Saturday, June 29, 2013

What Is Life?

"I love your feet because they have wandered over the earth and through the wind and water until they brought you to me."

~Pablo Neruda

Today is a happy day in the universe. Not only is today my birthday, but all of San Francisco is celebrating the freedom of being able to marry the person of one's dreams. No matter who they are! As you may have noticed, the Supreme Court Of The United States ruled earlier this week that the Defence Of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, and not just that, but Prop 8 was thrown out! California as of yesterday, and finally, one more of the states in the union that allows Gay Marriage. Hallelujah! It's about time!

San Francisco has it's rainbow colors on in honor of Gay Pride week, but now those colors have an extra special meaning... the celebration of love and marriage! The whole city is happily celebrating the official go ahead to resume conducting gay marriage. Wait, it's not really gay or straight thing, it's just marriage. Equal. Fair. Crazy in love marriage. The City Hall will be conducting marriage ceremonies all weekend, and Coit Tower will shine in beautiful rainbow colors for all to see upon arriving in the city!


There is something about watching other people express joy and happiness that can't help but wear off on those around them. Everywhere I went last evening, there were couples, families and tourists all smiling. It was a good feeling. Happiness... true happiness... is so easily shared. A smile. That's all. Just a smile from one human to another is all that's needed.

Try it! :)

Be happy for someone today. Anyone. Love them no matter what, and embrace them for who they are! Life is so short, much too short to be filled up with intolerance. Be happy for someone... anyone... smile at them and then warm yourself in the glow of their smile back at you!

Mood: Happy

~Me :) PS: I will share about my birthday tomorrow. As of this posting it was still the middle of the night, so I am sure I will have plenty to share in my next post on Sunday. :)

Stay Tuned!

Friday, June 28, 2013

This Might Take A Few Minutes (A Windows 8.1 Preview Review)

"Technology offers us a unique opportunity, though rarely welcome, to practice patience."

~Allen Lokos, Patience: The Art Of Peaceful Living


Patience you say? Patience. Well, if you are like me, and you had NO real choice but to suffer through that laughable, embarrassing, magnificently stupid operating system that was known as Microsoft Vista, than you know a little something extra about patience. How Vista was ever released as a legitimate OS by Microsoft is beyond me. While visually it was stunning, and was for the most part user friendly, when it was irritating... it was really irritating. It didn't matter that it was attractive, it was still crappy. Choppy performance, in a brand new computer is unacceptable even if the computer is the equivalent of the Playboy Playmate Of The Year. Vista was slow, and it's security unstable despite constantly running the defragment tool.

Shall we talk about the drivers constantly going out? Seriously, a display driver going out after a year? And when you see through different user forums that it's not just you, it's not a huge help. I payed a lot for my H.P. computer that was running Vista. I didn't have the money to have the computer fixed, but unfortunately I had no choice as most of our life is now run from our home computer. Paying bills. Blogging. Storing digital photos, you name it, it exists through our computer. So, in that there was no way to fix the Vista, we gave it a proper burial, and purchased our next computer, a Gateway, that ran the lovely, brand new at the time, Windows 7. Lovely, uncomplicated, still visually attractive, Windows 7.


I like Windows 7. It was everything Windows Vista should have been... and more. It is easy to work. It has all the buzz and whistles I want in a PC, although I was disappointed that Microsoft stopped including the full version Microsoft Office free of charge. That's a let down. But after having run Windows Vista, it was nice to be able to turn off my computer at night, with full confidence that when I fired up my computer the next morning, it would not only actually boot, but perform as expected. Sigh. I like Windows 7, so when I was offered a discounted upgrade last autumn to Windows 8, on my newest computer purchased last summer, I passed because literally, if nothing is broke... why fix it?

My thinking changed somewhat last February, when I purchased my darling new little Toshiba laptop. It's a great little laptop, which is probably best described as a "mom laptop." For a budget computer, it is pretty darn nifty, and does everything I need it to.A great computer, at a great price, with a new OS. Okay, so why not? Let's try something new, while I still have Windows 7 to lean back on? I am happy... except for the fact it came loaded with Windows 8. It wasn't that I didn't want to learn the new OS, I embrace learning new things, but from the get go Windows 8 was absolutely perplexing. If you read my blog regularly, you already know my thoughts, but just briefly here I can sum the whole situation up with... WHERE IN THE HELL IS THE START BUTTON?

