Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Photo A Day For 6 Months: Day 107~ RRC: Inside Out

"Success is failure inside out."


RRC: Inside Out

It's that time again... time for another Round Robin Challenge. This time around it's all about Inside Out. You know, showcasing what you might expect to find on the Inside, but for whatever reason it is being seen on the Outside.

This challenge was particularly challenging for me this time around, because my computer died a couple week's ago, and I simply haven't had time, or energy to do much file transferring. Also, I have been busy with some time consuming photo jaunts to San Francisco.

I don't have any new photos for this challenge, but I do have several that I posted quite a while back that will fit with the theme nicely. I promise to make it a point to post in all new photos next time around.

:) Okay, here we go...

#1 My Favorite Easy Chair
I spotted this gem on a street corner here in Berkeley. You can tell it was well loved... or absolutely hated. I am not sure which. :)

#2 The White Butterfly
Several years back, the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park put a special butterfly exhibit, featuring as many as 25 different butterflies and moths. Most were happy to flutter about from plant to flowers, but this gorgeous white butterfly was determined to make a break for it. LOL. It was amazing to watch it hitting the window so determined to fly away.

#3 Bad Kitty
Dylan was just 4 months old when Christmas rolled around in 2008. Hendrix was a much more curious kitty than Dylan was, which is what makes this picture so interesting, well, at least to me. Dylan wasn't particularly interested in the Christmas tree, the only interest he showed in it was to sit on a small pillow on a chair that faced the tree. He would sit there for hours after he had dinner, just watching the pretty blinking lights. Well, on Christmas Eve, I was up late wrapping last minute gifts, when I got the eerie feeling that I was being watched. I turned to see two small kitten eyeballs starring out at my from under the Christmas tree! He was being a good kitty, so I didn't get mad at him, he just sat there until I went to bed, and then followed me. The next day his brother knocked the whole tree down... LOL... I still think Dylan may have put him up to it!

#4 Sepia Chairs (New Photo)
I have been crazy busy the last couple weeks, mostly with photo jaunts to San Francisco. There is a lot of fun and energy over there right now, as local photographers, and bloggers, have been chasing Woody Allen all about the town. It has been an amazing pleasure to seek him out, and try for those candid shots of a lifetime. It's more fun than I can even say, and a time Alan and I will never forget. He is such a gracious man, and so respectful of local businesses, and fans. He is a really nice man. I will be looking forward to seeing this new film, and my favorite city setting the mood. I spotted these chairs one evening while in San Francisco, and I kinda liked the surreal way it caught the light and shadows. Kinda cool I think. I added in a Sepia tone for effect. It just had an old fashioned feel.


#5 Outside Veggies (New Photo)
Another cool thing about following Woody Allen all about the town, is the wonderful inner neighborhoods that he has been filming in. Outdoor produce is a common sight in those smaller neighborhoods, but a rare occurrence in the East Bay. I love the quaint touch it gives the area. Everything looks so fresh and inviting. YUM. And now I know of some wonderful little places to stop and grab some reasonably priced produce in San Francisco!

Okay, that's my contribution for this round. If you would like to join in the fun of the Round Robin Photo Challenges, I know Karen would love to have you participate. Just stop by the official Round Robin Photo Challenges blog for all the details, and the complete Linking List of those joining us this time around! Just clink the RRC link at the beginning of this post.

~Me :)

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Photo A Day For 6 Months: Day 106~ A Woody In A Haystack

"My heart shoots into my throat every time I think I see his loping walk, or catch sight of some floppy brown hair on a boy... but it's never him, and each time it isn't, my heart does a reverse trajectory down into the very pit of my stomach."

