee, I wonder what he would think about that? "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics" ~Quoted by Mark Twain in his autobiography, he attributes the quote to Benjamin Disraeli. "So I became a newspaperman. I hated to do it, but I couldn't find honest work." ~Mark Twain :) Mood: Quiet ~Me :)
"To be creative means to be in love with life, You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance it's beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, and little more dance to it." ~Osho
I agree whole heatedly that your general outlook on life affects your creativity. When I became deeply depressed years ago, and lost my ability to enjoy life, I couldn't even think about being creative, and yet people around me encouraged me to try. I at first that it was a waste of time, but as it turns out, I was wrong. I took pictures. Dull, lifeless, unfocused, half hearted photos, and it was frustrating because one of my favorite joys in life seemed to be gone, like I had surgery to remove it. In a lot of ways it sent me further into despair, but in that I felt like I had no choice, I continued and I snapped photo, after photo. Then one day, 3 years after the depression began, I felt myself wake up, and I felt life again. And I saw life again. I saw colors and places and objects with renewed interest. Like those things had not existed for a time. VIVID. LIFE WAS VIVID ONCE AGAIN! I have been feeling uninspired lately, but slowly I have been getting my photography mojo back. This week I am hoping to get out and do some real photography! There are some new public art pieces in San Francisco, and some new gardens that look promising. I may not have my energy as high as I would like, but I have the will and the drive, so perhaps the other will follow. I have to try... right? If the current conflict in the middle east, and in the Russia/Ukraine has taught us nothing in the last couple weeks, it has served as a reminder that life is too short to allow depression to take our joys from us!
"You live and learn. At any rate, you live." ~Douglas Adams Okay, well, it was inevitable. Today I am officially posting from the new computer. It is an HP Envy. It's too soon to tell you that you should be... envious that is... but I will get back to you on it! LOL. It's going to take me a few days to get everything back where it belongs, you know, websites and such, but I do have a few things in place. Blogger and Twitter, and, of course, I have my celebrity crush, Dylan McDermott, all nice and tucked into my favorites tab! I have my priorities after all! :) The one downside to getting this new computer is having to deal with Windows 8.1!
I will not mince words, I was happy... HELL... thrilled after the disaster that was Windows Vista. What a walk through hell that was! 7 was everything Vista promised to be. Well, you know, you were there! Anyway, I liked Windows 7 very much, and I feel like they could have just continued with that program, but no, they created Windows 8, and then later, 8.1, so get over it and get with the program, right? Learn it and stop bitching, right? It's not like I hadn't used it before, I have it installed on my laptop, and it was fine there. So really, get over it! Okay. I will. Sigh. I don't like change, unless it's summer changing into autumn. I am completely on-board with that! Mood: Happy ~Me :)
San Francisco With A Little Cloud Cover
"Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine." ~Anothony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book RRC: About The Weather For this round of the Round Robin Challenges, Karen wants to see some weather. I had to pay a visit to the archives for this one because the weather lately has been, well, relentlessly boring. It's summer, and sunny, with the occasional day of low clouds, but other than that it's just typical. What isn't typical is the fact that California hasn't really had seasons for the last couple years, and as a result, we are facing yet another drought. That means it's all brown and dry. Blech. I would rather not post photos of the very thing that seems to be zapping my creativity. So, as I said, I have tip-toed through my archives to bring you the very best of California weather, by the season!
Winter... Snow Falling On Grizzly Peak Boulevard
Snow In The Santa Cruz Mountains
A Late Winter Storm On The Bay
Spring A Storm Recedes Over The Marin County Headlands
An Cloudy April Day Along The California Coast
A Foggy Spring Day In Tilden Park
Summer... The Twilight Of A Hot Summer Day In Berkeley
A Sunny Summer Day In Montara, California
A Summer Heatwave Sunrise
Autumn An Autumn Day Of Bright Sun And Low Clouds
Clear Sky And Low Clouds On The San Francisco Bay
A Warm, Not Hot, Autumn Day At The Beach
Okay, that's all ABOUT THE WEATHER here in the Bay Area! Now, go see what the other participating Robins have posted ABOUT THE WEATHER in their neck of the woods! Just click the link at the top of this post to be redirected to the official Round Robin blog, where you will find the list of Robins who are participating, and all the info you need to join us! Mood: Happy ~Me :)
I spotted the Bathtub Diva one day, about nine years ago, when I was out looking for the odd. I loved he/she straightaway! You see, on that day, nothing seemed to be going right. A disagreement with a friend. I had just fired my therapist. I was feeling restless. George W. Bush was still in office, and I am betting he said something stupid that day! God he got on my nerves! And then along came the Bathtub Diva, sporting a laid back attitude, and a certain unique fashion style! Clearly this diva had it going on, and there was no room for negativity about it! Yesterday, Thursday, was not a good day. You see, Joey woke me after my having enjoyed just 3 hours sleep. And he woke me not to play mind you, or because he was hungry, no he woke me because he had a slight butt problem called ringworm! As feline afflictions go, ringworm is not the most difficult thing to deal with. One injection by Dr. Barrett and within 24hrs... no more worms. Unfortunately, I couldn't get an appointment yesterday, so later today Alan and I will take Joey, and Dylan in for an injection. Hendrix had ringworm last week, and at the time the doctor said there was no reason to bring them all in, if we didn't see any indication of them being affected. Funny, I should have known it would happen, but I was hoping for the best. Oh well, on the bright side, it's not difficult to fix, and Alan received a bonus from work just yesterday morning that will pay for the doctor's visit, and leave a little left over for a new computer! We have been needing one for a while, and now is as good a time as any to get it done. I will save all the details about the new computer for Sunday's post. Saturday is the next scheduled Round Robin outing. Our subject this time around is, About The Weather! It's funny how that bad day 9 years ago, with all it's irritations and troubles led to me finding one of my favorite photo opportunities ever! And it's funny how yesterday began so badly, yet ended with everything working out okay, and a new gadget, which is now ordered and on the way, to make life a little easier! While there were other things that couldn't be solved, like the current;y irritating political process, Ted Cruz is a DICK, at least I will soon have an more efficient way to keep up with it! LOL.
Once again it is proven, negativity solves nothing.
I appreciate the Bathtub Diva for reminding me of that!
Corridor Pin, Blue, 1999
By Claes Oldenburg And Coosje van Bruggen "There is no place for grief in a house which serves the Muse." ~Sappho I LOVE this piece. Corridor Pin, Blue, 1999, By Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. It can be found on the grounds of the DeYoung Museum, in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. I love it for it's whimsy. I love it for it's color, and size. It makes me happy inside when I look at it. A common, every day object, transformed into colorful art. The simple and every day is usually disregarded, and overlooked, but this piece reminds us to look for the beauty, even if we think it can't be found! It's comforting. When I am faced with a lack of inspiration regarding my photography, I try to remember that there is beauty and art right inside my house. My cats, are frequent subjects, but last year when I was ill for so long, I got out the camera and began to photograph objects on my desk. I was pleased with the results, and got a number of good reviews from those who saw the photos. It takes a whole other mind set to set up a shot, rather than letting nature, such as in a sunset, take it's course. Shrug. I don't prefer one over another, I just like that I can fill up my mind with positive feelings when it comes to art. In my case, the house referred to in today's quote, refers to my mind and imagination, rather than an actual house. For me, art is what clears the cobwebs, and allows me to embrace the light of happiness.
"Dreams are what guide us, art is what defines us, math is what makes it all possible, and lights our way." ~Mike Norton I saw this beautiful flower on my visit last month to Flowerland, in Albany. I could have just stood in that light and admired the beautiful pink color all day! Sometimes light just pulls me in, and warms me, not in a harsh way, more like a hug. This particular day was cold, and overcast, so it felt especially good to just stand in the light. Not a care in the world. It was nice. :) One day, years ago, my dear friend Steven described me as, "Carly... seeker of light." At the time I had to wonder why he saw that in me. I felt that I was, or at least had been, a really negative, dark thinking person. But perhaps people, especially friends, can see things in us we can't see in ourselves. Anyway, while it took me a little while to believe him, I realized one day that he had no reason to lie. So yeah, I guess I am a seeker of light! That was quite a gift he gave me that day. I would give anything to be able to say Thank you! He always took the most beautiful photograph of flowers! I appreciated his talent. And appreciated the the encouragement he gave me when it came to my own photography. He had plenty of light in him too!
