Saturday, August 03, 2013

Art About Town: South San Francisco

"Eternal Flame" (Veteran's Eternal Flame)
By Chuck Thompson, Orange Memorial Park, South San Francisco
                                                                   Dedicated To Veterans By The City Of South San Francisco

A Nation Reveals Itself Not Only By The Men It Produces
But Also By The Men It Honors, The Men It Remembers

~John F. Kennedy

My photo jaunt to South San Francisco was a lot of fun! I only photographed three sculptures that day, but I enjoyed getting to know the city as we moved from sculpture to sculpture. There are plenty more pieces to photograph and admire and I am pretty sure where I will go next on my quest for public art, so stay tuned, there is definitely more to come!

By Roger White Stoller
South San Francisco, July 31st 2013

By Robert W Ellison
South San Francisco, July 31st 2013

"The real truthfulness of all works of imagination, sculpture, painting, and written fiction, is so purely in the imagination, that the artist never seeks to represent positive truth, but the idealized image of a truth."

~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, August 02, 2013

Cruel Summer

"One day can change your life. One day can ruin your life. All life is is three or four big days that change everything."

~Beverly Donofrio

Maybe you are into pop culture, perhaps not. But you would have to have been living under a rock to have not heard about the indictment and arrest of Joe and Teresa Giudice, of the Real Housewives Of New Jersey. The indictment was handed down on Monday, and on Tuesday the reality star couple faced a judge and heard the 39 counts, mostly for fraud, that's been leveled against them.I am not sure why my jaw dropped when I heard the news, there has been a lot of sketchy behavior from the two, but I have to admit, to this extent, and that they could each be sentenced to up to 50 years in prison if convicted of their crimes, well... yes... it's shocking... I find it shocking for so many reasons. Not the least of which is that they four daughters, the oldest turned 13 earlier this year!

You may have read a post I wrote, almost a year ago, about how the cast of the Real Housewives Of New Jersey visited Half Moon Bay, and Napa on a working vacation and spent time outside in the natural beauty of the California coastline, but somehow failed to see anything of around them. Not the gentle, blue Pacific Ocean, not the crisp morning air, not the amazing sunsets, not the sight of grapes of every color,  maturing on the vine at the rolling vineyards throughout Napa and the surrounding towns  in Napa County. Instead they continued with what keeps that particular chapter of the Real Housewives franchise going... friendship betrayal, ignorance, gossip, lying, and a host of other devastating behaviors that feeds the ratings, while damning the future of not just the "adults" but the children who are clearly caught in the middle.

To make the latest situation all the more difficult for the Giudices, Teresa in particular, it was disclosed that Joe is not even a U.S. citizen, which means that if he is convicted, and serves time, he will almost certainly be deported back to Italy upon his release... oh but wait... I am not talking about convicted of these 39 counts of fraud... I am talking about the fraud case he was indicted on in a different New Jersey county a couple years ago. His trial for fraudulently obtaining a driver's license in his brother's name, begins in late October of this year. If convicted, he could serve 10 years for that particular case of fraud alone.

It's a mess, but is it a tragedy? Yes. It most certainly is! It's tragic when one day life is going along fine, maybe not perfect, but okay, and a decision is made that changes the course of one's life so profoundly that it can't be fixed. I think about what their wedding day must have been like. They woke up that day, two single people, and finished the day as a married couple, with the whole future ahead of them. Marriage vows include the good times and the bad, rich and lean, and every couple, on their wedding day, believes in forever. Don't they? And every couple looks at each other on that day as if they are the only people in the room. Don't they?

So, if that's true, how could this have happened? When did the day come that brought with it the idea to put it all at risk? When the first daughter was born, didn't both Joe and Teresa look at her and see forever? How about when the second, third or fourth came along? Why did material things become more important than their daughters financial and emotional future? That is the tragedy! It's tragic that those girls may lose their parents to prison. No mom to pick out their own wedding gowns with one day. No dad to be there to walk them down the aisle. No grandparents for their children. None of the special moments, moments and rights of passages spent with the people who gave them life.

"We pass through this world but once. Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even to hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying within."

~Stephen Jay Gould, The Mismeasure Of Man

Call me a schmuck, but I can't help but feel devastated for these people, and the problems they have created for themselves. I find their continued denial of guilt, not just tragic, but indeed infuriating. If they could just face REALITY, perhaps they could find the peace they yearn for. But, unfortunately, it might already be too late, but who knows? I don't want to just throw away the key, but I do wish I could understand what set all this fraud in motion, not to mention asking why she has actively worked at destroying her relationship with her brother Joe, who is probably the one family member she was closest to in the whole world.

Reality TV can be blamed for a lot of things. To some extent I believe it was the pressures of Reality TV that contributed to the suicide of Russell Armstrong, husband of Taylor Armstrong, of the Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills. But like the Giudices, the Armstrong's troubles began years before they became a part of the show, in fact, the show only highlighted their clawing their way up the social latter and their incessant need to keep up with the mansion dwellers next to them. Taylor, in the opening for last season quips... "I have worked too hard for this zip code to go home now." She can say that after the suicide of Russell?



