Saturday, January 10, 2015

Yeah, What He Said

"Sometimes I arrive just when God's ready to have someone click the shutter."

~Ansel Adams

Yeah, what he said! If I take good pictures, well, it's because I know the basic function of a camera. I mean, how do you take credit for a sunset? Or a cute animal? Or sometimes... just being in the right place... at the right time? I suppose it takes a creative urge to capture the fleeting, or the selfishness of keeping a moment forever. Maybe it's the pursuit of the unobtainable. Maybe that's it. Who knows. I do know that I love the surge of adrenaline of snapping a photo, and accomplishing something personal, that I can share. You see, being a private person means there is very little I am prepared to share, but by sharing my photography, well, that tells you all about what truly makes me... me.I didn't have to know the man in this photo, I got to know him silently, as he thoroughly enjoyed his dinner, a beautiful sunset, and some meditation!

 And a little while later, I got to say...

 Yeah, what he said!

This is just one set of many photos I have recently added to my Flickr account. Click on the link to see whats past, whats present, and what might come in the future!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Friday, January 09, 2015

Sugar Cookie ANTS!

"Ant #1: So, uh, do you ever worry that your itsy little neck is just going to snap under the weight of your head?
Ant #2: Stop asking me that. You ask me that, like, every five minutes.
Ant #1: Sometimes I notice my antennae out of the corner of my eye and I'm all, like, AHH! Something is on me! Get it off! Get it off!
Ant #2: Yeah, the antennae again. Listen, I just remembered, I have to go walk around aimlessly now."

~Jim Benton
Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers

Ugg. The Christmas cookies were a big hit! I made a batch, then I made another batch, then I decided to make yet another one for New Year's. I think technically the New Year's cookies were the biggest hit, if you consider there are currently about a 1,000 ants in my house. Still, a good review is a good review! It's good to know that old fashioned sugar cookies are still enjoyed by people and ants.

 If you are having an ant problem try putting a line of cinnamon down between you and the ants... they won't cross it. And a plus... cinnamon is non toxic to dogs and cats, and most outside critters. We dust the house inside and out after the rainy season is over, and then repeat every four weeks or so! Another excellent product is Orange Guard. I found it at Whole Foods! It smells wonderful, and is again, safe for use around pets!


"Ants don't make me nervous. They make me antsy."

~Jarod Kintz
Whenever You're Gone, I'm Here For You

Mood: Happy But Busy

~Me :)

Photographed 1/6/15
10:21 PM
HTC Vivid

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Je Suis Charlie

"The moment you say that any idea system is sacred, whether it's a religious belief system or a secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from
 criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible."

~Salman Rushdie
(Defend The Right To Be Offended)
Open Democracy, 7 February 2005

So, is 2015 going to mimic 2014?
 Will there be more tears than laughter yet again?

Mood: Quiet
Graphic Created January 7th 2015

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

A Well Made Mouse

"When the mouse laughs at the cat, there's a hole nearby."

~Nigerian Proverb

Meet the newest toy in our house. An IKEA mouse named Winny. Yes, I named the mouse, but the boys approved. We like IKEA toys in our house because they are machine washable. My boys PLAY with their toys, sometimes they put them in really odd places. Under the couch, under the bed, in their BOX. Yes, a machine washable, well made mouse is the way to go! Yes. Just ask my three little boys!

And there is a really nice bonus to buying toys at IKEA...
 they make a $1 donation to children's charities for each soft toy purchased during the holidays.

If they make that a tradition, so will I!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Winny Mouse
Photographed 1/1/15
10:20 PM
NIKON CoolPix S3500

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Something Interesting In An Ordinary Place

"To me, photography is an art of observation.
 It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... 
I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them."

~Elliot Erwitt

Here is my first portrait of the year! I love taking candid shots of people just living their life. It all began with brides in Golden Gate Park, and from there the project has just evolved. I try not to disturb the subject, because it alters the view of the every day life. I just enjoy seeing people being people. In this case, however, I was a bit annoyed that with an entire parking lot, let alone a very nice car, this man chose to stand next to my car to smoke his cancer stick. Why do people do that? I don't want the smell of their stinky habit in my car anymore than they do! People... please don't do that! Oh well, at least I got a photo out of it! And in a weird way, by the time I had taken the photo set, I was glad I got a chance to capture not just the man, willing to stand in the pouring rain to smoke, but for the chance to photograph the rain as a starring component.

So... any thoughts? Care to caption the photo? 

Mood: Happy

~Me :)


Monday, January 05, 2015

The Day You Wake Up To

"Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And magical things you can do with that ball
Will make you the winning-est winner of all.


You'll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you on TV.
Except when they don't,
Because sometimes they won't.

I am afraid that sometimes
You'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you."

~Dr. Seuss
Oh The Places You'll Go!

I love the first Monday after a long holiday weekend. I love that the TV schedules get back to normal, I love that the news and political sites are, once again, covering the latest developments, and I love that the everything seems fresh and new. I suppose the first Monday after the New Year's holiday has that feeling like no other time. I was finished with 2015, at the end of the day Robin Williams died. I remember falling into bed, exhausted from grief, and thinking that I was done! The year couldn't possibly be salvaged. And if it could, if anyone had a special formula, I didn't need to know about it! My mind was throughouly made up! Don't even bring it up! But, a couple months later, I found myself on vacation, and spending a lot of time with Alan, and little by little, I eased back into the reality of the year, and where I was in it. I was still grieving, and one or two more losses took place after his death, but I was back to laughing, and exploring with the camera, putting my feet forward. And as I did. I came up with some good photographs, stuff I am proud of. I just did it. I learned to live with all the pain of the year. From the suicide of a friend, to Robin's death, to the drama with GM and the car recalls, to whatever stupid thing hurt me. I dealt with it through my photography, with  the season of autumn's help.