Santa Cruz, California
July 11th, 2014
"Wherever you go, go with all your heart." ~Confucius When I was in Santa Cruz, a couple weeks ago, I was so thankful to be surrounded by all the beauty of the place. It is always fun to visit there, but my favorite part is to just sit on the beach and relax and enjoy the sun. I am thankful for where I live. California is beautiful! And Santa Cruz is definitely one of my favorite places!
"Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears."
This is not the post I planned for today, I had some archived photos that I took in Santa Cruz, in August of 2005. They are photos I am proud of, and they always make me smile. The lighting was just right. The colors were amazing, and I had just spent an amazing time on the beach, enjoying a Micky Dolenz concert. But on the way to preparing for that memory post, I came across some words of wisdom that rang so true, and lifted my spirits so much, I decided to share.
The Paradoxical Commandments
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway. The good you do today, will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
People really need help buy may attack you if you do help them. Help them anyway.
Give the world the best you have an you'll get kicked in the teeth, Give the world the best you have anyway. ~Kent M. Keith, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership In The Student Council Mood: Quiet ~Me :)
"Some people expect things to fall into their lap. Oh, they might work a bit for it. I'll just shake this tree, and if I shake it long enough that pretty red apple will plop right into my hand. Never occurs to them that they might have to climb the damn tree, fall out a couple times, get some scrapes and bruises before they get to that apple. Because if the apple's worth wanting, it's worth risking a broken neck." ~Nora Roberts, Face The Fire
The Bubblegum Wall on Bubblegum Alley San Luis Obispo, California October 2005 This picture is from my photo archives, the year 2005 to be exact! It was October, and I was on vacation in San Luis Obispo with Alan. We stopped in at our favorite restaurant and Inn, the Apple Farm. They have the most amazing food, and when we take our rides down to Santa Barbara, we always stop in for breakfast on the way! On this trip I was a little tender, life in 2005 had it's moments... sigh... we will just leave it at that!
Anyway, I was tired, and feeling quiet, but it seems as if the moment we hit the central coast, all the sad began to melt away! From the very first time I visited SLO, in the early 1990's, I have felt like instead of visiting a gorgeous city that I adored, I was actually returning home. I get a strange familiar feeling while visiting there, like maybe I had lived there in some past life. If one believes in that kind of thing! But not like Deja vu... no... more comfortable than that. So, whenever Alan feels I need a little TLC, he packs me up, puts me in the car, and he takes me to my favorite places! Do you believe in past lives? I am not sure if I do. All I know is I never felt more at ease, or more at home, than when I am on the Central Coast of California. I hope to be able to take a long drive with Alan in October, while we are on our 5 week vacation. We'll see. It's been nine years since we visited there. I didn't have Fibromyalgia the last time I went, and I also didn't have an under-active thyroid either! Both of which tend to exhaust me, and might make that kind of drive too much for my body! Alan enjoys driving, but he shouldn't have to do all the work!
I don't know... we'll see... maybe I can sleep for 2 or three days before we go! LOL. I would hate to think I can't make the trip anymore, but it is about a 17 hour drive round trip if we take a leisurely pace. I will have to think it over, but right now, I say YES! LETS GO!The Central Coast, and all it's beauty and history, is definitely worth having!And besides... An apple a day, keeps the doctor away! ;)
"A tragedy is a tragedy, and at the bottom, all tragedies are stupid. Give me a choice and I'll take A Midsummer Night's Dream over Hamlet every time. Any fool with steady hands and a working set of lungs can build up a house of cards and then blow it down, but it takes a genius to make people laugh." ~Stephen King I have heard it said, many many times, that comedy and tragedy go together, hand in hand. You can't have one without the other. I believe that, for the most part, having lived through my own various tragedies, some as recent as a few months ago, when a friend committed suicide. At the time, there was nothing funny about it! 4 months later... there is nothing funny about it! But having fully transitioned the five stages of grief now, and having finally settled into acceptance, I understand that maybe one day some strange spark of humor will catch me off guard. Shrug. In some of my deepest grieving, I have found humor, and in truth that humor saved me. Yesterday I woke up to a strange Deja vu feeling, as I listened to CNN's coverage of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over the Ukraine. Initially there was reporting that the flight had gone missing, just like Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 did last March, but soon it was confirmed that