Saturday, September 30, 2006

odd turn of events

I headed to Costco this morning, and got depressed. The Christmas stuff is already up for sale. It's not even October. They had a guy trying to sell a home karaoke system; he was singing Elvis tunes. Are you lonesome tonight? I stayed far away.

Then, I headed to Home Depot, hoping to get a particular shade of yellow. They already had a line at the paint counter, with only one person working. I didn't feel like waiting.

I strolled over to the garden center, thinking about brightening my little yard. An elderly Latino man working there greeted me as I walked by. I browsed and was inspecting the dwarf lemon tree, green lemons already growing. The man was coming back by, carrying a broom and dustpan. He stopped, said something to me and indicated the dustpan. A dead rat lay inside and he flopped it around a bit. Why did he do that?

I left.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Some fotos from this session....

By the way, Marnie, I haven't forgotten about you and the moon/night pics...will post soon!!

Hatching my film

I now store my film in the fridge. This morning my plan was to attempt a self portrait type for an assignment with my 4x5 camera. I got everything set up...and remembered that I had not loaded my film; it was still in its box. In the fridge. So, I loaded it and am now sitting on it to try and warm it up a bit. Excuse me...time to rotate!

Saturday, September 23, 2006


Although I'm not a car buff by any means, I do like cars. Julie's post made me think back and I started reminiscing about my old cars today, sigh.
My first car was a gold 85 Mazda GLC. It was great. It took a while to find it. Determined to have a manual transmission car, I searched a while, as everyone wanted to sell this girl an automatic. I found this picture on the internet. Yes, my car looked like this one (although a bit dirtier.)

That little car got me everywhere I needed to go. I think back on it and ooh, I had fantabulacious mileage with that car!! I could get to Orlando and back on less than 1/2 a tank. That was 300 miles!! and my tank was a standard 13/14 gallon tank! I figured it once and highway I'd get about 45-50MPG. Try getting that today! In town, driving to school and work, I'd get about 33MPG. Of course, we all have car stories and this one was no exception.

Funny story #1: Leaving school with 2 of my friends, we heard a loud bang and I could feel the car react. I pulled to the side of the highway, and looky there! My back tire blew out. We were standing on the side of I95, all of us 16, in our school uniform, looking at my flat tire and thinking, " what?" So, of course, the next logical step is to change the tire, something I had never done. I figured, how hard can it be? I popped the trunk and got out the jack-we couldn't figure for the life of us how to use it (it was a weird twirly jack instead of one that you can pump!) As we stood there, the three of us trying to figure out this contraption, a minivan pulls up and stops behind us. This man with his family in tow stopped and changed my tire for me. Whoever he is, wherever he may be, I am still thankful!!

Funny story #2: My friend M. and I drove up to Orlando to visit my sis. Then, with sis in tow, we headed to St. Augustine for the day. Driving west back to Orlando, I noticed the lights were dim. I justified it, figuring that driving into the sun, the lights would appear to be more dim (sun being brighter and all...). We slept over and the next morning, the car wouldn't start. Nothing. Dead. We got a jump from someone, and headed back south to West Palm, about a 150 mile drive. As we drove, the AC started getting weaker. I turned it off. Then the radio started fading. I turned that off (keep in mind these were the days before everyone had a cell phone!) I knew something was wrong but youth and optimism kept me going. Somehow, we made it back to my house, pulling into the driveway with whatever bits of power that poor car had left! I tried to turn it back on. Nothing. Dead. My dad charged the battery overnight. The next day, it died again. It turns out the alternator had gone bad, but still that little car got me home!!

I kept that car for 4 years. When I graduated high school, I travelled back to Europe for the summer and fell in love with the Golf GTI. I decided it would be my next car, whenever that would be. After two years of college, which I did locally, I was ready to go away to university and my little car had over 100k miles. My mom wanted me to get a newer car--she felt it would be safer for me. So, I started scanning the papers and all for my GTI. My mom couldn't understand my obsession, and I did look at other cars, but none would do. Everyone tried to convince me to get a different car, but I wanted my GTI. Eventually, I found an 88 GTI 16v. It looked like this, only with tinted windows.

I loved that car. And of course, it being college, I have some good stories with it, which I won't get into on this post, but I still miss that car. It handled so well and also got decent gas mileage. Not as good as the Mazda, mind you, but it averaged 31 MPG. In fact, it seems to me that most cars I've had since then have not been quite the same. Now, after over 15yrs of driving, I have my first automatic transmission. I doesn't seem right, somehow.

Friday, September 22, 2006

something different from world of fashion

I saw this on the news as I was trying to find information on the fires the other day and I'd thought that I'd post before I forgot about it!
Fashion News

I am particularly amused by this from the article:
"I think its outrageous, I understand they want to set this tone of healthy beautiful women, but what about discrimination against the model and what about the freedom of the designer," said Gould, Elite's North America director, adding that the move could harm careers of naturally "gazelle-like" models.

