Saturday, December 01, 2012

Round Robin Challenge: Heads Or Tails?

"It gets you nowhere if the other person's tail is only just in sight for the second half of the coversation."

~Winnie the Pooh

RRC: Heads Or Tails

I choose Tails...

First, Lets Look At My Dragonfly (Tails) Collection...





A Mermaid, And Her Tail, Soak Up The Sun...


And From The Undersea World Comes Many A Tail...

NOTE: Yes, I know the Jellyfish don't actually sport tails, I just included them because they are pretty, and tentacles kinda look like tails... right? ;)

Tail Of The My Favorite Alarm Clock...

Tail Of A Furry Resident Of Golden Gate Park...

Cat Tails...


And Elvis's Friend Ernie...

Two Friends Who Live In A Window In San Francisco...

And Now, How About My Favorite Faces...

Dylan (R) Hendrix (L)

Okay, you've seen my post for this round of RRC. Now, go see what the other Robins have chosen for their "Heads Or Tails" post. You can find the complete list of participants by visiting the official Round Robin blog by clicking the link at the top of the post. By the way, there is still time to join in. You will find all the information at the Round Robin blog!

~Me :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Come On Number 4!

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

~W.C. Fields

Remember yesterday when I said that it was going to rain... well... yep... it rained! And RAINED. And RAINED. And even as I write this, not only is it raining... we are waiting for the lightning and thunder! So, no new photos today, but instead I have some photos from one of the activities Alan and I did on our vacation in October, that I haven't had a chance to share with you before now.

Horse Racing At Golden Gate Fields!


We we were kids, Alan and I used to go to the Alameda County Fair, and we would always take in a race or two. And sometimes when we hung out before we were a couple, we visited the track at Bay Meadows. Oh my, it was lovely there. It seemed a little smaller than Golden Gate Fields, of course it was probably the exact same size, it just seemed that way to me. It was a beautiful place. We had a lot of good times there, and one especially profitable time that pretty much paid for a our wedding cake! LOL. Alan always taught me to never bring more money to the track than I can afford to lose, and never, ever gamble out of boredom. Not just good advice... GREAT ADVICE. No matter how a day at the track has ever been, he and I have never walked out of a race track or a casino, for that matter, down in the dumps over a loss.


That feels good!

One the day we went back in October, I brought enough of my own money for a couple races. In the first race, the horse I bet on came in 3rd... why did I bet to win, and not to place? Sheesh. In the second race I placed $8.00 on the #4 horse to... ahem... win. Wow... it's not that it came in dead last, it didn't, but it didn't win either! Goodbye $10.00! LOL. I was there more for the photography, than the gambling anyway. Alan on the other hand, did quite well. Well, actually for the first couple races he didn't win, but between the 2nd and 3rd races an odd omen took place. A seagull pooped from on him from on HIGH, missing me completely, but hitting Alan square in the chest as if he had a big target there! LOL. At first he was fairly pissed off, but as he was getting up to visit the men's room, a little lady of about 80 stopped him and said... "Don't frown dear, it's the best thing that could have happened... you'll see."

Alan didn't think much of it, and kinda chuckled as he continued on his way.


No joke...

He won the next 8 races in a row, and came home a very happy fella.

We didn't break the track or anything, but it was nice to see him happy and relaxed, with a couple less worries off his mind. He works hard all year, and to see the vacation lift away all his worry lines, and frowns does a happy wife good. He deserves it!

There is no proof the bird pooping on him had anything to do with his good fortune, or that the nice little lady knew what she was talking about, and I know that sometimes perspective is everything, but it's nice to think of that day, and consider the little bit of magic that just might have been flying by.

And thank the birds in the sky that he didn't bet on the Number 4 horse like I did!


~Me :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Rain, The Christmas Lights And Everything

"Do we not each dream of dreams? Do we not dance on the notes of lost memories? Then are we not each dreamers of tomorrow and yesterday and yesterday, since dreams play when time is askew? Are we not all adrift in the constant sea of trial and when all is done, do we not all year for ships to carry us home?

~Nathan Reese Maher

Yesterday, the first of three late autumn rainstorms moved through the Bay Area. It wasn't the worst rainstorm of the three, there is definitely bigger ones on the way, but it rained pretty consistantly all day. It was fun to see what light does with rain sometimes. With Christmas lights twinkling behind the tiny beads of water, it reminds me of the colorful little sprinkles of sugar you sometimes find on the top of sugar cookies.


