Saturday, April 29, 2006

"Free"...A Round Robin Promotion

"If we shadows have offended
Think but this, and all is mended
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear."

-A Midsummer Night's Dream 5.1

We have a marvelous new Round Robin Challenge coming up in a couple weeks, the topic has been chosen by our friend Phinney, author of the journal,"Paragon," and she has decided that our next challenge subject will be, "Free."

There are tons of ways to interpret that subject. "Buy One Get One Free,"Free To Be You And Me," remember that album? Or maybe you might want to tackle the subject by sharing your thoughts on the personal freedoms we embrace in America. Freedom of Speech, Freedom Of Religion...maybe even Free Love.

One thing that occurs to me, is that summer is almost here, and one of the best things about summer in California, is all the free summer festivals and parades that take place. One of my personal favorites is the Rowell Ranch Rodeo Parade, which is held each year, on the second Saturday in May, in the town of Castro Valley. The night before the parade features a free chili cookoff, in the Castro Village shopping center. I really look forward to this's a lot of fun.

Another marvelous event is the free "Shakespeare in the Park." Held each year in Golden Gate Park, the company will be celebrating their 23rd anniversary this season. I love sitting in the park, especially when I get the chance to see my favorite of Shakespeare's comedies, "A Mid-Summer Night's Dream," being performed. The schedule for this season should be posted soon, and believe me I will be circling the dates on my calendar.

Finally, I think the best way to spend a hot, summer, Friday night, is to relax in the cool sand in Santa Cruz, on the beach, where the, "Free Summer Concert Series" is happening. Greg Kihn, The Drifters, and of course my favorite performer of the series, Micky Dolenz, were just a few of the musical attractions that played there last year. I think this year we are going to try to make it to more then one concert...especially now that the curse of Santa Cruz has been lifted! LOL.

So that's just a few ideas to spark your imagination. I am sure this will be one of those challenges where I will see a lot of great interpretations by the members of the Round Robin Challenges. If you would like to join us, please feel welcome to come along. All you have to do is visit the official Round Robin Blog to find out all the details and to sign up. If you have a camera, a blog or journal to display your photos, and a little imagination, then you have everything necessary to come along for the fun. Everyone is invited. :) As always if you have any questions feel free to drop either myself or Karen an email, with "Round Robin Question" in the subject line, and we will get back to you ASAP.

Carly (

Karen (

"A Dream"
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, California
Summer, 2005

Friday, April 28, 2006

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment # 109: Your New Music

"When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have."

-Edgar Watson Howe

Weekend Assignment: What are some of the most recent music albums you have bought? Name up to three. Note that I said, "bought"...I want to know what music you've liked so much that you've actually shelled out cash for them.

Extra Credit: Did you buy these albums on CD, or did you get them online through iTunes or another music service?

-John Scalzi (By The Way...)

A few months back, just after I began studying T'ai Chi and practicing meditation and Yoga, I purchased some special music. I really wanted something that would set a calming mood, and I found it by way of a good friend's suggestion. I bought "Ancient Voices: Nature and Music in Harmony," by composers, Dennis Hysom and Dan Alvarez. It is truly one of the most beautiful CD's of music I have ever owned. The gorgeous music blends with the sounds of the natural world, and the result is music that soothes my soul, and allows me to transcend the stresses of everyday life. All I have to do is close my eyes...and allow the music to take me to the season of autumn, with the song, "Autumn Flyway," and soon, all I know is sweet, warm, peace. It's lovely and quite gentle. Ahhhh. I highly recommend it! :)

For Valentine's Day this year, I decided to treat myself to a couple CDs I found at Starbuck's. Paul McCartney's, "Chaos & Creation in the Backyard," and Eric Clapton's, "Back Home." Both artists are among my very favorite musicians. One song in particular that I enjoyed on Paul McCartney's CD is, "Friends To Go." It has a nice balance to it, and has me humming it to myself. That's always a good sign, right? I have been enjoying both CDs a lot. I listen to some type of music every day. Be it classical, such as Rachmaninoff or Vivaldi. Rock, like The Ramones or REM, or novelty groups such as the Electric is a big part of my days, and makes my life a whole lot nicer. :)

Berkeley, California
April 27th, 2006

Steven's Feline Friday & Elvis's Birthday

"Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional."

-Chilli Davis

Yesterday (Thursday) was Elvis's 9th birthday, so I thought it would be fun to share some photos from his party for Steven's Feline Friday. He is now 52 in human years. He is showing some signs of slowing down, but he sure isn't losing his inner kitten. He still has the same outrageous sense of humor, that one time allowed him to trick his father, Alan, when he very nearly stole Alan's cheesesteak from him. LOL. He still giggles and laughs out loud at noodles, he giggles when he and I blow bubbles together, and he still LOVES strawberry pie, and birthday parties...

and teddy bears...

and chicken baby food...