Okay, perplexing but I didn't give up and I learned my way around the radically new Windows 8, and here I am to tell the tale. But even after I finally worked out all my bugaboos, it was still bugging me that Windows did away with the one thing seemed to hold it all together... the Start Button. But again I made my peace with it. Still, when I heard that my mourning over the beloved button wasn't just me being impatient, a lot of others missed it as well, I felt a little bit better. And I felt better still with the rumor that perhaps Microsoft would be doing a fix which included bringing back that beloved of all buttons everywhere.

The official 8.1 Preview download came out on Wednesday, and I downloaded it Thursday. After 24 hours I am a happy girl. Microsoft did indeed put back a new version of the Start Button and booting straight to the desktop is back once again. One less hoop to jump through will always be a good thing... right? Plus there has been some adjustments to the app tiles that makes customization easier, so again, it's a good thing. I am still playing with the customization of the Lock Screen a bit, and I HATE that it's mandatory that I have a Microsoft account, but those are really little things that I am used to now, but seriously Microsoft... it's irritating to be given no choice. You know? That's a lame approach. Please consider doing away with that. Please.

Over all... so far so good. Time will tell, and so will sales. I think I am already looking forward to Windows 9. If I don't miss my guess here... Windows 9 will be everything Windows 8 wasn't. But all I can do is cross my fingers and hope. If you haven't made the big step to Windows 8 yet... don't... wait a year or so and get the slimmed down, smarter, less neurotic version. Wait for it. Trust me. But if you do make the big leap, don't let the new system throw you, if I can figure it out, anyone can! Of this, I am 100% sure!

Do some research...

Top 10 Reasons People Hate Windows Vista

Criticism Of Windows Vista

4 Major Differences Between Windows Vista And 7

Windows 8

Windows 8 vs Windows 7: 8 Ways It's Different

Microsoft Launches Windows 8.1 Preview

Mood: Hopeful

~Me :)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Simon Says... Take 1 Giant Step Forward

“It takes no compromise to give people their takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.”

~Harvey Milk

Love Wins! :)

It was a good day yesterday. Love won. Hate... not so much. But let's just focus on love. Here are so here are some quotes on love that I found today. These quotes apply to everyone. Love is an emotion everyone feels. If you are as lucky as I am, you get to live your whole life with the love of your life right beside you, loving you back!

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."

~Lao Tzu

"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."

~William Shakespeare, Midsummer Night's Dream

 "Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything."

~Katherine Hepburn, Me: Stories Of My Life

"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at it's destination full of hope."

~Maya Angelou

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Simon Says Take 5 Giant Steps Backwards

"Democracy is not just the right to vote, it is the right to live in dignity."

~Naomi Klein

I like that photo you see above. I always feel a deep sense of pride when I vote. It's a responsibility. It's a privilege. It's a right of passage. It's a duty, and it's the most basic of rights. I don't take being able to vote lightly. I didn't always feel that way, much to my very liberal/progressive father's dismay. But you have to remember, my father and I had our first deep conversation about politics when I was 3 years old. Not possible you say? Well, you see, my dad was able to explain the world of politics in terms my 3 year old intellect could understand. And as I grew up, we continued our talks, and I really believe, sitting here right now, I am much more mature person because of those conversations.

Bill Clinton was the first president I ever voted for. When I look back at the fact that I could have voted during the Reagan administration, and didn't, is now as dismaying to me, as it was to my father. By the time George H.W. Bush ran for president, and it came down to him or Dukakis, I again chose not to vote. There was NO way I would have considered voting for Bush, but at the same time I had very little confidence in Dukakis. I saw no good choice. To me, voting for the lesser of two evil, was still voting for evil. So I sat that one out.

Four years later, I don't remember the exact date, I saw a fairly young politician, the Governor of Arkansas on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. That governor was, of course, William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton. He impressed me because he had some good ideas. He spoke intelligently, with confidence, and for once, in my lifetime, I found a politician whose ideas resonated with me. He had a sense of humor, and yet he had a seriousness to him that made his point, without scaring the shit out of you. He demonstrated to me that you can roll up your sleeves, and get a job done, without having to fear the sky would fall over the slightest of difficult issues. I was, and still am, proud of the fact that the first president I ever voted for was Bill Clinton. I wouldn't change my voting for him for anything. And if I can, I will be voting for Hillary Clinton for president in 2014.