I think I will make a batch of sugar cookies... or maybe Snickerdoodles.

Yes, definietly Snickerdoodles.

And maybe some Spiced Apple Cider.

Yes, Spiced Apple Cider with whipped cream.

And just a dash of colored sugar sprinkled on top.

Red sugar. Or should it be green?



~Me :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Impressionist Photography In Late Autumn

"To my mind, a picture should be something pleasant, cheerful and pretty, yes pretty! There are too many unpleasant things in life as it is without creating still more of them."

~Pierre Auguste Renoir

The Japanese Bridge
By Claude Monet

For the most part I don't do a lot of editing of my photos. Oh, I might straighten an edge here and there, so sue me, I do a lot of photography here in the hills and in San Francisco. Unless you have lived here, you probably don't realize, there are NO straight lines anywhere! Something to do with earthquakes I think, or maybe it's just the fact that the earth is a ball... I have to admit... I don't know why it seems that way, but it does. I get straighter photos from the middle of the bay, than I do on the dry land of the city.

But when it comes to my autumn photos, I admit it, I sometimes put a little something extra into the editing of my photos. Not to deceive mind you, but to show you what I see, even if it is mostly in my imagination. I see everything around me with brighter colors, and soft twilight lighting. Although sometimes I manage to capture those amazing red sunsets we get in autumn, oh hell, what can I say? I am a total fool for autumn, and I just see it... well... differently than most folks do... through my crazy green eyes.

"For an impressionist to paint from nature is not to paint the subject, but to realize sensations."

~Paul Cezanne

I am an Impressionist photographer when it comes to autumn.

Now I need to work on the other 3 seasons.

Happiness. :)

Q. So tell me, when it comes to your photography, does any particular art form inspire you? Or does any particular artist influence you, as to what subjects you choose?

Tell me everything!

~Me :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Faces In The Crowd

"He had the look of one who had drunk the cup of life and found a dead beetle at the bottom."

~P.G. Woodhouse

I see faces. Unusual faces. Always have. But I have seen more unusual faces in 2012 than any other year that I can remember. Faces on buckets. Faces on trees. Faces in a big jug of sun tea with lemon. And then I saw this one last October. Do you see it? It's right there in the lower left corner of the garage door. And while some of those faces were created by someone on purpose, cases like the sun tea, and this one here, seem to be a happy coincidence. I love that. I think next year I am going to keep them in a file, and perhaps do a special series. Of course, you know how it goes, when you start looking for sudden spontaneous faces, that's when they seem to disappear.

Life is funny that way.

 If I could put an emotion to the face in the lower left corner of this garage door, I would say it is... perplexed.

But I am perplexed as to why?

"Evil was coming, I wondered whose face it would be wearing?"

~Dean Koontz, Old Thomas

~Me :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Polar Bears Skiing In Autumn Leaves

Money's scarce
Times are hard
Here's your FUCKING Christmas card

~Phyllis Diller


The week after Thanksgiving has always left me a bit discombobulated. Oh, not from overindulging in Thanksgiving leftovers, or shopping till I drop for seasonal bargains, no it's the wishing in my heart that autumn's demise wasn't imminently written in stone. I love finding houses already decorating for Christmas, but my heart just leaps when I also see among the animated decorations, a big pile of purple, orange, red and yellow leaves. Like the one in the photo above. Why is it so irritating when stores begin dragging out Christmas paper, and decorations to sell in "pre-holiday" sales, but when I see that someone in the neighborhood has collided the seasons events, I feel all warm and cozy inside? Is that perhaps a double standard?


Maybe it's the pressure of everything. Feeling like I must begin buying those bargains. Or maybe it's that stores tend to make it all seem so very vital to make a timely purchase. I don't know. As I was sharing with a pal earlier today, in this economy, I can understand folks wanting to take advantage of the early sales, so they can make their holiday purchases a little at a time. The new layaway programs are a good way to do that. It's a lot nicer then impulse buying, and then facing the harsh reality of ones generosity in a cold, dark January credit card statement. That's a lesson learned by me, way back in the stone age, aka, the 1980's. LOL. I was in my 20's and I loved to buy Christmas presents for those I loved. But as much as I loved to make my loved one's smile, I liked to make ME smile more, so, for every gift I gave away, I bought myself two gifts. LOL.