From what I've heard, the fashion industry has no problem telling their models that they need to lose weight. So what's the problem with telling a naturally "gazelle-like" model that she has to gain enough weight to be healthy?? Looking at the picture of the gazelle above, I'd say that the gazelle looks quite bones sticking out, good muscle tone. The fashion industry, to a certain extent, promotes ideals. Most models are at least 5'7 (which is considered a bit short!!) I will never be 5'7 (well that't not true, I can get on a stepstool!!hehe). So the next step would be to be thin? Ok, not bad, but to become so thin it's unhealthy? No thank you, but I do want to get to a healthy weight for my height. To quote Gilda Radner:"I just don't get what all the fuss is all about!"

Sunday, September 17, 2006

another new experience, CA style

When I woke this morning, I knew something It wasn't gray outside, which usually happens with the marine layer, but it wasn't the bright flood of sun either. Instead of rolling back to sleep, I got up, and the light coming in through the blinds was a glowing orange. I looked outside and the sun was hanging there, an orange ball in the middle of a gray sky, and the smell of smoke heavy in the air. I have bits of ash all over my patio and my plants. I'm lucky-I'm not close enough that my house is in danger but the fires aren't very far away, and now I'm getting the effects as the Santa Ana winds bring this stuff over to the coast. In Florida we also had wildfires-one time they closed I-95 in Jupiter because the flames were too close to the road, but I don't remember ever having ashes falling on us!! Here are some pics...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Small apartments and visitors

So, yesterday, I'm sound asleep and I get woken by this sound... "tink, ting tinkatinkatinka. (pause) ting, tink, tingatingatingatinktink." That would be Mom having her coffee. ok..I roll back to sleep. She gets up way to early for me. It's still dark out.

Then, later, I hear..."blahblah....blah Osama bin blah blah blah blahblah..." Ok, that's too much. The tv happens to be right by my door. Even though she's got it turned down low, it still woke me. And the last thing I want to wake up to is the news! ugh. So, I got up to let her know I can hear the tv. She said it was too dark to read, and she didn't want to turn the lights on because she thought they would wake me!! LOL...instead it's the opposite! She can turn the lights on, I'll keep right on sleeping, but turn on TV or radio and I'm up!! It's the same with going to sleep. I have a sister that easily falls asleep with the TV on, but even a little light will disturb her. Me? I'm the opposite. Go ahead, leave the lights on if you need, I'll still sleep, but if the TV or radio is on, I have to hear what's happening, and I won't go to sleep!!

Today, we're off to wine country.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Goodbye Croc Hunter

I just found out that Steve Irwin has died in a freak stingray accident (from C's blog)! So, I looked it up there it was, in the news. A quote from the news story says, ""He came over the top of a stingray and the stingray's barb went up and went into his chest and put a hole into his heart.""

I am a bit shocked. Stingrays are usually very peaceful creatures and will sting as a defense, not in attack. Usually this happens when they're hidden in the sand and someone steps on them. When I lived in Tampa, I'd go to Clearwater Beach and there were times of the year when there would be schools of stingrays hanging out in the shallow waters near shore. Most people knew to shuffle as you walked so that if there was a stingray around, it would have a chance to swim away. In fact, a website on stingrays even says, "However, it should be pointed out that the sting is purely a defensive weapon only and that the "striking" action is an involuntary response rather than a conscious "attack." See
stingray article.

All I can imagine is that the stingray somehow got spooked and that was that. I can't even imagine what his wife and kids are going through. So sad. I'm sure many people will think that in his line, it was only a matter of time, and that could well be, but by a stingray? It's just odd. I wouldn't have been as shocked had it been an animal known to be deadly, you know, an animal with a reputation.

I just hope that people don't panic about stingrays and start harming them. They are beautiful creatures! They deserve our protection and respect. And I'm sure that Steve Irwin would have agreed.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

What in tar-nations?

This afternoon, I decided to abandon my house-slug ways and go down to the beach to enjoy some sun and heat. It was nice. Very nice. I walked down and over the railroad. I could smell the salt in the air, (deep breath...) and I took my walk along the beach. From previous trips to the beach, I have already tar-stained two pairs of flip-flops without ever knowing I had tar on my feet.

So today, as I walked, I tried to be careful about the tar. Growing up in Florida, when I went to the beach and got tar on my feet, I knew about it almost immediately because the globs of tar there were big. It was like stepping in shit-you knew when it happened! I would try to find a shell or two to scrape off as much as possible and then, once I got home, the alcohol bottle and cotton balls would be brought outside--we weren't allowed back in the house until all the tar was gone from our feet. I learned to look for those tar globs and avoid them. That was my goal today.

As I walked, I realized that it's a losing battle out here! The tar I saw today was practically thin as paper and waiting in ambush for any feet right along the wave line! And they're all over the beach. Some are the size of...of, confetti! If you step in tar and it's a glob about 2 inches long and about 1/2 inch thick, you know you've stepped in it. However, if you step on it and it's 1/2cm x 1 micron thick, you're not going to feel it! (I don't even know how thin a micron is...I just think it's got to be really thin...and it gets my point across..)

I gave up and just continued walking. Once I was ready to go home, I looked at the bottom of my feet and sho' nuff-there were multiple globs and dots of tar!! What a pain!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

photos from class

These are the four images I submitted for my final project in class.

Friday, September 01, 2006

el gato part deux...

I forgot this picture in the last post so here it is.