~Lauren Oliver, Before I fall

LOL. Okay, first off, I have to say... it's not as bad as the quote above implies. But I have to admit, being able to watch Woody Allen at work is a thrill that will last forever. And seeing him, being able to hear his voice did make my heart thump a little harder... in a good way. I had a great time last week, checking online for the latest sightings, then grabbing my cameras, some snacks, and Alan of course, and heading over to San Francisco. Throughout this month long adventure, I have known that it was a matter of being in the right place, at the right time, and I have always had a plan B for a secondary outing, so if I should miss him, the day wouldn't be completely disappointing. Last week was awesome, but this week it's a different story.

On Wednesday, he suddenly popped up at a cute little grocery store on 24th and Florida in the Mission district. As soon as we found the latest Woody posting online, we ran. And we made pretty good time across the bridge. I was thrilled. We would be there in less than 40 minutes. And we were. But when we turned down 24th street, we saw that the Studio Services crew was folding up all the equipment for the day. Everything was being put away with such great care, that if I had arrived just 15 minutes later, I wouldn't have known they had been there at all. The only thing to indicate that they had been there, were the side streets lined with wardrobe, hair & make-up and some technical trailers.

But no town car... and no Woody.


It was okay, Alan and I had a hoot going on the chase, and when we didn't find him, we checked out the area, and took in the neighborhood. I was able to get a lot of new photographs for the files, and just like the week before, I discovered sights and sounds I wouldn't have seen otherwise. It was good. After we finished on 24th, we took a drive over to 20th and Geary, to check out where he was going to be filming next. We saw the usual sandwich boards, and again there was plenty of photography to be done. Geary is a much wider street then the previous two neighborhoods, so there was a lot to take in. This particular location is only a few blocks off Golden Gate Park, which is great, because we discovered some new places to visit for lunch and dinner, the next time we plan to eat in the city! It was great!

Again, knowing that it could be a case of hit and miss, we searched online for Plan B. I found an article that talked about a visit to that neighborhood by San Francisco's wild parrots. It seems they found a tree with some red berries for lunching on. VERY COOL! I have been trying to find the wild parrots for years, and never could find them. I must be the only one in the Bay Area who hasn't seen them. The tree was covered in them on Tuesday, and the couldn't eat all the berries... right? Okie Doke. It was a Plan B!

LOL. Why do I plan things? LOL. Yesterday. Oh yesterday. Well, Alan got off work at 2 pm, he was home by 3 pm, and we were on our way by 3:30 pm. There was light traffic. We made it across the bay in good time, we stopped for lunch at our favorite hamburger place on Geary, and we were in like Flynn! After all, the sandwich board signs from the previous day said, NO PARKING FROM 11:00 am till 9:00 pm. It was barely 4:00 pm as we drove up Geary. But we got to the corner of 20th and Geary and NO Woody to be found! Not a single Studio Services truck. No town car. No security. Nothing. It was like they were never there!

No Woody yet again! How could I have been skunked not one, but two days in a row?

Oh well, all was not lost. We always had the wild parrots just a few blocks away at 27th and Balboa. Well... no. As you might have already guessed... there were NO PARROTS. We couldn't even locate the tree with the red berries that was featured in the photo of the birds posted online late Tuesday afternoon. Apparently on Wednesday, the parrots came back to the neighborhood and picked the tree clean! There wasn't even berry juice on the ground! Wild Parrots? What Wild Parrots? I don't see no Wild Parrots Lady!

No Woody... And Now... NO PARROTS?

"If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans."

~Woody Allen

LOL. I think there will be a few more opportunities to see Woody Allen before the end of the month. I will try for next week. If it don't get to see him again, I will always have 20th and Lexington. That corner is where I got to see him in person, and hear his voice, so, I am good. And besides, there's always the Wild Parrots to chase around. But God, if you are listening... Could you give a girl a break? ;)

And Now... Inspiration On 24th...

And Inspiration On Geary Blvd...

Update: I may have missed him, but another Woody Watcher captured some wonderful candid moments from the Geary blvd film location...

Winnower: Woody Allen On The Street

~Me :)

Today's link comes from my pal JR...


Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Photo A Day For 6 Months:Day 105~ 9 Years Ago Today

"You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved."

~Ansel Adams

Today is the 9th year I have been blogging. It doesn't seem like it could have possibly been that long, but it has. I had no idea what I was doing when I began my blog, I just knew it seemed like a good way to share about myself, and my therapist was overwhelmingly supportive of the endeavor. I think she would have approved of anything that would make me respond to life again. You see, due to a singularly mean spirited event that happened to me in 2000, I had spent roughly three years in a fully functioning, self induced coma. I was awake, and breathing, so to the causal observer I was fine, but to Alan and my therapist, I might as well have been in...well... a coma. After the event, which shall not be named, occurred, I shut down. And I did it so thoroughly that I developed Anhedonia. Let me tell you, Anhedonia is a pain like no other.

I don't want to spend too much time on this, because I couldn't be better now, but thinking back to the first day I started my blog, I know I wasn't sure it would do me much good, but I was willing to try, if for no other reason, then to prove how wrong both Alan and the therapist was for even suggesting it. But now, with that perfect backwards 20/20 vision, I know it was instrumental to my recovery. Anhedonia robs you of your ability to create. There is NO art. No developing recipes. No picking the perfect name for a pet. Hell, I couldn't even match up colors in my clothing when I was at my worst. Then one day, in the middle of the summer of 2003, I was swimming in my pool, and all kinds of emotions just began to swim over me. I was drowning in sadness, and happiness. I looked up and saw color again... the sky really was blue that day! go figure! I got out of the pool, went into the house, and checked out what this AOL Journals thing was all about.

And here I am. Plugging along. Anhedonia is only a stupid memory of my 3 year nap.

I have met so many wonderful people through blogging. I am thinking about them today. I miss my dear friends that have passed on. Pam. Kimberly. And of course, Steven. Steven was among my very first friends in the AOL Journals community. He began his journal, (sometimes) photoblog, just one day before I started Ellipsis. He was such a good photography teacher, he was helpful, and funny, and so understanding. He could tease with the best of them, but mostly he was a friend to whoever wanted to be friends with him. I miss him. So, so, much. I wish I could hop on over to his blog and say HAPPY ANNIVERSARY. But I can't. It's times like this when I think, well, Anhedonia has it's place. But then I quickly realize that just thinking that way, would do a terrible disservice to our friendship. Steven was not a defeatist, and he wouldn't encourage others to be that way either. He would verbally spank me for even considering that. He had a good soul, so I kinda think he knows how much I am missing him today, but he would be the first to tell me... "go find some light... go find some art. Stop dwelling on negative things."

So, that's what I did yesterday.

I found out Woody Allen was at a small grocery store on 24th and Florida in the city. Steven would have thought that was a hoot! Thinking of him, Alan and I grabbed a salad and headed for the Bay Bridge. It was a cool day, and we were both excited to have another chance at photographing the artist. When we got there, it was apparent we had left a little late, as the studio crew was in full packing up mode. I think Woody must have gotten there really early, and did the filming prior to the  store's usual opening. Anyway, we had missed the boat, but because we are good with the idea of Plan B, we set about driving about the city looking for inspiration. Inspiration is one thing San Francisco is never lacking. Thank GOD.

As we drove along Mission street, at the end of the day, I spotted the two fellas you see in the photograph above. Aren't they great? It's actually a set of three "monstrous" faces and is called "Moonrise." The artist who created them is Ugo Rondinone. I have to go back and rephotograph them, because I was in the car when I spotted them and the third head was a out of my camera line. Personally, I adore them. They are whimsical and at the same time, I think I may have seen the one on the left in a nightmare when I was 3 or so. LOL. Anyway... they resonate with me. I would have them in my kitchen if I could. Yep... my kitchen... yes!

I love most public art. It gives any visitor to a city a much clearer impression of what the city is about I think. Art provokes thought. Thought... emotion. I like these two, and personally I would be quite comfortable sitting and talking to them, as both kind of remind my of some of my therapists from years past. No joke!