Well, like I said, I was in my twenties, and that is when we are supposed to make those kinds of mistakes. And I certainly did. No one likes to wake up and realize they have made a mistake, but if realized properly, it can be an invaluable lesson, that will enrich the rest of your life. I am not a material person, oh don't get me wrong, I can be highly sentimental about objects, but when push comes to shove, I would never covet any possession, if it meant having to give up my peace of mind, or Alan's. He is the most important consideration in life. And I know that I am his. And for that reason, we discuss the silly little tradition of gifting.

And he still manages to surprise me with the most wonderful gifts.

Like a pearl necklace on my 50th birthday... because he gets it! :)

Well, he turned 50 this year also.

I like being 50, but I wasn't too thrilled about turning 50. LOL.

When worlds collide... and seasons... and holidays... and mistakes... and birthdays... and moments of wisdom...

Polar bears skiing in autumn leaves makes all the sense in the world.

~Me :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Mystery On Lombard Street

"Fate is by far the greatest mystery of all."

~Deanna Raybourn, Silent in the Grave


I have mentioned, from time to time, on my blog that I have had some trouble with sleeping. Well, actually it's not sleeping that gives me the trouble, it's getting to sleep that is difficult for me to do. Insomnia has plagued me, to varying degrees, most of my life. I have taken sleep hygiene courses, which had been very beneficial, but I still find myself from time to time right back in the old habit of counting invisible sheep, or purses, or republicans. It's difficult to know what I might choose to count, it just depends on my day, and how unable I am to reach any sort of sleep state.

Along with diabetes and hypertension, I believe that insomnia should be made a recognized physical disease, that comes complete with a special handicapped placard and a service cat. Not being able to sleep, effects most every area of your life. Job, personal relationships, online blogging duties and I began to contemplate the other night, as I starred at the ceiling at 3:00 am, about how many other folks with sleeping difficulties will be on the roads at 6:00 am? But all considering that did, was keep me awake for another 4 hours! Not the way to go! LOL.

So, while the old methods of curbing insomnia all run a bit dry after a while, I have been toying around with an all new approach. Lately, I have been choosing a photo from either my archives, or perhaps from a new file, and write an opening paragraph of a fictional story based around the object or scene in the photo I choose. Mysteries. Comedies, Dramas, Soap Operas, any genre works, as it's all up to your imagination to figure out the details. I like doing one paragraph because I try to describe it as thoroughly. Lots and lots of VERBIAGE.

A Mystery On Lombard
An Insomniac Mystery

Gretchen was in San Francisco for two weeks, and in that time she was determined to see as many of the touristy sights and sounds as she could fit into her schedule. During the day it was all power meetings, and presentations, but the late afternoon and evening belonged to her, and she wasn't going to miss anything. Her employer had given her a liberal expense account, so she took full advantage of the car service for her transportation around the city, but made up for it by not ordering the room service. As the driver of her town car drove up to the top of Lombard st, she could see the gorgeous San Francisco bay, and Coit Tower in front of her. 'I would like to get out and do some photography of the area, before we continue down Lombard Hans,' she told her driver." Then Gretchen stepped out of the backseat of the car, and grabbed her larger of two camera bags, and small tripod. As she positioned herself against the tall black wrought iron fencing at the corner of Lombard and Hyde, she noticed a key, connected to a old fashioned type plastic key fob, laying in the small hedge on the other side of the fence. Room #402. But there wasn't a hotel name on the blue plastic fob. 'It couldn't be from one of the more upscale hotels,' she thought to herself, since the invention of the key card they haven't used that kind of a key in years. Curious. Who could have left it there? And why?



Okay, not exactly Stephen King, or Mary Higgins Clark, but when applied to a sleepless night, it's at least a start!

Okay, your turn. Would you like to play along with the Insomniac Mysteries?

Don't worry about spelling, grammar or punctuation. Obviously, I didn't, but only because on those nights when sleep alludes me, and I begin to count sheep, or write a mystery, I almost never use commas, semi-colons, or periods. I do use Ellipses however, because it's necessary for dramatic pause.


It's fun, lets not over think it.

" Every solution to every problem is simple. It's the distance between the two where the mystery lies."

~Derek Landy, Skulduggery Pleasant


Go for it. Write a paragraph in the comment thread, in any genre you care to, I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

~Me :)