Saturday, March 08, 2014

Round Robin Challenge: Hot Stuff

"I believe in getting into hot water... it helps keep you clean."

~G.K. Chesterton

RRC: Hot Stuff

Has it been 2 weeks already? It must be because it's time for an all new Round Robin Photo Challenge! This time it's all about Hot Stuff! Karen has left this one up to broad interpretation. Hot Stuff... as in spicy. Hot Stuff... as in heat hot. Hot Stuff... as in weather. Hot Stuff... as in food. You get the idea!

Let's Start With Food...

Corned Beef. March 17th 2008

And Now For Some Spice...

Red Pepper Flakes. Dublin, Ca. July 2007

Whole Cloves. November 2012

And finally about the photo at the top. That was my lunch, one cold day last December, when Alan and I went out to grab a bite before we went to the Carousel in Tilden. It was perfect. Buttery. Cooked just right, and hot off the grill!

Okay, no it's your turn. Do you have any Hot Stuff to show off? If you want to play along I know Karen would be thrilled to have you, and there is still plenty of time to sign up. Just click the link at the top of the page to be redirected to the official Round Robin blog! That is where you can find all the information you need to play along, plus get the links to the other Robins that are joining in the fun!

~Me :)

Friday, March 07, 2014

Plans For The Garden 2014

"Planting a flower is like opening a book, because either way you're starting something. And your garden's your library."

~Nora Roberts


At the end of the month I will be finished with the plans for the rose garden this year. I am all ready to plant the starters from last season, and I have 2 new varieties all picked out for this year's garden. I am considering some poppies as well. We'll see.

Next will come the vegetables. Heirloom tomatoes as always, but this year I want to return to sunflowers and, if all goes well, some pumpkins! I can't wait! There is nothing like bringing fresh roses in the house from your very own garden!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Along For The Ride

"I always wonder why birds stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on earth. Then I ask myself the same question."

~Harun Yahya

This bird was so much fun! It flew along side the eco-tour I was on last weekend. When we first left the dock, there were no birds in sight, then suddenly as we were about sail under the Golden Gate there it was! I am not always a big fan of seagulls, they can be quite rude as birds go, but they can also be entertaining as well, and this one was no exception. As it flew just over my head, the gull and I made eye contact. It seemed to say... "I am not here to poop on you, I am just along for the ride." Okay... as long as we understand each other! LOL. And everything went fine. The bird behaved. I behaved. Just two bird brains with an understanding between us! LOL. And it even posed for me, so what more could I ask for?


Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

My Friend Silvia

"Friendship is born at the moment when one man says to another, "What! You too? i thought that no one byt myself..."

"C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

I visited my archives for this post because I wanted to post a photo that had been inspired by my friend Silvia. She's been my neighbor, and pal, for... well... as long as I can remember. She hasn't lived on the property as long as I have, but somehow it seems that see has lived in the cottage in front of mine since before I moved in. She is funny, and nice, has a big heart. She is the kind of lady who lives her life as fully as she can, without stepping on anyone to do it. Unfortunately, when the property we live on sold to new owners a few years ago, the new landlord, in their prejudice, took an almost instant disliking to her... and now she is leaving, having grown tired of the abuse.

The same thing happened to another dear friend and neighbor a while back, and I feel like soon the owners will begin their assault on me. I am a bit more savvy about these things, I don't mind consulting a lawyer if need be, but I would rather not if it is possible. The whole situation is maddening. All so very unnecessary. Silvia and I will remain friends, but I will not get to see her smile daily any more. Maybe not even monthly. She is moving out of the Bay Area to Sacramento. A 2 hour car ride away. Sigh.

I am sad.

I wish I could change the circumstances.

I can't.

To make my friendship with Silvia all the more special, we share a birthday... June 29th.


Tonight's photo comes from the archives of 2008. They are black sunflowers that I planted along the fence my friend and I shared. She always loved them for their individuality.


~Me :)

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Color, Sepia And Black And White

"In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality."

~Alfred Stieglitz

Last Saturday I took a cruise on San Francisco bay, and to my delight, not only did I have the natural scenes and amazing architecture to inspire my photography, but also a wealth of different lighting opportunities to work with. It's been stormy here in the Bay Area this past week, and with the rain and the wind, comes the brilliant clouds and shadows. Stunning! I was able to accomplish a good deal that day, mostly in there area of using natural filters around me. Sometimes I blocked the small amounts of sun that did show through the clouds, by using the curve of the boat, but one time I found the sun so amazing and stunning that I decided to use the water tower on Alcatraz to create an aura of sorts.

Water towers have always been a favorite of mine to photograph. There is so much that can be done with them. From angles to depth of field, to the curvature, to standing back and letting the sides of the tower filter unwanted light. But attempting to create an aura isn't easy from the boat. There is constant movement, and you can't always stand just anywhere, but Saturday was, as experiences go, was a positive one. As we circled around the back of the island, I waited until the sun was completely behind the water tower to take the photo. I knew I only had one chance, and so I worked to make the focus, and the distance just right. Well, it came out a little fuzzy, and the bounce of light wasn't quite what I was going for but fortunately, a little editing magic made all the difference.