indeed Flight MH17 had crashed, and then later it was confirmed that it had been blown out of the sky. There was nothing... nothing... that could be construed as humorous in the situation, and yet there I was making stupid jokes. Oh not about the crash per se, but rather the humor that was coming to me had to do with the fact that I have given up on the idea of ever flying commercial again! Or private jet for that matter! I joked on Twitter that I was done with flying, and when I do decide to finally see London, I will simply ride my bike there! Good plan! And when Alan and I finally do that trip to New York City, well my preferred mode of transportation will be the handy dandy Segway! Hey, it could work, right? I mean if someone could walk to New York, or ride their electric wheelchair, then why not a Segway? It would be a living HELL over the Rockies, but whatever, I am willing to give it a go! See, there's that humor, nervous humor to be exact, that comes out when I am anxious, or scared! Inappropriate? Perhaps, but essential to my staying sane. Selfish much? Maybe... maybe not. Shrug. I am giving myself a break here. I am trying to remember that different people handle tragedy differently, and I am no exception. Actor Jason Biggs got himself into a bit of trouble on Twitter yesterday for a series of tweets with a humorous spin regarding the crash. I thought he was fine, I wasn't offended by what he said, but it bothered some folks and they were more than happy to let him know! I don't know... I don't think he was trying to harm anyone, or hurt anyone, but I think we, the human race at large, has been subjected to so much tragedy since 9/11, personally and collectively, that we are raw when it comes to times like this! We can't grieve for each other, that is a personal journey we all get to ourselves. We can be there for each other, we can relate, we can sympathize and empathize, but at the end of the day, we all must deal with the tragedy and absurdities in our own way. It's a lonely feeling isn't it? Maybe we can just all try to remember to be patient with each other.
As a point of irony, I read about a young man, a passenger, who tweeted a bit of humor, just before boarding the doomed flight. He was referencing the missing Malaysian Flight 370. I can only imagine that he also used humor to help him through the anxious moments of life. Sigh. His name was Cor Pan and there is a Facebook Memorial page for him if you would like to leave your respects. Yeah, I think trying that idea about using a little patience with each other might be the way to go. Patience... a good thing in times of war. Both our internal conflicts and those of the world. Mood: Quiet ~Me :)
"Not living in fear is a gift, because certainly these days we do it so much. And do you know what I like about comedy? You can't laugh and be afraid at the same time... of anything. If you are laughing, I defy you to be afraid." ~Stephen Colbert I try to find the humor in ever single day. It's not always easy, and often times I will experience some silly bit of drama... such is life... but at the end of the day I try my best to remember a moment of humor. My mind is filled with memories of something one of my cats has done to make me laugh. Hendrix is a bit bumbly. Dylan is so serious, but sometimes he will do something completely unexpected and it will make me double over with laughter. But Joey... he is my little goofball. He is warm, and loving, and sometimes I think he is more flying monkey, than actual kitten. But a kitty he is, and he loves to make me smile. He loves a good photo bomb! You can't see it, but right behind Joey, is Dylan, all posed and ready to have his picture taken! LOL. Joey loves the camera! And just after I snapped this photo, Dylan was so pissed that Joey had jumped in front of him that he HISSSSSED. And of course, it made me laugh! Thank God For Humor And Thank God For Cats! Mood: Happy ~Me :)
"A home should be a distillation of your interests, of who you really are. If you're happy with your life, your space will reflect that." ~Rafael de Cardenas, Designer
I am feeling restless. I need for autumn to be here already! I miss football, and I am looking forward to the new crop of shows that appear each fall, and the return of old favorites as well! I woke up this morning with autumn recipes in my head, and the familiar feeling of autumn and the holidays being just around the corner. I know, it's two weeks away from the mid-point of summer, but God help me, it's here for me all the same.
I wish I could explain it.
Afterthought... Maybe I should go to IKEA and let myself be inspired to do some redecorating!
"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there." ~L.P. Hartley, The Go-Between If I let myself, I can sit for hours and dwell on all things negative which happened in the past. I think it's called ruminating! But fortunately I learned the fine art of thought stopping, which came by way of some intense therapy because of things that happened in the past. Had it not been for the need of the intense therapy in the first place, I would not have learned to deal with the pain of today. LOL. Go figure, there really is an upside to pain. You really do grow as a person through the experience of pain! Go pain!