Now, here are a few of my own photos of the California Coastline, and a few from Napa, to show you what the cast of The Real Housewives Of New Jersey missed on their trek up the coast.

Half Moon Bay...

Point Montara, California

Ocean Beach, San Francisco California

Glen Ellen California

I am not sure why, but July was a month of tragedies. From Anthony Weiner, an otherwise talented political figure, who worked diligently for his constituents, but couldn't control his personal life, to the crash of Asiana Flight 214, to the death of Glee actor, Cory Monteith and the revelations of his personal demons. And then there was verdict in the trial of George Zimmerman. There are different schools of thoughts about the jury in that case, and the conclusion they came to, but in my own mind the law has acted as a fool, and Florida needs to reconsider the "Stand Your Ground Law" and the conditions for finding someone guilty under that law.

So, sigh, it's been a rather cruel summer, and we are only half way through. I don't remember this much bad news happening in a single month before, but I am sure there is one if you look hard enough. It's all so sad. And most of it so unnecessary. And that's the worst part. :(

 "Actions are the first tragedy in life, words are the second. Words are perhaps the worst. Words are merciless... ."

~Oscar Wilde

Mood: Sad


Thursday, August 01, 2013

Who Knows? :)

"Humor is a spontaneous, wonderful but of an outburst that just comes. It's unbridled, its unplanned, it's full of surprises."

~Erma Bombeck

Yesterday, Alan and I took a drive to the city of South San Francisco, yes, it's it's own city, to photograph some public art. South San Francisco has a lot of public art, and as far as sculptures go, some of the most eye pleasing around! I haven't spent much time in that city, so it was a rather fun adventure to check the city out, and see some new terrain. After we were finished, we decided to head into San Francisco, to do a little more photography I had been planning to do forever, but just never got around to doing. We could have taken to coast into the city, or 101, which would have put us downtown. Which way to go? After some debate, we went with Alan's preference... 101 it was!

101, in the late afternoon, can get quite busy. It's not too bad, but it can be a bit daunting sometimes. Yesterday it wasn't so bad, in fact it was better than I have seen it in a long time. So, we were making fair time, but we weren't moving so fast as to miss either the natural beauty, or the little surprises that one inevitably encounters along the way! It's San Francisco after all! And yesterday, the surprise we encountered was in the form of Heart Guy!

I have no idea what his story is. I did an Internet search when I got home, but couldn't find any information on him. All I know is he had a red heart, and a big smile, and he danced and danced on the overpass, making some folks smile, I know I did! Who knows? Maybe he was just that happy, or just that in love. Maybe he was high on something, or maybe he just wanted to make people smile. Who knows? All I know is I had fun watching him dance, and today, wherever he is, I hope he is well!

Sometimes, it's just as simple as that!

In case the GIF makes you dizzy, here are the stills. Enjoy!

"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching
Love like you'll never be hurt
Sing like there's nobody listening
And live like it's heaven on earth."

~William W. Purkey


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Look Back At July 2013

"In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away."

~Shing Xiong


Wow! When I put together this month's retrospective, I couldn't believe how busy the month had been... and how emotional as well! From the fun of the Fourth of July, to the crash of Asiana Flight 214, to the photo you see above, of a fun day in San Francisco, playing tourists! It was a full month! A summer day in San Francisco... there's nothing like it!

Here, see for yourself...

Like I said, it was quite a month! And now, on to August!


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My Tabby Terrorist

"A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not."

~Ernest Hemingway

Dylan. Dylan will be 5 years old next month, but he has a way about him that he can fluff himself up, roll into a ball, and turn his head, giving him the appearance of being about 3 weeks old. LOL. He can be a total brat terrorist one moment, and practically a stuffed animal the next.

But he is an honest cat always. You always, always know how he feels.

He is the baby... and he knows it.



Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Yellow And White Water Lily

"I would like to pain the way the bird sings."

~Claude Monet

Isn't it gorgeous? There was only one water lily in bloom when I visited the Conservatory Of Flowers last week, but one was all that was necessary to make me smile. It looked like a little bit of sunshine. Beautiful! With the golden Koi floating about and the reflection of the panes of glass in the water, it all came together nicely to make for a gentle, serene scene. Perfect!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Art About Town: San Francisco "Hard Bop" By John Atkin

"Hard Bop" By John Atkin The Fillmore Center San Francisco

"Sculpture occupies real space like we do... you walk around it and relate to it almost as another person or another object."

~Chuck Close


Earlier this month I posted the first two parts of my three part series about a temporary sculpture installation in the Fillmore neighborhood of San Francisco. I will be posting the last of the series soon, but for now I would like to take a look at a different sculpture, which is permanent to the neighborhood, "Hard Bop" by artist John Atkin. The sculpture sits at the Fillmore Center, at the corner of Fillmore and O' Farrell streets. I have become quite fond of this sculpture. My visits to that neighborhood wouldn't be the same without stopping to enjoy it for a few minutes. Abstract sculpture hasn't always interested me, but lately I have come to really enjoy viewing pieces like this one.

What do you think?

To learn more about this piece, and the artist, click here.

Mood: Happy

~Me :)