My approach to photography, comes from my love of Impressionist art. The Monet in my screen-name, OndineMonet, is a nod to my favorite painter, Claude Monet. I try to present my photos with a slightly surreal touch to them. In order to show you what I see in my mind's eye, a small amount of editing is necessary. Sometimes it's just a matter of converting a photo from color to either black and white or maybe sepia. I have learned that it makes a tremendous difference, depending on what mood I want to set. Here... take a look at the black and white and compare. 

First Sepia

Now Black And White

See what I mean?

To me the first version, the one in color, seems much more relaxing to the mind and eye, but the sepia gives me a slightly uneasy feeling, while the black and white makes me feel like I could have been circling the island, on a day, many years ago. It's dark and not very comfortable as feelings go. I can almost imagine the ghost of Al Capone starring at me from some tiny window along the wall. Spooky.

So tell me, what do you think? Do you feel different emotions based on editing. Do the three pictures set a different mood, or are you affected the same way with all three?

If you like, feel free to share. I would love to know what you think, and how you prefer to do your photography. Does anything in particular inspire you to certain subjects?

Tell me everything.

~Mood: Inquisitive

Me :)

Monday, March 03, 2014

Blue Jasmine Comes Full Circle

Jasmine French...
"Anxiety, nightmares and a nervous breakdown, there's only so much traumas a person can withstand until they take to the streets and start screaming."

Cate Blanchette as Jasmine French (Blue Jasmine)

Congratulations Cate Blanchette on your much deserved Oscar win for Blue Jasmine! I knew you would be bringing that golden one home the minute I saw the movie, but in truth, I think I knew from that very first day I caught a glimpse of you arriving on the set at the dental office on the corner of Ulloa and Claremont, in San Francisco! It was destined. No doubt about it!


And Now For The Elephant In The Room...

If you have been reading my blog, within the last couple years or so, you already know that one of my life's highlights happened when I got to watch Woody Allen shoot the film Blue Jasmine in San Francisco, in late August of 2012. I have written many blog posts about those three days, and all the silly circumstances surrounding the adventure. I shared about the moments of serendipity that took place, such as meeting a chicken on Lexington avenue, with the filming of the film taking place just down the street.

I shared about the awesome street art I found along the way, and my own silly misadventures, like on the first day, when we turned onto Lexington, and suddenly everything went WHITE! I thought I had died! In reality, it was the fact that the sun was in just the right place in the sky to be blinding, as it bounced off the white film trucks that lined the very narrow street! LOL. Nerves, at the prospect of seeing Woody Allen, coupled with a very HOT day, and the surprise of turning onto not just any street, but indeed a street lined with film equipment, made for one nervous woman... ME! LOL.

It was an adventure. One I will never forget. But just one thing. I am actually thrilled for Ms. Blanchette. I am happy for Woody Allen. But being happy and thrilled in this case comes with an elephant in the room.

I admire the man's body of work. I have admired his creativity my whole life. As for is private life... it's none of my business... period. I think a lot has happened, people have been hurt deeply, but it has nothing to do with me. I love Mia Farrow. I love Woody Allen. I think Dylan is a lovely young woman who has had to endure a lot of pain, and I ache for her in that instance. But I wasn't there. I can't throw stones. And being a survivor of abuse, I know that each of us handles our pain differently. As differently as our individual fingerprints. 

It simply isn't mine to judge. 

But I will say this...

If Dylan really believes it to be true... indeed knows it to be true... stop hurting others... press charges against the one who hurt you, and let justice do what it must.

If Woody Allen is innocent, and Mia knows it, stop damaging your daughter and her relationships in the future, because believe me, it will haunt her for a million years. Long after your time on earth is done, Dylan will be in pain, and fighting her demons daily.

Enough said.

Blue Jasmine has come full circle. Personally, I am glad I have the memory of watching the work that went into making that cinematic magic come to life. And last night, when that lovely woman won her Oscar, I felt a little extra happy remembering the fun of that August. But now the last scene has played.

The End.

"I have no idea what I am doing, but incompetence has never stopped me from plunging in with enthusiasm."

~Woody Allen

Mood: Quiet


Note: If you would like to read my review of Blue Jasmine see my post here... Blue Jasmine.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

49 Square Miles Surrounded By Reality

"San Francisco is 49 square miles surrounded by reality."

~Paul Kantner

What's my idea of a perfect day? A day in San Francisco... better yet... a day on the San Francisco Bay...


Cupid's Span

Ghiradelli Square

The Love Of My Life
Golden Gate Bridge


 Stormy Skies Over Marin

The End Of The Day

"San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth."

~William Saroyan

~Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Note: "Cupid's Span" by artists, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen