"How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days."
~ John Burroughs
My camera is by my side... always! There is at nearly every moment of the day, a camera within my reach. On my desk. In my purse. In the glove compartment of my car. Why? Will simply put... I am obsessed! I love looking at life through the lens, and at this time of year, I am in a world all my own. Every single tree, alive with the last of the pinks, and bright yellows, and muted purples... even the dry browns of autumn, bring a warmth to me that doesn't exist the rest of the year. I am never happier, than during these 3 autumn months. I love the warm days, and crisp nights. The morning fog. The quiet. It all comes together to give me an inner strength that I wish I had the rest of the year.
Yesterday, when I saw that my rose garden had burst into color, I couldn't have been happier! My Japanese maple has begun to lose it's dry Cabernet leaves, but the roses, with their amazing purple/mauve color seem to bring out the contrasting beauty just perfectly. The pear tree produced it's fruit over the summer, but it's leaves are turning and it makes me smile thinking about the fruit it will bear next year! As sad as I am that these colors, and scents won't last a whole lot longer, I am not thinking about when it will be gone, I am too happy enjoying the colors. With a little luck, we will have a nice variety of colorful leaves, and roses right from the garden adorning the table for Thanksgiving!
If you enjoy autumn as much as I do, and are posting your own love of leaves and the time of harvest, please feel free to leave me your link in the comment thread. I will be happy to come by and see your post!
"Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference."
Last week, while driving through San Francisco, I spotted this old hotel sign at the top of a building, on Broadway, where the Crowbar bar used to be. I haven't been able to find out much information about the old hotel, or the building in general. In fact, the only bit of information to be found has more to do with the Crowbar. It seems that in it's day it was quite the dive bar, but oddly enough, it was seems it was very loved. And missed! I like living in the East Bay, but you can't beat San Francisco for all kinds of reasons, the different and varied neighborhood nostalgia being one of them.
If you are as avid a shutterbug as I am, you already know there is a story to be found no matter where you go, even if there is no story to be told. That's what I love most about having my camera by my side, I get to step outside my usual thoughts and interests. Every single day has the potential to open my eyes in a new way!
Yesterday, Wednesday, was the last day of our vacation. THANK GOD! Honestly, it wasn't the most restful vacation I have ever had. There seemed to be one stupid thing happening after another, starting with the very first day... well... the second day actually. But it was the 1st. of October. The month of October is now ours annually. Alan has worked long enough, and saved enough personal holidays, that we can now have a whole month to play in. Ordinarily it is a dream, but this last vacation had it's moments, both good and bad. For now, I am concentrating on the good. On the 13th, we celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary, and it was amazing!
Other good moments included... A lovely Twilight Dinner Cruise on the San Francisco Bay! It was a dream! Very casual, but lovely and relaxing all the same. There was a live musical performer, and the dinner was a light buffet of sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit, and fresh warm cookies, plus a full bar. In that we were driving over from the East Bay, we didn't drink, but we didn't need to, it was so relaxing, we felt the stress just drift away!
Other Things That Went Right...
1.We had a great Halloween. I was a Rubber Duck, and Alan was Uncle Si, from Duck Dynasty.
2. We spend 2 days at Pier 39 playing at the 7-D Experience, shooting zombies! What? ... don't laugh!
3. The pain in the ass neighbors, Donny & Nina (not their real names) moved, and took their barking dog with them! There is a minor bit of negativity to share about that, but sometime later. Stay Tuned.
4. We took our yearly ride on the Ride The Ducks tour, and of course, it was terrific fun!
6. Alan and I engaged in a little shopping therapy! FUN!
7. Alan and engaged in a 24hr marathon of the Walking Dead. Spread out over 4 days! LOL.
And, of course, I got to do some photography... at will. No schedules. And of all of the things I photographed, the Bay Bridge ended up being one of my favorite subjects yet again! Purely by coincidence, I happened to be able to photograph the bridge in a special way, 2 years in a row, on October 30th. In 2012 it was while on an aerial tour of the San Francisco Bay. This year, it was while we were driving along the Embarcadero, while in the Duck amphibious vehicle.
Here is the link for last year... October 30th 2012
*Originally Posted November 2nd, 2012
And Here Is This Year's Gallery...
Art About Town: San Francisco, "Cupid's Span."
By Artists, Claes Oldenburg And Coosje van Bruggen
San Francisco Embarcadero
October 30th 2013
You knew I would sneak in some Public Art... right? It's a good shot, but I want to do better, so I am going back later this month to do a more in-depth photo of this piece. In fact, there is a lot of fun stuff coming up... Stay Tuned! The holidays in the Bay Area are nothing short of magical!
Isn't that monkey wonderful? Yeah... I thought so too! A couple weeks ago, on one of our jaunts into San Francisco during our vacation, we came to a stop on the Embarcadero, a few blocks down from the Exploratorium. The city is beginning to get it's autumn on, gold leaves were floating across the road, and that usually holds my attention firmly, but then something else kinda wonderful caught my eye! I saw, what looked like, flying monkeys! Alan couldn't see what I was looking at, as the Embarcadero has some odd angles to it, so he and I mused about what it might be instead, if I had been mistaken. I knew I wasn't wrong, but it was a fun car game all the same. Finally, the light turned green, and pretty soon Alan was saying... "Hey look, there are monkeys flying about over there by the Exploratorium!" LOL.