Well... maybe a little joke. LOL

:) ~Me

Today's Link...


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Photo A Day For 6 Months: Day 104~ Fun With Therapy

"He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts."

~Stephen King

After having had a pretty good run of energy, I woke up this morning to one of the strongest punch downs my Fibromyalgia has dealt me to date. I don't know why. I have had good strong blood glucose numbers the last week or so. I got a good bit of exercise last week in San Francisco, and my eating habits have been normal. I almost never know how hard this disease will hit me, or how long I will walk around in a fog. That's the hardest part. Sometimes it feels like I am a ghost. Like I have died without knowing it, and at times I have an overwhelming desire to simply mutter to myself... GET OUT!

"I'm fine. Well, I'm not fine... I'm here." Is there something wrong with that? Absolutely."

~Ned Vizzini, It's Kind Of A Funny Story

I wish I knew what decision I made that led to my having Fibromyalgia. If I could, I would go back and not cut someone off in traffic, or let someone go ahead of me in line at the store. I would put a few extra dollars in the cup of the homeless person I passed by. I would be nicer to the telemarketer who called during dinner, and tip that waitress at Red Robin 25% more. But that's just not how it works. If only.


This to shall pass.

It has to.

I have a date with my camera and Woody Allen on Thursday.

It may necessitate bringing my blanket and pillow, but hey, what's wrong with that?

I'm good.

~Me :)

"Think of your head as an unsafe neighborhood; don't go there alone."

~Agusten Burroughs

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Photo A Day For 6 Months: Day 103~ Tomatoes, Roses And Woody Allen

"The single greatest lesson the garden teaches is that our relationship to the planet need not be zero-sum, and that as long as the sun still shines and people still can plan and plant, think and do, we can, if we bother to try, find ways to provide for ourselves without diminishing the world."

~Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History Of Four Meals.

A Garden On 20th...

Just a little bit more about my days on 20th and Lexington. Across the street, catty corner from where I stood for most of the two days I was there, was a small fire escape garden. Well, a collection of plants, might be a little more accurate, but whatever you want to call it, it was charming. Big cities like San Francisco fascinate me. The buildings have characteristics that one seldom sees in the burbs. I adore the old fashioned charm of the fire escapes of San Francisco. I have seen them covered bundles of drying laundry. Covered with plants like the one above. I even saw one, a few years back, that had a cardboard cutout of Paris Hilton, with devil horns drawn on her. LOL. There is always something to see in a window, or balcony, or a fire escape in San Francisco. I am going to add fire escapes to my list of must photograph places. There is such beauty in the simplistic!

Back To Gardening In The Suburbs...

Let's Start With The Tomatoes. Both are amazingly rich in full bodied tomato flavor. Is there anything worse than paying a ton of money for Heirloom tomatoes, only to find out after you get them home, that they don't have much of a flavor? That is the best part about growing your own vegetables. You can pick them right off the vine, and their flavor is so fresh and delicious. There is nothing like it. Delicious!

Mr. Stripey

Black Krim & Mama Mia

And Now The Roses...

Julia Child

Angel Face

Hot Cocoa

Pink Promise

The rose garden is so sweet right now. I love to take a book outside and just spend a little time with all that beauty.

And Now For A Woody Allen Update

I have been checking online this pass weekend, but not much new was mentioned about where in San Francisco he might be filming this week.I was beginning to think I wouldn't be seeing him again, at least not this week, but luck shined on me, and I found a website that says that he will be shooting this coming Thursday, in the Richmond district, at a small Italian restaurant called Gaspare's Pizza House And Italian Restaurant. I have never heard of the place, but a quick search came up with the website, and their rating on Yelp. So far I am impressed. I haven't had Italian food since Banchero's closed in June, so I will be looking forward to giving them a try in a couple weeks. Italian food is my favorite, both to cook at home, and to eat out. Gaspare's is right off Golden Gate Park, which is like my home away from home when we go to the city, so I will be looking forward to both photographing Woody a little more, and eating at Gaspare's at some point!