Today, I am waking up to a much different day than Real Housewives Of New Jersey star, Teresa Giudice, will. She was sentenced last October to 15 months in prison, her husband 41 months for various crimes of fraud, dating back nearly 15 years, which is pretty much their entire marriage. By most accounts, Teresa has been in denile about the time she will serve, so as she begins her journey today, I can only imagine the pain she must be in as she says goodbye to her home, parents and brother, her community, her businesses, her standing, her name, but saddest of all, her four daughters. Four girls, all under 16, will have to suffer the loss of their mom, at an age when a daughter most needs their mother. Now, 15 months isn't forever, but without coping skills, it is more than forever. Those days when the only one who could possibly understand how a girl feels, is the mom, and mom isn't there. Life doesn't get harder than that. Not when you are a little girl.

I suppose Teresa will be feeling a bit like a little girl herself today. She won't have anyone but herself to lean on. She will be scared... I would be. Wouldn't you? She will be grieving her life... I would be. Wouldn't you? She will make missteps... I know I would. She will want nothing more than anything to go back in time and change the mistakes she made. She will just want to go back... to just get it right. To not trust the wrong people. To not want more than she could realistically have. To just not take the road she took that lead her where she is. When the lights go off tonight, she will be grieving. Deeply. A situation of her own making? Yes. To be sure! But the pain she is about to feel, well, that will drive home the fault, and she is now on her way to paying back those who have been wronged. Will it be enough? God, I hope so. I hope she comes out with all kinds of strength, so she never ends up down the rabbit hole again! Not only for her, but for those four girls.

I would love to see her come out of this situaiton with courage. New found courage that doesn't involve turing over tables, or living outside her means. I want to see Teresa Giudice come out of this fierce! I want to see her write a "How To" guide to prison, or maybe a prison cookbook of her own. I want to see her find her sense of humor about herself, rather than lifting herself up by the concentrating on the fall of others. I want to see her SHINE. I want her to see the beauty, like on a walk around Half Moon Bay. She missed the natural beauty of the town when she visited their a few years ago. She missed it because she was too busy dealing with the pain in her life. The things that scared her, such as the failing relationship with her husband Joe. Truth is, that relationship probably truly began to crumble right before she became famous. Fame... there's that word. Fame. Sigh. Now there is some talk that Teresa and Joe's daughter is shooting a pilot for her own "reality" show. I don't know why. Maybe to help out. Maybe to understand the world of reality TV better. Maybe to establish her own fame. If it is the last one, I have to say, God, I hope not. Teresa has a real chance to come out of this situation a smarter, more empathetic, more realistic person. I hope she will, and I hope people will let her, because isn't that the best thing for not only her victims, her family, her community and herself?  And isn't that the point?

 Fame... No Thank You.

Today, Teresa will wake up in a different world than she will go to sleep in, but by the same token, at the end of the journey, the process will swing back the other way. It's what we do with the hours in between.

The sun rises and sets on us all.

Mood: Reflective

~Me :)

Sundown At Half Moon Bay (Archived)
Photographed 2/25/14 
5:35 PM
Kodak Easy Share

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Sometimes They Come Back

"I got food poisoning today. But I am not sure when I am going to use it."

~Steven Wright

I am very pleased to say that I have never given myself, nor anyone else, food poisoning. I have a fairly mild case of the food meanies right now, caught from some uniquely bad food I purchased at a Mexican restaurant on Friday night. OH MY GOD. Never again. When I read to Yelp review several months ago, the place seemed okay. Most folks liked the cheap prices, and apparently they are well known for their "Orange Sauce." Let me tell you... BLECH. Salty, separated and strange tasting. Nothing about it to like. I ordered the cheese enchiladas plate, that came with the rice and beans on the side. I figured meatless and mild was the way to go, boy was I wrong. While the enchiladas were nice and cheesy, as they should be, something just didn't taste right about them. The beans were really tasty... but cold. No heat at all. Like they came from a can. And the rice was, again tasty, and again cold. Cold as the air outside.

 About half way through the meal, I stopped eating. Half way through my meal I had apparently formed two large bricks in my stomach. LARGE BRICKS WITH SPICE ON THEM. I was pretty much in pain the rest of the night. Well, pain, and trips to the bathroom. Sigh. I should probably go write a lengthy Yelp review, detailing vividly how the food came back on me, but why? Other folks who have been to this establishment are split down the middle. This is one of those places that either one loves or they hate, but the people who hated it, ended up with the same circumstances as I did. So, rather that engage in online bashing, I am going to call the Health Department on Monday and suggest they have a look see for themselves. Too many folks have become ill in the same way I did, for it to be a mere coincidence. I am pretty sure what got me was the improper handling of cheese.

Damn shame. I used to love Mexican food, in fact it was my favorite cuisine.

It  really, really was. 

And the thing is, I am still liking 2015 better than 2014

Mood: None

~Me :)

Tortilla Chips (Archived Photo)
Photographed October 31st 2013
1:58 PM
Kodak Easy Share