Saturday, November 17, 2007

Round Robin Challenge: Offer Three And Shoot One

"The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire, and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation."

-Auguste Rodin

I LOVE the idea Steven came up for our current challenge. "Offer Three And Shoot One." We are always needing ideas for upcoming Round Robin challenges, and the way he structured this challenge, we not only get some new idea submissions for the challenge pool, but we got to have a little creative freedom, in that we got to choose our own topics this week! It was just a great idea all around!

The idea I chose to share here is, Public Art. The sculpture in the above photo is titled, "Pax Jerusalem." It is by artist, Mark di Suvero. It sits in front of the Legion of Honor, in San Francisco. Personally, I really like this piece, but unfortunately, it has been met with some disdain by those who find it mediocre at best. What do you think? Do you find it pleasing to the eye? What about the color? What about the symmetry? Tell me what you think. :)

Now, here are my ideas for some possible upcoming challenges...

1. Public Art.
Every town across America has something artsy about it. Most cities have a public art program, although it may take a little bit of research to find where all the displays are located. My idea is to seek out the artsy side of the towns we live in or near, post the photo or photos and maybe write a short description of the art and the artist. If there is currently no display of Public Art in your area, then show us how your town decorates to invite visitors to your area. Banners, Welcome signs, etc.

2. Landmarks.
Again, lets take an opportunity to show off our hometowns. I live in the Bay Area, so I have no real shortage of recognizable landmarks, so what I would do is try to show those landmarks in an interesting lighting circumstance, such as a sunset, or under special lighting conditions. But I want to see other places, and the landmarks that make those places so special. A beautifully designed building, an incredible bridge, or a monument of some sort, or maybe even an unusual road sign. It's all good!

3. Food Glorious Food!
We are coming up on the holidays, and lets face it, we all have food in our homes. With the weather beginning to turn to those cold, rainy days, I thought it might be nice to come up with a challenge that we didn't have to necessarily leave the house for. So, take a photo of a lovely meal, you either fix for yourself or your family. You can do one plate or the whole meal. If you want to, you can include a special garnish, and even include a recipe if you feel like sharing, but make the presentation special and inviting to the eye. :) YUM.

Okay, those are my ideas for the future. You know Robins, we can't do it without you, so keep sending in your ideas! Now, go and see what Steven, and all the participating Robins have come up with. It's easy. Just follow the links below. :) You know you want to. ;)

"Pax Jerusalem"
Legion of Honor
San Francisco, California
March 30th, 2005

Linking List

1. Steven... (sometimes photoblog)

2. Carly... Ellipsis

3. Marie... Photographs and Memories Too

4. Nancy... Nancy Luvs Pixs

5. Vicki... Maraca

6. Karen... Outpost Mavarin

7. Gina... Gina's Space

Friday, November 16, 2007

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #191: Change

Click on the above photo to see it in a larger version.

"Change is inevitable, except in vending machines."

-Robert C. Gallagher

Things change. People change. Hairstyles change. Can you guess what this week's Weekend Assignment might be about?

Weekend Assignment #191: Show us, or tell us a story about, change. A before and after picture of the street where you grew up, a story about meeting an old friend after many years, two pictures of yourself separated by a number of years, a tale about changing your life, or showing or tell us about something in the process of changing itself. Any of these is good. And doesn't have to be a negative, because sometimes change is a good thing.

Extra Credit: Do you feel that you are changing right now?

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

I had a wonderful time last month on vacation. We drove to Reno, and along the way I had the chance to photograph be beautiful changing leaves that are on the trees that line the amazingly beautiful Donner Lake, on the Donner Pass. I wish I had a photo of how the lake looks in other seasons, but I don't have one available. I am now inspired to get up there this winter, to photograph it after all the leaves have fallen, and while there is still snow on the ground.

The Sierra's are beautiful anytime of year, but I am especially drawn to this area in the autumn. It just glows in the autumn, and I feel peaceful and calm, like during no other time of year. Autumn is about change, and while I am certainly not a fan of change, I yearn for the autumn. Strange, but true. This autumn has already brought me some wonderful gifts, especially in regards to my diabetes. I just wrote about my good n
ews yesterday, so I won't go into the details again, but I will say, I am a very happy camper because of the positive changes I have gone through this year. John is right, change doesn't always have to be negative, sometimes change can completely make our days, and our lives. :)

Extra Credit: Yes, I am changing right now. I am learning to appreciate change, and not fear it! :)

"I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed."

-George Carlin

"Lake Donner Changes"
Lake Donner, California
October 23rd, 2007
Late Afternoon

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just Look At What I Went And Did!

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."