His birthday party was a great success. The sun came out just in time, it was nearly 80 degrees here today. His friends, Ernst and Sabastiani, came and brought presents, and he got to wear his Elmo hat most of the day. :) Right now he asleep, holding his new teddy bear...and he is still wearing his hat. :)

Take a blog jog on over to Steven's blog, (sometimes) photoblog, to see Pickle and find links to this week's entries for Feline Friday. You'll be glad you did! :)

"Elvis At 9"
Berkeley, California
April 27th, 2006

Thursday, April 27, 2006

And I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For...

"Great art is as irrational as great music. It is mad with it's own loveliness."

-George Jean Nathan

I have climbed highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you, only to be with you
I have run
I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
but I still haven't found what I'm looking for

Last week when I was in San Francisco, for the 100th anniversary celebrations of the 1906 earthquake, I got a chance to visit one of the most lovely spots along the Embarcadero, Justin Herman Plaza. The center is a shopping delight, but more then that, it is filled with some fascinating pieces of public art. One of the most controversial is the above sculpture/fountain which is titled, "Vaillancourt Fountain. This piece has been an object of debate, since it's unveiling in 1971 by it's artist, Armand Vaillancourt. It seems that folks either LOVE it or HATE it. Rarely do people take a lukewarm attitude toward it. Personally, I adore it. I like everything about it, but it seems that Bono, lead singer for U2 would disagree with me.

I have kissed honey lips
Felt my healing on his fingertips
It burned like fire
This burning desire

I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of the devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

In fact it was Bono which may have provided the fountain with it's most notorious moment, when during a free concert by U2, the lead-singer spray-painted the words, "Rock and Roll Stops The Traffic," across the fountain. This act of vandalism angered then mayor Dianne Feinstein and it resulted in a citation for malicious mischief, but Bono had something to say...

"We're the Batman & Robin of rock'n' roll... I am an artist, and that was not an act of vandalism."

This incident was the beginning of the end of free concerts held at Justin Herman Plaza. Over time the sculpture took a lot of beating by petitions to have it removed and by wear and tear of time and the homeless who tended to take up refuge in it, but in the summer of 2004, Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who led an effort in collaboration with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, to turn the fountain back on, and restore it, after the city had shut it off in 2000 to conserve resources. It was finally back on and beautiful again. :)

I believe in kingdom come
Then all the colors will bleed to one
Bleed to one
Well yes I'm still running

You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Of my shame
You know I believed it

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

"Vaillancourt Fountain"
Justin Herman Plaza
San Francisco, California
April 16th, 2006
Early Evening
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" lyrics By U2

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Round Robin Challenge: Holy

"The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization."

-Frank Lloyd Wright

When I first found out what the topic for this challenge was, I couldn't help but smile. Our challenge, "Holy," was chosen this time around by Robin, author of the journal, "Search The Sea." The reason I smiled about the topic was because lately I have been appreciating the astounding architecture here in the Bay Area, particularly in the lovely houses of worship. From the old California missions, to the newer more modern designed churches, all of them are lovely to look at and HOLY places to visit and reflect.

Sts. Peter & Paul, San Francisco, Ca.

This is such a beautiful church. You can see the gorgeous steeples from all over the city. This view is from Coit Tower, looking down on it's neighborhood at Washington Square Park. Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were married on January 14, 1954 at the City Hall in San Francisco, but they posed for their wedding photos later that day on the steps of this church, where DiMaggio had worshipped in his childhood.

St Paul's Episcopal, Virginia City, Nv.

Last October, Alan and I visited the small, old west town of Virginia City Nevada. There were two churches that sat in the middle of town, and they were lovely examples of the serene beauty one sees, and the peace one feels when visiting a town that is straight out of the past.

Saint Mary in the Mountains, Virginia City, Nv.

This church sits just one block up the hill from St Paul's, in Virginia City. When we were in this part of Virginia City, there didn't seem to be any sound at all. It was a place of calm and peacefulness. I could have spent the whole day right here snapping off photos of the lovely churches in town.

The Mormon Temple of Oakland, California

When I was a little girl, and we would pass the temple as we drove on the freeway, I imagined it to be a castle sitting high above us in the Oakland Hills. You can see the temple from across the bay in San Francisco. It is an absolutely lovely church, and when it is lit up at night, it is absolutely stunning. It always catches my eye as I pass or night.

Neighborhood Church, Castro Valley, Ca

You can see the large three crosses of the neighborhood church for miles. When I was a little girl, we attended the neighborhood church for a brief time. I remember to this day, how I used to gaze up at the crosses. They were so tall. It is another place that always catches my eye when I am in the area...and reminds me of quieter times. Their yearly Christmas program is especially well done, and of course, quite moving.