Thursday is a work day for Alan, so there is the possibility that we won't get to go, but it's okay, there is always the possibility of sometime next week. Either way, I am a happy girl right now. It doesn't take a lot to make me smile, especially lately. It's all good!

~Me :)

Today's Link...


Monday, August 20, 2012

A Photo A Day For 6 Months: Day 102~ Do One Thing Everyday That Scares You

"Do one thing everyday that scares you."

~Eleanor  Roosevelt

Funny Story...

See that pretty admiral butterfly above? A lovely creature, right? Someone once said, butterflies are flying flowers. Well, I don't know if I would quite go that far, but I know this, last Thursday, I was grateful for her visit. She helped me focus last Thursday, and without her help it would have been a much more difficult day. Here's what happened...

Okay, so you already know that I had more than a few obstacles block my quest to find Woody Allen in San Francisco last week. First it was my wacky Fibromyalgia, then we found a ridiculous Hornworm had invaded the tomatoes, then when we finally went on Wednesday, Alan and I found that Woody had wrapped up shooting at the place we heard he would be at before we could get there. LOL. It was a bit disheartening to say the least. As we drove by the empty intersection at 14th street and South Van Ness, Alan said it would be silly to not try again the next day. I agreed, and closed my eyes for the long ride home along the coast.

Thursday morning came, and it was an absolutely beautiful day. Not a cloud in the sky! The only thing that seemed out of place was that I somehow kept losing my SD cards and the batteries for the camera. Odd. But finally off we went, this time taking the Bay bridge, rather than the coast by way of the San Mateo bridge, so we would be downtown earlier then the day before. Even so, I wasn't altogether sure it would make a difference. I have terrible luck. Always have. Well, you know, what ever can go wrong... will. So knowing that, I was completely prepared to get to the new location at 20th and Lexington, just in time to see the last truck filled with filming equipment turn onto Mission street, as they made their way back to wherever film is kept while awaiting editing.

Nope. That wasn't what I found as we turned onto 20th. No, I came face to face with not one studio services truck, but more like 6 or 8 BIG WHITE studio services trucks, lots of people milling around, lots and lots of technical equipment and the one thing I thought I would NEVER see in a million years... a sleek, black town car, with the driver standing in front of it. And it wasn't just any driver, it was the very same driver I had seen on the news a week earlier, that was waiting to drive Woody Allen back to the house in Marin County that he had been filming in.

Suddenly, then whole scene in front of me went a kinda surreal BRIGHT WHITE! Alan was taking to me, but even sitting here right now, I have NO idea what he was saying, or if it mattered. I kinda remember something about how neat IT was, whatever IT was! All I know is that as I sat in the passenger seat, rolling through an obvious movie set was... EVERYTHING WAS REALLY WHITE. But I didn't know what I was looking at. ALL I COULD FOCUS ON WAS A BLINDING WHITE LIGHT. Had I just died? Was I going into the light? How could I have simply turned onto a street and just... died?

It only took about a minute or less to get to the end of the street. I am sure of that, but GOOD LORD, WHY WAS EVERYTHING... SO... WHITE? As Alan turned onto Mission, I realized that I wasn't actually going into the light. It had simply been that as we rode down 20th street, the sun was in the perfect place in the sky to bounce right of one of the many white trucks which led to a temporary blinding. WHEW! Okay... I was okay. That was certainly a close one. But I was ok. WHEW. Dodged one that time!

We found a place to park, gathered our cameras, and began to walk to the corner of Mission and 20th. As we turned the corner, my pulse began to beat really hard. I was sweating from head to foot, and I was keenly aware that I hadn't dressed right that morning! Why in the HELL had I chose to wear black pants and a grey top? What had I been thinking? Why had I worn THAT blouse? OMG... I am completely dressed ALL WRONG. I SIMPLY DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH CLOTHES ON! I stopped dead in my tracks, and couldn't take another step!