-Thornton Wilder

I like Thanksgiving, it's usually very pleasant and quiet time in our home, although, sometimes I can be a little sad. There are people and places I miss during the holidays, and this year I have a couple more people to add to the list. Distance can never diminish the genuine love we feel for people, so I will remember them fondly, and enjoy the day, giving thanks for what is going right in my life. And this Thanksgiving, I have something extra special to be thankful for.

Yesterday, I received a very special email from my doctor. Hold onto your hats, because when I heard the news I nearly fell off my chair! On July 23rd, when I was diagnosed with Diabetes, my A1c test was 6.7, but as of Tuesday of this week it is now 5.9! I did it, I brought my A1c back down into the Prediabetes range! And I did it in less than 4 months! WoooHooo!

Now, does that mean that I am no longer a diabetic? Nope, I must keep my A1c at, or below, 5.9 or better for at least a year. My goal is to get those numbers down by the same amount before my next A1c in March. So, no slacking off is allowed. I will still be checking my blood sugar 6 times a day, and my doctor recommends that I keep doing all the things I have been doing to lower my blood sugar numbers, which includes avoiding things that stress me out, like George Bush, who I am convinced gave me diabetes in the first place! LOL. Grrrr.

I still have a lot of hard work to do, and there is still every chance in the world that I might slip back into the Type 2 Diabetes range once again. Diabetes can have a mind and will all it's own, but I won't go there without a fight. I am smarter now about age, and nutrition, and balance. It isn't enough to just modify one's diet, I know now that it is just as important to learn how to let go of the past. To say "NO" when I have to, and not fret about it. To have "ME" time, and to give myself a break once in a while. Oh and yes, I suppose Alan is right, watching the news during dinner is not such a good idea. Sorry Charlie Gibson, and Katie Couric. :)

In truth, Diabetes is the best thing that ever happened to me. It has taught me what food and stress does to the body. And believe me, it has been a profound lesson. I have always heard that Diabetes is a manageable disease, and I have found out that it really is! One day last summer, diabetes visited me, and I kicked it's ass! LOL.

Do you know if you are at risk for Type 2 Diabetes? Here are the main risk factors that can lead to the onset of Type 2 Diabetes...

**Weight (being overweight)
**Family History
**Prediabetes Condition
**Gestational Diabetes

November is National Diabetes Month. Please ask your doctor about the A1c test. Diabetes doesn't have to happen. According to the American Diabetes Association, there are 20.8 million children and adults living with diabetes in the United States, or about 7% of the population, and another 6.2 million who are unaware that they already have the disease. This doesn't have to be the case. Diabetes can be managed. Please talk to your doctor, this month, about what your risk factors are, and if you should have the A1c test. I was lucky, I was diagnosed early, and now I have real hope of ridding myself of this disease. Please give yourselves that same chance. :)

Type 2 Diabetes Overview (MayoClinic)

American Diabetes Association

"Happy Flowers"
Pastorino's Pumpkin Farm
Half Moon Bay, California
October 21st, 2007
Late Afternoon

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

YES, YES, YES, YES; Now I'm In The Mood!

"Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday, and celebrate just living."

-Amanda Bradley

With Thanksgiving just next week, I am already looking forward to watching some of my favorite holiday movies. When Harry Met Sally, is one of the movies I make it a point to watch. Not that it is a holiday movie per se, but the movie does feature enough holiday moments that I always associate it with the holidays, and therefore think of it as a holiday movie. The above YouTube clip is my favorite part of the movie, it never ceases to make me laugh. YES,YES,YES!

Maybe someday I will get to visit New York City, and if I do, how could I not drop by Katz's Delicatessen for a little noontime fun? I wonder how many folks have visited there, just to play out the scene, from what I think might be the funniest 3 minutes and 58 seconds in film? Would you have the nerve to do what Sally did, just to make a point? If you visited Katz's deli, would you play out the scene just for fun? Have you ever done anything similar in public?

Now, I bet you are asking yourself, "has Carly ever done something like that?" Well, yes, not exactly to the same degree mind you, but hey, a girls got to do what a girls got to do! LOL. Although, I have to admit that it is also true that I can be very shy at times as well. I guess I am a bit complicated... or is it difficult? Hmmmm? Either way, that movie always puts me in the mood for the holidays, and ummmm, a big, delicious, succulent, hot, Corned Beef Sandwich, with a big pickle on the side! Oh waiter, I will have what she is having!! :)


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stress Busters

"Health food may be good for the conscience, but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better."