Mission Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Ca.

A few years ago, I began a photo series of the California Missions. To date, Mission Santa Barbara is my favorite to photograph. It is also the most lovely of this missions I have been to so far. The grounds of the mission are breathtaking with a view of the Pacific Ocean, and a huge rose garden with over 500 varieties of roses. June is a wonderful month to visit and see them all in glorious bloom.


Be sure to visit the other Round Robin participants to see their interpretations of our current challenge, "Holy." If you would like to join us for the fun, just pay a visit to the official Round Robin Blog to learn all the details.

Robin... Search The Sea POSTED!

Karen... Outpost MavarinPOSTED!

Carly... Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly POSTED!

Erika... Photographs Of My Soul POSTED!

Tammy... The Daily Warrior POSTED!

Jessica... QuickSilver Dreams POSTED!

Patrick... Patrick's Portfolio POSTED!

Julie... Julie's Web Journal POSTED!

Steven... (sometimes) photoblog POSTED!

Connie... Connie's Photo Pages POSTED!

TJ... Photo Inclusions: Every Picture Tells A Story POSTED!

Deslily... Here, There and Everywhere 2nd Edition POSTED!
Here, There and Everywhere (AOL) POSTED!

Tess... First Digital Photos POSTED!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

After 100 Years: The Survival Of The Ferry Building

"I kind of like things slightly out of tune. It makes me feel...intoxicated almost, but in a good way. Like I'm at a carnival in a dream."

-Christine Anderson

Last Tuesday, April 18th, the city of San Francisco, and many Bay Area cities for that matter, celebrated the 100th anniversary of the great earthquake of 1906. The quake registered 7.9 on the Reichter scale and shook the ground between 40 and 60 seconds. The devastation was widespread. San Jose, to the south was left in ruins, as well as Santa Rosa to the north. Nearly the entire area south of Market in San Francisco crumbled to the ground, while other areas of the city, such as Nob Hill, Pacific Heights and Russian Hill emerged with little damage. With the city in ruins, there was some extraordinary individuals who were on hand to do some early documentation of what was left after the ground stopped shaking. Author Jack London, was one of those who grabbed a camera...and in doing so recorded the quakes aftermath.

The light show at the Ferry Building, on the Embarcadero, was gorgeous. It was hard to believe that 100 years had gone by. Growing up in the Bay Area, meant that I had been through many different quakes, of many different intensities, so when looking at the historical photographs of the quake of 1906, it never really seemed possible for that to happen again. My attitude about that changed, after I experienced the 7.1 Loma Prieda earthquake of 1989. It hit just after 5:00 PM and shook for approximately 20 seconds. Like the San Francisco quake of 1906, there was widespread damage. Buildings toppled as far south as Santa Cruz.

Interesting Fact: The San Francisco quake struck at 5:12 am Pacific Time. The Loma Prieta quake, of 1989 hit at 5:04 pm Pacific Time. The clock on the Ferry Building stopped running after the 1906 quake, and remained stuck at 5:16 for over a year before it was repaired.

The Ferry Building was designed in late 1892 by A. Page Brown, a graduate of Cornell University. The inspiration for it came from the design of the La Giralda bell tower of Seville Cathedral.

At one time the Ferry Building was one of the most used transportation halls in the world. The completion of the Bay Bridge, and decline of Ferry usage made the building somewhat obsolete. At one time as many as 170 ferry boats a day had bought commuters and transcontinental railroad passengers to the foot of Market Street, where the city streetcar lines ended.

The Ferry Building was designated as a landmark in 1977 by the American Society of Civil Engineers, and was reopened on March 21, 2003 after a $75,000,000 restoration project. The clock and ferry Building were named City Landmark #90 on July 9, 1977.

The clock, with it's four 22-foot diameter clock faces, was officially re-started on June 17, 2003 at 12 noon by Mayor Willie Brown.

To be able to sit at Justin Herman Plaza last week, and enjoy this beautiful display of sound and color was a complete joy.Throughout the day there had been many different ceremonies in remembrance of the event. There were survivors of the 1906 quake on hand to share their memories of the day. Listening to their first person accounts was quite moving, and at time amusing, as one survivor recounted how she had been raised by day by the prostitutes of San Francisco, while her parents sought gainful employment after losing all they owned to the quake.The events of the day, the colors moving over the tower, and the warm spring weather all seemed somewhat surreal. The only thing that seemed to be missing was the sound of the Ethereal Musician playing something appropriate on his saxophone. :) I love searching for, and then finding the light. :)

"San Francisco Ferry Building"
San Francisco, California
April 18, 2006

Monday, April 24, 2006

Memories Above The City Lights

"Art is like a border of flowers along the course of civilization."