After a bit of Googling, I found out the the circular flying monkeys was actually an interactive work of public art called, Homouroboros, by artist, Peter Hudson. The zoetrope features 18 monkeys, which spin at 20 RPM, as the drums beneath them are beaten. The end result is the illusion that one monkey, not 18, finally reach the goal of a delicious red apple. It is especially striking at night, as the multicolored strobes add to the illusion. I love this piece! First of all, who doesn't love monkeys? But now add in all the science of how the art was created, and you end up with the coolest piece of art in San Francisco! In my opinion of course. But if you are in the Bay Area, and you haven't seen it yet, go see it... now! Homouroborosis scheduled to end on November 17th, although there is the possibility that it will be extended. You should check the website before you go!
Go see it! Interact with it! You know you want to! In the mean time, go visit the artist's website...
So, today voters in New Jersey, and Virginia, will go to the polls to choose a governor. As I have been hearing, all day, from different political reports, from CNN to MSNBC, and beyond, it's pretty much a forgone conclusion that both of these men will be voted for overwhelmingly. With Chris Christie, it's not all that hard to understand why the people of New Jersey will be happy to have him serve once again as their governor! In a word he is... REASONABLE. Do I agree with his political beliefs, um, no, but what I do admire Governor Christie for is his ability to ignore the rantings and ravings of the far right of the republican party. The man thinks for himself. He has a sense of humor. He served his state not just one side of it. Above all else... when the storm had come and gone, he had the backs of all the citizens of New Jersey. Bottom line, in that he is ready and able to not just reach across the aisle, but indeed to give the other side credit when it is due, I see him as the biggest threat to Hillary Clinton, if she does indeed run for president. If the republican party is smart, they will embrace Chris Christie, and follow his lead. Otherwise, I don't see much of a future for the party, due to their inability to learn from their mistakes.
The state of Virginia has been through a lot. The current governor, Governor Bob McDonnell, otherwise known as Governor Ultrasound, because of his push for an invasive ultrasound test on women before they can have an abortion. That idea has proven to be not to popular with Virginia voters, and then add to it, all the controversy surrounding Governor McDonnell's accepting of political gifts, and his questionable spending and personal expenses while in the governor's mansion. McDonnell's political life has taken a beating this year, mostly of his own doing, and has done' nothing for the republican party's reputation in general. The people of Virginia are all to ready to go with Terry McAuliffe as their man. At least it seems so, we will see come later today.
What both parties can take away from the two situations is this... people all over the country, not just in New Jersey and Virginia, are tired of the bullshit. Just like our parents and grandparents were. We, the voters, will go to the polls for another national election in 2016, and we will, one way or another, begin a new day. Will it be a Clinton administration? God I hope so. Will it be a Christie administration? Could be. Either way, like generations before us, we have the opportunity to learn from past mistakes, and start over again, smarter, and wiser.
But will we do it? Will we let ourselves learn the lessons? Will we stand up to the gun lobby? The greedy 1%? Will we care enough to demand the change?
“Life doesn't make any sense, and we all pretend it does. Comedy's job is to point out that it doesn't make sense, and that it doesn't make much difference anyway.”
Last night, Alan and I decided to spend the last Sunday night of our vacation, by laughing our butts off at the Punch Line, in San Francisco. We had such a wonderful time! It felt really good to get out of the house, and have a date with my hubby! Because of this schedule, Alan and I never get to go on dates on the weekend anymore, and that makes me kind of sad. I know, I know, what's the difference between a Tuesday night date and a Saturday night date? Right? But somehow, there just is... I don't know how to explain it, but on the other hand, that's what makes this time of year so special! I love October! It always was my favorite month, and when Alan and I got married, it became even more special to me! :)
But lets focus on the humor.
It was our first visit to the Punch Line, and it was a lot of fun! It was the club's Comedy Showcase night, and there was about 15 or so comediennes in about 2 hours. The usual 2 item minimum applied, but wasn't strictly enforced, and the waitress was very nice and prompt with our order. The Mediterranean plate was delicious, and just right for he and I to share. YUM! Oh my goodness, it feels so good to laugh, I highly recommend it! Thank you Punch Line, I laughed till I cried. It felt amazing!
“Life is a drama full of tragedy and comedy. You should learn to enjoy the comic episodes a little more.”
~Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle Mood: Happy ~Me :)
"Each year, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. He's gotta pick this one. He's got to. I don't see how a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this one. You can look around and there's not a sign of hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see." ~Linus van Pelt (Charles M. Schulz) It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
Punky, October 31st 2013
Isn't that a handsome pumpkin? Alan and I looked far and wide before we found the pumpkin that was just right! We found, and met, lots of lovely pumpkins, both here and in Half Moon Bay, but we just didn't see the one who was quite right. Like when searching for your perfect human soul mate, one must look until one finds the perfect pumpkin soul mate. You see, since I was a very small child, I have believed that pumpkins have souls. I came to this conclusion, while growing my very own, very small pumpkin patch in my family's yard. I supervised, while Dad got the ground ready. He and I put the pumpkin seeds in the ground, and I watered, fed and spoke to those seeds, as the vines, and then finally the pumpkins, grew. I got to know those pumpkins, and each one was given a name. It was a practice that helped to shape the love of gardening I have today! I haven't grown a pumpkin patch in years, but I am saving some of the seeds from Punky 2013, and with a little luck, next year we will have a perfect, and well cared for, pumpkin for Halloween. Wish us luck!