Why am I on about all of this now? Well, yesterday, the Supreme Court Of The United States made the decision to kill section 5 of the Voting Rights Act Of 1965, in effect, making voting in the United States less fair for some. My father, and his father, never had to worry if they would be able to vote, but my father had lived through a time in this country when voting was not fairly offered to all, and he knew first hand how lucky he was. I understand right now, more than ever, about why my dad was so perplexed by my decisions to decline to cast a ballot. He didn't dictate my choices, he led me in the sense of the morals and values I grew up with, but when I became of voting age, it was up to me, and my conscience, to do what was right. Whatever right meant. I know it would have upset him terribly if I had become a republican, but he would have gritted his teeth and hoped to himself I would see the light one day. LOL.

And when I actually did become a republican... for 6 whole months... I eventually did see the light!


And my dad breathed a huge sigh of relief! LOL.

I have never had to worry about when or if someone would take my voting rights away. I know that I am lucky. It's disturbing that bitter people, people who decided if they can't win on the merits of their beliefs, principles and values, they will simply disenfranchise, steal, lie, or otherwise deceive their way into the most powerful offices in our nation. These people deserve very little, if any, respect. When I think of the fact that men and women have laid the lives down to protect the freedom of voting for all, among other freedoms we enjoy as Americans, only to have it stepped on, and disregarded as an archaic law is deeply distressing to me.

I never thought I would see America decline the way it has since 9/11. Our privacy is invaded. Our voting rights are being compromised. Politicians are opening campaign offices in our vaginas. Marriage is only for one group of people... the people who have a divorce rate of 50%. I could go on but why? I don't know how things will play out in my lifetime, but I think my main hope for the future is to see we in the U.S. return to a collective sanity. Sometimes it seems impossible, like I will never see a day when there isn't someone, somewhere blatantly lying and hating. It's depressing. I am just grateful that my father doesn't have to see what's become of America. I believe if he were alive today, he would be deeply troubled, and profoundly sad to see what has happened to the country my grandfather immigrated to escape this exact kind of tyranny.

It's so sad. We must return to a great country again. A country that recognizes each of it's citizens, and treats one another with dignity. We can be a great country, but we have a lot of damage to undue, and unfortunately it will not happen overnight, but with a little bit of work maybe I will see that country in my lifetime.

 The law had an immediate impact. By the end of 1965, a quarter of a million new black voters had been registered, one-third by Federal examiners. By the end of 1966, only 4 out of the 13 southern states had fewer than 50 percent of African Americans registered to vote. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was readopted and strengthened in 1970, 1975, and 1982.

~The National Archives 

"Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don't vote."

~William E Simon

Mood: Reflective


Tuesday, June 25, 2013


"I wish you'd help me look into a more interesting problem... namely, my sanity."

~Kurt Vonnegut, Welcome To The Monkey House


I am beginning with a sigh because, well, a little later today I will be meeting my new therapist. Yes. Another therapist. This one will make a lifetime total of... hold on to your hats... wait for it... 51. Yep, I have had 51 therapists in my 51 years of life. Wow. That sounds like a lot... doesn't it? Yes. 51! But hey, it's not like I am all that crazy, at least not anymore, I am just, well, you know, in need of clarity from time to time. And that's normal... right? I mean there was that brief time from 1998 through 2003 when I was a bit, shall we say, NUTS. But that was then, 10 years later, a full decade later, I am once again running with all my gears working just fine. But from time to time it is good to take one in for a tune up, especially with a model as old as I am. LOL.

Besides, it's time to refill the Valium. Now before you get all judgmental, I only go through 60 a year, which is not to bad. And frankly, most of the time I cope pretty well without it. I don't like Valium, but it does help with my restless leg syndrome. Sometimes. Mostly I take a Valium when I can't deal with the sound of my neighbors dog hitting the fence, and falling to the ground with a that inevitable whelp. My neighbor is an ass. I wish he would move. Too bad we don't live in the land of wishes. If we did, I wouldn't wish he would move, I would wish he would love his dog more than he hated me. I wish he would love the dog as much as his dog loves him. If that were the case the neighbor would be a much happier person. And that would make everyone around him happier as well.