Alan must have asked me two or three times if I was okay, before I could find the common English words to answer him. LOL. I explained that I was dressed ALL WRONG! He just stood there, listening to me babble on with an amused look on his face. "Oh come on" he said... lets go. He then gently took me by the hand, and pulled me along as we walked down 20th... toward the corner where the filming was going on. OMG. The same side of the street where they were filming???? WHAT WAS ALAN DOING?

Okay... my heart is now beating at full capacity. BEAT BEAT BEAT, and I was beginning to see that white light again. OKAY. ENOUGH! I stopped dead in my tracks, about 25 feet from ground zero. "ALAN, I am... going... to... go... across... the... street... and... that's... all... there... is... to... it! I am NOT going to continue on this side of the street. I DON'T HAVE ENOUGH CLOTHES ON!" And across the street I went. I am pretty sure I heard Alan laughing his ass off... but I immediately ignored it!

While I wasn't making a whole lot of sense, my decision was absolutely the right thing to do. You see, I knew deep down that if I continued along on the same side of the street that Woody Allen was on, I would be right there, as he came down the red stairs, which would have resulted in an embarrassing scene along the lines of my having peed myself, or speaking in tongues, or perhaps... I don't know... passing out cold or something. I think this was one of the most vivid cases of fight or flight that I have ever experienced. I am sure sometime around late November I will experience a full on panic attack, but I will cross that street when I come to it.

So with myself across the street, at a safe distance, I gradually calmed down. I counted. I people watched. I snapped off photos of interesting things, like that beautiful butterfly. I enjoyed the lovely tree we were standing under. I listened to other people's excitement. I enjoyed listening to everyone share why they wanted to be there, and what their favorite Woody Allen movie was. So were film students, so were celebrity hounds, some were just like me, a fan, who admired his work. The time passed quickly, suddenly I realized I had been there for about 2 hours, and a little while later, there he came down the red stairs. I had expected someone in the crowd to yell something to him, but instead everyone was really quiet. There wasn't even a single "HI WOODY" to be heard. It was surreal unto itself. He just got into the town car, and silently rode away.

And I had just faced a fear.

There is just nothing like it.

It always makes me feel so alive to know... I did it. Whatever "it" is.

Thank you Alan. :)

"What if everything is an illusion and nothing existis? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet."

~Woody Allen

~Me :)

 Today's Link Comes From My Friend JR...


Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Photo A Day For 6 Months: Day 101~ Inspiration On 20th

"Eighty percent of success is showing up."

-Woody Allen

While Alan and I waited to see Woody Allen at the 20th and Lexington location, we passed the time by taking in the ambient sights. 20th and Lexington is an interesting intersection, of two interesting streets, and every few minutes someone, or something, unusual passed by. It was a feast for a photographer's eyes. It was just life, but what life! Here... see for yourself...

"I was nauseous and tingly all over. It was either love, or I had smallpox."

~Woody Allen

I HEART San Francisco...

"I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out my nose."

~Woody Allen

Smile On 20th...

"I have bad reflexes. I was once run over by a car being pushed by two guys."

~Woody Allen

I Can't Say...

"A talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don't have."

~Woody Allen

Happy Tea...

"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once."

~Woody Allen

A Chick Getting Her Shopping Done...

"It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off."

~Woody Allen

Woody Allen And The Red Stairs...

See what I mean, there was a lot to take in. I am so glad I went back a second day, and took a closer look around. I think last Friday will remain among my favorite days with the camera. Life. Wonderful, strange, kooky, glorious life!

I am hoping to be able to find Woody again before he wraps up shooting in San Francisco. According to most sources he will be around until the end of August. With a little luck, and fingers crossed my camera and I will be there!

~Me :)

Today's Link...