Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Fun With Low Light Photography

"Even as a child, she had preferred night to day, had enjoyed sitting out in the yard after sunset, under the star-speckled sky listening to frogs and crickets.
 Darkness soothed. It softened the  sharp edges of the world, toned down the too-harsh colors. With the coming of twilight, the sky seemed to recede; the universe expanded.
 The night was bigger than the day, and in it's realm, life seemed to have more possibilities."

~Dean Koontz

I was going through my folder from last month, and found some photos that really pleased me. They are dark, and have a presence that is true to the beginning of winter, and the cold darkness that comes with it. This week, we are getting the first of the El Nino storms. It's dark, as you might expect, but the sky just opens up, and DOWN comes the rain. Fiercely so! The snow pack in the Sierra range is at 139% of normal totals, which is awesome, but again, it's dark outside, and I am kinda loving it! I am not a day person, at all, I don't really begin thinking clearly until the late afternoon, and that has been my whole life.

 Alan snores. LOUDLY. And while there are other rooms I can go to, if my Fibromyalgia is particularly painful, or I just happen to need a little extra sleep, but most of the time I stay in the bedroom with him, and watch TV, or read, while he sleeps. I like being near him, snoring and all! And like I said, it has been a life time pattern for me to not sleep at night. I basically keep vampire hours. I cook, and clean, and tip-toe through the archives in search of a photo I might have overlooked. I have found many promising photos that way. Bring on the darkness! As long as El Nino is here, I might as well enjoy it!

Low-light photography. In natural lighting, and otherwise, has always intrigued me, so I am going to concentrate on that this winter. I know I will doing a lot more photography in and around Stockton, because of the storms on the way, which is nice, because I need to venture out around here. I love the mixture of rural and city here. It's quite unique to the rest of the Bay Area. Shrug. Darkness, in all the best ways is the goal. I hope you find the next series of photos pleasing, comments and opinions are always appreciated!

 You knew I was going to sneak in a photo from the last of the leaves... right? It's just that the last of the Dogwood had a poignant kind of beauty to it, as the last of the colorful leaves rested among the dark and dead leaves. There was something strangely pretty about it.

I tool this photograph out my kitchen window,
 using the screen as a filter.
 I kind of like the grainy effect. Thoughts?

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

New Year's Resolutions 2016

"What is it you most dislike? Stupidity,
 especially in its nastiest forms of racism and superstition."

~Christpher Hitchens
Hitch-22: A Memoir

New Year's Resolutions. I don't make them. I used to. Then I stopped. Then I decided to give it another try. Then I said... NOPE. Not going down that road that is only there to make you feel meserible sometime around Valentine's Day. Nope. I am not wasting any more time making resolutions! But what I am doing is putting more thought into how much time I want to sit and think about the things I should or shouldn't be doing, thinking, feeling, considering, and or deciding! If 2015 didn't teach me anything else, it taught me that the clock ticks away, and it's up to me to make sure I am doing what I need to be doing. Even if that means, telling someone else I have no time for their time table. 

It seems like from March on through to the end of the year, my life, and Alan's became about other people's schedules. NO MORE! I have a certain amount of time left in my life, and I am done living by other people's time manipulations. ENOUGH! But that's not a resolution of any kind, it's more a matter of one more place I feel I finally matured over. It's another way of setting fair boundaries! So, while I don't have any real resolutions to discuss, how about we touch base on the things I loved and didn't love about 2015, and what can be learned from them!

5 Things I Was Happy To Learn 2015

1. It's over.

2. We bought our first house, and we got the one that has been waiting for us our whole lives!

3. I got a little smarter, by going through the drama necessary to make me smarter!

4. I didn't roll over and give up!

5. I know now, that when my values are tested, I don't waver. I can't be bought!

5 Things That Disappointed Me In 2015

1. That Donald Trump could make it as far as he has.

2. American Horror Story: Hotel
(Blech... they lost me with the classroom of children turned into vampires! Enough of children being killed already!).

3. The fact that the only place Alan and I could afford to move to was Stockton. (I like Stockton, but my heart is in the Bay Area).