-Robert Redford

Yum, Persimmons. I hadn't eaten a persimmon in years, until today. I had gone to the hospital to have the blood work done, that I had put off last week, and as I was driving into the parking lot I remembered that there is a Farmer's Market there every Thursday. Wonderful locally grown fruits and vegetables, in all their yummy gloriousness, just sitting in the warm autumn sun, waiting to be snatched up by a woman like me. I was STARVING! LOL. My blood work was for my A1C test, and a fasting potassium and glucose check, so by the time I got to the hospital, I hadn't eaten in about 15 hours. That's a little bit long for me, and actually it is for all diabetics, as one of the first things they teach you in the health education courses I took was to never skip meals. Unfortunately, once ever 4 months, it is necessary to do just that, so that the doctor can get an accurate gauge of how I am doing with my diabetes.

Anyway, the lab technician had a difficult time with my veins, it seems they like to collapse when a needle is inserted... ouch... so needless to say, I was a bit on edge when I finally walked out of the appointment. Thank goodness, that little Farmer's Market was right by the entrance. I appreciate it that my HMO makes it available, right there on the hospital campus. They also had a nice listing of all organic farms and suppliers in the Bay Area counties.

I had a look around at the fabulous fresh tomatoes, grapes and the berries, and finally decided on a nice juicy persimmon. :) Persimmons are delicious, and like I said, it had been forever since I had one. It was a nice treat after a bit of stress. :) Is there anything better then a nice bit of fresh fruits and vegetables on a cool autumn day?

Union City, California
November 13th, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Mood Lighting

"If you're photographing in color you show the color of their clothes, if you use black and white, you will show the color of their soul."


Your Monday Photo Shoot: Make a moody picture. By which you can use mood lighting of some sort, or possibly arty black-and-white, or whatever you need to in order to give the shot that certain moodiness. It's hard to describe, but you'll know when you see it, I'm sure.

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

Yep, John was right, I did know it when I saw it. I hope it's acceptable to dwell a bit on Halloween, but you see, I love that day so much. I start photographing the minute I get up, and usually keep going well into the night, as the subjects present themselves. :) I took this photo of Mr. David Duchovny Pumpkin, 2007, in black and white, because it was an overcast day, and I was going for exactly the kind of moodiness that John is talking about. It's cool that I have a good excuse to show him off. :) Did you notice that Mr. D.D. Pumpkin's eyes are D's? Tee Hee.

"Mr. David Duchovny Pumpkin"
Berkeley, California
October 31st, 2007
Late Afternoon

Sunday, November 11, 2007

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #190: Staving Off Boredom

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."

-Ellen Parr

Weekend Assignment #190: Share some of your favorite boredom-alleviating tactics from when you were a kid. "Kid" in this case can stretch from the ages of about six to eighteen; just pick an age where you did something particularly ingenious (or alternately, just plain weird) and go with it. One caveat: avoid the boredom alleviators where the story could end "and then nine months later little Jimmy was born." because that's in the realm of too much information.

Extra Credit: When was the last time you were really, really bored?

-John Scalzi (By The Way)

I wanted to take a couple days to think about this assignment. I have many of the usual boredom relieving resources that a lot of other kids did when I was a little person. I loved TV, I loved reading, and I loved doing jigsaw puzzles. I always had a camera in my hand, but that wasn't encouraged in times of boredom, because Mom and Dad paid for the photo developing, so I saved my photography for either holidays or special occasions. We live in a different world now. If I had a daughter Athena's age, I would put a digital camera in her hand and encourage some photography. Even if a child is home from school sick, there is a lot around the house that could make a cool subject, such as Pets, Windows, Shadows, and the ever popular Still Life.

However, the Weekend Assignment as me to tell about what I did as a child to alleviate boredom. And John wants weird. Well, see, I played a lot by myself when I was a kid. Our street suffered through the death of a child who lived up the street from me, and who was my best friend until I was about age 8. His name was Mike. After his death, the kids on the street really didn't play together anymore. We did our own thing, in our own yards. It isn't as sad as it sounds though, I think it was our way of healing. Children process things differently then adults do, and while we all remained friends, we all got a look at what being a grown up is like.

My brother is 15 years older then I am, and my sister is 10 years my elder, so I was pretty much an only child, but I wasn't particularly lonely or bored, because the world fascinated me. I don't remember being too bored for too long. I would work jigsaw puzzles, or write in a little journal I had, about missing Mike or about what I had seen and done that day. I wanted to grow up to be a journalist one day.

Well, being a professional Journalist was not to be, but who could have foretold that one day a mass medium would exist called, Blogging, that would allow that something I wrote could be read my someone clear across the country? Who knew that the entries in my paper and pen journal as a child, would be great practice for my life as a blog author? :) Who could know, that it would also lead to my making wonderful friends? Sometimes, great things come along when you least expect it. :) Sorry John, nothing really ingenious here, or weird, but what I did do was a lot of fun.

Extra Credit: It usually takes a lot to bore me, I still find the world fascinating. :)

"Bunny Jigsaw"
Pastorino's Pumpkin Farm
Half Moon Bay, California
October 29, 2007