You can't live other peoples lives for them.

So, I live my life. And once in a while Valium helps me do it.

In the trailer for the new Woody Allen movie, Blue Jasmine, the character of Jasmine, in her despair, laments, "There's only so many traumas a person can withstand till they take to the streets and start screaming." Boy oh boy does that resonate with me. 10 years ago I broke free from a deep, 5 year long depression, which included Anhedonia, as if the sadness wasn't enough. Call me an overachiever. But that was then and this is now and here I am today, as happy as I can find the energy to be. Am I perfect? Is my life perfect? Well I, and my life, have our moments, but for the most part it's all good. Good is good. Good means there is room to grow. I don't think I would want perfect. Perfect sounds boring. I mean, where do you go from there?

Enter #51

Mood: Reflective

~Me :)

Monday, June 24, 2013


"Sometimes I get depressed about my age. In March I'll be 26. If man weren't measured in numbers, but rather letters, I'd be turning Z. And then I'd be dead."

~Jarod Kintz, I should Have Renamed This

Several months ago I saw these numbers on the side of building. I don't know why, but it absolutely fascinated me. Has that ever happened to you with your photography? So notice something completely ordinary, and for whatever reason you just had to photograph it? I am that way with numbers sometimes. Like the time I found the key fob that was just laying in the hedge near the crooked side of Lombard Street in San Francisco. For the most part I don't really like numbers... they lead to math after all... but okay, I admit they are a necessary evil. LOL. How else would I know if I am putting the correct amount of cinnamon in my homemade scones, or that I will be turning not 26 on Saturday, but rather Z-2.0-ish.

;) It's not this birthday I am worried about. It's the one that will be the last one I think about in the middle of the night. Sigh. Someday I just won't be here anymore, and that's an odd thing to ponder. I try not to make a habit of it. LOL. We all know age has very little to do with anything. Mortality comes as a big surprise. I like that. Can you imagine if there were bomb shelters or storm cellars for impending birthdays? (Shudder) No, I will keep the current system, I don't need any test that can almost perfectly pinpoint my demise, or some psychic's best guess. I will wait and be surprised. Although, wouldn't it be crappy to have death drop by on one's 100th birthday, just as whats left of ones friends jump out from behind nursing home furniture and from behind tasteful drapes to yell SURPRISE!

Thank you, and goodbye!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sometimes The Moon...

The Full Moon And Clouds January 25th, 2013

"See how nature... trees, flowers, grass grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... we need silence to be able to touch souls."

~Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Sometimes the moon cooperates with me, sometimes it doesn't. LOL. I have been quite happy with the photos I have taken, since I switched to digital about 10 years ago, but sometimes I have to work a lot harder than other times. My old beloved Minolta, which was broken on December 31st of 2008, was the camera I used to do most of the moon shots with, but it met with a tragic end, having been wrestled to the ground by Dylan and Hendrix when they were but mere kittens! Never underestimated the damage potential of a pair of kittens! LOL. As heartbroken as I was, all was immediately forgiven. I can't stay mad at my two little fellas for very long.

At the time I thought my Minolta had been given a death sentence, but where there's a will, there is a way, so with a determined spirit I taped the Minolta back together and soldiered on. It's been over 4 1/2 years and even though I have purchased two new cameras since, I still break out the old Minolta and take if for a spin, providing it feels like being cooperative! My beloved Minolta insists on being able to recognize only one SD card in particular... no other... and at times it refuses to speak to me in anything but Japanese. Yes, Japanese. You see, for some reason it tends to get stuck in the Japanese mode, and I have NO idea why or how it happens. But it's okay, I am good with it, the pictures still continue to come out awesome!

I am hoping I will be able to get some good shots of the Supermoon a little later. As I write this post it is a little after 12:00 AM PT, but at around 4:30 AM or so, the moon should be at it's biggest and brightest in the sky. I am going to check on it from time to time overnight, and hopefully the sky will be clear enough to get a few shots. When I checked a couple hours ago, there were a few clouds beginning to move into the bay from a storm that's one it's way for Sunday night and Monday. It's going to be one of those wonderful gully washers that make it all cozy, but jeepers my luck, does it really have to come in right now? LOL. Ummm... yep!

Sometimes the moon cooperates, and sometimes it doesn't. Life, and photography, is an adventure. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)