4. Obama didn't do as much about gun control in 2015 as I think he could have. Sigh. At least he is on it now.

5. I didn't cook more. In fact I barely cooked last year. I know, we were constantly in flux, but cooking relaxes me.

It's not a resolution, but rather a fun little challenge I am giving myself to try at least one new recipe a week, and post the results here on my blog! Getting out to do new photos might be especially challenging this year, due to Alan's schedule, so you might see more photos of my latest cooking and recipe developments. I hope to try some really challenging recipes, and just think, they will mostly be done in the pink Barbie oven! Welcome back to the Mad Men Era! In fact, I may try some recipes from that era, and put some modern spins on them. Stay Tuned for my new series...

From The Pink Oven! 
 Mini Cherry Cobbler
December 31st 2015

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Monday, January 04, 2016

Big White Walls

"Your house becomes a home when you fall in love with it."

~Erin MacLaughlin
Style At Home

We are almost finished with decorating our living room. This is the wall that runs along the hallway, and part way into the living room. The back of this wall is the kitchen. I had no real idea what to do with this wall, it was just a big white wall, then it occurred to us that with our love of movies, maybe some posters would be fun, rather than a painting or something more conventional. It also seemed like a fun way to incorporate my love of San Francisco, and movies that mean something special us as a couple!

 So I Married An Axe Murderer, has always been our movie. We have loved it since the first time we saw it! We even quote it to each other at times! One of our favorite dates, and a married couple, was going to see it, at at outdoor screening, at Dunsmuir House in Oakland, where the movie was partially filled!  And of course, you might remember our connection to Blue Jasmine. It was the highlight of my summer in 2012, as I watched from a short distance away, Woody Allen directing Cate Blanchette in the movie. And Bullet was just San Francisco action packed fun!

So, we have a wall some of our favorite San Francisco movies, and a wall with some great memories! We added the candle sconces just this past weekend, and now that wall is finished. The living room has only one more wall to go, the wall directly above the couch! We have our eyes on a painting by Leonid Afremov, so stay tuned! His art is amazing, and I think it would be a fabulous addition to our home! If you are unfamiliar with his work, check out the link above!

Mood: Happy

~Me :)

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Peeking Through The Window Of Someone Else's Life

"Telephone. N. An invention of the devil which abrogates some
 of the advantages of making a disagreeable
 person keep his distances."

~Ambrose Bierce

Telephone. Cell phone. Cell phone telephone. Saturday evening my phone rang. It was Private Number. Private number calls me from time to time. I usually screen my calls because it is one of the advantages of the modern age affords us. I like to let the person calling to leave me a message, so I know if the call back will be a fun time had by all, or if it's something I need to prepare for. It's something I learned to do when the invention of answering machines became the must have thing to have. I had a Phone-Mate, in imitation wood grain. I hated recording the prerecorded outgoing message. I never really thought it sounded like me. I sounded strange. Anyway, I learned to love the gadget, despite my off sounding voice, so much so, that I continue to screen calls to this day! Back to last evening. A call came in from Private Number at about 8:30 pm and boy did Private Number have something to say!

Actual Transcript

Private Number: He didn't say he was going to hurt himself.

Private Number's Companion (in the background): What are you doing? Get off the fucking phone!!(Loudly) It's my fucking problem and my family and you are just making it worse!!!!!

Private Number: (Speaking to companion) It's my house. And she is not fucking sending the cops here. FUCK YOU!

Private Number: Lady, you better not send the cops here, he didn't say he was going to hurt himself. I am not fucking around!!


Obviously, Private Number and her companion were not having a good evening! And while I didn't recognize the voices, and have no way to call them back and let them know they got the wrong number, I can't help but worry a tiny bit about the woman they meant to call. If she never got this call, and she did indeed call the police, will she ever be believed that she never got this call? Will anything bad come of it? Did I just hear the prequel to a crime? I have no way of knowing if they were calling my area code or not. They could have been anywhere! It's a spooky feeling, because I don't think Private Number was messing around! And what about companion? Is he okay right now? Have they all calmed down? It's sad. It reminds me of when I was a child and fights would break out between my parents. Holidays, and the time around holidays, really messes with folks. I wanted to call back and check on them, but as you know, you can't call back Private Numbers. They can call you, you can't call them. That's a strange system... don't you think? Anyway, by mistake someone I don't know connected with me, and brought their world into mine. It was a brief encounter, but a profound one.

I wish I knew the rest of the story.

Somehow I can't help but watch the news tonight.
Mood: Curious/Anxious