Saturday, June 15, 2013

Round Robin Challenge: Wild Thing

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."

~John Muir My First Summer in the Sierra

Round Robin Challenge: Wild Thing.

For this challenge, I bring you two kinds of Wild...

Wild #1. Wildlife








 Wild #2. Just Wild

From my perspective, Christmas is as commercialized as we decide to make it. We can go out and spend a ton of money, or we can make gifts. We can spend the next year paying off things we felt some need to buy, or set individual budgets. I find the whole "War on Christmas" and "Christmas is Commercialized" arguments silly. You can choose to be as negative as you want to want to be. But negativity is not for me, I will just enjoy awesome creativity and sparkly lights.

Okay, you've seen my pictures and read my rant, now go see what the other Round Robin participants are up to! Hey, better yet, you can play along. Just click the link at the top of the post to be redirected to the official Round Robin blog where you can find the list, and information on how to join in the challenge.

~Me :)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Art About Town Oakland: "Offering" And "Uprising" By Bruce Johnson

"Offering" By Bruce Johnson, 2009, Redwood and Copper

"A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul."

~Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe

Late last month, I visited a lovely park in Oakland, the Uptown ArtPark, that was filled with sculptures... and inspiration. I posted the first photo of the sculptures I photographed that day, here, which was titled "Dandelion" by artist, Karen Cusolito, now I bring you two more. They are titled, "Offering" and "Uprising" by Bruce Johnson. Both sculptures are made of redwood and copper, and both were dated 2009. I must say, I enjoyed them very much, but there was something about "Offering" that captured my attention longer as I studied it from all angles.

"Uprising" By Bruce Johnson, 2009, Redwood and Copper

So tell me, what do you think? Do you enjoy Public Art and if so, any thoughts on these two pieces?

"He he works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist."

~St. Francis Of Assisi

Visit the artist's website to learn more about the artist and his sculptures...
Form And Energy... Sculpture By Bruce Johnson

I will be posting more photos of sculptures on display in the Uptown ArtPart next month, so stay tuned!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Paper, Plastic, Or The Bags I Always Forget?

"Life is never boring when everyday I weird, sill conversations with my husband that only us understand."

~IKA Natassa Twivortiare

Look at that! Does my husband rock or what? He fit the purchases from both Walmart, and Safeway in the back of our 2013 Chevrolet Spark, with no problem at all. I couldn't have done it in a million years.

The List Included...

2 37lb Boxes Of Fresh Step Cat Litter
1 40lb Bag Of Purina Indoor Formula Cat Food
6 12pk Coke Products
3 pkgs (Female Doo-Dads)
1 12pk Grade AA Eggs
2 pkgs Kraft Processed Sliced Cheese
4 Lean Cusine Frozen Meals
2 Boxes Family Sized Sundried Tomato Crackers
1 Gallon Fat Free Milk
1 Special K Cinnamon Pecan Cereal
2 pkgs Sargento Shredded Cheese

 He is my hero!

I have NO IDEA what the mental block is with both experience when it comes to remembering that we need to bring our earth friendly reusable bags, as mandated by Alameda County. Sheesh... the law went into effect last January. We bought tons of them for shopping, but we almost NEVER remember them when we leave for the store! The worst part... they are all there, clean and ready to go, on the very door we use to go out of the house! We literally have to look at the bags, in order to leave the house, and we almost always forget them! And the thing is... I have NO idea why we habitually forget them.

We like the earth.
We voted YES on the plastic bag ban. I think.
We like that the reusable ones never break like the plastic ones do.
We always remember to throw them in the laundry after we remember to use them.

It's nothing short of a mystery.

Of course some might say Alan and I are experiencing "senior moments." We are both over 50.

Personally, I scoff at that. To me, a senior moment is when you bend over to pick up a cat toy and suddenly you expel a fart you didn't know was lurking around. Of which I know nothing of, personally speaking.

No, I think our absentmindedness is a matter of that... absentmindedness! I mean after all, it's not as if we both forget to put our pants on before heading off to Safeway. Now THAT is a senor moment. And while I turn 51 at the end of the month, I don't even qualify for a discount at restaurants and theaters yet. Well... most restaurants and theaters anyway!


But really, isn't Alan awesome?

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

 He was clearly a genius at puzzles. Me, not so much!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Mid June Sunset

"Dusk is just an illusion because the sun is either above the horizon or below it. And that means that day and night are linked in a way that few things are. There cannot be one without the other, yet they cannon exist at the same time. How would it feel, I remember wondering, to be always together yet forever apart.?"

~Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook


When I walked outside to check on the roses last night, I actually didn't even make it to the garden. This sunset just grabbed my attention, and my imagination, and all I could do is spend the last few moments of light watching the colorful clouds move past. It was breathtaking!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Rose Garden, June 2013

"It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside."

~Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib

Just a short post today. The vegetable and rose gardens are both taking off. I will have pictures of the Heirloom tomatoes later in the week! I am a happy camper with the garden, but I am having to keep one step ahead of the aphids. It's seems like it will be a big year for those pesky pests.


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Coping Mechanisms

"People say time will help you heal and move on, but it's not true. Time only teaches you to manage the tears so they fall when you are alone, because everyone else thinks you should be okay by now."

~Kaliana Dietrich

It's true. Time does heal you. But it's also true that time does teach you to manage things. It's also true that those who love you, friends, relatives, sometimes even mere acquaintances will expect you to return to your old self in their time periods... not yours. You don't have a say in it. You can give it a try and pretend to be okay, but you will eventually grow to resent the pressure to conform.

At the moment I find myself in a frustrating situation. I am being bullied by a neighbor. We had a falling out 2 years ago in one of those "final straw" moments. He doesn't just bully me, he bullies anyone he feels he can get away with bullying. Because he doesn't know when to stop, he always ends up getting his fingers slapped, but he will eventually start up again. It's pretty much a regular pattern. Behaviors such as making as much noise as possible without breaking the law. Letting his dog bark at 3:00 in the morning, then he reminds all of us who live around him that he has a police scanner on his iPhone and can quiet the dog before they arrive. Stupid immature behaviors like that.

I've done some research on bullies, and I have a new insight about things. Adult bullies were often bullied as children. If their parents, or teachers, didn't or wouldn't, or couldn't teach them proper coping mechanisms, they often grow up to become bullies themselves. It's not an excuse for their anti-social behavior, but it's a reason.  I try to have compassion. I try to remember that deep down the neighbor is seeking attention. I try. GOD HELP ME I TRY! But I am only human! I try. But there are times when I could just pack up and move from my cottage, but I cannot let someone drive me from a home I have lived in, comfortably, for nearly 15 years... and I won't. To give in is to empower the bully, and you know what happens after that!

So, I am trying my best to learn to have compassion, and understand that his behavior is more about his struggles than mine, and hope that one day he will tire of his own behavior... Probably not likely, but people do, sometimes, change for the better. What can I do? At age 51 I don't give into bullies, and especially not in his case. But for the sake of debate lets say I did move, I would always wonder if the empowerment I would be handing him, would be passed onto whoever moved in after me. I have seen him drive other neighbors off the property with his baloney, and that's exactly what happens each time, he becomes a bigger monster.

Truly, I would feel bad about passing that kind of a haunted house along to someone.

As for how I am dulling the pain and anxiety... with... my choice of coping mechanisms...

Alan, Head Phones, Researching The Subject, Old Movies, My Cats And Yes, The Occasional Valium.

For every evil under the sun
There is a remedy or there is none
If there be one seek till you find it
If there be none then never mind it

~Mother Goose

Mood: Quiet


PS: About the photo for this post. I saw these items in a shopping cart in the parking lot of a K-Mart here in the East Bay. I haven't touched them in any way, this is exactly as they were arranged. In a weird way it made me feel less alone.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

And Now, Blue Jasmine... The Movie Trailer

"Men learn to love the woman they are attracted to. Women learn to become attracted to the man they fall in love with."

~Woody Allen


Finally... the trailer for Woody Allen's, Blue Jasmine, is here. The large picture above was taken at one of the filming locations in San Francisco, a few hours after filming wrapped for the day! LOL. On that day I was a few minutes late, and a Woody Allen short. If you look very closely at the trailer you will see this building, slightly altered for the film, but recognizable all the same. Alan and I only made it to two of the many locations used in the film, if I could I would have been at all of them, cameras with me, taking in the fun. Unfortunately, life... work, doctor's appointments... had to come first. That and good old fashioned mistiming. LOL. In the next few days that followed I was able to get the photos I wanted. Last August was the best part of the summer. The best part of any of my summers. :)

Okay... go watch the trailer. I can already tell it's going to be one of his movies that stays with you long after you have seen it. Kind of like Midnight In Paris, Manhattan, or Interiors. I already identify at bit with Jasmine. I have a profound first hand knowledge of what it feels like to have your life pulled out from under you... suddenly, and without your permission. Perspective gets lost in the pain, and yes, Xanax by the fist fulls becomes a bigger part of your life than breathing. That was my life 12 years ago. When they "no longer felt good about giving me Xanax, Anhedonia took over for me. Anyway, we will leave it at that. No need to numb every day, Anhedonia... is now just a distant memory.

And THANK GOODNESS. Because if I still had Anhedonia, I couldn't have taken the awesome photo you see above!

LOL. Go watch the trailer...

Mood: Grateful

~Me :)