-Lincoln Stevens

This past week was one of the most unusual weeks I have ever had. I think it was good that I took some time off to renew my soul a bit. I suppose it is a good thing for everyone to do from time to time, to see things from a new appreciation, and perspective. To remember what we are passionate about and why we care so deeply about those interests. Last week was time to really look at what I love, and who I love, and the places I love, and remember to not take any of it for granted.

I was so sad to hear about Pam's passing away last Sunday. Still doesn't seem like it could be true. Sometimes, I think...maybe I got it wrong...but then I am all too aware that in fact, I won't ever get another email from her again. I won't ever get another chance to tell her how much I appreciated her laugh, and her voice, and the way she cared...without end. Yeah...without end. Somehow I don't believe that just because she is gone, that is the end of her on this earth. I will always have my friend through those emails, the comments she left me...and the smile that comes to my face when I think of her. Like our dear friend Frank...she's still right here.

When I was out last week with the camera, I saw art everywhere. Some of it I sought out. There are some marvelous public art displays that dot the Bay Area from San Francisco to San Jose. I took numerous photos to bring back here and show you. I was also seeing art in the natural world as well. Some incredible sunsets, some gorgeous flowers with tiny tears of rain on their petals...people out and about enjoying the first sunny days of spring, 2006. It was finally warm and clear in the Bay Area, after we had set, and then broke, the record for rainfall in March. Sometimes, before I knew it I would feel so much emotion for Pam wash over me, and it made me appreciate being able to see a sunset or a flower all the more. In some ways it was as if she was there with me, even though she and I had never met in person. Everything just seemed peaceful.

I went to some of the ceremonies in observance of the 100th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Last Tuesday night, the exterior of the Ferry Building, was transformed by a beautiful display of rotating lights and images. The colors were breathtaking. As I sat at Justin Herman plaza watching the crowd and the lightshow, I observed that it was almost perfectly quiet, except for the awe of the crowd, as each color combination shined on the clock tower to light up the night. I mused to Alan, that this was perhaps the closest I would ever get to the Aurora Borealis. :) I snapped photo after photo along the waterfront, then took a few more shots from Treasure Island, facing back toward the city.

And that was just the first day out with the camera. :) I will be posting a lot of art this week on my journal, talking a lot about what I see and why I feel so passionate about it. And you know me...there will be more then on observation on politics thrown in, because lets face it...there are some things that need to change, and I think California is a pretty good place to start. Like maybe with our Governor. We need someone who is willing to stand up to George Bush, and harsh words alone is not going to get the job done. If you look on my sidebar you will see who I would like to become California's next governor, Steve Westly. Go, click on the link and find out what he is about. I will be saying a lot more about him over the next few months, but you should do a little looking on your own.

With the mid-term elections coming up in November, what changes would you like to see? Have any thoughts about the governor's race in your state? How about the Bush administration? What changes still need to occur? Tell me, if one supports the 6 generals who spoke out against Donald Rumsfeld...asking that he step that considered supporting the troops? Are they really any less military because they are now in the private sector? Leave me your thoughts. Beginning Tuesday, art around the bay, beginning with the Ferry Building, and the 1906 Earthquake remembrances.

Note: The dome on top of City Hall in the above picture, is the original dome that survived the great quake, and if you look at the dots of gold on the hills in the background of the photo,that gives you a perspective of where I live in relation to San Francisco. God I love it here! :)

"Memories Above The City Lights"
San Francisco, California
April 18th, 2006

Sunday, April 23, 2006

And The Maddie Goes To... (MadLibs)

"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun."

-Katherine Hepburn

Applause, applause everyone, we have a MadLibs winner! Congratulations goes to Charley, author of the journal, "Courage." If you haven't been by his journal before, be sure to drop by and say "hi." While you are there, have a look around. Charley has a wonderful, truly unique journal, that is written with a lot of heart and soul. I know I am quite pleased that I discovered it, just a couple months ago. Thanks Charley for playing along with this round of MadLibs, and indeed thanks to all who played. Ok,now on with the story...

Lost And Found
By Charley (Courage)

Dog. Black and white BLOOMING Cocker ONION, with deep brown PHALANGE and a very CRACKLING tail. Answers to the name of, PATRICK.

A solid gold EMU with a LUSCIOUSLY carved wooden GOLF BALL hanging from it. Reward of 50 PUTTERS for return of this THROWN heirloom.

Seven ENDIVE diamond PAPER with a sterling TEA BAG clasp. Gift from HOT grandmother. Owner is FOLLICLE broken. Generous HAIR offered upon return.

A GREASY elephant in my SWEATING pool. He has OILY marks on his hide, a short CALENDAR and a very GREEN trunk. Please come and get him. He's eating me out of house and WEBCAM.

Tee Hee :)

"Blue Moments"
San Francisco, California
April 21, 2006